7 Taoist Masters


pp. 78-82 – 14.

p. 81 the fire within

"Wang Ch>ung-yang closed the door and bolted it. The disciples were left out in the cold. ... Liu Ch>ang-sheng suddenly remembered that their teacher had taught them how to circulate their internal energy to keep warm and suggested to the others that they should try this to see if the technique could keep them warm.

After circulating their internal energy for a while, the disciples began to feel heat inside their bodies."


pp. 83-88 – 15.

pp. 83-84, 86-88 the demise of Wang Ch>ung-yang; transportation of the coffin; interrment

p. 83

"Wang Ch>ung-yang said, "... I must have gotten a strange infection." Opening his tunic, he revealed rashes and boils all over his body. ... Pus flowed from the rashes, and few could stand the stench. ... Within two days, all the students had left except for Ma Tan-yang, Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un, Liu Ch>ang-sheng, Hao T>ai-ku, T>an Ch>ang-chen, and Wang Yu:-yang. Wang Ch>ung-yang summoned them to his room and said, "Tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. I shall die.

p. 84

... after I die, do not arrange for funeral ceremonies or have monks chant for me. Do not even mourn for me. Get a coffin and put my body in it. Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un, T>an Ch>ang-chen, Hao T>ai-ku, and Wang Yu:-yang will carry the coffin. Liu Ch>ang-sheng will lead the group to Mount Chung-nan in Shensi Province. The place where the carrying-ropes break will be the place where I should be buried. ..." {"the people of Tollan fastened ropes to the [corpse of Tezcatli-poca] and the manikin and pulled at them. But such was the weight that was in the bodies that the people by no effort could move them. More ropes were fastened to the bodies and more people pulled at the ropes. But the ropes broke with sudden snaps, and those who were pulling were killed when they broke." (O, p. 302)} ...


Wang Ch>ung-yang then presented a book to Ma Tan-yang and said, "This book contains my teachings. ... The six of you should consult it often. It will advise you of what to do when you encounter problems. ...


Sun Pu-erh ... is well on her way to becoming an immortal. ...


Liu Ch>ang-sheng, you have not emptied your mind of ... sexual attraction.


Hao T>ai-ku, you must wander east and west ... until you have climbed the cliff-

p. 86

edged mountains.


T>an Ch>ang-chen, your meeting with one named Ku will show ... .


Wang Yu:-yang, your powers will ... mature [when] you meet with one named Yao.


Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un, your hardship will ... end [when] you meet the river that flows over many boulders."


After speaking these words, Wang Ch>ung-yang stopped breathing. The disciples followed Wang Ch>ung-yang’s instructions and put his body in a coffin. They tied carrying ropes around it, and the next morning, ... carried his coffin and began their long walk to Shensi.

Along the way, the disciples met many ... people with insincere interest. When these people approached the bier, a stench oozed from the coffin ..., driving them away." {Tezcatli-poca is god of the "skunk". (GP-HA, p. 227, citing Sahagu`n 5:171)}

p. 87

A donator of food to the funerary procession explained : "This morning a Taoist monk dressed in yellow robes came to my home and told me to take enough food to give to five Taoist monks who were bearing a coffin. He also told me that around noontime they should be on the road ten miles from my home and that if I did this good deed the gods would reward me."

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un ... saw a Taoist monk dressed in yellow robes. After following the monk for a while, he recognized that the monk’s voice and gait resembled his master’s. ... He walked up behind the monk and said, "Master, your student is here to serve you." Wang Ch>ung-yang turned around and said, "... You do not understand the importance of keeping the secrets of Heaven. ..." Wang Ch>ung-yang then disappeared."


"When they arrived as the city of Changan, ... they were nearing their destination, for Mount Chung-nan was not far away. One day, ... an old man walked up to them and said, "Are you the ones who have walked all the way from Shantung Province

p. 88

with this coffin? ... Last night I had a dream in which my friend Wang T>ieh-hsin told me that he had died and that his disciples would arrive with his body the next day. He then asked me to give him a plot of his land to be his burial place. ... The dream was so vivid that when I woke up I decided to come here and wait for you. ... Your master’s coffin is now resting on land that is my property. Let us ... bury him here." ... The disciples administered the last rites for Wang Ch>ung-yang, and the coffin was slowly lowered into the ground. A burial mound was erected".

O = Padraic Colum : Orpheus : Myths of the World. 1930. http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/omw/omw83.htm

GP-HA = Cecelia F. Klein (ed.) : Gender in Pre-Hispanic America. 2001. http://books.google.com/books?id=xGk2jgUjaIgC&pg=PA227&lpg=PA227&dq=Tezcatlipoca+stench&source=bl&ots=egOXYCMOyd&sig=qCE8GZXJ8c7DXWvTu4KonTjQyHw&hl=en&ei=0RF0S5vGDsq0tgfR26iWCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Tezcatlipoca%20stench&f=false


pp. 89-94 – 16.

pp. 89-90 recitation of the record of miracles performed by Wang Ch>ung-yang

p. 89

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un and the other disciples arrived at Ta-wei village. ...

p. 90

The disciples went into the shrine and saw a statue in the likeness of their master. ... Two inscribed plaques flanked the statue. Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un read aloud : "The immortal showed his Taoist powers in the city of Han-yang. He saved a town from fire with a cup of wine. ... his talismans saved our village from the plague.""


"One of the old men explained, "... Moreover, in our village, when kindhearted people are about to die, they all say that they see Master Wang coming to lead them to Heaven. That is why we know that Master Wang has become an immortal. And that is why we have erected this shrine here in honor and in memory of him.""

p. 92 dispersal of the disciples

"Hao T>ai-ku said, "... We should each go our own way now and meet again in the immortal realm."


went __

Liu C^>an-s^en


Wan Yu:-yan


T>an C^>an-c^en


Hao T>ai-ku


C^>iu C^>an-c^>un

"decided to tarry in Shensi".

pp. 92-94 travels by Hao T>ai-ku and by T>an C^>an-c^en

p. 92

"Walking eastward, Hao T>ai-ku passed by a bridge with some arches. The foundation of the bridge merged into a group of rock formations ... dotted by small shallow caves. ... He entered one of the caves and ...

p. 93

meditated under the bridge. {troll-like behavior} Curious people from nearby villages came to see this sage, bringing him food. Soon Hao T>ai-ku was surrounded by bowls of rice and noodles and loaves of bread ..., so birds and animals would frequently visit his cave to feed. {cf. wild animals’ coming to St. Francis of Assisi} ...

One day ... Hao T>ai-ku ... noticed a man sitting under one of the arches of the bridge. The man was polishing a stone ... to make a mirror by polishing the stone. ... Hao T>ai-ku realized what the man was trying to teach him by his actions. But as he was about to ask this strange man for more instructions, the man suddenly disappeared."

p. 94

"T>an Ch>ang-chen took the road south. One night as he was nearing a town ..., he suddenly saw a large mansion ... . He knocked on the front door ... . The master of the mansion was a man [having the] name Ku tsu-ting. ... When Ku Tsu-ting opened the door ..., he said ... to T>an Ch>ang-chen, "My relationship with Taoism has ended. ..." T>an Ch>ang-chen saw that Ku Tsu-ting was an honest and sincere man and ... decided that he would ... lead him back to the path of the Tao."


pp. 95-100 – 17.

pp. 95-96 doings of T>an C^>an-c^en



Pomo (KSWA)


"Seeing that it was late into the night, he decided to sit in front of the Ku mansion to meditate. Around midnight, the door was opened and Ku Tsu-ting’s servants poured a bucket of cold water on him. ... The night turned cold and it began to snow. ... by dawn, there was a foot of snow on the ground except for a small area around T>an Ch>ang-chen. When Ku Tsu-ting’s servants opened the door and saw the melted spot around T>an Ch>ang-chen, they were astonished and reported what they saw to their master. ... Not only was the snow around the Taoist monk melted, but a heat was felt radiating from his body. ... As T>an Ch>ang-chen settled into the Ku mansion, he discovered that Ku Tsu-ting was not ready to adopt the rigorous training demanded".

A man attained "internal fire" :


"The next morning when the servant girl brought breakfast to his room, T>an Ch>ang-chen pretended to flirt with her. ... Ku Tsu-ting ... saw T>an Ch>ang-chen making bold advances to the servant girl. ... So he left a note to T>an Ch>ang-chen ... and told the servants no to stop T>an Ch>ang-chen if the monk decided to leave. When T>an Ch>ang-chen read Ku Tu-tsing’s note, he wrote a response, telling his student that his behavior toward the servant girl had been a plan of escape from the Ku mansion. That day when T>an Ch>ang-chen walked out of the front door of the Ku mansion, no one stopped him."

this power he had gained from the goddess "Slug Woman", from whom he had attempted to flee when she had sought him.

KSWA = Greg Sarris : Keeping Slug Woman Alive. U of CA Pr, 1993.

pp. 96, 98 Hun Yu:an

p. 96

"Wan Yu:-yan "journeyed on the southwest road and came to a small town ... in ... Fang County. In this town lived ... Yao Chung-kao ... . ...

p. 98

In that same town was a small Taoist temple called the Immortals’ Meeting Place. ... A few weeks before Wang Yu:-yang’s arrival, an odd-looking man appeared a the temple gates. ... H claimed to have learned from the Taoist master Chang San-feng and to have communicated with Immortal Lu: Tung-pin. He also said that Bodhidharma had transmitted teaching to him in a dream. When the abbot asked him his name, he replied, "My name is Immortal Hun Yu:an [meaning ‘undifferentiated original one’].""


pp. 101-107 –18.

pp. 101-102 a lecture by Wan Yu:-yan

p. 101

"Wang Yu:-yang then said,"


the true __

is stored in the __









is the __ of

pa-kua __

in the __ house




Tui (‘Lake’)





C^en (‘Thunder’)



"This is the meaning of the symbolism of the marriage between the son of the east and the daughter of the west. When the couple is in unison, then soul and spirit are not separated from each other."

p. 102

"Wang Yu:-yang stayed at the Yao mansion for two days."

pp. 104-107 a visit to the Empress of Heaven in a dream; mutual meetings of the disciples

p. 104

Liu Ch>ang-sheng journeyed south and then east. He arrived at T>ai Shan, a group of mountains on the eastern coast, and there lived as a hermit for three years. One day he felt that his cultivation of the Golden Pill was complete, so he made an astral journey to the palace of the Empress of Heaven. The Empress and her court ladies were seated under a canopy surrounded by many-colored clouds. ... Liu Ch>ang-shen saw the beauty of the ladies ... . ... the Empress ... said, "Liu Ch>ang-shen, ... you looking at my attendants?" Liu Ch>ang-shen [replied], "Your majesty, I saw the beauty of the ladies and could not hide my admiration. ..." The Empress replied, "... your Golden Pill may be fully developed, if you will ... ascend to the highest heavens." The Empress then ordered the door guards of the gates of Heaven to escort Liu Ch>ang-sheng ... . ... Liu Ch>ang-shen fell back into the earthly realm. The fall woke him up, and he realized that his visit to the palace of the Empress of Heaven had been a dream. ...


Liu Ch>ang-shen left T>ai Shan. After traveling for three days, he met T>an Ch>ang-chen on the road. ... T>an CH>ang-sheng said, "Once there was a man named Hu Hsiang-yang. In his youth he was a skilled archer and

p. 105

enjoyed hunting. One day his arrow pierced a fawn. ... As the men approached, the mother deer did not run but stood in front of the fawn. ... Hu Hsiang-yang was moved. That day he broke his bow and arrows and made an oath that he would not kill a living thing for the rest of his life. ... Years later, after Hu Hsiang-yang had attained enlightenment, he returned to teach and had more than one hundred students. ... One day Hsiang-yang ... said to them, ‘... I shall give you advanced instructions in internal alchemy. ...’ ... That night each student went to sleep ... . In the middle of the night, as each turned ..., he felt something warm and soft. Groping around, he felt the body of a naked young woman. The students’ sexual fires were aroused at once, and their generative energy drained out of their bodies. ...

p. 106

Hu Hsiang-yang ... said, ... ‘... Your sexual desires were roused when you felt a naked body next to you and with that your generative energy was drained. ...’ ...

Only one person in the middle of the line replied, ‘Sir, I learned ... by overexposure. ... When I was adolescent ... I frequented the brothels and lay with a woman every night. As a result, after a few years ... I could not resist the temptation of sex. After that, ... I thought about my past experiences ... when I was in brothels. Ladies come and go. I made love to them, but I did not know who they were and they did not care who I was. this went on continually, just as day follows nigh, and I began to see ... sexual craving. Sir, ...

p. 107

I have experienced it, ... the endless repetition of lovemaking.’

Hu Hsiang-yang nodded his head and said to him, ‘You are the only student who is ready to receive the advanced teachings. the rest of the people need more work in preparing their foundations.’ It was said that the student received the transmission of the teachings of the Tao from Hu Hsiang-yang and eventually attained enlightenment." T>an Ch>ang-yang finished his story and added, "Thus the sages have said that in order to ... desire one must see ... ."

Liu Ch>ang-sheng said, "Brother, your story has inspired me. The brothels will be the place of my training. I shall look on the activities there ... ." T>an Ch>ang-chen said, "We are nearing the birthplace of Lao-tzu. Let us visit the shrine first, and then we can continue on our separate ways." ... They had not walked far when they met Wang Yu:-yang. ... The three disciples continue to chat as they walked along. Suddenly they heard a voice from behind calling to them to stop and wait They looked back and saw Hao T>ai-ku hurrying down the road toward them."


Eva Wong (translatrix) : Seven Taoist Masters. Shambhala Publ, Boston, 1990.