This section is from the book "The Beverages of the Chinese; Kung-fu or Tauist Medical Gymnastics; the Population of China; A Modern Chinese Anatomist and A Chapter in Chinese Surgery.", by John Dudgeon. Also available from Amazon: Kung Fu, or Taoist Medical Gymnastics.
Another work in one small vol., one of the smallest, cheapest and most popular books on Kung-fu, is the Wei-sheng-yi-chin-ching supposed to be spurious by scholars. Several abridged editions of this book are sold under the designation Wei-shengyao-shu
The first mentioned book has a preface by Sung-kwang-so written in 1875, " which he says that he is a. lover of good books, that he visited a great temple where Kung-fu was practised with advantage to the original air and vital spirits, protecting not only against disease but prolonging life and still more of enabling persons to become divine sages. He had much leisure and was anxious to reprint good books, dispense medicines and cure serious disease. People from all quarters praised his good deeds, his own evil thoughts banished, he ate and drank orderly and discreetly; his one desire was to obtain peace; he spent much time and labour in searching into prescriptions for the nourishment of the body, when he came across this book and he was rejoiced to obtain the benefit of the two books Hwang-ting and Nei-ching and learned the methods of the genii.
He was glad at the possession of this book and wished others with the same heart as his own, to reap the same advantage and help them to nourish their bodies.
This is followed by a preface written by Li-ching a great military officer of the T'ang dynasty, in the second year (529 A.D.) of the second Emperor of that dynasty. He says in the time of the after Wei in the year T'ai-ho of the Emperor Hsiao-mingthe priest Ta-mo
(Bodhidharma - the sound of the last two syllables of his Indian name) arrived at the court of Wu-ti the first Emperor of the Liang dynasty, where he first dwelt and afterwards removed to the Wei Kingdom, and dwelt at a temple called Shao-lin-sze After a residence of 9 years in China (he was 69 years' old when he arrived in the year 526, and was the 28th of the patriarchs) he was changed (died) and was buried at the foot of the Hiung-erh mountain (between Honan and and Shensi). He left one shoe. When his monument was being repaired after the course of years, an iron box, unlocked, but firmly-fastened with glue, was found, which on the application of heat was opened. The inside was filled with wax and it was this that rendered its opening difficult. Inside were two books, one termed the Hsi-sui-ching the other the I-chin-ching The latter had to do with the conservation of the body. After generations saw nothing of the former,. the latter was found at Shao-lin-sze, written in the lang uage of the country called T'ien-chuh India). There was great difficulty in having it translated. Each one took the best meaning out of it he could and by so doing obtained the bypath - not the highway, the leaves and branches - not the stem, and so lost the real method of turning genii. At present the priests of the temple obtain advantage from the wrestling (method) merely. One of the more intelligent argued that what Tamo left could not be unimportant and so he went on a pilgrimage to the O-mei mountain in Szechuen in search of one who could translate the work and there met an Indian priest by name Pan-la-me To him he spoke of the classic and reason for his coming. The Indian priest explained the work so far as was possible, for the language of Buddha cannot be translated, it is extraordinarily deep, deeper than water. He was invited to stay at the temple and so got initiated by-degrees into the details of Kungfu. In 100 days he became quite strong, in 100 more his entire body had received benefit and after the third hundred days he was able for everything and his constitution became as hard as steel, and he could aspire to the position of a Buddha. He accompained the Indian priest wherever he went. One Hsu-hung met them and obtained from them the secret method, and he gave it to a red bearded guest who gave it to the writer of the preface, who tried the method with the best results and so became a believer. He deeply regretted he did not obtain the Hsi-sui-ching and he also felt regrets that his convictions were not strong enough to induce him to give up all and follow the priests and not being able to carry out this plan, he felt as if there was something a wanting in his heart. He complains of people not having heard of this work, so he writes this preface to inform them how the work came into his hands and hopes that through this they may truly learn of Buddha. That each may attain to the Kungfu of Buddha is the ideal which Tamo had in his heart in bequeathing this classic. This is an extract and in part the substance of the principal part of the preface. Dr. Edkins tells us that Tamo in carrying out his mystic views, discouraged the use of the sacred books. His highest aim was the work of the heart. He left Nanking where the Emperor resided and went to Loyang, the modern Honanfu. For 9 years he sat with his face to a wall, hence the epithet applied to him - "the wall-gazing Brahman." He died of old age. Sung-yun who was sent in 518 A.D. to India for Buddhist books by the Prince of the Wei country, returned and inspected the remains of Tamo. As he lay in his coffin, he held one shoe in his hand. Sung-yun asked him whither he was going. To the Western Heaven was the reply. Sung then returned home. The coffin was afterwards opened and found empty, the shoe alone was lying there. This shoe was preserved as a relic in the monastery but was stolen in the T'ang dynasty.