Having spent much quality time with the Wu and Yi aficionados recently, probably readers do not mind if one writes something of importance for the Shi (ancient or neidan masters). It can relate to Yi diviners too, if they catch the drift, but many may not since they are not really into Tao and the Zhouyi, yet. Given time perhaps one day they will get it, if they ponder deep enough over what one have said over the course of these few years.
But what Allan has said may not be as valuable or important as what the ancient or neidan masters indicated. Therefore one often point to the renowned teachers or masters of old, be they sages, Zhen Ren or reputable neidan masters. Take the case of this example.
Many may have heard of Zhang Sanfeng, of his founding of Taijiquan (a slow moving and now a well known form of Chinese martial arts), of his longevity (a centenarian), of his renown in the martial arts world, but few would know that he was also a neidan master.
In case, some do not know, he had derived his Taijiquan patterns and moves from the Zhouyi which depict his in-depth knowledge of this ancient classic.
Last week, while scouring the net, one found his commentary on the Hundred Character Stele written by Lu Dongbin. Thanks to Akrishi who kindly translated Zhang Sanfeng’s commentary and made it available on the web, neidan practitioners may understand more on the Circulation of the Light meditation (refer to the Secret of the Golden Flower) and the various signposts of the Way.
I particularly like the advices given by this renowned master of old on the last four verses which confirm and strengthen my resolve on doing the right things. Perhaps he explained it better as to what causes cultivators of Tao to have foresight and spiritual clarity (or awareness). And why certain secrets of Tao and/or heaven cannot be revealed except to the right persons. Never feed the trolls!
Before I append the last four verses (in bold) of the Hundred Character Stele (according to my own translation) and Zhang’s commentary, a word of caution is necessary.
Sometimes you may not experience the same as what is explicitly indicated in certain Daoist texts. It is an attempt by the renowned masters to throw the wrong persons – the bad guys as this venerable old master called them – off track. Since time immemorial there have always been bad guys around!
Please do not ask me which signposts are correct, I cannot tell you since how would I know.
Without further ado, let us read what the renowned neidan master has to say:
Sitting, listen to no string tune (songs of immortals)
Understand clearly Mother Nature’s secrets
“Practice up to here, the ears hear voice of celestial music, also rhythms of bells and drums. The five pranas pilgrim to the primordium, and the three golden flowers assemble at the top of the head.
Like when evening crows come perching, the mind broadens. Spiritual wisdom is borne by itself, and understand thoroughly the classical texts of the three religions.
Silently realize the root of our previous lives, and foreknow future fortune and fault. Mountains and rivers on earth are as if in our hands; Eyes see thousand miles - the six magical powers already gained, these are real having.
My practice is really up to here. If there are false words that mislead later disciples, I will surely be reproached by Heaven. If people found it not working, I will be guilty and meet with heavenly condemnation. Not meeting a master, it is difficult to know this.”
All this come in twenty verses
Final aim, climb up Heaven’s ladder.
"From nourishing prana by giving up speech up to here, these twenty lines, without any sham, are all real knacks and practice from the Patriarch Lu, and is the ladder for cultivating ascension to heaven.
He who gains and realizes this knack and my commentary, should hasten to do it.
Don't recklessly reveal it, and don't show it to bad guys, to avoid punishment from heaven. Highly value and pursue it, then overcome and ascend heavenly palace."
Zhang Sanfeng’s commentary on the ‘Hundred Characters Stele’ of Lu Dongbin and translated by Akrishi.