A Divine Revelation by the Duke of Zhou: Daily Cultivation Practice
──Divine Revelation Part 1
Date Published: 2012-4-27
【Note: On April 20, 2012, during a ritual of the worship of Heaven, the Duke of Zhou delivered a divine revelation. This article discloses part of the divine revelation by the Duke of Zhou about daily cultivation practice.】
The everyday etiquette and ceremonial for cultivation practitioners are divided into three steps:
Step 1: Respect the Universe and respect the Divine. First, learn the rules of human-Heaven etiquette and ceremonial, respect Heaven above, and be in awe of spirits and divinities, thereby even with temptation one will not dare to commit misdeeds. Spirits and divinities know everything one says and does, therefore one is bound to have some restrain, and dare not do as one pleases.
Step 2: Be filial and respectful to teachers. Only a filial person will truly honor and revere a teacher. Establish oneself in virtuous conduct, first and foremost always show filial piety to one’s parents and show reverence to one’s teacher. Don’t take it lightly, this is the fundamental philosophy of life. Do not give orders or make demands on one’s parents, speak gently when talking to them, and take good care of them. Nowadays, people do not know how to be filial to their parents. They comprehend filial as just giving some money or material things to their parents. In fact, it is not. A true filial child should be one who: ensures parents are comfortable in every single way, obey parents and cater to their pleasure, and provide nurturance to parents with food and physical care. Love one’s parents as much as one loves one’s children. Crows return regurgitation to their elderly parents just as their parents fed them regurgitated food when they were young, even crows exert utmost effort engaging in filial behavior, let alone human beings, one must reflect upon deeply. Show reverence to one’s teachers, do not be disrespectful or impolite. See one’s teacher as a father figure, behave oneself in a proper way.
Step 3: Be refined and courteous, show respect for all things. The way of treating others is observing rites above all else, the way of serving the teacher is observing rites① above all else. Between friends, keep one’s word, do not deceive each other. Between teacher and student, there must be a mutual trust, do not harbor suspicion. Observe proper hierarchical ordering by age, respect the elders and love the young.
Now, the focus of the “Three Rescues” planetary work is to lead everyone to learn to be a better person, to properly cultivate the Way of human, to fulfill one’s duties at home, to play well one’s role as an integral part of a society, and to do everything in accordance with the Way of the cosmos.
Be concern with all matters related to family affairs, national affairs, and world affairs. The Way of father, the Way of wife, the Way of child, are namely the Way of human. First conform to the Way of human, and when one goes along the Way of human, then one will be concordant with the Way of the cosmos. Otherwise, hoping to reach Heaven by a single bound will only expose oneself to ridicule. One must lay a solid foundation one step at a time. When the Way of human is well cultivated, then one will be unified with the Way of the cosmos.
Do your best to establish harmony between Heaven, Earth and human. Don’t be inclined to engage in conflict with others. This merely disrupts the balance of mind, disrupts the Way of human, and even disrupts the Way of the cosmos. The energy at each level must remain stable. The first level of energy is contained within the proper cultivation of the Way of human. The Way of human encompasses filial piety and the Way of respecting the teacher. When the energy level of the Way of human is stabilized, gradually, your own microcosm and the macrocosm will resonate at the same frequency, and it will be easy to stimulate sympathetic resonance with the cosmos. You are then in resonance conforming to the Way of the cosmos, thereby achieving cosmic interaction. This is extremely difficult.
People who are not well cultivated in the Way of human, even if they are able to resonate with the cosmos, often they do not interact with the righteous divinity. You are thereby susceptible to receiving some cosmic messages brought about by negative entities resonating at the same frequency with you.
There is a type of law in the Universe called sympathetic or correlative resonance. What is sympathetic resonance? It is two waves of the same frequency forming a resonance. That is, when your mind is in unison with the Way of the cosmos, it will form a resonance with the cosmos and directly receive energy and messages from deep in the Universe. This is called sympathetic resonance.
Sympathetic resonance can be attained through prayer, but not all requests will be granted, as it must be until after you achieve tranquility of the mind, that when your frequency and the high-dimensional frequency are coherent, only then sympathetic resonance will occur. Therefore, sympathetic resonance cannot be forced.
Why do so many people fail to receive divine messages? Because you did not remove your sins gradually, and your mind is filled with all sorts of desires and all kinds of negative messages, thereby your mind is not pure enough to resonate at the same frequency as the cosmos.
Therefore, the first step in cultivation practice should be the cultivation of mind. Cultivate until your worries are gradually reduced and you own a heart that takes pleasure in helping other, own a warm and bright heart, own a soft and calm heart, and own a heart of perseverance.
You have to learn to repent and reflect on your own mistakes everyday. Just like Master Zeng, better known as Zengzi, “I reflect on myself three times everyday.” You must have an attitude to admit mistakes and always have the courage to reflect on yourself. Live as if time hangs heavy on your hands, and carefully review your mistakes, since there is hope only for such person of ability.
The Divine’s favorite people are those who are good at self-control, those who like to reflect on themselves, and those who serve the Divine wholeheartedly. The Divine doesn’t want those who are hypocrites and pretentious, those who speak with a forked tongue, those who flatter, and let alone those who just go along for the ride. The Divine wants true cultivation practitioners, the Divine wants those who speak the truth, the Divine wants those who are down to earth and conscientious, the Divine wants those who have a heart of repentance, and the Divine wants those who are sincere about reunification with the cosmos. For those who are impenitent, the various divinities have unsympathetic attitude towards them until they wake up to reality.
We only help people who truly seek reunification. We will only give you what you want; we will not force upon you what you don’t want. Only a truly repentant soul will know that the gift of the Divine is incomparably solemn and sacred, and incomparably precious, which is rare in the world! They will be grateful, they will cherish it, and they will know how to be devoted.
Do you know how many good deeds and bad deeds have been recorded in your ledger of merit and demerit? Do you understand? You must accumulate merits, do more good deeds, help the Earth, help humankind, and help animals. A person without merits can’t go to Heaven. If there are only a few good deeds, but a lot of bad deeds in your ledger of merit and demerit, then you have to worry about your future, since even the Divine cannot help but feel for you. You will go where you are drawn by your karma, as you are inevitably responsible for your deeds, and with heavy burden of negative karma, so you have to repay the karmic debt yourself. No matter how great your supernatural power, it can’t withstand the forces of karma. You must work out your karma accordingly to eliminate all sins, and you will inevitably experience suffering. This is the path you choose for yourself, don’t blame the Divine for not reminding you.
There should be regularity of daily life. Change the habit of sleeping late. Sleeping late is unfavorable for life cultivation and health preservation, and also unfavorable for cultivating the Way. Sleeping late harms the internal organs, causes toxins to accumulate in the body, and causes blockages of the channels of vital energy, which will affect cultivation practice of the next day.
A person who truly wants to practice spirituality should fall asleep before 10 o’clock at night and wake up early in the morning. It is best to get up before 5 o’clock. Of course, the wake-up time can be adjusted to 6 o’clock or before 7 o’clock. But don’t sleep past 7 o’clock. After 7 o’clock, it is very inappropriate to continue sleeping, and carry on sleeping will harm the physical and mental health of human.
Modern human’s regular sleep-wake cycle, sleeping late and waking up late. This is the daily routine of a lazy person. This is the reverse direction of the Way of human. This is defying the law of nature of internal vital energy circulation throughout the human body.
For a person to be successful in spiritual practice, the internal vital energy flow within the human body and the energy flow within the macrocosm are to be harmoniously unified, as both are vitally interconnected, hence there have to be unity with nature and the Universe.
You should get up in the morning when the Yang energy rises. If you are still lying in bed, the rise of the Yang energy will be blocked, and for a prolonged time, it will inevitably cause various diseases in the body. When the Yang energy of your body rises, it is necessary to follow the nature, to get up for morning practice, and combine with various cultivation practices, thus allowing your microcosm to correspond to the macrocosm.
During the night, Heaven and Earth are already in the rest-activity state, thus don’t let your inner vital energy continue to circulate at vigorous state, else it goes in the opposite direction of the Way of the cosmos, and in fact it is contrary to the Way of the cosmos. When the cosmic energy diminishes, you should also put aside the task at hand, put aside your emotions of pleasure, anger, sorrow and happiness, and go to sleep with a quiescent state of mind to synchronize with the cosmic energy flow, as this is the law between the cosmos and the human body, and you must not break it. Otherwise, not to mention cultivation practice.
When the vital energy and blood circulation in your human body cannot correspond with the energy flow in the Universe, you yourself have deviated from the Way of the cosmos and unable to correspond with the cosmos. That’s why I say that sleeping late and getting up late is not only harmful to health, but also unsuitable for cultivation practitioners.
Of course, when you enter a special state of cultivation practice, it can be regarded as a different matter. In all other situations, you must follow the Way of the cosmos, so that the vital energy in your body corresponds and be concordant with the cosmic energy in the world.
Don’t deliberately violate this rule. Otherwise, your heart and the Way of the cosmos will grow further and further apart, and you won’t be able to better receive cosmic energy. When you sleep late and wake up late, the vital energy in your body is inconsistent with the flow of the macrocosm, thus the vital energy in your body has to work hard to catch up, and it will cause your body to disperse more energy and deplete even more vital essence. The ancients who cultivated immortality were no exception, they all slept early and woke up early, and even rose at cockcrow to start practicing. It is exactly this principle that is being said.
I am here today to reveal concisely to you, is to caution you time and again: The relationships between cultivation practice and daily routine, and cultivation practice and sleep are vitally interconnected and inseparable.
Cultivate the practice precisely in every moment of every day, to make every minute and every second of yours be in concordant with the Way of the cosmos, for this is the right way.
In addition, there are many commandments to be observed in life cultivation and health preservation, and will let you know some other time.
Zhou Gong’s Life and Influence
Duke of Zhou, whose year of birth and death were unknown (around 1100 BC), was a famous political philosopher and educationalist during the early Western Zhou dynasty. He was the fourth son of the founding monarch of the Western Zhou dynasty, King Wen of Zhou. He was the younger brother of King Wu of Zhou. Duke of Zhou’s surname was Ji and given name was Dan. He was also known as Shu Dan and was honored with the posthumous title Duke Wen. He was called “Zhou” because his fief was in the land of Zhou (present-day north of Qishan County, Shaanxi). He was honored as Duke of Zhou because he was the Grand Tutor, one of the three highest civil positions at that time. He assisted King Wu of Zhou successively in destroying the Shang and in ruling the kingdom. In the “Great Tradition of the Book of Documents (Shangshu Dazhuan)”, his political accomplishments were commended and summarized as: “The first year, [he] rescued [the kingdom] from chaos. The second year, [he] subdued [the King of] Yin. The third year, [he] trampled the Yan. The fourth year, [he] established the Marquess of Wei. The fifth year, [he] built up [King] Cheng’s Zhou [dynasty]. The sixth year, [he] developed rites and music. The seventh year, [he] handed over the rulership to King Cheng.” After the suppression of Wu Geng (who was Prince Zhou of Shang), King Wu of Zhou’s brothers Uncle Guan, Uncle Cai and Uncle Huo, and the eastern armed rebellions in a military campaign, Duke of Zhou “developed rites and composed music” and formulated and improved various systems such as the patriarchal system and the feudal system, and the slavery system of the Western Zhou was further consolidated.
Taking the fall of the Shang dynasty and armed rebellion events such as the “three uncles” as lessons, Duke of Zhou attached importance to political and moral education, governance education, and industrious education of slave owners, aristocrats and their children. He demanded “respecting morality and protecting the populace”, “matching Heaven with virtue”, “strengthening morality and punishing with discreet”, “possessing filiality and morality”, “learning the difficulty of farming””and so forth. He fully advocated the educational effects of “Odes” and “Announcements” on slave owners and commoners. In principal, he proposed meritocracy under which the appointment of government officials were to be based on their performance, as measured through examination or demonstrated achievement. Throughout his life, he emphasized on being courteous to the worthy and learned persons, respecting the virtuous and talented persons, and being kind to those who come your way. Duke of Zhou’s speeches and commentaries were included in certain chapters of the “Book of Documents”, such as the “Great Announcement”, “Numerous Officers”, “Against Luxurious Ease”, and the “Establishment of Government.”
Since the Spring and Autumn period, Duke of Zhou had been regarded as a sage by rulers and scholars of the past dynasties. Confucius revered the Duke of Zhou, looked up to the Duke of Zhou’s political career, and praised the Duke of Zhou’s talents “The splendid talents of the Duke of Zhou.” “How I have declined! It has been such a long time since I dreamed of the Duke of Zhou.” Mencius was the first to revere Duke of Zhou as an “ancient sage.” It is apparent that the Duke of Zhou and Confucius were both highly respected. Xunzi regarded the Duke of Zhou as the great Confucian, and praised the Duke of Zhou’s virtue and talent in “The Teachings of the Confucians”. During the Han dynasty, Liu Xin and Wang Mang renamed “The Offices of the Zhou” to “Rites of the Zhou”, believing that it was the work of the Duke of Zhou, which was his achievement during the peaceful and prosperous period of Western Zhou dynasty, and placed the Duke of Zhou’s status above Confucius. During the Tang dynasty, Han Yu deeply opposed to Buddhism but vigorously advocated the Confucian orthodoxy and put forward the unified order of Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen, Wu, Duke of Zhou, Confucius, and Mencius. Since then, people had often referred to the Duke of Zhou and Confucius together, and in education there had been a concept of “The Teachings of the Duke of Zhou and Confucius”. In short, it was said that Confucius must be comparable to the Duke of Zhou, which was the situation in which the Duke of Zhou was respected in ancient times. In addition to certain political needs, this kind of respect reflected the ancient people’s cherishment of the excellent traditional culture and education of the Western Zhou dynasty, as well as their sincere reverence for the great man Duke of Zhou. This had played a positive role in the propagation, inheritance, and development of the excellent cultural education of the Chinese nation in history.
Duke of Zhou was a great statesman in ancient Chinese history, and also an outstanding representative of the pioneering period of ancient Chinese education. Confucius and the Duke of Zhou were closely related in educational thoughts and practices. Duke of Zhou lived more than 3,000 years ago, and he played a great role in the development of ancient Chinese education. If Confucius was the great founder of ancient Chinese education, then the Duke of Zhou was the great pioneer of ancient Chinese education.