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Found 8 results

  1. Seeking Info

    Hello, I hope it's okay to repost my welcome post. Hello, Not quite sure what to say, but suppose it's best to be direct. I'm in my early 20s and from a traditionalist conservative evangelical Christian background. I've studied some in universities, traveled a lot, wrestled with my faith a lot, and through a long questioning process, finally was able to abandon my faith in Christianity. I have resentments towards Christians, and Americans in general, traveling has really shown me what a messed up place America is, but I know I need to grow out of resentment. Anyway, I read Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi's teachings, and they really resonated with me, and then I found J Krishnamurti, and he seems to take Taoism to its logical conclusion better than most religious Taoists do. I've seen how every country has its idols, its Gods. In the end, it's all meaningless, emptiness. Religion is a crutch. Even secular countries feel the need to worship "democracy", "science", and "equality". Most people have a need to know things, to have things figured out. Anyway, I guess what I mean is I have low tolerance for BS. I know it's pointless to strive for immortality. I don't really care for a "kundalini awakening", or "opening the chakras". Does anyone know of a place where I can find a master that actually practices what's expressed in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi without overemphasis on exercises? A place where I can go live out my life without dealing with a public that just wants some blessings or stress relief exercises while continuing to live their miserable lives? Maybe a cave or remote mountain, like the days of old? I'm in Taiwan right now. I'm willing to travel anywhere in Asia or even beyond. I don't understand the mindset of most religious Taoists here. I struggle to see the value of putting an exercise first, and adding in a bunch of other dogma from Buddhism like karma and reincarnation. In christianity you're put on a treadmill where you're supposed to go out and do good works and evangelize. Buddhism and Karma doesn't strike me as much different. Just another opportunity for people to lord power over others. Am I crazy?
  2. Seeking Info

    Hello, Not quite sure what to say, but suppose it's best to be direct. I'm in my early 20s and from a traditionalist conservative evangelical Christian background. I've studied some in universities, traveled a lot, wrestled with my faith a lot, and through a long questioning process, finally was able to abandon my faith in Christianity. I have resentments towards Christians, and Americans in general, traveling has really shown me what a messed up place America is, but I know I need to grow out of resentment. Anyway, I read Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi's teachings, and they really resonated with me, and then I found J Krishnamurti, and he seems to take Taoism to its logical conclusion better than most religious Taoists do. I've seen how every country has its idols, its Gods. In the end, it's all meaningless, emptiness. Religion is a crutch. Even secular countries feel the need to worship "democracy", "science", and "equality". Most people have a need to know things, to have things figured out. Anyway, I guess what I mean is I have low tolerance for BS. I know it's pointless to strive for immortality. I don't really care for a "kundalini awakening", or "opening the chakras". Does anyone know of a place where I can find a master that actually practices what's expressed in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi without overemphasis on exercises? A place where I can go live out my life without dealing with a public that just wants some blessings or stress relief exercises while continuing to live their miserable lives? Maybe a cave or remote mountain, like the days of old? I'm in Taiwan right now. I'm willing to travel anywhere in Asia or even beyond. I don't understand the mindset of most religious Taoists here. I struggle to see the value of putting an exercise first, and adding in a bunch of other dogma from Buddhism like karma and reincarnation. In christianity you're put on a treadmill where you're supposed to go out and do good works and evangelize. Buddhism and Karma don't strike me as much different. Just another opportunity for people to lord power over others. Am I crazy?
  3. I have been a student of the Daodejing for many years. My study has largely consisted of reading various translations and interpretations of DDJ and reflecting on its meanings. I think this is the way many of us have started with Daoism. As I read the various translations and interpretations of DDJ, I began to see the influences that the writers had on rendering the work; their point of view, as it were. As must be the case, these points of view are decidedly western, and quite often Christian. Even the more scholarly efforts, in spite of best intentions, often contain traces of western and Christian thinking. Being aware of this, you can recognize it and make what ever accommodations you feel inclined. Still, I began to suspect that some publications were actually more interpretations than translations, particularly the less scholarly ones. Researching the background of the writers, particularly their ability with written and spoken Chinese, and reviewing the bibliographies of their works, helps in sensing how much more a work is of interpretation than translation and the amount of value you can place on the work. This has led me to question how informed the translations are ... or rather, how the translations were informed? What, beyond ability with the Chinese language is necessary to translate a work like the DDJ. Knowledge of Chinese culture, as a matter of general understanding, certainly contributes to translation, as does understanding of Chinese history. Even so, as I read the various DDJs, I still struggled with the seemingly enigmatic language and symbolism of the translated text, despite having tried to select works of knowledgeable translators. Many translators don't provide much explanation. Simply relying on the truthful feel of the DDJ, however strong, was not developing my understanding. I just felt the need for a more appropriate and specific context in which to make sense of the DDJ. Something that might make the DDJ more actionable in terms of practice of the ideas put forward. To that end, I began to look at translations of other source texts. Certainly, there is no shortage of references to such texts, particularly in the more scholarly translations. I settled on two such works that have opened up for me a whole different level of understanding of the DDJ; The Seal of the Unity of the Three by Fabrizio Pregadio and The Thread of Dao by Dan G Reid. It is with this backdrop that I start this thread. I am not a scholar or academic but simply one on the journey, seeking to share my impressions. My hope is that others, familiar with these works or not, will share their ideas as well. So, initially, what do the Bums think of these two works in general and how have you used them? btw, this is my first attempt to initiate a thread. If I am violating and rules, customs or conventions, please let me know. ; )
  4. Hi XingLik here. It's great to join Dao Bums. I've looked through the forums from time to time over the last few years and certainly found information and discussions that interest me. About me: I've been fascinated by the potential of human energy from an early age. I started martial arts at 8 and have been studying Shaolin (internal) and Daoist arts since late 1993. I have successfully been using Daoist healing techniques and teaching DaoYin TaijiQuan and QiGong since 2003. I am most interested in developing my understanding the practical wisdom of the sages, cultivating qi energy, improving my TaiJiQuan and becoming a helpful, balanced human being.
  5. Tea with Lao Tzu - 81 Days on IG

    ( I copied this from a post I made on reddit's /r/taoism in case it looks familiar to you Also, since it was dealing with Instagram, and a project elsewhere, I wasn't sure I should put it in Textual Studies - besides it didn't seem quite a "Study" enough...more fun oriented...) Greetings Tao and Tea lovers (and anyone else interested)! I just wanted to invite any Tea lovers and Instagram users to this little enjoyment of the Tao Te Ching. It started with a user in the IG tea world, @augustmoontea, as she began posting the chapters with her daily tea photos. Each day, the next section with tea. I've joined in and posted a different translation, maybe a bit of commentary from other writers, or our own. We're on chapter 4 as of today, so still plenty of time to join in if you'd like. Add some commentary, or thoughts on existing posts. Or join in and post on your own page a different translation, version, interpretation, language, etc of that day's chapter with your Tea photo and tag it with #TeaWithLaoTzu and #TeaWithLaoTzuDay4 (where 4 is replaced by chapter / day). It's not the best platform (that's probably here) for discussion, but we're making do. It's more about the "spirit" of sharing... Anyhow, check it out if you like! https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/teawithlaotzu/ yours in the way, 9thousandthings
  6. New Translation of the Daodejing

    A new translation + commentary of the Daodejing by Liu Ming has recently been published and is available for purchase at http://www.dayuancircle.org Observing Wuwei :: The Heart of the Daodejing - Liu Ming, 2016 From the introduction: From the editor's notes: The translations of the verses themselves are quite succinct, clear and impressive. As a comparision, Jonathan Star's translation of verse 1 contains 180 words. Liu Ming's translation contains 77. As impressive, if not more, is the utterly unique commentary. I'd recommend this version for those alone. On the whole, I greatly enjoy this translation. It's as practical as is it beautiful. Diaitadoc
  7. I've probably read Mitchell's translation of the DDJ 20 times because it's so small and it carries well in my purse. I've never quite understood his Chapter 12; even his excellent footnotes at the back of the book never seemed to quite hit the mark for me. Until today. For some reason, I saw things entirely opposite of how I had been interpreted them. Ch. 12 Colors blind the eye. Sounds deafen the ear. Flavors numb the taste. thoughts weaken the mind. Desires wither the heart. I had always taken this to mean that too many colors blind the eye, and Mitchell seems to bear this out in his comments (which I'll write at the end of my observations). But it occurred today that the colors we see are only those which are reflected, which are not absorbed by the object viewed. Black is black to us because the surface absorbs all other colors on the electromagnetic spectrum. Perhaps this does not refer to 'too many colors', or 'too many sounds'. Perhaps it refers more to the illusiveness of phenomena, in that it really isn't there anyway! When we realize that 99.99(9)% of an atom is void and the remaining .001% is infinitisimal particle (which may one day be proven not to be solid either; the Hadron collider actually shows that upon collision, some of the quarks actually go backward in time!), then it certainly all comes back to mind, doesn't it? I mean, we seem to think that we are 'hard shell' and various values in between, but we're predominately air. We are thought. Perhaps just all our communal perception. As I saw it today, color, sound, flavor, thoughts, and desires are an elimination of all other potential. Imagine the things we can't hear, see, taste - because our senses are so limited. And desires withering the heart - how poignant this seems to me. To desire anything is certainly relative to all the other phenomena we are rejecting. To desire one particular person is to find all others not as desirable. It's a judgment call, a conclusion on our part. And with conclusion comes the closing of mind as to infinity and potential. But the next part is the part that hit me the most. The Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision He allows things to come and go. His heart is open as the sky. I had always looked at this from the perspective of looking outward from the inside. But I realized the possibility today that it's just the opposite. What does trusting our inner vision really mean? I think it means that we know others if we know ourselves, and it is this that we can trust. If we know ourselves, truly know ourselves, then we know the macrocosm of other living beings. We have gotten down to the spaciousness within ourselves, the clarity of 'the sky', as Mitchell would put it. There are no clouds. His heart is not closed to any thing or any body; all is just phenomena that we realize is relative to the perception of every other being. There is no One Judgment, no One Truth. Just perception. Hopefully, if we are skilled, perception without coloration. Mitchell's comments re: Ch. 12: Colors blind the eye, etc.: We need space in order to see, silence in order to hear, sleep in order to carry on with our wakefulness. If the senses are too cluttered with objects, they lose their acuteness and will eventually decay. Desires wither the heart: Once it has let go of desires the heart naturally overflows with love, like David's cup in Psalm 23. His inner vision: There is no inside or outside for him. He reflects whatever appears, without judgment, whether it is a flower or a heap of garbage, a criminal or a saint. Whatever happens is all right. He treats his own anger or grief just as he would treat an angry child: with compassion. (I think he did an excellent job on this comment..) Open as the sky: The sky holds sun, moon, stars, clouds, rain, snow, or pure azure. Because it doesn't care which of these appear, it has room for them all. Any other interpretations?? I'd sure be interested to hear them...
  8. The Tao of Tarot

    Hi Bums, As some of you know, I just love comparing the metaphysical systems of different times and cultures with one another. Frequently, I find that they have central ideas in common. Thus a comparative approach tells us more about the Collective Unconscious, shared by all of humanity. Looking at an Archetypes from a variety of different perspectives serves to illuminate and amplify it further. Chapter 50 of the Daodejing seems to be a good example for what I mean. From Robert Henricks' translation: Now, the Death card in Tarot is the thirteenth of the Major Arcana. The traveller who comes out into life and goes back into death is The Fool. He stands both at the beginning and the end of the series of the Major Arcana, so he can be attributed with both the numbers 0 and 22. Cards that share the same checksum are seen as related with each other, like Death and The Fool, since they can both be reduced to the number 4. The fourth of the Major Arcana which is The Emperor. He is another important Archetype in Daoism, but we will safe him for later and stay with The Fool. The Fool is the eternal spiritual seeker, the original Tarot Bum undertaking the adventure of Individuation. He represents our childlike and spontaneous nature that we start out and hope to end up with. He is the wandering Daoist sage so prevalent in both Lao Tzu's and Chuang Tzu's writings. Ideally, he in fact attains (a kind of) immortality. Chapter 50 of the Daodejing continues: As we see above, the tiger indeed cannot injure The Fool. He is protected by his spiritual "innocence" or state of wu wei.