Laozi (also Lao-Tzu /ˈlaʊˈdzʌ/ or Lao-Tze, Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ, literally "Old Master") was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
The embryo is conceived from the concealed Qi. Qi is developed through the (regulated) breath of the embryo. When Qi is present, the body may live; when spirit (Shen) abandons the body and the shape (i.e. embryo) disperses, death will follow. Knowing (how to cultivate) the spirit and Qi makes long life possible. Firmly protect the insubstantial emptiness (i.e. Spiritual Embryo at the Real Lower Dan Tian) so as to cultivate spirit and Qi. When spirit moves, the Qi moves; where spirit stops, the Qi stops. If you wish to have a long life, spirit and Qi must harmoniously coordinate (with each other). When the Xin (heart-mind) is not infatuated by thoughts coming or going, then (spirit and Qi) will not exit and enter, and thus will always stay naturally. To practice intelligently is the true way (of success).
When cultivating Qi, do not just constantly talk about how to keep (i.e. protect) it. When descending the mind (i.e. calm down the mind), it should be doing without doing. If (you) know the origins (i.e. causes) of movement (i.e. Yang) and stillness (i.e. Yin), then there is nothing (i.e. no reason) for (you to) ask anyone else. To face the real reality, (you) must deal with daily affairs. However, when (you) deal with these daily affairs, (you) should not be infatuated by them. If (you are) not infatuated, then (your) temperament can be steady (i.e. self-controlled). When the temperament is steady, the Qi will naturally return (i.e. be preserved). If the Qi can be returned, the elixir (i.e. Baby Embryo) can be conceived, consequently, Kan and Li can coordinate with each other within the kettle (i.e. under control). When there is Yin-Yang (interaction), the repeated cycle will be initiated, this will bring (you) a natural derivation (of new life) like thunder (i.e. enlightened). White clouds are moving upward, and sweet dew is sprinkling Xu Mi (i.e. completeness of human virtue). I will drink the wine of longevity by myself how can others know how free and unfettered I am? (I) sit own to listen to the songs (generated from the instrument) without strings, I comprehend clearly the pivotal function of natural creation. In total, these are twelve sentences which offer (you) the ladder to ascend to Heaven (i.e. enlightenment).
When transporting Qi, (if) deep, then accumulate. If (Qi is) accumulated, then can be extended. When it is extended, it can be sunken downward. If sunken downward, then steady. If steady, then firm. If firm, then able to germinate. Having germinated, then grow. When grow, then retreat. When retreat, then
(return to) the heaven. The foundation of the heaven is at the top (i.e. brain or Upper Dan Tian) and the foundation of the earth is at the bottom (i.e. Real Lower Dan Tian). If following (these rules), then live; if adverse, then die.
The Great Tao (Da Dao) is not far (away) but inside the body. Ten thousand objects are empty, but the human temperament is not empty. If the human temperament cannot be empty and stay together with the Qi harmoniously, (how can) Qi return to its original ocean (i.e. Real Lower Dan Tian) and (expect) unlimited longevity. If (you) wish to keep the spirit in the body (then) do not leave (even) an object in Lingtai (i.e. spiritual platform). (If) any object (i.e. thought) stays in the heart (i.e. mind,), the spirit will not be clear. (This) will waste the real essence and damage the tendons and bones (i.e. physical body). The spirit directs the Qi and from Qi the shape remains (i.e. healthy). (In this case, you) will live for a long time without needing herbs. The techniques are easy; however, the secrets are hard to meet (i.e. obtain). (The correct ways) have always been changed (into wrong ones) and separated from the expert path. Therefore, even though a thousand people or ten thousand people have learned (about this), after all, there is not even one who has accomplished (i.e. few have succeeded). (Whenever) the spirit has exited (from the physical body), immediately bring it back. When the spirit has returned to the physical body, the Qi will also return automatically. As such, practice every morning and evening, the Spiritual Embryo will be conceived and born naturally.
Approach (Follow) the nothingness (emptiness) to its extremity and maintain calmness with sincerity. Millions of objects (lives) are in actions which allow us to observe their cyclic repetitions. Though there are so many objects, each individual must repeatedly return to its root (origin). When it returns to the root, it means ‘calmness.’ When it is calmed, then it means ‘repetition of a life.’ When the life repeats it means ‘constant natural routine.’ If (one) knows this constant natural routine, then (his mind) is clear (enlightened). If (one) does not know this constant natural routine, then various unfortunate dangers could occur. If (one) knows this constant natural routine, then (life) is permitted. When life is permitted then it is impartial. If it is impartial then it can be completed. When it is completed, then it is heaven (nature). When it is heaven, it is the Tao. If it is the Tao, then it can be long and the death of the body will not be near.
When bearing and managing the Po (Vital Spirit) and embracing (maintaining) it to a singularity (simplicity), can it be not separating? When concentrating the Qi to reach its softness can it be as (soft as) a baby? When cleansing the thought to reach its purity, can it be no flaw? When loving the people and ruling the country, can it be no ruling? The opening and closing of the Heaven Gate, can it be (calm and tender) as a female? To comprehend (nature) and reach the four directions (everywhere), can it be known without knowing? When bearing and raising, (if one can) bear without keeping it to self raising, without being meritorious, leading without controlling, then this is the way of “profound natural virtue.”