The Song of Songs Through the Eyes of Spiritual Cultivation
The Song of Songs (the Song of Solomon or the Canticle of Canticles) has long been recognized as a special book in the Bible. Readers recognize that its themes seem to have nothing to do with the typical religious content of the Old Testament, and yet here it is in the Bible classed among the sacred works called "The Writings." There must be a reason.
The reason is due to the fact that it’s a cultivation text, but because it is a cultivation text non-cultivators cannot decipher it. Yes, even the Bible contains accounts of higher and lower stages of cultivation, though mostly of the lower sort. You don’t always have to turn to the East to find the accounts of successful spiritual cultivation.
The earliest Jewish rabbis were certain that the Song of Songs cannot possibly mean what is says literally because it concerns erotic love between a man and a woman. Early Christian scholars agreed with the rabbinical analysis that these verses could not possibly depict worldly love. So how can we find out what it means?
Because it contains erotic imagery, some of the Jewish mystical schools that relied on the kabbalah did not want students to study the Song of Songs until they were mature, and yet this too means that they recognized it as a cultivation text but could not fully decipher it. It’s said that it was "the most frequently interpreted book of medieval Christianity" (Ann Matter) and the number of medieval Jewish commentaries on it are surprising large as well. Here’s what most of these commentators thought …
According to Jewish tradition in the Midrash and the Targum, the book is an allegory of God's love for the Children of Israel. In a Christian tradition that began with Origen, the Song of Songs is regarded as an allegory of the relationship of Christ and the Church, or else Christ and the individual believer. Both religions could not understand, so both clothed it in their own dogma. So we have this book in the Bible containing erotic imagery, no one really knows why it’s there but everyone knows it must therefore be important and have some special meaning, and because they don’t know the meaning they interpret it as an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel as husband and wife.
Why can’t they interpret it? Because they have no cultivation gong-fu and spiritual attainments. No matter how brilliant a rabbi or scholar you are, or how profound your understanding of the Bible as a Christian, if you don’t have any cultivation accomplishments you’ll never understand this text. Its meaning becomes perfectly clear only when you start breaking through the conception skandha, and this is beyond most religious functionaries. The theme that it talks about happens over and over and over again once you reach this critical first stage of cultivation. As the Zen school says, cultivation only starts at this stage, at this point in time. Prior to this stage, if you never reach it then all your meditation work is in vain.
In Jewish thinking, the Song of Songs has even been suggested as a messianic text in that the lover can be interpreted as the Messiah. The Aramaic Jewish targums also interpreted the lover as the awaited Messiah.
Nonsense. If you don’t have any cultivation gong-fu or accomplishment you won’t know anything about it’s real meaning of transforming yin chi to yang chi, and thus the references to men and women. The Song of Songs is a cultivation text because it pertains to the physical transformations involved in opening up the heart chakra, transforming yin chi to yang chi, opening up other chi channels in the body, and cultivating through the conception skandha. That’s what it’s about. Let me skip to verse 5.2 which starts referring to the lessons I’ve been recently giving you, which is why I brought up this Biblical text:
2 I sleep but my mind is awake.
Listen! My beloved is knocking:
"Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
My hair with the dewdrops of the night."
3 I have taken off my robe-
Must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet-
Must I soil them again?
4 My beloved thrust his hand through the key hole;
My heart throbbed for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with flowing myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer me.
7 The watchmen making their rounds in the city found me,
They beat me, they bruised me;
They took away my cloak,
Those watchmen of the walls took my robe from me!
8 Young women of Jerusalem,
Swear to me that if you find my beloved
You will tell him I am sick from love.
9 Most beautiful of women,
What makes your beloved better than any other beloved?
What makes your beloved better than any other beloved
That you make us swear this way?
10 My beloved is dazzling yet ruddy.
The chieftest among 10,000 men.
11 His head is as the finest gold.
His hair is wavy, black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves beside the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk and fitly set.
13 His cheeks are like a garden of spices,
A garden that produces scented herbs.
His lips are like lilies dropping liquid myrrh.
14 His hands are disks of gold set with beryl.
His chest is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are as columns of marble set upon bases of pure gold.
His form is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.
16 His mouth is full of sweetness.
Everything about him is desirable!
This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem
The phrase, “I sleep, but my mind is awake” is translated a number of different ways in the various renderings of Songs, but it basically means that you have attained samadhi. Only with samadhi can you undergo these transformative experiences, plain and simple. You’re aware but all is quiet, like night. The mind is silent but awake just as in samadhi. In fact, when you achieve the Tao you can even reach a stage wherein while sleeping your mind is just as awake as waking hours because it is clear. But here we’re talking about reaching samadhi in order to initiate these transformations. That’s why scholars cannot interpret this work.
Now here’s the main thrust of the work. This poem is talking about the opening of the heart chakra in the body as one penetrates through the conception skandha. The chi starts to penetrate the heart chakra and the chakra starts to pulsate, which is the throbbing in Songs 5.4. The chi appears white in color, like a dove. Over and over again I’ve told you that in practicing the skeleton meditation you want the chi to be visualized as dazzling white, as that’s what you’ll see when you reach this stage. So you'll find a lot of references to the color white (milk, doves, etc.) and also to a ruddy complexion full of energy, for as the kundalini fire opens up the chi channels it restores color to the cheeks, which is a byproduct of the heat. Naturally as it ascends into the head it spreads through the head chakra channels so that the hair (crown chakra’s chi channels or petals) is “drenched with dew.”
So this is the meaning of Songs 5.2 – the heart chakra is opening, the chi is white, it’s ascending upwards into the head because the heart chakra is pumping it, and naturally the channels in the head start filling with this chi and opening. You can also think of the channels within the body as hairs, but the beauty of poetry is that we don’t know which one of these meanings was exactly intended – they both fit.
At this stage of attainment, I’ve previously explained what happens next. You’re cultivating and can see in your mind’s eye another body of yours which is the impure illusory body that develops after your break through the heart chakra and conception skandha. Yes, this is the impure illusory body of the Esoteric school, or Tibetan Buddhism, or tantric yoga. It’s a non-denominational process that it forms – it’ll happen to a Jew, Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Taoist, Tibetan Buddhist, yogi, pagan, agnostic or anyone who cultivates this far enough. Cultivation is just a technology of evolutionary yoga and this is what pops out of the process. To explain why we’d have to go into Buddhism again, but that’s too much for here.
Inside the sheath of this illusory body is blob of unrefined chi that has to be transformed. When the skin falls away from this blob, the chi inside looks like a lump of wiggling clear jelly. Even though this chi looks clear, it’s not purified but does become purified over time as you go through multiple stages of the following refining process. The same thing happens for petals of chakras at early stages of cultivation. In some earlier stages, the chakra petals can appear internally as women, and men have relations with the internal petals in order to combine the yang chi with the yin chi of the petals and transform them. Then the petals recede into the base of the chakras. This tantric sex is like untying knots. But I'm not going to give these teachings and speak more of it. Who's qualified for them? Who merits them? Who won't take them incorrectly?
When the chi inside the illusory body becomes full, the outer covering of the illusory body (which is the shape of your body, like a skin) drops away. It’s like the skin falls off, and this clear jelly substance (chi) is left there and then rises into the sky and departs. If you had to use an allegory, you’d say your robe fell off, or the curtain around a column dropped away, or one of a number of different ways of describing that a covering fell away. They’re all describing the same unmistakable process that happens not once, but over and over and over again.
You cannot mistake it for anything else, which is why this verse is so identifiable. I really cannot count the number of times this happens because the inner chi of this illusory body is being transformed. You cultivate, it fills with chi, when full the chi covering (in the form of your body) drops away, the inside chi rises and departs (like perfume or an aroma), and then you start cultivating and wait for it to start all over again at a higher, more purified level.
After awhile a new illusory body forms made out of slightly higher, more refined chi than last time that’s in the environment, and that’s how it becomes refined. Over and over again this process continues. That’s the meaning of Songs where it says the individual takes off their robe and puts it on again. They have to do this over and over again, and particularly work at sending the chi into their feet to transform it for as all cultivation schools note, it’s particularly difficult to get the chi to reach the bottom of the feet. In Taoism you cannot reach the stage of becoming an “Immortal” unless your chi channels to the bottom of your feet open all the way through. When that happens, Confucianism compares it to “Springtime.” At this stage the whole body, including the feet, gets transformed over and over again.
Next, the hand through the keyhole is a description of the chi running up the sushumna central channel and piercing the chakras, in particular the center of the heart chakra. I always tell you that you have to open up the heart chakra and I’ve taught you to use the Zhunti-Vairocana or Vairocana-Zhunti Tantra to do so which I’ve openly given on the MeditationExpert.com blog and in the site. But of course that tantra is useless unless you’ve first performed the preliminary work of the skeleton method and other cultivation techniques to prep the chi channels throughout your body for this to become possible. It’s all very scientific. It’s all just yoga that you have to aprior perform to somewhat open all the chi channels of your body evenly to finally be able to open the heart chakra.
The chi of your body runs right through the center of the heart chakra – which is the keyhole in this poem. It can only go up if you open the heart chakra, and when the heart chakra opens it starts to pulsate or throb just like Songs 5.4 says. The root chakra is also undergoing pulsation and sometimes the sex chakra at the back of the spine is contributing to the pumping as well in unison. But the main one is the heart chakra. If the root chakra of the cultivator is already unplugged then the actual words of the Songs of Songs in its original language might even be in the form of poetry matching the rhythm of the writer’s pulsation, but because I don’t know the original language I cannot tell. If so, it would truly be a “song” with rhythm and cadence corresponding to the pulsation pumping rhythm, and by reciting it in the original cadence it could help open up your channels as well.
So what’s happening to the rest of the physical body during this time? The heart chakra is pumping the chi throughout your meridians, and it even reaches your fingers and toes which become filled with chi, “dripping with myrrh.” But this process cannot go on forever. After a certain period of time at these initial stages, the pulsation stops, the chi recedes, and you have to wait for it to start all over again. Just as Songs says, the illusory body departs and disappears, and you cannot find it. It’s gone until it reforms.
It’s like when you really empty the chi channels in the toes of all the dirty chi. They seem to deflate, the skin covering falls away, and you have to wait for a new body to form while the root chakra has chi rise out of its center like a pillar to push all this garbage away. The process repeats itself in a similar but slightly different fashion at each and every higher stage of cultivation as regards transforming the physical and illusory bodies.
When everything disappears and there is a pause, through your thought born body you can see the Buddhas (other enlightened teachers watching over you) indicating that you just have to wait and should rest and do forget about it and do something else for awhile. All the meditation work in the world cannot make the new body form faster, so just let go and forget it. One Buddha might indicate this by letting you see that he’s crossing his legs and leaning against the wall while whistling (as if waiting for something), one might act like they’re reading a book and ignoring the rest of the world, another might show himself tapping his fingers on a table as if waiting … or some other image that communicates to you that you just have to wait as your chi becomes full again. Remember that the thought born body can only see, and cannot hear, so the Buddhas have to teach you with symbolic gestures like this and you always have to figure out their meaning. In short, your chi disappears, the illusory body leaves, and you just have to wait while a new body forms of higher grade chi, which is exactly the meaning of Songs 5.6.
This process will repeat over and over this way – the new illusory body forms, you continue cultivating emptiness and letting go (and never lose the semen at this stage), the chi becomes full, the covering (skin, robe, “body like suit”) of this illusory body drops away, inside you see a mass of clear jelly chi that floats away, and then you wait again….
We’ve just described the going ons of your impure illusory body, but what’s happening to your regular human physical body during this time? It’s undergoing tremendous transformation, what Maitreya Buddha called the “big knife wind (chi).” It feels as if every muscle, tendon, joint, and cell of your body is being cut up by the real kundalini chi as it pushes through all the channels and pushes out the filth to purify them. You feel sore, tired, beaten, bruised - just awful due to these tremendous transformations. It’s nothing you cannot handle or should fear. I’m just letting you know what to expect so that you don’t think you’re doing something wrong.
That’s really all you’re doing at this stage – purifying the physical body, which is purifying the illusory body at the same time. You’re turning your physical body into a Reward body, Enjoyment body or sambhogakaya because its chi channels are becoming purified. It’s becoming renewed. Because of these transformations everywhere you feel incredibly sore, as if beaten and bruised, and it’s hard to drag yourself back to your meditation seat to get started at this process again after you’ve rested. Sometimes you even feel like you might die, but you have to do this for all sentient beings. You must start cultivating again and when you do, after a short while of returning to your meditation seat you can start the circulation all over again and the feelings will subside. But this is what happens, and is exactly the meaning of Songs 5.7.
Another aspect of this process is the fact that your sexual desire becomes extremely strong, fierce beyond measure because the real chi of the body is coming up. Whether that’s the meaning of “sick of love” or not, the fact is that your real chi is aroused and the sexual desire is immense. The sexual desire is almost unbearable but like Shakyamuni Buddha warns, if you give in to lust you can never achieve this process in a million years, for it would be like steaming sand to get rice which can never happen. The longing for sex is incredible at this stage, and perhaps this fact is or is not reflected in this poem as well. Nevertheless, sexual desire will try to grab you.
The watchmen making their rounds in Songs refers to the chi circulating everywhere in the body, going through its orbits. Watchmen walk around town checking everything, and that’s a good analogy for your yang chi going through every nook and cranny of your channels pushing this and pushing that. Everywhere it goes the “big knife wind” is transforming all your tissues and cells, and in some cases you feel like you want to die because every part of your body is sore. Every part, and I mean every part! And yet you actually long for this as a type of pleasant soreness because you know this is IT, this is the transformation of the physical nature you need which will produce an internal beautified body, just as Songs says. Not one in a million, let alone 10,000 men achieve this.
When you are also transforming the impure illusory body into the pure illusory body this happens at a much, much, much later stage. That’s the “Afterwards 3x3” of the Wu-cho talk with the Buddha Manjusri which involves cultivating the very difficult space chi of the body. You can look that up on Google for the Manjushri / Wu-cho story. The space chi is very difficult to cultivate and purify, the most difficult of all. In Songs we sometimes see reference to spices, which are flavors, and this simply means the five flavors or five types of chi that are extruded out of the chi channels during this whole process! So that explains a particular aspect of this poem that scholars have never been able to figure out. This means the earth, water, air, fire and space chi which, being chi or winds, are also like aromas.
There’s another big secret that happens when you break through to the Desire Realm Skandha by breaking through the heart chakra. I’ve never spoken of this before but have to spill the beans because of what’s in Songs. A particular Buddha has made a vow to help people reaching this stage, and so appears on the wall of the chakra and demonstrates your major cultivation fault to you (ex. a tendency to violence, clinging to the dharma, etc.) by hitting you with what I call “golden poppies.” They look like special flower buds that just pound and pound upon you without escape. There’s no way you can run away from them, beat them or avoid them. A picture of Zhunti Buddha shows what they look like on the third hand down from the sword. Even if you can think of some way to escape for several aeons from them hitting you and pounding you in unison, you will not win in the end because they will catch up to you and you realize this without a shadow of a doubt. And so by this lesson this Great Buddha Master makes you realize you have no choice but to give up your bad habits in order to progress spiritually. He points them out using his pounding poppies, and it’s up to you to change your attitude and behavior.
At this initial stage he will also let you understand that mental “afflictions” are like black wasps that need to be killed on the path of cultivation. In Buddhism these are called “afflictions” and are symbolized as wasps or pests. When you are cultivating the pure illusory body, a different insect pest is used to demonstrate afflictions and is made of clear chi at a much higher level, so the lesson is repeated again even at that high stage, for afflictions are still present even then.
Lastly, after you make your initial enlightenment vows at this stage to crack open the base of the chakra and move its chi (this is a BIG secret I just revealed – TREASURE it!), the enlightened Buddhas will come one by one and brush your forehead with their hands anointing you. It will feel as if a cool breeze is brushing upon your forehead as they line up and do this one by one to anoint you, or give you this baptism. This is a genuine stage of empowerment, but as my Teacher says it’s still not the REAL one which only happens at the tenth stage Bodhisattva level when a practitioner is ready to become a fully enlightened Buddha.
These are actual experiences that will happen to anyone who opens up the heart chakra and breaks through the conception skandha, some of which are described in the Surangama Sutra or Lotus Sutra. If you want to know the details, you have to read these sutras. I’m sorry to tell you that no other school describes this in detail. It’s not that practitioners of other schools don’t reach this far. It’s just that these school leave no teachings or guidance, so for that you have to turn to the excellence of Buddhism, which is its specialty.
To cultivate the pure illusory body far past this stage (not the impure illusory body, which is described in Songs) is extremely hard, hard, hard, hard, extremely hard, extremely difficult hard, incredibly extremely difficult hard to do, and perhaps one day I’ll write about it. If I ever got hold of Nagarjuna’s Guhyasamaja commentary, which I’m told exists (if someone sends it to me I’d be happy to pay for it), I’m sure we could find some good material to comment upon so that I could give you some teachings to match. The Tibet school locks all these treasures up and thinks they shouldn’t be taught, but this shows their own lack of wisdom. In this day and age, this is PRECISELY the information that should be taught, and you should not need to be a Tibetan to learn it. All cultivation schools have secrets, but this is not anything that can hurt you but something you should aspire towards. I’m giving you the excellence par excellence of the Yogacara-Vajrayana traditions. These are the tantric teachings of the true Esoteric school, but remember that the highest peak of the Esoteric school, its most "esoteric" secret is Zen, which uses no fixed method at all but just direct enlightenment.
At this stage of cultivating the illusory body you don’t talk about karmamudras anymore (tantric sex with dakinis, which incidentally might be a method the author used because of the allegories). Instead, to open up all the tiny chi channels in the crown chakra we must talk about making merit offerings. You can open them up by giving merit offerings to the Buddhas in a thousand different directions … you mentally point each chi channel capillary in a different direction and try to push out the chi as an offering. At this stage, imagine that the chi extrusions have to be useful to somebody and then offer it, even to the Hells where they never get such refined chi. You can even use Hubble pictures of the many galaxies in the sky everywhere, and imagine a single chi thread extending to each of these realms to make offerings out of its mouth, if that will help. You imagine that the chi pouring out of these tiny thin channels becomes gemstones, medicine, ambrosia, gold, light, and all sorts of precious things you would want to offer to the Buddhas. At the stage of the impure illusory body – heart chakra opening, when the head chakra cannot rotate anymore you can imagine that you have tiny balls of chi and you spin them in a circle on the top of the head, like balls thrown on a roulette wheel, to get it to blaze with fire after it gets stuck, but that special trick won’t work at this very high level. You might have to create your own technique other than the one I created here for you with pictures of galaxies and extending the chakra petals (chi stalks) to make offerings to Buddhas. Actually, just becoming FULL of jing and chi from sexual restraint, proper nutritious eating and around the clock cultivation, and then cultivating the breath through anapana, will open up and empty out these thousands of crown chakra nadis without you having to visualize anything at all. Don't make extra work for yourself if you can doit an easier way.
You cannot achieve any of this unless your warm kundalini is activated, and it helps to stretch out the chi channels across the universe as you imagine this. If you visualize a flame at the front of the channel you can sometimes lead the chi out of the channel when it seems stuck inside. Typically a piece of jagged chi will get caught in each channel mouth, like a serrated triangle, and you often have to wiggle it free to get it to dislodge. If you practice breathing methods of holding your breath, like the 9-bottled wind, a tiny bit of pressure at your base can help squeeze the impure chi out as well. At yet higher stages, just a tiny squeeze of the breath at the perineum can often hlep push out the chi channels, so please remember this technique. A few yoga pranayama methods teach you the basics of this, but at the stages I'm talking about you don't need a lot of effort.
Typically in Orthodox Buddhism this set of purifications is done automatically just by anapana practices rather than through visualizations, and thus it still gets done without any need of your guidance. So I’m actually explaining to you the stupid way because I’m a stupid type of guy. Nagarjuna actually expounded the Esoteric school for people who like science and think too much, and because of this bad habit of believing I must DO something rather than let things proceed naturally, since I don’t have to do anything, I’ve followed a bit of this school. Hopefully it’s to your benefit to know these things, but as Buddha explained, if you just let go and cultivate anapana breathing, you don’t have to know anything because it will all happen of itself naturally. I personally just like knowing all the details so I can teach others.
No one has revealed these secrets ever before, but you will also find your own individual way to do it if you have the merit or a great teacher. Few people ever make it this far. These teachings are rare, but freely given. The Bible, as I’m explaining, recounts a bit of this but just a small fraction of the events, and isn’t telling you how to do anything. There are no instructions whatsoever, but this is in there because someone recognized that it is indeed a cultivation text. Otherwise it wouldn’t be there. The problem is that people just cannot decipher it.
Another way to open up the head chakra tiny chi channels is to cultivate the Anapanasati Sutra, just as Buddha explained, and concentrate on your breathing rather than illusory body visualizations. This is a different method than concentrating on form, and thereby bypasses the tendency for cultivators to cling to the illusory bodies. Frankly, it’s probably a superior method. Manjushri, Maitreya, Zhunti and Vairocana all teach tantra, as well as some other Buddhas, but Shakyamuni does not like to as it’s not his high wisdom way. In any case, it’s very hard, very hard, very hard to open the crown chakra at the top of the head. It’s so hard you might not know what to do without a good teacher and it’s of particular difficulty to get the chi started moving there in the first place.
In order to open up the crown chakra and produce the pure illusory body, which involves working with the most rarified of the five elemental chi – the space chi rather than fire, earth, water or wind chi -- you need to be making “offerings” and great enlightenment vows. That’s why I’m always stressing that you must make offerings to succeed in cultivation. The pure illusory body goes through many transformations and bodily shapes as it changes, and at several stages the head chakra main stem opens up, splits apart and out ascends a beautified Buddha form of many heads and hands like you see in the unusual pictures. This actually happens. These bodies are actually wrapped within the koshas, and some yogis actualy take them as the atman, or an immortal soul body that they cultivate. The appearance of the pure illusory body is quite different than what happened and appeared as you produced a similar impure illusory body crown chakra emanation. On this I’m not going to give details.
So many bodies, so many bodies come out along this path! To explain all the steps in detail would take a book but whereas the breaking through the skandhas and generating the impure illusory body is easy to explain, though a complicated process. This second set of 3x3 purifications is almost impossible to describe with as clear an ordering. Frankly, you’re lucky you have what you have.
Everyone’s pure illusory body looks different due to their merits, the cultivation methods they’ve used, and their vows. The bodies produced are glorious and the process fascinating, not to mention tiring, but a certain stanza comes to mind from the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, which helps explain why Shakyamuni Buddha did not teach this method. No matter how much wealth in charitable offering or however many lives you offer in pursuit of the dharma, no merit is superior to a moment of true emptiness, the dharmakaya. Go read the Diamond Sutra and you’ll see what he says. It takes about an hour – you can find it on the web. So none of these bodies matter and are not worthy of clinging. They aren’t anything ultimate. They really are not the Tao. Atman is not the Tao, illusory bodies are not the Tao, forms and appearances are not the Tao.
Esoteric school proponents (Vajrayana and the tantric yoga schools) always think they have something marvelous that is missing from the Orthodox teachings, just as Jews and Christians and Moslems think they’re unique and special as well, but in the Diamond Sutra, Buddha also hinted at ignoring the Vajrayana process of transformation we’re discussion by saying that enlightenment is not found in a bodily form – whether a pure or impure illusory body. He said,
He also said: "All phenomena are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble and a shadow. Like a dew drop and a flash of lightning, Thus should you view them.”
Those are perfect descriptions of the illusory body. This is why Buddha disliked teaching these explicit tantric explanations, for as my teacher said, the big catastrophes in cultivation come from those who cultivate the Esoteric school and develop the habit of clinging to form. This happens in Taoism, tantra, yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, kabbalah practice, alchemical practices, nei gong and so on.
Although Shakyamuni said that making offerings of money, life, time and effort are not as good as attaining the Tao, nevertheless, you cannot succeed without virtue, merit, good deeds and offerings which is why I suggested that you donate a chlorinator ($265 for 3000+ people and it will last for 20 years; every day everyone in the community will use it as there’s no plumbing in Haiti) or whatever you can afford to www.haitiwater.org (the donate button is on their website) as it’s the biggest meritorious bang for the buck I can find for you. You need massive offerings like this to succeed in cultivation. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. My teacher always says the Esoteric school is extremely expensive because of the offerings required in order to succeed quickly. Okay, so if you want some merit that helps human beings and your water element, check out www.haitiwater.org. Remember that the rules for monk and layman are different; monks and nuns are excused from such things because of poverty, but layman are not.
In Songs 5.10 onwards, the author starts talking about the beauty of their illusory body and/or transformed inner chi body because this is truly a marvelous cultivation accomplishment. That’s why this Songs of Songs is in the Bible in the first place. Without achieving these attainments themselves, priests, pastors, preachers, reverends, vicars, rabbis, Torah scholars, Bible scholars, laymen, academics, intellectuals and non-cultivators won’t have a clue as to what it’s talking about. You can surround these people with a library of Biblical books and ask them to study, compare, argue and contrast, but thousands of years later they could never reveal this text’s meaning as we’ve done here.
That’s why I tell you that you always have to cultivate (meditate) to succeed in spiritual accomplishment. Ceremonies and rituals are useless, to say you are “chosen” or “saved” or have a “covenant” is ridiculous as well, to just study and take intellectual knowledge as the path is useless, to argue in debate is useless, to memorize is useless, and to become famous or rich through these means under the guise of religion is also useless. When I release my book on Christian cultivation it will certainly upset a lot of people but this is the truth – no practice, no attainment, no understanding of the inherent meaning of the texts. There is much in the New Testament, and Gnostic gospels as well, that speak of stages of cultivation, but the establishment will definitely not readily accept it. Okay, I’ve done my part for you in writing this. What more can I do but offer it? I'm laughing because if I put it in a book no one would buy it. Ha ha ha - so true, so true!
Now by this time of practice the head chakra starts shining a bit with a golden light and as the chi melts off its surface, it drips down the color of amber honey. Dirty chi pushes out the sockets of your physical eyes and ears as the physical body transforms, a process that lasts days or weeks depending upon the cultivator. It pushes out of every orifice it can find, but you want to especially push it through the bottom of the feet and toes, as well as through the various chakra spoke channels (in the heart and throat and through the third eye especially). As it pushes out of these holes it’s like a snake, worm or living plastic because it feels alive and either exudes straight out, like a bowel movement, or wiggles out like a worm. Because it’s chi, or life force, you always feel like it’s something living.
When you reach this stage, you really should be in retreat so that nothing bothers you or interrupts the process, especially exposure to anything that might cause sexual desire. The sexual desire at this stage can drive you crazy, which is why Buddha told practitioners to practice in a graveyard watching the dead bodies rot, for that would help quell the desire. As the chi traverses throughout the body, it sometime gives off an aroma and the pituitary glands secrete a sweet saliva that you (or someone who kisses you) can taste. Thus, “His mouth is full of sweetness.” You should swallow this fully.
To elucidate upon this text further, which only cultivators who have achieved the requisite gong-fu can understand, the taking off of the robe and putting it on again refers to the outer covering of chi skin that falls away from the impure illusory body like a robe when you reach this stage, which is a particular stage of cultivating through the skandhas when you also begin to recognize the ching-se, or sentient matter. Summarizing again, throughout this stage, each time the outer covering of the chi body falls away, the jelly like chi inside is revealed, rises into the sky when its covering is gone, and a new body is instantly reformed. But this is only just a very rudimentary stage of gong-fu that initially occurs when working through the conception skandha. There are many, many steps to the process and these are just some of the first few. Because the physical body’s chi is transforming furiously at this stage, you feel sore all over every cell of your body. It feels like you are being cut up by what Maitreya Buddha called a “big knife wind.” Thus, it feels beaten, bruised and sore beyond compare. The Bible is only speaking about the start of this process and skipping loads of special phenomena, though I filled in some gaps. Later Songs says that the man's body is like ivory and his legs like cedars. The Chinese describe this stage as "square, broad and stout" and Tibetan Buddhsim comments upon this as well -- after the yang chi fills all your body's chi channels, naturally the physical body becomes stronger and its shape becomes more attractive. This is why the lover is more handsome than other men; all these trasnsformations have taken place.
At this time the chi is flowing through your body, including to your hands, and the heart chakra is pulsating to pump the chi through the central channel, like peristalsis of the intestines, in order to push the chi upwards to the head and throughout all the chi channels. After it reaches fullness, the illusory body’s covering drops away, it floats off, and your chi in your physical body recedes to rest. In Song of Songs 6:2 it says “My beloved went to his garden, to the beds of spices, to graze his flock in the gardens and gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He is the one who grazes his flock among the lilies.” This refers to the fact the chi returns to its root source, and mingles with the other chakras which the author called “lilies.” Later he says he had become like the “chariots of my noble people” which also refers to the fact that the chakras spin like chariot wheels and chariots run on roads or paths like the orbital circuits of the chi channels.
In the Jewish tradition, chakras are sometimes referred to as chariot wheels, such as in Ezekiel, and the microcosmic circulation of the chi through the tu-mai and jen-mai (front and back chi channels) is called the "River Chariot" in Taoism because of the feeling of a rolling through the rotation. So the author is saying that they reached this stage and finally began the real tasnformation of jing to chi. In Buddhism, we say they reached the beginning fruit of the Path. In Taoism, this is reaching the beginning state of becoming an Immortal. Anyone who does this is considered a culture hero, and thus this cultivation account deserves inclusion in the Bible.
The whole point of this lengthy exposition is to let you see once again that the results of cultivation are non-denominational. The Jewish sages were also able to pass through this common experience just as everyone else does who reaches this stage of attainment. No people are special, no race nor religion nor creed nor nothing. That’s just the prejudice and propaganda of each group which it uses to help keep itself intact and alive. "We're special" and "we're unique" and "we're priviliged" and "we're saved and/or chosen but they are not." So the Jewish cultivation stream is certainly not in any way supreme, and neither is Christianity, Islam, Taoism or even Buddhism for that matter. As I always explain, we simply use Buddhism a lot because it offers the most detailed explanations and clearest guidance, and we skip to other schools when their explanations are better.
Where is the guidance in the Bible for what to do? The most we know is that our Jewish forefathers, like Abraham, “went out into the field” to cultivate, but we don’t know what specific meditation methods they used. That entire cultivation line is mostly cut off. Vedanta doesn’t explain these stages either, and neither does Taoism but tantric yoga practices from India do explain things, though in a polluted manner. That's the problem with tantra, as well as its over emphasis on form and clinging. Yet what the tantras explain is usually only the opening of the heart chakra, and not anything like this. If you want to know what the River Chariot rotation is like, or the real stage of jing trasnforming into chi, you have to switch from Buddhism to Taoism. Taoism, at that stage explains what happens to the physical body, but Buddhism prefers to discuss what's happening of the mind -- the cultivation of samadhi dhyana. It's just because of a difference of emphasis for the Toaists wanted an immortal physical body that would live forever and the Buddhists wanted enlightenment. In the yoga schools, pracititoners wanted a pure illusory body they could cultivate to merge with Brahman.
So unfortunately modern day rabbis, Christian priests, mullahs and other theologians will have no clue as to the meaning of these texts unless they meditate and start achieving the same states of spiritual cultivation themselves. Remember, the stages are non-denominational, no tradition is supreme. It will be very hard for Moslems, Christians and Jews to take up this road because of a resistance to the personal responsibility it lays upon you, and the fact that most rather think they have a special covenant with God, they are the chosen ones, only they will go to heaven, others are infidels, etc. etc. etc. It’s all untrue and unclear thinking which is why 99.9999999999+% of people in the world are not cultivating.
Furthermore, (1) most people of every religion don’t know the right way to spiritually practice (2) those that do know how to meditate or practice don’t put in the requisite time and effort with diligence and consistency (3) people lose their sexual energies without which this transformative process is impossible (4) you need a good teacher as well as virtue and merit for success on this path.
I’ve given you as many wisdom teachings as possible on our MeditationExpert.com site and in our books. What I really hope is that with more explanations you arouse the motivation to practice and lay a foundation for achievement so that you can succeed and help others. Now you know that the Bible, too, contains a bit of the story, just as it should. I never said otherwise, and you’d be surprised what’s in the Gnostic Gospels or how to interpret several of Jesus’s sayings in the New Testament according to cultivation knowledge, such as “Jesus answered Nicodemus, 'I can guarantee this truth: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.'" But that’s for another day.
So because I was explaining these stages of tantric development in other articles and posts, I decided to pull in another cultivation school – Judaism – to show you the same stages explained once again. Whether it can help you or not I don’t know, but at least you have yet another teaching and something to think about as regards the Song of Songs. If you want to fill in the gaps, you’ll have to backtrack and read my blog posts and special articles on tantra, the central channel, chakras, the Zhunti-Vairocana tantra, and many other related posts that speak of related issues.
Yes, the Bible does have some accounts of higher stages of cultivation, too. But can you decipher them and can you use them? If not, you better practice "benchmarking" and grab those teachings from elsewhere, as I've shown how to do here. All that matters is that you succeed, not that you "cling to the dharma" of your own tradition and thereby get nowhere. Round and round you will go if you do that, another life wasted getting nowhere.
Remember, cultivate, practice virtue and merit, and improve your behavior. Those three make this a successful life, not money which comes only as a function of past merit. Next life you won't have the money you have this life, especially if you did not practice making merit offerings, and you certainly won't have the dharma if you don't make offerings and efforts in that direction as well. It's simple karmic physics of cause and effect, action and return.
Try donating to www.HaitiWater.org and get some BIG merit for small bucks that way.
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