Monday, November 22, 2010

Why does one practice Taoist meditation?

For the modern man, in other words for the purpose of interpreting Taoist meditation as a living practice, there are two major objectives for practicing: firstly, for physical health and secondly for mental health. In terms of benefits to a practitioner, we can therefore classify Taoist meditation under mind body exercise, like tai-chi, yoga and pilates. In terms of similarity, we can classify tai-chi, Taoist meditation, Zen meditation, and various kinds of chi kung together as mind-body exercises of Chinese origin.

In the secret of the Golden Flower, the mental or spiritual benefits have been spelled out, whereas in Hui Ming Jing, the physical benefits are also emphasized. No matter what is being said in which, the two texts can be viewed as complementary to each other rather than offering different practices.

In both texts, a high spiritual objective was also spelled out. It involves a major over-haul of one's personality as discussed in Carl Jung's commentary to the texts. It will therefore only be relevant to people who are determined to seek the highest achievement in Eastern religious practice, those people, most likely will enter a monastery and learn the practice there instead of seeking inspiration from the texts and people who claim to understand the practice but never attend the level himself!

Putting things into perspective, the relevant question is "Isn't tai-chi (and highly effective chi-kung practice like Zhan Zhuang) good enough a mind-body exercise?" Stay tuned....

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