Teachings of the Tao, 3-6

pp. 53-55 – 3:1. chronology of the biography of Lao-tzu, according to the T>ai-p>in C^in C^>ao (‘Peace-&-Balance Classic’s Essentials’), chapter 1





15th regnal year of Great Emperor = pin-tzu year

"his vapor was conceived"


1st regnal year of Emperor of Peace = c^ia-s^en year

"his shape took form"


7th year of High Harmony = ken-yin year, on 3rd day (c^ia-tzu), at mao hour

his prospective mother "saw in a dream the infant’s body wrapped in the clouds, the sun, and the moon."


on the morn of his birthday

"three suns rose from the east."


after he suckled

"magic water came out of the mouths of nine dragons."


beginning of his 3rd year

"his speech radiated a golden splendor."


at the age of 5

"he frequently gazed at the sun and smiled, and looked at the moon and sighed."


at the age of 7

"he learned to swallow the rays of light, eat the mist, and chew the tendrils of the sun."


at the age of 27

"his complexion radiated a golden glow."


at the age of 37

"he could use his humility and his simplicity to file down sharpness."


at the age of 47

"he could use his throat to gather the harmonious light."


at the age of 57

"his saliva became the mysterious nectar".


at the age of 67

"he gave a treatise to the Latter Sacred Lord, ... who had received the Tao before sky and earth were created."


at the age of 70

"He could hide and appear with ease."

pp. 52-54 – 3:1. titles & functions of Lao-tzu, according to the T>ai-p>in C^in C^>ao (‘Peace-&-Balance Classic’s Essentials’), chapter 1



p. 55-56 comments on the text


"The Great Lord of Longevity is named the Great Balance of the One True Wonderful Vapor,


"also known as the Breath of the Tao, the Primordial Vapor, and the Undifferentiated Vapor."


the Latter Sacred Lord of the Nine Mysteries of the High Pure Golden Tower of Heaven."


"the High Pure Golden Tower of Sky is the entrance to Shang-ch>ing, the domain of the highest deities."


"He is the fetus of the Great Void of the Jade Emperor."


"the son of the Mother (the Tao)."


"he was conceived in the Jade Kingdom of the Mysterious North, in the spirit realm of the celestial bodies,


"The Jade Kingdom of the Mysterious North is the realm of the North Pole Star and the Constellation of the Northern Bushel".


on the mountain of Peng-lai that was shaped part human and part bird, in the valley of the li trees."


{"The Spirit of the Valley is called the Mysterious Female." (li = ‘plum’)}


"There was a virgin ... who lived in the Chamber of the Nine Mysteries, deep within the shady (yin) valley."


"the none levels of the celestial realm and


"He rules ... the ten realms below."


the ten levels of the underworld."

p. 56 "The Taoist underworld ... resembles a shaman’s otherworld where the Taoist journeyed in spirit to rescue a sick person’s soul".

pp. 57-64 – 3:2. from the Pei-tou Ye-s^en C^in (‘North-Star Longevity Scripture’), revealed by Lao-tzu





7th day of 1st month of 1st year of Realm of Everlasting Life

Lao-tzu was in the Palace of T>ai-c^i in the Realm of T>ai-c^>in (‘Great Purity’)


when Lao-tzu descended to the realm of mortals

the earth-guardian built a jade platform in the capital city of the Kingdom of S^u for the Caelestial Master to receive the North Star Scripture


the 7 sacred deities of the Northern Bushel [constellation] can deliver us from the __ :-

[numeric terms are explained on pp. 64-65]

3 disasters [from sky, earth, water]


4 destructive forces [from 4 cardinal directions]


catastrophes of the 5 elements


6 harms [from the 6 senses (including mind)]


7 injuries [from the 7 emotions of the 7 p>o]


8 obstacles


9 baleful stars


the North-Star group hath 9 luminous bodies [stars] (enveloping the

Kun-lun mountains), namely :-

Great Pivot


Star-Craving Wolf


Great Gate Star


Star of Prosperity


Scholar Star


Star of Virtue


Warrior Star


Destroyer of Enemies


Jade Emperor’s "purple throne"


the 3 Altar Stars :-

Energy of the Void


Scholar Star


Warrior Star

pp. 68-69 – 4:1 origin & transmission of the Huan-t>in Nei-c^in Yu:-c^in


origin, transmission, benefits


transmission : The Great Lord of Fu-sang ordered the immortal King of the Yang Valley to transmit to Lady Wei the Huang-t>ing nei-ching yu:-ching."


alternative names : "It is called __"

"Great High’s Harmonious Writ of the Heart."

"Golden Book of the Great Lord."

"Jade Scroll of the Lord of the East."


"After you have recited it ..., you will naturally see the spirits and deities in the cavern, and will be able to look internally at the intestines and stomach and see the five viscera. At that time, an enlightened being of the Yellow Court, the Jade Lady of the Center, will teach you how to live forever."

p. 67 The Huan-t>in Nei-c^in Yu:-c^in (‘Yellow-Court Internal-Images Jade-Classic’) "is regarded as the representative scripture of" of the S^an-c^>in (‘High-Pure’) tradition.

pp. 69-70 – 4:1. Huan-t>in Nei-c^in Yu:-c^in, cap. 1 : the S^an-c^>in (‘High-Pure’) realm


High-Pure realm


"Before the Purple Cloud of the Emperor of the Void in the High Pure Realm, the Lord of the Jade Dawn of the Great Way secluded himself in the Chamber of the Pearl Medicine and wrote these seven-word phrases :


Spreading the five forms transforming them into the ten thousand spirits : ...

The harmonious music of the center is played in the three registers to accompany the dance of the immortal fetus. ...

From the child’s spirit a purple haze is born."

pp. 70-72 – 4:1. Huan-t>in Nei-c^in Yu:-c^in, cap. 7 : spirits in the head


the spirit of the __

is named "__"



Great Beginning



Mud Ball



Mysterious Infant



Hard Numinous Spirit



Quiet Field



Judge of Principles



1000 Varieties

pp. 71-72 – 4:1. Huan-t>in Nei-c^in Yu:-c^in, cap. 8 : spirits of the viscera


spirit of the __

its sobriquet

its name



Beginning of the Elixir

Holding the Numinous Spirit



Grand Cover

Complete Emptiness



Dragon’s Vapor

Containing Brightness



Mysterious and Dark

Nourishing the Infant



Always Praesent

Restrainer of the Human-Spirits



Shining Dragon

Strong Brilliance

pp. 74-75 – 4:2. "Flying to the Stars", according to the S^an-c^>in C^in-c^>u:eh Ti-c^u:n Wu-tou San-yu:an T>u-c^u:eh (‘High-Pure Golden-Tower Lord 5-Bushels [&] 3-Ones Illustrated-Instructions’)


stages in devotee’s being transported to the stars


"ride the smoke of the purple vapor and step up to the Northern Bushel’s (Big Dipper’s) Bright Star. The Bright Daylight Star is the Eastern Deity of the Bushel ... Soon you will see the Eastern High Palace of the Bright Daylight Star. Inside the Palace is the Child of the Green Mystery who will give you the True Light."



ruler in __

over __


lord C^ou

"purple haze"

"star mantle" of the 7 figures in the Bushel constellation


Thrice-Honored Truly-Highest Lord-Above of the Great Mystery, Brilliant Daylight


1,000 children who "open the gates to complete the elixir"



"pearly vapor mixed with the smoke of the feminine generative energy"



6 constellations



10,000 evils who rape the 5 Earths

pp. 80-86 – 5:1. Tsan-tun-c^i (‘Triplex Unity’), by Wei Po-yan



section of the text


"The hidden light of the origin will glow

To illuminate the entire body. ...

"Cultivating Mind", from Part 1


Let the three lights sink below

To incubate the young pearl.


... the Yellow Center gradually penetrates everything, ...

To where the sacred virtue resides.

This is the method of the "dual-entrance cavity"

In which gold and energy (ch>i) work together."


Be "immersed in the depths,

Floating and wandering, keeping the direction within. ...

Opening and closing must be synchronized.

In the pivot and axle of the self, ...

Guard the energy of li (fire) within. ...

"Cultivating body", from Part 2


Abandon the will, ...

Let difficulties prod you forward. ...

Embrace the spirit while you sleep. ...

Cultivate without stopping,

And the mass of energy will move ... . ...

Dripping like melting ice,

From the head falling down to the feet,

And from there rising up again,

... swirling the limitless,

And stirring everything throughout. ...

For in the mud lies a clear path,

And in the long darkness a light will finally shine through."


the __

is __

"The Alchemical Process", from Part 2


yan spirit of the sun

hun (human-spirit)


yin spirit of the moon

p>o (soul)






cycled in reverse






stayed within


"The sages and wise ones ...

refined the Nine Cauldrons,

Covered their traces, and hid from the world. ...

Their bodies were transformed, and they became immortals."

"Immortality", from Part 3

{p. 82 "The mirror of yang makes fire" = parabolic reflector}

pp. 88-94 – 5:2. Wu-jen P>ien (‘Understanding Reality’)





"present yourself before the jade tower, Borne on the flying phoenix in the light of the nine mists."



"the disk of the sun appears in the jade pool."



"The place where the yellow sprouts grow is where k’an and li intersect."



"Lead the white tiger home and nurture it To produce a bright pearl"



"take the medicine of the raven and rabbit and cook them."



"Refine the essence of the sun and moon to stabilize the human spirit and soul."



"to find the crescent moon furnace."



"The mercuric dragon of chen (thunder) comes from its home in li [fire]; The lead tiger of tui (lake) is born in the position of k’an [water]. These two things come from the child giving birth to the mother."



"When the true generative energy has returned to the yellow room, The bright pearl will never leave."



"The female enclosed inside the male is the sacred fetus. ... The jewels gathered in the three tan-t’iens (fields of energy) are the reflections of the three Altar Stars."



"The seven reverse cycles return the cinnabar to the origin; The nine circulations return the golden nectar to the true reality."



"Cultivate more than eight hundred virtuous deeds; Accumulate fully three thousand hidden merits. ... Tigers, rhinos, swords, and soldiers will not harm you. ... When the sacred writ descends, you will be ready to present yourself before the celestial realm, Riding calmly on a chariot pulled by a phoenix."

pp. 100-104 – 6:1:2. biography of C^an Tao-lin




Just before C^an Tao-lin was conceived, "his mother dreamed that she saw a giant descending from the North Pole Star. The lord of the North Star came toward her and gave her a flower. When she awoke the next morning, she smelled wisps of fragrance in her room and discovered she had conceived a child. The fragrance lasted throughout the ten moths while she carried the baby in her womb."

On the day C^an Tao-lin was born, "a yellow cloud covered the house and purple mist hovered about his mother’s bedchamber. When he came out of his mother’s womb, music and fragrance filled the air, and the room was flooded with light that matched the brilliance of the sun and moon."


"One day, while he was meditating in his retreat, a white tiger came to his side.


In its mouth was a scroll of sacred scripture."


When C^an Tao-lin "was stoking the fires of the furnace to incubate the Dragon-Tiger elixir, a red shaft of light appeared and illuminated the cavern. Another year later, a white tiger and a green dragon came into the cave and sat by the side of the cauldron to protect the elixir." Yet another later, "the elixir was completed and Chang Tao-ling became an immortal."


"On one of his journeys he met Lao-tzu, who taught him how to fly to the


stars and tunnel under the earth. When Lao-tzu departed, he gave Chang Tao-ling a scroll of talismans that had the power to heal the sick and a magic sword that could drive away malevolent spirits.

As time went on, Chang Tao-ling’s skill in the arts of sorcery matured. Soon he could make himself invisible or change himself into any shape he wished. He could hear and see over great distances and could call down rain and snow. He could heal the sick and drive away evil spirits."


an attack by the 6 lords of evil with their __

was quelled by C^.T.-l. by means of his __


flaming spears & arrows

"sword of power"


army of hungry ghosts



army of ghouls, vampires, and zombies

"magical bells"


the 6 lords of evil themselves

"a net" which "formed a cage around them."

pp. 105-107 – 6:2. from the Fen-s^en Yen-yi ("Investiture of the Gods")

p. 105

"Tzu-ya climbed to the top of the mound ... . ... Then he walked the steps of the Big Dipper and began his magic ritual, uttering incantations and scattering talismanic water. Soon a strong wind blew ... . ...

p. 106

Not long after that, the snow became heavy ... in the middle of summer. ...

p. 107

Tzu-ya returned to the mound, ... drew talismans in the air with his sword, and chanted. At once, the snow clouds disappeared ... . The ice and snow melted ... . ... Just when the water has formed a lake in the valley, Tzu-ya changed his incantations. He drew another talisman and whipped up a cold wind ... and the water froze instantly."

Eva Wong (translatrix) : Teachings of the Tao : Readings from the Taoist Spiritual Tradition. Shambhala Publ., Boston, 1997.