This work is a typical inner alchemic synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, its essential approach is Taoist. The manual is divided into nine sections accompanied with illustrations and great details for the inner alchemic or meditative practices.
Considered from an integrated and holistic perspective, Taoist practice consists of cosmology, theology, observation, practice principles and guidelines, meditation, health and longevity practices, ethics, dietetics, scripture study, seasonal attunement, geomancy, and ritual. This directly relates to traditional Taoist culture. There are also various models of practice and attainment that emerge through the careful consideration of the entire breadth of the Taoist religious tradition. In terms of traditional models of Taoist practice, one may identify at least the following: quietistic, ritualistic, cosmological, exorcistic, behavioral/ethical, mediumistic/shamanic, dietetical, ascetical, literary/artistic, alchemical, meditative, hermeneutical, medical, mystical, syncretistic, and so forth. Of these, meditation, including internal alchemy, and ritual have been the dominant forms of religious practice throughout Daoist history.
The Imperative Doctrines for Innate Nature and Life Force is a book written in ancient China talking about meditation, including internal alchemy and ritual. Its author was unknown. It boasts four volumes: Yuan, Heng, Li and Zhen. It was heard to be handed down by one disciple of Yinxi who was a disciple of Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu wrote the book Tao Te Ching.
Ever since the founding of Complete Reality School of Taoism the teaching advocating the combination between Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism became more and more popular in then society. Therefore this book offered an illustration "Three Sages Chart" in the beginning pages, and spoke in laudatory terms of the three sages by the poem. This book believed that Tao is Chi, innate nature is the noumena of human existence and the life is unreal, the Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism all advocate introspection upon the innate nature and illumination upon mind. It urged the human beings to cultivate both innate nature and life force together, cultivated gold elixir pill, and concluded that only the golden elixir pill cultivation is the course for attaining Tao successfully.
The book summarizes each kind of Taoist practice and approaches on cultivation of Golden elixir Pill, elaborates on terminology and general principle used often in Taoist practice, gives a detailed narrative on the main phases consisting of the inner alchemy practice which include discipline self to lay a foundation, transform Jing to Chi, transform Chi to Shen, transform Shen to voidness and get voidness accorded with Tao. Illustrations plus explanations are provided in detail, making it a popular book in expounding elixir pill cultivation.
The book features penetrating analysis upon the main theory of Tao cultivation, together with fine illustration attached, making it very excellent in comparison with other similar books.
Here we choose the version available in 1920’s, published by Shanghai Jiangdong MaoJi Publishing House. All text are in ancient Chinese and people have to know such language before reading it without encountering difficulties.
People are welcome to click the following link to download the document in Chinese: