1 Although mankind’s intellect ranks the highest in all of creation; however, his lifespan will be no longer than that of an animal if he fails to nurture life.
2 Even small animals like foxes know enough to cultivate, though only for selfish purposes. Fox-spirits draw in the sublimated essence of heaven, earth, sun, and moon. They transform themselves into human form so they can steal mankind’s treasures.
3 Only mankind has the three treasures of jing, qi, and shen. Ordinary animals do not have them, which is why a human body is a rare gift.
4 But after a few dozen summers and winters, people who fail to cultivate themselves meet a quick and an all too ordinary end.
5 Some are buried in the ground, where they decay together with the grass and trees; some are cremated into ashes. None of them understands the Dao of nurturing and lengthening life.
6 Thus, in quiet sitting, we first teach the Dao of nurturing life, and then cultivate the three treasures of jing, qi, and shen.
7 All animals, including man, instinctively seek food and seek a mate. Seeking food is to maintain life; seeking a mate is to propagate life.
8 This is pointed out in Mencius: “It is in one’s nature to eat and seek a mate.” “Nature” is what comes innately. The instincts one is born with.
9 Humans, who seek to enlighten their lives beyond the instincts for food and sex, have to cultivate the Dao. They must understand the Dao of nurturing life.
10 What I call the Dao of nurturing life is simply quiet sitting. Moreover, it is completely in tune with scientific principles. Whether we speak of dynamic or quiet practice, both are ways to temper the living person.
11 Dynamic practice emphasizes tempering the physical body. Quiet practice emphasizes tempering the spirit.
12 Quiet sitting is the inner working between physiology, psychology, physical dynamics and meditation. The underlying principle for cultivation is “dual cultivation of self-nature and physical body.”
13 Self-nature is the innate “spirit-nature.” Physical body is the acquired “flesh.” This is the process of cultivating “spirit and flesh” at the same time.
Chinese Original Quiet Sitting, October, 1991
 Mencius is a book of conversations Mencius (372-289 BC) had with kings of the time, is one of the Four Books that Zhu Xi [1130-1200, a leading figure of Neo-Confucian scholar of the Song Dynasty in China] grouped as the core of orthodox Neo-Confucian thought.