January 10, 2010 at 5:38 am #32966
Livia Kohn will teach several Daoist workshops at the Open Center, 22 East 30th St., New York City, on February 26 and 27.
Friday (2/26), 7-10 pm
Daoist Dietetics: Rules, Rituals, und Recipes
Daoist dietetics directly continue the Chinese medicated diet and follow the same principles. Be-yond this, they have three main characteristics: avoidance of meat and the so-called five strong vegetables; encouragment of formal, ritualized food preparation and ingestion; and the proposi-tion of advanced techniques to refine energies by weaning the body from ordinary food and reori-enting it toward living only on breath (bigu: avoiding grain).
We begin the workshop with a brief survey of the essential principles and guidelines of traditional Chinese dietetics, then move on to examine the specifically Daoist practices. Besides discussing these, we will also create some model dishes and menues as well as undertake some typical breathing techniques.
Read: Livia Kohn, Daoist Dietetics (Three Pines Press, 2010)
Saturday (2/27), 10:00 am -1:30 pm
Daoist Healing Arts: Exercises for Relaxation and Regeneration
To survive in the present, stress-intense environment, it is essential that we maintain proper health and integrity. For this, the workshop examines key principles of the Daoist body and teaches a series of simple exercises.
The Daoist body, an extension of the Chinese medical body, includes energy centers and lines, the so-called five inner organs and twelve meridians. In addition, it also focuses on the three elixir fields and the eight extraordinary vessels, which serve as residences of divine entities and link the body to the cosmos.
To enhance their working, exercises known as daoyin, lit. guiding the qi and stretching the mus-cles, include a number simple moves that can be done either in sequence as a daily warm-up or individually whenever needed. We will practice the moves and in each case examine their physi-cal and energetic effects.
Read: Livia Kohn, Chinese Healing Exercises (University of Hawaii Press, 2008)
Saturday (2/27), 2:30-6 pm
Daoist Meditation: Refined Energetics and Spontaneous Oblivion
Daoists understand the mind as the bridge between body and spirit, a subtle energetic manifesta-tion of vital energyand vibrant presence of divinity within. Meditation is the main technique to bring the mind closer to its cosmic dimension of spirit and help it quiet down and transcend the limitations of worldly involvement.
To this effect, Daoists practice concentration by focusing on deep, rhythmic breathing; visualiza-tion of colors, energies, and virtues in the inner organs; and complete absorption in ultimate tran-quility, described as sitting in oblivion. The workshop examines the different forms of Daoist meditation in historical context and engages in relevant exercises that can be continued at home.
Read: Livia Kohn, Sitting in Oblivion: The Heart of Daoist Meditation (Three Pines Press, forth-coming)
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