Monthly Archives: August 2015

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – June 19, 2015

And now I want to return to my review of the book by Jill Gonet, Riding the Phoenix to Penglai. I previously mentioned how I appreciated the discussion around the topic of Anterior Heaven in Poem Two on page 32 and 33. Another important point Gonet makes a few pages later is on the need for detachment when one sets their goal on moving forward: “Forward momentum generates more forward movement, insight, and creation, and this reinforces the wellspring of one’s Qi and also nurtures it with good health and gratifying joy.” (Gonet 2014, p. 35)

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 29, 2015

A thought just popped into my head while I momentarily reflected on Riding the Phoenix to Penglai. I thought of why I was drawn to the zuowang method of meditation in the first place and certain Daoist and Buddhist scriptures which stress the absolute release of concepts, conceptual thinking and dualistic imagery, yes, even, Daoist dualistic concepts like yin and yang, heaven and earth and so on. So though the poems of Sun Bu’er have validity as guidance on the Daoist path, they still create more conceptual, and intellectual thinking instead of the opposite, the clear and empty state of mind receptive to the workings of the Dao.

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 27, 2015

I have slowed down my readings of the Gonet book, too many things on the burner right now. But here’s some notes I added to the margins of the Riding the Phoenix to Penglai.

On Poem Two I have several notes on Gonet’s use of the concept of “earlier heaven version of creation.” (Gonet 2014, p. 33) In my red marker I wrote Anterior Heaven above the earlier heaven text. That was my way of acknowledging the connection between this book and the Master Wu book (Daoist Meditation). Master Wu uses this concept extensively throughout his book in explaining the deep significance of Anterior Heaven as being identical to Emptiness, or Primordial Chaos. (Wu Jyh Cherng 2015, p. 33)

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 24, 2015

I came across an interesting article in the latest issue of The Empty Vessel magazine (Spring, 2015) a few days ago. It was an article on the female master Sun Bu’er, one of the seven Daoist disciples of Wang Chongyang, founder of the Quanzhen tradition during the 12th century. The article was interesting enough that I decided to find out more about the article’s author and the book the article came from.