Welcome back to East Asian religions and ecology. In Week 4, let's consider several schools of Daoism that have continued into the present, using the pathways for the study of religion namely orienting, grounding, nurturing, and transforming. As we have considered in these lectures, Daoism centers on the Dao as the principle of vital creativity in the universe as well as the flow of that creativity in the matter-energy namely Chi of the universe. Moreover, Chi organizes itself in the complementary patterning of Yin feminine energies pictured here in the dark side of the symbol and Yang masculine energies in the bright side of the circle, and you notice there is also Yin energies in the Yang side and Yang and the Yin side. From the earliest texts of Daoism, the art of achieving harmony with these cosmological forces was termed Wu wei or action as non-action, Wu wei. That is actions so spontaneous that they do not appear as deliberate. The many schools of Daoism then formulated these ancient Chinese concepts by orienting practitioners to cosmological perspectives, grounding them in natural symbolisms, nurturing therapies for community welfare, and transforming religious yearnings for harmony into action. Indeed Daoism embodies a rich religious cosmology and complex religious ecology both of which align the human body to both the Earth and the cosmos. These relationships then of Dao, Chi, Yin, and Yang, and Wu wei are especially evident in Daoist understandings and cultivations regarding the human body. This has resulted in a religious tradition that encourages the cultivation of any mortal or enduring body that strives to overcome the limits of the human condition through naturalness or what is termed as ziran which we'll talk again in just a moment. A self-cultivation in Daoism varies broadly. This particular slide is suggestive of the torso of the body and then of the head, and we see pictured inside the inner landscape of the body, the sense of the body is having its own cosmological dimension. In this effort to address the body, self-cultivation in Daoism, a very broadly from detachment from ordinary life and internal visualization of bodily organs associated with colors and deities, meditation on the body as an inner landscape through which one could move. Also a very interesting practice of embodying texts. Literally, these literate texts has living wisdom that could be brought into one's body, and the use of talismans to dispel harmful forces and to activate desired realities, these talismans might be worn around the neck or might be objects that could be placed in the house made of paper or made of three-dimensional materials. Throughout the lengthy history then of these Daoist schools, beginning from the second century of the current era, there has been a consistent emphasis on relationships between body and world. This macrocosm relationship affirms a basic insight of Daoism, namely that the body is a world and the world is a body. This is a central point then for stressing and Daoism, the sense of the body being a world and the world as a body. If we consider then the schools of Daoism have transmitted these teachings about the cosmological character of Dao as something transcending the human and all reality. Let's consider this landscape painting for a moment. Daoism is a major source of influence on Chinese landscape painting, and in this painting, we see the Dao but it's obviously not neither named nor directly pictured but rather the natural world provides the setting in which the Chi energy, the artist is trying to activate in us the viewer the Chi energies of this landscape. It's typical of these landscapes to have a human presence but if you look way down at the bottom here is the human body. This relationship and the first point that we're after here is the transcendent character of the Dao. In this sense, Daoism has been viewed as a mystical religious tradition focused on a unitive experience with the ultimate Dao, so this small figure and unitive experience of this grand Dao. This Dao then is obviously located beyond the changing material forms of the world, yet just as Daoism has emphasized the transcendent Dao, this religion has also affirmed Dao as imminent within reality within the Chi dynamics of the world. This is why we can say Daoism manifests both a religious cosmology and a religious ecology, thus Daoism from its oldest texts such as the Dao De Jing and the Chong that we have considered earlier, these texts locate the ultimate Dao as within nature. Daoism affirms the natural path calling it ziran, the self-same or what is natural, ziran. Daoist schools have also taught ways of cultivating the self in which an imminent or embodied experience of the Dao can be realized in this life as the Ziran as what appears in the world and what I spontaneously in ways of engaging the world. This is the challenging paradox of Daoism, namely orienting towards cosmological wholeness and grounding and the ecological realization of the body as a natural landscape. We see here the combination then of the inner landscape of the body, and if you look closely you can see animal presences associated with particular organs of the body and colors. The inner visualization then in a schematic form here, we see the organs of the body associated with elements and with colors, so this is a weave between ancient Chinese, the Yin and Yang understandings and Chi understandings, and the elaboration by these Daoist schools of body practices. The Daoists came to see the nurturing dynamics of nature both externally in the natural world and internally as the organs of the body and the flowing Chi between them. Moreover, just as Buddhist monks adapted their tradition of Buddhism into China during the first centuries of the current era and they used a Daoist images and concepts. Also, Daoism undertook new meditative forms influenced by Buddhist meditation, these developed then later in Daoism as Buddhism accommodated itself to the Chinese context. These Daoist meditative practices became a means for transforming the inner mind-body into increasingly purified expressions of Dao.