Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating our own luck

Having received a fortunate prognostication from the Book of Changes in 2012 for my annual hexagram, I did not consult the Yijing again for my fortune for years 2013 and 2014.

In line with the guidance from the accurate Guan Yin Oracle obtained end August 2011, and forearmed with the experiential knowledge of when Yijing omens would come to an end – thus allowing me to ignore the then constant media and investment gurus harping on the European (PIGS) credit crisis - I have invested in the shares of five different public quoted companies (counters) in May 2013 just before and immediately after the Malaysian General Elections. The shares were bought in at the prevailing low prices then because of the uncertainties both in Europe and in Malaysia.

Unlike the previous share investment (sold early 2013) which had more than doubled in price, this time I did not consult the Book of Changes for any of these particular investments.

No, I did not use any charts analysis (have some basic knowledge) nor any fundamental analysis (piece of cake for someone who can read and digest The Financial Times of the UK) for the investments, merely relying on just pure luck?

When asked for investment tips, I told my remisier to just follow the picks in my margin account to make some money, but no guarantees. He said my picks always take a long time to go up and he did not have the patience to wait. Sure.

Three months later, I have had sold one of the five counters because the shares investment in a corporation - majority owned by a State Government – had made a 100% gain, not counting the dividends received. (Three months can be a long time to wait for share prices to double for those who want instant gratification! However this is not the bull run of 1993.)

A week after Chinese New Year 2014, I had sold another counter - dealing in fast food - since its share price had by this time also doubled.

Using part of the realized profit, I had decided to take my family for a holiday in Macau and in Hong Kong. Since Cathay Pacific was offering a fantastic online promotion package to Macau that includes the return (KuL – HK) air fare, ferry and a two night stay in a five star hotel there, I took the opportunity to book two Royal Suites in the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel for two nights by paying a slightly higher price – a few hundred ringgit - over the original subsidized package. According to online trips resources, the Venetian Resort Hotel ranks as the fourth most popular tourist spot in Macau. While I have stayed in five star hotels in a few Asian countries during business and pleasure trips in the past, I had never stayed in a suite in any one of them before. (The rack rate for the Royal Suite with a floor area of 755 sq ft was HK 7,500 per night – no wonder!)

Having checked into the hotel at the lobby counter, the four of us had to walk through the casino to go to our suites. It was pure luck that Sheldon G. Adelson, the US billionaire owner of the Venetian Macau casino and hotel, happened to be passing through the casino at the same time sitting on a mini motorized scooter surrounded by a few hugh bodyguards. He saw us and smiled as we passed! How often does that happen?

Three weeks have gone by since the overseas holiday trip, and currently I am waiting to sell the third counter, a penny stock, which price is literally a tick away for a hundred percent gain. Since it is amongst the most traded stocks in the KLSE over the past few days, the momentum should push its share price a few ticks higher.

Not knowing much except following the conventional wisdom of investing in stocks and shares can help us create our own luck:

Buy low, sell high. Know the company you want to invest in – knowing the traits of the owner also helps. Invest in at least five counters.

Of course if we happened to be Yijing aficionados who also foreknow timing and change, our luck could be better in such investments.

While others panic sell shares, we buy from them at our leisure. While others rush in to buy shares, we sell to them at the right time and at our target price. Is this not following the maxim of buy low, sell high? Is this not following the way of the Junzi who has foreknowledge of things to come? Or is it just lady luck?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Note on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return (2)

Last month’s note on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return would be incomplete if we do not take into account of the Commentary on the Decision – first and second Wings - by Confucius. Anyone who wants to become a top scholar of Tao worth their salt has to read the Book of Changes and the Ten Wings otherwise their progress in the dual cultivation of Human Nature (Xing) and Fate (Ming) could remain rather limited.

The deeper we go into Space, the more clarity can be achieved. Visiting places in heaven yet to be reached by science. What Guangzhengzi and the Buddha had had told us can be seen, if only one knows how to enter the Mysterious Gates! For that, one has to start the ancient Circulation of the Light with Hexagram Fu / Return.

The Judgment of Hexagram Fu says:

Return. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

To recap the gist of my previous note:

The Judgment informs Yijing aficionados and/or neidan adepts of the magic and phenomena of Tao. That is why the ancient Circulation of the Light meditation begins with Hexagram 24 Fu where the (single) Light line at the bottom starts its ascent and fills up the five dark empty spaces (lines) as it goes up to Heaven – represented by Hexagram 1 Qian / The Creative Heaven. (Refer to the Circulation of the Light and I Ching articles.)

In Chapter 40 of the Tao Te Ching, Laozi said, “Return is the movement of Tao”.

And for proficient top scholars of Tao to take note:

“In Return if you have success you would be going out and coming in without error, similar to the ancients. Much later, friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way, act at the right time. On the seventh day comes return - if not that is it. It furthers one to have somewhere to go – it furthers because it can be a matter of life and death.” (Judgment sentences in italics.)

If Yijing scholars and experts happened to think there was no penetration (Tong) of the Judgment, read what Confucius said in the Commentary on the Decision (judgment sentences and commentary in bold and in italics respectively.):

In the hexagram of Return one sees the mind of heaven and earth.

Return has success.” The firm returns.

Movement and action through devotion Therefore,Going out and coming in without error

Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return.” This is the course of heaven.

It furthers one to have somewhere to go.” The firm is on the increase. [W/B]

Proficient top scholars of Tao have to take note that the final commentary ‘The firm is on the increase’ by Confucius, the great ancient sage, differs from what I have indicated. As always, there are several layers of meanings in the Book of Changes to interpret depending on what is to be related.

Choosing the correct meaning and place could be paramount to saving your own life and part of mastering fate. Therefore, fate lies in your hands!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Note on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return

On May 1, 2006 I have provided simple notes on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return and since regular readers could be a bit more familiar with the Circulation of the Light and the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) what with the several articles written on the subject matter and of neidan (inner alchemy) over the years, it could be the right time to delve deeper into the meaning of its Judgment.

The Judgment of Hexagram Fu says:

Return. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The Judgment informs Yijing aficionados and/or neidan adepts of the magic and phenomena of Tao. That is why the ancient Circulation of the Light meditation begins with Hexagram 24 Fu where the (single) Light line at the bottom starts its ascent and fills up the five dark empty spaces (lines) as it goes up to Heaven – represented by Hexagram 1 Qian / The Creative Heaven. (Refer to the Circulation of the Light and I Ching articles.)

Perhaps after reading this article, Yijing aficionados and scholars may obtain a better understanding of the Book of Changes and its relationship with Tao. While the sages and the wise already told us about that in the Ten Wings, what is written in this article could be an eye opener for many especially those deep thinkers still trying to figure out the level of spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) of the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes.

If pedant wannabe scholars are still ignorant on wherefrom Laozi got the term, Tao, it is not by coincidence that he obtained it from the Judgment of this Hexagram. And please do not show up your ignorance and/or indolence on public online Tao Forums by claiming that there is no link whatsoever between his Tao Te Ching and the Book of Changes. And that there is no documentary proof in the four Confucian books of Confucius having studied the Yijing – probably influenced by the late Professor Homer H. Dubs 1928 well written but specious article. (See my review dated October 7, 2012 on his article, “Did Confucius study the Book of Changes?” if interested.)

Do they understand what the Tao Te Ching says? Have they studied the Book of Changes for decades? Is the Doctrine of the Mean not one of the four Confucian books?

Hopefully the undergraduates of Harvard University would not go the way of these “lost generations” of Western students and “scholars” who continue to propagate misleading statements on Tao and on the Book of Changes. If American and European undergraduates want to study Confucian and Daoist ethics to become better persons in life like what those from Harvard are currently doing, please study the Book of Changes. Since the Confucian and/or Daoist ethics are in the main derived from this ancient Chinese Classic.

The Tao Te Ching is written for top or first class scholars of Tao and not for any type of scholars. If someone does not practise the dual cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming), how much can they know about Tao and the delights and magic of Heaven?

If they only have elementary knowledge of the Book of Changes, what do they really know about its embedded wisdoms and the profound Tao? If they do not cultivate virtues or ethics as taught therein by the Holy Sages, they might as well be reading “dead” books.

Confucius had made comments on certain lines of several hexagrams of the Book of Changes. If Yijing scholars worth their salt understand why this great ancient sage made those commentaries as he did, then they could be onto something very deep and profound.

In Chapter 40 of the Tao Te Ching, Laozi said, “Return is the movement of Tao”. Is this statement not the same as “To and fro goes the Way” in the Judgment of Hexagram Fu / Return?

And penetrating the Book of Changes could be something like this:

“In Return if you have success you would be going out and coming in without error, similar to the ancients. Much later, friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way, act at the right time. On the seventh day comes return - if not that is it. It furthers one to have somewhere to go – it furthers because it can be a matter of life and death.” (Judgment sentences in italics.)

Now that I have explained the Judgment to proficient top scholars of Tao who may or may not have witnessed the eternal phenomena, can any other reader get anywhere anyway with the experiential and yet cryptic explanation on each of its sentences? (This statement is also in reply to the comment from a female reader in the previous article.)

Do Yijing aficionados see how deep and profound the Holy Sages were when they wrote the Book of Changes and the Judgment(s)? It could be one of the reasons why Confucius held King Wen and his son, the Duke of Zhou, who wrote the Judgments to their Zhou Book of Changes (Zhouyi) in such high esteem.

That is why I verily agree with Wang Bi, the whiz kid, that this ancient Classic is also a Book of Wisdom! It probably depends on how much Yijing aficionados and/or neidan adepts know about Tao and the Book of Changes. If Wang Bi did not have such a short life, probably we could have learned more about Tao and the Book of Changes from him. But then again, he could be revealing too much of Heaven’s secrets! And that is not the way.

Apart from making the explanations cryptic, one still has to withhold the Heaven’s secrets. This is in line with the established order and one’s writings would therefore not transgress Heaven’s laws and get punished for nothing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Circulation of the Light and Hui Ming Ching

Hui Ming Ching or the Book of Consciousness and Life is a short Buddhist text written by Liu HuaYang, a Chan Buddhist. It is said that Liu started off as a Confucian scholar before he became a Chan Buddhist and subsequently ended up as a Daoist; therefore he could be more familiar than most with the Three Doctrines - Daoist, Confucian, and Buddhist. Liu co-founded Wu-Liu Pai with his accredited teacher, Wu Chungxu, a Quanzhen Daoist. Apparently both co-founders believe that Daoist Celestial Immortals and Buddhas practised the same methods for their enlightenment. They probably also subscribed to the advice of the renowned Neo Daoists, Quanzhen Patriarch Lu Dongbin and his friend, Chen Tuan, and his student, Wang ChongYang (the Founder and fifth Patriarch of Quanzhen) to study the Three Doctrines.

According to Liu HuaYang, he had had combined the notes of the Shurangama Sutra (Lengyen Ching) and the Huayen Ching with occasional references to other sutras to write his Hui Ming Ching. He had written the Book for companions pursuing the divine workings of the dual cultivation of human nature (Xing) and life (Ming); and to provide information on the germinal vesicle requisite to generate the spiritual embryo.

Based on this, the Shurangama Sutra and the Huayen Ching could be significant sutras to Chan Buddhists. And in his Secret of the Golden Flower, Lu Dongbin had had also made references to the Shurangama Sutra.

The Hui Ming Ching contains a few drawings, eight sections of verses, and commentary on the first five sections by Liu HuaYang. It is suggested that neidan students also read the Hui Ming Ching to understand the teachings of the Buddha.

This particular second section of verses and the accompanying commentary (extracts) is worthy of note to real neidan (inner alchemy) practitioners:

The six periods of circulation in conformity with the law

If one discerns the beginning of the Buddha’s path,

There will be the blessed city of the West.

After the circulation in conformity with the law, there is a turn upward towards heaven when the breath is drawn in.

When the breath flows out energy is directed towards the earth.

One time-period consists of six intervals (hou).

In two intervals one gathers Moni (Sakyamuni).

The great Tao comes forth from the centre.

Do not seek the primordial seed outside!

The most marvelous effect of the Tao is the circulation in conformity with the law. What makes the movement inexhaustible is the path. What best regulates the speed are the rhythms (kuei). What best determines the number of the exercises is the method of the intervals (hou).

This presentation contains the whole law, and the true features of the Buddha from the West are contained in it.

[Hui Ming Ching as translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]

Daoists, Buddhists, and others who practise the backward flow movement for the Circulation of the Light would recognize with ease ‘The six periods of circulation in conformity with the law’, since they are the same meditation.

If the indications by Liu HuaYang are correct, it could mean that the Buddha had also practised the ancient Circulation of the Light similar to what the Holy Sages, Laozi, and the Daoist Celestial Immortals had done in their dual cultivation of human nature and fate.

This would explain why the Shurangama Sutra contains some eternal signposts of the Way and why in the Secret of the Golden Flower, Lu Dongbin had had made references to what the Buddha had taught in this particular ancient Buddhist Classic.

And if regular readers do not quite understand why this second section of the Hui Ming Ching has anything to do with the ancient meditation, cross check it with my Circulation of the Light and I Ching (2) article dated May 6, 2013. For additional clarity, Qian is the image of Heaven and Kun is the image of Earth.

It is also advisable for those who believe in or are misled (by translators of the Secret of the Golden Flower or others) into believing in “turning the light around” to cross check it too. Otherwise they could spend a lifetime in chasing rainbows but never to find the proverbial pot of gold, thus sinking into oblivion.

The germinal vesicle and the spiritual embryo are major eternal signposts of Tao which can be witnessed in the advance stages of the dual cultivation of human nature and fate. Several Zhen Ren (realized persons) had had written about them in their Daoist texts.

Based on his writing of the Hui Ming Ching and on his vivid description of the germinal vesicle therein, Liu HuaYang would have reached stage two of the Zah Yung Ching by then. (The legendary Zhang SanFeng had had also reached the same stage at the time of his commentary on Lu Dongbin’ Hundred Character stele – refer to the article on Circulation of the Light and Zah Yung Ching – December 2013.)

With the dual cultivation of human nature and fate, the first class scholar of Tao would be able to empty the mind (Xin) and keep still the heart (Xin) for the Return. And those who have actually practised the ancient Circulation of the Light would be able to witness the eternal signposts of Tao, each and every major step they take to Heaven. This witnessing of the eternal signposts forms part and parcel of the magical far journey!

To repay a favor to Liu HuaYang having learned something from his Hui Ming Ching, I will point out the mistaken beliefs of some Chan and Zen Buddhists if they choose to listen before it is too late.

Just sitting in meditation (Dazou) and contemplating on the mind daily for hours on end, does not cut it. Any Chan masters worth their salt upon rereading the Tao Te Ching would know that during meditation the mind needs to be empty not cluttered! Zhuangzi had had also indicated in his Xin Zhai that the mind needs to be empty.

If Chan masters cannot witness any eternal signposts after years or decades of study and practice, it proves that the “turning the light around” is simply a bypath.

If these particular Chan masters cannot witness any of the eternal signposts embedded in the Book of Changes, Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, Shurangama Sutra, Zah Yung Ching, and in the Hui Ming Ching, what are they really practising, if not bypaths?

Instead of focusing on the breath (Qi) as indicated in Xin Zhai by Zhuangzi and in the Secret of the Golden Flower by Lu Dongbin, if these Chan masters continue to focus on the mind, they will not be able to witness any eternal signposts let alone prolong life (Ming). (Stage one of the Zah Yung Ching is to prolong life.)

If they cannot even see the Light as indicated in Xin Zhai, how could they investigate it as taught in the Shurangama Sutra (Lengyan Ching) by the Buddha? Without the investigation of the Light, how could they use the Light as taught in Tao Te Ching Chapter 52 by Laozi? (The Zhuangzi, the Shurangama Sutra, and the Tao Te Ching contain important ancient teachings for Chan masters.)

Buddhists would know that the great ancient sage Buddha attained his enlightenment only after a lengthy and gradual process. While a man of great wisdom such as the Buddha had had to go through the magical far journey just like the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes and Laozi had done to reach enlightenment, those with little or no wisdom tend to toy with and cling on to the New Age invention of “sudden enlightenment”.

Sudden enlightenment” was a term invented in 734 by Shenhui, the Imperial Court’s appointed Seventh Patriarch of Chan Buddhism, to attack the gradual enlightenment approach of the Northern School. It is interesting to note that Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch, had not passed on Bodhidharma’ robe, nor named a successor; probably because he could not find any of his students including Shenhui worthy to do so. And that a number of Western scholars had condemned Shenhui for coming up with the specious term, “Sudden Enlightenment”. (More details and information on Shenhui and his “Sudden Enlightenment” are available at Wikipedia.)

P. S.
Chan and Zen Buddhists can now start shooting if they so wish. Thank you for your patience. Please do not tell your grandmasters’ (or grandfathers’) stories!

Instead, impress the audience by substantiating your shots with quotes from ancient classics and/or Buddhist sutras. And they may believe you.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Of students and masters (14)

Over at the Taobums, of which I am no longer a member for about a year now, there are some interesting ongoing discussions on neidan (inner alchemy) and its related meditation.

A proponent - who claims to be a master of a new ‘Daoist’ sect – advocates sitting meditation (Dazou) which leads to enlightenment while his opponent – who claims to be a student of a Wuliupai teacher in China – suggests that according to his teacher the particular meditation would dissipate yang jing (essence) and lead to death.

The proponent provided various quotations from Wang Chongyang (the founder) and some of his seven students of Quanzhen to support his contention that sitting meditation is vital to achieving immortality while the Wuliupai student quoted his teacher’s indications and challenged the real achievements of those who only sit in meditation (Dazou). (Wu-Liu-pai was co-founded by a Quanzhen disciple, Wu Chungxu and a Chan Buddhist, Liu Huayang.)

To add to the confusion, they also mentioned the opposing priority given in the cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) between the so-called Northern and Southern schools of Quanzhen. One school apparently cultivates Xing first while the other school starts with Ming cultivation. Of course they have also read about such priorities from translated texts – whether such priorities actually exist will by and large depend on the integrity of the respective translators and their experiential knowledge of neidan, if any.

As more and more of these translations of texts appear in the bookstores or online in years to come – since Quanzhen has taken in more students from the West over the past decade or so - the unscrupulous would venture to claim that they have learned neidan (inner alchemy) from Quanzhen and thereafter start to teach an academic version of it, if any, to unsuspecting students. If readers want to see a good example of this, read the latest threads under the Daoist discussion section between the proponent and his opponent to discern the fake.

To be fair, meditation is an integral part of neidan. But just any sitting meditation (Dazou) does not lead to enlightenment. Neither would a sitting meditation lead to death. Of course those including masters practising the incorrect type of meditation would not be able to prolong life (Ming) and therefore will die younger than many of their peers and students expect. For fate (Ming) is not that easy to change.

Little do outsiders know that neidan practice is a closely guarded secret in Quanzhen? Therefore its texts do not reveal the entire neidan process. This would accord with ancient established order. While Quanzhen has more than their fair share of Daoist celestial immortals compared to the other mainstream Daoist sects, many of their disciples down its history have also failed to attain immortality. (This upholds the closely guarded secret comment.)

Therefore anyone not from that particular school should not make false claims that they know and are able to teach the neidan practice of Quanzhen. Probably a fair warning is given to the fake and other unscrupulous persons, if they happened to read this article, in case they do not realize that Quanzhen celestial immortals could make it a point to punish and teach them a lesson. And culprits will have no place all under heaven to hide!

Among the ignorant in Taobums, some ‘Chan Buddhists’ do not even know that ‘turning the light around’ is more or less a New Age invention and so is the term, ‘sudden enlightenment’. They tend to think that ‘turning the light around’ is ancient neidan practice which is far from the truth.

Did they not read of the indication by Quanzhen Patriarch Lu Dongbin that the Chan Buddhists’ contemplation does not give rise to the witnessing of eternal signposts of Tao? (It is quite obvious they did not, since they favor the Secret of the Golden Flower translation by Thomas Cleary over that of Richard Wilhelm’s.) Did they not know that there are some eternal signposts of Tao indicated by the Buddha in the Shurangama Sutra? Did they not realize that the Taobums so-claimed expert of ‘turning the light around’ and who has had experienced ‘sudden enlightenment’ has never ever witnessed any eternal signposts of Tao – which upholds the indication by Lu Dongbin in his Secret of the Golden Flower.

So whether or not, these ‘Chan Buddhists’ are following the ancient neidan practice of the Holy Sages, Laozi and the Buddha; or some New Age inventions (which some learned Daoists consider deviant practices or bypaths for want of a better word) is for readers to determine.

When we are serious in purpose, we do not fool around with things profound. Knowing how to translate Quanzhen texts does not make one a neidan expert. The dual cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) is a lengthy and thorough process. And only those who have witnessed the confirmation signs of the Circulation of the Light – major eternal signposts of Tao – show good aptitude according to Lu Dongbin.

Therefore do not make out as if you are an expert or an authority on the profound subject when it is clear to those knowledgeable that you know next to nothing about neidan.

Soon it would be Christmas therefore any Chan Buddhist reading this article should exercise some restraint and not start shooting. You could shoot your foot by accident! At the very least wait for the forthcoming article titled, “Circulation of the Light and Hui Ming Ching”. If after reading it, you still insist that “turning the light around” is what the Buddha taught and what Lu Dongbin has had indicated in the Secret of the Golden Flower, by all means, stand and deliver. Your patience could turn out to be a face saver.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Zah Yung Ching

The Zah Yung Ching or Classic of the Directory for a Day is the simplest and shortest of the translated Daoist texts made available on the Web. It contains only three stages for cultivators to return to Tao. While it is easy and simple to understand, without the necessary accompanying experience, few would actually know what the neidan (inner alchemy) processes - indicated therein - encompass.

The first stage where millions of Tao cultivators down the ages start their neidan practice has been discussed in the article titled ‘The way to prolonging life’ on May 25, 2010. Without proper guidance and/or aptitude many would struggle to accomplish the way to prolong life. If we go by the indication of Zhong Liquan, the second patriarch of Quanzhen and the teacher of Lu Dongbin, that there are three types of Daoist immortals, those having achieved the way to prolong life - in stage one - could be considered human immortals. (Ren Xian)

In the second stage, it is said:

During the twelve [Chinese double] hours of the day let one's thoughts be constantly fixed on absolute Purity. Where one thought (of a contrary kind) does not arise, we have what we call Purity; where nothing (of a contrary kind) enters the Tower of Intelligence (= the mind), we have what we call the Undefiled.

The body is the house of the breath; the mind is the lodging of the spirit. As the thoughts move, the spirit moves; as the spirit moves, the breath is distributed. As the thoughts rest, the spirit rests when the spirit rests, the breath is collected.

The true powers of the five elements unite and form the boat-like cup of jade, (after partaking of which), the body seems to be full of delicious harmony. This spreads like the unguent of the chrismal rite on the head.

Walking, resting, sitting, sleeping, the man feels his body flexible as the wind, and in his belly a sound like that of thunder. His ears hear the songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum.

The spirit and the breath effect a union and the bloom of childhood returns. The man beholds scenes unfolded within him; Spirits of themselves speak to him; he sees the things of vacuity, and finds himself dwelling with the Immortals.

He makes the Great Elixir, and his spirit goes out and in at its pleasure. He has the longevity of heaven and earth, and the brightness of the sun and moon. He has escaped from the toils of life and death.”

[Zah Yung King or Classic of a Directory for a day – translated by James Legge]

Whenever I read the many claims by claimants in Daoist forums on how they have reached very far with the Circulation of the Light, I shake my head from left to right. Whatever they had said about their practice is more often than not incorrect. This includes those who claimed of having ‘sudden enlightenment’ experiences which could be due in part to their wild imagination (probably a better word for delusion).

Nothing wrong with that since many of the so-called masters on the web nowadays also claimed that their methods – passed down from dubious lineages – lead to enlightenment. But from a cursory glance of their list of methods, the neidan practice is upside down.

The great Carl Jung was probably correct when he indicated in the Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the Secret of the Golden Flower, that the practice is not suitable for the West because of their differences in psyche and beliefs with the Chinese and in their culture.

For most ethnic Chinese are brought up and taught by their parents (and in school) that virtues (DE) are of great importance in life. The well educated amongst them would read the four Confucian books and the five Classics as part of culture.

Deep thinkers and Yijing aficionados worth their salt would know that virtues are embedded in the Zhou Book of Changes and the Ten Wings. Yet many aficionados in the West study the Yijing as if the virtues are non-existent, not relevant, or can be ignored – since they say that these virtues belong to the Confucians. Similar arguments are proffered – if at all – by those learning Dao or practising ‘neidan’ in the West. Therefore they can be equally confused as to what constitutes Virtues (DE) in the Dao De Jing (or Tao Te Ching).

Limited by their own bias towards virtues, these Yijing aficionados together with those learning Dao or those practising ‘neidan’ in the West will probably not proceed far in their studies of the respective ancient profound fields.

For the three great ancient sages – Laozi, Confucius, and Buddha – and Mencius had had also taught that virtues are of great importance to life and mankind. (Please read the Tao Te Ching, the four Confucian books, and the Dhammapada for your own benefit and knowledge.)

Similar to the Tao Te Ching and the Yin Fu Ching, the Zah Yung Ching also indicates the importance of purity or goodness. For without virtues how can anyone become pure or good? And do remember that Heaven is on the side of the good.

While millions of Tao scholars down the ages struggle at stage one trying to prolong life, the more proficient top scholars could have squeezed through to this second stage where they try to escape the toils of life and death.

The legendary Zhang Sanfeng in his commentary on the Hundred Character Stele of Lu Dongbin had indicated that he himself had reached this second stage. Zhang Sanfeng said that he was able to hear the Songs of the Immortals and possessed the ability to know the future. At the time of the commentary, he probably had become an Earthly Immortal. (Di Xian)

In case, those who are really practising the Circulation of the Light think that this second stage can be reached easily, think again. They would have to witness several eternal signposts of Tao before they can climb out of the first stage to the second.

Proficient top scholars of Tao who have entered the Mysterious Gates and having seen the delights of Heaven similar to Guang Zhengzi - the ancient Daoist Celestial Immortal and teacher of the Yellow Emperor – may sooner or later reach this second stage.

How far these top scholars can proceed in the second stage will by and large depend on their own self cultivation and on Heaven (and therefore Fate / Destiny).

For this is the stage where top scholars have to use their deep knowledge of the Book of Changes and especially that of Heaven (Qian / Time) and of Earth (Kun / Space) to witness Change (which encompass all types of change). This is where the alchemical mixing and melting (involving Kan and Li) and transformation happen. As spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) reaches its height.

At this second stage, the more important eternal signposts of Tao – Songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum; and various others* – can be witnessed.

But how would I know that?

*Specifics have since been deleted on Nov 18, 2013 to conform to the ancient established order.

Monday, October 14, 2013

That great light from Heaven (3)

Generations of Chinese sages, the wise, and the learned have had studied the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) - down the few millennia of its existence - because the ancient classic is profound and contains much wisdom on human nature and fate, and on the cosmos. Their experiential and wise commentary - collectively known as the Ten Wings - on the Zhou Book of Changes (Zhouyi) also provide a historical guidance as to what local and/or global phenomena can happen on Earth that would affect peoples of the world.

Going by the several global omens published over the years in this blog before their actual unfolding, regular readers could find cause to agree to the foregoing paragraph. In the event that some remain skeptical, perhaps this third article on that great light from Heaven can move them a wee bit closer to accepting the profundity of the Book of Changes.

In the Book of Changes it is said that Heaven (Qian) send down the Light to Earth (Kun) to help Man (Ren) via the nine in the fourth place of Hexagram 12 Pi / Stagnation.

As indicated in previous articles on the topic, this phenomenon has occurred and has escaped the notice of the current crop of Yijing experts and scholars in the world. Nothing to be ashamed about since this particular phenomenon could probably be way over their heads even if they happen to be eminent ancient Chinese philosophy scholars because of their beliefs and interpretation-skill limitations on omens and on phenomena.

If we have read the Book of Changes, the Tao Te Ching, and the Analects of Confucius or any combination of them for decades and still doubt that Heaven has a moral will including that of sending down the great light to help people on Earth in times of dire need, we can be considered having read ‘dead books’. It would also show that we do not quite understand Man’s relationship with Heaven and Earth.

Several hundreds of millions of people have suffered tremendous hardship since the 2008 Global Financial and Credit Crises caused by encouraged human avarice, incompetent regulators, corruption of power, and which include those suffering under the hands of inhumane and unjust rulers. Many have lost their jobs – their usual means of livelihood -, lost their houses, life savings, and share investments because of these man-made crises.

Those who had died of hunger or extreme cold, or had committed suicide because of the crises are beyond rescue. But those who have withstood the shocks and hardships could still find hope.

In such dark and difficult times, Heaven has sent down the great light to Earth in 2011 to help the peoples of the world. The Book of Changes told this student about this happy global omen in early 2011. This particular omen was later confirmed by another divine source. (See later)

In this article, the question to address is who did Heaven send to help the peoples of the world?

The ideal divinity or great light from Heaven would be Guan Yin since the multitude is suffering severe financial hardship and extreme stress. Since Guan Yin or Avalokitesvara (in Sanskrit) is known to Daoist devotees as the Goddess of Mercy. Her devotees believe that in times of extreme distress their prayers to Guan Yin will more often than not be answered. And thereafter they will feel peace in their heart / mind (Xin).

To the Buddhists, Avalokitesvara has reached the ranks of Bodhisattvas - a level below that of Buddhas. Therefore a Bodhisattva can only be considered the rank of a minister and not that of a ruler.

Now deep thinkers, Yijing experts and scholars would know that in Yi studies, the line in the fourth place represents that of a minister, and since the Bodhisattva is a rank or a level below Buddha - the ruler represented by the line in the fifth place – Guan Yin Bodhisattva can represent that great light from Heaven sent down to Earth to help the peoples.

And Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, would be the ideal candidate from Heaven for helping people in extreme distress, is it not? The received happy global omen from the Book of Changes was confirmed months later by the accurate Guan Yin Oracle.

Therefore the great light sent down by Heaven in 2011 is none other than Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, or Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

Before non believers and skeptics bray in disbelief, read the various recent articles on “An accurate Guan Yin Oracle” and examine if what are stated therein make sense and relate to this great light from Heaven.

Writing those articles and elaborating on what Guan Yin had indicated in her accurate oracle could be one way to assist the gods to help the people. (Refer to the Great Treatise for further information)