Most significant Change Among Zen Buddhist and Taoist Meditation (Alt Spelling: Daoist Meditation)


As a lineage provider for Shigong Jou Tsung Hwa’s program of tai chi chuan and Taoist internal cultivation, students usually inquire me what is the variation between Zen Buddhist meditation methods and Taoist (Daoist) meditation. To start with, I would like to focus on their similarities and then delve into their distinctions.

Both devices are Japanese. Both emphasize the cultivation of the intellect by cutting to the “Truth” of items. As a substitute of concentrating on rituals, or what is completely wrong and what is right dependent on somebody else’s dictations, the goal is to be particularly candid and nonjudgmental with oneself to lower as a result of one’s individual limited wondering. The concept is that if we transcend our human ego and reflexive imagining, primarily based on info that we derive by means of our senses (particularly, observing and listening to), then we will arrive at the Fact. It is all about “obtaining out of our individual way.”

There are several distinct sects of Buddhism and Taoism. Some are extra shamanic and ritual dependent. But the sects influenced by Zen, and the extra intellectual philosophical educational facilities of Taoism, are the most “minimalist.” These faculties of cultivation look for to maintain the “instruments” to a least and root all advancement from the interior, somewhat than external resources. The way to transcend out into the universe is to dive additional deeply in.

As comparable as Zen and Taoism (Daoism) are, nonetheless, there are some stark distinctions. I have under no circumstances read a simple explanation that contented my concern about this, so I meditated on this for a long time until eventually I noticed the world wide, overlying aspect. This is centered on my personal practical experience in researching each Zen and Taoist kinds of cultivation. If you are either a working towards Buddhist or Taoist, then you may well agree or disagree with me, and that is all well. I welcome you to article your thoughts on this in the remarks part of my website at, or, and ideally we can aid some others to derive their have satisfactory conclusions.

Thinking about Zen, the all round path to enlightenment is accomplished through “Mind is everything.” Anything is head. And so is almost nothing! It’s all about what you feel or never imagine that helps make up or blocks your direct knowledge. Zen cultivation also dictates that a person ought to avoid intoxicants and overindulgence, thus maintaining your senses, thoughts and wants as uncorrupted as probable. Work out and aesthetic procedures let one instantly encounter how strong bodily and psychological urges can lead to all varieties of views and self-untruths. The physique is otherwise considered “unimportant,” or “an illusion” as it way too, passes absent into the current of time the conditional. Common brain is enduring unconditional. Conceptualizations of fact and the universe are unable to at any time be defined by the limits of the little human thoughts. Actuality is to be specifically expert.

Taoists are fairly in accord with these tenets, besides for one stark change. The Taoist will cultivate the overall body and its energies/reflexes/urges, and so forth, along with the thoughts, for brain and human body are regarded as as just one. Much the very same way the Taoist thought of yin and yang are not able to be divided, as a single depends on the other for their definitions. Some Taoists think in bodily immortality, though other individuals believe that in non secular immortality but that the spirit need to be cultivated into larger recognition nevertheless. The overall body/actual physical can aid. The chemical energies of the overall body can be remodeled into a greater state of strength, therefore aiding the non secular transformation towards enlightenment.

For illustration, Taoists have a concept of “Lian X hua Y.” The most common work of this is, the notion of Lian Jing Hua Qi. This is also spelled, “Lian Ching Hwa Chi.” This signifies that the foundation sexual electricity and vitality of the overall body, “jing” can be processed internally to develop into a a lot more transcendent life pressure energy identified as “qi.” Qi can then be remodeled into religious vitality, or “shen.” This employs advanced contractions/expansions, meditative and qigong tactics together with a deep software of self-self-control and clarity of mind. The Daoist can do this on his/her own, or if fortunate plenty of even though searching for to do so, together with a lover or soulmate – fairly like the highest form of “spouse yoga.”

Taoists also consider that damaging emotional electricity can be transformed into much more beneficial strength, thus major to much healthier qi (lifestyle pressure vitality) and shen (spiritual vitality), which bolsters one’s path to enlightenment. Taoists also imagine in selected workouts and standard feeding on techniques that keep best wellness. Buddhists will often as a result assert that Daoists are “much too connected” to the physical, and that this restrictions their route to enlightenment. I believe that this is simply because all those Buddhists see the physical as illusion, whilst the Taoist sees it as useful resource. As in physics, the Taoists believe that that electrical power and make a difference are genuinely one particular and the exact same. The conceptualization of their discrepancies will cause the trouble, whilst the working experience (and use) of their just one-ness leads to larger enlightenment.

A different problem lies in the “Go with the Stream” strategy of Taoism. Buddhists place out how un-self-disciplined so numerous so-known as Taoist practitioners are. The “Go with the Flow” mentality receives misused and distorted into folks contemplating it’s flawlessly Okay to be undisciplined in their consuming or actual physical exercise. Nothing could be farther from the reality in real, classic Daoist practices. The ego definitely does not like to listen to this, but then why would any legitimate cultivator be choosing to stick to the edicts of his ego?

There is a whole lot additional to this, these kinds of as what sutras Buddhists research, ideas of compassion and detachment, what the Taoist scientific tests about the I-Ching (Yijing) or other Daoist writings, the concepts of yin and yang… but these are all specifics. The stark variation, I imagine, is in the conceptualization and software of the physical vs “mental only” approaches of enlightenment. It is just a matter of own preference. Both paths can lead to enlightenment, just as Route 3 and Route 80 in northern NJ equally guide to Manhattan, New York Metropolis. It depends on the place you are, what you like, and what operates far better for you.

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