"Awakening to Reality" (Wuzhen pian) is one of the most important and best-known Taoist alchemical texts. Written in the eleventh century, it describes in a poetical form, and in a typically cryptic and allusive language, several facets of Neidan, or internal alchemy. This book presents the first part of the text, consisting of sixteen poems, which contain a concise but comprehensive exposition of Neidan. In addition to notes that intend to clarify the meaning of the more obscure points, the book also contains selections from a commentary dating from the late eighteenth century, which is distinguished by the use of a lucid and plain language.
About the Author
Fabrizio Pregadio has taught at different universities in Italy, Germany, the United States, and Canada. He is the author of Great Clarity: Daoism and Alchemy in Early Medieval China
(Stanford University Press, 2006) and the editor of The Encyclopedia of Taoism
(Routledge, 2008). In addition to his scholarly activities, he enjoys publishing translations of original texts on Taoism and Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan), unencumbered by academic formalities and addressed to a wider audience. These translations, published by Golden Elixir Press, include the Cantong qi
(Seal of the Unity of the Three); the Wuzhen pian
(Awakening to Reality); the Ruyao jing
(Mirror for Compounding the Medicine); the Yinfu jing
(Scripture of the Hidden Accordance); and Cultivating the Tao
, a work by the great Taoist master, Liu Yiming.