Hidden Prescriptions for Nourishing Life
Hidden Prescriptions for Nourishing Life ( 攝養枕中方 Sheyang Zhenzhong Fang ) was compiled by Sun Simiao of the Tang dynasty. It is a one-volume Daoist book on nourishing life. This book is collected in volume 33 of Seven Slips of a Cloudy Satchel ( 雲笈七簽 Yunji Qiqian ). Besides, the subsection of methods, the Pervasive Divinity Section ( 洞神部 Dongshen Bu ) of The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ) contains one volume of Precious and Secret Tales ( 枕中記 Zhenzhong Ji ), which was said to have been compiled by Ge Hong of the Jin dynasty, but is indeed Precious and Secret Prescriptions ( 枕中方 Zhenzhong Fang ) by Sun Simiao and mistakenly copies some content of Secret Records of the Cultivation of Perfection ( 修真秘錄 Xiuzhen Milu ) by Fu Duren. Precious and Secret Prescriptions and Precious and Secret Tales are identical on the whole, except that the former has a preface, the title of the chapter "self-control" and most parts of the chapter "vital breath dirigation" and the chapter "guarding the oneness". This reveals that something is missing and lost in the latter book. Precious and Secret Prescriptions is composed of five chapters altogether. The chapter "self-control" is on the way of food and drink and twelve "often" and twelve "seldom" in nourishing life; the chapter "taboos" is on keeping awake on the Gengshen day and taboos in taking medicine; the chapter "gymnastics" describes the techniques of massage, swallowing saliva, etc.; the chapter "vital breath dirigation" is on the three ways for attaining immortality, namely keeping the essential matter, dirigating the vital breath and dietetics; the chapter "guarding the oneness" is on the way of keeping the perfect oneness in the three elixir fields. Finally, there is a separate section, Supreme Clarity Formulas of Visualizing Spirits and Refining the Vital Breath at Five Hours and Seven Times ( 太清存神煉氣五時七侯訣 Taiqing Cunshen Lianqi Wushi Qihou Jue ). In addition, the book records techniques of dietetics, such as those of ingesting sesame oil, of taking Jusheng (a Chinese medicine), and three techniques of taking mica. This book provides reference for the study of Daoist learning of breathing arts and nourishing life of the Tang dynasty.