Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism

The Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism are Taishan, Huashan, Hengshan (Shanxi), Hengshan (Hunan), and Songshan. Each of the Five Sacred Mountains is a center of history, spirituality, art, and poetry. Pilgrimages to the sacred mountains are highly valued as inspiring, reverent, and beneficial journeys. Pilgrims believe that they can absorb the power of the mountain because they’re close to the divine power of heaven. . The makers of the lunar calendar wanted to encompass the entirety of human existence: by preserving observation days for each sacred mountain the lunar calendar incorporates both time and place.Recently, I have exchanged e-mails with Derek, a California photographer now living in Sweden, who shoots fashion, music, and advertising photos. He wrote:

My love of Taoism started very early. probably around 9 years old. I found the Daodejingat the library and it just resonated in me. My Baptist mother and Catholic father did not understand, but funnily enough I went to Taishan with my father in the late 90s. . . . I found time to meditate in some of the more solitary places there which made me happy. And of course it was a dream to photograph there.

What are the sacred mountains in our own spiritual landscape? That can be a literal question—are there mountains near where you live that are special to you? It can be a metaphorical question—what are are the peaks of your inner landscape? In either case, they are mountain to be discovered. They are mountains to be climbed.

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