Friday, December 19, 2014

From Sword To Flower (花剑恩仇录)


When I was still studying in secondary school some 30 years ago, Hong Kong kung fu movies were very gaining popularity and many of the youths were fans of kung fu. I was one of the fans and I dreamed of becoming a sword immortal (剑仙) one day.

 

As I heard that there was an old Taoist living in a temple beside Lake Garden, so I started my search and after some efforts, I finally found the old Taoist. Well, at first this old man denied that he was a ‘sword immortal’ but after much conversation and persuasions; he finally said to me:

 

“If you want to master the art of swordsmanship, first you must master the art of Karate chop. First you should go back to your house and train your wrist power for 100 days. After that, light an incense stick in a dark room and try to use a sword to cut the burning joss stick into equal half with the condition that the incense should remain burning. And after that …”

 

After listening to what the old man had to say, I figured that that will be over my dead body to become a sword immortal; as I was thinking of dropping the idea and leave…

The old man suddenly asked me if I know how to ‘look at flowers’. Well, what kind of question that was I supposed you might ask? We use our eyes to ‘look’ don’t we?

 

“Not so.” The old man said. Ordinary folks only concentrate their sights onto the flowers hence by doing so, they cast their own energy onto the flowers and that is indeed a waste of energy.  The experts who know the trick look at flowers with half close eyes and hence absorb the essence of flowers into their body.”

 

Apparently the old man was teaching me how to use essence of flowers to supplement my own energy and by doing so; I would benefit more on my meditation and Taoist training. That was the heart teaching of the old man I think.

 

Well, that was not really a joke. When we focus the image of the flowers we see and cast it onto the back of our brain, the action would stimulate our brains and pituitary gland ( 脑下垂体) causing the production of hormone in the maintenance of health. Some occultists believe that the pituitary gland is where our souls leave and enter our body.

 

How would guessed it that a little trick would bring so much benefits? Do try it out and let me know.
 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 7 Day Cycles Of Life & Death (生死海中的七天)


In the Indo-Tibetan and western esoteric doctrine, 7 day cycles carry significant meanings. The God creates in 7 days; a week is divided into 7 days.

 

According to Tibetan Book Of The Death, when a person dies, his/her soul will see 42 numbers of peaceful deities in the first 7 days and if this dead soul is not liberated; then 58 wrathful deities will manifest in the following 7 days. After 2 cycles of 7 days and the soul is not liberated still, it shall be reborn into 6 realms. Theoretically, a dead soul should be reincarnated within 7 cycles of 7 days, i.e. 49 days.

 

According to 2000 year old Indian belief, there should be three components enabling new lives: eggs, sperms and souls. Now even new lives are formed in 7 cycles. It is only after 38 cycles of 7 days, the wind chakras in mothers’ wombs stir and hence new babies are born. I think the ‘wind chakra’ is somehow similar to the concept of ‘chi’ in Chinese believes.

 

When talking about 7 day cycles reminded me that the Chinese I-Ching (易经), the Egyptian and Indian believes do have some similarities. There is an I-Ching saying that goes like ‘returning in 7 days’ (七日来复) somehow coincides with Indo-Buddhist theory.  Perhaps Confucius and the Buddha did meet some point in time to discuss about the Chinese and Indian believes?

 

Many Taoist magic rituals requires someone or something to be empowered for 7 cycles of 7 days making a total of 49 days is related to I-Ching believe too. But I am pretty sure that the Taoist believe of ‘first 7’ (头七) and ‘seventh seven’ (七七) are taken from Indo-Buddhist belief as above.
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TCM Vs Ayurvedic Medicine (中医与印度医学)


TCM and Indian Ayurvedic medicine are two major traditional medicine systems affecting Asia and Southeast Asia. Traditionally areas influenced by TCM are China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. And areas influenced by Ayurvedic medicine are: India, Indochina and Southeast Asia. So, Southeast Asia has the best of both systems; in addition to Islamic healing system too.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats human constituents to as many as 36 elements. This is according to a classic work called ‘Neijing’ (内经). Human body is composed of 5 elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. These 5 elements are related to the 5 organs of our body: liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and spleen. All of these 5 elements should ideally be in balance or the person may fall ill.

 

Ayurvedic medicine thinks that human body is formed by four elements: earth, water, fire and wind. For example bones are categorized into earth element, blood and fluids as water element, heat is the fire element and breaths belong to air element.

 

Within the four major elementals: each element can cause 110 types of illnesses. For example: flue is said to be caused by imbalance of wind element while cancers are said of earth element. Any types of illnesses may cause death if not treated properly and in time.

 

Also if one sleeps for a long time and yet he/she feels tired, then this person is said to be suffering from sleeping illness. Likewise, if one sits for a length of time, he/she may also suffer from sitting illnesses. So, everyone will suffer some kind of illnesses at any time.

 

There are three ‘doshas’ (bio-energy) uniquely only in Ayurvedic medicine:

 

·         Kapha: sinuses, nostrils, throat etc.

·         Pitta: liver, spleen, gall bladder etc.

·         Vata: intestines

 

Ideally, these three doshas should be in balance and it is the job of an Ayurvedic doctor to access and to balance the influence any of the imbalance doshas.

 

In short, both of TCM and Ayurvedic medicine strive to balance the elements in our body to regain health. This is contrary to the modern Western medicine that seeks to suppress and to remove illnesses by symptoms using drug.

 

It is not fair to say which system is superior as there are times we need to use force and there are times we just have to let our body recover naturally.

 

Hidden Meaning Of Manjushrinamasamgiti (妙吉祥真实名经)


Arya Manjushrinamasamgiti is an important classic work of Anuttara Tantra (无上密) as it not only describes the practice of tathagatagarbha (如来藏), it also touches on to the practice of Manjushri (妙吉祥). From Manjushrinamasamgiti an alternative to Vajrasattva Illusion Net (大幻化网) can be established.

 

Having said so, it is quite difficult to understand the content of Manjushrinamasamgiti and there are many ways to interpret this work. According to the opinion of Candragomin (月官) Manjushrinamasamgiti refers to the practice of Manjushri and Yamantaka only.

 

The common interpretation of Manjushrinamasamgiti refers to the generation stage of illusion net (大幻化网), the vajra sphere (金刚界), awareness of reality of Dharmadatu (法界体性智), great rounded wisdom  (大圆镜智), wisdom of great observation (妙观察), wisdom of equality (平等性智) and wisdom of accomplishment (成所作智).

 

Basically, there are two important views in Manjushrinamasamgiti:

 

·         The view of various Buddhist schools verses the view of external paths (外道)

·         The 2 stages of Yamantaka Tantra:

o   The generation stage: the generation of 49 peaceful wisdom deities, the generation of 49 wrathful deities and finally the Yamantaka with consort.

o   The completion stage: visualization of nadis and chakras together with the practice of tummo.

 

Many people know the 100 peaceful and wrathful deities of Vajrasattva but ignorant of the 49 peaceful and wrathful deities of Manjushri. So, Manjushri’s Illusion Net is also equivalent to that of Vajrasattva Illusion Net. Since the practice of Vajrasattva is related to Great Perfection, the practice of Manjushri can also lead to Great Perfection.

 

I supposed anyone who understands the hidden meaning of Manjushrinamasamgiti; he/she also qualified to practice the pinnacle of Tibetan Buddhism! People who are contented with just reciting Manjushrinamasamgiti alone blindly would only be threading water for all eternity.

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tantric Buddhist Fire Spoons (火供灌杓)


 
This set of fire spoon is used in Yamantaka subjugation ritual (大威德金刚诛法火供).
 
 
The above picture is a set of rare tantric Buddhist iron fire spoons meant for subjugation rituals only. Unlike the Hindu homa ritual that uses only one fire spoon; tantric Buddhism uses two fire spoons: the male is for pouring oil or offering substances into fire, while the female is used to offer/pour oil/stuffs into the male element.

 

The triangle shape is the male and the round represents the female element of wrathful deities. An ordinary practitioner would have only one set of fire spoons for general use but a monastery can have up to 4 sets of fire spoons. One set each for the 4 activities:
 
 

·         Pacification (息灾) activity requires silver fire spoons

·         Increase (增益) activity requires yellow bronze fire spoons

·         Attract (怀爱) activity requires copper fire spoons

·         Subjugate (降服) activity requires iron fire spoons

 

Since killing of spirits are prohibited in Buddhist doctrine, iron fire spoons are quite rare to come by and rarely being used. This is because using iron as offering container to spirits will harm the spirits and this is not a friendly gesture. But I would recommend a practitioner to at least keep a pair of fire spoons for general uses and another pair of spoons for subjugation rituals. Well, you will never know when you need them. Believe me, when you need one; you will never find them on time.

 

The Transformation From Woman To Man


There is a practice in Taoist meditation technique known as ‘the cutting of red dragon’ (斩赤龙). The ‘red dragon’ in this context meaning a woman’s monthly period. So as the name implies, this is a practice of causing menopause through the practice of Taoist meditation. Upon the completion of cutting red dragon, a woman’s chest would be flattened and mustache would grow on her face.

 

The practice of cutting red dragon is actually reversing the cycle of chi movement in our body. Another term of this practice is ‘riding a donkey reverses’ (倒骑驴). Apparently this practice causes a person’s energy flow to be uncontrollable and disturbing the working of his/her biology clock.

 

Insider calls this situation ‘reversing yin and yang’ (颠倒阴阳) and there are remedial exercises such as the Taoist sexual practices (房中术) or the absorption of yin energy of ghosts; people who study I-Ching would know that there are yang energy in the yin of spirits too.

 

Having said so, remedies are only remedies; it is as if taking medications and nothing fares better than not having any medicine at all. Although there are indeed Taoists who look very youthful at quite senior ages; but I have also seen that middle ages Taoists that passed away also quite a handful. Though people would say that these folks has achieve the Taoist immortality and forsaken their mortal bodies (尸解).

 

I have also met a lady in her late 20’s told me that she is near achieving cutting her red dragon and that she was able to release her chi energy to heal or to harm. No wonder I thought this lady looks a little weird on first look. As a concern friend, I told this lady to stop practicing what she was doing or she would be having psychological and physiological problems in a year or two.

 

Personally, I would prefer to let the nature take its course. It is not my intention to belittle Taoist practices but to point out lesser known practices in Taoism. Perhaps this is also a dying art and I don’t know how many folks there are keeping this practice now days. We would not have this problem with Tantric Buddhist meditaiton practices.
 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Careers In This Life & Beyond


When we are young, our parents always told us to study hard, get a degree, get a good job and then settle down.

 

When we are growing up, we find that there are more jobs in our current life that we must do; and we need to take care of the life beyond too.

 

I always think that we need to do many jobs concurrently in this life:

 

·         The worldly job for earning bread and butter; provided of course if you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

·         The not-so-worldly job that we need to do concerning the occult world.

·         The out-of-the-world after death matters or ‘religion’ in short.

 

My point is that all the three jobs are inter-related and complementary to each other. When we strive to make a living (with some lucky few exceptions), blockages block our progress; so we turn to the supernatural world for solution. But the supernatural worlds are not so dependable even though we have invested in a large quantity of money and time; and at last we turn to ‘religion’ to seek a peace in mind and further to take care of the mysterious after death matters.

 

Personally, I would think that the occult sciences or magic if you would call it, it in fact ‘religion’ of this material world; while the secular ‘religion’ is the religion of the hereafter. Magic works on the assumptions that our current world can be changed with magic rituals; but ‘religions’ tell us to accept our fates as our current challenges are not the ultimate aim in this life, the hereafter world is.

 

While we cannot do too many changes with our worldly job: we will need to go to the workplace to face our bosses and fellow workers, we will need to take care of our families and etc. The magic gives us some sort of euphoria and a hope of ‘tomorrow will be better’ which may be a motivational force to move on in life. Religion teaches us to accept our fates and wait for the coming world.

 

So, our life would be a lopsided one if we only concentrate on one aspect of our jobs:

 

·         If we only work, work and work; when we have lost our worldly job, we shall feel at a lost and feeling depressed.

·         If we only do magic, then we would not enjoy the world as it is for magic is not dependable; but magic can definitely do wonders in time in our time in need.

·         If we only study religion, then we will always hope for a better hereafter life; which we may or may not enjoy.

 

It is my opinion that we should work hard to earn money, work magic to smooth things out and then perform religious study for our next life; which no one can escape this eternal curse of sentient beings.