Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
Tripod and Furnace
Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine: A Fourteenth-Century Work on Taoist Internal Alchemy, by Wang Jie (? - 1380), page 49
The tripod is Qian ☰ and is one's Nature (xing). The furnace is Kun ☷ and is one's Existence (ming). After you activate the bellows and nozzles in your own body, you must collect the ingredients and place them in the Tripod. When you collect them, you apply the function of the fierce Fire, so that your Nature is at work within and your Existence operates outside. In the blink of an eye, Qian and Kun become one, and Spirit and Breath conjoin.They coalesce and form the Reverted Elixir, which is the Embryo of Sainthood. Therefore it says, "the true tripod and furnace."
After you have been able to achieve the image of the Reverted Elixir, you should warmly nourish it by a gentle Fire. Empty your heart to guard your Nature, and fill your belly to nourish your Existence. In the "vague and indistinct," in the "dim and obscure," Being is born within Non-Being, and Non-Being is born within Being. This means that when quiescence culminates there is again movement, and when movement culminates there is again quiescence. Therefore it says, "Being within Non-Being, Non-Being within Being."
The Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week are short quotations on Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) from books published by Golden Elixir Press. They are sent at no cost to subscribers. See a sample and an index of the Quotes of the Week sent to subscribers until present.