Saturday, May 16, 2009

Advices of a Shi (neidan master)

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.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Don't feed the trolls! :)
But seriously, for a beginner in these things, where's a nice place to start?

Anonymous said...

You mean'the biggest "problem" of you chinese'?
I am a blue-blood chinese, and I think you are right. The biggest problem with chinese thinking is talk cock and bullshit mysteriously anything they think that they are wise. Chinese will never invent computer with their writing way, if the western never invent it. They still look backward '1000 years ago' proudly, with their 'i-knew-it,you-dont,i-wiser-you-stupid-attitude'. As a chinese..I am truly ashame and sorry for my chinese generation.

En Medio de la Tierra said...

not a coincidence, of course

kind regards Allan

ngchuanling said...

With due respect,
Take no offence,
But the ill of the Chinese "master"
is "ARROGANT", You see, by the way they talk, write and answering others question...a tinge of arrogant tone "I-know-but-i-wont-tell-you" attitude!
What a pity..
The late Bruce Lee had lament about this 'Arrogant Chinese Syndrome Philosophy' but alas...Chinese mind had not evolve since 5000years ago..even the today bloggers seem arrogant and "mystery" and blast others with "I-KNEW-BETTER,YOU,STUDENT-KOWTOW-TO-ME",I-AM-SIFU-YOU-Stupid""while trying hard to be "humble" in their writing like "they-knew-much,i-dont" and "who-am-I-to-tell"
very sad, indeed.

毓涵 said...

its because its so great that some people cannot see it with their narrow minds. technology was not pursued because they know better than the westerners. technology and freedom, is what kills the world now. to say these words are useless is bias. science can only prove less than 1% of what the ancients already know thousand years ago.

Allan said...

Thank you for your quick comments and/or rants.

This blog is written for earnest and sincere students of Tao and/or the Zhouyi, those who wish to ponder and study with a view to improve or cultivate themselves.

Students can spend years enjoying the available online books or websites relating to the three doctrines collated under Resources (on the top right hand corner of the home page). They can also spend time reading what is made available on the Recommended Sites.

Just being born a Chinese says nothing much – there are already 1.2 billion in China. One among a billion is really nothing. What we have learned and cultivate can be important for our own character building.

Mencius exhorted rulers to first enrich the people and then to educate them. Yet some Chinese want to forget about their own roots and prefer to study Western and other civilizations instead.

Just because you are a Chinese, does not mean you are familiar with Chinese culture and civilization. That’s why a number of the rich in China currently sent their children to Confucian schools to study that doctrine.

Of course, the West could be right about the Chinese being stupid. Since China will keep on lending literally tons of money to these possibly or soon-to-be bankrupt nations. So are the borrowers or the lender stupid?

Yes, there are many Bruce Lees, Warren Buffets, and Bill Gates around in the world to troll for the secrets of their astounding skills or successes. Why camp here and expect to be fed by what some consider an ignorant and arrogant Chinese peasant.

If trolls feel real upset by my not feeding them, they can always lament and complain loudly to heaven of their god-given rights to be fed and ask for a full refund of their ‘paid subscriptions’ to read this blog! No point lurking under the bed or speak behind my back or cower in anonymity and try to influence or rile others.

If I have remonstrated with my parents, and with learned and good friends, do you really think I dare not scold others or the deviants, especially those who intentionally mislead or have misled earnest and sincere students of the three doctrines? You must be joking.

ngchuanling said...

With due respect,
you say;
"science can only prove less than 1% of what the ancients already know thousand years ago."
Hmmmm...If the scientist and technologist of west not exist and the world depend on 'science of china and chinese technology'[lol], I wonder you will riding mules and learning about dogs eating the sun and moon during eclipse and dragon shaking the land during quakes[lol]. Look at china their billion people life improve...with their ancient science[?]...the shallow mind loves to cheat themselves...self-deception...looks like someone ears billowing smoke...hey, life short & funny, take it easy!

毓涵 said...

read buddhist classics and sutra. you will understand what i mean.

with all due respect, head is low and smiling, ears are nit billowing smoke. true, life is short, the butterfly told me ;-)