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The Life of Guangchengzi

Guangchengzi was a legendary Immortal who lived in a stone cave in Mt. Kongdong (in Linru County, Henan Province). In his book ''The Broad and Sacred Teachings of the Book of Dao and its Virtue'', Du Guangting of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) wrote: "During the time of the Yellow Emperor, the Venerable Sovereign (Laozi) was Guangchengzi, who taught the ''Book of Dao and its Virtue'' and the Five Magic Arts to the emperor". He also wrote that during the time of the Yellow Emperor, the Venerable Sovereign (Laozi) was also called Guangchengzi, who lived on Mt. Kongdong. The emperor ordered him to be his teacher. So he taught the Book of Dao and its Virtue and the arts of regulating the body to His Majesty. The emperor pratised his teachings, and rose into Heaven in broad daylight".

The Thought of Guangchengzi

As recorded in Zhuangzi, Guangchengzi once taught the emperor 'the arts of governing the body' such as that the essence of the perfect Dao is in daziness and obscurity and the ultimate of the perfect Dao is in dimness and darkness. If you see nothing, hear nothing and keep calm with a god in your heart, your body will correct itself. If you keep calm and have a clear mind, and have no burden and stay free from troubles, you will have a long life. If your eyes see nothing, if your ears hear nothing and your heart knows nothing, your spirit will preserve your body, and your body will have a long life. Be cautious of your heart, and close your eyes to the outside. You will fail if you know too much". Guangchengzi told the Yellow Emperor: Since I have kept to Oneness and remained in Peace, I have lived one thousand two hundred years without growing old". He also said that "He who attains to my Dao will be Emperor in Heaven above and King on Earth below; he who loses my Dao will see only light above and earth below. After saying goodbye to you, I go through the door of infinitude, and travel through endless realms. I will shine with the Sun and Moon, and will live eternally with Heaven and Earth". In addition, some of the arts of Nourishing Life which were passed on by Guangchengzi include sexual techniques, which were often quoted later in books on the Arts of the Bedchamber.


As recorded by Ge Hong, the "Yellow Emperor once passed Mt. Kongdong and received the Book of Spontaneity from Guangchengzi". In the book The Perfect Immortals' Experience of Dao over Successive Generations, it is also written that "Guangchengzi "finished seventy volumes of the ‘’Book of Attaining Dao" and that he "presented the Book of Yin and Yang' to the emperor".