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.