Originally Posted by Fatal Guillotine
What is the history of Wudang Taoism...........
From the Zhou Dynasty to the Eastern Han Dynasty many Taoist Internal Alchemists and hermits longed for a secluded place deep in Mount Wudang for their practice of meditation and esoteric arts:
Yee Xee, the famous disciple of Lao Tzu, once practiced internal alchemy in First Heavenly Gate on Wudang. In the Tang and Song Dynasty, Taoism practice grew strong on Wudang; famous Taoist figures such as Yao Jian, Sun Si Miao, Lu Dong Bing, Guo Tian Wei, and Chen Tuan began their practice of Internal Alchemy in retreat on this sacred mountain.
Dai Meng, a famous army general in the Han Dymasty, left his military office and studied internal alchemy with his teacher on Wudang. Ma Ming Sheng, Yin Chang Sheng, widely-known alchemy practitioners in the Eastern Han Dynasty, once sought retreat here in Wudang to practice alchemy in company with the beautiful green mountains, lucid creeks and deep green bamboo forests.
Ever since the foundation of Taoism in China, Mt. Wudang has gradually became the most ideal location for Taoists activities and retreat practice in central China.
In the Wei-Jin South and North Dynasty, the Tao- practitioners who moved into Mt. Wudang increased in number. In the Tang and Song Dynasty, Wudang Taoism evolved into its peak development time, during which famous Taoist figures such as Yao Jian, Sun Si Miao, Lu Dong Bing, Guo Tian Wei, and Chen Tuan began to establish their hermitage house here for their undertakings of the practice of Taoist Internal Alchemy one after another. The Ming Dynasty anounced the peak period for development of Wudang Taoism, and Zhen Wu was respected as a God at the royal palace, and Zhang San feng, the famous Taoist and founder of Taiji on Mt. Wudang, was called upon to show up in the royal court.
SECTS OF WUDANG
Before the Northern Song Dynasty, there is no prominent sect division within Wudang Taoism. But common people like to divide the sects into two categories, one is Elixir and Caldron sect, another is Incantation sect. After the South Song Dynasty, they gradually evolved into the Quan Zhen sect, Zheng Yi sect, Five Dragon sect, Purity and Nothingness sect, and others. Though there are some difference existing among them; the mainstream inclined to seek a harmonization among all the sects.
In 1167, a Taoist from Shan'Xi, came and settled down in Mt. Wudang to establish the QuanZhan sect of Taoism. In 1275, Wang Si Zhen came and lodged in the Five Dragon temple to teach the ideas of the sect and his disciples once reached more than 100.
Upper Purity Sect
It was created in the Eastern Jin Dynasty. In 1141, Taoist Shun Ji Ren wandered into Mt. Wudang and settled down in the Five Dragon temple, teaching disciples and renovating the collapsed houses. Beacause he based his activity solely at this location, some people call the sect as “Upper Purity Five Dragon Sect.”
Purity and Nothingness Sect
This is the most influencial Taoism sect which originated from the Upper Purity sect. They practiced incantation and claimed all methods came from the Primeval Heaven God. In the Song and Yuan Dynasty this sect was once very populer in the south of China. The northern branch based their activity in Mt. Wudang and later their disciples increased to reach more than several hundred.
San Feng Sect
In the Ming Dynasty the famous Taoist Zhang San Feng came to settle down in Mt.Wudang. Zhang San Feng began to set up San Feng sect who proposed the combination of three religion (Buddhism, Taoism and Confuciusism), cultivation of self for the benefit of the others and esteeming Zhen Wu as the highest God. He is also looked at as the founder of Taiji Quan.
Dragon Gate Sect
Qiu Chu Ji, the disciple of Wang Cong Yang, created the sect. In 1669 Wang Chang Yue, the resurgence successor of Dragon Gate sect, began his journey southward with his disciples from Beijing and set up to offer his teachings in Yu Xu Temple in Wudang. Ever since then the Dragon Gate sect has become the mainstream of Wudang Taoism and many Taoists are disciples of this sect. In the Qing Dynasty, the Dragon Gate sect became more and more popular, and is the main branch of Taoism found in China today.
Xuan Wu Sect
In the Yong Le Period of Ming Dynasty (1413) the emperor ordered the start of a very big construction project in Mt. Wudang. Zhang Yu Qing,one Taoist from the Zheng Yi sect, acted upon the order and called more than four hundred Taoists from nearby provinces and brought them to Mt. Wudang. All these Taoist regarded Zhen Wu as the common God and respected Zhang San Feng as their founder. Therefore, people called them Zhen Wu Xuan Wu sect. In 1989, by a common understanding, the Taoism Association of Wudang agreed to change the name of the sect as “Wudang Xuan Wu sect.”
Lang Mei Sect
It is the typical local sect in Wudnag area. In 1412, Taoist Priest Shun Bi Yun who lived in the Southern Cave Temple created the sect. His disciple called him the Pure Green Grand Master.