Philosophy of Tao Fellowship
‘A Fellowship among those who realize Tao Within’
The spiritual origin of Tao Fellowship philosophy is Sun Tao, which is Korea’s original tradition of Taoism. The tradition starts with the story of Mago, the soul of the earth. In Mago’s castle, there lived Sun-Ins (enlightened humans). By falling into the joy of the five senses, they forgot their divine nature and fell to mere physicality and emotions. Their leader, realizing they could not stay in Mago’s castle any longer, left the castle with a vow to recover their divine nature and return to Mago’s castle. The leader taught his people to practice and purify themselves.
This was the beginning of the tradition of Sun Tao. Mago in this tradition represents the ultimate Oneness, the soul of the earth as the common source of life to all existence on the Earth, and our original divine nature.
This teaching was delivered through the three eras of enlightened masters: Han-In, Han-Woong and Dahn-Guhn. There were 7 Han-Ins in the first era and 18 Han-Woongs in the second. The third era had 47 Dahn-Guhns and they are the most direct ancestors of Tao tradition of Korea.
Tao, the ultimate truth and the creator of all life is personified and represented as Mago, and the wisdom of Tao was discovered and delivered through the three generations of the enlightened masters from the Han-Ins through the Dahn-Guhns. This is how Tao, Mago and Dahn-Guhn are connected.
Succeeding the ancient tradition of Sun Tao, Tao Fellowship offers an environment, guidance and training to awaken the divine potential and grow it to enlightenment and completion.
Tao Te Ching is the most well known text about the religion of Taoism. Tao Fellowship, while using Tao Te Ching, also uses three ancient scriptures of the tradition of Sun Tao: Chun-Bu-Kyung, Sahm-Il-Shin-Go, and Cham-Jeon-Gye-Kyung. These are also the major scriptures of Tao Fellowship. The first scripture teaches about the principles of the universe in numeric order and rhythm. The second scripture is about Heaven, God, Creation and Human Beings, especially how individual human beings can get enlightened to the truth and become one with heaven. The third scripture teaches how to practice these principles of Tao in everyday life. If understood from the terms of Western philosophy, Chun-Bu-Kyung corresponds to ontology, Sahm-Il-Shin-Go to epistemology, and Cham-Jeon-Gye-Kyung to ethics.
Chun-Bu-Kyung(天 符 經) is the most ancient scripture of Tao. It can be translated to ‘’Scripture of Heavenly Code”. It explains the principles of Tao in 81 characters, which starts with One and ends with One, making a complete cycle. It teaches that all begins from One and ends with One which doesn’t have a beginning or ending. It explains how things are created and evolve from One. One of the key messages of this scripture is that in the Human, Heaven and Earth meet and become One. It teaches how to accomplish this unity, which is the ultimate goal of spiritual growth of all human beings.
One Begins that has No Beginning
One Parts to Three Crowns, while remaining as an In-Exhaustible Source.
Heaven is the One that comes First
Earth is the One that comes Second
Human is the One that comes Third
One Gathers to Build Ten, and Infinite Forms Become Triads
Heaven gains Two to make Three
Earth gains Two to make Three
Human gains Two to make Three
Great Three Make Six, and they Create Seven and Eight
Nine comes followed by a Turning
Three and Four Making a Circle, Five with Seven make One whole
Way-Less is the way All Comes and All Goes
Features are Changing, and Un-Changing is the Maker
True Mind Is the Great Light, Looking toward eternal Light
Human Bears Heaven and Earth, and the three make One
One is the End of all, and No Ending has the One.
The Brain and Religion
Sahm-Il-Shin-Go, which is one of the three ancient scriptures of Sun Tao, says that divinity already resides in your brain. This is one of the most important messages of traditional Sun Tao. Because of this belief, many of our trainings, including meditation, are focused on the brain.
The founder of Tao Fellowship, Ilchi Lee, through his self-training and enlightenment, also realized the limitless potential of the human brain and incorporated his experience into the practices and trainings of Tao Fellowship. In order to generalize this ancient wisdom and knowledge about the divine nature of the human brain, we have conducted research to study how meditation influences the brain functions and states.
Tao Fellowship believes that divinity lies in the human brain and spiritual enlightenment can be explained from the perspective of the brain. This is a very unique distinction between Tao Fellowship and other spiritual/religious traditions.