Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Ching and Taoist Yoga - 1

I Ching (易經), the Book of Change, and Taoist Yoga/Neidan (内丹) has one major similarity. Both deal with change. I Ching is basically a book of oracle, and purports to give practical advice from the highest, the Universal Spirit. The process is complicated and can't be dealt with in a single blog post. The final linkage of this process of transmission of wisdom inevitably will be a human being - one who explains the result which, in the case of I Ching, is never a simple statement, but with rich interpretative possibility. In other words the interpretative part is more complicated - better left to the professionals, the oracle experts!

Taoist Yoga also deals with change, both physical and mental. In a typical Taoist Yoga text, the initial physical training part will not be mentioned, and start right away from micro-cosmic circulation (like Hui Ming Jing) or third-eye meditation (like The Secret of the Golden Flower, or Taoist Yoga - the latter translated by Charles Luk, and is the mainly definitive text on the subject in the English language). The more physical part (with mental training elements) is Zhan Zhuang and Tai-chi (or some variation of which). Actually it is similar to (Indian) yoga where the initial training is asana. As one may imagine, with the modern man most often the practice of this physical part will consume all of one's scheduled practice time, unless one wants to be trained to be a coach of all these subjects!

The possibility of physical (and mental) change through zhan zhuang, tai-chi, of yoga-asana is tremendous. The Chinese practice has the advantage that it is also (or actually very) appropriate to middle-aged and old-aged. The practice of yoga-asana demands much physical stress in the beginning and through-out, and if without proper understanding and expectation, a middle-aged practitioner is likely to suffer physical damage like a torn-tendon. On the plus side, yoga-asana is very power, and I have incorporated some asana postures in my own practice program.

On the mental or psychological side, the ultimate in Taoist yoga aims for a total personality change, like transforming oneself into bodhisattva! No kidding. The Dalai Lama mentioned in one of his books that in Tibetan Buddhism Deity Yoga is a speedy way to transform oneself into an enlightened person like one bodhisattva, and such training is reserved for those who would devote their lives to the religion.

…to be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...