Practice of internal alchemy takes us from the physical into the subtle. We apply methods of energetic transformation to change the self. Although the body and mind are involved, the bulk of the work is with energy, or qi. Qi takes many forms. For Taoist alchemists our energy body can be divided into three main categories: jing, qi, and shen.
Shen (spirit) is energy in its finest form, associated with consciousness.
Qi (energy) is in the middle.
Jing (essence) is energy in its coarsest form, associated with physical body.
The goal of internal alchemy is to form the Golden Elixir or the Sacred Embryo. Reaching these goals is a process. Level One to Three include methods and techniques to attain these goals. However, the point of Taoist practice is to return to the Tao, not mastering internal alchemy. Alchemy is merely a tool to help us on the path, it is still up to each of us to walk it.