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Teachings T A OC Readings from the SELECTED AND TRANSLATED BY Taoist Spiritual Eva Wong Tradition SHAMBHALA Boston & London 1997 pte shalom © sony by Bow Wong ‘is eer No pr fhe okay be Fepeclced i any form or by ary mean. eleetronke ‘echoes cng peop cong by Sy ifort storage nd eter stem, hot etmiston in writin rom the pablish. @ This edition tnd in Canada by Rar Heue of Coe Usd Library of Congas Cataloging in Publication Data ‘Teaching ofthe Ta: readings fom the Tact spurl radon / selected ond translated by Eve Wong rota (all paper) Pte Tooam. 3) Spite! Bfe—Taoism. (Wong. Be Contents Introduction 1. The Ways of the Barth and Sly: The Shamanic Origins of Taoism, (Chant (Songs fom the Land of Chu) 2. The Path of Wac-wei The Classics of Taoism “Tao-te ching Chang-toe Lishesn 3. Honoring the Sacred: Devotional Taoism Tai-ping ching ehiao (Essentials of the (Classic of Peace and Balance) Pes-tow yenshong ching (The North Seat Scripture of Longevity) 4. The Tao Within: Mystical Taoism ‘Shang-chingg huang-ting ne-ching yi-ching (The Yellow Court Jade Classe ofthe Internal Images of the High Pure Realms) 3 = 56 66 Contents Shang-chingchin-ch'ash thin wn-tow san-yian fwehileh (The Lord of the Golden “Tower ofthe High Pure Realm’s Instructions ‘on [Visualizing the Five Bushes andthe “Thece Ones} In Search of limmortality: Taoist Internal Alchemy “Tsas-tungehs (The Tiplex Unity) Waren pion (Understanding Reality) In the Playing Fields of Power: Taoist Magic and Sorcery Stories of Taoist Immortals, Magic and Sorcerers Feng-shen yen-y (Investiture of the Gods) The Tao in Everyday Life: Taoist Ethics Chikssunizu chung-ch eh ching (Master Red Pine's Book of Discipline) Encountering the Sacred: The Taoist Ceremonies “The Fala (Lighting the Stove) Chants Chai-chieh-lu (Cortect Procedures of Purification and Preparation for Festival Services) “The Arts of Longevity: Cultivating the Mind Shang-ching ti-shang t-chin chiw-chen cchung-ching (Seripture ofthe High Pure 95 95 108 108 ns us 26 10, Contents Realms Highest Celestial Lon’ Nine Tee Forms) “Tang-hstan ling pa tng-kuan ching (The Mysterious Grotto Sacred Spirit Scripture on Concentraced Observation) Seven Taoist Masters “The Ars of Longevity: Cut the Body mer * Yemen cag sng ps (Chen Hs Sect Mths of Longe) Chen Soon tach li en phic (Chang Sunfongs Secret Tach Metbe for Culivting he Ela) 6 By 5 138 138 8 Introduction not the real way. That which can be named is only transient. Run traight into itand you will not see its head. Follow ic from behind and you will not see ks beck” Anyone who writes about Taoism iz challenged by these statements fiom the Tao-te ching. Hossever, although the Tao cannot be described by words, words can allow us to catch a fleeting glimpse of thet mysterious energy ofthe tuniverse which isthe source of life The Taoist spiritual traditions a vast ccean, Flowing int it are the indigenous beliefs of the early Chinese, te Personal vision ofthe sages, the theories and findings ofthe natural and medical seiences, and influences from Bud- hism and Hinduism. However, despite influences from India and Central Asia, Taoism is deeply ooted in the his- tory and culture of China, Ie I stration that goes back several thousand years to the heginnings of Chinese cvil- When I was growing up in Hong Kong, 1 received a Western education a school and a traditional Chinese ed ation at home. Iwas tld by my elders that it wat impor tant to know the history and the traditions of my people, Ts TAO THAT CAN BE SPOKEN OF 1S 2 Introduction and that persons who are not in touch with their tradition fate like weeds blown by the wind. To me, it has alvays been en honot and a privilege to be taught the wisdom of my ancestors, Ae my understanding of Chinese history and philosophy deepened, I realized thae it war in Taoism, not Buddhism or Confucianism, that the sacred and spiritual traditions of China are preserved. Confucianism may have shaped Chinese cultural behavior, but Taoism has shaped the soul and the spirit of the Chineze people Before T maved to the United States, I assumed naively that most Chinese were brought up with « sense of their history and their ancestral traditions. Bue after I settled in the US. found that for meny Chinese Americans, tad tion only went ae far as their grandparents who left China to emigrate to the New World. Now, alter several genera tions of assimilation, many Chinese Americans want to be reconnected with the roots of their culture, especially the acted and spiritual traditions. As they are unable to read Classical Chinese, their only access to the wiedom of theit lncestors through tanslations. I dedicate this book to thet and hope that i will help thom in the journey back ta their origins While living in the ULS., I met many Westerners who wish to experience the Taoist spiritual tration as partic pants rather than study tas detached observers. Talbo ded Feats thie book to them and hope that it will help them txplore and understand the spieitual tation of a culture ‘hich isso dilflerene from their vn. "The readings inthis book are chosen to represent a wide ange of Tooist knowledge and wisdom, They are selected Introduction — 3 from the Taoist canon and post-canon collections unless otherwise sated The Tests of Taoism and the Taoist Canon The Taoist canon is the official collection ofthe scriptures ‘of Taoism. The current edition of the canon consists of 41473 volumes of texts. The east attempt at categorizing the Taoist texts occurred inthe fifth century ces a Hota ching. a Taoist scholar and priest, dided the Toit texts Ino seven groups. He named the three major groups ofthe “hoist scrptures Tingechen (Cavern ofthe. Realized), ‘Tang-hstian (Cavern of the Mysterious), and Tung shen (Cavern of the Spirit), and the four minor sections Tat haan (Great Mysten?, Taping (Great Balance), Tat ching (Great Pare), and Chena (Onthodes Classics. In L's yatem, the Tangeehen section contained the books of the Shange