The Hundred Character Tablet
By Lu Dongbin
Translated by Jill Gonet, MFA
Qi Magazine, 2017, Volume 27, No. 3, p.44-51
"Guidance and Instruction on Internal Cultivation by Lu Donbin"
"To nourish the vital breath, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and consistent must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomenon, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of water and fire are joined.
Yin and yang arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and com to assemble at the peak;
Sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallowing for yourself this wine of immortality,
You wander so freely - who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings,
Clearly understanding the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven!"
"Nurturing energy, forget words and guard it.
Conquer the mind, do non-doing.
In activity and quietude, know the source progenitor.
There is no thing; whom else do you seek?
Real constancy should respond to people;
In responding to people, it is essential not to get confused.
When you don't get confused, your nature is naturally stable;
When your nature is stable, energy naturally returns.
When energy returns, Elixir spontaneously crystallizes,
In the pot pairing water and fire.
Yin and yang arise, alternating over and over again,
Everywhere producing the sound of thunder.
White clouds assemble on the summit,
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain.
Having drunk the wine of longevity,
You wander free; who can know you?
You sit and listen to the stringless tune,
You clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
The whole of these twenty verses
is a ladder straight to heaven."
- Master Chang San-Feng
100 Character Tablet, Translated by Thomas Cleary