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True self-cultivation involves the integration of mind, body and spirit.

                          -Laozi

The depth of knowledge to be gained from spiritual, medical, and martial traditions is profound.

The deepest meanings are beyond words and can only be grasped by direct experience.  Even with partial understanding, life changing events take place.

Through learning these traditions, clarity is acquired, perspective gained, and purpose realized.

An environment of growth, healing and awareness is available at the Temple of Peace and Virtue, which allows the student to go beyond a sense of limitation and take charge of their life by balancing body, mind and spirit.

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This year, Shifu Shannon has decided to organize the trainings so that initiates are better able to receive the level of training that is appropriate for them.  There will be two levels of trainings: those for initiates at the Dizi/Tudi level, and those at the Daoshi level who have been recognized as Daoist Priests with the Temple of Peace and Virtue. 

We are also asking all initiates to please formally register on this site for trainings that you will be attending.  This will help us to better prepare for trainings, and send relevant material to participants.

  • Purify the Heart: An Interpretation

    Purify the Heart: An Interpretation

    By Dr. Bernard Shannon

    Purify the Heart is the first of the Big Eight Incantations of the Morning and Evening Prayers and is the groundwork upon which subsequent Morning and Evening Prayers are built. As an incantation, it purifies and transforms the mind, emotions, spirit, and body while purging turbidity.

    Purifying and transforming, the prayer clears turbid and disturbing thoughts and energy, thus helping to protect and root the Hún and . The incantation allows Daoists to enter a state of tranquility and enables them to envision the heart of the Dào . Without this foundation solidly in place, our journey will be without merit and we will never find true tranquility.

    In this article, a line-by-line interpretation of this prayer is presented. This interpretation is rooted within the alchemical process that occurs as the prayer is worked, offering a deepening understanding of both the alchemical work of heart purification, and

    Read More
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The Paths

Eligibility

In the Dragon Gate lineage there are three levels of priesthood:
Level 1: Baishi 拜师- Initial ordination
Level 2: Guanjin 灌巾- Eligible after 3-years
Level 3: Shoujie 受戒- Eligible after 8-years
 
Besides "time in grade," the disciple must show maturation and presence of spirit in accord with their level of development. This level of internal cultivation should manifest operationally as well.
 
In the Morning Prayers (八大神咒), for example, a Baishi should have the prayers memorized, and should have experienced the appropriate internal alchemical transformation through the use of the prayers. A Guanjin, on the other hand, should be able to evoke from within each prayer its external uses or applications, 用法 (yòng fǎ), which are distinct functions beyond that of the personal cultivative effect. A similar differential should be seen with all aspects of cultivation and mystical practices.
 
Operationally one should find that with each degree promotion within the priesthood there is an increase of Light, increased connection to Heaven and Earth, and increased access to the Immortals.
 
As part of the criteria for ordination, there are basic skill sets with which the priest must achieve competency. These include foundational prayers, and various important talismans, hand seals, and stepping patterns. These basic skills are just that--basic.  The skill sets help Daoist Priests to serve their communities, which is an important part of ordination. Guanjin are required to have significantly more skills than Baishi.
 
For the last year or two, I have refrained from teaching much mystical/magical practices (玄学 xuán xúe). I have done this with the intention of helping our disciples develop a greater connection to Heaven, Earth, and Humanity and to divest their hearts and minds of the vices and superfluities of life. I believe it is from this vantage point that the mystical/magical practices (玄学 xuán xúe) will have their most efficacy. I want to share these practices as a Lineage transmission (师承shī chéng) not just as a function of the acquired mind collecting information.

It is strongly encouraged for those who desire to attend the trip to attend the scheduled Daoist trainings between now and then for examination, review, and refinement. Time will be allotted for filling in some of the gaps.

List of Expected Skill Sets

Priest (Baishi 拜师) Priest (Guanjin 灌巾)

Prayers / Incantations

  • Big Eight Morning Prayers (八大神咒)
  • Purify the Altar

Prayers / Incantations

  • Big Eight Morning Prayers* (八大神咒)
  • Banish Evil
  • Prayers associated with talismans below
  • Three Pure Ones

Talismans / Hui

  • Da Guang Fu
  • Guan Yin Fu
  • San Qing Hui

Talismans / Hui

  • Tai Shang Lao Jun Fu
  • Ling Guan Fu
  • Banish Evil
  • Golden Light Fu
  • Wu Lei Fu
  • Five Yin Organ (五脏符)
Hand Seals
  • Trident hand seal (幻灯印)
  • Five Thunder hand seal (五雷印)
  • Binding Demon hand seal (降魔印)
  • Five Directions Dragon Mouth hand seal (龙口印)

Hand Seals

  • Zi Wu Hand Seal (子午印)
  • Golden Light (金光印)
  • Big Dipper (北斗印)
  • Magic Square (Jiǔ Gōng Bā Guà Yīn 九宫八卦印)

Stepping Patterns

  • Ba Gua Stepping Pattern for cultivation (八卦罡)

Stepping Patterns

  • Magic Square (Jiǔ Gōng Bā Guà Gāng 九宫八卦罡)
  • Big Dipper (Beǐ Doǔ Gāng 北斗罡)
  • Three Tai stars (sān taí gāng 三台罡)

*A Guanjin should be able to evoke from within each prayer its external uses or applications, 用法 (yòng fǎ).


PLEASE NOTE: For this upcoming ordination May 2017 in Qing Cheng Shan ONLY, I am willing to make an exception to appropriate mastery of all of the above skill sets because: (1) we have this special opportunity at Jian Fu Gong, and (2) this list of formal skill sets has not been previously codified.
For this upcoming ordination, candidates for the level of Baishi must have all of the skillsets above with the exception of the Ba Gua Stepping Pattern.

Candidates for Guanjin must have fulfilled all of the requirements for Baishi and the bolded requirements for Guanjin, again with the exception of the BaGua Stepping Pattern.

Guanjin must also have attained the expected commensurate level of spiritual cultivation. This can only be assessed if they are in attendance at trainings prior to this China Trip.
 
Priests who receive advancement in ordination without these usual expected skill sets would be expected to expediently obtain and display competency in them soon thereafter.