What is Internal Alchemy?

Internal Alchemy

Small lotus image

January 2010

Internal Alchemy can be a catch-all phrase which refers to any changes which take place on the inside of our Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. However, for my purposes, I will limit it to mean Positive Changes which affect our Deep Tissues, our Organs, our Spiritual Heart and our Intellectual Mind.

I am not by any means referring to the Ancient Esoteric Sciences of trying to attain immortality or rendering ingested poisons harmless.

I will be referring to anything we can do to Strengthen our Tendons, Ligaments, Bones, Organs and Will Power. I will also include anything which Purifies our Body, Heart and Mind. For my purposes here, "Purifies" will mean attuning our Body, Mind and Heart so that they are closer to Harmony with "The Way Things Should Be." This refers to both in ourselves and with the Universe, the Dao or God.

I am not sure what that really is in All Cases (maybe not even in Any Case). But, I am Sure that there is "A Way Things Should Be." And I believe it is our Duty to align ourselves with This Way.

One of the most straight forward methods of Internal Alchemy is what the Chinese refer to as Muscle and Tendon Changing exercises. These are known as Yi Jin Jing in Chinese and Plyometrics in Western Exercise Science.

Yi Jin Jing consists of actions which stretch tendons while they're under tension. Since our Muscles are much more Elastic and have a much better blood supply than their tendons do, they grow and become stronger much more easily their tendons. So exercising in such a way as to strengthen our tendons is not only very good for the tendons themselves, it will actually help prevent injuries by making our tendons more capable of handling the strength of our muscles.

Yin Jin Jing also changes our tendons in such a way that they become able to store more potential energy (known as coiling energy). This coiled tendon energy enables us to move much faster by uncoiling and recoiling our tendons. This is known as bouncing-off of our own tendons. It is very fast and powerful. It is also unsafe for tendons and Nerve pathways which have not been conditioned properly to handle such an extreme load.

Yoga and Daoist Yoga are systems which when performed properly and regularly will change the state of your Internal Organs, as well as your Tendons and Muscles. They will massage them, detoxify them and energize them. They massage will also stimulate them to release more of their hormones. This is particularly beneficial as we grow older, since most hormonal production slows down as we age.

Pranayama and Qigong are two Internal Disciplines which focus on using the Breath to Purify and Energize the Body, Mind and Spirit. Their many special ways of Breathing can Change almost Everything about us. Expert Guidance is needed to assure the Changes are Positive and no harm is done.

Meditation and other arts which are designed to purify our Hearts and our Minds will also produce Internal Changes. Some negative emotions (such as anger, hatred, etc.) produce too much Yang or Rajasic energy and some produce too much Yin or Tamasic energy (sloth, gluttony, etc.). Dissolving the causes of such negative emotions causes our Internal Energy to become more Balanced and flow more easily.

Perhaps at this point, some of you are saying that this is much too esoteric and strange for you.

OK. So let's try this:

Doing Good Things. Hanging Out with Good People.

This is as Simple as it can get. Yet, It doesn't get much more Powerful than This.

Regardless of whether you believe in this or not, it has been proven countless times to work. The Mindless Doing of Good Things will eventually cease to be Mindless. it will Change you. You Will become a Better Person.

Likewise, just spending Time with Good People will Affect you in a Positive Way, whether you want it to or not.

There are many more examples of Internal Alchemy. They All work in some way. In order to ensure that you get the Changes you need, they should be undertaken only with proper guidance.