Daily Greetings for Disciples (Ching On)

This lesson should be one of the most important for all the new disciples and some “senior” ones who might have forgotten their basics! It is very important to learn the precious yet simple practice of “Ching On” 請安. Before we go with our version of this, let’s look at what people do “traditionally” as a daily practice in the past and today.

Greetings 101

When you see people in the morning, you say “good morning,” and you see people in the afternoon, you say “good afternoon,” then at night, you say “good evening” or “good night.” We all knew we “have” to do these things, but why?

In ancient times, it was not as simple as in modern days. Younger ones should get up earlier in the morning to prepare themselves. Then they will go to their parents and greet them good morning by doing a proper set of movements like kneeling, bowing, and saying a phrase similar to “good morning” or something similar. Before you go out the door, tell your parents you will work. Then when you come back, you should inform them immediately that you are back. At night there is another round of greeting to conclude the day before sleeping. It’s a lot of etiquette, and we often see these as unnecessary things in modern society because we are “always in a rush.” However, this also leads to a society of less respectful people. You can see that many people are not as respectful to their parents these days, and many people even call their parents by their names, like John and Susan, as if they are friends or peers. The whole mindset is already wrong.

The ancient Chinese heavily emphasize etiquette and virtues; they believe that people should have the right mindset and demonstrate it through speech and action to fully and completely deliver the message truthfully. Just having respect in the heart is not enough; just as you cannot just “love” your wife in the heart, the action and speech show another story. If you love your wife, say it, show it, and do something to demonstrate it so she can “get it” completely without having to guess.

When you say “good morning” and such to your parents, it makes them feel good to see you with a good and happy face; that’s what starts their day off. Imagine you say “good morning” to them with a grumpy-looking face. Is that really a “Good morning”? A real greeting should be truthful and done to make the uppers happy.

The Taoist Way

All ordained disciples will be welcomed into our LINE chatroom when you have been ordained. In our chatroom, you will see people coming in and out and doing their greetings at least twice daily. One is done after waking up, and one is done before sleeping. For the uppers, we can also see when you are “up and active” and when you will be expected to be gone for a while because you have “gone to sleep.” These two “Ching On” (greetings) are done daily.

You can copy these lines and copy and paste them when you use them. It’s very easy if you use google keyboard (Gboard).

To all above, Dai Jee Tin X is here to ching on with you. Auspicious morning!

To all above, Dai Jee Tin X is here to ching on with you. Fortunate evening!

What if you pop into the chatroom in the middle of the day? You will show up and greet everyone with a sticker, or you can say “XX Gi Jiang” to anyone above you in the lineage. For example, if you see me, you will greet me by saying, “Cia Juan Gi Jiang.”

Gi Jiang 吉祥 means auspicious. Why do you greet people by saying this? It’s because you want to tell them, “I” am the auspicious one here for you; that is why THEY will become auspicious.

Auspicious, or Gi Jiang, precisely means when one is alike with the other side or being loved by them. For example, if you are hungry and want to eat, good food is auspicious because it is what you like. Anything that can hype you up will be auspicious if you are bored. So, think about how you are auspicious to your Cia Juan (me). What have you been doing that makes me happy or like you? What have you been doing that is showing you are “alike” to me?

Let’s say there is a martial artist father who loves to see his son doing his daily practice because it makes him feel that the son is like him. What if the son has lost interest and not practicing anymore? Then the son’s “auspicious” greeting is like empty words because the father sees how he is not auspicious anymore.

When I see a disciple is failing and their faith is shaking while they greet me “auspicious,” it feels very weird because I just knew they are about to withdraw or fail anyway; why even give me empty words and keep lying to me daily?  However, if you happen to be this type of disciple, you should not stop your greeting; instead, you should change yourself for the better to become auspicious for real again. Knowing your wrongs is the beginning of being right.

Doing the daily greetings is part of your discipline; it shows us your heart, commitment and how well you can keep up with your discipline. It’s like showing up on time for work daily; it leaves a good impression for people to know you are a committed and trustworthy person.

Don’t Be Robotic

Doing daily greetings seems like a routine, every day doing the same thing over and over again, but you should never get robotic!  Always remember that the main purpose of greeting is to greet someone above you who is there to listen to you and receive your greetings. Try to catch the person when they are around and do a LIVE greeting! Get a conversation going, and don’t just be a “hi and bye” disciple. Try to make your uppers happy when you open your mouth, don’t just say hi and disappear! After all, you need to be auspicious!

What makes your upper (me) happy? When I see disciples wanting to learn, asking questions, and showing appreciation for the Tao. An auspicious disciple is a disciple who has strong trust, faith and determination. When you do your greetings next time, think about this again and consider what you could do to improve yourself as a Taoist!

To learn more about being a good disciple, take a look at this post on filial piety classics!

If you are interested to take a peek into our senior level's daily greeting and reporting system, feel free to check out the ebook!