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«Daniel Reid was born and educated in America and since 1973 has lived in Taiwan, where he has studied under numerous Tao masters and researched the ...»

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About the Author

Daniel Reid was born and educated in America and since 1973 has lived in Taiwan, where he has studied under numerous Tao masters and

researched the original Chinese sources. He has travelled extensively throughout Asia and written a number of travel guides to China and Taiwan.

He is also the author of Chinese Herbal Medicine (Shambala) which was hailed by the New York Times as “highly readable … a marvellous

introduction to the field of Chinese medicine”.

This book is dedicated to all spiritual descendants of the Plain Girl, East and West, and to Taoists everywhere, past and present.

Illustrated by Wendy Frost, Russel McClay, Chou Yun-yü Author’s and publishers’ note: This book is not intended to replace the advice of a trained health professional. If you know, or suspect, that you have a health problem, you should consult a health professional.

Fireside Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 1989 by Daniel Reid All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Originally published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster Ltd FIRESIDE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data Reid, Daniel P., 1948– The Tao of health, sex, and longevity.

“A Fireside book” Includes index.

1. Hygiene, Taoist. 2. Health. 3. Hygiene, Sexual.

I. Title.

RA781.R34 1989 613 89-10098 ISBN 0-671-64811-X ISBN-13: 978-1-4391-4807-5 eISBN-13: 978-1-4391-4807-5 Contents PREFACE


The Tao History of Taoism in China The Way and its Power’ The Parting of the Way The Tao Today Yin and Yang Complements of Yin and Yang The five elemental activities The dynamic duo today The Three Treasures Jing: the essence of life Chee: the energy of life Shen: the spirit of life The bridge of energy APPENDIX: Cast of Taoist Characters

–  –  –

Chapter 1: DIET AND NUTRITION Mother Nature’s Menu The Human Dietary Devolution Trophology: The Science of Food Combining Enzymes: The Culinary Spark of Life Eating Right for Health and Longevity Food as Medicine Diet and Mental Health APPENDIX I: Food Categories and Combination Chart APPENDIX II: Sample Menus for One Week APPENDIX II: Therapeutic Foods and Juices Chapter 2: FASTING AND EXCRETION The Colon: Sewer or Cesspool?

Fasting Plumbing Your Colon with Water The Seven-Day Fast and Colon-Cleansing Program Mini-Fasts and Semi-Fasts Excretion: ‘Squatters Do It Better’ Chapter 3: BREATHING The Science of Breathing The Neti Nasal Douche The Art of Breathing Basic Breathing Exercises Establishing a Regular Regimen A Bonanza of Breathing Benefits Chapter 4: EXERCISE The Hard Way versus the Soft Way The Martial Arts Warming Up Loosening and Stretching Long-Life Exercises Total Relaxation A Sample Regimen Chapter 5: TAOIST HEALING ARTS The Tao of Health and Disease The Five-fold Path to Natural Health Care The New Medicine PART II The Tao of Sex Chapter 6: THE TAO OF YIN AND YANG The Nature of Man and Woman The Way of Yin and Yang Foreplay, the Four Attainments, the Five Signs, the Five Desires, the Ten Indications and the Five Virtues The Great Libation of the ‘Three Peaks’ Semen Retention Tao is a Two-Way Street The Harmony of Yin and Yang The Tao Comes Westward Essence and Energy Hormones and Health Absorbing Essence and Storing Energy Chapter 7: EJACULATION CONTROL Regulating Ejaculation Frequency Mastering the Methods of ‘Contact without Leakage’ Learning How to ‘Lock the Gate’ The Orgasmic Upward Draw for Women Taoist Birth Control Summary Remarks Chapter 8: TAOIST BEDROOM ARTS The Thrust of the Matter Adopting Different Positions Artful Accessories Sex Therapy The Legend of the Goat Cupid’s Cornucopia Springtime in a Bottle PART III The Tao of Longevity Chapter 9: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON LONGEVITY Some Enlightening Examples of Longevity Comparative World Lifespans Today Fundamental Factors in Longevity Chapter 10: THE TAO OF NURTURING LIFE Pollution and Purification Cultivating the Three Treasures External Elixir Approach Internal Elixir Approach The Highway to Health and Longevity Chapter 11: ’SITTING STILL DOING NOTHING’ The Eight Stages of Internal Alchemy Meditation for Health and Longevity The Microcosmic Orbit The Macrocosmic Orbit Shen-hsien: The ‘Cosmic Astronauts’ Opening the Central Channel Death and Immortality




Tao is the primal power that forges all phenonoma in the universe, from the infinite to the infinitesimal. Invisible yet ever-present, Tao permeates the world with the very breath of life, and those who learn how to harmonize themselves with Tao may harness that power to enhance and prolong their own lives.

Though the principles of Tao were first formulated in words and symbols by the sages of ancient China about 5,000 years ago, Tao predates human civilization and transcends all boundries of space and time, race and culture, for Tao is the universal and enduring Way of Nature. But thanks to the wisdom and insight of the ancient sages who gave birth to the world’s oldest ongoing civilization, traditional Chinese culture evolved entirely around the fundamental framework of Tao, and today its principles still lie at the heart of all the classical Chinese arts, from philosophy to poetry, calligraphy to cooking, medicine to meditation.

Tao is more than just a philosophy of life. It’s a whole way of life, and the only way to realize practical benefits from Tao is to cultivate and practice it. This was the goal of the ancient Chinese sages, and fortunately they left us abundant records charting their progress along the Way. Today, the most enlightened practitioners of modern Western science are also approaching the Tao, but from the opposite direction, and they are arriving at precisely the same conclusions. This is most apparent in the fields of physics and medicine, where the mutable relationship between matter and energy, body and mind, is beginning to emerge. Still, while the conclusions are essentially identical, the poetic imagery and earthy allusions with which the Chinese sages elucidated the Tao and its power are far easier for the average man and woman to grasp than the complex technical jargon favored by modern Western scientists, and therefore it’s simpler to view the Tao through Chinese eyes.

This book focuses on three practical aspects of Tao which have always been of vital concern to men and women everywhere: health, sex and longevity. All three are intimately related, and together they form the foundation of human happiness in this world. The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with a lucid introduction to the basic principles of Tao, and to offer a practical program by which men and women everywhere may apply those principles and tap the power of Tao to enhance and prolong their lives.

Research for this book was done primarily from original Chinese sources, although certain English translations of various Chinese texts were also consulted. Except where otherwise indicated, translations from the Chinese are based upon my own interpretations of the materials. My rendering of passages from the TAO TEH CHING, however, closely follows the interpretation of the great English sinologist Arthur Waley, as recorded in his most excellent translation THE WAY AND ITS POWER. In addition, I wish to acknowledge the deep inspirations provided by the prolific writings of the late sinologist John Blofeld, as well as the pioneering work of R.H. van Gulik.

Supporting evidence from Western science was culled from various reference books, medical journals, health studies, magazines, and recent newspaper reports, most of which are cited in the text or listed among the Additional Recommended Reading provided in the Appendix. However, lest readers mistake this book for a mere recapitulation of existing materials East and West, I wish to attest that I have been practicing all the regimens introduced herein for many years and that this book is based as much on personal practical experience as scholarly research.

May this book provide all readers with abundant food for thought and sufficient fuel for practice on the Way to a long and healthy life!

DANIEL P. REID Phoenix Mountain Peitou, Taiwan October, 1988


The Tao

–  –  –

These mysterious words come from the beguiling, 5,000-word poem on Tao called Tao Teh Ching, written almost 2,500 years ago and traditionally attributed to Lao Tze, the ‘Old Sage’. The incisive insights contained in the terse verse of this enchanting book form a living fountain of wisdom that has brought comfort, advice and enlightenment to millions of people throughout the world. No other book on earth has been translated as widely and as frequently as Lao Tze’s Tao Teh Ching, and no book except the Bible has been translated as often into English. As of 1955, there were 100 different translations in print throughout the world, 90 in Western languages, 36 in English alone.

The actual date and authorship of the Tao Teh Ching remain, quite appropriately, obscure. However, it has been established with historical certainty, based on consistency of language and metrical structure, that it was composed sometime between the third and fifth centuries BC, and that it was the work of a single author. That a man named Lao Tze existed is also fairly certain, for there are records of such a man, also known as Lee Tan, Lao Tan and Lee Er, in charge of the Imperial Archives during that period. Disgusted by the political chaos and greed that marked his time, he retired from public life at an advanced age and rode off into the western mountains on the back of a buffalo. When he reached the final pass that marked the boundary of the empire, the passkeeper recognized the famous sage and pleaded with him to leave some sort of record of his teachings for posterity. Reluctantly, spontaneously, and with a wily sense of irony, Lao Tze paused on his pilgrimage into oblivion and swiftly

composed the Tao Teh Ching in 5,000 characters, with the following disclaimer in the first two lines:

The way that can be spoken is not the real Way The name that can be named is not the real Name.

Then, without uttering another word, he rode off into the mountains and was never heard from again.

Tao means ‘way’, teh means ‘power’, and ching means ‘book’ in the sense of an historical classic. So the title translates fully as ‘The Classic Book of the Way and Its Power’. This title was most likely added by later commentators, for Lao Tze had no more use for titles and names than he did for fame and fortune.

Lao Tze did not invent Taoism. Like Confucius, who gained access to the precious Imperial Archives through his meetings with Lao Tze, he simply claimed to recapitulate an ancient way of life that had prevailed in China 2,500 years before his own time, during the reign of the ‘Y ellow Emperor’ (Huang Ti) China’s founding father. Both Lao Tze and Confucius revered the Y ellow Emperor as the progenitor of Chinese civilization and acknowledged him as the foremost practitioner of the Way.

The Y ellow Emperor reigned over a loose confederation of Chinese tribes around 2700 BC. He is credited with having discovered the secret of immortality through the subtle blending of male and female essence during sexual intercourse and the transmutation of the resulting ‘elixir’ into pure energy and spirit. He kept a harem of 1,200 women with whom he coupled frequently according to the tenets of the ‘Tao of Yin and Yang’, and at the age of 111 he is said to have achieved immortality and ascended to heaven on the back of a dragon.

The Y ellow Emperor learned the Tao of Yin and Yang through discourse with his three chief advisors on sexual matters: the Plain Girl (Su Nü), the Mysterious Girl (Hsüan Nü), and the Rainbow Girl (Tsai Nü). Significantly, all three were female. Their conversations are recorded in The Classic of the Plain Girl (Su Nü Ching), a text that dates from the second or third century BC but records information that was already current in China for over 2,000 years. It provides a gold-mine of original material on ancient Taoist techniques in which sexual energy is skillfully utilized to bolster health and prolong life. This remarkably frank and factual book will be explored in detail in Chapter 6.

In addition to sexual yoga, the Y ellow Emperor was an avid student of herbal medicine, a field dominated entirely by Taoists in ancient China. His conversations with his chief medical advisor Chi Po are recorded in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Ti Nei Ching), which also dates from the third century BC. This book, which remains an indispensable text for students of traditional Chinese medicine, summarized all the medical knowledge handed down in China since the time of the Y ellow Emperor and clearly defined the fundamental Taoist principles that lie at the root of Chinese medical arts. Like the Plain Girl, Chi Po frequently reminded the Y ellow Emperor of the intimate relationship between health, sex and longevity, a unique and salient point that distinguishes Chinese medical theory from all others.

Huang Ti and Lao Tze were the only ancient sages to leave a record of Taoist thought prior to the era of intellectual ferment that followed Lao Tze’s disappearance. Therefore, Chinese historians often refer to Taoism as Huang Lao Tao, the ‘Way of the Y ellow Emperor and the Old Sage’.

But the simple word ‘Tao’ by itself suffices to conjure up in Chinese minds the entire edifice of natural philosophy that has guided Chinese civilization for 5,000 years.

Western scholars often refer to Taoism as one of the world’s major religions, but this is not entirely correct. To be sure, an organized church complete with its own ‘Taoist Pope’ did branch out from the mainstream of Taoist philosophy about 500 years after Lao Tze, but this church has little to do with the original Tao. To paraphrase Lao Tze, ‘the way that can be organized is not the real Way’. Indeed, the very idea of an organized church, frocked clergy and religious dogma runs completely contrary to Tao.

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