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  1. I started as a Buddhist practicioner cause I read on a reddit forum how Jhanas could increase human intelligence. For some reason as young as I could remember I always felt humans could be better and we were not using our full mental power. At some point I came across Daoism. I found their extremely datailed and logical approach quite fascinating. And in studying daoism I came across Bill Bodri who seemed to equate the 2 different traditions. It almost seems like they are doing the same thing through different approaches. Someone said the buddhism achieves freedom from karma or enlightenment by making ones consciousness egoless while daoism seems to make ones consciousness so powerful that its karma cant pull it back to earth what they would call the yang shen. Furthermore the jhanas and the transformation of the three treasures were seen as the same thing were first jhana body is full of jing hence the pleasure or what they call piti and sukkha. In second Jhana the jing transforms into chi. Hence the feeling of joy and loss of body awareness, By third jhana the chi turns to shen. Hence the contentment. By fourth jhana you reach emptiness. Hence the equanmity. Then the immaterial jhanas where one breaks the emptiness. And finally enlightenment where one unites with the Dao. What do you giys think?
  2. I started reading taoist yoga and i must say all the nei dan information dont look like instructions to me. They look like biographical information of the alchemical changes of the energy body as one cultivates towards samadhi. There are too much steps and processes to be aware of that I believe alchemy infromation was more like sign posts that your on the right track rather than steps to actually follow. I mean there are easier ways like anapanasati and skeleton visualization from the buddha or samatha(concentration) practices in general. Instead of the risky practice that is alchemy. And yes you can not achieve samadhi without alchemical changes happening inside you. Else it would be false samadhi. Nan Hua Chin said that samadhi without change in your body is a false teaching that has infected buddhism especially zen. He encourages people to learn about alchemy only to use it as a referral that they are on the right track rather than an instruction manual. His book Tao & Longevity: Mind-Body Transformation shows how alchemical changes happen in the body using practices like anapanasati from the buddha. He says its based on the rule of the dao that extreme yin gives birth to yang. So the stillness from anapanasati where at some point you slow down to the point of having your breath, pulse and thoughts stop(hsi), gives birth to the yang chi being born. No need for all the alchemical jargon just slow down and become still and the internal alchemy will take place. its like our bodies mimicking creation. Where from wuji came taiji and from taiji came yang chi of heaven. The secret of immortality. It has also been said in yoga that physical immortals are in samadhi 24/7 hence they are constantly in touch with the yang qi of heaven. So if alchemy is just another way to samadhi or wuji why do Daoist treat it like its some super secret when there are even safer and less cumbersome ways of getting to samadhi. After all the emptiness is called nirvikalpa samadhi in other traditions.
  3. Dear Dao Bums, I would like to share some insights about different systems of healing and my own experiences using these. I will go over four systems of healing I've learnt and practiced: 1) Spring Forest Qigong (Chunyi Lin) 2) Talismanic healing (Zhongxian Wu) 3) Islamic healing / sufi healing, 4) "Energy and Chakra healing" (International Academy of Consciousness, IAC) 1) Spring Forest Qigong (Chunyi Lin) I really like the systematic, yet simple method of healing in Spring Forest Qigong. The system is something like this: 1) Preparation 1.1) Prepare the patient 1.2) Prepare yourself 1.3) Detect blockages 2) Healing 2.1) You strengthen the dan tien (open hand) 2.2) You open and circulate the small universe 2.3) You strengthen the dan tien 2.4) You open the blockages (using sword finger mudra) 2.5) You remove the excess/old energy (using an open hand) 2.6) You give healing energy to the places you've unblocked and removed old energy from (using your palm) 3) Closing 3.1) You strengthen the dan tien 3.2) You open and circulate the small universe 3.3) You strengthen the dan tien Mudras are used during the healing for different purposes. This is because mudras generate a certain energy field. This specific energy field is better for different things. Furthermore, you also empower or energize food and water for healing. This could be for yourself or for the patient. I've learnt just one talisman from Chunyi Lin. This talisman is drawn using a specific mudra. Again, it's because the talisman and mudra generate a certain energy. Lastly, Chunyi Lin is very big on massage, cupping and tapping. These are all physical techniques, everyone can use and understand them immediately. 2) Zhongxian Wu The healing I've learnt from Zhongxian Wu is very focused on using your body, breath and visualisation. This is done through posture, breath and visualisation. Posture is your own physical body, as well as the hand mudra you use. Breath is using specific breathing methods, especially mantras are the most important. Visualisation you use your mind to visualise the talismans which connect you to the qi field you need for your healing. The healing I've learnt from him so far is mostly focused on the specific place that's hurt. You use the talismans (one for each of the five elements) with their mantra and mudra to energize the 3 dan tien and/or the 5 organ systems, or the specific place on the body that's in need of healing. Furthermore you give mantras to the patients or exercises accompanied by mantras that they can use every day. Healing water is also used. 3) Islamic / sufi healing Each surah/verse of the Qu'ran has a specific energy. White, blue, black, yellow, golden, green etc. These different colors of energy are good for specific purposes. Some can remove black magic and evil spirits, make a protective circle around yourself and/or your family or your home. Some can energize objects. Some can make people respect you more. Some can give you more charisma, some can improve your aura etc. Some can heal physical diseases, some can help with psychological and emotional issues, and some can help improve relationships etc. You can heal the body, energy, mind or "life". Life understood as money, career, relationships, attract good luck, have more charisma etc. You usually have a system as you do the healing, e.g: 1) Salawaat (this is a way of connecting to either the Prophet Muhammad and/or Sufi Masters) 2) Qur'an (with the help of the prophet or saints you use the particular energy from the Qur'an you need) 3) Du'a (you use a prayer for the healing, or you make your personal prayer) 4) Salawaat (you close with salawaat again) You can then blow on the persons, blow on your hands and touch the persons, blow on water and make them drink it or sprinkle it around the house, energize objects, or blow on your finger and make a circle around yourself or your house. 4) IAC energy and chakra healing There are 3 fundamental energy techniques taught in the IAC, all with the goal of eventually allowing one to have an out of body experience. The techniques are: 1) Absorbing energy 2) Exteriorising energy 3) Circulating energy (called the VELO) For healing, you would firstly absorb a lot of good energy (e.g. from nature, trees, a river etc). Then you would exteriorize energy into the patient (usually using your hands). Geo-energy (from the ground, rocks and stones) they use for the root chakra. Water energy they use for the second chakra. Energy from plants and trees are good for relaxing the mind, as well as the heart chakra. Air energy and fire energy can also be used. The best self healing would be to head to a place that has the energy one needs (e.g. ocean, forest, river, mountains) and absorb as much energy as possible. Then you would VELO for a prolonged time, to circulate the energy as well as clear blockages. EDIT: I wanted to share some of my personal experiences with each system. 1) Chunyi Lin I strongly feel that a very particular qi comes to help when using SFQ to heal. It could be Chunyi Lin's qi, or a "commonly shared" spiritual container of healing energy shared by all SFQ practitioners. Especially I feel my middle dan tien extremely empowered when doing SFQ healing. I've also experienced a strong increase in my energetic perception when doing SFQ healing (especially during the healing). Lastly, the patients I've healed have felt heat, tingling, emotional release, insights about their problem and its cause and especially the taking out of the old/excess energy they feel very strongly. 2) Zhongxian Wu The talisman healing is very strong. I personally feel very, very powerful qi in my system when using the posture, mantra, mudra and talisman. When using it for healing, the patients have felt heat, tingling, electricity, insights about their problem, visions, vibrations and many other positive things. Something very interesting is the use of different healing tools. He is a strong advocate for having your own personal acupuncture needle you use for everything, own personal calligraphy brush, mirror, lamp/light, sword etc. The idea is that by using it everday both for your own cultivation and for healing, the objects themselves slowly get energized more and more. This makes them more powerful over time. Furthermore! You can also send energy using your feet instead of your hands. Feet are more powerful than hands, therefore their healing energy is stronger. 3) Islamic / sufi healing For some reason, I feel this healing is exceptionally strong when it comes to emotions and state of mind. When I've used it on myself or my house, or made others drink blessed water, I've noticed exceptional increase in joy, peace, hope for the future, calm trust in God's plan and the patient gets extremely enthusiastic and energetic. Furthermore, when doing a lot of salawaat, qur'an, du'a and salawaat, people become more friendly, respectful and attracted to you during your everyday life. For depression or other emotional states, this is the strongest I've seen. Especially salawaat. 4) IAC For me personally, going out into nature every single day for 15-60 minutes to absorb and VELO energies was extremely powerful. Once when I was starting to catch a cold, just after I had returned from a seminar (where I learnt the VELO), I did the VELO for 15 minutes straight. It cured my cold! For healing I've done it very little. However, what I experienced was that people could feel the energy going into their body. Furthermore, depending on whether it was geo-energy, phyto-energy or water energy, they could sense how the different energies were different. I.e. phyto-energy felt more peaceful and alive, geo-energy felt more solid, water energy felt more fluid. Conclusion I've seen all these kinds of healing work to a very large extent. However, I haven't experienced miracle-healings. By miracle healings, I mean like Jesus healed people, or some of the stories you hear from Chunyi Lin or Zhongxian Wu, about how people recovered from tumors, cancer etc. In my experience, it simply improves and energizes people, as well as accelerate their healing process. If someone would take 7 days to recover from a very bad flu, with healing it would take just 1-2 days instead. So, because of this, even though people feel energy etc. during the healing, they're not "blown away". Because they usually expect "Jesus-like-healing", with someone laying hands on them, and then everything is immediately healed in one go. However, they can usually tell that the healing has a positive effect and improves their energy. Commonalities All use the body, the breath (including mantras) as well as the mind (visualisation) to heal. Furthermore they use prayer and also healing water. Almost all use mantras and mudras. Even in islamic healing you make the prayers with your hand open (this is also a mudra). Warning What I've noticed in many of the healing workshops I've gone to is that healing is more trouble than healing. This is not to scare people, but simply to make people conscious of it. People simply send their own personal energy into each other, and thereby just mix energies. If the other person has great and pure energy, this is awesome. But mostly, people have their own issues,which also get transmitted with the healing. So, when people at a workshop simply mix their energies with each other, the result is not necessarily good. It's just a mess. Furthermore, with people putting 100% faith in the healer to miraculously cure their issues (which they themselves have caused with bad diet, lifestyle etc), they don't take responsibility for their own life. Therefore the issues (even if truly healed) will simply come back after a number of weeks, months or years (depending on the healing power they got). In my mind the best is always to educate people to take better care of themselves. Diet, lifestyle, good habits, daily qigong and meditation etc. Then, if they of their own free will continue these things, then healing becomes much more valuable. Because then it simply boosts and empowers these people in their own personal healing journey. But I'm still making up my mind about healing. For the past 3 years I've been very sceptical about it (like you can see above). However, recently I'm giving it a go again, to see how it goes. And with the patients being very happy with it, I'm rethinking my attitude. Is it good, is it bad, is it more trouble than healing, or is it to be viewed simply as a boost? I'm experimenting back and forth, and then based on my experiences and observations I'm changing my position Be blessed!
  4. Catalog of the Chinese pantheon

    I recently learned about an interesting website called The Book of Xian and Shen (BOXS), which catalogs information and pictures for Chinese gods from all over the world. There are currently 2,000 listings and counting. https://www.bookofxianshen.com/ It is based on the work of religious scholar Keith Stevens (d. 2016), who wrote the amazing Chinese Gods: The Unseen Worlds of Spirits and Demons (Collins & Brown, 1997) (fig. 1). I recently volunteered to help the project. So far, I’ve written two articles (see reference no. W1001 and W1011) and updated two other existing listings with information and pictures (see the bottom of W8620 and W9305). Fig. 1 – My well-worn personal copy of Chinese Gods (larger version). Due to the great number of listings, there are no direct links. Instead, the site has adopted a somewhat confusing (but necessary) cataloging system based around reference numbers, pinyin, Mandarin, and Wade-Giles. However, it’s easy to use once you get used to it. For example, if you were going to search for Sanqing, the “Three Pure Ones“, using, say, Pinyin, I recommend first getting the reference number (RefNo). Deities —> Tabular Listing of Xian Shen Deities —> Field: Pinyin —> Type: Contains —> Value: San qing (you may have to play around with the spacing like I did here) —> Filter —> Then look for the correct listing (since other listings mentioning them might appear in the list) —> ☰ —> copy the “RefNo”, in this case W5540 (fig. 2) —> Deities —> Deities Page with Full Listing Side Bar —> Field: RefNo —> Type: Contains —> Value: W5540 —> Filter (fig. 3) —> The listing (fig. 4) If you know the Mandarin or Wade-Giles for the deity you are looking for, the process would be similar. You would just need to change the field to “Mandarin” or “Wade-Giles”. You could just jump to “Deities Page with Full Listing Side Bar” to search using pinyin, mandarin, and Wade-Giles, but it’s been my experience that a different listing will pop up first based on a higher RefNo or Romanized spelling. First finding the reference number seems to be the easiest method for me. I can’t recommend this website enough. New gods, as well as new stories or beliefs associated with more established deities, are appearing all the time, so it is very important to catalog everything as soon as new information becomes available. If you would like to volunteer in some way, please contact Ronni Pinsler using the “contact” form on the BOXS website. Fig. 2 – How to acquire the reference number (RefNo) (larger version). Fig. 3 – How to navigate to the listing (larger version). Fig. 4 – The listing as seen from the top of the page (larger version).
  5. after seeing this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiYOHjli80 is the goal to get yuan shen or yuan jing or yuan qi ? or all of them (make are qi,jing,shen become their respectable yuan versions) ?
  6. Here is a diagram from page 30 of the Zhonghe ji (中和集). http://repository.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/en/item/cuhk-44970#page/31/mode/2up (I couldn't get the image jpeg to load, it is a jpeg on the page but TDB's loader doesn't like the URL). The diagram has two parts, the right hand part is called, "verbal formula" (口訣) the left hand part is called "metaphor" (譬喻). On the right are three steps, at the bottom is the trigram kan (坎). On either side, it says, "When the body doesn't move, the jing coalesces/strengthens." (身不動,精自固). Then at the top, is the trigram li (離). On either side, it says "When the heart/mind doesn't move, the qi coalesces/strengthens." (心不動,氣自固). There are 2 lines coming from the center lines on each trigram to right under the other, the one going from kan to li has a wu (戊) the 5th tiangan (celestial stem), the one going from li to kan has a si (巳) the 6th dizhi (earthly branch). On either side of the center it says daogui (刀圭) which means a tiny pinch (of medicine). Then the central trigram is qian (乾). On either side, it says "When the intent doesn't move, the shen spiritifies." (意不動,神自靈) or maybe, in keeping with leaving Daoist concepts transliterated, "the shen ling-ifies". On the left (metaphor) side, there are three corresponding circular diagrams representing the same thing: At top a white circle with black center (li), in the center a white circle (qian), and at the bottom a black circle with white center (kan). On the kan circle, above it, it says, "refine jing transmutes to qi" (錬精化氣) and on either side it says, "Inside the body is jing, inside yin is yang." On the li circle, above it, it says, "refine qi transmutes to shen" (錬氣化神) and on either side it says, "Inside the heart/mind is qi, inside the yang is yin." The center circle says "yuan shen" (元神). Above and below, it says, "refine shen returns to emptiness" (錬神還虛). Each thing that must be refined and transmuted is done so by keeping the thing that holds it still. To transmute jing, this is the transmutation of kan, yang within yin, which is the jing within the body, it changes when the body is kept still. To transmute the qi, this is the transmutation of li, yin within yang, which is qi within the heart/mind, it changes when the heart/mind is kept still. To transmute shen, this is the transmutation of qian, the yuan qi, it returns to emptiness (shen becomes ling) when the intent is kept still. I have two questions: 1) 神自靈. Ling is used as a verb, I think here it means that the spirit of the corporeal person becomes the ethereal spirit (returns to emptiness)? 2) Is it refining (bodily/after heaven) jing becomes original qi refining original qi becomes original shen (original being 元)? Or is it refining bodily jing becomes original qi, refining bodily qi becomes original shen, refining shen becomes ling and returns to emptiness? This is one of my favorite diagrams, I like the holding things still makes them change thing.
  7. My newcomer post

    Namaste friends, I have had this site bookmarked for a couple years and come here sometimes to read, tho recently had the urge to be more involved, so I made my account and am making this post now in the Newcomer section. What got me into Taoism was my instructor for Yellow Dragon Kung fu, he recommended some books on Taoist philosophy, and from there I had read more books and resonated with their content. Some of the books I like are the following: The Chronicles of Tao 365 Tao Fourth Uncle in the Mountain Bones of the Master Enter Mo Pai etc. Some of these books may not fall into the strict genre of Taoism (tho technically we can say everything falls into Taoism...) I got similar stories and vibes from all of these books, however. I look forward to discussing these subjects with all of you! Eternal Love & Light, Arya
  8. Hello I am a new :)

    Hi all I am very happy to be here but I am full of questions and doubts. I was hoping someone can help me on this journey. 1) Where should I start? 2) How do I cultivate Jing, chi and shen? 3) Do I have to be celibate? 4) If I am sexually active, can I still conserve my Jing? How? 5) Where do I find a Master to learn from? Does it has to be in person or can it be online? 6) I live in New Zealand, anyone here as well? As you can see I am very lost, any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
  9. Does anyone have any experience with convincing Reiki with Internal Alchemy and where the energy of Reiki falls in Dsoist modalities? I have my own thoughts as to what it is and where it falls but I wanted another opinion.
  10. I'm new to the game and I'm having difficulties establishing a firm daily practice. I understand the general concepts, but don't know the practicals. I'm more advanced in other forms of energy practice but I'm just beginning my journey into internal alchemy. 1) What's the fastest way to gather energy in the dantian? 2) How do you Cultivate Jing? Gathering Qi in the dantian is one thing but how do I generate life force? (jing) Or is it Jing that gathers in the Dantian... 3) I can sense energy, but I can't distinguish between the three types yet. Is there a practice specifically for enhancing sensing? Or is that just attained as you go kinda thing. 4) I'm trying to get used to reverse abdominal breathing but I can't get used to it. It completely disturbs my meditative state. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. It's different from "Reverse Breathing", right?
  11. Hello, I was just reading about jing, qi and shen and there are a lot really, but for now i want to practice and try to cultivate the jing after reading its benefits. I was wondering if anyone knows some good videos on youtube or something that you recommend that teach how to cultivate it or maybe a website? or if it is possible to explain here, if you know any? and If you are advanced in such cultivation, can you tell me about your experience and how your journey was, and what impact did it have on your social, love and sexual life.. and other aspects of your life? Also, I do practice vipassana, is there a link between vipassana and cultivation the jing energy? Thank you.
  12. I am a nearly 22 year old male and I have chosen at this time of life to be celibate and conserve jing while trying to restore lost chi from childhood. Since I don't have sex, masturbate or watch porn I am afraid my testosterone is low for a male although this may not be rational, I am not sure. But I at least want to train my mind to meditate on sexual desire and transmute it instead of pursuit of temporary pleasure into confidence and personal strength. The longest I have retained is 168 days and I'd like to go indefinitely from this point onward but it means I am going to have to find healthy outlet for fulfillment and accomplishment in life. That's the whole idea though lol. Any thoughts or suggestions?
  13. Qigong systems

    Can someone list all the qi-gong systems in order of strength, or the known ones anyway and since there are 3 broad energies called qi, shen, and jing; does this mean that there are systems like shen-gong and jing-gong or along those lines. If so, could you name a few and the differences of the systems.
  14. Hi, I would like some down to earth advice, please. Having ate some food, I read a chapter of a book, and then got into bed. Could not sleep so meditated. Not in a hardcore Zen fashion. Just nice and easy, let events flow and settle sort of thing. I could feel my body processing the food. There must be a chaka gate there which takes energy out the food? When my body had processed the food, I felt a whole lot lighter and more settled in my meditation. After a few minutes I felt an intense pressure at forehead. It felt like it was going to pop. I was a bit scared. I quickly rolled over and concentrated on few other things. I would like to know what such a intense pressure signifies? Should I have allowed it to pop ? Just before I felt this pressure, I also felt some kundlini-syndrome worms wriggling down my forehead. Sorry if I don't use the right terms but I don't know them! Reply however or as technically as you like; I have a good ability to comprehend this subject as I'm already reborn from my initial conception inside the One.
  15. Spirit->Organ Healing

    In the TCM system, it seems that our body is an energetic sack/ vessel. The Organs seem to be a denser manifestation. The Spirits are a "lighter" manifestation of the same "thing". If you can heal the Spirits thru healing the Organs....You can also heal the Organs thru healing the Spirit. If you are lacking Will, cultivate it and the Organ will grow stronger as well!! The Spirits also help us see which Organs are unbalanced. Its a two way street! This may help in understanding why a person may become diseased and then, go do things they always wanted to do ( healing the Spirit) and become healthy. Has anyone ever tried this? If so, what has your experience been? Peace.
  16. New here. Need help.

    Hello. I have experience with topics being discussed here, only I have never deliberately tried to learn about them. It all happened by accident at a very young age, and only in the last year have I begun discovering that there are words to describe this things that groups of people actually understand and use to converse. One of such sources is this forum. After reading threads in search of answers for many months, I have finally decided to register for an account to contribute as well as more specifically address that which I seek answers for. I would appreciate all input and perspectives in future threads, but for now I need help with something else-- How can I edit my profile information? When I view my profile and click 'edit profile' in the upper right hand corner, I am redirected to the settings page where the only options available are for changing my email or password. Nothing I've tried has worked so far. Is this some type of site maintenance problem or am I just unable to do that until I have made x amount of approved posts? Perhaps I'm just doing something wrong. Anybody have the answer? I would love to get started here as soon as possible. Thank you in advance. --Feral Heart
  17. Shen vs. Jing vs. Chi

    I've heard a little bit about this before but I didn't really understand it. What exactly is the difference between Shen, Jing, and Chi?
  18. Hey dudes, I've read enough frustrating threads where there are big misunderstandings because people use old cryptic terms like "jing", "shen", "yin", "yang", "yuan chi", "immortality" and so on. In different schools and lineagues there are different understandings of these terms which eventually lead to strong misunderstandings and this prevents a mutual understanding and a fruitful discussion that could further a deeper understanding of the truth that lies behind the goals and methods of those old traditions which are occupied with achieving "immortality". Some guys even just want to mesmerise other people by indulging in cryptic terms and statements, which only prevents any progress at all. Therefore I want to "cut the crap" in this thread and want to try to analyse with you guys/gals the goals of and the methods that lead to immortality of the different traditions from a modern pov, in modern terms and with logical understanding to carve out the similaries of these different traditions to be able to conclude a synthesis which explains logical in modern terms what immortality is and how it can be achieved. ("Cryptic" terms can be used in this discussion, but please make sure to explain them appropriately, so everyone can understand what you mean! This thread is thought to lead to further and deepen understanding, not to spread mysticism!) Let me try first: 1) What does the traditions mean with "immortality"? Immortality means the survival of the conscious functioning personality forever and beyond bodily death. So this seems not to be a given in the theories of these traditions compared to the theories in the abrahamic religions for example! This goal means either that the personality survives in some sort of stable personal energy field that will "hold it together" or that the person's body doesn't die or that the person even transform its body into energy and includes this energy to create "a stable energy field". Other traditions claim that the conscious personality could "endure" when it fuses with a greater energy energy field that permeates the universe ("tao"). 3) What happens to people who don't achieve that goal? Their conscious personalities cease to exist, one way or another. This is the end result of a life-long leaking out or wearing down of the person's energy and usually happens at the point of bodily death. Some traditions claim that the conscious personality simply goes out like a flame (which could be compared to the dominating opinion of modern science) or that their energy scatters completely and therefore their structure get's destroyed, others claim that they get born again as other persons or animals with a wiped out memory. Other traditions claim that only a "downgraded" version of the personality survives death as a "ghost" who is very limited in its cognitive functions. 2) Why and how do the traditional methods actually work or are supposed to work? The "energy" of a person is thought to be limited and to leak out via sexual activities, mind activities and simply all activities in life. Therefore the traditions have developed their theories of how to stop the leaking out (via methods of "consolitation" of energy) and of how to refill or restore the stock of energy a person has to the level of a newborn or even beyond. "Consolitation" of energy would mean for example to store energy in a closed room (like "tantien") or to fuse different volatile energies which tend to "evaporize" or "leak out" to a more stable energy ("the fusion of shen and jing", "kan & li") or to a primal precurser source energy of these energies. "Refilling" or "restoring" energy can include "reversing" the energy flow from out to in to bring in outside energies into the personal energy field or by the transfering of matter into energy and infusing it into the personal energy field or stock. Please share your own insights and opinions! The more these are thought through and explained in modern terms, the more helpful and understandable these will be for the other participants of the thread!
  19. The process of Taoist Alchemy as described by Waysun Liao's student and front man of the spiritual "new school way" of Temple Style Taichi, Master Gregory James. He posted this essay in his forum publically in 2011 and I think it's precious knowledge that everybody should have! Enjoy!
  20. As a cultivator, it is very important to learn about the gradations of internal cultivation. Generally, we use the following level classification: I. Refine Jing (vital essence) into Qi: this stage contains inside and outside Qi moving, small ZhouTian opening and Entryway opening three steps. II. Refine Qi into Shen(spirit): this stage contains internal and external opportunities appear, big ZhouTian moving and the Entryway losing form three steps. III. Refine Shen return emptiness: this stage contains primordial Shen appear, Shen baby in vitro and millions of incarnations three steps. IV. Refine emptiness fit Tao