by Monk Danxi
A Daoist College
Many Worlds and Beyond
Danxi: You say you were frequently visited
by the beings from other worlds, what are they precisely?
Wang: Most are animal spirits: foxes,
wolves, rabbits and you name it. Some came to practice
with me, and others tried to make trouble for me. The most
powerful and vicious among them all are the wolves living
in the grassland - many have become animal immortals, and
the hairs on their back are all red.
Danxi: Where do they
belong, the yin world or our yang world?
Wang: Both. Then there were dark spirits,
which worked on demonic cultivation and would send a possessed
human to make my life hell, or a sick person to seek healing
with the purpose of depleting my original essence. They
succeeded, very much so. I became weaker by each day. When
finally a woman was sent to strip herself naked in front
of me, I could take it no more, so gave up and left the
Inner Mongolia for good.
Danxi: Why did they come to you?
Wang: Actually it was me who went to
their worlds. Each world is a field defined by its unique
wave frequency of the qi, and as you cultivate
and expand your mind, you transcend the realms. The more
advanced your cultivation, the severe demon obstacles you
Apart from the external barriers, you also have to overcome
your internal restrictions. Normally, when you've integrated
into a certain field of qi, there is a strong
correspondence and mutual influence between your mind and
your environment. Once a bond is established, it is extremely
hard to free yourself from the attachment. Many great Daoist
masters of the past frequently relocated during the cultivation
process, the reason of doing so is to prevent themselves
from being tied to a certain field. That is why it is said
that if you don't know about Feng Shui, you'll have little
chance to succeed in your Daoist quest, for sure.
Danxi: There is a passage in The
Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi 抱朴子),
and it says if you intend to cultivate the Dao
in a remote mountain, you must understand the art of
Hidden Time (dunjia 遁甲) and Orphaned Void (guxu 孤虚),
otherwise your life could be in danger.
Wang: Just so. And you've read quite
a few Daoist books, seems.
Danxi: Well, I do not have an inborn
gift, nor do I possess a sudden enlightenment quality,
so I have to learn through books.
Wang: Cultivation is not a task that
can be accomplished within one lifetime, and the so-called
gift is often the result of the previous hard work.
Danxi: I guess you have some knowledge
of your past lives?
Wang: Sort of. I did review my past,
and found I was also a Daoist in my previous two lives.
The problem is, you see, each time when I got connected
to my death frequency, I became so traumatised, and would
be left in deep depression for a long while. So I stopped
checking further back.
Danxi: What happens after death in your
experience? Is it really like what has been described in
the sacred text of Buddhism and Daoism?
Wang: Pretty close if you ask me. I started
observing death phenomenon ever since I was a child. I
remember once I saw black qi around a neighbour's
house, and I kept watching it every day. Eventually a greyish
human image appeared in the sky above the house. In the
beginning the human image was rather blurred and poorly
defined, but it grew clearer day by day. Then one day the
image suddenly shone brightly, and I recognised that it
was, unmistakably, in the dying neighbour's usual appearance.
At that very moment, the neighbour died. After a while,
the bright human image reduced to a small light ball, and
went away through the path formed by two beams of light,
one black one white.
Danxi: You mean, Black Impermanence (Heiwuchang
黑无常) and White Impermanence (Baiwuchang 白无常), the Ghost
King's death squad? They are actually real?
Wang: Well, they are not the spirits,
but a consciousness shaped by yin-yang duel
Danxi: How about the Incarnation Via
Six Paths (liudao lunhui 六道轮回), is it the valid
concept in your opinion?
Wang: Very much so. That is what I've
seen and experienced anyway. But, before entering a path
to rebirth, you'll encounter the Mountain of Approaching
Soul (Lingjianshan 灵渐山), and if you can escape
into the mountain, you are therefore free from the Five
Agents effect (buzai wuxing zhong 不在五行中) and Three-Realm
circulations (tiaochu sanjie wai 跳出三界外) (namely
Hell, Earth and Heaven).
There is a precondition however: your spirit must be nothing
but a pure yang essence. If it is anything else
then it won't be able to approach the mountain, let along
to get into it. In Daoist cultivation, we have two essential
exercises: Closing Gate for
Black Light (biheiguan 闭黑关) and Closing Gate for
White Light (bibaiguan 闭白关). In the latter practice,
you'll have to meditate with your eyes directly looking
at the sun - the purpose of which is to prepare you for
enduring the overwhelming brightness of the light from
the Mountain of Approaching Soul.
Danxi: Has your yang spirit
(yangshen 阳神) ever come out of your body?
Wang: Certainly not. If my yang spirit
grows so strong that it can freely wander around at will,
my Daoist cultivation shall be nearly complete. By then
my body is no longer made of flesh and blood but formed
by pure essence. But, well, I did take astral travels with
my yin spirit (yinshen 阴神), which allows
me to get contact with ghosts and spirits alike. I don't
do it often though - yin world is a dangerous
place, with one slip I may fall into the animal realm.
Danxi: True. I've heard a story about
how some practitioners of Black Soul Gong (Xuanlingong 玄灵功)
got their yin spirits out of the body but were
unable to find way home. They died subsequently.
Wang: Yes, it's a sad story. The path
of cultivation is full of pitfalls - one has to be very
Danxi: My word.
A scene in a sacred
Daoist mountain Wudangshan in Hubei province
The sun was a little low in the sky. I had to leave the
Daoist temple to go back to my Buddhist practice, so I
said goodbye to Daoist Wang. I did so, again, with my cupped
hands, expressing my respect to his way. And he, like all
other Daoists, farewelled me with folding palms, saluting
to my path.
I walked straight to the open gate. My life is short,
but my time is unlimited, and my existence is eternal.
As long as I keep walking towards the destination, one
step at a time, sooner or later, I will get there.
Closing Gate is
a common Daoist and Buddhist practice for an intensive
cultivation, during which a practitioner stays alone in
a secluded place (often a stone cave) meditating day and
night, cuts off from the outside world and takes little
or no food. The time length of the Closing Gate sessions
varies, from as short as a few days to as long as several
years, with a typical session lasting between three and
(Source of original photo: Beijing Laosu