Taoist artnuns

Posted by on Nov 7, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

Abbess Yin opted for another model. Trained in Taoist music, she set up a Taoist music troupe that toured the Yangtze River delta in a rickety old bus, stopping at communities that hired them to perform religious rituals. When I first met her in 1998, she used the money to rebuild one prayer hall on Mount Mao but refused to charge admission. Word of her seriousness began to spread around the region and abroad. Soon, her band of nuns were performing in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

More nuns began to join. In the Quanzhen school of Taoism, which Abbess Yi follows, Taoist clergy members live celibate lives in monasteries and nunneries, often in the mountains. (In the other school, known as Zhengyi, they may marry and tend to live at home, making house calls to perform ceremonies.) For Abbess Yin’s young nuns, her temple provided security and calm in a world that is increasingly complicated. “Here, I can participate in something profound,” said one nun who asked to be identified only as Taoist Huang. “The outside world has nothing like this.” For Abbess Yin, the young people are a chance to mold Taoists in the image of her master. “The only people who are worth having are older than 80 or younger than 20.”

Via a great nytimes article.

Abbess Yin opted for another model. Trained in Taoist music, she set up a Taoist music troupe that toured the Yangtze River delta in a rickety old bus, stopping at communities that hired them to perform religious rituals. When I first met her in 1998, she used the money to rebuild one prayer hall on Mount Mao but refused to charge admission. Word of her seriousness began to spread around the region and abroad. Soon, her band of nuns were performing in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

More nuns began to join. In the Quanzhen school of Taoism, which Abbess Yi follows, Taoist clergy members live celibate lives in monasteries and nunneries, often in the mountains. (In the other school, known as Zhengyi, they may marry and tend to live at home, making house calls to perform ceremonies.) For Abbess Yin’s young nuns, her temple provided security and calm in a world that is increasingly complicated. “Here, I can participate in something profound,” said one nun who asked to be identified only as Taoist Huang. “The outside world has nothing like this.” For Abbess Yin, the young people are a chance to mold Taoists in the image of her master. “The only people who are worth having are older than 80 or younger than 20.”

Via a great nytimes article.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.