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The Jade Emperor's Mind Seal Classic: The Taoist Guide to Health, Longevity, and Immortality Revised & enlarged Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0892811359
ISBN-10: 0892811358
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Contains very good explanations of and information on Chinese Taoist concepts, principles, practices, and goals. It also provides useful tips for everyday health and pointers for accessing the mysteries of mysticism. Readers will be inspired to begin or renew their commitments for cultivating a fuller life.” (Master Mantak Chia, author of Taoist Cosmic Healing)

". . . this is an excellent book, well conceived to introduce Americans and other Westerners to some of the most difficult and obscure aspects of the Taoist imagination and consciousness." (Reg Little, New Dawn, Nov/Dec 2007)

From the Back Cover

TAOISM / QIGONG

“Contains very good explanations of and information on Chinese Taoist concepts, principles, practices, and goals. It also provides useful tips for everyday health and pointers for accessing the mysteries of mysticism. Readers will be inspired to begin or renew their commitments for cultivating a fuller life.”
--Master Mantak Chia, author of Taoist Cosmic Healing

Taoist principles state that we each possess within ourselves the medicine necessary to promote optimum health, prolong life, and even achieve immortality. Taoists view illness and death as the natural results of dissipating the Three Treasures--ching (sexual and physical energy), qi (breath and vital energy), and shen (spirit and mental energy). The secret science of restoring, gathering, and transforming these primal energies creates an internal Elixir of Immortality that reverses the effects of the aging process.

In The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic, Stuart Alve Olson presents new translations of three primary Taoist texts: “The Immortals,” from the Pao P’u Tzu by Ko Hung of the Sung dynasty--the first Taoist in ancient China to give a full personal account of his search for immortality; the first and only translation of the complete text of The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic, which has long been one of five important scriptures recited daily by Taoists of the Dragon Gate Sect; and a rare Dragon Gate treatise, “The Three Treasures of Immortality,” that defines the subjects of ching, qi, and shen. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Taoism, martial arts, and Chinese history and culture, the author accompanies his translations with extensive commentary that explains the historical context of the texts as well as demonstrates the practical applications of their teachings in contemporary life.

STUART ALVE OLSON has been a practicing Taoist for over thirty years and has studied with the famous Taoist master T. T. Liang (1900-2002). He lectures throughout the world and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Revised & enlarged edition (November 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892811358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892811359
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The translation of an ancient text and commentaries provided in this book bring forth some invaluable treasures for the attentive readers. Jade Emperor's "Mind Sealing Classic" is probably the most useful short manual of Taoist Alchemy I found after reading many, many books and pursuing the lineage Taoist teachings for years. Every sentence of this short text radiates the deep meaning, while the arrangement of the verses and the words within verses hide the precious internal structure. Olsen does a masterful work in its translation and commentary, opening the initial gate towards the pragmatic integration of the underlying wisdom.

There was obviously a lot of work and heart invested into this book. I am always very grateful when author provides the Chinese original for the old scriptures, as this immensely helps the serious study. I also fully enjoyed the first-hand experiences that author shared with us. The old saying that an ounce of practice is worth the tone of the theory is especially critical in the study of the secrets that mankind has been attempted to solve for millennia. In this domain there are no deterministic or fit-all solutions and so any sincere attempt to reveal the complex mysteries provides a precious new perspective.

It would be difficult to completely relate to all points some researcher would made, based on the own experience, or to fully agree with everything. For instance, I would argue against the author's point that Buddhism has higher moral aspirations than Taoism and would consider that their contribution to the world are just made in a different way and at the different stage of cultivation. However, there is no way for anybody to fully reflect deep and holistic, Pre-Heaven, Truths within the linear, Post-Heaven, timeline and terminology.
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This is a wonderful book written by an author with both a scholar's understanding of the origins these Taoists classics and a practitioner's insight that these are living growing Taos (paths), not meant to be slavishly copied. I especially applaud his recognition that practicing Taoist techniques with a motivational mindset from Mahayana Buddhism called Bodhichitta, results in a "warmer" type of personal growth then traditional Taoism. Historically, the highest attainments of Taoism were expressed by wild, solitary Taoist hermits with little interest in teaching or passing on their knowledge. Their writings were often intentionally obscure with personal instruction clarifying them nearly unobtainable. Buddhist adepts on the other hand with their commitment to help all sentient beings concentrated on developing clear and obtainable sutra teachings.

Most of the presently available modern Taoists texts come from those sects that combined teachings and philosophies from China's three treasures, Taoism, Ch'an Buddhism and Confucianism, such as the Complete Reality School. I think that Stuart Olson can be seen to be a continuation of these principles; namely that times, places, and conditions change, Taoist practices and teachings do as well, or they are not true Taoism.

You will find in this text the root instructions to begin or deepen a Taoist practice. The criticism that this is not practice manual doesn't follow because there are no practice manuals for Taoism, and there couldn't be. In the many paths of Taoism the practices of ritual, poetry, herbology or martial arts are as important as philosophical study. A Taoist Sage/Adept many practice all of these or none of them... Enjoy this text as if it is advice from a Taoist friend.
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In my opinion, this book should be one of the main pre-requisites to reading more advanced Taoist literature. Olson goes into in-depth explanation of some of the major, and most prominent terminology within Internal Alchemy schools of Taoism. A lot of the concepts within the Mind Seal Classic are mentioned in major Taoist texts (including some texts translated by Eva Wong,) making this an excellent reference point for any serious student of Taoism.

The book presents a translation of the Jade Emperor's Mind Seal Classic along with a phonetic version for those wishing to recite in Mandarin (if I am not mistaken,) instructions for recitation in front of a Jade Emperor shrine, an overview of the Jade emperor from a historical perspective, and in-depth commentary on each stanza of the Classic.

Being an author who spent his lifetime translating classical Chinese texts, as well as an apprentice to a well known Taoist master (Tung Tsang Liang,) Olson's views on the classic are very insightful and helpful to a beginner practitioner in the Taoist arts. The information within this book sheds light on a lot of vague concepts and terminology often times used in Taoist manuals, and will definitely serve as immense resource in understanding many of the seemingly obscure Taoist texts. A must have for any serious student and the curious alike.
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Dear reader, I am here as a living witness that what Sifu Olson shares with us is not only possible but wonderful beyond words. I have read, reread, studied, and most importantly practiced what Sifu Olson shares and instructs us in five of his books. His teachings along with personal instruction from my own Sifu have helped me achieve something extraordinary. Only time and karma will say if I get to experience true longevity. But right here, right now, the discovery of the energy is way beyond what I expected. These books are an extraordinary gift to us in the west. I am a living testimony that it works. Please don't get caught up in ego based judgment by comparing it with the what you have heard, or what you know. Listen to what he says, practice his instructions, and find an authentic instructor who has the gift. It takes will-power and discipline. You have to practice this with your fullest devotion, especially the meditation. But if you do... I am saying that you will no longer be an ordinary human being. Thank you Sifu Olson.
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