"The Secret of the Golden Flower" is a Chinese Taoist book about meditation, first was translated by Richard Wilhelm, a friend of Carl Jung. Jung wrote a forward and an appendix for the book.
The meditation technique described in the book is a straightforward, silent method; the book's description of meditation has been characterized as 'Zen with details'. The meditation technique, set forth in poetic language, reduces to a formula of sitting, breathing and contemplating. Sitting primarily relates to a straight posture. Breathing is described in detail, primarily in terms of the esoteric physiology of the path of "qi" (also known as "chi" or "ki"), or breath energy. The energy path associated with breathing has been described as similar to an internal wheel vertically aligned with the spine. When breathing is steady, the wheel turns forward, with breath energy rising in back and descending in front. Bad breathing habits (or bad posture, or even bad thoughts) may cause the wheel not to turn, or move backward, inhibiting the circulation of essential breath energy. In contemplation, one watches thoughts as they arise and recede.
The title is illustrated with eleven plates and four text illustrations.
Lü Dongbin (796 AD-1016 AD), is a legendary Chinese scholar and poet said to have lived during the Tang Dynasty. Whether he actually lived the two hundred and twenty years cannot be determined.
Elevated to the status of an immortal in the Chinese cultural sphere by Daoists, he is one of the most widely known of the group of deities known as the Eight Immortals. Lü is also a historical figure and mentioned in the official history book History of Song. He is widely considered to be one of the earliest masters of neidan, or internal alchemy. He is also depicted in art dressed as a scholar carrying a sword to dispel evil spirits.