Emptying the Heart: Daoist Alchemy and Neiguan

heart meditation

“The heart is called empty, for emptiness has nothing to do with impressions already gathered, but with what is going to be received.The heart is alive, and it possesses knowledge; it knows, and from knowing makes distinctions. To make distinctions is to know all parts of the whole at once.” (Xunxi, Jie Bi, 300BC)

Wow, if that doesn’t pull at your heart strings… So true, when we sit quietly and be with ourselves, just be, the truth floats into our mind. The light and easy all-knowing rises, and everything that is not true settles down like silt. This is a goal of meditation – to sit and let the dust settle. It is also a practice of Daoist Alchemy – not frufru stuff about changing items into gold, but changing the turbid to clear. It first works in the mind, then the heart, and then the body. Fitting song: “The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter” by Thievery Corporation feat. David Byrne.

In these times of heavy iPhone and Smartphones use rarely do we take a moment to be with ourselves, to be with our emotions and allow ourselves to receive. We wonder why there is such a high rate of diabetes and cancer. Maybe there are more chemicals in the world, but there is also more static noise in our everyday lives. We are not allowing the heart to clear itself and to receive. If we can all take just 15 minutes a day or even a few days a week and sit with ourselves it will change our life. It’s not more coffee we need, it’s quiet.

Here are some clips from a great article on Daoist Alchemy and looking deeper within using Neiguan.

************ spiritual points, neiguan/gongsun/chong***********

“Daoist alchemy involves the refinement and transformation of the habitual or conditioned five elements and the ordinary vital substances into the primal elements of virtue and the subtle substances. This process is a paradoxical journey towards rediscovery of what has always been there. The catalyst for this transformative reaction and the first step on this journey, is the initial movement toward self examination – the inner gaze. ”

Schipper (1982) describes the entrance to this kingdom:

‘One obtains the inner vision by looking within, by turning the pupils to the inside and keeping the eyes half closed to let in light from the outside. The eyes not only relay light from the sun and moon, but are also considered to add their own luminous energy, so as to become themselves the sun and moon of the inner universe. These sources of light are to be directed toward the centre, the head between the eyebrows. In the centre, there is a third source of light, identified with the Pole Star (the third eye), which acts like a mirror and reflects the light of the eyes and directs it within.’

See the full article here: http://www.ejom.co.uk/vol-3-no-5/featured-article/nei-guan-the-inner-gaze-reflective-practice-in-acupuncture-traditions.html