Taoism has a mystic practice of “Three times Five”. What is it?
The saying regarding Three times Five is not limited to Taoism;
Confucianism and Buddhism also have the same sayings. In
Confucianism, it is the Three Orders8 and Five Bonds7 of morality.
In Buddhism, it is the Three Followings34 and Five Disciplines17.
In Taoism, it is the Three Flowers and Five Qi*. Though the
appellations are different, they all are based on the Truth.
Upon the fulfillment of these practices, one becomes what
Confucianism calls a Saint; Buddhism, a Buddha; or Taoism,
an Immortal. These are the outer Three times Five.
There is a simpler practice, the inner Three times Five.
Wu-ji Lao-Mu4 descended to the Altar and stated “The
True Self and life are completed when Two times Five.
When Three times Five coagulates, one pervades the cosmos.”
For example, the new moon begins on the first of the Chinese
Lunar Calendar. After three times five days, on the fifteenth,
it becomes a full moon. A male reaches adulthood at the age
of fifteen. Tao follows Three times Five too.
What is Two times Five? That means the two eyes. What is
Three times Five? It is the True Self plus Two times Five.
In the celestial sense, Two times Five refers to the sun and
moon, which complement each other. Reflecting the aureole
inward and coagulating It in the Right Portal, one can return
to the Origin and restore his True Self. Scriptures and Sutras
contain many hidden messages. If a person cannot realize the
true messages in the Scriptures, in order to realize them, all he
has to do is to hold on to his True Self and portal, seek the
Enlightened Teacher with Tien-Ming1 and receive Tien-Tao.
He then can realize the hidden messages in time. Upon full
realization, he can abandon all Scriptures and practice Tao
tenaciously on his own. Why? The Buddhist Sutra states
“The Dharma I spoke of is like a raft. Once one gets on to
the shore, why should he carry the raft with him?”
*Three flowers are the three treasures of the body; the
vitality, spirit (Qi) and soul. See Question 75.