Taoist Priest & Tiger

Tigers are nothing to be afraid of, as long as you close your breath and store your thoughts.

Ming Siyuan, a Taoist priest from Huashan, studied Taoist talismans diligently for more than thirty years. He often taught people the “Jinshui Shape Method(金水分形之法)” and told them to hold their breath and rely on their thoughts, and many people came to him to learn from him.

During the Yongtai period, Huazhou(華州, a place) was infested with tigers. Ming Siyuan told people, “Tigers are nothing to be afraid of, as long as you close your breath and store your thoughts, imagine that a lion comes out of each of your ten fingers, and let them rush forward, and the tiger will run away.”

Siyuan was traveling with someone, and when it was almost dark, he met a tiger at the mouth of a valley. His companions were so frightened that they fled in all directions,but only Ming Si Yuan sat down and closed his breath to store his thoughts. He was eaten by the tiger in no time.

His disciples went to the entrance of the valley to look for him the next day, but they saw only pine roses and a pair of shoes.

Original text in 《辯疑志》:
華山道士明思遠,勤修道箓,三十餘年。常教人「金水分形之法」,並閉氣存思,師事甚眾。永泰中,華州虎暴。思遠告人云:「虎不足畏,但閉氣存思,令十指頭各出一獅子,但使向前,虎即去。」思遠兼與人同行,欲暮,於谷口行逢虎。其伴驚懼散去,唯思遠端然,閉氣存思。俄然為虎所食。其徒明日於谷口相尋,但見松蘿及雙履耳。

🎨 by 徐悲鸿, 《骑虎财神像》, preserved in the Forbidden City Museum.

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