Taoism for Beginners - Part Two

daoism for dummies Feb 13, 2021

Most philosophies or religions are based on a collection of sacred texts. In the previous article of this series I mentioned the first Daoist text called the Dao Te Jing which states:

“The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao”

This book also that teaches us about PU and the uncarved block.

Chuang Tzu is another important text in the Daoist philosophy. It develops the idea of living closest to your natural self through inventive allegories, illustrations and humorous tales. Its aim is to teach you the importance of living in your truth, and in harmonious relationship with nature. Other Chinese philosophers of this period preferred to write about one’s moral duty,

Chuang Tze promoted carefree wandering and becoming one with nature.

These anecdotes come from the authors desire to show us the human error of distinguishing between good and bad, large and small, life and death and even the difference between human and nature.

It teaches the reader that things should be allowed to follow their own course, and men should not value one situation over another.

 The Three Bodies

The ancient Daoist experts have acknowledged the significance of focusing on 3 stages of being;

  • Physical body
  • Energy body
  • Spiritual body

The 3 body systems match up with the 3 forces;

  • Physical body - the Earth.
  • Energy body - the Yang force, often known as the cosmic force.
  • Spiritual body - the Heavenly Home.

When we find these types of forces within the human body we call them Three Treasures (San Bao);

  • Jing – Life Essence (stored in the kidneys)
  • Chi - the Breath
  • Shen – the Spirit

In our physical practice we have 3 Dantiens. They have also been called the three brains. (head, heart and gut) The name Dan Tien translates to “elixir field” which means a magical or medicinal potion. The Dantien therefore represents These three places in the body where we store energy;

  • The upper Dan Tien is in between the eyes
  • The middle Dan Tien is in the heart area
  • Lower Dan Tien is just below the belly button

The 3 Dan Tiens are associated with the 3 stages of being and the 3 forces;

  • The lower Dan Tien is associated with the Earth/ Jing force,
  • The middle Dan Tien is associated with the Cosmic / Chi force
  • The upper Dan Tien with the Heaven/Shen force.

Connecting the spiritual realms with the physical world

Daoists use all 3 to form a connection that ascends into the spiritual realms. They use this same connection to descend back into the physical world where they can live more creatively on earth.

Cultivating Body, Mind and Spirit

As humans, we need food not only to nurture our body but also to nurture our mind and our spirit. Religions seek to satisfy us with spiritual food as often we do not understand how to satisfy ourselves. Daoism suggests that almost everything in everyday life can provide nourishment for certain facets of our being if only we could understand how to gain access to that nourishment.

Taoist practices, such as Tai Chi and Qigong help us to acquire physical, psychological, and spiritual food in a natural way. These practices teach us tips on how to go back to your source, the Wu Chi (God), the Dao, and through these practices attain spiritual freedom as we learn how to live in sync with nature and the whole world.

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