Yueya

The Embryo of Sagehood

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For anyone with an interest in the formative history of neidan and Chinese Buddhism, I highly recommend this well researched and very readable essay by Kevin Buckelew. Until I read it, I had no idea of the Buddhist antecedents for cultivation realities I thought were unique to both Chinese and Western alchemy. Here’s the opening paragraph:

 

From the fifth century through the present day, Chinese Buddhists have discussed the need for aspirants seeking liberation to “nurture the embryo of sagehood” (yang shengtai 養聖胎). On its surface, this understudied but widespread trope might seem puzzling: Buddhist liberation is typically understood to be a matter of enlightenment, not embodiment. Fetal gestation, moreover, is cast in many Buddhist scriptures as emblematizing bondage to cyclical rebirth. So what are we to make of this expression? Is it just a metaphor?

 

 https://www.kevinbuckelew.info/s/Buckelew-Pregnant-Metaphor.pdf

 

The essay also has a comprehensive section titled, The Embryo of Sagehood in Daoist Inner Alchemy

 

While the focus of some of the author’s conclusions is very different from mine as a practitioner, the research is excellent. I especially liked reading the abundant quotations from early Chinese practitioners. I found plenty of insights that parallel and hence reinforce and expand my own.   
 

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Posted (edited)

Chinese Buddhist texts is one of the most difficult  areas  of   the classical Chinese , I appreciate anyone , especially  western scholars , who are brave enough to do such an attempt . Also because it is one of  the constituents of the Chinese and Japanese cultures ,it seems to be something difficult to evade if you aim at high-level spiritual  achievement

Edited by exorcist_1699

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