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Transcript of Taoism
taoism - Founder & Origin
- Taoism is a continually evolving religion, it is said it has many founders.
- Some think the founder is Laozi ("Ancient Child")
-Very little is known about Laozi's life. What we do know is that his birth name was Li Erh, and that he was a native of the southern feudal state of Chu
- Originated from China
- Between 3rd and 4th century Taoism was recognized as a religious system.
As legend has it, Laozi underwent a profound spiritual awakening, and then traveled to the western frontier, where he disappeared forever, into the land of the Immortals. The last person that he encountered was a gatekeeper, named Wen-Tzu, who requested that Laozi offer to him (and all of humanity) the essence of the wisdom that had been revealed to him.
POpulation aCross the World & MAin beliefs
- Taoist population consists of 2.7 million people <1%
- Most who practice the religion live in China.
- Taoism originated in China and has established its way of life there.
- The main idea is to become completely in harmony with nature and act spontaneously. This idea is called Wu-Wei. By having an unformed mind you are free of any preconceptions thus can see and react naturally.
-Way of life, 4 principles are; oneness, Dynamic Balance, Cyclical Growth, Harmonious Action
Milestones & sacred writings
- Taoism is very different from other religions and in this case, this religion does not have milestones
- Taoism is a life style, people follow these principles and live out this way of life
- Taoism wants to learn the way rather than events distracting their path of enlightenment.
- Taoism does have many sacred writings
- Because the age of this religion is very old, these scrpitures are ancient.
- There are the Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, and the Daozang
- There are different branches of Taoism and this is where the different kinds of scripture come to play.
Practices and Rituals
- Many of the practices are those at which the taoist practice activities that allow them to follow the 4 principles.
- Meditation, energy flow, martial arts
passive, negative, darkness, earth, north slope, cloudy, water, softness, female, moisture, night-time, downward seeking, slowness, consuming, cold, odd numbers, and docile aspects of things.
active, positive, brightness, heaven, south slope, sunshine, fire, hardness, male, dryness, day-time, upward seeking, restless, producing, hot, even numbers, and dominant aspects of things.
-An iconic symbol is yin and yang. In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin-yang, which is often called "yin and yang", is used to describe how seemingly opposite or are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
WOrship & requirements
- Can worship both independently and within a community.
- Go to a temple and worship ancestors, Gods or Goddesses. 9 emperor Gods festival
- 2 types of worship, idol worship and invisible worship, idol uses statues while invisible uses spirit medium to go into a trance-like state
Taoist ideas and early writings long precede any organizational structure. (c. 550 B.C.E.) is generally the time period when a variety of spiritual thinkers were putting their ideas into writing. The writings were not collected as a teaching of the "Tao" until the 4th or 3rd century B.C.E.
Oneness is the understanding that every being is an expression of Tao.
- The Tao is all, this expression is a way of life within us.
- Dynamic balance is the interconnection between all.
- This explains how life is even and balanced.
- Nothing is more or less than another.
- This is another philosophy in which it explains how there are natural cycles within the world
(ex; day, night, seasons, life)
- This shows the process of learning and overcoming.
- We learn to grow and learn to be the best we can be.
- The book of Taoism was compiled around the 3rd century BCE. Called The Tao Te Ching
- The book of only 5,000 characters is deivided into 8 chapters of advice on life and other principles.
- The Tao Te Ching is the essential guide to living a full spiritual and ethical life.
Tao Te Ching
- This is another sacred writing that began earlier.
- IT was attributed to a man named Zhuangzi.
- It is a collection of the wisdom of many different people.
-The texts in the Daozang include philosophical treatises and liturgies
-Also works dealing with medicine, divination and alchemy
-As well as records of the history and organization of Taoist practice.
-Many mediation rituals are practiced in various temples
-Used to create mental stillness and enhance mindfulness
- Breathing and calmness helps you feel your inner ch'i
- Breathing excersizes are called Qui Gong
- Qui gong and ch'i can be obtained by deep mediation
- The martial arts that the Taoist perform is Tai chi
- It is more of an excersize rather than a practicing
-Taoist rituals involve purification, meditation and offerings to deities
-One major Taoist ritual is the chiao (jiao), a rite of cosmic renewal, which is itself made up of several rituals
-Temple rituals can be used to regulate ch'i and balance the flow of yin and yang both for individuals and the wider community.
-Other rituals consists of prayers, meditation on talismans, and reciting other texts.
SymBols and festivals
the lantern festival
-The Lantern Festival is a celebration of the first full moon of the year, and also the birthday of Tianguan, one of the Taoist gods responsible for good fortune.
-On this day, people walk the streets carrying lighted lanterns, and red lanterns of all sorts are released into the sky at various public places. As a tradition of
-Lantern Festival, people eat Tangyuan, a kind of dumpling made of sweet rice and filled with sweet fillings. Eating Tangyuan symbolizes family unity and happiness.
hungry ghost festival
- Legend has it on this day ghost are let out from the underworld
- Hungry ghosts are those who did not have a proper funeral
- People try to claim ghost by making them offerings and entertaining them with music events
chinese new year
- On Chinese New Year is a main holiday in Taoism.
-A paper statue is burned, symbolizing the spirits fly to heaven and is then replaced later on.
- In the religion nothing is absolutely mandatory
- It is way of life, and is not forced upon.
- one thing that may be required is commitment, to be apart of the religion you must be dedicated to living this way of life.
Division Among Religion
-North Taoism, is more of a modern take on Taoism, it still uses the same traditions
-It emphasizes moral and spiritual discipline and continues self-preservation practices that date to the classical Nei-yeh
-South Taoism, is more in touch with its old school routines.
-They preform activities like exorcism and healing in public which is frowned upon by the north.
Women within the religion
-Taoism is a gender-neutral religion.
-This is implied by the concept of Yin Yang which teaches that masculine and feminine are equal.
-The Tao Te Ching uses feminine terms such as the mother of the universe and the mother of all things when describing the Tao.
- Women were even priestly roles
- Women are a great example of the 4 principles
by: Shandon genovata
places of worship
- There is no main place of worship
- Temples are places people go to worship
- There are still ancient temples of taoism
Qinciyang Hall Taoist Temple
Sanlin Chongfu Taoist Temple
Sanyuan Palace Kundao Yard
- Taoist believe that when you die you either are given ascension to heaven immortality.
- They see death as a part of the life cycle and it is something they accept.
- People believe if they do what they have to do and are supposed to do then when they die they will be granted immortality.
YIN: Woman protects an urn filled with water, representing the water element.
YANG: The man guards an urn containing a lit candle, representing the fire element
At the outside edge of the Pakua are eight candles, representing the Eight Forces of nature.
Four Yin : Earth, Lake, Wind, Water.
Four Yang Forces:Heaven, Thunder and Lightning, Fire, Mountain.
- The entire congregation sits in meditation to fill the room with a warm, heartfelt smiling energy, setting the scene for the ceremony to occur.
-To initiate the ceremony and activate the forces the couple lights the eight candles
1. Would you want to live this way of life? yes or no?
2. Would you want to visit a temple like these or a festival?
3. Can you relate to the religion in any way?