Taoist Classics

Jade Carving

jade-carvingCirculating Qi found on a Jade Pendant

The "Jade Carving" is the oldest known writing on Inner Alchemy, in existence today. Written on a small 12-sided cylinder dating back to 308 BC. This jade cylinder was unearthed in Luoyang, Henan Province. On it 45 characters in ancient Chinese are engraved. Here, we are first giving a literal translation to maintain its simplicity, and them providing commentary at the bottom, for a more in-depth perspective.


To circulate Qi;

Deepen then store,

Store then extend;

Extend then descend,

Descend then settle;

Settle then stable,

Stable then sprout;

Sprout then grow,

Grow then retreat;

Retreat then (return to) the Heavens.

The secret of the Heavens is above.

The secret of Earth is below.

Follow (this principle) then (you will) live (a long life),

Go against (this principle) then (you will) die (as a normal person).

Read more: Jade Carving

   

Yellow Court Scripture

Preface

The Yellow Court Scripture is an early Daoist classic, the author of which still remains unknown. It has two volumes; The Yellow Court Inner View Jade Scripture (Inner View Scripture for short) and the Yellow Court Outer View Jade Scripture (Outer View Scripture for short).

The Inner View Scripture was handed down by Lady Wei Huacun. Lady Wei, was a Daoist who lived during the Jin Dynasty (265-420 CE). She also handed down the Shang Qing Scripture, and is recognized as the master of the Shang Qing Sect of Daoism. (The Shang Qing Sect was the precursor for the Mao Shan Sect)

The main principles and key points of the Yellow Court practice are as following:

  • Concentrate your mind and visualize.
  • Relax, be tranquil and be natural.
  • Spirit ( Shen) and Mind (Yi) are in charge.
  • Containing the Essence and Qi of Kidney, is the root.
  • Intercourse of yin and yang, and concentration of Shen and Qi to cultivate the elixir.
  • Gargle and swallow saliva, and absorb Original-Qi to nourish the root of spirit and clean the body.
  • Follow natures rules, (like Yin & Yang, and the Five-Elements).
  • Moral cultivation

The specific ways of practicing are mainly as follows:

  • Inward contemplation of Lower Dantian
  • Every breath goes down to the spiritual root (Dantian)
  • Gargle and swallow saliva to irrigate the spiritual root
  • Inward contemplation on the organs and other body parts
  • Combine breathing and inward contemplation, while sinking Qi to Dantian
  • Be cautions of sexual life. Close the gate of Essence (Jing). Hold on to Jing and Qi.

According to the Yellow Court Scripture, the first priority of cultivation and practice is holding on to Jing and nourishing, cultivating and absorbing Original Qi.

Combining Qi and Essence from your body, and from nature, and concentrating these two under the "God Mind" into elixir, and then absorbing the elixir, is the root of cultivation and longevity.

This classic also says that Jing, Qi and Shen generate and cultivate each other, and can transform into each other. When you have abundant Qi and fluid in your body, you can wash away the dirtiness and cleanse your body.

It also focuses on the functions of organs, and what they mean to the practice, especially the importance of Heart, Kidney and Spleen in cultivation practice.

Moreover, it discusses the idea of absorbing harmonious Qi from the universe, and taking in Qi from the sun, moon and stars. The cultivation practice should follow nature's rules, and beware of the importance of proper timing.

Generally speaking, the core of this classic is to practice the "Yellow Court". It's a cultivation of Jing, Qi and Shen, the basis of which are the cultivation of Qi and Shen.

Chapter 1 Shang Qing

In the purple clouds covering Shang Qing Heaven and the Rui Zhu Mansion, the highest deity is narrating this Yellow Court Scripture in the form of a 7-character poems. This scripture can help you convert the Five-Zang-Organs, enhancing your bodily functions. If you can sincerely focus and visualize the three Dantians, your "Sacred Fetus" will start dancing, the scene of which is like the sun shining everywhere. This Yellow Court Scripture is also called "Jade Scripture," which implies that it's very precious and worth spending a lot of time and effort to study. If you can read this scripture over ten thousand times, then all of your illnesses will diminish, and you will live a long life, without fear of tigers and wolves.

Commentary of Chapter One:

Purple Clouds: Purple is the color of the harmonious combination of Yin and Yang. Both Taoists and TCM doctors emphasize the harmonious combination of Yin and Yang, consider it's the ancestor of all entities. So here purple clouds is used to describe the harmonious view of Shang Qing Heaven.

Shang Qing: It is one of the three Heavens, where gods and deities resident. The deity named Tian Bao is in charge of Yu Qing Heaven and his Qi is green; the deity Ling Bao is in charge of Shang Qing Heaven and his Qi is yellow; and the deity Shen Bao is in charge of Tai Qing Heaven and his Qi is White. Although the three Heavens have their own names and colors, they are all generated by Original Qi. That's why we say, "One Qi transforms into three Qings". Daoists believe that the "three Qings" and the deities of the three Heavens were all generated by Original Qi.

Rui Zhu: Is the name of a mansion in the Shang Qing Heaven, which is the working place of the deity in charge of all entities, whose name is Tai Shang Da Dao Yu Chen Jun ( Supreme Great Dao Jade Sun Rise Emperor) .

Five Zang Organs: The Five-Zang-Organs are Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung and Kidney, they are where people store Jing, Qi and Shen.

Chapter 2 Shang You

The Heart is above, where Shen is stored; and Guan Yuan is below, where Jing stored. To the left is Shaoyang, and to the right is Taiyin; the Kidney is behind, and the navel is in front. The Yellow Court is at the middle of these four points. The Qi you breathe out is Yang, like the sun; the Qi you breathe in is Yin, like the moon. Every breath leads to the root, and is stored at the Yellow Court, which can trigger prenatal breathing. The Real Qi of Liver, Heart, Lung and Kidney are connected with every part of the body, which is like how the Qi of the Four Seasons are connected with the constellations in the sky. Your sight is shining on the whole body, and the Jing and Qi of the three Dantians are as pure as the white clouds, irrigating the Five Zang Organs and nourishing the Spiritual Root of life. The Seven Fluids flow into and gather in the Yellow Court. Concentrate your mind and look inside, focus your Shen on the Dantian. Then you can see the Kidney area and the two Ming-Men points are lit up.

Commentary of Chapter Two:

Guan Yuan: means the Guan Yuan Point, which is 3 inches below the navel.

Spiritual Root (灵根 ling gen): means the root of life, which is located at the Lower Dantian. It is the root of life below the navel. Common people's Spiritual Root is not solid and steady, and is easily disturbed by lust. It gets weaker and weaker day after day, and then comes the death. The main principle of practicing is to make good use of your breathing to gather a lot of saliva and swallow it, which is like nourishing the plants with manure, to make them have strong and steady roots. People can live because there is Jing. Accumulating Jing can fulfill the Shen. This is why we call the place to store Jing "Spiritual Root".

Seven Fluids (七液 qi ye): means Qi, Blood and the Jing fluid of the Five Zang Organs (Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung and Kidney). According to the Yellow Emperor's Canon, both saliva and fluid are generated by the Jing and Qi of water and food. The function of fluid is to "nourish and tonify brain and marrow" and "invigorate Jing and moisture the empty holes". The nature of fluid is Yin and goes down.

Ming-Men: ("阳门yang men" means the Ming Men Point) literally means "Life-Gate". In Inner Alchemy means concentrate and focus the light of Shen on the Lower Dantian, accumulating Jing and Qi. After Jing and Qi are abundant, they turn into the spiritual light that shines on the two Ming Men around kidneys.

Chapter 3 Kou Wei

The name of the mouth is Jade Pond, which is also known as the Great Harmony Palace. Rinsing and swallowing the Spirit Fluid (saliva) can prevent all kinds of diseases; wash away dirty things inside of the body, and make our bodies look magnificent with shining skins and smell like orchid and have a healthy complexion. Focusing on the practice is good for our body and can enlighten our mind just like being in the moon palace. Calming your Heart-Mind to visualize, can make you be an immortal, not afraid of thunder and lightning.

Commentary of Chapter Three:

Jade Pond (玉池 yu chi): Implies that the mouth stores saliva. Common people's mouths are full of turbid-murky Qi, because they don't know the Law of Ascend and Descend, and the right way of Tu Na (breathing), which blocks the clear Qi of the Lower Jiao from rising up, and the turbid Qi of the Upper Jiao from going down. The mouth is a "jade pond" because it's clean; the title of the mouth is the "Great Harmony Palace" is because it can adjust to balance."

Great Harmony (太和 tai he): Indicates the merging of Yin Qi and Yang Qi while they reach a great harmonious state. There are two fountains under the tongue, which are named as Lian Quan and Yu Ying. Gold fluid comes out from the left fountain; jade fluid comes out from the right. These two types of fluid are both generated by the harmonious merging of Yi Qi and Yang Qi.

Spirit Fluid (灵液 ling ye): Implies saliva generated by food essence and the Real Qi forge. The fluid that is generated by food essence is also important to normal physical maintenance. The famous doctor Li Shizhen from the Ming Dynasty said that "there are four apertures under the tongue. Two are connected with Heart Qi; two are connected with Kidney Fluid. The Heart Qi flows under the tongue and is called Shen Water; the Kidney Fluid flows under the tongue and is called Spirit Fluid...they irrigate organs and moisturize the body. That's why practitioners swallow saliva and Qi, and call it ‘clean water irrigates the Root of Spirit'".

Moon Palace (广寒 guang han): here indicates a certain state of practice. After your practice reaches to certain level, you will feel like there is a bright moon shining inside of your head, pure, clear and cool. Because the head is the Confluence of All Yang Channels, and the moon represents the essence of Yin. This clean, clear and cool feeling implies the harmony of Yin and Yang.

Chapter 4 Huang Ting

Visualize that in the Yellow Court, there is an immortal wearing colorful silk and brocade clothes with a purple dress around the waist and an elegant white cape as light as the clouds. This sight is like a jade tree with branches that are a riot of colors, splendid and magnificent.

The seven orifices and the jade flute are closed like shutting a heavy door, which won't open unless it's the critical moment.

The main gateway latch is secured by golden and jade locks. Although there is a gate, it is always closed. Kidneys are the mansion that stores the Original Jing, which should be as strong as mountains. The Jing and Qi in the three Dantian is subtle and profound. Close the two eyes and look inside and visualize. You can see the pagoda, all organs and every part of the body are bright and clear. The Heaven Gate and the Earth Gate should always be guarded as if with soldiers around it. If you can keep practicing this way, you will have a strong heart and healthy body.

Commentary of Chapter Four:

Immortal Wearing Colorful Clothes (内人服锦衣 nei ren fu jin yi): is used to personify the Dantian to aid cultivation: the Yellow Court Immortal wears colorful clothes that are made of silk and brocade, implies that Jing and Qi of all organs gather in the Dantian. Purple represents the harmony of Yin and Yang as well as represents Kidney Qi, White represents the Lung.
Brocade: Is a heavy fabric interwoven with a rich, raised design, as of silk, velvet, gold, or silver, woven into it, typically woven on a draw loom.
Silk: is a valuable fabric made from the soft, lustrous fiber obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm, know for its elegance and therapeutic qualities. Silk cloth refracts incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.

Purple Dress and White Cape as light as Clouds: Implies that we need to be gentle while concentrating, and at the same time be pure and clean.

Jade Trees: Jade trees are a particular species of tree that symbolize good luck and prosperity. Here represents the gathering of Qi.

A Riot of Colors: Implies the vital energy of all inner organs. Here it means that Qi from all inner organs is gathering at the Dantian (Yellow Court).

Jade Flute (玉龠 yu yue): The original meaning of "yue" is an ancient musical instrument, similar to the flute. Here it implies the male organ "Jing Gate". Jade suggests that it's precious. The Jing Gate is a very important orifice (passage way) in Inner Alchemy practice. Here it represents the sphincter muscle of the male organ, and how important abstaining from ejaculation (not releasing Jing) is to the practice.

Like Shutting a Heavy Door: Implies the need to close and strengthen the seven orifices and the Jing Gate, to prevent any leakage of Jing, Qi or Shen.

Main Gateway Latch (密枢机 mi shu ji): mechanism or pivot that can strengthen and seal gates. Here it emphasizes, that the seven orifices and the Jing Gate should be like super heavy iron locks and gate, tightly closed.

Thank you for visiting our website, please, come back to enjoy more chapters of the Yellow Court Scripture which we will be adding soon. If you have any questions or would like to join one of our Taoist workshops please, contact us.


   

Tao Te Ching

Introduction

The Tao Te Ching is an ancient and profound guide to the great mystery of life. Left to the us by Laozi over 2,000 years ago, it is vast with interpretations. We present it here, from the prospective of cultivation practitioners, along with commentary from two of the most renown Taoist masters' in history, Wang Bi and He Shanggong (the Old Man by River).

WangBi was a literary genius, who briefly graced the us with his presence, from 226 to 249. With only 23 years of life, he forever impacted the worlds view on Taoism. Leaving behind one of the most comprehensive commentary on Laozi's Tao Te Ching.

He Shanggong (the Old Man by the River) was a legendary Taoist, who appeared during the Han Dynasty. He is said to have had the ability to levitate several meters from the ground. After being sought out by the Emperor of the time, and convinced of his commitment to the Tao, he gave Emperor Wen a copy of the Dao De Jing with commentary to explain its meaning. The commentary below, is a translation of the one that he granted the Emperor.

In this translation we have considered the Guodian Chu Slips as their discovery is of great importance. To clarify; In 1993 the earliest know surviving text of Laozi's work was unearthed in Guodian village, Hubei Province. Written on 804 slips of bamboo with 12,072 words, at the ancient Chu capital, between the mid 4th and early third century BCE. The Guodian Chu Slips have deepened our understanding of how much the Tao Te Ching has been edited from it original version and we're very pleased to be able to factor this in to our translation here.

Chapter One

The Tao that can be spoken, is not the eternal Tao.

The Name that can be named, is not the eternal Name.

Nothingness (Wu), is the name that describes
the origin of Heaven and Earth.

Existence (You), is the name that describes
the mother of all things on Earth.

Therefore, one without desire, can observe the boundlessness;
and one with desire, can only observe their own boundaries.

These two are produced together, and separated by names.

Extremely profound, they are the gate to numerous mysteries.

Commentary of Chapter One From Wang Bi:

"The Tao that can be spoken, and the Name that can be named, can describe things and reasons, which are not everlasting. This is why (the everlasting Tao and Name) can't be spoken or named.

Every thing in existence is generated from the Void.
That's why the shapeless and nameless moment is the beginning of all beings.

When it comes to the moment that has shape and a name,
it becomes the mother of all beings, which then generates, nourishes and cultivates them.

It's said that Tao is without shape or a name when it generates all beings. All beings are generated and cultivated without knowing the reason. This has very profound and mysterious meanings.

Subtlety, means the extremity of minuteness.
All beings begin from minuteness, and then are formed;
all beings emerge from the Void, and then are born.
That is why, if one is without desire and is open to all things, one can observe the subtlety of the beginning.

Boundary is the return to the end.
Generally speaking, only when you make use of nothingness,
can you make what you have be beneficial to yourself.
That's why when you have desires, you can observe the boundary of all beings.

These two things are "beginning" and "mother".
They both come from the Dark-Subtlety,
They have different names, because what they generate are different.
"Beginning" is first; "mother" is last.
The Dark-Subtlety is obscure, silent and has nothing,
which generates the "beginning" and the "mother".
Because we can't define or name the Dark-Subtlety, we cannot say that the "beginning" and the "mother" are both from the Dark-Subtlety.
We can only say that they are from something we describe as the Dark-Subtlety.
We can only describe that something as the Dark-Subtlety, we can't name it.
If we name it as the Dark-Subtlety, we define it as one certain name, which is against its original meaning.
That's why it is said, "Dark-Subtlety and Dark-Subtlety again".
Because, all of the profound subtleties are from the same origin, which we name "the gate of all subtleties"."

Commentary of Chapter One From The River Man:

" The Tao of Confucius, of politics and of government decrees, of educating and enlightening people, is not the Tao of natural longevity.

The permanent Tao is to do nothing,
it nourishes Shen;
it lets people be at peace by not interfering;
it hides brilliance;
it destroys or conceals all traces;
it, also cannot be called Tao.

Fame and reputation that normal people chase after,
is not the natural and ever-lasting Name.
The permanent Name,
is like a baby before he can say a word;
like an egg that the egg white and yolk are inseparable;
like a pearl in a clam;
like a beautiful piece of jade among common stones;
inside is bright;
outside is dump and stubborn.

This thing that is without a name, which we call Tao.
Has no shape, that's why we can't name it.
The beginning, is the root of Tao.
Breathing, spreading and converting are all from the Void,
which is the beginning and root of the world.

(The things) with name, are called Heaven and Earth.
Because Heaven and Earth have shapes and positions,
yin and yang, softness and hardness,
that's why they have their own names, and are the parents of all beings.
Heaven and Earth have Qi that generate, cultivate and nourish all beings just like a mother brings up a child.

Subtlety is also essential;
When people have no desire,
they can observe the essential subtlety of Tao.
Essential is also called one;
When one understands Tao,
one knows what's right and what is wrong.

Boundary, also means return.
People that always have desires,
can observe common people's life purpose.

"These two things" mean, with desire and without desire.
They both come from the same place, which is our Heart/Mind.
They have their own names.
The one named "without desires" can live forever;
the one named "with desires" passes away.

The profound subtlety means Heaven.
Both people with desires and without desires are receiving Qi from Heaven.

There is Heaven inside of Heaven.
There is difference in the receiving of Qi.
People who have received more Qi from Heaven,
can obtain the harmonious fluid,
and become Sages and people of virtue.
People who have received little Qi from Heaven,
become despicable and deluded,
like to bully and insult others,
which will generate greed and indulgence.

People, who know that there is Heaven inside of Heaven,
and the difference in the receiving Qi from Heaven,
can get rid of desires and emotions,
guarding the central harmony,
which is called, "to know the essence of Tao".

Chapter Two

The entire world classifies beauty as beautiful,
Therefore ugliness exists;
the entire world classifies goodness as good;
hence the existence of bad.

Therefore Existence and Nothingness, beget each other;

Difficult and easy, compliment each other;

long and short are made distinct;

high and low contrast;

Musical sound and singing, harmonize each other;

Front and back follow each other.

Thus the sage behaves, without taking unnatural action,

teachers without using words,
lets all things grow without interference,

gives them life without claiming to be their owner,

benefits them without claiming to be their benefactor,

succeeds without claiming credit,

because credit is never claimed, credit is never lost.

Chapter Three

Keep the people from contention
by disregarding those with abilities;

Keep the people from theft
by not valuing rare goods;

Keep the people from having a disturbed state of mind
by concealing what is desirable;

That is why in governing the people
the sage simplifies their minds
fills their stomachs,
weakens their wills,
and strengthens their bones.

By keeping the people
from striving for knowledge and chasing desire,
He disables those with influence, from taking ill action.

Act in accordance with this Wu-Wei (the principle of inaction)
And the world will remain in order everywhere.

Chapter Four

Tao is formless and empty,
yet it is inexhaustible.

Profound, it is the origin of all things.

It has no sharpness,
and stays away from entanglements,

Glows with veiled radiance,
and mingles with dust.

Tao is formless and invisible,
but indeed it exists.

I don't know where it comes from but,
its been here earlier than the Emperor of Heaven.

Chapter Five

Heaven and Earth are not bias,
they treat all things equal.

Sages are not bias,
they too treat all people as equal.

The space between heaven and earth are like a bellows;
Empty, but can never be exhausted.

The more air it expels,
the more comes out.

That is why too many rules,
only result in more failure.

It is better to stick to,
moderation and the void.

Thank you for visiting our website, please, come back to enjoy more chapters of the Tao Te Ching which we will be adding soon. If you have any questions or would like to join one of our Taoist workshops please, contact us.


   

Yellow Emperor's Canon

The Yellow Emperor was a legendary king of ancient China. He founded his empire in YouXiong, central China where the earth is yellow, which gave his empire its color and him, his name "the Yellow Emperor".

Recognized for his great merits and virtues, he was supported as emperor by all the chieftains of the region. Ever since he was a small child he had a strong curiosity to understand things. He was wise, honest, analytical and righteous.

Throughout his life he maintained a thirst for understanding and so continued studying with his minister Qibo. During his reign as Emperor, he made profound contributions to medicine and science. To this day his works are still regarded as the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as an important guide in Daoism (Taoism).

Ancient thoughts on How to Maintain Natural, Health and Energy

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Why could people in ancient times, live to be over a hundred, without showing any signs of aging, but today people look and feel old at fifty?"

QiBo answered, "People in ancient times knew the Dao and understood how to preserve health by following the laws of yin and yang. They were moderate in drinking and eating, had regular schedules for work and rest and avoided overstraining. That's how they maintained harmony between their Shen and body, and lived so long.

People today, have no set time for work and rest. They drink too much and often indulge in sexual pleasure after drinking, depleting their JingQi and wasting their ZhengQi. They rarely try to preserve JingQi and don't know how to regulate their Shen, they too often give-in to sexual desires. And therefore look and feel old at fifty."

Ancient people knew the importance of avoiding Weak-Evil and Wind-Evil and keeping their minds free from insatiable greed and excessive daydreaming. That way their ZhengQi was harmonized, their spirit was contained and diseases did not occur.

These kinds of people were and still are stable, content, at peace and without any fear. They worked but never overstrained, allowing Qi to flow smoothly.

Satisfied with their lives and enjoying their food, natural and comfortable clothes and simple social customs, they did not desire high positions and lived simple and natural lives. And, so, unhealthy habits never tempted them. Whether ignorant or intelligent, virtuous or without virtue they feared nothing.

Behaving in accordance with the Dao is the reason why they could live to be over one hundred without any signs of aging. Having followed the Dao they enjoyed long lives free from disease.

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Most old people cannot produce offspring, is this because CaiLi is depleted or is it just the natural development of the body?"

QiBo answered, "The body goes through cycles, generally speaking:

For women,

  • At seven, Kidney-Qi flourishes and new teeth begin to grow.
  • At fourteen, Tiangui begins to appear, Ren Channel and Chong Channel work vigorously. Menstruation begins. She is able to bear children.
  • At twenty-one, kidney-Qi is full and wisdom teeth begin to grow, the body is fully developed.
  • At twenty-eight, muscles and bones are strong.
  • At thirty-five, the YangMing Channel starts to decline, her face becomes dry.
  • At forty-two, the Three Yang Channels are deficient in both blood and Qi, aging starts to show in her face and her hair begins turning white.
  • At forty-nine, both the Ren Channel and Chong Channel become deficient and menopause begins, her body becomes week and she is no longer able to bear children.

For men,

  • At eight, Kidney-Qi flourishes and new teeth begin to grow.
  • At sixteen, Kidney-Qi is abundant and Taingui occurs, he is able to impregnate females.
  • At twenty-four, Kidney-Qi is full, muscles and bones are strong, wisdom teeth appear and his body is fully developed.
  • At thirty-two, muscles and bones are well developed and very strong.
  • At forty, Kidney-Qi declines, his hair begins to thin and his teeth become weaker.
  • At forty-eight, Yang-Qi over his upper body collapses, aging starts to show in his face and his hair begins turning white.
  • At fifty-six, Liver-Qi declines, his muscles become stiff.

As Tiangui deteriorates and Kidney-Qi is reduced the kidneys are weakened and so is his body, his teeth and hair begin to fall out. The kidneys control water and receive and store Jing from the five Zang-Organs and six Fu-Organs. So, when all eleven organs are strong and active the kidneys have enough jing to discharge. But, now the five Zang-Organs have declined, the bones become weak and the Tiangui is exhausted, his hair turns white and his coordination declines. He walks with difficulty and is unable to have children."

The Yellow Emperor asked, "How come some very old people can still have children?"

QiBo answered, "They know the ways of preserving health and they save their jing, so they have a longer life-span than others. Their Qi and blood are always smooth in circulation and their Kidney-Qi remains abundant, that's why. Generally, these men still loose the ability to have children, but not until sixty-four and the women still loose the ability at forty-nine."

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Can those who have mastered the Dao still have children after they are over a hundred years old?"

QiBo answered, "Those who have mastered the Dao enjoy good health and show no signs of aging, so they can still have children even when very old."

The Yellow Emperor noted, "I've heard of Immortals in ancient times that grasped the laws of nature. They followed the principals of yin and yang, breathing fresh air and cultivating their spirits, so their life-span was as long as Heavens and Earths. That was their Dao of life.

In mid-ancient times, there were Perfect People who possessed the highest degree of mortality and the principles of cultivating health. They abided to the cycles of yin and yang, adapted to the changes of the seasons, abandoned worldly desires, avoided distractions and roamed both Earth and Heaven. They could see and hear beyond the eight directions. These people were similar to immortals.

The third type of people were the Sages, capable of living in harmony in the realm between Heaven and Earth. Adapting to the wind from the eight directions. In daily life they could properly meet there interest and tackle their desires. Their minds were free from anger and discontent.

They didn't draw them selves away from worldly customs and they often wore luxurious clothes, but never followed the behavior or ordinary people. Physically, they tried never to exhaust their bodies; mentally, they freed themselves from anxiety. Peace and happiness were their goals in life and self-contentment was their sign of achievement. Their bodies rarely weakened and their spirits never were subject to exhaustion. That was why they could live over a hundred years.

The fourth type of people were Virtuous People who followed the laws of Heaven and Earth. They imitated the changes of the sun and moon and followed the order of the stars. They adhered to the cycles of yin and yang and the practice of the immortals from ancient times. In this way they prolonged their lives.

How the Changes of the Four Seasons Affect Ones Spirit

Heaven-Qi is clear, bright and pure. It never stops moving, which is why it never reveals it's light. If it did the sky would become bright and the sun and moon would become dim. As a result Evil-Qi would take control.

When that happens Yang-Qi would be blocked from the Heavens, Earth-Qi would fail to ascend, dark clouds and fog would not lift, rain would not fall. The communication between Heaven and Earth would cease, making it impossible for all things in nature to continue developing. Even large trees would die.

If Virulent-Qi emerges, if wind and rain fail to appear at the right time, plants will wither. In addition, frequent attacks of Wind-Evil will lead to the immature death of everything. Only sages can follow such natural changes. That is why they do not fall ill during such disasters. If all things in nature follow the principles of health cultivation, their vitality will never be exhausted.

The changes of Yin and Yang in the four seasons are the roots of all things in nature. So the sages cultivate Yang-Qi in Spring and Summer, while nourish Yin-Qi in Autumn and Winter. Ignorance of these roots means destruction of the primordial base and impairment of the body.

Thus the changes of Yin and Yang are responsible for growth, decline and the death of all things. Ignorance of it brings disasters while abidance by it prevents the occurrence of disease. This is why we follow the law of nature. The law of nature is followed by the sages, but ignored by fools.

Following the rules of Yin and Yang ensures life, while ignoring them leads to death. Abidance by the rules brings about peace, while ignorance of them results in disorders. If ignorance of the rules is mistaken as abidance of them, a disease know as Neige will occur.

Therefore, the sages usually pay less attention to the treatment of disease, but more to the prevention of it. To resort to treatment when a disorder has already been caused, is just like to dig a well when one feels thirsty or to make weapons when a war has already broken out. Isn't it too late then?

Spring

Spring is the season when all things on Earth begin to grow and flourish. We should go to sleep late and get up early, taking a walk in the courtyard with our hair running free, relaxing our bodies and enlivening our minds. Such a natural revival process should be activated, promoted and encouraged; we should let ourselves grow.

This is how we adapt to Spring-Qi and how to cultivate health during the Spring. Otherwise, Liver-Qi will be stagnated and we may contract cold-disease during Summer and won't be able to adapt to it's long, hot days.

Summer

Summer is the season when all prosper. Heaven-Qi and Earth-Qi converge with each other and all things bloom and bear fruit. We should go to sleep late and get up early. Avoid, hating the long days and hot weather, stay cheerful enabling Qi to flow smoothly.

This is how to adapt to Summer-Qi and how to cultivate health during the Summer. Otherwise, Heart-Qi will be deficient and we may contract malaria in Autumn and become ill in Winter.

Autumn

Autumn is the season of ripening. In Autumn it's cool, the wind blows fast and the atmosphere is clear. We should go to sleep early and get up at dawn, just like the rooster. We should keep our minds at peace to calm the effect of Autumn's cool weather on the body, moderate our mental activities to balance Autumn-Qi and avoid nostalgic feelings to harmonize Lung-Qi.

This is how to adapt to Autumn-Qi and how to cultivate health in Autumn. Otherwise, Lung-Qi will be dry and distended and may contract Sunxie in Winter.

Winter

Winter is the season for storage. Water freezes and the Earth cracks. Care must be taken to avoid disturbing Yang-Qi in our bodies. People should go to sleep early and get up late when the sun is shinning. Mentally maintain quiet just like when keeping a secret. We should avoid the cold and try to keep warm, avoid sweating so as to prevent loss of Yang-Qi.

This is how adapt to Winter-Qi and how to cultivate health in Winter, promoting the storage functions of the body. Otherwise, Kidney-Qi will sink and the energy for the following seasons will be reduced, leading to dysfunction, weakness and coldness of the limbs in Spring.