Daoist Internal Alchemy:
A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature’s Intelligence Part 2
Alchemy Formulas, Qi Field & Language Theory
by Michael Winn
Computer Language vs. Alchemical Language
How does the language of alchemical patterns, structured as a series of formulas or evolutionary stages, allow one to communicate with Nature’s intelligence? It might be useful to first consider a more familiar artificial language, that of software programming. You sit at your computer; your fingers nimbly type commands and send emails in English, your native surface language. Your typed commands in English trigger a layer of formal language installed by the software programmer, which “talks” to the silicon chip. The chip itself speaks an even simpler deep language — one of “on-off” binary code impulses. The intermediary software language captures these yin-yang impulse patterns and projects it onto your monitor screen, where it forms a visual virtual reality. (9)
Each of One Cloud’s alchemical formulas is a kind of symbolic programming in a “Daoist software language”. The alchemical symbols are not fixed words or pictures within the adept’s mind, but rather are always moving. Their movements define a kind of living geometry that creates its own time, space and intelligence. The alchemical meditator shapes his internal Qi field, and it is instantaneously uploaded into the greater Qi field of Nature, which in turn responds. The alchemist’s Qi language can be described as pulsing (yin-yang-yuan) energy pathways on which felt qualities or values move in dynamic patterns that are in resonance with larger patterns in nature.
The patterns of this symbolic language may be experienced internally as yin-yang Qi flow in the micro-cosmic orbit up the spine and down the chest or in the other eight extraordinary vessels; as cycling movement of the 5 phases (elements) Qi through the vital organs, or as all pervading spiritual qualities (de). These energetic pathways help the adept’s ordinary mind translate its mind intent (yi) into the impulses of his/her vital organ spirits (jingshen). The Daoist name each of these five body-mind spirits: yi, shen, zhi, hun, and po. They are considered the intelligences that regulate the spleen, heart, kidney, liver and lung functions. These spirits are the deepest personal inner voices. The seven formulas train these body-mind intelligences to speak to and activate a response from the vast multitude of planetary and stellar intelligences shaping the impersonal cosmic Qi field.
The response from the cosmic Qi field to the adept’s communication appears to be at core a very simple binary code of yin-yang pulsations. Like a computer chip, these cosmic impulses can instantly transmit a huge quantity of “living information” from a more universal field of awareness than the adept’s ordinary senses can perceive. This information is transmitted back to the adept, who interprets this “message” as specific energy patterns or qualities of spirit that are felt. The filter for the incoming information from the universal Qi field are the adepts own vital organ spirits, which Daoists believe also shape (together with other bodily spirits) one’s worldly personality and behavior. These spirits govern our body’s biological intelligence, and collectively transmute the incoming yin-yang impulses into the human powers of discrimination, feeling, sensation, speech, and movement. This information is not filtered by the biological senses or by conscious thinking, but rather by the “subtle senses” that the adept develops, called the subtle or Qi body.
The alchemical meditations activate progressively more subtle energetic fields that allow the adept to communicate instantly across vast distances. Take for example the pattern of the Five Elements/Phases. The five phase intelligences within the human body can be trained to resonate with the five great spirits (North, South, East, West, and Center) within the Earth, which in turn can talk to the vast intelligences of the five phases within Heaven (sun, moon, planets, or stars). All three levels of intelligence – man, earth, and heaven – are “of the same blood”, i.e. are born and function in the same Qi field of Nature. Once you learn to listen to one pattern within the body, it is only a matter of training to “listen” to the same pattern in other parts of the Qi field, even if it is physically far away. Qi patterns are not limited by physical time/space. These impulses travel at the speed of consciousness, which is much faster than the speed of light. This is because the Qi patterns do not need to travel across space, the living Qi field IS the matrix of space/time. (10)
What are differences between the artificial software language used to speak to the computer and the deep resonant patterns chosen by the alchemist to speak with nature? The level of human will involved and the energetic engagement of the speaker of the language are central. The keyboard operator is usually unconscious of the formal software language, and is also separated from both the deep language of the computer chip and the electrical power source needed to run it. The computer screen, hardware and software are commanded by the “outer” will of the keyboard operator, meaning the person must direct his energy into an activity or thing seen as separate from himself, which eventually tires him out.
Daoist alchemical language is an embodied experience, a merging of the adept’s intelligence (shen), energy (Qi), and body essence (jing) with no intermediate object. It’s possible to view the alchemical language speaker (shen), the language/words being silently spoken (Qi), the recorded form of the speech (jing), and the total field of possible expresssion (wu) as all contained within the alchemist and communicated by resonance to the macrocosm of Nature, which mirrors the same jing-Qi-shen-wu components in another dimension..
This continuum of jing-Qi-shen-wu is focused into a single intent (yi) in order to authentically “speak” to other beings or deeper energy patterns within Nature. The adept’s own physical body (jing) functions like the hardware, his/her Qi channels like the software, the five inner spirits fuse into an inner vision-computer screen whose subtle senses create an internally perceived virtual reality. The power source is the Dao or its manifestation as the Qi flowing in Nature, which is alive and inexhaustible. The Qi field flows through Nature’s “wires” whether or not the adept plugs into it. Communicating with the mind of the Dao through alchemical meditation recharges and heals the adept. The adept’s “inner” will must be active and focused inwardly on a pattern of resonance within Nature, such as yin-yang-yuan, five elements, eight forces to speak silently to other humans or natural entities such as the sun, moon, stars used in One Cloud’s formulas.
Computer software language could conceivably be memorized from a book. To learn Daoist alchemical language requires a live transmission from skilled alchemist to activate one’s energy body/Qi flow. This is the traditional function of lineage. Lineage is just a communication pathway with Nature that is taught to someone to make it easier for them to communicate beyond the dark clouds of ego resistance that seem to deter most people from talking with the cosmic aspects of their self. All lineages originated at some point with someone who spontaneously developed a deep way to speak with Nature, and decided to share it. One can also receive initiation into alchemical process by an inner plane guide or by simply deeply observing Nature.
However, why reinvent the wheel? Few people will learn alchemy without a teacher. It is faster and easier to tune into someone who introduces you to the alchemical language patterns embedded in your own energy field. The transmission is simple; your Qi field simply resonates and re-shapes itself to match your teacher. You instantly experience the energy pattern which allows you to talk directly to Nature’s mind. This normally opens a deeper ability to communicate with other human minds. Sometimes a book or object whose Qi field has been intentionally imprinted can act as the initiator. Like any language, the more you hear it spoken, the easier it is to speak it. Some teachers who initiate claim that they somehow “own” the Qi or spirits being transmitted. According to deep language theory, this is untrue. The Qi field belongs to the Dao. We could say that ultimately there is only one lineage, the direct lineage to the original teacher, Nature’s Qi field.
Daoist Cosmology as Nature’s Deep Grammar
Dao gives birth to unity,
Unity gives birth to polarity,
Polarity gives birth to trinity.
Trinity gives birth to the myriad creatures.
Dao De Jing, v. 42 (11)
If alchemical meditation is the actual practice of speaking a deep cosmic language, Daoist cosmology should reveal the foundational grammar of that language. All religions have a deep language structure buried within their cosmologies, but the priesthood may keep it secret, and teach out only the surface language to the religious followers as beliefs, sacred images and statues, or holy writings of some deity. This level of language can be acquired by anyone, i.e. a Buddhist can convert to Catholicism and immerse themselves in the Catholic religious language/imagery/belief. The surface religious language may spontaneously trigger a “mystical” communication with Nature, as it arises from a deep language structure. The experience is likely to be shaped by the surface language of the believer as that religion has patterned it (a Christian will see Jesus, a Buddhist will receive proof of Buddhist doctrine, etc.).
Daoist teachings typically have no dogma or theology; aligning with the cosmological cycles of nature is its salvational process. In One Cloud’s alchemy formulas, there are no deities named. Instead you are given a map of personal “deity hood” (immortality) and the energetic language skills that allow one to converse intelligently with all deities/entities, whether invisible or in natural form as humans, planets, stars, etc. The alchemy adept is not asked to believe anything other than to accept the possibility of re-growing their Original Self in the physical plane by deep communication with the Dao. The assumption is that all deities must communicate through the same Qi field of Nature; if you merge with that Qi field, you know what those deities know. What follows is my interpretation of Daoist cosmology, shaped by study with many teachers and texts, but mostly clarified by practice of the first six of One Cloud’s seven alchemical formulas for immortality.
The Dao is the indefinable, unknowable organic wholeness of everything. It embraces non-being and all dimensions of space, time, & intelligence. From its womb, the Supreme Unknown (wuji), three heavens are birthed. The first to birth is chaos (hun dun), the Heaven of Primordial Origin. There is no need for communication in the dark ocean inside this cosmic egg, as there are no separate aspects to communicate with each other. The cosmic egg is also depicted as a gourd filled with yin-yang elixir in Daoist art and myth (12). The cosmic egg hatches, a kind of spiritual big bang marked by thunder, and the wheels of creation begin turning. As order crystallizes out of the unbounded chaos of oneness, the Dao communicates with itself through a field of Original Energy (yuan Qi). This infinite ocean of life force holds three potential charges: negative, positive, and neutral Qi (yin, yang, and yuan). This triune stream is the core grammar of the deep language of Nature.
In the unborn primordial ocean of Qi, the triune stream of the Dao is shaped and evolved by the three-fold intelligence latent within it. As Original Spirit (yuan shen) shapes Original Energy (yuan Qi), the patterns formed are encoded in a matrix of Original Essence (yuan jing). The continuum of this original inseparable trinity — yuan jing, Qi and shen — is the cosmic seed or potential state of all form, all energy, and all imagination (yi), will/virtue (de). In Primordial Heaven these three remain as one.
With the hatching of the cosmic egg/gourd, the unified ocean of awareness holding this trinity increasingly polarizes itself into yin and yang forces as it steps its universal qualities down into the second heaven, an intermediate dimension called Early Heaven (xian tian). This act of original trinity-in-one dividing itself while maintaining unity requires a deep level of self-communication. In Early Heaven vectors of yin – yang polarity exist, but they communicate a pattern of perfect harmony and balance by virtue of the yuan Qi in the center of its spherical container. (Yuan Qi is invisible, thus is not symbolized in the I Ching’s eight trigrams of Early Heaven). Yuan Qi sits silently in the middle of the bagua and in the space between the yin-yang pulses of the eight polar forces. Original Qi holds the presence of the Origin as the 9th and central mediating force within creation.
Early Heaven acts as a cosmic pre-natal womb, where the seed virtues/creative powers of yuan shen are gestated before being shaped in the human realm into more defined spiritual qualities of kindness, trust, love, etc. Since yuan Qi is the “unconditioned energy” of the universe, all “unconditonal virtues” of the Original Spirit such as unconditional love, unconditional truth, unconditional acceptance, etc. are communicated through yuan Qi. Early Heaven divides the triune unity of yuan Qi into the five phases/elements (wu xing) of cosmic time. This five phase intelligence shapes the matrix of cosmic space as it unfolds rhythmically on a web of eight yin-yang forces. These sacred directions and time cycles, imbued with their “de” (inner powers or spiritual qualities) are symbolically mapped on the ancient Ho Tu and Lo Shu diagrams, the precursors to the I Ching and cornerstones of Chinese spiritual culture. However, even the symbolic relationships of the Ho Tu and Lo Shu can be seen as deep language communications from the Qi field, as simple numeric expression of the eight channels and 5 elemental cycles through which Nature communicates with itself.
Yuan Qi and the Problem of Communication with Later Heaven
The process of stepping down of Early Heaven Qi into the third heaven, Later Heaven (hou tian), is described by Lao Tzu as giving birth to “the ten thousand things”. Later Heaven includes the planet Earth where humans live. This stepping down is where communication problems within the Dao seems to first arise. The Qi field of the physical realm has evolved to embody great extremes of polarity Hatred, suffering, disease, and death co-exist with love, pleasure, health, and creative life. In humans, the jing manifests itself as the reproductive power (gene code, in modern terms) within the sperm/ovum, the Qi as breath, and spirit degenerates into ordinary mind/imagination. (13)
Humans struggle with life and feel separated from their Early Heaven aspect because they lack enough yuan Qi to communicate with it. This makes it difficult to harmonize the yin-yang polarities facing them, so they get shaped into rigid dualities, conditioned patterns of belief and behavior in worldly life. This energetic rigidity is the underlying cause of most physical realm death. Without clear communication with the yuan Qi, the cellular, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of a human being cannot easily rejuvenate or rebirth themselves.
To get a clear picture of humanity’s spiritual crisis relative to yuan Qi, I shall assign numbers. Primordial Heaven is 100% yuan Qi, a clear light and silence so pure they disappear as if into a void or invisible space. Early Heaven is 50% yuan Qi, making the yin and yang Qi luminous in their harmony. Later Heaven has 10% yuan Qi, thus its physical plane is very dense with a 90% yin-yang polarized Qi field.
But Humans, who in Early Heaven are androgynous or internally bi-sexed etheric beings, at physical birth are split into male and female sexes, causing them an unforeseen and severe loss of yuan Qi. Mythically, this is a “fall” into physicality. Humans have further exhausted their parentally inherited yuan jing (original essence that becomes sexual power) over eons of procreation and division into 6 billion people. So humans today might be born with only 1% original Qi, and 99% yin-yang Qi. This dwindling middle ground accounts for the battle of the sexes. Lack of yuan Qi may explain why so many humans feel cut off from “God”, the jing-Qi-shen trinity of their own original nature. They feel alienated from nature and each other, and easily believe their limited, dense physical body (from lack of yuan Qi) is all that exists of their self. Lack of yuan Qi is synonymous with the experience of life as struggle.
This weakness of natal yuan Qi is further compounded by social conditions. The acceleration of technology has created physical and psychic pollution in the planet’s Qi field far more severe than existed at the time ancient or medieval Daoists taught and wrote. Global wars and mass killings with weaponry have multiplied the field of hungry ghosts many fold. These fragmented spirits cannot escape Later Heaven, even by death, and driven by fear of slow dissolution they band together to form large powerful half-entities. Lacking any yuan Qi with its regenerative powers, these “demons” survive as low astral plane parasites, stuck between Heaven and Earth.
Functionally, these clustered hungry ghosts become negative thought forms that encircle the planet like a dark cloud, sustaining their existence by feeding on human ignorance, greed, violence, etc. that they incite or encourage through their ability to resonate with the fragmented mind of humans. Invisible, they infiltrate humanity by resonating with the unconscious aspects of their mind. They manifest themselves in business as greed, sexually and emotionally as violence, in government as the hunger for power, in religion as guilt and fear of death, in science as the need to control through external technology. In general, these negative thought forms foster paradigms that separate matter from spirit and deny the aliveness of Nature.
Human addiction to technology has grown so powerfully that “Technos” has begun to function globally as a kind of semi-conscious deity, feeding on that desire. The question is — what is that deity’s intent? Is it communicating with the organic wholeness of the Dao? An excessive reliance on technology seems to have the unfortunate effect of separating humans from the core rhythms of natural life: artificial weather in homes, processed food with no Qi in it, overuse of cars weakening our legs, genetic engineering disturbing the personal essence (jing) in our DNA, splitting of atoms ripping the matrix of cosmic jing and leaving toxic radiation. Perhaps the worst is electronic pollution. Currents of AC electricity wrap the globe with a polarized electrical field. AC electricity has positive/negative flow with no neutral ground, disturbing and weakening the DC current flowing through the liquid crystalline cells and tissues of humans. (14) This electronic pollution is amplified by TV, radio and microwaves that constantly bombard living creatures and further polarize the planetary Qi field, disturbing human ability to communicate with the universal Qi field.
This lack of coherence in both the human and planetary Qi field makes communication between Origin and Later Heaven (Earth) even more difficult, igniting a spiritual crisis for humanity. Fortunately, the original Qi field of Nature is a unified continuum and so by definition never loses its overall balance. The very severity of false yin-yang Qi imbalance on Earth is triggering a spontaneous awakening to counterbalance it, both within humans and within the collective planetary consciousness of the Earth’s spirit (in Chinese myth, Pangu).
This may trigger severe climate changes as Earth purges itself of the psychic and physical pollutants choking it. The need to maintain harmony between humanity and the earth’s Qi field was emphasized in the oldest Daoist alchemical text, the second century Triplex Unity (Cantong Qi). It warns that lack of human virtue may cause disturbances: heat in winter and cold in summer, sheep running madly about, followed by floods, droughts, and earthquakes. (15) Coming one of the world’s oldest traditions that advocates a deep earth ecology, modern Daoists face a daunting challenge to integrate the global worship of technology into the harmonious flow of life. Does internal alchemy, as a deep language for communicating with nature, have a role to play in this? I will examine the broader process of alchemical communication with the Qi field, and then show how nei dan restores yuan Qi within human nature by offering a practical process of balancing yin and yang Qi at a deep level.
How the Alchemist Shapes the Qi Field
My thesis on alchemy as a deep language relies on the premise that the very act of shaping any aspect of the Qi field, in any dimension/heaven, by human or non-human intelligence, is best understood as a spontaneous yet recognizable expression of language. The patterns of Qi flow or “wave forms” vibrating between the continuum of shen and jing (intelligence-matter) constitute the deep grammar of this universal language. This Qi wave language is how the infinite field of spirit/intelligence talks to the finite bodies/particles formed by essence (jing).
The deep structure of these Qi language patterns are embedded in One Cloud’s nei dan formulas as the empty force of wuji, Original unity (jing-Qi-shen) and the three primordial forces (yin-yang-yuan). All other “numbers” are generated by the interaction of the original trinity, including the often used yin-yang patterns of the micro-cosmic orbit, the five phases or eight manifesting forces. The Qi field is how the universe both expresses its many functions and remembers its countless experiences. In traditional Daoist cosmology, the Qi field defines every possible relationship within both the form and formless worlds. Its coherence allows the movement between chaos and order without losing balance and harmony. (16)
Qigong is the language process of using ritual body movement, breath, and mind intent to shape the Qi in order to communicate mostly with the “horizontal” (as humans see it looking forward) or exterior manifest Qi field of Earth. Nei dan deals more with the “vertical” (as one looks up to sky and down to earth) and interior communications between Primordial, Early, and Later Heavens. One doesn’t practice Qigong or alchemy to GET Qi. Rather one already IS part of nature’s infinite Qi field, and is just learning to recognize the unconscious communication patterns that are always flowing between one’s micro-cosmic (personal) Qi field and the impersonal macrocosmic Qi field.
At its simplest level, all human sensing, thought, speech, feeling, body movement, breathing rhythm, and visualized image are attempts to “speak to” or shape this Qi field. Whether you scratch your nose or do higher math, both elicit a response from the Qi field. The totality of these shapes, the sum of the conversation between Heaven and Earth that is passing through us, is one’s experience of physical reality. Our personalities, our bodies, and even our environment are the moment to moment shape of the fluctuations in this super intelligent Qi field.
Within the natural physical world, the movement of the Qi field is the hidden language by which the intelligence within atoms, molecules, cells, rocks, plants, animals, young children, mountains, oceans, sun, moon, planets and stars communicate and maintain their rhythm and harmony. Everything, without exception, is alive and communicating something by virtue of the physical and energetic shape given to it by Nature’s intelligence. The internal alchemist eavesdrops on this conversation within the Qi field, and then from a human perspective performs alchemical operations to shape the Qi field in order to accelerate the unfolding of life’s inherent simplicity, wholeness, and aliveness.
All paranormal abilities in humans – esp, channeling, clairvoyance, etc are also communications by human body-spirits (jingshen) shaping the Qi field, but most are unconscious faculties and thus differ from nei dan. Alchemy is not the unconscious channeling of Nature’s intelligence. Rather the alchemist attempts to accelerate the CONSCIOUS unfoldment of Nature’s macro-cosmic intelligence through resonance with the adept’s personal micro-cosmos.
How does the nei dan adept communicate between heavens, i.e. between Heaven and Earth? It depends on what level of heaven they are communicating with, and the skill level/formula they have achieved in resonating with the Qi field. There are many different practices, but all may be categorized as yang practice, yin practice, or wu wei practice. All three practices require the adept interiorize the outer universe within the adept’s body. In yang practice the adept uses his yi “mind intent” or “creative imagination”, the Later Heaven shen ruling the earth element/spleen/center direction, to actively communicate with or “speak to” the Qi field in cooperation with the other four elements/body spirits. This effectively involves the use of projection, guiding or shaping the Qi field according to the adept’s inner will.
The yang methods work by cultivating an ability to move Qi in the eight extraordinary channels or by opening a relationship between the yi and the other internal body spirits (jing shen) through the five phases of the creation or control cycles in the body. The guidance of Qi should not be confused with western concepts of mental visualization, although there is some overlap. In shaping the Qi field the five colors, five tones, internalized bagua shapes (as symbol of eight original forces) or spinning vortices are activated within the adept’s personal Qi field, or “energy body”. The term “actualization” is more accurate than “visualization”. Without the adept first activating the movement of Qi in her Qi channels or dan tien (elixir fields), the alchemical operation will not produce the desired results. Visualization of this type will simply produce an empty picture in the practitioner’s mind, and little Qi.
In yin practice, the adept “listens” to the Qi field, and concentrates on receiving energy patterns or absorbing spiritual qualities from the Qi field. This is akin to one’s ego will surrendering to one’s higher will or a more collective level of the self. In this case, the five body spirits or eight extraordinary channels act as internal antennae for decoding the Qi wave patterns being communicated from the outer Qi field to the adept. Any given alchemical meditative operation may involve both yin and yang practices, the choice depending on the season, time of day, the situation in the individual life of the adept. The type of alchemical method may reflect the cycle of events in the life of the greater cosmos, its geomantic and astrological forces.
The wu wei practice involves the adept cultivating a shift from outer will to inner will, from the struggle amongst the desires of various body spirits (jing shen) to the unity of the original spirit (yuan shen). Wu wei is translated variously as “spontaneous action” or “effortless non-action”, but the practical accomplishment of this requires the cultivation of yuan Qi, which is the superconductive non-resistant energy of Primordial Heaven. Essentially wu wei is the fruit of mastering yin and yang practices; the adept evolves to a level of conscious and simultaneous sending and receiving Qi, i.e. two way communication between the adept and the mind of nature. Wu wei requires a state of total trust between the adept and the Dao; their yi, or will, is gradually aligned as the adept develops trust in the life-force and his ability to manage it. The adept grows to receive the full power of the Dao needed in any given moment, and the Dao trusts the adept to create or express its reality in harmony with the life force.
This cooperation is possible because the communications network of Qi channels and spirit relations inside a human being are essentially the same patterns as those inside a planetary being or galactic being, the main difference being in scale and specific qualities embodied. This ancient Daoist idea is expressed in modern theory by fractals repeating themselves on vastly different scales, i.e. from star-scape to mountain shape to internal landscape. The adept is not giving up all individual will to an outside agency that is more spiritually powerful and more intelligent. Rather the adept learns from the macro-cosm of Nature how the life-force behaves, and internalizes that within their personal process. Likewise, human babies learn from their parents how to navigate this reality, but then ideally use that learning to create a life according to their own nature.
All communications between shen, Qi, and jing are ultimately dissolved into the adept’s interior cauldron of pre-natal emptiness. Thus, the details of the often elaborate alchemical process are frequently abbreviated to simply “jing-Qi-shen-wu”. The more one practices nei dan, the greater one’s facility with the Qi field becomes, and the more the Qi field of Nature recognizes one as a sensitive and available location within the physical plane for expressing itself. The ultimate act of communication with the mind of the Dao is to crystallize the yuan Qi into conscious form on earth, known as the Immortal body, discussed next.
Continued next month with Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature’s Intelligence Part 3 in the February, 2012 issue
(9) By odd synchronicity the 16th cen. mathematician Leibnitz developed the binary number theory at the same time he was exposed to the I Ching’s yin-yang patterns, undoubtedly brought back by Jesuit priests.
(10) Disputers of the Tao, A.C. Graham (open Court, 1989), p. 350 notes that correlative thinking in resonant patterns is much faster than analytical systems of psychology, politics, sociology, and thus approximates more closely the “pure” science of physics.
(11) Adepted from Tao Te Ching, Victor Mair (Bantam, 1990), pg. 9.
(12) Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism, Norman Girardot (UC Press, 1983)
(13) “yuan” terms are found in much nei dan literature, here referenced in Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization, vol. V:5 on physiological alchemy, pg. 26.
(14) Organism and Psyche in a Participatory Universe, by Mae-Won Ho. www.i-sis.org/organis.htm
(15) Secret of Everlasting Life, R. Bertschinger (Element Books, 1994), pg. 38 .
(16) The division of Song dynasty dao canon texts into “Three Open Channels” of Reality, Peace, and Spirits reflect a traditional Daoist emphasis on clarity of subtle field communication. These channels, also translated as “caverns” or “vaults” within the adept, have a vast inner sky and connect the adept to different inner heavens. cf. Book of Balance and Harmony, pg xix.)[Michael Winn is the founder of Healing Tao University with 30 Tao summer retreats in Asheville, N.C. and is the past President of the National Qigong Association. Michael has over 30 years experience in Taoist arts and leads an annual China Dream Trip. He has co-authored 7 books with Mantak Chia, and is also the author of 10 Qigong and Inner Alchemy home study courses, as well as a free e-book, Way of the Inner Smile. All are available onwww.HealingTaoUSA.com]