1. Taoist Classics
The following material is based upon interpretations of Thomas Cleary’s translation of Liu I Ming’s Commentaries on the text “Inner Teachings” by Chang Po-Tang, as illuminated by personal practice.
The highest levels of internal Taoist Alchemy are accomplished by the cultivation of ‘The Three Jewels’, aggregation of the ‘Four Primordial forms’, development of the ‘Golden Elixir’, and the ‘Spiritual Opening’, with further stages of development in the spiritual realms.
1.1 The Three JewelsThe Three Jewels are True Intent, True Sense and Spiritual Essence.
True Intent commands the vital spirit, guarding the source of being, whole, without fragmentation, at the centre where elemental forces blend, and Yin and Yang harmonize and create myriad forms.
True Sense is born from True Intent. True Sense shines inwards, light within dark, illuminating the true knowledge of the inner body, the pivot of creation and unconstrained space. True Sense prevents internal aberrations and wards off external afflictions
Spiritual Essence is born from True Sense. It is the immaterial spiritual essence arising from conscious knowledge in the Human Body. Outwardly firm, inwardly flexible, empty, changing, responding and tempered by fire.
True intent, True Sense and Spiritual Essence form the primordial unified energy, without defect and all one reality.
When the ‘real’ divides, the false comes forth. Habit, routines, artificial intentions, and arbitrary feelings adulterate the ‘real’.
The path of restoration starts with knowing original True Intent. Then, the Jewel is in your hands and all existences empty.
Once True Sense appears, not concealing, not deceiving, the original spirit is constantly present. The discriminating spirit does not arise, the temperament sublimes and spiritual essence natural manifests and is maintained within the centre
Because real truthfulness is in the centre, the energies of true knowledge and the essence of conscious knowledge combine spontaneously.
Essence and Sense without imbalance, centered. The illusory body and stubborn mind quieten
The Three Jewels are the gateway to Taoist Alchemy.
The Three Jewels may be approached directly by T’ai Chi and Chi Gong.
1.2 The Four Primordial formsThe four forms are the great medicine to cultivate the Golden elixir.
Thunder is the True Essence
Lake is the True Sense
Water is the Real Knowledge
Fire is open Conscious Knowledge
Turn the dipper handle of True Sense to join the four forms and form the Golden Elixir without effort (technique). To generate the Golden Elixir, it is only necessary to understand how to harmonise Yin and Yang.
The Golden Elixir is the energy of primordial true unity inherent in our original undifferentiated beginning. It envelops space and space envelops the world.
It is measureless and the Mother of all things.
When Yin and Yang mate they create the spiritual embryo or child. The child gives birth to grandchildren and hence great grandchildren. Ten thousand transformations, riding the winds and becoming immortal.
1.3 Spiritual OpeningOpening is where Yin and Yang divide and join in the centre of space,
Where True Essence and life abide,
Where spirit and energy congeal,
It has no place or form,
beyond technique and refined by fire.
Real and concious knowledge, the two medicines, arise in the ‘Occult opening’.
Mixing with temporal conditioning, senses and their objects intermingle and Essense and Sense are nor easy to harmonize. It takes intense effort to retun to reality.