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Emergency Death Meditations for Internal Alchemists

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An "emergency death meditation" is a psychic technique performed by a religious adept who has yet to attain the desired level of perfection but faces imminent death. This essay examines a few Daoist examples of such techniques endorsed in late Tang or early Song internal alchemical texts, such as the Taibai huandan pian, Zhen longhu jiuxian jing, and Dongyuanzi neidan jue. These texts describe emergency death meditation methods whereby the practitioner hopes to "enter the womb", "change the dwelling", "repel the killer demons" or "flee the numbers". The intended result is that the Spirit either transfers to another womb or body (in the cases of "entering a womb" and "changing the dwelling") or manages to stay on in its accustomed body (in the cases of "expelling the killer demons" and "fleeing the numbers"). In either case, the adept hopes subsequently to resume training and persevere in it until the Spirit is rendered pure yang and the loftiest mode of immortality is attained. The essay also discusses the intriguing parallels and possible connections between these emergency death meditations (especially "entering the womb") and those taught and practiced in Tantric Buddhist circles. Une "méditation d'urgence au moment de la mort" est une technique psychique utilisée par un adepte n'ayant pas encore atteint le niveau désiré de perfection mais confronté à une mort imminente. Cet article examine quelques exemples taoïstes de telles techniques approuvées par des textes d' alchimie interne datant de la fin des Tang ou du début des Song, tels le Taibai huandan pian, le Zhen long – hu jiuxian jing et le Dongyuanzi neidan jue. Ces texts décrivent des méthodes de méditation d' urgence face à la mort grace auxquelles l'adepte espère "entrer dans l'utérus", "changer de résidence", "repousserles démons tueurs" ou "fuir les nombres". Le résultat attendu est soit que l'Esprit émigre vers un autre utérus ou un autre corps, soit (dans les cas "repousser les démons tueurs" et "fuir les nombres") qu'il réussisse à rester dans son corps habituel. Dans un cas comme dans l'autre l'adepte espère reprendre par la suite sa preparation et persévérer jusqu'à ce que son Esprit devienne pur yang et atteigne le niveau suprême d'immortalité. L'article aborde également les parallèles intéressants et les connexions possibles entre ces techniques de méditation d'urgence (en particulier "entrer dans l'utérus") et celles qui étaient enseignées et pratiquées dans les milieux du bouddhisme tantrique.


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