Favor and disgrace surprise the most.
Value the trouble as you do the body.

Why do favor and disgrace surprise the most?
Favor enhances only the inferior,
Receiving it is a surprise.
And losing it is also a surprise.
This is why favor and disgrace surprise the most.

Why to value the trouble as you do the body?
It is only because I have a body that I have trouble.
If I did not have a body, where would the trouble be?

So, if you value the world as you do the body,
You can be entrusted with the world;
If you love the body as you love the beauty of the world,
You can be responsible for the world.

(~ Lao Zi Ch.13)

Your precious body contains the secrets of the Universe.

The body is a microcosm of the Universe replete with its own doorways, valleys, waterways, and mountains. Get to know it intimately, and you will open into a deeper communion and connection with the energies all around you and beyond you. Working through the body you will journey to dizzying heights and unfathomable depths, beyond the realm of time and space beyond all duality, all separation, to the very center of all being.

It is a physical journey to a spiritual place. There is no telling how long it takes to travel there as each one's journey is individual and unique. It is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. Only those of pure intention, inner devotion, and unceasing perseverance will meet with sublime success.

"The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step."

No prerequisite skills necessary to excel but the willingness to look within.

The purpose of the meditation exercises is to deepen the understanding of the Taoist Esoteric Inner Alchemy (internal gold) and to potentially prepare an individual for formal initiation into the Tao.

1. Reaching the ultimate emptiness,
Concentrating on the central stillness,
All things work together.

2. From this I observe their returning.

3. All things under heaven flourish in their vitality,
Yet each returns to its own root.
There is stillness.
Stillness means returning to its destiny.
Returning to its destiny is steadfastness.
To know steadfastness is enlightenment,
Not to know steadfastness is to act forcefully.
Acting forcefully brings disaster.
Knowing the steadfast implies acceptance.
Acceptance is impartial.
Impartial is regal.
Regal is heaven.
Heaven is Tao.
Tao is beyond danger when the body perishes.

(~ Lao Zi Ch.16)

Actualizing one's true gifts and self requires developing conscious awareness, establishing a connection to the primordial cosmic energy, freeing oneself of the emotional body, clearing and opening up the physical body, and learning to store one's vital energy.

Inner Alchemy meditation focuses on basic Taoist techniques for attaining stillness, gathering and distilling energy, working with the integration of yin and yang, opening energy channels within the body, and purifying the emotional energy stored in the organs of the body. The basic four meditation postures, walking, standing, sitting, and lying are also introduced.

Working with the Chinese theory of five elements through the twelve meridians and the eight psychic-channels is the key method to achieve this.

Suggested meditation exercises:
The Meditation of Repeated Return
The Meditation of Repeated Return (Part 2)
Session 17: Lovesick
Step 10: Cultivates / Meditation Practice

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