Historical Dictionary of Daoism

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Historical Dictionary of Daoism

Table of contents :
Editor’s Foreword
Reader’s Note
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chinese Dynasties
Chronology of Daoist History
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
About the Author

Citation preview

The historical dictionaries present essential information on a broad range of subjects, including American and world history, art, business, cities, countries, cultures, customs, film, global conflicts, international relations, literature, music, philosophy, religion, sports, and theater. Written by experts, all contain highly informative introductory essays of the topic and detailed chronologies that, in some cases, cover vast historical time periods but still manage to heavily feature more recent events. Brief A–Z entries describe the main people, events, politics, social issues, institutions, and policies that make the topic unique, and entries are cross-referenced for ease of browsing. Extensive bibliographies are divided into several general subject areas, providing excellent access points for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more. Additionally, maps, photographs, and appendixes of supplemental information aid high school and college students doing term papers or introductory research projects. In short, the historical dictionaries are the perfect starting point for anyone looking to research in these fields.

HISTORICAL DICTIONARIES OF RELIGIONS, PHILOSOPHIES, AND MOVEMENTS Jon Woronoff, Series Editor Orthodox Church, by Michael Prokurat, Alexander Golitzin, and Michael D. Peterson, 1996 Civil Rights Movement, by Ralph E. Luker, 1997 North American Environmentalism, by Edward R. Wells and Alan M. Schwartz, 1997 Taoism, by Julian F. Pas in cooperation with Man Kam Leung, 1998 Gay Liberation Movement, by Ronald J. Hunt, 1999 Islamic Fundamentalist Movements in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey, by Ahmad S. Moussalli, 1999 Cooperative Movement, by Jack Shaffer, 1999 Kierkegaard’s Philosophy, by Julia Watkin, 2001 Prophets in Islam and Judaism, by Scott B. Noegel and Brannon M. Wheeler, 2002 Lesbian Liberation Movement: Still the Rage, by JoAnne Myers, 2003 New Age Movements, by Michael York, 2004 Feminism, Second Edition, by Janet K. Boles and Diane Long Hoeveler, 2004 Jainism, by Kristi L. Wiley, 2004 Methodism, Second Edition, by Charles Yrigoyen Jr. and Susan E. Warrick, 2005 Kant and Kantianism, by Helmut Holzhey and Vilem Mudroch, 2005 Olympic Movement, Third Edition, by Bill Mallon with Ian Buchanan, 2006 Feminist Philosophy, by Catherine Villanueva Gardner, 2006 Logic, by Harry J. Gensler, 2006 Leibniz’s Philosophy, by Stuart Brown and Nicholas J. Fox, 2006 Non-Aligned Movement and Third World, by Guy Arnold, 2006 Epistemology, by Ralph Baergen, 2006 Bahá’í Faith, Second Edition, by Hugh C. Adamson, 2006 Aesthetics, by Dabney Townsend, 2006 Puritans, by Charles Pastoor and Galen K. Johnson, 2007 Husserl’s Philosophy, by John J. Drummond, 2008 Existentialism, by Stephen Michelman, 2008 Zionism, Second Edition, by Rafael Medoff and Chaim I. Waxman, 2008 Coptic Church, by Gawdat Gabra, 2008 Hegelian Philosophy, Second Edition, by John W. Burbidge, 2008 Ethics, by Harry J. Gensler and Earl W. Spurgin, 2008 Bertrand Russell’s Philosophy, by Rosalind Carey and John Ongley, 2009 Baptists, Second Edition, by William H. Brackney, 2009 Homosexuality, by Brent L. Pickett, 2009 Buddhism, by Carl Olson, 2009 Holiness Movement, Second Edition, edited by William Kostlevy, 2009 Reformed Churches, Second Edition, by Robert Benedetto and Donald K. McKim, 2010 The Reformation and Counter-Reformation, by Michael Mullett, 2010 Jesus, by Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., 2010 Metaphysics, by Gary Rosenkrantz and Joshua Hoffman, 2011 Shinto, Second Edition, by Stuart D. B. Picken, 2011 The Friends (Quakers), Second Edition, by Margery Post Abbott, Mary Ellen Chijioke, Pink Dandelion, and John William Oliver Jr., 2011 Lutheranism, Second Edition, by Günther Gassmann with Duane H. Larson, and Mark W. Oldenburg, 2011 Hinduism, New Edition, by Jeffery D. Long, 2011

Calvinism, by Stuart D. B. Picken, 2012 Hobbes’s Philosophy, by Juhana Lemetti, 2012 Chinese Communist Party, by Lawrence R. Sullivan, 2012 New Religious Movements, Second Edition, by George D. Chryssides, 2012 Catholicism, Second Edition, by William J. Collinge, 2012 Radical Christianity, by William H. Brackney, 2012 Organized Labor, Third Edition, by James C. Docherty and Sjaak van der Velden, 2012 Witchcraft, Second Edition, by Jonathan Durrant and Michael D. Bailey, 2013 Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements, by JoAnne Myers, 2013 Nietzscheanism, Third Edition, by Carol Diethe, 2014 Human Rights, by Jacques Fomerand, 2014 Welfare State, Third Edition, by Bent Greve, 2014 Wittgenstein’s Philosophy, Second Edition, by Duncan Richter, 2014 Civil Rights Movement, Second Edition, by Christopher M. Richardson and Ralph E. Luker, 2014 Sikhism, Third Edition, by Louis E. Fenech and W. H. McLeod, 2014 Marxism, Second Edition, by Elliott Johnson, David Walker, and Daniel Gray, 2014 Slavery and Abolition, Second Edition, by Martin A. Klein, 2014 Seventh-Day Adventists, Second Edition, by Gary Land, 2015 Judaism, Third Edition, by Norman Solomon, 2015 Ancient Greek Philosophy, Second Edition, by Anthony Preus, 2015 Descartes and Cartesian Philosophy, Second Edition, by Roger Ariew, Dennis Des Chene, Douglas M. Jesseph, Tad M. Schmaltz, and Theo Verbeek, 2015 Anglicanism, Second Edition, by Colin Buchanan, 2015 Sufism, Second Edition, by John Renard, 2016 Shamanism, Second Edition, by Graham Harvey and Robert Wallis, 2016 Socialism, Third Edition, by Peter Lamb, 2016 Schopenhauer’s Philosophy, by David E. Cartwright, 2016 Native American Movements, Second Edition, by Todd Leahy and Nathan Wilson, 2016 Environmentalism, Second Edition, by Peter Dauvergne, 2016 Islam, Third Edition, by Ludwig W. Adamec, 2017 Shakers, Second Edition, by Stephen J. Paterwic, 2017 Utopianism, Second Edition, by Toby Widdicombe, James M. Morris, and Andrea L. Kross, 2017 Chan Buddhism, by Youru Wang, 2017 Islamic Fundamentalism, Second Edition, by Mathieu Guidère, 2017 Salvation Army, Second Edition, by John G. Merritt and Allen Satterlee, 2017 Medical Ethics, by Laurence B. McCullough, 2018 Unitarian Universalism, Second Edition, by Mark W. Harris, 2018 Medieval Philosophy and Theology, by Stephen F. Brown and Juan Carlos Flores, 2018 Hume’s Philosophy, by Angela Coventry and Kenneth R. Merrill, 2019 Jehovah’s Witnesses, Second Edition, by George D. Chryssides, 2019 Democracy, by Norman Abjorensen, 2019 Latter-day Saints (formally Mormonism), Fourth Edition, by Thomas G. Alexander, 2019 Green Movement, Second Edition, by Miranda Schreurs and Elim Papadakis, 2019 Heidegger’s Philosophy, Third Edition, by Frank Schalow, 2019 Daoism, by Ronnie L. Littlejohn, 2019

Historical Dictionary of Daoism

Ronnie L. Littlejohn

ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD Lanham • Boulder • New York • London

Published by Rowman & Littlefield An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706 www.rowman.com 6 Tinworth Street, London SE11 5AL Copyright © 2020 by Ronnie L. Littlejohn All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote passages in a review. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available Library of Congress Control Number:2019950576

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992.

To my Dipper Stars, Greenley, Brant, Georgia, Dean and Gram


Editor’s Foreword




Reader’s Note


Acronyms and Abbreviations


Chinese Dynasties


Chronology of Daoist History






Appendix A: Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Term List


Appendix B: Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Texts


Appendix C: Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Names




About the Author



Editor’s Foreword

Daoism (sometimes called Taoism) is one of the three major branches of religion in the Chinese world, although it is much smaller and more diffuse than Confucianism or Buddhism and also much harder to define. It is the “way” that should be followed, although this way has varied throughout time and with different authors, and it is not even certain whether the most notable of these, Laozi, actually existed. More serious, although smaller, and one would think not a serious threat to the state, it has periodically been rejected and even persecuted by authorities, whether emperors, the earlier Republic of China, and today’s massive and almost monolithic People’s Republic of China (PRC). Yet, time and again Daoism has recovered and been reborn, and this may be happening again today. So, it should not be written off, for it contains concepts and philosophies that have appealed to the Chinese throughout the ages, attracting attention much more broadly in modern-day China. For those interested in learning more about Daoism, we are pleased to publish a new edition of Historical Dictionary of Daoism. The chronology is the best place to start to grasp why the “way”—this is probably better than saying religion—has been around for two and a half millennia—a long time, even for religions, and despite all forms of persecution—should be with us for a long time to come. Just how long and which dynasties it has traversed is shown in a handy table. The introduction gives a more thorough overview of its trajectory and contents. But the most important section remains the dictionary itself, with entries on concepts, practices, books, and a rather special vocabulary that has to be mastered to understand it. This goes well beyond such familiar terms as harmony and balance, and includes Chinese vocabulary that requires some interpretation. Obviously, this book can only be the start to a long path of learning for those who are attracted to Daoism, and further reading can be found in the bibliography. Whereas it was almost impossible to find suitable authorities when the previous edition was published, there is now a growing and flourishing circle of scholars who study—and teach—Daoism. One of the most prominent is the author of this work, Ronnie Littlejohn. He combines the two essential strands of Chinese studies and philosophy, being both Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and director of Asian studies at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Littlejohn is author of nine books on such topics as Daoism, Confucianism, and Chinese philosophy, and coeditor of Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic, as well as three xi



dozen journal and encyclopaedia articles, and works in various scholarly anthologies. He has received many awards, notably one from the Henan Province Ministry of Education, and spoken at the dedication of the Laozi and Daoist Culture Center in Zhoukou City, PRC. Littlejohn is also on the editorial broad of the Journal of Daoist Studies and the board of directors of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, among other organizations. He now shares his knowledge and insights in this historical dictionary. Jon Woronoff Series Editor


The time is right for a new Historical Dictionary of Daoism. When the first edition of this project was compiled and written by noted Daoist scholar Julian Pas in cooperation with Man Kam Leung (1998), we were only at the beginning stages of the explosion of scholarship on Daoism and the global reach and manifestation of the tradition in lands far beyond its place of origination. Pas’s Historical Dictionary of Daoism was a welcome contribution to the knowledge of Daoism, accessible to and specifically targeted at an informed nonspecialist readership, even if scholars also found it helpful and meritoriously done. When Pas published his work, scholars of Daoism already had available to them two massive works, although both were directed toward non-English-speaking users. The Encyclopedia of Chinese Taoism (Zhonguo Daojiao da cidian) made its appearance in 1995, at more than 2,207 pages. Several hundred authors contributed entries to that work. The Japanese Dictionary of Taoism (Dokyo jiten), published in Tokyo in 1994, has 1,141 entries, written by 132 contributors. Since the late 1990s, two other significant works have collected some of the best modern research on Daoist concepts and figures throughout the history of the tradition, and both are available to readers looking for an English-language guide: The Encyclopedia of Taoism, edited by Fabrizio Pregadio (2008), and the Daoist Handbook, edited by Livia Kohn (2004). But in spite of the many merits of these volumes for scholars, in particular, neither of these texts is set up to provide a ready-at-hand, accessible dictionary for key terms, texts, and people for a general readership. The Encyclopedia of Taoism provides longer entries and precise detail that routinely reaches beyond what a well-informed nonscholar user might require. The Daoist Handbook is set up in such a way as to require the user to pursue the definition of a term only by using its index entries and following a path of understanding through several articles. In the present work, a user may approach by use of the English language, find the entry, and gain a substantial and direct definition. I have provided encyclopedia-length entries for only the most dramatically important texts or movements. These are longer than would be normal in a dictionary, but the idea is to make crucial points about a major item in Daoist history within the volume the reader is using as a dictionary.


Reader’s Note

As with the other volumes in the historical dictionary series, this work makes generous use of cross-referencing as an aid to the user who wishes to follow various ways in which a term, text, or person is webbed into the larger tradition. Three types of cross-reference are used as follows: 1. Example: BIQI 閇氣. See BREATH RETENTION. The use of “see” in the main entry alerts the user to the fact that there is no information under the term BIQI, but the entry for “BREATH RETENTION” provides the information for BIQI. This practice is particularly helpful in this specific dictionary because a user may have only the Pinyin Romanization of the term available. The dictionary will direct the reader to the English language translation entry for the Pinyin term. 2. Example: See also EIGHTY-ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LORD LAO, THE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY PRECEPTS SPOKEN BY LORD LAO. In this form of cross-reference, there is more information available on the same or related matters under one or more other entries. The “see also” designation is placed following the last sentence of the entry if the entry is short or following the last sentence of a paragraph within the entry where the cross-reference is appropriate. 3. Example: “In fact, Tao Hongjing writes disparagingly in the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) that, “Ge Chaofu fabricated the Lingbao classics, and the teaching flourished.” In this entry, devoted to the important Daoist Ge Chaofu, the user is pointed to other entries of interest by using bold font as an indication that the dictionary contains separate items for the bolded terms. In this way, the reader may follow a path of understanding in multiple ways. The entries in this dictionary are arranged for finding by English title. Crossreferences are given to Pinyin versions of the English terms, in case a user has available only the Pinyin. In the dictionary, there is no separate listing or cross-reference for the Chinese of a term; however, for almost every entry an English translation is given, along with the Pinyin and the Chinese. For proper names, for instance, key Daoist figures, the name is given in Pinyin and the Chinese is provided, along with dates as known. If a person’s name is provided but there is no date given, this is generally because the figure is legendary or mythological. This is especially the case with immortals and deities. Except in the case of the bibliography, in which some sources are xv



used repeatedly, for example, the Daoist Handbook, I have elected to continue to use the full titles of texts. For example, I do not use the abbreviation “DDJ” for Daodejing but employ the complete title. Abbreviations used in the bibliography are shown in the front matter of that section. In keeping with Rowman & Littlefield’s style, I have italicized Pinyin terms if they are not in standard English dictionaries; however, there is some inconsistency, even among quite authoritative sources. I do not italicize proper names, titles of movements, or names of places. So, I have italicized dao, as well as yin and yang, although these are rather common in English grammar now. Because the dictionary is targeted rather toward making ease of use for a native speaker of English one of its principal goals, I have not inserted Chinese in the text, except for a few occasions. I do provide Chinese for terms in the content sections of entries when two Chinese terms have the same Pinyin but quite different meanings. One example of this occurs in the entry for “Wang Bi” and distinguishes his use of ordering Principle li 理 from the Confucian rites of propriety li 禮. Many Daoist are texts referenced in the dictionary. This is because users need to know where an idea may be found and the English title for a source. Almost without exception, I have followed standard English translations for texts from the Daoist Canon. My practice is to give the English title, followed by Pinyin and Chinese, and then the location of the work in the Daoist Canon when it is present. In citing from the canon, I have used the limited designation CT (Concordance du Tao Tsang, after Kristofer Schipper, Paris, 1975). This is done to make it easy for a user to locate the work. An advantage of using the CT number of these texts is that the work may be located in Schipper and Franciscus Verellen, The Taoist Canon: A Historical Guide (2004), which will provide the user with a clear and authoritative abstract of the text’s complete contents. The list of acronyms and abbreviations shows the designations used for the much less frequently cited source collections, for instance, the Stein collection of Dunhuang manuscripts, Taisho Buddhist Canon, and Yunji qiqian (Seven Lots from the Bookbag of the Clouds). To assist those users who would like to move from English, to Pinyin, to Chinese, I have provided three appendixes: Pinyin to Chinese for terms, Pinyin to Chinese for texts, and Pinyin to Chinese for names. In the case of names and texts, not every item mentioned in the dictionary shows in the appendixes. This is because a simple finding procedure can yield the correct characters for many names of individuals and texts that are quite prominent in Daoist or Chinese history. In the appendix for names, I have included the Chinese for less well known and perhaps less accessible names referred to in the dictionary contents. A word needs to be said about the choice of terms for the dictionary itself. Since this is a single-author work, I readily admit that I have almost certainly overlooked some important, even quite important concepts and figures. Al-



though there are more than 275 full-content items in the dictionary, a large number of additional terms, texts, and figures show up in the content of entries even if they do not have a discrete item designation of their own. To qualify as an entry in this dictionary, one measure I used was whether the term, text, or figure shows up repeatedly in the literature or practice of Daoism. I also considered whether the item is used or known across Daoist lineages and throughout the history of Daoism. Accordingly, the breadth across lineages and the length of historical usage were both decision factors with regard to the inclusion of an item. In the cases in which a term had a restrictive appearance on either of these criteria, its sheer importance to a particular lineage was the deciding factor. I had the decided advantage of two extraordinarily significant works: The Encyclopedia of Taoism (2008) and the Daoist Handbook (2004). Inclusion and frequency of citation in either or both of these works also counted in favor of a term’s inclusion in this dictionary. In writing the definitions and explanations for entries in the dictionary, two goals have been more important than any others. First, I have tried to be accurate and clear, with any disputes or alternative readings mentioned succinctly and without prejudice. Second, I have tried to write the explanatory content for each entry objectively and dispassionately. This means that I have avoided the use of “allegedly,” “fictitiously,” “reputedly,” and the like. The content is offered in a straightforward manner and phenomenologically just as it might be reported by the source text or the Daoist adept. In keeping with my intentions to present the material as descriptively as possible, I have made choices like the following: Instead of translating 經 (jing) as “scripture,” I have consistently rendered it as “classic.” Another example is my choice to translate 治 (zhi) when used of the regional administrations of the Celestial Masters (Zhengyi Daoists) as “center” and not as “parish.” I think my reasons for choices like this might be obvious, but my goal has been not to prejudice the user toward a reading that is necessarily religious. For the same reason, the entries generally speak of shen 神 as “numinal beings,” not as “gods” or “Gods,” although there are some exceptions, especially when an entry addresses the Daoist pantheon specifically.

Acronyms and Abbreviations


Before the Common Era


Chinese Daoist Association


Concordance du Tao-tsang: Titres des ouvarages (1975)


Daoism Handbook, ed. Livia Kohn (2004)


The Encyclopedia of Taoism, 2 vols., ed. Fabrizio Pregadio (2008)


People’s Republic of China


Stein collection of Dunhuang Manuscripts


State University of New York Press


Taisho Buddhist Canon


The Taoist Canon: A Historical Guide, ed. Kristofer Schipper and Franciscus Verellen (2004)


Yunji qiqian (Seven Lots from the Bookbag of the Clouds)


Chinese Dynasties





Dynasty (Eras and Sub-eras)

c. 2100–1600 BCE

Xia dynasty

Zhenxun (Luoyang), Yangcheng (Dengfeng), Zhengzhou

c.1600–1046 BCE

Shang dynasty

Yin (Anyang)

c. 1046–256 BCE

Zhou dynasty

c. 1046–771 BCE

Western Zhou

c. 770–475 BCE

Eastern Zhou

475–221 BCE Eastern Zhou

Periods of Coexisting Kingdoms

Capital (Modern City Area)

Fengjing and Haojing Spring and Autumn Luoyi (Luoyang) period Warring States period

221–206 BCE Qin dynasty

Xianyang (Xi’an)

206 BC–220

Han dynasty

Chang’an (Xi’an)

206 BCE – 9

Western Han (former Han)

Chang’an (Xi’an)


Xin dynasty

Chang’an (Xi’an)


Eastern Han (Later Han)



Three Kingdoms

Kingdom of Wei



Kingdom of Shu



Kingdom of Wu

Jianye (Nanjing)


Jin dynasty



Western Jin



Eastern Jin

Jiankang (Nanjing)


Five Hus and Sixteen States


Northern and Southern dynasties


Northern Dynasties


Northern Wei

Pingcheng (Datong), Luoyang


Eastern Wei

Yecheng (Handan)


Western Wei

Chang’an (Xi’an)


Northern Qi

Yecheng (Handan)



Northern Zhou


Southern Dynasties



Jiankang (Nanjing)



Jiankang (Nanjing)



Jiankang (Nanjing)



Jiankang (Nanjing)

Chang’an (Xi’an)


Sui dynasty

Daxing (Xi’an), Luoyang


Tang dynasty

Chang’an (Xi’an), Luoyang


Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period


Later Liang



Later Tang



Later Jin



Later Han



Later Zhou




Liao dynasty

Shangjing (Chifeng)


Northern Song

Bianjing (Kaifeng)


Southern Song

Lin’an (Hangzhou)


Western Xia dynasty

Xingqing (Yinchuan)


Great Jin dynasty (Jurchen dynasty)

Huining (Harbin), Zhongdu (Beijing), Bianjing (Kaifeng)


Song dynasty


Yuan dynasty

Dadu (Beijing)


Ming dynasty

Yingtian (Nanjing), Shuntian (Beijing)


Qing dynasty



Republic of China

Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing


People’s Republic of China


Chronology of Daoist History

400s BCE Traceable appearances of masters of techniques (fangshi) appear in the ancient states of Yan and Qi. 350–300 BCE Zhuang Zhou is active at the Jixia Academy and the Inner Chapters of the work Zhuangzi take form (chs. 1–7). 300–250 BCE Versions of what will become the Daodejing begin to circulate from oral to written form. “Daode” essay of Zhuangzi (chs. 8–10) and “Zhuangzi disciples” (chs. 17–28) take form. Active alchemists search for plants and herbs of immortality and longevity. 200–139 BCE Huang-Lao Dao thinkers create Yellow Emperor materials of the Zhuangzi (chs. 11–22). Such thinkers influence the content and shape of the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), presented to emperor in 139 BCE. 100–140 The Great Peace Classic is completed. Movements seeking a kingdom of Great Peace emerge. 142 Zhang Daoling receives the One True Covenant and Way (Zhengyi mengwei) from Laozi in Tiangu cave on Mt. Heming. The Celestial Masters (Tianshi) movement is born. 150–165 Celestial Masters organize into 24 administrative centers, Xiang’er Commentary on the Laozi (Daodejing). Tablets are established and sacrifices made to venerate and honor Laozi. 180–215 The Yellow Turban rebellion to gain the Great Peace (Taiping) kingdom erupts and is crushed (184). 215 Cao Cao defeats Celestial Masters forces, dispersing 24 centers to Northwestern and Southeastern China. 226–249 Wang Bi assembles what becomes the “received” Daodejing. 288 The Yellow Court Classic is revealed to Wei Huacun. 300 Wang Fu writes the Classic of the Conversion of the Barbarians (Huahujing). 317 Ge Hong completes the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). xxv



364–370 Transcendent beings Wei Huacun and others transmit the Shangqing revelations to Yang Xi. Late 300s Ge Chaofu collects or creates the fundamental Lingbao texts. Early 400s The Classic on Salvation (Durenjing) Lingbao text is created. 425 Kou Qianzhi is invested as Celestial Master by Wei emperor, establishing a theocracy in the North, according to a “New Code” for practice revealed to him. 450s Lu Xiujing engages Buddhists and Xuanxue teachers in debates. 471 Lu Xiujing collects the first Daoist Canon on Mt. Lu, dividing it into “Three Caverns.” 492–499 While on Maoshan (Mt. Mao), Tao Hongjing compiles Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao), the foundational text of the Shangqing lineage. 520–569 A series of debates take place at court between Daoists and Buddhists on the merits of each tradition’s beliefs and practices, culminating in the emergence of “Three Teachings” thinking, valuing each tradition. 618 An apparition of Laozi appears and self-identifies as the ancestor of the imperial family Li, founders of the Tang Dynasty. 624 Emperor Gaozu venerates Laozi on Zhongnan mountain. 626 Celestial Master (Zhengyi Daoism) is transmitted to Korea. 633–637 Conflict continues in the imperial court between Confucians, Buddhists, and Daoists. The Daoists are raised to supremacy over the Buddhists in 637. 666 The emperor sacrifices to the God of the Yellow Heaven on Mt. Tai, giving the title to Laozi. 674 By Imperial edict, the Daodejing becomes part of the textbook package required in the civil service examination system. 683 Imperial commitment to build Daoist guan (abbeys) in each precinct is established. 690–705 The Daodejing is first removed from exam system textbook lists, before being reinstated. Buddhism regains its status and an imperial edict is issued to build Buddhist monasteries (si) in each precinct. 711 Two imperial princesses are initiated as Daoists.



721 Sima Chengzhen, Grand Master of Shangqing, is summoned to court and produces several works, one of which is Essay on Sitting in Forgetfulness (Zuowang lun). 741 Zhang Daoling is honored with the title “Supreme Teacher” (Taishi). Tao Hongjing is designated “Supreme Protector” (Taibao). 749 The Yellow Emperor is given honorific titles. 754 Laozi is given more honorary titles. 796 The emperor gives orders to organize court debates among the Three Teachings. 820 Emperor Xianzong dies, possibly of elixir poisoning. 845–846 Emperor Wuzong, because of his devotion to Daoism and distaste for foreign influences, institutes the persecution of Buddhism, closes thousands of temples, and returns monks and nuns to lay life. The emperor dies of elixir poisoning in 846. 859 Emperor Xuanzong dies of elixir poisoning. 961–970 The Buddhist influence at court is restored. 977 Chen Tuan is received at court. 990 Compilation of a Daoist Canon begins. 1007 The Liezi is accorded an honorary title and place. 1014 Worship of the Jade Emperor flourishes. 1117 Song Huizong self-identifies as the “Daoist Emperor.” 1119 The first block printing of a Daoist Canon is made. 1130s Neo-Confucianism flourishes. 1167 Wang Zhe moves from the Zhongnan mountains to Shandong and begins the “Complete Perfection” (Quanzhen) Daoist lineage. 1222 The Quanzhen Perfected Person, Qiu Chuji, meets with Chinggis Khan, gaining benefits for the lineage. 1225 The Daoists are defeated in court debates, resulting in the edict to destroy Classic of the Conversion of the Barbarians and prohibition of Eighty-One Transformations of Lord Lao. 1276 Zhang Zongyan receives imperial appointment to supervise Southern Daoism (Nanzong). 1281 Mazu is elevated to the title of Celestial Empress (Tianfei).



1304 Zhang Yucai, 38th Celestial Master, is appointed Head of the Teaching of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi/Celestial Masters) over the three mountain lineages (Longhushan, Maoshan, and Gezaoshan). 1406 Yongle Emperor commissions the 43rd Celestial Master, Zhang Yuchu, to gather Daoist texts and submit a comprehensive Daoist Canon for printing. 1418 Yongle Emperor completes restoration and new construction of Daoist sites on Wudang mountain. The Perfected Warrior (Zhenwu) is identified with the 82nd transformation of Laozi. 1445 The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Reign Period is printed in more than 74,000 wooden blocks. 1458 Zhang Sanfeng receives honorary divine titles. 1566 Jiajing Ming Emperor dies, possibly from alchemical mercury poisoning. 1607 The Supplementary Daoist Canon of the Wanli Reign Period (Wanli xu daozang) is completed. 1750s Under the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735–1796), the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism becomes the state religion. 1819 Zhengyi (Celestial Master) daoshi are no longer invited into imperial court. 1851–1864 The Taiping Rebellion, led by Hong Xiuquan (“God’s Chinese Son”), destroys hundreds of Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao) in the name of a coming Christian kingdom. 1891 James Legge makes the first authoritative translations into English of the Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and Tract of the Most High on Action and Response (Taishang ganying pian) for the Sacred Books of the East. 1919 The May Fourth Movement is founded, in an attempt to stamp out Daoism as a system of superstition and charlatans. 1950 The Daoist Association of Taiwan is established. 1957 The Chinese Daoist Association is founded, headquartered at White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun Guan) in Beijing. 1960 The instruction of Taiji quan and other Daoist practices is first recognized in the United States through the work of master Da Liu (1904–2000). 1961 The Daoist Association of Hong Kong is established. 1966–1976 The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution takes place, with the attempted destruction and erasure of Daoism from Chinese culture.



1970 The first Daoist religious organization to receive federal recognition as a religion in the United States is the Daoist Sanctuary in Los Angeles (now located in San Diego). 1975 Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008) publishes The One-Straw Revolution, advocating a form of wu-wei farming. 1979 Da Liu’s The Tao and Chinese Culture is published. The American Daoist and Buddhist Association is chartered in New York. 1980 The Religion Department at Sichuan University formally begins university study of Daoism, with master’s degrees beginning in 1983 and the doctorate in 1991. 1991 A movement to establish Daoist retreat centers begins in China as sanctuaries from pollution and health and cultivation centers. 1992 The Daoist Studies Institute is founded in Seattle, Washington, United States. 1994 The Great Dictionary of Daoist Religion (Dajiao dacidian) is published by the Chinese Daoist Association. 1998 Taoist Resources, the first scholarly journal in English devoted exclusively to Daoist studies, is absorbed into the Journal of Chinese Religion. 2004 Three Pines Press is founded in the United States under the editorship of Livia Kohn to publish scholarly works devoted to Daoism. 2009 A full curriculum is established at Kundao Academy for training female Daoists. 2010 Daoist master Li Yi is convicted of fraud and manufacturing “miracles.” 2012 The Center for Daoist Studies is established at Peking University. 2017 The Association Française Daoiste opens a center under Karine Martin near Montluçon.


Daoism is the oldest indigenous philosophic-spiritual tradition of China and one of the most ancient of the world’s spiritual structures. The name “Daoism” comes from the term dao, which is often used for a “way” or a “road” through the field or woods to one’s village. It is also used for the “way” to do something, for example, the way a master craftsman carves a candlestick, makes a bell, or even butchers an ox. But dao is also used as a nominative in the history of Daoism. It is used for the energizing process that permeates and animates all of reality and moves it along simply as the “Dao”; however, both text and practice in this tradition insist that dao itself cannot be described in words. Dao is not God in the sense of Western philosophy or religion. Daoism has no supreme being, even if there is an extensive grammar about numinal self-conscious entities and powers, for which the Chinese use the word “spirit” (shen). For example, the highest numinal powers of Daoism are variously called Taishang Laojun (the deified Laozi), the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning (Yuanshi tianzun), the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang Shangdi), or the Perfected Warrior (Zhenwu). But these are expressions of dao in specific shen. They are not identical with the Dao, except in the most unique case, when Laozi, the putative founder of Daoism and author of its major work, Daodejing, is said to be one with the Dao. Daoism is the spiritual tradition at the roots of Chinese civilization, but it defies any single typological characterization as either a philosophy or a religion. In fact, while these terms have been used by Western and Chinese scholars alike to understand Daoism, such categorization distorts the historicity of the tradition itself by forcing it into modern conceptual categories that do not exhaust the richness of practice and belief found within it. Admittedly, until recently it was common to speak of “philosophical Daoism” (daojia) and “religious Daoism” (daojiao), suggesting that the former was transformed into the latter or replaced by it. Western scholars did not create this distinction. The name daojia, later used for philosophical Daoism, was a creation of historian Sima Tan (d. 110 BCE) in his Shiji (Records of the Historian), begun in the 2nd century BCE and later completed by his son, Sima Qian (145–86 BCE). Sima Qian’s use of this term is more like “school” than “philosophy.” Daojia is listed as one of the Six Schools known to him: Yin-Yang, Confucian, Mohist, Legalist, School of Names, and Daoism. 1



Sima Qian probably did not have in mind what Western intellectuals of the post-Enlightenment period mean by “philosophy” as opposed to “religion.” Moreover, scholars today know things about Daoism and its origin that even the great Chinese thinkers of the past, for instance, Sima Qian, did not know. For example, there is a critical appreciation for how the classical texts of the tradition, the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, are more like anthologies than singleauthored works. Additionally, within the Zhuangzi there are records of people and practices that are recognizable as what may assuredly be called religious or spiritual in any modern definition of religion. So, we cannot think that there was some original, pure “philosophical Daoism” that later morphed into “religious Daoism.” The strange desire to bleach out Daoism’s religious identity shows up rather early in Chinese history. For example, Guo Xiang (?232–312), editor of what we now call the “received” Zhuangzi, tells us that he removed large blocks of material, reducing the text from the 52 chapters delivered to him to its present 33. We do not know why this was done, and Guo does not tell us. Livia Kohn has suggested it was because he felt the excised materials contained “superstitious” ideas and practices to which he and other educated intellectuals, like his Confucian literati colleagues, objected (Knaul 1982). While this claim is still speculative, Ronnie Littlejohn (2011) has argued that the 4th-century text Liezi may contain passages from the “lost” Zhuangzi in its second chapter and that these are indeed seemingly fantastical in their content. One way of thinking about whether to label Daoism as a philosophy or a religion is to follow scholar Isabelle Robinet (1997) and consider religious Daoism the practice of philosophical Daoism. This approach can claim support from a growing repository of new discoveries about ancient Chinese texts, practices, and artifacts that have led scholars to appreciate more fully the dynamics of change and continuity in Daoist tradition. Putting aside this distinction between philosophy and religion as a guiding interpretive frame, how can we best understand the identity of Daoism? Kohn and Harold Roth (2002) have collected a set of scholarly essays that explore just this problem of identity. The model that I think commends itself to us is to focus on how the development of the practices and teachings that show up in Chinese history and display what Ludwig Wittgenstein called “family resemblances” to one another. These we may group, then, as a family, under the concept of Daoism. These teachings and practices do not represent the “essence” of Daoism, because like a human family, there are continuities and differences, with no identifiable movement or historical period containing all of them in an exact way, just as no human family possesses the same traits in each of its members. The resemblances that may be called the



Daoist family (daojia) represent a set of repeating, overlapping, and intersecting activities, beliefs, and strategies for engaging in the project of following dao and achieving biospiritual transformation. Early in Chinese history, certainly by the 4th century BCE but probably earlier, some individuals invested their lives and energies in developing techniques for unifying and harmonizing themselves with dao and thereby achieving awe-inspiring biospiritual transformations. We can call the people who succeeded in this project “masters of dao,” although the classical texts call them such names as Perfected Persons (zhenren), sages (shengren), utmost persons (zuiren), and immortals/transcendents (xian). Sadly, little is fully appreciated about who those people were and how their teachings are reflections of their practices. Their names are hardly known to anyone, but in the pages of the Zhuangzi, traces of their activities and teachings do seem to be present. Beginning sometime probably in the mid-300s BCE, these people attracted followers and interested students. We may think of the formation and interrelationship of these teacher-adept lineages as the analogy of a climbing organic plant like a vine growing from a solid trunk. The vine, which is most often called a “lineage,” draws its sustenance from the roots sunk into the organic and life-giving source. If we think of the dao as the source of spiritual energy and wisdom employed by these teachers, who became the trunk, then students or groups of students became the vines. In the 300s BCE, some students began to collect their masters’ teachings and the tales told to them about those who had undergone biospiritual transformations of various sorts. These collections we now know as the Daodejing and Zhuangzi. These great classical texts, which are more like anthologies than works by one person, began to circulate among teacher-adept lineages and even found their way into the libraries and homes of the well-educated and the aristocracy. Archaeological discoveries in recovered tombs like those at Guodian, dating to 300 BCE, contain some versions of these works. From these classical texts, all subsequent outgrowths of the tradition gain their strength in varying measures. Even as new teachers had experiences of enlightened and alternative consciousness throughout history, the new lineage vines they created never abandoned these two classical texts. Already in the Zhuangzi, we find records of many teachers and their adepts, and we notice the interchanges and overlaps between these teacheradept lineages. One teacher may send an adept to another for further instruction or to receive knowledge in an area in which the teacher feels insufficient. This is exactly what happens in the story of Gengsang Chu, in the Zhuangzi chapter by that name. This suggests that even the process of following dao often involved apprenticeship to more than one teacher in more than one location. Later, the classical texts were formed by recording and collating the records of what was taught and practiced by various masters. It should come



as no surprise, then, that we find already in a work as early as the Zhuangzi (c. 300–250 BCE) some internal differences on such subjects as whether an adept or master should engage in political activity, or whether reason and argument can move one toward an understanding of what is most fundamental about existence, or even what one’s attitude toward death should be. The Zhuangzi is a compendium of textual blocks (logia) arranged by an editor or editors. This seems not to have been a haphazard process, as such scholars as Harold Roth (1991), Michael La Fargue (1992), Liu Xiaogan (1994), and Ronnie Littlejohn (2010) have identified linguistic, historical, doctrinal, and literary criteria useful in classifying the strata in the text. This process of growth did not stop with the creation of the classical texts but continued, as it was driven by two major forces: 1) lived experiences of consciousness, which we may simply call “revelations,” and 2) the emergence of new sources (e.g., the Shangqing and Lingbao texts) and the development of new interpretive methods used in approaching the classical sources (e.g., Xuanxue, or Mysterious Learning). Each new vine on the Daoist trunk or branch represents a lineage that leads back to a master, even if that master is sometimes thought of only as a spirit medium (jitong) for another higher voice. New lineages each tell a story of their origins. These narratives are usually tales of confirmations given through extraordinary encounters with numinal beings or while one is in an alternative state of consciousness, such as we find in the revelation to Zhang Daoling (34–156) on Mt. Heming. At other times, ways of following dao are disclosed by Perfected Persons through spirit mediums, as in the case of Yang Xi (330–386), or by means of the discovery of books containing mystical messages, for instance, in the “secret formulas of the Celestial Heart” (Tianxin bishi) buried in the ground at a spot where Rao Dongtian (fl. 994) was guided by a heavenly light. We can imagine that some initial growth, just as a vine extending from its trunk, succeeded and others failed, dropped off, and died out. Just how many atrophied vines there were, what the masters of them taught, and why they failed are issues now lost to history. But what is important is that by using this analogy, we will not think of Daoism as a single identifiable movement, but as the living tangled vines of teacher-practitioner lineages. One early vine recognizable in this process was what we call now Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism. This teacher-adept lineage shows up in the Zhuangzi and in the intellectual exchanges set up by Liu An from roughly the 160s to 120s BCE in the city of Huainan. Liu gathered a great number of thinkers and practitioners of divergent views at Huainan, and one result of their exchanges was a new compendium known as the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi). The importance of this project should not be overlooked in a study of Daoism. Its main goal was to overcome tensions and internal conflicts within the Han imperial system by creating a sort of encyclopedia of



learning. In this work, the collected materials offer a new understanding of rulership in which the emperor would not only be well educated in literati learning (i.e., Confucian texts), but also a practitioner of the signature Daoist behavior called wu-wei. The text suggests that acting in this manner can be achieved by following the disciplines and methods associated with the Yellow Emperor of ancient days and advocated by lineage masters present in Huainan; however, when the Book of the Masters of Huainan was presented at court in 139 BCE, the text was not accepted as a policy manual or plan for the future. Perhaps if the outcome had been different, the Han dynasty might have been restructured and prosperous. Nonetheless, the Han dynasty continued in disarray, but the lineage vines that sought a new age of Great Peace (Taiping) grew. They show up in Chinese history in several places. One of these is in the Yellow Turbans, who rebelled against the Han in the 180s. The revolutionary zeal of this movement and the program it envisioned for a new era is preserved for us in the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). Then, sometime before 142, a Confucian-trained scholar named Zhang Daoling moved into the Heming mountains in Sichuan probably with the intention of setting up a kingdom of Great Peace in that remote region away from the Han imperial eye. One day, while in a state of clarity and quiescence in the Tiangu cave, Laozi appeared to Zhang and gave him the One True Orthodox Way (Zhengyi mengwei) between Heaven and Earth. Zhang began the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao or Zhengyi Daoism). Unlike the Yellow Turbans, the Celestial Master lineage created communities and began to practice Daoism as something other than an individual or small, collective method of transformation. Zhang and the leaders who followed him set up 24 administrative centers dedicated to the way of Great Peace. The Celestial Masters leaders (libationers) began to produce their new texts for guiding their Daoist communities. One of these was a commentary on the Daodejing (Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi, S. 6825, Bokenkamp 1997). The families that made up these centers in Sichuan province were dispersed and resettled in 215–216, by Cao Cao, king of Wei. They were scattered in both Northern and Southern China. The impact of this dispersion greatly weakened the unity of purpose and political power needed to realize the political goals of the Celestial Masters. To guide these newly settled communities and keep them within the path of the One True Orthodox Way, a revealed text emerged known today simply as the Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Great Dao (Bokenkamp 1997). Later, Kou Qianzhi (365–448), often called the founder of the Daoist Northern Theocracy, worked to reform the Celestial Masters communities. The History of the Wei (Weishu) reports that, while practicing in the Songshan mountains of Henan, Taishang Laojun (the Highest Lord Lao) appeared to Kou in 415. Laojun revealed a “New Code” for the people of the



dao, and we know some of the details of this new revelation through the text Classic on the Precepts of Lord Lao Melodically Recited in the Clouds (Laojun yinsong jiejing, CT 785). The emperor was convinced to put the “New Code” into practice, and Kou was the designated administrator of this new civil order and addressed as Celestial Master. The “New Code” was extended into towns throughout the Northern provinces, and the theocracy reached its height in 440, when the emperor himself was ordained and changed his reign title to Taiping Zhenjun (Perfected Lord of Great Peace). Some of the Celestial Masters adherents from Sichuan settled in the regions of Jiangsu, the province from which Zhang Daoling came. One form of renewal for the movement in this area occurred when the spirit medium Yang Xi (330–386), a retainer in the prominent Xu family in Jurong (near Nanjing, Jiangsu province), began to receive revelations stretching from the years 364 to 370, and originating from perfected beings dwelling in the dimension of Highest Clarity (Shangqing). One of these perfected beings was the numinal Wei Huacun. Yang wrote down the revelations and delivered them to Xu Mi (303–376) and his son, Xu Hui (341–?370). These revelations became the foundation for the Shangqing lineage of Daoism. There was not only the Xu family in the Jurong region, but also the Ge family. Ge Hong (283–343), who identified himself as the “Master Who Embraces Simplicity” (Baopuzi), was a student of classical Chinese texts and Daoist writings, and a collector of the methods for gaining transcendence and the stories of those who achieved it. Ge Hong was extremely interested in the unique contribution external alchemy (waidan) could make to the methods for becoming transcendent and even immortal. His Baopuzi collects a wide array of techniques and how to practice them. It was Ge Hong’s grandnephew, Ge Chaofu (fl. 402), who began to receive revelations so powerful that when they were written down, they became talismans of numinous treasure (Lingbao). These texts disclosed new rituals and provided teachings that created a kind of synthesis with the emerging understandings of Buddhist practice and belief then known in China. The Lingbao texts are mentioned in a list of works by Lu Xiujing (406–477) dated to 437. By the 400s, then, Daoism had two new major teacher-adept lines that joined that of the lineage of Celestial Masters; however, the Shangqing texts, unlike those of Lingbao, became foundational for an actual movement known as Shangqing. Lingbao seems to have been largely a set of texts exchanged between teachers of both Shangqing and Celestial Masters practice. Shangqing’s development into a movement occurred through the efforts of a brilliant thinker named Tao Hongjing (456–536). As a result of his work, Shangqing developed its own liturgies, precepts, and rules of order, identifiable holy sites, and lineage of patriarchs and masters.



Tao, like Yang Xi and the Xu family, as well as Ge Hong and Ge Chaofu, was from Jiangsu. He was born in Moling, not far from the modern city of Nanjing, in close proximity to Jurong, the home of the Xus and Ges. In 483, Tao became interested in the Shangqing revelations that had been granted to Yang Xi, and he decided to collect the original texts because he felt there were already a number of forgeries and false teachings circulating and claiming to have their source in Yang Xi and the Perfected Persons that had disclosed themselves to him. In fact, Tao writes disparagingly in his work Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) that, “Ge Chaofu fabricated the Lingbao classics and the teaching flourished.” Tao knew the Lingbao writings well because he studied with Daoist master Sun Youyue (399–489), who had been a disciple of Lu Xiujing, the standardizer of the texts. He even received training in chanting those texts and drawing supernatural talismans, both key practices of Lingbao (Pas and Leung 1998). But in 492, Tao resigned his position in court and moved to Mt. Mao (Maoshan) with the intention of editing the Shangqing manuscripts he had collected and writing true interpretations of their teachings. The result was two major works in the Shangqing tradition: Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016), completed in 499, and Hidden Instructions for the Ascent to Perfection (Dengzhen yinjue, CT 421). Tao was closely associated with Xiao Yan (464–549), founder of the Liang dynasty, who later became emperor of the Southern Qi. Tao was supported by imperial patronage while living on Maoshan, and Shangqing teachers and adepts were favored with funding and the construction of various abbeys. The growth of the association of Shangqing with Maoshan explains why the movement is simply known as Maoshan Daoism. Daoism gained official status in China during the Tang dynasty, largely because the surname of the Tang rulers was “Li” and they claimed descent from Laozi, who was reported to also have had this surname (Li Er). Such close proximity to power and rule brought influential Daoists of the Shangqing and Celestial Masters lineages to the attention of the imperial court. It also led them into conflict with both Confucian literati and Buddhist abbots and monks. Various debates between Daoism and Buddhism were held at court. Sometimes Daoism seemed to prevail, and the Daodejing was even included among the textbooks in the civil service exams. But there was no single trajectory for the relationship between Daoism and Buddhism. One text used in the disputes between these two traditions was the Classic on the Conversion of the Barbarians (Huahujing). This work was an incendiary affront to Buddhism, claiming that the Buddha was actually one of Laozi’s incarnations. Buddhists responded with polemical works of their own, including Daoxuan’s (596–667) defense of Buddhism, entitled Collection Spreading the Light of Buddhism (Hongming ju). This conflict was not a mere academic one. At stake were prestige, power, wealth, and influence.



These forces always involve political and social consequences. In fact, every major persecution of Buddhism, first in 446, under the northern Wei, then in 574, under the northern Zhou, and finally in 845, under the Tang, is at least partly traceable to its rivalry with Daoism. Several Song dynasty (960–1279) emperors, most notably Huizong (1082–1135), promoted Daoism. In 1106, Huizong began a decade-long search for leading Daoist masters. He issued a call in 1114, that every administrative circuit should send 10 masters of great powers to assemble at court in the capital in Kaifeng. The group included the 25th Shangqing Patriarch, Liu Hunkang (1035–1108), and the 30th Celestial Master, Zhang Jixian (1092–1126). Huizong wanted to make the Song capital of Kaifeng into a Daoist community. He created immense gardens in the city, modeled after his vision of the paradise of Daoist immortals on Kunlun (e.g., the Genyue imperial garden). He also built the great Daoist Temple of the Five Peaks (Wuyue Guan). During the Song period, one of the earliest versions of the Daoist Canon was produced. One challenge faced during the Song dynasty was creating a national moral culture throughout the country. The strategies to accomplish this goal were many, but one was to use a village lecture system. This system made use of troupes of entertainers and teachers who traveled from village to village. Daoist teachings became part of the Three Teachings (Sanjiao) effort to spread a rather uniform moral value system. One way this was done was by the printing and distribution of morality books (shanshu) and ledgers (shanshu). The morality books in this system included Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian teachings. They were distributed in Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao) throughout the country, as well as in Buddhist monasteries (si). The most prominent of these books was Tract of the Most High on Action and Response (Taishang ganying pian, CT 1167), still available today. After the fall of the Song dynasty in the North (1126) and the transference of the court and capital to Hangzhou in the South, a period of war and turmoil followed. In 1159, Wang Zhe (aka Wang Chongyang, 1113–1170), a former military officer, left behind a marginal political career and devoted himself to the practices of meditation and “nourishing life” (yangsheng), known as inner alchemy (neidan). Wang was residing in the Zhongnan mountains in Shaanxi province, where he made a dugout for himself for three years and spent four more years in a mountain hut practicing austerities. One day, when he was 48 years old, he entered into an altered state of awareness. The immortals Zhongli Quan, Lu Dongbin, and Liu Haichan appeared to him and gave him a set of secret rituals and methods for reaching perfection. In 1167, he traveled to Shandong province, where he accepted a number of adepts as students. They gathered around his modest hut on the grounds of the estate of Ma Yu, and he promised to instruct them in a method he called



“Complete Perfection” (Quanzhen). Among the disciples he had in Shandong, Quanzhen tradition focuses on a group who became known as the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren: Ma Yu, Tan Chuduan, Liu Chuxuan, Qiu Chuji, Wang Chuyi, Hao Datong, and Sun Bu’er). They helped Wang establish five communities (hui) in Shandong and thus began the Quanzhen lineage, which endures until the present. He had such trust in these seven that he planned to take four of them with him back to Shaanxi and the Zhongnan mountain area, but he died in Kaifeng before reaching his goal. Under the leadership of Qiu Chuji (1148–1227), one of the original Seven Perfected Persons, Quanzhen gained significant official recognition when he met with Mongol ruler Chinggis Khan (Taizu, r. 1206–1227) before the Yuan dynasty was established. The khan summoned Qiu for an audience because he was seen as influential over a national movement. Qiu received a number of official titles and political privileges. After this, Quanzhen grew quickly and began to have widespread institutional identity. Sometimes local officials reassigned Buddhist temples to become Quanzhen sites. Nevertheless, in the 1200s, Daoism had a stormy relationship with the Yuan rulers. In 1281, Shizu (Khubilai Khan) even ordered the burning of all Daoist books in an effort to control the influence of Daoists throughout the country. During the Ming dynasty, the Celestial Masters lineage was quite powerful, and Quanzhen influence diminished. Daoist centers like White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) were directed by Zhengyi (Celestial Masters) masters. Under the rule of the third Ming emperor, Zhu Di (r. 1403–1425), best known by his era name, the “Yongle Emperor,” Zhengyi Daoism grew significantly. The emperor studied Daoist techniques, learning talisman-making from two daoshi masters, and also alchemical practices. He patronized the Perfected Warrior (Zhenwu), the Daoist god of Wudang mountain, and promoted him as the numinal protector of the empire. He also gave an order to have a new canon compiled, and it was printed in 1445, during the reign of Zhu Qizhen (r. 1435–1449), whose era rule name was Zhengtong. Thus, the Daoist Canon still in use is officially known as Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Reign Period (Zhengtong daozang). By the end of the Ming period, the Dragon Gate (Longmen) lineage had grown within Quanzhen as a renewal movement. The founding legend of the order goes back to Qiu Chuji. The school’s name is traceable to Dragon Gate Mountain (Longmenshan) in Longzhou district, Western Shanxi, where Qiu underwent his training. The history of the movement traces the transmission of its methods from Qiu down to the Qing dynasty and the seventh-generation Longmen Master, Wang Changyue (d. 1680). Wang was the abbot of Baiyun guan (White Cloud Abbey), and he gathered many followers there. They went on to open Dragon Gate centers throughout China.



The Longmen vine of Quanzhen gained control of a great number of convents and monasteries throughout the country. The Daoist Canon made during the Ming period contains 60 Quanzhen works. In contrast to Zhengyi Daoism, an adept who decided to follow the Quanzhen Longmen way took up a celibate life. He or she would join a monastery or convent and follow a three-year novitiate life. Afterward, the adept could be ordained and make a commitment to a life lived according to monastic precepts. The Way of the Dragon Gate was and is one of self-cultivation through inner alchemy (neidan). By the Qing dynasty, the Daoist Association of China, with an estimated membership of more than 23,000, officially recognized Quanzhen (including Dragon Gate) Daoists in the country. Its center is now in White Cloud Abbey in Beijing, under the administration of the Dragon Gate sect masters. During the Qing dynasty, the Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864), led by Hong Xiuquan (1812–1864), was hard on Daoist institutions and practitioners. Hong has been called “God’s Chinese Son,” and he tried to establish a Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping) in Nanjing following an interpretation of Christianity revealed to him through visions and encounters with the Heavenly Family of God, including his brother, Jesus, and his sister, Guanyin. The Taiping Rebellion was one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. At least 20 million Chinese perished as a result of it. Hong’s armies struck out at the “idols” of the Buddhists, as well as the City God (Chenghuang shen) and Daoist temples. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Daoist guan and miao were destroyed. Among those communities particularly hard hit were the Celestial Masters centers on Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Longhushan). At about the same time, Daoism was introduced to the West. James Legge (1815–1897), who had worked as a missionary in Hong Kong and China beginning in 1824, returned to England in 1873. He was awarded the first professorship of Chinese studies at Oxford University and soon joined the massive project of translating the Sacred Books of the East, edited by Max Muller. In 1880, Legge published The Religions of China: Confucianism and Taoism Described and Compared with Christianity (Legge 1880), and, in 1891, he published volumes 39 and 40 in the series, entitled The Texts of Taoism, containing The Book of the Way and Its Power (Daodejing), the Zhuangzi, and Tract of the Most Exalted on Action and Response (Taishang ganying pian). After the collapse of the Qing dynasty, the Republican government of 1912 sought to confiscate Daoist temples and turn them into public buildings, schools, hospitals, and senior citizen centers. The May Fourth Movement (1919) continued this program. In the 1920s, the New Life Movement encouraged students to destroy Daoist statues and icons throughout the country. During the Anti-Japanese War (i.e., World War II), many Daoist temples were requisitioned as army barracks either by Chinese forces or Japanese ones. This meant that by the time of the establishment of the New China in



October 1949, there were only about 300 Daoist temples in Beijing, where a century before there had been 1,000, and only about 50 in Shanghai, where before there had been 200. Daoist practitioners and institutions had a hard time during the Great Leap Forward (1958–1960), and then came another attempt to eradicate Daoism during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Daoist holy sites were destroyed or repurposed as community centers or barracks for Red Guards. Daoshi of all lineages were forced to cease practice and lineage rituals. Doctrinal and ritual texts were destroyed. Some daoshi were sent to labor and reeducation camps. Daoism was banned during this 10-year period and labeled as a “feudal superstition.” We have to admit that in many ways, Daoism is still recovering from the bitter losses of multiple attempts at suppressing its expression and even destroying its very existence from the time of the Taiping in the mid-1800s to the late 1980s; however, in the late 1980s, leaders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began to recognize Daoism as an important traditional belief system and a potential focus for physical health and improvement for the population at large. So, many of the more scenic temples and monasteries have been repaired and reopened. Daoism is one of the five officially approved religions recognized by the PRC (Daoism, Buddhist, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism). It is administered through a state bureaucracy, one arm of which is the Chinese Daoist Association (CDA). Daoist practitioners are required to register with the CDA, which sets rules about education, ordination, and the construction of Daoist temples and statues, and calls upon adepts to abandon superstition. While control of Daoism’s development may be viewed with suspicion and much objected to, it is neither something new nor exclusively Communist. Emperors and imperial ministries wanted to control and administrate Daoism as long ago as the Tang dynasty, and they enacted policies to suppress or encourage it. It is difficult to know how many Daoist masters there are in the PRC because a number of Zhengyi daoshi are unregistered and deliberately avoid the training and official certification procedures of the CDA. Some estimates are that there are more than 25,000 Daoist masters in China of both the Quanzhen and Zhengyi (Celestial Masters) lineages, but that number may be higher. There are more than 2,000 guan and miao in mainland China that are specifically identified as Daoist, but many Zhengyi masters do their work through associations with such sites as City God temples and even through individual contact with Chinese citizens apart from any official institution. The CDA, through its Daoist Research Office, has encouraged the study of Daoist history and philosophies both generally and in a few of the major universities in the PRC. Some of the most prominent and respected universities in China have established centers or faculties that focus on Daoism or at least research and write about it historically and philosophically. Several



Chinese universities have also begun new comparative philosophy programs, many taught in English, which bring international students to China and foster their study of Daoism and its relationship to the philosophies and religions of the West. Anyone interested in the training, belief, and practice of a currently living Daoist master could hardly do better than to undertake a reading of the authorized biography of Wang Liping (1949– ), the 18th Generation Master of the Dragon Gate (Longmen) branch of Daoism, as told to his students, Chen Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao. This work was translated under the title Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Taoist Wizard, and it tells the 15-year story of Wang’s training, which began in 1962. The work anchors Wang Liping to his three teachers and gives us an inside look at the development of a Daoist master, revealing that much remains unchanged since the time of Zhuangzi. It is fair to ask whether a tradition as rooted in China as Daoism can ever find the right kind of soil in which to grow in other cultures and parts of the world. At first glance, it may seem impossible; however, perhaps the spread of Daoism to other global communities is not as unthinkable as it might first appear. After all, Anglo-Europe and even the Americas became fertile soil for beliefs and practices attached to a Jewish prophet from Nazareth and an Arab seer from Mecca. As early as the Tang dynasty, an initial extension of Daoism into Korea and Japan occurred because these cultures were interested in all things Chinese (Kohn 2001). In both cases, Daoism was confronted with a full set of well-established indigenous beliefs and practices. In response, many of the same philosophical and social dynamics operated in these new cultures as they had during the period of the Song, when Daoism grew over, grafted onto, and became a hybrid with a wide range of popular Chinese beliefs, including Buddhist ones. Daoism’s cosmology of yin and yang, and its traditions about immortals and numinal beings, as well as its techniques of exercise, meditation, medicinals, and diet, took hold in East Asia outside of China with varying levels of strength. A second extension of Daoist influence in Korea took place in the 1500s and in Japan under the Tokugawa’s (1600–1868). This wave of influence carried the techniques of inner alchemy and the use of the morality books to those cultures. In Vietnam during the early 20th century (1920s), Daoist ritual practices, talismans, and petitions were grafted into the Caodai tradition by Ngo Minh Chien, its founder. Nevertheless, the situation with Daoism’s growth in the West has been different. Edward Said has made us well aware of the problematic nature of the early constructions of the “Orient” as Westerners began to contact Chinese and other Asian worldviews. Orientalism was a way in which the West gained strength and identity by setting itself apart from an imaginary,



dreamy, and romantic Orient. It fed the imperialism and colonial domination of the West (Said 1978). And, yet, the Western attitude toward Daoism may not best be characterized under the rubric of Orientalism. Although the early exposure to Daoism in the West was shaped greatly by such figures associated with Anglo-European missionary expansionism as James Legge, Daoism featured only marginally in the Western consciousness during the colonial epoch. It came into view only at the end of that period (Clarke 2000). In his work The Tao of the West: Western Transformations of Taoist Thought, J. J. Clarke explores the rich diversity of the ways in which Daoism has been appropriated and engaged in the cultures of the West. From 1927 to the end of World War II, the chief proponent of Daoism in the West was generally regarded as Henri Maspero in Paris. Michael Saso was the first Westerner to be initiated as a Daoist priest, and he subsequently served as coeditor of Taoist Resources, the earliest scholarly journal on Daoism for a Western audience. Although this journal is no longer published, it is indexed in most of the standard library collection searches. William de Bary insists, and rightly so, that “no tradition . . . can survive untransformed in the crucible of global struggle” (1988: 138). We have been witnesses to such transformations of Daoism in films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wohu canlong, directed by Ang Lee, 2000) and Hero (Ying xiong, directed by Zhang Yimou, 2002), as well as in the fiction of such Western writers as American novelist Ursula Le Guin. Le Guin did her own translation of the Daodejing and grafted Daoism into much of her fiction, especially Books of the Earthsea and the novel The Dispossessed. These works represent the hybridization of Daoism into Germanic and Anglo-European contexts and narrative frames in highly creative ways. With the worldwide advent of the internet, Daoism is once more in flux, overlapping and intertwining its classical lineages with new versions trying through their minds and hearts to understand the tradition and its contribution to biospiritual transformation. Such Daoist cultivation practices as qigong and its understandings of “nourishing life” (yangsheng) in medicine and diet are being repackaged and made accessible throughout the world. Some recent attempts to understand the historical interaction between Daoism and its new Western soil have been written. With respect to the United States, Elijah Siegler’s The Dao of America: The History and Practice of American Daoism is a thorough work that provides a historical frame, a rather complete list of Daoist organizations in the United States, and a chart of North American Daoist lineages. In the United States, there are Daoist temples in Arizona, New York, Hawaii, and a number of other places. The Penglai temple in Toronto is perhaps the best known of Canadian sites of Daoist influence in that culture. In England, the British Daoist Association



was founded in 1996, and likewise there is a Daoist Association in France. Daoism was first established by immigrants to Sidney, Australia, and there is also a community in New South Wales. The living vine of Daoism will continue to grow and transform, as we have seen it do in each new era and culture. The new hybrid that is produced may have stems and shoots that are short-lived, but other vines may wrap themselves around new global challenges and realities, and transform them and the people involved, just as the Perfected Persons (zhenren) have been made and remade for 2,000 years.

A ABSTENTION FROM CEREALS, BIGU 辟穀. Bigu refers to a diet in which one avoids eating cereals or grains. In Daoist practice, grains were believed to be the source of such harmful entities as “corpses” (the three corpses, sanshi) or “worms” (the nine worms, jiuchong) residing in the intestine and the brain. In short, it was believed they caused the decay of qi in the host. In place of cereals, Daoists included herbs, minerals, refined breath, and even talismanic water (fushui). The earliest text explaining this practice is Refraining from Cereals and Ingesting Qi (Quegu shiqi 卻穀食氣), found among the Mawangdui manuscript cache. The practice is often associated with veneration of the Stove God (Zaoshen). According to the Book of the Former Han (Hanshu), Li Shaojun (fl. c. 133 BCE) taught Han Wudi (r. 141–87 BCE) a method for preventing aging by worshiping the Stove God and abstaining from cereals (25.1216). Ge Hong (283–343) mentions more than 100 different methods for abstinence from cereals, some of which are treated explicitly in his text the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). ALCHEMY, DAN 丹. Alchemy is a 12th-century Western term for a kind of chemistry thought to transform base metals like lead into silver or gold. During the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE), experiments of this sort were undertaken in China. Gradually, however, alchemy in China turned to the transformation of the body to increase longevity, suppleness, and resistance to illness and aging. This form of alchemy in China was called “external alchemy” (waidan). The elixirs, pills, and powders used were ingested, but the point is that their source was external to the adept. Turning inward and focusing on the essence (jing) and energy (qi) of the person to create and enhance one’s spirit (shen) was a practice involving meditation, concentration, stillness, quietude, and inner visualization. This practice was called “inner alchemy” (neidan). The Chinese term dan (丹), common to both types of alchemy, actually is the name for cinnabar. It is used as a general term, even though in some external alchemy cinnabar is not used (rarely), and in inner alchemy, when cinnabar as a mineral plays no role. 15



ANQI SHENG 安期生. Anqi Sheng is a legendary immortal (xian). Tradition says he lived during the reign of the first emperor of China, Qinshihuang (r. 221–210 BCE). According to the Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan), he was also known as the “thousand-year-old gentleman” (Qiansui weng). According to the sources, he met with the emperor for three days and nights. The emperor presented him with a treasure of jade and gold, and he invited the emperor to meet him on the island of Penglai in the Eastern Sea. The Records of the Historian (Shiji) reports that famous Han dynasty alchemist Li Shaojun (fl. c. 133 BCE) also visited Anqi Sheng. According to the Biographies of Eminent Gentlemen (Gaoshi zhuan), dating between the years 215 and 282, he learned his alchemical arts from Heshang Zhangren, a master sometimes identified with the author of a commentary on the Daodejing, and was also associated with Yellow Emperor-Laozi lineages of Daoism. Anqi Sheng is regarded as one of the earliest Taiqing masters, and the “Method of the Furnace Fire of Divine Elixir” is attributed to him. He is reported to have transmitted it to Li Shaojun. His name appears as one of the Perfected Persons (zhenren) in Shangqing classics, including Tao Hongjing’s Chart of the Ranks and Functions of the Perfected Numinous Beings (Zhenling weiye tu). Although several geographical locations are associated with him, he is most often linked with the island of Penglai. ANTHOLOGY ON THE COMPLETION OF PERFECTION BY [WANG] CHONGYANG, CHONGYANG QUANZHEN JI 重陽全真集. This work is the largest collection of Wang Zhe’s (Wang Chongyang, 1113–1170) literary works (CT 1153). He was founder of the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage. It contains 1,009 texts, including poems, lyrics, songs, and some prose works. Most of these works are designed to teach or encourage disciples. They are not doctrinal treatises. AUTHENTIC CLASSIC OF GREAT PROFUNDITY, DADONG ZHENJING 大洞真經. This text is also known as the Thirty-nine Stanzas (Sanshijiu zhang), and it is the most important text of the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage revelations (aka Maoshan Daoism). In fact, the term dadong, which may be rendered as “Great Cavern,” is used within that lineage as “Great Profundity.” Dadong is used as a synonym for Shangqing. It expresses the state of primordial origin; the condition of the One, before even yin and yang, had begun to move. Several versions of the text may be found in the Daoist Canon, all of which date from the Song or Yuan dynasties. The Shangqing dadong zhenjing (CT 6) is often taken as closest to the original version.



The origin story of the text is that it was transmitted to the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) before the world even existed. She disclosed it to Wei Huacun (?251–?334), who passed it to Yang Xi (330–386). The text is meant to provide instructions for uniting with numinal spirits, which show their presence in both celestial and corporeal ways. Each of the 39 sections contains material on these ways of existing. The celestial spirits appear in heavenly contexts, revealing that the practitioners’ ancestors have been released from death and now can converse with numinal beings. The text is intended to set the adept on a meditational exercise to transformation. By reciting its celestial stanzas an adept may summon and even visualize the numinal energies (gods) who guard the 39 gates of the body and allow the preservation and purification of its qi. The ultimate goal of reciting this text is to maintain and enhance the spiritualization of the body (Robinet 1993: 104)

B BAXIAN 八仙. See EIGHT IMMORTALS, BAXIAN 八仙. BAGUA 八卦. See EIGHT TRIGRAMS, BAGUA 八卦. BAIRI SHENGTIAN (白 白日昇天). See DISAPPEARANCE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, BAIRI SHENGTIAN 白日昇天. BAIYUN GUAN 白雲觀, WHITE CLOUD ABBEY. White Cloud Abbey, Beijing, is the best-known Daoist abbey in China. It has had several names, being originally known as the Tianchang guan (Abbey of Celestial Perpetuity), which was established in 739, under Emperor Xuanzong (712–756). From 1125–1215, it was the headquarters of Daoism. It was once the seat of Quanzhen patriarch Qiu Chuji (1148–1227), and after his death a miao (shrine) was built over this grave nearby. The community that grew around his veneration took the name Baiyun guan. Both Zhengyi and Quanzhen daoshi have trained there. In the 1600s, Wang Changyue (d. 1680) assumed the post as abbot and turned it into a center for training in his own lineage of Quanzhen known as the Longmen (Dragon Gate) sect. During the Qing dynasty, Baiyun guan was the most important Quanzhen ordination center in China. The training prior to ordination was quite rigorous, involving three years of instruction in the monastery and extremely harsh rites of passage lasting as many as 100 days. Novices were examined on Daoist classics and precepts, were required to perform tests of body and meditation. Today, Baiyun guan houses a library that includes the Daoist Canon, and it is also the seat of the Chinese Daoist Association (Zhongguo daojiao xiehui). BAO JING (?–c. 330) 鮑靚. Bao Jing, whose birthplace is unknown, was the descendent of two senior officers of the former and later Han dynasties. He began his career in civil service in Nanyang (Henan), but upon receiving a promotion he moved to Guangdong as the governor of Nanhai in 313. Reports say that he began his Daoist studies with the transcendent immortal 19



(xian) Yin Changsheng, who transmitted to him the talisman “Yin Sheng’s Talisman of Great Mystery” (Taixuan yin feng fu). This text enabled adepts to achieve “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). Other traditions say he received the Charts of the True Forms of the Five Peaks (Wuyue zhenxing tu) from Zuo Ci (legendary 2nd–3rd centuries CE). Bao met Ge Hong (283–343) and later became his father-in-law and master in alchemy, transmitting to him the mysterious text Script of the Three Sovereigns (Sanhuang wen), which Bao received while in altered consciousness. According to one record, he was buried in the Luofushan Mountains. BAOPUZI 抱朴子. See BOOK OF THE MASTER WHO EMBRACES SIMPLICITY, BAOPUZI 抱朴子. BAOSHENG DADI 保生大帝. See GREAT EMPEROR WHO PROTECTS LIFE, BAOSHENG DADI 保生大帝. BEIDOU 北斗. See BIG DIPPER, BEIDOU 北斗 (AKA NORTHERN DIPPER). BENMING 本命. See BIRTH STAR OF DESTINY, BENMING 本命. BIANHUA 變化, TRANSFORMATION. At its heart, Daoism is a set of lineages that teach biospiritual transformation from one form to another. Passages from the Zhuangzi through the Shangqing tradition confirm this perspective time and again. The following passage reflects just one testimony to this belief: Suddenly Master Lai grew ill. Gasping and wheezing, he lay at the point of death. His wife and children gathered round in a circle and began to cry. Master Li, who had come to ask how he was, said, “Shoo! Get back! Don’t disturb the process of change!” Then he leaned against the doorway and talked to Master Lai. “How marvelous the Creator is! What is he going to make of you next? Where is he going to send you? Will he make you into a rat’s liver? Will he make you into a bug’s arm?” Master Lai said, “A child, obeying his father and mother, goes wherever he is told, east or west, south or north. And the yin and yang— how much more are they to a man than father or mother! Now that they have brought me to the verge of death, if I should refuse to obey them, how perverse I would be! What fault is it of theirs? The Great Clod burdens me with form, labors me with life, eases me in old age, and rests me in death. So if I think well of my life, for the same reason I must think well of my death. When a skilled smith is casting metal, if the metal should leap up and say, “I insist upon being made into a Mo-yeh!” he



would surely regard it as very inauspicious metal indeed. Now, having had the audacity to take on human form once, if I should say, “I don’t want to be anything but a man! Nothing but a man!” the Creator would surely regard me as a most inauspicious sort of person. So now I think of Heaven and Earth as a great furnace, and the Creator as a skilled smith. Where could he send me that would not be all right? I will go off to sleep peacefully, and then with a start I will wake up.” (Zhuangzi 6, trans., Watson 1968).

While some Daoist texts simply follow the Zhuangzi in putting the transformation of being into the flow of the Dao, others stress that adepts can control change. Laozi is reported to have altered his bio-spiritual forms numerous times (see EIGHTY-ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LORD LAO, ILLUSTRATED). The Daoist tradition contains several works specifically devoted to the methods for biospiritual transformation, for example, the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), but also the Book of Transformations of the Imperial Lord of Zitong (Zitong dijun huashu, CT 170) and the Book of Transformation (Huashu, CT 1044 and 1478). Patriarchs and numinal beings of the Shangqing tradition likewise are reported to have powers to change their being and become transparent, invisible, or numinal. The Shangqing text Classic of the Divine Continent on the Dance in Heaven in Seven Revolutions and Seven Transformations (Shenzhou qizhuan qibian wutian jing, CT 1331) describes methods for transforming into clouds, fire, dragons, and other objects. BIANZHENG LUN 辨证論. See ESSAYS OF DEBATE AND CORRECTION, BIANZHENG LUN 辨证論. BIG DIPPER, BEIDOU 北斗 (AKA NORTHERN DIPPER). The significance of the Big Dipper, or Northern Dipper (Ursa Major), in Chinese religious life is traceable to the earliest periods of Chinese cosmology, astronomy, and philosophy. The Records of the Historian (Shiji) already testifies to its role in Daoism. The Big Dipper is the residence of “the Great One” (Taiyi), and its power expresses as yin and yang. The Dipper is the power of the origin of all things, the pivot of the universe, and the Daoist concept of “returning to the Origin” (huiyuan) points to the Dipper. Its movement divides the world into the Nine Palaces (jiugong), and it consists of nine stars, with the number nine meaning completion and totality. Four stars are in the bowl, three are in the handle, and two are invisible, except to daoshi. Its earthly counterpart is Mt. Kunlun. In the many permutations of Daoist cosmology and physiology, the Dipper also plays various roles. Each star is inhabited by numinal beings. It is associated with displaying the origin and related to both the soil and the



center in the Five Phase physics (wuxing). Since the color of soil is yellow, alchemical texts sometimes refer to the Dipper as the “yellow star” (huangxing). Daoshi ritual garments characteristically have the Dipper embroidered on them, and it is often found on the ceilings of halls in Daoist miao (shrines) and guan (abbeys). To be efficacious, some rituals must be performed according to the almanac date that indicates the Dipper will be overhead. Likewise, meditation is particularly beneficial under the Dipper. In leifa (Thunder Rites), the power of thunder needed to expel evil is summoned from the direction in which the Dipper points. Petitions and invocations asking for forgiveness are addressed to the powers resident in the Dipper. Daoshi may obtain great power and open the gate of Heaven, yielding profound illumination by “walking the guideline” or “pacing the Dipper.” BIGU 辟穀. See ABSTENTION FROM CEREALS, BIGU 辟穀. BIOGRAPHIES OF DIVINE IMMORTALS, SHENXIAN ZHUAN 神仙 傳. The Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan) is the secondlargest collection of hagiographies of immortals (xian) compiled in Chinese cultural history after the Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan, CT 294), ascribed to Liu Xiang (77–either 8 or 6 BCE). There is no complete version of Shenxian zhuan in the Daoist Canon; however, the work may be confidently ascribed to Ge Hong (283–343), and he claims credit for compiling a text by this name in the autobiographical essay attached to his Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). In his commentary to History of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo zhi), completed before 429, Pei Songzhi attributes the Shenxian zhuan to Ge Hong, as does Tao Hongjing (456–536). The Shenxian zhuan has many of the first biographies of important Daoist figures, including Zhang Daoling, Ge Xuan, and Maojun. Some figures mentioned in the earlier Liexian zhuan are included in Shenxian zhuan but are given longer biographies. Included in this group are Laozi and Pengzu. Ge Hong collected these biographies to fulfill his interest in developing methods to become an immortal. Accordingly, he is best seen as a collector and unifier, but hardly a systematizer, of a large set of techniques the sole commonality of which is the goal of prolonging and enhancing the life of the human biospiritual organism. He arranged these techniques into a hierarchy based on his view of their respective degrees of effectiveness at attaining a transcendent immortality and the prestige of their practitioners (Campany 2002: 8). Robert Campany has done an exhaustive study of the work, which also offers a text-critical and fully annotated commentary.



BIOGRAPHIES OF EXEMPLARY IMMORTALS, LIEXIAN ZHUAN 列 仙傳. The Biographies of Exemplary Immortals is our oldest extant collection of biographies of immortals (xian). The work is attributed to Liu Xiang (77–8 or 6 BCE), although his name is attached to many other texts from the period of the former Han in the bibliographical chapter of the History of the Former Han (Hanshu). For example, Liu is also credited with two other works bearing similar titles, Biographies of Exemplary Women (Lienu zhuan) and Biographies of Exemplary Officials (Lieshi zhuan). It is possible that some sections of the Liexian zhuan could not have been written prior to the 2nd century, so our present received text may have interpolations. There are 70 biographical narratives in Liexian zhuan, divided into two chapters. The briefest of these has fewer than 200 characters. The form of the biographies is rather standard, stating name, native place, and sometimes the period in which the subject lived on Earth. None of the biographies provide anything resembling a complete life narrative. The biographies are arranged in a rough chronological order, beginning with Master Red Pine (Chisong zi) in the time of Shennong, the mythic deity of China’s ancient beginnings. Among the famous Daoist figures included are the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi), Pengzu, Laozi, and Yin Xi. Biographies of Anqi Sheng and Dongfang Shuo are also provided. Max Kaltenmark has provided a rather standard translation (1953). BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO STUDIED THE DAO, DAOXUE ZHUAN 道學傳. This work is a collection of Daoist biographies compiled by Ma Shu (522–581). We may include it as part of the tradition including Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan) and Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan); however, many fewer of the characters in this work are said to gain immortality (xian). They often simply die and are buried. The complete text is now lost and survives only in fragmentary accounts of its biographies repeated in many other works. Nonetheless, the title appears in several bibliographical treatises, notably both histories of the Tang dynasty (Jiu Tangshu and Xin Tangshu). Chen Guofu located most of the fragments, collected them, and published them as appendix 7 of his Study on the Evolution of the Daoist Canon (Daozang yuanliu kao, 1963). BIQI 閇氣. See BREATH RETENTION, BIQI 閇氣. BIRTH STAR OF DESTINY, BENMING 本命. In Daoist practice, the time of one’s birth is under a certain star and associated with the numinal powers that reside in that star. One’s life and destiny may be propitious if one knows the star deity ruling at the hour of one’s birth. This belief had its genesis in popular Chinese religion, but it most certainly informed rituals of



the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Ordination rituals for leaders (libationers) in that lineage included the statement, “The birth star of destiny (benming) of (name), born on (month, day, and hour), comes under the authority of the Lord of the (name) star in the Northern Dipper (beidou)” (see Sanwu Zhengyi mengwei lu, CT 1208). Other rituals preserving this belief system include the recitation of the text The Most High’s Authentic Script of the Birth Star of Destiny of the Northern Dipper for Extending Life (Taishang xuanling beidou benming yansheng zhenjing, CT 622). BLESSED PLACES. See GROTTO-HEAVENS AND FUDI 福地 BLESSED PLACES. BODY GODS, INNER GODS, NEISHEN 内神. Daoist texts often describe a huge pantheon of numinal powers (aka gods) that do not reside in the heavens but in the adept’s own body. Generally speaking, these are personifications of such forces as qi and the Five Phase physics (wuxing). They are thought of as administering the body as in a kind of bureaucratic system. So, practices of healing are put into language about relating to these gods. By visualizing them, what is meant is that the adept turns inward to concentrate on the body’s processes, especially as these might be associated with the five viscera or organs (wuzang). The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing) refers to the gods of the five viscera. The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing) gives descriptions of gods of the hair, eyes, nose, ears, teeth, tongue, and brain. In his Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), Ge Hong elevates one of the body gods above all others, calling it simply, “The One.” One type of meditation is “guarding the One” (shouyi), which visualizes “the One” as a god residing within the human being. In Shangqing, “the One” became the “Three Ones,” and these were said to reside in the various Cinnabar fields inside one’s body. BOOK OF THE MASTER OF NO ABILITIES, WUNENG ZI 無能子. The Wuneng zi is in the Daoist Canon as CT 1028. It is a short Daoist work in three chapters dating to the latter part of the Tang dynasty. The preface to the text, written by an “acquaintance of Wuneng himself,” claims that the text was written in 887, in the inn of a Mr. Jing in Zuofu, a town in the vicinity of Chang’an (Xi’an). Parts of the text are in dialogical form, with Wuneng in conversation with such figures as Laozi and Confucius. The most intriguing thing about the Wuneng zi is how it confirms the views of modern scholarship about the central teachings of Daoism (at least in the Tang period). Wuneng calls upon adepts to move in wu-wei, being spontaneous and without intentional action. He teaches that such movement



results in doing what is always fitting and appropriate without consciously deciding to do so. The result is self-fulfillment and contentment, as one is free from the social organization and discriminations that twist and problematize one’s existence. An unpublished English translation of the text is by Nathan Woolley (1997). BOOK OF MASTER WEN. See WENZI 文子, BOOK OF MASTER WEN. BOOK OF THE MASTER WHO EMBRACES SIMPLICITY, BAOPUZI 抱朴子. Ge Hong’s (283–343) Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity contains 70 chapters divided into two parts: 20 inner chapters (Neipian CT 1185) and 50 outer chapters (Waipian CT 1187). The inner chapters are given to descriptions of immortals (xian), prescriptions and drugs, and methods for “nourishing life” (yangsheng) and surviving in mountainous regions. In these chapters, about 282 texts on immortals and Chinese alchemy are mentioned. The outer chapters principally feature Ge Hong’s political and social views. While a Daoist in practice, Ge was also a well-educated Confucian in political theory. He thought that the central Confucian virtues of humaneness (ren), filiality (xiao), and sincerity (xin) were basic to the attainment of immortality (xian). These two sections of Baopuzi originally may have been independent documents but were combined from the time of the Ming period until now. Strictly speaking, a number of scholars have argued that the inner chapters are actually not necessarily Daoist in their intent and content, but they record a wide range of local practices. While this interpretive point of view is not yet resolved, it may have its roots in Ge Hong’s efforts to incorporate many different bodies of doctrine and practice into work. Doing so often gives rise to internal contradictions within the text. While some passages seem consistent with lineages we would surely associate with Daoism, some are not. It seems clear that Ge Hong’s sources are quite varied, as Robert Campany (2002) has demonstrated. Ge draws heavily from traditions in the region of his home in Jiangnan, including Script of the Three Sovereigns (Sanhuang wen) and Charts of the True Forms of the Five Peaks (Wuyue zhenxing tu). He shows knowledge of some of the Taiqing lineage writings on elixirs, as well as texts describing such meditation practices as “guarding the One” (shouyi). Accordingly, we can consider the Baopuzi as representing an important link between various lineages of Daoism. As for the content of the text, chapter 1 offers a poetic description of the Dao as mystery, while chapter 2 deals with immortals (xian) and immortality. Chapters 4, 11, and 16 are principally devoted to the practice of external alchemy (waidan). Chapter 18 is concerned with inner alchemy (neidan) and meditation techniques. Ge Hong thinks in terms of levels of the mastery



of immortality. At the lower level, he places practitioners whom he calls “coarse and rustic masters of methods.” He associates these masters with “minor arts” (xiaoshu), which include healing methods, longevity techniques, magic, divination, and dietetic practices. Although he is identified historically with the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, Ge also thinks that herbal drugs only confer long life, they do not protect one from external evil influences, and they cannot assure immortality. In fact, Ge made a distinction among three different types of immortals: heavenly–celestial, earthbound, and delivered from the corpse. Ge Hong was a master of “nourishing life” techniques (yangsheng). He recommended breath retention (biqi), gymnastics (daoyin), and various sexual techniques (fangzhong shu) for life’s enhancement. In his view, these methods may grant freedom from illness, but they cannot prevent calamities, bring about happiness, or confer numinal transcendence. Instead, the mastery of alchemy and meditation make possible the realization of transcendence; however, ingesting elixirs provides the power to communicate with numinal beings, prevents the habitation in one’s body of noxious spirits, and enables one to obtain immortality. One type of meditation he calls “Guarding the Authentic One” (shou zhenyi) includes communication with numinal realities and visualizing how “the One” may fill the adept’s body, protecting and preserving it from spiritual and physical assault. The other type of meditation, known as “Guarding the Mysterious One” (shou xuanyi), enables the practitioner to multiply himself with succeeding dimensions of transcendence. BOOK OF THE MASTERS OF HUAINAN, HUAINANZI 淮南子. According to the Book of the Former Han (44.2145), Liu An (179–122 BCE), the prince of Huainan (in modern Anhui province), and uncle of Han Emperor Wudi, gathered several thousand masters of the dao and other experts in Huainan in the 160s–130s BCE because he wanted to learn their arts and techniques, and support them in the creation of written works related to these abilities. The Book of the Early Former Han refers to one of these works, which is now apparently lost, as a text concerned with becoming a spirit immortal (shenxian) by the use of the “yellow and white” or alchemy (huangbai) (Csikszentmihalyi 2004: 56). But the Huainanzi was the most important text composed by the masters gathered at Huainan. Some traditions say the work was composed by the “Eight Gentlemen” (bagong) of Huainan. There are strong reasons for thinking of the text as a composite and encyclopedic work dating to 139 BCE. The Eight Gentlemen of Huainan were as follows: Jin Chang Lei Bei



Li Shang Mao Bei Su Fei Tian You Wu Bei Zuo Wu Originally, the work was divided into three sections (i.e., inner, outer, and central/middle). The outer and middle sections are lost, and the extant text corresponds only to the inner portion. While the text is often said to be a work on rulership, it is actually much broader, including philosophy, cosmology, music, and education, as well as health and longevity. Accordingly, there are several versions of the text, and the one in the Daoist Canon, which is the basis for the later ones, is entitled Vast and Luminous Explications of Huainan (Huainan honglie jie, CT 1184). While the intellectual bearings of the Huainanzi are eclectic, probably reflecting a wide variety of ideas from the many teachers gathered by Liu An in his court, it is generally agreed that the principal organizing philosophical tradition informing its arguments is Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism (Huang-Lao Daoism). It is largely according to this tradition that a creative synthesis was formed by the compilers using Confucian, Legalist, Daoist, Five Phase physics (wuxing), and Yin-Yang teachings. Among the unique emphases of the text must be included the use of correlative cosmology to address the origins and processes of reality, and the idea of action and response (ganying) tying together morality, longevity, and success into a single explanatory system. The text is the most detailed exposition of Daoism after the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, and a comprehensive English translation has been done by John Major et. al. (2010). BOOK OF TRANSFORMATION, HUASHU 化書. This work, dating to the Five Dynasties period (907–960), is a syncretic text of Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist thought. It survives in two versions in the Daoist Canon (CT 1044 and CT 1478). It was an influential work on alchemical thought throughout the Song period. The Book of Transformation was written by Tan Qiao (c. 860–c.940), although it was published under the name of high Tang dynasty official Song Qiqiu (886–959). Thus, in most catalogs, the work is listed under Song Qiqiu’s name and even entitled Book of Master Qiqiu. After the record was set straight in 1060, by Chen Jingyuan, author Tan Qiao became associated with Tan Zixiao, founder of the Correct Method of the Celestial Heart lineage (Tianxin Zhengfa), although whether these two names actually refer to the same person is uncertain.



The book is divided into six chapters, each one dealing with a particular kind of transformation: Dao’s transformations (Daohua), Techniques for Transformation (Shuhua), Virtue Transformation (Dehua), Benevolence Transformation (Renhua), Food Transformation (Shihua), and Frugality Transformation (Jianhua). BREATH RETENTION, BIQI 閇氣. The practice of retaining one’s breath between inspiration and expiration is called biqi. It may have originated during the Han dynasty and is mentioned several times in the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). According to the 7th-century work Prescriptions Worth a Thousand (Qianjin fang), attributed to Sun Simiao (fl. 673), breath should be retained for a time equivalent to taking a normal 300 breaths. The verification of breath retention is done by passing a feather under one’s nose to observe that it does not move. The practice is based upon the belief that retaining one’s qi will increase one’s longevity, even to the point of immortality (xian). The release of breath was accordingly associated with eliminating impurity and even healing disease. The technique was sometimes part of the practice of “walking the guideline” or “pacing the void” (bugang). BUGANG 步罡. See WALKING THE GUIDELINE, PACING THE DIPPER, STEPS OF YU, BUGANG 步罡.

C CAISHEN 財神. See GODS OF WEALTH, CAISHEN 財神. CALLING DOWN THE DEITIES, JIANGSHEN 降神. During Daoist rituals, the shen (spirits, deities) are called from the numinal realm to the sacred space where the rites are performed. Sometimes they enter ritual images (xiang) prepared for the ceremony, and at other times they inhabit the space but not in any object. At the conclusion of the ritual, they are sent back to the numinal space. The invitation to the spirits is part of the rite of Announcement, informing them that a ritual is being performed in their honor. The flag-raising rite, in which a long banner is raised on bamboo poles, is also used to attract the shen’s attention. CAO GUOJIU 曹國舅. Cao Guojiu is of the Eight Immortals (ba xian), always pictured with castanets. By tradition, he was the younger brother of the Empress Zao of the Song dynasty. Accordingly, he is represented in official robes and court dress. He became an immortal (xian) after meeting Lu Dongbin and Zhongli Quan. CELESTIAL MASTER, TIANSHI 天師. The earliest usage of this term is in Zhuangzi 24 (Watson 1968), where it is used for a young boy who has such extraordinary clarity of mind that he can teach the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) how to rule the empire. The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a) employs the term for an unnamed teacher who will converse with his disciples and enable them to become perfected in the coming age of Great Peace (Taiping). Zhang Daoling (34–156) claimed the title, and it is also used in the movement of Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), which Zhang founded; however, the term is used much more broadly than for the leaders of that lineage. Kou Qianzhi (365–448), for example, was called “Celestial Master” by the emperor Taiwu (r. 424–454). Du Guangting (850–933) was also called Tianshi, as was Sima Chengzhen (647–735). 29



It is well documented that the Zhang family clan who came to live on and near Dragon Tiger Mountain (Longhushan) claimed to have descended in an unbroken lineage from Zhang Daoling, with each successor being a new Celestial Master with the Zhang surname. Such claims were codified by Zhang Zhengchang (1335–1378) in his Lineage of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia), and they have been critically examined by Paul Amato (2016). CELESTIAL WORTHY OF THE FIRST ORIGINS, YUANSHI TIANZUN 元始天尊. Yuanshi tianzun is the supreme deity of the Daoist pantheon, the highest of the Three Pure Ones. This title is the name for the creative power of the Dao, and in the imagery of Daoism he is presented in full regalia in the center of the Three Pure Ones. He is first described in Yan Dong’s commentary to the Classic on Salvation (Durenjing), written in 485. CHAN BUDDHISM 禪. The Chinese term Chan is used to translate the Sanskrit dhyana meaning “meditative state.” When Buddhism entered China it had to be adapted to Chinese intellectual and spiritual culture. This was accomplished along many fronts, including translation, parallel practices, mutual teachers, and governmental patronage. Buddhists that entered China already had a rich practice of meditation and a suspicion of conceptualization and language for understanding one’s life. Human discriminations in language and pursuit of their believed reality were understood to be sources of suffering. Teachers and adherents holding such beliefs found a fertile ground in Daoist communities. Buddhists often settled in mountain hermitages already populated by Daoist masters and their students, including sites in the Zhongnan mountains such as Shaolin and Louguan Tai. The interaction between Daoism and Buddhism was variously characterized as Daoism being a fulfillment of Buddhism or its perversion, and Buddhism being founded by Laozi in one of the eighty-one transformations of Lord Lao. Daoists were among the first converts to Buddhism and Buddhists found ways of incorporating Daoist practices and language into their own teaching. One such incorporation was Chan, or as it is known in Japan, Zen. Buddhist communities that gathered around practice rather than text, or who sought a master who produced a text, were the prime source for the emergence of a syncretic practice merging Daoism and Buddhism. The stress on experience found in Daoist practice made adaption to the new land of China more manageable for Buddhist teachers, especially those not already devoted to a specific sutra. The step from Daoist mountain refuges and hermitages to monasteries was in some ways not a difficult one. Daoist emphases on clarity and quiescence (qingjing) as well as sitting in forgetfulness (zuowang) fit well into the practice of the new tradition known as Chan.



During the Tang dynasty and the many conflicts between Daoism and Buddhism a narrative of the origin of Chan was developed, anchoring its beginning to Bodhidharma (c. 440–c. 528) and five other patriarchs. Traditionally, the original six patriarchs of Chan are: Bodhidharma (達摩) c. 440–c. 528 Dazu Huike (慧可) 487–593 Sengcan (僧燦) ? –606 Dayi Daoxin (道信) 580–651 Daman Hongren (弘忍) 601–674 Huineng (惠能) 638–713 Bodhidharma’s hagiographies report that he came into China standing on teachings apart from words and offering a transmission to his disciples outside of any sutra. The earliest text providing information on Bodhidharma is The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang (Luoyang qielan ji), which was compiled in 547 by Yang Xuanzhi. One account reports that Bodhidharma sought admission into the community at Shaolin monastery, but being refused, he lived in a nearby cave, where he faced a wall for nine years without speaking a word, but receiving enlightenment. The term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese term 禪. Zen was not introduced as a separate school in Japan until the Japanese priest Myoan Eisai (1141–1215) traveled to China and learned the practice of Chan. In 1215, Dogen Zenji (1200–1253), a younger contemporary of Eisai's, journeyed to China himself, where he became a disciple of Tiantong Rujing (1162–1228), who worked within the Caodang sect of Chan. After his return, Dogen established the Soto school of Chan (Zen), the Japanese branch of Caodong. CHAOS, PRIMAL FORMLESSNESS, HUNDUN 混沌. Like many key philosophical concepts in Daoism, the term hundun has more than one use. It can be used as a name for a mythical being, describe a situation, or refer to a stage in the cosmological process. In the Commentary of Zuo (Zuozhuan), Hundun is a son of the Yellow Emperor, who is banished for being incompetent. In the fascinating book Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shanhaijing), Hundun is an animal with six legs and four wings that can sing and dance but has no face. In the Zhuangzi, he is the emperor of the center. As thunder, hundun also symbolizes the energy that begins life. The expression hundun is in the language family of “something undefined and yet complete” (huncheng) found in Daodejing 25:



There was something undefined and complete, existing before Heaven and Earth. It was still and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger of being exhausted! It may be regarded as the Mother of all things. I do not know its name, but I give it the designation Dao. (chapter 25)

In Daoist cosmology, the expression hundun denotes the condition of reality before the formation of the world in qi’s movement by yin and yang. There is no God hovering over this chaos. It gives birth to things on its own. But there is no one single creation story in Daoism. The emergence of reality from hundun is described in several ways. Sometimes hundun emerges only after other processes have already acted. In the Liezi, hundun is a state in which a unity of qi and zhi (matter) exists, and they must be divided. Neidan texts use hundun repeatedly for the state of origin from which the energy and power necessary to infuse elements with transcendence comes. It is often used to speak of the inner elixir itself, the substance that expresses the Original qi (yuanqi). As the “center,” it is also used as a synonym for the symbolic inner tripod furnace in which the elixir is made, as symbolically the internal embryo of the sage (shengren). CHART OF THE INNER LANDSCAPE, NEIJING TU 内景圖. The Neijing tu and another work known as Chart for the Cultivation of Reality (Xiuzhen tu) are both representations of what might be called the body’s “inner anatomy” or “inner landscape.” These are not meant to be actual anatomical documents. They are charts revealing the ways in which the body is not mere matter, as might be thought in Western dualistic philosophies and approaches. They portray body gods and qi powers. There is no matter/spirit distinction in these charts. The purpose of the chart is to portray, rather than linguicize, the way the Five Phases physics (wuxing) produces organs, skeletal structure, and the like, while still being qi. Such representation must be highly symbolic. An effort to explain these charts is contained in Charts and Explications on the Classic of the Eighty-one Difficult Points in the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi bashiyi nanjing zuantu jujie, CT 1024). As they stand, everything pictured and captioned in these charts should be taken symbolically. For example, the head is Mt. Kunlun and the spinal cord a watercourse flowing from it. The heart is the Pole Star of the Big Dipper (beidou). Accordingly, these charts may be viewed as devices for focusing concentration and gaining clarity through inner reflection. CHARTS OF THE TRUE FORMS OF THE FIVE PEAKS, WUYUE ZHENXING TU 五岳真形圖. The Charts of the True Forms of the Five Peaks is a cartographic configuration of the five sacred mountains of Daoism, according to which they are regarded as cosmic landmarks. Ancient pre-Qin bronzes



and stelae bear sacred mountains on them, although we cannot be sure that the mountains pictured are those that later became the Five Marchmounts (wuyue). According to Daoist lore deriving from a 6th-century work, the charts represented cosmic landmarks established by Laozi. There are other accounts of the origins of the charts as well. According to Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), the charts made it possible to access the numinal medicinals on the mountains and encounter transcendent beings. Two fragmentary texts recovered at Dunhuang provided information about rituals performed to honor the deities mentioned in the Charts of the True Forms of the Five Peaks. The Daoist Canon has the work Introductory Treatises to the [Image] of the True Form of the Five Sacred Mountains (Wuyue zhenxing xulun, CT 1281). CHEN SHAOWEI 陳少微 (fl. ?712/?741). Chen Shaowei was a Daoist master closely associated with Mt. Heng (Hengshan in Hunan). He is known for two external alchemy (waidan) texts, one entitled Wondrous Instructions on Mastering Cinnabar (Dadong lian zhenbao jing xinfu lingsha miaojue, CT 890) and the other Wondrous Instructions on the Golden Elixir of the Nine Changes (Jiuhuan jiudan miaojue, CT 891). These texts contain what many consider to be the most detailed descriptions of cinnabar alchemy in the entire waidan corpus. The first text contains an account of the formation, varieties, and symbolism of cinnabar. In the second text, the material production processes described in the first text are shown to yield “mercury” (hong). CHEN TUAN 陳摶 (c. 920–989). Several historical facts about Chen may be gleaned from a variety of sources. In 937, Chen was in Sichuan to study the qi control methods of local masters around Tianqing guan (Abbey of Celestial Blessings). In the 940s, he settled on Mt. Hua (Huashan) in Shaanxi and led in the restoration of guan (abbeys) that had fallen into disrepair there. Near the end of the Five Dynasties period (c. 950s), he composed at least one classical work on physiognomy entitled Mirror of Auras (Fengjian). The other three facts include his associations with the rulers Shizong (r. 954–959) and Taizong (r. 976–997), and the record of his death on Huashan in 989. We can have confidence that Chen Tuan was attached to several high-ranking Song officials, read their fortunes, and gave them advice. The legend of Chen Tuan is much more elaborate. It includes the account of his wondrous encounter with a female star deity during his childhood, examples of his remarkable mnemonic skills, the record of a period of Daoist training at Wudangshan, and stories of his ability to enter a


CHEN XIANWEI 陳顯微 (FL. 1223–1254)

deep state resembling death that would often last for months. In the legendary corpus it seems clear that several episodes reported of Chen Tuan are borrowed from those of other Masters, including Buddhist figures. He appears in several Yuan dynasty dramas, notably The Lofty Sleep of Chen Tuan (Chen Tuan gaowo). Twelve of his incubation practices of stillness were included in the Ming handbook Marrow of the Red Phoenix (Chifeng sui), where he is depicted as a master of cosmic energy (qi). CHEN XIANWEI 陳顯微 (fl. 1223–1254). Chen Xianwei is author of an inner alchemy (neidan) commentary (CT 1007) to the work entitled Zhouyi cantong qi (Relationship of the Three, in Accordance with the Book of Changes). He was a daoshi at the Abbey of the Helping Saint (Yousheng guan) in Lin’an, Zhejiang province. CHEN ZHIXU 陳致虛 (1289–after 1335). Chen Zhixu is one of the main representatives of the inner alchemy (neidan) tradition. Four of his works are still extant: Commentary to the Wondrous Classic of the Upper Chapters on Salvation (CT 91; 1336); Folios on Awakening to Reality, incorporated in Three Commentaries to the Wuzhen pian (see Ziyang zhenren Wuzhen pian sanzhu, CT 142); Great Essentials of the Golden Elixir (Jindan dayao, represented by CT 1067); and Commentary to the Zhouyi cantong qi, with Division into Sections (not in the Daoist Canon but available in more than 15 editions) (see also GOLDEN ELIXIR, JINDAN 金丹). Chen does not describe physiological practices but stresses that the essence of alchemical transformation lies in recovering through internal control the Original qi (yuanqi) of the state known as “prior to Heaven” (xiantian). He considers the Daodejing to be a neidan text. His commentaries reflect a deep appreciation for the Three Teachings (sanjiao), even though he identifies himself with the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage. He provides an account of the transmission of his own teachings coming down from Ma Yu (1123–1184), one of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) of Quanzhen, although the historicity of his account has not been confirmed. CHENGFU 承負. See INHERITED BURDEN, CHENGFU 承負. CHENGHUANG SHEN 城隍神. See CITY GOD, CHENGHUANG SHEN 城隍神.



CHENGZU (1360–1424, r. 1403–1425) 成祖, ZHU DI 朱棣, THE YONGLE EMPEROR. Chengzu was the second major ruler of the Ming dynasty, the fourth son of Taizu. His birth name was Zhu Di. Daoism prospered under his reign. He gave the order to have the Ming dynasty Daoist Canon complied, even though it was not printed until 1445. Chengzu supervised the elevation of Mt. Wudang (Wudangshan) into a major Daoist center and ordered the construction of many buildings there. He patronized Zhenwu (Xuanwu), the numinal God of Wudangshan. Accordingly, it is said that Zhenwu protected the Ming rulers, just as Laozi had done for the Tang rulers (whose surname was Li, the same as Laozi). CHINESE DAOIST ASSOCIATION (CDA), ZHONGGUO DAOJIAO XIEHUI 中国道教协会. The Chinese Daoist Association (CDA) was founded in 1957, with its headquarters at the White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) in Beijing. The organizational meeting had 91 Daoist scholars and practitioners in attendance. Sixty-one were elected to various offices, and Yue Chongdai (1888–1958), abbot of Baiyun guan, was the first president. The official purposes of the association are to 1) unite Daoists throughout the country; 2) promote patriotism and love of Daoism; and 3) aid Daoists in the construction of a socialist society. The association suspended its activities from 1966 to 1976, during the Cultural Revolution. An assembly was held in 1980, and a new president was elected and Daoist rituals and activities resumed. A journal begun in 1961 was suspended and then renewed with the title Chinese Daoism (Zhongguo daojiao). In an effort to establish educated practitioners, daoshi in China are required to register with the CDA to be granted recognition and official protection for their work. The CDA supports the Communist Party and is recognized and approved by the central government of China. The current abbot of Louguan tai, Master Ren Farong, is president of the association, a position he has held since 2005. CHISONG ZI 赤松子. See MASTER RED PINE, CHISONG ZI 赤松子. CHISONG ZI ZHANGLI 赤松子章曆. See MASTER RED PINE’S ALMANAC OF PETITIONS, CHISONG ZI ZHANGLI 赤松子章曆. CHONGXUAN 重玄, TWOFOLD MYSTERY. This term finds its origin in a phrase in the opening of the Daodejing according to which the quest of the Dao is for a “mystery and mystery again” (xuan zhi you xuan). The phrase is usually taken to mean that there are two steps to reach the understanding of the ultimate Dao. One of these is characterized by the



pursuit of learning and reason, and it ends in quandary. The other is by opening oneself to the presence of the Dao in quietude and stillness. Later interpreters have interpreted this double movement of the spirit to be at both a conceptual level and a mystical one. Chongxuan is not a full lineage of Daoism but more an interpretive approach to the classical texts of the tradition. The style of reading texts is very much shaped by Madhyamika Buddhism. Along with Chongxuan figures who interpreted Daoist writings through a Buddhist lens, there were also interesting translations made by some thinkers. For example, Cheng Xuanying (fl. 631–650) translated the Daodejing into Sanskrit. CHONGYANG QUANZHEN JI 重陽全真集. See ANTHOLOGY ON THE COMPLETION OF PERFECTION BY [WANG] CHONGYANG, CHONGYANG QUANZHEN JI 重陽全真集. CHUCI 楚辭, SONGS OF CHU. The Chuci is a collection of poetic songs traceable to the ancient state of Chu, and it is the second-oldest collection of Chinese poetry after the Classic of Odes (Shijing). It is an anthology of poems by many authors, although the famous Qu Yuan is a central figure, both as author and as a subject person in some poems. The poems date to various periods, but many of them surely reflect beliefs and practices of the 300s BCE. A substantial number of the poems describe ecstatic spirit journeys and make allusions to practices that may have influenced early Daoism and later even the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). David Hawkes (1959) has made a standard translation into English. CINNABAR FIELDS, FIELDS OF ELIXIR, DANTIAN 丹田. The dantian are internal domains within the body according to the teachers of inner alchemy (neidan). While said to be in the abdomen, heart, and brain, they have no material substance. The Lower field is below the navel and is the seat of the jing essence. The Middle field is in the chest, between the heart and the navel. It is the seat of qi and is also variously called the Yellow Court (huangting), Crimson Palace (jianggong), or the Mysterious Female (xuanpin). The Upper field is in the region of the brain and is the seat of the spirit (shen). It is here that there are Nine Palaces (jiugong). The Classic of the Yellow Court (Huangting jing) provides an overview of the three cinnabar fields and their function. It is one of the most popular of the inner alchemy (neidan) treatises. CIRCULATING BREATH, XINGQI 行氣. The practice of circulating breath (xingqi) is well attested in Chinese intellectual history. References to various methods for circulating breath go back to the period of the Warring



States. Donald Harper (1998) traces this source to an inscription dating to c. 300 BCE. In the Han dynasty, circulating breath is mentioned several times in the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing). Circulating breath is often associated with gymnastics (daoyin) and breath retention (biqi), but it was actually a practice typically performed in a reclining position and is related to gaining clarity and stillness. It may be compared to the Greek practice that Peter Kingsley calls “incubation” (Kingsley 1999). The practice is based on breathing slowly and inaudibly, and characteristically it is associated with following a procedure of varying breath cycles for a total of 300 breaths. This process includes the method of breath retention. One description of circulating breath technique can be found in Classic on Breath by the Elder of Great Non-Being from Mt. Song (Songshan Taiwu xiansheng qijing, CT 824). CITY GOD, CHENGHUANG SHEN 城隍神. The name “Chenghuang shen” may be broken down to mean “Spirit of walls and moats.” “Walls and moats” was an expression for the city itself, and oftentimes the spirit or deity of a city was compared to its spiritual mayor. Veneration of the City God emerged in the late Tang dynasty, although worship of the Earth God (Tudi gong) associated with a place was quite ancient. The City God was extremely popular in the Ming dynasty, and at one time virtually every city of size in China had a temple dedicated to him. It was not until the Ming dynasty that established Daoist practices brought him into the Daoist pantheon of numinal beings. He is considered a celestial officer who receives orders from and reports to Taishang Laojun. His duties included conducting the dead of the city to the courts of hell for judgement, a task with which he was assisted by “Ox Head” (niutou) and “Horse Head” (matou) spirits. Scroll paintings and depictions of the Ten Hells are often found in City God temples, sometimes with the City God sitting at the first court of judgment. The Daoist Canon contains a text dating sometime after 1376, providing the rationale and explanation for including the City God among Daoist spirit powers. Its title is Wondrous Classic on the Dispelling of Disasters and Accumulation of Happiness through the Action and Response of the City God (Chenghuang ganying xiaozai jifu miaojing, CT 1447). The text provides Laojun’s account for how the City God came to possess the power to alleviate suffering and provide aid to his citizens. The text records a list of the god’s assistants and reports his promise to help everyone in need.



CLARITY AND QUIESCENCE, QINGJING 清静. The first use of the concept qingjing is in Daodejing 43: “Clarity and quiescence, this is the proper mode of all under Heaven.” Since that time, Daoist masters have considered qingjing as the ideal meditative state out of which one may then move in wu-wei. The Xiang’er commentary says, “Daoists should value their essence (jing) and spirit (shen). Clarity and quiescence (qingjing) are the basis [for doing so] (Bokenkamp 1997: 121).” During the Tang dynasty, the work entitled Classic of Clarity and Quiescence (Qingjing jing, CT 620) appeared, with one version claiming to have been spoken by Laojun (Taishang Laojun) himself (CT 1169). The central thesis of this text is that when the heart-mind (xin) is still, calm, and quiet, it becomes clear. In this state, discriminations and distinctions vanish, making it possible to attain the Dao by moving in wu-wei. The Classic of Clarity and Quiescence was quite popular and widely read. More than 10 commentaries were written on it. CLASSIC CODE OF ORTHODOX UNITY, ZHENGYI FAWEN JING 正 一法文經. The Classic Code of Orthodox Unity was a collection of the rules and rituals for the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). It seems to have been used in the 5th century and grew to more than 60 scrolls. For the most part, it has been lost, although the Harvard-Yenching Index of the Daoist Canon lists 25 texts with the title Zhengyi fawen, nine of which are extant. The most cited copy of Zhengyi fawen is CT 1204, which reports a dialogue between the Most High (i.e., Laozi, Laojun) and Zhang Daoling, the first Celestial Master (Tianshi). When asked why people have misfortune and illness, the Most High explains that it is because they disregard the law of action and response (ganying), break the moral precepts of the community, indulge in sensual pleasures, and do not follow Dao. They should practice quietude and gain clarity, perform repentance, give to those in need, sponsor monasteries, and make sacred images (xiang). The Most High teaches Zhang Daoling that the nine dangerous states of sickness, as well as imprisonment, war, floods, fires, poisonous creatures, earthquakes, inner terrors, and hunger and cold, are brought by ghost demons as punishments on groups and individuals. The text concludes with remedies for these dangers, including worshiping the Celestial Worthies (tianzun), copying and reciting holy texts, and producing images capable of mediating numinal power. CLASSIC OF CHANGES, YIJING 易經. The Classic of Changes (Yijing) is the name for a complete edited work that includes two parts. One part is an ancient manual of divination known simply as the Changes (Yi), or,



more correctly, as the Zhouyi. It is a handbook traceable to the period and practices of the Western Zhou dynasty, as is indicated, among other features, by its use of language expressions found on the bronzes of that period (c. 1046–771 BCE). The other part is a set of seven commentaries, and three of these are composed of two sections each. Accordingly, taken as a whole, the commentary set making up this second part of the Classic of Changes is known as “The Ten Wings” (Shiyi). The Classic of Changes was likely one of the Six Classics of the Ru to have survived the burning of the books in 213 BCE. The Classic of Changes is characteristically said to be a work of divination. Throughout Chinese history until the modern era, it was believed that the principles of the Classic of Changes originated with the mythical Fu Xi (?2800 BCE), an early cultural hero in China to whom many advances in civilization are attributed. Fu Xi reportedly received eight trigrams to use in determining the flow of events according to the actions of yin and yang. By the time of the sage (shengren) ruler Yu, the trigrams had been developed into 64 hexagrams (liushisi gua) depicting the possible combinations of yin and yang in the process of an event coming into experience. King Wen of Zhou is said to have given a description of the nature of each hexagram. Divination by use of milfoil or yarrow (shi) was used as early as the Zhou dynasty to determine the arrangement of the yin and yang lines for the hexagram governing an upcoming situation. One of the commentaries to the Classic of Changes is known by the various titles of “Great Commentary” (Dazhuan) or “Appended Statements” (Xici). The “Great Commentary” is arguably the most important single text to study for an understanding of early Chinese ontology. What Western philosophy calls reality, the philosophers who created this material generally called by the compound “Heaven and Earth.” As for the process of reality’s change, they used the term dao (道). This text frequently employs the term dao as a nominative (The Dao) and portrays it as operating according to Principle(s) li (理). It is because of this operation by Principles, captured in the hexagrams of the divination text, that the patterns of history and nature can be ascertained and referenced in the Yi (the divination manual). But the Dao itself is self-moving, according to its internal forces of yin and yang, and there is no thought that these Principles have their source in a mind, intention, or purpose. In a commentary appended to the Classic of Changes entitled “Discussion of the Trigrams” (shuogua), the trigrams are also linked as explanatory devices for the emergence in reality of families, seasons, directions, colors, and various animals. There is no philosophical justification offered in the com-



mentary for these associations, and we should attribute them to the practitioners who sought to provide more concrete interpretations for the use of the trigrams for the purpose of divination of the future. The general philosophical term for the process of reality described in this work is correlative ontology. Correlation is itself the central concept of the ontological theory of early Chinese philosophy. Yin and yang may be mutually supportive, or the one may be transforming the other, balancing it, compensating for it, enhancing it, or furthering something new in relation to the other. They are not opposites or contradictions. The relationship of yin and yang may be creative and productive, lead to harmony and stability, or it may deconstruct the present phenomenon and open the way to something new. Even so, yin and yang are not equivalent to good/evil, and they possess no mentality or intentionality by which they plan or direct reality. They are regarded as natural forces. During the Han dynasty, thinkers that we might associate with Daoism used the Yijing, Daodejing, and Zhuangzi without making a distinction in authority or ranking them in any way. Yellow Emperor-Laozi (Huang-Lao) intellectual trends, which are visible in both the Zhuangzi and the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), take positions on the workings of Heaven and Earth, as well as human affairs that are traceable back to the Yijing. The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a) refers to the Yijing. Shangqing and Lingbao texts view the Eight Trigrams (bagua) as possessing apotropaic power. Key figures like Sima Chengzhen (647–735) and Chen Tuan (c. 920–989) used the exegesis of the Yijing in making their arguments. In Lingbao, the Eight Trigrams are connected with the miraculous Five Talismans in the Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao wufu xu, CT 388). One method of their uses includes painting them on the adept’s body as protection against harmful spirits and processes. The trigrams are regarded as emblems of the order and processes of the cosmos, and are placed on Daoist altars, embroidered on ritual robes, and included in ceiling and floor art of Daoist guan (abbeys). Sentences taken from the Yijing are used in inner alchemy (neidan) meditation and concentration techniques, and the trigrams are taken as symbols of both neidan and external alchemy (waidan) ingredients. CLASSIC OF THE CONVERSION OF THE BARBARIANS, HUAHUJING 化胡經. According to disputed traditions, the Classic of the Conversion of the Barbarians was composed in its earliest form in about 300, by Wang Fu 王浮, a Celestial Master libationer (jijiu). Wang often lost in doctrinal debates with Buddhists and apparently composed the work as an effort to denigrate Buddhism by creating an account that Laozi was actually the Buddha and the founder of the religion. This argument has its origin in the story



of the dictation of the Daodejing by Laozi to Yin Xi upon leaving the Zhou court and journeying through the Hangu Pass (Hangu guan) to go to the West (India). Already in 165, a court official had presented to the ruler a document claiming that Laozi had gone into the territory of the barbarians (India) and became the Buddha. Up to the time of Wang Fu’s writing, this tradition included strands that reported Laozi wrote Buddhist sutras as well, basically grafting the two philosophies into one; however, Wang used this to belittle Buddhism by attempting to demonstrate Daoism’s superiority, pointing to Buddhism as a perversion of Laozi’s true teachings and unworthy of importation to China. By 600, the text had grown to two scrolls and, by 700, to a full 10. The work Inner Chapters on Mysterious Wonder (Xuanmiao neipian), surviving only in fragments, contained a hagiography of Laozi’s mother, according to which Laozi entered the mouth of a queen in India and was born the following year from her right armpit to become the Buddha. Looking at this from the standpoint of comparative studies, the account of the conversion of the barbarians may also be understood as a justification for the infusion and adoption of Buddhist ideas and practices by Daoists. Buddhists developed many different responses to this theory. One was simply to attack the text as full of inconsistencies and absurdities. Another approach was to claim that bodhisattvas and disciples of the Buddha actually taught the ancient Chinese philosophers and that Laozi was one of these bodhisattvas who came to save the Chinese on behalf of the Buddha or as the Buddha. The text became a point of intense contention between Daoists and Buddhists in debates from the 5th to 7th centuries. The stakes were high, as the arguments played out in the presence of the emperor. During the Tang dynasty, the text was forbidden and ordered destroyed two times, once in 668 and then in 705. In the Yuan dynasty, the throne ordered the complete destruction of the text and other writings related to it. Even so, the old theory appeared later in a work entitled Eighty-One Transformations of Lord Lao, Illustrated (Laojun bashiyi hua tu), probably traceable to Linghu Zhang and Shi Zhijing as its compilers in the late 1100s or early 1200s. CLASSIC OF THE DIVINE SPELLS OF THE CAVERNOUS ABYSS, DONGYUAN SHENZHOU JING 洞渊神咒經. This text is in the Daoist Canon as CT 335. It is the principal example of Daoist apocalyptic eschatology. The date of the revelation of the text is not certain, but internal markers suggest about the 5th century. The author is likewise unknown, but according to tradition it was delivered through spirit mediumship. Literary critical studies tend to confirm this attribution based on the meandering, confused, and repetitive style of the text, which is often characteristic of texts transcribing



oral utterances of a medium. The text claims to be the “book of books,” the ultimate revelation from the numinal world. Du Guangting (850–933) edited it, and it is his version that we find in the Daoist Canon. The predictions contained in the work are familiar ones: The end of the world order is near; it will be preceded by calamities of war, crime, natural disasters, and diseases. These coming horrors are produced by armies of demons (guishen) and tortured souls of the dead. People may escape these coming trials by following the prescriptions in the text. They will then become the “seed people” (zhongmin) for a new humanity of transcendents (xian). CLASSIC OF GREAT CLARITY, TAIQING JING 太清經. This text is now lost, but some parts of it may survive partially in the Daoist Canon within CT 883. It was concerned with the method for making the elixir of Great Clarity (taiqing dan), which according to Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity) (Ware 1966) was obtained after nine cycles of burning cinnabar and other elements until the final product became what he called “Nine Cycle Reverted Elixir” (jiuzhuan huandan). CLASSIC OF GREAT PEACE, TAIPING JING 太平經. The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a) is one of the most important Daoist texts dating from the later Han dynasty and was the theoretical basis for the Great Peace (Taiping) movements of the 2nd century. It seems clear that the text has multiple source authors. This text survives in two forms in the Daoist Canon. A 57-chapter version of the original 170 chapters carries the title Taiping jing (CT 1101a), and a large number of excerpts from the entire work are used to make up the Excerpts from the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jingchao, CT 1101, j. I). These two works form the basis for the modern collated version of the text edited by Wang Ming (1960). A most reliable English translation of the work is Barbara Hendrischke (2006). The central idea of the Classic of Great Peace dates back to the period of the Warring States, as it is hinted at in the Zhuangzi. It is that a coming era of Great Peace will eventuate in the future if the empire’s governing authorities will return to the Dao and move in wu-wei. The rulers of high antiquity governed properly by wu-wei. This future state will mirror that which existed in antiquity but was lost because of the error and moral transgressions of human beings. In the coming era of Great Peace, people will be united because they will “hold on to the One” (shouyi). In the interim period before the dawn of the Great Peace, all human communities remain warped and destructive because they share the “inherited



burden” (chengfu) of human evil, with its meddling with nature and destructive forms of discriminations embodied in language. Even physical disease is a manifestation of these moral failings. This explains why the Classic of Great Peace is concerned with healing techniques related to morality, discussion of medicinal plants, uses of talismans, acupuncture, and the employment of hand gestures of power (shoujue) as healing methods. The text teaches that for the coming age of Great Peace to arrive, the Classic of Great Peace must be transmitted to a person of great virtue, one who is sent by Heaven as a sage (shengren). This person will rule over a new theocratic state. CLASSIC OF THE NINE ELIXIRS, JIUDAN JING 九丹經. The Classic of the Nine Elixirs (chapter 1 in CT 885) is one of the most valuable extant texts for an understanding of the practice of external alchemy (waidan) in Daoism. It was known quite early, as portions of the text are provided in Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). It was also regarded as one of the three founding texts of the Taiqing lineage and attributed to Zuo Ci (legendary 2nd–3rd centuries CE) at the end of the Han dynasty. There are two versions of this work preserved within other works of the Daoist Canon. These are the Instructions on the Classic of the Divine Elixirs of the Nine Tripods of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi jiuding shendan jingjue, CT 885) and the Classic of the Flowing Pearl in Nine Cycles and the Nine Elixirs of the Divine Immortals (Jiuzhuan liuzhu shenxian jiudan jing, CT 952). Taken together these quite similar versions provide an account of the performance of the elixir compounding process from the preliminary rites to the conclusion of the procedure in the ingestion of the elixir. The text begins with an account of the revelation of the method and its rules for enactment. Then, instructions for making the primary compounds for luting the crucible to be used in burning the materials to be transmuted into elixirs are provided. The methods for making the “nine elixirs” follow, each with independent ingredients but all as related to one another in technique of preparation. There is a commentary appended to the Instructions on the Classic of the Divine Elixirs of the Nine Tripods of the Yellow Emperor, which has been dated to the period between 649 and 686, based on internal markers. The commentator gives attention to the choice of time for elixir making and the arrangement and protection of the space used for the process, and offers other alchemical methods relying on a number of substances. Ge Hong’s Baopuzi and Tao Hongjing’s Collected Commentaries to the Canonical Pharmacopoeia (Bencao jing jizhu) are cited.



CLASSIC OF THE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LAOZI, LAOZI BIANHUA JING 老子變化經. This text was discovered among the Dunhuang manuscripts (S. 2295). It is dated to the late 2nd century on the basis of the last appearance of Laozi, which it mentions (155 CE). The text was copied by a monk at the Chang’an (Xi’an) Abbey of the Mysterious Metropolis (Xuandu guan) in 612. It focuses on the divine Laozi as an expression of the Dao that incarnates in various generations to support and govern humanity. There are three parts to this work. In the first, the numinal stature of Laozi is described, as is his supernatural birth to mother Li after 72 years of pregnancy. His divine physiognomy is described, and his action is characterized as having been by wu-wei in every respect. He ascends to Mt. Kunlun with the help of a white deer. He teaches the reader his divine names, each representing what one must know to become immortal. In the second section of the book, Laozi is identified with the heavenly deity called Huncheng (“Chaotic, but Complete”), and his powers and activities are detailed. The final part of the work represents an address given by Laozi during one of his last appearances. He describes himself as the Dao, a resident of Clarity (Qing), and a master over the world and life and death. CLASSIC ON SALVATION, DURENJING 度人經. The full name of this text is Wondrous Classic of the Upper Chamber of the Numinous Treasure on Limitless Salvation (Lingbao wuliang duren shangpin miaojing, CT 1), and it is the first text in the Ming Daoist Canon. It represents a Daoist response to Buddhism, especially the idea of the bodhisattva. The text is given by the Most High Lord of the Dao (Taishang daojun), who says he received it from the Celestial Worthy of the First Origins (Yuanshi tianzun) (see also LAOZI DEIFIED, LAOJUN 老君, TAISHANG LAOJUN 太上 老君). The wondrous effects of reciting the text for the entire community are described in symbolic language. This work is not a philosophical treatise but a kind of talisman to be used only in ritual practice. The salvific power in which adepts are invited to participate actually resides in the text itself, probably because it contains the “inner names” of heavenly emperors, as well as the taboo names of demon spirits. By knowing their names, one can control these beings. The secret rhymes of the text also represent the language of Heaven. Accordingly, the words themselves were believed to be powerful talismans that are able to not only save the practitioner, but also rescue ancestors from the Hells, avert disaster, and protect the villages and the realm. The text should be recited only on certain days, which correspond to the times when the Three Offices (Sanguan) meet to assess the life and records of every person, living or dead.



During the Song dynasty, a version of the text was presented by Lin Lingsu (1076–1120) to the so-called Daoist Emperor, Huizong (r. 1100–1125). The text is still widely recited in Daoist rituals. COMPLETE DAOIST CLASSICS, WITH PHONETIC AND SEMANTIC GLOSSES, YIQIE DAOJING YINYI 一切道經音義. This text was the most important scholarly work on Daoism published before the year 1000. It was compiled under imperial direction during the reign of Tang Ruizong (r. 684–690; 710–712). It was not the result of a single author but the product of a commission of scholars formed in Chang’an (Xi’an) and directed by Shi Chongxuan (?–713), master of the Abbey of Great Clarity (Taiqing guan) in the capital city. There were 43 members on the commission, and the preface to the work was written by Emperor Tang Xuanzong (r. 712–756). The final product consisted of more than 2,000 scrolls. Relying on the research done in compiling the project, Shi Chongxuan wrote a treatise on basic Daoist teachings, which is now in the Daoist Canon as CT 1123. The Yiqie daojing yinyi is now extant, as it only remains in Shi’s text and as brief remarks in prefaces to other works and a modest number of citations having largely to do with pronunciations of obscure Daoist terminology. COMPLETE PERFECTION LINEAGE, QUANZHEN 全真. Quanzhen Daoism is the leading branch of Daoism at work in mainland China today. While its principal philosophical doctrines do not differ radically from those of other Daoist schools, it is a tradition that has practiced celibate and monastic communal living even since its beginning. The Complete Perfection lineage was founded by Wang Zhe (1113–1170), aka Wang Chongyang, a practitioner of inner alchemy (neidan) who lived in the Zhongnan mountains and was reportedly guided by the immortals (xian) Zhongli Quan, Lu Dongbin, and Liu Haichan. It is possible that Wang was influenced by Chan Buddhism during his formative period in Shaanxi province. In 1167, Wang moved to Shandong and began to gather disciples, seven of whom became known as the original Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) of Quanzhen. Wang set up five associations for the study of the methods he was advocating for reaching “complete perfection.” In an effort to spread the movement, he journeyed back to Shaanxi province, along with four of the Seven Perfected Persons; however, he died on the way, and his coffin was carried to the Zhongnan mountains. Later Quanzhen hagiographies of the Seven Perfected Persons report that the four who accompanied Wang at his death became the first patriarchs of the movement.



In the beginning, Quanzhen had no institutionalist sites of its own, but gradually the masters formed teaching centers targeted mainly at lay inquirers. Because of imperial aspirations to control divergent spiritual movements, these kinds of foundations were forbidden, and Quanzhen was banned in 1190. Even the main center, built near Wang Zhe’s grave in Shaanxi, was closed in 1195. Under the leadership of Qiu Chuji (1148–1227), one of the original Seven Perfected Persons, Quanzhen regained official recognition, and when Mongol ruler Chinggis Khan (Taizu, r. 1206–1227) summoned Qiu for an audience, it was because Qiu was seen as influential over a national movement. Qiu received a number of official titles and political privileges. After this, Quanzhen grew quickly and began to have widespread institutional identity. Sometimes local officials reassigned Buddhist temples to become Quanzhen sites. It is estimated that by the year 1300, Quanzhen lineage monasteries equaled 4,000. During the Ming dynasty, the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage was quite powerful, and Quanzhen influence diminished. Centers like White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) were directed by Zhengyi (Celestial Masters) masters. At the end of the Ming period, the Dragon Gate lineage (Longmen) grew within Quanzhen as a renewal movement. Longmen gained control of a great number of convents and monasteries throughout the country. By the Qing dynasty, the Daoist Association of China, estimated to have a membership of more than 23,000, officially recognized Quanzhen (including Dragon Gate) Daoists in the country. The Daoist Canon contains 60 Quanzhen works. An adept who decided to follow the way of Complete Perfection took up a celibate life. He or she would join a monastery or convent and follow a threeyear novitiate life. Afterward, he or she was ordained and made a commitment to monastic precepts, some of which were quite harsh, recommending poverty and severe diets without fruit or spicy vegetables, and having no meat. The way of Complete Perfection was and is one of self-cultivation through neidan. Its center has returned to White Cloud Abbey in Beijing. COMPREHENSIVE MIRROR OF PERFECTED IMMORTALS AND THOSE WHO EMBODIED THE DAO THROUGH THE AGES, LISHI ZHENXIAN TIDAO TONGJIAN 歷世真仙體道通鋻. This compendium in the Daoist Canon as CT 296 is divided into 53 chapters and contains more than 900 biographies. It was compiled by Zhao Daoyi (fl. 1294–1307). From one point of view, the text provides a record of the operations of the Dao in history. Typically, the biographies are arranged in the chronological order in which the subjects lived, with only a few exceptions. Zhao did not merely copy earlier biographies from other sources; he sometimes altered or neglected earlier versions to provide more voluminous accounts. An often-cited



example of this way of working is the biography of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi), which occupies the entire first chapter of the work. Zhang Daoling also receives a full-chapter biography. CORPUS OF DAOIST RITUAL, DAOFA HUIYUAN 道法會元. This is the single most voluminous text in the Daoist Canon (CT 1220). It is a collection of ritual manuals and writings from several schools of Daoist practice. No copy beyond that in the Daoist Canon is known to exist. The latest internal date recorded in the documents is 1356. The latest identified contributor is Zhao Yizhen (?–1382). It is possible that Zhao’s students may have had a hand in collecting and editing the large group of texts included in this corpus. Most of the writings provide instructions on Thunder Rites (leifa). Many of the guidelines condone cooperation with spirit mediums (tongzi and jitong) and experts in exorcism. There are detailed and illustrated instructions for the creation and application of talismans (fu). CORRECT METHOD OF THE CELESTIAL HEART, TIANXIN ZHENGFA 天心正法. The term “Celestial Heart” or “Heaven’s Heart” (tianxin) refers to the Big Dipper (beidou) as the locus of power for the forces that created the universe. The title Tianxin zhengfa points to the methods used in this movement. Tianxin is a set of methods for healing, exorcism, bringing rain, hastening birth, curing madness, ending fever, and eliminating harms caused by ghosts. It first developed in Southeastern China and grew in influence during the Song dynasty in about the 10th century. The movement sprang from the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) or Zhengyi tradition. Its first patriarch was Tan Zixiao (fl. 935–after 963), a daoshi from Quanzhou (Fujian province) who reported receiving a set of talismans from Zhang Daoling and became famous for controlling ghost spirits who caused illness. Tan became known as the Elder of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi xiansheng). Points of contact between Tianxin Daoism and Celestial Masters (Tianshi) practices include similar methods of “pacing the void” (bugang), strategies for controlling and expelling evil spirits that cause illness, and ways of submitting petitions to numinal beings. Historically speaking, Tianxin may represent an adaptation of Celestial Masters teachings to practices of local cults around Mt. Huagai (Huagaishan), the site where, according to one tradition, Rao Dongtian (fl. 994) had unearthed the “secret formulas of the Celestial Heart” (Tianxin bishi) in 994. Many of the practitioners of Tianxin Daoism around Mt. Huagai in the Song period also served as spirit-mediums (shentong) and practiced writing talismans while in trance-like states.



In the Tianxin lineage, Zhang Daoling occupied an important role. He was thought of as the deified spirit who directed the Heavenly Department of Exorcism, and Tianxin daoshi were “assigned” as executors of this department’s work on Earth. This department owed its power to the numinal being named Northern Emperor (Beidi), explaining the connection between the Big Dipper and Tianxin belief. He had at his direction a host of heavenly generals and soldiers on whom Tianxin daoshi could call. In practice, the Tianxin daoshi would perform a rite of transformation (bianshen) so that he could be possessed by the numinal powers, take command of heavenly soldiers, and send them into battle against evil spirits assaulting the sick and weak. The tradition survives into the contemporary period largely through its preservation among the Yao people living in Southern China, as well as some communities in Lao and Thailand. CROSSING THE BRIDGE, GUOQIAO 過橋. Crossing the Bridge (guoqiao) is the Daoist rite that when performed allows the qi spirit of a deceased person to cross the Naihe Bridge (Naihe qiao), which traverses the “River of No Recourse” flowing through the underworld and allowing the person to move along toward paradise. In Taiwan and some places in Fujian, it is performed as the final stage of the rite of Salvation through Refinement (liandu) during the larger Ritual of Merit (gongde). In one method of performance, a small bridge made of paper and saucers filled with oil is placed on the ground outside the sacred space where the deceased is enshrined. A daoshi carrying the Banner for Summoning the Soul (zhaohun fan) steps over and back across the bridge three times, with a family mourner (or mourners) following him. Finally, a figure representing the deceased is placed in a paper sedan chair and carried over the bridge. Then, as with all sacred icon components of a Daoist ritual, the bridge is burned. CRUCIBLE, CALDRON, FU 釜. The caldron placed at the center of an alchemical laboratory is called a fu. According to a commentary on the Classic of Great Clarity (Taiqing jing), in the Daoist Canon as CT 883, the crucible is made of red clay and vinegar. Its interior is luted with lacquer obtained by boiling oak bark. Other methods for its construction are given in different texts. Sealing the ingredients in the crucible and heating it to the proper temperatures are the most crucial parts of alchemical work. Failures at this level will render the product inert of power. The alchemist must perform a ritual near the crucible before kindling the fire. An example of one such rite may be found in the Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing, CT 885). CUN 存. See VISUALIZATION, ACTUALIZATION, CUN 存.

D DADONG ZHENJING 大洞真經. See AUTHENTIC CLASSIC OF GREAT PROFUNDITY, DADONG ZHENJING 大洞真經. DANTIAN 丹田. See CINNABAR FIELDS, FIELDS OF ELIXIR, DANTIAN 丹田. DAO 道, “THE WAY”. From the beginning in the Daodejing, followers of the Way were warned against reifying dao and turning it into an object, or even using Dao as a name for an object or thing. Indeed, the Daodejing insists that using language about dao at all will inevitably be misleading: The name that can be given to Dao is not its abiding or eternal name (Daodejing, 1). In this sense, dao is inexpressible. Another way of saying this is that in Daoist texts dao is polysemous. The Zhuangzi teaches that the Perfected Person (zhenren) is in possession of the “wordless teaching” while experiencing dao. The text Pivot of Meaning of the Daoist Teaching (Daojiao yishu, CT 1129) says, “Dao is the ultimately real (zhen 真), the ultimately subtle, and yet there is nothing that is not sustained by its emptiness.” Because of the many uses of dao, the interpreter does best to follow how it is being used in a specific text and try to avoid the temptation to offer one single totalizing translation or understanding. For example, consider that ancient Confucians also used the term dao to denote a set of teachings allowing one to live a flourishing life. In a text from the formative years of Daoism known as the Neiye (Inner Training), dao is something to be cultivated, similar to qi. In the Daodejing, dao is the mother of all things, the differentiation between nothingness and being (wu and you). As Daoism developed, dao was used to describe the teachings transmitted to disciples and followers (see Sima Qian’s use of daojia) or as an affirmation of identity, as in the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi Dao). Although not the “essence” of the meaning of dao, still a broadly accepted family resemblance of uses is to affirm that ordinary life lacks the touchstone of an important power and presence that must be regained, achieved, or acquired by appropriate practice. This use of dao does the work that is done 49



in other languages for the “divine,” “numinal,” or “sacred.” Figures in the Zhuangzi, Zhang Daoling, and transmitters of the Lingbao texts provide ready examples of this use of dao. These uses are the most direct evidence that Daoism cannot be completely reduced to a philosophical naturalism that merely offers meditation as a kind of therapeutic practice. Daoist texts have a rich grammar about numinal presence. This can only be systematically read as symbolic at the cost of distorting the tradition. Ritual and activity in Daoism represent a dao of spiritual transformation, but records of people who have attained and embodied a cosmic dao are in every strata of the tradition. But this is not realized as a mystic might come upon the transcendental Absolute (named as Dao). Daoists practice “nourishing life” (yangsheng) in all its aspects, and it is in the ordinary doings of life turned into a way (dao) that biospiritual transformation occurs. DAOCHANG 道場. See RITUAL SPACE, SACRED AREA, DAOCHANG 道場. DAODEJING 道德經, AKA THE LAOZI 老子. The long-standing tradition in China is that a philosophical master named Laozi was the author of the Daodejing, which means the “Classic of Dao and De.” The text is also known simply as the Laozi. The reason for this is not primarily that the author of the text is believed to be a figure in Daoism’s early beginnings known as Laozi, but that the name “Laozi” may also mean “ancient teachers,” and the book has been shown by literary critical scholarship to be a compendium of teachings from previous sources and not just the product of one person. The identity of Laozi as a historical figure can be traced to the Zhuangzi. The Zhuangzi is the first text to use Laozi as a personal name. In that work, Laozi is often a character who is portrayed teaching and correcting Confucius, and Confucius is put in the role of giving Laozi great respect and honor; however, like many other names for people in that text, Laozi may well have been a fictional name used to give a voice to ideas within an influential lineage of teachers. Our present Daodejing represents a collection of teachings used across early teacher-disciple lineages. It is divided into two parts and 81 chapters (pian), and until the recent archaeological finds at Mawangdui and Guodian, translations of this work were based on the version edited by Wang Bi, a commentator who assembled the text between the years 226 and 249. The two major divisions of Wang Bi’s Daodejing are the “Dao Classic” (daojing, chapters 1–37) and the “De Classic” (dejing, chapters 38–81). But this division probably rests on little else than the fact that the principal concept



opening chapter 1 is dao and that beginning Chapter 38 is de. In contrast, the much earlier Mawangdui manuscripts of the text place the dejing first and the daojing second. In either case, D. C. Lau thinks that the division of the work was probably done to conform to the traditional story that, upon leaving China, a person named Laozi wrote a work in two books and presented it to Yin Xi, Guardian of the Pass to the West (Lau 1982). As for the division of the text into 81 chapters, this, too, is not found in the earliest versions. Chapter divisions and even titles were added by the author of a commentary known as the Heshang gong (written in about the 200s). Archaeological finds at Mawangdui and among the Guodian manuscripts have shed new light on the early versions of the Daodejing. Mawangdui is the name for a site of tombs discovered in 1973, near Changsha, in modern Hunan province. The two Daodejing texts found there have been dated to before 195 BCE and consist of incomplete editions on silk scrolls. They are now simply called A and B. These versions have two principal differences from that of Wang Bi. First, some word choice divergences are present. Second, the order of the chapters is reversed, with chapters 38 to 81 in the Wang Bi version coming before chapters 1 to 37 in the Mawangdui versions. Robert Henricks (1989) has published a translation of these texts with extensive notes and comparisons with the Wang Bi. In 1993, tombs were explored near the village of Guodian in the Jishan district of Hubei Province, not far from the city of Jingmen and only a few kilometers from the ancient capital of the state of Chu. In one of these tombs, dating to about 300 BCE, there were 71 bamboo slips in three bundle rolls containing material that is also found in 31 of the 81 chapters of the Daodejing and corresponding to chapters 1 to 66. These bamboo strips are now the oldest known versions of the Daodejing. They are called Laozi A, B, C or The Bamboo Laozi (Zhujian Laozi). In all of its versions, the Daodejing is a collection of text blocks, and these are not arranged to develop any systematic argument. In this sense, the text is more like an anthology than a book with an overarching theme. The blocks were gathered and organized into chapters by one, or perhaps more than one, editor. In some ways, it is helpful to think of these blocks as beads on a string and of the editor as a jeweler creating a necklace. Recently, some scholars have helped us detect the rough edges of the way many chapters have been edited from these smaller units. These include Michael La Fargue (1992) and D. C. Lau (1982). Sometimes even translators who agree that the sections of the Daodejing are composite differ on how a chapter should be divided. Consider the following comparison between the ways Lau and LaFargue treat chapter 15.



Lau (1963) 15a. Of old he who was well versed in the way Was minutely subtle, mysteriously comprehending, And too profound to be known. It is because he could not be known That he can only be given a makeshift description: Tentative, as if fording a river in winter; Hesitant, as if in fear of his neighbours; Formal like a guest; Falling apart like thawing ice; Think like the uncarved block; Vacant like a valley; Murky like muddy water. 15b. Who can be muddy and, yet, settling, slowly become limpid? Who can be at rest and yet, stirring, slowly come to life? He who holds fast to this way Desires not to be full. It is because he is not full That he can be worn and yet newly made.

La Fargue (1992) 15a. The excellent shi 士 of ancient times penetrated into the most obscure, the marvelous, the mysterious. They had a depth beyond understanding. 15b. They were simply beyond understanding, the appearance of their forceful presence: Cautious, like one crossing a stream in winter, timid, like one who fears the surrounding neighbors, reserved, like guests yielding, like ice about to melt unspecified, like the Uncarved Block all vacant space, like the Valley everything mixed together, like muddy water. 15c. Who is able, as muddy water, by stilling to slowly become clear? Who is able, at rest, by long, drawn-out movement to slowly come to life? 15d. Whoever holds onto this Tao does not yearn for solidity. 15e. He simply lacks solidity, and so what he is capable of: Remaining concealed, accomplishing nothing new.

Lau believes chapter 15 contains two originally separate passages. La Fargue thinks there are more text blocks in the chapter. He also tries to identify certain editorial transition phrases designed to smooth the connections between the units and traceable to the editor by placing lines he attributes to the editor in italics. Daodejing 道德經, the Laozi 老子 (Themes) Dao 道. Chs. 1; 4, 8b; 9; 14a, b; 16b; 18; 21a, b; 23b; 24; 25; 30; 31; 32; 34; 35b; 37; 38b, d; 40; 41a, b, c; 42a; 46a; 47; 48; 51a; 53a, b; 54b; 55; 56a; 59; 60; 62a; 65; 67; 77; 79; 81

The term dao is one of the most important concepts in the Daodejing. Sometimes it is used as a noun (i.e., “the Dao”) and other times as a verb (i.e., “daoing”). This is the way it changes meanings in the opening lines of chapter 1.



The dao that can be expressed in words (daoed) is not the eternal dao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name (1a). Many passages in the Daodejing make it apparent that dao cannot be put into words or named, and this is often known as the “wordless teaching.” We will also notice this same point of emphasis in the Zhuangzi (14c, 156–58). Consider the following passages: 1) “Music and good food will induce the people to stop by,” and 2) “But using words to talk about the dao is not satisfying.” (Daodejing, 35b). There is a thing chaotic yet perfect, which arose before Heaven and Earth. Silent and indistinct, it stands alone and unchanging, Going around it is tireless, We can take it as the mother of Heaven and Earth. I do not know its name. I have styled it dao (25a) In talking about the inability to “explain dao and the inherent inaccuracy of putting a name to it, for example, “reality” or “God,” the masters whose teachings are embodied in the Daodejing were pointing to its numinosity and ineffability. From dao all things have come. Dao produces the One; The One gives birth to two, Two produces three. Three produces the myriad creatures. The myriad creatures shoulder yin and hold on to yang, and by blending these qi they attain harmony (42a).

See also YIN AND YANG 陰陽. In this brief statement of creation in the Daodejing, the text puts dao prior to the first thing, what Daoist’s call “the Great One” (Taiyi). Dao gives rise to all things. It works in ways that we humans take to exhibit design, but there is no statement that dao plans or has a will. When one experiences dao the sense of some presence is unmistakable. In chapter 21, the Daodejing speaks of this awareness by using the characters (huang hu). If we wonder whether this experience was regarded as a spiritual one, or as one we might have with physical things, our best guide is to look elsewhere in Chinese texts for the use of the expression huang hu. In the Book of Rites (Liji), which records instructions for religious rituals in ancient China, these characters are used exclusively to refer to a state in which one encounters a spiritual or numinal presence (Book of Rites 28.214). With this in mind, the following is the way chapter 21 describes what happens in an encounter with dao in chapter 21: The form of profound de (kongde) comes from the dao alone



As for dao’s nature it is huang hu Hu! Huang! There is an image within it. Huang! Hu! There is something within it. Deep! Mysterious! Within is numinal energy. This numinal energy (jing) is undeniably real, Within this [experience] lies its own proof.

The Daodejing teaches that when we try to make something happen in the world by our own reasoning, plans, and contrivances, we inevitably make a mess of it and set ourselves against the flow of dao. But if we take our hands off of the course of our lives and move with the dao, dao will untangle life’s knots, blunt its sharp edges, and soften its harsh glare (chapter 56a). In the ancient past, people abandoned oneness with the “Great dao” (da dao) and began to make distinctions that became our systems known as morality, politics, aesthetics, and religion. Humans speak of beauty and ugliness, courage and cowardice, good and evil. But these are discriminations of our own making; they do not belong to dao. The Daodejing makes this point in the following passage by specifically mentioning several of the distinctions made in Confucian moral and social philosophy: benevolence (ren), appropriateness (yi), filial piety (xiao), and kindness (ci). “When the great dao is abandoned, benevolence (ren) and appropriateness (yi) appear. When wisdom and erudition arise, great hypocrisy arises, (ch. 18).” This “disease” of making distinctions is likewise condemned in the Zhuangzi (e.g., 2r, 45–46; 5a, 68–69; 5c, 72; 5d, 74). In Daoism, struggling with these human-made distinctions is the source of all strife in the world (chs. 18, 38). The key is not to begin this process at all, or to empty oneself of it by forgetting such distinctions and returning to the unity with dao, living out of a sense of its presence and its power, called de. De 德. Chs. 10b; 21a; 23b; 28; 38a, b; 41b; 49; 51a, b; 54b; 55; 59; 60; 63b; 65; 68; 79

In Chinese, de is used as “excellence,” “virtue,” “power,” or “charismatic force.” So, it is not a good idea to reduce the meaning of de to any one of these translations exclusively. In what follows, the term is left untranslated, and this gives the interpreter a chance to place it in context and see the actual work it is doing in a passage and then translate it. For example, the text says, To act with no expectation of reward; To lead without lording over others; Such is mysterious de (xuande). (10b; 51b)



If one moves in harmony with dao, he will have de. The Daodejing says, Cultivate dao in your person, and the de you develop will be genuine. Cultivate dao in your family, and the family’s de will be more than enough. Cultivate dao in your village, and the village’s de will long endure. Cultivate dao in your state, and the state’s de will be abundant. Cultivate dao throughout the world, and the world’s de will be pervasive. (54b) Wu-wei 無為. Chs. 2c; 3c; 10a; 43; 47; 48; 57; 63a; 64b

De is not shown by striving, planning, or training. It is exhibited with a sort of effortlessness, for which the Daodejing uses the concept wu-wei to stand for a way of practicing the dao. But the Daodejing says clearly that people should be active. Act, but as wu-wei. Be active, but don’t let your conduct be intentional and deliberative (wu shi). (63a)

Wu-wei is a type of conduct, but it is not an intentional action or an omission to do something, but it is a way of doing things that is unique to Daoism and Daoist master sages (shengren): “Therefore, the sage wu-weis things” (ch. 2c). Wu-wei is similar to a kind of natural or spontaneous movement without deliberation and intention. It comes directly from the storehouse of dao and its limitless de. The numinosity of wu-wei conduct lies in the fact that it accords in the situation with an efficacy that can only be attributed to the dao and could never have been a result of human wisdom, planning, or contrivance. The Daodejing does not say that this efficacy ignores or has no connection with the virtues we use as distinctions in language. This is not the point of the text’s thoroughgoing criticism of such discriminations. It means that following the demands and rules set up by convention as though they were ends in themselves, it will only lead to frustration and misery, whereas wu-wei conduct from an experience with dao will result in “gaining the world,” and things will be in harmony. In wu-wei, everything becomes well ordered (ch. 3c). Emptiness, Stillness, Femininity. Chs. 5c; 6a; 11; 15c; 20; 28; 45; 48; 61

At first, the idea of emptiness sounds mysterious and vague, and it may not be clear how this idea applies to what we have said about dao, de, and wuwei. We may find it odd that emptiness is represented as full of power in many places in the Daodejing. In its analogies, the Daodejing says it is what is not there in a wheel that makes it useful and what is removed that makes



something like a cup, pitcher, or bowl effective. Only by relying on emptiness is a door or window what it is (ch. 11). The point is that since human discriminations and distinctions fill the mind (lit. “heart-mind” xin), we cannot act naturally, moving along with the dao. So, those who seek the dao and its de do not desire the fullness of the world’s knowledge, but they want to make themselves empty of it, to forget it, to set it aside. We use such discriminations as success and failure, happiness and unhappiness, life and death, rich and poor, right and wrong, but all of these distinctions are of our own making. The dao does not have any of these. Emptying of such distinctions is the context for the puzzling statement that perfected rulers “make sure that the people are without knowledge or desires; and that those with knowledge do not act” (ch. 3b). Emptiness means one reverts to a natural state. The Daoist adept becomes like uncarved wood that has not been tampered with, bent, or shaped (compare with Zhuangzi, ch. 9). Being empty likewise indicates a disposition of receptivity. Just as a bowl is ready to receive, so is the adept that seeks the presence of dao. Such a one wants to receive dao and its de. This explains the association of emptiness with the feminine. The Daodejing makes an explicit analogical connection between emptiness, the valley, and the female: Know the male but preserve the female And be a ravine for all the world. If you are ravine for all the world, constant de will never leave you. (ch. 28)

In sexual relations, the female receives. In the spirituality of the Daodejing, the person who becomes receptive to the presence of dao will have its constant de. To the would-be follower of the dao, Daodejing 10 asks, “Opening and closing Heaven’s gate, Can you play the part of the female?” When the text speaks of opening and closing Heaven’s gate it is describing entering into a state of spiritual awareness. Masters of the dao engaged in this experience on an individual level through quietude, stillness, and meditation. They also entered this state through ritual action. Correlativity. Chs. 1; 2a, b, c; 22a, b; 29a, b; 30; 42a; 44; 48; 56a; 63b, c; 77, 81

The masters who were the sources of the Daodejing materials always moved their students away from the obsession of being fixated on opposites so common when thinking in terms of human discriminations. They did this by shifting the conception away from contradictions to correlations, making use of the Chinese cosmological ideas of yin and yang. The text says, “The myriad creatures shoulder yin and embrace yang; and by blending these qi they attain harmony” (ch. 42a). This statement is the only explicit mention of



yin and yang in the Daodejing; however, the theme of correlation is prominent in many places throughout the text, as it warns against fixating on one distinction rather than another: Everyone in the world knows that when the beautiful is obsessed with beauty, it is ugly. Everyone in the world knows that when the good is obsessed with good, it is not good. (ch. 2) In correlational thinking, each contributes to the other, and the way is found in the harmony and balance of both. One should never be only aggressive or competitive; sometimes one should be passive and compliant. No male should be without some female traits and vice versa. Not even beauty should strive to be only beauty because in this striving, it will destroy itself. Correlativity in the Daodejing often functions as a criticism of human distinctions and judgments. To have and to lack generate one another. Difficult and easy give form to one another. The noble and the lowly give content to one another. Likewise, sometimes one leads, and sometimes one follows. Sometimes one is strong and sometimes weak (chs. 2b; 29b). Not everything that people call a gain is a gain, and not all losses are losses (ch. 44). The Daodejing is not saying that an injury is not an injury, or that suffering is an illusion and unreal. It is saying that an injury is already moving toward health while it is still an injury. The correlative working of dao cannot be figured out by reason. Our plans and ways, human contrivances, and “howto” tactics, instead of bringing balance and harmony, will actually lead us into imbalance and greater disharmony. This is why chapter 56 says the following: Those who know do not talk about it [dao]. Those who talk about it [dao] do not know. [Dao] blocks the openings; Shuts the gates; Blunts the sharpness; Untangles the knots; Softens the glare; Merges with the dust; Brings wheels into the same track; This is known as profound unity (xuan tong). (ch. 56a)

If we think that life’s occurrences seem unfair (a human discrimination), we should remember that Heaven’s net (tian wang) misses nothing, it leaves nothing undone (ch. 73). The Daodejing calls this correlative work of dao a deep mystery. “Within this mystery is yet a deeper mystery (xuan zhi you xuan 玄之又玄). The gate of all mysteries!” (ch. 1): Those who are crooked will be perfected. Those who are bent will be straight.



Those who are empty will be full. Those who are worn will be renewed. Those who have little will gain. Those who have plenty will be confounded. (ch. 22) Sage. Chs. 2c; 3a, b, c; 5b; 7; 10a; 12; 15a; 16b; 19b; 20 (1st person); 22b; 27; 28; 29b; 37; 46b; 47; 49; 51b; 55; 60; 63c; 64b; 66; 67 (1st person); 70 (1st person); 71; 72; 73; 76; 77; 79; 81

Sages practice emptiness (ch. 11). They preserve the female (ch. 28). They shoulder yin and embrace yang, concentrate their internal energy qi, and thereby attain harmony (he) (ch. 42a). They live naturally and free from desires, recognitions, and standards given in the distinctions created by humans (ch. 37). They settle themselves down and know how to be content (ch. 46b). As we have seen, the Daodejing warns those who would try to do something with the world that they will fail. They will actually ruin it (ch. 29a). Instead of forcing their will on life, sages are yin, pliable, and supple, not rigid and resistive (ch. 76). Sages act with no expectation of reward (chs. 2c, 51b). They put themselves last and yet come first (ch. 7). They never make a display of themselves (chs. 22b, 24, 72). They do not brag or boast (chs. 22b, 24), and they do not linger to receive praise after their work is done (ch. 77). They manifest plainness and embrace simplicity, never thinking only of themselves (ch. 19b). They take the people’s hearts as their own (ch. 49), and they are good at saving the people (ch. 27). They embody dao in practice, they have longevity of life (ch. 16b), and they create peace (ch. 32). Sages cause no injury (ch. 60). Heaven (tian 天) protects the sage, and the sage becomes invincible (ch. 67). DAOFA HUIYUAN 道法會元. See CORPUS OF DAOIST RITUAL, DAOFA HUIYUAN 道法會元. DAOGU 道姑. See WOMEN IN DAOISM. DAOISM AND BUDDHISM. Beginning with the time it entered China in the 1st century, Daoism and Buddhism jostled for dominance and struggled to understand one another’s teachings and practices. They constantly affected one another in a complex pattern of exchanges. They borrowed ideas from one another. They used vocabularies from one system to translate concepts from another, and they contended for resources and recognition from imperial governments.



By the 4th century, there is clear evidence of the absorption of Buddhist material into the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) writings. Numinous Treasure (Lingbao) lineage texts also often recast Buddhist ideas and practices to fit the Chinese Daoist context. What is less well known is that some Buddhist texts show an awareness of these Daoist borrowings (see Sutra on Protecting Life, T. 2866). Even a cursory study reveals that both traditions practice quietude and meditation as a form of spiritual disclosure. The Daoist concept of action and response (ganying) derived from the Book of the Masters of Huainan and employed in texts of the Way of the Celestial Masters and in Ge Hong, is quite similar to the Buddhist notion of karma, although there are subtle differences. Debates about which of these philosophical systems contributed most to human flourishing and even to the stability and success of Chinese imperial governments often took place within official courts, especially during the Tang dynasty (618–907). The notorious Classic of the Conversion of the Barbarians is only one of the most obvious examples of the polemical conflicts between these two systems. In fact, state support given to the development of an authorized canon of texts was an effort to ensure against the corruption of subversive, ill-formed, and flagrant incendiary ideas from both sides. Even so, every major persecution of Buddhism—in 446 under the northern Wei, in 574 under the northern Zhou, and in 845 under the Tang— are all at least partly traceable to its rivalry with Daoism. Social structures of communities created by these two traditions have undeniable contrasts. Buddhism never accepted a noncelibate clergy, although the Orthodox Unity lineage did. Even so, the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) Daoist lineage developed monastic institutions for both men and women similar to those found in Buddhism. In everyday life, all Chinese faced the quandary of death, and Buddhism’s well-developed doctrines of the afterlife meant that many funerals employed Buddhist priests, even if some daoshi also presided. Such popular texts as the Classic of the Ten Kings of Hell (Diyu shiwang jing) made room for the Daoist God of Taishan as part of the bureaucracy of the afterlife. Nevertheless, by the 6th century, Buddhist thinkers characterized Daoism as subordinate because it was too “worldly” or “this-worldly.” Interestingly, out of this type of criticism emerged Chan Buddhism, with its deep connections to such Daoist practices as “sitting in forgetfulness” (zuowang). A Daoist work entitled In Search of the Sacred (Soushen ji, CT 1476), included within the supplement to the Daoist Canon, includes Buddhist cults as popular forms of practice without criticism or reformulation. The inner alchemy (neidan) work Secret of the Golden Flower (Taiyi jinhua zongzhi) may be characterized as a hybrid text, blending Buddhism and Daoism.



DAOISM AND CONFUCIANISM. In China, Daoism and Confucianism are often characterized at the yin and yang of the Chinese people. Daoism is said to be more reserved, practicing stillness, moving in wu-wei, and seeking ziran. Confucianism is likened to activism, control, shaping humanity and government by learning, education, and vigorous effort; however, the relationship of early Confucianism and Daoism was more complicated than is sometimes imagined. Some interpreters have imagined that Daoism was a reaction to or even criticism of Confucianism. Confucianism is typically characterized as a literati tradition, whereas Daoism is associated with the popular and uneducated. Confucians held official positions in the imperial courts of China, whereas Daoists were mountain recluses. A more accurate appraisal requires moving away such simplistic dualistic characterizations. Even the most ordinary assumption that Confucianism was founded by Confucius and Daoism by Laozi is, at best, only partly true and probably mostly in error. Confucius characterized his own role as a “transmitter” not an inventor. Laozi may not be a historical figure at all, but even if he was a teacher whose views came into the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, a straightforward reading of the Zhuangzi leaves no doubt that he was one among many, even if perhaps first among them. If the traditions about the Jixia Academy are accurate, then Zhuang Zhou may have been at that ancient school as a teacher at the same time, or very near to the time, that Confucian scholar Mencius (Mengzi, 372–289 BCE) (known as the “Second Sage”) was also there. Moreover, Confucian thinker Xunzi (?310–?235 BCE) was actually the libationer (jijiu) of the school, perhaps not long after Zhuang Zhou’s tenure there. But this is not to say that they all thought alike. Some of the most serious conflicts arising from differences of teaching and practice were present during the classical period, before the time of the Huainan academy (160s–130s BCE). Generally speaking, these may be roughly summarized in the following way: 1. The Dao in Daoism is not rational or logical, nor is it said to move by Principles or natural laws. Dao is not a being, has no will and possesses no mind by which to form intentions to operate in such a way as to achieve its purposes. While Daoists think that the natural course of dao’s movement will lead to the best, Confucians believe that education and learning are required to alter the natural course of things. In Confucianism, humans should tamper with nature, change it, direct it, and redirect it to higher ends and purposes. While this view may be more obvious in Xunzi, we cannot say that it is absent from Mencius. His use of agricultural metaphors, according to which we are born, with natural dispositions that are like the seeds to our moral development, leaves no doubt that the rites and education were necessary to cultivate these inborn seeds to become an exemplary person (junzi);







however, both the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi contain passages that teach that moral rites and education are enemies of the person’s ability to unify with dao. Daoist writings in the pre-Huainan texts teach that creating and employing such moral and social concepts as the cardinal Confucian virtues of humaneness (ren) and appropriateness (yi) get in the way of the practice of stillness and quietude, which lead to the clarity of wu-wei. Any willful human intervention and tampering with dao’s processes will ruin the harmony of the natural transformation process of dao. As the Daodejing says, “Those who try to grasp the world and do something with it will lose it” (ch. 29); however, Confucians valorize the human creation of culture, morality, and the rites. Daoism of this early period stresses wu-wei as a kind of spontaneous natural action that moves along with dao. Confucians want us to change the world and be proactive—that is, to act intentionally and deliberately to set things straight. Confucius admonishes his disciples to make something out of themselves, to cultivate themselves by carving themselves like fine jade. But Daoist texts admonish the Perfected Person (zhenren) to be like uncarved wood, a newborn infant, or flowing water. Arguably, it may be said that generally speaking, classical Daoism focused on the individual, while Confucianism looked to society, family, and interrelationships. Following the teachings of Daoism in the ways recommended in the classical texts seems to have been possible in a solitary way, without a community or society of supporting believers. Daoists moved into the mountains, left the towns and cities, and found their own way to oneness with dao while alone or with only a small group of fellow seekers. But in Confucianism, self-cultivation and the elevation of humanity to a new level embodied in the ideal of the junzi is realized in relationships. In fact, relationships are necessary to the achievement of this ideal. In Daoism, the person who wants to know the dao by experience is basically told not to rely on rationality and argument, to follow no school of thought, and to open oneself in stillness and “sitting in forgetfulness.” Confucians placed great value on study, working to “solve” problems and create policies and political strategies. For a Daoist, the very thought that some context in life is a “problem,” that life is sometimes “knotted,” is an understanding that must be emptied from our minds. As the Daodejing says, “The dao untangles the knots and turns down the glare” (ch. 56). Dao accomplishes this by itself. It does not need the help of human contrivance. But in Confucianism, training, learning, and cultivating the craftsmanship of leadership and problem solving is absolutely essential to the advancement of each



human and humanity writ large. Many analects, especially those found in the sections on teachings to students by topic, give ample evidence that untangling life’s knots cannot be done without effort, strategy, and even political machination. 6. Daoists stressed that humans are embedded in nature and may learn from and be made whole by nature. Daoists stress that human life takes place in a natural reality that is not coextensive with human interests or civilization. In Confucianism, nature has its patterns and movement, but these are subsumed under the more powerful and promising role of human reason. Civilization and culture are the blossoms on nature’s tree, the fruition and highest expression of humankind’s transcendence of natural bonds, and even supremacy over nature. 7. The ideal person in Confucianism as a junzi is a father or mother who is much honored or perhaps a ruler and leader. The junzi is known for generosity and devotion to the rites and traditions, but he is always one who is learned and cultured. The ideal person in Daoism (zhenren) is the one who “rides on the clouds,” does not feel the heat of fire or the cold of the river, and is unaffected by the twists and turns of life. The Daoist avoids leadership entirely or leads only in wu-wei, eschews the social and moral expectations placed on him, and moves with the flow of the dao. The syncretistic Yellow Emperor-Laozi (Huang-Lao) teachings associated with Daoism contribute to our understanding of the dynamics between these two intellectual traditions during the period immediately preceding and including the ascendancy of Confucianism as the philosophical currency of the empire. The texts blocks associated with this lineage in the Zhuangzi present Confucius in several ways, sometimes as a teacher of Daoism and sometimes as a student of it. There are actually 35 passages in which Confucius is a character in the Zhuangzi, but he is presented in various lights positively and negatively (see Littlejohn 2010). The Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) makes it clear that such Confucian virtues as benevolence (ren) and appropriateness (yi) are compatible with wu-wei and even expressions of it. Many Daoist thinkers, from the time of the Later Han dynasty onward, were well-educated and often studied and succeeded within the Confucian civil service examination system used to screen and train governmental officials. Some of them held governmental offices. Clearly, some forms of Daoist practice were not viewed as contradictory to Confucian teachings or even service in government ministries. Indeed, according to Ge Hong’s work Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan), Zhang Daoling was a Confucian-trained official, and the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi Dao) Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu) valorizes Confucius and the virtues he taught.



The Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue) philosophical dispositions shown in Wang Bi (226–249) and Guo Xiang (?252–312) drew heavily from Confucian teachings and sources. A kind of Confucian renaissance occurred in the 11th century when Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073) used the Daoist “Diagram of the Great Ultimate” (Taiji tu) in very novel and foundationally Confucian ways. Daoism wound itself around and together with Confucianism and Buddhism in many new ways to create what came to be called the “Three Teachings” (sanjiao). Later, the Confucian scholar and master of the White Deer Grotto Academy, Zhu Xi (1130–1200), made use of Daoist cosmology and metaphysics to create Neo-Confucianism as a movement. During the Qing dynasty, the Qianlong emperor (r. 1735–1796) promoted the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion (Esposito 2004). But the philosophical system dominating under the Qianlong emperor was Neo-Confucianism, and it was endorsed as the basis of the official exam system, much as Tang emperors Gaozang and Xuanzong had done for Daoism. Daoist practitioners were increasingly marginalized, and the number of daoshi declined. Their official involvement in Chinese political and elite society greatly diminished. Daoshi status was lowered, deterring many of the best and brightest from seeking out a daoshi master to follow and from whom to learn the arts of transformation; however, this decline in sanctioned daoshi paralleled an increase in the number of daoshi practitioners closer to the grassroots and ordinary life of the people. DAOIST CANON, DAOZANG 道藏. This is the popular name for the Zhengtong daozang 正統道藏, Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Reign Period, dating to 1445. It is the most essential source of texts for research in the field of Daoist studies. There were collections of Daoist texts prior to this one made in the Ming period. Likewise, there have been supplements to this canon and collections made by selecting various texts from it to create more focused compendia. There is not yet a fully definitive study of the Daoist Canon and its history. Most scholars rely on a text generally thought to be traceable to the editors of the canon entitled Historical Survey of the Revered Classics of the Daoist Canon (Daozang zunjing lidai gangmu, appended to CT 1430). The story of what became the Ming canon begins with Lu Xiujing’s (406–477) collection of the Lingbao writings in 437. He then submitted a catalog grouped into Three Caverns (Sandong) to the Song emperor, Mingdi (r. 465–472), in 471. An effort to make a complete collection of Daoist writings was undertaken by Shi Chongxuan (?–713) during the Tang dynasty. The first Daoist canon to be printed was done in Fuzhou, Fujian province, in 1119, under Song Huizong (r. 1100–1125). Further complications continued.



A decree issued in 1406, by the Ming dynasty Yongle emperor (r. 1403–1424), commissioned the 43rd Celestial Master Zhang Yuchu (1361–1410) to gather Daoist texts and submit them to the imperial staff so that wood blocks could be cut for printing them. The work was completed by 1445. Copies of the canon were presented to major Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao), notably the Palace of Highest Clarity (Shangqing gong) on Longhu mountain (Longhushan), the Palace of the Original Tally (Yuanfu gong), and Maoshan. A stele inscription dating to 1447 marks the receipt of the collection at White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) in Beijing. It is estimated that more than 74,000 blocks were cut to print the 1445 canon. This canon is the successor to the earlier Precious Canon of the Mysterious Metropolis (Xuandu baozang), completed in 1244. The canon contains an index of about 1,400 titles as Index of the Classics of the Daoist Canon of the Great Ming (Daozang jing mulu, CT 1431). The contents are presented within seven units known as the Three Caverns (sandong) and four supplements. The major sections, or caverns, are the Cavern of Perfection (Dongzhen), Cavern of Mystery (Dongxuan), and Cavern of Spirit (Dongshen). Each of the three caverns is divided into 12 units. The four supplements are texts associated with “Great Mystery” (Taixuan), “Great Peace” (Taiping), “Great Clarity” (Taiqing), and “Orthodox Unity” (Zhengyi). The first modern edition of the canon was published in Shanghai from 1923–1926, and it was based on the version taken from White Cloud Abbey. A 60-volume edition was produced in 1977, and others have followed, for example, the 49-volume installment published in 2003. The Taoist Canon: A Historical Companion to the Daozang, published in 2004 and edited by Kristofer Schipper and Franciscus Verellen, is a comprehensive guide to the canon, including abstracts on the contents of the texts. DAOIST MASTER, DAOSHI 道士, DAOIST PRIEST, MASTER OF THE DAO. Since the 6th century, Daoist organizations have used the term daoshi to denote an ordained cleric or master who performs rituals of all sorts. Prior to the 6th century, the term was used more generally for a teacher of Daoism. The term is also used in the broader community for a person who is a professional Daoist practitioner. Within various lineages, a person so designated will have demonstrated the mastery of specific knowledge and practices carrying efficacy for individuals and the world. A daoshi is authorized to employ this knowledge for the benefit of the community. There is no known complete picture of the roles and functions of daoshi throughout history. Individual daoshi may vary dramatically in the ideals, practices, and institutions they espouse.



The earliest attested use of the term is in Han dynasty texts. In these it is often an alternative appellation for what the Zhuangzi calls the Perfected Person (zhenren). In some contexts, the term is used for people with uncommon abilities almost as a synonym for a master of techniques (fangshi). From the early days of the Way of the Celestial Masters movement (Tianshi dao), leaders in the community were ranked hierarchically with such terms as libationer (jijiu) rather than the more general “daoshi.” During the Tang dynasty, women were ordained as daoshi (Despeux and Kohn, 2003; Kirkland 2004). Women continue, even in the contemporary period, to lead Quanzhen liturgies, with the numbers comparable to the numbers of men. As Buddhist rankings of teachers, abbots, and monks became more widely known in the culture, Daoists began to standardize their own master ranks. One such effort from the late Six Dynasties period is Classic on the Causes of Becoming a Renunciant (Chujia yinyuan jing, CT 339). In this text and those that followed, the daoshi are distinguished from such lower functionaries as ritual masters (fashi) and disciples (dizi). Many daoshi from the time of the Tang until the Ming were highly educated and composed both scholarly and literary works. But since the Qing period, the numbers of literati daoshi have declined. DAOSHI 道士. See DAOIST MASTER, DAOSHI 道士, DAOIST PRIEST, MASTER OF THE DAO. DAOXUE ZHUAN 道學傳. See BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO STUDIED THE DAO, DAOXUE ZHUAN 道學傳. DAOYIN 導引 GYMNASTICS, GUIDING AND PULLING. “Guiding and pulling” is a set of gymnastic techniques designed to allow qi to circulate properly, heal diseases, forestall old-age, and give nourishing life (yangsheng). The exercises are performed in reclining, sitting, and upright positions. They are typically combined with breathing control (fuqi), abstention from cereals (bigu), visualization, and massage. The term daoyin first appears in the Zhuangzi, where the movements of this practice are associated with the imitation of such animals as the snake, crane, dragon, and tiger. The earliest depiction of daoyin exercises appears in a Mawangdui manuscript and is entitled Drawings of Daoyin (Daoyin tu, see Harper 1999). The manuscript contains illustrations of 44 movements. The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing) from the Han period is also cited for the view that daoyin is to be understood as a therapeutic technique essential to nourishing life (yangsheng).



The single most important early source for this form of exercise is the Treatise on the Origin and Symptoms of Diseases (Zhu bing yuan hou lun). Only one source in the Daoist Canon contains an extensive treatment of the subject: Classic on Nourishing Life through Daoyin (Daoyin yangsheng jing, CT 818). The earliest attempt to codify a set of movements is called the “Five Animals Pattern” (wuqin xi), attributed to Hua Tuo (142–219). A competing set of movements known as the “Eight Brocades” (baduan jin) is described by Hong Mai (1123–1202). An extension of these techniques, developed into the “Twelve Brocades” (shi’er duan jin), shows up in 16th-century works. Less well-known and established versions of daoyin include those based on the seasons of the year, usually numbered as 24 movements. Such a version of the practice is associated with Chen Tuan (c. 920–989). Other methodologies, for example, that described in Lu Zhigang’s Ming dynasty work Essentials of the Process for Obtaining a Smooth Body (Jinshen jiyao), divide exercises by gender, having three sets of 12 so-called dragon movements for one gender and 12 tiger movements for the other, along with 12 positions for uniting dragon and tiger. DAOZANG 道藏. See DAOIST CANON, DAOZANG 道藏. DAOZANG JIYAO 道藏輯要, ESSENTIALS OF THE DAOIST CANON. This work is the most important collection of Daoist writings after the Daoist Canon itself (Daozang). Its first edition was made in about 1700, by Peng Dingqui (1645–1719). That edition was expanded to its present number of 173 texts. This volume contains an index and table of works, which is particularly helpful to the study of inner alchemy for women (nudan). In general, the work is divided into 28 major sections, with subsections in each. The subsections are sometimes grouped by author’s name, lineage (e.g., Quanzhen patriarchs), or type of work (e.g., Commentaries on the Daodejing, or Commentaries on Zhuangzi). The work survives in an edition dating to 1906. DAOZHANG 道長. A daozhang is an ordained daoshi who is qualified to perform zhai and jiao rituals as the chief officiant. While a daozhang may perform minor rites and ceremonies for clients in their own homes or temporary spaces, a major ritual will require the formation of a troupe of other daoshi and musicians. The daozhang then functions as the high officiant (gaogong daoshi). Only he will have knowledge of the secret instructions (mijue) necessary for the efficacy of the rite. He will prepare the documents required for the ritual, lead the chanting, and perform the transformative dances and recitations that will enable him to visualize and communicate with numinal beings.



DE 德, VIRTUE, POWER. The concept of de is central to classical Chinese philosophical traditions in general, and it occurs in the title of the most fundamental text of Daoism: the Daodejing. De was connected to the charisma of the ruler and demonstrated in his generosity, humility, and sobering presence. In Book Two of the Analects (Lunyu), governing by de is compared to being fixed as the pole star, around which all the lesser stars revolve. In the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, de is displayed when the adept has emptied himself of the discriminations of socialization and conventionalism of human culture and moves in wu-wei. It may be thought of in this way: An archer has two arrows. One is fired at the target but misses. The other is launched and finds the bullseye. In ancient Chinese belief, it is the second arrow that possesses de. Zhuangzi, chapter 21, has Confucius observe that Laozi’s de is equal to the power of Heaven and Earth, because he moves in life along with Dao, just as water flows naturally. DECLARATIONS OF THE PERFECTED, ZHENGAO 真誥. This text was compiled probably between 492 and 499, by Tao Hongjing on Maoshan (Mt. Mao). It represents a collection of Shangqing lineage revealed materials and fragmentary teachings derived from Yang Xi (330–386), Xu Mai (300–348), and Xu Mi (303–376). It is preserved in the Daoist Canon (CT 1016) as seven pian (sections) and 20 juan (scrolls). The work is divided into 20 chapters, the first 16 of which contain revelations given to Yang Xi by perfected beings from the Shangqing heavens. While the Hidden Instructions for the Ascent to Perfection (Dengzhen yinjue, CT 421) was specifically addressed to Shangqing practitioners and adepts, the Declarations of the Perfected was compiled for a wide audience of general inquirers. The materials report the details of the revelations that came to Yang Xi and contain the instructions given to him by numinal beings. Other sections of the work recount the answers given by spirit beings to questions from Yang and the Xus. Tao Hongjing also contributes materials in which he comments on other circulating Shangqing texts and offers judgments as to their legitimacy and value. Tao includes revelations attributed to the Shangqing immortal (xian) Peijun (Lord Pei), who was a disciple of the legendary Master Red Pine (Chisong zi). The text preserves a number of wonder tales and recipes for elixirs. One of these is the description of a method for making a numinal sword used to obtain “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). DENGZHEN YINJUE 登真隱訣. See HIDDEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ASCENT TO PERFECTION, DENGZHEN YINJUE 登真隱訣.



DIAGRAM OF THE GREAT ULTIMATE, TAIJI TU 太極圖. The Diagram of the Great Ultimate in Chinese intellectual history is routinely associated with Neo-Confucianism and the work Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate by Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073); however, it seems clear that this diagram originated in Daoist circles, not Confucian ones. It was related to the works Diagram of the Numinal World (Xiantian tu) and the growing use of the concept wuji (Infinite) by Daoists. The Taiji tu, derived from the Daoist Wuji tu (Diagram of the Infinite), was transmitted by Chen Tuan (c. 920–989) in 971. In Daoist texts the taiji tu has variant forms, meant to capture the last stages of the precosmic genesis of the Great Infinity (Ultimate) that lay at the origin of the universe. The term taiji comes from a way of referring to the ridgepole of a building or structure. By extension, in a philosophical sense, it means the principle or power that supports the universe. The Supreme Ultimate is not a static thing or being, but the active, creative force and energy of the universe. DINGLU 鼎爐. See TRIPOD AND FURNACE, DINGLU 鼎爐. DIRECTOR OF DESTINIES, SIMING 司命. The use of the name Siming is quite ancient. It occurs in an inscription on a bronze utensil dating to the 6th century BCE. In Daoism, Siming is mentioned in the Zhuangzi (ch. 18), where he is the numinal spirit that controls the longevity and fortunes of human beings, including their transformations. Two poems from the Chuci (Songs of Chu), known to be an early intellectual influence on Daoist masters, are devoted to Siming. Siming was used as the name of a celestial body in the astronomical chapter of the Records of the Historian (Shiji 3.342). Some lineages considered the Northern Dipper (Big Dipper, beidou) to be the power symbolized by the name Siming or the Director of Destinies. In Chinese popular religious beliefs, the Stove God (Zaoshen) was thought to ascend into the numinal world at the end of each year and report to Siming on the moral behavior of the members of the household. The fortunes of the family and the longevity of its members would be adjusted according to this report. By the time of the Tang dynasty, the belief simplified to identify the Stove God and Siming. DISAPPEARANCE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, BAIRI SHENGTIAN 白 日昇天. To “disappear in broad daylight” may better be understood as “ascending to Heaven in broad daylight.” This expression is used for the highest type of human transcendent (immortal, xian), because this person has attained such a refinement of their physical form that it becomes luminous and ascends, or simply vanishes. It is a more refined type of transcendence than



shijie, or “disappearance of the corpse.” The Daojiao yishu (Pivotal Meaning of Daoist Teachings), written in c. 700, describes shijie as the second of three types of transformations an adept may undergo, and these are related to Ge Hong’s three types of immortals (xian). The first among these is “ascending to Heaven in broad daylight.” DISAPPEARANCE OF THE CORPSE, SHIJIE 尸解. Daoist understandings of death are conflicting, diverse, and often obscure. While early texts like Zhuangzi seem to make it clear that death is a transformation of some sort and that it cannot be avoided, it is also clear that during the Qin and Han, various practitioners taught that there were ways to not die (busi). Then, by the time of the Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan), compiled before 6 BCE, there were accounts of superlative Daoists escaping death. In these hagiographies, some individuals “disappear in broad daylight” (bairi shengtian) or vanish completely, leaving no trace, as did the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi). But another type of survival of death was described by the term shijie, often rendered as “liberation from the corpse” or “deliverance from the corpse,” but probably, by a measure of how the term is used, the translation should be “corpse disappearance.” We are not sure whether accounts of people who melt away in entirety in some numinal transformation (xingjie xiaohua), as is mentioned in the Records of the Historian (Shiji, 28, 1368–1369) are meant to be examples of shijie, but there are definite resemblances. The interpretation of this concept is made all the more complicated by confusing accounts of individuals who do not melt away their bodies but transform them into something else. For example, it is reported of Ye Fashan that at the age of 106, he ingested a divine elixir and transformed his corpse into a sword. A numinal chariot appeared and took him up in a column of azure rising smoke reaching to the heavens (see “Biography of Zhenren Ye,” Tang Ye zhenren zhuan, CT 779). A year later, his coffins (inner and outer) opened by themselves, and only his clothing, cap, shoes, and the sword remained. There are many other accounts of shijie in Daoism, and almost all report only relics being left behind (see, for example, those of female daoshi Huang Lingwei [c. 640–721] and the Shangqing patriarch Sima Chengzhen [647–735]). The connection between these tales of the remainders of a person’s effects being left behind and shijie does not actually mean that the point of the story is that the corpse was changed into the objects found in the coffin. Sometimes the corpse is buried clothed, but upon later inspection the corpse is gone and only the clothes remain. The point is the disappearance of the corpse. In the most ancient accounts of shijie, Wang Chong (27–c. 100) uses the analogy to cicada metamorphosis for the process. Understood in this way, the adept’s ultimate transformation into an immortal (xian) may be compared to



a cicada nymph molting its exoskeleton and leaving behind an exuvia. Ge Hong (283–343) uses the term chantui (蟬蛻), which means “cicada remains,” to describe Cai Jing’s corpse after three days, when only his outer skin was left, intact from head to foot, like cicada remains. Robert Campany reports a possible method of practicing shijie according to which a document is addressed to the numinal beings who oversee the years allotted to people. In the document, the person reports his own death, with quite a lot of detail about names, birthplace, relatives, and the like. Once this is sent into the numinal world (by burning), a burial is arranged, with some object substituted for the person in the coffin. The person then leaves the village and travels elsewhere, using a new name. He can never die because the gods do not know of his existence, and the heavenly registers are already cleared of his “previous” identity (Campany 2002) DIVINE EMPYREAN DAOISM, SHENXIAO 神霄. Shenxiao means “Supreme Divine Empyrean.” It is a movement with close affiliations to Daoism that arose during the Song dynasty (960–1279) and was later absorbed into the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage in about 1300. Key daoshi in this movement were advisors in the Song dynasty court. They were able to merge elements of the three main Daoist traditions of the Way of the Celestial Masters, Shangqing, and Lingbao with features and practices of popular religion. One of Shenxiao’s principal masters was Lin Lingsu (1076–1120). Lin’s close association with Song Huizong (r. 1100–1125) gained considerable imperial patronage for the movement. Shenxiao masters practiced the Thunder Rites (leifa) of popular religion and touted these rituals and their own powers as ways to save the Song dynasty from its Jurchen enemies. Veneration of the plague-quelling deity Wen Qiong (Marshall Wen), known for his ability to prevent or stop outbreaks of disease, was also included in rituals and liturgies performed by those of Shenxiao training. They performed rites more typical of masters of techniques (fangshi) and spirit mediums (jitong). Its practitioners seem not to have undergone ordination within any Daoist major lineage. DONGFANG SHUO 東方朔 (?160–?93 BCE). The ruler Han Wudi (r. 141–87 BCE) summoned scholars throughout the empire to assist him in governing the state, and, in 138 BCE, Dongfang Shuo was recruited. His outlandish and strange behavior won him the nickname “Buffon” (guji), and he was known as the “recluse at court” (chaoyin). Nevertheless, he served for a period of time as the Superior Grand Master of the Palace (Taizhong dafu) but later fell into disgrace. A number of hagiographies made his life the subject of legendary and fantastical tales. Some accounts speak of him as a “banished immortal” (zhexian), crediting him with supernatural powers, a



number of successive identities throughout time, and a miraculous birth. The text Inner Biography of Emperor Wu of the Han (Han Wudi neizhuan) tells how he stole the peaches of immortality from the Queen Mother of the West and traveled to Penglai and other blessed places (fudi). DONGTIAN 洞天. See GROTTO-HEAVENS AND FUDI 福地 BLESSED PLACES. DONGYUAN SHENZHOU JING 洞渊神咒經. See CLASSIC OF THE DIVINE SPELLS OF THE CAVERNOUS ABYSS, DONGYUAN SHENZHOU JING 洞渊神咒經. DONGYUE MIAO 东岳庙. Dongyue miao may be translated as Eastern Peak Shrine, and there are numerous such shrines (miao) in China associated with the god of Mt. Tai (Taishan), the eastern mountain of the Five Marchmounts system. Since the god of Taishan is the Lord of the underworld and the Earth consisting of prisons in which the moral life of every person is judged, one finds in these temples depictions of the courts of hell and halls for veneration of the Great Emperor of the Eastern Peak (Dongyue dadi). Some of these shrines have quite elaborate ambulatories, as can be found at the Dongyue miao in Beijing. In that temple, there are rooms for each of the judges in the celestial bureaucracy in charge of the moral conduct of all creatures. Such shrines have been common throughout China since the 11th century. There were at least four such miao in Beijing dating from the 1250s. The most prominent was founded by Zhang Liusun (1248–1322) in about 1319. From then until 1949, the temple was managed by Orthodox Unity Daoists. Dongyue dadi was worshipped as a giver of immortality and the master of the dead and the moral order of the universe. While Buddhists made him one of the Ten Kings of the Hells, Daoists gave him a role as ruler of the underworld, who administered the universe through a bureaucracy of officials of distinction. The principal practices at the temple included praying for ancestors, conducting rituals for relatives who were thought to be in the Hells, offering incense and prayers to the judges of the Hells, and participating in organized community festivals and theater performances in venues near or on the shrine grounds. The cult of the goddess known as the Original Princess of the Jasper Mist (Bixia yuanjun), known earlier as the Jade Woman of Mt. Tai (Taishan yunu), who was considered to be the daughter of Dongyue Dadi, was centered at the Beijing Dongyue miao. From the 16th century onward, yearly pilgrimages were organized to her, following a route in front of the miao to Mt. Miaofeng, the place of her veneration (Naquin 1992).



DOOR GODS, MENSHEN 門神. Door Gods are not distinctively Daoist in any sense. They belong to the general communal and popular religious practices of the Chinese people. Indeed, sacrifices to a door spirit are mentioned as early as the Classic of Rites (Liji). But Daoist texts that discuss the pantheon of numinal beings typically include them only as low-ranking deities whose task is to protect the home and family. They are usually displayed on doors to intimidate powers intent on bringing evil to the family. They appear as martial heroes, holding weapons and displaying stern looks. In this way, menshen may be understood as features of one kind of fengshui apotropaic provision. In fengshui, other such instruments for defending against malevolent spirits and influences are talismans, mirrors, and the taiji symbol. The best-known legend of the origins of Door God practice is that Tang emperor Taizong (r. 627–649) was being disturbed by a ghost spirit entering the palace at night. Two of his soldiers offered to stand guard. As time went on, two guards were painted on the palace doors to free the human guards to return to their duties. Julian Pas (1998) calls attention to a large selection of color representations of Door Gods in The Art of Traditional Chinese New Year Print (1991). DRAGON AND TIGER, LONGHU 龍虎. The dragon–tiger pair turns up in the material culture of China in deep antiquity. It is found in burial sites in China dating as early as 3000 BCE, where the images (xiang) are formed by the use of river shells. From the Zhou period onward, these figures were used as cosmological symbols, roughly corresponding to yin (tiger) and yang (dragon). The figures are found on lacquer boxes, mirrors, and sarcophagi. They often occur together with images of the Big Dipper (beidou). In external alchemy (waidan), the pair is used to symbolize the essence of the alchemical work. They are also aligned in parallel respectively to WoodMetal, Fire-Water, Mercury and Lead, qi and jing. DRAGON GATE LINEAGE, LONGMEN 龍門. The most common lineage shared by ordained daoshi since the Qing dynasty is the Longmen school, a branch of the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage. The founding legend of the order goes back to Qiu Chuji (1148–1227), one of the original Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) of Quanzhen. The school’s name is traceable to Dragon Gate mountain (Longmenshan) in Longzhou district, Western Shanxi, where Qiu Chuji underwent his training. The history of the movement traces the transmission of its methods from Qiu down to the Qing dynasty and the seventh-generation Longmen Ordination Master, Wang Changyue (d. 1680) (Pregadio 2014). A line of patriarchs associated with the beginnings at Longmen and going down the generations was created ex post facto to explain this transmission.

DU GUANGTING 杜光庭 (850–933)


Wang Changyue 王常月 (Kunyang zi 昆陽子) moved from Huashan (Mt. Hua, Shaanxi province) to Beijing, where he resided first at the Lingyou guan (Abbey of Numinous Support), but not long thereafter he moved to the Baiyun guan (White Cloud Abbey). There he gathered followers. After Wang Changyue’s death, his disciples opened centers and gathered followers in many different places, forming a large number of small Longmen branches. In addition to inheriting the doctrines of its mother lineage, Quanzhen, the Longmen lineage is also widely known for its inner alchemy (neidan) teachings. Among its disciples we find many famous authors of neidan works. With Wang, Quanzhen arose to represent the Daoist legacy of belief and practice that it enjoyed under the Yuan but lost to the Zhengyi lineage during the early Ming. DU GUANGTING 杜光庭 (850–933). Little is known of the life of Du Guangting. He appears to have received a typical Confucian education suitable for preparing to take the civil service examinations and eventually undertaking a career in government. Unfortunately, he failed the examinations in about 870. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Mt. Tiantai and became a disciple of Daoism. In 875, he was summoned to Chang’an (Xi’an) and given an honorary appointment as Drafter of Compositions at Imperial Command. While his work principally involved writing documents for the emperor, he also performed Daoist rites for the court. He was associated with the official Daoist school in the Taiqing gong in the capital. After a period of turmoil in the empire, he departed for Sichuan in 887. After the fall of the Tang dynasty, he held various offices in the new Shu dynasty government. He died in 933. Du Guangting was the most prolific writer and compiler of Daoist texts prior to the year 1000. He wrote liturgical books, providing protocols for various kinds of rites and rituals. He wrote commentaries on various Daoist works, as well as texts on history and geography, and various hagiographies. One of the most famous of these is Records of Grotto-Heavens, Blissful Lands, Peaks, Rivers, and Famous Mountains (Dongtian fudi yuedu mingshan ji, CT 599). Additionally, his text Records of the Immortals Gathered in the Walled City (Yongcheng jixian lu, CT 783) contains hagiographies of women only, where the “walled city” (Yongcheng) refers to the residence of the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) on Mt. Kunlun. The extant version of this text contains records of people ranging from the mother of Laozi to the Queen Mother of the West herself. Du Guangting assembled several collections of miracle stories and other supernatural phenomena. The largest of these was the Records of the Numinous Efficacy of the Daoist Teaching (Daojiao lingyan ji), compiled in 905. There are two versions of this work in the Daoist Canon. It exists as an independent work (CT 590) and in a collection of excerpts in the Seven



Labels from the Bookbag of the Clouds (Yunji qiqian, CT 1032). The latter work is a major source of information about medieval Daoist beliefs and what might be called the supernatural, but it also supplies a wealth of material on Daoist practices, priest, abbeys, and spirit beings. DUNHUANG MANUSCRIPTS. Dunhuang is the name of a Chinese city in modern Gansu province. It served as a crossroads for silk roads leading to and from Central Asia beginning in the time of the Han dynasty. Buddhists excavated caves in the area and used them for reclusion and religious practice. Many frescoes and sculptures decorate the grottoes. The Buddhists were also collectors of texts. A large cache of manuscripts discovered in Dunhuang is a major source for the study of Chinese and Asian social history and religion. The chamber in which they were sealed adjoins one of the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Qianfo dong) on the border of the Gobi Desert. The manuscripts were discovered in the early 20th century by Western explorers, famously Aurel Stein and Paul Pelliot. They are now preserved in collections of European and Asian libraries, including the Stein Collection of the British Library and the Pelliot Collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. The Daoist-related manuscripts from Dunhuang constitute a relatively small portion of the huge mass of more than 30,000 documents in the collection. The main group of authentically ancient Daoist writings dates prior to the 8th century. Two Japanese volumes are currently the major reference books on these texts: Ofuchi Ninji’s Taoist Classics from Dunhuang (Tonko kokyo, 1978–1979), which contains photographic reproductions of the manuscripts indexed there, and a collection of essays entitled Dunhuang and Chinese Taoism (Tonko to Chugoku Dokyo, 1983). DURENJING 度人經. See CLASSIC ON SALVATION, DURENJING 度人 經.

E EARTH GOD, TUDI GONG 土地公. Shrines (miao) to the Earth God are the most common religious buildings in China, considering that every town and village typically has one or more of them. Belief in and veneration of the Earth God is not uniquely, nor even distinctly, Daoist. In the system of numinal beings characteristic of various Daoist lineages, the Earth God almost always shows up as a low-ranking power, given authority only over a localized area and bounded by other Earth Gods adjacent to his jurisdiction; however, a great many Daoist rituals begin with a prefatory rite calling on the Earth God of the place where the ritual is to be performed to fulfill his duties and bless and protect the daoshi and the ritual space (daochang). One such rite is the “Divine Spell for the Pacification of the Earth God” (An tudi shenzhou). EIGHT IMMORTALS, BAXIAN 八仙. The Eight Immortals is a group composed of semilegendary and semihistorical figures. They make up only a small group of the large number of immortals (xian) identified in Chinese history; however, they are certainly among the most recognizable figures in Chinese religious history. The names of the exact individuals included in this group have changed throughout time. Literary works have adopted many different approaches to their depiction. For example, Du Fu’s (712–770) Song of the Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup (Yinzhong baxian ge) is a humorous depiction of their bouts with inebriation. In that text, their names are given as He Zhizhang, Li Jin, Li Shizhi, Cui Zonzhi, Su Jin, Li Bai, Zhang Xu, and Jiao Sui. According to the work Extensive Records of the Taiping Xingguo Reign Period (Taiping guangji), the names of the “Eight Immortals of Sichuan” are Li Er (i.e., Laozi), Rong Cheng, Dong Zhongshu, Zhang Daoling, Yan Junping, Li Babai, Fan Changshou, and Ge Yonggui. The most famous listing of the Eight Immortals (baxian), and the one most frequently cited, is traceable into the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) and became popularized in the Ming dynasty. Those in that group are Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan), Zhang Guolao, Han Xiangzi, Li Tieguai, Cao 75



Guojiu, Lu Dongbin, Lan Caihe, and He Xiangu (a title meaning Immortal Maiden He). With the exception of Li Tieguai, the others in this group have some personal hagiography. Han Zhongli was Zhongli Quan, and his biography is in the Records of the Correct Lineage of the Golden Lotus (Jinlian zhengzong ji, CT 173), which also contains the biographies of the group known as the Quanzhen lineage’s Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren). The text reports that Zhongli Quan lived for more than 500 years before gaining immortality. Zhang Guolao was Zhang Guo, a fangshi during the Han dynasty, and the biography included in the History of the Tang Dynasty tells that he was able to perform a number of magical arts. Han Xiangzi may have been Han Xiang, the nephew of Tang writer Han Yu. Cao Guojiu was the younger brother of Empress Cao, wife of Song Renzong (r. 1022–1063). Lu Dongbin was the second Quanzhen patriarch after Zhongli Quan. Lan Caihe’s story from the Sequel to Biographies of Immortals (Xu xianzhuan) gives a description of “his” appearance and leaves “his” gender obscure, and, indeed, in later times “he” was portrayed onstage as a woman. Details of He Xiangu may be found in many places. She obtained immortality by following the instructions of a divine person who told her to prepare a “powder of mica” (yunmu fen), which, after ingesting, enabled her not to die. Why the particular individuals that make up this group were singled out is not clear. That there are eight of them probably reflects the Chinese belief that the number eight is auspicious. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the figures show up in drama, literature, novels, and folktales. Representations of them in art appear virtually everywhere, including on porcelain, embroidery, paintings, bronze work, and ivory carvings. Easily the most famous image (xiang) of the group is the Eight Immortals Crossing the Ocean, which depicts them on a journey to visit the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu). EIGHT TRIGRAMS, BAGUA 八卦. The bagua refers to the Eight Trigrams of the Yijing, each of which consists of three lines. The lines have two forms: unbroken, representing yang, and broken representing yin. When the trigrams are joined in pairs, one stacked on another, they form the 64 hexagrams in that work. According to tradition, the mythical figure Fu Xi is said to have received the original trigrams. They were revealed to him as images (xiang) for the interaction of yin and yang in the course of nature and human events. The received arrangement of the bagua expresses the entire cosmological and social order in one image. The trigrams are understood to point to the combinations and forces of change that gener-



ate the world and everything that inhabits it. The appendix to the Yijing, entitled Shuogua (Explanation of the Trigrams), offers an account of their function in divination. The Shuogua, one of the “Ten Wings” of the Yijing, relates the bagua to the eight parts of the human body. Much later Lingbao lineage texts like Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao wufu xu, CT 388) relate them to the inner spirits who (which) protect the adept. In external alchemy (waidan), each trigram stands for an ingredient in the compounding of elixirs (e.g., mercury, lead, etc.). The preparation of a ritual space (daochang) requires placing the trigrams in what is known as the postcelestial (houtian) arrangement around the altar. Likewise, walking or dancing on the trigrams laid out on the floor is an activity performed in summoning numinal spirits (see also WALKING THE GUIDELINE, PACING THE DIPPER, STEPS OF YU, BUGANG 步罡). Daoshi ritual robes carry embroidered images of the trigrams. EIGHTY-ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LORD LAO, ILLUSTRATED, LAOJUN BASHIYI HUA TU 老君八十一图. The Eighty-One Transformations of Lord Lao (Laojun bashiyi hua tu) is an illustrated hagiography of Laozi that reports his 81 appearances in human form throughout history. Among its contents is the theory associated with the tradition of the Classic of the Conversion of the Barbarians, dating back to about 300, and according to which one of Laozi’s appearances was as the Buddha. The origins of this text are still controversial, and many scholars rely on the 1291 polemical Buddhist material in the Accounts of Disputation over [Daoist] Falsehood (Bianwei lu), surviving in the Taisho Buddhist Canon, 2116. This text, shown to be highly unreliable in many respects by Kubo Noritada (1968), attributes the authorship of Eighty-One Transformations of Lord Lao to Linghu Zhang and Shi Shijing. A late version of the work dating to 1598, with the slightly different title Eighty-one Transformations of the Most High Lord Lao of Mysterious Origin of the Golden Portal, Illustrated and Explained (Jinque xuanyuan Taishang Laojun bashiyi hua tushuo), has the names of Zhang and Shi at its head. The version now taken as the received Eighty-One Transformations of Lord Lao contains a series of annotated illustrations, beginning with three of Laozi himself, along with an inscribed stele reading, “Long live the emperor.” Other pages portray Daoist masters throughout history. The depictions of the 81 transformations themselves each have a corresponding short description. Included among these, Laozi appeared as Fu Xi (number 11). Number 58 relates his appearance to Zhang Daoling.



EMEISHAN 峨眉山, MT. EMEI (SICHUAN PROVINCE). Mt. Emei (Emeishan), located southwest of Chengdu in Sichuan province, is most commonly associated with Buddhism. Yet, this mountain also has a significant Daoist history. Ge Hong mentions it in the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity) as a place where the medicines of immorality may be acquired. It was one of the original 24 administrative centers (zhi) of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi). According to various texts, it is connected by an “earth channel” (dimai) to the grotto-heaven at Maoshan (Mt. Mao). The History of the Wei (Weishu, trans. Ware, 1934) reports that Laozi transmitted the Dao to the Yellow Emperor on this mountain. Other traditions report manifestations of immortals (xian) Lu Dongbin and Zhang Sanfeng on Emeishan. ESSAYS OF DEBATE AND CORRECTION, BIANZHENG LUN 辨证論. Bianzheng lun (T. 2110), written in about 633, by Falin (572–640), is an eight-chapter Buddhist work attacking Daoism. It is the most complete surviving statement of the issues between Daoism and Buddhism during the Tang period. ESSAYS TO LAUGH AT THE DAO, XIAODAO LUN 笑道論. Zhen Luan (fl. 535–581), who was a court official charged with investigating corrupt ministers, dukes, and other administrative officers, compiled a set of arguments critical of Daoism in the Essays to Laugh at the Dao (Xiaodao lun), on instructions from Emperor Wu (r. 560–578), ruler of the Northern Zhou dynasty. Wu was a Buddhist, but he became interested in Daoism and was initiated into its practices. After his initiation, Buddhist leaders protested and brought forth many criticisms of Daoism. Accordingly, in the year 569, the emperor convened three conferences made up of Confucian literati, Daoist masters, and Buddhist monks for the purpose of discussing the merits of these three teachings. The underlying purpose of this project was to create a synthesis of the teachings based on Daoism that Wu could use to bring coherence throughout the empire. Unfortunately, no consensus was reached. See also DAOISM AND BUDDHISM. Almost one year later, Zhen Luan presented the Xiaodao lun to the emperor; however, the emperor was quite displeased with the work and had it burned. Apparently, Zhen thought that the desire of the emperor was for him to create a set of critical essays that could be used as a basis for creating synthesis, but in them he openly mocked Daoism and gave little attention to any flaws in Buddhism. Zhen had no objections to the Daodejing or Highest Clarity (Shangqing) teachings and texts, but he ridiculed both Lingbao and the Celestial Master’s (Tianshi) writings. He felt Lingbao texts were obvious and



laughable plagiarisms of Buddhist sutras and that Lingbao teachers really only had an elementary understanding of the ideas they stole from Buddhism. As for Celestial Masters practices, he compared the writing of talismans to crude magic and criticized various rituals, including that of “merging qi” (heqi). He had a special dislike for the Daoist claim that Laozi had traveled west to “convert the barbarians.” See also CLASSIC OF THE CONVERSION OF THE BARBARIANS, HUAHUJING 化胡經. Zhen attacked Daoist practices and teachings on rational and textual grounds. He exposed contradictions between Daoist writings and objected to what he saw as obvious exaggerations and fantasies. The full original text of this work was burned, and only about one-third of it survives, in the Expanded Collection Spreading the Light of Buddhism (Guang hongming ji, T 2103). Livia Kohn has done a translation into English (Kohn 1995). EXQUISITE COMPENDIUM OF THE THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG QIONGGANG 三洞瓊綱. This is the title of the catalog to the Daoist Canon of the Kaiyuan Reign Period (Kaiyuan daozang), dating between 713 and 741. In 749, Emperor Xuanzong assigned the Abbey of the Veneration of Mystery (Chongxuan guan) the task of copying the Kaiyuan daozang and distributing it throughout the empire. EXTERNAL ALCHEMY, WAIDAN 外丹. There are many methods of waidan, or external alchemy, in Daoist history. Even so, what unites them is the focus on compounding elixirs through the refining of natural substances. We know almost nothing about the origins of this practice or who the first people were to try it. By tradition, Zou Yan (c. 350–270 BCE) is credited with the origin of the practice, although no extant documents have confirmed this. The earliest mention of elixir alchemy is in connection with the masters of techniques (fangshi) in the 4th century BCE (Ngo 1976). According to the Records of the Historian (Shiji 28), Li Shaojun encouraged Han Wudi, in 133 BCE, to ingest an elixir made from cinnabar. Our next most detailed source record about this practice is Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). Twenty-four chapters of this book are devoted to elixir alchemy. One of these is based on methods depending on minerals, another on recipes concerned with metals, and so forth. Ge makes principal use of three texts: Classic of Great Clarity (Taiqing jing), Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing), and Classic of the Golden Liquor (Jinye jing). He reports that these writ-



ings were brought to Jingnan by Zuo Ci (legendary 2nd–3rd centuries), a fangshi who received them by revelation while living in Shandong province. As understood within the Taiqing tradition, one way to make elixir is to compound seven ingredients in a sealed crucible. As these are heated, the essences of the ingredients rise in the vessel and are collected by the alchemist, who adds them to other substances to make pills. Ingesting these closes the seven openings of the body and allows the body’s qi to become refined and powerful. The result is that many powers are acquired, for example, walking across water or passing through fire. Diseases like convulsions or leprosy are healed. Adepts become able to produce children again, even in old age. Youthful appearance is restored. Preparing elixirs was as much a ritual process as a quasi-scientific one. The ritual generally required the following steps: 1. Refining and purifying 2. Ceremony of receiving the texts. recipes. and requests of the gods for permission to hand down the methods 3. Setting up talismans (fu) to protect the laboratory area and the alchemist 4. Constructing the lab 5. Choosing the auspicious date for the process to begin 6. Kindling the fire 7. Compounding the elixir 8. Consecrating the elixir, followed by ingesting it The Highest Clarity (Shangqing) revelations of 364–370 added new understandings of how to practice waidan. They also gave Zuo Ci a key place among the Highest Clarity numinal pantheon. Tao Hongjing experimented with various waidan methods. The Relationship of the Three, in Accordance with the Book of Changes (Zhouyi cantong qi) moved elixir alchemy somewhat away from the wide range of ingredients found in Ge Hong and Shangqing, and toward the use of lead and mercury. Chen Shaowei details the process for compounding mercury from cinnabar by using cosmological language. The best-known method was the refining of mercury from cinnabar and adding sulphur to it before heating it over and over in either seven or nine cycles. At the end of the process, the product was considered as Pure Yang (chunyang), in a state before the origin of all things in the differentiation of “The One.” During the Tang dynasty, alchemist Li Shojun was supported in his efforts at creating elixirs; however, Zhao Yi’s (1727–1814) work Notes on the Twenty-two Dynastic Histories claims that emperors Xianzong (r. 805–820), Wuzong (r. 840–846), and Xuanzong (r. 846–859) died after



ingesting elixirs. Some interpreters have argued that elixir poisoning was the reason for the decline of external alchemy and the shift to inner alchemy (neidan) after the Tang dynasty. But Fabrizio Pregadio (In DH, 2004) has shown that neidan was already on the rise in Daoism before the Tang. Nevertheless, after the Tang dynasty the importance and place of alchemy in biospiritual transformation was almost totally understood in terms of inner alchemy.

F FANGSHI 方士. See MASTERS OF TECHNIQUES, FANGSHI 方士. FANGZHONG SHU 房中術, TECHNIQUES OF THE BEDCHAMBER. The term fangzhong shu refers to intimate practices shared by a couple within their marital sexual interactions. Not all scholars agree that the practices generally reported in texts should be associated with Daoism; many seem to belong to Chinese culture generally. Ge Hong (283–343) states that no one can obtain longevity that ignores the arts of the bedchamber. Abstention from sex was regarded as at least as dangerous as excessive indulgence, at least in some Daoist lineages. The sex act was compared to the union of Heaven and Earth. Just as in their continuous action the myriad things were created, so in male/female procreation the human being was reproduced. The Celestial Masters (Tianshi) practiced a rite called “merging qi” (heqi) that involved ritualized public intercourse. At the other extreme, Shangqing texts sometimes encourage a male practitioner to visualize spiritual intercourse with a feminine numinal being (Kohn 1993), and Quanzhen Daoists, both male and female, are celibate. One source of confusion on this topic pointed out by Russell Kirkland (2004) is that while the term jing was used in late imperial times for male reproductive fluid, it did not have this same usage in early Chinese texts, for instance, the Daodejing and the Neiye (Inner Training), where the term is used to refer to the “vital essence” of both males and females. But later Daoist texts on the arts of the bedchamber use this term differently and teach that a male’s seminal fluid (jing) is limited and must be preserved; whereas that of a female is unlimited. Accordingly, in sex, a man should control his ejaculation, whereas a woman may reach orgasm without restriction. The added element here is the stress that in bringing a woman to orgasm, a man can activate her energy to her benefit. Divergent practices turn up in the texts. For example, there are reports of women who sought to enhance their own energies while draining those of their male partner. This has been called a kind of sexual vampirism, and it is always criticized in Daoist texts as unorthodox and a form of exploitation. 83



FAQI 法器. See RITUAL TOOLS, FAQI 法器. FAR-OFF JOURNEYS, ECSTATIC EXCURSIONS, YUANYOU 逺遊. There are three main textual sources for the Daoist tradition of far-off journeying: Zhuangzi, Chuci (Songs of Chu), and Sima Xiangru’s (c. 179–117 BCE) Rhapsody on the Great Person (Daren fu). For example, there is this passage from Zhuangzi: “The Nameless Man said, ‘I’m just about to set off with the Creator. And if I get bored with that, then I’ll ride on the Light and Lissome Bird out beyond the six directions, wandering in the village of NotEven-Anything and living in the Broad and Borderless field’” (ch. 7). There were no texts giving instructions about how to go about making possible such ecstatic excursions until those of the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage. In those writings, invocations of numinal beings and the practice of breathing control (xingqi, biqi), as well as quietude and stillness, are the gateways to such far-off journeys. The description of the practice has the adept enter his quiet room (jingshi), where he is transported into the presence of numinal beings and his entire awareness becomes luminous. Isabelle Robinet (1993) holds that these excursions of consciousness are both instruments for and expressions of the cosmicization of the person. In these experiences, the adept’s consciousness roams on holy mountains, flies into space, and resides on the isles of immortality (see PENGLAI 蓬萊). FASTING OF THE HEART-MIND, XINZHAI 心齋. In one of its imaginary dialogues about Confucius, the Zhuangzi contains an account of a conversation between the Master and Yan Hui, his most cherished disciple. In this account, Confucius is portrayed as though he is a Daoist master. He tells Yan Hui that to find the Dao he must fast. Yan Hui mistakenly takes this to mean he should avoid eating. Confucius tells him that xinzhai, or “fasting of the heart-mind,” does not have to do with what one eats but with emptying the mind of thoughts and distinctions so that one’s qi can unite with the Dao (Zhuangzi, ch. 6). This state of being is also associated with “sitting in forgetfulness” (zuowang) and “guarding the One” (shouyi, Zhuangzi, ch. 11). In Daoism, zhai is a term used both for a major kind of ritual and the individual practice of “fasting of the heart-mind.” One reason for this close association may be that this state can arise as both one of the outcomes of ritual practice and the kind of consciousness needed by the daoshi to perform the ritual. Important Daoist texts on the “fasting of the mind” include Sima Chengzhen’s (647–735) “Essay on Sitting in Forgetfulness” (Zuowang lun) and the writings of modern Qigong practitioner Chen Yangning (1890–1969).



FENGDU 酆都. Mt. Fengdu has been considered the entrance to the Daoist hells or earth prisons (diyu) since the 1st century CE; however, the first text in which Fengdu is mentioned as a place of the dead is Ge Hong’s (283–343) Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). An entire administration of the universe’s moral order is housed in this place. There are various courts and palaces. Records and ledgers of the dead are kept there. Virtuous individuals are sent on from Fengdu to the celestial paradises, while those who have done immoral deeds are sent to the earth prisons for punishment. The highest officials of this otherworldly bureaucracy were people of virtue during their lifetimes, whereas those who administer the punishments are often known only as “ghost soldiers” (guibing). From a cosmic point of view, the location of this mountain is in the northernmost quarter of the universe; however, various traditions place the entry into Fengdu at the base of Mt. Tai (Taishan). The former village of Guicheng (Ghost City), which was moved as a result of the building of the Three Gorges Dam on the Chang Jiang (Yangzi) River, had within it a model of how it was imagined Fengdu looked. FENGSHUI 風水. Fengshui is not a practice or set of beliefs unique or even distinctive to Daoism. However, it is related to the root cosmology of Daoism in the Five Phase Physics (wuxing) and the channeling of qi energy. Just as in Inner Alchemy (neidan) which seeks to manage the flow of qi within the body, fengshui is a set of methods designed to direct qi in the spatial environments and landscapes that form the contexts for existing things. Fengshui beliefs are also associated with Grotto-Heavens and fudi (Blessed Places). Fengshui methods were first used in the determination of auspicious burial places, arrangements of homes, and the placement of palaces. It was important to site the graves of ancestors in good places that would be unaffected by floods (water) and typhoons (wind). The placement of the resting places of one’s ancestors was believed to have a direct and unavoidable influence on the good fortune of the family and village. During this period, the practice was called simply “planning residences” (tuzhai shu). The general Meng Tian (d. 210 BCE) who directed the early construction of the Great Wall was reputed to have committed suicide for having violated the “dragon veins” (longmai 龍脈) of the earth (Shiji, ch. 88). The patriarch of fengshui in a Daoist context was Guo Pu (276-324), whose site selection for his mother’s grave became the model for proceeding in such matters. The Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao) mentions fengshui practices several times and one recorded vision of Yangxi offers advice about burial sites.



Daoshi are often still sought out to help inquirers determine the best locations for graves, homes, official buildings, and the like. They are called upon to assist in the positioning of objects in and around the home. Compasses used to determine beneficial fengshui typically have the eight trigrams (bagua) at the center. FIVE MARCHMOUNTS SYSTEM. The five sacred mountains of China are also called the Five Marchmounts, because they are grouped as a special set of holy or sacred mountains. Today the five sacred mountains are regarded as the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Mt. Tai, the Eastern Peak (Taishan, Shandong province) Mt. Heng, the Southern Peak (Hengshan, Hunan province) Mt. Hua, the Western Peak (Huashan, Shaanxi province) Mt. Heng, the Northern Peak (Hengshan, Shanxi province) Mt. Song, the Central Peak (Songshan, Henan province)

Even with this group of the Five Marchmounts, the system of sacred geography of mountains was not static. Political shifts often influenced which mountains were most revered. Accordingly, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact earliest use of the Five Marchmounts (wuyue). The most ancient reference is the “Great Minister of Rites” chapter of the Rites of the Zhou (Zhouli), dating to approximately the 3rd century BCE. There, the wuyue are referred to as the “deities of the earth,” of lesser importance than the national spirits of the rulers and the heavenly deities of Zhou religion; however, the mountains are not named. In the Daoist Canon, there are texts for only three of the five peaks: History of Mount Tai (Daishi, CT 1472); Monograph of the Western Peak (Xiyue Huashan zhi, CT 307); and three texts on the Southern Peak, notably Short Record of the Southern Peak (Nanyue xiaolu, CT 453). It seems clear that as the traditions of the five mountains developed, they came to be understood as sites where Daoist recluses and masters of techniques (fangshi) lived. The mountains were believed to be places of concentrated qi, populated by immortals (xian), full of herbs and minerals suitable for medicines and elixirs, and sites of visitations by numinal spirits, or as the locations of secret sacred texts. The period of the most dramatic rise of the five mountains as a set was in the Tang dynasty. Indeed, their formalization into a group was the result of efforts made by Sima Chengzhen (647–735) to codify the grotto-heavens of the sacred geography, revealing the qi energy meridians of the earth. One result of Sima’s work was that the Five Marchmounts were gradually placed under the control of Shangqing Daoists.



FIVE PHASE PHYSICS, WUXING 五行. The Chinese term Five Phases (wuxing) refers to a totalizing and comprehensive explanatory system that has functioned since the time of the Han dynasty (206 BCE–221 CE) to explain natural phenomena and their processes and configurations into the objects of reality. These Five phases are wood (mu), fire (huo), earth (tu), metal (jin), and water (shui). Although this fivefold scheme resembles ancient Greek discourse about the four elements from which all things are formed, these Chinese “phases” are seen as ever-changing qi forces, while the Greek elements typically are regarded as unchanging building blocks or substances. Prior to the Han dynasty, the Five Phase physics functioned less as a school of thought and more as a way of describing natural processes hidden from ordinary view. Having become a distinct philosophical tradition (jia, “family” or “school”) during the Han, wuxing developed into a conceptual device that was used to explain not only cosmology, morality, and medicine, but also virtually every aspect of Chinese life and thought. We are likely on safe ground in thinking that wuxing thought was a subject of the exchanges and debates of figures at the Jixia Academy, as one of the figures named as a master teacher in that place was Zou Yan (305–240 BCE), who is also considered the systematizer of wuxing cosmology. There are passages, even in the earliest strata of the Zhuangzi, that seem to have wuxing cosmological assumptions underlying them (e.g., chapters 2, 6, and 7). During the Han dynasty, one of the most fundamental texts containing material on wuxing theory was the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi, 139 BCE). It strives to draw out the correlations between the Five Phases in cosmology and morality, and it extends the medical implications of the system. Sages (shengren) who know what to do with the Five Phases are able to rule the country, heal patients, and manage the transformations of life and longevity. By the 1st century BCE, the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi Neijing), arguably the most significant of the classical Chinese documents on the Five Phases as related to medicine, attained its final form. The text most likely developed in a lineage of teachers associated with what is now called Huang-Lao (Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism), which also influenced portions of the Zhuangzi. In the Huangdi Neijing, two sections are important. The Lingshu (Numinous Pivot), which is largely concerned with technical and thorough explanations of acupuncture, has the Yellow Emperor say that the qi energy meridians of the body (jing mai) are divided according to the wuxing, and these lines convey energy to the five viscera (wuzang) of the body. The second



section, called Suwen, relies largely on the “mutual conquest” series of how the Five Phases operate as the preferred explanatory language for medical ailments and their remedies. As wuxing thought continued to become ever more labyrinthine, the Five Phases were incorporated into many arenas of Chinese life, from the way space is arranged (fengshui) to the art of cooking (sweets, sours, bitters, etc.). Both military and literary texts in traditional China have incorporated the wuxing system. The Liu Tao (Six Strategies), also known as Tai Gong’s Six Strategies [for conducting war]), is a well-known tactical manual of ancient China. It asserts that, by knowing the enemy’s posture with respect to the Five Phases, one can then, through the “mutual conquest” series, know how to select the attacking phase to defeat him. FIVE VISCERA, FIVE ORGANS, WUZANG 五臟. In general Chinese medicine, the five viscera are the liver (gan), heart-mind (xin), spleen (pi), lungs (fei), and kidneys (shen). The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing) is the earliest Daoist text containing references to the gods of the five viscera. Each of these has an inner and outer aspect, connecting to other organs and physiological systems. In the Five Phase physics (wuxing), these five viscera are related to the five seasons, five directions, and five colors. The seasons, stars, and phases can all affect the five viscera of the body. The viscera organs themselves are not considered body or matter in distinction from spirit. The five viscera are ultimately qi, just in different five phase forms. This fundamental rejection of dualism between mind and matter, or body and spirit, partially explains why Daoist texts, for instance, the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing), associate the viscera with emotions. For example, the heart is a container of grief, the liver of anger. But in Chinese medical practice more generally, the connection between various viscera and emotions is not standardized and varies in text and practice depending on the tradition. In Daoist inner alchemy (neidan), the five viscera may be visualized in a concentrated state to strengthen qi and prevent illness. In fact, the term wuqi (five qi) is sometimes used as a synonym for wuzang. One aim in internal alchemy is to reinvigorate the organs. Sometimes the five viscera are symbolized in language about bodily gods or numinal powers, as in the 9thcentury work Charts of the Strengthening and Weakening of the Five Viscera and the Six Receptacles according to the Classic of the Inner Effulgencies of the Yellow Court (Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, CT 432). The biospiritual transformation of a person into an immortal (xian) or numinal being, or a Perfected Person, is partially a result of harmonizing and reinventing the five viscera, transforming them into pure qi.



FU 釜. See CRUCIBLE, CALDRON, FU 釜. FU 符, TALISMAN, CHARM. In Daoist usage, the term fu is most readily translated as “talisman,” but it can also be translated as “charm.” During the Han dynasty, a fu was an agreement or contract between people. Fu stating that an action needed to be taken would stand for an order of performance. This intention of a fu was retained in Daoist practice, while the contract was refocused as between humans and numinal powers. So, a talisman is a kind of performance contract. While writing or drawing a fu, the daoshi should recite or chant a formula appropriate to the subject of the talisman that serves as its activation. It is likely that this understanding is associated with what is known as a tally (quan). Tallies were used in pre-Han China to verify that an order or decree had come from the ruler. Most often, a board with an identifying signature or seal would be split, with half going to the lesser minister and the other half retained by the ruler. When the ruler sent a message, his half of the tally would travel with the messenger and its signature would be matched upon arrival to its mate as authentication. In Daoist usage, the daoshi writes the characters, usually taken from a secret or heavenly language known only to the master, and it carries with it the spiritual power of protection or fulfillment of the will of the spirit being, as that being would recognize the writing. Fu are used to bind demonic spirits and cure disease, protect sacred spaces, and transmit blessings. Sometimes fu messages are simply written in the air with incense sticks by daoshi during rites and rituals. Daoist fu may also be diagrams that derive their power from matching the image to its heavenly counterpart. The best-known account of fu is in the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016), where talismans are associated with the primordial form of writing emerging from the birth of the cosmos and still available to numinal beings and humans who receive it in a proper transmission. Today, fu are usually written on rectangular pieces of wood, silk, paper, or even bamboo. While they may include recognizable words or symbols, these are not meant to be read in the usual way. Actually, talismanic writing is understandable only by the spirits and the daoshi. Probably the most famous use of talismans in the history of Daoism is to be found in the method of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), according to which a talisman would be written for the sick, burned, and then ingested with water. Several texts in the Daoist Canon have a talisman as their centerpiece. There are examples of such works in the Lingbao tradition, for instance, the Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao wufu xu, CT 388).



Currently, fu are often mass-produced by ordinary printing and copying techniques, and then activated by a ritual formula or a chant. Still, however, the preferred method is handwriting or drawing with a brush on an individual basis. Once completed, written fu require an official stamp in red wax to authorize the contract. Talismans have been used in several ways, and most of these continue into the present. They may be hung in the home or any place needing protection or power. They may be worn around the neck or waist. Oftentimes they are burned and the ashes mixed with tea, wine, or water and then consumed. FUDI 福地, BLESSED PLACES. See GROTTO-HEAVENS AND FUDI 福地 BLESSED PLACES. FULU 符籙. The term “register” as used in Daoism, combines the functions of a talisman (fu) and a listing of numinal beings under one’s authority (lu). These were first widely used in Daoism by the communities of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi). Members of the community from young children to adults were given registers. These varied with the age and development of the recipient. Married couples merged their registers. Some registers became talismans of great power, listing not only large numbers of numinal beings at one’s disposal, but also ones of great power. Leaders in Celestial Masters communities were called libationers (jijiu), and they possessed registers of great power. FU YI 傅奕 (534–639). Fu Yi was a noted Tang dynasty scholar of the Daodejing and also a defender of Daoism and a critic of Buddhism. He ascended to the position of Grand Astrologer and took advantage of this authority to attack Buddhism as unfilial, unpatriotic, economically unproductive, and simply foreign. Some of his polemical positions are represented in Daoxuan’s (596–667) work defending Buddhism entitled Collection Spreading the Light of Buddhism (Hongming ju). Serious Buddhist counterarguments not merely directed at Fu Yi but at Daoism more generally appeared soon after his writings became known. One example is Essays of Debate and Correction (Bianzheng lun, T. 2110), completed in about 633. See also DAOISM AND BUDDHISM.

G GANYING 感應, “ACTION AND RESPONSE”. See MORALITY BOOKS, SHANSHU 善書. GE CHAOFU 葛巢甫 (fl. 402). Ge Chaofu, who came from Jurong (near Nanjing, Jiangsu), was a grandnephew of Ge Hong (283–343), and he is often credited with the authorship and first transmission of the Lingbao texts outside the Ge family in about 400. According to the Pivot of Meaning of the Daoist Teaching (Daojiao yishu, CT 1129), the line of transmission of Lingbao texts was Ge Xuan–Zheng Siyuan (Zheng Yin)–Ge Ti–Ge Hong–Ge Wang–Ge Chaofu–Ren Yanqing–Xu Lingqi, etc. But there is a tradition that attributes the Lingbao classics entirely to Ge Chaofu himself. In fact, Tao Hongjing writes disparagingly in the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) that, “Ge Chaofu fabricated the Lingbao classics, and the teaching flourished.” There is no known conclusive evidence that Ge Chaofu authored the Lingbao texts in their entirety, only in part, or whether he acted only as their transmitter. GE HONG 葛洪 (283–343). The main sources of information on Ge Hong’s life are the chapters of his autobiography, Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), and the brief biography of his life in the History of the Jin (Jinshu). Ge Hong came from the ancestral home of the Ge family in Jurong (near Nanjing, Jiangsu). His grandfather and father served the Wu and Jin rulers in various capacities. In 297, at the age of 14, he became a student of Zheng Yin, with whom he studied both classical Chinese texts and Daoist writings and practices. His training ended in 302, when Zheng retired to Mt. Huo with several disciples and Ge Hong did not go along. Ge became a military officer and took part in the suppression of Zhang Chang’s rebellion. He planned to go to Luoyang in pursuit of Daoist texts and medicinals, but the chaotic political situation there made this impossible. Instead, he received a position as adjutant of Ji Han (263–306), governor of the region around Guangzhou. When Ji was assassinated, Ge remained in the area and continued his study and practice of alchemy, as well as other Daoist 91


GE XUAN 葛玄 (164–244)

teachings. He decided to remain in the Canton area because of its lush mountains, herbs, minerals, and pure waters. In 312, he moved to the Luofu mountains (Luofushan, Guangdong) and became first the disciple and, later, the son-in-law of Bao Jing (?–c. 330), governor of Nanhai. Of Bao Jing, different traditions report that he either found the Script of the Three Sovereigns (Sanhuang wen) or actually witnessed it being spontaneously written in a cave on Songshan (Mt. Song, Henan) two decades earlier. Ge returned to Jurong in 314, where he completed his Baopuzi. While the Outer Chapters of that work were finished in 314, the Inner Chapters continued to undergo revisions before reaching their final form in about 330. Ge received an appointment as magistrate of Julou (present-day northern Vietnam) in 332 or 333, while en route, he again decided to settle at Luofushan (Mt. Luofu). There he practiced alchemy, arts of medical pharmacology, and the making of elixirs. Surviving accounts of his death are described as “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). Aside from the Baopuzi, approximately 60 works are attributed to Ge. Fewer than a dozen of these works survive, and probably only two of them are actually traceable to him: Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan) and Recipes for Emergencies to Keep at Hand (Zhou houbei ji fang, CT 1306). GE XUAN 葛玄 (164–244). Ge Xuan is a mysterious figure associated with several Daoist traditions. He was Ge Hong’s paternal granduncle. Ge Hong reports that Ge Xuan received several alchemical texts from the legendary masters of techniques (fangshi), Zuo Ci, and passed them on to Zheng Yin, who was Ge Hong’s teacher. In Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan), Ge Hong provides a biography of Ge Xuan, recounting his miracles and his “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). Ge Hong preserves the tale that Ge Xuan was once a retainer to the Wu ruler when he drowned on the occasion of the ruler’s boats being capsized by a storm; however, Ge Xuan appeared a few days later at court and apologized for having been detained by the water deity, Wu Zixu. Ge Xuan came to be regarded as a patron saint of alchemical arts, since Ge Hong reports that he transmitted several alchemical texts, including the famous Classic of Great Clarity (Taiqing jing, partially as CT 883), Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing), and Classic of the Golden Liquor (Jinye jing, in a version ascribed to Ge Hong as CT 917). Also, according to Ge Chaofu (fl. 402), Ge Xuan was the first recipient of the Lingbao texts, and these texts even report Ge Xuan’s receipt of the classics from numinal beings, who also gave him the title Transcendent Duke of the Left of the Great Ultimate (Taiji zuo xiangong). Buddhist polemicists name Ge Xuan as one of the founders of Daoism. The biography of Ge Xuan found in the Daoist Canon traces virtu-



ally every revealed text in medieval Daoism back to him (see Biography of Transcendent Duke Geo of the Great Ultimate [Taiji Ge xiangong zhuan, CT 450]). GEZAOSHAN 閤皂山 (MT. GEZAO, JIANGXI PROVINCE). Gezao mountain is the thirty-third Blessed Place (fudi) of Daoist sacred geography. According to tradition Ge Xuan lived on the mountain and thus associated it with the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao) lineage. It is included among the “Three Mountains” of Daoism, along with Longhushan (Dragon-Tiger Mountain) of the Way of the Celestial Masters and Maoshan of the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage. Although not having the same glorious reputation of these other two ordination centers of Daoism in the late Tang, nevertheless it was the site of many halls and hermitages inhabited by hundreds of Daoists. There was also an active pilgrimage routine to Gezaoshan. Many sites on the mountain were destroyed during the Yuan and the communities that gathered at Gezao during the Ming and Qing tended to be modest in size and influence. GHOST, DEMON, GUI, GUISHEN 鬼神. The term gui is used for spirit beings in general, but in some contexts it may be used for ghosts (guishen) or translated as “demons.” In the ancient Chinese physics that also informs Daoism, everything is made of qi. Thus, the person is qi. According to the Five Phases physics (wuxing), qi has a stability or crust that is our body. In Chinese religious language, the term gui often substituted for the po. Qi that has consciousness was often associated with the term hun. But there are not literally two souls in Daoist thought, even if there are two grammars for talking about different manifestations of the same qi. An analogy for this understanding of language that is shown in English is that there is both a grammar for brain states and one for mental processes. The one is not reducible to the other. But the language about mental process has the function of reporting awareness, while the language about physical processes refers to measurable empirical occurrences. In Daoism, gui is the word most often used for people whose qi has no po expression. This also explains the homophone gui (歸, meaning “return”), as in returning to the state without po expression. The wandering presence of a person known formally to have had a body (po) now lacks this but may be able to cause his/her presence to be known. The awareness of such a presence is often feared and abhorred as a “ghost” encounter. No group in Daoism has had such a close association with gui as the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Indeed, one way of referring to this movement was to call it guidao (the Way of Ghosts). Its followers were called guizu (ghost soldiers). The reasons for this are many. Adepts of this



lineage of Daoism believed that illness was caused by moral failure that weakened the body of qi and allowed gui spirits to enter and possess the person. Accordingly, devotees had to confess their faults, practice clarity and stillness, and ingest talismanic water (fushui) to be healed. In addition to this practice, there was also the work done by people able to bind ghosts, those masters of techniques (fangshi) who seem to have numbered among them relatives of Zhang Daoling, the founder of the movement. What happens to the gui apart from its po? According to the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016), they gather at Fengdu “in the north,” and there they receive judgment. Some go to the Palace of the Vermilion Fire (Zuohuo gong) in the heavenly realm and become immortals (xian). GHOST STATUTES OF NUQING, NUQING GUILU 女青鬼律. This work is found in the Daoist Canon (CT 790) and represents one of the earliest texts of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), dating perhaps to the 3rd century. The text laments the fact that in its day, ghost spirits (aka demons) were roaming freely in the world and bringing harm to nature and individuals. The Ghost Statutes provides detailed instructions for controlling these spirits. It names the spirits, reveals their locations, describes their appearance, and explains their activities and powers. Using the names provided in the text is the first technique for controlling the spirits, as calling out their names repels them. Those who do not know the techniques of the book will suffer from despair, disease, starvation, and death in war. GOD OF LITERATURE, LEARNING, WENCHANG 文昌. Wenchang is revered as the patron divine spirit of literature, the guardian of morality, and the giver of sons. His name first occurs in the Songs of Chu (Chuci), and he is grouped in Han dynasty works with other spirits, residing in six stars appearing above the ladle of the Big Dipper (beidou). Included among these stars is the Director of Destinies (Siming). As an astral deity, Wenchang may have become identified with literature because of the association of the stars and what is called “Literary Glory” or inspiration. Another explanation for his association with learning and literature is that the name Wenchang became identified with the god of the village of Zitong in Sichuan, a thunder-wielding divinity. One temple for this deity was on the main road to the capital, and those coming to take the civil service examinations often stopped there to venerate him and receive their fortune predicting the outcome of the test. One form of divination used at this site was spirit writing, and such a process yielded revelations from the deity. One of these revelations was a correction and modification of the central Shangqing text



Authentic Classic of Great Profundity (Dadong zhenjing). It was entitled Transcendent Text of the Great Profundity by Wenchang (Wenchang dadong xianjing, CT 5). Wenchang was believed to have had many manifestations, and some of these are mentioned in the Book of Transformations of Wenchang, which is preserved as part of the Book of Transformations of the Imperial Lord of Zitong (Zitong dijun huashu, CT 170). The principal collection of texts by and about Wenchang is the 1743 work, Complete Writings of the Imperial Lord Wenchang (Wendi quanshu). GODS OF WEALTH, CAISHEN 財神. Caishen refers to the gods of Wealth. Veneration of these gods is very common in Chinese popular religion. Among the gods of wealth, Zhao Gongming, also known as Marshal Zhao of the Dark Altar of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi xuantan, aka Zhao Yuanshuai) is typically one of the four celestial marshals guarding the Daoist ritual spaces. Early hagiographies of Zhao associate him with preventing plagues and offering protection and prosperity to villages. GOLDEN ELIXIR, JINDAN 金丹. Whereas it is now typical to refer to the practice of the arts of elixir making and external alchemy (waidan), the Daoist texts often simply refer to the “way of the golden elixir” (jindan zhi dao). Gold was regarded as something immutable and pure, beyond change and defilement. While we know that elixirs were developed and administered at least as early as the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE), the first sources to detail the actual processes of external alchemy are the Great Clarity (Taiqing) texts mentioned by Ge Hong (283–343). The intellectual underpinning of alchemical practice rested on the belief that it was possible to get certain materials to revert from their current form to their rarefied essence (jing). Cinnabar placed in a crucible (fu), creating the state of Origins (hundun), would transmute into its essence as mercury. The Daoist Canon commentary to the Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing, as ch.1 in CT 885, Huangdi jiuding shendan jingjue) associates this product with the essence that gave birth to the cosmos. GONGDE 功德. See MERIT, GONGDE 功德. GREAT CLARITY, TAIQING 太清. Beginning with the Zhuangzi, the term taiqing was used to describe the inner state of the Daoist Perfected Person (zhenren) as one of Great Clarity. In later texts it also designates a level of Heaven as a symbolic reference to the lived reality of an adept who knows Great Clarity in everyday life.



In Ge Hong’s fourth chapter of Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), he refers to three texts that form a kind of intellectual frame for what might be known as the Taiqing tradition. These are Classic of Great Clarity (Taiqing jing, partially as CT 883), Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing, as ch.1 in CT 885), and Classic of the Golden Liquor (Jinye jing, in a version ascribed to Ge Hong as CT 917). Ge traces the teachings of taiqing with which he is familiar to a set of revelations from the numinal world given to the legendary figure Zuo Ci. The taiqing elixirs about which Ge writes were recommended by Zuo to keep away harmful spirits that might infiltrate the body and cause illness. These elixirs also could aid in facilitating transcendence (xian) and helped an adept acquire numinal powers. GREAT EMPEROR WHO PROTECTS LIFE, BAOSHENG DADI 保 生大帝. The Great Emperor Who Protects Life (Baosheng dadi) is a southern Fujian regional deity. According to the hagiography of his life, he was a physician by the name of Wu Tao from a village near the current city of Xiamen. He gained fame by performing a number of miraculous cures, so the local people continued to seek healing from him by honoring and venerating his spirit. Chinese immigrants to Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and other parts of China transmitted the practice of worshiping him to those places. While not originally a Daoist deity, explicit Daoist features became a part of the rituals performed at his temples. GREAT PEACE, TAIPING 太平. The ideal of “Great Peace” refers to not only a stable social life, but also the state of community in which all are following the Dao and moving in wu-wei. The notion was common during the Han dynasty. It was adopted by Yellow Emperor-Laozi thinkers and part of the program of Dong Zhongshu (c. 195–115 BCE). The hoped-for community would be based on the harmony between heaven and humanity. The most important source on the concept of taiping is the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). This source looks back to a primitive golden era in which the original qi (yuanqi) from which all things were created circulated within nature and humanity to support and nourish life. It was a time of Great Peace. This state of being was ruined by humans, who imposed their own will and thoughts on others in the pursuit of power and riches, and who torment themselves in self-destruction by the use of discriminations and distinctions that create inner and outer disharmony. Subsequent generations of people have inherited these faults, and this is known in the text as the “inherited burden” (chengfu) of humankind. It is the momentum and sheer magnitude of this burden that accounts for war, natural disaster, and



even epidemics of disease; however, in the text, if the ruler follows the Dao and conducts himself in wu-wei, he can begin to lead a cycle that will break down this inherited burden. Some political and literati officials, for example, Wang Fu (78–163), took the position that government policies of their day were reaching toward the stage of “advancing to peace” (shengping). The Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu), produced within the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage, emphasized a call to implement Great Peace. Other Daoist texts and teachers considered the Great Peace to be a condition beyond the human world, but one in which people might share in the future. GROTTO-HEAVENS AND FUDI 福地 BLESSED PLACES. There is a numinal geography in the Daoist understanding of the landscape. Mountains, rivers, forests, and especially caverns and caves are filled with qi energy. These are often the locations in which numinal spirits appear or communicate with those seeking them. Famous mountains and places filled with numinal power are often referred to by the single compound Grotto-Heaven Blessed Place (dongtian fudi); however, recently the words have been separated, fudi being “paradise or place of blessing” and dongtian pointing to a mountain cave or cavern in which one had extraordinary experiences of alternative consciousness. In his descriptions of such sites in the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), Ge Hong says they are places in which divine spirits have appeared, and sometimes earthly immortals (xian) also dwell there. Numinous medicines grow there. In these places there is peace and opportunity to cultivate the arts of transcendence. In the Zhuangzi, Perfected Persons (zhenren) and spirit persons or divine persons (shenren) are often portrayed as residing in caves, where they have numinal experiences of consciousness (Cf. ch. 28). Caves on mountains provided those seeking to know the Dao with shelter for living, cooking, and practicing inward stillness away from villages and towns. The popularity of some of these mountains led to their ascent as “grotto-heavens.” The caves on these mountains were called “earth lungs” (difei), and later masters speak of them as filled with “refined qi” (jingqi). Such caves and other places thought to concentrate qi attract numinal beings and became “blessed places” (fudi). As such sites became more established, when someone approached these caves, they would notice talismans and markings placed by the master to protect the space and warn those who drew near that they were entering a blessed or sacred place of concentrated qi power. Ge Hong’s Baopuzi has elaborate instructions about the preparations needed to enter such places and make expeditions to the grotto-heavens.



In Daoist belief, a cave is yin, and its mountain is yang. The cave is a physical place, but it is also a metaphor for overcoming the distinction between the exterior and interior. Like yin and yang, exterior and interior are not opposites; they are in a relationship of correlation between one another. On another level, entering the cave is like entering the womb. It is windowless and enclosed—a self-contained shelter. When the Daodejing asks rhetorically whether a seeker can “become as an infant” (ch. 10), it may be playing off an analogy between the cave and the womb. In a cave, the seeker of Dao may enter into quietude and stillness and emerge newly born, and with a mind emptied of human distinctions and paradigms, able to move in wu-wei. In the cave, seekers of the Dao meditated, dreamed, and visualized numinal beings. On the mountains known as grotto-heavens, they conducted alchemical experiments and rituals. In the Zhuangzi, Prince Sou of Yue fled for safety to the cinnabar caves where masters of the Dao lived (Watson 1968). Nanbo Ziqi resided in a cave because living there aided in his spiritual incubation and stillness, and the emptying of his mind (Watson 1968). By the 5th century, Daoists had gathered traditions about these sites. Sima Chengzhen (647–735) consolidated the lore about the grotto-heavens and blessed places into 10 major grotto-heavens, 36 minor grotto-heavens, and 72 blissful places, and provided details of their names, locations, and the numinal spirits associated with them. There were several lists of these places. The one here was taken from the source Chart of the Palaces and Bureaus of the Grotto-Heavens and the Blissful Lands (Tiandi gongfu tu, YJQQ 27). Grotto: Xiaoyou qingxu; mountain: Wangwushan 王屋山 (Henan) Grotto: Dayou kongming; mountain: Weiyushan 委羽山 (Zhejiang) Grotto: Taixuan zongzhen; mountain: Xichengshan 西城山 (Shaanxi) Grotto: Sanyuan jizhen; mountain: Xixuanshan 青城山 (part of Huashan, Shaanxi) Grotto: Baoxian jiushi; mountain: Qingchengshan 西玄山 (Sichuan) Grotto: Shangqing yuping; mountain: Chichengshan 罗浮山 (Zhejiang) Grotto: Zhuming huizhen; mountain: Luofushan 羅浮山 (Guangdong) Grotto: Jiutan huayang; mountain: Gouqushan grotto 林屋山 (on Maoshan, Jiangsu) Grotto: Youshen youxu; mountain: Linwushan 句曲山 (Jiangsu, in Lake Tai) Grotto: Chengde yinxuan; mountain: Guacangshan 括苍山 (Zhejiang) There is also a list of the 36 minor grotto-heavens and one of the 72 blessed places in the text, Seven Labels from the Bookbag of the Clouds (Yunji qiqian, CT 1032).

GUAN YU 關羽, GUANDI 關帝 (?–220)


Some writers offer detailed descriptions of the grotto-heavens found on various mountains. In the Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016), Tao Hongjing offers such a description for the grotto-heavens inside and below Maoshan (Mt. Mao). Grotto-heavens as caves are often described as inversions of the outer world. The sun and moon shine there, grasses grow, there are rivers, and birds fly though the sky. There is brightness there but not from the sun or moon. According to text and oral tradition, the grotto-heavens are linked by means of a vast network of underground passages, analogous to the qi lines of the body, and which are called “earth channels” (dimai). Each grotto-heaven is associated with at least one Perfected Person (zhenren), immortal (xian), or numinal being (shen). Not just anyone can enter a grotto-heaven or have an illuminating experience of clarity there. One must be trained and practice such techniques as stillness, quietude, visualization, and breathing. GUAN 观. “Guan” means “to observe” or “to look at carefully.” Early observatories and lookout towers were called guan. Its use in Daoism first shows up in reference to Louguan, the site of an ancient observatory and lookout, southwest of Xi’an, and the place closely associated with the first transmission of the Daodejing. Now, along with gong (palace) and miao 庙 (shrine), the term guan is used to designate Daoist institutional sites, including what is translated into English as abbey or temple, whereas miao most often refers to a sacred shrine, while both guan and gong 宫 may also be used for monasteries. For Buddhist monasteries, the preference is si 寺. But there is another meaning of guan in Daoist history. Under the influence of Buddhism, the term was used for a concentrative exercise by which the mind is brought to stillness and sensory data is suspended, when Daoists began to teach neiguan, or “inner observation.” This practice is described in Classic of Inner Observation (Neiguan jing, CT 641). Neiguan is the heightened awareness of one’s body, including visualization of its inner processes (symbolically expressed as inner body gods and palaces). GUAN YU 關羽, GUANDI 關帝 (?–220). The historical Guan Yu fought on the side of Liu Bei and his kingdom of Shu (Sichuan area) during the struggles of the Three Kingdoms period. He was captured by the armies of the kingdom of Wu and beheaded. Because of his reported valor, legends grew about him, and he became venerated for many different reasons: as a protector against bandits and demons, as a guardian of soldiers, as a rainmaker, and even as a grantor of blessings. Principally, Guan Yu was regarded as a model of civic virtues, including loyalty and courage. The origins of his veneration are lost to history, but his following seems to have first arisen in Jinmen, in southern Hebei, near the site of his burial.



Easily the most famous of Guan Yu’s achievements, and the one that may have resulted in numerous pre-Ming dynasty temples being erected in his honor, concerns his defeat of the demon Chiyou. Chiyou had been feared and served for centuries at the salt ponds of Xiezhou, because it was he who had made them dry and worthless for planting. Zhang Jixian (1092–1126), a Zhengyi master, was asked by the Song emperor to defeat Chiyou. Zhang called upon the Guan Yu as a spirit being for aid, and in a monumental spiritual battle, he proved victorious. Afterward, word of his power spread, and many temples for his veneration were erected. Images of Guan Yu can be found in temples, shops, restaurants, and homes. He stands strong, displaying a red face and wearing a long beard. Among some Daoists, Guan Yu is also regarded as the patron of spiritwriting, and devotees gather in temples dedicated to him to receive messages. GUANGCHENG ZI 廣成子, MASTER OF WIDE ACHIEVEMENT. Guangcheng zi (also called the Master of Kongtong or Kongtong zi) is a character created in chapter 11 of the Zhuangzi and who lives on Mt. Kongtong (i.e., Mountain of Emptiness and Identity). His importance is actually based on his tie to the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi). According to the Zhuangzi, the Yellow Emperor went to gain Guangcheng’s instruction about how to live the Perfect Dao and obtain longevity. Upon his advice, the emperor abandoned the throne to undertake solitude. When he returned to Guangcheng zi, he found the master in a state of utter quietude and stillness. Coming out of this state, he provided the emperor with a way to gain the Perfect Dao by becoming still and pure, walking through the Gate of Deepest Obscurity to the Dao. An alternative version of this encounter is related in the Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi), where the lesson is instead that the emperor should be careful coming into the mountains to practice and avoid snakes. The emperor is told how to hang a mineral from his belt to ward off all snakes. In later traditions, Guangcheng zi was understood to be both one of the disciples of Laozi and one of his transformations. GUANZI 管子. The Guanzi is a collection of syncretic essays attributed to Guan Zhong (?720–?645 BCE), a minister of the state of Qi who died in 645 BCE. In his translation and study of the text, Allyn Rickett (1985) argues that the work is composite and certainly not traceable to the historical Guanzi. Rickett thinks it was likely created at the Jixia Academy (c. 300 BCE). Among early sources, it is referred to in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi).

GUO XIANG 郭象 (?232–312)


GUARDING THE ONE, HOLDING TO ONENESS WITH DAO, SHOUYI 守一. In typical Daoist practice, shouyi is a form of concentrative meditation that focuses the being of the adept on unity with Dao. In Daodejing 10, the text asks the adept, “Can you keep the spirit and embrace the One (baoyi) without departing from it?” One method for achieving this state is in a work of interpretation related to the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a) entitled Secret Directions of the Holy Lord on the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing shengjun bizhi, CT 1102). A method for experiencing internal visualization of “guarding the One” is also mentioned in Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). The texts report the results of this practice as possession of long life and control over the powers within the body and its biospiritual transformation. Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineages created a rich vocabulary for expanding the way in which this practice was understood, especially as it transforms and heals the bodily organs in the so-called three cinnabar fields of the abdomen, heart, and head. Later texts, for example, Method of Extending the Number of One’s Years (Yannian yisuan fu, CT 1271), link this state with a combination of physical stretches and massages, designed to create stillness, quietude of the heartmind (xin), and clarity of one’s qi and will. Entire Precepts of the Three Caverns (Sandong zhongjie wen, CT 178) teaches that moral integrity is an essential expression of the stillness and clarity that is “guarding the One.” The practitioner moves in wu-wei, and this is equivalent to “guarding the One” or “holding on to Oneness with Dao.” GUI 鬼. See GHOST, DEMON, GUI, GUISHEN 鬼神. GUO XIANG 郭象 (?232–312). Guo Xiang was a native of Luoyang, Henan province, and he served as a government official. He was a scholar of the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi, and he excelled in the “pure conversation” (qingtan) techniques of the Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue) thinkers. He held several political offices in the area of Shandong province. At one time, scholars claimed that he plagiarized Xiang Xiu’s (227–272) commentary on the Zhuangzi, but these accusations are generally now regarded to have been proven untrue. Guo not only commented on the text, but also edited, abridged, and rearranged a larger version of the work to create what is now regarded as the received text. Guo was editor of the great Daoist text known as the Zhuangzi, and he tells us that he reduced the text he received from 52 chapters to its present 33. Why he did this is unknown. Livia Kohn argues that he felt the excised



materials contained superstitious ideas and practices to which he and other educated intellectuals, for example, his Confucian literati colleagues, objected (Knaul 1982). GUODIAN MANUSCRIPTS. The site of Guodian (Hubei province) was excavated in 1993, but the texts discovered in its graves were not known until 1998. There are about 3,000 tombs in this large burial site. Approximately 1,000 of the tombs are grouped in 20 cemeteries, and Guodian is one of these. The objects discovered in these tombs are of the typical sorts associated with the Chu culture during which the burials were made. Manuscripts related to Daoism and Confucianism were found in tomb number 1, datable to between 350 and 300 BCE. There are four Guodian manuscripts of significance for Daoist studies. Three of them are versions of the Daodejing, now known as Laozi A, B, and C. The fourth is a previously unknown text on cosmogony. Given the date of the manuscripts, these finds represent the earliest known versions of the Daodejing. They are not divided into sections/chapters. The flow of the remarks follows a different sequence from the received version established by Wang Bi (226–249). Some scholars believe the remarks are arranged by topic. Generally speaking, while some passages vary from the received version, there are few significant differences in meaning. The manuscript on cosmogony is incomplete. It was given the title The Great One Generated Water (Taiyi sheng shui 太一生水). The text sets out the origins of things in this order. First, Taiyi, as the ultimate basis of the universe, created water; then with the help of water, Heaven followed, and with the help of Heaven, came the Earth. Heaven and Earth together generated spirits and the luminaries of space (shenming 神明), and from them came yin and yang, and from those powers came all the other myriad things. GUOQIAO 過橋. See CROSSING THE BRIDGE, GUOQIAO 過橋. GYMNASTICS, GUIDING AND PULLING. See DAOYIN 導引 GYMNASTICS, GUIDING AND PULLING.

H HAN XIANGZI 韓湘子. Placed in the group of the Eight Immortals (ba xian), Han Xiangzi is said to have been the grandnephew of Tang dynasty scholar Han Yu (768–824). In the lore of the immortals (xian), Han Xiangzi is pictured as the favorite disciple of Lu Dongbin. Being carried into a numinous peach tree by Lu, when he fell, Han received immortality while passing through the branches. In pictures of the immortals, Han carries a flute and is often surrounded by birds and animals, who gather around him because of his beautiful music. HAO DATONG 郝大通 (1140–1213). Hao Datong (aka Hao Taigu) is one of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) who were the original disciples of Wang Zhe (1113–1170), founder of the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage. Hao was a professional diviner. He was respected for his knowledge of the Yijing (Classic of Changes). In fact, a substantial portion of his commentary and interpretation of the Yijing is in his collected works, the Anthology of Master Taigu (Taigu ji, CT 1161). According to traditions about his life, he went through a period of ascetic training, sitting for three years in meditation on a bridge. When he was thrown off the bridge, he spent three more years sitting in the riverbed. He returned to his native Shandong province and founded several Daoist communities there and later. His disciples founded other Quanzhen monasteries in Shandong. HE XIANGU 何瓊. “Immortal Maiden He” is one of the Eight Immortals (baxian), and she is portrayed with a bamboo ladle or lotus flower. She is the only female among the group, and she represents beautiful virginal maidenhood. Like others of the group, she was brought into the life of an immortal (xian) by Lu Dongbin, who delivered her from a demon and taught her spiritual practice. One tradition reports that she was summoned to court by Empress Wu Zetian during the Tang dynasty, but instead she “disappeared in broad daylight” and became an immortal (xian).




HEART, MIND, HEART-MIND, XIN 心. The heart-mind (xin) is the ruler of the person. In Chinese meaning, emotion and reason are not separate faculties of the mind or soul, as one might find in many Western dualistic philosophical writings. The xin is a unity of cognitive and emotive forces. It is an organ of both mental and emotional life. It is the source or “ruler” of the will, thoughts, and understanding. The actual physical origin of the heart also possesses openings for the emotions in Daoist physiology. It is called the Crimson Palace (jianggong). The body and heart-mind are both made of qi. When one’s heart is empty, quiet, still, and balanced, the qi energy of the entire person is in harmony, ensuring long life. In Daoism, it is often said one should be “without” xin (wuxin) or have an “empty” xin (xuxin). This means that the Perfected Person (zhenren) moves in wu-wei without calculation, deliberation, or intention. He follows the natural course of things. He walks the line of the Dao, which is the same thing as saying he moves in wu-wei, “obtains the Dao,” and “guards the One.” Some Daoist texts locate the heart-mind in the cinnabar fields (dantian) of the person, symbolically expressing the significance of the xin to the biospiritual transformation of the person. The heart-mind acts as the source of the inner alchemy (neidan) of transformation. These neidan texts may even speak of three xin: the celestial one, the earthly one, and the human one. This is simply recognition that the organ of the heart that pumps blood is qi and has powers in all three of these respects. There are not literally three hearts. In fact, texts employ other symbols, associating the heart and kidneys as mercury and lead, respectively. The heart is sometimes called the dragon and the kidneys the tiger, an obvious allusion to yang and yin. One way of putting this is that these organs are the images (xiang) of the person’s qi. Xin is the Dao, and the Dao is xin. But the human heart-mind may warp the nature and expression of the Dao by overlaying it with thoughts and concerns. This is why it should be emptied and stilled; only then can clarity arise and one can move in wu-wei with the Dao. HEBO 河伯, COUNT OF THE RIVER. In the Chinese popular religious system, Hebo is the deity who controls the Yellow River, the cradle of Chinese civilization. The Hebo myth can be traced back to approximately 300 BCE, in the text Bamboo Annals (Zhushu jinian). He shows up in the Classic of the Mountain and Seas (Shanhai jing) and at least one poem in the Songs of Chu (Chuci). Some legends portray him as a fearsome deity. In fact, according to the Records of the Historian (Shiji), it was an annual custom in the town of Ye in the state of Wei (Henan) to cast a beautiful girl into the river to be Hebo’s bride. The custom continued until Ximen Bao became magistrate of Ye and put an end to it.



HEMINGSHAN 鹤鳴山 (MT. HEMING, SICHUAN PROVINCE). Heming is one of the sacred mountains of Daoism, located in Sichuan province. Two mountains in Sichuan hold claim to be Hemingshan. One is in Jiange district, and the other is in the Dayi district, west of Chengdu. Heming literally means “crane call,” and the explanations for the choice of this name range from the popular belief that the two major peaks of the mountain (in Dayi district) resemble wings of a crane, with the hill in the middle standing for the head, to the simple statement that the ponds in the mountain area were once home to large numbers of cranes. Hemingshan is best known for its connection to the spiritual experiences of Zhang Daoling, founder of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage. According to numerous records, while in residence in Tiangu cave on Heming, Laozi Deified (Laojun) appeared to Zhang in 142, and delivered to him the One True Covenant and Way (Zhengyi mengwei). The mountain is also associated with the activities of Du Guanting (850–933) and the semilegendary Zhang Sanfeng. HENGSHAN 衡山 (MT. HENG, HUNAN PROVINCE). Mt. Heng is the name of a mountain range of 72 peaks that runs parallel to the Xiang River in Hunan province. The main centers of Daoist activities in the mountain area were on the peaks west of the modern city of Hengshan. Even in such early texts as the Book of Odes (Shijing), the area was already called the “Southern Peak” in the Five Marchmounts system (wuyue), although this designation has not always remained constant. The firm establishment of Hengshan as the Southern Peak occurred during the reign of Sui Yangdi (r. 604–617). Daoshi within the lineage of Highest Clarity (Shangqing) derived from Sima Chengzhen (647–735) established residences in the mountains and were called the “Masters of Hengshan,” dating from the 700s through the late 800s. Hengshan was an important site for veneration of Wei Huacun (?251–?334). Song Huizong (r. 1100–1125) provided imperial patronage to the Daoists living there, and during the 12th century, Hengshan was part of the growing tradition of veneration of Lu Dongbin. Nanyue is another name for this site. Occupying the southern position, the mountain has been associated with those features of the Five Phase physics (wuxing) that correspond to the south (e.g., red and fire). Daoist institutions were first authorized on the mountain by an imperial decree in 726, during Tang Xuanzong’s (r. 712–756) reign. In his Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016), Tao Hongjing (456–536) connects Master Red Pine (Chisong Zi) to Nanyue. Nanyue became one of the grotto-heavens (dongtian) of Daoism and possesses four of the “Blessed Places” (fudi). During the Tang and Song periods, a tradition emerged about nine Daoists who became immortals (xian) at various sites on the mountain, and these accounts were recorded in Liao Shen’s Biographies of the Nine Perfected of



the Southern Peak (Nanyue jiu zhenren zhuan, CT 452). Most people consider Nanyue to be Mt. Heng (Hengshan) in Hunan province, but there are alternative locations defended as more probable, including Mt. Tianzhu (Tianzhushan, Anhui province) and even Mt. Tiantai (Tiantaishan, Zhejiang province). The principal text for Nanyue’s history and place in Daoism is Anthology of Highlights of the Southern Peak (Nanyue zongsheng ji, CT 606). HENGSHAN 恆山 (MT. HENG, SHANXI PROVINCE). Mt. Heng in Shanxi is the Northern Peak of the Five Marchmounts system (wuyue). It is located south of Datong. Since the time of the Zhou dynasty, the mountain has been considered a site of concentrated numinal power and presence. The Shrine of the Northern Peak (Beiyue miao) was erected for the spirit whose presence manifested itself on the mountain during the Han dynasty and who continues to visit to the present. Quanzhen daoshi staff the temples and shrines (miao) on the mountain, but Buddhists have also occupied many of its sacred places. The Buddhist Suspended Monastery (Xuankong si), built on stilts and hanging from one of its cliffs, is the best-known site on the mountain. Hengshan was never a major pilgrimage site or a place of daoshi training or ordination. It is arguably the least important of the Five Marchmounts. HEQI 合氣. See MERGING QI, HEQI 合氣. HESHANG GONG 河上公. Heshang gong 河上公 is actually more of a title than a name. It means “Old Gentleman by the River.” An early commentary on the Daodejing dating perhaps to the 1st century is ascribed to the person referred to with this title. While early interpreters thought that the commentator tried to link the Daodejing and the search for immortality, the prevailing view today is that the text is much more concerned with “nourishing life” (yangsheng) practices and inner meditation and transformation. The commentary speaks of the need to cultivate the “three treasures” of vitality (jing), energy (qi), and spirit (shen), and finds the sources for this activity to be found in the Daodejing (see also JING, QI, SHEN 精, 氣, 神, ESSENCE, ENERGY, VITAL FORCE, SPIRIT). Heshang gong sees the Daodejing as a meditative training manual, calling for what would later be called inner alchemy (neidan) in a more thoroughly developed form. HIDDEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ASCENT TO PERFECTION, DENGZHEN YINJUE 登真隱訣. Hidden Instructions for the Ascent to Perfection (CT 421) is a Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage work compiled and annotated by Tao Hongjing, probably in about 499. Only three of



the original 24 chapters survive. The text is addressed to Shangqing adepts. The first chapter provides instructions for practices of spiritual transformation and “guarding the One” (shouyi). The second contains minor recipes and apotropaic practices also provided in Tao’s other major work, Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016). Chapter three contains instructions for rituals reported to have been given by Zhang Daoling to the numinal being Wei Huacun (?251–?334). These include methods for writing talismans (fu), entering a quiet room (jingshi), chanting texts, summoning numinal beings, and healing illnesses. HIGHEST CLARITY LINEAGE, SHANGQING 上清. The Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage is also known as Maoshan Daoism. Originally, the term Shangqing referred to the level of heaven from which came the revelations delivered to spirit medium (jitong) Yang Xi (330–386) between 364 and 370, by a number of perfected immortals (xian), including Wei Huacun (?251–?334). These revelations were written down and, together with other writings and commentaries on them, assigned the highest rank of texts in the Daoist Canon—the first among the Three Caverns in the canon’s structure. The texts, unlike those of the Lingbao lineage, became foundational for an actual movement known as Shangqing, established by Tao Hongjing (456–536). This movement, like the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), developed its own liturgies, precepts, and rules of order, identifiable holy sites, and lineage of patriarchs and masters. A long textual tradition developed as well within the master-disciple transmissions of the lineage. Shangqing grew within aristocratic and highly educated circles. Many of their texts display highly polished literary and poetic skills. The revelations that created Shangqing came from Wei Huacun and other spirit beings and were written down by Yang Xi and delivered to the Xu family, specifically Xu Mi (303–376) and his son, Xu Hui (341–?370). These manuscripts were transmitted by Xu Mi’s grandson and later bequeathed to other aristocratic families. In the dispersions of the texts, forgeries claiming to be traced to Yang Xi were also produced. The reason that forgeries were particularly abhorrent to Shangqing masters is that it was believed that when Yang Xi received the texts from numinal beings, it was through a form of spirit-writing. This is to say that the numinal being moved the writing instrument or the hand of the human subject to express exactly what should be written. According to tradition, Tao Hongjing was able to reassemble the original body of texts. Because of Tao’s work, Shangqing grew to become the strongest and most influential of Daoist lineages from roughly the 6th to 10th centuries. Several emperors and leading officials, along with their families,


HONG XIUQUAN 洪秀全 (1814–1864)

were initiated into Shangqing teachings and practices. It was not until the Song dynasty in the 1200s that Shangqing lost its supremacy with the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) patriarchs. In Shangqing belief, the transformation of each person is individual. There are no saviors. Transcendence (xian) is obtained here, in this world. In its highest form, the unified qi being that is a person becomes a numinal being through the “nine transformations” (jiuzhuan), and this outcome is a result of inner alchemy (neidan). While Shangqing texts preserve the language of earlier teachings, for example, the three cinnabar fields (dantian) of the body, the meaning of these concepts is internalized and symbolized. Shangqing has an active practice of alternative consciousness. Adepts experience numinal beings as present and receive guidance from them. Sometimes they are inhabited by them. This is another way of saying that the individual embodies or may embody many personages, spirits, or gods. Embracing these experiences transforms one into a luminous being. Just as the gods may dwell at the same time in the heavens and in the adept, likewise the adept may live in this world as a numinal being. Unlike the Celestial Masters (Tianshi), Shangqing practices did not prioritize the writing of petitions. Compounding elixirs and gathering herbs were minor interests, and sexual practices of the bedchamber (fangzhong shu) played little role. In place of these practices, Shangqing texts and masters stress recitations (songjing), visualization (cun), ecstatic transformation of consciousness (bianhua), methods for having one’s name written in the “registers of life,” practices for “untying the embryonic knots” that impede the flow of qi, and instructions on how to go on far-off journeys of consciousness (yuanyou). The principal legacy of Shangqing Daoism is its move to interiorize biospiritual transformation of the person. The goal is to actualize a different sort of existence in the here and now, to take on luminosity. The methods and texts of this lineage are ways set before the individual and are not dependent on others. Rituals are methods of creating interior changes or participating in the effects of cosmic forces available to those seeking transformation into a transcendent or Perfected Person (zhenren). HONG XIUQUAN 洪秀全 (1814–1864). During the Qing dynasty, the Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864), led by Hong Xiuquan (1812–1864), was hard on Daoist institutions and practitioners. Hong has been called “God’s Chinese Son,” and he tried to establish a Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping) in Nanjing. He followed an ongoing vision of Christianity revealed to him through encounters with the heavenly family of God, including his elder brother, Jesus, and sister, Guanyin. The Taiping Rebellion was one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. At least 20 million Chinese perished as a



result of it. Hong’s armies struck out at the “idols” of the Buddhists, as well as the City God (Chenghuang shen) and Daoist sites. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao) were destroyed. Among those communities particularly hard hit were the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) centers on Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Longhushan). HONGTOU 紅頭 AND WUTOU 烏頭. See RED HEAD AND BLACK HEAD DAOISTS, HONGTOU 紅頭 AND WUTOU 烏頭. HOUSEHOLDER DAOSHI, HUOJU DAOSHI 火居 道士. Daoshi who are married are called huoju daoshi. This terms literally means “living by the fire.” Such daoshi belong to the Zhengyi lineage (Celestial Masters, Tianshi). They are distinguished from the Quanzhen daoshi, who are celibate and typically reside in monastic communities, not their own private residences. HUAHUJING 化胡經. See CLASSIC OF THE CONVERSION OF THE BARBARIANS, HUAHUJING 化胡經. HUAINANZI 淮南子. See BOOK OF THE MASTERS OF HUAINAN, HUAINANZI 淮南子. HUANG LINGWEI 黄靈微 (FLOWER MAIDEN) (c. 640–721). Huang Lingwei was a notable Daoist woman in Tang China. We know little about her life and must depend almost entirely on Yan Zhenqing’s (709–785) reports. Yan was prefect of Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, where Huang was best known. He wrote an epitaph for inscription on her shrine in Linchuan. Du Guangting also reported details of her life in his anthology of materials about female Daoist figures entitled Records of the Immortals Gathered in the Walled City (Yongcheng jixian lu, CT 783). Yan reports that Huang came from Linchuan but does not indicate whether she was married or had children. He says she was ordained as a daoshi at the age of 12. The details of her life remain a mystery until she was 50, when Yan picks up her story again. He tells us that she searched for the long-lost shrine of Wei Huacun (?251–?334), and Huang is depicted as a woman of courage and piety for the Dao. She discovered the shrine, and the artifacts she recovered were seized by Empress Wu Zetian (r. 690–705). Huang conducted Daoist rituals at the restored shine for 30 years. When she was ready to transform, she instructed her disciples not to nail her coffin shut but only cover it with crimson gauze. After being laid to rest for a few days, lightning struck the coffin, exposing that it was empty, leaving only her burial shroud behind. She had undergone “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). Du Guangting called her the “immortal who had descended from heaven.”



HUANGDI 黄帝. See YELLOW EMPEROR, HUANGDI 黄帝. HUANGDI NEIJING 黄帝内經. See INNER CLASSIC OF THE YELLOW EMPEROR, HUANGDI NEIJING 黄帝内經. HUANGJIN ZHI LUAN 黃巾之亂. See YELLOW TURBANS, YELLOW TURBAN REBELLION, HUANGJIN ZHI LUAN 黃巾之亂. HUANG-LAO 黄老. See YELLOW EMPEROR-LAOZI DAOISM, HUANG-LAO 黄老. HUANGTINGJING CLASSIC OF THE YELLOW COURT 黃庭經. See CINNABAR FIELDS, FIELDS OF ELIXIR, DANTIAN 丹田. HUASHAN 華山 (MT. HUA, SHAANXI PROVINCE). Flower, or Glorious (Hua), Mountain is located in the Huayin district of Shaanxi province and known as the Western Peak of the Five Marchmounts system (wuyue) of China. The mountain has a perilous precipice that overlooks the plain below. Narrow stone steps along dangerous ridges of the granite landform lead to sacred sites believed to have been frequented in the past by immortals (xian) and masters of Dao. The Shrine of the Western Peak (Xiyue miao), located at the foot of the mountain, was used for Daoist rites, as well as spirit medium (jitong) practices and popular cults. The original renown of the mountain may have been associated with its reputation for being the location for medicinals and herbs necessary for longevity, transcendence, and even immortality. Natural and man-made caves formed residences for seekers of the Dao on the mountains near vertical cliffs. Tradition records that Huashan was the site of Chen Tuan’s (c. 920–989) acquisition of immortality, and the Abbey of the Jade Spring (Yuqian guan) on the site is dedicated to him. While the mountain was historically frequented by residents of Shaanxi, there was no elaborate pilgrimage season for worship there. In 1230, the Daoist sites on Huashan came under the administration of the Quanzhen order, and this remains so into the present day. HUASHU 化書. See BOOK OF TRANSFORMATION, HUASHU 化書. HUN 魂 AND PO 魄. Although hun and po are terms often translated as “souls,” they are not souls, nor even separate dualistic objects or entities, as may be thought in Western religions and philosophies. They are two expressions of qi, the life source of the universe and each individual. Thus, they are ways of talking about the same single energy. Hun is qi in its luminous and



volatile form, as described by the term yang. Po is qi in a heavy and somber form, as described by the term yin. The philosophical grammar describing them associates them with spirit (shen) or even ghosts (gui). When one’s qi identity is described by reference to body and physicality, the more the texts use po. The more the language reports consciousness and intelligence, the more the texts use hun. But there is no dualism here. These are alternative descriptions of the same phenomenon, the qi identity of a person. Po, or body, is like the crust of a piece of bread—still bread but a form describable and efficacious in a way that the soft meat of the bread is not. Hun and po are roughly analogous to this example. This is why interpreters will say that at death, the hun mounts to Heaven and the po remains and returns to the earth (i.e., the Yellow Springs, Huang Quan). The understanding of hun and po took many twists and turns, with some texts speaking of seven po and/or three hun. In some writings, these po and hun are anthropomorphized and even given names. Why these numbers were chosen and why such changes in understanding occurred can only be a matter of speculation, as we have no text explaining them. Ge Hong (283–343) suggests that po and hun can be visualized by ingesting medicines and the practice of a method called the “multiplication of the body” (fenxing). Typically, hun penetration of po leaves it inanimate and incapable of consciousness, although there are numerous stories of the dead who are still recognizable in their bodily form. So, rites designed to “summon the hun” (zhaohun) are the means of reanimation of the form that is po. The Ming dynasty work Return of the Soul (Mudan ting, aka Peony Pavilion), by Tang Xianzu (1598), has an account of such a ritual performed by a daogu (i.e., female daoshi). Daoist traditions often report the hun wandering into numinal realms. Techniques were even developed to both make this possible as a practice and restrain and control it. Reports of immortals (xian) taking along their po (body form) or getting it to perform in unusual ways are also common. HUNDRED AND EIGHTY PRECEPTS SPOKEN BY LORD LAO, LAOJUN SHUO YIBAI BASHI JIE 老君說一百八十戒. The current version of the Hundred and Eighty Precepts Spoken by Lord Lao is a set of behavioral rules translated and edited by Barbara Hendrischke and Benjamin Petty (1996), and based principally on Classic of the Regulations of the Most High Lord Lao (Taishang Laojun jing lu, CT 786), although three other sources are also used. The work is in two parts: a preface describing how the 180 precepts were transmitted to humans and the precepts themselves. In the preface, when Laozi returned from converting the barbarians in the West, he was disturbed to see the corruption in the state. The rules were granted to the people to bring the communities back into harmony with the Dao. The precepts themselves include both Daoist and Buddhist rules. The



first 140 are prohibitive and the remaining 40 exhort and encouraging positive conduct. Some precepts seem rather universal (e.g., “Do not steal other people’s property,” number 3). Others reflect particularistic cultural and social practices (e.g., “Do not eat off gold or silver ware,” number 72; “Do not poke your tongue out at other people,” number 99). Some exhortations are clearly Daoist (“Exert yourself to seek long life,” number 147; “Strive to ingest qi and eliminate cereals, practicing the Dao of no-death [busi],” number 149). HUNDUN 混沌. See CHAOS, PRIMAL FORMLESSNESS, HUNDUN 混 沌. HUOJU DAOSHI 火居 道士. See HOUSEHOLDER DAOSHI, HUOJU DAOSHI 火居 道士.

I IMAGE, XIANG 象. There are many ways to translate xiang, but the predominate use of this word in Daoist texts is as “image” or “figure.” Xiang is used for “making something apparent.” So, as Daoists use it, the image manifests the numinal or cosmic. This is exactly why the xiang is considered to be the “real form” of things (zhenxing). Daoist alchemists say theirs is an art of the image (xiang). The relation of object and image may be thought of in ways similar to an icon in the West. The objects participate in the numinality they convey, but they are not identical with it. They transmit it and mediate it but do not exhaust it. Daoist language of inner alchemy (neidan) and external alchemy (waidan) is an example of image. The names used in language in both of these types of alchemy are images themselves but not “mere” symbols. They are vague and elusive, but within is an essence, that is genuine and authentic (Daodejing 21). IMMORTAL, TRANSCENDENT, XIAN 仙. Texts from the period of the early Zhou dynasty maintained that humans may be able to prolong their lives beyond the normal course of years usual for humans and that the body may be transformed. These teachings preceded the formation of the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, and they have been influential apart from Daoism in Chinese medical and “nourishing life” (yangsheng) practices. Various terms were used for this phenomenon, for example, changsheng (long life) and busi (not dying). Miura Kunio (1989) calls attention to the fact that the graph now used for xian 仙 was derived from its original form as 僊, which denotes the idea of relocation, specifically ascending to Heaven. A transcendent person (xianren) is a person who has obtained extraordinary powers, including longevity or even immortality, as well as the ability to heal, be invincible, become invisible or translucent, and bilocate, as well as other powers.




The first descriptions of a transcendent (xian) in any Daoist text appear in the Zhuangzi, and these imply a state that is achievable for any person, not just emperors or the elite. Later collections of the biographies of immortals and transcendents have accounts of people from all walks of life (peasants, beggars, merchants, literati, empresses) and both genders. In the far-off Gushe mountains there lives a spirit man whose skin and flesh are like ice and snow, who is as gentle as a virgin. He does not eat the five grains but sucks in the wind and drinks the dew. He rides the vapor of the clouds, yokes the dragons to his chariot, and roams beyond the four seas. When the spirit within him concentrates, he can keep creatures free of plagues and make the grain ripen every year (Zhuangzi, ch. 1). The utmost person is spirit-like. When the wide woodlands blaze, they cannot burn him; when the Yellow River and the Han freeze, they cannot chill him; when swift thunderbolts smash the mountains and whirlwinds shake the seas, they cannot frighten him. He is a man who yokes the clouds to his chariot, rides the sun and moon, and roams beyond the four seas. Death and life cannot affect him; even less can benefit or misfortune. (Zhuangzi, ch. 1)

The Records of the Historian (Shiji) is the earliest text revealing the existence of an immortality cult that emphasizes what later Daoists called external alchemy (waidan); however, in this text, the focus is only on emperors and the elite who are able to summon and patronized presumed experts in the knowledge of gaining transcendence. The text mentions how Qinshihuang (r. 221–210 BCE) made expeditions to holy mountains seeking immortals and materials for elixirs in his own quest to obtain this goal. Elsewhere in this text is the report by Xu Fu to Qinshihuang that there were three mountains in the middle of the ocean called Penglai that were inhabited by immortals. So, the early traditions imply that it was believed in the Qin period that immortals live on mountains or islands that can be approached by an ordinary person. Both Qinshihuang and Han Wudi associated with people called masters of techniques (fangshi), who were reputed to be skilled in matters related to longevity and immortality. Some of them, for example, Li Shaojun and Dongfang Shuo, are included in the Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan). Such practices were not without their critics. Wang Chong considered “immortals” to simply be long-lived people who presented themselves as immortal. Cao Zhi (192–293), the son of Cao Cao, produced an essay denying the existence of immortals. The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing) distinguishes between longevity and immortality. It offers instruc-



tions on special diets, breathing techniques, drug therapy, and moral behavior, and establishes a series of nine graded categories in which people might exist, with immortals ranking only fourth. Just when the idea came about that ordinary people could actually become immortals by compounding and making elixirs or minerals is uncertain. In fact, the ancient stories, dating into the Han dynasty, are primarily concerned with the discovery of medicines of immortality, not their creation by humans. We have little evidence before the writing of Ge Hong for the view that in principle, anyone could gain immortality or become a transcendent through the methods of external alchemy. Ge offers a long list of drugs and recipes, as well as detailed rituals that are to be undertaken in the pursuit of the elixir, that would make one transcendent. Another example of the view that people may achieve transcendence by their own effort that lies outside the writings of Ge is in a work ascribed to Wu Yun (?–778) entitled Essay on How One May Become a Divine Immortal through Training (Shenxian kexue lun, contained in CT 1051). As the understanding of immortals evolved in Daoism, various rankings and distinctions were made, largely drawing on Ge’s work and including such categories as celestial immortals (tianxian), earthly immortals (dixian), and those who had obtained “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie). Immortals became associated with the celestial realm, the grotto-heavens (dongtian), and the underworld. Robert Campany (2002) takes the position that although the term xian is routinely translated as “immortal,” the texts Ge Hong collated and edited actually promised neither a once-and-for-all immortality nor an escape from time and change into an eternal stasis. The levels of xian as Ge categorized them showed distinct degrees or levels of xian-hood. Likewise, in both Ge’s writing and other places, the texts sometimes distinguish xian from those who have simply managed not to die (busi). Accordingly, Campany prefers translating xian as “transcendents.” This approach preserves the exalted status of such individuals, revealing that they go beyond what is ordinarily taken as the limits of the human being and affirming that they have ascended to links in the chain higher than those occupied by even the best of humanity but not that they escape temporality into some immortal or eternal state of being. INCENSE BURNER, XIANGLU 香爐. Daoist rituals invariably make use of incense. Daoist abbeys (guan) and monasteries have incense burners in front of the entrances to their main halls and the images (xiang) of deities and Perfected Persons (zhenren) venerated in those places. In the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), even within the quiet room (jingshi), incense burning is required. One use of burning incense is equivalent to making an offering to the numinal beings. The ancient religious practice of



roasted offerings (fanchai) is probably the origin of the burning of incense. As Buddhist practices influenced those of Daoism, the purpose of incense also became expanded. It was no longer only making an offering, but also believed to carry a supplication or request into the numinal world continuously for as long as it burned, even if the petitioner was not present. The Highest Clarity (Shangqing) text Great Rites of the Numinous Treasure of Highest Clarity (Shangqing lingbao dafa, CT 1221) gives the practice of burning incense many different names depending on the function (e.g., “incense of clarity and quiescence” [qingjing xiang] or the “incense of wuwei” [wu-wei xiang]). In Daoist rituals involving the community, it is normal to have a daoshi who is specifically in charge of the incense (“master of the burner,” luzhu). INDEX OF CLASSICS AND WRITINGS OF THE THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG JINGSHU MULU 三洞經書目錄. This is the earliest comprehensive canonical list of Daoist texts presently known to modern scholarship. It was presented in 471, to the throne on imperial command, by Daoist Lu Xiujing (406–477). Lu’s original list does not survive, but by using various sources, including Buddhist polemical treatises, we can do some reasonable reconstruction of it. The original catalog contained 1,228 scrolls of texts. These texts were divided into “Three Caverns”: Cavern of Perfection (Dongzhen), Cavern of Mystery (Dongxuan), and Cavern of Spirit (Dongshen). Subsequent Daoist Canons have preserved this three-cavern structure for organizing the texts of the tradition. The caverns contained texts from the Shangqing, Lingbao, and Sanhuang wen lineages, respectively. The caverns are also listed in descending order, from Shangqing as the highest and most exalted to the lowest, Sanhuang; however, given that we do not have information on the contents of about five-sixths of the list, we do not know whether it included Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi) writings and, if so, where these were placed. INHERITED BURDEN, CHENGFU 承負. Chengfu is the concept of “inherited burden,” referring to the ways in which liabilities and outcomes of moral wrongs committed by individuals are transmitted to their descendants. In this way calamities and misfortune are passed from one generation to another, eventually reaching such dramatic social outcomes as war, as well as natural disasters and epidemics.



Antecedents to the belief in an inherited burden from previous generations are found in the Warring States Period (475–221 BCE). During that time, the emperor was considered the focal point of the balance between Heaven and humanity. If he acted contrary to the will of Heaven, the negative results displayed themselves not only in the royal house, but also with his people. The most important source on the concept in Daoism is the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). The text speaks of a golden era in which the original qi (yuanqi) from which all things were created circulated within nature and humanity to support and nourish life. It was a time of Great Peace. But humans corrupted this state of being and created inner and outer disharmony. These faults are transferred as the “inherited burden” (chengfu) of humankind. It is this burden that makes problems like war so intractable. It is also the explanation for natural disaster and disease. In the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), Ge Hong takes the position that immoral actions reduce the lifespan of not only the person who commits them, but also their descendants, and they may cause calamities in society at large. This belief shows itself later in Chinese Daoism in the morality books (shanshu) and ledgers of merit and demerit (gongguo ge). INNER ALCHEMY, NEIDAN 内丹. In Daoism, neidan is a form of alchemy. It is a type of biospiritual transformation but one in which the processes occur inside one’s body. The Daoist practice of inner alchemy includes a nest of theories and instructions based on the Five Phase physics (wuxing) of China. The traditions transform language originally belonging to external alchemy (waidan) into language about an internal discipline. These include “nourishing life” (yangsheng) tradition, “sitting in forgetfulness” (zuowang) meditation, circulating breath (xingqi), and even gymnastics (daoyin). Concern with diet does not show up in many neidan treatises. Likewise, moral instruction like one can find in the morality books and ledgers (shanshu), even if often connected to the preservation of one’s qi (e.g., as in the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi, Laozi Xiang’er zhu), is also not directly a subject of many neidan texts. The ultimate goal of inner alchemy is straightforward: the biospiritual transformation of one’s being into a numinal existence (i.e., becoming a transcendent or immortal [xian]). This transformation is sometimes associated with “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie) or “disappearance in broad daylight” (bairi shengtian ). Neidan may also be practiced in tandem with external alchemy or by itself. Internal alchemical arts like “sitting and forgetting” and various meditative practices are documented into the 4th century BCE in the Inner Training (Neiye) text and the Zhuangzi, but there seems not to have been any single method of practice that early on. The traditional view of the work known as



one of the earliest alchemical texts in China, the Relationship of the Three, in Accordance with the Book of Changes (Zhouyi cantong qi), is that together with external elixirs and moral life, inner alchemy works to synthesize the transformation of the adept. The earliest use of the term neidan is in biographies dating to the 5th century. Some individual neidan teachings appear in the writings of Liu Zhigu (?663–?756), Tao Zhi (?–825), and Peng Xiao (?–955). The earliest lineages majoring in neidan practice were the Zhenyuan and Zhong-Lu; however, generally speaking, neidan practice was undertaken by Daoists of many lineages and traditions, at least until the establishment of the Complete Perfection lineage. Neidan became a hallmark of Quanzhen’s way to complete perfection, especially in its Nanzong branch. From the Tang to the Ming, neidan literature and practice became increasingly refined and complex. By the time of the Qing dynasty, there were five main neidan schools. Neidan teaching bends language in many ways and is highly symbolic. The texts go into great detail about the transformation of the whole person as a qi being, using such images (xiang) as cinnabar, lead, mercury, dragon, and tiger to refer to organs and systems of the body. One reason for such an alternative use of these terms compared to what we find in external alchemy is the central belief in neidan that much of the process of transformation cannot be put into words but must be practiced. There are basic and common teachings among the neidan schools. Inner alchemy is meant to aid in the attainment of the “three accomplishments” (sancheng). These correspond to the refinement of the most elemental forms of qi endowment in the human being: refining essence into qi (lianjing huaqi); refining qi into spirit (lianqi huashen); and refining spirit into emptiness (lianshen huaxu). This entire process is called “compounding internal elixir” (neidan) because nothing external is ingested. It eventuates in a numinal embryo of new life (shengtai), which may become immortal because it partakes of the power and nature of the Origin of all things (yuanqi). Accordingly, the process is described as a “return to the Origin” (huanyuan). This return is not an absorption into some amorphous whole or disappearance of identity. On the contrary, when it occurs, an adept may abandon the physical wuxing form completely, leaving it behind and continuing to exist as a pure qi being. In keeping with the highly symbolic language of neidan teaching and the efforts of its commentators to connect the practice analogously to a type of alchemical change of substance, the process is described as though one were erecting within the body a laboratory for making elixirs. One begins by creating an inner laboratory, which is actually laying the foundation for the meditative process (zhuji). Thought and action are merged to create a union of yin and yang. Internal alchemical medicine (caiyao) is gathered by stilling the mind and emptying it of discriminations. The numinal embryo is nour-



ished through a practice called “fire phasing” (huohou), which, in external alchemy, is varying the distance of the fire from the tripod, altering the amount of fuel, and changing the duration of heat and cooling. In neidan, fire phasing refers to the manipulation of breathing (the fire, huo) to establish various phases of intensity and rest, quiescence and movement, and darkness and light (hou). The culmination is the final stage of the creation of a numinal embryo, a new life for the self. INNER CLASSIC OF THE YELLOW EMPEROR, HUANGDI NEIJING 黄帝内經. The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor may be considered the most important and best-known text of ancient Chinese medical theory. The text is divided into two major sections—the “Plain Questions” (Suwen) and the “Numinous Pivot” (Lingshu)—each being a compilation of thematically ordered theories from various medical traditions or lineages. Scholars usually date the earliest version of the compilation as being created between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. The work contains dialogues between the Yellow Emperor and various ministers. These conversations are concerned with cosmology, medical diagnosis, lifestyle, and therapeutic techniques. The “Plain Questions” discusses natural and biological processes in terms of the Five Phases physics (wuxing). The “Numinous Pivot” provides details on such therapies as acupuncture and moxibustion. There are other books that are known to have had Huangdi neijing as a prefix to their titles. Some are no longer extant. INNER NATURE AND DESTINY, XING 性 AND MING 命. As one finds in Western philosophy, Chinese thinkers also debated whether human nature is good or bad. Great Confucian thinkers Mengzi (372–289 BCE) and Xunzi (310–235 BCE) were classical representatives of this quandary, each taking a different view. Daoism did not have such a debate. In Daoist texts, human nature is referred to as a “cavern” (dong) or simply called the “gate of wonders” (zhongmiao zhi men). These concepts point to the emptiness of human nature but not its nothingness. Another approach taken in Daoism is to say that xing (nature) is qi and ming (destiny/fate) is shen. The unity of xing and ming in a person is “lodged in the Mysterious Pass” (xuanguan). In alchemy, xuanguan is the joining of the antinomies lead and mercury, Dragon and Tiger, heart and kidneys, nature (xing) and destiny (ming). The Mysterious Pass is an opening of Being that cannot be accessed by discursive thought or physical movement alone. It is the “dark gate” (xuanmen) that leads to Oneness with Dao. It is also described as the “middle” (zhong) for the positioning of one’s self at the “center of the compass.”



INNER TRAINING. See NEIYE. INSCRIPTION FOR LAOZI, LAOZI MING 老子銘. Inscription for Laozi is the earliest-known document that testifies to the divination of Laozi. It is a stele engraving. The inscription is traceable to court minister Bian Shao and dated precisely to September 24, 165. It records the making of imperial sacrifices to Laozi at his birthplace in Bozhou (Luyi in Henan) and the imperial palace in Luoyang under Han Huandi (r. 146–168). The inscription provides a summary of Laozi’s biography from Records of the Historian (Shiji) and a description of the birthplace itself, and it associates the Daodejing with the expression of his ideas. The text names Laozi as the central deity of the cosmos, who was born from the original substance of the One, manifested himself on Earth, and eventually returned to the numinal realm as an immortal (xian). The text reports that the king had a dream about Laozi that led him to make the sacrifices during his reign. A detailed study of the inscription has been made by Anna Seidel (1969). INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRACTICES WITH THE HAND, SHOUJUE 手訣. Daoist practitioners have a number of different hand gestures and techniques used during rituals and teaching, and as protections for a wide variety of physical spaces and situations. Some of these practices have been influenced by Tantric Buddhism, which employs what are called mudras, or hand gestures, as channels of power. Shoujue is a practice particularly efficacious for commanding numinal spirits and powers. One Daoist ritual that depends greatly on shoujue is the rite of Universal Salvation (pudu). In that ritual, the complicated intertwining of fingers of both hands serves to multiply the effects of the ritual so they will be sufficient for the salvation of all. While the daoshi may “walk the guideline” or “pace the Dipper” by a kind of ritual dance and walking movement, he may also perform the “walk” by using his thumb to trace the path and tapping a sequence of points in his hand. As with an actual ambulation, the touching of points in the hand is a procedure used to activate numinal power through the body of the daoshi. In this way, it is quite literally a kind of transformation of the body (bianshen or huashen) of the daoshi. The earliest written references to ritual practices with the hands are in Tang dynasty texts.

J JADE EMPEROR, YUHUANG 玉皇. Among the ordinary people, the Jade Emperor is more commonly called the Lord of Heaven (Tian Gong). He is the supreme deity of Chinese popular religion and also occupies a high position in the pantheon of Daoist numinal beings. The principal work setting out the Jade Emperor’s identity and wondrous deeds dates to the Tang dynasty and is entitled Collected Classic on the Deeds of the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang benxing jijing, CT 10 and CT 11). This text is still often recited in Daoist liturgies. Song emperor Huizong (r. 1100–1125) gave the Jade Emperor many prestigious titles and added rituals to him to the roster of official sacrifices. In fact, as the veneration of the Jade Emperor evolved in Daoism, he came to be regarded as the chief among the Four Sovereigns (siyu). There are several texts in the Daoist Canon providing specific instructions for rituals of veneration to him. One example is Precious Litany of Repentance That Moves the Jade Emperor to Grant Absolution from Guilt and the Allotment of Good Fortune (Yuhuang youzhi xifu bochan, CT 193). JIANGSHEN 降神. See CALLING DOWN THE DEITIES, JIANGSHEN 降神. JIAO 醮, OFFERING, TO PERFORM A SACRIFICE. See RITUALS; ZHAI 齋, CEREMONY, FAST, PURIFICATION. JIE 戒. See PRECEPTS, JIE 戒. JIJIU 祭酒. See LIBATIONER, JIJIU 祭酒. JINDAN 金丹. See GOLDEN ELIXIR, JINDAN 金丹.




JING, QI, SHEN 精, 氣, 神, ESSENCE, ENERGY, VITAL FORCE, SPIRIT. Jing, qi, and shen are sometimes called the Three Treasures (sanbao). Qi is the fundamental substantive energy that underlies all forms according to the Five Phase physics (wuxing) of Chinese cosmology. Jing points to the substance that is the germ of life itself, its essence. Jing is made of qi, just as all other things are as well. In Daodejing 21, the text says, “Vague and elusive! Within is an image/Vague and elusive! Within is a thing/Withdrawn and mysterious! Within is essence (jing).” In the human body, jing is a creative and sustaining energy of life, and the term is often used for semen in men and menstrual blood in women. Shen is the form of qi that has psychic capability and can report its consciousness and awareness. In neidan practice (inner alchemy), we often find the process of refining jing into qi (lianjing huaqi), qi into shen (lianqi huashen), and shen into emptiness (lianshen huaxu). There are many inner refinement methods used in Daoism to produce these changes. JINGSHI 静室. See QUIET ROOM, MEDITATION CHAMBER, JINGSHI 静室. JITONG 乩童. See SPIRIT-MEDIUM, JITONG 乩童. JIUDAN JING 九丹經. See CLASSIC OF THE NINE ELIXIRS, JIUDAN JING 九丹經. JIXIA ACADEMY. According to the Records of the Historian (Shiji) by Sima Qian (145–90 BCE), beginning during the reign of King Wei (358–320 BCE) and continuing into the reign of King Xuan (319–309 BCE), an intellectual exchange was fostered by convening scholars in the capital city of Linzi next to the Ji Gate, giving the exchange its name, Jixia Academy. Figures named as master teachers there included Zou Yan (305–240 BCE), who is considered the systematizer of Five Phase Physics (wuxing) cosmology; Zhuang Zhou (Zhuangzi, c. 365–290 BCE), an early Daoist thinker and source of at least the earliest strata of the Zhuangzi; and both Mengzi (aka Mencius, c. 372–289 BCE) and Xunzi (c. 310–220 BCE), who are among the major interpreters of Confucian thought. If this is accurate, it is possible that the careers of Mengzi, Zhuang Zhou, and Zou Yan could have overlapped at Jixia, and Xunzi might have been there at the same time as a young student before later returning as a master himself.

K KOU QIANZHI 寇謙之 (365–448). Kou Qianzhi is often called the founder of the Daoist Northern Theocracy in the Chang’an (Xi’an) area. This theocracy arose as a result of the diaspora of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) communities following their defeat by Cao Cao in 215. Although having studied Buddhism under the monk Shi Tanying (?–405/418), Kou had sympathies with the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) and wanted to see a reborn form of their communities. The History of the Wei (Weishu) reports of him that, while practicing in the Songshan mountains of Henan, Laojun (Taishang Laojun) appeared to Kou in 415. Laojun revealed a “New Code” for the people of the Dao now known to us in the text Classic on the Precepts of Lord Lao Melodically Recited in the Clouds (Laojun yinsong jiejing, CT 785). This code contains 36 precepts, each of which is directly attributed to Laojun. Many of them have to do with etiquette and observances more consistent with higher classes of society than was generally common among the majority of Celestial Masters adherents. As Kou began to implement these new rules for a community some doubted the authenticity of his message. But, in 423, another set of revelations came from a numinal messenger named Li Puwen. Li announced that Kou was the new chosen Celestial Master and bestowed on him a text entitled Authentic Classic of Registers and Charts (Lutu zhenjing 靈圖真經, now lost). Kou took these works with him to the court of Emperor Taiwu (r. 424–452) and received the support of the chief minister, Cui Hao (381–450), a Confucian scholar of honored reputation. The emperor was convinced to put the “New Code” into practice, and thus began the so-called Daoist theocracy of the Northern Wei. Kou was the designated administrator of this new civil order, and he was addressed as Celestial Master. The “New Code” was extended into towns throughout the Northern provinces, and the theocracy reached its height in 440, when the emperor himself was ordained and changed his reign title to Taiping Zhenjun (Perfected Lord of Great Peace).




Cui Hao, perhaps with Kou’s support, tried to reinforce the new policies by suppressing and attacking Buddhist leaders and monasteries. After Kou died, Cui tried to dominate even his own imperial ministries, resulting in his execution in 450, and the end of the theocracy. KUNDAO ACADEMY. Kundao Academy is a women’s educational and training academy in contemporary China. There are no differences between male and female training and education in current Daoist practice. Accordingly, the women’s academy offers the same curriculum as that for monks in the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage tradition. Students receive general education in Chinese language, political thought, Chinese history, English, classical architecture, computer skills, calligraphy, and basic accounting. The women also take courses on 15 subjects related to Daoist religion and practice: history of Daoism, taiji quan, Daoist rituals, Daoist music, Daoist ethics, Daoist cultivation, Daoist immortals, temple and monastery management, Daoist art, Daoist classics, Zhuangzi, Classic of Changes (Yijing), Daodejing, Heshang gong’s Commentary on the Daodejing, and Daoist regulations. KUNLUN 崑崙. Kunlun is a mythical mountain located in the distant west and the abode of the goddess Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu). It is a counterpart to the island of Penglai. Descriptions of the mountain in the 4th century BCE, Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shanhai jing), record how the extraordinary plants on the mountain have properties to ensure immortality. The Daoist text Liezi contains a narrative according to which the legendary King Mu climbed to the summit of Kunlun, where he saw the Yellow Emperor’s palace and visited the Queen Mother of the West. It is actually the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), chapter 4, that contains the most extensive description of the mountain provided during the Han period. In this account, the mountain is a nine-layered wall and 440 gates. On the mountain is a stream that bestows immortality (danshui), and the four great Chinese rivers flow from its foothills. According to legend, those who ascend to the highest levels of the mountain become immortal (xian) numinal beings with the power to control the elements and move freely through space and time. The Highest Clarity lineage later gave a rather important place to the Queen Mother of the West and likewise elevated interest in the place of her abode at Kunlun. One such text offering extensive details about the mythical site is known as the Record of the Ten Continents (Shizhou ji, CT 598).

L LAN CAIHE 藍采和. One of the Eight Immortals (baxian), Lan Caihe is pictured with a flower basket. Lan is the member of the group whose gender is not evident. Some consider Lan a hermaphrodite, or a transvestite, or simply genderless. As with the others of the Eight Immortals group, there are several hagiographies of Lan. One dating from the Song period says that when “he” lay in the snow, “his” body gave off a steam-like vapor (here the connection with qi is obvious). “He” left earth by mounting a crane and disappearing into the clouds. LAOJUN BASHIYI HUA TU 老君八十一图. See EIGHTY-ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LORD LAO, ILLUSTRATED, LAOJUN BASHIYI HUA TU 老君八十一图. LAOJUN SHUO YIBAI BASHI JIE 老君說一百八十戒. See HUNDRED AND EIGHTY PRECEPTS SPOKEN BY LORD LAO, LAOJUN SHUO YIBAI BASHI JIE 老君說一百八十戒. LAOJUN 老君, TAISHANG LAOJUN 太上老君. See LAOZI DEIFIED, LAOJUN 老君, TAISHANG LAOJUN 太上老君. LAOZI 老子, LAO DAN 李聃. In the Zhuangzi, the preferred name for this figure is Lao Dan. Actually, the name may not be a name at all but a term meaning “Ancient Teacher(s).” In his biography, Sima Qian brings together a number of stories about Laozi, the putative founder of Daoism and author of the Daodejing. Sima says Laozi came from Quren village in Hu County in the state of Chu (modern Luyi district, Henan Province). He calls him “Chong’er” (lit., “Double Ear”) and Boyang (“Lord of Yang”). The received biography goes on to say that Laozi was an archivist in the Zhou capital. Actually, Sima Qian’s account conflates information on what seem to be four distinct people. First, there is the person called Li from the south of China. Second, there is a historian by the name of Dan (Lao Dan), who served as librarian in the Zhou archives and was also called the “scribe below 125



the pillar.” Third, Laozi is a master who met and taught Confucius how to perform religious rituals. And fourth, there is a person who is called Laolaizi, who Sima Qian says wrote a Daoist book in 15 sections. In later Daoist history, Laozi was venerated as the personification of the eternal Dao, the ultimate power that makes the universe’s processes exist. Like the universe at large, he changes and transforms in constant process. He is the original ancestor of yin and yang. He appears and disappears in every age. The first appearance of Laozi as a person is not in Sima Qian’s Records but in the Zhuangzi, where he is called Lao Dan. In the Zhuangzi, he is an archivist of the Zhou court and a teacher of Confucius. But it is likely that the dialogues between Laozi and Confucius in the Zhuangzi are fictional creations. A. C. Graham’s analysis of the Laozi myth is up to now the most thorough evaluation of the early history of Laozi. In this article, Graham argues that the traditions about Laozi teaching Confucius probably began in circles wishing to emphasize Confucius’ humility and readiness to learn from anyone. The association of the Daodejing and Laozi, according to which Laozi dictated this work to Yin Xi, the keeper of the pass leading to the West, was likely created to provide the text with an ancient teacher as its source, someone who was also the archetypical Daoist. After the rise of the Han dynasty, Laozi’s birthplace was given as Bozhou (currently Luyi, Henan province), near the Han rulers’ homeland of Pei, and he was linked with the Li clan of faithful retainers of the Han royalty. Graham’s is a general reconstruction of the Laozi myth. He does not address the extensive growth of legends about Laozi in the late Han and afterward. Hagiographies of Laozi placing him as an immortal (xian) in the stream of masters of techniques (fangshi) are in both Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan) and Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan). The political elite of the late Han offered sacrifices to him to request aid for political and cosmic wholeness and harmony. Those following the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) thought of Laozi as the divine spirit who appeared to Zhang Daoling (34–156) and provided the covenant with humans that would bring about the age of Great Peace (Taiping). Livia Kohn (1998) summarizes the Laozi myth in six parts. 1. Laozi as the Dao creates the universe. 2. Laozi manifests as teacher and master of methods (the transformations). 3. Laozi is born and serves as an archivist during the Zhou dynasty. 4. Laozi transmits the Daodejing to Yin Xi. 5. Laozi goes west and converts the barbarians.



6. Laozi ascends to Heaven and returns to give revelations at crucial times to the founders of Daoist lineages. From the Tang to the Ming, other hagiographies of Laozi appeared. From the Song dynasty onward, only Zhenwu, the Perfected Warrior, rivaled Laozi in Daoist tradition, although there is a tradition that Zhenwu was actually Laozi’s 82nd appearance. See also EIGHTY-ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LORD LAO, ILLUSTRATED, LAOJUN BASHIYI HUA TU 老君八十一图; HUNDRED AND EIGHTY PRECEPTS SPOKEN BY LORD LAO, LAOJUN SHUO YIBAI BASHI JIE 老君說一百八十戒. LAOZI BIANHUA JING 老子變化經. See CLASSIC OF THE TRANSFORMATIONS OF LAOZI, LAOZI BIANHUA JING 老子變化經. LAOZI DEIFIED, LAOJUN 老君, TAISHANG LAOJUN 太上老君. In Daoist history, Laozi underwent an apotheosis from a human philosopher to a numinal being and even to the highest deity in the Daoist pantheon as the incarnation and localization of the Dao itself. This development may be characterized broadly as follows (with some alterations of Livia Kohn’s (1998) stages of the Laozi myth: Laozi appears as a teacher, master of the Dao, and author of the Daodejing. Laozi is sometimes counselor to dukes, marquis, and kings, as portrayed especially in the Yellow Emperor-Laozi sections of the Zhuangzi. Laozi becomes more than a human in Sima Qian’s biography and in the details of his supernatural, virginal birth. Laozi becomes Laojun (Taishang Laojun), a numinal being who manifests in history to save the world. This image was well underway to concretization by the time of Zhang Daoling and the founding of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) and the Yellow Turban movement. Laozi’s apotheosis is validated by imperial orders to offer him worship and offerings documented in the Inscription for Laozi stele (dated to 165). The Classic of the Transformations of Laozi continues the myth of Laozi periodically breaking into human history and playing a salvific role, even as the Buddha. Under Tao Hongjing’s reconceptualization of the Daoist numinal pantheon, Laozi becomes a member of the supreme triad known as the Three Pure Ones or Heavenly Worthies (san tianzun).



Laozi becomes known authoritatively as Taishang Laojun, the supreme being by whom the undifferentiated origin (hundun) was moved to bring forth the myriad things in the text, dating probably to the late 500s, entitled Classic on the Creation of the World by the Most High Lord Lao (Taishang Laojun kaitian jing, CT 1437). LAOZI MING 老子銘. See INSCRIPTION FOR LAOZI, LAOZI MING 老子 銘. LAOZI XIANG’ER ZHU 老子想爾注. See XIANG’ER COMMENTARY TO THE LAOZI, LAOZI XIANG’ER ZHU 老子想爾注. LEDGERS OF MERIT. See MORALITY BOOKS, SHANSHU 善書. LEIFA 雷法, THUNDER RITES. The leifa are a set of methods documented into the 12th century by which a daoshi comes to possess techniques for using power compared to that of thunder and made possible by the use of their knowledge of the Five Phase physics (wuxing). The daoshi can harness this power. There are stories of daoshi using this power to repel enemies in battle, knocking them back or off their feet. While sometimes used for illicit purposes, the Daoist lineages whose practitioners employed these powers insisted they were to be used only for helping people, particularly by exorcising baneful spirits and influences. There were differences in practice and rationale for this power among the Daoist lineages. The Zhengyi (Celestial Masters) adepts used rites invoking the Five Thunder Deities (wulei shen). Other lineages used meditative and inner alchemical practices as rituals to gain thunderclap (leiting) powers. There are several texts concerned with thunder rituals in the Daoist Canon. Lowell Skar notes that the largest variety of these is in the Corpus of Daoist Ritual (Daofa huiyuan, CT 1220). LI SHAOJUN 李少君 (fl. c. 133 BCE). Li Shaojun was a master of techniques (fangshi) and the earliest known Daoist alchemist. He was from Linzi in Shandong province. According to the Records of the Historian (Shiji), he advised Han Wudi (r. 141–87 BCE) how to perform a ritual to ask spirit beings to favor the compounding of an elixir of longevity. He told Wudi that in the presence of those beings, cinnabar would transmute into gold fit for casting vessels for food and drink. Eating and drinking from them would extend the emperor’s life and allow him to experience communication with the immortals (xian). After communing with them, the emperor would be able perform the feng and shan rituals and obtain immortality himself. The Records of the Historian (Shiji) reports that after getting these instructions



from Li, the emperor devoted himself to alchemical experiments. The exchange between these two figures represents the first documented case of imperial patronage of external alchemy (waidan) practice. LI TIEGUAI 李鐵拐. Li Tieguai is one of the Eight Immortals (baxian) who shows up in pictures with a gourd and crutch. His appearance is ugly, and he is a deformed cripple in body who leans on an iron staff. Thus, he is known as “Iron Crutch (Tieguai) Li.” There is no solid confirmation of his historicity, but the hagiographies usually associate him with Laozi, since they share the same surname. The story goes that Laozi would appear to instruct Li Tieguai while he was living in the mountains as a recluse. Many times, Li Tieguai journeyed through the stars into Heaven. While away from his body on one of these journeys, a disciple thought him dead and cremated his body. When Li Tieguai’s consciousness returned it had to enter the body of a beggar who had just died. This is the explanation for his appearance and defects. Li Tieguai is venerated as one who can conquer death and cure illness. He is a patron of pharmacologists. LIBATIONER, JIJIU 祭酒. The term jijiu originally referred to a village elder or leader who performed the libation at the beginning of the annual village sacrificial feast. By the Han dynasty, it was used to refer to the official rank of a leader, usually the head of an educational academy. Xunzi was called the libationer of the Jixia Academy. The term was used for a leader and ritual specialist in the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage. Among the duties of these leaders in the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) communities was managing the community lodges and storehouses (yishe); supervising the annual collection of a tax, payable in rice; overseeing public works for the villages; and performing rites for the community and individuals. In the beginning, a libationer was selected on the basis of merit, but by the 4th century the position had evolved into a hereditary office. Additionally, although open to both males and females in the early period of the Celestial Masters movement, gradually the institution became exclusively male. LIEXIAN ZHUAN 列仙傳. See BIOGRAPHIES OF EXEMPLARY IMMORTALS, LIEXIAN ZHUAN 列仙傳. LIEZI 列子, MAN, TEXT, AND CONTENTS. THE MAN. Liezi is a figure first mentioned in the Zhuangzi and perhaps one of the many the authors and compilers of that text made up fictitiously. In chapter 1 of Zhuangzi, Liezi can ride the wind and soar into space. In chapter 7, he is intrigued with a shaman he meets and takes him to his teacher. In chapter 21,



he learns about the nonarchery of the archer as a lesson about living. In chapter 28, he is living in poverty but staying true to his role as a follower of Dao. In chapter 32, he is struggling with those who wish to follow him and his example, although he thinks they should find their own way. THE TEXT. The Liezi is a work of eight chapters traditionally ascribed to the hand of Lie Yukou, or Master Lie 列子. In addition to the biographical information about Liezi from the Zhuangzi, the Liezi itself reports that Master Lie lived in the Butian game preserve in the principality of Zheng and only later moved to Wei. The earliest mention of the Liezi text comes in the work of Liu Xiang 劉向 (79–8 BCE), who in 14 BCE explained the creation of the text by saying that he rearranged and edited a set of documents, one having five chapters, another three, another four, another six, and the final one two. The result was an eight-chapter set. The Book of the Former Han (Hanshu) mentions a Liezi of eight chapters in its section on the Daoist school (daojia). Chinese scholars came to believe the text was quite ancient; however, no Han dynasty writer (206 BCE–220 CE) quotes the Liezi, and there is no other mention of this work known to us until a text of a Liezi shows up along with a commentary on it by a literati scholar named Zhang Zhan (fl. ca. 370) and entitled the Liezi zhu. The preface of Zhang Zhan to the received Liezi tells the history of the text in his possession, which he received from his father, Zhang Kuang. Zhang Zhan tells us that his grandfather and two of his friends were book collectors during the Yongjia period (302–312) and the collapse of the Qin dynasty. After the disorder quietened down, his grandfather, Zhang Yi, recovered various passages, and by collating and comparing what was and was not in the various texts, only then was he able to compile the complete edition, which came into Zhang Zhan’s possession and upon which his commentary is based. What Liezi was originally we do not know. The Liezi in its present form is, with respect to being a text authored by a 5th-century BCE figure named Lie Yukou, a spurious document (weishu) dating from the Wei-Jin period in the late 4th century CE (Graham 1990). The Liezi, however, came late to be associated as one of the three great classics of Daoism. Tang dynasty emperor Xuanzong (r. 713–756 CE) established the Jixian Imperial College of Daoist Studies and set up a new model of imperial examinations called the Daoju, which trained those unfamiliar with Daoist texts in the tradition so they could pass the exams necessary for holding bureaucratic office. As part of this process, the Liezi was raised to the status of a Daoist classic, joining the more famous Daodejing and Zhuangzi as a textbook used in preparing for the exams.



Western scholarship has largely ignored the Liezi. Lionel Giles (1912) did a translation of the text in 1912, and also concluded that it had material older than the “genuine” materials of the Zhuangzi (i.e., chs. 1–7). It was A. C. Graham who undertook serious critical study of the text and provided a seminal English translation more than 50 years ago. Eva Wong’s Lieh Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (2001) was published as a rendering of the text in an attempt to contemporize its usefulness and application. Judging that our inability to trace the text to Lie Yukou is no reason to neglect its philosophical merits, a group of international scholars recently published a collection of essays under the title Riding the Wind: New Essays on the Daoist Classic the Liezi (2011). The contributors to this collection argue for the Liezi’s historical, philosophical, and literary significance as a work of novel insight. THE CONTENTS. The eight Liezi chapters are shown here with the title translations adapted from Graham (1990). Chapter






Tian Rui

Heaven’s Propitious Operations




The Yellow Emperor



Zhou Mu Wang

King Mu of Zhou



Zhong Ni




Tang Wen

The Questions of Tang



Li Ming

Effort and Destiny



Yang Zhu

Yang Zhu



Shuo Fu

Explaining Signs

LIKE UNTO A DRAGON, YOULONG ZHUAN 猶蘢專. The Youlong zhuan (CT 774) is one of the most important hagiographies of Laozi. It dates to 1086, and was authored by Jia Shanxiang, a daoshi serving at the Palace of Great Clarity (Taiqing gong) in Bozhou (Luyi, Henan province). The title is based on a comment made by Confucius in the Zhuangzi about Laozi, in which he compares him to a dragon. Confucius said, At last I may say that I have seen a dragon, a dragon that coils to show his body at its best, that sprawls out to display his patterns at their best, riding on the breath of the clouds, feeding on the yin and yang. My mouth fell open and I couldn’t close it; my tongue flew up and I couldn’t even stammer. How could I possibly make any estimation of Lao Tan? (ch. 14)


LIN LINGSU 林靈素 (1076–1120)

The work describes Laozi’s wondrous abilities and actions. It recounts how he created the world and descended several times to guide the ancient dynasties and be born during the Zhou period, when he served as an archivist and also gave the Daodejing to Yin Xi. LIN LINGSU 林靈素 (1076–1120). Lin was a daoshi in the Divine Empyrean lineage (Shenxiao) who gained the confidence of Emperor Song Huizong (r. 1100–1125), widely known as the “Daoist Emperor.” Huizong has been partially blamed for the collapse of the Northern Song (960–1127) because of his lavish support of Daoist structures and personages, and for his own luxurious lifestyle. The Daoist masters who served him as advisors, notably Lin Lingsu, have been widely criticized for having a negative influence on the emperor. An early account of Lin’s life was written by Geng Yanxi (fl. 1127), entitled simply Biography of Lin Lingsu (Lin Lingsu zhuan), and it became the basis for later biographies. Some of these later works, for example, the History of the Song (Songshi) and the Comprehensive Chronicle of the Buddhas and Patriarchs (Fuzu tongji), report that Lin tried to become a Buddhist but quit after being beaten by his master. There is scarcely any other information about his early life. He was introduced to court in 1116. There he found Emperor Huizong, who was quite interested and devoted to a pursuit of the Daoist way. Huizong had summoned other daoshi to the court in Kaifeng, one of whom was the 30th Celestial Master, Zhang Jixian (1092–1126). Lin seems to have gained the favor both because of his literary skill at writing couplets and songs, and for his knowledge of certain esoteric techniques. Lin began to have visions in 1116, in which it was revealed to him that Huizong was the incarnation of the Great Emperor of Long Life (Changsheng dadi), who was one of Shenxiao’s most prominent deities. As a result of the favor shown to him, Lin took the lead in compiling a Song Edition of the Daoist Canon (Zhengde Wanshou daozang). Moreover, Huizong decreed that Shenxiao temples housing images (xiang) of the Great Emperor of Long Life should be established throughout the empire, sometimes converting Buddhist monasteries to Daoist abbeys (guan). One account in the Biography of Lin Lingsu records that Lin failed to prevent a flood, and it is possible that his influence at court waned for this reason. In 1119, he disappeared, perhaps returning to his home in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. LINGBAO 靈寶. See NUMINOUS TREASURE, LINGBAO 靈寶.



LISHI ZHENXIAN TIDAO TONGJIAN 歷世真仙體道通鋻. See COMPREHENSIVE MIRROR OF PERFECTED IMMORTALS AND THOSE WHO EMBODIED THE DAO THROUGH THE AGES, LISHI ZHENXIAN TIDAO TONGJIAN 歷世真仙體道通鋻. LIU HAICHAN 劉海蟾. Liu Haichan was a popular immortal in the Song period. Tradition says he was the disciple of Chen Tuan (c. 920–989). Hagiographies within the Quanzhen lineage report that he was a minister in the state of Yan. According to the tale of his pursuit of the Dao, he met Zhongli Quan, who convinced him to abandon the life of a minister because it was too precarious by stacking up 10 eggs alternating between 10 coins. Afterward, Liu left his official life to seek the Dao and became an immortal (xian). By the 13th century, Liu was associated with Zhongli Quan and Lu Dongbin as the three immortals most famous for roaming the world and persuading people to seek immortality. They are considered immortal patriarchs by both the Quanzhen and Nanzong lineages. Their hagiographies became the content of many poems and theatrical productions. Liu was famous for the distinctive calligraphy he would reportedly leave on temple walls as tokens of his visitation and confirmation of the sacredness of the site. He is also known for his autobiographical poem expressing his quest for stillness and clarity of the Dao through inner alchemy (neidan) entitled Song on Becoming a Daoist (Rudao ge), which is included in his standard biography found in the Records of the Correct Lineage of the Golden Lotus (Jinlian zhengzong ji, CT 173), dating to 1241. In modern times, Liu is sometimes considered a “God of wealth,” an assignment not present in his earlier hagiographies. LONGHU 龍虎. See DRAGON AND TIGER, LONGHU 龍虎. LONGHUSHAN 龍虎山 (DRAGON TIGER MOUNTAIN, JIANGSU PROVINCE). Dragon Tiger Mountain is actually a chain of hills in Eastern Jiangxi. This site has been included among the sacred mountains of China since the Tang dynasty. In popular belief, its fame rests largely on its ties to the Zhang family, heirs of Zhang Daoling (34–156). Accordingly, it became the administrative center of those following the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao); however, to the extent to which the mountain can be associated with Zhang Daoling or the regional Zhang family as his direct descendants is questionable. Paul Amato (2016) has done a careful study of these traditions.



Likewise, the claim that the title of Celestial Master (Tianshi), first conferred on Zhang Daoling on Hemingshan in 142, is transferable by heredity seems to have been an invention of those living on and near the Longhu hills. Nevertheless, the prestige of the mountain and the name of Zhang both reached their heights in the official patronage of Zhang Jixian (1092–1126). After that time, although the honors and recognition of the Zhangs and Longhu varied with the ruling dynasty, there was still the consistent belief until 1911, that the two were tied together and that the Zhang family had inherited Zhang Daoling’s role as Celestial Master of Daoism. The Lineage of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia) is the official published history of the family descent from Zhang Daoling. The current Celestial Master in the Zhang lineage of descent lives in Taiwan. A stronger historical case for the authority of Longhushan is that during the Song dynasty, it became a center for ordination of both Shangqing and Lingbao lineage masters. In fact, in its investiture rites a major part of the process was the transmission of registers (fulu) needed by the recipient to administer various rituals. Eventually, then, by the Ming dynasty, Longhushan had gained precedence over other ordination sites at Maoshan and Gezaoshan. LONGMEN 龍門. See DRAGON GATE LINEAGE, LONGMEN 龍門. LOUGUAN TAI 樓觀台 (PLATFORM OF THE TIERED ABBEY). The Platform of the Tiered Abbey, or Louguan tai, is a Daoist center in the foothills of the Zhongnan mountains in Shaanxi, about 70 kilometers southwest of Chang’an (Xi’an). During the Han, the term louguan was a name for a high tower used for astronomical observations, and tai meant “elevated platform.” Both Daoist and Buddhists consider this area to be sacred, and both had centers of training at Louguan tai. In terms of the Daoist legends about the founding of the site, the most often cited one is that Yin Xi, the Guardian of the Pass to the west, built a tower there to watch for those leaving the country. On one occasion, he saw Laozi coming from far away because he was giving off a purple aura of numinal radiance. Upon encountering Laozi, Yin Xi persuaded him to write down his teachings, which we now know as the Daodejing. Other accounts of this same legend report that it happened at the Hangu Pass. Actually, many temples and memorials have been built in this area to commemorate the same event. There are subsidiary narratives reporting that the earliest buildings at the site were actually Yin Xi’s private residence. According to the lost chronicle of Louguan, which is quoted in the Seven Labels from the Bookbag of the Clouds (Yunji qiqian, CT 1032), the place was made sacred because King Mu of Zhou (r. 956–918 BCE) ordained

LU DONGBIN 呂洞賓 (?796–?1016)


seven daoshi at this site and built the first shrine on this spot. Putting aside the legends, it seems that both communities of Daoists and Buddhists were in residence at the site during the late Han and early Six dynasties. But the first documented official record of Daoists at Louguan tai comes from the Northern Zhou dynasty (557–581). Later, Tang rulers who believed that the imperial Li family descended from Laozi actively promoted his veneration and provided a steady stream of funding for the development of Louguan. Shrines built at the foot of the hills included the Abbey of the Ancestral Saint (i.e., Laozi) (Zongsheng guan) and later the Platform for Explaining the Classics (Shuojing tai), constructed to memorialize Laozi’s delivery of the Daodejing. In 1236, Quanzhen masters took control of Louguan and rebuilt and expanded it after a period of decline. Qiu Chuji’s westward sojourn to convert the barbarian Mongols and their emperor, Chinggis Khan, was understood by Quanzhen officials to be a reenactment of Laozi’s journey. This was buttressed by the “discovery” in 1233, of a treatise attributed to Yin Xi entitled Authentic Classic of Master Wenshi (Wushang miaodao wenshi zhenjing, CT 667). This work greatly helped authorize the reorganization of Daoist teaching and practice at Louguan by the Quanzhen order. Throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties, Louguan was a pilgrimage site for Daoists of all lineages and an active training school for Quanzhen teaching and practice. LU DONGBIN 呂洞賓 (?796–?1016). Lu Dongbin is usually considered the leader of the Eight Immortals (baxian), and he is pictured with a sword and flywhisk. His legendary master was Zhongli Quan, and, together with Zhongli, Lu is acknowledged as a patriarch of both the Nanzong and Quanzhen lineages. There are many hagiographies of Lu, but many interpreters still insist on his historicity, saying that he was born in 755. At least one hagiography purports to be an autobiography produced as result of spiritwriting (fuji) and traced to Yuezhou in Hunan province. Down to the present, Lu Dongbin is considered to be a patron of many spirit writing cults. There are actually several different but fairly well-defined traditions about Lu Dongbin. The one associated with the northern practitioners states that Lu was a failed scholar who turned to a reclusive lifestyle and met Zhongli Quan and Chen Tuan on Mt. Hua (Huashan) in Shaanxi. Zhongli Quan gave Lu 10 trials, and after he passed them successfully, he taught Lu the arts of alchemy and immortality. The second seems to derive from the southern schools and places Lu’s encounter with Zhongli Quan on Mt. Lu (Lushan) in Jiangxi province. Qin Zhi’an (1188–1244), a Quanzhen master, reports in his Records of the Correct Lineage of the Golden Lotus (Jinlian zhengzong ji, CT 173) seeing another biography of Lu written on a wall of the Abbey of the Black Ram (Qingyang guan) in Yuezhou. It said that Lu was born in 796, and acquired the literati jinshi degree in 836.


LU DONGBIN 呂洞賓 (?796–?1016)

Probably the best-known story of Lu is “The Yellow-Millet Dream,” which tells about the first meeting of the two best-known immortals (xian), Lu Dongbin and Zhongli Quan. The story was converted into a famous drama by Yuan dynasty playwright Ma Zhiyuan (1260–1325 CE). Once he [Lu Dongbin] entered into a tavern in Chang’an (Xian) to see a daoshi dressed in a gray cap and white gown, spirit write a poem on a wall. . . . Impressed and attracted to the daoshi’s strange appearance and unusual old age, as well as to the grace and naturalness of his verse, Lu bowed to him and inquired his name. “I am Master Cloudchamber (Zhongli Quan),” he answered. “My home is the Crane Ridge on the Zhongnan Mountain. Would you like to join me in my wanderings?” Lu hesitated to agree to this proposal [because he had the ambition to be an official], so Master Cloudchamber took him to an inn. While the daoshi attended to the preparation of a simple meal, Lu reclined on a pillow. Soon he became oblivious of his surroundings and fell asleep. He dreamed that he went up to the capital as a candidate of the imperial examination and passed it at the top of the list. Starting his career as a junior secretary to one of the Boards, he rapidly rose in rank to positions at the Censorate and the Hanlin Academy. Eventually he became a Privy Councillor after he had occupied, in the course of his unbroken success, all the most sought-after and important official posts. In his dream, he was twice married, and both wives belonged to families of wealth and position. Children were born to him. His sons soon took themselves wives, and his daughters left the paternal roof for their husbands’ homes. All these events happened before he even reached the age of 50. Next he found himself Prime Minister for a period of 10 years, wielding immense power. But this corrupted him. Then, suddenly, without warning, he was accused of a grave crime. His home and all his possessions were confiscated; his wife and children were separated from him. He himself, a solitary outcast, was doomed to wander toward his place of banishment beyond the mountains. Suddenly, he found his horse brought to a standstill in a snowstorm and was no longer able to continue the journey. At this juncture in his dream, Lu woke with a heavy sigh. Lo and behold! The meal was still being prepared. Laughing at his surprise, Master Cloudchamber intoned a verse: “The yellow millet simmers yet uncooked, a single dream and you have reached the world beyond!” Lu Dongbin gaped in astonishment. “Sir,” he stammered, “how is it you know about my dream?” “In the dream that just came to you,” Master Cloudchamber replied matter-of-factly, “you not only scaled the dizziest height of splendor but also plumbed the uttermost depths of misery. Fifty years were past and gone in the twinkling of an eye. What you gained was not worth rejoicing over, what you lost was not worth grieving about. Only when people have a great awakening, do they know the world is but one big dream.”

LU XIUJING 陸修靜 (406–477)


Impressed by this incident, Lu received spiritual enlightenment. He fell to his knees before the master and entreated him for instruction in the arts of transcending the limitations of this world (Kohn 1993: 126–29).

Lu is reported to have been a poet, healer, alchemist, exorcist, calligrapher, miracle worker, and recluse. Some biographies say he was a seller of ink and paper, often mingling with the ordinary people without their knowing who he was. He was particularly looked to for help and guidance by the underprivileged classes, including peddlers, medicinal herb merchants, and even prostitutes. In fact, he became so revered as a helper of the downtrodden that his name was used directly or hidden in anagrams, poems, posters, and wall inscriptions when there were protests of civil injustice. While Lu was known throughout most of China, his most ardent followers were along the Chang Jiang (Yangzi) from the Jiangnan region to southern Hunan. During the reign of Song Huizong his images were integrated in various official temples, and during the Yuan dynasty he was given the title “Perfected Lord” (zhenjun). Probably because of the traditions stating that Lu was for some time a recluse, several inner alchemy (neidan) texts were attributed to him or to him and Zhongli Quan. These are known simply as the Zhong-Lu texts, and they are traceable particularly to Daoist centers in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces. Traditional reports say that Lu ascended to Heaven from the Pavilion of the Yellow Crane (Huanghe lou) in Jiangxi, which became the site of a stele containing his biography. LU XIUJING 陸修靜 (406–477). Lu Xiujing came from Dongqian in modern Zhejiang province. He collected and edited Lingbao materials and codified an early version of a Daoist canon. He studied Confucianism as a youth within his aristocratic family. In the mid-400s, Lu brought Lingbao texts to the attention of the rulers, suggesting that administrating by their teachings would be a confirmation of the Song dynasty’s right to rule. He left home in search of immortals (xian) on a number of sacred Daoist mountains, one of which was Qingchengshan in Sichuan province. From 453 to 467, he was in residence on Mt. Lu (Jiangxi province), which at that time was an active Buddhist center. Lu was called to court to engage in debates with Buddhists and masters of the Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue) methods. The emperor was so pleased with his skillfulness that he provided Lu with the Abbey for the Veneration of Emptiness (Chongxu guan) on the outskirts of the capital. Lu completed the first comprehensive listing of Daoist texts (canon) and was the first to divide them into “Three Caverns” (sandong), a structure still preserved in the current canon.



LUOFUSHAN 羅浮山 (MT. LUOFU, GUANGDONG PROVINCE). Luofushan is a chain of forest-covered hills in far Southern China within the Boluo district of Guangdong. It is the seventh grotto-heaven (Dongtian) in Daoist sacred geography. The Daoist centers in these mountains, associated mostly with Ge Hong, are near current Huizhou. Ge Hong took up residence in this area and found it abundant with herbal remedies and pure waters needed for the medicines and elixirs he developed. He built four grottoes (caves) at Luofushan, although none of these seem to have been literal caves but more like hermitages or refuges for quiet sitting and rituals of elixir compounding and medicinal production. Both Daoists and Buddhists were active in the Luofu mountains during the late Six Dynasties and throughout the Tang dynasty. The main sacred site, founded perhaps in the mid-7th century, is built on the place of Ge’s spiritual experiences and named Abbey for the Veneration of Emptiness (Chongxu guan). This site may now stand on the location of Ge’s “quiet room” (jingshi). It was not until the 18th century that the Luofu sites came under the administration of Complete Perfection leaders. They made it a dynamic center of Daoism in Southern China. The monasteries and abbeys (guan) at Luofu since the 19th century have often been targets for destruction, first in China’s civil war and then in the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). The sites have been mostly rebuilt. The remains left behind by Ge’s “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie) are revered in a burial mound there.

M MA YU 馬鈺 (AKA MA DANYANG) (1123–1184). Ma Yu was one of the original Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) of Quanzhen (Complete Perfection). He was a member of an affluent family in Shandong province, highly educated and a brilliant poet and literary scholar. He met Wang Zhe (1113–1170), founder of the Complete Perfection lineage (Quanzhen), at a meeting of local gentry. He allowed Wang to stay at his home, and after Wang built a hermitage hut in the province, Ma joined the disciples as an inquirer. Wang, likewise, took Ma’s wife, Sun Bu’er, as an adept and throughout time tried to convince the couple to separate and pursue their own perfection without the distractions of marriage. He wrote poems to them about the slicing of pears (fenli) as a way to indirectly suggest their separation. In fact, these exchanges are now included in the Anthology of the Ten Stages of Pear-Slicing (Fenli shihua ji, CT 1155). Additionally, their romance and dedication became a subject of novels and plays during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Sometimes the abandonment of sex undertaken by the couple is linked to other ascetic vows followed by the Perfected Persons of Quanzhen. One such example is the Yuan dynasty play Ma Danyang Saves Three Times Crazy Ren (Ma Danyang sandu Ren fengzi). In that work, Ma convinces Ren, who is a butcher, to cease his career and forsake killing animals. In 1168, Ma himself took the vows of an ascetic and even learned to beg in places where formerly he was known to be a rich and powerful landowner. Ma traveled along with Wang and three others of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) to the places Wang had undertaken his own spiritual journeys. When they went west toward the Zhongnan Mountains, Wang passed away, and they buried him in the Ancestral Court, which had been Wang’s hermitage in the mountains. After the three-year mourning period, the other disciples left, but Ma remained behind, gathered disciples, and built a community of those willing to follow the Way of Complete Perfection. Ma went through a period of evangelistic zeal, visiting villages and towns to collect followers, and this brought him unwanted civil attention. Accordingly, he returned to Shandong and revived the communities Wang had begun. 139



Shortly after learning of Sun’s death, Ma too passed away in Shandong. Several of Ma’s collections of poetry are in the Daoist Canon (CT 1149, 1142, and 1150). MAOSHAN 茅山 (MT. MAO, JIANGSU PROVINCE). Maoshan (Mt. Mao) is located south of Nanjing in Jiangsu. It is considered the eighth grotto-heaven (dongtian) in Daoist sacred geography and classified as one of the “Seventy-two Blessed Places” (fudi). There was a common belief that a subterranean passage network connected Mt. Mao to Mt. Emei (Emeishan), Mt. Tai (Taishan), Mt. Luofu (Luofushan), and other sacred mountains. Mt. Mao is filled with numerous caves, and it is known for its medical pharmacopoeia, abundant elixir ingredients, and numinous mushrooms (zhi). The mountain has the name “Mao” because of its association with three Mao brothers (Mao Ying, Mao Zhong, and Mao Gu). Shangqing teaching identifies Mao Ying as one of its founding deities. According to the biography of the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) found in Du Guangting’s (850–933) Records of the Immortals Gathered in the Walled City (Yongcheng jixian lu), Mao Ying received secret teachings, talismans, and sacred writings from the goddess, and she arranged his marriage to Wei Huacun (?251–?334). Accordingly, the mountain has been closely associated with the Shangqing lineage throughout Daoist history. In 492, Tao Hongjing (456–536) came to Maoshan’s caverns, compiled texts there, and located materials necessary for making elixirs. Several Shangqing leaders made it their home, and sometimes that lineage is known simply as Maoshan Daoism; however, not all Daoists throughout the history of the habitation on the mountain have been from the Shangqing lineage. The Monograph of Mount Mao (Maoshan zhi, CT 304) preserves a history of the mountain through the early 14th century. Maoshan’s Daoist sites have been targets for destruction several times in Chinese history in both the 19th and 20th centuries, from Hong Xiuquan’s Taiping Rebellion to the Chinese civil war period, and in the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). MASTER OF WIDE ACHIEVEMENT. See GUANGCHENG ZI 廣成子, MASTER OF WIDE ACHIEVEMENT. MASTER RED PINE, CHISONG ZI 赤松子. The name Master Red Pine first occurs in the “Far Roaming” (Yuanyou) poem of the Songs of Chu (Chuci), but no detail of his identity is given. Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan, CT 294) provides a hagiography of Master Red Pine, according to which he was the Master of Rain for the mythical emperor Shennong. The text also reports his visit with the Queen Mother of the



West (Xiwangmu) on Kunlun. By the time of the Han dynasty, Master Red Pine was considered the exemplary model for masters of techniques (fangshi) seeking to practice the arts of the transformation or wishing to become Perfected Persons (zhenren). The Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) reports that he was a master of qi circulation (xingqi), and in the Records of the Historian (Shiji), Zhang Liang asks Han Gaozu (r. 202–195 BCE) for permission to follow the path of Master Red Pine in breath retention (xingqi) and abstention from grains (bigu). Various Daoist writings associate Master Red Pine with several “nourishing life” arts, for example, herbal recipes and healing methods (e.g., in the Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure, Lingbao wufu xu), the attainment of elixirs for immorality, and methods for calculating longevity and prosperity according to moral examination and the quantification of good deeds (as in told of him in the Baopuzi [Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity]). Lineages that made use of petitions for healing and auspicious result typically authorized them by reporting they were transmitted by Master Red Pine to the libationers (jijiu) or daoshi of the communities (see Master Red Pine’s Almanac of Petitions, Chisong zi zhangli, CT 615). MASTER RED PINE’S ALMANAC OF PETITIONS, CHISONG ZI ZHANGLI 赤松子章曆. In its current form, this is a six-chapter text in the Daoist Canon as CT 615, usually dated to the Tang. It is one of the earliest materials to be associated with the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Although the text reports that there were 300 great petitions of Master Red Pine, the narrator says only a few remain. In fact, the text has 67 model petitions. The document provides instructions on tokens that must be donated to perform the ritual of submitting petitions, how to identify when the gates of Heaven are open to accept them, and the auspicious days on which to perform the rites. Details are provided for how to write a petition, what direction to face in offering it, and which officials are to be addressed for the requested petition. The sample petitions vary widely but include petitions for disposing of the dead, warding off troubling spirits, and dealing with drought. MASTERS OF TECHNIQUES, FANGSHI 方士. Fangshi were specialists in extraordinary arts or methods of power, but the complete range of their skills and tasks is not known to us. Originally, they were from the coastal regions of Qi and Yan (present-day Shandong, Hebei, and Liaoning). During the Qin and Han dynasties, they were patronized by emperors seeking immortality (xian). They were reputed to have the ability to produce elixirs of



immortality, provide divinations, physiognomize people, and heal the sick. Among their methods were those concerned with controlling demons and other spirit beings that might produce illness. The earliest reference to fangshi is in the Records of the Historian (Shiji, c. 100 BCE), which describes them as experts in gaining immortality. They claimed to know the locations of sacred mountains where immortals lived and where medicines necessary to immortality could be obtained (Shiji 28). As is well-known, Qinshihuang, the first emperor of China, was a patron of the fangshi. One such master named Xu Fu sent the emperor to find the mountains of immortality in the Eastern Sea. In the Han period, both Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BCE) and Liu An (179?–122) were known for their patronage of fangshi. In 133 BCE, Li Shaojun advised Emperor Wu on how to perform a rite first celebrated by the Yellow Emperor and enabling the transformation of cinnabar into gold. Liu An gathered fangshi in the city of Huainan. He sought to learn from them the techniques of alchemy, known as the “yellow and white” (huangbai). A funerary inscription of a fangshi named Fei Zhi discovered in Henan province in 1991, tells of his clairvoyance and reports his friendship with the spirit being Master Red Pine (Chisong zi). Many techniques of medicine and alchemy initially used by fangshi found their way into Daoist practices and texts, with one example being Ge Hong’s (283–343) Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi). MAWANGDUI MANUSCRIPTS. The Mawangdui manuscripts compose a cache of documents written mostly on silk and discovered in December 1973, in tomb number 3 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province. The tomb in which they were found is that of Li Cang, Marquis of Dai, who died in 168 BCE. The tomb also contained a rich collection of artifacts. Some of the most relevant of these silk texts for Daoism include two copies of the Daodejing, a version of the Yijing (Classic of Changes), and four manuscripts associated with Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism. Texts on the Daoist practice of “nourishing life” (yangsheng), also found in the tomb, contain teachings on exorcism of demons, use of talismans (fu) for healing, abstention from cereals (bigu), and pharmacological remedies. Since these texts predate 168 BCE, they reveal that many early practices of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi), as well as the Ge and Xu families, were already in existence more than 200 years before the movements associated with them. The Mawangdui Daodejing is in two versions, simply labeled now as Text A and Text B. Based on the script used, these texts can likely be dated to the reign of Liu Bang (Gaozu, r. 202–195 BCE). Unlike the Guodian Laozi, which dates to c. 300 BCE, these texts are complete. Differences between these two versions and the received text have been explored by Lau (1982), Henricks (1989), and Gao (1996). As is widely known, one of the principal



differences between the Mawangdui manuscripts and the received text is the reversal of the order of what is known as the Dejing (chs. 38–81 in the received text) and the Daojing (chs. 1–37 in the received text). MAZU 媽祖 (?960–?988). The numinal being Mazu has a large and devoted following in Southern China, especially in Fujian and Taiwan. More than 400 temples are dedicated to her in those regions. Traditions about her life are a mixture of historical and legendary materials. They say that she was born in 960, into the Lin family of Putian, Fujian province, and was known as Li Mo. She died quite young, at the age of 28. Mazu is regarded as the guardian spirit for seafarers. In addition to the many temples dedicated to her, she was given divine titles granted by such imperial decrees as Tianfei (Celestial Consort) or, more commonly, Tianhou (Celestial Empress). She is often associated with the bodhisattva Guanyin of the South Sea (Nanhai Guanyin). One account reports that Mazu saved the ship on which Lu Yundi, ambassador to Koryo, was a traveler by appearing on the masthead and guiding the ship through a typhoon. But the most commonly told story of her work begins with her being caught up in a trance-like state, to the distress of her parents. When they aroused her, she cried out that she could not save all of her brothers at sea. Later, when the surviving brothers arrived in the harbor, they did, in fact, describe the drowning of their eldest brother in a storm. But they confirmed that their own boat was saved by the appearance of a young girl. They concluded that this person must have been the projected spirit of their own sister, Li Mo. In her despair concerning not being able to save them all, Li Mo vowed to remain single and pray continuously for seafarers. As her cult following developed, people came to believe she was also able to answer the prayers of women seeking to become pregnant, which is perhaps a point of overlap with the understandings of Guanyin of the South Sea. Many tales of her intervention and protection of sailors are told, including that she watched over famous Ming commander Zheng He (1371–1435) on his voyages. While most of the tales of Mazu are in oral form, the Daoist Canon contains a text connecting her to Laozi. In the Classic Spoken by the Most High Lord Lao on the Numinous Efficacy of the Celestial Consort in Relieving Suffering (Taishang Laojun shuo Tianfei jiuku lingyan jing, CT 649), we find the story that Laozi became concerned about the victims of drowning on the seas. To show his compassion, he dispatched the Jade Woman of Wondrous Deeds (Miaoxing yunu) to offer protection, and this figure became identified with Mazu (aka Tianfei). MENSHEN 門神. See DOOR GODS, MENSHEN 門神.



MERGING QI, HEQI 合氣. The “merging qi” (heqi) ritual was practiced among those following the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Little is known authoritatively about the actual practice of the rite. Many remaining descriptions of it are found in anti-Daoist polemical sources dating to the late 6th and early 7th centuries. These accounts report that heqi involved ritual intercourse of nonmarried individuals. The social purpose of the ritual seems to have been to bind the couples to the community. The cosmological intent of the practice was to ensure the harmonious interaction of yin and yang, and the cosmic processes they represent, resulting in good fortune and longevity. Because of the cosmological significance of the ritual, complicated calendric and astronomical calculations went into setting the date for its occurrence. Traces of these may be found in the Yellow Writ of the Cavern of Perfection (Dongzhen huangshu, CT 1343). The text explains the use of gymnastics (daoyin), focusing and concentration regimens, massages, and visualizations undertaken before sexual activity. As the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) or Zhengyi lineage developed, actual intercourse between individuals became an interiorized practice instead of a physical one done in public. MERIT, GONGDE 功德. The accumulation of merit by moving with the Dao is gongde. In later Daoist belief, merit could be transferred to a deceased relative to bring about their release from the earth prisons into the higher celestial realms. The idea of accumulating merit is present among the followers of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) and made quite explicit in Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). The accumulation of merit is associated with individual transcendence or immortality (xian). The earliest ritual expression of rescuing the deceased from punishment by one’s own individual merits is the Lingbao zhai described by Lu Xiujing (406–477). Such merit rituals were, and still are, performed during memorial services. These usually last a full day but may be performed on a grander scale for two days or longer. The daoshi prepares a Writ of Pardon (sheshu) that is burned and thereby sent to the underworld ritually. The full rite includes the enactment of the deceased moving symbolically from the underworld to Heaven by the breaking of the gates of hell. Rituals to transform the deceased’s inner being include the Untying of the Knots (jiejie) and other rites of salvation and refinement. At the conclusion of the ritual, the spirit of the deceased crosses the Naihe Bridge (Naihe qiao) and is led to the Heavenly Hall. MIJUE 密訣. See SECRET INSTRUCTIONS, MIJUE 密訣.



MORALITY BOOKS, SHANSHU 善書. Morality books (shanshu) began to be prominent in Daoism during the Song dynasty. The term refers to a diverse genre of works meant to exhort commoners to practice proper conduct and avoid various evils. These books mix Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist moral precepts as examples of the Three Teachings. Morality books were usually written in the vernacular or very accessible classical Chinese. They tended to be relatively short in length and uncomplicated in their moral points. Underlying the actual set of moral prescriptions given in the diverse works is a philosophical belief in the process of cosmic retribution in action and response (ganying) by which good and bad actions have consequences for one’s success, longevity, and even the well-being of one’s descendants. A wide range of consequences are tied to moral conduct, for example, the attainment of social position and wealth, and even the birth of male children. In fact, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, ledgers of merit and demerit were used to quantify one’s good and evil deeds. Then the ledgers were often submitted to join influential societies and obtain various political appointments. An example of such a ledger preserved in the Daoist Canon is Ledger of Merit and Demerit of the Immortal Lord of Great Tenuity (Taiwei xianjun gongguo de, CT 186). Shanshu texts include collections of miracle tales related to good deeds (lingyan ji), ledgers of merit and demerit (gongguo ge), stories of virtuous behavior (e.g., Twenty-four Stories of Filial Exemplars, Ershisi xiao de gushi), and even popular operas played out in the village lecture system from the time of the Song dynasty through the 19th century. The philosophical belief in action and response (ganying) predates the coming of Buddhism to China with its idea of karma. It can be found as early as the Yellow Emperor sentiments included in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) and is also present in the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) writings, notably the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu). This idea forms an important component in Ge Hong’s teachings in the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity) about the number of accumulated merits needed to become an immortal (xian). The most famous of morality books still in use in China and Taiwan is the 10th-century work Tract of the Most High on Action and Response (Taishang ganying pian, CT 1167). In 1936, the Love of Virtue Society (Leshan she) published a large set of morality books in a single collection entitled Precious Treasury of Happiness and Longevity (Fushou baozang). MYSTERIOUS LEARNING, XUANXUE 玄學. Mysterious Learning refers to certain philosophical trends of the 3rd century after the downfall of the Han dynasty. As a philosophical movement, it may be associated with a style of interpretation or commentary seeking the hidden meaning of classi-



cal texts, especially the Yijing (Classic of Changes), Daodejing, and Zhuangzi. Two of its major figures were Wang Bi (226–249) and Guo Xiang (?232–312). The thinkers associated with this movement certainly drew upon Confucian influences, and their works often merge interests of both Daoism and Confucianism. For this reason, Xuanxue is sometimes known as “NeoDaoism.” The teachers working in this tradition were generally committed to the creation of an ordered society that would be one of peace. Although previous understandings of both the Daodejing and Zhuangzi suggested that these works offered strong criticisms of Confucian morality and approaches to self-cultivation, the Mysterious Learning thinkers did not all share this view. They thought of Confucian moral virtues as having their sources in the Dao and believed that moving in wu-wei would result in conduct that Confucian ethics had identified as desirable. Accordingly, “moving naturally,” in Guo Xiang’s, thinking was closely associated with living within the role and class into which one was born or destined. “sitting in forgetfulness” (zuowang) and “fasting of the heart-mind” (xinzhai) are both major practices in Daoism that were understood with a modified Confucian interpretation. Both of these practices would eventuate in one becoming a model citizen. Littlejohn (2019) argues that the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu) is an early version of later Xuanxue interpretive methods.

N NANYUE 南嶽. See HENGSHAN 衡山 (MT. HENG, HUNAN PROVINCE). NANZONG 南宗, SOUTHERN LINEAGE. We may think of the inner alchemy (neidan) methodological lineages as having a Northern and Southern expression. The Northern one is Quanzhen, the Complete Perfection methods that trace their origins to Wang Zhe (1113–1170) and the Seven Perfected Persons (Qizhen ren). The Southern lineages, known simply as Nanzong, have Zhang Boduan (?987–1082) as founder. Zhang is author of its principal text, dating to 1075, Folios on Awakening to Perfection (Wuzhen pian). In the preface to the work, Zhang reports that he had a sudden sense of Oneness with Dao upon meeting a Perfected Person (zhenren) in Chengdu in 1069 (identified in a 12th-century text as Liu Haichan). Afterward, he was empowered to write a set of 81 poems that became the Wuzhen pian, dealing with “nourishing life” (yangsheng) through inner “fire phasing.” Zhang later added another 32 poems to the collection that grew out of his study of Chan Buddhism. Actually, reference to Northern and Southern movements of inner alchemy (neidan) methods is a rather superficial distinction within the larger lineage of Quanzhen. Both shared monastic disciples, ascetic practices, celibacy, and meditation. The Daoist Canon contains a number of commentaries and interpretations of the Wuzhen pian (e.g., CT 263, 141, 143, and others). There is also Lu Xixing’s (1520–1601) Short Introduction to the Wuzhen Pian (Wuzhen pian xiaoxu). NEIDAN 内丹. See INNER ALCHEMY, NEIDAN 内丹. NEIJING TU 内景圖. See CHART OF THE INNER LANDSCAPE, NEIJING TU 内景圖.




NEIYE 內業, INNER TRAINING. The Neiye (Inner Training) is a text of only 1,800 characters preserved in the Guanzi. An important translation of this text has been done by Harold Roth (1999). It is written in a rhymed form similar to that found in the Daodejing and may have influenced the composition of that work. Many of its sentiments are echoed in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) and the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). At present, it is our earliest text devoted to explaining and exhorting the daily inner cultivation that leads to transformation of the person. It emphasizes the refinement and regulation of the principal forces of life, including jing, qi, and shen. The most basic teaching of the text is that one must practice quiescence to gain clarity (Qingjing) and quieten the heart-mind (xin). Doing so will aid in the retention of qi and dao, and contribute to the emergence of numinal being (shen). Since qi, jing, and dao may come and go from the body, the body must be regulated by diet and breathing. As these forces are retained, one grows in virtuous power (de). In the text, one who achieves such cultivation is called a sage (shengren), a title also given to such people in the Zhuangzi. The Neiye, unlike the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, is not interested in recommending a way of rulership, even one driven by transformation in the Dao. Moreover, the text does not idealize a primitive past of simple people who are one with the Dao, as is done in the Zhuangzi. It is strictly an individual manual and guide for cultivation. It does not mention proper names and makes no reference to historical (or even legendary) events. NEO-DAOISM. See MYSTERIOUS LEARNING, XUANXUE 玄學. NIPPON DOKYO GAKKAI, JAPANESE ASSOCIATION OF DAOIST STUDIES. The Japanese Association of Daoist Studies was founded in October 1950, by a group of 14 scholars. The stated goal was to promote research on Daoism and other popular religious of East Asia. The association publishes the Journal of Eastern Religions. It also offers a Daoist Research Prize to young scholars each year. Many fine papers and presentations came out of its 35th symposium, “The State of Taoist Studies and Its Issues” (“Zhongguo daojiao xiehui” [Yoshinobu Sakade 2008]). NOURISHING LIFE, YANGSHENG 養生. The term yangsheng first occurs in the title of chapter 3 of Zhuangzi: “Yangsheng zhu” or “Mastering ‘nourishing life.’” It has been used in many ways throughout Daoist history, including as a reference to such techniques as gymnastics (daoyin), breathing (fuqi), sexual practices (fangzhong shu), dietetics (bigu), massage, and vari-



ous methods of meditation, quietude, and stillness. “Nourishing life” is more than nourishing the body (yangxing). Nourishing the body alone is insufficient for attaining transcendence (xian). Yangsheng methods are described in several of the Mawangdui manuscripts, including “Joining Yin and Yang” (He yinyang), “Recipes for Nourishing Life” (Yangsheng fang), and Ten Questions (Shiwen), among others. The great critical thinker of the Han period known as Wang Chong (27–c. 100 CE) criticized Daoists for thinking that people could become immortals (xian) by practicing yangsheng techniques (Forke 1907). Nevertheless, teachers continued to refine and expand yangsheng practices throughout the Six Dynasties period. Ge Hong (283–343) distinguished yangsheng practice from the ways of external alchemy (waidan), which he believed to be most effective in attaining immortality. While necessary practices, Ge did not believe they were sufficient. Zhang Zhan (fl. ca. 370) wrote the most important yangsheng work of the 4th century, entitled Essentials of Nourishing Life (Yangsheng yaoji). Based on the surviving pieces, it seems Zhang’s work had 10 scrolls devoted to methods for gymnastics, dietetics, sexual techniques, medicines and drugs, and taboos and prohibitions of conduct and lifestyle. Zhang’s text survives only in fragments of works by Tao Hongjing (456–536) and Sun Simiao (?581–?682). In fact, two-thirds of the major work On Nourishing Inner Nature and Extending Life (Yangxing yanming lu, CT 838), which is attributed to Tao but may actually have been authored by Sun, is devoted to quotes from Zhang Zhan’s lost scrolls. Gymnastics (daoyin) and breathing (xingqi and biqi) became central to yangsheng methods during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Sun Simiao devoted two chapters of his Prescriptions Worth a Thousand (Qianjin fang) to yangsheng. During the Song period, yangsheng practices were greatly influenced by inner alchemy (neidan) methods and theory. But the approach is widely discussed in a number of works dating to this period. When the “Three Teachings” (sanjiao) movement gained momentum, moral and ethical considerations became a robust feature of yangsheng. The most important work of the Ming period on yangsheng was Hu Wenhuan’s c. 1596 text Collection on Longevity and Nourishment of Life (Shouyang congshu). Hu’s work was the last of the major texts devoted to yangsheng practices from a methodological viewpoint, because during the Qing dynasty increasing attention to Western medical science took the forefront. Thomas Michael has done a thorough study of yangsheng and its relation to the Daodejing (2015). NUMINOUS TREASURE, LINGBAO 靈寶. The Lingbao lineage is represented by a detailed history of practice and an extensive collection of texts. In spite of this wealth of material, we are still not certain whether the Ling-



bao lineage can be identified as having any unique institutional form. It seems to have been a tradition of sentiments and texts that showed up in several different more structured movements (e.g., Shangqing and the Way of the Celestial Masters [Tianshi dao]). The use of bao in Lingbao refers to a sacred object into which some numinal being (ling) descends to grant power to either the daoshi conducting the ritual of inhabitation or the owner of the object. As early as the Zhou dynasty, such objects were literally “treasures” (also a meaning of bao) received from Heaven and verifying the owner’s mandate to rule. The royal bao included bronzes, swords, jades, and the like. Bao were later associated with written texts and charts possessing talismanic powers, for example, the Writ of the Luo River (Luoshu) or the Chart of the Yellow River (Hetu). This application of the concept of bao partially explains the Lingbao belief that some texts only had to be recited or read to transmit numinal power and influence. We see this in the Lingbao lineage classics, specifically the Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao wufu xu, CT 388). Interestingly, a person could also become a lingbao. In fact, the term is sometimes used for daoshi performing exorcisms (fangxiang) to deliver people from their demons. At funerals, the impersonator of the dead (shi) was a bao, acting as a receptacle for the hun, ling, or shen of the deceased. LINGBAO TEXTS AND TEACHINGS. At the end of the 4th century and in the early 5th century, a unified corpus of texts bearing the name Lingbao appeared in Jingnan, near present-day Nanjing. This was the home region of both Ge Hong’s family and Yang Xi, as well as the Xu Family. These texts are mentioned in the list of works by Lu Xiujing (406–477) dated to 437. The Lingbao texts were eclectic in their materials, showing influences from several Daoist lineages, as well as Buddhism. Nevertheless, it was the Lingbao texts that first set out the division of Daoist writings into the “Three Caverns” (sandong). The Lingbao texts contain instructions for both communal and individual rites. Seemingly, adherents were taught to habitually recite the major Lingbao text entitled Classic on Salvation (Durenjing) and keep the 10 precepts (Bokenkamp 1997). Some liturgies in the texts are still practiced today. According to the texts themselves, they were first revealed to Ge Xuan, an uncle of Ge Hong. The transmission history recorded in the text is as follows: Ge Xuan to Zheng Yin (c. 215–c. 302) to Ge Hong (283–343). PRINCIPAL CONCEPTS OF LINGBAO TEACHINGS. Since the material gathered in the Lingbao texts has many different Daoist and Buddhist sources, the teachings of Lingbao are not always harmonized into a uniform philosophy or doctrine. The cosmology is complex and heavily overlaid with Buddhist concepts and theories of cosmic cycles (i.e., kalpas). There is an



elaborate and extensive cosmic bureaucracy of numinal beings in these writings. Some of these are celestial, and others reside in the human body. Within the body, some are “life-givers,” and others are “death-bringers.” The Lingbao texts make a full integration of Buddhist rebirth teachings, including doctrines of hell and karmic debt. These are meshed with earlier Daoist ideas about celestial bureaucrats that oversee action and response (ganying) first made rather clear in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) but as documentable even in the Zhuangzi. According to Lingbao, those who adhere to the teachings of its texts may be reborn into privileged families, and some may avoid death altogether and experience “disappearance in broad daylight.” In the Lingbao writings, we find a direct and clear Daoist version of the bodhisattva ideal derived from Buddhism. Texts contain ritual formulas used for the salvation of all beings. A typical reading of the corpus of texts yields a 10-stage path of bodhisattva attainment. Along the way, incarnation as a person of wealth and status was one stage, culminating in an extended life in the heavens and ultimately in a return to the Dao with no further rebirths. NUQING GUILU 女青鬼律. See GHOST STATUTES OF NUQING, NUQING GUILU 女青鬼律.

O ONENESS, THE ONE, YI 一. In the Daodejing, Oneness is tied to the Dao. “The Dao produces the One. The One produces two. Two produces three. Three produces the myriad creatures” (Daodejing, 42). In Zhuangzi 12, the One is the “Great Beginning.” If a person can “hold on to the One” his qi will possess utmost suppleness and he will possess clarity of vision and become like a little child (Daodejing, 10). Sages (shengren) embrace the One and are able to serve as models for the entire world (Daodejing, 22). In the Zhuangzi, the master, Guangcheng zi, is made to say, “I hold on to the One, abide in its harmony, and therefore I have kept myself for 1,200 years and my body has never suffered any decay” (ch. 11, Watson 1968, 120). ORTHODOX UNITY, ZHENGYI 正一. Zhengyi, or Orthodox Unity Daoism, along with Quanzhen, represents one of the two main branches of Daoism to the present day. It is also variously known as Zhengyi dao (Way of Orthodox Unity), from which its designation comes, and also the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) and even the Way of the Five Peaks of Rice (Wudoumi dao). Zhengyi is identified with the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) and the Way of Five Peaks of Rice because in his experience on Hemingshan in 142, Zhang Daoling received a revelation of teachings and practices from Laozi (Laojun) simply called the “Zhengyi mengwei” (Covenant of Orthodox Unity) between humans and Heaven. One component of this covenant was the provision for the material needs of the community partly by means of an annual tithe of five pecks of rice by each family. At some point, probably after the fall of the confederation of 24 centers under the rule of Celestial Masters libationers (jijiu) in Sichuan in 216, the descendants of Zhang Daoling came to reside on Dragon Tiger Mountain (Longhushan). Leaders there were in the hereditary lineage of the Zhang family. They often received imperial appointments and commissions. The movement centered on Dragon Tiger Mountain was only one of three major strands of Daoism that developed throughout the Tang dynasty. In 1239, Lizong (r. 1224–1264) of the Southern Song dynasty ordered the 35th 153



Celestial Master, Zhang Keda (1218–1263), to unite the three great lineages of Daoism under his leadership. This was done by bringing together the talismans and registers of the Three Mountains (sanshan fulu). These were the lineages of the Shangqing (Maoshan in Jingsu), the Lingbao (Gezaoshan in Jiangxi), and Dragon Tiger Mountain (Longhushan in Jiangxi). After the Yuan dynasty overran the Song, Khubilai Hhan (r. 1260–1294) gave the authority over Daoism to the Celestial Master at Longhushan. Then, in 1304, Zhang Yucai (?–1316) was appointed head of the Teaching of Orthodox Unity to guard the talismans and registers of the three mountains. The Zhengyi lineage has many characteristics. Principal among these are the following: 1. Recognizing the Celestial Master as head of the lineage in a hereditary descent of the Zhang family, going back to Zhang Daoling. 2. Conferring registers of numinal authority on new leaders, with increasing power and graded hierarchy following the progress of a leader in the organizational structure. 3. Attributing the sources of its teachings and texts to Laozi himself. The extant canon contains 31 texts under the heading of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi). 4. Administering a unified set of practices and rituals of numinal power, including the zhai and jiao rites, as well as the use of talismans and registers. Unlike as in Complete Perfection Daoism (Quanzhen), Zhengyi daoshi are able to marry, live with their families, eat meat, and join in popular religious ceremonies and customs.

P PACING THE DIPPER. See WALKING THE GUIDELINE. PENGLAI 蓬萊. As early as the 4th century BCE, belief in the three paradise islands Penglai, Fengzhang, and Yingzhou was a strong one. Indeed, Qi state kings Wei (r. 334–320 BCE) and Xuan (r. 319–301 BCE), as well as Zhao of Yan (r. 311–279 BCE), Qinshihuang (r. 221–210 BCE), and Han Wudi (r. 141–87 BCE), apparently believed they could attain immortality by consuming herbs and mineral substances from these islands. The Liezi names five such splendid islands, including Daiyu and Yuanqiao, along with the original three. Gradually, the number grew to 10. The paradises were conceived of as places of residence for immortals (xian) and, in the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage, for their Perfected Persons (zhenren). PENGZU 彭祖. According to the Biographies of Exemplary Immortals (Liexian zhuan), Pengzu was once a high official in the Yin kingdom (current Henan). His name was Qian Keng. He reached more than 800 years of age by practicing gymnastics (daoyin) and breathing techniques for circulating breath (xingqi). Both the Zhuangzi and Xunzi mention his longevity, indicating that his legend was already established in the Warring States period. The Ten Questions (Shiwen) medical text recovered among the Mawangdui manuscripts reports that upon questioning, Pengzu told the immortal (xian) Wangzi Qiao that the key to longevity was perfecting sexual energy (fangzhong shu, aka techniques of the bedchamber), the use of gymnastics (daoyin), and regulating breathing (xingqi). Ge Hong’s Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity) quotes a work called the Classic of Pengzu (Pengzu jing), which reports that Penzu was an official serving from the Xia dynasty until the Yin. According to Ge, Pengzu left Yin when he learned that the king wanted to obtain control of his esoteric knowledge of sexual techniques. The Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan) attributes his longevity to the practice of sexual techniques.




PERFECTED PERSON, REAL PERSON, AUTHENTIC PERSON, ZHENREN 真人. A zhenren is one of the highest states achievable by people in the Daoist hierarchy of being. Zhen may be translated as “real,” “authentic,” or “perfect.” In Zhuangzi, the Perfected Person (zhenren) cannot be harmed because life and death, profit and loss, and the like are distinctions he has set aside (ch. 2, Watson 1968: 45–46). They have no meaning for the Perfected Person. These people are like still water and do not allow the turbulence of life to agitate them into violence, pride, or other destructive action. Their internal “spiritual storehouse” (lingfu) is unaffected by what happens (ch. 5, Watson 1968). For them, all things are equal; that is to say that in reality, there are no differences between success and failure, beauty and ugliness, and so on. Such distinctions are invented by humans; they do not belong to dao (ch. 5, Watson 1968). The zhenren does not love life and hate death; he forgets these distinctions entirely and delights in the transformations of the Dao. The zhenren of ancient times knew nothing of loving life, nothing of hating death. He emerged without delight; he went back in without a fuss. He came briskly, he went briskly, and that was all. He didn’t forget where he began; he didn’t try to find out where he would end. He received something and took pleasure in it; he forgot about it and handed it back again. This is what I call not using the mind to repel the Way, not using man to help out Heaven. This is what I call zhenren (ch. 6, Watson 1968).

According to the Records of the Historian (Shiji 6), the fangshi Lu Sheng reportedly told Emperor Qinshihuang (r. 221–210 BCE), “The zhenren enters water but does not get wet, enters fire but does not get burned, flies among the clouds, and has a length of life equal to that of Heaven and Earth.” Based on these descriptions, we can see how the reports of zhenren were easily converted into the traditions and tales of wondrous powers, longevity, and even immortality. Actually, the zhenren ranked higher in spiritual achievement than an immortal (xian), at least in some Daoist texts. For example, the Inner Biography of the Perfected Person of Purple Yang (Ziyang zhenren neishuan, CT 303) says there are three levels of xian, and those whose names are written in “Golden Script” (jinshu—the highest) are zhenren. It is not surprising, then, that the Perfected Person of Purple Yang, Zhou Yishan, was one of the figures reported to have bestowed the Highest Clarity revelations upon Yang Xi (330–386). PILLOW BOOK OF METHODS FOR PRESERVING AND “NOURISHING LIFE,” SHEYANG ZHENSHONG FANG. This work (YJQQ 33) is attributed to physician Sun Sumiao (fl. 673), and it is one of the most important texts devoted to the Daoist practice and methods of “nourishing life” (yangsheng). Both moral cultivation and meditative clarity are stressed



as essential to longevity and eventually immortality. The main body of the text is concerned with five topics: prudence and attention (zishen), prohibitions (jin), gymnastics (daoyin), circulating breath (xingqi), and “guarding the One” (shouyi). PRECEPTS, JIE 戒. The very idea of having moral precepts requires some explanation in Daoism. Following the Zhuangzi, wu-wei as moving with the Dao has no precepts. It is not a rule-based morality. Both the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi are critical of morality, considering it as a human overlay onto the movement of dao, and both texts teach that emptying oneself of moral discriminations, such as might be named by virtue terms (e.g., benevolence, kindness, courage, and the like), is needed to experience clarity and quiescence (qingjing), and become One with dao. As long as there were no Daoist communities and adepts tended to live solitary lives, this understanding of precepts may have been sustainable. Even the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), while teaching that moral deeds result in health and auspiciousness (i.e., the idea of “action and response,” or ganying), did not offer an actual set of precepts. But when the first communities, for example, the Yellow Turbans and the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), were established, there was a need to have a moral structure. One way of harmonizing wu-wei’s no-precept system with the emergence of a rule-based morality is to hold that the codification of morality results from having watched the conduct of those who moved with clarity in wu-wei. This approach may be seen in some passages of the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu). Three large sets of precepts came into use in Daoism: Hundred and Eighty Precepts Spoken by Lord Lao (Laojun shuo yibai bashi jie, in CT 786, 1032); Great Precepts of Wisdom and Self-Observation of the Cavern of Perfection of Highest Clarity (Shangqing dongzhen zhihui guanshen dajie wen, CT 1364); and Classic on Weighing Merit Based on the Precepts of the Three Primes of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao sanyuan pinjie gongde qingzhong jing, CT 456). Of these three, Hundred and Eighty Precepts probably dates into the 4th century (300s). The Great Precepts of Wisdom and Self-Observation has 302 precepts and is cited in the Supreme Secret Essentials (Wushang biyao, CT 1138), predating 574. The Classic on Weighing Merit is also quoted in the same work. In general, the precept collections obligate compassion, tolerance, putting others before self, being less concerned with food and dress, respecting teachers, and so forth.



Moral precepts figure prominently in the later traditions of the morality books (shanshu) and the ledgers of merit. They are brought into the understandings of the celestial bureaucracy of the god of Taishan and Ge Hong’s understanding of the place of moral life in relationship to longevity and immortality in the Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). PURE CONVERSATION, QINGTAN 清談. Pure conversation was a style of discourse practiced during the Wei and Jin dynasties (c. 220–420). It developed into an intellectual game characterized by various rounds of debate during which the “host” would propose a principle, and the “guest” would present his objections or thoughts. The most renowned practitioners of this technique were Wang Bi (226–249) and He Yan (190–249). The favorite subjects of their conversations included the Daodejing, the Zhuangzi, the Yijing, and the interpretational methods known as Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue). During the later years of this practice, participants were often drawn into political conflicts involving leading such key conversationalists as Ji Kang (223–262) and Ruan Ji (210–263). Liu Yiqing (403–443) compiled sayings attributed to important figures in the movement in his New Account of Tales of the World (Shizhuo xinyu, trans. Mather 1976).

Q QI 氣. Qi is a central concept in Daoist ontology. The etymology of the character is of significance. The upper part of the radical means “vapor, steam,” and the lower means “rice.” This calls forward the image (xiang) of steam rising from rice cooking on the stove. Of course, in the cold, a human’s breath also appears as vapor or steam. Qi shares with steam this transparent, ethereal, nonmaterial quality. This phenomenon is a partial explanation for the association of qi and breath. The best Western analogue is simply “energy.” Out of the original primordial qi, the universe was born. Everything that exists in its most basic form is qi. Qi moving by yin and yang gives birth to Five Phase physics (wuxing), and they, in turn, yield the myriad things. So, everything that exists is some combination of these phases of qi. See also JING, QI, SHEN 精, 氣, 神, ESSENCE, ENERGY, VITAL FORCE, SPIRIT. QIGONG 氣功. Qigong means “qi work.” It is a system of slow body movements in coordination with regulated circulation of breath (xingqi). It is a product of 20th-century understandings of a number of techniques largely associated with Daoism. Official Qigong institutions appeared in the 1950s and 1960s. Several contemporary Daoist masters developed healing methods associated with therapy institutes, but most of these were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and did not reappear until after 1980. No longer meaning simply “nourishing life” (yangsheng), qigong is also used by a wide variety of therapeutic techniques and martial arts. Qigong is also sometimes taught in schools and universities, and it has become the object of international congresses, specialized journals, and books published on various practices. Since the late 1980s, qigong practice has shown up in parks and public places throughout China and particularly in association with senior citizens. The Chinese government set up national and regional organizations for training and certification. During this period, the popular interest turned from “nourishing life” (yangsheng) to the acquisition of such extraordinary powers




as clairvoyance, telepathy, psychokinesis, and distance healing. In the 1990s, several popular masters were arrested for fraud, and many feats were unveiled as tricks (Kohn 2018). After these events, several new groups emerged, adding more religious features, for example, chanting, ritual, and meditation, to their qigong practices. The most prominent among them was Practices of the Wheel of the Law (Falun gong), a group founded in 1992, by Li Hongzhi. Li proclaimed himself a bodhisattva and described his calling as ridding the world of demons and preparing for a new world that would dawn. He forbade his followers to read anything except his books and required them to forego any medical treatment other than the practices of Falun gong. The group was outlawed in 1996, as a form of public corruption and social harm. There are many types of qigong, but virtually all types place an emphasis on circulating breath (xingqi), gymnastic movements (daoyin), careful mental concentration, and sometimes “quiet sitting” (jingzuo). Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao) have programs of qigong with a direct focus on health. One contemporary publication providing a more mainline view of Daoism on qigong practice is Pertinent Words on Daoist Long Life and Filial Piety (Daojiiao yangsheng quanxiao geyan). QINGCHENGSHAN 青城山 (MT. QINGCHENG, SICHUAN PROVINCE). Qingchengshan is a mountain peak in a large chain of mountains near the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. The mountain attracted hermits and recluses during the time of the Shu kingdom as long ago as the 200s BCE. It has been closely associated with the founding of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) since the mid-2nd century. Although the tradition is that Laojun appeared to Zhang Daoling on Hemingshan (Crane Call Mountain), there are strong traditions that Zhang first amassed his followers on Qingchengshan, and indeed this area was one of the original 24 administrative centers (zhi) of his movement. Du Guangting (850–933) lived on the mountain in the late 9th century and made records pertaining to both the institutions founded there and their activities. Some of the major sacred temples on the mountain include the Palace of Highest Clarity (Shangqing gong) and the Cavern of the Celestial Master (Tianshi dong), where Zhang Daoling had experiences of spiritual consciousness. While Qingchengshan’s history is mostly tied to the Zhengyi lineage, the Quanzhen order came to have a major presence on the mountain during the Yuan dynasty. In fact, today the sacred sites of the mountain are managed by Quanzhen Daoists of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage. QINGJING 清静. See CLARITY AND QUIESCENCE, QINGJING 清静.

QIU CHUJI 丘處機 (1148–1227)


QINGTAN 清談. See PURE CONVERSATION, QINGTAN 清談. QIU CHUJI 丘處機 (1148–1227). Qiu Chuji (aka Qiu Changchun) was the youngest of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren), Wang Zhe’s (1113–1170) group of disciples who formed the core of the first generation of Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage masters. Qiu came to study with Wang as a 20-year-old orphan. One account of how they became associated reports Qiu persuading an old woman living as a recluse in the mountain to instruct him in the techniques of immortality. The lady eventually directed him to Wang. After Wang’s death, Qiu remained near the burial site in the Zhongnan Mountains (Shaanxi) for the three-year period of mourning. When the period ended, he spent six years in Panxi (Shaanxi) and seven more years on Longmenshan. In these places, it is reported that he practiced Quanzhen austerities, including going without sleep for weeks, roaming halfnaked in the middle of winter, and living with the mountain animals. Qiu emerged from this period a mature Daoist in the Quanzhen tradition. Between 1186–1191, he lived at the Ancestral Court temple erected around Wang’s grave, the site that later became the Abbey of Double Yang (Chongyang guan). He was summoned to the Jin court in 1188, and, in 1191, he returned to his native province of Shandong. There he gathered his own disciples and built several new abbeys (guan). In 1195, the Ancestral Court temple in Shaanxi closed, and the teachers there requested help from Qiu to restore it. He managed to save the temple, demonstrating his leadership of the Quanzhen order. In Northern China, during the Mongol invasions and wars between the Song and Jin, the Quanzhen order, under his direction, provided relief to the commoners in the villages. Qiu was summoned by Mongol emperor Chinggis Khan (Taizu, r. 1206–1227) in 1219. He took 18 of his disciples with him to Central Asia and met with the ruler in 1222. This event is described in detail in the Records of a Journey to the West by the Perfected Person Changchun (Changchun zhenren xiyou ji, CT 1429), written by Quanzhen patriarch Li Zhichang (1193–1256). Accordingly, in Quanzhen lore, Qiu is likened to Laozi in striving to convert the barbarians, and Li Zhichang is considered to be the new Yin Xi. Just what influence Qiu had on the emperor is not known completely, but the Quanzhen order did enjoy various privileges, which they used for the benefit of the civilian population of China. In his later years, Qiu settled in Beijing and, in 1224, became patriarch of the Abbey of Celestial Perpetuity (Tianchang guan), which was later renamed Palace of Perpetual Spring (Changchun gong) in his honor. When he died in 1227, he was buried next to this abbey, and a new monastery was built around it called the White Cloud Abbey (Baiyuan guan). The most extended biography of his life is the Felicitous Meetings with the Mysterious School, with Illustrations (Xuanfeng qinghui tu). A few of Qiu’s poems are



included in the Anthology of the Master from Panxi (Panxi ji, CT 1159), dating to 1208. Although the inner alchemy (neidan) teaching manual Straightforward Directions on the Great Elixir (Dadan zhizhi, CT 244) is ascribed to him, although this is almost certainly a later attribution. QIZHEN REN. See SEVEN PERFECTED PERSONS, QIZHEN REN 七真 人. QUANZHEN全 全真. See COMPLETE PERFECTION LINEAGE, QUANZHEN 全真. QUEEN MOTHER OF THE WEST, XIWANGMU 西王母. In some contemporary Daoist communities, veneration of the Queen Mother of the West as wife of the Jade Emperor continues in popular festivals and celebrations. Xiwangmu first appeared in the Classic of the Mountains and Seas (Shanhai jing), dating into the 4th century BCE. In this text, she is reported to be a fearsome cave-dwelling deity than can bring pestilence to the world if she is not honored. Chinese lore associates her residence with Kunlun, the Jade Mountain (Yushan), and other sites. The Bamboo Annals (Zhushu jinian) describes how King Mu of Zhou (r. 956–918 BCE) traveled to meet her on Kunlun and later entertained her at court. She is mentioned in Zhuangzi, chapter 6. So, in some texts she is not a frightening spirit. In one Daoist pantheon, Dongwang gong (King Lord of the East) became her male counterpart during the Han. During the Han dynasty, Xiwangmu was credited with bringing good fortune to earthly rulers. By 3 CE, a movement had grown up around her, valorizing her role as a savior figure both for the realm and for individuals. In her paradise on Kunlun, the myth says she has an orchard of peach trees, the fruit of which brings immortality. Indeed, in the Ming dynasty fiction novel Journey to the West (Xiyou ji), his pillaging of this orchard is one of the reasons for the divine punishment of Sun Wukong (aka the Monkey King). The romanticized Highest Clarity biography of Han Wudi (r. 141–87 BCE) Inner Biography of Emperor Wu of the Han (Han Wudi neizhuan, CT 292) indicates that Xiwangmu had been assimilated into the Daoist pantheon of numinal beings. In one account, Han Wudi receives the peaches of immortality from her. QUIET ROOM, MEDITATION CHAMBER, JINGSHI 静室. While the term jingshi is not known to have been used for the practices of recluses and Daoist cave-dwelling masters in the classical period of the formation of the Daodejing and Zhuangzi texts dating from the 300s BCE, there are frequent references to mountain dwelling masters in the Zhuangzi that suggest caves



were used for what Peter Kingsley (1999) has called the “dark places of wisdom.” Caves provided ideal quiet rooms for entering alternative states of consciousness through radical stillness, breathing practice, and meditative focus. In the course of the founding of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), Zhang Daoling (34–156) had his experience with Taishang Laojun in Tiangu cave. As that movement grew and it was less feasible for adherents to take up residence in the mountain caves, various substitutes emerged. Early accounts of the life of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) communities record that each household was expected to provide itself a jingshi. Reports of people emerging from these places having been healed of illness, freed from guilt, and able to move in wu-wei spontaneity provide us with the philosophical evidence and an explanation for the growth and endurance of the Celestial Masters movement. The Abridged Codes for the Daoist Community (Daomen kelue, CT 1127), ascribed to Lu Xiujing (406–477), includes instructions for the construction and setup of a jingshi. According to this work, the jingshi should be separated from other structures. It must be clean and simple, containing only an incense burner, a lantern, a calligraphy blade, and a stand for reading/writing petitions or talismans (fu). Other versions of the structure of the jingshi are in Tao Hongjing’s (456–536) Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) and Liu Yuandao’s Supplementary Illustrations to the Wondrous Classic of the Upper Chapters on Limitless Salvation (Wuliang duren shangpin miaojing pangtong tu, CT 148).

R RAO DONGTIAN 饒洞天 (fl. 994). Along with Tan Zixiao (fl. 935–after 963), Rao Dongtian was one of the two original founders of the lineage of the Correct Methods for the Celestial Heart (Tianxin zhengfa). The account of his numinal experience given in Correct Methods of the Celestial Heart of Highest Clarity (Shangqing tianxin zhengfa, CT 566) is instructive. In that version, one night in 994, Rao saw a multicolored light shining from the ground up to the heavens from one of the summits of Mt. Huagai (Jiangxi province). The following morning, when he dug into the ground at the spot from which the light had come, he found books containing the “secret formulas of the Celestial Heart” (Tianxin bishi). Although he did not understand how to practice the methods contained in the books, a numinal being later appeared to him and instructed him to become a disciple of Tan Zixiao, who taught him how to practice. Tan Zixiao was a daoshi from Quanzhou (Fujian) who was a close collaborator with the spirit medium (jitong) Chen Shouyuan. Tan’s biography in the History of the Southern Tang (Nan Tangshu) contains an account reporting that Chen had discovered the mystic talismans (fu) of Zhang Daoling written on bamboo slips and buried in the ground in a bronze bowl. Not knowing how to use them, he gave them to Tan, who was given the insight to penetrate their mysteries and apply them. Tan not only helped Rao decipher the methods he found in the writings gathered from Mt. Huagai, but also guided Rao to encounter a numinal being referred to as the Benevolent and Holy Emperor of Mt. Tai, Equal to Heaven (Taishan tianqi rensheng di), from whom Rao obtained authority over an army of spirit beings (yinbing). They assisted him in the practice of the Correct Method of the Celestial Heart. Thus equipped, Rao became known as the “first patriarch of the Tianxin tradition” (CT 566, preface). Through successive transmissions, the methods and teachings of the Tianxin tradition came down to Deng Yougong, who became the editor of its texts. The most important of these may be considered Tianxin’s community




code of organization and behavior, delivered spiritually to Rao and entitled Ghost Code of the Spinal Numinous Script of the Highest Clarity Tradition (Shangqing gushi lingwen guilu, CT 461). RECITATION AND CHANTING, SONGJING 誦經. Songjing is a Daoist practice common in the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage, but it dates back to the Han dynasty. During that period, members of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) recited and chanted the Daodejing, both in private and communally. At the heart of the practice is the idea of experiencing transformation, not simply gaining knowledge through the memorization and chanting of a holy text. The words of the text themselves pour over the person as they are recited or chanted. Since the actual words of a text are often believed to have come from a numinal being, the text itself takes on the character of a talisman (fu), and its recitation or chant casts a spell (zhou 咒). The Classic of Divine Spells of the Cavernous Abyss (Dongyuan shenzhou jing, CT 335) teaches that one way to use a holy text is as a talisman, through chanting it. The Lingbao work Classic on Salvation (Durenjing, CT 1) emphasizes the efficacy of its chanting for the universal salvation of all people by stressing that its recitation fills the world and everything in it with numinal power. In contemporary Daoist rituals, the High Daoshi (gaogong daoshi) chants to gain clarity in his own heart-mind (xin) and summons numinal powers into his very being to transform himself during the ritual period. Chanting is taught in many contemporary schools to select disciples. RED HEAD AND BLACK HEAD DAOISTS, HONGTOU 紅頭 AND WUTOU 烏頭. These are terms used to refer to daoshi, usually in southeastern Mainland China and Taiwan. The terms derive simply from the head caps worn by the daoshi practitioners. The different colored caps indicate distinct ranks of daoshi. A master wearing a Red Head may perform rites of healing and rituals for the living, for example, exorcism (related to healing). He often works alongside or with the help of a spirit medium (jitong), who goes into trance states and presents himself in role and voice as a deceased spirit. A Black Head daoshi may perform all of these functions but additionally does rituals for the dead and larger zhai rites, usually relying on cantors (dujiang) and several other daoshi of varying ranks. One explanation of the differences in headwear contends that the red cap is emblematic of good luck and auspiciousness, the efficacies such daoshi wish to achieve, whereas the black cap refers to the world of the dead and the dark shen of the otherworld. Red Head daoshi usually performs rites in the language of Taiwanese theater, perhaps dating back to forms of premodern



official Chinese. The Black Head master, on the other hand, uses either classical Chinese speech or the vernacular. There are also some differences in ritual tools employed. REGISTER, FULU 符籙. The term “register” as used in Daoism combines the functions of a talisman (fu) and a register, listing those numinal beings under one’s authority (lu). These were first widely used in Daoism by the communities of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Members of the community from young children to adults were given registers. The level of register varied with the age and development of the recipient. Married couples merged their registers. Some registers were talismans of great power, listing not only large numbers of numinal beings at one’s disposal, but also ones of great power. Leaders in those communities were called libationers (jijiu), and they possessed registers of great power, for example, those which contain the name of the Perfected Warrior (Zhenwu). RELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BOOK OF CHANGES, ZHOUYI CANTONG QI 周易參同契. This work is the earliest example of a Chinese alchemical text still extant. It is usually known in English simply as Kinship of the Three (Cantong qi) and attributed to the legendary immortal (xian) of the Han dynasty, Wei Boyang; however, the text, as it stands, has been heavily edited and has several centuries of accretions within it. Nevertheless, the fact that it is quoted and mentioned in several Tang dynasty works suggests that in its original form, it may date back to the Han period. Fabrizio Pregadio (2011) associates it with Han cosmologist Yu Fan (164–233) and his lineage of disciples. Actually, even though the text has been revered in both external alchemy (waidan) and inner alchemy (neidan) circles, it does not fully describe any method in detail. The main focus of the text is on the Dao and its relation to the cosmos. The work’s title reveals its intentional connection to the Classic of Changes (Zhouyi or Yijing). The cosmological language of the text may be read as symbolic, making it a treatise for neidan or as an account of the Five Phases, inviting waidan readings. Upon either reading, the essential processes of space and time on the grand scale are also taking place within the individual person. RITUAL TOOLS, FAQI 法器. Instruments in Daoist rituals are used to control spirits, purify ritual spaces, send messages to numinal beings, and perform other functions. Included among these objects are mirrors, swords, wooden tablets, bells, chimes, talisman placards, whips, whisks, horn flutes,



water bowls, and incense burners. The text Codes and Precepts for Worshiping the Dao (Fengdao kejie, CT 1125) designates all of these instruments as “ritual tools.” A few examples may be given. The Seven-star Sword (qixing jian) is a steel instrument whose blade is engraved with a pattern of the Big Dipper (beidou) and used to vanquish evil spirits from a space to make it pure and sacred. The Dragon Horn (longjiao) is a flute used to summon spiritual beings. The Rope of the Law (fasheng) is actually a whip. Its cracking noise is meant to frighten away evil spirits, much in the same way firecrackers are used at important Chinese festivities. The Command Placard (lingpai) is a long, narrow, wooden plate, flat at the bottom and rounded at the top, with talismanic words of power carved on it. On the front is “Command of the Five Thunders” (wulei haoling), and on the back appears “Calling the Ten Thousand Spirits” (zongzhao wanling). The daoshi holds the placard in his hands when giving orders to or making requests of heavenly officers and numinal spirits. RITUALS. Our earliest records of Daoist rituals are those preserved by followers of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). This is not to say that among various master-disciple lineages prior to the 2nd century there was no ritual performance by daoshi or masters of techniques (fangshi). It means that the transmissions of those performances were apparently in oral form only, and most likely the rituals had no communal expressions. Today, daoshi perform a wide range of rituals designed to interact with cosmic powers and numinal beings in a variety of ways. There are rituals to ensure good luck and prosperity, ask for forgiveness, benefit the dead, and offer thanksgiving. Depending on the ritual and the daoshi performing it (Red Head or Black Head daoists), the rite may take place in a home, a shrine, an abbey, a created temporary sacred space in public, or an erected platform. Historically, important rituals have included such examples as the zhai Ritual of Mud and Soot, a rite performed in the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) communities to formalize the confession of moral transgressions and obtain purification individually and communally. Large rites known as zhai rituals are the centerpieces of village festivals. They may last three, five, or even seven days and involve large numbers of daoshi performing various parts of the ritual. Sometimes members of the community participate, but many of the rites are meant only to be observed by them. Features of these zhai rituals may include the following: Establishing and purifying a sacred space, especially if it is to be erected in a public area temporarily. Rites include writing or hanging talismans and dances and chants of protection.



Performing dance and chant by the High Daoshi (gaogong daoshi) to transform and purify himself so that he may visualize and commune with the numinal beings who will be present. This is done in front of the “cave altar.” Inviting numinal beings into the ritual space. This process includes consecrating the images (xiang), usually made of paper in current practice. The image is activated by dotting the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth with red ink. Giving symbolic offerings and praises. Reading and chanting texts for confession, praise, and petition of blessings. Depending on the purpose of the zhai ritual, many more features and movements can be added. At the conclusion of the zhai, sending the numinal beings back to their places and the images they occupied, along with burning other components of the ritual observances, changing their Five Phase Physics (wuxing) form into one suitable for the numinal world. Specific smaller rituals may be performed to prevent evil from entering a family or village, improve one’s luck, petition for longevity, send aid to the dead, and perform a funeral. RITUAL SPACE, SACRED AREA, DAOCHANG 道場. The term daochang is used to refer to the sacred space in which rituals are enacted. It may also be used for the rituals themselves. The reason for this is that the space is made sacred by particular ritual performances, so the area becomes full of numinal presence by and as a result of rites done by the daoshi. So, daochang is sometimes not distinguished from the ritual created by Lu Xiujing (406–477) and typically called the “Land of the Way” rite. This performance continued through Du Guangting (850–933). In the Great Rites of the Numinous Treasure of Highest Clarity (Shangqing lingbao dafa, CT 1221), the ritual stages are set forth in detail. 1. The gaogong daoshi enters the altar and offers incense to express his sincerity. 2. He summons the local spirits, announces the purpose of the ritual, and gives the local spirits messages to take to the celestial spirits. 3. He identifies himself to the assembled spirits and salutes the highranking spirits, respectfully informing them of the purpose of the ritual. 4. For the benefit of the assembled community, he reads the “Green declaration” (qingci), which provides information about the rite and the intent of the people sponsoring it.



5. He offers incense to the Three Pure Ones so that the merits of the community may be used to bring joy and prosperity to the living and enable the ancestors to attain salvation. 6. He offers obeisance, confession, and repentance to the spirits of the 10 directions so that the sins of the living and the dead will not be able to cause any evil influences.

S SAGE, SHENGREN 聖人. Daoist texts make use of several terms for naming the practitioner of Dao who masters its presence in life. These include calling the person an immortal (xian), a spirit or divine person (shenren), a Perfected Person (zhenren), or a sage (shengren). Critically identifying different literary strata in such composite texts as the Zhuangzi sometimes depends, in part, on the different uses of terms for the ideally proficient practitioner of the Dao, specifically shengren and zhenren. The term shengren is also used in Confucianism, but in Daoism the emphasis is less on the exemplary moral character of such a person and more on his evanescent, spontaneous, dynamic, luminous powers and affect (de). The Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) says such a person is in “Oneness with Dao” and knows no dualism (ch. 7). Supernormal powers are often associated with shengren in the Daoist texts. Such a person can predict the future. He is mysterious and obscure, and yet as brilliant as the sun and moon (Zhuangzi, 13). He walks among the ordinary people as if invisible. His spirit goes wandering on ecstatic journeys, leaving his body behind. He dominates yin and yang and stands at the center between Heaven and Earth. He is the model for fulfilled humanity in oneness with Dao. This kind of person moves in wu-wei, which is the same thing as saying he has “obtained the Dao” or is “guarding the One” (shouyi). SANDONG 三洞. See THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG 三洞. SANDONG JINGSHU MULU 三洞經書目錄. See INDEX OF CLASSICS AND WRITINGS OF THE THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG JINGSHU MULU 三洞經書目錄. SANDONG QIONGGANG. See EXQUISITE COMPENDIUM OF THE THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG QIONGGANG 三洞瓊綱. SANGUAN 三官. See THREE OFFICES, SANGUAN 三官. 171



SANJIAO三 三教. See THREE TEACHINGS, SANJIAO 三教. SANQING 三清. See THREE PURE ONES OR THREE WORTHIES, SANJUN 三尊, SANQING 三清. SECRET INSTRUCTIONS, MIJUE 密訣. Mijue is a term used for the ritual manuals of a daoshi practitioner. These contain the methods and instructions handed down, usually in Zhengyi lineages, from father to son/ grandson. Historically, upon ordination, a daoshi would copy the mijue and keep it in a safe place for use during ritual service. These instructions are kept secret and only transmitted to initiates. SEVEN LABELS FROM THE BOOKBAG OF THE CLOUDS, YUNJI QIQIAN 雲笈七籤. This work in the Daoist Canon as CT 1032 is one of the major Daoist anthologies, and it also serves as an excellent source of information for otherwise lost works, especially those written during the Tang dynasty (618–907). It was compiled by Zhang Junfang (fl. 1008–1025). Zhang was editor of the Daoist Canon being complied during the reigns of emperors Taizong (976–997) and Zhenzong (997–1022). He grouped the texts into seven categories. Thus, the expression qiqian (“seven labels”) refers to this division. John Lagerwey (1981) has done a study of the sources of the collection, which is discussed in Schipper and Verellen (2004). SEVEN PERFECTED PERSONS, QIZHEN REN 七真人. The Seven Perfected Persons are the original seven disciples of Wang Zhe (1113–1170), founder of the Complete Perfection lineage of Daoism. Sometimes they are referred to as the Seven Patriarchs of Quanzhen. They are as follows: Ma Danyang (1123–1183) Dan Chuduan (1123–1185) Liu Chuxuan (1147–1203) Qiu Chuji (1148–1227) Wang Chuyi (1142–1217) Hao Datong (1140–1212) Sun Bu’er (1119–1182) Among these seven, Ma and Sun were husband and wife, and there are several stories of their interactions with Wang Zhe. Qiu was the founder of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage famously affiliated with the White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) in Beijing.

SIMA CHENGZHEN 司馬承禎 (647–735)


SHANGQING 上清. See HIGHEST CLARITY LINEAGE, SHANGQING 上清. SHANSHU 善書. See MORALITY BOOKS, SHANSHU 善書. SHENGREN 聖人. See SAGE, SHENGREN 聖人. SHENXIAN ZHUAN 神仙傳. See BIOGRAPHIES OF DIVINE IMMORTALS, SHENXIAN ZHUAN 神仙傳. SHENXIAO 神霄. See DIVINE EMPYREAN DAOISM, SHENXIAO 神 霄. SHEYANG ZHENSHONG FANG. See PILLOW BOOK OF METHODS FOR PRESERVING AND “NOURISHING LIFE,” SHEYANG ZHENSHONG FANG. SHIJIE 尸解. See DISAPPEARANCE OF THE CORPSE, SHIJIE 尸解. SHIYAO ERYA 石藥爾雅. See SYNONYM DICTIONARY OF MINERAL MATERIA MEDICA, SHIYAO ERYA 石藥爾雅. SHOUJUE 手訣. See INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRACTICES WITH THE HAND, SHOUJUE 手訣. SHOUYI 守一. See GUARDING THE ONE, HOLDING TO ONENESS WITH DAO, SHOUYI 守一. SIMA CHENGZHEN 司馬承禎 (647–735). Arguably, Sima Chengzhen was the most significant Daoist of the Tang dynasty. He was author of many important works on self-cultivation and transformation through quietude, and he was the successor to Pan Shizheng (585–682) as the Grand Master (zongshi) of the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) lineage. Sima was a poet and painter, and well acquainted with the great writer Li Bai (701–762). There are many stories of his mastery of calligraphy that associate this skill with the flow of qi through his body. Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712–756) asked Sima to copy the Daodejing in three calligraphic styles and then had them engraved onto stone tablets. Another tradition says that Empress Wu (r. 684–704) wrote an imperial edict praising him for his personal and spiritual achievements.



Sima’s life is well documented in more than three dozen biographies. With respect to his contribution to Daoism, at the age of 21 he became a disciple of Pan Shizheng on Songshan (Mt. Song, Henan), from whom he received the Shangqing texts and teachings. Sima’s most influential impact was his involvement in establishing Daoism’s place in the political terrain of the Tang. He was a counselor and advisor to various rulers, including Ruizong (r. 684–690, 710–712) and especially Xuanzong (r. 712–756). He was made the abbot at Mt. Wangwu (Henan province), where he edited and commented on many Shangqing texts. Du Guangting (850–933) reports Sima’s passing in 735, at the age of 89. One text reports that he experienced “disappearance of the corpse” (shijie) after having announced, “I have already received official duties in the City of Mystery (Xuandu).” In terms of his contribution to Daoist teaching, Sima passed along various techniques to cultivate the body and nourish qi, and these were more in the inner alchemy (neidan) rather than the external alchemy (waidan) method. Sima’s most famous and long-lasting impact is embodied in his work Essay on Sitting in Forgetfulness (Zuowang lun, CT 1036), in which he describes a seven-stage path for “realizing the Dao.” SIMING 司命. See DIRECTOR OF DESTINIES, SIMING 司命. SITTING IN FORGETFULNESS, ZUOWANG 坐忘. Zuowang describes a deep or intense state of altered consciousness, often resembling death, sleep, or coma in outward appearance. The Zhuangzi has five passages in which onlookers observing an adept in this state notice that the person has made his body “as an old dead tree,” and he appears to be in a far-off state of mind (making one’s mind like “dead ashes”), not conscious of the present moment (Littlejohn 2018). The state may be compared to “incubation,” as described by Peter Kingsley (1999) of pre-Socratic Greek philosophers who undertook quiet stillness in caves. In this state, the adept “forgets” or empties herself of language and such conceptual distinctions as moral concepts (e.g., virtue and vice terms) and sociocultural markers like success, failure, beauty, ugliness, and so on. By removing these barriers, the Dao may appear to awareness just as it is. This is described as “returning to the Origin” or “holding on to Oneness” (shouyi). While practiced from the 4th century BCE onward, even showing up in the meditative activities of Zhang Daoling, this discipline was particularly important in the Shangqing (Highest Clarity), Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), and Chongxuan (Twofold Mystery) lineages. According to the Chongxuan master, Cheng Xuanying (fl. 631–650), the exercise expresses a



twofold forgetfulness: forgetting the outer (i.e., the distinctions and discriminations made in language) and the forgetting the inner (i.e., thinking of awareness as belonging to some type of object or thing). In the 8th century, sitting in forgetfulness was the object of Sima Chengzhen’s (647–735) famous work Essay on Sitting in Forgetfulness (Zuowang lun, CT 1036). This essay was actually a compilation of Sima’s lectures to aspiring students. Its contents are traceable to Sima’s early teaching period on Mt. Tongbo (Tongboshan, Zhejiang province). Sima considers the historic interpretations of the term zuowang and adds his own contribution to the way of attaining this experience by means of a series of seven steps. 1. Entering seriously into a new state of consciousness with faith (Jingxin). 2. Confronting one’s moral action and response (Duanyuan). 3. Restraining the mind’s wanderings (Shouxin). 4. Detaching or emptying from affairs of life (Jianshi). 5. Engaging in true observation (Zhenguan). 6. Intensifying concentration (Taiding). 7. Realizing the Dao (Dedao). SONGJING 誦經. See RECITATION AND CHANTING, SONGJING 誦 經. SONGSHAN 嵩山 (MT. SONG, HENAN PROVINCE). As with the other Five Marchmounts of Daoist belief, Mt. Song is not one single peak but a chain of mountains and hills. Most Daoists who settled in Songshan lived in the regions of the mountains belonging to Dengfeng district (Henan province), not far from Luoyang. Songshan is one of Daoism’s famous grottoheavens (dongtian) and is regarded as the Central Peak of the Five Marchmounts system (wuyue). Daoists founded the Shrine of the Central Peak (Zhongyue miao) on the mountain and shared rituals there with popular cults. Many of these resemble what is found elsewhere in the iconography and practice of the Dongyue miao temple network. The most famous Daoists to reside on Songshan were Kou Qianzhi (365–448) and Pan Shizheng (585–682). Buddhists also migrated to the mountain, and its most famous site is the Shaolin Monastery (Shaolin si). SPIRIT-MEDIUM, JITONG 乩童. The term jitong refers to daoshi ritual specialists who speak and act for departed people or a numinal being (god or goddess) and are thus considered to be “spirit possessed.” This is a not



uncommon occurrence in Taiwanese popular religion even today, although daoshi usually set themselves apart from this practice, considering it more a function of Chinese popular religion than Daoism itself. The authenticity of the medium’s trance is often demonstrated by an act of self-mortification, for example, penetrating the skin with needles, flagellating the back with a whip of nails, or walking on burning coals. Onlookers who witness the medium’s imperviousness to pain and injury conclude that he is under the protection of a divine spirit. Mediums also exhibit changes in behavior and altered voice. The medium oftentimes is reluctant to give over to the call coming from a noumenal world. The call is frequently expressed in dreams, apparitions, or inner auditions. One who is willing to abandon himself and speak for another typically undergoes a period of training under the direction of a ritual specialist, who may later become his interpreter and manager. This is especially true if the medium is speaking for a deity or numinal being. Respected mediums may run a regular schedule of séances or offer appointments to clients seeking advice from the deity or departed people. Among the issues brought before spirit mediums, the most popular are those related to health, career decisions, educational challenges, and marriage and matchmaking. SPIRIT-WRITING, FUJI 扶乩. Fuji is particularly associated principally with the Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) School of Daoism. It involves two people holding a stylet above a surface covered with sand. One of them, possessed by a numinal presence, moves the stylet and draws characters in the sand. A third person standing by interprets what is written and transcribes the message onto paper. The practice was popular throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. Typically, the numinal beings who come are female; however, popular local spirits and the Eight Immortals (baxian) are also common. The Daoist Canon contains several scriptures presented as written through spirit-writing. The most prominent of these is Record of the Traces of the Dao Left by Numinous Spirits and Immortals (Daoji lingxian ji, CT 597). Another famous example is Book of Transformations of the Imperial Lord of Zitong (Zitong dijun huashu, CT 170). SPONTANEITY, NATURALNESS, ZIRAN 自然. Ziran is used in Daoism as both an adjective (natural, spontaneous) and a noun (spontaneity, naturalness). In either usage, it is related to zide (self-attainment, self-expression). It captures movement that is free and without hindrance by convention or expectation. Even Dao may be said to ziran, as it is life-producing creativity, eventuating in de (virtuous power, charismatic force). With respect to Dao’s ziran, it is like the water flowing from a spring that never dries up, which is why it may be compared to the power of the Origin (yuan).

SUN BU’ER 孫不二 (1119–1183)


Ziran is used in cosmology to describe how the world goes on by itself, without any deliberation, plan, or contrivance. To use an analogy, we may say there is music playing, but no score is being followed, nor is there any musician. Nevertheless, there is delight, order, and no harm. As Daodejing 25 says, “The Dao models itself on ziran.” Likewise, when used of an adept who moves in wu-wei, he is realizing ziran. As can be seen in Guo Xiang’s commentary on the Zhuangzi, Daoist thinkers sometimes betray Buddhist influences when interpreting ziran and only emphasize it as capturing the idea of “no substance” or “no Being.” This misses the reality of awareness and the persistence of consciousness that remains in Daoism. While there is “no thing” that is conscious, there is consciousness, which may be aware as ziran. In the Zhuangzi, remarks on ziran stress being “natural” as opposed to “artificial” or “human-made.” The adept or Perfected Person (zhenren) moves without intention and apart from control by the distinctions and discriminations of culture or society. Each person, moving in wu-wei, is his own spring of life. STEPS OF YU. See WALKING THE GUIDELINE, PACING THE DIPPER, STEPS OF YU, BUGANG 步罡. STOVE GOD, KITCHEN GOD, ZAOSHEN 竈神. The Stove God is a household god popular throughout China and grafted into the Daoist belief system. Typically, a paper image (xiang) of Zaoshen, and perhaps his wife and children, is hung on a wall near the stove in the kitchen. The purpose of this image is to serve as a reminder that Zaoshen watches over the conduct of the family members, reporting their good or evil deeds to the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang) once per year. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, the family offers food, incense, and prayers to Zaoshen. Beliefs about Zaoshen are first referenced in the Analects (Lunyu) and mentioned in the Book of Rites (Liji). The earliest surviving Daoist text devoted to the Stove God is Classic on Pacifying the Stove [God] (Anzao jing, CT 69), perhaps dating to the Song dynasty (960–1279). Zaoshen is also often identified with the Director of Destinies (Siming). SUN BU’ER 孫不二 (1119–1183). Sun Bu’er is the only woman to be included among the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren), who were the principal disciples of the founder of the Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) lineage, Wang Zhe (1113–1170), in Ninghai (Shandong province). Although her birth name was Sun Fuchun, Wang Zhe gave her the honorific Bu’er (nondual) to recognize her Oneness with Dao.


SUN SIMIAO 孫思邈 (?581–?682)

The hagiographic traditions of Daoism are full of material on Sun Bu’er. All agree that she was born in 1119, to a well-established family in Ninghai. She was given in marriage to Ma Yu (1123–1184), the son of a wealthy family in the town. They had three sons. When Wang Zhe arrived in Ninghai from Mt. Zhongnan (Shaanxi province) in 1167, Ma and Sun welcomed him into their home. Wang made a retreat on their property and isolated himself for more than three months. In 1168, Ma left with Wang to pursue Wang’s teachings and techniques in the Golden Lotus Hall (Jinlian tang) on the estate of Zhou Botong. As a disciple, Wang gave Ma the new name Ma Danyang. A year later, Sun presented herself at the community, and she was accepted. Along with her new name, Wang also transmitted to her an important text on talismans (fu). In late 1170, Wang returned to Henan, where he passed away and was buried on Mt. Zhongnan. Sun made a pilgrimage to his grave, and, by 1175, she had settled in Luoyang (Henan province), where she attracted a large following as a master of Quanzhen practice herself. SUN SIMIAO 孫思邈 (?581–?682). Sun was born near Chang’an (Xi’an) and was well educated. He was one of Daoism’s greatest alchemists and physicians. He figures in both Daoist and Buddhist texts, and was well versed in Buddhist medical practices. Most of the details of his early life are still being studied, but by 673, he seems to have been part of Emperor Gaozong’s (r. 649–683) court for a short time. Sun made use of spells and rituals taken from the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) lineage. His writings are directed specifically at the topic of “nourishing life” (yangsheng) through nourishing inner nature (yangxing). Sun composed two famous medical texts by the year 659: Prescriptions Worth Thousands (Qianjin fang) and Revised Prescriptions Worth Thousands (Qianjin yifang). These works provide instructions on diagnostics, proper medical ethics for a healer, and basic principles of treatment. They describe various disorders and contain prescriptions for their cure. His work is comprehensive, covering disorders of women and children, as well as men. He discusses diseases of the feet, “cold damage disorders,” disorders of organs (the five viscera [wuzang]), dietetics, and other topics. The “nourishing life” (yangsheng) methods of Sun include gymnastics (daoyin), circulating breath (xingqi), and sexual techniques (fangzhong shu). In addition to the works mentioned already, a total of five other major “nourishing life” texts are attributed to Sun and belong to the Daoist corpus of texts: Inscription on the Visualization of Spirit and Refinement of Qi (Cunshen lianqi ming, CT 834); Inscription on Protecting Life (Baosheng ming, CT 835); Pillow Book of Methods for Preserving and Nourishing Life (Sheyang zhenzhong fang, YJQQ 33); Essay on Preserving and Nourishing Life (Sheyang lun, CT 841); and Essay on Happiness and Longevity (Fushou lun, CT 1426).



Sun was also an advocate of alchemical elixir usage (waidan). The main source of his work in this area is Essential Instructions from the Classic of the Elixirs of Great Clarity (Taiqing danjing yaojue, YJQQ 71). SUPPLEMENTARY DAOIST CANON OF THE WANLI REIGN PERIOD, WANLI XU DAOZANG 萬曆續道藏. The Supplementary Daoist Canon of the Wanli Reign Period is the common name for an addendum to the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Reign Period (Zhengtong daozang), made during the Ming dynasty. It lists approximately 50 titles, cut on 4,440 block surfaces, raising the total of woodblocks for printing the canon to 78,520. SUPREME SECRET ESSENTIALS, WUSHANG BIYAO 無上秘要. The Supreme Secret Essentials (CT 1138) is the oldest surviving compendium of Daoist literature. It was compiled under imperial authority between 577–588, by Emperor Wu (r. 560–578) of the Northern Zhou. The irony of this action is that in 574, Wu had proscribed both Daoism and Buddhism, and destroyed many abbeys (guan) and monasteries of both traditions. But Wu came to believe that Daoism could be used to promote his goal of uniting China into a single country. So, he established the Abbey of the Pervasive Way (Tongdao guan). Wu gathered Daoist teachers and created an assembly perhaps not unlike the classical Jixia Academy. It was this group of thinkers that compiled the Wushang biyao. The work survives in the Daoist Canon, although it is missing 33 chapters of the original edition, at least when we compare CT 1138 with the table of contents of the work discovered among the Dunhuang manuscripts (P. 2861). Nevertheless, there are citations from about 120 texts, 77 of which are contained in the Daoist Canon. Most of the texts are traceable to the Shangqing and Lingbao lineages, with only a few extracts from Zhengyi writings. The editorial procedure seems to have been to extract passages from various Daoist works and piece them together without any interest in harmonizing their teachings. There is no commentary or analysis on the passages. In spite of these deficiencies, the Supreme Secret Essentials does make important contributions to our study of Daoism. It makes it possible to determine which texts composed in the Six Dynasties period have survived in the Daoist Canon. Some of its texts contain quite early rituals and rites. By reference to the table of contents from Dunhuang we can conclude that the editors of the collection did at least systematize the beliefs, rituals, and practices current in the period.



SYNONYM DICTIONARY OF MINERAL MATERIA MEDICA, SHIYAO ERYA 石藥爾雅. The Synonym Dictionary of Mineral Materia Medica (CT 901) was compiled by Mei Biao in 806, and it is the only known extant lexicon for external alchemy (waidan). The work only has two chapters. The first lists 526 synonyms under 164 headings. The second contains three lists, one of names and synonyms for elixirs, another of alchemical methods, and the last a bibliography of waidan works. We are not certain of the sources used by Mei Biao in compiling the collection.

T TAIJI QUAN 太極拳, GREAT ULTIMATE BOXING. The dominant form of martial arts in Daoism is taiji q uan, traditionally said to have begun in the Ming dynasty when the Daoist immortal (xian) Zhang Sanfeng looked out the window of his hermitage on Wudangshan and saw a crane fighting with a snake. This seemed to him to resemble yin and yang, twisting and turning as the cosmic process, first one and then another gaining ascendancy. He began to create forms based on observations of animals. These became the Wudang styles of taiji quan. Although the origin legends of taiji quan can be traced to Zhang Sanfeng, the actual techniques may be documented to the Chen family in Henan province, specifically to General Chen Wangting (1600–1680), a warrior who fought in the Manchu wars. He developed five techniques that were then spread by his students. They, in turn, invented new styles. Each new iteration of the training styles of taiji quan took on the title of the school’s master. Thus, taiji quan includes such styles as Yang, Li, Hao, and Sun. The patterns of a given form may vary in number from 36 to 172 movements, and students should learn them by heart in proper sequence. The ultimate goal is that the movements become effortless and spontaneous, completely devoid of deliberation or intention. In this way, they are in physical form felt in the same way as wu-wei movement. Some patterns of movements are imitations of animals and thus associate the adept with naturalness. Rather than using one’s mind, physical strength, or boxing tactics, the practitioner’s movements engage body and breath, circulating and channeling inner qi. Taiji quan is thus both a martial practice and a spiritual one. TAIJI TU 太極圖. See DIAGRAM OF THE GREAT ULTIMATE, TAIJI TU 太極圖. TAIPING 太平. See GREAT PEACE, TAIPING 太平. TAIPING JING 太平經. See CLASSIC OF GREAT PEACE, TAIPING JING 太平經. 181



TAIQING 太清. See GREAT CLARITY, TAIQING 太清. TAIQING JING 太清經. See CLASSIC OF GREAT CLARITY, TAIQING JING 太清經. TAISHAN 泰山 (MT. TAI, SHANDONG PROVINCE). The most important of the Five Marchmounts of Daoism is Taishan. While most of the other five sacred mountains actually represent mountain ranges or chains of hills, Mt. Tai is an impressive single peak. Religious rituals were performed at this site even before the time of Confucius. For generations, it was the site of the imperial feng and shan rituals performed by the emperor. Mt. Tai is connected with the realm of the dead. Daoist teaching associated Dongyue dadi, the god of Mt. Tai, with the judgment of people and identified him as the lord of a celestial bureaucracy that had the power to determine the length of one’s life, the fortunes one has in life, and the punishment or rewards one will experience after departing this world. Throughout its history and even into the present, Taishan has been an important site of pilgrimage. The pilgrimage trail begins in Tai’an, usually at the Shrine of Mt. Tai (Dai miao). TAISHANG GANYING PIAN 太上感應篇. See TRACT OF THE MOST HIGH ON ACTION AND RESPONSE, TAISHANG GANYING PIAN 太上感 應篇. TAIYI 太一. Taiyi may be translated as the Great/Supreme One or Great Oneness. It refers to the cosmic One from which all things have come and is sometimes used to personify this One as a god named Taiyi, who is a star deity. Gao You (fl. 205–212 BCE) says that Taiyi is the primordial spirit that embraces all things in his commentary to the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi). The most ancient use of Taiyi as the cosmic One known is in the Guodian manuscript The Great One Generated Water (Taiyi sheng shui). Taiyi is also called Celestial Emperor (Tiandi), the supreme overseer of human affairs and destinies. Interestingly, this same term is used for the mastery of one’s own authentic or true self. When used in this way, the paradigmatic example is the daoshi, who experiences “Oneness with Dao” (shouyi) when he enters into the clarity and stillness of his heart-mind (xin) through moving in wu-wei. TALISMAN. See FU 符, TALISMAN, CHARM.

TAO HONGJING 陶弘景 (456–536)


TAN ZIXIAO (fl, 935–after 963) 譚紫霄.. Tan was a daoshi from Quanzhou in Fujian province. He is regarded as the master teacher of Rao Dongtian, and thus he is often said to be the founder or principal interpreter of the Correct Method of the Celestial Heart (Tianxin zhengfa). He was an advisor to Wang Chang (r. 935–939), ruler of the kingdom of Min. He was awarded the honorific Elder of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi xiansheng). Just what his relationship was to Rao is unknown, but Tan was a collaborator with the spirit medium (jitong) Chen Shouyan. Although there is no substantial evidence to confirm it, it is possible that Rao’s introduction to Tan came through Chen Shouyan, when Rao reported to Tan his discovery of the secret formulas of the Celestial Heart methods. This reconstruction has the merit of explaining why one tradition reports that Rao took the books he discovered buried on Huagai mountain to Tan, while another says Chen brought the books to Tan. After the fall of the kingdom of Min, Tan moved to Mount Lu (Lushan) in Jangxi province, where he acquired a following and transmitted the methods of the Celestial Heart. TAO HONGJING 陶弘景 (456–536). Like Yang Xi (330–386) and the Xu family, as well as Ge Hong (283–343) and the Ge family, Tao Hongjing was also from Jiangsu. He was born in Moling, not far from the modern city of Nanjing, in close proximity to Jurong, the home of the Xus and Ges. Tao clearly demonstrated in his life that a Daoist could be at the same time an alchemist, an eminent scholar, and an expert in medicine and healing. He was one of the most important intellectuals of the Six Dynasties period and the master interpreter and advocate for the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) lineage. From childhood, he was well trained in the practices of “nourishing life” (yangsheng), as well as literature and calligraphy. In his 20s, he was appointed as tutor to the imperial princes. Tao was familiar, of course, with the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, but also he knew Ge Hong’s Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan) and his tradition of seeking immortality. In fact, emperor Wu (r. 482–493) of the Southern Qi supported Tao’s interest in external alchemy (waidan). In 483, Tao became interested in the Shangqing revelations that had been granted to Yang Xi between 364–370, and he decided to collect the original texts because they were dictated to Yang by numinal beings. Tao felt there were also already a number of forgeries in circulation that were deceiving the people. He spent several years gathering manuscripts and using calligraphic style to try to identify their authenticity. In 492, he moved to Maoshan, partly with the intention of editing the Shangqing manuscripts he had collected. He founded the Abbey of Flourishing Yang (Huayang guan) on that mountain. In 498–499, he completed his work on the manuscripts and wrote annotations of his own for the key points



in them. The result was two major works in the Shangqing tradition: Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) and Hidden Instructions for the Ascent to Perfection (Dengzhen yinjue, CT 421). After compiling his Declarations of the Perfected, Tao reworked various medical texts he had available to him and compiled Collected Commentaries to the Canonical Pharmacopoeia (Bencao jing jizhu). He tried to compound the “reverted elixir in nine cycles” (jiuzhuan huandan) but twice failed, once in 506 and again in 507. From 508–512, he was in Southeastern China seeking ingredients for elixirs and healing. TEXTS OUTSIDE THE DAOIST CANON, ZANGWAI DAOSHU 藏外道 書. Texts Outside the Daoist Canon is a 36-volume collection of 991 texts not appearing in the Daoist Canon compiled under the editorship of Hu Daojing and published from 1990–1994 (Chengdu: Bashu shushe). Locating a text in this work is made convenient by using volume 36, which has a finding list by Chinese character. THREE CAVERNS, SANDONG 三洞. The term sanding refers to the three major divisions of the Daoist Canon as these were established by Lu Xiujing (406-477) in 471. These are the Cavern of Perfection (Dongzhen), Cavern of Mystery (Dongxuan), and Cavern of Spirit (Dongshen). Basically each of these is associated respectively with the Highest Clarity (Shangqing), Numinous Treasure (Lingbao) and Sanhuang lineages. In establishing this structure for the canon, Lu was probably inspired by the Mahayana Buddhist division of scriptures into “Three Vehicles,” of greater, middle, and lesser merit. Lu placed the Lingbao texts as most effective among the writing of the other two lineages. The structure allows for the grouping of Shangqing and Lingbao texts in the first two caverns. In the Three Caverns structure of the canon, the third cavern (i.e., the Cavern of Spirit, Dongshen) is associated with Sanhuang teachings and the Sanhuang wen was its principal work. Although this text is not extant in its original form, many works report the existence of a writing by this title. Based on what survives about the content of this text it appears to have contained talismans (fu), nourishing life recipes (yangsheng), and ritual methods. It was believed to contain instructions for quelling ghosts and demons, as well as providing the means to prevent misfortune. Ge Hong provides the fullest description of its contents and use in his Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi). The text entitled Explanation of the Scripture of the Three Sovereigns (Sanhuang jingshuo, YJQQ 1) provides the traditional account of the disclosure of the text. According to this tradition,



the work was revealed to Bao Jing by the Three Sovereigns (Sanhuang). Bao was sitting in stillness and quietude in a cavern when the text appeared spontaneously on the walls of the cave and he recorded its contents. THREE OFFICES, SANGUAN 三官. The three celestial offices of Heaven, Earth, and Water show up in the earliest Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) materials, but these realms are also referred to in writings dating back to the Qin and early Han dynasties. What we learn is that those who had moral failings or were actually criminals sought absolution from the Three Offices. Members of the Celestial Masters communities would enter their quiet rooms (jingshi), write out their confessions, and send them into the numinal world by placing the petition to the Heavenly Office high on a mountain, burying the petition to the Earth Office in the ground, and casting the petition to the Water Office into a body of water. The Celestial Masters text Master Red Pine’s Almanac of Petitions (Chisongzi zi zhangli, CT 615) tells us that in the future, the Three Offices will choose the “seed people” (zhongmin) who will survive the apocalypse of human greed and violence. These people will repopulate the world in a kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping). Other texts associate the Three Offices with the creation and administration of Fengdu, the Daoist hells of interrogation and punishment. The common thread here is that the Three Offices were understood as monitoring the good and evil moral deeds of people and correlating these with an individual’s longevity, fortune, and fate in both the ordinary and numinal realms. As the Daoist understanding of such activities developed, the popular system of the Ten Kings of Hell displaced the Three Offices in the spiritual imagination and practice of Daoism. THREE PURE ONES OR THREE WORTHIES, SANJUN 三尊, SANQING 三清. The term Sanqing is used for the three heavens of numinal reality, called Jade Clarity (Yuqing), Highest Clarity (Shangqing), and Great Clarity (Taiqing). These heavens are states of existence associated with the three highest deities in the Daoist pantheon of numinal beings. The Celestial Worthy of the First Origins (Yuanshi tianzun) is identified with Jade Clarity; the Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure (Lingbao tianzun), also known as the Most High Lord of the Dao (Taishang daojun), is identified with Highest Clarity; and the Celestial Worthy of the Way and Its Virtue (Daode tianzun), who is Laojun (i.e., Laozi deified, Taishang Laojun), is identified with Great Clarity.



One early stele dating to 508 depicts three numinal beings referred to as the Three Worthies (sanjun). The earliest textual description of the Three Pure Ones can be found in the Tang dynasty text Codes and Precepts for Worshiping the Dao (Fengdao kejie, CT 1125), which dates to 620–630. THREE SOVEREIGNS, SANHUANG 三皇. The Three Sovereigns of Chinese tradition are usually considered to be the mythical emperors of antiquity. However, the list of the three varies in different sources. As Daoists appropriated the belief in the Three Sovereigns they became identified with the Sovereigns of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. THREE TEACHINGS, SANJIAO 三教. Sanjiao refers to the “Three Teachings” of China—Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism—especially when they are understood to make a coherent and synthetic system of philosophical and spiritual understanding. In many eras of Daoist history, the tradition found itself in conflict with either Buddhism or Confucianism. So, the three-teaching emphasis actually began by touching what appeared to be the most common tie between the traditions, the inner alchemy (neidan) practices, which certainly seemed to connect with Buddhist meditation and to a lesser degree with Confucian self-cultivation. Early examples of Sanjiao initiatives may also be seen in the morality books (shanshu) and ledgers. In fact, the 10th-century work Tract of the Most High on Action and Response (Taishang ganying pian, CT 1167) incorporates moral precepts from all three traditions. Moreover, when Wang Zhe (1113–1170) founded the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) lineage, he established several teaching centers in Shandong province, and the name of each was preceded by the expression “three teachings.” Quanzhen masters throughout Chinese history embraced the combination of the three teachings of China. Indeed, well into the Qing dynastic period, emperors supported the harmonization of the three teachings, and the Yongzheng emperor (1678–1735) not only supported religious institutions that incorporated the Three Teachings objectives of syncretism, but also considered himself a practitioner of all three teachings. TIANSHI 天師. See CELESTIAL MASTER, TIANSHI 天師. TIANSHI DAO 天師道. See WAY OF THE CELESTIAL MASTERS, TIANSHI DAO 天師道. TIANXIN ZHENGFA 天心正法. See CORRECT METHOD OF THE CELESTIAL HEART, TIANXIN ZHENGFA 天心正法.



TRACT OF THE MOST HIGH ON ACTION AND RESPONSE, TAISHANG GANYING PIAN 太上感應篇. The Tract of the Most High on Action and Response is the classic example of a morality book (shanshu). It is a short text of only 1,284 Chinese characters, but it has been reprinted with such frequency as to rival almost any other published work in human history. Although assigned by tradition to Laozi’s authorship, it actually contains moral precepts drawn from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. The work probably originated in the 10th century, and it continues to be distributed today. The oldest extant copies of the text, one dating to 1296, are in the Beijing National Library. This morality text is based on the principle of “action and response” (ganying), which is a concept present in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi). This is the idea that desirable results follow from good deeds and bad fortune and punishment from evil. The opening line of the text observes, “Retribution for good and evil is like the shadow cast by the body.” The text describes spiritual overseers of human deeds, including Lords of the Big Dipper (Beidou xingjun), the Director of Destinies (Siming), and the Stove God (Zaoshen). These directors may reduce one’s life span by units of 100 days (suan) or 12 years (ji). While the morality book is based on a highly quantitative view of morality, the actual precepts make it clear that intentionality and not merely action is also of moral import. The Tract has been printed continuously since the 10th century, and it was used in the Chinese village lecture system, a program of public education that included traveling theatrical groups and performers as early as the Song and Yuan dynasties. The text has been translated into many Western languages and was even included in James Legge’s (1815–1897) early translation of the most essential Daoist texts (1891). Legge included three texts: Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and the Tract. TRIPOD AND FURNACE, DINGLU 鼎爐. This term is used to generally refer to the apparatus employed in preparing substances in external alchemy (waidan). It may be a tripod in shape but is sometimes also called a crucible (fu), divine chamber (shenshi), or closed vessel. A ding is often simply called a furnace or stove, and it may take many shapes. Texts associate the ding with the ingredients in the same way in which the womb is associated with the embryo. Cosmological symbols may be inscribed on the ding, and it may even be called hundun, an image (xiang) referring back to the primordial chaos from which the cosmos originated. In this usage, the efficacy of the elixir is in its identification with the qi of Origin (yuanqi). TUDI GONG 土地公. See EARTH GOD, TUDI GONG 土地公.

V VISUALIZATION, ACTUALIZATION, CUN 存. In the practice of Daoist stillness and meditation this term is used for “causing something to exist.” It refers to the fact that as an act of extreme concentration and focus, a practitioner may visualize certain writings or actualize numinal spirits in consciousness, or even direct qi energy to be localized and intensified in the body’s five viscera (wuzang). The term rarely occurs in isolation but typically in a compound. For example, “visualization of spirit” (cunshen) or “visualization and meditation” are both frequent uses. “Visualization of spirit” occurs in two titles found in the Daoist Canon: Inscription on the Visualization of Spirit and Refinement (Cunshen lianqi ming, CT 834) and Essay on the Visualization of Spirit and Stabilizing of Energy (Cunshen guqi lun, CT 577). In both texts the practice of concentrated actualization (cun) results in an increase of energy, providing benefits to the practitioner’s shen (spirit). The ultimate goal of this practice is longevity and transformation. “Visualization and meditation” is the principal subject of the work entitled Illustrated Commentary and Instructions on Great Visualization and Meditation, by the Most High Lord Lao (Taishang Laojun da cunsi tuzhu jue, CT 875). This text advocates visualizing numinal spirits with such concentration that they appear in consciousness as if one were looking at their pictures. The text provides numerous examples of such experiences drawn from Daoist ordination, daily activities, and other situations. The end result of this exercise is a higher awareness of the Dao, leading to internal clarity and quiescence (qingjing).


W WAIDAN 外丹. See EXTERNAL ALCHEMY, WAIDAN 外丹. WALKING THE GUIDELINE, PACING THE DIPPER, STEPS OF YU, BUGANG 步罡. Bugang refers to the practice of Daoist ritual walks or dances that follow a cosmic pattern, for example, that of the Big Dipper (beidou) or the Eight Trigrams (bagua). Although there are certainly antecedents to this practice, the earliest preserved written descriptions of “walking the guideline” can be found in the revealed texts of the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) lineage. In these texts, it is associated with walking the patterns of the constellations, especially the stars of the Northern Dipper. Thus, the practice became known as bugang tadou, “walking the guideline and stepping on the stars of the dipper.” It seems clear that bugang descends from the ancient practice known as the “dance of Yu” or “steps of Yu” (Yubu). This style of pacing makes use of dragging one foot after the other, a practice associated with the legend of Yu, according to which, in his efforts to reestablish order in the world after the great flood, he became lame on one side of this body. Both the earliest and most detailed account of the “steps of Yu” can be found in Ge Hong’s (283–343) Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). In that text, it is a dance performed as a daoshi approaches what is called the “irregular gate” (qimen), which represents a “crack in the universe,” allowing the master to enter into another dimension while remaining invisible to any harmful powers. Upon return from this experience, the master would be possessed of divine powers and deep insight. In liturgical practice, the daoshi typically recites an incantation at each point along the path upon reaching a star of the beidou or a trigram of the bagua. Movement of the feet in the ritual is associated with the daoshi visualizing a journey to another dimension of reality. Instructional texts for the ritual of bugang are guarded in the secret instructions (mijue) of the High Master (gaogong daoshi).



WANG BI 王弼 (226–249)

WANG BI 王弼 (226–249). Wang Bi was the author of important commentaries and text codifications for the Daodejing, the Yijing (Classic of Changes), and the Confucian Analects (Lunyu). He established the standard received editions of the Daodejing and the Yijing. His commentarial work fixed him within the interpretive methods of Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue) and “Pure Conversation” (qingtan). Wang was an educated literati thinker, and he showed no real interest in longevity techniques or external alchemy (waidan). He viewed the world as pervaded by a single ordering Principle (li 理) and based his foundations of society and morality on it, associating the understanding of the universal order with Confucian li 禮. For Wang, dao is not a thing or a substance. It is unique and incapable of description in language. Dao is the source of all things. It is in this sense that Wang calls it non-Being (wu). Nevertheless, dao is mediated by Being (you) and may manifest itself when beings move in harmony with it. WANG CHUYI 王處一 (1142–1217). Wang Chuyi is one of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren) who were the first generation of founding disciples of Quanzhen Daoism. The Daoist Canon preserves a hagiographic work on his life as Account of the Miraculous Manifestations of the Perfected Person Who Embodies Mystery (Tixuan zhenren xianyi lu, CT 594). Wang had experiences of altered consciousness even as a child, and he and his mother were forced to live a reclusive life. At the age of 26, he began his training in inner alchemy (neidan) with Wang Zhe (1113–1170). Wang Chuyi was not a member of the four disciples in Wang’s inner circle. In fact, he studied with other teachers as well and was twice summoned to court as an advisor. But his political influence at court helped solidify the recognition of Quanzhen as a distinctive lineage and gave it institutional independence. Beginning in 1197, Wang directed a Quanzhen monastic community in Shandong. Several important second-generation Quanzhen masters learned ritual skills from him. As is true of the other Seven Perfected Persons, except Sun Bu’er, Wang Chuyi left behind a sophisticated anthology of his poems entitled Anthology of Cloudy Radiance (Yunguang ji, CT 1152). WANG ZHE 王喆 (AKA WANG CHONGYANG 王重陽) (1113–1170). Wang Zhe was founder of the Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) lineage of Daoism. He was born into a wealthy family near Xianyang, west of Chang’an (Xi’an, Shaanxi province). He grew up in the turbulent period of war between the Jin and Song. During this time, Wang moved to an area north of the Zhongnan mountains (Zhongnanshan), where he lived a disorderly and disreputable life. But then, in 1159, he met two immortals (xian):



Lu Dongbin and Zhongli Quan. This first meeting upset his world, and one year later, when he met them again, he devoted himself to self-cultivation. He broke off relations with his wife and children, and went his way as a spiritual pilgrim. For three years, from 1160–1163, he lived in a self-made grave, which he called “tomb of the living dead” (huosi ren mu). He moved into a hermitage with two other recluses, but, in 1167, he left this life behind, burned the hermitage, and moved to Shandong province. There he met Ma Yu and Sun Bu’er, and others who made up the original group of the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren). In Shandong, Wang established five lay associations, each beginning with the name “Three Teachings.” Each association had its own meeting hall where people could come for meditation, quietude, and stillness. Wang visited these halls regularly and composed poems and texts representing his developing practices and methods of pedagogy. These narratives of his life show the marks of hagiography, portraying him as an immoral person who comes to a spiritual rebirth under the witness and guidance of immortals. In addition to various hagiographic documents of his life, a pictorial representation of his journey is expressed in the murals of the Yongle Gong temple, dedicated to Lu Dongbin. Among the disciples Wang had in Shandong, Quanzhen tradition focuses on seven who became known as the Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen): Ma Yu, Tan Chuduan, Liu Chuxuan, Qiu Chuji, Wang Chuyi, Hao Datong, and Sun Bu’er. Wang had such trust in these seven that he planned to take them with him back to Shaanxi and the Zhongnan mountain area, but he died in Kaifeng before reaching his goal. Wang wrote a large body of poetic material, but there is no authoritative, comprehensive collection of it. Some small collections were made, including one done by Ma Yu entitled Anthology on the Completion of Authenticity, by [Wang] Chongyang (Chongyang Quanzhen ji, CT 1153). WANLI XU DAOZANG 萬曆續道藏. See SUPPLEMENTARY DAOIST CANON OF THE WANLI REIGN PERIOD, WANLI XU DAOZANG 萬曆續 道藏. WAY OF THE CELESTIAL MASTERS, TIANSHI DAO 天師道. The Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) had its origins in a dramatic revelation to Zhang Daoling (34–156) in 142 BCE, on Hemingshan (Mt. Heming). In this experience, Laojun appeared to Zhang to deliver to him the “One True Orthodox Covenant” between Heaven and humanity (Zhengyi mengwei). This covenant became the foundation for Zhang’s recruitment of



disciples and building of substantial communities in the area now known as Sichuan province. In fact, 24 such centers (zhi) were established, following the Zhang’s plan. The earliest evidence of the movement in material culture is a stele dated to 173, which records the initiation of a group of community leaders known as libationers (jijiu). This stele speaks of the method of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) and confirms that there were initiation rituals and esoteric texts transmitted to each new generation of leaders. Zhang’s ability to attract a following may be explained on the basis of several factors. 1. Zhang Daoling was a healer, and the practice he followed for healing was related to the control of spirits that might enter the body and cause harm because one’s qi had been weakened by immoral action. His emphasis on the control of threats from such spirits (gui) explains why the movement was sometimes also called the “way of demons” or “way of ghosts” (guidao). 2. Even in the earliest iterations of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) centers, there was already a well-documented practice of communal sharing of material goods, food, and civil infrastructure development. In fact, the movement was sometimes also known as the “Way of Five Pecks of Rice” (Wudoumi dao) because it enforced an obligation of each household to contribute five pecks of rice each year toward the maintenance of the community. Although we cannot be certain just how and to whom this grain was distributed, we have ample documentation of “charity lodges” (yishe) being used in the communities. 3. The movement was consistent, whether explicitly or implicitly, with the pursuit of a kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping), which was already winning enthusiasm, even within the ordinary populace, in the upheaval known as the Yellow Turban Rebellion (Huangjin zhi luan) and exemplified in the text Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). 4. The Celestial Masters offered a plan for longevity and transformation. They had each family construct a quiet room (jingshi) where people could enter and experience quietude and stillness, gaining clarity of mind and will through an experience with Dao that strengthened their qi. These rooms likely were substitutes for the ordinary adherents, replacing a life in the mountain caves that was impractical for commoners. 5. From its inception, the Celestial Masters movement could be characterized as a theocracy. The actual centers were administrated by people known as libationers (jijiu), but these were directors who carried out the revelations given to the Celestial Master. These individuals rose to



their positions as a result of intense spiritual training and their possession of powerful registers (fu lu) listing the numinal beings supporting them at their bidding. 6. Today, in Taiwan, there is still a Celestial Master who claims direct descent from Zhang Daoling. Although the narrative of the origination of the movement has Zhang Daoling receiving the “One True Orthodox Covenant” between Heaven and humanity (Zhengyi mengwei), we do not know exactly what the content of this revelation was or even if it was more a confirmation of teachings and practices already being implemented by Zhang rather than some absolutely new disclosure by a numinal being. If we look to a single text expressing the central ideas and methods of the Celestial Master movement, the one most frequently offered is the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu). Aside from the collection of the annual communal tax of five pecks of rice, one of the most distinguishing features of the movement was its rejection of blood sacrifice, which was central to the state cult and popular religious practice. The Celestial Masters taught that noumenal beings do not rely on sacrifices and could not be swayed by them. The zhai Ritual of Mud and Soot was one of the most spectacular of the community’s rites. Participants smeared themselves with soot and mud, and cried out, lamenting their moral transgressions. Another rite known to have been practiced by the Celestial Masters was the “merging qi” (heqi) performance of ritual intercourse in a communal setting. According to tradition, Zhang Daoling transferred leadership of the movement to his son, Zhang Heng (?–179), who became known as the “continuing master” (xishi). Zhang Heng, in turn, passed the mantle to his son, Zhang Lu (?–215 or 216). Zhang Lu is generally considered to be the person under whose leadership the movement developed a formidable structure, powerful enough to demand the political attention of ruler Cao Cao (c. 155–220), the warlord who dominated North Central China and quelled the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Zhang Lu established a substantial base of power in Hanzhong and northern Sichuan during the 180s. While the 24 centers of the Celestial Masters never declared themselves independent from the central government, they were basically self-governing. Libationers of various ranks filled positions administering local governmental functions previously occupied by political appointees. This situation was not tolerable, and Cao Cao led more than one campaign into the region to gain control. Finally, in 215, Zhang Lu’s confederation fell, and great numbers of families were relocated in an attempt to



break up the Celestial Masters movement, but it actually resulted in its spread. Some of Zhang Lu’s family, however, intermarried with Cao Cao’s family, and Zhang Lu was apparently treated well until his death in 215/216. Cao Cao’s dispersion first sent Celestial Masters followers to North and Northwest China. As a result of this relocation, it was much more difficult for the adherents of the movement to retain the unity of purpose and practice in their new communities compared to their relative isolation and unified intent while living in Sichuan. In fact, a text entitled Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Dao appeared in 255, and seems to have been considered as a transmission from Zhang Lu through a spirit medium (jitong) containing exhortations to the dispersed communities to reform themselves along the patterns that characterized the movement during the Hanzhong period. But when Northern China fell in 317, many of those families had to move again, this time to the south. The movement continued to be served by a long list of leaders, including Kou Qianzhi (365–448), known for his reforms in North China and even the reestablishment of a Celestial Masters theocracy in his “New Code.” The lineage of Zhang Daoling, honored by the community at Dragon Tiger Mountain (Longhushan), continues to trace its decent to the beginnings of the movement on Hemingshan in Sichuan, even though the current Celestial Master resides in Taiwan. WEI HUACUN 魏華存 (AKA NANYUE WEI FUREN) (?251–?334). Wei Huacun (aka Lady Wei) is the principal numinal being who transmitted the sacred texts that form the core of the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) corpus to Yang Xi (330–386) between 364–370. Wei was Yang’s “mysterious master” (xuanzhi), and she imparted ecstatic verses to him, which he wrote down. She was later designated as the first Shangqing Grand Master. Several Daoist texts contain partial accounts of her life, the most important of which is Extensive Records of the Taiping Xingguo Reign Period (Taiping guangji). Zhang Yuchu’s Anthology of Alpine Springs (in Xianquan ji, CT 1311) contains three hagiographies of Wei. According to these sources, Wei was born in Rencheng, Shandong province, as the daughter of a minister in the Ji court, who was also a practitioner of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). As Wei Shu’s (206–290) daughter, she studied Daoism and wanted to seek a life of reclusion; however, she was forced to marry a man named Liu Wen and reside in Nanyang (southern Henan province). Together they had two sons. Afterward, she moved to Xiuwu (northern Henan province), and there she became a Celestial Masters (Tianshi) libationer (jijiu). In 288, Wei received visitations from four immortals (xian). One of them, Wang Bao, the Perfected of Clear Emptiness (Qingxu zhenren), transmitted to her 31 texts, one of which was the Authentic Classic of the Great Cavern (Dadong zhenjing), which became the central text of the Shangqing lineage.



Tao Hongjing’s work Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016) contains instructions for rituals also reported to have been given to Wei Huacun by Zhang Daoling himself. When the Eastern Jin seized power, Wei, along with her sons, moved to Southeastern China in 317. She died there at the age of 83. Hengshan became an important site for veneration of Wei Huacun (as “Nanyue Wei furen”). According to tradition, Huang Lingwei (c. 640–721) discovered the lost shrine of Wei Huacun and presented her relics to Empress Wu. The hagiographies report that Wei became, by order of the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu), the numinal spouse of Mao Ying (Maojun), who had been given divine power and holy texts by the goddess. WENCHANG 文昌. See GOD OF LITERATURE, LEARNING, WENCHANG 文昌. WENZI 文子, BOOK OF MASTER WEN. The bibliography in the History of the Former Han (Hanshu) lists a book by this title and says its author was a “student of Laozi who lived at the same time as Confucius.” But the text adds, “The work appears to be a forgery.” In 1973, a bundle of bamboo strips of the Wenzi was excavated from the tomb in Dingxian, Hebei province, of Liu Xiu, who died in 55 BCE. The strips are fundamentally consistent with the received text, which exists only in the version annotated by Xu Lingfu (c. 760–841) and in the Daoist Canon as Authentic Classic of Pervading Mystery (Tongxuan zhenjing, CT 746). The Wenzi purports to record Laozi’s last words, stating that a ruler should not govern by reward and punishment but practice wu-wei. The text includes quotations from the Zhuangzi and the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), as well as the Yijing (Classic of Changes), Mengzi, Springs and Autumns of Mr. Lu (Lushi chunqiu), and Book of Filiality (Xiaojing). The work is surely a forgery, with about 80 percent of the text taken from the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi). WHITE CLOUD ABBEY. See BAIYUN GUAN 白雲觀, WHITE CLOUD ABBEY. WOMEN IN DAOISM. Daoism rejected the traditional patriarchy over women in China from the very beginning. In its classical texts, Daodejing and Zhuangzi, no distinctions were made along gender lines in who could be a Perfected Person (zhenren). The hagiographies of immortals (xian) include both men and women. The Records of the Immortals Gathered in the Walled City (Yongcheng jixian lu), collected by Du Guangting in 913, is exclusively concerned with female immortals. One section of the massive



work, Comprehensive Mirror of Perfected Immortals and Those Who Embodied the Dao through the Ages (CT296, Lishi zhenxian tidao tongjian), is devoted exclusively to female immortals, including goddesses and historical figures alike. He Xiangu (Immortal Maiden He) is one of the Eight Immortals (baxian), and her cult was established between the Tang and Song dynasties (Despeux and Kohn 2003). Cao Wenyi (fl. 1119–1125) is honored as the first woman to practice inner alchemy (neidan), and she was called to court by Song Huizong (r. 1100–1125). In the Qing dynasty, Cao appeared in spiritwriting (fuji) sessions, and copies of some of her revelations are kept in the White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan) in Beijing. Li Mo (i.e., Mazu, ?960–?988) became a numinal being and is regarded as the guardian spirit for seafarers. In terms of the gods, Daoist tradition recognizes and values many who are female. Surely the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) is the most famous, followed in significance by the Goddess of the Morning Clouds (Bixia yuanjun), who is the daughter of the Great Emperor of the Eastern Peak (Dongyue dadi) and merciful savior of dead souls (Naquin 1992). In the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), women were libationers (jijiu). They not only commanded various spiritual powers, but also held political offices leading numbers of families. Women were also important in the rise of prominent Daoist lineages. In the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) tradition, Wei Huacun (?251–?334) transmitted the sacred texts of the lineage to Yang Xi (330–386) between 364–370 (Despeux and Kohn, 2003). In the 12th century, when the Complete Perfection lineage (Quanzhen) began, Sun Bu’er (1119–1183) was the only woman among its original Seven Perfected Persons (qizhen ren). Statistics from the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang (r. 712–756) indicate that there were 1,687 Daoist temples in the 8th century: 1,137 for men and 550 for women. Thus, women constituted an important part of the Daoist clergy, as it was recognized officially (Despeux and Kohn 2003). Women were often leaders at Daoist abbeys (guan) and shrines (miao). In fact, a Daoist woman who could perform rituals and teach disciples was referred to as a daogu. One such person and her activities figured prominently as a character in the Ming dynasty theatrical play Return of the Soul (Mudan ting, aka Peony Pavilion) by Tang Xianzu (1598). As Quanzhen grew in influence, many women turned to the convents and celibate life, but their reasons were various. Some entered the convents temporarily before entering society. Others were widows seeking a better life. Others wanted to escape an unwanted or abusive marriage. Many princesses and even concubines, for instance, Yang Guifei, and empresses, like Wu Zetian, spent some time in convents. The most famous example of imperial



princesses entering the life of a Daoist nun is described by Zhang Wanfu in a scroll concerned with the ordination of Xining and Changlong, the eighth and ninth daughters of Emperor Ruizong of the Tang (r. 684–90) in the year 711. In terms of practices, a set of Daoist texts grouped around the practice of nüdan (女丹, women’s [inner] alchemy) consists of about 30 documents dating from 1743–1892. The text Precious Raft of Women’s Double Cultivation according to Master Li Niwan (Niwan Li zushi nuzong shuangxiu baofa) provides nine rules for female transformation, beginning with calming but also featuring visualization (cun) and breast massage. The ninth rule stresses that women can undertake the path while still actively pursuing household tasks and that does not require a monastic life. Additionally, women often play roles as spirit mediums (jitong), and some contemporary spirit-writing (fuji) sessions feature the presence of numinal beings who are women. WU 無 AND YOU 有, EMPTINESS AND BEING. Wu is a term that is used interchangeably with xu (void) and kong (emptiness). Wu, as used in a cosmological or ontological sense in the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, is a way of expressing that the ultimate source of existence is inexpressible in language and is not itself a thing. In fact, since everything that appears to have a core being or thingness is actually in constant process and change, no objects actually have a substantive being, not even a spiritual or nonphysical one. All things are empty (wu) in this sense. In the Zhuangzi, the beginning of all things is a nascent chaos (hundun). Other Daoist texts use the expressions Great Emptiness (taixu), Cavernous Void (kongdong), and Great Non-Being (taiwu) for this state. The polarities of yin and yang pull qi into being from this wu and into you. You is presence, being, existing. On the level of personal practice, emptying consciousness of thoughts, discriminations in language and judgment, feelings, concerns, and the like is a form of returning to this original emptiness. The Zhuangzi also describes this experience as one of “forgetting.” It is to be without an active heartmind (xin), to dwell in a state of stillness and quiescence in which clarity dawns and one is enabled to move in wu-wei. This is why a Daoist Perfected Persons (zhenren) or sages (shengren) will say that they “do not know” or that they have grown more and more “ignorant” day by day. The Zhuangzi calls this “fasting the heart-mind” (xinzhai). In this state, one is open and receptive to Dao. The experience is inexpressible; neither can it be taught in any discursive way. The Zhuangzi crosses over into symbolic language when speaking of this state. The Great Man is like the shadow that follows a form, the echo that follows a sound. Only when questioned does he answer, and then he pours out all his thoughts, making himself the companion of the world. He dwells in the echoless, moves in the directionless, takes by the hand you who are rushing and bustling back and forth, and proceeds to wander in the begin-



ningless. He passes in and out of the boundless and is ageless as the sun. His face and form blend with the Great Unity, the Great Unity which is no self (Zhuangzi, ch. 11). In the inner alchemy (neidan) tradition, emptiness is the last step of the alchemical practice culminating in “guarding the One” (shouyi). Having experienced it, the positive expression of emptiness is spontaneous self-actualization/self-authentication (ziran). WUDANGSHAN 武當山 (MT. WUDANG, HUBEI PROVINCE). Mt. Wudang is one of the most sacred sites in Daoism. While it is true that Wudangshan was a place of residence for masters of techniques (fangshi) and Daoist adepts reaching back into a misty past that has not been fully documented, it came to its greatest prominence in the late 13th century when it was heralded as the location of the manifestation of the martial exorcist god Zhenwu (the Perfected Warrior, aka Xuanwu, the Dark/Mysterious Warrior). The mountain was associated with not only apparitions of Zhenwu, but also his own cultivation, as the site where he was said to practice the exercises that led to his becoming an immortal (xian) being. Pilgrimages to Wudang became popular and are well attested. Participants reported visions of Zhenwu and also being overwhelmed by a sense of his presence on the mountain. The lore about the mountain turned up in many Daoist works, the most significant of which is Anthology of All the Perfected Persons from the Blissful Land of Wudang (Wudang fudi zongzhen ji, CT 962), dating to 1293. Large numbers of monasteries, abbeys (guan), and hermitages were erected on the mountain. The Ming ruling family took Zhenwu as the protector of the dynasty. From 1411–1424, the mountain temples and abbeys were made splendid by imperial patronage. Imperial officials and military generals alike took up residence on and around the mountain. The mountain received much less support during the Qing dynasty and fared only marginally well during the period down to and including the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). The Daoist communities on the mountain also became associated with a particular kind of marital arts called, simply, the Wudang style. This style became associated with Zhang Sanfeng during the Qing dynasty. WUDOUMI DAO 五斗米道, WAY OF THE FIVE PECKS OF RICE. The name Way of the Five Pecks of Rice was an alternative way of referring to the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao or Zhengyi) lineage in Daoism, but it was used as a pejorative title. One inscription, perhaps by a disaffected former member of the group, also refers to the movement as “rice bandits” (mizei). There is no evidence of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi) adherents using this title for themselves or their movement.



Followers of the movement contributed five pecks of rice (c. nine liters) each year to the community storehouse. Just how this grain was used, we do not know with certainty; however, it seems to have been a common pool of grain from which the libationer (jijiu) leaders provided food for the needy in each of the 24 administrative centers (zhi). The date for the contribution was set by community rules. Some Celestial Masters texts regard making the contribution as tied to the annual report made to numinal beings about the virtuous acts of members and their families. WUNENG ZI 無能子. See BOOK OF THE MASTER OF NO ABILITIES, WUNENG ZI 無能子. WUSHANG BIYAO 無上秘要. See SUPREME SECRET ESSENTIALS, WUSHANG BIYAO 無上秘要. WU-WEI 無爲. The Chinese character wu is a negation, while wei means “act” or “do.” Accordingly, this expression has often been taken as two words meaning “no action.” This way of understanding the term has marred the translation of the expression into Western languages; however, Chinese interpreters throughout history also misunderstood it to mean “doing nothing” or “taking no action.” In fact, a criticism of Daoists coming from Confucian circles accused them of advocating a kind of inaction that made no effort to change the world or improve the situation of themselves, others, or the nation. However, when occurring as a compound within Daoist philosophical grammar, the expression has a different use. It should be understood as a linguistic operator within the conduct language game of Daoism. Accordingly, it functions as a verb for a certain way of doing or acting, not for no action at all. The term first appears in the Daodejing, where it is often connected to the phrase wu buwei to make the full statement “wu-wei wu buwei,” meaning “wu-wei and nothing will be left undone.” Wu-wei is not a form of movement one may simply decide to do, nor can one be trained in it. It is not a martial art. It is not a form of meditation. One cannot wu-wei by ingesting elixirs or medicines. This form of movement arises only in the adept who has engaged in forgetfulness and emptiness (wu, kong) in a state of quietude in which clarity of will emerges without any intention or deliberation. When one moves in wu-wei, there is a felt naturalness, spontaneously, and freedom. One’s movement does not interfere but actually conforms to the patterns and rhythms of Dao. In fact, moving in wu-wei is equivalent to “guarding the One” or “Holding to Oneness with Dao” (shouyi).



In the Zhuangzi, moving in wu-wei is a kind of free and easy wandering, because one is not weighed down with the conventional social distinctions made in language—not even those associated with Confucian elite ethics: benevolence (ren) and appropriate conduct (yi). In Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism (Huang-lao), especially as it shows up in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi), wu-wei in human conduct is aligned with the way Heaven moves nature by seasons and the planets and stars in their courses. One of the earliest strata of the Zhuangzi (chs. 1–7) rejects government and social organization and admonishes the adept to wu-wei. The Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) strands of Zhuangzi and the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) insist that the ideal ruler who will bring Great Peace (Taiping) is one who acts only in wu-wei. WUXING 五行. See FIVE PHASE PHYSICS, WUXING 五行. WUYUE 五嶽. See FIVE MARCHMOUNTS SYSTEM. WUYUE ZHENXING TU. See CHARTS OF THE TRUE FORMS OF THE FIVE PEAKS, WUYUE ZHENXING TU 五岳真形圖. WUZANG. See FIVE VISCERA, FIVE ORGANS, WUZANG 五臟.

X XIAN 仙. See IMMORTAL, TRANSCENDENT, XIAN 仙. XIANG 象. See IMAGE, XIANG 象. XIANG’ER COMMENTARY PRECEPTS, XIANG’ER JIE 想爾戒. The Xiang’er jie is a set of 27 moral precepts derived from Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu). As extracted from the commentary they have been translated by Stephen Bokenkamp (1997). Since these rules occur in the commentary, the date of their origination parallels that of the text and the community that produced it. The Xiang’er precepts may be identified in three locations in the Daoist Canon: Classic Regulations of the Most High Lord Lao (Taishang Laojun jinglu, CT 786), Classic Injunctions of the Worthy of the Dao and Its Virtue (Taishang jingjie, CT 787), and Selections from the Essential Liturgies and Observances (Yaoxiu keyi jielu chao, CT 463). As given by Bokenkamp, the 27 precepts are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Do not delight in deviance. Delight is the same as anger. Do not waste your jing and qi. Do not injure the ascendant qi. Do not consume beasts that contain blood, delighting in their flavor. Do not envy the achievements and fame of others. Do not practice false arts (methods) or point to any object and call it Dao. 7. Do not neglect the law [the doctrine and ritual practices of the community]. 8. Do not act recklessly. 9. Do not kill or speak of killing. 10. Do not study deviant texts. 11. Do not covet glory or seek it strenuously. 12. Do not seek fame. 13. Do not be deceived by your ears, eyes, or mouth. 203



14. Place yourself in a humble position. 15. Do not slight [the Dao] or become agitated. 16. Consider carefully all undertakings, and do not be flustered. 17. Do not pamper your body with good clothes and fine foods. 18. Do not allow [your emotions and vital forces] to overflow. 19. Do not, through poverty, seek strenuously after wealth. 20. Do not commit any of the various evil acts. 21. Do not overly observe the interdictions and taboos. 22. Do not pray or sacrifice to demons and spirits. 23. Do not be obstinate. 24. Do not consider yourself inerrant. 25. Do not contend with others over right and wrong. When you meet the contentious, flee them. 26. Do not proclaim [yourself to be a] sage or contribute to the fame of the mighty. 27. Do not delight in arms. XIANG’ER COMMENTARY TO THE LAOZI, LAOZI XIANG’ER ZHU 老子想爾注. From 1900–1910, the Dunhuang manuscripts were discovered in caves located on the ancient northwestern Silk Road. One of these was a partial version of the Daodejing (aka Laozi), representing chapters 3 through 37 of the received text, and having amplifications and comments interspersed with the text. This work is now cataloged in the British Museum as Stein manuscript S. 6825 and named the Xiang’er Commentary (i.e., Laozi Xiang’er zhu). The first modern study and critical edition of the text was published by Rao Zongyi in 1956. A reliable English translation of the text is Steven Bokenkamp (1997). This commentary is important not only for the text of the Laozi used by the writer, but also because it represents one of the few surviving major documents from the early period of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi). It is possible that the text found at Dunhuang is a version of the one attributed to the founder of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) movement, Zhang Daoling, by both Tang emperor Xuanzong (r. 712–757) and Daoist ritual master Du Guangting (850–933). Moreover, use of the term xiang’er in the Celestial Master work known as the Commands and Precepts for the Great Family of the Dao (Dadao jialing jie), which dates prior to 255, seems to be a reference to the title of the text. If the title is mentioned, then the original Xiang’er must predate 255. Ninji Ofuchi’s inquiry into the history of the text finds that it has most often been attributed to Zhang Lu, the grandson of Zhang Daoling. Rao Zongyi takes the position that it was written by Zhang Lu but based on the teachings of Zhang Daoling (Rao 1956).



While we may associate the Xiang’er with the Celestial Masters tradition, we can also notice its connections with the methods of Mysterious Learning (Xuanxue, aka Neo-Daoism)—that is, the goal of the author is to unlock the mysterious teachings of the Daodejing. The pursuit of the esoteric knowledge of the Yijing (Classic of Changes), Laozi, and Zhuangzi is one way of grouping a set of texts into what we call Neo-Daoism or Xuanxue. In the case of the Xiang’er, this term refers specifically to the method of didactic homily used by the author in approaching the Laozi text, offering instruction to the libationers (jijiu) or leaders of the Celestial Masters centers (zhi). The author’s objective is to set out the mysterious knowledge of the Daodejing necessary for the leaders of the community to perform their tasks. This goal also explains why the Xiang’er is not, in any strict sense, interested in trying to perform as we might think a commentary should. It does not seek to recover the original intent of the authors/compilers of the Daodejing, the historical context for its sayings, or even the way in which a text complements Daoist themes and emphases already known in the 2nd century. Its Xuanxue approach is what gives the reader the sense that the commentary often totally misses what appears to be the obvious meaning of the Daodejing text and even accounts for the actual alteration of the clear meaning of the text in some places (see line 321). Contrary to the Zhuangzi and the surface meaning of the Daodejing, the commentary does not object to the use of such Confucian moral virtues as benevolence (ren) and appropriateness (yi). For the author, they derive from the Dao, and the text only laments that these virtues are not actualized in his present age by people who are following the Dao. If the Xiang’er does represent some of the earliest teachings of the Celestial Masters, it is noteworthy that there is no hint at longevity through elixir in this work, although the text is definitely concerned with health, cure of illness, and longevity. It is more dependent on notions related to the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi) and the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) traditions than anything like external alchemy (waidan). This work likely reflects our best source for the teachings that made up something like the covenant “revealed” to Zhang Daoling on Hemingshan and called the “One Correct Covenant and Way” (Zhengyi mengwei). So, this commentary is quite revealing. It shows that although the Celestial Masters may have been pursuing a way leading to Great Peace (Taiping) and even longevity, it almost certainly had nothing to do with elixir practice. Longevity and Great Peace are not pursued in the Xiang’er by elixir-making, nor even by dietetic practices, but by morality. Living by a set of precepts that the commentator associates with following the Dao is the key that unlocks longevity, and this is as much an ontological/cosmological statement as it is a moral one. Illness is cured by confession and ritualized in talismans (fu) but always connected to restoring one’s morality. Sickness is prevented by fol-



lowing the moral rules of the Dao and thereby retaining its qi inside the body. Demon spirits are enemies that enter one’s body because of immoral action. They could wreak havoc on one’s organs. So, the text says, “Keeping the precepts of the Dao, we amass good deeds, which accrue merit and assemble our essences to form spirits. Once the spirits are formed, we enjoy the longevity of the immortals (xian 仙). In this way we find our bodies reassured” (lines 162–63). The sage (shengren), patterning himself on the Dao, thinks only of accumulating good deeds to achieve physical longevity (line 351). How does following the precepts of the Dao make possible long life and even biospiritual transformation into what the text calls immortals (xian)? The author of Xiang’er offers an explanation for the connection between morality, health, and longevity. Relying on the Five Phase Physics (wuxing), he teaches that immoral action throws these phases out of balance inside our bodies (lines 21–25). When an imbalance of the Five Phases occurs, the qi is pushed out and the body is closed off, preventing its return, ultimately resulting in death. A way of healing is offered by the Xiang’er Commentary, found in turning from evil and practicing the Dao’s precepts. When one does so, the qi will return to the body. “When people practice the Dao and honor the precepts, the subtle qi return to them” (line 186). Since following the moral way of Dao is so important to one’s longevity, how are the Dao’s precepts known? Bokenkamp identifies 27 precepts occurring in the Xiang’er. He extracts them from throughout the commentary and provides a list, along with nine precepts derived from the Laozi (Bokenkamp 1997: 49–50). According to the Xiang’er, in the practice of a meditative stillness in the quiet room (jingshi), the subject enters another state of consciousness. He becomes clear and luminous in his understanding and will. “Knowing how to treasure the root in clarity and stillness is the constant method (the eternal way) of restoring life” (line 220). This is not clarity in language, mental concept, or even feeling, but the clarity of how to move, which is called wuwei, following the Dao. XIANGLU 香爐. See INCENSE BURNER, XIANGLU 香爐. XIAODAO LUN 笑道論. See ESSAYS TO LAUGH AT THE DAO, XIAODAO LUN 笑道論. XIN 心. See HEART, MIND, HEART-MIND, XIN 心. XING 性 AND MING 命. See INNER NATURE AND DESTINY, XING 性 AND MING 命.




Y YANG XI 楊羲 (330–386). For a person of such great importance in Daoism, little is known for certain about the life of spirit medium (jitong) Yang Xi. He lived in Jurong (near Nanjing, Jiangsu province) and was a calligrapher. What is crucial is that between 364–370, he received a series of nightly visions in which Perfected Persons (zhenren) from the Shangqing Heaven appeared to him and revealed a number of holy instructions. Among these Perfected Persons was Wei Huacun, and she became Yang’s “mysterious master” (xuanshi). While in an ecstatic state in the presence of these Perfected Persons, Yang wrote down the content of their revelations, along with the name and description of each Perfected being. The resulting texts became the foundation of the Shangqing lineage of Daoism, and they were also the principal source for Tao Hongjing’s Declarations of the Perfected (Zhengao, CT 1016). This text preserves a retelling of Yang Xi’s visions and a transcript of the incantations he used to call the numinal spirits. Yang was instructed to transmit these revealed texts into the keeping of the Xu family. The Xus were an aristocratic family of some wealth and political standing in Jurong. They were also related to the Ge family (the forbearers of Ge Hong) and the Tao family (ancestors of Tao Hongjing). The head of the Xu family was Xu Mai (300–348), who renounced his official career and became a disciple of Bao Jing (?–c. 330), the father-in-law of Ge Hong and an alchemist in his own right. Xu Mai practiced pharmacology, alchemy, and meditation. In 346, just a few years before Yang Xi began receiving his revelations, Xu changed his name to Xu Xuan and moved to the mountains, where he “disappeared in broad daylight” (i.e., became an immortal [xian]). Xu Mi (303–376), who was Xu Mai’s younger brother, continued to work as an official and supported Yang’s activities and protected him. In later life, he retired to Maoshan, Jiangsu province. Xu Mi’s third son, Xu Hui (341–c. 370), left his wife and family, and moved to Maoshan to become Yang’s disciple. YANGSHENG 養生. See NOURISHING LIFE, YANGSHENG 養生. 209



YELLOW EMPEROR, HUANGDI 黄帝. According to tradition, the Yellow Emperor was the third of ancient China’s mythological emperors. As the legend goes, he was born in 2704 BCE, and became emperor in 2697 BCE. The Yellow Emperor is also an important numinal being in Daoism. He is a cultural hero to whom various accomplishments and discoveries important to the development of human civilization are ascribed. He is credited with the invention of the calendar; the first planting of crops; techniques for constructing homes and buildings; the art of weaving clothes; the design of musical instruments; the invention of the bow and arrow, wheels and carts, writing, and boats; and the development of medicine. His wife was reputed to have taught women how to breed silkworms and weave silk. There are several Chinese mythical traditions about the Yellow Emperor in history, and they were generally combined into a coherent reinterpretation during the Han dynasty. The three principal myths include a tradition that the Yellow Emperor was a heavenly god, a second that reported he was an ideal ruler of the distant past whose exemplary leadership was attributable to his practice of wu-wei in following the Dao, and a third that said he was the patron and source of the ancient practices of methods known by the masters of techniques (fangshi). The Qin dynasty priests and rulers venerated the Yellow Emperor as the god (di) of the center direction. Han emperors preserved the belief system honoring the five heavenly Gods (north, south, east, west, and center), but gradually the Yellow Emperor was replaced by the Great One (Taiyi). We may wonder why the character huang (yellow) is used in reference with this deity. The reason is that huang is employed for not only a color, but also “august,” “venerable,” and “superior.” Accordingly, the heavenly gods of the other directions were subject to the Yellow Emperor. This position of ascendance accompanied the belief that the Yellow Emperor was the father of all the Chinese peoples, at least all the noble families. Both the Records of the Historian (Shiji, ch.1) and the Zhuangzi (ch. 11) associate the Yellow Emperor with the position of ruling the perfect kingdom of the distant past, from which later rulers have deviated. In this role, the Yellow Emperor once left his court, went into the mountains, practiced stillness, and was able to move in wu-wei. Then he returned to rule the ideal kingdom. There are numerous texts in which the Yellow Emperor is presented as seeking advice from immortals (xian) and daoshi masters. One of these is the first four chapters of the Ten Questions (Shiwen) text from the Mawangdui manuscripts, in which masters of longevity and nourishing life techniques (yangsheng) respond to the Yellow Emperor’s inquiries. Another includes passages from the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing). In the Han dynasty, the Yellow Emperor and the Divine Husbandman (Shennong) were associated, and in the bibliography of the History of



the Former Han (Hanshu), the Yellow Emperor is connected to numerous works on medicine and the techniques of longevity and medicines of immortality or transcendence (xianyao). The Yellow Emperor’s association in various tales with potters and blacksmiths became the basis for attributing alchemical mastery to him. YELLOW EMPEROR-LAOZI DAOISM, HUANG-LAO 黄老. The term Huang-Lao was first used in the Han dynasty in the 2nd century BCE to refer to a lineage of Daoist thinkers and practitioners; however, some sources claim that the lineage of Huang-Lao master teachers goes back to the Warring States and the thinkers gathered at the Jixia Academy. There are evidences of Huang-Lao teachings in the writings of Xunzi (c. 335–238 BCE) and Hanfeizi (c. 280–233 BCE). The received text of the Zhuangzi has a large number of text logia reflecting an interest in Yellow Emperor Daoist themes and their teachings, partially accounting for the perceived internal contradictions in the Zhuangzi about such matters as whether the adept should involve himself with government and what role wu-wei plays in state administration. Among its other emphases, the Zhuangzi constructs a Daoist ideal by means of Yellow Emperor sentiments and teachings. The characteristic mode of conduct that identifies the sage (shengren) in the Huang-Lao materials of the Zhuangzi is wu-wei. Instead of using the term Perfected Person (zhenren) for the realized Daoist, the Yellow Emperor passages prefer sage. The sage does not make distinctions, value riches, or worry about early death. The sage’s ability to move through life by wu-wei is directly traceable to the fact that he takes his stand in the original source, and his understanding extends to the spiritual (Watson 1968). In the face of the ebb and flow of life’s experiences, the sage is “like a quail at rest” and totally unmoved in emotion or thought. The Huang-Lao text blocks of the Zhuangzi likewise teach that one should set aside “knowledge” as defined and constructed by human reason and argument. One passage stressing an alternative approach taken from these materials is the following: The Yellow Emperor went wandering north of the Red Water, ascended the slopes of Kunlun, and gazed south. When he got home, he discovered he had lost his Dark Pearl. He sent Knowledge to look for it, but Knowledge couldn’t find it. He sent the keen-eyed Li Chu to look for it, but Li Chu couldn’t find it. He sent Wrangling Debate to look for it, but Wrangling Debate couldn’t find it. At last he tried employing Shapeless, and Shapeless found it. The Yellow Emperor said, “How odd! In the end it was Shapeless who was able to find it!” (Watson 1968: 129)



Additionally, whereas in chapters 1–7 of Zhuangzi, the friendship and disputation between Zhuangzi and the brilliant debater Huizi form the background for a rejection of the use of argument and debate, in the Huang-Lao materials this teaching is brought home through a series of text blocks that are critical of Confucius and usually portray Laozi as his teacher and master. Laozi and Confucius Text Blocks in the Yellow Emperor Strata of the Zhuangzi, Chapters 12–14 1. Dialogue with Confucius (called by his personal name, Kong Qiu), in which Laozi attacks rhetoricians (like Confucius) and those who try to make plans and strategies for trying to do something. Their fate will be disastrous, like that of a nimble monkey and rat-catching dog. They must forget all this. 2. Dialogue with Confucius about the 12 classics he wants to put in the royal library. But when Laozi finds that the central thrusts of those works are the distinctions of benevolence and righteousness, the flags that only bring confusion to men, he refuses to accept them. 3. Dialogue with Confucius, who complains that he has not found the dao in benevolence and righteousness. Laozi tells him that this is not surprising, that he should instead rest in wu-wei. 4. Dialogue with Confucius in which Laozi again condemns running around trying to practice benevolence and righteousness, and recommends instead being natural, like the white of the goose and the black of the crow. 5. Dialogue with Confucius as Kong Qiu concerning the fact that no ruler listens to him as he takes his six classics to them. Laozi says it is a good thing they do not listen, and he criticizes the six classics as wornout paths, with the dialogue concluding by Confucius realizing he must act naturally. (Littlejohn 2010) In making his point about rulership, the Yellow Emperor, in the Zhuangzi, says that in his early period of rule, he used benevolence (ren) and appropriateness (yi) to meddle with the minds of men. What followed was a history of consternation and confusion, all the way down to the Confucians and Mohists, who are mentioned by name (Watson 1968). But after the Yellow Emperor visited Master Guangcheng on top of Kongtong Mountain (i.e., the Mountain of Emptiness and Identity), he learned the essence of the Perfect Dao, and so when he returned to rule, he followed wu-wei, his people experienced Great Peace (Taiping), and he became an immortal (xian) (Watson



1968). The Yellow Emperor creates disaster when he rules as a Confucian would, meddling with peoples’s minds, but when he rules in wu-wei, he is glorified. Additionally, parts of the Spring and Autumns of Mr. Lu (Luhi chunqiu) and sections of Dong Zhongshu’s (c. 195–115 BCE) Profusion of Dew on the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu fanlu) show indications of influence from Yellow Emperor Daoism. One of the most prominent philosophers attracted to Huang-Lao thought was Sima Tan (?–110 BCE), the father of Sima Qian (145?–86? BCE), author of the Records of the Historian (Shiji). Huang-Lao teachings are generally regarded as the principal ideas behind the text Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi, 139 BCE). Moreover, as either mediated through Book of the Masters of Huainan or by means of informal transmission, Huang-Lao Daoism also seems to have influenced both the Yellow Turban (Huangjin zhi luan) Great Peace movement and the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). The precise characteristics of Huang-Lao thought are still matters of dispute. Robin D. S. Yates and other scholars argue that the four texts in the front of Laozi B discovered in the Mawangdui manuscripts may be the long-lost Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi sijing), the core text of Yellow Emperor-Laozi thought. The principal teachings gleaned from this text include a thoroughgoing naturalism (not materialism) that is nevertheless animated by qi energy throughout. Natural processes are moved according to a Way (Dao) that operates normatively just left to itself. Humans may align with Dao through stillness and clarity, gaining the penetrating insight (shenming) revealed in one’s wu-wei conduct. Rulership derives its fulfillment, as all other roles do, from movement with Dao. The result of such leadership and community participation is a Great Peace (Taiping). YELLOW TURBANS, YELLOW TURBAN REBELLION, HUANGJIN ZHI LUAN 黃巾之亂. The Yellow Turban movement was a rebellion against the Han dynasty organized in Northeast China beginning in 184, with the goal of establishing the Way of Great Peace (Taiping dao). The Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a) represents a record of the ideas that inspired the movement, led by Zhang Jue (d. 184), who came from Julu, Hebei province. Yellow Turban ideology was saturated with the cosmology of Five Phase Physics (wuxing) and organized itself accordingly. Zhang Jue took the title “General of Heaven” (tiangong jingjun), and his two brothers, who were also leaders in the movement, were known as “General of Earth” (digong jiangjun) and “General of Humanity” (rengong jiangjun), echoing the tripartite structure of the worldview of the Three Offices (Sanguan) in Daoism. Moreover, the movement depended on the cyclical understanding of the changes of the Five Phases, according to which even phases of human government



were reflected as colors. The cycle of dynasties and that of colors moved together. The change occurring in the rise of Zhang Jue’s movement was the change from red to yellow. Thus, the name “Yellow Turbans” referred to the coming rise of the yellow dispensation under Heaven’s rule. Zhang believed the Han rule was under Fire (red) and the subsequent rule would have to be Soil, and the color of soil was yellow. Accordingly, the followers of the movement wore yellow headscarves or turbans (huangjin). The year in which the rebellion began was chosen according to the Five Phase (wuxing) cosmology as well. The year 184 was a jiazi year, meaning that it marked the beginning of a new 60-year cycle of history. The Yellow Turban movement shared some practices also found in the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), including confession of moral transgressions as a method of healing, drinking talismanic water (fushui), and reciting spells to bind ghosts. The movement was quite evangelistic, with a sustained effort to bring in new initiates and converts. The revolution was quelled within about one year, and the rebels were killed, scattered, or ended up joining the forces of various warlords of the period, notably Cao Cao (c. 155–220). Some of the members of this movement may have migrated into Sichuan and become part of the Celestial Masters centers there. YI. See ONENESS, THE ONE, YI 一. YIJING 易經. See CLASSIC OF CHANGES, YIJING 易經. YIN AND YANG 陰陽. According to the Daoist worldview, reality is generated from the One by the interaction of yin and yang. In Daodejing 40, yin and yang play a central role. Dao produces the One. The One produces two. Two produces three. Three produces the myriad creatures. The myriad creatures shoulder yin and embrace yang, and by blending these qi they attain harmony. (Ivanhoe 2002)

Yin and yang are not kinds of things in addition to qi. Yin and yang are not things, not even spiritual things. To take them in this way is to make what philosophers call a “category mistake.” Another way of saying this is that language about yin and yang is nonreferential. When reading about traditional Chinese medicine that makes extensive use of the concepts yin and yang, we must be careful to remember this fact: To say that one is sick because she has too much yang does not refer to some overabundance of a quantity of



some substance called yang, even if it resembles grammatically a statement like, “There is too much water in your bucket.” One way of noticing that these terms are not names of some substance is in seeing how they are used in political discourse. A minister is yin in relation to his ruler but yang in relation to his subjects. Even though yin and yang are nonreferential, they still have an important use in the ontology of early China. As concepts in Chinese ontology, they explain how qi takes the variant forms that constitute reality. The term yin as first used in the Spring and Autumn Annals originally denoted the shady side of a hill, while yang was the sunny. Thus, the two terms came to be used for complementary forces: female–male, passive–active, night–day, moon–sun, and the like. In about the 3rd century BCE, yin and yang were annexed into the explanatory language of Five Phase Physics (wuxing). For example, water and metal correspond to winter and autumn, all being yin. Fire and wood correspond to summer and spring, all being yang. Only earth is neutral and positioned as the center. The more complicated Five Phase physics (wuxing) became, the more extended uses of yin and yang also came about. For example, these concepts became part of the language covering directions as well (i.e., East and South are yang; West and North are yin). Yin and yang are also operators in the language of traditional Chinese medicine. Illnesses of various sorts are attributable to excesses and deficiencies of either yin or yang. Yin and Yang also became part of the grammar of the Yijing (Classic of Changes) and the Eight Trigrams (bagua) and 64 hexagrams. In that text, the point being made is that yin and yang affect every change in the universe, notably human history. The proper functioning of yin and yang was a concern of those following the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao), and their most controversial ritual, merging qi (heqi), had this goal as its ultimate end. At the same time, the intention to pursue longevity whether by external alchemy (waidan) or inner alchemy (neidan) sometimes involved inverting the process of yin and yang. Some neidan techniques were designed to cultivate a pure yang qi by eliminating yin from the inner five viscera (wuzang) and organs. YIQIE DAOJING YINYI. See COMPLETE DAOIST CLASSICS, WITH PHONETIC AND SEMANTIC GLOSSES, YIQIE DAOJING YINYI 一切道 經音義. YOULONG ZHUAN 猶蘢專. See LIKE UNTO A DRAGON, YOULONG ZHUAN 猶蘢專.




Z ZANGWAI DAOSHU 藏外道書. See TEXTS OUTSIDE THE DAOIST CANON, ZANGWAI DAOSHU 藏外道書. ZAOSHEN 竈神. See STOVE GOD, KITCHEN GOD, ZAOSHEN 竈神. ZHAI 齋, CEREMONY, FAST, PURIFICATION. Rituals play an important role in the practice of Daoism. There are rituals for exorcism, purgation of wrongdoing, saving ancestors and delivering them from punishment, the construction and compounding of elixirs, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and so on. An important rite in the past was that of ordination of a disciple (shoudu), which featured the transmission of texts and bestowal of the privileges to conduct the rituals in them and impart their teachings to those who sought them. The term used specifically for communal rituals but also employed even for smaller familial ones, for example, funerals, is zhai, which is the same term used for “fast.” No conclusive explanation for how fast became associated with ritual has been offered, but it may be simply that preparation for conducting the ritual in some liturgical texts does, in fact, require that the daoshi engage in a period of fasting from food. In fact, in the imperial rituals of the state from ancient times, the emperor prepared himself to make offerings by entering seclusion, bathing, and fasting. Another interpretation is that “fasting of the heart-mind” (xinzhai) is a sort of state in which distractions of thought and mind-wandering are quieted. Entering this state is particularly important for the daoshi performing a ritual, and it is aided by chanting and recitation (songjing) of texts in the opening acts of the liturgy, usually performed before what is called the “cave altar.” This ritual practice “purifies” the officiant and thus also explains that zhai is sometimes translated as “purification.” From the 3rd to the 5th centuries, when daoshi began to compile and transmit liturgies along robust lineage lines of disciples, zhai came to stand for the entire ritual and not merely the preparatory or preliminary procedures. Although there are early records of Daoist figures attached to the Chinese 217



court performing rituals, there is documentation of just what kinds of rites they did. Some may have involved divination, others may have been association with the activation or compounding of elixirs, but we cannot be certain. The earliest records of Daoist liturgies are those recorded of the rites performed by members of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) communities. These included the “merging qi” (heqi) and the “mud and soot” ritual (tutan zhai), in which individuals smeared themselves with mud and soot to enact their sense of moral failure before experiencing cleansing. The earliest description of the “mud and soot” zhai ritual is in the Text on the Five Commemorations (Wugan wen, CT 1278), by Lu Xiujing (406–477). Lu compiled nine different versions of zhai rituals. Since ordination and investiture of adepts as ritual masters, as well as the transformation of texts to mature disciples, was crucial to the coherence of Daoist communities, formalized instructions for such rites were also needed. The Codes and Precepts for Worshiping the Dao (Fengdao kejie, CT 1125) was an early collection of these procedures. Du Guangting (850–933) tells us that there were more than two dozen types of zhai rites known to him. Lu Yuansu (fl. 1188–1201) describes 10 types in his Regulations for the Daoist Community (Daomen dingzhi, CT 1224). The Register of Retreats and Precepts (Zhaijie lu, CT 464) describes different types of Daoist rituals and divides “fasting” into three types: “accumulating virtue and dispelling immoral action” (shegong zhai), harmonizing the heart-mind (xin) and extending longevity (jieshi zhai), and releasing the heart-mind from defilements and suppressing discriminations and thoughts (xinzhai). Modern-day Daoist ritual practice is dominated by the performance of offering (jiao) rituals made to numinal beings seeking their favor and power. Zhai rituals are performed prior to the jiao offerings. Only after the zhai rites are done can the jiao ritual begin. There are two major ritual traditions evident in contemporary Daoism: the Zhengyi–Lingbao heritage and the Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) school. The Quanzhen liturgies have dominated in Northern China and the Zhenyi–Lingbao ones in the south. In the Zhengyi stream of practice, ritual traditions are usually passed from father to son (or grandson) within hereditary family descent or sometimes in community networks of practicing daoshi. Accordingly, there is more variance by region and lineage in the performance of these rituals than what may be found in the more codified rites of Quanzhen. ZHANG DAOLING 張道陵, ZHANG LING 張陵 (34–156). Zhang Ling, or Zhang Daoling, was the architect of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) as it was revealed and confirmed to him on Hemingshan. This movement is also known as the Way of Orthodox Unity (Zhengyi dao) and



even the Way of the Five Pecks of Rice (Wudoumi dao). Ge Hong’s (283–343) record of Zhang Daoling’s career is the most detailed and extensive, but it is not in all respects completely trustworthy. However, we may highlight several of its points. Ge tells us that Zhang was a student in the Imperial Academy, where he became well versed in the Confucian classics; however, after his education, he concluded that none of that study was of any benefit to his desire for a long life. Ge tells us that Zhang studied the way of longevity, obtaining some elixir texts, but he was not able to afford the ingredients. Nevertheless, having heard that many of the people of Sichuan were pure and generous, as well as easy to teach and lead, and that the countryside was full of noted mountains, he moved there. According to Ge, while on Hemingshan, Zhang Daoling concentrated his thoughts and refined his will, and a celestial personage suddenly descended, along with a train of 1,000 carriages with feathered canopies, dragons, and tigers in the harnesses—so many they could not be counted—along with 10,000 cavalrymen. One in the party announced himself as the archivist (i.e., Laozi) and bestowed on Zhang the newly promulgated “One Correct Covenant and Way” (Zhengyi mengwei). Ge says that once Zhang had received this, he began to cure illnesses and the common people flocked to him, hailing and serving him as their master. His disciples numbered several myriad households. Ge goes on to tell how Zhang established the office of libationer (jijiu) to lead various households, organizing them according to 24 regional administrative centers (zhi). He arranged for rice, fabric, tools, utensils, paper, brushes, lumber, firewood, and other supplies to be distributed as needed. He directed some people to repair roads and bridges. Moreover, since he wanted to rule the people by means of honesty and shame, he avoided using punishments. When Ge had set up the administrative centers, anytime people in any sector became ill, Zhang had them compose an account of the infractions they had committed; then, having signed this document, they were to cast it into a body of water, establishing a covenant with the spirits that they would not violate the regulations again, pledging their own deaths as surety. Zhang believed that illness was connected to one’s moral life and retaining qi by living morally. Ge Hong likely exaggerated Zhang Daoling’s interest in elixirs of immorality. In Biographies of Divine Immortals (Shenxian zhuan), Ge often edits his sources to make various aspirants to longevity into practitioners of elixir alchemy, perhaps because, according to his autobiographical work, Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity), he is convinced that whatever one might do for health, actual longevity is not possible without alchemical elixir (Campany 2002).



However, Ge may have been correct about Zhang’s early study of Confucianism and his desire to lead a group of people being one reason he chose to relocate to the Sichuan mountains. Hemingshan was far away from the turbulence of the declining Han, and also it offered places of spiritual retreat and reflection. These conditions might have appealed to a Confucian-trained thinker who wanted to establish a community of Great Peace (Taiping) separate from the troubled Han. Thus, Zhang developed a new plan for those communities, and it was confirmed to him by his spiritual experience on Hemingshan. He called this new plan simply the “one true and correct way” (Zhengyi). In Chinese history, Zhang Daoling is portrayed in images (xiang) as a powerful figure with a black face and sword, always seated on a tiger. This may be because of his reputation as an exorcist, one who knew how to get rid of ghosts and demons, and also how to protect against their return. Zhang’s son, Zhang Heng (?–179), and his grandson, Zhang Lu (?–215 or 216), became heirs to the title Celestial Master (Tianshi) and continued to expand the movement in its early decades. After the breakup of the 24 centers, some Celestial Masters families moved to the north of China and others to the region around the ancestral home of Zhang Daoling near Longhushan. Zhang family members in the region around Dragon Tiger Mountain claim descent from Zhang Daoling, and this has been the principal site of the hereditary Celestial Master in Zhengyi Daoism throughout history to the 20th century. ZHANG GUOLAO 張果老. One of the Eight Immortals (baxian), by tradition Zhang Guolao was a recluse who lived during the 7th and 8th centuries. He is portrayed with a bamboo tube with two rods. He was reputed to have died to avoid working in the court of Empress Wu during the Tang dynasty but then to have reappeared in the mountains soon thereafter. Legends say that Zhang could cover great distances by riding a white mule, and he is sometimes depicted on this mule riding backward. ZHANG HENG 张衡 (?–179). Zhang Heng was the son of Zhang Daoling. He is traditionally regarded as the second leader of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). He passed leadership of the movement on to his son, Zhang Lu (?–215 or 216). Little is known about him with any assurance. One tradition says that Zhang Heng’s wife (Zhang Lu’s mother) was famous for her extraordinary powers of controlling ghost spirits and youthful appearance (never aging?). She may have served as a spirit medium (jitong) for Liu Yan (d. 194), governor of Yizhou (i.e., current Sichuan province). Some commentators hold that the person called Zhang Xiu, mentioned as a local leader in Sichuan in about the same period, may actually have been Zhang

ZHANG LU 張魯 (?–215 OR 216)


Heng, but this has not been substantiated. According to traditions about him, Zhang Heng rose to heaven “in broad daylight” during the reign of Han emperor Ling (r. 168–188). ZHANG JUE 張角 (d. 184). Zhang Jue was the oldest of the three Zhang brothers who founded the Great Peace (Taiping) movement in the 2nd century, which became known as the Yellow Turbans. The movement was influenced by Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism, and its philosophical primer was the Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing, CT 1101a). In the beginning, the Yellow Turbans had some support in the imperial court, and some were even accused of “studying the teachings of the Yellow Turbans” (Kohn and Roth 2002: 138). ZHANG LU 張魯 (?–215 or 216). Zhang Lu was the grandson of Zhang Daoling, the son of Zhang Heng, and the third leader of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao). Early Celestial Masters (Tianshi) documents refer to him as the “continuing master” (xishi). Zhang Lu’s mother was reputed to have powers to know the methods of illness causing ghosts and how to control them (guidao), and she was possessed of a youthful appearance, meaning that she did not age. Her close ties as healer and perhaps as a spirit medium (jitong) for Liu Yan (d. 194), governor of Yizhou (current Sichuan province) may have aided in Zhang Lu’s rise to power. Standard histories report that Zhang Lu became a commander in Liu Yan’s forces and that he defeated the governor of Hanzhong and established a theocratic state in Hanzhong, which he ruled for about 30 years (?185–215). The kingdom was divided into administrative districts, each being directed by a libationer (jijiu). These centers practiced individual and communal rites of confession of moral wrongs, established charitable distributions, and observed spiritual development through home quiet rooms (jingshi). When Liu Zhang, Liu Yan’s son and successor, came to power, Zhang Lu rebelled. Liu Zhang killed Zhang Lu’s mother and younger brother. Zhang Lu reached an agreement with the Han state, by first fighting and then allying with Cao Cao (c. 155–220). Zhang accepted various titles from him. In fact, he was enfeoffed as Marquis of Lang (Sichuan). He married some of his daughters to Cao Cao’s sons. But he died soon after the alliance was formed, and the Hanzhong community was dispersed by Cao Cao to Northwest China and Ye (Henan province). Steven Bokenkamp (1997) holds that Zhang Lu is the most likely author of the Celestial Masters works, Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi (Laozi Xiang’er zhu), and perhaps also the Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Great Dao.



ZHANG SANFENG 張三丰. Zhang Sanfeng is said by tradition to have lived in the late Yuan dynasty or the early Ming; however, we lack firm historical confirmation of his existence. Biographies report fantastic details of him. The History of the Ming (Mingshi) says he was seven feet tall with enormous ears and eyes, and that his appearance suggested the longevity of a turtle and the immortality of a crane. Many wondrous powers are attributed to him. Reportedly, he first studied Buddhism and then became a devotee of Daoist inner alchemy (neidan), finally becoming an immortal (xian). The lore of Mt. Wudang (Wudangshan) relates that he lived in a hut on the mountain with his disciples. He worked to rebuild the holy monasteries and temples on the mountain. One tradition says he was the founder of taiji quan (great ultimate boxing). From Wudang, he went to the Abbey of the Golden Terrace (Jintai guan) in Baoji, Shaanxi province, where he announced his departure and passed away. Still other tales say that he came back to life and traveled to Sichuan and then back to Wudang. It is clear that many Daoists and even imperial officials believed Zhang Sanfeng really existed, probably because he had a rather large cult following. Official envoys were even sent out to find him. There were searches authorized by the Hongwu emperor in 1391, followed by the Yongle emperor from 1407–1419. Even though these expeditions met no success, Zhang’s reputation continued to grow, and he even became identified with the God of Wealth by the end of the 17th century. A collection of works about him, including some ascribed to him, is in volumes 17 and 18 of the main collection of Daoist texts outside of the canon entitled Daozang Jiyao (Essentials of the Daoist Canon). ZHAO GUIZHEN 趙歸真 (?–846). Zhao Guizhen is probably the most notorious of the Daoist masters principally because he was largely responsible for executing the only empire-wide persecution of Buddhism in Chinese history. He was summoned to the Tang court because of his knowledge of external alchemy (waidan). Forces inside the court persuaded the emperor to exile him after an imperial fatality occurred as a result of his alchemical practices. He returned in 840, under Emperor Wuzong, a supporter of Daoism. Zhao encouraged Wuzong to punish the Buddhists and restrict their growth and landholdings. Unfortunately, Zhao’s particular experiments with alchemical elixirs led to Wuzong’s madness and eventually the emperor’s death in 846. Some sources report that Zhao’s punishment was swift and terminal. He was beaten to death in the public marketplace. Other sources insist he was only exiled again. ZHENGAO 真誥. See DECLARATIONS OF THE PERFECTED, ZHENGAO 真誥.



ZHENGTONG DAOZANG 正統道藏. See DAOIST CANON, DAOZANG 道藏. ZHENGYI 正一. See ORTHODOX UNITY, ZHENGYI 正一. ZHENGYI FAWEN JING 正一法文經. See CLASSIC CODE OF ORTHODOX UNITY, ZHENGYI FAWEN JING 正一法文經. ZHENREN 真人. See PERFECTED PERSON, REAL PERSON, AUTHENTIC PERSON, ZHENREN 真人. ZHENWU 真武, PERFECTED WARRIOR (AKA XUANWU 玄武, DARK WARRIOR OR MYSTERIOUS WARRIOR). Zhenwu (the Perfected Warrior), also known as Xuanwu (Dark Warrior) or Xuantian shangdi (Highest Emperor of the Mysterious Heaven), is a numinal being known for his powers of healing and exorcism. In the 200s BCE, he was associated with the symbol of a tortoise entwined by a snake, indicating his role in healing and exorcism of baneful shen. Song emperor Zhenzong built a temple to Xuanwu in the Song capital of Bianliang (current Kaifeng, Henan province), and, in 1018 CE, he gave Xuanwu the title “Perfected Warrior” (Zhenwu) and charged him with using his powers over the spirits to protect the Song state. Zhenwu was primarily associated with his place of manifestation in the Wudang mountain range of Hubei province, a site listed in Du Guangting’s “Seventy-two Blessed Places” (Lagerwey 1992) Song Huizong’s (1082–1135) practice of Daoism was expressed through his talents and abilities. He was a famous painter of Daoist subjects, especially auspicious events that the Dao wrought. Many of Huizong’s own paintings with Daoist subjects are quite famous. In an account taken from the hagiography of Daoist master of techniques (fangshi) Lin Lingsu, Huizong asked Lin to summon Zhenwu into his presence. After performing various rituals and fasting, and at the hour of noon, the sun was obscured and Zhenwu appeared to Huizong accompanied by thunder and lightning. The emperor sketched Zhenwu’s likeness, but when he called for the court painter to help him finish the work, Zhenwu disappeared. The third Ming emperor, Zhu Di (r. 1403–25 CE), best known as the Yongle Emperor, was the fourth son of Zhu Yuanzhang. Under his rule, Daoism grew significantly. He patronized Zhenwu and made the Ming dynasty the period of Zhenwu’s greatest popularity and influence. The emperor required his sons to make offerings to Zhenwu at the northern gate of the capital in Nanjing whenever they visited. As early as the late Song dynasty, several works appeared and announced that Zhenwu was actually the 82nd



transformation of Laozi. With this in the background, Zhu Di built many temples to Zhenwu on Wudangshan, and the complex built from 1412–1413 was called the “Purple Forbidden City” (Zijincheng). The Illustrated Album on the Auspicious Miracles Performed by the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven (Xuantian shangdi ruiying tulu) reproduces the decrees ordering the rebuilding of sanctuaries on Wudang and records a number of apparitions and manifestations of Zhenwu on the mountain during those years. By the mid-1400s, Zhenwu was the most important numinal power in Daoism, and his veneration extended to every level of Chinese society. Having Zhenwu on one’s register (fulu) ensured an unparalleled power (Little 2000). ZHI 治, CENTER, PARISH. The followers of the Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) during the time of Zhang Daoling and his son (Zhang Heng) and grandson (Zhang Lu) established 24 centers (zhi) of administration in Sichuan as a network of communities living by the rules and precepts of their teachings. The creation of these centers took place between 142 and 216. After 216, the centers were disestablished, and waves of Celestial Masters (Tianshi) families were disbursed from the southern areas of China to the northwest. The 24 centers were divided into three groups of eight. They were as follows: Group one: Yangping (led by the Celestial Master himself), Lutang, Heming (Hemingshan), Liyuan, Gegui, Gengchu, Qinzhong, and Zhenduo. These were the “Great Centers,” and their leaders were the principal figures in the Celestial Masters movement. Group two: Changli, Lishang, Yongquan, Chougeng, Beiping, Benzhu, Mengqin, and Pinggai. Group Three: Yuntai, Jinkou, Houcheng, Gongmu, Pinggang, Zhubu, Yuju, and Beimang. This was the lowest tier of the centers’ bureaucracy. The lost Code of the Great Perfected (Taizhen ke), quoted in the Excerpts from the Essential Liturgies and Observances (Yaoxiu keyi jielu chao, CT 463), says that in 196, Zhang Lu added four additional centers. The Excerpts also gives the fullest description of the political and social structure of a Celestial Masters center. ZHI 芝, PLANT/FUGI/EXCRESCENCE, LINGZHI 靈芝 NUMINOUS ZHI. Zhi uses a variety of plants, fungi, or excrescences. When used in healing or external alchemy (waidan), these plants may be called lingzhi (numinous zhi). They are believed to grow in blessed places (fudi) or on mountains like Penglai. Ingesting them brings healing, longevity, and even immortality.



Ge Hong gives the classical exposition on zhi in chapter 11 of his Baopuzi (Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity). He distinguishes five types. Ge says that certain types may go unnoticed on a mountain walk, unless the spirits of the mountain wish to disclose them, although some of them radiate light and may be seen even at night. So, one who goes seeking them must perform rituals of purification and even the “walking the guideline” (bugang) or the “paces of Yu (Yubu)” before proceeding. The Shangqing text Essential Classic of the Bright Mirror (Mingjian yaojing, CT 1206) states that the best zhi are those growing over deposits of cinnabar and gold. The Daoist Canon text Catalog of Mushrooms of Immortality (Taishang lingbao zhicao pin, CT 1406) contains illustrations and descriptive texts of 127 types of mushrooms or herbs necessary for long life. ZHONGGUO DAOJIAO XIEHUI 中国道教协会. See CHINESE DAOIST ASSOCIATION (CDA), ZHONGGUO DAOJIAO XIEHUI 中国 道教协会. ZHONGLI QUAN 鍾離權. Zhongli Quan, also known as Han Zhongli, is one of the Eight Immortals (baxian) in Daoist tradition. Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) Daoists consider him their second Patriarch. Records of the Correct Lineage of the Golden Lotus (Jinlian zhengzong ji, CT 173) says he was a historical figure from Xianyang, Shaanxi province, who lived during the Han dynasty. Having been a general for Emperor Wudi (r. 265–290) in the Western Jin, he met with success, but upon losing a battle he retired to the mountains and, following the directions of a mysterious old man, came to the abode of Wang Xuanfu (?–345 or 365), who was one of the Five Patriarchs of the Quanzhen lineage. From Wang Xuanfu he received talismans (fu), methods for compounding elixirs, spiritual texts, and other techniques of power. In the preface to the Complete Methods of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao bifa, CT 1191), Zhongli Quan reports that he discovered a copy of the Classic of Numinous Treasure (Lingbao jing), providing the central teachings of the Lingbao lineage in a cave in the Zhongnan mountains (Shaanxi province). Zhongli Quan became a teacher of the immortal (xian) Lu Dongbin on Mt. Lu (Lushan, Jiangxi province). The Daoist Canon includes a work in the form of a dialogue between Zhongli Qian and Lu Dongbin entitled Anthology of Zhongli Quan’s Transmission of the Dao to Lu Dongbin (Zhong-Lu chuandao ji, CT 1017). ZHONG-LU LINEAGE 鍾呂. This term refers to a Daoist lineage claiming that its texts are traceable to the immortals (xian) Zhongli Quan and Lu Dongbin. The writings associated with this lineage are within the inner



alchemy (neidan) methodological tradition. In the mid-11th century, texts began to appear claiming authorship by Zhongli Quan or Lu Dongbin. These were often refined poetic texts. They are preserved in the Complete Methods of the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao bifa, CT 1191), ascribed to Zhongli Quan, and the Anthology of Zhongli Quan’s Transmission of the Dao to Lu Dongbin (Zhong-Lu chuandao, CT 1017). ZHOUYI CANTONG QI 周易參同契. See RELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BOOK OF CHANGES, ZHOUYI CANTONG QI 周易參同契. ZHUANGZI (ZHUANG ZHOU 莊周) AND THE ZHUANGZI 莊子. ZHUANG ZHOU THE MAN. Most of what we know about Master Zhuang, or Zhuangzi, is taken from Sima Qian’s Records of the Historian. According to his account, Master Zhuang’s given name was Zhou. He lived during the reigns of King Hui of Liang (370–319 BCE) and King Xuan of Qi (319–309 BCE). He once served as an official in the “lacquer garden” in Mengcheng, believed to be in the State of Song (now Henan Province). Zhuang Zhou was a contemporary of great Confucian thinker Mencius, and according to Sima Qian, he was one of the masters who taught at the Jixia Academy. Sima Qian also tells us that Zhuang Zhou wrote a work of more than 100,000 characters, mostly filled with fables. This seems fairly accurate because the text of the Zhuangzi is, indeed, filled with interesting stories and characters, even featuring talking animals, trees, and skulls. The text is a rich treasure house of style and Chinese philosophical and religious thought. ZHUANGZI THE TEXT. The present text of the Zhuangzi was edited by a scholar official named Guo Xiang (d. 312), and it contains 33 chapters. Most of these, like the Daodejing, contain many component text blocks put together by an editor as one might place beads on a string; however, unlike the case of the Daodejing, we know that there was a much larger and older Zhuangzi. This “lost Zhuangzi” consisted of 52 chapters and is mentioned on a list in imperial bibliographies dating from about 110 (Watson 1968). The current text is traditionally divided into three major sections: Inner Chapters (neipian) (chs. 1–7), Outer Chapters (waipian) (chs. 8–22), and Mixed Chapters (zapian) (chs. 23–33). We are not sure whether it was Guo Xiang or some earlier editor who divided the Zhuangzi into these sections. Actually, these neat divisions of the text are not very helpful in identifying where a specific text block within the chapter originated in the flow of Daoist history. The text reflects a variety of literary styles, uses of poetry, short prose essays, and references to movements and figures of much later historical context than that of Zhuang Zhou. It also contains a number of text blocks written about Zhuang Zhou in the third person, and there are clear internal



differences in teaching between many text blocks, reflecting that there must have been more than one source lineage for the materials brought together in the complete work. Contemporary scholars, for example, Angus Graham (1986), Liu Xiaogan (1994), Harold Roth (1991), and Ronnie Littlejohn (2010), have suggested revised models for understanding the structure of the text of the Zhuangzi, but each of these has its detractors. In the following, I follow that of Littlejohn, and the pagination is from Watson (1968). THE INNER CHAPTERS. Chapters 1–7 contain a number of text blocks that may be attributed to Zhuang Zhou and represent the oldest material in the book. These materials are probably connected with Master Zhuang’s teachings during his time at the Jixia Academy (c. 330–301 BCE). But even these chapters in their present form contain passages easily seen as not traceable to Zhuangzi himself because Zhuangzi is described in the third person (e.g., ch. 1, 34–35; ch. 5, 75–76). DAODE CHAPTERS. Chapters 8–10 should be taken as a unit, consisting of materials formerly designated by the earlier categories of Outer and Miscellaneous chapters. Chapters 8–10 represent a clear break in the text and form a coherent essay often using the first person and employing illustrations of its points internal to the essay. The essay is not interrupted by any disconnected text blocks. As such, it is likely that the essay was written by a single individual, and this person made use of themes also found in the Daodejing given the numerous overlapping interests between the essay and the Daodejing. One of the most important literary evidences of the distinctiveness of this material is that the writer often uses the compound daode (the Dao and its power). Although the daode sections make no mention of the Daoist conduct concept wu-wei, the stress is instead on returning to naturalness and embracing one’s “inborn nature” (xingming). The use of this concept is important because it is never used in chapters 1–7 (Liu 9). The writer of the daode essay says, “My definition of expertness has nothing to do with benevolence and righteousness; it means being expert in regard to your de, that is all. My definition of expertness has nothing to do with benevolence or righteousness; it means following the true form of your inborn nature, that is all” (ch. 8, Watson 1968: 103). There is an argument throughout the daode materials that human society has been on a steady decline from a distant past of Great Peace (Taiping) called the “age of Perfect Virtue” (zhende), when persons followed dao and possessed its de. But as humans began making such distinctions as private property, benevolence, righteousness, and the like, only confusion, unlawfulness, and disorder resulted. These distinctions, far from ordering human life and society, actually represent a falling away from oneness with dao and are the grounds for war and suffering.



The daode materials are critical of human moral ideals as embodied in Confucianism, because devotion to them cuts away one’s inborn nature and confuses the world. If we must use cords and knots, and glue and lacquer to make something firm, this means violating its natural virtue. So, the crouchings and bendings of rites and music, the smiles and beaming looks of benevolence and righteousness, which are intended to comfort the hearts of the world, in fact destroy their naturalness (ch. 8, Watson 1968). In chapter 9, the author makes the point that the domestication of horses destroys their nature, and “as far as inborn nature is concerned, the clay and the wood surely have no wish to be subjected to compass, curve, and plumb line” (ch. 9, Watson 1968: 104–5). The author from which this material originated likens Confucian self-cultivation, with its stress on social rules, etiquette, and morality, to having a piece of useless flesh between our toes (ch. 8, Watson 1968). YELLOW EMPEROR-LAOZI (HUANG-LAO) MATERIAL (Chs. 11; 12a, 126–28; b, 128–29; 13a, 142–148; 14a, 154–55; c, 156–58; e, 161–62; f, 163–64; g, 163–65; h, 165–66; Ch. 15; Ch. 16; 18a; 19a, 22a). Angus Graham (1986) characterizes the creators of this section of the Zhuangzi as Syncretists, and this material has been traditionally associated with the Outer Chapters division. The materials in these sections of the Zhuangzi give us the first signs of ideas associated with what may be called Yellow EmperorLaozi Daoism (Huang-Lao). Sentiments and teachings in this part of the Zhuangzi also show up in the Book of the Masters of Huainan (Huainanzi, 139 BCE). One of the indicators of the distinctive source of this material is the prominent role given to the Yellow Emperor in these sections. Indeed, within the Zhuangzi, the text blocks in which the Yellow Emperor is a main character are in these chapters. Aside from the presence of the Yellow Emperor, another marker of the distinctiveness of these materials is the prominence given to wu-wei. One example of the conceptual differences between this section of the work and the Inner Chapters is that the Yellow Emperor texts do not reject rulership, whereas the Inner Chapters and the Zhuangzi Disciples (chs. 17–28, 32) materials do. The Yellow Emperor passages embrace the role of ruler and teach that the true ruler should govern by wu-wei, following the model of the Yellow Emperor. ZHUANGZI DISCIPLES, CHAPTERS 17–28 AND 32. Text blocks from this section traditionally have been classified as coming from both the Outer and Miscellaneous chapters. They are associated with the earliest disciple transmitters of Zhuang Zhou’s teachings. The following is some of the evidence why this is true:



1. With the exception of chapters 19 and 23, each of the chapters in this section contains passages that directly record Zhuang Zhou’s activities and teachings in the third person, just as we might expect from his disciples. In fact, in the Zhuangzi there are 25 records of Zhuang Zhou’s activities outside of chapters 1–7. This stratum contains 23 of these. 2. Liu Xiaogan (1994) has done an intensive conceptual and linguistic word study of these chapters, and he has traced 90 passages in which the word and grammar choices in these chapters are identical with or correspond closely to chapters 1–7 of the book that are closely associated with Zhuang Zhou himself. 3. Since the 90 instances of connection with chapters 1–7 are spread throughout chapters 17–27, it is reasonable to conclude that these materials were probably gathered by a lineage of masters who directly traced themselves to Zhuang Zhou as their master. 4. Like chapters 1–7, but in distinction from the daode materials and the Yellow Emperor materials, these blocks use the term zhenren to speak of the Daoist ideal. ZIRAN 自然. See SPONTANEITY, NATURALNESS, ZIRAN 自然. ZUO CI 左慈 (LEGENDARY 2ND–3RD CENTURIES). Zuo Ci was a master of techniques (fangshi) who received revelations in Shandong and came to the Jiangnan region. One tradition says Bao Jing (?–c. 330) received the Charts of the True Forms of the Five Peaks (Wuyue zhenxing tu) from him. Ge Hong reports receiving three of the most important external alchemy (waidan) texts from his own teacher, Zheng Yin, who got them from Ge Xuan, who got them from Zuo Ci: Classic of Great Clarity (Taiqing jing), Classic of the Nine Elixirs (Jiudan jing), and Classic of the Golden Liquor (Jinye jing). ZUOWANG 坐忘. See SITTING IN FORGETFULNESS, ZUOWANG 坐忘.

Appendix A Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Term List

ba gong 八公

Eight Gentlemen

ba xian 八仙

Eight Immortals

bagua 八卦

Eight Trigrams

Baduan jin 八段錦

Eight Brocades (type of qigong

bairi shengtian 白日昇天

disappear in broad daylight

Baiyun guan 白雲觀

White Cloud Abbey

Baosheng dadi 保生大帝

Great Emperor Who Protects Life

baoyi 抱一

embracing the One

Beidi 北帝

Northern Emperor

Beidou 北斗

Big Dipper (aka Northern Dipper)

Beidou xingjun 北斗星君

Lords of the Big Dipper

Beiyue miao 北岳庙

Shrine of the Northern Peak

benming 本命

Birth Star of Destiny

bianhua 變化

transformation of consciousness

bianshen 變身

transformation of the body

bigu 辟穀

abstention from cereals

biqi 閇氣

breath retention

Bixia Yuanjun 碧霞元君

Original Princess of the Jasper Mist

bugang 步罡

walking the guideline

bugang tadou 步罡踏斗

walking the guideline and stepping on the stars of the Dipper

busi 不死

no death, not dying, immortal

Caishen 財神

Gods of Wealth

Chan 禪

meditative state school (Buddhism)

Chang Jiang 長江

aka Yangzi River

Chang’an 長安

Xi’an 西安 (city in Shaanxi) 231



Changchun gong 長春宮

Palace of the Perpetual Spring

changsheng 长生

long life

chantui 蝉蜕

cicada remains

chaoyin 朝隱

recluse at court

chengfu 承負

inherited burden

Chenghuang shen 城隍神

City God

Chongxu guan 崇虛觀

Abbey for the Veneration of Emptiness

Chongxuan 重玄

Twofold Mystery

Chongxuan guan 重玄觀

Abbey of the Veneration of Mystery

Chongyang guan 重陽觀

Abbey of Double Yang

chuanshou 傳授

ordination, to pass on sacred knowledge

Chunyang 純陽

Pure Yang (e.g., Lu Dongbin/Lu Chunyang)

ci 慈


cun 存

visualization, actualization

cunshen 存神

visualization of spirit

Da Dao 大道

Great Dao

Dai miao 岱庙

Shrine of Mount Tai

dan 丹


danshui 丹水

stream/water of immortality

dantian 丹田

cinnabar fields, elixir fields

Dao 道

the Way

daochang 道場

ritual space, sacred area

daode 道德

the Way and Its Virtue

Daode tianzun 道德天尊

Celestial Worthy of the Way and Its Virtue

daogu 道姑

female daoshi

Daohua 道 化

Dao’s transformations

Daojia 道家

Daoist school/movement, sometimes “philosophical Daoism”

Daojiao 道教

Daoist teaching, sometimes “religious Daoism”

daoshi 道士

Daoist master, Daoist priest, Master of the Dao

daoyin 導引

gymnastics, guiding and pulling



Daoyin tu 導引圖

gymnastic chart, instructional images

Daozang 道藏

Daoist Canon

daozhang 道长

ordained Daoist master/ritual practitioner

de 德

virtue, power

dehua 德化

virtue transformation

di 帝

god (also, emperor)

dife i地肺

earth lungs

dimai 地脈

earth channels (arteries/veins)

dixian 地仙

earthly immortals

diyu 地獄

earth prisons (a.k.a., the hells)

dizi 弟子


Digong Jiangjun 地公將軍

General of Earth

dinglu 鼎爐

tripod and furnace

dong 洞

grotto, cave

dongshen 洞神

cave/cavern spirit

Dongtian 洞天


Dongtian fudi 洞天福地

Grotto-Heavens and Blessed Places

Dongwang gong 東王公

King Lord of the East

Dongxuan 洞玄

Cavern of Mystery

Dongzhen 洞真

Cavern of Perfection

Dongyue Dadi 東嶽大帝

Great God of the Eastern Peak (i.e., Taishan)

Dongyue miao 東岳庙

Shrine of the God of the Eastern Peak (i.e., Taishan)

dujiang 都講

Chief Cantor (for a ritual)

Emei Shan 峨眉山

Mt. Emei, Sichuan Province

fanchai 燔柴

roasted offering/sacrifice

fangshi 方士

masters of techniques

fangzhong shu 房中術

techniques of the bedchamber

faqi 法器

ritual tools

fasheng 法繩

rope (whip) of the law

fashi 法師

ritual master

feng and shan 封禪

ancient sacrifices at Mt. Tai



Fengdu 酆都

the realm of hells/purgatories

fengjian 風鑑

mirror of auras

fengshui 風水

wind and water (Chinese geomancy)

fenxing 分形

multiply or divide the body

fu 符

talisman, charm

fu 釜

crucible, caldron

Fudi 福地

Blessed Places

fuji 扶乩


fulu 符籙


fuqi 服氣

breathing control (ingestion of breath)

fushui 符水

talismanic water

gan 肝


ganying 感應

action and response

gaogong daoshi 高功道士

High Daoist Master

gong 宮


gongde 功德


gongge 功格

ledgers of merit and demerit

guan 观


gui 鬼

ghost, demon

guibing 鬼兵

ghost/demon soldiers

guicheng 鬼城

ghost city

guidao 鬼道

ways of the ghosts (sometimes used of Celestial Masters)

guishen 鬼神

ghost, demon

guizu 鬼卒

ghost/demon soldiers

Guodian 郭店

city in Hubei

guoqiao 過橋

Crossing the Bridge

Hangu guan 函谷關

Hangu Pass

he yinyang 合陰陽

joining yin and yang

Heisha 黑煞

Black Killer

Hemingshan 鹤鳴山

Mt. Heming, Crane Call Mt., Sichuan province

Hengshan 衡山

Mt. Heng, Hunan province


Hengshan 恆山

Mt. Heng, Shanxi province

heqi 合氣

merging qi

hong 銾


hongtou 紅頭

Red Head Daoists

houtian 後天

post-celestial arrangement/“after Heaven”

Huagaishan 華蓋山

Huagai mountain

huangbai 黃白

the “yellow and white,” or alchemy

huangjin 黃巾

Yellow Turbans

Huangjin zhi luan 黃巾之亂 Yellow Turban Rebellion huanghu 恍惚

transcendent experience, altered consciousness

Huang-Lao 黄老

Yellow Emperor-Laozi Daoism

Huang quan 黃 泉

Yellow Springs

huangting 黄庭

Yellow Court

huangxing 黃星

the yellow star

huanyuan 還元

return to the Origin

Huashan 華山

Mt. Hua, Shaanxi province

huashen 化身

transformation of the body

Huayang guan 華陽館

Abbey of Flourishing Yang

huiyuan 回元

return to the Origin

hun 魂


huncheng 混成

undefined and yet complete

hundun 混沌

chaos, primal formlessness

huo 火


huohou 火候

fire phasing

Huoju daoshi 火居 道士

householder daoshi

huosi ren mu 活死人墓

tomb of the living dead man

Jianggong 絳宮

Crimson Palace (heart)

jiangshen 降神

calling down the deities

jianhua 儉化

frugality transformation

jiao 醮

offering, to perform a sacrifice

jie 戒





jiejie 解結

untying the embryonic knots

jijiu 祭酒


jin 禁


jin 金


jindan 金丹

golden elixir

jindan dao 金丹道

way of the golden elixir

jinshi 進士

highest degree in imperial exam system

jinshu 金書

golden script

Jintai guan 金台观

Abbey of the Golden Terrace

jing 精


jing 經

classic text, scripture

jingmai 經脈

body meridans/channels

jingqi 精氣

refined qi

jingshi 静室

quiet room, meditation chamber

jingzuo 靜坐

quiet sitting

Jinlian tang 金蓮堂

Golden Lotus Hall

jitong 乩童

spirit medium

jiuchong 九蟲

nine worms or vermin

Jiugong 九宮

Nine Palaces

jiuzhuan huandan 九轉還丹 Nine Cycle Reverted Elixir (method) Jixia (yuan) 稷下院

Jixia Academy

junzi 君子

exemplary person (esp. in Confucianism)

kong 空


kongde 孔德

profound de (virtue)

kongdong 空洞

cavernous void/emptiness

Kundao yuan 坤道院

Kudao Academy

Kunlun 崑崙

Kunlun mountain

leifa 雷法

Thunder Rites

leiting 雷霆


li 理

Principle(s), structuring order of Dao

li 禮

rite, ritual, as in Confucianism

liandu 鍊度

salvation through refinement/refining the hun


lianjing huaqi 鍊精化氣

refining (jing) essence into qi

lianqi huashen 鍊氣化神

refining qi into spirit

lianshen huaxu 鍊神還虛

refining spirit into emptiness

ling 靈



Numinous Treasure

Lingbao tianzun 靈寶天尊

Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure

lingfu 靈府

spiritual storehouse

lingpai 令牌

command placard

Lingshu 靈樞

Numinous Pivot

lingzhi 靈芝

numinous zhi (plants)

longhu 龍虎

dragon and tiger

Longhushan 龍虎山

Dragon and Tiger Mountain, Jiangsu province

longjiao 龍角

dragon horn (ritual flute)

Longmen 龍門

Dragon Gate (Lineage)

Longmenshan 龍門山

Dragon Gate Mountains, Sichuan province

longmai 龍脈

dragon veins (of the earth)

Louguan tai 樓觀台

Platform of the Tiered Abbey

Lunyu 論語

Analects of Confucius



Luofushan 羅浮山

Mt. Luofu, Guangdong province

Lushan 廬山

Mt. Lu, Jiangxi province

luzhu 爐主

master of the burner

Ma Tou 馬头

horse head

Maoshan 茅山

Mt. Mao, Jiangsu province

Mawangdui 馬王堆

site in Changsha

Menshen 門神

Door Gods

miao 廟


Miaoxing yunu, 妙行玉女

Jade Woman of Wondrous Deeds

mijue 密訣

secret instructions

ming 命


mizei 米賊

rice bandits




mu 木


Nanhai Guanyin 南海觀音

Guanyin of the South Sea

Nanyue 南嶽

aka Hengshan 衡山, Mt. Heng, Hunan province

Nanzong 南宗

Southern Lineage of Daoism

neidan 内丹

inner alchemy

neiguan 內觀

inner observation

Neijing tu 內經圖

Diagram of the Inner Landscape

neipian 內篇

inner chapters (of a text)

Neishen 内神

Body Gods, Inner Gods

Niu Tou 牛頭

Ox Head

nudan 女丹

women’s inner alchemy

Penglai 蓬萊

mountain on the isle of immortals

pi 脾


po 魄


pudu 普度

universal salvation

qi 氣

energy, vital force

Qianfo dong 千佛洞

Thousand Buddhas Cave

Qigong 氣功

qi work

qing 清


Qingchengshan 青城山

Mt. Qingcheng, Sichuan province

qingci 青詞

Green Declaration

qingjing 清静

clarity and quiescence

qingjing xiang 清静香

incense of clarity and quiescence

qingtan 清談

pure conversation

Qingxu Zhenren 清虚真人

the Perfected Person of Clear Emptiness

Qingyang guan 青羊宫

Abbey of the Black Ram

qiqian 七籤

Seven Labels

qixing jian 七星劍

seven star sword (ritual object)

Qizhen ren 七真人

Seven Perfected Persons

Quanzhen 全真

Complete Perfection lineage

ren 仁

benevolence, humaneness


Rengong Jiangjun 人公將軍 General of Humanity renhua 仁化

benevolence transformation

sancheng 三成

Three Accomplishments

sandong 三洞

Three Caverns

Sanguan 三官

Three Offices


Three Teachings

Sanjun 三尊

Three Pure Ones or Three Worthies

Sanqing 三清

Three Pure Ones or Three Worthies

sanshan fulu 三山符籙

Talismans and Registers of the Three Mountains

sanshi 三尸

three corpses

San Tianzun 三天尊

Three Heavenly Worthies

Shangqing 上清

Highest Clarity lineage

Shangqing gong 上清宮

Palace of Highest Clarity

shanshu 善書

morality books

Shaolin si 少林寺

Shaolin monastery

shen 神


shen 腎


shengping 升平

advancing to peace

shengren 聖人


shengtai 聖胎

internal embryo of the sage

shenming 神明

penetrating insight

shenren 神人

divine person/spirit person

shenshi 神室

divine chamber

shentong 神童

child spirit medium

shenxian 神仙

spirit immortal

Shenxiao 神霄

Divine Empyrean Daoism

sheshu 赦書

Writ of Pardon

shi 蓍

milfoil or yarrow stalks (for divination)

shi 尸

impersonator of the dead/representative of the dead

shi 士

master teacher/master of practice

shi’er duan jin 十二段錦

Twelve Brocades (type of qigong)




shihua 食化

food transformation

shijie 尸解

disappearance of the corpse

shou xuanyi 守玄一

guarding the Mysterious One

shoudu 授度


shoujue 手訣

instructions for practices with the hand

shouyi 守一

guarding the One, holding to Oneness with Dao

shuhua 術化

techniques for transformation

shui 水


Shuojing tai 說經觀

Platform for Explaining the Classics

si 寺

monastery, temple

songjing 誦經


Songshan 嵩山

Mt. Song, Henan province

Taiji 太極

Great Ultimate

Taiji quan 太極拳

Great Ultimate Boxing

Taiji tu 太極圖

Diagram of the Great Ultimate

Taiji zuo xiangong 太极左 仙公

Immortal Duke of the Left of the Great Ultimate

Taiping 太平

Great Peace

Taiping Zhenjun 太平真君

Perfected Lord of Great Peace

Taiqing 太清

Great Clarity

taiqing dan 太清丹

elixir of Great Clarity

Taiqing gong 太清宮

Palace of Great Clarity

Taiqing guan 太清觀

Abbey of Great Clarity

Taishan 泰山

Mt. Tai, Shandong province

Taishan tianqi rensheng di 東嶽泰山天齊仁聖帝

Benevolent and Holy Emperor of the Eastern Peak Mount Tai, Equal to Heaven

Taishan yunu 泰山玉女

Jade Woman of Mt. Tai

Taishang daojun 太上道君

Most High Lord of the Dao

taiwu 太無

Great Non-Being

taixu 太虛

Great Emptiness

taixuan 太玄

Great Mystery

Taiyi 太一

the Great One


Taizhong dafu 太中大夫

Grand Master of the Palace (Temple)

Tian 天


Tianchang guan 天长觀

Abbey of Celestial Perpetuity

Tiandi 天帝

Heavenly Emperor

Tianfei 天妃

Heavenly Consort

Tian Gong 天公

Lord of Heaven

Tiangong Jingjun 天公將軍 General of Heaven Tianshi 天師

Celestial Master

Tianshi Dao 天師道

Way of the Celestial Masters

Tianshi dong 天師洞

Cavern of the Celestial Master

Tiantai shan 天台山

Mt. Tiantai, Zhejiang province

Tianwang 天網

Heaven’s Net

Tianxian 天仙

heavenly immortal

Tianxin 天心

Heaven’s Heart, aka Celestial Heart

Tianxin bishi 天心秘式

Secret formulas of the Celestial Heart

Tianxin zhengfa 天心正法

Correct Method of the Celestial Heart

tianzun 天尊

celestial worthy

Tongdao guan 通道觀

Abbey of the Pervasive Way

tu 土


Tudi Gong 土地公

Earth God

Tutan zhai 塗炭齋

mud and soot ritual

tuzhai shu 圖宅術

planning residences

waidan 外丹

external alchemy

waipian 外篇

outer chapters (of a text)

weishu 僞書

spurious text

wu 無

emptiness, non-Being

Wudangshan 武當山

Mt. Wudang, Hubei province

Wudoumi Dao 五斗米道

Way of the Five Pecks of Rice

wulei haoling 五雷號令

five thunder command

wulei shen 五雷神

five thunder deities

wuqi 五氣

five qis




wuqin xi 五禽戲

five animal patterns/playing (as in martial arts patterns)

wutou 烏頭

Black Head Daoists

wu-wei 無爲

effortless, nonintentional, spontaneous conduct

wu-wei xiang 無爲香

incense of wu-wei

wuxin 無心

no heart (i.e., without engaging the heartmind)

wuxing 五行

Five Phase physics

Wuyue 五嶽

Five Marchmounts system

wuzang 五臟

five viscera, five organs

xian 仙

immortal, transcendent

xiang 象


xianglu 香爐

incense burner

xianren 仙人

immortal or transcendent person

xiantian 先天

prior to Heaven

xianyao 仙藥

medicine of immortality

xiao 孝


xiaoshu 小術

minor arts/methods

xin 信


xin 心

heart, mind, heart-mind

xing 性

inner nature

xingjie xiaohua 形解銷化

shed mortal form and melt away

xingming 性命

inborn nature

xingqi 行氣

circulating breath

xinzhai 心齋

fasting of the heart-mind, suppressing discriminations and thoughts

xishi 襲師

continuing master (e.g., Zhang Heng)

Xiwangmu 西王母

Queen Mother of the West

Xiyue miao 西岳庙

Shrine of the Western Peak

xu 虛


xuande 玄德

mysterious virtue

xuandu 玄都

City of Mystery


Xuandu guan 玄都觀

Abbey of the Mysterious Metropolis

Xuanguan 玄關

Mysterious Pass

Xuankong si 懸空寺

Buddhist Suspended Monastery

xuanmen 玄門

dark/mysterious gate

Xuanpin 玄牝

Mysterious Female


Xuantian Shangdi 玄天上帝 Highest Emperor of the Mysterious Heaven xuantong 玄同

profound (mysterious) unity

Xuanwu 玄武

Dark Warrior or Mysterious Warrior (aka Zhenwu)

xuxin 虛心

empty heart-mind

Xuanxue 玄學

Mysterious Learning

xuanzhi 玄師

Yang Xi’s mysterious master

xuan zhi you xuan 玄之又 玄

mystery and mystery again (Twofold Mystery)

yangsheng 養生

nourishing life

yangsheng fang 養生方

recipes/methods for nourishing life

yi 義



Oneness, the One

yin and yang 陰陽

yin and yang

yishe 義舍

charity lodges

you 有


youlong zhuan 猶蘢專

“like unto a dragon”

yuan 元

the Origin, original

yuanqi 元氣

original qi

Yuanshi tianzun 元始天尊

Celestial Worthy of the First Origins

Yuanyou 逺遊

far-off journeys, ecstatic excursions

Yubu 禹步

steps of Yu

yunmu fen 雲母粉

powder of mica

Yuqian guan 玉泉觀

Abbey of the Jade Spring

yuqing 玉清

jade clarity

Yushan 玉山

Jade mountain

Zaoshen 竈神

Stove God, Kitchen God

zapian 雜篇

mixed or miscellaneous chapters (of a text)



zhai 齋

ceremony, ritual, fast, purification

zhaohun 招魂

summoning the soul

zhaohun fan 招魂幡

summoning the soul banner

zhen 真

complete, perfect, authentic

zhende 真德

perfect virtue

zhenxing 真性

real form/nature of something

Zhengyi 正一

Orthodox Unity lineage

zhengyi mengwei 正一盟威 One True Covenant of Power Zhengyi xiansheng 正一先 生

Elder of Orthodox Unity

Zhenjun 真君

Perfected Lord

zhenren 真人

Perfected Person, real person, authentic person

Zhenwu 真武

Perfected Warrior (aka Xuanwu 玄武)

zhexian 謫仙

banished immortal

zhi 治

center, parish (of the Celestial Masters)

zhi 芝


Zhongguo daojiao 中国道教 Chinese Daoism Zhongguo daojiao xiehui 中 Chinese Daoist Association 国道教协会 Zhong-Lu 鍾呂

Zhong-Lu lineage

zhongmiao zhi men 眾妙之 gate of all wonders 門 zhongmin 種民

seed people

Zhongnanshan 中南山

Zhongnan mountain, Shaanxi province

Zhongyue miao 中岳庙

Shrine of the Central Peak

zhou 咒

spell, curse

zhuji 築基

laying the foundations for meditative process in inner alchemy

Zijincheng 紫禁城

Purple Forbidden City

ziran 自然

spontaneity, naturalness

zishen 自慎

prudence and attention

Zongsheng guan 宗聖觀

Abbey of the Ancestral Saint (i.e., Laozi)


zongshi 宗師

Grand Master/Model Master


sitting in forgetfulness


Appendix B Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Texts

Anzao jing, as CT 69太上洞真安灶經 Baopuzi 抱朴子 Baosheng ming, CT 835 保生銘 Bencao jing jizhu 本草經集注 Bianzheng lun 辨证論 Cantong qi參同契 Changchun zhenren xiyou ji, CT 1429 長春真人西遊記 Chen Tuan gaowo 陳摶高臥 Chenghuang ganying xiaozai jifu miaojing, CT 1447 as 太上老君說城隍感 應消災集福妙經 Chifeng sui赤鳳髓 Chisong zi zhangli 赤松子章曆, CT 615 Chongyang Quanzhen ji, CT 1153 重陽全真集 Chuci 楚辭 Chujia yinyuan jing, as CT 339太上洞玄靈寶出家因緣經 Chunqiu fanlu 春秋繁露 Cunshen guqi lun, CT 577 存神固氣論 Cunshen lianqi ming, CT 834 存神煉氣銘 Dadan zhizhi, CT 244 大丹直指 Dadao jialing jie 道 家令戒, in CT 789 Dadong lian zhenbao jing xinfu lingsha miaojue, CT 890 大洞鍊真寶經修 伏靈砂妙訣 Dadong zhenjing 大洞真經 Daishi, CT 1472岱史 Daodejing 道德經 Daofa huiyuan, CT 1220 道法會元




Daoji lingxian ji, CT 597 道蹟靈仙記 Daojiao lingyan ji, 道教靈驗記 Daojiao yishu, CT 1120 Daomen dingzhi, CT 1224 道門定制 Daomen kelue, CT 1127 道門科略 Daoxue zhuan 道學傳 Daoyin yangsheng jing, as CT 818太清導引養生經 Daozang 道藏 Daozang jing mulu, CT 1431大明道藏經目錄 Daozang jiyao 道藏輯要 Daozang yuanliu kao, 道藏源流考 Daozang zunjing lidai gangmu, appended to CT 1430道藏闕經目錄 Daren fu 大人賦 Dengzhen yinjue, CT 421 登真隱訣 Diyu shiwang jing地獄十王經 Dongtian fudi yuedu mingshan ji, CT 599洞天福地嶽瀆名山記 Dongyuan shenzhou jing, CT 335 as 太上洞淵神咒經 Dongzhen huangshu, CT 1343 洞真黃書 Durenjing 度人經 Ershisi xiao de gushi, 二十四孝的故事 Fengdao kejie, CT 1125 as 洞玄靈寶三洞奉道科戒營始 Fenli shihua ji, CT 1155 分梨十化集 Fushou baozang 福壽寶藏 Fushou lun, in CT 1426 as 唐太古妙 應孫真人福壽論 Fuzu tongji 佛祖統記 Gaoshi zhuan 高士傳 Guang hongming ji T. 2103廣弘明集 Guanzi 管子 Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家 Han Wudi neizhuan, CT 292 漢武帝內傳 Hanshu 漢書 Hetu 河圖 Huahu jing 化胡經 Huainan honglie jie, CT 1184 淮南鴻烈解 Huainanzi 淮南子



Huangdi bashiyi nanjing zuantu jujie, CT 1024 黃帝八十一難經纂圖句解 Huangdi jiuding shendan jingjue, CT 885 黃帝九鼎神丹經訣 Huangdi neijing 黄帝内經 Huangdi sijing 黄帝四經 Huangting jing 黄庭經 Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, CT 432黃庭內景五臟六腑補瀉 圖 Huashu, CT 1044 化書 Jindan dayao, represented by CT 1067 上陽子金丹大要 Jinlian zhengzong ji, CT 173 金蓮正宗記 Jinque xuanyuan Taihang Laojun bashiyi hua tushuo 金闕玄元太上老君八 十一圖說 Jinye jing 金液經 Jiudan jing 九丹經 Jiuhuan jiudan miaojue, CT 891 as 大洞鍊真寶經九還金丹妙訣 Jiu Tangshu 舊唐書 Jiuzhuan liuzhu shenxian jiudan jing, CT 952 九轉流珠神仙九丹經 Kaiyuan daozang 開元道藏 Laojun bashiyi hua tu 老君八十一图 Laojun shuo yibai bashi jie, in CT 786, 1032 老君說一百八十戒 Laojun yinsong jiejing, CT 785 老君音誦誡經 Laozi bianhua jing 老子變化經 Laozi Xiang'er zhu 老子想爾注 Lienu zhuan 列女傳 Lieshi zhuan 列士傳 Liexian zhuan, CT 294 列仙傳 Liezi 列子 Liezi zhu 列子注 Liji 禮經 Lin Lingsu zhuan林靈素傳 Lingbao bifa, CT 1191 as 秘傳正陽真人靈寶畢法 Lingbao jing 靈寶經 Lingbao sanyuan pinjie gongde qingzhong jing, CT 456 as 太上洞玄靈寶 三元品戒功德輕重經 Lingbao wu liangdu ren pin miao jing zhu, CT 91 as 太上洞玄靈寶無量度 人上品妙經註



Lingbao wufu xu, CT 388 in 上清金真玉皇上元九天真靈三百六十五部 元錄 Lishi zhenxian tidao tongjian 歷世真仙體道通鋻 Lunyu 論語 Luoshu 洛書 (also written 雒書) Lushi chunqiu 呂氏春秋 Lutu zhenjing籙圖真經 Ma Danyang sandu Ren fengzi 馬丹陽三度 任風子 Maoshan zhi, CT 304茅 山志 Mengzi孟子 Mingjian yaojing, CT 1206 as 上清明鑑要經 Mingshi明史 Mudan ting 牡丹亭 Nan Tangshu 南唐書 Nanyue jiu zhenren zhuan, CT 452南嶽九真人 傳 Nanyue xiaolu, CT 453南嶽小錄 Nanyue zongsheng ji, CT 606南嶽總勝集 Neiguan jing, as CT 641太上老君內觀經 Neijing tu 内景圖 Neiye 內業 Niwan Li zushi nuzong shuangxiu baofa 泥丸李祖師女 宗雙修寶筏 Nuqing guilu, CT 790 女青鬼律 Panxi ji, CT 1159磻溪集 Pengzu jing 彭祖經 Qianjin fang, CT 1163 as 孫真人備急千金要方 Qingjing jing, CT 620 in 太上老君說常清靜妙經 Quegu shiqi 卻穀食氣 Sandong jingshu mulu 三洞經書目錄 Sandong qionggang 三洞瓊綱 Sandong zhongjie wen, CT 178三洞眾戒文 Sanguo zhi 三國志 Sanhuang wen 三皇文 Sanwu Zhengyi mengwei lu, CT 1208 as 太上三五正一盟威籙 Shanhaijing山海經 Shangqing dadong zhenjing, CT 6 上清大洞真經



Shangqing dongzhen zhihui guanshen dajie wen, CT 1364 上清洞真智慧 觀身大戒文 Shangqing gushi lingwen guilu, CT 461 上清骨髓靈文鬼律 Shangqing lingbao dafa, CT 1221 上清靈寶大法 Shangqing tianxin zhengfa, CT 566 上清天心正法 Shanhaijing, CT 1031 山海經 Shenxian kexue lun 神仙可學論, contained in CT 1051 Shenxian zhuan 神仙傳 Shenzhou qizhuan qibian wutian jing, CT 1331 as 洞真上清神州七轉七變 舞天經 Sheyang lun, in CT 841 as 孫真人攝養論 Sheyang zhenshong fang 攝養枕中方 Shiji 史记 Shijing詩經 Shiyao erya 石藥爾雅 Shiyi 十翼, The Ten Wings Shizhou ji, CT 598 十洲記 Shouyang congshu壽養叢書 Shuogua 說卦, Discussion of the Trigrams Songshan Taiwu xiansheng qijing, CT 824 庭嵩山太無先生氣經 Songshi 宋史 Soushan ji, CT 1476搜神記 Taigu ji, CT 1161太古集 Taiji Ge xiangong zhuan, CT 450太極葛仙公傳 Taiping guangji 太平廣記 Taiping jing, CT 1101 太平經 Taiping jing chao, CT 1101 as 太平經 (鈔) Taiping jing shengjun bizhi, CT 1102太平經聖君秘旨 Taiqing danjing yaojue, YJQQ 71 太清丹經要訣 Taiqing jing, see CT 846 and 883 太清經 Taishang ganying pian, CT 1167 太上感應篇 Taishang jingjie, CT 787 太上經戒 Taishang Laojun da cunsi tuzhu jue, CT 875 太上老君大存思圖注訣 Taishang Laojun jinglu, CT 786 太上老君經律



Taishang Laojun kaitian jing, CT 1437 太上老君開天經 Taishang Laojun shuo Tianfei jiuku lingyan jing, CT 649 太上老君說天妃 救苦靈驗經 Taishang lingbao zhicao pin, CT 1406 太上靈寶芝草品 Taishang xuanling beidou benming yansheng zhenjing, CT 622 太上玄靈 北斗本命延生真經 Taiwei xianjun gongguo de, CT 186 太微仙君功過格 Taiyi jinhua zongzhi太一金華宗旨 Taiyi sheng shui太一生水 Taizhen ke 太真科 Tang Ye zhenren zhuan, CT 779唐葉真人傳 Tiandi gongfu tu, YJQQ 27天地宮府圖 Tianxin zhengfa天心正法 Tixuan zhenren xianyi lu, CT 594 體玄眞人顯異録 Tongxuan zhenjing, CT 746通玄真經 Wanli xu daozang 萬曆續道藏 Weishu魏書 Wenchang dadong xinjing, as CT 5太上無極總真文昌大洞仙經 Wendi quanshu文帝全書 Wenzi 文子 Wudang fudi zongzhen ji, CT 962 武當福地總真集 Wugan wen, CT 1278 as 洞玄靈寶五感文 Wuji tu無極圖 Wuliang duren shangpin miaojing pangtong tu, CT 148 無量度人上品妙經 旁通圖 Wuneng zi, CT 1028 無能子 Wushang biyao, CT 1138 無上秘要 Wushang miaodao wenshi zhenjing, CT 667 無上妙道文始真經 Wuyue zhenxing tu五岳真形圖 Wuyue zhenxing xulun, CT 1281 五嶽真形序論 Wuzhen pian xiaoxu 悟真篇 小序 Xianquan ji, CT 1311峴泉 集 Xiantian tu先天圖 Xiaodao lun 笑道論 Xiaojing孝經


Xici 繫辭 Xin Tangshu新唐書 Xiuzhen tu 修真圖 Xiyue Huashan zhi, CT 307西嶽華山誌 Xiyou ji 西遊記 Xu xianzhuan續仙傳 Xuandu baozang玄都寶藏 Xuanfeng qinghui tu 風慶會圖 Xuanmiao neipian 玄妙內篇 Xuantian shangdi ruiying tulu 玄天 上帝瑞應圖 Yangsheng yaoji 養生要集 Yannian yisuan fu, as CT 1271洞玄靈寶真人修行延年益筭法 Yanxing yanming lu, CT 838養性 延命錄 Yaoxiu keyi jielu chao, CT 463 要修科儀戒律鈔 Yijing 易經 Yinzhong baxian ge飲中八仙歌 Yiqie daojing yinyi一切道經音義 Yongcheng jixian lu, CT 783 墉城集仙錄 Yuhuang benxing jijing, CT 10 as 高上玉皇本行集經 Yuhuang youzhi xifu bochan, CT 193 玉皇宥罪錫福寶懺 Yunguang ji, CT 1152 雲光集 Yunji qiqian, CT 1032 雲笈七籤 Zangwai daoshu 藏外道書 Zhaijie lu, CT 464 齋戒籙 Zhengao, CT 1016 真誥 Zhengde Wanshou daozang 政和萬壽道藏 Zhengtong daozang 正統道藏 Zhengyi fawen jing 正一法文經 Zhenling weiye tu, CT 167 真靈位業圖 Zhong-Lu chuandao ji, in CT 1017 鐘呂傳道集 Zhou houbei ji fang, as CT 1306葛仙翁肘後備急方 Zhouyi 周易 Zhouyi cantong qi, in CT 999-1008 周易參同契




Zhuangzi 莊子 Zhu bingyuan hou lun諸病源候論 Zhujian Laozi 竹簡老子 Zhushu jinian竹書紀年 Zitong dijun huashu, CT 170 梓潼帝君化書 Ziyang zhenren neishuan, CT 303 紫陽真人內傳 Ziyang zhenren Wuzhen pian sanzhu, CT 142 紫妖鈉人 悟真篇三註 Zuowang lun, CT 1036坐忘論 Zuozhuan 左傳

Appendix C Pinyin to Chinese Characters: Names

Anqi Sheng 安期生 Bao Jing (?–c. 330) 鮑靚 Cao Guojiu 曹國舅 Cao Wenyi 曹文逸 (fl. 1119–1125) Chen Jingyuan 陳景元 (c. 1024–1094) Chen Shaowei 陳少微 (fl. ?712/?741) Chen Shouyuan 陳守元 Chen Tuan 陳摶 (c. 920–989) Chen Xianwei 陳顯微 (fl. 1223–1254) Chen Yingning 陈撄宁 (1890–1969) Chen Zhixu 陳致虛 (1289–after 1335) Cheng Xuanying 成玄英 (fl. 631–650) Chengzu 成祖 (1360–1424), aka Zhu Di 朱棣 Chisong zi 赤松子 Confucius 孔子 (Kongzi, 551–479 BCE) Dongfang Shuo 東方朔 (? 160–? 93 BCE) Du Guangting 杜光庭 (850–933) Fu Yi 傅奕 (534-639) Ge Chaofu 葛巢甫 (fl. 402) Ge Hong 葛洪 (283–343) Ge Xuan 葛玄 (164–244) Guan Yu 關羽, Guandi 關帝 (?–220) Guangcheng zi 廣成子 Guo Pu 郭璞 (276–324) Guo Xiang 郭象 (?232–312) Han Wudi 漢武帝 (r. 141–87 BCE) Han Xiangzi 韓湘子 Han Yu 韓愈 (768–824) Hao Datong 郝大通 (1140–1213) He Xiangu 何瓊 He Yan 何晏 (190–249) Hebo 河伯 Heshang Gong 河上公 Hong Mai 洪邁 (1123–1202) Hong Xiuquan 洪秀全 (1814–1864) 255



Hua Tuo 華佗 (142–219) Huang Lingwei 黄靈微 (c. 640–721) Huangdi 黄帝 Huizong 徽宗 (1082–1135), Zhao Ji趙佶, emperor of Song Ji Kang 嵇康 (221–262) Kou Qianzhi 寇謙之 (365–448) Lan Caihe 藍采和 Laojun 老君, Taishang Laojun 太上老君 Laozi 老子, Lao Dan 李聃 Li Shaojun 李少君 (fl. c. 133 BCE) Li Tieguai 李鐵拐 Liezi 列子 Lin Lingsu 林靈素 (1076–1120) Liu An 劉安 (?179–122 BCE) Liu Haichan 劉海蟾 Liu Xiang 劉向 (77–8 or 6 BCE) Liu Yuandao 劉元道 (fl. 1100–1125) Liu Zhigu 劉知古 (?663–?756) Lu Dongbin 呂洞賓(?796–?1016) Lu Xiujing 陸修靜 (406–477) Lu Zhigang 鲁至剛 (fl. 1593) Ma Shu 馬樞 (522–581) Ma Yu 馬鈺 (1123–1184) (aka Ma Danyang) Mazu 媽祖 (?960–?988) Meng Tian 蒙恬 (d. 210 BCE) Mengzi 孟子 (372–289 BCE) Pan Shizheng 潘師正 (585–682) Peng Dingqui 彭定求 (1645–1719) Peng Xiao 彭曉 (?–955) Pengzu 彭祖 Qiu Chuji 丘處機 (1148–1227) Rao Dongtian 饒洞天 (fl. 994) Ruan Ji 阮籍 (210–263) Shi Chongxuan 史崇玄 (?–713) Shi Zhijing 史志經 Sima Chengzhen 司馬承禎 (647–735) Sima Qian 司馬遷 (145?–86? BCE) Siming 司命 Sun Bu’er 孫不二 (1119–1183) Sun Simiao 孫思邈 (?581–?682) Suwen 素問 Tan Qiao 譚峭 (c. 860–c. 940) Tan Zixiao 譚紫霄 (fl, 935–after 963)


Tao Hongjing 陶弘景 (456–536) Tao Zhi 陶埴 (?–825) Tiantong Rujing 天童如淨 (1162–1228) Wang Bi 王弼 (226–249) Wang Chang 王昶 (aka Wang Jipeng 王繼鵬, r. 935–939) Wang Changyue 王常月 (d. 1680) Wang Chong 王充 (27–100) Wang Chuyi 王處一 (1142–1217) Wang Fu 王浮 (n.d.) Wang Zhe 王喆 (1113–1170) (aka Wang Chongyang 王重陽) Wangzi Qiao 王子喬 Wei Huacun 魏華存 (?251–?334) Wenchang 文昌 Wenchang 文昌 Wu Yun 吴筠 (?–778) Xu Hui 許翽 (341–?370) Xu Lingfu 徐灵府 (c. 760–841) Xu Mai 許邁 (300–348) Xu Mi 許 謐 (303–376) Yan Dong 嚴東 (fl. c. 585) Yang Xi 楊羲 (330–386) Yellow Emperor, Huangdi 黄帝 Yin Changsheng 陰長生 Yu Fan 虞翻 (164–233) Yuhuang 玉皇 Zhang Daoling 張道陵, Zhang Ling 張陵 (trad. 34–156) Zhang Guolao 張果老 Zhang Heng 张衡 (?–179) Zhang Jue 張角 (d. 184) Zhang Keda 張可大 (1218–1263) Zhang Liusun 張留孫 (1248–1322) Zhang Lu 張魯 (?–215 or 216) Zhang Sanfeng 張三丰 Zhang Wanfu 張萬福 Zhang Yucai 張与材 (?–1316) Zhang Yuchu 張宇初 (1361–1410) Zhang Zhan 張湛 (fl, ca. 370) Zhang Zhengchang 張正常 (1335–1378) Zhao Daoyi (fl. 1294–1307) Zhao Guizhen 趙歸真 (?–846) Zhao Yi 趙翼 (1727–1814) Zhao Yizhen 趙宜真 (?–1382) Zhen Luan 甄鸾 (fl. 535–581)




Zheng Yin 鄭 隐 (c. 215–c. 302) Zhenwu 真武 (aka Xuanwu 玄武) Zhongli Quan 鍾離權 Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤 (1017–1073) Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130–1202) Zhuang Zhou 莊周 (c. 369–286 BCE) Zou Yan 鄒衍 (?350–?270 BCE) Zuo Ci 左慈


CONTENTS I. Introduction II. The Daoist Tradition A. Bibliographies and Guides B. Overviews and General Works C. Daoist Canon and Texts D. Daoist Movements: Their Histories and Writings E. Daoism in Historical Periods F. Daoism Outside China G. Daoism and Buddhism H. Daoist Art and Iconography I. Daoism and Ecology J. Daoism and Women III. Daoism in Practice A. General Daoist Practices B. The Body and Its Gods C. External Alchemy D. Immortals and Transcendents E. Meditation, Inner Alchemy F. Daoist Monastics G. Morality and Precepts H. Nourishing Life I. Numinal Beings, Deities J. Rituals K. Sacred Sites L. Talismans, Registers, and Charts

259 261 261 262 263 266 268 269 269 270 270 270 271 271 273 273 274 274 275 275 276 276 276 277 278

I. INTRODUCTION Several bibliographies on Daoism have been created for English-language and other Western-language users. Anna Seidel’s “Chronicle of Taoist Studies in the West, 1950–1990” (1989–1990) is an excellent resource even if it is more than 20 years old. Still, many of the most important early essays in the tradition are covered. Franciscus Verellen’s “[Chinese Religions—The State 259



of the Field:] Taoism,” published in the Journal of Asian Studies in 1995, is also quite thorough up to that date. The bibliography to Julian Pas’s Historical Dictionary of Taoism (1998) is well organized and quite extensive. More recently, the bibliographies accompanying the Daoism Handbook (2 vols.), edited by Livia Kohn in 2004, and The Encyclopedia of Taoism (2 vols.), edited by Fabrizio Pregadio in 2008, are excellent but perhaps in need of some organizing principles to make them available to the nonspecialist user. Two bibliographies even more recent than these are highly recommended: Pregadio, Daoism: A Short Bibliography (2016), and Louis Komjathy’s Bibliography for Daoist Studies, which, at the time of this publication, is forthcoming in the Routledge Companion to Scholarship in Religious Studies series. In the bibliography for this dictionary, almost all the sources are books and articles in Western languages, most specifically English. The compilation process, as with the entries in the dictionary itself, was a selective one. There is no claim to be comprehensive. Two criteria were employed most vigorously for the bibliography as a whole. First, the bibliography should include those sources that have been most important in advancing an understanding of Daoism. Second, it should include works that might be of interest to the nonspecialist. Almost without exception, works concerned with general Chinese cultural or religious history were removed, as were works of popular culture and superficial representations of Daoism that show little understanding of the tradition, its history, and characteristic worldview. I especially wish to express my appreciation to Louis Komjathy for his Bibliography for Daoist Studies and Fabrizio Pregadio for his Daoism: A Short Bibliography. I also want to mention a few abbreviations used in repeated citations in the bibliography. DH

Daoism Handbook, ed. Livia Kohn (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004).


The Encyclopedia of Taoism, 2 vols., ed. Fabrizio Pregadio (London: Routledge, 2008).


State University of New York Press


Taisho Buddhist Canon


The Taoist Canon: A Historical Guide, ed. Kristofer Schipper and Franciscus Verellen (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).



II. THE DAOIST TRADITION A. Bibliographies and Guides Au, Donna, and Sharon Rowe. “Bibliography of Taoist Studies.” In Buddhist and Taoist Studies, ed. Michael Saso and David W. Chappell, pp. 123–48. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1977. Cohen, Alvin P. “Western Language Publications on Chinese Religions, 1981–1987.” In The Turning of the Tide: Religion in China Today, ed. Julian F. Pas, pp. 313–45. Hong Kong: Royal Asiatic Society, 1989. Dragan, Raymond A. “Ways to the Way: A Review of Bibliographies on Taoism.” Taoist Resources 1, no. 2 (1989): 21–27. Kardos, Michael A. “Western Language Publications on Religions in China, 1990–1994.” Journal of Chinese Religions 26 (1998): 67–134. Komjathy, Louis. Bibliography for Daoist Studies, forthcoming in the Routledge Companion to Scholarship in Religious Studies Series, https://www. researchgate.net/publication/237357510_Bibliography_for_Daoist_ Studies_From_the_forthcoming_The_Routledge_Companion_to_ Scholarship_in_Religious_Studies. Leung Man Kam. “The Study of Religious Taoism in the People’s Republic of China (1949–1990): A Bibliographical Survey.” Journal of Chinese Religions 19 (1991): 113–26. Pas, Julian F. Historical Dictionary of Taoism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1998. ———. A Select Bibliography of Taoism. Saskatoon: China Pavilion, 1997. Pregadio, Fabrizio. “Chinese Alchemy: An Annotated Bibliography of Works in Western Languages.” Monumenta Serica 44 (1996): 439–76. ———. Daoism: A Short Bibliography, Internet Archive, 2016. Accessed July 5, 2019, https://archive.org/stream/DaoismAShortBibliography/ Daoism_A_Short_Bibliography_djvu.txt. Strickmann, Michel. “Bibliographic Notes on Chinese Religious Studies.” Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions 3 (1977): 11–17. ———. Bibliographic Notes on Chinese Religious Studies II.” Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions 4 (1977): 10–19. Thompson, Laurence G. Chinese Religion: Publications in Western Languages 1981 through 1990, ed. Gary Seaman. Los Angeles, CA: Ethnographic Press, 1993. ———. Chinese Religion: Publications in Western Languages, Volume 3: 1991–1995. Association for Asian Studies Monographs, no. 58, ed. Gary Seaman. Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Asian Studies, 1998.



———. Chinese Religion in Western Languages: A Comprehensive and Classified Bibliography of Publications in English, French, and German through 1980. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1985. Verellen, Franciscus. “[Chinese Religions—The State of the Field:] Taoism.” Journal of Asian Studies 54, no. 2 (1995): 322–46. B. Overviews and General Works Baldrian, Farzeen. “Taoism: An Overview.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, pp. 288–306. New York: Macmillan, 1987. Barrett, T. H. “Daoism: A Historical Narrative.” In DH, xviii–xxvii. Bokenkamp, Stephen R. “Daoism: An Overview.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones, pp. 2,176–192. New York: Macmillan, 2005. ———. Early Daoist Scriptures. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Chen Kaiguo, and Shunchao Zheng. Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Taoist Wizard. New York: Tuttle, 1998. deBary, Theodore. East Asian Civilizations: A Dialogue in Five Stages. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988. Kaltenmark, Max. Lao Tzu and Taoism. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969. Kirkland, Russell. “Explaining Daoism: Realities, Cultural Constructs, and Emerging Perspectives.” In DH, xi–xviii. ———. Taoism: The Enduring Tradition. New York: Routledge, 2004. Kohn, Livia, ed. DH. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004. ———. Introducing Daoism. London and New York: Routledge, 2009. ———. “Research on Daoism.” In DH, xxvii–xxxiii. ———. The Taoist Experience: An Anthology. Albany: SUNY, 1993. ———, and Harold Roth, eds. Daoist Identity: History, Lineage, and Ritual. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002. Komjathy, Louis. Daoism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. Legge, James. The Religions of China: Confucianism and Taoism Described and Compared with Christianity. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1880. ———. The Texts of Taoism. In The Sacred Books of the East, vol. 39, ed. Max Muller. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1891. Littlejohn, Ronnie. Daoism: An Introduction. London: I. B. Tauris, 2010. Maspero, Henri. Taoism and Chinese Religion, trans. Frank A. Kierman Jr. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981. McMullen, D. L. Concordances and Indexes to Chinese Texts. San Francisco, CA: Chinese Materials Center, 1975.



Miller, James. Daoism: A Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oneworld, 2003. Moeller, Hans-Georg. Daoism Explained: From the Dream of the Butterfly to the Fishnet Allegory. Chicago: Open Court, 2004. Pas, Julian, with Man Kam Leung. Historical Dictionary of Taoism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1998. Pregadio, Fabrizio, ed. ET, 2 vols. London: Routledge, 2008. Robinet, Isabelle. Taoism: Growth of a Religion. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997. Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Random House, 1978. Sakade, Yoshinobu. “Zhongguo daojiao xiehui.” In ET, 2 vols. London: Routledge, 2008. Schipper, Kristofer. “The Story of the Way.” In Taoism and the Arts of China, ed. Stephen Little, pp. 13–31. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2000. ———. The Taoist Body. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. ———, and Franciscus Verellen, eds. The Taoist Canon: A Historical Guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Seidel, Anna. “Chronicle of Taoist Studies in the West, 1950–1990.” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 5 (1989–90): 223–347. ———. “Taoism: The Unofficial High Religion of China.” Taoist Resources 7, no. 2 (1997): 39–72. Ware, James. “The Wei shu and the Sui shu on Taoism.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 54 (1934): 290–294. C. Daoist Canon and Texts Allan, Sarah, and Crispin Williams, eds. The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the International Conference, Dartmouth College, May 1998. Berkeley: University of California, 2000. Bokenkamp, Stephen, trans. “Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Great Dao.” In Early Daoist Scriptures, ed. Stephen Bokenkamp, pp. 149–63. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ———. “Taoist Literature. Part I: Through the T’ang Dynasty.” In The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, ed. William H. Nienhauser Jr., pp. 138–52. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. Boltz, Judith M. A Survey of Taoist Literature: Tenth to Seventeenth Centuries. China Research Monograph, no. 32. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. Campany, Robert Ford. To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.



Carus, Paul, and D. T. Suzuki, trans. Treatise on Response and Retribution. Chicago: Open Court, 1973. Chan, Alan. “The Daode jing and Its Tradition.” In DH, 1–29. ———. Two Visions of the Way: A Translation and Study of the Heshanggong and Wang Bi Commentaries on the Laozi . Albany: SUNY, 1991. Cook, Scott. The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation. New York: Cornell University East Asia Program, 2013. Csikszentmihalyi, Mark, and Philip J. Ivanhoe, eds. Lun-Heng: Philosophical Essays of Wang Chung. Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1907. Forke, Alfred, trans. Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi. Albany: SUNY, 1999. Gao, Ming. Boshu Laozi jiaozhu.《帛書老子教主》[Annotated Edition of the Silk Manuscripts of the Laozi]. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1996. Graham, Angus C. “How Much of Chuang-tzu Did Chuang-tzu Write?” In Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature. Singapore, Institute of East Asian Philosophies, 1986. ———., trans. The Book of Lieh-tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. Hardy, Julia. “Influential Western Interpretations of the Tao-te-ching.” In Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching, ed. Livia Kohn and Michael La Fargue, pp. 165–88. Albany: SUNY, 1998. Hendricks, Robert G., trans. Lao-Tzu: Te-Tao Ching: A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts. New York: Ballantine, 1989. ———, trans. Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: A Translation of the Startling New Documents Found at Guodian. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. Ivanhoe, Philip J. “The Concept of de (‘Virtue’) in the Laozi.” In Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi, ed. Mark Csikszentmihalyi and P. J. Ivanhoe, pp. 239–55. Albany: SUNY, 1999. ———, trans. The Daodejing of Laozi. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2002. Knaul, Livia. “Lost Chuang-tzu Passages.” Journal of Chinese Religions 10 (1982): 53–79. Kohn, Livia. Zhuangzi: Text and Context. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2014. ———, and Michael La Fargue, eds. Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching. Albany: SUNY, 1998. Komjathy, Louis. Title Index to Daoist Collections. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2002. La Fargue, Michael. The Tao of the Tao Te Ching: A Translation and Commentary. Albany: SUNY, 1992.



Lagerwey, John. “Le Yun-ji qi-qian: Structure et sources.” In Projet Taotsang: Index du Yunji qiqian, 2 vols. Paris Ecole Francaise d’ExxtremeOrient, 1981. Lau, D. C., trans. Tao Te Ching. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1982. ———, and Roger Ames, trans. Yuan Dao: Tracing Dao to Its Source. New York: Ballantine, 1998. Lin, Paul J., trans. A Translation of Lao-tzu’s Tao-te-ching and Wang Pi’s Commentary. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1977. Littlejohn, Ronnie. “Kongzi in the Zhuangzi.” In Experimental Essays on Zhuangzi, ed. Victor H. Mair, pp. 149–64. Dunedin, FL: Three Pines Press, 2010. ———. “The Liezi’s Use of the Zhuangzi.” In Riding the Wind: New Essays on the Daoist Classic the Liezi, ed. Ronnie Littlejohn and Jeffrey Dippmann, pp. 31–51. Albany: SUNY, 2011. ———. “Referring and Reporting: The Use of Selfing Language in the Zhuangzi.” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17, no. 4 (2018): 547–58. ———, and Jeffrey Dippmann, eds. Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic. Albany: SUNY, 2011. Liu Xiaogan. Classifying the Zhuangzi Chapters. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies, 1994. Mair, Victor, ed. Experimental Essays on Zhuangzi. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2010. ———, trans. Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way. New York: Bantam, 1990. ———, trans. Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu. New York: Bantam, 1997. Michael, Thomas. In the Shadows of the Dao: Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing. Albany: SUNY, 2015. Pregadio, Fabrizio. The Seal of the Unity of the Three: A Study and Translation of the Cantong qi, the Source of the Taoist Way of the Golden Elixir.. Mountain View: Golden Elixir Press, 2011. Rao Zongyi. Laozi Xiang’er zhu jiaojian. 《老子想爾注教箋》 [Annotated Critical Edition of the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi]. Hong Kong: Tong Nam, 1956. Rickett, W. Allyn. Guanzi: Political, Economic, and Philosophical Essays from Early China, 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985. Robinet, Isabelle. 1999. “The Diverse Interpretations of the Laozi.” In Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi, ed. Mark Csikszentmihalyi and P. J. Ivanhoe, pp. 127–59. Albany: SUNY, 1999.



Roth, Harold D. “The Laozi in the Context of Early Daoist Mystical Praxis.” In Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi, ed. Mark Csikszentmihalyi and P. J. Ivanhoe, pp. 59–96. Albany: SUNY, 1999. ———. Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. ———. The Textual History of the Huai Nanzi . Ann Arbor, MI: Association of Asian Studies, 1992. ———. “Who Compiled the Chuang-tzu?” In Chinese Texts and Philosophical Contexts, ed. Henry Rosemont. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1991. Schipper, Kristofer, and Franciscus Verellen, eds. The Taoist Canon: A Historical Guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Vankeerberghen, Griet. The Huainanzi and Liu An’s Claim to Moral Authority. Albany: SUNY, 2001. Wagner, Rudolf G., trans. A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi’s Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation. Albany: SUNY, 2003. Wang Chengwen. “The Revelation and Classification of Daoist Scriptures.” In Early Chinese Religion, Part Two: The Period of Division (220–589 AD), ed. John Lagerwey and Lu Pengzhi, pp. 775–888. Leiden and Boston: E. J. Brill, 2010. Wang Ming. Taiping jing hejiao《太平经經合教》, [Collated Edition of the Taiping jing]. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1960. Watson, Burton, trans. The Complete Works of Chuang-tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. Wong, Eva, trans. Lao-Tzu’s Treatise on the Response of the Tao: A Contemporary Translation of the Most Popular Taoist Book in China. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira, 2003. D. Daoist Movements: Their Histories and Writings Amato, Paul. Rebirth of a Lineage: The Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master and Celestial Masters Daoism at Dragon and Tiger Mountain. Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University, 2016. Bokenkamp, Stephen R. “Sources of the Ling-pao Scriptures.” In Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of Rolf A. Stein, ed. Michel Strickmann, pp. 291–371. Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises, 1983. ———. “The Wondrous Scripture of the Upper Chapters on Limitless Salvation.” In Early Daoist Scriptures, ed. Stephen Bokenkamp, pp. 405–38. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ———. “The Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi.” In Early Daoist Scriptures, ed. Stephen Bokenkamp, pp. 78–148. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.



Campany, Robert F., trans. To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Eskildsen, Stephen E. The Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters. Albany: SUNY, 2004. Hendrischke, Barbara. “Early Daoist Movements.” In DH, 134–64. ———. “The Place of the Scripture on Great Peace in the Formation of Taoism.” In Religion and Chinese Society, ed. John Jagerwey, pp. 249–78. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2004. ———. The Scripture on Great Peace: The Taiping Jing and the Beginnings of Daoism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Kleeman, Terry. Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016. ———. Great Perfection: Religion and Ethnicity in a Chinese Millennial Kingdom. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998. Komjathy, Louis. The Way of Complete Perfection: A Quanzhen Daoist Anthology. Albany: SUNY, 2013. Major, John S., Sarah A. Queen, Andrew Seth Meyer, and Harold Roth, trans. The Huainanzi: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in Early Han China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010. Miller, James. The Way of Highest Clarity: Nature, Vision, and Revelation in Medieval China. Dunedin, FL: Three Pines Press, 2008. Nickerson, Peter. “The Southern Celestial Masters.” In DH, 256–82. Pregadio, Fabrizio. “Early Daoist Meditation and the Origins of Inner Alchemy.” In Daoism in History: Essays in Honour of Liu Ts’un-yan, ed. Benjamin Penny, pp. 121–58. London: Routledge, 2005. Robinet, Isabelle. “Shangqing: Highest Clarity.” In DH, 196–224. ———. Taoist Meditation: The Mao-shan Tradition of Great Purity. Albany: SUNY, 1993. Schipper, Kristofer. “Daoist Ecology: The Inner Transformation: A Study of the Early Daoist Ecclesia.” Daoism and Ecology, ed. Norman Giradot, James Miller, and Liu Xiaogan, pp. 79–93. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Strickmann, Michel. “The Mao-shan Revelations: Taoism and the Aristocracy.” T’oung Pao 63 (1977): 1–64. ———. “On the Alchemy of T’ao Hung-ching.” In Facets of Taoism: Essays in Chinese Religion, ed. Holmes Welch and Anna Seidel, pp. 123–92. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979. Verellen, Franciscus. “The Twenty-Four Dioceses in the Legend of Zhang Daoling,” Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, 2005. Accessed July 6, 2019, http://ecai.org/24dioceses/. Yamada Toshiaki. “The Lingbao School.” In DH, 225–55.



E. Daoism in Historical Periods Barrett, T. H. Taoism under the T’ang: Religion and Empire during the Golden Age of Chinese History. London: Wellsweep Press, 1996. Berling, Judith A. “Taoism in Ming Culture.” In Cambridge History of China, Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2, ed. Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote, pp. 953–86. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Davis, Edward. Society and the Supernatural in Song China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2001. De Bruyn, Pierre-Henri. “Daoism in the Ming (1368–1644).” In DH, 594–622. Engelhardt, Ute. “Qi for Life: Longevity in the Tang.” In Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques, ed. Livia Kohn. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1989. Esposito, Monica. “Daoism in the Qing (1644–1911).” In DH, 623–58. Hymes, Robert P. Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion, and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Kohn, Livia. Daoism and Chinese Culture. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2001. ———. Daoist China: Governance, Economics, Culture. St. Petersburg, FL: Three Pines Press, 2018. ———. “Taoist Insight Meditation: The Tang Practice of Neiguan.” In Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 193–224. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1989. ———, and Russell Kirkland. “Daoism in the Tang (618–907).” In DH, 339–83. Lai, Chi-Tim. “Daoism in China Today, 1980–2002.” China Quarterly 174 (2003): 413–27. Marsone, Pierre. “Accounts of the Foundation of the Quanzhen Movement: A Hagiographic Treatment of History.” Journal of Chinese Religions 29 (2001): 95–110. Raz, Gil. “The Way of the Yellow and the Red: Re-examining the Sexual Initiation Rite of Celestial Master Daoism.” Nan Nü 10 (2008): 86–120. Schafer, Edward. Pacing the Void: Tang Approaches to the Stars. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Schipper, Kristofer. “Taoist Ritual and Local Cults of the T’ang Dynasty.” In Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of Rolf A. Stein, ed. Michel Strickmann, pp. 812–34. Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises, 1985.



Skar, Lowell. “Ritual Movements, Deity Cults, and the Transformation of Daoism in Song and Yuan Times.” In DH, 413–63. Smith, Richard. “Ritual in Ch’ing Culture.” In Orthodoxy in Late Imperial China, ed. Liu Kwang-Ching, pp. 281–310. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Yao Tao-chung. “Quanzhen: Complete Perfection.” In DH, 567–93. F. Daoism Outside China Clarke, J. J. The Tao of the West: Western Transformations of Taoist Thought. London: Routledge, 2000. Jung, Jae-seo. “Daoism in Korea.” In DH, 792–820. Komjathy, Louis. “Qigong in America.” In Daoist Body Cultivation, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 203–35. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2006. ———. “Tracing the Contours of Daoism in North America.” Nova Religio (2004): 5–27. Masuo, Shin’ichirō. “Daoism in Japan.” In DH, 821–42. Palmer, David, and Elijah Siegler. Dream Trippers, Global Daoism, and the Predicament of Modern Spirituality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. Richey, Jeffrey, ed. Daoism in Japan: Chinese Traditions and Their Influence on Japanese Religious Culture. London: Routledge, 2015. Siegler, Elijah. “‘Back to the Pristine’: Identity Formation and Legitimation in Contemporary American Daoism.” Nova Religio 14, no. 1 (2010): 45–66. ———. The Dao of America: The History and Practice of American Daoism. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2003. G. Daoism and Buddhism Bumbacher, Stephan Peter. “Early Buddhism in China: Daoist Reactions.” In The Spread of Buddhism, ed. Ann Heirman and Stephan Peter Bumbacher, pp. 203–46. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2012. Kohn, Livia. Laughing at the Tao: Debates among Buddhists and Taoists in Medieval China. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. Mollier, Christine. Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008. Zürcher, Erik. “Buddhist Influence on Early Taoism: A Survey of Scriptural Evidence.” T’oung Pao 66 (1980): 84–147.



H. Daoist Art and Iconography Cedzich, Ursula-Angelika. “Daoist Iconography.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., pp. 4,331–36. New York: Macmillan, 2005. Ebrey, Patricia. “Taoism and Art at the Court of Song Huizong.” In Taoism and the Arts of China, ed. Stephen Little, pp. 95–112. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2000. Huang, Shih-shan Susan. Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. Little, Stephen. “Daoist Art.” In DH, 709–46. ——— . Taoism and the Arts of China. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2000. Schipper, Kristofer. “The True Form: Reflections on the Liturgical Basis of Taoist Art.” Sanjiao wenxian 4 (2005): 91–113. I. Daoism and Ecology Girardot, Norman J., James Miller, and Liu Xiaogan, eds. Daoism and Ecology: Ways within a Cosmic Landscape. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Goldin, Paul R. “Why Daoism Is Not Environmentalism.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (2005): 75–87. Miller, James. China’s Green Religion: Daoism and the Quest for a Sustainable Future. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017. ———. “Ecology and Daoism.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones, pp. 2,635–38. New York: Macmillan, 2005. J. Daoism and Women Cahill, Suzanne E. Divine Traces of the Daoist Sisterhood: “Records of the Assembled Transcendents of the Fortified Walled City,” by Du Guangting (850–933). Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2006. Despeux, Catherine. “Women in Daoism.” In DH, 384–412. ———, and Livia Kohn. Women in Daoism. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2003. Luk, Yuping. The Empress and the Heavenly Masters: A Study of the Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2016. Valussi, Elena. “Blood, Tigers, Dragons: The Physiology of Transcendence for Women.” Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 4 (2009): 46–85.



———. “Female Alchemy: An Introduction.” In Internal Alchemy: Self, Society, and the Quest for Immortality, ed. Livia Kohn and Robin R. Wang, pp. 142–62. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2009. Wang, Robin. “To Become a Female Daoist Master: Kundao in Training.” In Alchemy: Self, Society, and the Quest for Immortality, ed. Livin Kohn and Robin Wang, pp. 163–78. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2009.

III. DAOISM IN PRACTICE A. General Daoist Practices Ames, Roger T. “Putting the Te Back into Taoism.” In Nature in Asian Traditions of Thought, ed. Baird Callicott and Roger T. Ames, pp. 113–44. Albany: SUNY, 1989. Brokaw, Cynthia. The Ledgers of Merit and Demerit: Social Change and Moral Order in Late Imperial China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991. Carr, Karen, and Philip J. Ivanhoe. The Sense of Antirationalism: The Religious Thought of Zhuangzi and Kierkegaard. New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2000. Cedzich, Angelika. “Ghosts and Demons—Law and Order: Grave Quelling Texts and Early Taoist Liturgy.” Taoist Resources 4 (1993): 23–51. Cline, Erin M. “Two Interpretations of De in the Daodejing.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (2004): 219–33. Csikszentmihalyi, Mark. “Han Cosmology and Mantic Practices.” In DH, 53–73. Dean, Kenneth. Taoist Ritual and Popular Cults of Southeast China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. Despeux, Catherine. “Talismans and Diagrams.” In DH, 498–540. DeWoskin, Kenneth. Doctors, Diviners, and Magicians of Ancient China: Biographies of the Fang-shih. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981. Eberhard, Wolfram. Guilt and Sin in Traditional China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. Engelhardt, Ute. “Longevity Techniques and Chinese Medicine.” In DH, 74–108. Hahn, Thomas H. “Daoist Sacred Sites.” In DH, 683–708. Harper, Donald. Early Chinese Medical Manuscripts: The Mawandui Medical Manuscripts. London: Wellcome Asian Medical Monographs, 1999. ———. “ Resurrection in Warring States Popular Religion.” Taoist Resources 5 (1994): 13–28.



Kingsley, Peter. In the Dark Places of Wisdom. Inverness, CA: Golden Sufi Centre, 1999. Kirkland, Russell. “‘Responsible Non-Action’ in a Natural World: Perspectives from the Neiye, Zhuangzi, and Daodejing.” In Daoism and Ecology, ed. Norman Giradot, James Miller, and Liu Xiaogan, pp. 283–305. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Kjellberg, Paul, and Philip J. Ivanhoe, eds. Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi. Albany: SUNY, 1996. Kohn, Livia. “The 180 Precepts of Lord Lao.” In Cosmos and Community: The Ethical Dimension of Daoism, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 136–44. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2004. ———. “The Essential Precepts of Master Redpine.” In Cosmos and Community: The Ethical Dimension of Daoism, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 154–67. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2004. ———. “Rules from the Demon Statues of Nuqing.” In Supplement to Cosmos and Community: The Ethical Dimension of Daoism, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 6–9. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2004. Lagerwey, John. “The Pilgrimage to Wu-tang Shan.” In Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China, ed. Susan Naquin and Chun-fang Yu, pp. 293–332. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. Legeza, Laszlo. Tao Magic: The Secret Language of Diagrams and Calligraphy. London: Thames and Hudson, 1975. Legge, James. The Religions of China: Confucianism and Taoism Described and Compared with Christianity. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1880. Nivison, David. ‘“Virtue’ in Bone and Bronze.” In The Ways of Confucianism: Investigations in Chinese Philosophy, ed. David Nivison and Bryan Van Norden, pp. 17–30. Chicago: Open Court, 1996. Porter, Bill. The Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits. San Francisco, CA: Mercury House, 1991. Pregadio, Fabrizio. “Elixirs and Alchemy.” In DH, 165–95. Smith, Richard. Fortune-tellers and Philosophers: Divination in Traditional Chinese Society. Boulder, CO: Westwood, 1991. Strickmann, Michel. “On the Alchemy of T’ao Hung-ching.” In Facets of Taoism: Essays in Chinese Religion, ed. Holmes Welch and Anna Seidel, pp. 123–92. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979. Verellen, Franciscus. “The Beyond Within: Grotto-Heavens (Dongtian) in Taoist Ritual and Cosmology.” Cahiers d’Extreme-Asie 8 (1995): 265–90. Von Glahn, Richard. The Sinister Way: The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Yoshinobu Sakade. “Divination as Daoist Practice.” In DH, 541–66.



B. The Body and Its Gods Bidlack, Bede. “Taiji Quan: Forms, Visions, and Effects.” In Daoist Body Cultivation, ed. Livia Kohn, pp. 179–202. Magdalena, NM: Three Pines Press, 2006. Despeux, Catherine. “Visual Representations of the Body in Chinese Medical and Daoist Texts from the Song to the Qing Period (10th to 19th Century).” Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 1 (2005): 10–52. Neswald, Sara Elaine. “Internal Landscapes.” In Internal Alchemy: Self, Society, and the Quest for Immortality, ed. Livia Kohn and Robin R. Wang, pp. 27–53. Cambridge, MA: Three Pines Press, 2009. C. External Alchemy Campany, Robert F. To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Ho, Peng Yoke. Explorations in Daoism: Medicine and Alchemy in Literature. London: Routledge, 2007. Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilisation in China, Vol. V: Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Ngo, Van Xuyet. Divination, magie et politique dans la Chine ancienne Essai suivi de la traduction des “Biographies des Magiciens” tirees de l’ “Histoire des Han posterieurs.” Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1976. Pregadio, Fabrizio. “Elixirs and Alchemy.” In DH, 165–95. ———. Great Clarity: Daoism and Alchemy in Early Medieval China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006. Sivin, Nathan. Chinese Alchemy: Preliminary Studies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968. ———. “The Theoretical Background of Elixir Alchemy.” In Science and Civilisation in China, ed. Joseph Needham, pp. 210–305. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Strickmann, Michel. “On the Alchemy of T’ao Hung-ching.” In Facets of Taoism: Essays in Chinese Religion, ed. Holmes Welch and Anna Seidel, pp. 123–92. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979. Ware, James. Alchemy, Medicine, and Religion in the China of A.D. 320: The Nei P’ien of Ko Hung (Pao-p’u tzu). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1966.



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About the Author

Ronnie Littlejohn (Ph.D., Baylor University, United States) is Virginia M. Chaney Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and director of Asian studies at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States. He is author of nine books, three of which are introductory texts for Chinese philosophy: Daoism (2009), Confucianism (2010), and Chinese Philosophy (2015). Together with Jeffrey Dippmann he edited the volume Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic, and with Marthe Chandler he published Polishing the Chinese Mirror: Essays in Honor of Henry Rosemont, Jr. Littlejohn has published more than three dozen journal and encyclopedia articles. Recent scholarly anthologies to which he has contributed include Reading the Sacred Scriptures: From Oral Tradition to Written Documents and Their Reception, Routledge Handbook of Asian Political Thought; Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Methodologies; Encountering China: Early Modern European Responses to China; and Experimental Essays on Zhuangzi (new edition). His publications in Chinese include works for the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press of China and the Shangqiu Journal of Daoism. He was the 2016 recipient of the International Talent Cooperation Programme Award of the Henan Province Ministry of Education. Littlejohn was also one of three international scholars invited to speak at the dedication of the Laozi and Daoist Culture Center, sponsored by the People’s Government of Luyi County, Zhoukou City. He was article and image referee for “China’s Sacred Sites,” in the National Geographic Special Issue: Sacred Journeys. His video presentation, entitled “Opening Heaven’s Gate: The Daoist Manual of Inner Alchemy,” still airs on New York PBS. Littlejohn is on the Editor Board of the Journal of Daoist Studies and the Board of Directors of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy. He is also research fellow at the East–West Center and a concurrent professor in the School of Foreign Languages at Zhengzhou University, Henan, China.