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Found 34 results

  1. What is internal alchemy, anyway? Post your views/experience here. Here are some of my own thoughts on the matter: Internal alchemy practice is actually a specific type of 'system' with (at least fairly) specific goals, although those goals them self can appear rather vague such as 'immortality' and 'returning to dao', and different 'neidan' schools may define those goals somewhat differently. Although a neidan system may include some qigong and neigong practices and physical movement practices, etc., it will also typically include specific meditation practices with the specific purpose of achieving the goals of 'immortality' and 'returning to dao' and similar. Different qigong and neigong practices available out there are not necessarily at all (and usually aren't) 'internal alchemy'/ 'neidan' specific, although some such practices may have similarities or overlap to some neidan practices from some neidan schools. One problem is that throughout China's history, terms and concepts and practices from neidan systems have sometimes been borrowed and mixed in with other 'systems' which may have very different goals and views from neidan, so you can get martials arts or health/medical practices which may use some similar terms and concepts as used in neidan, but which may well be used somewhat differently. The point is, from what I have gathered, qigong practices and neigong practices which may have some similarities to some neidan practices, are not necessarily at all directly related to neidan, and they usually have quite a different focus. The whole thing becomes even more murky when you throw into the mix that there are different schools/sects which may include neidan or similar practices, but which may have quite different practices and views from other neidan systems. For example, some of those schools may have strong daoist religious aspects interwoven with their 'neidan' practices, and others may not. Therefore, there really is no clear cut right and wrong in all this, in my view. There is also the problem that during the Chinese cultural revolution, the Chinese people destroyed many Chinese temples and beat and killed many daoist and buddhists, and burned many books, etc, and forbade anyone from practicing such 'superstitious' practices. The end result was when the cultural revolution began to subside and the Chinese government began to allow daoists and buddhists and others to start these types of practices again under the close supervision and directon from the Chinese government , much had been lost, and people were left to try to piece together some of these systems and practices again. The takeaway from all the above is, from my perspective, anyway, there really is no clear cut way to say such and such a system is 'true and pure neidan'. This has helped open the door for various charlatans and self-deluded people to start offering and promoting various practices as being 'neidan'. Often such people will insist that what they promote is the only really 'authentic' practices, and they may spend a lot of time criticizing and putting down other systems and teachers to try to bolster up what they are offering. Some of these fakes and self-deluded people may only have read through some old daoist neidan texts and practiced some qigong practices and then declare them self to be an 'expert' on the topic, and start promoting them self and implying that they are some kind of very accomplished 'master'. Yes, in my view, it really is that much of a mess. So, what can an aspiring student do to potentially find a suitable teacher if they are interested in such things? In my view, you really can only use your best judgement and try to get to know the teacher for some time, if possible, and see if they seem to truly embody some of the principles and abilities they claim their system should bring. Can they answer questions in a clear and practical way, or do they just throw around more terms and concepts or become dismissive when asked questions, and seem unable to explain anything in a clear way? Can the teacher demonstrate in some clear and practical way that they have real accomplishments in what they are claiming to offer? Can this teacher provide clear details about their own teachers and lineage (there are self-proclaimed 'masters' out there who have made up their lineage and teachers). In the end, the aspiring student can only use their best judgement and try to find something which resonates with them personally. What some people may insist is a true 'accomplished master' may appear to be a complete fraud or self-deluded person to others, so in the end you will have to go with your own judgement. Keep in mind that traditional neidan practice would typically require several hours of practice a day as a minimum, and some (many?) neidan systems require celibacy, as well, so such practices are not really suitable for many people. What are your views/experience with neidan?
  2. Endless debates over what is correct and what is not correct. Endless debates over what is better and what is worse. Every day fare in the kingdom of the ego. Up and down, east and west, hot and cold. Which is correct? Which is not correct? Which is better? Which is worse? Which all-knowing and all-seeing being can answer these questions with absolute authority? Who here on this Earth can say what immortality is? If anyone can live forever, they must be very rare. No, it's about spiritual immortality, you say? What is spirit? What is spiritual immortality? This person says this. That person says that. Which all-knowing and all-seeing being can answer these questions with absolute authority? What use is self-cultivation if it is not practical? If what a person practices has value and benefit for them, is it not good? If what a person practices improves their health and state of mind, is it not good? What does it matter what this person or that person says about some particular cultivation method? If what a person practices has value and benefit for them, is it not good? If what a person practices improves their health and state of mind, is it not good? I am just a human standing on a vast Earth, surrounded by a vast universe. I do not know anything about spiritual embryos and immortality. Nebulous clouds which no one can seem to agree upon. Beautiful images for the ego to picture and behold. In this world we must be practical. Will it help us through our work day? Will it give us better health? Will it give us a better state of mind? Will it help us to interact with others in a more positive way? Will it help ease the aches and pains as we grow older? What is ultimately real, and what is ultimately not real? What is ultimately of value, and what is ultimately not of value? I do not know. Which all-knowing and all-seeing being can answer these questions with absolute authority?
  3. Neidan plan

    Hello All! Im a 40 year old from India. Im interested in neidan practices but I dont know anyone teaching this in India. Im thinking of following online courses. What are some good courses by which I can cultivate Jing, Qi and Shen ? Another question, does neidan have any parallels with Kriya Yoga ? Do they complement each other ? Regards, Anand
  4. Long time lurker

    Hello, Honestly I wanted to make a new account because I woukd like access to the reading material non accessible to non members but I would like to interact too. Personally, I've been lurking, analyzing content on NeiDan/Internal work for a few years here, never needed to make an account because all questions I wanted were already covered. 2 to 3 years back I had a intense UDT Pranothana experience which change my life for that time from messing with advance lvl exercises I shouldn't have. Too many weird paranormal experiences sent me running for help because of the intensity of the experiences. For that I would like to thank SOTG back when he had lonemanpai for free and I did a lot of their advices to bring the yi to the ldt and start working there which helped out tremendously among other things. And a good bunch of information from here also! So thank you for providing a free medium of knowledge to work with!
  5. The Art of Song 鬆

    After reading through Nathan Brine's wonderful book (The Taoist Alchemy of Wang Liping, vol. 1) depicting the practices and overall line of development within the Dragon Gate sect, Nathan puts out a wonderful reminder. To truly build the foundation for neidan, one needs to learn how to relax and in particular learn the art of Song 鬆 . In WLP's lineage the art of Song is explored through methods such as pore breathing, body squeeze and the nine basic foundational techniques. From Nathan, I can understand there is a big difference between Song and flexibility. One can be completely flexible, yet not be Song 鬆. This is important to remember, I feel. I personally have been exploring Song through the practice of "anchoring the breath" as described by Damo Mitchell in his online Microcosmic Orbit course along with some of the practical teachings (pore breathing, from Wang Liping (viz. Nathan Brine). I also try to incorporate the principles into my standing work, though this is proving more difficult than I thought as it usually ends up with me spiralling into sponteanous postures rather than sinking the Qi and rooting and anchoring more deeply. I thought this would be a nice topic to explore together. I am sure it has been mentioned before, but it could be nice to have a thread directly dedicated to this aspect of internal training. So, what methods or ways have or are you working on Song or sinking in your practice? What does it feel like when it's working for you -- how about when it's not? What is important to keep in mind when learning this process?
  6. Hi all, I have been studying/practicing qigong/taiji/yoga for 20+ years, reading everything I can find. I also have professional training in TCM, with qigong/taiji training from multiple teachers, but I feel like it is time to take my practice to the next level. For now, I have only found Lotus Neigong and Ba Men Da Xuan online training systems. I know people say that this is something that we need a teacher for, but I don't live in an area where there are live teachers. For this reason, I am looking for a system that I can learn from books and videos. I would be able to travel from time to time, but really am looking for a complete system that I can learn mostly online. Is there anyone here that can vouch for either of the above systems or is there a better one that you could recommend? I am open to suggestions. TIA
  7. Greetings

    Greetings Dao Bums, New member here, I look forward to being a part of this community. Daoist NeiDan Practitioner 6+ years. Longmen Pai Zhongnan private lineage, 13th generation, direct transmission. Looking for fellow Practitioners / Daoist recommendations in NYC. Have a great day!
  8. What is Jing ... really?

    So... what is Jing really? Some say it can be increased by doing certain things like horse stance. Some people seem to think it's the same as hormones like testosterone. Other seem to think it's the potential of cells or something like stem cells if it had a homologous physical attribute. Others say it is more related to letting go of habits and becoming deeply still. Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!
  9. Hi, first off I'm pretty new to practicing 7 months or so. My question is about how do you tell when the Lower Dantian is full and then what to do about it? I'm also going to include the sensation I had, as well as part of a extremely vivid dream where I also had the same sensation. Sadly this was months ago so perhaps my progress has gone backwards since then. I don't know why I didn't just come straight here.. So the feeling was of a pulsing/shaking sensation in my lower dantian area, kinda like a muscle spasm feeling. The dream I had was really cool and memorable. I had also read the Magus of Java twice so there was a John Chang like figure. Basically I was at some temple on a very small island surrounded by water somewhere in South East Asia and was sitting in a circle with several other students and they were doing a test to see if we were ready to advance. After awhile the master looked directly at me and put his palm up to his mouth and blew in my direction and all of a sudden that intense pulsing feeling happened in my Lower Dantian region. Afterward he walked over to me and said some joke to the rest of the guys about surfer's bodies and patted me in the stomach . Then I woke up. The guy who I had learned my basic movements from told me he wasn''t sure and that it probably just meant i actually had a LDT. Recently I opened up this thing from Dr. Yang and it described the exact feeling I had in regards to it being full but this was months after the feelings happened. And i haven't felt it since. https://ymaa.com/articles/2014/1/nei-dan-sitting-meditation Here's the quote from the end of the arcticle, "After you have practiced the abdominal exercises for about three to five weeks, you may feel your abdomen get warmer every time you practice. After continued practice, the abdomen will start to tremble and shake each time you start the fire. This means qi has accumulated at the lower dan tian and is about to overflow. At this time you should start to coordinate your breathing and abdominal movement with the movement of your huiyin (Co-1) (literally "meet the yin") cavity and perineum to lead the qi to the tailbone (weilu cavity)." Thanks so much for any advice!
  10. Rigpa vs. Yuan Shen

    Anyone know if they're comparable or can be directly related in some way? It seems in Dzogchen there's four levels of rigpa (from rigpawiki below). Ground rigpa: "(Tib. གཞིའི་རིག་པ་, shyi rigpa, Wyl. gzhi'i rig pa) acts as the basis for all of samsara and nirvana, and is identical to the subtle clear light. This is the pristine awareness one experiences at the time of death, but not during the ordinary waking state. It is from this awareness that the foundation consciousness arises." Essential rigpa: "The fundamental innate mind of clear light is considered to be the nature of mind, or the ultimate root of consciousness. In the same way that a sesame seed is entirely permeated by sesame oil, as soon as there is clear and aware consciousness, it is said to be permeated by the clear light rigpa. This aspect of rigpa, this in-dwelling clear light is what is called essential rigpa (Tib. ངོ་བོའི་རིག་པ་ , Wyl. ngo bo'i rig pa).[1] Effulgent rigpa: "The Dzogchen teachings are very precise in talking about rigpa and categorizing it with many subtle distinctions. So a distinction is made between the ground of being and the appearances of that ground, and effulgent rigpa (Tib. རྩལ་གྱི་རིག་པ་ , tsal gyi rigpa, Wyl. rtsal gyi rig pa) is rigpa that is present in the appearances arising from the ground. It’s an aspect of rigpa which is to be identified and experienced only when coarse levels of mind and conceptual thoughts are active. At that point the experience of the fundamental innate mind of clear light has ‘ceased’―‘ceased’ in the sense that it is no longer a direct object of your experience. However, there is still a definite quality of clarity and awareness that permeates the coarser states of consciousness. This type of clear light experienced as a quality that permeates these states is the effulgent rigpa. All-embracing rigpa: rigpa of all-embracing spontaneous presence (Tib. ལྷུན་གྲུབ་སྦུབས་ཀྱི་རིག་པ་, Wyl. lhun grub sbubs kyi rig pa) Do these have equivalents in Daoism, and if so, what would they be? Thanks a lot!
  11. There are a lot of pictures, in books, online, in charts and diagrams, that show where the dantian (or lower dantian) is located. Almost all of them are side views, almost all of them show no bones, or show them so symbolically as to not really allow identification. I'm hoping someone can definitively help with where the lower dantian is. Most verbal descriptions say, 3 fingers below the navel and 3 fingers inside, with the number of fingers for each varying, and some people actually using thumbs instead. The navel is roughly at the illiac crest, which is the bone pictured at the front of the top of the pelvis in the following picture, so the vertical location on this picture seems like it is correct. It would say the dantian is in front of the sacrum (picture from seeds of longevity): Quite a few pictures lead to a conclusion more like the one below, however, which shows the dantian below the navel, but also above the sacrum? The following picture is one I've seen quite a lot (this and the previous are from this site which has a ton of pictures including the top one). It does the triangulation more carefully, but it's unclear in the diagram on which it is superimposed what we are looking at for spine, but does seem to be again in front of the sacrum. I've seen diagrams with female torsos, and it seems to be put in the "womb space", which seems lower. I am also reading Damo Mitchell's White Moon on the Mountain Peak, which says that the dantian is vertically aligned with the baihui and the huiyin, which puts it far back, but also on a line between the mingmen and the qihai, which seems like it would be almost above the navel. I have always "left it indistinct" when doing my exercises, it has been sufficient that it was below the navel and inside, but that place only warms for me, it never gets hot, and multiple sources talk about the dantian getting hot when fed energy. I did his correcting exercise, moving up the line from the huiyin, and I did another person's exercise, using warm hands and moving slowly inward, Mitchell's put it against my sacrum, the other put it a little forward from there. I got my indications of these by feeling for the bones, and somewhat by comparing to the iliac crests, which are easy to find. For background and disclosure, I am trying to complete Mitchell's and some other's visualizations/meditations. I can't penetrate that area with visualizations for some reason, when I do a Tibetan style visualization of the nadi it fades in that area, when I do more Daoist visualizations the area responds but I can never seem to see it. So I'm looking for a more concentrated location point than what I've visualized in the past and want to know how to "narrow it down".
  12. Ok so I'm confused as hell, what even is neidan at this point? I feel like the rabbit hole I've fallen into has become about 20 times deeper What's the purpose + has anyone tried it or does it currently? Is it even worth it (all benefits seem sort of lackluster in the grand scheme of it all? Why are their so many schools and sects and which ones should be avoided and seemed out? (idek like mantak chia and so on) Or should I just go all the way back to the Dao de ching and firm my own opinion on it? I doubt anyone will have the answer to all of these so at least one is fine So many questions, not enough answers 😫 Thanks in advance
  13. Damo mitchell has written two books on the subject of internal alchemy, namely, White Moon on the Mountain Peak and A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong. So my question is for someone interested in chi gong/nei dan practical and theoretical aspects which one of these books is necessary? or maybe both of them are complimentary and should be read together?
  14. Hello everybody. I'm a neurosurgeon from Italy running a spine surgery program in Milan. I am one of the teacher of the italian most important acupuncture school: so-wen (sorry for not being able to link their internet site). I'm about to start a project on a group of seminar concerning the study of oriental medicine physiology and I found great help in some of your posts while working on my power points. So thank you everybody and hope to start exchanging experiences on everything.
  15. Hello everyone. In this thread I'd like to continue discussion about "if it is possible/impossible to get everything from Books" which has started here ( http://www.thedaobums.com/topic/43462-correct-words-of-patriarchs/) Back in time A.A. Khokhlov provided quotes from multiple Treatises where explicitly written that it's impossible to attain the Dao without the True Teacher (http://www.thedaobums.com/topic/42854-about-necessity-of-having-a-true-teacher/). This shows us that it's not a position of a single writer, but position of entire Traditional Daoism. I would say that if such great Patriarchs as Zhang Boduan, Liu Huayang and others were writing that one can't get full knowledge from books even if he/she is smartest and talented person, than its most likely they had reasons to write it. This is the position of the Tradition (and also my point) Thank you --- Regards, Arkady
  16. 《修真十书悟真篇卷二十八》 袁公辅曰:千经万论,止载修丹事理,至于下手结交,火侯幽微,非遇师亲授,纵才过颜闵,则不可晓。平叔既序云:药物火候细微,无不悉备,好事者寻文辞义,岂须区区口授。今反此而言者,欲人之不敢轻议也。 袁(yuán)公(gōng)辅(fǔ) said: the myriad of the texts describe only the principles of refining the elixir, but as to starting the work and incepting it, and as to the subtleties of the fire phases – without getting those personally from a teacher – even if your talent surpasses 颜(yán) and 闵(mǐn), then these are hard to comprehend. About that, 平(píng)叔(shū) (Zhang bo-duan) in his foreword says: the subtle fire phases of the medicine are fully knowable, those who work well at seeking the meaning of the text - why would they need a secretive personal transmission? Now, contrary to the text, I urge people dare not to discuss it lightly. Is not this a hoot? Yeah, me and old Zhang think it is a hoot.
  17. Zhang Bo-duan

    Back in the times of the Song dynasty, there was an elderly military official named Zhang Bo-duan, a remarkable man, whose magnum opus, Awakening To The Real, gave rise to the venerated Southern Lineage of the Taoist alchemy. Being around 80 years old, and meeting his teacher in Chengdu, province of Sichuan, Zhang spent less than a year with his teacher, till teacher’s passing. In order to fulfill his teacher’s wish to disseminate the teaching freely and fully, Zhang first preached unsuccessfully, then wrote the Awakening, then recruited students, (which ended in a spectacular failure), so much so that Zhang swore never to teach in person again. Instead, he transmitted the Awakening, a book on the Buddhist-Taoist alchemy, which ends with a poignant Afterword promising a full transmission to anyone who studies it closely. The Afterword is a deeply moving passage, a magic window into the real Daoism of a thousand years ago. This Christmas, let us rejoice in celebrating the old man Zhang and a brilliant scholar, Paul B.M. Crowe, who gifted this gem to the public domain in the now oh-so-distant 1997.
  18. Grandmaster Wang Liping will be holding an Inner Alchemy Intensive from December 21 to 30, 2016 to be held in Hawaii. Please email [email protected] for details.
  19. Welcome to Amsterdam

    I practice since i was 11 some 40+ years ago. Half of the time i had no clue. but i build my skills, even did write some books that were published but that iI would now burn. for 15 years I lived in Wudangshan Travelling with my teacher and learning in direct contact with dao family. I run a school since 1995, but most people consider my practices to much work. I teach and practice acupuncture, massage and dietary practices. I am building a vlog on daoist practices and health called Daoland. It is in dutch, although maybe i should do it in English too. What else can i say? I use theory to support practice. I follow the five rule my first teacher Liu Dong An suggested: 'practice standing, practice movement, practice sitting, practice whirwind, be academic in your study', He also said to 'never practice less than 4 hours per day, never be happy with less than 8', and : 'eat less, sleep less, stay clean, keep feelings and desires inside, and at least appear common'.
  20. Looking for Neidan

    Hello All, I am new to this community, and I have been browsing the content with great interest today. I live in the Southwestern US, and I am hoping to find a teacher in neidan. I hold this intent and project it into this digital space. Thank you in advance for any thoughts.
  21. I seem to percieve an increase of Neidan in the west recently, more courses are being held, and more people seem to be practicing it than before. Has anyone else noticed it? This otherwise rather less well known practice seems to have gained more widespread recognition, which I think is rather good in itself. But at the same time I think this attention might come with an increased risk of false teachers and unserious practitioners. Even so is this not better than Neidan being obscure and mostly unknown? It's hard enough to find someone that teaches proper Neidan as it is today, if we end up having lot's of unserious teachers will finding a serious teacher become even harder?
  22. Hello Everyone, I thought I would throw out an opportunity for those interested in potentially having professional english translations of eastern alchemical texts. This is the original post from another forum: Translation Suggestions I am very interested in having more English translation of Eastern alchemical texts available to the public, however, my knowledge of these alchemical texts extends only to the ones already available in English. So, to the point: if there are any texts out there that you know of which would be a wonderful contribution to the Western understanding of Eastern Alchemical practices (internal and/or external; theoretical and/or practical), that you would like to see professionally translated into English, it would be my pleasure to add them to the pool of texts to be considered on the other forum (alchemyforums.com). Either that, or you can join the other forum and become involved first hand with the submissions
  23. Fabrizio Pregadio has revised and expanded his article "The Way of the Golden Elixir: An Introduction to Taoist Alchemy." It's a 72 page long historical overview of neidan. It's nicely formatted and pretty to look at and free. Here's the link: http://www.goldenelixir.com/files/The_Way_of_the_Golden_Elixir.pdf Merry Christmas!