CAO DAI ESOTERIC PRACTICE
TEACHINGS of BÁT NƯƠNG DIÊU TRÌ CUNG 
PSYCHIC: TỪ HUỆ 
YEAR of THE GOAT - 1979
TRANSLATOR: TỪ CHƠN
_ Definition of Tinh- Khí- Thần
_ Converting Tinh into Khí
_ Converting Khí into Thần
_ Converting Thần back to Hư
_ Two different ways of practice
_ Converting Tinh into Khí
_ Converting Khí into Thần
_ Converting Thần back to Hư
_ Genuine esoteric practice
Bát Nương’s comment after this book was completed:
“Those who led an extremely good life in their previous incarnations or who are predestined by God find it absolutely interesting to read this book. Reading it many times, thinking twice about it, and thus gaining a good insight into it, they will be greatly resolved to begin practicing diligently. Consequently, they will reach the target.
Those who are not predestined, on the other hand, feel worried, doubting that they might be deceived by a false doctrine. Therefore, they shy away immediately.”
BÁT NƯƠNG DIÊU TRÌ CUNG
Midnight 14-15, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
To grant your request as well as to fulfill my promise, from now on, Từ Huệ performs “chấp bút” nightly, and via his writing I will teach you esoteric practice – that is, how to unite your three precious parts: your body, your mind and your soul.
To date, His Holiness Hộ Pháp has not taught anyone the complete strategy - except only a few disciples its sketchiest form. Only when a disciple is admitted to Trí Huệ Cung will he be taught the thorough lesson. I have not taught anyone either. However, due to your former moral incarnations, your good luck, and your predestination, I, with the permission of His Holiness Hộ Pháp, will teach you now. Later, you will return to Vạn Pháp Cung and teach those with highly developed spirits.
Why do you have to practice this in Vạn Pháp Cung? His Holiness Lý Giáo Tông and His Holiness Hộ Pháp chose Vạn Pháp Cung for male disciples because it is the holy land with a lot of Yang Chi, which makes it possible for you to absorb heavenly energy.
From now on, every night I will show you how to practice esotericism. At the end of the course, Từ Huệ will rearrange my teachings for practicing purpose.
Esoteric practice is neither easy nor difficult. Its outcome depends on your will power. Your former incarnations also play a vital role in the process. If predestined, you will be instructed by a genuine master, who will elaborate on how to practice. In addition to the genuine master, you should be patient enough to pursue your aim.
Esoteric practice is Cao Dai believers’ third approach to return to Heaven. You can also take the first approach - that is, joining Cửu Trùng Đài to do missionary work that helps you return to God “after” your death. The second approach is joining Phước Thiện to do charity work. This way also provides you with a good path to unite with God “after” you die. The third approach is practicing esotericism under the instructions from Hiệp Thiên Đài. Only a few people with good ancient root can take this approach to return to God “before” they die.
The major obstacles to esoteric practice are whether you have a strong desire to do it and whether you absolutely believe God. However, you can overcome those difficulties easily. Do you remember a Cao Dai prayer: “Tao originates in the combination of sincerity and belief in God”? Since Tao is the heavenly magic, God’s holy authority which regulates the universe and the holy positions for Nguyên Nhân, Quỉ Nhân and Hoá Nhân in heaven. To learn Tao, understand Tao and practice esotericism in order to achieve the target, you must be extremely sincere and absolutely believe God. As a result, God will grant your request.
Similarly, current astronomers sincerely believe in the existence of billions of heavenly bodies in the universe, so they try to find the way to prove it. Their belief will finally lead to success. They get to those planets or starts by spacecraft. On the contrary, by practicing esotericism, we come there by our own magic spirit. Different strategies, same purpose!
The process of esoteric practice does not last some days. A course lasts a hundred days. Failing a course, you should take some rest before starting again from scratch. Continue until you reach the target.
In the old days, many people did practice esotericism, but few succeeded because they were not diligent enough to pursue their objective.
Midnight 15-16, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
A disciple must complete two phases, which are Nhơn Đạo and Thiên Đạo, before entering the phase of esotericism. Nhơn Đạo means fulfilling your personal moral obligations and Thiên Đạo means taking responsibility for caring for other people. If you meet these responsibilities, you pay off all your debts in your previous incarnations as well as your current debts. You could have borrowed many things in your former incarnations, and in your current incarnation, you also owe your parents and your mother country, not to mention the intentional and unintentional debts.
To fulfill Nhơn Đạo, male disciples must respect the three social relationships and perfect the five personal qualities. Female disciples must obey the three family codes and the women’s code of conduct.
To fulfill Thiên Đạo, male and female must give up secular life, becoming priests and teaching people Cao Dai doctrine.
Similarly, His Holiness Hộ Pháp said, “It is imperative that a disciple achieve the three good deeds to be admitted to Trí Huệ Cung.” This establishment will pay off your debts from your former incarnations. Only when you owe to nobody can you then have a good place in the Heaven.
1. The first deed:
- Your own responsibility: perfecting yourself according to the teachings of Confucius.
- Working for Cao Dai organizations: joining Cửu Trùng Đài to teach Cao Dai doctrine. This is also called “working for God”.
2. The second deed:
- Individually: following the teachings of Confucius.
- Work for Cao Dai organizations: joining Phước Thiện to support the poor and Cao Dai organizations.
3. The third deed:
- Teaching or publishing books on Cao Dai doctrine, convincing people to behave ethically so that they can return to Heaven.
Completing the three deeds mentioned above (or one of them) is a prerequisite for a disciple to be admitted to Trí Huệ Cung or Vạn Pháp Cung. However, there is an exception: a permission granted by Cao Dai Church. The optimum time for esoteric practice is between the ages of 40 and 60. There should be a good practice schedule in Trí Huệ Cung and Vạn Pháp cung for the best results.
Esoteric practice involves training your physical body, your mind and your soul, which Cao Đài calls the “three jewels”, so that they merge into a unit. In the old days, ancient priests said, “Convert your body (Tinh) into mind (Khí), convert the mind into soul (Thần) and bring the soul back to nothingness.”
Tinh is the human physical body. Whatever name it is called, it is literally your body, which is a visible material entity. It is composed of a head, a torso, two arms and two legs. Inside are the internal organs. Current anatomists can examine each part of the body. Using an electron microscope, they can even see the nucleus of a tiny cell. Now they know that the human body is composed of billions of continuously active cells. Those cells are changing all the time to keep the body alive.
Generally, those cells are influenced by the weather. Besides, absorbing the essence of materials to support themselves, they are also affected by the digested materials. Pure materials result in a pure body while impurity materials produced an impure one. Pure food makes intelligent and determined humans; otherwise, it makes stupid people who are nothing less than gamblers, drinkers, sex maniacs and drug abusers. Pure materials include grains, fruits and vegetables. Impure materials are meat, fish, crabs and shells. An esoteric practtioner with a pure body can be easily successful in practicing esotericism, so you should completely purify your body by having vegetarian diet.
Khí is the human mind, composed of a visible and an invisible part.
The visible part is the head and the brain. The brain controls human consciousness. The brain is inside the skull whose top is “mỏ ác”. Between “mỏ ác” and the brain is Nê Hườn Cung. In front of it is the forehead. Inside the brain and between the forehead and the brain is Huệ Quang Khiếu, which is between the eyes.
The invisible part includes Nê Hườn Cung and Huệ Quang Khiếu. Like air, they are unseen. You realize there is air because you see the winds blowing and the clouds floating. Similarly, you know there are Nê Hườn Cung and Huệ Quang Khiếu because you know that the world’s greatest persons and Buddha, who achieve extraordinary enlightenment, have great thoughts or inventions.
Thần is the soul. It is invisible, but you realize its existence because you know you surely die unless you have a soul.
In summary, Tinh is your body. You cannot exist without your body. In addition, you are only a motionless mass of material unless you have a soul. The soul brings you to life. However, even with the body and the soul, you are only an insane without your mind. Those who lack one of those three parts are either dead or insane. That is why they are called the “three jewels”.
Now, I am discussing why and how you practice esotericism.
1. CONVERTING TINH INTO KHÍ:
Why should you convert Tinh into Khí? This conversion is a process of serious training. Why should you train? Since your body can be either pure or impure, depending on what you eat, you need to purify it. Besides, inside your bodies are the organs, which generate your emotions, causing you to lead a life of sin. As a result, your soul is trapped in the material world and it becomes too hard for your soul to return to God.
A vegetarian diet, which is a good method of body purification, produces a healthy and pure body. The healthier your body becomes, the wiser you are. Only when you possess such a good body can you have noble ideas. In short, “converting Tinh into Khí” means feeding your brain with the essence of your body. In other words, the purified body “evaporates and changes” into a sort of “gas” called Âm Dương Khí. This gas, in turn, is conveyed to the brain. Enriched by this gas, the brain facilitates human enlightenment. Enlightenment is Khí, so to speak.
- To have a pure body, you should get rid of human desires, i.e. the seven feelings and the six desires.
- To have a purified body, you should have vegetarian meals and give up your own lust.
Human bodies are created from materials. That is a process from nothingness to existence. Similarly, the universe originates in nothingness, which changes into Thái Cực, which changes into Lưỡng Nghi, which changes into Tứ Tượng, which changes into Bát Quái, which changes countless times to create the universe. Everything in the material world must change in accordance with God’s law of construction and destruction. Human bodies are composed of billions of cells working together to keep the body alive. Those cells themselves have their own lives, absorb universe energy called Tiên Thiên Khí and food called Hậu Thiên Khí. Tiên Thiên Khí combines with Hậu Thiên Khí to support life.
Daily exercises help boost internal organs’ performance, bringing Tiên Thiên Khí and Hậu Thiên Khí to the remotest cells. In fact, your daily activities such as walking, thinking, and working are also exercises. However, that is not enough. Morning and evening exercises are the best supplements.
Tiên Thiên Khí is the universe energy; Hậu Thiên Khí is the material essence. Scientifically speaking, materials are red blood cells, which absorb air in your lungs, refining themselves and transporting oxygen around the body. Every day, Tiên Thiên Khí combines with Hậu Thiên Khí through the process of your respiration and digestion. Then, your daily activities help transport nutrition and oxygen around the body, but they cannot do so to the remotest tiny cells, especially the brain cells. Morning and evening exercises help boost better blood circulation. In Trí Huệ Cung or Vạn Pháp Cung, a strict exercise schedule should be arranged for the best result.
Midnight 16-17, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
To purify your body, you have to eliminate the six desires and the seven feelings. It is essential that you know what they are before you can eliminate them. It takes a long time to eliminate them because your soul is trapped as if an addict depends on drugs or a gambler is attracted by casinos. You should have an intense will power to get rid of them.
Now, let us discuss the six desires and the seven feelings. First, the six desires originate in a process in which lục căn encounter lục trần, then both of which generate lục thức. After that, lục thức encounter lục trần, which generate lục dục or the six desires.
The six desires generate the seven feelings, which are joy, anger, love, hate, sorrow, satisfaction and desire. Desire is the most important. Those who can control their desire will become Buddha’s, Saints or gods. Humans possess the seven priceless feelings, so they are superior to animals. The six desires and the seven feelings are both advantageous and disadvantageous because they can help people return to Heaven as well as push them into Hell. God permits humans to be superior to animals by granting humans the six desires and the seven feelings. Simultaneously, God grants humans a divine ray of light that helps them decide how to behave. Those who follow the instructions of the divine ray of light will go to Heaven; otherwise, they go to Hell. That divine ray of light is called conscience.
All human behaviors caused by the six desires and the seven feelings are judged by conscience. Conscience tells people whether those behaviors are right or wrong. Right behaviors lead the way to Heaven; wrong behaviors send people to Hell. Then, it is people who choose to do either the right or the wrong things. However, it is difficult to differentiate between right and wrong because they are so close to each other. You can easily be confused! Humans are superior to animals thanks to that tiny difference!
How do the six desires and the seven feelings turn humans into a life of vice? Through your eyes, you see the beauty of the material world then you grow so fond of it that you really want to possess it. Through your ears, you hear the pleasant sounds and then you really want them. Human desires and natural justice are opposed on each other. Natural justice is right; human desires are wrong. Natural justice is holy; human desires are sinful. They are undifferentiated and confusing. It is conscience that determines which is holy and which is sinful.
Consciousness represents your body and is controlled by conscience. Conscience represents your soul. Your soul needs your body because your body can act in the visible material world. Your earthly activities will decide your holy position in Heaven. Your body, however, is influenced by secular attractions so much that it is hard for your conscience to control your body’s actions.
Your soul is natural justice or holiness. It is difficult to tell whether something is holy or worldly. Holiness and worldliness or right and wrong mix well with each other. Sometimes holiness surpasses worldliness and vice versa.
Your conscience helps decide whether something is holy or sinful. Nevertheless, your consciousness may either obey or oppose your conscience. Therefore, if it obeys your conscience, your soul will fly off to Heaven. If it opposes, your soul may be banished to Hell. Heaven and hell, holiness and worldliness, blessedness and sin are differentiated by an extremely thin layer.
So far, I am sure you are confused by religious terminology. I will scientifically explain some terms to you.
- Ông Trời or God means the King of Heaven. This term is commonly used.
- Đức Chí Tôn or God. This term is used by Cao Đài followers.
- Soul means one of the three parts of a person: body, consciousness and soul. Body is physical, consciousness is semi-physical and soul is invisible. These combine to form an ordinary man.
- Vạn Linh or Chơn Linh describe people’s spirits in the afterlife. This term is used by Cao Đài followers.
- Chơn Thần means people’s spirits after they achieve their religious goal before their death. Cao Đài followers use this term in the process of esotericism.
- The divine ray of light or conscience. Cao Đài followers use this term to refer to the soul’s wisdom.
- Consciousness. Cao Đài followers use this term to refer to the body’s intelligence.
So, your soul is represented by the divine ray of light or conscience while your body is represented by consciousness.
During the process of esoteric practice, you should know how important conscience and consciousness are in order to be successful. Conscience is like a horseman and consciousness is like a horse.
The horseman and the horse are two but one. They both can reach their destination due to their mutual support. That means they are so important and tightly connected.
Conscience and consciousness are both equally wise. Conscience supports your soul while consciousness supports your physical body. Conscience is honest and unselfish; consciousness is selfish. Conscience wants to serve people; consciousness wants its own benefit.
Conscience is the horseman; consciousness is the horse. Unless conscience wisely controls consciousness, neither of them can go straight to the destination.
Therefore, conscience has to control consciousness as if a horseman controls a horse. There are many ways to control a horse, so there are many ways for conscience to control consciousness.
To this point, I think I have enlightened you a little. Having some enlightened opinions, you can easily get rid of the six desires. I will have some more explanations in case you might still be confused.
People on earth always think of a plan or have an idea before they really act. Therefore, opinion precedes action. Opinion means the horse; action means jumping about. Opinion plus action leads to nowhere. The horse alone is useless. The horse is only useful with a horseman. Therefore, it will work if conscience is added to opinion and action.
From the formula: the six roots of sense + the six objects → the six consciousness’s → the six desires, you can deduce a person’s natural process. When someone sees a gold nugget, he immediately knows it is a valuable thing and he, at the same time, has a strong desire to possess it. This process is composed of consciousness and action or the horse jumping around. As a result, this action is wrong or evil. The horse had better need a horseman or conscience.
Now conscience joins the process, saying: you should not be greedy. That nugget is not yours, so it is not good to take it. If you follow conscience, you are on your best behavior. Your good behaviors can eliminate the six desires. However, it is never easy to get rid of your six desires. It is a bitter struggle between conscience and consciousness or between good and evil.
You should take notice of the following things to differentiate between good and evil and fight until your conscience wins.
Conscience is so wise; consciousness is also so clever.
Conscience is selfless; consciousness is selfish.
Conscience is holy; consciousness is secular.
Conscience is good; consciousness is evil.
Good has its own argument, and so does evil. Consequently, they hardly harmonize with each other. Only when you get consciousness to harmonize with conscience than can you reach the Way in religion.
So clever is consciousness that it always does anything it can to possess things for enjoyment. Consciousness wants to pick up the gold nugget for its own possession, but conscience has stopped it. Nevertheless, consciousness can either follow or oppose it. Consciousness can justify itself by reasoning that you should take the nugget, for you are currently poor. The nugget will not only help you out this time but also give you some extra money. If you do not pick up the nugget, someone else - maybe a criminal – will do it. The argument is simple, yet so practical that conscience almost gives up fighting.
However, wise conscience continues arguing to prevent consciousness: You should not take the gold nugget because it does not make any sense to use it as a decoration. If you spend it, it is not worth the trouble nor last your whole life. You had better think about the person who has lost it. He must have been so miserable because it is what he had saved for a long time for his future sickness or retirement. You should not have saddened such a man!
Conscience’s argument is simple, but very convincing. If consciousness follows conscience, the gold nugget will not be taken.
Consciousness may still have more arguments: somebody else may take the gold nugget if you do not take it. You had better take it without spending it. You can put an ad in the local paper and return it to the owner when he comes. If nobody comes, you can give it to a charity. That sounds like a good idea now, so conscience agrees. However, after taking the gold nugget, there is no ad at all. Then, later the nugget may be spent on solving a family financial problem!
Consciousness and conscience still have more arguments for more fights. If conscience succeeds, good wins; otherwise, evil wins.
It is you who decide whether good or evil wins this battle. Conscience wins; you go to Heaven. Consciousness wins; you go to Hell. It is up to you!
Midnight 17-18, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
Last night, I discussed the six desires. Tonight, I talk about the seven feelings. They are: joy, anger, love, hate, sorrow, satisfaction and desire. Of the seven feelings, desire is the most important. It can make you either a Buddha or the Devil. The six desires generate the seven feelings, which, in turn, generate lust, hatred and delusion. Remember that cupidity is bottomless. A starving man wants to eat first. Being full, he wants some beautiful clothes to wear, and then he wants more and more things, even jewelry to adorn himself. If he cannot satisfy himself, he feels so hatred of everyone that, consequently, he behaves badly and commits sins.
It is safe to say that lust, hatred and delusion result from desire. Desire can make you the Devil, so you lead an evil life, having to be trapped in the eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth. Nevertheless, desire can also make you a Buddha if you think about it and know which feelings should be abandoned. Desire should be eliminated so that it does not breed lust, hatred and delusion.
In Cao Đài, God has symbolized the strategy of esoteric practice in Tây Ninh Temple which very few disciples can realize. Enter Tây Ninh Temple, pass Hiệp Thiên Đài, and turn around to see the three lotus chairs. The middle one is for His Holiness Hộ Pháp; the left one is for His Holiness Thượng Sanh and the right one is for His Holiness Thượng Phẩm.
A seven-head snake twists around the three lotus chairs to represent the combination of Tinh, Khí and Thần. Its seven heads symbolize the seven feelings.
Other religions’ disciples practice esotericism by trying to eliminate the seven feelings. In Cao Đài, however, God teaches you to eliminate only four feelings, which are anger, sorrow, hate, and desire and keep the others which are joy, satisfaction and love.
His Holiness Hộ Pháp steps on two snakeheads and presses down on other two. The three others rise and look at His Holiness Hộ Pháp’s Nê Hườn Cung. You can only see these three heads when He sits down. That His Holiness Hộ Pháp sits downs represents the phase of converting Tinh into Khí. He stands up when Khí has changed into Thần. Thần returns to Hư when He walks to Cung Đạo to see God or your soul unites with God.
Thus, His Holiness Hộ Pháp does not stand up until after a Cao Đài service has started. The four snakeheads under His hands and feet are anger, sorrow, hate and desire. The three rising heads are joy, satisfaction and love.
Why do three joy, satisfaction and love snakeheads rise and look at His Holiness Hộ Pháp’s Nê Hườn Cung? Because humans are God’s images. God is eternal joy, love and satisfaction. Love is never bad. Anger is bad because it breeds lust, hatred and delusion, which send people to Hell. God says “I father love, which is the key to Heaven”.
The six desires and the seven feelings make you greedy and selfish. If you want something, but cannot possess it, you get overwhelmed by lust, hatred and delusion. If you want something for others, you are altruistic. Altruism does not generate lust, hatred and delusion.
God loves humans or his children. Since humans have been trapped in the cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth too many times to return to their previous heavenly positions, God consecutively established various religions for the ultimate goal of salvation.
The time all God’s children come back to Heaven or humans unite with God is the happiest time, not the sorry one. That is why Cao Đài esoteric practice teaches disciples to eliminate four feelings (anger, sorrow, hate and desire), not all of the seven feelings (anger, sorrow, hate, desire, joy, satisfaction and love).
His Holiness Hộ Pháp said in his book How to Train Yourself.
“You should treat all life with the same consideration.
You should be kind-hearted and tolerant.
You should not be selfish.
You should be calm. You should not let extreme emotions badly affect yourself.
You should be happy, moderate and self-controlled.
You should consult your conscience before any actions.
You should always obey and respect God the Father and Goddess the Mother.”
Thus, His Holiness Hộ Pháp does not eliminate all of the seven feelings, but controls and regulates them. That is what you should do to purify yourself or to convert Tinh into Khí.
Midnight 18-19, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism. Tonight, I talk more about converting Tinh into Khí.
I mentioned earlier that there are three lotus chairs for His Holiness Hộ Pháp, Thượng Sanh and Thượng Phẩm in Tây Ninh Temple. Behind the middle chair for His Holiness Hộ Pháp is the word KHÍ written in Chinese Vietnamese. Khí means Tiên Thiên Khí or energy from Hỗn Ngươn Khí or the air, which belongs to Hộ Pháp.
Khí acts as an intermediary between Tinh and Thần. Khí gets the energy from Hỗn Ngươn Khí through Nê Hườn Cung to nourish the brain. Khí also gets Âm Dương Khí from Đơn Điền to nourish the brain. Hỗn Ngươn Khí combines with Âm Dương Khí to form a bright light, which focuses on and opens Huệ Quang Khiếu. As soon as your Huệ Quang Khiếu opens, you reach your religious target.
I am talking more about convert Tinh into Khí.
Due to eating, earthly men commit too many sins. Owing to talking, they produce too much anger. To avoid committing those sins, it is nothing better than to eat and to talk less.
That is why ancient priests ate once a day. They even ate no food at all. However, it is not a good idea to go without any food. There are several ways to eat less and what you need is you should avoid killing animals for your food. Besides, a vegetarian diet helps purify your body.
The Japanese purify their bodies by eating unpolished rice, salt and sesame. The Chinese and Indians eat nothing except vegetables and fruits. People in Western countries do not eat meat, but have fish, shrimps, oysters, crabs, eggs and chickens for their meals. I want you to have a moderate vegetarian diet in esoteric practice, which is what the Vietnamese have eaten. The important thing is you should avoid killing animals for your food. Nevertheless, you can have the same diet as the Japanese’s if you want to speed up the process. That way, you do not expose your internal organs to the danger of diseases. In short, I recommend one of the two ways above - that is, the Vietnamese or the Japanese way.
Additionally, you should talk less. Why? Because the sounds you make can travel as far as electromagnetic waves do. You can see how far they travel in the universe if you have the divine eyes. It is not good to talk too much. If your words are crude and impolite, they show disrespect for gods and saints. That is unforgivable! In addition, questions stimulate answers. Verbal communication produces the six desires and the seven feelings. If you talk less, you can get rid of the six desires and the seven feelings. That is why ancient priests stayed silent except some necessary signals during their esoteric practice.
Actually, too much talking exhausts your mind. Think about this: you consume your spiritual energy as much as a radio consumes its battery. Therefore, you should talk less. However, there is no need to stay silent.
You should hear less either. Hearing harms your mind as much as talking does. Hearing also generates the six desires and the seven feelings. You should not hear others talking, but you should hear your conscience. You should not hear any sounds, rumors, sweet talk, or criticism. In summary, you have to ignore all external sounds wisely. Especially when you perform esoteric practice, you should be in a quiet place at midnight.
To eliminate the six desires and the seven feelings, you should control your five senses any time.
- watch but not see
- listen but not hear
- smell but not sense
- taste but not sense
- do not touch the body of the opposite sex
- do not think of having sex
That is the way to purify your body or to convert Tinh into Khí.
To sum up, you should purify yourself both physically and mentally. Your body then changes into a gas that nourishes your brain. Do exercise twice a day, control your desires, listen to your conscience and control your senses. Above all, do not have sex with anyone.
Midnight 19-20, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
There are some signs indicating that Tinh has changed into Khí: you feel completely cheerful, have a good appetite, sleep soundly, and enjoy life. Your body is always alive and kicking. The healthier you are, the more you think of having sex with someone of the opposite sex. Now, if you satisfy your lust for having sex, your energy changes into sperm to produce young. You should go the other way round: change this energy into a gas called “yin and yang energy” that can only be seen by the divine eyes, and then take it to your brain. Yin and Yang energy nourishes your brain and the process is called converting Khí into Thần.
* Converting Khí into Thần:
As mentioned earlier, a human head is inside a skull that protects the brain. The skull top is called mỏ ác, beneath which is Nê Hườn Cung. Below the forehead is the eyes, between which is Huệ Quang Khiếu. Nê Hườn Cung and Huệ Quang Khiếu are invisible, so they cannot be studied by current anatomy. Huệ Quang Khiếu is the third eye, which will be opened when you have converted Khí into Thần. According to Buddhism, you have obtained the six miraculous powers or the spiritual enlightenment when you reach this stage. This stage, however, is only the result of the second stage: converting Khí into Thần in Cao Đài esotericism. You have to complete the last stage: converting Thần back to Hư - that is, your Chơn Thần travels everywhere in the universe.
To convert Khí into Thần, you have to take the purified and light vitality to nourish the brain. This vitality, which results from the process of convert Tinh into Khí, accumulates in Đơn Điền or Yin and Yang sphere – an area just below your navel. After that, it is transferred to Hoả Hầu or the 7th vertebra then to the neck. From the neck it is transferred to the brain and finally to Huyền Quang Khiếu. On the top of the brain and inside the skull is Nê Hườn Cung, where Thần can enter or leave. Nê Hườn Cung receives Hỗn Ngươn Khí or Thần – that is, the energy of the universe.
Nê Hườn Cung is where His Holiness Hộ Pháp stands to protect you while you are in the process of esoteric practice. Hộ Pháp helps to unite Tinh and Khí, and then unite Khí and Thần. While you use Tinh to nourish Khí, Khí may be too weak to defend yourself against attacks from evil spirits. Hộ Pháp eliminates evil spirits to protect Nê Hườn Cung. That is explained in the prayer: “Hộ Pháp comes to our world from Heaven. He uses his Ma Xử to get rid of evil spirits.”
Khí nourishes your brain with the purified vitality from Yin and Yang sphere, receives the universal energy and strengthens the brain so that it becomes powerful enough to open your Huệ Quang Khiếu.
Therefore, during the process of converting Khí into Thần, you have to pray to God for being granted Thần and to His Holiness Hộ Pháp for his protection against evil spirits.
In the Third Era of Salvation, especially when Cao Đài began, God assigned Hộ Pháp to rule the Three Continents in the Nirvana and help the eight types of spirits with their heavenly promotion.
In the inauguration speech in Trí Huệ Cung, His Holiness Hộ Pháp said, “I am very glad to fulfill my own responsibility. I have explained several times that what I have done for Cửu Trùng Đài is not my own duty. It is my own responsibility to teach all disciples esotericism. This is the happiest day because I am still healthy enough to fulfill what God assigns to me.”
His Holiness Hộ Pháp’s duty is to help eight types of spirits to get heavenly promotion. Hộ Pháp has enough power to help those spirits return to God, even the spirit of a Buddha. In addition, he rules the three holy continents: Đông Thắng Thần Châu, Tây Ngưu Hóa Châu, and Nam Thiệm Bộ Châu. There is a holy continent left for evil spirits: Bắc Cù Lưu Châu. The evil spirits in this holy continent have to perfect themselves morally in order to become one of the eight types of spirits – that is, material, vegetative, animal, human, sainted, fairy and Buddha spirits.
When your brain is completely enlightened, it is as powerful as a laser beam that penetrates Huệ Quang Khiếu. Huệ Quang Khiếu then opens for you to see the thirty-six skies and the three-thousand worlds.
When Huyền Quang Khiếu is illuminated by the great wisdom of the brain, it shines and emits a great amount of energy like an atomic explosion. You can use the illuminated Huệ Quang Khiếu the same way as people harness the energy in a controlled atomic explosion.
Then, in that brightness, you see your second self appearing. You are that self; that self is yourself. You and that self are two but one. There is a connection between the two: you think and the other self knows what you think and vice versa.
Now you can direct your other self to travel around. There is a cord called Từ Khí connecting the two selves like a spider and its web or an astronaut and his spacecraft in a spacewalk.
In the past, ancient priests’ second selves always went away without returning. They did not train themselves so that the cord could be elastic enough.
In short, the second self, who gets out of your body, is your Chơn Thần. As soon as you can do that, you finish the stage of converting Khí into Thần.
Midnight 20-21, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
Last night, I finished the stage of converting Khí into Thần. Tonight, I discuss the stage of converting Thần back to Hư.
Converting Thần back to Hư
This is the stage in which your Chơn Thần leaves your body, but still maintains the connection through a cord called Từ Khí. What you have to do now is to make the cord elastic enough for your Chơn Thần to travel as far away as possible without breaking it.
Every night, you have to train your cord until it changes into an electromagnetic wave that can transmit far far away. As a result, your Chơn Thần can travel everywhere in the universe, but still connects with your body like a spacecraft and its control center on earth.
Upon leaving your body, your Chơn Thần can see all the gods, even God if you are privileged to be allowed. Only then can you receive God’s necessary religious instructions. In addition, you will be permitted to know your destiny. How much you know depends on how morally good you were in your previous incarnations. You are never allowed to know all about your destiny because some people can kill themselves in order to return to heaven as fast as they can.
Although you can see your destiny, you have to continue your life on earth to pay off all your debts borrowed in your earlier incarnations, or to get promotion in heaven. If you kill yourself, you avoid paying your debts, which is not allowed in Cao Đài.
It is very difficult for Chơn Thần to leave your body. I will give you detailed instructions in the practice portion.
To return to the topic, after your Chơn Thần leaves your body, it is necessary to make the cord elastic enough to maintain the connection. After that, you have to pray to His Holiness Thượng Phẩm to get permission if you want to go somewhere or to meet someone. His Holiness Thượng Phẩm will send your Chơn Thần to the place you want to go to or to the person you want to see with his Long Tu Phiến.
This stage is very important. In Vạn Pháp Cung or Trí Huệ Cung, a guard should take care of your body while your Chơn Thần leaves. He should prevent anybody from coming near, making noise or touching the body. A disturbance will interrupt your performance and your Chơn Thần will rush back to your body. After your Chơn Thần leaves, your body either lies on your back or sits still. Just let it go naturally without waking it up. Your Chơn Thần can leave for some thirty minutes or a few hours at most.
Practicing esotericism is considered the construction of a house. Generally, you need a good base to ensure that the house will not collapse. Similarly, you have to finish high school before entering university. In the same way, if you want to succeed in esotericism, you have to check whether you have finished your Nhơn Đạo and Thiên Đạo. You had better not enter esotericism without finishing Nhơn Đạo and Thiên Đạo because that will lead to nowhere.
It is most suitable for you to enter esotericism from 40 to 60 years of age. If you are younger, you have not fulfilled your Nhơn Đạo and Thiên Đạo yet. If you are older, you are too physically and mentally weak to practice. Candidates to Vạn Pháp Cung or Trí Huệ Cung should be selected by Cao Đài Church because this religious organization represents God in this world.
Candidates should meet these criteria:
1. They have finished Nhơn Đạo and Thiên Đạo, Tam Lập or one of Tam Lập.
2. They are healthy enough. This should be verified by a medical check-up.
3. They are between 40 and 60 years old except permission of Cao Đài Church.
4. They have graduated from high school at least.
Exception: A candidate who does not meet those criteria can be granted permission by Cao Đài Church.
Two ways of esotericism:
1. Practicing on your own at home. Those who have fulfilled Tam Lập or one of them, but are not selected by Cao Đài Church can practice by themselves at home. Also, those who are fed up with the rat race and want to follow God to preach His word can do the same. These people should follow my second part: Practice.
2. Practicing in groups. These disciples have to enter Trí Huệ Cung (for female only) and Vạn Pháp Cung (for male only), for these temples were chosen by His Holiness Lý Giáo Tông and His Holiness Hộ Pháp. There are esoteric masters to instruct practitioners, taking care of each practitioner every day and night.
Each course lasts 100 days. Practitioners spend 15 minutes breathing and 15 minutes in meditation every day. There should be 12 practtioners in a room of 12 beds. There should be enough mosquito nets, blankets and mats. There should be enough dining halls and lecture halls. The bedrooms are where they practice esotericism.
Each practitioner has a notebook at his bed to write about what happens to him during the process. He can write his own questions about everything. Only his esoteric master can read the notebook because each one has his own background and needs personal instructions from the esoteric master.
Each one-hundred-day course includes:
- 50 days for converting Tinh into Khí
- 40 days for converting Khí into Thần
- 10 days for convert Thần back to Hư
The schedule for everyday
- 5:00 AM morning exercise
- 6:00 AM taking a shower and breakfast
- 8:00 AM taking religious lectures on Three Religions and Cao Đài
- 9:00 AM taking instructions on esotericism
- 11:00 AM having lunch
- 12:00 AM taking a nap
- 14:00 PM taking religious lectures on Three Religions and Cao Đài
- 16:00 PM afternoon exercise, taking a shower and having dinner
- 18:00 PM evening service
- Midnight – esoteric practicing
Cao Đài Church is responsible for the religious lectures on The Three Religions and Cao Đài.
Remember that the religious lectures should only focus on the main points of The Three Religions, but elaborate on Cao Đài doctrine because nowadays Cao Đài is God’s Latest Religion and it is not a deceitful doctrine. The prayer before Lôi Âm Drum is played says:
- Lôi âm thánh cổ triệt hư không
- Truyền tấu càn khôn thế giới thông
- Đạo pháp đương kim dương chánh giáo
- Linh quang chiếu diệu Ngọc Hư Cung
“Đạo pháp đương kim dương chánh giáo” –
Translation: “This current religion is genuine, not deceitful.”
- Thần chung khấu hướng phóng Phong Đô
- Địa tạng khai môn phóng xá cô
- Tam kỳ vận chuyển kim quang hiện
- Sám hối âm hồn xuất u đồ
Through the above prayers, you can understand that Cao Đài is very powerful. Cao Đài doctrine is very deep and magic.
Look at the prayer:
- Hiệp nhập Cao Đài, bá tánh thập phương qui chánh quả.
- Thiên khai huỳnh đạo ngũ chi tam giáo hội Long Hoa.
- Only when you become Cao Đài followers can you reach the religious target.
- God establishes the Great Tolerant Religion so that His children can join Long Hoa or the Judgement Day.
Cao Đài doctrine is not simple. In fact, it surpasses other doctrines. The other religions, which were indirectly established by God, cannot be better than Cao Đài, which was directly established by God. Besides, other religions were established a very long time ago when humankind was so uncivilized that they did not have enough words to preach profound word of God. As for the practice, other doctrines were spread by word of mouth, so they gradually changed, becoming different from the original ones. As a result, a lot of people practiced the doctrines, but few could achieve the target.
Now, God Himself came to the earth to establish Cao Đài. God will be your religious master for 700 000 years away and help 920 000 Nguyên Nhân to come back to their previous positions in Heaven.
God did not establish Cao Đài indirectly as he had done with other religions. He Himself did use divine writing to communicate with humans. You cannot see Him, but you can read His words. You are composed of a body, a mind and a soul. Cao Đài Church, which represents God, is composed of Cửu Trùng Đài, Hiệp Thiên Đài and Bát Quái Đài.
- Cửu Trùng Đài symbolizes the body.
- Hiệp Thiên Đài symbolizes the mind.
- Bát Quái Đài symbolizes the soul.
Therefore, Tây Ninh Temple or Cao Đài Church represents God’s body in this world. This institution is never destroyed by any secular powers and will exist for 700 000 years away. God teaches nothing, but His doctrine is everywhere.
Standing in front of the main entrance, you can read “Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ” in Vietnamese and Chinese Vietnamese.
- Đại Đạo: a large path or a great religion.
- Tam Kỳ: the third time or the final era.
- Phổ Độ: salvation of all life.
Totally, the term means the great religion for the final salvation of the world.
On either side, there are two parallel sentences in Chinese Vietnamese:
- Cao thượng Chí Tôn Đại Đạo hoà bình dân chủ mục.
- Đài tiền sùng bái Tam Kỳ cộng hưởng tự do quyền.
- God, calling Himself Cao Đài, came to the world to grant humans peace and democracy.
- If humans worship God this time, they all have freedom.
Now, peace and democracy are not granted to humans by an individual or a political party, but by God. Only when humans believe and worship God and only when humans consider one another brothers and sisters can they have true peace, democracy and freedom. If humans fail to do so, they have only fake peace, democracy and freedom.
In this final salvation, God teaches humans to love, trust and fairly behave toward one another. As a result, they will have true peace, prosperity and happiness. That is, God teaches humans how to save their earthly life.
God also teaches humans to save their soul through His implications hidden in Tây Ninh Temple. Watching and pondering over Tây Ninh Temple, you can understand God’s teachings.
The façade of Tây Ninh Temple is Hiệp Thiên Đài, which includes the main entrance between a bell tower and a drum tower. Above the entrance is a balcony with the words Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ and the Divine Eye. On the top is the Statue of Di Lạc Buddha riding a tiger. All of those are God’s teachings, which are eternal truths.
Entering the entrance, you can see four pillars carved into the shape of dragons and lotus flowers. Dragons and lotus flowers are Long Hoa, the name of the Judgment Day in Cao Đài doctrine. Therefore, entering the entrance of Hiệp Thiên Đài means you enter the Judgment Day.
Among those pillars on the ceiling is a divine scale of justice on the earth. God uses this scale to judge your behaviors and determine your heavenly status.
On the wall, there are the statues of the Three Saints.
- Mr. Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm or Trạng Trình, the great Vietnamese poet.
- Mr. Sun Yat Sen, a Chinese revolutionary.
- Mr. Victor Hugo or Nguyệt Tâm Chơn Nhơn, the great French writer.
In the final salvation, the Three Saints, on behalf of humankind, sign an agreement with God. This agreement, interestingly, has only one term: Love and Justice. Looking at the statues, you can see Mr. Sun Yat Sen holding an ink slab and Mr. Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm writing the words: “GOD and HUMANKIND, LOVE and JUSTICE” in Chinese Vietnamese with his cat-haired brush. Next to them, Mr. Victor Hugo is writing those terms again in French: “DIEU et HUMANITÉ, AMOUR et JUSTICE” with his quill feather.
The picture implies an agreement between God and humanity that humans love each other and have equal rights and justice. If humans respect this agreement, God will grant them divine status in Heaven.
Long Hoa or the Judgment Day is when God judges your behaviors. Those who love others will have a high divine status. The more you love others, the higher you status will be. Remember God states: “Love is the key to Heaven.”
Upon passing Hiệp Thiên Đài, you enter Cửu Trùng Đài, which is a nine-level floor. Each floor is two centimeters higher than the last one. Cửu Trùng Đài symbolizes God’s body. Your heavenly status is determined on this floor, so there are nine divine ranks. Before you step on the first level, you can see His Holiness Hộ Pháp’s Seven-Snakehead Lotus Chair, which implies Cao Đài esotericism granted to humankind by God. I have discussed this earlier.
There is a miracle in Cửu Trùng Đài if you notice. As mentioned above, each floor is two centimeters higher than the last one. There are nine levels, so the highest level is 1.8 meters higher than the lowest one. There are two dragon pillars on each level, so the dragonheads on the highest pillars are also 1.8 meters higher than those on the lowest pillars. However, it seems that all the dragonheads are the same height if you stand on the lowest level, watching them!
Provisionally, I give you an equation: 9 x 2 x 2 x 2
12 is the key number in mathematics as well as God’s number. That is why you prostrate 12 times in a rite when you worship God. Those numbers will be figured out later by scientists and mathematicians like the measurements of Egyptian Pyramids, which were decoded and showed prophecies for later generations.
Additionally, there are implications in many images and sculptures in Tây Ninh Temple. On the domed ceilings, there is the picture of the six dragons fighting for a gem. This suggests the the prayer: “Thời thừa lục long, du hành bất tức.” Translation: “God rides six dragons, traveling all the time.” It also means Tây Ninh Temple was built on a piece of holy land, beneath which five underground streams converge on the site.
Passing these chairs, you enter Cung Đạo, where Hộ Pháp and other Hiệp Thiên Đài dignitaries worship God and where Saints and Buddha’s preach to Cao Đài disciples. Right here, looking at the domed ceiling, you can see an oval shape inside which are a human head (representing Huyền Quang Khiếu), a hand holding a pen (representing chấp bút), the Divine Eye, the alphabet, a Đại Ngọc Cơ, a Tiểu Ngọc Cơ, etc. Those are not only the means of communication between earthly and spiritual life but also hidden prophecies.
Now if you look at Bát Quái Đài, you can see a huge sphere with the sun, the moon and three thousand stars on it. That is God’s teachings on Thiên Đạo and the miracle universe. You will easily know all about this as soon as you reach your religious target.
Other mysteries lie on the roof of Tây Ninh Temple. There is Nghinh Phong Đài, on top of which is a Long Mã standing on the earth and facing the map of Việt Nam. At the highest position, there are three Buddha’s: Brahma, Civa and Christna who face east, south and north.
Tây Ninh Temple has many undiscovered secrets. Then, Tây Ninh Temple will be more sacred and valuable when scholars discover them. Humans have to discover them for themselves. I myself am not allowed to reveal those secrets except two things:
First, the fact that Long Mã faces the map of Vietnam implies God’s prophecy: “Though small, Vietnam will amazingly dominate the world.”
Second, beneath Bát Quái Đài is a basement, on top of which is the pillar supporting a huge sphere called Qủa Càn Khôn. This pillar is composed of 12 levels, each of which is a hidden prophecy. In one of those levels, God reveals the date of the Judgment Day. Only extremely knowledgeable scholars can discover it.
Interestingly, many disciples chant prayers in Tây Ninh Temple every day without knowing what God have taught. For example, they even do not understand the first verse in Cao Đài prayer book: “Tao originates in a combination of sincerity and belief.” Your sincerity should unite with your belief in order that you reach Tao. Tao is nothingness but existence. Inside nothingness there is everything; inside everything there is nothing. Your ordinary knowledge hardly helps when you try to understand Tao. You must believe that there is everything in the nothingness and be very determined to find it out. The more determined you are, the more sincere you are.
Current scientists believe there are other planets beside the earth in the universe and they try hard to figure it out. Thanks to their determination, they found nine planets named Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, etc. Thanks to their constant research, they discovered atomic energy and viruses. That is everything in nothingness, so to speak. If you are determined enough, you can also reach your religious target.
God says, “I am you; you are me.” This statement alone expresses His divine power and your responsibility. Used as the theme for a thesis in Theology, this statement can inspire you to write a very thick book. Look at the first part of the statement: “I am you;” “I” refers to God and “you” refers to humans. Why does God want to become humans? God is selfless; humans are selfish. Selflessness generates joy, love and satisfaction; selfishness generates lust, hatred and delusion. Joy, love and satisfaction lead to heaven; lust, hatred and delusion lead to the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, God wants to share selflessness to save humans from the cycle of birth and death.
Now look at the second part of the statement: “You are me.” “You” refers to both Cao Đài followers and all humankind. God wants humans to be God. God wants humans to be selfless, not selfish. God wants humans to have joy, love and satisfaction, not lust, hatred or delusion. God says, “I father love, which is the key to Heaven.” Love is selfless, not selfish. Love inspires you to be willing to suffer for humans. Once you are willing to suffer for humans, they can stop suffering.
In short, selflessness is God; selfishness is humans. If you have good ancient root, you can reach your religious target as soon as you come to this point. In other words, you become a Buddha and are liberated from the eternal cycle of birth and death. Remember how Siddartha Gautama became a Buddha 5000 years ago? First, he followed four priests to live a very ascetic life in the remote mountain. However, he could not become a Buddha because he still wanted to become a Buddha - that is, he was selfish. Only when he gave up his ascetic life and committed himself to find out the way to save all humans did he become a Buddha. He could be a Buddha then because he was no longer selfish.
I just gave you an example of how to teach Cao Đài doctrine. Now, I give you another example. All Cao Đài disciples have to worship God four times a day: Tý, Ngọ, Mẹo, Dậu. You have to be punctual because Tý is right Yin, Ngọ is right Yang; Mẹo, Dậu are right between Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang combine to start the universe. These are the sacred time like office hours in your world when everyone goes to work.
You have to worship God four times a day. First, you do so to praise God and all other gods, then offer up your three jewels to God, and finally read your five promises. Especially, you put the idea, “I am you; you are Me.” to practice when you offer up your three jewels.
So far, if you have good ancient roots, you can become a Buddha already. However, becoming a Buddha is one thing, success in practicing esotericism is another.
So do not be afraid that Cao Đài doctrine is uninteresting. The trouble is you are incapable of explaining it. If you are able to explain it, you will become God.
I hope you, together with your friends, will be able to achieve the religious target after entering Vạn Pháp Cung or Trí Huệ Cung.
Midnight 21-22, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I resume teaching esotericism.
Last night I spent rather much time on Cao Đài doctrine. Now I am telling about how to put that knowledge to work.
In Vạn Pháp Cung or Trí Huệ Cung, you must first finish these tasks before a course of esotericism.
1. A formal inauguration ceremony with a special ritual of Cao Đài. I will teach Từ Huệ this ritual later.
2. After a hundred-day course, there is a closing ceremony. Except the dropouts, the other practitioners can either take another course to get a more satisfying result or return to their normal lives. They must not secede from Cao Đài Church to form a new cult.
3. Cao Đài Church is responsible for managing Vạn Pháp Cung and Trí Huệ Cung.
4. The practitioners can have only three meals a day. Red pepper, black pepper, ginger, and garlic are prohibited because they can harm their mind.
5. There are only two kinds of meals: a Vietnamese or Japanese vegetarian diet.
6. No hard work involving much physical strength during the course.
7. Disciples must wear Áo dài trắng, no festive clothes.
8. Their beds are also where they perform esotericism.
9. No lamps or incense needed.
10. Disciples had better perform esotericism in mosquito nets for safety and comfort.
11. Begin a session by silently praying to God for more power and His Holiness Hộ Pháp for protection of your Nê Hườn Cung.
12. End a session by rubbing your hands together, then rubbing your eyelids from the inside out with your hands. After that, rub your faces from the forehead to the chin and to the neck. It is called “meditation end”
CONVERTING TINH INTO KHÍ
There are three important parts in this stage: purifying your body, purifying your mind, and practicing esotericism. All of them should be performed simultaneously to attain a mutual effect.
1. Purifying your body: God says, “Unless having a vegetarian diet, you cannot recover after your Chơn Thần leaves your body. Though you attain your religious purpose, there is still impure energy in your body. Impure energy is conductive, so your spirit will be struck by lightning. If you are wise enough to hide somewhere on the earth as a Nhơn Tiên, you are still in the cycle of birth and death.”
Therefore, you must have vegetarian diet. That is still not enough, however, because you must stop having sexual intercourse. It is useless practicing esotericism without giving up sexual intercourse.
His Holiness Hộ Pháp has taught you must have pure food, purify your mind and strongly believe God the Father and Goddess the Mother. That is the key to open Bát Quái Đài in this world.
2. Purifying your mind. For the purpose of purification, you must strictly control the six desires and the seven feelings as I said earlier.
3. Practicing esotericism. There are two parts: breathing (15 minutes) and meditation (15 minutes). Choose a specific time every night for this, preferable at midnight. You will convert Tinh into Khí for 50 days.
At first, wear Áo dài trắng, and sit in (full or half) lotus position on a floor cushion. Then, silently pray to God for more power and His Holiness Hộ Pháp for protection of your Nê Hườn Cung. Next, perform Ấn Tý and put your left hand on the palm of your right hand, whose fingers are stretching. At the same time, straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe gently and normally. During this fifteen-minute session you must breathe “with your belly”, i.e. you inhale, letting your belly expand, not your chest. At the same time, imagine the air moves from your nose to your Đơn Điền. After that, exhale as usual without imagining at all. That technique of breathing is called Khí Công.
In the ancient time, Khí Công is a religious practice, but the true technique unfortunately lost. Now it is only known as part of some martial arts or part of illness treatment.
Now, I teach you the true technique of Khí Công in order to follow God’s desire. God says, “Since Tao was closed, religious rules and practice have remained unchanged. However, Heaven has not allowed Tinh, Khí and Thần to unite. Now I give you the true Chơn Thần so that you can succeed in your religious practice.”
In fifteen minutes, you can practice breathing about 180 times, i.e. twelve times per minute. However, do not count the times, but time your practice for fifteen minutes.
Đơn Điền is two knuckles of your index finger from the navel. It is very important to your life. The essence of your physical body accumulates here for the function of reproduction. Your mind or consciousness controls Đơn Điền. If you want to have sex with someone, this essence goes down to satisfy your sexual desire as well as to produce babies. If you want this essence to go up, it satisfies your mind and helps make you a Buddha. The challenge is whether you want to be a Buddha or not.
Đơn Điền is invisible. You cannot see or touch it as if you do with your internal organs. Nevertheless, it is amazingly powerful. Ancient martial art fighters in the East had Khí concentrated in Đơn Điền before their attack, so their punch was extremely powerful. Athletes in the West now can use the same technique to lift a weight of 200 kilos.
Đơn Điền controls the power of your physical body. This power originates in Hậu Thiên Khí, which is the essence of the digested food. The air you breathe in is Tiên Thiên Khí. When you breathe “with your belly”, you have Tiên Thiên Khí combine with Hậu Thiên Khí in Đơn Điền to generate an amazing power. I have told you earlier that you should do exercise every day to have a strong body.
After fifteen minutes, just check your Đơn Điền to see if it is hot. If it is, there is too much Tiên Thiên Khí. The treatment is to rub that area several times to cool it down.
Do the same every night. After thirty days, the Yin and Yang spherewill become very energetic, so you are very strong now. That power then changes into Tinh, which you will send it to your brain later.
After the fifteen-minute session of breathing, you perform fifteen-minute of meditation.
Midnight 22-23, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Last night, I discussed the fifteen-minute session of breathing.
Tonight, I am talking about fifteen minute of meditation. Breathing and meditation are closely related to each other. You cannot perform one without the other. Buddhists call this period “zen”. Breathing represents secular life; meditation represents religious life. Secular life generates power; religious life generates authority. You will have absolute political power if you are able to unite those two aspects. The priests who know how to put this to work will become a Buddha or god. The average person who knows how to apply this can rule the world.
Breathing represents days; meditation represents nights. Your body exercises during the day; your spirits works at night. Days are Yang; nights are Yin. Yang combines Yin to form the universe. That is God’s rule.
After fifteen-minute breathing, keep the same posture and gently close your eyes. Do not try hard! Look forward, sit still and keep silent.
In this session, just breathe normally. Do not breathe as you did in the previous session.
Remember: First, breathe with your belly. Then, breathe normally.
Now, concentrate. Try not to think of or about anything. Buddhists say in this session you will have “a monkey-like heart and a horse-like mind”, i.e. your heart and your mind cannot concentrate. They seem like a monkey and a horse playing in the wild. The harder you try to concentrate, the more distracted you heart and your mind are. Once people tried counting their breaths, but it was ineffective because they would think about the numbers while counting. In other words, their heart and mind were still active. Meditation means your heart and mind are completely inactive.
To achieve the status of complete inactivity, you should get rid of your desires for fame, wealth or anything else, even the desire to become a Buddha. You should give up thinking about anything, comparing the advantages and disadvantages, or considering pluses or minuses. You should be in a situation where not a single idea exists. Right then, from the nothingness appears a light in which you see your consciousness controls your six desires and seven feelings. You also see your heart or conscience controls your mind or consciousness.
Now, change your consciousness into true sincerity and change your conscience into truly good conscience. This is the best way to train yourself. That gives you humanity and justice, which make you selfless. Selflessness gives you strong spiritual power.
Breathing is visible strength; meditation is invisible strength. Both can unite to lead the way to return to God.
After breathing and meditating for thirty minutes, finish the session with the procedure of “meditation end”. After thirty days, you become very energetic, dynamic, pleased and intelligent. That means Tinh has converted into Khí. Keep on with that for twenty more days so that Tinh can completely convert into Khí. At the same time, convey Tinh from Đơn Điền to Hoả Hầu - that is, the seventh backbone. Store Tinh in Hoả Hầu for twenty days and then Tinh becomes Yin and Yang Khí.
After fifty days, the process of converting Tinh into Khí finishes.
Midnight 23-24, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I am adding some more to the process of converting Tinh into Khí.
There is a signal for you to know that you have finished with the process. You feel a surge of desire for sexual intercourse. Men practitioners sometimes have wet dreams or spermatorrhea; women practitioners want to have sex.
In the next twenty days, convey Tinh from the Yin and Yang sphere to Hoả Hầu – that is the seventh backbone. This small bone is very essential because it supports the whole body as well as distributes the nerves. It also receives all signals from the five senses to send to the brain.
In these twenty days, the way to breathe is different from that in the first thirty days. While inhaling, imagine that the air is conveyed from your nose to your lungs; then to your Đơn Điền and finally Hoả Hầu. Simultaneously let your stomach expand, not your chest. While exhaling, just do it normally without imagining anything at all. Keep doing so for twenty days and Tinh will change into Chơn Tinh.
The meditation in these twenty days is the same as that in the first thirty days. In meditation, remember not to have a single thought in your mind. Buddhists once believed that when you achieved the mind of nothingness you would have six magical powers. However, at this stage Cao Đài disciples only achieve the status of spiritual enlightenment. The process of converting Tinh into Khí is very difficult, so I need to elaborate on it. The processes of converting Khí into Thần and converting Thần back to Hư are easier. In those processes, the chance of success does not depend on your effort, but on His Holiness Hộ Pháp, His Holiness Thượng Phẫm and God. If God allows, you can succeed easily.
CONVERTING KHÍ INTO THẦN
After you have seen the signals that Tinh has been converted into Khí, proceed with the next stage: converting Khí into Thần.
You are to spend forty days on this stage. In the first twenty days, convey Khí from Hoả Hầu to the neck. In the next ten days convey Khí to your brain, and in the last ten days, convey it to Huyền Quang Khiếu.
First, sit in lotus position (full or half), silently pray to God for more power, and pray to His Holiness Hộ Pháp for protection of Nê Hườn Cung. Then, close your eyes and breathe with your belly for fifteen minutes. At the same time, imagine your breath move from the nose – lungs – Đơn Điền – Hoả Hầu – neck. Just imagine that for the first time, then only imagine nose – neck. While inhaling, let your belly expand and vice versa.
You must imagine that the inhaled breath moves in the spinal cord because it is where the mass of nerves connect all parts of the body to the brain. When you do so, Yin and Yang Khí accumulates there. After twenty days, there is enough Yin and Yang Khí to be transferred to the brain and in the last ten days, it is transferred to Huyền Quang Khiếu.
When your breath moves from Hoả Hầu to the brain, you may feel a bit chilly in the spine, feel something crawling on your body or feel something strange. Those show that you are making good progress, so do not be frightened. Just keep on performing.
When your breath moves from Đơn Điền to Hoả Hầu, it changes into Yin and Yang Khí. Male practitioners will stop having wet dreams. Female practitioners will stop having a period.
After breathing for fifteen minutes, enter the fifteen-minute stage of meditation. Sit still, breathe normally, and try to notice how your conscience, which God grants, works. Control your six desires and seven feelings. Try to get rid all the bad things until you have absolute nothing to eliminate.
In How to train yourself, His Holiness Hộ Pháp says, “You must manage to control your mind because your mind is influenced by conscience. Your mind is the most valuable in your life. Those who hate their enemies cannot have a good mind. Those who have no hatred can beat their enemies. Hatred is the worst thing humans have to suffer, so wise and virtuous people try to stay away from it.
If you can control your anger, then you will make nobody angry.
Replace evil with good and replace cruelty with righteousness.
Be large-hearted instead of having insular prejudice.
Love and be wise instead of having an evil mind.
His Holiness Hộ Pháp teaches you to control your anger and be kind-hearted. That is very important when you train yourself. You must review your past behaviors in order to avoid repeating the immoral ones in the future. When you have absolute nothing to eliminate, you will be bright enough to open Huệ Quang Khiếu, i.e. Khí has changed into Thần.
Midnight 24-25, the 4th Month, Year of the Goat (1979)
Tonight, I am talking more about converting Khí into Thần.
In the first twenty days of this stage, you convey Yin and Yang Khí from Hoả Hầu to the neck. In the next ten days, you convey Yin and Yang Khí from the neck to the brain. Then in the last ten days, you convey Yin and Yang Khí from the brain to Huệ Quang Khiếu or Huyền Quang Khiếu.
During the first twenty days, you imagine nose – lungs – Đơn Điền – Hoả Hầu – neck while inhaling. Breathe and imagine simultaneously for the first time. Then just imagine nose – neck for each breath. In the other two stages, just breathe in the same way.
The meditation is unchanged throughout the process.
The last ten days is very important. Do the same breathing and imagine nose – lungs – Đơn Điền – Hoả Hầu – neck – brain – Huyền Quang Khiếu for each breath. Then just imagine nose – Huyền Quang Khiếu.
During this period, the brain works a lot. It both receives Yin and Yang Khí from the neck and receives Thần from Nê Hườn Cung – in other words, it receives Tinh from Đơn Điền as well as the energy from the universe sent in by His Holiness Hộ Pháp. Yin and Yang Khí and the energy from the universe twine around each other, creating a magical light like a laser beam, which opens Huyền Quang Khiếu.
God says, “I have returned Chơn Thần to you in order that you can succeed in your religious practice. You know Thần is in your eyes…” When God says “eyes”, He refers to the third eye, i.e. Huyền Quang Khiếu.
When the third eye opens, you can look at the universe and see the Thirty Six Skies and the Three Thousand Worlds. Now if you want to go there, you can do so with your second self or Chơn Thần, who leaves your body at that time.
When your second self appears, you have finished with converting Khí into Thần. the next step is converting Thần back to nothingness.
CONVERTING THẦN BACK TO HƯ
This is when you let your Chơn Thầnleave your body for the other world, i.e. let your second self return to God.
God says, “It is very difficult for your Chơn Thần to leave your body because it is held tightly to the body. The Chơn Thần of gods are very magical and indestructible. Those, who enthusiastically practice a religion and succeed, can let their Chơn Thần leave their body and travel everywhere in the universe. Only those Chơn Thần can see Me.”
In the forty-day stage of converting Khí into Thần, it is essential that you convey Yin and Yang Khí from the brain to Huyền Quang Khiếu. During the last ten days, it is unkown when Huyền Quang Khiếu will open. Do not wait until you finish those ten days, however. Just enter the stage of converting Thần back to Hư as soon as your Huyền Quang Khiếu has opened. On the other hand, continue for ten more days if your Huyền Quang Khiếu does not open. Then finish the process after a hundred days of practicing although you do not succeed. Sometimes, your Huệ Quang Khiếu opens during the last ten days. Then you can take ten more days for converting Thần Back to Hư. That means you spend a hundred and ten days, which is an exception.
In the last ten days of converting Thần back to Hư, you also spend fifteen minutes breathing and then another fifteen minutes meditating every day. The only different thing is you imagine nose – Đơn Điền – Hoả Hầu – neck – brain – Huyền Quang Khiếu (or nose – Huyền Quang Khiếu) for each breath.
Sometimes, your Chơn Thần leaves your body while you are breathing. Sometimes, it does so during the meditation. It is very difficult for your Chơn Thần to leave the body because it gets stuck in the physical body. You need to get your body to fall asleep by breathing and meditating so that it forgets to hold your Chơn Thần.
When you are in meditation, just sit still without thinking. Try to maintain that status of nothingness in your mind in order to make the body fall asleep. As soon as the body sleeps and forgets to hold the Chơn Thần, a light, which is your Chơn Thần, appears from the nothingness. Then the body wakes up and both Chơn Thần and the body mutually control each other.
Converting Thần back to Hư means trying to make your Chơn Thần leave the body and travel as far as possible at will. After Chơn Thần leave your body, try to make the Từ Khí cord as elastic as you can by traveling around. At last your Chơn Thần can even travel everywhere in the universe.
To travel everywhere in the universe, you must pray to His Holiness Thượng Phẩm, who will use His Long Tu Phiến to send your Chơn Thần to where you want to go to. Therefore, in the inauguration ceremony of Trí Huệ Cung on 14 the 12th month, Year of the Tiger His Holiness Hộ Pháp said, “In Trí Huệ Cung, there are two precious magic tools. First, it is His Holiness Thượng Phẩm’s Long Tu Phiến and second, it is my Kim Tiên. Both are invisible, but extremely powerful. Whether you can escape the cycle of birth and death or not depends on those two magic tools.”
His Holiness Hộ Pháp uses Kim Tiên to attain the universe energy and sends it into your brain. This energy combines with Tinh from Đơn Điền to form the power that opens the Eighth Openings, i.e. Huyền Quang Khiếu so that you can achieve Tao. Achieving Tao, you can let your Chơn Thần leave your body. If you want your Chơn Thần to travel, you must rely on His Holiness Thượng Phẩm’s Long Tu Phiến.
Long Tu Phiến represents vitality; Kim Tiên represents universe energy. Long Tu Phiến gathers universe energy to create a Vân Xa or a rainbow to carry Chơn Thần to any desired destinations. This also depends on good or bad karma the practitioner had in many former lives. The trip will be as quick as lightning.
The heavenly scenery is very unbelievable! It is a combination between human vitality and universe energy, so what a practitioner sees depends on his or her background, level of spiritual enlightenment, ethnic groups, predetermined fate and former karma.
Heavenly buildings and palaces are different from those on earth because they are lively creatures, not the motionless building materials. They are brightly shining transformers. It is impossible for a person to understand why they are so. The best architect on earth could not help but admire their beauty as if he had seen something for the first time. He would feel so humble to see such magical constructions.
Similarly, images in heaven are also amazing. Looking at Goddess the Mother, everyone sees his or her own earthly mothers. Goddess the Mother does not say anything, but everyone knows what She says. Therefore, several successful practitioners would like to die when their Chơn Thần return to their bodies because they want to go to heaven immediately for the happiest life forever.
However, Cao Đài laws do not allow a disciple to kill himself. As a result, a successful practitioner has to return to his normal life and patiently spends the rest of his life on earth so that he can pay all of his debts.
Look at the infinite universe and your humble body. The universe has no limit and your body, which is a tiny universe, has no limit either. There is no limit to either enormous or tiny size, i.e. there is no largest thing or tiniest thing. If you can find out what it is and explain it to others, you achieve the spiritual enlightenment. Successful religious practitioners in the past did not say anything to anybody because they did not have enough words to describe what they comprehended. If they tried to explain it to others, people would think they were crazy. That is similar to the situation in which a great scholar tries to explain a scientific theory to a less-educated person.
It is your responsibility to explain what you comprehend to other people after you have succeeded in esotericism. The trouble is what you have comprehended may be too difficult for them to catch. However, it is never impossible to do something. God makes the existence out of nothingness. Now you should do the opposite. So, try your best, my disciples!
Those who fail to let their Chơn Thần leave the bodies, i.e. they did not succeed, should calmly review their failures. They should impartially and objectively check:
1- whether they have fulfilled the three prerequisite deeds (or one of them).
2- whether they have had a proper vegetarian diet and whether they have stopped thinking of having sex.
3- whether they have strictly controlled the seven feelings and the six desires.
4- whether they have done exercise twice a day.
5- whether they understand this material thoroughly.
6- whether they have exactly followed my instructions while breathing.
7- whether they have imagined nose – lungs – Đơn Điền – Hoả Hầu – neck – brain – Huyền Quan Khiếu.
If they have made some mistakes or missed something, read this material carefully again and wait for another opportunity. Unsuccessful practitioners can repeat their performance as many times as possible unless they are dismissed by the esoteric master due to their bad health or unsuitable bodies.
After the course closing ceremony, successful practitioners can decide what their responsibilities will be like in the future on their own. They can either serve God or help people to get a higher status in heaven. Unsuccessful practitioners can be more intelligent than before, as intelligent as great scholars can.
As for current scientists in the world, if they are lucky enough to read this material and if they sincerely believe it, spending a hundred days practicing esotericism, they can be extremely intelligent and have magnificent achievements though they may not succeed in esotericism.
TO THE ESOTERIC MASTER IN MEDITATION HOUSE
The practitioner should be dismissed immediately if he or she gets some pain in Đơn Điền during the first stage, or if he or she has a headache, a pain in the spine or a humming sound in the ears during the second stage. He or she will be fine after stopping practicing. That is because his or her body is not suitable for esoteric practice.
My instructions on Cao Đài esotericism are the unique and optimum strategy, which is true forever, so from now on you can do it whenever you like. There must not be any changes. Everyone can practice esotericism, but whether they can succeed or not depends on their fate, karma and belief.
January 1st 2013
Translator: Tu Chon
Website: Ý THỨC - https://sites.google.com/site/caodaismmeditation/
 The Eighth Goddess in Dieu Tri Palace.
 The shorthand writer for Ho Phap.
 The Body, the Mind and the Soul of a person.
 A rite done to communicate with God or the paranormal world by writing on a sheet of paper.
 The leader of Hiệp Thiên Đài, an organization in charge of Cao Đài legislation.
 The Meditation House for female disciples.
 The Meditation House for male disciples.
 The leader of Cửu Trùng Đài.
 Yang energy.
 A Cao Dai organization in charge of missionary work.
 A Cao Dai organization in charge of charity work.
 A Cao Dai organization in charge of esotericism, communication with God, and Cao Đài laws.
 An umbrella term, meaning religion, heavenly magic, the path to Heaven …
 The spirits from Heaven who came to the earthly world for some reason.
 The devil spirits from Hell who came to the earthly world.
 The spirits who have evolved from materials into humans.
 Relationship between ruler and ruled, between father and child and between husband and wife. (Confucianism)
 Compassion, righteousness, politeness, prudence, reliability. (Confucianism)
 Obey father (in a family), obey husband (in marriage) and obey child (being widowed). (Confucianism)
 Being diligent, having good dress sense, being well spoken and having good behavior. (Confucianism)
 The fontanel
 Yin and Yang energy.
 The essence of the food you eat.
 The air you breathe in.
 The universe monad.
 The two opposite principles.
 The four principles.
 The eight diagrams.
 The six roots of sense
 The six objects
 The six consciousness’s
 Your body, mind and soul.
 The three human jewels.
 A place inside Tay Ninh Temple where Cao Dai’s believers communicate with God.
 Yin and Yang energy
 A spot just below your navel
 The third eye, which is between your eyes
 The fontanel
 You spirit when you achieve the target in esotericism
 The Gold Rod
 Evil Spirit Destroyer
 The Meditation House for female disciples
 The magnetic cord
 The Dragon’s Beard Fan
 Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
 The Thunder Drum
 The Earth
 The White Gem Bell
 The spirits who came to the earth from Heaven.
 Cao Đài organization in charge of missionary work.
 Cao Đài organization in charge of communication with God.
 Cao Đài divine place for God.
 The Buddha in the future, who will preside the Judgement Day.
 The Leader of Cao Đài organization in charge of missionary work.
 The leaders of Cuu Trung Đai just below Giao Tong.
 The leaders of Cuu Trung Đai just below Chuong Phap.
 The Wind Tower.
 An animal part dragon, part horse.
 The Universe Sphere.
 At midnight, at noon, at 6 P.M. and at 6 A.M.
 Vietnamese traditional clothes (in white).
 The spirit you achieve by practicing esotericism.
 A god who is trapped in the earthly world and cannot return to Heaven.
 A special sign of Cao Đài believers made by touching the base of the ring finger of the left hand with the thumb tip of the same hand.
 An area just below your navel.
 Qigong, a Chinese traditional technique of exercise to remain healthy.
 The spirit that leaves the body when you reach your religious target.
 Ki or Chi, the air or energy.
 An invisible organ behind your Đơn Điền.
 From the coccyx.
 The essence of the body.
 You second self or the spirit that leaves your body when you succeed in esotericism.
 The other openings are two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and a mouth.
 A kind of vehicle made of cloud.