Crystals of cinnabar, crystals of barite, crystals of quartz, crystals of calcite : Wanshan Mine, Wanshan District, Tongren Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China, an example of material historically associated with Chinese alchemy

Chinese Alchemy

Chinese Alchemy Chinese alchemy is an ancient Chinese scientific and technological approach to alchemy, a part of the larger tradition of Taoist body-spirit cultivation developed from the traditional Chinese understanding of medicine and the body. According to original texts such as the Cantong qi, the body is understood as the focus of cosmological processes summarized...

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Neidan

Neidan Neidan, or internal alchemy (內丹术; 內丹術; nèidān shù), is an array of esoteric doctrines and physical, mental, and spiritual practices that Taoist initiates use to prolong life and create an immortal spiritual body that would survive after death (Skar and Pregadio 2000, 464). Also known as Jindan (金丹 “golden elixir”), inner alchemy combines...

Tang dynasty Zhuangzi manuscript preserved in Japan (1930s replica)

Zhuangzi

Zhuangzi (book) The Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzŭ) is an ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476–221 BC) which contains stories and anecdotes that exemplify the carefree nature of the ideal Taoist sage. Named for its traditional author, “Master Zhuang” (Zhuangzi), the Zhuangzi is one of the two foundational texts of Taoism, along with the Tao...

Painting of two of the Eight Immortals, Iron-crutch Li on the left releasing a bat, Liu Haichan on the right holding one of the Peaches of Immortality and accompanied by the three-legged toad, Jin Chan. By Soga Shōhaku (曾我蕭白), done about 1760.

Xian in Taoism

Xian in Taoism Xian (仙/仚/僊; xiān; Wade–Giles: hsien) refers to a person or similar entity having a long or immortal lifespan. The concept of xian has different implications dependent upon the specific context: philosophical, religious, mythological, or other symbolic or cultural occurrence. The Chinese word xian is translatable into English as: (in Daoist philosophy and cosmology) spiritually immortal; transcendent; super-human;...

Partial text of Dao De Jing engraved in Tai Qing Dian (Hall of Supreme Purity) in Changchun Temple, Wuhan.

Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching The Tao Te Ching (道德经; 道德經; Dàodé Jīng)[Note1], also known as Lao Tzu or Laozi, is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi. The text’s authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th...

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Qi

Qi In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch’i (气; 氣; qì) is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity. Qi translates as “air” and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow“. Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. The practice of cultivating and balancing qi is called qigong....

Three Treasures

Three Treasures

Three Treasures (Taoism) The Three Treasures or Three Jewels (三寶; sānbǎo; Wade–Giles: san-pao) are basic virtues in Taoism. Although the Tao Te Ching originally used sanbao to mean “compassion“, “frugality“, and “humility“, the term was later used to translate the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha) in Chinese Buddhism, and to mean the Three Treasures (jing, qi, and shen) in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tao Te Ching Sanbao “three treasures” first occurs...

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Ziran

Ziran Ziran is a key concept in Daoism that literally means “self so; so of its own; so of itself” and thus “naturally; natural; spontaneously; freely; in the course of events; of course; doubtlessly”. This Chinese word is a two-character compound of zi (自) “nose; self; oneself; from; since” and ran (然) “right; correct; so;...

A diagram of I Ching hexagrams sent to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz from Joachim Bouvet. The Arabic numerals were added by Leibniz.

I Ching

I Ching The I Ching or Yi Jing (易經; Yìjīng) usually translated as Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and among the oldest of the Chinese classics. With more than two and a half millennia’s worth of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds...

Three Clear Total Temple Taiwan Ilan Sanqing Palace

Three Obediences and Four Virtues

Three Obediences and Four Virtues The Three Obediences and Four Virtues (三从四德; Sāncóng Sìdé) are the most basic set of moral principles and social code of behaviour for maidens and married women in East Asian Confucianism especially in Ancient and Imperial China. Even Chinese prostitutes in Ancient China followed this code to be defined as feminine. Some imperial eunuchs and modern gay men are also heavily influenced by...

Zhaoming Mirror frame, Western Han dynasty

Wu Wei

Wu Wei Wu wei (無爲; wú wéi) is a concept literally meaning “inexertion”, “inaction”, or “effortless action”. Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, and from Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, and was most commonly used to refer to an ideal form of government, including the...

Laozi Statue,Tai Lake

Laozi

Laozi Lǎozǐ (Laozi or Lao Tzu) was a naturalistic philosopher-sage attributed with founding the Chinese way of life known as Daoism, and credited with having written the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), though both claims have been historically disputed by scholars. Perhaps a legendary figure, Laozi’s influence on Chinese history, thought, and...

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History of Taoism

History of Taoism The history of Taoism stretches throughout Chinese history. Originating in prehistoric China, it has exerted a powerful influence over Chinese culture throughout the ages. Taoism evolved in response to changing times, with its doctrine and associated practices being revised and refined. The acceptance of Taoism by the ruling...

Jeongsusa Sansingak, Mountain Spirit Shrine (Ganghwa-gun) - Jeongsusa meaning clean water - clear the body and mind, because fresh water sprang up at the east side of the temple was built by Priest Hoejeong AD 639,and was rebuilt by saint priest Hamheo Daesa in 1426.

Korean Shamanism

Korean Shamanism Korean shamanism or Korean folk religion, also known as Shinism or Sinism (신교, 神敎; Shingyo or Shinkyo, “religion of the spirits/gods”) or Shindo (신도; 神道, “way of the spirits/gods”), is the polytheistic and animistic ethnic religion of Korea which dates back to prehistory and consists in the worship of gods (신 shin) and ancestors (조상 josang) as well as nature spirits. When referring specifically to...

The "Holy See" temple in Tây Ninh is the centre of the main Caodaist church.

Caodaism

Caodaism Caodaism (Đạo Cao Đài, Chữ nôm: 道高臺) is a monotheistic syncretic religion officially established in the city of Tây Ninh in southern Vietnam in 1926. The full name of the religion is Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ (The Great Faith [for the] Third Universal Redemption). Cao Đài, literally the “Highest Lord” or “Highest Power”) is...

Traditional music parade in Seoul.

Cheondoism

Cheondoism Cheondoism or Chondoism; Cheondogyo; 天道教; 천도교; literally “Religion of the Heavenly Way”) is a 20th-century Korean religion, based on the 19th-century Donghak religious movement founded by Ch’oe Che-u and codified under Son Pyŏng-Hi. Cheondoism has its origins in the peasant rebellions which arose starting in 1812 during the Joseon dynasty. Cheondoism incorporates elements of Korean shamanism. It places emphasis...

Morning Falun Dafa exercises in Guangzhou

Falun Gong

Falun Gong Falun Gong or Falun Dafa (“Dharma Wheel Practice” or “Law Wheel Practice”) is a new religious movement that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (真、善、忍). The practice emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue, and identifies as a practice of the Buddhist school,...

The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan (National Treasure)

Shinbutsu-shugo

Shinbutsu-shugo Shinbutsu-shūgō (神仏習合, “syncretism of kami and buddhas”), also called Shinbutsu-konkō (神仏混淆, “jumbling up” or “contamination of kami and buddhas”), is the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism that was Japan’s only organized religion up until the Meiji period. Beginning in 1868, the new Meiji government approved a series of laws that separated Japanese native kami worship, on one side,...

A jaguar-shaped cuauhxicalli in the National Museum of Anthropology. This altar-like stone vessel was used to hold the hearts of sacrificial victims. See also chacmool.

Mexicayotl

Mexicayotl Mexicayotl (Nahuatl word meaning “Essence of the Mexican”, “Mexicanity”; Spanish: Mexicanidad; ) is a movement reviving the indigenous religion, philosophy and traditions of ancient Mexico (Aztec religion and Aztec philosophy) among the Mexican people. The movement came to light in the 1950s, led by Mexico City intellectuals, but has grown significantly on a grassroots level only in more recent times, also spreading to the Mexican immigrants to...

The Indian Shaker Church in Marysville, Washington.

Indian Shaker Church

Indian Shaker Church The Indian Shaker Church is a Christian denomination founded in 1881 by Squaxin shaman John Slocum and his wife Mary Slocum in Washington State. The Indian Shaker Church is a unique blend of American Indian, Catholic, and Protestant beliefs and practices. The Indian Shakers are unrelated to the Shakers of New England (United Society of Believers) and are not to be confused with the Native...

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