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Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan

Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan - Fabrizio Pregadio

Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan


Originally written for Chinese readers, this book provides a clear description of the Taoist practice of Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. The author outlines the four stages of the alchemical practice and clarifies several relevant terms and notions, including Essence, Breath, and Spirit; the Cinnabar Fields; the "Fire Times"; and the Embryo. The book is based on the system of the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality), one of the main sources of Internal Alchemy, and contains about two hundred quotations from original Taoist texts.

Table of Contents

Foreword, vii

INTRODUCTION, 1
The Basis: Essence and Spirit, 3

STAGES OF THE ALCHEMICAL PRACTICE IN AWAKENING TO REALITY, 11
The Four Stages, 13
"Laying the Foundations," 15
Main Points in the Practice of "Laying the Foundations," 20
The Functions of Essence, Breath, and Spirit, 36
Terms Related to the "Coagulation of the Three Treasures," 52
Conclusion of the Stage of "Laying the Foundations," 63
"Refining Essence to Transmute it into Breath," 65
"Refining Breath to Transmute it into Spirit," 99
"Refining Spirit to Return to Emptiness," 109

CONCLUSION, 119
The "Arts of the Way," 121

Tables, 123
Glossary of Chinese Characters, 133

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Originally written for Chinese readers, this book provides a clear description of the Taoist practice of Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. The author outlines the four stages of the alchemical practice and clarifies several relevant terms and notions, including Essence, Breath, and Spirit; the Cinnabar Fields; the "Fire Times"; and the Embryo. The book is based on the system of the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality), one of the main sources of Internal Alchemy, and contains about two hundred quotations from original Taoist texts.

Table of Contents

Foreword, vii

INTRODUCTION, 1
The Basis: Essence and Spirit, 3

STAGES OF THE ALCHEMICAL PRACTICE IN AWAKENING TO REALITY, 11
The Four Stages, 13
"Laying the Foundations," 15
Main Points in the Practice of "Laying the Foundations," 20
The Functions of Essence, Breath, and Spirit, 36
Terms Related to the "Coagulation of the Three Treasures," 52
Conclusion of the Stage of "Laying the Foundations," 63
"Refining Essence to Transmute it into Breath," 65
"Refining Breath to Transmute it into Spirit," 99
"Refining Spirit to Return to Emptiness," 109

CONCLUSION, 119
The "Arts of the Way," 121

Tables, 123
Glossary of Chinese Characters, 133

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