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By Laura Ellen Shulman

Belief in spirits
Reverence for ancestors
Priests perform blessing rituals:
purifying space
Exorcising evil spirits (hungry ghosts)
Astrology
Divination
Energy
Change
Balance
Harmony
Inter-relationships
Movement of cosmic energies:
Rising
Falling
Expanding
Contracting
Rotating
Represented by and expressed in
the five elements of nature
Wood
Water
Metal
Earth
Productive cycle
Fire
Wood
Water
Metal
Earth
Fire
Destructive cycle
X
X
X
X
X
Chi life force, life energy (ultimate)
Yin-Yang harmony of opposites
Yin = passive state of energy
Yang = active state of energy
[
Tao the way of the cosmos, of nature
Heaven (tien) and Earth
Mandate of Heaven
Practical applications: I-Ching and Feng
Shui
Ancient divination technique (at least
3000 years old)
Intended to guide humans in decision
making
Based on combinations of lines
representing the ever changing
relationship between passive (yin) and
active (yang) energy flow of heaven,
human, and earth
= yang
= yin
Eight combinations of three lines each:
wind /
wood
Fire
lake
earth
mountain
water
thunder
heaven
Symbolism of the lines:
Upper line = energy state of heaven
Middle line = energy state of human
Lower line = energy state of earth
Two sets of trigrams are divined to create
a hexagram
Use coins or sticks to divine one of 64
hexagrams
Use I-Ching text to discern meaning of the
hexagram and any additional meaning for
changing lines (energies on the verge of
changing)
A skilled interpreter is needed to apply the
generic meaning of the hexagram
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Feng Shui
The Chinese art of placement (geomancy)
Means wind water symbolically, the
constant flow of wind and water that
creates constant change in the world also
affects us
Uses the five elements and the eight
directions of the I-Ching as the Bagua tool
Seeks to maintain constant and balanced
flow of energies (chi) in a space for
improved flow of energy in the people who
use the space
Learn more about Yin-Yang and the Five Elements:
http://www.wisdommedia.com/data/library/html/feng_s
hui_yinyang.asp
I-ching sites:
I-Ching Resources includes history of the I-Ching and
details about the trigrams:
http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/I_Ching_resources
How to use the I-ching: http://littlestcat.com/iching/
Feng Shui sites:
Series of pages on Feng Shui theory and application:
http://www.wisdommedia.com/data/library/html/feng_s
hui_what_is.asp
Feng Shui products and tips from MJG Designs:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/mjgdesigns/designtips.html
The Way of Harmony with Nature
A philosophy
Profound and paradoxical
A way of life
Playful and practical
A religion

Originating in 6
th
century BCE China

Nature knows best
Origins and Texts
Legendary founder: Lao Tzu (6
th
century
BCE)
Primary text: Tao Te Ching (the Book of
the Way and the Power)
81 short chapters containing the basic
philosophy of living in harmony and balance
Chuang Tzu (4
th
century BCE)
Author of companion text: The Chuang Tzu
Collection of stories exemplifying the wisdom
and nature of the Taoist sage
The Tao (path or way)
The nameless
The Mother of ten=thousand things
The uncarved block
All pervading within and beyond nature
Te (power or virtue)
Ones natural ability brought to peak potential
through following the way
The Taoist Sage: learns from observing the
way of nature (flowing water, wind) and letting
nature guide his way through life
Wei-wu-wei (active non-action)
Passive non-resistance to the natural forces
of life
Natural way to get things done with least
effort and greatest success
Go with the flow, yield to the natural way of
things
Applied in all walks of life
Relativity: good and bad as a matter
of perspective
The Taoist sage is non-judgmental
Seeking Health and Longevity: through diet,
meditation, exercise, and a stress-free life
Alchemy: seeking the chemical elixir of lifeto
achieve immortality
Meditation: Inner Alchemy Meditation
seeking spiritual rather than chemical
transformation
Natural/holistic healing: herbal medicine,
acupressure, acupuncture, exercise
Tai-Chi-Chuan (grand ultimate boxing)
A slow, graceful martial art stressing
movement in balance
Deification of Lao Tzu
The Jade Emperor and the eight
Immortals
Taoist temples with images of Lao Tzu
and other immortals
Taoist Priests combine Taoist
meditation with purification rites of folk
religion exorcism practices
Taoist sects develop beginning in 1
st

century, additional teachers and texts
A political and social philosophy seeking
social harmony on all levels:
Within the self
the family
the community
...the state
the nation
the world
the cosmos

Learning from the past to improve the future
Kung-Fu-tzu (Confucius) Master Kung
551 - 479 BCE
Embraces the values of the past
Political aspirations unfulfilled
The greatest teacher who ever lived
Rejected in his own day, but the model
for Chinese culture for over 2000 years
Meng-Tzu (Mencius) (4
th
century) continues
to develop teachings of Confucius
The Five Classics (of the past):
I-Ching
The Book of History (Shu Ching)
The Book of Poems (Shih Ching)
The Spring and Autumn Annals (Chun Chiu)
The Book of Rituals (Li Chi)
The Four Books (Confucian)
Analects (Lun Yu)
Doctrine of the Mean
The Great Learning
The Book of Mencius (Meng-Tzu)
To develop ones Jen: Human
Heartedness - the innate goodness of
humanity
Thus becoming a Chun Tzu: the Great
Man or Gentle Man

Jen is developed through intentional
living by Confucian virtues
Filial Piety (Hsiao) - respect for the five
constant relationships:
Parent and child
Husband & wife
Older & younger sibling
Older & younger friend
Ruler & subject
Human-heartedness is developed only
within the context of human relationships
Rectification of names a person or thing
should be true to its name
Recipricity (shu) the Golden Rule:
Do not do to others what you would not want
others to do to you
Li (rites, ritual) the inherent pattern in
things
For Confucius, Li is especially significant in a
social context propriety or etiquette, the
pattern of humane behavior

Develops 11
th
16
th
century by Various
Confucian philosophers
A metaphysical foundation for Confucian
social ethics
Two main schools:
School of Reason (more scientific) through
the investigation of things one can discover
the underlying pattern (li) principle behind all
reality (patterns and principles are manifest
only within the material world)
School of Mind (more mystical)
microcosmic-macrocosmic parallel between
the human mind and the universe, reflecting
an essential unity of all that is
Deification of Confucius - statues
Confucian Temples honoring Confucius
Veneration of the ancestors
Rituals within
the household
the village
the state
the nation
Taoist sites:
The True Tao Homepage: a pleasant place to visit
and learn more http://www.taoism.net/html.html
Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan:
informative on both origins and religious Taoism
http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Taichi/taoism.html
About the Tao: http://www.thetao.info/tao/index.htm
Confucian sites:
http://www.friesian.com/confuci.htm an academic
review of basic Confucian teachings
The Lun Yu (Analects), an English translation online:
http://www.confucius.org/lunyu/lange.htm