The Subtle Body Ecstasy of Daoist Inner Alchemy Cover Image
  • Price 18.00 €

The Subtle Body Ecstasy of Daoist Inner Alchemy
The Subtle Body Ecstasy of Daoist Inner Alchemy

Author(s): Livia Kohn
Subject(s): Theology and Religion, Comparative Studies of Religion
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: mysticism; Daoism; religious experience; Healing Dao; body cultivation; inner alchemy; Five Phases; qi;

Summary/Abstract: In Daoist mysticism, the body plays a much more central role than in comparative Western models. This is especially clear in the tradition of Daoism called inner alchemy, which arose in the Song dynasty and has remained dominant both among monastic and lay practitioners to the present day. In this model, the internal energies of the person are gradually and systematically refined from grosser, easily felt vibrations and secretions to pure qi, the original cosmic energy as present in the individual, and from there to spirit, the divine power that pervades the universe. Adepts transform who they are as persons to become one with the Dao, but they do not do it merely through mental reorientation. Their entire physical structure changes as the powers of the cosmos manifest in them and the Dao takes over their being. Mystical experience in this context is thus very much an embodied event.

  • Issue Year: 59/2006
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 325-340
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English