Liu Yiming on "Doing" and "Non-Doing"


Continue to advance in your practice, passing from "doing" into "non-doing." Nourish [the Embryo] warmly for ten months, keeping it tightly closed [within the womb]. Lessen the excess of strong emotions, and augment the insufficiency of compliant nature. Using the celestial True Fire, and relying on the hexagrams Zhun ䷂ in the morning and Meng ䷃ at night, smelt away the postcelestial Yin breaths. Generate the immaterial from the material, passing from the subtle to the apparent. When Breath is complete and Spirit is whole, "with a peal of thunder the golden cicada sheds its shell," and you have a body outside your body.

When the work is completed and your name is recorded,(1) you will have audience at the Northern Portal and will ride a soaring phoenix. You will fly and rise in the broad daylight, and will become a Celestial Immortal of Pure Yang, free from death. Wouldn't that be pleasant?

Source: Liu Yiming (1734-1821), commentary to the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality), poem 3.



(1) That is, one's name is entered in the "registers of immortality," according to the classical Taoist image for the achievement of transcendence.


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