The ‘Hui Ming Ching’ (The Book of Consciousness and Life) was written by Liu Huayang, a monk, in 1794. The text combines Buddhist and Daoist directions for meditation. It comprises of eight paragraphs of verses with explanations and drawings on how to attain Immortality or Buddhahood. The directions given therein are more precise than that made available in the Secret of the Golden Flower. Both texts have been translated and made available together by Wilhelm/Baynes with a commentary by Carl Jung. (Wilhelm had highlighted in the translation that his obtained copy of the Secret of the Golden Flower is incomplete.)
By combining both translated texts in the same book, Wilhelm knew it would help readers and those interested in alchemy (neidan) to compare the respective directions given by Immortal Lu and Liu. While both texts may not contain the entire process of neidan practice, it did help this blogger clarify many things.
Neidan practice is too wide and deep a subject for any text to cover its entirety. Earnest neidan practitioners have to diligently compare notes from several Daoist texts, Buddhist sutras, Confucian books and Chinese Classics, to understand the principles and progress in their dual cultivation. If your neidan master tells you otherwise, it is time to move on.
Let us explore the first paragraph of verses in the Hui Ming Ching titled: Cessation of Out flowing
If thou wouldst complete the diamond body with no out flowing,
Diligently heat the roots of consciousness and life.
Kindle light in the blessed country ever close at hand,
And there hidden, let thy true self always dwell.
‘If you want to complete the ‘immortal’ body, there should be no out flowing.’
Liu Huayang indicated that the note on cessation of out flowing came from the Lengyen Ching (Shurangama Sutra). Compare the first verse to the sexual practices advocated in deviant texts and the sexual meditation courses taught by self professed neidan masters.
‘Diligently heat the roots of consciousness and life.’
This verse depicts the dual cultivation required, the cultivation of heavenly essence (Hsing) and bodily life (Ming). Heat arises from breath control (backward flow) meditation.
‘Kindle light in the blessed country ever close at hand.’
The ancient classics, Daoist texts and Buddhist sutras all indicate the light and at times, where it can be seen.
‘And there hidden, let thy true self always dwell.’
Let your spirit dwell in the blessed country within. This verse is similar to that indicated in the Neiyeh, and in Xin Zhai by Zhuangzi on the practice of the ancients.