NEIDAN OR INTERNAL ALCHEMY
Neidan or Internal Alchemy is more commonly referred to as Chi Gong. The types and forms of Chi Gong exercises and meditation are numerous and varied. Typically Chi Gong can be broken into martial and non-martial classes. Inner Alchemy practices are designed is to preserve, protect, nourish, tonify and circulate the Three Treasures of Chinese health – the primary energies Jing, Chi and Shen in order to achieve physical prowess, mental health, radiant health, healthy energy levels and spiritual advancement. Some of the practitioners throughout history even used inner alchemy in the pursuit of immortality and ascension. With Neidan, the practitioner uses only the body, the mind and universal energy sources to accomplish the goals in mind.
When one thinks of the Three Treasures, Jing refers to a person’s “creative energy” which resides in the lowest Dan Tien or energy center. Chi refers to ones “life energy” which resides in the middle Dan Tien and Shen which is a “spiritual energy” which resides in the upper Dan Tien. A fascinating and controversial concept in Chi Gong is the transformation of chi into Jing. This subject is particularly interesting because Jing is thought by some to be irreplaceable, thus when one’s Jing is exhausted the individual too expires. This is a topic we will revisit in additional posts.
We at the Chinese Boxing Academy are very fortunate recipients of the Chi Gong practices of the Baguazhang lineage of Park Bok Nam. If you’re not familiar with Baguazhang or Park Bok Nam, follow the links in this sentence. This lineage is a very detailed system dedicated to devastating self-defense and health. Within the system there are many Chi Gong exercises and even the martial art itself is threaded with Chi Gong. So even individuals primarily interested in the martial application receives the benefits of Chi Gong practice. The Chi Gong taught in this system has many important benefits including profound anti-aging ramifications.
Baguazhang Kung Fu is considered by many to be an elite and esoteric internal Martial Art, formerly taught only to individuals that achieved master status in another martial discipline and even further back available only to Wudang mountain priests and the Emperor’s elite guard. It is considered to be one of three in the internal family of martial arts, the others being Tai chi quan and Xingyiquan.
Thank you for taking the time to read this page. The subject and practice of Internal Alchemy is too vast a concept to cover in this piece. It was our hope to convey a general overview of the topic. It is important to note that if you are interested in studying Neidan that you should seek qualified instruction. Learning Chi Gong from a book, the web or by video can be potentially very dangerous.
SHIFU Greg Hatza is the progenitor of the Chinese Boxing Academy in Catonsville MD. The school teaches The Baguzhang of Park Bok Nam, Yang Family Tai Chi and Xingyiquan. SHIFU Greg Hatza born in 1947 is a living testament to the health promoting aspects of Chi Gong.