The Way of Complete Perfection
A Quanzhen Daoist Anthology
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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The present book is an anthology of primary Quanzhen (Ch’üan-chen; Complete Perfection) Daoist texts, which were originally written in classical Chinese and are here rendered into English translations. It is the first such anthology, and one of only a few sourcebooks of Daoist literature available in the Western world. ...
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Every book has a story. Every book recounts various moments in the process of its composition. Some of these are visible, others hidden. This is not simply the case for the trees that now appear as white sheets, but also for the hours, days, months, and years that were offered for its completion. ...
List of Abbreviations
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The present work is an anthology of primary Quanzhen (Ch’üan-chen; Complete Perfection) texts, which were originally written in classical Chinese and are here rendered into English translations. Quanzhen is one of the most important Daoist movements in Chinese history and remains the dominant form of monastic Daoism in the modern world, ...
Chapter One. Poetic Insights
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The early Quanzhen adepts wrote voluminous amounts of poetry, only a partial record of which survives. Poetry was by far the preferred means of expression in the early Quanzhen religious community. Wang Chongyang and his first-generation disciples employed all of the major Song-Jin genres of Chinese poetry, including lyrics (ci), songs (ge),1 regulated verse (lüshi), and quatrains (jueju). ...
Chapter Two. Direct Instruction
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This chapter contains discourse records (yulu) attributed to the early Quanzhen adepts. While most often associated with the Chan (Jpn.: Zen) tradition in the form of “recorded sayings,” a “proto-yulu” genre in fact goes back to some of the earliest moments of Chinese and Daoist literary history. ...
Chapter Three. Daily Practice
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Within the early Quanzhen religious community, there was a strong emphasis on daily practice. For the early adepts, daily practice did not simply mean training each day; it also meant viewing one’s entire life as Daoist cultivation. As Stephen Eskildsen has shown (2004, 26–33), many of the early Quanzhen adherents referred to an all-pervasive existential approach ...
Chapter Four. Alchemical Transformation
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Internal alchemy (neidan) was and remains a primary dimension of Quanzhen religious praxis. With respect to early Quanzhen, neidan training, there is frequent use of alchemical language and symbolism. This is highly technical and esoteric terminology, and the literary anthologies, specifically the early poetry, are filled with it. ...
Chapter Five. Scripture Study
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Daoist scriptures exerted a formative influence on the early Quanzhen adepts and religious community. The most influential texts include the fourth-century BCE Daode jing (Scripture on the Dao and Inner Power), fourth- to second-century BCE Nanhua zhenjing (Perfect Scripture of Nanhua [Southern Florescence]; ...
Chapter Six. Hagiographical Ideals
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Hagiographies, or “accounts of saints,” are religious texts aimed at documenting the lives of major personages and at inspiring other adherents or potential members of the tradition. The genre is perhaps most often associated with the lives of medieval Catholic saints.1 ...
Chapter Seven. Monastic Life
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With the texts translated in this section, we move into a completely different set of historical contexts and Daoist concerns than most of the earlier selections, that is, the early Quanzhen textual corpus associated with Wang Chongyang and his first-generation disciples (see Komjathy 2007a, 382–422). ...
Appendix 1. Quanzhen Technical Glossary
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Appendix 2. Quanzhen Texts Translated in The Way of Complete Perfection
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Chinese Character Glossary
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Page Count: 468
Publication Year: 2013