|Fig. 1. Entrance to the Baiyun guan|
(Click to enlarge this and the other pictures)
The Baiyun guan (Abbey of the White Clouds, fig. 1) in Beijing is one of the most important Taoist monasteries in China. A Taoist temple already existed here in the mid-8th century, but the present site originally dates from around 1200. From the 17th century, the abbey has been the seat of Quanzhen (Complete Reality), the main Taoist lineage in northern China.
|Fig. 2. The Neijing tu stele|
The Baiyun guan preserves the original stele of the Neijing tu (fig. 2). The stele, dating from 1886, is encased in the outer walls of one of the buildings of the abbey. It measures about 120cm in height and 50cm in width.
|Fig. 3. Lower Cinnabar Field|
|Fig. 4. Middle Cinnabar Field|
|Fig. 5. Upper Cinnabar Field|
The three main sections of the Neijing tu represent the three main stages of the Neidan practice. The Internal Elixir is generated in the lower Cinnabar Field, is nourished in the middle Cinnabar Field, and is achieved in the upper Cinnabar Field.
Pictures taken at the Baiyun guan in Beijing on September 22, 2012.