Kara_mia

Concept of destiny in Taoist alchemy

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Hiya!

 

When I started down the path of learning Taoism I stumbled upon a concept of destiny or ming. Since then I feel like I am obsessed over this intricate subject. Ming is a destiny and also a vitality. How does it correlate with jing, chi and shen? Any ideas, thoughts?

 

 

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Hi Kara,

 

I am a bazi reader, and "destiny" is something I clearly see in the "eight characters" or "four pillars" as inextricably intertwined with jing, qi and shen.  The "written in the stars" part of destiny is responsible for about 40% of all that is going to manifest in your life or has already manifested the moment you were conceived (e.g. your gender) -- that's the domain of jing.  Approximately another 40% is what you can change, influence, improve or worsen, this is the field of application of your free will -- and this is intimately connected with qi.  Finally, about 20% is completely unpredictable and lies in the domain of the mysterious -- even gods have no say in it -- and this part is where shen might come into play in ways you can't fully comprehend or predict in advance.  

 

It is something like, part of it is your conditions, part of it is your work, part of it is play.  Jing permeates the initial conditions of your ming, qi guides what you do with them, shen is how you play with both. 

 

That's my current understanding in a nutshell -- took years to crack that nut though. :)

Edited by Taomeow
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This thread also may be of interest: http://www.thedaobums.com/topic/37525-working-with-destiny/

 

In Liu Yiming's xiuzhen houbian, translated by Fabrizio Pregadio in Cultivating the Tao, there are several explorations into the nature of xing and ming.

 

The main point concerning xing is that there are a xing consisting in what is bestowed by Heaven, and a xing consisting in one's character. Concerning ming, there are an ming consisting in the destiny given by Heaven, and a ming consisting in the Breath of Tao.

 

It goes on to explain how the xing bestowed by Heaven and the ming that is the Breath of Tao exist within the pre-celestial [xiantian], while the xing of character/personality and ming of destiny exist within the post-celestial [houtian].

 

Concerning ming within the post-celestial, it is related to the shaping of something. The pattern of something has limits in how it may flow through other patterns. Similar to how a human life form is destined to experience certain things related to that shape.

 

The shaping of our life-to-life karmic momentum is related to our destiny granted by heaven. It is our position and shape within the post-celestial realm of creation. It is created through the ways we create. When we intentionally change anything, we change our shape, and we change the shape of our surroundings. When we intentionally change something, we become a source of a continuous flow of changes that ripple out.

 

When the changes manifest so as to create greater extremes and separation, we become more tied to that separation, and more tied to the chains of destiny. This is what comes of seeking to conquer within the realm of creation.

 

When the changes manifest so as to dissolve extremes and create greater harmony, we begin to dissolve the chains of destiny. This operates by resting upon the existing parameters of one's shape (resting upon one's destiny) and choosing to harmonize and dissolve the ripples.

 

The Four Pillars of Destiny, or Bazi (eight words) system of astrology described by Taomeow above uses the Five Phases of Change (wood fire earth metal water). We look at the relationship of the five phases at any moment of time to see a layer of the pattern of destiny. Just like a woven tapestry, it follows principles and rules, and may be woven stronger or completely untangled. Some knots are harder to untie than others; a rock has more density than a flower.

 

There are two primary operations of the five phases of change. One where each phase transforms and creates a new phase, and one where each phase naturally controls one of the other phases. All of this is present within the motion of a circle.

 

Water represents potential

Wood represents growth

Fire represents culmination

Metal represents contraction

 

All of the above revolve around Earth, representing Integrity.

As Integrity changes, the center around which all revolve also changes.

 

Ming, in some ways is related to Jing, which is related to Water.

By shaping one's Integrity, one also directs the shaping of one's Jing, thus directing one's destiny.

This is accomplished by Intention and Sincerity, both corresponding to Earth.

 

With the ming of destiny governing the post-celestial realm of creation, how do we return to the ming that corresponds to the pre-celestial Breath of Tao?

 

Return is a key concept here.

 

The words 复 (fa, return) and 命 (ming, destiny) are found in the dao de ching chapter 16:

 

Arrive at the height of emptiness

Preserve the deepest constancy of quietude.

Myriad things in one impulse are born.

We thus can contemplate their return.

 

Truly all things grow and grow.

Each of them returns, reverting back to their source.

Returning to the source is to find stillness.

This is known as returning to destiny. 复命

复命 Returning to destiny is to realize the unchanging.

Realizing the unchanging is enlightenment.

Not realizing the unchanging, blind actions bring about misfortune.

Realizing the unchanging is all-encompassing.

All-encompassing, then impartial.

Impartial, then noble.

Noble, then Heavenly.

Heavenly, one with Dao.

Dao is eternal.

To the end of existence free of peril.

tl/interpretation Daeluin

 

And in Zhuangzi:

 

The sage gets through to the intertwining of things, so that everything forms a single body around him, but without knowing it to be "right." For this is his inborn nature. Whether communing with his allotted fate 复命 or shaken into activity, he takes the Heavenly as his only teacher. Others follow him and try to pin labels on him, troubling themselves with their own understanding. In no time they are brought to a complete halt, wondering what to do next.

tl Brook Ziporyn

 

 

复 fu, return, is also a hexagram in the I Ching, 24: ䷗

 

Ritsema and Sabbadini say:

24 Return | Fu | The situation described by this hexagram is characterized by the re-emergence of something past, returning to a previous time or place or retracing a path in order to correct one's mistakes. Return, FU: go back, turn or lead back; recur, reappear, come again; restore, renew, recover; return to an earlier time or place. Ideogram: step and retrace a path.

 

Stephen Karcher says:

Return, Fu: go back, turn back, come back; return to the starting point; resurgence, renaissance, rebirth; renew, renovate, restore; again, anew; the beginning of a new time; turn from the city to the countryside; recover, take back, call back spirit of deceased; return of the ancient past and the time of the great sages. The old character shows footsteps leaving the city.

 

The essence is of a return that occurs after certain conditions are met. It is like a revolution that once completed has returned to the beginning.

 

In internal alchemy, it is the culmination of stillness and emptiness within the post-celestial that takes one through the gateway to the mysterious and the return of the precelestial.

 

In xiuzhen houbian Liu Yiming describes the cycling of the five phases and says that controlling what is created leads to the post-celestial, while creating within the parameters of how one is controlled leads to the pre-celestial.

 

All of the above point the way to the unchanging. All of the above describe how to dissolve the destiny granted by heaven and return to the pre-celestial Breath of Dao.

 

This idea of creating within the parameters of how one is controlled expresses the key to maintaining stillness within movement. Realizing the unchanging, one simply rests upon and adapts as necessary and according to the cycling. To come to realize the unchanging, we simply comprehend the totality of the cycle - the potential, growth, culmination, contraction and their unison with the center.

 

When one does not comprehend the balance of the cycle of phases, one's actions may be presumptuous and lead away from balance, deeper into karmic bonds, further from the breath of dao.

 

 

 

The Lo Writing

 

The Lo Writing (Lo Shu) is another of the most ancient artifacts of Chinese civilization. Whereas the River Diagram (He Tu) is traditionally considered to be of prehistoric origin and associated with the primal Tao, the Lo Writing is attributed to historical times and associated with the temporal Tao.

 

Like the River Diagram, the Lo Writing is said to have been found in the pattern on the back of a supernatural creature, this time an uncanny turtle that emerged from the Lo River at the time of a great flood in the late third millennium B.C.E. The River Diagram is associated with the time of the prehistorical culture hero Fu Hsi, whose work is thought of as creative, while the Lo Writing is associated with the time of the later king Yu, a quasi-historical culture hero whose work is thought of in terms of rescue and salvation.

 

To illustrate the idea, Liu I-ming says of the Lo Writing, "Nature has the quality of love for life, so it used an uncanny turtle to divulge the Tao of restoration and return, to guide people to return home and recognize their origin, to set their feet on the fundamental basis of [xing] and [ming]."

 

The design of the Lo Writing is very simple, consisting of nine sets of dots - one set in each of the cardinal and intermediate directions and one set in the center - that stand for the yin and yang five elements. In these terms, the "fall" of humankind is described as follows: turbid vitality overcomes the original spirit, the intellectual spirit overcomes the original sense, arbitrary emotions overcome the original [nature], temperamental nature overcomes the original energy, and wandering attention overcomes the original vitality.

 

Liu I-ming summarizes this "fall" in these terms: "The real gets buried and the false runs wild. People have all sorts of emotions, feelings, and desires, developing complex and involuted psychologies. A hundred worries disturb their minds, then the thousand things tax their bodies. They think what is miserable is enjoyable, they think what is false is real. They have entirely lost the original state."

 

The remedy for this is again said to be in the center, which represents will, attention, sincerity, or truthfulness. According to Liu, the set in the center of the Lo Diagram signifies that kindness, justice, courtesy, and wisdom are all rooted in truthfulness, while the surrounding sets represent using truthfulness to operate kindness, justice, courtesy, and wisdom.

 

Truthfulness, Liu continues, has the meaning of true belief: "Truly believe in kindness, and you can be kind. Truly believe in justice, and you can be just. Truly believe in courtesy, and you can be courteous. Truly believe in wisdom, and you can be wise. Truthfulness alone can be kindness, justice, courtesy, and wisdom, all according to the changes that take place in the mind."

 

Pursuing the definition of truthfulness to a deeper level, Liu calls it the means to restore the primal and equates the experience of the return of the primal with truth. For a practical expression of truthfulness as a means, Liu turns to a section of the Taoist classic Tao-te Ching traditionally used as a meditation guide: "In a flash of enlightenment, something is there. In the utter darkness, vitality is there. That vitality is very real, at its center is a truth." This truth, Liu says, is the experience of the return of the primal, attained through profound abstraction.

 

Liu also uses the scheme of the five virtues to elaborate on the outgrowth of this return to truth, or restoration of the primal. When wisdom is based on truthfulness, he says, knowledge is not used randomly; you are free from greed and ambition, your mind is peaceful and its energy is harmonious. Then you are pleased with reality and produce courtesy from within wisdom. When courtesy is based on wisdom, you can harmonize with those unlike yourself and you do not do anything discourteous; impatience sublimates, so that you no longer become angry but instead become just.

 

When justice is based on courtesy, Liu continues, you are just without bias, able to adapt to changes while following guidelines in your actions. Then you delight in good and develop kindness. When kindness is based on justice, you are kind without being weak, as good as possible, without evil, sincerely whole-hearted, without duplicity. Then you are free from selfish desires and are therefore truthful.

 

When truthfulness is based on kindness, forming the final link in the circle, you are steadfast and unwavering; true will appears, and wandering attention quiets down. Celestial and mundane intentions combine, so that you can be joyful, angry, sad, or pleased, all without selfish desire.

 

This state is called the subordination of the temporal [houtian] to the primal [xiantian]; Liu says, "Merged with the design of nature, not conceiving human desires, you return to the origin of life, so that you realize your original self." In Taoist terms, this is called the formation of the spiritual embryo, or the crystallization of the gold pill. In Confucian terms, it is called clarifying the good and returning to the origin. In Buddhist terms, it is called great wisdom reaching the ultimate aim.

 

tl Thomas Cleary, from Taoist Classics Volume 4, I Ching Mandalas, Arcana

 

In this we can see how the operation of the five phases may be used to return to, harmonize with, and dissolve destiny thus returning to the pre-celestial breath of true unity. Too we see how the jing (vitality), qi (energy), and shen (spirit) are related in the cycle of five phases along with the qing (sense/emotions) and xing (nature).

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Thank you for sharing your insights! If I understand correctly, we have xing and ming. And ming is the vitality that is the source of life itself and also stands for destiny.

 

How do you understand the famous expression "My destiny is within me, not in Heaven!" How it correlates with another famous saying that “if you are destined to meet [a teacher]  you will end up meeting even though you were a thousand miles apart. If you’re not destined r, you can be standing face to face and not even notice their existence”? Don't they contradict each other?

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Having a destiny does not mean you have to meet a certain person or you have to accomplish a certain thing.

 

No, it's not like that. The destiny is like riding a wave of energy, sometimes you have wind from leeward another times from windward. The wind is pushing you in certain directions but you decide where to go and what to do. The interaction with the Universe is mostly random and the outcomes are in terms of probabilities. There are patterns that allow higher probabilities to come and patterns that allow lower probabilities which are "good luck" and "bad luck" but nothing is guaranteed.

 

So the winds come from heaven but you go wherever you WANT to go. Will is the main function here and the will power comes from the kidneys energy. Which cultivated over a lifetime will generate your destiny, which is the Ming (Your Life) .

 

If you are lucky to meet someone to teach this, this is like winning the lottery, it is not suppose to happen but if it happens it will change your life.

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The destiny concept in Chinese culture is called "mingyun". The "ming" part is like something untouchable, decided by heaven, like the fixed walls of a room. The "yun" part is flexible, can be affected by our actions, it is like furniture in the room that can make the room more comfortable. Of course we can remove or add furniture by our choice in order to redecorate our room but the size of the room remains constant. In this metaphor the room is a humans allotted lifespan.This lack of complete freedom creates suffering, and there is suffering that can be treated and suffering that cannot. For instance one can treat a knee injury but a famine makes hunger unavoidable.

When we start to cultivate we can give or receive energy which equates with years of our life. For example qi emission where the master uses electric qi  on a patient is equivalent to 3 years. So by practice a practitioner can accumulate more years to his life slowing considerably the ageing process and thus affecting the "ming" or normally fixed part of his destiny and at the same time "controlling" his own suffering because he gets more freedom than the average person(no need for food, sleep, not gettting sick and so on). This is what it's meant with "My destiny is within me, not in Heaven!" and also explains quite nicely why it is said that Taoists go against nature. Of course there are very few masters who actually do this and extend their life, most choose to finish their goals in this world and return to the immortal realms.
Now the relationship between destiny and jing, qi, shen is evident as the three treasures are what is used during cultivation as ingredients.

Edited by TheDustAutumn
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What I find interesting is that fate is not entirely unscientific without serious merit.  Stories of separated twins going on to lead strangely similar lives right down to careers, hobbies, wives and childrens names are abundant and are frequent beyond chance.  We might be able to call it some kind of genetic disposition, but that may not be so far from Daoist version of fate. 

 

Particularly interesting is Daoist is concepts of luck.  Which Taomeow is much more knowledgeable then most. 

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Thank you. :) 

 

The taoist concept of "luck" is a major stochastic science.  I already wrote before about the deceptive simplicity of taoist scientific terminology that might cause a Westerner (or a Western style educated Chinese, which is to say nearly every modern Chinese) to mistake it for a sign of a "primitive" "unscientific" cognitive paradigm.  In the West we say probability theory or chaos theory or genetics or quantum mechanics and allow only Ph.D.s to count as experts on their intricacies, while traditional taoists say "luck" and allow only folks with top notch training upwards of what a Ph.D. degree in all of the above and more would require (over 30 years of schooling and empirical applications) to count as experts -- and still those experts, some of whom have invested tens of thousands of hours into their education, will say "luck," because there's no need to get fancy when you're dealing with a fundamental principle of the universe, you can just stay fundamental.  :) And they do.  But of course I am not this kind of  expert.  Luck is the mover and shaker of the destiny of the universe, so you need time and...  well...  luck to master it :D --

but on any level of mastery you will still only scratch the surface.  However, such "scratching" may make a big dent in a particular human's destiny. :)   

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Usually the term Ming in Neidan practice refers to pre heaven Qi or pre heaven Jing.  Wang Chongyang defined Ming as pre heaven Qi and further stipulated that he defined as such because jing and qi are one family (qi coming from jing).  on the other hand, the middle school book xing ming gui zhi defines ming as pre heaven jing essence because it is the first aspect of life in our bodies at conception.

Either way, the cultivation of xing and ming are the basic concepts of Neidan, and usually any meaning related to destiny is less important than the actual practice of xing and ming as characteristics of the mind and body.

Simply put, xing means nature and ming means life, but in the context of neidan practice, xing means consciousness and ming means generative energy, thus "ming men" or life gate refers to the root origin of life (in neidan practice this usually means the area under the belly button, since this is where the foetus connects and feeds from the mother, so it is different than the Chinese medicine understanding which places the ming men on what is called the wei lu in nei dan practice).

 

Usually Nei Dan considers its dual practice of xing and ming to be unique to nei dan, whereas they typically stress that Buddhists only practice xing (I'm not experienced in Buddhism, so I can't tell you if this is true or not).   Chen yingning said that ming is like the oil of a lamp and xing is the brightness of the flame. without ming there is no xing (without life there is no consciousness) and without xing, ming remains useless (without consciousness there is no life).  

There are very few Nei Dan books that discuss ming in detail from the perspective of destiny, and usually Daoist prefers to use the term "Yuan," although Ming as destiny is very common in Neo Confucian work, especially Zhu Xi.   It should also be noted here that Nei Dan is quite different from other Daoist schools and has its own terminology and use of words that is very different from other schools.   It is also important to recognize that different schools inside of nei dan use the same words differently, so interpretations of xing and ming vary between schools.   I personally prefer Li Daochun's interpretation which is that ming is the pure yang energy in the kidneys and xing is the pure yang energy in the heart.

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Wrong! :P

 

http://thesecretofthegoldenflower.com/ch2.html

 

2. Vitality and energy degenerate along with the universe, but the original spirit always exists; this is the infinite. The creation of the universe is derived from this. When students understand  how to guard and protect the original spirit, they reincarnate outside of yin and yang and they are beyond the three worlds. This is possible only by seeing essence [xing]. This is what is called the original face.

 

 

There is a picture in Damo Mitchell's White Moon on the Mountain Peak which perhaps illuminates this subject somewhat.

 

3T.jpg

 

In the post-celestial creation direction of things, jing, qi, and shen are related to the bodily vitality, bodily health and thinking mind. The ability of thinking mind, or the physical body to operate, depends upon there being fuel to work with, which is qi, and this qi comes from drawing on the reserves of jing, both from our reserves and from food (which also requires energy to digest).

 

When the body is cleared of desires an stilled of momentums, the gateway between the post-celestial (acquired) jing and the precelestial (congenital) jing opens and we are able to cultivate in the direction where jing becomes qi, qi becomes shen, and shen returns to the emptiness. These are transformative phases within the work which involve the merging of these energies back into unity with each other - it is the unity of these three treasures which is precious; the work is not about the elevation of one at the expense of the others.

 

If you cultivate Xing and do not cultivate Ming,

for ten thousand kalpas your Yin Ling (yin soul) will hardly enter sainthood.

If you cultivate Ming and do not cultivate Xing,

it is like having a property without an owner.

An Ancient Immortal, tl by Fabrizio Pregadio of Liu Yiming from Cultivating the Tao

 

 

I share this intending to contribute toward illumination rather than contention.

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Thank you for sharing your insights! If I understand correctly, we have xing and ming. And ming is the vitality that is the source of life itself and also stands for destiny.

 

How do you understand the famous expression "My destiny is within me, not in Heaven!" How it correlates with another famous saying that “if you are destined to meet [a teacher]  you will end up meeting even though you were a thousand miles apart. If you’re not destined r, you can be standing face to face and not even notice their existence”? Don't they contradict each other?

 

 

 

This is a wonderful read, thank you. And recently the author has been nice enough to share more personally with us here on the forums.

 

It is interesting that to die is written as 失命  "lost ming".

 

Ming seems to have some interesting origins. In the old destiny thread, and in this thread, there is some trouble with the direct translation of fu ming as return to destiny. Some translate instead as reject fate, and some instead interpret as return to original nature (xing).

 

It seems the term fu ming 复命 may have originally represented the mandate or decree (ming) assigned to someone by the emperor to accomplish some task. To fu ming 复命 meant returning the silk mandate back to the emperor after having completed the assignment. It was a burden one would not become free from until accomplishing it's directive. To run away from it would only make its accomplishment more difficult. Having the mandate (ming) but not accomplishing it, eventually one loses the capability of accomplishing it, which leads to death - lost ming. One way or another, it is a burden upon one's soul until it is resolved, and then the burden is lifted.

 

This lifting of the burden is related to the concept of fu 复 being like an awakening, or a rebirth. To return or resolve one's destiny, one must rest upon what is holding one back so as to finish it - so as to dissolve that which is in the way - and once dissolved it is no longer in one's way; one has transcended.

 

With internal alchemy, the ming-mandate-burden-destiny that must be accomplished is related to the karmic momentum of one's soul. One is trapped within a body, and tied to the polarity of life and death, but also given the opportunity to cultivate one's yin soul with one's yang soul, so they may merge back into something of the utmost yang - the original breath of heaven.

 

The funny thing about rejecting fate, is that it simply creates more fate. To truly transcend fate, we scrub it away through its accomplishment, just like washing dirty dishes. Then no more dishes. When we run away from our responsibilities in the mundane world, those responsibilities build up. When we face up to and accomplish those responsibilities and don't distract ourselves with more responsibilities, the mundane realm stops tugging on us. Then we are simply left with the ming of the body's life-time. The energy of heaven within still seeks to emanate out with every movement of the body and thought of the mind. And yet if we settle into stillness, that energy of heaven does not need to be used. After enough time in stillness we begin to access the xian-tian / pre-celestial / congential realm where we now have access to our yuan jing, yuan qi, yuan shen.

 

In this way, by fu ming 复命 we are able to also return to our original nature through stillness, which seems to be the message encoded throughout chapter 16 of the dao de jing.

 

 

Xing and Ming are the separated parts of the primordial Unity. If Xing is a Yin part, then Ming is a Yang part. The YIN spirit   (i.e. Xing) is inert and has no energy, and therefore he can’t rise to higher worlds. He needs   energy similarly to  a rocket needing fuel for the takeoff. Using only the meditation and any methods tied to Xing only changes the Yin'S characteristics, but makes no qualitative change. The ancient Taoist tradition (and with it those that I have already mentioned) uses the energy of Ming for fusion with Xing.Thus it turns these two into a Yang Spirit , also called a Tao fetus, who has the real potential and can move to higher worlds. So it is the Fusion of the energy Ming with the soul Xing that is the essence of alchemy.

 

Thus, the goal of alchemy - to fuse the soul Xing with the energy Ming and creating a  yang Spirit – a Tao fetus, who has the real potential and can move to higher worlds.

 

This so well conveys the idea of stilling the ming-life-force so that the yang energy hidden within is then able to fuel and fuse with the true yin of the wandering spirit to heal the upper and lower parts of the soul and create the immortal embryo, aka golden elixir and precelestial breath of true unity.

 

 

How to perfect Xing you can understand by yourself or from the books, but how to perfect Ming you can get only in oral precepts of your Teacher. And  important question is: Why it is so? Because of the fact that the secret of Ming is the secret of Life and Death! In carrying out the practice Ming the person violates a natural law (remember the saying "studying from the nature"). This law establishes that an ordinary person SHOULD BE BORN, GROW, LEAVE OR NO AFTER HIMSELF HIS PROGENY AND HIS ACTIONS, THEN GROW OLD AND DIE. Recall the Taoist phrase: "My destiny (MING!) is inside me, it is not from Heaven!" That is, a Taoist does not follow “the Nature", but instead overcomes it and goes against it.

 

This is interesting. I'm not sure as to the origins of such a law, but it does seem to offer some perspective on the phrase my destiny is in me, it is not from heaven. I'm not sure why it would be unnatural for a living being to decide to not further contribute life-force energy toward greater manifestation, once that individual has transcended their destiny through the accomplishment of it.

 

Ming is related to the trigram of kan, water ☵. It is said to inwardly contain the original breath of heaven, which has now become trapped within the material realm. So it would seem that the "destiny granted by heaven" is related to that original breath of heaven that is hidden inside of me, not somewhere else. And this destiny is also related to how I have chosen to shape this breath of heaven's expression into creation time and time again.

 

Fu ming 复命, returning to destiny, revolving destiny, transcending destiny, turning over destiny. A revolution is happening, something cyclical. All things have beginnings and endings. There is the beginning of life, the culmination of life, the slowing of life, and the return to stillness in death. All of this follows the momentum of creation. So too is it natural for the momentum of creation to have a birth, a culmination, a slowing, and a return to its origin in the dao.

 

Overcoming (transcending) the natural momentum of creation, one "goes against it" - the direction of it - by turning back to return to one's origins. All things begin and end, much like how a baseball might be thrown into the sky - it rises and rises, then peaks and begins to fall. Why would creation and return be any different? If anything, the ability of our species to observe and make these choices for ourselves represents a significant turning point.

 

However I do also believe that if we do not fully transcend our destiny - that if we turn our back on some of it, it might not be enough to prevent the fusion of our soul and creation of the immortal embryo, but is possible there might be a limit to the permanence of this immortal embryo. This is related to the stages of immortality. The more one is able to fully resolve things and create a true unity, the more lasting and permanent that unity might be. So perhaps to an extent we are bound to ming, but also to an extent we may chose to only resolve as much ming as necessary to create a soul-vehicle with the capacity to transcend transmigration for some period of time.

 

---------

 

So if one's destiny is within one, how is one destined to find a teacher?

 

It is simply encoded into how it all operates. The primordial is hidden within the material - it fuels the material. Just as it fuels an individual life and spirit, so to is there interaction between all the myriad manifestations within creation. There are so many shapes, and the come to depend upon one another, tugging and pulling. Opposites attract and come to revolve around their common polarity, even as those which resonate come to pool in their relative commonalities.

 

Transcending one's destiny depends upon our ability to be still enough while still existing within a living body so as to return to our original nature; to return to the precelestial realm.

 

Within the postcelestial realm there are many things within our bodies, and within our environments, that could pull us away from stillness. Stillness within movement is the key - learning to adapt equanimously to all things - yet accomplishing this high level of skill takes work.

 

There may be many external sources of distraction, things that draw upon our help, such as friends and family. There may be things we are easily triggered into reactivity by. There may be things within our bodies that lead to difficulty in being still. We must discover how to dissolve these bonds until there is nothing that moves us from our center. This is the work of returning to destiny. Sometimes there are things that must be done, or we will never be left alone - these are the things that chase us no matter how we run. Sometimes there are things that we have a proclivity to get involved in - these are the things we chase even when we do not need to. Dissolve both.

 

As we do this, we change the pattern of our souls and change how we resonate with our environment. The teacher is present within every change. The more we develop the capacity to listen, and the more we develop the skill to harmonize, the more we understand how to hear what is taught.

 

Yet there is often a blind spot, something we manage to miss time after time. This is part of the uniqueness within our shape. As all things change and dance around resonances and polarizations, this uniqueness of our shape, the uniqueness of our need to see what we are missing, will come to magnetize to that which can show us what we are blind to. It is simply the matching of patterns. This is how destiny can be used to meet a teacher, but of course it still follows the natural principles and rules. The student must be clear enough to listen to the signals that draw them to the teacher. Today it is easy to allow the ego-mind to control how the life-force is used, without working to purify it and listen to which changes might be made toward greater harmonization. When we listen and harmonize, we change without always knowing what the result will be, and sometimes a teacher appears.

 

If there was no ming-resonance with the teacher, they could teach you all day long and you would not be able to hear. What needs to be heard to illuminate one's blind spot(s) is related to balance and timing. It is an individual thing. It is related to doing things when one should not, or not doing things when one should, all based on the circumstances and development of the mysterious energies within.

 

 

So then the modern person has no alternative, but to seek a direct transmission of knowledge , which  stems from the time, when the mankind have a clear understanding of cosmic laws. Of course, we can assume that a genius who can understand these law without could be born. But such an extraordinary person will not need anything at all from this world  let alone a  transmission. On the other hand there exist fake methods invented by ordinary people, these methods are usually only a projection of their mind and have nothing to do with the laws of Cosmos.

 

Some of us may have gone quite far in our previous lives, and it is a matter of remembering. Some of us may have explored paths which were fully or partially confusing in previous lives and it is now a matter of identifying where some innate proclivity feels true and yet is somehow not serving.  It is all so simple, and yet we all have such unique perspectives and momentums.

 

In this way, I believe it is through the working with ming that allows us to fall into resonance both internally and externally so as to allow our true way to naturally unfold. And of course the key is in working toward stillness, which is related to the cultivation of xing.

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There is a picture in Damo Mitchell's White Moon on the Mountain Peak which perhaps illuminates this subject somewhat.

 

3T.jpg

 

In the post-celestial creation direction of things, jing, qi, and shen are related to the bodily vitality, bodily health and thinking mind. The ability of thinking mind, or the physical body to operate, depends upon there being fuel to work with, which is qi, and this qi comes from drawing on the reserves of jing, both from our reserves and from food (which also requires energy to digest).

 

When the body is cleared of desires an stilled of momentums, the gateway between the post-celestial (acquired) jing and the precelestial (congenital) jing opens and we are able to cultivate in the direction where jing becomes qi, qi becomes shen, and shen returns to the emptiness. These are transformative phases within the work which involve the merging of these energies back into unity with each other - it is the unity of these three treasures which is precious; the work is not about the elevation of one at the expense of the others.

 

If you cultivate Xing and do not cultivate Ming,

for ten thousand kalpas your Yin Ling (yin soul) will hardly enter sainthood.

If you cultivate Ming and do not cultivate Xing,

it is like having a property without an owner.

An Ancient Immortal, tl by Fabrizio Pregadio of Liu Yiming from Cultivating the Tao

 

 

I share this intending to contribute toward illumination rather than contention.

Good stuff and I particularly applaud the mature spirit your posts were offered in.  

Insightful and worthy of study for people like me who don't know post-celestial from post cereal. 

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The reason is because the original yang line in the water trigram changes to the centre of the the fire trigram, turning it into the heaven trigram, so in order to go back to yuan xing (yuan xing, yuan qing and yuan ming are discussed in Qing Jing Jing Tu Zhu by Shui Jingzi, which is a quanzhen text but similar ideas are talked about in the middle school as well), so yuan shen/yuan xing is the correct combination of ming and xing.  As the text you posted says, leaving the three realms is the result of cultivation pure yang energy, but the pure yang energy is the result of the yang of life (the centre line of kan) and the mind (the outer two trigrams of li) coming together.  Ming is not yin energy, it is yang energy.  yin energy is the kun trigram and is the corporeal body and post heaven jing, once the yang line is added, then ming is found at the centre of the water trigram and is yuan jing.

 

I'm kind of surprised that you consider ming to be a yin energy.

Yuan Jing, Qi and Shen are all yang energies, they are what would be called the inner three treasures (Wang Chongyang said this first as far as I know).

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Sorry if this is moving backwards,

 

I know my yin from my yang,

a straight line from a curve,

but I'm not sure what Yuan is. 

 

What are your definitions?

Thanks

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There is a picture in Damo Mitchell's White Moon on the Mountain Peak which perhaps illuminates this subject somewhat.

 

3T.jpg

 

In the post-celestial creation direction of things, jing, qi, and shen are related to the bodily vitality, bodily health and thinking mind. The ability of thinking mind, or the physical body to operate, depends upon there being fuel to work with, which is qi, and this qi comes from drawing on the reserves of jing, both from our reserves and from food (which also requires energy to digest).

 

When the body is cleared of desires an stilled of momentums, the gateway between the post-celestial (acquired) jing and the precelestial (congenital) jing opens and we are able to cultivate in the direction where jing becomes qi, qi becomes shen, and shen returns to the emptiness. These are transformative phases within the work which involve the merging of these energies back into unity with each other - it is the unity of these three treasures which is precious; the work is not about the elevation of one at the expense of the others.

 

If you cultivate Xing and do not cultivate Ming,

for ten thousand kalpas your Yin Ling (yin soul) will hardly enter sainthood.

If you cultivate Ming and do not cultivate Xing,

it is like having a property without an owner.

An Ancient Immortal, tl by Fabrizio Pregadio of Liu Yiming from Cultivating the Tao

 

 

I share this intending to contribute toward illumination rather than contention.

I agree with the quote but I disagree with most of everything else. Cultivating one of the treasures is always done at the expense of the others. The workaround for this is that once cultivated, the specific energy gets stored and in that way when we move to the next level you don't deplete it. Cultivating shen and emptiness, for example burns a lot of yuan qi and is one of the reasons while Xing work is done after Ming work and why the requirement for a real dantian is so important.

Another thing that I might add is that these transformations "jing>qi>shen>emptiness" are not as linear as most seem to think. In fact any of those energies can be turned into any of the others, the jing to qi to shen to emptiness path is just a general simplification of the path towards transcendence. For other reasons like curing diseases the transformation order can change. In qi gong for example, in order to increase ones level, the qi when is sufficiently condensed turns into jing that is stored in the Dantian. It is said that one unit of jing equals 9 units of qi.

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Sorry if this is moving backwards,

 

I know my yin from my yang,

a straight line from a curve,

but I'm not sure what Yuan is. 

 

What are your definitions?

Thanks

 

Hi,

Yuan refers to the original.   Usually the English translation of Yuan Qi for instance is "primordial Qi."  It is considered to be the building blocks every everything.   So when nei dan practitioners meditate, the more well educated ones will access yuan jing qi and shen rather than post heaven jing qi and shen.   This is sometimes split into two types of practice, external medicine and internal medicine.   External medicine is based on intention, controlling yin and yang and breathing, while internal medicine is based on achieving non action, staying that way, and only making the smallest adjustments needed to maintain a non action state.   The first practice is only good for cultivating some qi, but the second practice can let you open the "mystery gate."   This particular concept I'm paraphrasing from Zhong He Ji, but it appears in other books too.

 

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FWIW I moved this to its own thread in the Daoist section.  Thought it belong better there.

 

 

Is my conceptual base/paradigm moving off in the wrong direction by positing that there is sorta a ghost body we're suppose to cultivate as well as our physical.  That they have organs in common/ same places but the physical and 'ghost' do different things. 

 

If I was to 'Westernize' dans, mings, xings etc., would such a framework, (lets get rid of ghost) and into subtle body and material body be accurate? 

 

If that's accurate, then how would explain things without using chinese terms, as far as how the Subtle body works and reacts to the real body.  Cause If thats a half way decent metaphor, we can say nei dan is about working with the Subtle body and Gi gong is working both.. connecting.  And the reason we meditate is to access/bridge the Subtle with the Physical. 

 

Any sense in that?

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Cultivating shen and emptiness, for example burns a lot of yuan qi and is one of the reasons while Xing work is done after Ming work and why the requirement for a real dantian is so important.

 

 

 

Sadly people who follow the  Buddhist type of practice are unable to understand it  ,which is  especially true for old-aged  practitioners. If they grasp this  , maybe  they will not  succumb to Pure Land or Esoteric way so easily .

For example, consolidate a spiritual state of oneness by singing the name of Buddha , as the initial stage to attain a much greater mindless Mind later ,  is what Pure Land advocate , yet what is unknown is that it needs the support of jing+ qi 's to accomplish.

 

 

"  It is said that one unit of jing equals 9 units of qi. "

 

I only heard of one drop of jing equals to ten drops of blood ; this saying about  jing and qi sounds  strange to me.

Edited by exorcist_1699
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Posted (edited)

also interested in the ming aspect... just the very basics:

how would one know or find out what ones destiny is, so what it is you are meant to "work on" or "develop on" in this life?

could one draw an analogy from the roman placidus astrology north node of one's horoscope or is it far fetched? 

Edited by liberale.ironikerin
just the very basics

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