The Zhong-Lü System of Internal Alchemy
Any Questions/Comments?
Contact the publishes or webmaster on the "Contact" page.
The Zhong-Lü System of Internal Alchemy

Paperback $34.95, plus S&H PDF via email attachment $15

By Livia Kohn
270 Pages
May 2020
ISBN 978-1-931483-44-5


This exciting new work translates two 12th-century texts associated with the legendary immortals Zhongli Quan and Lü Dongbin, founders of the Zhong Lü tradition of internal alchemy. First, the Zhong-Lü chuandao ji, in dialogue format, outlines the cosmological parameters of the practice, then describes various methods of attainment. Second, the Lingbao bifa, assembling various revealed sources and commentaries, presents similar concepts and adds more specific practices.

In addition to the translations, The Zhong-Lü System provides a discussion in five chapters: Historical Unfolding, The Workings of the Universe, The Human Condition, Stages and Processes, and Key Practices. It makes both the underlying cosmology and the practical transformation accessible and understandable in plain, straightforward language. Beyond providing an in-depth understanding for modern practitioners, the work is essential for anyone concerned with Daoist history, cosmology, and internal alchemy.


In this book Livia Kohn provides an excellent and highly accessible translation of two major texts of internal alchemy. The Chuandao ji, which exprsses the fundamental tenets of of the whole of internal alchemy, explains the keys to understanding alchemical transmutations according to specific steps and methods that correspond to the mechanism of the universe and the processes of human life.The Lingbao bifa completes it, as it is written in a more symbolic language and outlines more practical details. The translations are preceded by Livia Kohn’s remarkable discussion, describing with simplicity and clarity the major conceptions of cosmology, transmutations systems and key practices. Making the system accessible to all, the book remedies a major gap in our understanding of internal alchemy, opening access to previously unexamined materials. It is likely to become an essential study for anyone interested in the history of inner alchemy and for any practitioner in Taoism.

—Catherine Despeux, INALCO, Paris

Livia Kohn’s book breaks new ground in presenting a state-of-the-art, full English translation of two influential classics of internal alchemy, with a thorough and insightful introduction. The latter draws amply upon the best primary sources, secondary scholarship, and testimony of contemporary practitioners. The book is a milestone in our understanding of this important tradition.

—Stephen Eskildsen, International Christian University, Tokyo