The Story of Chinese Taoism: Taoist History and Effective Meditation Techniques, by Master Nan Huai-Chin FREE

f you want to learn Taoism, you truly cannot afford to miss out on this information from the man who re-established Taoist understanding in Taiwan and Mainland China

Discover materials on Chinese Taoism that include correct meditation practice principles, the history of Taoism, gong-fu explanations ... and honest advice ... from a recognized Taoist master! Hard to find info on the founders of Taoism, history of Taoism, Taoist religion, Taoist meditation practice and more.

China's only surviving tripartite Zen, Esoteric and Taoist master ... who has sold over seven million books in China ... recounts the history of Taoism and the principles of proper Taoist meditation practice. Inside you'll find fully comprehensive explanations of Taoism along with recommended methods and results of body-mind cultivation. For the first time in English, Nan Huai-chin's Taoist breakthrough insights are available to true Taoist seekers.

Inside this work, which is the other half of The Story of Chinese Zen, published by Charles E. Tuttle, you will find discussions of Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Wei Bo-Yang, fang-shih (or ancient "magicians" of China), the Yin-Yang school, kundalini, pranayama, chi, Taoism and the sciences, feng shui, Confucianism, medical longevity sciences, I-Ching, popular Taoist meditation methods and all the major topics of Taoism, including a trustworthy history of Taoism with critical analysis (something missing in most texts). You will find information on the battles Taoism fought with Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism.

This is a veritable treasure trove of Taoist practice insights and history, and more importantly, it contains the proper road of meditation practice according to the real Taoism that has all but disappeared from the world. What Master Nan teaches is different than any other Taoist information you can find today as he weaves practical experience together with Taoism history of practice,and proper meditation technique. In your hands you'll have Chinese Taoism details - never before available in English - that illuminate a safe and correct road of meditation practice according to the correct Taoist vision.

When I first encountered Tao and Longevity by Master Nan in the 1980's, I was dazzled by the information presented. Being trained in the Taoist cultivation path since my teens, the information and secrets presented in this book filled in lots of gaps. Thereafter, I seek out more of Master Nan's work in Chinese. To my disappointment, I find his work daunting. Master Nan, being a scholar-practitioner of the highest caliber, can extract from the full length and breathe of Chinese culture, history and spirituality. If you are not familiar with Chinese history, basic Chinese classical language and no experience in cultivation practice, there is no way to have a full appreciation of his published work.

I'm ever grateful to Bill Bodri who has tirelessly and generously organized and brought out the essence of Master Nan's work, including The Story of Chinese Taoism, into the English speaking public. The materials in this book have reoriented Taoism practices and scholarship in its right direction. If I was still in graduate school, I would like to be a proud holder of a PhD based on the materials presented in this volume. For scholars in this area, there are so much new materials (in almost every other page) for reference and research that it'll break new ground, make you all excited and perhaps not finish your graduate studies!

More importantly, seasoned cultivation practitioners (of all schools), will gain further insights and guidance on the most popular Taoist practices so popularly promulgated like microcosmic orbit circulation, Qi-gong, sexual cultivation, anti-aging and alchemical formulations. You'll see how and when all these practices have been put aside in one way or another, in favor of something better that has come along. The tricky thing with Chinese historical thought is that nothing is ever fully abandoned, out of respect to scholarship. Most of the time, it's just put aside, and there lies the problem. If you don't know when and how they've been put aside, it's always available somewhere and you'll ignorantly picked up something that has been deemed less effective. It has happened to me and please don't let that happen to you.

The Story of Chinese Taoism is no easy read, but it's worth it if you are serious into Taoist practices as it is full of secrets that most masters don't even know (most do not have the luxury, merit and wisdom to ponder, practice and experience the full scope of Chinese spirituality). Matured cultivators should use it for reference either for themselves or keep it for posterity.
-- Lee, Malaysia

"I just got your e-book on Taoism and couldn't wait--I stopped everything and read it! I had a successful Chiropractic practice in San Diego and gave it all up to move to Taiwan and study Internal Kong-fu and Taoism 20 years ago. Luckily for me, a Chinese patient of mine who is an entepreneur and philanthropist, introduced me to Bill Bodhri and his teacher Master Nan, in Hong Kong. They are truly for real, and can explain theory & practice in an understandable way that NOBODY else can. They kindly straightened out many of my errors on understanding & practice. (The truth be told, finding 'real Taoism' is almost impossible, and most Chinese are nearly as confused as the rest of us!). Master Nan's scholarship, experience, as well as personal cultivation practice is without peer in the world of Chinese Philosophy and Spiritual disciplines. Master Nan had privately told me a number of times that Bill is his finest student, and I know this to be true- as I know him and have seen him firsthand in his practice and study. We are unbelievably lucky to finally have such authoratative information presented in English, by someone who has "sat at the feet" of perhaps the last genuine Master of our time! In this age where the confusion surrounding Taoism is taken for fact (don't believe me? look at all the mis-information and crap on the internet!) and the tide of "new age" confusion is mixing with it, this wonderful book sets it straight and sets the ground work for authetic, genuine Taoist Cultivation. Bill has a great sense of humor, but deep down he is a low-key humble person. So, I hope you guys print what I wrote in its' entirety- so that others can have an appreciation for what Bill is doing with his website and books, and understand the rare value of what he is making available to the western world.
-- Dr. Mark W. Griffin DC, Taipei Taiwan

 

The translator, Dr. William Brown, once spoke to me about this text saying, "I've translated Nan Huai-Chin's works on both Confucianism and Taoism. You know the scholars say one thing about these fields, and he says another, and frankly, to tell you the truth, his revolutionary ideas are right and they're wrong!" That's why the author has sold over 7 million books in Asia, and is widely recognized as the premier Chinese authority on Taoism today.

Scholars typically write dry books without any experience of the matter they're discussing, but this one seamlessly weaves a master's interpretations of facts and trends together with meditation principles and personal insights to provide you with guidance for your own spiritual efforts, even if you don't follow Taoism. In fact, the whole purpose of the book is to help you practice better by understanding how body-based cultivation schools (such as Taoism, yoga, Tantra, and Tibetan Buddhism) should be practiced correctly.

With this sensational information in your hands you will avoid many of the detours discarded by ancient Taoist practice ... but popularized today by uninformed teachers. Now you can challenge them yourself using this material. Having met dozens of Taoist practitioners who hurt themselves because they thought they understood things, I have to say that what they were lacking was Nan Huai-chin's insights! At last you have a chance to have them yourself without having to learn Chinese, travel to Asia, and then spend years collecting the same sort of information.

This book is itself an important development in the history of Taoism. To give you just a small flavor of this 205 page ebook, let's take a peek at a tiny section discussing the Taoist idea of cultivating the body's ching (jing), ch'i (chi) and shen -- akin to cultivating our body, mind and spirit:

In the philosophy of the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu, humility, restraint and refinement are taken as the guiding principles, and being pure, empty and without desires are regarded as the ethical basis of human cultivation. The alchemical methods promoted by Wei Po-yang took "cleansing the mind and retiring into secrecy" as the highest principle, and maintaining one's good position by restraint and preserving the inner light to nourish the true principle as the basis of practice. However, those who have cultivated the alchemical practices of the Wu-Liu Sect from the time of the Ming Dynasty down to the present have been arrogant, wild, narrow-minded, mysterious, and ignorant, fully exposing the negative and debased side of Chinese culture. This is truly a shame.

The first wrong path taken by this sect of alchemy was the absurd idea that the ching of the spiritual vitality (ching shen) spoken of in the Taoist School was referring to sperm and blood. This was a fundamental error. Most people initiate their practice by quiet sitting and a great number of them experience some physiological reactions. They feel that there is circulatory flow through the ch'i channels in the body, and pulsations in some of their muscles. These are natural effects of practicing alchemical methods, and they consider them the achievements of having already opened up their conception and governor channels as well as the eight extra channels.

In reality, these are all physiological reactions that naturally occur in quiet psychological states. There is not anything strange about them as they only verify the initial effects of quiet cultivation. Actually, the governor channel is the function of the spinal nervous system, the conception channel is the function of the autonomic nervous system, ching is the endocrine functions of the kidney glands and reproductive organs, and the spiritual saliva of the mouth is the endocrine functions of the pituitary and lymph glands.

If we integrate certain common knowledge of modern physiology and medicine, psychological and philosophical knowledge, and various scientific theories and experience, we can then know that this is a very ordinary method of cultivating one's health. It is the result of the blending of spiritual vitality and psychology and not any mysterious secret of orthodox alchemy and immortality.

There are also some schools of thought in modern medicine that are now studying the relationship between sexual hormones, blood and the restoration of youth. However, those are the ideals of medical science experiments such as the implantation of pituitary glands and afterbirths, and the injection of various types of hormones. These still remain within the ideological sphere of 2,000 years ago when the "fang-shih" were searching for means to extend life. The only difference lies in the theoretical names, drugs and methods employed. It can thus be seen that human wisdom is forever young, and this is another major problem in the cultural history of mankind.

To summarize, the ching, ch'i and shen brought forth by the Taoist School are, from the scientific point of view, the spiritual functions of the eyes, ears and mind in terms of the physical and mental lives of people. The manifestation and application of spirit (shen) is then the function of one's vision, the manifestation and application of ch'i is then the function of one's sense of hearing, and the manifestation and application of ching are then the active thoughts of the mind and the inherent activities of the body.

If we approach this from the point of view of the physical functions of the unity of Heaven and man, shen, ching and ch'i are then the functions of light, heat and power. From a philosophical perspective, the shen mentioned by the Taoist School is close to the "nature" spoken of in Buddhism, and the ching of the Taoist School is close to the "mind" in Buddhism. We therefore see the line "the essence (ching) of the mind is perfected" in the T'ang Dynasty translation of the Surangama Sutra; the ching referring to sperm (ching ye) is the stimulation of psychological desires triggering the functions of the internal secretions of the sex glands and the circulation of blood by the heart. It is just as Kuang Ch'eng-tzu of the Taoist School stated: "With the arousal of sexual desires there is necessarily stirring of the ching."

The ch'i spoken of by the Taoist School is close to the breathing discussed in Buddhism, the function of postnatal life. If we draw from phenomena of the physical world for purposes of illustration, shen is comparable to the light energy bestowed upon the myriad things by the sun as it gives energy to all life on earth. Ch'i is comparable to the vapors issued forth from the light energy of the sun radiating on the earth. Ching is then comparable to the combined physical effects produced by the sun bestowing light energy on the myriad things in the world. However, it should be noted that I have employed illustrations because there is no way of explaining the conditions of ching, ch'i and shen in detail, and illustrations are merely analogies, and not the essence of the original.

The Taoist practices of the Chou and Ch'in dynasties began with the cultivation of the spirit which encompassed the functions of ching and ch'i. The methods of the Taoist School during and after the Ch'in and Han dynasties emphasized the cultivation of ch'i, and although they varied slightly from the cultivation of the spirit, they changed from the metaphysical to the physical realm. The cultivation of ching during and after the Sung and Yuan dynasties descended even deeper into the physical realm, and the techniques completely focused on postnatal concepts of form quality. The principles of form and spirit involve a very broad area and for the moment we will not discuss them here.

Let us further explain by discussing the relationship between sitting in meditation, the Tantric School, and yoga. Sitting meditation was introduced into China from India as a Buddhist method for concentrating the mind so as to enter a state of deep contemplation. This method of sitting with folded legs was a form derived from ancient Indian yoga, and it was not originally from the Buddhist School nor from the alchemical sect of the Taoist School. It is a method which can be utilized in all forms of cultivation of the mind and body, but we rarely see mention of the relationship to sitting meditation in the alchemical texts of the Taoist School prior to the T'ang and Sung dynasties. However, there is no doubt that sitting meditation is a very useful method which can aid in the cultivation of the Tao. It would be a mistake to discuss the cultivation of the path of immortality and the meditation (ch'an) of the Ch'an School of Buddhism together.

During and after the Sung and Yuan dynasties, the Tantric Sect of Buddhism transmitted from Tibet, like the Taoist School, paid serious attention to the cultivation of the ch'i channels and realizing bliss, clarity and a state of no thought. These were also originally excellent Buddhist methods of practice which focused on verification of the material by means of the metaphysical. However, by the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, they had become like the alchemical methods of the Taoist School which focused on the effects of form quality and cultivation of the ch'i channels. It had thus taken a plunge down from the original profound sublimity. The highest achievements in yoga techniques are only equivalent in value to the internal practices of the ch'i guidance and health cultivation school of Taoism, and are not the ultimate teaching.

Most people who study the alchemical arts often mix up sitting meditation, Tantric, yoga and other methods of cultivation popular throughout the world without clarifying the differences in focus among them. Purity of mind and few desires is always the starting point in practice whether one is studying the path of the immortals or Buddhism, and the ultimate aim is calmness, extinction and non-action. This is aptly stated in the Taoist text Classic of Purity and Quietness (Ch'ing Ching Ching): "If one can constantly be pure and quiet, both Heaven and earth will revert to you." However, people in the real world are often as Confucius mentioned: "Food and sex are the major desires of people." Kao Tzu also stated: "Food and sex are the nature of people." It is quite impossible for people who desire after food and sex, and scheme to enjoy wealth and fame to want to accomplish "abandoning desires and cutting off entanglements."

Here's another lesson taken from the The Story of Chinese Taoism ... which has implications for the use of vitamins and nutritional supplements in holistic medicine:

  It is here applicable to explain a problem involving Chinese history. Several emperors and famous individuals of the Han, T'ang, Ming and Ch'ing dynasties who sincerely believed in the Taoist arts and the taking of alchemical drugs such as Han Yu (768-824 A.D.), Su Tung-p'o (1036-1101 A.D.), and Wang Yang-ming (1427-1528 A.D.) brought about their early deaths by ingesting the alchemical drugs of the "fang-shih" of the Taoist School. What was the reason for this? We wish to sincerely warn each of our friends here today who superstitiously believe in modern patent medicines, who take large amounts of tonics, and take special injections of restoratives that they should pay careful attention to this problem.

The "fang-shih" invented and refined mineral drugs made from metals and other substances. In terms of medical and pharmaceutical worth, they made doses for physically treating the human body, and only if suitable doses were applied, not only would it be correct but it would be extremely valuable. However, these types of drugs refined from mineral substances were all irritating in nature, and moreover they acted to fiercely develop physiological functions much like modern vitamins.

The first important point in the methods of ingestion by the "fang-shih" orthodox Taoist School is the need to very thoroughly "purify the mind and restrict the passions" in terms of psychological behavior and one can absolutely not be covetous of sexual activities and the consumption of meat before beginning to take the drugs. Otherwise, one will have a very intense tonifying yang reaction as soon as the drug is consumed, which will necessarily promote sexual impulses. There is no doubt that this became an amulet for hastening on death by those emperors and famous nobles who spent their days dallying in wine, women and song. This is not at all surprising!

The second important point is that the alchemical drugs consumed by the Taoists required first practicing up to the level wherein the spirit was fixed and the ch'i accumulated, grains were avoided and one did not eat the food cooked in the world of men. Only then could one absorb and fuse the drugs, otherwise one could actually be poisoned by food or die from the ingestion of the drug. In sum, generally those who took alchemical drugs were unable to cut off the desire for "food and sex," but rather, on the other hand, they came to rely upon the effects of the alchemical drugs to realize the pleasures of "food and sex." Then "the taking of drugs to seek immortality contrarily became a misunderstanding of the use of these drugs." This was a necessary outcome but this great mess need not be blamed on the "fang-shih." Don't you think so?

 

Here is an abbreviated Table of Contents:

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Origins of the Learning and Thought of the Taoist School and Those of Huang-Lao and Lao-Chuang
· The Relationship of the Taoist School with Huang-Lao
· The Relationship of the Taoist School and Lao-Chuang

Chapter 2: The Relationship of the Thought of the Recluse and the Taoist School
· Counter-Evidence to the Legends of Ancient History
· The Relationship of the Thought of Confucius and the Recluse
· Relationship of the Recluses and Historical Politics

Chapter 3: The Learning of the Fang-shih (Occultist) and the Taoist School
· Early Natural Sciences
· The Yin-Yang School Evolved Into the Humanities
· Theoretical Physical Sciences

Chapter 4: Origins of the Learning and Thought of the Fang-shih in the Taoist School
· Ancient Traditional Culture and the Taoist School During the Chou Dynasty
· Cultural Background of the Northern Chinese States of Ch'i, Lu, Yen and Sung During the Warring States Period
· The Culture and Thought of the Southern State of Ch'u During the Warring States Period

Chapter 5: Contents of the Learning and Thought of the Taoist School and Taoist Religion
· Cosmological Theories of Heaven and Man in the Taoist School and Taoist Religion
--
The Concept of the Yin and Yang
-- The Concept of the Five Elements
-- The Concept of Sixty Year Cycle Using the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches
· Learning and Thought of the Cultivation of Immortals in the Taoist School
· Estimation of the Meaning of Human Life by the Taoist School and Taoist Religion
The Influence of the Thoughts of the "Fang-shih"
(A) The theories and methods on the cultivation of the spirit were naturally first advocated by Lao Tzu
(B) The first theories of the cultivation of ch'i and the refinement of ch'i
(C) The reasons for the taking of drugs
(D) The two theories related to the taking of alchemical drugs
(E) The three types of alchemical drugs ingested
(F) The three methods for ingesting alchemical drugs
(G) The cultivation and practices of the sect of worship and prayer

Chapter 6: The Immortal Alchemical Sect During and After the Han and Wei Dynasties
· The Originator of Alchemical Texts Wei Po-Yang
· The Alchemical Method of Refining Ch'i and Nourishing Life Through the Combination of the Medical Sciences of the Fang-shih and the Representations and Numerology of the Book of Changes

Chapter 7: General Discussion on the Thoughts of the Founders of the Taoist School and Taoist Religion
· The Meaning of "Heaven" Prior to the Split of the Confucian and Taoist Schools
· The Meaning of "Tao" Prior to the Split of the Confucian and Taoist Schools

· Lao Tzu
-- The Concepts of the Way of Heaven, Non-Action and Spontaneity in the Thought of Lao Tzu
-- Lao Tzu's Views on Benevolence, Righteousness and the Sage
-- Misunderstanding of Lao Tzu's Political Thought
-- Lao Tzu Has Been Falsely Charged as the Instigator of Schemes and Intrigues
-- The Focal Point of Lao Tzu's Political Thought
-- Lao Tzu's Theories on the Cultivation of Life
(A) The cultivation of quietude begins with attaining utmost emptiness and internal stillness
(B) The cultivation of the spirit proceeds from utmost stillness to being dimly visible as if not present
(C) The cultivation of ch'i is designed to aid the cultivation of stillness and the spirit
(D) Realizing that which is shadowy and indistinct
(E) The results of the cultivation of life

·The Classic of Purity and Stillness

· Chuang Tzu
--
The Fables in the Chuang Tzu
-- Chuang Tzu's Free and Easy Wandering and the Seven Inner Chapters
-- The Style of the Outer Chapters of the Chuang Tzu
-- The Mutual Causation of the Ideas of Caring for Life in the Chuang Tzu and the Fang-shih Immortals

· The Influences of the Yin-Yang School and Fang-shih of the Warring States Period
· The Learning and Thought of Tsou Yen
-- The Motives and Aims of Tsou Yen's Theories on Yin and Yang
-- The Contents of the Yin-Yang Theory
-- The Geophysical Thought of Tsou Yen
-- The Prevalent Trend of Learning in the State of Ch'i


· The "Fang-shih" of the States of Yen and Ch'i and the Origins of the Thought of Immortals During the Ch'in and Han Dynasties
· Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang and the Feng and Shan Sacrifices
· The Spirit Way and Spirit Immortals at the Beginning of the Han Dynasty
· General Contents of the Learning and Thought of the Taoist School During and After the Han and Wei Dynasties

Chapter 8: The Taoist Religion
· Reasons for the Formation of the Taoist Religion at the End of the Han Dynasty
· The Taoist School and Taoist Religion During and After the Chin and Wei Dynasties
· The Taoist Religion During the T'ang Dynasty
· The Taoist Religion During the Sung, Yuan, Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties

Chapter 9: The Ideas of the Taoist School and Taoist Religion and the Educational Spirit of Chinese Culture

To understand more about Chinese Taoism and body-mind cultivation -- and even tantra techniques, yoga, kundalini cultivation, pranayama and Tibetan Buddhism because of their similarities of practice and shared materials -- there's nothing better than first grabbing a copy of Tao and Longevity for your own personal practice, and then a copy of The Story of Chinese Taoism to understand the broader principles and framework of Taoist practice along with the evolution of Taoist philosophy and cultivation methods.

Inside this work you will find many translated source materials that you won't find in any other English publication. Furthermore, you find Taoist trends and fads put into the right perspective along with discussions of their pros and cons. This is the information that lets you reach the highest stages of Taoist cultivation.

Because Taoism focuses on body-mind cultivation, you need this book to deepen your knowledge of practically any school of cultivation that focuses on the body and discusses physiological changes due to climbing the spiritual ladder. It will definitely teach you what you must do in your own spiritual practice to become a "true man," the perfected individual, and to claim all the other benefits and virtues of Taoist practice.

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