Nourishing the Essence of Life, text 3, part 2

pp. 71-104 T>ai-hsu:an Pao-tien ("The Sacred Treatise on the Great Mystery")


pp. 89-95 Part 2, Section 1 : Refining the Mundane to transform it into the Underlying Reality

2.1.1 pp. 89-90 one’s bones become weightless

p. 89

"When the vapor begins to circulate, they work on refining the bones. Later, when the spirit is numinous, they refine the mind ... . ...

p. 90

When the generative essence is transmuted into white jade, you will be well on your way toward immortality."

2.1.2 -- pp. 90-1 refining the C^>i

p. 90

"At midnight, when the primordial vapor is born, you will hear a rattling sound, as if wind and rain are beating on your eardrums. When the vapor reaches the height of its flow, the sounds will resemble a ringing bell. ... If you are a seasoned practitioner, you will see the lights of the stars when you close your eyes {typically seen (as by myself) only when entering awarely into a dream} and turn your attention upward, for these are signs that the vapor is rising. After the vapor has risen to the top of the head, it will circulate downward, tumbling and swirling {cf. swirling of whirlpool entered by shaman in passing into the netherworld in dream} toward the tailbone. From there, the vapor will move up again through the area between the shoulder blades to enter the Mudball cavity. From the Mudball cavity, it will descend to penetrate the nine cavities in the head. Moving through the four limbs and the skin, the vapor will spread throughout the body. After the vapor has made a complete circuit, it will be mature. ... Once complete stillness is attained, the true vapor will be anchored ... . When the vapor is aroused, it should be kept safe within.

p. 91

When it is still, the spirit will resonate with it. When the true vapor travels unhindered, ... the nine cavities will be open, and the limbs will feel weightless. With time, the skin will take on the color of white jade." {reference to a particular subtle (non-physical) body [experienced in dreams?]}

2.1.3 – p. 91 emergence of the Sacred Water

"The sacred water is not the nectar of the Radiant Pool ... . In the north is a great sea, and within the great sea lives a mysterious tortoise. The mysterious tortoise exhales the true vapor, and the true vapor is transmuted into the sacred water. ... If you minimize speech, thoughts, and physical movement, then one "foot" of vapor will grow every hour. During sleep, vapor also grows. If you dream, however, the mind will be active, and vapor will not be able to gather. Therefore in sleep, the spirit must also stop its activity. When there are no thoughts in sleep, there will be no dreams. When there are no dreams, the primal root will grow. ... Sit still, draw the vapor from the Celestial Pool (t>ien-chih) cavity, and let it swirl downward into the meridians. ... First inhale from the Celestial Pool cavity, then channel the vapor into the Winding River, and finally let it swirl downward into the House of Earth (ti-wu)."

{In the Bodish dream-yoga, dreamless sleep, alias dictus "the light of sleep", is a series of 8 worlds likened to variously-luminous oceans : cf. the Taoist "great sea" wherein swimmeth the Mysterious Turtle : the turtle-shape perhaps indicating the disk-shaped vimana (flying-saucer). The Taoist "Winding River" will be that of [Aztec god] Tlahuizcalpan-tecuhtli, in the other world.}

2.1.4 – p. 92 circulating the True Fire

"In the north is water, and it is within this water that the true fire is born. {Likewise, according to the Puran.a-s, the stars’ fire originateth in a "dense water’ (heavy water).} ... Its light is reflected from the sun {Great Central Sun} and can be collected in the following way. Clasp the hands together and move the fire around in the area of the waist. {"Can.d.ali burns. She burns at the navel." (HT)} After the fire has crossed from one side of the body to the other, gather it in the lower elixir field. The fire will now begin to move like a snake. Zigzagging and spiraling up and down, it will leap around .. . Moving naturally out of the kidneys, it will travel roward the shoulder blades. then, thundering {noisy} like a whirlwind, it will flow through the neck, enter the mouth, and exit from the nostrils. Next, the fire will penetrate the Celestial gate and enter the Mudball cavity. ... With continued practice, you will one day be able to fly up to the sky."

HT = Hela-vajra Tantra

2.1.5 – pp. 92-3 the Infant leaveth the Womb

p. 92

"Refine tnhe sun (the great yang) on the left, and the dragon will give birth to the fetus. ...

p. 93

When wood travels to the spleen, it is called the Yellow Woman. When the Yellow Woman nourishes the wood, the fetus will take on a greenish tint."

2.1.6 – pp. 93-4 the Young Woman gloweth with splendor

p. 93

"Refine the moon (the great yin) on the right, and the white tiger will give birth to the young woman. ... Use the four limbs to move the vapor through the hundred circulatory pathways in the body. Let it swirl up, down, left, and right. If you hold on to the vapor ..., the true body will emerge. red and green hues will appear in front of you, sending rays of light in the four directions. ...

The green dragon slows the vapor and directs the movement of fire.

The white tiger strengthens the vapor and directs the movement of water.

p. 94

... Wait for the vapor to resonate with the mind. In seven days, you’ll get the expected results."

2.1.7 – pp. 94-5 copulation of Yin & Yan; the Radiant Pool

p. 94

The __




within the __




is the supreme __

essence of Yan

spirit of the Yin


and is called the __,

splendor of the moon

essence of the sun


producing __




of the _,.




wherewithin is __.

Yan Fire

Yin Water


"When lead and mercury copulate, you will attain longevity. ... You need to direct the vapor up to the Radiant Pool. Then, let it bubble up from the earth meridians and eventually descend to the island in the center of the heart. When the vapor rises to the spleen, the two primordial vapors will copulate, and you will feel as if you are intoxicated. The vapor will now circulate freely, and the hundred channels within will be harmonious. A thousand guardian spirits {cf. the 1000 Buddha-s of the Bhadra-kalpika Sutra?} will visit you as you enter a trance. ... With continued circulation of the vapor, the true body will emerge. Emanating as multiple forms, it can travel anywhere in the

p. 95

realms of heaven and earth. Every realm in your internal universe will be numinous."


pp. 95-100 Part 2, Section 2 : Refining the Mundane to Open the Sacred Gate

2.2.1 – pp. 95-6 light emanateth from the Sacred Body

p. 95

"Once the sacred body is refined, it will be surrounded by an aura of light. This is because

the vapor resonates with generative energy;

the generative energy resonates with the spirit; and

the spirit resonates with the body. ...

Use the fire to refine the vapor so that the vapor can rise to penetrate the hundred circulatory pathways and enter the hundred cavities. At night, ... you will see five-colored clouds enveloping you and feel as if you are submerged in fire. ... As the glow of light spreads to the four directions, the ... vapor will swirl around ceaselessly. ... With continued practice, the glow will be transformed into five-colored

p. 96

clouds. Stepping on these clouds, you will be able to enter the celestial realm."

2.2.2 – p. 96 the 5 viscera become clear & bright

"To hold on to the vapor is to focus on its movement in the body. Let it swirl left and right, always keeping it circulating. When all blockages are open, ... spirit will become clear and luminous, and you will be transformed into an immortal. ... As vapor rises from the (lower) elixir field, churn it around. Finally, direct the vapor to the four limbs when you feel the vapor stir in the heart. ... If you see the five-colored gems when you gaze within, it is a sign that the process of cultivation is complete. Circulate the vapors for a period of time, and the light from within will merge with that of the five stars."

2.2.3 – p. 97 the 4 bodily components are nourished internally

"Sit upright ... . Cross the legs and place your palms against each other. Let the heat penetrate the five viscera."

Vapor flowing from the __



will interact with the area of the spine __ .

between the shoulder blades.

below the waist.

2.2.4 – pp. 97-8 the 3 Palaces glow with yellow light

p. 97

"The method o holding to the One was given to humanity by the celestial beings. ... the Yellow Emperor was the first to receive these teachings.

First, get the vapor to rise from the lower elixir field. When the vapor’s strength is at its height, fire from the heart will emerge and sink to interact with the vapor in the navel.

Next, when the middle elixir field is activated, hold on to the One and still the spirit.

Third, when cultivating the upper elixir field, be sure to direct the Jade

p. 98

Essence down and swallow it into the Radiant pool cavity. ... When the vapor flows down and penetrates the kidneys, the sacred fire will ascend. The three palaces will now glow with a yellow light. Practice these teaching diligently, and you will be able to fly in the sky, become omniscient, and never age."

2.2.5 – p. 98 the Sacred Fire entereth the Cauldron

"Those who cultivate the mind must use vapor as the metal to make the cauldron. The cauldron is located below the spleen and above the waist. Inside the cauldron is the pill. The pill is the product of the two vapors ... copulating within the spleen. ... When the pill materializes, swallow it into the Radiant Pool ... . Then, each morning at sunrise, visualize the essence of the sun ... . Finally, activate the stored essence at midnight to steam the pill, which is now merged with the essence of the sun."

2.2.6. – p. 99 the light of the Pill resonateth with the fluid

"When the pill strengthens the hundred channels internally and penetrates the nine cavities externally, the sacred light will shine and the fluid will flow. ... Your body ... will be bathed in a pure light. ... you will be able to run up the maintain paths. ... you are now protected by the bright spirit."

2.2.7 – pp. 99-100 the Jade Spring dissipateth not

p. 99

"The Jade Spring (yu:-chuan) is the location where the true generative essence emerges. ...

p. 100

Those who have activated the Jade Spring will always be nourished within, for the Jade Spring cannot be exhausted."


pp. 100-104 Part 2, Section 3 : Cultivating the Mundane form to generate multiple forms

2.3.1 – pp. 100-1 praeserving the S^en and giving birth to the foetus

p. 100

"The spirit is born from the fetus, and the fetus is born of life energy. ... If you have difficulty in attaining stillness, you can use

p. 101

ginseng to temper the three palaces. ... Do not let routines control your life, and do not be a prisoner of social conventions. ... The fetus is the product of returning to simplicity. ... After you have attained simplicity, you can then practice the method of stilling the spirit."

2.3.2 – p. 101 praeserving the C^>i & the True Source

"Those with weak bodies should first use herbs (for example, the yellow essence of chysanthemum) to strengthen their constitution. ... If you practice the techniques correctly, the vapor will become strong and plentiful, and the true source will emerge. The true source is that which gives birth to life."

2.3.3 – pp. 101-2 flying, running, and climbing effortlessly

p. 101

"The ability to fly, run, and climb effortlessly comes from possessing a spirit body. ...

p. 102

At midnight, regulate your breath and focus on the green dragon emerging from the kidneys. Next, direct the vapor of the green dragon to the waist and the four limbs. Finally, let it rise to the cavity of the Celestial Gate. Swallow the true nectar from the Radiant Pool nine times. Recite seven times the mantra that petitions the celestial powers to help you in your cultivation."

2.3.4 -- pp. 102-3 the steps of Yu: the Great

p. 102

"Yu: the Great had power over the hundred spirits. ... If you know the pattern of the celestial steps, you can climb the clouds and wander in the three realms. ... . ...

p. 103

close your eyes and visualize the sun and moon. ...


Extend the right arm along the north-south axis. Make a fist with the left hand, leaving the second finger extended. Walk toward the east. When you step with the right foot, the finger should be pointing to the southeast, and you should be facing the east.

Next, make a fist with the right hand, again leaving the second finger extended. Now, take a step with the left foot. The finger should be pointing to the northeast, and again you should be facing and walking toward the east."

2.3.5 – p. 103 taming spirits & ghosts

"use nine ounces of cinnabar to open the channels between the three realms, and use dough to fashion the likeness of the true form. Take one thousand sheet of green and white paper and burn them under a pine tree."

2.3.6 – p. 104 projecting the S^en and transforming into multiple forms

"The enlightened ones, however, are able to project their spirit outside the body so communicate with others. In life, they can enter another person’s dreams. After death, the spirit can "borrow" a corporeal form for habitation. ...

This is how the enlightened ones send messages to others through dreams, take on corporeal form, and appear as apparitions in broad daylight."

2.3.7 – p. 104 helping nonsentient beings

"inanimate objects like rocks can become sentient beings. Mountains and rivers, rock and trees can benefit from the presence of immortal beings. Receiving the vapor of the enlightened ones, they can develop compassion. As a result, ... they will do good and kind deeds, thus helping people as well as accumulating merit for themselves."


Eva Wong (translatrix) : Nourishing the Essence of Life. Shambhala Publ, Boston, 2004.