Recitation

kangxi-yun-2kangxi-yun-1

Li Manshan loves, and identifies with, this beautiful long meditation on impermanence known as Kangxi yun—actually attributed to Kangxi’s father the Shunzhi emperor (1638–61), and Buddhist in language.

Although the Li family ritual manuals are largely superfluous to their ritual practice today, Li Manshan began taking note of this poem in his father’s hymn volume in the 1980s, and he says parts of it were performed as a solo introit—but there are no longer any suitable ritual segments in which to recite it, and anyway Golden Noble does most of the solo reciting now.

But it shows how drawn Li Manshan is to the Daoist retreat from worldly cares; household Daoists don’t necessarily evince this, and you might not notice that he does.

I wonder how, and when, this long poem found its way into the ritual manuals and ritual practice of the Yanggao Daoists…

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