This article explains the difference between qi gong, neigong, and shen gong paths specific to our water path tradition, the KUNLUN System. There are many lineages which each have differences in their meanings of these terms.
In our water path tradition, these can be seen as the mind paths of fire, water, air, polarity, non-polarity, and void. The cultivator chooses their path and no path is better than the other.
In the “outer” or qi gong path, the practitioner absorbs and moves the qi from their environments. The qi from the sun, moon, earth, and air better the physical body for higher, more intense/challenging practices.
In this stage, the individual opens the channels. They develop a proper mind and make themselves physically and mentally more substantial for the long path ahead of them.
In the nei gong path or “inner level”, we utilize the stored energy from the three dantiens. We learn how to emit this energy to expand our potentials of the mind – such as the nine gates hidden within the brain and the crystal palace.
There are different forms of nei gong. Some forms awaken dormant potentials while others are used for martial arts. Many of these higher teachings are hidden within various systems for those students who have proven themselves to be great cultivators. In some lineages these forms are only passed on to family members.
In shen gong or spiritual work, we go beyond duality methods. We perfect the clear light mind of non-polarity towards the gold dragon body, also known as the diamond body manifestation.
In this level, we use simple methods to unite the upper dantian with the middle dantian. The polarity mind and its attributes are dissolved resulting in some form of illumination.
Choosing Your Path
The water path of the KUNLUN System is a very different approach compared to other systems of Taoism.
Today, fire path traditions are the most known. Before the fire path, there was the water path. Before the water path, there was the wind path. Before all of these was the void or “mind to mind” path which was the original mindset. Many of those ancient ways of cultivation and the great masters have been lost to time.
This is a simple approach to seeing the fundamental differences between these paths. Whatever you choose as your level, all of these reveal your true potential by cultivating yourself fully and living the practice.
Please explore the Kunlun System Book for more insights or join us for one of our events. I leave you with a quote from the book. Practice well and live your art. You are the beginning and the end of your path.
“…one of the most important things to avoid is combining the KUNLUN Method and System with any forceful, fire-based practices such as kundalini or any other fire-focused methods. The KUNLUN System, the path of the water way, cultivates the internal arts and is designed to facilitate spiritual development. Our KUNLUN Method teaches you how to generate and accumulate energy by using specific time-tested practices that cultivate the downward flow of universal forces. The downward flow of the water path has a different effect on the body and its energies than the fire path practices that cultivate the upward flow of energy. The upward flow of fire originates in the perineum or hui-yin and imparganglia, representing the flow of Earth upward toward Heaven.
The downward flow of water originates in the heart and cardiac ganglia or plexus and represents the essence of Heavenly Way, the Word, or the Tao. The beauty of man’s desire is the ability to merge Heaven and Earth, to bring water and fire together, respectively. The unifying gift of this alchemical interaction is the creation of a super-heated steam that, at body
temperature, can transmute all impurities of density and sublimate those densities into the light of love and the compassion of the ages simultaneously. It is the super-heated steam that provides the superconductive flow of all forces to such a degree that over unity to zero point is possible within our bodies, and our consciousness transcends matter to light at the ni-huan and beyond to the emptiness of emptiness or the void.” Page 87 – Kunlun System