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March 2020 - Karma and the Purpose of Cultivation

March 2020 | Program Host: Vicki Dello Joio

Most people prefer to believe that they alone make choices that shape their future. Yet, in large part, our destiny is designed for us, oftentimes without our conscious awareness. In general, our life patterns reflect the patterns of our deeper destiny. According to the Daoist tradition, this is because the experiential reality of a person’s life is ruled by his or her own Ming (命): karma. In Chinese, we have a very well-known saying:

RenSuanBuRuTianSuan (人算不如天算) A person’s reckoning will never compare with heavenly reckoning

In other words, no matter how carefully you prepare for any event, the influence of the universe is immensely more powerful. However, this does not mean you will never be able to affect your life events through the power of your own choice. In fact, the purpose of Daoist cultivation practices is to improve your karma and to become immortal. This often begs the question of what exactly is meant by immortality.  Actually, the Daoist idea of immortality or everlasting life has nothing to do with yearning to live forever.

Zhongxian Wu

Zhongxian Wu was born in a traditional fishing village on China’s eastern shore. At an early age he committed himself to the pursuit of the ancient arts of internal cultivation. Since 1988, he has instructed thousands of students throughout China, North America and Europe. He synthesizes wisdom and experience for beginning and advanced practitioners, as well as for patients seeking healing, in his unique courses and training programs. Zhongxian has authored numerous articles and 14 books (5 in Chinese) on China’s ancient life sciences.