Examining relevant Daoist scriptures and records, this article traces the lineage relationship of Zhang Boduan (d. 1082) to his predecessors. His immediate teacher supposedly was Liu Haichan, based on whose teachings he compiled his main work, the Wuzhen pian
(Awakening to Perfection). First outlined by the Song scholar Lu Sicheng, the story was later expanded in various collections of immortals’ biographies. It is well known that the Southern School of internal alchemy (Golden Elixir) was constructed by Bai Yuchan and his disciples in the early 13th century. I show that this centers on the claim that Zhang Boduan, as Bai’s forerunner, received his teachings from Liu Haichan, a line that was then expanded to include the immortals Zhongli Quan and Lü Dongbin. I also suggest that the alchemical teaching of the Zhong-Lü tradition is particularly characterized by its emphasis on the dual cultivation of inner nature and life-destiny, focusing on the key concepts of clarity and stillness as well as nonaction, while centering on the reverted elixir of the golden fluid. The teaching matches the Daode jing
(Book of the Dao and Its Virtue) instructions to “empty the mind, fill the belly, weaken the will, and strengthen the bones” (ch. 3). This emphasis may well be the reason the Zhong-Lü tradition superseded the Twofold Mystery school flourishing in the Tang and rose to the fore.
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