I went to see the annual creche exhibit at Mepkin Abbey, our local monastery today. In the 55 nativity scenes currently on display there, the figurine in the photo above was my favorite. It is part of a complete nativity set from Zhejiang Province, China, hand-carved from Hu Qi wood by Zhang Wanlong. What is particularly interesting about this piece is that this angel is depicted similar to a Taoist sage with topknot, but with added angel wings. How beautiful!
If I had to pick the most favorite of my favorite Facebook pages, then it is the new page of Deng Ming-Dao.
Although, he is the author of eight popular books (with a ninth due out in January), a successful artist, and famous book designer, Deng Ming-Dao as a person has largely kept out of the public limelight. Some of his readers have even wondered if he really exists. The reason for Deng Ming-Dao’s hesitance of attracting limelight attention can be explained by the fact that he is a true, contemporary Taoist master who is trying hard to uphold the purity of the ancient Taoist sages’ original teachings.
Deng Ming-Dao is not another New-Age figure, self-help author, or pseudo spiritual leader. Unlike many other authors and practitioners of Taoism, his Taoist lineage goes back directly to Huashan, one of China’s sacred mountains. Aside from his numerous other skills and areas of expertise, this highly cultivated scholarly as well as practical Taoist master is fluent not only in ancient Taoist philosophy, but also in various styles of martial arts.
It comes as no surprise that Deng Ming-Dao’s international readership, including myself, rejoiced when he recently came on Facebook. This new Facebook site, which has already developed into a genuine spiritual community, has made it possible for people of all spiritual traditions to see Deng Ming-Dao’s photo for the first time and find almost daily his profound wisdom and meditations, and information on Taoist history and philosophy. Here readers are encouraged to enter into a dialogue with the master himself and with the other community members.
With Taoism being more of a philosophy, rather than a religion, it is universal. Many of us already benefit from its wisdom and practical applications for everyday problems. Think acupuncture, acupressure, feng shui/geomancy, traditional Chinese medicine, internal and external martial arts, the I Ching, and the Daodejing!