Friday, February 01, 2013

An update of my profile and things

It has been almost eight years since my blogging started and this is the 600th article, and having reached a milestone of sorts, it is time to update my profile and things.

What was stated in the first article dated March 26, 2005 on Heaven and Earth remain my ambition to make seemingly profound things (including phenomena) easy and simple for others to understand and to follow.

If making complicated things easy and simple to understand and to follow has worked in my professional undertakings for over three decades, it could also work in the study of the profound Tao and the Book of Changes. Though it may take longer to do so, not because of insufficient knowledge but because many minds have for too long come under the undue influence of ignorant scholars / translators, fake Tao and Yijing ‘masters’, I would still try.

Readers having the caliber would comprehend the simplicity of my second article dated March 27, 2005 on ‘What do the ancients teach?’ which is reproduced below for your easy reference:

After spending much time on the Ancients’ thoughts, my simple understanding is that the great masters (Laozi, Confucius, Buddha and others) all teach a way to cultivate and return to the Tao. The neo Taoists (including immortals), neo Confucians and neo Buddhists (including Bodhidharma) named this method as the cultivation of both essence and bodily life.

To return to the Tao one therefore has to meditate (essence) and cultivate virtues (bodily life) forming the main part of one’s cultivation.

Lest you forget about the ancient Book of Changes (I Ching or Zhouyi), there are references to the trigrams and hexagrams in inner alchemy texts so it is advisable to study the Zhouyi too. If you do divination it can heighten your spiritual awareness. And if the Zhouyi truly speaks to you, wow!

Writing here may spark intensity to analyze and research the Ancients’ thoughts in a different perspective from what you and I have delved in so far. Learning shall not cease.

Sometimes the truth is in front of you, inside you, or out there.

And most of the six hundred articles in the blog deal specifically with ancient teachings therefore if readers have any questions on these things, they could probably find an answer from one of these articles.

There are many a time when I pulled the legs of readers by quoting Zhuangzi’ ‘How would I know (that)?’ to cast doubts on my real knowledge especially on neidan (inner alchemy) and/or Tao. While the more discerning among the readers would know if I really knew the topic well or not, others would have to do further research instead of relying on my words to understand what were actually discussed.

Instead of remaining a hidden dragon, and pretending not to know – it is much easier than pretending to be a know-it-all - and to substantiate that what is contained in the Secret of the Golden Flower and the Hui Ming Ching as translated by Richard Wilhelm / Baynes is appropriate for learning the backward flow method for the Circulation of the Light, no matter what pedant scholars or other translators say, my up-to-date profile would now read as:

Allan Lian, a Malaysian Chinese, started to read the four Confucian books and five Classics at age 19. The Zhouyi has since 1990 bestowed upon him global omens. In 2003 he published on the Web the first of several global omens before their actual unfolding. Their accuracy has probably caught USA’s attention evidenced by her 2010 preparations to protect Americans.

Self-taught, he cultivates his nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) and practises the backward flow method for the Circulation of the Light. He has shared insights since 1993 with a Quanzhen Longmen VIP. While Allan may have witnessed several eternal Tao signposts and has the spiritual clarity to probably penetrate ancient classics and the Changes, he is still learning. The blog title depicts his finite knowledge.

My self-studying of the ancient four books and five classics have started at the late age of nineteen compared to the renowned Neo Daoists and Neo Confucians who probably have had studied the same received texts from childhood right up to their youth. Except that, I am probably a bit more fortunate than most since the Book of Changes has given me many omens including global ones over the decades.

By studying and cultivating what has been taught by the ancients, and at the mature age of forty, I decided to self practise the ancient meditation taught in the Secret of the Golden Flower by Lu Dongbin (the Daoist text translated by Wilhelm / Baynes). Having attained some success in it, I started to share the insights with my learned Quanzhen friend - an elder who is taught directly by his ancestor master, a Daoist celestial immortal - and have continued to do so over two decades. Over the years, because of his cultivation, dedication, and sacrifices, my friend has been promoted to be a leader in Quanzhen Longmen Pai.

However a word of caution: students should not jump in to learn the backward flow method either from this Daoist text or from real neidan masters in China unless they are already cultivating virtues – also refer to the articles on ‘Right persons for Tao’ and on ‘Of students and masters (12)’. There is actually no need to rush since the eternal signposts of Tao of which some have been blogged over the years will always be there for the right persons. Since the truth is in front of you, inside you, or out there.

Over the years, friends and readers have requested to study under me but since I still have lots to learn and my blogging can benefit more people in the world, I do not take in students. Their questions on neidan, Tao and the Book of Changes would probably be answered by one of the six hundred articles or in future articles, if at all. Please take note of that.

With the explanations in this 600th article, perhaps readers now understand why I seemed to know a touch more on the Book of Changes, neidan, Heaven, and Tao than many. And can be highly critical of those who intend to mislead students in the study and in the practice of these profound subjects.

According to the Book of Changes, a generation has since passed therefore it is time for this dragon to reappear to the multitude once again!

And to follow the guidance of our venerable teacher accordingly is a way for Yijing aficionados to master fate and to change destiny!


pantherpanther said...

I have read many of the 600 contributions. Your blog has been a fine resource for study, and I include your translations. I have been a learner of authentic work for over 50 years, although ours has not been focused on any exclusive traditional teachings. I have worked at times with teachers from traditional teachings, including one, Westerner, who was one of only two pupils - the other a Chinese - chosen to receive the teaching of a Taoist Lineage Master. The Chinese master in fact formally adopted him as a son.

Allan said...

Hi pantherpanther!

I think we have spoken once before. Thank you for the compliments.

Affinity (Yan Fen) plays an important part in our learning of something deep and/or profound from real masters including divinities. The particular Western teacher has that affinity with his master in China.

What is of interest is your work with teachers from traditional teachings. Perhaps you can elaborate a bit more on it here or in private?



pantherpanther said...

Thank you for your response.My study of the ancients you write of has been of life-long interest. I have a professional academic background in ancient and modern Near Eastern languages; also, Sanskrit and related languages;plus, field experience in archaeological digs. This experience has helped in editing and translating classics, such as the Life of Milarepa with a Tibetan lama , although I lacked knowledge of the language, as I do with Chinese. The history of my personal search and work with authentic teachings and teachers I think is not relevant to or appropriate to discuss on your blog. A Westerner like myself,wrote "Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies." - Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900 – 1980 ). I think he expressed a question that calls to something essential in humans. I do not think Fromm ever pursued the study of spiritual disciplines which include what we call "neidan" practices. But some like myself, perhaps by fortune or chance, have found that search and work meaningful for their lives.

Allan said...

Thank you, pantherpanther. It is wonderful to know that researchers of your caliber and experience also read my simple blog.

pantherpanther said...

I value your "simple blog" !
Although I studied with the Taoist teacher I referred to for only two weeks, in 1995 or 1996, studying, energy work, it was a rich experience. He was not widely known as a teacher then,but has attracted and trained many pupils since in the West. I recommend his books to beginners and friends regardless of what teachings and groups they are interested in. I realize his work doesn't relate directly to yours, but you may find his personal history and work in the West of interest. B.K.Frantzis, As I mentioned that he had been one of two pupils of a Lineage Master, I thought his life and work may be of interest.

Allan said...

pantherpanther, I am aware of the personality whom you have mentioned in your first post. You are astute that his work does not relate to mine. He is one of those inferred to in the article on ‘Offending heaven’ after a few readings of his personal history and watching his latest video on meditation.

A slight variation on the authentic meditation technique can throw ‘neidan masters’ way off course from the backward flow method which leads to the Circulation of the Light. That is why very few know about the eternal signposts of the Way.

pantherpanther said...

I did not study meditation with Frantzis, although in studying bagua with him, together with his pupils, for two weeks, I felt his inner practice was developed and responsible. I didn't notice anything otherwise, based on my own previous experience and practice. Perhaps you are right that he does not correctly teach the backward flow method which leads to the Circulation of the Light. I haven't seen his meditation videos. I recommend his books because I think they offer practical advice and recognize the essential keys contained in the world religions. I was raised in the Protestant Christian tradition. I didn't begin to understand the essential truth in that religion and others for many years. At a certain level all ways become the Way. But the necessity of diversity should be recognized. "Synthesizing" doesn't work when it is confused with "mixing."

The Asian metaphor of Heaven, Earth and Man makes common sense, and Sir William Blackstone's commentaries on English Law, which distinguish between laws of nature, law of revelation and human law are right in principle.

Let us seek right relations among humans as we are.

In intensive work with with pupils I felt Frantzis considered their level of preparation. I liked the seriousness of his experienced pupils and their tolerance of others . At times he transmitted practical help to me which I realized included some things he perhaps had not given to some of his experienced pupils who were trained to teach. So I felt his wish to honor his teacher through his own teaching was sincere.

He is a Taoist priest besides being a certified health professional in China where he worked in a clinic for ten years. One evening he invited our group as guests to participate in a lengthy Full Moon ceremony that he conducted under the stars on a mountain in California. That is my only direct experience of Taoist rituals.

Allan said...


The current popularity of neidan (inner alchemy) in the West can be seen on Tao Forums over the past few years. If not for the recent global financial crisis that hit the US and Europe particularly hard, many Western students would be more than willing to pay huge sums of money to train under ‘neidan masters’. Therefore quite a few who have learned skills like qigong exercises and breath control meditation from some masters in China, which on scrutiny is actually unrelated to neidan, have stepped up to claim that they are teaching neidan and immortality practices – because there is where the appeal and money is.

As long as teachers have integrity and do not claim something false, they have my due respect.

Under this scenario, I have written several articles bearing the title of “Of students and masters” for readers to learn how to discern between the real masters and the fakes but probably to no avail. Since ‘How would I know?”

pantherpanther said...

Since the 1970's there have been a number of Asian teachers who have attracted many pupils in the West. Some pupils have developed skills in the energy arts, including the martial arts; but run into difficulties that their teachers did not prevent and weren't able to repair the damage.

Allan said...

You are correct, pantherpanther. There are a number of reported stories online where such students have been institutionalized, even in China. Breath control meditation has its dangers, if taught and/or practised incorrectly. Safeguards have to be in place with pre-warnings given – prevention is better than cure.

The backward flow method requires proper deep breath control to work. Going by what is written in the article, “Of students and masters (12)”, even a renown and well respected neidan master in China has not taught the method correctly; since the ‘students’ suffered from illusions and delusions. (The names of these ‘masters’ are not disclosed in the several articles to avoid causing embarrassments to them.)

With this discussion, perhaps you can understand my concern about students being misled by various false claims of ‘neidan masters’ either in the West or in the East.