Spiritual Chinese Alchemy

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Spiritual Chinese Alchemy

Post  simonv on Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:01 am

When I mentioned chinese alchemy I really meant the kind of fusion of taoism and buddhism (and even confucianism) that has grown out of chinese culture, and been distilled into a form of alchemy which is uncannily (blatantly) analogous to western alchemy.
The best written sources (of strictly taoist alchemy) I've found are The Inner Teachings of Taoism and Understanding Reality, both by Chang Po-Tuan (read in that order), translated by Thomas Cleary. This material is very similar to tibetan buddhist practice--dzogchen, mahamudra--but has that elegance of alchemy, that subtle approach to 'materia', water and fire, heaven and earth, etc.
I study the theory (Wong Kiew Kit's book is particularly good) and practice of qigong (or chi kung), which I find very effective for health and relaxation; and it's a way to relate to people who are not likely to be into or to grok the more esoteric side of alchemy.
Taoist practice has a sexual side that is a lot more earthy and open than other traditions (including tibetan buddhism, which can be quite 'churchy', secretive and sexist about it); but on the other hand I have found that some taoist practicioners get hung up on their clever sexual 'kung fu', or emphasise it too much, and that some teachers advocate difficult practices to beginners which can and have been dangerous. Essentially though I feel the taoist tradition addresses sex the best (and of course they have pretty much stolen the show in the area of 'magical fighting arts'--but this, in my opinion, is very often skating on the edges of black magic).
But it's western alchemy, or the hermetic magical-alchemical tradition that has my heart, for its endless avenues of study, and maybe particularly for the poetic beauty of how it all aesthetically yet also mathematically hangs together.
Simon


Last edited by deviadah on Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:25 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Spiritual Chinese Alchemy

Post  monkeyblood on Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:52 am

....thanks for that Simonv.....always interested in eastern practices....I do tai chi...the council here sponsors it for free,so every monday morning I go down to the beach and practice it with the sea in the background....just magic.
The book recommendations are solid....I'll add them to my list.Like you however I'm pretty dedicated to the western mystery tradition.I need the rest of my life for the astrological corpus alone....

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Re: Spiritual Chinese Alchemy

Post  simonv on Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:32 am

monkeyblood wrote:....thanks for that Simonv.....always interested in eastern practices....I do tai chi...the council here sponsors it for free,so every monday morning I go down to the beach and practice it with the sea in the background....just magic.
The book recommendations are solid....I'll add them to my list.Like you however I'm pretty dedicated to the western mystery tradition.I need the rest of my life for the astrological corpus alone....

Yes, for a chronic student the western way is a garden of delights.
Chang Po-Chuan really is very complimentary to western alchemy though. Also, it is beautiful poetry.
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Fusion of the 5 elements

Post  Knowledge Borne-360 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:01 pm

Hey

I apprieated your commentary...try out Mantak Chia books. Specifically fusion of the 5 elements. Have you read The Path of Alchemy, it is excellent. Or what about Iniation into to Hermetic, by Franz Bardon...You have got to get those two.

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Re: Spiritual Chinese Alchemy

Post  simonv on Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:21 am

Knowledge Borne-360 wrote:Hey

I apprieated your commentary...try out Mantak Chia books. Specifically fusion of the 5 elements. Have you read The Path of Alchemy, it is excellent. Or what about Iniation into to Hermetic, by Franz Bardon...You have got to get those two.

I have read that Mantak Chia book, and a few others. Michael Winn is in his lineage and has also had many, many other Taoist teachers--I recommend checking out his material (mostly audio and video) and website.
I have a few Bardon books. I find him very impressive but haven't yet opted to really delve into his system, which strikes me as a serious proposition--I'm opting instead to focus on general alchemical studies and am quite into the work of RJ Stewart, the Scottish magician and musician. Stewart's magic is very rooted in alchemy, and I like his learnedness and ethical stance.

Simon
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