L0038974 Chinese woodcut: Daoist internal alchemy (4)
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Woodcut illustration of the practice called Xixin tuicang (wash the heart and retire to a hidden place)from Xingming guizhi (Pointers on Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life) by Yi Zhenren, a Daoist text on internal alchemy published in 1615 (3rd year of the Wanli reign period of Ming dynasty).
Xixin tuicang (wash the heart and retire to a hidden place), or Xixin dilü (wash the heart and cleanse the thoughts), belongs to the terminology of internal alchemy. Beginning alchemists, inexperienced in the regulation and timing of spiritual fire, are subject to illnesses of distress and agitation, fire and inflammation. This can be rectified by practising Xixin tuicang. Xingming guizhi, ‘Retirement and Cleansing Practices’ states: ‘Novice practitioners abase their heart and bind it up too tightly, which inevitably leads to illnesses of distress and agitation, fire and inflammation. The heart-fire of the south is temporarily concealed in the back-water of the north; water and fire nurture each other, and naturally no thoughts and worries arise’.
Library of Zhongguo zhongyi yanjiu yuan (China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Xingming guizhi (Pointers on Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life)
Yi Zhenren (Daoist adept Yi)
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