Heavenly Mind / 天心


Master Lu Dongbin said: The nature of mind and of all things is called the Way. The Way has no name or form. It is the one essence, the primordial spirit.

吕祖曰:自然曰道,道无名相,一性而已,一元神而已,

Essence and life are invisible to ordinary eyes, as they are the Light of Heaven. The Light of Heaven is invisible to untrained mind, as it is contained in between the two eyes.

性命不可见,寄之天光,天光不可见,寄之两目。

In ancient times, those who realized spiritual immortality passed on the Way through word of mouth, transmitting it from one to another.

古来仙真,口口相传,传一得一。

Since Lao Tzu became immortal, the teaching was handed on through master Donghua to me, and to the southern and northern schools of Complete Reality, which reached its full flourishing.

自太上见化,东华递传某,以及南北两宗,全真可为极盛,

It flourished in the sense that there were a great number of followers, meanwhile it declined in the sense that the transmission of its essence deteriorated. Therefore to the present day, it has become extremely superficial and degenerated.

盛者盛其徒众,衰者衰于心传,以至今曰,滥泛极矣!凌替极矣!

Extremes usually bring about reversion. Hence master Xu extended his kindness to enlighten all, especially setting up a special transmission outside of doctrine, for those who were of the highest caliber. For those who heard, it was a rare opportunity. For those who accepted, it formed a religious association in their time. Everyone should appreciate the effort of master Xu.

极则返,故蒙净明许祖,垂慈普度,特立教外别传之旨,接引上根。闻者千劫难逢,受者一时法会。皆当仰体许祖苦心,

As a practitioner, one must devotedly apply the teaching to everyday life and relationships within society. Only then can you realize essence and attain liberation.

必于人伦曰用间,立定脚跟,方可修真悟性。

Now I am bestowed with the honor to be a guide. I will first reveal the secret of the Golden Flower, and then bit by bit I will explain in detail.

我今叨为度师,先以太乙金华宗旨发明,然后细为开说,

The Taiyi (太乙, Absolute Unity) refers to the supreme that has nothing above it. The secret of alchemy practice consists in relying on provisional effort in order to arrive at effortlessness. One must not wish to bypass the necessary steps and leap to direct transcendence. However, the doctrine handed down directly points us in the direction of working with the essence and does not mislead us to any secondary method. That is what’s so wonderful about it.

太乙者,无上之谓。丹诀总假有为而臻无为,非一超直入之旨。所传宗旨,直提性功,不落第二法门,所以为妙。

The Golden Flower is light. It’s used as a symbolic image to represent the essential power of the Great Light, which is the unified energy of the universe from beginningless time, a circular course of light, the protection of the center. There is a saying, “The lead of all waters has only one taste.”

金华即光也,光是何色?取象于金华,亦秘一光字在内,是先天太乙之真气,水响铅只一位者此也。

The work of turning the Light around depends entirely on backward-flowing movement, to concentrate energy on the Heavenly Mind, which lies between sun and moon, i.e., the two eyes. The Sutra of the Yellow Court says: “In the square inch field of the square house, life can be regulated. The square foot house means the face, and the square inch field on the face of course is the Heavenly Mind, in the middle of which dwells the god of perfect awareness and ultimate enlightenment, the splendor of highest heavens and the most sublime realms.” Confucians call it ‘the center of emptiness’, Buddhists call it ‘the terrace of spirit’, Taoists call it ‘the ancestral land’, or ‘the yellow court’, or ‘the mysterious pass’, or ‘the primordial opening’.

回光之功,全用逆法,注想天心,天心居曰月中。《黄庭经》云:“寸田尺宅可治生,尺宅面也,向上寸田,非天心而何?方寸中具有森罗萧台之胜,玉京丹阙之奇,乃至虚至灵之神所住。” 儒曰:“虚中”;释曰:“灵台”;道曰:“祖土”,曰:“黄庭”,曰:“玄关”,曰:“先天窍”。

The Heavenly Mind is like a dwelling place; the Light is the master of the house. Therefore when the Light claims its throne, the energies throughout the whole body appear at the court and arrange themselves properly, just as when a holy king takes possession of the capital and lays down the rules of order, all states will approach with tribute and respect; or as when a master is in charge fairly, all servants do their work obediently. You only have to turn the Light around, make it flow backward and circulate smoothly: this is the deepest and most wonderful secret.

盖天心犹宅舍一般,光乃主人翁也。故一回光,周身之气皆上朝,如圣王定都立极,执玉帛者万国;又如主人精明,奴婢自然奉命,各司其事。诸子只去回光,便是无上妙谛。

The Light is easy to move, but hard to stabilize. If you can make it go long enough in a circle, it then crystallizes itself; that is the natural spirit-body. This crystallized and stabilized energy goes beyond the nine Heavens. In the Sutra of the Mind Seal, there is such a saying, “Silently you pay court and soar upward.”

光易动而难定,回之既久,此光凝结,即是自然法身,而凝神于九霄之上矣。《心印经》所谓默朝飞升者此也。

In carrying out this fundamental practice, you have nothing else to do but focus all your attention on it. The Sutra of Leng Yan says, “By concentrating and purifying thought one can fly, and will be born in Heaven.” Heaven is not the wide blue sky, but a heavenly dwelling where the body is recreated. If one keeps this up for a long time, there develops quite naturally a spirit-body. The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (or more literally, the Golden Pill). All spiritual transformation depends upon the Mind. This secret charm, although it works perfectly accurately, is yet so elusive that it needs wisdom and clarity, and complete absorption and tranquility. People without the highest degree of understanding do not find the way to apply the charm; people without the utmost capacity for concentration cannot keep fast hold of it.

宗旨行去,别无求进之法,只在纯想于此。《楞严经》云:“纯想即飞,必生天上”。天非苍苍之天,即生身于乾宫是也。久之,自然身外有身。 金华即金丹,神明变化,各师于心,此种妙诀,虽不差毫末,然而甚活,全要聪明,又须沉静,非极聪明人行不得,非极沉静人守不得。