Below is a translation of guidance in Congenital Qi Gong which was written down by master Kuang Qang Xiu before his death. They form a part of the notes for the next book I am working on which is a Nei Dan alchemical book written in the same step-by-step format as my previous Nei Gong book. I thought I would include it here as it is a useful guide for those interested in the deeper aspects of energy work. I have put it in two parts because of its length…
Note that the words I have capitalised are words which are used quite broadly within the original text. They were words which I am exploring further within the translation in order to distinguish them in their correct form. It is normal to leave this sort of ambiguity in alchemical texts but not necessarily useful for my book!
Congenital Qi Gong from the Daoist tradition is a way to cultivate both your nature (Xing) and your life path (Ming). For many generations it has been passed down from teacher to student; it is an effective way to clear the body of illness and improve the strength of your health. With practice, it can promote excellent levels of longevity. Originally these practices were taught by passing them from Heart-Mind to Heart-Mind with no reliance on the limited language of words. Later, written records were made but they were difficult to understand due to the metaphorical language used. Few people ever really understood these teachings and less received the entire transmission of the theories. These writings are the result of my own studies and I hope they will help the next generation of practitioners.
1 – Theory of the congenital and the acquired three powers
The three powers are Heaven, Man and Earth; each of these have three further treasures. The Sun, the Moon and the Constellations are the three treasures of Heaven. Fire, Wind and Water are the three treasures of Earth. Spirit, Energy and Essence are the three treasures of Humanity. The three treausures of man begin to reform into one as we move close to our demise. The three treasures of man also have a congenital and an acquired form; the congenital are Original Spirit, Original Energy and Original Essence. The acquired form of these treasures are known as the Spirit of Intellect, The Energy of Breath and the Jing of Tangibility. The congenital and the acquired forms of the treasures interplay with each other throughout life.
It is tricky for us to understand and intellectualize the difference between the congenital and the acquired due to their close relationship. The congenital Spirit is that of true consciousness whilst acquired Spirit is that of our thought. They are two but one, separate but yet the same. Congenital Essence is Stillness whilst the acquired Essence is the fuel of desire. Congenital energy is true and upright whilst the acquired energy is the power of Breath. Only through hard work and stillness practices can an honest practitioner understand what this means.
2 – Consolidate the Essence to Build the Energy
First we must cultivate stillness as this is core to congenital Qi Gong practice. Only an undisturbed Heart-Mind can effectively work with and lead our Energy. When we practice we will always find that the mind is full of many thoughts, it is an unkempt as a wildly overgrown bush; this causes the Spirit to become weak and disturbed. We must train to keep stillness in our Heart-Mind during every aspect of our daily lives, this includes when we speak, listen watch or interact with others, this is important. To help expand our energy we must keep this stillness when sitting, standing, sleeping or moving around. Me must stay firm in our efforts. The sages say that:, we should walk as if moving on a long flat road, when standing we should move our Spirit into the void of emptiness, in sitting we must lead the Breath into the lower Dan Tien and when laying down we must preserve the elixir we our cultivating. Expand your energy through such diligence. In this way the Heart-Mind will calm, the Fire will clear and the mood will regulate itself; any resentment will fade away.
Secondly we must cultivate our Nature to silence the Mind, these thoughts originate from within the stillness at the center of the Heart-Mind disturbing it. If this is the case we cannot unite the Energy of the Heart-Mind with the treasure of Breath. We must gather the scattered nature (Xing) and create the light of Spirit. Cultivate your stillness, collect your Nature, perceive the light and silence the acquired Mind. From here you will see the white clouds (also known as the White Room). This happens as the Spirit can move out from the stillness. The waves of movement come next as the Energy of the macrocosm move into the Heart. From here comes true emptiness but this takes time, be patient. At this time the Heart-Mind is still.
The perceived light is the manifestation of your Nature; it can only exist if the Nature is consolidated and strong. Use the light to ascertain the strength of the Nature.
To perceive the light we must sit in stillness. Collect the mind before the eyes. The position is both there but not there; yet it is always illuminated. This is the method of perceiving the cloudy room. This will make the small mind big and the small light shine brightly. The movements will come and then the light of stillness will arrive. The light will appear mis-shapen but will gradually become fixed and uniform. But beware, you cannot over use the mind for this process. One should not strive as stillness is required. Train from 11 at night until 5 in the morning, especially beginners. The increase of Yang Energy at this time will aid in the training.
3 – Cultivate the Spirit in the Region of the Energy
When the Nature is consolidated and the Mind is still, the white clouds will appear. Now the Mind attention should be led down to the lower Dan Tien region. This will help the Stillness to remain within the Heart-Mind.
This will help the awareness to light up the regions of the cavities of Energy. The Energy now neither stays nor leaves; it is vaguely there but yet brightly lit in stillness. It remains in the deep peacefulness, in the dusky emptiness. It rids the body of the dormant psychological devils. The True Heart-Mind remains steadfast and alone; though it is still you may feel the Breath in the silence. In breathes in towards the collecting point of Energy and upwards when exhaling towards the Heart. When the Mind and the Breath are linked you may let your psyche fade away. The Heart will rest with the Energy and the Energy will secretly subtly enwrap the Heart-Mind. They become a single unit resting within a fog of Heart Energy.
4 – Returning Saliva to Essence
The Saliva can be used in our practice. It can be converted into a disease fighting agent. High level Saliva can lead to longevity. Saliva is born from the Water of the Kidneys and had has a relationship to the Blood of the Heart. The two, when combined in the fluid, can help to promote Original Essence.
It is classically said that the mouth is the ‘Jade Pool’ in the ‘Palace of Heaven’. Through the consumption of its fluid the Magical Will of the Ling can erase disease and internal evils. During all activities rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth and thus the Saliva will be cultivated. When the mouth is full of saliva use the correct technique of extending the neck and swallowing to absorb the essence of the Saliva. When you have mastered this, the saliva will reach the Dan Tien, stillness will be born and loss of self will be the result. This is the culmination of work with the intention and the Heart-Mind. From this profound inner stillness movement will be born. Yin will become Yang and the Original Essence will be nourished.
5- When do we Cultivate Essence?
Between 11 at night and one in the morning, there is a rise of Yang, midnight is the peak. The body will wish to naturally align with Heaven and Earth at this time.
Though it is easy to cultivate Yang at this time it is also easy to fall under the spell of desire which will harm our practice. For this reason we can also use the rising of inner Yang which takes place between three and five in the morning. This is known as the ‘Living Zi Time’. In contacting the Yang of this hour there will be external occurrences. We must understand is this occurrence is due to clear or polluted Kidney Water. Our job is to cultivate the clear water through a still Mind. A Mind which is moving will only produce the polluted water which is no good for our practice.
Please excuse there roughness of the grammar within the translation, it was translated for my notes rather than ever being intended to go public…