|Reading Zhuangzi Eco-Philosophically
|Eating Your Way to Immortality: Early Daoist Self-Cultivation Diets
|Mapping the Daoist Body (2): The Text of the Neijing tu
|Lord Lao’s Mountain: From Celestial Master Daoism to Contemporary Daoist Practice
|Wan -Li Ho
|Daoist Nuns in Taiwan: A Case Study of the Daode yuan
|The Dao Is Not for Sale
|Daoist Methods for Dissolving the Heart-Mind
|Exploring Daoist Women’s Meditation
|Yang Lizhi, Todd Stoll, & Chen Mei
|Mt. Wudang and Daoism
|Brian L. Kennedy & Elizabeth Guo
|Taiwanese Daoist Temple Parades and their Martial Motifs
Taehyun Kim – Reading Zhuangzi Eco-Philosophically
This paper examines the philosophy of the Zhuangzi from the perspective of Western ecophilosophy. They are similar in that they are both anthropocentric in outlook and founded on a dualism defined through human criteria. The philosophy of the Zhuangzi begins with the tension between humans and nature; it criticizes people for thinking of themselves as the center of the universe. The critical anthropology of the text can be interpreted as anti-anthropocentrism in the context of modern ecology. I find the concept of wandering in the Zhuangzi a way of creating “multicentric landscape through Dao.” By devotion to Dao as universal reality, the Zhuangzi invalidates human dualism and retrieves the meaning and value of the individual in nature. Discussing the problem of social hierarchy and discrimination, the text provides a comprehensive framework to approach the relationship among self, society, and nature. Ecology in the Zhuangzi thus has three main tenets: 1) defending anti-anthropocentrism, 2) recovering the status of the myriad things through and by nature, 3) working towards self-purification for harmony with society and nature.
Shawn Arthur – Eating Your Way to Immortality: Early Daoist Self-Cultivation Diets
This paper examines health- and body-related claims made in the Lingbao wufuxu (The Preface to the Five Lingbao Talismans of Numinous Treasure), an early medieval Daoist text that contains seventy recipes for attaining health, longevity, and spiritual benefit. Synthesizing the text’s myriad claims and analyzing their implicit assumptions, I work to develop an integrated picture of what was considered crucial for a healthy body, what techniques were used to attain this ideal, and what goals were sought using these practices. I examine the text’s claims about becoming physically and spiritually healthy, its proposed stages of purification and refinement, and the range of indicators by which adherents can measure progress toward their ideal state. Not only does this study provide a new interpretation of the Wufuxu’s dietary regimens, it also illustrates how Chinese medical theories influenced the text’s authors to present immortality as a logical evolution of healthperfecting practices. This analysis leads to questions of how the idea of perfecting one’s health functions within the worldview and ritual practices of early Daoists.
Louis Komjathy – Mapping the Daoist Body (2): The Text of the Neijing tu
Part One of the present article, published in JDS 1 (2008), presented the historical and terminological contours of the Neijing tu (Diagram of Internal Pathways). As a late nineteenth-century stele commissioned by the Longmen monk and court eunuch Liu Chengyin (Suyun, Pure Cloud; d. 1894), it is currently housed in the Baiyun guan(White Cloud Monastery; Beijing). This installment focuses on the content of the diagram as well as the Daoist cultivation methods embedded in its contours. I first provide a thorough analysis of the textual and visual dimensions of the Neijing tu, including a complete translation with the diagram divided into three sections. The article also clarifies some influences on this Daoist body map and its corresponding internal alchemy system, specifically indicating a possible connection with the emerging Wu-Liu sub-lineage of Longmen. This analysis is followed by a reconstruction of Daoist alchemical practice as expressed in the Neijing tu. I emphasize three methods: praxis-oriented applications of classical Chinese medical views of the body; visualizations which draw their inspiration from the Huangting jing and find clear historical precedents in Shangqing Daoism; and the alchemical technique known as the Waterwheel or Microcosmic Orbit. The three techniques form an interconnected system, wherein the adept’s overall psychosomatic health is maintained and strengthened, his body is osmicized, and he awakens the mystical body, the body-beyond-the-body or yang-spirit, i.e., the culmination of alchemical transformation and the precondition for post-mortem transcendence.
Volker Olles – Lord Lao’s Mountain: From Celestial Master Daoism to Contemporary Daoist Practice
The Mountain of Lord Lao (Laojun shan) in Xinjin (Sichuan) has been identified as the center of a former diocese of Celestial Master Daoism. Moreover, it remains a famous sanctuary for the worship of Laozi. The temple on Mt. Laojun is today an active religious institution that belongs to the Dragon Gate (Longmen) lineage of Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) Daoism. In the late Qing dynasty and Republican times, the temple was closely connected with a popular religious movement called the Teachings of the Liu School, which was founded by the Confucian scholar Liu Yuan (1768-1856). In this paper, several aspects of Mt. Laojun’s past and present will be highlighted. Special emphasis will be placed on the Liumen movement and the impact that this community made on the recent development of the sanctuary. We will see that the current hagiographic legitimization of Mt. Laojun, which holds that Lord Lao once dwelled there and engaged in secluded self-cultivation, very likely has been fabricated by the patriarchs of the Liumen movement. This sacred site is an excellent example of a former Celestial Masters’ diocese that still functions as a Daoist institution in contemporary China, and the multifaceted Daoist traditions of Sichuan are reflected in its modern history.
Wan -Li Ho – Daoist Nuns in Taiwan: A Case Study of the Daode yuan
The Daode yuan in Gaoxiong is the first and only community of celibate female Daoists in Taiwan. Established in 1960, it draws on practices from both the Zhengyi (Orthodox Unity, i.e., Celestial Masters) and Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) schools. The article argues that while the majority of Taiwan Daoists follow the Zhengyi tradition, the priestesses and nuns at the Daode yuan have adopted Quanzhen practices to create their own unique religious tradition. Their unique syncretism represents major modifications of the Daoist tradition and serves as an example of the interaction among different schools as they adapt to modern religious and social needs while preserving traditional roots.