Sunday, November 27, 2011

a small story in Wudang...

   Few years ago, I was with my friends in Wudang mountain. While visiting the Purple Cloud Temple, behind the main buildings we discovered a small yard with old building, in which all corners were full with big spider nets... There was a mountain mist and lots of pure qi in the air. We were standing in the yard silently almost in meditation, while inside an unknown Taoist monk was playing some tunes on zheng zither... It was a magical atmosphere... After a while we walked away... One of my friends asked me why I didn't knock on the door, so we can meet and talk with that Taoist. I replied: "But we were talking!".

Mariya Dobreva gathering qi in Wudang

As the saying goes, "the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had".

Monday, November 21, 2011

He tu diagram and the M-theory

   According to some Chinese authors, this old Chinese he tu ("River map") diagram in Chinese metaphysics can serve as a symbolic representation of the modern M-theory.
   It is named "Chart for calculating numbers according to the 10 positions in he tu diagram".
    In the inner triangle there are 9 white dots; in the middle triangle - 18 dots and in the outer triangle - 27 dots.
    Without the center (the 1 black dot), the total number of all dots is 54. And without the inner triangle, the total number of the dots is 45.

    The M-theory is also known as String theory. It implies 10 and more dimensions and the mathematical formula goes like this:
SO (10) x 10 = 1 ⊕ 45 ⊕ 54

This he tu diagram was made by Li Guangdi 李光地 (1642-1718), a famous I Ching expert, neo-confucianist and one of the most influential government officials during the reign of emperor Kangxi in China.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Silkworm faeces tea

One of the most bizarre tea I have ever had is silkworm faeces tea 蚕屎茶 (虫屎茶).

It was few years ago, when I visited Maliandao tea bazaar in Beijing. The shop keeper there told me that this tea is good for the stomach. When I tried it, a strange wave-like evaporation occurred in my stomach, as if opening up the energy of the stomach. I think this tea will be very good for somebody with stomach illnesses.

  The silkworm faeces tea has been mentioned even in the famous Materia Medica in 16th century, written by Li Shizheng. It says that it's aiding digestion, detoxifying the body and clearing away pathogenic heat.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Obsession for awards in Chinese Metaphysics

While browsing internet today, I found some funny pictures about different I Ching and Feng shui awards and organizations in China. The Chinese obsession with receiving special awards and being selected into "world", "famous people" and "leaders"-sort of organizations sometimes reach amusing degrees. Of course, in a country with big population there is a huge competition and strive to be above the masses, to "achieve success".

Here are some photos:

 In this certificate "I Ching 易经" is translated in English as "Easy to learn", so it becomes very funny: "China is easy to learn great master certificate". It should be "China I Ching Great Master Certificate". ;-)

 The Chinese I Ching specialist Li Chunliang from Shandong province has added in his website a picture of a red banner with golden characters, in which it says that he has been pronounced a "Feng Shui Immortal".

Wang Kun, a master from Yunnan province has obtained "2007 Most Popular Feng Shui Figure" Award

"The most influencing famous feng shui master in Lin Nan" Award

"China Contemporary I Ching Feng Shui Famous Master"

"Dean of China International I Ching Study" Award

This is the seal of the "World I Ching Study Leaders Association"!

Often it happens that many real masters and specialists are not interested in receiving or showing their awards. They don't need them, because they have real merits. Usually those who are showing the awards are people with complexes, who have to show their credentials and certificates in order to get more clients and followers. That's how it goes, China Easy to Learn Great Masters!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Metal Monkey day 庚申日

According to some Daoist beliefs one should not sleep in the night of a Metal Monkey day (geng shen ri 庚申日) .

The Daoists explain that there are three evil demons (san shi  三尸, literary "three corpses") residing in the body, also known as "the three worms". Once in two months, in the night of a Metal Monkey day (according to the sexagenary cycle in the Chinese calendar), while one sleeps, the three demons leave the body and go to heaven to report to the gods the sins of the person they inhabit.  Then the Heavenly god shortens the person's life span if he/she has comminted bad deeds.

In order to outsmart the three demons in the body, one should not fall asleep during the Metal Monkey day. Simple, isn't it? The Daoist practitioners use this time for meditation. By doing this, they believe the three demons stay calmly in the body and miss the opportunity to report one's sins to Heaven. The ordinary folks don't meditate, but are also awaken in the Metal Monkey night: everybody in the community will get together and sing and dance.

Some Daoist books point out to "Observe the Metal Monkey" (shou geng shen 守庚申). This term is also called "Keeping the three demons" (shou san shi 守三尸) and also "Killing the three demons" (zhai san shi 斩三尸). By doing meditation in this special day, it is believed that the demons will gradually disappear.

 Why this belief is related exactly to the Metal Monkey day is not thoroughly explained in the ancient texts. The stem and branch of this day both are Metal elements. Perhaps double Metal element is seen as "cutting" and shortening of one's life span? In Chinese astrology there are several Symbolic stars, which are related to abundance of Metal element and they signify danger of death, disasters or killing.

According to the old believes, these three demons are related to the three dan tian 丹田 - the energy centers in the body. The upper demon can disturb one's thoughts and cause bad vision and hair loss. The middle demon can cause  bad deeds, anxiety and overindulgence into eating and material desires. The lower demon makes one lewd and greedy.

The belief of the Metal Monkey day can be traced back to Han Dynasty in China, about 2000 years ago. During the Tang and Song dynasties it becomes very popular.  It is still performed nowadays in some Daoist monasteries.  Some Daoist internet sites even provide the dates of the Metal Monkey days in the year.
 It's interesting to notice how the belief about the Metal Monkey day has been spread in Japan, where it has became a part of the local folk traditions and Buddhism. In Japanese language this belief is called "Koshin" (Metal Monkey), which of course derives from the Chinese "geng shen" 庚申.  Since 9th century, all over Japan have been erected numerous "Metal Monkey pillars" - Koshin-to (庚申塔) for protection from the three demons.

The famous concept of the three wise monkeys comes namely from this Metal Monkey day belief in Japan. The three monkeys are known as Mizaru . They cover their eyes, ears and mouth, embodying the principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".