Practicing internal elixir in Taoism is the well-known practice because of its subtle combination of cultivating Essence, Breath, and Spirit and transforming pure Qi into pure Spirit. At the highest level, the internal elixir Taoist cultivators can become the Fairy and have the eternal life. In this article, A Buddhist shows the guidance of 10 steps to practice internal elixir of Taoism for the Taoism cultivators at the beginning level.
Level 1: Practicing Qigong Meditation Small Heavenly Circuit
In the internal Qigong, the cultivators aim at transforming “pure Qi into pure Spirit”. In order to achieve this goal, we must acknowledge the core doctrine of Qigong: “When the mind moves; Qi moves, too.” That is the reason why all Taoists at the beginning levels have to be proficient at controlling Qi, by practicing Qigong meditation. By controlling the breath and mind consciously, they can move Qi inside the body. Wherever Qi moves to, this specific position will be stimulated. As a result, Qi makes changes on the whole nadis systems, muscles, blood systems, etc. It is evidenced to say that “All movements in the body need Qi”. In sum, Qi is extremely important in Qigong, it is the basis of Qigong. Therefore, it is a prerequisite for all Taoism practitioners to practice Qigong meditation well if they look forward to practicing higher level.
For achieving the goal of transforming “pure Qi into pure Spirit”, finally, Taoist come up with “Qigong meditation small heavenly circuit”.
In fact, Qigong meditation small heavenly circuit is the ancient Qigong practice. It focuses on creating a circle of Qi moving up from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head, then moving down from the top of the head to the below Dantian (placing below the belly about three knuckles). This is really the basis step in moving Qi practices in Qigong that requires the Taoist cultivators to be skillful at. By practicing Qigong meditation small heavenly circuit, they can reduce stress, strengthen the viscera, make cell recovery, and feel peaceful. However, the core purpose of this practice is to strengthen the power of “Pure Qi”. And strengthening the power of pure Qi is the compulsory step before transforming “Pure Qi into Pure Spirit“.
How to Practice “Qigong Meditation Small Heavenly Circuit”?
Before practicing Qigong meditation small heavenly circuit, Taoists should get used to the Inner Smile treatment.
The Inner Smile practice is a highly effective treatment for reducing stress and feeling relaxed. In this method, Taoists make connections to the body parts, the viscera by the power of love and happiness. In other words, they make their overall body, each viscera, and cell feel be loved and respected. Does it sound strange or weird? No, it doesn’t. If we can love others, why don’t we love our tiny cells, small viscera, each heart-beat, and show gratefulness for their effort in maintaining our lives? Simply, giving your body – viscera – cell a sincere and faith smile, you’ll find it peaceful and happy.
In the Inner Smile method, there are three key points:
- Paying attention to one specific part of the body.
- Smiling at this body part, sending the signals of love and respect to it, and thinking about its important role in maintaining your lives, your health.
- Imagining that this part is totally healthy and relaxed, then smiling at this part again.
Sitting on the desk, holding the hands and putting them on the lappet. Closing the eyes and taking the natural breath. Keeping on inhaling and exhaling until the breath is soft and deep. While taking the breath, smiling at the top, middle, and bottom parts of the body and harmonizing the breath with the body and mind. Later, smiling at the below Dantian, but not absorbing Qi to this Dantian.
Stimulating the Pure Qi at the below Dantian. Paying attention to the below Dantian, and taking the natural breath by the bell. Let you make this Dantian warmer by thinking about it. Imagining that each breath comes to this position and this Qi is your pure Qi. Staying focus on this below Dantian until you feel it is full of pure Qi.
Starting to moving Qi into the Ren meridian. Concentrating on the Dantian until you absorb enough Qi here. Then, moving the center of intention to the ovary or testicle. When you feel Qi has been absorbed barely, let move Qi to the lowest acupuncture point of the body – the Huiyin point (placing in the middle of the genitals and the anus).
Moving Qi to the Du meridian. Moving Qi up from the first governing vessel (GV1 – Changqing point) to the twentieth governing vessel (GV 20 – Baihui point). Then moving Qi down from Baihui point to the twenty-fourth governing vessel (GV24 – Shenting point).
Connecting the Du meridian and Ren meridian. Paying attention to the top of the tongue. Then, putting the tongue on the roof of the mouth, connecting the Du meridian and Ren meridian. Pushing the tongue against the top of the mouth about 9 – 36 times. By stimulating this position, Qi will move down to Ren meridian.
Completing the Qigong meditation small circulation. Moving Qi down on the Ren meridian, to the below Dantian. You can repeat 9 circles of Qi by this way.
Level 2 – 9 in Practicing Internal Elixir in Taoism
The following information describes details guidance of practicing internal elixir in Taoism steps by steps.
Level 2: Practicing The Lower Dantian (Xia)
The Below Dantian lays at about one knuckle from the bellybutton and is considered as the “Dantian of Essence” as well as holding most of Qi in the body.
Hereby a short introduction to practice the lower Dantian.
- First of all, you sit down on a chair with the back straight and close your eyes. Then, spending time relaxing and taking the breath slowly and moving your mind to the lower Dantian, keeping on concentrating on this position.
- Second, maintaining the state for several minutes. If your thoughts wander, let you bring it back to the lower Dantian. While you immerse in this step, enjoying the feeling of the breath and keep the mind in the abdomen.
- Third, opening the eyes slowly and relaxing your face by touching it by the palms of your hands.
- Finally, being aware of your feeling and repeating this practice again.
Level 3: Improving The Overall Health
In order to improve the overall health, and curing the disease, it is the prerequisite to do physical practices.
Level 4: Controlling The Breath
There are some key points in the methods of breath in Taoism.
- Step 1: Inhaling by the nose and drawing the flow of air at the end of your lungs. You can see it easily because your abdomen will balloon. Try to keep on inhaling until your lungs are full of air.
- Step 2: Holding the breath for some about 3-5 seconds in order to nourish the cells in your body.
- Step 3: Exhaling by pushing the air from the top to the end of the lungs. At the end of the exhalation, pulling the belly and pushing the diaphragm upward into the chest.
- Step 4: Preventing the air rushing back into your lungs by closing the glottis. This step is to relax the abdominal wall and the diaphragm.
There are four basic steps in Taoism breathing technique with the aim of spreading the flow of air to the nadis system and all viscera.
Level 5: Cultivating The Pure Yang Qi
Qi is the life-force energy. Thus, each Taoist must be aware of its extremely important role for the length of lifespan and take necessary action to protect the pure Qi, especially the pure Yang Qi. And one of the fastest way to protect the pure Yang Qi is to avoid sexual activities.
Level 6: Developing The Spirit
The spirit is the purest and important energy in Taoism. At this step, the Taoism practitioners can choose some popular practices such as Taoism meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi, martial arts or artistic pursuits. Generally, the Taoist cultivators take the mindful breath and control the flow of Qi inside the body to improve their spirit.
Level 7: Protecting The Second or The Sacral Chakra
In the body, the sacral chakra lays at the lower back and below the navel. It is very important because it plays the role of holding the root of life. Therefore, the Taoism practitioners must protect the second chakra by taking good care of themselves.
Level 8: Transforming Pure Qi into Pure Spirit
This is a very subtle step. It belongs to the three treasures which include Essence, Breath, and Spirit in Taoism. In a simple manner, this step means the Taoist cultivators make effort to control the pure Qi then transform pure Qi into pure Spirit.
Level 9: Cultivating Pure Spirit into The Highest Level of Enlightenment
At this level, the Taoist cultivators can always be in the calmness. In order to attain this enlightenment, the Taoist must have been passed along on the cultivating spirit journey. They can encounter the Tao mind at this step.
Level 10: Creating The Combination of The Greatest Pure Essence, Pure Breath, and Pure Spirit.
This is the highest and greatest level in the Internal Elixir of Taoism. The ones who can achieve this fantastic level are only the Supreme Taoist. This step requires the Taoist know how to make the Tree Treasures: transforming the pure Essence into pure Qi (Breath) and transforming the pure Qi into pure Spirit. After achieving this highest level, the Taoist cultivator can rejuvenate, strengthen the lifespan or have the external life, or even becoming the Fairy.
The Meaning of Practicing Internal Elixir in Taoism
Although it is hard for the humanity to achieve the higher and highest level in the Taoism, the practical steps in Internal Elixir of Taoism are extremely helpful for the Taoism practitioners to improve their overall health, cure the diseases, and have a mindful living. The highest level of practicing Internal Elixir is still a challenge for most people nowadays, however, every Taoism cultivators really can find many positive effects of practicing Internal Elixir. That is truly the reason why the methods of practicing Internal Elixir of Taoism have a great influence on the Qigong, Tai Chi, and other various martial arts communities.