Wu Yun, cap. 5-6

pp. 213-214 "a technique for cleansing the mind" in chapter 16 (titled S^en Qin Yi Pin ‘A clear spirit and a tranquil mind’) of Wu Yun’s Xuan-gan (‘Mystic Mainstay’)

p. 213

The ability of scholars of superior learning "to ascend as high as the Milky Way, is because their "spirit is king.""

fn. 29 the phrase /s^en wan/ (‘spirit is king’) is a reference to the 3rd chapter of Z^uan-zi, concerning the "swamp pheasant".

p. 214

In order for the "yin corpses" to be scattered

fn. 34 "the yin corpses (yinshi ...) ... hidden within every individual’s three dantian."


by means of the "perfection of the crimson palace",

fn. 35 " "crimson palace" (jianggong ...) designates the heart."


"it is advisable ... to actualize the One (cunyi ...),

fn. 36 according to the Yuan-qi Lun (Yun-ji Qiqian 56.24a), "actualizing the qi means actualizing the One (cunyi). As the One is the dao, actualizing the dao means actualizing all of the 36,000 [bodily] divinities ... . For another description of "actualizing the One," see Yunji qiqian, 49.16a-17b."


to clench the fists (wogu ...)".

fn. 37 "This Daoist practice, often accompanied by the closing of the eyes, originates in Daode jing 55 ... ."

[pp. 214-5, fn. 37 "The Yangxing yanming lu ..., attributed to Tao Hongjing, claims that keeping the fists clenched all day long will prevent the "noxious qi and the hundred poisons" ... from entering the body. Cf. D 838, 2.4b."]

pp. 218-219 Xi-xin Fu ("Rhapsody on Cleansing the Mind") by Wu Yun

p. 218

"I let the Cinnabar Palace’s divine glow shine,

fn. 53 "the Palace of the Cinnabar Field, one of the nine palaces within the head."


And rinsed with the Jade Pond’s numinous exudate.

fn. 54 "Yuchi ..., the "jade pond" ... is the mouth."

p. 219

Cultivating the "five wefts," I flew forth,

fn. 55 "the "five wefts" (wuwei ...) indicate the planets".


Treading the "seven primes," I moved unhindered.

fn. 56 " "seven primes" (qiyuan ...) ... may ... indicate ..., as in the Huangting neijing jing, the seven cavities of the head."


Yang’s brightness blazed ... and the ice melted.

fn. 57 " "yang’s brightness" (yangjing ...)," "the ice melting ... Daode jing 15."


... remote the Celestial Highway ... looked".

fn. 59 "the highway ... where, according to Zhang Heng’s ‘Rhapsody on the Western Capital’ ..., emperor Wu ... sought the immortal Xianmen Gao. See Wen xuan, 2.42".

p. 220 ingesting of essences, according to the Huan-tian S^an-qin Jin-que Di-jun Lin-s^u Zi-wen S^an-jin (‘August-Heaven Upper-Clarity Golden-Gateway Thearch-Lord’s Numinously-Inscribed Purple-Texts Upper-Scripture’)

Daoists "should daily swallow the auras of solar root and swallow the essences of Grand Solarity. They will immediately notice their bodies exuding jade fluids and their faces emitting flowing light." (DZ 639, 5b – translated in :- Bokenkamp : Early Daoist Scriptures, p. 317)

pp. 221-222 glow in the Carpenter’s forest, according to the Zon-xuan Xian-s^en Wen-ji 2.3b-5b

p. 221

"the fleeting glow, that never pauses ... among the "near and habituated." ...

fn. 64 jin-xi ‘near and habituated’ "designates the Hanlin Academy" nigh the Z^on-nan mountains.

p. 222

I brush off my clothing in the tall forest, ...

I receive my commands from the Veritable Carpenter."

pp. 222-3, fn. 71 the Son of Heaven’s "counterpart", "zhenjiang ... Veritable, Realized or Perfected" Carpenter

p. 232 sets of categories of transcendents each in the 3 heavens constituting Da-luo-tian ("Great Enveloping Heaven"), according to the Dao-men Jin-fa Xian-c^en Ci-xu (= DZ 1128) 1.3a

the realm of __ -qin (‘__ Clarity’)

hath 9 categories of __

Tai- (‘Greater __’)

xian (‘immortals’)

S^an- (‘Upper __’)

z^en (‘perfecteds’)

Yu- (‘Jade __’)

s^en (‘sages’)

pp. 236-237 transcendents’ abidings, according to the Zon-xuan Xian-s^en Wen-ji 19a-20a



alias dictus of transcendent


alias dictus of abiding



fn. 15 Fu-xi

"mother of the qi"

fn. 15 Nu: Gua



fn. 16 Huan-di

"cloud-covered canopy"



fn. 17 Gao-yan

"Dark Palace"

fn. 17 "the north"



fn. 18 Yu

"Purple Treasury" (Zi-fu Gon)



Xuan-yuan (‘Mysterious Prime’)




Nan-hua (‘Southern Florescence’)


Lacquer Garden


Wan Qiao

fn. 20 Wan-zi Qiao

Ye praefecture


Don-fan S^uo

fn. 21 (court jester)

Golden Gate [Jin-men]

fn. 21 Jin-ma-men (‘Golden Horse Gate’)

pp. 236-238, fn.s further details concerning these transcendents






Huan-di "ascended to heaven in broad daylight, seated on a dragon and accompanied by his entire household."



Huan-di’s grandson Gao-yan died aged 97.



Yu "derived his ability to control the floods from a Lingbao method which he received from the hands of a certain Perfected Person of Zhong shan".



Zi-fu Gon is situated on "Changzhou ..., one of the ten mythical continents. It is a place "where the Celestial Perfected and the Immortal Maidens raom." Cf. Yunji qiqian, 26.4a. Horeover, ... Wang Gaishen ..., a Daoist divinity better known as the Lord Controller of Destiny and Longevity of the Southern Extremity (Nanji changsheng siming jun ...) ... received instruction in a number of immortality techniques ... from a certain Master Hua of the Purple Treasury. See Yunji qiqian, 102.8b. Finally, the Purple Treasury is also the place where the names of those who obtain longevity by certain ways of [viz., simulated] "liberation through the corpse" (shijie ...) are written down. See Yunji qiqian, 85.3a."



Wan-zi Qiao "made a habit of visiting the capital every month, ... flying".



"Next to the gate stood a copper horse {cf. flying metal horse in 1001 Nights}, hence the name. ... As Dongfang Shuo was seen selling medicine in Kuaiji and other places in the Jiangnan area well after his apparent demise, he quickly joined the ranks of the immortals. ... According to the Santian neijie jing (D 1205), 1.4b-5a (transl. S. Bokenkamp, Early Daoist Scriptures, p. 213), Dongfang Shuo was a Perfected Person sent down by the Most High Lord Lao" during the Former Han dynasty.



Is "Bai Hua ... the same person as Fan Bohua ... who obtained the rank in the Taiji Heaven? Cf. Dongxuan lingbao zhen ling weiye tu, 11a and Wushang biyao, 84.12.b." [Bai Hua "was lifted up lightly" (p. 238).]

p. 26, fn. 76 "Locus classicus of qingju ... ["rising up lightly"] ... is the opening statement of the Chu ci poem ‘Far roaming’ (Yuanyou ...). ... Transl. Paul W. Kroll, "An Early Poem of Mystical Excursion," In Lopex, Donald S., Jr. (ed.), Religions of China in Practice (Princeton : Princeton Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 156-165."

p. 241 immortality, according to Guo Qin-fan : Z^uan-zi Ji-s^i (as quoted in Xuan-gan 30)


Z^uan-zi Ji-s^i

"When after a thousand years he gets weary of the world, he will leave it and rise up to the immortals; he will ride the white clouds, until he reaches the divine realm."


"Therefore I have cultivated my person for one thousand two hundred years, and my body has not suffered any decay".


"They mount the clouds and mists, and ride flying dragons, in order to roam beyond the four seas".


"All men die, but I alone subsist".


pp. 241-242 the figure of speech "walking corpses"

p. 241

"those who display respect and veneration shall see their names written down in the mysterious records." In contrast, "the common herd" are "hordes of walking corpses".

pp. 241-2, fn. 40

"walking corpses (xingshi ...) ... indicates ... mortals, who are unable to ... practice longevity techniques ... . See, e.g., Yunji qiqian, 59.19a. ... the Xiang’er commentary to the Daode jing ... states that "the bodies of those who do not understand the Way of longevity are but walking corpses." Cf. Bokenkamp, Early Daoist Scriptures, p. 85."

pp. 244-245 immortalization, according to Zon-xuan Xian-s^en Xuan-gan Lun 21b-22a

p. 244

"Superior gentlemen ... abscond to beyond the Milky Way."

"If fish ... vigorously shake their scales and fins, they leap over [the waterfalls at] Lu:liang ... and become

p. 245

dragons. If man manages to roam [Mount] Kongtong ..., ... then joins with the tenuous and bonds with the vacuous, he will set foot in the realm of perfection ... and become an immortal."

p. 247, fn. 51 heavenly recording of one’s name as sign of praedestination for immortality

"See ... the hagiography of Zhou Yishan ... (also known as Ziyang zhenren ..., the Perfected One of Purple Solarity) in Yiwen leiju, 78.1330. When Zhou Yishan meets the immortal Xianmenzi ..., astride a white deer and accompanied by a dozen jade maidens, ... Xianmenzi says : "Your name is already present in the Cinnabar Terrace’s jade room. ..." See also Li Bai’s poem ..., ... Li Taibai quanji, 25.1145 and Yunji qiqian, 20.32b, 51.14b, 85.3a."

p. 250, fn. 63 Jade Capital’s Golden Pylons

"The Jade Capital (yujing ...) ... and the gateway leading to it, known as the Golden Pylons (jinque ...), are situated in the Great Enveloping Heaven ... . See P. Kroll, "Spreading Open the Barrier of Heaven," Asiatische Studien / Etudes Asiatiques 40.1 (1986), pp. 22-39 and the fourth of Wu yun’s youxian poems, Zongxuan xiansheng wenji, 2.27b."

p. 251, fn. 64 how to become a candid ghost after dying

According to Z^en Gao 16.11a, "After 400 years of spectral existence, one may be expected to be promoted to a post in the subterranean hierarchy. The same passage is also found in Yunji qiqian, 86.10a." According to the Xiu-z^en Li-yan C^ao-tu (= DZ 152) 1a-b, "relinquishing the body ..., one will be called a bright and candid ghost." (This is quoted in Yun-ji Qi-qian 72.17a-b.)

p. 251, fn. 65 a return from the dead after 1000 years

"Ding Lingwei ... originated from the Liaodong area. ... Once he temporarily returned to his native town in the shape of a white crane and chanted the following poem :

"I am Ding Lingwei /

I left my home a thousand years ago and have returned / ...

Why not ... break away from the fetters of the grave?" ...

Cf. Lishi zhenxian tidao tongjian, 11.4a-b."

pp. 251-252 ascensions into heaven, according to Zon-xuan Xian-s^en Xuan-gan Lu 23a-24b

p. 251

"Liu Qing rose up to the clouds in the land of Shu.


Wei Jun mounted

p. 252

a dragon on Song’s south side.


Daohe ‘exuviated like a cicada’ in Ultimate Oneness.


Dongxuan made a ‘skeletal flight’ in the region of Ji." [woman]

p. 253 successive stages of development of a transcendent, according to

the Don-xuan Lin-bao Din-guan Jin-z^u,

the Tai-s^an Don-xuan Lin-bao Guan-miao Jin, and

the Cun-s^en Lian-qi Min

xian ‘immortal’

z^en ‘perfected’

s^en ‘spiritual (divine)’

s^en ‘consummate (sage)’

pp. 253-256 further details on the transcendents mentioned in Zon-xuan Xian-s^en Xuan-gan Lu 23a-24b

p. 253

"Liu Zhen ..., zi Shanqing ..., was a Sui dynasty Daoist priest who lived on Mount Anle ... in southeast Sichuan during the Kaihuang ... era (581-600). ...

Si-c^uan Ton-zi 168.16a-b

p. 254

Before rising up in the sky and becoming immortal, Liu Zhen is said to have gathered his books on immortality ... and sealed them in his stone chamber ..., saying : "Sixty years from now, a sage ruler will come and collect them.""


"Wei Shanjun ... went to study in the Songyang guan. He had a dog, which he named Wulong ... (Black Dragon) and which would eventually transform into a genuine dragon. Sometime during the Changshou ... era (692-693) he announced to his disciples : "I have been studying the Way for ninety-nine years; ... Taishang ... has summoned he to go." Thereupon he mounted his dragon and disappeared."

Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian 36.2b-3b & 39.1a; Tai-pin Guan-ji 47.295; San-don Qun-xian Lu 5.1a-b

p. 254, fn. 72

"Another example of a member of the Jingzhao Wei clan ... is that of Wei Jie ... (497-569), zi Chuxuan ... . ... He is the earliest Xisheng jing commentator.

Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian 29.4a-5b

p. 255

"Liu Daohe ..., also known as Liu Aidao ..., was a Celestial Master priest and alchemist from Wanqiu ... (Henan). After having received "talismanic warrants for summoning according to the Covenantal Authority of the Orthodox and One of the Three Heavens" (santian zhengyi mengwei shezhao fuqi ...) from a heavenly messenger, he was able to perform feats of magic. ... he had been summoned by the Controller of Destinies (siming) of Mount Lu. ... When in 679 his grave was moved for reburial, ... all his teeth and bones had disappeared, leaving only an empty hull of skin, ... like the exuviae of cidada."

Jiu Tan S^u 192.5127; Xin Tan S^u 196.5605; Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian 29.14b-15b; San-don Qun-xian Lu 18.7a-b

p. 256

"Bian Dongxuan ... hailed from Jizhou ..., or, according to some sources, from Fanyang ..., which is also situated in present-day Hebei province. ... (Kaiyuan 27, 739), ... at the age of eighty-three, she received ... a "great cyclically-transformed elixir." After having ingested it, she ascended to heaven in broad daylight, while a huge crowd looked on."

Xian-yuan Bian-zhu (= DZ 596) 3.23a; Yun-ji Qi-qian 116.4a-8b

SINICA LEIDENSIA, Vol. LXXII = Jan de Meyer : Wu Yun’s Way. Brill, Leiden, 2006. pp. 206-227 = cap. 5; pp. 231-257 = cap. 6