December 30, 2006 at 8:12 pm #20057
note: this is what I revised after getting feedback on an inadequate 5 point mission statement. I plan to put this summary atop the new FAQs page. More feedback is welcome. thanks-michael
Ten Essential Principles of Tao Self-Cultivation
By Michael Winn
1. SURRENDER. If we trust and surrender to the Life Force (Chi or Qi Field), the Life Force will flow into our body-mind. The Life Force supports us to effortlessly unfold who we truly are. Surrender is the prerequisite to expressing the highest level of our individual free will and creativity.
2. HARMONY. The Life Force is about Process. It is made of three streams of vast flowing consciousness or chi that harmonize all life: negative-receptive-female (Yin), positive-creative-male (Yang), and neutral-stabilizing-primordial (Yuan). This chi field is all-penetrating, yet remains neutral or paradoxically still even as it moves. Likewise, our soul rests in stillness while the Life Force moves in Yin-Yang and Five Phase (element) cycles through our essence.
These flowing cycles/seasons offer a simple and perfect mirroring between our changing inner thoughts, feelings, perceptions and the outer action of Nature. Taoist qigong is the Process of communicating with the Life Force. Qigong trains us to speak the language of subtle energy or chi. We learn practical ways to harmonize the three currents of chi flowing amongst our self, our community, and Nature.
3. INTEGRITY. Qigong (chi kung) movement exercises and meditation (neigong or nei kung) are two main pillars of Tao self-cultivation. They empower a third pillar – the expression of personal integrity or innate spiritual virtue (de) in daily life.
Study of the I Ching (Book of Unchanging Changes), feng shui, Chinese astrology, the outer elixirs of Chinese medicine (massage, nutrition, herbology), sexual energy cultivation, and self-expression through creative arts complete the eight pillars of our personal Tao or Way. Together these eight offer us practical skills to grow the central ninth pillar, and realize our soul highest destiny, our integration with the Great Tao.
4. SIMPLICITY. On the outside, life is very complex. On the inside, it is very simple. The Inner Smile is the Tao path of simplicity. Its simple when you open the heart of your soul to unconditionally accept first your own body-mind. Second phase is to accept everything Other as part of a unified, flowing essence of the Life Force. The Inner Smile is the simplest way to keep your path heart-centered.
This simple, continuous act of acceptance ends all separation and loneliness, causing a soul peace to arise within our personality. Our path in each moment is to allow our smiling presence to embrace lifes wonderful complexity. It is this simple foundation of smiling, unconditional acceptance that allows all spiritual qualities such as love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness to unfold spontaneously.
5. LETTING GO. The central challenge our ordinary ego-personality (heart-mind or xin in Chinese) faces is the separation, fragmentation and dispersion of our underlying soul essence. Cloudy and reactive emotions, poor sexual habits, bad diet, shallow breathing, self-judgments, negative thinking and rejection of the spiritual nature of our physical body results in struggle, disease, suffering, and unhappy feeling of incompletion in life. Our resistance to life is what kills us. Self-cultivation teaches us to let go of our resistance to the Life Force.
6. GROUNDING. Taoist qigong & meditation fuse our ego into a strong, grounded, integrated whole. Qigong allows our heart-mind and physical body to achieve optimum health. Meditation merges our personality and body with our soul, or ling. This whole-body enlightenment can be achieved while living an ordinary life in a physical body. Being centered in life means being grounded, physically and spiritually.
7. SEXUAL SAGEHOOD. Our volatile male-female sexuality is reflected in the polar split between the two halves of our soul, the Heaven-formless spirit and Earth-form sexually embodied aspect. But sex is our souls secret alchemical elixir. If we know how to tap our sexual volatility, we can quickly transform spiritually.
Taoist sexual practice with a partner and solo meditative inner sexual alchemy both use our tangible sexual essence to capture and crystallize the invisible essence of our spirit. This union of our sexual and spiritual selves births a third self an androgynous, bi-sexual Inner Sage that manifests our immortal non-dual Original Nature. Our Inner Sage is able to embody non-dual energy (yuan chi) while present in a sexually polarized male or female body and simultaneously express our unique individual will.
8. TRANSFORMATION. The core Taoist spiritual practice is Internal Alchemy (neidan gong). Alchemy is transformation, the process of speeding up internal change. Both science and art, this meditative process offers a heart-centered systematic method to transform the apparent spirit-matter split within a single lifetime.
Inside every human being lives a mystical trinity. In the West this trinity might be called body-mind-spirit, but their meaning is vague. In Taoism, the trinity is jing-chii-shen, with very precise meaning. Alchemical meditation speeds up the transformations between sexual essence (jing), subtle breath (chi), and intelligence-spirit (shen). The three are really the same, but vibrating at different speeds, to give our soul greater freedom of expression.
9. IMMORTALITY. Tao inner alchemy offers Seven Alchemy Formulas for Eternal Life. These seven stages are a practical map to spiritually rebirth the mortal self into an immortal consciousness that continues functioning after death. This is not a quest for physical immortality. Ordinary souls dissolve after death. Enlightened souls hold enough integrity to reincarnate consciously, a kind of soul immortality.
Spiritual immortality is the stage beyond enlightenment. It allows us to complete the natural process of soul individuation that is happening in both our Lesser Self/personality as well as our cosmic Greater Self. Spiritual Immortality is Natures way to allow the most worthy individual beings to participate in the ongoing creation of the divine multi-verse.
10. SPONTANEITY. Every soul seeks two things. One, to complete its unique worldly destiny. Two, to achieve a high spiritual destiny of consciously merging back into its Original Spirit. But destiny is not a fixed or pre-determined path. There is only the effortless spontaneous unfolding of each moment (wuwei).
The Supreme Mystery (Wuji) that births the Life Force will always remain unknowable and unpredictable, even as we gradually merge with the vastness of the Tao. This central Mystery lives in the core of our inner self and keeps all life eternally fresh, joyful, and spontaneous.December 31, 2006 at 6:53 am #20058
Integrate number 10 in the 9 others, let number 9 be the ultimate goal and realization of our being on planet Earth.January 1, 2007 at 3:34 pm #20060
I know that 9 is a major number for you, and certainly it is for Taoists as well. The bagua has eight forces and the center ninth. So NINE is the number of completion.
But TEN is the number of REBIRTH, the next ONE plus the unknown factor of ZERO, neutral force. So TEN completes NINE by beginning the next cycle of Nine.
I see the TEN as embracing the Nine – it is the meta-view of the Nine as one whole. And in the nacinet Turtle and River diagrams on which the I Ching is based, there are ten number-symbols (black or white dots). In ancient China, there were TEN days in the week, and the calender still has TEN Celestial stems, not nine.
Hope you can now more easily accept my numbering……
MichaelJanuary 1, 2007 at 5:42 pm #20062
I guessed 10 was for that reason, just waiting for your reply 🙂
The messages was indeed: ‘Gather the nine and become One’… One as in 1+0, not necessarily One as in Unity as I made that wrong conclusion years ago..
This year of 9 is so strong and forcefull, riding a wild horse…an empowering force pushing through the central channel.
The yin star is omni present in my personal universe, creating high pitch tones, strong heart energy and a power I never could imagine
It is time to accept the crown of my home.January 1, 2007 at 10:02 pm #20064
Just some thoughts
The bagua has eight forces and the center ninth. So NINE is the number of completion. TEN is the number of REBIRTH, the next ONE plus the unknown factor of ZERO, neutral force. So TEN completes NINE by beginning the next cycle of Nine.
Each numerical system is a way to perceive the whole, one number system does not compete another, each is complete and reflects a certain energy field. Its not 9 vs 10, each energy unit perceives different aspects of life.
I see the TEN as embracing the Nine – it is the meta-view of the Nine as one whole.
And in the nacinet Turtle and River diagrams on which the I Ching is based, there are ten number-symbols (black or white dots). In ancient China, there were TEN days in the week, and the calender still has TEN Celestial stems, not nine.
ten is was only used based on five phases times two, they later learned this was not accurate and shifted to seven days.
The diagram on turtle and river diagram are most likely myth, not to be used to seriously justify things.
Ten can be completion in a 10-count system. In a two count two is, in a three count rhree is, in a five count five is, eight for eight, nine for nine, 12 for 12 and on an on.
happy new year, day 1.
baguaJanuary 2, 2007 at 2:30 pm #20066
I have a really serious question and I really hope not to offend anyone. Point 9 says:
“9. IMMORTALITY. Tao inner alchemy offers Seven Alchemy Formulas for Eternal Life. These seven stages are a practical map to spiritually rebirth the mortal self into an immortal consciousness that continues functioning after death.
Ordinary souls dissolve after death. Enlightened souls hold enough integrity to reincarnate consciously, a kind of soul immortality.
Spiritual Immortality is Natures way to allow the most worthy individual beings to participate in the ongoing creation of the divine multi-verse.”
Everything that I have read and listened to so far in Kan and Li (up through greatest) says that there is a part of us that is already immortal and looking in on this life.. if this is so then how can this be true: “Ordinary souls dissolve after death. Enlightened souls hold enough integrity to reincarnate consciously, a kind of soul immortality.”
It sounds like nothing is left of the “ordinary soul”.. it dissolves.. then how could these other statements be true? What do you mean by this?
-digdugJanuary 2, 2007 at 4:52 pm #20068
I like these!
One thing: Surrender (1) and Letting Go (5) sound the same, though the descriptions are different. Perhaps rename them to clarify there differences, or compile them (with the fortunate side affect of appeasing Wendy 🙂January 2, 2007 at 7:55 pm #20070
thank you Chris, I still go for 9 instead of 10 despite Michaels answer… because going through the 9th portal we reach all and nothing, one and zero, the ultimate mystery, that what we can not know, unless you pass the 9th portal, so I prefer to leave the 1+0 as that mystery instead of trying to pin it or to name it… that is a very typical male action :))
the words of the 10th principle is not doing justice to the mystery at all, you can not name it… if Michael prefers to use 10 he should leave it empty… how can one explain the 10th unless he/she passed the 9th gate but as good westerns with our never ending and ever craving minds he can give it a shot…. 🙂
I am off for two days so I will not be able to respond…January 2, 2007 at 9:27 pm #20072
I think Michael will be best to answer his 9 principles outline, which I personally like.
If you ever can find it, the Pa Pu Tzu(which roughly means The Master embacing simplicity) written by Ge Hong written in a honest straight forward manner on why we should trust & believe in Immortality & Immortals.
If you can’t ever find it, if your interested I will post the Nei Pan section which is translated from 23 scrolls. But will take some time..to post
I think Ge Hong’s works are nice since he wrote many things about immortality & Daoist Alchemy..that many have not even known about
…SnowlionJanuary 2, 2007 at 9:40 pm #20074
Some Ge Hong references
* Campany, Robert Ford. To Live As Long As Heaven and Earth: Ge Hongs Traditions of Divine Transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002
* Davis, Tenney and Chen Kuo-fu. “The Inner Chapters of Pao-pu-tzu.” Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 74 (1941): 297-325. [chaps. 8 and 11]]
* Fang Xuanling, et. al. Jin shu (History of the Jin Dynasty). 10 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1998
* Feifel, Eugene. “Pao-pu tzu nei-pien.” Monumenta Serica 6 (1941): 113-211; 9 (1944): 1-33; 11 (1946): 1-32. [chaps 1-4 and 11]
* Giles, Lionel. A Gallery of Chinese Immortals. London: John Murray, 1948.
* Hu Fuchen. Baopuzi neipian yanjiu (Research on the Inner Chapters of The Master Embracing Simplicity). Beijing: Xinhua chubanshe, 1991
* Lin Lixue. Baopuzi nei wai pian sixiang xi lun (An Analysis of the Thought of the Inner and Outer Chapters of The Master Embracing Simplicity). Taibei: Xuesheng, 1980.
* Nienhauser, William. Unpublished dissertation. An Interpretation of the Literary and Historical Aspects of the Hsi-ching Tsa-chi (Miscellanies of the Western Capital). Bloomington: Indiana University, 1972.
* Penny, Benjamin. “The Text and Authorship of Shenxian zhuan”. Journal of Oriental Studies 34 (1996): 165-209.
* Ren Jiyu, ed. Zhongguo daojiao shi (A History of Chinese Daoism). Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1997.
* Robinet, Isabelle. Daoism: Growth of a Religion, translated by Phyllis Brooks. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.
* Sailey, Jay. The Master Who Embraces Simplicity: A study of the philosopher Ko Hung, A.D. 283-343. San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center. 1978. ISBN 0-89644-522-4
* Sivin, Nathan. “On the Pao Pu Tzu Nei Pien and the Life of Ko Hong (283-343)”. Isis 60 (1976): 388-391.
* Sivin, Nathan. “On the Word Daoist as a Source of Perplexity”. History of Religions 17(1978): 303-330.
* Tang Yijie. Wei Jin Nan Bei Chao shiqi de daojiao (Daoism in the Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties Era). Taibei: Dongda tushu gongsi yinhang, 1991
* Wang Liqi. Ge Hong lun (A Discussion of Ge Hong). Taibei: Wunan tushu chubanshe, 1997.
* Ware, James R. Alchemy, Medicine and Religion in the China of A.D. 320: The Nei Pien of Ko Hung. Mineola, NY: Dover. 1981. ISBN 0-486-24088-6
* Wells, Matthew. “Self as Historical Artifact: Ge Hong and Early Chinese Autobiography”. Early Medieval China 9 (2003): 71-103.
* Wong, Eva. Teachings of the Tao. Boston: Shambhala, 1997. (96-104)
* Wu Lu-chiang and Tenney Davis. “An Ancient Chinese Alchemical Classic. Ko Hung on the Gold Medicine and on the Yellow and the White.” Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 70 (1935): 221-84. [chaps. 4 and 16]January 2, 2007 at 9:44 pm #20076
She makes some very good points here…January 2, 2007 at 11:27 pm #20078
It would be great if you can post some translations of Ge Hong. His classic work Pa Pu Tzu was a collection of he great works of Qi Gong and Nei Gong up to his time. He is famous for using Acupuncture to assist in the alchemnical process and using the high level practice of Qi Men Dun Jia to select auspicious times to harverst longevity/alchemical herbs.
baguaJanuary 3, 2007 at 1:35 pm #20080
In all I saw 12 if that helps anything (there is always the invisible yuan), I do not feel one needs to get caught up in this to much as it is only a learning tool and there are no numbers after all only intent. 5 did have to do with the heart mind xin and one having to do with Body mind, hope that helps a little bit with the interpratation. Hope all are do well.January 5, 2007 at 10:31 am #20082
Top 10 lists.
Any list with ten points to it seems trivialized by association with arbitrary compilations of “top 10” lists of movies etc. Even more trivializing is the association with David Letterman’s “top 10…” which is further trivialized by association with his “stupid X tricks”.
Go for 9.January 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm #20084
I like what’s there overall and think you should continue to refine the wording. I would simplify the whole thing and not be too intellectual about it. Come more from the feeling of each thing because the inner power of each idea is more powerful than the mental power of it.
#1- Surrender and #5- Letting go are really the same thing and I would consolidate them. Then I’d put #3- Integrity in the #5 spot, the center of the nine points – like the center, earth, the middle pillar we grow, of the bagua.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.