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Inner Alchemy

by Mantak Chia

Physical Explanation

Each one of the cells that our body is composed of is directly related to the first original cell located right behind the navel. This cell was born of the meeting of the Ovum and sperm of our parents.

As long as this cell sends a message of perfection to the DNA of each cell in the body, we are virtually immortal. Working with inner alchemy, we can recombine the 64 Amino Acids of DNA by following the 64 eternal laws of change (I Ching). So our cells are able to get in better touch with more subtle forces (Higher energy). We do this until we reach the divine spark in the original cell. This process can change our atomic structure.

Developmental Process of Melatonin

The history of melatonin starts around the pre-Cambrian age, when the anaerobic cells started to evolve into a more efficient form of life, called the aerobic state. Aerobic cells make use of the 02 (oxygen, yang, fire), and H20 (water, yin). In this way the cells assimilate the organic molecules (mostly composed of C06, Carbon) much more easily. In the process of assimilation, oxidation occurs, creating free radicals. Some free radicals deform molecules by penetrating the cellular membrane and “bombing” the DNA, causing a great amount of damage, including mutations.

The process of oxidation weakens DNA. When a cell reproduces the new cell’s DNA is also weaker. Taoists were aware of this process many thousands of years ago. It was not good to reproduce when one was old, or if one drank, or was in a weak condition, as this would cause the offspring to be weak. To avoid this undesirable process cells started to develop melatonin.

Yin Yang Harmony in the Body

The first action of melatonin is anti-oxidant, which is a yang process. Another basic effect of melatonin is a reactive energy we call hormones, and this is yin. This antioxidant is more efficient and versatile than Vitamin E or Glutathione. This is five hundred times more powerful than DMSO against radiation. They speak as well about Pi Gu, or the nearly complete cessation of food intake. In fact, when you get to the higher level, and not before, you don’t want to disperse your refined energy to counteract the oxidation process, especially when eating carbohydrates which are rich in Co6. Everything in the universe including our glands have yin and yang.

We spoke about the yang aspect of melatonin, and we assert that the yin side of melatonin is as a hormone. The hormone function of melatonin is related with the whole endocrine system, especially the adrenal glands. The yin aspect of the adrenal gland is cortisol, while the yang aspect is adrenaline. To have an ideal situation we need to balance the yin hormone melatonin with the yang adrenaline, and the yang antioxidant in melatonin with the cortisol that is yin. The pineal gland that produces melatonin works more during the yin period of our day, i.e. at night.

The adrenal works more during the yang part of the day, i.e. daytime. If during the daytime we move adrenaline through Tai Chi, meditation, qigong, etc., then at night we will have a stronger production of melatonin and cortisol. From 9 to 11 pm, our bodies produce more cortisol. From 11 pm to 3 am, the sexual energy rises, producing more melatonin, (yin). This process is connected with the pituitary gland and the thyroid growing process. From 3 to 6 am we produce more melatonin, or yang antioxidant. This matches perfectly with what Taoists say – that 3 to 6 am is the best time for meditation. At this time the pineal and sexual glands are connecting, straightening and rejuvenating the DNA, bone, and marrow.

From 6 to 12 am, the body produces more adrenaline and it connects with the pancreas in helping the process of the construction of the tendon and muscle fiber. That is why Taoists say that this is the best time for physical practice. The Taoists speak about nine gems that distill essence. In fact, westerners discovered that the process of generating ovum and sperm starts in the pineal gland. A hormonal message, sent to the pituitary and other glands, eventually results in the production of the egg and sperm in the sexual glands. By bringing up this essence, we reconnect the circuit, enhancing and strengthening a more refined production of hormone that slowly starts a transformation, slowing the aging process and enabling the great masters to achieve their remarkable attainments.

Life Style Awareness

Most people do not follow the above mentioned timetable. They use the upper gland energy during the day, getting stressed and emotional, and the lower gland energy at night, by eating late, staying in artificial light, and especially having sexual intercourse at night time. They make the body too fiery and this increases it’s tendency to burn out over time. To reverse this aging process through inner transformation, we depend on the ability of our body to produce melatonin to protect and recreate the stem cells located in the spinal marrow.

If we can do this the body is able to reproduce brain cells and other body cells which are free of any of the signs of aging. As a result of the increased and refined flow of melatonin and other hormones in the glands, the immune system is activated 200% more than in the normal state. This especially increases the phagocytes and lymphocytes.


High dosages of melatonin shut down the conscious processes of the mind and create a space for deep, altered states of consciousness to arise. This means that we can dream and at the same lime have Delta waves. We can also have Delta waves while awake, which was considered impossible by western medicine before this experiment. Taoists speak about the ecstatic or inner journey. This refers to the same process that western medicine is now discovering. This is nothing but a deep state of meditation.

Food, Drugs and Melatonin

Anxiolytic medications such as valium, Xanax, Aspirin and Novalgin decrease the production of melatonin. Some mild anti-depressant drugs induce relaxation by causing a slight rise in the production of melatonin. Stronger antidepressants, such as Prozac, tend to decrease the melatonin production and stimulate the adrenal and other glands. Vitamin B-12, caffeine steroids, tobacco, and in a very special way, refined sugar all tend to decrease melatonin production. Alcohol consumed before 10:30 at night tends to reduce melatonin production. When alcohol is consumed after 10:30 pm, it tends to increase melatonin production. At 11 pm energy flows into the liver, which is a basic organ in regulating hormonal secretion.

Other foods rich in melatonin are: oats, corn, brown rice, ginger, ripe tomatoes, bananas, parsley, algae, dates, oysters, soya, cottage cheese, chicken liver, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, turkey, tofu, watermelon and apple seeds, almonds, peanuts, yeast, vitamin B-3, (which is found in dried fruit), parsley, liver, sunflower seeds, salmon and swordfish, vitamin B-6 (found in carrots, lentils, avocado, and prawns).

Tryptophan, serotonin, calcium and magnesium, and marijuana increase melatonin production by more than 2000 times, if taken in the right quantities and at the right time of day. However, after such high production of hormone the result can be a down, or feeling of depression. Once a person is practicing we need to be careful. Our bodies become more subtle, precise, refined and more sensitive. So we need to avoid excesses of any kind, especially external stimulation. Such stimulation tends to disharmonize the subtle body mechanics, and this is true for drugs, medicine, food supplements; herbs, etc. If a food or an herb is medically perfect it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for your body. It could be the opposite. What we are learning is to look for our inner medicine.

Related to Inner Alchemy:

Tao Garden Winter Retreat in January
Tao Garden Darkroom Meditation in February

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