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© 2010 by Livia Kohn

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9 87654321

First Three Pines Edition, 2010


Printed in the United States of America
(8> This edition is printed on acid-free paper that meets
the American National Standard Institute Z39.48 Standard.
Distributed in the United States by Three Pines Press.

Cover art: Private photo of Daoist porridge.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Kohn, Livia, 1956-


Daoist dietetics : food for immortality / by Livia Kohn.
— 1st Three Pines ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-931483-14-8 (alk. paper)
1. Cookery, Chinese. 2. Dietetics-China. 3. Taoism. I. Title.
TX724.5.C5.K64 2010
613.20951?dc22
2010000017
INTRODUCTION

PART I: MEDICINAL DIETS

1. Principles of Chinese Diet 17


2. Social Regulations 33
3. Dietary Therapy 50

PART II: DAOIST FOOD

4. What Daoists Eat 71


5. Food in Ritual 96
6. Living on Qi 117

PART III: TEXTS ON PRACTICES

\. Herbal Formulas 145


2. Giving up Ordinary Food 150
3. Guiding Qi 159
4. Embryo Respiration 163

PART IV: RECIPES

Notes 171
\. Cooked Cereals 172
2. Appetizers 175
3. Salads 178
4. Soups 180
5. Stews and Noodle Soups 183
6. Main Dishes 185
7. Desserts 189
8. Herbal Drinks 191

BIBLIOGRAPHY 193

INDEX 209
This book grew over several years in an ongoing dialogue with my
friend and colleague Ute Engelhardt. As sinology students at the Univer-
sity of Munich in the 1970s, we both focused on the work of Sima
Chengzhen, then moved on in different directions. As I continued to ex-
plore the various modes of self-cultivation in the Daoist tradition, Ute
became a specialist in Chinese dietetics, examining and presenting—
usually in cooperation with practitioners of Chinese medicine —the char-
acteristics, workings, and therapeutic application of all different kinds of
food.

We had variously talked about putting together a book that would bring
our expertise together and when, early in 2009, her new book on Chinese
dietetic recipes appeared and I visited her in Munich, we decided to
move ahead on the project. Then and there, we created a preliminary
book outline and began the writing process. In the event, since I had
more time and could dedicate myself fully to the work, I ended up writ-
ing it myself. But her published work on dietary therapy, her continued
encouragement, her sharing of references and research materials, and her
corrective readings have been essential in creating Daoist Dietetics. Mod-
esty prevented her from accepting the position of cooperator, but her
presence is felt throughout the work.

I would also like to thank Andreas Noll for encouraging the project and
suggesting that I teach dietary methods at the TCM Congress in Rothen-
burg, Germany. Last, but certainly not least, Stephen Eskildsen and
Vivienne Lo have been very supportive and made numerous suggestions
for correction and improvement.
The body always move; your food always reduce.
Moving, never reach extremes; reducing, never get to naught.
Eliminate fat and heavy things; control all salt and sour tastes. .
Diminish thoughts and worries; lessen joy and anger.
Get out of hectic rushing; watch out for sexual exhaustion.
Do this always—and you'll see results!
—Master Blue Ox {Yangxing yanming In 1.10b)

D a o i s m is special a m o n g t h e w o r l d ' s r e l i g i o n s in that it p l a c e s p a r t i c u l a r


en^phasis on b o d y c u l t i v a t i o n for spiritual a t t a i n m e n t . T h i s p e c u l i a r i t y is
d u e t o t h e traditional C h i n e s e c o n c e p t i o n o f the b o d y a s j o i n e d w i t h t h e
greater u n i v e r s e t h r o u g h t h e m e d i u m of a vital e n e r g y k n o w n as qi

Qi is the c o n c r e t e aspect of D a o , the m a t e r i a l root p o w e r of t h e u n i v e r s e ,


the b a s i c stuff of nature. In a n c i e n t s o u r c e s it is a s s o c i a t e d w i t h mist, fog,
a n d m o v i n g c l o u d s . T h e c h a r a c t e r for qi as it a p p e a r s in the o r a c l e b o n e s
o f the S h a n g d y n a s t y ( 1 7 6 6 - 1 1 2 2 B.C.E.) c o n s i s t s of t w o parts: a n i m a g e o f
s o m e o n e e a t i n g and grain in a pot. C o m b i n e d , t h e s e p a r t s signal qi as t h e
quality w h i c h n o u r i s h e s , w a r m s , transforms, a n d rises. Qi is, therefore,
t h e life force in the h u m a n b o d y a n d t h e b a s i s of all p h y s i c a l vitality,
found f o r e m o s t in the air we b r e a t h e and in the f o o d s we eat. T h i s m e a n s
that d i e t a r y p r a c t i c e s a r e a t the v e r y c o r e o f the D a o i s t u n d e r t a k i n g . T h e y
form an essential w a y t o w a r d b e i n g h e a l t h y in the w o r l d , l i v i n g for an
e x t e n d e d p e r i o d , and t r a n s c e n d i n g t o the u l t i m a t e state o f i m m o r t a l i t y .

D a o i s t s and m e d i c a l w r i t e r s i n C h i n e s e h i s t o r y h a v e f o r m u l a t e d the
c o s m o l o g y o f t h e b o d y i n m a n y different t e r m s and e s t a b l i s h e d n u m e r -
o u s t h e o r i e s o f h o w e x a c t l y t h e v a r i o u s parts a n d a s p e c t s function a n d
w o r k t o g e t h e r . W h i l e i t will b e t h e e x c i t i n g task o f future r e s e a r c h t o ex-
p l o r e their w o r k a n d u n d e r s t a n d their c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d different h i s t o -
ries, it is p o s s i b l e to s u m m a r i z e the f u n d a m e n t a l tenets of the C h i n e s e
v i s i o n to p r e s e n t a g e n e r a l f r a m e w o r k of D a o i s t c u l t i v a t i o n p r a c t i c e , u n -
2 / Daoist Dietetics

d e r s t a n d i n g fully well that this is an a p p r o x i m a t i o n and d o e s n o t c l a i m


to s h o w it as an i m m u t a b l e s y s t e m of either t h e o r y or practice.

T h u s , g e n e r a l l y traditional D a o i s t and m e d i c a l thinkers a g r e e that there


is only o n e qi, j u s t as there is o n l y o n e D a o . M a n y u n d e r s t a n d it to c o m e
in t w o forms: a b a s i c p r i m o r d i a l or p r e n a t a l qi that is i n b o r n a n d c o n -
n e c t s us to t h e c o s m o s and t h e D a o ; a n d a s e c o n d a r y , earthly or p o s t n a t a l
qi that is r e p l e n i s h e d by b r e a t h i n g , food, as well as social and s e x u a l c o n -
tact and h e l p s t h e b o d y s u r v i v e in e v e r y d a y life. B o t h forms of qi are
n e c e s s a r y and interact c o n s t a n t l y w i t h e a c h other, so that p r i m o r d i a l qi is
lost as a n d w h e n e a r t h l y qi is insufficient, a n d e n h a n c i n g earthly qi is no
l o n g e r n e c e s s a r y w h e n p r i m o r d i a l qi is c o m p l e t e (as in t h e c a s e of the
e m b r y o i n the w o m b ) . O n c e p e o p l e are born, they start this i n t e r c h a n g e
of the t w o d i m e n s i o n s of qi a n d s o o n start losing their p r i m o r d i a l qi, e s -
p e c i a l l y t h r o u g h i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the w o r l d o n the b a s i s o f p a s s i o n s a n d
desires, s e n s o r y e x c h a n g e s , a n d intellectual distinction.

As p e o p l e lose their p r i m o r d i a l qi, they b e g i n to d e c l i n e a n d e v e n t u a l l y


die. S h o u l d t h e y l o s e it at a rather rapid or u n b a l a n c e d rate, t h e y e x p e r i -
e n c e a w e a k e n i n g o f their d e f e n s e s w h i c h g r o w s into m i n o r s y m p t o m s
that m a y lead to a c u t e or c h r o n i c c o n d i t i o n s . Just as s i c k n e s s is therefore
a form of (j/-loss, so h e a l i n g is t h e r e p l e n i s h i n g of qi w i t h m e d i c a l m e a n s
s u c h as d i e t a r y t h e r a p y or food c u r e s as well as drugs, herbs, a c u p u n c -
ture, m a s s a g e s , a n d v a r i o u s o t h e r m e a n s a t the p h y s i c i a n ' s disposal.

L o n g e v i t y , next, c o m e s i n a s a n d w h e n p e o p l e h a v e b e c o m e a w a r e o f
their c o n t r i b u t i o n to internal i m b a l a n c e s a n d t a k e their h e a l i n g into their
o w n h a n d s . B e i n g initially h e l p e d b y m e d i c a l m e a n s , t h e n d e v e l o p i n g a
life-style m o r e c o n g r u e n t with their e n e r g e t i c n e e d s , they attain a state of
g o o d health. H o w e v e r , t h e y d o n o t stop there b u t p r o c e e d t o i n c r e a s e
their p r i m o r d i a l qi to a n d e v e n a b o v e the level t h e y h a d at birth. To do so,
t h e y f o l l o w specific d i e t a r y p r i n c i p l e s a s well a s w o r k w i t h b r e a t h i n g ,
h e a l i n g e x e r c i s e s {daoyin i ^ ^ l ) , self-massages, s e x u a l control, and m e d i -
t a t i o n s — p r a c t i c e d to a l a r g e e x t e n t t o d a y u n d e r the n a m e of q i g o n g
(see K o h n 1 9 8 9 ; 2 0 0 6 ; 2 0 0 8 a ; C o h e n 1 9 9 7 ) . A p p l i e d regularly a n d s y s t e m -
atically, t h e s e m e t h o d s e n s u r e n o t o n l y a n e x t e n s i o n o f n a t u r a l life e x p e c -
t a n c y b u t often lead t o i n c r e a s e d v i g o r a n d y o u t h f u l n e s s .

I m m o r t a l i t y , third, raises the p r a c t i c e s to a yet h i g h e r level. To attain it,


p e o p l e h a v e to t r a n s f o r m all their qi into p r i m o r d i a l qi a n d p r o c e e d to
i n c r e a s i n g l y refine it to e v e n s u b t l e r levels. T h i s finer qi will e v e n t u a l l y
2 / Daoist Dietetics

d e r s t a n d i n g fully well that this is an a p p r o x i m a t i o n and d o e s not c l a i m


to s h o w it as an i m m u t a b l e s y s t e m of either theory or practice.

Tlius, g e n e r a l l y traditional D a o i s t and m e d i c a l thinkers agree that there


is only o n e qi, j u s t as there is only o n e D a o . M a n y u n d e r s t a n d it to c o m e
in t w o forms: a basic p r i m o r d i a l or p r e n a t a l qi that is inborn a n d c o n -
n e c t s us to t h e c o s m o s and t h e D a o ; and a s e c o n d a r y , earthly or p o s t n a t a l
qi that is r e p l e n i s h e d by b r e a t h i n g , food, as well as social and s e x u a l c o n -
tact a n d h e l p s the b o d y s u r v i v e in e v e r y d a y life. B o t h forms of qi a r e
n e c e s s a r y and interact c o n s t a n t l y w i t h e a c h other, so that p r i m o r d i a l qi is
lost as and w h e n e a r t h l y qi is insufficient, a n d e n h a n c i n g e a r t h l y qi is no
l o n g e r n e c e s s a r y w h e n p r i m o r d i a l qi is c o m p l e t e (as in the c a s e of the
e m b r y o i n the w o m b ) . O n c e p e o p l e are born, they start this i n t e r c h a n g e
of t h e t w o d i m e n s i o n s of qi a n d s o o n start losing their p r i m o r d i a l qi, es-
pecially t h r o u g h interaction w i t h the w o r l d o n the b a s i s o f p a s s i o n s a n d
desires, s e n s o r y e x c h a n g e s , a n d intellectual distinction.

As p e o p l e lose their p r i m o r d i a l qi, t h e y b e g i n to d e c l i n e and e v e n t u a l l y


die. S h o u l d they lose it at a rather r a p i d or u n b a l a n c e d rate, t h e y e x p e r i -
e n c e a w e a k e n i n g o f their defenses w h i c h g r o w s into m i n o r s y m p t o m s
that m a y l e a d to a c u t e or c h r o n i c c o n d i t i o n s . Just as s i c k n e s s is therefore
a form of qi-\oss, so h e a l i n g is t h e r e p l e n i s h i n g of qi w i t h m e d i c a l m e a n s
s u c h as dietary t h e r a p y or food c u r e s as well as drugs, h e r b s , a c u p u n c -
ture, m a s s a g e s , a n d v a r i o u s o t h e r m e a n s a t the p h y s i c i a n ' s disposal.

L o n g e v i t y , next, c o m e s i n a s a n d w h e n p e o p l e h a v e b e c o m e a w a r e o f
their c o n t r i b u t i o n to internal i m b a l a n c e s a n d take their h e a l i n g into their
o w n h a n d s . B e i n g initially h e l p e d b y m e d i c a l m e a n s , t h e n d e v e l o p i n g a
life-style m o r e c o n g r u e n t w i t h their e n e r g e t i c n e e d s , they attain a state of
g o o d health. H o w e v e r , t h e y d o n o t s t o p there b u t p r o c e e d t o i n c r e a s e
their p r i m o r d i a l qi to a n d e v e n a b o v e t h e level t h e y h a d at birth. To do so,
t h e y f o l l o w specific d i e t a r y p r i n c i p l e s a s well a s w o r k w i t h b r e a t h i n g ,
h e a l i n g e x e r c i s e s {daoyin [), self-massages, s e x u a l control, and m e d i -
t a t i o n s — p r a c t i c e d t o a large e x t e n t t o d a y u n d e r the n a m e o f q i g o n g ^ J / j
(see K o h n 1 9 8 9 ; 2 0 0 6 ; 2 0 0 8 a ; C o h e n 1 9 9 7 ) . A p p l i e d regularly a n d s y s t e m -
atically, t h e s e m e t h o d s e n s u r e n o t only a n e x t e n s i o n o f n a t u r a l life e x p e c -
t a n c y b u t often lead t o i n c r e a s e d v i g o r a n d youthfulness.

I m m o r t a l i t y , third, r a i s e s the p r a c t i c e s to a yet h i g h e r level. To attain it,


p e o p l e h a v e to t r a n s f o r m all their qi into p r i m o r d i a l qi a n d p r o c e e d to
i n c r e a s i n g l y refine it to e v e n s u b t l e r levels. T h i s finer qi will e v e n t u a l l y
Introduction / 3

turn into p u r e spirit {shen | ^ ) , w i t h w h i c h p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n c r e a s i n g l y i d e n -


tify t o b e c o m e spirit-people a n d i m m o r t a l s . T h e p r a c t i c e that leads t h e r e
i n v o l v e s i n t e n s i v e m e d i t a t i o n a n d t r a n c e t r a i n i n g a s well a s m o r e r a d i c a l
f o r m s o f diet a n d other l o n g e v i t y p r a c t i c e s . I m m o r t a l i t y i m p l i e s t h e
o v e r c o m i n g o f the n a t u r a l t e n d e n c i e s o f t h e b o d y a n d its t r a n s f o r m a t i o n
into a different kind of e n e r g e t i c constellation. T h e result is a b y p a s s i n g
o f d e a t h s o that the e n d o f t h e b o d y h a s n o i m p a c t o n the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f
t h e spirit-person. I t also leads t o t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f m a g i c a l p o w e r s a n d
e v e n t u a l l y t o r e s i d e n c e i n the h e a v e n s a n d p a r a d i s e s o f t h e i m m o r t a l s .

C h i n e s e l o n g e v i t y a n d d i e t a r y practices, as first d e s c r i b e d in m a n u s c r i p t s
o f the s e c o n d c e n t u r y B.C.E. (see H a r p e r 1 9 9 8 ; L o 2010), o c c u p y a m i d d l e
g r o u n d i n this s y s t e m . T h e y stand b e t w e e n h e a l i n g and i m m o r t a l i t y a n d
a r e usefully a p p l i e d o n either level. A l t h o u g h essential a s m e d i c a l t e c h -
n i q u e s and in h e a l t h i m p r o v e m e n t , t h e y a l s o p l a y an i m p o r t a n t r o l e in
D a o i s m , b u t w i t h s o m e m o d i f i c a t i o n s . F o r e x a m p l e , diets o n the m e d i c a l
a n d h e a l t h levels i n v o l v e m o d e r a t i o n in food i n t a k e as well as overall
life-style as well as t h e c o n s c i o u s u s e of i n h e r e n t food qualities s u c h as
w a r m i n g , c o o l i n g , sinking, o r r i s i n g t o b a l a n c e s e a s o n a l c l i m a t e s , g e o -
g r a p h i c a l variations, and p e r s o n a l t e n d e n c i e s —either w o r k i n g in h a r -
m o n y w i t h t h e m o r u s i n g food t o c o u n t e r a c t their t e n d e n c i e s and allevi-
a t e their i m p a c t . P r a c t i t i o n e r s are e n c o u r a g e d t o a v o i d e x c e s s e a t i n g a n d
h e a v y foods, t o eat p r o p e r l y c o o k e d m e a l s i n s m a l l portions, a n d t o b e
m e n t a l l y c a l m a n d c o n s c i o u s l y a w a r e a s t h e y eat. A s t h e y are c o n s c i e n -
tious in their practice, their qi c o n t i n u e s to b e c o m e s t r o n g e r and t h e y
n e e d e v e r less food, until—in i m m o r t a l i t y p r a c t i c e — t h e y c a n cut o u t all
m a i n staples and r e p l a c e food first b y h e r b a l and m i n e r a l c o n c o c t i o n s ,
then by the c o n s c i o u s intake of qi t h r o u g h b r e a t h . T h i s t e c h n i q u e is c a l l e d
" a v o i d i n g g r a i n " {bigu ^f-fx) a n d is still u n d e r t a k e n today.

Similarly, h e a l i n g exercises, self-massages, a n d b r e a t h i n g t e c h n i q u e s


s e r v e to stretch and l o o s e n m u s c l e s , s t i m u l a t e the circulation, and aid t h e
s m o o t h flow of qi in t h e b o d y . T h e y a r e n e v e r s t r e n u o u s , b u t c h a n g e in
n a t u r e as p e o p l e p r o c e e d from h e a l i n g to l o n g e v i t y and i m m o r t a l i t y lev-
els, b e c o m i n g m o r e c o s m i c i n pattern and m o r e counter-intuitive. B r e a t h -
i n g for health and l o n g life t h u s i n v o l v e s i n h a l i n g all the w a y to the dia-
p h r a g m , w h i c h e x p a n d s a s o n e inhales. B r e a t h i n g for i m m o r t a l i t y , o n the
o t h e r h a n d , m a y lead t o s o m e t h i n g called " r e v e r s e d b r e a t h i n g , " w h i c h
u s e s the d i a p h r a g m the o p p o s i t e w a y , c o n t r a c t i n g i t o n inhalation. T h e
p r a c t i c e leads e v e n t u a l l y to a m e t h o d called " e m b r y o r e s p i r a t i o n " (taixi
4 / Daoist Dietetics

§ P S ) / in w h i c h no o b v i o u s b r e a t h e n t e r s or l e a v e s the nostrils. Instead,


practitioners a b s o r b qi t h r o u g h their entire b o d y a n d c i r c u l a t e it within.

S e x u a l t e c h n i q u e s , too, are used on all levels, first with a partner, later


internally in c e l i b a t e s o l o practice. In all cases, a d e p t s e x p e r i e n c e s e x u a l
s t i m u l a t i o n b u t then, i n s t e a d l o s i n g it t h r o u g h o r g a s m , r e v e r t t h e rising
qi of arousal, c o m m o n l y called e s s e n c e (jiiig ), and m o v e it up a l o n g
the spine w i t h the h e l p o f m e d i t a t i o n a n d m a s s a g e s . T h i s i s c a l l e d " r e -
verting the semen to nourish the brain" and is supposed to have strong
life-extending effects. In m o r e t e c h n i c a l D a o i s t p r a c t i c e of later centuries,
i t m i g h t e v e n lead t o t h e g e s t a t i o n o f a n i m m o r t a l e m b r y o (see W i l e 1992;
K o h n and W a n g 2 0 0 9 ) .

B e f o r e o n e attains a n y o f t h e s e h i g h e r stages, t h o u g h , o n e h a s t o lay t h e


g r o u n d w o r k . It c o n s i s t s largely of b a l a n c i n g qi. C h i n e s e m e d i c a l t e x t b o o k
m a y d i s c u s s qi in t e r m s of quantity, s i n c e h a v i n g m o r e indicates a
s t r o n g e r m e t a b o l i c function. This, h o w e v e r , d o e s n o t m e a n that h e a l t h o r
l o n g e v i t y are a b y p r o d u c t of s t o r i n g large q u a n t i t i e s of qi. M o r e c o m -
m o n l y t h e y n o t e that there is a n o r m a l or h e a l t h y a m o u n t of qi in e v e r y
person, a n d h e a l t h m a n i f e s t s i n its b a l a n c e a n d h a r m o n y , its m o d e r a t i o n
a n d s m o o t h n e s s of flow. T h e texts e n v i s i o n this flow as a c o m p l e x sys-
t e m of w a t e r w a y s w i t h the " O c e a n of Qi" (Qihai MIS) in the a b d o m e n ;
rivers of qi f l o w i n g t h r o u g h the u p p e r torso, arms, a n d legs; s p r i n g s of qi
r e a c h i n g to the w r i s t s a n d a n k l e s ; a n d w e l l s of qi in the fingers a n d toes.
E v e n a s m a l l s p o t in this c o m p l e x s y s t e m c a n influence t h e w h o l e , so that
o v e r a l l b a l a n c e a n d s m o o t h n e s s are the g e n e r a l goal.

H u m a n life is t h e a c c u m u l a t i o n of qi; death is its dispersal. After receiv-


i n g a c o r e p o t e n t i a l of p r i m o r d i a l qi at birth, p e o p l e t h r o u g h o u t life n e e d
t o s u s t a i n it. T h e y d o s o b y d r a w i n g p o s t n a t a l q i into t h e b o d y from air
a n d food, a s well a s from o t h e r p e o p l e t h r o u g h sexual, e m o t i o n a l , a n d
social interaction. B u t t h e y also lose qi t h r o u g h b r e a t h i n g b a d air, o v e r -
b u r d e n i n g their b o d i e s w i t h food a n d drink, a n d getting i n v o l v e d i n
n e g a t i v e e m o t i o n s a n d e x c e s s i v e s e x u a l o r social interactions.

To b a l a n c e qi, it is thus b e s t to b r e a t h e d e e p l y a n d e a t m o d e r a t e l y in ac-


c o r d a n c e w i t h the s e a s o n s , t o m o v e s m o o t h l y , e x e r c i s e w i t h o u t exertion,
a n d m a t c h activities t o the b o d y ' s n e e d s . T h i s i s h o w o n e k e e p s h a r m o n y ,
m a i n t a i n s health, a n d a c h i e v e s l o n g life. H e a l t h i n the v i s i o n o f C h i n e s e
Introduction / 5

m e d i c i n e a n d D a o i s m is thus m o r e t h a n t h e a b s e n c e of s y m p t o m s : it is
the p r e s e n c e of s t r o n g vitality a n d of a s m o o t h , h a r m o n i o u s , a n d active
flow of qi, a state k n o w n as " p r o p e r qi" {zhengqi j E ^ ) .

Its o p p o s i t e is " w a y w a r d qi" {xieqi MMd< V that h a s lost t h e h a r m o n i o u s


pattern o f flow and n o l o n g e r s u p p o r t s t h e d y n a m i c forces o f c h a n g e .
W h e r e a s p r o p e r qi m o v e s in a steady, h a r m o n i o u s r h y t h m and effects
daily r e n e w a l , h e l p i n g h e a l t h a n d l o n g life, w a y w a r d qi is d i s o r d e r l y and
dysfunctional, c r e a t i n g c h a n g e that v i o l a t e s the n o r m a l order. W h e n i t
b e c o m e s d o m i n a n t , the (^i-flow c a n turn u p o n itself and d e p l e t e t h e
b o d y ' s r e s o u r c e s . T h e n the p e r s o n n o l o n g e r o p e r a t e s a s p a r t o f a u n i v e r -
sal s y s t e m and is n o t in t u n e with the b a s i c life force. W a y w a r d n e s s typi-
cally a p p e a r s w h e n qi b e g i n s to m o v e either t o o fast or t o o slow, is e x c e s -
sive or d e p l e t e d , or c r e a t e s r u s h e s or obstructions. It d i s t u r b s t h e r e g u l a r
t l o w and c a u s e s a i l m e n t s .

M o r e specifically, qi can b e c o m e e x c e s s i v e t h r o u g h o u t s i d e influences


s u c h a s t o o m u c h h e a t o r c o l d o r t h r o u g h inside p a t t e r n s s u c h a s t o o
m u c h e m o t i o n o r s t i m u l a t i o n . E x c e s s i v e q i c a n b e m o v i n g too fast o r b e
v e r y sluggish, a s i n the c a s e o f e x c e s s i v e d a m p n e s s . W h a t e v e r t h e c a s e ,
from a u n i v e r s a l p e r s p e c t i v e there is no a d d i t i o n a l or n e w qi c r e a t e d , b u t
l o c a l i z e d d i s h a r m o n i e s h a v e arisen b e c a u s e t h e qi-i\ow h a s b e c o m e e x -
c e s s i v e a n d thus h a r m f u l . Still, e v e n d e s c r i b i n g it in this w a y we are
t h i n k i n g in t e r m s of qi as an e n e r g e t i c s u b s t a n c e , w h i c h it really is not. A
b e t t e r w a y o f e x p r e s s i o n w o u l d b e t o s a y that the p r o c e s s itself o f t u r n i n g
h o t or a n g r y is qi, that the w a y t h i n g s m o v e a n d c h a n g e is w h a t c o n s t i -
tutes o u r b e i n g qi.

Similarly, qi c a n be in depletion. T h i s m a y m e a n that there is a t e n s e flow


of qi d u e to n e r v o u s n e s s or anxiety, or that the v o l u m e a n d d e n s i t y of qi
h a v e d e c r e a s e d , w h i c h i s the c a s e i n s e r i o u s p r o l o n g e d illness. H o w e v e r ,
m o r e c o m m o n l y it m e a n s that t h e qi activity level is lower, that its flow is
n o t quite up to s t a n d a r d , that there is less than n o r m a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n of
qi in o n e or the o t h e r b o d y part. In the s a m e vein, p e r f e c t i o n of qi m e a n s
6 / Daoist Dietetics

t h e o p t i m a l functioning of qi in the b o d y , w h i l e c o n t r o l of qi m e a n s t h e
p o w e r to consciously guide the energetic process.

T h a t is to say, h e a l i n g is the c o r r e c t i o n of qi-i\ow from a d e v i a n t or w a y -


w a r d pattern b a c k to a h a r m o n i o u s or c o r r e c t flow, m a t c h i n g the r h y t h m
o f D a o , c r e a t i n g w e l l - b e i n g i n t h e p e r s o n , and a i d i n g social interactions.
L o n g e v i t y is the e n h a n c e m e n t and s t r e n g t h e n i n g of the p r o p e r flow of qi,
a l l o w i n g p e o p l e t o fully g o a l o n g w i t h all the m o v e m e n t s o f D a o i n order
to enjoy health, retain vigor, a n d live l o n g a n d successful lives. I m m o r -
tality, finally, is the m o v e t o w a r d D a o as t h e c r e a t i v e p o w e r at the center
of the universe, t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of p r o p e r , h e a l t h y , a n d h a r m o n i o u s qi
into the subtler levels of c o s m i c p o w e r , into a m y s t e r i o u s a n d ineffable
state o f b e i n g that g o e s far b e y o n d the n a t u r a l w o r l d . E a t i n g and drink-
i n g are at t h e v e r y c e n t e r of this qi-work, an essential w a y of relating to
n a t u r e a n d society, a k e y m e t h o d o f h e l p i n g o r h u r t i n g t h e b o d y ' s inter-
nal s y s t e m s a n d t h u s either e n h a n c i n g or d i m i n i s h i n g health, l o n g life,
and immortality.

'7H<yctenaU<M-
T h e f o u n d a t i o n of b a l a n c i n g qi a n d e a t i n g to o n e ' s b e s t a d v a n t a g e is a
peaceful a n d h a r m o n i o u s life ( H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 4 0 ) . F r o m e a r l y on, and well
into t o d a y (e.g., Liu 1 9 9 0 ) , b o o k s o n longevity, o f b o t h aristocratic a n d
D a o i s t origin, specify h o w t o g o a b o u t it. T h e y t e n d t o b e g i n w i t h m e n t a l
attitudes.

T h u s , for e x a m p l e , S u n S i m i a o '^sWM- ( 5 8 1 - 6 8 2 ) , t h e f a m o u s p h y s i c i a n ,
D a o i s t , a n d a l c h e m i s t of the e a r l y T a n g d y n a s t y , in h i s Zhenzhong ji tf^f^
12 ( P i l l o w b o o k R e c o r d , DZ 8 3 7 ) ' specifies that o n e s h o u l d m a i n t a i n a
s e r e n e state o f m i n d b y c u l t i v a t i n g a n attitude o f a w e a n d care. H e refers
to the fourth-century Shenxian shiqi jin'gui miaolu ^$i\ll'^M,^Mtl^M
( W o n d r o u s R e c o r d o f the G o l d e n C a s k e t o n the Spirit I m m o r t a l s ' P r a c -
tice of E a t i n g Qi, DZ 8 3 6 ) to define this as "the g a t e w a y of life a n d death,
t h e k e y t o rites a n d g o o d teaching, the c a u s e o f existing a n d p e r i s h i n g ,
t h e r o o t o f g o o d a n d b a d fortune, a s well a s t h e p r i m e s o u r c e o f all a u s -
picious and inauspicious conditions" (14b).

I f a w e a n d c a r e are lost, " t h e m i n d will b e c o n f u s e d a n d n o t cultivated,


t h e b o d y will b e h e c t i c a n d n o t a t p e a c e , t h e spirit will b e scattered, the q i

' Texts in the Daoist canon, abbreviated DZ, are cited according to Kom-
jathy 2002; Schipper and Verellen 2004.
Introduction / 7

will g o b e y o n d all b o u n d s , a n d will a n d intention will b e d e l u d e d " ( 1 4 b ) .


T h i s condition, w h i c h w e n o w call " s t r e s s , " i s the u l t i m a t e antithesis t o
health and l o n g life. A w e a n d c a r e c o m b a t i t effectively s i n c e t h e y are t h e
basis o f m o r a l action a n d v i r t u o u s t h o u g h t s . T h e y p r o v i d e g r e a t benefit.
A s S u n says:

One who is able to realize awe and care is safe from harm by
dragons when traveling on water and cannot be hurt by tigers
or rhinoceroses when traveling on land. Weapons cannot
wound him nor can contagious diseases infect him. Slander
cannot destroy his good name nor the poisonous stings of in- '
sects do him harm. (Sivin 1968, 118; Engelhardt 1989, 281)

T o live i n this m e n t a l serenity o f a w e a n d care, m o r e o v e r , o n e s h o u l d


practice m o d e r a t i o n in all a s p e c t s of life a n d avoid o v e r i n d u l g e n c e in
food a n d d r i n k as well as in o t h e r s e n s u a l a n d s e x u a l p l e a s u r e s .

M a n y l o n g e v i t y texts in the m i d d l e ages p l a c e a great e m p h a s i s on m o d -


eration.2 T h e y frequently e x p r e s s it is in t h e f o r m a t of t w e l v e t h i n g s to do
o n l y a " l i t t l e " bit at a t i m e . T h e y are:

Think little, reflect little, laugh little, speak little, enjoy little,
anger little, delight little, mourn little, like little, dislike little,
engage little, deal little.
If you think much, the spirit will disperse.
If you reflect much, the heart will be labored.
If you laugh much, the organs and viscera will soar up.
If you speak much, the Ocean of Qi will be empty and vacant.
If you enjoy much, gall and bladder will take in outside wind.
If you get angry much, the fascia will push the blood around.
If you delight much, the spirit and heart will be deviant and
unsettled.
If you mourn much, the hair and whiskers will dry and wither.
If you like much, the will and qi will be overloaded.
If you dislike much, essence and power race off and soar away.
If you engage yourself much, the muscles and <ji-channels will
be tense and nervous.
If you deal much, wisdom and worry will all be confused.
All these attack people's lives worse than axes and spears; they
diminish people's destiny worse that wolves and wolverines. '

2 It plays also a key role in Xi Kang's f^JS Yangsheng lun (On Nour-
ishing Life). See Henricks 1983.
8 / Daoist Dietetics

I n other w o r d s , h a r m o n y w i t h D a o m a n i f e s t s itself i n m e n t a l stability


a n d p h y s i c a l w e l l n e s s , and a n y f o r m of agitation or s i c k n e s s i n d i c a t e s a
d e c l i n e i n o n e ' s a l i g n m e n t with the forces o f nature. V a r i o u s m e n t a l a c -
tivities and s t r o n g e m o t i o n s h a r m k e y p s y c h o l o g i c a l forces a n d thus
b r i n g about a d i m i n i s h i n g of qi, w h i c h t a k e s o n e further a w a y from t h e
Dao and reduces life. As the fourth-century Yangsheng yaoji ^ ^ ^ ^
( L o n g Life C o m p e n d i u m ) by t h e aristocrat and official Z h a n g Z h a n ^M/g,
best k n o w n a s c o m m e n t a t o r to t h e D a o i s t p h i l o s o p h i c a l text Liezi ^iJiF
( B o o k of M a s t e r Lie; trl. G r a h a m 1 9 6 0 ) , says: " D a o is qi. By p r e s e r v i n g qi
y o u c a n attain D a o , a n d t h r o u g h attaining D a o y o u c a n live long. Spirit i s
e s s e n c e . B y p r e s e r v i n g e s s e n c e y o u c a n r e a c h spirit b r i g h t n e s s , a n d o n c e
y o u h a v e spirit b r i g h t n e s s , y o u c a n live l o n g " {Ishinpd 2 3 . 1 7 a b ; Stein 1 9 9 9 ,
172). 4

Along the same lines, the Baopuzi yangsheng lunM^h^^^m (Nourish-


i n g Life A c c o r d i n g t o the M a s t e r W h o E m b r a c e s Si mpl i ci t y, D Z 8 4 2 ) h a s
a set of six e x h o r t a t i o n s to r e l e a s e m e n t a l strain and s e n s o r y i n v o l v e m e n t .
It says:

1. Let go of fame and profit.


2. Limit sights and sounds.
3. Moderate wealth and possessions.
4. Lessen smells and tastes.
5. Eliminate lies and falsehood.
6. Avoid jealousy and envy, (lb)

W h i l e all t h e s e e n s u r e m e n t a l stability and c a l m in social interaction a n d


t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l life, the texts also r e c o m m e n d c o n c r e t e m e a s u r e s of

3 The version translated here appears in the fourth-century Yangsheng yaoji


(which survives in fragments and citations), as cited in chapter 29 of the Ishinpd
W'ij-yj (Essential Medical Methods), a key Japanese collection of longevity
sources, dated to 984 (Stein 1999, 170-71). It is also found in the Daoist sources
Baopuzi yangsheng lun (DZ 842), lb-2a and the Shenxian shiqi jin'gui lu 16a. In the
environment of Sun Simiao, it is cited as from the Xiaoyou jing /JN^IS (Scripture
of Lesser Existence) in Ya^igxing yanming lu S ' l t S I ^ J i l (On Nourishing Inner
Nature and Extending Life, DZ 838), 1.5b.
^ The Yangxing yanming lu similarly notes: "Life is the foundation of spirit;
the body is its tool. If you use spirit a lot, it will be exhausted; if you exert the
body a lot, it will perish" (pref.la). For more on the Yangsheng yaoji, see Sakade
1986b, 10; Kohn 2008, 64-65.
Introduction / 9

p h y s i c a l m o d e r a t i o n . T h u s , citing t h e a n c i e n t i m m o r t a l P e n g z u a^lH, t h e
Yangsheng yaoji p o i n t s out that h e a v y c l o t h i n g a n d t h i c k c o m f o r t e r s ,
s p i c y f o o d s and h e a v y m e a t s , s e x u a l attraction and a l l u r i n g w o m e n , m e -
l o d i o u s v o i c e s a n d e n t i c i n g s o u n d s , w i l d h u n t i n g and e x c i t i n g o u t i n g s ,
as well as all strife for s u c c e s s and a m b i t i o n will i n e v i t a b l y l e a d to a
\s'eakening of the b o d y a n d thus c a u s e a r e d u c t i o n in life e x p e c t a n c y
(Stein 1 9 9 9 , 1 7 8 ; also in Yangxing yanming lu l . l O b - l l a ) . It says:

The method of nourishing long life consists mainly in not do- *


ing harm to oneself. Keep warm in winter and cool in summer, ;
and never lose your harmony with the four seasons—that is
how you can align yourself with the body. Do not allow sen-
suous beauty, provocative postures, easy leisure, and enticing
entertainments to incite yearnings and desires—that is how
you come to connect to spirit. (Ishinpo 23.3a; Stein 1999, 169)

In t e r m s of diet, it r e c o m m e n d s that p r a c t i t i o n e r s a v o i d specific c o m b i n a -


tions o f food, s u c h a s a n y t h i n g h o t and cold, s w e e t a n d r a w , o r m o r e
specifically w h e a t a n d oats, o n i o n s a n d h o n e y , c e l e r y a n d p i g ' s liver,
dried g i n g e r a n d rabbit (Stein 1 9 9 9 , 2 0 0 - 0 4 ) . T h e y s h o u l d u s e a l c o h o l
sparingly, b o i l w a t e r b e f o r e drinking, and t a k e c a r e n o t t o g u l p d o w n
cold d r i n k s w h e n hot. T h e text also h a s specific r e c i p e s for beneficial
food c o m b i n a t i o n s , d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e qualities a n d h e a l i n g p r o p e r t i e s o f
h e r b s and food stuffs, as well as a series of i n s t r u c t i o n s for p r e g n a n c y
( 1 9 9 9 , 2 0 8 - 1 0 ) . In m a n y c a s e s , it p r o v i d e s r e m e d i e s for certain c o n d i t i o n s ,
n o t a b l y s t o m a c h a n d d i g e s t i v e p r o b l e m s , i n c l u d i n g c r a m p s , flatulence,
constipation, and diarrhea ( 1 9 9 9 , 2 2 6 - 2 8 ) .

E v e n i n t h e m i d d l e ages, therefore, w o r k i n g w i t h q i w a s seen v e r y m u c h


in t e r m s of food regulation. M e d i c i n a l diets s e r v e d as t h e f o u n d a t i o n of
h e a l t h y living, e x t e n d e d life e x p e c t a n c y , a n d t h e a t t a i n m e n t of i m m o r t a l -
ity. D a o i s t dietetics, d e e p l y e m b e d d e d in C h i n e s e culture a n d the m e d i -
cal tradition, thus a l w a y s b e g i n w i t h food c u r e s a n d the h a r m o n i z a t i o n
o f eating. O n l y after the b o d y h a s a c h i e v e d b a l a n c e and h a r m o n y c a n the
t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t o h i g h e r levels b e g i n .
C e r t a i n foods are m o r e c o n d u c i v e t o these h i g h e r levels t h a n others, a s
v a r i o u s k i n d s o f nutrition will e n h a n c e different c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d t h u s
b e favored b y different s p e c i e s i n n a t u r e . T h i s n o t i o n i s p a r t o f t h e g e n -
eral C h i n e s e tradition, and a l r e a d y the Kongzi jiayu JL i F i c l p ( K o n g F a m -
ily A n n a l s ) o f the first c e n t u r y C . E . says:

Those who feed on water swim well and withstand cold.


Those who feed on wood are strong but undisciplined.
Those who feed on plants are good at walking but foolish.
Those who feed on the mulberry are graceful and enterprising.
Those who feed on meat are brave.
Those who feed on qi are pure and long-lived.
Those who feed on grains attain superior intelligence.
Those who do not feed become divine and immortal.
(Despeux 2007, 28)5

C h i n e s e m e d i c i n e p i c k s u p t h e s a m e idea a n d classifies food into four


c a t e g o r i e s that s e r v e different a s p e c t s o f individual h e a l t h . A s the
Huangdi neijing suwen M^l^l^&Mf'^ (The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic:
S i m p l e Issues) says:

Poisonous drugs are good for attacking wayward qi while the


five grains will nurture [proper qi]. The five kinds of fruit sup-
port it, the five kinds of meat increase it, and the five kinds of
vegetables complete it. As you combine these food groups with
proper regard for their specific nature and their unique tastes
and ingest them regularly, you supplement essence and en-
hance qi. (22.4)

In a d d i t i o n to d r u g s , this d i v i d e s food stuffs into t h e four g r o u p s of grain,


fruit, m e a t , a n d v e g e t a b l e s , w h i c h e a c h h a v e a u n i q u e i m p a c t on t h e p e r -

5 The same notion also appears in the Huainanzi ^Mi^ (Book of the Prince
of Huainan, DZ 1184; 7.8b). See Major 1993, 172; Campany 2005, 108. Later the
idea is picked up in Ge Hong's gfit Baopuzi ffi^Fi^ (Book of the Master Who
Embraces Simplicity, DZ 1185; dat. ca. 320): "Those eating greens are good at
walking but foolish; those eating meat are strong and brave; those eating grains
are wise but don't live long; and those eating qi have spirits within who never
die" (ch. 15; Ware 1966, 243-44; see also MoUier 2000, 76-77). He continues by
saying that none of these food methods ever guarantees true transcendence but (52 Recipes :yr
that the concoction of an alchemical elixir is essential. easil\- be : e ; ; a
Introduction / 11

s o n ' s qi-f\ow a n d overall health. E a c h k i n d of food in this s y s t e m is thus


from t h e v e r y b e g i n n i n g m e d i c a l l y p o t e n t a n d seen i n t h e r a p e u t i c terms,
i ^ r \ i n g different a s p e c t s o f the p e r s o n a n d also different p e o p l e w i t h i n
society.''

• a o i s t s also classify foods, f o c u s i n g e v e n m o r e c o n s c i o u s l y o n their p o -


rency for h e a l t h a n d i m m o r t a l i t y . A l t h o u g h o n e will e n c o u n t e r d r i n k i n g
D a o i s t s today, m a n y historical s o u r c e s are a d a m a n t l y a g a i n s t t h e c o n -
sumption of m e a t and wine. The Huangsu sishisifangjing'MM^^VStlffS.
I S c r i p t u r e of F o r t y - F o u r M e t h o d s of Y e l l o w S i m p l i c i t y ) , c i t e d in t h e sev-
enth-century encyclopedia Sandong zhumng EiM^M ( P e a r l y B a g of the
T h r e e C a v e r n s , D Z 1 1 3 9 ) , i s o n e o f the m o s t radical:

The five kinds of meat are axes and hatchets that murder the
organs. Wine and sex are inner and outer coffins that bury the
body. Only if you eliminate the harm done by the axes, block
the death represented by the coffins, and find irmer restfulness
can you walk on the path to long life and gradually follow the
road to immortality. (4.5a)

lust as w i n e and m e a t are n o t c o n d u c i v e to a d v a n c e d states, so different


foodstuffs h a v e v a r y i n g effects and are c o n s u m e d b y different k i n d s o f
practitioners. As the ancient Taiping jing (Scripture of G r e a t P e a c e ;
see H e n d r i s c h k e 2 0 0 6 ) , n o t e s in its classification of i m m o r t a l s a c c o r d i n g
to t h e foods t h e y eat:

Question: The upper, middle, and lower [immortals] who at-


tain the Dao and go beyond the world — what do they eat?
Answer: Those of the first level absorb wind and cji; those
of the second level ingest medicinal flavors; those of the third
level eat little, reducing what passes through their stomach
and intestines. (Wang 1960, 716; Campany 2005, 109)

This sets u p the b a s i c distinction o f D a o i s t practitioners: t h o s e i n the b e -


g i n n i n g stages eat v e g e t a b l e s a n d s i m p l e gr ai ns that are d i g e s t e d the
n o r m a l w a y b u t s u p p o r t t h e b a l a n c e of qi. M o r e a d v a n c e d folk p r a c t i c e a
diet that i n v o l v e s t h e s u p p l e m e n t a t i o n a n d i n c r e a s i n g r e p l a c e m e n t of
\ ' e g e t a b l e s t h r o u g h c o n c o c t i o n s o r " h e r b a l f o r m u l a s " {i/ao Those who

* This is also obvious in the Han manuscript Wushier bingfang fe'^


(52 Recipes for Diseases) which contains numerous concoctions that can just as
easily be read as soup recipes (see Harper 1998; Engelhardt and Nogel 2009, 6).
12 / Daoist Dietetics

w o r k t o a c h i e v e o n e n e s s w i t h D a o a n d m o v e closer t o i m m o r t a l i t y , fi-
nally, e l i m i n a t e all food and m a t e r i a l intake a n d j u s t live by a b s o r b i n g cji,
a m e t h o d that r e o r g a n i z e s the internal s y s t e m of the b o d y a n d b y p a s s e s
normal digestive processes (see Jackowicz 2006).

T h e s a m e s y s t e m is also, in s o m e m o r e detail, p r e s e n t e d in the Laozi shuo


Fashi jinjie jing ^^M.I^'^^MM (Prohibitions and Precepts on Ceremo-
nial F o o d a s R e v e a l e d b y L a o z i ) , a T a n g - d y n a s t y m a n u a l o f D a o i s t food
rules found a m o n g D u n h u a n g m a n u s c r i p t s (P. 2 4 4 7 ) . I t n o t e s that "in
h i g h antiquity, p e o p l e ate only p r i m o r d i a l qi a n d m a n a g e d to live for
m i l l i o n s o f y e a r s , " a n d states c a t e g o r i c a l l y that t h e h i g h e s t form o f eat-
ing—after n o t e a t i n g at all —is living on qi.

B e y o n d that, h o w e v e r , t h e text r a n k s different k i n d s of food, a d d i n g the


o m n i v o r e o r " s e e f o o d " diet a t the b o t t o m , a d d i n g g r a i n s a n d m u s h -
r o o m s a b o v e the v e g e t a b l e c a t e g o r y , a n d r e d e f i n i n g " h e r b a l f o r m u l a s " i n
t e r m s of m i n e r a l s :

Eating everything is not as good as eating vegetables. Eating


vegetables is not as good as eating grains. Eating grains is not
as good as eating mushrooms and excrescences.^ Eating mush-
rooms and excrescences is not as good as eating gold and jade.*
Eating gold and jade is not as good as eating primordial qi. Eat-
ing primordial qi is not as good as not eating at all. By not eat-
ing at all, even though Heaven and Earth may collapse, one
will survive forever. (Kohn 2004b, 124-25)

F o l l o w i n g this, t h e text specifies five b a s i c k i n d s of food in m o r e detail: qi,


h e r b a l f o r m u l a s , grain, fruits, a n d v e g e t a b l e s . Qi as a form of n o u r i s h -
m e n t , it states, c o n s i s t s of p r a c t i c i n g " h e a l i n g e x e r c i s e s a n d e m b r y o res-
piration, e x p e l l i n g t h e old a n d t a k i n g i n the n e w , a n d g e n e r a l l y h a r m o -
n i z i n g the b o d y w i t h t h e h e l p o f t h e six b r e a t h s , " forms o f e x h a l a t i o n that
m a t c h i n d i v i d u a l o r g a n s a n d are t o d a y k n o w n a s t h e Six H e a l i n g S o u n d s
(see D e s p e u x 2 0 0 6 ; C h i a a n d C h i a 1 9 9 3 ) . H e r b a l formulas, s e c o n d , in-
clude both minerals and plant products. T h e y replace ordinary nourish-
m e n t a n d s e r v e t o " h a r m o n i z e b l o o d and b o d y fluids, p r e s e r v e a n d

^ The term zhi refers to mushrooms in general as well as to the fungus


growing on the sides of trees (Stuart 1976, 271). Ying § means "splendor" and
can also refer to "excrescences," another non-cultivated natural product.
" Gold and jade, or metals and minerals, are at the base of the immortal
elixir as described in the Baopuzi (Ware 1966; Huang 2008a).
Introduction / 1 3

n o u r i s h b o d y a n d spirit, c a l m the spirit soul a n d settle the will, a n d in


g e n e r a l e x p e l all w i n d a n d d a m p n e s s , thus greatly e n h a n c i n g life a n d
e x t e n d i n g old a g e " ( K o h n 2 0 0 4 b , 1 2 5 ) .

N e x t , the text defines grains as i n c l u d i n g "corn, millet, h e m p , w h e a t ,


w i l d a n d c u l t i v a t e d rice, as well as v a r i o u s k i n d s of b e a n s . " It a c k n o w l -
e d g e s that t h e y c a n b e useful for s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e inner o r g a n s , e n h a n c -
i n g qi, a n d in g e n e r a l h e l p i n g to h a r m o n i z e the b o d y . T h e last t w o food
g r o u p s are fruits a n d v e g e t a b l e s , w h i c h s h o u l d all b e e a t e n i n a p p r o p r i -
a t e p o r t i o n s and well p r e p a r e d . A l l t h e s e k i n d s o f food m a k e u p w h a t
t h e text calls " c e r e m o n i a l f o o d " (zhaishi 'M'M) i-e., food eaten in D a o i s t
institutions a t the m a i n m e a l o f t h e day, u s u a l l y h e l d shortly b e f o r e n o o n
as part of a m a j o r c e r e m o n y that also i n c l u d e s s c r i p t u r e r e a d i n g s a n d the
f o r m a l s h a r i n g of m e r i t s w i t h the d o n o r s , t h e gods, and all b e i n g s .

E a t i n g in t h e D a o i s t e n v i r o n m e n t thus i n v o l v e s all k i n d s of f o o d s u s e d in
C h i n e s e dietetics, j o i n i n g it in its e x c l u s i o n of dairy p r o d u c t s a n d c o l d
foods, s u c h as ice c r e a m or s o d a s p o p u l a r in t h e W e s t . It follows t h e
s a m e p r i n c i p l e s a s C h i n e s e d i e t a r y therapy, s e l e c t i n g food c o m b i n a t i o n s
a n d c o o k i n g m e t h o d s to b a l a n c e t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s qi b o t h in t e r m s of p e r -
s o n a l t e n d e n c i e s and g e o g r a p h i c a l o r s e a s o n a l v a r i a n t s . A l s o like C h i -
n e s e dietetics, D a o i s t c o o k i n g u s e s h e r b s and s p i c e s , s e l e c t e d for their
qualities as m u c h as for their taste, a n d e m p h a s i z e s life-style b a s i c s , s u c h
a s serenity o f m i n d and m o d e r a t i o n i n s e n s o r y a n d c u l i n a r y e x p e r i e n c e s .

W h i l e b u i l d i n g on a solid b a s e of traditional C h i n e s e dietetics and m e -


dicinal foods, D a o i s t e a t i n g also h a s its o w n peculiarities. F o r one, it fa-
v o r s the u s e o f m o r e subtle h e r b s a n d a v o i d s h i g h l y h e a t - p r o d u c i n g
agents, s u c h as garlic and o n i o n s . F o r another, it s e e s its goal as r e a c h i n g
b e y o n d h e a l t h and l o n g life to a state of e n e r g e t i c a n d m e d i t a t i v e trans-
f o r m a t i o n d e s c r i b e d as i m m o r t a l i t y . To this end, it e n c o u r a g e s practitio-
n e r s t o r e d u c e and e v e n t u a l l y e l i m i n a t e t h e ingestion o f grains, r e p l a c i n g
them increasingly with medicinal concoctions and breathing techniques.
U l t i m a t e l y D a o i s t e a t i n g b e c o m e s n o n - e a t i n g , the p u r e a b s o r p t i o n of qi in
a c c o r d a n c e with t h e greater u n i v e r s e , the a t t a i n m e n t o f o n e n e s s w i t h
D a o a n d a subtler, m o r e spiritual form of self-identity.
The root cause of the hundred diseases and untimely death in
many cases lies with food and drink. The afflictions people suf-
fer due to their indulgence in food and drink are worse than
those caused by sights and sounds. Sights and sounds people
can give up for years together, but food and drink they cannot
do without for even a single day. (Yangsheng yaoji 6)

U n l i k e W e s t e r n nutritionists w h o see food i n scientific t e r m s a s q u a n t i t a -


tive and m e a s u r a b l e entities a n d classify it a c c o r d i n g to calories, c a r b o -
h y d r a t e s , a n d proteins, C h i n e s e m e d i c a l w r i t e r s u s e traditional p a r a m e -
ters and focus on its q u a l i t a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . T h e i r m a i n c o n c e r n s are
w h e t h e r certain foodstuffs will h a v e a w a r m i n g or c o o l i n g , rising or
sinking, e x p a n d i n g or c o n t r a c t i n g , c a l m i n g or s t i m u l a t i n g effect on the
qi-ilow in the b o d y a n d w h e t h e r this is c o n d u c i v e or d e t r i m e n t a l to the
o v e r a l l h e a l t h of the p e r s o n . F o o d in C h i n a is t h u s from t h e v e r y o u t s e t a
m e a n s o f t h e r a p y r a t h e r t h a n j u s t a n u t r i t i o n a l s u b s t a n c e that h a s m o r e
o r less favorable i n g r e d i e n t s (see K l e i n m a n 1 9 8 0 ) .

T h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f diet i n C h i n a w o r k s a c c o r d i n g t o certain k e y prin-


ciples. M o s t f u n d a m e n t a l are the c o s m o l o g i c a l c o n c e p t s o f yin and y a n g ,
t e r m s that d e s c r i b e the a l t e r n a t i n g t e n d e n c i e s of qi-ilow a n d a l l o w a c l a s -
sification of foods into t h r e e m a i n c a t e g o r i e s (yin, y a n g , and n e u t r a l ) ,
e a c h a p p l i e d u n d e r s e v e r a l k e y characteristics, s u c h a s t e m p e r a t u r e and

17
18/Medicinal Diets

m o v e m e n t . A s e c o n d m a j o r p r i n c i p l e is that of the five p h a s e s , a sys- arc.


t e m a t i z a t i o n o f the m o v e m e n t o f yin and y a n g , s y m b o l i z e d b y five m a t e -
rial entities n o t u n l i k e t h e e l e m e n t s of a n c i e n t G r e e c e a n d India. A c o r e
n o t i o n of C h i n e s e c o s m o l o g y , the five p h a s e s a l l o w a classification of
food a c c o r d i n g t o taste a n d a n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h r e l e v a n t b o d y o r g a n s ,
s e n s e s , a n d other p h y s i c a l aspects, w h i c h in turn c o n n e c t to the qi-
c h a n n e s l o f C h i n e s e m e d i c i n e a n d link dietetics t o a c u p u n c t u r e and
h e r b a l treatments.

B e y o n d the m a i n c o s m o l o g i c a l s y s t e m s , food in C h i n a is also classified


a c c o r d i n g to m a i n food g r o u p s o u t l i n e d earlier, e a c h further defined in
t e r m s of t h e r a p e u t i c effect. A final p r i n c i p l e is t h e w a y of preparation,
w h i c h c o m e s in five m a j o r forms ( c o o k e d cereals, s t e w s , stir-fries, soups,
a n d d e c o c t i o n s ) and m o d i f i e s t h e e n e r g e t i c i m p a c t .

Y i n a n d y a n g are a t t h e root o f traditional C h i n e s e c o s m o l o g y . " O n e yin,


o n e yang, that is the D a o , " says the Yiiing ( B o o k of C h a n g e s ) , the
a n c i e n t divination m a n u a l o f the Z h o u d y n a s t y {XVH-'ITL B . C . E . ) that still
s e r v e s t o tell fortunes today. Y i n and y a n g are c o m m o n l y p r e s e n t e d i n
t h e w e l l - k n o w n circle w i t h t w o b l a c k and w h i t e c u r v e d h a l v e s , p l u s a
w h i t e dot in the b l a c k section a n d a b l a c k dot in the w h i t e section. T h e
i m a g e s h o w s the b a l a n c e and yet i n t e r l o c k i n g n a t u r e o f yin a n d yang, the
fluidity of their i n t e r c h a n g e .
The amount of white or black
o n e a c h side o f the d i a g r a m starts
n a r r o w a n d b e c o m e s wider, t h e n
e n d s in a n a r r o w line. W h e r e the
w h i t e p a r t i s largest, t h e b l a c k b e -
gins to emerge. This shows h o w
t h e t w o c h a n g e into e a c h other,
h o w y a n g e m e r g e s a t the h i g h e s t
p o i n t o f yin, a n d v i c e versa. T h e
symbol emphasizes the need for
being inclusive and whole, to
strive for b a l a n c e yet b e r e a d y t o
c h a n g e . Y i n a n d y a n g form the b i p o l a r b a s e o f a c o m p l e x s y s t e m o f c o r -
r e s p o n d e n c e s , a n u m e r i c a l w a y t o e x p l a i n t h e w o r l d . T h e y p r o v i d e the
Principles of Chinese Diet / 19

o r g a n i z i n g c o n c e p t s for all a n c i e n t p r o t o - s c i e n c e s , s u c h as a s t r o n o m y ,
m u s i c , divination, m e d i c i n e , and dietetics.

Y a n g a n d yin originated from g e o g r a p h i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n , i n d i c a t i n g t h e


s u n n y and s h a d y s i d e s of a hill. F r o m there t h e y a c q u i r e d a series of a s -
sociations: b r i g h t a n d dark, light a n d h e a v y , s t r o n g and w e a k , a b o v e a n d
b e l o w , h e a v e n a n d earth, ruler and m i n i s t e r , m a l e a n d f e m a l e , a n d s o o n .
I n c o n c r e t e application, m o r e o v e r , t h e y i n d i c a t e different k i n d s o f action:

yang active birth impulse move change expansion


yin structive completion response rest nurture contraction

T h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w e r e in turn a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t e m s in daily life:

yang heaven spring summer day big states ruler man


yin earth fall winter night small states minister woman

father life unfolding noble marriage soldiers speech give


mother death stagnation common funeral laborers silence receive

It m a y at first g l a n c e s e e m that y a n g is " b e t t e r " than yin. In the C h i n e s e


view, h o w e v e r , n e i t h e r is better, stronger, b r i g h t e r , or m o r e preferable,
a n d the t w o forces d o n o t r e p r e s e n t g o o d and evil. O n t h e contrary, t h e
yin a s p e c t o f t h i n g s i s j u s t a s i m p o r t a n t a s t h e y a n g , b e c a u s e o n e c a n n o t
exist w i t h o u t the other. T h e y are n o t o p p o s i t e s b u t c o m p l e m e n t a r y
p h a s e s of qi-ilow, o n e b r i n g i n g forth the o t h e r in c l o s e m u t u a l interde-
pendence

I n t e r m s o f food, this m e a n s that o n e s h o u l d p a r t a k e o f b o t h yin a n d


y a n g s u b s t a n c e s . Y i n foods t e n d to g r o w in t h e earth a n d in dark, s h a d y
locations; t h e y a r e s w e e t in flavor, fatty in c o n s i s t e n c e , a n d rich in p o t a s -
s i u m . Y a n g foods g r o w in air and s u n s h i n e ; t h e y are salty in flavor, lean
in c o n s i s t e n c e , a n d rich in s o d i u m . Y i n foods i n c l u d e r a w food, leafy
v e g e t a b l e s , fish, a n d m e l l o w tasting s u b s t a n c e s ; w i t h their c o o l i n g , m o i s -
turizing, a n d d e c o n g e s t i n g effect, they p r o m o t e fluid p r o d u c t i o n w h i l e
m i t i g a t i n g h e a t a c c u m u l a t i o n . Y a n g foods i n c l u d e a n y t h i n g fried, b o i l e d ,
fatty, or spicy, as well as m e a t s ; t h e y are w a r m i n g , drying, a n d s t i m u l a t -
i n g in n a t u r e . A b s o r b i n g the c o o k i n g fire, t h e y g e n e r a t e h e a t in t h e b o d y
a n d s t i m u l a t e circulation (see A n d e r s o n 1 9 8 8 , 1 8 8 - 8 9 ; F a r q u h a r 2 0 0 2 , 6 5 ) .

W i t h i n this g e n e r a l s y s t e m , food h a s t h r e e m a j o r p r o p e r t i e s :
20 / Medicinal Diets

1. s t i m u l a t i n g (yang/heating/(jf-enhancing)—e.g., apricots, b a r -
ley, cherries, p i n e a p p l e , p l u m s , celery, c o c o n u t ;

2 . c a l m i n g (yin/cooling/</i-calming)—e.g., b a n a n a s , tofu, c u -
c u m b e r s , e g g p l a n t , lettuce, m u s h r o o m s , p u m p k i n s , t o m a t o e s ,
watermelon;

3. n e u t r a l (neither yin n o r yang/tyi-maintaining)—e.g., apples,


c a b b a g e , carrots, p a p a y a , grain, b e a n s , e g g s ( L u 1 9 9 6 ; 2 0 0 0 ) .

T h e s e p r o p e r t i e s are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e four s e a s o n s , w i t h p e o p l e ' s ages,


a n d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r m e n t a l states. T h u s , foods eaten i n s p r i n g s h o u l d b e
s t i m u l a t i n g a n d n e u t r a l ; in s u m m e r , they s h o u l d h a v e a c a l m i n g a n d
c o o l i n g effect; in the fall, t h e y s h o u l d s e r v e to retain fluid ( m o r e m e a t s ) ;
and in winter they should stimulate and w a r m the body. In other words,
f o o d is u s e d to b a l a n c e t h e p a t t e r n of t h e s e a s o n s , and p e o p l e s h o u l d fa-
v o r yin foods in y a n g t i m e s a n d y a n g foods in yin times.i H o w e v e r , at all
t i m e s o n e s h o u l d a v o i d r a w a n d c o l d s u b s t a n c e s , s i n c e their e x t r e m e yin
p r o p e r t i e s d e p l e t e the s y s t e m , w e a k e n the spleen, and h a r m the s m a l l
intestine.2

A n o t h e r m o d i f i c a t i o n o f t h e food i n t a k e i s a c c o r d i n g t o age. Y o u n g p e o -
ple t e n d t o b e w a r m e r , m o r e energetic, a n d m o r e y a n g i n quality, w h i l e
o l d e r folks h a v e i n c r e a s e d yin. S m a l l children, b e i n g the m o s t y a n g , often
c r a v e s w e e t s to m e l l o w their yang-qi. O l d e r p e o p l e , on t h e contrary, t e n d
t o like m e a t s , stews, a n d w a r m i n g f o o d s t o c o u n t e r a c t their yin-nature.
B e y o n d this, food a l s o h a s an effect on t h e m e n t a l attitude. If we l a c k in
c o n f i d e n c e and d e p e n d m u c h o n others, m o r e y a n g food m a y b e indi-
c a t e d ; if we t e n d to be a g g r e s s i v e , assertive, and stubborn, a m e l l o w i n g
yin-rich diet w o u l d b e beneficial. Overall, y a n g foods i n c r e a s e v a l o r a n d
strength, w h i l e yin foods will h a v e a c a l m i n g a n d s l o w i n g effect ( C r a z e
and Jay 2 0 0 1 , 1 9 , 23).

1 By the same token, foods also balance the geographic situation of a person,
so that people in hotter climates should take more yin foods, while people living
in colder, more northern, places should eat more yang.
2 This is already emphasized in the fourth-century Yangsheng yaoji. See Stein
1999, 188-93.
Principles of Chinese Diet / 21

T"re \ i n - y a n g s y s t e m b e c o m e s m o r e c o m p l e x a n d s o p h i s t i c a t e d t h r o u g h
:5 s u b d i v i s i o n into five p h a s e s : m i n o r y a n g — m a j o r y a n g — y i n - y a n g —
— inor y i n — m a j o r yin. In o t h e r w o r d s , t h e r h y t h m i c p a t t e r n of rise a n d
i n c l i n e in t h e s t r u c t u r e of e x c h a n g e is finely t u n e d .

T n e c h a n g i n g p a t t e r n of h e a t a n d c o l d in the c o u r s e of a d a y m a k e s a
c o o d m e t a p h o r . A s m o r n i n g rises, the s u n b e g i n s t o w a r m the earth and
•. a n g is in its m i n o r p h a s e . As the s u n c o m e s c l o s e r to its zenith, it gets
brighter a n d the t e m p e r a t u r e increases: t h e major p h a s e o f y a n g . After
reaching the zenith, j u s t as t h e sun b e g i n s its descent, there is a b a l a n c e
b e t w e e n yin a n d y a n g , n e i t h e r q u i t e o n e n o r yet t h e other. In t h e c o u r s e
?f the afternoon, as t h e sun b e g i n s to sink, light gets less a n d the t e m -
r e r a t u r e c o o l s : t h e p h a s e o f m i n o r yin. W h e n n i g h t falls, finally, the s u n
:i not visible a n y m o r e , d a r k n e s s a n d c o o l n e s s p e r v a d e , i n d i c a t i n g the
?:ate o f m a j o r yin. F r o m here, the n e x t s u n r i s e c o m e s a n d the c y c l e r e -
r e a t s . A s m u c h a s d a y a n d night, yin and y a n g are i n c o n s t a n t m o t i o n ,
-^ne part n e c e s s a r i l y f o l l o w i n g from the o t h e r w i t h o u t p a u s e —a p a t t e r n
that also a p p l i e s to the r h y t h m of d a i l y life in the i n d i v i d u a l a n d society,
the cycle of t h e s e a s o n s t h r o u g h o u t the year, a n d the o v e r a l l p a t t e r n s of
growth a n d d e c a y i n n a t u r e a n d the h u m a n life c y c l e .

This s y s t e m of five m i n o r a n d m a j o r s t a g e s of yin a n d y a n g is t h e n l i n k e d


with five o r g a n i c s u b s t a n c e s that s y m b o l i z e s t a g e s in t h e p r o c e s s :

minor yang major yang yin-yang minor yin major yin


wood fire earth metal water

T h e s e a r e k n o w n a s the "five p h a s e s " (wuxing I i f T ) . T h e y a r e often also


referred to as the "five e l e m e n t s , " b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e a superficial s i m i -
larity w i t h the G r e e k or I n d i a n e l e m e n t s — w a t e r , fire, earth, a n d air.
H o w e v e r , p r o p e r l y s p e a k i n g t h e a p p e l l a t i o n " e l e m e n t " i s incorrect, s i n c e
unlike in India a n d G r e e c e w h e r e t h e y refer to solid s u b s t a n c e s and firm,
u n c h a n g i n g b u i l d i n g b l o c k s o f the w o r l d , i n C h i n a they i n d i c a t e p h a s e
e n e r g e t i c s a n d d y n a m i c p r o c e s s e s in a c o n s t a n t state of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n .

In the e a r l y H a n d y n a s t y , a r o u n d 2 0 0 B.C.E., t h e five p h a s e s w e r e a s s o c i -


ated w i t h a v a r i e t y of other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d p h y s i c a l entities, i n c l u d -
ing directions, c o l o r s , a n d s e a s o n s , as well as v a r i o u s functions in t h e
h u m a n b o d y , s u c h a s yin (storing) o r g a n s , y a n g ( p r o c e s s i n g ) o r g a n s ,
senses, e m o t i o n s , a n d f l a v o r s T h e b a s i c chart, w h i c h h a s b e e n a t the r o o t
22 / Medicinal Diets

o f C h i n e s e c o s m o l o g y e v e r s i n c e a n d also f o r m s t h e f o u n d a t i o n o f C h i -
n e s e m e d i c i n e and dietetics is as follows:

phase direct. season color organl organ2 sense flavor


wood east spring green liver gall vision sour
fire south summer red heart sm. int. touch bitter
earth center late sum. yellow spleen stomach taste sweet
metal west fall white lungs Ig. int. smell spicy
water north winter black kidney bladder hearing salty

J u s t as the s u n rises a n d sets in a c e r t a i n order, so do t h e five p h a s e s


m o v e in certain cycles, Chinese cosmology distinguishes two main cycles,
a p r o d u c t i v e and a c o n t r o l l i n g o n e — a l s o k n o w n as the g e n e r a t i v e , crea-
tive c y c l e (sheng ^ ) a n d the c o n q u e s t , c o n t r o l c y c l e (ke T h e c y c l e s are
as follows:

Productive: wood —fire - e a r t h —metal —water (1 2 3 4 5)

Controlling: wood —earth — water —fire —metal ( 1 3 5 2 4)

Fire
Heart / Small Intestine

Wood Earth
Liver / Gall Bladder ^ Spleen / Stomach

Water Metal
/
Kidney / Bladder ^ Lungs / Large Intestine

In other words, any imbalance anywhere in the body's system has an


effect o n t h e w h o l e , b r i n g i n g e i t h e r e x c e s s o r d e p l e t i o n t o the v a r i o u s
o r g a n s — a n d t h u s t h e s e n s e s , fluids, tissues, etc. —around it (see H u a n g
2 0 0 8 b , 101).

W i t h i n this c o n t e x t o f t h e five p h a s e s t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t food classifica-


t i o n is a c c o r d i n g to t h e five flavors w h i c h d e s c r i b e the i n h e r e n t n a t r u a l
Principles of Chinese Diet / 23

r - i e n c y o f t h e food w h i c h m a y o r m a y n o t b e the taste a s n o t e d o n t h e


-: r g u e . 3 As a l r e a d y outlined in t h e Hmngdi neijing suwen (7.23), t h e y are:

1. S p i c y ( m e t a l ) —linked w i t h l u n g s a n d large intestine as well


as w i t h s o r g h u m a n d d o g — t e n d s to d i s p e r s e qi; it i n d u c e s
p e r s p i r a t i o n a n d p r o m o t e s qi a n d b l o o d circulation. F o r ex-
a m p l e : scallions, c h i v e s , c l o v e s , parsley, p e p p e r m i n t , c i n n a -
m o n , chili, curry.

2. S w e e t (earth) —associated w i t h s p l e e n and s t o m a c h as well as


w i t h p a n i c l e d m i l l e t and b e e f — t e n d s to r e l a x qi; it s l o w s
d o w n a c u t e s y m p t o m s a n d n e u t r a l i z e s toxicity. For e x a m p l e :
string b e a n s , cherries, c h e s t n u t s , b a n a n a s , h o n e y , m e l o n .

3. S o u r ( w o o d ) — l i n k e d w i t h Hver and gall b l a d d e r as well as


w i t h m i l l e t and m u t t o n —tends to pull qi together; it s l o w s
m o v e m e n t a n d h e l p s t o c o n t r o l d i a r r h e a a n d e x c e s s i v e fluids,
s u c h a s p e r s p i r a t i o n . F o r e x a m p l e : apples, grapefruit, l e m o n s ,
pears, p l u m s , m a n g o e s , v i n e g a r .

4. Bitter (fire, )—related to t h e h e a r t a n d s m a l l intestine as well


as w i t h b e a n s a n d fowl —tends to h a r d e n qi; it r e d u c e s b o d y
heat, dries b o d y fluids, and e x p e l s e x c e s s liquids, m a y in-
d u c e diarrhea. F o r e x a m p l e : h o p s , lettuce, radish leaves.

5. Salty ( w a t e r ) — a s s o c i a t e d with k i d n e y s and b l a d d e r as well


as w i t h m i l l e t a n d p o r k — t e n d s to soften qi; it w a r m s the
body, softens h a r d n e s s , and treats l y m p h p r o b l e m s and
o t h e r s y m p t o m s i n v o l v i n g h a r d e n i n g o f m u s c l e s o r glands.
For example: seaweed, pickled vegetables. (7.23; Huang H.
2 0 0 0 , 14-16; H u a n g Y . 2007, 35; 2 0 0 8 b , 9 9 - 1 0 0 ; L o 2 0 0 5 , 164,
167)

T h e five flavors s h o u l d b e b a l a n c e d i n e v e r y m e a l t o m a t c h the i n d i v i d -


ual's c o n d i t i o n , s t i m u l a t e t h e o r g a n s , a n d e l i m i n a t e w a y w a r d qi. D i e t i -
- a n s u s e food to r e g u l a t e the qi-ilow in the c h a n n e l s , m u c h like a c u p u n c -
turists s t i m u l a t e certain points, after p r o v i d i n g a d i a g n o s i s in t e r m s of qi
e x c e s s a n d d e p l e t i o n a n d a n a l y z i n g the c o n d i t i o n in relation to the m a j o r
: rgan s y s t e m s i n v o l v e d .

3 For example, lettuce is "bitter" in inherent flavor but may taste neutral or
e-v en sweet to different individuals. By the same token, grains are generally clas-
i.fied as "sweet," but may taste bitter or salty.
24 / Medicinal Diets

I n a d d i t i o n t o the c o m b i n a t i o n o f y i n - y a n g a n d t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s o f
t h e five p h a s e s , t h e r e are t w o further m a i n p r i n c i p l e s o f food: t e m p e r a -
ture a n d m o v e m e n t .

First, all foods h a v e a specific effect d e s c r i b e d in t e r m s of t e m p e r a t u r e :

cold/cool neutral warm/hot


s t o m a c h yin center spleen yang
lung yin triple h e a t e r kidney yang
liver yin heart yang
k i d n e y yin liver y a n g
( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997, 4 0 9 )

W h i l e m o s t foods n a t u r a l l y h a v e a t e m p e r a t u r e quality, s o m e also


c h a n g e d e p e n d i n g o n their state. T h u s , for e x a m p l e , r a w w h e a t h a s a
t e n d e n c y t o b e c o o l a n d neutral, s u p p o r t i n g the c e n t e r o f t h e b o d y . W h e n
s p r o u t e d , it b e c o m e s c o l d a n d a c q u i r e s a slightly p u n g e n t flavor, s e r v i n g
t o alleviate h e a t c o n d i t i o n s . A s c o o k e d p o r r i d g e , w h e a t i s neutral a n d
sweet, e n h a n c i n g c\i. W h e n b a k e d as w h e a t flour, finally, it o b t a i n s a
w a r m t e m p e r a t u r e a n d aids i n treating c o o l o r c o l d b o d y c o n d i t i o n s
(Engelhardt and H e m p e n 1997, 411).

T h e different t e m p e r a t u r e qualities o f food are intrinsically r e l a t e d t o the


five p h a s e s a n d their c o r r e s p o n d i n g o r g a n s . F o r instance, a liver w e a k -
e n e d b y t o o m u c h yin food c a n d e v e l o p a n i m b a l a n c e w i t h t h e s p l e e n
a n d m a y c a u s e i t t o o v e r w o r k . T h i s i n turn m a y l e a d t o a n o v e r f l o w o f
a c i d i c s e c r e t i o n s in t h e s t o m a c h , felt as h e a r t b u r n a n d a c i d reflux. On the
o t h e r h a n d , the w a r m i n g a n d c o o l i n g qualities o f food c a n b e u s e d t o
m o d i f y a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g i m b a l a n c e s , i n c r e a s i n g t h e c\i t h r o u g h w a r m or
h o t food in a w e a k e n e d (^/-channel or d e p l e t i n g it t h r o u g h c o o l or c o l d
t h i n g s i n o n e that s h o w s s i g n s o f e x c e s s o r i n f l a m m a t i o n .

S e c o n d , a g a i n u s i n g the b a s i c y i n - y a n g m a t r i x , the q u a l i t y o f food i s


e v a l u a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o its d o m i n a n t m o v e m e n t :

1. o u t w a r d s : i n d u c e s p e r s p i r a t i o n a n d r e d u c e s fever; u s e in
s u m m e r ; s p i c y o r s w e e t (pepper, g i n g e r ) ;

2. inwards: eases b o w e l m o v e m e n t s and abdominal swelling;


u s e i n w i n t e r ; b i t t e r o r salty (lettuce, c l a m s , c r a b s , s e a w e e d ) ;
Principles of Chinese Diet / 25

3. u p w a r d s : r e l i e v e s diarrhea, p r o l a p s e d a n u s or uterus, falling


s t o m a c h ; u s e in spring; spicy, sweet, or bitter (apricots, c e l -
ery, cherries, grapes, olives, p o t a t o e s , p e a n u t s ) ;

4 . d o w n w a r d s : relieves v o m i t i n g , h i c c u p p i n g , and a s t h m a ; u s e
in fall; s w e e t or sour (apples, b a n a n a s , c u c u m b e r s , grapefruit,
lettuce, p e a c h e s , s t r a w b e r r i e s ) .

All these s e r v e to r e m e d y c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s . F o r e x a m p l e : to d i s p e r s e
;old, u s e g i n g e r o r w i n e ; t o i m p r o v e t h e appetite, e a t g r e e n / r e d p e p p e r
or h a m ; to i n d u c e a b o w e l m o v e m e n t , t a k e c a s t o r b e a n s or s e s a m e oil; to
reduce fever, eat star fruit or w a t e r c h e s t n u t s ; to relieve pain, t a k e h o n e y
or squash.

Also, for a h e a d a c h e d u e to i n c r e a s e d heat, u s e c o o l i n g a n d d o w n w a r d


m o v i n g foods, s u c h a s w h e a t , b e a n s , b a m b o o sprouts, radish, spinach,
and t o m a t o e s . T o h e l p i n c a s e s o f b l o o d - and qf-stagnation (e.g., a n g i n a
pectoris), u s e foods that s t i m u l a t e and m o v e b l o o d a n d qi, i n c l u d i n g
leeks, o n i o n s , vinegar, c r a b s , and s m a l l quantities o f w i n e . F o r erectile
dysfunction, often c a u s e d by a d e p l e t i o n of kidney-qi, t a k e w a l n u t s , cin-
n a m o n , a n c h o v i e s , m u s s e l s , m u t t o n , and g a m e ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n
1997, 5 7 6 - 8 5 ) . In all c a s e s , t h e ideal is to c r e a t e a diet that b a l a n c e s the
b o d y ' s s y m p t o m s t h r o u g h the m o v e m e n t a s well a s flavors and e n e r g e t i c
t e n d e n c i e s o f food.

B e c a u s e o f its s t r o n g e m p h a s i s o n b a l a n c e w h i c h i n c l u d e s a l s o the n e e d
for hot, e n e r g y - g i v i n g y a n g foods, C h i n e s e p h y s i c i a n s — u n l i k e m o n a s t i c
D a o i s t s — d o n o t s u p p o r t a v e g e t a r i a n diet. V e g e t a r i a n s eat t o o m a n y
cooling, yin foods, thus d e p l e t i n g their qi to levels s u i t a b l e o n l y for re-
cluses w h o are n o t p h y s i c a l l y a c t i v e . B y t h e s a m e token, t h e addition o f
fish to a v e g e t a r i a n diet, a l t h o u g h it p r o v i d e s protein a c c o r d i n g to the
W e s t e r n s y s t e m , will n o t i n c r e a s e y a n g , s i n c e fish is a c o o l food that r e -
lates to w a t e r and therefore yin. On the o t h e r h a n d , a diet o v e r l y h e a v y
in p r o t e i n s a n d m e a t is n o t beneficial either, s i n c e h i g h l y caloric, s t r o n g
y a n g f o o d s m a y d e p l e t e the b o d y ' s q i b y c a u s i n g certain o r g a n s t o o v e r -
w o r k and c r e a t i n g d e p l e t i o n s in others. It is best, therefore, to eat s o m e
meat, b u t n o t t o o m u c h and i f p o s s i b l e o r g a n i c , h e a l t h y s p e c i m e n s free o f
hormones and stimulants.
24 / Medicinal Diets

I n addition t o t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f y i n - y a n g a n d the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s o f
t h e five p h a s e s , t h e r e are t w o further m a i n p r i n c i p l e s o f food: t e m p e r a -
ture a n d m o v e m e n t .

First, all foods h a v e a specific effect d e s c r i b e d in t e r m s of t e m p e r a t u r e :

cold/cool neutral warm/hot


s t o m a c h yin center spleen yang
l u n g yin triple h e a t e r kidney yang
liver yin heart yang
k i d n e y yin liver y a n g
(Engelhardt and H e m p e n 1997, 409)

W h i l e m o s t foods n a t u r a l l y h a v e a t e m p e r a t u r e quality, some also


c h a n g e d e p e n d i n g o n their state. T h u s , for e x a m p l e , r a w w h e a t h a s a
t e n d e n c y t o b e c o o l a n d n e u t r a l , s u p p o r t i n g the c e n t e r o f the b o d y . W h e n
s p r o u t e d , it b e c o m e s c o l d a n d a c q u i r e s a slightly p u n g e n t flavor, s e r v i n g
t o alleviate h e a t c o n d i t i o n s . A s c o o k e d p o r r i d g e , w h e a t i s n e u t r a l a n d
s w e e t , e n h a n c i n g qi. W h e n b a k e d as w h e a t flour, finally, it o b t a i n s a
w a r m t e m p e r a t u r e a n d aids i n treating c o o l o r c o l d b o d y c o n d i t i o n s
( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 4 1 1 ) .

T h e different t e m p e r a t u r e qualities o f food are intrinsically r e l a t e d t o the


five p h a s e s a n d their c o r r e s p o n d i n g o r g a n s . F o r instance, a liver w e a k -
e n e d b y t o o m u c h yin food c a n d e v e l o p a n i m b a l a n c e w i t h t h e s p l e e n
a n d m a y c a u s e i t t o o v e r w o r k . T h i s i n turn m a y lead t o a n o v e r f l o w o f
a c i d i c s e c r e t i o n s in the s t o m a c h , felt as h e a r t b u r n a n d a c i d reflux. On the
o t h e r h a n d , the w a r m i n g a n d c o o l i n g qualities o f food c a n b e u s e d t o
m o d i f y a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g i m b a l a n c e s , i n c r e a s i n g the qi t h r o u g h w a r m or
h o t food in a w e a k e n e d (^i-channel or d e p l e t i n g it t h r o u g h c o o l or c o l d
t h i n g s i n o n e that s h o w s s i g n s o f e x c e s s o r i n f l a m m a t i o n .

S e c o n d , a g a i n u s i n g t h e b a s i c j a n - y a n g m a t r i x , t h e q u a l i t y o f food i s
e v a l u a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o its d o m i n a n t m o v e m e n t :

1. o u t w a r d s : i n d u c e s p e r s p i r a t i o n and r e d u c e s fever; u s e in
s u m m e r ; s p i c y o r s w e e t (pepper, g i n g e r ) ;

2. inwards: eases b o w e l m o v e m e n t s and abdominal swelling;


u s e in winter; b i t t e r or salty (lettuce, c l a m s , crabs, s e a w e e d ) ;
Principles of Chinese Diet / 25

3. u p w a r d s : r e l i e v e s diarrhea, p r o l a p s e d a n u s or uterus, falling


s t o m a c h ; u s e in spring; spicy, sweet, or b i t t e r (apricots, c e l -
ery, c h e r r i e s , grapes, olives, p o t a t o e s , p e a n u t s ) ;

4. downwards: relieves vomiting, hiccupping, and asthma; use


in fall; s w e e t or s o u r (apples, b a n a n a s , c u c u m b e r s , grapefruit,
lettuce, p e a c h e s , s t r a w b e r r i e s ) .

All these serve t o r e m e d y certain c o n d i t i o n s . F o r e x a m p l e : t o d i s p e r s e


cold, u s e g i n g e r o r w i n e ; t o i m p r o v e t h e appetite, eat g r e e n / r e d p e p p e r
or h a m ; to i n d u c e a b o w e l m o v e m e n t , t a k e c a s t o r b e a n s or s e s a m e oil; to
r e d u c e fever, eat star fruit or w a t e r c h e s t n u t s ; to r e l i e v e pain, t a k e h o n e y
or squash.

Also, for a h e a d a c h e d u e to i n c r e a s e d heat, u s e c o o l i n g a n d d o w n w a r d


m o v i n g foods, s u c h a s w h e a t , b e a n s , b a m b o o sprouts, radish, spinach,
and t o m a t o e s . T o h e l p i n c a s e s o f b l o o d - a n d (/i-stagnation (e.g., a n g i n a
pectoris), u s e f o o d s that s t i m u l a t e a n d m o v e b l o o d a n d qi, i n c l u d i n g
leeks, o n i o n s , v i n e g a r , c r a b s , and s m a l l q u a n t i t i e s o f w i n e . F o r erectile
dvsfunction, often c a u s e d by a d e p l e t i o n of kidney-^/, t a k e w a l n u t s , c i n -
namon, anchovies, mussels, mutton, and g a m e (Engelhardt and H e m p e n
1997, 5 7 6 - 8 5 ) . In all cases, t h e ideal is to c r e a t e a diet that b a l a n c e s the
b o d y ' s s y m p t o m s t h r o u g h the m o v e m e n t a s w e l l a s flavors a n d e n e r g e t i c
t e n d e n c i e s o f food.

B e c a u s e o f its s t r o n g e m p h a s i s o n b a l a n c e w h i c h i n c l u d e s also t h e n e e d
for hot, e n e r g y - g i v i n g y a n g foods, C h i n e s e p h y s i c i a n s — u n l i k e m o n a s t i c
D a o i s t s —do n o t s u p p o r t a v e g e t a r i a n diet. V e g e t a r i a n s eat t o o m a n y
cooling, yin foods, t h u s d e p l e t i n g their qi to levels s u i t a b l e o n l y for re-
cluses w h o are n o t p h y s i c a l l y active. B y the s a m e t o k e n , the addition o f
fish to a v e g e t a r i a n diet, a l t h o u g h it p r o v i d e s protein a c c o r d i n g to the
W e s t e r n s y s t e m , will n o t i n c r e a s e y a n g , s i n c e fish is a c o o l food that re-
lates to w a t e r a n d therefore yin. On the o t h e r h a n d , a diet o v e r l y h e a v y
in p r o t e i n s a n d m e a t is n o t beneficial either, s i n c e h i g h l y caloric, s t r o n g
y a n g f o o d s m a y d e p l e t e the b o d y ' s q i b y c a u s i n g certain o r g a n s t o o v e r -
w o r k a n d c r e a t i n g d e p l e t i o n s in others. It is best, therefore, to e a t s o m e
meat, b u t n o t too m u c h a n d i f p o s s i b l e o r g a n i c , h e a l t h y s p e c i m e n s free o f
hormones and stimulants.
26 / Medicinal Diets

T h e m o s t f u n d a m e n t a l d i v i s i o n o f Q i i n e s e c u i s i n e i s into t h e c a t e g o r i e s
of fan a n d cai literally " r i c e " a n d " v e g e t a b l e s " or, m o r e b r o a d l y ,
t h e grain b a s e o f nutrition a n d v a r i o u s s u p p l e m e n t a r y d i s h e s that are
m o s t l y v e g e t a b l e - b a s e d b u t also include, b e s i d e s m u s h r o o m s a n d sea-
w e e d , meat, poultry, fish, fruit, a n d so on. G r a i n s tend to c o m e in w h o l e
or m i l l e d form; a p p e a r as staples, b u n s , cakes, or n o o d l e s ; and are typi-
cally b o i l e d , s t e a m e d , o r b a k e d . S u p p l e m e n t a r y d i s h e s i n v o l v e v a r y i n g
d e g r e e s o f w a t e r a n d oil for e i t h e r s t e a m i n g , b o i l i n g , o r frying ( C h a n g
1977a, 7-8; H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 1 7 - 2 8 , 7 0 - 7 4 ; L o 2 0 0 5 , 175).

W h i l e g r a i n s are the m a i n staple o f t h e diet, v e g e t a b l e s e n h a n c e and


c o m p l e t e n o u r i s h m e n t , a l l o w i n g the c\i w o n from food, literally " g r a i n
qx" {guqi |§M), to w o r k p r o p e r l y . B e y o n d that, fruit s u p p o r t s t h e b o d y ' s
s y s t e m , e n s u r i n g that fluids are plentiful and flowing s m o o t h l y , w h i l e
m e a t s t r e n g t h e n s a n d i n v i g o r a t e s the qi, e s p e c i a l l y i n d i c a t e d in c a s e s of
weakness (Engelhardt and Nogel 2009, 20).

A l t h o u g h the t e r m s " g r a i n s , " " v e g e t a b l e s , " and s o o n are familiar, t h e


definition o f w h a t b e l o n g s into e a c h c a t e g o r y i s n o t q u i t e the s a m e . F o r
e x a m p l e , grain i n C h i n a n o t o n l y i n c l u d e s t h e s t a n d a r d grains, s u c h a s
rice, w h e a t / b a r l e y (mai # ) , oats, millet, c o m , a n d b u c k w h e a t , b u t also all
b e a n s , l e g u m e s , nuts, a n d s e e d s . F o r the m o s t part, they h a v e a n e u t r a l
t e n d e n c y i n t e r m s o f t e m p e r a t u r e , i.e., t h e y c a n b e u s e d t o c o o l o r w a r m
d e p e n d i n g o n their m o d e o f p r e p a r a t i o n and o n a c c o m p a n y i n g ingredi-
ents. T h e i r taste t e n d s t o b e o n t h e s w e e t side, w h i c h m e a n s that they
s t r e n g t h e n a n d s u p p o r t t h e s p l e e n and s t o m a c h s y s t e m s i n the c e n t e r o f
t h e b o d y — a l l o w i n g s p l e e n - y a n g t o rise a n d e x c e s s d a m p n e s s t o d r a i n -
w h i l e a l s o e n h a n c i n g b o d y fluids, s u c h a s sweat, saliva, tears, a n d l y m p h .

M o r e specifically, r o u n d - g r a i n rice i s the m o s t neutral and b a l a n c i n g


a m o n g t h e v a r i o u s k i n d s o f rice; w h e a t t e n d s t o h e l p c o o l o v e r h e a t e d
c h a n n e l s , u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e heart; m i l l e t w a r m s a n d h e l p s b a l -
a n c e t h e large intestine and s u p p o r t s t h e qi. In t e r m s of p r e p a r a t i o n ,
g r a i n s are u s u a l l y c o o k e d ; h o w e v e r , p a t i e n t s w i t h a n y k i n d o f w e a k n e s s
s h o u l d take t h e m softly in g r u e l s rather than al dente. A l s o , a n y g r a i n
p r o c e s s e d into flour g e n e r a l l y h a s a w a r m i n g a n d d r y i n g effect, m a k i n g
it suitable at t i m e s of d i a r r h e a or d a m p n e s s a n d n o t a favorite for c o n -
tinuous consumption.
Principles of Chinese Diet / 27

- 5 and l e g u m e s , m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y s o y b e a n s a n d p e a n u t s , are n e u t r a l
.€ ; o o l i n g in t e r m s of t e m p e r a t u r e a n d tend h a v e a s w e e t flavor. L i k e
£ r i x i s , they s u p p o r t t h e s p l e e n a n d s t o m a c h i n t h e center; e v e n m o r e
r - j n grains, they h e l p d r a i n d a m p n e s s . T h e i r m o r e p r o c e s s e d f o r m s s u c h
i f j o y m i l k a n d tofu h a v e a slightly m o r e c o o l i n g p o t e n c y . N u t s a n d
ieeds, such a s a l m o n d s , p i n e nuts, a n d s e s a m e , are u s u a l l y s w e e t a n d
- e u t r a l b u t t e n d t o m o i s t u r i z e rather t h a n dry. O n c e r o a s t e d (and, m o r e
ro salted), their t e m p e r a t u r e c h a n g e s t o b e i n g w a r m o r e v e n h e a t i n g ,
-ir.dering t h e m u n s u i t a b l e for a n y kind o f h e a t c o n d i t i o n . O n the o t h e r
- ^ n d , they c a n be useful in d i s p e l l i n g " w i n d , " a f a s t - m o v i n g c o n d i t i o n ,
r h y s i c a l l y linked w i t h c o o l , w i n d y c o n d i t i o n s a n d e m o t i o n a l l y a s s o c i -
ated w i t h fear and anxiety, that a t t a c k s e s p e c i a l l y the k i d n e y s . H e l p i n g
—eatly w i t h stabilizing the b o d y , n u t s a n d s e e d s are m u c h b e l o v e d b y
.ongevity s e e k e r s a n d D a o i s t s alike.

'."egetables h e r e also i n c l u d e k e y spices a n d d i v i d e into six c a t e g o r i e s


>ee H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 9 5 ) . First are p u n g e n t v e g e t a b l e s that a r e s p i c y in flavor
2nd h e a t i n g a n d y a n g - i n d u c i n g in quality, e.g., o n i o n s , scallions, leeks,
peppers, fagara, ginger, a n d garlic. L o v e d b y o r d i n a r y p e o p l e a n d v e r y
r.elpful in c a s e s of c o l d a n d w e a k n e s s , t h e y c a n lead to d e p l e t i o n w h e n
? \ e r u s e d and are for the m o s t part s h u n n e d b y religious practitioners,
••vhether of the D a o i s t or B u d d h i s t p e r s u a s i o n , d u e to their p o w e r f u l i m -
pact on t h e b o d y ' s s y s t e m .

> e c o n d are root v e g e t a b l e s , t y p i c a l l y w a r m i n g a n d sweet, w i t h a b a l a n c -


ing effect on the b o d y ' s c e n t e r as well a s u p p o r t i n g quality for liver a n d
kidneys. H e r e w e h a v e things like carrots, p o t a t o e s , c a b b a g e , b e e t s , fen-
nel, rutabaga, and t u r n i p s — t h e k i n d s o f things A m e r i c a n s a s s o c i a t e w i t h
T h a n k s g i v i n g d i n n e r a n d fall c o o l n e s s . A l s o i n this g r o u p b e l o n g celery,
cooling b u t e n h a n c i n g liver-yang, and radish (daikon), the yin c o u n t e r -
part to g i n g e r w h i c h is c o o l i n g , s w e e t , and p u n g e n t , s t r e n g t h e n s s p l e e n
and s t o m a c h , e n h a n c e s digestion, and aids t h e l u n g s by l o w e r i n g qi, d e -
c r e a s i n g p h l e g m , and detoxifying t h e b o d y (see F a n g 2 0 0 0 ) .

T h e third class are soft a n d s l i p p e r y v e g e t a b l e s , i n c l u d i n g leafy p l a n t s


like s p i n a c h , kale, S w i s s c h a r d , d a n d e l i o n , and lettuce. U s u a l l y b i t t e r a n d
sweet a s w e l l a s c o o l i n g , t h e y alleviate h e a t c o n d i t i o n s a n d e n h a n c e the
digestion. F o u r t h are n i g h t s h a d e s , s u c h a s t o m a t o e s , eggplant, p u m p k i n s
zucchini, c u c u m b e r s , a n d s q u a s h : n e u t r a l and s w e e t , t h e y relieve s w e l l -
ings a n d m o i s t u r i z e the tissues. T h e y are f o l l o w e d b y m u s h r o o m s —
w i d e s p r e a d and o f i n n u m e r a b l e v a r i e t y i n C h i n a — w h i c h , w i t h their
28 / Medicinal Diets

s w e e t and c o o l i n g q u a l i t i e s a s well a s n u m e r o u s nutrients, are v e r y g o o d


for l o n g life and frequently u s e d in D a o i s t c o o k i n g . Last, b u t n o t least,
are the v a r i o u s k i n d s o f s e a w e e d , w i d e l y u s e d i n K o r e a a n d J a p a n ; i n
C h i n a they are b e l i e v e d t o h a v e d e e p effects o n t h e b o d y ' s s y s t e m , n o t a -
b l y t h e liver and k i d n e y s , a n d w h i c h e v e n i n t h e W e s t are k n o w n t o h a v e
a n t i o x i d a n t and c a n c e r - p r e v e n t i n g p r o p e r t i e s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d N o g e l
2 0 0 9 , 2 3 - 2 5 ; see also H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 3 2 - 4 3 ) .

N o n e of these vegetables is usually eaten raw in China. T h e most c o m -


m o n way of preparation is steaming, closely followed by boiling in
s o u p s a n d pan-frying i n stir-fries. T h i s h a s t o d o historically w i t h t h e
a v o i d a n c e o f b a c t e r i a a n d infections, b u t i s d u e j u s t a s m u c h e n e r g e t i -
cally t o the effort o f m a k i n g t h e m e a s i e r t o digest a n d h e l p i n g the b o d y
to m a i n t a i n a p r o p e r b a l a n c e .

Fruit i s t h e third m a j o r food g r o u p . F o r t h e m o s t part s w e e t o r s o u r i n


flavor, t h e y c a n b e u s e d flexibly i n t e r m s o f t e m p e r a t u r e : c o o l i n g w h e n
e a t e n fresh o r w a r m i n g w h e n s t e a m e d . R i c h i n liquids, they s u p p o r t t h e
b o d y ' s fluids b u t c a n also, w h e n t a k e n t o o frequently, result i n i n c r e a s e d
d a m p n e s s . E s p e c i a l l y p e a r s are m u c h favored, e s p e c i a l l y also a m o n g
D a o i s t s w h o like t h e m b e s t s t e a m e d w i t h v a r i o u s nuts, berries, and h e r b s ,
s i n c e t h e y s t r e n g t h e n the s t o m a c h a n d l u n g s a n d e l i m i n a t e d a m p n e s s
and phlegm (Huang 2000, 43-54; Peng 20006b, 1 4 - 1 5 , 1 9 , 31).

F o u r t h and finally there are m e a t , poultry, and eggs, as w e l l as fish,


shellfish, a n d o t h e r seafood. W h i l e seafood i s m o r e yin and h e l p s e l i m i -
n a t e d a m p n e s s , m e a t a n d p o u l t r y are y a n g in nature, e n h a n c e qi, a n d
m a y i n c r e a s e d a m p n e s s . I n all c a s e s , fat p a r t s s h o u l d b e a v o i d e d , b l o o d
s h o u l d b e d r a i n e d b e f o r e c o o k i n g , a n d t h e y s h o u l d b e fried o n l y v e r y
briefly t h e n s t e a m e d for b e s t c o n s u m p t i o n — n o t b a r b e q u e d , grilled, o r
deep-fat fried. A l s o , s e r v i n g m e a t or fish in s m a l l p i e c e s m a k e s it easier
to eat a n d digest.

M o r e specifically, c h i c k e n a n d e g g s — a s m u c h i n C h i n a a s i n the W e s t —
are the s t r e n g t h - g i v e r s par excellence, gently w a r m i n g a n d s u p p o r t i n g the
central s p l e e n a n d s t o m a c h s y s t e m s a n d u s u a l l y r e c o m m e n d e d for c o n -
v a l e s c e n c e after illness. M u t t o n a n d g o a t m e a t h e l p s t h e k i d n e y s a n d
t h u s s e x u a l d y s f u n c t i o n and m u s c l e p r o b l e m s . P o r k t e n d s t o m o i s t u r i z e
yin, a i d i n g l u n g c o n d i t i o n s s u c h as a d r y c o u g h . S e a f o o d , in contrast,
c o n t a i n s a salty flavor w h i c h aids t h e k i d n e y s and a c o o l i n g effect that
h e l p s l o o s e n d a m p n e s s a n d h e a t a n d thus s e r v e s b e s t i n c a s e s o f n i g h t
Principles of Chinese Diet / 29

sweat, vertigo, a n d diabetes. It is also n o t i c e a b l e that m o s t seafood w h e n


s m o k e d , dried, o r p i c k l e d , d o e s n o t lose its f u n d a m e n t a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s
a n d c a n thus b e u s e d i n m a n y different forms.

In addition. W e s t e r n e r s also t e n d to u s e a great d e a l of dairy, w h i c h is all


b u t unknovwi in traditional C h i n a , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n of the M o n g o l i a n
y o g u r t - d r i n k called kefir. T o e x a m i n e t h e m briefly i n t e r m s o f C h i n e s e
dietetics, d a i r y p r o d u c t s are classified as h a v i n g a s w e e t flavor and n e u -
tral t e m p e r a t u r e . T h e y i n c r e a s e d a m p n e s s , l o w e r qi, detoxify, a n d c o o l
h e a t s y n d r o m e s . A n y c o n d i t i o n i n v o l v i n g d o w n w a r d m o v e m e n t s (diar-
r h e a ) a n d p h l e g m ( c o l d s ) will b e m a d e w o r s e w h e n t a k i n g dairy. A l s o ,
u s u a l l y g o a t a n d s h e e p ' s m i l k a r e easier t o digest than c o w ' s ; s o are fer-
m e n t e d p r o d u c t s , s u c h as c u r d s a n d yogurt. A regular, m o d e r a t e c o n -
sumption of milk products m a y have a strengthening and invigorating
effect o n the p e r s o n ; a n y o v e r u s e o r t h e i n g e s t i o n o f h i g h l y p r o c e s s e d
varieties, o n the other h a n d , leads t o a b d o m i n a l tension, e n h a n c e d
d a m p n e s s , and w e a k n e s s .

O v e r a l l , t h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n is for a w e l l - c o o k e d and w e l l - m i x e d diet


c o n s i s t i n g of all different food g r o u p s , as m u c h as p o s s i b l e " c l e a r " a n d
" p u r e , " i.e., o r g a n i c a n d locally g r o w n . T h e i r diet is s t r o n g l y b a s e d on
g r a i n s and v e g e t a b l e s , w i t h fruits, m e a t , seafood, and d a i r y a d d e d r e g u -
larly b u t in limited quantities. M a n y a i l m e n t s , b o t h t o d a y a n d in history,
g o b a c k t o the t e n d e n c y o f o v e r e a t i n g and i n d u l g i n g i n p r o c e s s e d , c o o l -
ing, and y i n - b a s e d foods ( H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 4 8 , 8 5 ) . A s a l r e a d y S u n S i m i a o
says: " M a n y d i s e a s e s i n the b o d y c a n b e traced b a c k t o a n e x c e s s i v e c o n -
s u m p t i o n o f cold food i n s p r i n g and s u m m e r . A l s o , m a n y d i s h e s c o n t a i n -
i n g r a w m e a t a n d c o l d foods do h a r m to p e o p l e in a v a r i e t y of w a y s .
T h u s o n e s h o u l d a v o i d t h e m " ( E n g e l h a r d t and N o g e l 2 0 0 9 , 3 0 ) .

F o o d p r e p a r a t i o n i n C h i n a i n v o l v e s b o i l i n g i n c o v e r e d p o t s — m a d e from
e a r t h e n w a r e in a n t i q u i t y — s t e a m i n g in b a m b o o trays or s t e a m e r s , b a k i n g
in o v e n s or r o a s t i n g o v e r o p e n fires, and frying in large p a n s often
k n o w n a s w o k s ( A n d e r s e n 1 9 8 8 , 152). T h e s t o v e i s c o n s i d e r e d n o t o n l y
t h e c e n t e r of the f a m i l y ' s activities b u t also a s a c r e d p l a c e that c o n n e c t s
h u m a n i t y w i t h the p o w e r s o f H e a v e n , a n d the s t o v e g o d i s traditionally
b e l i e v e d t o a s c e n d t o h e a v e n o n t h e last d a y o f t h e y e a r t o r e p o r t the
f a m i l y ' s b e h a v i o r t o t h e celestial a u t h o r i t i e s (see C h a r d 1 9 9 5 ) . W i t h i n this
f r a m e w o r k , the C h i n e s e c r e a t e five m a j o r k i n d s o f dishes: c o o k e d cereals.
30 / Medicinal Diets

s t e w s a n d n o o d l e - s o u p s , stir-fries, s o u p s , a n d d e c o c t i o n s . T h e y are each,


m o r e o v e r , b e s t suited for certain t i m e s o f t h e d a y (see E n g e l h a r d t a n d
Nogel 2009, 31-33).

C o o k e d cereals (porridge, gruel, or c o n g e e ; zhou •^•j) i n v o l v e g r a i n s u s e d


either w h o l e , in flakes, or g r o u n d . T h e y are b o i l e d until t h e y r e a c h a h a l f
liquid c o n s i s t e n c y . H e r b s , fruits, v e g e t a b l e s , a n d m e a t s o r seafood m a y
b e a d d e d t o i n c r e a s e taste a n d dietetic efficacy. R a t h e r than b e i n g b o i l e d
w i t h the grain, h o w e v e r , t h e s e s h o u l d b e s t e a m e d , fried, o r o t h e r w i s e
p r e p a r e d s e p a r a t e l y a n d a d d e d i n the e n d . T o t o p t h e dish off, o n e m a y
a d d v a r i o u s s p i c e s for flavor, t h u s a l l o w i n g t h e possibility of c r e a t i n g a
large variety of meals. Therapeutically, cooked cereals tend to be warm-
ing a n d s u p p o r t the center. T h e y set a steady, p o s i t i v e t o n e for the d a y
a n d are e s p e c i a l l y r e c o m m e n d e d a t breakfast. A n o t h e r c o m m o n applica-
tion is d u r i n g c o n v a l e s c e n c e a n d after childbirth.

Stir-fries a n d o t h e r m a i n d i s h e s {caiyao '^M) u s e a great v a r i e t y of foods,


i n c l u d i n g all t h e different g r o u p s b u t s t r o n g l y b a s e d o n v e g e t a b l e s .
M o s t l y a p p l y i n g a c o m b i n a t i o n of different foods, t h e y i n c l u d e s i m p l e
a n d c o m p l e x stir-fries a s well a s r o a s t e d m e a l s a n d briefly s e a r e d i n g r e -
d i e n t s that are then c o m b i n e d in salad-like dishes. D e p e n d i n g on t h e
d e s i r e d effect, v a r i o u s s p i c e s are a d d e d to t h e m e a l , i n c l u d i n g ginger,
o n i o n s , garlic, a s well a s w i n e , vinegar, salt, a n d sugar. A l s o d e p e n d i n g
o n the i n g r e d i e n t s and t h e intensity o f c o o k i n g a n d spicing, the thera-
peutic effect m a y v a r y from s t r o n g l y h e a t i n g t h r o u g h m i l d l y w a r m i n g t o
n e u t r a l l y s u p p o r t i v e . T h e y are b e s t t a k e n i n the m i d d l e o f t h e day, w h e n
the b o d y needs most vibrant energy.

S t e w s (mian | i ; geng ^ ) c o n s i s t o f rice o r n o o d l e s w h i c h are s t e a m e d o r


b o i l e d and s e r v e d w i t h s o m e liquid and a selection of v e g e t a b l e s and
m e a t s , either c o o k e d i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h the grain o r p r e p a r e d s e p a r a t e l y
b y s t e a m i n g o r frying and a d d e d later. T h e y , too, t e n d t o b e w a r m i n g
a n d s u p p o r t i v e o f t h e b o d / s center, c r e a t i n g a s t r e n g t h e n i n g e n v i r o n -
m e n t and e n r i c h i n g t h e b l o o d . T h e y c a n i n c l u d e v a r i o u s k i n d s o f seafood,
s u c h a s s h r i m p s , a n d are often m a d e w i t h m u s h r o o m s . C a l m i n g a n d
e a s y to digest, s t e w s are ideally s u i t e d for c o n s u m p t i o n at night, s e v e r a l
h o u r s b e f o r e b e d t i m e , t o r e a d y t h e b o d y for a g o o d n i g h t ' s sleep.

S o u p s {tanggeng MM) are b a s e d on m e a t , seafood, a n d v e g e t a b l e s , all


b o i l e d t o g e t h e r i n w a t e r for a n e x t e n d e d p e r i o d o f t i m e a n d s e a s o n e d
w i t h a v a r i e t y of s p i c e s a n d h e r b s . C o n s u m e d either s e p a r a t e l y or in
Principles of Chinese Diet / 31

j r c n b i n a t i o n w i t h o t h e r dishes, t h e y a d d a w a r m i n g a n d intensifying
rualit\' to a n y m e a l . T h e y also s e r v e as a m a j o r s o u r c e of m o i s t u r e a n d
i r e \sell k n o w n for their s t r e n g t h e n i n g effect. S o u p s c a n be e a t e n at all
:r-.e5, s u p p l e m e n t i n g o t h e r dishes, a n d are often p a r t of the m a i n m e a l
: : ± i e day.

r-ecoctions or h e r b a l d r i n k s {tangji ^MM), finally, are t h e m a i n w a y of


i i m i n i s t e r i n g traditional C h i n e s e herbs. V a r i o u s plant, m i n e r a l , a n d
T ' . e n a n i m a l s u b s t a n c e s are b o i l e d t o g e t h e r o v e r a p e r i o d of t i m e —from
ten m i n u t e s to an h o u r —often c r e a t i n g s o m e rather i n t e n s e o d o r s a r o u n d
the h o u s e . U s e d therapeutically, d e c o c t i o n s are c o m m o n l y b u t n o t n e c e s -
farily a p p l i e d u n d e r m e d i c a l s u p e r v i s i o n a n d directed to alleviate a n d
:ure certain c o n d i t i o n s . S o m e c o m m o n d e c o c t i o n s i n c l u d e the m i x o f
ranger, scallions, and b r o w n s u g a r efficacious i n c a s e s o f t h e c o m m o n
:old, as well as the j o i n t b o i l i n g of fresh g i n g e r and dried o r a n g e p e e l to
:alm the s t o m a c h a n d alleviate n a u s e a . A variant form of d e c o c t i o n is
f ;.Tup igao •^), m a d e by c o o k i n g y i n - m o i s t u r i z i n g foods s u c h as fruit,
:r,en taking the resulting j u i c e and b o i l i n g it d o w n to a d e n s e c o n s i s t e n c y .
A d d i n g h o n e y or sugar, o n e lets the j u i c e s i m m e r further until it r e a c h e s
a gel-like stage. A n y s y r u p of this sort, t a k e n as m e d i c i n e by the table
spoon, will e n h a n c e m o i s t u r e a n d s u p p o r t the s t r e n g t h e n i n g effect of
zther foods. An e x a m p l e is a p p l e s y r u p for s t o m a c h a n d l u n g s .

In t e r m s of their daily application, the C h i n e s e r e c o m m e n d v a r i o u s


forms k i n d s of p r e p a r e d food. In the m o r n i n g , for e x a m p l e , w h e n y a n g is
low a n d yin is d e n s e after a n i g h t ' s sleep, o n e m a y feel tired, b l o a t e d , or
distended, a n d h a v e a n i n c r e a s e d c o a t i n g o n the t o n g u e . O n e eats t o get
the yang-qi m o v i n g , w h i c h is b e s t a c h i e v e d by t a k i n g w a r m , d y n a m i c
foods that d o n o t b u r d e n the central o r g a n s o f spleen a n d s t o m a c h . T h e
ideal form of p r e p a r a t i o n is a c c o r d i n g l y a c o o k e d cereal, c l o s e l y followed
b v w h o l e - g r a i n b r e a d , w h i l e a n y t h i n g cold (juices, c e r e a l s ) o r h e a v y ( b a -
con and e g g s ) t e n d s t o b e c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e .

.At noon, the b o d y n e e d s to r e p l e n i s h its qi and c o n t i n u e to be w a r m e d


and e n e r g i z e d . L u n c h should, therefore, b e w a r m a n d plentiful, consist-
ing of s t e a m e d food a n d stir-fries, w i t h s o u p s as a s u p p l e m e n t . D i s h e s
should b e m a i n l y m a d e from v e g e t a b l e s w i t h m i n o r a m o u n t s o f lean
meat, seafood, or e g g s . C o l d food (salads, y o g u r t ) or h e a v y d i s h e s (fatty
meats, c a k e s ) , i n c r e a s e d a m p n e s s and p h l e g m a n d will c r e a t e t i r e d n e s s
rather than aid t h e p o s i t i v e flow of qi.
32 / Medicinal Diets

I n the e v e n i n g , y a n g s h o u l d b e g i n t o c a l m d o w n a n d yin b e a l l o w e d t o
rise. T o this end, the b e s t food i s g e n t l e a n d quieting, a n d o n e s h o u l d
a v o i d all k i n d s of i n t e n s e y a n g as found in h o t spices a n d fatty, h e a v y
d i s h e s . S t e w s are ideal, b u t e a s y stir-fries a n d s o u p s m a y also serve. It is
i m p o r t a n t n o t t o o eat t o o late t o a l l o w t h e b o d y t i m e for digestion b e f o r e
g o i n g to sleep. A l s o , m a n y m e d i c a l a n d D a o i s t texts r e c o m m e n d taking a
s h o r t w a l k after the e v e n i n g m e a l t o stabilize the energetic p a t h w a y s (see
E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 6 1 3 - 1 7 ) .

B e y o n d c o o k i n g a n d e a t i n g c o n s c i o u s l y , d i e t a r y m a n u a l s also r e c o m -
m e n d t h e frequent c o n s u m p t i o n o f tea, e s p e c i a l l y g r e e n tea. M e n t i o n e d
a l r e a d y in t h e Shijmg i # | S ( B o o k o f O d e s ; c. 8 0 0 B.C.E.), tea h a s a l w a y s
b e e n a m a i n s t a y of C h i n e s e culture. B o t a n i c a l l y a m e m b e r of the C a m e l -
lia family, tea g r o w s as v a r i o u s s h r u b s that c a n r e a c h fifty feet in h e i g h t
a n d c o m m o n l y b e a r s h i n y l e a v e s w h o s e e n d s form p o i n t e d , s p e a r - h k e
tips. P i c k e d a n d dried o r roasted, a n d o c c a s i o n a l l y m i x e d w i t h b l o s s o m s
o r flowers, t h e l e a v e s are p r e p a r e d t o m a k e different teas. T h e w h i t e o r
p a l e g r e e n v a r i e t y u s e s t h e m a l m o s t raw, w h i l e b l a c k o r red tea applies
t h e m m o r e r o a s t e d o r f e r m e n t e d . T e a c a n c o n t a i n large a m o u n t s o f caf-
feine in all forms, a n d c o m m o n l y h a s b e e n u s e d in religious institutions
t o k e e p m o n k s a n d n u n s from falling asleep d u r i n g m e d i t a t i o n p e r i o d s .

C h i n e s e literature d e s c r i b e s tea a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y a s bitter b u t s o m e -


t i m e s a l s o as sweet. Its m e d i c a l b e n e f i t s i n c l u d e t h e ability to i n c r e a s e
b l o o d flow, h e i g h t e n a w a r e n e s s , s p e e d elimination, p r e v e n t tooth decay,
aid digestion, c l e a n s e t h e skin, alleviate j o i n t pain, a n d g e n e r a l l y p r o l o n g
life (Blofeld 1 9 8 5 , 1 4 4 ) . It is also a w a y to ingest all five p h a s e s at o n c e :
e a r t h t h r o u g h the b o w l ' s c e r a m i c s , m e t a l in the kettle, w a t e r as its b a s e ,
w o o d in t h e plant, a n d fire in the h e a t i n g . W e s t e r n studies, too, h a v e
s h o w n that e s p e c i a l l y g r e e n tea w i t h l o w caffeine c o n t a i n s a n t i o x i d a n t s
w h i c h b i n d h a r m f u l free radicals. D r i n k i n g it r e g u l a r l y c a n p r e v e n t cell
m u t a t i o n i n t u m o r s , p r o m o t e h e a l t h y arteries, r e d u c e c h o l e s t e r o l , r e l e a s e
toxins, aid digestion, i n c r e a s e m e t a b o l i s m , a n d c o n t r o l b a c t e r i a .

To s u m up, food in traditional C h i n a as well as in D a o i s m h a s a l w a y s a


m e d i c a l d i m e n s i o n to it. It is u n d e r s t o o d in t e r m s of qualities a n d effects
a n d u s e d p r i m a r i l y to b a l a n c e t h e qi-iiow a n d t e m p e r a t u r e in t h e b o d y .
F o o d in g e n e r a l s h o u l d be fresh a n d c o o k e d , n o t r a w or p r o c e s s e d ; it
s h o u l d b e t a k e n i n m o d e r a t i o n i n c o n j u n c t i o n with v a r i o u s teas a n d
h e r b a l drinks. I t s h o u l d also n e v e r b e b o r i n g , u s i n g the v a r i e t y o f raw
m a t e r i a l s a n d w a y s o f p r e p a r a t i o n t o c r e a t e enticing, tasty m e a l s .
I

When working hard, do not eat; when eating, do not under-


take physical activities. When you sweat, do not eat or drink.
WTnen you are enraged, do not eat; when eating, avoid getting
angry or upset. In mourning do not eat; while eating do not en-
tertain sad thoughts. (Yangsheng yaoji 6)

-:':c as it is cultivated, p r e p a r e d , and ingested, d o e s n o t o c c u r on the


- l u r a l a n d p e r s o n a l levels alone. It is a l w a y s also a social p h e n o m e n o n
- i : h a p p e n s i n specific c o m m u n i t y settings, e x p r e s s e s certain c u l t u r a l
i - j e s , a n d i s b o u n d b y t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f society. A s M a r y D o u g l a s
r r n t s out, the h u m a n b o d y i s also a n i m a g e o f society a n d the p a s s a g e
:c rood in and o u t of t h e b o d y in m a n y w a y s e q u a l s s o c i a l b o u n d a r i e s
i r d their t r a n s g r e s s i o n ( 1 9 7 3 , 7 0 ) . As a result, in a d d i t i o n to b a s i c nutri-
r c n , societies u s e food t o activate interpersonal relationships, d e t e r m i n e
^ : c i a l r a n k a n d status, e x p r e s s s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s ideas, h e l p c o p e w i t h
>rress and p s y c h o l o g i c a l n e e d s (e.g., e m o t i o n a l eating), r e w a r d or p u n i s h
rertain b e h a v i o r s , a n d treat o r p r e v e n t illness a n d s o c i a l d e v i a t i o n s
I c i n i n g e r 1 9 7 0 ; A n d e r s o n and A n d e r s o n 1977, 3 6 6 ) .

? ; o d serves n o t o n l y to c r e a t e i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n n e c t i o n b u t m i r r o r s so-
r.al o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d articulates d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s ( C o u n i h a n 1 9 9 9 , 6-7). It
r - a \ s a k e y role in all societies, defined as i n t e g r a t e d s y s t e m s of func-
- o n a l u n i t y w h e r e e x c h a n g e o f g o o d s links p e o p l e t o g e t h e r (see M a u s s
'.^7). F o o d is p o w e r in its m o s t b a s i c a n d t a n g i b l e form; it is often a p o -
litical factor in that h u n g e r t e n d s to be an instigation to r e b e l l i o n or
••••omen u s e t h e a v o i d a n c e of food as a form of self-assertion (see Bell
> S 5 ; B y n u m 1 9 8 7 ; B r u m b e r g 1 9 8 8 ) . C l a s s , caste, race, g e n d e r , status, a n d

33
34 / Medicinal Diets

a g e all h a v e t o d o w i t h w h o h a s a c c e s s t o w h a t k i n d s o f food, l e a d i n g t o
c o n s u m p t i o n p a t t e r n s that are i n h e r e n t l y social a n d political ( C o u n i h a n
1999 8).

F o o d defines s o c i a l c o n t e x t . Often f a m i l y m e a n s the g r o u p o f p e o p l e w h o


s h a r e the s a m e h e a r t h ; feeding a s t r a n g e r g i v e s h i m the benefit of h o s p i -
tality; a n d food offerings define the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n p e o p l e a n d
their g o d s ( C o u n i h a n 1 9 9 9 , 1 5 - 1 7 ) . T h e refusal o f food i n p r o l o n g e d fast-
ing, m o r e o v e r , often s e r v e s t o reject s o c i e t y w h i l e d e v e l o p i n g a l t e r n a t i v e
social s t r u c t u r e s a n d c o n c e p t u a l realities. F o o d h e r e , r a t h e r than b e i n g a
form of p h y s i c a l s u s t e n a n c e , is s e e n n e g a t i v e l y as a v e h i c l e for m o r t a l i t y :
its a v o i d a n c e e n a b l e s p r a c t i t i o n e r s " t o t r a n s c e n d their m u n d a n e a n d
e a r t h l y s e l v e s i n t h e q u e s t for p i e t y o r p e r f e c t i o n " ( C o u n i h a n 1 9 9 9 , 9 8 - 9 9 ) .

A l l t h e s e g e n e r a l o b s e r v a t i o n s a l s o a p p l y t o C h i n e s e a n d D a o i s t food.
C o n s c i o u s l y s t r u c t u r e d from antiquity, food in C h i n a signified social
realities, a n d different s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e s w e r e c o n n e c t e d t o m o r a l re-
alities ( S t e r c k x 2 0 0 5 , 5 3 ) . T h e e m p e r o r ' s b o d y b e i n g a m a j o r c o n d u i t for
t h e will o f H e a v e n , n o u r i s h i n g i t m e a n t t o s u p p o r t the p r o p e r g o v e r n -
a n c e o f t h e w o r l d , e n a b l e d b y the c o n t i n u o u s v i g i l a n c e o f n u m e r o u s
c o u r t p h y s i c i a n s a n d nutritionists ( L o 2 0 0 5 , 1 6 5 - 6 6 ) . Different foodstuffs
w e r e e m p l o y e d i n different c o n t e x t s , c h a n g i n g o v e r h i s t o r y a s the e c o n -
o m y d e v e l o p e d a n d n e w i t e m s b e c a m e a c c e s s i b l e a n d fashionable. A l s o
n e w s e t t i n g s u n f o l d e d (e.g., m o n a s t e r i e s ) , a n d t a b o o s o f v a r i o u s sorts
c a m e t o e x p r e s s n e w l y a r i s i n g fears a n d p r e f e r e n c e s .

In addition, social c o n s t r u c t s of life c y c l e s a n d e x p e c t a n c y as well as ef-


forts to i n c r e a s e l o n g e v i t y h a d a distinct i m p a c t on t h e k i n d s of foods
p e o p l e w e r e s u p p o s e d t o eat a n d c o m b i n a t i o n s they b e t t e r a v o i d e d .
S o m e foodstuffs, n o t a b l y t h i n g s p r e s e r v e d b y d r y i n g , p i c k l i n g , o r fer-
m e n t i n g , a s well a s i t e m s that h a d a n i n h e r e n t toxicity, w e r e p r o h i b i t e d
o r c o u l d o n l y b e t a k e n u n d e r c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s . O t h e r social t a b o o s
i n c l u d e the c o n s u m p t i o n o f c e r t a i n a n i m a l s c o n s i d e r e d d i r t y o r o f h u m a n
flesh, a l t h o u g h that t a b o o v a r i e d o v e r the years.

T h e C h i n e s e c a l e n d a r , a c o m p l e x m i x t u r e o f s o l a r a n d l u n a r features,
m o r e o v e r w a s i m p o r t a n t n o t o n l y i n defining t h e s e a s o n s b u t also the
a s t r o l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n s o f p e o p l e a n d foodstuffs. A l r e a d y f o r m u l a t e d i n
Han-dynasty almanacs unearthed at Shuihudi (Loewe 1988; Lo 2005,
1 7 8 ) , m a n y o f its r e g u l a t i o n s d e a l w i t h the y e a r o f o n e ' s b i r t h o r that o f
o n e ' s p a r e n t s a s w e l l a s w i t h c e r t a i n k i n d s o f food a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e
36 / Medicinal Diets

t h r o u g h C e n t r a l A s i a into India, a n u m b e r o f i m p o r t a n t n e w foods b e -


c a m e c o m m o n ( A n d e r s o n 1 9 8 8 , 3 4 ) . T h e y i n c l u d e d grape, alfalfa, p o m e -
g r a n a t e , w a l n u t , s e s a m e , onion, c a r a w a y s e e d s , peas, c o r i a n d e r , and c u -
c u m b e r , as well as d r a g o n fruit a n d litchi, fruits t o d a y t y p i c a l l y a s s o c i -
a t e d w i t h C h i n a (Yii 1977, 8 0 ) . In t e r m s of t e c h n o l o g y , it w a s u n d e r the
H a n that s o y b e a n s w e r e b o i l e d a n d p r e s s e d for the first time, c r e a t i n g the
w i d e - s p r e a d s o y m i l k a n d its derivative, tofu. T h e y w e r e also f e r m e n t e d
a n d m a d e into a k i n d of relish k n o w n as shi ^ e a t e n b o t h as a s n a c k and
u s e d as a c o n d i m e n t . A n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t c h a n g e at this t i m e i n v o l v e d the
m i l l i n g o f g r a i n s into flour, p r o b a b l y b a s e d o n t e c h n o l o g y i m p o r t e d from
w e s t e r n A s i a , w h i c h a l l o w e d t h e creation o f v a r i o u s kinds o f c a k e s and
t h e earliest n o o d l e s , m a d e m a i n l y from w h e a t . N o o d l e s (mian | i ) and
s t e a m e d b u n s (mantou lisi) as well as b a k e d c a k e s {bing tJf) became
p o p u l a r a t the t i m e (Yii 1977, 8 1 ; H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 4 6 2 - 8 4 ) .

T h e s a m e trend c o n t i n u e d i n t h e T a n g d y n a s t y , w h e n i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n -
tacts w e r e intensified a n d t e c h n o l o g y a d v a n c e d . In a d d i t i o n to m i l l e t and
w h e a t , rice b e c a m e m o r e easily accessible, and b a r l e y w a s u s e d m o r e
w i d e l y . N e w p l a n t f o o d s i n c l u d e d r h u b a r b , w a t e r m a l l o w , celery, nastur-
t i u m s , a s p a r a g u s , parsley, shallots, as well as v a r i o u s k i n d s of a l g a e and
s e a w e e d s . E x o t i c fruits i m p o r t e d from C e n t r a l A s i a a n d t h e tropical
s o u t h w e r e n e w varieties o f p e a c h a s well a s cherries, p l u m s , apricots,
pears, c r a b a p p l e , q u i n c e , o r a n g e s , t a n g e r i n e s , b a n a n a s a n d m a n y m o r e .
T h e r e w e r e also t h e fruits o f v a r i o u s p a l m trees, olives a n d v a r i o u s kinds
o f n u t s a n d seeds, a s well a s n u m e r o u s different types o f a n i m a l p r o d -
ucts, consumed especially among the wealthier and noble classes
(Schafer 1977, 8 9 - 9 9 ) .

A t t h e s a m e time, p r e s e r v a t i o n t e c h n i q u e s a d v a n c e d , i n c l u d i n g drying,
s m o k i n g , a n d f e r m e n t i n g , as well as p i c k l i n g in b r i n e , salt, v i n e g a r , b r a n ,
oil, chili, a n d v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s thereof. F o o d s c o u l d b e liquid-
p a c k e d o r dried, s e a l e d o r u n s e a l e d w i t h v a r i o u s spices, s t r o n g i n flavor
o r v e r y m i l d . G r a p e s , for e x a m p l e , c o u l d b e p a r c h e d , crinkled, o r dried
a n d s p i c e d to create a large v a r i e t y of r a i s i n - b a s e d d i s h e s ( A n d e r s o n
1 9 8 8 , 167; Schafer 1977, 113-16; H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 3 7 9 - 4 2 9 ) . M i l k , e s p e c i a l l y
from g o a t s a n d h o r s e s b u t also from p a l m s a n d a l m o n d s , b e c a m e m o r e
widely available due to contact with northern Asian peoples. It was
m o d i f i e d i n m a n y w a y s ; c u r d l e d into c a k e s like tofu, f e r m e n t e d into
k u m i s a n d y o g u r t , k a y m a k a n d c l o t t e d c r e a m , a s well a s clarified b u t t e r
( m a d e from c o a g u l a t e d m i l k oils) (Schafer 1977, 1 0 6 ) .
Social Regulations / 37

7 ^ m a k e foods m o r e p a l a t a b l e , T a n g p e o p l e e m p l o y e d s w e e t e n e r s a n d
s r i c e s . S w e e t e n e r s i n c l u d e d v a r i o u s k i n d s o f h o n e y a s well a s s u g a r c a n e ,
sugar b e e t s , raisin tree extracts, and m a l t o s e , " a k i n d o f m a l t s u g a r d e -
r.ved from g e r m i n a t i n g g r a i n s " (Schafer 1977, 1 0 8 ) . A m o n g spices, h o t
r-epper c o r n s — t h e s e e d s of a p l a n t k n o w n as fagara (jiao t K ) — w e r e m o s t
popular. T h e y c a m e i n v a r i o u s local v a r i e t i e s a s well a s i n i m p o r t e d form
rrom Persia, s u c h a s o u r b l a c k p e p p e r , then k n o w n a s " b a r b a r i a n f a g a r a "
'-.u-:ao SfJtU). S o m e Indian-style s p i c e s s u c h as c a r d a m o m , n u t m e g , a n d
: u m i n too m a d e their w a y t o C h i n a , s o that curry-like d i s h e s b e c a m e
available (Schafer 1 9 7 7 , 1 1 0 - 1 1 ) .

•_"nlike in the H a n a n d T a n g , w h e n t h e m a i n i m p a c t on the d e v e l o p m e n t


: : C h i n e s e c u i s i n e c a m e from foreign c o n t a c t s , t h e S o n g s a w m a j o r
;r.anges i n d o m e s t i c e c o n o m y a n d infrastructure. A s the aristocratic elite
was r e p l a c e d b y a n e d u c a t e d b u r e a u c r a c y a n d t h e m e r c h a n t c l a s s g r e w
.r. importance, agricultural t e c h n o l o g y t r a n s f o r m e d . R o a d s and w a t e r -
wavs w e r e e x p a n d e d s o m o r e g o o d s c o u l d p a s s m o r e easily from o n e
region to another. As a result, b o t h rice a n d t e a — p r o m i n e n t in s o u t h e r n
C h i n a a n d d e l i c a c i e s for the u p p e r classes b e f o r e — b e c a m e w i d e s p r e a d
all over t h e c o u n t r y w h i l e m a n y local foods g r e w to n a t i o n a l i m p o r t a n c e .
A s M i c h a e l F r e e m a n says, " S o n g c o o k s w e r e the b e n e f i c i a r i e s o f t w i n
revolutions, in agriculture a n d in c o m m e r c e , a n d enjoyed, e s p e c i a l l y in
the t w o c a p i t a l s [Kaifeng and H a n g z h o u ] , a n u n p r e c e d e n t e d a b u n d a n c e
that p r o b a b l y m a d e city d w e l l e r s t h e best-fed m a s s p o p u l a t i o n i n w o r l d
r i s t o r y u p t o that t i m e " ( 1 9 7 7 , 1 4 3 ) .

O n e major r o l e in t h e s e c h a n g e s w a s the i m p o r t of a n e w , faster r i p e n i n g


and drought-resistant strain of rice from C h a m p a , a H i n d u k i n g d o m in
w h a t is t o d a y C e n t r a l V i e t n a m . It m a d e d o u b l e - c r o p p i n g possible,
greatly i n c r e a s e d the yield of the fields, a n d s u p p o r t e d the p o p u l a t i o n
e x p l o s i o n w h i c h led to an overall i n c r e a s e from 1 0 0 to 1 5 0 m i l l i o n in the
course of the S o n g d y n a s t y . In addition, s o r g h u m (gaoliang ^'^) b e c a m e
a\'ailable for the first time, useful as a n i m a l fodder a n d for distilling into
hard liquor.

A n o t h e r m a j o r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o c c u r r e d t h r o u g h c h a n g e s i n infrastruc-
ture a n d t h e c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n o f food. M a r k e t s g r e w m a s s i v e l y , s o that
H a n g z h o u a l o n e h a d ten h u g e s q u a r e s for trading. A s M a r c o P o l o n o t e s ,
"on each of t h e said s q u a r e s t h r e e d a y s a w e e k there is c o n c o u r s e of from
forty t o fifty t h o u s a n d p e r s o n s w h o c o m e t o m a r k e t a n d b r i n g e v e r y -
thing y o u c a n desire for food, b e c a u s e t h e r e is a l w a y s a great s u p p l y of
38 / Medicinal Diets

v i c t u a l s " ( M o u l e a n d Pelliot 1 9 3 8 , 3 2 8 ; F r e e m a n 1977, 1 4 9 ) . V a r i e t y in-


c r e a s e d drastically a n d m a n y different k i n d s o f food b e c a m e available t o
p e o p l e from all w a l k s of life. B o t h rich and p o o r ate pork, l a m b , and kid
a s well a s h o r s e m e a t , beef, v e n i s o n , a n d v a r i o u s k i n d s o f g a m e , poultry,
fish, and shellfish. V e g e t a b l e s , es peci al l y in the south, w e r e fresh all y e a r
r o u n d a n d p r e s e r v e d in m a n y w a y s for t h e c o l d e r regions. Fruit of an
a m a z i n g variety w a s a c o m m o n e l e m e n t in t h e S o n g diet a n d eaten at all
t i m e s , b e f o r e a n d after m e a l s , i n s u m m e r a n d i n w i n t e r ( F r e e m a n 1 9 7 7 ,
1 5 4 - 5 5 ) . T h e r e s t a u r a n t c u l t u r e flourished a n d b o t h c a t e r i n g i n family
style a n d specialty c o o k i n g b e c a m e w i d e l y a v a i l a b l e t o satisfy social
needs and pleasures.

A t t h e s a m e t i m e , t h e S o n g d y n a s t y also b e c a m e t h e first m a j o r p e r i o d
that s a w a w i d e - s p r e a d t a b o o a g a i n s t e a t i n g beef, partly d u e to religious
or spiritual r e a s o n s — s i n c e it a l l o w e d p e o p l e to b e l o n g to i n c r e a s i n g l y
p o p u l a r " v e g e t a r i a n " sects yet a c c e p t social n o r m s a n d still eat pork—
b u t also t o p r e s e r v e the e c o n o m i c a l l y essential w a t e r buffalo ( G o o s s a e r t
2 0 0 5 , 2 4 0 - 4 1 ) . D a o i s t s i n par t i cul ar t a b o o e d b e e f t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e "three
revolting animals" (sanyaii H R : wild g o o s e , dogs, a n d a q u a t i c c r e a t u r e s
like eels a n d turtles) a n d e m p h a s i z e d the p o w e r o f these foods t o invite
d e m o n s a n d p e s t i l e n c e into o n e ' s life ( G o o s s a e r t 2 0 0 5 , 2 4 3 ) . F o r m a n y
centuries, until the anti-superstition c a m p a i g n e n d e d the p o p u l a r t e m p l e
culture in 1898, only ethnic non-Chinese, Muslims, vagrants, criminals,
and Confucian fundamentalists c o n s u m e d beef in China (Goossaert 2005,
245, 248).

T h e M o n g o l c o n q u e s t i n t h e thirteenth c e n t u r y f o l l o w e d b y t h e w a r s a t
t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e M i n g d y n a s t y ( 1 3 6 8 - 1 6 4 4 ) led t o a s e v e r e r e d u c t i o n
in economic productivity and a shrinking population, which went b a c k
t o a b o u t 1 0 0 million. W h i l e C h i n e s e c u i s i n e b y a n d large r e m a i n e d stable
a n d traditional, t h e foreign rulers i n t r o d u c e d c e r t a i n M o n g o l i a n a n d
M i d d l e E a s t e r n w a y s of eating. T h e s e are d o c u m e n t e d in the Yinshan
zhengyao $XM^W ( Pr i nci pl es o f C o r r e c t Diet; dat. 1330) b y H u S i h u i
^•M,, w h i c h a l s o details t h e m e d i c a l u s e s of food (Buell a n d A n d e r s o n
2000; Sabban 1986). Another important document of the same period is
t h e Yinshi xuzhi i^:ft|l^n ( E s s e n t i a l K n o w l e d g e for E a t i n g a n d D r i n k i n g ;
dat. 1 3 6 8 ) b y Jia M i n g Mi^ w h i c h p r e s e n t s d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t s o f w h a t
Social Regulations / 39

4 : r . i ; o f food s u p p o r t life i n w h a t forms o f p r e p a r a t i o n ( M o t e 1977, 2 2 5 -


:-? H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 1 3 7 - 3 8 ) .

"'-i ^ h n g dynasty, p r e s e r v i n g p e a c e for s e v e r a l centuries, s u p p o r t e d


---;-.'.ed g r o w t h a n d m a d e i n r o a d s i n t e c h n o l o g y a n d food availability.
i :r h y d r a u l i c projects p r e v e n t e d flooding in l o w - l y i n g a r e a s and c r e -
z:id n e w lands for c u l t i v a t i o n w h i l e c o n t a c t w i t h W e s t e r n m i s s i o n a r i e s
r - o d u c e d n e w foods from the A m e r i c a s , n o t a b l y m a i z e , p o t a t o e s , t o m a -
- >;-s and p e a n u t s ( k n o w n earlier b u t p o p u l a r i z e d at this t i m e ) . T h e c o u r t
s u p p o r t e d major e n c y c l o p e d i c projects, w h i c h i ns pi r ed L i S h i z h e n
(1518-1593) to compile an encompassing handbook on herbal
: : ™ . u l a s and foodstuffs, the Bencao gangmu (Systematic Mate-
r-.a M e d i c a ) , w h o s e 1 1 , 0 9 6 p r e s c r i p t i o n s still form an i m p o r t a n t r e s o u r c e
: : s i a v (Lo 2 0 0 5 , 1 7 5 ; a l s o U n s c h u l d 1 9 8 6 ; N e e d h a m 1 9 8 6 ; M e t a i l i e 2 0 0 1 ) .

~ r e s e overall t e n d e n c i e s c o n t i n u e d u n d e r t h e Q i n g , w i t h the m a i n dif-


Tirence that t h e p o p u l a t i o n e x p l o d e d o n c e again, rising to 4 5 0 m i l l i o n by
:r.e m i d - n i n e t e e n t h century. T h i s led to a vast i n c r e a s e in f a m i n e s a n d
rebellions — w h i c h of c o u r s e further d i s r u p t e d the food supply. M o r e
pvople lived o n n e w c r o p s o f m a i z e , potatoes, and s w e e t potatoes, w h i l e
'sxe share of rice d r o p p e d from 70 to 36 p e r c e n t of overall food p r o d u c -
r.on ( S p e n c e 1 9 7 7 , 2 6 3 , 2 7 1 ) .

~?.e m o d e r n a g e h a s b r o u g h t a v a r i e t y of food d e v e l o p m e n t s , m a i n l y
r e c a u s e o f t o political events. W h i l e C h i n e s e food h a s s p r e a d all o v e r t h e
•.•.orld d u e t o i n c r e a s e d e m i g r a t i o n (see W u and C h e u n g 2 0 0 2 ; R o b e r t s
2 0 0 2 ) , C h i n a itself u n d e r w e n t v a r i o u s p e r i o d s o f turbulence, n o t a b l y i n
the early t w e n t i e t h century, d u r i n g the J a p a n e s e invasion, and in W o r l d
'•'.'ar II, w h i c h lead to w i d e s p r e a d s h o r t a g e s and famines. So did t h e
Great L e a p F o r w a r d in t h e late 1 9 5 0 s a n d e a r l y 1 9 6 0 s ( A n d e r s o n a n d
A n d e r s o n 1 9 7 7 , 3 5 1 ) . A t all other t i m e s C h i n a e x p e r i e n c e d a n a b u n d a n c e
:t food a n d e x p a n s i o n of diet, b o t h t h r o u g h foreign c o n t a c t and a d -
\ a n c e d t e c h n o l o g y . E n h a n c e d foreign trade b r o u g h t v a r i o u s n e w a n d
h i g h l y p o p u l a r v e g e t a b l e s into t h e country, such as carrots from E u r o p e ,
e g g p l a n t s from India, o k r a from Africa, a n d c i l a n t r o from M e x i c o
A n d e r s o n a n d A n d e r s o n 1977, 3 3 1 ) .

A d v a n c e d t e c h n o l o g y , w h i l e i n c r e a s i n g food p r o d u c t i o n a n d thus s u p -
porting yet a n o t h e r p o p u l a t i o n explosion, e s p e c i a l l y u n d e r t h e C o m m u -
nists, h a s also h a d its d o w n s i d e s . T h e m o s t o b v i o u s i s t h e t e n d e n c y t o
alter and d e n a t u r e foodstuffs, o f w h i c h the m o s t b l a t a n t e x a m p l e i s the
40 / Medicinal Diets

p o l i s h i n g o f rice and b l e a c h i n g o f w h e a t flour that b e g a n i n C h i n a i n t h e


late n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ( A n d e r s o n a n d A n d e r s o n 1977, 3 4 5 ) . M o d e r n b i o -
e n g i n e e r i n g often r e d u c e s t h e nutritional v a l u e o f b a s i c s t a p l e s and en-
c o u r a g e s t h e c o n s u m p t i o n o f e m p t y calories, t h u s l e a d i n g t o n e w a n d
i n c r e a s e d h e a l t h p r o b l e m s , s u c h a s h y p e r t e n s i o n , diabetes, and obesity.
Not i m m u n e to these development, Chinese eating habits have under-
g o n e a s e r i o u s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n e s p e c i a l l y in t h e last few d e c a d e s . W h a t
Eugene and Marja Anderson note about H o n g K o n g in the 1970s holds
v e r y m u c h t r u e for C h i n a today:

At an equal pace with improvement in quality and availability


of food has been a pernicious sort of Westernization, involving
low-extraction flour, highly polished rice, and above all white
sugar in all its forms. . . . The tendency now is to eat less fmit
and vegetables, more fat and flour and sugar. Soft drinks,
candy, cookies, factory-made cakes (essentially unenriched
flour, white sugar, and cheap cooking oil), and the like, have
come to constitute a major part of diet. (1977, 353)

I n m a n y w a y s , therefore, n o t only W e s t e r n e r s b u t t h e C h i n e s e t h e m -
s e l v e s c a n b e n e f i t g r e a t l y from traditional dietetic w i s d o m t o m a i n t a i n
h e a l t h a n d r e a c h v i g o r o u s l o n g e v i t y . O n e s t e p i n that direction i s t h e in-
c r e a s e d p o p u l a r i t y o f B u d d h i s t restaurants, w h i c h are strictly v e g e t a r i a n
a n d u s e m o r e o r g a n i c and w h o l e foods, e s p e c i a l l y i n T a i w a n b u t i n c r e a s -
i n g l y also on the m a i n l a n d . A n o t h e r is the s p r e a d of m e d i c i n a l restau-
r a n t s s e r v i n g m e d i c a t e d d i s h e s (yaoshan MM) that b o l s t e r a n d tonify qi as
part of nutritional t h e r a p y {shiliao^^) or p e r s o n a l self-care {ziwo baojian
\^nUm) ( F a r q u h a r 2 0 0 2 , 51).

T h e a i m o f t h e s e m e d i c a t e d d i s h e s i s t o b a l a n c e yin and yang, s t r e n g t h e n


t h e constitution, p r e v e n t a n d treat diseases, a n d l e n g t h e n life. M a n y o f
the specialized restaurants cater particularly to middle-aged men, help-
i n g t h e m to s u p p l e m e n t qi, p r e v e n t the d e p l e t i o n s e x u a l e s s e n c e , a n d
g e n e r a l l y i m p r o v e t h e functioning o f their o r g a n s , e s p e c i a l l y t h e k i d n e y s .
D i s h e s i n c l u d e r e g u l a r foodstuffs, s u p p l e m e n t e d b y (^/-enhancing herbs,
s u c h a s g i n s e n g , a s t r a l a g u s , s c h i s a n d r a , c h r y s a n t h e m u m , fennel, h a w -
thorn, a n d A s i a n c o r n e l i a n c h e r r y ( F a r q u h a r 2 0 0 2 , 6 0 ) .
Social Regulations / 41

C h m e s e d i e t a r y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s literally e x t e n d from w o m b t o t o m b ,
"jit as a c h i l d b o r n in C h i n a is a l r e a d y a y e a r old, so the influence of
rood o n h u m a n life b e g i n s b e f o r e birth ( D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 5 ) . T o n o u r i s h
the g r o w i n g e m b r y o , p r e g n a n t w o m e n m u s t p r a c t i c e "fetal e d u c a t i o n "
:.;:';ao fjoi^), t a k i n g g o o d c a r e of t h e m s e l v e s a n d their nutrition.

.Iready the M a w a n g d u i m a n u s c r i p t Taichan shu ^j^-.^f (Book of Em-


ryonic G e n e r a t i o n ) says:

In the first month, it is called "flowing into the form." Food


and drink must be the finest; the sour boiled dishes must be
thoroughly cooked. Do not eat acrid or rank foods. This is
called "internal fixture."
In the second month, it first becomes lard. Do not eat acrid
or stinking foods. The dwelling place must be still. For a boy,
there must be no exertion, lest the hundred joints ail ail. This is
called "first deposition."
In the third month, it first become suet and appears like a
gourd. During this time, it does not have a fixed configuration
and if exposed to things it transforms. For this reason, lords,
sires, and great men must not employ dwarves. Do not observe
monkeys. Do not eat onion and ginger. Do not eat a rabbit
boiled dish. (Harper 1998, 378-79; Lo 2005,180)

D u r i n g p r e g n a n c y , qi t e n d s to flow m o s t s t r o n g l y in the c h a n n e l s that


run a l o n g t h e front a n d c e n t e r of the torso —the earliest a n d m o s t foun-
dational v e s s e l s o f the h u m a n b o d y , from w h i c h t h e e m b r y o g r o w s . T h e y
are the Conception Vessel {renmai { i M ) and the Penetrating Vessel
chongmai t4^M). S i n c e all o t h e r c h a n n e l s a r e less active, there is a ten-
d e n c y t o w a r d a w e a k n e s s of y\n-qi a n d xweJlTl ( b l o o d ) , e s p e c i a l l y in the
first trimester. T o off-set this t e n d e n c y , p r e g n a n t w o m e n s h o u l d e n h a n c e
the liver a n d its related s y s t e m b y f a v o r i n g s o y b e a n s , p i n e nuts, t o m a -
toes, spinach, a n d eggs, a n d a v o i d i n g a n y o v e r l y y a n g foods, s u c h a s
spicy, hot, and d r y i t e m s as well as caffeine a n d a l c o h o l . A l s o , t h e y
should m o d e r a t e their intake o f ginger, c i n n a m o n , p e p p e r , a n d g a m e
(Engelhardt and Nogel 2009, 39).

.-\fter g i v i n g birth, t r a d i t i o n a l l y a n d still today, w o m e n are n o t a l l o w e d


to do a n y w o r k or exert t h e m s e l v e s for an entire m o n t h . W h i l e l a r g e l y
feeding on c h i c k e n and c h i c k e n s o u p in all p o s s i b l e variations, t h e y
42 / Medicinal Diets

s h o u l d a l s o m a k e sure that their xue ( b l o o d ) d o e s n o t s t a g n a t e b y t a k i n g


s o m e l e e k s a n d a d z u k i b e a n s . B r e a s t f e e d i n g , m o r e o v e r , t a k e s a lot of en-
e r g y o u t o f the b o d y w h i l e n o u r i s h i n g the n e w b o r n b a b y . I t i s b e s t t o eat
h i g h l y n o u r i s h i n g yet e a s i l y d i g e s t i b l e foods for this p u r p o s e . A g a i n , h o t
a n d s p i c y as well as cold, sour, a n d c o n t r a c t i n g f o o d s are b e s t a v o i d e d .
T h e s a m e g o e s also for c o o l i n g and r a w foods, s u c h a s m e l o n s a n d b a -
nanas (Engelhardt and Nogel 2009, 39).

A l l t h e s e are rather a n c i e n t g u i d e l i n e s . T h u s t h e fourth-century Yang-


sheng yaoji in its section on p r e g n a n c y , like the M a w a n g d u i m a n u s c r i p t s ,
d i s c o u r a g e s the ingestion o f i n t e n s e l y y a n g foods, s u c h a s m e a t a n d
s p i c y d i s h e s ( i n c l u d i n g ginger, c i n n a m o n , a n d s u g a r ) , a s well a s o f v e r y
c o l d foods, s u c h as ice-cold rice-soup, since they p u t i n c r e a s e d p r e s s u r e
o n the a l r e a d y w e a k e n e d yin. U n l i k e m o d e r n sources, t h e text i n addi-
tion c o n n e c t s foods w i t h certain e m b r y o n i c d e v e l o p m e n t s in a quasi-
m a g i c a l m a n n e r . F o r e x a m p l e , p r e g n a n t w o m e n s h o u l d n o t eat the m e a t
o f the six d o m e s t i c a n i m a l s b e c a u s e their s e n s e s are n o t v e r y k e e n a n d
i n g e s t i n g t h e m m i g h t c a u s e the c h i l d t o suffer from r e d u c e d v i s i o n a n d
h e a r i n g . T h e y b e t t e r n o t eat rabbit t o a v o i d t h e potential d e v e l o p m e n t o f
a harelip; n o r turtle to p r e v e n t the c h i l d h a v i n g a v e r y s h o r t n e c k . R a w
ginger, w h i c h l o o k s like a finger, is t a b o o lest t h e child g r o w an e x t r a
digit. E a t i n g s p a r r o w s m a y c a u s e intense, u n c o n t r o l l e d desires i n t h e
child, w h i l e a l c o h o l i c b e v e r a g e s m a y l e a d t o m e n t a l c o n f u s i o n (Stein
1 9 9 9 , 2 0 8 - 0 9 ; also D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 6 ; F u r t h 1 9 9 9 ) .

O n c e c h i l d r e n are w e a n e d a n d e a t o n their o w n , other dietetic r u l e s ap-


ply. S i n c e their internal s y s t e m is n o t fully d e v e l o p e d a n d qi a n d xue a r e
n o t c o m p l e t e l y stable, c h i l d r e n t e n d to suffer easily from a i l m e n t s of the
c e n t e r (spleen a n d s t o m a c h ) , t e n d i n g t o w a r d n a u s e a , c o n s t i p a t i o n , a n d
d i a r r h e a . T h e y s h o u l d thus a v o i d all sorts o f e x t r e m e s i n t e r m s o f b o t h
flavor a n d t e m p e r a t u r e , focusing o n m o d e r a t e and b a l a n c i n g foods. A n y -
t h i n g v e r y s t r o n g m a y b u r d e n the c e n t e r a n d c a u s e trouble (e.g., gluti-
n o u s rice) a s m u c h a s s t r o n g l y c o o l i n g foods, s u c h a s c o l d m i l k , ice
c r e a m , r a w foods, a n d yogurt. A l l t h e s e m i g h t i n c r e a s e d a m p n e s s a n d a
w e a k n e s s i n s p l e e n - y a n g . V a r i o u s grains, s u c h a s rice, millet, and w h e a t
a s well a s g e n t l e v e g e t a b l e s like c a r r o t s a n d p o t a t o e s , o n the o t h e r h a n d ,
are h i g h l y r e c o m m e n d e d ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d N o g e l 2 0 0 9 , 3 8 ; D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 ,
2 6 ) . T h e Yangshetzg yaoji, too, s u p p o r t s this u n d e r s t a n d i n g , s u g g e s t i n g the
avoidance of heavy grains such as soybeans and roasted wheat as well as
o f c o l d d r i n k s (Stein 1 9 9 9 , 2 1 2 ) .

I
L
I Social Regulations / 43

After r e a c h i n g a d u l t h o o d , p e o p l e s h o u l d m a t c h their nutrition w i t h the


s e a s o n s a n d a d a p t it to their i n d i v i d u a l constitution, a v o i d i n g specific
food c o m b i n a t i o n s a n d o b s e r v i n g a p l e t h o r a of t e m p o r a l t a b o o s (see b e -
low). T h e y s h o u l d t a k e c a r e t o m o d e r a t e food i n t a k e a n d a v o i d i n t o x i c a -
tion, e n g a g i n g i n regular e x e r c i s e a n d a i d i n g the d i g e s t i o n b y m o v i n g
gently after a m e a l . As a l r e a d y t h e Yangsheng yaoji says: "After a filling
m e a l it is q u i t e u s e l e s s for t h e b o d y to sit or lie d o w n : m u c h b e t t e r to go
out for a w a l k or w o r k on a task at h a n d . N o t d o i n g that c a n lead to
b l o c k a g e s a n d indigestion, o r c a u s e p a r a l y s i s i n t h e e x t r e m i t i e s a n d d a r k
spots in face a n d eyes, in g e n e r a l d i m i n i s h i n g life e x p e c t a n c y " (ch. 6;
Stein 1 9 9 9 , 194; also Yangxing yanming lu 1.10a). It a l s o insists that drink-
ing w a t e r i m m e d i a t e l y after e a t i n g will d i s p e r s e the grain-j^i a n d c a u s e
ailments d u e to ^f-congestion. N o r s h o u l d o n e fast for a p e r i o d , get v e r y
hungry, and then eat v o r a c i o u s l y and fill up q u i c k l y (as in y o - y o dieting).
Tliis will lead to c o n g e s t i o n s in t h e h e a r t area and c a u s e h a r m in the l o n g
run (Stein 1999, 194).

W h e n p e o p l e g r o w old, their m a i n dietary c o n c e r n shifts t o w a r d the pre-


vention o f d i s e a s e s a n d the e n h a n c e m e n t o f vitality. S i n c e i n o l d e r p e o -
ple qi and xue tend to b e c o m e d e p l e t e w h i l e yin a n d y a n g g r o w w e a k e r ,
foods s h o u l d b e e a s y t o digest a n d e n h a n c i n g . T h e y b e s t c h o o s e food for
its b a l a n c e d and neutral t e m p e r a t u r e a n d flavor, so that it m a y s u p p o r t
the s p l e e n and s t o m a c h in the center as well as the k i d n e y s as the seat of
\'ital e s s e n c e . E s p e c i a l l y c o o k e d cereals, stews, a n d s o u p s are r e c o m -
m e n d e d . It is also i m p o r t a n t to eat with care, a v o i d i n g the m i x i n g of too
m a n y ingredients; t o m a i n t a i n regularity, s t a y i n g a w a y from o d d h o u r s
and great v a r i a t i o n in a m o u n t s ; to p r e s e r v e the center, f o c u s i n g h e a v i l y
on g r o u n d or flaked g r a i n s in v a r i o u s forms; to s u p p o r t the k i d n e y s , us-
ing m o d e r a t e a m o u n t s o f l a m b , c h i c k e n , eggs, m i l k , and seafood; and t o
e n h a n c e k i d n e y function, s e a s o n i n g food w i t h w a l n u t s , s e s a m e , o r other
seeds ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 6 2 0 - 2 2 ; E n g e l h a r d t a n d N o g e l 2 0 0 9 ,
39-40).
44 / Medicinal Diets

In addition to t h e v a r i a t i o n o v e r historical p e r i o d s a n d t h e g e n e r a l g u i d e -
Ti
lines for different ages, C h i n e s e dietitians also p r o v i d e d specific a v o i d -
a n c e s (see H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 9 4 - 1 0 5 ) . T h e y f u n d a m e n t a l l y deal w i t h s u b s t a n -
c e s of a p o t e n t i a l l y p o i s o n o u s nature, w h i c h n e e d to be treated with c a r e
b u t are n o t t o b e a v o i d e d c o m p l e t e l y , s i n c e a n y toxin, i f p r o p e r l y m a s -
tered, c a n c o m b a t d i s e a s e a n d h a v e a beneficial effect ( A n d e r s o n 1 9 8 8 ,
1 9 5 ) . E x a m p l e s o f foods c o n s i d e r e d p o i s o n o u s a n d h a n d l e d w i t h c a r e
i n c l u d e d o m i n a n t l y puffer fish ( F u g u ) a n d h o r s e m e a t as well as, to a
l e s s e r d e g r e e , garlic, c u c u m b e r , e g g p l a n t , pork, fox m e a t , as well as
p e a c h a n d apricot k e r n e l s ( D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 4 ) . W h i l e the i n h e r e n t level o f
t o x i c i t y m a y v a r y w i t h t i m e s and s e a s o n s , different m e t h o d s o f p r e p a r a -
t i o n s e r v e to e l i m i n a t e or r e d u c e it, n o t a b l y c u t t i n g out the toxic part or
4
t h o r o u g h l y b o i l i n g a n d frying.

A n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n o f toxicity h a s t o d o w i t h the freshness and q u a l i t y o f


food. M a n y texts w a r n a g a i n s t c o n s u m i n g stale o r old food, i t e m s that
h a v e b e e n e x p o s e d t o the e l e m e n t s o r c h e w e d b y a n i m a l s ( R e a d 1 9 3 1 , 3 4 8 ;
L o 2 0 0 5 , 1 8 0 ) , a s well a s — e s p e c i a l l y a l s o i n D a o i s t d o c u m e n t s — t h i n g s
that h a v e b e e n p r e s e r v e d b y drying, pickling, o r fermenting. C e r t a i n -J
signs, m o r e o v e r , p r o v i d e clear w a r n i n g s : v e g e t a b l e s that are discolored,
r a b b i t s w i t h their e y e s shut, s h e e p ' s liver w i t h holes, fruit or m e a t that
h a s b e e n on the g r o u n d , p e a c h e s a n d a p r i c o t s with a d o u b l e kernel, a n d
a n y foodstuff that i s b e i n g s h u n n e d b y a n i m a l s ( D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 5 ) .

Already Confucius already practiced appropriate avoidances:

He did not object to having his grains finely cleaned, nor to


having his minced meat cut up fine. He did not eat grain that
had been injured by heat or damp and turned sour, nor fish or
flesh that was gone. He did not eat what was off in color or
; smelled strange, nor anything that was not properly cooked or
out of season. He did not eat meat that was not cut properly,
nor what was served without its proper sauce.
Even when there was meat in abundance he would not eat
it in disproportionate amount over staple foods. Only in his ale
he knew no measure, although he never got drunk. He did not
partake of ale and dried meat bought in the market. When he
had eaten his fill, he would not eat more, even if the ginger had
not yet been cleared (Lunyu 10.8; Sterckx 2005, 50)
Sodal Regulations / 45

D a o i s t s a g r e e w i t h t h e s e g u i d e l i n e s to a large d e g r e e . F o r e x a m p l e , the
Laozi shuo Fashi jinjie jing on m o n a s t i c eating prohibits the c o n s u m p t i o n
of a n y food left b e h i n d by b i r d s , b e a s t s , w o r m s , or fish; left o v e r from
offerings to spirits a n d d e m o n s at altars, shrines, or t e m p l e s ; as well as
a n y rice o r w h e a t c a k e s that are u n c l e a n o r rotten; h a v e m o l d y o r d a m -
aged spots; are b r o k e n o r burnt; w e r e r e t u r n e d b y c h i l d r e n ; o r dirtied b y
f l y i n g birds. (#19-25; K o h n 2 0 0 4 b , 1 2 6 - 2 7 )

T o x i c i t y c a n also o c c u r w h e n food is t a k e n that is u n s u i t a b l e for t h e c u r -


rent c o n s t i t u t i o n of the person, so that, for e x a m p l e , the v e r y w a r m i n g
q u a h t i e s o f m u t t o n c a n d o s e r i o u s h a r m t o s o m e o n e a l r e a d y suffering
from a h e a t c o n d i t i o n . M o r e generally, c e r t a i n c o m b i n a t i o n s of food t e n d
t o c r e a t e t e n d e n c i e s i n t h e b o d y that a r e h a r m f u l t o w i d e r a n g e s o f the
p o p u l a t i o n r e g a r d l e s s o f p e r s o n a l constitution. T h e Yangshe7tg yaoji p r o -
v i d e s a rather l e n g t h y list, i n d i c a t i n g w h i c h foods c o m b i n e d w i t h w h a t
will r e s u l t i n w h a t p o t e n t i a l h a r m (Stein 1 9 9 9 , 2 0 0 - 0 7 ) :

Table 1

Harmful Food Combinations

Combination of with and/or with Consequence


anything hot cold damage to qi
anything hot, fatty vinegar loss of voice
apricots pork fat death
celery raw pork liver flatulence
chestnuts raw fish swellings
dates raw onions pains
fish, raw knotgrass (^/-obstructions
game prawns spiky vegs. death
game anchovies death
game, raw prawn broth chest pains
garlic malt syrup harm
ginger, dried rabbit intestinal cramps
hollyhock eggs dull complexion
mallows pork millet reduced qi
meat, raw milk parasites
millet, dried pork fatty dishes digestive troubles
millet, white honey harm to organs
mussels, oysters raw vegetables plums chest pains
mussels, oysters fruits chest pains
mustard rabbit diseases
46 / Medicinal Diets

oats white honey parasites


onion cinnamon diarrhea
onions, leeks honey diarrhea
onions, raw chicken meats bleeding
oiiions, raw carp dates ailments
pears raw leeks swellings
plums pheasant bleeding
plums honey harm to organs
plums, pickled pork fat harm
pork fish harm
pork liver carp emaciation
pork liver caviar harm
pork liver small beans reduced eyesight
poultry eggs harm
prawns game plums chronic diseases
sweet soups ginger nausea, cramps
sweets raw vegetables chest pains
sweetwood knotgrass impotence
vegs., pungent pork raw fish death
vegs., pungent pungent vegs. chest pains
vegs., raw crab feet harm
vegs., spiky game prawns harm
wheat oatmeal alcohol parched thirst
yogurt vinegar bloody urine
yogurt ground fish parasites
yogurt rice soup nausea

B y t h e s a m e token, c h a n g e s i n the c o u r s e o f the s e a s o n s will r e q u i r e dif-


ferent n u t r i t i o n a l p r e f e r e n c e s as well as b e h a v i o r a l adjustments. S u n
S i m i a o in h i s Sheyang lun ( O n P r e s e r v i n g a n d N o u r i s h i n g [Life],
D Z 8 4 1 ) spells o u t specific g u i d e l i n e s for e a c h m o n t h , p r e s e n t i n g the
o v e r a l l pattern, g e n e r a l and specific d i e t a r y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , a n d s o m e
b e h a v i o r a l t a b o o s a l o n g t h e lines of a F a r m e r ' s Almanac.^ F o r e x a m p l e .

' An early emphasis on seasonal adjustment of food and lifestyle is found in


the Yinshu (Stretch Book), a manuscript on healing exercises unearthed from
Zhangjiashan and dated to 186 B.C.E. For details, see Kohn 2008a, 41; Lo 2009.
Similar guidelines also appear in the 6'''-century Qimin yaoshu ^Js^Sfll (Essential
Social Regulations / 47

In the first month, kidney cji is susceptible to sickness, while


lung qi wanes. It is best to reduce salty and sour flavors and in-
crease spicy food. This will help the kidneys and supplement
the lungs. To calm and nurture stomach qi, moreover, do not
expose yourself to cold and frost nor get extremely warm and
heated. Rise and retire early to relax body and spirit.
In terms of diet, avoid raw leeks, since they diminish fluids
and blood. Do not eat raw pepper, which may lead to chronic
conditions and can cause the face to attract wind. Do not par-
take of hibernating animals: this reduces human life expec- , i
tancy. Nor should you eat the meat of wild beasts like tigers,
panthers, and foxes—it may cause agitation in spirit and souls.
The 4* day of this month is good for plucking out white
hairs. The 7* day is good for quieting thoughts and contem-
plating perfection, and doing retreats to increase good fortune.
On the 8"^ day, take baths but avoid long journeys, (la)

E a c h m o n t h i n the c o u r s e o f the y e a r h a s s i m i l a r g u i d e l i n e s specifying


foods that will m a t c h t h e c h a n g e s of the five p h a s e s in t h e c o u r s e of t h e
year. T h e y are still part o f the m e d i c a t e d and D a o i s t diets t o d a y (see
D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 6 ) . T h e Yangsheng yaoji, too, h a s a p e r t i n e n t list, p r o v i d -
i n g c o m p r e h e n s i v e m o n t h l y t a b o o s t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e dire c o n s e q u e n c e s
o f their v i o l a t i o n (Stein 1 9 9 9 , 1 8 9 - 9 3 ) (see T a b l e 2 ) .

D a o i s t s , in b r o a d a g r e e m e n t w i t h this u n d e r s t a n d i n g of food a v o i d a n c e s ,
list similar t a b o o s . T h e m o s t d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t a p p e a r s in the Lingshu zi-
wen xianji MWM'^illi^^ ( I m m o r t a l s ' T a b o o s A c c o r d i n g to t h e P u r p l e
T e x t s Inscribed b y t h e Spirits, D Z 179).^ A c c o r d i n g t o this, D a o i s t s s h o u l d
a v o i d g i v i n g offense t o t h e spirits b y relieving t h e m s e l v e s o r p e r f o r m i n g
o t h e r acts of p e r s o n a l h y g i e n e w h i l e facing n o r t h or d e v e l o p i n g a great

Arts for the People's Welfare), which contains 260 recipes. See Sabban 1996;
Huang 2000, 123-24; Lo 2005, 166. For more classical works on seasonal adjust-
ment, see Huang 2007, 70-73. For a modem perspective, see Engelhardt and
Hempen 1997, 617-20.
2 The text formed part of the Highest Clarity (Shangqing) revelations in the
mid-fourth century and in its present form probably dates from the fifth century
(Robinet 1984, 2:412-15; Kleeman 1991, 176). Its taboos also appear in Zhen'gao M
|g (Declarations of the Perfected, DZ 1016); Zhenzhong ji ift^^i!, (Pillowbook Re-
cord, DZ 836) 5a-6a; Shangqing xiuxing jingjue ±i-fflffTlMI^ (Scriptural Instruc-
tions on Shangqing Cultivation, DZ 427), 22b-25a; and in Yunji qiqian ^ ^ t ^
(Seven Tablets in a Cloudy Satchel, DZ 1032; abbr. YJQQ), 33.6a, 40.11b-12a.
48 / Medicinal Diets

r a g e a g a i n s t t h e celestial forces. I n t e r m s o f diet, t h e y s h o u l d e s c h e w " t h e


m e a t o f a r m o r e d [shelled] a n i m a l s like turtles o r d r a g o n s o n the d a y s o f
S i x A r m o r e d G o d s [Liujia]." A l s o , t h e y s h o u l d a v o i d p h e a s a n t o n bingwu
d a y s ; t h e m e a t of b l a c k a n i m a l s on bingzi days; getting d r u n k on yimao
d a y s ; a n d s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s o r s l e e p i n g i n the s a m e b e d w i t h their s p o u s e
on gengjia d a y s ( B o k e n k a m p 1997, 3 6 5 ) —all t a b o o s that h a v e to do w i t h
t h e c o s m i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the cyclical signs for t h e days a n d y e a r s that
f o r m part of t h e s e x a g e n a r y c y c l e , a central part of t h e C h i n e s e c a l e n d a r
s i n c e t h e S h a n g d y n a s t y (also D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 2 7 ) .

Table 2

Monthly Taboos

Mo Avoid eating Otherwise And also


1 food chewed by rats rat bumps on head mouth cankers
raw onions latent diseases
liver damage of htm soul mental confusion
2 spring water malaria spleen damage, phlegm
3 pickled meat /vegs. summer heat ills hepatitis
4 garlic harm in five organs
heart damage of spirit emotions: fear, sadness
5 unripe fruit abscesses and boils hepatitis, colds, diarrhea
mixed vegetables extreme cold cold yang, short breath
6 soft turtle turtle-shaped boils
fruit after dropping fistulas
7 honey diarrhea intestinal cramps
lungs damage of po soul impulsiveness
8 pig's lungs, vinegar cough in winter
9 frozen herbs colds in winter nausea
ginger ills oihun soul
10 frozen raw vegs. dull complexion chest and abdominal aches
pepper qi weakness
kidneys damage of will restlessness
11 dried, old meat kidney damage numbness
12 dog-chewed food heart fistulas throat infections
Sodal Regulations / 49

M o r e specific m o n t h l y t a b o o s i n c l u d e n o t t o eat fish o n 2 / 9 o r v e g e t a b l e


hearts o n 4 / 8 . B e y o n d t h e m e r e dietary g u i d e l i n e s , they a l s o i n c l u d e b e -
h a v i o r a l p r o h i b i t i o n s , s o that D a o i s t s s h o u l d n o t l o o k a t b l o o d o n 5/5, d i g
the e a r t h on 6/6, think of evil things on 7/7, sell or b u y f o o t w e a r on 8/4,
sleep on a h i g h b e d or thick m a t on 9 / 9 , p u n i s h offenders on 1 0 / 5 , a n d
b a t h e o n 1 1 / 1 1 . O n the o t h e r h a n d , t h e y s h o u l d r e m a i n a w a r e o f the D a o
a t all t i m e s and specifically o n t h e last t h r e e d a y s o f the 1 2 * m o n t h p r e -
pare for t h e N e w Y e a r b y fasting, b u r n i n g i n c e n s e , and b e i n g m i n d f u l o f
the i m m o r t a l s (Sab).

B e s i d e s i n c u r r i n g straightforward p h y s i c a l h a r m b y d i s o b e y i n g d i e t a r y
a n d other t a b o o s , D a o i s t s b e l i e v e d that p e o p l e are c l o s e l y s u p e r v i s e d b y
t h e celestial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . As t h e Lingshu ziwen xianji n o t e s : " A l l t h e s e
t a b o o s are t h e great p r o h i b i t i o n s o f t h e celestials. T h e T h r e e Offices [of
H e a v e n , Earth, and W a t e r ] r e p o r t a n d e x a m i n e them, c o u n t i n g t h e m
a m o n g the g r a v e s t sins. A s p u n i s h m e n t s t h e y o r d e r p e o p l e ' s three spirit
s o u l s (hun) to be sick and m a k e their s e v e n m a t e r i a l souls (po) e n g a g e in
fighting" ( 3 b ; B o k e n k a m p 1997, 3 6 5 ) . E a t i n g a s well a s v a r i o u s o t h e r
f o r m s of social interaction t h u s f o r m e d an i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t in the C h i -
n e s e a n d D a o i s t w a y o f b e i n g i n the w o r l d .

To c o n c l u d e , in addition to i n c o r p o r a t i n g the s a m e o v e r a l l p r i n c i p l e s a n d
food classifications as t h e traditional C h i n e s e m e d i c a t e d diet, D a o i s t d i e -
tetics is also subject to the s a m e social, political, a n d historical c i r c u m -
s t a n c e s . B o t h s h a r e ideas a b o u t age-related e a t i n g and h a v e m a n y food
t a b o o s i n c o m m o n . B o t h are subject t o c h a n g e o v e r time, s e e i n g n e w food
stuffs arrive and i n t e g r a t i n g t h e m into their e s t a b l i s h e d patterns. T h u s in
D a o i s t k i t c h e n s e v e n today, o n e m a y find b r e a d w i t h stir fries a l o n g s i d e
rice, a n d it is p r o b a b l y o n l y a m a t t e r of t i m e until tofu b u r g e r s , b a c o n ,
a n d h o t d o g s m a k e their d e b u t i n C h i n e s e v e g e t a r i a n k i t c h e n s . T h e q u e s -
tion r e m a i n s o p e n w h e t h e r o n e s h o u l d l o o k forward t o o r d r e a d the arri-
val of D a o i s t fast food —following t h e footsteps of t h e buffet-style B u d -
dhist eateries and t h e m e d i c i n a l r e s t a u r a n t s a l r e a d y w i d e s p r e a d i n C h i -
n e s e c o m m u n i t i e s the w o r l d o v e r .
People of antiquity cured diseases by creating internal har-
mony with sweet spring [saliva] and moistening themselves
with primordial c\i. Their medicines were neither astringent nor
bitter; they tasted sweet and were full of flavor. They would
take their nourishment and pass it through their five inner or-
gans, then tie it into their hearts and lungs. Thus their entire
bodies would be free from afflictions. (Luoshu baozi ming in
Yangxing yanming lu 1.5a)

W h i l e the u l t i m a t e goal o f b o t h C h i n e s e and D a o i s t dietetics i s t o eat like


t h e p e o p l e of antiquity, in s u c h a w a y that food n o u r i s h e s the five o r g a n s
a n d s p r e a d s h a r m o n i o u s qi t h r o u g h o u t the b o d y , t h e fact r e m a i n s that
p e o p l e suffer from a w i d e v a r i e t y of a i l m e n t s , w h i c h in m a n y c a s e s are
food related o r c a n a t least b e alleviated b y dietetic m e a n s . G i v e n this
situation, n u t r i t i o n p l a y s a m a j o r r o l e in all f o r m s of C h i n e s e healing,
a n d f e w t r e a t m e n t s will b e w i t h o u t d i e t a r y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s .

In addition, food is also u s e d as m e d i c i n e by itself, in a p r a c t i c e k n o w n


as dietary therapy, d e s c r i b e d v a r i o u s l y as food c u r e s (shiliao :ft-@), nutri-
t i o n a l t h e r a p y (shizhi :fttp), and m e d i c a t e d foods {yao'er ^I5) (Engel-
h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 1; Lo 2 0 0 5 , 1 6 3 ) . It m e a n s selecting food stuffs
a n d f o r m s of p r e p a r a t i o n in the c o n s c i o u s a t t e m p t to b a l a n c e qi a n d alle-
v i a t e or c u r e m e d i c a l c o n d i t i o n s . P a y i n g attention to food qualities as
e x p r e s s e d i n color a n d i n h e r e n t t e m p e r a t u r e , m a k i n g s u r e o f the p r o p e r
s a t u r a t i o n w i t h flavor, a n d s e e i n g to the a d d i t i o n of (ji'-modifying ingre-
d i e n t s in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the o r g a n s a n d qi-i\ow of the b o d y are all fac-
tors w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h the m e d i c a l from the c u l i n a r y ( L o 2 0 0 5 , 1 7 6 ) .

50
Dietary Therapy / 51

D i e t a r y t h e r a p y i n C h i n a i s c l o s e l y c o n n e c t e d t o the t r a d i t i o n a l u n d e r -
s t a n d i n g o f t h e b o d y w h i c h , a s m u c h a s t h e w o r l d i n g e n e r a l a n d food i n
particular, e s s e n t i a l l y c o n s i s t s of qi. T h e b o d y as qi is a c o m p l e x s y s t e m of
different f o r m s o f e n e r g y , a b s o r b e d from o u t s i d e s o u r c e s a n d t r a n s -
f o r m e d v a r i o u s l y i n t o yin a n d y a n g a s p e c t s , s u c h a s d e f e n s i v e a n d n u t r i -
tive qi a n d different k i n d s of b o d y fluids. A l l t h e s e are m a n a g e d in t h e
b o d y ' s s t o r a g e c e n t e r s a n d t r a n s p o r t c h a n n e l s , d e s c r i b e d i n t e r m s o f in-
n e r o r g a n s a n d (jf-channels.

U n l i k e i n W e s t e r n b i o m e d i c i n e , o r g a n s h e r e are e n t i r e c o m p l e x e s o r
functional s y s t e m s that i n c l u d e a series of other p h y s i c a l a s p e c t s , s u c h as
senses, b o d y tissue, e m o t i o n s , a n d the like. T h e y c o n n e c t t o e a c h o t h e r i n
s u b t l e w a y s a n d c o m b i n e i n a n intricate w e b w o r k o f rise a n d fall, s o that
I
action i n o n e c o m p l e x will h a v e a n effect o n t h e c o n d i t i o n o f a n o t h e r a n d
affect t h e w h o l e . T h e m o s t essential o r g a n - s y s t e m i s the s p l e e n - s t o m a c h
c o m p l e x i n the b o d y ' s c e n t e r . A n y i n g e s t e d i t e m g o e s there first, b e f o r e
b e i n g t r a n s f o r m e d into u s e a b l e qi a n d t r a n s m i t t e d to the others. B e y o n d
h a v i n g the b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t e m p e r a t u r e a n d activity a s d e s c r i b e d
earlier, e a c h food t h u s a l s o w o r k s t h r o u g h t h e s e o r g a n s , e n h a n c i n g o r
d i m i n i s h i n g their yin a n d y a n g aspects, a n d t h e r e b y a l l o w i n g for a
h i g h l y specific a n d d e t a i l e d a p p l i c a t i o n o f food t h e r a p y .

E a c h o r g a n - c o m p l e x , m o r e o v e r , t e n d s t o w a r d specific f o r m s o f i m b a l -
a n c e , d e s c r i b e d typically i n t e r m s o f yin ( m o i s t u r i z i n g , stable) a n d y a n g
(drying, a c t i v e ) a s w e l l a s d e p l e t i o n a n d e x c e s s , s i n k i n g a n d rising, c o o l -
i n g a n d h e a t i n g , s o that p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n s o f p a t h o l o g i e s u n f o l d . T h e y
t e n d t o r a n g e from the m o r e e l e m e n t a r y t o t h e h i g h l y c o m p l e x , increas-
i n g i n s y m p t o m s a n d intensity i f w e a k n e s s e s g o u n c h e c k e d . F o r e a c h
case, d i e t a r y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s a l l o w p a t i e n t s to m o d i f y their food in-
take t o w a r d o p t i m a l o r g a n f i m c t i o n i n g .

T o d e t e r m i n e w h i c h d i e t a r y m e a s u r e s h o u l d b e t a k e n for w h a t c o n d i t i o n
is the t a s k of traditional C h i n e s e d i a g n o s t i c s . It w o r k s less w i t h c o n c r e t e
a n d m e a s u r a b l y data, s u c h a s b l o o d p r e s s u r e , t e m p e r a t u r e , a n d p u l s e
rate. I n s t e a d p h y s i c i a n s a n a l y z e t h e state of the p a t i e n t ' s i^f-flow, using—
besides obvious immediate impressions and questions about symptoms
a n d c a s e h i s t o r y — t o n g u e i n s p e c t i o n , p u l s e analysis, a n d a b d o m i n a l p a l -
pation. A l s o , i n c o n t r a s t t o W e s t e r n m e d i c i n e , t h e y d o n o t w a i t for large,
intense, a n d o b v i o u s c o n d i t i o n s t o o c c u r , b u t p a y c l o s e a t t e n t i o n t o e v e n
minor signs of imbalance and discomfort, hoping—often with dietary
52 / Medicinal Diets

m e a s u r e s — t o p r e v e n t their g r o w t h into s e r i o u s s y m p t o m s and, w o r s t o f


all, p e r v a s i v e s y n d r o m e s .

M e d i c a l dietetics o r nutritional therapy, then, w o r k s w i t h t h e q u a l i t i e s o f


food d e s c r i b e d earlier a n d treats all k i n d s of c o n d i t i o n s . E x a m p l e s in-
c l u d e c a s e s of all different ages, g e n d e r s , and p a t h o l o g i e s ; r e m e d i e s in-
v o l v e specific r e c i p e s as m u c h as dietary p a t t e r n s and overall lifestyle
r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s . T h e goal is, a s m u c h i n m e d i c i n e a s i n D a o i s m , t o c r e -
a t e a w a y of e a t i n g that m a t c h e s t i m e a n d p l a c e a n d is perfectly s u i t e d to
the individual's needs.

T h e b o d y as c\i h a s b o t h p r i m o r d i a l a n d p o s t n a t a l a s p e c t s . P r i m o r d i a l qi,
r e c e i v e d at birth from H e a v e n a n d Earth t h r o u g h the parents, is c e n t e r e d
in the k i d n e y area, from w h e r e it m a n i f e s t s as vital e s s e n c e ( / ; « ^ ) . P o s t n a -
tal qi is d e r i v e d from food, air, a n d w a t e r . T h e p o s t n a t a l m e t a b o l i s m util-
izes e s p e c i a l l y t h e s p l e e n a n d l u n g s a n d their a s s o c i a t e d c h a n n e l s t o c o n -
v e r t w o r l d l y m a t e r i a l s into u s e a b l e qi as well as into xue JlJl ( b l o o d ) , the
yin c o u n t e r p a r t of qi a n d a m o r e internal force.

T h u s , the l u n g s receive b r e a t h from the nose. W h i l e d r a w n i n t h r o u g h


the n o s e , this is called p u r e qi {qingqi -MMi), b u t o n c e it r e a c h e s the l u n g s
it is k n o w n as e m p t y qi {kongqi ?MM)- F r o m t h e lungs, it d e s c e n d s to the
k i d n e y s . A t t h e s a m e time, the s t o m a c h g r i n d s u p food after ingestion
t h r o u g h t h e m o u t h , p r e p a r i n g it for t h e s p l e e n to extract its qi. K n o w n as
grain qi (guqi i x ^ ) this a s c e n d s to t h e c h e s t area w h e r e the fire of the
heart, d r i v e n b y the e s s e n c e o f the k i d n e y s ( w h i c h i s e n h a n c e d b y e m p t y
qi) a n d assisted by the U p p e r H e a t e r t r a n s f o r m s it into ancestral qi
(zongqi ^U)-

A n c e s t r a l qi n e x t c o m b i n e s with t h e p r i m o r d i a l qi a l r e a d y stored in t h e
d e p t h of t h e p e r s o n to form perfect qi {zhenqi WM)- T h i s in turn d i v i d e s
a n d m o v e s on to return again, in its n e w form, to the s p l e e n and lungs.
In t h e lungs, it d i v i d e s into c h a n n e l qi [maiqi Mm), i.e., t h e qi in the c h a n -
n e l s of the b o d y , a n d d e f e n s i v e or p r o t e c t i v e qi (weiqi tlllS,) w h i c h circu-
lates c l o s e to t h e b o d y ' s surface. In the spleen, it t r a n s f o r m s into n u t r i t i v e
or c o n s t r u c t i v e qi {yingqi Wm) w h i c h flows in t h e d e e p e r interstices and
t r a n s p o r t s the xue, a l s o distilled in the s p l e e n a n d s t o r e d in the liver
(Jackowicz 2006, 71; Kaptchuk 1983, 46-55).
Dietary Therapy / 53

D e f e n s i v e and nutritive qi p u l s a t e t h r o u g h the b o d y at different levels to


d e f e n d a n d n u r t u r e it. D e f e n s i v e qi is y a n g in quality; it m o v e s n e x t to
the c h a n n e l s a n d travels widely around the b o d y , nourishing and
s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e skin. It r e g u l a t e s the s w e a t g l a n d s , m o i s t e n s t h e skin
a n d hair, n o u r i s h e s t h e tissues, a n d c o n t r o l s the o p e n i n g and c l o s i n g o f
the s k i n ' s p o r e s . F o r m i n g a d e f e n s e a g a i n s t h a r m f u l o u t s i d e influences
a n d p a t h o g e n i c stress, i t m a i n t a i n s t h e stability o f t h e b o d y , n o t u n l i k e
the i m m u n e system in Western medicine.

N u t r i t i v e qi is yin in n a t u r e a n d a s s o c i a t e d w i t h xue. S i t u a t e d m o r e
d e e p l y inside, it n o u r i s h e s the m u s c l e s and o r g a n s and e n s u r e s that the
b o d y ' s tissues r e m a i n strong. T h e t w o form a c o m p l e m e n t a r y pair, like qi
a n d xue. T h e y are c h a r a c t e r i z e d s i m i l a r l y in that their yin a s p e c t is
t h i c k e r a n d h e a v i e r a n d stays d e e p w i t h i n t h e b o d y , w h i l e its y a n g c o u n -
terpart is t h i n n e r a n d lighter a n d m o v e s at t h e surface of the b o d y , inter-
facing w i t h t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d .

T h e s a m e a l s o h o l d s true for the b o d y fluids (jinye T h e y are d e -


fined as n u t r i t i v e s u b s t a n c e s , f o r m e d w h e n food in t h e d i g e s t i v e p r o c e s s
is subjected to the functions of the s t o m a c h , spleen, l u n g s , a n d so on.
A m o n g t h e m , jin are y a n g in nature. T h e y a p p e a r as light, clear fluids
that c o m e t o the b o d y ' s surface d u e t o internal p r o c e s s e s . E x a m p l e s in-
c l u d e saliva (associated w i t h the k i d n e y s ) , tears (liver), s w e a t (heart),
n a s a l m u c u s (lungs), and oral m u c u s (spleen). T h e y l u b r i c a t e the skin
and the flesh. Ye, on t h e other h a n d , are yin. T h e y are h e a v y , thick fluids
diffused i n t e r n a l l y d u e t o b o d y m o v e m e n t , a s for e x a m p l e l y m p h and
internal m u c u s . T h e y l u b r i c a t e t h e j o i n t s a n d t e n d o n s , p r o t e c t t h e b r a i n ,
a n d fill the s p i n e . T h e fluids, w h e n p r o d u c e d in their a p p r o p r i a t e
a m o u n t s , s e r v e a s p r o t e c t o r s a n d lubricants o f the b o d y . W h e n t h e y are
deficient o r e x c e s s i v e , h o w e v e r , they c a n b e useful d i a g n o s t i c tools.
(Kohn 2005, 32-33; Kaptchuk 1983, 66-67).

T h e b o d y as qi in its v a r i o u s f o r m s is m a n a g e d by t h e five o r g a n -
c o m p l e x e s , w h i c h —in c l o s e l i n k w i t h their related c o s m i c a n d b o d i l y
f o r c e s — m a i n t a i n it in a c o n s t a n t flow of m o v e m e n t a n d e x c h a n g e . To
d e s c r i b e t h e m individually, the " s p l e e n " (pi g$) is n o t j u s t o n e o r g a n b u t
p a r t o f t h e p h a s e earth a n d all the c o s m i c c o n n e c t i o n s t h a t implies: the
c o l o r yellow, t h e season o f late o r I n d i a n s u m m e r , the direction o f the
center, a n d in g e n e r a l w i t h stability and c e n t e r e d n e s s .
54 / Medicinal Diets

F u r t h e r c o n n e c t e d w i t h m u s c l e s a n d s i n e w s , m o u t h a n d lips, t h e s e n s e o f
taste, a n d t h e b o d y fluid o f o r a l m u c u s , its k e y e m o t i o n i s w o r r y , w h i c h
i n c l u d e s thoughtfulness, p l a n n i n g , and o v e r a n a l y z i n g , l e a d i n g to t h e fact
that m a n y b r a i n - w o r k e r s t e n d t o w a r d s p l e e n issues. A m o n g virtues, i t
r e p r e s e n t s the h o n e s t y : trust in o n e s e l f a n d others, faithfulness, a n d c o n -
fidence. M o s t c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with qi, t o g e t h e r w i t h its y a n g partner,
t h e s t o m a c h , it is " t h e p r i m a r y o r g a n of digestion, the c r u c i a l link by
w h i c h food is t r a n s f o r m e d into qi a n d xwe-blood" ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 7 9 ) .
As the Huangdi neijing suwen notes: " T h e s t o m a c h is the r e s i d e n c e of the
g r a n a r y a d m i n i s t r a t i o n : the v a r i o u s k i n d s o f taste o r i g i n a t e h e r e " (3.1a).

T h e s p l e e n i s t h e root o f the p e r s o n ' s a c q u i r e d constitution, the seat o f


n u t r i t i v e qi, a n d the p l a c e w h e r e b o t h qi a n d xue originate. It distributes
a c t i v e fluids t h r o u g h o u t the b o d y , firms up t h e tissues, a n d stabilizes the
internal fluid s y s t e m . Its m a i n fimction is to d i v i d e clear from turbid qi
after food a n d d r i n k h a v e b e e n i n g e s t e d t h r o u g h t h e m o u t h , its associ-
a t e d s e n s e of taste p r o v i d i n g a first indication of w h a t to e x p e c t e n e r g e t i -
cally. T h e s p l e e n h a s t w o major aspects, a n active d i m e n s i o n k n o w n a s
s p l e e n qi a n d a w a r m i n g p o w e r c a l l e d s p l e e n y a n g (fire). B o t h h a v e
w a r m i n g a n d d r y i n g p o w e r s n e e d e d i n food p r o c e s s i n g t o e l i m i n a t e e x -
t r a n e o u s liquids. S h o u l d t h e s e a s p e c t s g o astray, s o m e liquids are n o t u

p r o c e s s e d b u t r e m a i n as a k i n d of s l u s h to c r e a t e c o n d i t i o n k n o w n as
" d a m p n e s s " w h i c h e v e n t u a l l y m a y g r o w into p h l e g m a n d lead t o seri-
o u s o b s t r u c t i o n s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997, 4 2 1 ) .

S y m p t o m s of a d e p l e t i o n of s p l e e n qi i n c l u d e fatigue, l a c k of appetite,
I -
b e l c h i n g , a w e a k digestion, l o o s e stools, a b l o a t e d a b d o m e n , a n d a p a l e
o r w h i t e t o n g u e . D e p l e t i o n o f s p l e e n y a n g i s i n d i c a t e d b y the s a m e signs,
p l u s a p e r v a s i v e feeling of cold, e s p e c i a l l y also in the h a n d s and feet, a n d
a s t r o n g d e s i r e for w a r m d r i n k s . S p l e e n d a m p n e s s , finally, m a y also
c o m e w i t h feelings o f fullness, l a c k o f thirst, n a u s e a , n u m b n e s s , a s well
a s a g e n e r a l s e n s e o f w e a k n e s s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997, 4 2 4 ) .

A s i d e from t r e a t i n g t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s b y s t i m u l a t i n g the s p l e e n c h a n n e l
( w h i c h r u n s a l o n g t h e i n s i d e o f t h e leg a n d t h r o u g h the a b d o m e n ) w i t h
a c u p u n c t u r e , m o x i b u s t i o n , a c u p r e s s u r e , o r q i g o n g , h e r b a l a n d dietary
r e m e d i e s are h i g h l y effective. T h e latter w o r k p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h the t w o
flavors a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the spleen: s w e e t a n d neutral. M o s t foods of all
t h e different food g r o u p s reflect t h e s e flavors, e s p e c i a l l y all k i n d s of
grain, s w e e t tasting v e g e t a b l e s (carrots, c a b b a g e , p o t a t o e s , s q u a s h ) , n o n -
citrus fruits, as well as an e x t e n s i v e s e l e c t i o n of m e a t , poultry, fish, and
I Dietary Therapy / 55

dairy. It is b e s t to select t h o s e that are w a r m i n g a n d h a v e a d r a i n i n g ef-


fect o n d a m p n e s s , a s i s the c a s e p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h fish a n d b e a n s . T h e y
s h o u l d b e w e l l c o o k e d a n d e a t e n w a r m (fruits, for e x a m p l e , a s c o m p o t e ) ,
p r e f e r a b l y i n a c a l m setting. A n y fatty, h e a v y , a n d sticky f o o d s s h o u l d b e
a v o i d e d , a s m u c h a s a n y form o f c o o k i n g that a d d s oil, s t r o n g spices, a n d
e x c e s s i v e s w e e t n e s s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997, 4 2 5 - 3 5 ) .

T h e s p l e e n ' s m a t c h i n g y a n g o r g a n is the " s t o m a c h " (fu Jjg). It s e r v e s as


a n i n t e r m e d i a t e a n d b a l a n c i n g c e n t e r i n food p r o c e s s i n g , t a k i n g c a r e t o
p r o p e r l y c o o l a n d m o i s t u r i z e t h e v a r i o u s s u b s t a n c e s . Its c h a n n e l r u n s
a c r o s s the face, t h r o u g h the torso, a n d a l o n g the o u t s i d e o f the leg t o e n d
o n the m e d i a l side o f the s e c o n d toe. Its f a v o r e d flavors are n e u t r a l a n d
slightly sour, w h i l e its d e s i r e d t e m p e r a t u r e i s c o o l i n g r a t h e r than w a r m -
ing. P a t h o l o g i e s i n c l u d e a n e x c e s s i n s t o m a c h h e a t w h i c h m a n i f e s t s i n a n
i n c r e a s e o f a p p e t i t e a n d thirst, a s well a s p a i n i n t h e u p p e r a b d o m e n ,
h e a r t b u r n , s w o l l e n g u m s , a g e n e r a l itchiness, a n d a rather r e d t o n g u e ;
a n d a d e p l e t i o n of s t o m a c h yin, w h i c h is a p p a r e n t in a t e n d e n c y t o w a r d
c o n s t i p a t i o n , a d r y m o u t h , a n d a feeling of h e a t or fever ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d
H e m p e n 1997, 4 3 9 - 4 0 ) .

T o r e m e d y t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s , t h e d i e t a r y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n i s for c o o l i n g
a n d slightly s o u r foods, w h i c h i n c l u d e e s p e c i a l l y w h e a t , b u c k w h e a t , a n d
s w e e t p o t a t o a m o n g grains, a s well a s c u c u m b e r s , t o m a t o e s , c e l e r y ,
b a m b o o s h o o t s , b e a n sprouts, e g g p l a n t , s p i n a c h , a n d n a p a c a b b a g e
a m o n g v e g e t a b l e s , p l u s all c i t r u s fruits, tofu, fish, a n d s o m e dairy ( E n g -
elhardt and H e m p e n 1997, 441-43).

A s far a s d i e t a r y t h e r a p y i s c o n c e r n e d , all o t h e r c o n d i t i o n s a n d o r g a n s
are s e c o n d a r y t o the s p l e e n - s t o m a c h s y s t e m . A l l food c u r e s e s s e n t i a l l y
b e g i n b y s t a b i l i z i n g t h e m i d d l e , m a k i n g s u r e that the c e n t e r i s s t r o n g a n d
well b a l a n c e d . T h e y e s t a b l i s h a firm d i g e s t i v e a n d t r a n s f o r m i n g p o l e
w h i c h in turn will h e l p s t a b i l i z e t h e qi in all the other o r g a n s .

S^(te«tcCecC ^p^fdccdtcM,
T h e first o r g a n affected by t h e c e n t e r is t h e " l u n g s " (jei W), the o r g a n
a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p h a s e m e t a l : fall, w h i t e , a n d west. It is also l i n k e d
w i t h the l a r g e i n t e s t i n e a s its y a n g p a r t n e r a n d i n c h a r g e o f t h e s k i n a s
m a i n b o d y part. T h i s e x p l a i n s w h y p e o p l e w i t h c h r o n i c d i g e s t i v e d y s -
function often d e v e l o p a s t h m a a n d s k i n p r o b l e m s , w h i c h — i n r e v e r s a l o f
t h e d i s e a s e ' s u n f o l d i n g — t e n d to clear up w i t h a l u n g - s u p p o r t i v e diet.
56 / Medicinal Diets

T h e l u n g s are in c h a r g e of t r a n s f o r m i n g air into a n c e s t r a l qi by m i x i n g


e m p t y qi w i t h the g r a i n qi of t h e spleen. T h e y then distribute it all o v e r
t h e b o d y t h r o u g h t h e exterior (jin) b o d y fluids a n d the d e f e n s i v e qi. T h e i r
related s e n s e o r g a n i s t h e nose, m a t c h i n g t h e b o d y fluid o f n a s a l m u c u s
a n d c o r m e c t i n g t h e m t o t h e c o m m o n c o l d . I n general, t h e l u n g s are easily
harmed by cold and wind, favoring w a r m s and dryness, which connects
t o their flavor o f p u n g e n t , s p i c y ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997, 4 5 5 - 5 6 ) .

T h e e m o t i o n o f the l u n g s i s s a d n e s s , i.e., p e n s i v e n e s s , m e l a n c h o l y , a n d
r e l u c t a n c e to let go, w h i l e its v i r t u e is r i g h t e o u s n e s s , i m p a r t i a l j u s t i c e or
integrity, t h e ability to a c c e p t gain and loss, s u c c e s s a n d failure as t h e y
c o m e ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 9 1 ) . As the Huangdi neijing suwen says: " T h e l u n g s
a r e the r e s i d e n c e o f the h i g h m i n i s t e r s o f state: o r d e r a n d d i v i s i o n origi-
n a t e h e r e " ( 1 . 3 b ) . T h e i r related qi-channe\ starts in t h e chest, m o v e s
t h r o u g h t h e a r m p i t and a l o n g t h e i n n e r side o f the arm, a n d e n d s a t the
top o f t h e t h u m b . I t h a s e l e v e n a c u p u n c t u r e points, u s e d t o treat s y m p -
t o m s o f c o l d s a n d c o u g h a s well a s c a s e s o f s h o u l d e r and b a c k p a i n
(Kaptchuk 1 9 8 3 , 1 1 2 ; Kohn 2995, 53).

T h e m a i n p a t h o l o g y is d e p l e t i o n of l u n g qi, w h i c h m a n i f e s t s in s h o r t n e s s
of b r e a t h (lack of active qi), c o u g h (inability of qi to m o v e d o w n w a r d ) , a
t e n d e n c y to p e r s p i r e {qi c a n n o t c l o s e the p o r e s properly, c o n n e c t i o n to
t h e skin), g e t t i n g cold easily ( l a c k of defensive qi), as well as a w e a k voice,
fatigue, and a p a l e c o m p l e x i o n (all i n d i c a t i v e of qi w e a k n e s s ) . C l o s e l y
c o n n e c t e d t o d e p l e t i o n o f s p l e e n yang, the s a m e w a r m i n g a n d stabilizing
f o o d s are r e c o m m e n d e d h e r e . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o b u i l d u p the m i d d l e b e -
fore a n y m a j o r i m p a c t o n t h e l u n g s c a n b e seen.

A n o t h e r p o t e n t i a l p r o b l e m i s t h e d e p l e t i o n o f l u n g yin, w h i c h m e a n s that
t h e r e are insufficient b o d y fluids, a c c o m p a n i e d b y a n o v e r a l l s e n s e o f
d r y n e s s (dry m o u t h , dry skin, d r y c o u g h ) , n i g h t s w e a t s a n d interrupted
sleep, b u r n i n g p a l m s , h o a r s e n e s s , as w e l l as a g e n e r a l feeling of heat.
T h i s i s v e r y s i m i l a r t o d e p l e t i o n o f s t o m a c h yin a n d a c c o r d i n g l y r e q u i r e s
c o o l i n g a n d m o i s t u r i z i n g foods. A g a i n , b u i l d i n g u p t h e m i d d l e i s k e y
( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 4 5 8 - 6 0 ) .

I n t e r m s o f e x c e s s , the l u n g s m a y suffer from w i n d , w h i c h essentially


m e a n s all the s y m p t o m s o f the a c u t e c o m m o n c o l d a n d c o m e s w i t h a
c l o s u r e o f t h e b o d y ' s surface. W a r m i n g a n d e s p e c i a l l y s p i c y f o o d s are
h i g h l y r e c o m m e n d e d , u s i n g t h e p r i m e flavor o f t h e l u n g s . S p i c y foods
a v o i d grains, fruit, a n d m e a t , a n d rely on certain select v e g e t a b l e s : on-
Dietary Tiierapy / 57

ions, garlic, ginger, radish, fennel, and b e l l p e p p e r , p l u s all k i n d s of


spices ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 4 1 5 ) . A s i d e from a i d i n g the lungs,
these foods also t e n d to be h e a t i n g a n d y a n g - s t r e n g t h e n i n g , w h i c h is
w h y m a n y o f t h e m are e s c h e w e d b y r e l i g i o u s practitioners.

A n o t h e r p o s s i b l e c o n d i t i o n is l u n g d a m p n e s s : a c h r o n i c c o u g h , b r o n c h i -
tis, or a s t h m a , w h i c h m e a n s a b u i l d - u p of p h l e g m a n d a w h i t e c o m p l e x -
ion. N o t u n l i k e s p l e e n d a m p n e s s i n n a t u r e , i t c a n b e treated w i t h s i m i l a r
foods: w a r m i n g and s w e e t with a t e n d e n c y to drain. B e y o n d this, h o w -
ever, citrus fruits and ginger, as well as fresh j u i c e s , e s p e c i a l l y of r a d i s h
a n d pear, a r e r e c o m m e n d e d h e r e , w h i l e sticky rice a n d d a i r y s h o u l d b e
avoided (Engelhardt and H e m p e n 1997, 471-72).

R e c e i v i n g a n c e s t r a l qi from t h e l u n g s a n d t r a n s p o r t i n g it into t h e b o d y ' s


c h a n n e l s , next, is the " h e a r t " (xin /L^) the o r g a n l i n k e d w i t h the p h a s e fire,
the c o l o r red, t h e s e a s o n of the s u m m e r , a n d the direction of the south. It
also m a n a g e s the c o n s t r u c t i v e qi, w h i c h t r a n s p o r t s xue, a n d the w o r k i n g s
o f the b l o o d v e s s e l s . A m o n g s e n s e s , i t c o r r e s p o n d s t o touch, a m o n g b o d y
fluids it c o n n e c t s to s w e a t (a p r e c i o u s entity that c o n t a i n s m a n y i m p o r -
tant s u b s t a n c e s ) , a m o n g e m o t i o n s it relates to j o y ( e n t h u s i a s m , e u p h o r i a ,
or h a t r e d ) , w h i l e its v i r t u e is propriety, i.e., a p p r o p r i a t e b e h a v i o r , t i m e l y
interactions, and b e h a v i n g s u i t a b l y in a g i v e n context.

T h e h e a r t is also the seat of the spirit, e n s u r i n g that internal c o n s c i o u s -


ness, a w a r e n e s s , t h o u g h t , and reflection intersect p r o p e r l y w i t h t h e
w o r l d o f t i m e and s p a c e ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 8 8 ) . I t i s v e r y m u c h i n c h a r g e o f
t h e p e r s o n in g e n e r a l a n d t a k e s c a r e of its p r o p e r rest by p r o v i d i n g suffi-
cient sleep. As a l r e a d y t h e Suwen says: " T h e h e a r t is the r e s i d e n c e of t h e
ruler: spirit a n d clarity o r i g i n a t e h e r e . " Its c h a n n e l b e g i n s in the a r m p i t
and, w i t h an internal b r a n c h c o n n e c t i n g to the h e a r t itself, p a s s e s
t h r o u g h the c h e s t a n d lungs. After m o v i n g a l o n g the s i d e o f the throat
a n d t h r o u g h the inner side of t h e arm, it e n d s at the tip of t h e little finger
(Kaptchuk 1 9 8 3 , 1 1 8 ; Kohn 2005, 54).

A d e p l e t i o n of h e a r t y a n g or qi is indicated by c o l d and listlessness, c o m -


b i n e d w i t h fatigue a n d irregularities in the h e a r t beat. It is b e s t treated
w i t h s t i m u l a n t s , s u c h as limited d o s e s of coffee and c o c o a as well as w i t h
t h e m a t c h i n g a n i m a l o r g a n ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 2 7 6 - 7 7 ) . A
d e p l e t i o n of h e a r t yin or xue, on the o t h e r h a n d , is a n e r v o u s h e a t c o n d i -
tion, w h i c h m e a n s s l e e p l e s s n e s s , forgetfulness, n u m b n e s s , vertigo, and
e r u p t i o n s of h e a t in different parts of the b o d y . S i n c e it is c a u s e d by d e -
58 / Medicinal Diets

p l e t i o n rather t h a n e x c e s s , t h e r e m e d y is a s u p p o r t of yin t h r o u g h w a r m -
i n g s w e e t or n e u t r a l foods, v e r y m u c h like those u s e d for d e p l e t i o n of
s p l e e n qi. In addition, s p i c y foods that aid the l u n g s m a y a l s o be helpful
as well as bitter f o o d s — t h e flavor a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the heart: n o t found in
g r a i n or fruits, it a p p e a r s in a v a r i e t y of leafy greens, s u c h as lettuce, e n -
dives, chicory, celery, a n d d a n d e l i o n , p l u s p i g ' s o r h a r e ' s liver a m o n g
meats, and tea, cocoa, a n d coffee a m o n g liquids (Engelhardt and
H e m p e n 1997, 4 1 3 ; 5 1 6 - 1 8 ) .

T h e m a t c h i n g y a n g o r g a n s o f the l u n g s and the h e a r t are t h e l a r g e a n d


s m a l l intestines, w h o s e c h a n n e l s run a l o n g t h e outer arms, c o n n e c t i n g
t h e h a n d s t o t h e torso. T y p i c a l p a t h o l o g i e s are e x c e s s h e a t a n d d e p l e t i o n
of qi, m a n i f e s t in t e n d e n c i e s t o w a r d c o n s t i p a t i o n a n d diarrhea, as well as
i n v a s i o n b y parasites. F o r e x c e s s heat, c o o l i n g a n d s o o t h i n g s u b s t a n c e s
are helpful, n o t a b l y n u t s a n d s e e d s as well as soft fruits, v e g e t a b l e s , a n d
dairy. For depletion, t a k e ^ i - e n h a n c i n g foods, s u c h a s g r a i n s a n d w a r m -
i n g v e g e t a b l e s , fried w i t h chilies, p e p p e r , n u t m e g , a n d ginger. Parasites,
finally, c a n b e d r i v e n o u t b y garlic a n d scallions a s well a s o t h e r k i n d s o f
o n i o n s c o m b i n e d w i t h g r a i n s a n d b e a n s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1997,
525-32).

C o m p l e m e n t i n g the h e a r t i n the s c h e m e o f the five p h a s e s i s t h e k i d n e y


c o m p l e x (shen W) w h i c h b e l o n g s to the p h a s e water, the s e a s o n winter,
a n d the c o l o r b l a c k . T h e m o s t yin a m o n g o r g a n s , i t i s also the m o s t p o -
tent, b e i n g in c h a r g e of e s s e n c e (jing), a c o r e form of c o n c e n t r a t e d qi that
f o r m s b o n e s , teeth, a n d brain, a n d i s k e y t o h a r d w o r k , e n d u r a n c e , a n d
p e r s e v e r a n c e . E s s e n c e also rules birth, d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d m a t u r a t i o n and
is t h e p r i m o r d i a l seat of the life p r o c e s s , often a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e x u a l i t y
a n d p r o c r e a t i o n ( K a p t c h u k 1983, 8 3 - 8 4 ) .

T h e b o d y fluid o f the k i d n e y s i s t h e saliva; their related s e n s e o r g a n are


t h e ears —described i n D a o i s t literature a s the " D a r k T o w e r s , " the n a m e
a l s o g i v e n t o the k i d n e y s . T h e r e l a t e d e m o t i o n i s fear (caution, anxiety,
p a n i c ) , c o u n t e r a c t e d effectively by the virtue of w i s d o m , a s e n s e of life
a n d its unfolding, t h e intuitive k n o w l e d g e w h e n t o m o v e a n d w h e n t o
rest. T h e Suwen n o t e s : " T h e k i d n e y s are the r e s i d e n c e of the b u s i n e s s
m e n : a c t i v i t y a n d c a r e o r i g i n a t e h e r e " (3.1b). T h e related c h a n n e l b e g i n s
at B u b b l i n g W e l l ( Y o n g q u a n 'M^) in the c e n t e r of t h e sole, then r u n s
t h r o u g h t h e instep, circles a r o u n d t h e m e d i a l ankle, m o v e s u p the inner
leg a n d t h r o u g h t h e a b d o m e n t o t h e c h e s t ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 1 2 2 - 2 3 ; K o h n
2 0 0 5 , 55).
I Dietary Ttierapy / 59

T h e k i d n e y s y s t e m w a r m s the c e n t e r and s u p p l i e s qi to the h e a r t as well


as r u n n i n g t h e e n t i r e w a t e r - s y s t e m of the b o d y . Its flavor is salty, w h i c h
m e a n s no fruit at all a n d o n l y selected other foodstuffs: m i l l e t a m o n g
grains; s e a w e e d a m o n g v e g e t a b l e s ; o c t o p u s , c r a b , oysters, a n d a b a l o n e
a m o n g seafood; duck, p i g e o n , and p o r k a m o n g a n i m a l flesh ( E n g e l h a r d t
a n d H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 4 1 3 ) . T h e k i d n e y s b e i n g s o i m p o r t a n t t o the overall
functioning of t h e b o d y , a n d salt b e i n g essential to life, t h e s e foods p l a y a
relatively large role in food p r e p a r a t i o n . It also e x p l a i n s the u b i q u i t y of
soy sauce, t h e great all-spice o f C h i n e s e c o o k i n g .

P a t h o l o g i e s t e n d to be in the form of depl et i on: of k i d n e y y a n g a n d qi as


well as of k i d n e y yin. Y a n g a n d qi d e p l e t i o n s are c o l d c o n d i t i o n s , i n v o l v -
i n g b r e a t h l e s s n e s s , c o l d h a n d s a n d feet, frequent urination, d i s c h a r g e of
s e x u a l fluids, ear p r o b l e m s (infections, loss of hearing, tinnitus), j o i n t
pains, h e a d a c h e s , and hair loss. S p i c y , w a r m i n g foods are best: leeks,
w a l n u t s , fennel, grapes, a s well a s c h i c k e n and g a m e . K i d n e y yin d e p l e -
tion c o m e s w i t h i n c r e a s e d thirst, d a r k urine, n i g h t s w e a t s , constipation,
d r y m o u t h , vertigo, n u m b n e s s , a s well a s b a c k pain. S w e e t , neutral and
w a r m i n g foods, s u c h as c h i c k e n , will benefit here; so will t h e k i d n e y s of
a n i m a l s ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 5 0 0 - 0 4 ) .

Its m a t c h i n g y a n g p a r t n e r is t h e b l a d d e r (pang M) w i t h t h e l o n g e s t of t h e
c h a n n e l s that r u n s d o w n t h e b a c k i n t w o parallel lines a s well a s a c r o s s
t h e h e a d and a l o n g t h e o u t s i d e of the legs. Its m a i n t a s k is to transform
b o d y fluids and lead t h e m t o w a r d e l i m i n a t i o n . It is very s e n s i t i v e to c o l d
and dampness, w h i c h lead t o s y m p t o m s c o m m o n l y a s s o c i a t e d with
b l a d d e r infections. T h e b e s t dietary t h e r a p y i n v o l v e s neutral, lightly
salty a s well a s bitter foods ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 5 0 9 ) .

Finally, the last of the five o r g a n s y s t e m s is the " l i v e r " (gan U f ) , a s s o c i -


ated w i t h the p h a s e w o o d : spring, east, a n d green. T h e m o d e r a t o r o f the
entire system, its m a i n t a s k is to control the overall flow of qi a n d to store
t h e xue. In t e r m s of its w i d e r associations, it is l i n k e d w i t h the w o r k i n g of
j o i n t s and t e n d o n s a n d c o r r e s p o n d s t o the s e n s e o f v i s i o n and the e y e s
( P o r k e r t 1 9 7 4 , 1 1 7 - 1 9 ) . A m o n g b o d y fluids, liver m e a n s tears, a m o n g
e m o t i o n s it relates to a n g e r (aggression, c o u r a g e , or l a c k thereof), w h i l e
in t h e virtues it m a t c h e s b e n e v o l e n c e or k i n d n e s s .

T h e liver i s also indicative o f the repetitive c y c l e s o f h u m a n life, curtail-


i n g e x t r e m e s a n d e n s u r i n g the s m o o t h m o v e m e n t o f q i ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 ,
8 1 - 8 2 ) . T h e Huangdi neijing suwen d e s c r i b e s it as "the r e s i d e n c e of the
60 / Medicinal Diets

strategists: p l a n n i n g a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n o r i g i n a t e h e r e " ( 3 . 1 a ) . Its c h a n n e l


b e g i n s a t t h e tip o f the b i g toe, then m o v e s u p the instep t o t h e i n n e r side
of the leg, c r o s s e s t h e p u b i c region, l o w e r a b d o m e n , liver, a n d l u n g s to
e n d i n t h e rib c a g e . A n internal b r a n c h e n d s a t t h e liver. Its m o s t i m p o r -
tant p o i n t i s T o o Fast ( T a i c h o n g y f c ^ ; Li-3) o n t h e top o f the foot n e a r the
a n k l e . It is a s t r o n g p o i n t for m o v i n g qi a n d h e l p s w i t h n u m e r o u s ail-
m e n t s ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 128; K o h n 2 0 0 5 , 5 7 ) .

T h e m o s t c o m m o n p a t h o l o g y o f the liver i s a n e x c e s s o f qi, w h i c h m a n i -


fests in a b l o c k a g e t h a t c a n lead to internal h e a t a n d w i n d . S y m p t o m s
i n c l u d e a b d o m i n a l o r c h e s t tension, n a u s e a , c o n s t i p a t i o n , a n d P M S , a s
well as a c o n t i n u e d s e n s e of frustration or e v e n d e p r e s s i o n . C o o l i n g a n d
m o i s t u r i z i n g foods are best; h o w e v e r , s h r i m p s h o u l d b e a v o i d e d s i n c e
t h e y i n c r e a s e e n e r g e t i c mobility, a n d a l c o h o l i s b a d b e c a u s e i t p r o d u c e s
too m u c h heat (Engelhardt and H e m p e n 1997, 480).

A d e p l e t i o n of liver yin or xtie, on t h e o t h e r h a n d , leads to rising liver


y a n g (fire), w h i c h c a u s e s i n s o m n i a , vision p r o b l e m s (blurring, dizziness,
n i g h t b l i n d n e s s , dry e y e s ) , vertigo, n u m b n e s s , d r y nails, p a l e n e s s , a n d
m e n s t r u a l inhibition. Neutral, lightly c o o l i n g foods a s well a s s o m e
s w e e t a n d s o u r items are b e s t — n o t unlike t h e diet r e c o m m e n d e d for d e -
p l e t i o n of s p l e e n qi. In addition, s o y b e a n s , nuts, a n d s e e d s are g o o d as
well a s the liver o f a n i m a l s , e s p e c i a l l y c h i c k e n s . E g g s and p o r k m a y also
b e u s e d , b u t i n limited a m o u n t s ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 4 8 3 - 8 6 ) .
O t h e r t h a n that, special liver foods a r e helpful, w h i c h m e a n s t h o s e o f
s o u r flavor: a d z u k i b e a n s , t o m a t o e s , p h e a s a n t , y o g u r t , and a n y t h i n g
s p i c e d w i t h vinegar, as well as m o s t fruits, n o t a b l y all k i n d s of citrus, b u t
a l s o apples, apricots, p e a r s , kiwis, p e a c h e s , m a n g o , p l u m s , p i n e a p p l e ,
a n d star f r u i t ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d H e m p e n 1 9 9 7 , 4 1 3 ) .

T h e m a t c h i n g y a n g o r g a n is t h e gall b l a d d e r {dan Ift), t h e m a i n r e c i p i e n t


of fluids from t h e liver a n d p r o v i d e r of qi for t h e s t o m a c h . A l s o a s s o c i -
a t e d w i t h decision m a k i n g , c o u r a g e , a n d initiative, it suffers m o s t l y from
d a m p n e s s w h i c h m a n i f e s t s i n n a u s e a , fever, y e l l o w c o m p l e x i o n , d a r k
urine, a n d a bitter taste in the m o u t h as well as in frustration a n d e m o -
t i o n a l tension. S w e e t a n d c o o l i n g foods a r e helpful, a s n o t a b l y b u c k -
w h e a t , y e l l o w s o y b e a n sprouts, d a n d e l i o n s , a n d tea ( E n g e l h a r d t a n d
H e m p e n 1997, 4 9 2 - 9 3 ) .
62 / Medicinal Diets

a t the t o n g u e ' s coating, s h a p e , a n d color. T h e c o a t i n g o r " m o s s " o f t h e


t o n g u e indicates t h e relative state of b o d y fluids in a c o n t i n u u m from no
c o a t t h r o u g h t h i c k c o a t t o p e e l e d coat, with m u l t i p l e v a r i a t i o n s i n b e -
t w e e n . T h e a b s e n c e of a c o a t m a y i n d i c a t e a l a c k of the s t o m a c h fluids
n e c e s s a r y to g e n e r a t e a coat. T h e t h i c k n e s s of a c o a t i n d i c a t e s the relative
t h i c k n e s s of t h e b o d y fluids. A thin w h i t e c o a t is c o n s i d e r e d n o r m a l a n d
i n d i c a t i v e of a relative fluid b a l a n c e . If the c o a t is thin a n d clear, fluids
a r e d e p l e t e d a n d the b o d y l a c k s t h e ability t o lubricate its m e m b r a n e s .

T h e s h a p e o f t h e t o n g u e i s e v a l u a t e d for w h e t h e r i t i s s h o r t o r l o n g , s w o l -
l e n o r thin, c r a c k e d o r s m o o t h , a n d for t h e p r e s e n c e o r a b s e n c e o f visible
v e i n s . A s w o l l e n t o n g u e s e e m s t o o large for the m o u t h . Often t h e sides of
t h e t o n g u e a p p e a r w a v y in a p a t t e r n k n o w n as "teeth m a r k s " or " s c a l -
loping." This is caused by the swelling between the ligaments which
h o l d the t o n g u e t o g e t h e r a n d c a u s e it to flare out at its lateral e d g e s . M e -
c h a n i c a l l y the s w o l l e n t o n g u e is i n d i c a t i v e of a relative i m b a l a n c e b e -
t w e e n interstitial fluid a n d b l o o d fluid v o l u m e s ; e s s e n t i a l l y t h e tissues
are w a t e r l o g g e d . T h e s w o l l e n t o n g u e i s c l i n i c a l l y related t o w e a k s p l e e n
y a n g w h i c h is r e s p o n s i b l e for t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the fluids. T h i s p r e s e n t a -
tion often a l s o e v i d e n c e s e d e m a in t h e j o i n t s as well as a puffy a p p e a r -
a n c e . W h e n the t o n g u e is thin, it i n d i c a t e s a d e p l e t i o n in the b l o o d w h i c h
s h o u l d fill t h e t o n g u e . T h i s is c o n s i d e r e d a p r e c u r s o r to yin depletion, 1

I
e v i d e n c e d b y dry s i g n s o n the m u c u s m e m b r a n e a s w e l l a s i n s o m n i a ,
irritability, h o t flashes, a n d a m e n o r r h e a .

C r a c k s in t h e t o n g u e i n d i c a t e a l o n g - s t a n d i n g d i s h a r m o n y of the o r g a n s
m a t c h i n g specific areas o f the t o n g u e . Finally, the u n d e r s i d e o f the
t o n g u e is i n s p e c t e d for t h e visibility of v e i n s . If the v e i n s a r e d a r k a n d
visible, the o v e r a l l c i r c u l a t o r y s y s t e m i s inefficient—like t h e h a n d s o f a n
arthritic p a t i e n t w h o d e v e l o p s d a r k e r v e i n s d u e t o the p o o r circulation.
T h e c o l o r o f the b o d y o f t h e t o n g u e i s t h e last p a r a m e t e r i n s p e c t e d . I f t h e
t o n g u e is p a l e a n d w a s h e d out, the qi is deplete. If the t o n g u e is dark,
b l a c k , o r p u r p l e , t h e b l o o d i s stagnant. T h e s e c o l o r s c a n b e g e n e r a l t o the
t o n g u e b o d y o r t h e y c a n b e l o c a l t o a g i v e n c o r r e s p o n d e n c e area.

After v i s u a l i n s p e c t i o n c o m e s t o u c h i n g , w h i c h m a y i n v o l v e p a l p a t i n g
painful a r e a s a n d e x a m i n i n g the a b d o m e n . M o s t essentially, h o w e v e r , i t
m e a n s p u l s e d i a g n o s i s . P h y s i c i a n s t a k e the radial pulse, s u b d i v i d i n g into
t h r e e p o s i t i o n s from t h e w r i s t c r e a s e up a n d feeling it at t h r e e levels of
depth. This creates eighteen positions that are cross-referenced to
t w e n t y - e i g h t p o s s i b l e q u a l i t y a s s e s s m e n t s , e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t i n g in a di-
Dietary Therapy / 63

agnostic pattern. T h e p u l s e i s a l w a y s t a k e n i n t h r e e p o s i t i o n s o n b o t h
sides, b y a p p l y i n g t h r e e different p r e s s u r e s — s u p e r f i c i a l , m e d i u m , and
d e e p — e a c h m a t c h i n g t h e q u a l i t y of qi in t w o of t h e t w e l v e k e y o r g a n s :

1. left: heart/small intestine 1. right: lungs/large intestine


2. left: liver/gall bladder 2. right: spleen/stomach
3. left: kidney/bladder 3. right: pericardium/triple heater

T h e t w e n t y - e i g h t t y p e s o f pulses, then, c o n s i s t o f e i g h t e e n c l a s s e s distin-


g u i s h e d a c c o r d i n g t o d e p t h (2), s p e e d (2), w i d t h (2), s t r e n g t h (2), s h a p e
(4), length (2), r h y t h m (3), and b a l a n c e (1); p l u s ten types, i.e., flooding,
m i n u t e , frail, s o g g y , leathery, h i d d e n , c o n f i n e d , s p i n n i n g , h o l l o w , a n d
scattered. T h e m o s t d e s i r a b l e p u l s e i s m o d e r a t e , regular, m e d i u m , strong,
and even. W h e n taking the patient's pulse, variants due to seasons, time
o f day, and g e n d e r m u s t b e t a k e n into c o n s i d e r a t i o n . A l l o t h e r a b n o r -
m a l i t i e s indicate w e a k n e s s or e x c e s s of the qi in specific o r g a n s . T y p i c a l
indications i n c l u d e (see K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 1 9 4 - 2 1 0 a n d 3 2 3 - 4 9 ) :

superficial easily palpable but weak beginning disease


deep felt only with pressure internal syndromes
slow less than four beats cold syndromes
rapid more than five beats heat syndromes
taut forceful and tight yang hyperactivity
wry rolling or flowing excessive phlegm
thready rather fine pulse depleted (j;/blood
short uneven, missing beats (^i/blood-stagnation
knotted slow, irregular misses endogenous cold
intermittent slow, regular misses impairment of qi

U s i n g the i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d from t h e s e e x a m i n a t i o n s , the clinician


classifies the information in t e r m s of t w o s y s t e m s : the m a i n c h a n g e s of
t h e c o n d i t i o n a n d its m a i n characteristics.

T h e m a i n c h a n g e s are d e s c r i b e d i n t e r m s o f t h e so-called six p a t h o g e n i c


p a t t e r n s {liuxie A J | i ) , classified g e n e r a l l y i n t o yin a n d y a n g a n d m o r e
specifically d i v i d e d into t w o aspects: e x t e r n a l (those that i n v a d e t h e
b o d y ) a n d internal (those g e n e r a t e d in t h e b o d y ) .

T h e three y a n g p a t t e r n s are:

1. Wind (feng J i l t ventus), i.e., fast change or movement, associ-


ated with the liver. Externally generated through wind,
draft, air conditioning, changes in temperature. Manifests
first on the body surface, may appear as pain, skin erup-
64 / Medicinal Diets

tions, colds, fever, and fear of drafts. It can also be an inter-


nally generated, chronic liver problem.

2. Heat {re calor), i.e., acceleration or dilation of qi, linked


with the heart. Externally created from exposure to heat or
internally due to conditions related to the heart. Symptoms
include red skin, swellings, inflammation, yellow secretions,
dry tongue, thirst, rapid pulse, perspiration, red face, fever,
and swollen throat. The patient appears agitated and talka-
tive, thirsty, and constipated.

3. Dryness (zao '1^ ariditas), i.e., withering or shriveling ten-


dency, related to the lungs. Developed due to chronic de-
hydration and blockages in fluid movement. Manifests as
asthma, phlegm, fever, body aches, dry nostrils, tongue, or
skin, and lack of urination. It indicates an internal loss of
fluids and often comes with irritation, weakness, or anemia.

T h e three yin p a t t e r n s are:

4. Cold {han algor), i.e., contracting or slowing qi, linked


with the kidneys. Due externally to exposure to cold. Pa-
tient appears pale, cold, contracted, with clear secretions.
He may have a fever but no sweat, and tends to feel cold,
stiff, crampy, or sleepy; appears shrinking and clenching, is
quiet and unwilling to talk, shows a lack of thirst, and
tends toward diarrhea.

5. Dampness {shi'M, humor), i.e., sinking or accumulating, re-


lated to the spleen. Generated by exposure to damp condi-
tions and the ingestion of sticky, cooling foods (dairy, ice
cream). Produces turbid, sticky, or cloudy secretions, feel-
ings of nausea, swellings, a greasy tongue, as well as heavy
or sore limbs. Patients often have oily skin and indigestion.

6. Summer heat {shu # aestus), i.e., drying out, linked with the
pericardium. Caused by exposure to extreme heat, it creates
exhaustion, depletion of fluids, sweating, and bursts of
high fever. (Kaptchuk 1983, 146-57; Engelhardt and
Hempen 1997, 540-65; Kohn 2005, 70-71)

I n a d d i t i o n t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e m a i n p a t h o g e n i c pattern, c l i n i c i a n s also
e v a l u a t e their findings i n t e r m s o f t h e d o m i n a n t characteristics o f t h e
c o n d i t i o n , d e s c r i b e d in t e r m s of the eight k e y criteria (bagang AM),
w h i c h a n s w e r four q u e s t i o n s . T h e first i s t h e g e n e r a l n a t u r e o f t h e c o n d i -
tion: is it y i n or y a n g ? S e c o n d c o m e s its d e g r e e of p e n e t r a t i o n : is it exter-
Dietary Therapy / 65

nal (biao ^) or internal Qi S ) , a c u t e or c h r o n i c ? T h i r d is its f u n d a m e n t a l


d\Tiamic: is it c o o l i n g (haji ^ ) or h e a t i n g {re ift) in nature, t e n d i n g t o -
•.sard s l u g g i s h or e n h a n c e d m o v e m e n t ? A n d fourth is its g e n e r a l state: is
:t d e p l e t e / e m p t y {xu !M) or excessive/full {shi i n d i c a t i n g w e a k n e s s or
intensity?

U s u a l l y the picture p r e s e n t e d by t h e p a t i e n t is a m i x t u r e of t h e s e indica-


tions, from w h i c h p h y s i c i a n s di s cer n a pattern. F o r e x a m p l e , the p r e s -
e n c e of an o b s t r u c t i o n of qi c o u l d be c a u s e d by c o l d or by heat. If it is
cold-induced, there will be a p a l e skin a n d c o m p l e x i o n , a w h i t e coat on
the t o n g u e , and a dislike of cold. S u c h an o b s t r u c t i o n t e n d s to be long-
term or chronic; it c o m e s from an insufficient flow of qi to the area in
question. A h e a t - i n d u c e d obstruction, on the o t h e r h a n d , s h o w s an o v e r -
flow of qi that is m o v i n g fast in different d i r e c t i o n s a n d thus c r e a t e s
b l o c k a g e s . T h i s i s m o r e acute. T h e patient s h o w s r e d n e s s a n d swelling,
and e x p r e s s a s t r o n g liking for c o o l n e s s a n d c o l d s u b s t a n c e s . T h e treat-
m e n t v a r i o u s a c c o r d i n g l y : c o o l i n g h e r b s and foods as well as d r a i n a g e
for the h e a t - i n d u c e d disorder; w a r m i n g c o m p r e s s e s , teas, and m e d i c i n e s ,
as well as e n h a n c e m e n t of qi t h r o u g h a c u p u n c t u r e for the cold c o n d i t i o n .

To activate t h e p r i n c i p l e s of d i e t a r y t h e r a p y in practice, all s y m p t o m s


and c o n d i t i o n s n e e d first to be translated into t h e C h i n e s e d i a g n o s t i c s y s -
tem, related to specific o r g a n s and c h a n n e l s as well as to qualities a n d
m o v e m e n t s . O n l y t h e n can specific r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s be m a d e and food
t h e r a p y b e g i n . F o r e x a m p l e , in c a s e of pai n in the j o i n t s and m u s c l e s , the
first q u e s t i o n is w h e t h e r it is due to qi obstruction, cold, or w i n d , l e a d i n g
to a r e c o m m e n d a t i o n to increase foods that s u p p o r t e n e r g e t i c m o v e m e n t ,
warmth, or calm. In cases of nervousness and insomnia, the question is
w h e t h e r it is c a u s e d by w o r r y (a spleen-related c o n d i t i o n ) or the d e p l e -
tion of liver e n e r g i e s . In t h e first case, the c e n t e r n e e d s to be stabilized
with foods related to s p l e e n a n d s t o m a c h ; in the s e c o n d , a n y t h i n g that
s u p p o r t s liver qi is helpful, s u c h as celery, w a t e r c h e s t n u t s , m u n g b e a n s ,
peanuts, a n d s h r i m p s ( E n g e l h a r d t and H e m p e n 1997, 5 7 4 - 6 0 3 ) . It is n o t
possible to list all t h e different v a r i a t i o n s in t h e s e p a g e s , but here are a
few p e r t i n e n t c a s e e x a m p l e s .

In o n e case, a m o t h e r b r i n g s her three-year old s o n into the clinic b e c a u s e


he t e n d s t o w a r d c o l d s . After a n o r m a l p r e g n a n c y and birth, he b e g a n
h a v i n g feverish ear infections at six m o n t h s . At the m o m e n t he is not sick.
66 / Medicinal Diets

b u t the m o t h e r w o r r i e s that e n t r y into p r e s c h o o l a n d e x p o s u r e t o m u l t i -


p l e g e r m s will c r e a t e difficulties a n d w o u l d like t o see t h e c h i l d strength-
ened.

U p o n q u e s t i o n i n g i t e m e r g e s that the b o y g e t s c o l d easily a n d h a s a ten-


d e n c y t o w a r d p h l e g m . H e often c o m p l a i n s o f b e l l y a c h e s a n d t e n d s t o
h a v e soft stools. H e likes w a r m f o o d s a n d drinks, h o w e v e r , h e eats c o r n
flakes w i t h c o l d m i l k for b r e a k f a s t . H e h a s t h r e e m a i n m e a l s p l u s t w o
s n a c k s i n the c o u r s e o f a d a y . T o m a k e s u r e h e gets sufficient v i t a m i n s ,
t h e m o t h e r a l s o p r o v i d e s h i m w i t h fresh fruit, j u i c e s , and s o m e salads.

L o o k i n g at the patient, the c h i l d a p p e a r s n o r m a l for h i s age, b u t h a s a


p a l e c o m p l e x i o n a n d d a r k r i n g s u n d e r t h e eyes. T h e t o n g u e i s light i n
c o l o r and soft. P u l s e d i a g n o s i s s h o w s a s l o w and w r y pattern, i n d i c a t i v e
o f c o l d a n d d a m p n e s s . I n t e r m s o f the six p a t h o g e n i c patterns, the b o y
m a t c h e s the " c o l d " s y n d r o m e ; i n t e r m s o f the e i g h t k e y criteria, his c o n -
dition is m o r e yin t h a n yang, internal and c h r o n i c r a t h e r t h a n external,
m a t c h e s a c o l d r a t h e r than h o t pattern, a n d s h o w s a d e p l e t e d rather than
excessive mode.

T h e final q u e s t i o n i s w h i c h inner o r g a n s are m o s t i n v o l v e d i n the c o n d i -


tion. I n this c a s e , t h e y are t h e k i d n e y s , spleen, a n d lungs. T h e w e a k e n i n g
of the k i d n e y s , t h e seat of c e n t r a l life energy, is e v i d e n t from the p a l e
c o m p l e x i o n a n d t h e d a r k r i n g s u n d e r t h e e y e s ; a n o t h e r i n d i c a t i o n i s the
t e n d e n c y t o w a r d e a r i n f e c t i o n s — t h e e a r s b e i n g the s e n s e o r g a n a s s o c i -
a t e d w i t h the k i d n e y s . T h e r e d u c e d function o f t h e spleen, w i t h t h e
s t o m a c h r e s p o n s i b l e for d i g e s t i o n and t h e p r o d u c t i o n of inner w a r m t h , is
m a d e clear from the b e l l y aches, t h e soft stools, t h e l o w appetite, a n d the
t e n d e n c y to feel cold. T h e affect on the lungs, finally, c o n n e c t e d to
b r e a t h i n g , n o s e , a n d d e f e n s i v e qi, is a p p a r e n t from h i s t e n d e n c y t o w a r d
c o l d s and feverish infections.

A l t o g e t h e r , the d i a g n o s i s is that t h e b o y suffers from a d e p l e t i o n of the


k i d n e y , spleen, and l u n g c o m p l e x e s , i n d i c a t e d d o m i n a n t l y in a p e r v a s i v e
p a t t e r n of c o l d . T h e t h e r a p e u t i c p r i n c i p l e is a c c o r d i n g l y a w a r m i n g a n d
s t r e n g t h e n i n g of t h e qi in t h e s e t h r e e o r g a n s . T h i s c a n be a c h i e v e d
t h r o u g h a c u p u n c t u r e and m o x i b u s t i o n (the b u r n i n g o f t h e m o x a h e r b o n
selected a c u p u n c t u r e p o i n t s ) as well as m a s s a g e s or a c u p r e s s u r e . Q i g o n g ,
p h y s i c a l m o v e m e n t that e n c o u r a g e s e n e r g y flow in the specific areas, is
a l s o a g o o d m e a s u r e . M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , t h o u g h , is t h e i n g e s t i o n of
h e r b a l r e m e d i e s a n d a l a s t i n g c h a n g e in diet.
Dietary Therapy / 67

As regards dietary measures, the b o y should take his meals regularly


and e a t s l o w l y t o a v o i d u p s e t t i n g the s t o m a c h . H e s h o u l d a v o i d a n y -
thing cold, oily, o r h e a v y , w h i c h m a y p l a c e a b u r d e n o n the l u n g s a n d
kidneys. In t h e m o r n i n g s , r a t h e r than cold c o r n flakes he s h o u l d e a t a
\ s a r m breakfast, p r e f e r a b l y a c o o k e d c e r e a l w i t h n u t s a n d dried fruit a n d
m a y b e s o m e ginger. D u r i n g t h e day, h i s m e a l s s h o u l d c o n s i s t o f c o o k e d
foods a n d s o u p s , i n c l u d i n g a s m u c h a s p o s s i b l e w a r m i n g e l e m e n t s , s u c h
as c h i c k e n a n d v a r i o u s k i n d s of o n i o n s . R a t h e r than h a v i n g fresh fruit
a n d salads, for t h e t i m e b e i n g i t i s b e t t e r i f h e eats c o m p o t e s a n d c o o k e d
or fried v e g e t a b l e s ( E n g e l h a r d t and N o g e l 2 0 0 9 , 4 0 - 4 3 ) .

A n o t h e r e x a m p l e i s the c a s e o f a 5 3 - y e a r - o l d w o m a n w h o h a s t r o u b l e
with m e n o p a u s e . H e r p e r i o d s h a v i n g c e a s e d s e v e r a l y e a r s a g o , s h e
s t o p p e d h o r m o n e r e p l a c e m e n t t h e r a p y d u e t o s e r i o u s s i d e effects a n d i s
n o w suffering from i r r e g u l a r sleep patterns, h o t flashes, a n d overall irri-
tability. S h e a l s o c o m p l a i n s a b o u t a r e c u r r i n g t e n d e n c y t o w a r d acid re-
tlux o r h e a r t b u r n , w h i c h w a s d i a g n o s e d b y W e s t e r n d o c t o r s a s a n in-
t l a m m a t i o n o f the e s o p h a g u s . S h e takes m e d i c a t i o n t o r e d u c e s t o m a c h
acid, a n d h a s a t e n d e n c y t o w a r d c o n s t i p a t i o n .

Visual e x a m i n a t i o n r e v e a l s a t o n g u e w i t h d e e p c r a c k s , w h i l e p u l s e d i a g -
nosis s h o w s f l o o d i n g a n d r a p i d p a t t e r n s i n t h e u p p e r r e g i o n s o f the b o d y ,
while t h o s e r e l a t e d t o the l o w e r h a l f are h o l l o w a n d t h r e a d y . I n t e r m s o f
the eight k e y criteria, h e r c o n d i t i o n c o n s i s t s o f a n internal o v e r p r o d u c -
tion of h e a t ( y a n g ) , c o n n e c t e d to a w e a k n e s s or d e p l e t i o n of yin. T h e
c r a c k e d t o n g u e and t h e h o l l o w p u l s e a s well a s t h e n i g h t l y intensifica-
tion of h o t flashes a n d agitation also i n d i c a t e an overall yin w e a k n e s s .
T h e c o n s t e l l a t i o n o f s y m p t o m s a n d p a t t e r n s , m o r e o v e r , i s typical for
women undergoing menopause.

Upon questioning, the dominant pathogenic patterns emerge. The pa-


tient t e n d s to eat irregularly a n d w i t h h a s t e , s h e likes to d r i n k r e d w i n e
at n i g h t a n d t a k e s a rather h e a v y d i n n e r late in t h e e v e n i n g . A l l t h e s e are
h e a t - c r e a t i n g patterns: r e d w i n e i s classified a s v e r y w a r m i n g w h i l e ir-
regular, hasty, a n d e s p e c i a l l y late m e a l s t e n d t o w e a k e n moist, c o o l , y i n
e n e r g i e s . I n addition, h e r n e r v o u s n e s s a n d e x h a u s t i o n a r e intensified b y
professional stress and the fact that s h e is t h e m a i n c a r e t a k e r of an i n v a -
lid m o t h e r — b o t h d e p l e t i n g i n n e r r e s o u r c e s a n d w e a k e n i n g yin.

A m o n g t h e i n n e r o r g a n s , the o n e i m d e r m o s t p r e s s u r e i s t h e k i d n e y s ,
w h i c h t h r o u g h ; i n g - e s s e n c e i s r e s p o n s i b l e for the s e x u a l m a t u r a t i o n a n d
68 / Medicinal Diets

d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e p e r s o n , a n d t h u s also i n c h a r g e o f the m e n o p a u s a l
transition. I n h e r c a s e , t h e yin qualities o f the k i d n e y s are d i m i n i s h e d ,
causing normally harmonious and balanced yang potencies to b e c o m e
o v e r b e a r i n g a n d rise i n t o t h e heart. T h e heart, c o n n e c t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i -
cal a s p e c t s o f t h e p e r s o n , r e p r e s e n t s t h e o u t w a r d p e r s o n a l i t y o f the i n d i -
v i d u a l . In this c a s e , t h e affect on t h e h e a r t is e v i d e n t in t h e p a t i e n t ' s irri-
tability, n e r v o u s n e s s , i n s o m n i a , a n d h o t flashes. H e r t e n d e n c y t o w a r d
c o n s t i p a t i o n a n d acid reflux, finally, i n d i c a t e h e a t i n t h e s t o m a c h , e x -
h a u s t i n g n u r t u r i n g fluids a n d u s i n g u p n e c e s s a r y yin e n e r g i e s .

H e r d i a g n o s i s is a d e p l e t i o n of yin in t h e k i d n e y s , s t o m a c h , a n d heart.
T h i s h a s c a u s e d t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f heat, w h i c h i s further intensified b y
v a r i o u s n u t r i t i o n a l errors. T h e m a i n t h e r a p e u t i c p r i n c i p l e i s a c c o r d i n g l y
to s u p p o r t a n d m o i s t u r i z e yin, c o m b i n e d w i t h a c o o l i n g a n d c a l m i n g of
t h e heart. A g a i n , a c u p u n c t u r e , q i g o n g , a n d h e r b s will b e helpful. I n
t e r m s of dietetics, the p a t i e n t s h o u l d eat r e g u l a r l y a n d in a c a l m setting,
t a k i n g a light e v e n i n g m e a l e a r l y w i t h o u t w i n e . S h e s h o u l d a v o i d any-
t h i n g spicy, hot, o r w a r m i n g i n nature, focusing i n s t e a d o n c o o k e d c e r e -
als with raisins a n d nuts, a n d c o n s u m e relatively m o r e p o r k , squid, a n d
tofu w i t h g e n t l e a n d c o o l i n g v e g e t a b l e s s u c h a s a v o c a d o s , s e a w e e d s , a n d
t o m a t o e s , as well as fresh, c o o l i n g fruits, s u c h as d r a g o n fruit a n d w a t e r
melon (Engelhardt and Nogel 2009, 43-45).

C h i n e s e dietary t h e r a p y , t o s u m up, w o r k s w i t h t h e f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i -
p l e s of the C h i n e s e diet a n d is c l o s e l y c o n n e c t e d to the social realities
a n d food a p p e r c e p t i o n in C h i n e s e c u l t u r e . It a l l o w s for g e n e r a l p a t t e r n s
a n d o v e r a l l g u i d e l i n e s b u t i s a l s o s t r o n g l y Hnked t o the individual, m o d i -
fying its p r e s c r i p t i o n s o n the b a s i s o f p e r s o n a l i z e d d i a g n o s i s a n d t h e r e c -
o g n i t i o n of u n i q u e e n e r g e t i c p a t t e r n s . D a o i s t s fully c o n f o r m to this fun-
d a m e n t a l C h i n e s e dietary s y s t e m a n d follow its g u i d e l i n e s i n m a n y re-
s p e c t s . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , D a o i s t s a l s o g o b e y o n d m e d i c i n a l diets, a d d -
i n g their o w n s u g g e s t i o n s a n d m e t h o d s a n d m a t c h i n g t h e m t o the s p e -
cific social setting a n d c u l t i v a t i o n g o a l s o f i n d i v i d u a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s .
Now, mentally float in emptiness and stillness, let go of wor-
ries, rest in nonaction, absorb primordial qi after midnight,
practice healing exercises in a calm setting, support and nour-
ish life without fail, take healthy food and efficacious herbs—if
you do all this, then a hundred years of vigorous longevity are
your proper due. (Yangxing yanming lu 1.1a)

In m a n y w a y s , the w a y D a o i s t s eat is a c o n t i n u a t i o n a n d a d a p t a t i o n of
the C h i n e s e m e d i c a t e d diet. T h e y strive t o b e c o n s c i o u s o f s e a s o n a l
change, a w a r e o f the n e e d s o f their b o d i e s , focused o n h o w b e s t t o nur-
ture their organs, and alert to c o s m i c and social t a b o o s . W i t h i n this
framework, h o w e v e r , D a o i s t s also a i m to set t h e m s e l v e s apart from or-
dinary society, c r e a t i n g c o m m u n i t i e s that are c l e a r l y distinct. C h o i c e s
about dress, attire, p e r s o n a l items, daily routines, a n d — v e r y i m p o r -
tantly—food selection, p r e p a r a t i o n , and c o n s u m p t i o n all s e r v e as m a r k -
ers of a c o m m u n i t y set a b o v e and b e y o n d n o r m a t i v e society.i R a t h e r
than o n e d o m i n a n t form o f s u c h c o m m u n i t y , m o r e o v e r , t h e r e are several
distinct k i n d s of D a o i s t s w h o live, eat, a n d w o r k in different social set-
tings, thus c r e a t i n g a v a r i e t y of lifestyles and e a t i n g habits.

A l r e a d y t h e a n c i e n t Taiping jing n o t e s different levels of p r a c t i t i o n e r s . As


cited in t h e s i x t h - c e n t u r y Sandong zhunang, it says

1 For detailed studies about such communities, see Goffman 1961; Kanter
1972; Kohn 2003a; Turner 1969.

71
7 2 / Daoist Food

[As regards the highest level] Heaven is distant and knows no


bounds. If one does not eat wind and qi, how can one travel
fast enough to go along fully with the course of Heaven? Thus,
to work alongside the spirit-envoys and be associated with
them, one must live largely on wind and qi.
On the next level, one matches the essences of Earth in
one's powers, harmonizes the five types of soil, looks down on
mountains and rivers, follows high ridges and enters water-
ways. One has commerce with the changing patterns of Earth
and eats and works together with others. To do so one cannot
eat grains. One drinks water and uses herbs and medicinal
formulas.
On the third level, eating in moderation is the way. Al-
though one does not firmly establish one's form, one eats less
than ordinary people and is slightly different from them.
Therefore, even those who merely ingest little that passes
through their intestines are people who are in the process of at-
taining Dao. (4. 3a; see Campany 2005,109; Huang 2007, 18).

T h i s defines t h r e e levels: h i g h - l e v e l p r a c t i t i o n e r s a t o n e w i t h H e a v e n
w h o float freely a l o n g w i t h t h e celestial b o d i e s and live o n l y on p u r e qi,
essentially n o t e a t i n g a t all; m i d d l e - l e v e l a d e p t s o n p a r w i t h Earth w h o
m a t c h m o u n t a i n s a n d r i v e r s a n d h a v e g i v e n u p o r d i n a r y food, r e p l a c i n g
it w i t h vegetal, h e r b a l , a n d m i n e r a l s u b s t a n c e s ; a n d a third kind w h o are
still part o f the w o r l d a n d eat o r d i n a r y food b u t d o s o w i t h a w a r e n e s s
and in moderation.

R e v e r s i n g this order, m o s t D a o i s t s t o d a y a n d i n h i s t o r y b e l o n g t o the


third level. L a y f o l l o w e r s a n d m a r r i e d priests, so-called fire-dwelling
D a o i s t s (huoju daoshi i ^ J S i l d r ) , m o s t l y of t h e Celestial M a s t e r s school,
c o n t i n u e to r e s i d e in o r d i n a r y s o c i e t y and o b s e r v e its rules. O b l i g e d s o -
cially t o eat w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e , t h e y c o n s u m e essentially e v e r y t h i n g but,
as t h e Taiping jing notes, try to be m o d e r a t e a n d c o n s c i o u s a b o u t it
( H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 2 ) . A s u b c a t e g o r y of this g r o u p , next, c o n s i s t s of priests
d u r i n g p r e p a r a t i o n for m a j o r rituals a n d D a o i s t s living in m o n a s t i c insti-
tutions. T h e y u s u a l l y o b s e r v e a series o f a v o i d a n c e s , m o s t n o t a b l y o f
m e a t , alcohol, a n d the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s ( o n i o n s , garlic, etc.). T h e y
a l s o try to c u l t i v a t e a m o r e c o n s c i o u s attitude t o w a r d food and, in their
sacrificial b a n q u e t s a n d c e r e m o n i a l m e a l s , m a k e a p o i n t of r e l a t i n g the
f o o d to the c o s m o s at large a n d s h a r i n g it w i t h gods, a n c e s t o r s , a n d all
beings.
What Daoists Eat / 73

T h e s e c o n d g r o u p ( m a t c h i n g t h e m i d d l e level of the Taiping jing d e s c r i p -


tion) c o n s i s t s largely o f h e r m i t s , traditionally a s s o c i a t e d w i t h m o u n t a i n s
and c a v e s b u t also found i n t h e s u b t e m p l e s and h e r m i t a g e s o f m o n a s t i c
c o m p l e x e s and, m o r e recently, i n the a n o n y m i t y o f the cities. G o i n g b e -
y o n d the b a s i c a v o i d a n c e s o f ritually p u r e D a o i s t s , t h e y h a v e g i v e n u p
o r d i n a r y food to a large extent a n d live i n c r e a s i n g l y on h e r b a l , vegetal,
or m i n e r a l s u b s t a n c e s , like w a l n u t s , c i n n a m o n , or m i c a . C o m b i n i n g this
diet with b r e a t h i n g t e c h n i q u e s , h e a l i n g e x e r c i s e s , and m e d i t a t i o n s , they
refine their b o d i e s to a subtler level and thus attain a c l o s e n e s s to t h e
universal f l o w that g o e s b e y o n d o r d i n a r y living.

T h e h i g h e s t a m o n g t h e practitioners, finally, live o n l y on qi. A select s u b -


g r o u p of h e r m i t s , t h e y p r a c t i c e w h a t is k n o w n formally as bigu Jf^M,
w h i c h literally m e a n s " a v o i d i n g g r a i n " b u t in fact i m p l i e s a c o m p l e t e
transformation a n d r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the qi-hody from a p o s t n a t a l to a
prenatal or p r i m o r d i a l constitution. D a o i s t s at this level a r e furthest re-
m o v e d from o r d i n a r y life. T h e y u n d e r g o a strict r e g i m e n of c u t t i n g out
o r d i n a r y food, s o m e t i m e s w i t h the h e l p o f speciflc f o r m u l a s o r c o n c o c -
tions, w h i l e also training intensely in b r e a t h i n g a n d (^/-guiding e x e r c i s e s
t o r e a c h a p o i n t w h e r e t h e y b e c o m e like e m b r y o s , b e i n g n u r t u r e d c o m -
pletely a n d w i t h o u t a n y o u t s i d e m a t e r i a l s b y t h e G r e a t D a o , t h e c o s m i c
e q u i v a l e n t o f the g e s t a t i n g female.

^^e<ittfie «W /4tUttccU
T h e lifestyle e m b r a c e d b y D a o i s t s a n d their f u n d a m e n t a l attitude t o w a r d
food i n m a n y r e s p e c t s r e s e m b l e s the t e a c h i n g and m e t h o d s o f m a c r o b i o -
tics, a m o d e r n J a p a n e s e a d a p t a t i o n of traditional C h i n e s e d i e t a r y therapy.
Its founder, G e o r g e O h s a w a ( 1 8 9 3 - 1 9 6 6 ) , c o n t r a c t e d t u b e r c u l o s i s i n 1 9 0 9
a n d w a s told that he w o u l d die s o o n . T r y i n g to a v o i d this, he s t u d i e d a
b o o k by S a g e n I s h i z u k a called The Curative Method of Diet a n d b e g a n to
eat a c c o r d i n g l y . H e c o n s u m e d o n l y n a t u r a l foods a n d b e v e r a g e s a n d
m a d e w h o l e g r ai ns t h e b a c k b o n e o f his diet. After h e c u r e d himself, h e
taught the m e t h o d t o others. H i s m a i n di s ci pl es w e r e H e r m a n A i k a w a
a n d M i c h i o K u s h i . In 1 9 4 9 , the latter b r o u g h t the p r a c t i c e to the U . S .
where he gave lectures, conducted workshops, wrote books, and
f o u n d e d c e n t e r s i n B o s t o n and S a n F r a n c i s c o . H e e d u c a t e d w i d e s e g -
m e n t s o f the p o p u l a t i o n o n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n diet, lifestyle, and
disease, and w i t h his w h o l e - f o o d nutrition m e t h o d w a s successful in cur-
7 4 / Daoist Food

ing numerous d e g e n e r a t i v e diseases, i n c l u d i n g t e r m i n a l c a s e s (see


www.macrobiotics.org).

M a c r o b i o t i c s i s b a s e d o n the c o s m o l o g y o f yin a n d y a n g i n relationship


to D a o , w h i c h h e r e is d e s c r i b e d as Infinity. Infinity m a n i f e s t s itself in t h e
c o m p l e m e n t a r y forces yin a n d y a n g , w h i c h a r e e n d l e s s i n c h a n g e a n d
t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . Y i n r e p r e s e n t s centrifugality; y a n g r e p r e s e n t s c e n t r i p e -
tality. T o g e t h e r t h e y p r o d u c e qi and thus all p h e n o m e n a . T h e y attract
a n d repel e a c h other a n d c o n s t a n t l y c h a n g e into o n e a n o t h e r . N o t h i n g
e v e r is s o l e l y yin or s o l e l y y a n g , and —as C h i n e s e and D a o i s t dieticians
w o u l d easily a g r e e — o n e h a s t o m a i n t a i n t h e p r o p e r b a l a n c e b e t w e e n
t h e m for c o n t i n u e d h e a l t h a n d prosperity.

T o find this b a l a n c e , o n e s h o u l d e a t o r g a n i c a l l y g r o w n , w h o l e , a n d local


f o o d s that are in s e a s o n a n d , D a o i s t s w o u l d add, p i c k e d or h a r v e s t e d at
t h e right t i m e i n t h e p r o p e r a l i g n m e n t w i t h H e a v e n and Earth. O n e
s h o u l d listen t o the b o d y , u n d e r t a k e r e g u l a r e x e r c i s e — i n c l u d i n g b r e a t h -
ing, stretches, a n d m e d i t a t i o n s — a n d k e e p stress levels low. M a c r o b i o t i c
followers further specify that m e a l s s h o u l d c o n t a i n o n e part y a n g to five
p a r t s yin, a ratio found n a t u r a l l y in w h o l e grains, e s p e c i a l l y in b r o w n
rice, w h i c h s h o u l d m a k e u p h a l f o f t h e diet. T h e other h a l f s h o u l d c o n s i s t
of organic vegetables plus beans, seaweed, condiments/pickles, soups,
and beverages (Kushi and Esko 1993).

D a o i s t s d o n o t h a v e a n y specifications o f this sort, rather e n c o u r a g i n g


p e o p l e to find the b a l a n c e b e t w e e n grain, v e g e t a b l e s , a n d o t h e r food-
stuffs that is b e s t suited to their i n d i v i d u a l constitution, p l u s m a t c h i n g
t h e s e a s o n s a n d social context. T h e y also d o n o t e m p h a s i z e w h o l e g r a i n s
n e a r l y a s m u c h , a l l o w i n g the u s e o f w h i t e rice, b r e a d , a n d n o o d l e s ( S a s o
1 9 9 4 , xix; P e n g 2 0 0 6 a - e ) . A s traditional m a n u a l s p o i n t out, all foods o f
t h e different g r o u p s s h o u l d b e p r e p a r e d s o they a r e n e i t h e r t o o h o t o r t o o
cold, t o o s p i c y or t o o b l a n d , or c o n t a i n a n y h a r m f u l s u b s t a n c e s (Yaoxiu
keyi 9 . 1 4 b ) . F o o d o v e r a l l s h o u l d " h a r m o n i z e t h e b l o o d a n d b o d y fluids,
p r e s e r v e a n d n o u r i s h t h e b o d y a n d spirit, c a l m t h e spirit s o u l a n d settle
t h e will, a n d in general e x p e l all w i n d and d a m p n e s s , t h u s greatly en-
h a n c i n g life a n d e x t e n d i n g old a g e " {Fashi jinjie jing, 1.17-18).

L i k e m a c r o b i o t i c practitioners, d e d i c a t e d D a o i s t s ideally a v o i d m e a t ,
a l c o h o l , sugar, a n d caffeine; a n y t h i n g c o l d , c a n n e d , frozen, a n d irradi-
ated; as well as all artificially c o l o r e d , p r e s e r v e d , sprayed, or c h e m i c a l l y
t r e a t e d f o o d s (such a s s o d a s ) . M e d i e v a l m o n a s t i c k i t c h e n s a l s o p r o h i b -
What Daoists Eat / 75

ited m a t e r i a l s i m p o r t e d from far-away p l a c e s as well as t h o s e c o m i n g


from families w i t h a r e c e n t birth or death, from r o b b e r s or l a s c i v i o u s
p e o p l e . M o n k s and n u n s a v o i d e d a n y t h i n g left b e h i n d b y birds, b e a s t s ,
w o r m s , or fish; a n y food offered to p o p u l a r (and thus i m p u r e ) spirits
and d e m o n s at altars, shrines, or t e m p l e s ; a n y t h i n g u n c l e a n , rotten,
m o l d y , b r o k e n , b u r n t , or defiled; as well as a n y foodstuffs that c h i l d r e n
h a d t o u c h e d a n d r e t u r n e d to their m o t h e r s (Fashi jinjie jing, # 1 4 - 2 5 ) . If
a n y d o n o r c a m e t o the m o n a s t e r y offering food o f this type, i t w a s c o n -
sidered n o n r i t u a l (feifa ^ N £ ) a n d n o t a c c e p t e d . " I f s o m e o n e a m o n g the
faithful d e m a n d s n o n r i t u a l food, q u i e t l y s e n d h i m a w a y a n d d o n o t al-
low h i m to c o m e a g a i n " (Qianzhen ke 14a; Yaoxiu keyi 9.9b).

B e y o n d b e i n g careful a b o u t s e l e c t i n g t h e food, b o t h m a c r o b i o t i c a n d
D a o i s t p r a c t i t i o n e r s p l a c e a great deal of e m p h a s i s on its p r o p e r treat-
m e n t a n d careful p r e p a r a t i o n ( S a s o 1994, xvii; H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 1 0 8 ) . K i t c h -
e n s s h o u l d be light and airy, c o m f o r t a b l e r o o m s that c r e a t e a h a p p y
w o r k e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e d e s i g n s h o u l d m a t c h t h e rules o f traditional
F e n g S h u i a n d a p p o r t i o n light, w a t e r , and fire in the p r o p e r m a n n e r
( M i l e s 1 9 9 8 , 3 5 ) . A l l b a s e m a t e r i a l s and utensils, m o r e o v e r , s h o u l d m a t c h
the r e q u i r e m e n t s o f n a t u r a l n e s s a n d clarity. T h u s m a c r o b i o t i c c o o k s p r e -
fer natural oils, rice paste, or b e a n p a s t e as b a s e s and u s e o n l y n a t u r a l
utensils such a s u n g l a z e d p o t t e r y o r e a r t h e n w a r e , w o o d e n s p a t u l a s a n d
strainers ( K u s h i a n d J a c k 1985).

B o t h also a g r e e that the m i n d of the c o o k is essential to its efficacy a n d


w h o l e n e s s , a feature e m p h a s i z e d also in Z e n B u d d h i s m . 2 A l l k i t c h e n
staff s h o u l d c u l t i v a t e a c a l m , m e d i t a t i v e , a n d c o s m i c a l l y a w a r e attitude.
A l r e a d y the s i x t h - c e n t u r y Badi jing A?i?IS ( S c r i p t u r e o f t h e E i g h t E m p e r -
ors, D Z 6 4 0 ) , a k e y text o f the T h r e e S o v e r e i g n s ( S a n h u a n g HM) s c h o o l ,
e m p h a s i z e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f p e r s o n a l integrity, b o t h i n society a n d i n
relation to food. It insists that D a o i s t s s h o u l d by all m e a n s avoid:

1. exhibiting vulgarity because it drains life away;


2. eating a lot because it clogs the conduits of qi;
3. drinking a lot because it weakens the bladder;

2 The most famous incident in this regard is the meeting of Dogen (1200-
1253) and the cook. In 1223, the Japanese master traveled to China to study medi-
tation. Still on the ship, he was received by a senior envoy of his host monastery
who turned out to be the cook—a traditionally lowly role that yet was essential
for the functioning of the whole and also showed the importance of activating
the teaching in mundane reality. See LaFleur 1985; Dumoulin 1988.
76 / Daoist Food

4. getting very warm because it dissolves the bone marrow;


5. getting very cold because it harms the flesh;
6. eating cold food because it causes illnesses;
7. crying and spitting because it drains the body's juices;
8. watching things for a long time because it dims the eyesight;
9. listening for a long time because it clogs the perception;
10. crying for a long time because it saddens the spirit;
11. shouting suddenly because it startles the souls;
12. thinking complex thoughts because it obscures the will;
13. becoming angry because it makes the spirit unhappy. (13ab)

M e d i e v a l m o n a s t i c rules e c h o t h e s e gui del i nes . A s the Guanxing jing Igfj


I I (Scripture o f B e h a v i o r a l O b s e r v a t i o n s ; D u n h u a n g m a n u s c r i p t P . 2 4 1 0 ;
S . 3 1 4 0 ) specifies, all k i t c h e n w o r k s h o u l d b e d o n e w i t h great c i r c u m -
spection, e x h i b i t i n g t o l e r a n c e , humility, and o b e d i e n c e (1. 2 4 4 - 4 6 ) . W o r k -
e r s s h o u l d be the first to rise a n d the last to b e d , s e r v i n g the c o m m u n i t y
w i t h d e d i c a t i o n a n d a l w a y s striving t o a v o i d the n o i s y b a n g i n g o f pots
a n d p a n s o r s h o u t i n g o f o r d e r s . R e s p o n s i b l e for c o m m u n a l health, they
m u s t n e v e r w a s t e s u p p l i e s by, for e x a m p l e , c u t t i n g the roots off v e g e t a -
b l e s or t a k i n g firewood from g r o w i n g trees (1. 2 4 6 - 5 4 ) . T h e y s h o u l d al-
w a y s m e a s u r e t h e p r o p e r a m o u n t s w h i l e carefully p i c k i n g grasses, alien
s e e d s , and a n i m a l d r o p p i n g s o u t of the grain a n d w a s h i n g it in a sturdy
c o n t a i n e r w i t h c l e a n w a t e r for at least five t i m e s ( 1 . 2 7 8 - 8 3 ) .

In t h e s a m e spirit, m e a l s in traditional settings as well as a m o n g m o d e r n


D a o i s t s a n d m a c r o b i o t i c s are h o l y a n d treated w i t h a w e a n d respect.
W h i l e eating, t h e focus is e n t i r e l y on t h e food a n d its s h a r i n g w i t h the
g o d s a n d all b e i n g s . A l t h o u g h there m a y be the recitation of a s a c r e d text,
in all c a s e s idle c h a t t e r or b u s i n e s s talk are s u s p e n d e d , all c h e w i n g is pa-
tient and c o n s c i o u s , a n d a p o r t i o n of t h e s t o m a c h , as m u c h as a third,
r e m a i n s e m p t y . Ideally, o n e t a k e s a s h o r t w a l k after t h e m e a l or does
s o m e o t h e r m o v e m e n t that s u p p o r t s d i g e s t i o n ( H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 4 4 , 1 1 3 ) .

B o t h D a o i s t e a t i n g and m a c r o b i o t i c s h a v e further i n c o m m o n that they


c r e a t e h e a l i n g , i n c r e a s e vigor, and e n h a n c e longevity. A s h a s b e e n
s h o w n in s o m e detail for m a c r o b i o t i c s , t h e diet detoxifies the b o d y , sup-
p o r t s its self-healing abilities, a n d s t r e n g t h e n s t h e i m m u n e s y s t e m b \ '
i n c r e a s i n g t h e functioning of the o r g a n s and aiding n a t u r a l stabilization.
It is i m p o r t a n t in this c o n t e x t that n e i t h e r m a c r o b i o t i c s n o r t h e D a o i s t
w a y of e a t i n g are m e r e l y a diet b u t i n v o l v e a c o m p l e t e c h a n g e in lifestyle,
What Daoists Eat / 77

f r e n d i n g m o r e t i m e p r e p a r i n g a n d e a t i n g food a n d b e c o m i n g m o r e c o n -
rcious o f o n e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o n a t u r e and D a o o r Infinity

7r:e modern school of Daoist monasticism. Complete Perfection


s ^ a n z h e n ^ f t ) , h a s c o n t i n u e d t h e m e d i e v a l tradition i n m a n y w a y s . Its
Tiitial o r d i n a t i o n text is the Oiuzhen jie WMM ( P r e c e p t s of Initial Perfec-
r.on, (JY 2 7 8 , 2 9 2 ; ZW 4 0 4 ; 3 trl. H a c k m a n n 1 9 2 0 ) . It r e p r e s e n t s t h e first
step in a three-level o r d i n a t i o n s y s t e m , s t a n d a r d i z e d by W a n g C h a n g y u e
— (zi K u n y a n g 'MM, d. 1 6 8 0 ) , w h o s e r v e d as the l e a d e r of t h e d o m i -
- a n t L o n g m e n flH s u b s e c t a n d a b b o t o f its h e a d q u a r t e r s a t the B a i y u n
r a a n ^MM ( W h i t e C l o u d T e m p l e ) i n B e i j i n g ( E s p o s i t o 2 0 0 0 , 6 2 9 ) .

The text b e g i n s b y r e q u i r i n g o r d i n a n d s t o t a k e refuge i n the D a o , the


-criptures, and the m a s t e r s , t h e n s w e a r to o b e y sets of five a n d ten p r e -
cepts. T h e latter specify, a m o n g others, that they s h o u l d n o t " b e lascivi-
ous or l o s e perfection, defile or insult t h e n u m i n o u s qi." T h e y s h o u l d
abstain from " d r i n k i n g w i n e b e y o n d m e a s u r e o r e a t i n g m e a t i n violation
of the p r o h i b i t i o n s " ( 2 2 a ) . A c o m p l e m e n t a r y w o r k , t h e Qinggiii xuanmiao
^M'^i^" ( P u r e R u l e s , M y s t e r i o u s a n d M a r v e l o u s , Z W 3 6 1 ) , ' ' s i m i l a r l y
prohibits the c o n s u m p t i o n o f w i n e and fancy foods, s u c h a s l u s c i o u s
m u s h r o o m s and m e a t , a n d p u n i s h e s v i o l a t i o n s o f this rule b y c a n i n g a n d
e x p u l s i o n (see Y o s h i o k a 1 9 7 9 ; K o h n 2 0 0 3 b ) .

Food w a s p r e c i o u s and i m p o r t a n t . M o n a s t i c s p a r t o o k of it in formal


m e a l - t i m e c e r e m o n i e s and, like B u d d h i s t s , o b t a i n e d s o m e o f i t b y b e g -
ging. U s i n g t h e b e g g i n g b o w l a n d eating from it w a s a h i g h l y ritualized
activity, p e r f o r m e d w i t h great care. As the Chuzhen jie says:

3 The abbreviation " J Y " stands for Daozang jiyao MM^^- or "Collected
Essentials of the Daoist Canon," a collection of texts from the early nineteenth
century. " Z W " indicates Zangwai daoshu M'9\-M9, "Daoist Texts Outside the
Canon," a recent compilation. Both are numbered according to Komjathy 2002.
" The text was collected in manuscript form by the German missionary
Heinrich Hackmann in 1910-11. It originally appeared in the Gu shuyinlou cang-
shu tjW^WMW (Library of Hidden Books in the Ancient Pavilion) by Min Yide
S l ^ t i (1758-1836), the eleventh patriarch of the Longmen flPI branch of the
Complete Perfection school on Mount Jin'gai. See Kohn 2003b.
78 / Daoist Food

The begging bowl should have the shape of the eight trigrams.
Only the opening for the lid should be round. It should be kept
in a special bowl bag and taken out only when it is time to eat.
After concluding the incantation [at meals], mentally gather
your qi and visualize the spirit, then eat without opening your
mouth widely or making any sucking noises. Use the spoon
when appropriate. After food has been taken, wash the bowl
and return it to its bag. Every time you go agair\st this, it will
coimt as one transgression. (30a)

T h e s e r u l e s a p p l i e d b o t h t o m e n a n d w o m e n , h o w e v e r , t h e latter a l s o
r e c e i v e d a set of t w e l v e s p e c i a l p r e c e p t s , listed in t h e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y
m a n u a l Nil jindan ix^^f} {Women's Golden Elixir, Z W 8 7 1 , 8 7 8 ; T a o 1 9 8 9 ,
5 7 - 1 2 2 ) . R u l e s h e r e e m p h a s i z e the m e n t a l state w o m e n n e e d e d t o culti-
vate, encouraging them to "restrain the recurrence of inappropriate
t h o u g h t s ; " t o " c u t off lust and s e x u a l i n d u l g e n c e ; " t o a v o i d "flying into
r a g e s " or g i v i n g in to a n g e r , fear, or a n x i e t y ; as w e l l as to c u r b t e n d e n c i e s
t o w a r d curiosity, g o s s i p , s t i n g i n e s s , a n d s c o r n . W o m e n w e r e n o t s u p -
p o s e d t o "kill o r h a r m a n y l i v i n g b e i n g " a n d h a d t o " a v o i d e x c e s s i n eat-
i n g m e a t " (1.4a-5a; D e s p e u x a n d K o h n 2 0 0 3 , 1 6 5 ) .

M o s t C o m p l e t e P e r f e c t i o n f o l l o w e r s t o d a y u n d e r g o initial o r d i n a t i o n
s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h that into the s e c o n d level, w h i c h i n v o l v e s t a k i n g the
3 0 0 p r e c e p t s listed i n t h e Zhongjijie c j ^ S i i S ( P r e c e p t s o f M e d i u m U l t i m a t e ,
J Y 2 9 3 , Z W 4 0 5 ; trl. H a c k m a n n 1 9 3 1 ) . C l o s e l y p a t t e r n e d o n the m e d i e v a l
Guanshen dajie MM'i\f^ ( G r e a t P r e c e p t s o f S e l f - O b s e r v a t i o n , D Z 1364; trl.
K o h n 2 0 0 4 a , 2 0 4 - 2 9 ) , this c o n t a i n s t h r e e g r o u p s o f rules: a set o f 1 8 0 s o -
cially o r i e n t e d p r o h i b i t i o n s that f r e q u e n t l y f o l l o w the r u l e s of the Laojun
shuo Yibai bashi jie JVi'J^ ( 1 8 0 P r e c e p t s R e v e a l e d b y L o r d Lao,
DZ 786) a fourth-century collection of Celestial Masters' precepts
(Hendrischke and Penny 1998, 22; Schipper 2001; Kohn 2004a, 73-74, 136-
4 4 ) ; thirty-six a d m o n i t i o n s that specify f o r m s o f m o n a s t i c b e h a v i o r , a n d
e i g h t y - f o u r altruistic r e s o l u t i o n s .

W i t h r e g a r d t o food, t h e text p r o h i b i t s k i l l i n g for n o u r i s h m e n t (no. 1),


t a k i n g the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s (no. 4 ) , w a s t i n g food (no. 7 0 ) , t h r o w i n g
i t i n t o w a t e r o r fire (no. 4 1 ) , a n d t o u c h i n g i t w i t h b a r e h a n d s (no. 1 5 4 ) . I t
e m p h a s i z e s that o n e s h o u l d live o n a v e g e t a r i a n diet (no. 2 1 7 ) , b e c o n t e n t
w i t h t a k i n g c o a r s e a n d t a s t e l e s s b i t s (no. 1 8 8 ) , a n d " w i s h that t h e d o n o r
m a y attain g o o d f o r t i m e a n d b e a l w a y s full a n d s a t i s f i e d " w h e n g i v e n a
What Daoists Eat / 79

m o r s e l d u r i n g b e g g i n g r o u n d s (no. 1 9 5 ) (see K o h n 2 0 0 4 a , 5 3 - 5 4 ; H u a n g
2007,16-17).

M o d e r n D a o i s t s also t e n d t o stay a w a y from e g g s a n d d a i r y a n d d r i n k a


lot of tea, selecting t h e p a r t i c u l a r k i n d that b e s t m a t c h e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s
constitution, time, t e m p e r a t u r e , a n d p l a c e . I t m a y s o u n d difficult a n d
e x p e n s i v e at first to e a t in this m a n n e r , b u t it is in fact q u i t e affordable,
since the a m o u n t of food o n e c o n s u m e s is c o n s i d e r a b l y less t h a n in a diet
that relies on p r o c e s s e d foods. T h e b o d y , after all, eats until it gets the
n o u r i s h m e n t i t n e e d s : the m o r e o n e c o n s u m e s c a l o r i e s w i t h o u t nutrients,
the l o n g e r a n d t h e m o r e o n e h a s t o eat.

Vegetarianism is the conscious and intentional avoidance of animal


p r o d u c t s i n o n e ' s diet. I t c o m e s i n t h r e e distinct f o r m s ( B r o w n l i e 2 0 0 2 , 4 -
5). T h e m o s t c o m m o n i s t h e a v o i d a n c e o f m e a t , i.e., t h e flesh o f b u t c h e r e d ,
caught, o r o t h e r w i s e d e a d a n i m a l s , s u m m a r i z e d i n the s i m p l e rule: " I f i t
h a s eyes, d o n ' t eat it." V e g e t a r i a n s o f this k i n d will u s u a l l y c o n s u m e
e g g s (preferably unfertilized) a n d d a i r y p r o d u c t s a s well a s h o n e y a n d
o t h e r foods that are b a s e d o n a n i m a l s b u t d o n o t i n v o l v e killing. T h e y
are t e c h n i c a l l y c a l l e d o v o - l a c t a r i a n s . S u b g r o u p s i n c l u d e t h o s e that e a t
e g g s b u t n o dairy, and v i c e v e r s a ( F o x 1 9 9 9 , 5 5 ) .

A n o t h e r k i n d o f v e g e t a r i a n i s m , less radical a n d found a m o n g s o m e H i n -


d u s a n d certain g r o u p s in the W e s t , is the a v o i d a n c e of all " r e d " m e a t ,
i.e., the flesh o f m a m m a l s , b u t a l l o w i n g the c o n s u m p t i o n o f p o u l t r y a n d
fish on t h e g r o u n d s that their n e r v o u s s y s t e m s are t o o different from the
h u m a n c o n s t i t u t i o n to m a k e a difference. It m i g h t be c a l l e d s e m i -
v e g e t a r i a n . A third k i n d , m o r e r a d i c a l and i n c r e a s i n g l y p o p u l a r in t h e
W e s t , is t h e so-called v e g a n diet, w h o s e followers e s c h e w all k i n d s of
a n i m a l p r o d u c t s , e v e n eggs, dairy, and the like. T h i s often also i n v o l v e s
t h e a v o i d a n c e o f other a n i m a l - b a s e d objects, s u c h a s silk a n d leather.
S u b g r o u p s h e r e i n c l u d e m a c r o b i o t i c s w h o eat m a i n l y w h o l e g r a i n s a n d
sea v e g e t a b l e s , n a t u r a l h y g i e n i s t s w h o a l s o p r o p o s e p e r i o d s o f fasting,
a n d r a w food eaters ( F o x 1 9 9 9 , 5 5 ) .

T h e m o t i v a t i o n for v e g e t a r i a n eating, too, is threefold: p h y s i o l o g i c a l ,


p s y c h o l o g i c a l , and e c o l o g i c a l . T h e m o s t c o m m o n r e a s o n i n the m o d e m
W e s t is e c o l o g i c a l : an ethical s e n s e of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the w o r l d t h a t
i n c l u d e s c o m p a s s i o n for t h e suffering o f a n i m a l s a n d the u n d e r s t a n d i n g
8 0 / Daoist Food

that w o r l d h u n g e r a n d e c o l o g i c a l d e s t r u c t i o n c o u l d b e e a s i l y s t o p p e d i f
s o m u c h g r a i n a n d v e g e t a b l e s w e r e n o t u s e d i n r a i s i n g a n i m a l s for
s l a u g h t e r (see Inglis 1 9 9 3 ; Y o u n g 1 9 9 9 ; R o t h 2 0 0 9 ; F o x 1 9 9 9 , c h s . 5-6).
While animal welfare as an aspect of humanitarianism emerged only in
t h e 1 8 7 0 s ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 2 6 6 ) , v e g e t a r i a n e a t i n g for w o r l d c o m m u n i t y
r e a s o n s h a s f o r e r u n n e r s i n a n c i e n t Egypt, G r e e c e , a n d India. M o s t i m p o r -
tant in the W e s t w a s the t h o u g h t of P y t h a g o r a s (ca. 5 7 0 - 4 9 5 B.C.E.), after
w h o m v e g e t a r i a n i s m w a s c a l l e d the P y t h a g o r e a n diet until 1 8 4 7 w h e n
the Vegetarian Society w a s founded at N o r t h w o o d Villa in Ramsgate,
E n g l a n d ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 2 3 8 ; Stuart 2 0 0 6 , 4 2 2 ) .

A l r e a d y the a n c i e n t E g y p t i a n s c o n s i d e r e d p l a n t s a n d a n i m a l s t o b e gifts
of the g o d s that h a d to be h o n o r e d a n d n o t killed ( D a r b y et al. 1 9 7 7 ) , a
t e a c h i n g that P y t h a g o r a s a d o p t e d after b e i n g t r a i n e d as a priest in D i o s -
p o l i s ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 4 4 - 4 5 ) . B e s i d e s b e i n g a stellar m a t h e m a t i c i a n a n d
n a t u r a l o b s e r v e r , he b e l i e v e d in r e i n c a r n a t i o n a n d e s p o u s e d a radical
p h i l o s o p h y o f c o s m i c i n t e g r a t i o n a n d n o n - v i o l e n c e . H i s a c a d e m y trained
n u m e r o u s d i s c i p l e s i n r i g o r o u s self-cultivation, r e q u i r i n g ascetic p r a c -
tices a n d a five-year v o w o f s i l e n c e ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 4 6 ) . H i s t h i n k i n g a n d
p r a c t i c e s m a y h a v e b e e n i n f l u e n c e d b y India, h o m e o f t h e f o r e m o s t v e g e -
tarian c u l t u r e o n t h e p l a n e t a n d a definite s p o n s o r o f W e s t e r n v e g e t a r i -
a n i s m after t h e R e n a i s s a n c e .

I n d i a n t h i n k e r s a d o p t e d a n e c o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n d u e t o t h e d o c t r i n e o f re-
i n c a r n a t i o n o r m e t e m p s y c h o s i s , w h i c h m e a n s that all l i v i n g b e i n g s are
i n t e r c o n n e c t e d a n d t h e killing o f o n e affects all o t h e r s ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 7 4 ) .
T h e b e e f t a b o o in C h i n a , too, is a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of this. It b e g a n in t h e
T a n g - S o n g transition a n d c o n t i n u e d until the late n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y .
T h e t a b o o a r o s e d u e t o e c o n o m i c n e c e s s i t y , the s l a u g h t e r o f w a t e r buffa-
l o s c a u s i n g a p o t e n t i a l s h o r t n e s s of draft a n i m a l s , then e x p a n d e d into
b r o a d e r v i e w s o f a n i m a l w e l f a r e (see G o o s s a e r t 2 0 0 5 ; 2 0 0 9 ) . N u m e r o u s
stories i n S o n g - d y n a s t y l i t e r a t u r e tell o f b u t c h e r s b e i n g c o n v e r t e d t o
v e g e t a r i a n i s m by a s l a u g h t e r e d ox a p p e a r i n g to t h e m in a d r e a m a n d
telling t h e m j u s t h o w b a d l y t h e y felt a n d h o w m u c h t h e y suffered, i n
s o m e c a s e s s w e a r i n g r e v e n g e o n t h e m a n d their f a m i l y (see L a v o i x 2 0 0 2 ;
Kieschnick 2005,195).

T h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l m o t i v a t i o n for v e g e t a r i a n i s m i s that c o n s c i o u s eating


c r e a t e s s u b t l e r a w a r e n e s s i n t h e m i n d ( A d a m s 2 0 0 0 , 4 3 ; F o x 1 9 9 9 , ch. 7).
It is a l s o at the r o o t of t h e B u d d h i s t position: t h e m i n d is e s s e n t i a l in c r e -
a t i n g reality a n d c o n t i n u i n g k a r m a , a n d a n i m a l c o n s u m p t i o n a d d s t o the
What Daoists Eat / 81

store o f n e g a t i v e e m o t i o n s . I t d o e s s o t h r o u g h t w o factors. First, a c c o r d -


ing to B u d d h i s t u n d e r s t a n d i n g , in o r d e r to kill a n y o n e or a n y t h i n g , o n e
has t o g e n e r a t e v i o l e n t a g g r e s s i o n i n t h e f o r m o f either h a t r e d o r g r e e d ,
either d e t e s t i n g t h e b e i n g o r p e r s o n o r s t r o n g l y d e s i r i n g their p o s s e s s i o n ,
such as in r o b b e r y or b u t c h e r i n g .

T h e s e c o n d factor i s that a n y a n i m a l , h o w e v e r " h u m a n e l y " s l a u g h t e r e d ,


dies a s u d d e n a n d v i o l e n t death. At t h e m o m e n t of death, it i n e v i t a b l y is
terrified a n d —as h a s a l s o b e e n s h o w n i n scientific s t u d i e s — r e l e a s e s
large a m o u n t s of stress h o r m o n e s t h r o u g h o u t its entire b o d y , w h i c h r e - ,

I
m a i n in t h e m e a t . As a result, a n y o n e c o n s u m i n g a n i m a l flesh is subject
t o the k a r m i c e m a n a t i o n s o f b o t h t h e killer a n d the victim, a b s o r b i n g c e r -
tain a m o u n t s of g r e e d a n d fear, a c o n d i t i o n B u d d h i s t s d e s c r i b e as " s e c -
o n d a r y k a r m a . " S i n c e the e n t i r e B u d d h i s t e n t e r p r i s e i s g e a r e d t o the less-
ening and eventual dissolution of karma, adding to one's store is c o i m -
terproductive and should be avoided.

A t the s a m e t i m e , e a r l y B u d d h i s t s w e r e n o t strict v e g e t a r i a n s , n o r are


contemporary practitioners in Japan, Tibet, or Southeast Asia. T h e B u d -
dha, h i m s e l f a l l e g e d l y d y i n g from e a t i n g s p o i l e d pork, s u p p o r t e d t h e
e a t i n g o f m e a t for m e d i c i n a l u s e s a n d specified o n l y that o n e s h o u l d n o t
c o n s u m e e l e p h a n t o r h o r s e m e a t b e c a u s e t h e y w e r e the r u l e r ' s a n i m a l s ,
serpents because they were holy, and dogs b e c a u s e they were lowly and
filthy ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 188).

T h e p r o b l e m w a s that " b e g g a r s c a n ' t b e c h o o s e r s . " I n o t h e r w o r d s , b e i n g


strict v e g e t a r i a n s w o u l d m a k e m e n d i c a n t m o n k s p i c k a n d c h o o s e from
a m o n g the a l m s t h e y c o l l e c t e d , c r e a t i n g a s e n s e o f e n t i t l e m e n t a n d s t r o n g
ego, which is karmically even worse than traces of secondary karma
( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 8 1 ) . D e v a d a t t a , a s e n i o r d i s c i p l e o f the B u d d h a , a c c o r d -
ingly criticized v e g e t a r i a n s for o s t e n t a t i o n a n d e v e n c a l l e d it a f o r m of
e x t r e m i s m that w e n t a g a i n s t t h e M i d d l e W a y ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 8 9 ) . T h e
o r i g i n a l rule i n t h e a n c i e n t B u d d h i s t s texts w a s , therefore, that m o n k s
c o u l d eat m e a t a n d u s e a n i m a l s for o t h e r things, s u c h a s m i l k p r o d u c t s ,
silk, shells, a n d leather, b u t that the a n i m a l s h o u l d u n d e r n o c i r c u m -
s t a n c e s b e killed s p e c i a l l y for t h e m a n d that t h e y s h o u l d , a s m u c h a s
p o s s i b l e , t a k e the m e a t out o f d i s h e s ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 9 0 ) .

A s R i c h a r d M a t h e r h a s s h o w n ( 1 9 8 1 ) , this c h a n g e d i n C h i n a w h e r e b e g -
g i n g w a s f r o w n e d u p o n a n d the s a n g h a c o u l d g r o w its o n food o n l a n d
d o n a t e d b y w e a l t h y aristocrats a n d t h e i m p e r i a l court. H a v i n g c o n t r o l
8 2 / Daoist Food

o v e r food p r o d u c t i o n e l i m i n a t e d t h e n e e d t o a c c e p t m e a t i n a n y form.
Strict v e g e t a r i a n i s m g r e w . E m p e r o r W u o f the L i a n g (r. 5 0 2 - 5 4 9 ) , a de-
v o u t B u d d h i s t , w a s also a d e d i c a t e d v e g e t a r i a n a n d did m u c h to spread
t h e practice, i n c l u d i n g t h e p r o m o t i o n of gluten as a m e a t substitute
( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 4 9 7 - 9 8 ) . H i s " E s s a y o n the R e n u n c i a t i o n o f M e a t " a r g u e d
a g a i n s t the traditional m e d i c a l p o s i t i o n that c o n s u m i n g o n l y v e g e t a b l e s
w o u l d c r e a t e t o o m u c h c o l d i n t h e b o d y a n d t h u s i m p e d e health, e m p h a -
s i z i n g that m e a t c o u l d also d e p l e t e qi and that t h e g o d s w e r e r e p e l l e d by
t h e acrid s m e l l o f b u r n i n g flesh ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 9 8 - 9 9 ; D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 ,
30). 5

H i s influence m a d e a b i g difference a n d the n e w s t a n d a r d g r a d u a l h


s p r e a d , also into D a o i s t circles. I t w a s aided greatly b y i n c r e a s e d pres-
s u r e o f the laity w h o liked t o s e e their c l e r g y p u r e and o t h e r w o r l d l y , not
s h o w i n g off w e a l t h o r e n g a g i n g i n s e n s o r y e n t e r t a i n m e n t s s u c h a s eating
m e a t ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 2 0 1 ) . F a u x m e a t , s u c h a s fish, d u c k , o r p o r k m a d e
from tofu b e c a m e p o p u l a r in t h e tenth century, a l l o w i n g r e l i g i o u s repre-
s e n t a t i v e s to s a v e face at f o r m a l b a n q u e t s and be active p a r t i c i p a n t s in
v a r i o u s social situations ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 2 9 9 ; K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 8 6 ) . T h e full
p r a c t i c e o f C h i n e s e r e l i g i o u s v e g e t a r i a n i s m that a l s o i n v o l v e d the absten-
tion from garlic, o n i o n s , and e g g s , h a s b e e n in p l a c e s i n c e the thirteenth
c e n t u r y a n d i s still a c t i v e l y p u r s u e d t o d a y ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 8 7 ) .

A n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n o f t h e B u d d h i s t o b j e c t i o n t o m e a t e a t i n g i s t h e over-
all I n d i a n n o t i o n that, d u e to the o n g o i n g rebirth p r o c e s s , t h e c o w , pig, or
c h i c k e n o n e is c o n s u m i n g m i g h t p o s s i b l y be a relative r e b o r n in anima'.
form. B o t h I n d i a n a n d C h i n e s e texts d e s c r i b e v a r i o u s h e i n o u s deeds
l e a d i n g to rebirth in n a s t y s i t u a t i o n s a n d as a n i m a l s . F o r e x a m p l e , the
Bala-pandita-sutta ( D i s c o u r s e on F o o l s a n d the W i s e ) says that sinful peo-
p l e are first m a d e to suffer in the N i r a y a Hell, t h e n c o m e b a c k as animals
i n c l u d i n g n o t o n l y w o r m s a n d insects b u t a l s o h o r s e s , cattle, s h e e p , deer
chickens, pigs, and dogs ( H o m e r 1967, 3:213-14; Kohn 1998a, 4). Anyone
c o n s u m i n g s u c h a n a n i m a l w o u l d , therefore, b e p o t e n t i a l l y guilty o :
c a n n i b a l i s m , p r o h i b i t e d w i d e l y i n traditional c u l t u r e s a n d a l s o i n C h i n a
(Despeux 2007, 30).

5 His writing was as influential in China as the 4-volume Abstinence frc-.


Animal Food by the Phoenician thinker Porphyry (ca. 232-305) was in the West. I:
too, made arguments in terms of health and sacrifice. See Spencer 1993, 103-05.
What Daoists Eat / 83

7 4 e T>atUa P<t^itc(M,
Daoists a d o p t e d b o t h t h e B u d d h i s t p r a c t i c e o f v e g e t a r i a n e a t i n g a n d t h e
a r g u m e n t s for it, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e m u c h of their ethical a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l
teaching d e v e l o p e d u n d e r B u d d h i s t influence (see Z i i r c h e r 1 9 8 0 ; B o -
k e n k a m p 2 0 0 7 ) . H o w e v e r , their m a i n t a k e o n m e a t a v o i d a n c e i s p h y s i o -
'.ogical r a t h e r than p s y c h o l o g i c a l . T h a t is to say, t h e y o b j e c t to t h e c o n -
s u m p t i o n o f a n i m a l flesh n o t s o m u c h b e c a u s e o f s t r o n g e m o t i o n s a n d
karmic i m p l i c a t i o n s b u t b e c a u s e of w h a t it d o e s to t h e b o d y , to a certain
degree m a t c h i n g m o d e r n h e a l t h c o n c e r n s ( F o x 1 9 9 9 , 6 6 - 7 2 ) . T h e r e are,
h o w e v e r , t w o m o r e specific a s p e c t s i n t h e D a o i s t case. F o r o n e , m e a t i s
i m p u r e and offends t h e p u r e celestial g o d s w h o reside b o t h i n the b o d y
and t h e stars. U n l i k e t h e p o p u l a r d e i t i e s o f t h e m a s s e s , t h e y c o n s i s t o f
subtle c o s m i c are o p p o s e d to killing in a n y form, a n d find the p r e p a -
ration a n d c o n s u m p t i o n o f m e a t r e p u l s i v e ( K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 4 9 ) .

For a n o t h e r , D a o i s t s follow C h i n e s e m e d i c a l lore and see a n i m a l flesh as


\ a n g in quality, p u l l i n g the p e r s o n t o w a r d life and materiality, and t h u s
i n c r e a s i n g internal heat. Just a s traditional p h y s i c i a n s w o u l d r e c o m m e n d
the c o n s u m p t i o n of a m a t c h i n g p a r t (brain to e n h a n c e b r a i n p o w e r , l u n g s
to aid l u n g capacity, p e n i s for greater s e x u a l stamina, etc.) and w a r r i o r s
w o u l d eat the flesh of their e n e m i e s to a b s o r b t h e m a n d their i n h e r e n t
p o w e r or mam ( D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 3 0 ) , so D a o i s t s do not eat m e a t b e c a u s e it
u o u l d m a k e the p e r s o n m o r e like a b e a s t . A s t h e D a o i s t diet a i d s refine-
m e n t a n d p h y s i c a l purification, p r a c t i t i o n e r s w o r k m o r e a n d m o r e w i t h
subtle f o r m s of c\i a n d t h u s a v o i d strong, a g g r e s s i v e s u b s t a n c e s ( H u a n g
2007, 4 - 5 ) .

\ ' e g e t a r i a n i s m i s p a r t o f D a o i s t c o d e s from the b e g i n n i n g . A l r e a d y t h e


fourth-century Laojun shuo Yibai bashijie h a s a series of r e l a t e d p r e c e p t s :

172. If someone kills birds and beasts, fish or other living be-
ings for you, do not eat them.
173. If something has been killed for food, do not eat it.
176. To be able to cut out all meat of living beings and the six
domestic animals is best.
177. To be able to eat only vegetables is most excellent; should
it be impossible, match [your food to] the ruling constellation.
(Kohn 2004a, 145)
84 / Daoist Food

M a t c h i n g t h e "ruHng c o n s t e l l a t i o n " m e a n s t o a v o i d offending t h e spirits


a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c e r t a i n d a y s a n d celestial p a t t e r n s . M o r e details a p p e a r
in t h e fifth-century Lingshu ziwen xianji:

Do not eat the flesh of animals associated with your parent's


birthday.
Do not eat the flesh of arumals associated with your birthday.
Do not eat the flesh of the six domestic animals.
Do not eat the meat of armored [shelled] animals like turtles or
dragons on the days of Six Armored Gods [Liujia A^P].
Do not eat pheasant on bingwu days.
Do not eat the meat of black animals on bingzi days.
Do not eat fish on the ninth day of the second month. (2ab; Bo-
kenkamp 1997, 365)

H e r e m e a t i s a l l o w e d b u t i n c o n t r o l l e d lunits a n d i n c o r r e l a t i o n with the


c o s m i c c o n s t e l l a t i o n o f t h e a d e p t ' s b i r t h date a n d that o f h i s p a r e n t s , a s
w e l l a s w i t h v a r i o u s astrological c o n s t e l l a t i o n s i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e year.
T h e text also s a y s that followers s h o u l d " n o t get d r u n k on yimao d a y s "
( 2 b ) , i m p l y i n g that i t w a s a c c e p t a b l e t o p a r t a k e o f w i n e o n o t h e r d a y s o f
the c y c l e .

The Daoist tendency toward self-refinement and otherworldliness


t h r o u g h v e g e t a r i a n e a t i n g i s also b o r n e out b y m o d e r n p h y s i o l o g i c a l re-
s e a r c h w h i c h s h o w s that t h e refusal of m e a t a n d h e a v y f o o d s is a c o m -
m o n characteristic o f t h e n a t u r a l d y i n g p r o c e s s . A b o u t six w e e k s b e f o r e
death, the d y i n g p e r s o n will w a n t lighter food, t a k i n g o n l y v e g e t a b l e s ,
fruits, a n d j u i c e s , and gradually, r e d u c i n g food intake to n o t h i n g . This
a l l o w s the b o d y t o s h u t its d i g e s t i v e s y s t e m d o w n a n d e l i m i n a t e s all
w a s t e in the b o w e l s , p r e v e n t i n g i n v o l u n t a r y defecation at death. S i m i -
larly, t h e k i d n e y s stop w o r k i n g a n d s h u t d o w n t h e b o d y ' s w a t e r s y s t e m .
L i k e D a o i s t s on a r a d i c a l higu r e g i m e n , p a t i e n t s at t h e v e r y e n d of life
will n o t t a k e either food o r w a t e r . W i t h b o t h d i g e s t i v e tract a n d kidneys
o u t o f c o m m i s s i o n , a n y n o u r i s h m e n t g i v e n w o u l d b e s t o r e d i n the skin
a n d c a u s e painful s w e l l i n g (see C a l l a h a n and K e l l y 1 9 9 2 ; M i m s 1 9 9 9 ) .
V e g e t a r i a n e a t i n g c o m b i n e d w i t h h e i g h t e n e d internal a w a r e n e s s and
d e e p e r b r e a t h i n g , w h e t h e r s p o n t a n e o u s l y a t t h e e n d o f life o r con-
s c i o u s l y in D a o i s t p r a c t i c e , t h u s s e r v e s as a p r e p a r a t i o n for radical trans-
f o r m a t i o n , be it t o w a r d d e a t h or its u l t i m a t e o v e r c o m i n g .
What Daoists Eat / 85

T h e s a m e energetic argvtment i s a l s o m a d e w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e so-called


five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s (xvuxin S ^ ) , w h i c h are v a r i o u s k i n d s o f o n i o n s
and garlic, all p l a n t s in t h e g e n u s Allium. T h e y include:

—Allium cepa {hucong ^M), the c o m m o n o n i o n , a p l a n t of g l o b u l a r s h a p e


that consists of m u l t i p l e layers, o r i g i n a t e d in S p a i n a n d Portugal, a n d
t o d a y g r o w s m a i n l y i n t h e south o f C h i n a and i n I n d o c h i n a . Often d e -
scribed as the " p o o r m a n ' s m e a t " (Stuart 1 9 7 6 , 2 6 ) , it p l a y s a k e y role in
the C h i n e s e diet, c o m m o n l y eaten w i t h rice, millet, o r b r e a d a n d o t h e r
v e g e t a b l e s . M e d i c i n a l l y , it stabilizes v a r i o u s c o n d i t i o n s , b e i n g a d m i n i s -
tered in c a s e s of fever, h e a d a c h e , diarrhea, u r i n a r y infections, a n d rheu-
matic disorders. It h a s an u p w a r d m o v i n g t e n d e n c y , so that o n i o n tea
m a y e x c i t e v o m i t i n g a n d skin c o n d i t i o n s are c o v e r e d w i t h b u l b s o r
a n o i n t e d w i t h its j u i c e (also H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 3 8 - 3 9 ) .

~Allium fistulosum (cong^,), the g r e e n o n i o n or scallion, a n o r t h e r n plant,


is m u c h like the c o m m o n onion, e x c e p t that it d o e s n o t form a b u l b . Its
m e d i c a l u s e s are similar a n d it, too, h a s an e n e r g i z i n g , w a r m i n g , a n d
stabilizing effect (Stuart 1 9 7 6 , 2 6 ) .

—Allium ascalonicum (xie H), the g a r d e n shallot, is also k n o w n as the


" b u n c h i n g o r W e l c h o n i o n " ( A n d e r s o n a n d A n d e r s o n 1977, 3 2 8 ) . Its
b u l b s (xiebai il ) a r e p i c k l e d for m e d i c i n a l use, h a v i n g tonic, nutrient,
a n d astringent p r o p e r t i e s .

—Allium odorum (jiu H), a s m a l l v e r s i o n of leek, is i n d i g e n o u s to Siberia,


M o n g o l i a , a n d C h i n a . A l r e a d y u s e d i n ancestral sacrifices u n d e r the
Z h o u dynasty, i t h a s s t r e n g t h e n i n g pr oper t i es , n o u r i s h i n g and purifying
the b l o o d and efficacious i n c a s e o f p o i s o n o u s b i t e s (Stuart 1 9 7 6 , 2 7 ) .

—Allium sativum (suan H), garlic, is o n e of t h e oldest a n d m o s t c o m m o n


C h i n e s e h e r b s , u s e d i n c o o k i n g a n d for h e a l i n g . N o w called xiaosuan / J ^ ^
(small garlic) in distinction to dasuan {Alliu7n scorodoprasum), the
r o c a m b o l e w h i c h h a s a d e l e t e r i o u s effect (Stuart 1 9 7 6 , 2 8 ) , it c a m e origi-
nally from C e n t r a l A s i a a n d t o d a y is g r o w n e v e r y w h e r e . A v a i l a b l e in
fresh b u l b s , as oil-based extracts, dried p o w d e r s , a n d pills, it kills inter-
nal p a r a s i t e s a n d is k n o w n as the " p o o r m a n ' s antibiotic." It c o n t a i n s
m a n y n a t u r a l a n t i o x i d a n t s , anti-clotting agents, a n d detoxifiers, r e l e a s e d
as t h e p h y t o c h e m i c a l allicin w h e n a c l o v e is c r u s h e d or c o o k e d .
86 / Daoist Food

A l s o c o n t a i n i n g v a r i o u s sulfur c o m p o u n d s w h i c h inhibit platelets i n the


b l o o d from a d h e r i n g t o o n e a n o t h e r , garlic h a s b e e n s h o w n t o l o w e r c h o -
lesterol, p r o t e c t t h e heart, a n d s e r v e as an a n t i - i n f l a m m a t o r y a n d p a i n -
r e l i e v i n g r e m e d y . It is g o o d for c o l d s , a s t h m a , diabetes, yeast infections,
a n d m a n y o t h e r a i l m e n t s . I t h a s also, for m a n y years, b e e n k n o w n t o r e -
d u c e the r i s k o f c a n c e r , e s p e c i a l l y o f t h e breast, c o l o n , l a r y n x , and s t o m -
ach. O n t h e n e g a t i v e side, garlic c a n l e a d t o b l o o d t h i n n i n g a n d s h o u l d
b e a v o i d e d b e f o r e o r after s u r g e r y . V e r y h i g h d o s e s will a l s o irritate t h e
intestines, n o t t o m e n t i o n o t h e r p e o p l e (see w w w . a c u p u n c t u r e . c o m / h e r -
bology/herbind.htm; Fulder 1993; Rister 1999).

F r o m an e a r l y date, t h e s e five w e r e p r o h i b i t e d in D a o i s t c o m m u n i t i e s , as
I
is m a d e clear in the Laojun shuo Yibai bashi jie. It states categorically: " D o
n o t eat garlic or a n y o t h e r of the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s " ( # 1 0 ) . In its w a k e ,
D a o i s t m o n a s t i c s o f the late S i x D y n a s t i e s and early T a n g f r o w n e d o n the
s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s b e c a u s e their c o n s u m p t i o n d i m i n i s h e d p u r i t y i n the
i n n e r o r g a n s a n d c a u s e d b a d b r e a t h w h i c h i m p a c t e d o n D a o i s t discipline,
c o m m u n i t y c o h e s i o n , a n d respect a m o n g o u t s i d e s u p p o r t e r s . B a d breath,
t h e m a n u a l s insist, i s e s p e c i a l l y h a r m f u l w h e n o n e attends D a o i s t ser-
vices, s e n d s a petition to the gods, or lectures to a g r o u p of c o m m o n e r s
{Daoxue keyi 1.4b-5a). A n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n of the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s
t h a t m a k e s t h e m u n s u i t a b l e in a m o n a s t i c setting is their m e d i c i n a l
p o w e r , h e a t i n g the b l o o d a n d raising the fires o f y a n g , w h i c h i s associ-
a t e d w i t h a n i n c r e a s e d t e n d e n c y t o violate t h e p r e c e p t s a g a i n s t t o l e r a n c e
a n d a b s t i n e n c e ( K i e s c h n i c k 1997, 2 4 ) .

T h e m o s t detailed f o r m u l a t i o n o f t h e D a o i s t o b j e c t i o n a p p e a r s i n t h e
Yinyuanjing ( S c r i p t u r e of K a r m i c R e t r i b u t i o n , DZ 3 3 6 ) , a B u d d h o -
D a o i s t w o r k dated to t h e late sixth c e n t u r y . It links t h e m specifically to
t h e d r i n k i n g o f a l c o h o l a n d the e a t i n g o f m e a t a n d n o t e s that t h e y c a u s e
either a stuffy n o s e that p r e v e n t s the p e r s o n from " s m e l l i n g e i t h e r fra-
g r a n c e s or o d o r s " or a l a s c i v i o u s a n d u n c o n t r o l l e d nature, w h i c h will
c r e a t e k a r m i c p r o b l e m s . A l s o , e a t i n g t h e s e v e g e t a b l e s m a y result i n
d e a t h b y d r o w n i n g o r i n rebirth i n a n u n c l e a n a n d foul-smelling b o d y ,
b e i t h u m a n o r a n i m a l . A t the w o r s t , a p p r o a c h i n g the T h r e e T r e a s u r e s
( D a o , scriptures, a n d t e a c h e r s ) after h a v i n g p a r t a k e n o f t h e s e n o x i o u s
foods, will c a u s e o n e to be r e b o r n as a flea or a w o o d - l o u s e ( K o h n 1 9 9 8 a ) .

B u d d h i s t s also s u p p o r t e d the prohibition, as is first d o c u m e n t e d in t h e


Fanwang jing {Brahmajala sutra, T. 1484, 2 4 . 9 9 7 c ) , an a p o c r y p h o n
d a t e d t o a r o u n d the y e a r 4 5 0 ( D e G r o o t 1 9 6 9 , 4 2 ; s e e also G r o n e r 1 9 9 0 ) . I t
What Daoists Eat / 87

m e n t i o n s t h e five v e g e t a b l e s i n its s e c o n d a r y c o m m a n d m e n t s , e m p h a s i z -
ing t h e b a d smell t h e y c a u s e ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 9 1 ) . N e x t , t h e y a p p e a r i n
the Shoulengyan jing M ^ ^ ^ I S (Suramgama sutra, T . 9 4 5 , 1 9 . 1 4 1 c ) , c o m p i l e d
u n d e r t h e T a n g a r o u n d t h e y e a r 7 0 0 . R a t h e r than b e c a u s e o f their s m e l l y
nature, the text rejects t h e m d u e t o their a p h r o d i s i a c a n d a n g e r - i n d u c i n g
qualities (19.141c; C h ' e n 1973, 9 8 ; K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 2 0 2 ) . B u d d h i s t s did
n o t a l l o w a n y p r a c t i t i o n e r w h o h a d eaten garlic o r other u n c l e a n s u b -
stances t o enter t h e lecture, w o r s h i p , o r m e d i t a t i o n h a l l s o r a n y o t h e r
m o n a s t i c s p a c e s for s e v e n d a y s ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 192). B o t h D a o i s t and
B u d d h i s t institutions, as well as r e g u l a t i o n s to p r e p a r e for sacrifices
a m o n g lay priests, still p r o h i b i t their u s e t o the p r e s e n t d a y (see W e l c h
1967; H a c k m a n n 1 9 3 1 , 8 ) .

J u s t a s the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s create a n effect that m a y i n c r e a s e p a s -


s i o n s a n d lead to i m p u r e f o r m s of b e h a v i o r , so is a l c o h o l a p o t e n t i a l l y
d e s t r u c t i v e s u b s t a n c e that is p r o h i b i t e d b o t h in D a o i s t and B u d d h i s t
c o m m u n i t i e s . W h i l e this i n c l u d e s all k i n d s o f a l c o h o l i c b e v e r a g e s today,
in a n c i e n t t i m e s t h e generic w o r d jiu referred p r i m a r i l y to "a b r e w
m a d e from f e r m e n t e d grain with a d d e d yeast, c l o s e t o m o d e r n b e e r "
( S t e r c k x 2 0 0 5 , 3 5 ; see also P o o 1 9 9 7 ) . H o w e v e r , it is n o t really b e e r , either,
s i n c e it d o e s n o t i n v o l v e h o p s or malt, b u t a f e r m e n t i n g a d d i t i v e m a d e
from c o o k e d grain and k n o w n as c\u v a r i o u s l y translated as " b a r m , "
" l e a v e n , " " y e a s t , " and "starter" ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 1 5 4 ) .

I n contrast, w i n e m a d e from g r a p e s a n d o t h e r fruits w h i c h w a s k n o w n i n


t h e W e s t s i n c e a n t i q u i t y arrived i n C h i n a from F e r g h a n a u n d e r the H a n
b u t did n o t p l a y a significant r o l e until recently, its local p r o d u c t i o n e s -
sentially a m o d e r n p h e n o m e n o n ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 2 3 9 - 4 0 ) . T h e social role o f
jiu b e i n g c l o s e to w i n e in W e s t e r n societies, h o w e v e r , t h e translation
"wine" is not completely inappropriate (Huang 2000, 150). To complicate
m a t t e r s e v e n further, in texts of t h e m i d d l e ages, jiu m i g h t also indicate
h a r d liquor, again m a d e from v a r i o u s f e r m e n t e d grains b u t w i t h a m u c h
higher alcohol content.

D a o i s t m o n a s t i c c o d e s object t o a l c o h o l c o n s u m p t i o n , s e t t i n g u p r u l e s
a g a i n s t intoxication that are m a i n l y p r e c a u t i o n s against t h e d e v e l o p m e n t
o f u n c o n t r o l l e d b e h a v i o r . S u c h b e h a v i o r i n c l u d e s sloth a n d torpor, v i o -
l e n c e a n d killing, e a t i n g meat, c o n s u m i n g t h e five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s , a n d
d i s r e g a r d i n g t a b o o s or t h e ritual s c h e d u l e . T h e s e offend t h e celestial offi-
86 / Daoist Food

A l s o c o n t a i n i n g v a r i o u s sulfur c o m p o u n d s w h i c h inhibit platelets i n t h e


b l o o d from a d h e r i n g t o o n e a n o t h e r , garlic h a s b e e n s h o w n t o l o w e r c h o -
lesterol, p r o t e c t t h e heart, a n d s e r v e a s a n a n t i - i n f l a m m a t o r y a n d p a i n -
r e l i e v i n g r e m e d y . It is g o o d for c o l d s , a s t h m a , diabetes, yeast infections,
a n d m a n y o t h e r a i l m e n t s . I t h a s also, for m a n y years, b e e n k n o w n t o r e -
d u c e t h e r i s k o f c a n c e r , e s p e c i a l l y o f the breast, c o l o n , l a r y n x , and s t o m -
ach. O n t h e n e g a t i v e side, garlic c a n l e a d t o b l o o d t h i n n i n g a n d s h o u l d
b e a v o i d e d b e f o r e o r after surgery. V e r y h i g h d o s e s will a l s o irritate t h e
intestines, n o t t o m e n t i o n o t h e r p e o p l e (see w w w . a c u p u n c t u r e . c o m / h e r -
bology/herbind.htm; Fulder 1993; Rister 1999).

F r o m an e a r l y date, t h e s e five w e r e p r o h i b i t e d in D a o i s t c o m m u n i t i e s , as
is m a d e clear in the Laojun shuo Yibai bashi jie. It states categorically: " D o
n o t eat garlic or a n y o t h e r of the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s " ( # 1 0 ) . In its w a k e ,
D a o i s t m o n a s t i c s o f the late S i x D y n a s t i e s and early T a n g f r o w n e d o n the
s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s b e c a u s e their c o n s u m p t i o n d i m i n i s h e d p u r i t y i n t h e
i n n e r o r g a n s a n d c a u s e d b a d b r e a t h w h i c h i m p a c t e d o n D a o i s t discipline,
c o m m u n i t y c o h e s i o n , a n d respect a m o n g o u t s i d e supporters. B a d breath,
t h e m a n u a l s insist, i s e s p e c i a l l y h a r m f u l w h e n o n e attends D a o i s t ser-
vices, s e n d s a petition to t h e gods, or lectures to a g r o u p of c o m m o n e r s
(Daoxue keyi 1.4b-5a). A n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n of the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s
that m a k e s t h e m u n s u i t a b l e in a m o n a s t i c setting is their m e d i c i n a l
p o w e r , h e a t i n g t h e b l o o d and raising the fires of y a n g , w h i c h is associ-
a t e d w i t h a n i n c r e a s e d t e n d e n c y t o violate t h e p r e c e p t s a g a i n s t t o l e r a n c e
and abstinence (Kieschnick 1997, 24).

T h e most detailed formulation of the Daoist objection appears in the


Yinyuan jing H ^ l l ( S c r i p t u r e of K a r m i c R e t r i b u t i o n , DZ 3 3 6 ) , a B u d d h o -
D a o i s t w o r k d a t e d to t h e late sixth c e n t u r y . It links t h e m specifically to
t h e d r i n k i n g o f a l c o h o l a n d the e a t i n g o f m e a t a n d n o t e s that t h e y c a u s e
either a stuffy n o s e that p r e v e n t s t h e p e r s o n from " s m e l l i n g either fra-
g r a n c e s or o d o r s " or a l a s c i v i o u s a n d u n c o n t r o l l e d n a t u r e , w h i c h will
create k a r m i c p r o b l e m s . A l s o , e a t i n g t h e s e v e g e t a b l e s m a y result i n
d e a t h b y d r o w n i n g o r i n rebirth i n a n u n c l e a n a n d foul-smelling b o d y ,
b e i t h u m a n o r a n i m a l . A t the worst, a p p r o a c h i n g the T h r e e T r e a s u r e s
( D a o , scriptures, a n d teachers) after h a v i n g p a r t a k e n o f t h e s e n o x i o u s
foods, will c a u s e o n e to be r e b o r n as a flea or a w o o d - l o u s e ( K o h n 1 9 9 8 a ) .

B u d d h i s t s also s u p p o r t e d the prohibition, as is first d o c u m e n t e d in the


Famvang jing $SlilS (Brahmajala sutra, T. 1 4 8 4 , 2 4 . 9 9 7 c ) , an a p o c r y p h o n
d a t e d t o a r o u n d the y e a r 4 5 0 ( D e G r o o t 1 9 6 9 , 4 2 ; s e e also G r o n e r 1 9 9 0 ) . I t
What Daoists Eat / 87

m e n t i o n s t h e five v e g e t a b l e s i n its s e c o n d a r y c o m m a n d m e n t s , e m p h a s i z -
ing t h e b a d smell t h e y c a u s e ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 1 9 1 ) . N e x t , t h e y a p p e a r i n
the Shoulengyan jing H I ^ ^ I M (Suramgama sutra, T . 9 4 5 , 1 9 . 1 4 1 c ) , c o m p i l e d
u n d e r t h e T a n g a r o u n d t h e y e a r 7 0 0 . R a t h e r t h a n b e c a u s e o f their s m e l l y
nature, the text rejects t h e m d u e t o their a p h r o d i s i a c a n d a n g e r - i n d u c i n g
qualities (19.141c; C h ' e n 1973, 9 8 ; K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 2 0 2 ) . B u d d h i s t s did
n o t a l l o w a n y practitioner w h o h a d eaten garlic o r o t h e r u n c l e a n s u b -
s t a n c e s to enter t h e lecture, w o r s h i p , or m e d i t a t i o n h a l l s or a n y other
m o n a s t i c s p a c e s for s e v e n d a y s ( K i e s c h n i c k 2 0 0 5 , 192). B o t h D a o i s t and
B u d d h i s t institutions, as well as r e g u l a t i o n s to p r e p a r e for sacrifices
a m o n g l a y priests, still p r o h i b i t their u s e t o t h e p r e s e n t d a y (see W e l c h
1 9 6 7 ; H a c k m a n n 1 9 3 1 , 8).

J u s t a s the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s create a n effect that m a y increase p a s -


s i o n s a n d lead to i m p u r e f o r m s of b e h a v i o r , so is a l c o h o l a p o t e n t i a l l y
d e s t r u c t i v e s u b s t a n c e that is p r o h i b i t e d b o t h in D a o i s t and B u d d h i s t
c o m m u n i t i e s . W h i l e this i n c l u d e s all k i n d s o f a l c o h o l i c b e v e r a g e s today,
in a n c i e n t t i m e s t h e generic w o r d jiu t@ referred p r i m a r i l y to "a b r e w
m a d e from f e r m e n t e d grain w i t h a d d e d yeast, c l o s e t o m o d e m b e e r "
( S t e r c k x 2 0 0 5 , 3 5 ; see also P o o 1 9 9 7 ) . H o w e v e r , i t i s n o t really b e e r , either,
s i n c e it d o e s n o t i n v o l v e h o p s or malt, b u t a f e r m e n t i n g a d d i t i v e m a d e
from c o o k e d grain a n d k n o w n as qu §1, v a r i o u s l y t r a n s l a t e d as " b a r m , "
" l e a v e n , " " y e a s t , " and " s t a r t e r " ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 1 5 4 ) .

I n contrast, w i n e m a d e from g r a p e s a n d o t h e r fruits w h i c h w a s k n o w n i n


t h e W e s t since a n t i q u i t y arrived i n C h i n a from F e r g h a n a u n d e r the H a n
b u t did n o t p l a y a significant role until recently, its local p r o d u c t i o n e s -
sentially a m o d e r n p h e n o m e n o n ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 2 3 9 - 4 0 ) . T h e social r o l e o f
jiu b e i n g c l o s e to w i n e in W e s t e r n societies, h o w e v e r , t h e translation
"wine" is not completely inappropriate (Huang 2000, 150). To complicate
m a t t e r s e v e n further, in texts of the m i d d l e ages, jiu m i g h t also i n d i c a t e
h a r d liquor, again m a d e from v a r i o u s f e r m e n t e d grains b u t w i t h a m u c h
higher alcohol content.

D a o i s t m o n a s t i c c o d e s object t o a l c o h o l c o n s u m p t i o n , setting u p r u l e s
a g a i n s t i n t o x i c a t i o n that are m a i n l y p r e c a u t i o n s against t h e d e v e l o p m e n t
o f u n c o n t r o l l e d b e h a v i o r . S u c h b e h a v i o r i n c l u d e s sloth a n d torpor, v i o -
l e n c e a n d killing, e a t i n g m e a t , c o n s u m i n g t h e five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s , a n d
d i s r e g a r d i n g t a b o o s or t h e ritual s c h e d u l e . T h e s e offend t h e celestial offi-
88 / Daoist Food

c e r s , s i c k e n t h e spirit and m a t e r i a l souls, b r i n g n i g h t m a r e s a n d b a d for-


tune, and c a u s e b a d k a r m a a n d rebirth (Daoxue keyi 2 . 5 a ) .

M o r e specifically, as the fifth-century Taishang Laojun jiejing (Precepts of


t h e H i g h e s t L o r d L a o , D Z 7 8 4 ) , specifies, a l c o h o l c o n s u m p t i o n leads t o
an entire c h a i n of n e g a t i v e e v e n t s that lead from i n t o x i c a t i o n to loss of
c o n t r o l and t h e b r e a k i n g of p r e c e p t s . It says:

Dead drunk, people get into disputes and quarrels, bringing


misfortune to their lives and shame on themselves. Lying and
cheating, they lose all guidelines they could follow. Stealing
even from their six relations, they grab from all, not just from
strangers. Killing off a host of living beings, they are only in-
terested in giving satisfaction to their mouths and stomachs.
(17b-18a; Kohn 1994, 206)

N o t o n l y in this life, t h e y will a l s o e x p e r i e n c e n e g a t i v e c o n s e q u e n c e s in


future rebirths. B e i n g b o r n a m o n g n o n - C h i n e s e p e o p l e s a n d b a r b a r i a n s ,
t h e y will h a v e a h u s b a n d or wife w h o is ugly a n d cruel. " P o o r a n d desti-
tute, c o l d and e x p o s e d , they will find n o p e a c e a n y w h e r e t h e y live;
w h a t e v e r w e a l t h a n d l i v e s t o c k they m a y a c q u i r e will b e stolen b y others;
w h a t e v e r they say, n o b o d y will b e l i e v e t h e m " ( 1 8 b ) . I n general, their
m i n d s will b e dull a n d b l o c k e d , a n d t h e y will b e objects o f c o n t e m p t .

A s i m i l a r list of c o n s e q u e n c e s also a p p e a r s in the Shier shangpin quanjie


~-t.naWM, ( T w e l v e H i g h e s t P r e c e p t s o f A d m o n i t i o n , D Z 182), a N u m i -
n o u s T r e a s u r e ( L i n g b a o S ^ ) c o l l e c t i o n o f the sixth century. I t says:

People who drink wine may expect three kinds of retribution


for their sins:
1. In this world they hinder or lose all goodness and con-
nection to the divine law. In future lives, they will be born with
a dark and obtuse spirit.
2. They are crazy and confused in their minds, lacking clar-
ity and radiance. Later they will fall among the bats, lizards,
and similar creatures.
3. Even if they attain human birth again, their conscious
minds and inner natures will be mad and deluded, full of evil
and folly. (9b-10a)

O n w h i c h e v e r level o f the rebirth p r o c e s s , p e o p l e w h o i n d u l g e i n a l c o h o l


a r e likely t o b e d e l u d e d a n d subject t o b o u t s o f m a d n e s s . T h i s c o n n e c t i o n
b e t w e e n m a d n e s s a n d d r i n k i n g is also p r o n o i m c e d in t h e B u d d h i s t Bao-
What Daoists Eat / 89

ying jing W§M ( R e t r i b u t i o n Siitra, T. 747, 1 7 . 5 6 2 b - 6 3 b ) , t r a n s l a t e d in t h e


mid-fifth c e n t u r y , a n d the D a o i s t Yinyuan jing ( K o h n 1 9 9 8 a , 19). T h e lat-
ter text l i n k s it to a l a c k of r e s p e c t for the s c r i p t u r e s , w h i c h c a u s e s o n e to
be r e b o r n as a fish. Fish, as e v e r y o n e k n o w s , drink, so in o n e ' s n e x t life
o n e c o m e s b a c k into the w o r l d a s a n a l c o h o l i c . T h i s a l c o h o l i s m l e a d s t o
m a d n e s s a n d a r e b i r t h in m u d a n d filth, as a r e s u l t of w h i c h o n e m a y
again s h o w d i s r e s p e c t for t h e s c r i p t u r e s a n d c o m e b a c k o n c e m o r e a s a
fish. T h e o n l y w a y t o a v o i d this v i c i o u s c i r c l e i s t o b e careful i n o n e ' s
c o n s u m p t i o n o f w i n e —and also o f m e a t , w h i c h m e d i e v a l t e x t s c o m -
m o n l y l i n k w i t h b e c o m i n g the v i c t i m o f v i o l e n c e a n d b e i n g r e b o r n a s a
wild a n i m a l ( K o h n 1 9 9 8 a , 3 0 - 3 1 ) .

A l c o h o l i s further b l a m e d for ten k i n d s o f p r o b l e m s o r evils, i n c l u d i n g


unfilial, offensive, a n d b e l l i g e r e n t b e h a v i o r , s e x u a l h a n k e r i n g s a n d rule
v i o l a t i o n s , a s w e l l a s r i d i n g a c c i d e n t s and g e t t i n g lost o n t h e r o a d . Its
c o n s u m p t i o n l e a d s t o the c r e a t i o n o f b a d k a r m a , m a i n l y d u e t o the d e s i r e
to eat m e a t a n d kill l i v i n g b e i n g s . It will e v e n t u a l l y result in the loss of
the g o o d - w i l l of m a s t e r s , family, friends, a n d c o m p a n i o n s (Daoxue keyi
1.3b-4a). I t h a r m s all f o r m s o f social i n t e r a c t i o n a n d l e a d s t o v i o l e n c e a n d
a g g r e s s i o n ; also, its p r o d u c t i o n is a perfect w a s t e of t h o u s a n d s of p o u n d s
of g o o d grain that c o u l d feed the p e o p l e (Yaoxiu keyi 1 4 . 1 a b ) . It is, t h e r e -
fore, b e s t t o s t a y a w a y from a l c o h o l c o m p l e t e l y a n d instead c r e a t e o n e ' s
o w n i n n e r liquor from refined s a l i v a a n d qi (Qianzhen ke 1 5 a ) .

In contrast, traditional m a n u a l s as well as m o d e r n Daoists m u c h encour-


a g e the c o n s u m p t i o n o f tea, e s p e c i a l l y g r e e n tea. M e n t i o n e d a l r e a d y i n
texts that g o b a c k to a r o u n d 8 0 0 B.C.E., tea w a s first u s e d m e d i c i n a l l y
then b e c a m e a m a i n s t a y o f C h i n e s e c u l t u r e . I t b e g a n t o r e p l a c e a l c o h o l a s
a social d r i n k i n t h e e i g h t h c e n t u r y u n d e r the T a n g , p r o m o t e d v i g o r o u s l y
in the p o p u l a r Chajing ( B o o k of T e a ) by the s c h o l a r Lu Yu I5j|5]3] ( 7 3 3 -
8 0 4 ) , w h o later c a m e t o b e v e n e r a t e d a s the G o d o f T e a ( B e n n 2 0 0 5 , 2 1 3 -
14; H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 5 1 5 - 1 7 ) .

B o t a n i c a l l y a m e m b e r of t h e Camellia family, t e a g r o w s as v a r i o u s s h r u b s
that c a n reach fifty feet i n h e i g h t a n d c o m m o n l y b e a r s h i n y l e a v e s w h o s e
e n d s form p o i n t e d , s p e a r - l i k e tips. P i c k e d a n d d r i e d o r roasted, a n d o c -
c a s i o n a l l y m i x e d w i t h b l o s s o m s o r flowers, the l e a v e s a r e p r e p a r e d t o
m a k e different teas. T h e w h i t e o r p a l e g r e e n v a r i e t y u s e s t h e m m e r e l y
w i t h e r e d a n d dried, green t e a s u s e t h e m fired, rolled, a n d t h e n dried,
w h i l e b l a c k o r red tea a p p l i e s t h e m w i t h e r e d , rolled, a n d t h e n r o a s t e d o r
fermented before drying (Huang 2000, 552). Tea can contain large
90 / Daoist Food

a m o u n t s o f caffeine i n all forms, a n d c o m m o n l y h a s b e e n u s e d i n reli-


g i o u s institutions t o k e e p m o n k s a n d n u n s from falling a s l e e p during
meditation periods.

M e d i c a l literature d e s c r i b e s t e a a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y a s bitter, b u t also links


it w i t h the s w e e t flavor. Its benefits i n c l u d e t h e p o t e n t i a l to increase
b l o o d flow, h e i g h t e n a w a r e n e s s , s p e e d e l i m i n a t i o n , p r e v e n t tooth decay,
aid digestion, c l e a n s e t h e skin, a l l e v i a t e j o i n t pain, a n d g e n e r a l l y p r o l o n g
life (Blofeld 1 9 8 5 , 1 4 4 ) . It is a l s o a w a y to i n g e s t all five p h a s e s in o n e fell
s w o o p : e a r t h t h r o u g h the b o w l ' s c e r a m i c s , m e t a l i n t h e kettle, w a t e r a s
its b a s e , w o o d in t h e p l a n t from w h i c h it g r e w , a n d fire in t h e h e a t i n g .
W e s t e r n studies, too, h a v e s h o w n that e s p e c i a l l y g r e e n t e a w i t h l o w caf-
feine c o n t a i n s a n t i o x i d a n t s w h i c h b i n d h a r m f u l free radicals. D r i n k i n g it
r e g u l a r l y c a n p r e v e n t cell m u t a t i o n i n t u m o r s , p r o m o t e h e a l t h y arteries,
r e d u c e c h o l e s t e r o l , r e l e a s e toxins, aid digestion, i n c r e a s e m e t a b o l i s m ,
and control bacteria.

D a o i s t s o f all k i n d s a n d l e v e l s are v e r y fond o f tea. M a n y t e m p l e s a n d


m o n a s t e r i e s g r o w their o w n c r o p s , sell different varieties, a n d often offer
s a m p l e s t o visitors, s o t h e y c a n c h o o s e the right kind. T e a s c o m e i n e n d -
less variation, from v e r y s i m p l e a n d c h e a p t o e x t e n s i v e l y c o m p l e x a n d
costly. C o n s c i o u s o f the s e a s o n s , t h e t i m e o f day, a n d their p a r t i c u l a r
c o n s t i t u t i o n , D a o i s t s c h o o s e a n d p i c k t e a s carefully, a n d m o d e r n D a o i s t -
r u n c l i n i c s a n d s p a s often h a v e s p e c i a l t e a - s h o p s to c a t e r to their clients.''

P r o m i n e n t k i n d s o f t e a t o d a y i n c l u d e s o - c a l l e d b r i c k tea from H u n a n ,
p a c k a g e d i n s m a l l , m e d i u m , a n d large b l o c k s that o p e n u p i n t o vast
a m o u n t s o f leaves, frequently s e r v e d t o visitors; P u ' e r t e a from
Y u n n a n with a c o o l i n g effect that is b e s t u s e d in h o t c l i m a t e s ; G o n g f u Xj]
^ or " l e i s u r e " tea from Fujian a n d G u a n g d o n g , a g o u r m e t form of the
h a l f - g r e e n a n d h a l f - b l a c k W u l o n g , ^ f | tea, w h i c h r e l e a s e s strain a n d
r e l a x e s ; M a o s h a n g r e e n tea from J i a n g s u w h i c h is a light s u m m e r d r i n k
often s e r v e d a t b a n q u e t s ; L o n g j i n g f | # ( D r a g o n W e l l ) tea from the
H a n g z h o u a r e a i n c e n t r a l e a s t e r n C h i n a w h i c h refreshes a n d revitalizes;
ginger root and g i n s e n g tea from t h e n o r t h e a s t w i t h w a r m i n g a n d
s t r e n g t h e n i n g p r o p e r t i e s ; a s w e l l a s c i n n a m o n a n d l e m o n b l a c k tea from
Y u n n a n w h i c h h e l p s w i t h infections a n d d i s c o m f o r t s ( S a s o 1 9 9 4 , 1 1 3 - 2 6 ) .

6 Examples include the Shaolong guan InlllS (Intertwined Dragon Temple)

in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing and the Daoist Long Life Center in
the Qingzhi yuan WitM (Blue Iris Garden) condominium complex in Beijing
What Daoists Eat / 91

O n c e a D a o i s t d e c i d e s to m o v e b e y o n d the b a s i c level of adjusting to D a o


and e n h a n c i n g internal purity, h e o r s h e c h a n g e s the diet a n d starts t o
take i n c r e a s i n g a m o u n t s o f specific h e r b a l a n d m i n e r a l s u b s t a n c e s w h i c h
not o n l y e n h a n c e h e a l t h and vitality b u t also aid t h e b o d y i n the trans-
formation of qi into subtler a n d m o r e spiritual f o r m s ( P o o 2 0 0 5 , 130;
C a m p a n y 2 0 0 5 , 1 1 3 ) . R e f i n i n g q i t o p u r e r levels, D a o i s t strive t o b e c o m e
i m m o r t a l s , etheric b e i n g s w h o , a c c o r d i n g t o l e g e n d a r y a c c o u n t s , c a n b e
feathery or s o m e t i m e s hairy, h a v e no n e e d to e a t or drink, and are c o m - '
pletely i n v u l n e r a b l e to h e a t a n d cold, fire and w a t e r .

Light as ether, t h e y c a n a p p e a r a n d v a n i s h in an instant, a n d d e s p i t e


their a d v a n c e d y e a r s l o o k y o u n g , fresh, and radiant. S u b j e c t i v e l y feeling
detached from their environment, light in b o d y yet i m m e a s u r a b l y
strong, a n d a l w a y s c o m f o r t a b l y w a r m , i m m o r t a l s s u p p o s e d also h a v e a
w o n d r o u s l y light and radiant c o m p l e x i o n a s well a s v a s t l y i m p r o v e d
e y e s i g h t t o the p o i n t o f b e i n g able t o s e e i n the d a r k a n d d i s c e r n g h o s t s
and spirits ( P o o 2 0 0 5 , 1 3 1 - 3 4 ; see also H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 1 6 3 - 7 5 ) .

M a n y historical and h a g i o g r a p h i c a l r e c o r d s d e s c r i b e p r a c t i t i o n e r s ex-


p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s u b s t a n c e s and formulas. T h e Liexian zhuan
9\}i\l]i$. ( I m m o r t a l s B i o g r a p h i e s , D Z 2 9 4 ) o f t h e e a r l y H a n d y n a s t y al-
r e a d y m e n t i o n s n u m e r o u s items, i n c l u d i n g first and f o r e m o s t v a r i o u s
pine p r o d u c t s , s u c h a s seeds, nuts, resin, sap, b a r k , and r o o t s , b u t also

—plants: cinnamon, peach, citrus peel, chrysanthemum flow-


ers, calamus, pine, cedar, sesame, angelica, persimmons, lotus
root, and mushrooms;
— animals: turtle shells, deer antlers;
— minerals: mica, hematite, aconite, saltpeter, mercury, and
cinnabar. (Kaltenmark 1953; Huang 2007, 55-62; 2008a, 100-63)

O n e example is Chang Rong w h o lived i n the m o u n t a i n s a n d ate


o n l y ash r a s p b e r r y roots, t h e r e b y m a i n t a i n i n g the c o m p l e x i o n of a
t w e n t y - y e a r o l d for s e v e r a l c e n t u r i e s (Liexian zhuan 2 . 5 b ; K a l t e n m a r k
1 9 5 3 , 1 5 2 - 5 3 ) . E v e n m o r e f a m o u s is Yu J i a n g 31 b e t t e r k n o w n as
M a o n i i ^ t c , the H a i r y W o m a n . A p a l a c e w o m a n u n d e r the First E m -
p e r o r o f Qin, s h e s a w the c o l l a p s e o f the d y n a s t y a p p r o a c h and t o o k ref-
u g e o n M o u n t H u a . T h e r e s h e m e t the i m m o r t a l G u C h u n who
t a u g h t h e r h o w t o eat p i n e n e e d l e s a n d s u r v i v e i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s — t h u s
92 / Daoist Food

g a i n i n g the ability t o live w i t h o u t solid food a n d b e c o m e i m m u n e t o c o l d


a n d h e a t (2.7b-8a; K a l t e n m a r k 1953, 1 5 9 - 6 0 ) . S e v e r a l h u n d r e d y e a r s later,
she was discovered by a group of hunters, w h o saw a naked person with
b l a c k hair. After c h a s i n g h e r for a w h i l e , t h e y e v e n t u a l l y c a p t u r e d her:

Calculations showed that this


woman, having been the concu-
bine of Prince Ying of Qin, was
more than two hundred years
old. When she was brought back
to court to be fed grains, their
odor nauseated her for several
days, but then she got used to
them. After about two years of
this diet, her body lost its hair,
and she turned old and died.
(Baopuzi 11; Ware 1966, 194;
Reed 1987, 174; Campany 2005,
110-11)

Maonii in due course became a


highly venerated and respected im-
m o r t a l . S h e is t y p i c a l l y s h o w n in a
leafy g o w n a n d w i t h h a i r y legs. T o
t h e p r e s e n t day, t h e r e is still a t e m p l e d e d i c a t e d to h e r on t h e n o r t h e r n
s l o p e o f M o u n t H u a , the M a o n u G r o t t o (Porter 1 9 9 3 , 6 9 ) .

O t h e r traditional figures include: M a s t e r W e n o f N a n y a n g ^ ^ ' ^ w h o s e


g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r fled into the m o u n t a i n s at the e n d of t h e H a n , ate this-
tles t o alleviate h u n g e r a n d b e c a m e y o u n g e r and r a d i a n t a n d c o u l d w a l k
o n ice a n d s n o w w i t h o u t feeling c o l d ; H a n Z h o n g w h o lived o n
s w e e t flag for thirteen years, g r e w h a i r s on h i s b o d y , did n o t feel c o l d ;
Zhao Tuozi liftii^ w h o ate c i n n a m o n for t w e n t y years, g r e w strong a n d
d e v e l o p e d great s t a m i n a ; Y i m e n z i w h o fed o n s c h i s a n d r a for six-
t e e n y e a r s a n d d e v e l o p e d the c o m p l e x i o n of a y o u n g girl p l u s i n v u l n e r -
ability to w a t e r and fire; a n d P r i n c e W e n of C h u ^J^CrF/ an eater of yel-
l o w d o c k for e i g h t years, w h o d e v e l o p e d a r a d i a n t c o m p l e x i o n .

I n addition, t h e r e w e r e D u Z i w e i t t " F ^ w h o ate o n l y a s p a r a g u s a n d


h a d e i g h t y c o n c u b i n e s a n d sired 1 3 0 s o n s ; R e n Ziji f i ^ ^ w h o lived o n
truffles for e i g h t e e n y e a r s a n d w a s h e a l e d of all scars w h i l e a b l e to m a k e
What Daoists Eat / 93

h i m s e l f invisible a n d t o c o n v e r s e w i t h i m m o r t a l s ; Z i z h o n g o f L i n g y a n g
- x l ^ - F ^ ^ w h o o n l y fed o n b i t t e r m i l k w o r t for t w e n t y years, b e g a t thirty-
seven sons, a n d h a d e x c e p t i o n a l m e m o r y ; a s well a s Z h a o Q u who
'.sas a b a n d o n e d d u e to s i c k n e s s , r e c e i v e d h e r b a l f o r m u l a s from i m m o r -
tals, then lived o n l y o n p i n e resin for m a n y y e a r s and d e v e l o p e d great
strength a n d l i g h t n e s s i n h i s b o d y , living t o t h e a g e o f 1 7 0 w i t h o u t s h o w -
ing a n y signs o f a g i n g {Baopuzi 1 1 , W a r e 1 9 6 6 , 1 9 4 - 9 6 ; see a l s o P o o 2 0 0 5 ) .

In m o r e r e c e n t y e a r s . Bill Porter, s e a r c h i n g for C h i n e s e h e r m i t s , found


\ a r i o u s isolated figures o n r e m o t e m o u n t a i n s w h o lived o n v e r y little
food a n d / o r s p e c i a l i z e d in certain k i n d s of diet. M o s t p r o m i n e n t is the
W a l n u t L a d y , a w o m a n p r a c t i t i o n e r w h o t o o k c a r e of a w a l n u t g r o v e ,
selling the n u t s for s i m p l e n e c e s s i t i e s and living m o s t l y o n t h e m h e r s e l f
(1993). N o t o n l y i n C h i n a , a n c i e n t G r e e c e , too, h a d s i m i l a r p h e n o m e n a .
T h e C r e t a n seer E p i m e n i d e s o f the s i x t h - c e n t u r y B.C.E., for e x a m p l e , lived
o n pills m a d e from m a l l o w a n d a s p h o d e l , a t t a i n e d g r e a t vitality, a n d
lived t o o v e r 2 0 0 y e a r s ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 5 3 ) .

T h e t e n d e n c y t o w a r d fresh v e g e t a r i a n and r a w food t y p i c a l for the an-


cient i m m o r t a l diet m e a n s a return to n a t u r a l s i m p l i c i t y a n d t h e w a y
humans were originally supposed to eat ( C a m p a n y 2 0 0 5 , 116). Carni-
vores t y p i c a l l y h a v e a short b o w e l to a l l o w the e x p u l s i o n of t o x i n s ; t h e y
h a v e long, s h a r p teeth a n d r e t r a c t a b l e c l a w s t o tear the m e a t from the
b o n e ; t h e i r j a w s o p e n straight u p and d o w n , u n a b l e t o m o v e side t o s i d e
or in a c i r c u l a r pattern; a n d they k e e p c o o l by rapid b r e a t h i n g a n d t h e
e x t r u s i o n o f the t o n g u e ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 1 9 - 2 0 ) . N o n e o f t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s -
tics a p p l i e s to h u m a n s or other h e r b i v o r e s .

C u l t u r a l l y t h e a d o p t i o n of a v e g e t a r i a n or r a w food diet m e a n s t h e rejec-


tion o f m a i n s t r e a m v a l u e s , b o t h i n t e r m s o f t i m e a n d s p a c e . For D a o i s t s ,
this m e a n s that, in t e r m s of time, they go b a c k to the p e r i o d of the great
s a g e rulers b e f o r e the d o m e s t i c a t i o n o f fire a n d a n i m a l s , t h u s r e c o v e r i n g
a m o r e p r i m i t i v e a n d m o r e p r i m o r d i a l state in t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of h u -
m a n i t y and social c u l t u r e (see L e v i 1 9 8 3 ) . In t e r m s of s p a c e , it m e a n s that
t h e y j o i n t h e b a r b a r i a n s a n d o t h e r p r i m i t i v e p e o p l e o n the fringes o f t h e
C h i n e s e e m p i r e , rejecting the h a l l m a r k s o f civilization a n d p r o p e r C h i n e -
s e n e s s f o u n d i n c o o k i n g food and e a t i n g g r a i n a n d m e a t ( C h a n g 1 9 7 7 b ,
42; Huang 2000, 28; C a m p a n y 2005, 98).
9 4 / Daoist Food

T h e D a o i s t p o s i t i o n i s n o t u n i q u e b u t s e e m s t o reflect a c o m m o n p l a n e -
tary m e m o r y . As Colin Spencer says:

Common to all religions is the idea of the Golden Age, the


paradise before the Fall. This period of peaceful co-existence
between early humankind and the other creatures of the earth
would have been non-violent and vegetarian, so there must
have been within the race memory of early humans a knowl-
edge of their herbivore past when no blood was shed, a distant
memory of peace and plenty. (1993, 25)

I n d e e d , u p o n e x a m i n a t i o n o f h u m a n h i s t o r y o n the p l a n e t i t b e c o m e s
e v i d e n t that h u n t i n g a n i m a l s for m e a t c a m e v e r y late i n e v o l u t i o n . " I f
y o u i m a g i n e t h e lifetime of a s e v e n t y - y e a r - o l d g r o u p , then it w a s o n l y
n i n e d a y s b e f o r e t h e y w e r e s e v e n t y that m e a t e a t i n g b e g a n and a n o t h e r
t w o a n d a h a l f d a y s b e f o r e t h e y ate it c o o k e d " ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 2 0 ) .

W h i l e m e a t e a t i n g m a y h a v e started o u t o f n e c e s s i t y d u r i n g the Ice A g e


w h e n s o m u c h fertile g r o u n d w a s u n d e r glaciers, o n c e v e g e t a b l e s w e r e
a v a i l a b l e again its c o n s u m p t i o n b e c a m e a sign of social superiority. By
t h e s a m e token, t h e d o m e s t i c a t i o n o f a n i m a l s a r o u n d 6,500 B.C.E. was
c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o p o w e r and social h i e r a r c h i e s , " a logical e x t e n s i o n o f the
d o m i n a n c e o f h u m a n s " ( 1 9 9 3 , 3 3 ; F o x 1 9 9 9 , 2 6 - 2 8 ) . I t also m e a n t the e n d
o f diversity: " T h e h u n t e r g a t h e r e r s o f t h e e a r l y M e s o l i t h i c u s e d a t least
1 2 0 s e e d foods, b u t b y t h e e n d o f Neolithic, the farmers u s e d o n l y 5 seeds,
3 cereals, a n d 2 p u l s e s " ( 1 9 9 3 , 3 5 ) . By t a k i n g up a v e g e t a b l e - b a s e d and
h e r b - c e n t e r e d diet, D a o i s t s a s m u c h a s o t h e r religious a d e p t s o n t h e
p l a n e t t h u s s e e k to r e c o v e r a saner, c a l m e r , m o r e peaceful, and egalitar-
ian w a y of life.

I n addition, e a t i n g Paleolithic-style a n d focusing o n r a w a n d o r g a n i c


p l a n t - b a s e d food h a s b e e n r e l a t e d t o h e a l t h b e n e f i t s n o t u n l i k e t h o s e
c l a i m e d b y i m m o r t a l i t y seekers. Its m e d i c a l effects w e r e studied p a r t i c u -
larly b y the S w i s s p h y s i c i a n M a x i m i l i a n B i r c h e r - B e n n e r ( 1 8 6 7 - 1 9 3 9 ) , b e s t
k n o w n for t h e i n v e n t i o n of Miisli, t h e f o r e r u n n e r of g r a n o l a , a n d a u t h o r
o f s e v e r a l i m p o r t a n t b o o k s o n h e a l i n g diets that focus o n r a w food
( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 2 8 1 - 8 2 ) . I n h i s w a k e , p r o p o n e n t s o f r a w food t o d a y a r g u e
that c o o k i n g o r p r e s e r v i n g food e l i m i n a t e s large a m o u n t s o f v i t a m i n s
a n d m i n e r a l s a n d that a n y food h e a t e d t o o v e r 1 1 6 d e g r e e s F a h r e n h e i t
l o s e s all e n z y m e s a n d p r o t e i n structure, so that i n g e s t i n g it a c t u a l l y t a k e s
b e n e f i c i a l a g e n t s o u t o f the b o d y . P a s t e u r i z i n g m i l k d e s t r o y s t h r e e q u a r -
ters o f t h e m i l k protein; altered, p a r t i a l l y h y d r o g e n a t e d fats c a n b e c o m e
What Daoists Eat / 95

lethal c o m p o u n d s — i n c o n t r a s t to w h o l e fats, as f o u n d in nuts, v i r g i n


olive oil, a n d flaxseed oil.

T h e p o s i t i v e effects o f a r a w food diet are n u m e r o u s . A d h e r e n t s c l a i m


that i t b o o s t s l y m p h o c y t e p r o d u c t i o n , e m p o w e r s the i m m u n e s y s t e m ,
a n d c o n t a i n s e n z y m e s that aid d i g e s t i o n . I t a l s o d e l a y s t h e a g i n g p r o c e s s ,
i n c r e a s e s o x y g e n c o n s u m p t i o n , a n d l e a d s t o m o r e vitality a n d athletic
ability. B e y o n d that, i t h e i g h t e n s t h e senses, i n c r e a s e s s e n s i t i v i t y t o a l c o -
hol, t o b a c c o , a n d drugs, a n d i m p r o v e s s e x u a l i t y a n d aesthetic sensibility.
I t a i d s w e i g h t loss, e a s e s a l l e r g i e s (often c a u s e d b y f o o d t o x i n s ) , h e l p s
cure addictions, can reduce tumors, and helps in cancer recovery. It pro-
v i d e s all e i g h t o f t h e t w e n t y - t w o e s s e n t i a l a m i n o acids that m u s t c o m e
from o u t s i d e s o u r c e s ( e s p e c i a l l y t h r o u g h g r e e n leafy v e g e t a b l e s , p u m p -
k i n seeds, a l m o n d s , a n d fruits), i n c r e a s e s flexibility a n d b r a i n function
t h r o u g h essential v e g e t a b l e fats, a n d p r e v e n t s d i s e a s e s c a u s e d b y p a t h o -
g e n i c b a c t e r i a i n m e a t a n d d a i r y (see K e n t o n a n d K e n t o n 1 9 8 4 ) .

W h i l e the a d o p t i o n of a v e g e t a r i a n diet t h u s s i g n a l s a s e p a r a t i o n from


a n d p o s s i b l e rejection o f m a i n s t r e a m society, m a n y effects f o u n d t r u e b y
m o d e r n r a w - f o o d eaters m a t c h the results c l a i m e d for a n c i e n t i m m o r t a l s
a n d h e r b a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s t h r o u g h o u t history, l e a d i n g c r e d e n c e t o the
D a o i s t claim that a radical c h a n g e in diet n o t o n l y c r e a t e s different s o c i a l
s t r u c t u r e s b u t h a s a s e r i o u s t r a n s f o r m a t i v e effect on t h e b o d y .
In all the fields of blessedness.
Donating food is by far the best.
In the present it spreads pure happiness.
After this life it gives rebirth in heaven
And a future residence in the Pure Land
Where all food and clothing arrive spontaneously.
Therefore we present this offering today.
Spreading it equally to the various heavens.
(Shishi weiyi 10a; Fengdao kejie 6.6a)i

J u s t as the m e d i c a t e d diet g o e s b e y o n d i n d i v i d u a l b o d i e s and h a s a lot to


d o w i t h social s t r u c t u r e s a n d historical d e v e l o p m e n t s , s o D a o i s t e a t i n g
t a k e s p l a c e i n v a r i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l settings a n d c h a n g e s o v e r t h e c e n -
turies. E a t i n g a n d offering food are s a c r e d activities that c o n n e c t t h e
p r a c t i t i o n e r t o the d i v i n e a n d e n h a n c e t h e c o s m i c link o f c o m m u n i t i e s
a n d institutions. A d a p t i n g a n c i e n t ritual structures, D a o i s t s p r a c t i c e p u -
rifications b y a b s t a i n i n g from food, h a v e sacrificial offerings a s part o f
d a i l y a n d s e a s o n a l rituals, c e l e b r a t e feasts at special o c c a s i o n s , a n d trans-
f o r m t h e m o n a s t i c n o o n m e a l into a c e r e m o n i a l o c c a s i o n . In all t h e s e
s i t u a t i o n s t h e y u s e food differently from p e o p l e in the o r d i n a r y w o r l d ,
relating t o self, e n v i r o n m e n t , a n d t h e c o s m o s i n their o w n u n i q u e way.

I n o r d i n a r y society, food t e n d s t o s e r v e the e s t a b l i s h m e n t a n d m a i n t e -


n a n c e o f h a r m o n y — b o d i l y , social, a n d c o s m o l o g i c a l — t h r o u g h b a l a n c i n g

' Texts on Daoist monasticism from the 7* century: Shishi weiyi + f f ^ f 8


(Ten Items of Dignified Observances, DZ 792); Fengdao kejie (Rules and Precepts
for Worshiping the Dao, DZ 1125).

96
Food in Ritual / 97

.7! and interactive c o n n e c t i o n s ( A n d e r s o n a n d A n d e r s o n 1 9 7 7 , 3 6 7 ; D o u g -


las 1 9 7 3 , 7 0 ) . In contrast, the r e l i g i o u s i m p o r t a n c e of food h a s to do w i t h
liminality. L i m i n a h t y is t h e state of ritual transition, d e f i n e d first by A r -
nold v a n G e n n e p i n h i s s t u d y o f the rites o f p a s s a g e ( 1 9 0 9 ) . T h e c o n c e p t
w a s later d e v e l o p e d by V i c t o r T u r n e r in h i s w o r k . The Ritual Process. He
describes it as the " t h r e s h o l d " p h a s e , w h e n a person, u n d e r g o i n g a p a s -
sage from o n e social or religious status to a n o t h e r , is no l o n g e r in o n e
and h a s n o t yet r e a c h e d t h e next, b e i n g " b e t w e e n p o s i t i o n s a s s i g n e d b y
law, c u s t o m , c o n v e n t i o n , a n d c e r e m o n i a l " ( 1 9 6 9 , 9 5 ; 1977, 3 7 ) .

In other w o r d s , the b r i d e g o i n g d o w n the aisle is no l o n g e r a d a u g h t e r


and n o t yet a wife; the w o m a n in l a b o r is no l o n g e r p r e g n a n t a n d n o t yet
a m o t h e r ; t h e b o y at initiation is no l o n g e r a child a n d n o t yet a m a n ; the
nun in h e r c o n v e n t is no l o n g e r of this w o r l d and n o t yet fully of t h e next.
L i m i n a l transitions, a n d t h u s m o s t r e l i g i o u s rituals, a r e f o r m a l i z e d in
three p h a s e s : t h e s e p a r a t i o n , t h e " t h r e s h o l d " p h a s e , a n d t h e r e a g g r e g a -
tion, structuring the p a s s a g e s that lead p e o p l e into a n d o u t of l i m i n a l
states.

W i t h i n this context, food t e n d s to c o m e in t w o m a j o r forms: as h o l y fast


and as h o l y feast (see B y n u m 1 9 8 7 ) , a n d is often p r a c t i c e d in a c o m b i n a -
tion of the t w o . T h u s , priests p r e p a r i n g for sacrifice or h e r m i t s in social
isolation e s c h e w o r d i n a r y foodstuffs a n d eat o n l y v e r y limited, p r e -
scribed diets or fast c o m p l e t e l y for a p e r i o d . At the s a m e time, the fruits,
viands, and d e l i c a c i e s offered t o t h e g o d s a n d a n c e s t o r s — w h o p a r t a k e o f
their v a p o r ( S p e n c e r 1 9 9 3 , 3 7 ) —are u s u a l l y c o n s u m e d afterwards b y
priests and the c o m m u n i t y in an e x t e n s i v e , often lavish feast that sets
aside c o m m o n rules of a b s t i n e n c e a n d control. J u s t as fast, therefore, c r e -
ates a d e l i b e r a t e s e p a r a t i o n a n d d i s t a n c e from society, setting up a s p e -
cial r e a l m of r e l i g i o u s or spiritual a t t a i n m e n t , so feast e n c o u r a g e s u n i o n
and c o m m u n i o n , s y m b o l i z i n g the r e a g g r e g a t i o n s t a g e a n d t h e j o i n i n g o f
different levels o f t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l and n a t u r a l w o r l d s .

F r o m the earliest t i m e s a n d still i n C o n f u c i a n a n d p o p u l a r t e m p l e s today,


C h i n e s e ritual h a s f o l l o w e d a tripartite division into purification {zhai ^),
sacrifice (ji ^ ) , and t h a n k s g i v i n g o r offering (Jiao | i ) . Purification i s the
fasting or s e p a r a t i o n part of t h e ritual: it i n v o l v e s a set of p r e p a r a t o r y
m e a s u r e s u n d e r t a k e n b e f o r e c o n d u c t i n g o r j o i n i n g the sacrifice a s well a s
b e f o r e e x t e n d e d m e d i t a t i o n practice, i n c l u d i n g a b s t e n t i o n from all or
98 / What Daoists Eat

specific foods, a v o i d a n c e o f c o n t a c t with b l o o d a n d dirt, s e x u a l absti-


n e n c e , a n d t a k i n g b a t h s i n fragrant w a t e r s . T h i s p h a s e m a y last from o n e
t o s e v e n d a y s . A s t h e Liishi chunqiu S J i ^ ^ f A (Mr. L i i ' s S p r i n g a n d A u -
t u m n A n n a l s , 3'^'' c. B.C.E.) d e s c r i b e s it:

A gentleman fasts and observes vigils, makes sure to stay deep


inside his house, and keeps his body utterly still. He refrains
from music and sex, eschews associations with his wife, main-
tains a sparse diet, and avoids the use of piquant condiments.
He settles his mind's qi, maintains quietude in his organs, and
engages in no rash undertaking. (5.42; Knoblock and Riegel
2000, 135; Lo 2005,166)

T h e c e n t r a l p a r t o f t h e c e r e m o n y , the sacrifice i n t h e l i m i n a l p h a s e ,
m e a n s the p r e s e n t a t i o n of ritually p r e p a r e d foods s u c h as w i n e , tea, rice,
s w e e t s , fruits, and a n i m a l c a r c a s s e s to the g o d s a n d a n c e s t o r s . It m i g h t
also p l a y o u t as a sacrificial b a n q u e t , d u r i n g w h i c h the h o n o r e d a n c e s t o r
w a s fed t h r o u g h a n i m p e r s o n a t o r . E i t h e r w a y , t h e rite s u s p e n d s o r d i n a r y
divisions, w h i l e s e r v i n g to c r e a t e a formal h i e r a r c h y a m o n g the d e a d and
t h e living, a i m i n g a t " m a k i n g a n c e s t o r s , " t h e r e b y t r a n s f o r m i n g s u p e r -
n a t u r a l p o w e r s a n d d o m e s t i c a t i n g p o t e n t i a l l y h a r m f u l forces ( K e i g h t l e y
2 0 0 4 ; Puett 2 0 0 2 , 78; 2 0 0 5 , 8 0 ) .

T h e third part, the t h a n k s g i v i n g or r e a g g r e g a t i o n , c o n s i s t e d of a great


c o m m u n a l feast, d u r i n g w h i c h o r d i n a r y food restrictions w e r e l o o s e n e d
a n d the v a r i o u s offerings c o n s u m e d . A s sacrifices i n a n c i e n t C h i n a w e r e
often c o n n e c t e d to a n c e s t o r w o r s h i p , t h e m o r t u a r y feast at the t o m b or
temple was major occasion to reactivate family connections and enhance
social ties ( C o o k 2 0 0 5 , 1 1 ) . I n all t h r e e parts, therefore, the p r o p e r p r e s e n -
tation a n d s h a r i n g of food w e r e e s s e n t i a l for the ritual's o v e r a l l s u c c e s s .

I n D a o i s m , all t h r e e a s p e c t s o f classic C h i n e s e ritual u n d e r w e n t signifi-


c a n t c h a n g e s . T h e purification p a r t w a s e x p a n d e d into m o n a s t i c m e a l s ,
retreats, a n d c o m m u n a l festivals, t h e w o r d zhai t a k i n g on a s l e w of n e w
a n d m o r e c o m p l e x m e a n i n g s . T h e sacrifice p a r t c h a n g e d into a u d i e n c e
rites, w h i c h p l a c e d less e m p h a s i s o n the offering o f food and m a t e r i a l
o b j e c t s —although t h e y w e r e a n d still are p l a c e d o n altars t o t h e gods—
t h a n o n t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f written d o c u m e n t s . T h e t h a n k s g i v i n g p a r t
first b e c a m e s o - c a l l e d kitchen-feasts and later e v o l v e d into the festival of
c o s m i c r e n e w a l , t h e m o s t e l a b o r a t e a n d e x t e n s i v e D a o i s t rite a n d still a
great c o m m u n i t y celebration today.
Food in Ritual / 99

Z h a i . O r i g i n a l l y " p r e p a r a t o r y purification," u n d e r the influence o f B u d -


d h i s m and in i m i t a t i o n of H i n d u piija, zhai in t h e early m i d d l e a g e s b e -
gan to refer to an integral part of t h e ritual. I n d i c a t i n g t h e offering of
p u r e food t o t h e deities and t h e s h a r i n g o f food a m o n g h u m a n s a n d gods,
lay d o n o r s a n d r e c l u s e s , zhai w a s u s e d to translate upavasatha, "fast," a
technical t e r m for the m a i n m e a l a c c o r d i n g t o B u d d h i s t r e g u l a t i o n s ,
w h i c h w a s t o b e t a k e n b e f o r e n o o n . T h e food w a s v e g e t a r i a n a n d s i m p l e ,
p r o v i d e d by d o n o r s w h o g a i n e d m e r i t t h r o u g h their g e n e r o s i t y . Zhai as a
result n o l o n g e r m e a n t "fast" b u t c a m e t o indicate " v e g e t a r i a n feast,"
either offered t o the g o d s o r s h a r e d a m o n g t h e r e l i g i o u s c o m m u n i t y
(Mollier 2 0 0 0 , 46; Stein 1 9 7 1 , 437; K o h n 2 0 0 3 a , 124).

A d a p t i n g this u s a g e , m o n a s t i c D a o i s t s i n the sixth c e n t u r y b e g a n t o u s e


zhai as the w o r d for t h e c e r e m o n i a l m e a l or m i d d a y c e r e m o n y , a m o s t
formal o c c a s i o n that —like its B u d d h i s t c o u n t e r p a r t — o c c u r r e d in the
h o u r b e f o r e n o o n and i n v o l v e d e x t e n s i v e c h a n t i n g s a n d food offerings a s
well as a c o m m u n a l feeding. A host of related t e r m s a p p e a r e d , so that
we n o w translate zhaishi '^•^ as " c e r e m o n i a l food," zhaitang 'M'Si as "re-
fectory," zhaiqi as " c e r e m o n i a l d i s h e s , " a n d jianzhai as " m e a l
s u p e r v i s o r . " Zhaiguan 'M'^, m o r e o v e r , w a s the " l e a d e r of t h e c e r e m o n y , "
and zhaizhu the " d o n o r of the feast" ( K o h n 2 0 0 4 c , 5 9 - 6 0 ) .

In addition, B u d d h i s t s u s e d the w o r d zhai to i n d i c a t e " t e m p o r a r y r e n u n -


ciation." G o i n g b a c k t o t h e I n d i a n m o n a s t i c p r a c t i c e o f b i m o n t h l y c o n f e s -
sion a n d c h a n t i n g of p r e c e p t s (see P r e b i s h 1 9 7 5 ) , t h e s e zhai w e r e o p p o r -
tunities for lay followers to b e h a v e w i t h i n c r e a s e d purity, t a k i n g eight
p r e c e p t s instead of the o r d i n a r y five and p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the m o n a s t i c
routine. C o m m o n l y k n o w n as zhaijie '^f^ (lit. purification a n d p r e c e p t s ) ,
this h a p p e n e d in sets of six, eight, or ten d a y s per m o n t h , c e n t e r e d
a r o u n d the n e w a n d full m o o n . T h e six zhai d a y s w e r e the 1"', 8* 1 4 * 1 5 * ,
2 8 * , and 2 9 * o f e v e r y m o n t h . T h e eight zhai d a y s a d d e d the 23"^ a n d 2 4 * ;
and the g r o u p of ten days, k n o w n as t h e "ten d a y s of u p r i g h t n e s s " (shizhi
- f - f S ) , i n v o l v e d p r a c t i c e also o n the 1 8 * and 2 8 * (see S o y m i e 1 9 7 7 ; K o h n
2 0 0 3 a , 1 8 3 ; D e s p e u x 2 0 0 7 , 3 0 ) . D a o i s t s also a d o p t e d this s y s t e m , m a t c h -
ing the d a t e s t o the t i m e s w h e n c o s m i c a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i n s p e c t e d their
earthly c h a r g e s . As o u t l i n e d in the T a n g ritual m a n u a l Yaoxiu keyi ^flffif
(Essential R u l e s and O b s e r v a n c e s , D Z 4 6 3 ) , p r a c t i t i o n e r s w o u l d t a k e
s e r i o u s p r e c e p t s and offer p r a y e r s for a t o n e m e n t and g o o d fortune to
100 / What Daoists Eat

v a r i o u s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e deities, n o t a b l y t h e G r e a t O n e (Taiyi and


t h e N o r t h e r n D i p p e r ( B e i d o u 4 t ^ ) (8.4a; see K o h n 2 0 0 3 a , 1 8 2 ) .

A b o v e a n d b e y o n d t h e s e m e a n i n g s , zhai i n D a o i s m — a n d e s p e c i a l l y i n
t h e N u m i n o u s T r e a s u r e s c h o o l as it flourished in the fifth c e n t u r y — a l s o
c a m e to i n d i c a t e "rite of p u r g a t i o n " or "festival," a m a j o r ritual e v e n t
u s u a l l y d e d i c a t e d t o t h e e x p i a t i o n o f sins o r the b l e s s i n g o f a n c e s t o r s a n d
t h e e m p e r o r , h e l d a t r e g u l a r intervals t h r o u g h o u t the year (see M a l e k
1 9 8 5 ; Y a m a d a 1 9 9 9 ) . A n intensification o f the days o f t e m p o r a r y r e n u n -
ciation a n d c o n t i n u a t i o n o f e a r l y D a o i s t c o m m u n i t y events, t h e s e w e r e
i m p o r t a n t D a o i s t rites d u r i n g w h i c h the officiating priest b e c a m e a c e l e s -
tial officer a n d t r a n s m i t t e d p r a y e r s a n d c o n f e s s i o n s to the celestial ad-
ministration ( B e n n 2 0 0 0 , 3 3 2 - 3 5 ; E s k i l d s e n 1998, 1 1 7 - 2 1 ; H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 1 1 -
14).

M o s t i m p o r t a n t w e r e t h e g o d s o f the T h r e e P r i m e s ( S a n y u a n ELjt), the


celestial b u r e a u s o f H e a v e n , Earth, and W a t e r w h o exerted m o s t p o w e r
o v e r h u m a n life a n d d e s t i n y a n d h a d b e e n c e n t r a l t o D a o i s m s i n c e t h e
e a r l y C e l e s t i a l M a s t e r s . T h e y u p d a t e d their r e c o r d s o n t h e fifteenth o f the
first, s e v e n t h , a n d tenth m o n t h s , and w e r e greatly h o n o r e d w i t h l a r g e -
s c a l e c e r e m o n i e s on t h o s e d a t e s (Yaoxiu keyi 8.2a; K o h n 2 0 0 3 a , 182). A n -
o t h e r i m p o r t a n t g r o u p o f zhai w e r e the p u r g a t i o n s o f t h e E i g h t N o d e s
(bajie y \ | f 5 ) , t h e b e g i n n i n g s a n d h i g h p o i n t s of the four s e a s o n s , a l r e a d y
c e l e b r a t e d in a n c i e n t C h i n a as m a d e c l e a r in the d e s c r i p t i o n of " m o n t h l y
c o m m a n d m e n t s " (Yueling in the Z h o u - d y n a s t y Liji iji*|H ( B o o k of
Rites; L e g g e 1 9 6 8 , 1:249) and the H a n eclectic w o r k Huainanzi v H i ^ i ^
(Book of the Prince of Huainan, DZ 1184; Major 1993).

T o d a y zhai still m e a n s b o t h p r e p a r a t o r y purification a n d p u r g a t i o n festi-


val, t h e latter i n d i c a t i n g rites g e a r e d to t h e s a v i n g t h e s o u l s of t h e dead,
w h i l e rituals of c o s m i c r e n e w a l (jiao) are u s e d to elicit b l e s s i n g s for the
living. B o t h i n v o l v e c o n f e s s i o n o f sins a n d p r a y e r s for f o r g i v e n e s s a s
well as t h e f o r m a l offering of w i n e , food, and o t h e r objects in an act of
b l e s s i n g a n d t h a n k s g i v i n g , w h i c h w a s originally p a r t o f t h e jiao ( A s a n o
2002, 274-75).

C h a o . F r o m t h e e a r l y Celestial M a s t e r s o n w a r d , D a o i s t s m e r g e d t h e
s t r u c t u r e o f traditional sacrifices w i t h t h e c o u r t rituals o f a n c i e n t C h i n a ,
w h i c h g o v e r n e d the f o r m a l interaction o f the e m p e r o r w i t h h i s m i n i s t e r s
a n d local r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . A t a u d i e n c e s , w h i c h w e r e k n o w n a s chao
literally, " s u n r i s e " b e c a u s e t h e y o c c u r r e d i n the v e r y early m o r n i n g , offi-
Food in Ritual / 101

cials lined u p b e f o r e t h e t h r o n e t o p r e s e n t r e p o r t s a n d r e q u e s t s i n w r i t t e n
a n n o u n c e m e n t s , petitions, a n d m e m o r i a l s . T h e y w e r e d r e s s e d i n f o r m a l
court g a r b a n d h e l d s p e c i a l tablets a n d s e a l s o f p e r s o n a l identification.

A d o p t i n g this s y s t e m , e a r l y D a o i s t s n o l o n g e r offered b l o o d y c a r c a s s e s ,
w h i c h t h e p u r e g o d s o f t h e D a o found r e p u l s i v e s i n c e t h e y h a d n o c o r p o -
real s u b s t a n c e a n d a c c o r d i n g l y n o n e e d for solid, m a t e r i a l s u s t e n a n c e
( K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 4 9 ) . I n s t e a d offerings i n c l u d e d flowers, v a l u a b l e s , a n d
v e g e t a r i a n foods, a s w e l l as, i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the n e w " a u d i e n c e " n a -
ture o f the rite, w r i t t e n d o c u m e n t s : a n n o u n c e m e n t s , petitions, m e m o r i a l s ,
a n d m a n d a t e s (see M a r u y a m a 2 0 0 2 ) . I n a m o n a s t i c setting, m o r e o v e r ,
Daoists since the middle ages h a v e celebrated daily services or "regular
a u d i e n c e s " {changchao '^^ffj at d a w n a n d d u s k . L i k e the c e r e m o n i a l m e a l
at n o o n , t h e y i n v o l v e the formal a s s e m b l y of all r e c l u s e s in the c e n t r a l
s a n c t u a r y , t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f offerings, a n d the e x t e n s i v e r e c i t a t i o n o f
p r a y e r s a n d scriptures.

T h e s e m o r n i n g a n d e v e n i n g s e r v i c e s , i n a d d i t i o n t o c o m b i n i n g sacrificial
a n d c o u r t ritual, c a n also b e t r a c e d b a c k t o t h e m o r n i n g a n d e v e n i n g a u -
d i e n c e s with the p a r e n t s that w e r e p r e s c r i b e d for all filial c h i l d r e n as
early as the Z h o u d y n a s t y . As o u t l i n e d in the Liji, a d e v o t e d s o n a n d
d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w h a d t o purify t h e m s e l v e s , d o n f o r m a l d r e s s , then:

go to their parents and parents-in-law. On getting to where


they are, with bated breath and gentle voice, they should ask if
their clothes are (too) warm or (too) cold, whether they are ill
or pained, or uncomfortable in any part; and if they be so, they
should proceed reverently to stroke and scratch the p l a c e . . . .
They will ask whether they want anything, and then re-
spectfully bring it. All this they will do with an appearance of
pleasure to make their parents feel at ease. [They should bring]
thick or thin porridge, spirits or ale, soup with vegetables,
beans, wheat, spinach, rice, millet, maize, or glutinous m i l l e t -
whatever they wish, in fact. (10/1.4; Legge 1968, 1:450-51; Kohn
2003a, 175-76)

T h i s "offering [food] and nurturing" (gongyang f ^ # ) o f the p a r e n t s


m a t c h e s t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n of food to s u p p o r t the g o d s in the D a o i s t audi-
e n c e rite a n d i s called b y t h e s a m e p h r a s e , n o w r e n d e r e d " p r e s e n t a t i o n
o f offerings." T h e t e r m , m o r e o v e r , i s also p r o m i n e n t a m o n g B u d d h i s t s
w h o u s e it to translate piija, the c e r e m o n y of h o s t i n g t h e deity. D a o i s t s ,
w h o h a v e left their n a t i v e families for t h e D a o , r e g a r d the celestial g o d s
102 / What Daoists Eat

a s t h e i r true father a n d m o t h e r and v e n e r a t e t h e m a c c o r d i n g l y (see


M u g i t a n i 2 0 0 4 ) . A t the s a m e t i m e t h e y a l s o r e c o g n i z e their h i g h s t a n d i n g
i n t h e c e l e s t i a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d p a y political-style h o m a g e , c o m b i n i n g
t h e traditional C o n f u c i a n virtues of l o y a l t y a n d filial p i e t y in a n e w ,
cosmic dimension.

F o o d p l a y s a n essential p a r t i n t h e s e rites a s offerings m a d e o n t h e altar.


A full p r e s e n t a t i o n i n c l u d e s :

— i n c e n s e , fresh flowers, a n d r e d c a n d l e s , p r e s e n t e d e v e r y t i m e ;

—tea, w i n e , and o t h e r liquids, s u c h as four-fruit t e a or licorice s o u p , of-


fered specifically t o T h r e e P u r e O n e s , and t a l i s m a n w a t e r (fushui ^ T K ) ,
c r e a t e d w h e n t h e a s h e s of a b u r n e d t a l i s m a n are d i s s o l v e d in water, fre-
q u e n t l y u s e d t o p u r i t y t h e altar a n d specifically u s e d d u r i n g the n o o n
sacrifice (ivugong ^ f J t ) ( A s a n o 2 0 0 2 , 2 7 5 ; s e e also H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 6 0 ; 2 0 0 8 a ,
164-69);

—fruit a n d grain, the latter either w h o l e or g r o u n d : u n c o o k e d grain to


feed g h o s t s a n d d e m o n s , c o o k e d rice o r millet for a n c e s t o r s a n d local
g o d s , rice b a l l s {zongzi # ; ^ ) a n d other n o n - g r o u n d g r a i n p r o d u c t s for
t h e o v e r a l l p a n t h e o n , a s well a s v a r i o u s c a k e s , b u n s , a n d pastries, s o m e
of which have auspicious characters written on them (Asano 2002, 276);

— o t h e r foods, i n c l u d i n g c a n d i e s in c r e a t i v e s h a p e s , v e g e t a b l e s in v a r i o u s
s i z e d b o w l s , dried foods, a n d traditional c o o k i e s , as well as d e l i c a c i e s
from the sea a n d t h e m o u n t a i n s (sugar, salt, ginger, and p e a s ) ;

— v a l u a b l e s , i.e., m o n e y a n d j e w e l r y that are p l a c e d on t h e altar for a p e -


riod, spirit m o n e y in different c o l o r s and t y p e s w h i c h is b u r n t to satisfy
t h e o t h e r w o r l d l y n e e d s o f g h o s t s , g o d s , and a n c e s t o r s , a n d silver p i e c e s
that m a y b e t h r o w n a m o n g t h e faithful ( A s a n o 2 0 0 2 , 2 7 8 ; see also
McCreery 1990);

—writing utensils, s u c h a s p a p e r , ink-stones, b l a c k a n d r e d ink sticks,


a n d b r u s h e s , w h i c h s y m b o l i z e the t r a n s m i s s i o n o f w r i t t e n d o c u m e n t s
a n d are p l a c e d o n w o o d e n b u c k e t s and set u p i n t h e five d i r e c t i o n s o f the
altar area, as well as " d r a g o n c a r d s , " p a p e r s p r i n t e d w i t h a d r a g o n d e -
s i g n that signify the a c t i v a t i o n of d r a g o n s as d i v i n e m e s s e n g e r s , a c o n -
104 / What Daoists Eat

T h r e e m a j o r t y p e s o f rites are p e r f o r m e d . S e c r e t c e r e m o n i e s are h e l d b e -


h i n d l o c k e d d o o r s in the t e m p l e to establish a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n
h u m a n i t y a n d the g o d s . S e m i - p u b l i c rites o f m e r i t and r e p e n t a n c e in-
c l u d e the r e a d i n g of r e l e v a n t texts a n d the offering of p r a y e r s for the for-
g i v e n e s s o f sins, h e a l i n g o f diseases, a n d m e n d i n g o f social d i s h a r m o n i e s .
F u l l y p u b l i c rites are h i g h l y d r a m a t i c a n d i n c l u d e the e n a c t m e n t o f D a o -
ist m y t h s of c r e a t i o n a n d r e n e w a l . T h e ritual e n d s with a large b a n q u e t ,
j o i n e d b y e v e r y o n e — f r i e n d s a n d foes a l i k e — t o c e l e b r a t e the successful
c o s m i c i n v i g o r a t i o n o f the c o m m u n i t y (see S a s o 1 9 7 2 ; L a g e r w e y 1 9 8 7 ;
Dean 2000).

T h e earliest d o c u m e n t e d u s e of food in D a o i s t c e r e m o n i e s is found in a


u n i q u e form o f the sacrificial b a n q u e t w h i c h the e a r l y C e l e s t i a l M a s t e r s
c a l l e d " k i t c h e n - f e a s t s , " held at e s s e n t i a l c o m m u n i t y c e l e b r a t i o n s , s u c h as
t h e festivals o f the T h r e e P r i m e s . T h e s e w e r e t i m e s o f g e n e r a l a s s e m b l i e s
a n d tax m a n a g e m e n t : in the first m o n t h , the tax w a s set a c c o r d i n g to the
n u m b e r of p e o p l e in the h o u s e h o l d ; in t h e s e v e n t h and tenth m o n t h s , it
w a s c o l l e c t e d a s the h a r v e s t w a s b r o u g h t i n (see K l e e m a n 1 9 9 8 ) . T h e
g r o u p w a s tightly s t r u c t u r e d and followers i n o r d i n a r y t i m e s o b e y e d
p r e c e p t s that e n c o u r a g e d frugality a n d s i m p l i c i t y as f o r m u l a t e d in t h e
Xianger Commentary WM^i to the Daodejing (see B o k e n k a m p 1 9 9 7 , 4 9 - 5 0 ;
K o h n 2 0 0 4 a , 5 8 - 6 0 ) . A t festival times, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , kitchen-feasts,
like rites for the sun g o d in antiquity, i n v o l v e d great b a n q u e t s w i t h rich
food and w i n e a s well a s offerings o f m a t c h i n g m o r s e l s t o the g o d s (Stein
1 9 7 1 , 4 8 9 ; 1972, 4 9 1 ; M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 4 6 ; K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 5 1 ) .

T h e s o u r c e s d o n o t p r o v i d e a n y details a b o u t t h e e x a c t n a t u r e a n d ar-
r a n g e m e n t o f t h e feasts a m o n g the early C e l e s t i a l M a s t e r s . O n the o t h e r
h a n d , t h e r e i s s o m e d o c u m e n t a t i o n a b o u t later practices, n o t a b l y u n d e r
t h e D a o i s t t h e o c r a c y i n fifth-century N o r t h C h i n a and a m o n g t h e s o u t h -
e r n C e l e s t i a l M a s t e r s i n t h e sixth-century.

T h e Daoist theocracy began with K o u Qianzhi ( 3 6 5 - 4 4 8 ) , the s o n


of a Celestial M a s t e r s family in t h e C h a n g ' a n . L i v i n g u n d e r the foreign
T o b a - W e i rulers, h e d e p l o r e d t h e d i s a r r a y o f D a o i s t c o m m u n i t i e s and
h o p e d t o c o n t r i b u t e t o their r e n e w a l . H e d u l y w i t h d r e w t o find solitary
inspiration on M o u n t S o n g in H e n a n a n d — a s detailed in t h e Weishu
( H i s t o r y o f t h e W e i D y n a s t y , ch. 114; trl. W a r e 1 9 3 3 ) — r e c e i v e d s e v e r a l
r e v e l a t i o n s from L o r d L a o . T h e m a i n d o c u m e n t that r e s u l t e d from t h e s e
I revelations was the Yunzhong yinsong xinke jiejing
Food in Ritual / 1 0 5

S'^'lg Ii§Tf4s5cll
(Precepts o f the N e w C o d e , R e c i t e d i n the C l o u d s , D Z 7 8 5 ) , a text c o n -
taining a set of thirty-six p r e c e p t s for t h e r e n e w e d c o m m u n i t y , u s u a l l y
called the " N e w C o d e " (see Y a n g 1 9 5 6 ) .

I n 4 2 4 , K o u t o o k h i s i ns pir ati on t o court, w h e r e h e w a s w e l c o m e d b y


E m p e r o r T a i w u a n d f o u n d the s u p p o r t o f the p r i m e m i n i s t e r C u i H a o ^
;|f ( 3 8 1 - 4 5 0 ) , a C o n f u c i a n fond of m a t h e m a t i c s , astrology, a n d m a g i c , as
well a s t h e a u t h o r o f a b o o k o n diet ( H u a n g 2 0 0 0 , 1 2 5 ) , w h o like K o u en-
v i s i o n e d a r e n e w e d a n d purified society. T o g e t h e r t h e y c o n v i n c e d t h e
ruler t o p u t t h e " N e w C o d e " into practice, c r e a t i n g a n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e
s y s t e m for t h e foreign d y n a s t y that m a d e K o u as Celestial M a s t e r a c e n -
tral p o w e r b r o k e r in the capital w h i l e D a o i s t institutions and priests
s e r v e d t h r o u g h o u t the state a s a g e n t s o f tax collection, l a w e n f o r c e m e n t ,
a n d s e a s o n a l relief. C u i H a o i n the m e a n t i m e m a s t e r m i n d e d v a r i o u s
military s u c c e s s e s a n d w o r k e d on t h e c o m p i l a t i o n of a n a t i o n a l history,
rising h i g h e r i n r a n k and h o n o r . T h e p i n n a c l e o f the t h e o c r a c y a r r i v e d i n
4 4 0 , w h e n the e m p e r o r u n d e r w e n t D a o i s t i nves t i t ur e rites a n d c h a n g e d
t h e reign title t o "Perfect L o r d o f G r e a t P e a c e . " T h e e x p e r i m e n t flour-
ished for a n o t h e r d e c a d e , t h e n c a m e to a rather rapid e n d after K o u ' s
death in 4 4 8 a n d C u i ' s e x e c u t i o n in 4 5 0 , to be r e p l a c e d by a B u d d h i s t -
s p o n s o r e d s y s t e m k n o w n a s sangha-households.^

A k e y a s p e c t of the t h e o c r a c y w a s the c e l e b r a t i o n of r e g u l a r c o m m u n a l
rites o f the so-called D a o p e o p l e (daomin M S ) - T h e y w e r e g e a r e d t o c r e -
ate a land of perfect p e a c e , w h e r e h a r m o n y p r e v a i l e d a n d e v e r y b o d y , as
in the C o n f u c i a n ideal, w a s restrained by rules of ritual b e h a v i o r . P e o p l e
h a d to o b s e r v e daily, seasonal, and special rites, the latter t w o u s u a l l y
i n v o l v i n g c o m m u n a l m e e t i n g s a n d kitchen-feasts. T h e r e w e r e g r a n d ,
m e d i u m , a n d lesser feasts, lasting seven, five, or three d a y s r e s p e c t i v e l y
(Ware 1933, 233).

To p r e p a r e for a feast—also called "fortunate f e e d i n g s " (fushi | @ : ^ ) or


"rice for the w i s e " (fanxian MK', see MoUier 2 0 0 0 , 4 6 ) — m e m b e r s h a d to
purify t h e m s e l v e s b y a b s t a i n i n g from m e a t a n d the five s t r o n g v e g e t a -
b l e s a s well a s from s e x u a l relations a n d c o n t a c t w i t h i m p u r e s u b s t a n c e s
(no. 1 1 ; 8a). A typical b a n q u e t , then, c o n s i s t e d of three c o u r s e s —a v e g e -

' For more on the theocracy, see Tsukamoto 1961; Mather 1979; Kohn 2000.
106 / What Daoists Eat

tarian m e a l , w i n e , and r i c e — b u t t h o s e w h o c o u l d n o t afford all t h r e e


c o u l d resort to h a v i n g j u s t w i n e , up to a m a x i m u m of five p i n t s (no. 12).
T h e ritual activity d u r i n g feasts (no. 2 0 ) a s well a s d u r i n g daily s e r v i c e s
(no. 19) a n d a n c e s t r a l w o r s h i p (no. 2 3 ) i n v o l v e d a series o f b o w s a n d
p r o s t r a t i o n s as w e l l as the b u r n i n g of i n c e n s e a n d offering of a p r a y e r or
petition, w h i c h h a d t o f o l l o w a specific f o r m u l a (no. 1 9 ) . T h e r e w e r e t o b e
no b l o o d sacrifices, l a s c i v i o u s practices, or ritualized i n t e r c o u r s e as in the
" h a r m o n i z a t i o n of qi" {heqi -^M.: see R a z 2 0 0 8 ) u n d e r t a k e n by t h e early
C e l e s t i a l M a s t e r s (no. 4 ; 2 a ; M a t h e r 1 9 7 9 , 1 1 3 ) .

S i m i l a r g u i d e l i n e s also a p p l i e d a m o n g t h e s o u t h e r n Celestial M a s t e r s a s
documented in t h e s i x t h - c e n t u r y c o l l e c t i o n of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l rules,
Xuandu luwen ^W0>C (Statutes of M y s t e r y M e t r o p o l i s , DZ 1 8 8 ) . T h e
text, too, d i v i d e s kitchen-feasts into g r a n d , m e d i u m , a n d lesser, specify-
i n g that the so-called T h r e e A s s e m b l i e s {sanhui EL^), i.e., t h e festivals of
t h e T h r e e P r i m e s , as well as the b i r t h of a m a l e child qualified for a
g r a n d feast. T h e b i r t h o f a f e m a l e c h i l d a n d t h e c e r e m o n i a l p r e v e n t i o n o f
d i s e a s e s a n d a v o i d a n c e of d a n g e r s n e c e s s i t a t e d the a r r a n g e m e n t of a
m e d i u m event, w h i l e a d e a t h in the f a m i l y or o t h e r p o t e n t i a l l y life-
c h a n g i n g e v e n t w a s r e a s o n for a lesser kitchen (12a; K o h n 2 0 0 4 b , 3 9 ) .

I n e a c h c a s e , t h e feasts w e r e f o r m a l l y a r r a n g e d b y t h e c o m m u n i t y l e a d e r
who, in the beginning of every year and under consideration of recent
d e m o g r a p h i c c h a n g e s , w o u l d o r g a n i z e t h e p o p u l a c e into g r o u p s o f ten.
W i t h i n e a c h g r o u p , o n e m e m b e r w o u l d p r o v i d e t h e feast m a t e r i a l s for
a n o t h e r i n m u t u a l sharing, n o t entirely u n l i k e p o t l u c k s today, b u t dis-
tinctly a v o i d i n g t h e u s e o f a n y a n i m a l p r o d u c t s that m i g h t n e c e s s i t a t e
killing ( 1 2 a b ; K o h n 2 0 0 4 b , 3 9 ) . T h e " S t a t u t e s " further specify that d u r i n g
a g r a n d feast, e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t s h o u l d " r e c e i v e five p i n t s of w i n e and 3 0 0
c a s h ; d u r i n g a m e d i u m feast, four p i n t s of wine, 2 0 0 c a s h , and five c o i n s ;
a n d d u r i n g a lesser feast, t h r e e p i n t s of w i n e , 1 0 0 c a s h , a n d 1 0 0 c o i n s "
(13b-14a; K o h n 2 0 0 4 b , 40)

I n addition, the feast c a m e w i t h the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f p r e s e n t s a n d p l e d g e s


t o t h e c e n t r a l priestly a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d the D a o i s t g o d s , t h u s e n s u r i n g
p r o t e c t i o n a n d g o o d fortune. A s the text has:

When a male child is bom, set up a kitchen-feast for ten people.


In the midst of the feast, present 100 pages of petition paper,
one set of brushes, one ball of ink, and one writing knife. When
a female child is bom, set up a kitchen-feast for five and offer
Food in Ritual / 107

one seating mat, one dust pan, and one broom. [13a] Deliver
these taxes one month after the child's birth.
Anyone going against this statute and law will be punished
by a two-period reduction in reckoning.'' The child will simi-
larly suffer a reduction in reckoning and will not be able to
grow up in a parish of the Celestial Masters. His qi will he tied
by demons and he will undergo harm to the point of not even
being able to reside in the underworld. On the other hand, if
treated properly, the child can bring fame to family and self.
All these are potentially grave sins that lead to loss of life. (12b-
13a; Kohn 2004b, 39-40)

T h e p r o p e r p e r f o r m a n c e o f the feasts and their v a r i o u s related activities


t h u s h a d a m a j o r i m p a c t on t h e social role a n d fate of the p a r t i c i p a n t s .

In t e r m s of c o n c r e t e p r o c e d u r e s , the text reaffirms the traditional re-


q u i r e m e n t of initial purification and the n e e d for p r o p e r attire a n d for-
m a l i t y d u r i n g the c e r e m o n y . It says:

When the time has come for male and female officers, register
disciples, and Daoist followers to participate in a kitchen-feast,
in each group of ten the head of the family should undergo
fasting and restraint. On the eve of the feast, he should invite
the guests, speak the proper words, and encourage them to
come in.
All this is to be done with dignity and seriousness, not al-
lowing any disturbance or defilement. All sweat should be
washed off in a bath, all clothes should be changed —robe and
skirt, cap and gown, leggings and breeches. Do not wear a
plain skirt or let it show from under your robe, but be of ut-
most seriousness in your attire. (13b; Kofin 2004b, 40)

T h e kitchen-feasts c o n t i n u e d e v e n after D a o i s m w a s i n t e g r a t e d into o n e


o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a n d doctrinal structure i n t h e e a r l y T a n g d y n a s t y , a s t h e
Yaoxiu keyi d o c u m e n t s . It t o o r e c o g n i z e s t h r e e levels of feasts a n d distin-
g u i s h e s v a r i o u s types, s u c h a s s e a s o n a l ( T h r e e A s s e m b l i e s ) , situational
(birth, s i c k n e s s , d e a t h ) , and o c c a s i o n a l ( r e p e n t a n c e , liberation) ( K l e e m a n

" This refers to the belief that the celestial authorities would keep track of
people's good and bad deeds and adjust their life-expectancy accordingly. For
details, see Kohn 1998b. Depending on the text, a "period" can vary between a
hundred days, three hundred days and as many as twelve years (see Yoshioka
1970,190).
108 / What Daoists Eat

2 0 0 5 , 1 5 2 ) . Part of o r g a n i z e d religion rather than p e r f o r m e d in a c l o s e d


m i l l e n a r i a n g r o u p , the feasts w o u l d b e a r r a n g e d b y s p o n s o r o r d o n o r
I
a n d run b y professionals. T h e y i n c l u d e d m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y the " k i t c h e n
s u p e r v i s o r " (jianchu l a M i ) w h o e x a m i n e d the food, b a l a n c e d r a w a n d
c o o k e d materials, m a n a g e d flavors, a n d d e c i d e d o n the order o f dishes;
and the "group regulator" (jiezhong ffj ^ ) who checked the time,
s o u n d e d t h e c h i m e s for e a c h n e w p h a s e , a n d i n general kept p e o p l e i n
line ( K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 5 4 ) . T h e feast w o u l d b e j o i n e d b y local p e o p l e w h o
served as secondary participants and appreciative audience. They would
r e c e i v e the distribution of leftovers, p a r t i c u l a r l y grains, after the e v e n t
( 9 . 1 1 b ) , a p r a c t i c e m u c h like the s h a r i n g of offerings after rituals of uni-
v e r s a l d e l i v e r a n c e {pudu WM), r e q u i e m services (gongde Jtlt^O/ arid o t h e r
c e r e m o n i e s t o d a y (see D e a n 2 0 0 0 ) .

In a c c o r d a n c e w i t h traditional structures, e a c h feast c a m e w i t h a three-


d a y p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d t h a t i n v o l v e d the c o n f e s s i o n o f sins a n d purifica-
tion {qingzhai '(n'M) for all m a j o r p l a y e r s and w a s f o l l o w e d by a t h a n k s -
g i v i n g rite k n o w n as t h e " s t a t e m e n t of m e r i t " {yangong "p^tl) ( K l e e m a n
2005, 153). Throughout, purity had to be maintained by sticking to vege-
tarian s u b s t a n c e s , a n d there s h o u l d n o t e v e n b e t h e v e r b a l a c k n o w l e d g -
m e n t of d e s t r u c t i v e a c t i o n s s u c h as killing, h u n t i n g , fishing, or t r a p p i n g
(12.2a K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 5 4 ) .

T h e s a m e h o l d s also true for the " n o o n p u r g a t i o n " {zhongzhai at


D a o i s t m o n a s t i c institutions, i.e., t h e m a i n m e a l o f the d a y that w a s — i n
a d a p t a t i o n o f B u d d h i s t p a t t e r n s — u s u a l l y h e l d a r o u n d 1 1 a.m. a s part o f
a m a j o r c e r e m o n y that also i n c l u d e d s c r i p t u r e r e a d i n g s a n d the f o r m a l
s h a r i n g o f food a n d m e r i t s w i t h t h e d o n o r s a n d all b e i n g s . A s d e s c r i b e d
in t h e Shishi weiyi, it t y p i c a l l y i n v o l v e d four p h a s e s : ^

(1) p r e p a r a t i o n [separation]: d o n n i n g v e s t m e n t s , c l e a n i n g h a n d s and face,


p i c k i n g u p dishes, a n d e n t e r i n g t h e refectory;

5 The events are also described in Zhengyi weiyi jing jE~-tS.iMi (Scripture of
Dignified Observances of Orthodox Unity, DZ 791) 9b-10b, 15ab; Qianzhen ke ^
MM (Rules for a Thousand Perfected, DZ 1410) Sab, 29ab; and Fengdao kejie 6.4a-
7a (sect. 16; trl. Kohn 2004c). The following is a summary of the more detailed
account in Kohn 2003a, 123-32.
Food in Ritual / 109

(2) initial formalities [liminal p h a s e 1 ] : rites t o t h e D a o a n d d e d i c a t i o n o f


the food t o t h e g o d s , a n c e s t o r s , a n d all b e i n g s , a c c o m p a n i e d b y also
burning incense and chanting invocations, as well as the correct place-
m e n t o f d i s h e s a n d the t a k i n g o f seats;

(3) the actual m e a l [ l i m i n a l p h a s e 2 ] : r i c e gruel, rice, a n d s e v e r a l different


dishes, e a c h a n n o u n c e d a n d h a n d e d a r o u n d b y s e r v i n g m o n k s , a s ritual
verses are chanted;

(4) c o n c l u d i n g f o r m a l i t i e s [ r e a g g r e g a t i o n ] : r e p e n t a n c e of all rule v i o l a -


tions d u r i n g t h e m e a l , o b e i s a n c e t o t h e T h r e e T r e a s u r e s , s t a c k i n g o f
b o w l s , a n d e x i t i n g the hall ( 9 b - 1 2 a ) .

T o b e g i n t h e m e a l s u p e r v i s o r a s c e r t a i n s t h e c o r r e c t t i m e a n d rings t h e
bell. D a o i s t s d o n their v e s t m e n t s a n d w a s h their h a n d s , then p i c k u p
their d i s h e s p l u s c h o p s t i c k s a n d a s p o o n (lacquer or c o p p e r in t h e old
days, m e t a l o r plastic t o d a y ) from special racks. D i s h e s c o n s i s t o f t h r e e
b o w l s o f different sizes, m a d e from m e t a l , lacquer, e a r t h e n w a r e , o r p o r -
celain, d e p e n d i n g on t h e w e a l t h of the institution.'' In addition, in the
m i d d l e a g e s D a o i s t s h a d t w o cloths, o n e w r a p p e d a r o u n d the b u n d l e o f
dishes, w h i c h w e r e s t a c k e d i n s i d e o n e a n o t h e r , the o t h e r folded i n s i d e it.
B o t h c l o t h s w e r e u s e d d u r i n g the m e a l a n d h a d t o b e k e p t perfectly c l e a n ,
n e v e r u s e d for w i p i n g off s w e a t o r b l o w i n g o n e ' s n o s e ( 8 b ) .

O n c e c l e a n e d , g a r b e d , a n d r e a d y , D a o i s t s file i n t o t h e r e f e c t o r y a n d find
their p r o p e r p l a c e . T h e y p u t their b u n d l e o f d i s h e s o n the table, b u t re-
m a i n s t a n d i n g t o p e r f o r m t h e initial f o r m a l i t i e s — b u r n i n g i n c e n s e , b o w -
ing, and reciting a v e r s e of p r a i s e to t h e H e a v e n l y W o r t h i e s ( 9 b ) . T h e y sit
d o w n —on c h a i r s today, on c u s h i o n s at l o w t a b l e s in the m i d d l e a g e s —
a n d o p e n the cloth that w r a p s their dishes, s t r a i g h t e n i n g it to s e r v e as a
p l a c e mat. T h e y u n p a c k their d i s h e s i n the p r o p e r o r d e r a n d p l a c e t h e
s e c o n d c l o t h o v e r their k n e e s t o b e u s e d a s a n a p k i n . T h e y r i n s e their
d i s h e s with c l e a r w a t e r that i s h a n d e d a r o u n d (9b). T h u s readied, t h e y
offer the p r a y e r - a t - m e a l s , a s e q u e n c e of g o o d w i s h e s for the d o n o r ' s
benefit, the e m p i r e , the a n c e s t o r s , a n d all b e i n g s .

T h e m e a l itself b e g i n s w i t h t h e s e r v i n g o f grain, f o l l o w e d b y a n u m b e r o f
different v e g e t a r i a n dishes, m a d e up of the five classical food g r o u p s .
S u b s t a n c e s a v o i d e d i n c l u d e t h e five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s as well as any-

^ For a discussion of traditional Chinese eating utensils with numerous il-


lustrations, see Huang 2000, 75-89,104-09.
1 1 0 / What Daoists Eat

t h i n g p r o c e s s e d o r n o n r i t u a l . T h e p r e p a r a t i o n , m o r e o v e r , e n s u r e s that
t h e food is well b a l a n c e d , e n h a n c i n g h e a l t h and vitality (Yaoxiu keyi
9.14b).

E a c h dish i s a n n o u n c e d w i t h its n a m e either b y t h e s u p e r v i s o r o r b y t h e


s e r v e r s . As the first s t e a m i n g b o w l s arrive at the tables, the m e d i e v a l
liturgy r e q u i r e s t h e c h a n t i n g o f a n i n c a n t a t i o n that p r a i s e s the selfless
g i v i n g o f the d o n o r , k n o w n a s t h e " I n c a n t a t i o n for R e c e i v i n g F o o d " (see
a b o v e , p. 9 6 ) . It links food w i t h great m e r i t for e v e r y o n e w h o e n g a g e s in
its d o n a t i o n , a c h a r i t a b l e act w h i c h l e a d s to h a p p i n e s s n o w a n d a g o o d
rebirth later. D a o i s t s p a r t i c i p a t e in this m e r i t by n o t k e e p i n g the food for
t h e m s e l v e s b u t p a s s i n g it on ritually to the celestials a n d all b e i n g s , en-
s u r i n g the w i d e s t p o s s i b l e s p r e a d o f m e r i t a n d reaffirming their role a s
i n t e r m e d i a r i e s b e t w e e n the c o s m i c r e a l m s .

As m o r e food is p a s s e d a r o u n d , a further c h a n t is s u n g w h i c h a g a i n e s -
t a b l i s h e s the celestial c o n n e c t i o n of the m e a l a n d offers it to all b e i n g s . It
runs:

This fragrant feast and wondrous offering


Above we give to the Heavenly Worthies,
In the middle to the perfected and sages.
Below to the host of living beings.
May all be equally full and satisfied.
While good fortune flows to our [generous] donor
Like rivers pouring into the sea. (10a; Fengdao kejie 6.6a)

A s the c o m m u n i t y eats, e a c h m e m b e r internally v i s u a l i z e s t h e T h r e e


O n e s a n d o t h e r g o d s i n t h e b o d y , t h u s a g a i n r a i s i n g the m u n d a n e activ-
ity to a h e a v e n l y level. E v e r y o n e is to eat h i s or h e r fill a n d c a n get as
m a n y as three helpings, but there is to be no overeating and no scorning
of d i s h e s as n o t b e i n g fancy e n o u g h . W h e n e v e r a dish is a n n o u n c e d ,
r a i s e y o u r b o w l to r e c e i v e it. If y o u prefer n o t to p a r t a k e of it, s i m p l y
r a i s e a finger a n d let t h e s e r v e r p a s s b y . W h i l e b e i n g s e r v e d , if y o u desire
m o r e , a d v a n c e the b o w l a little; if y o u prefer less, w i t h d r a w it slightly.
T h e r e is, h o w e v e r , t o b e n o s p e e c h o n the subject. N o i s e s i n g e n e r a l
s h o u l d be k e p t to a m i n i m u m , a v o i d i n g all slurping, s u c k i n g , a n d g u l p -
ing, a n d n o t c l a t t e r i n g w i t h b o w l s a n d c h o p s t i c k s . S p e e c h i s n o t p r o h i b -
ited b u t s h o u l d b e c o n t r o l l e d a n d c a l m , a v o i d i n g all e x c l a m a t i o n s o r
s h o u t s . E x c e p t i o n s to this rule are e m e r g e n c y situations, s u c h as a m i l i -
t a r y incident, a flood, a fire, a r o b b e r y , or a s u d d e n d e a t h ( l O b - l l a ) .
Food in R i t u a l / 1 1 1

T h e act of e a t i n g in a t r a d i t i o n a l m o n a s t e r y , therefore, is less a w a y of


fulfilling b o d i l y n e e d s t h a n a n active n o u r i s h i n g o f the g o d s a n d all b e -
m g s , a w a y o f j o i n i n g D a o . T h e p h y s i c a l c o n t r o l o f f o o d intake, b o d y
movements, and speech aids recluses in thinking with compassion and
s h a r i n g w i t h all b e i n g s . A n y t h i n g t o u c h e d d u r i n g the m e a l i s sanctified
and e v e n leftovers are n o t w a s t e d o r t h r o w n o u t b u t g i v e n t o s e r v a n t s ,
b e g g a r s , s i c k p e o p l e , o r farm a n i m a l s — a l w a y s w i t h the w i s h : " M a y all
thus g i v i n g attain g o o d fortune! M a y all t h u s e a t i n g b e free from suffer-
ing!" (11a; Fengdao kejie 6.6b).

After e v e r y o n e h a s e a t e n t h e i r fill, the c o n c l u d i n g f o r m a l i t i e s b e g i n . H e r e ,


too, t h e p e r v a s i v e i m p o r t a n c e o f p u r i t y i s m a d e clear. After all h a v e fin-
ished eating, t h e y fold t h e c l o t h o n t h e i r k n e e s , r i n s e their d i s h e s w i t h
clear w a t e r , s t a c k t h e m b a c k into o n e pile, a n d w r a p t h e m i n the p l a c e
m a t c l o t h ( 1 1 a ) . T h e n t h e y u n d e r g o a rite of r e p e n t a n c e , c h a n t i n g t h e fol-
lowing verse:

To the Highest Worthies of the ten directions!


I^espectfully see here before you
This great crowd of disciples.
Today, during the presentation of food.
We fear that
Our hands were smudgy and not clean.
Our garb was not properly purified.
Our utensils were not pure.
Our rice and millet were not sifted.
And all manner of things and acts
Were not as prescribed by the divine law.
May the Three Treasures spread their mercy upon us
And widely give us joy and good cheer. (Fengdao kejie 6.6a)

F o l l o w i n g this, t h e y c h a n t a p l e d g e o n b e h a l f o f t h e d o n o r t o m a k e fur-
ther efforts t o w a r d t h e D a o a n d f o r m a l l y s h a r e the rite's m e r i t s w i t h the
d o n o r a n d all b e i n g s b y c h a n t i n g t w o a d d i t i o n a l s t a n z a s . T h i s c o n c l u d e d ,
the r e c l u s e s p i c k u p t h e i r d i s h e s a n d file out o f t h e r e f e c t o r y i n a n or-
d e r l y m a n n e r , t o a s s e m b l e a t the w a t e r b a s i n for w a s h i n g d i s h e s a n d
c l e a n i n g teeth. T h e final r u l e r e g a r d i n g the c e r e m o n i a l m e a l , then, i s that
w h i l e l e a v i n g a n d c l e a n i n g up, all s h o u l d m a i n t a i n strict d i s c i p l i n e a n d
r e t u r n t o their q u a r t e r s silently, n o t s t a n d i n g a b o u t c h a t t i n g i d l y ( 1 2 a ) .

I S i m i l a r r u l e s a n d s t r u c t u r e s a l s o a p p l y i n D a o i s t m o n a s t e r i e s o f t h e late
i m p e r i a l p e r i o d and, b y e x t e n s i o n , t o d a y . T h e y a r e d e s c r i b e d i n the Q i n g
1 1 2 / What Daoists Eat

d o c u m e n t Qinggui xuanmiao a n d r e p o r t e d by Y o s h i o k a Y o s h i t o y o in t h e
1 9 4 0 s ( Y o s h i o k a 1 9 7 9 ) . A s i n t h e m i d d l e ages, s o i n m o d e r n t i m e s m e a l s
b e g i n a n d e n d w i t h formal p r a y e r s a n d c h a n t i n g s . M o n a s t i c s s h o u l d
a v o i d s p e e c h and l a u g h t e r or limit t h e m s e l v e s to a few soft w o r d s . If y o u
do n o t like t h e m e a l , do n o t c o m p l a i n ; after it ends, do n o t sit a r o u n d a n d
chat i d l y b u t c o l l e c t b o w l a n d c h o p s t i c k s quietly. D u r i n g t h e m e a l , d o
n o t p i c k y o u r teeth, w i p e y o u r m o u t h w i t h the s l e e v e s o f y o u r r o b e ,
m a k e s m a c k i n g n o i s e s , c l i c k the t o n g u e , s c r a t c h the h e a d , o r p u t s o m e -
t h i n g a l r e a d y c h e w e d b a c k into the b o w l . S h o u l d y o u d i s c o v e r that t h e
rice h a s a s t o n e or s o m e alien grain in it, t a k e it o u t and p l a c e it softly on
t h e table, n o t h u r l it on the floor. If there are b u g s in the food, r e m o v e
t h e m silently. G e n e r a l l y , a v o i d c a u s i n g t r o u b l e or m a k i n g a stir, n e v e r
r e j e c t i n g w h a t i s offered o r c r a v i n g fancy d i s h e s that a r e n o t t h e r e ( Z W
3 6 1 ; 10.603).

W h e t h e r i n the m i d d l e a g e s o r today, m o n a s t i c m e a l s are h i g h l y ritual-


ized affairs that —on a s m a l l e r scale a n d w i t h greater r o u t i n e — c o n t i n u e
t h e sacrifices a n d feasts o f old. T h e y follow the classical p a t t e r n o f p r e p a -
ration, m a i n rite, and c o n c l u s i o n ; t h e y p l a c e their p a r t i c i p a n t s in a l i m i -
nal s p h e r e and a l l o w t h e m to r e a c h for a h i g h e r level of spiritual a w a r e -
n e s s a n d celestial c o n n e c t i o n . N o t m e r e l y g i v i n g food t o their b o d i e s ,
D a o i s t s i n t h e ritual m e a l s h a r e food a n d k i n d n e s s with the g o d s a n d all
b e i n g s , t h e r e b y m a k i n g t h e entire u n i v e r s e h o l i e r a n d purer. T h e stan-
dards of good conduct, moreover, express the self-consciousness Daoists
are e n c o u r a g e d t o a c q u i r e j u s t a s t h e w a y they c o n s u m e food r e v e a l s
their reality a s i n c l u d i n g t h e larger r e a l m o f the c o s m o s a n d the entirety
o f living b e i n g s .

A yet different v a r i a n t of ritual food in D a o i s m a p p e a r s in a p r o c e d u r e of


m e d i t a t i v e self-cultivation that i n v o l v e s v i s u a l i z a t i o n s a n d i n c a n t a t i o n s
as well as t a k i n g c e r t a i n h e r b a l s u b s t a n c e s a n d g u i d i n g c\i t h r o u g h the
b o d y . A l r e a d y the Zhuangzi d e s c r i b e s a p e r f e c t e d b e i n g w h o lives on
h e a v e n l y n e c t a r a n d celestial m a n n a a n d t o w h o m food a n d c l o t h e s ap-
p e a r s p o n t a n e o u s l y (ch. 5 ; M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 6 7 ) .

I n its w a k e , G e H o n g m e n t i o n s that i m m o r t a l s , able t o c o n t r o l fire a n d


w a t e r , c o u l d also c a u s e celestial d e l i c a c i e s to arrive at a m o m e n t ' s n o t i c e .
He calls this p r a c t i c e " t r a v e l i n g k i t c h e n " (xingchu WM), an " i m a g i n a r y
cornucopia of wondrous drugs and foods" served by luscious jade maid-
Food in R i t u a l / 1 1 3

e n s that c o u l d feed sixty or s e v e n t y p e o p l e at the d r o p of a h a t {Baopuzi


16; K l e e m a n 2 0 0 5 , 1 4 9 ; Stein 1 9 7 1 , 4 9 0 ) . He also lists a Xingchu / ' i n g f T J i f l l
as well as a text c a l l e d Riyue chushi jing B ^ (Sun and M o o n
C o o k i n g ; ch. 19) that p r e s u m a b l y referred t o p r e p a r i n g a n d a b s o r b i n g
the e s s e n c e s o f t h e sun and t h e m o o n ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 6 6 ) .

Practitioners o f H i g h e s t C l a r i t y i n d u e c o u r s e a d o p t e d t h e p r a c t i c e a n d
a d d e d the a p p l i c a t i o n o f t a l i s m a n s , t h e v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f specific deities,
a n d m e t h o d s t o e x e r t c o n t r o l o v e r the g o d s — b o t h i n t h e b o d y a n d the
stars ( R o b i n e t 1 9 8 4 , 1:31-33). T h e b e s t d e s c r i p t i o n s u r v i v e s from a S o n g
text called Daodian lun Jl^Ira (Daoist Records and Discourses, D Z 1130;
4 . 1 0 b - l l b ) , w h i c h i n c o n t e n t m a y well g o b a c k t o the H a n (Stein 1 9 7 2 ,
4 9 1 - 9 2 ) . It d e s c r i b e s a p r a c t i c e c a l l e d " A b s o r b i n g Y e l l o w Qi" {fu huangqi
Wi^Mi) w h i c h c o n s i s t s o f t a k i n g v e g e t a l and m i n e r a l s u b s t a n c e s (such as
c i n n a b a r , fungi, h e r b s ) , e n v i s i o n i n g t h e p u r e y e l l o w e n e r g y o f t h e spleen,
then m a k i n g deities b r i n g a feast in g o l d e n dishes, t h e i m a g i n a r y c o n -
s u m p t i o n o f w h i c h p r e v e n t s all feelings o f h u n g e r a n d thirst ( M o l l i e r
2 0 0 0 , 67).

B u d d h i s t s , too, t o o k on the t e c h n i q u e from an e a r l y age, the idea of a


celestial k i t c h e n {tianchu ^JSf) a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d in the Zhong benqi jing
(Sutra of Central Origins and Deeds, T. 196; 3.13), translated in
2 0 7 ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 6 8 ) . Later s o u r c e s m e n t i o n that t o a v o i d feelings o f
h u n g e r , o n e s h o u l d p r a c t i c e d e e p m e d i t a t i o n and v i s u a l i z e d e i t i e s b r i n g -
ing h e a v e n l y nectar. T h e c o l o r o f the d i v i n e p o t a g e d e p e n d e d o n t h e
p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s merit: if it w a s low, it w o u l d a p p e a r d a r k green; if m e d i u m ,
red; if superior, white. W h i c h e v e r form it took, a d e p t s s h o u l d t a k e it in
t h e m o u t h , feel it m e r g e with their saliva, then s w a l l o w it. It w o u l d feel
like s p o n t a n e o u s l y c o o k e d food a n d h a v e a great c e l e s t i a l fragrance
(Mollier 2 0 0 0 , 6 9 ) .

T h e m o s t e x t e n s i v e B u d d h i s t k i t c h e n ritual, a s allegedly r e v e a l e d b y the


B u d d h a at the t i m e of e n t e r i n g n i r v a n a , a p p e a r s in the Sanchu jing H J g f l l
(Sutra of the T h r e e K i t c h e n s ) , a T a n g m a n u s c r i p t d i s c o v e r e d at D u n -
h u a n g (S. 2 6 7 3 , S. 2 6 8 0 ) . It is further s u p p l e m e n t e d by the Tingchu jing
MtIM ( S u t r a of t h e P a v i l i o n K i t c h e n s , in P. 2 6 3 7 ) , a m e d i c a l c o m p e n d i u m
w h i c h i n c l u d e s d r u g r e c i p e s that h e l p t o e l i m i n a t e h u n g e r ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 ,
52-62.

A c c o r d i n g t o this, o n e n e e d e d t h r e e f u n d a m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s b e f o r e prac-
t i c i n g the rite, w h i c h w o u l d lead to f r e e d o m from h u n g e r , clarity of spirit.
1 1 4 / What Daoists Eat

a n d e x t e n d e d l o n g life: d e v o t i o n t o t h e T h r e e T r e a s u r e s o f b u d d h a ,
d h a r m a , a n d s a n g h a ; family a n d c o m m u n i t y support; a n d c o n s i s t e n t
p r a c t i c e o f the S i x P e r f e c t i o n s ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 5 3 ) . O n e s h o u l d t h e n w i t h -
d r a w to a s o l i t a r y retreat in the m o u n t a i n s , well p r o t e c t e d from n o s y in-
terlopers, w h e r e o n e c o u l d k e e p the m e t h o d secret, s i n c e a n y d o u b t —like
i n traditional a l c h e m y — w o u l d c o m p r o m i s e its efficacy. T h e actual p r a c -
tice i n v o l v e d the s i l e n t c h a n t i n g of a s a c r e d v e r s e (gatha) to t h e five direc-
tions, e a c h a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a specific b o o n a n d a set n u m b e r of recita-
tions:

east wood attainment of long life 90 times


south fire invulnerable to heat 30 times
center earth freedom from hunger 20 times
west metal invulnerable to cold 70 times
north water freedom from thirst 50 times

If d o n e daily, p r e f e r a b l y at the yin h o u r (3-5 a.m.), w h i l e a s s e m b l i n g a n d


s w a l l o w i n g saliva, a n d e s p e c i a l l y i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h s t r o n g s e a t e d
m e d i t a t i o n a n d t h e p e r s i s t e n t v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f A m i t a b h a , this w o u l d free
a d e p t s from all n e e d s o f s u s t e n a n c e ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 5 4 - 5 5 ) . T h e text d e -
s c r i b e s effects m u c h like t h o s e D a o i s t s c l a i m for the p r a c t i c e of bigu, i.e.,
certain s y m p t o m s of d e h y d r a t i o n in the e a r l y days, then a great s e n s e of
v i g o r , f o l l o w e d b y s u p p o r t from celestial e n v o y s a n d t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f
perfection.

T h e B u d d h i s t m e t h o d r e p r e s e n t s a certain d e g r e e o f internalization o f t h e
p r a c t i c e . R a t h e r than v i s u a l i z i n g the d e l e c t a b l e v i a n d s b e i n g p r o d u c e d
t h r o u g h h e a v e n l y s p o n t a n e i t y a n d p r e s e n t e d b y celestial m e s s e n g e r s ,
p r a c t i t i o n e r s s e e the c e n t r a l k i t c h e n a s l o c a t e d i n their o w n b o d i e s . T h e
s t o m a c h s e r v i n g as t h e g r e a t s t o r e h o u s e (taicang i^-^), t h e y b r i n g forth
i n t e r n a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w h i l e c a l l i n g u p o n g o d s a n d c o s m i c p o w e r s for
a c t i v e support. A n e v e n m o r e i n t e r n a l i z e d v e r s i o n a p p e a r s i n the D a o i s t
Laozi shuo Wuchu jing ^ t F I S E M J I S ( S c r i p t u r e of the F i v e K i t c h e n s as
Revealed by Laozi, DZ 763). Edited and c o m m e n t e d by Yin Yin (zi
S i z h e n z i ^sM^), i m p e r i a l c o u n s e l o r u n d e r X u a n z o n g o f the T a n g a n d
abbot of the S u m i n g guan ^ B J I i ( M o n a s t e r y o f Majestic B r i g h t n e s s ) ,
Food in R i t u a l / 1 1 5

this g o e s b a c k t o t h e e i g h t h c e n t u r y ( M o l l i e r 2 0 0 0 , 6 2 ) a n d i s p a r t o f the
m e d i t a t i o n circle a r o u n d S i m a C h e n g z h e n 7

T h e text is a h i g h l y abstract m y s t i c a l p o e m in t w e n t y v e r s e s w h i c h
guides a d e p t s t o w a r d a m e n t a l state of d e t a c h m e n t , n o n t h i n k i n g , a n d
equanimous perception by cultivating the energy of universal oneness
(yiqi — ^ ) a n d m e r g i n g w i t h c o s m i c p e a c e a n d h a r m o n y (taihe #^).
This will lead to c o m p l e t e p h y s i c a l satisfaction: " T h e five o r g a n s are
a b u n d a n t and full; the five spirits are tranquil and upright." T h i s in turn,
m e a n s that all s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e s are c a l m e d a n d all c r a v i n g s a n d d e -
sires e l i m i n a t e d —including those for food and d r i n k ( l a ) .

The work strongly emphasizes mental restructuring over bodily prac-


tices, in fact s a y i n g that " a c c u m u l a t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n will n o t get y o u to
d e t a c h m e n t " (1. 14, 4 b ) a n d that m e t h o d s of ingestion are u l t i m a t e l y u s e -
less. As t h e c o m m e n t a r y to " A l l food c o m b i n e s into qi" ( 1 . 1 7 ) says:

We receive solidity from earth, coagulate moisture from water,


are endowed with warmth by fire, and rely on wind for our
breath. These four conditioning factors combine and dissolve
constantly, none having any part in the wondrous underlying
solidity [of the universe). Therefore they muddle and obscure
the energy of universal oneness, confuse and disturb cosmic
peace and harmony, and cause the arising of delusory percep-
tion. They stir up nothing but corruption and pollution. (5b)

O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , the recitation o f the s c r i p t u r e i s beneficial, e s p e c i a l l y


if c o m b i n e d w i t h intellectual, m e n t a l , and ethical practices:

Bow your head and recite the five stanzas of this scripture, and
you will easily get the true essentials of cultivating the per-
sonal body and protecting life. To complete harmony and en-
compass universal oneness: penetrate [ultimate] meaning, so
you can enter into spirit, sit in oblivion, and let go of brilliance;
bring peace to the body, so you can venerate virtue, investigate
sensory experience, and nourish yourself forever, (pref. l b )

^ A variant version appears in YJQQ 61.5b-10b: Wuchu jing qifa SBIM0,?£


(Energetic Methods of the Scripture of the Five Kitchens). The methods are also
advocated in Sima Chengzheng's Fuqi jingyi lun (see p. 131), notably in the YJQQ
edition (57.10-llb). A short summary also appears in its DZ version (9b-10a). See
Mollier 2000, 65. For a complete translation and discussion in a meditation con-
text, see Kohn 2010.
1 1 6 / What Daoists Eat

F r o m t h e a b s t e n t i o n from food d u r i n g p r e p a r a t o r y p u r i f i c a t i o n t h r o u g h
e x t e n s i v e offerings a t h o l y D a o i s t altars a n d c o m m u n a l s h a r i n g d u r i n g
festive b a n q u e t s a n d m e a l - t i m e c e r e m o n i e s , the ritual p r a c t i c e o f food
h a s t h u s c o m e full circle to c u l m i n a t e a g a i n in a form of abstention, b u t
p r e d i c a t e d i n m e d i t a t i v e v i s i o n a n d ritual recitation. T h r o u g h o u t , D a o -
ists a d o p t c o n c e p t s a n d p r a c t i c e s from m a i n s t r e a m rites a n d B u d d h i s t
o r g a n i z a t i o n s , y e t — a s a l w a y s — c r e a t e their o w n u n i q u e s y s t e m a n d de-
v e l o p their m e t h o d s i n u n p r e c e d e n t e d w a y s .
Boundless and far, I am trembling with dread.
Sharing primordial fear with spirit:
I start absorbing essence and florescence.
Replacing food and drink.
The Dark Warrior sways beneath me as my mount.
The Jade Equalizer serving as my wheels.
Above and below without limits,
I enter and leave the timeless [spheres].
The hundred ailments leave, and I am healed.
Spirit and (\i alone uphold me.
{Xuandu liiiven 4ab)

T h e u l t i m a t e a n d m o s t a d v a n c e d level o f D a o i s t dietetics i s the c o m p l e t e


a v o i d a n c e o f o r d i n a r y food w h i l e living o n p u r e qi, b e i n g u p h e l d b y
spirit and t r a n s f o r m i n g into an i m m o r t a l . A l r e a d y t h e Zhuangzi d e s c r i b e s
the wondrous m a n of Gushe Mountain:

With skin like ice or snow, he is gentle and shy like a young
girl. He does not eat the five grains but sucks the wind, drinks
the dew, climbs up on the clouds and mist, rides a flying
dragon, and wanders beyond the four seas. (ch. 1, Watson 1968,
33; Campany 2005, 105)

T h e first t e c h n i c a l m a n u a l s o n h o w t o stop i n g e s t i n g o r d i n a r y foods sur-


v i v e a m o n g the M a w a n g d u i m e d i c a l m a n u s c r i p t s (dat. 1 6 8 B.C.E.), nota-
b l y the Quegu shiqi W^'^M ( G i v i n g Up G r a i n a n d E a t i n g Qi), w h i c h
o u t l i n e s s c h e d u l e d p r o c e d u r e s and d e s c r i b e s h o w t o u s e the h e r b p y r r o -

117
1 1 8 / What Daoists Eat

sia for b e s t effects ( H a r p e r 1 9 9 8 , 3 0 5 - 0 9 ; E n g e l h a r d t 2 0 0 0 , 8 6 ; C a m p a n y


2 0 0 5 , 1 0 6 ) . S o o n after this, the Heshang gong zhangju M i i f ^ ^ ' t l J ( V e r s e s
a n d S a y i n g s of t h e M a s t e r on the River, DZ 6 8 2 ) , the Daode jing c o m m e n -
tary b y t h e l e g e n d a r y M a s t e r o n the R i v e r (see C h a n 1 9 9 1 ) , d e s c r i b e s the
five qi of the i n n e r o r g a n s a n d e m p h a s i z e s their c o n n e c t i o n to t h e spirit
a n d m a t e r i a l souls, the y a n g and yin p a r t s o f t h e p e r s o n . T h e t r a n s f o r m a -
tion into a n i m m o r t a l m e a n s t h e r e f i n e m e n t a n d purification o f the yin
parts into i n c r e a s i n g l y y a n g patterns, m o v i n g from solid, e a r t h - b o u n d
e n e r g i e s to subtler, m o r e spirit-oriented levels. S i n c e there is u l t i m a t e l y
o n l y o n e qi, this is n o t a c h a n g e in s u b s t a n c e b u t in nature, a transfigura-
t i o n t o w a r d finer e n e r g i e s that v i b r a t e a n d oscillate at a m u c h faster rate.

D a o i s t s of the early m i d d l e ages e x p a n d e d this n o t i o n by a d d i n g a


m y t h o l o g i c a l d i m e n s i o n t o m e d i c a l e n e r g e t i c s . T h e w o r d shen | $ (spirit)
n o l o n g e r j u s t m e a n t " c o n f i g u r a t i v e f o r c e " (Porkert 1 9 7 4 ) , the p o w e r that
c o n n e c t s a p e r s o n to H e a v e n a n d original destiny, n o r w a s it j u s t the
v a g u e p o w e r o f spirit, w h i c h w o r k s t h r o u g h t h e h u m a n h e a r t a n d signi-
fies the p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i m e n s i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l ( K a p t c h u k 1 9 8 3 , 5 8 ) .
Rather, shen c a m e to m e a n b o d y g o d s , a m u l t i p l i c i t y of d i v i n e entities
that r e s i d e b o t h i n t h e b o d y a n d i n t h e stars, i n h a b i t i n g h a l l s a n d p a l a c e s
a n d k e e p i n g t h e e n e r g y lines o p e n ( K o h n 1 9 9 1 ; K r o l l 1 9 9 6 ) .

To m o d i f y n u t r i t i o n from E a r t h - b o u n d food to H e a v e n - c e n t e r e d qi, prac-


titioners a c c o r d i n g l y also h a d t o r e p l a c e yin-deities w i t h y a n g - g o d s .
D a o i s t s e x p r e s s e d this i n g u i d e l i n e s o n h o w t o e l i m i n a t e the so-called
T h r e e W o r m s o r D e a t h b r i n g e r s , n o x i o u s p a r a s i t e s that report flaws a n d
failures to the celestial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , and instead m a i n t a i n a firm p r e s -
e n c e o f the T h r e e O n e s , p u r e g o d s o f D a o , i n t h e b o d / s e n e r g y c e n t e r s .

T h e p r o c e d u r e s for d o i n g so, a s m u c h a s the formal e l i m i n a t i o n o f grain


from the diet (bigu i n v o l v e a m u l t i p l i c i t y of practices, m o s t i m p o r -
tantly d i e t a r y c h a n g e s , h e r b a l formulas, b r e a t h control, a n d t h e c o n -
s c i o u s g u i d i n g of qi, as well as v a r i o u s f o r m s of m e d i t a t i o n , s u c h as the
v i s u a l i z a t i o n of deities a n d the a b s o r p t i o n of directional e n e r g i e s . In ad-
dition, there are t w o m a j o r d i m e n s i o n s t o t h e practice: t h e r e p l a c i n g o f
o r d i n a r y food w i t h qi w h i c h m a i n t a i n s t h e d i g e s t i v e a n d inner-organ
s y s t e m w h i l e refining it to subtler levels; a n d t h e u l t i m a t e transformation
of n u t r i t i o n t o w a r d p u r e qi w h i c h r e v e r t s t h e s t r u c t u r e t o w a r d a p r i m o r -
dial level b e f o r e creation. I n o t h e r w o r d s , e l i m i n a t i n g g r a i n s either b y
e a t i n g qi {shiqi -^Mi) or by l e a r n i n g to absorb it {fuqi J
Living on Qi / 119

Sau6i Off '^cff (Zttd '7fiiut4^


A l r e a d y t h e m e d i c a l c l a s s i c s e m p h a s i z e that the five i n n e r o r g a n s are n o t
only the seat of specific b o d y fluids b u t also h a v e a p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d
spiritual d i m e n s i o n t o t h e m (see P o r k e r t 1 9 7 4 , 1 8 4 - 8 5 ; I s h i d a 1 9 8 9 , 5 2 ;
K a p t c h u k 2 0 0 0 , 5 9 - 6 2 ) . T h e Huangdi neijing suwen says:

Blood is stored in the liver—the residence of the spirit soul.


Nutritive qi is stored in the spleen—the residence of the inten-
tion.
The pulse is stored in the heart—the residence of the spirit. '
Qi is stored in the limgs—the residence of the material soul.
Essence is stored in the kidneys—the residence of the will. (ch. 2)

A m o n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l aspects, spirit i s t h e m o s t p o t e n t a n d m o s t


fundamental, a s s o c i a t e d with the heart, the leader of the o r g a n s a n d seat
of the ruler (Ishida 1 9 8 9 , 5 3 ) ; it is t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of p u r e D a o . N e x t
are t w o t y p e s of souls, sets of p s y c h o l o g i c a l forces that l i n k t h e p e r s o n to
H e a v e n and E a r t h and are d e s c r i b e d a s spirit p o w e r s s u p p o r t i n g the per-
s o n yet w o r k i n g in o p p o s i t e directions.

T h e spirit or c l o u d soul {hun i%) c o n n e c t s p e o p l e to H e a v e n , is y a n g in


nature, a n d resides in t h e liver, t h e o r g a n related to a g g r e s s i o n and b e -
n e v o l e n c e . It g o v e r n s t h e p e r s o n ' s overall attitude to t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d
and s u p p o r t s intellectuak artistic, a n d spiritual e n d e a v o r s . At death it
returns to H e a v e n , t r a n s f o r m i n g into the ancestral spirit that is w o r -
s h i p e d on the family altar.i T h e m a t e r i a l or w h i t e s o u l (po 9^) c o n n e c t s
t h e p e r s o n to Earth, is yin in quality, a n d resides in t h e lungs, t h e seat of
m a t e r i a l e x c h a n g e with t h e w o r l d (Jarrett 2 0 0 6 , 3 0 ) . I t c o n t r o l s b a s i c sur-
vival instincts, s u c h as t h e n e e d for food, sleep, a n d sex, and in g e n e r a l
m a n a g e s the p h y s i c a l aspect of the individual. At death it returns to
Earth by s t a y i n g w i t h the corpse; it is n u r t u r e d in p r o p e r b u r i a l sites and
p r o c e d u r e s as well as t h r o u g h sacrifices at t h e t o m b .

' It is also the agent that is called back in the death ritual known as "Sum-
moning the Soul" (chaohun f ^ ^ ) . A shaman or priest climbs to the roof of the
house and calls out in all directions to the departed soul to return, depicting each
region as dreary and dangerous. The rite, as much as the three-day delay of the
burial, makes sure that the soul is not just on temporary leave or the person in a
state of suspended animation. For original chants, see Hawkes 1959. For Han
beliefs, see Yii 1987. For modern Hong Kong, see Chan and Chow 2006.
120 / What Daoists Eat

As the Heshang gong zhangju says, c o m m e n t i n g on the phrase, " T h i s is


c a l l e d t h e m y s t e r i o u s [ a n d the ] f e m a l e : "

Heaven feeds people with the five qi, which enter the organs
through the nose and settle in the heart. The five qi are pure
and subtle, they cause people to have sentience and spirituality,
intelligence and perception, sound and voice, as well as the
five kinds of inner nature. They are represented in the spirit
soul, which is male and leaves and enters the human body
through the nose in order to interact with heaven. Therefore,
the nose is "the mysterious."
Earth feeds people with the five tastes, which enter the or-
gans through the mouth and settle in the stomach. The five
tastes are turbid and heavy, they cause people to have body
and skeleton, bones and flesh, blood and pulses, and the six
kinds of emotional passions. The are represented in the mate-
rial soul, which is female and leaves and enters the human
body through the mouth in order to interact with Earth. There-
fore the mouth is "the female." (ch. 6; see Kohn 2009,163-64)

B e y o n d the souls, there are t w o further m e n t a l forces, called will {zhi Icf,;
y i n ) a n d intention {yi M; y a n g ) w h i c h function in c l o s e relation to the
k i d n e y s a n d spleen. T h e y are specific a s p e c t s o f the m i n d , i.e., t h e gen-
eral p o w e r o f t h i n k i n g a n d p l a n n i n g i n t h e intention and the m o r e fo-
c u s e d d e t e r m i n a t i o n directed t o w a r d a specific objective in the will. All
t h e s e a s p e c t s of the m i n d are in c o n s t a n t interaction a n d c h a n g e , so that
c o n s c i o u s n e s s is the i n t e g r a t e d flux of v a r i o u s forces a n d e n e r g i e s .

T h e spirit, then, is the m o s t p r i m o r d i a l a s p e c t of the m i n d as it is re-


c e i v e d from H e a v e n and Earth. T h e t w o k i n d s o f souls are its m o v i n g
a n d active d i m e n s i o n s that d e t e r m i n e h u m a n attitudes, t h o u g h t s , and
desires, w h i l e will a n d intention a r e its c o n c r e t e e v e r y d a y functions. In
g e n e r a l , the yin a s p e c t s are m o r e b o d y - o r i e n t e d , material, and linked
w i t h Earth, w h i l e t h e y a n g a s p e c t s are m o r e spirit-oriented, ethereal, and
c o n n e c t e d t o H e a v e n . T h u s , t h e intention c a n b e d e s c r i b e d a s t h e think-
i n g m i n d , w h i l e t h e will i s the t h i n k i n g b o d y . T h e entirety o f b o t h , h o w -
e v e r different t h e y m a y b e i n v i b r a t i o n a l f r e q u e n c y a n d orientation,
makes up h u m a n consciousness.

T h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n into a n i m m o r t a l b e g i n s w i t h c o n t r o l l i n g t h e will and


intention, w h i c h a r e set r a d i c a l l y t o w a r d o t h e r w o r l d l y g o a l s and cut off
from e a r t h l y ideals. N e x t , t h e s o u l s are r e f o r m e d , c a l m i n g the instinctual
Living on Qi /111

a n d m a t e r i a l l y - c e n t e r e d desires o f t h e m a t e r i a l soul w h i l e e n h a n c i n g t h e
spiritual orientation a n d e n e r g e t i c p u r i t y o f t h e spirit soul. A g a i n , t h e
M a s t e r on the River:

People sustain the two kinds of souls and thereby obtain life.
They should love and nurture them, realizing that joy and ha-
tred cause the spirit soul to vanish while haste and alarm make
the material soul leave. The spirit soul resides in the liver, the
material soul in the lungs. Indulging in wine and sweet delica-
cies harms the liver and lungs. Instead people should keep the
spirit soul tranquil so that their will can be set on the Dao, and ' '
they will be free from trouble. They should maintain the mate-
rial soul in a state of peace so that they attain long life and can
extend their years, (ch. 6)

M e d i e v a l D a o i s t s e x p a n d e d this i d e a b y m u l t i p l y i n g the n u m b e r s o f the


s o u l s to three spirit a n d seven m a t e r i a l entities, e n v i s i o n i n g t h e m as
b o d y g o d s , a n d p r e s c r i b i n g certain t e c h n i q u e s t o deal w i t h t h e m (see
E s k i l d s e n 1998, 49). T h u s t h e Baosheng jing ik^lm (Scripture on Preserv-
ing Life, D Z 8 7 1 ) o f the n i n t h c e n t u r y says:

The three spirit [yang] souls are located beneath the liver. They
look like human beings and all wear green robes with yellow
inner garments. Every month on the third, thirteenth, and
twenty-third day, they leave the body in the evening to go
wandering about.
At this time, lie down with your feet up, your head sup-
ported by a pillow, and your legs stretched out straight. Fold
your hands over your heart, close your eyes, and hold your
breath. Click your teeth three times, (lb)

T h e n a m e s o f t h e s e p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s o f h u m a n e x i s t e n c e a r e "Spiritual
G u i d a n c e , " " I n n e r R a d i a n c e , " a n d " D a r k E s s e n c e " ( l a ) . A s s h o w n i n the
text, t h e y l o o k n o b l e a n d a p p e a r h u m a n i n s h a p e a n d a r e d r e s s e d i n
c o u r d y g a r b . T o s u p p o r t t h e m i n their b e n e f i c e n t activities, t h e text rec-
o m m e n d s p h y s i c a l e x e r c i s e s , b r e a t h i n g p r a c t i c e s , a s well a s m e d i t a t i o n s
a n d i n c a n t a t i o n s . T r e a t e d i n this m a n n e r , t h e three spirit s o u l s will b r i n g
o u t t h e b e s t in p e o p l e a n d t a k e c a r e that " t h e r e is no disaster or affliction
[to the p e r s o n ] , a n d all evil d e m o n s are s u b d u e d . T h e b o d y a t p e a c e , y o u
attain D a o . T h e n there i s n o m o r e suffering o r p a i n " (2a; I s h i d a 1 9 8 7 , 8 6 ) .

T h e i r y i n c o u n t e r p a r t s are t h e m a t e r i a l o r y i n souls, n a s t y a n d evil. T h e y


122 / What Daoists Eat

a r e b e a s t l y in s h a p e a n d q u i t e d i s a s t r o u s in their activities.:

The seven material souls consist of the energy of yin and of


evil. They are basically demons. They can make a person
commit deadly evils, be stingy and greedy, jealous and full of
envy. They give people bad dreams and make them clench
their teeth, incite them to say "yes" when they think "no."
They cavise people to lose their vital essence in sexual pas-
sion, dissipate it by hankering after luxury and ease. Through
them, people waste their original purity and simplicity. (2a)

T h e s e souls, far from l o o k i n g like h u m a n b e i n g s , a r e s t r a n g e l y f o r m e d


devils, h a v i n g b i r d s ' h e a d s , o n l y o n e leg, tails, a b o m i n a b l e o u t g r o w t h s ,
a n d t h e like. T h e i r n a m e s are a c c o r d i n g l y nasty: C o r p s e D o g , A r r o w i n
A m b u s h , Bird D a r k n e s s , D e v o u r i n g R o b b e r , F l y i n g P o i s o n , M a s s i v e Pol-
lution, a n d S t i n k y L u n g s ( S a b ) .

W h e r e the t h r e e y a n g souls, t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f H e a v e n , therefore


g u i d e p e o p l e t o w a r d g r e a t e r g o o d n e s s a n d spiritual t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , the
s e v e n yin s o u l s , e s s e n t i a l m a t e r i a l a s p e c t s n e c e s s a r y for p h y s i c a l survival,
pull t h e m t o w a r d w o r l d l i n e s s , tension, a n d conflict. W h i l e f o l l o w i n g the
latter l e a d s to loss of vital e n e r g y , illness, a n d death, c u l t i v a t i n g t h e for-
m e r b r i n g s a b o u t a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t o w a r d purity, h e a l t h , a n d l o n g life.

D a o i s t i m m o r t a l i t y p r a c t i c e g o e s b e y o n d e v e n this. Its g o a l i s t h e c o m -
p l e t e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of t h e m a t e r i a l souls, the t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n of all in-
stinctual p a t t e r n s , i n t o etheric, spiritual f o r m s o f b e i n g . T h u s , t h e y first
c o n t r o l s e x u a l e n e r g i e s ( k i d n e y s , will) a n d food intake (spleen, i n t e n t i o n ) ,
t h e n m o v e o n t o w o r k w i t h b r e a t h i n g p r a c t i c e s (lungs, m a t e r i a l s o u l s )
a n d e n g a g e i n v i s i o n s o f t h e d i v i n e (liver, spirit souls) t o e v e n t u a l l y
r e a c h o n e n e s s w i t h D a o (heart, spirit).
Living on Qi / 123

A further e x p a n s i o n of this d i c h o t o m y w i t h i n the i n d i v i d u a l is t h e D a o i s t


u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f r e s i d e n t b o d y divinities that t o o c o m e i n yin a n d y a n g
forms. Y i n h e r e m a n i f e s t s i n the so-called T h r e e W o r m s o r D e a t h b r i n g e r s ,
w h i l e y a n g a p p e a r s a s a set o f g o d s k n o w n a s t h e T h r e e O n e s .

T h e earliest m e n t i o n of the T h r e e W o r m s {sanchong EL^k) o c c u r s in W a n g


C h o n g ' s EE^t Lunheng fm^I ( B a l a n c e d D i s c u s s i o n s ) of t h e s e c o n d c e n t u r y
C.E. H e says: "In the h u m a n b o d y there are t h r e e w o r m s . T h e y c o r r e -
s p o n d to c r e a t u r e s that live in t h e m a r s h e s b e n e a t h the soil. T h o s e we
call l e e c h e s . T h e l e e c h e s g n a w their w a y t h r o u g h the feet o f p e o p l e , j u s t
a s t h e three w o r m s g n a w t h r o u g h their i n t e s t i n e s " (16.3; F o r k e 1 9 6 2 ,
2:363; K u b o 1 9 5 6 , 1 9 2 ; K o h n 1995, 3 5 ) .

T h e T h r e e W o r m s h e r e are real w o r m s , p l a c e d s o l i d l y i n t h e natural


w o r l d ; t h e y are l e e c h e s , n o t d i v i n e or d e m o n s . T h e s a m e i d e a is found in
the b i o g r a p h y of the p h y s i c i a n H u a T u o ^^Yli in t h e Sanguo zhi ^MJcl^
( R e c o r d o f t h e T h r e e K i n g d o m s ) o f the third c e n t u r y : " T o e x p e l t h e T h r e e
W o r m s , u s e a g r e e n p a s t y p o w d e r m a d e from the l e a v e s of the l a c q u e r
tree. T a k e it for a l o n g time, and the three w o r m s will be e x p e l l e d , the
five inner o r g a n s will be greatly s t r e n g t h e n e d . T h e b o d y as a w h o l e will
feel light, and there will be no w h i t e h a i r " (Weizhi 2 9 ; D e W o s k i n 1983,
1 4 9 ) . A g a i n , the three inner p a r a s i t e s are p l a i n l y p h y s i c a l b e i n g s that
c a u s e h a r m t o the p e r s o n , w h o c a n b e c u r e d b y h e r b a l f o r m u l a s .

T h i s early m e d i c a l v i e w , s u p p o r t e d b y t h e g r o w i n g b e l i e f i n b o d y gods,
d e v e l o p e d into a m o r e r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n in t h e third century. T h e T h r e e
W o r m s b e c o m e the T h r e e C o r p s e s (sanshi HP)—a term that uses the
w o r d " c o r p s e " i n a c a u s a t i v e w a y a n d t h u s m e a n s a g e n t s that b r i n g
a b o u t d e a t h a n d c a n t h u s b e called D e a t h b r i n g e r s . T h e i r n a t u r e takes o n
a s u p e r n a t u r a l character. Instead o f m e r e l e e c h e s g n a w i n g o n h u m a n
intestines, they are officials of the celestial h i e r a r c h y , p l a c e d in the b o d y
t o m o n i t o r h u m a n b e h a v i o r and p u n i s h sins a n d t r a n s g r e s s i o n s . A s the
Baopuzi has:

There are Three Deathbringers in our bodies. Although not


fully corporeal, they are like our inner energies, like numinous
powers, ghosts and spirits. They want us to die early. After our
death, they become ghosts and move about at will to where
sacrifices and offerings are laid out.
124 / What Daoists Eat

On every gengshen [57*] day [of the sbcty-day cycle],


they ascend to heaven and file a report on our misdeeds with
the Ruler of Fates (Siming W J n j j ) . Similarly during the last night
of the month, the Stove God makes a journey to heaven and
reports on our behavior. For the more important misdeeds,
three hundred days are deducted from our lives. For lesser sins,
they take off three days. (6.4b; see Ware 1966, 115-16)

W h i l e t h e T h r e e W o r m s thus g r a d u a t e from a m e r e p h y s i c a l i f d a n g e r o u s
n u i s a n c e , to d e m o n i c d e a t h b r i n g e r s , their w o r m y n a t u r e is retained in a
s e p a r a t e g r o u p o f parasites, k n o w n as the N i n e W o r m s (jiuchong tlMk)-
M o r e o r g a n i c a n d less d e m o n i c creatures, t h e y are like g e r m s and b a c t e -
ria yet w o r k w i t h t h e D e a t h b r i n g e r s w h o s u m m o n t h e m t o c a u s e sick-
n e s s and disease. As t h e Baopuzi says:

If you only have a faithful heart and do nothing for your spiri-
tual wellbeing, your life expectancy will be defective and you
will come to harm. The Three Deathbringers will take advan-
tage of your weak months and perilous days, of all those hours
when your longevity could easily be interrupted or sickness
incurred, to summon vicious energies and bring in any para-
sites they can find. The danger is great for anyone. (15.7a; Ware
1966, 252-53)

T h e T h r e e D e a t h b r i n g e r s h a v e , therefore, a d v a n c e d t o m a n a g e r i a l posi-
tions. T h e y n o l o n g e r b r i n g h a r m t h e m s e l v e s b u t o r d e r o t h e r n o x i o u s
c r e a t u r e s to do so. Illnesses still c o m e from p h y s i c a l p a r a s i t e s that enter
t h e b o d y i n a m o m e n t o f w e a k n e s s , h o w e v e r , t h e a g e n c y that instigates
this i n v a s i o n is n o w s e p a r a t e and h a s a religious character. W h i l e the
religious t r a d i t i o n t h u s s u p e r s e d e s the m e d i c a l , it n e v e r i g n o r e s or abol-
i s h e s it altogether.

D u e to their heightened powers, the expulsion of the Three Deathbring-


ers also t a k e s on a m o r e spiritual significance. E x p e l l i n g t h e l e e c h - w o r m s
c a n i m p r o v e o n e ' s h e a l t h a n d raise life e x p e c t a n c y , b u t getting rid o f the
D e a t h b r i n g e r s is a p r e r e q u i s i t e for h i g h e r spiritual states. M e r e c o n c o c -
t i o n s o f leaves, t h o u g h c e r t a i n l y useful, n o l o n g e r suffice. R i t u a l m e a s -
ures, s u c h a s n i g h t - l o n g vigils, a n d ethical p u r i t y m u s t b e a d v a n c e d , es-
p e c i a l l y on the gengshen d a y and at o t h e r t i m e s of transition. ^ In addition

2 Holding a vigil on the gengshen night became a major way of eliminating


the Three Deathbringers under the Tang. Staying awake prevents them from
Living on Qi / 125

stronger m e d i c i n e s are n e e d e d , p r e f e r a b l y t h e d r u g s of life itself, the elix-


r s o f i m m o r t a h t y . F o r e x a m p l e , " T a k e p u r e u n a d u l t e r a t e d l a c q u e r and
you will e n t e r into c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h t h e gods. M i x it w i t h ten p i e c e s
of crab, then t a k e it w i t h m i c a w a t e r or d i s s o l v e d in j a d e water. T h e N i n e
"A'orms will d r o p from y o u , a n d all y o u r b a d b l o o d will flow o u t in
n o s e b l e e d s " {Baopuzi I L l O b - l l a ; W a r e 1 9 6 6 , 1 9 0 ) . S u n S i m i a o similarly
notes in h i s Qianjin fang T ^ ^ f J ( R e c i p e s W o r t h a T h o u s a n d P i e c e s of
Gold; ed. Z h o n g h u a shuju) that t h e v e r y first step in e l i m i n a t i n g grains is
the r e m o v a l o f the T h r e e W o r m s and p r o v i d e s several r e c i p e s that rely
h e a v i l y on digitalis e x t r a c t {dihuang chi i^WM) c o m b i n e d w i t h c l e a r l a c -
quer {qingqi i f i t ) ( 5 8 . 5 1 1 ) . 3

Present i n m a n y m e d i e v a l D a o i s t texts, the m o s t e l a b o r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n o f


the T h r e e D e a t h b r i n g e r s a p p e a r s a g a i n in t h e Baosheng jing. It says:

The Upper Deathbringer is called Peng Ju, also known as Ake


(Shouter). He sits in the head and attacks the cinnabar field in
the Niwan Palace [center of the head]. He causes people's
heads to be heavy, their eyesight blurred, their tears cold. He
makes mucus assemble in their noses and their ears go deaf.
Because of him, people's teeth fall out, their mouths rot, and
their faces shrink in wrinkles. He further deludes people so
they desire carriages and horses, crave for fancy sounds and
sights, and gloat over evil and filth. . . .
The Middle Deathbringer is called Peng Zhi, also known
as Zuozi (Maker). He enjoys deluding people with the five
tastes and makes them greedy for the five colors. He lives in
the human heart and stomach and attacks the Scarlet Palace [in
the heart, the middle cinnabar field] together with its central
heater. He causes people's minds to be confused and for-

leaving the body, so they cannot file their report. If they fail to do so over seven
geiigshen nights, they will be fired from their jobs and die. The vigil soon turned
into a major social event, complete with multiple forms of entertainment and
extensive vegetarian feasts. In addition, the practice was linked with a Tantric
protector deity known as Qingmian jingang WHU^U
i
Qap. Shomen kongo), the
Bluefaced Vajrapani. The entire complex was duly transmitted to Japan, where
so-called koshin vigils combined with the worship of the god are still held to the
present day. See Kubo 1956; Kohn 1995.
3 On the medical use of these substances, see Stuart 1976,150 and 377.
126 / What Daoists Eat

getful, so that they are full of troubles, dry in saliva and low in
energy. Dissipated and melancholy, they follow the false and
see things in wrong perspective. .. .
The Lower Deathbringer is called Peng Qiao, also known as
Jixi (Junior). He lives in people's stomachs and legs and attacks
the lower parts of the body. He makes energy leak [through
the genitals] from the Ocean of Qi and thereby invites a multi-
plicity of ills. Attracting the robbers of human intention, he
makes people hanker after women and sex. Courageous and
zealous only in the pursuit of passion, people suffering from
him are blindly attached to things and waste away. They have
no way to control themselves and hold on to life. (7a-8b)

T h e n i n e w o r m s , i n contrast, are p u r e l y o r g a n i c i n n a t u r e . T h e i r n a m e s
are: T w i s t , C o i l i n g , W h i t e , Flesh, L u n g , S t o m a c h , C a u l d r o n , R e d , and
S c a v e n g e r W o r m . T h e Baosheng jing d e s c r i p t i o n i n c l u d e s their size (be-
t w e e n o n e and four inches), t h e h a r m t h e y d o t o w h i c h part o f the b o d y ,
a n d t h e m o s t o b v i o u s c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s . T h e Baosherig jing also i n c l u d e s
their pictures: t h e y l o o k like o r d i n a r y w o r m s o r insects, s o m e l o n g and
slithering, o t h e r s r o u n d w i t h leg-like e x t e n s i o n s , yet o t h e r s s p o n g y or
crab-like. T h e i r m a i n effect is d e p l e t i o n of t h e p e r s o n ' s qi, b u t t h e y also
c a u s e p a i n a n d disease.

W h i l e a d e p t s m u s t , therefore, u n d e r t a k e p h y s i c a l , ethical, and spiritual


efforts to rid t h e m s e l v e s of the D e a t h b r i n g e r s a n d their m i n i o n s , they
s h o u l d a l s o rely o n h e l p from the p u r e g o d s o f D a o , v i s u a l i z i n g t h e m i n
their t h r e e elixir fields and m a i n t a i n i n g a s t r o n g c o n n e c t i o n to H e a v e n
t h r o u g h t h e m . M o s t i m p o r t a n t h e r e a r e the T h r e e O n e s (sanyi H—), the
i m m e d i a t e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of p u r e p r i m o r d i a l qi, the original m a t e r i a l of
D a o , from w h i c h all c r e a t i o n springs. U p o n p r o p e r m e d i t a t i o n , they
c o m e t o reside i n t h e p e r s o n a n d aid h i s o r h e r spiritual transformation.
Living on Qi / 127

T h e Jinque dijun sanyuan zhenyi jing •^M^'^^^jtM^M- (Lord Gold-


t o w e r ' s S c r i p t u r e o f the T h r e e P r i m e s a n d Perfect O n e s , D Z 2 5 3 ) d e -
scribes t h e m :

The Upper One is the Celestial Emperor;


He resides in the body's center [in the head].
The Middle One is the Cinnabar Sovereign;
he resides in the Crimson Palace [in the heart].
The Lower One is the Primordial King;
he resides in the Yellow Court [in the abdomen].
"Together they supervise the twenty-four energies of the ' '
body and bring them in accord with the twenty-four deities of
Great Tenuity. Through them, these energies combine in the
vapor of emptiness and develop into pure spirit.
The Three Ones each have a thousand chariots and ten
thousand horsemen; they ride in cloud chariots with feathery
canopies....
Concentrate firmly on them, and the Three Ones will be-
come visible for you. Once visible, a thousand chariots and ten
thousand horsemen will arrive [to escort you on your heavenly
journey], (la; Andersen 1980)

T h e s e t h r e e deities r e s i d e o r i g i n a l l y i n h e a v e n and r e p r e s e n t the p r i m o r -


dial state b e f o r e creation. O n c e called d o w n and a c t i v a t e d in the a d e p t ' s
body, t h e y c o m e to c o n t r o l it, raising the entire p e r s o n to a celestial level.
Powerful g o o d forces o f D a o , d i v i n e a g e n t s o f longevity, g o o d fortune,
a n d i m m o r t a l i t y , they s e r v e t o activate t h e a d e p t ' s h e a v e n l y nature. T h e y
help in all that is g o o d a n d holy, a n d assist in t h e ascent to t h e divine.
L i k e t h e p u r e g o d s o f D a o w o r s h i p e d i n rituals, t h e y dislike m e a t and the
five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s and thrive on p u r e foods a n d the ingestion of qi. In
their p o w e r t o c o n n e c t t o the g o d s , dietary p r a c t i c e s t h u s d o v e t a i l
s m o o t h l y w i t h o t h e r a d v a n c e d spiritual activities, s u c h a s m e d i t a t i o n s
a n d rituals.
128 / What Daoists Eat

C h a n g i n g t h e diet t o w a r d i m m o r t a h t y t a k e s p l a c e in a s e t t i n g s e p a r a t e
from o r d i n a r y s o c i e t y that is s p e c i a l l y g e a r e d t o w a r d t h e d i v i n e effort.
P r e d o m i n a n t l y an i n d i v i d u a l e n d e a v o r , the p r a c t i c e — e v e n if u n d e r t a k e n
u n d e r the g u i d a n c e of a m a s t e r —usually t a k e s p l a c e in isolation, be it in
t h e distant m o u n t a i n s , on t h e fringes of a m o n a s t i c institution, or in t h e
a n o n y m i t y o f the cities. A s a l r e a d y the Fw zhaijie weiyi jing I^WMffill
(Dignified O b s e r v a n c e s for A r r a n g i n g R e t r e a t s , D Z 5 3 2 ) has:*

A Daoist adept distances and cuts himself off from human


traces and lives quietly in the mountains. He practices a per-
petual retreat and lives alone in a desolate valley. He no longer
selects a master of the teaching [as his preceptor] but simply
makes his mind converse with his mouth. (Eskildsen 1998, 115)

T e x t s v a r i o u s l y e m p h a s i z e t h e n e e d for p h y s i c a l d e t a c h m e n t and o u t l i n e
t h e ideal setting of t h e practice. T h i s m e a n s ideally staying in a small,
s t a n d - a l o n e h u t w i t h p r o p e r v e n t i l a t i o n a n d light, n o t u n l i k e the o r a t o r y
o r quiet c h a m b e r (jingshi i f ^ ) o f the Celestial M a s t e r s o r the tea h o u s e
i n J a p a n . S u r r o u n d i n g s s h o u l d h a v e greenery, freshness, a n d q u i e t u d e ,
a n d b a s i c foods a n d / o r h e r b a l s u p p l e m e n t s s h o u l d b e readily a v a i l a b l e .
T h e texts a l s o stress the n e e d t o c o m p l y w i t h c o s m i c p h a s e s b y o b s e r v i n g
c a l e n d a r rules a n d d a i l y p r o h i b i t i o n s , t h u s m a k i n g sure that the internal
t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f yin a n d y a n g i s n o t h i n d e r e d b y e x t e r n a l patterns.

F o r e x a m p l e , the Shesheng zuanlu ( C o m p r e h e n s i v e R e c o r d on


C o n s e r v i n g Life, D Z 578)^ o u t l i n e s the influence o f earth a n d c l i m a t e i n
different l o c a t i o n s a n d r e c o m m e n d s that practitioners m a k e regular of-
ferings to the g o d s of W a t e r , Earth, a n d S t o v e . T h e y s h o u l d also b u r y a
d e e r antler u n d e r their d o o r s t e p a n d n e a r the toilet t o e n s u r e t h e p r o s -
p e r i t y n e e d e d for the p r a c t i c e a n d a n o x ' s h o o f n e a r the four c o m e r s o f
t h e h o u s e for g e n e r a l g o o d fortune (19a).

I n addition, t h e text h a s v a r i o u s travel p r e s c r i p t i o n s , m u c h like those


f o u n d i n p o p u l a r a l m a n a c s . E a c h m o n t h d i v i d e s into six different t y p e s
o f d a y s , s u c h a s " r o b b e r d a y s , " d u r i n g w h i c h o n e s h o u l d n o t travel a t all.

^ On this fifth-century text of the Numinous Treasure school, see Boken-


kamp 1983, 484; Yamada 2000, 235.
^ The text probably dates from the Tang. See Despeux in Schipper and
Verellen 2004, 356. For a translation, see Huang and Wurmbrand 1987, 2:75-90.
Living on Qi / 1 2 9

and "official d a y s / ' w h e n o n e c a n m o v e a b o u t w i t h o u t h a r m a n d c o n -


duct o n e ' s affairs ( 2 3 a ) . In addition, c e r t a i n d a y s are b e t t e r t h a n o t h e r s
for travel in specific directions. A l s o , p r a c t i t i o n e r s s h o u l d u s e v a r i o u s
forms of m a g i c a l p r o t e c t i o n to e n s u r e their safety, s u c h as d i s c a r d i n g a
cup of w a t e r at a certain p o i n t (24a).

O n c e t h e setting i s right a n d t h e b a s i c i n s t r u c t i o n s are k n o w n , a d e p t s


p u r s u e s e v e r a l different m e t h o d s : r e d u c i n g o r d i n a r y food, t a k i n g h e r b a l
c o n c o c t i o n s , g u i d i n g t h e qi t h r o u g h b r e a t h i n g exercises, a n d a b s o r b i n g
cosmic energies in visualizations. Thus the Xuanmen dalun ^f^:k.m
(Great T r e a t i s e o n the G a t e o f A l l W o n d e r s ) , ' ' o u t l i n e s n i n e " d i e t a r y "
m o d e s that m o v e from e a t i n g food into b r e a t h i n g a n d m e d i t a t i o n :

1. Coarse eating: grains, "to terminate cravings and desires;"


2. Rough eating: vegetables, "to abandon fats;"
3. Limited eating: no food after noon, "to eliminate confusion
and defilement;"
4. Absorbing essences: talisman water and cinnabar efflores-
cences, "to embody flower stems;"
5. Absorbing sprouts: directional qi, "to change into sprouts;"
6. Absorbing light: sun, moon, stars, "to transform into light;"
7. Absorbing qi: universal energy, "to become qi and wander
into the six directions;"
8. Absorbing primordial qi: cosmic energy, "to merge with
Heaven and Earth;"
9. Embryo respiration: pure qi of creation, "to become one with
Dao." (8a-9a; Eskildsen 1998,116)

T o b e g i n D a o i s t s g r a d u a l l y m o d i f y their food intake i n a c c o r d a n c e with


the m a j o r food g r o u p s . A s the Taiqing fuqi koujue MM(Great
C l a r i t y O r a l I n s t r u c t i o n s o n the A b s o r p t i o n o f Qi, D Z 822)^ notes, t h e y
first t a k e s i m p l e , g r a i n - b a s e d food to h a r m o n i z e sp\een-qi a n d activate
t h e saliva, such a s rice p o r r i d g e , b o i l e d w h e a t d u m p l i n g s , o r c o o k e d b a r -
ley, often s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h dried m e a t a n d p e p p e r c o r n s . After a f e w
w e e k s o f b r e a t h i n g p r a c t i c e and this s i m p l e diet, they c a n s k i p o n e o r
t w o m e a l s . T h e y then r e p l a c e the grains with s t e a m e d v e g e t a b l e s , s e a -
s o n e d w i t h soy s a u c e o r v i n e g a r and e n h a n c e d w i t h m e d i c i n a l h e r b s .

"> This is closely related to or identical with the Xuanmen dayi (DZ 1124),
a seventh-century encyclopedia (Schmidt in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 439-40).
The edition used is in YJQQ 37.
^ Probably of Tang origin. See Levi in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 369-70.
130 / What Daoists Eat

T h i s c l e a n s e s t h e c o l o n and w e a n s t h e b o d y from its n e e d for grains. Af-


ter a b o u t a w e e k , a d e p t s c a n d o a w a y w i t h t h e v e g e t a b l e s a n d o n l y t a k e
their j u i c e . T h r e e d a y s later, food intake is g i v e n up c o m p l e t e l y , b u t liq-
u i d s — s u c h a s b o i l e d water, w i n e , g i n g e r s o u p , o r v e g e t a b l e j u i c e — a r e
t a k e n until s u c h t i m e w h e n r e l i a n c e o n p r i m o r d i a l q i i s c o m p l e t e ( H u a n g
and W u r m b r a n d 1987, 60).

A n o t h e r o u t l i n e of t h e p r o c e s s a p p e a r s in t h e Taiqing tiaoqi jing 'J^lmMM,


I f ( G r e a t C l a r i t y S c r i p t u r e o n B a l a n c i n g Qi, D Z 8 2 0 ) , also o f the T a n g . I t
says:

Every day at breakfast, eat a little unflavored watery porridge


to balance the spleen-^j; and provide sufficient fluids to last you
through the day. At noon, eat one or two unflavored slices of
bread and maybe some broth that contains onions or scallions.
Do not eat them hot, though.
If you are himgry in the evening, take a few unflavored
dumplings that you have boiled for twenty or thirty minutes.
Again, make sure not to eat to fullness but three to five mouth-
fuls less. It is best always to leave the table with a feeling a
slightly empty stomach, ( l l a b )

T h e a m o u n t o f food e a t e n s h o u l d b e r e d u c e d e a c h d a y w h i l e the flow o f


saliva i s s u p p o r t e d b y s u c k i n g o n p l u m o r d a t e pits a n d b o d y fluids are
m a i n t a i n e d b y d r i n k i n g little sips o f w a t e r . O n i o n s , scallions, a n d m e a t -
o t h e r w i s e p r o h i b i t e d —serve t o e n h a n c e y a n g e n e r g y . S i m i l a r l y , p e p p e r -
c o r n s are used:

Each time you eat rice, first swallow twenty or thirty raw pep-
percorns with some water. Only then eat the rice. Should you
feel pain or fullness after a meal, you can take ten additional
peppercorns. The pepper will move the Triple Heater activity
downward and chase out all sorts of bad qi. It will also dis-
solve any food remnants left behind in the intestines. (12b)

T h e initial r e s p o n s e o f t h e b o d y t o this c h a n g e i n diet i s w e a k e n i n g and


detoxification. T h e Daoji tuna jing jMStlilftlf ( S c r i p t u r e of t h e F o u n d a -
t i o n of t h e D a o on E x p e l l i n g [the O l d ] a n d T a k i n g in [the N e w ] ) , in a
p a s s a g e that is also t a k e n up in S i m a C h e n g z h e n ' s W],^:^<jji| Vuqi jingyi
132 / What Daoists Eat

A d a p t s m a y m a i n t a i n this state a n d live v i g o r o u s l y w i t h o u t food for


h o w e v e r l o n g t h e y desire. S h o u l d they, h o w e v e r a t s o m e p o i n t w i s h t o
return to o r d i n a r y food, the p r o c e s s is r e v e r s e d a n d g r a i n s are intro-
d u c e d gradually. A s the Taiqing jing duangu fa :;feff I l i f f S r S ( W a y s to
G i v e U p G r a i n B a s e d o n the S c r i p t u r e s o f G r e a t Clarity, D Z 8 4 6 ) . says:

If you wish to give up the diet and return to eating grains, first
take a decoct from mallow seeds [with pork fat] and lesser for-
mulas, then you can start eating again. Begin by taking one
serving of thin rice porridge three times a day.
After two more days, take two servings, increasing the
amount to five servings after three more days, then seven serv-
ings after yet another three days, and finally to one pint after
three more days. Continue like this for one month and you will
be ready to eat ordinary food. ( l l b - 1 2 a )

T e x t s differ w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i m p o r t a n c e of s u p p l e m e n t a r y f o r m u l a s or
m e d i c i n e s {yao M). T h e Taiqing tiaoqi jing is against t h e m . It favors rely-
i n g e n t i r e l y o n b r e a t h i n g and (ji-guiding t o r e p l a c e o r d i n a r y food, n o t i n g
that h e r b s o n l y s t a v e off h u n g e r for s o l o n g w h i l e c r e a t i n g m e n t a l agita-
t i o n in a c o n t i n u o u s s e a r c h for b e t t e r recipes. It says:

Worldly people tend to be greedy for pleasure and love profit.


They cannot stop their thoughts and widely search through
recipe books for formulas to take for grain abstention. When
such concoctions first enter the stomach, they do in fact create
a feeling of fullness for a period of time. However, once their
effect is exhausted, hunger will come back with a vengeance.
This creates a vicious circle without end.
In addition, it constantly keeps the mind involved with
thoughts of formulas and the quest for apparent harmony in
daily affairs. Moving to and fro, forever restless, such people
do not have even a moment's rest. Their strength feeble, their
thoughts drained, they continuously increase troubles and
vexations and don't even need to invite misfortunes to arrive.
(22a)

T h e o p p o s i t e p o s i t i o n i s t a k e n i n m o s t m e d i e v a l texts. F o r e x a m p l e , the
Baopuzi cites the Shennong bencao jing (The D i v i n e F a r m e r ' s
M a t e r i a M e d i c a ) , saying:
Living on Qi / 1 3 3

High-quality formulas put the body at ease and extend life, so


that people can ascend to heaven and become immortals. Able
to soar up and down in the air, they have all sorts of spirit min-
ions at their beck and call. Their bodies grow feathers and
wings, and they receive their food [spiritually] by cosmic cater-
ing [the traveling kitchen-feast], (ch. 11; see Ware 1966,177)

It then p r o c e e d s to list a v a r i e t y of s u b s t a n c e s that will m a k e efficacious


formulas, m a n y o f t h e m m i n e r a l s , s u c h a s c i n n a b a r , gold, silver, j a d e ,
m i c a , pearls, realgar, h e m a t i t e , quartz, r o c k crystal, sulfur, a n d m a l a c h i t e
( W a r e 1 9 6 6 , 1 7 8 ; also P o o 2 0 0 5 ) . A m o n g v e g e t a l a n d h e r b a l m e a n s , i t
e m p h a s i z e s fungi, k n o t g r a s s , thistle, a s p a r a g u s , atractylis, s e s a m e , p i n e
sap and root, as well as p e p p e r and g i n g e r . A v e r y s i m i l a r list a p p e a r s
also in the m o n a s t i c Laozi shuo Fashi jinjie jing w h i c h defines f o r m u l a s as
"gold and jade, m u s h r o o m s and excrescences, yellow essence, Chinese
l y c i u m , b i r t h w o r t , pine, a n d c y p r e s s " (1.17).

T h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t e a r l y d o c u m e n t on i m m o r t a l i t y f o r m u l a s is the Ling-
bao ivufuxu M U S ^ i ? ( E x p l a n a t i o n o f the F i v e N u m i n o u s T r e a s u r e T a l -
i s m a n s , DZ 3 8 8 ) , a c o m p l e x text in three scrolls edited o v e r several c e n -
turies, part o f w h i c h g o b a c k t o t h e H a n (see A r t h u r 2 0 0 6 a ; 2 0 0 9 ) . T h e
s e c o n d scroll i s entirely d e d i c a t e d t o i m m o r t a l i t y recipes, t h e e s s e n c e o f
w h i c h is further s u m m a r i z e d in t h e Taiqing jing duangu fa. K e y ingredi-
ents, m a n y o f w h i c h are also essential t o t h e p r a c t i c e a c c o r d i n g t o S u n
S i m i a o ' s Qianjinfang ( 2 8 . 5 1 1 - 1 2 ) , include:

— a s p a r a g u s root {tianmen dongHf]^), g r o w n in S h a n d o n g a n d S i c h u a n ,


w h i c h i s tonic, s t o m a c h i c , a n d e x p e c t o r a n t , i n d u c i n g s w e a t (Stuart 1 9 7 6 ,
5 5 ) and, a c c o r d i n g to the Baopuzi, s t r e n g t h e n s p e o p l e so t h e y c a n w a l k
v e r y fast and v e r y far ( W a r e 1 9 6 6 , 1 7 8 ) ;

— atractylis (shu /^), g r o w n m a i n l y in Z h e j i a n g w h i c h is w a r m i n g a n d


s t o m a c h i c , a s t i m u l a n t , tonic, a n d diuretic that s t a v e s off old a g e (Stuart
1976, 5 7 ) ;

—birthwort (baishu ft^, aristolochia recurvilabra), w h i c h r e s e m b l e s ginger


r o o t and c u r e s d i g e s t i v e d i s o r d e r s ( 1 9 7 6 , 4 9 - 5 0 ) .

— C h i n a root fungus ifuling '{ji^; poria cocos), also called "excrescences,"


t h e m u s h r o o m - l i k e g r o w t h on t r e e r o o t s c o n s i d e r e d a t r a n s f o r m e d resin,
w h i c h is peptic, nutrient, diuretic, and q u i e t i n g ( 1 9 7 6 , 2 9 8 )
134 / What Daoists Eat

—Chinese lycium (gouji a s h r u b n a t i v e to the n o r t h e r n p l a i n s


w h i c h h a s tonic, c o o l i n g , a n d l i f e - p r o l o n g i n g p r o p e r t i e s ( 1 9 7 6 , 2 5 0 ) ;

—jade b a m b o o {weirui ^ ^ ) , a northern plant with cooling, sedating, and


tonifying p r o p e r t i e s ( 1 9 7 6 , 3 4 0 )

—knotgrass (bianxu MW), helpful a g a i n s t i t c h i n g a n d a diuretic, w h i c h


can be poisonous if not taken with care (1976, 3 4 1 ; W a r e 1 9 6 6 , 1 7 9 ) ;

— m a l l o w s o r m a l v a {kui ^ ) , a s t r o n g diuretic u s e d t o c l e a n the s t o m a c h


and lubricate internal passages (1976, 256);

—pine tree (song fz:) in v a r i o u s forms, s u c h as sap, seeds, or roots, c o n -


s i d e r e d nutritious, life-enhancing, a n d s t r e n g t h e n i n g ( 1 9 7 6 , 3 3 3 ) ;

—sesame (huma fKliMi; jusheng i n t r o d u c e d from t h e W e s t , w i t h


cooling, expectorant, and laxative properties (1976, 404; Arthur 2006b,
106);

— thistle (daji ^M), e s p e c i a l l y t h e root, c o n s i d e r e d a n a t i v e form of gin-


seng, w h i c h s t o p s h e m o r r h a g e s a n d p r o m o t e s p l u m p n e s s ( 1 9 7 6 , 119);

—yellow essence Qiuangjing M'Ml), also k n o w as S o l o m o n ' s S e a l a n d b o -


t a n i c a l l y identified as polugonatum canaliculatum, a m o u n t a i n plant that
l o o k s like b a m b o o a n d i s also called " h a r e b a m b o o " o r " d e e r b a m b o o ; " i t
h a s s t r o n g m e d i c i n a l p r o p e r t i e s that m a k e it useful as a tonic a n d pro-
p h y l a c t i c (1976, 3 3 9 - 4 0 ; s e e also E s k i l d s e n 1998, 6 0 - 6 6 ; H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 5 5 - 5 8 ;
2008a, 100-29).

M o s t o f t h e s e h e r b s h a v e diuretic a n d tonifying qualities that m a k e t h e m


i d e a l for r e m o v i n g stale qi a n d d i g e s t i v e r e m n a n t s w h i l e e n h a n c i n g p o s i -
t i v e e n e r g i e s a n d b u i l d i n g strength. B e i n g p o t e n t a n d effective e v e n i n
s m a l l quantities, the C h i n e s e also u s e d t h e m i n t i m e s o f f a m i n e w h e n
grains, b e a n s , a n d v e g e t a b l e s w e r e sparse, a n d p e o p l e h a d t o survive o n
v e r y little. I n addition, t h e y are k e y p l a n t s g a t h e r e d a n d i n g e s t e d b y
hominids in prehistoric periods (Spencer 1993, 28-29), again showing the
D a o i s t effort at r e t u r n i n g to a m o r e p r i m o r d i a l stage in h u m a n living.

A t t h e s a m e time, D a o i s t s a l s o u s e s o y b e a n s a n d g r a i n s i n their recipes.


Soybeans (dadou i^SL, huangdou MSL) c a n b e u s e d as s p r o u t s or m a t u r e
l e g u m e , the f o r m e r b e i n g l a x a t i v e a n d resolvent, w h i l e the latter w o r k
t o w a r d s t r e n g t h e n i n g a n d vitality e n h a n c e m e n t . T h e s a m e effect i s also
achieved by wheat (mai ^ ) , glutinous panicled millet (chishu mi ^ ^ t I v ) ,
a n d t h e v a r i o u s f o r m s o f rice: g l u t i n o u s (dao | Q ) , nonglutinous (geng ifH),
Living on Qi / 1 3 5

h u l l e d (mi i^), c o o k e d (fan ig), a n d c o n g e e d (zhou ^) (Shjart 1 9 7 6 , 1 8 9 - 9 0 ,


443, 2 9 4 ) .

B e f o r e i n g e s t i n g a n y h e r b s o r grains, a d e p t s c l e a n e d , c h o p p e d , p o u n d e d ,
and c o o k e d them, t h e n m i x e d t h e m i n v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s a n d f o r m e d
t h e m into pills o r d e c o c t s . S e c o n d a r y , b i n d i n g i n g r e d i e n t s i n c l u d e alco-
h o l (jiu IH)/ f e r m e n t i n g a g e n t (qu M), y e a s t (xiao I P ) , w h i t e w a x ( E ^ ^
baila), w h i t e h o n e y (baimi ^^), flower w a t e r (huashui ^ T R ) , m a l t - s u g a r
(yi i ^ ) , b r o t h (jiang ^ ) , s w e e t f e r m e n t e d s o y p a s t e (meijiang ^^), a s well
as a n i m a l fats t a k e n from pigs, s h e e p , and cattle (see A r t h u r 2 0 0 6 a ) . F o r
example.

Take five pints of China root fungus branches, seven pounds of


oily pine sap, five pounds of white wax, three pounds of white
honey, two pints of Sichuan thyme, and steam them all to-
gether as if you were steaming a picul of grain. When it is well
cooked, take it out and form it into pills the size of cypress
seeds. (Taiqing jing duangu fa 2b)

T h e formulas c l a i m t o b e h i g h l y effective: all feelings o f h u n g e r a n d


thirst e v a p o r a t e , t h e skin is firm and glossy, t h e c o m p l e x i o n s m o o t h and
soft, w h i t e h a i r turns b l a c k , lost teeth g r o w again, and u n h e a r d - o f lon-
gevity i s attained. A s S u n S i m i a o says: " A s y o u c o n t i n u e t a k i n g t h e s e
f o r m u l a s w i t h o u t stopping, e v e n t u a l l y y o u r b o n e s a n d m a r r o w b e c o m e
strong and full, a n d the five g r a i n s will be n e e d e d less a n d less until y o u
can g i v e t h e m up n a t u r a l l y " (Qianjinfang 5 8 . 5 1 1 ) .

C h a n g i n g the diet a n d t a k i n g f o r m u l a s m a k e u p a n intrinsic p a r t o f the


p r a c t i c e k n o w n as " i n g e s t i n g qi" (shiqi -^M.) or " s w a l l o w i n g qi" (yanqi Bnt
^ ) . T h i s also i n v o l v e s the d e d i c a t e d , disciplined p r a c t i c e o f b r e a t h i n g
e x e r c i s e s , w h i c h i n turn b e c o m e the b r i d g e t o the u l t i m a t e level o f living
on qi t h r o u g h t h e t e c h n i q u e of " a b s o r b i n g qi" (fuqi MM^- T h e difference
b e t w e e n t h e t w o is that e a t i n g qi r e p l a c e s o r d i n a r y foodstuffs w i t h re-
fined foods, p o t e n t formulas, a n d b r e a t h i n g w i t h o u t essentially c h a n g i n g
t h e b o d / s r e s p i r a t o r y a n d d i g e s t i v e s y s t e m s . A b s o r b i n g qi, o n t h e other
h a n d , d o e s a w a y w i t h food a n d h e r b s , shuts d o w n t h e l u n g s a n d spleen,
a c t i v a t e s t h e k i d n e y s and h e a r t to a n e w level of y i n - y a n g i n t e r c h a n g e ,
a n d t h e r e b y t r a n s f o r m s t h e b o d y ' s s y s t e m to a p r i m o r d i a l level that tunc-
136 / What Daoists Eat

t i o n s o n a p u r e l y internal e n e r g y e x c h a n g e ( J a c k o w i c z 2 0 0 6 , 7 8 - 7 9 ; see
also H u a n g 2 0 0 7 , 5 9 ; 2 0 0 8 a , 1 3 0 - 4 6 )

In either p r a c t i c e , as the Yangxing yanming lu d e s c r i b e s it, a d e p t s i n h a l e cji


t h r o u g h t h e n o s e , t h e n h o l d it in t h e m o u t h to form a m i x t u r e of b r e a t h
a n d s a l i v a — c a l l e d " j a d e s p r i n g " o r " s w e e t w i n e . " T h e y r i n s e the m o u t h
w i t h it to gain a feeling of fullness, a l l o w i n g t h e qi to e n v e l o p e the
t o n g u e a n d teeth. T h e n t h e y c o n s c i o u s l y s w a l l o w it, v i s u a l i z i n g the m i x -
t u r e as it m o v e s t h r o u g h t h e torso into t h e inner o r g a n s . O n c e the qi is
safely s t o r e d i n its i n t e n d e d r e c e p t a c l e , t h e y e x h a l e . A s the text says, " I f
y o u c a n d o o n e t h o u s a n d s w a l l o w i n g s like this i n o n e d a y a n d night, this
is most excellent" (2.1a).

T h e Taiqing tiaoqi jing, c l o s e l y m a t c h i n g d e s c r i p t i o n s in other m e d i e v a l


a n d T a n g s o u r c e s , ' adds:

Rinse your mouth with the numinous fluid [saliva], then lie
down on your back, make your hands into fists, and block [the
qi opening at] the soles of the feet. Support your head with a
pillow and breathe, keeping your mind stable and following
the movement of the breath without interruption as it comes in
and goes out, passing through gate [nose] and doorway
[mouth].
Next, close the mouth firmly and become aware of the in-
ternal qi, pulling it up carefully into the mouth. Softly drum
[the belly] and swallow it down, using your intention to guide
it or using your hands to rub it from above the heart to the
lower belly. Then again balance the breath six or seven times
before you proceed to swallow it once more, as before using
your hands to guide it by rubbing [along the front of the torso].
Stop when you have completed twenty rounds of ^i'-work in
this manner. (9b-10a)

' Texts include: Daoyin yangsheng jing ~^m^'-\'M (Scripture on Nourishing


Life through Healing Exercises, DZ 818); Huanzhen xianshengfu neiqi juefa iOtt
rkffil^J^I^Ji (Master Huanzhen's Essential Method of Absorbing Internal Q:
DZ 828, YJQQ 60.14a-25b), Taiwu xiansheng fiiqi fa ±M9i:±MMW; (Master Great
Nonbeing's Method of Q/-Absorption, DZ 824; YJQQ 59.8b-10a); Yanling jw:
lianqifa MMM'BM:^ (Lord Yanling's Method of Qi-Refinement, YJQQ 61.25a-
26b); Yanling xiansheng ji xinjiu fuqi jing MM9L±M§iVMM.&- (Master Yanling's
Scripture Collecting Old and New [Methods of| Absorbing Qi, DZ 825), and oth-
ers more. See Maspero 1981, 460-61; Kohn 2008a, 118-21.
Living on Qi / 137

All this s e r v e s to i n c r e a s e the p r e s e n c e of qi in t h e b o d y a n d r e p l a c e food


i n t a k e w i t h p u r e b r e a t h . It is further e n h a n c e d by g u i d i n g t h e qi t h r o u g h
t h e b o d y i n c o n c e n t r a t e d visualization. A s S i m a C h e n g z h e n says:

First, visualize the qi in the lungs for some time, then feel it run
along the shoulders and into the arms, until it reaches your
hands that have been curled into fists. Next, envision it gently
moving down from the lungs and into the stomach and spleen
area, from where it moves into the kidneys. Allow it to flow
through the thighs into the legs and feet. You will know that
you are doing it right when you feel a slight tingling between
skin and flesh, like the crawling of tiny insects. (7b)

S i m i l a r instructions also a p p e a r in the Daoyin yangsheng jing, a s s o c i a t e d


w i t h v a r i o u s i m m o r t a l s o f old. O n e o f t h e m , as cr i bed t o W a n g z i Q i a o , i s
called t h e " E i g h t Spirit E x e r c i s e s . " Practitioners b e g i n b y lying o n their
b a c k , their n e c k s u p p o r t e d by a pillow, their feet five i n c h e s apart, a n d
their h a n d s three i n c h e s from the b o d y . R e l a x i n g the m i n d , t h e y i n h a l e
t h r o u g h the n o s e a n d e x h a l e t h r o u g h t h e m o u t h , a l l o w i n g the b r e a t h t o
b e c o m e s o subtle that i t i s all b u t i n a u d i b l e b u t r e m a i n i n g a w a r e o f
m o v e m e n t s in the b e l l y as the qi is s w a l l o w e d t o g e t h e r w i t h saliva ( 7 b ) .
Next, they e n g a g e in a s y s t e m a t i c vision of the b o d y , s e e i n g its different
p a r t s in different s h a p e s a n d colors. T h e text says:

See the throat as a succession of white silver rings, stacked


twelve levels deep. Going downward, you reach the lungs
which are white and glossy. They have two leaves reaching tall
in front, and two leaves hanging low in back. The heart is con-
nected to them underneath. Large at the top and pointed be-
low, it is shining red like an unopened lotus bud hanging
down from the lungs.
The liver is connected to it underneath. Its color is a clear
green like a male mallard's head. It has six leaves that envelop
the stomach—two in front that reach up tall and four in the
back that hang down low. The gall bladder connects to it un-
derneath, like a green silk bag. The spleen is in the very center
of the belly, enwrapped from all sides. It is bright yellow like
gold, lustrous and radiant.
Behind all this, see the kidneys lying back to back like two
sleeping rats, curled up with elbow to navel and as if they
wanted to stretch out. Their color is a thick, glossy black. Fat
streaks run through them, so that the white and black glow
jointly. (8a; Kohn 2008a, 124)
138 / What Daoists Eat

F o l l o w i n g this, p r a c t i t i o n e r s are t o b e c o m e a w a r e o f t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l
a g e n t s c o n n e c t e d to t h e o r g a n s , t h e spirit, as well as the spirit and m a t e -
rial souls, intention, a n d will. T h e y s h o u l d also n o t e w h e t h e r there are
a n y a r e a s in the b o d y that are e m p t y or full, that is, suffer from insuffi-
cient or e x c e s s i v e qi. S h o u l d there be p l a c e s that are e m p t y , it is b e s t to
k e e p the e y e s c l o s e d d u r i n g practice; for full areas, it is b e s t to k e e p t h e m
o p e n ( 8 b ) . A l s o , the p r a c t i c e s h o u l d b e c o m p l e m e n t e d b y e a s y m o v e m e n t ,
s u c h as w a l k i n g b a c k a n d forth for a few h u n d r e d s t e p s a n d / o r s o m e
g e n t l e s t r e t c h e s o f t h e four limbs.

A n o t h e r set of i n s t r u c t i o n s is a s s o c i a t e d w i t h M a s t e r N i n g . It c o n s i s t s of
e i g h t short i n s t r u c t i o n s on h o w to v i s u a l i z e the b o d y , i n c l u d i n g a v i s i o n
of t h e five i n n e r o r g a n s w i t h their r e s p e c t i v e c o l o r s that will " a l l o w t h e qi
to flow e v e n l y t h r o u g h the b o d y " ( 1 7 a ) . In addition, the text s u g g e s t s
that o n e s h o u l d " v i s u a l i z e the g o d s o f the five o r g a n s w i t h their a p p r o -
p r i a t e c o l o r s , e a c h i n h i s specific p l a c e " o r see t h e m " t r a n s f o r m into
d r a g o n s o r fish" (17a). P r a c t i t i o n e r s s h o u l d e n v i s i o n "the h e a r t radiant a s
a fire, s h i n i n g b r i g h t l y like t h e D i p p e r to b l o c k o u t b a d qi" (17b) a n d "the
kidney-qi b e l o w the n a v e l in b r i g h t red a n d white, a l l o w i n g it to m o v e
a l o n g the spine, u p t o t h e h e a d , and b a c k d o w n a g a i n t o p e r v a d e t h e en-
tire b o d y " ( 1 7 a b ) . T h e latter p r a c t i c e i s called " r e v e r t i n g e s s e n c e . " W h i l e
t h e e x p r e s s i o n i s c o m m o n l y u s e d t o refer t o t h e r e f i n e m e n t o f s e x u a l en-
ergy, t h e p r a c t i c e d e s c r i b e d h e r e i s m o r e r e m i n i s c e n t o f the m i c r o c o s m i c
orbit w h e r e q i m o v e s a l o n g the c e n t r a l c h a n n e l s u p a n d d o w n t h e torso.

O v e r a p e r i o d of t i m e , a d e p t s b e c o m e proficient at this qf-circulation a n d


o v e r c o m e the n e e d to b a l a n c e the b r e a t h and h o l d the qi in the lungs,
i n s t e a d directing it i m m e d i a t e l y in the d i g e s t i v e s y s t e m . " T h e ideal level
is r e a c h e d w h e n the qi m o v e s a b o u t w i t h r u m b l i n g n o i s e s a n d e v e n t u a l l y
flows to t h e a r e a b e n e a t h the n a v e l . Y o u will h a v e a feeling of fullness
a n d satiation in y o u r i n t e s t i n e s " (Fuqijingyi lun 7 b ) . T h i s is w h e n o n e can
" s t o p e a t i n g grain and start living on qi."
Living on Qi / 139

G o i n g b e y o n d this, t h e a b s o r p t i o n o f q i c o n n e c t s t h e p e r s o n m o r e a c -
tively w i t h the greater i m i v e r s e . A l r e a d y t h e Wufuxu c o n t a i n s a v a r i e t y
o f m e t h o d s t h a t i n v o l v e t h e e x p u l s i o n o f the T h r e e D e a t h b r i n g e r s and
a b s o r p t i o n o f stellar e s s e n c e s , s u c h a s t h e sun a n d the m o o n , and t h e
v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f c o s m i c a n d b o d y g o d s ( Y a m a d a 1 9 8 9 , 107, 1 1 9 ; E s k i l d s e n
1 9 9 8 , 5 6 - 2 8 ) . It says:

By nourishing on the essence of the sun one can attain long life.
Every month on the morning of the first, third, fifth, sixth,
ninth, and fifteenth day, face the sunrise with open hair and
closed eyes.
Concentrate on the sun and visualize a small child dressed
in red in your heart. His garments are embroidered in the five
colors and he emits a bright red radiance. Then rub both hands
from your face down to the heart twelve times. You will see
the red radiance of the sun, and a yellow qi will appear before
your eyes. Make this enter your mouth and swallow it twice
nine times. Then rub your heart and recite the following:
"Ruler of the Sun! Let your primal yang energy merge its
power with me! Let us together raise the immortal child in the
scarlet palace of the heart!"
Concentrate a little longer and the child will descend from
the heart to the lower elixir field. He will stay there and make
you live long. (1.18b; Yamada 1989, 119)

A v a r i a n t of this, essential to qi-work in t h e T a n g , is the ingestion of the


five s p r o u t s {wuya HW), a subtler and m o r e refined v e r s i o n of t h e a b -
sorption of celestial energies.^" n b e g i n s w i t h s w a l l o w i n g the saliva w h i l e
c h a n t i n g i n v o c a t i o n s to the original qi of the four c a r d i n a l directions.
A d e p t s face the direction in q u e s t i o n , usually b e g i n n i n g w i t h the east,
a n d in their m i n d s v i s u a l i z e the qi of that direction in its a p p r o p r i a t e
color. A g e n e r a l m i s t in the b e g i n n i n g , it g r a d u a l l y f o r m s into a ball, sort
of like the rising sun, t h e n t h r o u g h further c o n c e n t r a t i o n s h r i n k s in size
a n d c o m e s c l o s e r to t h e adept. E v e n t u a l l y the size of a pill, the s p r o u t c a n
be s w a l l o w e d a n d g u i d e d m e n t a l l y to t h e o r g a n of its c o r r e s p o n d e n c e . A
suitable i n c a n t a t i o n p l a c e s it firmly in its n e w r e c e p t a c l e , a n d g r a d u a l l y

10 On this practice, see Yamada 1989, 109; Robinet 1989, 165-66; 1993,176-78;
Eskildsen 1989 53-55; Jackowicz 2006, 84-87; Kohn 2008a, 155-58.
140 / What Daoists Eat

the adept's b o d y b e c o m e s inhised with cosmic energy and partakes m o r e


a c t i v e l y in t h e c o s m o s as a w h o l e .

T h e i n c a n t a t i o n s are short a n d to t h e point. As t h e Fuqi jingyi lun says:

Green Sprout of the East:


Be absorbed to feed my [internal] green sprout [liver].
I drink you through the Morning Flower [root of upper teeth].

Vermilion Cinnabar of the South:


Be absorbed to feed my [internal] vermilion cinnabar [heart].
I drink you through the Cinnabar Lake [root of lower teeth].

Lofty Great Mountain of the Center:


Be absorbed to feed my [internal] essence and qi.
1 drink you through the Sweet Spring [root of the molars].

Radiant Stone of the West:


Be absorbed to feed my [internal] radiant stone [lungs].
I drink you through the Numinous Liquid [saliva inside lips].

Mysterious Sap of the North:


Be absorbed to feed my [intemal] mysterious sap [kidneys].
I drink you through the Jade Sweetness [saliva on tongue].(3ab)

T h e sprouts, as Isabelle R o b i n e t p o i n t s out, are " e m a n a t i o n s of the high-


est p o l e s " a n d as s u c h full of t h e p o w e r of far-off r e g i o n s (yin), the
fringes of civilization w h e r e the D a o resides in a r a w e r state. At t h e s a m e
t i m e , t h e y are " t e n d e r like freshly s p r o u t e d p l a n t s " (yang) a n d a s such
c o n t a i n t h e entire potential of b e i n g in its n a s c e n t state ( 1 9 8 9 , 1 6 5 ) . In this
g r o w t h p o t e n t i a l of b o t h yin and y a n g , the s m a l l a n d i m p e r c e p t i b l e qi in
a state of p u r e b e c o m i n g , lies their m a i n attraction for the D a o i s t practi-
tioner. " S p r o u t i n g " m e a n s i n h e r e n t creation, purity, n e w n e s s , return t o
y o u t h . It also i m p l i e s the p r e v a l e n c e of t h e soft o v e r the h a r d and the
p o w e r of y i n o v e r y a n g that L a o z i d e s c r i b e s in the Daode jing. T h e prac-
tice is u n d e r t a k e n at d a w n , t h e t i m e w h e n e v e r y t h i n g a w a k e n s to life, yet
a n o t h e r s y m b o l o f y a n g a n d o f creative, u n s t r u c t u r e d potential. B y in-
g e s t i n g t h e sprouts, t h e D a o i s t p a r t a k e s o f the i n h e r e n t p o w e r o f celestial
b o d i e s a n d feeds o n t h e p u r e c r e a t i v e e n e r g y o f t h e u n i v e r s e its m o s t
subtle form. B e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y o n e w i t h the g e r m i n a l e n e r g y o f the
u n i v e r s e , a d e p t s b e c o m e lighter and freer, learn t o a p p e a r a n d d i s a p p e a r
Living on Qi / 141

at will, o v e r c o m e t h e l i m i t a t i o n s of this w o r l d , a n d attain i m m o r t a l i t y in


the h e a v e n l y r e a l m s .

Their v e r y b o d i e s c h a n g e u n d e r the i m p a c t o f the a d v a n c e d t e c h n i q u e s .


.•\s S t e p h e n J a c k o w i c z p u t s it:

The individual returns to the primordial state of being and is


like the embryo, but instead of being supported by a mother's
body, he or she is now nourished in the womb of the imiverse,
the body corrected to be qi. . . . The practitioner in his or her
body has returned to the stage of the primordial e g g from
which the comic giant Pangu transformed and created the
world. Primordial union has been reestablished, and the practi-
tioner partakes of the unlimited supply of original, primordial,
ever-circulating qi. (2006, 82-83)

This, i n turn, m e a n s the a t t a i n m e n t o f i m m o r t a l i t y , c o m p l e t e w i t h u n l i m -


ited life e x p e c t a n c y , p e r f e c t i o n in b o d y a n d m i n d , s u p e r n a t u r a l p o w e r s ,
and c o n t r o l o v e r n a t u r e a n d divinities. As t h e Daoji tuna jing says:

If one practices the method without interruption, life expec-


tancy will naturally be extended. After three years, all burns
and scars will disappear, and the facial complexion will have a
clear radiance. After six years, bone marrow will be abundant
and the brain be filled. One will have clairvoyant knowledge
regarding matters of life and death.
After nine years, one can employ and command demons
and spirits, taking the title of perfected. Serving as assistant to
the Highest Lord, one's life matches that of Heaven while one's
radiance merges with the sun. (3.23b; Eskildsen 1998, 52)

T h e u l t i m a t e level of D a o i s t dietetics is, therefore, to a b a n d o n food and


d r i n k c o m p l e t e l y . T h i s requires, b e s i d e s a firm b e l i e f a n d s t r o n g deter-
mination, an o p t i m a l setting in a q u i e t and u n d i s t u r b e d e n v i r o n m e n t ,
the careful o b s e r v a n c e of m o r a l r u l e s and t e m p o r a l t a b o o s , as well as the
s y s t e m a t i c e l i m i n a t i o n o f t h e T h r e e D e a t h b r i n g e r s i n favor o f t h e T h r e e
O n e s . O n c e the f o u n d a t i o n i s e s t a b l i s h e d , practitioners m o v e o n t o u s e
herbal formulas and various techniques of breathing, exercise, medita-
tion, and v i s u a l i z a t i o n to refine their p e r s o n a l c o n s t e l l a t i o n to e v e r
greater s u b t l e t y and e v e n t u a l l y transform the b a s i c c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f their
s y s t e m to b e c o m i n g an e m b r y o to the c o s m o s at large. T h e y are, at last,
fully p e r v a d e d b y D a o , a t o n e w i t h the root o f the u n i v e r s e , a s eternal a s
H e a v e n a n d Earth.
Pine Root {songgen l&fjl)
[ l a ] Tal<e e a s t w a r d g r o w i n g p i n e root, p e e l it to r e m o v e the w h i t e skin,
c h o p fine, fry, t h e n p o u n d it into a paste. Eat y o u r fill a n d y o u c a n elimi-
nate all grains. S h o u l d y o u be thirsty, j u s t d r i n k water.

China Root Fungus (fuling -(Ji^)


[ l b ] T a k e C h i n a root fungus, s c r a p e it to t a k e off the b l a c k skin, then
p o u n d the b r a n c h e s and p l a c e t h e m into an e a r t h e n w a r e j a r to s o a k in
g o o d - q u a l i t y w i n e . T i g h t l y seal t h e lid w i t h dirt and k e e p t h e m i x t u r e
buried for fifteen days. W h e n y o u o p e n it, t h e m i x t u r e s h o u l d be firm
like a c a k e . C u t it into l u m p s the size of c h e s s p i e c e s a n d take a day. Y o u
can also c r u m b l e it and take it in an inch-sized s p o o n . Y o u will no l o n g e r
feel h u n g e r and thirst, be free from all diseases, a n d e x t e n d y o u r years.

[2b] T a k e five p i n t s of fungus b r a n c h e s , s e v e n p o u n d s of oily p i n e sap,


five p o u n d s o f w h i t e w a x , three p o u n d s o f w h i t e h o n e y , t w o pints o f S i -
c h u a n t h y m e , a n d s t e a m t h e m all t o g e t h e r as if y o u w e r e s t e a m i n g a pi-
cul of grain. 2 W h e n it is well c o o k e d , take it out and form it into pills t h e

1 Selections from the Taiqing jing duangu fa Jsi'mWWlW.'ii (Ways to Give Up


Grain Based on the Scriptures of Great Clarity, DZ 846). The text contains materi-
als that go back to the Han dynasty and refers to various recipes in the Baopuzi
and Wufuxu. It was probably compiled in the late Six Dynasties. See Levi in
Schipper and Verellen 2004, 99. For a study of herbal recipes, including some
translated here, see Eskildsen 1998, 62-63; for details on the Wufuxu and its rec-
ommendations, see Arthur 2006a; 2006b; 2009.
2 Measurements include: pints (sheng /f = ab. 0.7 liters), pecks (dou 4- = ab. 7
liters), pounds (jin fx = 597 grams), and piculs (dan S = 72 kilos).

145
146 / Texts on Practices

size o f c y p r e s s s e e d s . T a k e ten o f t h e m , g r a d u a l l y d e c r e a s i n g their n u m -


b e r until y o u feel n o m o r e h u n g e r . After ten days, y o u c a n limit yourself
to o n e pill. Do n o t overeat! B u t y o u c a n d r i n k a little w i n e .

A t r a c t y l i s (shu 7t\)

[3b] T a k e o n e picul p r o p e r l y c u r e d atractylis, r i n s e a n d w a s h it, then


p o u n d it. S o a k it o v e r n i g h t in t w o p i c u l s of water, then b o i l it until the
liquid i s r e d u c e d b y half. A d d five pints o f clear w i n e and b o i l again.
W h e n t h e m a s s i s d o w n t o o n e picul, w r i n g i t out a n d r e m o v e the dregs.
N e x t , s i m m e r it o v e r a l o w flame, a d d i n g t w o p i n t s of s o y b r a n c h e s and
o n e pint of a s p a r a g u s root. M i x it all into pills the size of c r o s s b o w pel-
lets. T a k e three in the m o r n i n g , o n c e a day. L i v i n g in the m o u n t a i n s or
on a l o n g j o u r n e y , y o u c a n t a k e t h e m w i t h y o u r e p l a c e food. Y o u will be
a b l e to w i t h s t a n d w i n d a n d cold, e x t e n d y o u r years, a n d be free from all
diseases. This method was used b y Cui Yezi ^ i f O h , and m a k e sure
to t a k e the skin off t h e a s p a r a g u s root b e f o r e a d d i n g it.

Y e l l o w E s s e n c e {huangjing )

[5a] T a k e o n e p i c u l o f m i n c e d y e l l o w e s s e n c e a n d s t e a m i t i n two-and-a-
half—or, alternatively, s i x — p i n t s of water, s i m m e r i n g it all day. [ 5 b '
W h e n d u s k arrives, it will be d o n e . O n c e w e l l - c o o k e d , t a k e it o u t and
c o o l it. W i t h y o u r h a n d s , p r e s s it a n d m a k e it into small pieces. P u t therr,
i n t o a w i n e s k i n to ferment, then extract the j u i c e . T a k e the s e d i m e n t and
let it dry, then p u t it into a p o t a n d form it into pills t h e size of chicken
e g g s . T a k e o n e pill three t i m e s a day. T h i s will h e l p y o u to eliminate
grains, e x p e l t h e h u n d r e d diseases, b e c o m e light i n b o d y , stay v i g o r o u s
a n d a v o i d a g i n g . Y o u r d o s a g e s h o u l d b e regular, d o n o t t a k e m o r e o r
s t o p i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e c o u r s e . S h o u l d y o u b e thirsty, j u s t d r i n k water
T h i s m e t h o d is of h i g h e s t e x c e l l e n c e . It c o m e s from t h e Wufuxu [2.21ab].

J a d e B a m b o o (weirui g H )

[6b] A l w a y s p i c k t h e l e a v e s i n t h e 2"^ o r 9 * m o n t h s . C h o p t h e m , then le:


t h e m dry b e f o r e c u r i n g a n d t a k i n g t h e m . U s e a n i n c h - s i z e d s p o o n three

3 An immortal of the Six Dynasties, Cui has a biography in Lishi zhenx:^


tidao tongjian M i S ^ f l I j f i i l j l K ( C o m p r e h e n s i v e Mirror tfirough the Ages of Per-
fected Immortals and Those Who Embody the Dao, DZ 296), by Zhao Daoyi ^ i
— of around the year 1300 (7.13b; see Levi in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 99).
Herbal Formulas / 1 4 7

times a day. Y o u c a n also p r e p a r e t h e h e r b into c a k e s like y o u w o u l d


^ e l l o w E s s e n c e . W h e n y o u take it, g u i d e its qi t h r o u g h t h e c h a n n e l s . It
strengthens m u s c l e s and b o n e s , c u r e s interior w i n d , h e a l s t e n d o n s , knits
tlesh, and will also s m o o t h o u t w r i n k l e s and c r e a t e a g o o d c o m p l e x i o n .

Asparagus Root ( Hanmen dong ^f^^)

[6b] T a k e three p i c u l s of a s p a r a g u s root, p e e l it a n d di s car d the skin, then


t h o r o u g h l y s o a k it, p o u n d and w r i n g it until y o u e x t r a c t o n e p i c u l of
'uice. On a small fire, s i m m e r it d o w n to about five pints of b o i l e d extract.
A d d o n e pint o f w h i t e h o n e y a n d t w o p i n t s o f s t e a m e d s e s a m e [Wufuxu:'
that h a s b e e n b o i l e d so it is fragrant a n d h a s a g o l d e n h u e ] . Stir t h e m i x -
ture w i t h o u t resting, then m a k e it into pills the size of s o y b e a n s or into
r o u n d c r u m b - c a k e s a b o u t t h r e e i n c h e s in d i a m e t e r a n d a h a l f i n c h thick.

[7a] T a k e o n e p i e c e a day. After o n e h u n d r e d d a y s , y o u will no l o n g e r


feel h u n g r y , y o u r skin and flesh will be m o i s t and glossy, [Wufuxu: y o u r
white hair will return to b l a c k , lost teeth will re-grow, a n d y o u c a n e x -
tend y o u r years. Y o u c a n also a d d three p i n t s o f Y e l l o w E s s e n c e j u i c e
and c o o k it all together. T h i s recipe is m o s t excellent. It c o m e s from t h e
Wufuxu [2.30b-31a].

S e s a m e ( M u l g e d i u m ) (jusheng 'PM)

[7b] T a k e a n y a m o u n t of fat b l a c k s e s a m e , sift, clean, and s t e a m it. L e t


the s t e a m rise so it e n v e l o p e s you c o m p l e t e l y . After a w h i l e t a k e it o u t
and d r y it. R e p e a t this p r o c e s s n i n e times. It is b e s t to do it three t i m e s
per d a y a n d c o n t i n u e the p r o c e d u r e for three d a y s to m a k e a total of n i n e
rounds. D r y t h e m i x t u r e , t h e n p l a c e it in a m o r t a r b o w l , m o i s t e n i n g it
with a little h o t water, a n d p o u n d it until it b e c o m e s w h i t e . A g a i n d r y it
and sift it to r e m o v e e x c e s s skins. S t e a m it o n c e m o r e until it b e c o m e s
fragrant, then m a s h it u n d e r y o u r h a n d s to sift out c o a r s e parts. T a k e t w o
or three p i n t s daily, as y o u s e e fit. Y o u c a n also m i x it w i t h h o n e y a n d
form it into e g g - s i z e d pills. T a k e five of t h e s e daily. Y o u c a n also mbc it
with s u g a r or d i s s o l v e the m i x t u r e in w i n e .

G r a d u a l l y r e d u c e the dose. After o n e h u n d r e d days, y o u will b e free


from disease. After o n e year, y o u will h a v e a glossy c o m p l e x i o n . After
five years, you will b e i n v u l n e r a b l e t o fire a n d water, a n d w h e n y o u
walk y o u will be as swift as a h o r s e . T h e M a s t e r of E m b r a c i n g S i m p l i c i t y
says: " T h i s is n o t c o n t a i n e d in t h e J i a n g d o n g edition. T h e recipe w a s
u s e d b y refuges a t t h e d i s o r d e r i n t h e first y e a r o f t h e Y o n g ' a n reign p e -
148 / Texts on Practices

riod [in 2 6 4 , at t h e e n d of t h e T h r e e K i n g d o m s p e r i o d ] . I o b t a i n e d and


r e c o r d e d it o n 8/1 in Y o n g x i n g 2 [305].*

Assorted Grains (za mimai M-^^)

[9a] M i x o n e p o u n d e a c h o f the f o l l o w i n g i n g r e d i e n t s : n o n g l u t i n o u s rice,


p a n i c l e d millet, b u c k w h e a t , s e s a m e , and s t e a m e d s o y b e a n s ; [9b] a d d o n e
p o u n d of w h i t e h o n e y , fry it and s o a k it in c o l d w a t e r . T h e n m a k e the
m i x t u r e into pills the size o f p l u m pits that y o u c a n s w a l l o w i n o n e gulp.
Y o u will n o t b e h u n g r y t o the e n d o f y o u r days. T h i s c o m e s from the
Wufuxu [2.36a].

[9b] T a k e o n e p i n t c o m m o n m i l l e t and three p o u n d s red s t o n e fat [cinna-


b a r ] , m i x a n d s o a k t h e m in w a t e r , t h e n leave t h e c o m p o u n d in a w a r m
p l a c e for t w o or three d a y s until a c o a t f o r m s on top. N e x t , p o u n d it into
pills t h e size o f p l u m pits a n d t a k e t h r e e p e r day. Y o u will n o l o n g e r feel
h u n g r y . S h o u l d y o u b e thirsty, j u s t d r i n k w a t e r . Y o u will also b e able t o
w a l k as far as a t h o u s a n d // w i t h o u t getting tired. T h i s c o m e s from the
Wufuxu [2.35a].

D i r e c t I n t e m a l P r e s e r v a t i o n (shouzhong jingyi c j n f f ? ^ )

[10b] T a k e three pints o f v e r y fresh b e a n sprouts, p l a c e t h e m i n your


h a n d s , then v i s u a l i z e a r a d i a n c e s p r e a d i n g t h r o u g h y o u r b o d y , w a r m
a n d beautiful. Eat t h e sprouts, s w a l l o w i n g t h e m q u i c k l y s o t h e y c a n b e
a b s o r b e d . After fifty to a h u n d r e d days, y o u will not feel h u n g r y an\
l o n g e r . S h o u l d y o u b e thirsty, j u s t d r i n k water. M a k e sure n o t t o overeat
rather, k e e p r e d u c i n g t h e a m o u n t s .

[10b] T o t a k e t w o p i n t s o f s t e a m e d b e a n p o r r i d g e , u s e the following


m e t h o d : eat t i m e first face t h e s u n a n d b o w repeatedly, t h e n s w a l l o w o n e
pint at a time. R e v o l v e e a c h m o u t h f u l a r o i m d the m o u t h , t h e n s w a l l o w it
R e p e a t this p r o c e s s three t i m e s on the first day. On t h e n e x t day, spli:
o n e pint into three portions. C h i l d r e n s h o u l d u s e h a l f the a m o u n t .

T o R e t u r n t o E a t i n g G r a i n s a n d S t o p T a k i n g H e r b a l F o r m u l a s {yuhuuK
shigu jieyao W^M-^^MM)

[ l i b ] W h i l e t a k i n g h e r b a l f o r m u l a s for internal p r e s e r v a t i o n o r afte:


e l i m i n a t i n g grains, d o n o t t a k e a n y e x t r a n e o u s i t e m s . S h o u l d y o u b e
thirsty, j u s t d r i n k little sips of c o l d water. If y o u w i s h to g i v e up the die:

•4 This citation is not contained in the Baopuzi as transmitted today. See als;
Levi in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 99.
Herbal Formulas / 1 4 9

a n d return to e a t i n g grains, first t a k e a d e c o c t from m a l l o w s e e d s and


lesser formulas, then y o u c a n start e a t i n g again. B e g i n b y t a k i n g o n e
s e r v i n g of thin rice p o r r i d g e three t i m e s a day. After t w o m o r e days, t a k e
t w o s e r v i n g s , i n c r e a s i n g t h e a m o u n t t o five s e r v i n g s after three m o r e
days, t h e n s e v e n s e r v i n g s after yet a n o t h e r three days, [12a] a n d finally
t o o n e pint after t h r e e m o r e days. C o n t i n u e like this for o n e m o n t h a n d
y o u will b e r e a d y t o e a t o r d i n a r y food.

M a l l o w S e e d D e c o c t (kuizi tang M^'MT

[12a] T a k e o n e pint m a l l o w s e e d s and o n e p o u n d p o r k fat. B o i l i n five


p e c k s o f w a t e r until the liquid i s r e d u c e d t o t w o pints. R e m o v e the sedi-
m e n t s a n d t a k e it very, v e r y slowly. Feel it s i n k d o w n to fill [the b e l l y ] ,
then stop. Y o u c a n also m i x it w i t h rice to m a k e thin p o r r i d g e . It is also
excellent if drunk with Sichuan thyme.

5 For a review and discussion of this recipe as well as an analysis of the


chemical properties of the various herbs, see Huang 2007, 63-69.
[ 9 b ] To live on qi, it is b e s t to w o r k after y o u w a k e up from sleep, right
from a r o u n d m i d n i g h t to the fifth w a t c h [3-5 a.m.]. B a l a n c e t h e breath,
i n h a l i n g a n d e x h a l i n g i n p r o p e r m e a s u r e a n d w i t h d u e attention t o the
breathing rhythm.

R i n s e y o u r m o u t h w i t h t h e n u m i n o u s fluid [saliva], t h e n lie d o w n o r


y o u r b a c k , m a k e y o u r h a n d s into fists, and b l o c k [the c\i o p e n i n g at] the
s o l e s of the feet. [10a] S u p p o r t y o u r h e a d w i t h a p i l l o w a n d b r e a t h e
k e e p i n g y o u r m i n d stable a n d following t h e m o v e m e n t o f t h e breath
w i t h o u t i n t e r r u p t i o n as it c o m e s in and g o e s out, p a s s i n g t h r o u g h gate
[nose] a n d d o o r w a y [ m o u t h ] . T h e n c l o s e the m o u t h firmly a n d b e c o m e
a w a r e of t h e internal c\i, p u l l i n g it up carefully into t h e m o u t h . Softh
d r u m [the b e l l y ] a n d s w a l l o w it d o w n , u s i n g y o u r intention to g u i d e it or
u s i n g y o u r h a n d s to r u b it from a b o v e t h e h e a r t to t h e l o w e r belly. Then
a g a i n b a l a n c e t h e b r e a t h six o r s e v e n t i m e s b e f o r e y o u p r o c e e d t o swal-
l o w i t o n c e m o r e , a s b e f o r e u s i n g y o u r h a n d s t o g u i d e i t b y rubbing
[ a l o n g the front o f the t o r s o ] . S t o p w h e n y o u h a v e c o m p l e t e d twent\
r o u n d s of ijf-work in this m a n n e r .

D u r i n g d a y l i g h t h o u r s , a g a i n find s u i t a b l e t i m e s to sit or lie d o w n and


r e s t in perfect c a l m a n d serenity. P r a c t i c e the s w a l l o w i n g for at least ten
r o u n d s . M a k e sure t o b a l a n c e t h e b r e a t h i n b e t w e e n e a c h s w a l l o w i n g
b r e a t h i n g steadily forty to fifty tunes, t h e n s w a l l o w i n g s l o w l y a n d care-
fully. E v e n if y o u a r e n o t b u s y at all, do n o t do all the s w a l l o w i n g s at thr
s a m e t i m e . A l s o , m a k e sure e a c h t i m e t o u s e y o u r h a n d s t o r u b t h e fron:

1 Taiqing tiaoqi jing J^WiMMM (Great Clarity Scripture on Balancing Qi, DZ


820), probably of Tang origin (see Levi in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 369). E-
cerpts on bigu: 9b-14b and 22b-22b. Earlier translation in Huang and Wurmbrar;
1987, 80-86 and 96-98. Subheadings added by the translator.

150
Giving Up Ordinary Food / 151

of the torso, g u i d i n g t h e qi d o w n w a r d w h i l e a l s o u s i n g y o u r intention to


send it on its w a y . T h e n e x a m i n e yourself. If t h e U p p e r H e a t e r is o p e n ,
the qi will m o v e e a s i l y b e l o w t h e n a v e l . If not, the qi will stay in the c h e s t
and h e a r t area.

Pay p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o m e a l t i m e s a n d s e e w h e t h e r t h e u p p e r t o r s o
feels e m p t y a n d if t h e r e is a feeling of f l o w b e l o w . If this is the case, the qi
IS flowing freely. [10b] T h e n y o u c a n go a h e a d a n d eat. H o w e v e r , do n o t
eat if y o u are n o t in fact h u n g r y , a n d w h e n y o u do eat, do n o t fill up
c o m p l e t e l y , s i n c e fullness h i n d e r s the a b s o r p t i o n of qi. After the m e a l ,
'.salt until t h e area b e t w e e n heart a n d b e l l y feel s l i g h t l y e m p t y , then
again a b s o r b qi by p r a c t i c i n g a set of t w e n t y s w a l l o w i n g s . Do t h e s a m e at
the e v e n i n g m e a l . E v e r y d a y r e p e a t this p r o c e s s a r o i m d t h e s a m e time,
r e g a r d l e s s o f w h e t h e r y o u r are w a l k i n g , s t a n d i n g , sitting, o r l y i n g d o w n .
C o m p l e t e a h u n d r e d d a y s like this. A l w a y s r e m e m b e r : E v e r y t i m e y o u
s w a l l o w qi, u s e y o u r h a n d s to d i s p e r s e it a n d p r a c t i c e at least ten b a l -
a n c e d b r e a t h s i n b e t w e e n . T h i s will m a x i m i z e t h e effect.

In the b e g i n n i n g it is c o m m o n that t h e T r i p l e H e a t e r is n o t q u i t e clear


and the v a r i o u s p a s s e s are n o t o p e n . A s l o n g a s that i s the c a s e , o b s t r u c -
tions a r e c o m m o n a n d y o u w o n ' t b e able t o a b s o r b m u c h qi. I n c r e a s e
your p r a c t i c e b y t h r e e t i m e s five s w a l l o w i n g s e v e r y ten d a y s until t h e
first h u n d r e d d a y s h a v e p a s s e d . After 1 5 0 days, a g a i n i n c r e a s e b y four
times five s w a l l o w i n g s , until y o u r e a c h 2 0 0 s w a l l o w i n g s in a day. O n c e
you h a v e d o n e t h e p r a c t i c e for a w h o l e year, the qi will e a s i l y flow,
p a s s e s and j o i n t s will b e open, y o u r skin a n d flesh will b e m o i s t a n d
glossy, a n d y o u r h a i r p o r e s will b e free a n d clear.

H a v i n g r e a c h e d this level, y o u j u s t n e e d t o wait until y o u r s t o m a c h feels


empty, then d o t h r e e t i m e s five s w a l l o w i n g s a s a p p r o p r i a t e . Y o u m a y d o
t h e m s u c c e s s i v e l y , w i t h o u t b a l a n c i n g the b r e a t h i n b e t w e e n , a n d t h e r e i s
no m o r e n e e d for a d h e r i n g to a r i g o r o u s daily s c h e d u l e . [11a] J u s t do n o t
o v e r d o it: no m o r e t h a n 3 0 0 s w a l l o w i n g s a day.

After t h r e e y e a r s of p r a c t i c e , the qi will f l o w freely all a r o u n d , c o m p l e t e l y


p e r v a d i n g the entire b o d y . Y o u r five o r g a n s will b e w e l l n u r t u r e d , y o u r
b o n e s solid, y o u r m a r r o w full, a n d y o u r skin g l o s s y a n d rich. A t this
point, there i s n o m o r e limit t o t h e n u m b e r o f s w a l l o w i n g s , a n d y o u
s h o u l d b e able t o e l i m i n a t e g r a i n s w i t h e a s e .
152 / Texts on Practices

S h o u l d y o u g o into fasting b e f o r e the three y e a r s are u p , y o u will suffer


from the five e x e r t i o n s a n d s e v e n injuries,^ r e d u c i n g the p o t e n c y of y o u r
i n n e r o r g a n s a n d c a u s i n g the h u n d r e d j o i n t s t o d r y u p a n d wither. T h e
p r o c e s s will n o t w o r k u n l e s s y o u c u l t i v a t e the qi v e r y g r a d u a l l y and
n e v e r g i v e in to the t e m p t a t i o n of c u t t i n g out g r a i n s a b r u p t l y to q u i c k l y
attain l o n g life. It a l s o w o n ' t w o r k u n l e s s y o u e l i m i n a t e all t h o u g h t s of
i n v o l v e m e n t i n w o r l d l y s c h e m e s , o f satisfying t h e six s e n s e s , a n d o f go-
i n g after w e a l t h and s e n s u a l p l e a s u r e s .

A l s o , if y o u g i v e in to a h u n g r y s t o m a c h , letting go of g r a i n s o n l y reluc-
tantly a n d w i t h o u t sufficient s u p p l e m e n t a r y formulas, y o u will c a u s e
n e w a i l m e n t s t o a r i s e and t h e m y r i a d d i s e a s e s t o a s s e m b l e . I f your
t h o u g h t s a n d d e s i r e s d o n o t die, h o w c a n y o u e v e r r e a c h a t t a i n m e n t ?

A n o t h e r p o i n t is that, after p r a c t i c i n g t h e a b s o r p t i o n of qi, y o u n e e d to


m a k e s u r e y o u k n o w h o w to e a t properly. E v e r y d a y at breakfast, eat a
little unflavored w a t e r y p o r r i d g e to b a l a n c e the spleen-(ji and p r o v i d e
sufficient fluids to last y o u t h r o u g h t h e day. At n o o n , e a t o n e or t w o un-
flavored slices o f b r e a d a n d m a y b e s o m e b r o t h that c o n t a i n s o n i o n s o r
scallions. [ l i b ] D o n o t eat t h e m hot, t h o u g h . I f y o u are h u n g r y i n the
e v e n i n g , t a k e a few u n f l a v o r e d d u m p l i n g s that y o u h a v e b o i l e d for
t w e n t y or thirty m i n u t e s . A g a i n , m a k e sure n o t to eat to fullness but
t h r e e to five m o u t h f u l s less. It is b e s t a l w a y s to l e a v e the table with a
feeling of slight e m p t i n e s s in t h e s t o m a c h .

If y o u fill up in o n e b a t c h , t h e p a s s a g e of qi is b l o c k e d a n d it c a n n o t flow,
w a s t i n g a w h o l e d a y ' s w o r k . To p r e v e n t this, also avoid all greasy, fatt\',
a n d sticky f o o d s as well as r a w v e g e t a b l e s , root plants, a n d a n y t h i n g old,
stale, smelly, or s u c h l i k e . A l s o , n e v e r t a k e a n y t h i n g that h a s turbid q:
[ s l a u g h t e r e d and killed].

In t h e first thirty to fifty d a y s , it is u n a v o i d a b l e to h a v e occasional


t w i n g e s o f h u n g e r . I f y o u c a t c h y o u r s e l f t h i n k i n g o f food, i m m e d i a t e h
b a l a n c e t h e b r e a t h a n d p r a c t i c e t h e qi m e t h o d , then g r a d u a l l y y o u r b e l l \

2 The Yangxing yanming hi says: "The five exertions are [creating exertior
through] (1) the will, (2) thinking, (3) the mind, (4) worry, and (5) fatigue. The}
create six forms of extreme pressure [stress] in the body, to wit, in (1) qi, (2) blood
(3) tendons, (4) bones, (5) essence, and (6) marrow. These six forms of extreme
pressure in turn cause the seven injuries which transform into the seven pains
The seven pains create disease" (2.3a).
Giving Up Ordinary Food / 1 5 3

will feel r i c h a n d m o i s t a n d y o u w o n ' t b e t e m p t e d t o t h i n k o f the h u n -


dred flavors.

W h e n w e s p e a k o f t a k i n g p o r r i d g e , b r e a d , o r d u m p l i n g s , i n all c a s e s eat
t h e m i n a c c o r d a n c e with y o u r s c h e d u l e a n d c o n v e n i e n c e . T h e r e i s n o
n e e d to rely on a specific daily r e g i m e n of eating, b u t for the m o s t part
y o u r o r d e r o f food i n t a k e s h o u l d f o l l o w t h e a b o v e outline. E s t a b l i s h y o u r
own schedule and rhythm and take mostly unflavored watery porridge
with little bits o f b o i l e d rice h e r e a n d there. T h i s will b e m o s t excellent.

[12a] O n c e y o u h a v e b e g u n t o successfully a b s o r b qi, y o u r T r i p l e H e a t e r


will b e clear, the s t o m a c h a p e r t u r e s will b e o p e n , a n d the five o r g a n s will
b e i n perfect h a r m o n y . T h e n s w e e t saliva arises a n d t h e J a d e P o n d will
b e luscious. A t this p o i n t a n y food y o u t a k e will taste delicious, j u s t like
to a p e r s o n j u s t r e c o v e r i n g from illness. T h e t e n d e n c y at this p o i n t is to
get g r e e d y a n d no l o n g e r k n o w w h e n it is e n o u g h : it all j u s t tastes so
goodl C u r b this urge. If y o u g i v e in to it, great h a r m will c o m e . S o , ini-
tially y o u m u s t p a y g r e a t attention t o the t i m e s and a m o u n t s y o u eat.

N o w , e v e r y t i m e y o u eat, y o u are b o u n d t o ingest s o m e t o x i n s a s well a s


e x c e s s h e a t from the five flavors. F o r this reason, after e v e r y m e a l o p e n
your m o u t h w i d e and e x h a l e with the he b r e a t h . T h i s will l e s s e n t h e h o t
qi in the m o u t h a n d p r e v e n t future afflictions. A l s o m a k e s u r e to limit
y o u r i n t a k e of salty, spicy, sour, a n d o t h e r s t r o n g flavors. In fact, it is b e s t
t o avoid t h e m altogether. T h i s m a y b e h a r d i n the b e g i n n i n g , b u t n o t for
long. W i t h i n e v e n ten to t w e n t y d a y s , y o u will n o t i c e a n u m i n o u s s p r i n g
of s w e e t fluid g u s h i n g forth, w h i c h w o u l d n o t h a p p e n if y o u ate salty or
s p i c y foods. P r a c t i c i n g the a b s o r p t i o n of qi, y o u will further find that
y o u r five o r g a n s are j u i c y a n d full a n d that y o u r p r o p e r qi sinks d o w n to
c h a s e o u t a n y b a d e n e r g i e s , w h i c h d u l y l e a v e t h r o u g h t h e l o w e r orifices.

T o a v o i d h a r m t o t h e already purified s t o m a c h area, y o u s h o u l d also n o t


eat a n y t h i n g sticky o r g r e a s y n o r a n y t h i n g r a w o r h a r d . [12b] S h o u l d y o u
i n a d v e r t e n t l y t a k e a m o u t h f u l of s u c h a s u b s t a n c e , y o u will feel a slight
p a i n w h e r e v e r t h e m o r s e l c o m e s t o rest i n y o u r s y s t e m . W i t h c o n t i n u e d
effort and a d e e p e r a w a r e n e s s of y o u r i n n e r w o r k i n g s , y o u will r e a l i z e
this naturally.

T o s u m up: Eat o n l y soft and w e l l - c o o k e d food. T h a t i s m o s t excellent.


A n d after e v e r y m e a l a l w a y s e x h a l e w i t h he.
154 / Texts on Practices

E a c h t i m e y o u e a t rice, first s w a l l o w t w e n t y o r thirty r a w p e p p e r c o r n s


w i t h s o m e w a t e r . O n l y t h e n eat the rice. S h o u l d y o u feel p a i n o r fullness
after a m e a l , y o u c a n take ten a d d i t i o n a l p e p p e r c o r n s . T h e p e p p e r will
m o v e t h e T r i p l e H e a t e r activity d o w n w a r d a n d c h a s e o u t all sorts o f b a d
c\i. It will a l s o d i s s o l v e a n y food r e m n a n t s left b e h i n d in the intestines.

S i m i l a r l y , y o u s h o u l d t a k e t w o or t h r e e p e p p e r c o r n s if y o u feel a s e n s e of
d e n s e a n d c l o y i n g [ d e p r e s s e d ] qi in the h e a r t a n d c h e s t a r e a d u r i n g y o u r
g u i d i n g of p r o p e r qi. T h e y will in d u e c o u r s e d i s s o l v e this feeling. T h e
benefits o f s i m p l e p e p p e r c o r n s are truly b e y o n d w o r d s .

A n o t h e r w a y to d e a l with b o u t s of fullness, a c l o y i n g feeling, or a s e n s e


of qi s t a g n a t i o n is to p r a c t i c e quiet-sitting a n d b a l a n c i n g t h e b r e a t h . T h e
feeling will d i s p e r s e q u i c k l y a n d the qi will leave t h r o u g h the l o w e r ori-
fices.

S o m e old texts s a y that o n e s h o u l d stabilize t h e qi and n o t a l l o w it to


l e a v e . In the old d a y s w h e n p e o p l e first practiced, t h e y a c c o r d i n g l y stabi-
lized t h e qi, h o l d i n g on to it as m u c h as p o s s i b l e . [13a] H o w e v e r , after a
s h o r t p e r i o d of time, t h e y w o u l d feel a t e n s i o n in their bellies, be b e s e t by
w o r r i e s , a n d i m a g i n e t h e m s e l v e s dying. T h e t w o l o w e r orifices directly
c o n n e c t t o the n o s e a n d m o u t h a b o v e . A c c o r d i n g l y , w h e n t h e r e i s stale o r
b a d qi in t h e five o r g a n s , it m u s t sink d o w n to l e a v e . W h y s h o u l d o n e
stabilize and h o l d on to it?

S t a b i l i z i n g the qi p r e v e n t s it from f l o w i n g freely and l e a v i n g t h e b o d y . If


it d o e s n o t flow freely a n d is p r e v e n t e d from leaving, p a i n results. T h i s is
so b e c a u s e , w h e n the stale qi h a s n o t yet left a n d fresh qi s u d d e n l y enters,
t h e t w o qi c l a s h w i t h e a c h o t h e r a n d c r e a t e d i s c o m f o r t . If is t h u s n o t n e c -
e s s a r y [or a d v i s a b l e ] to stabilize the qi. M u c h b e t t e r to h a v e it flow freely
a n d leave p r o p e r l y .

A l s o , e v e r y d a y try t o d r i n k o n e o r t w o c u p s o f liquor o n a n e m p t y s t o m -
ach, a s y o u r d i s p o s i t i o n a l l o w s . T h i s i s really g o o d . B u t m a k e s u r e that
y o u do n o t get to the p o i n t of g e t t i n g i n t o x i c a t e d or m a u d l i n . It is e v e n
b e t t e r if y o u c a n s l o w l y sip t h r e e to five c u p s of l i q u o r e v e r y day, greatly
a i d i n g y o u r <y/-work. I n all c a s e s , t h e l i q u o r s h o u l d b e clear a n d o f g o o d
Giving Up Ordinary Food / 1 5 5

quality. W h e n y o u first start t a k i n g it, d o n ' t d r i n k m o r e than o n e m o u t h -


ful. Be p r e p a r e d for t h e qi to be u n s e t t l e d for a f e w d a y s . 3

O n a n o t h e r note, i f s o m e t h i n g delightful h a p p e n s t o y o u a n d y o u w i s h t o
c e l e b r a t e b y drinking, y o u c a n also d o so, u s i n g t h e m e t h o d d e s c r i b e d
b e l o w . T h e r e a s o n w h y o r d i n a r y p e o p l e get i n t o x i c a t e d o r m a u d l i n w h e n
t h e y d r i n k l i q u o r is that it is u s u a l l y m a d e toxic by f e r m e n t i n g y e a s t a n d
w h e n that toxic qi e n t e r s the four l i m b s , there is intoxication. [13b]

T o d r i n k p r o p e r l y , d o t h e following. W h e n y o u sit w i t h five o r ten p e o -


p l e a n d t h e c u p g e t s p a s s e d a r o u n d , r e a c h i n g y o u e v e r y s o often, d r i n k
w h e n y o u r turn c o m e s a n d e v e r y t i m e afterward o p e n y o u r m o u t h a n d
e x h a l e w i t h h e s e v e n o r e i g h t times. T h i s w a y t h e l i q u o r ' s toxin will b e
e x p e l l e d a n d d i s p e r s e d . S h o u l d m o r e t h a n o n e c u p arrive a t y o u r p l a c e
a t the s a m e time, o p e n y o u r m o u t h v e r y w i d e a n d e x h a l e w i t h he, b u t i f
there is o n l y o n e c u p at a time, be subtle a b o u t it.

Generally, whenever you exhale, accompany the leaving breath with a


subtle he. L i k e this y o u c a n m a k e it t h r o u g h a w h o l e b a n q u e t w i t h o u t
s t o p p i n g y o u r p r a c t i c e o f b a l a n c i n g the b r e a t h . E v e n better: I f y o u c a n
u s u a l l y d r i n k t h r e e pints, that d a y y o u c a n s t o m a c h ten, yet w i t h o u t get-
ting i n e b r i a t e d and w i t h o u t losing t h e g o o d taste o f the l i q u o r t h r o u g h -
o u t the e v e n i n g . E v e n if you d r a n k for a w h o l e day, the taste w o u l d n o t
d i m i n i s h . E v e n t u a l l y y o u will g o t o sleep, and after y o u w a k e u p y o u
s w a l l o w t h e qi and b a l a n c e t h e b r e a t h a g a i n as d e s c r i b e d a b o v e .

So^iiit Sitcc<UCOH<i

O n a n o t h e r note, there m a y b e a s u d d e n b u r s t o f q i l e a v i n g the b o d y


t h r o u g h t h e l o w e r orifices at an u n e x p e c t e d time, s u c h as d u r i n g a m e a l ,
w h e n w i t h a n invited guest, w h i l e r i d i n g o n h o r s e b a c k , o r w h e n w i t h
h o n o r e d relatives. S o , if the qi c o m e s then, w h a t to do? Y o u m u s t find a
suitable w a y to let it e s c a p e . If y o u k e e p it tight and fail to let it leave,
[14a] it will r e v e r s e its c o u r s e a n d m o v e b a c k into the intestines w h e r e it
will c a u s e s t o m a c h p a i n and irritate the h e a r t a n d c h e s t area. If n o t dis-
p e r s e d o v e r a l o n g period, e v e n o n e m o u t h f u l of c o n t a i n e d qi c a n c a u s e
confusion, d e p r e s s i o n , a n d pain.

3 Huang and Wurmbrand interpret this to mean nausea, followed by a


purging of the system through vomiting (1987, 84).
156 / Texts on Practices

S h o u l d you, d u e t o p u b l i c o r p r i v a t e affairs, h a v e n o t i m e t o u n d e r t a k e
l o n g e v i t y practice, m a k e s u r e t o a t least a v o i d m e a t a n d t h e five s t r o n g
v e g e t a b l e s . T h e n , e v e n if qi l e a v e s t h r o u g h t h e l o w e r orifices, it will not
b e v e r y s m e l l y . O n c e y o u h a v e started t h e p r a c t i c e o f a v o i d i n g grain, o n
t h e o t h e r h a n d , w h e t h e r there i s o n e i n s t a n c e o f flatulence o r m o r e , the
e s c a p i n g qi will be e n t i r e l y w i t h o u t o d o r .

A l s o , m a k e s u r e t o a v o i d a n y c o n t a c t w i t h birth, dirt, p o l l u t i o n , and


v a r i o u s f o r m s of s e r i o u s illness. T h e y all m a s s i v e l y r e d u c e p r o p e r qi.
S h o u l d y o u w a l k a l o n g a p u b l i c street a n d u n e x p e c t e d l y e n c o u n t e r any
form of s u c h b a d qi, i m m e d i a t e l y e n c l o s e t h e qi [by h o l d i n g y o u r b r e a t h ]
a n d p a s s b y q u i c k l y . S h o u l d this b e i m p o s s i b l e , d r i n k a b i t o f clear liquor
or h a v e a s m a l l b i t e of m e a t or a s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e . T h i s will c r e a t e a b l o c k
S h o u l d y o u h a v e a c t u a l l y a b s o r b e d the b a d q i a n d y o u b e g i n t o feel rest-
l e s s a n d ill at ease, p r a c t i c e b a l a n c i n g the b r e a t h to e x p e l it.

A n o t h e r p r e c a u t i o n : D o n o t s h o u t o u t loud, sing, cry, o r wail. I f i n your


social life y o u c a n n o t a v o i d a situation of m o u r n i n g , m a k e s o m e small
a p p r o p r i a t e n o i s e s b u t d o n o t c r y e x c e s s i v e l y . [ 1 4 b ] S h o u l d y o u feel the
qi m o v e u p w a r d a n d c r e a t e a l u m p in y o u r throat, do n o t r e p r e s s it but
let it rise up to a c e r t a i n point, t h e n s w a l l o w it b a c k d o w n . O n c e it h a s
r e a c h e d the belly, a g a i n t a k e in fresh qi a n d s w a l l o w it. R e p e a t this three
o r five t i m e s . T h i s will h e l p y o u settle d o w n . Y o u c a n a l s o h e l p i t dis-
p e r s e b y r u b b i n g the front o f y o u r t o r s o d o w n w i t h y o u r h a n d s .

T a k i n g a b i t o f p e p p e r a n d s o m e l i q u o r will c o m p l e t e l y r e l i e v e t h e situa-
tion. H o w e v e r , i f y o u a r e i t b y a s u d d e n s o b that y o u c a n n o t m o v e d o w n ,
t h e n d o n o t force y o u r s e l f t o s w a l l o w . T h i s w o u l d o n l y c a u s e a n obstruc-
tion i n t h e U p p e r H e a t e r . R a t h e r , b r e a t h e s l o w l y a n d w i t h c o n s c i o u s in-
tention, then e x a m i n e yourself. If the qi h a s n o t yet d i s p e r s e d , do n o t eat,
s i n c e a n y e a t i n g or s e n s e of fullness will p r e v e n t y o u from d o i n g a
p r o p e r s w a l l o w i n g . E a t o n l y after y o u h a v e s w a l l o w e d a few t i m e s . O t h -
e r w i s e , y o u are i n v i t i n g d i s e a s e .

A l s o , a t e a c h s w a l l o w i n g h o l d t h e b r e a t h a n d b l o c k the n o s e . W h e n inha-
l a t i o n a n d e x h a l a t i o n a r e regular, u s e the i n t e n t i o n to s e n d t h e qi out-
w a r d . T h e n w a t c h i t o n t h e inside. I t m o v e s d o w n t h e left s i d e o f the
torso, a l o n g t w e n t y - f o u r n o t c h e s . As it d e s c e n d s o n e n o t c h at a time, you
c a n h e a r it like w a t e r d r i p p i n g , clear a n d r h y t h m i c a l . If there is no sound
it is b e c a u s e y o u ate s o m e t h i n g oily or h e a v y or did n o t follow the
Giving Up Ordinary Food / 1 5 7

p r o p e r p r o c e d u r e . If it d o e s n o t d i s s o l v e s o o n a n d y o u a b s o r b m o r e qi, it
will c r e a t e i n t e r n a l p r e s s u r e a n d lead t o disease. [15a] B e v e r y careful!

^uttcttf Out 0%dc*i<vuf, 'po^


[ 2 1 b ] If y o u w a n t to fast for a p e r i o d , j u s t u s e t h e [ b r e a t h i n g a n d s w a l -
l o w i n g ] m e t h o d s p e l l e d o u t earlier. After t h r e e years, y o u r five o r g a n s
will b e well n u r t u r e d , y o u r b o n e s will b e solid a n d y o u r flesh full. T h e
h u n d r e d spirits r e t u r n a n d m a i n t a i n r e s i d e n c e , y o u r b l o o d arteries are
o p e n to free flow, y o u r qi p a s s a g e w a y s are l o o s e a n d w i d e , a n d y o u r
v a r i o u s b o d y e n e r g i e s c i r c u l a t e s m o o t h l y w i t h o u t o b s t r u c t i o n . Y o u will
feel light and c o m p l e t e l y r e n e w e d e v e r y day.

O n c e y o u r e a c h this point, y o u n a t u r a l l y find y o u r s e l f h a v i n g less a n d


less d e s i r e t o s m e l l t h e a r o m a o f the five flavors a n d h a r d l y e v e r t h i n k
a b o u t food. It will be n o t difficult at all to s t o p e a t i n g altogether.

[ 2 2 a ] W o r l d l y p e o p l e tend t o b e g r e e d y for p l e a s u r e a n d l o v e profit.


T h e y c a n n o t s t o p their t h o u g h t s and w i d e l y s e a r c h t h r o u g h r e c i p e b o o k s
for f o r m u l a s t o t a k e for grain a b s t e n t i o n . W h e n s u c h h e r b a l c o n c o c t i o n s
first e n t e r t h e s t o m a c h , t h e y do in fact c r e a t e a feeling of fullness for a
p e r i o d o f t i m e . H o w e v e r , o n c e their effect i s e x h a u s t e d , h u n g e r will
c o m e b a c k with a vengeance. This creates a vicious circle without end
[yoyo dieting].

I n addition, this t e n d e n c y c o n s t a n t l y k e e p s the m i n d i n v o l v e d w i t h


t h o u g h t s of f o r m u l a s a n d the q u e s t for a p p a r e n t h a r m o n y in daily affairs.
M o v i n g to a n d fro, forever restless, s u c h p e o p l e do n o t h a v e e v e n a m o -
m e n t ' s rest. T h e i r s t r e n g t h feeble, their t h o u g h t s drained, t h e y c o n t i n u -
ously increase troubles and vexations and don't even need to invite mis-
fortune t o arrive. A l s o , e v e n t h o u g h t h e y t a k e v a r i o u s c o n c o c t i o n s a n d
things, h o w c a n t h e y s u d d e n l y e l i m i n a t e e a t i n g ? S o , s o m e will s u c k o n
fruit pits t o i n c r e a s e v i g o r w h i l e o t h e r s i n g e s t m o r e c o m p l e x c o n c o c t i o n s
to s i m u l a t e fullness.

All this, w h e n in fact all y o u n e e d to do is i n c r e a s e y o u r b r e a t h - b a l a n c i n g


practice, k e e p y o u r s e l f well, a n d n u r t u r e p e a c e f u l t h o u g h t s . T h e e x h a u s t -
i n g toil of c h a s i n g after the r i g h t formulas, t h e d e m e a n i n g effort of refin-
ing v a r i o u s c o n c o c t i o n s — t h e y all strain p e o p l e for m o n t h s a n d y e a r s a n d
u s e l e s s l y l a b o r e s s e n c e a n d spirit. H o w c a n t h e y e v e r attain t h e r e v e r s a l
o f a g i n g a n d a r e t u r n t o y o u t h ? I f y o u j u s t d o n ' t eat rice, h o w c a n y o u
call it " e l i m i n a t e e a t i n g " ?
158 / Texts on Practices

I n d e e d , t h e r e are l o w e r - l e v e l p r a c t i t i o n e r s w h o c a n ' t e v e n live w i t h o u t


g r a i n s a n d still w o r k i n t h e w o r l d b y t a k i n g h e r b a l f o r m u l a s t o s u p p l e -
m e n t their s y s t e m . Y e s , t h e y will g a i n s o m e m i n o r benefits. B u t h i g h e r -
level p r a c t i t i o n e r s d o n o t d o a n y t h i n g like this. [ 2 2 b ] T h e y j u s t a b s o r b q i
o v e r l o n g p e r i o d s a n d a s t h e y perfect their practice, t h e y c o m e t o fast
n a t u r a l l y . S e n s i n g that their s t o m a c h s are e m p t y , t h e y j u s t s w a l l o w qi.
N e v e r w o r r i e d w h e t h e r e a r l y o r late, t h e y h a v e n o o b s t r u c t i o n s o r hin-
d r a n c e s . S w a l l o w i n g w h e n e v e r t h e y feel t h e n e e d , t h e y h a v e n o limits o r
b o u n d a r i e s . T h e y b e c o m e n a t u r a l l y a w a r e o f their p r o p e r r h y t h m a n d
t i m i n g a n d w o n ' t e v e n n e e d lots o f p r a c t i c e s e s s i o n s a n y m o r e . A s t h e y
a b s o r b qi like this for a v e r y l o n g t i m e , t h e y n a t u r a l l y r e a c h t h e s t a g e of
e l i m i n a t i n g e a t i n g . T h e y t h e r e b y attain c o m p l e t e self-liberation a n d free-
d o m from v e x a t i o n s in all t h e y d o .

T o s u m up: I n the b e g i n n i n g s t a g e s o f p r a c t i c e , i f y o u w a n t t o t a k e s o m e
h e r b a l f o r m u l a s t o s u p p l e m e n t the a b s o r p t i o n o f qi, b y all m e a n s d o so.
H o w e v e r , the t e n d e n c y i s that t h o s e w h o get i n t o t a k i n g t h e s u p p l e m e n t s
often d o n o t d o t h e p r a c t i c e o f a b s o r p t i o n a n d m a k e t h e q u e s t for a n d
i n g e s t i o n o f h e r b s their m a i n o b j e c t i v e .
T h e S c r i p t u r e says:

[5b] T o s t u d y D a o a n d p r a c t i c e the i m m o r t a l s ' m e t h o d s o f living o n c\i


y o u n e e d to g u i d e the qi in t h e 2"^ a n d 3^'' m o n t h s of spring, a l w a y s on
t h e 9 * , 1 8 * , and 2 7 * d a y s , as well as on all d a y s of the c y c l i c a l s i g n s jia-
chen, yisi, bingchen, and dingsi.

[6a] To g u i d e t h e qi, set up a q u i e t r o o m in the m o u n t a i n forest, in a tran-


quil a n d s e c l u d e d spot that is n e a r a s w e e t spring, h a s an e a s t w a r d flow-
ing s t r e a m , a n d faces south. T a k e a b a t h in fragrant h o t w a t e r and —as
p r e s c r i b e d i n the elixir b o o k s — f o c u s y o u r attention o n t h e J a d e C h a m b e r ,
a b o u t o n e inch b e l o w the elixir field. [Note: T h e J a d e C h a m b e r i s u s u a l l y
a b o u t t h r e e i n c h e s b e l o w the elixir field in the a b d o m e n . ] In t h e J a d e
C h a m b e r y o u will t h e n p r o c e e d to visualize the inner qi of t h e m i d d l e
elixir field m o v i n g t o w a r d t h e l o w e r field.

B e f o r e y o u do all this, r e m o v e t h e fine h a i r s from y o u r nostrils, lie d o w n


flat with y o u r feet five i n c h e s apart, and l e n g t h e n the s h o u l d e r s a w a y
from the b o d y b y five inches. C l o s e y o u r e y e s a n d m a k e y o u r h a n d s into
l o o s e fists. [Note: Fists are t h e s h a p e the h a n d s of infants tend to be in.]
U s e a p i l l o w m a d e of r u s h e s a b o u t three i n c h e s h i g h . If y o u h a v e an ail-
m e n t i n y o u r chest, m a k e s u r e the p i l l o w i s s e v e n i n c h e s . S h o u l d y o u
h a v e a c o n d i t i o n b e l o w the navel, r e m o v e t h e p i l l o w altogether.

O n c e y o u b e g i n the p r a c t i c e o f g u i d i n g the qi, y o u m u s t n o l o n g e r eat


r a w food and avoid the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s . T h i s s h o w s the p r o p e r
respect. If y o u r goal is to g i v e up grai ns a l t o g e t h e r a n d reach a state
w h e r e y o u actually live on qi, e v e r y d a y eat o n e m o u t h f u l less of food.
After ten days, y o u c a n stop eating. If after t w o or three d a y s of this y o u r
s t o m a c h feels irritated a n d y o u h a v e a s t r o n g s e n s a t i o n of h u n g e r , take

1 Shenxian quegu shiqi |$f[i|S|iS:ft^ (How Immortals Give up Grain and Eat
Qi, YJQQ 59).

159
160 / Texts on Practices

n i n e ripe d a t e s o r n i n e s q u a r e atractylis c a k e s [6b] a n d eat t h e m o n e a t a


t i m e , m o r n i n g a n d e v e n i n g . D o n o t t a k e a n y m o r e food t h a n that. Really,
i f y o u d o n ' t t h i n k a b o u t food, y o u will find n o n e e d t o eat.

A s for d r i n k i n g water, y o u t a k e t h r e e o r five p i n t s e v e r y d a y , s p a c e d out


e v e n l y . Do n o t s t o p drinking! A l s o , it is a g o o d idea to k e e p a d a t e pit in
y o u r m o u t h . It e n h a n c e s the qi in y o u r b o d y a n d p r o v i d e s a s t e a d y flow
o f saliva.

T h e Scripture says:

D a o is qi. L o v e qi a n d attain D a o . A t t a i n D a o a n d live forever!

E s s e n c e i s spirit. T r e a s u r e e s s e n c e a n d spirit s h i n e s forth. H a v e spirit


s h i n e forth a n d e n d u r e in eternity!

O n e w a y of g u i d i n g the qi is to refine it. To do so, lie d o w n flat on y o u r


b a c k , then s l o w l y rinse w i t h S w e e t S p r i n g and s w a l l o w it. [Note: S w e e t
S p r i n g m e a n s saliva.] F r o m h e r e , v e r y s u b t l y i n h a l e q i t h r o u g h the n o s e
a n d b r i n g i t s l o w l y i n t o the b o d y , n e v e r p u s h i n g t o e x t r e m e s i n a n y form.
W h e n y o u h a v e fully i n h a l e d five t i m e s , e x h a l e o n c e c o m p l e t e l y . T h i s i s
o n e r o u n d . C o u n t i t b y b e n d i n g a finger e a c h t i m e .

W h e n y o u g e t t o n i n e t y b r e a t h s , y o u m a y feel t r o u b l e d a n d e x h a u s t e d . I n
that case, finish the r o u n d a n d s t r e t c h briefly. After t h e stretch is c o m -
plete, p r a c t i c e again later. E v e n t u a l l y y o u will be able to c o m p l e t e four
t i m e s n i n e t y o r 3 6 0 b r e a t h s . W e call this o n e set. D o i n g this o v e r a pro-
l o n g e d p e r i o d , y o u will find all sorts of d i s e a s e s are n a t u r a l l y e l i m i n a t e d .

[7a] A n o t h e r p a r t o f this i s m a k i n g t h e e x h a l e d q i return. T o d o so, w h e n


y o u first inhale g i v e a v e r y s h o r t e x h a l a t i o n , then let t h e b r e a t h m o v e in
a n d out very, v e r y slowly. C o n t i n u e to p r a c t i c e like this, then p u l l the
b r e a t h i n a g a i n t h r o u g h the n o s e . U n l e s s y o u f o l l o w this, y o u will m o v e
i n t h e w r o n g direction. T h i s w o u l d g o a g a i n s t the u s u a l w a y w h i c h i s
that w h e n y o u inhale, t h e qi rises up; w h e n y o u e x h a l e , it flows d o w n .

O v e r a l o n g p e r i o d of practice, y o u will b e c o m e a w a r e of t h e qi circulat-


i n g t h r o u g h y o u r w h o l e b o d y . I f y o u r p r a c t i c e i s n o t q u i t e s e c u r e and
y o u feel s o m e fatigue in y o u r m i n d , t h e n stop after o n e l o n g r o u n d of
n i n e t y b r e a t h s . G r a d u a l l y w o r k u p t o three t i m e s ninety, o r 2 7 0 b r e a t h s .
T h i s , too, we call o n e set.

In g u i d i n g the qi, m a k e s u r e it m o v e s e v e n l y a n d fills the o r g a n s , b u t


n e v e r e x p e l i t v i g o r o u s l y . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , i f y o u h o l d the b r e a t h in.
Guiding Qi 1161

s w a l l o w it o n l y after a n i n e t y - c o u n t . If y o u c a n n o t quite get to t h e s w a l -


l o w i n g level, j u s t w o r k o n d o i n g t h e b r e a t h i n g t o t h e c o u n t o f n i n e t y .
C o m p l e t i n g t h r e e t i m e s n i n e t y b r e a t h s s h o u l d b e q u i t e sufficient. T h e r e
i s t h e n n o m o r e n e e d t o c o u n t i n detail.

At this p o i n t t h i n k of t h e qi as p e r v a d i n g t h e tips of y o u r h a i r at the t o p


o f the h e a d a n d from t h e r e f l o w i n g d o w n all t h e w a y i n t o y o u r f o u r
l i m b s , r e a c h i n g n a t u r a l l y d o w n t o the t h r e e l u m i n a n t s . [Note: T h e j a d e
stalk and two gonads.]

T h e Scripture says:

To g u i d e t h e qi, v i s u a l i z e it e n t e r i n g from t h e ten fingers b e t w e e n t h e 1^'


a n d 1 5 * d a y s o f the m o n t h ; s e e i t c o m i n g i n from t h e ten t o e s b e t w e e n
t h e 1 6 * a n d 3 0 * d a y s o f the m o n t h . [7b] O v e r a l o n g e r p e r i o d o f p r a c t i c e
y o u will n a t u r a l l y feel it in the h a n d s a n d feet. If y o u p r a c t i c e w i t h o u t
interruption, y o u r b o d y will start t o feel lighter a n d m o r e v i g o r o u s e v e r y
day, qi and c h a n n e l s will be soft a n d s u p p l e , a n d t h e p r o t e c t i v e a n d d e -
fensive qi will p e r v a d e y o u r l i m b s a n d j o i n t s .

T h e D a o o f l o n g life c e n t e r s o n g u i d i n g qi. I t i m i t a t e s t h e w a y o f w o n -
d r o u s , l o n g - l i v e d turtles w h o too e x t e n d their e x i s t e n c e b y a b s o r b i n g qi.

After s o m e t i m e o f l i v i n g p u r e l y o n g u i d e d q i y o u m a y d e s i r e t o g o b a c k
t o e a t i n g w o r l d l y food. S h o u l d this b e the case, b e g i n b y t a k i n g s m a l l
s i p s o f rice gruel, i n c r e a s i n g the a m o u n t g r a d u a l l y b y o n e m o u t h f u l
e v e r y day. After ten days, y o u s h o u l d b e r e a d y t o e a t c o n g e e a g a i n — b u t
n e v e r t o satiation.

T h e Scripture says:

W h e n y o u first start the p r a c t i c e of g u i d i n g qi, there t e n d s to be a great


d e a l o f d i s h a r m o n y . I t m a y c a u s e c o u g h s , [ s t o m a c h ] upsets, o r stiffness
in t h e four l i m b s . H o w e v e r , if y o u persist in y o u r p r a c t i c e , t h i n g s are c e r -
tain t o i m p r o v e o v e r time.

B y t h e t i m e y o u m a k e i t t o four t i m e s n i n e t y b r e a t h s , o r o n e set o f 3 6 0 ,
y o u r b o d y will feel like a soft r o b e w i t h light b o n e s a n d o p e n j o i n t s . Af-
ter a v e r y l o n g time, you will e v e n b e c o m e a w a r e of the qi m o v i n g freely
t h r o u g h o u t t h e p h y s i c a l structure, p e r v a d i n g a n d e n r i c h i n g the w h o l e
b o d y . I t c o n t i n u e s t o m o i s t u r i z e all y o u r parts, m a k i n g y o u r s k i n g l o s s y
a n d soft, filling a n d e n h a n c i n g the five o r g a n s a n d six v i s c e r a , a n d driv-
i n g out t h e h u n d r e d d i s e a s e s o n c e and for all.
1 6 2 / T e x t s on Practices

A l w a y s , b e f o r e y o u set a b o u t g u i d i n g qi, m a k e sure t o c a l m the b o d y a n d


h a r m o n i z e t h e p h y s i c a l structure. [8a] S h o u l d t h e qi a p p e a r at o d d s and
t h e r e is a s e n s e of u n r e s t in yourself, stop and w a i t for a w h i l e . T h e n e s -
tablish internal h a r m o n y a n d b e g i n y o u r practice.

The qi in harmony—the body is fully at peace.


The body at peace—the breath flows smoothly through the nostrils.
The breath smooth—pure qi is activated.
Pure qi active—the body gets naturally warm.
The body warm—there is a rush of perspiration.

At this point, there is no m o r e n e e d to m o v e a r o u n d or p u s h the qi inten-


tionally. J u s t rest peacefully a n d n u r t u r e it, y o u r m a i n j o b b e i n g t o m a k e
s u r e the p r o l o n g e d c o n t i n u a t i o n o f b r e a t h i n g a n d i n t e m a l flow.

T h r o u g h o u t y o u r p r a c t i c e m a k e s u r e y o u feel n o t e v e n a trace of irrita-


tion, a n g e r , anxiety, or w o r r y in y o u r m i n d . S h o u l d there by any, e v e n a
little bit, of t h e s e e m o t i o n s , t h e qi will be disturbed. A n d if the qi suffers
d i s t u r b a n c e , y o u are r u n n i n g in the o p p o s i t e direction from i m m o r t a l i t y .

T o c o u n t e r a c t e m o t i o n a l tension, t h i n k o f the O n e . T h i n k i n g o f the O n e ,


p r o p e r qi arrives. P r o p e r qi present, there is s w e e t n e s s a n d fragrance in
y o u r m o u t h . Y o u r m o u t h s w e e t , saliva arises i n p l e n t y w h i l e the b r e a t h
b e c o m e s soft and long. S a l i v a plentiful a n d the b r e a t h long, the qi flows
a b o u t i n a n o r d e r l y m a n n e r . T h i s m e a n s l o n g life a n d e x t e n d e d years.

In the p r a c t i c e of g u i d i n g qi, y o u i n h a l e very, v e r y s u b t l y t h r o u g h the


n o s e a n d e x h a l e l o n g a n d soft t h r o u g h the m o u t h . This is w h a t we call a
" l o n g b r e a t h . " A l s o , t h e i n h a l a t i o n i s j u s t o n e t y p e o f b r e a t h , b u t t h e ex-
h a l a t i o n c o m e s in six forms: hu, chui, xi, he, xu, and si. O r d i n a r y p e o p l e
b r e a t h e o n e i n a n d o n e out, w i t h o u t b e i n g a w a r e o f these D a o i s t forms o f
b r e a t h i n g . D a o i s t s , on t h e contrary, b a l a n c e their qi in this m a n n e r . W h e n
it is cold, u s e c h u i ; w h e n it is hot, u s e hu. T h u s k n o w :

Chui dispels heat. Hu dispels wind. He dispels tension.


Xr lowers qi. Xu dissolves obstructions. Si releases extremes.

S o m e o n e in a tight e m o t i o n a l state t y p i c a l l y will b r e a t h e h e a v i l y w i t h


s o b s a n d sighs, i.e., xu a n d xi. T h u s t h e s e t w o are c o m p l e t e l y t a b o o w h e n
i t c o m e s t o p r a c t i c i n g t h e l o n g b r e a t h . T h e y are b a d for a n y o n e t r y i n g t o
s t u d y D a o a n d p r a c t i c e g u i d i n g of qi.
[ l a ] F o l l o w e r s of [the] H i g h e s t Clarity [scriptures] a n d the Daode jing
( B o o k of t h e W a y a n d Its V i r t u e ) , as well as p r a c t i t i o n e r s in the l i n e a g e of
the Huangting jing ( Y e l l o w C o u r t Scripture) a n d the Yangsheng yaoji { E s -
sential C o l l e c t i o n o n N o u r i s h i n g Life) all c a n u s e the f o l l o w i n g m e t h o d
to e l i m i n a t e t h e m y r i a d d i s e a s e s and attain spirit i m m o r t a l i t y .

In general, a b s o r b i n g cji i n v o l v e s v i s u a l i z i n g t h e h e a r t as if it c o n t a i n e d a
b a b y i n t h e m o t h e r ' s w o m b . After ten m o n t h s i t i s c o m p l e t e , t e n d o n s a n d
b o n e s are h a r m o n i z e d a n d s uppl e. B r e a t h e w i t h c o n c e n t r a t e d m i n d a n d
m a i n t a i n a w a r e n e s s , a n d t h e h a r m o n i o u s qi will arrive of itself. If y o u
b r e a t h e in and o u t as d e s c r i b e d in this m e t h o d , y o u c a n s w a l l o w qi a n d
n o t get h u n g r y , s i n c e t h e h u n d r e d p o r e s will a l l o w t h e b r e a t h t o e n t e r
without blockage.

A l w a y s follow t h e six y a n g h o u r s to a b s o r b fresh qi. T h e n t h e strength of


y o u r qi will i n c r e a s e daily. T h e m e t h o d of the six y a n g h o u r s is as follows:

P r a c t i c e at m i d n i g h t , at the zi hour, n i n e t i m e s n i n e or 81 t i m e s .
P r a c t i c e at d a w n , at t h e yin hour, eight t i m e s e i g h t or 64 times.
P r a c t i c e at breakfast, at the chen hour, s e v e n t i m e s s e v e n or 49 times, [ l b ]
P r a c t i c e at n o o n , at the zvu h o u r , six t i m e s six or 36 times.
P r a c t i c e at m i d - a f t e r n o o n , at t h e shen h o u r , five t i m e s five or 25 times.
P r a c t i c e at dusk, at the si hour, four t i m e s four or 16 t i m e s .

W h i l e a b s o r b i n g qi, t h e t o n g u e s h o u l d b e soft a n d m y s t e r i o u s [almost


i n t a n g i b l e ] , a n d t h e b r e a t h s h o u l d follow t h e p r o p e r g a t e t o enter and

i Taishang yangsheng taixi qi jing >fc±S4i3pS,ll (Highest Qi Scripture on


Nourishing Life and Embryo Respiration , DZ 819), a short treatise compiled
from a number of well-known texts, focusing on Highest Clarity visualizations
and probably dating to the Tang. See Levi in Schipper and Verellen 2004, 368-69.

163
164 / Texts on Practices

l e a v e . T h e n o s e i s t h e G a t e o f H e a v e n ; a s y o u a b s o r b q i t h e spirit a n d m a -
terial s o u l s return to this gate. T h e m o u t h is the D o o r w a y of Earth; as
y o u a b s o r b qi, t h e spirit a n d m a t e r i a l s o u l s r e t u r n h e r e .

The Huangting jing says:

The solidity of the hundred grains


is the essence of earth and soil;
The five flavors are attractive on the outside,
but their evil and demonic aspects stink.
The jade pond [mouth] is full of clear water,
moistening the numinous root [tongue].
If you can cultivate this,
you will enhance your Gate of Destiny!

If y o u w a n t to e n h a n c e longevity, b r e a t h e in t h r o u g h the n o s e and out


t h r o u g h t h e m o u t h . T h i s is cultivation in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h qi. U s i n g this
m e t h o d w i t h a perfect m i n d a n d n e v e r stopping, y o u c a n s u b d u e and
e l i m i n a t e the T h r e e W o r m s , e x p e l all g l o r y a n d get rid o f a t t a c h m e n t s .
D a y b y d a y y o u g r a d u a l l y fulfill t h e w o r k and b e g i n t o get c l o s e r t o D a o .

[2a] N o w , t h e original n a t u r e o f t h e perfected i s h i d d e n a n d e n c l o s e d .


O n l y v e r y carefully a n d w i t h clear r e f i n e m e n t d o e s h e s p e a k . H e thinks
a n d acts i n h a r m o n y w i t h D a o a n d i s w i t h o u t b l e m i s h . H e r i n s e s and
s w a l l o w s h i s n u m i n o u s saliva, a n d i n h i s b e l l y t h e h u n d r e d flavors are
n a t u r a l l y c o m p l e t e . H e p e n e t r a t e s t h e t h r e e b u r n e r s a n d r e g u l a t e s his
u p r i g h t qi. T h u s h i s qi n a t u r a l l y e n c o m p a s s e s all parts [of h i s b o d y ] and
p e n e t r a t e s h i s five o r g a n s . His b o n e s a n d m a r r o w are a c c o r d i n g l y s t r o n g
a n d rich.

T h e D a o is t h e m a s t e r of the m y r i a d f o r m s of qi. Actually, D a o is qi. Qi is


t h e g a t e of e s s e n c e . If o n e g u a r d s o n e ' s e s s e n c e like a p e r s o n in an c l o s e d
r o o m , o n e m a y last for a h u n d r e d g e n e r a t i o n s . H o w e v e r , if o n e is with-
o u t e s s e n c e or treats it like a r o o m w i t h no o n e in it, o n e will fail e v e n in
this lifetime. Qi is p r o t e c t e d by e s s e n c e . E s s e n c e is qi. W h e n t h e y a r e b o t h
c o m p l e t e , we s p e a k of a perfected.

P e o p l e h a v e three c i n n a b a r or elixir fields. T h e u p p e r elixir field is the


N i w a n P a l a c e i n t h e h e a d , r u l e d b y the R e d E m p e r o r a n d h i s s o n and
minister. He is c a l l e d P r i m o r d i a l Priority. T h e m i d d l e elixir field is the
heart. It is ruled by t h e P e r f e c t e d of R a d i a n t Stability. He is c a l l e d the
C i r m a b a r C h i l d . T h e l o w e r elixir field i s r u l e d b y the Infant o f V a l l e y
Embryo Respiration / 1 6 5

M y s t e r y . H e i s c a l l e d M a s t e r o f P r i m o r d i a l Y a n g . H e r u l e s the g a t e o f
b o t h qi a n d e s s e n c e .

T h e t h r e e fields e a c h h a v e t h r e e a g e n t s of spirit. As spirits e x p a n d s , qi


b e g i n s to l e a k out. As qi l e a k s out, e s s e n c e d i s p e r s e s . W h e n e s s e n c e is
d i s p e r s e d , spirit d e c l i n e s . [2b] E s s e n c e is a w o n d r o u s s u b s t a n c e . It is t h e
root of l o n g life in t h e p e r f e c t e d . T h e r o o t of l o n g life is t h e p o s i t i o n of qi.
If e s s e n c e is c o m p l e t e , qi is c o m p l e t e ; if e s s e n c e is d i s p e r s e d , qi is dis-
p e r s e d . J u s t focus o n y o u r q i a n d y o u c a n p r o t e c t y o u r c o m p l e t e p e r f e c -
tion. T h e w i s e o n e s o f old w h o r e a l i z e d that l o v e d their q i a n d g u a r d e d
their e s s e n c e . T h u s t h e y c o u l d live l o n g .

N o w , s e n s u a l i t y i s a r o u s e d t h r o u g h the e m o t i o n s , w h o s e c o n t r o l d o e s
not c o m e naturally. H o w , then, c a n w e stabilize t h e m ? T h e s i t u a t i o n w e
are in [with r e g a r d s to e m o t i o n s ] is as d a n g e r o u s as a m o u n t a i n t u m -
b l i n g or an o c e a n d r a i n i n g . T h e m o u n t a i n is y o u r qi. T h e t r e a s u r e [it c e n -
ters o n ] is y o u r k i d n e y s . T h e k i d n e y s are the r o o t of destiny. If t h e root
h a s n o e s s e n c e , t h e l e a v e s wither. O n c e the l e a v e s w i t h e r , t h e b r a n c h e s
dry u p . A n d w h e n t h e b r a n c h e s d r y up, t h e b o d y rots. T h e n y o u m a y
yearn for a n d p i n e t o c o m e b a c k t o life—but h o w c a n y o u e v e r b e s a v e d ?

N o w , t a k i n g in qi is yin; e x p e l l i n g qi is y a n g . T h e s e t w o are o n e p r o c e s s .
T h e y are u s e d e q u a l l y i n a b s o r b i n g the e s s e n c e and f l o r e s c e n c e o f t h e
sun a n d the m o o n . Qi is e m p t i n e s s a n d n o n b e i n g . E m p t i n e s s a n d n o n b e -
ing are s p o n t a n e i t y a n d n o n a c t i o n . N o n a c t i o n m e a n s that the h e a r t / m i n d
i s n o t m o v i n g , that t h e r e i s n o q u e s t o n t h e o u t s i d e a n d o n l y s p o n t a n e i t y
on the inside. E v e r y t h i n g is peaceful a n d c a l m .

W h e n e v e r y t h i n g is peaceful a n d c a l m , spirit is stable.


W h e n spirit is stable, qi is in h a r m o n y . [3a]
W h e n qi is in h a r m o n y , p r i m o r d i a l qi arrives by itself.
W h e n p r i m o r d i a l qi arrives by itself, the five o r g a n s are rich a n d
glossy.
W h e n t h e five o r g a n s are rich a n d glossy, t h e h u n d r e d c h a n n e l s are
o p e n a n d qi flows freely.
W h e n the h u n d r e d c h a n n e l s are o p e n a n d q i flows freely, t h e b o d y
fluids rise u p w a r d in p r o p e r a c c o r d .
W h e n the b o d y fluids rise u p w a r d i n p r o p e r a c c o r d , o n e d o e s n o
l o n g e r t h i n k o f t h e five flavors a n d will n e v e r b e h u n g r y o r thirsty.
O n e will e x p a n d o n e ' s y e a r s a n d w a r d off old a g e
166 / Texts on Practices

Q i t r a n s f o r m s i n t o b l o o d ; b l o o d t r a n s f o r m s into m a r r o w . O n e y e a r o f
p r a c t i c e effects a c h a n g e in the qi. T w o y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in
t h e b l o o d . T h r e e y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in the c h a n n e l s . F o u r
y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in the flesh. F i v e y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a
c h a n g e in t h e m a r r o w . Six y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in t h e t e n d o n s .
S e v e n y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in t h e b o n e s . E i g h t y e a r s of prac-
tice effect a c h a n g e in the hair. N i n e y e a r s of p r a c t i c e effect a c h a n g e in
t h e e n t i r e b o d y a n d o n e b e c o m e s a perfected. R e f i n i n g o n e s e l f t h r o u g h
n i n e c y c l e s , o n e p e n e t r a t e s to spirit i m m o r t a h t y . It is m y s t e r i o u s a n d
w o n d r o u s — u n f a t h o m a b l e indeed!

G r e e n S p r o u t o f the east. [Note: G r e e n S p r o u t m a t c h e s t h e liver.] A b s o r b


a n d eat t h e G r e e n S p r o u t a n d d r i n k t h e M o r n i n g F l o r e s c e n c e [Note:
M o r n i n g F l o r e s c e n c e i s t h e u p p e r g u m . ] U s e t h e t o n g u e t o lick the lips,
t h e n r i n s e a n d s w a l l o w . [3b]

V e r m i l i o n C i n n a b a r o f the south. [Note: V e r m i l i o n C i n n a b a r m a t c h e s the


heart.] A b s o r b a n d i n g e s t t h e V e r m i l i o n C i n n a b a r a n d d r i n k from the
C i n n a b a r P o n d . [Note: T h e C i n n a b a r P o n d i s t h e l o w e r g u m . ] U s e the
t o n g u e t o r u b the teeth a n d g u m s , t h e n rinse a n d s w a l l o w .

B r i g h t S t o n e o f the west. [Note: B r i g h t S t o n e m a t c h e s t h e limgs.] A b s o r b


a n d e a t the B r i g h t S t o n e a n d d r i n k the N u m i n o u s Fluid [Note: N u m i -
n o u s Fluid is the saliva at the lips.] U s e the t o n g u e to rub the teeth s e v e n
t i m e s , then rinse a n d s w a l l o w .

M y s t e r i o u s O f f s h o o t o f t h e n o r t h . [Note: M y s t e r i o u s Offshoot m a t c h e s
t h e k i d n e y s . ] A b s o r b a n d eat t h e M y s t e r i o u s Offshoot a n d d r i n k from the
J a d e W o m b [Note: J a d e W o m b i s t h e t o n g u e . ] U s e the n o s e t o pull a n d
g u i d e the p r i m o r d i a l qi i n t o t h e m o u t h , t h e n inhale, exhale, a n d s w a l l o w .

Lofty M o u n t T a i o f the center. [Note: Lofty M o u n t Tai m a t c h e s the


g u a r d e d e s s e n c e . ] A b s o r b a n d eat the qi a n d e s s e n c e a n d d r i n k from the
S w e e t S p r i n g . [Note: S w e e t S p r i n g is t h e m y s t e r i o u s g r e a s e at the r o o t of
t h e teeth a n d j u s t i n s i d e t h e lips. T h e F l o w e r y P o n d i s b e n e a t h t h e r o o t o f
t h e t o n g u e . I t i s also c a l l e d J a d e R a d i a n c e o r G o l d e n B r i d g e . j A s de-
s c r i b e d a b o v e , r i n s e a n d s w a l l o w . R e p e a t e a c h e x e r c i s e three t i m e s .

A l w a y s p r a c t i c e qi at m i d n i g h t , at the zi or yin h o u r s . S t a n d upright,


dressed in proper cap and gown. T h e n open your golden bridge and
w a k e n the jade radiance to balance the flowery pond. Rinse with Sweet
Embryo Respiration / 167

S p r i n g a n d N u m i n o u s F l u i d . C o n t r a c t y o u r n o s e and m a k e the q i return,


g o i n g u p t o the h e a d a n d s i n k i n g d o w n i n s i d e the m o u t h . T h e r e i t c a n
t r a n s f o r m into j a d e spring. F r o m h e r e , p u l l the qi to t h e r o o t of t h e
t o n g u e , s w a l l o w , a n d s e n d it off.

[4a] A s y o u d o all this, t h e r e s h o u l d b e a r u m b l i n g s o u n d i n b o t h y o u r


t h r o a t a n d y o u r a b d o m e n . As y o u g u i d e t h e qi into the elixir field, it is
like a c h i l d j u s t b o r n a n d a l r e a d y a b l e to cry. T h i s is c a l l e d t h e r o o t of
l o n g life. W h e n h u n g r y , eat t h e qi of s p o n t a n e i t y ; w h e n thirsty, d r i n k the
j u i c e o f t h e f l o w e r y p o n d . T h e n y o u c a n b e forever full a n d satiated.
T h e r e c i p e s b e l o w follow the g u i d e l i n e s for D a o i s t m o n a s t i c s o r priests
d u r i n g purification in that t h e y a v o i d all a n i m a l p r o d u c t s (except t h e
o c c a s i o n a l e g g ) a s well a s the five s t r o n g v e g e t a b l e s . M a n y a r e t a k e n
from the C h i n e s e m e d i c a t e d diet a s o u t l i n e d b y D r s . E n g e l h a r d t a n d
N o g e l (2009); from M i c h a e l S a s o ' s Daoist Cookbook ( 1 9 9 4 ) ; and from the
five v o l u m e s on D a o i s t m o n a s t i c c o o k i n g , a v a i l a b l e in t e m p l e s on M t .
Wudang, by Peng Mingquan (2006).

T h e y d o n o t c l a i m t o r e p r e s e n t classic D a o i s t c o o k e r y b u t h o p e t o m a k e a
D a o i s t - i n s p i r e d w a y o f e a t i n g a c c e s s i b l e t o W e s t e r n e r s . T o this end, the
r e c i p e s also i n c l u d e i t e m s that are definitely n o t C h i n e s e , s u c h as, for
e x a m p l e , c h o c o l a t e - c h i p c o o k i e s . T h e y also u s e n u m e r o u s i n g r e d i e n t s
n o t (yet) c o m m o n i n C h i n a , s u c h a s w h o l e - g r a i n b r e a d , p e a n u t b u t t e r ,
m i s o , t e m p e h , c o c o n u t m i l k , a n d v a r i o u s b a k e d dishes. A n d they m a k e
u s e o f p r e p r a t i o n m e t h o d s , s u c h a s b a k i n g , that are m o r e easily a c c e s s i -
ble in Western kitchens.

E a c h section d e s c r i b e s the n a t u r e of the food d i s c u s s e d , t h e n lists ingre-


dients, o u t l i n e s p r o c e d u r e s , i l l u m i n a t e s variations, and p r o v i d e s specific
e x a m p l e s . T h e idea i s that o n c e r e a d e r s h a v e g r a s p e d the b a s i c idea o n
h o w t o p r e p a r e a c e r t a i n k i n d o f dish, t h e y m i x and m a t c h m a t e r i a l s
b a s e d on availability in their specific l o c a t i o n a n d d u r i n g different sea-
s o n s as well as in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h their o w n p e r s o n a l taste a n d b o d i l y
needs.

Abbreviations
c cup
lb pound
Ig large
t teaspoon
T tablespoon

Measurements
1 c = 16 T = 8 oz = 2 5 0 g (3 oz = lOOg)

171
172 / Recipes

C o o k e d c e r e a l s are t h e m a i n s t a p l e o f t h e C h i n e s e a n d D a o i s t diet. T h i s
s e c t i o n deals w i t h t h e m in their softest form, as p o r r i d g e , c o n g e e , or
gruel. All g r a i n s tend to h a v e a s w e e t or n e u t r a l flavor a n d s t r o n g l y s u p -
p o r t the c e n t e r o f the b o d y , the s p l e e n a n d s t o m a c h s y s t e m s . T h e i r
p r e p a r a t i o n a s w a r m p o r r i d g e o p e n s t h e m for m a x i m a l a b s o r p t i o n into
t h e s y s t e m . C o o k e d c e r e a l s are w a r m i n g a n d s t r e n g t h e n i n g a n d p r o v i d e
a nice, s t e a d y b o o s t of e n e r g y . Often m i x e d w i t h little b i t s of fruit or
v e g e t a b l e s , t h e y are b e s t u s e d for breakfast a n d d u r i n g c o n v a l e s c e n c e ,
b u t are also e x c e l l e n t a t o t h e r t i m e s . A l t e r n a t i v e s i n c l u d e c o o k e d grains
in breads and pancakes.

G r a i n s : B a r l e y , b l a c k rice, b u c k w h e a t , corn, c o u s c o u s , millet, oats, p o -


lenta, q u i n o a , rice.

F r u i t s : A p p l e s , b a n a n a s , cherries, c h e s t n u t s , c o c o n u t , dates, figs, g r a p e s ,


kiwis, m a n g o e s , o r a n g e s , p a p a y a , p e a c h e s , pears, p i n e a p p l e , p l u m s ,
strawberries.

Vegetables: Avocado, b a m b o o , bean sprouts, b o k choy, broccoli, cab-


b a g e , carrots, cauliflower, celery, c u c u m b e r , e g g p l a n t , kohlrabi, lettuce,
l o t u s root, m o u n t a i n v e g e t a b l e s , s p i n a c h , s w e e t potato, t o m a t o , y a m s .

Pickles: A r t i c h o k e s , b u r d o c k , m u s h r o o m s , p l u m s , daikon, turnips.

H e r b s a n d S p i c e s : C i n n a m o n , cardamom,/w/zng, ginger, g i n s e n g , s e s a m e .

A l s o : N u t s , raisins, dried fruit of v a r i o u s kinds, e d i b l e flowers, s u c h as


chrysanthemums and nasturtiums.
Recipes / 1 7 3

G r a i n s : C o o k in w a t e r w i t h a p i n c h of salt, in m o s t c a s e s 1 part grain to 2


p a r t s water. S o a k w h o l e gr ains (like r olled oats) o v e r n i g h t ; u s e left-over
g ra i n s from p r e v i o u s m e a l s w i t h o n l y little water. C o o k i n g t i m e s r a n g e
w i d e l y d e p e n d i n g on t h e g r a i n — a i m for soft, a l m o s t liquid c o n s i s t e n c y .
A d d o n e o r t w o i t e m s from the list a b o v e ; m a y b e s w e e t e n w i t h h o n e y .

F r u i t s : U s e fresh a n d cut into bite-sized c h u n k s or slightly c o o k e d into a


c o m p o t e , w i t h a p i n c h of c i n n a m o n , c a r d a m o m , or h o n e y , to m a k e the
fruit m o r e w a r m i n g and gentler o n the s t o m a c h .

V e g e t a b l e s : U s e fresh, slightly s t e a m e d , or briefly fried in a m i n i s c u l e


a m o u n t o f oil; also take p i c k l e d o r left-over from m a i n d i s h e s (see b e l o w ) .
R o o t v e g e t a b l e s like y a m s n e e d t o b e c o o k e d first, t h e n c a n b e slightly
roasted o r b r o w n e d .

H e r b s : C u t fine a n d r o a s t slightly b e f o r e s p r i n k l i n g o n t h e p o r r i d g e .

A l s o : Breakfast c e r e a l s b e n e f i t greatly from n u t s a n d dried fruit of all


kinds—raisins, craisins, p r u n e s , apricots, etc.

B r e a d : S h o u l d c o o k i n g grain n o t b e a n option, w h o l e - g r a i n b r e a d w i t h
s o m e b u t t e r and j a m , p e a n u t butter, v e g e t a b l e spread, o r fruit m a y s e r v e
as a h e a l t h y breakfast alternative.

Pancakes: Left-over p o r r i d g e mixed with flour and b a k i n g p o w d e r


m a k e s e x c e l l e n t p a n c a k e s ; so do gr ated p o t a t o e s . F r y in a little oil until
b r o w n on b o t h sides, t h e n take w i t h fruit, syrup, a p p l e s a u c e , or yogurt.

S o y : S o y m i l k m a k e s a g o o d addition t o all c o o k e d c e r e a l s a n d c a n b e
used in p a n c a k e s . S o y p u l p (okara), t h e left-over m u s h after t h e m i l k is
extracted from the b e a n s , as well as s o y flour are great staples to u s e in
b r e a d s and p a n c a k e s .
174 / Recipes

Pancakes

1 1/2 c flour, 11 salt, 2 T sugar, 1 % t b a k i n g p o w d e r


- sift a n d m i x
1 egg, 3 T m e l t e d butter, 1 c s o y m i l k
- add, b e a t into a batter, fry in p a n or on g r i d d l e

Combread
1 Vi c flour, 3 / 4 c c o r n m e a l , 2 T sugar, 1 T b a k i n g p o w d e r
- mix
1 c s o y m i l k , V2 c yogurt, Vi c oil, 1 e g g
- a d d to liquids, m i x well, p u t in p a n , b a k e 25 m i n s . @ 4 0 0 ° F

Scones
1 Vi c flour, 1 T b a k i n g p o w d e r , Vi t salt, 1/3 c butter, 2 eggs, Vi c s o y m i l k
- m i x , a d d raisins to taste, b a k e 15 m i n @ 4 5 0 °

Apple/Pear Compote
3 a p p l e s / p e a r s (peeled, c u b e d ) , Vi c raisins, 1 c i n n a m o n s t i c k
- p l a c e in 2c water, b o i l , t h e n s i m m e r for 10 m i n s .
Recipes / 1 7 5

2. ^pfret<^&Ki

A p p e t i z e r s a r e small i t e m s o f finger food t o b e n i b b l e d b e f o r e a m e a l o r


a s a snack. Alternatively, i f o n e likes t h e m v e r y m u c h , t h e y m a y b e c o m -
b i n e d into a n entire m e a l o n their o w n . T h e C h i n e s e t e r m for a p p e t i z e r s
is dianxin 1(5'L\ w h i c h is the M a n d a r i n p r o n u n c i a t i o n of t h e f a m o u s D i m
S u m , w h i c h d o e s j u s t that: m a k e a w h o l e m e a l o f a p p e t i z e r s . M o s t are
filled rolls (baozi), d u m p l i n g s , or w o n t o n s , i.e., v e g e t a b l e s a n d tofu
\ v r a p p e d in d o u g h s k i n that are s t e a m e d , b o i l e d , or fried. B u t there are
also p a n c a k e - t y p e d i s h e s and v a r i o u s r a w food alternatives. T y p i c a l l y
grain-based i t e m s are w a r m i n g a n d s u p p o r t t h e m i d d l e , w h i l e r a w a n d
cold d i s h e s ( s u c h a s tofu a n d a v o c a d o s ) h a v e c o o l i n g a n d m o i s t u r i z i n g
properties that aid liver a n d l u n g s in a d d i t i o n to s p l e e n .

V e g e t a b l e s : A v o c a d o , c a b b a g e , carrots, leafy g r e e n s , p o t a t o e s , s n o w p e a s ,
spinach, s w e e t p o t a t o e s .

T o f u : F r e s h a n d firm.

N o o d l e s : T h i n , g l a s s y rice or o t h e r w i s e soft and fine.


S p i c e s : C o r i a n d e r , mint, p e a n u t s .

S k i n s : B u y frozen in an A s i a n s u p e r m a r k e t — r o u n d thin skins for ]xaozi


or gyoza; s q u a r e thick w r a p p e r s for w a n t o n s ; s q u a r e w h i t e and thin " r i c e
p a p e r " w r a p p e r s for s p r i n g rolls; thick w h i t e mantou p a d s for haozi.

All i n g r e d i e n t s n e e d to be c h o p p e d fine or g r a t e d b e f o r e w r a p p i n g in
skin. N o o d l e s n e e d t o b e c o o k e d ; s o m e v e g e t a b l e s n e e d t o b e b l a n c h e d o r
p r e - c o o k e d . F i n i s h e d d u m p l i n g s c a n b e frozen for e x t e n d e d p e r i o d s .

Fresh v e g e t a b l e s a n d / o r tofu c a n m a k e a n e x c e l l e n t a n d refreshing snack.


176 / Recipes

S t e a m e d B u n s (mantou)
1 V2 c w a r m water, 1 T yeast, 1 T s u g a r
- p l a c e in small b o w l , s p r i n k l e y e a s t & sugar, let sit 15 m i n s .
4 c flour
- p l a c e in b i g b o w l , a d d w a t e r m i x gradually, stir into d o u g h , k n e a d
well, p u t c o v e r e d in w a r m p l a c e , let sit 1 hr. or until d o u b l e d ; k n e a d
s o m e m o r e , c o v e r again, let sit 2 0 m i n s .
- A. s h a p e into rolls, b r i n g w a t e r to b o i l in s t e a m e r , p l a c e rolls on
s t e a m tray, l e a v i n g 1 inch g a p ; s t e a m for 10 m i n s .
- B. s h a p e into flat sheets, cut into squares, roll up into b u n s a r o u n d
a filling of red or w h i t e b e a n paste, g r o u n d s e s a m e , a l m o n d paste, or
v a r i o u s v e g e t a b l e s ( c h o p p e d fine), then s t e a m for 10 m i n s .

Jiaozi
1 lb tofu, 1 lb c a b b a g e - c h o p fine
3 T s e s a m e oil, 2 T s o y s a u c e , 1 T grated ginger, salt & p e p p e r
- add, m a s h , a n d m i x , then w r a p in skins, b o i l or fry

V e g e t a b l e Fritters
2 potatoes, 1 carrot, 2 zucchini, 1 s w e e t p o t a t o
- grate, r e m o v e m o i s t u r e
2 e g g s , 2 T flour, 1 T oil
- add, m i x well, fry on b o t h s i d e s in a b i t of oil

Fresh Spring Rolls


1 c g r a t e d carrot, 3 oz s n o w p e a s
—mix in I g b o w l
1 c rice vermicelli,
—boil V2 m i n , drain
2 T c o r i a n d e r , 2 T m i n t , Vi c p e a n u t s
- fresh, c h o p a n d a d d
1 2 rice p a p e r w r a p p e r s
- dip in water, soften; p u t 2 T of m i x p e r 1 w r a p p e r , w r a p a n d roll
Sauce
1 T sugar, Vi c w a r m w a t e r - m i x a n d d i s s o l v e
2 T fish s a u c e , Vi c l i m e j u i c e , 1 s m a l l chili, 1 T c o r i a n d e r - a d d a n d stir
Recipes / 1 7 7

Avocado Sashimi
I medium-sized avocado
- p e e l a n d cut into thin strips
I I s o y s a u c e w i t h a p i n c h o f wasabi ( h o r s e r a d i s h p a s t e )
- dip a n d eat

Chilled Tofu
1 c a k e fresh tofu, firm or soft
- drain, cut g e n t l y into cubes, a n d p l a c e in s e r v i n g d i s h
1 T ginger, daikon, shiso leaves, nori s e a w e e d , s e s a m e seeds, mejiso sprouts,
m i n t leaves, kinome l e a v e s
- select o n e or several, grate or c h o p fine, p l a c e on top
1 T s o y s a u c e , Vi t s e s a m e oil
- s p r i n k l e on top, s e r v e c o l d

Tofu-Avocado Paste
6 oz tofu, 1 a v o c a d o , 1 T l e m o n j u i c e , salt & p e p p e r
- m a s h tofu and a v o c a d o , a d d spice, s e r v e w i t h c r a c k e r s

Zucchini RoU-ups
3 small zucchini
- slice l e n g t h w i s e into thin strips, lightly fry in 1 T oil until soft
1 c tofu (or soft c h e e s e ) , c h o p p e d parsley, salt & p e p p e r
- m a s h into p a s t e
2 c spinach, Vi c basil
- p l a c e w i t h p a s t e on zucchini, roll up, a n d s e r v e

Eggplant and Miso


2 e g g p l a n t s , 2 T oil
- peel, cut into l o n g strips, lightly b r o w n in oil
1 T m i s o (any type), 11 s e s a m e oil, 11 s o y s a u c e , Vi t s u g a r
- m i x a n d s p r e a d o v e r e g g p l a n t slices, grill for 3 m i n s .

Miso-Sesame Paste
nd roll
5 T s e s a m e paste, 2 T m i s o , 1 p i c k l e d dill ( c h o p p e d fine), fresh h e r b s
- m i x together, s e r v e w i t h c r a c k e r s

id stir
178 / Recipes

S a l a d s are c o l d v e g e t a b l e s , either r a w o r s t e a m e d o r p i c k l e d , s e r v e d w i t h
fresh s e a s o n i n g s o r d r e s s i n g s and i n s o m e c a s e s w i t h s o m e form o f grain,
s u c h a s rice n o o d l e s . C h i n e s e traditional s a l a d s w o u l d b e m a d e u p
m o s t l y o f b l a n c h e d , c o o k e d , a n d o t h e r w i s e w a r m i n g foods, b u t W e s t e r n -
e r s also u s e m a n y r a w m a t e r i a l s , often on a b a s e of leafy g r e e n s . L i k e
appetizers and soups, salads can be both sides or main courses. They
h a v e c o o l i n g a n d m o i s t u r i z i n g p r o p e r t i e s a n d are p a r t i c u l a r l y g o o d i n
t h e s u m m e r and t o s u p p o r t yin qi. H o w e v e r , c a r e s h o u l d b e t a k e n n o t t o
overdo cooling or raw ingredients.

V e g e t a b l e s : Leafy, fresh g r e e n s , s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h o t h e r r a w v e g e t a -
b l e s p l u s v a r i o u s lightly c o o k e d a n d / o r p i c k l e d o n e s .

A l s o : Soft, light grains, s u c h as c o u s c o u s , rice n o o d l e s , pasta; c h e e s e s in


s m a l l a m o u n t s ; tofu, e s p e c i a l l y d e e p fried or grilled; n u t s in all forms;
s o m e fruit ( g r a p e s , p i n e a p p l e ) .

V e g e t a b l e s : C u t fine and p u t t o g e t h e r i n b o w l .

D r e s s i n g : O l i v e oil p l u s v i n e g a r (rice, b a l s a m i c , apple cider) o r l e m o n


j u i c e p l u s salt and p e p p e r form a b a s i c dressing; v a r i a t i o n s i n c l u d e addi-
t i o n s o f fruits o r c h e e s e s (raspberries, b l u e c h e e s e ) a s well a s c o n d i m e n t s
( m u s t a r d , s e s a m e , tahini).

C u c u m b e r and T o m a t o Salad
2 cucumbers, 1 tomato
- slice a n d p l a c e in b o w l
3 T rice v i n e g a r , 2 T water, 1 T s u g a r
- m i x to d i s s o l v e sugar, t h e n p o u r o v e r v e g e t a b l e s
Recipes / 1 7 9

Noodle Salad
2 c thin n o o d l e s (rice or g l a s s )
- boil, rinse, c o o l , a n d p l a c e in b o w l
1 c u c u m b e r , 1 fried e g g , Vi c s e a w e e d
- c u t fine a n d a d d
11 s e s a m e oil, 11 s u g a r , 3 T s o y s a u c e , 1 T v i n e g a r , p i n c h h o t m u s t a r d
- m i x , a d d to n o o d l e s a n d v e g e t a b l e s , stir w e l l

Grain Salad
2 c vegetable stock, 1 c grain (couscous, b u l g u r )
- b r i n g to b o i l , s i m m e r for 3 m i n s . , turn off a n d let s i t — d o n o t stir
3 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 red pepper
- c u t a n d dice, a d d to grain
1 b u n c h p a r s l e y , s o m e m i n t , 1 T l e m o n j u i c e , 1 T o l i v e oil, salt & p e p p e r
- cut, m i x , a n d a d d , g a r n i s h w i t h b l a c k o l i v e s

Zucchini and M u s h r o o m Salad


1 lb. z u c c h i n i , 1 red p e p p e r
- cut into thin s l i c e s or strips, lightly fry in 3 T oil
% lb m i x e d m u s h r o o m s
- s o a k if dried, t h e n c u t into thin strips, fry s e p a r a t e l y
2 T a p p l e c i d e r v i n e g a r , 3 T b a l s a m i c v i n e g a r , salt & p e p p e r
- m i x a n d p o u r o v e r c o o l e d v e g e t a b l e s , g a r n i s h with p a r s l e y

Seaweed Salad
Vi c s e a w e e d (ivakame or hijiki), 1 T oil, Vi c v e g e t a b l e b r o t h
- s o a k to softness (15 m i n s ) , drain, fry in oil, a d d b r o t h to s i m m e r
1 carrot
- grate, a d d to s e a w e e d for 10 m i n s .
1 T sugar, 2 T soy sauce
- mix and add to vegetables, garnish with s e s a m e

C a b b a g e Salad
3 c n a p a c a b b a g e , 1 c r e d c a b b a g e , 1 carrot, 4 oz w a t e r c h e s t n u t s
- s h r e d or g r a t e i n t o thin strips
2 t a n g e r i n e s (or 1 o r a n g e ) - peel a n d cut, a d d to c a b b a g e m i x
c r i c e v i n e g a r , 3 T s o y s a u c e , 1 t oil, 1 T b r o w n s u g a r , 1 t chili s a u c e , 11
s e s a m e oil, 1 1 m i n c e d g i n g e r
- m i x a n d p o u r o v e r salad, garnish w i t h t o a s t e d a l m o n d s
180 / Recipes

S o u p s are v e g e t a b l e s , m u s h r o o m s , and tofu s t e a m e d to softness and i m -


m e r s e d in flavored stock. L i k e a p p e t i z e r s a n d salads, s o u p s c a n be b o t h a
side dish or m a k e up a m e a l . Eaten m o s t l y w a r m and often i n c l u d i n g
root v e g e t a b l e s a n d spices, they t e n d t o h a v e w a r m i n g qualities, s u p p o r t
t h e y a n g aspect o f t h e organs, and a r e g o o d i n winter. S o m e , like m i s o ,
are p r e d o m i n a n t l y salty a n d s u p p o r t t h e k i d n e y s , also h e l p i n g t o e l i m i -
n a t e toxins from the b o d y . T h e n , again, there are c e r t a i n types, s u c h as
g a z p a c h o , w h i c h a r e e a t e n c o l d a n d s e r v e t o c o o l the s y s t e m a n d s u p p o r t
yin. T h e y t e n d t o b e favorites i n t h e w a r m e r m o n t h s .

Stock: S t o c k c a n b e m a d e from b o i l i n g v e g e t a b l e s w i t h v a r i o u s k i n d s o f
s e a s o n i n g s (see b e l o w ) o r s i m p l y b e a d d i n g s o y b e a n p a s t e t o t h e s o u p
I
after b o i l i n g . T h e latter i s m o s t c o m m o n l y available a s m i s o , w h i c h
originated in China but was uniquely developed in Japan. It is m a d e by
f e r m e n t i n g s o y b e a n s for s e v e r a l y e a r s in c e d a r k e g s w i t h a grain, s u c h as
rice, b a r l e y , o r b u c k w h e a t ( M i t c h e l l 1 9 9 8 , x x x i x ) . M i s o c o m e s i n v a r i o u s
different c o l o r s a n d intensities, from v e r y g e n t l e w h i t e m i s o t h r o u g h the
m o s t w i d e s p r e a d b r o w n variety, t o the rather i n t e n s e red o r d a r k paste.

V e g e t a b l e s : R o o t v e g e t a b l e s , s u c h a s carrots, parsnips, p o t a t o e s , radishes,


rutabaga, s w e e t p o t a t o e s , turnips, a n d y a m s ; leafy plants, i n c l u d i n g c a b -
b a g e , celery, qingcai, s p i n a c h .

B e a n s : R e d (adzuki), w h i t e , a n d b l a c k b e a n s ; k i d n e y b e a n s ; lentils i n vari-


o u s forms and c o l o r s —all s o a k e d o v e r n i g h t b e f o r e u s e ) .

T o f u : Of all types—fresh, dried, skin, m a r i n a t e d , d e e p fried (age), b u r -


gers, etc..

Also: V a r i o u s k i n d s o f m u s h r o o m s s u c h a s t h e s t a n d a r d w h i t e m u s h -
r o o m , t h e s t r i n g y hinoki, the r o u n d d a r k shiitake, the c h e w y mu'er - s o m e
found fresh, others b e t t e r in d r i e d form.
Recipes / 1 8 1

M u l t i p l e f o r m s of s e a w e e d , i n c l u d i n g the t h i c k and salty kombu, w h i c h is


great for s t o c k s a n d s h o u l d be cut fine; the slippery, light-green wakame
w h i c h is also g o o d in salads; a n d t h e s m a l l s m o k y - f l a v o r e d hijiki - all
a v a i l a b l e i n dried form a n d g r o w i n g t o u n e x p e c t e d p r o p o r t i o n s w h e n
s o a k e d i n water.

V e g e t a b l e s : Peel, cut, a n d s o a k r o o t v e g e t a b l e s — a l l o w a r o u n d 1 5 m i n s .
for s t e a m i n g ; leafy g r e e n s a n d softer v e g e t a b l e s as well as m u s h r o o m s
a n d soft s e a w e e d (not t o m i ' w ) — a d d later a n d c o o k o n l y briefly.

A l s o : B e a n s a n d dried g o o d s ( m u s h r o o m s , s e a w e e d ) —soak for several


h o u r s a n d c o o k s l o w l y a n d patiently, until v e r y well d o n e .

Vegetable Stock
4 Ig carrots, 2 Ig p a r s n i p s ( u n p e e l e d )
- c h o p a n d b a k e in oil (400") for 30 m i n s
a d d 5 c e l e r y sticks, 2 b a y leaves, 11 p e p p e r c o r n s , % gal w a t e r
- p u t all t o g e t h e r in large pot, boil, a n d s i m m e r for 1 hr, t h e n strain

Vegetable Soup
2 Ig potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 s m a l l celery, 2 ripe t o m a t o e s , 3 T m u s h r o o m s
- peel, cut into c u b e s , b o i l in 2 c water, t h e n s i m m e r w i t h 11 c u m i n ,
2 t soy sauce, j u i c e of Vi l e m o n , Vi t l e m o n zest, 11 sugar, 1 c g r a p e w i n e
- s i m m e r until v e g e t a b l e s are soft, t h i c k e n w i t h c o r n starch

Tofu-Cucumber Soup
1 T ginger (minced)
- fry in 1 T oil for 1 m i n .
4 m e d i u m dried shiitake ( s o a k e d a n d softened - k e e p s o a k i n g liquid), 2 Vi
oz b a m b o o s h o o t s ( c u b e d ) , Vi c u c u m b e r (sliced),
- a d d a n d stir fry for 2 m i n s .
4 c v e g e t a b l e stock, shiitake s o a k i n g liquid,
- add, b r i n g to boil, s k i m off froth
12 oz tofu, salt & p e p p e r ,
- a d d a n d t h i c k e n with 11 c o r n s t a r c h ( d i s s o l v e d in w a t e r )
2 t rice vinegar, Vi t s e s a m e oil
- a d d a n d stir
182 / Recipes

Miso Soup
V2 c m u s h r o o m s ( a n y k i n d ) , Vi c tofu (fresh), 1 T s e a w e e d {kombu or zva-
kame, s o a k e d a n d cut)
- b o i l in 1 pint w a t e r until soft
1 T m i s o p a s t e (any k i n d )
- a d d after w a t e r h a s s t o p p e d b o i l i n g by p u t t i n g t h r o u g h a strainer

Squash Soup
1 2 - p o u n d b u t t e r n u t s q u a s h ( peeled, s eeded, a n d cut into 1-inch c u b e s )
- fry in 1 T oil until softened (5 m i n s . )
6 c v e g e t a b l e broth, 2 T curry p o w d e r
- a d d a n d boil, t h e n s i m m e r until t e n d e r
2 T honey

- a d d a n d p u t in b l e n d e r , p u r e e , taste w i t h salt, g a r n i s h with y o g u r t

Tofu-Seaweed Soup
6 oz soft tofu, 1 3 / 4 oz dried wakame, 3 Vi c v e g e t a b l e stock, 2 t s o y s a u c e
- h e a t in s a u c e p a n , b r i n g to b o i l , s i m m e r for 1 m i n .

Carrot and Orange Soup


1 lb c a r r o t s
- p e e l and slice, t h e n fry in 1 T b u t t e r until soft
Vi c o r a n g e j u i c e , 4 c veg. stock, 3 t t h y m e , salt & p e p p e r
- s i m m e r for 2 0 m i n s , g a r n i s h w i t h s o u r c r e a m a n d b i t o f n u t m e g

Gazpacho
3 t o m a t o e s , Vi c u c u m b e r , Vi g r e e n p e p p e r , Vi red p e p p e r
- c h o p fine
3.5 c t o m a t o j u i c e , Vi t sugar, salt & p e p p e r , Vi c olive oil, 11 v i n e g a r
- m i x , stir well, a n d s e r v e
Recipes / 1 8 3

5. Stea/^ OHcC 'Tt<KfM,e

S t e w s or n o o d l e s o u p s a r e different from s o u p s s i n c e t h e y c o n t a i n a large


a m o u n t o f grains; t h e y are different from m a i n d i s h e s , c o m m o n l y
s t e a m e d or stir-fried, in that t h e y are s e r v e d in s o u p or stock. S t e w s a n d
n o o d l e s o u p s a r e e a s y t o m a k e and r e a d y t o serve, c o m m o n l y found i n
h o m e s , restaurants, a n d street stalls all o v e r A s i a . W a r m i n g in q u a l i t y
a n d s u p p o r t i n g t h e m i d d l e w i t h their h e a v y e m p h a s i s o n grain, t h e y
m a k e e x c e l l e n t l u n c h e s and are also a favorite for breakfast.

G r a i n s / n o o d l e s : T h e m a i n grains u s e d i n s t e w s o r are rice, b a r l e y , and


m i l l e t — m a i n s t a y s i n ancient C h i n a . N o o d l e s c o m e i n m a n y different
forms. C l a s s i c s include: udon, soba, a n d ramen in J a p a n ; pho and bun in
V i e t n a m ; mian i n C h i n a . B e s i d e s i n s o u p , n o o d l e s m a y also b e s e r v e d
w i t h a d i p p i n g sauce, s u c h as for e x a m p l e J a p a n e s e c o l d b u c k w h e a t
n o o d l e s (zaru-soba), or V i e t n a m e s e rice n o o d l e s (buncha).

V e g e t a b l e s : S t e w s t e n d to favor root v e g e t a b l e s , s u c h as carrots, turnips,


a n d p o t a t o e s ; n o o d l e s o u p s u s u a l l y h a v e leafy g r e e n s , s u c h as qingcai,
b o k c h o y , and s p i n a c h a s well a s lighter v e g e t a b l e s s u c h a s b e a n sprouts,
w a t e r chestnuts, a n d b a m b o o ; p l u s v a r i o u s k i n d s o f m u s h r o o m s , sea-
w e e d , and tofu.

G r a i n s / n o o d l e s : T h e y c o m e i n m a n y k i n d s w i t h different c o o k i n g t i m e s
r a n g i n g from 2 to 20 mins., in e a c h c a s e specified on the p a c k a g e .

B r o t h / s a u c e : C o m m o n l y c o n s i s t s o f v e g e t a b l e stock, s o y s a u c e , a n d c o o k -
i n g w i n e (mirin o r sherry), p l u s m a y b e s u g a r a n d v i n e g a r .
184/Recipes

T o p p i n g : V e g e t a b l e s , m u s h r o o m s , a n d tofu a r e s t e a m e d o r fried s e p a -
rately, t h e n a d d e d a n d , in the c a s e of s t e w s , s i m m e r e d t o g e t h e r for a p e -
riod. C o m b i n a t i o n s are e n d l e s s a n d all v e r y tasty.

Home-made Noodles
1 egg, 5 T water, 2 c flour
- b e a t e g g w i t h water, a d d m i x t u r e to flour, stir a n d k n e a d for 5
m i n s . , then c o v e r w i t h d a m p cloth a n d let sit for hr in a d r y p l a c e
1 c c o r n starch, p l a c e d in c l e a n cloth, tied at t h e t o p
- roll d o u g h o u t a n d flour w i t h c o r n s t a r c h on b o t h sides, t h e n c u t
i n t o thin strips, b o i l in w a t e r

B a m b o o Noodles
Vi lb e g g n o o d l e s
- c o o k as specified or (if h o m e m a d e ) for 3-5 m i n s .
Vi c c r u m b l e d tofu b u r g e r , 11 sherry, 11 c o r n starch
- m i x , fry for 1 m i n
Vi c b a m b o o s h o o t s , Vi c dried b l a c k m u s h r o o m ( s o a k e d ) , 2 C n a p a
- c u t fine, a d d to stir-fry a n d c o o k until soft
6 c v e g e t a b l e stock, salt & p e p p e r
- a d d a n d b r i n g t o boil, t h e n a d d n o o d l e s , b o i l o n c e m o r e briefly

Bean Stew
1 c e a c h : red, w h i t e , a n d b l a c k b e a n s
- s o a k o v e r n i g h t , t h e n b o i l a n d c o o k 2-3 h o u r s
1 c each: green, yellow, a n d b r o w n lentils; Vi c each: c o m m e a l , millet,
l e m o n p e e l ; 2 T b r o w n sugar, 3 T s o y s a u c e
- a d d a n d b o i l t o g e t h e r for 1 h o u r

Seaweed Udon
1 package udon
- p r e p a r e as p r e s c r i b e d on p a c k a g e (if p r e c o o k e d , j u s t p u t in w a t e r
and heat gently)
1 T s e a w e e d ( s o a k e d ) , 2 s h i i t a k e m u s h r o o m s ( s o a k e d ) , Ic fresh or d e e p -
fried tofu ( c u b e d ) ; 2 T s o y s a u c e
- a d d to n o o d l e s , i n c l u d i n g s o a k w a t e r , b o i l b r i e f l y
Recipes / 1 8 5

M a i n d i s h e s i n t h e D a o i s t w o r l d tend t o b e stir-fried o r s t e a m e d v e g e t a -
bles, tofu, or m u s h r o o m s (each of w h i c h h a v e a separate v o l u m e in t h e
W u d a n g D a o i s t s ' c o l l e c t i o n ) , s e a s o n e d v a r i a b l y a n d s e r v e d w i t h rice,
n o o d l e s , b r e a d , or s t e a m e d b r e a d (mantou). In addition, W e s t e r n v e g e -
tarians also favor t e m p e h , an I n d o n e s i a n form of f e r m e n t e d s o y b e a n s .
T h e grain b a s e o f the m a i n d i s h e s a g a i n i s s w e e t i n flavor a n d w a r m i n g
in energy, s u p p o r t i n g t h e m i d d l e . B e y o n d that, t h e q u a l i t y of specific
d i s h e s d e p e n d s largely o n individual v e g e t a b l e s used, a l t h o u g h c o o k i n g
in either form t e n d s to alter t h e m in favor of w a r m i n g . M o r e salty d i s h e s
e n h a n c e the k i d n e y s ; m o r e s p i c y d i s h e s s u p p o r t the l u n g s ; m o r e s o u r
flavors w o r k for the liver; w h i l e bitter flavors aid the heart.

R i c e : T h e C h i n e s e today, i n c l u d i n g also D a o i s t s in t e m p l e s , still u s e


d o m i n a n t l y w h i t e rice. T h e J a p a n e s e h a v e g r a d u a t e d to a m i x e d form,
either c o o k i n g p a r t s o f w h i t e a n d b r o w n rice (and also b e a n s ) t o g e t h e r o r
h a v i n g their rice partially p o l i s h e d i n s p e c i a l i z e d rice s h o p s . W e s t e r n e r s
tend to be in favor of b r o w n rice, w h i c h c o n t a i n s all t h e n u t r i e n t s and is
m o r e tasty in itself. In addition, there are b l a c k rice and v a r i o u s forms of
wild rice in c r e a t i v e c o m b i n a t i o n s , easily found in h e a l t h food stores.
Plus the s t i c k y rice favored for desserts a n d the rice c a k e s (mochi) eaten at
special o c c a s i o n s .

N o o d l e s : N o o d l e s c o m e in m a n y forms: udon, soba, and ramen in J a p a n ;


pho and bun in V i e t n a m ; mian in C h i n a , as well as t h e n u m e r o u s k i n d s of
pasta. S o m e t a k e l o n g e r t o c o o k t h a n others, s o m e are l o n g e r a n d thicker
t h a n others, s o m e a r e b e t t e r for certain d i s h e s t h a n others. T h e r e is e n d -
less c h o i c e a n d limitless delight.

V e g e t a b l e s : A v o c a d o , b a m b o o , b e a n sprouts, b o k c h o y , b r o c c o l i , c a b -
b a g e , carrots, cauliflower, celery, c u c u m b e r , eggplant, e n d i v e s , k o h l r a b i .
186 / Recipes

lettuce, lotus root, m o u n t a i n v e g e t a b l e s , qingcai, spinach, s w e e t potato,


tomato, yams.

A l s o : Tofu of all types—fresh, dried, skin, m a r i n a t e d , d e e p fried (age),


b u r g e r s , a n d so on; m u s h r o o m s in their great variety; s e a w e e d s a n d nuts.

G r a i n s / N o o d l e s : C o o k a s specified o n t h e p a c k a g e .

V e g e t a b l e s : C u t a n d stir-fry o r s t e a m .

B r e a d : D a o i s t s in c e r t a i n parts of C h i n a s e r v e a flat b r e a d n o t u n l i k e p i t a
w i t h their m e a l s . F r e s h from t h e o v e n a n d v e r y tasty, it offers w e l c o m e
r e s p i t e for W e s t e r n g u e s t s w h o are c r a v i n g s o m e t h i n g n o n - C h i n e s e for a
c h a n g e . B r e a d s c a n be p u r c h a s e d easily or m a d e from scratch, either in a
b a k i n g p a n o r w i t h the h e l p o f a b r e a d m a k e r . I f m a k i n g t h e m , m a k e s u r e
to u s e s e e d s , s u c h as s e s a m e , flaxseeds, w h e a t g e r m , a n d t h e like for
a d d e d taste a n d nutritional v a l u e .

S t e a m e d B u n s (mantou): S t e a m e d b u n s , b e s i d e s b e i n g u s e d as a staple
w i t h m a i n dishes, also m a k e a great appetizer. T h e y a r e f o u n d frozen in
A s i a n food stores o r c a n b e m a d e from scratch. S e e t h e r e c i p e u n d e r
"Appetizers" above.

T e m p e h : T e m p e h i s o n e o f t h e m o s t n u t r i t i o u s s o y foods. D e v e l o p e d i n
I n d o n e s i a a n d n o w a v a i l a b l e w o r l d - w i d e , i t i s m a d e from w h o l e s o y -
b e a n s that are c o o k e d a n d fermented, t h e n m i x e d w i t h rice, millet, o r
b a r l e y a n d f o r m e d into a c a k e , e a c h with a slightly different flavor, b u t
g e n e r a l l y s o m e w h a t s m o k y o r n u t t y ( M i t c h e l l 1 9 9 8 , xxxiii). I t i s h i g h l y
versatile. C u t into strips or c u b e s , it c a n be sauteed, b a k e d , grilled, or
b r a i s e d as w e l l as m a r i n a t e d and u s e d in salads.

Bean Sprouts and Tofu


1 p a c k a g e firm tofu - b r o w n in 2 T oil
I lb b e a n s p r o u t s
- a d d to stir fry for 2 m i n s .
II sugar, 2 T s o y s a u c e , 1 c w a t e r
- m i x a n d a d d to v e g e t a b l e s , s i m m e r for 6-8 m i n s
11 s e s a m e oil - a d d to g a r n i s h
Recipes / 1 8 7

Sweet and Sour Noodles


2 0 0 g (6 Vi o z ) thin n o o d l e s
- b o i l and drain
4 fresh b a b y corn, 1 g r e e n p e p p e r , 1 red p e p p e r , 2 cel er y sticks, 1 carrot,
2 5 0 g (8 oz) m u s h r o o m s
- cut and fry in V4 c oil, a d d n o o d l e s , s i m m e r for 2 m i n s
2 t c o r n flour, 2 T v i n e g a r
- b l e n d until s m o o t h
1 T t o m a t o paste, 1 c v e g e t a b l e stock, 11 s e s a m e oil, 2 c c u b e d p i n e a p p l e
- a d d a n d stir, then p o u r o v e r stir fry

Tofu, Celery, and Carrots


1 l a r g e carrot, 1 stalk celery, 2 T oil, Vi t g i n g e r
- cut and c u b e , fry in oil w i t h g i n g e r for 3 m i n s .
1 p a c k a g e firm tofu, 1 c m u s h r o o m s (of a n y k i n d )
- c u b e a n d a d d to v e g e t a b l e s , s i m m e r for 3 m i n s .
m u s h r o o m s o a k i n g water, 2 T s o y s a u c e , 11 c o r n starch
—mix together, a d d to dish, m i x , s i m m e r to t h i c k e n

Celery and Walnuts


2 c c h o p p e d celer y
- fry in 2 T oil
V2 c w a l n u t s (lightly roasted), 1 T soy s a u c e , salt & p e p p e r
- add, stir, a n d s e r v e

Spinach and Sesame


2 c spinach, c l e a n e d , cut
- s t e a m for 2 m i n s .
1 t s e s a m e , 11 s o y s a u c e
- p l a c e o v e r spinach, s e r v e

Winter Squash
1 lb w i n t e r squash, 2 T oil
- peel, r e m o v e seeds, cut into thick slices, fry in oil for 2 m i n s .
V2 c a n b a m b o o s h o o t s (sliced), Vi t sugar, 1 c b a m b o o w a t e r
- add, boil, s i m m e r for 3 m i n s .
2 T s o y sauce, 11 cornstarch, V2 c w a t e r
- m i x , add, s i m m e r until thickens, g a r n i s h w i t h gouji b e r r i e s
188 / Recipes

Five Phases Vegetables


2 c each: s p i n a c h , carrots, daikon, m u s h r o o m s , b e a n s p r o u t s
- cut and c o o k Hghtly w i t h b i t s of s o y s a u c e , s e s a m e , or salt
- p l a c e into four c o r n e r s & c e n t e r of plate, s e p a r a t e w i t h c u c u m b e r

Coconut Curry Sauce


3 T p e a n u t butter, 1 T hoisin s a u c e , 1/3 c c o c o n u t milk, 2 T l i m e j u i c e , 1 T
s w e e t chili s a u c e
- b l e n d until s m o o t h , s e r v e o v e r stir-fried v e g e t a b l e s

Family-Style Tofu
2 c deep-fried or firm tofu, 1 c a r r o t (julienned), 1 T g i n g e r (grated)
- c o o k in oil separately, e a c h t a k i n g turns, t h e n m i x t o g e t h e r
1 g r e e n p e p p e r , 1 c w a t e r c h e s t n u t s , 1 c b a m b o o shoots, 1 c m u s h r o o m s
(soaked)
- cut into b i t e - s i z e bits, heat, s i m m e r for 2 m i n s .
Vi c m u s h r o o m water, 2 T s o y s a u c e , 11 c o r n s t a r c h
- m i x a n d add, b o i l to thicken, g a r n i s h w i t h cilantro

Pineapple Fried Rice


3 c c o o k e d rice, 2 T oil
- fry rice in p a n
Vi c d i c e d p i n e a p p l e , 1 c d i c e d red p e p p e r , v a r i o u s left-over c o o k e d v e g e -
t a b l e s (cut fine)
- a d d to rice a n d fry for 3-4 m i n s .
1 T s o y sauce, salt &c p e p p e r
- a d d to taste, s e r v e in p i n e a p p l e h a l f if a v a i l a b l e

Beijing-sauce Noodles
1 lb thin spaghetti or e g g n o o d l e s
- c o o k e d as the p a c k a g e p r e s c r i b e s
1 c c r u m b l e d tofu b u r g e r , 11 c o o k i n g w i n e , 1 c b r o w n or red m i s o , Vi c
water, 1 T h o i s i n s a u c e , 2 T s o y s a u c e
- fry in 1 T oil, b e g i n n i n g w i t h tofu, t h e n s i m m e r in w a t e r 2 m i n s .
Vi daikon, Vi c u c u m b e r (peeled), 1 c b e a n sprouts, 1 C b o i l e d s p i n a c h
- s h r e d or cut fine, p l a c e on top of n o o d l e s a n d s a u c e
Recipes / 1 8 9

D e s s e r t s are light a n d often s w e e t d i s h e s s e r v e d a t the c o n c l u s i o n o f t h e


m e a l . I n C h i n a , t h e y are m o s t often s i m p l y fruit, n o t a b l y t h e u b i q u i t o u s
w a t e r m e l o n w h i c h signals the —often direly y e a r n e d - f o r — e n d o f the
b a n q u e t . D a o i s t s tend t o s e r v e c o m p o t e s , n o t u n l i k e the s t e a m e d p e a r s
and apples mentioned above under "Cooked Cereals," which have both
a w a r m i n g a n d m o i s t u r i z i n g effect a n d a r e t h u s i d e a l at t h e e n d of t h e
m e a l . W e s t e r n e r s i n addition like t o eat c a k e s a n d p u d d i n g s , w h i c h are
b e c o m i n g m o r e w i d e l y a v a i l a b l e all o v e r A s i a .

F r u i t s : A p p l e s , b a n a n a s , c h e r r i e s , c h e s t n u t s , c o c o n u t , dates, figs, g r a p e s ,
kiwis, m a n g o e s , o r a n g e s , p a p a y a , p e a c h e s , pears, p i n e a p p l e , p l u m s ,
strawberries

A l s o : H o n e y , sugar; p u d d i n g s , w h i p p e d c r e a m ; p a s t r y d o u g h .

F r u i t s : P e e l a n d cut, e i t h e r for stuffing or into b i t e - s i z e p i e c e s ; g r a t e for


b a k i n g ; a d d s w e e t e n e r s , spices, c r e m e s , a n d p u d d i n g s .

Stuffed P e a r s o r A p p l e s
4 pears/apples
- peel, c u t off top to m a k e lid, r e m o v e s e e d s
1 T h o n e y , 1 T crystal sugar, 1 T s t i c k y r i c e ( s o a k e d o v e r n i g h t ) + 2 T gin-
s e n g p o w d e r OR 1 T c h o p p e d a l m o n d s
- m i x a n d p l a c e inside pears, c o v e r w i t h lid, s t e a m 45 m i n s
190 / Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 c p e a n u t butter, 1 c b r o w n sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. b a k i n g s o d a , c h o c o l a t e
chips
- m i x , s p r e a d on c o o k i e sheet, b a k e 8-10 m i n u t e s at 350°.

Fruit Salad with Almond Paste


1 each: b a n a n a , a p p l e , pear, o r a n g e , p l u s s o m e g r a p e s
- p e e l a n d c h o p , p l a c e in b o w l
2 T a l m o n d b u t t e r , Vi t v a n i l l a p o w d e r , 11 c i n n a m o n , little h o n e y , w a t e r
- m i x t o g e t h e r i n t o s m o o t h c r e m e , s p r e a d o v e r fruit

Apple Crisp
Vi c oat flakes, Vi c sugar, Vi c flour, Vi t c i n n a m o n
- c o m b i n e , a d d Vi c soft b u t t e r a n d c r u m b l e
6 c apples, 1 c c r a n b e r r i e s , 1 c b l u e b e r r i e s , 1 T flour
- cut into c u b e s m i x in b a k i n g p a n , c o v e r w i t h c r u m b l e
- b a k e for 55 m i n s . ® 350''F

Carrot Cake
2 c flour, 1 c sugar, 1 T b a k i n g p o w d e r
- stir in b o w l
4 e g g s , 3 c g r a t e d carrots, % c oil, % dried fruit, 1 T g r a t e d g i n g e r
- m i x in other b o w l , t h e n a d d to dry i n g r e d i e n t s
- b a k e for 35 m i n s @ 3 5 0 ° F , a d d frosting of c r e a m c h e e s e & n u t s

Coconut Pudding
9 c fresh g r a t e d c o c o n u t , 3 c ( c o c o n u t ) w a t e r
- m i x , b r i n g to b o i l , let sit for 15 m i n s . , s q u e e z e to gain 4 Vi c liquid
Vi c c o r n s t a r c h , Vi c s u g a r
- m i x i n t o liquid t o m a k e s m o o t h paste, k e e p stirring until t h i c k e n s ,
I
p o u r into 8-inch p a n a n d cool, c u t i n t o s q u a r e s
Recipes / 1 9 1

H e r b a l d r i n k s o r t i s a n e s are c o n c o c t i o n s o f v a r i o u s flowers, fruits, g r a i n s ,


a n d v e g e t a b l e s b o i l e d in w a t e r singly or in c o m b i n a t i o n s to c r e a t e a tasty,
refreshing, a n d m e d i c i n a l d r i n k that c a n b e t a k e n a t all t i m e s d u r i n g d a y
or night. D a o i s t s are v e r y fond of tea in all its f o r m s (white, green, b l a c k )
a n d also enjoy it flavored w i t h v a r i o u s h e r b s a n d flowers. In addition,
t h e y also favor d r i n k s m a d e from a v a r i e t y of p l a n t s like c h r y s a n t h e -
m u m s , licorice, ginger, g i n s e n g , radish, b a r l e y , a n d s o y b e a n s . E a s y t o
m a k e a n d q u i t e tasty, t h e s e d r i n k s are a n efficient w a y o f b a l a n c i n g t h e
h u m o r s , h e l p w i t h v a r i o u s c o n d i t i o n s , a n d c a n b e m a t c h e d successfully
w i t h all sorts of food c o m b i n a t i o n s .

Grains/Beans: Barley, peas, soybeans, wheat.

A l s o : C a r r o t s , c h r y s a n t h e m u m , d a n d e l i o n , dates, figs, ginger, litchis,


d r a g o n fruit, radish, t o m a t o e s , t a n g e r i n e peel, w a t e r m e l o n .

Cooked: Soak grains and beans before cooking to reduce preparation


t i m e , t h e n m i x w i t h v a r i o u s ingredients, b o i l i n water, s i m m e r for a b o u t
20 mins., then strain a n d drink.

R a w : S q u e e z e j u i c e from fruit o r v e g e t a b l e , c o m b i n e i n c u p , a n d thin


with water if needed.

G i n g e r - B a r l e y M i x (slightly c o o l i n g ; g o o d for k i d n e y , b l a d d e r b l o c k a g e s )
I c h e r r y - s i z e d p i e c e of g i n g e r (peeled, c u t in l a r g e slices), Vi c b a r l e y
- b o i l in w a t e r for 40 m i n s . , strain, s w e e t e n w i t h h o n e y

G i n g e r - T a n g e r i n e M i x (settles the s t o m a c h )
I I fresh g i n g e r (peeled a n d cut i n thin slices), 1 1 dried t a n g e r i n e p e e l
192 / Recipes

- b o i l in 1 q u a r t of water, then s i m m e r for 30 mins., a n d strain, a d d


h o n e y t o taste
C o r i a n d e r - P e a D e c o c t (stabilizes the s t o m a c h , r e d u c e s d a m p n e s s )
Vi c dried, g r e e n p e a s ( s o a k e d for 2-3 h o u r s ) , 1 b u n c h fresh c o r i a n d e r
(leaf a n d root)
- boil in 1.5 c w a t e r , s i m m e r for 1 hour, then p u r e e in b l e n d e r , strain
j u i c e , add s o m e v e g e t a b l e s t o c k t o taste

W h e a t & D a t e D r i n k (sweet and c a l m i n g , g o o d for heart, s p l e e n )


3 T r o u g h g r o u n d w h o l e w h e a t , 10 C h i n e s e dates, IT d r a g o n fruit
(chopped)
- b o i l in 1 q u a r t of water, then s i m m e r for 20 mins., strain

C o r i a n d e r - C a r r o t D e c o c t (cooling, sweet, g o o d for c o u g h , d i g e s t i o n )


2 T (carrots (sliced), 2 T w a t e r c h e s t n u t s ( c a n n e d , c h o p p e d )
- b o i l in 1 Vi c w a t e r , s i m m e r for 2 0 - 3 0 m i n s
2 T coriander greens
- a d d , let sit for 10 m i n s , t h e n p u r e e in b l e n d e r , a d d v e g e t a b l e
s t o c k / s o y s a u c e o r h o n e y for taste

F i g T e a ( i n v i g o r a t i n g & c a l m i n g , s u p p o r t s the c e n t e r )
1 T dried figs, c h o p p e d a n d slightly b r o w e d (no oil)
- s o a k in b o i l i n g water, a d d a bit of h o n e y , d r i n k

G i n g e r T e a ( w a r m i n g , g o o d for c o l d s & u p s e t s t o m a c h )
1 T fresh g i n g e r ( p e e l e d a n d cut in thin slices), 11 b r o w n s u g a r
- b o i l in 1 pint of water, strain

T o m a t o - W a t e r m e l o n J u i c e ( c o o l s a n d r e d u c e s infections)
S e v e r a l t o m a t o e s , s o m e slices o f w a t e r m e l o n
- r u n t h r o u g h b l e n d e r a n d strain or u s e j u i c e r , a d d w a t e r to taste

R a d i s h J u i c e (cools a n d r e d u c e s p h l e g m )
1 s m a l l w h i t e r a d i s h (daikon), p e e l e d
—run t h r o u g h j u i c e r

C e l e r y J u i c e (cool, sinking: r e d u c e s b l o o d p r e s s u r e , h e a d a c h e , agitation)


1 stalk celery, c h o p p e d
—run t h r o u g h j u i c e r
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Animal products: anchovies, 25; beef, 35; chicken, 35, 59, 60; clams, 24; crabs,
24, 25, 35; dairy, 28, 55; dog, 35; eggs, 20, 28, 41, 60; fish, 25, 35, 38, 54-55;
fox meat, 44; game, 25, 35, 38, 41, 59; goat, 28; horse meat, 38, 81; liver,
58, 60; meat, 25, 28-29, 54, 72, 79, 86,129; milk, 28, 36, 42, 94; mussels, 25;
mutton, 25, 28, 38, 45; pheasant, 35; pork, 28, 35, 38, 44, 68; poultry, 25,
28, 38, 54, 59, 79; puffer fish, 44; rabbit, 41-42; seafood, 28-30, 38, 59;
shellfish, 35; shrimps, 60, 65; squid, 68; tiger, 35, 47; yogurt, 31, 42, 60
Body: blood, 28, 52-53, 57, 60, 119; digestion, 11, 53-54; emotions, 5, 7, 78, 154;
essence, 3,119, 160, 165; five exertions, 152; fluids, 53; grain-iy;, 25; inten-
tion, 120; channels, 41, 54-60; pulse, 119; c\i in, 1-3, 4-5, 17, 40, 118-119,
154, 164-166; as 51-53; primordial qi, 4, 11; saliva, 136, 160, 164, 166-
167; senses, 8, 42, 153; seven injuries, 152; souls, 74, 119-122, 138; spirit, 2,
7, 117-118, 138, 165; will, 120; wind in, 26; yin-yang, 59, 118-120, 135
Body locations: bladder, 59; elixir fields, 139, 159, 164-165; Gate of Destiny,
164; heart, 57-58, 68, 120; intestines, 27, 58; kidneys, 40, 43, 47, 58-59,120,
137; liver, 59-60; lungs, 31, 55-57, 137; mouth, 164; Niwan, 164; Ocean of
Qi, 4, 7; organs, 7, 27, 43, 50, 52-53, 119-120, 151, 161-162; sexual organs,
161; spleen, 42, 53-55, 120; stomach, 31, 47, 55, 120, 137, 153; Triple
Heater, 130,151, 153-154, 156
Daoists: 11, 72; Cui Yezi, 146; Du Ziwei, 92; Ge Hong, 9, 113, 147; Gu Chun,
91; Han Zhong, 92; Heshang gong, 118, 121; Hu Fuchen, 131; Kou Qian-
zhi, 104; Maonii, 91-92; Master Blue Ox, 1; Master Ning, 138; Min Yide,
112; Nanyang Wen, 92; Pengzu, 8; Ren Ziji, 92; Sima Chengzhen, 115,
130, 137; Sun Simiao, 6, 29, 46-47, 133, 135; Wang Changyue, 77; Wangzi
Qiao, 137; Yimenzi, 92; Yin Yin, 115; Yu Jiang, 91; Zhao Daoyi, 146; Zhao
Qu, 93; Zhao Tuozi, 92; Zizhong, 93
Drinks: alcohol, 41-42, 60, 61, 72, 86-88, 154, 156; herbal, 191-192; juice, 130;
soy milk, 173; tea, 31-32, 37, 74, 89-90, 98,102; water, 43, 5 9 , 1 3 0 , 1 4 6 , 148,
160; wine, 24-25, 68, 98, 102, 106
Dyasties: antiquity, 35, 94; Han, 3, 21, 34, 35, 87, 100; Ming, 38-39; Mongol, 38;
Neolithic, 94; Shang, 1; Song, 37, 80, 103; Tang, 36, 86; Zhou, 18,100-101
Food (general): avoidances, 9, 11, 43-46, 78, 83-84, 152-153, 156; and body
parts, 83; characteristics, 17, 50-51; cooling, 28; eating modes, 129; fla-
vors, 22-23, 54, 89, 153, 157, 164; for spleen, 54-55; groups, 10-12, 18, 25-
29; macrobiotics, 73-75: measurements for, 145; monastic, 74-75, 86-87;
movement of, 23-24; preparation, 18, 27, 29-30, 75-76, 135, 171-192; pres-
ervation, 34, 36, 44, 74; properties, 19-20; qualities, 74; raw, 23-24, 93-94;
and seasons, 74, 90: temperature 17-20. 23-24, 26, 28 42, 51, 55; therapy,
13, 40, 50-52, yaaim: warming V

2l^
210/Index

Foods (specific): appetizers, 175-177; binding agents, 135; breakfast, 31, 152;
broth, 152, 183-184; caffeinated, 32, 41, 57-58, 61, 89; chocolate, 57; com-
binations, 9 , 1 3 ; compote, 67, 173; curry, 22, 188; desserts, 189-90; dinner,
31, 67; dumplings, 175, 176; ice cream, 42; jiaozi, 176; main dishes, 29-30,
185; miso, 177, 181; oil, 95; pancakes, 172; poisonous, 43; salads, 30-31,
178-179; shi (relish), 36; soup stock, 181; soups, 27, 30-31, 43, 74, 180-182;
spicy, 57; spring rolls, 176; stews, 30-31, 43, 183-184; sweet, 32; Western,
39; yeast (starter), 87
Fruits, 25, 27-28, 36, 58, 68, 102, 172-173, 189; apples, 20, 23-24, 60, 174, 189,
1 9 0 ; : apricots, 19, 24, 36, 44, 60; bananas, 19, 22, 24, 36; cherries, 19, 22,
24, 36; citrus, 23, 30, 36, 60, 191; coconut, 19, 188, 189; crabapple, 36; figs,
192; grapefruit, 23, 24; grapes, 36, 59, 87; kiwi, 60; mallows, 134, 35-36,
93, 132; mango, 23, 60; melons, 22, 35; papaya, 20; peaches, 60; pears, 23,
28, 36, 60, 174, 189; persimmon, 91; pineapple, 19, 60, 188; plums, 19, 23,
36, 60; pomegranate, 36; raisins, 36; rhubarb, 36; star fruit, 24, 60; wa-
termelon, 19, 68, 192
Goals: healing, 1-3, 5; immortality, 1-3, 5, 13, 91-93, 122, 157, 163; levels, 72-73;
longevity, 1-3, 5, 76, 147, 151-152,165
Gods: 97; as administrators, 99; Amitabha, 114; Bluefaced Vajrapani, 125;
Deathbringers, see Three Worms; demoi«, 107, 122; Department of Des-
tiny, 124; Great One, 100; Heavenly Worthies, 110-111; immortals, 91; in
heaven, 141; Lord Lao, 104-105; Nine Worms, 124; Northern Dipper, 100;
nourishing of. 111; offerings to, 102; Three Ones, 110, 123, 126-127, 164-
165; Three Primes, 100, 104, 106; Three Pure Ones, 102; Three Treasures,
114; Three Worms, 118,123-126,138-139, 164; of Water, Earth, Stove, 128
Grains, 12, 20, 25-26, 35, 42, 102,164, 172-173, 183-184,191; barley, 19, 35, 129,
191; for bigu, 148; ; bread, 36, 152, 173-173, 186; cakes, 36, 102, 173; com,
174, 187; flour, 36; mantou, 176, 185, 186; millet, 35, 59, 84, 134; noodles,
36, 178, 183-184, 185, 187; porridge, 24, 29, 43, 67, 129, 153, 172; rice, 25,
35, 37, 74, 84, 9 8 , 1 0 9 , 1 2 9 , 134, 153,185; salad, 179; sorghum, 37; tempeh,
185,186; tofu, 19, 36, 68, 8 2 , 1 7 5 , 1 7 7 , 1 8 0 , 1 8 6 , 1 8 8 ; wheat, 4 0 , 1 3 4 , 1 9 2
Herbs: 2-3, 10, 18, 29, 40, 91-93, 172; aconite, 91; angelica, 91; aphrodisiac, 86;
asparagus root, 133, 147; atractylis, 133, 146; birthwort, 133; calamus, 91;
cattail, 35; cedar, 91; chili, 22; cilantro, 39; cinnabar, 91; cinnamon, 22, 25,
41, 91; citrus peel, 91; cloves, 22; coriander, 36, 192; deer antlers, 91; deer
bamboo, 134; digitalis, 125; fagara, 37; in formulas, 3, 11-12, 132-134,
145-149, 157-158;/ii/i'n^, 133, 145; garlic, 27, 35, 44 57, 85; ginger, 24, 27,
30, 35, 41, 57, 130, 191; hematite, 91; honey, 22, 24, 37, 145, 147; jade
bamboo, 134, 146-147; knotgrass, 134; lacquer, 125; lotus root, 91; lycium,
134; mallow seeds, 1 4 9 ; ; mica, 91; parsley, 22, 36; pepper, 24, 37, 41, 47;
peppercorns, 129, 154, 156; peppermint, 22; pine, 91, 134, 145; salpeter,
91; sesame, 36, 91, 134,147, 187; sesame oil, 24; soy sauce, 59,129; spices.
29, 37, 42, 58, 73: sugar 5 . ; - J i . " - ? : r x s c e ".^4 t - m i f c :-4r i-rssEa:
23, 25; worniwood, 35: ve-llc'.* esS«ercsL l " -
Lifestyle: awe and care, 6; death. 1 1~ ?4. ; :S6. St f r i i r '
geography, 3, lS-19; life CYCX \R Z'l V.-IS a - t ~ 3xai&
76; moderation, L 6-9, 43: orgar^ nl- p : s > i ^ - - - - -
pregnancy, 9, 41; regulatior^s. 77: >ev ~~ 111
stress, 6, 61, 67; vegetarianism 15 4- ~ ^ f l -3—»t ••—jt^ >—— ''Z.
walking, 31; see also Society
Medical conditions: ailments, 152; and bigu, 131. 154-'.?? i s c r r r ^
teria, 90; cancer, 85; cases, 65-68; chronic, 2; cold, 54, 5^ cc ccrjcrs. I r l
criteria, 64-65; dampness, 28, 64; depletion, 5, 67; diabetes 4-j ^' - _
nosis, 51, 61-68; digestion, 42, 54, 58, 84, 90, 60; elimination OT
ergy, 63-64; excess, 5, 22; fever, 84; headache, 84; hearing, 59; heanburr.
24; heat, 58; hypertension, 40; menopause, 67-68; enses, 60; obesit}-, 40;
in organs, 24; and pulse, 62-63, 66, 68; respiration, 55; sexual, 59; s k i a 55;
stomach, 161; sweats, 55, 5 8 ; ; symptoms, 45-46; and temperature, 64-65;
tongue, 3 1 , 61-62, 66; toxins, 153; tumors, 90; urination, 59, 84; vision, 60;
western, 1; wind, 55-56, 63; and Worms, 125-126; yeast infections, 85;
yin-yang, 65, 68
Minerals 73, 91-93; see Herbs
Methods: acupuncture, 2, 18, 66; bigu, 3 , 1 3 , 73,114-115, 118, 131-132, 159-162;
breathing, 2-4, 73, 1 2 9 , 1 3 5 - 1 3 8 , 1 5 0 , 1 5 7 - 1 5 8 , 1 6 0 - 1 6 1 ; daoyin, 2-3; drugs,
10; drum, 136, 150; eating, 151; embryo respiration, 12; exercise prepara-
tion, 145-149; fasting, 34; Feng Shui, 75 ; Five Sprouts, 139-140, 166;
kitchen meditation, 113-116; massages, 2-3; meditation, 73; nonaction,
165; oblivion, 116; posture, 159; (ji-absorption, 113, 118, 135, 163 qi-
balancing, 156; (^/-guiding, 132-133, 137-138, 150-15L 159-162; qi-
ingestion, 135-138; qigong, 2; reverting essence, 138; sexual, 2, 3-4, 40;
Six Breaths, 12, 153, 155, 162 ; swallowing saliva, 139, 150; visualization,
110,113-115, 118, 121, 137-139, 159, 163
Nuts: 36, 41, 60, 67, 95, 172-173; almonds, 36, 189; chestnuts, 221; walnuts, 25,
59, 93,187; peanuts, 24, 35, 39, 65; seeds, 36, 60
Places: Africa, 39; Baiyun guan, 77; Beijing, 77, 90; Boston, 73; Central Asia,
36, 85; Champa, 37; Chongqing, 90; Egypt, 79; Europe, 39; Fergana, 87;
Greece, 79, 93; Guangzhou, 90; Hangzhou, 37, 90; Hong Kong , 40; India,
36, 79-80, 81; Japan, 81; Kaifeng, 37; Mexico, 39; Mongolia, 85; Mount
Hua, 92; Persia, 37; Portugal, 84; Qingzhi yuan, 90; Ramsgate, 79; San
Francisco, 73; Shaolong guan, 90; Siberia, 85; South East Asia, 81; Spain,
84; Tibet, 81; \'ietnam, 37; Yunnan, 90
People: Chu Wenzi, 92; Confucius, 44; Cui Hao, 1 0 5 ; ; Devadatta, 81; Dogen,
75; Epimenides, 93: Hu Sihui, 38: Hua Tuo, 123; Jia Ming, 38; Li Shizhen,
39; Liang Wudi, SI: Lu ^ a 59; Polo, Marco, 37; Porphyry, 82; Pythago-
212/Index

ras, 79-80; Wang Chong, 123; Xi Kang, 7; Zhang Qian, 35; Zhang Rong,
91; Zhang Zhan, 8
Religions: Buddhism, 80-82, 99, 114; Hinduism, 99 Islam, 38; Zen, 75
Ritual: audience, 98, 100-101; ceremony, 103-104; death, 98; eating utensils
for, 109, 111; fast, 97, 99; feast, 96-97, 99, 105; festivals, 48-49; food in, 12,
44, 72, 74-75, 77, 81-83, 96; incantations, 96, 110, 111, 114; jiao, 98, 100,
103-104; kitchen-feast, 98, 104-108, 108, 133; and liminality, 109; meals,
108-112, 116; and merit, 110; modern, 108; offerings, 98, 101-102; oratory
for, 159; procedures, 109; puja, 101; purgation, 100, 103, 108-109; purifi-
cation, 97, 99-100, 108; repentance. 111; sacrifice, 97-98, 102; services, 101;
speech. 111; Summoning the Soul, 119; and talismans, 102, 113; thanks-
giving, 97; timing of, 124; vigil, 125; wormifuge, 123, 125; zhai in terms,
99; see also purification
Scholars: Aikawa, Herman, 73; Anderson, Eugene, 40; Bircher-Benner,
Maximilian, 94 Douglas, Mary, 33; Freeman, Michael, 37; Gennep, Ar-
nold von, 96; Ishizuka, Sagen, 73; Jackowicz, Stephen, 140-141; Kushi,
Michio, 73; Mather, Richard, 81; Porter, Bill, 93; Robinet, Isabelle, 140;
Spencer, Colin, 94; Turner, Victor, 97; Yoshioka, Yoshitoyo, 112
Schools: Celestial Masters, 72, 105-107, 128; Complete Perfection, 77, 112;
Highest Clarity, 47-48,113; Numinous Treasure, 88, 100
Society:, 33-34, 96; assemblies, 107-108; avoidances, 38, 128-129, 156; beef ta-
boo, 38, 80; and bigu, 155-156; canrubalism, 34, 82; Daoists in, 11, 32, 71-
72; and death, 108; emperor, 34; fast food, 49; festivals, 106-107; hermits,
72-73, 128-129; immortals, 73; modernity, 39-40; parents, 101-102; pre-
cepts, 79, 86, 88, 112, 128-129; prehistory, 93-94; regulations, 78; restau-
rants, 40; theocracy, 104-105; Vegetarian Society, 79; vegetarianism, 72;
Westem diet, 40; women, 78
Theory: astrology, 84; Dao, 1-3, 160, 164; oneness with, 76; elements, 17;
emptiness, 165; five directions, 114,140; five phases, 17, 20-23, 32, 54-60,
89; harmony, 115-116, 162; Heaven and Earth, 72, 74, 118-119; hells, 82;
karma and rebirth, 81-82, 86, 88-89; liminality, 96-97; Middle Way, 81;
peace, 115; virtue, 58; yin-yang, 17-21, 25, 31, 40, 43, 51, 73-74,165
Timing: 114, 121, 128-129, 139; calendar, 34-35, 47-48, 83, 159, 161; Eight
Nodes, 100; fast days, 99, 131-132, 153; hours, 31, 163; rounds, 151, 161;
seasons, 3,19, 46-49; years, 141,157,166
Texts: Badijing, 75; Bala-pandita-sutta, 82; Baopuzi, 9, 92,113, 123-125, 132-133,
145 Baopuzi yangsheng lun, 7-8;; Baosheng jing, 120-121, 125-126; Baoying
jing, 88; Chajing, 89; Chuzhenjie, 77; Daode jing, 118, 140, 163; Daodian lun,
113; Daoji tuna jing, 130-131, 141; Daoxue keyi, 86-87, 89; Daoyin yangsheng
jing, 136, 137; Fanwang jing, 86; Fengdao kejie, 96, 108, 110; Fuqijingyi lun,
115, 130-131, 138-140; Fuzhai weiyi jing, 128; Guanshen dajie, 78; Guanxing
jing, 76; Heshang gong zhangju, 118, 120, 121; Huainanzi, 9, 100; Huangdi
neijing suwen, 10, 22, 55, 57, 58, 60, 119; Huangsu sishisi fangjing, 10;
Index 2 1 3

Huangting jing, 1 6 3 , 1 6 4 ; Huanzhen xianshengfu neiqi iuefa, 1 3 6 ; Ishinpd, 7;


jin'gui lu, 6 - 7 ; jinque dijun sanyuan zlienyijing, 1 2 7 ; Kongzi jiayu, 9; Laojun
shuo Yibai bashijie, 7 8 , 8 3 , 8 5 , 1 8 0 ; Laozi shuo Fashi jinjie jing, 1 1 , 4 4 , 7 4 - 7 5 ,
1 3 3 ; Laozi shuo Wuchu jing, 1 1 5 - 1 1 6 ; Liexian zhuan, 9 1 ; Liji, 1 0 0 , 1 0 1 ; Ling-
bao wufuxu, 1 3 3 - 1 3 4 , 1 3 8 - 1 3 9 , 1 4 5 - 1 4 8 ; Lingshu ziwen xianji, 4 7 - 4 8 , 8 3 ;
Lishi zhenxian tidao tongjian, 1 4 6 ; Lunheng, 1 2 3 ; Lunyu, 4 4 ; Liishi chuiu^iu,
9 8 ; manuscripts, 3, 3 4 , 1 1 7 ; Nil jindan, 7 8 ; of Highest Clarity, 1 6 3 ; Qianjin
fang, 1 2 5 , 1 3 3 , 1 3 5 ; Qianzhen ke, 7 5 , 8 9 , 1 0 8 ; Qimin yaoshu, 4 6 ; Qinggui
xuanmiao, 77,112; Quegu shiqi, 1 1 7 - 1 1 8 ; Riyue chushijing, 1 1 3 ; Sanchu jing,
1 1 4 ; Sandong zhunang, 1 0 , 7 1 - 7 2 , 1 3 1 ; Sanguo zhi, 1 2 3 ; Shangqing xiuxing
jingjue, 4 7 ; Shennong bencao jing, 1 3 2 - 1 3 3 ; Shenxian quegu shiqi, 1 5 9 - 1 6 2 ;
Shesheng zuanlu, 1 2 8 ; Sheyang lun, 4 6 - 4 7 ; S^/er shangpin quanjie, 8 8 ; S^i-
3 1 ; Shishi weiyi, 9 6 ; Shoulengyan jing, 8 6 ; Taichan shu, 4 1 ; Taijing
tiaoqi jing, 1 3 0 , 1 3 2 , 1 3 6 , 1 5 0 - 1 5 8 ; Taiping jing, 1 1 , 7 1 - 7 2 ; Taiqing fuqi kou-
jue, 1 2 9 ; Taiqing jing duangu fa, 1 3 2 , 1 3 3 , 1 3 5 , 1 4 5 - 1 4 9 ; Taishang Laojun
jiejing, 8 7 - 8 8 ; TA/WH xiansheng fuqi fa, 1 3 6 ; Tashang yangsheng taixi qi jing,
1 6 3 - 1 6 6 ; Tingchujing, 1 1 4 ; Weishu, 1 0 4 - 1 0 5 ; Wuchu jing qifa, 1 1 5 ; Wushier
bingfang, 1 0 ; Xianger Commentary, 1 0 4 ; Xiaoyou jing, 7; Xingchu jing, 1 1 3 ;
Xuandu lilwen, 1 0 6 - 1 0 7 , 1 1 7 ; Xuanmen dalun, 1 2 9 ; Yangsheng lun, 7; Yang-
sheng yaoji, 7 - 8 , 3 3 , 4 2 , 4 5 - 4 7 , 1 6 3 ; Yangxing yanming lu, 1, 7 - 8 , 1 7 , 4 3 , 5 0 ,
7 1 , 1 3 6 , 1 5 2 ; Yanlingjun lianqifa, 1 3 6 ; Yanling xiansheng ji xinjiu fuqi jing,
1 3 6 ; YflOATfw itey;, 7 4 - 7 5 , 8 9 , 9 9 - 1 0 0 ; r;;/?!^, 1 8 ; Ynzs/ifln zhengyao, 3 8 ; Yms//!
x»2^(, 3 8 ; Yinshu, 4 6 ; Yinyuan jing, 8 6 , 8 8 - 8 9 ; Yunji qiqian, 4 7 ; Yunji qiqian,
4 7 , 1 1 5 , 1 2 9 , 1 3 1 , 1 3 6 , 1 5 9 ; Yunzhong yinsong xinke jiejing, 1 0 5 ; Zhen'gao,
4 7 ; Zhengyi weiyi jing, 1 0 8 ; Zhenzhong ji, 6 , 4 7 ; Z?!o«^ benqi jing, 1 1 3 - 1 1 4 ;
Zhongjijie, 7 8 ; Zhuangzi, 1 1 3 , 1 1 7
Vegetables; 2 6 - 2 7 , 1 0 9 , 1 7 2 - 1 7 3 , 1 7 8 - 1 7 9 , 1 8 5 ; alfalfa, 3 6 ; asparagus, 3 6 ; avo-
cadoes, 6 8 , 1 7 7 ; bamboo, 3 5 , 1 8 4 ; bean sprouts, 1 4 8 , 1 8 6 , 1 8 8 ; beans, 2 0 ,
2 6 , 3 5 , 4 2 , 5 5 , 6 0 , 6 5 , 7 4 , 1 8 4 , 1 9 1 ; beets, 2 7 ; cabbage, 2 0 , 2 7 , 3 5 , 5 4 , 1 7 9 ;
carrots, 2 0 , 2 7 , 3 9 , 5 4 , 1 8 2 , 1 8 7 , 1 8 9 , 1 9 2 ; celery, 1 9 , 2 4 , 3 6 , 5 8 , 6 5 , 1 8 1 , 1 8 7 ,
1 9 2 ; chicory, 5 8 ; chives, 2 2 ; cucumbers, 1 9 , 2 4 , 2 7 , 3 6 , 4 4 , 1 7 9 , 1 8 2 ; dande-
lion, 2 7 , 5 8 ; eggplant, 1 9 , 2 7 , 3 9 , 4 4 , 1 7 7 ; fennel, 2 7 , 5 7 , 5 9 ; five strong, 8 4 -
8 7 ; gourds, 3 5 ; hemp, 3 5 ; hops, 2 3 ; kale, 2 7 ; leeks, 2 4 , 3 5 , 4 2 , 5 9 , 8 5 ; leg-
umes, 2 6 ; lettuce, 1 9 , 2 3 , 2 4 , 2 7 , 3 5 , 5 8 ; lotus, 3 5 ; maize, 3 9 ; mushrooms,
1 2 , 1 9 , 1 7 9 , 1 8 0 , 1 8 1 , 1 8 8 ; nasturtiums, 3 6 ; okra, 3 9 ; olives, 2 4 , 3 6 ; onions,
2 5 - 2 6 , 3 6 , 5 7 , 8 4 , 1 3 0 ; palm, 3 6 ; peas, 3 6 , 1 9 2 ; peppers, 2 4 , 5 7 , 1 8 2 , 1 8 7 ;
pickles, 2 3 , 7 4 , 1 7 2 ; potatoes, 2 4 , 2 7 , 3 9 , 5 4 , 1 8 1 ; pumpkins, 1 9 , 2 7 ; radish,

2 3 , 2 7 , 5 7 , 1 8 8 , 1 9 2 ; roots, 2 7 ; rutabaga, 2 7 ; scallions, 2 2 , 3 0 , 3 5 , 8 4 - 8 5 ;


seaweed, 2 4 - 2 5 , 2 7 , 3 6 , 6 8 , 74, 1 7 9 , 1 8 2 , 184; shallot, 3 6 , 8 5 ; soy beans, 3 5 ,
4 1 , 4 2 , 6 0 , 1 3 4 ; spinach, 2 4 , 2 7 , 4 1 , 187, 1 8 8 ; sprouts, 2 4 ; squash, 2 4 , 2 7 , 5 4 ,
1 8 1 , 1 8 7 ; string beans, 2 2 ; S\siss chard, 2 7 ; taro, 3 5 ; tomatoes, 1 9 , 2 4 , 2 7 ,
3 9 , 4 1 , 6 8 , 1 7 9 , 1 8 1 , 1 8 2 , 1 9 2 : tvimips, 2 7 , 3 5 ; fritters, 1 7 6 ; water chestnuts,
2 4 , 3 5 , 6 5 ; yams, 3 5 , 3 9 ; zucchini, 2 7 , 1 7 7 , 1 7