Tao Practitioners Dedicate First Ever Authentic I-Kuan Tao Shrine in Indiana
Carmel, Indiana – May 12, 2005 – When Memorial Day Weekend comes around, Indiana will bear witness to a historical first: the dedication of a Tao Shrine in the ancient tradition of I-Kuan Tao (pronounced yee guan dow).
I-Kuan Tao enjoys widespread popularity in Asia, but remains largely unknown in the West. It is the oldest spiritual tradition in the world, tracing its lineage back at least 4,700 years to the time of mythical Chinese emperors and beyond. One of these emperors, Huangdi, is the earliest philosopher of Taoism known to scholars today.
Unlike most religious traditions, I-Kuan Tao focuses on the formless essence of the Tao rather than any particular deity or pantheon of deities. "Tao" (pronounced dow) is Chinese for "the way," and denotes the path of spiritual cultivation. To the followers of this path, the Tao is the divine spark that inspired all the religions and philosophies throughout history. Therefore, I-Kuan Tao welcomes uplifting, inspirational wisdom from any source and is not limited to its own teachings.
The dedication ceremony will take place in the home of William Bunting, owner of Indiana Tai Chi Quan Academy. "I've been working toward this moment all my life," says Mr. Bunting. "When people get to know this path of spirituality, it will be easy for them to understand why it means so much to me."
A group of Asian American I-Kuan Tao practitioners will travel to Carmel, Indiana to set up the event. They are led by Master Joseph Chen and Master William Kuo, ordained clergy of I-Kuan Tao from The Great Tao Foundation of El Monte, California. The masters will conduct a series of rituals with assistance and coordination by Derek Lin, Director of Tao Studies from the same organization.
According to Mr. Lin, it is not surprising that most Americans have never heard of I-Kuan Tao. "Because of the language barrier, much of Asian culture remains mysterious and inscrutable even in this day and age. What we see in America is still the Americanized version of something much deeper. What I-Kuan Tao offers is the real deal – pure and completely undiluted."
William Bunting agrees: "As such, it may not be for everyone. I would only recommend it to those who have progressed beyond the Hollywood depiction of Asian spirituality. This is the reason why I have designed the curriculum in my school to specifically emphasize the Tao alongside the health-enhancing and self-defense aspects of Tai Chi. What I teach is for people who prefer to drink deeply from the source.
"I would like to invite anyone interested in attending the ceremony to get in touch with me. There is no cost associated with it, because I-Kuan Tao practitioners live the teaching of selfless giving. It is a great honor to us to be able to contribute to the event. Our only wish is to connect with like minds who may also benefit from the teachings of the Tao – just as I have!"
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