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Speaking of Zhu Xi, I read about an interesting episode in his life which is probably not relevant to the present discussion but neato anyway. When he was stationed at Nankang there was a severe drought; Zhu Xi performed a number of prescribed prayers and rites to local authorized spirits but to no avail. There was however a spirit whose cult had spread to the area- this deity was authorized in Quanzhou but not in Nankang, so Zhu Xi had avoided his temple. Finally Zhu Xi overcame his scruples and went into this temple, delivering a fervent, anguished prayer and fasting in the temple for up to three days, during which it rained at last.

 

Some scholars have pointed out what they consider to be a subtle but deep shamanic current in Zhu Xi's thinking. I'm not nearly well-read enough to comment further on that.

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On 1/22/2020 at 2:03 AM, Walker said:

 

"So again, given that Quanzhen Daoism has always made room for there to be non-celibate lay disciples (the sujiadizi I mentioned above), why are Zhang Mingxin, Four Dragons, et al now rewriting the script, and under what authority do they do so?"

 

At any rate, I will write more on this later, as the nun Zhang Mingxin has left quite a lot of eyebrow-raising footprints around the internet that are very germane to this topic.

 

 

Hi Nathan,

 

For whatever reason you have ignored my questions repeatedly. I am going to write about your grand-teacher and the issues I've raised here whether you reply or not, but I would like to remind you yet again that you are welcome to offer your thoughts before I write more. 

 

Also, Nathan, you replied "spot on" to Taomeow's post that covered a number of topics. What, exactly, did you think was spot on about it? Specifically, do you mean that you are familiar with the Daozang Xubian? If so, which of its texts, and by which author, do you feel are relevant to you, your teacher/grand-teacher, and Four Dragons? (I mean this specifically with relation to there being Longmen daozhang who are non-celibate and may not have to follow other aspects of the monastic code). Have you read them in Chinese or in translation? If the latter, where did you find them?

 

Thank you. 


Hello, Walker. I wasn't purposely ignoring your questions, I just don't really check this site much anymore. I think to answer your first question, perhaps you should ask Zhang-Shifu herself? She isn't all that hard to contact. Given that she's the #2 Daoist in China under the Chinese Daoist Association (About to be #1), as well as being the head Nun of Qingcheng Longmen, I'm certain that she has all of the right reasons, faculties, and authority to make such a proclamation for Western Students. But I'm certain that she will consider your position on the matter in haste, given your exhaustive experience!

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From what I gather, a lot of Daoists in China have a pretty cynical view of the CDA administration and being top banana there (or second) is not necessarily an indication of spiritual advancement. (I am not saying this as targeted at Shifu Zhang in particular, about whom I know nothing).

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On 1/23/2020 at 11:51 PM, Walker said:

I finally finished doing my research into Zhang Mingxin and Four Dragons.

 

Holy fucking shit, that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Gonna need a whole new thread, and a few hours to write it all up. She wears blue but she's as red as Lenin and she's found a bevy of gullible American pawns only too eager to become "priests." Madness. Madness. 

 

Abbess Bright-heart is a fantastic woman! In a country where boys are more prized than girls, where women's rights are still being struggled for. Abbess Bright-Heart has risen through the ranks of a man's world to become one of the most "powerful" (read influential) Daoists in China. Yes, she's a Communist. A good Communist, as all Chinese citizens must be. She plays a high-wire balancing act, preserving Daoism, while at the same time making liaison with a Government (whom would like nothing more than to burn every Daoist and Buddhist Temple). Perhaps in your rush-to-judgement you've failed to see how the Longmen may evolve as they move westward, that Daoism (Yes even Longmen) will evolve as it meets Western Culture. I've seen no evidence presented that it is not allowed for a Western Longmen Priest to marry? Certainly the plethora of married Western Longmen Priests would like to know Walker (in your normal eloquent tone of course)?

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18 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

From what I gather, a lot of Daoists in China have a pretty cynical view of the CDA administration and being top banana there (or second) is not necessarily an indication of spiritual advancement. (I am not saying this as targeted at Shifu Zhang in particular, about whom I know nothing).

 

It has nothing to do with "spiritual penis measuring" and everything to do with competence. Show me any leader that doesn't have detractors? The "glory goes to the man in the arena" in this case a woman. Of course the CDA is flawed, as it's set up to be adversarial by the Chinese Government. If you treasure the Temples and Sects that still remain in China then thank Zhang Shifu, because she stands on the front lines of preserving them.

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It seems that all questions have been adequately answered. I'm not going to become embroiled in poo-flinging towards my Shifu, and my Great-Shifu. I'll not defend them anymore, as they don't require it. Again, I'm a Daoshi of Four Dragons (Qingcheng Mt. Longmen Houston Branch), and if there are any more questions I'll do my best to answer them privately via message. Thank You.

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42 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

wow.

 

that was...

 

unexpected.

 

Heh.

 

Not by me.

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@Walker (mainly but not exclusively) 

Nathan said they are Daoshi, not Daozhang, as far I know Daoshi is mainly used in a Zheng Yi context but, is it wrong to use in a longmen branch?

The other case I am aware and is, perhaps, akin to what we are talking now  is Micheal Rinaldini who is priest and conducst ordinations in USA but is not a monk and does not ordains monks but priests.

And, what about the longmen priests in Singapore? They are married and have secular studies and jobs. I mean, is this something irregular or there is a mechanism thats allows different kinds of ordination?

 

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2 hours ago, damdao said:

@Walker (mainly but not exclusively) 

Nathan said they are Daoshi, not Daozhang, as far I know Daoshi is mainly used in a Zheng Yi context but, is it wrong to use in a longmen branch?

The other case I am aware and is, perhaps, akin to what we are talking now  is Micheal Rinaldini who is priest and conducst ordinations in USA but is not a monk and does not ordains monks but priests.

And, what about the longmen priests in Singapore? They are married and have secular studies and jobs. I mean, is this something irregular or there is a mechanism thats allows different kinds of ordination?

 


damdao,

 

That is correct. I was ordained as a Priest, not a Monk (Although Monk was an option and did come with restrictions).

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Verse 55

 

He who is at one with the Dao experiences all things.

Therefore the sage is whole.

He experiences the union of man and woman,

so he knows of the ways of mankind.

Without this, he is not following the way of nature.

The sage is one of the ten thousand things, but his grip on the Dao is firm

 

Having..........

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On 2/2/2020 at 2:33 AM, damdao said:

@Walker (mainly but not exclusively) 

Nathan said they are Daoshi, not Daozhang, as far I know Daoshi is mainly used in a Zheng Yi context but, is it wrong to use in a longmen branch?

 

Colloquially in Chinese-speaking communities, daoshi and daozhang are often used quite interchangeably by the non-cognoscenti to refer to religious Daoists of Quanzhen, Zhengyi, and other orders who have been, in some way, shape, or form ordained. It can also be shorthand for "有道之士," or "an individual who has Dao," but that is not common to hear outside of literati circles and is separate from the discussion of people claiming to have formal roles in religious groups. 

 

When you speak to people who are "in the door," so to speak, these terms take on different meaning.

 

In Zhengyi Daoism, there is a question of rank that differentiates daoshi from daozhang. A daoshi refers to a formally inducted Zhengyi Daoist at the beginning of his or her studies and clerical responsibilities. If his/her religious career advances he or she may become a daozhang, which means taking a more central role in rituals and, therefore, having much more knowledge of the liturgy, which is extremely complex and involves huge amounts of memorized text, stepping, music, visualization, and more. It is impossible to describe how complex a real Zhengyi ritual is to witness in person, but it is staggering. Needless to say, daoshi are many and daozhang are few in Zhengyi Daoism. Also, note that the character 長/zhang in this word here carries the connotation of "elder," similar to how it is used in words like "長輩/zhangbei/elders" or "學長/elder student in the same school," or "長老/zhanglao/elder [Buddhist monk]."

 

in Quanzhen Daoism, daozhang and daoshi are used more interchangeably, but only to refer to those disciples of the Quanzhen order who have become monks or nuns, and never to describe lay disciples. There are higher ranks for monks/nuns in Quanzhen Daoism... One of them, 律師/lvshi, which is extremely important to understand here, I discuss below.

 

Over the years I've met a lot of Wang Liping students and fans in China, for example, but not once did any of them ever call him a "daoshi" or "daozhang." I know a lot of Quanzhen lay disciples who have teachers who are monks or nuns, and they call themselves and each other 居士/jushi/from the Buddhist Sanskrit term "upāsaka/upāsikā;"俗家弟子/sujia dizi/"layperson disciple;" or simply 道教徒/daojiao tu/"disciple of Daoism." 

 

Quote

The other case I am aware and is, perhaps, akin to what we are talking now  is Micheal Rinaldini who is priest and conducst ordinations in USA but is not a monk and does not ordains monks but priests.

 

If there is similarity, it is probably unfortunate. Rinaldini's own website admits to an extremely short amount of time spent in China, most of it with the qigong master Wan Sujian, who although a remarkable man, is not and never was a Longmen daozhang. To be truly capable of serving as a Quanzhen monk or nun takes years of study, practice, training, and (often) wandering for a native speaker in a temple in China with living teachers.  Rinaldini did not put in the time, and showing how far he has fallen from the mark, the bulk of his curriculum is Wan Sujian circle walking qigong and TCM, which are not important concerns for Quanzhen clergy. Can he even read classical Chinese? Can he hold a conversation about Daoism in modern Chinese with his teachers?

 

(Those who see Rinaldini's bio and notice his claim to have been inducted as priests by a couple of Daoist monks should review my above posts in this thread about monks fucking watermelons and mistresses inside of White Cloud Monastery. The situation in China is a mess, and the selling of all kinds of ordination certificates to Westerners as well as other Chinese people is a major problem and has been basically ever since cutthroat capitalism-plus-spiritual-tourism took hold in the PRC in the early 1980s)

 

Quote

And, what about the longmen priests in Singapore?

 

I know nothing about them. However, when I have heard similar phenomena discussed by those who truly respect the traditional, orthodox teachings of the Dragon Gate, when similar things come up, they are usually called "incomplete transition," or else less polite terms. 

 

This may be related: in Taiwan there are "Quanzhen" groups that claim to have been connected to the lineage through spiritual events. The most interesting thing, to me, is that over time many in these groups have recognized that the transmission was incomplete, and a significant number of such practitioners are spending time in China to learn the old-fashioned way, human-to-human. There is even a group in Taiwan attempting to establish a strict Quanzhen monastery in the center of the island, and one of their explicitly stated motivations is the fact that the Quanzhen order has failed to produce outstanding leaders in a very long time, in no small part due to the chaos ("亂/luan," a character used to discuss Daoism's present state quite often in China as well as Taiwan by actual monks and nuns) that currently reigns. 

 

Of great relevance to this discussion is that the formal, ritual transmission of vows (傳戒/chuanjie) plays a central role in this movement in Taiwan. I say this having personally attended (but not received vows during) such a ritual in Taipei. They are taken extremely seriously and have been for long centuries, as I will emphasize below. 

 

Quote

They are married and have secular studies and jobs. I mean, is this something irregular or there is a mechanism thats allows different kinds of ordination?

 

No. As I said before in this thread, 火居/huoju/"living near the hearth [i.e., in a family at home]" roles for Daoists are not a part of Quanzhen Daoism, despite what a few Americans who spent a shockingly short amount time in China and would like to sell you robes and diplomas might have you believe. 

 

On 2/2/2020 at 4:47 AM, Nathan said:

That is correct. I was ordained as a Priest, not a Monk (Although Monk was an option and did come with restrictions).

 

This nomenclature does not come from Quanzhen Daoism. There is no "priest/monk" distinction in China in the Quanzhen, and no Chinese words that translate into priest or monk to describe different roles for people in the Quanzhen order.

 

It is ironic that Taomeow brought up the Daozang Xubian to suggest that in the era of its publication the Quanzhen movement slackened in some way to make way for lay "priests," and that Nathan then said her mention of this body of texts was "spot on." I would be shocked if either of them have read it. Part of the reason I asked if Nathan had actually read it--and which authors he thought backed up his and his teachers' claims--is because the primary force behind this project was a Daoist named Min Yide 閔一得. 

 

The crux of the irony lies in the fact that one of Min Yide's important works, 《金蓋心燈》(Jin'gai Xindeng or, roughly Jin'gai [Mountain] Heart Lamp) is a book in which great effort is expended to trace and document the lineages as well as primacy of a rank of Quanzhen Daoist called "律師/lvshi/roughly, "stricture master"), who were monks who were often abbots of Longmen temples, in particular because they were those who had thorough education in and ability to transmit all of the monastic vows and strictures, which, as I have said and this article makes so clear, included celibacy and many other rules. Once you get to page 10 of this scanned copy of 《金蓋心燈》, if you can read Chinese you can see that Min Yide began tracing the transmission of Dragon Gate teachings almost entirely through its important lvshi

 

Lvshi is a term that comes from Buddhism, where it means "vinaya master" (vinaya being the Sanskrit term for the monastic code). The Daoist implications are exactly the same, although one would not use the word "vinaya" to describe Quanzhen monastic rules, which although related to Buddhism's, are not the same. The role of the lvshi in the Quanzhen monastic tradition cannot be overstated, because the monastic strictures are the backbone of monastic living as well as the cultivation of 德/De, and only lvshi can transmit the full array of vows. 

 

The video below shows how massive, austere, and beautiful a vow-transmission (傳戒/chuanjie) ritual is in Quanzhen Daoism.

 

 

This is not "wham, bam, PayPal'ed your tuition, took your webinars, came on your China Dream Trips, here's your certificate" transmission. Rather, this is a massive undertaking that only takes place every few years, because only a small number of Quanzhen Daoists are fully qualified as lvshi (the event shown here, which took place in 1995, was only the second such ritual held after 1949!). Monks and nuns travel from around the entire landmass of China to receive this sort of ordination, and they prepare for a long time in advance simply to even know what all of the minute rules are (I know a young monk who was preparing for it a few years ago, and he put it off to go attend a Daoist academy first, as he felt he was not yet up to the task of keeping up the austerities that are required of those who receive this level of monastic initiation).

 

The irony here gets even deeper, I say with a sigh, because at minute 2:00 in the video the lvshi in charge of the entire ritual is introduced, one Master Fu Yuantian (傅圓天大師, a nineteenth generation Dragon Gate lvshi who was in the twenty-third generation in terms of his receiving full ordination as a lvshi, and thus has a different Daoist name--傅宗天/Fu Zongtian--to refer to his role here). This is ironic, because we can see the absolute respect paid to tradition here by Master Fu Yuantian... and this man is one of the main teachers of Zhang Mingxin, the nun who is evidently now telling all these Americans and other westerners that they can be "priests" in the Quanzhen Longmen without being ordained as monks or nuns! It's not just that Zhang Mingxin was his disciple--she even is on record recently quoting him about how important the strictures are and parroting his words to younger generations of Chinese disciples! Evidently somehow this central importance is being omitted for the Americans, who now would like to sell you "priesthood" for several thousand of your dollars and several precious years of your life.

 

If only these American "priests" took the time to learn Chinese, study the Daoist Canon, and live in the communities they claim to represent, they might realize that something indispensable is missing from what they have been given. But given that they do not take the time to truly learn about the tradition, perhaps they just don't want to know. 

Edited by Walker
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8 hours ago, Walker said:

 

I know a lot of Quanzhen lay disciples who have teachers who are monks or nuns, and they call themselves and each other 居士/jushi/from the Buddhist Sanskrit term "upāsaka/upāsikā;"俗家弟子/sujia dizi/"layperson disciple;" or simply 道教徒/daojiao tu/"disciple of Daoism." 

 

 

Thanks Walker for all this information.

 

To become a 居士/  道教徒 is there a formal initiation of any kind, as with the Buddhist Three Refuges/ five vows ceremony?

 

Also, I'm wondering if you read the book Dream Trippers and particularly the chapter on Dr. Louis Komjathy, who seems to have spent serious time in Quanzhen monasteries, and is quite scrupulous/ respectful with regards to the formal structure of Quanzhen, but whose master Chen Yuming (陳宇明) initiated him (he believes as a daoshi) in a rather informal way. This apparently bothered Komjathy enough that he pressed Master Chen for some kind of certification, to which Chen replied that the public ceremonies and certificates were useless with all the fraud and simony going on in China. Chen also dismissed the title "daoshi" as an empty formality which has more to do with government recognition than a real transmission. I assume Master Chen's view is definitely in the minority- and I am not bringing it up here to establish or prove anything contrary to what you said above-  but he does seem to be well respected on Hua Shan even after he left monastic life.

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@Walker I am not a fan of the robe wearing silly hat brigade that call themselves Daoists, but it seems to me that you do an awful lot of calling out of people on TDB's. The litmus paper for any aspiring Dao follower is of course not what sect they belong to, not what sects they've googled up info on, not whether they are celibate or not, not whether they have travelled to China, Taiwan and other countries and tried out some sects there, not whether they have read the Daoist Cannon in English or Chinese. No, on here, TDB's the litmus paper for me is, have they spent many a time on the threads to do with the DDJ or Xuan Shi? Why? One might ask oneself. Because knowing a true understanding of the DDJ gives a person a real foundation and a root; a root that doesn't need a robe, a silly hat and all the other trappings that these systems have.

So tell me Walker, when was the last time you posted on the 81 verses of the DDJ?

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5 minutes ago, flowing hands said:

@Walker I am not a fan of the robe wearing silly hat brigade that call themselves Daoists, but it seems to me that you do an awful lot of calling out of people on TDB's. The litmus paper for any aspiring Dao follower is of course not what sect they belong to, not what sects they've googled up info on, not whether they are celibate or not, not whether they have travelled to China, Taiwan and other countries and tried out some sects there, not whether they have read the Daoist Cannon in English or Chinese. No, on here, TDB's the litmus paper for me is, have they spent many a time on the threads to do with the DDJ or Xuan Shi? Why? One might ask oneself. Because knowing a true understanding of the DDJ gives a person a real foundation and a root; a root that doesn't need a robe, a silly hat and all the other trappings that these systems have.

So tell me Walker, when was the last time you posted on the 81 verses of the DDJ?

 

Walker is doing us all a great service by putting his considerable knowledge and experience of Daoism- as it actually lives in China- at our disposal to evaluate the claims and offerings of various Daoist teachers in the West. We can of course do what we like with this information. Your attack on him as representing the "robe-wearing silly hat brigade" and relying on google for his knowledge is uncalled for, obnoxious, and willfully ignorant.

 

Also, I'll say it again: Daoism neither begins nor ends with the DDJ. The DDJ is undoubtedly an important book but not the only one, and it takes its place in Daoism amid a long and multifaceted interpretive tradition, incorporating many other concepts, practices, and texts. Daoism is not what Protestants imagine Christianity to be- a faith system centered on a single book, and which needs to be purified of any influences extraneous to this book.

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8 hours ago, Walker said:

 

Colloquially in Chinese-speaking communities, daoshi and daozhang are often used quite interchangeably by the non-cognoscenti to refer to religious Daoists of Quanzhen, Zhengyi, and other orders who have been, in some way, shape, or form ordained. It can also be shorthand for "有道之士," or "an individual who has Dao," but that is not common to hear outside of literati circles and is separate from the discussion of people claiming to have formal roles in religious groups. 

 

When you speak to people who are "in the door," so to speak, these terms take on different meaning.

 

In Zhengyi Daoism, there is a question of rank that differentiates daoshi from daozhang. A daoshi refers to a formally inducted Zhengyi Daoist at the beginning of his or her studies and clerical responsibilities. If his/her religious career advances he or she may become a daozhang, which means taking a more central role in rituals and, therefore, having much more knowledge of the liturgy, which is extremely complex and involves huge amounts of memorized text, stepping, music, visualization, and more. It is impossible to describe how complex a real Zhengyi ritual is to witness in person, but it is staggering. Needless to say, daoshi are many and daozhang are few in Zhengyi Daoism. Also, note that the character 長/zhang in this word here carries the connotation of "elder," similar to how it is used in words like "長輩/zhangbei/elders" or "學長/elder student in the same school," or "長老/zhanglao/elder [Buddhist monk]."

 

in Quanzhen Daoism, daozhang and daoshi are used more interchangeably, but only to refer to those disciples of the Quanzhen order who have become monks or nuns, and never to describe lay disciples. There are higher ranks for monks/nuns in Quanzhen Daoism... One of them, 律師/lvshi, which is extremely important to understand here, I discuss below.

 

Over the years I've met a lot of Wang Liping students and fans in China, for example, but not once did any of them ever call him a "daoshi" or "daozhang." I know a lot of Quanzhen lay disciples who have teachers who are monks or nuns, and they call themselves and each other 居士/jushi/from the Buddhist Sanskrit term "upāsaka/upāsikā;"俗家弟子/sujia dizi/"layperson disciple;" or simply 道教徒/daojiao tu/"disciple of Daoism." 

 

 

If there is similarity, it is probably unfortunate. Rinaldini's own website admits to an extremely short amount of time spent in China, most of it with the qigong master Wan Sujian, who although a remarkable man, is not and never was a Longmen daozhang. To be truly capable of serving as a Quanzhen monk or nun takes years of study, practice, training, and (often) wandering for a native speaker in a temple in China with living teachers.  Rinaldini did not put in the time, and showing how far he has fallen from the mark, the bulk of his curriculum is Wan Sujian circle walking qigong and TCM, which are not important concerns for Quanzhen clergy. Can he even read classical Chinese? Can he hold a conversation about Daoism in modern Chinese with his teachers?

 

(Those who see Rinaldini's bio and notice his claim to have been inducted as priests by a couple of Daoist monks should review my above posts in this thread about monks fucking watermelons and mistresses inside of White Cloud Monastery. The situation in China is a mess, and the selling of all kinds of ordination certificates to Westerners as well as other Chinese people is a major problem and has been basically ever since cutthroat capitalism-plus-spiritual-tourism took hold in the PRC in the early 1980s)

 

 

I know nothing about them. However, when I have heard similar phenomena discussed by those who truly respect the traditional, orthodox teachings of the Dragon Gate, when similar things come up, they are usually called "incomplete transition," or else less polite terms. 

 

This may be related: in Taiwan there are "Quanzhen" groups that claim to have been connected to the lineage through spiritual events. The most interesting thing, to me, is that over time many in these groups have recognized that the transmission was incomplete, and a significant number of such practitioners are spending time in China to learn the old-fashioned way, human-to-human. There is even a group in Taiwan attempting to establish a strict Quanzhen monastery in the center of the island, and one of their explicitly stated motivations is the fact that the Quanzhen order has failed to produce outstanding leaders in a very long time, in no small part due to the chaos ("亂/luan," a character used to discuss Daoism's present state quite often in China as well as Taiwan by actual monks and nuns) that currently reigns. 

 

Of great relevance to this discussion is that the formal, ritual transmission of vows (傳戒/chuanjie) plays a central role in this movement in Taiwan. I say this having personally attended (but not received vows during) such a ritual in Taipei. They are taken extremely seriously and have been for long centuries, as I will emphasize below. 

 

 

No. As I said before in this thread, 火居/huoju/"living near the hearth [i.e., in a family at home]" roles for Daoists are not a part of Quanzhen Daoism, despite what a few Americans who spent a shockingly short amount time in China and would like to sell you robes and diplomas might have you believe. 

 

 

This nomenclature does not come from Quanzhen Daoism. There is no "priest/monk" distinction in China in the Quanzhen, and no Chinese words that translate into priest or monk to describe different roles for people in the Quanzhen order.

 

It is ironic that Taomeow brought up the Daozang Xubian to suggest that in the era of its publication the Quanzhen movement slackened in some way to make way for lay "priests," and that Nathan then said her mention of this body of texts was "spot on." I would be shocked if either of them have read it. Part of the reason I asked if Nathan had actually read it--and which authors he thought backed up his and his teachers' claims--is because the primary force behind this project was a Daoist named Min Yide 閔一得. 

 

The crux of the irony lies in the fact that one of Min Yide's important works, 《金蓋心燈》(Jin'gai Xindeng or, roughly Jin'gai [Mountain] Heart Lamp) is a book in which great effort is expended to trace and document the lineages as well as primacy of a rank of Quanzhen Daoist called "律師/lvshi/roughly, "stricture master"), who were monks who were often abbots of Longmen temples, in particular because they were those who had thorough education in and ability to transmit all of the monastic vows and strictures, which, as I have said and this article makes so clear, included celibacy and many other rules. Once you get to page 10 of this scanned copy of 《金蓋心燈》, if you can read Chinese you can see that Min Yide began tracing the transmission of Dragon Gate teachings almost entirely through its important lvshi

 

Lvshi is a term that comes from Buddhism, where it means "vinaya master" (vinaya being the Sanskrit term for the monastic code). The Daoist implications are exactly the same, although one would not use the word "vinaya" to describe Quanzhen monastic rules, which although related to Buddhism's, are not the same. The role of the lvshi in the Quanzhen monastic tradition cannot be overstated, because the monastic strictures are the backbone of monastic living as well as the cultivation of 德/De, and only lvshi can transmit the full array of vows. 

 

The video below shows how massive, austere, and beautiful a vow-transmission (傳戒/chuanjie) ritual is in Quanzhen Daoism.

 

 

This is not "wham, bam, PayPal'ed your tuition, took your webinars, came on your China Dream Trips, here's your certificate" transmission. Rather, this is a massive undertaking that only takes place every few years, because only a small number of Quanzhen Daoists are fully qualified as lvshi (the event shown here, which took place in 1995, was only the second such ritual held after 1949!). Monks and nuns travel from around the entire landmass of China to receive this sort of ordination, and they prepare for a long time in advance simply to even know what all of the minute rules are (I know a young monk who was preparing for it a few years ago, and he put it off to go attend a Daoist academy first, as he felt he was not yet up to the task of keeping up the austerities that are required of those who receive this level of monastic initiation).

 

The irony here gets even deeper, I say with a sigh, because at minute 2:00 in the video the lvshi in charge of the entire ritual is introduced, one Master Fu Yuantian (傅圓天大師, a nineteenth generation Dragon Gate lvshi who was in the twenty-third generation in terms of his receiving full ordination as a lvshi, and thus has a different Daoist name--傅宗天/Fu Zongtian--to refer to his role here). This is ironic, because we can see the absolute respect paid to tradition here by Master Fu Yuantian... and this man is one of the main teachers of Zhang Mingxin, the nun who is evidently now telling all these Americans and other westerners that they can be "priests" in the Quanzhen Longmen without being ordained as monks or nuns! It's not just that Zhang Mingxin was his disciple--she even is on record recently quoting him about how important the strictures are and parroting his words to younger generations of Chinese disciples! Evidently somehow this central importance is being omitted for the Americans, who now would like to sell you "priesthood" for several thousand of your dollars and several precious years of your life.

 

If only these American "priests" took the time to learn Chinese, study the Daoist Canon, and live in the communities they claim to represent, they might realize that something indispensable is missing from what they have been given. But given that they do not take the time to truly learn about the tradition, perhaps they just don't want to know. 

 

There's so much misinformation, speculation, and circular-logic in this post that it's going to be hard to respond to, but here goes....

"If only these American "priests" took the time to learn Chinese, study the Daoist Canon, and live in the communities they claim to represent, they might realize that something indispensable is missing from what they have been given. But given that they do not take the time to truly learn about the tradition, perhaps they just don't want to know. "

1. My Shifu Patrick, grew up in a Chinese Monastery, raised by a Chinese man, in San Francisco and was trained in Ch'an and Zheng Yi Dao (I received his father's lineage as well). He reads, writes, and speaks fluent Chinese (of several dialects). He has spent YEARS in China wandering, and training. 

"This is ironic, because we can see the absolute respect paid to tradition here by Master Fu Yuantian... and this man is one of the main teachers of Zhang Mingxin, the nun who is evidently now telling all these Americans and other westerners that they can be "priests" in the Quanzhen Longmen without being ordained as monks or nuns! It's not just that Zhang Mingxin was his disciple--she even is on record recently quoting him about how important the strictures are and parroting his words to younger generations of Chinese disciples! Evidently somehow this central importance is being omitted for the Americans, who now would like to sell you "priesthood" for several thousand of your dollars and several precious years of your life."

2. No one sold me ordination for thousands of dollars. I underwent a Daoist Seminary for three years, at the culmination of which I was ordained. Yes, the Seminary costs money. If you become a Catholic Priest you have to pay for Seminary School. This is a moot point. people have to eat......

I'm not even going to get into the minutiae of what constitutes Daoshi from Daozhang. It looks like Walker's red-herring and strawman riddled posts have an axe to grind.

Walker, are you a Longmen Priest? Why so emotional? Why has this struck a nerve with you? Why the defamation, character assassination, and ad hominem?

Here is a response directed towards yourself Walker. Take it as you like it.

"If somebody asks you those questions they show their ignorance. There are no Taoist lineage that mandate celibacy and renunciation unless they are specifically focused on that, which ours is not. Zhang Shifu was very clear in our platform statement that we are a non-monastic platform because she understood that when Taoism came to the west it would need to be accessible to western people. Celibacy and renunciation are not western concepts nor are they the point when following the Dao. If you go back to the Tang Dynasty or even the Ming Dynasty you might find that they advocated it, but that was within their cultural context and it fell out of favor. But in Zhengyi The priests always married and had kids, because it’s 100% Dao. Zhang Shifu being the secretary general of the China Taoist Association makes all concessions and rules for all ordained Taoist worldwide. She does not mandate and as the Abbot of this lineage neither do I. People who think you cannot be Quanzhen and married are just bookworms who read too much and know too little about how things really work today" 
 

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17 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

Walker is doing us all a great service by putting his considerable knowledge and experience of Daoism- as it actually lives in China- at our disposal to evaluate the claims and offerings of various Daoist teachers in the West. We can of course do what we like with this information. Your attack on him as representing the "robe-wearing silly hat brigade" and relying on google for his knowledge is uncalled for, obnoxious, and willfully ignorant.

 

Also, I'll say it again: Daoism neither begins nor ends with the DDJ. The DDJ is undoubtedly an important book but not the only one, and it takes its place in Daoism amid a long and multifaceted interpretive tradition, incorporating many other concepts, practices, and texts. Daoism is not what Protestants imagine Christianity to be- a faith system centered on a single book, and which needs to be purified of any influences extraneous to this book.


I would have to disagree. Walker is free to have his own opinions, but his name-calling and agenda aren't welcome and do not help.

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I get my dao the old fashioned way I guess...

sitting quietly, or moving vigorously in nature.

 

Dao and Nature... as I have experienced in my travels, through seeking and releasing... dao and nature are equally infused in the midst of the Great Cities of Human, or in the forests of the Great North of my birth.

 

Dao gives rist to all and yet has no form.

right here in this chair, at the top of a mountain, in the valley streams...

in the loving arms of my partner

in the quiet fasting of my mind

movement

stillness...

 

it is here, now

indeed... where else

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Abbess Bright-Heart seems to not mind all of these lovely, married Longmen Priests and people behind her.

27173536_10208466827748437_5836781266808847482_o.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Nathan said:

Abbess Bright-Heart seems to not mind all of these lovely, married Longmen Priests and people behind her.

So what do you figure your Quanzhen lineage founders feeling about her altering the standard of celibacy and relaxing the priestly vows?

 

This is the beef of Walker's argument as I have understood it.

 

Why do you try to address some tangential issues about mundane authority instead of discussing what the enlightened lineage masters have established?

Edited by virtue
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15 minutes ago, virtue said:

So what do you figure your Quanzhen lineage founders feeling about her altering the standard of celibacy and relaxing the priestly vows?

 

This is the beef of Walker's argument as I have understood it.

 

Why do you try to address some tangential issues about mundane authority instead of discussing what the enlightened lineage masters have established?


I would be very happy to do so, but cannot when logical fallacies are being used by the counter-point. Walker's name-calling and adversarial stance, make having any kind of meaningful and elucidating conversation very unlikely to happen. And this is NOT my fault. To answer your questions:

"So what do you figure your Quanzhen lineage founders feeling about her altering the standard of celibacy and relaxing the priestly vows?" 

They are no longer here. They never taught nor ordained Westerners and Americans. They didn't have to deal with the PRC. They don't much have a say anymore. Regardless, it seems that the requirement for celibacy is not set-in-stone within Quanzhen or Longmen.

I'll ask again: "Where is it proscribed for a Longmen Priest to marry?" If you can't find a law, or an edict, saying so, then it isn't so. If bright-Heart says it's Kosher,  (And She's the one that decides what's kosher and for whom) then by golly it is to me.

Edited by Nathan
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2 minutes ago, Nathan said:


I would be very happy to do so, but cannot when logical fallacies are being used by the counter-point.

Oh, come on. I first presented you a simple question which doesn't require an essay answer.

 

Just tell me your honest and raw opinion. You don't have to quote sources or bother with logical structure if you feel overwhelmed by such.

 

2 minutes ago, Nathan said:

Walker's name-calling and adversarial stance, make having any kind of meaningful and elucidating conversation very unlikely to happen. And this is NOT my fault. 

Are you a grown man? "Sticks and stones, etc." Just ignore the verbal banter and focus on what matters.

 

Walker is hardly a bully. He is a principled and reasonable person, and that I respect.

 

Don't become a worm when others give opposition.

 

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55 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

Walker is doing us all a great service by putting his considerable knowledge and experience of Daoism- as it actually lives in China- at our disposal to evaluate the claims and offerings of various Daoist teachers in the West. We can of course do what we like with this information. Your attack on him as representing the "robe-wearing silly hat brigade" and relying on google for his knowledge is uncalled for, obnoxious, and willfully ignorant.

 

Also, I'll say it again: Daoism neither begins nor ends with the DDJ. The DDJ is undoubtedly an important book but not the only one, and it takes its place in Daoism amid a long and multifaceted interpretive tradition, incorporating many other concepts, practices, and texts. Daoism is not what Protestants imagine Christianity to be- a faith system centered on a single book, and which needs to be purified of any influences extraneous to this book.

 

That is because you haven't yourself spent any time on the DDJ thread at all! Who was the first person to write down any comprehensive work on Daoist thought and practices? What great written work is used as a foundation knowledge by virtually all Dao sects that have anything about them? Who is celebrated as the Father of Dao and a top Immortal?

 

I did not attack him or call him that, I just said I was not a great fan of the Robe and silly hat brigade. You've taken it further and altered my words to suit your purpose.I am allowed to express my opinion just as an ignoramus like you are.

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Virtue,

1. This is why I don't come on this forum often. Perhaps it isn't your intention virtue, but your tone is very condescending. In order to have a fruitful conversation, some basic ground rules apply (as we're adults). #1. Name-calling, such as Walker did towards my Shifu and Bright-Heart, are non-sequitur. I can't have a conversation with someone that isn't interested in really having one, only in playing "gotcha!"

2. I already did answer your question, but here it is again:

"They are no longer here. They never taught nor ordained Westerners and Americans. They didn't have to deal with the PRC. They don't much have a say anymore. Regardless, it seems that the requirement for celibacy is not set-in-stone within Quanzhen or Longmen."
 

Edited by Nathan

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8 minutes ago, virtue said:
12 minutes ago, virtue said:

Oh, come on. I first presented you a simple question which doesn't require an essay answer.

 

Just tell me your honest and raw opinion. You don't have to quote sources or bother with logical structure if you feel overwhelmed by such.

 

Are you a grown man? "Sticks and stones, etc." Just ignore the verbal banter and focus on what matters.

 

Walker is hardly a bully. He is a principled and reasonable person, and that I respect.

 

Don't become a worm when others give opposition.

 

 

 

This is akin to gas-lighting when someone calls you a name, you defend yourself or others, and then the original name-caller says that you're the one that started it and YOU should behave better! lol 

I have enough of this nonsense at home with my wife.

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