Wuyizidi's Martial Art Blog

Cultivate both the mind and the body


Daoists are famous for advocating xing ming shuang xiu (性命雙修). Xing here means soul, mind; ming refers to the physical body. Xing Ming Shuang Xiu means to develop/cultivate both the mind and the body. Amongst Chinese philosophies/religions, this is a distinctively Daoist approach.

To us humans, what is the worst thing, the one thing we all like to avoid – Death. The killer app of all religions is eternal life. For most religions, the approach is as follows:

So the body is but temporary vessel for the soul. Or as the Buddhists call it, the ‘dirty skin bag”. The implication for practice then is very clear, we should only concentrate on the soul, it’s the only thing that matters.

Daoists, who I like to think are the naughty rascals of world religion, have a completely different view. Their point is, your body is you too. So we need to cultivate it to prevent decay. Hence all the attempts at alchemy, elixirs, and more helpfully, qi gong (aka internal elixir) and other health practices. In other religions you don’t care if your body dies. Daoists don’t want the body to die to start with.