Yellow Emperor's Canon - Chapter One

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Yellow Emperor's Canon
Chapter One
Chapter Two
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Ancient thoughts on How to Maintain Natural, Health and Energy

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Why could people in ancient times, live to be over a hundred, without showing any signs of aging, but today people look and feel old at fifty?"

QiBo answered, "People in ancient times knew the Dao and understood how to preserve health by following the laws of yin and yang. They were moderate in drinking and eating, had regular schedules for work and rest and avoided overstraining. That's how they maintained harmony between their Shen and body, and lived so long.

People today, have no set time for work and rest. They drink too much and often indulge in sexual pleasure after drinking, depleting their JingQi and wasting their ZhengQi. They rarely try to preserve JingQi and don't know how to regulate their Shen, they too often give-in to sexual desires. And therefore look and feel old at fifty."

Ancient people knew the importance of avoiding Weak-Evil and Wind-Evil and keeping their minds free from insatiable greed and excessive daydreaming. That way their ZhengQi was harmonized, their spirit was contained and diseases did not occur.

These kinds of people were and still are stable, content, at peace and without any fear. They worked but never overstrained, allowing Qi to flow smoothly.

Satisfied with their lives and enjoying their food, natural and comfortable clothes and simple social customs, they did not desire high positions and lived simple and natural lives. And, so, unhealthy habits never tempted them. Whether ignorant or intelligent, virtuous or without virtue they feared nothing.

Behaving in accordance with the Dao is the reason why they could live to be over one hundred without any signs of aging. Having followed the Dao they enjoyed long lives free from disease.

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Most old people cannot produce offspring, is this because CaiLi is depleted or is it just the natural development of the body?"

QiBo answered, "The body goes through cycles, generally speaking:

For women,

  • At seven, Kidney-Qi flourishes and new teeth begin to grow.
  • At fourteen, Tiangui begins to appear, Ren Channel and Chong Channel work vigorously. Menstruation begins. She is able to bear children.
  • At twenty-one, kidney-Qi is full and wisdom teeth begin to grow, the body is fully developed.
  • At twenty-eight, muscles and bones are strong.
  • At thirty-five, the YangMing Channel starts to decline, her face becomes dry.
  • At forty-two, the Three Yang Channels are deficient in both blood and Qi, aging starts to show in her face and her hair begins turning white.
  • At forty-nine, both the Ren Channel and Chong Channel become deficient and menopause begins, her body becomes week and she is no longer able to bear children.

For men,

  • At eight, Kidney-Qi flourishes and new teeth begin to grow.
  • At sixteen, Kidney-Qi is abundant and Taingui occurs, he is able to impregnate females.
  • At twenty-four, Kidney-Qi is full, muscles and bones are strong, wisdom teeth appear and his body is fully developed.
  • At thirty-two, muscles and bones are well developed and very strong.
  • At forty, Kidney-Qi declines, his hair begins to thin and his teeth become weaker.
  • At forty-eight, Yang-Qi over his upper body collapses, aging starts to show in his face and his hair begins turning white.
  • At fifty-six, Liver-Qi declines, his muscles become stiff.

As Tiangui deteriorates and Kidney-Qi is reduced the kidneys are weakened and so is his body, his teeth and hair begin to fall out. The kidneys control water and receive and store Jing from the five Zang-Organs and six Fu-Organs. So, when all eleven organs are strong and active the kidneys have enough jing to discharge. But, now the five Zang-Organs have declined, the bones become weak and the Tiangui is exhausted, his hair turns white and his coordination declines. He walks with difficulty and is unable to have children."

The Yellow Emperor asked, "How come some very old people can still have children?"

QiBo answered, "They know the ways of preserving health and they save their jing, so they have a longer life-span than others. Their Qi and blood are always smooth in circulation and their Kidney-Qi remains abundant, that's why. Generally, these men still loose the ability to have children, but not until sixty-four and the women still loose the ability at forty-nine."

The Yellow Emperor asked, "Can those who have mastered the Dao still have children after they are over a hundred years old?"

QiBo answered, "Those who have mastered the Dao enjoy good health and show no signs of aging, so they can still have children even when very old."

The Yellow Emperor noted, "I've heard of Immortals in ancient times that grasped the laws of nature. They followed the principals of yin and yang, breathing fresh air and cultivating their spirits, so their life-span was as long as Heavens and Earths. That was their Dao of life.

In mid-ancient times, there were Perfect People who possessed the highest degree of mortality and the principles of cultivating health. They abided to the cycles of yin and yang, adapted to the changes of the seasons, abandoned worldly desires, avoided distractions and roamed both Earth and Heaven. They could see and hear beyond the eight directions. These people were similar to immortals.

The third type of people were the Sages, capable of living in harmony in the realm between Heaven and Earth. Adapting to the wind from the eight directions. In daily life they could properly meet there interest and tackle their desires. Their minds were free from anger and discontent.

They didn't draw them selves away from worldly customs and they often wore luxurious clothes, but never followed the behavior or ordinary people. Physically, they tried never to exhaust their bodies; mentally, they freed themselves from anxiety. Peace and happiness were their goals in life and self-contentment was their sign of achievement. Their bodies rarely weakened and their spirits never were subject to exhaustion. That was why they could live over a hundred years.

The fourth type of people were Virtuous People who followed the laws of Heaven and Earth. They imitated the changes of the sun and moon and followed the order of the stars. They adhered to the cycles of yin and yang and the practice of the immortals from ancient times. In this way they prolonged their lives.