Do not allow the mind to lead one astray from Tao, and not supplement the natural by human means.
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.
在理解之间的联系的身体和思想，必须认识到思想控制的身体而不是相反。 虽然这 2 个是相互依存的，但思想控制相结合，创造一个有机体功能人机。 这意味着精神控制是至关重要的，这反映在庄子的警告，人们的头脑中”不应该让他们身体的欲望”逃跑。 该中心的传统道教研究帮助其教会发展的精神层面的人类存在的前提下以启示。 因为我们的大脑负责正确感知实相，然后发出正确的命令的人，这是该机制的一种精神的人将他的理解变成行动。 出于这个原因，我们的心可以是朋友还是敌人。 命令发出正确的身体、精神上的人可以以最佳方式浏览生活中的艰难。 对于那些困惑，它会发出错误的命令导致它的人类船只面糊本身毫无意义的旅途经历人生危险水域。 从本质上讲，一个清晰的头脑使道教同步自己与现实，而其对面的困惑-防止大脑无法准确地感知实相并作出正确的决定采取行动 因此，精神永远不能实现，除非是混淆
The Sage uses his mind like a mirror. It remains in its place passively…
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.