These are the most accessible Taoist chants that I could find, in that the text is available transliterated to the Western alphabet, and a recording is also available to clarify the pronunciation and melody.

Chants from Ken Cohen 

On his audio set called Taoism: Essential Teachings of the Way and Its Power, well-known Qigong teacher and Taoist priest Kenneth Cohen includes three short Taoist chants. The transliterated text and translation for each is in an accompanying booklet. The chants are:

  • Incense Offering. This verse of eight  lines of four syllables each is used for offering incense at the beginning of a ceremony.
  • Golden Light Invocation. This short chant of 24 lines invokes golden light for protection and healing.
  • Praise to the Three Pure Ones. Cohen offers a short "mantra" to the Three Pure Ones, symbols of the three heavens corresponding to Tai Chi, Yang, and Yin; or Heaven, Humanity, and Earth. The transliterated text is

(Pinyin transliteration:) SAN QING JIAO ZU WU LIANG TIAN ZUN
(Sounds like:) San Ching Jiao Tzu Wu Liang Tien Tzun
(Translation): Three Pure Ones, Founders of Taoism, Limitless Honored in Heaven.

Cohen recites the mantra in a flat monotone and then chants it to a common Chinese melody.

For information on this audio set at, click here.

Chants from Stuart Alve Olson

In his book Taoist Chanting & Recitation, Stuart Alve Olson gives quite a few traditional Taoist chants in Chinese, phonetic transliteration, and English translation. Audio versions of a few of the chants are also available as downloads on the Sanctuary of Tao website; you have to register for the free, "Earthly Membership" level. Once you are registered, you can go to for audo downloads of

  • Incense Praise
  • Eight Taoist Spiritual Chants
    The eight chants include the Incense Offering chant and the Golden Light Invocation that also occur in Ken Cohen's Taoism program, but chanted to a different melody.
  • Jade Emperor's Mind Seal Scripture Chant

I think it would be wonderful if Olson's group could issue audio of all the chants from the book, either as downloads or as a CD for purchase. If you agree, please e-mail them at

Chants from YouTube

YouTube videos come and go, but as of this writing, the following are some of the Taoist chants that are available:

Golden Light Invocation, also known as the Golden Brightness Mantra

Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West

Chants from Maoshing Ni

Maoshing Ni, a teacher of traditional Chinese medicine and Qigong, has a recording available called Invocations for Health, Longevity and Healing a Broken Heart. The invocations are spoken slowly, reflecting the tones inherent in spoken Chinese. A printout of the transliterated text and translation are included.

The sound quality of this recording is rather poor, but it is of interest because material of this nature is so scarce. The recording includes the following:

(Transliteration:) WO SHIN, JING RU, BAI LIAN
(Sounds like:) Wah Sheen, Jing Ru, Bye Lien
(Translation:) My heart is as pure as the white lotus blossom.

This recording is available from The Wellness Living Store.

Praise to the Dipper Mother (Dou Mu)

This invocation refers to Dou Mu (Tou Mu),  the goddess of the Big Dipper and the mother deity in charge of all star deities. Ken Cohen says "In qigong theory, the dipper is a reservoir of cosmic qi, collecting qi from all the other constellations and stars as it makes its yearly course." (See Kenneth S. Cohen, The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing .) 

A kindly correspondent at Taoist Mission Singapore sent me a CD of this chant. Since this recording appears to be unavailable in the West, I include a brief sound clip. The text is as follows:

(Transliteration:) Xiao Zai Yan Shou Tian Zun
(Sounds like:) Shao Tzai Yen Sho, Tien Tzun
Click here to listen to the sound clip.

To see an image of Dou Mu, click here. (Image is from Taoism and the Arts of China .)

Praise to the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang Shi)

Stephen Little, in Taoism and the Arts of China , states that "The Jade Emperor, perceived as the head of the popular pantheon, played an increasingly vital role in Chinese religion from the Song dynasty (960-1279) onward. The Jade Emperor occupies a key position that bridges the Taoist and popular pantheons." The Jade Emperor governs the Universe, but did not create it. The text is as follows:

This phrase can be chanted to the same melody as the Praise to the Dipper Mother.

One Hundred Character Stele

The One Hundred Character Stele is a short work on Taoist philosophy attributed to Lu Dongbin (Lu Yan), most popular of the Taoist Eight Immortals. The Chinese Cultural Learning center has posted the Chinese, transliterated, and translated text for this stele and its sequel, another 100 character stele. The text pages are at 100 Character Stele #1 and 100 Character Stele #2.

Kung Fu and Qigong teacher Yuanming Zhang has issued a videotape called Tang Dynasty Eight Immortals Qigong: 100 Character Stele with Hand Mudras Created by Taoist Ancestor Lu Dong Bing. It includes chanting of the 100 Character Stele, but the chanting is ragged and very difficult to follow. Unfortunately, this video no longer appears in the list of available videos at his website, It would be nice if he could redo it as a higher-quality production at some point in the future.

Return to Taoist Chant, Mantra, and Invocations

Send comments to

Copyright 2003 by Joseph F. Morales