Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Hexagram 47.3 Oppressed by stone

In Hexagram 47 Kun / Oppression, the lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.

Six in the third place means:

A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone, and leans on thorns and thistles. He enters his house and does not see his wife. Misfortune.

This shows a man who is restless and indecisive in times of adversity. He butts his head against a wall and in consequence feels himself oppressed by the wall. Then he leans on things that have in themselves no stability and that are merely a hazard for him who leans on them. Thereupon he turns back irresolutely and retires into his house, only to find, as a fresh disappointment, that his wife is not there. [W/B]

This collective wisdom passed down the ages in the Book of Changes also teaches professional managers or coaches what not to do. That is “Do not rely on the unreliable, otherwise they could butt their heads against the wall and feel oppressed by it.”

Those professional football coaches who rely on their tried and tested players during qualifications seemed to have a better success rate than others at the FIFA World Cup 2014. While professional football players can enjoy a huge success in scoring goals at club levels, they can fail to score any at the world cup stage – remember the failure of Lionel Messi, the then World Footballer of the Year, to score any goals at the FIFA World Cup 2010?

Most of the top strikers during recent qualifications or at previous world cups performed their part at the group stage where goals do count. Lionel Messi counts among the top strikers with a tally of four goals - from three group matches - at this World Cup.

On the contrary, Spain’s national team coach may have provided a very good example to depict this six in the third place of Hexagram 47.

Under his superb leadership and guidance, Spain won their first ever FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010 and subsequently successfully defended their European Championship title in 2012.

The coach was spoiled for choice with so many good Spanish players in the team to choose from. Yet his selection of the eleven players who played in the first two group matches in the World Cup 2014 comprised of an untested forward and of nil scoring strikers and midfielders who have had appeared in as many as eight qualifiers. When these players cannot even score a goal against weaker teams in seven or eight qualifiers, what are the chances of them scoring goals at the highest stage of football?

Does this not mean relying on the unreliable?

This would probably help explain why Spain could only score one goal - through a penalty - out of two group matches.

Spain, the FIFA world champion, was humiliated 5 -1 by the Netherlands in the first match and was outclassed 2 - 0 by Chile in the second. In the third and final group match, the untested forward and some of the unreliable were omitted from the starting lineup.

David Villa, Spain's scorer of most goals ever in the World Cup, was finally allowed to play for his country in this third match. He duly obliged by scoring the first goal against Australia with the final score 3 - 0, a face saving match. Yet he was substituted twenty minutes later after his goal for no apparent reason.

Confucius has this to say about the line:

"If a man allows himself to be oppressed by something that ought not to oppress him, his name will certainly be disgraced. If he leans on things upon which he cannot lean, his life will certainly be endangered.

For him who is in disgrace and danger, the hour of death draws near, how can he then still see his wife?
" [W/B]

History has shown that favoritism of appointing inferior men instead of superior men to important posts of heavy responsibility often leads to failures in wars and battles. It is said in the Book of Changes that oppression lessens rancor. But how many can learn from this wisdom?

For clarity, professional managers or coaches of today would just be replaced or resign in disgrace - their lives would not be endangered. (There are plenty of examples in the recent global financial crisis.)

However if the line happens to be a prognostication or an omen, it is a different matter altogether. Yijing aficionados will then have to take into account the entire line judgment and commentary by Confucius for its interpretation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Creating our own luck (2)

Many street smart retail investors will have heard about the conventional wisdom of buying low and selling high and would try hard to achieve that. Yet most of them fail to do so because of various factors that affect their decisions.

In the main, emotions and greed will hamper their ability and decision to buy low and/or to sell high. Another important factor is that of timing cum trade cycles – within the country or global. (Foreknowledge of timing cum trade cycles can be had by Yijing diviners with the particular expertise.)

Keeping the heart still amidst emotions and greed in investing is just as difficult as in neidan (inner alchemy) meditation.

Having preset targets to buy and to sell would make it easier for retail investors to act on their decisions and/or to create their own luck. (Remember my “Free Lunch” advice given to regular US and UK readers to buy plunged blue chips in their respective countries during the recent global financial / credit crisis?)

Adhering to preset targets would circumvent greed, unless retail investors keep moving their goal posts. Who do not want to buy at the lowest or sell at the highest, if they could?

Having bought stocks and shares at low prices, we must also know when to sell them to take profits or to cut losses. Therefore knowledge of timing cum trade cycles and of the investment is important to creating our own luck.

In line with conventional wisdom, I have had invested in five public quoted counters in the KLSE in May 2013 - during a time of uncertainty; the then ongoing PIGS credit crisis and the then upcoming Malaysian general elections. The prices of these five counters had by then already fallen by 50% to 70% from their three years high. I know four of these counters well having traded them on several occasions since 2005.

The first counter which had reached my preset target of a 100% capital return and sold was Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd, a state majority owned company. I had bought its shares at RM 1.09. The shares were sold before its price reached the year highest of RM 2.49 cum special dividend.

The second counter bought and sold was Borneo Oil Bhd, a company dealing in fast food. Its shares were bought at 35 sen and sold below the highest of 74.5 sen.

The third counter bought and sold was Talam Transform Bhd, a property development company. Its shares were bought at 5.5 sen under its previous name of Trinity Corporation Bhd and sold below its highest of 11 sen – the then high volume trade momentum did not push the price any higher.

The fourth counter bought and sold was RCE Capital Bhd, a small “finance” company which provided loans to government civil servants. This counter was bought to make up the numbers (five) and allocated the minimal investment. It was a safe bet and I also know the traits of the owner. It was bought at 30.5 sen and sold on the same day as the sale of Talam shares at a small profit.

The fifth and last counter is being held waiting for its majority shareholder to make his move. This particular very experienced owner can outplay any investor or trader of his counters. He tends to buy the lowest and sell the highest – because he can.

Therefore a lot of patience is required to make some money from this investment. Let us see how it goes.

Every four years there is a major modern event that can affect global shares markets trade. That particular event is called the FIFA World Cup and the competition kicks off on 12th June 2014.

Following the convention of selling in May and go away – to watch World Cup football – in 2014 could be the correct timing. Savvy Malaysian retailers have been net sellers in the KLSE in the last week of May. Nothing wrong with taking profits since stock markets would be rather quiet for the next one month.

Perhaps you could also create your own luck in shares investment after reading these two articles?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Of students and masters (15) – Space between thoughts

In order to clearly experience this state devoid of all thoughts, it is necessary to practice and recognize the space between thoughts. Then you have to practice for weeks, months, and years to be familiar with the empty clarity of mind."
[Lopön Tenzin Namdak RInpoche - (extracts) commentary from The Three Precepts: From the Oral Transmission of the Great Perfection in Zhangzhung transl. Jean-Luc Achard]


To return to destiny, one has to empty the mind (Xin) and to keep the heart (Xin) still. (Laozi – Tao Te Ching)

Emptying the mind takes a shorter time and is easier to achieve compared to keeping the heart still. Therefore masters would probably rather concentrate on teaching how to empty the mind during meditation than teach how to keep the heart still. Yet often times they do not discuss how to make an empty mind possible.

A mind is empty when there are no thoughts. But thoughts continuously flow in and out whether one thinks or not. Therefore I have previously indicated that those Chan Buddhists who only concentrate on contemplation during meditation will clutter the mind and not empty it.

To practice and recognize the space between thoughts – to empty the mind – is a good suggestion by the accredited venerable Buddhist Tibetan master and teacher. However students may not quite get it – since the practice is not elaborated on, and is there really a space between thoughts? Therefore it can lead to confusion and pages of online forum discussion – with some suggesting ‘aiming at the space between thoughts’.

‘Aiming at the space between thoughts’ is of course off the target. That is not the way, and can lead to bypaths – visualizations or even delusions - if students are not careful, whether or not they are taught by teachers.

Since thoughts continuously flow in and out there is no need for an ‘artificial separation’ to create a space between them. And one cannot expand the space between thoughts - that is like separating the sea (of thoughts) to create a path!

Seeing where thoughts come in and where they leave is good enough according to Lu Dongbin in the Secret of the Golden Flower. There is no need to find the origin of a thought; for it is impossible to do so according to the divinity.

We should not aim at the space between thoughts, nor artificially create a space or a larger one between thoughts. Do not play games with the mind; it can lead to illusions and/or delusions.

When no more thoughts flow in after thoughts had flowed out, the mind is empty. Then there is that space between thoughts, so to speak.

Everything is natural in neidan (inner alchemy) meditation. With the correct practice, it just takes time and effort. Even for achieving spiritual clarity (Shen Ming).

Meanwhile focusing on the breath will do.

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.