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Overseas Lectures

2013-1-5 16:46:17

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We find ourselves in a condition where desire and ideas persist….
Disabling the natural flow and development…………
Much like a sky filled with cloud……….

We should always strive to clean our heart of all desires and passions.

Seeking to find the True Heart.

Our world is much like a bubble; we look at it and it seems real.
Yet it is just a reflection.

The material world we perceive is much like a web that is created from passion and desire; everything in this realm which we perceive is created by passion and desire.

Our ideal aim in self cultivation practice is to break free of this web.
To completely realize our True Nature, and become the master of our own destiny.

Within this realm we find natural laws that govern over us.
These laws are the Five Elements and the Yin and Yang.

Through the governing law of the Five Elements with the Yin and Yang, this force will naturally control, suppress and destroy our efforts of self cultivation to break free of this web.

The Five Elemental laws also have a corresponding reflection within our being.

We may use this corresponding reflection in our self practice as a means of gaining reversal to return to the source.

We find that with much self effort in practice, one can truly break free of this web we find ourselves in – holding the universe in the palm of your hand - being the master of your own destiny - gaining complete transcendence and liberation - returning to complete and undifferentiated union with the source.

This realm is much like the reflection on a bubble.
We look at it and it seems real; but it is just nothing more than an illusory reflection.

Below the illusory bubbles of our realm and the many others, lies a vast expanse of Ocean……..

This vast ocean is the True Reality, the Root Essence - the True Heart.

The True Heart
Original, primal, pure, eternal, completely unsullied and free from any contamination from desires, passions and deluded thoughts.

One may ask, “How to gain this state of True Heart?”

There lies an ancient method of self practice left behind by the True Humans of the Traditions of Tao termed “Tan Tao” – or “Way of Cultivating the Golden Elixir”

Within this method of Tan Tao we practice to gain transformation and we find an outline of the course of development listed as such:

  1. Cleansing the Heart-Mind of all Desires and Deluded Thoughts –       Settle Mind-Will in Lower Dantian
  2. Lighting a Fire – Transformation of Jing to Qi
  3. Small Heavenly Cycle / Small Water Wheel
  4. One Year of Incubation
  5. Large Heavenly Cycle / Large Water Wheel
  6. Journey of Seven Days through the Great Pass
  7. Cultivation of the Infant of the True Self in Three Years time
  8. Tempering the Emptiness to Gain Accordance with Tao in Nine Years time
  9. Transformation into Light – Golden Light Penetrates and Merges with the Infinite Emptiness

Chuang Tzu spoke ~ Have you ever seen a wildcat, crouching down in wait for its prey to come along?  Right and left, high and low it springs about, until it gets caught in a trap or dies in a snare.  Again there is the yak, which is as huge as clouds across the sky; but it cannot catch mice at all.  Now if you have a big tree and are at a loss with what to do, why not plant it in the domain of non-existence, in the great and barren wilds, where you might lay idle by its side and lie down in blissful repose beneath its shade.  There it would be safe from the axe and from all other injuries.  There being of no use for it, how could there be any worry or trouble……

In simple terms as outlined by the ancients, we may think of the practice as the cultivation and transformations of the “San Bao” or “Three Treasures” of Jing – Vital Essence, Qi – Vital Energy, and Shen – Vital Spirit.  The entire course of development in Tan Tao is based on these transformation and quality changes.

Jing is transformed into Qi.
Qi is transformed into Shen.
Shen is transformed into Emptiness.
Emptiness is transformed into Tao.

The Wayfarer Will to Learn Emptiness once spoke……

When you reflect that the Heavens can incessantly exert themselves simply by depending on the emptiness, you can easily understand that by continuously exerting itself to remain still and empty your Heart will be able to encompass all that the Heavens have ever been, are or will be since all sights and visions are nothing but your Heart.  Knowing that through stillness the Earth can burden itself with so many things always striving to satisfy their “desires” you can quickly comprehend that if your body constantly remains still you can respond to all things, for you are a universe in miniature.  Thus, letting your Heart follow the example of the Heavens you will become emptier and emptier.  Allowing your physical form to follow the example of the Earth you will fall deeper and deeper into the depths of stillness.  When this state has been maintained long enough, divinity will arise, coming forth from the Mysterious Pass, the very center of the Heavens and the Earth and the point at which the Great Unification takes up residence.

By this time the Tangible Medicine will have come forth.  The Formless Medicine will be present.  The “Upper Caldron” will be established in your Upper Dantian and the “Lower Furnace”, in your Lower Dantian.  With the Pure Mind-Will functioning like Fire you will be able to Set Sail Against the Currents of Life, which symbolically, is similar to the process of going back through the Eight Trigrams, the Four Emblematic Symbols, the Yin and Yang, and the Great Unification to transform your Form into Jing, your Jing into Qi, Qi into Congenital Mind-Will, and finally to bring your Congenital Mind-Will back into Infinite Emptiness.

The first and most important step we find is in Laying the Foundation – we must cleanse and purify the Heart-Mind of all deluded thoughts, and allow the Heart-Mind to become quiet, pure, still, serene and completely undisturbed; yet embodying clarity and brightness.

Ride Upon the Wind to arrive at the door.
Open the Door.

When we Ride Upon the Wind, the whole body shall become empty.

In these first stages of Laying a Foundation we must meditate in emptiness; combining the Heart-Mind with the Breathing – use the power of listening to combine the power of the ears with that of the breath.

Combination of the Heart-Mind and Breathing – True Dual Cultivation.


In listening, one must never discriminate.
Never question what it is, or where it comes from.

Fasting of the Heart-Mind …..

The power of the two ears form a one, listening gently and naturally with no strong ideas.

Find who issues such a sound.
Welcome it.
Meet it.
Combine with it.
Meditate in silence and stillness.

The outside and inside loose their meaning; all merge to become a one.

First, please concentrate the inner attention into the Lower Dantian and gradually rid of the stray ideas. Fall into a deep quiet state naturally.  So, please remember to naturally be free of all stray thoughts from within; this is a very important starting point.   Let the back be straight, tongue touching the roof of the hard palate, teeth lightly touching, breathing in and out naturally through the nose – let the in-breath be drawn deep into the Dantian and let the out-breath flow out from the Dantian – all quite naturally without strong effort or concern.  The Lower Tan Tien is located in the empty space below the navel in the middle place between the kidney and navel – a sphere of around 3.8 cm – Let the internal vision gaze upon that place.  Let golden virtue begin to grow within, releasing all negative qualities and deeply relaxing the body.

Slowly and quietly use the inner power of the “ears” to “listen” to the breathing sounds via the nose or lung or respiratory track – follow and find the true breath. In the beginning people may have some consciousness of whereabouts of nose, lung, respiratory track or the in and out pattern of the breath. But later let this consciousness come and go in its own way and never interfere, never pay it any mind, slowly falling into a state which is gradually free of any artificial consciousness. Hence, it is a natural and gradual process to fall into such a natural state that is little by little free of any trace of human’s consciousness. Let the listening force and the breathing power combine together slowly, naturally and quietly. Perhaps the breathing may be slow, may be quick, may become louder, and may change to a feeble nature. Never pay attention to “it’s” variance and the practitioner can gradually find that the listening force combines with breathing to form one harmonious unity. Continue to meditate in this state for a time.

At the beginning phase, people may still retain the ability to discern which is listening and which is breathing. But later on with resolute practice, the practitioner may fall into a deep state without any consciousness, no knowing which or what is the corporeal body and which is the outside environment, the listening ability seems to come to a stop. It truly seems like the Heart-Mind contained in the breathing is listening to the breathing contained in the Heart-Mind and the barrier which formally existed between the Heart-Mind and breathing seems to disappear and they melt completely, merging to form one harmonious unity.

After some time, such a state comes to a complete standstill state, which is free of any consciousness whatsoever and the Heart-Mind and breathing forms a harmonious union, becoming one without any division of form. In the same time during this experience, people may seem to “feel” that all comes to a complete and constant standstill, nothing in motion, nothing coming, nothing going, for one does not know how long, time and space disappear, resting in complete emptiness.

Continue the practice………..

During this stage of laying the foundation, we practice in a crossed leg posture; traditionally this was done in full lotus posture.

This stage consists of disciplining the Heart-Mind and also the Corporeal Body.

We may think of it as such:

Heart-Mind = Innate Nature

Corporeal Body = Life Force


The entire course of practice and development can be simply thought of as embodying the one aim to unify our Innate Nature with our Life Force.

Gaining a combination of the two into one.

Does the Heart-Mind contain the Corporeal Body or does the Corporeal Body contain the Heart-Mind?

They are unified and form a oneness.

With resolute practice, one may truly understand this meaning.

What are the manifestations of this thing we term our Innate Nature?

We may term them the Five Virtues.

   1. Benevolence
   2. Righteousness
   3. Social Harmony
   4. Enlightened Wisdom
   5. Trust Worthiness

Our Innate Nature is the background of the Heart-Mind.
In the ancient books of the Taoist Cannon, we can find many terms used by the ancient True Humans to metaphorically describe the Three Families of: Disposition / Jing, Mind-Will and Shen / Innate Nature.

To describe these Three Families and the metaphorical images used we may first look to the Five Elements as a starting point to decipher the ancient metaphors.

 

Metal

Water

Fire

Earth

Wood

White

Black

Red

Yellow

Green

Earthly Four

Heavenly One

Earthly Two

Heavenly Five

Heavenly Three

4 / 9

1 / 6

2 / 7

5 / 10

3 / 8

Dui Trigram

Kan Trigram

Li Trigram

Kun Trigram

Zhen Trigram

Young Daughter

Middle Boy

Middle Girl

Mother

Old Son

White Tiger

Black Turtle

Red Phoenix

Yellow Ox

Green Dragon

White Gold

Black Lead

Red Snow

True Earth

Wood Liquid

Grey Old Man

Ren Oldness

Courier in Red

Yellow Matchmaker / Yellow Court

Girl in Green / Jade Rabbit

Venus

Mercury

Mars

Saturn

Jupiter

Autumn

Winter

Summer

Turning of the Seasons

Spring

Righteousness

Enlightened Wisdom

Social Harmony

Trustworthiness

Benevolence

West

North

South

Center

East

All refer to – Disposition

All refer to – Jing

All refer to – Shen

All refer to – True Intention / Mind-Will

All refer to – Innate Nature

Earth – 5 – True Intention / Mind Will
Wood – 3 – Innate Nature
Fire – 2 – Shen
Water – 1 – Jing
Metal – 4 – Disposition

The Three Families Will Meet Together.

Four combines with One –
This is the meeting between Metal and Water – Jing & Disposition.

Three combines with Two –
This is the meeting between Wood and Fire – Innate Nature & Shen.

At last the Three Fives will meet together to form a one; without any difference - a complete unification.

Innate Nature is the master of our Heart / Mind.
Heart / Mind acts as the residential house for the Shen.
Jing is the master of the Corporeal Body.
Disposition attaches itself to the Corporeal Body.

Three Roots

   1. Disposition / Jing – Corporeal Body
   2. Mind Will – True Intention
   3. Shen / Innate Nature – Heart / Mind

During the practice of our work in self cultivation all we need to work with is the Corporeal Body, the Mind Will and the Heart / Mind……….

Who knows that which is close by is as spacious, grand and large as to contain Heaven and the Earth?  I am devoted to nothing but the evolution of the sun and moon that lie within the cauldron.  Within the cauldron lie Heaven and the Earth.  Their mutual revolution offers nothing less than complete freedom. ~ Chang San Feng

Combine the Heart-Mind and Corporeality.

Reach the very root of destiny.

During this evolving course of combining Heart-Mind and Corporeality, Qi acts as the intermediary agent – serving much like a tunnel to connect both the Corporeality and Heart-Mind.

We find we have many ideas concerning the awareness of the body.

Lose all awareness of the body and corporeality.

The subtlety of nature lies in knowing.

How does this subtlety come into being?

From not knowing.

The knowledge from not knowing is the ultimate doctrine of nature.

The thing of motion remains in a motionless state; it will give rise to shade and shadow – something mystical will come forth.

Sound gives rise to an echo.

The sound and echo remain in a motionless state - something mystical will come forth.

White clouds arising high up to pay respects; the Honey Dew rains down to moisten all, bringing nurturing to my entire self. ~ Lu Dong Bin

Stillness - a quiet Heart-Mind…

Mind follows the example of Earth.
Earth follows the example of Heaven.
Heaven follows the example of Tao.
Tao follows the example of nature.

Follow the superficial pattern of Earth………

The sky is so clear, there are no clouds flowing.
Looking down it is so quiet, expanding without limit,
Lucid…..
Within it, a wave of Qi begins to circulate.

Our awareness is our Heart-Mind.
The mountain is my Heart-Mind.
This space is my Heart-Mind.
We are like a fish swimming in the ocean of our Heart-Mind.

Emptiness is form - Form is emptiness……

Firing Process

Jing transforms to Qi.
Qi transforms to Shen.
Planting, harvesting, refining and storing.

Condensation of Shen.
Crystallization of Shen.

Innate Nature is the master of our Heart-Mind.

Innate Nature is the Shen that lies before our Heart-Mind.

We must work to transform the Shen into Emptiness.

Subdue the ego, reaching the very root of all.

Gaining absolute independence.

When we reach our True Innate Nature, we have finally gained absolute independence.

When there is ego, there is existence.
When there is no ego, there is no existence.
Only emptiness can accommodate everything.
We shall gain the wisdom to embody the equality of everything.
Great compassion for all shall arise.

Emptiness still contains existence.
We must then break the emptiness into pieces.
We may then be rid of the affliction of hindrance.
We shall be rid of the affliction of the known.
Entering into the purified state; a completely unsullied state.

The He Drawing

Harmony of the Four Symbols….
Obscure and elusive…
Wu Wei state……
Operation free of any artificiality……
Returning to the Center and keeping to the One……

The He Drawing is a very ancient symbolic presentation of our True Original Nature; the Before Heaven State.

From a simplistic view, we may think of it as waves of Qi circulating in a harmonious, clockwise circulation – a situation where all the Pre-Heaven elements dominate – a symbolic presentation of our Original Innate Nature.

We may find no conflicts and no obstructions within this presentation; a complete and sublime harmonious state.

When we possess the state of the He Drawing, we may escape death; when we lose it, we must face the destiny of death.

Heaven and Earth can transmute anything that has form.

Heaven and Earth fail to transmute something that has no form.

Heaven and Earth are capable to transform and transmute something that has sentient consciousness.

Heaven and Earth are not capable to transform something that has no sentient consciousness.

Heaven and Earth are capable to transform and transmute one who has a Heart-Mind.

Heaven and Earth are not capable to transform and transmute one who does not have a Heart-Mind.

First become close to the Mysterious Pass, and then take residence in the Mysterious Pass.

Reverse the course to return to the pristine and pure state of the Original Innate Nature………….

We may explain some aspects of the He Drawing symbols here

Heaven 1

Ren Water

Primeval Jing

Enlightened Wisdom

Heaven 3

Jia Wood

Primeval Nature

Benevolence

Heaven 5

Wu Earth

Primeval Qi

Trustworthiness / True Intention

Heaven 7

Bing Fire

Primeval Shen

Social Harmony

Heaven 9

Geng Metal

Primeval Disposition

Righteousness

These above aspects we term - The Five Primevals.

 

Earth 2

Ding Fire

Cognitive Shen

Clever / Enjoyment

Earth 4

Xin Metal

Po

Evil / Angry

Earth 6

Gui Water

Turbid Jing

Delusion / Sorrow

Earth 8

Yi Wood

Hun

Joy / Goodness

Earth 10

Ji Earth

Deluded Thoughts

Desire

The above aspects we term – The Five Thieves.

Yet in this chart, it shows all the Pre-Heaven elements in a superior and harmonious position, and the Post-Heaven elements follow – there are no conflicts – A Pure Heart state, with no desire and no conflict, all functions in a harmonious wave of Qi circulation – Original Innate Nature.

The Lo Writing

As people grow desires and passions surge forth, and the Yin elements will gradually dominate over the Yang Elements.  The Lou writing state comes into being – the After Heaven state of our Heart-Mind.

In the Lo writing, we find the Yin elements in the superior position and dominant; a counterclockwise circulation whereby each element conquers the other.

This chart can give us directions and the method to return back to the Original Innate Nature state we observed in the He Drawing.

If we take the Elemental numbers we find in the Lo Writing, we may list them as such:

Conquering of Yang Elements by the Yin Earth (Deluded Thoughts and Desire).

As one Yang is conquered, it changes to its corresponding Yin Element – moving in a counterclockwise fashion – Yin Earth (Deluded Thoughts and Desire) conquers Yang Water (Enlightened Wisdom), and it transforms into Yin Water (Delusion and Sorrow); then the Yin Water is able to conquer the Yang Fire (Social Harmony).  This circulation of dominant Yin Elements continues on, as finally the Yin Wood will continue to conquer the Yang Earth, allowing the deluded thoughts and desires to dominate once again and continue the cycle of suppression of Yang and dominance of Yin Elements.

In this representation, we must realize that in the state of the Lo Writing, the Wu Earth or Heavenly Five – the state of True Intention - has become obscured and dominated by Jia Earth or Earthly Ten – the state of Desire and Deluded Thoughts.

To begin our journey back to regain our Original Innate Nature, we must begin with the practice of Meditation and Discipline of the Heart-Mind.

We must cultivate the power of Yang Earth, using True Intention in our meditation practice to conquer Yin Earth; stilling the Heart-Mind and conquering the Deluded Thoughts and Desire.

Reversal of the course - Return to the Original Innate Nature

Through the power of using True Intention in the practice of Meditation The Yang Earth shall conquer the Yin Water (Delusion / Sorrow), transforming into Yang Water (Enlightened Wisdom). Yang Water will conquer Yin Fire (Cleverness and Enjoyment), transforming into Yang Fire (Social Harmony).  Yang Fire will then conquer Yin Metal (Evil and Anger), transforming the Yin Metal into Yang Metal (Righteousness).  Yang Metal will then conquer Yin Wood (Abundant Joy), transforming the Yin Wood into Yang Wood (Benevolence).  Yang Wood (Benevolence), will continue to conquer the Yin Earth (Deluded Thoughts), giving rise to the Yang Earth again (True Intention) – returning to the harmonious wave of Qi that we found represented in the He Drawing – returning to our Original Innate Nature…..

When storing up both Innate Nature and Life Force,
Ceaselessly tempering them into one,
Can you keep them united, avoiding separation forever?
When focusing upon the cultivation of Qi to attain a high level
Of serene comprehensiveness,
Can you achieve the state as an infant?
When cleansing the Heart of all stray ideas and desires,
Can you keep the Heart from any disturbances?
When cultivating Jing, Qi, Shen and the form of body,
Can you settle the Mind-Will in the emptiness without letting it touch one thing?
When the Heart is involved in alternate motion and stillness,
Can you keep the Heart still, falling into deep emptiness?
When the Heart stays in serene comprehensiveness,
Can you be free of any consciousness…?

The Wayfarer Will to Learn Emptiness once spoke….

You and the Infant of the True Self should always fall deeper and deeper into the profound stillness, till all things in the world seem to have been dead for hundreds of thousands of years and the Mind-Will should always pervade throughout the emptiness.

In this way the Infant of your True Self will become more and more ethereal and almighty, and more and more silent.  His Golden Rays speeding out in all directions from him will become more and more brilliant.  So when you contract all these rays into a photosphere around the Infant, the photosphere will be brighter than before; when you spread them out, the rays can travel farther away than before – of course during this process, you should never attempt to do such things, but always remain as a dead man still alive in the utter stillness without the least intermission.

For so long time have you and the Infant of your True Self been reposing in the Upper Dantian, remaining deadly silent in the profound stillness without the least motion whatsoever as if all the Universe has been in extinction for millions of years, that the golden light from the Infant has been becoming more and more brilliant and as vigorous and hot as a rosy sun.  Sometimes, like fire flaming out suddenly, some cloud-like rays will rush all the way out from the inner orifices to the outer orifices or vice versa.  After you don’t know how long time, you will perceive that from the very top to the very bottom, endless stars are twinkling and all orifices have become crystal-clear and Heaven and Earth and the myriad of things have become distinct with the Golden Rays shining all over them.  But this is not the end!  Still you fall deeper and deeper into the utter and absolute silence as if all things have ceased to be in any sort of existence for hundreds of thousands of years or more.  Then a rosy cloud, vigorously and tempestuously engaged in a rolling motion with tremendous momentum, will rush out of the Mysterious Pass deep in the Infinite Emptiness, and fill up all orifices with ethereal brilliance without any exception, and pass through Heaven and Earth and the myriad of things – all becomes crystal clear as a result.  As if there are endless clear mirrors arranged throughout the emptiness, the miraculous brilliance is reflected by them all and thus wonderful visions and sights beyond the common human’s understanding present themselves and become distinct.

Yet this is not the end at all!

Still, bring all rays into your Upper Dantian and slip deeper and deeper into the profound stillness.  Then after a long time, the rays will overflow your body.  Then the most brilliant glow will be flourishing vigorously around you when you contact it with the faint Mind-Will, and it shall thoroughly enter the interior of the minutest particle existing in the Infinite Emptiness.  When you send the blaze all out, it can fill up the infinite emptiness and reaches the places far away beyond the limits of the Infinite Emptiness.

Then you perceive that the miraculous blaze is turning into a rosy sun, and is rushing out of a certain orifice, then exploding.  The brilliance rushes to spread all over the Infinite Emptiness.  Then endless brilliant Golden Rays, above rushing through the highest layers of Heaven and below shining through the bottom layer of Earth, silently illuminate innumerable worlds and a great deal of Bodhisattvas, Immortals and Saints present themselves before your eyes.

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