Karma Dorje wrote:
Kirt, like must be compared with like. Buddhism equally has practices that manipulate the channels, winds and bindus.
And you are comparing apples and oranges because the conception and use of these practices are totally different. Esoteric Buddhism conceives of and uses the channels entirely differntly. To gloss, wind is being purified and ultimately disovled in the central channel. Wind is not qi (chi). Also the channels, etc. are actually non-substantial wisdom.
In Taoism, a differnt set of channels is used but channels are considered real, not functional and not made of wisdom. Qi is refined but it really, substantially exists and is not composed of wisdom. This is the primary differnce between the two approaches. Taoism is really a substantialist, eternalist school. Qi really exists.
There is little functional difference whether it is within Buddhist, Hindu or Taoist context.
The three views and approaches are entirely differnt and there is a functional difference. Hinduism and Taoism at the most attained points are the pinnacle of the non-Buddhist teachings but are still in samsara.
Are we going to dismiss Buddhism as not understanding emptiness because it has these methods? Are we going to call it eternalist because of the focus on attaining the rainbow body?
Of course not because in Buddhism we are using method to realize the ultimate truth of dependant arising. This is totally different from Taoism and it's interplay with various kinds of qi. Taoism also has a kind of rainbow body, but it is totally different and is substantialist. If you study with a Taoist teacher they would tell you all of this as a matter of the training.
The fact of the matter is that even within Buddhism there are many approaches we would have to dismiss if we apply the same criteria you are applying to Taoism.
In a sense of course. The lower school approaches are stepping stones to the higher schools. But the lowest Buddhist view is still higher than the most accomplished Taoist view because accomplishment in the lowest Buddhist view means that a person can attain Arhatship whereas accomplishment in the most accomplished Taoist view still leaves one in samsara as a kind of eternal (or very long lived) sage. Whether Taoist masters actually attain that or not can be debated because they are advancing a kind of existence outside of that normally taught in Buddhism as a kind of permanent non-substantial sage. If they don't attain that then they return in the next life to finish, etc. from their POV. From a Buddhist POV most Taoists would perform positive actions and so are propelled to a higher existance.
The question is whether there is a substantial difference in the non-conceptual understanding. For a couple of millennia, Chinese sages have said no there is not.
Sure, this is the classic Chinese intellectual position advanced to accommodate Buddhism, Taoism and Confucism. It's wrong and both Chinese Buddhists and Taoists would say so, just not publicly.
The pure fact of awareness is owned by no one.
You've misunderstood Taoist meditation from the start. It does not take awareness itself as an object at any time. It's focused on qi development and refinement from the start.
_________________Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche