Teachings and Practices of the Early Quan-z^en Taoist Masters, 5


5. (pp. 95-114) "Visions and Trance Phainomena".

pp. 97-8 shamanic transmutation of the body through encountre with a Transcendent {the events described are typical of Siberian shamanhood}

p. 97

[quoted from Yin Z^i-pin : Qin-he Z^en-ren Bei-you Yu-lu 2/16a-b] "One night ..., a man suddenly came [before me]. He had the bones of the Tao and the wind of immortality ... . He bore a golden radiance and jade-like luster that together glowed forth. ... I knew that he was the Realized Man Changsheng (Liu Chuxuan).

When he arrived [before me] he wielded a sword and cut off my head ... . The master then cheerfully placed it (the head) back [on my body]. When I awoke ... I understood that the master had replaced my worldly head and visage.

p. 98

Ten days later he came again and cut out my heart, and I understood that he had removed my worldly heart.

Another ten days later he came again, holding a plate of deep-fired cakes. He offered them all to me to eat, and I overate until I [felt like] I was going to die. The master then cut open my belly and emptied all its contents."

p. 98 effect of sincerity

[quoted from Yin Z^i-pin : Qin-he Z^en-ren Bei-you Yu-lu 2/16b] "utmost sincerity moves the deities ... . If you are able to practice the Tao with your whole heart, the Holy Sages will not be far from you."

p. 101 hearing praeternatural tunes

[quoted from Wan C^u-yi : Yun-guan Ji (DT1143/TT792) 4/3b] "Friends of the Tao had gathered and were conversing at Mt. Danzao, north of Wang Yuan Village in Fushan County, ... there was suddenly a response from midair. ... . ... responses ... melodious tunes of the superior immortals of the Three Heavens." [p. 227, n. 5:15 : "the Three Pure Realms (Sanqing) of Jade Purity (Yuqing), Upper Purity (Shangqing), and Great Purity (Taiqing)."]

p. 102 meetings with saints in one’s praevious lives

[quoted from Qin-he Z^en-ren Bei-you Yu-lu 2/1a] "Mother-Father Changsheng (Liu Chuxian) used to frequently say, "People within the school today who advance upon the Way (Tao) with utmost sincerity all met the Perfected Men Zhengyang (Zhongli Quan) and Chunyang (Lu: Yan) in their previous lives."

{This is both a Sthavira-vada and a Maha-yana doctrine, in regard to a bodhi-sattva’s having served praevious buddha-s in praevious lives.}

p. 103 sayings by Qiu C^u-ji concerning praeternatural experiences [quoted from Z^en-xian Z^i-z^i Yu-lu 1/15b-16a]

"There then appears the forms of mountains, streams, the sun, and the moon."

"I wait until I have thrust into the gate of heaven three times. With the sun and moon right below me, I see the myriad forms (heavenly bodies) spread out before me."

pp. 104-5 internal alchemy : jumpiness of the internal spirits

p. 104

[quoted from Da-dan Z^i-z^i 1/17b-18a]

"Your Real qi (zhenqi) will rise up, and

your ears will hear the sounds of wind and rain.

Gradually inside your head there will be sounds of harps and wind and rain.

Within the gate of your jaws – which is called the Heavenly Pond – the Metal Liquid will gush like a cool stream and flow down. Some of it will flow onto the face, some of it will flow up into the brain, some of it will enter the mouth through the upper gums. Its flavor will be sweet and delectable.

After a long while, inside the head there will be the sounds of sheng lutes, se and qin harps, and bamboo chimes.

Also there will be sounds such as a crane’s call, a monkey’s cry, and a cicada’s chiming. ...

However, when you first practice this, amid your dreams ... you will hear the noise of ferocious thunder. This is your Real qi thrusting open the head’s yang bone (base of the skull?) and then penetrating the Nine Palaces [inside the skull].

When [your internal] spirit(s) first enter the room (the Central Palace, the Lower Elixir Field in the belly), they will after a short while jump upwards. You will naturally be frightened. While you are sitting with your eyes closed, sometimes a single big object will jump up in fright. ...

p. 105

After a long while the spirit will become mature, and there will naturally be no more [frightening experiences]."

pp. 105-6 alleged daimones

p. 105

[quoted from Da-dan Z^i-z^i 2/4b]

"At this time, the qi will follow the spirit and rise, and the spirit, adhering to the qi will rise from the Central Field (heart) into the Upper Field (the brain).

Yin demons ... deceitfully give rise to


floating flowers (visions of wealth and grandeur).

{That "wealth" may be riches of Kuvera (the particular god of the book sacred to the Jaina-s, the Kuvera Puran.a); while the "floating flowers" may allude to the name of the Jaina deity Pus.pa-danta.}


They also disguise themselves as yang spirits,

{Since real yan spirits are luminous spirits, therefore cf. the S`at.an’s as an appearing "as an angel of light." (2nd Epistle to the Korinthians 11:14) – "AL"}


mingling and rising up together with them (the real yang spirits). It will thus be confusing and hard to distinguish between who is a real form and who is a false form.

{Howbeit, the real yan spirits must actually favor the yin spirits, if they allow the yin spirits to rise up amongst them in disguised forms.}


The sound of flutes will surround you, and chariots and horses will together arise.


If you wish to tell them apart, nothing is better than to arouse the perfect fire ... inside the vermilion (the heart).

{Is this fire that which is perpetual in the Sacred Heart of Iesous, or that which burned the heart of Quetzal-coatl (and heart of Quetzal-coatl’s Penutian aequivalents)?}


One [type of burning] is called "burning the body,"

a second is called subduing the demons,"

a third is called "expelling the Three

p. 106

Corpses," [p. 228, n. 5:28 : "A detailed study ... of this concept can be found in Kubo Noritada, Ko^shin shinko^ no kenkyu^ (Tokyo : Nihon Gakujutsu Shinko^kai, 1961)."]

a fourth is called "chasing away the seven po," [p. 228, n. 5:29 : "the po are sometimes – as in this case – seen as malicious beings that tempt and corrupt humans."], and

a fifth is called "gathering of the yang spirits."

Amidst stillness, visualize inside and naturally [the distinction] will be clear. Just look at the people mingling with each other amidst the fire. In a short while, the ones who rise up singing music will be your yang spirits, and


the ones wailing and sobbing ... will be the yin demons in your body."

{"weeping for a vision ... was the trait on which the great Sun Dance was built." (C&CPP, p. 407)}

"AL" = "The Angel of Light" http://topicalbible.org/t/the_angel_of_light.htm
C&CPP = Margaret Mead (ed.) : Cooperation and Competition among Primitive Peoples. McGraw-Hill, 1937.

{These excessively severe strictures seem to be aimed at insulting deities, by labeling them as daimones, and describing their manifestations as evilly intended. In religious literature from elsewhere in the world such divine manifestations are generally admired. By labeling manifestations of deities to disciples as "daimones", the Quan-z^en (much like the C^>an) religious order is hindering those disciples from being well-regarded, and thereby keeping a controlling grip of the personnel of the such religious order firmly with the established hierarchy who are already in control.}

p. 106 the 10 devils ("virtually identical to those described in the Zhong-Lu: chuandao ji"]


The devil of __

will create praeternatural __ .


the 6 desires

"Flute music, beautiful flowers, sweet flavors, excellent fragrances, and good feelings."


the 7 emotions

"Nice breezes, pleasant sunshine, violent thunder and lightning storms, ... and pathetic wailing voices."



"various luxuries."



"royal and military pomp and gallantry."



"Sights of family and relatives undergoing severe difficulties and tragedies."



"Sights of one’s body facing various hazards."



"armies engaging in battles."


Holy Sages

"Sight of the Three Pure Ones, the Jade Emperor, and other supreme deities."


female entertainment

"Sights of Immortal Beauties and Jade Girls dancing and performing music."


women & sex

"gorgeous women trying to seduce you."

{Usually, throughout the world, all these visions/dreams are taken to be beneficent. To reject the assistance from deities thus proffered by them is court calamity.}

p. 107 "Signs of Proof"; and signs allegedly to the contrary [according to the Jin-dan Z^en-yan ("Golden Elixir Signs of Proof")]

signs of "proof" during solitary meditation confinement :

"Suddenly his heart-fire will descend, and his kidney-water will ascend ... .

He will smell strange odors, and his tongue will produce a sweet fluid. ...

He will obtain extraordinary vision that will allow him to see things clearly in the dark, and even through solid objects.

He will foresee future events and be able to into the "heavenly pavilions above" and "the infernal prisons below."

A red mist will wrap around the top of his head and he will emit a circular light from between his eyebrows."

"hazards" during solitary meditation confinement :

"At times, the adept may feel his "wise spirit leap and dance," and this will cause him to dance and sing spontaneously ..., or to write poems incessantly ... . This ... is caused by the evil Three Corpses ... . The Three Corpses also can cause the adept to be prone to excessive moods of joy ... and ... to constantly engage people in ... discussions of the Tao."

{The signs allegedly to the contrary are accepted as valid signs of proof elsewhere in the world. Dancing and singing may be disapproved by Quan-z^en, but are regarded as signs of divine manifestation/guidance/assistance amongst (e.g.) Africans and Amerindians.}

pp. 108-9 po:ems by Wan Z^e, concerning trance-phainomena

p. 108

[quoted from C^on-yan Quan-z^en Ji 3/6b-7a]

"Thereby you get to know your wise countenance,

And this form emerges upon the arch of the heavens.

Manifested completely, it emits its radiance that brilliantly illuminates,

As it eternally dwells in the clear sky."

p. 109

[quoted from C^on-yan Quan-z^en Ji 2/16a]

"Call forth your origins and observe in detail.

Glowing and complete is the purple-gold elixir. ...

Five rays of misty radiance converge into one."

pp. 109-10 behaviour by Wan Z^e contrary to the Quan-z^en Masters own strictures for disciples


behaviour by Wan Z^e

[where the same is reprimanded]


Wan Z^e wrote, "The ten thousand stalwart spirits vanquish the devilish troops. They defeat the thousand evils in battle."

p. 106 (#7)


Wan Z^e "frequently danced and sang like a crazy man in public".

p. 107 (Jin-dan Z^en-yan)


Wan Z^e said, "I must always compose poetry, and my brush does not stop."

p. 107 (Jin-dan Z^en-yan)

{The same behaviour which is admired in a Master is forbidden to disciples; regarded as a divine manifestation in a Master, it is treated as an aberration in a disciple. In this way the established hierarchy is able to remain in firm control of the religious order.}

p. 110 sign of proof as cause for promotion of monk to managing guests & visitors

[quoted from Yin Z^i-pin : Qin-he Z^en-ren Bei-you Yu-lu 3/11b] "[Qi] spurted up to my head, making a noise as my head split open. Sweet liquid cascaded down. ... . ... the Master-Father (Qiu Chuji) ... made me live ... welcoming and waiting on [guests and visitors."

Comment by author (S.E.) : "Qiu Chuji ... assigns Yin Zhiping to menial chores".

{A "menial chore" would be work in the garden; an ordinary task would be in the kitchen; but to manage guests and visitors is quite a respectable position in a monastery. The "guests and visitors" may include high-ranking and influential personages.}


pp. 111-2 witnessing a praeternatural falling face

p. 111

[quoted from Z^en-xian Z^i-z^i Yu-lu 2/5a-b] A manifestation to a mr. Z^an in S^andon : "Suddenly one day a human face came falling down from the ceiling. It stood on the ground before him and emitted a long mouthful of breath. Mr. Zhang wondered whether it was his body outside the body (Real Nature/Radiant Spirit)."

[p. 103 quoted from Z^en-xian Z^i-z^i Yu-lu 1/14b : Qiu C^u-ji said, "Amid empty space you will only see a human head fall down. Thus the golden elixir will be completed."] [p. 103 comment by the author (S.E.) : "the adept ... will progress toward the highest mystical experience, an encounter with his immortal Real Nature (which is what the above-mentioned "human head" seems to represent."]

p. 112

Mr. Z^an was told by Master-Father C^an-s^en that the falling face is "evil."

{This is another typical instance of a disciple’s being told to disregard what was greatly praised when achieved by a Master instead.} {Is the head the H.arnani one, the >abu-fihamat (Baphomet)?}

p. 113 "holy sages"

"visions and other trance experiences were valued as "signs of proof" – evidence that one’s merits and deeds were sufficient to move the "holy sages" (the immortal Taoist brethren who benevolently watch, aid, and guide adepts). The holy sages were ... then either to manifest their countenances to the adept or make their presence and power apparent in some other marvelous way."


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