Jump to content


Photo

Zhang Bo-duan

neidan alchemy zhang boduan

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 22 December 2016 - 09:57 PM

   Back in the times of the Song dynasty, there was an elderly military official named Zhang Bo-duan, a remarkable man, whose magnum opus, Awakening To The Real, gave rise to the venerated Southern Lineage of the Taoist alchemy.

 

    Being around 80 years old, and meeting his  teacher in Chengdu, province of Sichuan, Zhang spent less than a year with his teacher, till teacher’s passing. In order to fulfill his teacher’s wish to disseminate the teaching freely and fully, Zhang first preached unsuccessfully, then wrote the Awakening, then recruited students, (which ended in a spectacular failure), so much so that Zhang swore never to teach in person again.

 

     Instead, he transmitted the Awakening, a book on the Buddhist-Taoist alchemy, which ends with a poignant Afterword promising a full transmission to anyone who studies it closely.

 

   The Afterword is a deeply moving passage, a magic window into the real Daoism of a thousand years ago. This Christmas, let us rejoice in celebrating the old man Zhang and a brilliant scholar, Paul B.M. Crowe, who gifted this gem to the public domain in the now oh-so-distant 1997. 


Edited by Taoist Texts, 24 December 2016 - 10:42 PM.

  • dawei, KuroShiro, oak and 1 other said thanks
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#2 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 22 December 2016 - 10:01 PM

Afterword

 

Firstly, take the fact of a person's birth; this brings about vain passions associated with having a body. Having a body one also has suffering; if one had no body where would suffering come from? Now as for escaping from suffering, there is nothing better than to embody the perfect Tao. Desiring to embody the perfect Tao, there is nothing better than the understanding of original mind. Thus the mind is the substance of the Tao and the Tao is the function of the mind. If people are able to carefully examine their minds and scrutinize their inner natures, then the substance of complete understanding will spontaneously be manifest. The functioning of natural action will be spontaneously completed; not relying on merit they suddenly leap to the other shore.

 

This being so if one lacks the luminescence of the mirror mind and the expansive brightness of the spiritual pearl, then how can one cause all external appearances to suddenly depart, fine dust not to contaminate, the source of the mind to be self existent, and the resolve to birth-less-ness to be decided upon? Thus, as for the enlightened gentleman who's mind embodies the Tao, if his body cannot bind his inner nature, and external circumstances cannot disorder his perfection, then how could weapons do him harm? How could the tiger and rhinoceros cause him injury? How could raging fires or great floods be enough to cause him worry?

 

The mind of an intelligent person is like a bright mirror; reflecting, it does not receive; in responding to stimulus it accords with things; harmonizing but not advocating. Therefore, he is able to manage things without injury. This is what is called the marvelous Tao of unsurpassed perfect truth. If one traces this Tao to its source it had no name, yet the sages were compelled to name it.

 

Fundamentally, the Tao is inexplicable yet the sages are compelled to explain it. Therefore, if names and explanations are silenced then people now a days will be without a means to recognize its substance and return to its reality. So the sages devise teachings and establish explanations by which the Tao is made manifest. Therefore, Tao relies upon explanations and afterwards becomes manifest. Explanations rely on the Tao and afterwards are forgotten. What alternative is there?

 

This Tao is most mysterious, and most subtle, while the nature and character of people in the world is deluded and stupid. Clinging to their having a body they hate death and take pleasure in life. Thus, in the end it is difficult for them to understand thoroughly. Huang and Lao (the Yellow Emperor and Laozi),  pitying their attachment to desire, then made use of techniques for cultivating life, in accord with what they desired, and gradually instructed them by employing the essentials of cultivating life found in the golden elixir, the essentials of the golden elixir in the spirit water flower pool. Therefore the teachings of the Scripture on the Tao and Virtue and the Scripture of Obscure Correspondence can be obtained in order that they may prevail in the world for a time and benefit people, so that they enjoy their lives.

 

 Even so, their words are hidden, their principles obscure. Although intoning the words, no one understands their meaning. If one does not meet a perfected person and receive oral instruction, in the end they will be unable to achieve merit or complete their task. Are not those who fail to learn as numerous as the hairs on a cow and those with intelligence as rare as a unicorn's horn?

 

Formerly in the year 1079 C.E., Bo-duan met a teacher in Chengdu who gave him the method of the elixir. That year his master passed away. Henceforth he repeatedly preached to people and time and time again met with calamity and misfortune. In all this went on for not more than twenty days. He then came to recall the advice of his teacher: "Some day when there are those with you who have untied the reigns and cast off the fetters, you ought to transmit your understanding to them, leaving out nothing."

 

Afterwards he wanted to give up his name and hometown but he worried that the people of the Tao did not know what to believe.

 

He then composed this Chapters on Awakening to the Real stating all things concerning the elixir medicine from beginning to end.

 

Having completed the work he searched for students who would come and gather together; those who would study with earnest intent and whose minds do not go to extremes. He then picked out individuals to whom he could transmit his teachings. None of them had either the great power or strength which would allow them to assist those in danger or to save the drowning; nor were any of them scholars with the magnanimity and exceptional intelligence which would enable them to speak with humanity and insight. From the beginning they repeatedly incurred suffering, their minds still not completely understanding.

 

Altogether, only three of them, by examining their past faults, understood that the method of the great elixir is very simple and very easy and that although stupid and dull, if the small man attains this method and puts it into practice he will immediately leap up to the level of the sages. By means of this one can see that the intentions of Heaven are abstruse and grudging and will not permit careless transmission to those who lack heaven's mandate .

 

Yet Bo-duan did not obey his teacher's words; he repeatedly revealed the celestial secrets because he had a body. Therefore he invariably received scolding and trouble. This was heaven's warning to him and in like fashion the spirits also urged: "Do not dare to abrogate your duty. Henceforth you ought to manacle your mouth and tie up your tongue. Although the cauldron remains right in front of you, as if with a sword to your neck, never again presume to offer such explanations."

 

What is sung about in the Chapters on Awakening to the True is the subtle meaning of the great elixir medicine and the fire phase; it does not lack any details. Those who appreciate it had the bones of an immortal in a past life. If they study it then they will have sufficient understanding for self-enlightenment and it will be possible to understand its meaning by investigating the text. Why would they need Bo-duan's detailed instructions to be given to them?

 

Thus what heaven bestows is not the hasty transmission of Bo-duan as if these chapters were merely songs. They explain the method of observing the inner nature. Accordingly, they present what is called the Tao of spontaneous, marvelous enlightenment; and, being so, it is the Tao of spontaneous action which equalizes things for the mind.

 

Although these chapters display the secret essentials, in the end there is no transgression or fault.

 

What remedy is there for the ordinary man? According to his destined karma he will be generous or stingy. According to the foundation of his inner nature he will be sharp witted or dull. Even though hearing only a single sound, he will in confusion form heterodox views.

 

Therefore Sakyamuni and Manjusri defined what is expounded as the Dharma jewel of only one vehicle. And yet, having heard this students then consider that they completely understand and naturally make the error of three vehicles.

 

Henceforth, if there is a scholar whose inner nature and character are courageous and intelligent and if he reads and listens to these chapters then he will understand that Bo-duan attained the marvelous meaning of the highest single vehicle of Bodhidharma and the six patriarchs.

 

And so it will be possible, following this single explanation, to awaken to the myriad dharmas.

 

But if one's habit is to add more to this then one returns to the views of the middle and the small. This moreover is certainly not the fault of Bo-duan!

 

 

/An Annotated Translation And Study Of Chapters On Awakening To The Real (Ca. 1061) Attributed To Zhang Boduan (Ca. 983-1081) by Paul B.M. Crowe , B.A., The University Of Calgary, 1988, M. A., The University Of Calgary, 1993 A Thesis For The Degree Of Master Of Arts In The Faculty Of Graduate Studies (Department Of Asian Studies) The University Of British Columbia December 1997 © Paul B.M. Crowe, 1997/


  • dawei, Apeiron&Peiron, shazlor and 3 others said thanks
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#3 Ormus

Ormus

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 240 posts

Posted 23 December 2016 - 12:08 AM

Immortal Master Zhang Boduan have few teachers.He founded the oldest Nei Dan school......Nanzong Pai(Southern school).It is oldest if we dont consider Zhong-Lu corpus as school,and it is the most elitistic because they have secret Ming Gong and paired cultivation.

 

Ormus



#4 awaken

awaken

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 795 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Taiwan
  • Interests:Dan dao, Chinese Kung fu, Chinese medicine

    丹道,武術,中醫

    Welcome to my space
    http://www.thedaobums.com/forum/487-awaken/

Posted 23 December 2016 - 07:19 AM

Zhang had never founded any school.

His student of student of....( I don't know how to say it) founded it.

He just taught some students.

I like his teaching very much.

I follow his teaching these years.
  • Taoist Texts, KuroShiro and ladyniguma said thanks for this
Welcome to read my posts and practice with me on line

http://www.thedaobum...rum/487-awaken/

The dao bums
513532775

This is my qq group

Welcome to join me

#5 centertime

centertime

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 147 posts

Posted 23 December 2016 - 11:59 AM

Zhang had never founded any school.

His student of student of....( I don't know how to say it) founded it.

He just taught some students.

I like his teaching very much.

I follow his teaching these years.

HIs student's student founded it?

Or his student's student's student founded it?



#6 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 23 December 2016 - 12:34 PM

HIs student's student founded it?

Or his student's student's student founded it?

 In the 13th century, Zhang Boduan was placed at the origin of ☞ Nanzong, the Southern Lineage of Neidan, and his work became the main textual source of that lineage. Nanzong consists of a series of five masters whose works describe forms of Neidan closely related to one another (in addition to displaying similar formal features, such as the use of poetry).

 

After Zhang Boduan, the lineage continues with

Shi Tai (?-1158), the author of the Huanyuan pian (Reverting to the Source);

Xue Daoguang (1078?-1191), the author of the Huandan fuming pian (Returning to Life through the Reverted Elixir);

Chen Nan (?-1213), the author of the Cuixu pian (The Emerald Emptiness);

and finally

Bai Yuchan (1194-1229?), ascribed with the authorship of a large number of works and also known as a specialist of the Taoist Thunder Rites (leifa).

 

While transmission among the latter four masters is historical, Shi Tai was not Zhang Boduan's direct disciple. It is now understood that the Southern Lineage had, in its beginnings, no conventionally recognized form or structure, and was formally established as a lineage only at a later time, possibly by Bai Yuchan himself.

 

http://www.goldeneli..._and_wzp_1.html


  • Aetherous and dawei said thanks for this
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#7 YiYinYiYang

YiYinYiYang

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 87 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 December 2016 - 06:27 PM

Still blowing inside the goldenelixir/wikipédia dead knowledge dear taoist clown?



#8 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 23 December 2016 - 10:04 PM

Still blowing inside the goldenelixir/wikipédia dead knowledge dear taoist clown?

Neidan makes the neidaneers extremely angry. Which is extremely bad for their liver. Which in turn triggers the  vicious cycle of self-destruction.

 

Image%203.jpg

 

 goldenelixir/wikipédia dead

 

tumblr_lq01jq9hpu1qcno55o1_500.jpg


  • YiYinYiYang and SeekerOfHealing said thanks for this
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#9 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 23 December 2016 - 11:41 PM

Immortal Master Zhang Boduan have few teachers.He founded the oldest Nei Dan school......Nanzong Pai(Southern school)...... because they have secret Ming Gong and paired cultivation.

 

 

I do not know if there is any basis for such claims.

 

Immortal Master Zhang Boduan have few teachers.

 

He mentions only one in his Foreword and Afterword: 龙图陆公, Lu-gong, an imperial official from the Dragon Charts Department. Who, ironically learned, from books.

 

hey have secret Ming Gong

 

 

How can it be if the word Ming  命 is mentioned only around 15 times in the whole 12 000 word text? Most of the times either negatively or in its general meaning of 'life'. Moreover, when he speaks with derision about the Ming Gong in the Foreword?

 

 

paired cultivation.

 

 

 

Zhang specifically includes 'paired cultivation' in the list of the false Ming Gong practices.

 

Moreover, nowadays people think that the Taoists schools value the cultivation of Ming, yet little they know that there are two kinds of Ming cultivation: one is easy to find but hard to succeed; the second is hard to find but easy to succeed.

 

So they melt the 5 sprouts qi, intake the 7 rays, direct attention and massage themselves, take in the pure and spit out the filth, recites sutras and read spells, whisper the water and yell talismans, knock teeth and gather spirit, abandon spouses and cut off grains, shelter the spirit and shut the breath, think of the point between the eyebrows, mend the brain by reverting the semen, practice the bedroom arts, and so on up to melting the metals, minerals, herbs and trees – all of this is easy to find but hard to succeed.


  • awaken said thanks for this
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#10 awaken

awaken

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 795 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Taiwan
  • Interests:Dan dao, Chinese Kung fu, Chinese medicine

    丹道,武術,中醫

    Welcome to my space
    http://www.thedaobums.com/forum/487-awaken/

Posted 24 December 2016 - 02:00 AM

http://ctext.org/lib...tion=132&page=4

Have you ever read this?

This classic was written by zhang.

Edited by awaken, 24 December 2016 - 02:04 AM.

  • ladyniguma said thanks for this
Welcome to read my posts and practice with me on line

http://www.thedaobum...rum/487-awaken/

The dao bums
513532775

This is my qq group

Welcome to join me

#11 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 24 December 2016 - 07:42 AM

http://ctext.org/lib...tion=132&page=4

Have you ever read this? This classic was written by zhang.

Oh, yeah. I have translated it in full many moons ago.

 

So , you have been to 桐柏宮. Do they actually pray to Zhang there?


  • awaken said thanks for this
世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#12 Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat

    Cat blessing sentient beings

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 1206 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Yoga, Tantra, Meditation,Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosis, Comparative Religion/Tradition, Health, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Neuroscience, Energy Work, Neidan, Neigong, Kung Fu, Honey, Tribal warfare, Spirits, Shamanism, Beer + orange juice, Sex

Posted 24 December 2016 - 08:15 AM

Please be patient with a noob's question.

How could a student today be sure that this Dao isn't just a millennial fraud?

 

I mean... I don't find this "detailed instructions" to be clear at all: the text is abstruse. Was it that difficult to plainly write down how to proceed? Look at the modern meditation guides given for free from the various theravadin monks: they're clear, the author details his method. It's indeed possible to clearly explain how to meditate.


  • MIchael80 said thanks for this

#13 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 24 December 2016 - 09:36 AM

Please be patient with a noob's question.

>>Deal. A great question too btw, that.

 

How could a student today be sure that this Dao isn't just a millennial fraud?

 

>>Only by being drawn to it for no apparent  reason . If this thing speaks to him - then he will find a way. But if he does not feel this  is his calling, then he better walk away, no shame in that.

 

I mean... I don't find this "detailed instructions" to be clear at all: the text is abstruse.

 

>> I totally agree. it is detailed but abstruse. Much like a book on say https://en.wikipedia...i/Galois_theory would be. Many areas of human knowledge are abstruse, its a fact of life.

 

Was it that difficult to plainly write down how to proceed?

 

>> Yes, for a number of reason, the most obvious of which would be the necessity of proper terminology. You need exact definitions. You can't create a technical manual using 'this thing' and 'that thing' and 'funny feeling in your navel". Take a look at this passage:

 

 

32. After the first quarter of the moon and prior to the last quarter of the moon
the taste of the medicine is even and the form of the qi is complete.
Once [the medicine] is gathered put it back into the stove and refine it;
[once] the refining is complete warm it and nourish it in the same way that you would cook fresh
food.
 
Every word here has a precise, technical meaning, which of course would be incomprehensible at first blush. What do we do coming across a word we do not know? Simple, we use a dictionary, or ask someone.

 

 

Look at the modern meditation guides given for free from the various theravadin monks: they're clear, the author details his method. It's indeed possible to clearly explain how to meditate.


 

>> Again, i do agree with the last statement. Except this is not meditation. Yes it does resemble one, but it is not one. How they differ is a good question too.


世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#14 awaken

awaken

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 795 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Taiwan
  • Interests:Dan dao, Chinese Kung fu, Chinese medicine

    丹道,武術,中醫

    Welcome to my space
    http://www.thedaobums.com/forum/487-awaken/

Posted 24 December 2016 - 10:54 PM

Oh, yeah. I have translated it in full many moons ago.
 
So , you have been to 桐柏宮. Do they actually pray to Zhang there?


Thank you for translate it

Yes

They actually pray to Zhang

But the doist 道士 there don't cultivate Zhang's teaching

They also curious about my cultivation

How do I cultivate Zhang's way
  • Taoist Texts and ladyniguma said thanks for this
Welcome to read my posts and practice with me on line

http://www.thedaobum...rum/487-awaken/

The dao bums
513532775

This is my qq group

Welcome to join me

#15 Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat

    Cat blessing sentient beings

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 1206 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Yoga, Tantra, Meditation,Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosis, Comparative Religion/Tradition, Health, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Neuroscience, Energy Work, Neidan, Neigong, Kung Fu, Honey, Tribal warfare, Spirits, Shamanism, Beer + orange juice, Sex

Posted 25 December 2016 - 03:23 AM

[...]

 

How could a student today be sure that this Dao isn't just a millennial fraud?

 

>>Only by being drawn to it for no apparent  reason . If this thing speaks to him - then he will find a way. But if he does not feel this  is his calling, then he better walk away, no shame in that.

 

[...]

 

It seems so much a naivety of the human psyche to enjoy "being called" and "predestined" to a special teaching which in turn makes the student special. Obviously, the truth is that humans are interchangeable and none is really important, nor special after all.

 

For example, I can say -following your logic- that I feel a calling for being millionaire for no apparent reason because I understand that money and possessions don't last. Yes, I definitely have a calling... but I can't manage to become millionaire.

Also, it seems that almost everybody has this same "calling".

 

 

[...]

 

I mean... I don't find this "detailed instructions" to be clear at all: the text is abstruse.

 

>> I totally agree. it is detailed but abstruse. Much like a book on say https://en.wikipedia...i/Galois_theory would be. Many areas of human knowledge are abstruse, its a fact of life.

 

[...]

 

Not at all.

If a teacher really wants to guide a student from beginning to end, we should assume that -at the very least- the primary steps of the process/method are perfectly clear.  This is not the case: the text is cryptic and the author deliberately conceived an unintelligible poetry which is -in fact- interpreted in a variety of different ways.

 

The fact of life is that this teacher did his best to hide his method... or simply, he didn't have a clue and he just wrote a poem which he trusted was to be naively interpreted by some scholar.

 

 

[...]

 

Was it that difficult to plainly write down how to proceed?

 

>> Yes, for a number of reason, the most obvious of which would be the necessity of proper terminology. You need exact definitions. You can't create a technical manual using 'this thing' and 'that thing' and 'funny feeling in your navel". Take a look at this passage:

 

 

32. After the first quarter of the moon and prior to the last quarter of the moon
the taste of the medicine is even and the form of the qi is complete.
Once [the medicine] is gathered put it back into the stove and refine it;
[once] the refining is complete warm it and nourish it in the same way that you would cook fresh
food.
 
Every word here has a precise, technical meaning, which of course would be incomprehensible at first blush. What do we do coming across a word we do not know? Simple, we use a dictionary, or ask someone.

 

 

[...]

 

As I already stated, a teacher who actually wants to guide a student cannot possibly use unintelligible terminology for -at the very least- the first stages.

But even for subsequent stages, for example what the hell could it mean "...nourish it in the same way that you would cook fresh food"? How many ways are there to cook fresh food?

What's the stove? If it's the navel area, why don't simply write "navel"? What is gathering? How do you gather something in your body? Is it like peeing in a glass?

 

It's clear that this text wasn't meant to be clear.

And you're right, probably we should ask someone... a real living teacher who can give clear instructions.

 

 

[...]

 

 

Look at the modern meditation guides given for free from the various theravadin monks: they're clear, the author details his method. It's indeed possible to clearly explain how to meditate.


 

>> Again, i do agree with the last statement. Except this is not meditation. Yes it does resemble one, but it is not one. How they differ is a good question too.

 

This is quite a revolutionary tenet since I'm not aware of any scholar who says that Neidan isn't about meditation... nor I've heard of neidan practitioners who don't practice meditation.

 

Even various practitioners who claim to practice Wu-Wei, in the end they diligently follow a method of meditation.

 

And in fact, this looks very much as an escapade from my question.

I don't blame you for that:

this question is supposed to make people think about the necessity of having a real teacher to understand whatever method Zhang Bo-Duan transmitted... and even when the teaching is delivered, one shouldn't be entirely sure that he's practising the real Bo-Duan method and not something else....


  • Taoist Texts said thanks for this

#16 awaken

awaken

    Dao Bum

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 795 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Taiwan
  • Interests:Dan dao, Chinese Kung fu, Chinese medicine

    丹道,武術,中醫

    Welcome to my space
    http://www.thedaobums.com/forum/487-awaken/

Posted 25 December 2016 - 04:18 AM

For a beginner, it is impossible to see the whole process

Even if the teacher use a clear way to explain,

The student still can't understand it

Only if the students follow the teacher for many years

Then he can know some processes


But there is a problem

How can the student find a "true" teacher?

It is always a big problem

Buddha learned from two teachers

But he found the way by himself


Buddha had many students

Not each student find the way

Edited by awaken, 25 December 2016 - 04:20 AM.

Welcome to read my posts and practice with me on line

http://www.thedaobum...rum/487-awaken/

The dao bums
513532775

This is my qq group

Welcome to join me





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: neidan, alchemy, zhang boduan

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users