Chapter 11: The Whole and Holy Circle
Master Lu-tsu said:
Nothing is possible without contemplation. Perceiving brings one to the goal.
What has to be reversed by reflection is the self-conscious heart, which has to direct itself towards that point where the formative spirit is not yet manifest. Within our six-foot body we must strive for the form which existed before the laying down of heaven and earth. If today people sit and meditate only one or two hours, looking only at their egos, and call this reflection, how can anything come out of it?
One should look at the tip of one’s nose. But this does not mean that one should fasten one’s thoughts to the tip of the nose. Neither that, while the eyes are looking at the tip of the nose, the thoughts should be concentrated on the yellow middle. Wherever the eye looks, the heart is directed also. How can it be directed at the same time upward and downward? All that means confusing the finger with which one points to the moon with the moon itself.
What then is really meant by this? The expression “tip of the nose” is cleverly chosen. The nose must serve the eyes as a guideline. If one is not guided by the nose, either one opens wide the eyes and looks into the distance, so that the nose is not seen, or the lids shut too much, so that the eyes close, and again the nose is not seen. But when the eyes are opened too wide, one makes the mistake of directing them outward, whereby one is easily distracted. If they are closed too much, one makes the mistake of letting them turn inward, whereby one easily sinks into a dreamy reverie. Only when the eyelids are lowered properly halfway is the tip of the nose seen in just the right way. Therefore, it is taken as a guideline. The main thing is to lower the eyelids in the right way, and then to allow the light to stream in of itself; without effort, wanting the light to stream in concentratedly. Looking at the tip of the nose serves only as the beginning of the inner concentration, so that the eyes are brought into the right direction for looking, and then are held to as guideline: after that, one can let it be. This is the way a mason hangs up a plumb line. As soon as he has hung it up, he guides his work by it without continually bothering himself to look at the plumb line.
One looks with both eyes at the tip of the nose, sits upright and in a comfortable position, and holds the heart to the center in the midst of conditions. It does not necessarily mean the middle of the head. It is only a matter of fixing one’s thinking on the point which lies exactly between the two eyes. Then all is well. The light is something extremely mobile. When one fixes a thought on the midpoint between the two eyes, the light streams in of its own accord. It is not necessary to direct the attention especially to the central castle. In these few words the most important thing is contained.