The Chinese Way Of Praying To Taoist Deities
1) Every morning and evening, light up incense sticks/ cones and then WALK TO THE WINDOW OR DOOR WHICH YOU CAN LOOK UP TO THE SKY and pay respect to GREAT JADE EMPEROR 1ST, after that then walk back to the altar and pray / pay respect and say Your wishes to the Deity or Deities on the Altar.
2) On the 1st and 15th of every Chinese Lunar Month, put 3 small Chinese Tea Cups and pour Chinese Tea into them and do offerings of 1 type of fruits or 3 type of fruits and pray to the Deity or Deities. You CAN EAT the fruits after the Prayer.
3) When the incense sticks are almost finish burning, You can start to burn the proper joss paper /joss money catered to the specific deity / deities. Taoist deities have their own set of joss paper being offered to them. If You don't know what type of joss papers to be burnt and offered to the deities You are praying to, You can go to Chinese Joss Papers Shop for help. There are different packets of joss papers mixed and match and packed nicely to cater for each and every deities.
4) Get hold of the specific Mantra/Mantras or specific chants in English ( if You don't know Chinese) of the particular diety or the deities and understand the teachings of the individual Deities. Recite the Mantra or read the teachings of the diety or deities when You have the time while facing the Deity/Deities. If You don't have the time or not interested in Chanting, at least You must know the teaching of the particular deity/dieties.
5) Find out the celebration day (Birthday / The Day of enlightenment etc) of each and every individual deities on the Altar You are praying to. Do offerings and burn joss/paper money to the deity / deities like how You do on every 1st and 15th of every Lunar Month.
Guide For The Western Folks
For Western Folks, You might have difficulty to obtain joss papers in Your country. You may check out whether there are Chinese Joss Paper Shops in China-Town.
If Joss Papers are not available, You may want to Email the owner of this Blog for help.
However, You do not need to follow exactly the way how Chinese pray to Taoist Deities. The above is just a general guide on how the Chinese pray.
Example ... When Hindus pray to Chinese Deities, they will use burning lamp (Indian Style) and rotate around the Chinese Deity Statues and ring the bell while chanting with Hindu Mantra. When Chinese pray to Hindu Deities, they will use 3 joss sticks to pray to them.
Most importantly, the Taoist Deity Statues on the altar MUST BE CONSECRATED.
If not, You must at least have Your Taoist Altar spiritually-empowered with a Special Multi-Purpose Talisman - The "36 Heavenly Warriors" Talismans.
Other than that, what matter most is Your Heart, Mind and Soul in Your trust, faith and believe that the deities have the power to protect You and bring Your prosperity.
How You will like to decorate Your Altar is up to Your own liking.
TAOISM never force anyone to follow exactly the "Standard Way Of Praying". Deities/ Gods / Saints of different faith are allowed to be placed together and then blend into Your own Culture and pray the way You feel comfortable with.