Sunday, February 13, 2011

Is Taoist yoga sexual chi-kung?

Interesting question? First I have to define what I refer to as Taoist yoga. It is a classical system as developed along the lineage of Liu HuaYang (柳華陽, author of Hui Ming Jing [慧命經]), his Master Wu Chongxu (伍沖虛, author of a number of important classics), and Cao Bichen 趙避塵, author of 性命法诀明指, translated as Taoist yoga by Zen master Charles Luk). Oftentimes, this lineage is called Wu-Liu (伍柳派).

These masters categorically defined their practice as Taoist practice along the tradition of Laozi and Buddhist Zen practices and shall be distinguished from the "evil" practice of sexual chi-kung, in their lingo: practice of the chamber (房中術).

The philosophy of Wu-Liu lineage is that they don't view sex as something sinful (like Christianity of its original sin with the fateful apple). They acknowledge the power of sex. But instead of being carried away by it, their practice is to sublime its energy, so that on the defensive point of view, sexual impulse can be controlled (celibacy can be maintained by physical practice, instead of merely by one's will power) and from the offensive point of view, such energy will be used in cultivating chi for spirituality.

It all seem rather odd for a modern man. For modern religious people, a state of celibacy, if one so desired, is achieved through one's prayers (of their respective faith or belief), will power (consciousness, and modern man has such matured and developed consciousness with all good rational reasons to manage one's behavior - successful or not is another issue), and physical avoidance (like living in a monastical environment free from temptation). And for the modern man of chi-kung, there are lots of practices of chi-kung (including Tai-chi) that do not use sexual impulse as driving energy - sublimation or otherwise. But one must be aware that the practice of Taoist yoga evolved over the ages from primitive times, primitive practices using symbolism will inevitably form part of Taoist yoga practice.

A few questions followed, and I shall discuss in future posts:

1. How does the sublimation of the Wu-Liu practice work?

2. How does sexual chi-kung work? (Or is it my cup-of-tea?)

3. How does symbolism work in Taoist yoga?

4. Why are these practices called esoteric?

5. Is the inner practice Wu-Liu Taoist yoga still relevant to the modern man who most likely would prefer the simpler practice of Tai-Chi?

6. How do psychological reasoning along the tradition of Carl Jung look at the matter?

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