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Compassion Please

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Hello, this is my first post.  I am a Methodist minister working as a hospice chaplain, for 25 years now.  I have a longstanding interest in Daoist philosophy and internal martial arts.  I struggle with regular, sustained practice of these arts—Chi Kung and T’ai Chi, to be precise—and must confess to being an on-again, off-again practitioner.  I have experienced the healing power of Chi Kung.  

Because of what I see as profound and in some cases uncannily similar parallels in teaching, philosophy, and healing practices, I have wondered if there is an historic connection between Jesus and Daoist thought/practice.  It would have been entirely possible for Jesus to have traveled to China in the first century, although I am aware of no direct, sound evidence for this.  However there are other channels through which Jesus might have been influenced by Daoist thought and I remain open to the possibility, although I don’t need to believe in a direct influence in order to love both Jesus’ teaching and Daoist philosophy and practice, and to see parallels between the two.  Great teachings can arise spontaneously and independently, and be similar.  

I am glad to be a new member here.  

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Posted (edited)

Welcome, I see there's another account with your IP.  Please be aware, users can have only 1 account here. 

Welcome to the Dao Bums.  A wonderful forum to learn, discuss and cultivate.  Below are 3 important sections: Our Rules, The Insult Policy and our 3 Foundations.  Before you join give them a read. 

 

Most of it boils down to being respectful.  No name calling or trolling.  Post as if your mom's looking over your shoulder.  Discussion and arguments are what the board is about.  Keep it civil, don't get personal.  Don't be a troll or one issue zealot. 

 

We're here for good conversation and make some friends along the way, to be a community.  Jump right in, start threads asking questions, look for interesting threads and post your (relevant) thoughts. 

 

For the first week you will be restricted to ten posts per day but after that you can post as much as you like. Also, until you’ve posted fifteen times in the forums, you’ll be a “Junior Bum” with somewhat restricted access and will be allowed only two private messages per day.

 

Good luck in your pursuits and best wishes to you,

 

Bless you for the hospice work.  That requires so much compassion.    Looking into history is always fascinating just beware getting too preachy.  Glad to have you here.

 

 the TDB team

 

Read and review Our Rules:

 

 

Our Insult Policy- Read it, Live it

 

 

Edited by Welcomer

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Posted (edited)

Hello Compassion Please. Welcome! 

 

I should warn you that some people here may get quite triggered and argumentative and insulting when it comes to certain religious topics and religious figures.  Also, moderators appear to be in shorter supply here recently, so be warned. Also, this is more of a widely eclectic discussion forum than a pure 'Daoist' discussion forum. :) 

 

Qigong and internal martial arts are practices which have a long and varied history in China, and although the term 'qigong' (chi kung) itself is a newer term, some of the practices them self may have roots which may go back for potentially thousands of years. Such practices in China are not always necessarily linked to Daoism specifically, although in many cases they may be. There are also qigong and martial arts practices which are associated with Buddhism in China, and qigong and martial arts practices in China which may have no overt association to any religion. 'Daoism' itself is also more of an umbrella term which covers many varied practices and native traditions in China, and many of those traditions and practices may have quite different roots and outlooks. Some of what may be included under the Daoism umbrella might be better termed folk religious practices, and then there are other practices and traditions such as some forms of qigong and neigong and martial arts and related which may be less religion affiliated, or not religion affiliated at all, but which may claim roots going back to the times of Lao Tzu (the Dao De Jing text) (estimated approximately 500 to 600 BC) and the Yellow Emperor (AKA Huangdi) (estimated over 2500 years BC), etc.

 

You might also consider that places such as India, Tibet, and Nepal, etc., also have yoga and pranayama and meditation and other practices which may have moderate to strong similarities to practices found in China (pranayama has strong parallels to qigong, for example) , as well. Some of the practices of Saddhus in the Himalayan mountains do appear to be similar in at least some ways to practices and goals attributed to mountain Daoists in China, although there may be no historical connection between those different traditions.  The goals and practices of many Saddhus (AKA Sadhus) in India and other ascetics in various other countries may have moderate to strong similarities in practices and philosophy and outlook, even if there is no known direct historical link between those practices and traditions.  There is a Hindu related text entitled the 'Avadhuta Gita' which describes a practitioner's point of view of reaching a non-dualistic realization of the world through cultivation which sounds strikingly similar to parts of text outlined in the Dao De Jing, although the person who wrote that 'Avadhuta Gita' text probably had never heard of Lao Tzu or the Dao De Jing. My inclination is that spiritual (or personal) cultivation is spiritual cultivation, and experiences and end results may well, and maybe should, have strong similarities across different traditions, if those practices and experiences are valid, even though there may be no known historical connection between different cultivation practices and practitioners from different parts of the world. That is just a speculation though, of course. Good luck in your research! 

 

Edited by Iskote

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Welcome Compassion Please.

 

Thank you @Iskote

The saints who practiced alchemy in South India, were the Siddhars and there seems to be some correlation with Daoism and Qigong.

 

Skanda bodhisattva, is a deity worshipped as Murugan in South India. He was the presiding deity of the Siddhars and he might as well be the same as the guardian in Buddhism.

Found mention in Yi Jin Jing as well. Might correlate to Bodhidharma coming from South India.

 

http://murugan.org/bhaktas/bhogar-life.htm

 

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Posted (edited)

There is a book by an Orthodox Christian monk (Hieromonk Damascene) called Christ the Eternal Tao, which attempts to present the philosophy of Laozi as a precursor of Christianity. I'm not sure I would wholeheartedly recommend the book but it is an interesting and earnest attempt to engage with Chinese philosophy. The author is not entirely ignorant of Daoism and has had some talks with Daoist monks in China.

 

Methodism is an interesting tradition- John Wesley was enthusiastic about Eastern Christian writers like Macarius and Ephraim the Syrian, who were not exactly popular with typical Protestants. This gave his spirituality a more mystical imprint. Wesley is an interesting figure in that he embodied both "high church" and "low church" tendencies.

 

Another Anglican writer that I think everyone ought to read is Thomas Traherne, whose "Centuries of Meditations" is a world classic of spiritual/mystical literature.

Edited by SirPalomides
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