Alchemy is defined as "a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life", also it is, "a power or process of transforming something common into something special". Daoist alchemy is simply a means of achieving this transformation from a daoist field of study and perspective.
Daoist Alchemy is a complete system of transformational energetics that is designed to take the beginning practitioner from an introduction to energy and the understanding of how it works, to the highest attainable spiritual state of transformation. The difficulty is in understanding and accepting that this is a long and tenuous path and is not something that can be accomplished in a short period of time, but each step lays the foundation for the next step and each one builds upon the other, while slowly nurturing the body, mind and spirit to change.
The process requires patience and diligence, each mode of training demands that the practitioner be able to sustain the persistent practice of each element of cultivation and meditation until the results of each exercise has manifested. Sometimes this process takes many years just to achieve one level of training because of the body undergoing an alchemical change as well as an energetic and spiritual transformation.
Each technique and meditation is designed to unlock abilities that are needed on the next level of training, foregoing the appropriate training for more advanced techniques that you are not ready for or are incapable of embodying only succeeds in sabotaging your progress and hinders you from obtaining the necessary skills to reach the desired goal.
It is only through surrendering to our own vanity that we can truly excel and become something exceptional. Only by letting go of our attachments to the outcome of the events in our life can we truly progress in this work. What is going to happen will happen in its own time and in its own way and it is not something that can be forced through the greed of our desire, it must unfold naturally through patience and the stillness of the heart and mind.
Daoist Alchemy is comprised of various internal training methods that are the fundamental foundation of any internal energetic system whether it is applied in Chinese Martial Arts such as Taijiquan, Baguazhang, or Xingyiquan; or Traditional Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong; or in a Spiritual Practice and Energetic Cultivation system.
Whether choosing to utilize a system from the Martial, Medical, or Spiritual tradition is inconsequential, because they all have the same beginning foundation that must be laid and adhered to in order to take advantage of their hidden abilities. It begins with the strengthening of the body both internally and externally through the purging of pathogens and toxins that are trapped within the body's tissues and organs. This facilitates an emotional and mental detoxification of the body and mind, this is the Purification stage.
After Purification comes Cultivation and then Transformation. The Cultivation stage varies in its meditational practices depending on which vehicle of application you choose to use.
When pursuing the martial path, Daoist Alchemy is used to achieve a balance of Body, Mind, and Spirit in order to achieve phenomenal internal power and skill that is fully integrated within these three mediums to be used in combat. The Purification stage is used to strengthen the body and it's organs by eliminating toxic emotions from past traumas that have not yet been resolved but instead have been stuffed away and retained in the muscle tissues and organs. This results in emotional instability when engaged in combat, stemming from anger from past woundings and fear from past victimization. This hinders the student from being energetically open to their intuitive abilities and denies them access to energetic skills and perceptions that could be used to protect themselves in a martial situation.
In Martial Cultivation, the meditations used are usually performed from a standing position designed to simultaneously gather energy and strengthen the physical body to prepare it for combat. As the student continues training and advancing in his cultivation of energy, the movements, forms, and training will all be structured to accomodate the projection of this energy in a combat situation. How this is applied is dependent upon which system of Internal Martial Arts the student is currently studying (Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, ect.).
Some of the many skills and abilities that can be obtained when utilizing the energy of an internal Martial system is: Rooting, Lightskill, Iron Palm, Iron body or Golden Bell, viewing Aura's, increased perception of energy, stopping time, Dim Mak (Poison Touch), and many other martial based skills. The training to achieve these abilities is difficult and strenuous, it requires many years of dedication, commitment, and study to accomplish mastery over them.
When pursuing the path of a Healer, the cultivation of energy is similar is some aspects to the martial training. Because a certain amount of physical strength and stamina is needed when treating patients on the treatment table, standing meditations are also required to build the endurance necessary for this type of modality. Also, there are more visual based sitting meditations designed to open up the students third eye and increase his ability to perceive energy and to be able to focus his intention on the manipulation of that energy.
In Chinese Energetic Medicine, the healer must be able to perceive the energy inside a patient's body and recognize which organs are healthy and which are in a deficient or excess condition, and be able to mold, manipulate and control the energy in such a way that it brings the patient's body back to a state of equilibrium. The application of this type of skill and ability requires more of a mental projection and control of energy as well as the ability to move energy within the physical tissues. This is why the cultivation training as a healer requires more quiescent meditations and these are designed to increase the body and mind's perception of energy, first within oneself and then within others. This is True Energetic Diagnosis.
In Energetic Medicine some of the skills and abilities that will manifest are: Viewing Aura's, dissolving tumors, the ability to see the history of a disease, the ability to see the patient's past, the ability to see energy, Distance healing, intuitive perception, and many other skills and abilities will continue to manifest as the healer continues to sojourn on this path.
When pursuing the Spiritual path, Daoist Alchemy is used as the transformational process to achieve Spiritual Enlightenment. Because you are dealing with a higher level of energetic vibration, more emphasis is placed on Purification overall than the Martial or Medical Qigong purification process. This level of training requires a more committed approach to the purification of the Jing (essence), Qi (energy), and Shen (spirit) because each one builds upon the other in order to reach the next level of transformation. Special attention is place on the refinement of the Virtues because it is through their purification that your "Core Being" which is attached to and directly communicates with the Divine, is transformed, filled with more light and vibration, and able to evolve to a higher state of Being.
On the Spiritual Path the meditational practices are geared towards establishing an inner quiescence that allows you to connect to a Divine state at a far deeper level than that in which the mind is engaged in tracking the movement of the energy within the body. Focus is placed on being able to quiet the chattering of the "Monkey Mind" by emptying one's self of thoughts and desires and entering a state of complete stillness of body, mind, and spirit, thereby dissolving and becoming one with everything. Because this is the goal, the meditations are more yin in nature and are executed from more sitting and quiescent postures than those of the Martial and Medical cultivation schools.
Through this type of training some of the Spiritual and Energetic manifestations and skills that are acquired range from Clairvoyance (perceiving a person's destiny), Clairaudience (hearing thoughts of others and the sounds of the Universe), Clairsentience (sensing the thoughts, judgments, and emotions of other persons), and Pre-Cognition (intuition of the future), to Spirit travel and Soul Projection, Manifestations of thoughts, and the ability to control animate and inanimate objects.