The most well-known of the Eight Immortals—and sometimes portrayed as their leader - is Lu Dongbin (also spelled Lu Tung-Pin), who is considered, in various contexts, as the patron of jugglers, magicians, barbers, and neidan: a true Renaissance man! What we know of his historical life was that he was a Tang dynasty scholar and poet.
Every spiritual tradition has a defined (or implied) cosmology: a story about the origin of the universe--about how the world as we perceive it comes into existence.
For devout believers, a central tenet of the ancient Chinese practice of Taoism is the belief that adhering to certain beliefs and practices can lead to very long life, even immortality.
nner Alchemy or Neidan, a term often used synonymously with Qigong, is the Taoist art and science of gathering, storing, and circulating the energies of the human body.
Daoism or 道教 (dào jiào) is one of the major religions indigenous to China. The core of Daoism is in learning and practicing “The Way” (Dao) which is the ultimate truth to the universe.
The most well-known of Taoist visual symbols is the Yin-Yang, also known as the Taiji symbol. The image consists of a circle divided into two teardrop-shaped halves—one white and the other black. Within each half is contained a smaller circle of the opposite color.
According to Taoist cosmology, Yin-Qi and Yang-Qi – the primordial feminine and masculine energies – produce what are known as the “Five Elements.” The Five Elements, in turn, give birth to the “ten-thousand things,” i.e. all of manifest existence. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
The Three Purities, or the Three Pure Ones, are the highest deities in the Taoist pantheon. They function, for Taoism, in a similar way to the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of Christianity, or the Trikaya (Dharmakaya, Samboghakaya, and Nirmanakaya) of Buddhism. They represent three aspects of the divinity inherent in all living beings.
According to Taoist practice, at the deepest level of our being—in our spiritual essence—we are neither man nor woman. Learn how this concept applies throughout Taoism, including its history, scriptures, ceremonies, and tradition.
“Tao Te Ching” is the Wade-Giles romanization of the original Chinese title. Depending on the specific set of rules one follows, it can also be written like “Tao-te Ching” — with the hyphen and the second character in lowercase.
Originally written by a sage named Lao Tzu over 2,500 years ago, the Tao Te Ching is one of the most succinct—and yet the most profound—spiritual texts ever written.
Tam Giao, which includes Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, plays the key role in Vietnamese religion. “Tao” means “path” or “way” that turns Taoists’ thoughts to health, longevity, immortality and spontaneity.
Taoism teaches a person to follow their breath, to embrace wonder and the joy in living gracefully with style. So here is the modern practical guide to living as a Taoist!
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