Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Recently there is widespread opinion that Taoism, alchemy and qigong are the same. This is a delusion. Qigong is nothing but degenerated part of Taoist alchemy, which greatly distorted the true principles of his ancestor. Here I'm not talking about certain kinds of qigong, such as Buddhist, which also influenced the alchemy and qigong.
Xuanzhenzi asked: "It is that for the first time we join the Secret Teaching and don’t yet understand very much the difference between qigong and Taoist alchemy and I ask the Teacher to tell me and other followers about it."
The Teacher of Single Yang said: "From the ancient time till the present day at Taoist alchemy a transmission of Teacher has always been, (what is called) an oral admonition and heart-to-heart transmission. And it was very strictly closed and secret. In the process of reaching perfection a strict detailed sequence exists (steps of perfection) and if you advance at the practice step by step in accordance with the oral admonition of the true Teacher, then after mastering each stage the true sign of (successful mastery of this stage) will always manifest. Everyone practicing alchemy can know these signs from their own experience. There is "a medicinal substance Yao, an oven and a tripod Lu Ting, the periods of Fire Hohou” at production of the elixir. There are "construction of foundation Zhuji and perfecting themselves Lyani, collecting Cai, sealing Feng, boiling Penglyan, warm nurturing Wenyan, bathing-ablution Muyouyi, foetus breathing Taixi, formation Jiedan of the elixir, returning of elixir Huandan, coming out of the baby Chu Yiner, 3 years of breastfeeding Sanyanian buzhu, 9 years of turning toward the wall Junian myanbi, soaring and transformation to immortal Yuhuachengxian" and other stages.
Qui Xifan said: "True Water is inside Water; True Fire is inside Fire, if Fire and Water are connected, you will never get old”. “Water has the ability to flow down; Fire has the ability to flame up. You can experience it in the body."
After the All-Wise will make a Basis of the elixir Danmu (this is precisely the True Sperm), then in the body a True Water stream naturally arises and it becomes possible to verify the words of Mr. Qui. This True Water rises through the channel Dumai, passes Nivan, reaches Magpie Bridge, gets down to the Many-tier Tower and through the channel Renmai directly sinks into the lower dantian. This stream through two channels, Ren and Du is called an alchemical Heaven of small circle. And this is always happened in such a way with to each man who was melting the elixir and perfecting the Tao, it has a scientific repeatability.
On the other hand in Qigong there is not anything, of what can be called " a medicinal substance Yao, oven and a tripod Lu Ting, periods of Fire Hohou" and in the flow through two channels, Ren and Du only the movement of qi is present, there is no True Water, True Sperm and moreover it is meaningless to talk about production of elixir. Also in qigong every practitioner is guided only by their own subjective experience of feeling the flow of qi in the small heaven circle, and each of them has different reactions in the body. There is no repeatability.
“If there is no true sperm in the tripod (Fu), that is like to boil empty kettle (Cheng) using water and fire". This is the best apt expression in relation to the exercises of Qigong in the performance of the rotation around the circle of heaven. Without Water flowing and without the True Sperm to realize a small circle of heaven - to use a feeling of qi is like using a fire to burn under an empty pot (Go). Then you can’t escape a burn-out. This circle of heaven of qigong uses the mobilization-release potential (qiannen) of body and produces wastes (xunhao). It's just like to speed up a car with the brakes on. The faster it will go, the more damage there will be, but it will give no benefits. Similar to this, the rotation of the circle of heaven does not do any good. The above shows the difference between a small circle in alchemy and qigong.
The ways of Alchemy and Qigong have very many differences, but the most fundamental difference is that alchemy is the process of reverse perfection, while qigong – is a process of onward perfection. Perfecting the way of alchemy is collection of primordial pre-heaven jing, thereby fulfilling the lost post-heaven jing, restoring the destroyed body, adding oil (tianyu) and prolonging destiny (zeming). The primordial jing is collected for melting and transforming it into qi; using the primordial qi make melting qi and transforming it into shen, then moving farther and melting shen and returning to Emptiness; by melting Emptiness completing Tao. All this leads to the fact that the men who perfect themselves overcome the old age and return to youth, and realizing the reverse perfection become the All-wise. But qigong, by contrast, is unable to collect the primordial jing, and therefore there is no way of reverse perfection; it only possible that a man slightly decreases the loss (continually ongoing), slow decreasing of post-heaven jing, whereby regulating the physiology of their body, achieving the effect of escape from diseases and a small extension of life.
Most importantly, the way of alchemy increases the primordial jing, qi and shen of the human body, as opposed to qigong, which can only follow the law of nature, whereby the human body always follows the order of creation and destruction (death). Any qigong is just an accessory method in the preparatory phase of Taoist alchemy and any kind of qigong can’t go beyond the preparatory stage of the elixir way.
From the book of the Teacher of Single Yang Translated by Dmitry A. Artemyev (Founder of Daode Centre) Original Article Source: http://www.all-dao.com/