dao celibacy

Chinese for "celibacy"

textile artwork, best description is below

In winter, animals do not mate.
Preserve our Tao
By preserving your essence.

We follow the Tao of the universe with great effort, but Tao is within us too. It is not something abstract, not something conceptual. Our personal Tao is our very life force. This energy begins with the physical and extends into the spiritual.

The source of this energy is partly chemical: our hormones, nutrition from food, and genetics. Whatever we have that is spiritual arises from these substances. Followers of Tao call this the essence. Preservation of this essence through sexual conservation is crucial. This doesn’t mean suppression of sexuality, for the impulse to make love is natural and irrepressible; it means to harmonize sexuality with spirituality.

The follower of Tao makes love according to the seasons. In winter, it should be less or not at all; in spring it may be at its most frequent. The young should restrict themselves to about once every three days, while the middle-aged should reduce to once a week, and the elderly even less than that. The secret is not to indulge too much, without killing one’s sexuality altogether. Overindulgence is to waste one’s resources. Suppression kills the body on its most basic level. Find the proper balance, and you will have a happy life and full spirituality.


365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Tibet, Treasures from the Roof of the World
Achala Chandamaharoshana
Tibet, 13th Century
Tibet Museum
Photo Courtesy of Bowers Museum

This thangka, or devotional painting, is remarkable for its excellent condition, given its date to the 13th century. The high altitude and dry alpine climate of Tibet have kept many artworks in near pristine condition, making it a treasury for Tibetan works and the many priceless objects presented to the Dalai Lamas by foreign courts. This example features kesi silk, a type of silk intricately woven to create a three-dimensional surface texture. The wrathful deity, Vajrahasa, appears in the central panel, raising a sword and assuming a threatening pose.

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao
t w e n t y - n i n e

tao 29

Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

— translation is by Steven Mitchell

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