94. Dual Cultivation of One’s Self- Nature and Physical Body


1 Dual cultivation of one’s self-nature and physical body is the fundamental method of cultivation, as passed down in China from generation to generation for over 4,000 years.

1 性命雙修,是四千餘年來,中國道家一脈相傳的基本修煉方法。

2 While speaking about one’s nature and physical body, we must first understand that there is a distinction between “innate” and “acquired.”

2 談到性命,首須瞭解性命有先天、後天之分。

3 From the time of their parents’ union, humans are endowed with a small amount of perfect qi, which has been given a physical frame. This perfect qi is innate and has no physical form or substance.

3 人秉父母交成一點真氣而受形,這謂之無形無質的先天之性。

4 The sperm of the man unites with the ovum of the woman to form a fetus, which is the acquired body. It is physical and it is made of substance.

4 男精和於女血而成胎原形體,這謂之有形有質的後天之命。

5 While in the mother’s womb, the perfect qi and the acquired body are originally united. As it is said, “without one’s own nature, life cannot exist; without physical body, one’s nature cannot become.”

5 蓋人在母胎未生之前,本來性命合一,所謂「命無性不立,性無命不存」。

6 After ten lunar months, the developed fetus has sufficient qi. As soon as the fetus leaves its mother’s womb, they separate. Thenceforth, one’s nature loses sight of the physical body, and the physical body loses sight of one’s nature. This division persists from youth to middle age and continues through old age, until death.

6 到十月胎圓氣足,一落母體,而性命到此則分為二。從此性不能見命,命不能見性。少而壯,壯而老,老而死。

7 Thus, ancient Daoists put great emphasis on one’s self-nature and physical body. They proposed dual cultivation of one’s self-nature and physical body. They proposed to return to the source, in order to temper jing, qi, and shen, remaking the self and the living body.

7 所以上古道家極端貴重形體之性命,主張性命雙修,返本還原,鍛煉精氣神,重造我性命。

8 They also said: “To cultivate life [of the body] but not one’s nature is a fatal flaw; to cultivate one’s nature but not life sets the spirit adrift for a thousand eons, with no hope to enter the sacred.”

8 並說:「只修命,不修性,此是修行第一病;只修祖性不修命功,萬劫陰靈難入聖。」

9 The life of a person in an acquired body depends on the three treasures: jing, qi, and shen. Qi is refined out of jing, and when jing is full, qi will be replete. When qi is replete, shen becomes sufficient. When shen and qi become sufficient, a person will become quick-thinking, acute of hearing, sharp in vision, and sound of limb.

9 人之所以能生於後天者,端賴精氣神三寶。氣由精化,精滿則氣充,氣充則神足,神氣足則人思想靈敏,耳目聰明,四體強健。

10 The mating of male and female is the worldly Dao. The cultivation of one’s self- nature and physical body is the immortal Dao. The worldly Dao follows nature’s course, which allows people to be born, and thus there is life and death. The immortal Dao is the reversal of the worldly Dao. Cultivation that reverses the flow attains the Dao, so that existence would span a myriad eons.

10 男女交合,此乃凡道;性命雙修,斯為仙道。凡道是順,順行生人則有生有死。仙道是逆,逆修成道則萬劫常存。

Second Lecture of Chinese Original Quiet Sitting, April 29, 1979