The Dao Can Save Humanity
Posted by Genevieve in Featured, Pillars of the Dao
Everyone can tap into this something, starting today, starting right now. Anyone can reorder th
Posted by Genevieve in Featured, Pillars of the Dao
Everyone can tap into this something, starting today, starting right now. Anyone can reorder their priorities and be at one with the force that gives birth to stars, galaxies and planets, the force that makes the sun shine, the rain fall and the plants grow. Anyone can ride through life on a wave of love for humanity, nature and the animal kingdom.
Tap into the immortal jet stream
What I call the immortal jet stream is really jet streams, burgeoning torrents of de 德, super-charged with spontaneity, harmony and goodness- forces of nature that power the turning of the seasons, the budding and blossoming of the plants and flowers and the eternal cycle of birth, life, and death.
What is de (德)?
De = Moral force or true virtue, animated by vital power and energy.
In exploring the meaning of de, let's begin by noting that Lao Tzu's classic, is entitled the Dao De (德) Jing (in English-The Way and it's Virtue).
In the text of the Dao De Jing, de (德 )is a keyword. It occurs 44 times, compared to 76 occurrences of dao (道).
Let's also note that the Dao De Jing, which is the central text of Daoism, is named The Way and its Virtue, not the Way and body movements, or the Way and gathering qi.
Moving forms and and enhancing one's qi are, without a doubt, fundamental parts of Daoist qigong practice, but the central role de or virtue plays in Daoist practice is often marginalized or glossed over in the West.
Daoist de cultivation
When we realize the paramount importance of virtue, and therefore give great care and attention to our motivations and actions, we begin our practice of Daoist de cultivation.
Virtue is the soil in which our qigong practice will take root, grow and bear its many fruits: healing, rejuvenation and radiant health, expanded and enlightened consciousness, the ability to feel our every cell resonate with cosmic beneficence and universal love, the consummate grace of moving through life with the Way and, finally, the unparalleled bliss of reaching our maximum potential and fulfilling our spiritual destiny.
Following the Way to its mysterious end, which leads to a new beginning, involves risking everything to dive into the the center of the universe, the void, the origin, the wu qi and giving ourselves over to the compassionate, evolutionary impulse of mystery virtue.
This takes us to a place where fear and doubt evaporate and de, like a brilliant sun, illuminates a supernatural surfboard on a cosmic beach, where we paddle out and catch the revitalizing wave of rebirth, the invigorating and immortal jet stream.
As we ride the death-defying wave, our highest creative destiny unfolds in and around us. We become a hero on a mission infused with cosmic qi force.
Plugged into a transcendent source of power and energy, our zest for living surges in superabundance. Enthusiasm and vitality course through us, bringing flashes of insight, inspiration and guidance. Synchronicity ramps up and we find ourselves in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
Internal blockages dissolve and we are healed. We shed the skin of societal conditioning and we are free. Our surroundings pulsate with love, and our life is drenched in meaning.
We are healed. Our partner is healed. Our family is healed. Our nation, world and universe are revitalized and healed in torrential, invigorating streams of de (德).
In order to better understand the concept of de, I'd like to offer some key passages by one of my teachers, Stephan T. Chang, from his book, "The Great Tao."
"Life is to live. Life is also to evolve. Anything that takes form in this universe has a purpose, that of using space and time to improve itself and to evolve to a higher form…
What are the prerequisites for evolutionary advancement?
The practice of Taoism that culminates in the accomplishment of many good deeds.
According to Pao Piao Tse, 200 good deeds are required to become a Transformed Immortal, 300 good deeds are required to become a Terrestrial Immortal, and 1200 good deeds are required to become a Celestial Immortal.
With one transgression, all the good deeds that were accumulated will be nullified. According to Lao Tse, our every action is recorded and computed by the stars, which are governed by the North Star.
Evolution without Taoism is a painfully slow process- it has taken us millions of years of evolution to become what we are. Practicing Taoism speeds up evolutionary advancement by helping mankind accumulate good deeds in the most efficient way possible: contributing to society without martyrdom. A long-lived and properly functioning physical body allows
more good deeds to be accomplished. Martyrdom cuts off the flow of benefits to society and retards one's evolutionary advancement.
Good deeds are defined as actions that benefit oneself as well as others. Actions that hurt one party while benefitting another are undesirable. Actions that hurt both parties are least desirable as they are mistakes that can nullify all of the accumulated good deeds and reverse one's evolutionary progress."
+ + Good deeds (everyone benefits)
- – Harmful deeds (everyone is hurt)
+ – Partially good deeds (others benefit; the self is sacrificed)
– + Partially harmful deeds (others are hurt, the self benefits)"
from "The Great Tao" by Stephen T. Chang pgs 30-34 (emphasis mine)
In this passage Mr. Chang clarifies the Daoist view of the practice of good deeds, a view that rejects martyrdom as inefficient in the long-term. Persisting in giving to others while sacrificing self leads to energy dissipation and depletion and the eventual breakdown of physical and emotional health.
Regarding de cultivation, I'd like to share some quotes from another one of my teachers, Dr. Yan Xin:
"In the cultivation and application of qigong, virtue always plays a technical role that is uniquely central, pivotal and sustaining. The source of the qi of qigong contains substances and energies based on highly unified matter and spirit. Virtue determines our ability to access this source." (emphasis mine)
Here Dr Yan explains that virtue or de is the heart and soul of Daoist Qigong practice, and is the active and attractive force that determines our ability to access the qi of qigong. That without de as the central motivating force, graceful physical movements or outstanding techniques are nothing but an empty shell.
Another quote from Yan Xin:
"The cultivation of mind and body in qigong practice requires mind adjustments which deal with understanding, paying attention to, establishing, preserving and accumulating virtue. This elevates the character of the ordinary person, leader, expert, scholar, manager, etc, into that of a noble-minded person, great person, and a person who is not limited in doing good deeds."
"We should elevate our character to a level such that our self is inseparable from other people and subjects – like a fish in the ocean. In terms of qigong technique, this virtue allows us to further connect with the universe, to merge our own virtues with the outside world and it's demands. This merger is accomplished through our bodies skin pores, consciousness and thought processes, and the mental processes of being happy, angry, anxious, thoughtful, sad, fearful and frightened." (emphasis mine)
According to Dr. Yan, True Daoist qigong is based on a consistent practice of doing good, of cultivating small, intermediate, great, grand and mystery virtue.
He says that doing the right thing in one's personal life, helping friends, family and those around us is a good start but not enough. Great and grand virtue is the next and necessary step. Great and grand deeds require going beyond one's private life and personal interests and occupying oneself with the big picture, with the the evolution and healing of the nation; the world and the human race, it means working towards improving the lives of many on a societal and global scale.
But even that is not enough. Daoist de practice is not complete without crossing the threshold into mystery virtue. What is mystery virtue?
Dr. Yan Xin says:
"Even with grand virtue (great virtue of huge beneficence), we should accumulate more virtue. What kind of virtue exists beyond grand virtue? Mystery virtue. We should not claim credit for ourselves and become arrogant. Instead we should distribute the effects of virtue, including glory and honor, to others. We should try our best to convert the virtue of
accumulating more virtue, to the fortune of people all over the world. Convert it to a concrete fortune by assisting others in establishing a beneficence they can enjoy. At this point our virtue has become the virtue of the world. We must attempt to accumulate virtue that is beyond the personal and belongs to the entire society. This is mystery virtue."
(The three above quotes are from Chapter 6 "Secrets and Benefits of Internal Qigong Cultivation" by Dr. Yan Xin )