A Cornucopia of Taoist Terms
What is qing gong (ching gung)? Answer: a martial arts technique for making the body incredibly light, by altering the distribution and flow of qi. (Think of the fighting scenes in Jet Li’s films “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or “Hero.”)
What are the Eight Principles? Answer: a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnostic framework which assesses the condition of a patient according to whether the condition they are presenting with is internal or external, hot or cold, excess or deficient, yin or yang.
What is Mud Pill? Answer: In the symbolic language of Inner Alchemy, this refers to the acupuncture point Bai Hui (GV20), located on the top of the head. It is equivalent to the Crown Chakra of Hindu Yogic systems, and is connected to the Big Dipper and the hypothalamus gland.
Who were the Fangshi? Answer: Han dynasty “magico-technicians” – traveling practitioners of alchemy and immortality, important in the historical development of Taoism.
These and many more Taoist Studies, Martial Arts, Inner Alchemy and Chinese Medical terms are defined in the glossaries linked to below ~ all of which are excellent, and fascinating to explore.
1. The Ascending Hall Taoist Temple offers a very nice glossary of Taoist Studies, Inner Alchemy & Chinese Medical Terms. Not exhaustive, but covers the essentials nicely.
2. For a glossary of basic Chinese Medical terms – e.g. Damp Heat, decoction, wei qi, Wind – look here.
3. What’s great about this Taoist Studies glossary is that the Chinese character, Pinyin and Wade-Giles transliterations, and English translation is included for each entry. This is the most academically oriented of the glossaries reviewed here.
4. For a glimpse into the more esoteric aspects of Inner Alchemy practice, have a look at Mantak Chia’s glossary of terms related to the Nei Jing Tu – a symbolic visual representation of the internal landscape of the Inner Alchemy practitioner.
Also extremely useful for navigating the terrain of this website is my own "Key Concepts" essay, which offers definitions as well as links to some of my more in-depth articles.