“Turn the Light Around”

Wisdom from the new Cleary translation of Secret of the Golden Flower:

The golden flower is light. What color is light? It is symbolized by the golden flower, which [in Chinese characters] also conceals the words ‘one light within’. This is the absolutely unified real energy of celestial immortals; this is what is meant by the saying, “The lead in the homeland of water is just one flavor.”

The whole work of turning the light around uses the method of reversal. The beauties of the highest heavens and the marvels of the sublimest realms are all within the heart: this is where the perfectly open and aware spirit concentrates. Confucians call it the open center, Buddhists call it the pedestal of awareness, Taoists call it the ancestral earth, the yellow court, the mysterious pass, the primal opening.

The celestial mind is like a house; the light is the master of the house. Therefore once you turn the light around, the energies throughout the body all rise. Just turn the light around; this is the unexcelled sublime truth.

The light is easily stirred and hard to stabilize. When you have turned it around for a long time, the light crystallizes. This is the natural spiritual body, and it steadies the spirit above the nine skies. This is what is referred to in the Mind Seal Scripture as “silently paying court” and “soaring upward.”

The golden flower is the same thing as the gold pill. The transmutations of spiritual illumination are all guided by mind.

This is how it works in practice: One should concentrate until the inner spiritual light appears. If you’re not seeing this light easily in your meditation, you should practice standard Ānāpānasati meditation regularly until you can see it easily.

Then “turn the light toward the Light.” The light (lower-case) is our attention and consciousness. The Light (capitalized) is the universal light. This is the Light seen in deep concentration. It comes from outside of conditioned existence. We cannot really say in which direction this Light is located. But in meditation, we should turn our small light toward this great Light. Then wonderful things happen.

Published by

Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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