Taoism Timeline

Taoism Timeline

  • 1600 BCE - 1046 BCE

    Taoism develops during the Shang Dynasty.

  • 618 CE - 907 CE

    Tang Dynasty, Taoism flourishes.

  • 712 CE - 756 CE

    Taoism becomes official religion of China under the Emperor Xuanzong.

  • c. 756 CE - c. 907 CE

    Taoism loses popular support with the decline of the Tang Dynasty. Replaced by Confucianism and Buddhism.

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Taoism has no founder and no founding date. It grew out of various religious and philosophical traditions in ancient China, including shamanism and nature religion.

Taoism as a religion began in the year 142 C.E. with the revelation of the Tao to Zhang Daoling or Chang Tao-ling by the personified god of the Tao, Taishang laojun (Lao Tzu), the Highest Venerable Lord.

Zhang Daoling became the first Celestial Master and founder of the first organized Taoist school of thought. This tradition continues to the present day, with the current Celestial Master living in Taiwan.

Early religious Taoism was rooted in the ideas of the Taoist thinkers, to which were added local religious rituals and beliefs, both to provide examples of Taoist philosophy, and integrate Taoism into the existing world views of all levels of the Chinese people.

Taoism was first recognised as a religious system during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. The publication of the Tao Te Ching and other works provided a focus for Taoist thinking.

Taoism became a semi-official Chinese religion during the Tang dynasty and continued during the Song dynasty. As Confucianism gained popularity Taoism gradually fell from favour, and changed from an official religion to a popular religious tradition.

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After the communist takeover of China, Taoism was banned and its followers re-educated, with the result that the number of practicing Taoists fell by 99% in 10 years.

At this time Taoism began to flourish in the greater freedom on offer in Taiwan.

After the end of the Cultural Revolution the Chinese government began to allow a small measure of religious freedom. Taoism began to revive in China, and Taoist temples and practitioners can now be found throughout the country.

1912: Republic of China created. Kuomintang embraces Taoism.

1914: A offshoot full Nationalist Taoist Party is created, Taoist Nationalist Party.

1918: Republic of China's official religion is changed to Taoism and I Ching, Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi are recognised as the country's holy books.

1949: People's Republic of China is created. Taoism is outlawed in China but it has already spread to other East Asian countries.

1950s: Communism rises in North Vietnam. Taoism also becomes popular. This starts a rift between North Vietnam and China.

1953: Taoism comes popular in Laos.

1955: Despite the ideological differences, North Vietnam and Laos start becoming allies because of Taoism.

1958: Laos comes under free association with North Vietnam.

1961: North Vietnam invades South Vietnam.

1975: Vietnam is unified under communist rule.

1977: Vietnam is suspected for secretly supporting Taoist revolts in China.

1978: Vietnam invades Kampuchea (Nowadays Cambodia).

1979: China declares war on Vietnam and Laos because of the Taoist rift between China and Vietnam. Kampuchea surrenders and becomes communist.

12th June - 19th June 1980: In the Chinese city of Yinchuan, a peaceful pro-Taoist protest occurs. The Chinese government commits a massacre, killing all of the protesters.

1980: After the Yinchuan massacre, China decides to silence anything to do with Taoism and the previous massacre. This starts the Taoist Genocide.

22nd July 1983: The president of China, Li Xiannian who was president since 18th June 1983, was shot by a man. No one, to this day, knows who he was and why he shot Li Xiannian. He is now known as the 'Chinese Assassin'.

1983: After the shooting, Vietnam attacked the Chinese city of Chongzou and found evidence of the Taoist Genocide which around 19 thousand people died, around 17 thousand were Taoists.

1984: China offers a peace agreement with Vietnam. It is signed in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi.

1986: Soviet Union starts coming under pressure as Taoism is spreading to China and China started going against the Soviet 'warmongering ways'.

1987: China, Vietnam and America become allies which also weakens the Soviet Union.

1989: The Berlin Wall falls.

1989: The Soviet Union collapses.

1992: Laos, Kampuchea and Vietnam combine to become the 'People's Republic of Indochina'. The country's capital is Hanoi.

System of Taoism Deities

In this religion, the system of deities is very complicated and becomes larger and larger. So it is important to find appropriate ranks for this big growing group.

Ranking standards are in accordance with the degree of Taoism study and contribution. The more profound one's Taoist knowledge is the higher rank he will attain. The most important gods are the San Qing (Three Pure Gods). They are Yu Qing (Jade Pure), Shang Qing (Upper Pure) and Tai Qing (Great Pure). Below the Three Pure Gods, there exist the four holy emperors among whom Yu Huang (Jade Emperor) comes first. 'Houtu Mother', is a female God who dominates child bearing affairs is also included. Some Taoist temples have been specially set up as Houtu temples to worship her. A number of deities come next to them and are in charge of different affairs. Among them, ordinary people may be familiar with God of Wind, God of Rain, God of Fire, God of Town and God of Earth, all closely related to their daily life.

Like this religion itself, the system of Taoism deities is close to people. Once you know the rank rules, it is not too difficult to understand.


Spelling and pronunciation Edit

Since the introduction of the Pinyin system for romanizing Mandarin Chinese, there have been those who have felt that "Taoism" would be more appropriately spelled as "Daoism". The Mandarin Chinese pronunciation for the word 道 ("way, path") is spelled as tao 4 in the older Wade–Giles romanization system (from which the spelling 'Taoism' is derived), while it is spelled as dào in the newer Pinyin romanization system (from which the spelling "Daoism" is derived). Both the Wade–Giles tao 4 and the Pinyin dào are intended to be pronounced identically in Mandarin Chinese (like the unaspirated 't' in 'stop'), but despite this fact, "Taoism" and "Daoism" can be pronounced differently in English vernacular. [8]

Categorization Edit

The word Taoism is used to translate different Chinese terms which refer to different aspects of the same tradition and semantic field: [9]

  1. "Taoist religion" ( 道敎 Dàojiào lit. "teachings of the Tao"), or the "liturgical" aspect [10] – A family of organized religious movements sharing concepts or terminology from "Taoist philosophy" [11] the first of these is recognized as the Celestial Masters school.
  2. "Taoist philosophy" ( 道家 Dàojiā lit. "school or family of the Tao") or "Taology" ( 道學 dàoxué lit. "learning of the Tao"), or the "mystical" aspect [10] – The philosophical doctrines based on the texts of the Yi Jing, the Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Jing, 道德經 dàodéjīng ) and the Zhuangzi ( 莊子 zhuāngzi ). These texts were linked together as "Taoist philosophy" during the early Han Dynasty, but notably not before. [12][13] It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Tao Te Ching, [13][14] and Zhuangzi would not have identified himself as a Taoist as this classification did not arise until well after his death. [14]

However, the discussed distinction is rejected by the majority of Western and Japanese scholars. [15] It is contested by hermeneutic (interpretive) difficulties in the categorization of the different Taoist schools, sects and movements. [16] Taoism does not fall under an umbrella or a definition of a single organized religion like the Abrahamic traditions nor can it be studied as a mere variant of Chinese folk religion, as although the two share some similar concepts, much of Chinese folk religion is separate from the tenets and core teachings of Taoism. [17] The sinologists Isabelle Robinet and Livia Kohn agree that "Taoism has never been a unified religion, and has constantly consisted of a combination of teachings based on a variety of original revelations." [18]

The philosopher Chung-ying Cheng views Taoism as a religion that has been embedded into Chinese history and tradition. "Whether Confucianism, Taoism, or later Chinese Buddhism, they all fall into this pattern of thinking and organizing and in this sense remain religious, even though individually and intellectually they also assume forms of philosophy and practical wisdom." [19] Chung-ying Cheng also noted that the Taoist view of heaven flows mainly from "observation and meditation, [though] the teaching of the way (Tao) can also include the way of heaven independently of human nature". [19] In Chinese history, the three religions of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism stand on their own independent views, and yet are "involved in a process of attempting to find harmonization and convergence among themselves, so that we can speak of a 'unity of three religious teachings' ( 三敎合一 Sānjiào Héyī ). [19]

The term "Taoist" and "Taoism" as a "liturgical framework" Edit

Traditionally, the Chinese language does not have terms defining lay people adhering to the doctrines or the practices of Taoism, who fall instead within the field of folk religion. "Taoist", in Western sinology, is traditionally used to translate Taoshih ( 道士 , "master of the Tao"), thus strictly defining the priests of Taoism, ordained clergymen of a Taoist institution who "represent Taoist culture on a professional basis", are experts of Taoist liturgy, and therefore can employ this knowledge and ritual skills for the benefit of a community. [20]

This role of Taoist priests reflects the definition of Taoism as a "liturgical framework for the development of local cults", in other words a scheme or structure for Chinese religion, proposed first by the scholar and Taoist initiate Kristofer Schipper in The Taoist Body (1986). [21] Taoshih are comparable to the non-Taoist fashi ( 法師 , "ritual masters") of vernacular traditions (the so-called "Faism") within Chinese religion. [21]

The term dàojiàotú ( 道敎徒 'follower of Taoism'), with the meaning of "Taoist" as "lay member or believer of Taoism", is a modern invention that goes back to the introduction of the Western category of "organized religion" in China in the 20th century, but it has no significance for most of Chinese society in which Taoism continues to be an "order" of the larger body of Chinese religion.

Lao Tzu is traditionally regarded as one of the founders of Taoism and is closely associated in this context with "original" or "primordial" Taoism. [22] Whether he actually existed is disputed [23] [24] however, the work attributed to him—the Tao Te Ching—is dated to the late 4th century BCE. [25]

Taoism draws its cosmological foundations from the School of Naturalists (in the form of its main elements—yin and yang and the Five Phases), which developed during the Warring States period (4th to 3rd centuries BCE). [26]

Robinet identifies four components in the emergence of Taoism:

  1. Philosophical Taoism, i.e. the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi
  2. techniques for achieving ecstasy
  3. practices for achieving longevity or immortality . [23]

Some elements of Taoism may be traced to prehistoric folk religions in China that later coalesced into a Taoist tradition. [27] In particular, many Taoist practices drew from the Warring-States-era phenomena of the wu (connected to the shamanic culture of northern China) and the fangshi (which probably derived from the "archivist-soothsayers of antiquity, one of whom supposedly was Lao Tzu himself"), even though later Taoists insisted that this was not the case. [28] Both terms were used to designate individuals dedicated to ". magic, medicine, divination. methods of longevity and to ecstatic wanderings" as well as exorcism in the case of the wu, "shamans" or "sorcerers" is often used as a translation. [28] The fangshi were philosophically close to the School of Naturalists, and relied much on astrological and calendrical speculations in their divinatory activities. [29]

The first organized form of Taoism, the Way of the Celestial Masters's school (later known as Zhengyi school), developed from the Five Pecks of Rice movement at the end of the 2nd century CE the latter had been founded by Zhang Taoling, who said that Lao Tzu appeared to him in the year 142. [30] The Way of the Celestial Masters school was officially recognized by ruler Cao Cao in 215, legitimizing Cao Cao's rise to power in return. [31] Lao Tzu received imperial recognition as a divinity in the mid-2nd century BCE. [32]

By the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), the various sources of Taoism had coalesced into a coherent tradition of religious organizations and orders of ritualists in the state of Shu (modern Sichuan). In earlier ancient China, Taoists were thought of as hermits or recluses who did not participate in political life. Zhuangzi was the best known of these, and it is significant that he lived in the south, where he was part of local Chinese shamanic traditions. [33]

Female shamans played an important role in this tradition, which was particularly strong in the southern state of Chu. Early Taoist movements developed their own institution in contrast to shamanism but absorbed basic shamanic elements. Shamans revealed basic texts of Taoism from early times down to at least the 20th century. [34] Institutional orders of Taoism evolved in various strains that in more recent times are conventionally grouped into two main branches: Quanzhen Taoism and Zhengyi Taoism. [35] After Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew steadily and was compiled in form of a canon—the Tao Tsang—which was published at the behest of the emperor. Throughout Chinese history, Taoism was nominated several times as a state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell from favor.

Taoism, in form of the Shangqing school, gained official status in China again during the Tang dynasty (618–907), whose emperors claimed Lao Tzu as their relative. [36] The Shangqing movement, however, had developed much earlier, in the 4th century, on the basis of a series of revelations by gods and spirits to a certain Yang Xi in the years between 364 and 370. [37]

Between 397 and 402, Ge Chaofu compiled a series of scriptures which later served as the foundation of the Lingbao school, [38] which unfolded its greatest influence during the Song dynasty (960–1279). [39] Several Song emperors, most notably Huizong, were active in promoting Taoism, collecting Taoist texts and publishing editions of the Taotsang. [40]

In the 12th century, the Quanzhen School was founded in Shandong. It flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries and during the Yuan dynasty became the largest and most important Taoist school in Northern China. The school's most revered master, Qiu Chuji, met with Genghis Khan in 1222 and was successful in influencing the Khan towards exerting more restraint during his brutal conquests. By the Khan's decree, the school also was exempt from taxation. [41]

Aspects of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism were consciously synthesized in the Neo-Confucian school, which eventually became Imperial orthodoxy for state bureaucratic purposes under the Ming (1368–1644). [42]

During the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), however, due to discouragements of the government, many people favored Confucian and Buddhist classics over Taoist works.

During the 18th century, the imperial library was constituted, but excluded virtually all Taoist books. [43] By the beginning of the 20th century, Taoism went through many catastrophic events. (As a result, only one complete copy of the Tao Tsang still remained, at the White Cloud Monastery in Beijing). [44]

Today, Taoism is one of five official recognized religions in the People's Republic of China. The government regulates its activities through the Chinese Taoist Association. [45] However, Taoism is practiced without government involvement in Taiwan, where it claims millions of adherents.

World Heritage Sites Mount Qingcheng and Mount Longhu are thought to be among the birthplaces of Taoism.

Ethics Edit

Taoism tends to emphasize various themes of the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi, such as naturalness, spontaneity, simplicity, detachment from desires, and most important of all, wu wei. [46] However, the concepts of those keystone texts cannot be equated with Taoism as a whole. [47]

Tao and Te Edit

Tao ( 道 dào ) literally means "way", but can also be interpreted as road, channel, path, doctrine, or line. [48] In Taoism, it is "the One, which is natural, spontaneous, eternal, nameless, and indescribable. It is at once the beginning of all things and the way in which all things pursue their course." [49] It has variously been denoted as the "flow of the universe", [50] a "conceptually necessary ontological ground", [51] or a demonstration of nature. [52] The Tao also is something that individuals can find immanent in themselves. [53]

The active expression of Tao is called Te (also spelled—and pronounced—De, or even Teh often translated with Virtue or Power ), [54] in a sense that Te results from an individual living and cultivating the Tao. [55]

Wu-wei Edit

The ambiguous term wu-wei ( 無爲 wú wéi ) constitutes the leading ethical concept in Taoism. [56] Wei refers to any intentional or deliberated action, while wu carries the meaning of "there is no . " or "lacking, without". Common translations are "nonaction", "effortless action" or "action without intent". [56] The meaning is sometimes emphasized by using the paradoxical expression "wei wu wei": "action without action". [57]

In ancient Taoist texts, wu-wei is associated with water through its yielding nature. [58] Taoist philosophy, in accordance with the I Ching, proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world in a manner that is out of rhythm with the cycles of change, they may disrupt that harmony and unintended consequences may more likely result rather than the willed outcome. Taoism does not identify one's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe. [59] Thus, a potentially harmful interference may be avoided, and in this way, goals can be achieved effortlessly. [60] [61] "By wu-wei, the sage seeks to come into harmony with the great Tao, which itself accomplishes by nonaction." [56]

Ziran Edit

Ziran ( 自然 zìrán tzu-jan lit. "self-such", "self-organization" [62] ) is regarded as a central value in Taoism. [63] It describes the "primordial state" of all things [64] as well as a basic character of the Tao, [65] and is usually associated with spontaneity and creativity. [66] To attain naturalness, one has to identify with the Tao [65] this involves freeing oneself from selfishness and desire, and appreciating simplicity. [63]

An often cited metaphor for naturalness is pu ( 樸 pǔ, pú p'u lit. "uncut wood"), the "uncarved block", which represents the "original nature. prior to the imprint of culture" of an individual. [67] It is usually referred to as a state one returns to. [68]

Three Treasures Edit

The Taoist Three Treasures or Three Jewels ( 三寶 sānbǎo ) comprise the basic virtues of ci ( 慈 , usually translated as compassion), jian ( 儉 jiǎn , usually translated as moderation), and bugan wei tianxia xian ( 不敢爲天下先 bùgǎn wéi tiānxià xiān , literally "not daring to act as first under the heavens", but usually translated as humility).

As the "practical, political side" of Taoist philosophy, Arthur Waley translated them as "abstention from aggressive war and capital punishment", "absolute simplicity of living", and "refusal to assert active authority". [69]

The Three Treasures can also refer to jing, qi and shen ( 精氣神 jīng-qì-shén jing is usually translated as essence, qi as life force, and shen as spirit). These terms are elements of the traditional Chinese concept of the human body, which shares its cosmological foundation—Yinyangism or the Naturalists—with Taoism. Within this framework, they play an important role in neidan ("Taoist Inner Alchemy"). [70]

Cosmology Edit

Taoist cosmology is cyclic—the universe is seen as being in a constant process of re-creating itself. [71] Evolution and 'extremes meet' are main characters. [62] Taoist cosmology shares similar views with the School of Naturalists (Yinyang) [26] which was headed by Zou Yan (305–240 BCE). The school's tenets harmonized the concepts of the Wu Xing (Five Elements) and yin and yang. In this spirit, the universe is seen as being in a constant process of re-creating itself, as everything that exists is a mere aspect of qi, which "condensed, becomes life diluted, it is indefinite potential". [71] Qi is in a perpetual transformation between its condensed and diluted state. [72] These two different states of qi, on the other hand, are embodiments of the abstract entities of yin and yang, [72] two complementary extremes that constantly play against and with each other and one cannot exist without the other. [73]

Human beings are seen as a microcosm of the universe, [17] and for example comprise the Wu Xing in form of the zang-fu organs. [74] As a consequence, it is believed that deeper understanding of the universe can be achieved by understanding oneself. [75]

Theology Edit

Taoist theology can be defined as apophatic, given its philosophical emphasis on the formlessness and unknowable nature of the Tao, and the primacy of the "Way" rather than anthropomorphic concepts of God. This is one of the core beliefs that nearly all the sects share. [31]

Taoist orders usually present the Three Pure Ones at the top of the pantheon of deities, visualizing the hierarchy emanating from the Tao. Lao Tzu is considered the incarnation of one of the Three Purities and worshiped as the ancestor of the philosophical doctrine. [22] [76]

Different branches of Taoism often have differing pantheons of lesser deities, where these deities reflect different notions of cosmology. [77] Lesser deities also may be promoted or demoted for their activity. [78] Some varieties of popular Chinese religion incorporate the Jade Emperor, derived from the main of the Three Purities, as a representation of the most high God.

Persons from the history of Taoism, and people who are considered to have become immortals (xian), are venerated as well by both clergy and laypeople.

Despite these hierarchies of deities, traditional conceptions of Tao should not be confused with the Western theism. Being one with the Tao does not necessarily indicate a union with an eternal spirit in, for example, the Hindu sense. [52] [59]

Tao Te Ching Edit

The Tao Te Ching or Taodejing is widely considered the most influential Taoist text. [79] According to legend, it was written by Lao Tzu, [80] and often the book is simply referred to as the "Lao Tzu." However, authorship, precise date of origin, and even unity of the text are still subject of debate, [81] and will probably never be known with certainty. [82] The earliest texts of the Tao Te Ching that have been excavated (written on bamboo tablets) date back to the late 4th century BCE. [83] Throughout the history of religious Taoism, the Tao Te Ching has been used as a ritual text. [84]

The famous opening lines of the Tao Te Ching are:

道可道非常道 (pinyin: dào kĕ dào fēi cháng dào )
"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao"
名可名非常名 (pinyin: míng kĕ míng fēi cháng míng )
"The name that can be named is not the eternal name." [85]

There is significant, at times acrimonious, debate regarding which English translation of the Tao Te Ching is preferable, and which particular translation methodology is best. [86] The Tao Te Ching is not thematically ordered. However, the main themes of the text are repeatedly expressed using variant formulations, often with only a slight difference. [87]

The leading themes revolve around the nature of Tao and how to attain it. Tao is said to be ineffable, and accomplishing great things through small means. [88] Ancient commentaries on the Tao Te Ching are important texts in their own right. Perhaps the oldest one, the Heshang Gong commentary, was most likely written in the 2nd century CE. [89] Other important commentaries include the one from Wang Bi and the Xiang'er. [90]

Zhuangzi Edit

The Zhuangzi ( 莊子 ), named after its traditional author Zhuangzi, is a composite of writings from various sources, and is generally considered the most important of all Taoist writings. [91] The commentator Guo Xiang (c. CE 300) helped establish the text as an important source for Taoist thought. The traditional view is that Zhuangzi himself wrote the first seven chapters (the "inner chapters") and his students and related thinkers were responsible for the other parts (the "outer" and "miscellaneous" chapters). The work uses anecdotes, parables and dialogues to express one of its main themes, that is aligning oneself to the laws of the natural world and "the way" of the elements. [92] [93]

I Ching Edit

The I Ching was originally a divination system that had its origins around 1150 BCE. [94] Although it predates the first mentions of Tao as an organized system of philosophy and religious practice, this text later became of philosophical importance to Taoism and Confucianism.

The I Ching itself, shorn of its commentaries, consists of 64 combinations of 8 trigrams (called "hexagrams"), traditionally chosen by throwing coins or yarrow sticks, to give the diviner some idea of the situation at hand and, through reading of the "changing lines", some idea of what is developing. [95]

The 64 original notations of the hexagrams in the I Ching can also be read as a meditation on how change occurs, so it assists Taoists with managing yin and yang cycles as Laozi advocated in the Tao Te Ching (the oldest known version of this text was dated to 400 BCE). More recently as recorded in the 18th century, the Taoist master Liu Yiming continued to advocate this usage. [96]

The Taoist Canon Edit

The Taoist Canon ( 道藏 , Treasury of Tao) is also referred to as the Taotsang. It was originally compiled during the Jin, Tang, and Song dynasties. The extant version was published during the Ming Dynasty. [97] The Ming Taotsang includes almost 1500 texts. [98] Following the example of the Buddhist Tripiṭaka, it is divided into three dong ( 洞 , "caves", "grottoes"). They are arranged from "highest" to "lowest": [99]

  1. The Zhen ("real" or "truth" 眞 ) grotto. Includes the Shangqing texts.
  2. The Xuan ("mystery" 玄 ) grotto. Includes the Lingbao scriptures.
  3. The Shen ("divine" 神 ) grotto. Includes texts predating the Maoshan ( 茅山 ) revelations.

Taoist generally do not consult published versions of the Taotsang, but individually choose, or inherit, texts included in the Taotsang. These texts have been passed down for generations from teacher to student. [100]

The Shangqing School has a tradition of approaching Taoism through scriptural study. It is believed that by reciting certain texts often enough one will be rewarded with immortality. [101]

Other texts Edit

While the Tao Te Ching is most famous, there are many other important texts in traditional Taoism. Taishang Ganying Pian ("Treatise of the Exalted One on Response and Retribution") discusses sin and ethics, and has become a popular morality tract in the last few centuries. [102] It asserts that those in harmony with Tao will live long and fruitful lives. The wicked, and their descendants, will suffer and have shortened lives. [88]

The taijitu ( 太極圖 tàijítú commonly known as the "yin and yang symbol" or simply the "yin yang") and the Ba-gua 八卦 ("Eight Trigrams") have importance in Taoist symbolism. [103] In this cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang is the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual season cycles, the natural landscape, the formation of both men and women as characters, and sociopolitical history. [104] While almost all Taoist organizations make use of it, its principles have influenced Confucian, Neo-Confucian or pan-Chinese theory. One can see this symbol as a decorative element on Taoist organization flags and logos, temple floors, or stitched into clerical robes. According to Song dynasty sources, it originated around the 10th century CE. [105] Previously, a tiger and a dragon had symbolized yin and yang. [105]

Taoist temples may fly square or triangular flags. They typically feature mystical writing or diagrams and are intended to fulfill various functions including providing guidance for the spirits of the dead, bringing good fortune, increasing life span, etc. [106] Other flags and banners may be those of the gods or immortals themselves. [107]

A zigzag with seven stars is sometimes displayed, representing the Big Dipper (or the Bushel, the Chinese equivalent). In the Shang Dynasty of the 2nd millennium BCE, Chinese thought regarded the Big Dipper as a deity, while during the Han Dynasty, it was considered a qi path of the circumpolar god, Taiyi. [108]

Taoist temples in southern China and Taiwan may often be identified by their roofs, which feature dragons and phoenixes made from multicolored ceramic tiles. They also stand for the harmony of yin and yang (with the phoenix representing yin). A related symbol is the flaming pearl, which may be seen on such roofs between two dragons, as well as on the hairpin of a Celestial Master. [109] In general though, Chinese Taoist architecture lacks universal features that distinguish it from other structures. [110]

Rituals Edit

In ancient times, before the Taoism religion was founded, food would sometimes be set out as a sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased or the gods. This could include slaughtered animals, such as pigs and ducks, or fruit. The Taoist Celestial Master Zhang Taoling rejected food and animal sacrifices to the Gods. He tore apart temples which demanded animal sacrifice and drove away its priests. This rejection of sacrifices has continued into the modern day, as Taoism Temples are not allowed to use animal sacrifices (with the exception of folk temples or local tradition.) [111] Another form of sacrifice involves the burning of joss paper, or hell money, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear—not as a mere image, but as the actual item—in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones. The joss paper is mostly used when memorializing ancestors, such as done during the Qingming festival.

Also on particular holidays, street parades take place. These are lively affairs which invariably involve firecrackers and flower-covered floats broadcasting traditional music. They also variously include lion dances and dragon dances human-occupied puppets (often of the "Seventh Lord" and "Eighth Lord"), Kungfu-practicing and palanquins carrying god-images. The various participants are not considered performers, but rather possessed by the gods and spirits in question. [112]

Fortune-telling—including astrology, I Ching, and other forms of divination—has long been considered a traditional Taoist pursuit. Mediumship is also widely encountered in some sects. There is an academic and social distinction between martial forms of mediumship (such as tongji) and the spirit-writing that is typically practiced through planchette writing. [113]

Physical cultivation Edit

A recurrent and important element of Taoism are rituals, exercises and substances aiming at aligning oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, at undertaking ecstatic spiritual journeys, or at improving physical health and thereby extending one's life, ideally to the point of immortality. [114] Enlightened and immortal beings are referred to as xian.

A characteristic method aiming for longevity is Taoist alchemy. Already in very early Taoist scriptures—like the Taiping Jing and the Baopuzi—alchemical formulas for achieving immortality were outlined. [115]

A number of martial arts traditions, particularly the ones falling under the category of Neijia (like T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Pa Kwa Chang and Xing Yi Quan) embody Taoist principles to a significant extent, and some practitioners consider their art a means of practicing Taoism. [116]

Adherents Edit

The number of Taoists is difficult to estimate, due to a variety of factors including defining Taoism. According to a survey of religion in China in the year 2010, the number of people practicing some form of Chinese folk religion is near to 950 million (70% of the Chinese). [117] Among these, 173 million (13%) claim an affiliation with Taoist practices. [117] Furthermore, 12 million people claim to be "Taoists", a term traditionally used exclusively for initiates, priests and experts of Taoist rituals and methods. [117]

Most Chinese people and many others have been influenced in some way by Taoist traditions. Since the creation of the People's Republic of China, the government has encouraged a revival of Taoist traditions in codified settings. In 1956, the Chinese Taoist Association was formed to administer the activities of all registered Taoist orders, and received official approval in 1957. It was disbanded during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong, but was reestablished in 1980. The headquarters of the association are at the Baiyunguan, or White Cloud Temple of Beijing, belonging to the Longmen branch of Quanzhen Taoism. [118] Since 1980, many Taoist monasteries and temples have been reopened or rebuilt, both belonging to the Zhengyi or Quanzhen schools, and clergy ordination has been resumed.

Taoist literature and art has influenced the cultures of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Organized Taoism seems not to have attracted a large non-Chinese following until modern times. In Taiwan, 7.5 million people (33% of the population) identify themselves as Taoists. [119] Data collected in 2010 for religious demographics of Hong Kong [120] and Singapore [121] show that, respectively, 14% and 11% of the people of these cities identify as Taoists.

Followers of Taoism are also present in Chinese émigré communities outside Asia. In addition, it has attracted followers with no Chinese heritage. For example, in Brazil there are Taoist temples in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro which are affiliated with the Taoist Society of China. Membership of these temples is entirely of non-Chinese ancestry. [122]

Art and poetry Edit

Throughout Chinese history, there have been many examples of art being influenced by Taoist thought. Notable painters influenced by Taoism include Wu Wei, Huang Gongwang, Mi Fu, Muqi Fachang, Shitao, Ni Zan, T'ang Mi, and Wang Tseng-tsu. [123] Taoist arts represents the diverse regions, dialects, and time spans that are commonly associated with Taoism. Ancient Taoist art was commissioned by the aristocracy however, scholars masters and adepts also directly engaged in the art themselves. [124]

Political aspects Edit

Taoism never had a unified political theory. While Huang-Lao's positions justified a strong emperor as the legitimate ruler, [125] the "primitivists" (like in the chapters 8-11 of the Zhuangzi) argued strongly for a radical anarchism. A more moderate position is presented in the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi in which the political life is presented with disdain and some kind of pluralism or perspectivism is preferred. [126] The syncretist position in texts like the Huainanzi and some Outer Chapters of the Zhuangzi blended some Taoist positions with Confucian ones. [127]

Relations with other religions and philosophies Edit

Many scholars believe Taoism arose as a countermovement to Confucianism. [128] The philosophical terms Tao and De are indeed shared by both Taoism and Confucianism. [129] Zhuangzi explicitly criticized Confucian and Mohist tenets in his work. In general, Taoism rejects the Confucian emphasis on rituals, hierarchical social order, and conventional morality, and favors "naturalness", spontaneity, and individualism instead. [130]

The entry of Buddhism into China was marked by significant interaction and syncretism with Taoism. [131] Originally seen as a kind of "foreign Taoism", Buddhism's scriptures were translated into Chinese using the Taoist vocabulary. [132] Representatives of early Chinese Buddhism, like Sengzhao and Tao Sheng, knew and were deeply influenced by the Taoist keystone texts. [133]

Taoism especially shaped the development of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, [134] introducing elements like the concept of naturalness, distrust of scripture and text, and emphasis on embracing "this life" and living in the "every-moment". [135]

On the other hand, Taoism also incorporated Buddhist elements during the Tang dynasty. Examples of such influence include monasteries, vegetarianism, prohibition of alcohol, the doctrine of emptiness, and collecting scripture in tripartite organization in certain sects.

Ideological and political rivals for centuries, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism deeply influenced one another. [136] For example, Wang Bi, one of the most influential philosophical commentators on Lao Tzu (and the I Ching), was a Confucian. [137] The three rivals also share some similar values, with all three embracing a humanist philosophy emphasizing moral behaviour and human perfection. In time, most Chinese people identified to some extent with all three traditions simultaneously. [138] This became institutionalized when aspects of the three schools were synthesized in the Neo-Confucian school. [139]

Some authors have undertaken comparative studies between Taoism and Christianity. This has been of interest for students of history of religion such as J. J. M. de Groot, [140] among others. The comparison of the teachings of Lao Tzu and Jesus of Nazareth has been done by several authors such as Martin Aronson, [141] and Toropov & Hansen (2002), who believe that they have parallels that should not be ignored. [142] In the opinion of J. Isamu Yamamoto the main difference is that Christianity preaches a personal God while Taoism does not. [143] Yet, a number of authors, including Lin Yutang, [144] have argued that some moral and ethical tenets of these religions are similar. [145] [146] In neighboring Vietnam, Taoist values have been shown to adapt to social norms and formed emerging sociocultural beliefs together with Confucianism. [147]

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  • Definitions from Wiktionary
  • Media from Wikimedia Commons
  • News from Wikinews
  • Quotations from Wikiquote
  • Texts from Wikisource
  • Textbooks from Wikibooks
  • Resources from Wikiversity

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Short History of White Pigments

Lime powder and gesso where the first whites available in prehistoric times. The most important contribution to art materials from Greece was lead white, a pigment that would become ubiquitous in Western art. Modern whites are zinc white and titanium white. Thanks to its excellent qualities, titanium white has largely replaced lead white in both art and industry.

The perception of white is due to light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the human eye in nearly equal amounts and with high brightness.

Timeline of white pigments.

Piet Mondrian fell in love with white. Mondrian&rsquos most famous paintings are made up of pure red, yellow, black, white, and blue as in Composition A (1923, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome), at left. Over time, though, his artwork became simpler and white became progressively more important. Wider fields of color dominated his paintings, separated by large sections of pure white, as in the Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow (1930, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT), at center. Just five years later, in 1935, white itself became the focus, as in the Composition in Blue and White. Mondrian&rsquos fascination with white was described by Charmion von Wiegand, when he visited the painter&rsquos studio in New York: &ldquoEverything was spotless white, like a laboratory. In a light smock, with his clean-shaven face, taciturn, wearing his heavy glasses, Mondrian seemed more a scientist or priest than an artist. The only relief to all the white was large mat boards, rectangles in yellow, red and blue, hung in asymmetric arrangements on all the walls. Peering at me through his glasses, he noticed my glance and said: "I’ve arranged these to make it more cheerful." Art conservators are not entirely sure what pigments Mondrian used in his paintings. His artwork has undergone in-depth scientific analysis in the hopes of discovering the chemical compositions of the pigment used, which is essential knowledge for conservation purposes.

Taoism Timeline - History

The story begins from Buddha, the old ancient time in 600 BC and the famous beginning of the Zen. When buddha lifted a lotus flower and smiled to everyone in a meeting on the Mount Lengjia, no one knew the meaning but one. JiaYe( the chinese pronunciation), the great disciple of buddha, also smiled to buddha. Then the buddha told others: "I have a treasure, like a secret mountain, which is real but with no any appearance, now I give it to JiaYe the Great." --- The treasure is passed from heart to heart directly, and this is also the case in the following generation when they pass the treasure of Zen.

When Zen is passed to DaMo (Chinese pronunciation) as the 10th generation of Zen, the buddhism in India decayed. So DaMo left India to China, that is in Liang Dynasty, just before Tang Dynasty in China. He settled down in Shao-Lin Temple after he met the Emperor. He brought some great method in training people's body and soul, and initiated the Chinese Zen (as he honored the first generation of Chinese Zen), His another contribution is the Shao-Lin Kongfu, although it is a way of fighting, it means to help people to improve their spirit level. Shao-Lin Kongfu began famous at the beginning of Tang Dynasty, for the monks saved the Emperor Li Shimin with their fighting skills ( this is about 600AD)

Lao-Tzu (about 600BC) is the founder of Taoism, is at the same period with Buddha, in Chinese Spring and Fall Dynasty. (in fact at the same time, the Socrates in the west world). He is a master of the Chinese traditional philosophy, and systematically initiate the theory of Yin and Yang, the relation of man and nature, the relation with strong and weak. As Confucius said, he was a "magic dragon". His famous paper "Tao-Te Ching", is always treated highly for thousands of years. In that paper, he mentioned the way "learn from the nature as your teacher", "the new born baby is weak and soft, but the growing force is strong, when he grow up ,he becomes strong and stiff, the life strength is with weak and soft. When something is overwhelmed, it is near its end, although it looks strong." We can see this words strongly influence the Tai-Chi. So we say Tai-Chi is more near Taoism. After Lao-Tzu, there are a lot of Taoism training methods in China, aiming at "unity of people and nature".

There are a lot of Taoism physical practice in China after Lao-Tzu, at first they are learned from the long life animals and the nature, and then they pay attention to the breath, and and the impact of mind. They learned from outer apperence to the inner meaning of the nature phenomena. Among those people, are the Wang Chongyang in Zhongnan Mountain, Xu Xuanping in Sung Dynasty, and as the founder of Tai-Chi Chuan, Chang Sanfeng.

The Taoism methods, the Buddhism methods, and India Yoga school methods, form the unique oriental training style so different with the modern way (such as athletic way like jogging and body building). Even in today, they are helpful for the mankind to solve the problems in modern life from different ways .

Chang Sanfeng (1247--?) first studied at Shao-Lin, the buddhism temple and the source of nearly all the Chinese Kong-Fu, for about 10 years, then he traveled all over China, learned from Taoism and then settled in Wudang Mountain. He is a great master and recluse in Chinese history, as respected as the founder of all inner martial art, which is called Wudang Chuan. Wudang and Shao-Lin are the two major Kongfu styles in China, one is called inner Kongfu, another outer.
He initiated Tai-Chi at his late years (but it is said he lived for 130 years). After he created Tai-Chi, it is not publicly taught, but as an esoteric technique. This was passed for several generations, and there was talent people in every generation, known or unknown by the public.

The beginning of modern TaiChi ( more than 400 years)

1-- Chen School TaiChi -- Chen Wangting, a man who discarded his high position and went back home to study Kongfu after the decay of the Ming Dynasty. He was a past general and also had a deep relation with Shao-Lin, so he has the oppotunity to collect the theories and methods of different Kongfu styles. One of the Kongfu he compiled in his hometown "Chen's Vilige" is called "13 gestures", which is a inner Kongfu.

2.-- Wang Zongyue-- a real recluse and great TaiChi theorist. It is believed that he carried the real esoteric skill from Chang Sanfeng. Although he was very skillful in fighting, his job was a teacher of children in small towns. It is believed that he taught his skill and the theory to Chen's Vilige. After that, only Tai-Chi and another style was passed in Chen's vilige. Wang's famous paper on Tai-Chi theory was discovered by chance in a salt shop in Wuyang County after 60 years of his death, which led the growing up of the Wushi School Tai-Chi.

3-- From Chen's TaiChi to Yang School Tai-Chi. The great master, Yang LuChan went to Chen's Vilige to learn TaiChi when he was young. But at that time ( maybe even now) Taichi is a esoteric, so he pretented to be a deaf person and work there as a chore helper, while he learned the skill at the side. At last, his deed is discovered and moved the head of the family Chen Changhsing, who decided to break the rule to teach Taichi outside the family.

4.-- Wushi School Taichi. Wushi Xiang is a landlord, a rich. He liked Kongfu very much and he was good at making friends. When Yang Luchang come back from Chen's Vilige, he become Wushi's friends. Wushi admired the skill of Yang, but did not get the full teaching from him. (Yang is a poor person from young ). So Wushi went to Chen's Vilige to learn. But at that time, Chen Chang-hsing was dead, and no one in Chen's Vilige would taught him. So he travelled to another place, where another guy from Chen's vilige, called Chen ChingPing, taught TaiChi there.
Another reason for the growth of his skill is that his brother, a officer in Wuyang County, found the famous paper of Wang Zongyue's TaiChi theory in a salt shop by chance. That was really a great guidance.

5-Wu School Taichi-- Wu Quanyou was the head of the bodyguard squad of the imperial family of Ching Dynasty. Before he learned Taichi, he had a deep understanding of Kongfu. When Yang Luchan was old and in Beking and fell sick, he took care of Yang for he repected the skill of Yang. They became friends and Yang felt he own a debt of Wu. Yang decided to teach skill to Wu as a return, and then he let his son, Yang banhou , teach Wu. After Wu had grasped the skill, he integrate his understanding of Kongfu and TaiChi into a new style-- Wu School Taichi. His style is more soft and slow, which pay more attention to improve the general condition of people but seldom issure force.

Some other references from the internet. They pay attention on some branch which the people who make the graph are in.

Practicing Taoism

Taoism teaches a person to flow with life. Over the years Taoism has become many things to many people. Hundreds of variations in Taoist practice exist. Some of these practices are philosophical, and others are religious. Taoism makes no distinction in applying labels to its nature because to do so would limit a person. We are each a blend of many truths. The truth taught in Taoism is to embrace life in actions that support you as a person.

Taoism teaches a person to live in their heart.

Here are some simple starting tips to help a person live as a Taoist.

  • Having a set of basic guidelines can be helpful. However realistically, guidelines don’t determine how to live instead, Taoism teaches by living you will express your nature. My guidelines are the following:
    • With care, I aid those who are extended expressions of my nature.
    • Be true to me
    • Connect to the world as I want to be treated.
    • Connect to those outside my nature with decisive action.
    • To those unwilling to accept me for my true nature, no action is required:
      Just silently let them be themselves as I remain myself.
    • I own nothing I am merely a passing custodian of items outside of my nature.

    I can summarize Taoism as simply as

    Taoism is acceptance of your life.
    Taoism is following your breath to find peace.
    Taoism is opening up a smile to enable possibility.

    If you embrace these three ideas, everything else follows in Taoism. Some people do start here. Others take a longer more colorful path. That’s fine also since you get to experience more color in your life. No wrong path exists at the end since it’s about experiencing life.

    Practical Taoist Advice

    1. At times the process of learning Taoism is also a process of healing. Take time to heal (don’t rush and hurt yourself more in the rushing). Taoism teaches to embrace your body with patience.
    2. There are over 7 billion people in the world. So there are over 7 billion paths to Taoism! Every person can teach us something.
    3. Sometimes you need quietness it’s ok to take time off to only hear yourself and not the noise of civilization at times.
    4. People expect and think that the goal of life is perfection, it’s not. Work both at being good at something while also embracing the various little faults in life. Imperfections end up being critical defining characteristics of each of us. The little bits of imperfection we each have are elements of chaos that give each person individuality and distinction! Without our small flaws, we wouldn’t be individuals at all! Taoism teaches us how to accept both the best and worse parts of our life.
    5. Taoism teaches a person to release expectations. The more expectations you have for your life, the less you will become. A Taoist lives life without expectations, living in the here and now fully. People also need a few expectations as it’s part of navigating their story. Here is a trick. Create only a single expectation at a time for that future experience. For example, an expectation you will smile or have some fun. That’s it! Don’t place any learning or changing into your expectation. If you do, this plants the seed for the opposite to occur, By creating a single simple expectation such as smiling, this then becomes something you can always fulfill since you can empower that action to happen. Any expectation more complicated or relying on something outside of yourself just sets up the future to not meeting your needs. Dropping expectation is very very important within Taoism.
    6. Lather, Rinse and Repeat, and then toss the instructions away to do what is right for yourself. Welcome to Taoism at the very elemental level, so be open, experiment and embrace what works for you. Taoism as a tradition has teachers who work with students on an individual basis. In the end, no guide or Master can be right for everyone. For this reason, we are always our own best teacher. Give yourself credit and patience to be such a teacher to your personal life.

    Explore Your Essence

    First: Learn how to trust your intuition.

    Second: Let go of judgments that hold you back.

    Third: Remove conflict and anger from your relationships.

    Fourth: Be kind to yourself and pace your life to match your essence.

    Taoism Timeline - History

    In the dark and mysterious underworld, the womb of the earth itself, the people and animals live with their kind and loving mother. To the north, near the sand, there is a lake where the first people climb the great fir tree and emerge to populate the earth. With them come good and bad spirits who can dwell in everything, rocks, trees, animals, plants and people.
    The Rio Grande River—at least the section that runs through northern New Mexico—is not a typical river that has carved out its own valley. Rather, the valley appeared first and the river followed. This "rift valley" is a separation in the earth’s crust caused by faulting and other earth movements when the North American and Pacific plates scraped against each other some twenty-nine million years ago.

    12,000 BC
    Early people roam the area, hunting large mammals, such as mammoth, and gathering wild foods for subsistence. They live in the open, sleeping in crude shelters, or in overhanging caves.

    3,000 BC
    Local people begin to adopt the idea of agriculture from neighbors in Mexico. Farming, even on a small scale, begins to restrict their movements to smaller areas where they can harvest what had been planted, thus leading to more elaborate shelter, and the development of communities and cultural differences.

    200 AD
    Pottery, pit houses for year round living, and village life with ceremonial structures begin to make their appearance.

    Great multi-storied pueblos are first constructed. Not long after this time, pueblos appear in the Taos Valley.

    Athabascan people (now called Apaches and Navajos) from the north and east begin to visit and settle in areas nearby to the Taos area.

    The Taos Pueblo structures were probably built between A.D. 1300 and 1450. Some "experts" place the date at 1350 when the Pot Creek Pueblo became abandoned and some of the inhabitants apparently moved to Picuris Pueblo and others moved to the Taos Pueblo.

    At the end of August of this year, Hernando de Alvarado, captain of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s artillery, is sent from Hawikuh to explore to the north and east. Leading a detachment of twenty soldiers, and accompanied by the chaplain, Fray Juan de Padilla, Alvarado travels east past the great rock of Acoma. Upon reaching the great river which he calls Río de Nuestra Señora, they are visited by twelve representatives of pueblos to the north with friendly greetings, so Alvarado and his soldiers travel that direction, going from town to town. Upon reaching an impassable canyon, they climb to a high plain, and on the edge come to a large pueblo divided in two parts by a river. He understands it to be called Braba. From there they travel to the east to see the plains after sending a report about the pueblos to the General.

    In September, a solemn event is celebrated in the temporary church that had been built by Don Juan de Oñate’s colonists at San Gabriel. The governor asks the chiefs of the Indian provinces if, in order to receive benefits of military protection and the guidance of the missionaries. they would swear allegiance to the crown. The Indians agree, and after the papers are drawn up, each Indian leader signs "amid great rejoicings". Fray Alonzo Martinez asks if they would be saved. After deliberation, the response is, that if, after instruction, they liked what they learned, they would follow the teaching, but if they did not like it, it would not do to be forced to accept something they did not understand. Thereupon, Fray Alonzo rededicated each of the Franciscans to their calling, and assigned each to go alone with the Indians to a pueblo. Fray Francisco de Zamora is given the northernmost pueblos, Picurís and Taos.

    The difficulties of the colonists and their complaints cause Oñate to fall into disfavor, and he is replaced by Pedro de Peralta as governor. One charge against Oñate is that he killed a young Taos leader by hurling him from a roof.

    1610 - 1617
    Fray Francisco de Zamora was based at the Taos Pueblo to spread the Catholic faith in the Taos Valley. The first mission church was founded around 1610-12 or 1617 and became known as Mission de San Geronomio.

    Resentments over the attempts by religious authorities to quash native rites, and the demands by encomenderos ** for tribute cause hostility from the Taos Pueblo and culminate in this year when the Indians kill their priest, Fray Pedro de Miranda, and other Spanish people in the vicinity and flee northeastward to the Cuartelejo Apache villages.

    **Encomienda - A provision of guardianship by which each Spanish landholder has "commended" to him the Indians who live on his land. He is responsible for their spiritual and physical welfare, and in return work, crops or products are owed to him. In practice, far away from Spanish authority, this amounts to slavery.

    Taos people return reluctantly to their pueblo at the urging of Governor López de Mendizábal amid charges and countercharges between the governor and religious authorities regarding the troubled relationship with the Indians.

    All of the Pueblos, skillfully organized by Popé, a native of San Juan Pueblo who had been hiding at Taos, rise in revolt on August 10. At Taos, some seventy settlers, as well as the priests, Antonio de Mora and Juan de la Pedrosa are killed. Don Fernando Durán y Chávez and his son Cristóbal, who have a hacienda nearby escape to Santa Fé. Two other landowners, Sebastián de Herrera and Diego Lucero de Godoy who are away at the time also escape, but lose their families in the massacre. The combined Pueblo forces drove the Spanish out of New Mexico until 1692.

    Don Diego De Vargas completed the Re-Conquista of NM with the last phase being completed in 1696 when De Vargas persuaded the Taos Pueblo Indians to drop their arms and come back out of the mountains.

    In June of this year, Governor Juan Ignacio Flores de Mogollón revalidates a grant made previously a soldier, Cristóbal de la Serna, who had been unable to take posession previously in 1710 because of his military service. The cacique, governor and lieutenant governor of the pueblo of Taos are summoned by Alcalde Juan de la Mora Piñeda, and make no objection to the act of posession by Serna.

    The Diego Lucero de Godoy Landgrant was granted to Antonio Martinez and became the Martinez Grant.

    The Spanish government forbids trade with the French, and limits trade with the Plains Indians only to Taos and Pecos, thereby giving rise to the annual summer trade fairs at those locations where Comanches, Kiowas and others come in great numbers to trade captives for horses, grain and trade goods from Chihuahua.

    In late summer, three thousand Comanches descend on the Taos Valley, intent on destroying the Pueblo, and carry away 56 women and children. By legend, one of these is María Rosa de Villalpando, beautiful daughter of a settler, who, in order to gain the friendship of the Indians had promised her as a child to one of the chiefs in marriage. Now older, she refuses the chief, thus precipitating the raid. According to Josiah Gregg, she lives for some years among the Comanches, is bartered to the Pawnee, from whom she is purchased by a Frenchman of St. Louis, and lives to a ripe old age with many descendants there.

    At the time of the American Declaration of Independence according to the census taken by Father Dominguez, the Taos Valley area contained 67 families with 306 Spaniards. The Ranchos de Taos area was the most populated at that time.

    By this year, Spanish settlers who had been living within and close to the Taos Pueblo for protection from raiding Indians, have moved to the location of the present town of Taos. In the following year, Governor Fernando Chacón approves a grant there, and 63 families are placed in posession of the Don Fernando de Taos grant by Alcalde António José Ortíz. The boundary of this grant overlaps with land granted earlier to the pueblo, as well as the La Serna Grant.
    - ( Interesting account from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico )

    Don Severino Martinez Family including Padre Jose Antonio Martinez moved to Taos and the Martinez Hacienda was built in 1804 in a fortress style architecture.

    The Taos Tax Revolt occured when 280 Spanish subjects living in Taos were jailed for protesting the heavy handed method the Alcalde Mayor, Pedro Martin presented the new 5% tax. The complaint was presented to the New Mexico Governor Alberto Maynez who addressed the grievance by accepting the citizens oath of loyalty to the Spanish Crown. The Alcalde Mayor Pedro Martin resigned and was replaced.

    Mexican Independence from Spain was hardly noticed in Taos but the trickle of newcomers from the East became a floodtide after the opening of the Santa Fe Trail.

    Padre António José Martínez, newly ordained, is assigned to the parish of Guadalupe at Taos. This same year, a sixteen year old runaway apprentice named Christopher Carson arrives in Taos from Missouri with a group of traders led by Cerán St. Vrain.

    The first printing press west of the Mississippi River was brought to Taos by Padre Martinez who then published the first newspaper "El Crepusculo" which is the predecessor to The Taos News. The first book published in New Mexico was published for the school.

    Padre Martínez, after giving him instruction, baptizes Kit Carson as a Catholic so he can become engaged to marry Josefa Jaramillo.

    Kit and Josefa marry. Kit Carson purchases a house from the Jaramillo family as a wedding present to his new bride. The house built in 1825, served as the Carsons' home until 1868, and today as the Kit Carson Home and Museum.

    Col. Stephen W. Kearney with his "Army of the West" occupied New Mexico for the U.S. and Charles Bent of Taos was appointed as the first American Governor of N.M.

    Taos Pueblo Indians and firebrand Hispano nationalists revolted against the U.S. occupation and landgrant land losses. Governor Bent was murdered and Captain Burgwin died in final assault on the Pueblo Church where the resistors took refuge. After a trial, several vanquished rebels convicted of crimes related to the uprising were then sentenced and hung at the Taos Plaza.

    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed ending the Mexican/American War ceding Taos and the Southwest to the U.S. and making all non-Indian inhabitants who did not leave within one year citizens of the U.S.

    Early this year, a hot and bitter struggle in Congress over Texas, New Mexico, Utah and California reaches dangerous heights, but by September a bill is agreed to which admits California as a free state, establishes the boundary between Texas and New Mexico, and admits New Mexico and Utah as territories with the right to hold slaves left open. A great conflict over slavery is averted temporarily.
    In the following year, the New Mexico territorial government is organized and in the first legislative assembly, among other acts, Taos County is established to include "all the territory north of the line running west from Tetilla de la Petaca to the California line and southeast from the Petaca through Embudo, Rincones, and Las Trampas to the junction of the Mora and Sapello Rivers and thence due east to the Texas line."

    The Ceran St. Vrain Taos Grist Mill established on the Rio Grande del Ranchos, 3 miles upstream from the Ranchos de Taos Plaza. Flour from this mill was to supply the growing needs of the new US military presence.

    Battle of Cieneguilla - The First Dragoons from Ft. Burgwin commenced an unauthorized attack on the Jicarilla Apache village near Dixon. The First Dragoons were defeated by the Apaches losing 24 soldiers.

    For a few months, a privately owned pony express between Denver and Santa Fé traverses the old Taos trail.

    Civil War battles occured in New Mexico at Valverde and Glorieta.

    "The Long Trail" - 8,000 Navajos and 500 Mescalero Apache who had surrendered to Col. Kit Carson were marched 300 miles from Arizona across Northern New Mexico to be held at the Bosque Redondo on the Pecos River. 3,000 of these prisoners died due to starvation and disease.

    The Río del Norte and Santa Fé Railroad is incorporated in Taos. The proposed line is projected from Costilla through Taos and on to Santa Fe, but is never surveyed. Later attempts to bring rail service to Taos also fail and Taos remains somewhat isolated today, distant from many of the stresses of development.

    The first American artist, Ernest Blumenschien and Bert Phillips arrive in Taos when their wagon wheel broke. They liked it and stayed, later to establish an Artist Colony.

    New Mexico became the 47th state.

    Taos Society of Artists was formed by Bert Philips, Ernest Blumenschein, Oscar Berninghaus, Josepf Sharp, E. Irving Couse and Herbert Dunton.
    (disbanded in 1927) - Additional Information

    Town of Taos was incorporated.

    Taos Ski Valley (TSV) was started.

    Taos Gorge Bridge was completed.(US 64)

    The New Buffalo commune was founded in Arroyo Hondo. The Taos area was a mecca for the Hippie movement and was duplicated for the Easy Rider movie set. This and other communes in the surrounding area is where the young Counter Culture dreamed of building a better world. Taos became known as the Hippie Capital in the US.

    The US government returns sacred Blue Lake to Taos Pueblo in a landmark decision.

    On the 4th of July The Encebado Fire was ignited by lightening within a mile of the historic Taos Pueblo Buildings. It took more than a thousand fire fighters 13 days to contain the 5,400 acre blaze. Fortunately there was no loss of life or structures but the Rio Pueblo watershed and the sacred pueblo land will take a generation to recover.

    1. Cave Yogis and Vedic Sages

    Where did meditation come from?

    Meditation originated in India, a very long time ago. The oldest documented evidence of the practice of meditation are wall arts in the Indian subcontinent from approximately 5,000 to 3,500 BCE, showing people seated in meditative postures with half-closed eyes.

    The oldest written mention of meditation is from 1,500 BCE in the Vedas. That is the time when the Vedas made it to paper, but it must be understood that the Vedas had been memorized and passed down as an oral tradition for centuries, long before they were finally written down. In fact, the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad (f14th century BCE) lists nearly 70 generations of meditation gurus and students that had existed up to that point.

    During this ancient time, meditation was a practice for religious people and wandering ascetics, who through it sought to transcend the limitations of human life, connect with universal forces (personified as deities), and union with the transcendental reality (called Brahman in the Vedas).

    The Hindu tradition of meditation includes both the Yogis meditating in caves, as well as the Sages (rishis) of the Vedic culture. It is the oldest meditation tradition on Earth—still alive and thriving. It has hundreds of lineages and techniques.

    Most likely the first meditation technique to be invented/discovered was either mantra meditation or gazing—althought we can’t know for sure.

    The modern Yoga movement, which emphasizes postures and breathing exercises, is an adaptation of just one of these hundreds of Yogic schools (the Hatha Yoga school). In general, Yoga is a wisdom tradition whose core is meditation and spiritual development—not a system of stretches and breathing practices.


    Religious Ceremony Held in
    Ba Xi'an An Monastery, Xi'an
    Taoism became a religion during the Eastern Han Dynasty and Lao Zi was respected as the creator.

    During Three Kingdoms, many scholar-bureaucrats practiced Taoism and it soon became separated into an aristocrat sect and a folk sect. This situation lasted till the Jin Dynasty but doctrines were not strictly adhered to due to the chaotic political background.

    Sui Emperors professed to Buddhism but still placed importance on this religion. Ten Taoist temples were constructed in Chang'an (today's Xi'an) under the order of Emperor Yang, the notorious tyrant of Chinese history.

    Tang Emperors regarded themselves as offspring of Lao Zi and Taoism developed rapidly and had a profound repercussion on the subsequent dynasties.

    Unlike Buddhism, Taoism does not advocate asceticism. It pursues longevity and holds an open view toward sex. In the heyday (during Tang Dynasty), there is no strict restriction on this. Taoist nuns were not uncommon. A poem satirizes that beautiful nuns were used to attract people as a means to compete with Buddhist temples.

    Zhenwu God in Taoism
    In the middle years of the Tang Dynasty, aristocratic women, court maidens, and almes flocked to join the Taoist nuns, which had the effect of making this group more romantic and better endowed from a cultural and artistic point of view. The reasons why women became nuns varied which meant that their prime purpose was not merely an ascetic life filled with devotion. Many were so beautiful that the temples were filled with people coming to solely to admire them. All these facts were noted in the Tang records. Many poets fell in love with Taoist nuns and many beautiful and sentimental poems were left when their love was unrequited. As Taoist nuns were called Nv Guan and later Nv Guan Zi, became a ci pai, a name of the tunes to which ci poems were composed.

    Special institutions were set up by the Ming court to rule over the Taoist affairs. Another big event is the integration of the stories of the Eight Immortals. Over its long history, many legends about Taoist figures emerged and the most well-known are those of the Eight Immortals. A colloquial phrase has it, "like the Eight Immortals crossing the sea, each one showing his or her special feats'. These Eight Immortals are seven men and a woman. The images of the Eight immortals can be seen in many artifacts, from the bridal sedan to cakes, vases, paper-cutting and paintings.

    Taoism was suppressed by the Qing rulers as well as by the foreign invaders consequent upon the Opium War. It has been faced with a huge impact from foreign culture but it remains an influential system of thought among the Chinese people.

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