Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quieten your mind

Those who meditate often find that arising thoughts tend to disrupt their every effort to quickly reach a tranquil and quiet state of mind for meditation. The more they try to stop them, the more, thoughts will arise.

To quieten the mind, so to speak, is a basic and fundamental requisite for a fruitful meditation no matter what level we are at, or try to achieve.

Therefore let us turn to a real master of neidan, Lu Dongbin, a renowned Quanzhen celestial immortal, no less for the relevant advice on how to quieten the mind:

“Only one must not stay sitting rigidly if worldly thoughts come up, but one must examine where the thought is, where it began, and where it fades out.

Nothing is gained by pushing reflection further. One must be content to see where the thought arose, and not seek beyond the point of origin; for to find the heart (consciousness, to get behind consciousness with consciousness), that cannot be done.

Together we want to bring the states of the heart to rest, that is true contemplation. What contradicts it is false contemplation. That leads to no goal.

When the flight of thoughts keeps extending further, one should stop and begin contemplating."

[The Secret of the Golden Flower translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A warm welcome to all readers

Over the past ten years, like many readers I have seen several changes happening on the World Wide Web.

Daoist and I Ching Forums come and go. Websites that used to advertise and sell Daoist or neidan meditations or secrets at USD 30 a pop have probably disappeared. It seems that people who like these topics are becoming wiser and more discerning. It is all for the good.

The reason the blog is titled, ‘A touch of ancients, buddhas, immortals, and the zhouyi’ is because of my limited knowledge and experience. But knowledge and experiences increases as the years past by if we continue to be earnest and sincere in our studies and practice. In that way we gain new insights and wisdom, so to speak.

New readers may ask why do I include buddhas and immortals in the title when most entries deal with the teachings of the ancients and the Zhouyi?

Regular readers over the past five and the half years may know why.

The earlier entries deal with my (again limited) experiences with buddhas, Daoist immortals and deities. Some of my knowledge on Yi divination and on neidan comes, directly or indirectly, from these divinities.

Furthermore, these once wise and learned humans became buddhas and immortals through their diligent study and sincere practice of ancient teachings which (may or may not) include the Zhouyi. From my experience, Buddhas know about the Yi, and Quanzhen celestial immortals know the Yi very well.

With the above explanations, hopefully you understand why buddhas and immortals are included in the title.

The way, the blog entries are written with the many hints and references given is for readers to explore them further, and extend their studies and practices of Tao and/or the Yi, thus hopefully gaining insights through their own experiences.

Even with a real master (including celestial immortals), students have to do that, otherwise how could they ever be learned and wise? If you doubt my words, ask those who learn from real masters of Tao and/or the Yi.

Therefore, even with the many hints and references given, you have to do the proverbial ‘learn how to fish’ by yourself, otherwise you may eventually ‘starve to death’ and dropout of your studies halfway. We do not really want that, do we?


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Remember this well

When people spend ten years or more of their lives studying and practising an art form, for example, martial arts, yoga and/or qigong exercises, they consider themselves masters of that art.

In comparison people who have spent decades in the study and cultivation of Tao and/or reading the Book of Changes still consider themselves, students. Why?

For the subjects of Tao and the Yi are vast and profound.

Grasping a meaning or two from the Confucian books and the ancient classics whether Confucian, Daoist, or Buddhist, does not mean we know much about Tao and the Yi.

We are often humbled by the new meanings that spring up from these books and classics upon further readings even after decades of studies and practice. Such is the case probably with Confucius, one of the ancient sages, who have had read the Yi.

Until we attain spiritual clarity through neidan (inner alchemy), there are still many hidden secrets or truths in these ancient books and classics waiting to be revealed to the right person(s) or the Junzi. (A note to translators of Daoist classics or texts, wisdom or zhi in pinyin is not spiritual clarity. Do not mix up the two different meanings.)

In the ‘Simple notes on Hexagram Fu / Return’ on May 1, 2006, I have written something for neidan practitioners and Yi aficionados.

It matters not if readers understand the significance of the hint or not, but it pays for neidan practitioners who have already progressed to see the various signposts of the Way as indicated in the ancient classics, sutras, and Daoist texts (of Zhong LiQuan, Lu Dongbin and Zhang Boduan in particular) to remember this well:

“Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. On the seventh day comes return."
This is the course of heaven.
[Commentary on the Decision of Hexagram Fu - W/B]

Guess what? I would not be the one to reveal the secret or truth.

All I wish to add for Yi aficionados and neidan practitioners is that the hidden secret or truth could be related to the bottom and the top line(s) of hexagram Fu. But how would I know?