Nei Gong, Qi Gong and Nei Dan

Letting go and faith

There will always be things we don’t want to happen, but have to learn to accept. Things we don’t want to know, but have to learn… and people we don’t want to leave but have to learn to let go of. My thoughts of late have been revolving around...
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Middle School Nei Dan: fundamental principles and practices

Neidan is the art of energetic meditation in Daoism and represents the most direct route to cultivating the three treasures of essence, energy and spirit. Neidan was formalised under the masters Lu Dongbin, Zhang Boduan, and Wang Chongyang before the thirteenth...
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Return to *dao*: a personal account

Daoism as paradox As I sit down to think of how to describe what I know of Daoism, I see a complex and confusing tapestry open up before me – a fabric with rich hues, subtle textures and fascinating spaces that enfold and expand in mysterious dimensions. This tapestry...
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Becoming who we are: Daoism and health

‘It is one of the commonest of our mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all that there is to perceive.’ – Charles W. Leadbeater When comparing and contrasting modern society’s view of health to that of Daoism, it is...
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Reflections on training

If it’s not too philosophical, I think it’s often important to reflect on why we practise. A daily practice is not as much about consistent progression in your technique as it is about giving yourself a constant background on which your behaviour, and thus...
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Bi Gu (辟谷) – Giving Up Food…

An important aspect of Daoist alchemical practice is Bi Gu (辟谷) or ‘abstaining from grains’. The term often appears within books on the internal arts but there is rarely anything in the way of further discussion of what the term actually means. In many cases the term...
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Free Sample of Scholar Sage Book

Here is an extract from the new Scholar Sage book. Singing Dragon sent this sample out via their mailing list so I thought I would share it here as well. In the extract featured below we have one of the articles which was previously included on this site a while back....
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Damo on Nei Gong Basics

Here is a brief video I put together ‘off the cuff’ for a Qigong festival held by Singing Dragon some time ago. I decided to discuss the theory of Jing and problems people may encounter when beginning any practice of Nei Gong or Qi...
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Five-element theory for *neigong* – part 3

part 3 – practising the wuxing qigong the five-element cycles Whenever we practise a specific qigong exercise, it can be helpful to try and understand how this exercise aims to affect our position in the larger existential frame that surrounds us. This is...
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Five-element theory for *neigong* – part 2

part 2 – creation and the five elements formation of the five elements In order to understand the five elements (wuxing) and how they interact within the human body, we have to go back to the origin of creation. Before humans manifest on the physical plane, they...
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Letting go and faith

There will always be things we don’t want to happen, but have to learn to accept. Things we don’t want to know, but have to learn… and people we don’t want to leave but have to learn to let go of. My thoughts of late have been revolving around...

Return to *dao*: a personal account

Daoism as paradox As I sit down to think of how to describe what I know of Daoism, I see a complex and confusing tapestry open up before me – a fabric with rich hues, subtle textures and fascinating spaces that enfold and expand in mysterious dimensions. This tapestry...

Reflections on training

If it’s not too philosophical, I think it’s often important to reflect on why we practise. A daily practice is not as much about consistent progression in your technique as it is about giving yourself a constant background on which your behaviour, and thus...

Bi Gu (辟谷) – Giving Up Food…

An important aspect of Daoist alchemical practice is Bi Gu (辟谷) or ‘abstaining from grains’. The term often appears within books on the internal arts but there is rarely anything in the way of further discussion of what the term actually means. In many cases the term...

Free Sample of Scholar Sage Book

Here is an extract from the new Scholar Sage book. Singing Dragon sent this sample out via their mailing list so I thought I would share it here as well. In the extract featured below we have one of the articles which was previously included on this site a while back....

Damo on Nei Gong Basics

Here is a brief video I put together ‘off the cuff’ for a Qigong festival held by Singing Dragon some time ago. I decided to discuss the theory of Jing and problems people may encounter when beginning any practice of Nei Gong or Qi...

Interview with Damo Mitchell

Here is a two and half hour long interview I recently completed for the Occult Corpus website. I was asked a series of questions on various aspects of Daoism and the esoteric arts. Here are my...

Life in the Fast Lane

“The way to a man’s heart is his stomach.” Though this phrase is traditionally cited in reference to the battlefield that is romance, a bit of searching will reveal that the seed of truth underlying the adage has also been noted and utilized by spiritual...

Roads back to pizza

Over the past few years, I have come to find that practising qigong on a regular basis is something that just seems to make sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that all the deep theories, cultural ideas, and philosophic principles make sense to me....

Daoist Nei Gong for Women

The 21st of April, 2016 saw the release of the new book by Roni Edlund and Damo Mitchell. This book is entitled ‘Daoist Nei Gong for Women – The Art of the Lotus and the Moon‘. Published by Singing Dragon it includes a detailed look at the nature of...

The experiential understanding of *qigong*

From a basic introductory qigong course I took in college, I was aware that I felt better in general when doing qigong, but I wasn’t invested enough in it to commit time and contemplation into going deeper, and learning about connections to breath and mind. I...

Tantric Daoism and internal development

Key ‘define tantric Daoism’ into your computer and  all the information that appears on the screen links tantric Daoism with sex – a sad reflection of modern society… The emphasis linking tantra with sex rather than spiritual development...

Letter to a friend

the stamps the postcard (1) the postcard (2)   'Imagine the heart as a bird, the bird as an abyss, the abyss in flight. Now cut off the wings on the abyss.'   *      *      *   letter to a friend page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 8...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 6

In this video (part six in a seven part series) Damo discusses the connection between Xing and Ming with regards to Nei Dan alchemical meditation. Understanding these terms is the key to understanding how to locate the substances which form the alchemical pill of...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 5

In the fifth of our series of videos on Daoist Nei Dan, we have a second lecture on the nature of Ming (destiny/fate/life). This video was filmed in Glastonbury on a two-day long course looking at Nei Dan and more specifically the practices outlined in my previous...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 4

In the fourth of our series of videos on Daoist Nei Dan, we have a lecture that covers the basics of the nature of Ming (destiny/fate/life). This video was filmed in Glastonbury on a two-day long course looking at Nei Dan and more specifically the practices outlined...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 3

Here is the second 20 minute long video on the subject of Nei Dan. In this video Damo continues to discuss the concept of Xing (nature).  Understanding this subject assists a person with accessing the energetic patterning of the Daoist tradition. This video was filmed...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 2

Here is the first 30 minute long video on the subject of Nei Dan. In this video Damo introduces the concept of Xing (nature) as well as the difference between external and internal cultivation of nature. Understanding this subject assists a person with accessing the...

Releasing the Acquired Mind

The video below is a short excerpt from a talk given spontaneously to a group of students on a Sung Breathing course in Linköping, Sweden. The talks discusses the nature of going deeper into Sung, when you get to the stage of releasing the layers of the acquired mind...

Lessons in Daoist Alchemy – Part 1

Over the next few weeks we are going to be offering a series of videos looking at the subject of Daoist Nei Dan or ‘alchemical meditation’. In these videos Damo Mitchell will be covering the basic theory of the method as well as the practical training of...

Nei Dan Gong Lecture – Part 2

This is the second part of a transcribed lecture on the basics of Nei Dan Gong theory. Please refer back to the first part if you have not already read through it in order for this part to make any sense! As before apologies if the text reads strangely, we have not...

Nei Dan Gong Lecture – Part 1

Below is a transcription from a lecture given a couple of years ago on the subject of Daoist Nei Dan Gong. Because it is a transcription from a spoken lesson it may read a little strangely! I have not edited it in any way so hopefully the structure of the text reads...

Classic of Consolidating the Breath

Here is my translation of ‘The Classic of Consolidating the Breath and Returning the Spirit to Dao’. This important Daoist classical poem discusses the relationship of Jing and Qi within the body as well as many facets of the ‘small water...

Video Review of Nei Dan Book

Brandon Gilbert of Hyperion Herbs (click to visit) has kindly reviewed my new book ‘White Moon on the Mountain Peak’ in three short videos on his Youtube channel. In the first video he shares his initial thoughts. In the second video he takes three key...

Homosexuality in the Daoist Arts

As I travel around and have more contact with people around the world I get to hear about their experiences training within different school’s and under other teachers of the internal arts. Some of these stories are positive accounts of life-changing studies whilst...

The Alchemical Treasures in Nei Dan

A short video exploring one of the key concepts and most important diagrams from my latest book. It is easy to read a book and lose sight of which are the most important concepts and so I decided to draw extra attention to this aspect of the title. The video was...

The practice of commitment

Fall has arrived and, with its inward draw, I have the opportunity to reflect upon this year and my time as a student of Lotus Nei Gong. Along with the rest of the students on the American Qi Gong certificate, I recently completed the third training for this year and,...

Salt, sex, blood and bones

Foresight and Enquiry in Daoism (part 1) ‘I apologise in advance for writing such an unnecessarily long article. I recommend going out and practising some Taiji instead!’ (Dr Seb Smith) The arts deriving from the Eastern philosophical traditions such as...

On meditation and freedom

All ancient traditions feature some kind of meditative practice. The particular stillness that comes from sitting in quiet contemplation has always been recognised as an essential element of spiritual cultivation. Some traditions attempt to go straight to this...

The Nei Gong process

While the Nei Gong process will be different for each person to a certain degree, there is a natural progression that requires a certain level of attainment in some skills before other developments can take place. For example, it is difficult to circulate qi through...

Moving into Stillness – Yin Yang Cycles

I had the notion to write this article about a week ago but it just didn’t happen. I prefer to write during the morning time or early afternoon. However, here I find myself tapping away at the keyboard late at night. The moon is waning, approaching the dark...

Nei Dan (Alchemy) Book by Damo Mitchell

I am currently working on the manuscript for my next book to be released through the Singing Dragon publishing house. I originally planned to write a trilogy of books with them looking at the foundations of Daoist energy work as far as I understood them. This trilogy...

Jade Emperors Embryonic Breathing Classic

Below is a translation of the Jade Emperor’s Embryonic Breathing Classic which is highly important for all practitioners of Daoist meditation.  玉皇天尊曰:胎從伏氣中結,氣從有胎中息。氣入身來謂之生,神去離形謂之死。知神氣 可以長生,故守虛無以養神氣。神行即氣行,神住即氣住。若欲長生,神氣相注。心不動念, 無來無去,不出不入,自然常在。勤而行之,是真道路。 The Jade...

Sung and Energetic Relaxation in Qigong

Anybody beginning their study of Qi Gong will at no doubt have been told to either ‘relax’, ‘let go’ or in Chinese ‘Sung/Song’. Though seemingly an easy instruction it is in fact one of the most difficult aspects of the internal arts. Rather than simply an instruction...

Harnessing the frequency of the universe

Every tradition has its own way of looking at the world and its own vocabulary to explain it. Within Daoism, everything is seen in terms of vibrations or frequencies. What we refer to as ‘reality’, in the vast majority of cases, is the sum of our five-sense...

Hun Yuan in Qigong

 This is an excerpt taken from a lecture I gave on a particular system of Qigong which I practice known as Hun Yuan Qigong. Though the lecture was concerning this particular style I felt that some of the info may be useful as some of these principles can be applied to...

The Value of Skepticism

  These days, it is quite fashionable to be a skeptic. Atheism is probably more popular now than at any point in history and there are numerous skeptics societies, websites and magazines around the world. This trend seems to be particularly prevalent among well...

An Impression of Nei Dan in Sweden

Here is a report of a two week Nei Dan (alchemy) retreat that I undertook with the Lotus Nei Gong School of Daoist Arts in Linköping, Sweden. The course was aimed at the foundation stages of alchemical training which are ‘lighting the fire’ and ‘Ping...

The alchemical roots of Daoism

Like everything else, spiritual traditions evolve throughout history. The older the tradition, the more likely it is to differ from what it originally was. In the vast majority of cases, contemporary Daoism is very different from what it used to be two thousand years...

The Qi Gong Body – Part 2

Here is the second part of the talk given in Linköping on the foundations of Qi Gong practice. If you haven’t watched part 1 then I suggest you do or this talk will make little...

Starting Alchemy

This post looks at the early stages of Nei Dan or internal alchemy. When we practise Nei Dan, we first aim at starting what is referred to as the ‘firing process’ in our lower abdomen. Before doing this, there is a simple breathing exercise that we can do...

The Spine and Kidneys

This is there first in a series of articles which are going to be posted up here over the next year or so. They are all excerpts from theoretical lectures given by me on courses I have taught across the UK, Sweden and America. These transcriptions often jump from...

An Interview with Damo Mitchell

Here is a copy of a brief interview I gave for the Tao Bums Forum a few days ago. Members of their forum sent me the questions below and I answered in writing. I thought I would put it here for people to see as well… The questions are in bold. 1. When I contacted you,...

Basic Qi Gong Breathing

Whenever I think about Daoism in general or about Qi Gong in particular, the same concerns keep coming up. How to present information in a way that will benefit long-term practitioners of the internal arts and beginners alike? Also, how not to exclude people who have...

The Pineal Gland

It is interesting to note how different cultures have placed great importance upon the pineal gland with regards to their spiritual practices. Almost without exception the pineal gland has appeared within the teachings of different ancient groups who assigned the...

Fire, Water, Dragon and Tiger

I have arrived in Wuhan, China now where I will be for a couple of days. I always find Wuhan quite a confusing place, the city layout seems to make no sense and everything just seems to be like hard work here! Since I am planning for a 14 day long alchemy course in a...

The Ding and the Lu

The Ding and the Lu (鼎爐) are two important elements of the energetic body utilized within Daoist Nei Dan alchemical practice. The Ding is the cauldron whilst the Lu is the furnace or cultivating fire. When working with these aspects of our inner universe it is crucial...

Advanced Alchemy – Part 2

This article is continued from part one. Please read the first part in order to understand what on earth I am talking about! Later Daoist practices focused upon taking the alchemical pill and submerging it within the lower Ding (crucible) and feeding it via the Ling...

Advanced Alchemy – Part 1

I generally deliver teachings solely according to my own personal experiences. I take the teachings I have received and work with them, using the laboratory of my own body, until I have a direct, tangible understanding of what these teachings mean. This enables me to...

Meridian Acupuncture

One of the most widely practiced art forms born from Daoist teachings is Chinese medicine. Consisting of massage techniques, joint manipulations, herbal remedies, acupuncture, medical exercises and other, more esoteric, modalities, it forms a complete system of...

Congenital Qi Gong – Part 2

Part 2 of the guidance on Congenital Qi Gong. Please read part 1 first. Once again kindly excuse my port grammar and spelling. This translation is from the notes for my next book, it was never intended to go public, I just thought some may find it useful. This is the...

Congenital Qi Gong – Part 1

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...

Spinal Fires – Part 2

This is the second article on the Spinal Fires. It would be wise to read the first part before this one or it will make no sense whatsoever! This process is not really for those with a vague interest in the internal arts or for those only interested in health...

Spinal Fires – Part 1

It is nice to be back in Thailand. I am back in Bangkok where, over the years, I have spent several months. Most people who come here see it as a city full of parties and night clubs. Whilst this is true it also has a wealth of culture, some great martial arts within...

Becoming Christ!

It is an interesting facet of human nature that we often wish to seek out some kind of higher purpose. This may be through the practice of an internal art such as Taiji or Yoga, through study of self-books written by modern Guru’s or through aligning ourselves with...

Wu Xing and the Emotional Spirits

When existence is born forth from the Dao, the first plane of vibration exists within the spiritual frequency. As the vibration changes, the energetic realm comes into existence and further change brings about the physical realm from the mass of information stored...

Nei Gong: Art of Change

Nei Gong – Philosophical Art of Change While most people will have heard about Qi Gong, Nei Gong is still a relatively unknown subject on our side of the planet. Qi Gong, meaning ’energy work’, often refers to various sets of exercises with specific aims—e.g....