TAOIST YOGA Alchemy and Immortality Part 10

Alchemical agents, The three:

1 The microcosmic outer alchemical agent is produced by outer
fresh air breathed in and out to restore the generative force
which has drained away in order to purify and transmute it
into vitality.

2 The microcosmic inner alchemical agent is produced by the
inner vital breath in the body which transmutes vitality into spirit.

3 The macrocosmic alchemical agent is gathered to break
through the original cavity of spirit in the brain for the mortal
man to become immortal, i.e. for the integration of microcosm
into macrocosm.

Alchemical agent, The three components of the: The generative force,
vitality and spirit.

Alchemical process, The four phases of: Move (hsin), stay (chu),
re-start (chi) and stop (chih). The element of fire in the genera¬
tive force, vitality and spirit moves from A to D (for cleansing)
and then to G where it stays for a while and is called the ascend¬
ing positive fire; and subsequently re-starts from G to J (for
purification) and then stops at A (see figure 2 ) and is called the
descending negative fire.

Alchemy, Taoist: An ancient science which teaches the stopping of
the flow of the generative force inherent in every man so that
instead of being discharged to procreate offspring or to waste
away, it is retained in the body for purification and transmu¬
tation into positive vitality to restore original spirit which existed
before the world came into being and so that it can return to
its primal immortal state.

Ambrosia (kan lu): The sublimation of the generative force,
vitality and spirit in the brain produces the ambrosia which,
flowing in the mouth, becomes a liquid (saliva) which, when
swallowed, makes sounds in the abdomen. This ambrosia
produces and nurtures the immortal seed in the lower tan t’ien
whence it radiates, lighting up the heart to reveal the formation
of the immortal seed. See Kan lu and Sweet dew.

Ascent and descent of inner fire in the microcosmic orbit: When breathing
in, the heart, spirit and thought should rise together in the chan¬
nel of control from the cardinal point A at the base of the penis
to the cardinal point G on the top of the head, and when breath¬
ing out, the heart, spirit and thought should together go down
in the channel of function from the cardinal point G to A (see
figure 2 ). The ascent is positive and the descent is negative.
Audible vibration at the back of the head: It reveals the strength of
fire in the generative force, vitality and spirit. It differs from
the wrong type of fire which causes buzzing in the ear.

Bellows ( t’oyo): The mechanism of ventilation in the body caused
by in and out breathing to kindle the psychic fire in the lower
abdomen like a bellows used for blowing fire.

Blazing fire in the lower tan t’ien: It shows the fullness of the genera¬
tive force and vitality from which it arises.

Body, Essential (fa shen): Spiritual body of an immortal.

Breath, Vital: Breath of life which keeps the heart, stomach,
liver, lungs and lower abdomen functioning, and without which
the body perishes. When the white and golden lights unite,
concentration in the head of these five vital breaths produces
the macrocosmic alchemical agent which should be gathered
for the final breakthrough thereby causing the practiser to leap
over the worldly to the saintly state, and so leaving the state of
serenity to appear in countless transformation bodies in the

Breathing, Foetal: Breathing of a foetus in the womb through
the two channels of control and function of the microcosmic orbit,
ceasing to function when the umbilical cord is cut at birth and
being replaced by breathing through the nostrils.

Breathing, Fourfold: A full fourfold breathing consists of in and out
breaths with corresponding ascent and descent of inner fire in
the microcosmic orbit which contributes to the immortal breath.

Breathing, Immortal: It rises in the heel pathway, from the heels
to the brain and, descends in the trunk pathway, from the brain
to the mortal gate. It is also called the self-winding wheel of the
law, i.e. the macrocosmic orbit through which the vital breath
goes up and down to restore the profound foetal breathing,
thereby wiping out all postnatal conditions so that prenatal
vitality can be transmuted into a bright pearl that illuminates
the brain where an ambrosia produces and nurtures the immortal
seed in the lower tan t’ien, in which it radiates, lighting up the
heart heralding the formation of this immortal seed, when
breathing appears to cease and the pulses seem to stop beating
in the condition of complete serenity. See Self-winding wheel
of the law.

Cardinal points of the microcosmic orbit, The four: 1. North (tzu)
at the base of the penis, 2. South (wu), the top of the head, and,
between them, 3. East (mao) on the back and 4. West (yu) in
front of the body.

Cauldron: Cavity in which the process of alchemy transmutes
the generative force into vitality and vitality into spirit. It
changes place rising from the lower tan t’ien under the navel to
the middle tan t’ien in the solar plexus to transmute the genera¬
tive force into vitality, and then to the upper tan t’ien in the
brain, called the precious cauldron, to transmute vitality into

Cavity of true vitality (chen ch’i hsueh): The lower tan t’ien under the
navel where true vitality manifests. See Chen ch’i hsueh.

Cavity of vitality: The lower tan t’ien under the navel; also called
Ocean of vitality (ch’i hai) and Gate to life (ming men).

Chen hsi: True breath.

Chen hsin: True nature.

Chenjen: Immortal man.

Chiang kung: The solar plexus. See also Yellow hall (huang ting).
Ch’ien i: Heavenly oneness, a name given to the great empti¬
ness by the Book of Change.

Chin lu: Golden stove, the lower tan t’ien one and one-third
inches under the navel.

Chin tan: The golden elixir of immortality. See Golden elixir.
Chu: A weight equal to the twenty-fourth part of a tael which is
the Chinese ounce, equal to one and one-third oz. avoirdupois.
Ch’un hsien: The genital duct which links the lower tan t’ien to the
testicles, which the generative force reaches to change into

Chun huo: Chief fire or heart’s fire which is aroused by evil
thoughts and should be avoided by the practiser.

Ch’ung mo: See The eight psychic channels.

Circle of light: A round light formed by spiritual vitality that
springs from the middle tan t’ien or solar plexus after spirit and
vitality have returned to the lower tan t’ien under the navel;
it is the manifestation of the real nature of the self.

Cleansing and purifying (mu yu): Cleansing the positive ascent and
purifying the negative descent during the microcosmic orbiting,
for the positive is already pure and needs only some cleaning
whereas the negative is corrupt and should be purified to be
transmuted into the positive.

Coiling up the body into five dragons: A method which consists of
‘composing’ one’s head (i.e. putting it in comfortable position),
curving and reclining the body on either side, like the coiled
length of a sleeping dragon or the curved body of a dog, bending
one arm for a pillow while stretching the other to place a hand
on the belly, and straightening one leg while bending the other.
Even the heart is immersed in sleep, the pupils of both eyes should
be drawn close to each other for pointed concentration on the
great emptiness so that in the condition of utter stillness the vital
principle returns automatically to its source {under the navel),
breathing continues normally and so is self-regulated, and the
(vital) breath is brought under perfect control. This method
of sleeping will banish all dreams and so prevent the generative
fluid from draining away.

Cold storage technique: Consists of driving the light of positive
spirit manifesting in the brain into the lower abdomen with

pointed concentration on vitality there until it vibrates. The
practiser should then imagine that this vitality goes up and down
in the thrusting channel between the heart and the lower ab¬
domen until all of a sudden it slips into the lower tan t’ien;
this is called entry into the cavity within a cavity and is actual re¬
entry into the foetus for further creativity.

Components, The four: Body, breath, incorporeal and corporeal
souls symbolised by the elements of water, fire, wood and

Copulation, Inner (nei chiao kou): By inner copulation of the positive
and negative principles is meant the production of the micro-
cosmic inner alchemical agent by rolling the eyes from left to
right in conjunction with the passing of inner fire through sub¬
limating phrases at the cardinal points D and J of the micro-
cosmic orbit, for the purpose of transmuting vitality into spirit
whose full development causes a bright light, called the mysterious
gate (hsuan kuan) to manifest in the original cavity of spirit
between and behind the eyes.

Creativity, Mechanism of: Way in which the process of creation
works to transmute mortality into immortality, that is when the
generative force, vitality and spirit unite to become one as
shown by the circle of light in front of the practiser.

Divisions of One vitality. The two: The positive yang and negative
yin as represented by the sun and the moon.

Dragon, The cavity of the: The lower tan t’ien cavity (see tan t’ien).
Dragon and Stork: Emblem of longevity.

Dragon and Tiger: Dragon stands for negative vitality and tiger
for positive vitality. Their copulation brings into manifestation the
original spirit in its bright light.

Dragon and tiger cavities: The negative and positive cavities in the
centres of the left and right palms respectively.

Dragon’s hum: Reveals the fullness of vitality in the generative
force. When vitality fills the tiny channels of the nervous and
psychic systems, it produces indistinct sounds.

Driving the three vehicles uphill: A technique which helps the
macrocosmic alchemical agent to rise first slowly through the
coccyx, the first gate at the base of the backbone, like a goat
slowly drawing a cart up hill; then thrust through the second
gate between the kidneys, like a deer speedily drawing a cart
up hill; and finally to force through the occiput or third gate at
the back of the head, like an ox drawing a cart up hill.

Earth: The lower abdomen.

Entry into the cavity within a cavity: Entry into the lower tan t’ien
cavity within the lower abdomen (the house of water).

Fire used for purification has eighteen meanings:

(a) Four kinds of fire kindled by breathing to transform the generative
fluid derived from the digestion offood into generative force:

1 Kindling the fire (to return the generative force to the lower
tan t’ien)

2 Leading the fire (to turn the wheel of the law to gather the
alchemical agent)

3 Forcing the fire with fire (i.e. breathing in and out to drive the
generative and vital forces into the stove in the lower abdomen)

4 Stopping the fire (i.e. discontinuing all breathing after the
golden light has manifested twice in order not to spoil the the al¬
chemical agent gathered).

(b) Seven kinds of fire, derived from spirit, to transform the generative
force into vitality:

1 Freezing the fire (i.e. freezing and driving spirit into the lower
tan t’ien)

2 Driving the fire (into) is driving into the microcosmic orbit
the inner fire which then passes through the sublimating phases
at D and J to’ gather the inner alchemical agent so that true
vitality soars up to the brain which will then develop fully,
causing a bright light, called the mysterious gate, to manifest
between the eyes.

3 Lowering the fire (to cause the negative fire to retreat so
that the positive yang develops fully and replaces the negative
Y in -)

4 Shifting the fire (is using quick fire to enlarge all obstructed
channels to clear them of obstructions

5 Calming the fire (is using slow fire to help the psychic
channels that have dilated to shrink so that the breath that has
spread in the body can return to its former position under
the navel)

6 Fire in its own house is when the heart (the house of fire) is
stirred and the penis stands erect in spite of the absence of thoughts;
this is real fire in its house which arouses the genital organ and
is not the genuine one which vibrates at the hour of tsu (11 p.m.
to 1 a.m.) when the penis erects and when the alchemical agent
should be gathered.

7 Heart’s fire is the fire of passion excited by evil thoughts

(c) Seven kinds of fire derived from prenatal vitality, which purify the
breathing and contribute to the manifestation of original spirit:

1 Circulating the fire (up in the channel of control to the origin¬
al cavity of spirit and down in the channel of function to the lower
tan t’ien)

2 Gathering the fire is collecting the generative and vital forces
as well as the alchemical agent to lift up the vital breath below in
the twin cultivation of essential nature and eternal life.

3 Lifting the fire (which has been gathered to the brain before
lowering it to the lower tan t’ien to invigorate the body which
has been weakened by the drain of generative force).

4 Fire in the house of water (k’an) stands for vitality in vibra¬
tion which forms a bellows from below the heart to under the
navel, which is linked with the genital gate through the mortal

5 Negative fire in the stove or lower tan t’ien which drives
vitality into the microcosmic orbit.

6 Fire immersed in water. When the generative and vital forces
are in the lower tan t’ien they are fire in the house of water,
but when they leave it to drain away they take a liquid form.

7 Fire in the stove. When spirit and vitality vibrate in the lower
tan t’ien, this is fire in the stove.

Five dragons upholding the holy one (wu lung peng sheng): Five is
the number of the element of earth which stands for the right
thought; dragon stands for spirit, i.e. the practiser who is ready
to sacrifice his body in his quest of immortality (by) upholding the
holy one which means by looking up to suck up the ascending
precious gem or the macrocosmic alchemical agent for the final

Five vital breaths: When the five vital breaths (in the heart,
spleen, lungs, liver and kidneys) converge in the head, the golden
light appears and unites with the white light of vitality which has
manifested after the intermingling of the generative force, vitality
and spirit. This is the union of the true positive and negative
principles from which the immortal foetus emerges to take shape
Flute without holes (played in reverse): The mechanism of breathing
is closed (ho) so that outer air breathed in reaches the lower ab¬
domen to push up the vital force in the channel of control to
the brain, and is opened (p’i) to expel it from the lower abdomen
while the vital force, now released from pressure, returns from
the brain to the lower abdomen.

This foundation will lift the practiser from the mortal to the
immortal plane, still his spirit within ten months, and enable
him to give up sleep within nine or ten months, dispense with
food and dripk within ten months, feel neither cold in winter nor
hot in summer, and achieve unperturbed spirit which leads to
stable serenity.

This laying of the foundation will cause life to last as long as
heaven and earth, and lead to the acquisition of the supernatural
powers possessed by all immortals.

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