taoist practice

Summary of Door to All Wonders

Based on Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, this book is the result of collaboration between Masters Mantak Chia and Tao Huang. It deals with the nature, meaning and practical ramifications of Tao and Te. There are some exercises and meditations to jump start readers on their way. In addition to explanations related to the I Ching, the foundation of Chinese Taoist mystical culture, there is information referring to the significance of the endocrine glands and senses in relation to meditative processes. This information provides insight for the direction of basic training as well as for the higher-level meditations practiced in the darkroom environment-such as those traditionally done in mountain caves. And, Master Chia is teaching some these practices of Kan and Li meditation in a darkroom environment for the first time at Tao Garden beginning in February 2002. Hence, the ramifications of Tao and Te will have a meditative environment conducive to manifesting in the experience of participating meditators.

The book provides insights into the meaning, purpose and mechanisms of life-and immortality-from the perspective of Chinese Taoism. The Taoist view is bolstered with supportive knowledge available today in modern science, especially from the more recent developments in genetics (DNA) and the subatomic world of quantum mechanics (the dual polarity nature of the wave/particle reality in the subatomic realm of existence). The authors have rearranged topical content from the Tao Te Ching "to present the true meaning of the integration of heavenly power and human power in the mystic field within us."

The Door to All Wonders affords an accessible sense of the Tao and of the practical and profound value of Te-the cultivation of virtue energy-for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. The Introduction to the book includes a simplified presentation of basic information and concepts relating to the I Ching and the genetic code (DNA). This will benefit readers who are not conversant in these areas and their interrelatedness. This will smooth the way to appreciate the practical significance of textual explanations that often refer to the I Ching. The reason for this presentation is that it has been recognized that the 5000-year-old I Ching 'world formula' correlates 'exactly' to the structure and dynamics known of the modern genetic code (DNA). This understanding translates in practical terms to our understanding of how and why our practices have powerful benefits at the cellular level of inner alchemy for health and spiritual transformation.

Many of the readers who would venture to pick up and take a look at a book such as this have already had a prompting from their inner voice, or at least a strong subtle sense that 'there must be more.' The text in the first chapter begins by characterizing the Tao as indefinable, yet tantalizingly ever-present and all-pervading. Soon after, we come to a section titled 'Inner Voice.' This section offers a simple meditation process to enable us to connect to our inner voice and to gain a sense of reliability in listening to the inner guidance coming from our Pure-Person inner self. This is an important first step for one to cultivate in the journey of self-mastery and for attaining spiritual independence and the ultimate goal of spiritual immortality.

The main text is divided into nine chapters covering about 250 pages. The pages are visually enlivened with the hexagrams and Chinese characters from the I Ching, copious drawings depicting exercises and Taoist concepts, and color illustrations for many of the meditation practices mentioned. The scintillating and knowledgeable commentary provided by Master Tao Huang in reference to Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is of particular interest. He claims the unique distinction of having received direct inner spiritual initiation from Lao Tzu himself, and he is commissioned by him to teach Laoism in the West. Since many Western readers may not have a clear grounding in fundamental aspects of Chinese mystical culture and experience, we have also included some elaboration of this from the experience of both authors in the Introduction.

The following are a sampling of some excerpts from the text:
Chapter III - Walking the Way: Spiritual Cultivation
The art of walking the way centers on our drive to follow our dreams and achieve our goals: the journey of our soul. … Taoism has accumulated only a handful of documented teachings but provides endless practical and advisable suggestions. They contain few rules to be followed but offer rich and invaluable direction. There are no commandments to obey but only mindful heartfelt revelations to be explored. Many enlightened teachers are here, ready to guide your pilgrimage, to help you understand your body, and to teach you how to distill your mind. You will then awaken to the harmonious flow of universe where you will dwell within the procreative state. The teaching focuses essentially on the purification of Jing-Chi-Shen into its final product: the elixir of pure-person.

Chapter V - World of the Sage

Hearing the Tao and entering it through its returning process, the thirst for knowledge is quenched by the light emitted through the gate of heaven. This ensures a complete "knowing around," a literal phrase used by Lao Tzu. We know others who are worldly, enabling the self to become rich with what the world suffices. When one no longer feels compelled to be a knower, the sickness is over; enlightenment is achieved. Yet, knowing remains constant: a spontaneous interaction between the self and the environment. It cannot be taught, repeated or recorded. There is no need to attempt to explain the inexplicable and to search for the invisible. This is why Lao Tzu concludes simply that to know oneself is enlightenment.

Chapter VI - Uplifting Te
Tao is based on meditation; Te is rooted in cultivation. Meditation is for the body/mind whereas cultivation is a treatise on virtue and conscious mind. To meditate is to gather and circulate Chi; to cultivate is to abandon the ego and to purify the consciousness.

Chapter VIII - Longevity and Immortality
The source for longevity is within the body, not as a physical womb but a spiritual one. Taoists call this spiritual womb "cauldron." The right method to "cook the cauldron" is not to search outwardly for love from others, but to search within the naked and abandoned self. It is the method of going back to the state in which we are all orphans, in the very depth of our body/minds.

The Kan and Li meditations in the darkroom environment are especially involved with the cauldron. The refinements obtained in the cultivation of Te in one's life and consciousness multiply the beneficial effects experienced in meditation at all levels. However, as the cauldron is moved up from the abdominal tan tien to the solar plexus and then to the heart center in the progression from lesser, greater and greatest Kan and Li meditation practice, the fruit of Te cultivation is especially important.