31 December 2009

2010 Jain, Taoist, Confucian & Shinto Holidays

* 1/1 to 1/6: Shogatsu/Shinto New Year's Festival--The Kami (Nature Spirits) of the four directions are honored, and prayers for happiness, good health, and prosperity are made. [a/k/a Shihohai, Genshisai, Shinnen-enkai]

* 1/7: Koshogatsu--Shinto rite honoring Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi. They created Nature and the Kami.

* 1/15: Seljin-no-hi/Coming of Age Day--Shinto festival honoring 20-year-old men and women.

* 2/3: Setsuban-Sai--Shinto rite in which good fortune is invoked and evil exorcised. Shinto try to live in harmony with the cosmic forces of the Kami. [a/k/a Bean-Throwing Festival, Turn of the Seasons Festival]

* 2/14 to 2/17: Hsih Nien/Suhl/Tet--Chinese and East Asian Lunar New Year (Year 4708: the Tiger).

* 2/17: Toshigoi--Shinto rite honoring the Kami and offering prayers for a bountiful rice harvest. The Kami are manifestations of the one universal, primordial and eternal, immanent and transcendent Deity, Kuni-Tokotachi-no-Kami. [a/k/a Kinensai]

* 3/3: Girls' Festival--Shinto festival honoring girls. [a/k/a Hina Matsuri, Doll Festival]

* 3/5: Day commemorating the birth of Taoist Lao-Tzu (570? BCE). Taoists seek enlightenment and live in harmony with Nature. [570?-490? BCE; alternate dates 604-531 BCE]

* 3/21: Taoist festival honoring the Shen (Deities) of Water, East, and Spring; prayers are made for growth. Taoists believe the unity of Yin (Eternal Feminine) and Yang (Eternal Masculine) make up the psyche-matter-energy of the eternal all-encompassing Ch'i.

* 3/21: Shunki-Korei-Sai--Shinto rite honoring ancestral spirits. [a/k/a Haru-no-Higan]

* 3/22 to 3/30: Navapad Oli--Jain period of fasting, recitation of holy scripture, and meditation on the principles of right knowledge, right faith, right conduct, and right penance. Jainas honor Arihantas (conquerors of passions), Siddhas (liberated souls), Acharyas (spiritual leaders), Upadhyayas (spiritual teachers), and Sadhus (renouncers). [a/k/a Navapada, Nav-pad Oli, Navapad Oli, Ayambil Oli, Aambil ki Ooli, Oli, Oliji, Siddha Chakra, Navadevata Puja, Vardhaman tap]

* 3/28: Day commemorating the birth of Mahavira Vardhamana Jnatrputra (599 BCE), founder of the Jain faith. Jainas avoid aggression and practice harmlessness, simplicity, and charity to attain enlightenment and unity with Deity. [599-527 BCE: exact dates unknown] [a/k/a Mahavir Jayanti, Mahavira Jayanti, Mahavir Bhagwan's Janma Kalyanak]

* 4/8: Hana Matsuri--Shinto rite honoring the Kami of Flowers. [a/k/a Flower Kami Festival]

* 4/17: Akshay Tritiya--Final day of Jain fast; day of Jain pilgrimage. Jainas practice harmlessness, simplicity, and charity to attain enlightenment and unity with Deity. [Jainas who have undertaken fasts are rewarded with sugar cane juice.] [a/k/a Akshaya Tritiya, Akshaya Thritiya, Akshyatritiya, Akshay Trutiya, Akhatrij, Varshitap Prarana, Varshitap Parna]

* 5/3: Taue Matsuri--Shinto rice-planting festival.

* 5/5: Boys' Festival--Shinto festival honoring boys.

* 6/15: Suijin Matsuri--Shinto rite honoring the Kami of Water. [a/k/a Water Kami Festival]

* 6/21: Taoist festival honoring Shang-Ti/Heavenly Emperor, Father of Justice and Law, and manifestation of the Te (Virtuous Inner Power). Also celebrates the peak of the masculine Yang half of the year and the Shen of Fire, South, and Summer; prayers are made for strength and maturity, and offerings are made to the ancestors.

* 6/30: Oharai/Grand Purification Festival--Shinto rite exorcising evil from the world. [Devotees are purified from offenses committed.] [a/k/a Oh-Harai-Taisai, Great Purification Festival]

* 7/7: Tanabata--Shinto rite honoring the Kami of the Stars. [a/k/a Star Kami Festival]

* 8/15: Kaza Matsuri--Shinto rite honoring the Kami of Wind. [a/k/a Wind Kami festival]

* 9/5 to 9/11: Paryusana--Jain festival of recitation of holy scripture, fasting, self-discipline, introspection, and reserve. Jainas grant forgiveness to others, ask forgiveness of others for harm done, whether knowingly or unknowingly, during the past year, and make vows to avoid causing future harm. The festival ends with a communal meal. [a/k/a Paryusan, Paryushan, Paryushan Parva, Paryushan Mahaparva, Pajjusan] [Ends at Samvatsari a/k/a Samvatatsari]

* 9/23: Taoist festival honoring the Shen of Winds, West, and Autumn; thanksgiving is made for the harvest. Taoists live simply, respect life, and recognize the equality of all.

* 9/23: Shuki-Korei-Sai--Shinto rite honoring ancestral spirits. [a/k/a Aki-no-Higan]

* 9/28: Birthday of Confucius (K'ung Fu-Tzu) (551 BCE). He taught that societal harmony could be realized when individuals acted with loving care for family, concern for friends and neighbors, benevolence to strangers, and respect for all. [Founder of Confucianism.] [Death day 11/29/479 BCE]

* 10/15 to 10/22: Navapad Oli--Jain period of fasting, recitation of holy scripture, and meditation on the principles of right knowledge, right faith, right conduct, and right penance. Jainas honor Arihantas (conquerors of passions), Siddhas (liberated souls), Acharyas (spiritual leaders), Upadhyayas (spiritual teachers), and Sadhus (renouncers). [a/k/a Navapada, Nav-pad Oli, Navapad Oli, Ayambil Oli, Aambil ki Ooli, Oli, Oliji, Siddha Chakra, Navadevata Puja, Vardhaman tap]

* 10/17: Shukaku Matsuri--Shinto rite offering thanks and first fruits of the rice harvest to the Kami. [a/k/a Kannamesai, Harvest Festival]

* 11/6: Day commemorating the death of Mahavira Vardhamana Jnatrputra (527 BCE), founder of the Jain faith. [599-527 BCE: exact dates unknown] [a/k/a Mahavir Nirvana, Mahavira Nirvana, Mahavir Bhagwan's Nirvan Kalyanak]

* 11/10: Jnan Panchami--Day that Jainas celebrate knowledge, education, and holy books with recitations, meditation, and worship. [a/k/a Gnan Panchami, Gyan Panchami, Jnana Panchami]

* 12/1: Suijin-Matsuri--Shinto rite honoring the Kami of Water. [a/k/a Water Kami Festival]

* 12/22: Taoist festival honoring Wang-Mu/Empress Mother, Mother of Compassion and Wisdom, and manifestation of the Tao (Cosmic Power of Creation and Destruction). Also celebrates the peak of the feminine Yin half of the year and the Shen of Earth, North, and Winter; prayers are made for rest and renewal, and offerings are made to the Cosmos.

* 12/22: Tohji-Taisai--Shinto rite honoring Sun Goddess Amaterasu. Storm God Susano-o angered Her, and She withdrew into a cave until enticed out with music and dance.

* 12/31: Oharai/Grand Purification Festival--Shinto rite exorcising evil from the world. [Devotees are purified from offenses committed.] [a/k/a Oh-Harai-Taisai, Great Purification Festival]

[Jainism was founded by Mahavira Vardhamana Jnatrputra in 6th Century BCE India. Jainism is an ascetic religion in which the primary mandate is ahimsa (harmlessness) and the goal is to free the soul from the material existence accumulated from karma. The holy scripture of the Jainas include the Angas (Sermons and Dialogues of Mahavira) and the Digambara Texts. There are two monastic denominations of Jainas: the Svetambara and the Digambara. The former includes orders of women and recognizes spiritual equality; the latter eschew orders of women and clothing. Lay Jainas venerate the Tirthankaras (24 great Jain teachers) at Jain temples. Jain festivals and the Jain calendar (Vir Samvat) are based on the Indian lunisolar calendar (Bikrami calendar or Vikram Samvat). Some Jainas outside of India date the Jain holidays based on the Moon in India, while others date the Jain holidays based on the Moon at their respective locations. Consequently, some Jainas in the United States and Canada may celebrate some of these holidays 1 day before the Indian celebration.]

[Taoism (Daoism) was founded in 3rd Century BCE China by Lao-Tzu. Taoism is a philosophical and spiritual system grounded in Nature and its rhythms. Taoist holy scripture is called the Tao Tsang. It includes the Tao-Te Ching and over a thousand other writings. Taoist holidays and the Taoist calendar are based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Chinese religion is a fusion of Taoism and Confucianism, and most Chinese also practice Chinese Mahayana Buddhism.]

[Confucianism was founded in 6th Century BCE China by Confucius (K'ung Fu-Tzu). Confucianism is a philosophical system focused on ethics and social structure.]

[Shinto (Shintoism) originated in Japan. Shinto is grounded in Nature and its rhythms. Shinto practitioners make daily offerings and prayers at home shrines and attend regional or national Shinto Shrines on annual festival days. Though Shinto holidays were previously based on a lunar calendar, the Shinto calendar is now based on the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted in Japan. Most Japanese practice both Shinto and a form of Mahayana or Tantric Buddhism.]

Excerpted from THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2010 A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality © 2009 Marija Miovski

30 December 2009

Owning Sexuality: Harness Your Chi To Live and Love Fully

Taoism is a spiritual tradition that embraces our sexual desire and uses it within our bodies as a force for healing and spiritual growth. Desire is a rich and potent part of our human experience. The Taoists think of desire, called sexual energy or jing chi, as part of our life energy, or chi. To be passionate is to be full of chi. The English words “desire” or “passion” connote a feeling of yearning and fervor that includes sex, but they also reflect our strongest feelings about life. When we are passionate about anything–our family, our work, our spirituality, an important social cause–we are investing our chi in this experience. Our passion is what moves us to action and ultimately is what gives us joy. We are passionate about the things that matter most to us.

We often speak of “getting horny” as if we were being invaded by some lewd, demonic (notice the horns) force. But the powerful energy of arousal is basic to our humanity. It is not, as some might lead you to believe, a dark force that separates us from God, but is the essence of what can compel us to live dynamic and fruitful lives. It is the fact that sexual energy is so powerful that has prompted most major religions to control and restrict sexual behavior, especially the behavior of women. Reestablishing our connection with our desire is part of recovering our personal power.

Once you have awakened your passion, or sexual energy, the Healing Love practices, as taught by world-renowned Taoist master, Mantak Chia, can teach you how to direct and refine your sexual energy so that you can benefit from its gifts. Though our modern world suffers from ignorance about sexuality on the one hand and blatant exploitation of sexuality on the other, Healing Love offers a several-thousand-year-old wisdom about how to live in our bodies as sexual beings and to use our passion to become the people we want to be.

Taoist Secrets of Sexuality

Taoism is the foundation of Chinese philosophy and medicine. It is a comprehensive physical and spiritual system that helps individuals to reach their highest potentials. It is perhaps best known in this country as the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture, herbal therapy, nutrition, massage, the energetic meditation called Chi Kung (pronounced “chee kong”), and the martial art called Tai Chi Chuan (”tie chee chwan”). The Universal Tao system was developed by Mantak Chia to teach Taoist meditative and exercise techniques to balance the body and increase and refine one’s vital energy, or chi (”chee”). The sexual practice, or Healing Love, is an essential part of this system.

“Chi,” the Chinese word for life energy, is the force within our bodies and within the universe that engenders life. The word itself has many translations, such as energy, air, breath, wind, or vital essence. There are 49 cultures around the world that understand the concept of chi in one form or another; examples include Ki (Japanese), Prana (Sanskrit), Lung (Tibetan), Neyatoneyah (Lakota Sioux), Num (Kalahari Kung), and Ruach (Hebrew).

“Western culture” and allopathic medicine, often called Western or conventional medicine, is one of the few cultures that does not have a similar concept, although it recognizes the role of energy at the molecular level. Western medicine is extremely effective for treating acute disease and traumatic injuries. However, I believe that it is, in part, the absence of this concept of “life force” that limits its effectiveness in treating chronic illnesses. Western medicine is just beginning to recognize what the Taoists have known for more than 2,000 years, that directing the flow of our life force, our chi, can improve our health and vitality.

In Taoism you can learn to use your concentration and your breath to activate and move your energy; this practice is called Chi Kung. It involves both concentration exercises and simple movements to facilitate the flow of chi. Used throughout China and now widely practiced in the United States, Chi Kung is an ancient and effective practice for many health issues. I often refer to the Healing Love sexual practice as “Chi Kung for the bedroom.”

Discover Your Chi

Once you become aware of your chi, you’ll find that it’s rather easy to notice and feel it. Try this simple exercise. Briskly rub your palms together until you produce heat. Now slowly separate your palms until they are about an inch apart. You should feel a “cushion” of air between them that may feel like pressure, heat, or tingling. This sensation is the chi passing between your hands.

In all traditions meditative practices calm and focus the mind. The Healing Tao meditative practices do this by focusing on the movement of chi. The basic practice is based on circulating chi through a body circuit called the Microcosmic Orbit, which is like an energy superhighway in the body. The Microcosmic Orbit runs from your tailbone up your spine to your brain (the Back Channel) and then returns down the front of your body in the midline (the Front Channel). By using the focus of your mind, you can direct the chi up the spine as you breathe in and let it “fall” down the Front Channel to your abdomen as you breathe out.

Harnessing Your Chi

As you become adept at sensing and moving your chi, you will also be able to move your sexual energy, or jing chi, in the same pathway. The ability to expand and move your sexual energy is what allows you to increase your pleasure and intensify your orgasms, no matter what your current level of sexual experience is. It also allows you to transform your sexual energy into chi, or life force, which will give you a great deal more energy out of the bedroom as you live your life in the world. And when your chi is strong and your intention is clear, your chi is transformed into spiritual energy, or shen.

The Healing Love practices are rich and powerful enough to do for hours each day, but flexible enough to energize you or help relieve physical or emotional stress in minutes. The sexual practices initially take some time to understand and feel in your body, but they can then be seamlessly integrated into lovemaking with astounding results: more pleasure, intimacy, and vibrancy than you’ve ever experienced.

The Taoist practice offers a practical method to access and integrate the two most powerful healing forces in the world: real love and sexual energy. These practices can increase your pleasure and invigorate your body and soul.

29 December 2009

Feng Shui Preparations for 2010

The year 2010 begins on February 14 and will be represented by the tiger—-a metal tiger to be specific. The tiger naturally holds wood energy based on the concept of the traveling stars (Chinese zodiac); the year according to the Taoist calendar is a metal one. Without going into the details of the Chinese 5 Elements, let me point out that when metal and wood try to team up, metal has a definite advantage. Metal represents a weapon such as a sword or gun and the tiger represents the fresh wood of springtime—-no match for a metal weapon. This is a combination that is definitely in conflict.

Based on this, 2010 will not be a peaceful one, according to Raymond Lo, international Feng Shui master. Although we will see some economic recovery from the turbulence of 2009, there will be more international disagreements, more clashing and more fighting. The metal energy is a destructive weapon. Since most of us aren’t in a position to actively intervene in these world-wide affairs to facilitate peace, my best advice is to try to influence your immediate world, bringing peace to the planet in your own home. Here are some ways to maximize your luck next year, to minimize the challenges, and to bring about some global peace as well:
  1. Bless your home. Your home is your part of the planet that you can impact and inspire. Take a few moments to appreciate and honor it by walking through with a candle, incense, or just your heart-felt intentions. Heal your own internal wars.
  2. Deal with your clutter. You know where it lurks—-get rid of it. It does not create peace in your space.
  3. Do good deeds. Do one good deed a day to offset the global turbulence.
  4. Put a pig in a blanket. According to Chinese zodiac tradition, the tiger and the pig are best friends. In order to keep the tiger on your side and to diminish the negative influences of what could be a challenging year, carry a picture or a small figurine of a pig who will intercede on your behalf (blanket optional).
  5. Line up 5 friends. Think of five people—dead or alive, real or legendary, human or deity—who would be your friends in time of need. Get them lined up in your mind before you actually need them so that you take the time to carefully and thoughtfully make your selection. Then, when a crisis hits, you’ll be prepared. You can call on them either literally or in an energetic way.
No matter what animal sign you may be in the Chinese zodiac system, following any or all of the above suggestions will help you navigate through any difficulties you may encounter.

28 December 2009

羅 馬 書 Romans 第 12 章 - 第 15 章 [King James Version & 繁體中文和合本]

12:1 [kjv] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
[hb5] 所 以 弟 兄 們 、 我 以   神 的 慈 悲 勸 你 們 、 將 身 體 獻 上 、 當 作 活 祭 、 是 聖 潔 的 、 是   神 所 喜 悅 的 . 你 們 如 此 事 奉 、 乃 是 理 所 當 然 的 。
12:2 [kjv] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
[hb5] 不 要 效 法 這 個 世 界 . 只 要 心 意 更 新 而 變 化 、 叫 你 們 察 驗 何 為   神 的 善 良 、 純 全 可 喜 悅 的 旨 意 。
12:3 [kjv] For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
[hb5] 我 憑 著 所 賜 我 的 恩 、 對 你 們 各 人 說 、 不 要 看 自 己 過 於 所 當 看 的 . 要 照 著   神 所 分 給 各 人 信 心 的 大 小 、 看 得 合 乎 中 道 。
12:4 [kjv] For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
[hb5] 正 如 我 們 一 個 身 子 上 有 好 些 肢 體 、 肢 體 也 不 都 是 一 樣 的 用 處 。
12:5 [kjv] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
[hb5] 我 們 這 許 多 人 、 在 基 督 裡 成 為 一 身 、 互 相 聯 絡 作 肢 體 、 也 是 如 此 。
12:6 [kjv] Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
[hb5] 按 我 們 所 得 的 恩 賜 、 各 有 不 同 . 或 說 預 言 、 就 當 照 著 信 心 的 程 度 說 預 言 .
12:7 [kjv] Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
[hb5] 或 作 執 事 、 就 當 專 一 執 事 . 或 作 教 導 的 、 就 當 專 一 教 導 .
12:8 [kjv] Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
[hb5] 或 作 勸 化 的 、 就 當 專 一 勸 化 . 施 捨 的 、 就 當 誠 實 . 治 理 的 、 就 當 殷 勤 . 憐 憫 人 的 、 就 當 甘 心 。
12:9 [kjv] Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
[hb5] 愛 人 不 可 虛 假 、 惡 要 厭 惡 、 善 要 親 近 。
12:10 [kjv] Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
[hb5] 愛 弟 兄 、 要 彼 此 親 熱 . 恭 敬 人 、 要 彼 此 推 讓 。
12:11 [kjv] Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
[hb5] 殷 勤 不 可 懶 惰 . 要 心 裡 火 熱 . 常 常 服 事 主 。
12:12 [kjv] Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
[hb5] 在 指 望 中 要 喜 樂 . 在 患 難 中 要 忍 耐 。 禱 告 要 恆 切 .
12:13 [kjv] Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
[hb5] 聖 徒 缺 乏 要 幫 補 . 客 要 一 味 的 款 待 。
12:14 [kjv] Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
[hb5] 逼 迫 你 們 的 、 要 給 他 們 祝 福 . 只 要 祝 福 、 不 可 咒 詛 。
12:15 [kjv] Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
[hb5] 與 喜 樂 的 人 要 同 樂 . 與 哀 哭 的 人 要 同 哭 。
12:16 [kjv] Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
[hb5] 要 彼 此 同 心 . 不 要 志 氣 高 大 、 倒 要 俯 就 卑 微 的 人 。 〔 人 或 作 事 〕 不 要 自 以 為 聰 明 。
12:17 [kjv] Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
[hb5] 不 要 以 惡 報 惡 、 眾 人 以 為 美 的 事 、 要 留 心 去 作 。
12:18 [kjv] If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
[hb5] 若 是 能 行 、 總 要 盡 力 與 眾 人 和 睦 。
12:19 [kjv] Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
[hb5] 親 愛 的 弟 兄 、 不 要 自 己 伸 冤 、 寧 可 讓 步 、 聽 憑 主 怒 . 〔 或 作 讓 人 發 怒 〕 因 為 經 上 記 著 、 『 主 說 、 伸 冤 在 我 . 我 必 報 應 。 』
12:20 [kjv] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
[hb5] 所 以 『 你 的 仇 敵 若 餓 了 、 就 給 他 喫 . 若 渴 了 、 就 給 他 喝 . 因 為 你 這 樣 行 、 就 是 把 炭 火 堆 在 他 的 頭 上 。 』
12:21 [kjv] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
[hb5] 你 不 可 為 惡 所 勝 、 反 要 以 善 勝 惡 。
13:1 [kjv] Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
[hb5] 在 上 有 權 柄 的 、 人 人 當 順 服 他 . 因 為 沒 有 權 柄 不 是 出 於   神 的 . 凡 掌 權 的 都 是   神 所 命 的 。
13:2 [kjv] Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
[hb5] 所 以 抗 拒 掌 權 的 、 就 是 抗 拒   神 的 命 . 抗 拒 的 必 自 取 刑 罰 。
13:3 [kjv] For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
[hb5] 作 官 的 原 不 是 叫 行 善 的 懼 怕 、 乃 是 叫 作 惡 的 懼 怕 。 你 願 意 不 懼 怕 掌 權 的 麼 . 你 只 要 行 善 、 就 可 得 他 的 稱 讚 .
13:4 [kjv] For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
[hb5] 因 為 他 是   神 的 用 人 、 是 與 你 有 益 的 。 你 若 作 惡 、 卻 當 懼 怕 . 因 為 他 不 是 空 空 的 佩 劍 . 他 是   神 的 用 人 、 是 伸 冤 的 、 刑 罰 那 作 惡 的 。
13:5 [kjv] Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
[hb5] 所 以 你 們 必 須 順 服 、 不 但 是 因 為 刑 罰 、 也 是 因 為 良 心 。
13:6 [kjv] For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
[hb5] 你 們 納 糧 、 也 為 這 個 緣 故 . 因 他 們 是   神 的 差 役 、 常 常 特 管 這 事 。
13:7 [kjv] Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
[hb5] 凡 人 所 當 得 的 、 就 給 他 . 當 得 糧 的 、 給 他 納 糧 . 當 得 稅 的 、 給 他 上 稅 . 當 懼 怕 的 、 懼 怕 他 . 當 恭 敬 的 、 恭 敬 他 。
13:8 [kjv] Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
[hb5] 凡 事 都 不 可 虧 欠 人 、 惟 有 彼 此 相 愛 、 要 常 以 為 虧 欠 . 因 為 愛 人 的 就 完 全 了 律 法 。
13:9 [kjv] For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
[hb5] 像 那 不 可 姦 淫 、 不 可 殺 人 、 不 可 偷 盜 、 不 可 貪 婪 、 或 有 別 的 誡 命 、 都 包 在 愛 人 如 己 這 一 句 話 之 內 了 。
13:10 [kjv] Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
[hb5] 愛 是 不 加 害 與 人 的 、 所 以 愛 就 完 全 了 律 法 。
13:11 [kjv] And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
[hb5] 再 者 、 你 們 曉 得 現 今 就 是 該 趁 早 睡 醒 的 時 候 、 因 為 我 們 得 救 、 現 今 比 初 信 的 時 候 更 近 了 。
13:12 [kjv] The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
[hb5] 黑 夜 已 深 、 白 晝 將 近 . 我 們 就 當 脫 去 暗 昧 的 行 為 、 帶 上 光 明 的 兵 器 。
13:13 [kjv] Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
[hb5] 行 事 為 人 要 端 正 、 好 像 行 在 白 晝 . 不 可 荒 宴 醉 酒 . 不 可 好 色 邪 蕩 . 不 可 爭 競 嫉 妒 。
13:14 [kjv] But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
[hb5] 總 要 披 戴 主 耶 穌 基 督 、 不 要 為 肉 體 安 排 、 去 放 縱 私 慾 。
14:1 [kjv] Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
[hb5] 信 心 軟 弱 的 、 你 們 要 接 納 、 但 不 要 辯 論 所 疑 惑 的 事 。
14:2 [kjv] For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
[hb5] 有 人 信 百 物 都 可 喫 . 但 那 軟 弱 的 、 只 喫 蔬 菜 。
14:3 [kjv] Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
[hb5] 喫 的 人 不 可 輕 看 不 喫 的 人 . 不 喫 的 人 不 可 論 斷 喫 的 人 . 因 為   神 已 經 收 納 他 了 。
14:4 [kjv] Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
[hb5] 你 是 誰 、 竟 論 斷 別 人 的 僕 人 呢 。 他 或 站 住 、 或 跌 倒 、 自 有 他 的 主 人 在 . 而 且 他 也 必 要 站 住 . 因 為 主 能 使 他 站 住 。
14:5 [kjv] One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
[hb5] 有 人 看 這 日 比 那 日 強 、 有 人 看 日 日 都 是 一 樣 . 只 是 各 人 心 裡 要 意 見 堅 定 。
14:6 [kjv] He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
[hb5] 守 日 的 人 、 是 為 主 守 的 . 喫 的 人 、 是 為 主 喫 的 、 因 他 感 謝   神 . 不 喫 的 人 、 是 為 主 不 喫 的 、 也 感 謝   神 。
14:7 [kjv] For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
[hb5] 我 們 沒 有 一 個 人 為 自 己 活 、 也 沒 有 一 個 人 為 自 己 死 。
14:8 [kjv] For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
[hb5] 我 們 若 活 著 、 是 為 主 而 活 . 若 死 了 、 是 為 主 而 死 . 所 以 我 們 或 活 或 死 、 總 是 主 的 人 。
14:9 [kjv] For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
[hb5] 因 此 基 督 死 了 、 又 活 了 、 為 要 作 死 人 並 活 人 的 主 。
14:10 [kjv] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
[hb5] 你 這 個 人 、 為 甚 麼 論 斷 弟 兄 呢 . 又 為 甚 麼 輕 看 弟 兄 呢 . 因 我 們 都 要 站 在   神 的 臺 前 。
14:11 [kjv] For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
[hb5] 經 上 寫 著 、 『 主 說 、 我 憑 著 我 的 永 生 起 誓 、 萬 膝 必 向 我 跪 拜 、 萬 口 必 向 我 承 認 。 』
14:12 [kjv] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
[hb5] 這 樣 看 來 、 我 們 各 人 必 要 將 自 己 的 事 、 在   神 面 前 說 明 。
14:13 [kjv] Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
[hb5] 所 以 我 們 不 可 再 彼 此 論 斷 . 寧 可 定 意 誰 也 不 給 弟 兄 放 下 絆 腳 跌 人 之 物 。
14:14 [kjv] I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
[hb5] 我 憑 著 主 耶 穌 確 知 深 信 、 凡 物 本 來 沒 有 不 潔 淨 的 . 惟 獨 人 以 為 不 潔 淨 的 、 在 他 就 不 潔 淨 了 。
14:15 [kjv] But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
[hb5] 你 若 因 食 物 叫 弟 兄 憂 愁 、 就 不 是 按 著 愛 人 的 道 理 行 。 基 督 已 經 替 他 死 、 你 不 可 因 你 的 食 物 叫 他 敗 壞 。
14:16 [kjv] Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
[hb5] 不 可 叫 你 的 善 被 人 毀 謗 .
14:17 [kjv] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
[hb5] 因 為   神 的 國 、 不 在 乎 喫 喝 、 只 在 乎 公 義 、 和 平 、 並 聖 靈 中 的 喜 樂 。
14:18 [kjv] For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
[hb5] 在 這 幾 樣 上 服 事 基 督 的 、 就 為   神 所 喜 悅 、 又 為 人 所 稱 許 。
14:19 [kjv] Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
[hb5] 所 以 我 們 務 要 追 求 和 睦 的 事 、 與 彼 此 建 立 德 行 的 事 。
14:20 [kjv] For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
[hb5] 不 可 因 食 物 毀 壞   神 的 工 程 . 凡 物 固 然 潔 淨 、 但 有 人 因 食 物 叫 人 跌 倒 、 就 是 他 的 罪 了 。
14:21 [kjv] It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
[hb5] 無 論 是 喫 肉 、 是 喝 酒 、 是 甚 麼 別 的 事 、 叫 弟 兄 跌 倒 、 一 概 不 作 纔 好 。
14:22 [kjv] Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
[hb5] 你 有 信 心 、 就 當 在   神 面 前 守 著 。 人 在 自 己 以 為 可 行 的 事 上 、 能 不 自 責 、 就 有 福 了 。
14:23 [kjv] And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
[hb5] 若 有 疑 心 而 喫 的 、 就 必 有 罪 . 因 為 他 喫 、 不 是 出 於 信 心 . 凡 不 出 於 信 心 的 都 是 罪 。
15:1 [kjv] We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
[hb5] 我 們 堅 固 的 人 、 應 該 擔 代 不 堅 固 人 的 軟 弱 、 不 求 自 己 的 喜 悅 。
15:2 [kjv] Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
[hb5] 我 們 各 人 務 要 叫 鄰 舍 喜 悅 、 使 他 得 益 處 、 建 立 德 行 。
15:3 [kjv] For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
[hb5] 因 為 基 督 也 不 求 自 己 的 喜 悅 、 如 經 上 所 記 、 『 辱 罵 你 人 的 辱 罵 、 都 落 在 我 身 上 。 』
15:4 [kjv] For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
[hb5] 從 前 所 寫 的 聖 經 、 都 是 為 教 訓 我 們 寫 的 、 叫 我 們 因 聖 經 所 生 的 忍 耐 和 安 慰 、 可 以 得 著 盼 望 。
15:5 [kjv] Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
[hb5] 但 願 賜 忍 耐 安 慰 的   神 、 叫 你 們 彼 此 同 心 、 效 法 基 督 耶 穌 .
15:6 [kjv] That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[hb5] 一 心 一 口 、 榮 耀   神 、 我 們 主 耶 穌 基 督 的 父 。
15:7 [kjv] Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
[hb5] 所 以 你 們 要 彼 此 接 納 、 如 同 基 督 接 納 你 們 一 樣 、 使 榮 耀 歸 與   神 。
15:8 [kjv] Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
[hb5] 我 說 、 基 督 是 為   神 真 理 作 了 受 割 禮 人 的 執 事 、 要 證 實 所 應 許 列 祖 的 話 。
15:9 [kjv] And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
[hb5] 並 叫 外 邦 人 、 因 他 的 憐 憫 、 榮 耀   神 . 如 經 上 所 記 、 『 因 此 我 要 在 外 邦 中 稱 讚 你 、 歌 頌 你 的 名 。 』
15:10 [kjv] And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
[hb5] 又 說 、 『 你 們 外 邦 人 、 當 與 主 的 百 姓 一 同 歡 樂 。 』
15:11 [kjv] And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
[hb5] 又 說 、 『 外 邦 阿 、 你 們 當 讚 美 主 . 萬 民 哪 、 你 們 都 當 頌 讚 他 。 』
15:12 [kjv] And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
[hb5] 又 有 以 賽 亞 說 、 『 將 來 有 耶 西 的 根 、 就 是 那 興 起 來 要 治 理 外 邦 的 . 外 邦 人 要 仰 望 他 。 』
15:13 [kjv] Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
[hb5] 但 願 使 人 有 盼 望 的   神 、 因 信 、 將 諸 般 的 喜 樂 平 安 、 充 滿 你 們 的 心 、 使 你 們 藉 著 聖 靈 的 能 力 、 大 有 盼 望 。

27 December 2009

Chi Nei Tsang Chi Kung Therapy

Chi Nei Tsang is a Chinese Taoist system of healing massage that focuses on the navel center the of the body. It is thought that the navel center is the primary area where imbalances occur that may cause negative emotions, stress, tension, congestion and ultimately illness. Using visceral manipulations and energy work CNT techniques provides a method to balance the energy and thereby improving many vital body functions. Practitioners use a variety of light or deep manipulation techniques to aid in restoring improved function within the internal organs, connective tissue, tendons, muscles, lymph, nerve and endocrine system.

Chi Nei Tsang is part of a larger Taoist paradigm of practice that includes meditation, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung. CNT techniques are easily adaptable to work on yourself as well; thereby offering an opportunity to both heal yourself and teach clients practices to better care for themselves. This system incorporates the Taoist understanding of the meridian systems of energy and the cultivation of energy to keep healthy and create vitality and will add a new dimension to your healing work. These precise techniques will enable energy blockages to be cleared in the abdominal area and within the internal organs long before it is noticed in the periphery of the body.

Many techniques only work with the body's extremities and energy channels, far from the navel center and the organs. Chi Nei Tsang has been called a most "direct system." Working with the "tan tien", a source point for all meridians and energy channels.

25 December 2009

Chan Buddhist New Year's Party

We ring the temple bell 107 times on the night before New Year’s Day and one time on New Year’s Day itself, just past midnight. There are several theories about this custom. For example, one is simply that people have 108 kinds of worldly desires and can get rid of them by ringing a bell. The other theory involves the Japanese word shikuhaku, which means "agony". It so happens that many Japanese words and sounds have several possible meanings. Ku, for example, means either "troublesome" or "nine". Shi means either "death" or "four". So if we do multiplication tables, shi (4) times ku (9) is thirty-six, and ha (8) times ku (9) is seventy-two. Then, thirty-six plus seventy-two is 108 — the number of worldly desires! By ringing the bell that many times, we hope to rid ourselves of this troublesome karma.

Here is a traditional Chinese explanation: Like the knots or beads on a Mala, the bell is considered as an auspicious article in Chinese tradition. At great ceremonies, the temple bell is rung typically 108 times to begin the celebration. There are 12 months, 24 solar terms and 72 hours on the Chinese lunar calendar, 108 in all. According to Buddhist custom, people have 108 worries which are said to be removed by the bell. The bell-ringing at mid-night of New Year's would captivate many people as its echo carries around the vicinity, whether one is close by or just heard it via broadcast.

21 December 2009

The Extreme of Winter Solstice: DongZhi

The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (Chinese: 冬至; Pinyin: dōng zhì; "The Extreme of Winter") is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, "Returning").

Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get togethers (especially in the southern parts of China and in Chinese communities overseas) is the making and eating of Tangyuan (湯圓, Cantonese jyutping: tong1 jyun2; Mandarin Pinyin: Tāng Yuán) or balls of glutinuous rice, which symbolize reunion. Tangyuan are made of glutinuous rice flour and sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large Tang Yuan in addition to several small ones. The flour balls may be plain or stuffed. They are cooked in a sweet soup or savoury broth with both the ball and the soup/broth served in one bowl. It is also often served with a mildly alcoholic unfiltered rice wine containing whole grains of glutinous rice (and often also Sweet Osmanthus flowers), called jiuniang.

In northern China, people typically eat dumplings on Dongzhi. It is said to have originated from Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. On one cold winter day, he saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears. Feeling sympathetic, he ordered his apprentices to make dumplings with lamb and other ingredients, and distribute them among the poor to keep them warm, to keep their ears from getting chilblains. Since the dumplings were shaped like ears, Zhang named the dish "qǜ hán jiāo ěr tāng" or dumpling soup that expels the cold. From that time on, it has been a tradition to eat dumplings on the day of Dongzhi.

Old traditions also require people with the same surname or from the same clan to gather at their ancestral temples to worship on this day. There is always a grand reunion dinner following the sacrificial ceremony.

The festive food is also a reminder that we are now a year older and should behave better in the coming year. Even today, many Chinese around the world, especially the elderly, still insist that one is "a year older" right after the Dong Zhi celebration instead of waiting for the Chinese New Year.

To Taiwanese people, the festival in winter also plays a very important role. It is also a tradition for Taiwanese to eat “Tangyuan” during this day. They also use the festive food as an offering dish to worship the ancestors.

In an interesting twist, in accordance with ancient Taiwanese history, many people take some of the “Tangyuan” that have been used as offerings and stick them on the back of the door or on windows and tables and chairs. These “empowered” “Tangyuan” supposedly serve as protective talismans to keep evil spirits from coming close to children.

In addition to following some of the customs practiced in China, the people of Taiwan have their own unique custom of offering nine-layer cakes as a ceremonial sacrifice to worship their ancestors. These cakes are made using glutinous rice flour in the shape of a chicken, duck, tortoise, pig, cow or sheep, and then steamed in different layers of a pot. These animals all signify auspiciousness in Chinese tradition.

Another interesting custom in Taiwan is that many people take invigorating tonic foods during this particular winter festival. To the Taiwanese, winter is a time when most physical activities should be limited and you should eat well to nourish your body. This practice follows the habits shown by many animals which follow the law of nature and hibernate throughout winter months to rejuvenate and to preserve life. In order to fight cold temperatures, it is necessary to eat more fatty and meaty foods during winter when your body can better absorb the rich and nutritional foods at this time due to a slower metabolic rate.

Since “Dong Zhi,” is the “Extreme of Winter,” Taiwanese regard it as the best time of the year to take tonic foods. Some of the most widely-popular winter tonic foods enjoyed by Taiwanese to fight cold and strengthen the body's resistance are mutton hot pot and ginger duck hot pot. Other foods like chicken, pork and abalone are also common materials used in making tonic foods with nurturing herbs such as ginseng, deer horn and the fungus cordyceps.

13 December 2009

The Great Liu Bei

Born in Zhuo Commandery (涿, present day Zhuozhou, Baoding, Hebei), Liu Bei was a descendant of Liu Zhen, the son of Liu Sheng, a son of Emperor Jing. His grandfather Liu Xiong (劉雄), and father Liu Hong (劉弘) were both employed as local clerks.

Liu Bei grew up in a poor family, having lost his father when he was still a child. To support themselves, Liu and his mother sold shoes and straw-woven mats. At the age of fourteen, Liu Bei, sponsored by a more affluent relative who recognised his potential in leadership, went to study under the tutelage of Lu Zhi (a prominent scholar and, at the time, former Administrator of Jiujiang). He met and befriended Gongsun Zan (a prominent northern warlord in future) there.

The adolescent Liu Bei was said to be unenthusiastic in studying and displayed interest in hunting, music and dressing. Few of words, calm in demeanor, and kind to his friends, Liu Bei was well-liked by his contemporaries. He was said to have long arms and large earlobes.

Liu Bei, a compassionate and righteous leader, an embodiment of natural charisma (called de in Chinese) built his kingdom on the basis of Confucian values. Liu Bei was related to the ruling family of the Han Dynasty. Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei who, having met by chance in the county of Zhuo in 184, found that all three shared the same desire to serve the country in the tumultuous times. They swore to be brothers the next day in Zhang Fei's backyard, which was a garden full of peach blossoms. Liu Bei was ranked the eldest, Guan Yu the second, and Zhang Fei the youngest. Having done this, they recruited more than 300 local men, acquired horses, forged weapons and joined the resistance against the Yellow Turban rebels.

Bei is worshipped as the patron of shoemakers in Chengdu, which is also known as the "City of Shoes", as more than eighty million pairs of shoes totaling five billion yuan in sales are manufactured there annually. It is said that in 1845, during the reign of the Daoguang Emperor, the shoemakers guild in Chengdu, who called themselves disciples of Liu Bei, sponsored the construction of the Sanyi Temple (三義廟) in Liu Bei's honor. After being relocated many times, the temple can be found in Wuhou District today. Since Mainland China loosened its control on religious practices in recent years, the worship of Liú Bèi among shoemakers has again gained popularity in Chengdu. In 2005, a large procession was carried out in front of the Sanyi Temple to commemorate Liu Bei—the first such event since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

A commentary carried by the Yangtse Evening News (揚子晚報) criticized such practice as mere commercial gimmickry to exploit the fame of Liu Bei. It argued that although Liu Bei sold straw-woven shoes and mats for a living when he was young, he was hardly the inventor of shoes. According to legend, it was Yu Ze (于則) who made the first pairs of shoes with softwood during the time of the Yellow Emperor. However, the criticism did not dampen the enthusiastic shoe industry owners in their decision to erect a statue of Liu Bei in the West China Shoe Center Industrial Zone in Wuhou District.

12 December 2009

New Moon Legend: Twilight of the Jiang Shi

Jiang Shi (simplified Chinese: 僵尸; traditional Chinese: 僵屍 or; pinyin: jiāngshī; literally "stiff corpse") are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence (气/氣qì) from their victims. Jiāngshī is pronounced gœngsi in Cantonese, or kyonshi in Japanese. They are said to be created when a person's soul (魄 pò) fails to leave the deceased's body, due to improper death, suicide, or just wanting to cause trouble.

Generally their appearance can range from plain ordinary (as in the case of a recently deceased person) to downright horrifying (i.e. rotting flesh, stiffness, rigor mortis, the like commonly associated with corpses that have been in a state of decay over a period of time). A peculiar feature is their greenish-white furry skin; one theory is this is derived from fungus or mold growing on corpses. They are said to have long white hair all over their heads. The influence of Western Christian vampire stories brought the blood-sucking aspect to the Chinese myth in modern times. The mentioned term 'stiff corpse' alludes to the large phallic erection it has when it is absorbing the soul of a virgin of the opposite sex.

A supposed source of the jiang shi stories came from the folk practice of "Traveling a Corpse over a Thousand Li" (千里行屍), where traveling companions or family members who could not afford wagons or had very little money would hire Taoist priests to transport corpses of their friends/family members who died far away from home over long distances by teaching them to hop on their own feet back to their hometown for proper burial. Taoist priests would transport the corpses only at night and would ring bells to notify other pedestrians of their presence because it was considered bad luck for a living person to set eyes upon a jiang shi. This practice (湘西趕屍) was popular in Xiangxi where many people left their hometown to work elsewhere. After they died, their corpses were transported back to their rural hometown using long bamboo rods, believing they would be homesick if buried somewhere unfamiliar. When the bamboo flexed up and down, the corpses appeared to be hopping in unison from a distance. Once it was a myth. Some people speculate that the stories about jiang shi was originally made up by smugglers who disguised their illegal activities as corpse transportation and wanted to scare off law enforcement officers.

They are sometimes called Chinese vampires by Westerners, despite the fact that unlike vampires, most jiang shi usually have no self-awareness, consciousness or independent thought.

Supposedly jiang shi can be put to sleep by putting a piece of yellow paper with a spell written on it on their foreheads (Chinese talisman or 符, pinyin: fú) and they can be evaded by holding one's breath, as they track living creatures by detecting their breathing. It is also the conventional wisdom of feng shui in Chinese architecture that a threshold (simplified Chinese: 门槛; traditional Chinese: 門檻; pinyin: ménkàn), a piece of wood approximately 15 cm (6 in) high, be installed along the width of the door at the bottom to prevent a jiang shi from entering the household. When uncooked grains or rice thrown in the path of a jiang shi, the jiang shi will stop and count the grains of rice. Sticky rice is believed to draw the evil spirit of the jiang shi out. Other items used to repel jiang shi include chicken's eggs (whereas duck's eggs are ineffective), and the blood of a black dog.

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