To be in harmony with men is the music of man, to be in harmony with God is the music of God.—Chuang Tzu
Experience a 3D Virtual Reality tour of the Temple of Original Simplicity
At the core of the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies is its Temple of Original Simplicity. The Temple adheres to the traditional practices of ancient Taoism with programs dedicated to the mental, physical, and spiritual development of its congregation. All of its teachings adhere to the tenets of classical Taoism in their original forms without the distortions of modern culture. Programs include:
- Classes in Taoist philosophy according to Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching
- Meditation to reduce the harmful effects of stress, improving the body’s immune system, and quieting confusing thoughts
- Chi Quong to build a healthy body, increase flexibility, and strengthen mind-body connection.
- Prayer meditations for spiritual guidance
- Traditional Taoist ceremonies for religious observances
Master Anatole gives an introduction to The Temple of Original Simplicity.
Tao temple tour, guided by Master Anatole
The Pluralism Project: World Religions in America is a decade-long Harvard University research project with funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. Its mission is to engage students in studying religious diversity in the United States, exploring the communities and religious traditions of Asia and the Middle East that have become woven into America’s religious fabric over the past twenty-five years. The Center of Traditional Taoist Studies was profiled by the Project in 2002.
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.
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.
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 Grand Master Anatole.
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 second and third levels belong to the Mother of Big Deeper 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.