The Golden Elixir Taoist Alchemy Masters and Texts

Liu Yiming (1734-1821)


Few other masters have illustrated the relation between Taoism and Internal Alchemy as clearly as Liu Yiming does in his Cultivating the Tao (original title: Xiuzhen houbian). Grafting Internal Alchemy into the teachings of the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) and of the later Taoist tradition, he shows how the Way of the Golden Elixir can lead to the highest state of realization according to the Taoist principles.

Life, Works, and Teachings

Chrome bullet   Read and article on Liu Yiming's life, works, and teachings.

Liu Yiming 劉一明 (1734–1821) was one of the main representatives of Taoist Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. He was an 11th-generation master of one of the northern branches of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage, and the author of a large number of works that present his teachings on Taoism and Neidan.

From Cultivating the Tao: Taoism and Internal Alchemy

Cultivating the Tao

These selections are quoted from:

Cultivating the Tao: Taoism and Internal Alchemy, by Liu Yiming (1734-1821). Golden Elixir Press.

Chrome bullet   True and False Body and Mind

"People nowadays speak of the body and the mind, but they only know the illusory body and mind, and do not know the true body and mind. As they leave the true to follow the false, it is no wonder that even before their number of years is exhausted, their bodies and minds are worn out. . . . "

Chrome bullet   Precelestial and Postcelestial Yin and Yang

"The precelestial Yin and Yang are Being and Non-Being; the postcelestial Yin and Yang are the heart and the kidneys. The Yin and Yang of Being and Non-Being have no form; the Yin and Yang of the heart and the kidneys have images. . . . "

Chrome bullet   The One Opening of the Mysterious Barrier

"The main point is that this Opening is the utterly mysterious and utterly wondrous Barrier. Here life and death part from one another, and here the saintly and the ordinary separate from one another. This is the secret transmitted from one Patriarch to the next one since ancient times until the present day. . . . "

Chrome bullet   Superior Virtue and Inferior Virtue

"Essentially, in superior virtue one's body is intact and one's virtue is full, and the Yang of Qian ☰ has never been damaged. "Never been damaged" means that the precelestial Yang has never been damaged; it does not mean that the postcelestial body has not lost its integrity. . . . "

Chrome bullet   Short Selections from the Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week

"I Advice My Companions on the Way"
The Internal Companions
"Laying the Foundations for Refining Oneself" (Part 1)
"Laying the Foundations for Refining Oneself" (Part 2)
Seeking Teachings
The Great Undertaking
Erroneous Practices (Part 1)
Erroneous Practices (Part 2)
Studying the Tao
Inquiring into the Principles
Original Essence, Breath, and Spirit

From the Commentary to the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality)

Chrome bullet   Commentary to Poem 3

Those who fulfill both their nature and their existence, who have a body outside their body, whose form and spirit are both wondrous, who are joined in their reality with the Dao, are celestial immortals. . . . . Only the celestial immortals shed their illusory body and achieve a dharmākaya (fashen, the body of Buddhahood), go beyond creation and transformation, and are without birth and without death. . . . 

Chrome bullet   Commentary to Poem 7

This innate knowledge of the celestial mind, this true knowledge of the mind of the Dao, can make one transcend the ordinary and enter sainthood, rise from death and return to life; therefore they are represented by the image of the Medicine. . . .