|Laozi and Community Policing
|Ji Kang’s Theory of Music: Two Interpretation
|Armored Gods: Generals, Guardians, Killers, and Protectors
|William T. Sanders
|Yixing and Buddhism in Manuals of Internal Alchemy
|Scott Park Phillips
|The Zhang Sanfeng Conundrum: Taijiquan as Enlightenment Theater
|Ritual Healing in Taiwan: The Rite for Concealing the Soul
|Daoist Medicine: Understanding Human Nature and Physiology
|The Taiji Path to Non-Duali
|From Daoist Asceticism to Longevity Market? “Nourishing Life” on Mount Qingcheng
|Blue Mountain: A 20th-Century Korean Daoist Master
|Matheus Oliva Da Costa
|Daoism in Latin America
|Zhuangzi in the Classroom: A Teacher Diary Study
|The Black Pearl and the White Pearl
Shen Ming-chang – Laozi and Community Policing
Laozi’s Daode jing is undoubtedly the key classic of Daoism, centering on truth, morality, and health. However, it also has much to say about practical governance and can be actively related to modern issues of community policing. This article first discusses the practical rise of community policing based on current social needs as well as its theoretical understanding and development. It then outlines the Chinese concept of community and links it with Laozi’s thought, followed by an analysis of the notion of governance in the Daode jing. Both in terms of actual need and theoretical understanding of the social order, the ancient Chinese classic and modern community policing have much in common. Laozi’s vision of governance is clearly of great importance in in modern society.
Tang Man-to – Ji Kang’s Theory of Music: Two Interpretations
There are two interpretations of Ji Kang’s Sheng wu aile lun (Sound is Without Grief or Joy). The first sees it as a reinterpretation of Confucianism, especially the Liji (Book of Rites) and Xunzi’s understanding of mind (xin). The second argues that its aim is to liberate music from Confucian ethical judgment rather than to reinterpret Confucianism in general. In this essay, I critically examine the weakness of both. I argue that the first interpretation fails to understand that Ji Kang’s view is a development of Zhuangzi, while the second does not see that it is necessary to reinterpret the Liji and Xunzi in order to free music from Confucian judgment.
Livia Kohn – Armored Gods: Generals, Guardians, Killers, and Protectors
The world of traditional Daoism is full of potentially or actively negative forces, unruly elements, villains, and evildoers, making it essential to guard against them. For this reason, Daoists over the millennia have established a culture of military and martial prowess on the supernatural level, taking recourse to spirit generals, celestial guardians, heavenly killers, and valiant protectors, both internalized within their bodies and activated through devotions, incantations, talismans, and amulets. Ranging from the spirit generals of the early Celestial Masters to rituals and meditations of the Perfect Warrior in the Ming, they have established strong and positive relations with the military dimension of the supernatural administration to create protection and defenses against the numerous potentially harmful factors of life.
William T. Sanders – Yixing and Buddhism in Manuals of Internal Alchemy
This essay examines two redactions of a commentary on internal alchemy, no longer extant, preserved in the Daoist Canon, the Zhen longhu jiuxian jing and the Jiuxian pian. The second contains a commentary attributed to the eminent scientistmonk Yixing (673-727), one of the key architects of East Asian esoteric Buddhism. I analyze various materials to clarify the image of Yixing as an alchemist and argue that an anonymous 9th century author probably used Yixing as a mouthpiece for certain Buddho-Daoist elements in the texts. Specifically, I try to show that the esoteric Buddhist rite called Inner Homa, a topic on which Yixing wrote at length, probably served as one of several antecedents for methods of meditative incineration documented in these two sources as well as texts of the Zhong-Lü tradition. I situate this appropriation an act of “translation,” meaning a creative transposition of Buddhist metaphors into a Daoist framework.
Scott Park Phillips – The Zhang Sanfeng Conundrum: Taijiquan as Enlightenment Theater
This paper draws on theatrical expression, somatic experience, and historical analysis, to show that the art of taijiquan is a form of enlightenment theater and tells the story of Zhang Sanfeng’s canonization. This ritual incorporates inner alchemy as deity visualization, and presents violence as a transgressive path to becoming a Daoist immortal. Practitioners oftaijiquan have been contesting the origins of the art since the early 20th century. One side argues that it is exclusively a functional combat art. The other side contends that it has Daoist origins and was invented by the Immortal Zhang Sanfeng. Both assign great importance to its mythology as a justification for the ways they practice and both agree that it is an internal martial art. However, there is serious disagreement about what exactly internal means. I propose to settle the debate by showing that taijiquan has its origins in theatrical rituals that incorporate martial skills and alchemy. Doing so, I also hope to contribute to the ongoing discussions about Daoism in popular culture. Somatic language often requires direct experience to fully comprehend. To address this problem, my analysis incorporates the paradigms of performance and expert mastery to reveal historic and cultural insights which might otherwise be invisible to readers.
Lichien Hung – Ritual Healing in Taiwan: The Rite for Concealing the Soul
This paper addresses a healing ritual known as “Concealing the Soul” (canghun yishi). Despite being widely performed rite in Taiwan, this rite has received very little academic attention. It serves as an individual rite addressing supplicants’ physical and mental discomfort by keeping the supplicants from potential harm in their lives via mantic techniques. According to my field work on this rite, its application can be divided into two categories: restorative and preventive. In the popular market for religious services, the demand for restoration is gradually decreasing, while that for prevention has spiked. I argue that ritual performers and supplicants share conventional knowledge of the existence of the spirit and material souls (hun/po), as well as a shared cosmology and a perspective toward destiny. Beyond this, the ritual in both its forms pursues harmony between the souls and the smooth progress of life, referred to as “completeness” (yuanman) within the overall cultural framework shared in Taiwanese society.