One Hundred Days of Darkness and Light
One Hundred Days of Darkness and Light is the first section in Robert Peng's book, The Master Key
Biguan in the Dark Chamber
I stood up and walked over to the wall, bumping into the table along the way. I used my hands to guide myself along the wall back to the door. I went outside and felt my way to the second door, beyond which lay the spiral staircase that led to the outside world. I put my ear to the door, but I couldn’t hear anything.
To regain my sense of normalcy I used the toilet. Then I returned to my room and explored it again, tracing my way by feeling the walls with my hands. I lay down on the mattress for a few minutes. It was comfortable. Then I got up and walked around the room for a third time.
I returned to the bed and remembered the dates. I popped one into my mouth and wolfed it down. Mmm, that was good. I played with the pit for a little while, placed it on the tabletop, and I reached for another, but stopped myself before biting down on it.
“Chew slowly, slowly, slowly.” I remembered Xiao Yao’s words and decided to save it for later. I got up and had a drink of water. It tasted sweet and fresh. The air was also fresh. There must be a ventilation shaft somewhere. I tried to find it but couldn’t, and after a while I gave up.
I took a nap. When I woke up, I was disoriented. How long have I been here? An hour? Two? Maybe more? Is it dark outside? I had no way of knowing. I was already losing my sense of time. But since I wasn’t tired, I got out of bed and began to practice Qigong.
As promised, Xiao Yao returned to visit me the next day. I heard the outer door open and close. Then the door to my room opened and closed. He entered, this time with no lamp, holding only a lit stick of incense.
“Is everything all right?” he asked.
“Yes, Shifu,” I replied.
“Is there anything you would like to ask me?”
He probed my head with his fingers to check my energy level, and then he empowered me with his Qi by pressing on my Midbrow Point. The buzzing energy flowed into me like an electric current.
Then he empowered a few of my other energy points. By the time he was done working on me, the incense stick was almost completely burned out.
Xiao Yao pulled out three dates from under the folds of his robe and handed them to me.
“Keep on practicing,” he instructed.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he added, and walked to the door.
The door shut behind him, and after the incense stick was extinguished, I was plunged into pure darkness again.
We repeated the same routine every day, but each time Xiao Yao visited he empowered different energy points in me. Once he placed his hands on my shoulder blades for a long time. Another time he empowered two energy points on the soles of my feet. On a different occasion, Xiao Yao pressed hard on two very sensitive points along the upper ridge of my eye sockets for a long time with his thumbs. I almost cried from the intense pain. But when he released the pressure the inside of my head brightened like the daytime sky.
I suffered occasional pangs of loneliness during the first week, especially right after Xiao Yao left. But those feelings quickly sub- sided, and after a while I didn’t feel them at all. Surprisingly I didn’t feel hungry after the third day, not even once. I discovered that fasting alone in the dark without any tantalizing distractions was quite easy. My master’s Qi, the dates, and my Qigong practice nourished me sufficiently.
As the first week melted into the second, my sensory awareness began to unravel. I became a point of consciousness floating through the darkness, materializing a body whenever I needed to move, materializing a psyche whenever I experienced a feeling, and materializing a mind whenever I produced a thought.
On one occasion I was lying in bed holding one of my precious dates. It smells so savory . . . I probed the fruit with my fingers. It feels so smooth . . . I sunk my teeth into the flesh and slowly sliced off a small chunk. It tastes delicious . . . My mouth became a pool of sweet saliva. I swallowed and took another bite. When I finished eating the fruit, I played with the date pit in my mouth, chasing it around with my tongue like a cat romping around with a ball of yarn.
Then I rested with the date pit still in my mouth, and suddenly I had a vision. I saw the date I had just eaten bunched with other dates on the branch that spawned it. My sense of time began to flow backward and I envisioned the sunlight, rainwater, and minerals that created the fruit returning to the sky and the ground as the date shrank away and dissolved.
Then I saw the tree that produced the date begin to shrink until it became the pit of the date that originated it. The backward flow of time sped up, and I saw countless date pits becoming date trees that, in turn, became date pits until I saw the primordial date—the first date that ever existed—disintegrate and return its elemental energy into the void. Then there was absolutely nothing.
In a flash I realized that what had happened to the date in the vision also applied to every other living thing that ever existed, including me. Ultimately, every living being is a thread stitching through a different part of the tapestry of the universe, but originating from the same mysterious, fathomless source. I instantly understood with lucid clarity that I shared the most fundamental aspect of my being with everything else alive: all life is one.
To be continued in the next issue of Catalyst...
Robert Peng is a world-renowned Qigong Master, healer, and author of the book, The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom.
Click here for a free download of the audiobook, 100 Days of Darkness and Light, which is the first section in Robert's book, The Master Key.
Robert's companion resources include:
The Master Key Video Series (4 DVDs of Qigong practices)
The Master Key Audio Series (5 CDs of Qigong practices)
Qigong Ecstasy (45-minute Qigong practice video)
AM/PM Qigong (Two 30-minute Qigong routines video)
Robert was born and raised in Hunan, China. At age eight, he began an intensive apprenticeship under the close guidance of the legendary monk Xiao Yao, an enlightened master known for his profound healing ability and martial arts skill. At age 15, Robert performed a 100-day water fast in a small dark room at a secluded monastery in the remote mountains of Hunan province. He underwent a radical spiritual transformation and awakened amazing healing powers. Master Xiao Yao encouraged Robert to develop his healing skills by studying with other Chinese masters.
After pursuing his training quietly while attending university in Changsha, where he majored in English Literature, at 29 years old he began to teach publicly, and within five years had trained over 150,000 students all over China, Australia, and the U.S.
With his deep understanding and practice of Qigong, and with extensive life and teaching experience in the western world, Robert has developed a unique way to teach Qigong that people from different cultures can easily understand and follow while enjoying the real essence of this ancient Chinese healing art of wisdom, love, and vitality.
Robert has been a regular presenter at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, The Esalen Institute, Integrative Health Symposium, and many other organizations and schools.
Together with Bishop Desmond and Pema Chodron, he was honored as one of "Top Ten Heroes of 2013" for his contribution to transform "the ancient Chinese healing art of Qigong into today's fast-growing holistic practices — in addition to use as a spiritual practice for inner balance and peace, Qigong movement is gaining acceptance as a gentle movement for chronic illness and pain."