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Concept: Neidan Terminology – Neidan: Combination of nèi 內 (inside; inner; internal) with dān 丹 (cinnabar; vermillion; elixir; alchemy) – Antonym: nèi 內 vs. wài […]

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Concept: Neidan Terminology

– Neidan: Combination of nèi 內 (inside; inner; internal) with dān 丹 (cinnabar; vermillion; elixir; alchemy)
– Antonym: nèi 內 vs. wài 外 (outside; exterior; external)
– Traditional term: jīndān dào 金丹道 (Way of the Golden Elixir)
– Modern term: nèidān shù 內丹術 (internal alchemical practices)
– Earliest mention: Uncertain, possibly in texts from Jin dynasty (266–420) or in a vow from 559

Concept: The Three Treasures in Neidan

– Three treasures: Jing 精 (nutritive essence), Qi 氣 (acquired energy), Shen 神 (spirit)
– Book of Balance and Harmony emphasizes essence, energy, and spirit for longevity
– Balancing yin and yang with the three treasures leads to health and longevity
– Importance of maintaining the three treasures internally for a healthy body
– Main goals of internal alchemy: health and longevity

Concept: Components of the Three Treasures

– Essence refers to primordial energies of the physical body
– Preservation of jing leads to longevity and a healthy life
– Death and illness linked to depletion of jing
– Daoist internal alchemy focuses on preserving jing for a long, happy life
– Jing preservation associated with longevity and potential immortality

– Qi is the natural energy of the universe present in all things
– Internal alchemy aims to maintain a positive flow of qi in the body
– Stagnation of qi linked to various health conditions
– Practices like acupuncture and herbal medicine aim to keep qi flowing
– Balanced and free-flowing qi promotes health, imbalance leads to sickness

– Shen is the original spirit of the body
– Good shen manifests as vitality and glow in appearance
– Taoist practices aim to cultivate shen through meditation
– Shen is reflected in the skin’s appearance and the eyes’ spark
– Consciousness of shen sought through contemplative practices

Concept: Neidan Overview

– Neidan is an internal alchemical practice in Taoism.
– Focuses on refining and circulating internal energies.
– Aims at achieving longevity and spiritual enlightenment.
– Involves meditation, breathing exercises, and visualization techniques.
– Practitioners believe in the transformation of the body and mind.

Concept: Historical and Modern Perspectives of Neidan

*Historical Context:*
– Roots in ancient Chinese alchemical practices
– Emerged during the Tang dynasty in the 8th century
– Influenced by earlier Taoist practices and Buddhist meditation techniques
– Popular among scholars, monks, and emperors
– Texts often contain symbolic language and metaphors

*Modern Interpretations:*
– Revival in contemporary Taoist circles
– Adaptation of traditional techniques to modern lifestyles
– Integration into holistic healing practices by some scholars
– Emphasis on harmony with nature and self-cultivation
– Teachings shared through workshops, books, and online resources

Neidan (Wikipedia)

Neidan, or internal alchemy (traditional Chinese: 內丹術; simplified Chinese: 內丹术; pinyin: nèidān shù), is an array of esoteric doctrines and physical, mental, and spiritual practices that Taoist initiates use to prolong life and create an immortal spiritual body that would survive after death. Also known as Jindan (金丹 "golden elixir"), inner alchemy combines theories derived from external alchemy (waidan 外丹), correlative cosmology (including the Five Phases), the emblems of the Yijing, and medical theory, with techniques of Taoist meditation, daoyin gymnastics, and sexual hygiene.

Seal script for nèidān 内丹
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese內丹
Simplified Chinese内丹
Literal meaninginside cinnabar
Korean name
Japanese name
Development of the immortal embryo in the lower dantian of the Daoist cultivator

In neidan, the human body becomes a cauldron (or "ding") in which the Three Treasures of Jing ("Essence"), Qi ("Breath") and Shen ("Spirit") are cultivated for the purpose of improving physical, emotional and mental health, and ultimately returning to the primordial unity of the Tao, i.e., attaining Taoist Immortality. It is believed the Xiuzhen Tu is such a cultivation map. In China, it is an important form of practice for most schools of Taoism.

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