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Category : Chinese Health - - - - Previous Page

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Alchemy, Reincarnation, & the Spirit-Matter Dialog

{written by : Micheal Winn}

Article word count : 1300 -- Article Id : 212
Article active date : 2008-07-28 -- Article views : 7064


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The effect of learning alchemical language is to speed the evolution of the dialogue within the spirit-matter continuum. By this means a single adept can affect all dimensions of being.





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The effect of learning alchemical language is to speed the evolution of the dialogue within the spirit-matter continuum. By this means a single adept can affect all dimensions of being. There are many beneficial kinds of meditation (neigong) that lead to enlightenment, but most of these do not completely resolve the relationship between awareness (shen) and the challenge of being in a body (jing). This is the central tension of physical life, mirroring the central tension of Heaven-Earth. Enlightenment schools tend to focus on activating a higher level of spirit in the head/upper dan tien. Daoist immortality practices work from the opposite direction, by opening the lower cauldron in the belly and gradually clearing the core channel in the center of the body until it opens up the upper cauldron in the head.

Excessive head-centered meditation can unfortunately lead to the desire to "escape" the difficulties of living in body/matter under the guise of transcending the body. Escapism is caused when the yin (po) and yang (hun) spirits within a human have difficulty communicating. The sexual essence (jing) of the body, however badly corrupted or diseased, is part of the primal matrix of yuan jing.. If one discards the crude physical body without first grasping this jing essence, the illusory act of transcendence (by yang heart shen and liver hun spirits prematurely returning to Heaven) is experienced by the yin spirits of the lungs (po) and kidney orb (zhi) as abandonment or failed love, so they return to Earth. Death is termination of the yin-yang dialog of these spirits within the human form and dissolution of the Yi"s intent (spleen/earth spirit) to continue imagining its human form. Nei dan seeks to prolong this dialog between spirit and body to allow the adept time to reach soul completion. The goal is not permanent physical immortality, just to achieve a life long enough to complete one"s destiny and attain to full realization of the Dao. Most people die at age 75 but are still spiritual children.

One Cloud"s nei dan formulas and teachings do not contain a single reference to reincarnation. Neither am I able to find references to reincarnation in any early daoist texts, although a few of the later schools infuenced by or competing with Buddhism may incorporate it. There is no need for a linear, past life reincarnation theory according to daoist cosmology. The incarnation process is controlled by the collective intelligence of Heaven and Earth, not by human will. Each human vital organ spirit may have its own line of incarnation, and this may account for so-called past life memories. They are actually "other life" impressions occuring in the present moment qi field, which simultaneously holds all past and future life possiblities and ancestral timelines.

In my deep language theory of Daoist cosmology, one never completely transcends the wheel of incarnation. To do so would imply a separation between the three Heavens that does not exist; they are a single continuum of communication. In the metaphor of the Dao as a wheel of life, the still, empty space inside the turning axle is the Supreme Unknown (wuji). The outer rim of the wheel is physical life of Later Heaven. The nei dan adept aspires to gradually shift the focus of his/her identity from outer rim to the center axle of the wheel (Origin) by opening communication through the revolving eight "spokes" or yin-yang forces of Early Heaven. The wheel of physical creation never stops turning, the assemblage point of one"s perceptual focus and experience of physicality simply shifts to the center of the wheel. This is what defines immortality: how close can we shift our human center to resonate with the center of the mind of the Dao? Immortals never truly leave Later Heaven; they embrace the entirety of the physical plane"s turning wheel from within a deeper center of multi-dimensional awareness.

Humans living on the outer rim of the wheel are driven, consciously or not, to fulfill their destiny and complete themselves by opening communication with with their original self in the wheel"s center. This process can be as simple as shifting attention from the surface of one"s skin and smiling into the core of one"s being within the body. All incarnation occurs from the center and moves out towards the rim. Reincarnation does not occur in a linear time line sequence from past life to current life as one moves around the outer rim, the popular Buddhist - Hindu conception of reincarnation or transmigration of souls from animal to human. The pure daoist view I believe is that all lives are the interaction of Earth (outer wheel rim) and Heaven (center wheel), who birth the 10,000. things from their yin-yang pools of jing-qi-shen patterns.

The Seven Formulas of Immortality tackle the difficulty of having a body. This is a core issue common to all humans and to the intelligence hidden or "locked" within all matter. The body and the mind (xin) identification with the body is what makes us feel trapped on the outer wheel of evolution. Nei dan liberates the adept from this illusion by giving us the in depth experience of re-creating our body in each moment as our qi pulses through the three heavens. The adept learns this by mediating the dialog between Heaven and Earth within the microcosm of his/her own body. The nei dan formulas are a map for awakening communication betwen the shen and the most dense levels of body (jing), starting in the lower belly/lower dan tien and moving it progressively up the core channel (chong mo) in the center of the body.

Each formula resonates with a progressively expanded level of the collective intelligence within the body of Nature. The essence of the three primal forces, three treasures, five elements/collective mind and eight trigram forces within the human body -- the Earth, planets, Sun, Pole Star and constellations are interiorized within one"s personal microcosm. The cauldron/dan tien shifts its location and size within the inner space of the adept"s body, depending on what aspect of nature is being communicated with.

To interiorize the vast powers of the outer universe within the adept"s body-mind requires a matching expansion of the adept"s inner space/internal qi field. The formulas guide the adept in opening a dialog between the microcosm and macrocosm, using the eight deep subtle body channels (Eight Extraordinary Vessels) and the principle of resonant rapport between yin and yang within the 5 Phases/Elements. This allows the growing awareness of one"s original, immortal self while still living within a mortal physical body. The adept"s process is to embody the alchemical maxim: "As above, so below; as without, so within". I have found that the depth and elegance of daoist nei dan"s explorations into the spiritual mystery of the body is unparalleled in the world"s esoteric systems. Studying daoist nei dan is like going for a PhD in Mystical Body studies.

Humans can practice internal alchemy only because Nature is an alchemist. Alchemical formulas could not express Nature"s deep intelligence unless Nature itself embodied an alchemical process. Nature divides itself into three levels, Original, Early and Later Heavens. Like an ever repeating fractal, the third heaven holds within its microcosm the three treasures of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity, and Humanity holds within itself the three treasures of jing, qi, and shen. These dimensional divisions in nature reflect the universal process of alchemy: separate into three, refine, then reunite into one purified whole. Why does the Dao create this alchemical process? One can only speculate: alchemy allows it to grasp and refine its own essence, to transform itself endlessly as it shapes and re-shapes the original qi field.

Author Bio :
Micheal Winn, president Healing Tao USA offers : Qigong exercise for health. Top Tai Chi, Qi Gong, & meditation exercises on dvd, audio-video,or at healing week long retreats. http://www.healingtaousa.com

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Other reads by Micheal Winn

Inner Tones of Heaven and the I Ching
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Looking for Taoists in China, Mortal and Immortal
Alchemists, Shamans, Mediums & the Empty Mind State
The Cauldron as Portal for Communicating with Original Qi
Daoist Internal Alchemy: Computer Language vs. Alchemical Language
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On Immortality, the Body, & Wuji
Clearing the Confusion Over Fusion
The Tao of Cultivating Sexual Energy


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