Monday, September 28, 2015

1 - The tao that can be told


The tao that can be told
is not the eternal tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name.

The tao is both named and nameless
As nameless it is the origin of all things.
When named it gives life to all things

When you have no desire you can
see the mystery
When you  have only desire
you see only the manifestations

Mystery and manifestation
are created in the same place.
When you use both
you open the gateway
to all wonders.

If you are a diver, you like me will remember the first time you ever went scuba diving. For me it was at the Club Med in Turks and Caicos. Up until then I had just a vague imagining. Scuba Diving was a thing I had seen on tv. Images in my head from stories told of my great grandfather lost at sea in his bell helmet off the coast of Africa. Other than having a few snorkel masks as a kid and ample amounts of time in the water, scuba never seemed an option or ever really showed up in my life until it did. Funny, because I was a water baby. A water pre-teen, A water teenager, A water 20 something. You get the point, The water it cast it's spell on me early in life, If I was near it, I wanted to be in it. Scratch that, I was in it. The years I lived away from it, many times I could feel a longing for it. Never a person who cared to trade the map for the territory, seeing it in pictures or on tv never moved me as much as experiencing it. Pools, ponds, whatever, boats were good but diving boards were better. The day I realized it was more enjoyable to walk in the rain than to run from it was probably my first aha moment.

Yes, I like the water!! So what? I remember that day in 2003 very well. the day I first put on scuba gear. During the early part of the day I found myself having a dull time on the beach. So I entered the surf. I remember thinking. Whats under the surface. I felt uneasy. I had images of sea creatures stinging me, sharks attacking me, and my father's favorite the Kraken dragging me down into the depths. Ok it wasn't that dramatic, however enough to leave me with an uneasy feeling. One of those feelings that you know isn't right. One that you know deep down, doesn't belong to you. 

Within a few hours a Club Med G.O.(Gentil Organisateur) came by and asked me if I wanted to do an introductory scuba course in the pool and then head out into the ocean the following day. There was no question.  Little did I know at that time, that the adventure had just began.

From there I went on to love diving. Today it is a major part of my life. Through embracing Scuba Diving I have been lead down a path of great exploration. An exploration above the surface, below the surface, and within myself.

So, the Toa that can be told is not eternal. It is just my story and one day it will have an ending. Long after I am gone there will be divers, and long after there are no more divers, there will still be seas, and ponds, and things that are wet. As long as these places exist there will be the opportunity for someone or something to give it meaning. 

But I am not gone, so I will wonder and explore, catch myself from thinking I know it all and catch myself when I am distracted by what I can manifest.

To live in the mystery of life, AND to create, is where the fruit is.

What is the Tao Te Ching?

I have been pondered the question for a while. Did I really want to tell you, the reader, what the Tao is? Is it my place to do so? I decided I didn't and its not my place to give you any other information other then the basics:

  • It's a book
  • Written by Lao-Tzu
  • Written over 25 centuries ago
  • Tao in English = way
  • Te in English = virtue
  • Ching = Canon/great book/classic
  • 81 verses
  • Thanks wikipedia ;-)

I suggest however once you have finished this book that you come back to these first to posts and think about why I may have chosen not to elaborate.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Tao of Diving - Pronounced Dao of Diving

Intention - This book is intended to help me fulfill my highest priority in life. TO HELP PEOPLE ENJOY THEIR LIVES MORE! Just like life and scuba diving, The Tao of Diving is intended to be funny, serious, happy, sad, helpful and at times a hindrance. This book is intended to help me and to help you navigate through the highs and lows of life(and Scuba Diving). It is also intended for in-between times. By combining the principles of the Tao Te Ching and my experiences in the scuba world, I will help you realize that all your ups and downs are be beneath the seas. - Johnny O.

How this book will work - the goal of this blog is is to present each verse of the Tao Te Ching as a separate blog entry. Each entry with a translation of the text along with a couple or three pages of interpretation based on the events of my life from the time I started diving in 2003 to today. Please feel free to make comments and suggestion. Each response will be consider and addressed appropriately. When I am done I will compile the verses for publication in the top formats at that time. The blog will remain here for you to visit any time. 

FYI... to see the newest posts from here press "Newer posts" on the bottom of the screen. Some platforms it may just be an arrow pointing left.  

Why? As I sat down to to start writing this book I was presented with a quote from one of my main inspirations, Deepak Chopra. His Facebook post told a story of how Dr Wayne Dyer had written himself this note. "Dear Wayne, don't die with your music still in you". Dr. Dyer's recent passing has urged to to start this book "The Tao of Diving. It has been an idea of mine for many years, and no is the time. I know I have a story to tell and it is the story of me. I am not anyone important. However I have lived. I am a SUPER lucky guy. Born into an amazing family. Traveled the world many times over by the time I was ten years old. Had the privilege of growing up in one of the most affluent areas in the world. Oh the things I have done and seen, he said with the biggest of grins. Today I work for an incredible outfit in Newfoundland Canada providing people with adventures that many people didn't know they could dream of. Every day I am truly blessed. You really don't know the half of it.

I believe that most people look at me and see an immensely positive person, with a lot of drive, and capability. Someone who is driven, hard working, and a positive influence on everyone I meet This is probably true ninety five percent of the time. I also believe there some, who believe I am complete narcissistic asshole! Either way despite all the opportunities that life has offered, living hasn't come as easy as it may seem. Even with all the advantages and privilege that have be bestowed on me, with all the external hard work and labor that has gone into my life. There was still a lot of hard work that was done internally. This is where the Tao Te Ching came in. Once I was exposed to the Tao Te Ching, and once I got to know and understand the text I came have a sort of remembrance. Not that I was learning anything new. Rather putting words to the thoughts and feelings I have experienced in my life time. 

Why diving? Well I am a diver. A pretty good one. Over time I have identified Scuba diving as my best opportunity to help people enjoy their lives more and mine as well.Then hopefully through a trickle down effect the idea of helping people and enjoying life will permeate from the people I encounter to their families, to their friends, to their communities, to the world. Maybe even a little full on pay it forward will kick into boot!

God I hope these stories are good!!!

P.s. - As this is my rough drafts, please help me by picking out any general editing mistakes, or by sharing your thoughts. Really that's all I am doing here. Sharing my thoughts with you. Thanks in advance!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sunday fun - Day 14

Had a fun light work out last night with Angelina and Benjamin. It is hard to work out when the kids are making me lough. You take concentration for granted when you are by yourself. It was all good because I certainly got to enjoy their company and it was fun to show them what could be done.

My work out for last night:

Standard Push Ups - 30
Crunches - 50 Target Reps
Squats with 10lb medicine ball extended - 50 Target Reps
Standing twist with med. ball extended - 20/side
Decline push up(feet raised about 18 inches) - 20

Challenge exercise:
External Hip Rotation w/ side plank - 3 per side

Thanks and I hope everyone had a great Mothers Day!
Johnny O.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hat Trick - Day 13

3 exercise sessions today to make up for yesterday:

1st 30 minute Ocean swim

2nd one and 1/2 hour hike in Harbour Main

Standard Push Ups - 47 with out stopping!!
Crunches - 50 Target Reps
Squats with 10lb medicine ball extended - 50 Target Reps
Standing twist with med. ball extended - 20/side
Decline push up(feet raised about 18 inches) - 30 

Challenge exercise:
External Hip Rotation w/ side plank - 5 left side 4 right side 

I think that makes up for missing a day and now to stay on track!!

John O.

Punked out - Day 12

I would like to say that  at 1130/1230 last night it was planned that I would get up today and swim in the bay INSTEAD of doing my exercises last night. But it wasn't. After coming home from the Toby Kieth concert I made the fatal error of laying in my bed. This time I i didn't have the will power, and I missed one day of my routine exercises.

I did however, thanks to the help of my swimming buddy get up and was in the water at 7am this morning. Overall a surplus of activity. The principle however is not sound. I made a commitment to myself and I feel bad for breaking it. I guess the only thing to do is stop and take a look at why.

Anyway, like the sign I saw on my Facebook timeline said, "Don't be too hard on yourself." or this one:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Audible #2 - Day 11

Just like in the last challenge, I chose to call an audible, this time I totally changed it up. Instead of the usual workout I decided to join my friend Meredith for an exploratory mission across the bay in Holyrood. We donned our Wetsuits and with help from our buddy Kyle in Kayak we set out to swim from the Marine Institute dock across the bay to the beach at the end of the breakwater. If I had to guess at the distance I would put it at somewhere between 750 meters and 1 kilometer. The total trip took approx. 30 minutes.

I have to admit I thought it was going to bit of an ordeal. Freezing cold, and the distance seems sooooooooooooooo much longer from the shore. It wasn't an ordeal at all!! With the proper thermal protection I was completely warm the whole time, and when I got settled in the water I realized it was going to be ok. It was a good work out for sure and next time I think we will make it a round trip!!

Thanks again to Meredith who was a trooper(5mm for sure) and to Kyle who is a great guy to have on your side.

All the best and thanks for tuning in,
Johnny O.

P.s. - How about a few pics :-)