Dual Cultivation Methods
It is a sad fact of human nature that when many people hear of anything involving intimate aspects of life they get carried away with it or else distort it into an ugly reflection of its original format. Within Daoism, no aspect of its wide teachings have suffered from this kind of distortion so much as the dual cultivation methods engaged in by couples who are also followers of the way. The so-called ‘bedroom arts’ were an attempt to take one of the most energetically powerful parts of human life and make it work for cultivators of Nei Gong and Nei Dan so that it could benefit their practice.
Dual cultivation takes place between two people, two lovers. It is a form of Qi Gong practiced during sexual intercourse that helps to develop and stimulate Qi and avoid excessive loss of Jing. It also helps to build a strong energetic harmonisation between two people who have dedicated their hearts to one another. It is not a way to enlightenment of any sort (this is a distortion), nor is it a practice aimed at making sex more joyful (this may happen but it is not the aim) and neither is it to take place between strangers or multiple partners. Chinese society has always been based upon the idea of life-long couples. Whilst in modern times we may change partners more frequently than in ancient times, these practices are still aimed at those people who have built up a strong loving bond. It is not for those having a relationship based purely on lust; in fact this can actually be harmful as all sort of emotionally-charged issues can develop.
It is also worth noting that it is an absolutely minor part of the Daoist path. It really is nowhere near as important or useful as a regular Nei Gong or other internal arts practice for your own development. Many schools have blown it completely out of proportion either because it is easy to ‘sell’ to westerners or else because it serves the personal sexual deviancies of the teacher (a situation all too common throughout the alternative community). It is instead a system based upon practicality and very simple guidelines that are actually fairly straight-forward.
Dual cultivation training within Lotus Nei Gong will sadly not suit those looking for a form of titillation or a new sexual position to use in bed. Not because we are prudes but because this is all rather shallow and besides the point! Instead we teach a clear traditional system based upon the following aspects of sexuality:
- The nature of human attraction, sexuality, connection and relationship development. How do couples learn to keep the fires of emotional connection and desire alive throughout the course of their lives?
- The nature of male and female energetic systems. How do they function and how do they relate to one another?
- How is Jing moved, circulated and used up during sexual intercourse and through the mental activity of desire? understanding the movements and actions of Jing is complex but highly important to both the ‘cultivator’ and couples as well.
- How to generate more Qi and a higher degree of harmonisation between two people who are engaged in a loving and connected relationship. How does this rate to both life and practice?
- The cosmology of couples. How does astrology affect two people’s nature and lives together?
- Dealing with emotional hurt and past trauma. This is very important in a time when most peoples issues come from confused and negative relationships with the opposite sex.
- Pregnancy and bringing a child into the world. How to build the most effective conditions for having a child. How to conceive and how to develop the baby’s energetic and spiritual health on a month-by-month basis.
Only once these aspects of the art are understood are students taught energetic practices to be worked on with a partner. These are based around maximising and circulating Qi between two people in an intimate manner.
These subjects have always been taught in classes alongside other arts. When Damo was receiving instruction in Daoist arts from his teachers, many of the subjects such as Fang Zhong Shu were explained and discussed informally over tea or sometimes in a bar. It is often the case that traditional teachers are quite ‘prudish’ in nature, a situation that often changes when alcohol is added into the mix! These subjects are now taught in Lotus Nei Gong as purely theoretical classes. Lectures are given on day-long events or sometimes as a part of longer retreats. In the future we shall also have them in a recorded format for students to watch as they wish along with some written material.
Originally this was not going to be a part of Lotus Nei Gong’s syllabus. This has changed for two main reasons:
- Students often read things in books about losing their Jing and panic about it… especially young male students! Most of this worry comes from misinformation or nonsensical stories of ‘white tigress’ women who allow themselves to be used in specific ways for some unknown reason?
- As a teacher Damo has, sadly many times, heard stories from students (usually female) who have tried to engage with Daoism and ended up feeling like they were misled or used in some way by previous teachers. This, on top of the nonsense many ‘sexual gurus’ are teaching, needs to change with clear, down-to-earth guidelines on an aspect of life that so often causes confusion or becomes distorted in some way.