This book presents the central position of the heart in the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic, Neijing Lingshu chapter 8. The heart is seen as an empty, silent centre, yet as the root of the spirits.
Chapter 8 contains an important discussion of the thirteen fundamental concepts of Chinese medicine: de (virtue), qi , sheng (life), jing (essence), shen (spirit), hun (soul), po (bodily soul), xin (heart), yi (purpose), zhi (will), si (thought), lü (reflection) and zhi (wisdom).
The analysis of this passage takes the terms slowly, line by line, character by character. The ideas described are a key to a deeper understanding of Chinese medical thinking, and show its strong connection to our mental, emotional and spiritual nature.
The main body of the text of chapter 8, together with a full translation, is given in beautiful calligraphy in a pull-out section at the end of the book.