NATHAN BRINE

Wang Liping's Taoist system

Below you will find an overview of Wang Liping’s Dragon Gate system of Taoist alchemy training: The Internal Art of Penetrating to the Numinous Treasure and Wisdom Ability (Lingbaotong zhineng neigong shu 靈寶通知能內功術).

Wang Liping teaches internal alchemy (neidan) and the Taoist five arts (fate calculation, discern appearances, divination, practices, and medicine). Internal alchemy powers the five arts. The core of Wang Liping’s teaching has three components:

1 Yinxian Methods (meditation)
2 Three Immortals Practice (internal alchemy)
3 Celestial Eye Practice

Yinxian Methods (meditation)

Yinxian Methods (Yinxian fa 引仙法) are the way of silent meditation used in the Dragon Gate Lineage and form an essential platform for the practice of internal alchemy. Before we can practice alchemy we need to prepare. The 12 methods are a collection of techniques and principles used throughout the alchemical process to regulate the mind and body and enter stillness.

  • Gather the Mind and Sit Quietly
  • Regulate the Body
  • No Seeing, No Hearing
  • Gather in the Vision and Return the Hearing
  • Regulate Normal Breathing
  • The Three Step Practice of Calming, Creating, and Gathering In the Spirit
  • Regulate the True Breath
  • Sealing up the Body
  • Inner Vision and Return the Hearing
  • Concentrate the Spirit and Begin Quiet Illumination
  • Listen and Follow the Breath
  • Nourish the Heart to Bath and Cleanse

The first three methods are core of the practice, and the remaining nine are supplemental. The methods are not meant to be followed sequentially. But to be applied as needed.

Methods 1 to 7 are for restoring us to our original healthy state.

Methods 8 to 9 are for repairing energetic leakages in the body.

Methods 10 to 12 are for building foundation.

Three Immortals Practice (Internal Alchemy, Neidan)

To transform the self we follow the way of alchemy. Internal alchemy (neidan 內丹) is a form of esoteric Taoist meditation that works with our body and its energies. It seeks to refine and change coarser energetic states into more rarified states. Just as ice turns to water, and water turns to steam, the self can also be transformed. It is often seen as the pinnacle of Taoist self-transformation practices, and is often passed on privately between teacher and student.

The training has five stages:

1 Refining the body to conserve the qi (foundation practice)
2 Refining essence into qi
3 Refining qi into spirit
4 Refining spirit to revert to emptiness
5 Refining emptiness to join with the Tao

The order of the methods below are not carved in stone; they only describe a general trajectory. All the parts work together as an organic whole. Master Wang advises not to plot our practice, but use our intuition and approach the process in a state of wuwei. 

Three Immortals Practice (sanxian gong 三仙功) is the main body of the alchemical work. It is the private oral teaching associated with Lü Dongbin’s alchemical classic Lingbao bifa. Three Immortals Practice is divided into three vehicles, ten gates, and 45 methods.

The Practice of Human Transcendence

Furnace is the body. Medicine is qi. Fire is the heart. Water is the kidneys. Cultivates Life Force (minggong 命功).

1. Pairing of Yin and Yang

  • The Yang Embryo and the Yin Breath
  • True Embryo Breathing
  • Pairing of Kan and Li

2. Gathering and Dispersing the Water and Fire

  • The True Qi Contained in the Original Union of Yin and Yang
  • The Lesser Refining of the Form
  • Celestial Youth

3. Copulation of the Dragon and Tiger

  • Gather and Nourish the Reverted Elixir
  • Foster the Transcendent Embryo
  • Water and Fire, Kan and Li
  • The True Husband and Wife
  • Exchange the Qi, not the Form

4. Refine the Medicine for the Elixir

  • Fire Phasing
  • Lesser Celestial Circuit
  • Fire Phasing for the Celestial Circuit
  • Gather the Spirit to Nourish the Qi
  • Gather the Qi to Nourish the Spirit
  • Refine the Yang to Nourish the Spirit
minggong

The Practice of Earthly Transcendence

Furnace is spirit. Medicine is qi. Fire is the sun. Water is the moon. Cultivates Life Force (minggong 命功).

5. Flying the Golden Crystals Behind the Elbows 

  • Revert Essence to Nourish the Brain
  • Initiate the River Chariot
  • Copulation of the Dragon and Tiger
  • Decrease Lead Increase Mercury
  • Revert to Youth from Old Age

6. Reverted Elixir of Jade Liquid

  • Jade Liquid Refines the Talisman
  • Bathing and Cleansing the Transcendent Embryo
  • The Lesser Reverted Elixir
  • The Greater Reverted Elixir
  • The Seven-Returned Elixir
  • The Nine-Revolved Elixir

7. Reverted Elixir of Golden Liquid

  • Golden Elixir Refines the Talismanic Form
  • Ignite the Alchemic Flame Setting the Body on Fire
  • The Golden Flower and the Jade Dew
  • Greater Kan and Li
  • The Method of Yellow and White

The Practice of Celestial Transcendence

Furnace is spirit. Medicine is inner nature. Fire is wisdom. Water is stability. Cultivates Inner Nature (xinggong 性功).

8. Refine Qi to have an Audience with the Origin

  • Transcend the Inner Courtyard
  • Refine Qi to Complete the Form
  • The Purple and Golden Elixir
  • Scorch and Refine the Yang Spirit
  • The Three Blossomings Accumulate on the Top of the Head

9. Inner Observation of the Exchange

  • Collect the Yang Spirit
  • Fire that Reaches to Heaven
  • Exchange the Ordinary with the Transcendent
  • True Emptiness
  • Entering the Celestial Kingdom
Celestial Transcendence xinggong

10. Liberation from Form

  • Enter the Formless
  • Cast Off the Material and Transcend
  • Transcend the Ordinary and Enter the Sacred

Celestial Eye Practice

Celestial Eye Practice is the oral teaching associated with the text The Secret of the Golden Flower, and is used in all stages of training along side Three Immortals Practice. This practice opens the Celestial Eye (Third Eye) and works with the Light of our Spirit (shenguang 神光). It also cultivates our Inner Nature (xinggong 性功).

There are ten stages with four methods each, however Wang Liping has only taught the first four stages publicly.

1. Open Celestial Eye

  • Use Awareness to Transport the Spiritual Illumination
  • Open the Celestial Eye
  • Exchange of Kan and Li
  • Three Lights Gather Naturally

2. Ancestral Opening Practice

  • Return the Light and Collect the Ling
  • Rotate the Sun and Moon
  • Unite the Sun and Moon
  • Ling Accumulates in the Mysterious Opening

3. Concentrate Shen in Lower Field

  • Close your Eyes and Return the Light
  • Manufacture the Medicine in the Palace of Earth
  • Regulate the Breath to Bath and Cleanse
  • Gather the Light into a Small Pearl

4. Turn Around Observation and Illuminate Interior 

  • Spirit Leads the Small Pearl
  • Transport and Transform the Five Phases
  • Spirit and Ling Become One
  • Gently Nourish the Dragon’s Pearl

Supplemental Practices

The three practices above are core. The following are supplemental.

  1. Female Alchemy
  2. Seven Star Stepping, Nine Palace Bagua Stepping, Bagua Intention Sphere, and the Three Methods of Opening the Energy Channels, Meridians, and Channels in the Bones
  3. Method for Stealing the Essence of the Sun and Moon to Return to the Self
  4. Energy Balancing Practice (tree practice) and Standing Meditation Practice
  5. The Nature Energy Exchange Method (Taoist walking)
  6. Paired Practice