Shi Tai

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Shi Tai's Life

Shi Tai's literary name was Dezhi. He styled himself either Xingling or Chuixuanzi. He was born in Changzhou. His life spanned the end of the Northern Song dynasty and beginning of the Southern Song dynasty. Although he spent most of his life as a tailor sewing clothes, he embraced Daoism and visited all sacred sites in the hope of learning Daoist Skills and devoting himself to salvation. After that, he followed Zhang Boduan to learn the Great Dao of the Golden Elixir. As a result, he wrote the Tablet on Reversion to the Origin ( 還元篇 Huanyuan Pian ), which included 81 four-line verses with five characters to each line. In this book, he explained his own ideas of Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ). After that, he imparted the Dao to Xiu Daoguang. He died at the age of 137, in Southern Song emperor Gao's 28th Shaoxing year. In later times, he was worshipped as one of the Five Southern Patriarchs ( 南五祖 Nanwu Zu ) by the Complete Perfection Tradition.


Tablet on Reversion to the Origin