Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters, 6-7


6. (pp. 115-138) "Miraculous Powers of the Masters".

p. 116 honor spirits & ghosts

[Ma Yu, quoted in Don-xuan Jin-yu Ji 8/22a] "Do not male light of the spirits and insult the ghosts."

pp. 116-7 Wan Z^e sent forth his spirit

p. 116

[Liu Zu-qian, in Dao-ji Jin-s^i Lu:e, p. 461] "As for [Wan Z^e’s] sending out his Spirit and entering dreams, ... and other such deeds as rising

p. 117

high above or disappearing, these were all his [acts of] ... the great Tao".

pp. 117-8 myth of degradation of primaeval people through their food

p. 117

[quoted from Xuan-fen Qin-hai Lu 1a-b] "The Tao gave birth to Heaven and Earth [which] separated [and] gave birth to people. When people were first created, [their] spiritual light shined naturally ... .

p. 118

The earth produced mushrooms what on their own had an excellent flavor and did not require any cooking. People all ate them. At this time they still did not cook with fire. The mushrooms were all fragrant. Their (the peoples’) noses smelled the fragrance, and their mouths enjoyed the flavor. This gradually brought about the heaviness of their bodies, and their spiritual light was soon thereafter extinguished because of the deepness of their wants and desires."

{This myth of degeneration of the primaeval people through eating mushrooms is perhaps a variation on the theme of the vanishment of the Titan power of Kronos by his being instated in the isle of Elusion (‘fairy-ring of mushrooms’).} {If is thus different from the Bauddha myth of the degeneration of the primaeval people through eating the edible ground; which is in turn alike to the African myth of pygmies’ eating the outer edge of the sky.}

pp. 230-1, n. 6:15 the Liu-ton (‘6 Penetrations’) [Z^u-z^en Nei-dan Ji-yao 3/12a-14a]



__-ton (Penetration of __)

its nature

230, n. 6:15


Xin-jin ("Mind’s Surroundings")

"the adept experiences his or her True Nature leaving the physical body"

231, n. 6:15


S^en-jin ("Spirit’s Surroundings")

"ability to see and know of things in places beyond the ordinary range of perception"



Tian-yan ("Heavenly Eye")

"the adept sees landscapes of mountains and rivers within his or her own body"



Tian-er ("Heavenly Ear")

"the adept in trance {this is not necessarily "in trance"} hears the voices of gods and humans"



Su-xin-hu ("Sudden ... Signs from the Past")

"the ability to perceive the causes and effects ... of the Three Realms"



Ta-xin ("Minds of Others")

"ability to manifest the "body outside the body" in multiple locations"

p. 121 bodily ‘spiritual light"; Radiant Spirit

"the "spiritual light" (shenguang) ... at times radiated from their bodies.

When the Radiant Spirit traveled outside of the body, it was ... visible to others."

p. 121 dreamwalking etc.

"a Realized One could "send out the Spirit and enter dreams (chushen rumeng). This ... was a method that Wang Zhe used to convert Ma Yu and Sun Bu’er. ... Wang Zhe "sent out his spirit and entered their dreams with various kinds of changes and manifestations, ... inviting them with [scenes of] heaven."" [Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 5/9a-b]

"Wang Zhe – who was voluntarily locked inside of his meditation hut – appeared before Ma Yu ... in the second story of his locked house.

... this Radiant Spirit of Wang Zhe’s that appeared before Ma Yu ... "his left eye turned clockwise and his right eye turned counter-clockwise, and sometimes he appeared as old, young, fat, skinny, yellow, vermillion, blue, and white with no constant form nor color."" [Dao-jia Jin-s^i Lu:e, p. 451]

p. 123 apparitions of Wan Z^e to the living after his death

[quoted from Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 2/7a] "After the death of his exterior, (Wang Zhe) spoke of the profound and persuaded the mind of Old Man Zang under the Junyi Bridge.

By the Liujiang Gorge he healed Mr. Zhang’s disease by giving him medicine.

At times [he was seen] dancing by the right side of Kunming Pond, and at times [he was seen] singing and reciting [poe:try] around Mt. Zhongnan.

[quoted from Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 2/7b-8a] Later ... in Wendeng District (Shandong). Amidst five-colored clouds appeared an extremely large white tortoise with a lotus flower on its back. The Patriarch-Master was seated upon the lotus flower."

pp. 123-4 a poe:m about apparitions of Wan Z^e to the living after his death

p. 123

[quoted from Ma Yu : Don-xuan Jin-yu Ji 10/15b-16a]

"He went upwards ascending the mist,

And later instructed Sir Zang. [p. 233, n. 6:34 : ":the realized Man Chongyang, had ascended into the mists that day. In the evening, Sir Zang met him in the southern capital. He did not yet know that he had ascended into the mists and thought that he was living."]

At Qiyang Town (Shaanxi) he came down to the world wearing a cap. ...

p. 124

At Wendeng atop the clouds,

He manifested his compassionate countenance."

p. 124 apparitions of He De-jin to the living (awake & asleep) after his death

"Ma Yu states that a year after his death, He Dejin, suddenly from empty space, presented him with a book of poetry illustrated with a fishing scene." [Dan-yan S^en-guan Can (DT 1141/TT791) 2b]

[quoted from Dan-yan S^en-guan Can 13a-b] "In Lintong County there was a certain embroidered silk merchant named Sir Zhang, who had long been ailing from an illness that could not be cured. Suddenly one evening he saw the Master-Uncle in a dream. The Master-Uncle told him what the proper medicines and treatments for his illness were. When [Sir Zhang] asked him was his name was, he replied that he was Mr. He of Zhongnan. After waking up, [Sir Zhang] followed the prescription ..., and the illness was cured".

p. 125 death-bed vision by Ma Yu; post-mortem apparitions by Ma Yu

"Ma Yu, just before dying, had visions of Wang Zhe and He Dejin (invisible to his disciples attending him), beckoning him from midair to join them among the ranks of immortals." [Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian Xu-pian 1/21b-22a; Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 3/11a-b]

[quoted from Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian Xu-pian 1/22b] "in Changyang ..., the jinshi scholar, Xu Shaozu, and others saw strange forms of auspicious clouds, phoenixes, and cranes. ... Chongyang (Wang Zhe), in a cloud cap and crimson garments, and Master Danyang (Ma Yu), wearing three topknots and donning a white robe, appeared upon the clouds."

pp. 132-3 cap & umbrella of Wan Z^e

p. 132

[quoted from Dao-jia Jin-s^i Lu:e, p. 452] At Don-z^ou, Wan Z^e "lost his hairpin and cap. A little later, [his hairpin and cap] also came flowing out from amidst the waves.

Also, on his way to Ninghai, the master threw a greased umbrella into the air. The umbrella rose and mounted the wind. When it reached Wang Chuyi’s hermitage on Mt. Cha, it finally came down. Thus it had traveled more than 200 li ... from where it had been thrown."


[quoted from Qiu C^u-ji : Pan-xi Ji 3/3a]

"He sent out his spirit and entered dreams ... .

He threw his umbrella and hurled his cap ... . ...

p. 133

I saw the umbrella rising and ascending into the air. ... At first, the umbrella rose to the northeast. ... Sir Wang (Wang Chuyi), was making his hermitage on Mt. Cha by the Eastern Sea. From the mountain to Wendeng is a hundred and ten li, and from Wendeng to where the umbrella arose is another seventy li. ... Ever since this incident, the family of Sir Di has kept the umbrella. Originally it had been borrowed [by Wan Z^e] from the house of Fan Mingshi in Ninghai. ...

"Threw his cap" refers to when the master first went to Deng[zhou] and was overlooking the sea north of the city. The bamboo bark cap on his head suddenly fell into the water ... . But in a little while it came back."

p. 134 miraculous healings by Ma Yu

"Ma Yu ... once met a poor crippled man ... . ... Ma Yu made him drink talisman water ... .

On another occasion he healed the rheumatism of a ... man by laying a charm on some fruit and making him eat it."

p. 135 miraculous resurrections by Wan C^u-yi

[according to Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 5/3b] "Wang Chuyi ... saw a corpse being lowered into its grave. Wang Chuyi covered both its ears and shouted, "The Underground Ministry must not receive him!" In a little while, the corpse rose back to life".

[according to Ti-xuan Z^en-ren Xian-yi Lu 11a-b] "Wang Chuyi once resurrected a woman who had fallen dead at a jiao ritual after eating dog meat. Wang Chuyi brought her back to life by blowing on her."


7. (pp. 139-153) "Death and Dying".

p. 141 "Poem of the Unworldly True Kin", by Ma Yu

"We have joined together to become unworldly true kin. ...

From one to another we pass on the purple numinous fungus.

Atop the mountain we go together to the Golden Flower Gathering.

I am going to Penglai ... before [the rest of you] to pay my respects to my teachers."

p. 142 death of Wan Z^e’s female disciple Sun Bu-er

"Sun Bu’er was able top "accomplish the Tao" after six years under the tutelage of Feng Xiangu n Luoyang ... . ...

On the last day of the twelfth month ..., she suddenly proclaimed to her disciples, "... The time for me to go to the Jasper Pond has come." [p. 236, n. 7:13 : "The Jasper Pond (Yaochi) is ... located atop ... Mt. Kunlun, the dwelling of the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu)."] ... At the noon hour, she wrote [quoted from Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian Hou-ji 6/18b] :

... I transcend the Three Realms ... .

I jump beyond the embrace of the yin and yang.

Hiding, appearing, moving vertically or horizontally, I have freedom. ...

She then sat in a lotus position and suddenly passed away.

... she (her Radiant Spirit) then appeared before Ma Yu (who was then dwelling in a hut in Ninghai [Shandong]) in midair, flanked by immortal youths and jade maidens, and announced that she was heading to Peng island ... before him. ...

Ma Yu sang and danced in joy on this occasion [Jin-lian Z^en-zon Ji 3/10a, 5/10b-11a; Jin-lian Z^en-zon Xian-yuan Xian-z^uan 42b], much in the same manner as what is reported of the philosopher, Zhuang Zhou, on the occasion of his wife’s death in the Zhuangzi." [p. 236, n. 7:18 : "The Zhuangzi (ch. 18) relates that when Zhuang Zhou’s wife died, his friend, Hui Shi (the logician), went to console him, only to find him ".. beating a basin and singing." (see Victor Mair, trans., Wandering on the Way ... [Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, 1998], 168.)"]

pp. 143-4 death of Ma Yu

p. 143

"Curiously ... Ma Yu died on Wang Zhe’s birthday, 12/22 ... at the Youxian Guan Taoist Monastery in Laiyang (Shandong). Several days before this, Ma Yu ... wrote a "Hymn for Leaving behind a Body," [quoted from Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton Xu-pian 1/21b; the poe:m can be found in its entirety in Don-xuan Jin-yu Ji 6/8b-9a] ... :

Great is the ascension to Reality!

The road enters the blue darkness.

Unicorns follow the crimson envoy banner.

Phoenixes pull my red chariot.

With bells tinkling and jade pieces jangling,

I tread on the void and pace upon the clouds.

Rising above, I receive the True Declarations.

Up I climb to the Jade Imperial Dwelling.

... Ma Yu, just before dying, had visions of Wang Zhe and He Dejin (invisible to his disciples attending him) beckoning him from midair to join them among the ranks of immortals. Ma Yu ... answered, "The Patriarch-Master (Wang Zhe) and Master-Uncle He [De-jin] have arrived, and [I am] about to go to the gathering of the immortals!" ...

Ma Yu then also made the enigmatic statement, "I can see with my eyes open, and I can also see with my eyes closed. ..."

That night ..., a thunderstorm suddenly arose. Ma Yu ... passed away."


[according to Dao-jia Jin-s^i Lu:e, p. 433] "Ma yu had abruptly announced his intention to "return to Reality" (guizhen) on the full moon ... . Seven days later, on Wang Zhe’s birthday, ...

p. 144

there was a sudden rumble of thunder. Wang Zhe’s voice was then heard ... saying, "The time for you to become immortal has already arrived. You must not linger any longer!" At midnight, Ma Yu ... "transformed.""

p. 145 death of Tan C^u-duan

"he had a dream in which he encountered his ascended brethren, Wang Zhe and Ma Yu, who informed him that it was time for him to become an immortal. ... He then ... passed away."

p. 146 death of Wan Z^i-jin, disciple of Hao Da-ton (and later of Qiu C^u-ji)

"he stopped eating and speaking. ... After seventeen days had gone by in this manner, Wang Zhijin ... peacefully passed away. He had reached the ripe old age of eighty-six sui."

pp. 147-8 a female saint and a male saint (both in Hu-nan Province), each of whom left behind a corpse worthy to be mummified

p. 147

[according to Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian Hou-ji 6/3a-6b] "Zhao He ... was a female adept who is said to have encountered and been given a peach by Lu: Yan when lost in the wilderness at age twelve. For the rest of her life, she ate only fruits ... and lived in a bamboo tower with her elder brother and his wife. There she was visited frequently by Lu: Yan."


[according to Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian 48/18b-20b] "Lan Fang was a Taoist who ... lived ... in the Zhaoxian Guan Monastery on the Southern Peak Mt. Heng (Hengyang, Hunan Province). ... On the way, Li Guan encountered a metal wares merchant who ... had a white mole between his eyebrows. ... Lan Fang proclaimed that the man was in fact the immortal Liu Haichan (Liu Cao). ... Lan Fang clapped his hands

p. 148

and laughed loudly. The sound of thunder rumbled from his head, and from there emerged a luminous replica of Lan Fang’s physical form. {projection of the causal body?} After the luminous Spirit had ascended to the sky, the mortal body of Lan Fang was found dead."


Stephen Eskildsen : The Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters. State U of NY Pr, Albany, 2004.