Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
Breath (qi) and Breathing
Foundations of Internal Alchemy: The Taoist Practice of Neidan, by Wang Mu, pages 15-16
In the alchemical practice, Breath has a wide meaning: it involves both the breath of respiration and the precelestial Breath, or internal Breath (neiqi). Refining Breath is an important component of the stage of "laying the foundations." At the beginning of the practices of collecting the mind and ceasing thoughts, one performs the ordinary breathing: exhaling, the belly contracts; inhaling, it expands. This is called "harmonizing the breathing" (tiaoxi). Although there are many methods of "harmonizing the breathing," their common goal is leading one to enter the state of quiescence. Before clearing the Function and Control vessels, one should progressively shift to "inverted breathing": exhaling, the belly expands; inhaling, it contracts. The technical term for this is "practice of the bellows" (tuoyue gongfu).
The Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week are short quotations on Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) from books published by Golden Elixir Press. They are sent at no cost to subscribers. See a sample and an index of the Quotes of the Week sent to subscribers until present.