Refining the Mind through the Nine Cauldrons

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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

This is another term popularly seen in books on Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ). Originally, the “Nine Cauldrons” stood for national treasures in ancient times. In later periods, Daoism borrowed it as a symbol of the highest level in the refinement of Outer Alchemy. In the Yellow Emperor's Nine Cauldron Alchemical Scripture ( 《黃帝九鼎神丹經訣》 Huangdi Jiuding Shendan Jingjue ), “Nine Cauldrons” referred to the Nine Ways ( 九法jiufa ) and Nine Reversions ( 九轉 Jiuzhuan ) in the Refinement of the Elixir. Since the rise of the Studies of Inner Alchemy, it became one of the fundamental concepts in the Refinement of Inner Alchemy. As for its implications on a symbolic level, various answers were given by different schools or sects. Some argued that it ought to stand for the human mind, which played a central role in the connection of the Seven Mysterious Gates ( 七竅 Qiqiao ) and the circulation of Yin and Yang; Others claimed that it stood for the Elixir Field ( 丹田 Dantian ) in human bodies, which led to the Seven Energy Nodes ( 七節 Qijie ) in the upper part and the kidney in the lower part; Some scholars referred to the “Nine Cauldrons” as an emblem of 12 divisions of a day named after 12 Celestial Trunks ( 天干 Tiangan ).

In general, it was popularly accepted that “Nine Cauldrons”, as a term, was a metaphor for refinement of Spiritual Nature, which suggested, just like the refinement of Elixirs, that timing and consistency were equally important in the refinement of Spiritual Nature. In order to achieve the goal of Integrated Cultivation of Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life ( 性命雙修 Xingming Shuangxiu ), a man must hold adequate skills as well as good virtues.