Wudang Daoism

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Wudang Daoism (Wu Tang Taoism) is a very special kind of cultural phenomenon which can not easily be found elsewhere in the world. Wudang daoism can not only be defined by its religion. With its philosophy or old chinese sciences related to daoism, researching the laws, cycles and wonders of the great nature, it goes far beyond its religious borders. The important foundation of daoism is entitled as “Dao Jia (Tao Chia)”, which professional western researchers call the primary daoist (taoist) philosophy. The early foundation is known as "Lao-Zhuang-Xue" (Lao-Zhuang-Studies) and is considered as the field of research on the philosophies of the two books of Laozi (Lao Tse) and Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu). But again that’s not all, because medicine, the practice of kungfu and health prevention like qigong are all inseparably connected and related to wudang daoism. To practice of any field of wudang daoism will bring the basic knowledge about all or at least many other fields of study in wudang daoism. Universal principles and systems, like the polarism of yin and yang, the five elements and eight trigrams, form the typical systematic interdisciplinary strucutures of wudang daoism. It is profound and holistic and its practitioners were always seeking for the universal way of cultivating themselves. Professionalism on certain fields was known, but avoided when it constricted ones mind. Ideals were always naturalness and a holistic approach.

What else characterises wudang daoism as a very special cultural phenomenon?

Just like most of the other daoist traditions, wudang daoism way significantly influenced by the longmen pai tradition, the dragongate lineage of Qiu Chu Ji, who started with its characteristical task to preserve the chinese culture. It all started with the occupation of china by the mongols when Qiu Chu Ji saved a lot of his countrymen from the random killing of civilists by the mongol warriors. He went very far from the white clouds temple in beijing (at that time: Eternal Spring Temple) through the desert of gobi to meet Genghis Khan (Jenghis Khan) the mongolian emperor. He asked Genghis Khan for sanity and convinced him to stop the indiscriminate massacre of his armies and adivised him to earn resepct from the chinese citizens through benevolence rather than mercilessness. Afterwards Qiu Chu Ji earned a lot of respect from the mongol conqueror and was appointed as the minister of culture under the mongolian reign in china. Luckily being in this function he was able to save lots of the chinese culture from being wiped out, which would have happened if a mongolian would have been in charge of the ministry of culture. Ever since that time the dragongate lineage (longmen pai) made great efforts to preserve the chinese culture. The result of this task is that we find the typical hair dots, the white socks and many other things of chinese culture still preserved in daoism. These features were all part of the general chinese folk culture. They weren’t originally related to daoism, but rather from letting them dissolve they have preserved it in the daoist tradition of the dragongate lineage. Since this lineage is by far the biggest throughout china it has influenced all other lineages. The fact that we find confucianism and buddhism is also a result from the efforts of this tradition. These very important parts of chinese scholariship, philosophy and religion were all adopted by daoism. But even more cultural aspects are part of this development: chinese tea culture, singing, music with ancient instruments, feng shui, qigong and medicine etc. A direct connection to daoism wasn’t necessarily required. Through all the time the incorporated arts and cultures have been influenced by the wudang daoist traditions or daoism in general as well as the other way around.

Wudang Daoism is identic with the true essenz of the chinese han culture!


Laozi's Dao De Jing / Tao Te King: The book of the way and the virtues

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Official Pinyin Transcription Wade Giles Transcription Oldest English Translation
dao ke dao, fei chang dao.
ming ke ming, fei chang ming.
wu, ming tian di zhi shi.
you, ming wan wu zhi mu.
gu chang wu, yu yi guan qi miao,
chang you, yu yi guan qi jiao.
ci liang zhe, tong chu er yi ming.
tong wei zhi xuan,
xuan zhi you xuan,
zhong miao zhi men.
tao k’o tao, fei ch’ang tao.
ming k’o ming, fei ch’ang ming.
wu, ming t’ien ti chih shih.
yu, ming wan wu chih mu.
ku ch’ang wu, yü yi kuan ch’i miao.
ch’ang yu, yü yi kuan ch’i chiao.
tz’u liang chê, t’ung ch’u erh yi ming.
t’ung wei chih hsüan.
hsüan chih yu hsüan.
chung miao chih mên.

The tao (reason) which can be tau-ed (reasoned)
is not the Eternal Tao (Reason).
The name which can be named
is not the Eternal Name.

Non-existence is named
the Antecedent of heaven and earth;
and Existence is named
the Mother of all things.
In eternal non-existence,
therefore, man seeks to pierce the primordial mystery;
and, in eternal existence,
to behold the issues of the Universe.
But these two are one and the same,
and differ only in name.

This sameness (or existence and non-existence)
I call the abyss — the abyss of abysses —
the gate of all mystery.

translated by John Chalmers (1868)

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