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Making TranscendentsAscetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China$
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Robert Ford Campany

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833336

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833336.001.0001

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The Transcendent’s Cultural Repertoire

The Transcendent’s Cultural Repertoire

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 2 The Transcendent’s Cultural Repertoire
Source:
Making Transcendents
Author(s):

Robert Ford Campany

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833336.003.0002

This chapter discusses the esoteric practices of transcendence-seekers, most of which were claimed to lengthen lifespan, and were not widely known since they were (allegedly at least) transmitted secretly from master to disciple. They included dietary restrictions (most notably “avoiding grains”) and the supplementation of the culturally ordinary diet with herbal or mineral substances, the intake, refinement, the circulation of qi in the body through breathing excercises, and the like. As a result of these self-cultivational regimens, adepts were repeatedly represented as being able to demonstrate the following physical capacities, such as: temporary invisibility, self-concealment, the ability to penetrate surfaces and walls, and the ability to remain underwater for long periods.

Keywords:   esoteric practices, transcendence-seeker, dietary restrictions, qi, adept, self-cultivational regimens

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