Friday, February 22, 2008

Of students and masters (6)

With some time to spare during the festive season, I had gone to register myself in a Daoist forum to clarify some points on neidan practices to fellow members (8,000 plus) and to scold a particular group of unscrupulous people seemingly out to ‘lift’ Western students out of large sums of fees for teaching basic neidan meditation in China. Their main attraction was to use an Icon – a very high level neidan adept from Quanzhen in China. Now that is not on. While my Quanzhen friend indicated that I am wasting my time in the forum, he also helped me clarify to members there that Quanzhen do not charge their students for neidan lessons. However, Quanzhen only teach higher levels to students deemed virtuous.

Then there is a youthful Buddhist who appears to be knowledgeable about dual cultivation. From the West he had traveled and lived in China for a few years to learn more. However he had learned his Buddhist practice in the West from a Chinese Buddhist abbot who had migrated to the US, years ago. This abbot had indicated in a commentary to a Sutra translation that the Book of Changes is based on superstition or similar words to that effect. When the young Buddhist mentioned in a post on inner alchemy that he does not want anything to do with “Change” and yin yang, here was my rant:

“Only the ignorant or the very arrogant think that they know more than the great sages - Laozi, Confucius and Buddha - in their respective teachings of yin yang, the dark and the light, forms and formlessness, all of which constitute natural changes.

If change can be so easily understood or seen, the holy sages need not write down its patterns and images in the Book of Changes (Yijing, the Yi) for posterity. Neither would the great Chinese sages, the wise and the learned, need to devote much time in studying this ancient Chinese classic, if it was not other than profound.

Over the past few millennia, the sages, the wise, the Zhen Ren, the Neo Daoists and the Neo Confucians had diligently studied this foremost ancient classic in China. Yet, specious masters especially those who come out from China, chose to denigrate the Yijing, declaring it was meant for the superstitious.

Perhaps these masters thinking that they are somewhat enlightened, assumed that they understand the Tao Te Ching and the Yijing? Perhaps they also like to infer that the Daoist immortals and the Zhen Ren, who passed down their texts on neidan with references to various Hexagrams (like Kan and Li, Qian and Kun) in the Yi, were equally superstitious?

If only these arrogant masters and their students had properly investigated, probably they could trace links between neidan and the TTC right up to the Yi?

Not only have they misled students in the West for decades, they could also deprive their students from studying a real book of wisdom dealing with changes. And such natural changes can be seen during correct neidan (inner alchemy) meditation.

What a waste of talent. Do not get me wrong, I am not blaming their students. But like what you had correctly indicated, why not properly cultivate the cardinal virtue, wisdom?”

Ha, so much for wasting your reading time!

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