SirPalomides

Is there an "easy path" in Daoism?

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6 hours ago, Apech said:

 

But I would say its a completely different interpretation to Christian heaven and hell - but most westerners who go into Buddhism import a load of assumptions and preconceptions from Judeo-Christian beliefs and some never get rid of them.  Which is a problem.

 

I came to this realisation recently in Wudang. Despite having an English-speaking teacher, she nor shifu understood my question about religion and worship. After 4 or 5 attempts it dawned on me that it wasn't even a thing for them. Their attitude to religion is completely different to Abrahamic ones, and it would take a lot of undoing for any westerner to understand. It's taken me over ten years!

Edited by Rara
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20 hours ago, rideforever said:

 

Listen mate just copying and pasting definitions from the internet is not having a teacher or any experience.  Your whole approach is of an internet amateur.  Better to do some practice. The question you need to ask yourself is out of today's 24 hrs, how much did I practice?

 

The guy is looking for Taoist meditation, instructions I have given, they are accurate.

Zazen as it is practised in Zen develops awareness/concentration at the front of the head with a small amount of belly work due to its Taoist cross over, however it is not true work on the tantien.  In particular Zen does not surrender or flow down.

True Taoist meditation is on the belly and the enlightenment so received is of the valley flowing down into darkness, or sung : this is the kind of enlightenment that gives rise to the TTC.

 

Inasmuch as what you say here may accurately represent the Buddhist and Daoist teachings you've encountered in your life, it contains some truth. But as you have evidently encountered a smaller sliver of what Buddhism and Daoism have to offer than many others among us have, you present a much smaller serving of fact than some others here can. Ignorance is unavoidable for all of us; 99.9∞% of the universe is unknown everybody on this board. However, even though it is challenging sometimes, if we aspire to be cultivators then we have to be open to the need to gradually diminish our ignorance of certain things. When faced with information that is new to you, do you really do yourself any service by reacting with emotion, vitriol, and a slew of imaginings about a person who know you only by a few lines of text?

 

The very partial instruction you have written about here may well be what you learned from your Daoist teacher. That does not mean your statements about Buddhism are correct, nor that your blanket statements about Daoism are, either. Did you know that, in fact, numerous Daoist teachers view lower dantian focus meditation as something that is not particularly important or useful and do not practice it (examples I have met: some Longmen teachers, the neidan Western School)?  Did you know that still others actively counsel against focusing on the lower dantian because of the undesirable side effects that doing so can cause (examples I have met: a 仙學 teacher in Chen Yingning's line and a Daoist taiji teachers)? Do you know that there are Daoist teachers who warn about potentially serious complications if lower dantian focus is done at the wrong stage in training, or in the wrong way? Do you know that there are some teachers who only teach focusing on the lower dantian as a response to specific physiological phenomena that can arise during meditation? In short, this is a deep and complex topic. 

 

Finally, while you may not have met any Zen practitioners who "surrender" or "flow down," I suggest avoiding making conclusions you could only really make had you seen the end-all-be-all of Chan/Zen and Buddhism at large. Daoist ancestors like Lu Dongbin, Li Daochun, Liu Yiming, and many others have unequivocally stated that Buddhists can accomplish what Daoists do. The living Daoist master Hua Ching Ni has repeated this teaching in his books. Lest you still harbor the notion that I am copying and pasting things here, allow me to state that I have visited as well as studied and practiced with many Daoist teachers who offer the same opinion when they are teaching in person.

 

Before you vent more spleen in my direction, please be aware that I am taking the time to write all of this for the benefit of curious newcomers who deserve to get as clear and comprehensive a picture of these traditions as we are capable of offering. I'm not particularly interested in converting you to my views or forcing you to abandon yours. Simply, you have made points that strike me as glaringly in need of counterpoints, because they demonstrably counterfactual, and could mislead others. This is why I am taking the time to write. You are welcome to disagree with me, but why can't you do better than calling me stupid and telling me to shut up without even spending a couple of days looking into the ideas I have presented? 

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36 minutes ago, Walker said:

lower dantian 

Well Walker ... why did you jump on me in the fist place ... that wasn't very honourable.

But anyway, as for what you say.  You have a lot of academic knowledge stored up in the data banks, but this is inferior to understanding.

You talk about "focussing" on the tantien.  What does that mean exactly?  In instructions I gave, it emphassed being inside the tantien and falling from it.  That is the correct way.  Like many practitioners of these arts you don't differentiate between focussing on the tantien (resting your awareness onto this area) from shifting to being inside the tantien.  And yes if all you are doing is resting awareness on tantien it is a big problem; correct.  Such practices do not actually embody the tantien so you don't even begin the taoist path, you don't leave the head.  That is the why, that needs to be attached to the academic guidance.  And all academic guidance needs to be attached to the why. Not just "don't do it" or "it may be bad" ... but why, specifically.  How does it function internally.
For sure many schools that you mention do many things, they may call themselves daoist and practice from the head or call themselves zen and practice from the belly.
The guidance I gave is the practice to enlighten the belly which is what Daoism points to.  Of course not everyone follows the rules, there really doesn't need to be many schools or more than one teacher for the entire tradition ... but mankind likes to make a mess.  And others like mess because it becomes a long academic story which they cultivate.
But practice is simple if you know what you are doing, and why.
Anyway aside from that, let's just say you have a "different approach".

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1 hour ago, rideforever said:

Well Walker ... why did you jump on me in the fist place ... that wasn't very honourable.

 

I was exceedingly polite with you the first time, when you started making your mistaken claims here

 

1 hour ago, rideforever said:

But anyway, as for what you say.  You have a lot of academic knowledge stored up in the data banks, but this is inferior to understanding.

You talk about "focussing" on the tantien.  What does that mean exactly?  In instructions I gave, it emphassed being inside the tantien and falling from it.  That is the correct way.  Like many practitioners of these arts you don't differentiate between focussing on the tantien (resting your awareness onto this area) from shifting to being inside the tantien.  And yes if all you are doing is resting awareness on tantien it is a big problem; correct.  Such practices do not actually embody the tantien so you don't even begin the taoist path, you don't leave the head.  That is the why, that needs to be attached to the academic guidance.  And all academic guidance needs to be attached to the why. Not just "don't do it" or "it may be bad" ... but why, specifically.  How does it function internally.
For sure many schools that you mention do many things, they may call themselves daoist and practice from the head or call themselves zen and practice from the belly.
The guidance I gave is the practice to enlighten the belly which is what Daoism points to.  Of course not everyone follows the rules, there really doesn't need to be many schools or more than one teacher for the entire tradition ... but mankind likes to make a mess.  And others like mess because it becomes a long academic story which they cultivate.
But practice is simple if you know what you are doing, and why.
Anyway aside from that, let's just say you have a "different approach".

 

Suffice it to say, I agree with what SirPalomides just said. I think you're playing twisty games, attempting to paint me into a corner ("academic with no practical experience") to win your games, and now making fundamentalist claims about a millennia-old tradition that has always had diversity and the ability to accommodate different ways of doing things at its heart. 

 

Daoism has room for a lot of things, but it actually doesn't have much room for those who say they know the "one true way," because the bar for proving such a claim is extremely high and yet extremely simple and clear. If you have accomplished yourself, then you should be able to manifest your yangshen anywhere in the world. If you can do this, I invite you to visit me to finish this conversation in person; tea, coffee, or beer will be on me. If you cannot, then you are still in the same boat as the rest of us, and you sure ain't cap'n, cap'n. 

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1 hour ago, Walker said:

Daoism

Look I think the most important thing is to consider what I said about the tantien, maybe that means something to you, if not we are just following different things.

Anyway you take care.

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Shit, I had already started boiling water and everything! Guess I'm gonna have to drink this fine 老白茶 all by my ownsome. Unless... any other immortals out there wanna drop by? Nah? I got crumpets around the house, too... Dag.

 

You take care, too.

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On 25/11/2019 at 10:52 AM, Rara said:

 

So, we could just "Om", as Daoist, but reap the benefits still...

 

If you don't want buddha helping you, but the "Ohm", yes. Otherwise, beware of the pseudo-esoteric atheistic flow of this age. People believe nature (as something inanimate and void of spirit) is the source of all "stupid superstition" of today, and with this do truly stupid things like pray to Lillith, ask Hecate to destroy other peoples' mariages or blame human males and male-like gods for what they see as a perversion of religion - when they themselves usually have no contact with the divine in the first place, and would be unable to differentiate between a buddha and a pranking ghost.

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On 22/11/2019 at 2:27 AM, Walker said:

Chanting Amitabha's name is widely understood as a slow but reliable and safe way to clear karmic obscurations, create good karma, train the mind, and greatly increase one's chances of finding an appropriate teacher/path in this lifetime (i.e., its value is not solely limited to praying for rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land, and it is widely held that some practitioners who simply use this practice can reach enlightenment in this lifetime).

 

I second this. I've had spiritual encounters with a boddisatva of the Amitabha's line and that shit is freaking intense. It messes your life good, but it is so good you actually thank him latter (you'll probably curse him endlessly for two weeks, though).

 

On 22/11/2019 at 2:27 AM, Walker said:

it's hard to deny that many, many people who chant Buddhas' names or mantras report phenomenal effects. 

 

Indeed happens.

 

On 22/11/2019 at 11:22 AM, SirPalomides said:

What about names of Daoist deities?

 

Those fuckers are fucking dangerous. Hardcore stuff. Better to stick with buddhism for a little longer before messing with chinese gods.

 

On 22/11/2019 at 11:31 AM, SirPalomides said:

Here's something I've long wondered: Considering that we know now that stars are impermanent, that is, that they have life cycles, and some of the stars we see now are already long "dead", how does that gel with the high importance given to astrology in Daoism (and other worldviews)?

 

 

The world works like a clock. The stars are the clock's hands. They point to which part of the cycle we're in, but the cycle itself is mostly related to our own planet and its energies (see for instance the 12 branches and 10 stems).

 

Medieval (or Traditional or European as it is known) Astrology, for instance was based on Hebrew Angeology. You'll look at the cycles of energies the Angels and Spirits related to each planet use in our own world. So, when we say Jupiter is a planet that brings prosperity but also gluttony, we mean to say that Jupiter shows how and when the Intelligence ("angel") named Johphiel and the Spirit ("demon") named Hismael (actually an angel, but it has harmful effects and cristianity can't accept that god isn't a good guy and that it creates angels that bring pain and suffering to mortals, so they say it is a "spirit") act in our world in a global scale.

 

Johphiel will bring things like abundance and prosperity, which Hismael will bring things like gluttony and fruitless waisting. You'll know which is acting at which times of the astrological cycle through the astrological calculations used by Agrippa, meaning the traditional European Astrological Calculation boards and charts have absolutely NOTHING to do with actual astronomy. There are even new constelations in the skies of our time, and the position of the sun in the medieval european astrology calculation manuals is completely wrong by thousand of years, so it isn't factual at all.

 

On 22/11/2019 at 11:31 AM, SirPalomides said:

A more speculative, potentially irrelevant question: How would these astrological systems be adapted to life on other planets or solar systems, where the constellations and movements would be different?

 

I have a few friends who like to dwelve into the UFO world and have made contact with a few spiritual entities who claim to be spirits from other worlds, some of which actually have a physical counterpart in our universe (not all "ET's" come from worlds with physical counterparts in our physical universe - some come from planets which only exist in other planes of existence, many of which we would call "astral").

 

Basically they have completely different forms of astrology there. In terms of mars, for instance, earth figures as one of the 12 planets of their astrological system, but I don't remember exactly what it meant. Something to do with "materialization" or "physicallity of things" or something in this line? I'm not sure.

 

obs: As long as I'm aware, there are indeed lifeforms in mars, and the spirits of those ghosts who claim to exist there reencarnate on those lifeforms. I'm quite skeptical about they being lifeforms as we consider life to be, though. Maybe living sand or something? Go figure. Stuff gets wacky crazy once you dwelve too deep into these wathers.

 

On 22/11/2019 at 11:32 AM, SirPalomides said:

How would the Buddhas and their Pure Lands figure into Daoist cosmology(ies)? Are they emanations of Daoist deities?

 

IF I'm not very wrong here, there are some correlations - for instance, certain gods having other names in buddhism than they have in daoism. A daoist god can be a buddha or a deva, for instance.

 

Do mind, though, that as much as I know about daoism and buddhism, gods have been used as tools to make them less raw to the societies around. So, you get to a village which worships a certain crop goddess - you won't say "stop worshipping this stupid goddess and become a monk". You'll try to contact this divinity and, if it indeed is a god/goddess (and not just a wandering ghost with some power) you'll then ask to see its face inside the Daoist view of the world - how does it manifests in the daoist cosmology?

 

Seeing that, then you can make it so people have an easier time adapting to your "weird doctrine" :P

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1 hour ago, Desmonddf said:

 

Those fuckers are fucking dangerous. Hardcore stuff. Better to stick with buddhism for a little longer before messing with chinese gods.

 

Could you elaborate? Do you mean that these gods are somehow less benevolent/ compassionate than the Buddhas? Are they irritable powers quick to zap unworthy invokers or sloppy ritualists? I know Buddhist schemas tend to lump Daoist gods in with the powerful but not fully enlightened devas, but I'm pretty sure Daoists don't accept this characterization.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SirPalomides said:

Could you elaborate? Do you mean that these gods are somehow less benevolent/ compassionate than the Buddhas? Are they irritable powers quick to zap unworthy invokers or sloppy ritualists? I know Buddhist schemas tend to lump Daoist gods in with the powerful but not fully enlightened devas, but I'm pretty sure Daoists don't accept this characterization.

 

 

Chinese gods in a broad sense have a very different "mindset" (if you could say something like that) from our Western gods. They are both more approachable and less prone to "go easy" on someone because the person is just another mortal.

 

China has been the "center of the world" for a very long time, and the gods that have shown their faces there tend to be intrisically connected to this idea of being "the center of the world", "nobility"  and "kings and queens". So, it is as dangerous as it was to talk face to face with Louis XIV.

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I wonder if others can chime in on that. I am aware that the Daoist pantheon has a certain bureaucratic aspect and, by some understandings, only a certified member of the bureaucracy (e.g. a daoshi) is qualified to address certain of the deities directly. But I'm not sure if Chinese religion in general follows this rule. And I would also argue that Chinese religion is hardly unique in this mediated aspect to the gods. The Hellenistic world would be familiar with this kind of religion, which is why St Paul would have sounded pretty radical when he talked about Christ breaking through all the heavenly layers and their attendant angels (the archons) to enable direct access to God.

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5 hours ago, Desmonddf said:

 

Otherwise, beware of the pseudo-esoteric atheistic flow of this age. 

 

 

When I think of someone being atheistic, I believe they say this out of ignorance.  Sure, they reject a 'God out there somewhere', as they should.  It just doesn't occur to them that they are, indeed, god.   Personally, I think a good dose of atheism is a lot healthier (and shows at least an ability to think on one's own, as opposed to clinging to the religion of their youth) than a revved up born-againer who's trying to convert everyone to their way.

 

As mucked up as the world seems right now, I do think there is an equivalent amount of awakening happening.  It's unseen, that's all.  I don't know about anyone else, but I run into 'woke ones' quite regularly.  But that's a bit of a mystery too.  Do we see more awakened folks because we are more awakened than we used to be?  Because we have the 'eyes' to see at this level? Or is there actually an unseen mass arising?  I prefer to believe the latter.

 

Otherwise, we be forked.

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Quote

Is there an "easy path" in Daoism?

 

Yes there are, for the fundamentalists, but all easy paths lead to hell.

 

Also

 

Floating down the river feet first because you think you are already 'there' is not on a path, it's a cop out.

 

 

Edited by Starjumper

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3 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

I wonder if others can chime in on that. I am aware that the Daoist pantheon has a certain bureaucratic aspect and, by some understandings, only a certified member of the bureaucracy (e.g. a daoshi) is qualified to address certain of the deities directly. 

 

Taoism is actually the closest you can come to an ecclesiastical democracy, complete with local governments -- gods of particular villages, cities, rivers and mountains -- and even with the right of the constituents to impeach this local government if it's inefficient, indifferent to the people and not particularly helpful when asked for help.  In situations when this right was claimed, the village could stop making offerings, kick the statue of the god out of the temple, and shop around for a better god. 

 

The bureacratic aspect permeates some taoist schools but not all.  The daoshi is not necessarily a "certified member of the bureacracy" but invariably a professional, initiated, educated and practicing (all three components must be verifiable, but it's not about bureacracy, it's about safeguarding against fraud from self-appointed masters and mystics).  He or she is sometimes, but nowhere near always, initiated, educated and practicing as a monk or priest, but most schools are not monastic and many have no bureacratic position for a priest.   (An aside: the internet is awash in hogwash and this site is part of the internet.)

 

As for taoist gods, they come in all varieties, and if you know how to approach them, you don't need a middle man.  Most lay people will approach a popular deity who has a reputation of lending his or her ear to people's pleas on their own, but for particular tasks which require professional expertise they will hire a professional.  A priest or monk will be typically summoned for events that call for a particular ritual -- rite-of-passage, consecration of a site, marriage, funeral, major holidays and exorcisms are among such activities.   But a  taoist can also practice magic, I Ching studies and divination, art and literature, medicine, martial arts, fortune telling, geomancy, etc., be an expert cook or an author of cookbooks, a philosopher, astronomer and astrologer -- an empirical scientist of taoism.  A taoist scientist may or may not employ gods in his or her pursuits.

 

It's not a subject that yields to meaningful generalizations because it is so vast.  If you ask about a particular god or goddess, you can get an answer about their approachability and whether approaching them is a wise choice for a lay person.  I have rotated gods I want to focus on and hope to be noticed by depending on my needs of the moment.  My current altar god is Kui Xing (with an eye on Wenchang Wang but no decisive approach yet.)    

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I guess I’ll start at the top- the Three Pure Ones, Doumu, or Xiwangmu... are they dangerous for us rubes to invoke? Are they safe but unlikely to respond? 

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This reminds me of a temple in Beijing (Dongyuemiao) where each department of the heavenly bureaucracy is depicted with brightly painted statues. I remember there were departments for forest and river spirits, etc. Each had a place to tie red votive offerings. The most popular was the Department for Implementing 15 Kinds of Violent Death... I’m not sure if those offerings were made to inflict or protect, or maybe to improve the afterlife of loved ones.

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1 hour ago, SirPalomides said:

I guess I’ll start at the top- the Three Pure Ones, Doumu, or Xiwangmu... are they dangerous for us rubes to invoke? Are they safe but unlikely to respond? 

 

Strictly speaking, you don't invoke gods in taoism, you invite them.  Invocations are for something lesser, spirits, or even impersonal forces of nature.  Gods are invited not unlike the way you would invite honored guests -- not just, hey, come on over, and by the way I need a favor.  More like, greetings, I've prepared a feast, a banquet just for you, would love for you to attend.    

 

Your above choice of who to invite is a bit ambitious.  These deities seldom concern themselves with the affairs of humans, with the rare exception of exceptional humans and, occasionally, exceptionally devout and/or successful (or extraordinarily lucky) practitioners of immortalist internal alchemy.  Generally though, they are more for veneration without expecting or asking any favors.  If you know and admire them, are in awe of them, you can offer your altruistic devotion, is all. 

 

If you need help in some human endeavors, however, choose a deity with a known interest in human affairs.  But choose wisely.  E.g., Quan Yin (who is a taoist goddess of mercy with a Buddhist counterpart as a bodhisattva) is reputed to often intervene, but chiefly on behalf of women, children, the oppressed and the powerless -- if you ask her for more money or a better career, she is likely to ignore you.  Unless it is in service of your family, in which case she will listen to a man as well and might grant what he is asking for.  If you want success with your business, to move ahead in your career, up the social ladder and the like, the popular deity you could invite is Guanyu (aka Guandi).  So, a bit of research would help zero in on a deity most likely to accept the invitation due to you and him or her sharing some common interests.      

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5 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

if Chinese religion in general follows this rule

 

I'd say no. They're quite ecumenic from as much as I know.

 

4 hours ago, manitou said:

Personally, I think a good dose of atheism is a lot healthier (and shows at least an ability to think on one's own, as opposed to clinging to the religion of their youth) than a revved up born-againer who's trying to convert everyone to their way.

 

Still quite toxic. I mean, do we really need this? There's so much info out there. Not to mention new age atheism has lots of problems as well... maybe as many as old-time religion.

 

On one side you can't go against the preacher because god's wrath will fall upon you. On the other you can't have mystical experiences because your gods aren't really gods, just archetipes for material and neurological phenomena.

 

Both do the same thing: Try to explain the mystical with the mundane. In the end you never leave your own head, and that's the problem with a "healthy" dose of atheism: It confines your experiences to your own head, doubts and preconceived ideas about the world. Just how a preacher might say a ghost you have seen is a demon and you should exorcise it, a new-age atheist will say it is but a sickly creation of your mind and you should take some pills to remedy it.

 

Get what I'm saying? Both lead to the same end: Taking people away from anything that might go against their own heads.

 

4 hours ago, manitou said:

Do we see more awakened folks because we are more awakened than we used to be?  Because we have the 'eyes' to see at this level? Or is there actually an unseen mass arising?  I prefer to believe the latter.

 

There are theories which fall into the latter, but I wonder if this "awakening" we see is real or just an impression of seeing awakened people around when they're sleeping very well and confortably without having any contact with the divine whatsoever.

 

1 hour ago, SirPalomides said:

I guess I’ll start at the top- the Three Pure Ones, Doumu, or Xiwangmu... are they dangerous for us rubes to invoke? Are they safe but unlikely to respond? 

 

I've only worked with them once, when I was trying to adapt the Lesser Banishing Pentagram ritual to something oriental. It messed me up quite a bit. Dizziness, illusion of not belonging in this world, of not having ownership of my body, dissociation... quite a few psychological effects which weren't quite healthy. Maybe they could even be understood as a form of Qi Deviation.

 

Was it just because I was trying to mashup two different systems and worldviews? Don't know. But some friends of mine have dealt with chinese gods before, and their ideas fall quite in line with "don't mess around when invoking them".

 

Like, they expect things from you, and if you just call them without being aware of what they expect from you, you'll get recked.

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Sometimes we can get lost in semantics, but I think what Taomeow just explained about the word "invoke" is very important. I think (I might be wrong) some Daoists with registers do have the power to invoke certain parts of the pantheon, but certainly not the Three Pure Ones, the Jade Emperor, Guanyin, etc. I wouldn't personally experiment with trying to invoke them. Daoism is full of stories about 天譴, heavenly rebukes. Maybe that's what Desmond experienced when he tried his experiment? I dunno. 

 

The second paragraph in Taomeow's post is also very on point and worth of reflecting upon. To the third I would add that 救苦天尊 responds readily to prayers to 救 (save from) 苦 (suffering).

 

Generally speaking, my sense is that the more magnanimous one's motivations for praying, the more numinous the response.

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13 hours ago, Desmonddf said:

If you don't want buddha helping you, but the "Ohm", yes. Otherwise, beware of the pseudo-esoteric atheistic flow of this age.

 

I think sometimes people get the sense that syncretic mixing is an especially new thing, but I think it has long (if not always) been the norm. It's well documented at Dunhuang, and also at the site that became Mecca, as Reza Aslan vividly describes in One True Faith.

 

The mixing of Indian spirituality in Daoism wasn't at all limited to trading hubs long ago on the central Asian silk road and the gradual seeping of Buddhist cosmology and ethics into Complete Reality Daoism. This year I was surprised to meet a Zhengyi Daoist practitioner/professor who does fieldwork all around Taiwan and the southeastern PRC who has dug up all sorts of writings from a 瑜伽派 ("yogic lineage") in Daoism. 

 

As for the "om" in particular, it was long ago absorbed into Daoism. I have encountered this teaching from two Daoist sources. Both used the character 唵/an, but this character has long been used in Sinicized Sanskrit to represent om. One teacher was very clear that this practice comes from Buddhism. I also learned it on Mt. Tiantai in Zhejiang (southeastern PRC, the same broad area where the "yogic lineage Daoists" are/were active; it is also the mountain that produced Tiantai Buddhism, well known for its absorption of many Daoist practices) from a Longmen monk in a line that claims to still have Zhang Boduan's southern school transmission. Zhang Boduan's affinity for Buddhism was incredibly deep, so much so that after he appeared in the Qing dynasty to save an emperor from illness, he was posthumously given a title that includes the term "Chan Immortal" (禪仙). Later the fourth section of Awakening to Reality (悟真篇) was even thrown into the new version of the Buddhist Canon on orders of Emperor Yongzheng, himself a brilliant cultivator whose enlightenment was confirmed by a Chan master (whose assessment he didn't believe) and a Dzogchen master (who continued his education until declaring him a rinpoche, at which point Yongzheng agreed that he knew his shit and began teaching meditation to a small group of people in his inner circle). Showing how mixed up this all is, I learned about Zhang Boduan's appearance to cure the sick emperor from the inscription on the front wall of the original structure of the Dragon Well Buddhist Monastery in the mountains north of Beijing. There, embedded in the wall next to the front door of this monastery, you can find a small shrine, replete with a statue, to a local doctor saint who was taught the Dao in dreams by Zhang Boduan!

 

In short, it's looooooong been a great big mess! But then again, wouldn't it be boring as hell if it wasn't?

Edited by Walker
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22 hours ago, Desmonddf said:

 

If you don't want buddha helping you, but the "Ohm", yes. Otherwise, beware of the pseudo-esoteric atheistic flow of this age. People believe nature (as something inanimate and void of spirit) is the source of all "stupid superstition" of today, and with this do truly stupid things like pray to Lillith, ask Hecate to destroy other peoples' mariages or blame human males and male-like gods for what they see as a perversion of religion - when they themselves usually have no contact with the divine in the first place, and would be unable to differentiate between a buddha and a pranking ghost.

 

Like, neo-pagans and witches?

 

As for the "Ohm", I meant because it is said that the sound/resonance creates a calming meditative experience.

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8 hours ago, Walker said:

Zhang Boduan's affinity for Buddhism was incredibly deep, so much so that after he appeared in the Qing dynasty to save an emperor from illness, he was posthumously given a title that includes the term "Chan Immortal" (禪仙).

 

As I always say (repeating after the I Ching), to and fro goes the way.  I've read Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin, by the most renowned and influential teacher of Japanese Zen Buddhism (and author of many koans, including the famous "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" which I always thought of as an indirect hint at Houtian-Xiantian dynamics, i.e. taoist to the core), and apparently zen was killing him (physically -- his devotion to practice undermined his health and brought him to the brink of death) until he met a taoist recluse who healed him, taught him taoist meditation and restored his vitality, which Hakuin promptly used to revitalize the stagnating, lethargic Rinzai practice and make it into one of the three definitive zen schools.  He mentions that he practiced taoist meditation for the rest of his life as instructed by his teacher, but kept it to himself.  :)    

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On 26/11/2019 at 5:38 AM, Walker said:

Shit, I had already started boiling water and everything! Guess I'm gonna have to drink this fine 老白茶 all by my ownsome. Unless... any other immortals out there wanna drop by? Nah? I got crumpets around the house, too... Dag.

 

 

I´m thinking of dropping by.  What kind of crumpets?

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