The Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing / the Yi) can be considered the oldest ancient classic of China. Most sage kings, ancient sages, the wise and the learned down the few thousand years of its history have read and studied this classic. This classic can also be considered as profound as Tao. Therefore not many down the ages can really comprehend much of what is written in it.
Some called it a Book of Wisdom while others called it a Book of Oracles. They are equally correct since the ancient classic can be used for both purposes, and more. If we look into Chinese history, how much more one can get out of the ancient classic depends on the particular student or master.
Both the Daoists and the Confucians have learned much from it as did Laozi and Confucius. Compared to the two ancient sages, the Zhen Ren (realized persons) were more specific in their written texts by referring to various hexagrams or trigrams for proper neidan (inner alchemy) practice. Yet the ignorant and those Chinese illiterate in classical Chinese (and therefore could not read the Yi) chose to practise waidan (outer alchemy) or dissed the Book of Changes as superstition.
Many of those so-called masters who came out from China or who had studied there for awhile and who are not versed with the Yi have been teaching in the US, ‘neidan’ or various forms of qigong exercises with promises of ‘enlightenment’. If Tao or enlightenment is so easily attained, heaven would be by now filled with Daoist celestial immortals and Buddhas. Yet do you know of any human immortals – the first stage of immortality according to Zhong Liquan?
In case you are learning or practising meditation whether self taught or taught by those so-called masters, whether simple or advance, whether Daoist, Buddhist, or Hindu, take heed of what I have mentioned in past entries about fast heartbeats during meditation. If your heart beats very fast, you should stop the meditation immediately, since the method or pose used could be incorrect. Or you could be ill.
If you doubt this warning, take a look at what the ancient Book of Changes by way of Hexagram Gen has to say about it:
Nine in the third place means:
Keeping his hips still.
Making his sacrum stiff.
Dangerous. The heart suffocates.
This refers to enforced quiet. The restless heart is to be subdued by forcible means. But fire when it is smothered changes into acrid smoke that suffocates as it spreads.
Therefore, in exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results. [W/B]