Cultivating the Dao, by Liu Yiming

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Cultivating the Tao

Taoism and Internal Alchemy

By Liu Yiming (1734-1821)

Translated by Fabrizio Pregadio


"Masters" Series, volume 2

180 pp.
Golden Elixir Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-9855475-1-6 (pbk)

Paperback, US$ 19.95 € 16.00 GB£ 15.00 JP¥ 3500 (list prices)

This book contains the first complete translation of one of the main works by the eminent Taoist master Liu Yiming (1734-1821). Divided into 26 short chapters, Cultivating the Tao is at the same time a comprehensive overview of the basic principles of Taoism and an introduction to Taoist Internal Alchemy, or Neidan, written by one of the greatest representatives of this tradition.

Liu Yiming was an 11th-generation master of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage. Having recovered from severe illness in his youth, he undertook extended traveling that led him to meet his two main masters. In 1780, he visited the Qiyun mountains, in the present-day Gansu province, and settled there. He devoted the second half of his life to teaching and writing, and to charitable activities including restoring shrines and buying burial ground for the poor. His works mainly consist of original writings on Neidan and of commentaries on major Neidan scriptures.

Few other masters have illustrated the relation between Taoism and Internal Alchemy as clearly as Liu Yiming does in this book. Grafting Internal Alchemy into the teachings of the 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.

This book is vol. 2 in the "Masters" series of Golden Elixir Press.

Original title: Liu Yiming 劉一明, Xiuzhen houbian 修真後辨


   1    Precelestial Essence, Breath, and Spirit
   2    Postcelestial Essence, Breath, and Spirit
   3    Precelestial Breath of True Unity
   4    True and False Body and Mind
   5    True and False Nature and Existence
   6    Precelestial and Postcelestial Yin and Yang
   7    Internal and External Five Agents
   8    Internal Medicine and External Medicine
   9    Great and Small Reverted Elixir
   10  The Operation of the Auspicious and the Inauspicious
   11  Furnace and Tripod in the Initial and the Final Stages
   12  Internal and External Fire Phases
   13  The Other House and My House
   14  The True Initial Flow
   15  Refining the Nine Tripods
   16  The One Opening of the Mysterious Barrier
   17  The Ebb and Flow of Celestial Net
   18  Giving and Taking Life, Punishment and Virtue
   19  Superior Virtue and Inferior Virtue
   20  Doing and Non-Doing
   21  Zi, Wu, Mao, You
   22  Life and Death, Being and Non-Being
   23  Precelestial and Postcelestial Kan and Li
   24  Laying the Foundations for Refining Oneself
   25  Internal and External Companions
   26  Exerting One's Mind to Inquire into the Principles

Glossary of Chinese Characters
Works Quoted

Chrome bullet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Revealing the Deep Secrets of the Cosmos. Anyone who has read the Tao te Ching will agree that it is an ambiguous scripture. The individual stanzas contain many pearls of meaning, but the reader is befuddled on the entire meaning. Like any similar scripture, it has been left to subsequent commentaries to divine the inner meaning of the Tao. This volume is one such commentary. Written in the 18th Century it gives the wide explanation of the Tao, its cosmology, its application to humans, and in the process eloquently reveals the deep mysteries of the universe. . . . This commentary is prefaced with an excellent introduction. It is very comprehensive and is written by the translator, Farbrizio Pregadio. It could probably be read in lieu of the text it is so complete, but do yourself a favor, read the text, in addition to the introduction. It will be a great experience. (T.P.R. - Read the original review)

Chrome bullet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This is an important Taoist text and not so easy to find. (M. - Read the original review)

Chrome bullet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ A fine translation, packed with insights, and providing the student a rich source of Taoist truths. . . . This is a book for those willing to study the inner workings of Taoist teachings. . . . (p. - Read the original review)

Chrome bullet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Excellent book. Fascinating and practical. This is probably the most useful book I've found to understand Taoist principles and concepts. (N.V. - Read the original review)

Chrome bullet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This book far and away surpassed my expectations. This book far and away surpassed my expectations. Pregadio gives a clear and readable translation to a subject that is difficult to negotiate. . . . (W. - Read the original review)

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