Refinement of Vital Breath into Spirit
The “Initial Pass” ( 初關 Chuguan ), namely, the “Refinement of Essential Matter into Vital Breath” ( 煉精化氣 Lianjing Huaqi ) ought to be followed by the “Refinement of Vital Breath into Spirit”, which belonged to the “Middle Pass” ( 中關 Zhongguan ) in the “Work of Three Phases” ( 三步功 Sanbu Gong ). Since it used to take as long as ten months to complete, it was also known as the “Ten Month Pass” ( 十月關 Shiyue Guan ). In contrast to the “Refinement of Essential Matter into Vital Breath”, which drove the Vital Breath in the human body to circulate around the “Microcosmic Orbit” ( 小周天 Xiaozhou Tian ), namely, the Ren and Du channels, the “Refinement of Vital Breath into Spirit” highlighted the “Macrocosmic Orbit” ( 大周天 Dazhou Tian ), where the circulation of Vital Breath went beyond the Ren and Du channels, rather involving the Twelve Channels and Collaterals ( 十二經絡 Shier Jingluo ) in the body; the “Refinement of Essential Matter into Vital Breath” was known as “Transforming Three into Two” ( 收三歸二 Shousan Guiyi ), whereas the “Refinement of Vital Breath into Spirit” was known as “Transforming Two into One” ( 由二歸一 Youer Guiyi ), which featured a marriage between “Vital Breath” and “Spirit”. In Daoism, the complete mixture of “Vital Breath” and “Spirit” was known as the “Sacred Embryo” ( 聖嬰 Shengying ) or the “Ultimate Medicine” ( 大藥 Dayao ), a term borrowed from “Outer Alchemy”. Obviously, it was a transitional phase from “Interfering Action” ( 有爲 Youwei ) to “NoneInterference” ( 無爲 Wuwei ). Technically, “Vital Breath” was circulating between the “Lower Elixir Field” ( 下丹田 Xia Dantian ), or “Fire”, in another term borrowed from Outer Alchemy, and the “Middle Elixir Field” ( 中丹田 Zhong Dantian ), namely, the “Yellow Court” ( 黃庭 Huangtin ), or “Cauldron” in books on Outer Alchemy. It took about ten months to achieve the complete mixture of “Vital Breath” and “Spirit”, a process known as “Nourishing the Infant” in Inner Alchemy.