Nurturing energy, forget words and guard it.
Conquer the mind, do nondoing.
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 peak,
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain.
Having drunk the wine of long life,
you wander free;
who can know you?
sit and listen to the stringless tune,
you clearly understand the workings of creation.
The whole of these twenty verses
is a ladder straight to Heaven.
(‘The Hundred Character Tablet’ by Ancestor Lu Dongbin; trans. by Thomas Cleary in ‘Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard’)