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True Story: A Daoist's Other Worldly Encounter
A Monk in A Daoist Temple (2)

19 July 2006
 

by Monk Danxi

1 A Daoist College
2 Daoist Wang

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 are facing.

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 forces.

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 vigilant.

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.

(The End)

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 six months.

(Source of original photo: Beijing Laosu Photo Studio)

 
 
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