The Secret of the Golden Flower is an ancient Taoist text that inspires inner alchemy. Because it is meant to be a personal and silent journey, it is described by some as 'Zen with details.' We become aware of the light within and use the breath to observe and circulate qi.
"Master Lii Tzu said : That which exists through itself is called Meaning (Tao). Meaning has neither name nor force. It is the one essence, the one primordial spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. It is contained in the Light of Heaven. The Light of Heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes."
The entire text is a meditative exercise meant to be practiced over a long period of time to achieve enlightenment. Blending Kabbalah, Buddhist and Taoist teachings, the Flowering Light honors the power of the breath to center in stillness and activate the light of qi within.
I use the word 'flowering' because the breath can lead us away from embroiling and to our center, so we can allow the light to blossom from this center - out into the world.
There is only this breath
like the wind,
it is born of an irresistible power
to sustain life.
We live on a sphere
that moves in a circle.
Everywhere we look are circles.
No matter how far we travel
out into the world
in search of answers,
the circle always leads us back to ourselves.
The road between non-existence and beingness,
by only this breath.
When we live and die in this breath,
we are no longer lost,
There is a diffusion of light
what cannot be held in the hand
because the light is not of this world…
And yet, everything
borrows its existence
from this light.
It shoots through
our time here
in a way that time collapses into it.
It takes form in the early morning darkness.
It created the trees.
And because it is warm,
it entices the song of the wind
to speak in the language of rustling leaves.
We can trace it in the shadows
when mountains crawl across a desert landscape
bowed down in supplication to the light.
When we give it a name...
it is the name that comes to separate us.
It is the exhalation, inhalation, and animation
of the one
into the many,
and each song is sung in its own way.
We look back at ourselves
through each other.
We seek a connection
the reassurance that what we sense is real
because through each other -
we feel the presence of the light.
Our sense of separation,
Words become thoughts
and thoughts become things
that enclose us.
It is the emptiness of the mind that makes it useful
the light flowing in and out –
like the breath.
We can spend our days searching for answers
or simply allow the mystery
to lead us deeper into the question,
until we let the question go.
There is only this beingness
and this breath.
This is the gift
we can wrap and give to ourselves.
It is the gift nature gave to us
that can be anything
until we open it
and look inside.
Within the emptiness
is a presence…
of not striving
As easy as water becomes ice
and ice melts back into water,
the simplicity of being
because only the world is turning.
What is the mind
when there are no questions?
When there is nothing to contain us
nothing to search for?
Through the breath,
to all that is.