Chung Fu Kuan (Taoist Sanctuary)
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Chung Fu Kuan (Inner Truth Looking Place), popularly known as the Taoist Sanctuary, was formed in the 1960s by Dr. Khigh Alx Dhiegh, since 1935 a student of I Ching, the ancient art of Chinese divination. Dhiegh is known to television audiences as a popular character actor. The Sanctuary draws its inspiration from the philosophy of Lao-Tzu, an older contemporary of Confucius. A lower government official, he became discouraged and abandoned his post. According to tradition, as he was about to leave China, he was asked to write down his teachings. The result was the Tao Te Ching, the chief scripture of Taoism.
Tao (the Way of the universe) is harmony. When events and things are allowed to move naturally, harmony is the result. The chief aim of human existence is to attain fullness of life by attaining harmony with the Tao. The result of Taoist thinking is "Wuwei," a quietistic, non-interfering style of life. Politically, Wu-wei finds its best expression in laissez-faire and the ideal self-contained village state. The balance of the two forces into yin and yang, encompassing the basic polarities of the universe, is also crucial. As Taoism developed, divination emerged as a major practice. The most popular form of divining the future was the I Ching.
The I Ching is built upon a series of trigrams, each a combination of two primary forms-the yang-hsiao, a straight line, the symbol of the male or positive principle, and the yin-hsiao, a broken line, the symbol of the female or negative principle. The two symbols can be arranged into eight different trigrams, and the trigrams can form sixty-four hexagrams. Each hexagram has been ascribed symbolic meanings, correlating with the eight fundamental elements or factors in the universe and sixty-four phenomena in the universe. Together, the hexagrams represent symbolically all the possible situations of creation. They may tell a person to do something or not to do it; to change or not to change, etc.
Associated with the Sanctuary is the International I Ching Studies Institute. Dr. Dhiegh has written a modern commentary on the I Ching, The Eleventh Wing. Ceremony-teaching services are regularly held on the first and third Sunday and gatherings on the first and third Friday. Taoist meditation occurs on Wednesday nights. The Institute offers Kung-fu, T'ai Chi Chuan (Chinese yoga), and courses in Chinese herbal practices.
Membership: In 1984 there were approximately 100 members in four centers: North Hollywood, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, California and Tempe, Arizona.
Dhiegh, Khigh Alx. The Eleventh Wing. New York: Delta Books, 1973.
Meyers, Robert. "Khigh Dhiegh Digs I Ching." TV Guide (February 20, 1971): 45-48.
Da Yuan Circle
Current address not obtained for this edition.
Da Yuan Circle is a modern Western group teaching the Orthodox Daoism of China. The teaching is generally ascribed to the ancient Daoist master Zhang Dao Ling, the eighth successor in the lineage of Zhang Liang, who lived in the second century B.C.E. Zhang Liang authored The Classic of Auspicious Alliances, a detailed text concerning the invocation of the unseen worlds. Zhang Dao Ling was a healer who fashioned talismans believed by patients to be a contact point with the unseen.
Orthodox Daoism differs somewhat with the philosophical Daoism (often spelled Taoism) introduced into the West in the nineteenth century and built around the Dao De Ching (or I Ching), a book of little importance in religious Daoism. All of Daoism shares a trust in Nature founded in a belief in the Truth of the Oneness (Dao). But religious Daoism is a compendium of cosmological ritual, alchemy, medical practices, macrobiotic diets, and yogic practices. These emerged out of, and eventually replaced, the older Chinese shamanistic systems. The early Dao Shem organized, systematized, and improved upon the trance practices of the shamans, which could be extreme and often brought physical harm to the shamans.
In trance, Master Zhang Dao Ling received the universal cosmology which in large part defined Orthodox Daoism. In his spirit journeys he also gathered the information for a new form of medicine. Trance activity was placed within a ritualized context and remains central to the Daoist worship experience. The ritual leader goes into trance and, it is believed, in a sense, takes the whole gathering on the shamanistic journey. As passed through the centuries, meditation and trance remain central to the tradition. Members practice meditation, the exploration of the internal environment, which begins in stilling the body and withdrawing attention to the internal world. Trance involves the journeying through a world populated with iconographical images set in place by ritual and story. Trance, the more complex spiritual practice, is done in the presence of a teacher who is able to understand what is occurring to the student.
The Da Yuan Circle is an Orthodox Daoist group founded in the 1980s by Lao Ge (Charles Belyea), who holds a lineage of Orthodox Daoism from Taiwan. Members are primarily Westerners. He also founded Five Branches Institute, a college of traditional Chinese medicine in Santa Cruz, California.
Membership: Not reported.
Educational Facilities: Five Branches Institute, Santa Cruz, California.
Periodicals: Frost Bell.
Belyea, Charles. Dragon's Play. Berkeley, CA: Great Circle Lifeworks, 1991.
"The Shamanic Roots of Orthodox Daoism." Tantra 8 (1994): 54-57, 76.
Falun Gong (Falun Dafa)
℅ Falun Dafa Information Center
331 W. 57th St., Ste. 409
New York, NY 10019
Falun Gong (or "Falun Dafa," the "Great Law of the Wheel of Dharma") is one of a number of new spiritual movements to arise in China following the end of the cultural revolution in 1979. It was founded in 1992 in Chang Chun, in northeastern China, as a qigong practice group. Qigong is a popular practice that uses movement and meditation to raise ki or chi, the cosmic energy believed to underlay the cosmos–the same energy that is believed to flow through the body in the practice of acupuncture. Founder Li HongZhi (b. 1952) is described as enlightened and the sole possessor of the Buddha's truth. Prior to the founding of Falun Gong, he served in the army and worked for a grain corporation. He also studied with several Daoist and Buddhist masters.
Through the rest of the 1990s, the movement spread across China and to Chinese diaspora communities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. It emerged out of obscurity suddenly on April 25, 1999, when some 10,000 Falun Gong followers appeared on Tiananmen Square in front of government offices where they staged a peaceful but dramatic protest at perceived mistreatment. Subsequently, Falun Gong became party to ongoing conflict with the Chinese government, a conflict that continues to be a matter of intense news coverage.
The group's name means a spiritual/meditation practice ("Gong") that implements the Wheel of the Law or Dharma ("Falun"), the truth taught by the Buddha. Falun Dafa teaches members to lead a life that includes both practice and cultivation. Practice consists of a set of five physical and meditation exercises, usually done each morning. Cultivating aims at removing one's demon-nature and replacing it with the Buddha-nature. Zhuan Falun suggests that basically the universe is zhen-shanren, truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance. These universal properties are shared by humans at birth. We, however, become trapped in ordinary consciousness and miss truth. Cultivation provides the way out of this ignorance. Part of cultivation is the encounter of the problems in life. Ordeals are seen as necessary as they function as tests. In like measure, suffering is explained as the repayment of one's karmic debts, which must be repaid in some form.
Falun Dafa teachings are found in Zhuan Falun (the turning of the wheel of dharma) and Falun Fofa (Buddha law of the wheel of dharma), and an additional set of books that collect the founder, talks. Li has also authored a collection of poetry, Hong Yin Torrential Sighs. Many of the key Falun Gong texts can now be found on the Internet.
Falun Dafa's organization has been disrupted by its conflict with the government. Outside of China, it has been organized around practice groups, with a set of more formal national organizations that provide coordination and a flow of information. Li HongZhi, who has resided in the United States since 1996, remains the recognized leader. He leads an annual "Experince-Sharing Conference" at which members from around the world assemble. In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Association of Falun Dafa promotes lectures and interacts with government structures. (The movement has been banned in China, but functions quite openly in Hong Kong.)
Membership: It is not known how large the movement is internationally. At one point, Falun Gong suggested that it had some 40 million followers in China alone, a seemingly high estimate; a number closer to two million practitioners prior to 1999 is more likely. However, Falun Gong groups may now be found throughout the Chinese diaspora worldwide (especially in southeast Asia) and is reaching out to the indigenous population of those countries. The total number of active followers worldwide currently probably numbers in the tens of thousands. There are groups in most cities across the United States and Canada, and a number have emerged in the United Kingdom.
Remarks: Falun Gong was officially banned in China on July 20, 1999. Subsequently, many members have been arrested. It has also been the subject of a government media campaign that has presented the movement in a most negative light. News coverage has featured former members who have left the group and portrayed incidents of suicide/murder as due to following Falun Gong beliefs and practice. In response, Falun Gong has also carried on an intense effort to have the world see it as an example of continuing human rights violations in China. In this effort they have developed an extensive Internet presence. The conflict between Falun Gong and the government continues at a high level.
The major source of information on Falun Gong is the Internet. There one may easily find numerous sites in a variety of languages from a variety of perspectives. Especially good starting points are some of the official Falun Gong sites such as http://www.faluninfo.net/ and http://falundafa.org/eng/books.htm. From the latter site, the complete text of Master Li's main book, Zhuan Falun, may be downloaded, and additional books have been posted at other sites. For a learned appraisal and periodically updated bibliography, see the site maintained at the Sinological Institute at the University of Leiden, http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/bth/falun.htm.
Li Hongzhi. Falun Buddha Law (Lectures in the United States). Hong Kong: Falun Fo Fa Publishing Co., 1999.
Wong, John, and William Ti Liu. The Mystery of China's Falun Gong: Its Rise and Sociological Implications. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing/Singapore University Press, 1999.
Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism
1310 N. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Alternate Address: Fung Loy Kok Taoist Temple, Sam Tip Tem, Cheun Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.
Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism was founded in Hong Kong in 1968 by the Taoist Priest Mui Ming-to, his wife, Mui Tang Yuanmay, and Taoist Master Moy Lin-shin. The particular Taoist tradition can be traced to the Earlier Heaven Wu-chi Sect founded by the Patriarch Tien-lung, who in turn had received the teaching of the Tao from Chen Hsi-I. Chaotic conditions in early twentieth-century China led Taoist teachers to bring the teachings out of the monastic context to a lay public. In 1981, Master Moy and Mr. Mui established an institute in Toronto, the first of several additional branches to be opened in Canada and the United States.
The institute is dedicated to the teaching and practice of Taoism through the Taoist arts such as chanting, meditation, chi-kung, book discussions, internal exercises, and the promotion of charity for others through community service. An associated Taoist Tai Chi Society also teaches the art of tai chi leading to an increase in humility, quietude, and compassion.
Membership: Not reported. Fung Loy Kok temples can be found in Toronto, Denver, Colorado, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wong, Eva, trans. Seven Taoist Masters: A Folk Novel of China. Boston: Shambhala, 1990. 178 pp.
Healing Tao Centers
℅ Taoist Esoteric Yoga Center & Foundation
PO Box 1194
Huntington, NY 11743
Alternate Address: International Headquarters: Tao Garden of Healing Tao, 274 Moo 7, Doi Sakep, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50220.
The Healing Tao Centers are a worldwide network of teachers and centers that have emerged around the work of Mantak Chia and his wife Maneewan Chia. Born and raised in Thailand, Mantak Chia studied Buddhism. Moving to Hong Kong as a young man, he studied the martial arts. More importantly, Chia met the Taoist Master White Cloud Hermit who presented an understanding of the human body as conceived by Taoism. This understanding pictures the body as the container of a variety of energies which, in health, flow freely through it. Chia combined his instruction from the Hermit with a Western education in anatomy. This led to his producing the healing Tao system, a synthesis of tradition Taoism with Western science.
Maneewan Chia, trained as a medical technician, brought to the Healing Taoist system an emphasis upon healthful nutrition and cooking from her native China. Moving to New York, in the early 1980s the Chias founded the Healing Tao Center and began to spread their Taoist perspective. Mantak Chia's first book, Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao appeared in 1983. Others soon followed. As he trained instructors, the movement spread across the United States and into Europe. In the mid-1980s they established the Taoist Esoteric Yoga Center and Foundation in Huntington, New York.
Membership: Not reported.
Periodicals: The Healing Tao Journal.
Chia, Mantak. Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao. New York: Aurora Press, 1983.
——. Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality: The Inner Smile/Six Healing Sounds. New York: Aurora Press, 1985.
Chia, Mantak, and Maneewan Chia. Healing Love through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy. Huntington, NY: Healing Tao Books, 1986. Chia, Mantak, with Michael Winn. Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male
Sexual Energy. New York: Aurora Press, 1984.
Living Tao Foundation
PO Box 846
Urbana, IL 61803-0846
The Living Tao Foundation was founded in the early 1970s by Chungliang Al Huang, a Chinese artist and Taoist teacher who migrated to the United States in the 1960s. Following a year in China as a Ford Foundation scholar (1966-1967), he spent four years in Urbana, Illinois, as a post-doctorate fellow with the Center for Advanced Study and as artist-in-residence at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. He headed the Oriental Institute at York University for two years (1972-1974) and spent three years as the director of the Lan T'ing Institute for the Alan Watts Society for Comparative Philosophy. While at the institute he worked on finishing Watts' last book, Tao: The Watercourse Way, published several years after Watts' death in 1973. He is also the author of the peremiral classic Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain.
The Living Tao Foundation emphasizes a synthesis of Eastern and Western ways through Taoist principles and uses various inner growth techniques. Huang is best known as a master of Tai Ji (or Tai Chi), the Chinese form of body movements which are believed to develop the natural coordination of body and mind. The foundation jointly sponsors the Lan Ting Institute, a cross cultural study and conference center, with the government of the People's Republic of China. Huang is especially concerned with the recovery of Chinese culture, which suffered a severe blow from the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s; the institute sponsors trips to China to assist in that recovery; and intensive study seminars, now on the West Coast of Oregon.
Membership: Not reported.
Haing, Chungliang Al. Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain. Moab, UT: Real People Press, 1973.
——. Living Tao: Still Visions and Dancing Brushes. Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts, 1976.
"Tai Ji: The Dance of Life. An interview with Chunglaing Al Huang." The Empty Vessal: A Journal of Contemparary Taoism (Spring 1994): 4-12.
Watts, Alan, with Chungliang Al Haing. Tao: The Watercouse Way. New York: Pantheon Books, 1975.
George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation
Oroville, CA 95966
Closely related to Taoism is macrobiotics, a philosophy developed by George Ohsawa (Yukikazu Sahurazawa) (1893-1966) drawing on Zen, Taoism, and Chinese wisdom philosophy. Macrobiotics is based on the concept of yin and yang. All things are differentiated apparatus of one Infinity. Yin and yang are the poles of the Infinity's bifurcation. Everything changes. Yin is centrifugal and yang centripetal. By their attraction and repulsion, energy and all phenomena are produced. All things are made of un-equal proportions of yin and yang. All physical forms are yang (male) at the center and yin (female) at the surface.
The object of macrobiotics, for the individual, is to balance the yin and yang as far as possible in one's life. As for diet, one ideally eats foods which are balanced; cereals and brown rice are good examples. One also learns to live in harmony with the environment.
Macrobiotics was introduced into the West in France by Ohsawa in the 1920s and it gradually spread through Europe. By the time of his death in 1966, macrobiotic centers in Europe could be found in Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. From the center in Japan, work had also spread to Brazil and Viet Nam. Macrobiotic teachings spread to America after World War II. During the 1950s, Herman Aihara, a student of Ohsawa from Japan, migrated to the United States. He founded the Ohsawa Foundation, since renamed the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation. It is the first Macrobiotic organization in North America, and in 1961 began a periodical, Yin Yang. The foundation, through its publications and sponsoring of lecturers, became the focus of the early spread of macrobiotic teachings, and continues as one of two national associations of people devoted to macrobiotic principles.
Membership: In 1997, the foundation reported 1,500 members in the United States, 60 members in Canada, and an additional 120 members worldwide. There is one center; it serves as a nexus of a network of independent macrobiotic centers around the United States and Canada.
Periodicals: Macrobiotics Today.
Aihara, Herman. Seven Macrobiotic Principles. San Francisco: George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, 1973.
Ohsawa, George. The Book of Judgment. Los Angeles: Ohsawa Foundation, 1966.
——. Guidebook for Living. Los Angeles: Ohsawa Foundation, 1967.
——. Practical Guide to Far Eastern Macrobiotic Medicine. Oroville, CA: George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, 1976.
——. Zen Macrobiotics. Los Angeles: Ohsawa Foundation, 1965.
One Peaceful World
Becket, MA 01223
Michio Kushi (b. 1926), a student of George Ohsawa (1893-1966), the founder of Macrobiotics, came to the United States in 1949 and became active in the spread of its philosophy. Initially working through the Ohsawa Foundation (now the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation) headquartered in California, Kushi developed an independent following in New England. After Ohsawa's death, Kushi founded the Order of the Universe Publications and in 1967 began to issue a periodical, The Order of the Universe. In 1972 Kushi founded the East West Foundation (now the Kushi Foundation) to oversee the spread of the work of presenting macrobiotics to the public and nurturing the growing number of people who had accepted macrobiotic principles and practice. In 1979 the Kushi Institute was founded to train leaders in the movement.
Kushi's teachings are summarized in a set of theorems and principles which define the nature of yin and yang, the prime differentiation within the universe. All phenomena is composed of a complex of these two polar opposites and macrobiotics defines and assists individuals in relating to the yin-yang composition of the universe. While a major component of macrobiotic philosophy relates to developing a balanced diet, the philosophy encompasses every area of life, as spelled out in numerous publications by the Kushi and the Foundation.
Through the 1990s, Kushi has nurtured a network of people devoted to the twin issue, of macrobiotics and peace which he termed One Peaceful World. This group was formerly known as the East West Foundations.
Membership: Not reported. In 1998 functioned through national offices in 20 countries. A directory of the larger macrobiotic movement listed over 400 individuals, businesses, and centers promoting the teachings.
Educational Facilities: Kushi Institute, Beckett, Massachusetts.
Periodicals: One Peaceful World. Send orders to Box 10, Beckett, MA 01223.
Kohler, Jean Charles, and Mary Alice Kohler. Healing Miracles from
Macrobiotics. West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing Co., 1979.
Kushi, Michio. The Book of Macrobiotics. Tokyo: Japan Publications, 1977.
——. The Teachings of Michio Kushi. 2 vols. Boston, MA: East West Foundation, 1971.
Kushi, Michio, with Stephen Blauer. The Macrobiotic Way. Wayne, NJ: Avery Publishing Group, 1985.
Shrine of the Eternal Breath of Tao
117 Stonehaven Way
Los Angeles, CA 90049
The Shrine of the Eternal Breath of Tao was founded by Master Ni, Hua-Ching, who began his study of Taoism as a child in China. After the Chinese Revolution, he moved to Taiwan and continued his studies. Eventually he became a teacher of Taoism and its related martial and healing arts. During the 1970s he moved to the United States and began to teach in Los Angeles.
Master Ni teaches the universal law of subtle energy response. Everything in the universe is a manifestation of energy in either its grosser or its more subtle states. Understanding and developing the proper response to the energies of one's environment will bring harmony to one's life. The practice of Taoist meditation, martial arts (kung fu and t'ai chi ch'uan), and medical practices (acupuncture and herbs) assist in attaining a balanced relationship to life. The universal law of response is basic to all spiritual practices.
Membership: Not a membership organization. Affiliated with the Shrine is the Center for Taoist Arts in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Educational Facilities: College of Tao, Santa Monica, California.
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Santa Monica, California.
Ni, Hua-Ching. Tao, the Subtle Universal Law and the Integral Way of Life. Malibu, CA: Shrine of the Eternal Breath of Tao, 1982.
Tian Dao (Yiguandao)
4050 Temple City Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770
Alternate Address: Providence Maitreya Buddha Missionary Institute, 12th Fl., No. 31, Ming-Sheng E. Rd., Sec. 3, Taipei, Taiwan.
Tian Dao (or Yiguandao) is a new religious movement that emerged in the 1930s in China, though it has its roots in the late nineteenth-century Taoist movement, the Way of Pervading Unity (Yiguandao). By the 1960s Yiguandao was generally superseded by Tian Dao, or the Way of Heaven, as the movement's name.
In 1930, Zhang Tianran (1889-1947) assumed leadership of Yiguandao and initiated a set of reforms including the allowance of meat eating (though vegetarianism remained the preferred diet), dropping celibacy requirements, and simplifying rituals. He also emphasized proselytization. Yiguandao spread throughout urban China, frequently by absorbing previously existing temple networks. It experienced a growth spurt during World War II but fell victim to suppression after the Communists came to power in the 1950s. Many members fled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other southeast Asian countries, and experienced a period of turmoil as different leaders arose to assume leadership of various factions.
As new leaders emerged, recruiting proceeded anew. However, because of its history in cooperating with previous governments in China, the Taiwanese feared it and began a period of suppression. It was outlawed from 1963 to 1987. In spite of persecution, it spread among the population and emerged as Taiwan's largest religious group. It has been especially strong among the new class of entrepreneurs, and found its strength among factory workers and management.
When the movement became legal again, in 1987, Yiguando's followers were organized into eight major groups, the four largest of which identified with different Yiguandao temples in China. Together they had established some 1200 temples in Taiwan by 1991. As the new century begins, there are an estimated five to ten million adherents of the tradition worldwide, the movement having by this time also permeated the diaspora communities of Chinese in North America and Europe. An umbrella organization, the Tian Dao General Assembly, was established in Taiwan in 1987, but only some 70 percent of the Taiwan-based groups have joined. Many Tian Dao groups still view rival organizations with a degree of suspicion.
Distinguishing the various Tian Dao groups remains a problem for Western scholars, as most are confined to Southeast Asia and operate exclusively in Chinese communities. Those that have arrived in America have only begun to reach out beyond the Chinese-speaking communities. One such group operates out of the Taiwan-based Providence Maitreya Buddha Missionary Institute, founded by His Holiness, Gao Shan Yu Ren (d. 2000). It publishes the English-language periodical, Golden Voice of Maitreya.
Worship in Tian Dao focuses upon veneration of the Ancient Mother (Lao Mu, also called Wusheng Laomu, "the Unborn Ancient Mother"). Seeing her human children lost in materiality, she sent Maitreya to earth to save the lost and thus allow them to enter Heaven and be in her presence. The Ancient Mother is represented by a flame in the oil lamp placed at the center of the altar. Also on the Altar are additional deities including the smiling, seated Maitreya Buddha and Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion. Also, there may be figures of Zhang Tianran, and his third wife, Sun Yuehui (who escaped to Taiwan after World War II). There is an elaborate ritual performed regularly before the altar.
Joining Tian Dao provides release from the cycles of reincarnation and entry into Heaven, a fact symbolized by the gift of a small passport. Proselytization by members is encouraged by allowing them to transfer merit from their work to the salvation of family members.
Tian Dao is eclectic, drawing from Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian writings and traditions. It also includes a place for contemporary spirit writing, similar to what is termed channeling in the West. Members, often young teen females, believed to be under the influence of a deity, will write messages in Chinese in sand with the use of a stylus. Such writings are then recorded and the messages disseminated.
Membership: Not reported.
Periodicals: Golden Voice of Maitreya, 12th Fl., No. 31, Ming-Sheng E. Rd., Sec. 3, Taipei, Taiwan.
Introduction to Dao. Taipei, Taiwan: Tsu Kwang Publishing Co., n.d.
Irons, Edward. "Yiguandao White Yang Drama: Repackaging the Emotional Message in a Contemporary Chinese Religion." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Nashville, Tennessee, November 18-12, 2000.
Jordan, David D., and Daniel L. Overmyer. The Flying Phoenix: Aspects of Chinese Sectarianism in Taiwan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.
Song Guanyu. Tiandao Chuan Deng-Yiguan yu Xiandai Shehui (The celestial way passes the torch-yiguan and modern society). Taipei, Taiwan: San Yang Printing, 1996.
——. Tiandao Gouchen: Yiguandao Diaocha Baogao (Fishing in the depths of the celestial way: a report of investigations into the unity sect). Taipei, Taiwan: Privately published, 1983.
Yi Guan Dao (I-Kuan-Tao)
℅ Great Tao Foundation of America
11645 Lower Azusa Rd. El Monte, CA 91732
Alternate Address: International headquarters: 11th Floor, No. 2 Chien 8 Road, Chung Ho City, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Yi Guan Dao (I-Kuan-Tao) is one branch of a religious movement that emerged in China in the 1930s. It is variously known as the Way of Pervading Unity (Yiguandao), or more popularly today, the Way of Heaven (Tian Dao). In 1930, Zhang Tianran (1889-1947) assumed leadership of a previously existing Yiguandao Taoist movement and transformed it with a set of reforms that including the dropping of requirements for complete vegetarianism and celibacy. By emphasizing proselytization, he led to movement to spread through China's cities. After his death in 1947, a number of leaders, including his third wife, assumed leadership of different factions among members who had fled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries of southeast Asia.
Growth in Taiwan, the main center for Yiguandao, was hampered by its division into several rival branches and the suppression by the Taiwanese government, which outlawed it for a period (1963–1987). Once legalized, however, it was discovered that it had flourished and through the 1990s, it spread rapidly both in Taiwan and other diaspora communities worldwide. Among the several branches, one, known in North America as Yi Guan Dao or I-Kuan-Tao, established its international headquarters in the United States in 1996 (though the bulk of the membership remains in Taiwan). It has also developed several English-language websites.
Yi Guan Dao emphasizes the Tao as the cosmic power that creates and dominates all things visible and audible, and the harmonious order. It is the sum of the parts, the soul of the universe. The spirit of I-Kuan Tao is within each individual and releasing it will lead to a clear self-understanding of our role in promoting harmony throughout the universe. It is awakened through acts of kindness and leads to an acceptance of individual responsibility for others. It is in essence one with the faith and practice of the other Yiguandao branches, as differences are largely administrative.
The movement is led by Senior Master Chang Pei-ching, Chairman of the World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters in California, and other Yi Guan Dao Senior Masters. Senior Master Chang had come to Taiwan from mainland China in 1947. I-Kuan Tao supports nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, nursery schools, and some 30 publishing houses in Taiwan. In 1993 I-Kuan Tao initiated a program against the use of illicit drugs and tobacco.
Membership: I-Kuan Tao claims some two million members in Taiwan affiliated with 200 temples and an additional 15,000 family shrines. Followers may be found in 40 countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Malaysia.
Jordan, David D., and Daniel L. Overmyer. The Flying Phoenix: Aspects of Chinese Sectarianism in Taiwan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.
True Tao Home Page. http://www.taoism.net/html.html. 7 May 2002.
Yi Guan Dao (I-Kuan-Tao). http://www.yiguandao.com/. 7 May 2002.