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.
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.
In ancient times, those who realized spiritual immortality passed on the Way through word of mouth, transmitting it from one to another.
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.
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.
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.
As a practitioner, one must devotedly apply the teaching to everyday life and relationships in society. Only then can you realize essence and attain liberation.
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.
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.
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.”
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’.
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.
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.”
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.