Clouded_mirror

Neidan ( all experiences and opinions wanted)

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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

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I'm no expert.  I've always considered Neidan to be internal meditation style that enhance inner body energetics.   Generally no body movements, though thats not a hard and fast rule.   There are different systems with different maps and techniques.  They all have the goal of strengthening the storage and circulation of inner energy.   Some are simple, some take decades, or lifetimes. 

 

Done right, greater energy, insight.. perhaps some form of enlightenment.. theoretically immortality, but I don't see a whole lot of them walking around, so.. personally- insight, greater energy and some form of enlightenment is what I'd figure in a best case if one has dedicated a significant portion of life to it.   Dedicating less, and you'll get less.  Grace also plays a part, some people have a talent, for others its swimming upstream.   For example, I tend to be energy insensitive, so its swimming upstream but I like the exercise. 

 

Much depends on the quality of the student and the teacher.   In the grand scheme of things is it better then watching TV, less then the love of a good woman (to me).  The DDC is philosophy, good philosophy, often applicable, as is traditional Element theory, but philosophy only gets you so far.   Good Neidan gets physical.     

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There is a primitive version, a sage-king version, an ancient daoist embryonic breathing version,  an ancient daoist version of spirits, a three teachings version, Ming Xing version , Then individual version like Mantak Chia, John Chang...  

 

Is that clear enough ?  :D

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This is the spirituality megastore where your soul's needs for fancy concentration exercises and intricate pantomimes will be taken care of. 

 

Just pick the system that sells better.... errr... the system that resonates with you. If it resonates in a quantum manner, it's the best! 

You'll have plenty of time to try many of those cultivation systems, so you might as well start with the cheapest. 

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I can say point blank that Zhan Zhuang is massively and quickly beneficial for the health and awakening of dantien and may lead to immortality on its own.

Teachers like Nisargadatta can help you awaken your consciousness realatively quickly without any energy work, depends on where you are.   Sitting meditation, breath awareness meditation is enough and good to do every day.

Yes, did you see something you like ?

It is good to begin and work steadily with a teacher or tradition, and just take real steps forwards, then you can orientate yourself and reconsider what you want out of it.

Living well .... consists of many things and life is big.   Keeping in good shape, restricting negative culture, learning about eating healthily and so on.

Anyway, the true way is to merge more and more with yourself and bring yourself to fruition, so in that sense mega energy development seems quite insincere.   It is very good to know sincere people and listen to them, it has a profound effect on you.

Personally I like the animal movements of 5 Animals and Dayan Wild Goose, I like to be like nature and flow with the seasons then I feel I am becoming more like TTC talks about.

The real great treasure is to know who you are and come out of the coma of trying to be someone else and following instructions all the time.

Real teachers touch you, and help you feel yourself, and are happy with themselves as they are.

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6 hours ago, dawei said:

There is a primitive version, a sage-king version, an ancient daoist embryonic breathing version,  an ancient daoist version of spirits, a three teachings version, Ming Xing version , Then individual version like Mantak Chia, John Chang...  

 

Is that clear enough ?  :D

Daweis answer is very good!!

 

there are very different forms of neidan.

there is sitting type (sitting in meditation/silence or "doing" in sitting)

there is moving type...

 

to me there is a spectrum from purly alchemical to mixed with spiritual.

In purly alchemical the focus is on the body and the xing as soul. there is no identity switch to the emptiness itself(the infinite awareness as source of everything)..no transcendence,...... though the emptiness is used. They produce a new energy body that is immortal and in that process the physical body also gets immortal.

These are mostly moving types of neidan or when sitting, they will do also armmovings or internal movings......they have the most alchemical effect in that they produce the extremly longlived people (several hundreds of years is not uncommon in those circles). These schools are only left a few and they still are very secretive and will transmit their teaching not in written form nor have their mehtods ever been written down...just like with external alchemy.

 

the other schools include more stillness meditation and also the transcendence of the human experience into "becoming the unbounded emptiness"...these are most of the todays forms of neidan. they still have rejuvaneting effects but not as the purly alchemical and their goal is not just to produce the new energy body but also to shift our indentity to the emptiness like all other spiritual systems.

 

All these schools differ with how much they incorporate from the alchemical side and the spiritual side.

the dan (the elixier) that is being produced is different in its ingredients depending how strong the alchemical principle is used in that school. For some "elixier" is the name for our true self and nothing more, for others it is some gathered chi and for still others pre-heaven forms of energy are used.

 

hope that helps.

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I think these are good questions, you know.  It's not very good to just follow and not think, or imagine that just following like donkey is what it's about.

Developing your ability to use intelligence, to feel out good teachers, to ask questions and listen carefully ... this is all essential, and the only way is to start having experience of traditions and paths.   Then you can see what's what, and decide again.

Many people reel out some neidan path with many big ideas ... has anyone actually made these work ?   It's a good question, I dread to think what the answer is, often.

And personally I have started to reduce my expectations of this world and these traditions, and tried for what is simple and works, or alternatively I give it a real intense go ... and then make a decision, yes or no.   Or alternatively I stick with a traditional tradition.   But certainly I am not getting excited at big claims at all and I assume that there are many paths with big claims where nobody on that path ever made it and all are lost including the teachers.

But, at the same time even a little practice of Healing Tao or Dayan or Zhan Zhuang yields results, so there is no question you get something.
There are anyway some teachers in this world who are obviously awakened or in high state, and relatively traditional and you may benefit from connecting with them.
Also one has to understand that one has to make efforts, and reading the lives of the saints, finding their story is very informative.

And in all cases go to the horses mouth and stick her next to mouth .... forget everyone else, there are always hangers on.

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19 hours ago, Clouded_mirror said:

What's the purpose ...

 

I would ask a related question in trying to answer ... What is the place of neidan in the broader scope of daoism? 

 

Many, including myself, have approached daoism from more of a philosophical angle ... but there has to be more that just the mental exercise of philosophical gymnastics. If one considers unification of the physical, mental and spiritual as an objective of personal development, then neidan can be seen as the physical practice side of daoist developmental practice. The physical practice aspect would seem to have implications for spiritual development as well.

 

The spectrum of neidan practice is so broad, small wonder it seems rabbit-hole-ish when first looked into. It ranges from various simple non-goal-oriented but physical exercise systems to various qigongs to martial forms like taiji to very specific and formal systems that may or may not include ritual. I think if one approaches initially from the need to expand personal development, then it is just a matter of finding something that resonates with the individual and fills the physical development need. For many, me included, that is general qigong and taiji practice.

 

One thing I think is true ... as you enter into any practice, you develop and change and your perspective will change and you will likely find that you need something else to further your development. So,, I would recommend start simply and see where your development takes you.

 

 

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Cheshire cat’s point is very good too.

 

However, If you want to develop singlepointedness of your mind, purify the body-mind, id recommend learning taijiquan from a good teacher.

 

A good taijiquan system will include qigong, standing meditation, seated meditations, etc. Once you develop enough maturity in taijiquan, it will naturally unfold Self discovery, etc. 

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

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

 

NeiDan specifically means inner alchemy and has the specific goal of creating the 'pill' or elixir within the body to achieve immortality.  It comes out of a tradition within largely Daoism (though also some other systems) and focusses on certain key ideas which were first elaborated in text called the Cantong Qi (sometimes Zhouyi Cantong Qi).

 

Dan means pill/elixir and NeiDan is distinguished from Waidan which is external alchemy i.e. the use of substances/herbs and so on to achieve immortality eg. lead, sulphur, mercury etc.

 

The Cantong Qi quotes from the LaoTzu and even more from the YiJing (as a way of validating its claims) - but neither of these is actually a Neidan text - more they supply a world view in which Neidan functions, a context if you like, and it also refers the substances of external alchemy but used symbolically for the energy systems of the subtle body -  so the text will talk about lead but mean a quality or state of internal energy and so on.  The processes of alchemy like purification, sublimation, distilling and so on are also used to signify internal processes.

 

Nei dan specifically departs from using deity practice.  Whereas previous traditions might rely on spiritual entities interacting with organs say,  the Cang Qi refutes this practice.  However what is retained is the idea of harmony and synchronicity of internal processes and cosmic cycles such as the sun, moon and Big Dipper etc.  So the qi system regulates to the hours, days of month and so on.  This is important, so you can discount any practice based on possession and so on.

 

Qi is a universal term in Chinese philosophy as are yin/yang - and are used in different ways in different systems.  So just the inclusion of qi or qi breathing and so on is not enough to make it a Neidan approach.  It has to specifically deal with how to create the pill and then to achieve immortality.  There are many schools within this tradition which use different symbolism - some is the same but just with different terms - but there are variations - so this may also until you unlock the key to how those terms are used be a source of confusion.

 

 

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If you want to understand Neidan more, you can compare Neidan and Qigong in a lot of ways. Essentially, Neidan is about understanding the inner functions of the human being as a whole. In Neidan (and Qigong) there is no separation of physical and mental because it is all part of an integrated and interconnected whole. Both Qigong and Neidan work with energy. You could say that in Qigong one learns how to work with, move and optimise energy. It's like learning how to fill your cup to the very top and keep it topped up. Neidan is like adding a new handle to the cup, increasing its size and even changing the material the cup is made of. A key goal in Neidan is to work with the pre-natal energies of the human being. This is not possible in Qigong.

Edited by Kadesdes
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2 hours ago, Kadesdes said:

Actually, Neidan and Daoism are synonymous.

 

Actually that's not really the case.

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The Tao is no longer understood. There is an endless number of side doors and twisted byways, constituting a few basic groups. There are those who are fixated on voidness and those who are attached to forms, and those who do psychoso­matic exercises. There are seventy-two schools of material alchemy, and three thousand six hundred aberrant practices.

Since the blind lead the blind, they lose the right road; they block students and lead them into a pen.

-Liu I Ming

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On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

Ok so I'm confused as hell, what even is neidan at this point?

What Apech said

 

On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

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?

The purpose is to transform ourselves, to wake up, to experience life from a deeper and broader perspective.

Yes, I practice

 

On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

 

Is it even worth it (all benefits seem sort of lackluster in the grand scheme of it all?

Yes, it is worth it.

The benefits are potentially priceless.

 

On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

 

Why are their so many schools and sects and which ones should be avoided and seemed out? (idek like mantak chia and so on)

There are many types of people who need different things to grow.

There are many ways to tackle a challenge.

Hence there are many schools and sects.

I am no authority on what's out there but I will offer that there is no substitute to developing a personal relationship with a "one who has gone before."

 

On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

 

Or should I just go all the way back to the Dao de ching and firm my own opinion on it?

Reading philosophy is one thing.

Neidan is another.

 

On 12/11/2018 at 4:25 PM, Clouded_mirror said:

 

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

 

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On 12/12/2018 at 12:43 PM, OldDog said:

 

I would ask a related question in trying to answer ... What is the place of neidan in the broader scope of daoism?

 

For my teacher, neidan is the heart and soul of Daoism.

Everything else is window dressing.

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17 hours ago, Kadesdes said:

If you want to understand Neidan more, you can compare Neidan and Qigong in a lot of ways. Essentially, Neidan is about understanding the inner functions of the human being as a whole. In Neidan (and Qigong) there is no separation of physical and mental because it is all part of an integrated and interconnected whole. Both Qigong and Neidan work with energy. You could say that in Qigong one learns how to work with, move and optimise energy. It's like learning how to fill your cup to the very top and keep it topped up. Neidan is like adding a new handle to the cup, increasing its size and even changing the material the cup is made of. A key goal in Neidan is to work with the pre-natal energies of the human being. This is not possible in Qigong.

 

https://ia801909.us.archive.org/23/items/WanderingOnTheWay/Taoism/Tien Tao Chi Gung.pdf

 

pdf of the Chinese National Chi Kung Institute correspondence course pdf

1987 - proves that qigong IS neidan.

Any talk otherwise is just based on Western "marketing" techniques (TM)....

 

 

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On 12/16/2018 at 12:10 AM, voidisyinyang said:

 

https://ia801909.us.archive.org/23/items/WanderingOnTheWay/Taoism/Tien Tao Chi Gung.pdf

 

pdf of the Chinese National Chi Kung Institute correspondence course pdf

1987 - proves that qigong IS neidan.

Any talk otherwise is just based on Western "marketing" techniques (TM)....

 

 

 

I've got to admit, even though 95% of the pages were blanked out, that was very interesting to look through ...

 

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On 12/16/2018 at 3:38 AM, steve said:

For my teacher, neidan is the heart and soul of Daoism.

let me guess. a westerner?

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Internal Alchemy is taught only to those who meet the requirements of that practice and are destined to receive this teachings. In times when everyone is trying to sell this knowledge as a product for their own benefit, many advertisements about internal alchemy courses appear on the internet. In fact, the content of those courses usually covers only the longevity and basic qi gong training erroneously called internal alchemy, and have nothing to do with Daoist internal life and death solving methods.  it requires years of ascetic training under the guidance of an accomplished master.

 

Students happen to come inquiring about issues around the cultivation of the elixir way – Internal Alchemy. Even though many talked about the bedchamber arts being Daoism’s golden elixir and the Great Dao, I still did not pay attention at the beginning. Over time more and more questions were raised, and I felt that this could be by no means accidental. Duel cultivation of internal alchemy has nothing to do with sex

 

Not to be too wordy but the basic structure below

 

The origin of the Dao is based on a single principle and its methods are divided into three categories called primes: heavenly prime, earthly prime and humanly prime. Each of these three primes is further divided into three levels also referred to as three achievements: the initial achievement, the intermediate achievement and the high achievement. Therefore there is nine different ranks in total that are applied by the various internal alchemy schools.

 

Consequently the internal alchemy scriptures can also be categorized according to the three primes. The heavenly prime scriptures deal with the great elixir, the earthly prime scriptures with the spirit elixir, the humanly prime with the golden elixir. In conclusion, the initial achievement could be compared to the first grade in school, the intermediate achievement to the second grade, and the high achievement to the third and final grade. Every grade requires graduation before one progresses to the next stage. All of the three primes are considered great internal alchemy paths, including all three elixirs: the great elixir, the spirit elixir and the golden elixir.

 

The heavenly prime is about tempering and disciplining one’s nature and innate character and grasping one’s life-destiny. The earthly prime seizes the cinnabar sand and generates mercury. i.e. external alchemy, the humanly prime gets rid of the old and creates the new. 

 

“Thus the principles of the three primes of internal alchemy are identical, but their methods differ.” This causes confusion to any one that does not have a verified teacher.

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4 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

let me guess. a westerner?

 

Could you share your view on this? Is it because Nei Dan came later?

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