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The Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters
The Teachings and Practices of the Early Quanzhen Taoist Masters
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Stephen Eskildsen - Author
SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 282 pages
Release Date: June 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6045-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6045-0

Price: $32.95 
Paperback - 282 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6046-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6046-7

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Explores the religion developed by the Quanzhen Taoists, who sought to cultivate the mind not only through seated meditation, but also throughout the daily activities of life.

Stephen Eskildsen's book offers an in-depth study of the beliefs and practices of the Quanzhen (Complete Realization) School of Taoism, the predominant school of monastic Taoism in China. The Quanzhen School was founded in the latter half of the twelfth century by the eccentric holy man Wan Zhe (1113–1170), whose work was continued by his famous disciples commonly known as the Seven Realized Ones. This study draws upon surviving texts to examine the Quanzhen masters' approaches to mental discipline, intense asceticism, cultivation of health and longevity, mystical experience, supernormal powers, death and dying, charity and evangelism, and ritual. From these primary sources, Eskildsen provides a clear understanding of the nature of Quanzhen Taoism and reveals its core emphasis to be the cultivation of clarity and purity of mind that occurs not only through seated meditation, but also throughout the daily activities of life.

“…Eskildsen’s book is now the most accessible introduction to the origins of Quanzhen Taoism … [It] … helps fill an important gap in our literature on early modern Taoism. His explication of basic Quanzhen ideals and cultivation practices can be recommended to all. And his presentation of Quanzhen today … is sound, informative, and important.” — China Review International

“The necessity and importance of Teachings and Practices cannot be overstated—it is the first readily available and accurate Western language publication on this important twelfth-century Daoist movement, perhaps the most significant sub-tradition in all of Daoist history.” — Daoist Studies

"The author brings the Quanzhen School to life through vivid stories and wonderful poetry, and does an excellent job of describing the richness and range of Quanzhen practices and beliefs." — Sarah A. Queen, author of From Chronicle to Canon: The Hermeneutics of the Spring and Autumn, according to Tung Chung-shu

"Through lucid translations, the author allows the development of his topic to flow from the Chinese sources, supplying essential commentary and a useful framework. He introduces Western readers to extremely important texts for understanding the development of modern Taoism." — Jordan Paper, author of The Spirits are Drunk: Comparative Approaches to Chinese Religion

Stephen Eskildsen is UC Foundation Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is the author of Asceticism in Early Taoist Religion, also published by SUNY Press

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction

Opening Comments
Historical Summary
Preview of This Book's Contents

2. Cultivating Clarity and Purity


3. The Asceticism of the Quanzhen Masters

4. Cultivating Health and Longevity

The Anatomy
The Causes of Disease and Death
How the Quanzhen Masters Combated Disease and Death
Conclusion: Nurturing the Qi and Completing the Spirit

5. Visions and Other Trance Phenomena

A Remarkable Incident from the Childhood of Yin Zhiping
Communications from Realized Beings of Past and Present
Miscellaneous "Signs of Proof ": Sights, Sounds, Tastes, and Sensations
Difficulties and Frustrations Involved in Gaining
"Signs of Proof "

6. The Miraculous Powers of the Quanzhen Masters

How to Attain Miraculous Power
Manifesting the Radiant Spirit
Two Physical Feats of Wang Zhe Confirmed by Qiu Chuji
Healing and Ritual Thaumaturgy
Wondrous Mirages

7. Death and Dying in Early Quanzhen Taoism

Collected Sayings

8. The Compassion of the Early Quanzhen Masters

9. Rituals in Early Quanzhen Taoism

Attitudes toward Rituals
The Quanzhen Masters As Ritual Purists
Final Remarks

10. Conclusion



Secondary Sources in English and French
Secondary Sources in Chinese
Secondary Sources in Japanese
Primary Sources from the Taoist Canon
Other Primary Sources



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