FirstGate Taoist Chi Workshop1  WORKSHOP 2 

The Taoist Poet asks, how is the Sage created as an

idealized figure in the expression of Taoist Arts?


"To be as a Snow Lion -inhabiting a lofty andd pure domain?"

The Sage in early myth has been portrayed as neither male or female, but simply the embodiment of Wisdom - as a in the form of a Snow Lion inhabiting a lofty and pure domain. However, the human Sage has more difficulties than an ordinary mortal.

A Sage has need of immortality to live beyond the loss of lifes circumstance. Character formation was always a struggle against the troubles of ignorance, fear, egoism, attachment, revulsion and the possessiveness of pride. it is argued that humanity matures as it comes to recognize the inescapable danger of falling foul to a set of cherished desires and beliefs just as the Ostrich buries its head danger approaches.

The Ways of Heaven, of highest being, suggests that we should not follow a crippling path . Heaven is the space of the Wise, of pure relatedness, where there is place for everything, for everything is a place because each thought can be arrested as all is the same. Zen would describe this as simple suchness.

 From our seasons the cycle of entire motion Over and Above us,

then there is the Angel's play....




How does Heaven Encourage Us ?.

~ Early Chinese belief consider that we are overseen and influenced by our predecessors. Confucian thinking declares that Wisdom is a process where we climb upon our teachers (parents, ect) shoulders, so we may better see where they have been and we can go. The Ordinary mind was considered by Chan / Zen Buddhism to be easily spoiled, its "naturalness" quickly lost. The use of the Koan system in Zen was to encourage enlightenment through the struggle with self fettering beliefs. Beliefs that estrange the self from realization of the divine. Oriental philosophy has offered many devices of mind and body to deal with these beliefs. Taoism offers naturalness, Buddhism, the acceptance of the inherent voidness of existence. Both offer the call of truth by being neither unattached or detached to the world of things.

Zen stresses that it is by discarding any accumulation of attachment one is ready to feel the hand of Being, this is at the center of ordinary mindfulness. However, this is no final state, our own being of Being has to evolve through each cultural backdrop. There are many schools of thought within each Oriental Philosophy, but the emphasis towards Heaven's highest values are always similiar. The early Chinese were steeped in a monist perspective where the role-play of each individual could only be asserted through the relations set via an Imperial chain of communication from Ancestors to Emperor to people. Heavens Way then helped the state of ordinary people through the preparations of Sage-Rulers attached to the court. They saw the soul as the means by which the spirit of their ancestors could choose to have a "new life" within the body of a mortal. Not an ordinary mortal, but the prepared body of a Sage-Ruler an individual that had transcended mastery of the self. A variety of rituals were performed in accordance with the practices of the Shamans to prepare the human body to a sufficiently attractive state. It was then, all signs being favorable that the settling of a spirit or a God, was felt. Thus, one then had a soul, a life within. In this way the Rulers ensured that good would come to the common people. ~To prepare the mind for "The Abode of the Ancestors" there were a whole host of familiar Oriental practices.

Chuang Tzu advises us to,

"Wander to where the ten thousand things both begin and end, unify your nature," (Te)

,,,,and to foster your life breath, concentrate your "power" -(the karmic nature of your intent the stock of actions which one is going to meet with good luck or bad this is Te, virtuous power)

-to produce purity of action, until it is one with all things

after their kind -do this, and your "heaven" shall maintain its integrity".

View more? ~Choose A Taoist Essay On "Modernity and the Way to Enlightenment" ---- or

Taoist yinyang.gif (1284 bytes) Cosmology ~Perspective through Poetry... a small ramble

Chuang Tzu further advises

"Wander to where the ten thousand things both begin and end, 

then unify your nature, (through Virtue -Te) 

foster your life breath,

concentrate your "power" which is the karmic nature of your intent.

Remember therefore,  the stock of actions through which one is going to meet the world contains good luck or bad. It is through Te, virtuous power that one may produce purity of action, to become  one with all things then "heaven" shall maintain its integrity". In Chinese cosmology poems described "feelings", as "communications" from Heaven. Birds were Heaven's emissaries and the weather was Heavens mood. This perspective provides the necessary spiritual imagery to change the condition of  heart to meet out  mind.

The Spirit of Taoist Poetry represents a daily meeting with an inner world.  Not one simply of morals, which may be taken as  merely custom; or a policy of  more for this, more for that, but of the deeper sensed  insight which transcends the self and its position to seek a greater fortress of need --said to be the path towards unobstructed freedom. -towards

stillness that is experienced.

Mind Experienced - Stillness rediscovered


"Heaven" offers the way to attain Wisdom which can lead to the experience of Enlightenment.

Through this search it is said  -the  knowledge which comes via "Wisdom" will contain the breath of "attainment" and maturity.

The Ancients sages envisaged the struggle towards spiritual arrival by genuineness of  character or simple  enlightenment.

In Confucian thinking filial values received from our ancestors were revered for there insight into the nature of spiritual "causes",  but this is no simple task for  we are in a political struggle with the nature of our beliefs and images of ourselves.

Modernity holds us with a grip that is no different previous spiritual perspectives.

The Politics of everyday enlightenment holds court in our unconscious minds. The collective unconsciousness of our personal  Way of Heaven is today somewhat out of place. The maturity that ensures a proper foundation for our Enlightenment demands that first we have to contend with the personal monster-gods of inner security.

-But there is still fear of the perceived other and  the unseen world. Rationalism fails to relieve us of superstition it merely belays it a little. We are smartly dressed in materialistic  belief but it is a comparatively modern conceit that can find deeper meaning in this. The Tao has no shape form or purpose but it has flow,

The values of Modernity suffer from a rationality that is confused by the depths of human purpose and more so by its purposelessness.

The Taoism of the early Chinese saw that the world was a complex and predictable place where  intuitively they " felt" the materialism of the mind attached to the ten thousand things not only ignores but denies the place of Heaven in our lives.Taoist poetry, paintings and writings portray beautifully  an impression of unity and relatedness without need to highlight objective. Therefore ~


The Taoist artist seeks to portray  foreground

and context as one expression.

The Tao is unknowable therefore

Art simply alludes to the Tao  through the fluidity and subjectivity of the artist 

A process which for the artist required great preparation and purity of mind whatever the pursuit.

The Carver and the Tree,
The Painter and the form.
The Poet and the meaning.

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