Secret Formulas for Attaining Perfection

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The Secret Formulas for Attaining Perfection ( 登真隱訣 Dengzhen Yinjue ) was compiled by Tao Hongjing of the Liang dynasty. It collects the biographies and formulas of various Perfect Men and techniques of nourishing life of different schools. The whole book is composed of three volumes.

  1. The upper volume discusses true talismans, precious petitions and the nine palaces in one's head;
  2. The middle volume records 37 methods of worship, nourishing life, function, and daily life, six methods of killing and defeating spirits and demons and defense against demons' trials, nine methods of ingesting the vital breath, exhaling the old and inhaling the new, meditation and ingesting clouds, and three formulas revealed by perfect men;
  3. The lower volume gives an account of the way of reciting The Book of the Yellow Court ( 黃庭經 Huangting Jing ), and the techniques of nourishing the body and the nature, longevity, healing and controlling ghosts, such as entering tranquility, petitions and talismans, inviting officials.

This book of secret formulas for immortality is a rather early synthetic Daoist book on methods and formulas for cultivating perfection. It is collected in the subsection of Jade Formulae ( 玉訣 Yujue ), the Pervasive Mystery Section ( 洞神部 Dongshen Bu ) of The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).