Chapter Three: Returning the Light and Embracing the Center
第 三 章 回 光 守 中
Translation © 2013 by Stuart Alve Olson. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission from Stuart Alve Olson and the Sanctuary of Dao.
Ancestor Lu said: “Who was it that revealed the term “Returning the Light? It was first revealed in the writings of the True Person (Guan Yin Zi). When Returning the Light, then the Qi of Heaven and Earth, of yin and yang, can completely congeal together. This is also what is called Thought Essence and Pure Breath.
吕 祖 曰: 回 光 之 名 何 昉 乎. 昉 之 自 文 始 真 人 也 (卽 関 尹 子). 回 光 則 天 地 陰 陽 之 氣 無 不 凝. 所 謂 精 思 者 此 也. 純 炁 者 此 也.
Pure imagination is the secret for beginning practice. It is as though in the middle of one’s being, there is a non-being. After the long work is finally completed, it will be as if beyond the body there is another body. It will be as if in the middle of non-being, there is a being. One hundred days of focused work is needed, only then will the effort be genuine and become Spirit Fire. After a hundred days within the Light there will naturally develop one droplet of True Yang, and then quickly a Millet Pearl will be produced. Just like when a man and woman unite in intercourse and there results an embryo, one then must simply be calm and await it. The returning of the light is then the Fire Process.
純 想 者 此 也. 初 行 此 訣. 乃 有 中 似 無. 久 之 功 成. 身 外 有 身. 乃 無 中 似 有. 百 日 專 功. 功 才 真. 方 為 神 火. 百 日 後. 光 中 自 然 一 点 真 陽. 忽 生 黍 珠. 如 夫 婦 交 合 有 胎. 便 當 靜 以 待 之. 光 之 回. 卽 火 候 也.
Now, within the Primordial Flower there is Yang Light acting as a master ruler. Having form, it represents the sun; dwelling in the person, it represents the eyes. But if the spiritual intuition leaks out it will prove very difficult to follow [the method]. Therefore the Way of the Golden Flower is to completely utilize a reverse-flowing method. Returning the Light is not only about returning the Essence Flower of the entire self, but is also a straightforward creation of True Qi. This is not just some momentary false thinking, rather a continuous cycle of returning to the Void for a thousand kalpas. Therefore, each breath should be regarded as one year and for human beings it is simultaneously but a moment. One breath should be regarded as one hundred years, a long night along Nine Roads.
夫 元 化 之 中, 有 陽 光 為 主 宰, 有 形 者 為 日, 在 人 為 目, 走 漏 神 識, 莫 此 甚 順 也. 故 金 華 之 道, 全 用 逆 法. 回 光 者, 非 回 一 身 之 精 華, 直 回 造 化 之 真 炁, 非 止 一 時 之 忘 念, 直 空 千 劫 之 輪 回. 故 一 息 當 一 年, 人 同 時 刻 也. 一 息 當 百 年, 九 途 長 夜 也.
A common person, even having experiencing one sound of the [meditation hall] bell will pursue more favorable conditions of life, and not until they reach old age will they even consider trying the Way of Reversing. But if their Yang Qi has waned or been extinguished this then brings about the realms of the Nine Darknesses. In the Shurangama Sutra it states, “By concentrating thought, one can fly; by concentrating on desires, one falls.” When a student has few thoughts and many desires, they sink into lower ways. Only through true contemplation, breath, and tranquility will there be a chance for achieving the correct intuition, and to make use of the reverse-flowing method. The Yin Convergence Scripture states, “The root-power is in the eyes.” In the Simple Questions of the Yellow Emperor, it is said, “The Essence Flower of the human body must be entirely concentrated upon and directed upward into empty space.” Obtaining these [Root-Power and Essence Flower] is but one part of this [process], and longevity exists within them. These are the experiences all Three Schools seek to clearly perceive and penetrate.
凡 人 自 歷 的 一 聲 之 後, 逐 境 順 生, 至 老 未 嘗 逆 視, 陽 氣 衰 滅, 便 是 九 幽 之 界. 故 楞 嚴 經 云, 純 想 即 飛, 純 情 即 堕. 學 人 想 少 情 多, 沈 淪 下 道. 惟 諦 觀 息 靜 便 成 正 覺, 用 逆 法 也. 陰 符 經 云, 機 在 目. 黃 帝 素 問 云, 人 身 精 華, 皆 上 注 于 空 竅 是 也. 得 此 一 節, 長 生 者 在 茲 矣. 此 是 貫 徹 三 教 工 夫.
The Light does not dwell in the body alone, neither does it dwell just outside the body. Mountains and rivers and the great Earth are all illuminated and overlooked by the sun and moon. Nothing is without this Light, so therefore it is not only just within the body. The bright intelligence and wisdom, and all the movement are likewise not without this Light; therefore, it is not just something dwelling outside the body. The Flower of Light of Heaven and Earth fills all thousand spaces. But also this Flower of Light of the one body spreads throughout Heaven and covers the Earth. Therefore, with each Returning of the Light, Heaven, Earth, mountains, and rivers are all returning with it simultaneously. The Essence Flower of people is concentrated above in the eyes. This is the great key of the human body.
光 不 在 身 中, 亦 不 在 身 外, 山 河 大 地, 日 月 照 臨, 无 非 此 光, 故 不 獨 在 身 中. 聰 明 智 慧, 一 切 運 轉, 亦 无 非 此 光, 所 以 亦 在 身 外. 天 地 之 光 華, 布 滿 大 千, 一 身 之 光 華, 亦 自 漫 天 盖 地. 所 以 一 回 光. 天 地 山 河 一 切 皆 回 矣. 人 之 精 華. 上 注 于 目, 此 人 身 之 大 關 鍵 也.
Sons and generations to come, pay attention! Not sitting in tranquility for one day, the Light will turn around and flow out. How can this situation be stopped? For a quarter of an hour [each day] sit in tranquility. Then ten-thousand kalpas and a thousand births of the past can be clearly perceived and passed through. All methods return to tranquility, this truly cannot be fathomed as it is a very profound truth. When the work is initiated, be it from the shallow to the deep, from the course to the fine, in every case there must be no interruption or severance in acting on the subtleties of this. The beginning and the end of the work must be one. But in between these, there will be a self-awareness of cooler and warmer [periods], yet it is most important to return to the Heavenly Void and the vast depths of the sea so all the methods are just thus, so the methods are obtained in your hand.
子 輩 思 之, 一 日 不 靜 坐, 此 光 流 轉, 何 所 底 止. 若 一 刻 能 靜 坐, 萬 劫 千 生, 從 此 了 徹. 萬 法 歸 于 靜, 真 不 可 思 議, 此 妙 諦 也. 然 工 夫 下 手, 由 泠 入 深, 由 粗 入 細, 總 以 不 間 斷 為 妙. 工 夫 始 終 則 一, 但 其 間 泠 暖 自 知, 要 歸 于 天 空 海 闊. 萬 法 如 如, 方 為 得 手.
Every sage has transmitted that nothing is possible without reflection and illumination. Confucianists say, “knowing is perfection.” Buddhists called it, “contemplating the heart,” and Lao [Zi] called it, “internal contemplation.” All these teachings are the same. However these two words, reflection and illumination, anyone can talk about these words, but they cannot acquire the skills of them nor can they understand the meaning of these two words. Reflection means a mind of self-realization. At first the reflection of the spirit form is not yet known. Consequently, within our six-foot [bodies] we must search out the reflection and measure of Heaven and Earth not yet born of our body. Presently people practice Tranquil Sitting for the space of one or two hours, but they are only reflecting and looking after their own selfish interest. They only seek advantage in talking about reflection and illumination, and the only ease they attain is in their head.
聖 聖 相 傳, 不 離 反 照. 孔 云, 致 知. 釋 曰, 觀 心. 老 云, 內 觀. 皆 此 法 也. 但 反 照 二 字, 人 人 能 言, 不 能 得 手, 未 識 二 字 之 義 耳. 反 者, 自 知 覺 之 心, 反 乎 形 神 未 兆 之 初. 則 吾 六 尺 之 中, 反 求 量 天 地 未 生 之 體. 今 人 但 一, 二 時 中 間 靜 坐, 反 顧 己 私. 便 云 反 照, 安 得 到 頭.
The two founders of Buddhism and Daoism taught people they should look at the tip of their nose. But they did not mean they should hold their thinking on the end of the nose. Nor did they mean the eyes are held steadfastly contemplating the end of the nose. The thoughts and contemplation should be held and concentrated on the Yellow Center. Wherever the eyes are directed, the mind is also directed. How can there be a [gazing] upwards [to the Yellow Center], and a downward [gaze to the tip of the nose] simultaneously, or how can there be an alternating [gazing] of quickly looking up and then down? All of this means just confusing the pointing finger [at the moon] with the moon itself. How could this [kind of gazing] actually [be applied to] the flower? The two words, “nose and end,” are extremely profound. The nose only serves as a guiding line for the eyes. If the eyes are not guided by the nose, the eyes will open wide and gaze off into the distance, and the nose will not be seen, or if the lids shut too much the eyes will be closed, and likewise the nose will not be seen. If the eyes are widely opened, there will be the error of directing them outwards, and so one is easily distracted and confused. If the eyes are closed too much, there will be the error of allowing them to turn inwards, and so one easily sinks into darkness and loss of consciousness. Only when [the eyelids] are hung down like screens halfway, is the end of the nose seen in just the right way. Therefore [the nose] is to be taken as a guiding line. Only this lowering of the screens is the right way because it allows the Light to flow in naturally. There is no excellence in your fixing the attention upon it nor in not fixing your attention upon it. With looking at the end of the nose it is only important to do so when first entering into meditation, the eyes are then to be raised up [to the Mysterious Pass] with single focus. But fixing the attention [on the end of the nose] creates a downward defined line. This is just like a mason hanging a plumb line, and once the line is hung up he can just let it be. In this way he can let the plumb line guide his work and not continually be bothered by the line or have to look at it.
佛 道 二 祖, 教 人 看 鼻 尖 者. 非 謂 着 念 于 鼻 端 也. 亦 非 謂 眼 觀 鼻 端, 念 觀 端, 念 又 注 中 黃 也. 眼 之 所 至, 心 亦 至 焉. 何 能 一 上 而 一 下 也. 又 何 能 忽 上 而 忽 下 也. 此 皆 誤 指 而 為 月. 華 竟 如 何. 曰 鼻 端 二 字 最 妙, 只 是 借 鼻 以 為 眼 之 開 準 耳. 初 不 在 鼻 上, 益 以 大 開 眼, 則 視 遠 , 而 不 見 鼻 矣. 太 閉 眼. 則 眼 合, 亦 不 見 鼻 矣. 大 開 失 之 外 走, 易 于 散 亂. 太 閉 失 之 內 馳, 易 于 昏 沉. 惟 垂 簾 得 中, 恰 好 望 見 鼻 端, 故 取 以 為 準. 只 是 垂 簾 好, 任 彼 光 自 然 透 入, 不 芳 你 注 射 與 不 注 射. 看 鼻 端, 只 于 最 初 入 靜 處 擧 眼 一 視, 定 個 準 則 便 放 下. 如 泥 水 匠 人 用 線 一 般, 彼 自 起 手 一 般, 彼 自 起 手 一 掛, 便 依 了 做 上 去, 不 只 管 把 線 看 也.
Cessation and contemplation are Buddhist methods, sources that are by no means a secret. The two eyes introspectively contemplate the end of the nose, with the body held upright, and sitting at ease. The heart is then connected to the midst of conditions, but one must not [connect] to the words within the head. Only within, in the two zeros, is all equal and level, and one can clearly understand the connection and simplicity of thought. The Light is lively and spills forth east and west. Within the two zeros thoughts connect. The Light penetrates and enters naturally and it is not necessary to give direct attention to the Central Court. These numerous words already exhaust the important purpose [of this work], for it is I who enters tranquility and departs from tranquility, either from the front or back. From the lower Book of Cessation and Contemplation is the seal of proof.
止 觀 是 佛 法, 原 不 秘 的. 以 兩 目 諦 觀 鼻 端 正 身 安 坐, 繫 心 緣 中, 不 必 言 頭 中, 但 于 兩 〇 中 間 齊 平 處 繫 念 便 了. 光 是 活 潑 潑的 東 西, 繫 念 兩 〇 中 間. 光 自 然 透 入, 不 必 看 意 于 中 宮 也. 此 數 語 已 括 盡 要 旨. 其 余 入 靜 出 靜 前 後, 以 下 止 觀 書 印 証 可 也.
The term, Liang Ling, 兩 〇, translates as “double zeros,” but is meant to indicate the two eyes. In the first presentation of this term it is meant to indicate a state of Wu Ji (無 極, the Illimitable) and in the second presentation it is referring to a state of Tai Ji (太 極, the Supreme Ultimate), divided by yin and yang. or as sun and moon.
The two words “Cessation” and “Contemplation” are the ultimate subtleness. Within them everything dwells, dwelling internally and as well everywhere within the great thousand worlds. Moreover, these point directly at the Root-Power of creation and transformation, and so conditions enter the door. Conditions mean all conditions from the very origin of things. Without having solidly making this known. The meaning of these two words are extremely lively and extremely profound.
緣 中 二 字 極 妙. 中 无 不 在, 遍 大 千 皆 在 裏 許. 聊 指 造 化 之 機, 緣 此 入 門 耳. 緣 者 緣 此 為 端 倪, 非 有 定 著 也, 此 二 字 之 義, 活 甚 妙 甚.
The two words, Cessation and Contemplation, the origin and highest yet unattainable. This then is determined wisdom. Before the time common thoughts are initiated, it is not necessary to cut off the former ones, but to investigate the existence of these thoughts where they reside. Following where they begin, following to where they are extinguished, and to turn back and carry out the investigation. But even with clear understanding, this cannot be obtained. Then the seeing is the starting place of these thoughts, and yet again it is not necessary to exterminate where these thoughts initially reside. Seeking the mind to clearly understand it is not obtainable. I and thou can actually calm the mind, and this is correct contemplation. Turning back means people contemplating the demonic influences, and thus the self cannot be obtained. Yet the former thoughts are continuously let go of or ceased. Then there will be a continual contemplation. Contemplation and continuance is what brings about cessation. This is determined wisdom of dual cultivation. This is Returning the Light, the Light is contemplation. Returning means cessation; the Light means contemplation. Cessation without contemplation is to have returning but no light. Contemplation without cessation is to have Light but no returning. This is the aspiration of it.
止 觀 二 字, 原 高 不 得, 即 定 慧 也. 以 後 凡 念 起 時, 不 要 仍 舊 兀 生, 當 究 此 念 在 何 處. 從 何 起, 從 何 滅, 反 復 推 究, 了 不 可 得. 即 見 此 念 起 處 也, 不 要 又 討 討 起 處. 覓 心 了 不 可 得. 吾 與 汝 安 心 竟, 此 是 正 觀, 反 此 者, 名 為 邪 觀. 如 是 不 可 得 已, 即 仍 舊 綿 綿 去 止, 而 継 之 以 觀, 觀 而 継 之 以 止, 是 定 慧 雙 修, 此 為 回 光. 回 者 止 也, 光 者 觀 也. 止 而 不 觀, 名 為 有 回 而 无 光, 觀 而 不 止, 名 為 有 光 而 无 回, 志 之.