The Power of Three

December 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

David James Lees, Guest Writer
Waking Times

In my last Wu Wei Wisdom workshop at Peak House Practice I shared with my students the concept of the ‘power of three’, which is the most fundamental Taoist teaching I received from my Master in China and which is as relevant today in the West as it was in ancient China many thousands of years ago.

The power of three, or chicken foot as it’s sometimes called in China, has a great significance and insight within Chinese Taoist philosophy, however, this triad of energy is not only a Chinese concept as it’s been referred to in differing forms since ancient times, with many cultures, religions and philosophies attempting to define the ‘magic’ surrounding the number three and its relationship with the triads of mind- body- spirit or past-present-future.

In Taoism the Three Treasures or Three Jewels of compassion/love, modesty/simplicity, and restraint/humbleness are often described as basic virtues and discussed on several occasions in the classic Chinese text the Tao Te Ching.

Within traditional Chinese medicine practice the Three Treasures are also referred to as JingQi and Shen, translated as essencevitality, and spirit respectively – the energies cultivated through the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi.

The ‘powerful three’ I wish to focus on here, however, are YinYang and Wu Wei, and their relationship with the energy and potential our lives…

An ancient teaching

I first encountered the concept of the chicken foot in China when asking my Taoist Master when would be the correct time to return home from my studies and, with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders, he presented me with this unusual term.

It wasn’t until much later when receiving a teaching on Chapter 42 of the Tao Te Ching that I began to realise the significance behind this seemingly ‘throwaway’ phrase and how it relates to our modern world in a very powerful and profound way.

My own translation of the chapter is as follows:

The Tao

gave birth to the one;

the one gives birth to the two;

the two

gives birth to three;

the three gives birth to every living thing.

All things are based in Yin and carry Yang,

and are held together in the Qi of dynamic energy.

Therefore your greatest strength

becomes your greatest weakness.

The way you live, the way you die,

this is the fundamental teaching.

Stretching your perception and facing your fears

The beginning of this verse teaches the idea of accepting the mystery of the eternal Tao and the concept of blending and harmonising seemingly polar opposites and contradictory forces (Yin and Yang) to achieve a true singular harmonic energy vibration (Wu Wei) with the Universe.

Doing this apparently impossible task by shifting or broadening your perception allows you to grasp the reality that all energetic roots and origins are one of the same – everything is interconnected.

And so begins your journey into Taoism and the understanding that you cannot successfully protect or separate yourself from Source, or any ‘energetic’ encounter you are experiencing, whether it is the dynamic of your energetic relationship with an individual, situation or event.

In accepting this universal truth the fruitlessness of any emotional or physical ‘fight’ or ‘flight’, or other avoidance techniques you may have developed to bypass awkward, uncomfortable and fearful energetic situations, may become apparent.

The only ‘authentic’, way of being is therefore to confront and find the Wu Wei, the harmonious, balanced and centred way, through the energy field.

I spend much of my time working with my clients on this principle: teaching them how to face their fears and navigate the Wu Wei of life situations that are troubling them, allowing them to develop confidence and trust so that they may shine as individuals.

Embracing Oneness and navigating your Wu Wei

No one can fully explain the beauty or profoundness of the Tao in words as it vibrates on a higher energetic frequency (this is explained within the first lines of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching‘The Tao that can be talked about is not the true Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.’). Yet by teaching that everything originates from a mysterious eternal source, which cannot be verbally explained, is perplexing to Western minds which always need an answer for everything!

Nevertheless, what you can understand and study is the The Way (Tao) of that source or Universal energy and attempt to align and harmonise with it, in the same way a sailing yacht harmonises with the sea currents, prevailing winds and weather conditions.

This fundamental teaching allows you to consider the challenging Taoist concept of Oneness or wholeness, and how a seemingly simple change in perception can dramatically and positively impact your daily life, thinking and core belief system.

We came from Source, we return to Source, therefore will we are Source.

(this is one of the fundamental ‘power of three’ Taoist teachings)

With this in mind,‘human-centred’ perceptions of good or bad fortune, right and wrong,just and unjust etc. cease to be important as now they can be perceived as only two extremes (Yin and Yang) of the same energy.

Focusing your attention on either of the two extremes, or only seeing the two extremes as possibilities, severely restricts your ability to make considered, rational and authentic judgements, and thus finding the harmonious balance within the energy you are encountering becomes ever more challenging.

This narrowly defined, human-centred perception of opposites also disengages you from the harmonious flow of Universal energy (Qi), limiting your potential and committing you to a life of imbalance, separation, stagnation and subsequent Ego justifications and excuses as to why you are ‘stuck in a rut’.

This is where the power of three comes to the rescue!

The harmonious ‘Tao-centred’ way is to consider the whole of the energy, from a perspective of Oneness, balance and harmony.

So, as verse 42 teaches, Yin and Yang are held together in the Qi of dynamic energy, and when in harmonious balance this is Wu Wei, and from Wu Wei everything exists and flows.

From the power of three to personal empowerment

When you embrace the whole of the energy of any given situation or event more harmonious and balanced judgements can be made and authentic outcomes achieved.

A teaching that I often give to my students which reinforces this concept is as follows:

With one option you have a problem,

With two options you have a dilemma,

With three or more options you have authentic choice!

I’m reminded of the idea of changing your perception and paradoxical thinking in the Dalai Lama’s response to someone’s lament of how sorry they were that he had lost his country. His reply was along the lines of “I may have lost my country, but I’ve gained the world”!

Such insights and teachings underscore your unique ability to change your thinking patterns and belief systems, and your ability to define and believe in other, sometimes unseen, outcomes.

In the midst of enormously difficult challenges it can be all too easy to wrongly perceive that there are no successful or authentic outcomes available, yet it’s during these times of great personal and emotional challenge that opportunities for dynamic life changes are presented for you to embrace, learn and grow.

I believe Taoism to be a spiritual not religious practice and these concepts gently guide our way through energetic situations and challenges as would a compass. In the same way it’s inappropriate to brag or ‘show off’ when your life is going well, equally you should not be downhearted when the challenges seem tough and unresolvable.

As the verse 42 highlights: your strengths become weaknesses and weaknesses strengthens so be mindful not to let your human-centred thinking fool you into believing any energy or situation will last, as nothing lasts, everything changes, transforms and flows.

This is The Way (Tao) of the Universe, embrace it don’t fight it! This insight and change in perception has the potential to dramatically affect the energy of your life. It’s the only verse in the whole of the Tao Te Ching that mentions fundamental teachings’ so I understand it to be just that – an extremely important fundamental Taoist teaching.

As for my encounter with my Taoist Master, I realise now he was just empowering me (in his usual brusque Chinese way) to take responsibly and make my own authentic decisions…as we all should do!

Meditate and consider the following:

  • Are you embracing life from a human centred or Tao centred perspective?
  • How is this affecting your potential?
  • When was the last time you were in your authentic Wu Wei?
  • What did it feel like?
  • What can you do today to reclaim that harmonious position?
  •  Is there anything blocking your energetic flow right now?
  • What are three (or more!) possibilities/outcomes of the life situation you are currently facing?

Some affirmations:

  • I am a spiritual being having a human experience – I am Source.
  •  I choose to follow my Wu Wei in all that I do.
  •  I embrace life’s possibilities, both seen and unseen.
  •  I am One with everything.
About the Author

David James Lees is a spirituality and wellness author, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, counsellor, hypnotherapist, NLP Master, and a Member of the British Acupuncture Council. David has a lifelong interest in Taoism, Taoist philosophy and Qigong, and was first taught meditation by Chinese Tibetan Buddhist monks when he was 16 years old, which helped him tackle a profound stutter. After qualifying as a TCM practitioner in the UK, David trained for a number of years as a Qigong instructor with Doctor Shen in London and Master Wan Su Jain in Beijing, and was later ordained as a Taoist Master in the sacred Wudang Mountains in China. Today, David is a trusted advisor and broadcaster on emotional health issues and alternative therapies in the UK. You can follow David on his blog: www.WuWeiWisdom.comFacebookTwitterPinterest and Soundcloud.  For the latest information on David’s therapies, classes, workshops and special events visit Peak House Practice.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Contributors, Cosmos, Culture, David James Lees, Earth, Guest Writers, History, Ideas, Meta-physics, Resources, Self, Time & Space

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Who Stole the Weather? Chemtrails and Geoengineering

Who Stole the Weather? Chemtrails and Geoengineering













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

The increasing existence of these persistent contrails we see in the sky regularly behind high flying jets has rapidly become commonplace knowledge. Ironically these were first called “chemtrails” in military program literature, but this term was soon demonized as “conspiratorial” by these very same … More

June 3, 2014 | By | Reply More
Half of the World’s Food Is Thrown Away

Half of the World’s Food Is Thrown Away













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

That old bunch of carrots or pot of soup that sat for too long in your fridge, then ended up in your trash, doesn’t seem like much. But when multiplied over an entire year and expanded globally, the problem of food waste becomes one of epic … More

June 2, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Understanding the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio

Understanding the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio













Fractal Enlightenment
Waking Times

The Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci sequence is possibly the most simple recurrence relation occurring in nature. It is 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89, 144… each number equals the sum of the two numbers before it, and the difference of the two numbers succeeding it. It is an infinite sequence which … More

May 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
The End of the Amazon – Ecuador Approves Oil Drilling in One of the Most Biodiverse Regions on the Planet

The End of the Amazon – Ecuador Approves Oil Drilling in One of the Most Biodiverse Regions on the Planet













Dylan Charles, Editor
Waking Times

In 2007, Ecuador, a country already heavily invested in oil development, surprised the world by announcing the Yasuní ITT (Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini) Initiative which aimed to indefinitely refrain from exploiting the oil reserves contained within one of the most biologically diverse regions of the Yasuní National Park, … More

May 30, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
All Wars Are Well Planned Banker Wars, Including World War 3

All Wars Are Well Planned Banker Wars, Including World War 3













Jamie Lee, Contributor
Waking Times

When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, There Will Be Peace. – Jimi Hendrix

The Cause of War

Wars start when one nation moves into the territory of another; depressions occur when markets take unexpected downturns; inflations occur when prices are driven … More

May 28, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More

Activism Works

Monsanto’s Roundup Found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples

Monsanto’s Roundup Found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples













John Deike, EcoWatch
Waking Times

A new U.S. Geological Survey has concluded that pesticides can be found in, well, just about anything.

Roundup herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, was present in 75 percent of air and rainfall test samples, according to the study, which focused on Mississippi’s highly fertile … More

May 27, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
How to Bring Minerals Back Into the Soil and Food Supply

How to Bring Minerals Back Into the Soil and Food Supply













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

There are now many studies clearly documenting that if you eat processed foods, you’re being exposed to toxic herbicides. These toxic chemicals have been found in everything from breast milk to umbilical cords and placentas.

This of course means that children are now born with a … More

May 26, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
After the March Against Monsanto, Momentum Favors the People

After the March Against Monsanto, Momentum Favors the People













Jefferey Jaxen, Contributor
Waking Times

It is clear that we have just witnessed the largest single worldwide protest against a company and their products. What’s also clear is the major public disgust for anything bearing the words ‘Genetically Modified Organism’. Monsanto’s only refuge lies in the massively funded mouthpieces of … More

May 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Natural News Food Lab – Corporate Food Checkmated

The Natural News Food Lab – Corporate Food Checkmated













Jeffrey Jaxen, Contributor
Waking Times

Shortly after Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) appeared on the scene with his website Natural News, it quickly became a leader in virtual alternative health news for a growing number of people who were hungry for knowledge about their food, health and wellbeing. Those … More

May 13, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
Texas Family Awarded $3 Million in Nation’s First Fracking Trial

Texas Family Awarded $3 Million in Nation’s First Fracking Trial













Brandon Baker, EcoWatch
Waking Times

It took three years, but a Texas family finally emerged victorious in a case that could long impact fracking companies and the impact they have on the communities in which they operate.

A Dallas jury favored the Parr family, which sued Aruba Petroleum back in … More

April 24, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More