Student Reflections – Guilio – Daoism
White Horse Mountain is a place that has given me more that I could ever expect and answered questions that I was nearly resigned to never finding an answer to.
Since a few years I have been looking into Daoism as I started to realize that I would have been able to find in it answers to the impellent questions which where troubling me since ever, troubles that where beyond the pure curiosity but where vital since I knew that from the success or unsuccessful of this process it would have depended the possibility or the impossibility to live a meaningful life, to have any criteria from which I could decide when to go right and when to go left.
I have travelled in search of a master but the more I looked the more I had the feeling that I would have to surrender to the fact I was alone in this journey, I thought that other people even If they had the same problems they didn’t want to take them in discussion and so, with all the romantic sense of a teenager I thought I could take all on myself but in this youthful dream of discovering the truth and saving the world, as many others, I got soon stuck.
I couldn’t organize all the knowledge I managed to find and it ended up to be a heavy and unstable tower of contradiction that was in risk of falling on me, my practices of qi gong where stuck between fantasy and reality, with all the weight of my expectations and doubts, with all the vanity and insecurity, with all the awesome experiences and all the delusions I encountered my character became instable between anger and depression and since I found myself with more problems that when I started I just let go of everything for a few months.
The problems that are in the air now in the west are great and anyone who will try to find its way out in it with a sincere heart will encounter endless difficulties.
I realize now that everybody is facing this situation inside himself end everybody feels this kind of “existential discomfort” and I also realize that many people are taking advantage of this.
Evil forces take advantage of fear and promise relief from this particular type of sufferance not only with all the means we all know from the materialistic society but even inside the spiritual teachings there are some who are not sincere and since they want money they try to sell their product and so seduce people who are already in a path with the prospective of achieving extraordinary powers once again using the power of desire, this leaded me to once again avoiding the real problem, shutting the door for the knowledge, for the character cultivation and for the real elevation.
Anyway I couldn’t figure out what this sufferance was about, I just regarded it as “unnatural” but I couldn’t explain to myself how something unnatural may even exist: where is the problem coming from, why every time we don’t have something we want it so badly and then when we have it we don’t want it anymore why is not enough for people to live a common life?
When I came to the Five Immortals Temple I was nearly broken, trying to build myself back from scratch, all my failures prepared me to accept a master as a guide and to trust him, they say that when is the moment the student and the master find each other, I suppose this was the case also for me.
The first night, after the welcoming dinner me and shifu where the last in the room and I really wanted to ask him many things, he said: if you want you can ask, I put together all I could with my basic Chinese and I asked; why are there people who are not natural? He said: I don’t know.
Since that day every day I thought of the right question to ask him never being able to get to a conclusion, in the meanwhile I already realized I could found the answer here and I decided to stay longer and put aside my university.
Training my body was my manly occupation and my thoughts where growing but with the growth also the contradictions where getting stronger; I told him that every day I thought about a question and I could never come to grasp it and he said it was good, and he said it was because I had common person’s thoughts and non-common person thoughts.
What are common person’s thoughts and non-common person thoughts?
More or less one more month passed until I asked Li shifu again about society and the problem of naturalness.
He told me something like: the way you put the problem is wrong: there are two natures: one is the specific nature of our kind, human, the other one is the great one, and it comprehends human nature but also everything else. It is not true that in society they are unnatural, they are very natural, and we are unnatural.
Since the conversation we had that day and many other we had in the sequent month I was able to understand that the sufferance and the un satisfaction we experience come from the gap between the human and the great nature, the fear we feel in front of this sufferance is our human nature who is afraid for its own survival, this pain we feel is the process of change that leads to the great nature, fear of the silence, fear of the solitude, fear of failure fear of sufferance and fear of death all have to be faced more and more times if one wants to elevate to refine its character and to open the space for great love and compassion.
There is a sentence in Daoism that says:
When the human heart dyes the heart of the great Dao is born
Actually there isn’t a negative connotation on the idea of human nature as it is part of nature itself and there is nothing wrong in deciding to live according to the human nature, been able to have a good life as a good man is already a great achievement for a person, in the case of the person who want to cultivate this requirement is even more valid, you cannot hope to become an immortal if you don’t even know how to be a mortal, you cannot go nowhere if you didn’t finish the work you have to do on earth. The great nature doesn’t exclude the human one but it comprehends it and as humans this is where we start from.
Anyway I believe that observing our society (especially in the west but more and more also here in China) it can be noticed that this particular discomfort is not a marginal event, everyone feels it more and more, un satisfaction, depression, mental disorder, drugs use, suicide as well as unjustified waste and anger are all factors in growth and even if these are definitely scary factors I believe that these are the signs of a change.
Many spiritual traditions as well as many spiritually accomplished persons agree on the imminence of a great change in the situation on this planet.
In Daoism it is said that there are no immortals on the heavens anymore, many believe that many of the great masters from the past are actually returning in human body and more and more people are elevating and opening their thoughts more and more.
Here in the temple we have seen and discussed many videos of these kind of people from all over the world and they all agree in the importance of this historical phase and in the importance of make use of our lives to higher the vibration on the planet, this thru cultivating our own love and compassion and helping others to receive the necessary knowledge to do it themselves, when there is knowledge there is no fear and fear is what stops us to be able to raise ourselves. This also includes giving compassion to who spread fear and hate in the past but has genuinely the desire to change. Nobody can be changed if not for his own desire.
This is an incredible moment to be here and an occasion for all the souls who are here now to elevate.
Since I was ask to write something about my stay at the temple I wanted to take the occasion to share this as I hope that what helped me so much to find a direction in my life will have the same effect on others who share the same questions.
In conclusion I want to expressively say that all the change that I was able to make in my life was possible due to the guidance of Li shifu and the support of my brothers here in the temple ( besides of course my family from home) so I would like to recommend Five Immortals Temple to anyone who is in a genuine search for answers because in the months I have been here I have already been able to see many people recover from illness and find a direction, because I know that the point of view is never too far away and different here since every occasion is good to open our thoughts and to put together knowledge from different cultures and periods and because I know that everyone will be welcomed as a family member here as the doors are open.
If you have any questions about my experience here or the life in the temple in general I will be very happy to answer you on e-mail.
Thank you very much