Nèiyè 內業 Inner Cultivation: part 16 of 26

Nèiyè 內業 Inner Cultivation: part 16 of 26

187   01   人能正靜           rén néng zhēng jìng

188   02   皮膚裕寬           pí fū yù kuān

189   03   耳目聰明           ĕr mù cōng míng

190   04   筋信而骨強       jīn xìn ér gŭ jiàng

191   05   乃能戴大圜       năi néng dài dà huán

192   06   而履大方           ér lǚ dà fāng

193   07   鑒於大清           jiàn yú dà qīng

194   08   視於大明           shì yú dà míng

195   09   敬慎無忒           jìng shèn wú tè

196   10   日新其德           rì xīn qí dé

197   11   遍知天下           biàn zhī tiān xià

198   12   窮於四極           qióng yú sì jí

199   13   敬發其充           jìng fā qí chōng

200   14   是謂內得           shì wèi nèi de

201   15   然而不反           rán ér bù făn

202   16   此生之忒           cĭ shēng zhī tè

TRANSLATIONS

Sixteen

If people can be aligned and tranquil,

Their skin will be ample and smooth,

Their eyes and ears will be acute and clear,

Their muscles will be supple and their bones will be strong,

They will then be able to hold up the Great Circle [of the heavens]

And tread firmly over the Great Square [of the earth].

They will mirror things with great purity.

And they will perceive things with great clarity.

Reverently be aware [of the Way] and do not waver,

And you will daily renew your inner power,

Thoroughly understand all under the heavens,

And exhaust everything within the Four Directions.

To reverently bring forth the effulgence [of the Way]:

This is called “inward attainment.”

If you do this but fail to return to it,

This will cause a wavering in your vitality.

(Translated by Harold D. Roth, 1999)

When a man is able to attain balanced tranquility,
his skin is sleek, his flesh full,

his eyes sharp, his ears keen,

his muscles taut, his bones sturdy.

And so he is able to carry the great circle of heaven on his head

and tread upon the great square of earth.

He finds his reflection in the great purity and sees by the great light.

Attentive and cautious, he never errs,
and every day renews the force of his virtue.

Knowing everything in the world and exhausting the four poles of the earth,

he attentively nurtures his plenitude:

this is called: grasping within.

To be so and never to revert

is life without error.

(Translated by Robert Eno, 2005)

When people can be properly aligned and still:

Their hair and skin are abundant and smooth,
Their ears and eyes are acute and clear,
Their muscles are supple and their bones are strong.

Then they can support the great circle of heaven,

And walk on the great square of earth.
They are a reflection of great purity,
They see with great clarity.

Respectful and cautious, they are without error;

Each day they renew their De.
They understand the whole world
Thoroughly out to the four extremes.

They respectfully develop their fullness;
This is called inner attainment.
However, if they do not return [to their original nature],

This creates errors.

(Translated by Bruce R. Linnell, 2011)

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