All three are considered important in forming a ladder that we can consciously climb into the spiritual worlds and, just as important, descend back into the physical world to be creatively active. This ladder enables the Taoists to maintain a conscious link with the inner worlds and to act as the representatives of those worlds on Earth. In the after-death state, this link is maintained with the Earth world through the immortal body developed in the practice of Internal Alchemy.
This meditation of inner alchemy involves the transformation of the body's raw energies by coupling water and fire. The 'Lesser Kan and Li' formula reverses the typical arrangement of fire (heart) over water (kidneys), initiating the healing and immortality process by placing water above fire and uniting them. This reversal allows the body's fire to consume and transform the water above, while the water, in turn, transforms the fire beneath. Without this reversal, the fire merely ascends, and cold energy descends, leading to the aging of the body.
The primary goal of 'Lesser Kan & Li' practice is to heal the organs and dissolve blockages. Initially, the elemental energies of the organs are refined and amalgamated in the coupling of fire and water. Each organ's energy is purified to its essential form (resembling a virgin child or lower animal nature), and eventually, the spirit or soul of each organ can be liberated. These individual spirits and souls are then united during the coupling process. The merging of these separated spirits and souls can create the lesser medicine, which, when exposed to the great white light (greater medicine), facilitates rebirth and the formation of the integrated spiritual body.
From another perspective, the separated and merged energies undergo refinement, with the fire transmuting into heavenly chi (represented by the trigram heaven) and the water becoming earth chi (symbolized by the trigram earth). Ultimately, heaven consumes earth, converting the two trigrams into the hexagram of heaven. This corresponds to the light yang body, which is the immortal spirit body capable of experiencing ecstatic flight or dissolution into the Wu Wei. In the practices of Greater, Greatest, and Sealing of the Five Senses, this transformative process is further reinforced and developed.
In essence, 'Lesser Kan and Li' primarily focus on initiating this transformation process by promoting healing and the dissolution of the physical body.
We can speak of SHEN hen as the field of awareness or pure consciousness, and CHING as the realm of substance, related to sexual energy. CHI, the mind, is the vital energy mediating between those poles, the "middle treasure." These distinctions should not lead us to forget that these are but aspects of a continuum, from the most expanded to the most condensed of its manifestations.
Among the many connotations of each of these terms, we can count the human spirit, said to sit in the heart, as Shen. Shen is the spiritual component of life, that which inspires wonder and awe, that which is beyond yin and yang. In the Chinese tradition, spirits associated with mountains, streams, stars, and so forth can also be referred to as Shen, along with the gods and deities, beneficent beings, and departed ancestors. Within the individual, Shen is manifested in personality, thought, sensory perception, and the awareness of self.
...at the other pole of the spectrum, is the force that gives cohesion to the physical aspect of life, the glue holding the cells together. Inherited from our parents, and somehow comparable to the Western concept of genetic inheritance, Ching is said to be stored in our kidneys. Its seed shape expresses the primordial role they play in the growth, development, and reproduction of the body. Involved in the production of sperm and eggs, the limited amount of Ching we are given from conception to birth is burned up through life until its depletion results in physical death.
Where SHEN is the spirit, and CHING is our essence, CHI is both the life force and the organizing principle flowing through all things and establishing their interconnectedness. Chinese believe that every living thing (both human and non-human) has CHI. It is responsible for consciousness and mental abilities.
Through the years, different Tao practitioners have evolved different versions of the formulas. But we all started from the same beginning. Contained herein, in outline form, is the highest Kan and Li practice as taught by Grand Master Mantak Chia of the Universal Healing Tao© System. It is intended to demystify old oral and written traditions so that any person in today's world can access the benefits of this most valuable practice.
Since fire expresses the raising aspect of the CHI, and water its downward movement, their basic tendencies tear them apart from one another. In that situation, alchemy is not possible. There has to be a reversal of their positions within the body: fire has to go down, while water has to go up, so that an alchemical transformation can occur.
On our return journey back to the Tao, there are many seemingly fixed patterns of reality that block our progress. As Taoists, we do not struggle or fight with these seemingly impassable obstacles within our body/mind-instead, we simply identify and acknowledge the polarities present, and dissolve them. This is a necessary step in our return through the five elements and yin-yang dialectics to the ''uncarved block", the undifferentiated whole, Wu Chi, the Tao.
1. Combining male and female or water (yin/muIti-orgasmic energy) and fire (yang/compassion fire from the heart), along with all the virtue energy from all the organs, to give birth to the soul.
2. Transforming the sexual power in to vital energy (chi). Gathering and purifying the microcosmic outer alchemical agent.
3. Opening the twelve major channels.
4. Circulating the power in the Microcosmic Orbit.
5. Turning back the flow of generative force to fortify the body and the brain and to restore them to their original condition before puberty.
6. Regrowing the thymus and lymphatic system.
7. Nourishing and rejuvenating the organs.
8. Sublimation of the body and soul in self-intercourse.
9. Giving birth to the immortal soul (energy body).
Excerpts from publications by Mantak Chia
Wolfgang Heuhsen and Dr. Andrew Jan
A complete 4-days workshop video instruction from Mantak Chia himself you can find under: Lesser Kan und Li