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Principles of the Greater Kan and Li Meditation
In order to explain the principles of the Greater Kan and Li practice, we will need to discuss mysticism and its correlation with the Wu Wei and fetal state of mind as well as the principles of external alchemy, whose processes and substrates are used metaphorically to describe the inner-alchemy principles of Kan and Li. We also will be describing the nature and interaction of our fragmented parts, Taoist cosmological theory, and the role of sexual desire in the interaction of Kan and Li (including coupling) to form the “whole.”
INTERACTIONS AMONG THE FRAGMENTED PARTS
Why are all energies needed for internal alchemy? Because if any part of the self holds tension or awareness the mind becomes fixated on that part and cannot leave. Tension in the body can be seen as stagnant energy that has not been made conscious and transformed into the energetic realm. Tension implies that some consciousness or emotion has become trapped in the material realm.
Therefore, in order to release all tension, all parts of the self must be awakened in some arrangement that suits all parts of us. This is another way of explaining holistic alchemical theories. In order to lose oneself, one needs to find all of oneself. The eight forces and the five elements and all their correspondences (in terms of psychic forces/emotions) must be identified, healed, and gathered together in a new order that finds a place for all. Their coming together in a new order is mediated by the Primordial chi at the center, which is all caring and all healing.
When all of the five elements and eight forces and their correspondences are healed and identified they can join in the bliss of union with one another. This merging signifies the death of the destructive aspects of self, whereby self-serving fragmented energies of the past die in a new unified way.
The interaction between the fragmented parts includes the following topics:
Trigrams—Kan and Li
Site of coupling—solar plexus (cauldron)
Dragon and tiger
Sun and moon
Animals, plants, and children
Controlling fire and steam
Attendant and observer
The Trigrams of Kan and Li
The practice of Kan and Li takes all the forces of Kan and Li and places them in the respective “houses” of Kan and Li. The term house here is a vital point to understanding the practice. As in the Fusion meditation, these houses act as containers for the collection of disparate forces.
The Kan and Li meditation, on first impression, involves a simple coupling of opposite energies of the body in order to arrive at the one. However, if this were true, why not call it the Yin and Yang meditation or the Heaven and Earth meditation? The reason is that purification needs to occur to enable discovery of the primordial. The yin energy is extracted from a fire that creates steam, which in turn is returned to the cauldron as purified yin. So the broken yin lines are extracted from within the Li trigram to eventually produce pure yin, which is equated with the earth. Likewise, we extract pure yang to create heaven from the tiger that initially resides within the house of Kan. When we are left with pure yin and yang, these can copulate to merge the entire universe into a unitary state. Hence we find that the last of the two formulas of Yi Eng is aptly named the Congress of Heaven and Earth.
So rather than viewing Kan and Li as simply the forces of water and fire, begin to enlarge your scope to see them as houses that can start to gather the other six forces. Fragmentation of the trigrams such that they have no harmonious interaction is the path to physical and mental decline and death. A part of this lack of harmonious interaction is the polarity of fire above and water below. Reversal of this polarity is one of the key methods to immortality. Therefore our aim, based on the interaction of the trigrams, is to invert Kan and Li. Then extract the yang out of Kan to create Heaven and the yin out of Li to create Earth.