Chapter 9: Dagos and Fuwa
It was Xavion's first time playing the role of teacher, seeing Shaw Danon hand holding his cheek and enchanted, he could not help but increase in enthusiasm and continue talking:
Pure Essence process from simple to most complicated. Most people need only one year to master Yu Qing's first level; however, later on greater difficulties will appear. Normal people need five years for the second level. The third level is like a watershed, it separates the strong from the weak. If quality is just a little poor, they will be stuck there for the rest of their life, more accomplished people may need as many as fifty to sixty years.
Shaw Danon was tongue tied, Xavion smiled, and continued.
Pure Essence's main cultivation incantation is roughly completed in terms of outside instruction at the third level; following that is dependent upon quality and self-study. A master with high cultivation may be of slight assistance, the experiential is personal, only in ensuring disciples can experience a less crooked path. Of course, this so-called "crooked road" is measured in terms of a hundred years or more.
When practice of Pure Essence reaches Yu Qing fourth level, meaning they have mastered the basic principles, disciples then can practice different types of magic and craft their own esper. The origin of espers is a long story. Myths and legends purported that the gods of heave have their own artifacts with peerless power. In the human world, cultivators are also able to develop. Those of weaker strength can fly at the speed of lightning, while the stronger are able to shake heaven and earth, destroy mountains and rivers.
There are varieties of esper materials, some are strange. One thing, however, is certain; esper's material decides the esper's strength after it has been crafted. If simply normal iron is utilized to cast "Thunderblade," the sword and the owner will have already turned to ashes before they even have an opportunity to attack enemies.
In Jadeon, because Master Jade Leaf found the ancient sword "Regenesis" in the "Moontop Hollow," with no comparable opponent. Many younger generations not only admired him, most people practice with swords as their esper. Thousands of years later, many people became swordsmen, it has almost become Jadeon's unwritten rule, even the change of its name to Jadeon Sword Faction is not surprising.
Here, there is need to mention the specifics of the head of Bamboo Peak, Tian Bolis. He himself crafted a sword esper, "Flame Spirit"; it is one of the most famous swords of Jadeon. However, for some unknown reason, he does not wish to encourage his disciples to practice swords. Not only that, he often "encourages" his disciples to craft some different sorts of esper which creates a bit of criticism within Jadeon. Since there is no written rule, however, and, secondly, Tian Bolis' disciples quality is just normal and low in number, people generally let them be.
Within all of Bamboo Peak's disciples, da shixiong Xavion maintains the highest level of cultivation, he has already reached Pure Essence's Yu Qing fifth level. Then, following his attainment, is fourth disciple He Dazhi, who has reached fourth level. Although he started later than Wu Dayi, Zheng Dali, he is the wisest of all the disciples; as such, he was capable of catching up even though he started late.
As for the second disciple Wu Dayi, third disciple Zheng Dali, fifth disciple Ludaxin, sixth disciple Amandla, all were struggling in Yu Qing third level. But xiao shi mei Hidi was of extraordinary intelligence, parents carefully taught her while she was still a child. Although she started to do bamboo chopping homework at 10 years of age, she had already practiced Pure Essence for many years. At thirteen years old she reached Yu Qing fourth level, is able to use esper, is known as one of the famous precocious children in Jadeon, favoured by her parents and elders, Surin has given Hidi her famous "Phoenix Soul" as a self-defense esper.
"Wow shijie is so smart!" Shaw Danon said.
Xavion smiled: "Yes, xiao shimei is very intelligent. Very talented at cultivation. When master and shi niang teach her something, she will comprehend it. Her quality is far better than us. Now she is still young, not practicing enough yet, it's just a matter of time for her to become far more successful than us. To flourish, Bamboo Peak all rely on her."
His eyes full of expectation, it is clear that he also put his hope on that lovely xiao shimei.
Then, Xavion told Shaw Danon something to pay attention to during cultivation, and finally seriously said: :"Xiao shidi, I must tell you one last thing: our faction's cultivation is about progressing slowly, remaining down to earth. If you grow greedy and want to look for a short cut, not only will work not be completed, it will also create disaster. To be successful or not, was originally destined and can not be forced. Evil heretics and their Felkin evil practices are not to be satisfied and perpetually create more desire, they may bring forth nature's judgement, poor and pathetic. You must be careful."
Shaw Danon frightened, hurriedly said: "Yes, Da shixiong, I understand."
Xavion nodded, stood up and said: "That should be enough, Tai Chi Cave is in the back hill; only disciples with Pure Essence third level can go in and practice. Before this, you can practice first in your room; it is quiet here, master and shi niang will usually not come by, so work hard."
Shaw Danon stood up and said: "Thank you, da shixiong."
Xavion smiled, patted his head and turned away.
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After Xavion left, Shaw Danon returned to his room and shut the door. There is an indescribable excitement in his heart, even the tiredness from cutting bamboo has subsided.
He took a deep breath, calmed down, walked slowly to the bed. He meditated in the position Xavion had taught him, then closed his eyes. Remembering the incantation of Pure Essence's Yu Qing first level Xavion had taught him; ready to practice, but all of a sudden his heart began to think of something, his eyes shot open, said: "That's wrong!"
Pure Essence's Yu Qing first level that Xavion taught him is the most basic incantation, a practitioner need only to focus on two words: Obtain Energy. When a cultivator is meditating, the mind must open and cast aside all sorts of trouble, obtain the spirit energy within the sky and earth into the body and meditate; use it to bind the oneself to the world, feeling change within sky and earth. If able to obtain spirit and meditate thirty-six times in a row, then the body's channel becomes stable and one is able to practice higher levels.
This type of cultivation has been a part of Taoism for thousands of years, there should be no error. But at that moment, Shaw Danon's mind, like a violent storm, keeps on shaking; because everything he had learned today is completely opposite of the incantation monk Pozhi taught him.
In the night before Grasstemple Village massacre, when Pozhi taught him the incantation he clearly told him, when meditating, be sure to cut off all contact with the outside world; gain understanding of the truth of self also known as: "Form here is only emptiness, emptiness is only form. Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form. Feeling, thought, and choice, consciousness itself, are the same as this. Dharmas here are empty, all are the primal void. None are born or die. Nor are they stained or pure, nor do they wax or wane. So in emptiness no form, no feeling, thought, or choice, nor is there consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, or what the mind takes hold of, nor even act of sensing. No ignorance, or end of it, nor all that comes of ignorance: no withering, no death, no end of them. Nor is their pain, or cause of pain, or cease in pain, or noble path to lead from pain, not even wisdom to attain, attainment too is emptiness." (note 1)
The deep meaning within it, of course Shaw Danon won't understand clearly; however, he can sort out that the two incantations are totally different from one another; he is now utterly confused, not knowing what to do.
In fact Shaw Danon didn't know, Pure Essence is Dagos' supreme incantation, but Pozhi had put his most important hope on him, and the incantation he taught him is also the supreme incantation of Fuwa: Fawin Wisdom.
Two incanations, practiced in two very different ways, all come from their respective basic idea.
Fuwa and Dagos hold a long history, never mixing together, the art of cultivation all originated from distinctly different types of though. Dagos, as example, the main subject is "Dao," also known as: From Dao comes one, from one comes two, from two comes three, from three arises the ten thousand things. All things have both yin and yang; the combination of the two maintains a neutral harmony. (Note 2) Daoism comes from Daoist's thoughs, even the Pure Essence's three stages, also from Daoist mythology: Yuanshi Tianzun, Lingbao Tianzun and Daode Tianzun's Yu Qing, Shang Qing, Tai Qing, named after "The Three Qing." Daoist cultivation focuses on combining the self with the world, using the body to control nature, harnessing powerful magic.
But Fuwa, on the other hand, the main subject is: "everything that happens is answer to the heart, it cannot leave the self." also said: Understand self, originally clean; understand self, originally no birth and no death; understand self, originally enough; understand self, originally static; understand self, can give birth to everything! (Note 3) Fuwa cultivation, focuses on understanding of self, can reflect the truth, "one wisdom can give birth to eight-four thousand intelligences" is what it means.
Chapter 9 Dagos and Fuwa B
Buddhist and Daoist thought were very different, the way to practice were also completely opposite, but because people kept their secrets for thousands of years, no one knew anything about it. Now a small disciple named Shaw Danon in Jadeon's Bamboo Peak was having a headache because of it.
"Which one is right?"
Shaw Danon jumped out of the bed and began walking back and forth in the room. His mind was confused but he dared not to ask anyone. Then he finally sat on his bed, sighed, not saying anything.
He was not intelligent originally, as a farmer boy of young age, of course he did not have much knowledge; and now he needed to decide such an important matter. Thinking it over for the whole day, simply wasted time and could not develop a solution. In the end, Shaw Danon told himself: "Anyway, the master Pozhi did not tell me that from the beginning, I can just practice both, that should solve the problem." Not thinking anymore, just relieved in his mind, he returned to his bed and began practicing Pure Essence.
He thought it would be easy, but when actually doing it things became entirely different. Pure Essence's refining spirit; open the pores and let the spirit within sky and earth enter into the body and let it run through the veins; doing it to strengthen the vigor and veins within the body. Fawin Wisdom needs a practitioner to enter the state of quietude, block all senses from the outside world, see the self as the world, find the true self, strengthen the vigor.
The method of practice is completely opposite, giving Shaw Danon a pain in the neck. For the next three months, besides cutting down the bamboo every single day, he focused on practicing the cultivation of two factions. But when he had a little success on Pure Essence, becoming able to draw spirit into the body; he then would practice Fawin Wisdom, needing to force himself to block out everything, enter into quietude. All the efforts he had putted in for the previous practice were all wasted.
One day, three months later, Tian Bolis suddenly felt curious and came to see how Shaw Danon is doing in cultivation. After a slight investigation he became angry almost half to death. When normal people practice Pure Essence, as the first level is the easiest, they should have slight success after three months; ability to absorb spirit and cycle them three to five times. Surprisingly the poor quality of Shaw Danon is really rarely found. After three months practice he was still not even able to control pores of the entire body and hardly let any spirit in; of course, he can't cycle the spirit.
Tian Bolis, with eyes wide, stared at Shaw Danon angrily. All the disciples standing nearby feel sorry for him but do not dare to say anything. Xavion wanted to say a few words on Shaw Danon's behalf, but seeing the poor practice Shaw Danon had that had been taught by him, felt he did not have the right to say anything. As for Hidi, she was laughing and seeing it as a joke.
Shaw Danon felt shameful, kneeling in front of Tian Bolis. Thinking that no matter how his master scolded him, he deserved it. Unexpectedly, after a long time, surrounding shixiong and even Tian Bolis did not say a word. He felt strange, secretly looked up and was surprised to find that Tian Bolis' angry face turned into disappointment. Just like the saying: Most sadness comes from disappointment.
Tian Bolis waved his sleeve, then shook his head, began to move his fat body and walked toward the rear hall without saying anything. All the disciples looked at each other not understanding what happened.
Xavion had known Tian Bolis for a long time, he knew what Tian Bolis meant; he guessed that master had given up his hope on Xiao Shidi. For the past three months, beside doing homework and practicing cultivation, Shaw Danon helped others when he had the free time, he is a helpful and honest person. Everyone liked him. Because of the loneliness of living on the mountain, even the usually arrogant Hidi suddenly had a similar aged playmate; although on the surface she often scolded him, she was actually happy about it.
Xavion frowned and lifted up Shaw Danon, said: "Xiao Shidi, the master is angry for a moment, it doesn't matter. As long as you continue to put effort in, sooner or later he will approve of you."
Shaw Danon's heart felt shame, nodded, and put more and more effort in since.
He went with Hidi each morning to cut bamboo, normal disciples can chop down one Black Bamboo after practicing Pure Essence for three months, but Shaw Danon cut down his first Black Bamboo after half a year. However, because of doing homework daily, his body grew progressively stronger; at least he no longer grew tired when going up to the mountain.
From that point on, Tian Bolis did not ask anything more about Shaw Danon. At the beginning, Xavion still asked him about his progress in cultivation practice. But as time grew longer, Shaw Danon's progress was as slow as it can be; in the end, even Xavion gave up and did not ask him anymore.
Shaw Danon himself did not mind the issue, he was aware his quality was not good. Although he occasionally thought that it is all because he practiced both incantations simultaneously, every time he thought about it, it reminded him of Pozhi, which encouraged him to continue on. Although practice in this way would be extremely difficult, his stubborn temper supported him.
Practicing Pure Essence by day, Fawin Wisdom at night. Three years passed by fast.
During these years, Shaw Danon achieved the worst record within Jadeon ever: He used three years, which meant he had spent three times longer than normal people, before finally completing Pure Essence's Yu Qing first level and was able to easily control all the pores, absorb spirit and meditate thirty-six times in a row. But what people were not aware of is that he also practiced Fawin Wisdom at the same time, laying a solid basis on controlling energy.
When Shaw Danon timidly announced that at dinner, all Jadeon Bamboo Peak disciples were stunned; as impossible as thousand years old iron tree has just blossomed, then everyone laughed. Xavion threw Shaw Danon into the air a few times.
Tian Bolis coldly looked at him, grunted, whispered: "Idiot!"
Over three years, Shaw Danon reached the age of fourteen; due to cutting bamboo daily, his body had become fairly sturdy. Although he was two years younger than Hidi, they were already the same height. Hidi had turned sixteen years old from thirteen and had become more beautiful.
Hidi often felt as though all of the six shixiong were much older than her, so she liked to stay with the foolish xiao shidi most of the time. For three years, they became much closer together. Hidi always had the upper hand. Shaw Danon knew shijie is much stronger than himself. Although she was shouting at him all the time, when teased by shixiongs, she was the first one to stand up for him.
Life in the mountain was boring and quiet, Shaw Danon inquired to Tian Bolis and Xavion about Grasstemple Village's massacre several times, but found no clues during the investigation still. As time passed, Shaw Danon's heart finally had calmed.
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This morning, Shaw Danon took his machete as usual and walked toward the mountain alone. Hidi had completed the bamboo homework two years ago and had no need to come. So, for the past two years, Shaw Danon went to the mountain alone most of the time; however, sometimes when Hidi had nothing to do she would go to the mountain together with him.
Today Shaw Danon didn't see a sight of Hidi, nor did he care about the matter, and went alone to the mountain. After another month, his bamboo homework will be complete. He now can cut down two Black Bamboo everyday, but still was far inferior to Hidi. Hidi could chop down a dozen of Black Bamboo by the end of the day.
A month prior, he finally mastered Pure Essence's Yu Qing's first level, then Xavion taught him the second level incantation. He had studied it for a month, although it is a lot deeper than the first layer, he felt it to be easier than the first layer. For example, control of the body's pores from first level took him three years, while the second level needs one to "Turn spirit into vigor energy," absorbing the spirit within earth and sky into the body and turning them into vigor. According to Da shixiong, it is ten times harder than the first level, but Shaw Danon had surprisingly found it very easy. It seemed "Fawin Wisdom" had something to do with his progress. Three years of Fawin Wisdom non-stop practice, he had begun to master the basics of the vigor cycle. Spirit is part of vigor, with the three years of basic practice, Shaw Danon's progress was very fast.
But he himself didn't believe himself; when other people's practice of first level took one year, and he himself needed three years, so he felt this must be an illusion. So he didn't care much because no one asked him about his daily cultivation practice anyway.
Note 1: Phrase from : 诸法空相，不生不灭，不垢不净，不增不减，是故空中无色，无受想行识，无眼、耳、鼻、舌、身意 ，无色、声、 香、味、触法，无眼界，乃至无意识界，无无明，亦无无明尽，乃至无老死，亦无老死尽，无苦集灭 道，无智亦无 得。(Translation excerpted from The Heart Sutra--Rochester Zen Center translation, based on Philip Kapleau's reading)
Note 2: Phrase from 德经第五章>: 道生一，一生二，二生三，三生万物。万物负阴而抱阳，中气以为和。
Note 3: Phrase from : 何期自性，本自清净；何期自性，本无生灭；何期自性，本自具足；何期自性，本无动摇；何期自性 ，能生万法!