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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Meditation has been and remains a central practice in the Daoist (Taoist) tradition. This chapter examines Daoist meditation, often referred to as dazuo (“engaging in sitting”) and shouyi (“guarding the One”) in Chinese, from the Later Han dynasty to the present. It provides a general overview of the five major forms of Daoist meditation, namely, apophatic meditation, ingestion, visualization, inner observation, and internal alchemy. Ingestion (fuqi) and visualization (cunxiang) were first systematized in the early medieval period. Inner observation (neiguan), a Daoist adaptation of Buddhist insight meditation (vipassanā), became a central practice during the Tang dynasty. Internal alchemy (neidan) developed during the late Tang dynasty and early Song dynasty. Following this period, apophatic meditation and internal alchemy became the two dominant forms of Daoist meditative praxis. In addition to providing socio-historical background information, this chapter discusses the technical specifics of each type of Daoist meditation, including major texts and informing views.

Keywords: Daoism, Taoism, Daoist meditation, Taoist meditation, dazuo, shouyi, fuqi, cunxiang, neiguan, neidan

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