Living in a time of ever-fast exchanging of information, the idea of globalization actually drives our awareness into further compartments, mind vs. body, matter vs. spirit, and good vs. evil. The characteristic of the Western thought, despite the unifying insights and attempts of recent science and social approach, clings to the notion of the separation of dualism. Once the mind is cleaved from the body and given constantly futile tasks to control the body, the conflict between the conscious will and the involuntary instincts is established. Thus, one's talents, feelings, beliefs, etc., lead to further separation into different sectors of a society that is engaged in endless social conflicts and battles, and continuous metaphysical confusion and frustration. This condition known by many names but simply is Unhappiness.
There is even a greater deal of confusion and frustration about where to turn for assistance and guidance in overcoming one's conflicts and battles. Although there have been a myriad of approaches available, West to East, from Hinduism to Zen, Tantra to Taoism, Yoga to Qi Gong and Tai Chi, but the schools of thoughts and methods seem to contradict each other, and the confusion and frustration still remain central.
While the Western elite academia is inclined to carve out convenient segments from the entire Eastern cultural context and social-historical complex for their studies, students of studies and practitioners are often promoted with a freeloading consumer mono-cultural stock, in which careerist, functionalist, structuralist, reformer, and visionary or other epoch-bound biases clearly shine through. Accordingly, there seems to be a genuine need for an essential, Western practice (of Buddhism, Taoism, Qi Gong and Tai Chi, and so on) that is pragmatic, effective, and experiential rather than doctrinal, traditional lineage-transmission, and disciplinary. Nevertheless, the practices such as Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, Qi Gong and Tai Chi emerged from the soil of Chinese culture, so the question is: Can Modern mind, with its technical and ecological accomplishments, divest the thousands of years of traditions or practices from the culture? Can such human ingenuity replace the healing wisdom of nature?
This world-weariness, now is celebrated by a growing senseamong scholars, scientists, physicians, and many others who share a far-reaching view of the worldthat much of the unknown we keenly search for is already known to us, entrenched in the forgotten and misunderstood traditions of the distant past. Along other traditional studies and practices, the Chinese cultural studies and practices play one of the indispensable roles in reviving the ancient spiritual and healing traditions and practices of the world cultures.
There are many versions of traditional Chinese cultural studies and practices that vary with time, place, and social levels. However, these versions are inevitably a product of the later conceptions of what the past were or ought to have been. As David N. Keightley remarks on this perspective: The values of the present, generated by the past, reflect back on that past; fact is seen as value, and value in turn affects what facts are seen. (Keightley, 16) Hence, this website does not simply express its own reflections on how traditional Chinese cultural studies and practices have become; it also reflects in part how the recent elite Chinese and the Westerners on their reflectionsrepresented by the editing and promoting of certain texts or practices and quasi-historical scenariosthought that the traditional Chinese cultural studies and practices have become. The discrepancies that arise between these later idealizing reflections and earlier unedited reality are the continuing concern of this website.
Keightley, David N. 1990. Early civilization in China: Reflections on How It Became Chinese in Paul S. Ropp ed. Heritage of China. Berkeley: University of California Press.Top