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Foundations of Internal Alchemy

Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan

Wang Mu
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This book provides a clear description of the Taoist practice of Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. It is based on the system of the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality), one of the main sources of Internal Alchemy, and is enriched by about two hundred quotations from original Taoist texts. Read more.

Wuzhen pian

Awakening to Reality: A Taoist Classic of Internal Alchemy

Translated by Fabrizio Pregadio
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The Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality) is one of the most important and best-known Taoist alchemical texts. Written in the 11th century, it describes in a poetical form several facets of Neidan, or Internal Alchemy. Read more.

The World Upside Down

The World Upside Down: Essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy

Isabelle Robinet
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Four essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy translated for the first time into English. Their subjects are: (1) The alchemical principle of "inversion"; (2) The devices used by the alchemists to "manifest the authentic and absolute Dao"; (3) The role of numbers in Taoism and in Internal Alchemy; (4) The meanings of the terms "External Elixir" and "Internal Elixir". Read more.

400 Words on the Golden Elixir

Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir: A Poetical Classic of Taoist Internal Alchemy

Attributed to Zhang Boduan (987?-1082)
Kindle edition

The Jindan sibai zi, or Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir, is attributed to Zhang Boduan, the well-known author of the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality). The text, made of twenty poems each containing four verses of five characters, is translated here with the commentary by Peng Haogu (fl. 1586–99). Read more.

Yinfu jing

The Book of the Hidden Agreement: A Taoist Text on the Harmony between Heaven and Humanity

Attributed to the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi)
Commentary by Yu Yan (1258–1314)
Kindle edition

Despite its brevity, the Yinfu jing, or Book of the Hidden Agreement, is one of the most obscure and difficult Taoist texts. Within Neidan, the text is especially well-known for its idea of “stealing the mechanism” (daoji), which Neidan adepts understand as meaning the inversion of the process that leads from the precelestial to the postcelestial domains. Read more.

Wang Chongyang

Fifteen Essays to Establish the Teaching: A Founding Text of Complete Reality Taoism

Attributed to Wang Chongyang (1113–70)
Kindle edition

The reputed author of this text, Wang Chongyang, was the founder of the Northern Lineage (Beizong) of Neidan, or Internal Alchemy. The Northern lineage is the original nucleus of Quanzhen (Complete Reality), which continued to develop and is in the present day one of the main branches of Taoism. Read more.

Pregadio, 'Chinese Alchemy: An Annotated Bibliography'

Chinese Alchemy: An Annotated Bibliography

Fabrizio Pregadio
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This bibliography contains about 300 titles of books and articles, with short annotations on their contents. Read more.

Pregadio, 'The Way of the Golden Elixir'

The Way of the Golden Elixir: An Introduction to Taoist Alchemy

Fabrizio Pregadio
Third edition
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Free DownloadTaoist alchemy has a history of more than two thousand years, recorded from the 2nd century BCE to the present day. This PDF outlines its history, lineages, and main doctrines and practices. Read more. (Note: The PDF and iBook editions are for free download.)

Jami, 'Flashes of Light'

Flashes of Light: A Treatise on Sufism

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The renowned Persian thinker and poet 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jami (1414-92 CE) wrote this work to explain "the intuitions and verities displayed on the pages of the hearts and minds of men of insight and divine knowledge." Jami provides one of the best, synthetic introductions to Sufi spirituality. Read more.

Shaikh Sharfuddin Maneri, 'Letters from a Sufi Teacher'

Letters from a Sufi Teacher

Shaikh Sharfuddin Maneri
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This book consists of the translation of extracts from the Maktubat-i-Sadi ("The Hundred Letters," or rather brief essays on different subjects), the most elaborate and comprehensive work by Shaikh Sharfuddin Maneri (14th century). Read more.