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Neiye – Wikipedia

Neiye Overview: – A. C. Graham and Harold D. Roth describe Neiye as the oldest mystical text in China and a manual on meditation and […]

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Neiye Overview:
– A. C. Graham and Harold D. Roth describe Neiye as the oldest mystical text in China and a manual on meditation and breath control, respectively.
– Neiye is possibly the oldest extant text of Daoism, containing 1,622 characters of poetic verses on guided breathing meditation.
– The title Neiye means ‘inside; inner; internal work; deed; achievement’ and reflects the focus on inner cultivation and meditation.
– Neiye, dated around 350–300 BCE, is a poetic text aiming to apprehend the cosmic force of Dao, with form and content similar to the Daodejing.

Philosophical Concepts in Neiye:
– Neiye discusses vital essence (Jing) and its association with vital energy, equating it with purity and essence.
– Shen, a mystical awareness within the body, aligns the mind and body for higher awareness and perception.
– Dao is portrayed as an absolute entity and the source of the universe, requiring inner power for retention and cultivation within the mind.

Inner Cultivation Practices:
– Cultivating jing within the heart/mind for sagehood, alongside physiological and spiritual changes.
– Shen’s role in aligning mind and body, essential for mystical awareness and higher perception.
– Dao as a cosmic force that can be attracted and retained through inner power, tranquility, and meditation.

Breath Meditation Techniques:
– Neiye advocates practices like body/heart/mind alignment, breath meditation, and moderation in thinking and eating.
– Breath meditation aids in refining vital breath for physical vitality and psychological well-being, with specific practices focusing on the Way to eliminate disturbances.
– Metaphors and practices in Neiye emphasize aligning body and mind to become receptive to elusive life forces and achieve mystical transformation.

Influence and Comparisons:
– Neiye’s influence on Daoist texts like Daodejing and Zhuangzi, sharing teachings on inner power, breath meditation, and alignment practices.
– Evidence of Neiye’s influence on Mencius’ teachings and broader Neo-Confucian ideals, with textual parallels suggesting shared influences on self-cultivation and returning to harmony.
– Neiye’s distinctive features include a lack of political philosophy, criticism of Confucianism, and absence of awareness of other philosophical traditions.

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