Yueya

“Golden Elixir is another name for xing and ming”  – Liu Yiming

Recommended Posts

For those who haven’t seen it, there’s a very comprehensive essay on ming-xing written by Fabrizio Pregadio available here:

http://www.fabriziopregadio.com/files/PREGADIO_Destiny_Vital_Force_or_Existence.pdf

 

I recommend it as an addition to the recent Dao Bums topic on ming-xing cultivation here. It clarifies key concepts and gives historical context to that whole discussion.  

 

I’ve started it as a new topic because of the central place ming-xing cultivation occupies in Neidan. For me though, my actual experiences arising from my life and my practice (these are not two) must always be primary. Theory such as this gives language and lineage context for those experiences – and it’s massively helpful on many levels, for sure – but once past beginning stages, I've found it unhelpful to try to emulate the theory rather than allowing my own path to unfold as it will, self-so. In other words, what interests me is my own experience of the illusive inner reality that this theory tries to explain.

 

I can feel my path leading me somewhere, but where it’s leading is an ever-unfolding mystery. The later sections of Pregadio’s essay have given me some insight into what I'm beginning to feel with his discussion of true and false xing and ming. 

 

Comments welcome but please read this essay properly first! 

 

 

Edited by Yueya
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Yueya said:

 

For me though, my actual experiences arising from my life and my practice (these are not two) must always be primary.

Do you follow a specific method for creating the External Medicine, or do you work from the other direction? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If iI'm grasping this at all - any genuine, meritorious activity is liable to have a positive effect on ming, but if I put time into speculating about the content of ming, that would impede xing - which in turn, would alter the actual content of ming.

 

or - Ming unfolds in front of me all the time, regardless of whether it's a fixed track or constantly changing. Again, speculating about this very notion can impede xing as it travels through the "gate" presented by ming.

 

Or - I'm not understanding the terms in context.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Sketch said:

 

Or - I'm not understanding the terms in context.

I would not go so far as saying you are wrong, but you are boldly taking the terms into areas unchartered by the books I have studied. 

 

Maybe that is how the terms can be used within a DDJ framework, or perhaps within another more philosophical view?

 

At least the Nanzhong tradition tend to be more practical, more focused on replenishing the actual Ming (with the super secret Ming methods that are mentioned, or rather not mentioned, in older threads). 

 

And then you work with both Ming and Xing. 

 

Liu I-Ming makes things more complicated... 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of the books I'm drawing on my (limited) comprehension of, I may be thinking of the terms as explained in Damo Mitchell's "Comprehensive Guide". 

 

Maybe another way to put it would be in terms of a performance situation; there's the script, the blocking, and the rehearsal - and then there's what happens on opening night.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of the books I'm drawing on my (limited) comprehension of, I may be thinking of the terms as explained in Damo Mitchell's "Comprehensive Guide". 

 

Maybe another way to put it would be in terms of a performance situation; there's the script, the blocking, and the rehearsal - and then there's what happens on opening night.

 

mingmen.jpg&key=2dc94f7ebf86cd02ad21c1e4Also drawing on the image from TCM of the Ming Men, located between the kidneys, as the "gate where destiny enters the body"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This also fits the sense of the Golden Elixer put forth in Scott Park Phillips' books, which emphasize the proprioceptive sense of inhabiting the space around the body.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cleansox said:

Good call! 

 

It’s no quick read either but a rewarding one. I thank Fabrizio Pregadio for granting us a great gift by making this essay (and others on his website) freely available. I printed it out as I don’t like to read anything long from a screen. That way it not only reads as something substantial and solid but feels it too.  

 

Having started the topic, I’m content with the essay being either ignored, read and absorbed in silence, or for it to precipitate further discussion here.   

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am mainly testing my ability to follow directional arrows through related material and use the shared terminology in a way that is at all meaningful in relation to communicating my understanding and my experience.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cleansox said:

Do you follow a specific method for creating the External Medicine, or do you work from the other direction? 

 

No way can I give any meaningful answer to this in a few words, if at all. I’ve written about my ever-evolving practice and perspective in numerous threads over the several years I’ve been a member of Dao Bums. But to give you some small idea of my connection with Neidan, back around 1990, when I first read Zhang Boduan's (Chang Po-tuan) "Understanding Reality" [The Wuzhen pian, 悟真篇] with a commentary by Liu Yiming as translated by Thomas Cleary, the alchemical language sent shivers up my spine: 

 

The tiger leaps, the dragon soars, the wind and the waves are rough. In the correct position in the center is produced the mysterious jewel. Fruit grows on the branches, ripe at the end of the season; how can the child in the belly be any different? 

 

Even though on an intellectual level I had no way of understanding this, on a deeper level it felt totally familiar. I felt I knew it and reading it was like coming home. Hence, shortly afterwards I packed up my belongings and went on a worldwide search for teachings. From there it’s been a long and interesting journey to say the least!   
 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Sketch said:

This also fits the sense of the Golden Elixer put forth in Scott Park Phillips' books, which emphasize the proprioceptive sense of inhabiting the space around the body.

From the info online, I would guess that Scott frames this context different than most. So I ordered one of his books, just to learn more 😁

 

Yes, not only sensing but inhabiting the peripersonal space (the technical term for that space) is a part of it. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Yueya said:

, back around 1990, when I first read Zhang Boduan's (Chang Po-tuan) "Understanding Reality" [The Wuzhen pian, 悟真篇] with a commentary by Liu Yiming as translated by Thomas Cleary, the alchemical language 

I read that for the first time in 2012, and didn't understand a word of it. 

I didn't even know I was practicing a method where it was relevant, my teacher only confirmed that after I had some breakthroughs in my practice. 

 

In the method I use, it is Ming first, but then Ming and Xing together. 

Saying that, I would not disagree with the notion that doing Xing properly will also affect Ming, when coming to the Dragon and Tiger that is sort of an option in how to put it. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great discussion!

And i really like the title of the topic....the merging of xing and ming is indeed the start of the Golden elixir, but then needs further developement.

I personally find those articles based on neidan texts are little tiring because these texts are purposefully coded as to not make any sense to people not in the practice system of the author. And methods have never been written down and that is why the ming gong stuff is still not in the public.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an excellent article and thanks @Yueya for sharing it. It is no surprise to me that this mirrors precisely what I've learnt in the Hindu traditions (Vedanta and Yoga/Tantra). 

 

Allow me to point out the correlation as follows --

 

The Northern School of Neidan with its focus on Xing, correlates to the Direct Path of Jnana Yoga (Vedanta/Sambhavopaya of Kashmir Shaivism) in the form of aphorisms such as ---

Quote

Wang Zhe’s main disciple, Ma Yu 馬鈺 (h. Danyang 丹陽, 1123–84), is deemed to have given this teaching:

 

Someone asks: “What is the meaning of ‘seeing one’s Nature’? ” I reply: “When there is no mind and there are no thoughts, when you are not attached to anything, when all is clear and pure, when there is no thing either inside or outside, then only the One Nature is manifested. This is ‘seeing one’s Nature’.”61

 

問:「如何是『見性』?」答曰:「只那無心無念,不著一物,澄澄湛湛, 內外無物,孤然只顯一性,此乃是『見性』也。」

 

The Southern School of Neidan with its focus on either Xing and Ming together, or Ming and then Xing reflects the Yoga tradition or the Kashmir Shaivism Shaktopaya (Xing and Ming together) or Anvopaya (First Ming and then Xing). 

 

According to the Hindu traditions, not everyone is ready for The Direct Path, because there are karmic causes for the obscuration of one's True Nature in one's mind (scattered or polluted). Then such people need to follow the path of Xing and Ming together or Ming first (and then Xing) depending on how deeply karma influences the delusions of the mind.

 

https://ikashmir.net/publications/doc/shaivism.pdf (read sections 7-1, 7-2 and 7-3 specifically). 

 

I apologize if my adding from the Hindu tradition muddies the waters, but in my eyes, I don't see any difference in essence, only in labels (and associated trappings of language, cultural context, etc). 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, dwai said:

 @Yueya

The Southern School of Neidan with its focus on either Xing and Ming together, or Ming and then Xing reflects the Yoga tradition or the Kashmir Shaivism Shaktopaya (Xing and Ming together) or Anvopaya (First Ming and then Xing). 

Yes. There are striking resemblances, including some of the practical methodology. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, MIchael80 said:

 

I personally find those articles based on neidan texts are little tiring because these texts are purposefully coded as to not make any sense to people not in the practice system of the author.

I feel that that shines through some of the translations of classic texts, where it sometimes seems that the translators does a "jurassic park", ie fills in the holes in the genome with whatever material is available. 

11 hours ago, MIchael80 said:

And methods have never been written down and that is why the ming gong stuff is still not in the public.

Which is good to know when one is extending ones library with another nei dan book. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dwai said:

I apologize if my adding from the Hindu tradition muddies the waters, but in my eyes, I don't see any difference in essence, only in labels (and associated trappings of language, cultural context, etc). 

 

According to an Ananda Mur Tiji, the internal training was first developed in the Himalayas region.  Then it was spread south to India, taken up by Hindu and Buddhist.  After that, it was spread to Tibet, Han Chinese region, finally to Siberia and Mongolia.  This kind of skill was named Tan-tra, and related names subsequently.   Even the name Tao has its root from Tantra like Vira-Cafa, Cina-cara, Dhyana etc.  There were also great persons who traveled to the other countries to learn or enrich their path over the years.  So you can see a lot of similarities as all these internal practices have a common root.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Master Logray said:

 

According to an Ananda Mur Tiji, the internal training was first developed in the Himalayas region.  Then it was spread south to India, taken up by Hindu and Buddhist.  After that, it was spread to Tibet, Han Chinese region, finally to Siberia and Mongolia.  This kind of skill was named Tan-tra, and related names subsequently.   Even the name Tao has its root from Tantra like Vira-Cafa, Cina-cara, Dhyana etc.  There were also great persons who traveled to the other countries to learn or enrich their path over the years.  So you can see a lot of similarities as all these internal practices have a common root.

 

 

I think an argument could be made for a different timeline.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

I think an argument could be made for a different timeline.

 

 

It is hard to trace these things so far into antiquity, but that there is commonality is indubitable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Genius discovery Dwai :o but I think it depends on the daoist source youre looking at.

 

Trika (Kashmir Shaivism) gives many many forms of Shakti. Like over 10, different types of "QI". Including a lot of stuff we do not currently handle as part of our waking volition on a daily basis. Peoples minds is tattwa 14 or something right?

 

..... 15* in some placements > the ahamkara. The buddhi is at best "intuition" for normal people and that is not the buddhi directly, but the result of it.

https://www.saivism.net/articles/tattvas.asp scroll down just a bit to the table

https://www.sanskrit-trikashaivism.com/en/trika-tattvic-chart-1-non-dual-shaivism-of-kashmir/503

 

Whereas lineages like the Wu Liu (the guys that were here on this forum a few years back) say Ming is Yuan Chi and Xing is the Yuan shen. So our mind. And once again this is a form of energy in the body, fueling longevity of this body, not something we are one with fundamentally like Siva.

 

Further confusing, I've seen lineages that describe Yuan shen or Yuan stuff in general as equivalent to the PURE TATTVAS .... roughly equivalent to the highest level stuff like Dharmakaya in buddhism.

Edited by EmeraldHead
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

Genius discovery Dwai :o but I think it depends on the daoist source youre looking at.

the evidence speaks for itself - I take no credit (except my broken record that plays over and over, repeating this on various threads ;)

19 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

 

Trika (Kashmir Shaivism) gives many many forms of Shakti. Like over 10, different types of "QI". Including a lot of stuff we do not currently handle as part of our waking volition on a daily basis. Peoples minds is tattwa 14 or something right?

 

..... 15* in some placements > the ahamkara. The buddhi is at best "intuition" for normal people and that is not the buddhi directly, but the result of it.

https://www.saivism.net/articles/tattvas.asp scroll down just a bit to the table

https://www.sanskrit-trikashaivism.com/en/trika-tattvic-chart-1-non-dual-shaivism-of-kashmir/503

 

a good source I think is based on Swami Lakshmanjoo’s teachings (he was after all the last living master of this tradition in the 20th century). If you read the Shiva sutras, his commentary makes it very clear what is being referred to in the sutras. 

19 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

Whereas lineages like the Wu Liu (the guys that were here on this forum a few years back) say Ming is Yuan Chi and Xing is the Yuan shen. So our mind. And once again this is a form of energy in the body, fueling longevity of this body, not something we are one with fundamentally like Siva.

 

Further confusing, I've seen lineages that describe Yuan shen or Yuan stuff in general as equivalent to the PURE TATTVAS .... roughly equivalent to the highest level stuff like Dharmakaya in buddhism.

from my perspective, there is no doubt about the nondual essence of all existence, so I reject all dualistic methods and explanations as incorrect/incomplete.

 

i am of the opinion that The Yuan shen/yuan qi is indeed pure tattva. 
 

if you read the doc shared in the OP,  I think the general thrust is in that direction. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

 

Whereas lineages like the Wu Liu (the guys that were here on this forum a few years back) say Ming is Yuan Chi and Xing is the Yuan shen. 

I think that @MIchael80's post above clarify this, as there is more beyond this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

And i really like the title of the topic....the merging of xing and ming is indeed the start of the Golden elixir, but then needs further developement.

37 minutes ago, Cleansox said:

I think that @MIchael80's post above clarify this, as there is more beyond this. 

Oh I missed that <3

 

But, what are the NAMEs of these concepts and practices?

Edited by EmeraldHead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

 

But, what are the NAMEs of these concepts and practices?

"No words apply", is what I have read. 😁 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites