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Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804831858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804831857
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Cheng Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao are students of the modern Taoist master Wang Liping and live in Beijing. Translator Thomas Cleary is considered the foremost translator of Chinese Taoist and Buddhist texts.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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I was truly humbled and inspired.
Mary Marston St John
This is a wonderful book that I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in Taoism and esoteric taoist practices.
C. Angus
Don't waste yor money on this one.
Robert Eliason

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Zentao on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a similar book to Deng Ming Dao's "Wandering Daoist" only the story of Wang Liping's training is not embellished in the manner of Saihung. Although I'm sure the average western practitioner of Qigong will likely shake his/her head regarding some of the 'training' methods used by the three old masters it is a good reminder of what one used to have to (and perhaps still should?) undergo before getting into serious practice. It is interesting how, right from the start, Wang Liping demonstrated many qualities essential to following the Tao including great patience and humility.
The book follows his initial training including stints in a hole in the ground and under a large cast-iron kettle. It then follows his journery with his masters into the mountains just as the Cultural Revolution began to sweep across China. Along the way many lessons are imparted including some interesting methods of cultivating with trees. The main portion of the story ends with Wang Liping's return to his village and subsequent marriage (!) as his masters admonish him to carry on the way in a form suitable for the new age.
The book finishes with some commentary on Wang Liping's present activities including some stories from his group training sessions - some of the first held in China as strict controls on Qigong began to be lifted.
I enjoyed the story as well as the information contained in here. There are some great views on meditation, including the aforementioned tree style, in addition to the overview of his training. There are also some very interesting tidbits about the location of the lower Dantien shifting in relation to the cultivator's distance from the equator. There is also an interesting comment that there are meridians within the body that are not terminated - that is, they are open to the universe.
Recommended...
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I had the fortune to meet a long time student of Wang LiPing and to study with this student for two years. He taught many of the techniques spoken of in the book and demonstrated a number of them. My teacher is now studying with a Buddhist master and has no vested interest in supporting Wang LiPing, however he vouched that Wang LiPing in fact demonstrated to him and many other students in china many of the techniques discussed in the book such as the weather changing, dream control and so forth. There were also a number of other things not discussed in the book. At any rate, based on my experiences with the techniques and based on my teacher's abilities and his stories of studying with Wang LiPing, this book is a true account of what Wang LiPing went through.
As for the way it is written, I found it to be mostly fascinating but it doesnt have the prose that Deng Ming Dao's books have and so it is difficult reading in certain places. On the other hand, this account is a true story, unlike Deng Ming Dao's trilogy and so if you are truly interested in Taoism this book is a must.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Dan Ai on November 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not the how-to book that some are looking for. It's a book of signs pointing the way, or should I say, The Way. I noticed that some of the reviewers couldn't get past the paint on the sign, checking the spelling and doubting the distances. The story of Wang, Li-ping opens the realm of possbilities inherent in traditional Taoist study to those who have not gotten there because of lack of opportunity or other personal reasons. It is therefore an inspiration for anyone who believes that there is no ceiling in the realm of human accomplishment and no end to the Tao. There IS solid information here on Taoist practice and it has elevated me personally to new levels. (I also thought it was entertaining and beautifully written -- there is some descriptive writing which is on the level of poetry). I consider this book a gift from the authors and I thank them.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Angus on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're intertested in Taoism this is worth a look. It purports to be a tale of four accomplished Taoists on the road during the Cultural Revolution, and is more fun in part because of its claims to truth. I would give it three stars, but for some reason can't change it from five - has Wang Liping co-opted my computer through his mastery of distant Chi transmission (hmmm...)?
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Wang Liping, a young boy who was taken on by three Taoist wizards as the transmitter of the Dragon Gate sect of the Complete Reality school of Taoism. This depicts the training that Wang Liping must complete to become the next transmitter of the Way. I can not attest to the veracity of all the claims made in the book. Some will surely think they are too fanciful to be true. I don't really care to get caught up in that argument. The real beauty of the book can be found in the way it brings the highest principles of Taoism to life with the use of anecdotes from the adventures and trials of Wang Liping and the three Taoist wizards. Although this book can be read and even understood without a solid background in Taoism, it can really only be fully appreciated by someone who has already delved deeply into Taoism. Even if one is not a Taoist or particularly interested in Taoism, this book is still a fascinating way to learn more than a little about Chinese history and traditional Chinese culture. One of the few books that I actually read from cover to cover.
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