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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Luk's Taoist Yoga.,
This review is from: Taoist Yoga (Weiser Classics) (Paperback)Charles Luk (1898-1978), also widely known by his lay-Buddhist name of Upasaka Lu Kuan Yu. Not only did Luk study Kagyu and Gelug Tibetan Buddhism (including the secretive Phowa technique), he also studied Ch'an Buddhism under the great Ch'an master Xu Yun (1840-1959). This book is a compendium based upon his experience in the 'Taoist', or 'Daoist' school of China. The Chinese text that serves as the basis for this excellent English translation is 'Hsin Ming Fa Chueh Ming Chih' - or, 'The Secrets of Cultivating Essential Nature and Eternal Life'. Together with an introduction and notes, this important Daoist text is believed to have been authored by the Daoist master Chao Pi Ch'en - thought to have been born in 1860. In true Daoist style, no date is recorded for his death.
True Daoist masters are difficult to find. This was as true in old China, as it is today. Charles Luk demonstrates his extraordinary insight and wisdom in these matters by not only translating the text, but explaining relatively obscure terms and thereby making the teaching accessible to those who have a serious and sincere Mind. The practice will require discipline for the beginner, and insight for the established meditator as Luk's translation is designed to help all who come across it. The book is separated into 16 chapters:
1. Fixing spirit in its original cavity.
2. The microcosmic cauldron and stove.
3. Clearing the eight psychic channels.
4. Gathering the microcosmic outer alchemical agent.
5. Quick and slow fires.
6. Gathering the microcosmic inner alchemical agent.
7. Holding on to the centre to realise the oneness of heaven and earth.
8. Plunging spirit into the lower tan t'ien cavity.
9. The immortal breathing or the self-winding wheel of the law.
10. The method of gathering vitality.
11. Driving the elixir of immortality into the cauldron.
12. Preparing the elixir.
13. Gathering the macrocosmic alchemical agent for the final breakthrough.
14. Formation of the immortal foetus.
15. The egress.
16. Appearing in space.
As with virtually all books translated by Charles Luk, this book is designed for the possibilty of isolated self-study, that is circumstances whereby reliable knowledge might be lacking. Even when knowledge was available, however, in old china, many men and women chose to live solitary lives in remote areas with little or no support from elsewhere. Whether a student is Eastern or Western, the Daoist masters taught adaptability to all circumstances. Regardless of outer conditions, a sincere student turns his or her Mind inward and embarks upon the path of Daoist development and tranformation. This book, when read inaccordance with a step by step application of its teachings, serves as an excellent guide for the student to assess their own progress. If the text itself is treated as if it were a 'living' master gently guiding and directing the practice, the average student will benefit greatly from this work.
'My master Liao K'ung said: "The return to nothingness is achieved in the final stage of training in which the practiser, while maintaining serenity of heart, lets the all-embracing positive spirit leave his bodily form to appear in the world and to perform its work of salvation such as alleviating human sufferings, curing the sick, etc, and then re-enter its original cavity...'
Taoist Yoga - Page 174.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achievable or unachievable? This is the question...,
This review is from: Taoist Yoga (Weiser Classics) (Paperback)This book is, like most of genuine spiritual writings, truly esoteric. It speaks to us through a medium of pretty accessible language and yet one hasn't got a clue what it's all about if one didn't go throught the training that the book contains. It is a life-time training so I can't see any adequate criterion for reviewing this book anyway, unless someone is generous enough to provide us with 'yes, I did it and it works' review, which on the other hand is very unlikely as immortals don't bother with Amazon's bookshelves... Do they?
The book however promises so much, one is tempted to go for it... To go for the maximum note of five stars, which in itself is rather a note for one's ambition and aspirations rather than for the book's and its author's reliability. It's a kind of esoteric five stars, you know.
I do not challenge author's genius here. I only challenge my ability to assimilate the whole beauty of taoist alchemy, which is presented here, I dare say, quite comprehensively. Just add some Liu I Ming to your basket, find a good teacher and your'e done for a life-time of hard but how rewarding job!
However, if you only want to read the book without intention of getting involved, please, forget about this review and its subject. I do not recognise this book as a literature for reading purposes only. From that point of view it's worthless.
5.0 out of 5 stars In a nutshell,
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This review is from: Taoist Yoga (Weiser Classics) (Paperback)Teaches that a pure heart/mind is the only way to the divine and touches up on the subject of kundalini and astral projection in it's own way through a very thorough amount of detail.
This book taught me a lot of things I didn't know.
5 stars all the way baby!
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is a very useful guide to enlightenment.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Taoist Yoga (Weiser Classics) (Paperback)"Taoist Yoga," by Charles Luk, will greatly aid those Americans who are confused by the point of "eastern" meditation, etc. The author makes very clear exactly what should be done in order to perfect one's human existence. The terminology is easily understood and practically oriented. Those with a background in meditation and spiritual transformation will relish this book. The book is not for the pure beginner as it is too practical and "hands on;" one needs to convince oneself that spiritual elevation and self-control are required.But it must be read by any Eastern Studies scholar. The text also puts to rest many notions about sex and the true value of sexual desire, called in the text "the generative force." It should be studied carefully for this reason. The book has many clear illustrations and copious footnotes all of which are useful. The book does not mention diet specifically but it does show how all ailments can be healed or prevented.There are very few references to the typical "folk" oriented five element theory which prevents the scientifically oriented American from being "put off." In short, it is amazingly simple, concise and understandable. Definitely recommended for the serious practioner as, although written in a terse style, it has sufficient common sense to be of use to Americans.
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Taoist Yoga (Weiser Classics) by Kuanyu Lu (Paperback - 1 April 1991)