Holding Yin, Embracing Yang, text 1

pp. 21-64 Xuan-wei Lun ("Treatise on the Mysterious Orifice") [by Lu Xi-xin (1520-1606 Chr.E.)]

1 – pp. 23-4 the 3 primal elixirs

p. 23 "The three elixirs are :

the primal celestial elixir,

the primal terrestrial elixir, and

the primal human elixir."

pp. 23-24

p. 23

pp. 23-4

p. 24

primal __ elixir


(p. 23) terrestrial


is the __ elixir






(p. 24) ebb and flow

be reversed


elixir grains

old and youthful sprouts

help from partners

2 – pp. 25-6 internal & external medicines

p. 25

"There are three exquisite medicines :

spirit energy (shen),

vital energy (qi), and

generative energy (jing)."


"Anything that is post-celestial ... will not last for long.

Therefore, if you have fallen into prost-celestial existence, you will need to gather the pre-celestial equivalent of the post-celestial

p. 26

procreative substance ... . This pre-celestial substance is none other than the great yang of the metal ... . Only this metal can help you to refine the yin and prolong your life. ...


The energy within us is ... embodied in the Great Ultimate (taiji). Hidden within the Great Ultimate are the essences of yin and yang. ...

The Triplex Unity also tells us : "When the energies copulate and are married to one another, the young sprouts will shoot up within a year."


is the way of __

it followeth the principle of __ movement


Human procreation




Creation of elixir



3 – pp. 27-9 Yin & Yan are embedded in each other

p. 27

"What does it mean that the essences of yin and yang are hidden in their opposites? ...

In Understanding Reality it is stated : "First put ... in the cauldron ... the medicines of the raven and rabbit and steam them.""

p. 28

"the generative energy ... in its pre-celestial and primal state ... is the root of all creation. ...

When the vapor is first awakened, it is still in its pre-celestial state. However, if the pre-celestial vapor is transformed into fluid of the numeric one of water, the primal

p. 29

generative essence will be lost. As a result, the pre-celestial body will be broken. When vapor becomes fluid, the body will descend into post-celestial existence."

4 – p. 30 Prae-caelestial & Post-caelestial

"It is said that function and use are post-celestial in nature but

the true manifestations are pre-celestial by nature. ...

The true and absolute reality of pre-celestial existence cannot be seen.

That which can be seen is post-celestial."

5 – pp. 31-2 lead & mercury

p. 31

"Pre-celestial vapor is called the true lead, and

the primordial generative energy is the true mercury."





is the manifestation of the true __


generative essence


it is the __




that originates from the numeric __




of the __



p. 32

"The process ... called the path of forward movement ... is the way of humankind and of mortality. ...

The process of routing the generative energy back into the body is called the path of reverse movement; it is the path that will lead us to the elixir of immortality."


"The pre-celestial vapor is the true lead. This true lead of pre-celestial existence is needed to transform the post-celestial true mercury back into its pre-celestial state."

6 – pp. 33-4 primordial C^in, C^>i, and S^en

p. 33

The primordial __

is the __


generative energy

true generative energy



true vital energy



spirit that is connected to the Limitless (wuji)

p. 34

"Spirit is equivalent to the Limitless that is above and beyond the Great Ultimate. ...


The Jade Emperor is none other than the ruler of the mind ... .


The true vapor is ... the nectar of the Great Simplicity, and

the Great Simplicity is none other than the vapor of primordial pre-celestial existence.


The true spirit is ... the primordial lord of all things known at the Great Beginning."

7 – pp. 35-6 the S^en is the ruler

p. 35

"water will become a tidal force, rising up like clouds and mist to moisten the four great rivers above and below. If you can direct the spirit to aid the movement of water, then the processes of

p. 36

rising and falling, moving and stopping will be as easy as turning your hand. ... When post-celestial vapor meets water and fire, you will feel as if intoxicated."

8 -- pp. 37-8 Golden Elixir & Jade Elixir


Golden Elixir

Jade Elixir

p. 37

is to refine the __



p. 38

while cultivating __


the formless

9 -- pp. 39-41 Original Nature & Life

p. 39

"Original nature is the ruler of life, and

life is the carrier of original nature. ...

Original nature is the Limitless (wuji), and

life in the Great Ultimate (taiji)."

p. 40

"original nature is invisible and intangible. ...

Original nature is the manifestation of the Limitless".


"Feelings and thoughts are tangible manifestations of vital energy."

p. 41

"When original nature is still, vital energy will return to its vaporous state. When vapor is returned to its original state, the elixir will emerge."

10 – p. 42 manifested Original Nature

"There is true original nature and there is manifested original nature.

True original nature is pre-celestial and clear, pure, round, and bright.

Those who are intelligent do not have more of it, and those who are dull-witted do not have less of it.

Manifested original is post celestial and is born of vapor. ... In its manifested form, original nature is often used to serve selfish interests. ... If manifested original nature rules, we will have the situation of the servant controlling the master."

11 -- pp. 44-5 the Chambre of the Spirit

p. 44

__ valley





__ cavity

Ni-wan (‘Mudball’)

Jian-gon (‘Crimson Palace’)

Guan-yuan (‘Primal Gate’)

pp. 44-5

(relation to spirit)

p. 44 "original home of the spirit"

p. 45 "where the spirit receives reports from its subordinates"

"hermitage where the spirit cultivates itself in secret."

p. 45

senses are __


"drawn inward"

"secret hiding"

12 -- pp. 46-7 the Waterwheel

p. 46

"The path of the waterwheel is the circuit formed by the ren and du meridians. When the vapor ascends, it will be moistened and steamed in the area between the kidneys. Like waves rolling onto a sandy shore, it will soak and flood the five viscera before gushing through the channels to spread throughout the body."


ascent of spirit

Wei-lu (‘Tailbone’) cavity

"cavity between the shoulder blades"

Fen-fu (‘Wind-House’) cavity

Mudball cavity


descent of spirit


Crimson Palace cavity

Zi-tin (‘Purple Pavilion’) cavity

"where it originated"

p. 47

"When the vapor is plentiful, it will swirl around and push through the joints to spread throughout the body."

13 – pp. 48-9 purifying the S^en

p. 48

"hiding the spirit meant focusing the spirit. To focus the spirit, we must purify the spirit ... .

Cultivating Stillness (Qingjingjing) states : "... Purify the mind and the spirit will be clear naturally."

The Triplex Unity states : "The sage cleans the mind and retreats to hide it in secret.""


"There are two aspects of wind.

First, there is the mind that disturbs the spirit ... .

Second, there is the mind that tends toward stillness : This is the true mind."

p. 49

"If you let go of the senses, both mind and self will be empty. ... When nothingness is empty, absolute stillness will never leave you. ... The roots will be pure, the six sensual phenomena will not emerge, and the mind will always be still. When the mind is still, the spirit will be clear and calm like the smooth surface of a lake."

14 – p. 50 nourishing the S^en

"Nourishing the spirit means gathering the spirit’s light and drawing it inward. ... The purer it is, the clearer it will be; the clearer it is, the brighter it will be. ... When the numinous light emerges, you must hide it by drawing it within."

"Wisdom ... emerges when mundane intelligence dissolves. ...

The Treatise on the Pivotal Method of Sitting and Forgetting (Zuowangshuyilun) states : "Attain wisdom but do not display it. Be intelligent but appear dim-witted. Use your abilities to stabilize wisdom.""

15 – pp. 51-3 focusing the S^en

p. 51

"Once the spirit is purified, you must focus it quickly. ... The cavity of the vapor is where opening and closing occurs. ...

p. 52

First, focusing the spirit ... means directing the spirit into the cavity of the vapor, holding it there, and not letting spirit and vapor separate. ...

Second, focusing the spirit means anchoring the life energy by letting each inhalation and exhalation return to its origin. ...

p. 53

When the spirit abides in absolute stillness, the spirit can see the path of the return."

16 – pp. 54-5 the True Breath

p. 54

"There are two kinds of breath : mundane breath and true breath. ... True breath is the fetal breathing that rises and falls within the cavity of the Origin.

Master Huiweng {Huineng} described the true breath as "sealed inside emptiness like a fish in spring waters." ...

p. 55

The hard ice will turn soft, and mind and breath will be harmonious.

When mind and breath are in harmony, they will embrace each other.

When they embrace ..., ... the true breath will move.

When the true breath moves, the bellows will be fanned and generative energy will be transmuted into vital energy.

Rising like stream, the vapor of vital energy will fill the Three Palaces.

When this occurs, the true bellows, true cauldron, true furnace, and true fire will emerge."

17 – pp. 56-8 the firing-schedule

p. 56

"If you attend the stove vigilantly, the waterwheel, the crane’s womb, and the tortoise’s breath will swirl constantly. ... The true fire is the sacred fire; the true breath is but the bellows that stoke the fire. ... Each opening and closing is synchronous with the upward and downward movement in the ren and du meridians. ... If the correct amount of fire is applied, spirit and vapor will copulate and embrace each other. ...

p. 57

The true fire has no schedule of application, and the great medicine has no weight or measure. ... There is an outer and inner process of refining the medicine, and there are simple and complex schedules of firing. Internal refining is continuous and elusive ... . ...

In the production of the elixir, the days gen and jia of the lunar month mark the time when the medicinal ingredients are nature, and

the hours of zi (11 P.M. – 1 A.M.) and wu (11 A.M. – 1 P.M.) refer to the daily cycle of the breath rising and falling respectively. As for the meaning of "collecting in the morning and securing in the evening," this refers to none other than the discipline of entering and exiting."

"the head of the pill must be harmonious with its partner, and both must be bathed

p. 58

and steamed together. Internally, the natural true fire must burn inside a furnace that is always red-hot."

18 – p. 59 medicine & fire

"When medicine and fire are separate entities,

medicine is the pre-celestial vapor and

fire is the pre-celestial spirit."

19 – p. 61 extracting & replenishing

"after Master Liyang had attained the medicine and directed it into the cauldron, he practiced extracting and replenishing to nourish the natural true fire so that it will never extinguish. ...

Introducing lead into mercury is like putting rice grains in water. ...

The extraction of lead is similar to water being absorbed by the rice."

20 – pp. 63-4 concluding remarks

p. 63

"The names dragon, tiger, lead, and mercury were used by the immortals and sages to hide the true meanings from unethical practitioners. ...

p. 64

Throughout this text I was careful not to reveal the highest secrets."

Eva Wong (translatrix) : Holding Yin, Embracing Yang. Shambhala Publ, Boston, 2005.