December 20, 2005 at 1:00 am #9507
By Li Jiong
Dao is the ultimate existence; Dao is the one and only congenital Qi, it is the ultimate source of all lives. Lao Zi says: “The Dao that can be talked about is not the invariable Dao”, but again he has talked a lot about Dao. Is Dao really cannot be talked about? Or Lao Zi just wants to express some profound meaning by this word? I think it is the latter. If Dao cannot be talked about at all, then how can people get the clue to find it? Actually, what can be talked about are the phenomenons of Dao; what cannot be talked about is the noumenon of Dao. Lao Zi just tells people do not stay in the phenomenons, but should do Dao cultivation steadfastly, practice instead of talking is the only way to get and be in the great Dao.
In the long history, human has created a splendid human culture, according to the different distance to Dao, the learning in this culture can be fallen under a few grades roughly. The first grade is religion, a devout belief can make one be simple and honest, which is very close to the emptiness state that Dao lurks; furthermore, all genuine religions each has its spiritual cultivation tradition, these cultivation activities approach Dao practically. The second grade is philosophy, some excellent Qigong and martial arts can also be fallen under this grade, philosophy tries to explore the origin and the regular pattern of all things, when it goes enough deep, it will also approach Dao, however, it is an intellective way, and generally, it is short of practical cultivation, the philosophers may see the great Dao faintly, but they always cannot really experience it; the Qigong or martial arts practitioners have their practical cultivation, but generally, their purposes are not Dao, but some small things such as health or power, and therefore they do not have a comprehensive guidance theory to lead them approach Dao, perhaps sometime they will experience Dao in some degree, but since they have not a clear understanding and an enough preparation, often, they will miss it, so Qigong and martial arts can be considered as being in the same grade as philosophy and after religion. The third grade is science and art, if they are good enough, each science or art will approach Dao on some degree, but the object that each science or art researches for is limited, so, often, the achievement that a scientist or an artist can achieve is partial, therefore, they are after philosophy.
Here the religion, philosophy, Qigong, martial arts, science and art all imply the genuine ones, and they all have great benefits. As for the false and inferior ones, they are not here.
Dao cultivation cultivates Dao directly; it always stays in the source of Dao, never falls into any grade. So, it exceeds religion, philosophy, Qigong, martial arts, science and art. The best classic of Dao is
, however, people’s understanding of it are multifarious, some are right, some are partial, some are surface, and some are wrong. For example, in Chinese, Dao has another meaning ‘way/road’, therefore, some people understand it as way, or extend the meaning to be principle, this understanding is not total wrong, but at least, it is surface and partial. Again, in the fifth chapter, Lao Zi says: “If the universe is not kind, it will treat all things as straw; if the sage is not kind, he will treat people as straw.” However, the diction in traditional Chinese is very compact, in Lao Zi’s original word, the word ‘if’ is omitted, so many understand this sentence as “The universe is not kind, it treat all things as straw; the sage is not kind, he treat people as straw.” The meaning is just contrary. Some evil individuals take this sentence as the pretext of their evil. If the universe is not kind, how are there so many lives? If the sage is not kind, how can he be respected as a sage? Loa Zi expresses his kindness clearly, but people often misunderstand him intentionally or inadvertently.
Most souls are not perfect; Dao cultivation is the best way to perfect our souls. And since our souls are not perfect, sometime we will still be greedy, angry or foolish, even if we do Dao cultivation seriously, there will still be many frustrations, but just through these frustrations, involuntarily, one day, you will find you have achieved a high level already, and are far from philistinism and perplexities.
The great Dao is easy to approach, never lose heart, we will go the same way early or late after all.
19th, December, 2005
http://www.yiquando.com/daocultivation.htmlDecember 20, 2005 at 12:16 pm #9508
Taoist or no ….. Merry Christmas to everyone. Jesus Christ was and is still the greatest. Dates of his birth may be off and it is all too commercial but forgiving all of that … I hope everyone has very happy holidays.
And on another note … does anyone have any advice in travelling to Wudang Mt. My partner and I are going to China in May/June of this coming spring to do a bit of sightseeing and to train martial arts/taiji forms. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. We will be there for 5 weeks. Hoping to visit Sanya also.
Have been to Beijing before and Shaolin, Jinan and Weifang. This time we want to go down south. Do some training with some Taoists there.
So …. opinions?December 23, 2005 at 11:03 am #9510December 23, 2005 at 2:30 pm #9512
Thank you for your suggestion of Michael’s trip to China. However this time round I want to train taiji, taiji sword and taiji fan. It sounds like Michael’s group will spend a good time sitting around in lotus or half lotus. I have been there, done that and no longer interested. I just spent a year sitting for hours on end meditating, sometimes 4 hours at a time, sometimes 6 hours, sometimes 2 hours. My legs suffered greatly from it and I also put on a lot of weight. I need to get back into the physical energy work which will make mind, body and spirit very much healthier.
I know that buddhists/taoists say that the bubbling springs should point upwards so that energy can be absorbed, etc. etc. and they advise sitting in lotus and half lotus. Well, not this girl. And if the only way to enlightenment is sitting cross legged then I guess I won’t be enlightened at any time because I pretty much refuse to sit in such postures that do not condone good circulation for ANYONE.
I think my partner and I will just wing it. I am a firm believer that movement is necessary for us humans. I would much rather connect while standing and/or dance with earth and heaven then sit and connect.
anyways, got to go.
Merry ChristmasDecember 23, 2005 at 7:56 pm #9514
I have been to China twice on the trip that Michael leads. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that it involves quite a bit of hiking on and around very powerful sacred mountain sites with optional thousand foot sheer cliff experiences, very spiritually charged earth sites like caves, beautiful views etc.
although there is so much feasting on the trip, I actually lost weight as did many others, I think mainly due to the internal cooking that takes place.
Daoist meditation does not recommend sitting in lotus position, although many modern temple daoists do this. Mountain Daoist practice of feet on the earth allows earth qi to enter body through bubbling springs.
Meditation is your choice if you want to do it standing, sitting or lying. I often practice outside in a park near my house, and regularly do primordial qigong (wuji-gong) infused with the seven alchemical formulas of one cloud. this can last anywhere from 1/2 hour to three hours. standing for long periods does not bother me anymore, as the internal experience is very deep.
Martial arts are beneficial if you want to be a martial artist, and for physical training, body discipline and health. If you want to cultivate spiritually, do qigong and alchemy.December 23, 2005 at 11:44 pm #9516
Dao is formless, if say Dao cultivation is just sitting cross legged, that will be ridiculous. Furthermore, Dao follows nature, sitting cross legged forcedly will be harmful obviously. To the beginners, it is recommended to do some simple Gongfu training first, when he has accumulated enough Jing, Qi and experience, and also has a profound understanding on Dao philosophy, then he can start the abstruse meditation.December 25, 2005 at 4:18 pm #9518
Qigong is also beneficial and probably more integrative for health and longevity purposes.December 25, 2005 at 9:16 pm #9520
I disagree. Martial arts training is a very good aide in spiritual development. And I do not regard taijiquan in the same category as karate or taekwondo which is definately more martial art. In the western sense anyways. All martial arts if taught correctly have qigong in them. I have taken both. There are similarities of course but this headlong rush to gain spiritual enlightenment by meditation alone is wrong way. Sorry to disagree with a lot of you. I have been to China and know that the energy there is very strong …. period. No matter where one stands. I have spent 3 weeks in China in the traditional way. Eat, eat, and more eat. A little qiogng in the a.m. A little practise, a little hiking and sightseeing in the afternoon after the 3 hour siesta of course a little more eating and then from 6:30 p.m. on back to the hotel room. No thanks. If I wanted to feast I would stay home and eat. I don’t want to eat and I don’t want to sit.
I have been trained in a primordial qigong – hunyuan … and have practised it to the point of standing/moving meditation for over 3 hours. It has 13 sets in it also. A regular beneficial set can be done in 30 to 45 minutes. I like to mix this with a little bit of portal system, a little taiji ruler, and prayer/mantra.
I do not think I will be travelling with Michael Winn, although his practise may be quite good and I am sure his tours are lovely, that is not the way I want to see China this time.
Thank you for your advice though. Have a good holiday.
Rainbows!December 25, 2005 at 9:21 pm #9522
If training gongfu is only for the beginner than I shall remain a beginniner. That is nonsense. Go ahead and do all the training …. when you reach the end you will see that 90% of what you did to attain enlightenment was not necessary. But it does keep us busy and out of trouble so it is not all that bad.
I plan to keep physically active and that is my Dao. Yours may of course be different.
Rainbows!December 26, 2005 at 12:42 am #9524
Oh, sorry for my bad expression, I do not suggest you are a beginner, I just take me as a beginner since I still try to learn something, and so I still keep physically active seriously.
Anyway, may you have a good time in China!December 26, 2005 at 3:56 am #9526
Did not mean to offend you.
You are right in saying that martial arts can be a form of meditation, qigong or spiritual cultivation. It is also true that there are many martial artists who could use a bit more of the spiritual side as a human being than the martial side. This is certainly not true of all, as martial arts can be a great vehicle to unfolding a persons path, and a refiner’s fire for dealing with issues that may not surface under other circumstances. Just to give some background, I have trained 24, 42, 48 move combined form taiji quan, 42 and 48 taiji sword, chen style (half set, old style), Cheng Man Ching 37 move (half set w/push hands), Emei style Bagua Zhang two person form, Fu style Bagua Zhang (yin, yang, dragon palm and combined form with free style push hands), and currently study a daoist martial art Bei Kuen. I have benefited greatly from this background. Yet, I have found that on a spiritual level (and all life is spiritual really) there is no replacement for dealing directly with the inner virtue qualities. They are easy to miss.
To be clear, it depends on the persons focus; one can be a very accomplished internal or external martial artist with a high level of gong (skill), as there are many excellent examples here in BC, but that does not necessarily mean that deep spiritual/emotional issues have been dealt with. Then again, there are some spiritual folks who claim to be spiritual who could use some down to earth practicality in facing the basics of life.
I wish you all the best on your trip, and my intention is to point out that your image of what the winn trip might be was different than my experience.December 26, 2005 at 3:14 pm #9528
Thank you so much for your sensitive reply. I do get a little defensive on certain things. I am so very careful of putting my well earned money into the hands of anyone designing tours for specific purposes. As I said before when I went to China to train taiji it was not the most pleasant experience I have ever had. I was an outcast from the group to begin with however the whole itinerary was not one conducive to my dreams. Competition and business luncheons just were not my intention when I went there. And being highly intuitive I knew what was going on, which made the whole situation worse. Not so good. Now I am a bit more seasoned and I can put up with those things a little easier as long as I get what I come for. It is okay. I guess, for me … a lot has opened up lately and a lot of questions have been answered for me. Spirituality is always strong in me, always has been .. however I have learned that if one just provides an opening spiritual learnings come to you for your best interest. Now with energy shifts that have happened over this year and energetic “wars” so to speak that have happened on other levels … it is okay. Things will open up more easily than ever for people. So I just don’t think it is in my best interest at this time to spend time on things that have already happened or will happen on their own. For me … my most sacred, spriitual place is inside my heart and whether I am in China or in a sacred cave doesn’t matter. That connection is there. But I love the energy in China. It is so “full” and it is so “giving”. I am in another world when I go there. So happy. That is why I yearn to go back … to me it is like home. And now as I reach an older age I require movement, lot of it due to who and what I am. So that is for me. No disrespect to Michael. I am so very sure he has the most awesome tour. However for $900 US we can train/stay/eat for a month in a temple/hotel. Four star hotels have never interested me. Not even in my homeland. I would rather tent. And in China, what is the sense of staying in a four star hotel, what experience does that give one.
For the next 4 months I begin my training at home. A good diet, which I have learned about thru this website and confirmed by others, lots of physical training and spiritual training … every day. That way I can go and learn the forms I want to learn and bring them back home with me where I can practise them every day without fear of offending anyone. I can dance with the energy any time. And that is what gives me great joy. So many times the teachers here in Canada do not want you to use their form unless you are “a registered teacher”, unless you are a “registered student” … so basically I just retreated from all of that, dropped what I have already learned and I am very excited to go to China and learn something new. And it doesn’t have to be “traditional”. It just has to resemble that if they choose not to give me the true form. For I know also that the Chinese guard the true forms and only teach “changed” or “adapted” forms to foreigners. But that is okay. As long as when I see the form, if it has in it what I require than that is just awesome. I want to dance with earth and heaven, I want to learn a sword form and be as leaves on the wind. That is all I have ever wanted in this and for some reason so many others who have taught me have other intentions. For me to teach, for me to clean their toilets, for me to make them money or a namesake. Which okay, that is not a problem,is long as I am being taught. But honey, I know when I am being taught and when I am not. So in that way I would say the last 2 years of my taiji training …. I was not taught. Well that is what is behind all of this. And that is basically why I am not interested in entering spiritual caves. I have my (our) ascended masters whom I transmit with and they have taught me lots. And as we open our hearts we will know just as the emperor penguins know … how to swim in the ocean without every having done it before in this lifetime. It is an ancient knowing, and that is what all of the qigong is … we just have to remember that is all. No one person has that secret … we all have it … inside each and every one of us. And that is why I get so damn angry at people who insist it has to be done their way. Each way is different. And the way is so simple. But in this life it seems it has to be complicated and so damn expensive. That is so untrue.
Life has taught me with very hard lessons because I am very stubborn, but when I asked, the lessons were adapted and with more grace. So well, now….it is just the physical I want for training. The rest comes with life.
I would like to meet you some day …. it sounds like you are very experienced in the arts. I respect that greatly.
KarenDecember 26, 2005 at 10:17 pm #9530
I will always be a beginner. Just that I have done some things already that is all. I guess at this time there are some things I think I need to do more than others. That is all.
Sometimes I just get downright honery about it all. This last time period has been about paring things down. What matters most to me. What is important. Who is important to me and then working from that while still leaving doors open. I am by no means not a beginner. I have just worked hard at some things … and of course not so hard at others.
Thanks for your reply though as it helps in all things.
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