Chapter 88 Old Man’s Teaching!
Fang Qiu grunted quietly.
The old man had no internal Qi at all.
He didn’t seem like a martial arts practitioner at all.
But why was the wolf so afraid of this place?
Fang Qiu suppressed down his doubts and bowed at the old man politely. He asked with a smile,
“Sir, my water is running low. May I get some water from you?”
“I guess so. But how did you get here so deep in the mountain forest?”
Asked the old man, looking up and down at Fang Qiu.
“I’m a Chinese medicine doctor in search of medical herbs.”
Answered Fang Qiu.
The old man nodded and let go of his doubts. He invited, “Come on in.”
Fang Qiu followed the old man into the cottage. The old man pointed at the water tank near the hearth and said, “Water is there.”
Fang Qiu turned, following the old man’s hand.
After seeing clearly, he was startled.
As the water tank was made of rock. A whole green rock.
If this old man was not a martial master, he, as an ordinary man, must have found this big piece of green rock and cut it himself.
He admired the hard work.
Walking Fang Qiu to the water tank, the old man reached out to remove the wooden lid from the tank and took out a bamboo tube about the size of a palm. He handed it to Fang Qiu and said, “Drink with this scoop.”
Fang Qiu took the bamboo tube and immediately took a scoop. He raised his head and finished it in one gulp.
As the water entered his mouth, Fang Qiu felt the refreshing sweetness. From his throat down to his stomach, he felt great.
He hadn’t had such sweet water for a long time.
Such sweet water only existed in his childhood memory.
As he finished drinking,
“Thank you, sir.”
Fang Qiu turned to thank the old man.
“Just some water. You are welcome.”
Replied the old man with a smile.
Fang Qiu quickly glanced around the house with walls of stones and a roof of thatches.
It appeared simple but was actually not!
He knew a little about Yin and Yang, the five elements, and Feng Shui.
He could tell the details of this cottage matched with Feng Shui and five elements secretly.
Fang Qiu looked at the old man and asked with a smile, “How come you are living so deep in the mountains all by yourself? Aren’t you scared of those wild beasts?”
The old man responded with a chuckle and said, “I’m training. The outside world is too noisy. I’ve found this quiet place to have some rest.”
“About those wild beasts… Why should I be scared of them? Will they not eat me for my fear?”
Would they not eat me for my fear?
Fang Qiu couldn’t help admiring the old man.
What a strong state of mind!
“You are totally above worldly considerations.”
“I just prefer peace and tranquility.”
The old man replied, smiling.
“May I have your age?”
Fang Qiu asked.
“I’m turning 85 this year.”
The old man replied.
Fang Qiu looked at the old man in surprise. He thought the man was 70 at most but he was already 85.
He was living in the mountains all by himself at such an old age.
He was living his life without any hinder.
“You are so very healthy!”
Fang Qiu said with emotion before asking loud the question in his heart, “The younger ones might not be able to make it all the way into the deep mountain. How did you get here alone?”
Through this simple contact and sensing,
He was already certain this old man was completely ordinary with no internal Qi.
An ordinary man with an unusually powerful mind.
How could he suppress his curiosity about this ordinary man who had built a cottage to practice under numerous wild beasts’ gaze?
“Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The old man put on a slight smile.
“Aren’t your relatives worried about you considering your age? Don’t you miss home?”
Fang Qiu asked.
“I don’t even miss myself. Why would I miss home?”
Replied the old man with a smile, stroking his long beard.
Fang Qiu suddenly froze at these words.
I don’t even miss myself. Why would I miss home?
These words were worth pondering.
The old master once told him
There were two kinds of people in this world most worthy of admiration. The first was the rulers who established a state, expanded its territory, and conquered the enemies.
The other was men on training who conquered their mind.
These two groups of people must be brave. The second kind was probably superior to the first.
It would be easy to conquer the world but hard to conquer oneself!
Compared to these two groups, martial arts practitioners were like stars to the bright moon. Their light was faint like that of a firefly.
The old man in front of him didn’t think about anything, including himself. He must have conquered his mind.
He might not have any self or mind. He conquered without conquering.
Fang Qiu bowed at the old man, cupping one hand in the other before the chest, and remarked with sincere admiration, “You are very powerful. Not everyone can not miss himself. Your attainments have gone profound. I admire you very much!”
“Not at all.”
The old man shook his head and waved his hand. He continued, ashamed, “The powerful are training in the earthly world. I can’t be like them yet so I hide in the deep mountains all by myself to withdraw from society and practice in peace.”
“With nothing bothering me, I can free myself. But if disturbed, I don’t know if I could be free. So I’m not powerful at all. Besides, I’m training myself only, the Hinayana after all.”
“You are being too modest!”
After saying that, Fang Qiu changed the topic and asked curiously, pointing at the small vegetable field outside the house, “Your health is very good but you probably can’t go hunting at this age. Is this vegetable field enough to get you fed?”
“One meal every other day. It’s enough.”
The old man replied with a smile.
Hearing that, Fang Qiu was in awe.
Wealth, sexual desire, reputation, food, and sleep are the five hinders in Buddhism.
To practice Buddhism, these must be overcome. This old man had obviously overcome reputation, wealth, sexual desire, and sleep. Then he proved he’d overcome food.
“It’s dark inside. Let’s talk outside.”
Said the old man to Fang Qiu.
Fang Qiu nodded.
The two walked out of the house and stopped by two big green rocks by the vegetable field.
Fang Qiu touched it with his hand and the rock was not cold. So he didn’t stop the old man from sitting down.
An elder and a youth.
Sat on the big green rocks.
The mountain breeze stroked their faces and the forest birds sang happily.
It was a picture of unspeakable beauty.
“Master, I’m curious about one matter. I’d like to consult you.”
Fang Qiu was ready to speak out his question.
“I encountered a wolf three miles away. It dared not approach this direction. Now I’m here with you, not too different from others. Why was the wolf so afraid of coming here as if something terrifying was awaiting?”
Fang Qiu finished. He waited for the old man’s answer quietly.
“Did you say a wolf?”
The old man chuckled. He replied, “It’s a good friend of mine. I saved it once. Actually many animals here are my friends. I guess you were chasing it so it ran to seek help from me but it was afraid that you might harm me.”
He took a deep gaze at Fang Qiu before continuing, “You are not just a Chinese medicine doctor, nor an ordinary man, are you?”
With a guilty smile, Fang Qiu changed the topic, “Master, do you know if there’s any strange place nearby?”
He tried to get information about earth treasures from the old man.
He might know it.
The old man didn’t continue to inquire about Fang Qiu’s identity. He thought about it and answered, “Thirty miles to the east, bones of ferocious beasts can often be seen. Many of my animal friends never returned from there. I don’t know why.”
Upon hearing that.
Fang Qiu’s heart was stirred.
Bones of ferocious beasts?
Those ferocious beasts were enough to be kings and queens in this wild mountain forest. Why would they become dead bones there?
Could it be guardian spiritual beasts of heaven materials and earth treasures?
Only the spiritual beasts could kill this many fierce animals.
It seemed he would have a good chance of finding earth treasures there.
Fang Qiu put down the bag from his back, opened it, and took out a wild ginseng and two ganodermas. He handed them to the old man respectfully and said, “Master, I found these herbs in this mountain. It is to repay your kindness for answering my questions and giving me water. I wish you a long life.”
To his surprise,
The old man shook his head and asked, “What would I do with your herbs?”
“These herbs are wild. You can use them for some extra nutrition.”
Said Fang Qiu genuinely, looking at the old man.
“My body has no illness. Life or death is fated. Why should I both take care of it?”
The old man shook his head again and added, “Besides, the best nutrition in this world is sleep.”
At that point.
The old man glanced at Fang Qiu and said with a smile, “As you are a Chinese medicine doctor, let me tell you something that you can’t learn in those medical books.”
“Please go ahead.”
Fang Qiu said respectfully.
“Actually, the amount of time a person really sleeps is no more than two hours. The rest of it is simply a waste.”
The old man revealed some shocking opinion.
“We lie on a pillow and dream. No one in this world doesn’t dream. Those who don’t think they have dreamed just forget it all.
“Normally, a person only needs two hours of sleep. Why do we sleep seven or even eight hours then?
“Because we like to be lazy around in bed and cultivate the habit of resting on the pillow. Those who meditate and train all know that three minutes of closing eyes at noon is like a two-hour sleep. However, it must be exactly at noon. At night we need to fall asleep at midnight exactly. At that hour, a five-minute sleep is like a six-hour sleep.
Fang Qiu was slightly startled by the old man’s words.
He didn’t expect the old man to know this.
It seemed this old man could verify this personally.
It was indeed not recorded in any Chinese medical books.
“The study of time is very important.”
After a moment of reflection, the old man continued, “It has something to do with the laws of the universe, the laws of the earth, and the principles of Yin and Yang. When you feel a stream of force descending from below your heart to merge with the power located below your navel like water meets fire, thoroughly open and clear, you’ll know you’ve had enough sleep and you’ll have your vigor perfectly restored.
“So if someone suffers from insomnia or really needs to stay up late, he must go to sleep at midnight even if only for 20 minutes. If you can’t sleep, you must train yourself to fall asleep. After 00:30, we won’t feel like sleeping anymore. This feeling is very awful.
“More seriously, you’ll feel sleepy again before dawn around 4, 5, or 6 o’clock. If you sleep then, you’ll lose your head for an entire day.
“So like time, a human body also has day and night. If we want to take in nutrition, we should take care of our body and our sleep. Herbs, however good, are external to our body.”
The old man smiled, stroking his long beard.
With a taste of ease and a glow of happiness.
“I admire you. Master, you indeed are in the know.”
Fang Qiu remarked with emotion.
He didn’t know there was so much knowledge in sleep.
He knew about sleeping at noon and midnight but he didn’t know so well as this old man had explained.
The old man cast a glance at Fang Qiu with a smile and continued after a moment of thought, “Since we are destined to meet each other and both of us are in the medical field and familiar with herbal medicine, I’ll teach you a method to treat stomach disease.”
“Master, I’m all ears.”
Said Fang Qiu merrily.