道言浅近说 – 张三丰
Speaking of the Dao in plain words – ZhangSanFeng
translated by LI Siming, 2011
7. Great Dao core: master the mind, refine the nature
The most important task in pursuing the great Dao is to master the mind and to refine the nature. The nature is within the mind, the mind embrace the nature from outside. Therefore nature is the master of the truth, mind is the building that house the nature.
Master the mind means, preserve it; refine the nature means, nurture it.
Preserving the mind means, strengthen the city walls, so houses will not collapse, this is building the foundation;
Nurturing the nature means, water the plants within, so the internal medicine become complete, this is refining the nature.
When the mind become clear, the nature become tranquil, one not disturbed by sentiments and desires, has no thinking and no concerns, mind and nature at ease inside out, no trouble, these are the effect of mastering the mind and refining the nature, this is Internal Alchemy.
8. Barrier: Mind in Truth vs. Desire
People learn the Dao for few months, and do not see any progress, because they were not sincere.
If they focus in Dao, their mind naturally have nothing; if their mind were sincere in Dao, they naturally treat things lightly; if their minds were intense in Dao, they naturally become indifferent to things.
9. Relationship between mind, breath, spirit, between internal and external three treasures
Hide the mind in deep, keep the spirit from wandering out, when the mind is attached to things, fire moves within. When fire moves within, essence is shaken.
Mind is quiet and breath is regulated, quiet long and mind become still. Die the acquired mind to nurture energy, turn off the thinking mind to pure the mind.
Essence, energy, spirit are the internal three treasures, ear, eyes, mouth are the external three treasures, keep the internal three treasures from wandering in chasing things, keep the external three treasures from disturbing the inside, breath continuously and deep into the energy center.
Let breathing become husband and wife, spirit and energy become mother and son, son-mother husband-wife, gather and not apart, therefore mind does not run outside, intent does not think outside, spirit does not travel outside, essence does not move recklessly, and stream the limbs at all times, this is the authentic Golden Elixir and Great Dao.
10. Center as the gateway to the Great Dao, physical vs. psychic center
The Great Dao can be entered via the word “Center”, what is called “Center”, one is of the body, one is not of the body (non-body).
Kungfu should be proceed in two levels: first find the center of the body, Zhuzi said “Abide in the center when handling the external”, to abide in the center, one need to bring back the (spirit) light to inside, pay attention to the center, 1.3 inches below the belly button, keep the attention, this is the finding the center of the body;
Second find the non-body center, Confucius’ <<Doctrine of the Mean>> said: “Center is prior to the uprising of happy, angry, sad, joy”, at this moment, there is no hearing and no seeing, thieves are cautious, hidden and alone, and naturally the nature becomes still and the spirit becomes clear, spirit becomes clear and energy becomes pure, to here one starts to see one’s original face, this seeking is not within the body.
Use the center of the body, to pursue the center not of the body, and desire will become easy to purify, heaven’s nature will return to order, saints immortals and buddhas throughout the history, had used this as the first step practise.
During meditation, the most important is to condense the spirit and regulate the breath, use calmness to bring back order, refrain from assisting and forgetting, none will not gain kungfu by day.
Condensing the spirit and regulating the breath, only need flat mind and harmonized energy. When mind is flatten spirit is condensed, when energy is harmonized breath is regulated.
The word “flatten” is wonderful, when no wave arise in the mind it is flatten, mind abide in it is called flat, flat is in the center. When the mind is in it, there is no wave.
Ancient immortal said: “Regulate the real breath, refine the non-spirit spirit” Real breath is the breath when the breath stops; non-spirit spirit is the spirit of the spirit.
To sum up one need to empty the human mind, embrace the Dao mind, return this Dao mind back to emptiness, dark and silence, save in the center, and one can nurture the real breath, obtain the non-spirit spirit.
11. Proper breathing, energy reaction, where to abide
Beginners should start from internal breathing, this breathing, is like going back to embryo after departing from father and mother. When people can practice this (internal breathing), they breath with their mother like they were embryo, just like they are starting a new life.
When meditate, embrace energy with spirit, tie the breath with intent, mild and melodiously accumulate them in the lower energy center without being scattered, so internal energy can mix and fuse with external energy in the lower energy center.
Energy eventually builds up, reaches four limbs, flows in meridians, opens the spinal energy gates, flows into the upper energy center, back down to middle energy center, and down to lower energy center. Spirit abides with energy continuously in each breath, and the energy pathway is opened.
When practice reach this stage, the foundation is half built, remember to practice diligently and emptily.
In regulating breath, one use acquired breathing to find place where real breathing takes place. Ancient’s saying: “Acquired breathing brings light wind, which lead to real breathing.”
Regulate the acquired breathing, let it regulate itself, in order to regulate the innate breathing, one only need to reach to emptiness and abide in stillness in the process.
When the real breath moves, the mysterious gate is not far. Based on this method, the foundation could be built quickly, not necessarily require one hundred days.
<<DaoDeJing>> “Reach the end of emptiness, abide in the end of stillness”, can be explained generally or separately.
Generally speaking, it refers to the method to enter stillness. Separately speaking, emptiness refers to nothingness, end refers to the ultimate center, stillness refers to quiet peacefulness, end refers to concentration. It is equivalent to letting one’s spirit abide in emptiness and nothingness, to the ultimate center, abide one’s spirit in quiet peacefulness, with one’s full concentration.
12. Real vs. Reckless mind
People’s mind has two components, one real and one reckless. Therefore those search for the real mind, does not arise reckless thoughts, this is real mind.
Real mind’s personality is broad and bright, real mind’s place of abode is safe and at ease.
Use the real mind to study the truth, one understand connections of thousand items; use the real mind to seek the Dao, one abide in the origin of ten thousand difference.
Man to use this to interact with the world, have to nurture it and strengthen it, and abide in its peace and at ease, then one work without working, still and can respond (to the world).
Alchemist said: when the mind runs away brings it back, brings it back and then let go, return to at ease after use, seek to be at ease then one realize. Who said one cannot be quiet in the middle of noisiness?