7 Taoist Masters


pp. 36-40 – 7.

p. 39 charitable projects

p. 39

Wan C^>un-yan "provided for widows and orphans, ... made donations to local shrines, and provided subsidies to the county for public works such as bridges, roads, and irrigation ditches."

pp. 39-40 initiation and praeliminary instruction of married couple as disciples

p. 39

"Ma Yu: and Sun Yu:an-chen ... formally became his disciples. Wang Ch>ung-yang told them, "... Original nature is the ... "Earlier Heaven." ...

A wild intelligence is like a monkey. It play tricks on you and makes you mistake the impermanent for the real.

Egotistic intentions are like wild horses. They drag you away from the ... original nature. ...

The clockwise path is mortality;

the counterclockwise path is immortality. ...""

p. 40

"They each took a Taoist name. Ma Yu: was named ma Tan-yang, meaning "bright yang," and

Sun Yu:an-chen was named Sun Pu-erh, meaning "one-hearted.""


pp. 41-47 – 8.

p. 41 cosmogony of Earlier Heaven

"the undifferentiated whole, a state of existence before heaven and earth emerged ... is called Wu-chi. From Wu-chi, T>ai-chi is born. ... The life-giving breath of T>ai-chi is the one breath of Earlier Heaven. From the one breath of Earlier Heaven emerges original nature. ... Original nature is also called the knowing spirit. ... Earlier Heaven must be experienced with the heart of the Tao. ... When the heart of the Tao emerges, Earlier Heaven will appear."

pp. 44-45 harmful effects of riches and of greed

p. 44

"there are those who crave riches so that they may display their wealth and earn the respect and admiration of others.

Yet further there are those who crave riches for a life of luxury ad waste.

And then there are those who accumulate riches because they wish to exploit misfortune and see others suffer."

p. 45

"The Buddhists say, ‘Do not crave rewards. Virtue comes from the ability to resist provocation.’

The Taoists say, ‘Know the illusion of material goods. Cultivate compassion ... .’"

pp. 45-46 technique of meditation

p. 45

"concentrate on the Lower t>an-t>ien. ...

The hour of tzu is when the first ray of yang appears. Face east because the

p. 46

breath of life flows in from the east at the hour of first yang. ...

Close your mouth and place the tongue against the palate so that the internal energy cannot dissipate."

p. 47

In her bedroom, "Sun Pu-erh ... heard a sound and saw Wang Ch>ung-yang enter. ... Wang Ch>ung-yang said, "... If your yin and yang do not copulate, how can you become pregnant and give birth to a child? ..""


pp. 48-53. – 9.

pp. 48-49, 51-52 transvection (projection of the subtle body) by master Wan

p. 48

"Sun Pu-erh said, ... Wang Ch>ung-yang ... had the gall to enter my bedroom without my consent ... ." Ma Tan-yang was puzzled. "This is strange. You said Wang Ch>ung-yang was in your room a while ago. Yet all this morning he was with me in my room ... ."

p. 49

While Sun Pu-erh was in her bedroom, "A she was dozing off to sleep she heard a noise, and opening her eyes she saw Wang Ch>ung-yang standing by the doorway. He smiled, walked in and said, "Know that in Tao there is no division of male and female. If you separate yin and yang the Tao cannot be attained. ... Yin and yang must copulate. The Yellow Woman must act as the go-between so that the pair can unite. When male and female are united, the fetus can be conceived. After ten months of pregnancy, the child can be born. If you follow my instructions you will ascend to the heavens and meet the Jade Emperor." Sun

p. 51

Pu-erh quickly slipped out of the room and locked the door behind her. ... The servants informed her that Ma Tan-yang was at the meditation hall receiving instructions from Master Wang. ... They were in deep conversation when Wang Ch>ung-yang said, "Someone is looking for you. ..." Ma Tan-yang ran into Sun Pu-erh right in front of the meditation hall. ... She pulled him to her room, where she thought she had Wang Ch>ung-yang locked inside. ... "I definitely locked Wang Ch>ung-yang inside. How come he’s not in here? This is strange." ...


Ma Tan-yang laughed and said, "...

p. 52

Master Wang ... came to instruct you. His spirit left his body and came to your room. That was how he could be with you and me at the same time.""

pp. 52-53 exposition of spiritual metaphors in terms of sexual reproduction

p. 52

"Ma Tan-yang continued, "By the union of male and female, Master Wang ... was referring to the yin and yang energies in our body. ... The Yellow Woman is the true intention that can bring together ... the yin and yang. ... The union takes place in the cauldron where the three herbs are gathered and sealed. The herbs are none other than your vital energy in its three forms : generative, vital, and spiritual energy. ... Out of this union, a fetus is conceived. This fetus is the spirit. ... When the fetus has been nourished for a sufficient time,

p. 53

the spirit will heave the body at an opening in the crown of the head. It will ascend to the heavens and become an immortal in the realm of the Jade Emperor.""


pp. 54-59 – 10.

pp. 55, 57 the 3 Vehicles; choosing the Great Vehicle

p. 55

"With the spark of original nature they intuit the mysteries of heaven and earth. ... using the methods of internal alchemy, they return to the void and merge with the Tao. They are at one with the sun and moon, they age with the heaven and earth and achieve the highest rank of immortality in heaven. This is the Great Vehicle. ...


Those who cultivate the Middle Vehicle observe the festivals of the gods and immortals with veneration, chant regularly the names of the gods and ... immersing themselves in chanting, they purify the heart and let the original nature shine. In due time their spirit ascends to the heavens, and they become immortals of the middle rank.


those who cultivate the Lower Vehicle go good deeds, and by doing so their original nature is prevented from being tainted. ... In due time, when they have accumulated enough good works, they will ascend to heaven and become immortals of the lower ranks."


"Wang Ch>ung-yang then said, "... Certain places are filled with power, and training at these power places will enhance one’s progress. There is power hidden in the city of Loyang, and the gods have ordained that an immortal will emerge from

p. 57

there. One need merely cultivate oneself there for ten or twelve years, and immortality will be attained. Are you willing to go?"

Sun Pu-erh said, "I am willing to go anywhere if that is what is required to cultivate the Great Vehicle.""

pp. 57-58 instruction in the Great Alchemical Work

p. 57

"Wang Ch>ung-yang then taught Sun Pu-erh the methods of internal alchemy. He showed her how to immerse fire in water, how to unite yin and yang, and how to conceive and nourish the spirit.

... he said, "Remember, hide your knowledge. ... After you have finished the Great Alchemical work, then you may reveal yourself and teach others. ...

Leave as soon as you are ready. You need not come to say farewell

p. 58

to me. We shall meet again soon at the celebration of the ripening of the immortal peach.""


pp. 60-65 – 11.

pp. 60-61 madwoman’s abiding in abandoned house

p. 60

"In Loyang, Sun Pu-erh found shelter in an abandoned house. Daily she begged in the city. When people tried to communicate with her, she acted insane, and as time went on she became known as the "mad beggar-woman." ...

p. 61

Thus Sun Pu-erh was left in peace for the twelve years that she lived in Loyang."

pp. 61, 63 knowledge of the future by Wang Ch>ung-yang

p. 61

"Back in Shantung Province, after Sun Pu-erh mysterious disappearance, ... Chia Jen-an, said "... Master Ma ... said that he had given this younger servants some money and told them to start a

p. 63

life of their own. When I asked him about the thatched huts in the back garden, he told me that they were built to accommodate seekers of the Tao. ... On my way out ... an old servant ... said that Wang Ch>ung-yang is an immortal who can see into the future, that he can read people’s minds and can predict what they will do, and that he can even tell when it will rain..""


pp. 66-72 – 12.

pp. 66-67, 69-71 arrival of further disciples

p. 66

"T>an Ch>u-tuan. His Taoist name was T>an Ch>ang-chen, meaning "eternal enlightenment." ... When he heard that Wang Ch>ung-yang was at the Ma mansion he immediately sought out Hao Ta-t>ung, a friend of his who had wanted to study the teachings of the Tao but had not been able to hind a master. Hao Ta-t>ung would later be known by his Taoist name Hao T>ai-ku, meaning "the ancient way." Together the two friends journeyed from their village to the county of Ning-hai ... . ...

p. 67

A few days later two men arrive at the Ma mansion. One was named Liu Ch>u-yu:an. His Taoist name was Liu Ch>ang-shen, meaning "eternal life." He was accompanied by a friend whose name was Wang Ch>u-i. Wang Ch>u-i would later be known by the Taoist name Wang Yu:-yang, meaning "jade yang." ...

p. 69

In another region of Shantung there lived a man by the name of Ch>iu Ch>u-chi. His parents had died when he was young, and he had been brought up by his two elder brothers. ...

p. 70

One day Ch>iu Ch>u-chi overheard a conversation in the marketplace alluding to Wang Ch>ung-yang’s remarkable abilities and his reputation as a teacher of the Tao. ... He decided to journey to the ma mansion in Ning-hai County ... . However, he was afraid that his brothers might not be receptive to his plans, so without informing them of his plans he ... slipped out of the village at night. ... Ma Tan-yang ... invited Ch>iu Ch>u-chi to stay on in the Man mansion as an

p. 71

errand boy. Ch>iu Ch>u-chi accepted this gratefully".


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