Movement and Stillness

动静无偏
Movement and Stillness
without Deviation and Inclination

One should move when time to move, one should be still when it is time to be still time.
This is about the right timing of movement and stillness.

This is called ‘the Gong of Purity, Tranquillity and Non-action’.

When movement and stillness are being inappropriate, then the disaster of Yin and Yang flourishing unilaterally ensues. Yin and Yang will be deviated to one side. This is a hidden danger. The reason is the following:

“When movement is in its extreme one must then form stillness.
If one is not tranquil,
Yang flourishes and injures the Spirit.
When stillness is in its extreme one must then form movement.
If one is not moving, Yin flourishes and injures Qi. “

Always in Wu-Ji the two earths intermingle and turn into the jade tablet.
Wu stands for the thoughts; Ji represents perceptions, the spirit feeling and the sixth sense
It draws up an image of Post-Heaven and Pre-Heaven thoughts unifying, the sixth sense merging with the Post-Heaven thoughts, the Pre-Heaven Spirit and Post-Heaven thinking combine into One, congealing into s sphere or circle.

Movement and stillness are cycling; Yin and Yang are revolving.
Yin turns into Yang, Yang turns into Yin.
Without deviation to one side, one is able to obtain the objective.

The ancient people said:

“The world has sufficient innate-nature Gong,
however the life-destiny Gong is deficient.
Even if one is able to nourish
until the Cinnabar Field’s bright moon,
one inevitably will be unable to refine
until to the turtle shrinks and does not lift anymore.
-This is the practice of the Yin Spirit that is so popular in the West-.
The world has sufficient life-destiny Gong,
however the innate-nature Gong is deficient.
Even if one is able to refine
until the turtle shrinks and does not lift anymore,
one inevitably will be unable to nourish
until the Cinnabar Field’s bright moon generates its splendour.
One’s thoughts will fail to reach a higher plane and
one will still die in the end,
but having lived longer than normal people.

Only double cultivation is without deviation. The Gong of innate nature and life-destiny’s are equal in standing. When one’s Skill reaches this point, it means that Yin and Yang face no danger of being inclined to one side, no danger of being out of balance. Therefore there will be no disastrous consequences. Extreme movement and stillness are repeated over and over. The innate nature is the Spirit; the life-destiny is the Qi. Naturally the horse’s Yin, its genitals, hides in the box and the Cinnabar light generates brightness. The Cinnabar Field as if a luminous as the full moon on the 15th day of the lunar month.

There is a saying in Daoism:

“Only cultivating innate-nature without cultivating life-destiny
this is the first error of one’s cultivation practice.
If one only cultivates the ancestral nature
without cultivating the Elixir,
for countless generations it will be difficult
for the Yin Spirit to enter sagehood.

Male-female cultivation is a mistake and misinterpretation of the dual cultivation principle and must be criticized here. The bed-chamber arts are therefore side doors, the unorthodox Dao, the wicked paths and the crooked road.
With those methods one cannot achieve eternal life. One cannot reach the higher dimensions.
Certainly one must protect the body, life comes first. But no Daoist would dare claim that Daoism equates longevity. This is just the way it is taught to commoners in society. Any Daoist would be heavily criticized for exclaiming this statement.

A word of warning at this point:
Anyone who claims to have high Gong of the turtle shrinking must have lost the biological appearance of a man and a woman. If a woman still has large and voluptuous breast and does not have a flat-chest like a child, she is a cheat. If a man has still large genitals at this stage he is a liar. On this level man and woman must have reverted to ‘Centre-People’, not being man or woman anymore, in order to be able speak the truth about having achieved a high Gong.

Therefore this translation serves as a bright light and as a lamp, hopefully preventing people from being hoodwinked and deceived. It is the objective to rescue people from wandering about destitute or even worse being guided into the absurd, fantastic and preposterous. There are many black racketeers out there.
In terms of religion only Daoism proceeds from form to formless. It is unique in that respect and the physical body is considered a tower to the heavens, a ladder to the heavenly realms.

Without a body where would there be life on earth?

Despite the importance of the body, eventually one must have the attachment to one’s Ego broken. If one pursues longevity, the hospital has methods on offer such as hormones or injecting a young person’s blood. In twenty years time DNA changes might be possible and feasible.

But how could you elevate to higher thoughts through injections?

How can you get the compassion of the Buddhist and Daoist Patriarchs and Founding Fathers?

How could you live eternally?

If chanting the names of the Gods and stern faith were enough
to join the ranks of the immortals,
how come not all later generations of believers
enter through the heavenly gate?

Annotation:
This content originates from the Zhou Peng Lai’s research, advanced studies and cultivation. He physically verified it step by step.

Reference: http://fiveimmortals.com/movement-and-stillness-without-deviation-and-inclination/

A Japanese Alchemical Chart of the Body

The Japanese alchemical chart of the body reproduced above is entitled Shūshin kyūten tandō zu 修真九轉丹道圖, or Chart of the Way of the Elixir in Nine Cycles for the Cultivation of Reality (the Chinese reading of the title is Xiuzhen jiuzhuan dandao tu). Although no precisely corresponding picture seems to be found in Chinese texts, it is likely that this chart is either copied from, or based on, an earlier Chinese exemplar that may now be lost.

The Chart, which is undated, is now kept in the library of Tenri University in Japan. It is reproduced here from the book by Katō Chie 加藤千恵, Furō fushi no shintai: Dōkyō to “tai” no shisō 不老不死の身体 — 道教と「胎」の思想 (The Ageless and Deathless Body: Taoism and the Idea of the “Embryo”; Tokyo: Taishūkan shoten, 2002), p. 121. Dr. Katō is one the main Japanese scholars of Taoist Internal Alchemy. She has published extensively in particular on the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality) and on the Taoist views of the “embryo.”

From top to bottom along the vertical axis, the Chart shows: the upper Cinnabar Field; the eyes; the tongue; the trachea; the middle Cinnabar Field; the lower Cinnabar Field; and the Caudal Funnel.

Like most similar Chinese pictures, the Chart contains short captions. Below are translations of the captions, with short notes:

1. “Palace of the Muddy Pellet” (niwan gong). The upper Cinnabar Field, commonly called Muddy Pellet.

2. “On the left the Great Yang”. This and the next captions refer to the eyes. The left eye represents Great Yang.

3. “On the right the Great Yin”. The right eye represents Great Yin.


4. “The tongue is the Red Lotus” (honglian).

5. “Under the tongue, on each [side], there are two openings”. These openings are the Cinnabar Cavities (danxue), which should be kept closed by the tongue so that the True Breath (zhenqi) does not escape.

6. “The throat is the Twelve-Storied Pavilion” (shi’er lou). This is a common name of the trachea in Neidan and meditation texts.

7. “Through two [of the four] openings, Breath (qi) flows and pervades the body”.

8. “The heart is the Crimson Palace” (jianggong). The middle Cinnabar Field, commonly called Crimson Palace, is shown at the center of the picture.

9. “Cinnabar Field” (dantian). The lower Cinnabar Field is the dantian proper.

10. “At its first descent, the Elixir is similar to a Luminous Pearl.” This sentence refers to the first stage in the formation of the Elixir, i.e., the first of the nine cycles mentioned in the title of the Chart.

11. “Caudal Funnel” (weilü). Located near the coccyx, this is the first of the “three barriers” or “three passes” (sanguan) in the back of the body. (See an essay by Wang Mu on the “three barriers”.)

12. “As I sit and forget my form (xing), all the mountains, the rivers, and the ten thousand things are within my body”. The word used here for “body” is shen 身, which denotes not only the physical body, but the whole person.

13. “The Breath (qi) of the gallbladder rises above”.

Although its origins and transmission deserve more study, the Japanese Chart appears to be closely related to a work attributed to Chen Nan (?-1213), a Neidan master belonging to the Southern Lineage (Nanzong) of Internal Alchemy. His Cuixu pian (The Emerald Emptiness), which is part of the Xiuzhen shishu (Ten Books on the Cultivation of Reality), contains these verses:

一轉之功似寶珠,山河宇宙透靈軀。紅蓮葉下藏丹穴,赤水流通九候珠。
The result (gong) of the first cycle is similar to
a Precious Pearl;
mountains, rivers, and the whole cosmos pervade
the Numinous Body.
Under the petals of the Red Lotus are stored
the Cinnabar Cavities;
the Vermilion River flows and pervades the Pearl
of the Nine Times.

The Precious Pearl in Chen Nan’s first verse is equivalent to the Luminous Pearl of the Chart (no. 10 above). The second verse is matched by one of the captions in the Chart (no. 12). The term Red Lotus in the third verse is found in the Chart (no. 4), which also mentions the two pairs of “openings”, i.e., the Cinnabar Cavities (no. 5). The expression “flow and pervade” in the fourth verse is used in the Chart (no. 7).

(According to Chen Nan’s own explications, the “nine times” in the fourth verse refer to a form of breathing in nine stages performed after the Pearl of the Elixir descends into the Cinnabar Field.)

In his work, Chen Nan also writes:

天一真水藏於膽,陰陽和合降而成丹,初降之狀,如露一顆明珠。
The True Water [generated] by [number] 1 of Heaven is stored in the gallbladder. When Yin and Yang conjoin, they descend [into the lower Cinnabar Field] and form the Elixir. At its first descent, its shape is similar to a Luminous Pearl made of one drop of dew.

Besides including the term Luminous Pearl, one of captions in the Chart (no. 10) consists of sentence that alludes to the final part of this passage. Finally, another caption in the Chart (no. 13) mentions the gallbladder.

(The words “The True Water [generated] by [number] 1 of Heaven” allude to Water, the first of the five agents, which is given birth by Heaven and is associated with number 1.)

Considering these multiple analogies, it is significant that the Cuixu pian is concerned with a Neidan process in nine cycles, which are also mentioned in the title of the Japanese Chart of the Way of the Elixir in Nine Cycles for the Cultivation of Reality. As for the words Cultivation of Reality, they may be a direct reference to the above-mentioned work that now contains the Cuixu pian.
 
Reference: Golden Elixir Press. – “A Japanese Alchemical Chart of the Body”

Awakening to Reality Wuzhen pian

1 If you study immortality,
you should study celestial immortality:
only the Golden Elixir
is the highest principle.
3 When the two things meet,
emotions and nature join one another;
where the five agents are whole,
Dragon and Tiger coil.

5 Rely in the first place on wu and ji
that act as go-betweens,
then let husband and wife
join together and rejoice.
7 Just wait until your work is achieved
to have audience at the Northern Portal,
and in the radiance of a ninefold mist
you will ride a soaring phoenix.

Notes on Poem 3
In this poem, Zhang Boduan uses traditional images to describe the main features and benefits of the Golden Elixir. There are several grades of transcendence, but for the very fact of being graded, they pertain to the realm of relativity in which we live. Only “celestial immortality,” says Zhang Boduan, grants complete transcendence, the removal of distinctions between the precelestial and postcelestial domains. Fulfilling the Way of the Golden Elixir is analogous to ascending to Heaven as an immortal and having audience with the highest deities.

1 If you study immortality.
The word translated as “immortality” (xian) means, more precisely, “transcendence.” In the view of the Awakening to Reality, celestial immortality is the highest degree of realization. Taoist texts contain several descriptions of the grades of transcendence. For example, the Zhong Lü chuandao ji (Records of the Transmission of the Dao from Zhongli Quan to Lü Dongbin), a work probably dating from the tenth century, states in the section entitled “On True Immortality”: “Immortality is not of one kind only. . . . There are five degrees of Immortals, namely, the demon immortals (guixian), the human immortals (renxian), the earthly immortals (dixian), the spirit immortals (shenxian), and the celestial immortals (tianxian).”

3 When the two things meet, emotions and nature join one another.
The “two things” are, fundamentally, True Yin and True Yang. Inner nature (xing) is essentially pure and unaffected by phenomena or events of any kind. Emotions (qing, a word also translated as feelings, sentiments, or passions) are often impure and tend to disjoin from one’s nature, to the point that they may become uncontrolled. According to many Neidan texts, the separation of inner nature and emotions is a feature of the conditioned state in which we live. Only when True Yin and True Yang merge can one’s inner nature and emotions be not independent of one another, but in agreement with one another.

The Chinese view of “emotions” is more complex than it might at first seem. Emotions are not seen as merely psychological phenomena, but rather as pertaining to the sphere of existence, of one’s being in the world as an individual entity. For this very reason, emotions are often at odds with one’s inner nature, which is inherently transcendent. When emotions and inner nature join one another, emotions turn into qualities — personality, temperament, attitudes — that allow a person to express his or her inner nature in life, according to his or her individuality.

4 Where the five agents are whole, Dragon and Tiger coil.
The five agents are Wood, Fire, Soil, Metal, and Water (see tables 2 and 3). They represent the differentiation of the One into the many, and the diverse qualities taken on by Original Breath (yuanqi) in the conditioned state. Soil is an emblem of the original unity of the five agents. “The five agents are whole” refers to the reversal to unity, which is performed first by reducing the five agents to three, and then to one (see Poem 14). Therefore the undividedness of the five agents is analogous to the joining of Yin and Yang.

The Dragon stands for True Yin within Yang, also symbolized by the inner line of the trigram Li , and the Tiger stands for True Yang within Yin, also symbolized by the inner line of Kan . They are the “two things” mentioned in the previous line. Kan and Li are born from the union of Qian and Kun , the True Yang and True Yin of the precelestial state. To generate the world, Qian entrusts its creative essence to Kun, and becomes Li; Kun receives the essence of Qian to bring it to fulfillment, and becomes Kan. In Neidan, Kan and Li newly join together (“coil”) and return their essences to one another. Symbolically, this liberates True Yin and True Yang from their residences in the conditioned state, and reestablishes the original pair of trigrams, namely Qian and Kun.

5 Rely in the first place on wu and ji that act as go-betweens.
Wu and ji are the two celestial stems related to the agent Soil (see table 4). Soil, which is placed at the center, is an emblem of the One giving birth to multiplicity. To generate the “ten thousand things,” the One first divides itself into the Two, or Yin and Yang. The stems wu and ji respectively represent the Yang and the Yin halves of Soil, or the One.

In the human being, Soil is associated with the intention (yi), the faculty of focusing the mind on a goal or an object. In Neidan, the True Intention (zhenyi) brings about the union of Yin and Yang. This is possible because intention, just like Soil, embraces both Yin and Yang, or wu and ji. For this reason, wu and ji are often said in Neidan texts to be the “go-betweens” (meiping) that allow the conjunction of Yin and Yang.

6 Then let husband and wife join together and rejoice.
Husband and wife respectively stand for the Yang and Yin principles, which join to generate the Elixir.

7-8 Just wait until your work is achieved to have audience at the Northern Portal, and in the radiance of a ninefold mist you will ride a soaring phoenix.
The expression gong cheng, translated above as “your work is achieved,” can also mean “your merit is complete.” — The Northern Portal (beique) is the gate of Heaven, and an emblem of the Center: the symbolic center of Heaven is at due North.

The imagery of these lines is similar to the one found in this passage of the Cantong qi (Token for Joining the Three, chapter 8):

With the Way completed and virtue fulfilled,
withdraw, stay concealed, and wait for your time.
The Great One will send forth his summons,
and you move your abode to the Central Land.
Your work concluded, you ascend on high
to obtain the Register and receive the Chart.
The last line of the Cantong qi passage refers to receiving consecration as an Immortal.

Commentary by Liu Yiming

[Commentary on line 1: “If you study immortality, you should study celestial immortality.”]

Those who fulfill both their nature and their existence, who have a body outside their body, whose form and spirit are both wondrous,(1) who are joined in their reality with the Dao, are celestial immortals. . . . Only the celestial immortals shed their illusory body and achieve a dharmākaya (fashen, the body of Buddhahood), go beyond creation and transformation,(2) and are without birth and without death. Being able to shed life and death, their longevity equals that of Heaven, and they last eternally without decaying.

(1) As remarked above, this expression — which authors of Neidan texts use often — refers to the state of non-duality between formlessness and form, the Dao and the world, the absolute and the relative.

(2) I.e., they go beyond the manifested cosmos, which is ruled by change and impermanence.

[Commentary on line 2: “Only the Golden Elixir is the highest principle.”]

Human beings receive this Golden Elixir from Heaven. It is perfectly good with nothing bad in it, it is innate knowledge (liangzhi) and innate capacity (liangneng).(1) It is the Numinous Root, entirely achieved and with nothing lacking. It is the Breath of precelestial Perfect Yang. . . .

Golden Elixir is another name for one’s inchoate fundamental nature (xing).(2) There is no other Golden Elixir outside one’s fundamental nature. Every human being has this Golden Elixir complete in oneself: it is entirely achieved in everyone. It is neither more in a sage, nor less in an ordinary person. It is the seed of the Immortals and the Buddhas, the root of the worthies and the sages.

However, when it is not refined by fire, Yang culminates and necessarily becomes Yin, completion culminates and necessarily becomes lacking. One falls into the postcelestial state. . . . Therefore the sages of antiquity established the Way of the Return [to the original state] through the Golden Elixir, so that everyone could go back to one’s home and recognize one’s ancestor, and revert to what one fundamentally and originally has in oneself.

(1) The terms “innate knowledge” and “innate capacity” derive from one of the main Confucian texts, the Mengzi (chapter 7): “What one is able to do without learning is called innate capacity; what one knows without pondering is called innate knowledge.”

(2) By using the adjective “inchoate” (hun), Liu Yiming immediately suggests the affinity between one’s original nature and the Dao. “There is something inchoate and yet accomplished, born before Heaven and Earth. . . . I do not know its name, but call it Dao” (Daode jing, chapter 25).

[Commentary on lines 3-4: “When the two things meet, emotions and nature join one another; where the five agents are whole, Dragon and Tiger coil.” This passage provides an example of how Liu Yiming explains the relation between the precelestial and the postcelestial states of being.]

The Way of Cultivating the Elixir (xiudan) is nothing more than harmonizing the firm and the yielding, making strength and compliance match one another, and making nature and emotions join with one another. When nature and emotions join, Yin and Yang meet and the five agents are whole. This is the boundless norm of Heaven.

The five agents are the five breaths of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Soil. In the precelestial state, these five breaths are the five origins,(1) namely Original Nature, Original Emotions, Original Essence, Original Spirit, and Original Breath. In the postcelestial state they are the “five things” (wuwu), namely the wandering hun-soul, the ghostly po-soul, the Yin essences, the cognitive spirit (shishen), and the errant intention.(2)

The five origins include the five virtues, which are benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity.(3) The “five things” include the “five thieves” (wuzei), which are pleasure, anger, grief, joy, and lust. When the five agents are whole, the precelestial and postcelestial are gathered together, and the five origins control the “five things.”

(1) I.e., the basic constituents of the human being in their original, uncorrupted state.

(2) On the hun-soul and the po-soul see above the note to Poem 10, lines 3-4. On the Yin essences see above the note to Poem 9, line 1. The “discriminating spirit” is the thinking mind. The “errant intention” is the common intention, different from the True Intention that makes the joining of Yin and Yang possible; see above the note to Poem 3, line 5.

(3) These are the five so-called “Confucian” virtues.

[Commentary on lines 5-6: “Rely in the first place on wu and ji that act as go-betweens, then let husband and wife join together and rejoice.”]

After the original fundament of the precelestial state is lost and scattered, nature goes east and emotions go west,(1) and the firm and the yielding do not respond to one another. If there is no harmonizing thing that goes back and forth and mediates,(2) “that” and “this” separate and do not know one another.(3) What harmonizes is the two Soils, namely wu and ji.(4) The wu-Soil rules on movement and pertains to Yang. The ji-Soil rules on quiescence, and pertains to Yin. . . .

Within the five virtues, the two Soils, wu and ji, are true sincerity. When true sincerity is in the center, one’s nature is stable. When true stability functions on the outside, one’s emotions are harmonized. When nature is stable and emotions are harmonized, nature and emotions go back to the root: husband and wife join together and rejoice.

(1) These words should be understood in a quite “literal” sense. See table 3, which shows that nature corresponds to the agent Wood (east), and emotions to the agent Metal (west).

(2) The term translated as “mediate,” tongxin, literally means “to transmit a message,” and refers to the function of Soil in bringing Yin and Yang to join one another (see the note to Poem 3, line 5). At the same time, xin also means “sincerity,” the virtue associated with Soil mentioned by Liu Yiming in the next paragraph.

(3) “This” (ci) and “that” (bi, lit. the “other”) are conventional terms in Neidan for the postcelestial and the precelestial, the “ten thousand things” and the Dao, the relative and the absolute, and other analogous pairs of notions or entities.

(4)See the note to Poem 3, line 5.

[Commentary on lines 7-8: “Just wait until your work is achieved to have audience at the Northern Portal, and in the radiance of a ninefold mist you will ride a soaring phoenix.”]

When benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom go back to the oneness of sincerity, and when nature, emotions, essence, and spirit meet in the One Breath, “the three families see one another,”(1) and “the five breaths have audience at the Origin.”(2) You return to the origin and revert to the fundament, and the Golden Elixir coalesces; some call it the Embryo of Sainthood.

Continue to advance in your practice, passing from “doing” into “non-doing.” Nourish [the Embryo] warmly for ten months, keeping it tightly closed [within the womb].(3) Lessen the excess of strong emotions, and augment the insufficiency of compliant nature.(4) Using the celestial True Fire, and relying on the hexagrams Zhun in the morning and Meng at night, smelt away the postcelestial Yin breaths.(5) Generate the immaterial from the material, passing from the subtle to the apparent. When the Breath is complete and Spirit is whole, “with a peal of thunder the golden cicada sheds its shell,”(6) and you have a body outside your body.

When the work is completed and your name is recorded,(7) you will have audience at the Northern Portal and will ride a soaring phoenix. You will fly and rise in the broad daylight,(8) and will become a Celestial Immortal of Pure Yang, free from death. Wouldn’t that be pleasant?

(1) These words are quoted from Poem 14, line 6.

(2) This expression is found in many Neidan texts.

(3) Note the emphasis given on “closing,” also found in texts of external alchemy where it applies, in a literal sense, to hermetically sealing the crucible.

(4) “Lessen” (chou) and “augment” (tian) are two other technical terms used in many Neidan texts. At this stage of the practice, Lead should be “lessened” and Mercury should be “augmented.”

(5) This sentence refers to one of the ways in which the “fire times” are represented in internal alchemy. Sixty of the sixty-four hexagrams are associated with the thirty days of the lunar month. One pair of hexagrams, therefore, rules on each day; the first hexagram rules on its first half, and the second one, on its second half. Zhun and Meng are the first two hexagrams used in this cosmological pattern.

(6) This is another expression found in many Taoist texts. It alludes to achieving an “immortal self,” which Liu Yiming refers to at the end of the present sentence by saying, “you have a body outside your body.”

(7) That is, one’s name is entered in the “registers of immortality,” according to the classical Taoist image for the achievement of transcendence.

(8) This sentence, which is frequent in Taoist texts, alludes to attaining the highest state of transcendence.

Reference: Awakening to Reality (Wuzhen pian) Poem 3 translated by Fabrizio Pregadio www.goldenelixir.com

Internal Alchemy: An Overview

By Elizabeth Reninger, About.com 

Inner Alchemy (Neidan) – a term often used synonymously with Qigong – is the Taoist art and science of gathering, storing and circulating the energies of the human body. In Inner Alchemy, our human body becomes a laboratory in which the Three Treaures of Jing, Qi, and Shen are cultivated, for the purpose of improving physical, emotional and mental health; and, ultimately, merging with the Tao, i.e. becoming an Immortal.

Each of the Three Treasures used in the practice of Inner Alchemy is associated with a particular physical/energetic location: (1) Jing, or reproductive energy, has its home in the lower dantian (and Snow Mountain area); (2) Qi, or life energy, has its home in the middle dantian; and (3) Shen, or spiritual energy, has its home in the upper dantian. Taoist practitioners learn to transmute Jing into Qi into Shen, and the reverse, i.e. learn to modulate consciousness along its full spectrum of vibratory frequencies, in much the same way that we are able to tune into different radio stations. The dantians can be thought of as similar to the “chakras” of Hindu yogic systems – locations within the subtle bodyfor the storing and transmutation of qi/prana. Of particular importance for Inner Alchemy practice is the lower dantian, referred to also as the “stove,” and the home, ultimately, of the Immortal Fetus.

Internal Alchemy understands the human body to be a precious and necessary resource for our spiritual journey, rather than as something to be ignored or transcended. Along with the dantians, the practitioner of Inner Alchemy learns to perceive and work with the meridian system, in particular the Eight Extraordinary Meridians. As we open, cleanse and balance the meridians, our Awareness flows in/as the present moment. What emerges, then – quite naturally – is good health, clarified perception and a direct experience of our connection to and embodiment of Tao.

Inner Alchemical processes are represented visually in theNei Jing Tu, a diagram whose various components are described here by Master Mantak Chia. These processes are represented also by the Lamp, candles and other items found on the altarsused in Ceremonial Taoism, and by the practice of Baibai – offering incense to the altar. Taoist ceremonies are ritual enactments not only of Taoist Cosmological principles, but also of the transformations of Inner Alchemy.

An excellent place to begin your practice of Inner Alchemy is with the “Inner Smile” practice. As you move deeper into this wonderful terrain, it will be important for you to receive the guidance of one or more qualified teachers. If you don’t have access to flesh-and-blood guides, Tai-Chi-and-Meditation-Direct offers an excellent program of online instruction. Tonic Gold is a supplement (created by the hermetic alchemist Petri Murien) that I’ve found to be a powerful support for Inner Alchemy practice. (Enter the discount code “vitality” to receive a practitioner’s discount.) Dr. Zhi Gang Sha is a contemporary Master of qigong/Inner Alchemy, who offers free weekly teleconferences, and powerful transmissions that you can register for. Finally, each of the books listed below offers valuable insights, information, practices and clues to the magic and mystery, art and science of Internal Alchemy practice. Enjoy!

Suggested Reading:

Golden Elixir Chi Kung, by Mantak Chia offers instructions on turning our saliva into a potent form of Inner Alchemical “medicine.” Highly recommended!

Cultivating The Energy Of Life, by Eva Wong is a translation of the Hui-Ming Ching (“Treatise on Cultivating Life”), one of the most important and straightforward of classical Inner Alchemy texts. Wonderful!

Taoist Yoga & Sexual Energy, by Eric Yudelove offers a veritable feast of Inner Alchemy practices, to cultivate Jing, Qi and Shen. Excellent for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners.

Taoist Yoga: Alchemy & Immortality, Lu Kuan Yu and Charles Luk is an Inner Alchemical manual of considerable detail – excellent for the serious practitioner.

Understanding Reality: A Taoist Alchemical Classic, by Chang Po-tuan (translated by Thomas Cleary) is – as the title implies – one of the foundational texts of Taoist Inner Alchemy (in particular the Kan-Li practices). The language of this text is richly symbolic – a poetic description of Inner Alchemical processes – and as such can be simultaneously inspiring and elusive.

Reference:
Internal Alchemy: An Overview about.com