Monday, June 25, 2007

A good song for neidan study

Zhong LiQuan, one of the well known eight immortals and the teacher of Lu Dongbin, had written two songs on neidan for posterity. One of his songs, the Song of Dispelling Illusion and Rectifying Dao has recently been translated into English and made available to the public at this website: Http://

In the song, Zhong LiQuan addressed the process of neidan practice, the eight trigrams, phases of the moon, the sights seen and sounds heard during meditation, the embryo, the washing and bathing, various other important things and locations that a practitioner may need to know in order to succeed in neidan practice.

Another important area which he covered is that of ‘aside doors’ – the bypaths or byways (TTC 53.2) – which he deemed to be incorrect and/or deviant practices by many.

Earnest neidan students and neidan practitioners may find something useful in the song which they could have missed in their studies. Therefore the song is worthwhile to investigate. Practitioners must remember to verify the accuracy of the song or the translation by Silfong Tsun if they want to put the teachings into practice.

Those who are learning neidan in the web or from CDs may find that some of the claims put forth by the so called neidan masters are considered incorrect practice by Zhong LiQuan.

For example, some people eat only pine nuts or special foods. Some meditate on their dantien(s) while practising breathing skills and later found that they cannot succeed in mastering the truth of Embryo-Immortals. Some people shrink their glans penis or massage their breasts, which he considered unorthodox and inferior techniques. Day and night, some people devotedly practice their techniques at the times of Ji (11 pm to 1 am) and Ng (11am to 1 pm), which he questioned if heaven and earth have bad times.

Of the various songs and poems written on neidan, this Song of Dispelling Illusion and Rectifying Dao appear comprehensive. And I particularly like this section:

This teaching is imparted from ancestors to ancestors,
-- in such a way it comes to the present day;
The single principle of it can transform and fit all the principles of the great earth;
The instructions of Divine Immortals will never be false.

Zhong LiQuan, a heavenly immortal, is also known as the second Northern Patriarch of Quanzhen.

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