dao zhen

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  1. A collection from Dao Zhen

    "Change.... Both inception and transformation, relies on Qi – Vital Life Force Energy... There is no being in the cosmos which does not originate from it. Thus Qi envelops the cosmos from without, and moves the cosmos from within. How else than by Qi can the sun, moon, planets and stars shine... How else than by Qi , can thunder resound and rain, wind and clouds be formed... How else than by Qi can all beings take rise, mature, bear fruit and withdraw in the course of the four seasons.... Humans existence too depends upon this Qi, the Vital Life Force Energy...." ~ Yellow Emperor's Classic on Inner Medicine The question to perhaps first ask ourselves -- "What is Qi...?" We can see from the Yellow Emperor's words - Qi is all things - knowing this we may also ask, "What is the relationship of Qi and Tao...?" Qi is like an Agent, sent out from Tao to fulfil various tasks and jobs - Qi has it's own consciousness, it's own intelligence... Qi can take many shapes, and forms and qualities - this depends on the frequency - the lower frequency, Qi can become dense and form matter, the higher the frequency, Qi can become expansive and spacious - all is simply Qi - Qi is Nature.... Then why all of these Arts and Exercises to Cultivate Qi...? The Human has separated from the Nature, we became Un-Natural.... This is where it can be important to ask, "How to return to Nature and what is Natural...?" Often times, much of the arts and practices we find being termed - 'Qigong', 'NeiGong', or this and that, may not have within their design and parameter the Aim to bring the Practitioner back to Nature and what is Natural... The Human often wishes to gain power, rank, and all manner of material things.... This desire has influenced many systems and method of practice we find.... In cultivating Qi, we must look at what are we really doing, and what are we cultivating.... In the Way I Practice and was Taught we Cultivate the Qi of the Great Nature... This has it's own aim and direction, which outlines how we approach practice. In other methods the Qi being cultivated is much more like Qi of the Mind or Will, and is in some way attached and influenced by the Ego Nature... In cultivation of the Qi of Great Nature we have the idea and aim to let go of the Small Ego Self, and embrace the Great Nature. "When there is the ego nature, I am embraced by Heaven & Earth. When there is no ego nature, Heaven & Earth are in my embrace. A unity arises, where once there was separation..." This approach of practice in many ways is like we are simply preparing ourselves, to become an Appropriate Vessel for the Great Nature... It is like we are living in an Ocean of the Qi of the Great Nature.... Yet we are so filled with our Own Ideas, Acquired Thoughts and Attitudes, and various levels of Defilement - there is no Empty Space at all... So the Cup is Full - the Ocean of Qi may not enter.... Then the question to ask is -- "How to Empty the Cup and create the Vessel...?" The beginning work and various methods can be outlined simply as: 1. Stilling Mind and Transforming Heart 2. Transforming the Physical Body / Purification of Physical Body 3. Developing the Dantian Center 4. Opening the Energy Channels 5. Rebuilding the Lost Vital Essence 6. Transforming Essence into Energy This all slowly leads to a different condition and quality of being... This Quality of Being you have become is very attractive to the Great Nature... The Great Nature begins to contact you and commune with you.... This is a process of Qi Cultivation... Cultivating the Qi of the Great Nature... Yet you have no idea or intention to do this work... It does the work itself - naturally..... Without effort or idea.....
  2. A collection from Dao Zhen

    The clouds emerge from the Mountain of Chung And they return to the Mountain of Chung. I would like to ask the dweller in this mountain, 'Where are the clouds now?' Clouds emerge from No-mind And then return to No-mind. No-mind is nowhere to be found. We need not seek the home of No-mind. - Wang An-shih
  3. A collection from Dao Zhen

    Tao is Nothing…. How can it give birth to the Divine, and cause the world to be produced..? Tao does not give birth to the Divine, the Divine is born of itself. So Tao gives birth to the Divine, by not giving birth. Tao does not produce the World, but the World produces itself. Tao Produces, by not producing. Tao is Everywhere, but everywhere it is nothing…. - Kuo Hsiang Do we not get lost in words and terms - creating separation, confusion, and becoming entangled in attraction and aversion.. Buddhism / Taoism.... The Quan Zhen Dao - merged the three teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism into a unity - seeing that all three paths had value and aid to the path of Awakening... In my training my Master often talked about the differences of Buddhism and Taoism. Taoism in the begging has practice methods which Nourish Life and the Physical Form. This is a unique practice we find in the Taoist School, and it can be a help and a hinderance. The hinderance is often people become overly focused on the physical form, and health - neglecting any aim to develop the Heart and Spiritual Nature. Developing the Heart is a very important and Classical approach to Taoist Self Cultivation Methods... We must do our best to purify our heart; Hard work, steady practice, and a clear spirit are necessary. Purity and Emptiness are the elements of the Heart-Training method. ~ Loy Ching Yuen During the beginning of my apprenticeship under my Taoist Master, well over 15 years ago, we were training in the deep mountains in the far North East of China.... We meditated - training the way of Internal Alchemy, day in and day out more than 9 hours a day. He constantly repeated one message to me continuously, "Empty, Empty... more Empty still... Empty your Mind of all things... Regain your Pure Heart..." I would question this at times, having received most of my experience at that time from books in English, which often suggested Taoist Practice was a way of visualisation and imagination training. I often would ask, "Should we not imagine something. Should we not visualize an image.." Master's answer always was the same, "No... think nothing at all. Let your Mind rest upon the Emptiness of your Lower Dantian. It is the bridge you must cross. This is the Heart Training Method I am teaching you. Do not think or imagine anything at all. Rest upon the Emptiness and Allow your True Heart to return once again..." In my learning it was taught, we may find two approaches to practice in the Taoist Path --- One Path, stresses methods of Mind, use of visualization, and seeks to control, guide and direct the Vital Qi Energy, through the use of directed Mind Will. The Second Path, which is less commonly found in the public, is the Way of the Heart. The Way of the Heart, Cultivates Emptiness of Mind and works to Purify the Heart - giving birth to the Arising of the True Heart State. This Path of the Heart seeks to allow Nature to guide the practice and does not seek to control, dominate or direct the Qi Energy, with excessive concentration or directed use of the Mind Will. I asked my Master, why I had not ever heard of the Heart Training Path before..? All I had seen up to that point was books with excessive Mental Concentrations, Visualisations, and teachings to imagine or guide the Qi Energy with the force of Mind Will. He answered slowly, "Humans love form, shape and method. Humans love materiality. Humans Cling to form, image and shape, this keeps them busy in mind and heart, so they do not have to look at the condition of the Inner Heart. They do not have to look deeply to their Inner Nature. To Empty the Mind, and Face the Heart, this is the most difficult path of all. Yet as with all things in life, the greater the difficulty, the bigger the reward..." Sit Still, rest in Emptiness, and Purify the Heart... This is not the entire practice method.... Just the beginning. There is the organised method of Mudra and Posture training during meditation, to open the meridian channels, transform the tendon and physical form, and stimulate the Qi Energy to begin developing at a higher frequency state. This is all transforming one's condition and state -- bringing one to a condition which can harmonise with nature.... So in General, one must know through the proper instructions of the Teacher, when to apply Concentration and Doing. when to apply Empty Mind and Non-Doing. This approach to practice in some texts is often given the metaphorical terms of -- Soft Fire and Strong Fire or often the Martial Breath and the Scholar Breath... So many metaphor in Taoist Practice, which often all these different terms are referring to only a few simple aspects of oneself. In Practice we must deal with and Transform 5 Aspects: Intention / Mind Will / Heart Innate or True Nature Shen - Spirit Jing - Vitality Disposition / Temperament We can come to understand -- Innate Nature or True Nature is the Master of our Heart and Mind. Heart and Mind acts as the Residential house or environment for the Shen to reside and root upon. Jing or Vitality is the Master of the Corporeal Body. Disposition and Temperament attaches itself and takes residence with the Corporeal Body. During our course of development in Practice and Self Cultivation work, we may come to understand we are working with only three things: Corporeal Body, Mind Will and the Heart.... Why then all of this talk and practice methods dealing with the Vital Qi Energy...? The Qi Energy is an agent of combination, which forms the bridge to Unify the Heart and the Corporeality into a Unification and Oneness. This gives rise to a losing of the identity of the Corporeal Body, a forgetting of all things. From not knowing, comes the great knowing - the ultimate doctrine of Nature.... Learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your Original Face will be manifest. Coming, going, the waterbirds don't leave a trace, don't follow a path. - Dogen
  4. A collection from Dao Zhen

    There is the Innate or True Nature. there is the Spirit... next we find the Heart... then we may find mind will... and so on... what you are able to encounter, depends on the depth you reach. if you have only reached the level of thought and thinking mind - the heart may seem obscure or far away... Heart is not a reference to the physical organ - it is reference to the quality of our Inner Nature, an Innate Quality. You must have some practice methods which will work to deal with the negative acquired nature which covers and obscures the Heart. Purifying the Heart is reference to dealing with and washing away the Acquired Negative Nature or Mind. You need some technique or method to do this... In my system of teaching -- we begin with movement and stillness methods. Movement is a path to gain physical transformation, develop health and begin opening the channel system. Stillness begins training and disciplining the mind, and awakening the Dantian Center... This beginning process is termed Foundation Training... During this process, you will begin to encounter and deal with the Negative Nature and through following the practice method, it is transformed to some degree... the results gained depend upon the effort put forth and the perseverance over time... gaining a concrete and real practice method is perhaps the most important beginning...
  5. A collection from Dao Zhen

    Thank you my friends... i am sorry I stoped posting. honestly, I was tired of the arguing. i simply have focused my life on the way of Taoist Practice - and now for the past 9 years actively teaching in Japan. I feel the main point overlooked by those exploring Taoist Methods is the process of refining and purifying the Heart. Too much focus is put on the fascination of Qi Powers, Technique, and also Political Ranking. Purify and Simplify the Heart -- uncover your original state of sincerity. this is an important foundation for making Internal Progress... all my best, dao zhen
  6. Empty Cloud Clothing

    Wander like a cloud.... In ancient China, those seeking the truth of The Way would wander through the sacred mountains and temple areas seeking wisdom and truth, wandering like a cloud. These seekers of wisdom took the Earth as their bed and the Sky as their blanket. They strove to become one with Heaven and Earth. The ancient traditions of Tao have inspired us to create clothing for the modern day Taoist. Whether you're a Tai Chi player, a practitioner of Qigong, Kung Fu, Tao Yoga, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, or even a poet or artist we have the styles to reflect your life, love and personal philosophy. We are Empty Cloud Clothing!
  7. Heaven & Earth Qigong

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=" name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Become one with Heaven & Earth...... We cultivate the Healing Energy of Earth.... We cultivate the Healing Energy of Heaven. We become one with Heaven & Earth..... ~This set is composed of three aspects~ 1. Opening with Standing Meditation. 2. Middle section of movement - Gathering Heaven and Earthly Energy and merging and harmonizing with Heaven and Earth.... 3. Closing with standing meditation; then a gathering of Qi in the Lower Dantian. Please note that in actual practice, please perform this entire set for 45 min to 90 min. Standing - 5-15 min Motion - 15-30 min Standing (closing) - 5-15 min The combination of Stillness and Motion create a very balanced and healthy combination of energy and are important. When in the standing posture, please begin with a connection from the soles of the feet to the earth; feel as if slight roots connect the feet to the earth - Please do not imagine, or visualize. Then begin to connect the crown of the head with the sky above - feel as if the crown is connected with a slight string pulling from above. Allow the spine to elongate... Let the teeth lightly touch, mouth closed, tongue connecting to the upper pallet, breathing in and out gently from the nose. Allow the 'inner vision' to connect to the Lower Dantian. The Lower Dantian (Tan Tien) is located in the empty space below the navel in the middle place between the kidney and navel -- a sphere of around 3.8 cm. Let the inner vision gaze upon that place. As you gaze, have a very nurturing or caring intention. Do not gaze internally with force, tension, or strength - this will cause trouble internally - Let golden virtue begin to grow within, releasing all negative qualities and deeply relaxing the body. Deeply relax, and let all things drop away naturally.... While standing, draw the in breath deeply to the lower Dantian, counting 1/2/3/4, then pause and exhale from the lower Dantian, counting 1/2/3/4... Allow the inhalation and exhalation to be balanced and in harmony... It is important to gain a complete balance and union of the inhalation and exhalation... After some time, forget the breathing. Continue standing..... Allow yourself to become one with the surrounding nature. Let virtue fill your heart, and gain union with all of heaven and earth as you stand. Breathe Deeply.... After some time of silent standing, then begin to enter the movement phase of the practice. During the movement practice, let the movements flow from one to another..... As you come down, allow all the Healing Force of Nature and the Universe shower down..... After each round of movement, allow the 'inside' to feel more and more clean..... Become more and more Pure..... After some time of the movement practice, allow yourself to go back to silent standing meditation. Then after the standing, perform the closing and gathering of Qi for some time. After this, when it feels that all has settled and returned to the Lower Dantian, please rub the face with the palms, comb the fingers through the hair to stimulate the scalp, and gently pat the body to help make the transition from the deep meditation to walking. ~A note on breathing~ Do not hold the breath when doing these exercises. Breath deeply and full and draw the inhalation and exhalation from the Dan Tian or lower abdomen. Inhale and exhale from the nose. During the movement practice, generally you can inhale as you rise up, and exahale as you bend down - generally. Let it all be natural... When you practice, please feel a connection from the feet to the earth, as if rooted. Please also feel a connection from the crown of the head to the sky, as if suspended by a string. Be sure to let the tongue touch the hard pallet of the mouth, and the teeth are lightly closed. Breath in and out gently through the nose. ~A note on closing at the end of the exercise~ Allow a feeling of all things settling in to the Lower Dantian and feel very grounded and centered. Let all things return to and settle to the Lower Dantian. Then just stand for some time, and let all become harmony, and do not think or focus to anything. You may massage the face, and gently pat the body before moving on after finishing the exercise... Let the Heart be pure and clean during all practice.....
  8. Heaven & Earth Qigong

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=" name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Become one with Heaven & Earth...... We cultivate the Healing Energy of Earth.... We cultivate the Healing Energy of Heaven. We become one with Heaven & Earth..... ~This set is composed of three aspects~ 1. Opening with Standing Meditation. 2. Middle section of movement - Gathering Heaven and Earthly Energy and merging and harmonizing with Heaven and Earth.... 3. Closing with standing meditation; then a gathering of Qi in the Lower Dantian. Please note that in actual practice, please perform this entire set for 45 min to 90 min. Standing - 5-15 min Motion - 15-30 min Standing (closing) - 5-15 min The combination of Stillness and Motion create a very balanced and healthy combination of energy and are important. When in the standing posture, please begin with a connection from the soles of the feet to the earth; feel as if slight roots connect the feet to the earth - Please do not imagine, or visualize. Then begin to connect the crown of the head with the sky above - feel as if the crown is connected with a slight string pulling from above. Allow the spine to elongate... Let the teeth lightly touch, mouth closed, tongue connecting to the upper pallet, breathing in and out gently from the nose. Allow the 'inner vision' to connect to the Lower Dantian. The Lower Dantian (Tan Tien) is located in the empty space below the navel in the middle place between the kidney and navel -- a sphere of around 3.8 cm. Let the inner vision gaze upon that place. As you gaze, have a very nurturing or caring intention. Do not gaze internally with force, tension, or strength - this will cause trouble internally - Let golden virtue begin to grow within, releasing all negative qualities and deeply relaxing the body. Deeply relax, and let all things drop away naturally.... While standing, draw the in breath deeply to the lower Dantian, counting 1/2/3/4, then pause and exhale from the lower Dantian, counting 1/2/3/4... Allow the inhalation and exhalation to be balanced and in harmony... It is important to gain a complete balance and union of the inhalation and exhalation... After some time, forget the breathing. Continue standing..... Allow yourself to become one with the surrounding nature. Let virtue fill your heart, and gain union with all of heaven and earth as you stand. Breathe Deeply.... After some time of silent standing, then begin to enter the movement phase of the practice. During the movement practice, let the movements flow from one to another..... As you come down, allow all the Healing Force of Nature and the Universe shower down..... After each round of movement, allow the 'inside' to feel more and more clean..... Become more and more Pure..... After some time of the movement practice, allow yourself to go back to silent standing meditation. Then after the standing, perform the closing and gathering of Qi for some time. After this, when it feels that all has settled and returned to the Lower Dantian, please rub the face with the palms, comb the fingers through the hair to stimulate the scalp, and gently pat the body to help make the transition from the deep meditation to walking. ~A note on breathing~ Do not hold the breath when doing these exercises. Breath deeply and full and draw the inhalation and exhalation from the Dan Tian or lower abdomen. Inhale and exhale from the nose. During the movement practice, generally you can inhale as you rise up, and exahale as you bend down - generally. Let it all be natural... When you practice, please feel a connection from the feet to the earth, as if rooted. Please also feel a connection from the crown of the head to the sky, as if suspended by a string. Be sure to let the tongue touch the hard pallet of the mouth, and the teeth are lightly closed. Breath in and out gently through the nose. ~A note on closing at the end of the exercise~ Allow a feeling of all things settling in to the Lower Dantian and feel very grounded and centered. Let all things return to and settle to the Lower Dantian. Then just stand for some time, and let all become harmony, and do not think or focus to anything. You may massage the face, and gently pat the body before moving on after finishing the exercise... Let the Heart be pure and clean during all practice.....
  9. Discourse on Taoist Internal Alchemy

    It is not that one thing stands for another thing.... This discourse is related to observations on what experiences one goes through in the process of 'change' that happens over the course of practice... 'Internal Change' By my limited experience and also very limited understanding of this practice, the red ball is what is formed in the 'Incubation' stage where the Qi combines with the Shen..... I have to look back over my notes to see the exact process that takes place as far as color changes.... But it is as if there is a 'ball' one views in the lower Dantian, and then as the Qi and Shen combine, a color change takes place..... Then this begins to circulate.... This is the stage when many adepts die. So usually during the period of passing through the 7 days, it appears the adept is dead.... After the process is finished, while he is still in meditation, a 'Golden Halo' will appear.... But these days, I think we should all work more gaining personal harmony and cultivation of virtue.... This is a foundation that many of us ignore, yet it is the foundation for the entire course of development... Work on your character, transform negative emotions, live a good life..... This is the foundation for any real inner work.....
  10. Why and how is Te found within Taoism?

    Tao is the original root source of all life and gives birth to all things..... Tao is also contained within all things.... The Tao that is contained within all is termed 'Te'.... Te serves the function of a root source or much like the source of a spring... To regain Union with Tao, we must first cultivate 'Te'.....
  11. Nei Gong: Taoist Process of Internal Change

    I personally have spent time in China with Damo. He came with me to Wudang on two separate occasions to study Qigong and Internal Alchemy with a teacher of mine at that time... It was back in 2006 or 2007 if I remember correctly. Very nice guy, and very hard worker.... I was most impressed that in addition to the VERY hard meditation training schedule, he would jog daily to a very far away cliff side temple in the free time between afternoon and evening class to practice his forms and stuff. Hard working guy, and serious.... Lets see more love and unity....... We all have the same aim...... To deeply understand these internal arts, and gain wisdom from direct personal experience.....
  12. You Tube Question

    It is a method of Dao Yin. As such it is mostly designed to lengthen the tendon network, stretch the large and small muscle fibers, open the space in the joints, lengthen the spine, and also work on regulation of breath, build some endurance, and also calmness of mind. There is some small aspect of this set that will naturally cause circulation of Qi in the channels due to the patterns of movement and stretching, and also some awareness and contact is begun with the Lower Dantian area. The second set of 24 movements (not shown) is much more demanding, and generally most people do not have the endurance, flexibilty, or physical stamina to learn and perform it. Both this set of 12, and the 24 set are a basic and foundation exercise. Of course there can be some aspect of Qi cultivation gained - but very basic - Such methods can be a good place to start and lay a foundation for further advanced practices. Many schools start students off with physical methods first before working on more advanced energetic practices - such as Seated Internal Alchemy, etc... Different schools have different ways to begin the students on the path of energetic cultivation. Some schools in the Taoist traditions will have the students do physical work to build stamina, endurance, flexibilty, and also change the tendon network as a first step in the process.... Usually at this stage, a special diet is taken, and often times herbs are given to detoxify the system, or to build up weakness that is present in the organ system, etc... Thank you........ (((bow)))
  13. You Tube Question

    sorry Tao Bums.... off topic question, but I am sure someone knows the answer... i am planing to post some various youtube videos online with some basic exercises, practice, etc.... so far i posted a set of 2, and now it shows the title in the youtube screen now.... before there was no title in the window screen.... see film below, with the white title thing.... any idea how to take these off when i post youtube video? sorry, not very good with such things.... <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o98e4PGD-M8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o98e4PGD-M8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o98e4PGD-M8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
  14. Alchemy and pain, pain, pain

    Yes, yes, yes..... Our system has nothing to do with "practices" nor "techniques".... In the first few stages, some technique must be given, some guidelines, etc.... Most never move past such a stage, and even the basic level of Transformation of Jing to Qi is given as a "technique" or method in the first steps - but even this must become natural, and the mind-will should not be involved in any direction or guiding... The process is like "growth" or a natural "movement" in a direction that you are "pushed" to from the first trainings and "transmissions" from the teacher... Yes, it is much like "seeds" or "software" is installed.... As internal "signs" arise, at times the teacher will advise the student to "employ" a slight method, and this can cause the growth to continue on in a proper direction. For example, at one stage, there is an experience of a strong light that flashes in front of the eyes three times, and at this same time the Qi feels very active and a sound like a roaring will arise from behind - at this time of these signs, there is an action to be taken to continue in the proper growth, etc... The way it was taught to me was we learned the "practice" and we also learned the "theory"... But in reality, they are two different things, and the practice is what is important. The outline of the practice course is not a reference to "technique", but a view of the main stages of growth that take place along the journey. A tree grows from a seed, to a sapling, to a small tree, to a large one.... Perhaps we can on paper chart such "stages" of growth of the tree, and give each stage a "name".... But in reality, it is one process of growth, and it is completely "seamless".... Such is the practice of Internal Alchemy.... Growth..... I do not have my stack of theory notebooks with me right now.... I am recalling now one stage of the practice where the bones will become like some feeling of "fire" and very intense pain...... I did not reach this stage yet, and am just recalling the lecture.... I will be back in Wudang in 3 weeks or so, and can go through my notebooks to look for that stage..... I also know there was talk about "false pain", being created by the "false heart" at a stage to try and stop you from practice.... This was talked about in reference to one reaching an important point of "breakthrough" in the practice. In this reference, it was advised to just sit and move through it, no matter how bad the pain gets - to totally ignore it, and give it no mind, thought, or vision - and attempt to be empty with no movement of the mind-will.... Sorry, but I do not remember all the theory, and try and practice more than memorizing such things.... Perhaps if you are a seasoned seated meditation adept, then the pain is another thing besides just sore tendons, stiff hip joints, or closed channels in the legs...... I just read about you feeling tired....... Let me tell you what I went through perhaps one or two years ago.... When sitting with my teacher, it was as if there was a HUGE pressure, almost crushing me about 30 min in. This would then lead to a great heat, and a huge pain, almost inside my bones, and a strong fight / flight response to open the legs due to the pain...... I would hold, breath and just be with this...... After the sessions would end, I would be soaked in sweat, and REALLY tired....... It reached a point of intensity after about 5 days, and then it was as if I came face to face with this wall, and there arose a pure and sincere intention internally, and my heart had a vow - "I do not care about this pain. I shall not move, ever....." A force arose inside, and the pressure become stronger, more pain, but this "vow" was like a light growing.... Then the pressure and pain suddenly "melted", and I had a huge breakthrough in the practice - whole body become light, like being in a shower of golden light, and I fell into emptiness, and just kept sitting and sitting, and when I came out, Teacher had already left the room, and it was quite late.... Maybe this is something like where you are at in your practice? Perhaps when the heart feels strong and it is the right "time", just sit..... Till the wall comes down........ Maybe a great breakthrough is waiting on the otherside of the pain.............
  15. Alchemy and pain, pain, pain

    I think as friends and companions, and also as Westerners exploring these Taoist Arts, we have to be objective, honest, and also have a spirit of sharing; then maybe we can make some headway... I do not know of a traditional practice termed "Hua Gong" is this Hua as in "Flower"....? To be honest, we must seriously look at the RESULTS gained or LACK OF RESULTS. I think three basic hallmarks of a good Internal Alchemy system would be: 1. A real and tangible method to quiet the stray thoughts and desires from the very start of the journey. 2. A real and tangible method to quickly open all channels - thereby allowing the student to be free of disease and in health and also to be able to sit for longer and longer periods of time in no pain. 3. A real and tangible method to deal with the first main door one approaches - "what to do when Jing is full" - By my research and understanding from personal practice, a "SYSTEM" would address the above points in a very clear manner, and also other points that come later on..... I agree with you in a simple manner on your 4 areas that arise as dimensions of practice; though we could analyze and list quite a bit more -or maybe that is the job of the Buddhists It is good to look at a system in outline form, as it can give you some idea of where you are in your practice, if you are progressing on course, and also if perhaps you made some error, and are going in a wrong direction. Beijing able to look at a system in outline form, can also show if in fact this system has some aim of Union with Tao, and a means to provide a vehicle to allow the student to make such a journey.... I would also go one step further, and say that to qualify as a True Method, such a system should have some living examples of adepts who have made advanced headway using these methods - otherwise it is all fancy talk, legendary stories and tall tales... Without a good map, it is perhaps almost imossible to get to the destination..... In a simple way, our practice could be outlined as such: 1. Laying Foundation - 100 days 2. Incubation - 1 year 3. Journey through the Big Pass - 7 days 4. Nursing the Infant - 3 years 5. Facing a Wall - 9 years In a more complex way as listed by my senior: STEP 1 Preparatory work STEP 2 Cleanse the heart of all stray thoughts, desires and passions STEP 3 Settle mind-will in Lower Elixir Field STEP 4 Open up the Eight Extra Channels STEP 5 Administer Jing STEP 6 Harvest Yang Qi STEP 7 Revolve the first small waterwheel STEP 8 Gather Psychical Rays STEP 9 Gather the Qi of Great Unification STEP 10 Automatic revolution---Fetal Breathing STEP 11 Preserve the Buddhist Relic STEP 12 Nourish the Buddhist Relic STEP 13 Golden lightning flashes three times STEP 14 Conduct the Buddhist Relic to pass through the Three Passes STEP 15 Conceive a Fetus of the True Self in ten months' time STEP 16 Give birth to the Fetus of the True Self STEP 17 Raise the Fetus of True Self in three years' time STEP 18 Possess the same body with Tao STEP 19 Fill up the infinite emptiness with my brilliant psychical light in nine years time