This book contains a complete translation of one of the main works by the eminent Taoist master Liu Yiming (1734-1821). Divided into 26 short chapters and translated here for the first time, Cultivating the Tao is at the same time a comprehensive overview of the basic principles of Taoism and an introduction to Taoist Internal Alchemy, or Neidan, written by one of the greatest representatives of this tradition.
Liu Yiming was an 11th-generation master of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage. Having recovered from severe illness in his youth, he undertook extended traveling that led him to meet his two main masters. In 1780, he visited the Qiyun mountains, in the present-day Gansu province, and settled there. He devoted the second half of his life to teaching and writing, and to charitable activities including restoring shrines and buying burial ground for the poor. His works mainly consist of writings on Neidan and of commentaries on major Neidan scriptures.
Few other masters have illustrated the relation between Taoism and Internal Alchemy as clearly as Liu Yiming does in this book. Grafting Internal Alchemy into the teachings of the Book of the Way and Its Virtue (Daode jing) and of the later Taoist tradition, he shows how the way of the Golden Elixir can lead to the highest state of realization according to the Taoist principles.
Cultivating the Tao is vol. 2 in the "Masters" series of Golden Elixir Press.
Original title: Xiuzhen houbian.
1 Precelestial Essence, Breath, and Spirit
2 Postcelestial Essence, Breath, and Spirit
3 Precelestial Breath of True Unity
4 True and False Body and Mind
5 True and False Nature and Existence
6 Precelestial and Postcelestial Yin and Yang
7 Internal and External Five Agents
8 Internal Medicine and External Medicine
9 Great and Small Reverted Elixir
10 The Operation of the Auspicious and the Inauspicious
11 Furnace and Tripod in the Initial and the Final Stages
12 Internal and External Fire Phases
13 The Other House and My House
14 The True Initial Flow
15 Refining the Nine Tripods
16 The One Opening of the Mysterious Barrier
17 The Ebb and Flow of Celestial Net
18 Giving and Taking Life, Punishment and Virtue
19 Superior Virtue and Inferior Virtue
20 Doing and Non-Doing
21 Zi, Wu, Mao, You
22 Life and Death, Being and Non-Being
23 Precelestial and Postcelestial Kan and Li
24 Laying the Foundations for Refining Oneself
25 Internal and External Companions
26 Exerting One’s Mind to Inquire into the Principles
Glossary of Chinese Characters