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This guide to the spiritual landscape of Taoism not only introduces the important events in the history of Taoism, the sages who wrote the Taoist texts, and the various schools of Taoist thinking, but also gives the reader a feel for what it means to practice Taoism today.
The book is divided into three parts:
1. "The History of Taoism" traces the development of the tradition from the shamans of prehistoric China through the classical period (including the teachings of the famous sage Lao-tzu), the beginnings of Taoism as a religion, the rise of mystical and alchemical Taoism, and the synthesis of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
2. "Systems of Taoism" explores magical sects, divination practices, devotional ceremonies, internal alchemy, and the way of right action.
3. "Taoist Practices" discusses meditation, techniques of cultivating the body, and rites of purification, ceremony, and talismanic magic.
A comprehensive bibliography for further study completes this valuable reference work.