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The Manuals of Taoist Sexual Practise

Category: Books sutras and myths

 

The Manuals of Taoist Sexual Practise are, in essence, a group of five texts which are about sexual stimulation and how to use it to progress on the spiritual path

The texts were part of the Mawangdui finds of 1973/4 and have been translated by Thomas Cleary into English.

The first three – Ten Questions, Joining Yin and Yang and Talk on supreme Guidance for the World, deal with the practicalities of sexual stimulation and using it to both improve your health and progress spiritually.  The main themes are how to make love in the context of sexual stimulation, diet needed, exercises to help and the importance of sleep.

The last two – A course in Effectiveness and a Course in Guidance concentrate on the less physical and more mental aspects of improving your health and ability to progress spiritually using sexual stimulation techniques.  There is thus more emphasis on the removal of stress and living at peace, as well as ways of enhancing your friendships and social life.

 

Thomas Cleary – The Taoist Classics
‘The human body’ according to an old Taoist book ‘consists of vitality, energy and spirit’.  In Taoist health science, vitality, energy and spirit are called the Three Treasures and their care and cultivation are considered the basis of health, happiness and long life.
In simple terms, vitality refers to sexuality…………..
The Taoist alchemy of well-being is the science of combining these three elements in such a way as to maximise the benefits of natural potential, harmonising instinct, emotion and reason.
Within the broad spectrum of Taoist traditions, which include a very wide range of interests and studies, one of the earliest movements to emphasise conscious exercise of the connection between physical and emotional well-being is found in the so-called Huang-Lo school.
The name of this school is taken from the names of Huang Di, the legendary Yellow Emperor of the late middle third millennium BCE, to whom a lot of health and sex lore is attributed and Lao Tzu, the ‘Ancient Master’, legendary author of the work known as the De Dao Jing, later recast as Tao Te Ching.
Recent archaeological finds in China have unearthed hitherto unknown texts of this tradition, …. Showing the comprehensive scope of the Huang-Lao approach to physical and mental hygiene

 

Ten Questions

Ten Questions uses the format of a question and answer session between legendary rulers and Taoist adepts. 

It covers the ways in which one can prolong sexual intercourse, and the means by which one controls ejaculation. 

There are exercises in how to use breathing to help with this process and how the diet needs to be adjusted ‘sexy eating’ by adding milk, eggs, nuts, and red wine etc.  The role of sleep is discussed.

Joining Yin and Yang

 

Joining Yin and Yang describes sexual techniques and ‘the health benefits of blissful intercourse’.  It covers the importance of mood, sensitive foreplay, and thorough arousal.  The complete satisfaction of the female is given particular emphasis.

Thomas Cleary – The Taoist Classics
Whilst control of the male ejaculaton is considered essential, the forced methods later devised by Taoist sexologists for this purpose are not represented in this text, which instead implies a more general approach involving cultivation of attention, carefulness and pacing.

Talk on Supreme Guidance for the World

 Talk on Supreme Guidance for the World goes into more detail on the relationship between sex and health.  The emphasis is on physical and mental ‘energisation’ by using multiple complete acts of love without male ejaculation.

Thomas Cleary – The Taoist Classics
Numerous successive stages of physical and mental bliss are identified and described, and general outlines of sexual function and dysfunction are followed by recapitulation of techniques, methods and styles of sexual intercourse

Courses in effectiveness and guidance

 

Courses in effectiveness and guidance,  consisting of the two texts Course in Effectiveness and Course in Guidance, is a long lost version of the Tao Te Ching.

It is thus an interpretation of even older lore, but this version in the Huang-Lao tradition of Taoism is ‘more down to earth’ than the comparatively mystical interpretations of the wisdom of old in the Tao Te Ching.

The teachings are centred on the removal of a whole host of negative emotions – stress, anxiety, aggression – by those of serenity, calm, compassion and freedom.  By achieving this mental state, it improves both health and well-being, and also sexual practices.

Thomas Cleary – The Taoist Classics
Mental postures and contemplative exercises conducive to the elimination of toxic feelings and the development of therapeutic feelings are outlined throughout both courses of this revered text.

 

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