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Preliminary vows to receive Daoist “Lu” 籙 ordination

Rainbow apeared while writing and posting this Lu document

Jie 戒 Rules for receiving Daoist Lu 籙 registers and meditation lessons

The First Ten Rules or “vows” given to the novice, before receiving the Daoist Master’s instructions (Daoist Master Zhuang, 3rd edition, Ch.5):

1. Banish all hatred, anger, and sadness from the heart; otherwise the powers of the “Yin” Underworld (“3 worms”) will devour the internal organs;
2. Be benevolent and merciful to all living beings;
3. Do good; avoid anything that harms others;
4. Purity includes mind as well as body; banish all impure thoughts;
5. Never speak or think badly of others;
6. Breathing must be calm and regulated, during ritual as well as meditation;
7. Do not put oneself above others, always yield and take the last place;
8. Do not argue or dispute, realize that we are always in “Dao” presence
9. Life breath (Qi 炁) is diminished by seeking good as well as bad things;
10. Keep Zhuangzi’s rule, “fast in the heart, sit with empty mind” 心齋坐忘

Ten vows taken before receiving Daoist Lu Registers from a master: 收錄十戒

1. Do not kill; respect all living things;
2. Do not lust, after another’s wife, or any other person;
3. Do not steal; do not take recompense for teaching Daoism;
4. Do not use force or deceit to achieve one’s way;
5. Do not drink to excess; alcohol is forbidden during Daoist keyi ritual;
6. Treat all men and women as one’s own family;
7. See the good points of everyone; help everyone be joyful;
8. If a person is sad, fill them with good thoughts and blessings;
9. Treat all other as if their needs were your own; never seek revenge;
10. Work that all attain the Dao

The Lu 籙 registers for Daoist “Jiao” 醮 life ritual and “Zhai” 齋 post life/burial ritual, include the meditations of Inner Alchemy. (See next post).

Michael Saso, Mar 24, 2012, (with rainbow appearing over Honolulu)

13 thoughts on “Preliminary vows to receive Daoist “Lu” 籙 ordination

  1. Amazing photo! I like the 3rd vow donot recompense for teaching Daoism..I wish more would understand the importance of this. The top 10 reminds me of the lessons from chapter 67 of the Lao Tsu….thanks again for your great teachings.


  2. Thank you, William, and yes, it is an elaboration of Ch 67 of the Laozi. Those who use Daoism for self glory, fame, or profit, often show anger when others disagree with their interpretation. A “scientist” is one who admits he or she can be wrong, while a “humanist” is often unwilling to look for the good points in other points of view.. Taking joy in being scolded, put down, or challenged is a sign of deep spiritual way of life;

  3. Thanks Su Lao Shr, all of this is a important lesson I will never forget and always adhere to . Thank you…William

  4. Beautiful! I will translate this vows into Polish and post on my blog.

  5. Beautiful! I will translate these vows into Polish and post on my blog.

    Where do these vows come from?

    1. The vows are first found in the 5th-6th century Wushang Biyao 無上必要 Ch 35, in the Daoist Canon, and are also found in “The Teachngs of Taoist Master Chuang” (new 3rd edition, Daoist Master Zhuang), Ch. 5. They also appear as requisite vows to pronounce before receiving the Lu registers in the Longhu Shan ordination manual, (1868 edition) 給籙元科, pg 33b;

  6. Dear Professor,

    In your book on Gold Pavilion, you explain a centering meditation, including placing attention at the lower Dan Tien.
    I associate this practice with meditation presented by Guangchengzi in discussion with Yellow Emperor (Chuangzi, Chapter 11), the passage of”filling the belly” in Daodejing, and recently with an embryonic breathing.

    Could you indicate good sources of information about the centering meditation (focusing attention at the lower Dan Tien) or write about it?

    Kind regards

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful question, Lukamo, I will try to put together a longer response, and post it soon. There is an excellent explanation by Liu YIming,in his work Yi Dao Xin Fa 劉一名,易道心法 (1599) that explains the entire process, as well as so many fine works in the Canon; the Daoist Jiao ritual, when performed by a Grade Five and above master 正一盟威五品以上道長 performs the upper, middle, and lower cinnabar field meditations as a part of the Jiao ritual 建醮科儀, in the morning, noon, and night audiences. 早朝煉上丹田,午朝煉中丹田,晚朝煉下丹田;since most western scholars have only studied with Tainan’s liupin Master Chen, the use of inner alchemy meditation in Daoist jiao ritual is not well known in the west.

  7. What do you think about focusing attention not only at the lower Dan Tien, but also at middle and upper Dan Tien?

    1. yes, all three locations are important, the final state of Inner Alchemy meditation refines Qi, Shen, Jing 炁,神,精 into primordial Hundun 太極混沌 下丹田功夫 during the last of the five great Keyi rituals, the zhengjiaodaochang 正醮道場。

  8. Thank you very much.
    Your explanation in The Gold Pavilion is clear and useful in everyday practice. I’ m looking for such information in English, helpful in meditation practice without master’s supervision (because I haven’t found a daoist teacher).

    I try to meditate on the lower Dan Tien as often as possible and I can say (maybe too early), that it’s very powerful method (I feel greater peace of mind than after herbs :)) I believe that in a belly is the root of life.

  9. I heard that if you work with the lower Dan Tien then you work also with the middle and the upper one, because all Dan Tiens are interconnected.

  10. Yes, all three are connected. The best way to understand their roles in human consciousness is to see the mind and its judgments, as diminishing “Qi” (nourished by no image, no judgement, at which time the upper cinnabar field, ie Pineal gland, gestates healing purple ( 炁 Qi); the will, and the power to love/hate is lodged in the heart (center cinnabar field), the location of “shen” 神 spirit; Zhuangzi in Ch. 4 confirms that by turning off heart and mind 心齋坐忘 (done by putting Qi and Shen into the lower cinnabar field, and refining or emptying them therein), one is able to awaken the intuitive powers, or “jing”精, primordial awareness of Dao Presence 於道合一,於道合真。

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