Daoist Health Cultivation
In a broad sense, Daoist Health Cultivation includes Daoist views of life, theories of Immortality, and techniques to achieve Immortality. In a narrow sense, Daoist Health Cultivation aims at a harmonious state of body and mind, long life, and enjoyment of one's allotted span through respecting taboos, dietetics, breathing and martial arts, etc. The term Daoist Health Cultivation generally refers to health cultivation in a narrow sense.
Daoist Health Cultivation bases its theory on Daoist cosmology. Everything in the world is a transmutation of the Dao. Only by abiding by the laws of the Dao and being one with the myriad beings in the world, and by living a natural life, can one attain an ideal state of health.
The Collection on Nourishing Life ( 養生集 Yangsheng Ji ) says: " The most important things in Nourishing Life are the following:
- Stint spirit;
- Cherish Vital Breath;
- Nourish the body;
- Sexual life;
- Following customs;
" In addition, inner alchemy, Breathing Arts and martial arts are also important methods.
- The Book of Supreme Peace proposes a concept of longevity based on stressing Essential Matter, cherishing Vital Breath and honouring the Spirit.
- Xiang'er's Commentary on Laozi emphasizes the principle of frequently generating one's own life, regarding pacifying one's spirit as most important.
- The Book of the Yellow Court suggests visualization as the main therapeutic method.
- The Inner Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity advocates nourishing one's blood and Vital Breath as the chief methods.
- The Extracts on Nourishing Spiritual Nature and Prolonging Bodily Life expounds on the principle of " twelve less and twelve more".
- Sun Simiao's Essential Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold, his Additions to the Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold and his Inscription on Visualizing Spirits and Refining Vital Breath discuss medicine, hygiene and inner cultivation, stating that " Once the breath is nourished, one will never get sick", and that" those who are good at health cultivation must know how to nourish their breath. Nourishing one's breath can eliminate all diseases."