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Do religious Taoists pray?


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#1 paulno

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:56 AM

Hey, guys. Wondering if Taoists who follow the religious end more than just the philosophical side pray? Was wondering about the prayers and whether or not its done kneeling, lotus pose, standing etc. How widespread is prayer in Taoism?

I believe I read somewhere there's chanting which could certainly be deemed prayer. At least in my book. But, unsure if there's prayer in more of a western sense I'd say.

#2 Stigweard

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 02:13 AM

Hey, guys. Wondering if Taoists who follow the religious end more than just the philosophical side pray? Was wondering about the prayers and whether or not its done kneeling, lotus pose, standing etc. How widespread is prayer in Taoism?

I believe I read somewhere there's chanting which could certainly be deemed prayer. At least in my book. But, unsure if there's prayer in more of a western sense I'd say.

The answer is yes. Referred to Fu Jyeo, they are more atuunements rather than prays per se. Here is one for daily use for enhancing personal energy:

-------------------------

The Jade Emperor Heart Seal Sutra

The three articles of supreme drugs for the elixir,
are spirit, chi and essence.
In a trance [i.e. in an flash and in an instant],
(and) in deep obscurity,

(by) keeping nothingness and holding to Being,
instantaneously that is succeeded.

(Then by) reverting wind (of breathing air) to blend,
spiritual achievement (be gained) in a hundred days.

(And) tacitly attend towards the Supreme Lord,
ascension in one epoch [i.e. 12 years].
For the knower, (it is) easy to realize,
(but) difficult for the ignorant to do so.

Tread the morning twilight,
nourish and refreshed by exhaling and inhaling (the morning fresh air).

(Breathe) out Hsuan [i.e. collapse from nothingness to Being] and (breathe) in the (divine) feminine,
(which) seems to decease (and yet) seems to exist,

(and) continuing like a cotton thread, never ending,
with firm stem (and) deep roots.

Every man has essence.
Essence (is) together with his spirit.

Spirit (is) together with his chi.
(With) chi together, (then) body (is) real.


Not gaining this reality,
(then) all are (just) imposed names.

The spirit can penetrate stone.
The spirit can fly beyond forms (of existence).
Not getting drown in water,
(and) not being burnt in fire.
With spirit attached, forms (of existence) grow.
With essence attached, chi (is) filled full.
(Then forms of existence will) not wither (and) not be destroyed,
like an evergreen pine or cypress tree.

(This) one theory (for the) three articles,
(is) too wondrous to be heard.
(With) their gathering, then being (come to existence).
(With) their scattering, then (existence is) nil.
(When accomplished, the) seven apertures (will be) mutually connected,
with each aperture enlightened.
The holy sun and the holy moon, Note A
(will) shine brightly (on) the golden [i.e. celestial] court.
Once gained, (it is) forever gained,
(and) naturally (the) body (will be) lightened.
Supreme harmony (will) circumfuse,
(and) the bones (will) disperse cold divine wine.

Gaining the elixir, then spirituality (will be gained).
Not gaining (it), then (life will) decline.
The elixir inside the body,
is neither white nor blue.
Recite it for ten thousand times,
(then this) wondrous theory (will be) understood automatically.


http://webspace.webr...taoism/jade.htm

Stig

 


#3 paulno

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 02:38 AM

Very interesting. Ty Stig. I must say from the little I know about Taoism, in my opinion its some of the most expressive writing I think I've ever read.

#4 chris d

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:04 AM

:)

Edited by chris d, 11 December 2011 - 11:51 AM.

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#5 steve

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:12 AM

Yes, Daoists most certainly do pray. Most prayer seems to be related to communicating with Daoist deities, spirits, and performing a host of religious rituals and obeisances. There is an extremely complex religious tradition that varies widely geographically and culturally. I found an interesting link here: http://www.my-island...ip-Rituals.html

I know very little about the "religious" side of Daoism. I practice some cultivation methods but that's really where my personal knowledge and experience ends. The closest thing I've personally experienced in terms of a Daoist "religious" ceremony was the Bai Si ceremony in which I was accepted as a disciple of my Shi Fu. I will not discuss the ceremony specifically but there were components that most would describe as having a bit of a religious flavor.
Steve

When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that is wisdom.
When I look outside and see that I am everything,that is love.
And between these two, my life turns.
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#6 ChiDragon

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:00 PM

Hey, guys. Wondering if Taoists who follow the religious end more than just the philosophical side pray? Was wondering about the prayers and whether or not its done kneeling, lotus pose, standing etc. How widespread is prayer in Taoism?

I believe I read somewhere there's chanting which could certainly be deemed prayer. At least in my book. But, unsure if there's prayer in more of a western sense I'd say.


Hi, the Chinese Taoist religion do not pray like a western sense. However, they do rituals by waking in circle ask the Taoist deities for gifts and special favors. They do witch crafts by sticking pins on a doll with the birthday of someone, who was being under the spell, on it.
靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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#7 Stigweard

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:08 PM

Hi, the Chinese Taoist religion do not pray like a western sense. However, they do rituals by waking in circle ask the Taoist deities for gifts and special favors. They do witch crafts by sticking pins on a doll with the birthday of someone, who was being under the spell, on it.

Well the trouble there of course is you are only referring to one small part of Daoism, most likely the Orthodox Unity sect, aka Zhengyi 正一道.

;)

Stig

 


#8 zerostao

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:15 PM

hmmm
" However, they do rituals by waking in circle ask the Taoist deities for gifts and special favors."
and i had been calling this baguazhang :blush:
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#9 ChiDragon

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:22 PM

hmmm
" However, they do rituals by waking in circle ask the Taoist deities for gifts and special favors."
and i had been calling this baguazhang :blush:

:D :D :D

They do it with a ba gua robe and a wooden sword in the right hand and a bell in the left. I don't think you are wearing the similar robe.... ;)
靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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#10 zerostao

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 04:00 PM

ah, you are correct , i am not wearing a robe. and if i do walk the circle
with a sword, it is a steel one.
but a ba gua robe sounds cool.
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#11 Marblehead

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 04:06 PM

ah, you are correct , i am not wearing a robe. and if i do walk the circle
with a sword, it is a steel one.
but a ba gua robe sounds cool.


Hehehe. I can see it now. Zero is going to be wearing a robe the next time we see him.

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#12 zerostao

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:40 PM

Hehehe. I can see it now. Zero is going to be wearing a robe the next time we see him.

:lol: i reckon not. if i were to wear a robe or silk pajammas
in this neck of the woods....my fighting skills would surely be
challenged and tested :o :P
unless there are camo robes available :D
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#13 oat1239

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:01 AM

Hey, guys. Wondering if Taoists who follow the religious end more than just the philosophical side pray? Was wondering about the prayers and whether or not its done kneeling, lotus pose, standing etc. How widespread is prayer in Taoism?
I believe I read somewhere there's chanting which could certainly be deemed prayer. At least in my book. But, unsure if there's prayer in more of a western sense I'd say.


Taoism has a wide and varied history. In general many Taoists do include forms of prayer in their practices. Zhengyi Taoists do not stick pins in dolls, at least not for the purposes of intending to cause harm. :) Taoists in general certainly do not stick pins in dolls for the purposes of causing harm. :) There are some groups that may have some similarity to Taoism that may practice black magic type rituals and may even call themselves Taoists, but they are more like what we call cults, just as there are various weird religious cults in the West that may or may not have any real ties to Christianity or other major religions.

As for the cult aspect of Taoism there are practices that have arisen that might include things such as black magic and other weird things. For example I have seen videos of one group of so called Taoists that have a member of the group allow themself to be possesed by a spirit of some sort and while possessed they use sharp objects to cut their tongue and then split the blood onto talismans that they are creating in this ritual. This is a far cry from more main stream Taoist practices however. I have also heard of practices that have arisen in Buddhism such as where many people seem to be more concerned with getting certain famous Buddhist monks to make amulets and charms for them that are supposed to have certain powers then they are concerned with spiritual matters. Is it mainstream or is it cult practices? It depends on who you are asking it seems. So, just as there are a wide variety of groups and even cults that might be considered Christian or related to Christianity in some way, the same seems to be the case in Taoism and Buddhism. You can't really draw any conclusions about a whole religion based just on the practices of specific groups within it, if you see what I mean. The Shambala Guide To Taoism contains a good overview of the history of Taoism.

Later addition:
As for how religious Taoists pray, the most common way I have seen is for the person to go to a temple and kneel in front of an altar for certain specific Deities and make their prayer and then burn a stick of incense and place it in the incense pot on the altar. The smoke rising from the incense is supposed to signify sending the prayer up to heaven.

It seems Taoist temples are trying to keep up with the times in this regard and make their practices more modern and environmentally friendly. Some larger temples burn so much incense that the constant smoke from all the incense sticks can potentially cause health problems for some people, and the smoke itself may be annoying to others who live near by. This Taoist temple in Kowloon has decided to go high tech to address this:
http://technoccult.n...s-in-hong-kong/

On a more serious note there is a very interesting book written by a modern day Taoist from Lao Shan I believe that describes many of the views and practices of his particular sect of Taoism from Lao Shan. It is a very interesting read since this book, translated into English as a PDF downloadable E-Book, describes forms of Taoist practices and the author's personal experiences that many in the West are probably not familiar with. The practices described seem quite different than what many people may be familiar with in regards to Taoism. Some people might even find it quite eye opening. Keep in mind that there are many different groups within Taoism so what is described in this book might not necessarily apply to other groups within Taoism:
Dao and De: Life and Afterlife
Well worth the read in my opinion.

Edited by oat1239, 16 August 2011 - 11:35 AM.


#14 Harmonious Emptiness

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

I think it was mentioned in Opening The Dragon Gate about using a doll as a surrogate for a patient when doing distance healing/acupuncture on them. I'm pretty sure that's the practice referred to here, lol.

You all might like the videos of Taoist music and rituals in this link :) :

http://www.thetaobum..._1
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#15 Wuji108

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

Prayer and Ceremonial arts are two different aspects of Taoist religious/prayer practice.

The Taoist Ceremonial Arts include specific liturgy that invokes Immortals (deities) for specific purposes. These are done by the priests in the temples and follow specific patterns and include specific talismans for the purpose of invoking specific response. For example there is a ceremony for the Blessing of the Ancestors to help them along their way in the transition between life and being sorted into the next life. There are specific ceremonies for Peace, for blessing the community, Daily morning invocations, evening invocations, and more.

The western version of prayer is not so common - in fact, it is considered bad form to come and beg to the gods. That being said the Taoist practitioner can ask the gods to bring good things to their family, their community, etc. and in that way pray. When invoking the connection to the spirit world it is considered best to come to them with thanks for the good in life.

#16 ChiDragon

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 12:29 PM

Well the trouble there of course is you are only referring to one small part of Daoism, most likely the Orthodox Unity sect, aka Zhengyi 正一道.

;)


oops....
I missed your post.

Zhengyi 正一道 is the majority sect of Taoist religion. I wouldn't belittle them as the small part of Taoism.
靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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