Sunday, December 31, 2006


Just when I was thinking about taking a nice long rest for the next few days, Sam Crane tagged me to talk about five things you do not know about Allan. Well, here goes the high fives.

In the 1960s, I studied in Methodist Boys School, KL and was a classmate of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the current CEO of Genting Berhad. I knew his younger brother, Chee Wah and had chatted with their sisters too when their father, Lim Goh Tong, was not around in our school.

I failed my Cambridge School Certificate – O levels – because I had one too many pretty girlfriends.

In 1974 even with similar distractions – a pretty Norwegian girlfriend in Bergen, a lovely English girlfriend in Brighton, and an attractive Maltese girlfriend in London, one managed to obtain a few distinctions and a Business Studies diploma from Brighton Technical College. My English rose likened me to Jason King, an English actor, while my Malaysian girlfriends likened me to Hong Kong film stars – David Chiang, and later George Lam – because of my moustache. Yes, they had loved my moustache more than me! Of course the sleepy eyes, high cheek bones, sharp nose, strong jaw, broad shoulders tapered down to a slim waist helped a bit. An English artist friend had approached me to pose as one of the three musketeers for his painting but I was too shy for that.

1984 was a year of achievement of sorts. One had completed the fastest receivership – within half a day – for a financial institution in Malaysia. Allan Lian was mentioned in the Board minutes of a foreign bank because the directors liked our recovery work. The Arthur Young partners in Hong Kong were so impressed with my technical knowledge that they requested for my transfer to assist them in the Carrian liquidation (the largest insolvency job then) in Hong Kong. But my senior partner disallowed the transfer because the Malaysian partnership was fast becoming the number one receivership firm in town. A few months later, I left the firm and joined Ernst and Whiney.

I came to know the Quanzhen Daoist in 1987 when he visited his friend, the owner of a group where one was helping to turnaround. Twenty years has gone by so fast. Except for most weekends and overseas trips, we chat almost daily since mid 1992. Over the years, he told me some secrets of Quanzhen and I revealed to him heaven’s secrets. Fair exchange, no?

Not wanting to break the ‘meme’ chain, one tags Steve Marshall and Harmen Mesker, if they are reading this entry, to reveal five things we do not know about them. If they do not want to, they can always call upon Confucius for help!


Friday, December 29, 2006

Translations of the Zhouyi

Sometimes when we already have a precious gem (in this case, the Wilhelm translation) at home instead of enjoying and earnestly studying it, we try to mine for or produce another. Some Yi aficionados apparently do not see the great wealth and wisdoms contained in the Wilhelm translation.

At Hilary’s Answers blog, one’s attention was drawn to yet another English translation of the Zhouyi, this time rendered possibly by a professor of Shandong University, China, involved in teaching the Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy. (The translation can be accessed through the Answers blog.) After briefly running through the translation – with no commentary -, it appears that the translation can be improved upon.

If we compare his translation to Wilhelm’s, the Chinese professor has left out important Daoist and Confucian messages in some judgments and lines of the hexagrams. (For example, the second line of Hexagram 2 Kun and the Judgment of Hexagram 24 Fu.) With different nuances used, earnest students will not discern from the translation where renowned Neo Daoists and Confucians like Chen Tuan, Shao Yong, Chou Tun-I, and Zhu Xi probably drew their inspirations for the Wu Qi, Tai Qi and deeper implications of the Zhouyi made available by Wilhelm and Baynes in theirs.

At best, the translation is suitable for those who just want to divine. And for Yi scholars to compare notes on why the Zhouyi was translated this way and not that – one leaves it to the scholars to examine the nuances and why some translated lines had referred to ancient tribes.

With the benefit of reading past reviews by Joel Biroco (Steve Marshall) of numerous English translations of the Zhouyi, one can only make a suggestion to those who are keen to render their own translation from the Classical Chinese.

Spend a decade reading the four Confucian books and five classics - which include the Book of Changes. Then spend another decade understanding them and the ten wings. Read some Daoist classics like the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi in between or later. Unless you happen to be as wise as Wang Bi, you may need those two or three decades of related studies before you know ‘one or two’ about the Zhouyi. (Think about the lifelong studies and efforts of Legge and Wilhelm.) If you do not cultivate, contemplate and/or meditate, perhaps you could miss the deeper implications of this great classic. (Think of the renowned Neo Daoists and Confucians.)

When you know a thing or two about the Zhouyi and hopefully your knowledge of Classical Chinese is as good as the professor of Shandong University, find a foremost scholar in ancient Chinese philosophy as a guide and mentor just like Legge and Wilhelm did, before you proceed to translate the Yi. Otherwise you may still not have adequate knowledge to produce an above average translation of the Zhouyi.

Great wisdoms are contained in the Zhouyi, if you mistranslate like so many translators before you, not only will it mislead others and self, it may also show that you are not earnest and sincere, no matter what qualifications you hold. Do not emulate the new age translators out to make a fast buck or to gain some fame. It may not be worth the effort.

Students faithful to the Wilhelm translation will not go far wrong in their Yi studies. The Zhouyi was explained in great detail to Wilhelm by his teacher, Lao Nai-hsuan, a foremost Chinese scholar of ancient philosophy. In reading Wilhelm’s commentary, Yi students may also learn from the wisdoms and deep insights on Chinese culture shared by both teacher and student.

If you are unable to understand the deeper meanings of each line, image and judgment, do not lay the blame on Wilhelm or Baynes. It is most likely your own flawed perspectives. Since Steve Marshall, Harmen Mesker, and Sam Crane who occasionally use the Wilhelm translation had shown time and time again that they know a thing or two about the Zhouyi. It is quite obvious that these three gentlemen have also read the four Confucian books, the five classics, and some Daoist classics/texts; therefore my suggested readings.

However, this does not say that there are no minor flaws in the W/B translation. Which polished diamond is perfect?

Even Wang Bi and Zhu Xi may have made some mistakes in their (published and paraphrased) understanding of the Yi and Tao. If you could not discern it, how would I know?

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A short Boxing Day story

This story is only for Christians and Daoists who believe in the existence of Jesus Christ and Heavenly immortals respectively. It is not meant for skeptics. Please do not sue me if you do not believe in their existence or do not like the story!

Sometime last year my Daoist friend and I had a chat on which immortals usually frequent his temple and affiliated temples in Hong Kong. While the main divine visitors were the ancestor master(s) and the northern patriarchs of Quanzhen, many other divinities had also graced the temples. According to him, Jesus Christ had once graced an affiliated temple in Hong Kong. To the surprise of those disciples present, Jesus announced his presence – all divinities identify themselves the same way – and began speaking in that Quanzhen temple. When asked, my Daoist friend had forgotten what Jesus said on that eventful day. It had been too many years ago.

Since it is hearsay, one would suggest readers take this story in with a pinch of salt. But if it is true, then Jesus did become a divinity. Whether he had attained heavenly immortality status or became a god is not for me to say. Perhaps the present Pope or past Holy Sees may have spoken to Jesus Christ and would probably know?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lines 1 and 3 of Hexagram 6 Song / Conflict

For various reasons, one seldom interpret for others since Yi diviners should strive to learn more about the Book of Changes and related studies to improve upon their knowledge and to become more sincere. The most important thing to know is whether the Yi did speak to the diviner, for if the Yi did not speak, any interpretation on or given on the received ‘oracle’ could be a sheer waste of time. Interpreters may also realize that Yi masters often turn up in forums or to read blogs. Therefore it could be embarrassing for one to speak out of turn unless something of significance in Yi’s message has been left out or missed by various interpreters including that of the diviner. After all it is not difficult to interpret a few Yi’s messages to the same diviner in one go if we know how to ‘connect the lines’. (There is a previous blog entry on that.)

Since it is Christmas and to bring some cheer to others, one will make an interpretation of Hexagram 6 Song / Conflict, based on a simple understanding of the hexagram, the first and third lines, for a fellow diviner. Let us assume the question was not given, and that the Yi wanted to tell the sincere diviner something important.

The Judgment
Conflict. You are sincere and are being obstructed. A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune. Going through to the end brings misfortune. It furthers one to see the great man. It does not further one to cross the great water.

The judgment talks about a sincere person whose progress is being blocked by others. It is not the right time for big undertakings such as a crossing of great water that is in this context, not to start or continue a conflict. It is timely to stop halfway since going to the bitter end brings misfortune. A great man can resolve the issue at hand, if the diviner seeks his help.

The first line:
If one does not perpetuate the affair, there is little gossip. In the end, good fortune comes.

If the diviner drops the issue at this initial stage, there will be good fortune in the end. While this is a good time to drop the matter, it actually depends if the diviner wants to follow Yi’s guidance. It appears that the diviner still intends to proceed further with the conflict since there is a higher moving third line (the ruling line in this prognostication).

The third line:
To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance. Danger. In the end, good fortune comes. If by chance you are in the service of a king, seek not works.

The Chinese believe that what one learns through studies and from experience can never be taken away or robbed by others. Danger may arise from holding onto a wrong attitude. If our superior (the king) wants to take all the credit for work done by us, it is alright. Sooner or later our working knowledge and experience – our merit - will be recognized. There is no need for further conflict with the superior. If the diviner understands this truism and drop the issue then the end result could be similar to the Judgment in Hexagram 1 Qian / The Creative: The Creative works sublime success, furthering through perseverance.

If the diviner has faith in the Yi and its guidance, the expected ending will become more important than the means. In times like this, it is better to wait cheerfully and patiently (think Hexagram 5 Xu / Waiting) rather than mobilize the army (think Hexagram 7 Shi / The Army) to perpetuate the conflict. What is the point of continuing a conflict that one cannot win? (Think Iraq War.)

A Merry Christmas to all and to the diviner who asked for an interpretation!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sun sets in the water

Bali has been voted the best island resort in the world a few times over, and our family went there for a well earned holiday the past few days. The religious fervor in Bali, Indonesia, is almost similar to those witnessed in Thailand, temples (Hindu instead of Buddhist) and shrines adorn the scenery and visible almost everywhere during the short trips to various popular tourist spots and centuries old Hindu temples. If you happen to visit Bali do not miss the magnificent sunsets in Tanah Lot, where the sun 'sinks' into the sea. I wonder whether neidan adepts can see the same high intensity of the light when the sun sets in water.

We flew to Bali on Tuesday and see what happened? States in Malaysia get flooded with several thousands of people displaced. Thailand announced controls for capital outflows on the same day and its share market fell 15% causing reverberations across the jittery Southeast Asian stock markets. No, while Allan has regained some Tao magic to foreknow, he does not have any power to move markets and cause havoc with the weather. Everything was coincidental or synchronized?

Nice to be back!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Will be away for a few days

I will be gone for a few days, taking my wife and children to an island resort for holidays. We had planned to visit the North and South Islands of New Zealand, but the five airlines serving the KL/NZ (direct and transit) route were fully booked from mid December to early January. No luck with the waiting list on Malaysian Airlines, the only airline which provide direct flights between KL and Auckland. One could not book the flights early without knowing the exact time table for my son’s public exams, and the date of his cyber games finals to be held in Singapore.

These are the rare times when one has some money to burn but no airlines wanted it! Probably the airlines are happy with their fully booked status and their super profits during this peak season for the route, a yearly occurrence – who really wants the hassle to fly a few more planeloads of fare paying passengers?

Well, we can always go next year, at the lower off-peak fare which will save a few thousand ringgits and spend the savings in NZ. Seeing the way they run their flight schedules, it would be sometime before I invest in shares of airlines again.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sitting posture of Buddha

Various people have advanced their own theories or those from the books in the internet on the correct posture for sitting meditation. I have read a number written in the net but few seemed to have hit the mark. Just because a million people have used the ‘lotus’ position before does not mean it is the right one for us. It really depends on what a meditator wants to achieve from the meditation and whether he or she can withstand the pain in contorting both legs. Do we really have to contort part of our bodies and limbs for the sake of meditation and thereafter suffer the consequences?

One has earlier recommended a simple sitting meditation posture suitable for the learner, the elderly, and for those who have to sit on wheel chairs. It is time to discuss a sitting posture for the more advanced student since a good sitting position recommended by a past Chan master (with some fine tuning required) has been taken down from the web.

It is important to know and understand that the Buddha is a great meditator and one who has actually reached enlightenment - Nirvana. It is not just talk. Therefore his posture for the sitting meditation must be correct.

Perhaps Chan/Zen Buddhist and/or Daoist masters down the ages may have thought that they know more than the Buddha on meditation and therefore introduced various variations to his simple sitting posture. The accompanying explanations that often go with the various postures depicted in the web, frankly looked like idiosyncratic legacies left behind by unenlightened masters. Zhuangzi may have occasion to add, ‘they chose to sit like this’, ‘they chose to sit like that’ that they simply forgot about the purpose of meditation and the natural state. A later Daoist may joke that ‘they sat until round’ (Chinese pun intended).

On a more serious note, if we want to practice neidan, the sitting position must first be simple and correct. We do not want to be distracted by thoughts and pains during the meditation, unless you prefer to suffer. I verily doubt the Buddha wants his disciples and others to suffer.

The sitting posture of a neidan practitioner is similar to the ‘horse riding’ stance of a martial arts exponent. When the posture is correct, it allows the Qi and light to circulate, with the body firmly planted to earth. How the legs are crossed and where to place the hands are also important – the earnest practitioner may understand why as he or she progresses in the practice.

Since Buddha is a great meditator according to Daoist immortal, Lu Dongbin, we cannot go far wrong to follow his sitting posture. If we ever walked into any Buddhist temple, we will see an image of Buddha in a sitting meditation in the main hall:

He will be sitting up straight on a terrace.*

His legs will be crossed – his right foot rests on his left thigh - his left leg is tucked below the right leg and thigh. The soles of his feet face (or slightly face) upwards. **

His opened right hand with palm facing upwards rests on (or is supported by) his opened left palm. ***

His hands are placed below the Dantien, with his wrists resting on the thighs.

His eyes will be slightly opened as if he is looking at the tip of his nose. *

His mouth is closed. The tip of his tongue would be touching the palate of his mouth. *

That would be the correct and simple sitting posture for a male neidan practitioner. (If your right leg hurts using this posture, it still works if you tuck the right foot below the left thigh. The soles of both feet must still face or slightly face upwards.) If what has been described above is unclear, double check my descriptions with an image of the Buddha in a sitting position.

What is difficult to understand is why many meditators chose much more difficult sitting postures when the image of this Great Master in a sitting meditation is easily available to the world. Unless you enjoy excruciating pain from using other recommended postures and/or think that such suffering is required in the quest for perfection, one recommends that neidan students follow Buddha’s simple posture for the sitting meditation. It works.

Now that you have a correct sitting posture for your meditation, the rest is up to you. If you happen to meet Buddha in the street, ‘follow him, not kill him!’

Just like what the Yi and the ancients recommended, if we really want to emulate heaven and earth, we have to make things easy and simple for everyone. That will surely include us?



* Refer to ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’.

** The female meditator being yin has to put her left foot on her right thigh and her right leg is tucked below the left leg and thigh. (That is the exact opposite of what her male counterpart would do.)

*** For the same reason, she has to rest her opened left hand with palm facing upwards on top of her opened right palm. (Also the opposite of what his male counterpart does.)

One has double checked this with a female Buddhist spiritual master, but if in doubt it would be advisable to clarify these two matters with a female neidan master.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Golden Flower

According to Daoist immortal, Lu Dongbin, “the Golden Flower is the light. What color is the light? One uses the golden Flower as a symbol. It is the true energy of the transcendent great One.

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (Jin Dan). All changes of spiritual consciousness depend upon the heart. There is a secret charm which, although it works very accurately, is yet so fluid that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and the most complete absorption and tranquility. People without this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do not find the way to apply the charm; people without this utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility cannot keep fast hold of it.**

The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. The heavenly heart lies between sun and moon.

Since when has the expression ‘circulation of the light’ been revealed? It was revealed by the ‘True men of the Beginning of Form’ – Guan Yin-shi. (The one for whom legend said that Laozi wrote the Tao Te Ching.) When the light is made to move in a circle, all the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the dark, are crystallized. That is what is termed seed-like thinking, or purification of the energy, or purification of the idea. When one begins to apply this magic it is as if, in the middle of being, there were non-being. When in the course of time the work is completed, and beyond the body there is a body, it is as if, in the middle of non-being, there were being.

The radiation and dissipation of spiritual consciousness is chiefly brought about by this energy when it is directed outward. Therefore the Way of the Golden Flower depends wholly on the backward-flowing method.” [The Secret of the Golden Flower – W/B]

The above extracts about summarized the gist of what a neidan practitioner needs to do to see the Golden Flower. To circulate the light, he or she has to use the backward flow method. After a lengthy continuous practice, the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the dark will crystallized to form the Golden Flower. Later in the middle of being, there will be non-being, and when the work is completed, that is attaining Tao, in the middle of non-being, there were being.

If your neidan practice differs much from the Way of the Golden Flower, you may not see the various signposts indicated by the ancients – Laozi and Buddha - and the Quanzhen Daoist immortals in their classics and texts. Whatever method you are using, if during meditation you do not feel the heat and see the light, your neidan practice can be said to be incorrect. Good luck.

This is a higher level of the right person for Tao, perhaps applicable to the neidan adept. Sages will have already reached the level of extreme intelligence and clarity to fathom human nature and humanity. Whether they had the most complete absorption and tranquility to keep hold of it is another thing, altogether. Perhaps their absorption is most complete but without the necessary cultivation of virtues to rectify the heart could they reached the utmost tranquility to hold on to the secret charm until completion?

Friday, December 08, 2006

The meanness of Zhuangzi?

If you are an ardent follower of Zhuangzi, one suggests that you skip this entry as what is written below could upset you.

While it may be fun to ridicule another doctrine or religion, it was really mean (Xiao) of Zhuangzi to defame and slander illustrious ancients and paragons of virtue. The meanness of the minor sage can be seen when he implied in Chapter 29 of his book about the wrong doings of sage kings and it could well have misled uninformed followers and admirers of his down the ages. Since only those familiar with ancient Chinese history can know for sure that what Zhuangzi had painted about the ancient sage kings was not true.

Could his not so well informed followers differentiate between falsehood and truth? One has on occasions found that some of them accept everything Zhuangzi wrote about the Confucians to be true. It had been an uphill struggle trying to convince some Western Daoists in Tao forums that Zhuangzi can be wrong and that Daoists do cultivate virtues similar to those of the Confucians. The virtues emanated from the sage kings, not Confucius. Confucius merely compiled them (Analects).

The narrow-mindedness of Zhuangzi by rejecting the Confucians’ belief in the cultivation of virtues probably proved costly to him in his never ending search for perfection. He did not attain the Way. How could anyone attain Tao without dual cultivation? Little wonder the Han literati styled themselves followers of the Huang-Lao tradition (Shiji) and not that of Zhuangzi. Perhaps what he had written transgressed the tolerance of most learned Daoists and Confucians or literati of the times and probably even today?

Let us examine what Zhuangzi said in the chapter which was used to mock the Confucians and in so doing gone beyond what is considered just and right. The extract is after Robber Chih had seemingly worsted ‘Confucius’ in a discourse on virtues:

“Dze-kang said, 'If you do not follow the usual course of what is held to be right, but observe no distinction between the near and remote degrees of kin, no difference between the noble and the mean, no order between the old and the young, then how shall a separation be made of the fivefold arrangement (of the virtues), and the six parties (in the social organisation)?'

Mân Kâu-teh replied, 'Yâo killed his eldest son, and Shun banished his half-brother :--did they observe the rules about the different degrees of kin? Tang deposed Kieh; king Wu overthrew Chou:--did they observe the righteousness that should obtain between the noble and the mean? King Kî took the place of his elder brother, and the duke of Zhou killed his :--did they observe the order that should obtain between the elder and the younger?

The Literati make hypocritical speeches; the followers of Mo hold that all should be loved equally:--do we find in them the separation of the fivefold arrangement (of the virtues), and the six parties (in the social organisation)? And further, you, Sir, are all for reputation, and I am all for gain; but where the actual search for reputation and gain may not be in accordance with principle and will not bear to be examined in the light of the right way,” [James Legge]

Without the relevant knowledge of the actual historical events, many students of Zhuangzi can easily be misled by his misrepresentation(s) merely to mock the Confucians. Perhaps it is timely to clarify, since Zhuangzi emphasized clarity as the way to understand the teachings of ancient sages.

Yao and Shun were the two illustrious sage kings who passed over their own sons to hand over the reign to the virtuous and worthy. Based on such merits, Yao passed the reign to Shun who in turn passed it to Da Yu who went on to found the Xia Dynasty. According to Yao, his own son and heir was an unworthy man who was insincere and quarrelsome (Shujing - Book of History). Therefore he was bypassed. Shun also had his own sons bypassed.

Despite what Zhuangzi indicated, there was no record whatsoever that Yao killed his son, in fact his son was very much alive when Yao died. Shun did not banish his half brother even after several futile attempts to kill Shun (Book of Mencius). Both Yao and Shun had displayed exemplary conduct in their respective reigns, what made Zhuangzi maligned them is up to readers (of this entry) to deduce. Did Zhuangzi ignored his roots, or was he bias, just to vilify the Confucian paragons of virtue?

Both Tang and Wu had overthrown the respective tyrants Kieh and Chou to bring relief to the oppressed people. Which was of more importance, loyalty to one’s ruler, or benevolence (Ren) and righteousness (Yi) for the common good? (Even Guan Yu, a Han general – before he became the God of War – chose righteousness when he released his ruler’s enemy, Cao Cao.)

Exactly the same question on Tang and Wu was put to Mencius by King Hsuan of Chi, and Mencius replied: “He who outrages the benevolence proper to his nature, is called a robber; he who outrages righteousness, is called a ruffian. The robber and ruffian we called a mere fellow. I have heard of the cutting off of the fellow Chou, but I have not heard of putting a sovereign to death, in his case.” (Mencius 2.8 Legge)
(I wonder if King Hsuan had also read this Chapter 29 or have heard the question from Zhuangzi, a contemporary of Mencius.)

King Ki (Jili), the father of King Wen, was the most capable son and was given the throne by his father. This bypassed the eldest son, the elder brother of Jili. Three brothers of the Duke of Zhou colluded with a prince of Yin and revolted against their own nephew, King Zheng of Zhou. After three years of fighting and finally subduing the uprising, the Duke of Zhou killed one of his own brothers and the Yin prince, and banished the others.

Does propriety (Li) come before benevolence (Ren) and justice (Yi)? Did Zhuangzi ever consider the ill intention of the three brothers who colluded with a powerful outsider to overthrow their own kin, and the effect on the common people who suffered during the revolt?

Since the Confucians and Daoists have probably contended over what Zhuangzi said about Confucian virtues for the past two thousand or more years, what is one more ‘cut and thrust’ over this contentious issue? After all one is not a sage. One has already faced some contention over the issue in a Daoist forum, TaoSpeaks. If truth grates on their ears or they wish to whitewash or cover it up without substantiated evidence to the contrary, what can one do? Maybe with a friend like me, they will no longer need enemies.

If we study and follow the ancients, we must also take a look at their intent. If they have to malign other sages and established ways of life to promote their own ways, it transgresses what is just and right.

My Daoist friend has this to add to this entry: “If readers compare how many Chinese had followed the way of Zhuangzi and how many had followed Confucius, they can determine for themselves whether Zhuangzi or Confucius had found the correct way towards life.”

The billion or more Chinese over the past two thousand years that chose to follow the Confucian way of life cannot be wrong. Can they? Borrowing a famous phrase from Zhuangzi, “How would I know?”


According to Legge, Sima Qian had also referred to Robber Chih and ascribed Chapter 29 to Zhuangzi in the Shiji (Records of the Historian). Legge noted: “Sima Qian seems to have been acquainted with them all. In his short biographical notice of Zhuangzi, he says, 'He made the Old Fisherman, the Robber Chih, and the Cutting Open Satchels, to defame and calumniate the disciples of Confucius.'”

After several attempts to convince me that Zhuangzi had inferred other things than what one read, one has lately been told in TaoSpeak that Legge is outdated, and one could be jumping to conclusions. Well, anything is possible, it could be this or it could be that. With their over eagerness to defend Zhuangzi, perhaps they missed my point that Zhuangzi was wrong to defame and slander the sage kings and to mislead the uninformed, if indeed he wrote Chapter 29. Did one just build a house of cards or made an informed criticism of Zhuangzi? With my limited knowledge of historical facts and Zhuangzi, how would I know?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Right person for Tao

Millions of people down the ages must have sought for immortality, a Buddhahood or Daoist immortality but only a few have succeeded. What is the main reason for the minimal success?

According to Wang Chungyang and Liu I Ming both masters of Quanzhen (separated by a span of 700 years), many generations of Daoists, Buddhists and Confucians in China have incorrectly cultivated. Most of them if not all based their practice on a singular cultivation instead of the requisite dual cultivation. The Buddhists during the times of the two Quanzhen masters had plumbed for the cultivation of essence through meditation, while Daoists and Confucians favored the cultivation of bodily life through cultivating virtues. If the practice was not right in the first place how any of these cultivators could hope to attain Tao and achieve immortality?

With reference to ancient thoughts in the Tao Te Ching, Dhammapada, Shurangama Sutra, and the Upanishads, one often remind neidan practitioner(s) of the need to practice dual cultivation without which he or she could not make much progress. While later Daoist or Buddhist tracts may concentrate on meditation, they do make subtle references to the cultivation of virtues as well. Without the necessary dual cultivation, a neidan practitioner will not be the right person and therefore can never hope to attain Tao to become a Daoist immortal or to reach Buddhahood. Perhaps it would be better for a neidan adept to explain.

Liu Huayang in his Hui Ming Ching or Book of Consciousness and life which depicted a Buddhist meditation method to cultivate essence has this to say about the right person:
I sacrifice myself and serve man, because I have presented fully this picture which reveals the heavenly seed completely, so that every layman and man of the world can reach it and so bring it to completion. He who lacks the right virtue may well find something in it, but heaven will not grant him his Tao. Why not?

The right virtue belongs to Tao as does one wing of a bird to the other: if one is lacking, the other is of no use. Therefore there is needed loyalty and reverence, humaneness and justice and strict adherence to the five commandments; then only does one have the prospect of attaining something.

While Daoist immortal Lu Dongbin did not mention the importance of the cultivation of virtues in both his Secret of the Golden Flower and the Hundred Characters stele, he did later inform through his temple in Hong Kong that the cultivation of virtues is required and equally important to that of meditation.

Therefore if readers are currently concentrating on a singular cultivation – either meditation or virtues - it would be time to cultivate both if they ever want to be a right person for Tao.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nourish Qi, forget thoughts

In interpreting the thoughts of ancients or those of Daoist immortals, we need to understand their intent and the gist of the writings otherwise we could easily misinterpret them since written Chinese often convey different meanings. That is why in messages communicated through the planchette, Daoist immortals speak aloud (through the medium) as the medium uses a rod to write the words down in the sandbox. This ensures that their transmission is properly received. Then it will be up to disciples and/or devotees to interpret the meaning of the flowery message.

Just like his Secret of the Golden Flower, the Hundred Characters stele written by Daoist immortal Lu Dongbin is focused on meditation. In twenty verses, he talked about what a neidan practitioner needs to do and what will happen during meditation as one progresses in stages before finally climbing up Heaven’s ladder.

Lu Dongbin started the hundred characters stele with the verse: ‘Yang Qi Wang Yan Shou’. (Literal translation: Nourish Qi forget speech keeping)

The first stage a neidan practitioner needs to learn is to ‘nourish Qi’ through meditation. Qi is the life force inside every human being. Once the original Qi has dissipated a person will die. (Think of the last breath of a dying person?) If more Qi is accumulated and circulated through meditation, the healthier the practitioner.

The second part of the verse is to ‘forget speech keeping’. How and where do we keep speech? Is it not correct to say that, we store speech (in words and/or symbols) in our brains? If speech is kept there the only thing to recall it is through thinking.

But if thoughts (in words or speech) come to the fore during meditation, the neidan practitioner loses concentration. Therefore Lu Dongbin suggested that the student forgets thoughts during the meditation to nourish Qi. This also ties in with the ‘focus on the breath’ method to forget thoughts.

Bearing in mind that the tract is about neidan meditation, one translated this verse to mean: Nourish Qi, forget thoughts.

Whether one’s translation sounds right or wrong, readers can feel free to disagree.

If we misinterpret ancient thoughts or those of the Daoist immortals at the beginning, we could miss the ending by a mile. If someone has already transgressed into bypaths, nothing can be said to turn them back. They will be too fixated on wrong concepts to return to Light. Therefore one can only just shake the head wherever one reads their unsubstantial posts in the internet.

Hopefully you can learn something today about where wrong interpretations of ancient thoughts and those of the Daoist immortals can lead students to. And learn to be a bit more circumspect.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Zhuangzi, the professional adviser

Some readers may have dealt with professional tax advisers in the course of their work. The larger the business deal, the more senior will be the adviser. Let us say that a very huge sum of money is involved and senior partners of the advisory firm provide their expertise.

After you have briefed the adviser of the proposed transaction and the likely tax consequences, they may ask further questions to understand the transaction and come up with the best scenario to avoid or minimize the incidence of tax. When they have found the best tax plan for the intended transaction, they would be in their elements and can sometimes talk like Zhuangzi of the old:

“On the one hand if you do this, you would be taxed. On the other hand if you do that, you will pay higher taxes. If you do not transact then you will not be taxed but you would not make the gain that you want.”

“However if you do this and not that, do that and not this then you would be able to make the gain that you want and not pay any tax. If you are at your wits end trying to understand what has been said, it is alright. Just follow the tax plan accordingly, and everything will work out fine. You make your money, we get a fee and everyone will be happy (except the taxman) at the end of the day.”

If you do not believe that they talk like the sage, compare it with what Zhuangzi said in Chapter Two of his text:

Everything has its "that," everything has its "this." From the point of view of "that" you cannot see it, but through understanding you can know it. So I say, "that" comes out of "this" and "this" depends on "that" - which is to say that "this" and "that" give birth to each other. But where there is birth there must be death; where there is death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right. Therefore the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven. He too recognizes a "this," but a "this" which is also "that," a "that" which is also "this." His "that" has both a right and a wrong in it; his "this" too has both a right and a wrong in it. So, in fact, does he still have a "this" and "that"? Or does he in fact no longer have a "this" and "that"? A state in which "this" and "that" no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Way. When the hinge is fitted into the socket, it can respond endlessly. Its right then is a single endlessness and its wrong too is a single endlessness. So, I say, the best thing to use is clarity.
[Burton Watson –]

Therefore if you ever go to seek advice from the best tax advisers in the country, unless you are a professional accountant and know something about tax, be prepared to meet those who talk like the ancient sage, otherwise you may come out of the meeting blurred and not knowing how to proceed.

Do not worry, the advisers will clarify what you have to do after you have confirmed their appointment and agree to their fees. So would Zhuangzi, for free, if you had clarity and listened carefully to his entire story in Chapter two – Discussion on making all things equal. No, unlike the tax professionals, he is not talking about balancing the books!

This entry is written especially for those who enjoyed watching the British TV comedian, Tommy Cooper in the 1970s who sometimes also talked a bit like the sage of old: ”Just like that! Not like that!”

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A magic spell for the far journey 2

In a previous entry – May 11, 2005 – one had briefly run through this magic spell which according to Lu Dongbin was left behind by Yu Ching, an ancient who lived during the Chun Chiu (Spring & Autumn) era. In his Secret of the Golden Flower, Lu Dongbin probably had explained about the poem, but the version of this part of the tract obtained by Richard Wilhelm seemed corrupted (refer to page 7 of his translation).

Without an accompanying explanation to the poem, neidan students reading it may not understand what Yu Ching wanted to say. Frankly speaking, one had also been confused for a while, but when students have reached a fairly advanced stage, they can be a bit clearer about what the magic spell for the far journey is all about.

Meanwhile for those who follow the Secret of the Golden Flower for their daily neidan practice, one will make an attempt to explain what ‘A magic spell for the far journey’ may actually mean:

Four words crystallize the spirit in the space of energy.

The four words refer to the four verses (which represent two stages in neidan practice) in the poem before reaching the crystallization of the spirit in the space of energy. A neidan practitioner must first learn how to convert Essence to Qi, then Qi to Spirit. The practitioner can see where the space of energy is.
The space of energy is similar to the ‘lighted room’ in Xin Zhai and/or the ‘lodging place’ in the Nei-Yeh.

In the sixth month white snow is suddenly seen to fly.

Greater heat falls in the Chinese sixth month. Can white snow be seen to fly during late summer? Probably not, perhaps the reason why later generations thought this verse depicts a looming disaster since it is not of nature to see flying snow during the sixth month. They may have misunderstood its meaning.

When the Qi and light circulates during meditation, the practitioner feels warm or hot just like in summer no matter what the season.
With the strong heat and rising steam, the neidan practitioner depending on his or her aptitude may see white snow flying.

At the third watch the sun’s disk sends out blinding rays.

The third watch signifies midnight to the Chinese. Can the sun send out blinding rays during midnight? Of course in nature, it cannot.
However at midnight or in the dark, the sun’s blinding rays can be seen during meditation.

When neidan practitioners progress further, they may reach the following stage:

In the water blows the wind of the Gentle.

The trigram Sun / The Gentle represents wind and wood. Yu Ching seems to know the Book of Changes well.
In the water (Dui) blows the wind (Sun), signifies the Qi moving water up from the kidneys.

Wandering in heaven, one eats the spirit-energy of the Receptive.

This advanced stage is a bit more complicated to explain. By now the Qi has already cleansed the lodging place for the numinous spirit. The spirit has appeared in heaven (Qian / The Creative) and energy has come up from earth (Kun / The Receptive) to meet it.
Energy and spirit then mutually penetrate each other in heaven to form spirit-energy on earth.

And the still deeper secret of the secret: The land that is nowhere, that is the true home…

Since it is the deeper secret of the secret, one will let readers and neidan practitioners figure it out for themselves where the true home is.
After you have found out where the true home is, there is still some ways to go. Otherwise the poem will not be called, "A magic spell for the far journey".

With my attempt to explain this poem written more than 2,500 years ago, regular readers may understand why one often suggests that the various signposts given by ancients or Daoist immortals in their texts and classics can still be seen by neidan practitioners of today. That is magic. But if you wish to take the explanation with a pinch of salt, by all means do so.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Beauty versus virtue

In the State of Uei, Confucius had an occasion to lament: “It is all over! I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.”
(Analects 15.12 Legge)

Beauty is pleasing to the eyes and it is human nature to admire beauty. Many a kingdom had fallen since rulers beguiled by beauty and lust neglect their kingly duties performed with virtue (de). Sages like Laozi, Confucius and Mencius had also learned from the ancients who had lived centuries before them. By their discernment and different methods of pointing out the mistakes of past rulers, and how sage kings actually rule, students can learn what is considered virtuous and what is considered proper.

A word to those who try to translate ancient Chinese thoughts and teachings; ensure that you know the reasons why the ancients had made the remarks before you attempt a translation. By belittling renowned Western translators such as James Legge and Richard Wilhelm and say that their translations were wrong, it may reflect that you really know nothing much about ancient studies and the established translations, unless you can come up with something better than what they have translated. This does not mean that we cannot attempt to translate the classical Chinese to clarify and improve upon our own understanding of ancient thoughts. Just be a bit more circumspect.

Accompanying his translation of the quote, Legge had written a brief footnote to inform about the event where it was uttered. While the note did not describe the event in its entirety, the Shiji (Records of the Historian) did:

Nan – tzu (a beauty) was the wife of Duke Ling of Uei. Confucius had been over a month in Uei when Duke Ling drove out in a carriage with his lady (Nan – tzu) escorted by the eunuch Yung Chu and with Confucius an assistant escort. In this fashion they drove openly through the streets. After Confucius made the lament, he left Uei in disgust for Tsao. Duke Ling died later that year.

Confucius’s remarks underlined similar mistakes of Zhou Xin, the last emperor of Shang and that of Emperor You, the last ruler of Western Zhou. But even those who came later (than Duke Ling) never learned – the last Chinese emperor who made a similar mistake lost the rule of the Ming dynasty over China to the Manchu. These rulers beguiled by beauty and lust had forgotten about their kingly duties to rule the people with sincerity and benevolence (virtues - de) and thus lost their right to rule as sons of Heaven.

It may be incorrect to lay the entire blame on the ravishing beauties that caused the downfall of emperors and kings. If these rulers had love virtue more than beauty than they would not had encountered the downfall depicted in the Zhouyi.

Without the necessary cultivation, man could not be a Junzi (superior man) let alone a Da Ren (great man). Being a Xiao Ren (inferior or mean man) which does not require any cultivation of virtues was perhaps the preferred way by many, since it is much easier. Who really wants to lead a disciplined life when temptations abound especially for a king? (Think of the thousands of concubines.)

If one does not love virtue more than beauty, then one cannot remain entirely blameless.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hexagram 21 Shi He – Yi’s confirmation?

First the various oracles, then a confirmation, I love the way the Zhouyi speaks to Professor Sam Crane, a fellow Yi diviner. His sincerity in studying and teaching the ancient Way may have ‘moved’ Heaven. (His I Ching divinations, interpretations, and thoughts on Confucian and Daoist doctrines can be read at his blog, ‘The Useless Tree’ – link at Recommended Sites.)

To his question, ‘Will President Bush find a compromise on Iraq that will allow him to reverse his declining political fortunes?’ the Yi answered Professor Crane with Hexagram 21 Shi He / Biting Through, unchanging.

After the Yi and the American people have spoken (with their votes on November 7), Nancy Pelosi had also spoken (in a short video taped interview made available by last week). In line with our recent discussions on President Bush’s current precarious position – his Republican Party has lost majority control of both Houses to the Democrats in the recent elections – it appears that the Yi may have given a confirmation on what would happen to the US President.

Before we proceed to interpret the prognostication, we have to keep in mind the purpose of and the personalities involved in the war in Iraq. The justification (s) for the invasion of Iraq given then was to destroy its ‘remaining’ weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to remove Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who had killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. The United Nations and the majority of countries in the world were against the invasion of a sovereign country without sufficient proof of the WMD – none was ever found since it was a slander - but nevertheless the US and Britain invaded the ‘peaceful’ country.

After a quick US led victory with superior weaponry and logistics, the Iraqi people were hardly pacified and protected. In fact the forty four months occupation of Iraq and the war may have cost more innocent lives (and still counting) than those killed by Saddam Hussein during his twenty over years rule. Does the world really need twenty years to look back at the history of this invasion? Who will speak up for humanity, and for the weak?

Let’s see what the Yi wants to say about all this.

The Judgment: Biting Through has success. It is favorable to let justice be administrated.

The Image: Thunder and lightning: The image of Biting Through. Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws through clearly defined penalties.

‘This hexagram represents an open mouth with an obstruction between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature.’ ‘Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal suit.’[W/B]

In a footnote, Richard Wilhelm added: ‘Apart from the meaning of the hexagram as a whole, the single lines are explained, as follows :the persons represented by the first and the top line suffer punishment, the others inflict it.

If we connect the lines of past oracles that the Yi gave to the professor on American leadership issues and the Iraq war including one not discussed here (Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition with moving lines – the first and the sixth – which changed it to Hexagram 40 Xie / Deliverance), there had been much talk about horses and wagons.

The mare as we know happens to represent Kun / The Receptive Earth, while the dragon represents Qian / The Creative Heaven. One attribute of trigram Kun is masses of people or humanity. Without the horse, the wagon cannot move on its own. Without a horse, a cowboy can do nothing! (Yes, my late father and I loved to watch Westerns during the fifties and sixties – especially those movies which starred Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood.)

In fact, the horse (representing the American people) had run away to the opposition (Democrats) signified by the prognostications in Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition. (This is read with hindsight. The minority party in Parliament is known as the opposition in Great Britain and the Commonwealth.)

As indicated in the latest unfolding of his annual hexagram, President Bush is without a horse (the people) and going to face ‘bloody tears’ shortly. In Hexagram Shi He, we can connect the following:

Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal suit. The persons represented by the first and the top line suffer punishment, the others – the majority - inflict it.

The Yi has spoken, the American people have spoken, and Nancy Pelosi representing the majority of Americans and in Congress has also spoken – and one paraphrased what she had said in the short interview: ’Impeachment would be an easy way out for President Bush. It will not be that easy for him!

Professor Crane got it right when he interpreted that Republican heads will roll! Other than the named Cheney and Rumsfeld; perhaps more officials’ heads especially those involved in the falsification of the WMD Report (read ‘criminals and slanderers’) to justify the Iraq war may also roll?

But Sam may be a bit soft on the US President. (One could be wrong or just pulling his legs.) According to the Yi, the Democrat leaders may have aggressive plans of action (signified by the thunder and lightning) than merely an impeachment, since the hexagram talks about a criminal suit.

Backed by the American people and the rule of law (see Image), perhaps the majority Democrats may uphold justice for the weak and for humanity. For no one, including a modern day ruler is above the laws of the land and Heaven!

With fair justice duly served on the ‘criminals and slanderers’, the obstruction (s) is thus removed and the lips meet - the main theme of this hexagram Shi He.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The top line of Hexagram 3 Chun

What had prompted Confucius to issue a dire warning 2,500 years ago on the top line of Chun: ”Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this” , we may never know.

Diviners who had previously obtained this line from the Yi may understand its true meaning or perhaps not. I recalled a forum discussion where a fellow diviner sought clarification on the same line. Upon explaining the meaning of the line to him, he told a story on the mistake he had made by following a wrong teacher and the sufferings thereafter. The Yi had given him the prognostication just before he chose to study inner alchemy under a new teacher.

Since the top line of Chun forms part of the prognostication of President Bush’s annual hexagram for 2006, and with three more months to go before the Chinese Year ends, it could be timely to explore this line in a bit more detail. We may be able to find out more about what the Yi wanted to tell us before the Democrats sit with majority control over both US House and Senate.

In the Yi’s oracle given to Professor Sam Crane, there were two line changes, the second and the sixth or top, which changed Chun to Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu / Inner Truth. According to the rules of interpretation, both changing lines need to be considered while the higher line, in this instance the sixth or top line, forms the ruler.

The Judgment of Chun says: Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, Furthering through perseverance. Nothing should be undertaken. It furthers one to appoint helpers.

The Image says: Clouds and thunder: Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion.

With a pronouncement of supreme success in the judgment, many a diviner could jump to a conclusion that Chun promises great success. It will, provided there is much perseverance since nothing should be undertaken. It is in reality a time to appoint efficient and effective helpers who can lead out of the chaotic situations depicted by the hexagram. Only when the chaos clears up, can there be supreme success. (Think of the current civil war situation in Iraq.)

A diviner who receives this hexagram from the Yi may tend to think that they are the Junzi (superior man) depicted in the image and is able to bring order out of confusion. Perhaps they should think again when they next receive this hexagram since not everyone except those with good leadership skills and the necessary experience can bring order to chaos. A Junzi is someone sincere who leads with proper conduct and justice. Remember the adage: To rule is to truly serve? (Compare the characteristics of a Junzi with that of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.)

Six in the second place means: Difficulties pile up. Horse and wagon part. He is not a robber; he wants to woo when the time comes. The maiden is chaste, she does not pledge herself. Ten years – then she pledges herself.

Difficulties have piled up. (Think of Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, Libby’s case, Corruption cases and others.) The wagon cannot move since there is no horse to pull it. (It depicts a situation of no proper leadership, teamwork and/or coordination.) Someone proffers advice and help but the help is not accepted since it looks inappropriate. (It could either be from the Yi, the Democrats or someone outside the Republican Party.)

Under the circumstances, there is no ten years to wait (Bush has to leave office by 2008). Nothing was done during the ten months from January 2006 until the US elections – there was no appointment of efficient and effective helpers (or capable leaders) to lead the nation and/or the failed projects out of chaos. Because of that, the prognostication moves up to the top line of Chun, the subject of this discussion.

Six at the top means: Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.

The accompanying commentary in Wilhelm’s translation says: The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up their struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things. Perhaps from a similar reasoning or from his previous divination experience brought forth the warning from Confucius: “Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”

When there was sufficient time to do something such as a fresh appointment of capable helpers to lead the nation out of chaos and to pacify the people (both in the US and in Iraq), as indicated by the Yi and suggested by a number of his top generals and other well meaning officials, the President ignored them. Surely in a great nation like USA, there would be a wealth of wise and capable leaders to choose from. This shows that President Bush persisted in incorrect action(s) – he still insisted till the last minute before the voting results came in that he will continue to stay the course in Iraq.

(In case Yi students misunderstand the meaning of ‘Furthering through perseverance’ in the judgment, the phrase means to persevere in a right or virtuous course of action which gladdens the hearts of the people.)

Now that the horse and wagon has parted – the team (Bush’s officials) is going or gone – the partisan control of both the House and the Senate by the Republicans has gone – he is isolated. Therefore the Difficulty in the Beginning has not been overcome. The only thing left is to wait for bloody tears to flow.

From divination experience where blood is indicated in a prognostication, it literally means blood with much pain and torment. To escape the current situation depicted by the top line, there need to be change. The best option for anyone facing this situation is to leave or move on. (Think of leaving office or leaving an incompetent teacher, which gives rise to the alternate meaning of 'Unemployment' for this hexagram.)

Then the person may escape to Inner Truth or Sincerity (Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu) in this prognostication to avoid further suffering and bloodshed. (Our fellow Yi diviner had left his teacher and on the path of recovery when he sought the meaning to the top line of Chun.)

Whether President Bush would resign his office to escape further pain and torment and bloody tears remains to be seen. But he is isolated and has lost the Way. The sad thing is that he need not have come to face this dire situation but he persisted and chose to ignore the advice of the many good and sincere (depicted in the second line) who had clamored for change. In fact there was a much earlier warning from the Yi given to Professor Sam Crane on the leadership issues of President Bush and his officials.

In September 2005, the Yi prognostications were given in Hexagram 3 Chun which changed to Hexagram 7 Shih / The Army. One had then taken the fifth line that changed to represent the US President. Yi’s warning then (as posted in the Sept 23 2005 entry) was milder:

“An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does.” And Yi’s advice to the US President, “He should then be cautious and proceed step by step. He must not try to force the consummation of a great undertaking, because success is possible only when general confidence already prevails.” [W/B]

Since September 2005, because he chose to ignore good advice and take appropriate corrective measures to win back the hearts of the people, and not force the consummation of a great undertaking such as the Iraqi war, the fifth line has moved up a notch to the top line of Chun.

The advice given by ancients to rulers of states had always been to serve the people with sincerity, benevolence and justice. Do the rulers nowadays really understand what humanity is? If they do, perhaps the Yi may not have to tell President Bush, the ruler of a great nation: ‘Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.’

What can anyone do now except wait for the finale of the unfolding of the Oracle in time and space. That would be a full manifestation of fate, the fate of the most powerful man on Earth. How can man ever win Heaven?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Yi is right yet again

In late August, one had asked the Yi about the intended investment in two public companies quoted in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. The timing was ripe to buy since the shares had fallen heavily after their rise in July and according to the Yi monthly charts, share prices will go up in October.

The Yi replied with hexagram 54 Gui Mei / The Marrying Maiden for one of them and with hexagram 51 Zhen / The Arousing [Shock / Thunder] for the other. Upon posting the entries on the prognostications together with the interpretations, one proceeded to purchase shares in both companies, overweighing on shares of the particular (Zhen) company. Since it is not known which shares would move up first and to spread risks, one also bought back some GT shares and other low liners in September and early October. As explained to my son who recently asked why I did not placed all my money in the (Zhen) company, as an investor, it will prove wiser to own a basket of shares, rather than put all the money on one particular share counter.

In the expected October rally, the price of the (Gui Mei) shares hardly moved up, while the price of the (Zhen) shares flared up and momentarily breached my set target on October 30th. The (Zhen) shares were promptly sold. Both oracles unfolded according to what the Yi had indicated. The rest of the share investments were sold last week, since one expects change (a downward move) during the month of November. The GT shares had risen by 67 % from its lows in September. Friends and relatives who had followed the timing of the purchases and sales also made good money. If they have sold all their shares too, the only things to do now is patiently wait for the expected change or go away for a long deserved holiday.

The people of USA have spoken and voted the Democrats into power in both the House (Congress) and the Senate. If President Bush of the Republican Party has taken remedial actions earlier as indicated by the Yi to Professor Sam Crane, the President would not have to face such a situation. Perhaps he chose to believe in what Pat Robertson had predicted in January, and I qoute “that 2006 is a good year for Bush and the Republicans in Congress. And (wait for it) bad for most everyone else! This according to Mr. Robertson was revealed to him in his conversation with God.”

Notwithstanding what Mr. Robertson had indicated with his ‘powerful’ message (which was backed by God), one chose to rely on what the Yi told Professor Crane about President Bush’s year in 2006.

The gist of my interpretation on Hexagram 3 Tun / Difficulty in the Beginning (the annual hexagram for President Bush) was that the President will face a difficult year and if he does not correct the perceived wrongs early, he could face unemployment in 2006. Whether the expression of a lame duck President fits the bill of unemployment, one cannot be sure since there are still three more months to go before the Chinese Year ends in February 2007. But the Yi has been correct so far on the fate of President Bush and his officials, therefore one believes the Yi oracles given to Professor Crane in the past will unfold according to my various earlier interpretations.

Meanwhile one is glad to say that the Yi is right, yet again.

Related entries:

Updates - Oct 22; Hexagram 51 Zhen - Sept 3; Hexagram 54 Gui Mei - Aug 27; ‘Do not chase after the horse’ – various entries on GT shares; ‘Will 2006 be a good or bad year for President Bush’ – Jan 6.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Yi has already spoken

In the early part of 2006 when asked, the Yi told Professor Sam Crane a few things about President Bush, D Cheney and Hillary Clinton. As indicated in previous entries, some of these things have come to past and some waiting to happen. Only time will tell. (No, we do not need twenty years to look back at history or Iraq!)

The question by Sam Crane for Hillary Clinton in February 2006 was what she should do in her political future. The answer from the Yi was Hexagram 6 Conflict which changed to Hexagram 28 Preponderance of the Great. One posted a comment at the Useless Tree blog after pondering on Yi’s answer. The comment then was as follows:

“Perhaps the Yi is simply advising her to be sincere and not be cunning. A war won by cunning will result in the outcome depicted by the top line of Hexagram 6.
She has to drop her current line of attack on the Iraqi war (Conflict), perhaps the wrong strategy.
My further advice to her is to learn more from her husband, former President Clinton about sincerity and benevolence. Clinton can be considered a lucky president who brought back prosperity to the US.”

Whether she did read the blog and followed the advice given by both Sam Crane and me, one does not know. But from the online news report over the past several months, she hardly mentioned about the war in Iraq. Perhaps she found it wise to do so. Since the many that spoke thereafter against the ongoing conflict in Iraq were castigated as siding with terrorists and their loyalty to their country questioned!

After all school children are not supposed to question their principal’s pet project even if it has fared badly and wasted much resources? That probably would happen in Asia, but having studied in England for a few years, Western students seemed much bolder than Asians. And in any democracy, surely there is some freedom of speech?

The Yi has also told Professor Crane about what could befall D Cheney if he does not do the honorable thing. Mr. Cheney has been given more time to reconsider since the Libby case will only be heard early 2007.

For President Bush, perhaps fate has a hand in it. Whoever proposed and/or selected the date for this November 7 US election would probably know nothing about the timing in Yi studies. The irony is that the selected date falls on the first line of Hexagram 2 Kun / The Receptive which says: When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off.

When signs of decay appear, we need to heed the warnings and take steps to check it vigorously otherwise the rot can bring the house down. If we try to remedy things at the last minute it will be too late to do anything worthwhile.

Coupled with Yi’s answer to Professor Sam in January on President Bush’s Annual Hexagram for 2006 which came with the warning in Hexagram 3 Chun / Difficulty in the Beginning, the President did not heed the signs of decay nor check them in time. He had ten months to. Obviously facing the dilemma of whether to withdraw or proceed as indicated in the first line of Kun, now boils down to fate.

Probably it explains the incoherent things both the US President and his Vice President were doing as indicated by this article in the Nation by David Corn titled “Do Bush and Cheney want to lose?”
[http: //

By going against the people’s wishes and not caring about the common good, perhaps they have much to lose since both appeared as if they have lost the way. And unlucky for both, the people has recourse since the US is a democracy and all the signs indicate that they are going to vote today for change.

On several occasions one had indicated that the Yi really talks to Professor Sam Crane. The Yi has spoken on Hillary Clinton, D Cheney and President Bush. The President was given much time to rectify things. Today the US people will speak their minds and tell their President what they really think of him, his cronies, policies, and past misdeeds, if any.

Good Luck Mr. Bush. You may need much more luck than this to change Fate since the Yi has already spoken.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A luck star (Fu Sing)

Some people are born lucky. These lucky ones never have to worry about the next meal or where the money will come from. Success and money seems to follow them.

Then there are those who always seemed to bring luck and opportunities to benefit other fellow human beings. These people could be luck stars (Fu Sing), if those who had benefited take their time to understand what had really happened. During the time of Chinese dynasties, there were quite a number of stories concerning larger luck stars who worked for emperors. These ministers or generals always have the ability to turn danger around and helped save their ruler(s) or country.

This chap seems to be one who creates luck for others. During the early 1950’s Emergency in Malaya, the British herded Chinese families from nearby areas into various designated New Villages. The drastic action taken was to contain the Chinese community from giving food and money to help the Malayan Communists. Food and milk were then rationed to each family in the village. However families with newborn babies get extra daily rations. This chap was born during those troubled times and his parents sometimes used the extra rations to barter for other necessities for the entire family.

When he was 10, during recess, he found a wad of money lying on the floor, picked it up and promptly handed all the notes over to the school headmaster. It was some poor kid’s money to pay for the school fees and the purchase of books at the start of a new term. At 15, whenever he dropped into his friend’s café, the quiet place seemed to fill up ever so quickly. After a while, his older friend took notice and even complained of it, because he had to overwork each time the chap walked in for a chat.

When he reached adulthood, wherever he worked, his employers’ businesses seemed to pick up with new jobs created. Whenever he regularly posts at internet forums, membership starts to increase. When his children grew up and began to notice that the empty restaurants the family walked into for food quickly became full after a short while, he told them about the phenomenon. It has happened since childhood till today.

Over the decades, he has helped his parents, relatives and friends create wealth through well timed investments and/or disposals. He had also helped turned around a failing and cash strapped group of companies through well timed deals which increased the owner’s wealth tenfold. The workforce in the hundreds instead of being made redundant if the business had failed had since tripled.

Was he born lucky? No. Is he a luck star (Fu Sing)? You decide. I am only the story teller and the story is also for free.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Songs of the Immortals

In a recent private function, one had a chance to meet and talk to an elder of a Daoist temple who has practiced neidan for several decades. Taking the opportunity to learn from the elderly man who looked healthy and had rosy cheeks, one ventured to ask whether there was anything to hearing Songs of the Immortals. Back came the reply, “Hearing such songs is an imagination. Many things seen or heard during meditation can be due to our own imagination.” When he said that, one stopped listening and nodded my head as he droned on. There was no point in listening to half truths.

While relatively healthy, one has continued to lose weight; the protruding ‘belly’ together with the rosy cheeks has disappeared a few years ago. When a client saw my whiten face, he finally found ‘reasons’ to point out that I was practising the wrong qigong meditation. Yes, perhaps both the client who has no inkling about neidan practice and the Daoist elder know more than me. Whether they were right or wrong in the private conversations, there was no cause to dispute their opinions. Their names including that of the temple and sect have been omitted to avoid embarrassment to anyone.

Of the ancients, only Buddha had made a mention of the Songs of the Immortals [Refer to the Shurangama Sutra (Leng Yen Ching)]. Perhaps Laozi left it to the younger fellows to cover this. Lu Dongbin in his Hundred Character steele, found occasion to say: “Sitting, listen to no string tone.”

A clearer meaning can be derived from the Za Yung Ching or Classic of the Directory for a Day, which some accredited to Tai Shang Lao Jun, the official name of Laozi. It said of the neidan practitioner: ‘His ears hear the songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum.’ At times, even Buddhas may find the songs joyous enough to chime in and sing.

Fellow travelers may need clarity of mind and wide learning to determine if what is seen or heard during meditation is real or imagined. Otherwise we can be led astray during meditation or by many things in life which include opinions from the so called experts. To remain blameless; one often quotes references for the earnest and the sincere, especially for those who are self taught, for their own studies and further learning.

Whether Songs of the Immortals are for real or merely a figment of our imagination is for readers to determine. If you cannot decide and seek my opinion, my answer could either be a yes or no. For how would I know?

Monday, October 30, 2006

A link to Heaven

Daoists who frequent Daoist temples to ask about things from deities or immortals are sometimes surprised that the divinities were able to read their minds or know what they have done recently or way back in the past.

How the divinities could read the thoughts and the past actions of these devotees or disciples was a subject of discussion between my Daoist friend and me a couple of weeks back. While both of us may see similar phenomena during meditation, probably just like everyone else, we have our own theories on the link to Heaven. Science does not help much either since it cannot unlock the mind and inform what is and how much data or information is stored within; and how such data and information can be read by psychics and/or divinities.

Perhaps Daoist immortal Lu Dongbin provided some information on how humans are linked to Heaven through the mind in his Secret of the Golden Flower. While one has read the following excerpt many times over the past thirteen years, one is no nearer to discern if such a link exists. Maybe it would strike a key in some one’s mind and bring out an ‘aha’ moment when they read this:

The one effective, true human nature, when it descends into the house of the Creative, divides into animus and anima. The animus is in the heavenly heart. It is of the nature of light; it is the power of lightness and purity. It is that which we receive from the great emptiness, that which is identical in form with the primordial beginning. The anima partakes of the nature of the dark. It is the energy of the heavy and the turbid; it is bound to the bodily fleshly heart. [W/B]

The highlighted paragraph informs us of many things; what happens in the fall from Tao, the duality of light and darkness, and the link to Heaven and Tao. Is it through this link where Divinities can read or reach our minds? Hopefully, someone reading this entry can tell us.

Or you may have to patiently wait …. until either my Daoist friend or me is able to climb up to Heaven to test the link. One can then post a further entry to update readers on how the wireless connection (think unlimited broadband access and internet) actually works.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

‘Thermal healing’ 2

It would not be a surprise if those who practice neidan (inner alchemy) do not know that they can assist healing using thermal heat from their palms. Even my learned Daoist friend has not heard or read about it when one first mentioned how it is done. Most neidan practitioners would know or have heard about healing with Qi; just using the natural heat from the palms is perhaps more akin to acupressure but that is not it.

As neidan practitioners progress along the Way, they will find that their daily meditation will increase their Qi and thereby improve their health. They may also find, when at rest, that the surfaces of their palms become increasingly hot, the heat can at times be as hot as a hot iron. Obviously at such times, it will not be ideal to use the hot palms to iron clothes but they can be put to better use than that. From observations made on how Buddhas heal the ill with the heated palms of the mediums and with further experimenting one has found thermal heat to be effective in providing relief and quicken the natural healing process.

In the earlier entry on ‘Thermal healing’, one had mentioned that the thermal heat can kill viruses in the throat and can quicken healing of sprains, bruises and wounds. What we will discuss in this entry is perhaps more advanced types of assisted healing using thermal heat from our palms. Unless the heat from the palms is strong, it would be difficult to assist the healing of broken bones, wounds of a diabetic and some brain disorders.

If you place your hot palms on your own thighs and your thigh bones can feel the heat then you would be ready for advanced types of healing. Another test is how many sheets of paper the heat can pass through (which also serves as a good measure of your progress in neidan meditation).

Thermal heat can only assist or quicken healing or kills some types of viruses; it cannot directly cure the ‘patient’. Those ill still have to take their prescribed medicine. Broken bones will have to be reset and held together by things.

For example, my teenage son was hit by a car and his right thigh bone broke into two. One piece had pierced out of his flesh. I took him to the nearest hospital and the surgeon operated on his thigh, straightened the bone, inserted and screwed on two steel plates to strengthen the bone. The steel plates had to be taken out within several months since they would hamper his growth. To assist the healing of the broken bone, one had applied thermal heat on the particular thigh for a few weeks. It would help if you ask the ‘patient’ whether they feel the heat in their bones when you apply this thermal heat. This feedback ensures that the heat from your palms has actually reached the bone.

My teenage son recovered faster than expected and was able to play basketball within two to three months of the operation and reluctantly I allowed him to play football after that. He is almost six feet tall now and luckily does not walk with a limp.

Wounds on a diabetic are difficult or take a long time to heal and can sometimes turn gangrenous. Speaking from experience if we apply thermal heat over the wound for a few minutes, at the most for a few sessions, the wound will heal quickly – remember the diabetic ‘patient’ still needs to have the wound regularly cleaned and to take prescribed medicine, until it is completely healed.

Brain disorders can be a bit trickier. Firstly we need to know what is really wrong with the ‘patient’ and need to look at a scanned photo of the brain to know where to apply the heat. If the disorder such as fits or seizures is caused by a widening of the frontal lobes of the brain, one can apply the heat to that place. From experience, after a regular application of the thermal heat over the frontal lobes for a short period of time, the ‘patient’ may no longer require to take prescribed medication for seizures and fits. After the treatment, the ‘patient’ had not taken any medication and did not suffer any seizures or fits over the past several years. Take note that the ‘patient’ still has to avoid certain foods.

Currently, one has just started to experiment on another brain disorder which is more serious and which the specialists say is difficult and takes a long time to cure. Something related to ADHD. The ‘patient’ is taking prescribed medicine. Off and on, one applies thermal heat to the patient's brain and it seems to work the day after the application, but one cannot be certain of it yet. Therefore it cannot be discussed until one is sure thermal heat can assist or quicken the natural healing process. If the ‘patient’ makes an earlier than expected complete cure then perhaps one will update the information.

After reading through the two entries on ‘thermal healing’, neidan practitioners who find them helpful can first practice on self. If thereafter, they can use this type of healing to help others, especially those who cannot afford to pay increasingly expensive medical bills, in their part of the world for free, it will be for the good. Hopefully high level neidan practitioners will become aware that thermal heat from their palms can assist natural healing of self and others. And if they use ‘thermal healing’ to help the poor and weak, perhaps that would form part of their cultivation.

Every neidan practitioner can reach the stage where their palms will become increasingly hot naturally (while at rest). If you are not there yet, no need to worry. Do not think of success and success will come. Continual practice of the Circulation of the Light meditation will get you there and your Qi can flow 24/7 by then.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


There are a few things that need some updates. One is the tip on timing and the other on Hexagram 51 Zhen.

In the entry on ‘A tip on timing’ [Sept 28 2006] entry, one had indicated that according to my Yi monthly charts, the time is ripe for the low liners to flare up in October. Glad to say that the prices of quite a number of low liners in KLSE had moved up by 30% to 100% over the past three weeks. Therefore if Malaysian readers have bought some of these particular low liners, they would have made some money.

In the entry on ‘Hexagram Zhen’ [Sept 03 2006] entry, one had advised people who live around earthquake prone areas to be wary, since the Zhen hexagram also meant forthcoming earthquakes. Fortunately, the recent earthquakes of a strong magnitude of 6 + did minimal damage to Hawaii and other places. There was also no tsunami.

The shock signified by Zhen is over for the particular share that one bought. After a sudden fall of almost 50%, where one bought a few fold more, its share price has now almost doubled. One is cheerfully waiting for the share price to reach the target indicated by my Yi share investment table earlier.

With no prior warnings from the Zhouyi, there would be no ‘October effect’, this year – that is the world financial markets would not plunge drastically for any reasons, for example like what had happened in 1929 and 1987.

Since one is updating on timing, it appears that what the Yi has told Professor Sam Crane early this year about President Bush has continued to unfold. 2006 is definitely not a good year for the US President. Would you not agree?

The month of November could bring in a lot of changes. Probably he has left it too late to do the things a ruler is supposed to do for the people of USA in line with the Yi oracles obtained by Professor Crane. It has been a long wait – more than a year - and still nothing substantive - for anyone sincere to do good deeds or to rectify the damage done by nature or by humans.

Perhaps President Bush and his people (ministers and advisers) know better, after all it is not easy to change fate. Or perhaps they do not really know nor believe in the Yi.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Learning from divinities

Probably many like me are self taught in reading the Zhouyi and in divining. If we have no one to teach us, then we might as well call the Yi, teacher. While there are no strings attached and complete freedom in the studies this way, proper conduct and sincerity would be required towards any teacher, be they human, the Yi and/or divinities. Just like any student who wishes to excel in any type of study, we could acquire more knowledge through further reading, holding discussions with like minded fellows and seeking out the best available teachers to have our understanding of a subject corrected. That is why there are professors, experts, and real masters for every field of study.

For a subject as profound as Yi studies, it would be nigh impossible to find an ancient, a ‘Chen Tuan’, a ‘Shao Yong’, or a ‘Zhu Xi’ nowadays to correct our understanding. Therefore if we can have readily access to consultations with divinities such as Daoist deities and immortals, and Buddhas, take every opportunity to learn from them. Learning from divinities is wealth.

For more than two decades, one is fortunate enough to have such access from time to time and various opportunities to compare notes with what divinities had predicted on the local share market, the timing of events, and the selection of auspicious dates. (No, they do not reveal major catastrophes – these are heaven’s secrets.) If asked, Daoist immortals because of their related learning and cultivation may impart some of their in-depth knowledge of the Yi. By pondering and discerning on what the divinities have said, one has improved upon one’s reading and interpretation of the Yi over the years.

Some of the comparisons, the predicted timing of events, and the knowledge passed on by divinities namely Guan Yin, Daoist immortals, Buddha and the Monkey God have been posted in the blog for sharing.

It goes without saying that divinities will be the best teachers for profound subjects like the Yi and Dao studies. They possess the knowledge, centuries of experience, clarity, and the sincerity to teach the Way of Heaven. And they are the best in predictions (unless the medium is corrupted).

If you ever have a chance to learn from such divinities, value their precious teachings which can be far and few in between.

One leaves a note taken from the ten wings for the earnest and sincere Yi aficionados and Daoists for some reflection:

The transformation of things and the fitting together of them depend upon the changes. Stimulation of them and setting them in motion depend on continuity. The spiritual and clarity depend upon the right man. Silent fulfillment, confidence that needs no words, depend upon virtuous conduct. {The Great Treatise –W/B]

The Way is easy to learn but difficult to attain, yet there have been people who went on to become Daoist immortals and Buddhas. Changes are not easy to grasp, yet there are many including Western men and women whom the Yi speaks to or has spoken to. Heaven is not benevolent (Bu Ren) but is on the side of the good. Go figure.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dance in ecstasy

The immortals sing
The body shivers
Then a jiggle
Kidneys do the rock

Fire in the belly
Water fizzles
The light shimmers
Then brightens

Twists and turns
The lotus shifts
Light circulates
The entire body shakes

Sway and twist
The body shuffles
The neck swings
And the head shakes

Qi emerge to emptiness
Movements of non being
Rests with the five elements
For a breath intake

White light turns to gold
Body of jade
Rising to Heaven
The way to roll

All this while
Empty and still
Like mediums in trance
Practise the dance in ecstasy

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Qian / The Creative

Of the 64 hexagrams, the most commonly quoted by the Chinese are Qian and Kun, since these two hexagrams pervade many important things in Chinese culture such as the meaning of heaven and earth, light and dark, creative and receptive, yang and yin, firm and yielding, dragon and mare, father and mother. These two hexagrams also feature in Chinese martial arts and neidan practice for the advanced practitioners. Because of their importance, much has been written by the ancients and the wise on these two hexagrams. This may explain why the ancients placed Qian, as the first hexagram of the Zhouyi with Kun, second, since they represent Heaven and Earth respectively.

Qian represents the fourth month (May-June) of the Chinese calendar, the beginning of summer. Qian comprise of six light (or unbroken) lines and each line can be taken to represent a dragon that mounts up to heaven.

If we follow the Xiantian (Earlier Heaven) diagram devised by Chen Tuan, Qian would be on the top of the head (Ru Ding) with Kun at the bottom of the body. Qian / Heaven would be the location where the embryo emerges into emptiness. It is also the place where the hair stands on end during meditation. Initially neidan practitioners will sense the Qi moving across this part of the head. At a later stage, they may see a brighter light when the Qi and the light pass through this point, although 'there is no longer, a head or tail’.

The Judgment in Hexagram 1 Qian says: The Creative works sublime success, furthering through perseverance. And the Image says: The movement of heaven is full of power. Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring.

At this peak, the Junzi, Neidan adept, or Kung Fu master would have made himself or herself strong and untiring, furthering through perseverance. No one can see this since success is sublime.

No different from what Lu Dongbin has said – ‘This marvelous magic cannot be fathomed. But when the practice has started, one must press on from the obvious to the profound, from the coarse to the fine. The beginning and the end of the practice must be one.’ And similar to what Ziyang Jen Ren said – ‘If one cultivates one’s action while mingling with the world and is still in harmony with the light, then the round is round and the angular has angles; then he lives among men, mysterious yet visible, different and yet the same, none can compass it; then no one notices our secret actions.’ [Secret of the Golden Flower – W/B]

Can we really see what Heaven and the celestial beings do? Nothing seems to be done yet everything gets done. That is Qian / The Creative which works sublime success.

From the return of the first light line in Fu / Return, the light has continued pushing out each dark line, replacing them and has now reach heaven. Finally with the six light lines in place, the waxing of the moon is at its peak (full moon) and will soon start to wane. Qian will change to Gou shortly. Such change is only natural and expected.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Employ the upright

Fan Chih asked about benevolence. The Master said, ‘It is to love all men.’ He asked about knowledge. The Master said, ‘It is to know all men.’

Fan Chih did not immediately understand these answers.

The Master said, ‘Employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; - in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.’ [Analects -12. 22]

If rulers follow ancients like Shun and Tang, perhaps they may be lucky to employ a Kao-yao or I Yin and on which all who were devoid of virtue disappeared.

But nowadays we often read the news and find the reverse happening. Upright ministers leave because of honor; while the crooked remain until they are dragged out into the light and shamed.

One ventures to say that there is not much difference between these crooked and the Chinese eunuchs of the Middle Ages. Both cling to power in whatever means possible. They never really care for the people or the country, their comforts and desires always come first. With his confidence, they can easily hide behind the protection of the ruler of the land. But no matter how powerful they are, can they really ‘hide heaven with one hand’?

If rulers love their people, it is time to employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; perhaps then, the crooked will be made to be upright. If upright persons - rather than the corrupt - governed the country, is it not good for the people? However if the ruler is corrupt or loves to surround himself with the crooked then nothing can be said.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Right thoughts, right actions

In Chapter One of the Dhammapada, it is said:

All that we are, is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
[F. Max Müller –]

Therefore right thoughts lead to right actions.

Perhaps in line with what Buddha said in the Dhammapada and through his own intensive Daoist neidan practice, Liu I Ming, a real Daoist Confucian and Buddhist master, came to this clear understanding that:

Truthfulness (or Sincerity - Zheng) has the meaning of true belief. Truly believe in kindness (Ren), and you can be kind. Truly believe in justice (Yi), and you can be just. Truly believe in courtesy (Li), and you can be courteous. Truly believe in wisdom (Zhi), and you can be wise. Truthfulness alone can be kindness, justice, courtesy, and wisdom, all according to the changes that take place in the mind.
[I Ching Mandalas – Thomas Cleary]

Since right thoughts lead to right actions, no wonder, the ancients namely Laozi, Confucius and Buddha placed much importance on the original virtue - truth or sincerity (Zheng) - in their respective texts or books.

The five virtues transcend religions and everyone can possess of them, if only they care to find and/or cultivate them again as part of their learning and cultivation of life.

If only some world leaders (rulers) of today have cultivated, they could have possessed the right thoughts and therefore taken the right actions, instead of prompting needless strife thereby increasing human sufferings. If only they truly believe a peaceful world is good for their own people and mankind. Then these leaders may not have to continue to live their lives in pain?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Why Laozi called it, Tao

Probably many Daoist students still argue as of today about why Laozi has named the One with no name, Tao. Since Laozi had also mentioned in his Tao Te Ching that there is Tao of old, it may hold water if one makes the following suppositions.

In a few of my previous entries, one had assumed that the ancient sages including Laozi and Confucius have learned from the ancients before them, legends like FuXi, Yandi (Shen Nong) and Huangdi (Yellow Emperor).

When both Laozi and Confucius mentioned in passing the fall and taught the people how to return to Tao, they may have learned this from the ancients. Of the Classics of antiquity, perhaps both have learned it from the Zhou Book of Changes – the Zhouyi - said to have existed since the times of King Wen (c 1100 BC).

If the received text has not been adulterated, and remains the same as the original Zhouyi, we will find that the name, Tao, has been mentioned on two occasions - in the first line of Hexagram 9 Xiao Chu / The Taming Power of the Small and in the Judgment of Hexagram 24 Fu / Return.

The first line in Xiao Chu simply says: Return to the way. How could there be blame in this? Good fortune.

While the Judgment in 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.

If you have not spotted the similarity of advice on both the line in Xiao Chu and the judgment in Fu, the Yi advise the Return to Tao (the Way). (In case you do not know why Daoists, Confucian and Buddhist cultivate, if there is no fall from Tao, why is there a need of a return? To return to Tao, we need to cultivate.)

On the assumption that the learned scholars during the Spring and Autumn era (c 500 B C) have access to the Zhouyi and other ancient classics, and with their intense investigations and pondering, perhaps both Laozi and Confucius understood Tao more than the others. Laozi went on to write down his thoughts on Tao and Te in the TTC, while Confucius taught his students the Middle Path. Both sages pointed to the Center for people to return to Tao.

If the suppositions are correct, then Laozi must have been influenced by what was written in the Zhouyi (similar to the many wise and learned down the ages) and therefore his reason to call the nameless One, Tao - just like what the ancients before him did.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A tip on timing

While it differs from year to year, the Zhouyi yearly chart at times remain almost unchanged. If you do not already know how to, it is difficult to explain how to draw up a yearly chart using intuition and awareness. It also takes much time and effort because of the deep pondering required. However if a good friend or a close relative wants to select a fortunate date for doing something special and of importance like marriage or celebrating a birthday, one can still oblige by looking up the charts.

For this year, 2006, one has relied on a yearly chart done years ago and it still works for my investment in shares in Malaysia. That probably explains why one could with certain accuracy predict when the local share market will rise and fall and by what percentage over the past several months. After the recent low liners predicted fall of 50% to 60% between mid July and mid September, it is time for these particular shares to go up again. The million dollar question is when?

Except for the contrarians, not many investors like to buy when share prices are falling and most like to chase when share prices rise. But readers are aware one follows the Yi. And for share investments, one also monitors the timing shown in the drawn up Yi monthly charts for the year.

The charts show that the low liners would flare up in the KLSE next week. To make some money, it may be the right time to buy some shares this week, rather than chase after them at higher prices next week. How much and what shares to buy, if any, will be up to any Malaysian reading this entry. It could be wise to set target prices for buying and selling. And not wait too long for higher profits. Low liners tend to rise and fall quickly. It largely depends on the timing, the volume, value and velocity of trade.

For Yi aficionados, this is one way to read and know about timing. And over the years, the Zhouyi yearly charts had tied in with the fortunate and unlucky dates given or indicated by Daoist deities for special occasions. Therefore if a Yi yearly chart drawn is accurate, it can be relied upon.