File Size: 1826 KB
Print Length: 156 pages
Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (November 24, 1992)
Publication Date: November 24, 1992
"If you do not receive instructions from your enlightened instructor, you will not know how to set up the oven and erect the cauldron. You do not know how to build the foundation, how to gather the herbs, how to obtain the cinnibar, or how to pick the herbs at the right moment. You will not know very well what is the waterwheel, very best right amount of fire, what is the union of ch'ien and k'un, what is the interaction of k'an and li, and what is the exchange of solid wood and metal. " [and it goes on similar to this for another two paragraphs]
After you read the whole book, you still will not know one of the answers to these questions. This may not be a guide or 'how to' book., This book is dependent on an ancient Taoist text authored by Lao Tzu. It is about changing oneself... creating and maintaining internal a harmonious relationship, despite external circumstances. Due to its esoteric character, i. e., internal becoming... the author, a Chinese language American, was guided with a Taoist master when listening to advice from the original text. Along with this book, the author becomes our very own " master", as the girl guides us in understanding the path to " cultivating stillness. "
One gets a good description of the Chinese philosophy and underpinnings of the text via a wonderful explanation of the symbols... we learn about the I Ching, the three treasures, the oven and the cauldron, microcosmic circulation, and cleansing all of which occur within the twelve terrestrial twigs. We learn of the symbolism of " the Golden Raven, " the Jade Rabbit", " the Golden Palace", " the North Sea", " the Winding River", and " the Southern Mountain. " Using breath as the catalyst, the student will eventually experience the revitalization of personal energy into important energy... The state of " wang chi", the intermediate state between " wu chi" and " tai chi" is discussed. We learn, " wu chi" is the state of the Void, or Tao. We learn, " tai chi", is the state of differentiating yin and yang, when yin encompasses yang, and yang encompasses yin. On many levels this is a complex book. However, if the readers wants to learn Chinese language philosophy, the accompanying significance, as well as how this knowledge can convert the human spirit this guide is definitely the destination to start.
This is a poetry book, a book of free verse, filled with statements by Lao Tzu which go before each chapter. On another level, it is a depth psychology book for the reader who can be applied some of the techniques in learning about themselves. Upon yet a different level, it is a history book about how the Chinese philosophers, primarily Lao Tzu, looked at mankind and the galaxy... a place of energy and form, in an eternal dance... and lastly, it is an artistic book, filled up with wonderful explanations about Chinese ideagrams. Although it is an extremely complex read, therefore not for everyone, it is a thoroughly pleasurable book for individuals who are patience and enthusiastic about experiencing a distinctive culture and understanding its viewpoint. Erika Borsos (erikab93)
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