Sunday, September 18, 2005

About Taoism

Tonight is Mooncake Festival (中秋节)a.k.a Mid Autumn Festival; I am staying at home blogging and watching TV. It all started with playing lantern and mooncake party when I was a kid; lighting candles and burning lanterns when I was a teenager; and now doing absolutely nothing at all. I don't see any kids walking with lantern at night and only a handful light up some candles. Perhaps the culture is really lost among the younger generations; even mooncakes now comes in modern hip flavours.

Let’s talk about the Tao cell group which my sister brought me in last week, before I totally forget about it. As far as my understanding goes (a very limited one), Tao is a life teaching with strong emphasis in morale. Tao do believe in Gods (quite similar to Buddhism), and you have to show respect for the Gods. When I entered the place (道场), I have to bow six times to the images of Gods (a statue usually). Most of the people have simplistic clothing, and some of the seniors are very polite (they bow and hand things with both hands). This is a cell group night, so they would invite a speaker to talk on some life related topics, where tonight is about Home (家). According to the speaker, there are 3 parts to a Home. Firstly, it is a place for us to grow up and rest. I forgot about the 2nd and 3rd part of it. But the talk emphasise on life teachings and morale (with references with Chinese Saint (圣人) and his teaching), about what values we should have and how we dealt with our families.

The speaker did touch on many topics and I can't recall all of them, so I just summarised on a few key points:

  • When we was young (1st part of our life), we were taken care and brought up by our parents. When we grow up (2nd part of our life), we will have children and take care of them in return. Thus, it is a complete circle (圆满). Perhaps I do seriously need to consider marriage and have children.
  • Why do we face challenges in life? Because God felt that we are weak in certain aspects, and challenges in given in the aspect to test and train us, to become a better and more complete person.
  • What is the purpose of life? Life is a training journey (修行) to better ourselves. We should follow Taoism teachings which emphasis on life teachings and moral, thus making us a complete person and return back to the hands of the creator.
  • What we are (human - 人)? Human are consist of 2 parts, our physical body and our soul. I take care of our body too much and neglected our soul. The physical body is just a form (a container) we take shape in, while the soul is eternal.
  • What is the life-long training journey (修行)? To feed our eternal soul, to be kind and helpful by following the teachings.
  • Taoist are vegetarians as killing (taking life) is bad for karma.

Don't take my word for what Taoism is, as I am no expert. Believe at your own risk, and explore more by yourself :)

The speaker did told an interesting story which I would try my best to tell it. 2 kids wrote about the most influential incidents in their life, which happen to be the same scenarios but one end up in jail while the other being a successful person. For the 1st kid a.k.a Jail Kid, the mom bought him and his younger brother some apples and asked them to choose. The Jail Kid wanted the biggest and most red one, but the younger brother told the mother that he wanted the biggest and most red one before he could. The mother scolded the younger brother saying he should not be greedy and must respect the elders and let the elder brother choose first. Though the Jail Kid wanted the same thing as well, but he wanted to capture the heart of his mother (he was a wise kid) and gave the big apple to the younger child instead. His mom praises him. The lesson he learned was he must be wise to understand and fulfilled others' desired to get what he wanted. He turns out to be a cunning crook at the end.

For the 2nd kid a.k.a Success Kid, he faces the same scenario as well and wanted the biggest and most red apple. The mom separated the yard into 3 equal parts; each siblings have to clean up one part. The one who can do the best job in the fastest time shall get his rewards, big and red apple, and the Success Kid won. The lesson he learned was the is no free meal in this world, and he had to work hard for it. He work hard and be a successful person. Having the same scenario, the result could be so different based on the mother's teaching and values. So, we need a good mother, and I need a good wife for the children :)

I found that the lecture is pretty meaningful and could help us a lot in coping with our daily life, especially to those who needed guidance to open their minds and achieve self realisation (such as my elder brother). After the lecture the offer some light vegetarian snack and everyone is being very helpful.

Okay, will I join Taoism? Though I think it is good, but I am a bit turned off by the extreme politeness and the bowing ceremony. I won't mind attending some of its lecture though. Besides, being a vegetarian make me anti social. Perhaps I am not ready for religion yet.

No comments: