The Intercourse of Water and Fire / 坎离交媾


Whenever the vital energy leaks out, or the vital spirit gets entangled with things, that is all Li (Fire) ☲. Whenever you gather back the spirit’s consciousness, quiet it down and hold it in the center, that is all Kan (Water) ☵. When the seven apertures (eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth) run outward, that is Li (Fire) ☲; when the seven apertures turn around inward, that is Kan (Water) ☵.

凡漏泄精神,動而交物者,皆離也。凡收轉神識,靜而中涵者,皆坎也。七竅之外走者為離,七竅之內返者為坎。

The yin (inside the fire trigram ☲) follows the stimulation of the senses, while the yang (inside the water trigram ☵) reverses this and withdraws from the senses. 

一陰主於逐色隨聲,一陽主於返聞收見。

Water and fire are yin and yang, yin and yang are essence and life, essence and life are body and mind, body and mind are spirit and energy. Once you withdraw to rest your vital spirit in calm breathing and abiding, and are not affected by internal and external stimuli, then true intercourse happens, as when you sit in profound silence.

坎離即陰陽,陰陽即性命,性命即身心,身心即神照。一自斂息,精神不為境緣流轉,即是真交。而沉默趺坐時,又無論矣。