Hello, my name is Jacob Newell. I formerly went by Gu Shen Yu (谷神钰), a name I received at Daoist ordination, but really I’m just a nameless stream flowing along with the Great River of immortality. So call me Nameless Stream, Wuming Chuan (無名川) for now.
I’ve studied with numerous teachers over the past 30 years and found my home practice in Laozi’s wuweidao. I call my school Old Oak School of Dao – my website is www.oldoakdao.org.
Wuweidao is a contemplative path of communing with our original nature (Dao-De). We have formal practice methods passed down from the long-flowing stream of Daoist tradition, but more importantly we take an uncontrived, natural view of reality inspired by and supported by direct lineage transmission.
I started this blog because I want to share the perspective of our tradition. My wuweidao lineage teacher was Liu Ming, a westerner who inherited a 1,000-year old aristocratic family tradition from Shaanxi province from a hermit refugee in Taiwan. There’s a lot of chatter out there about Daoism, and it’s easy to find ourselves confused. My numerous teachers have provided me with a base for correct practice, which I am happy to share with you, if you are interested in this path.
I am based in northern California and am working on several projects including a training manual that covers different aspects of Daoist study & cultivation – academics, philosophy, hygiene, meditation, & ritual. I am also hosting a wuweidao cultivation group in Santa Rosa, CA, to support the practice of Zuowang. I’m calling my more extensive apprenticeship the Original Root Investiture. A central feature of the apprenticeship is my unpublished translation & commentary of the Dao De Jing. Adepts who complete the program are eligible to become vested members of Original Root Order, a group I have established to carry forward the unique transmission I received from Liu Ming. You can hear more about our approach to Daoist cultivation throughout this blog and my website, which has a few recorded talks. You can also view a welcome video at the Old Oak School of Dao YouTube channel. In addition, toward the end of 2020 I am going to start issuing a monthly Dark Moon Newsletter, which will focus on a basic look at Chinese almanac-astrology and will include links to any new blog posts or upcoming offerings. I enjoy corresponding with people, so please feel free to contact me.
Stability & openness,
Jacob Newell (無名川)