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Taoist Studies

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i20w24
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Postby i20w24 » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 6:08 am

taxico wrote:toaism in singapore, i feel, is a little weird. there seem to be a lot of mysticism about it here, with lots of little home temples all over the island. you can't miss it if you walk by one or drive past one at night.

i've witnessed some trances wherein controlled substances were involved. it appears that such behavior is also tolerated by the authorities... at least until the recent mass suicide by a group of teenagers.

i believe the singapore taoist federation has a website that you can look into.

toaism in other countries are equally weird. my wife tells me about taoist priests/believers in korea approaching and asking you to learn more about their religion, and then you end up at their home temples, trapped, and unable to leave without paying some sort of initiation fee, etc... and these things happen on university campuses! (in korea)


Taoism has many forms, sometime it confusing people who want to learn it.
But in general Taoism can be grouped into:

1. Taoism Philosophy
This is a group of people who learn Taoism from Tao Tek Cing.
They use Tao Tek Cing as philosophical way of life.
It is very common side of Taoism that has been spread into the West.
May be it is because there is no concept of worship, rituals and dogma inside Tao Tek Cing.

2. Taoism Religion
This religion followed by Chinese and usually called as Folk Religion.
This group arrange by adherent and not disciple groups.
(Please read topic: Religion & Spiritual)
Because of that, the concept sometime deviates from basic Taoism that base on logical thinking way.
Sometime this group entrapped on worship and superstitious thing because their concept base on faith!
It is because of their limitation knowledge of Taoism.
But there are some peoples who look Taoism from this group!

3. Taoism Spiritual
It is the nucleus of Taoism.
All of Taoist master practicing spiritual exercises to improve their value in every aspect of life that can be divide as:

3.1. Physical body
The target is healthy and long life.
Increasing vitality and spirit of life by many exercise and doing healthy habit in every day life.

3.2. Mental body & soul / consciousness / awareness / mind
The target is become wise man, not just a good man.
Sometime Taoist reveals their wisdom in a book and today we know it as Taoism scripture. People learn it without join in spiritual Taoism school.

It is the roof of Taoism Philosophy and Taoism Religion.

3.3. Energy / Spirit
This is ‘something’ that still exists after our physical body death.
Taoist practices certain meditation method as preparation to face any possibility in afterlife.
It may sound very weird but we must be train until we are able to understand the condition of other dimension when we still life.

detail can be found in http://www.facebook.com/xiaoyao.pai

i20w24
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Postby i20w24 » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 6:30 am

taxico wrote:my observation has also been that toaism deities are a scary/menacing (sometimes both?) looking bunch. the buddhas i've seen tend to be rather genial looking

as far as i'm concerned, these two religions (again, this is my opinion) have a lot of differences! what they are, specifically, i am unable to know.

(and i'm sure buddhism has its dark sides too)


I think every religion has their own dark sides.

Of course there are a lot of differences between Buddhism & Taoism. To start with are about the country of origin, the culture that influence, the language that are used, etc.

And it should have more difference when we look into the concept.
For example: in Buddhism, those who wish to learn the spiritual must leave the worldliness. While in Taoism they should enter the worldliness.
In Buddhism, live is viewed as a samsara (suffering). While in Taoism, live is viewed as a natural and must be lived meaningfully.
etc.

As for the statue, sometimes I got confused also.
In some Chinese temple, I can found some good looking deities such as Fu De Zheng Shen, Tai Shang Lao Jun, Jiu Tian Xuan Nv, Tian Shang Sheng Mu, Er Lang Shen, etc.
But in some other Chinese temple, the statue is in a very bad condition - crack, black due to the smoke, ugly, etc.
My friend had told me that in their country, inside the Chinese temple there are mixed with the local deities, Moses, Sai Baba, Buddha, etc.
And this phenomenon can be seen in Singapore also, where there are statues of the Indian (Hindu) god; malay's Datok, etc.
In conclusion, I can't be sure if those statue with scary/menacing figure is a taoist deities or from other.

But I also had seen the similar condition in some Buddhist temple.
Some temple have a good looking Buddha and the Boddhisatva.
Some other temple have a scary and fierce looking Boddhisatva. If I remember correctly its from the Tibetan and Tantric sect.

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x9200
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Re: taoism is science of life

Postby x9200 » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 7:35 am

i20w24 wrote:The point is that if in the past, where the human expectation life span shorter that today and yet some people are able to have an extraordinary long life because of practicing qi gong, then wouldn't it be wonderful if we can practice this art and gain a long life.

You really think so (assuming it's true)? To double (etc.) the lifespan turning ourselves to hermits and be mummified alive in 40years long herbs/minerals only starvation diet? Besides, if everybody does what many of the major religions suggest the humanity would not survive a single life span (multiple in your case).

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10:49 am

Blind Faith. The only way any faith can survive. Don't question. Just accept. We will accept your donations in any denomination/curreny, no problem. Fools & their monies - soon parted. You have my blessings. Your only guarantee is that you WILL die sooner or later.

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Postby v4jr4 » Sun, 30 Sep 2012 11:56 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Blind Faith. The only way any faith can survive. Don't question. Just accept. We will accept your donations in any denomination/curreny, no problem. Fools & their monies - soon parted. You have my blessings. Your only guarantee is that you WILL die sooner or later.


And there's no guarantee on the musical career either :P
"Budget Expat"

i20w24
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Postby i20w24 » Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:51 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Blind Faith. The only way any faith can survive. Don't question. Just accept. We will accept your donations in any denomination/curreny, no problem. Fools & their monies - soon parted. You have my blessings. Your only guarantee is that you WILL die sooner or later.


Ha, I like your comment.
What you say is completely true, even the communist say that religion is a drug, that caused the peoples addicted and become lazy. Some are even say that religion is for those whose brain already stopped working (i mean, for those who just follow it blindly).

And do you know what thrilled me the most? That in studying spiritual taoism, we must use our brain, must be logical. If we are able to revise the existing taoism theory (like concept/philosophy in dao de jing), then that means we are much better than Lao Zi, the founder of taoism.

Unfortunately, most of the people only good in talk, pretend to be intellectual & logical. They don't have enough courage, curiosity, and determination to do a research on it. A lot of people tend to be careless, when it comes to things that are outside of their own expertise. Well, it is also a human nature.

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Re: taoism is science of life

Postby i20w24 » Tue, 02 Oct 2012 11:42 pm

x9200 wrote:You really think so (assuming it's true)? To double (etc.) the lifespan turning ourselves to hermits and be mummified alive in 40years long herbs/minerals only starvation diet? Besides, if everybody does what many of the major religions suggest the humanity would not survive a single life span (multiple in your case).


An optimistic person will try to look into the positive & logical side of every possibility.

If my parent's and their relatives live for 50 years, and I'm told that after I learn this art I'll be able to live up to more than 100 years...
Do you think I'll believe it?
No, i'll say that it's a BULL SHIT, nonsense.
There is no such miracle that can expand my life that long, if my family's medical record says that there are history of obesity, stroke, diabetic, cancer, hearth attach, etc.

Then, how?
If my parent's and their relatives live for 50 years.
After I learn & practice this art continuously at the age of 40 years old, then I can live few years longer (let say 5-10 years longer). Then it is good enough for me, and I'll advice my children to learn it.
If only I had the opportunity to learn and practice this art earlier, before I've my own children, and they are also learn and practicing this art, I believe that the life expectancy of my children will be longer than me probably up to 70 - 90 years old.

In modern days, people takes vitamin, cod oil, etc to enhance their stamina. Then, I don't see the difference from taking herbs.

I never heard if taoist stave themselves. Fasting/starve our self is not advisable since it will weaken our own body. Its already contradicting the purpose of practicing this art. The purpose of practicing this art and consuming the herbs is to strengthen the body & improving the vitality.

There is Dan Ting Men, a branch of study in taoism that specialized on medication, physiotherapy, healing, acupuncture, etc, that aim to prolong human live - combating the diseases.
Even until nowadays western science still unable to understand, how the chinese people can understand/found the meridian? Those that can't be seen when we cut the human body.

There is also wu gong men, a branch of study in taoism that specialized on martial arts, that aim to train the body and for self protection.

It is a good attitude & a good starting point that all of you have question and doubt on this art. Don't believe it, doubt it until you have tried it out, do your own research and prove it. It is human nature, to be convinced after they experience it by themselves.

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Re: taoism is science of life

Postby x9200 » Wed, 03 Oct 2012 8:44 am

i20w24 wrote:In modern days, people takes vitamin, cod oil, etc to enhance their stamina. Then, I don't see the difference from taking herbs.

I never heard if taoist stave themselves. Fasting/starve our self is not advisable since it will weaken our own body. Its already contradicting the purpose of practicing this art. The purpose of practicing this art and consuming the herbs is to strengthen the body & improving the vitality.


This comes from one of the links you quoted:
He began gathering herbs in the mountain ranges at the age of ten, and also began learning of longevity methods, surviving on a diet of herbs and rice wine. He lived this way for the first 40 years of his life.

You compare it with taking some supplements and call it a diet to strengthen the body & improving the vitality? :)

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Postby taxico » Wed, 03 Oct 2012 10:47 am

i've had a diet of herbs and wine (of sorts) in college. some times i've had to go out to buy extra dimebag of herbs and a few more boxes of wine when more than expected friends turn up for a night of religiousness.

it sure made me feel like i could live forever. or maybe i was wishing it would go on forever.

hurhurhur.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 03 Oct 2012 10:56 am

taxico wrote:i've had a diet of herbs and wine (of sorts) in college. some times i've had to go out to buy extra dimebag of herbs and a few more boxes of wine when more than expected friends turn up for a night of religiousness.

it sure made me feel like i could live forever. or maybe i was wishing it would go on forever.

hurhurhur.


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