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Lǚ Dòngbīn (呂洞賓) is a very important Taoism figure and there are lots stories surrounding him. Can you give some details? Thanks in advance!
Lǚ Dòngbīn (呂洞賓) is a historical figure and also a deity/Immortal revered by many in the Chinese culture sphere, especially by Daoists/Taoists. Lǚ Dòngbīn is one of the most widely known of the group of deities known as the Eight Immortals and considered by some to be the de facto leader. (The formal leader is more likely said to be Zhongli Quan or sometimes Iron-Crutch Li.) He is also a historical figure who was mentioned in the official history book "History of Song". Lǚ is widely considered to be one of the earliest masters of the tradition of Neidan, or Internal alchemy.

Lu Dong Bin The legend has it that one night when Lü Yan was in Chang'an or Handan (邯鄲 Hándān), he dozed off as his yellow millet was cooking in a hotel. He dreamed that he took the imperial exam and excelled, and thus was awarded a prestigious office and soon promoted to the position of vice minister (侍郎). He then married the daughter of a prosperous household and had a son and a daughter. He was promoted again and again, and finally became the prime minister. However, his success and luck attracted jealousy of others, so he was accused of crimes that caused him to lose his office. His wife then betrayed him, his children were killed by bandits, and he lost all his wealth. As he was dying on the street in the dream, he woke up.

[Image: lu_dong_bin.jpg]

Although in the dream, eighteen years had passed, the whole dream actually happened in the time it took his millet to cook. The characters from his dream were actually played by Zhongli Quan in order to make him realize that one should not put too much importance on transient glory and success. As a result, Lü went with Zhongli to discover and cultivate the Tao. This dream is known as "Dream of the Yellow Millet" (黃粱夢 Húang Líang Mèng) and is described in a writing compiled by Ma Zhiyuan in Yuan Dynasty.

In volume 82 of Song's Li Fang's Extensive Records of Taiping (《太平廣記》), an earlier version of the story, Lü Dongbin was replaced by Student Lu (盧生 Lu Sheng), and Zhongli Quan by Elder Lü (呂翁).

Since the Northern Song Dynasty, there have been many stories and legends that are connected to Lü Dongbin. The stories were usually about Lü helping others to learn the Tao. According to the official History of the Song Dynasty (《宋史》), Lü was seen several times visiting the house of Chen Tuan (陳摶), who was believed to be the first person to present to the public the Taijitu.

The kindness of Lü Dongbin is demonstrated in the Chinese proverb "dog bites Lü Dongbin" (狗咬呂洞賓), which means an inability to recognize goodness and repay kindness with vice. Some say that the original proverb should actually be "苟杳呂洞賓,不識好人心," stemming from a story about the friendship between Gou Miao (苟杳) and Lü Dongbin, who both did for the other great favors, each of which seemed like a disservice initially, signifying the importance of having faith in one's friends.

According to Richard Wilhelm, Lü was the founder of the School of the Golden Elixir of Life (Jin Dan Jiao), and originator of the material presented in the book "Tai Yi Jin Hua Zong Zhi" (《太一金華宗旨》), or The Secret of the Golden Flower. Also, according to Daoist legend, he is the founder of the internal martial arts style called "Eight Immortals Sword" (八仙剑), considered to be one of the martial treasures of Wudangshan.

Lü is also a very productive poet. His works were collected in the "Quan Tang Shi" (《全唐詩》 Complete Tang Dynasty Poetry ).
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(03-20-2011 04:52 PM)dangif Wrote: [ -> ]Lǚ Dòngbīn (呂洞賓) is a very important Taoism figure and there are lots stories surrounding him. Can you give some details? Thanks in advance!
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