Nam SinghLearn a Taoist Blessing Ceremony For Purifying Your Space

A practical workshop with Nam Singh, $165  

San Francisco: Thursday, March 12, 10-4pm
Booking: Denise 1-866-983-6868

New York: SUNDAY APRIL 26, 10-6pm
includes visit to Tao Temple Chinatown

There is a long tradition in performing rituals of many types in all schools of Taoism. In this practical workshop you will learn an authentic blessing ceremony that has been done for thousands of years in Taoist homes.

ritualDownload our brochure with complete details. Under 1 MB.

What You Will Learn

  • Ritual Bathing
  • The Use of a Ritual Hand Bell
  • Hand Seal and Talisman Writing
  • How to Bless Water
  • The Use of Incense, Paper Offerings and Food Offerings
  • Envisioning and Incantations

Once you have selected a specific space, you must ensure that the energy is sufficiently pure (jing).  To be safe, everyone should perform an energetic cleansing on his or her space.

Nam Singh is a Tao priest in the Zheng-Yi sect and a priest in training in orthodox Taoism.  He is a member of the Ching Chung Taoist Association of America in San Francisco California’s Chinatown and the founder of the Celestial Canyon Taoist Association, teaching Taoist nutrition, meditation and Chinese tea culture.

Note: For those who wish to join us for a visit and tour of a Taoist Temple in Chinatown (know as a Daotan Hereditary Temple) on Sunday afternoon (april 26) we depart at 4pm for Chinatown (close to teaching venue) and finish at 6pm, then join us for an optional dinner.

What is a Daotan Hereditary Temple

food at Taoist BlessingTaoism is an indigenous traditional religion of China.  It is generally believed that Taoist organizations were formally established 1900 years ago by Celestial master Zhang-Dao ling during the reign (CE 126-144) of Emperor Shudi of the Eastern Han Dynasty.  However, the original sources of Taoist doctrines can be traced back to the spring and autumn period and the warring states period (770-221 BCE).  Thus, there is the common reference to the “Three Ancestors that alludes to the Yellow Emperor, Lao Zi and Celestial Master Zhang.”

For the greater part of the history of Taoism in China religious practices were inspired and maintained by family/clans (the Liu, Zhang and Li clans, to name a few).  These clans maintained daotan (hereditary temples) throughout rural and urban China as places of worship and community administration.  They consisted of private chapels (tan) for religious ritual (maintained by a team of ordained [often married] priests [both men and women]) and clan halls (tang) which served as community educational and meeting facilities.  The chapel was the spiritual center of the clan and the clan hall served as a place for activities as diverse as funerals, scheduling harvests, negotiating business, tax collecting and public literacy education.  This combination of spiritual and worldly activity co-habiting the same space reminded every clan/community member of the universality of religion and ethics in daily life.

Taoist BlessingThe actual ownership and management of a daotan was divided between the head priest’s family and the clan (represented by the elders) village.  It is called hereditary for two reasons.  First, because the head priest’s ownership was passed on to his most capable child or adopted disciple - called a ‘successor’.  Secondly, it was called hereditary because it represented the continuity of life (qi) in the clan’s collective body - a conduit for the continuous benefit that is derived from the clan’s ancestors (representing Dao itself).

In all matters decisions were made by consensus using the elders’ ordinary negotiating skills and the priests’ extraordinary means (divination).  Business contracts were witnessed by priests and religious rites and education were sponsored by the clan.  Through the collective activities of the daotan the healthy circulation of community qi was maintained.

The design and maintenance of the architecture and grounds of the daotan were based on the ancient principles and details of feng shui (Chinese geomancy).  The chapels were the community heart (the spirit within the body).  The clan halls, public and open on a courtyard at the front, were like the community stomach/spleen absorbing nutrients for the community’s smooth digestion.  The building itself was a collective body (a daily visit recharged your qi battery).  Each individual parishioner was an inspired qi satellite.  Daotan networked throughout China and in the 12th century were acknowledged by the imperial government of the Song dynasty as the true historical basis for national unity, peace and prosperity.

red dragonThe unique Taoist notion that what religious/spiritual about life is, is not necessarily the exercise of religion itself.  In a Taoist community the priests practiced rites and meditation as their particular tao; fishermen followed the tao of fishing, businessmen the tao of commerce, seamstresses the tao of sewing, etc.  Priests ate fish, wore tailored vestments and advised businessmen astrologically.  Businessmen made donations to the temple, bought fish and tailored clothes.  It was the community interconnectedness that gave fullness and immortality to life rather than the individual experience of personal revelation.  For the Taoist transcendence was, in a sense, acceptance not escape.

Incantation to Lü Dongbin

eight immortalsLü Dongbin is the most famous of the Eight Immortals.  He is regarded as one of the Five Northern Patriarchs of Complete Perfection Taoism (one of the largest active sects in China).  The most common historical tale claims that Lü Dongbin was a mortal in the Tang Dynasty from China’s Shanxi Province.  He was a failed candidate for government service and was unaccomplished until he was 64.  At that time he met the Taoist Immortal Han Zhongli, who explained Taoism to him.  From that time he dedicated himself to Taoist cultivation and eventually became an Immortal.  Among his many disciples are Liu Haichan and Wang Chongyang.  Despite his relatively high status in the Taoist hierarchy, Lü Dongbin is almost always depicted wearing a hat that is flat and slopes downward past his forehead.  He usually carries a double-edged sword, and sometimes a shield, with which he can capture and tame all evil spirits if he is correctly invoked.  Lü often carries a flywhisk, the symbol of one who can fly at will.  His birthday is generally celebrated on the 14th day of the 4th lunar month.

Offerings to the Earth Guardian Spirit (T’u-di Kung)

Lu DongbinIs not looked upon as a powerful or fearsome deity spirit.  He is a Celestial deity spirit, the lowest ranking official in the bureaucracy of the Celestial pantheon, and is the tutelary deity spirit of one sector of a large village or suburb; the protector of the well-being of both town and country dwellers. His name means the earth god of wealth and merit. In China, every village had a shrine to Tu Di Gong.

Virtually every temple and certainly every community has an altar dedicated to the Earth Guardian Spirit.  Legends almost always describe him as a former human, now a local spirit still possessing human attributes and aspirations.  One of the most common claims is that he was a servant who preserved his master’s money from thieves, lost his life in the process, and was deified as the Earth Guardian Spirit. Today, he is still worshiped by most Chinese, with many housing small shrines with his image, commonly located under the main altar, or below the house door.


Toaist Blessing brochure<-- Download BOOKING FORM

How to do a Taoist Blessing Ritual and Ceremony
One day workshop

Thursday March 12, 10-4pm
Hotel Triton, Chinatown
Book with Denise 1-866-983-6868

Sunday April 26, 10 AM-6 PM
Central Manhattan
US $165
Includes tour to Chinatown Temple then optional dinner.

Payment method: cash, check, visa,  mc.