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Neidan (內丹)- Internal Alchemy with Master Zhou Xuan Yun

Location and Duration – Registration is now closed.

Zoom – Three Months, 25 Sessions, $390

WHEN: Mondays and Thursdays
6 – 7 PM EST
January 4 – March 28
Class recordings will be made available right after each class for review for 10 days.

What is Neidan – Internal Alchemy?
Since ancient times, Daoist practitioners have placed health and longevity with the utmost importance by improving physical, emotional, and mental health. Ultimately, the goal is to merge with the Dao, reaching long life, if not immortality. Neidan is an advanced cultivation method rooted in gathering, restoring, and circulating our body’s Qi (energies) by regulating it through meditation and Qigong breathing exercises. It is a comprehensive approach characterized by our body’s rhythmic and cohesive functioning. One Chinese image of health is flowing water. As long as water keeps moving, it self-cleans; it self-purifies and is self-perpetuating, maintaining a healthy body and life cycle. 


Neidan, which means “internal elixir,” seeks to produce an elixir within the practitioner’s body, using our body as a vessel to formulate these alchemic occurrences. Put simply, cultivating our body as a vessel to nurture the Daoist’s Three Treasures of Jing (精), Qi (氣), and Shen (神) is the center of the practice.

  • Jing, or reproductive energy, has its home in the lower Dantian
  • Qi, or life energy, has its home in the middle Dantian
  • Shen, or spiritual energy, has its home in the upper Dantian

In traditional Chinese medicine, these three treasures can treat various illnesses when appropriately cultivated. The practice of Neidan involves gathering the body’s three energies of Jing, Qi, And Shen through intention (Yi 意) and directing it to flow through the body’s 8 Extraordinary Vessels (Qí Jīng Bā Mài 奇經八脈). They are:

Yin Linking (Yin Wei Mai 陰維脈 )
Yang Linking (Yang Wei Ma 陽維脈) 
Yin Heel (Yin Qiao Mai 陰蹻脈)
Yang Heel (Yang Qiao Mai 陽蹻脈)
Penetrating Vessel (Chong Mai 衝脈)
Conception Vessel (Ren Mai 任脈) 
Governing Vessel (Du Mai 督脈)
Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai 帶脈)

In addition, the following twelve meridians are connected to the body’s internal organs and play a crucial role in transporting energies throughout the body. 

Hand Taiyin Lung Meridian (手太阴肺经)
Hand Jueyin Pericardium Meridian (手厥阴心包经)
Hand Shaoyin Heart Meridian (手少阴心经) |
Hand Yangming Large Intestine Meridian (手阳明大肠经) |
Hand Shaoyang Triple Burner Meridian (手少阳三焦经)
Hand Taiyang Small Intestine Meridian (手太阳小肠经)
Foot Yangming Stomach Meridian (手阳明大肠经)
Foot Shaoyang Gallbladder Meridian (足少阳胆经)
Foot Taiyang Bladder Meridian (足太阳膀胱经)
Foot Taiyin Spleen Meridian (足太阴脾经)
Foot Jueyin Liver Meridian (足厥阴肝经)
Foot Shaoyin Kidney Meridian (足少阴肾经)

The first step in practicing Neidan is to meditate and enter a state of tranquility, allowing one to receive the body’s qi and energy. Once the qi and energy are abundant, the practitioner begins circulating the qi through the Conception Vessel- (Ren Mai 任脈) and Governing Vessel – (Du Mai 督脈), also known as the Microcosmic Orbit. After the qi circulates through the Microcosmic Orbit, it flows through the Yin-Yang Connecting Vessels and the Belt Vessel, among other meridians. This sensation, or qi, may temporarily disappear sometimes, and everything around the practitioner becomes quiet. The qi then solidifies in the lower dantian and spreads to the legs, creating a heavy sensation as if anchored to the earth. The body feels too heavy, making it difficult to move. This sensation becomes increasingly intense, and when exhaling, the body begins to tremble, not due to an intentional effort. Like a struck gong, it is as if the body vibrates throughout. As this heavy qi rises, the middle Dantian becomes heavy, and the qi flows into the chest. It then enters the head, increasing the pressure in the head. At times, there may be a feeling of nausea as the body becomes filled with qi, and different parts of the body experience sensations of cold and heat as the meridians open up during this process. Suddenly, the pressure feels like it is about to burst, like a river rising until it breaks through a dam, and then the pressure disappears. The qi immediately flows smoothly again, and the whole body feels lighter than before, yet more grounded. It is similar to recovering from a long-term illness one was unaware of. Subsequent changes in the body include a smoother and fuller flow of qi and a greater sense of comfort and tranquility.

There is a belief that practicing Neidan can cure or prevent numerous diseases in one’s own body. Others believe that through it, one can extend one’s lifespan or even live longer without aging. We will use the method of meditation to gather and nurture the perfect Qi (Zhen Qi 真氣) and then open up the body’s energetic channels. Unblocking the energetic channels transports the body’s resources to where they are needed. From a realistic perspective, practicing this method is very difficult. Hallucinations or serious physical harm can happen if one aspect is performed incorrectly. However, if practiced under the supervision of a qualified teacher, such harm is unlikely.  Master Zhou’s particular Neidan practice is derived from the Long Men Sect (龙门派), and this practice requires three months to complete. This meditation journey requires an open mind, patience, consistency, and focus. Moreover, understanding the cultivation method is a must.

Several important points: during the three months of practicing Neidan, and from a purist perspective, the practice discourages smoking, drinking, and engaging in sexual activities for the duration simply because these activities deplete the cultivated energies, diminishing the optimal effect intended for the practice. One should practice for at least an hour every evening, including that outside of class time.

In this class, Zhou Shifu will cover the following:
       -The first part of the lesson will be devoted to understanding the principle of Neidan. 
       -The second and third part of the lesson is the practice of Neidan meditation.
       -The last part will be an open discussion, feedback, and answer any questions.

For further reading:
     Learn more about Neidan from Zhou Shifu’s blog post.
Common Questions Regarding Experiencing Hallucinations During Qigong Practice.


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25 Sessions: $390
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The Zoom link will be sent to you one week before the class starts.
*Recordings will be available for 10 days right after each session.

Participant Cancellation Policy:

  • A full refund will be given to participants who cancel their event attendance up to 30 days prior to the event. 
  • Cancellations within 30 days of the event will only result in a credit toward a future event; no refund will be given. 
  • For questions, email us at info@daoistgate.com.


If you have any questions, please email us at info@daoistgate.com.

January 4 @ 6:00 pm March 28 @ 7:00 pm EST