QUOTE(exorcist_1699 @ Jul 3 2008, 11:51 AM) *
The traditional taoist saying , which at least has a history of around one thousand years from the Tang Dynasty , is :
Refining jing into qi, refining qi into shen , refining shen back to nothingness.
As most of people are stuck at the 1st stage, of course, people are seldom told about the final stage.
I also have heard it said as such:
Transform Jing to Qi. Transform Qi to Shen. Merge the Shen into Emptiness. Break the Emptiness to Pieces.
I also was instructed in a new view this last month by my Teacher:
1. Merge and become one with the Heart Mind of Heaven and Earth.
2. Merge and become one with the Heart Mind of Tao.
3. Merge and become one with the Heart Mind of Great Nature.
Purity / Tranquility / Stillness / Emptiness / Nothingness
These seem to me to be the main themes of the Taoism practice I am learning.......
THANK YOU. This is so simple, so easy, so direct, so descriptive of the Tao I have experienced. It is intuitive and experiential for me. I came to Taoism because it accords with a lifetime of observation of the world and experience of connectedness to the energy of the Universe (the chi of Tao). It is what I lived for many, many years without knowing there was a name for it or that there was a body of learning and knowledge that was available to draw from. So while I deeply understand many of the concepts, the terminology to me is sometimes baffling.
I'm finding the discussion interesting and enlightening, but my experience of Tao is that all the learning in the world won't help one connect to the energy of the Universe. It is the empty vessel that can be filled. It is the empty vessel that can let go, the empty vessel that can channel unconditional love (or "kindness" if you will).
I'm also troubled by the "celibacy is good" assertions. There is also a Tao of love, and many ancient and traditional teachings that assert that sexual union is good and necessary. I'm not talking of a purely sensual experience. Sexual and emotional union are inherently healing and help one to keep centered. It is a healthy, and for some, necessary part of being human, and of being connected to Tao. Oxytocin is a Good Thing and accounts for some of the differences in Taoist sexual teachings for men vs. women.
Or maybe all this is just a Taoist woman's perspective? It will necessarily be different from a man's.