I Kuan Tao Religion
The I Kuan Tao Religion originated in Taiwan in 1930 and was founded by Shi Zun (father) and Shi Mu (mother). Its name can be literally translated as "The Tao that unifies all with the one."
The beliefs of are based on Chinese traditions, with teachings emphasizing traditional values such as family, honor, respect and moderation. It is no exaggeration to call it the definitive and authentic Chinese form of spirituality.
The appeal is not limited to the Chinese. The movement is open to everyone regardless of ethnicity. Many people in the West have already experienced the warmth and acceptance of Tao practitioners. They have also discovered progressive teachings that resonate with the Western mind.
To the Chinese, the Tao is simply the name given to that which is spiritually divine. In that perspective, the various sages throughout history express the Tao in their own ways.
Today, 2,500 years after the time of Lao Tzu, the teachings about the Tao have become the central tenets of the religion. These teachings describe the Tao as the ultimate principle beyond all principles and the ultimate power beyond all powers.
The belief states that the Tao is the essence and the spiritual truth behind all religions, philosophies, and schools of thought. It is also the source of everything, the driving mechanism of evolution, and the life force of the universe.
It is the nature of the faith to be open and receptive to different perspectives. The Tao goes beyond superficial, stylistic differences, and great wisdom should be treasured and cherished regardless of its source.
By seeking commonalities among different traditions, it can move closer to the true essence, and perhaps avoid inflexible dogma.
With the same openness and receptivity that it has for all beliefs and embraces and incorporates Christian teachings. Many Tao practitioners respect and study the Bible, again seeking the common thread of truth and wisdom that can bring the different beliefs closer to oneness.
After the war in 1949, many followers in China found their beliefs incompatible with Communist doctrines. They followed Shi Zun and Shi Mu out of China, and established themselves in Taiwan.
Previous to the influence of this faith, the vegetarian lifestyle was thought to be the sole domain of monks and nuns. I Kuan Tao questioned this commonly accepted convention, and advocated vegetarianism for all Tao cultivators.
I Kuan Tao insisted on having meetings where the learned can share their spiritual insights with others. This was quite different from the old paradigm, where monks and nuns studied scriptures but did not necessarily discuss them with the lay public in regularly scheduled classes.
By seeking the commonality of all faiths and bringing everyone, regardless of religion, closer to the spiritual essence, I Kuan Tao lives up to its name. It is truly the ideal of harmonious connections - the Tao that unifies all with the one.
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