心定, 神寧; 神寧, 心安; 心安, 清靜; 清靜, 無物; 無物, 氣行; 氣行, 絕象; 絕象, 覺明; 覺明, 則神氣相通, 萬物歸根矣。
The mind is fixed, the spirit is reposed; the spirit is reposed, the mind is still; the mind is still, then peaceful & quiet; peaceful & quiet, then no things; no things, then the Qi moves; the Qi moves, then images are exterminated; when images are exterminated, then consciousness is clear; conscious clarity, then the spirit & Qi are mutually connected, & innumerable things return to their origins.
The key points & concepts of this short text are defined below. It is both an outline of meditation, in general, & a summation of the stages of development attained through sustained, regular practice of most methods. For these reasons, it is widespread in Qigong, Health Maintenance, & Martial Arts circles. Do not underestimate its value!
- 心定/Xin Ding – Mind Fixed: Concentration is of utmost importance, as it is the basis of all meditation. Concentrate on what you are doing!
- 神寧/Shen Ning – Spirit Reposed: Calm & balanced emotions are required to progress. Chaotic emotions result in chaotic movements of the Qi. In the beginning you should avoid practice if you are extremely upset.
- 心安/Xin An – Mind Still: Once you have gained emotional stability, you will find that your mind naturally settles down. Extraneous thoughts will drop away of their own accord.
- 清靜/Qing Jing – Peaceful & Quiet: Eventually, all thought will cease during practice, & you will perceive pure consciousness, unstained by desire or distraction.
- 無物/Wu Wu – No Things: As the state of Quietude develops, it will begin to enter your normal state. The preoccupation with external things & events will begin to fade away.
- 氣行/Qi Xing – Qi Moves: Deep concentration, combined with mental & physical relaxation, will allow you to sense the flow of Qi within your body. This is the point at which your health will noticeably improve.
- 絕象/Jue Xiang – Exterminate Images: Preconceptions & prejudice will dissolve naturally.
- 覺明/Jue Ming – Conscious Clarity: The world is experienced as it is, free of any imposed meanings or values. This is the point when you truly become independent.