MIND BODY BREATH
San Shin, Shinseon, and SunDo Taoist Masters
Mountains have always inspired an eye-widening sense of wonder in us. They represent a stairway to the divine on earth — a holiness and natural sanctuary that has captivated human beings since our earliest ancestors shared the world with these monumental marvels.
Mountains are also that rare refuge where we can deeply explore the mind, body, and soul — free of the common distractions that so often lead us away from our personal growth and well-being.
This view is deeply embedded in the spiritual identity of Koreans, and San-Shin, or Korean mountain deities, are reflective of this cultural tradition. The San Shin are benevolent spirits associated with the mountain peaks of the Korean countryside and are ubiquitous in Korean art, culture, and folklore.
The Korean people have an instinctive respect and admiration for the power and artistry of nature...
This is seen in the popular depictions of the San-Shin, and the related Shinseon, or “Eight Immortals” in both Chinese and Korean spirituality. The Shinseon were legendary figures who achieved immortality through communion with nature and mastery of Taoist breathing arts, like SunDo.
The immortals are believed to bring health, enlightenment, and longevity to humankind.
One might think of the elite Sundo Masters, like the internationally renowned Hyunmoon Kim, as people who have embraced the power of nature and enlightenment, allowing them to reach a higher state of being. And in these sacred mountains, the Taoist SunDo Masters spent most of their lives honing Qi through breath and energy meditation and living in oneness with nature.
This is also why SunDo has remained shrouded in mystery since the 1100s as an exclusive mountain hermit practice. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that one of the masters, Chung San, brought the practice down from the mountains and opened the first SunDo school for the public in Seoul, Korea.
Since then, many thousands of people have now become regular practitioners, having experienced first-hand the benefits that SunDo practice brings to one's long-term physical health and emotional well-being. With its rhythmic sounding music and breath synchronization, SunDo provides a way to calm the mind during meditation. And, in the same practice, energize the body through Taoist yogic-like postures and conditioning exercise. Promoting self-healing and empowerment world-wide, SunDo provides a way for us all to live with more compassion, balance, joy and purpose.
Recently, for the first time in print, SunDo Master Ron Catabia has published an account of the life of a true Taoist Master, Chung San, or Blue Mountain, one of the masters responsible for bring SunDo from the mountains to the city in 1967. Read about the training and teachings of this legendary figure in the Journal of Daoist Studies, February 2019.
To purchase the journal online:
Cost: $25 Journal, $15 PDF
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