New Book Release
Red Pellet, Golden Bones-Poetry on the Formation of the Elixir Qi by Taoist Master Lü Dongbin
Translation and Commentary by Jill Gonet
This selection of Lü Dongbin’s poems on the art of Taoist internal cultivation and the formation of the Elixir presents two of the Master’s instructional poetry sequences, as well as a third selection of his poems on the general subject of cultivation. One of the eight legendary Taoist immortals, Master Lü Dongbin was born in 796 C.E. in the province of Shanxi, during the Tang dynasty.
Scholars, dedicated cultivators of the Tao, and those who are both, will find within these poems the trail of returning to the source. The reality that emerges throughout the stages of cultivating the Elixir Qi is both spiritual and of the physical body, and in this, these extraordinary poems are like mirrors reflecting the Master’s experience of the union of spirit and body, the nature of the task of the creation of the Elixir, and the phases of its formation. In the Lü Dongbin poems presented here, the Master is working with and through the body, and he focuses again and again on what is right there within the aspiring adept.
The poems in the current selection are presented with clarity and directness, and the glosses shed significant light on the coded language and symbolism within the poems. Ms. Gonet’s translations and commentary offer the modern Western reader and Taoist practitioner a valuable window into the most central ideas and experiences involved in the processes and phases of creating the Internal Elixir, bringing the art of Taoist cultivation into the hands of modern-day cultivators of the Tao and practitioners of the Taoist arts. Many of these poems deserve to be used as meditation scriptures, for their terms and images resonate in a holy and responsive manner within the being. Ms. Gonet’s translation does an impressive job, and provides the reader with excellent English equivalents that impart much of the same meaning and feeling as the original.