What is the “Dao”

When I started reading the Ling Bao Daoist scriptures and began to understand their vision, I realized the Dao isn’t the path we’re “supposed” to take, it’s that path that IS, it’s the 萬遍道, “wàn  biàn  dào ” – the “10,000 everywheres” Dao; it’s the Way of Heaven, not theist but monist; it’s not the universe but the flow of the universe is its symbol; the Way of Heaven, the path of the stars. I twist and turn in the River of Way – I work for the universe, I have a contract, to carry the universe toward the universe, by means of the universe; monist, the “I” in that statement is Heaven, 總 御 – zǒng  yù – focused bundle, heaven and man, progressing smoothly on the long flowing anti river of immortality; solemn and reverent, form peaceful and lovely in silent and profound obscurity; (bundle focused, it is nondual, ‘all-inclusive self-envisionment’, everything is the self, nothing is anything else, nothing to crave; driving straight down the hallway of the apparent, resistant to the flow of the fluid mandala of knowable things);  

The Dao is as indefinable yet simple as the path of clouds across the sky, like the path of Heaven and Earth, the path of immortality, suspended in the six harmonies – [wú wàng – not being forgetful or in error, wú xiǎng – without thought or longing, wú běn – having no root or stem, wú yuán – passive and without a source, wú tǐ – having no body or substance wú lèi – without clinging or involvement].

“The white sun rises into Heaven, its flying star-steps a summoning dance through the hollow void, body born of fire and water in a magical transformation of nothing into forever, its heavenly immortality of truth a single-minded hope alone in his dragon womb of liquid gold, cinnabar elixir of the nine transforming revolutions….”

(白日升天飛步虛空身生水火變化無常其天仙之真唯有龍胎金液九轉之丹) – from the Book of the Five Talismans五符經 wǔ fú jīng (Taishang lingbao wufu jing 太上靈寳五符經) – (DZ 388) [http://ctext.org/library.pl?if=gb&file=99014&page=163]


“to face and to welcome the “WAN BIAN DAO” – the “10,000 everywheres” Dao – in preparation to rise and to ascend in fullness and peace like the sunrise into the Great Emptiness, the Great Vacant Vacuity, into the Spirit above illusory existence, the abstraction without relativity, transgression and error fallen away into the Past, in a celebration of crossing over, the festival of salvation that reaches the other shore, beyond the three borders of Past, Present, and Future Existence, stepping into the ripening that attains the seat of immortality, awakening into the secret truth of the ancestors and kings that exists when hearing…


the efficacious spirit sounds that extinguish and defeat the mysterious evils, blowing out the bewildering flame that leads toward error and illness; the body’s form absorbing the powerful imperial commands to simmer in regulation and restraint, while reverent earth spirits protect the inner self as well as the body, saving the life of the people, the elder brother of poetry melting and wiping away misfortune,


pulling up disaster and calamity by the roots, leaping over distress to pass into bliss, crossing over beyond the prison of evil that tries to trap the Qi, riding the ferry of salvation to the seven founding ancestors in a peaceful ascent that swims in the eternally flowing brightness of immortality, leaving behind the flock of hungry ghosts and scattered wandering dreams, and crossing over to the vermillion mountains and rose sky of the fairy realm,


to receive-accept-endure the refinement, the training that holds the wind of experience contained within to receive the blessings of Heaven and earth, standing in the middle of the boat with both hands open to bear, and going further, into pure life; this is truly called the boundless and inexhaustible universal salvation, the mysterious secret of ascending into Heaven”

– the Wan Bian Dao – from “Numinous Treasure Primal Beginning Boundless Salvation Highest Level Mystical Scripture ” (Líng Bǎo Wú Liáng Dù Rén Shàng Pǐn Miào Jīng -靈寶元始無量度人上品妙經) (DZ  5) scroll 53

we’re all a part of the Dao, because we have bodies in the world. So what isn’t the Dao? The netherworld of the human mind, a Maya that doesn’t exist. At best it’s a mirror of the Dao, bright and linked in heaven’s harmony. Otherwise its darkness and confusion Is simply unreal, and not the Dao.

大道無爲大道喻人身無爲是無所施爲也時或坐或臥或行或立任氣胎息縱身如大空始至無爲是人無身也此言却破大道無爲  (Dà Dào Yù Rén Shēn Wú Wéi Shì Wú Suō Shī Wéi Yĕ Shí Huò Zuò Huò Wò Huò Xíng Huò Lì Rèn Qì Tāi Xī Zòng Shēn Rú Dà Kōng Shǐ Zhì Wú Wéi Shì Rén Wú Shēn Yĕ Cǐ Yán Què Pò Dà Dào Wú Wéi ) DaoZang Volume 131,  Page 090a2

“The Great Dao is wu-wei; the Great Way can be described with analogy/metaphor/allegory as man’s self in non-action; there’s no ‘place to carry out action; at times perhaps to sit, lie down, walk, or stand up, to allow the Qi to flow naturally; to give free reign to the Qi, allowing it to breathe, rest, stop, settle, and cease, and be an embryo, body released, as if it is in the Great empty vacant void; it begins with perfect wu-wei, to be a man with no body; this is to say that – breaking, disrupting, solving, negating, getting rid of and defeating is done via the Great Way – wu wei” 

“The Great Dao is non-action”.

there’s such a thing as 無爲 “wu-wei”, prayer for prayer, not for the purpose of something; in Daoism they call it “the highest vehicle”.

There’s also a distinction to be made, I think, about prayer; the prayer of the shaman who prays “I love you!” isn’t doing that for a payoff, not trying to bring the numinous back into the netherworld of human life; it’s wu-wei, not for the purpose of something; there is a purpose, but it’s not something; it’s the irrationality of spiritual practice, the prayer as its own goal.

The author of “The Universe is Calling” quotes Master Eckhart describing our waking life as something to be ‘woken up’ from, to emerge from a “sensual and materialistic” consciousness into something more silent and deep.

I tend to phrase the same idea with the opposite  imagery, where wakeful life is the materialistic and sensual distraction, the Maya of delusion, and in the silence of sleep, the “mysterious receptacle of stillness”, we dream as we pray, as Jesus did on the rough seas while his apostles were frightened, as Han Xiang Zi the second of the eight Daoist immortals did while he did his prayer for snow; our waking life is like clear water, a place where we work together in a shared consciousness of clarity in the light of day, but when we sleep the consciousness is not only more private, but less like water and more like caramel, and it’s the caramel that touches the difference, the depth of divinity. And in Ling Bao Daoism they call the stillness-as-prayer the “highest vehicle”, and use the word “wu-wei”, (無爲), sometimes translated simply as not-doing but more appropriately as “doing but not for the purpose of something”; there is a purpose, but it’s not something, the divine, inscrutable purpose, like the sun, the moon, and the wind, shining, going out, and disappearing.

In Sanskrit the same concept is called “nihitartho”.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the hero is told: “Look around you, other than action for the purpose of sacrifice, all men are constrained to action; therefore, act “not for the purpose of something”. 

“Wu wei” non-action is the doing of spiritual exercise, of spiritual practice, the doing of mental, physical, and spiritual fasting; it’s slow, prolonged, and mindful breathing – “pranayama” – and the doing of yoga – a union with the universe – it’s standing in the steelyard of heaven where the gold of the stars is refined, under heat and pressure, where the Yang is brought out and then put to bed on fixed schedule, the language of heaven a rhythm; rather than the misunderstanding that it is not doing anything, I use the phrase “marching forward in the snowfall of non-action” to point out the effort and the accomplishment of wu-wei, the stillness in the jade hailstorm of modernity of a tranquility worker immersed in tranquility craft; because it is the adding of numinous energy into the system, rather than letting the system attract to its lowest energy state, and in the mysterious receptacle of stillness the magic of life accumulates, in “shou”, 受, receive-accept-endure, yoga at the center of the storm, the light of eternity shining through the opaque rustling of the existential; we step out onto the jade flower of truth, placing ourselves fully onto the altar of reality by mindfully filling ourselves  with “wu-wei”.

“With a simple move the Green jade is inhabited” (俯仰碧居 Fú Yǎng Bì Jū), the “Jade flower” that is the blossoming cavity, the heaven all around us, the altar of reality, the snowflake at the center of the outwardly blossoming “primal profound”- “anterior heaven”, and with the small step of a “simple move” we can come up out of a netherworld that doesn’t exist, that can’t be found on this altar of reality, and we come up to “shou” 受 (‘receive-accept-endure’) the tidings of primal heaven, the great transformation that falls universally, rather than hiding from it in the dark netherworld; we can cover ourselves with smoking and eating and drinking and entertainment like an umbrella in the divine rain, or we can learn to walk out into the rain in an act of love of the universe, accepting the gift of transformation and moving forward on the path, together on a string, sitting on a frontier of magic and deathlessness.

The “green jade” is the altar of reality we find standing before us when we escape from the prison of the netherworld that is the occupation of our hearts and minds in the modern world, it’s the blue-green ‘raw’ jade, standing in the sunshine of the true Self, with a door below, deep within the earth, to the netherworld; it is the verdant greenery of our world of life, but also the blue sky, the opalescent and nacreous clouds, a green that’s iridescent with the colors of the five directions shimmering in the pneuma of the sun,  and it extends to all of the heavens above; it is the grand rectificatory and purificatory fluid ocean of “Qi” 氣 that we exist in, all pneuma, “the marvelous numinous spiritual energy howling in the wind and rain through the thatched windows, and in the dance of the shaman”;  the green fluid charm of verdant created fortune; bright, clear, and awe-inspiring green brilliance, the “Grand Green Flower”, a ‘blossoming cavity of wonderful emptiness’, and so as the netherworld empties, the brilliance returns to the Jade.

The “netherworld” is obscure and remote, hidden away, a prison, a dark and deep underworld, profound, secret, and invisible, a world of ignorance, as opposed to being open and manifest 顯 (xian). “There is Heaven above and what is beneath Heaven, and bottomless and hidden beneath is the netherworld 无幽 (wu you), without form or contrast 无冥 (wu ying), without shadow, image, or reflection 无影 (wu ying).” And this is what we step out of to inhabit the Green Jade.

The divine spirit energy, that the king of demons 魔王 “Mo Wang” (whose secret name is the “hundred energies”) wants to convert, to steal, to make a part of his netherworld, instead of being confined in his prison, rises up with the heart and mind to form an “alliance with heaven” 盟天 “meng tian”  , “tossing away concerns that never really existed” (擲罔奠斯 Zhì Wǎng Diàn Sī), the ‘feelings’ of heart and mind in the netherworld tossed away as we step out onto the jade flower of truth, placing ourselves fully onto the altar of reality by mindfully filling ourselves  with 無爲 “wu-wei” (“non-action”), marching forward in the snowfall of non-action, and going out into the blossoming emptiness, all kindness and the energy of truth and good fortune in the void of dark mystery; “the spiritual power in the omen of green venerated with reverence” (靈兆绿敬 Líng Zhào Lú Jìng Tiān).

It’s a change in perspective, away from the “netherworld” of the mind of man, with its immediate desires, its confusion, the materialist culture, so separate as it is from the universe, from the “Dao”, and suggesting a ” simple, single move”, from looking “down”, into that netherworld, where all the science and reason are, to looking “up”, into the sky, past the clouds, through the heavens, toward the origins, the beginning of time, toward our ancestors, and encouraging us to take their perspective, and then on looking back into the daily existence of our world, to carry them forward within us as they might have hoped and expected, from “up there”; it’s like the Catholic concept of the “crowd of witnesses”, cheering us on as we make our decisions. Would they want us to let go of God, to be more “independent”, all hubris within our limited netherworld, the mud of our mundane and material mind, the burning acidic pool, the hot springs of the lost-in-thought self-absorption? Or to look “up”, to “let” the Garden of Eden that is the universe all around us nurture us on our path as we walk with divinity in a glorious festival of salvation?

it’s not about personal subjectivity, no “splendor to get”, even though that’s what all the humans walking around are preaching; the place to look for the salvation in is transcendental, it’s the subjectivity of the universe itself, as a single, unified, living thing, and the animals that pursue and contribute to the salvation of the universe know this, ask them, they cast their own subjectivities aside yet work assiduously for the salvation of the universe, and what a beautiful thing it is!

What we ‘are’ is not our mind, not our subjectivity, that’s an outer layer, something we ‘live in’, just like we are not our clothes or our homes, we are not our feelings, our consciousness, rather, under the pressure and in the coat of ‘Maya’, the world of illusion, our minds are a netherworld, a dream, and what we really are tends, in this society of western materialism, to go running down the drain into that netherworld. But there is another “Way”.

The jade flower of heaven all around us is the host; the dark netherworld of ordinary heart and mind is the guest; the guest draws abstract art on a palette of netherworld nothingness, it’s a palette that all species have but few mine to the extent that humanity does, humanity a species poisoned somehow and dropping depth charges of more stimulants and poisons daily to continue to expand a nothingness that captures the precious “prana” of Hindu mysticism, the “itz” of the Mayan religion, the “chi” or “Qi” of Daoism, the manna from heaven, as it rains down in blessed tidings from the primal heaven above, from redshift space, above the jade flower. But if we make that “simple move” out of the netherworld and “inhabit the jade”, become a part of the universe and keep the door closed to the netherworld, the tidings can pile up here on the altar of reality, and not run down the drain, and this critical piece of magic is in our hands, and it’s not in the hands of consciousness, that’s the netherworld already, it’s in the hands of spirit.

Not taught to cultivate life, we hurtle toward death, the “attractors” hurled at us from every direction in the jade hailstorm of stress that is the modern world, the cloud of locusts that swarms the human condition always pushing the spring of numinosity down the drain into the netherworld, the “attractor” of stability that is the isolation and desolation of addiction, but also the netherworld of television watching, shopping, gambling…the “bai ling”, the “hundred energies”, the modern storm of locusts; but the beautiful sounds of teaching that rear and nourish into the perfection of pure life are the attractors on the other end of the spectrum, hidden in our modern world, but available to the sleuth, the seeker of truth; they teach us to add numinous energy to the system in the form of stillness, to simmer in regulation and restraint, with the doing of the self – “wei shen”; 為身, with ‘one’s own power to accomplish saving, one’s own power to accomplish calm quiescence, “zi cheng”; 自成; when it’s “so hard to break the habit”, it’s the hard work of “wei shen”, “zi cheng”, the “goer” of ‘going through hell’ who comes out the other end;

What becomes of consciousness when we’ve flowed up out of the netherworld of our waking mind of consensual reality to inhabit the jade beautiful flower?

“The remote and hidden away rises up and becomes manifest like the sun rising, and the spirit energy responds, to be reflected on and studied, followed and complied with,  the heart and mind moved, skillfully surrendering into an auspicious  and felicitous amalgamation with virtue” (幽顯神靈應念隨心感善降祥與德  you xian shen ling ying nian sui xing an shan jiang xiang yu de);  “accordant kindness, gracious favor and benefit are what remains, gathering into our form and accumulating, storing up in the depths of inner strength and profundity ” (惠余正蘊 hui yu zhen gyun); “surrendering to the real summons the marvelous numinous spiritual energy” (降眞召靈 jiang zhen zhao ling) and “the teaching of the universe falls like leaves, settling onto the bamboo mat where we sit” (教筵宙落jiao yan zhou luo), “the universe falling and settling onto us for the great transformation” (普落大化Pŭ Luò Dà Huà), “the positive beauty of change”, “the benefit  is an elegant and beautiful display of bright shining divine positive beautiful transformation and metamorphosis” (惠正麗變Huì Zhèng Lì Biàn Tiān), and “all obtain the revolving fortune of salvation within their nature to comprehend, perceive, and awaken to truth, tranquil content and calm while guarding and protecting the emptiness”皆得運度性悟眞空安鎭Jiē Dé Yùn Dù Xìng Wù Zhēn Kōng Ān Zhèn).

Surrendered to the unfathomable flow, crossing the ocean of mundane existence, samsara, the “sa ha world” 娑婆世界, with the radiance of transparent mystery, transforming so as to make one’s virtue bright and eradicate obstructions;

Form emerging from the square, blessings out into the air, treasure gleaming, mind aware, no more netherworldly care;

As I talk to various people in my life, in the large cities of the American rat race, focused as they are on the ‘pursuit of happiness’ and seemingly miserable, I try to make these points but find them hard to communicate and almost universally resisted; I also find the Hindu Upanishads, the “Vedantic” wisdom, making the same points;

The simple way I try to put the point about ‘pursuing happiness’ is that my role is more like that of the sun, and my feelings like the flowers on the earth – the point of the sun is to shine, not to grow flowers; as a result of that shine, flowers will surely grow, just as surely as they will wither with the seasons, but ultimately the flowers are beside the point. The advertising that commands people to “Enjoy!” sounds more to me like “un-joy’, to spend rather than cultivate, and that policy just won’t get you through the long road; whereas what I see the sun pursuing is the “cultivation” of joy.

A 2013 article about the films directed by the philosopher Terrence Malick discusses in depth the duality suggested between the netherworld of heart/mind – the “Western world view” – and the transcendence in the green of nature – the “alternative world view of the artist”, a “transcendentalist visual symphony” in which “beauty…transcends history”; the Western world view of the Enlightenment that wants to “systematize and conquer nature”, “it’s only reality being the recognition in the minds of other men”; the simple step of looking up at the natural world and the universe all around it is the perspective of the artist, and of the camera in these films; “habits of vision characterized by ambition, skepticism, and greed” are contrasted with the “virtues of patience, appreciation and awe”,  the emptiness of a perspective from which a character looks like “quite an individual” contrasted with a worldview that “cannot be described in terms of what she owns or wants…her desires are eccentric, fleeting, almost literally incomprehensible…yet the things she observes are finally less fanciful or obscure than in the ‘realistic’ perceptions of the film’s other protagonists…(ultimately showing) a durability that eludes the other characters, caught up as they are in webs of aspiration and striving…not ‘confined by modern civilization’ her ‘weak’ sense of self is precisely the quality that grants her such a bracing access to a world the rest of the characters only occasionally perceive but which is inscribed by Malick as a critical, perhaps the critical, element in the story he has to tell”;

“There may exist a perspective from which even death is a thing of beauty, the expression of some larger ‘glory’. This perspective may be Witt’s and it may also be that of Malick’s films.”

The vision suggested in the article is one of integration of the “artistic perspective” into the “Western” one, weaving the netherworld of human heart and mind and the heaven of the Green Charm together:

“The task is not to choose between competing ‘realities’ but to appreciate their common root. This is the visual ethic of Malick’s camera. (The movies) Days of Heaven and New Worlds denote not times and places, but a way of seeing. This way of seeing is ridiculed as sentimental and naive within the films and often by critics of them. Indeed, Malick is often described even by his proponents as a romantic or idealistic filmmaker with a tragic conception of modern life. “Each is frustrated by his insignificance or driven by a desire to become significant in the Western sense. Consequently, each fails to see the world in the manner suggested by Malick’s art, instead embroiling himself in self-defeating projects supported by fantasies of entrapment or escape. To recognize these as fantasies is one of the perspecuities nourished by Malick’s films.”

“Of the method, we awaken to and begin to understand, to become equal to; to float, flow, wander, spread, circulate, move, drift, revolve, and transform, but not to emerge into life and death, voracious anger, silly delusion, and the various kinds of degeneration, but with good fortune, blessing, and happiness to engage in the ’cause that produces effects in another stage of existence’, and obtain life in heaven above.”

In this mandala, made up of a phrase from “Numinous Treasure Primal Beginning Boundless Salvation Highest Level Mystical Scripture ” (Líng Bǎo Wú Liáng Dù Rén Shàng Pǐn Miào Jīng -靈寶元始無量度人上品妙經) (DZ  5) scroll 21, that included the sentence translated above surrounded by two other sentences, the character for insanity, or “delusions”, is at the center, not to radiate outward but because it is the drain that the heavenly tidings are drawn down, but if blocked off, the tidings can accumulate.

“But abiding in, guarding, and watching over the harmony of the Qi is the name for the mystery of mystery;” “Only quiescent clarity – qing jing – and non doing are the methods of the highest vehicle. ” These are the outer two sentences on the mandala.

The character 癡 (chi) –  ‘unconsciousness,’ ‘delusion,’ ‘perplexity,’ ‘infatuation, ‘ignorance, folly,’ one of the three poisons – “desire, dislike, delusion”, here occupies the center square, which, as in the previous mandalas, is the only place it can, since it doesn’t actually “exist” anywhere in the jade flower, the altar of reality, but only in the netherworld of heart and mind, just an artifact of the culture of science and reason, doesn’t actually ‘exist’ at all;

From the Hindu view, ‘Maya’, our consciousness of material reality in time, is an illusion – an illusion created by a god who loves us, created for our enjoyment – but still, delusion, illusion, and so ‘science and reason’ from this point of view is just illusion looking at illusion, completely beside the point.

Unlike the cosmic vision of modern “consensual” reality of today’s industrial society, where we treat the altar of reality like a garbage heap while piling up comfort and pleasure in a netherworld that doesn’t exist, and treat that netherworld as if it is the ONLY thing that exists, the vision in the “Jing Wu Liang Du Ren” is of a snowflake of consensual reality at the center of a cloud that creates it, and that is it’s true “Self”, from which it receives its salvation, something to integrate with rather than to compete against or ignore, something to join with, to form an alliance with. This existence is pure, elemental, natural, and filled with dark mystery  – 玄 (xuan) – but we tend to ignore most of what’s going on here, and treat the realm like it’s a coliseum of selves, each self acting in a reality show, trying to ‘win’ a game based on our own choices,  but the “great empty space is filled with peace and tranquility”.

From the view of Daoism, the “Qi” is the magic on the air, on the wind, transcendent gift from heaven that rains down on us, and is stored in the mysterious receptacle of stillness, and makes us ‘alive’; we breathe it in, that’s the ‘energy transfer’ of ‘consciousness’ into our bodies, so called ‘consciousness’ just a deep well inside life with butterflies that buzz to give the form some direction, some interactive potential, so it can go with the flow, twist and turn in the river of Way, that altar of material reality just a cardboard gift for the creature that wears the universe as its costume – the grand ‘Qi’ ocean of purificatory and rectificatory breath – the altar of reality just a cardboard gift that will of course burn up, ’cause it’s made of time, material reality and the consciousness of it in the netherworld of heart and mind just a beautiful dollhouse that is a distraction for play but ultimately beside the point.

From these viewpoints, “madness” is not an issue, and doesn’t ‘exist’, just another wrinkle in the netherworld, unimportant, ‘feeling’ and ‘thought’ beside the point, the direction of these quietist thought systems being just to breathe, just to be a part of the gift for the universe, the ‘problem’ of “madness” just an artifact of ‘science’ and ‘reason’, indeed the concept was never discussed until the mid to late 1600’s when science began to lock down madness in a game of musical chairs where all fantastic and divergent mental evolution and development in our species had to find a seat at the table of consensual reality scientific culture, or be banned and labeled ‘madness’; from the scientific view, deep within the jungle of illusion, humans are separate from the reality of the wholeness that is the universe, a monolithic performer in the wonder sphere, their (masculine) ‘thoughts’ and (feminine) ‘feelings’ supremely relevant, treating the altar of reality like a garbage pail while they decorate the altar of their feelings in the netherworld of their subjectivity, hungry to take in entertainment and comfort and pile it up in a palace that doesn’t exist, their ‘reason’ and ‘science’ paramount in a play about power they perform, with comfort and isolate subjective ‘happiness’ the scorecard in a game they play but is impossible to ‘win’.

The Yi Guan Dao temple is a hybrid of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucionism from Taiwan, less mystical than these Ling Bao scriptures, more practical and humanist Buddhism teaches the “four noble truths” 苦集滅道 – suffering, the cause of suffering, extinguishing suffering, and the way, or the path to extinguishing suffering, and the last character, “path”, or “way”, is the character “Dao”, 道, as in Daoism. A Buddha has three bodies. One is the “manifest” body, in the world, the Bodhisattva working for peace in the world and the happiness of all beings. The second body is the “reward” body, the Buddha’s reward for that work which is his wisdom, and the third body is the “dharma” body, the Truth that the Buddha is enlightened to. Some branches of eastern philosophy focus more on the human world, the manifest body, like Yi Guan Dao, Nichiren Buddhism, while others focus more on the dharma body, the mystical truth, like Ling Bao and Dzogchen. So I read Ling Bao and Dzogchen scriptures, but chant with Yi Guan Daoists and Nichiren buddhists. Ultimately the goal is to tie them all together.

“… to reach into the Daoist watchtower platform monastery of insight and contemplation, to arrive from the 
seeming into the real, to mentally enter into the truth, the one who is rare, hoped for, and admired, directs his thinking and his intention into the mystery and wonder, turning from his sensations and tastes to face upward, and to simmer in the correctness of the writings that are complex and difficult, the characters numerous, like ornaments on a horse’s head, traditional Chinese characters flourishing, vigorous, and magnificent, filled with meaning wide and deep, their prosperity abundant, lush like luxuriant vegetation in the heavenly book that achieves an end to disaster and distress, the mind wrapped in a bundle like a newborn baby, wise, clear, and bright, the truth of man protected by the words that are the tidings of Heaven, and becoming able to separate and disentangle himself into harmony in the great ascension of the heart; but there are many who do not look up, do not approach Heaven to fathom its depths, and are confused by what is above, hiding from the divine canopy and going around dazed in a lostedness below; they are not able to see what is like an ornament sitting on their heads; ah! the gathering and balancing that is possible with the humility of bowing one’s head into the light of the wilderness, like a summoning decree, gathering together the divine spirits, ah! stretching beyond the Eastern mountains; at the proper time the four Qi (parental, acquired, inherited, and defense Qi), can be made warm, mild, and tender, swelling with plentitude, generous treatment radiating out like the sound of drums on the clear wind with the strength of Heaven’s dark mystery and mystic wonder flowing like breeze in the emptiness to govern hearts and manage rivers, allowing both to flow unimpeded and fluent through the brightness; holding the body in a slow masterful retreat that scrubs the mind with humility, washing away traces of turbulence in the low tide in order to reflect alone, in sincere dedication and without distraction, on the storehouse treasury that is the bright scene of the stars above the mountains, ah! the netherworld, secluded and peaceful, as the always-extending spun threads of mental states slows, to gaze on the numinous spirit energy of the nine heavens, the obscure blended mystery in the distinguished great wild, awakening to the precious jewel of the three heavens in the monastery watchtower platform, as the Emperor’s garden enclosure of abundant existence that is set in motion on the divine wind brings pure life into completion in wholeness, to follow along compliantly with the greatness, calm and quiescent in order to shelter the vital essence, to see and to protect, to protect by seeing, and ascending to inspect the fires of heaven with the square pupils of the immortal, taut as a bow, to behold the flowing energy of the scripture that is like the warping stripes of the stars above the serene netherworld, that moves like wisps of smoke to evaporate distress and difficulty below, caressing with tender care the flocks of pure life that are not aware of their silk thread discipline, their chronicle of poetry above the chaos”…..  



from Book of the Five Talismans (五符經 –  wǔ fú  jīng)

from the Huainanzi

“Ordinary things have their vanquishers, and only the Way has none; the reason why it has no vanquisher is that it has no constant shape or disposition- it turns like a wheel and endlessly, like the movement of the sun and moon; like Spring and Autumn that replace eachother, like the sun and moon with their days and nights, it reaches an end and begins again, and it brightens and dims again, but no one can grasp its periods.”

from the Zuangzi

“Were you to let your mind roam in the insipid and your pneuma blend with the indifferent, go along with the nature of things, and make no room for personal desires, then all under Heaven would be governed””

from the “Declarations of the Perfected” (Zhen Gao – DZ 1016)

“The Mysterious Pattern comes from Heaven; take the mysterious as your pattern, grasp the Images, purify and cleanse yourself…purify your Lights in the Void so that they radiate in the five directions, cut off visual form in a wave-transformation, join your desires with the insipid, and in the hidden byways of undifferentiated space, see nothing and hear nothing…. truly Heaven has crafted your talents into clear ripples, and formed them into waves through its lofty resonances; you intend to perch your spirits in Grand Mystery, (Mystery Metropolis), rendezvous at Purple Court, and pace the vault of space; you’re of a mind to be emptied of fleeting impediments and to have your nimble brush ornament an otherworldly covenant; your movements bring together the compass and square as you await convergence with the exotic realm; in stillness, while you harmoniously blend the flavors of Perfection, your exhalations generate musical tones; chewing the blossoms of the three numina (sun, moon, and stars), flowing in the reverberent harmony of virtue; stepping up to Rarefied Grove Palace, asleep atop Rarefied Grove; sparkling in the Jade Mystery; spirits roosting in order to roam in idleness, safely drink and peck in contentment without praying and hoping for a cage”



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