Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine

A Fourteenth-Century Work
on Taoist Internal Alchemy

By Wang Jie (?-ca. 1380)

Translated by Fabrizio Pregadio


Ruyao jing 入藥鏡

"Masters" Series, volume 1

104 pp.
Golden Elixir Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-9855475-0-9 (pbk)

Paperback, US$ 14.95 € 10.95 ● GBP 8.95 (list price)

The Ruyao jing (Mirror for Compounding the Medicine) is one of the best-known texts of Taoist Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. Written in the 10th century and attributed to Cui Xifan, it describes the foundations of Internal Alchemy in 20 short poems of four verses. Because of its symbolic and cryptic language, it has been subjected to different and sometimes conflicting interpretations.

This book contains the first complete translation of the Ruyao jing and of the commentary by Wang Jie, who lived in the 14th century. Wang Jie — also known as Wang Daoyuan and as Hunran zi (Master of the Inchoate) — was a second-generation disciple of the great Neidan master, Li Daochun. He explains each poem in light of his tradition, and his commentary is characterized by a strong connection between the doctrinal and the practical aspects of Neidan. The translator's notes provide details on the main technical terms and on the relation of this work to other important texts of Internal Alchemy, in particular the Cantong qi (Seal of the Unity of the Three) and the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality). The book is vol. 1 in the "Masters" series of Golden Elixir Press.

Original title: Ruyao jing zhujie 入藥鏡註解 (入藥鏡注解), or Cui gong Ruyao jing zhujie 崔公入藥鏡註解 (崔公入藥鏡注解), by Wang Jie 王玠 (Wang Daoyuan 王道淵, Hunran zi 渾然子)

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Readers' Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fabrizio Pregadio's works are models . . . of scholarship and translation and this is no exception. Simply the best in English and in terms of clarity I suspect in any language including Chinese (because these classical texts do require translation, explication and interpretation). (T.C. - Read the original review)


Introduction, p. vii
Translation, p. 1
Five Poems by Wang Jie, p. 65
Chinese Text, p. 69
Glossary of Chinese Characters, p. 83
Works Quoted, p. 89