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Asian Traditions of Meditation$
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Halvor Eifring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855680

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855680.001.0001

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Meditation in the Classical Daoist Tradition

Meditation in the Classical Daoist Tradition

(p.185) 10 Meditation in the Classical Daoist Tradition
Asian Traditions of Meditation

Harold D. Roth

University of Hawai'i Press

The classical Daoist textual corpus, while often treated as abstract philosophy, emerged from a tradition of teachers and students that was primarily based on a common set of meditative techniques, and goals. These techniques emphasized proper posture (aligning the body and keeping it still), breath cultivation (concentrating, patterning, guiding, relaxing and expanding the breath), the use of attention (focusing on the one or on the center), as well as a variety of apophatic training regimes designed to restrict or eliminate desires, emotions, thoughts, knowledge and sense perceptions and reveal a deeper reality known as the Way, believed to underlie these faculties. With time, a tradition emerged for viewing these self-cultivation practices as particularly beneficial for rulership, connecting the ruler to a correlative web of cosmic energies.

Keywords:   Daoism, apophatic, breath cultivation, tranquility, emptiness, Daoist rulership, correlative web, spontaneity, Way

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