This lesson is on the topic of virtue again, but introducing two special terms that I have trouble “translating” because the western culture just doesn’t have that concept. This lesson will be very important for our disciples, but might be boring for the non-disciples. However, if you are parent with kids, this will be a nice lesson for you to teach your kids too!
- Gung-Fung供奉 which kind of translates to “enshrine” by google.
- Gung-Yeung 供養 which translates to “support” by google.
Gung Fung 供奉
The idea of to Gung-Fung something is kind of like what you do to “worship” a god. However, the real meaning behind it and why you should be doing it, is not clear in the western culture. Let me explain and elaborate why we do this action of Gung-Fung.
To understand why we Gung Fung the Tao and gods, is because we want to invest into it, so it will grow bigger, and so it can continue on and on forever. It’s so good, we must keep it going for our next generations and not just know to keep using it ourselves. Therefore, we put the gods and such on the altar and keep worshipping it, offering and sacrificing to it, investing into it daily, and that is how we keep it going and not let it die.
What happen if you do not worship and such at home? Very simple, there is nothing physical to hold your soul, your thoughts, your feelings, then soon the feeling cannot be held anymore, it will fade away and dissolves. That is why I always tell people you must have an altar and worship the gods, or else your feeling and connection with the Tao will fade out and dissolve. By worshiping with an altar and such, your energies can be gathered and accumulate at the altar, and that is how you preserve your own faith too. Later, you can pass it onto your next generation and it will be continue by them.
The main idea or goal of Gung-Fung is to “preserve and protect something to let it not die out”.
Let me give you other examples of Gung Fung in the western culture that you can understand:
- Someone might be sending a fund to some organization monthly to support an animal that almost extinct. This is a form of Gung Fung to keep the animal from extinction.
- There was a PC Game created by some small group of people, without big corps at the back, but because the game is so good, a lot of people start to support the game developer by always playing the game and sending support to the forum and review etc. That’s also a way to GUNG FUNG the game to keep it from dying and dropping the project too. That was a game I played and enjoyed, named Hellish Quart (Steam).
- People send donations to the government to GUNG FUNG the country, support them to keep our world from going crazy and falling apart.
Gung Yeung 供養
To Gung-Yeung is very similar to Gung-Fung, however the world Yeung 養 is like you are giving it the support and needs for it to grow and live a life. For example, you raise a pet, like gold fish, then you need to give it food, water, light, your care, etc. Your mind is just to give and support, but you are not trying to “preserve” it. The mindset is very similar but not for the same goal.
Gung Fung is more like you do anything to hope it will be there forever and not vanished or be gone. It’s also an investment of FAITH.
Gung Yeung is about supporting something to keep it GROWING and living, so it will be GROWING BIGGER and better daily. The whole thing is an investment of resources that it takes for things to live and to GROW bigger.
When you Gung Fung, your mind is having that thought of “hope this will be there forever” or “hope this will never extinct”.
When you Gung Yeung, your mind is all about “hope this will keep going and get better and bigger”.
Some examples of Gung Yeung:
- People send money monthly to the parents to Gung-Yeung them so they hope the money can keep parents alive AND live a better and better life. The money might even increase overtime because you want them to do BETTER and BETTER and not just stay the same all the time.
- People who learn Kung Fu in the old days will learn when the master is still teaching, but when the master retires, they will just have the master look around and rest, then people offer the master this and that to make sure he don’t need to work and can enjoy his life since he have worked hard already. Disciples will just hand him money (not for learning!) to Gung Fung him, so he can just keep living a life, enjoy his life, without worrying about the money side of things.
Gung Yeung is done often to elders or seniors, because it is more like a give-back from the younger generations to support the elders.
As a Taoist
As a Taoist, we Gung Fung the Tao and the gods, that is why we have altars setup. However, we also Gung Fung the lineage by supporting it -what are your gods if the lineage failed and dissolved? Think about it, what if one day Microsoft died, our windows and everything is gone! (There will be no one taking over too).
We also Gung Yeung the uppers, by sending them support to make sure the uppers are living well and keep improving, because they have sacrifice their life to run the lineage and not doing other things. All these are effort spent just for the disciples too! For example, Jee Sifu (me) don’t work for others but spend his whole life being a Taoist master as his full-time career. Not just this, but Gum Sifu as well, his wife, is also a full-time Taoist master running the lineage. How many out there do this? Without government support and such, just on your own, but spending the whole life on the lineage as a career. Not many will do that, and not many CAN do that. The first 10 years is all about suffering and poverty, because this kind of thing don’t make money much, and you can be prepared to eat rice with canned food (1 can of beans for 2 people). This is a harsh and crazy path, yet it was done for the TAO and the people who have faith in the Tao. Does that deserve the next generation’s Gung Yeung and Gung Fung? Well, if you can output as much, you will feel that there should be too, or else how can you keep going?
This is the virtue of giving back, don’t just know to “learn and take”, remember if you don’t support the source back, then it will extinct one day and you will have nothing to learn.
Also, our book of VIRTUE - Tao Te Ching!