A brief introduction into the practice of Huayen Buddhism is given at http://newhuayen.com/page24.html.
Thomas Cleary’s Flower Ornament Scripture is the best translation available. The appendices are especially helpful in giving a correct perspective. His style is both original and creative. A comparison of a more verbatim translation (incomplete) can be found at http://www.cttbusa.org/avatamsaka/avatamsaka_contents.asp.
As regard the influence of Neo Taoist thoughts on Huayen Buddhism, I rather think that it was the Chinese Huayen masters who utilized Taoist terms to gain a foothold in Chinese soil. Both my guru Venerable Haiyun Jimeng and I agreed with Ch’eng-kuan that though the terms may be the same the meanings are totally different.
T’an-luan (476–542). Early Chinese Pure Land thinker and popularizer. He began his monastic career as a scholar, and was in the middle of composing a massive commentary on the Mahāsaṃnipāta Sūtra (Chin., Ta-chi ching) when he came down with a serious illness. He left his monastery and sought out a renowned Taoist alchemist to receive the teachings on immortality. After receiving from him ten scrolls of Taoist scripture, he set out for home. However, on his way back he reportedly ran into the Indian monk Bodhiruci. T’an-luan asked him if there were any Indian Buddhist sūtras better than Taoist works on immortality. At this Bodhiruci is said to have become very angry and spat on the ground, saying that one cannot find the secret of immortality in any Chinese book. Taoism may prolong your life for a while, but by means of its teaching one cannot escape.
You may continue to practice Vipassana at home on the basis of what you’ve learnt. To refresh your memory, a short video is provided here at http://video.server.dhamma.org/video/vipassana/apvip.mov.
Finally thank you for your interest in Huayen Buddhism and your continued support of the Indra’s Net at http://newhuayen.com.
Bring holistic harmony, peace and love by helping someone cultivate altruism, benevolence, compassion, and keep inner peace.