Collecting Elixir Drugs

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Inner Alchemy
Terms of Inner Alchemy
Mind , Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life
Essential Matter , Vital Breath and Spirit
Great Reversion Elixir
Small Reversion Elixir
Integrated Cultivation of Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life
Three Flowers Condensing onto the Head
Transporting through the Three Vehicles
Meeting of the Three Parts
Refining the Mind through the Nine Cauldrons
Intercourse of Dragon and Tiger
Refinement of Essential Matter into Vital Breath
Refinement of Vital Breath into Spirit
Refinement of Spirit Back to Emptiness

Refinement of Emptiness into Dao
Reversing Kan with Li
Centering Merits When Yin And Yang Join
The Five Vital Breaths Oriented to the Origin
Rebirth from the Original Fetus and Bones
Basic Cultivation
Self-Refinement
Harmonizing the Breath
Obtaining the Elixir Drug
Collecting Elixir Drugs
Fire Phases
To Increase Fire
To Reduce Fire
To Nourish in Warmth
Bathing
Unfixed Zi Phase
River Chariot
Mysterious Pearls
Passages and Cavities
Cosmic Orbit
Feminine Alchemy
Cutting the Red Dragon
Refining the Form through the Supreme Yin
Body of Original Chastity

"Collecting Elixir Drugs" ( 采藥 Caiyao ) is a term of Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ). To "collect" is to "gather", and "elixir drugs" refer to the true breath activated in cultivation. This true breath is also called the "original Essential Matter" ( 精 Jing ) or the "original Vital Breath" ( 炁 Qi ) in Daoism. Therefore, to "collect elixir drugs" is to collect the "original Essential Matter" or the "original Vital Breath" indeed. Here the word "collection" is of course nothing but a metaphor. It does not mean scraping off or taking away the "original Essential Matter" or the "original Vital Breath". Instead, it indicates guiding them with the mind back to their original seat, the Elixir Field ( 丹田 Dantian ). "Collecting Elixir Drugs" includes "collecting minor elixir drugs" and "collecting major elixir drugs". The former is accomplished in the process of refining Essential Matter into Vital Breath, while the latter in the process of refining Vital Breath into Spirit ( 神 Shen ). When activating his true breath by refining the original Essential Matter, the practitioner guides the Essential Matter with the mind. This action is "collecting minor elixir drugs". When the true breath, being refined, surges, the practitioner guides it with his mind through the pass. This is called "collecting major elixir drugs". Two factors count in "Collecting Elixir Drugs". First, one must seize the right time, i.e. the moment of "one-Yang returning", the sign of the trigram Fu used to signify the production of elixir drugs. The trigram Fu comprises six hexagrammatic lines, including five Yin hexagrammatic lines above and one Yang hexagrammatic line below, which indicates that the Yang breath just comes into being. For a day, this moment refers to the Zi hour at midnight. However, we should understand that this "Zi hour" is not a strict time, but an internal feeling in the alchemical process. Hence it is also called "Flexible Zi Hour" ( 活子時 Huo Zishi ). Second, one must master the Fire Phases ( 火候 Huohou ). What is the proper fire phase has always been a secret transmitted orally from master to disciple. One cannot achieve real success in Inner Alchemy cultivation without being directed by a distinguished master.