Archive for the ‘Shenism’ Category
our daily foods include 五行(wu hsin), different color foods may coordinate the internal organs of body, so, it benefits our health if properly arrange those foods.
五行 means 木(wood) 火(fire) 土(soil) 金(gold) 水(water), each is represented by 5 colors as Green, Red, Black, Yellow, White. They connect with each other and represent below various organs :
red food represent fire (heart, small intestines, and tongue) : such as apple, tomatoes, cherry, big jujube, red pepper, water melon, and carrot…etc)
this is helpful to reduce tired, get rid of coldness, to brace people up, increase confidence and willpower, make us full of power
full of natural mineral of iron, a good and natural medicine for anemia patient, it’s also suitable for nourishing women after menses
with plenty materials to reduce blood pressure, make blood tubes stronger, benefit circulation system to be healthy
with plenty of B carotene and tomatoes-ene (?), it is natural medicine to improve anxcious mood
red color can give people stimulation in the sense of sight, to have great appetite, to inspire spirit, it’s the best choice for melancholia patient
among all the red color foods, apple with an attribute of moderate, apple with various vitamins and microele, the most one close to perfection
Green foods represent 木 (liver, the gall bladd, and muscle) : such as Chinese cabbage, a type of lettu, and spinach
include chlorophyll and various vitamins which s helpful to liver’s health
Black foods represent water (kidney, bladder, ear and bones) : such as black beans, sesame, and blue berry…etc
with black pigment, helpful in raising metabolism and in raising function of breedlin system that have close relationship with kidney, bladder, and bones
Yellow foods reperesent soil (spleen, stomatch and the oral cavit) : such as orange, orange, pumpkin, corn, sweet chrysanthemum, banana and carrot…etc
can help to cultivate positive and open and clear mood, increase the sense of humor, more to strengthen digestion system and livers, to clean toxins
in blood, also can make skin smooth and detailed
with vitamin C ; very often we can see carotene with orange color pigment, which is a material of powerful anti-oxidiz, can reduce the harm to body
which comes from air polution, also with function of anti-oldness and feebleness
o 由於黃色接近光譜中紅色的一端，所以黃色食物也有振奮作用，能讓人精神集中，所以在精神渙散的夜晚，喝一杯甘菊茶就能讓思維重新進入狀態；since the yellow coloer is close to an end of red color in spectrum, so yellow color foods also with sphere of action of inspiration, to make
people concentrate spiritually, so, to take one cup of sweet chrysanthemum tea can make thought back to proper condition on the night when you have lax or slack spirit
the skin, meat, network, and core of orange can make into medicine, to adjust Chi and get stomatch healthy, stop coughing and to even pant, with plenty pectin can reduce blood pressure, 橙皮甙 and 蘆丁 may strengthen blood tube and to raise resistance ability of blood capill, so can prevent adult disease of high blood pressure and artery’s hardeness
corn and banana are also very good cleansing stuff for trash, because they have function of strengthen digestion system and livers, can clean
away toxins in blood, corn can also bring us bright eyes
5. 白色食物代表金（肺、大腸和鼻）：如洋蔥、大蒜和梨等 White foods represent gold (lung, big intestines and nose) : such as onion, garlic and pear
o 具有抗敏感及炎症功能。 with function of anti-sensitiveness and anti-inflammation
使用很簡單，知道自己什麼不好，照套用即可。如咬到舌頭者，吃二個紅色的番茄；容易感冒者，多吃些白色的雪梨；口腔潰瘍者，多吃些黃色的橙……，余此類推。it’s easy to use above knowledge, if you know what no good of your body, just do it abide by above rules, for example, if you bite your tongue, you can take 2 red tomatoes ; those who easily catch cold, you can take white snow pears often ; if the mouth with ulcer, you can take yellow orange often….
some prefer sweetness, some prefer hot and spicy foods, some prefer salty foods, if reflects people’s inner personality by showing people’s favorite about food’s taste.
from the point of view of metaphysics, people who bron in different month, the percentage of 五行 in their fate format are different, if want to naturally raise good luck,
just have to avoid something bad and approach something good when taking foods.
a year with 12 months, people who born in different month with their own representitive 五行’s attribute. the first month in Chinese calendar and the 2nd month are months for prosperous 木 ; the 4th and 5th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 火 ; the 7th and 8th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 金 ; the 10th and 11th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 水 ; the 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 土.
五行多除少補 to delete extra 五行 and to supply more 五行 when insufficient
just because all skills can’t seperate from 五行, so, how to manage or to handle what we need in life is to take more about foods which are helpful for producing goodluck, then, you may promote luck “by yourself”.
in addition to fate format, we can also differentiate food’s 5 kinds of tastes into 五行, among them, bitterness belongs to 金 (gold), sourness belongs to 木 (wood), saltness belongs to 水 (water), hot and spicy belongs to 火 (fire), sweetness belongs to 土 (soil). according to the principle of 五行 that make each of them with positive interaction, people who with prosperous 木, better take gold and soil, can eat more about bitter and sweet foods ; people who with prosperous fire, better take gold and water, can eat more about bitter and salt foods ; people who with prosperous gold, better take wood and fire, can eat more about sour and spicy foods ; people who with prosperous water, better take fire and soil, can eat more about spicy and sweet foods ; people who with prosperous soil, better take wood, can eat more about sour foods.
Translation: Author unknown
The Difference between Taoism, Buddhism and Shenism
(…) Chinese folk religion retains traces of some of ancestral primal religious belief systems such as animism and shamanism, which include the veneration of (and communication with) the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the Heaven and various stars, as well as communication with animals. It has been practiced by the Chinese people for thousands of years, and since the start of the Common Era alongside Buddhism, Taoism and various other religions.
Rituals, devotional worship, myths, sacred re-enactment, festivals and various other practices associated with different folk gods and goddesses form an important part of Chinese culture today. The veneration of secondary gods does not conflict with an individual’s chosen religion, but is accepted as a complementary adjunct, particularly to Taoism.
Some mythical figures in folk culture have been integrated into Chinese Buddhism, as in the case of Miao Shan. She is generally thought to have influenced the beliefs about the Buddhist bodhisattva Guanyin. This bodhisattva originally was based upon the Indian counterpart Avalokiteshvara. Androgynous in India, this bodhisattva over centuries became a female figure in China and Japan. Guanyin is one of the most popular Bodishisattvas to which people pray. (…)
(retrieved 17.01.2014 at http://interfaithnet.wordpress.com/world-religions-spiritual-traditions-2/chinese-traditional-religions/)
(…) To distinguish “Shenists” from Taoists and Buddhists is to ignore the reality that it is not possible to define any Chinese belief system as it is practised today as one with a uniform, discreet set of values.
Here’s why: The act of Chinese ancestral and deity worship predates history. China’s first official religion – really more of a “thought system” – was Taoism, believed to be founded by the legendary philosopher, Lao Zi, over 2000 years ago.
Even then its practice was split three-ways: philosophical, religious and popular Taoism, with the latter two belief systems incorporating aspects of folk religion such as ancestral spirits, divination, and sorcery. Then came Buddhism, which was introduced to China in the Han Dynasty, about 200 AD, around the same time Taoism became the nation’s official religion. Buddhism was thus intertwined with Taoism from the start. Its scriptures were translated using Taoist vocabulary; records show Buddhism at the time was described as a kind of “foreign Taoism”.
The switcheroo went both ways. In competing for the public’s attention, Taoist leaders followed the Buddhists’ example and built monasteries and temples. They also adopted their ideas of vegetarianism and prohibited alcohol. The mix finally coalesced during the Song Dynasty, when Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism were patched together resulting in the state-endorsed Neo-Confucian philosophy, which lasted roughly between 960 and 1280 AD.
Venerable Shravasti Dhammika, an Australian who lives in Singapore and is the advisor to the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society, is right in that the worship of Chinese folk gods and spirits has nothing to do with the original, philosophical teachings of Lao Zi or the Buddha.
Here is some more about Shravasti Dhammika: http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/library/profile.php?aapath=17
Interesting comment on this article from Jeremy Shiu (extract):
(…) Chinese folk belief is based on the structure of Taoism. E.g, looking at talisman practices in ‘Chinese belief’/Chinese Folklore; we can see the dominance influence is Taoism. Chinese belief – literature and novels like – Journey to the west, Feng Shen Bang etc, although some are ‘degrading’ Taoism, but nonetheless the key structure is still very much Taoist – e.g, in Journey to the West, its background is set on Jade Emperor’s Heavenly administration(Celestial Heaven). Look at the ‘gui ren zhi’ (joss paper) in ‘Chinese folk beliefs’ and it is clearly a form of Taoist talisman (by the writings, pictures etc). (…)
(retrieved 17.01.2014 at http://archive.is/awfj)
Chinese folk religion
(…) The ”’Chinese folk religion”’ or ”’Chinese traditional religion”’ ( or 中国民间宗教 or 中国民间信仰 / Zhōngguó mínjiān zōngjiào or Zhōngguó mínjiān xìnyăng), sometimes called ”’Shenism”’ (pinyin: ”Shénjiào”, 神教).
The term ”’Shenism”’ (神教, ”Shénjiào”) was first used in 1955 by anthropologist Allan J. A. Elliott, in his work ”Chinese Spirit-Medium Cults in Singapore”.
During the history of China it was named ”’Shendao”’ (神道, ”Shéndào”, the “way of the gods”), apparently since the time of the spread of Buddhism to the area in the Han period (206 BCE–220 CE), in order to distinguish it from the new religion. The term was subsequently adopted in Japan as ”Shindo”, later ”Shinto”, with the same purpose of identification of the Japanese indigenous religion. The oldest recorded usage of ”Shindo” is from the second half of the 6th century. is the collection of grassroots ethnic religious+ traditions of the Han Chinese+, or the indigenous religion of China+.Lizhu, Na. 2013. p. 4. Chinese folk religion primarily consists in the worship of the ”shen” (神 “gods”, “spirits”, “awarenesses”, “consciousnesses”, “archetypes”; literally “expressions”, the energies that generate things and make them thrive) which can be nature deities, city deities or tutelary deities of other human agglomerations, national deities, cultural+ hero+es and demigods, ancestors and progenitors, deities of the kinship. Holy narratives regarding some of these gods are codified into the body of Chinese mythology. Another name of this complex of religions is ”’Chinese Universism”’, especially referring to its intrinsic metaphysical perspective.
The Chinese folk religion has a variety of sources, localised worship forms, ritual and philosophical traditions. Among the ritual traditions, notable examples includes Wuism and Nuoism. Chinese folk religion is sometimes categorized inadequately as “Taoism”, since over the centuries institutional Taoism has been assimilating or administering local religions. Zhengyi Taoism+ is especially intertwined with local cults, with Zhengyi ”daoshi” often performing rituals for local temples and communities. Faism, the tradition of the ”fashi” (“masters of rites”), inhabits the boundary between Taoism and folk religion. Confucianism advocates worship of gods and ancestors through proper rites, which have an ethical importance. Taoism in its various currents, either comprehended or not within the Chinese folk religion, has some of its origins from Wuism.Libbrecht, 2007. p. 43. Chinese religion mirrors the social landscape, and takes on different shades for different people.Wolf, Arthur P. “Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors.” ”Religion and Ritual in Chinese Society.” Ed. Arthur O. Wolf. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974. pp. 131-182. (…)
(retrieved 24.04.2014 at http://shelf3d.com/i/Chinese%20folk%20religion)
“Temple Oracles in a Chinese City” – A Study of the Use of Temple Oracles in Taichung, Central Taiwan” written by JULIAN PAS
“A sample from the Kuan Yin oracles occasionally but by no means exclusively found in Buddhist temples” (Julian Pas)
Get the shortened text only version or see the full pdf with drawings.
Journey to the West by Wu Cheng-en
A mix of Buddhist, Taoist and Shenist dieties appear in the the “Journey to the West” (16th century):
(…) The Jade Emperor then ordered all the gods of the Department of Thunder to split up and invite the Three Pure Ones, the Four Emperors, the Five Ancients, the Six Superintendents, the Seven Main Stars, the Eight Points of the Compass, the Nine Bright Shiners, the Ten Chiefs, the Thousand Immortals, and the Ten Thousand Sages to a banquet to thank the Buddha for his mercy. Then he ordered the Four Great Heavenly Teachers and the Nine Heavenly Maidens to open the golden gates of the jade capital, and Palace of the Great Mystery, and the Tong Yang Jade Palace, invite the Tathagata to take his seat on the Throne of the Seven Precious Things, arrange the places for all the different groups of guests, and set out the dragon liver, phoenix bone−marrow, jade liquor, and magic peaches. (…)
(received 05.01.2013 at http://china.usc.edu/%28S%28fa5usj55v1e04q554ndbtt45%29A%28AH44v1t4zQEkAAAAMDc3YzcxOGMtNjc2My00NDZjLTk1ZTItOTU0Nzg1OWE3MDlkwRet7Hje9mO7FUYef0YNyayi_Ks1%29%29/ShowArticle.aspx?articleID=2213&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1)
Shenism in the 21st Century
Offerings made to the ancestors including modern computer equipment at the Chinese Qingming Festival. It is the Shenist equivalent of the Christian All Souls’ Day (Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed / Feast of All Souls).
See also Qingming Festival: Dealing with death in the 21st century by Runhong Zhang for more information (source: Meanwhile in China).
(retrieved 08.04.2013 at http://www.6park.com/news/messages/20227.html)
(…) The dragon is the single most well known mythical creature of all time. Its origins date back to the dawn of time and its legends spread across the world. Nearly every culture, at some time, has had stories and myths of dragons. At one time, people firmly believed in the existence of dragons. Some were worshipped as gods, while others were seen as demons that should be slayed. Today, due to modern science, the dragon has nearly been ‘explained’ out of existence. It lives nearly exclusively in fantasy, myth, story and film. Still, there are those who believe as strongly in the dragon as did those of old.
Dragons come in nearly every shape, size, color and even disposition. What a dragon looks like and how it acts is largely up to the people who believe in it. Most dragons resemble large lizards or snakes. They nearly all have scales and most are believed to have some sort of magical powers. Some have wings, others do not. There are air dragons, fire dragons, and sea dragons. Some are cruel beasts, while others are wise sages. The dragon is a very versitile being. (…)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://fantrepose.iwarp.com/dragons.html)
Origin of Dragons
(…) Many people believe that the origination of dragons came from serpents. Rather, they came from snakes and eels that people saw. As time went on and art evolved, these serpents became more and more decorated until they looked more like semi-Chinese dragons or sea serpents.
It is also suggested that people saw mutated eels and snakes or thought that some of their surroundings (i.e. for eels, seaweed, for snakes, sticks) were actually a part of them. Thus making them look as if they were draconic. This actually suggest that dragons were formed out of the misinterpretation of artwork, stories, and sights throughout the ages.
This theory pertains to the remains that people found and called “dragon bones” so it definitely holds no water in battle of where the term dragon came from. However, it does provided an interesting idea that people thought the bones of dinosaurs to be dragons, and they though dragons to be descendants (or parents) to such serpents as the snake and lizard. The Bones Theory suggests that people found the bones and created stories about the fierce creatures that once lived within those bones.
Sadly, this theory is lacking when it comes to civilizations as China and other Asian dragons. Due to their unscientific structures, Chinese dragons and Asian dragons could never have originated from seeing bones. On the other hand, one might think that they either adapted the bones to the dragons or they only found some bones. Whichever the case, this theory is not as likely as the Serpent Theory.
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://www.blackdrago.com/theory/origin.htm)
Sumerian Dragons (5000 B.C.)
The first dragons, perhaps, appeared here in the myths of the Sumerians. The Sumerian word for dragon is “ushum.” The story of Zu and Enlil dates back to about 5000 B.C. There is also the dragon known as Kur, and both Zu and Kur were said to have angered the gods. For instance, Zu stole the Tablets of Law from Enlil. Ninurta, the sun god, was sent after each of these dragons. For the most part, he completed the task, and managed to slay both dragons.
Chinese Dragons (5000 B.C.)
A Chinese legend has it, that Buddha told all the animals in the world to come to him. When the journey was over, only twelve animals had made it to Buddha, and so they became the Zodiacs. Among these was the great dragon.
Chinese dragons date back to around 5000 B.C. The Chinese believed that they were the “descendants of the dragons,” too. The goddess Nu Kua was half mortal half dragon, and she spawned dragons that could easily shift from human form to dragons, or vice versa. In addition to this, they could rise to the heavens, go to the bottom of the seas, and even change size.
Chinese emperors were said to be sons of the dragons and wore special robes. Only the Emperor could wear the sign of the celestial dragon because it was the sign of the ultimate power.
Most Chinese dragons did not have wings. However, they would grow branch-like wings when they became one thousand years old. It is then that they are called Ying-Lung.
Some are also known as Chiao or Chiao-Lung. This is usually a fish that has managed to become a dragon. For most fish, the challenge is to jump through miraculous gates on the ocean floor. For some, however, they grow to a certain age and become a dragon.
There is a story of one called Hai Li Bu. Out walking one day, he came upon a goose killing a snake. Hai Li Bu felt badly for the snake, so he stopped the goose from killing it. This snake was the daughter of the Dragon King, and Hai Li Bu was rewarded with a magical gem that could help him decipher what the animals were saying. He, however, was not allowed to repeat anything the animals said, or he would turn to stone. One day, Hai Li Bu heard the animals speaking of the coming of a great flood. Unable to simply let mankind die, he warned them of the flood, and Hai Li Bu turned to stone.
There is also a story of a great flood. Tien Ti, emperor of the heavens, looked down upon the earth and saw that it must be reformed, as the wickedness of the world was too much. With that, he sent down a great flood to destroy it. The god Tu, taking pity upon man, begged for Tien Ti to stop. With that, Tien Ti created a turtle and placed magic earth upon his back so that it would soak up the water. After this was done, Tien Ti sent out a emerald-scaled Ying-Lung dragon that flew over the world, carving the valleys and rivers with its tail. (…)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://www.blackdrago.com/history/outline.htm)
(…) The eastern dragons (most notably the Chinese and Japanese ones) are quite different from those found in the west. First of all, they are more commonly seen as benign and wise. The dragon is one of the four celestial creatures (the others being the unicorn, the phoenix and the tortoise) and is held in reverence. The dragon is a symbol of the emperor just as the phoenix is the symbol of the empress. (…)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://fantrepose.iwarp.com/lung.html)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nine-Dragons1.jpg)
Detail of the Nine Dragons scroll painting by Chen Rong, 1244, Song Dynasty
(…) Given the span of history and span of geography that the Eastern Dragon traverses, it is perhaps unfair to attempt to summarize all variations under a particular heading. Throughout history, the shape and temperament of Eastern Dragons changed, leaving many species of Eastern Dragons as well.
For a brief generalization, the Eastern Dragon inherited today has the body of a snake, belly of a frog, scales of a carp, head of a camel, horns of a giant stag, the eyes of a hare, ears like a bull, a neck like an iguana, paws like a tigers, and claws like an eagle. Eastern dragons are described with an angelic authority and beauty. They possess incredible wisdom. (…)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://www.blackdrago.com/types/eastern.htm#power)
(—) Chinese dragons have five toes. The Chinese believe that all eastern dragons originated from China. They believed that when the dragons flew away, they began to lose toes. The farther and farther the dragons flew, the more toes they lost. So, Korean dragons have four toes, and Japanese dragons have three.
Japanese dragons have three toes. The Japanese believe that all eastern dragons originated from Japan. They also believed that when the dragons began to leave Japan, they gain toes. The farther the dragons went, the more toes they gained. This is why the other dragons have more toes. The breath of Japanese dragons turned into clouds, which could produce rain or fire. Due to a measure upon their heads, they could ascend to Heaven when they chose.
Korean dragons have four toes. The Koreans believe that all eastern dragons originated from Korea. When the dragons leave Korea and go toward China, they gain toes. When the dragons leave Korea and go toward Japan, they lose toes.
Other interesting things to note is the differences between the dragons in pictures. For instance, males usually have clubs in their tails while females hold fans. These dragons can also be depicted as descending from the sky or inside clouds. Sometimes you might even be able to see a pearl, which is considered a ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ that the dragons possess.
Other things to look for include horns. Male horns were thinner near the base of the head and thicker and stronger outwardly.
Females have ‘nicer’ manes. Rather, they are rounder, and thus seen as more balanced than the rigid mane of the males. Their noses are usually straighter, their scales thinner, (after all, they are smaller!) and finally, a thicker tail. ‘Thicker’ meaning throughout the body.
Eastern Dragons are born with their colors based upon the age and color of their parents. The colors of dragons are: white, red, black, blue, and yellow. Each is born to a different parent.
Black dragons are children of a thousand-year-old dragon that is black-gold. They are symbols of the North. They caused storms by battling in the air.
Blue dragons are children of blue-gold dragons that are eight hundred years old. They are purest blue colors, and they are the sign of the coming spring. They are they are the symbol of the East.
Yellow dragons are born from yellow-gold dragons who are one thousand years or older. They hold no symbol. They are secluded and wander alone. They appear at ‘the perfect moment’ and at all other times remain hidden. Yellows are also the most revered of the dragons.
Red dragons descend from a red-gold dragon who is about one thousand years of age. They are the symbol for the West, and are much like black dragons. They can cause storms in the skies when they fight.
White dragons come from white-gold dragons of a thousand years of age. They symbolize the South. White is the Chinese color of mourning, and these dragons are a sign of death. (…)
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://www.blackdrago.com/easterndragons.htm)
Western Dragons usually have an evil character. It has the body of a reptile with wings. They can fly, spit fire, steal and likes to kidnap princesses. Maybe they keep the princesses as hostages, maybe just for helping in the household. Some demand regular sacrifices of virgins. Western dragons usually live in a deep cave, where they store the immense treasure they stole. Western dragons cause enormous damages, so huge rewards are set out for their killing. Western dragons can get several hundred years old and gather an enormous wisdom. Even if it seems, if they would have no gender, they are usually treated as male. The story about St. George is the most common tale about dragons in the Western world (Ann. of the Author).
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100328113860/drachen/de/images/6/63/St.Georg.jpg)
(…) Then said S. George: Fair daughter, doubt ye no thing hereof for I shall help thee in the name of Jesus Christ. She said: For God’s sake, good knight, go your way, and abide not with me, for ye may not deliver me.
Thus as they spake together the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground. And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard.
When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair.
The Golden Legend via BBC
(retrieved 27.01.2014 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/saints/george_1.shtml)