Mind, Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life

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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
Harmonizing the Breath
Obtaining the Elixir Drug
Collecting Elixir Drugs
Fire Phases
To Increase Fire
To Reduce Fire
To Nourish in Warmth
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

Among the three terms usually found in books on Inner Alchemy, Mind was regarded as substance, Spiritual Nature as the soul, namely the governing power, of the mind, and last but not least, Bodily Life as the Vital Breath. According to the Book of the Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Teachings on Cultivating Mind ( 《太上老君說了心經》Taishang Laojun Shuo Liaoxin Jing ), "Mind governs Spirit, whether in motion or at rest". The author argues that Mind controls the movements and functions of Spirit. In this sense, Mind is equal to substance, and Spiritual Nature equal to its function.

By comparison, Daoism attaches an importance to the inseparable link between Mind and Spiritual Nature. In the refinement of Inner Alchemy, the Enlightenment of Mind ( 明心 Mingxin ) and the Realization of Spiritual Nature ( 見性 Jianxing ) are equally emphasized. Among the two elements, the Enlightenment of Mind, or the Purifying of Mind, in another term, represents a process of cleaning the human Mind. Even in the years before the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty, "purifying human minds by [[[the Book of Changes]]" ( 《易》Yi ) had been popularly mentioned. In the later periods, Daoism borrowed concepts from the book in expounding Purifying Mind and other ideas about Inner Alchemy.

In Chinese, the character “purifying” consists of two parts, namely, “the sun” and “the moon”, which stands for Yang and Yin separately. It suggests that in order to purify human minds, Yang and Yin should be inseparably linked. When the two fundamental elements become one, Original Chaos ( 混沌 Huntun ) will return. Accordingly, the goal of Purifying Mind can only be achieved by ridding human beings of wisdom or desire, and returning to original simplicity, a state in which a complete circulation between Spirit and Vital Breath is attained. In another word, Substance and its Function are completely united.