Settle Mind-will in Lower Elixir Field
To set the first step of restoring pre-Heaven nature and life force you must learn to know how to discipline the heart. First of all, get rid of all stray thoughts before this silent exercise, then loosen the clothes to free the flow of blood and Qi. In short, impose no constraints whatever upon the body.
Sitting silently, legs crossed, fingers interlocked with each other, two hands gently laying before the lower abdomen with palms facing upwards. In this way you begin the long expedition of pursuit of Tao. Your form should be straight like a dead trunk and your heart recede into silence, till it becomes as unconscious of all things as the dead ashes which have passed through ordeals of thousands of years. Turn down your eyesight upon the tip of your nose while moderately close your eyelids to a proper extent: you should not shut up the eyes thoroughly lest you should be sleepy and spirits drift away, yet you should not fully open your eye lest the eye light should drift away. The most appropriate way to get this effect is to tenderly lower your eyelids and view the tip of your nose and settle your mind-will upon a spot in the middle between your two eyes. By this means you can eradicate the myriad of thoughts from just the very beginning.
Get legs crossed, the right shank located on the left (which is to see right shank inside while the left outside), place both hands in front of the lower abdomen, palms upwards, left hand below, right above, the thumb of left nestling against the forefinger. The right hand, in the same way, naturally laying above the right--which is called the yang hugging yin, in Chinese-yoga jargon.
Once in my early days of being a new practitioner, I put a question, saying, "After so long time of perusal of the scriptures and canons about the means to cleansing heart, I am becoming much more puzzled at the psychical rays. What is it after all? What use actually is it? Apart from that, where does the pre-Heaven nature come from? In reverence I am here begging for the truth!"
My master replied, "pre-Heaven nature, the noumenon of the heart, comes from infinite emptiness. pre-Heaven life force, taking residence in the kidney, arises from infinite stillness. The pre-Heaven mind-will serves as the master of the pre-Heaven nature. Viewing the lower elixir field for a certain length of time you will unconsciously perceive the psychical rays emerging little by little, then again some time later, the pre-Heaven nature gradually blending up with the life force till the two merge into one."
"I have the honor to hear your lecturing to our fellow-practitioners in concern of the silent-sitting, you said that before and during silent-sitting the practitioners should give up all stray thoughts, and gaze inward at the emptiness of lower elixir field, would you explain more concretely, my master?"
My master replied, "To
survey the emptiness of lower elixir field with an inward gaze while not
to be lost in it is a correct method; meanwhile, to be lost in it is a
false one. The psychical rays are screened and buried in oblivion always,
for you don't know how to bring your mind-will to emptiness and let it
remain still and motionless. Silently seeing the lower elixir field inwardly
for a long time, with your mind-will settling upon the emptiness, gradually
you will be conscious of the existence of pre-Heaven Qi in the
region below the heart and above the kidney, in which region, as the chance
matures, the Mysterious Pass will come on the scene. The emptiness without
psychical rays coming from the Mysterious Pass is called dead emptiness;
while that with psychic rays lively emptiness, in which we set about cultivating
true self. "