It has long been my contention that the science of the East is meditation. What in modern times is the concept of a rarefied objectivity is mirrored in the Eastern tradition of a distanced view of the world around you, a perspective that strives to return us to something even more basic than our own personality, ultimately to re-instate our true nature.
Of course, most people think of this as the product of years of the most rigorous and sometimes even tortuous practice. But, as I also contend, there are well-regarded alternative methods of “awakening to the mystic world.”
What makes this book so unusual is that Mr. Strasnick was never a believer. His background encompasses computer graphics, political science (he taught at Stanford) and other intellectual realms. True, he has a good deal of martial training, but that barely explains the events in his book: “Meditation's Secret Treasure: A True Story of Visionary Travel by the Accidental Mystic.”
And what did happen? In a word, transformation, complete and deep. Mr. Strasnick had little inclination toward metaphysical sensation. But then, “...a skeptical spiritual neophyte sat down to began a daily practice of meditation and somehow slid through a crack between worlds, ultimately ending up in a strange new psychic dimension of the Soul…" In repeat visits over an extended period, the author's experience offers seventy strange visions and apparitions. This led him on a journey across multiple realms and worlds.
This is the story of someone who was not already indoctrinated, who did not bring a cosmology (at least, not a religious one) to the table. How would it be for you? These things seem like charming fairy tales where the reader suddenly pops up in the story. If you want to know what it would be like for someone who is not “inclined” in that manner, here is the book.
This book presents three classic texts on the nature of the Tao. It examine the macrocosm of the universe related to the microcosm of the human body. We see this reflected in the three levels of Taoist teachings, the Inner, the Outer and the Secret (Xuan). The Outer level deals with Human life in its social and familial setting. The Inner level deals with the energetics of the individual practitioner. The secret level discusses transformations which bring ineffable and unpredictable aspects of cultivation. This is not a critical account of Taoism but a discussion from the standpoint of classical students. It records rituals and aspects or authentic Taoist ritual which might be confusing and a little mysterious to some but that’s Taoism at the cultural level. A very good, slim volume on ancient Taoist practices and beliefs.
In this well-received version
Red Ping not only translates the Tao but "corrects some errors"
previously associated with it. This
version also has a face-to-face Chinese text and selected commentaries
from many scholars throughout the last 2000 years.
One of Thomas Cleary's most accessible and interesting translations.This
is a compilation from numerous texts on Taoist meditation (though certainly
with Confucian and Buddhist perspectives also represented). Among the
other, longer sections there is purported to be a section on meditation
by the semi-legendary creator of T'ai Chi; CHANG SAN FENG.
this is an important book ! Prof. Schipper is presently one of the worlds
experts on Taoism. Unlike so many who have written on Taoism he studied
from the inside, becoming a Tao Shih (Taoist Priest) in the process. Taoist
Body is about real Taoism, not the coffee house variety where "everything
goes". It discusses ritual, lineage, beliefs and philosophy. The
chapter on the Inner Landscape is worth the price of the book. He challenges
many misunderstandings and myths about the study while giving a thorough
and fascinating account of Taoist traditional and its continuity through
history. His book explores Taoist priesthood and its meaning. Very good
Note: There is only one available distributor for this book so expect a little longer wait when ordering.
Often referred to as "Taoist Yoga," this is a fine text on
the art of Chi Kung. One of the first ever written and widely available
in the English language. Still a classic it contains not only some instruction
but, more importantly, a properly respectful attitude that this (Chi
Kung) is something more than a New Age exercise for the Spa of the Future.