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Taoist Buddhist yoga?


In hatha yoga, 'ha' represents prana, and 'tha' represents mind, the mental energy.  Union between prana shakti, the life force, and manas shakti, the mental force, results in the awakening of higher consciousness.  AKA ida and pingala, tantra refers to them as Shakti and Shiva, and taoism as yin and yang.

 

The internal martial arts in China also developed a fusion of breath and mind.  The earliest written record of yin and yang dates to 1250 BC, in the I-Ching: "The ceaseless intermingling of Heaven (yang) and Earth (yin) gives form to all things." A commentary in the Book of Changes states, "The interaction of Yin and Yang is called Tao."  The Tao Teh Ching states: " The one gave birth to two things.  Then to three things."  Those three being jing (essence), chi (energy), and shen (spirit), which, along with Yin and Yang, form the basis of traditional Chinese medicine as well as martial arts and meditation.  (The medical/nutritional arts nourish 'essence', the martial arts, 'energy', and the meditative arts cultivate 'spirit'.)

 

When the Buddhist monk Bodhidarma arrived in China, however, in 520 AD, he found the monks in a woeful physical shape, resulting from all meditation and no exercise, and attempted to get them back into shape.  In addition to Buddhist scriptures, he introduced yoga and pranayama to monks at the Shaolin temple in central China, and contributed to the development of Chinese internal martial arts as we know them today.  He remains the patron saint of the martial arts in China, Korea and Japan.  He was the founder of Zen Buddhism (Chan in China), and the 28th Indian and first Chinese Zen Patriarch - in a line of Patriarchs beginning with the Buddha. The development of chi (prana) forms the sine qua non of the internal arts there, and the masters state always that mind moves chi. 

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