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forestofemptiness

Lu Dongbin's 100 Character Stele

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Not getting much juice in the main forum, so I thought I'd try it here.

 

I came across the 100 Character Stele the other day, which I found quite interesting. Instead of visualizations, chakra spinnings, tai chi, qi gong, and the rest, it seems to provide a rather simple formula to attain heaven's ladder.

 

My questions have to do with the Chinese. For one, could the experts please tell me which characters are being used in the translated version, versus the reproduced stele at the bottom? And for translating "forget speech keeping," some translators interpret this to mean discursive thought, which sounds reasonable. I was wondering about other interpretations.

http://gator.dt.uh.edu/~chong/CPoetry/luyan1.htm

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Not getting much juice in the main forum, so I thought I'd try it here.

 

I came across the 100 Character Stele the other day, which I found quite interesting. Instead of visualizations, chakra spinnings, tai chi, qi gong, and the rest, it seems to provide a rather simple formula to attain heaven's ladder.

 

My questions have to do with the Chinese. For one, could the experts please tell me which characters are being used in the translated version, versus the reproduced stele at the bottom? And for translating "forget speech keeping," some translators interpret this to mean discursive thought, which sounds reasonable. I was wondering about other interpretations.

http://gator.dt.uh.edu/~chong/CPoetry/luyan1.htm

 

http://www.jnk.org.tw/wn01-3-04.htm

 

坐忘銘曰。常默元氣不傷。多言損氣。故貴忘言。陳養晦日。終日不開口。閻王難下手。忘言乃養氣之妙訣也。接氣布氣之術。皆祖於此。

---

吕洞宾 百字碑

 

1養氣忘言守。降心為不為。

 

11動靜知宗祖。無事更尋誰。

 

21真常須應物。應物要不迷。

 

31不迷性自住。性住氣自回。

 

41氣回丹自結。夢中配坎離。

 

51陰陽生返復。普化一聲雷。

 

61白雲朝頂上。甘露灑須彌。

 

71自飲長生酒。逍遙誰得知。

 

81坐聽無弦曲。明通造化機。

 

91都來二十句。端的上天梯。

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I also enjoy this taoist "sutra" for its simplicity.

 

forestofemptiness: there are many interpretations for this text. The translation you gave seem a little too "word by word" for me...Anyway, 言, meaning speech, word, language, I also think discursive thought is what it refers to, not just the words out of the mouth!

 

Also, fo the first stanza: nourrish qi, forget words, keep this state of mind (=守, which means keep, yes, but imo refers to the 4 first words..It is okay to forget discursive thought a few secs, much harder for an hour, and to me just impossible any longer! :) But the longer the better...)

 

Other words are rather debated, even by the daoists, like 宗租, which is litteraly "the ancestor" .To me, it is something like the origin of all things, maybe the Tao itself..Some refer it to the heart or the "third eye". (Yes there is some chakra stuff, according to some...)

 

...More to come

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I also enjoy this taoist "sutra" for its simplicity.

 

to mistake concisness with simplicity is a, well mistake. it is coded its not simple at all.

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Mmh, right, let's say I enjoy it for its concisness. I don't mistake simplicity with easiness though.

 

So could you please help us decode it? ;)

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sure anytime. post your understanding of the expression u unsure about and i will correct it.

 

e g in the linked translation 降心 is "settle the heart". its not , its a tech term for placing the energy of the heart into the DT.

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Baiqi,

 

I don't might debated translations. Unlike Tian Shi, I tend to take a more "holistic" view, especially with Taoist texts. In fact, the more the merrier. I would enjoy hearing more of your commentary on this stele.

 

Forget strikes me as such an unusual word. I only hear this in Taoist texts. Often in the West, the approach to thinking consists of blocking or suppressing it. "Forget" strikes me as a more "wu wei" solution.

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@ forestofemptiness:

 

That is right, the word "forget" is frequently used by the taoists. The seated meditation practices are sometimes called "sit and forget" 坐忘. Also, you have many stories about taoists "forgetting" who they socially are, and consequently remember who they actually are! This is common in Zhuangzi and Liezi stories...

 

The character wang 忘, "forget" is made of two others: 亡, "dead, corpse, death and so on", and 心, "heart" or emotional mind. I think the character itself gives us a hint: it is not about forgetting what we did yesterday...it is more about taming emotions. In this context of course, in common Chinese it does mean forget something, and is rather negative.

 

忘言also seems to mean this: don't bind yourself to concepts. Once you got the idea and put it in practice, keeping the concept is useless. (we tend to do that a lot in western philosophy)

 

Ok, now I have a question about this verse:

 

普化一聲雷

 

"Everywhere we hear the sound of the thunder"

 

Does anyone have any idea of what this "thunder" is about? This is still obscure to me.

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Thanks a lot.

 

And here comes another one:

 

白雲朝頂上。甘露灑須彌

 

" white snow shows up on the top, sweet dew sprinkles on mt Meru"

 

I understand the expression "Mt Merru' as being the brain... Do you agree with this?

 

I am also wondering about the "white snow" and the "sweet dew": seen them in other alchemical texts, but don't know exactly what they refer to.

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Thanks a lot.

 

And here comes another one:

 

白雲朝頂上。甘露灑須彌

 

" white snow shows up on the top, sweet dew sprinkles on mt Meru"

 

I understand the expression "Mt Merru' as being the brain... Do you agree with this?

 

I am also wondering about the "white snow" and the "sweet dew": seen them in other alchemical texts, but don't know exactly what they refer to.

 

白雲 is "white cloud" instead of "white snow". Perhaps you might have a different view now.......!!!.

Edited by ChiDragon

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坐忘銘曰。常默元氣不傷。多言損氣。故貴忘言。陳養晦日。終日不開口。閻王難下手。忘言乃養氣之妙訣也。接氣布氣之術。皆祖於此。

坐忘銘曰 The sitting forget-not rule says:
常默元氣不傷: frequently meditate, the initial Chi shall not be disturbed.
多言損氣: talk too much will harm the Chi.
故貴忘言: Therefore, silence is precious.

陳養晦日: 陳養晦 says:
終日不開口: Close the mouth all day
閻王難下手: The King of Hell is hard to get you
忘言乃養氣之妙訣也: Silence is the best secret to maintain the Chi.
接氣布氣之術。It is a method to receive and spread the Chi.
皆祖於此。It's all begin here.

Edited by ChiDragon
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Remember this written in classic. It has to interpret with the combination of Taoist and Buddhist philosophy in this case.

養氣忘言守。
To maintain the Chi is by being silence and stillness without thought or worry.

降心為不為。
If you were intended to have a peaceful heart, then, it will not going to happen(because it has to be happened naturally).


Ref: http://www.sfzt.org/forums/forums/6/topics/831

Edited by ChiDragon
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降心為不為

Lower the heart-mind’s activity to no activity.



Sorry, Mr. H.E. didn't consider the clasic term, 為不為(wei bu wei), as a classic term,

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Sorry, Mr. H.E. didn't consider the clasic term, 為不為(wei bu wei), as a classic term,

 

Right, never heard of act not acting.. brand new...

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Each time I transalte this one it comes out different.

here is today's version.

 

 

1養氣忘言守。降心為不為。

 

to cultivate the qi you must forget to say "protect" (it means you need to still the thoughts)

focus the heart on action without action (make the mind follow the path of its own natural action rather than your imposed one)
11動靜知宗祖。無事更尋誰。

 

understanding quiet is how to know the ancestor (meditating quietly is how to cultivate ancestral energy)

without action for who knows how long? (you must stay in this quiet state for an undetermined time, or you must forget about time when you practice, both meanings)


21真常須應物。應物要不迷。

 

to become enlightened you must remain natural

to remain natural, you must not become confused

31不迷性自住。性住氣自回。

 

not being confused, the xing essence will stay by itself

when it rests the qi will naturally return (at this time the qi naturally does the cycle of zhou tian)

41氣回丹自結。夢中配坎離。

 

the qi returning will cause the elixir to congeal

at the centre of the pot is the marriage of water and fire

51陰陽生返復。普化一聲雷。

 

yin and yang mutually live, returning back to each other

suddenly everything changes to one burst of thunder

61白雲朝頂上。甘露灑須彌。

 

the white clouds move toward the peak

the sweet syrup must be overflowing

71自飲長生酒。逍遙誰得知。

 

drink all of your longevity alcohol

so free and happy, who else could know?
81坐聽無弦曲。明通造化機。

 

sit and listen to the music without strings

the light and good luck will align at the right time
91都來二十句。端的上天梯。

 

do this twenty times

and scend the ladder to heaven!

 

 

 

Lovely poem and very good practice.

 

I consider his main point as being "nature."

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Each time I transalte this one it comes out different.

here is today's version.

 

 

61白雲朝頂上。甘露灑須彌。

 

the white clouds move toward the peak

the sweet syrup must be overflowing

 

 

Hi SB, thanks for your translation. What do these 2 lines mean thou?

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