#TaoFu Self-Defense Exercises 





#TaoFu Self-Defense is a strategy for responding to temptation to vice with truth (honesty, including intellectual honesty) and virtue.  Exercises will be provided here from time to time and some will be interactive while others you can practice on your own.  Practicing these exercises will help you defend yourself against temptations to vice as well as those with whom you interact and their apparent commitment to vice at any given moment. 

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Think about someone or something you strongly dislike (and/or hate) and challenge yourself to identify/come up with 5 things you like about him/her/it.  The purpose of this exercise is to manage your temptation to Wrath (i.e. Hate).


[Rev. Minister Angela Smith's Commentary: I believe I am reasonably unable to come up with five things I like about the man who sodomized me when I was 6 years old.  In fact, I can't come up with a single thing I like about that person.  But, for a time I've greatly disliked Hillary Clinton though recognize her good sportsmanship in donating to Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.  So, I understand if there are some people or some things you strongly dislike and/or hate for which you can't even name a single thing you like about them.  In such a case, I suggest liking knowing the fact that they are a temporary condition because their death or end is guaranteed at some point and meditating on how unlikable the thing or person you dislike is to you and how you'd feel if you were disliked to that extent by someone else.  If you think "If I raped a child, I'd hate myself and commit suicide like Jeffrey Epstein or request the death penalty like Westley A. Dodd," then you are not being hypocritical if that's truly how you feel about someone who did that to you or anyone else.  Honesty is the best policy and God doesn't require anyone pretend the vicious and deceptive are likable but asks that you objectively review all available facts in context before passing judgment and if you don't you are exhibiting the vice of prejudice to some degree so may be in no position to judge fairly if at all.]


EXERCISE 2 (For individuals with trauma-related stress or anxiety):


Contemplate or meditate on the following question: "If someone in my environment is allergic to my favorite shampoo, am I responsible for changing shampoos or is the allergy sufferer responsible for addressing their particular issue?"  In the event you do not use shampoo, Rev. Angela Smith is allergic to pitted fruits (i.e. peaches).  In the event you do not use shampoo and/or do not eat or use pitted fruits such as peaches in any way, go with polyester.  Rev. Angela Smith also has an allergic reaction (small breakout of hives) to polyester.  In the event you do not use shampoo, do not eat or use pitted fruits, and don't use polyester, perhaps you enjoy peanuts or products containing peanuts like a Snickers Bar and can substitute that.


Now, if you decide the allergy sufferer is responsible, particularly where you were unaware of the allergy in advance and intended no harm, would you find it unreasonable for the allergy sufferer to expect you to stop using items that trigger an allergic reaction?  What would you suggest they do to address their allergy symptoms without requiring you to discontinue use of the item(s) that trigger an allergic reaction?


The purpose of the above exercise is to practice honest reason and patience for the sake of empathy, fairness, and equality to avoid hypocrisy (which is a vice that involves the promotion of inequality by expecting more of others than you do of yourself). 


[Rev. Minister Angela Smith's Commentary: I always have Benadryl (or equivalent) on me which helps me manage any allergic reaction I have in most instances.  I can't at this time afford an EpiPen.  I only breakout with hives where something I'm allergic to just touches my skin.  One time at a bath and body shop they asked me to try a lotion and I asked if it was hypoallergenic and they said it was hypoallergenic.  So, I agreed.  My right hand with the test spot immediately broke out.  I asked what was in it and if it contained pitted fruit oils.  They confirmed it contained apricot oil.  They immediately assisted me in getting it off my hand.  But, I had hives in that spot for a couple of days.  What I learned from that is to expressly ask if there is pitted fruit or anything that results in a severe reaction for me in a product before trying it even if they claim it is hypoallergenic.  I didn't demand they stop selling the lotion with the apricot oil because I understand that most people do not suffer from the same allergies I do so it would be unfair to them to expect everyone adopt my protocols particular to my body.  I am not allergic to peanuts and enjoy Snickers candy bars.  I'm not going to stop eating Snickers and I will protest if there are any more bans on peanuts.  I think peanuts should be brought back to all ballparks where they've been banned out of consideration for a small minority who can take precautions to avoid exposure and bring emergency supplies to prevent and/or address a spontaneous allergic reaction.  What I find most annoying besides my allergies as an allergy sufferer is that other people get annoyed and comment with judgment where I actually can't control it and it annoys me more than anyone else, I guarantee it.  I can treat the symptoms with remedies in my price range and have the right to make my own medical decisions where I know the risks and benefits and my body so can make the most informed choices regarding my own health.  I'd appreciate more tolerance for those who suffer allergic reactions, but, I understand sneezing can be considered a form of assault depending on whether there's an actual epidemic at any given moment.  But, unless you are Damien from "The Omen" and unable to get physically ill in any way because you are the spawn of Satan, please recall a time you've sneezed or even passed gas that was displeasing to others but something you couldn't help before judging me or any other allergy sufferer.  I promise you we hate allergies.  I used to get the shots.  I've tried so many remedies and treatments.  I really would love to not have allergies.  I was bottle-fed formula.  Just try to avoid acting or speaking as if I'd be better off dead because allergies are so miserable.  That isn't helpful at all and tempts me to wish you had at least one severe allergy too so you'd understand and have some compassion.  It shouldn't have to be that way and for most people it isn't.]