Manifestation

Principle #3

Manifestations of the Tao

Do not develop the nature which is of man,
but develop the nature which is of God.

Chuang Tzuen

Taoism acknowledges man’s inherent intellectual limitations and consequently avoids concepts that cannot be tested and verified by practical application — reason alone is not to be trusted. This prerequisite requires the Taoist to learn by observing concrete manifestations (“teh”) of larger universal forces and not rely upon speculation alone. In this regard, Nature serves as the uncorrupted manifestation of the Heavens and the model from which a Taoist should take his instruction. By contrast, the nature of Man, as manifested in Society, represents an unending source of confusion and is to be regarded with caution and suspicion. This duality — Nature versus Society — is a distinctly Taoist principle.

Oneness

Principle #2

Oneness — A Holistic View

In that he saw the unity, he was of God; in that he saw distinctions, he was of man.

-庄子

Taoism is a philosophical and religious system built on a holistic view of reality. It unifies all existence with principles that cut across both the seen and unseen dimensions. Its famous yin/yang symbol represents universal oneness with black and white colors rotating in a circle. This iconic image represents the duality of all phenomena — whether summer and winter, male and female, or life and death — as opposing manifestations of the same principle and not to be viewed as independent. Such an appreciation of Oneness is central to understanding Lao Tzu’s poetry and is fundamental to his philosophy.

Altars

Thangka Gallery

In the late 1990’s, the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies acquired an exceptionally rare and complete set of Taoist Ceremonial Paintings, sometimes referred to as “Thangkas.” These Taoist Thangkas are essentially a mobile Taoist Temple used by an ancient nomadic clan known as the Yao. In order to properly display these artifacts, the Center embarked upon a three-year construction project to build a ceremonial room and gallery

to display and properly honor these treasures. Rituals and ceremonies using these consecrated images are regularly conducted under the supervision of Grandmaster Alex Anatole.

Taoist Mountain

In 2009 The Center of Traditional Taoist Studies acquired an extremely rare Taoist artifact known as the Taoist mountain. This piece is a collection of Taoist Gods and actually represents a miniature Taoist Temple. The Taoist Mountain consists of four levels of divine dimensions. On the top level you can see The Three Pure Ones.

The first floor of the Temple of Original Simplicity-Center of Traditional Taoist Studies.

The second and third levels belong to the Mother of Big Dipper surrounded by various celestial masters and generals. The bottom level shows mortals bringing offerings and praying to the Gods. Unfortunately, almost half of the statues on the Mountain were lost during delivery.

Members of the Temple of Original Simplicity devoted much time and energy in order to replace lost parts of the artifact. Together with Trefler & Sons, members of the congregation rebuiltand recreated lost and broken parts of the Taoist mountain. After a year of hard work, this magnificent piece of Taoist history is showcased on the first floor of the Temple of Original Simplicity-Center of Traditional Taoist Studies.

Designated area of Taoist Deities for Praying and Meditation in Retreat Center, Falmouth

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.37.17 PM

Altar of Three Star Gods

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 7.53.19 PM

Altar of Jade Emperor

God of Health and Longevity

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.36.51 PM
Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.37.29 PM

God of Wealth and Prosperity

The Lord of Celestial Heavens

Shrine of The Celestial Spirits

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.36.37 PM
Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.37.04 PM

Evil spirit hunter Zhong Kui.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 7.46.28 PM

Holy Spirits of the Celestial foxes.

Alliances

Shanghai Chi Quong Research Association

In 1995, a delegation of the Center’s Board of Directors traveled to Shanghai at the invitation of the Shanghai Chi Quong Research Association. The delegation’s mission was to compare and contrast the various forms of Chi Quong practiced and taught at the Center. In addition, the Center wished to establish joint programs with the Association to further promote the practice of Chi Quong worldwide.

The Shanghai Chi Quong Research Association, a major component of the Chinese Chi Quong Research Association, has over 10,000 members in Shanghai. The membership includes individuals from all aspects of Chinese society with representatives from government, industry, education, and professional practitioners of Chi Quong. The Association’s headquarters boasts a museum and research library documenting the history of Chi Quong from ancient times to present day. Within the Association’s main building is a

clinical research facility that is part of the World Health Organization. The delegation’s visit was hosted by the Standing Deputy Secretary- General of the Association, Professor Zhu Run Long, a recognized leader in Chi Quong throughout China, Japan and Greater Asia.

During visits to Shanghai, the Center’s delegations have met with numerous practitioners and researchers of Chi Quong, resulting in joint cooperative programs. The highlight of these trips was induction of the delegation into the Association. This was a significant honor as there are but a handful of non-Chinese as members.

White Cloud Temple of Shanghai

In 1994, a delegation of directors from the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies traveled to Shanghai to establish ties with the Taoist community in China. During the trip, the Quan Shen Taoists of the White Cloud Temple in Shanghai honorably received the delegation. The Taoist Abbott Lui, Senior Abbott for the White Cloud Temple, met with the delegation in a series of extensive meetings. Grand Master Anatole described the Center’s

achievements in the United States as well as the core beliefs of the Temple of Original Simplicity. After extensive discussions, the Taoist Abbott was greatly pleased and agreed to support the Center’s efforts to promote the classical teachings of Taoism in the West.

During the visit, the Center’s delegation was granted permission to take photographs of the interior of the White Cloud Temple and its Taoist artifacts. This was an historic privilege representing the first time non-members of the Temple were given unrestricted access to the temple’s interior — one of the last remaining original Taoist temples.

The Center’s extensive documentation of White Cloud confirmed the authenticity of its own temple’s design according to traditions established thousands of years ago.

In October of 1996, at the invitation of Grand Master Anatole, Professor Wong, the lay superior of the Shanghai Quan Shen Taoists visited the Center of Traditional Taoists Studies in Weston, Massachusetts. History was made at this meeting with the signing of an Agreement of Mutual Support and Recognition between the two temples. As such, the Temple of Original Simplicity became the first and only western temple recognized by the

Quan Shen Taoists. The Center has since supported the White Cloud Temple by sponsorship of the Quan Shen nunnery outside Shanghai.

Moscow Center

In March 2002, the Russian Center of Traditional Taoist Studies was opened in Moscow, Russia. The Center’s mission is to instruct its members on the practices of traditional Taoist philosophy, culture, holistic healing and martial arts. Grandmaster Anatole is Master of the Center and Ordained Taoist Priest, Zigor Hush.

Physical Chi Quong

He can sit still like a corpse or spring into action, like a dragon

-庄子

Grand Master Anatole with Madam Chu in Shanghai. Madam Ju is the world’s foremost cancer healer using Chi Quong.

Physical Chi Quong exercises use various positions and movements to direct chi in precise ways. For example, one of the most basic Chi Quong positions is the “horse stance,” whereby a relatively wide-legged, low hipped position — resembling the posture of a man astride a horse — directs chi in a spiral pattern into the male’s prostate region. This area is susceptible to disease, particularly for the older male, and remains untouched by Western exercises. Physical Chi Quong simply and elegantly helps prevent such illnesses.

Madam Chu performs healing chi quongo(deep breathing) with her cancer patients achieving a phenomenal survival rate.

Chi Quong’s positions must be exact, for even a slightest change in the angle of hands or feet, can dramatically affect the chi’s flow along the various meridian channels. For this reason, Chi Quong is always taught under close supervision at the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies. As the practitioner becomes more proficient, new subtleties are added to make the exercises more powerful and effective. There are different levels of Chi Quong — ranging from “sitting” Chi Quong for infirmed patients, increasing in difficulty to intense Chi Quong for professional athletes.

Physical Chi Quong synchronizes its movements with breathing. The deeper the breathing, the greater the volume of chi pushed through the meridian system. Simply stated, the body’s position during Chi Quong controls the direction of chi flow while the depth of synchronized breathing controls the volume of chi flow. Such deep breathing yields powerful results, but can be dangerous if misused. Shallow, natural breathing during Chi Quong accelerates low volumes of chi, so any misdirection is of little consequence. Uncoordinated deep breathing, however, is dangerous, reinforcing the requirement for Chi Quong’s close supervision at the Center.

Grand Master Anatole demonstrating Chi Quong.
While the mechanical aspects of chi development are logical, predictable and often in sync with Western medical theory, there is a deeper, more profound aspect to physical Chi Quong. As discussed earlier, one goal of the Taoist is to synchronize himself with universal energy. In essence, the Taoist is a conductor of chi between the heavens (cosmic chi) and earth (grounded, organic chi), striving to improve chi flow rotatingfrom heaven to earth and back. By opening the body’s channels, physical Chi Quong makes the Taoist more receptive to cosmic chi. Taoists recognize that the healthful characteristics of youth — not its outward appearance — are critical to a content existence. Since our minds and souls are saddled with a physical form during their short stay on earth, a healthy body is a prerequisite for
Grandmaster Alex Anatole teaches ancient healing chi quong to congregation members in the temple.
contentment. The various characteristics of youth — flexibility, sound joints, and strong muscles — are, therefore, treasured “possessions.” Thus, physical Chi Quong is truly the Taoist “fountain of youth,” performing remarkable feats in transforming the body into a stronger, more flexible, and healthier vessel. Some speculate that its amazing efficacy from ancient times is testament to mystical origins. Regardless of its source, however, physical Chi Quong is an important, practical application of Lao Tzu’s principles taught at the Center for Traditional Taoist Studies

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 1.17.49 PM

Master Richard Percuoco, disciple of Grandmaster Alex Anatole is performing Chi quong.

Meditation

The Sage uses his mind like a mirror. It remains in its place passively…

庄子

Taoism’s founder, Lao Tzu, encouraged “stillness” as a way to clear the quagmire of runaway thoughts that block one’s view of reality. He prescribed a regimen of “mental hygiene,” a process to rid oneself of the confused thoughts born of dysfunctional values. It is the mental equivalent of bathing. Chuang Tzu wrote, “When you are disturbed by the external senses and worried and confused, you should rest your mind and seek tranquility inside. When your mind is blocked and gets beyond your control, then you should shut out your external senses.” Thus Taoism advocates a practical solution by which the individual learns to turn off his senses and down shut the brain for a rest. In essence, teaching the brain how to not think.

This prescription of not thinking led to the science of mental Chi Quong or “meditation,” the practical application of Lao Tzu’s mental hygiene. Just as physical Chi Quong develops the body to physically function better, mental Chi Quong improves the functions of the mind. By teaching the mind how to not think on command, it conversely allows one to better focus when intense concentration is needed. A mind that knows how to dwell in repose can spring into focus with greater intensity than a constantly frenetic and fatigued brain. Mental inaction allows for improved mental action. Therefore, the conscious act of disciplining the mind is equivalent to disciplining the body.

Mental Chi Quong is called “meditation” in the West. Its definition in America has been vague and unclear. Most Americans would describe meditation as the act of sitting in a relaxed position, thinking pleasant thoughts, and perhaps chanting. In short, they see meditation as really nothing more than mental entertainment. But this entertainment isn’t going to discipline the mind and bring the benefits of concrete training. True Taoist meditation is more precisely described as a focusing exercise that employs visualization techniques to accomplish specific objectives. It uses a disciplined process of mental imagery to yield practical results. Discipline is key. It isn’t entertaining to sit in place for hours, forcing the mind to focus on specific images while preventing it from wandering to some other, competing thoughts. Indeed, meditation is focused visualization — and it is most definitely work.

Although there are many forms of mental Chi Quong, the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies teaches three of the most important: (1) “emptiness,” or ch’an, meditation (called “Zen” in Japan), (2) “burning” meditation, and (3) “traveling” meditation. Emptiness meditation teaches the mind to not think and thus rid itself of thoughts, while burning meditation “burns up” the stress of daily life. Both techniques contribute mental acuity by opening the individual’s channels of chi and removing the blockages caused by nervous stress or physical dysfunction. Opening the meridian system through such mental cleansing enables chi to flow unimpeded. Traveling meditation is a prayer-like mental state by which congregation members can mentally “travel” to receive spiritual guidance and advice. This is performed in a special meditation hall under strict supervision of Grand Master Anatole.

Mental cleansing is doubly important because its benefits extend beyond the cerebral to the core of psychosomatic illness. Unlike Western medicine, Eastern healing emphatically contends that most diseases can be traced to physical imbalances triggered by mental dysfunction. Empirically, most laymen have found this to be true, noting that their susceptibility to the common cold increases during times of stress. Quite simply, stress reduces the body’s immune system. And if you accumulate stress mentally, you need to eliminate it mentally. This explains how mental Chi Quong’s reduction of mental stress yields physical benefits.

Philosophy

Do not allow the mind to lead one astray from Tao, and not supplement the natural by human means.

-庄子

One of the most important ways to gain an understanding of reality is through Taoist philosophy. Correct philosophical principles teach the mind to accurately assess reality and thus counter the effects of incorrect thinking due to dysfunctional notions originating from dogma. In this regard, Lao Tzu’s philosophy uses nature as its model of reality, unpolluted by man’s complicated distortions. He defined principles reflecting the true dynamics of reality. The Center of Traditional Taoist Studies teaches a curriculum with Nine Cardinal Principles at its core.

While Taoist philosophical principles can help the rational individual find his way out of confusion’s fog, it needs a practical means to fight off competing unhealthy thoughts instilled since birth and reinforced each day on television. Taoist principles may make logical sense, but the modern mind must battle emotions born of years following countervailing beliefs. Such ingrained patterns dog the mind with thoughts that disturb one’s mental state, causing it to run amok.

Magic Diagrams

The Perfect Man is a spiritual being.— Chuang Tzu

A Taoist diagram for success.

Taoist “magic” diagrams date to the origins of Shamanism and have been used for several thousand years. Given their Shamanistic heritage, magic diagrams were originally drawn with wooden sticks in the sand of special “sandboxes” or on the banks of rivers using reeds. Over time, these drawings were inscribed on the bark of trees and finally upon specially produced scrolls. In their final, most powerful form, magic diagrams were painted with red brush strokes on yellow or gold paper.

How do these powerful diagrams work? All of Taoism’s practical applications are based upon the manipulation of unseen energy called “chi.” In martial arts and holistic healing, chi manipulation yields tangible results that can be witnessed in dramatic physical ways. In a similar sense, Taoist diagrams harness the power of cosmic chi.

A Taoist diagram for protection from malevolent forces.

Taoist alchemists discovered that brush strokes conforming to specific configurations could modify a person’s aura (or individual chi) when made by a powerful Master. This procedure captures universal or cosmic chi from its normally disperse state and concentrates it. In a unique conjunction of mathematics and art, the configuration of the diagram contains encoded “information” that creates a specialized receptacle for the captured cosmic chi according to its specific purpose. In this way, the diagram can change an individual’s chi flowing throughout his meridian system and reconnect him to the beneficial flow of the Universe. Diagrams are hung throughout the Temple of Original Simplicity and used in its meditation and ceremonial programs.

Astrology

Use the light and return to clear-sightedness.

– Lao Tzu

Classical Taoist theory identifies three realms to describe the influence of universal forces upon mankind: the heavens, man in the middle, and the earth below. Man, situated between the two, is a conductor of life-energy (sometimes called “Chi”) between heaven and earth. All Taoist sciences, from Chi Quong to acupuncture to meditation, are built upon this principle, which forms the basis for Shamanistic and Taoist religious practices. Operating within this paradigm, Taoist astrology is used as a systemization of the heavenly forces above man, and minerals and animals for the earthly forces below man. These fundamental tools, used by Taoist priests, codify the two realms that bracket man and affect his fate.

While Taoist astrology describes how the forces of the heavens manifest their action upon mankind, the earthly dimension of universal energy exerts equally powerful effects. And the combination of these forces either increases or decreases an individual’s animal power. Animal power reflects the corporeal aspect of existence that, if weakened, makes one vulnerable to physical hardship and disease. Taoist priests perform astrological calculations and then adjust them to factor in the effects of earth’s natural cycles through the use of specific minerals (e.g. quartz and malachite), herbs, and other techniques. They use these procedures to invite the appropriate missing animal power back into the weakened individual, thus restoring balance. The master can also use the power of certain animals to serve as liaisons between guardian spirits and the individual.

According to classical Taoism, each person is born under astrological signs representing a specific configuration of stars. Thus, every individual possesses his own “frequency,” which is associated with inherent Chi energy determined by the star configuration at the time of birth. These celestial alignments serve as channels of the cosmic energy beamed to each person; changing this “beam pattern” affects one’s fate. Thus, the priest’s objective is to realign an individual’s personal Chi with that of the Cosmos, as dictated by astronomical configurations. This technique corrects ill fate that results from “misalignment” caused by internal mental confusion or external metaphysical forces.

Using the sacred knowledge bestowed by masters from several millennia ago, corrective “realignment” is accomplished using prayer, rituals, ceremonies and talismans. For convenience in the calculation process, ancient Taoists developed a system classifying these frequencies into groups of animals, trees and stones. Augmenting this manipulation is a sphere of life-energy radiating from a powerful Shaman or Taoist master, favorably affecting the fate of those within the temple.

Fox Creed

But I will lead you through the portals of Eternity to wander in the great wilds of Infinity.

-庄子

_JDR1324_1

The heavenly Fox in the image of the aristocracy, Mr. Hu and Mrs. Hu, China

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.27.06 PM

Nine tailed Fox Goddess from Thailand.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.23.09 PM

Heavenly Fox Goddess from the celestial Fox temple in Taiwan.

039
049

Master Anatole with Mask of the Celestial Fox and the Diamond King – the Highest Diety in the Court of Heavenly Administration of Celestial Foxes.

048

Mask of the Celestial Fox , Japan.

Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 4.01.01 PM

Mask of the Celestial fox When the Master puts it on the Spirit of the Heavenly Fox enters his body and mind. Essential for Taoist ceremonies of warding off evil spirits and changing someone’s fate from misfortune to fortune.

Taoist temples, regardless of location, tend to honor a consistent set of gods, including the Three Pure Ones, Star Gods, God of Wealth, and so on. In addition, many temples emphasize certain deities according to their individual traditions or beliefs. The Center’s Temple of Original Simplicity actively embraces the Fox Creed, an ancient practice of worshiping spirits known as Inari in Japan or Hu Lee in China.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.58.49 AM

The great God Inari in the male form descending from the heavens.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.59.06 AM

Ritual mask of Celestial Fox.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.23.56 PM

The Great spirit of Inari helping a Samurai blacksmith to forge an indestructible sword.

Grand Master Anatole at gate of the Inari Fox Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Note fox statues on either side of entrance.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.01.32 AM

Underground temple of celestial foxes. Temple of Foxes; Tokyo, Japan.

The Creed of Foxes has mysterious origins, beginning in China/Mongolia 3000-4000 years ago when peasants noticed that the presence of foxes often coincided with healthy crops and other good fortune. Thus, fox altars were built to attract good luck and a complex belief system evolved over several millennia as shaman priests explored their metaphysical aspects. Over time, the Fox Creed grew more secretive in China, only to be practiced by elite Taoist clergy; however, after migrating to Japan in the 8th century, became immensely popular throughout Japanese culture and today there are over 32,000 fox shrines in Shinto temples throughout the country.

It is the unique animal qualities of foxes that importantly contribute to the Taoist understanding of their connection to the spirit world. Significantly, the fox is elusive with generally mysterious behaviors. Unlike wolves, foxes cannot be domesticated, living according to their own rules and not abiding by convention. The common expression, “Sly as a fox,” is representative of this wily characteristic.

Because the fox burrows underground, it is thought, like snakes, to possess the wisdom of underlying or fundamental principles. And this profound knowledge, combined with the foxes’ unconventional qualities, is indicative of its unique abilities within the metaphysical world. In this case, fox spirits were discovered by shaman priests to be able to “fold” time and space, violating the commonly held model of physical reality.

So while the Western world was discovering the world wasn’t flat, Taoist masters were using fox spirits as pathfinders across dimensions.

Fox Altar at Temple of Original Simplicity

For a select group of shaman priests, fox spirits became a working bridge between the physical and nonphysical worlds.

There are many conventions associated with the Creed of Foxes, but one of the most interesting relates to their depiction on altars. Classically, foxes are displayed in stylized statues of male and female pairings; the male is on the left with a parchment (or key) in its mouth and, on the right, a female with a pill in her mouth. The parchment represents sacred knowledge, whereas the pill is a “seed” that can produce an immortal soul.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.24.39 PM

Celestial Fox banner from the Fox temple in Taiwan.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.23.27 PM

The deity Inari on a celestial Fox.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 9.26.52 PM

Taoist Fox master freeing a Fox spirit from a magic gourd.

For acolytes devoted to the Fox Creed this implies both a transcendental benefit, but also a serious obligation: sacred knowledge acquired by crossing time and space (represented by the parchment) can nurture the soul (the pill). However, to squander or misuse such a gift carries grave consequences. The Temple of Original Simplicity adheres to original shamanic practices, long thought lost to the modern world.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.00.20 AM

Heavenly foxes carrying the Fox master for celebration.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.01.01 AM

Celestial fox transforming to Samurai. Japanese wood block print.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.02.50 AM

Celestial fox celebrating the wealth of Inari and the jewel immortality.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 11.30.35 AM

Nine tailed celestial fox with the jewel of immortality and paw on the fire. Temple of Original Simplicity; Boston.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.00.32 AM

Nine tailed celestial fox with parchment in the mouth and paw on the fire.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.01.19 AM

Celestial Fox with mortal wife and Fox child. Temple of Foxes, Thailand.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.01.46 AM

Nine tailed fox exorcism. Japanese wood block print.

Grand Master Alex Anatole and his disciple Master Richard Percuoco conduct a seminar about “The Creed of the Celestial Foxes”.