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Professor Wong's Lecture, 3/3/02
Nature Dao training

What is Dao?

Dao is not religion; it is a natural way of living life. Dao is the intelligence that forms the order and natural wisdom of individual life, and the way that this harmonizes with the universe as a whole. Precepts describing the way of the Dao have been formed from the study of nature. I began this study while still very young, and I discovered that the people who follow this way perceive and respond to life from many angles. There are so many religions and so many ways people say to live life. My way is to follow Nature Dao, the principles of which have passed down from the people of the old culture and been refined over a period of 10,000 to 16,000 years. Such a long time for observing a way of life that can be said to be nature’s way for human beings to live life.

In order to follow a way of life that will not disturb the Dao of human life, four tendencies of human thinking and behaviour are very important to avoid. If a person adopts these tendencies in the mind, becoming caught up in the actions of their influence; then it is always very hard for their lives to be successful.

Four Negative Tendencies

1.    Ming, Reputation, Fame

This tendency compels a person to appear better than everyone else. They can be competitive and ruthless, using any tactic for their stature to become special. A lot of trouble emerges from these actions and thoughts. For example, I am better than you, I am willing to fight you for it, I want to lead, I will have it, etc. Nature is not like this. See how a big tree and a small tree can grow together and never fight. Each finds a place with enough sun and water and they are quite able to grow side by side. People and society have nurtured us and shared with us, in many obvious and not so obvious ways, so we can grow and live. It is natural to grow in the same way and give back to people, not take from them, and contribute toward the betterment of society in a mutually beneficial and reciprocating way.

2.    Li, Self-Serving, Profit

I will not help unless you do something for me first, e.g., to offer money or service. Motivation from Li is self-serving without real regard for others or society. Its main concern is to profit from any circumstance. Many people in jails have this tendency. They won't contribute unless there is something in it for them. The Daoist way is: good for me, good for you and we help each other.

3.    Chuen, Authority, Position, Power

I want to lead and you will listen to me. These strong people want to bark, they seek to manipulate people to their will, but people are not dogs. When you meet someone like this you know this person is trained in Chuen; they only want to control and influence people to their will. They say or do anything to achieve this and when they finish with you they discard you without conscience. With this person it is better to smile, change direction and walk the other way or you risk being exploited by them for their own purposes only.

4.    Yu, Greed, Excessive Desires, Lust, Selfishness

The above afflictions are the manifestations of Yu. The root cause of Yu is distortion of the seven emotions, i.e., anger, sadness, excessive happiness; fear, thinking too much (anxiety), grief, pensiveness. Prolonged or sudden strong excess of emotions can also destroy health. Even if a person is individually successful, or suddenly earns a lot of money, or has reason to become the focus of intense happiness, this can cause sickness.

It is better to learn the value of how to stay very peaceful inside. People must be aware that they have reason to be happy together, not just be happy for themselves alone. And this is what all people need to learn. In this way we never hurt ourselves. In TCM medical study the seven emotions and their effect on health is a study subject. Strong emotion is evoked by hanging on to ideas such as; I can get it, I want it, I wont let go, not wanting to lose, it's not fair, or by wanting to control people. Don't control people; this is Yu.

Why do we need to be aware of the value of such thoughts?

I speak of these things because the very nature of life and society is ever changing. People need to gain a stable measure against propriety - attuned to the standards of politeness, respect, decency or morality accepted by a society. Over the last 100 years humanity has dramatically changed. Morality that was passed from generation to generation is being eroded/lost. Physical science is gaining ascendancy and philosophy is being forgotten. The human condition has changed to a state where the mental - the world of words, ideas and thinking - now controls physical outcomes or physical realities. Scientists and science now have too much dominance, influence and control over our daily lives, yet they know little about the natural nature of human life. New discoveries are too aggressively exploited for the wrong reasons and the requirement for profit taking often dominates compassion. We live in a time when a person aspires to become a millionaire - whatever it takes; this way is too aggressive and self-serving. This way will destroy a person’s natural nature. Only working to build up riches for personal wealth and glory is wrong and is not the nature of Dao.

Before the Second World War the life of the Chinese people had remained much the same for thousands of years. With the coming of new technologies and industries, people flocked to the cities, drawn by the promise of newfound wealth and opportunity. They sold or abandoned their ancestral land and families to build new factories, and, for most, to work in them living comparatively isolated lives in apartment blocks. The cities and large towns grew to what they are today. Traditional societies changed, with fewer people working the land in widespread small communities and the land itself has changed. Trees have been indiscriminately felled to serve cities and profit taking. Water is collected in massive quantities and then directed to a finite region with wastage drained away in cost-effective ways. Now there are fewer trees and less water to hold and moisten the topsoil and less land is utilised efficiently by fewer self-sustaining communities.

In the past, Taiwan's predominant activity was agriculture. The land was rich and the people lived in communal abundance. In recent history, great numbers of people have moved to the cities seeking wealth, material possessions and opportunity. Now the main abundance of her overall economy is from factories and the production of high-tech manufactured goods. The effect on the land is to cause less water to be directed to service the growth of agricultural products for consumption and trade, as before, and more to service cities. An overall effect is a lessening of water through the water table, causing the earth to dry out relative to what it was in the past. This constricts the island’s earth plates, giving an overall increase of geological pressure. This pressure has built and manifested in the form of serious earthquakes, increased volcanic activity and changes of weather patterns.

Why all of this is so, has only in small part to do with the honest intention of saving people from a life of rural labour. The root motivations of frenetic movement to a supposed better life, leads back to Ming, Li, Chuen and Yu, and the perception/belief that what is in hand is never enough, and the unceasing desire to get hold of more.

The study of Dao is to gather understanding about natural nature and further, how to balance nature against destructive excess or deficiency - in all forms. Our first step is to make the body healthy and to clear sickness by learning how to balance our own finite nature. The clearing of sickness is related to traditional Chinese medical understanding, which we will see from these lectures, emanated from these kinds of thoughts.

Historical Classics of Chinese Culture

The Gansu province in China has an ancient history. In 1997 I led students to the city of Tianshui, located in Gansu province. This region is where much of the earliest knowledge concerning Nature Dao has its origins. This includes the collation of knowledge found within the popular ancient classic Yi Jing (Book of Changes), not I Ching. Yi Jing contains information from the Dao with origins going back 16,000 years.

The medical classic of Chinese internal medicine, Huang Di Nei Jing, was originally compiled in the age of writing around 2,500 years BC. This work recorded a broad range of collated knowledge from past ages concerning Nature Dao, previously passed through generations by word of mouth. The modern version of Huang Di Nei Jing contains knowledge from other famous medical classics including Su Wen and Ling Su. In Su Wen, 70% is a discussion regarding natures changing, termed Yun Qi Sher, with particular regard to changing atmospheric conditions and corresponding effects upon the earth and people. This study is very challenging; however, if you have a Dao foundation it becomes very easy. Yun Qi Sher is particularly described in chapter 81 of Su Wen. I have studied this work extensively and chapter 72 is missing. I have spent years and years searching for the missing content of this chapter. The second book is Ling Su, which contains some discussion of acupuncture theory and practice. In the distant past, acupuncture and meridian studies had a dedicated classic titled Zhen Jing, now completely lost. Some of the content from Zhen Jing found its way into the Ling Su classic. I have tried to discover more about the content of Zhen Jing, although it does seem to be completely lost.

The medical classic Huang Di Nei Jing records knowledge collated sometime around 2,500 BC. This knowledge was written down and it too was lost again. Around the time 200–700 BC, great interest was rekindled in it and a search was made for existing Nei Jing generational knowledge. The version of Nei Jing arising from this process now contained sections of Ling Su and Su Wen within it, with these books mixed together with the original content. Over the years I have tried to separate the components of this knowledge and place them back into an appropriate order. Zhen Jing, acupuncture and meridian theory and practice one part, herbal medicine one part, Yun Qi, nature’s changing another part. We will finish this project when we have time. These lectures will include knowledge from all of the above works.

Yin /Yang Theory

There are many, many kinds of Dao. The basic meaning of Dao is to connect with the pre-existing order and underlying intelligence of natural life. Natural life harmonises and adapts to the constant changing of Yin and Yang. Throughout life, Yin and Yang need to change and rebalance continually, thus maintaining health. The various schools of Dao contain the same kinds of thoughts, but the principles to achieve balance vary considerably. Nature Dao is to constantly identify and follow the natural way of human life - where all aspects are balanced, neither excess (Yang) nor deficiency (Yin) are prolonged, being neither too strong nor too weak, and never affected by Ming, Li, Chuen, or Yu.

Why study concepts such as Yin/Yang theory? Yin/Yang education facilitates a subliminal and conscious structure for reasoning, evoking logical insight toward actions related to a healthy way of life. From this, people in relationships can become balanced; also, the relationship with all matters concerning our world can become more consciously balanced.

Yin/Yang, Wu Ji, Tai Ji, Ba Gua, Yi Jing

What are Yin and Yang, and how is Yin/Yang related to Wu Ji, Tai Ji, Ba Gua and Yi Jing?

Wu Ji

wu_ji

 

Wu Ji means no end - it is everywhere and implies that all in existence is contained within Wu Ji. The term is used to denote the great void or the great ultimate, or that which exists as, and beyond, the physical sheath. We enter Wu Ji when the spirit separates from the physical, i.e., at death, or when Yuan Shen, pure spirit, develops fully and moves out from the body while still alive; this person lives at the highest level of the Dao and is accorded the name Di Xian.  

We may also contract the idea of Wu Ji to define any unknown construct. For example, draw a straight line and write Yin at the beginning and Yang at the end. We now think of this line as a microcosm of Wu Ji. The changing Yin/Yang character from movement between the maximum Yin degree at one polarity, to the maximum Yang degree at the opposite polarity is Tai Ji. Tai Ji defines Yin/Yang changing; it is the movement pre-existing within Wu Ji.   

A line does not carry any variation of character from one end to the other, but nature and the universe do. Nature displays hot to cold, wet to dry, light to dark, weak and strong, large and small, masculine and feminine, loud and soft, extroverted, and introverted, icecaps and the equator, hostile and passive, happy and sad, black to white, fearful and brave, internal and external, earth and heaven, quantum and particle. These name a few of the vast array of opposite polarities that exist in Yin/Yang relationship to each other. Here we name the opposite extremes, but existing between polarities are degrees in between. If we write hot, representing Yang at one end of this line and cold, representing Yin at the other end, then this defines the Wu Ji of this relationship. The half waypoint represents a half Yin and half Yang character, which indicate neither hot or cold.

Yin and Yang declare the two polarity forces of Wu Ji. The ancients further divided Wu Ji, from two into four, from four to eight, from eight to 64. Formal delineations of Wu Ji occur when increasing the number of lines of Yin and Yang. Doubling the two images and the two lines of Yin/Yang creates the four images termed Si Xiang. Si Xiang means four corners. Yin/Yang changing within Wu Ji now separates into four basic forces.  

We double the images and the lines of Si Xiang, four corners, to form the eight-sided Ba Gua. Si Xiang has particular application in medical study. Ba Gua has particular application to the study of planet earth’s fundamental attributes and directional influences.  

Within the movement of Tai Ji and along Wu Ji from Yang to Yin, it is further divided into 64 individual forces, each with its own interpretation. This occurs when the Ba Gua lines are multiplied in the same way. These segments form the images that make up the 64 hexagrams of Yi Jing.

Through the vehicle of Yin and Yang, Tai Ji, Si Xiang, Ba Gua and Yi Jing, we deduce the flow between and define the fundamental character/influence of any position between Yin and Yang. Any life, emotional, geological, or atmospheric situation within the universe can be classified by Yin/Yang and further delineated to form Yi Jing. From this kind of education/awareness, we become more able to deduce the influences upon us and logically define where we stand within Wu Ji at any time, place or situation. The important purpose of this work is first to recognise, and then to balance excessive Yang with a Yin influence or vice versa.

Original Yuan Shen, Pure Spirit

Wu Ji, the great ultimate, no ending, is not only to be thought of as innumerable particles rising out of, and floating in space, or, within a non-conscious quantum field, bouncing off or attracting each other randomly/chaotically due to magnetic or chemical Yin/Yang relationships. The ancients state that Wu Ji is an undifferentiated conscious entity.

The quantum field (space) sustains the particle universe - particles are suspended in a space. What we know as the emptiness of space is now more correctly described by science, as being a quantum field. The particle universe is the aspect of the quantum field that resinates at a certain vibration forming matter, and matter is not a separate entity, merely a dense shaping of the same field. The particle universe (matter) is a dimension within the quantum field. The totality of the diverse holistic form is termed Wu Ji, the great ultimate, no ending. Further, the ancients state that Wu Ji is the universal body of an all-intelligent original spirit, or original consciousness. The absolute consciousness, or spirit, that orchestrates Wu Ji, great ultimate, no ending, is known as Original Yuan Shen, pure spirit.

Original Yuan Shen is the all-pervasive pure consciousness that underlies spirit. Original Yuan Shen displays within itself the particle universe, a vast array of energetic dynamics, and all physical living entities, thus giving life and spirit to what would otherwise be non-conscious inanimate matter suspended in space. Original Yuan Shen animates physical forms giving conscious life. In the same way that spirit projects a physical particle sheath, to enclose (according to form and design) conscious beings of limited/contracted or microcosmic experience, so too it is understood that all physical elements and energetic quantum dynamics are contained within Original Spirit in exactly the same way. Our individual body, the universe as a body, both are contained within consciousness – Original Yuan Shen.

Everything that exists is experienced via spirit, and the nature of spirit is consciousness. The physical body and the life experiences via our physical senses are a contracted projection of Original Yuan Shen and are held within the same consciousness. We dream while asleep, and we think, view, touch, hear, smell, and taste the world on the screen of individual consciousness. The macrocosmic totality of Wu Ji great ultimate, no ending, which is beyond our limited mind to perceive, is experienced on the screen of absolute consciousness. The universe (and the human body) exists as an integrated construct/projection of spirit; it is not the other way around. This describes the characteristics of an all-pervasive Original Yuan Shen. The body, and all of life’s processes are a contracted and dense microcosm of Original Yuan Shen’s machinations. Even so, our limited existence is still experienced via the vehicle of spirit/consciousness. The individual consciousness of most people is limited/locked to the experience of the physical material world and what we can perceive of Wu Ji, via the seemingly outward-directed streaming of a contracted spirit through a projected microcosm of physically orientated senses of perception.

Upon death, the human spirit may or may not fully merge again with the totality of Original Yuan Shen. Like the physical body, the individual human spirit is a tiny part of the holistic form and can remain so even when the body falls away. Original Yuan Shen’s nature, being almost completely veiled (from our view) due to the vast immensity of its form, means it is hidden, although many stories and countless spiritual experiences from every age of history, and from every society that has ever been, affirms its reality, i.e., the presence of an all-knowing entity/union, beyond limited experience. People often relate tales of going beyond normal physical laws, such as being on long forced marches with no food or water, of arduous physical circumstances where the spirit has carried the body far beyond rational and scientific boundaries. Of unexplained miracles, etc. Only those who have experienced this state really know.

As human beings, we are only a small part of the totality of nature. Our lives evolve and conclude according to life’s laws. We are born, grow and develop, and then die. Nature Daoists state that a natural human life expectancy is between 125 and 150 years. Even so, in universal terms, this is very, very short. To follow the Way of The Dao means to calmly accept the conditions of our lives, termed Wu Wei, then to identify nature’s blueprint and to properly strengthen the physical body and its relationship to Qi, vital energy. What follows is the nurturing of mental/emotional, moral harmony and this is termed You Wei. The ancient sages of Nature Dao, as with other great traditions, state that to follow in this way will ultimately lead to the breaking of the cycle of death and rebirth, and instead, gaining union with Original Yuan Shen, otherwise known as – to attain the Dao. Someone like this never dies even when the body falls away.  They attain the way and can stay in this life to help others or move to another plane/field at will and some people can see them.

Ba Gua Tai Ji

The study represented by the eight-sided Ba Gua symbol is vast. Today we begin this study by learning the physical movements of Ba Gua Tai Ji. (Everybody should already have Tai Ji Quan as a foundation) Ba Gua Tai Ji is our first step. This training develops awareness/sensitivity concerning the earth, the magnetic poles and the eight directions/corners. This practice also harmonises the energetic field of the physical body with the energetic field of the earth. Each direction, North, South, North-west, etc., has a unique energetic characteristic that can be perceived during practice - precisely in accord with its integral Yin/Yang signature. As we travel the Ba Gua Tai Ji circle during practice, it becomes possible to perceive the different character of the eight directions. You can feel the directions are different and you can easily do this practice at home.

Nature Dao Course Training

When you understand through practice the Yin/Yang implications of Ba Gua Tai Ji, the next step taught is formal Dao training. Dao training separates into two parts.  

The first is Jing Gong. Jing is still, quiet practice. This is the entire protocol concerning meditation practice: how to meditate, the sitting position, the order of preparation, what to avoid; all aspects will be explained to you. The benefit of meditation is to stabilise the mind, to lead the Qi and to enhance all aspects relating to spirit.

The second is Dong Gong. Dong is active practice. Dong develops coordination of the physical body with Qi and spirit. Energy dynamic is referred to by classical texts as Qi. Regarding the microcosm of a human being, Qi is the vehicle by which “heaven” or spirit connects the “earth” or physical body. The subtlest manifestation of Qi permeates the Spirit; the densest manifestation of Qi permeates the physical body. Qi training is the way to evolve coordination between heaven and earth - Xing /Shen, the physical body and spirit. Qi is the vehicle by which “heaven” or spirit connects the “earth” or physical body. Dong Gong includes Qi training and how to do it. Qi training is related to the meridians of the body. You will need to have familiarity with the meridian system as a foundation for Qi training. Either search out an independent study or I would suggest doing the TCM medical massage course.  

Once you know how the Qi flows from a medical and experiential perspective, your practice will move on to building a storehouse of Qi. The next step onward from here is the fruit of Qi training, and this is how to perfect the use of Qi throughout the body and this is to discover the Dao of the body’s Qi. At this stage of development, we are really training in the Dao.

The very beginning of Dao training is Dong Gong Tai Ji Quan; this is physical body coordination with breath and the start of Qi training. The next step is Ba Gua Tai Ji and from here we learn how to use the Qi.

In the past, from so many years of Chinese history, we know to differentiate between the Qi floating or the Qi blocking; Qi blocking is the cause of disease.

Our first step is to employ Tai Ji Quan to build the external Qi. Further steps are contained within the Dao practices in order to build the internal organ Qi.  

Xian Dao, Nature Dao

There are many kinds of Dao; one kind expounds various methods of sexual technique. I believe this way is wrong and will exhaust the body. Another is to catch the devil, and is related to spirits and the warding off of evil influences. Another has formed into a religion. Our way is Xian Dao, to follow the Dao of nature with regard to the study of human beings.

The universe is comprised of Yin/Yang changing. Nature exhibits hot and cold, wet and dry seasons. A human being has a physical body, spirit and meridian Qi circulation; human beings display deficiency and excess. Nature Dao training is to strengthen the physical body, the Qi and the spirit, to form an integrated combination where each can balance and harmonise the other. When a person can manage the polarity of Yin/Yang shifts of the universe, assimilate the knowledge of Qi circulation throughout the body and adjust appropriately to the rhythm of the four seasons, they will have clarity of spirit and not be assailed by any disorder. This is the foundation for maximum potential leading to long, healthy and happy lives.

The more you study the more you will understand. You can feel it and you can react appropriately to harmonise the internal nature of a human being with the greater nature of the universe, and you will discover what you really are. Your own awareness sharpens and you can stop inner disturbance. Cast off Ming, Li, Chuen and Yu, and return to a natural way of life. Everything is balanced; people in relationships are balanced and professional, family and social responsibilities are balanced. If anyone attempts to take advantage of you, you immediately know and just smile - you will know when you are not wrong and any pressure forced on you cannot harm you. If the person/people applying the pressure cannot change, this is their problem and not yours. Clarity of mind will inform you; you will not accept the pressure and be easily able to throw it off and not be disturbed.

I have so much to share because I belong to the generational lineage of Nature Dao and have studied under many true masters. I have also studied from masters belonging to the tradition of Chinese medicine. I can now combine and pass out the best of both these areas of knowledge to help people from Western cultures live long, healthy and happy lives and this is what I want to do.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 October 2010 08:53