Daoist Body Cultivation:
First Chapter By Lonny Jarrett
Daoist Body Cultivation is a comprehensive volume by a group of dedicated scholar-practitioners that covers the key practices of medical healing, breathing techniques, diets and fasting, healing exercises, sexual practices, Qigong, and Taiji quan. Each presentation places the practice in its historical and cultural context and relates its current application and efficaciousness. Ultimately aiming to energetically transform the person into a spiritual and trancendent being, Daoist cultivation techniques have proven beneficial for health time and again and can make an important contribution in the world today. Daoist Body Cultivation provides a deeper understanding of the practices in their cultural and historical contexts, bridging the gap between healing and religion and allowing both scholars and practitioner to reach a deeper understanding and appreciation.
Livia Kohn embraces our collective minds and bodies yet again with an up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible collection of articles on the Daoist tradition’s ways of body transformation. Kohn’s introduction is an admirably discerning and concise overview of the best current scholarship on the subject, and the individual contributions, all by leading scholars and practitioners, concretely focus on as yet little understood practices of Daoist body cultivation. This book moves our understanding of Daoist bodily practices to a new level of interpretive insight and appreciation, a level that challenges many lingering assumptions and fantasies found in the popular assessment of Daoism. Recommended for anyone who wants to encounter the “real” and evolving Daoist tradition.
—Norman Girardot, Lehigh University
Daoist Body Cultivation contains eight excellent and detailed studies and a superb introduction in its exploration of Daoist techniques and theories of how to live long, healthy, and harmoniously. Contributors focus on qi refinement for the improvement of health, energy, and spirituality. They offer a new and deeper understanding of the centuries-old and still evolving body practices of the Daoist religion. While presenting rich information from classical texts, they also demonstrate how the methods are used today. The result is a fruitful marriage between academic research and practical experience. This book is worthwhile for academics who are interested in Daoist practices as well as for practitioners who would like to learn the theories and history of their methods.
—Shin-yi Chao, Rutgers University
Livia Kohn is Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies at Boston University. Her specialty is medieval Daoism and the study of Chinese longevity practices. She has written and edited numerous books and is a long-term practitioner of Taiji quan, Yoga, and meditation.
Table of Contents
1 Lonny Jarrett: Acupuncture and Spiritual Realization
2 Catherine Despeux: The Six Healing Breaths
3 Stephen Jackowicz: Ingestion, Digestion, and Regestation: The Complexities of Qi-Absorption
4 Shawn Arthur: Life without Grains: Bigu and the Daoist Body
5 Livia Kohn: Yoga and Daoyin
6 Michael Winn: Transforming Sexual Energy with Water-and- Fire Alchemy
7 Bede Bidlack: Taiji Quan: Forms, Visions, and Effects
8 Louis Komjathy: Qigong in America