Chinese Taoist Temples

A temple on China's Taoist mountain Yandang in Zhejiang Province

A temple on China’s Taoist mountain Yandang in Zhejiang Province

A Daoist Temple in a Cave

Shanxi Province

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

Sheila Nagig
I love the red that the Chinese use. It’s such a strong, beautiful shade of the color. 

All Things Chinese
From Taoist point of view, deep red (China Red) is a color attracting the maximum yang qi, while the black and white reflecting the extreme yin energy, which is why red and black are the main colour themes for the Daoism, because Taoists are the masters manipulating energies 😉

BTW, the theme colour for Chinese school Buddhism is yellow. Yellow is in the middle way of yin and yang (the most balanced colour in all energies), and it is also the brightest colour in the universe (brighter than white). So yellow was used as the theme colour for the emperors and royal families. 

Sheila Nagig
Yellow is my favorite color. Now maybe I know why I like it so much. The truth is that for me it reminds me of sunshine and it makes me happy. 

All Things Chinese
Yellow is the most harmonious colour channeling a harmonious energy, and the most inclusive colour reflecting all energy waves in an equal proportion. While red is a symbol for life and purple is a sign of elegance, yellow represents high intelligence.    

A Daoist Temple in a Cliff Face in Southern China

Mt Yandang, Zhejiang Province

Mt Yandang, Zhejiang Province

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

Kent Lee
it so incredible!the spectacle was built thousands of years ago,without modern machines​ .Besides, it’s not that easy for today’s machines​.I would like to pay tribute to the ancient Chinese working people

All Things Chinese
Most temples situated on challenging positions are Daoist temples and were mainly built by Daoists, some of them having sort of special physical capacities, a byproduct of their Daoist cultivation.

soxfan1957
Silly question time. How do they survive? Donations? Do they farm or fish? Appears they are very isolated.

All Things Chinese
They mainly support themselves through growing vegetables and collecting wild herbs/mushrooms. For the real cultivators, their are nurtured by qi and don’t need much food anyway.

It’s the same tradition with authentic Chinese school Buddhism. “No working no eating” is the motto of Chinese Buddhist monks, which is very different from many other schools of Buddhism and, certainly, Lamaism.

Aquil A Rahman
It baffles me about their sanitation and source of food and water.

All Things Chinese
They spend most of time meditating, they eat little, drink little and sleep little. Some go there for “closing gate” session — a state of continuation of meditation with little food intake.   

Aquil A Rahman
After long meditation without food, they gotta get weak.
Fasting only supports the metabolism for about 7 or 8 weeks.
But of course they’re not totally fasting.
But with such a light metabolism … I don’t wonder what comes in so clear.
So is their long meditation practice connected to Damo that faced the wall for long periods of time?
What’s a “closing gate session”?

All Things Chinese
There are two ways to obtain energies needed to run the physical and mental systems: one is to rob the energy from other lifeforms (animals and plants) and another is to obtain energy directly from the atmosphere. 

None of untrained animals (including humans) can absorb energy directly from the sun, the moon, the stars, air and water but plants ….. yet that is one of the main objectives of conducting Closing Gate sessions. 

Closing Gate is to cut all the links to the world outside, and to conduct meditation continuously without eating (sometimes little porridge sent in by assistant) and without sleep.

The major energy consumer in our body system is brain, as each thought takes a fair amount of energy to formulate, to spread into the universe and to trigger a train reaction somewhere then bounce back immediately or in a distant future. 

Meditation is to monitor the mind and to eliminate the thoughts (99.9999999….% of thoughts are just nuisance). Without thoughts to constantly stimulate, there will be no arousal of emotions, which is another big consumer of energy.

While you don’t spend much energy on the one hand and can obtain energy directly from the atmosphere on the other hand, you really don’t need much food to sustain your life.

Besides, the energy directly obtained from atmosphere is quite pure with little waster. It is totally different from the energy we’ve robbed from other lifeforms, which is like half processed packaged food — it contains lots rubbishes with little essence and it is not healthy anyway. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, that is quite correct. 

A Daoist Temple in a Cliff Face in Northern China

Dragon Gate Cave Temple, Shaanxi Province

The initial structure there was built during Spring and Autumn Period 2,500 years ago, but the Daoist temple was formally established in the West Han (206BC-24AD).

This is the birthplace of Dragon Gate Sect in Daoist tradition and one of the five major “hanging temples” (i.e. temples constructed in cliff face) in China.

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

St. Eve
Can Taoism practice in China? Religions are suppressed by Chinese government.

All Things Chinese
The only time they were not officially allowed to follow their way was during the Qing Dynasty under Manchu’s alien rule.

Daoism is the foundation of the native Chinese culture, yet the very essence of the core is kept by a small group of well cultivated Daoist masters. It is both too difficult for the general public to understand and too powerful therefore too dangerous for the wrong people to utilize it.

That is why unlike Chinese school Buddhism that is fully open to everyone with nothing to hide, Daoism by and large operates in secrecy. That is because Chinese Buddhism helps you to wake up from the dream with little intention to interfere the scenario of the dream, while Daoism equips you to manipulate the process of the dream and the dream of the nation.

That is also why the Manchus feared and banned Daoist activities but of course did not succeed.

St. Eve
I learned Chinese consider Taoism as Chinese secret and refuse to teach it to Westerners as it is considered as national security.

All Things Chinese
It’s actually not an issue about “national security” and cannot be considered as “Chinese secret”. The focus of Daoism and Chinese culture is the humanity (people “under the heaven” 天下) not a nation. After all, during thousands of years of history, the physical scope of China kept changing, sometimes being an united country, sometimes splitted into a bunch of small kingdoms.

Daoism is not a political tool, and should not be used by one group of people against another for material gain or military dominance. That is why the reputable sectors of Daoist linger will guard some powerful practices carefully to prevent it from falling into the wrong hand. Of course, misuses do occur from time to time.

There are some Daoist practices that are less powerful therefore with low risk of possible harm when used for malicious purposes – these become part of Chinese popular culture, such as feng shui.

A Daoist Temple on a Summit

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

William Gregory
Amazing how these buildings were built.

Mile HsiangYang Lee
It Must have been BACK BREAKING WORK then, Carrying Those Building Materials Up The Mountain Steep Slope

William Gregory
that’s for sure

Mile HsiangYang Lee
Slaves? Indentured Labors? Convicts?

All Things Chinese
China abolished slavery system more than 2,000 years ago after Confucianism became dominant social ideology in China (although the slavery or apartheid system returned briefly when China was ruled by the Mongols and Manchus who were at the times still in a slavery age).

Further, Daoism and Chinese school Buddhism (i.e. Han-tradition Buddhism) do not seek political and economic dominance in the society (despite some rather exortic Buddhist schools in some remote Chinese regions did and still attempt to do so), thus they have no power to force slaves and convicts to do anything for them even they want to (actually they would never want this to happen because they know how karma works in the universe).

The buildings shown in the photo were mainly built by Daoists and their followers.

I think you really have something to feel proud of since your paternal ancestors lived in a country that entered a civilised era far earlier than most places on the planet.
 
Mile HsiangYang Lee
Indeed. Just Trying to Know History like It was Meant to be Known – FACTS & Not POLITICS

Hazel Mabbott
It is one of these things which makes me proud of being Chinese.

Sultan Salahuddin
I know that people do pick some of the weirdest places to live ……. they have got to be in great shape to walk up and down these slopes.

All Things Chinese
Most people living there are Daoists cultivating their way to comprehend and communicate with the universe. 

Sultan Salahuddin
Who feeds them? Or should I say….. how do they provide for themselves ?

All Things Chinese
+Sultan Salahuddin Good question. First of all, they grow some crops (such as potatoes and corns) and gain supplemented provisions from wild herbs and nuts (mushrooms, edible tree leaves and pine nuts). Then the genuine Daoist cultivators eat very little and obtain energies directly from the nature (the qi in the space, the sunlight, the moonlight …).

Food we eat is by and large a coarse source of energy, which is like a piece of downloadable software or plugin that comes with lots baggages. If you design a website from scratch through coding, your site can load very fast and leave no backdoors.      

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