Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more sacred than simply breathing. . . . If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don't get caught up in spiritual superficialities.
There are three layers to the universe. In the lower, Tai Ching, and the middle, Shan Ching, the hindrance of a physical bodily existence is required. Those who fail to live consistently in accord with the Tao reside here. In the upper, Yu Ching, there is only Tao: the bondage of form is broken, and the only thing existing is the exquisite energy dance of the immortal divine beings.
Does one scent appeal more than another? Do you prefer this flavor, or that feeling? Is your practice sacred and your work profane? Then your mind is separated: from itself, from oneness, from the Tao.
If you attach yourself to gross energies -- loving this person, hating that clan, rejecting one experience or habitually indulging in another -- then you will lead a series of heavy, attached lives. This can go on for a very long and tedious time.
The first practice is the practice of undiscriminating virtue: take care of those who are deserving; also, and equally, take care of those who are not. When you extend your virtue in all directions without discriminating, you feet are firmly planted on the path that returns to the Tao.