I’ve been re-reading “The Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters” by Steven Eskildsen, available from Google Books as an ebook. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many useful and inspiring quotes from Wang Zhe and his students.
If you are not familiar with the Quanzhen (Complete Reality) school and the immense influence it has and continues to have on the development of Daoism in China sine 1100 AD this book will be an excellent introduction. It’s not well understood that almost all of the Daoism accessible in the west descends from this school and from this one master.
His students (The Seven Realized Men of the North) started most of the major existent Daoist sects. The most famous, Qiu Chuji, (Changchunzi) founded the Longmen (DragonGate) sect of Wang Li Ping. Wang Chongyang’s transmission to Qiu Chuji is available as ‘The Five Ling Articles‘, translated by Richard Liao in the Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu
“Ask not about the dragon and the tiger.
The single point in your mind is your enlightened master.
When your qi is under control and your spirit ( shen ) is stable,
this is what is called “the copulation.”
The mind rectified in diligence and sincerity produces a warm glow.
To constantly serve all sentient beings equally is the Great Tao.
If [your mind is kept] pure and clear without relent, you will gain true compassion.
All becomes manifest to you as the circular light reaches completion,
Guiding forth the golden elixir and fetching the jade fungi.”
“If you know the good visage, do not hold on to externals.
Your mind-spirit is your true teacher.
The problems and riddles (gong’an) posed by men of old should be investigated,
But your own school of thinking must be spread about.
Little by little you come to penetrate your past enlightened nature,
More and more you show forth your compassion of old.
When your compassion and purity are both re-established,
You will attain sudden enlightenment and absolutely nothing will bind you.”
“Resolutely yearn for the Tao and have nothing [else] that binds and enwraps you.
Isolate your body and sleep in solitude. When stillness arises within the stillness, you will attain the wonders.
When calmness arrives within the calmness, you shall definitely unite with the mysterious.
Now you can act with free abandon, and know what it is to be relaxed and content.
Passing the days in refreshing coolness is the inborn saint.
Quit wishing for divine immortality, quit speaking of it!
Let yourself sit alone on the white lotus flower.”
These men led lives of extreme asceticism. Wang Zhe dug a deep hole and lived in it for three years (a symbolic grave). He then filled the hole and built a hut (Complete Realization Hut) over the whole from which his entire lineage took it’s name (QuanZhen).
One day he burned the hut in a fit of apparent madness, cutting of yet a further ‘attachment’. There were no limits to his realization of freedom.
I’ll post further snippets as I come across them and the spirit moves me.