Wudang Daoists and Tea – Laozi and Yin Xi

Wenzhuo Liu

Chinese family has a tradition of serve tea to guests, regarding to the Daoist Scriptures, this tradition is from Daoism. In the Spring and Autumn period, when Laozi (Lao-tzu) left Hangu strategic pass, he asked the pass guard Yin Xi to welcome him at home and could serve him tea firstly “首献茗”, Laozi said, people who appreciate tea after eating, you are all on the same way, they should be all disciples of Daoism “食是茶者,皆汝之道徒也”. ——《道经·天皇至道太清玉册》

Yin Xi Cliff

Laozi was the first person who treated tea as the daoists’ hospitality and brought tea into daoist and Chinese traditional rites. Laozi left “Dao De 5000 Words” to Yin Xi, then Yin Xi lived in seclusion and cultivated himself with the 5000 words, he sorted all words out into the book, what we know as <Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching)>.

Yin Xi Cliff

Yin Xi wandered into Wudang mountains and decided to practice at the foot of the mountains under the San Tian Men cliff, which is called Yin Xi Cliff now. A book recorded, there were stone doors and stone chambers in Wudang mountians, according to legend, it is the place that Yin Xi had lived. “武当山有石门石室,相传云尹喜所居之地”——《南雍州记》When he would pass numerous difficulties and dangers, he could reach the peak of his own cultivation.

Down the cliff, people could find ravines, Qingyang Ravine and Niucao Ravine, which could be translated into Blue Goat and Cattle Stall Ravines, while Laozi was visiting Yinxi, Laozi’s blue cattle drank water there. Yin Xi was also known as the first Wudang daoist and written in <Wudang Mountain Annals>.

Laozi Chu Guan – Laozi rode a green ox to the west of Hangu pass

Wenzhuo Liu

Yin Xi was good at observing Qi and had the foundation of becoming an immortal. Seeing the purple spirit coming from the East, he knew that there must be a noble person coming. So he “swept the road for 40 Li” and saluted Laozi. Yin Xi was able to see the magical side of Laozi with his own eyes. Thanks to Yin Xi, when the old man on the green ox turned to the West 2500 years ago, he left <Tao Te Ching>, the most precious treasure for future generations.

Zi Qi Dong Lai – It is said that before Laozi passed Hangu pass, Yin Xi was glad to see purple Qi coming from the East and knew that there would be a sage passing through.

Wenzhuo Liu

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