Nourishing the Essence of Life: The Outer, Inner, and Secret Teachings of Taoism
The teachings of Taoism, China's great wisdom tradition, apply to every aspect of life, from the physical to the spiritual—and include instruction on everything from lifestyle (a life of simplicity and moderation is best) to the work of inner alchemy that is said to lead to longevity and immortality. Here, Eva Wong presents and explains three classic texts on understanding the Tao in the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm of the body that provide an excellent overview of the three traditional levels of the Taoist teachings—Outer, Inner, and Secret. The Outer teachings are concerned with understanding the Tao as manifested in nature and society. They are easily accessible to the layperson and consist of the Taoist philosophy of nature and humanity, advice on daily living, and a brief introduction to the beginning stages of Taoist meditation. The Inner teachings familiarize the practitioner with the energetic structure of the human body and introduce methods of stilling the mind and cultivating internal energy for health and longevity. The Secret teachings describe the highest level of internal-alchemical transformations within the body and mind for attaining immortality.