Xing Qi English Translation 1999

In: Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundation of Taoist Mysticism by Harold D. Roth, 1999

01   To circulate the vital breath:

02   Swallow it and it will collect.

03   When it is collected, it will expand.

04   When it expends, it will descend.

05   When it descends, it will be become stable.

06   When it is stable, it will be firm.

07   When it is firm, it will sprout.

08   When it sprouts, it will grow.

09   When it grows, it will return.

10   When it returns, it will become heavenly.

11   The heavenly dynamism is revealed in the ascending [of the breath];

12   The earthly dynamism is revealed in the descending [of the breath].

13   Follow this and you will live;

14   Oppose it and you will die.

Xing Qi Traditional Chinese Text With English Vocabulary

01 行氣 xíngqì

02 吞則蓄 tūn zé xù

03 蓄則伸 xù zé shēn

04 伸則下 shēn zé xià

05 下則定 xià zé dìng

06 定則固 dìng zé gù

07 固則萌 gù zé méng

08 萌則長 méng zé cháng

09 長則復 cháng zé fù

10 復則天 fù zé tiān

11 天機舂在上 tiān jī chōng zài shàng

12 地機舂在下 dì jī chōng zài xià

13 順則生 shùn zé shēng

14 逆則死 nì zé sĭ

Xing Qi Different Characters (1-20)

01 xíng (1) walk, move, travel, about to, soon, will, behavior 

02 氣 qì (1) vital energy, air, vapor

03 吞 tūn to swallow, to take (1)

04 則 zé (11) rule, standard, norm, example, imitate, follow, linking statements: then, already, turned out that, but …

05 蓄 xù to store up, to grow (e.g. a beard), to entertain (ideas) (2)

06 伸 shēn extend, stretch out, open up; trust (2)

07 下 xià (3) postpos.: under, below, lower, get down from, go down

08 定 dìng to set, settled, to fix, fixed,  to determine, to decide, to order, forehead, name of a star (2)

09 固 gù hard, strong, solid, sure, assuredly, undoubtedly, of course, indeed, admittedly (2)

10 méng people, sprout, bud (2)

11 cháng (2) long, height, (read zhăng = grow, increase, excel)

12 復 fù (2) again, return, repeat

13 天 tiān (2) sky, heaven, nature, god, divine

14 機 jī changes, motion, machine, secret, engine, opportunity, intention, aircraft, pivot, crucial point, flexible (quick-witted), organic (2)

15 舂 chōng to pound (grain), beat (2)

16 在 zài (2) be at, rest with, consist in, be present, be alive

17 上 shàng (1) postpos.: on, above, upper, ascend, go up, supreme

18 地 dì (1) earth, round

19 順 shùn to obey, to follow, to arrange, to make reasonable, along, favorable (1)

20 nì disobey, rebel, oppose, contrary, opposite, backwards, to go against, to betray, accord with (1)

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Xing Qi English Translation 1997

One of the first Xing Qi English translation can be found in the book: Early Chinese Medical Literature by Donald Harper, 1997

“Swallow, then it travels; traveling, it extends; extending, it descends; descending, it stabilizes; stabilizing, it solidifies; solidifying, it sprouts; sprouting, it grows; growing, it returns; returning, it is heaven. Heaven—its root is above; earth—its root is below. Follow the pattern and live; go against it and die.”

To compare parallel translations easier, I put the numbers of lines according to the translation made by Harold D. Roth in his book Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundation of Taoist Mysticism by Harold D. Roth, 1999

01   xing qi [Harper thinks this is a title and he begins his translation from the second line 吞則蓄 tūn zé xù]

02   Swallow, then it travels;

03   traveling, it extends;

04   extending, it descends;

05   descending, it stabilizes;

06   stabilizing, it solidifies;

07   solidifying, it sprouts;

08   sprouting, it grows;

09   growing, it returns;

10   returning, it is heaven.

11   Heaven—its root is above;

12   earth—its root is below.

13   Follow the pattern and live;

14   go against it and die.

I would like to add a couple of paragraphs from the point of view of D. Harper to make some details clear.

“The verbs that identify the stages of cultivation are not obscure words (travel, extend, descend, etc.), but neither is it obvious exactly how the technique is excited. Like the ’Neiye’ and the Laozi, the text is an example of verse meant for recitation by initiates who would have received fuller knowledge of its meaning either orally or in ancillary texts. The verse itself is the verbal distillation of the technique, each verb an icon of the act of circulating vapor.”

“The true focus of the Mawangdui and Zhangjiashan macrobiotic hygiene texts is on techniques. Unlike the ’Neiye,’ which is theoretical exposition on the physiology of the sage, the excavated texts are meant to teach how to do it—whether it be breath cultivation, exercise, sexual  cultivation, or dietetics. Prior to their discovery, the only ancient example of a macrobiotic technique was a rhymed inscription on a dodecagonal block of jade bearing the title xingqi 行氣 (To circulate vapor). The artifact is thought to be late Warring States (perhaps late fourth or early third century B.C.). The technique is presented in nine trisyllabic phrases which describe the stages of breath cultivation from first swallowing the vapor to completion; four explanatory phrases concludes the text.”

I have to say, that running along the cold or hot mountain’s dirty road and keeping in mind all those transformations between the earth and heaven like a smart human being that’s probably the best hours in my life now.

內業 Nèiyè 01-07

I

001   凡物之精   fán wù zhī jīng

002    此則為生   cǐ zé wéi shēng

003   下生五穀   xià shēng wŭ gŭ

004   上為列星   shàng wéi liè xīng

005   流天地間   liú tiān dì jiān

006   謂之鬼神   wèi zhī guĭ shén

007   藏於胸中   cāng yú xiōng zhōng

008   謂之聖人   wèi zhī shèng rén

II

009   01   是故此氣  shì gù cĭ qì

010   02   杲乎如登於天   găo hū rú dēng yú tiān

011   03   杳乎如入於淵   yăo hū rú rù yú yuān

012   04   綽乎如在於海   chuò hū rú zài yú hăi

013   05   崒乎如在於屺    cuì hū rú zài yú qǐ

014   06   是故此氣也   shì gù cĭ qì yĕ

015   07   不可止以力   bù kĕ zhĭ yĭ lì

016   08   而可安以德  ér kĕ ān yĭ dé

017   09   不可呼以聲   bù kĕ hū yĭ shēng

018   10   而可迎以意  ér kĕ yíng yĭ yì

019   11   敬守勿失   jìng shŏu wù shī

020   12   是謂成德  shì wèi chéng dé

021   13   德成而智出  dé chéng ér zhì chū

022   14   萬物畢得   wàn wù bì dé

III

023   01   凡心之 形 fán xīn zhī xíng

024   02   自充自盈  zì chōng zì yíng

025   03   自生自成  zì shēng zì chéng

026   04   其所以失之 qí suŏ yĭ shī zhī

027   05   必以憂樂喜怒欲利  bì yĭ yōu lè xĭ nù yù lì

028   06   能去憂樂喜怒欲利  néng qù yōu lè xĭ nù yù lì

029   07   心乃反齊  xīn năi făn qí

030   08   彼心之情  bĭ xīn zhī qíng

031   09   利安以寧     lì ān yĭ níng

032   10   勿煩勿亂  wù fán wù luàn

033   11   和乃自成  hé năi zì chéng

IV

034   01   皙皙乎如在於側  xī xī hū rú zài yú cè

035   02   忽忽乎如將不得  hū hū hū rú jiàng bù dé

036   03   渺渺乎如窮無極  miăo miăo hū rú qióng wú jí

037   04   此稽不遠  cĭ jī bù yuàn

038   05   日用其德  rì yòng qí dé

039   06   夫道所以充形  fú dào suŏ yĭ chōng xíng

040   07   而人不能固  ér rén bù néng gù

041   08   其往不復  qí wăng bù fù

042   09   其來不舍  qí lái bù shĕ

043   10   寂乎莫聞其音  jì hū mò wén qí yīn

044   11   卒乎乃在於心  cù hū năi zài yú xīn

045   12   冥冥乎不見其形  míng míng hū bù jiàn qí xíng

046   13   淫淫乎與我俱生  yín yín hū yú wŏ jù shēng

047   14   不見其形  bù jiàn qí xíng

048   15   不聞其聲  bù wén qí shēng

049   16   而序其成  ér xù qí chéng

050   17   謂之道  wèi zhī dào

V

051   01   夫道無所    fú dào wú suŏ

052   02   善心安處  shàn xīn ān chù

053   03   心靜氣理  xīn jìng qì lĭ

054   04   道乃可止 dào năi kĕ zhĭ

055   05   彼道不遠  bĭ dào bù yuăn

056   06   人得以產  rén dé yĭ chăn

057   07   彼道不離  bĭ dào bù lí

058   08   人因以和  rén yīn yĭ hé

059   09   是故萃萃乎其如可與索  shì gù cùi cùi hū qí rú kĕ yú suŏ

060   10   渺渺乎其如窮無所  miăo miăo hū qí rú qióng wú suŏ

061   11   彼道之情  bĭ dào zhī qíng

062   12   惡意與聲  è yì yú shēng

063   13   修心靜意  xiū xīn jìng yì

064   14   道乃可得  dào năi kĕ dé

VI

065   01   道也者  dào yĕ zhĕ

066   02   口之所不能言也  kŏu zhī suŏ bù néng yán yĕ

067   03   目之所不能視也  mù zhī suŏ bù néng shì yĕ

068   04   耳之所不能聽也  ĕr zhī suŏ bù néng tìng yĕ

069   05   所以修心而正形也  suŏ yĭ xiū xīn ér zhēng xíng yĕ

070   06   人之所失以死  rén zhī suŏ shī yĭ sĭ

071   07   所得以生也  suŏ dé yĭ shēng yĕ

072   08   事之所失以敗 shì zhī suŏ shī yĭ bài

073   09   所得以成也  suŏ dé yĭ chéng yĕ

074   10   凡道無根無莖  fán dào wú gēn wú jīng

075   11   無葉無榮  wú yè wú róng

076   12   萬物以生  wàn wù yĭ shēng

077   13   萬物以成  wàn wù yĭ chéng

078   14   命之曰道  mìng zhī yuē dào

VII

079   01   天主正  tiān zhŭ zhēng

080   02   地主平  dì zhŭ píng

081   03   人主靜  rén zhŭ jìng

082   04   春秋冬夏天之時    chūn qiū dōng xià tiān zhī shí

083   05   山陵川谷地之材也  shān líng chuān gŭ dì zhī cái yĕ

084   06   喜怒取予人之謀也  xĭ nù qŭ yú rén zhī móu yĕ

085   07   是故聖人  shì gù shèng rén

086   08   與時變而不化  yú shí biàn ér bù huà

087   09   從物而不移    cóng wù ér bù yí

內業   Nèiyè: the good and bad (well, not so bad) news for this blog followers

This spring I have decided to follow emendations of the text made by Harold D. Roth in his book Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism, 1999 Columbia University Press.

Chapter 01-07 are cleared: characters counting are correct after deleting some, the difference is only 3 characters (less). Some characters have different tones in the dictionaries, and if I need to hear Chinese vocal pronunciation I use a special application which allows me to utter Chinese characters closely to native speakers. I don’t show emendations marks and don’t comment on the chapters in blog, I really wanted to have the text I can read, meditate and enjoy.

Only the seven parts of twenty-six are cleared (that’s the bad news) but all seven are here now (and that’s the good one). Cosmogonic introduction, 氣 qì, 心 xīn and 形 xíng are the subjects for the first chapters one-three, 道 dào is considered in chapters four-six, and the seventh chapter is like a conclusion topic for the first one.

People don’t dance like this, people don’t play music like this, and people don’t write like this anymore. There is something in ancient philosophy that has been done once and for a long, long time. I am glad that I can belong to those who can appreciate old traces in the modern times.

INTRODUCTION: Nèiyè 內業 Inner Cultivation, or HUMANKIND IS READY

A State of Qi with its capital Linzi, where the academy Jixia Gate was established and the book Nèiyè 內業 was compiled by Guănzĭ 管子

A State of Qi with its capital Linzi, where the academy Jixia Gate was established and the book Nèiyè 內業 was compiled by Guănzĭ 管子

“A long overlooked text of classical times, the Neiye (“Inner Cultivation” or “Inner Development”) is a text of some 1,600 characters, written in rhymed prose, a form close to that  of the Daode jing. It sometimes echoes that text and the Zhuangji, but it lacks many of the concerns found in those works. Generally dated to 350-300 BCE, it is preserved in the Guanji, along with two later, apparently derivative texts.”—Russell Kirkland said about this text in the ENCYCLOPEDIA  OF TAOISM we have been enjoying last year.

“There are more than enough translations the internet is easy to provide to curious readers but no matter how careful you are one question is obvious: the four terms (qi ‘energy’, jing ‘vital essence’, dao ‘the way’, and sheng ‘spirit’) are too broad to understand and something should be definitely done here. Who, when, how?

As far as I can see, humanity is not ready to print out this text in Classical Chinese, Pinyin with tones (easy to read for every student), and two or three translations into English with numeration of every line. Probably, humanity will be ready to do it in a couple of years.”

Last lines were written by me in the long project ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM approximately one year ago, and now I have good news for you: HUMANKIND IS READY to see this ancient text in Traditional Chinese with Pinyin tones and with several translations made by scientists whose work can be found online.

This new project will include original Classical Chinese text chapter by chapter (as it was parted by Harold D. Roth in his book Original Tao: inward training (nei-yeh) and the foundations of Taoist mysticism, 1999, Columbia University Press), plus every character with Pinyin, tone, and translation.

SRI YANTRA MASTER AND ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (THE LAST NOTE BEFORE OBLIVION): Zuòwàng 坐忘 “sitting in oblivion”

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“The term zuòwàng 坐忘 designates a state of deep trance or intense absorption, during which no trace of ego-identity is felt and only the underlying cosmic current of the Dào 道 is perceived as real. The classical passage describing  the state occurs in Zhuāngzĭ 莊子 (Chapter 6): “I smash up my limbs and body, drive out perception and intellect, cast out form, do away with understanding, and make myself identical with the Great Thoroughfare (dàtòng 大通)” (trans. Watson 1968). This passage presents a mental state of complete unknown, of loss of personal identity and self, and a kind of total immersion in the Non-being of the universe.”—Livia Kohn

As far as I can see nobody can drive a car following these conditions (Zhuāngzĭ 莊子, Chapter 6), rule a small business, or communicate with family and friends, or whatever else. This is something special we can train during our long life more or less successfully in every individual case. I was lucky once in my life getting knowledge of Sri Yantra algorithm and More Difficult Star Polygons: this sequence of steps was in oblivion and these polygons are still in oblivion, especially More Difficult Star Polygons, or better to say, people are still ignorant of their existence at all. And I can do nothing to help because I am still ignorant of making people listening to me. Of course, the existence of such beautiful polygons meant a lot to my training. Frankly, oblivion was the gift and gist of every gesture I did while drawing them on the blank sheet of paper in 1994-95.

Trying to live every day and every minute in agreement with Dao is a beautiful dream (too much distractions act around us), and I am happy enough just getting proper daoyin or yoga session for 20-30 minutes every day. Such training somehow brings me closer to the dream, yes, and that is enough for us, mortals. But this is another story.

NEVER MIND.

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SRI YANTRA MASTER AND THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM: COSMOGONY

Cosmogony

1 Overview

It is interesting to learn the fact that Chinese cosmogony ideas have begun to function in lV-ll centuries BCE and they have three special features: (1) the lack of a god responsible for all living creatures and things, (2) ‘no element of explicit teleology’, and (3) the universe is not casual but the sequence of ‘unfolding’ and inner order. Christopher Cullen named all these characteristics in the first article catching the eyes in simplicity and clarity of Chinese cosmogony. I am not sure everything is so simple, and further reading of Zhang Heng (78-139) Lingxian (The Numinous Structure), probably could help in finding complexity and uncertainty (ancient Chinese can be difficult to understand and sometimes just impossible to interpret in the terms of Western culture so far).

From time to time I do like to browse magazines’ articles on astronomy for non-professionals: black holes, origins of our planets, stars’ lives, and how life could possibly to spring up are entertaining topics to spend a couple of hours in the evening. Reading books written by splendid authors Richard Dawkins and David Deutsch (The Selfish Gene, 1989, and The Fabric of Reality, 1997 did not do much harm to me too). But anyway, traditional Chinese point of view due to its amusing art of hieroglyphs’ writing and concise historical texts on nature of universe will be always preferable, do I have or have not additional explanations. There is some exceptional heat of poesy inside prose lines which extended and survived to present days. Just feel it!

The articles in the modern glossy magazine and online bright sites seem to be rewritten very soon following to progress in scientific knowledge mining but the mystical charm and multilayered meanings of ancient glyphs keep going to be somewhere close to us, and definitely, they stay very close to me right now, right in any moment of my life.

2 Taoist notions

Isabelle Robinet pointed out that “Taoism employs two main cosmogonic patterns, one threefold and the other fivefold, which are related to the vertical and horizontal axes of the world. From these patterns arise all other celestial and terrestrial configurations.” I think, that it is a good point to start including the whole row of numbers from zero to any number our imagination can provide us to embrace vertical, horizontal, and all other systems of coordinations. Will it be still Taoism? At least, its spirit, I guess.

A very special tracking wish list looks like this now:

’Nothing’ and appearance of zero in Chinese mathematics, 1, 2 (yin-yang relationships complex enough in 102 pairs of opposites and more), 3 (and trigram’s origin), 4 (welcome, coordinate system!), 5 (wuxing theory, 31 lines in table, one of my favorite), 6 (and hexagram theory and divination roots), 7, 8 (and trigrams’ combinatorics in 16 strings at least), 9 (including divination lines correlation 6-7-8-9 and the main heroes are there magical squares the Luoshu, and the Hetu), 10 (Celestial Stems, tiangan), 11, 12 (Eartly Branches, dizhi, and twelve double hours of the day), 24 (seasons of lunar year), 28 (star constellations which do not look like Western mapping of the sky at all), 60 (sexagesimal cycle and Chinese ancient calendar), 64 (hexagrams’ combinatorics of Yijing, definitely my dearest and favorite and the most adorable), 16 levels of concentric circles of the Luopan (including all named previously) resulting in some hundreds partitions in total, and of course, wanwu – ’ten thousand things’ in the end to add completeness and taste to the whole world, including us, humble human beings.

In general, all these numbers with so easy reproducible properties but so hardly understandable mutual interferences make me feel like a wandering magician — free from possession of many things (almost always) and free and protected from deadly influence of beautiful women (very often but never guaranteed).

3 Non-Taoism note on everything

I would like to express my great respect to Antony Garrett Lisi, an American theoretical physicist and his most famous paper An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything in 30 pages. Yes, we all know that this theory is not complete (what IS complete in modern physics?) but the five color illustrations of ’E8 root system’ (a polytop) which the American scientist got unifying both the standard model and general relativity — can impress by their beauty of triangles and their numerous connections which I gave up to count very soon (frankly, page 14, but my respect to author was rising to the end page).

The work contains bibliography, 22 items, and probably much more triangles yet 🙂

4 Something from Sanskrit

So, where exactly we are going to after delicious triangle meeting in ancient Taoism and modern theoretical physics? Sri Yantra (1) and (2) more difficult star polygons, Sri Sarvabhava Yantra. I do still believe and can prove (’can’ does not mean ’want’) that it is the best geometrical symbol of cosmic beauty with extraordinary simple and elegant mathematical roots. Not those roots you will meet instantly into online images surfing (totally wrong idea), but roots which are opened only by using the special rules (right but totally unrivaled) of unique algorithm and a very usual ruler from the nearest stationery shop.

Threefold and fivefold, sixfold as well patterns are in the core of geometrical design of Sri Yantra, or 14-pointed star polygons, or more difficult 18-pointed ones. The meditation begins before you put a clear, white paper on the desc, and it takes years to come to fruition, to the real draft and then a fair copy of the wonderful drawing. This art of meditation means and models the cosmogony of humanity in the heart of the adept. It is honestly can be called a process of unfolding the whole world from one dot during the very short time: sometimes minutes, sometimes hours, or days, or weeks, depending on difficulty of design and strength of spirit of a performer. Having done it once, it will last whatever it needs to be completed in itself.