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Daoist ordination, Buddhist Abhisekha

The new, corrected 3rd edition of Daoist Master Zhuang, in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, shows in condensed format, what one must learn before receiving a “license,” in order to be a Daoist “Rites of Passage” master. It must be noted, here, that there is no such thing as a Daoist “ordination” in the western sense of the word; instead it is called “shou lu” 收錄 ie receiving a register/list of spirits’ names, summons, and appearances, and learning where to store the spirits in the body, to be summoned out and used during ritual, exorcism, and healing. The Tantric Buddhist equivalent is the “kancho(jpn)- guanding(chn)”灌頂, which is equivalently the same process as that used by the Daoist; often with the same mudra, manta, and sacred image. One must practice many years with a master who uses Chinese language in daily life, in order to learn the mudra 手印, mantra 咒文 and mandala 道場 images, AND actually see them, store them in the body, and know how to summon them forth and use them in ritual, to heal, and sanctify others. Once these processes are learned, one can go to a licensing place, such as Hieizan in Kyoto, Longhu Shan in Jiangxi, etc, and pay for a document which certifies that you paid for a license to perform public ritual, whether or not the spirits really come when you summon them. One must first go to a licensed Daoist master who knows the music, hymns, dance steps, and rituals, to learn how to do ritual meditation correctly. The reason for doing this is to learn how to perform the Rites of Passage, in a Chinese cultural and linguistic context only (there is no equivalent in the west).

When you go to a master and he or she says “I don’t know how to do it,” “I just do it to make a living”, then you have probably found a real master, and must by lengthy presence and unassuming humility learn by attending his/her rituals as a disciple, and praying with him/her, etc. If, on the other hand, the master says “I am the best, here is the fee,” or “I will give you an ordination,” such is done at modern day Longhu Shan, and even Hieizan (sixty days of physical deprivation and rote performance of rituals), and paying the $5000 to $9000 fee, one is given a license to “legally” accept money for performing rites of passage within a Japanese or Chinese cultural context. There are no equivalent rites in English, or at least no one has created them yet. Martial Arts masters, healers, TCM doctors, do not need to learn the complicated Daoist or Buddhist rites of renewal or burial, unless the goal is to perform them in a Chinese or Japanese cultural context. Perhaps we can work out a way to do this, in western languages and cultures,  on the web!

2 thoughts on “Daoist ordination, Buddhist Abhisekha

  1. It just sounds like something I can help with. If there ever were a truly sincere aspiration for the rituals in the West, then I can help design them. I do not see that demand yet but honestly I know the Chinese rituals that I do in Buddhism and that includes all the advanced training available to the Chinese here and some of us Westerners are effective here. Even while they are in Chinese this is still Western soil, with Western land gods and different mix of all kinds of religious deities being called on by various religious people here.

  2. the similarity between Tantric Buddhist mudra, mantra, and mandala (shin, ku, yi 身,口,意)and Daoist use of the hands 手印,incantation with the mouth 咒文,and summoning spirits out of the body by pressing the joints of the left hand, showing a co- relation between where the spirits are inside the body, and here they are placed outside the body in a sacred area called the Daochang – which is envisoned in the mind 意 as a mandala 道場. The Lotus Mandala 胎臟界, is brought into the heart of the Tantric Buddhist meditator, and the Vajra Mandala 金剛界 into the belly… by the same spirit used by Daoists to interiorize and exteriorize sacred spirit images in the Daoist’s body: Gundari 軍大利 aka gangshen罡神,who in both systems is the 7th star of the Big dipper, who pulls the dipper like a chariot into & out of the Buddhist and Daoist body, laden with spirits, mandala, and “qi” healing energy.

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