Becoming A Tian Yun Gong Daoist Disciple

It is important to note, that there is a difference between “Studying the Dao” (i.e., learning various magical Daoist techniques) and being a “Daoist” (being “Ordained” as a Disciple or Priest). At the Tian Yun Gong (Temple of the Celestial Cloud) in Monterey California, after one to three years of special Zhengyi Daoist training, a student may then qualify for the position of “Yellow Paper Disciple” at the Celestial Master’s Mansion (in Jiangxi Province), and begin the study of  “Closed-Door” Daoist Magical Training.

The following information provides an overview of the specific requirements of becoming a “Yellow Paper” Daoist Disciple at the Tian Yun Gong, including some of the special duties and qualification requirements.

 

THE DUTIES OF A DISCIPLE

Most Daoist Disciples belong to one of the various religious sects, and receive their magical instructions and directions from the elders within their religious order, such as the Senior Abbot (Cardinals), Abbots (Bishops), and Priests. These unique religious orders typically specialize in preaching and teaching the Dao, as well as performing various magical rituals.

Similar to the role of an Abbot or a Priest, a Yellow Paper Disciple is foremost a servant of the Dao. Although the government of the church rests upon the shoulders of the Abbots, both the Priests and the Disciples provide the needed assistance to maintain the temple, and the various ministries of the local body of believers. While an individual’s specific job duties may differ depending on what type of qualifications and magical training they possess, the duties of a Yellow Paper Daoist Disciple can include the following:

 

1. CARING FOR THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE:

One of the roles of a Disciple includes intelligently caring for the personal needs of others, especially members of the congregation. This includes the assisting individuals in their physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

2. RESOLVING GOSSIP AND STOPPING DISUNITY:

Edifying and uniting the church is one of the primary ministries of the Disciples. As such, he or she is responsible for heading off all disunity in the church, and is responsible for encouraging the congregation, and for building up one another for the highest good.

3. SUPPORTING THE MINISTRY:

Disciples will serve the church as a whole, by helping with responsibilities that the main teachers cannot perform. They are therefore responsible for encouraging and supporting the ministry of the Elders (i.e., the Priests, Abbots, and Senior Abbots).

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A DISCIPLE

Along with the Elders (Priests, Abbots, and Senior Abbots), the Disciples have specific qualifications that are clearly outlined in Daoist Scriptures. Each member of the “Council of Disciples” should be an active member of the Temple, and possess specific qualifications. The qualifications for a Disciple can be divided into two different categories: Personal Character and Spiritual Character, described as follows:

1. PERSONAL CHARACTER OF A DISCIPLE

(a) A Disciple must be a man or woman of great dignity, reverent, and compassionate. They must be worthy of respect, serious minded, and must not treat serious things lightly.

(b) A Disciple must be a man or woman who is not double-tongued; and who does not spread malicious gossip.

(c) A Disciple must be a man or woman who is not addicted to much wine; and is noted for their sobriety.

(d) A Disciple must be a man or woman who is not fond of material gain, and who is not greedy for money or possessions.

2. SPIRITUAL CHARACTER OF A DISCIPLE

(a) A Disciple must be a man or woman who holds “to the mystery of the faith, with a clear conscience.” He or she must possess internal convictions based on the knowledge of divine true and sound spiritual doctrine.

(b) A Disciple must be a man or woman who has already been tested, and has proven him or herself to be faithful and trustworthy.

(c) A Disciple must be a man or woman who is morally pure in every way.

(d) A Disciple must be a man or woman who is the spiritual leader of their household.

3. A DISCIPLE’S MATE

(a) A Disciple’s Mate must be a man or woman who is reverent, compassionate, and serious in mind and character; and not silly or flippant about important matters.

(b) A Disciple’s Mate must be a man or woman who is not a slanderer; and must not speak malicious gossip.

(c) A Disciple’s Mate must be a man or woman who is temperate, alert, vigilant, clear-headed, and sober.

(d) A Disciple ’s Mate must be a man or woman who is faithful in all things, and absolutely trustworthy in all aspects of their lives and ministries.

 

 

Becoming A Tian Yun Gong Daoist Priest

At the Tian Yun Gong (Temple of the Celestial Cloud) in Monterey California, after three additional years of training as a Yellow Paper Disciple, a student may then qualify for the position of  “Daoist Priest” at the Celestial Master’s Mansion (in Jiangxi Province), and begin special advanced Daoist “Closed-Door” Magical Training.

The following provides an overview of the specific requirements of becoming a Daoist Priest at the Tian Yun Gong, including the necessary skills, duties, and qualification requirements.

THE DUTIES OF A PRIEST

Most Daoist Priests belong to a special religious order such as one of the Zhengyi Sects (i.e., the Shang Qing Pai, Tian Shi Pai, or Ling Bao Pai) or one of the Quan Zhen Sects (e.g., the Bai Ji Pai, Long Men Pai, etc.). Most Daoist priests get their magical instructions and spiritual teachings from the elders within their religious order (i.e., the Senior Abbot, Abbots, and /or Senior Priests). These religious orders typically specialize in preaching and teaching the Dao, as well as performing various magical rituals. While an individual’s specific job duties may differ depending on what type of priest they are and/or what religious order they belong to, the duties of a Daoist priest can include the following:

  • Meditating and reading the holy scripture and other sacred religious texts
  • Leading a group in worship
  • Performing Magical Rituals
  • Officiating at Weddings
  • Officiating at Funerals
  • Providing individual or group counseling
  • Performing administrative duties for the temple
  • Performing administrative duties for the monastery
  • Performing community relations
  • Visiting hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and homes
  • Acting as an advocate for Daoist beliefs (Preaching and Teaching the Dao)

 

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PRIEST

Daoist Priests act as an intermediary between their congregation and the divine. As such, they must possess many unique skills, including:

  • A strong sense of “Calling” to the ministry
  • A strong sense of morality
  • The personal strength to lead a celibate and monogamous life
  • Caring and empathy for their fellow man
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • An ability to relate theological concepts to the lives of their disciples
  • An ability to perform powerful magical rituals
  • An ability to construct powerful magical talismans
  • Personal strength to help fellow priests and disciples through difficult times, such as the loss of a loved one

 

Becoming A Tian Yun Gong Daoist Abbot

At the Tian Yun Gong (Temple of the Celestial Cloud) in Monterey California, after four additional years of training as a Daoist Priest, a disciple may then qualify for the position of  “Daoist Abbot (“Bishop”), at the Celestial Master’s Mansion (in Jiangxi Province). The following provides an overview of the specific requirements of a Daoist Abbot at the Tian Yun Gong, including the special duties, qualifications, necessary skills, training, and educational requirements.

THE DUTIES OF AN ABBOT

According to Tian Yun Gong teachings, a Daoist Abbot is an “Ordained” or “Consecrated” member of the Daoist clergy, who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.  As a church dignitary, the Abbot possesses the full powers of the priesthood and is authorized to rule a specific territory as its “chief-pastor,” via his or her submission to the authority of the Celestial Master Monastery. Within the Zhengyi Daoist sects, the Abbots claim “Apostolic Succession” via a direct historical lineage dating all the way back to the original magical teachings of the first Celestial Master. The duties of the Abbot are described as follows:

1. TO RULE THE CHURCH

The Abbot is not an autocratic ruler, but is responsible for the oversight and leadership of the churches within his or her own jurisdiction. The church is a democracy, receiving and excluding members, and managing its own affairs accordingly. The Abbot is therefore considered to be the “Ruling Elder,” who oversees each temples’ growth and spiritual maturity.

2. TO TEACH

The principal work of the Abbot is to oversee, teach, and educate the preachers of the church. Everything else is viewed secondary to the “Work,” and nothing should be allowed to interfere with this spiritual calling.

3. TO SHEPHERD THE FLOCK

The Abbot is a “shepherd of the shepherds.” Therefore, he or she is to have the same interest in and unselfish devotion to the “flock of God,” from all faiths, beliefs, and religions. The Abbot is commissioned to spiritually “feed” the children of light, shield them from danger, comfort them in distress, and strengthen them when weak.

4. TO ADMINISTER THE ORDINANCES

Within the various Zhengyi Daoist temples and monasteries, Senior Abbots can ordain clergy, including other Daoist Abbots, Priests, and Disciples. In this special spiritual practice, an Apprentice is first accepted as a Disciple, then Ordained as a Priest, and finally moved to the position of an Abbot, who is understood to hold the true fullness of the priesthood. In Zhengyi Daoist temples, the Abbot is given this responsibility via Celestial Decree (“Heavens Mandate”) through the magical lineage of the Celestial Master. Therefore, once the individual reaches the position of  Abbot, they are responsible for governing, teaching, and sanctifying the members of the particular Daoist sect through which he or she is initiated. All Daoist Abbots, Priests, and Disciples are commissioned by the Celestial Court to cooperate and assist their Senior Abbot (s) in shepherding a flock of believers.

 

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF AN ABBOT

The Abbot acts as an intermediary between his or her congregation and the other Priests. As such, they must possess many unique skills, including:

1. BLAMELESS

By this it is not meant that the Abbot must be morally perfect. No man or woman in the flesh is. It means that he or she must be above serious reproach, and willing to continually work on their internal spiritual transformations. The Abbot must also have a good reputation, especially from those that are in the community. If the public does not have a high regard for the moral integrity of a man or woman, they should never be made an Abbot. As “God’s Steward,” the Abbot must be blameless; not self-willed, not easily angered; not a brawler, nor greedy for money, power, or fame.

2. PROPER CONJUGAL RELATIONS

The Abbot is to be the husband or wife of one mate.

3. VIGILANCE, SOBRIETY, AND OF GOOD BEHAVIOR

The Abbot is to be temperate, sober-minded, and orderly. Temperance means self-control in everything. It involves total abstinence from that which is harmful or evil.

4. HOSPITALITY

Hospitality refers to entertainment of visitors in the home. In ancient times, “hospitality” was defined as: “a service specially necessary when the traveler was exposed to peculiar difficulties and dangers, and a duty, therefore, which was often insisted on.”

5. APTNESS TO TEACH

The Abbot is required to possess the secret knowledge of the Dao, and the ability to impart it to those who will listen. This includes both the love for teaching “The Way,” and the ability to intelligently present it.

6. PEACEFUL

The Abbot must contend for the faith and fight against evil. However, he or she is not to have a disposition that tends to stir up strife, be of violent nature, or easily provoked into combat (physical, mental, or spiritual). The Abbot must be an individual of gentle, forbearing spirit, adverse to quarreling and dispute.

7. LACK OF COVETOUSNESS

The Abbot must not be a lover of money, and must never place the desire for financial gain above the higher service of teaching, serving, and obeying the will of God.

8. DISCIPLINARY ABILITY

The Abbot must be willing to take disciplinary action in order to protect the congregation from deceivers and “evil doers.” The test of this ability is the way in which the Abbot controls his or her own household and children. One proverb states that if he cannot control his own household, how can he take care for the church of God.

9. BE SEASONED IN EXPERIENCE

The Abbot must not be a “novice,” one who has newly come to the teachings and faith. Therefore, he or she must possess a considerable degree of spiritual maturity and experience.

10. SOUNDNESS IN THE FAITH

The Abbot must be able to hold fast to the “words of power,” active and alive within the magical teachings. They must be able to both exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince “gainsayers.” This means that the Abbot is to be the one who holds fast to the sacred “Words of God,” and follow the direction and guiding of the “Spirit of God,” in spite of all temptation to forsake it.

 

 

Tian Yun Gong “Oath Of Commitment” For Daoist Disciples

All Daoist Disciple Candidates must swear an “Oath of Commitment,” before they are formally accepted as a “Tudi” (“Apprentice”). The following is an example of the Oath of Commitment that the Daoist Disciples of Tian Yun Gong will speak, before they are allowed to enter into and receive the special closed-door magical teachings of the sect.

On the —– day of the —- month,

in the ————year of  ——   –  ——-,

in the Tian Yun Gong Daoist Temple

of Monterey, California,

in the United States of America,

I, the Disciple ————

 am ready to be accepted as an Formal Apprentice

of Zheng Yi Daoist Magic,

 and to be imparted the secret magical teachings

from the Perfected Man, Senior Abbot Luo Sheng (Chi Fu).

 

I am honored to be received by the Magical Masters

of the Shang Qing and Tian Shi Daoist Sects.

I understand the sacred nature of this work,

and I promise to train and cultivate myself

in the esoteric teachings of this great magical lineage.

 

I swear to embrace this information as my own,

and only use these magical teachings

for the benefit of others.

I ————-promise to live my life

as an example of one

who is exalted in the Dao of the Right.

If I break this magical oath,

and betray these great magical lineages,

I am willing to be interrogated and disciplined

by the Celestial Guardians of these lineages,

and to thank the Three Official Judges

of Heaven, Earth, and Water

without resentment or hatred.

 

 

Tian Yun Gong “Oath Of Dedication” For Daoist Priests

When advancing to the next level of spiritual service, all Daoist Disciples must swear an “Oath of Dedication.” This is traditionally spoken when the disciple receives his or her formal “Priest Ordination.” The following is an example of the Oath Of Dedication that the Daoist Priests of Tian Yun Gong will speak, before they are allowed to enter into and receive the more advanced closed-door magical teachings of the sect.

On the ——- day of the ——–month,

at the beginning of the ——–year of ——   –  ——-,

in the fellowship of the

Tian Yun Gong Daoist Temple

of Monterey, California,

in the United States of America,

I, the Disciple ————–

 am now ready to be accepted as

an Ordained Priest,

of Esoteric Daoist Magic.

And I am ready to be imparted

the advanced secret magical teachings

required for the office of Daoist Priest,

from the Perfected Man,

Senior Abbott Luo Sheng (Chi Fu).

 

I am honored to come

to the Tian Yun Gong Daoist Temple,

to acknowledge the Perfected Man,

Abbott Luo Sheng (Chi Fu) as my Master (Shifu);

And to be imparted with

the highest magical teachings

of the Shang Qing, Tian Shi, Bei Ji,

and Long Men Daoist Sects.

I am honored to be entrusted

with these precious secrets,

and to be accepted as a Close Door Disciple and Priest

by the Magical Masters, Teachers, and Guardians

of these powerful esoteric traditions.

I understand the sacred nature of this work,

and I promise to train and cultivate myself

in the secret teachings of this great magical lineage.

 

I swear to embrace this information as my own,

and only use these magical teachings

for the spiritual advancement and healing benefit of others.

I promise to live my life as an example

of one who is spiritually exalted

in the radiant celestial light

of the Dao of the Right.

If I break this magical oath,

and betray this great spiritual lineage,

I, the Disciple ——————–

am willing to be interrogated and disciplined

by the Celestial Guardians of this powerful magical lineage,

and to thank the Three Judges of Heaven, Earth, and Water

without resentment or hatred.

As my word is my truth and bond,

I do solemnly and sincerely swear

before the fellowship of the Tian Yun Gong Daoist Temple,

and before the Immortals of the Celestial Court,

That I, the Disciple ————-

will faithfully fulfill the task of my office,

and will perform my duties with all honor and respect.

I will promote the welfare of my Daoist brothers and sisters,

and safeguard the security of these magical teachings.

I speak this Oath of Commitment and Dedication,

And swear that I will be faithful in completing

all of the promises I have spoken this day.

 

Quickly, quickly in accordance with

the Celestial Order of the Three Pure Ones,

Seal and Complete this Magical Bond!