while taoism originated in China (during the 4th century) and the dzogchen tradition emerged from ancient Tibetan teachings, both share very similar methods and goals. These paths of practice are designed to awaken the practitioners to a direct experience of being present in the moment, to allow them a direct experience of a state of awareness.
Dzogchen teachings emphasise a primordial open awareness as the base for practice, this awareness is centred around the state of rigpa which can be described as ‘nondual awareness’. Rigpa practices contain many different meditative forms, including both stationary and moving practices.
The equivalent of energy or chi in the dzogchen tradition is called ‘tsa lung’ and a number of movement and energy development systems have been developed and are often referred to as trul-khor or kum nye.
Tai chi emerged from the taoist tradition in ancient China, and as well as the basic tai chi form (often referred to as moving meditation) there are a range of different meditative practices contained in tai chi.
These include meditation for relaxation, and mental stillness – to specific energy cultivation meditative practices (chi gung), and further spiritual development. Typically tai chi introduces meditation through breathing techniques and a deepening awareness of the body and its energies.
The taoist water meditation is designed to lead people gently and gradually to the core of their being. This meditation uses the energies of body, emotions and mind to resolve difficulties and attain a clear and relaxed spirituality. Progressing from the physical, through the emotional to the spiritual the meditations lead practitioners to balance and harmony with themselves and the world around them.