Preface to the Chinese Edition of Chinese Original Quiet Sitting


Chinese Original Quiet Sitting is part of China’s heritage, passed down from our ancestors. It can strengthen bodies and bloodlines, nurture life, confer longevity, and unite heaven with humanity. For ancient Daoists [Taoists], it was also this very same method used as their fundamental practice for tempering spirit and flesh in order to transcend the bonds of physicality and attain eternal life, through wondrous transformation of the body and spirit.


The primary goal of such cultivation is to learn from the saints and sages, and put their teachings into practice. To do so, we must begin by becoming decent persons, by purifying our hearts, by reducing our desires, by changing our natural endowment, and by helping and transforming ourselves first and then others, so that we can then transcend from mundane to sacred, and enter the final realm of perfected beings. This is the highest realm of existence, where we find anthro-celestial union and our lives become eternal and one with the universe.


The Master Teacher, Mr. Li Yujie, whose Dao name is Jichu [which literally means the Absolute Beginning], addressed himself as Hanjing Laoren [the old man who embraces stillness]. His innate being was filled with the Dao. He began practicing Chinese Original Quiet Sitting since he was very young, and never forsook it, and now he is 91 years of age.


At age 37, in 1937, he obeyed his heavenly mandate to watch over Tongguan Pass, the gate of the northwest. He took his entire family to live as hermits in Danshangfang, the deep cloud area of Mount Hua. He prayed routinely at noon and at midnight, and he practiced quiet sitting and personal cultivation until the victory of the Sino-Japanese War eight years later [1945].


He then obeyed his second heavenly mandate, and took his entire family to the south and then to the Immortal Isle of Penglai. This was to fulfill the special arrangement heaven made to preserve the base of revival of Chinese culture–Taiwan.


As the international power of Communism was growing daily, the Earth was facing destruction from nuclear wars. The Master Teacher prayed diligently day and night for the reduction of nuclear wars in order to save the world. Honoring the request of his oldest grandson, Xianguang, he agreed to give two lectures at the Tamkang University in April, 1979, titled “Chinese Original Quiet Sitting.”


He began by talking about his life as a hermit cultivating the Dao in Mount Hua. Following the request of hundreds of people from the audience who were urging him to initiate people of affinity to cultivate the Dao, and based on his years of experience in quiet sitting, the Master Teacher thus decided to teach Chinese Original Quiet Sitting Classes. He began teaching in July, 1979. Since then he taught ten classes. The eleventh Supreme Truth-Blossom Vehicle Quiet Sitting Xianxiu Class[1] and the Women’s fourth Xianxiu Class were about to begin.


In order to help students of Quiet Sitting Classes, as well as those who were committed to tempering their spirit and join the force of striving to have a basic understanding of practicing Chinese Original Quiet Sitting, the Church combined Master Teacher’s personal experience in Mount Hua of “tempering the spirit” with the transcripts of his lectures from every Quiet Sitting Class and the method of “directly practicing a natural, unforced, and non-purposive mindfulness for cultivating the great empty Dao of the highest heaven” into a compilation of fifteen topics.


The Editorial Committee of the Tienti Chiao Publishing Company,
September 1, 1991


[1] The eleventh Supreme Truth-Blossom Vehicle Quiet Sitting Xianxiu Class, or Xianxie Class in its abbreviated form, is a continuation of the Chinese Original Quiet Sitting Class.