The Essentials of the Shortcut to the Great Achievement (part 2)
Record of the Origin and Development of Daoism
Daoism originated from the initial splitting open of primordial essence of the universe, when the Five Ancient Lords controlled the world. At first the Yellow Emperor sought the Dao on Mount Kong Dong, and it was conferred upon him by Master of Wide Achievement – Guang Cheng Zi. Moreover he achieved to mount the dragon and to fly skywards as immortal, In the Zhou dynasty the Most High Lord, Tai Shang Lao Jun, transitioned and descended into this world. He passed on the Dao to Yin Xi, and to Daoism’s patriarchs, the Lords of the ten thousand truths. In the ancient times of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Golden Mother secretly transmitted Fu Xi’s Tai Ji and his eight trigrams, the numinous scripts of pre-heaven and the transmissions of Lord Lao and the secret meanings of the Great Elixir of restored innate nature and establishing life to Wang Xuan Pu. After he attained the Dao, the Golden Mother granted him the appellation “Imperial Lord of the Eastern Florescence”. The Imperial Lord’s vows were deep and sincere, as he desired to open wide the door to enlightenment through Daoism, eternally bequeathing the pulse of the Dao. He passed on the Dao to Patriarch Zheng Yang Zhong Li Quan. In the Tang dynasty Patriarch Zheng Yang transmitted the Dao to Patriarch Lü Dong Bin, at which time Patriarch Lü was 64 years of age. After being with his teacher for as long as seven years, he started hearing about the Dao. Patriarch Lü passed on the practice of the method of the sleeping dragon to Chen Tuan, as well as to the Northern Seven Realized Ones. Thus in the Southern Song Dynasty Zhong and Lü, the second Patriarch, ferried across Patriarch Wang Chong Yang in order to receive the pre-heaven’s Great Dao. After the attainment he all of a sudden raised his head towards China in the East and having accessed his special abilities, he manifested seven golden lotuses, blossoming and bearing seeds, and because of this issue there was a result.
The Patriarch laughingly said:
“Not merely seven golden lotuses;
In the future there inevitably will be
tens of thousands of jade lotus seedpods.
Not merely seven Realized Ones,
seven disciples of Wang Chong Yang;
But innumerable high and noble Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.”
Afterwards Patriarch Wang Chong Yang handed the Dao down to Ma Dan Yang, Sun Bu Er, Qiu Chu Ji, Wang Chu Yi, Liu Chu Xuan, Tan Chu Duan and Hao Da Tong, who were considered to be the omen of the seven golden lotuses. Amongst these seven Realized Ones, only Qiu Chu Ji opened wide the door to universal deliverance, the crossing of the sea of bitterness. He later brought along countless disciples to attain the Great Dao. The emperor conferred him the title of Supreme Heavenly Immortal. It took until the Ming dynasty for the Realized One Zhang Jing Xu to have an encounter with Patriarch Qiu Chang Chun, who imparted to him how to reach the Dao. Zhang Jin Xu secluded himself in a cave where he refined and accomplished realization. Patriarch Realized One Ming Jing Xu descended the mountain, and repeatedly opened the portal to universal deliverance. The Realized One visited every corner of the earth seeking people being bound by karma with a predestined relationship with the Dao.
He wished for universal deliverance of the confused multitudes, but he was afraid that jade and stone would not separate, that it would not be without mixing dragons and snakes, that evil and wicked would be taken as the correct and upright evil as upright. He feared that all kinds of sects from individual knowledge sprung forth would be founded and was concerned about all the written books that circulate in this world
True and false, they all transmit their own Dao. They open up altars and practice the teachings for the deliverance of the people for their own gain.
“Some safeguard the mountain root,
the bridge of nose,
as if the Mysterious Pass.
This is a subtle metaphor for those who do not know that
the Mysterious Pass is the marvel of
‘existence coming forth out of nothingness’,
It is not the physical form of the third eye,
the Tai Yang Acupuncture Point or the pituitary gland,
and it is neither the formless.”
If you do not refine the True Yang, inevitably you will eventually return to a vain death. People who have strivings, choose war and seek the female cauldron, i.e. the bed chamber arts, do not know the mysterious workings of the female cauldron by borrowing flowers to offer them to the spirits. Similar to the bible and the Dao De Jing this is an example using yin and yang, innate nature and life-destiny, the material and immaterial, Spirit and Qi. There is no gain for those people, being partial they first lose their own Essence, Qi and Spirit, along with those mad people who are only after profit and utilize the furnace fire of internal alchemy to commit fraud.
“Healing diseases is a trifling skill.
The study of ‘Guiding and Leading Qi’ and
‘Expelling the Old and Taking in the New’
will always belong to the outside of the Dao;
The unorthodox Dao.
It is not a path to higher cultivation,
but only a minute door of Daoism.
Therefore it can only serve as a foundation for internal alchemy.”
It is difficult to understand this example. There are all kinds of side doors, one cannot explain them all. How could one compare those with the pre-heaven study of the tempering of one’s nature and grasping one’s life-destiny? It is a great violation, my fellows.
Exactly people who have aspirations to cultivate the truth and awaken to reality have to carefully examine and clearly distinguish, not blindly taking the teacher’s word for the truth and then determine one’s direction. The correct upright and authentic transmissions by the Most High, the Boundless Infinite, the Heart-Mind’s Imprint i.e. the truth imprinted directly in one’s heart by the spirit of the Buddha, and the oral transmissions, as well as the divine scriptures of pre-heaven are not for common people and can only be grasped by cultivators.
Seekers who endure bitterness but are without internal and external wealth are unable to truly cultivate stillness and secret refinement. One’s internal wealth is your methods, teachings, Essence, Qi and Spirit. It is needless to say why those are necessary. One’s external wealth is the financial resources and money. Why does one need external riches? If one cultivates in a cave where does one’s grain come from? Many people inside the sects wrongly use this statement as an excuse to pursue riches.
Moreover if one’s father and mother are dependent on one’s care and one still has those relations on his mind or one has a worn-down physical body, it will lead to regrets and therefore one cannot through sitting meditation enter this Dao. There will be no way of getting rid of those worries and one will fall short. It would be futile to attempt calming oneself for the higher purpose of alchemical cultivation.
I am afraid that the Great Dao loses its true transmissions, students being unworthy of being nurtured by the kindness, love and compassion granted by the masters, not earnestly and solemnly treasuring the truth and the oral transmissions.
I have written these bamboo slips to let the present-world intellectuals and scholars make use of them for the purpose of achieving sagehood. The later generations are the seeds of immortals and Buddhas and they rely on my words in order to ascend to realization, in that case I would be particularly honoured. That is why I wrote this book and there are a few matters left to be explained.
I urge you not to worry about the ignorance to words. What if people do not know what you talk about? Do not listen. Do not be afraid. There are people joined with you in heart and in virtue.
Only ensure being the stone pillar that tears apart the river midstream.
Why worry about the single tree not becoming a forest?
Until the time comes you will have to go through phases of wind and clouds.
When fortune sudden changes how could there be no roar of the tiger and dragon?
There will be frequency of activity, vibrations of your original Qi and original body and
movement of your Spirit and Qi, your innate nature and life-destiny.
When the haze vanishes and the weather clears up,
a wheel of red sun knowledge, practice, everything understood, will illuminate the trigrams Qian and Kun.