Ling Bao Bi Fa is divided into three volumes, it was collected and published in the Supreme Pureness section (Tai Qing Bu) of the "Authentic Daoist Canon" (Zheng Tong Daocang). In the prologue of Ling Bao Bi Fa, Ancestor Zhongli quan stated that he had studied classics and consulted with many friends to learn about the great Dao, later he had found 30 volumes of "Ling Bao Jing" in Mount Zhongnan. In it "the first section called the Golden Words, written by the Jade Pure One; the middle section called the Jade Book, written by the Supreme Pure One ; the last section called True Origin, written by the Grand Pure One. Together made of several thousands words." Ancestor Zhongli ponders deeply on the materials and ultimately discovered the true meaning within: "To transcend the mundane and achieve Sainthood, which can be summarized in three levels of methods." He named it "Ling Bao Bi Fa" and transmitted it to Ancestor Lu Dongbin.
"The Daoist Teachings of Zhong and Lu" had mentioned that "Ling Bao Bi Fa" is divided into 10 volumes on 12 topics. Each topic has Six Yi, six ways of explaining the topic, they are : Golden Words (Gin Gao), Jade Book (Yu Shu), True Origin (Jhen Yuan), Analogy (Bi Yu), True Code (Jhen Jyue) and Essence of Dao (Dao Yao).
The content of Ling Bao Bi Fa can be divided into three volumes of ten gateways (or three levels of ten methods):
The first Volumes is called "Minor Methods for Good Health and Well Being", the four methods are Pairing the Yin and Yang number one, Collection and Dispersion of Water and Fire number two, The mating of Dragon and Tiger number three and Cooking the Cinnabar Medicine number four. This is the foundation method of building the neidan, following the methods can leads to good health and well being.
The second volume is called "Intermediate Methods for Longevity" which contains three methods, The Golden Crystal Flying Up from the Side number four, the Jade Liquid Restorative Cinnabar number five, the Golden Liquid Restorative Cinnabar number seven. These are the method to complete the neidan cultivation. The method can leads to longevity.
The third volume is called "Great Methods for Transcending from the mortal Realm" which contains three methods, Facing the origin to refine the qi number eight, Internal Viewing and Swapping number nine and transcension and Subdivision number ten. These methods can lead to transcendency.
In each method, it is explained from six different angles called the Six Yi, they are different ways to interpret and explain the method. Golden Words, Jade Book and True Origin were written by the Three Pure Ones who use the great Dao, the Heaven and Earth to explain the method. Analogy use the the ten thousands things as analogies to explain the qi and shen of the human body. True code and the essence of Dao summaries the methods and important points to watch out for during the practice.
From the practice point of views, the three volumes of Ling Bao Bi Fa is explaining the 45 segments of actual practice in the Three Immortal Methods. By following the TTIM, one should be able to archived the corresponding goals stated in Ling Bao Bi Fa. It is called "Bi Fa" because it is a complete and systematic methods of the Great Dao.
Dandao is also called neidan, it came from Waidan (external cinnabar), by referring to the methods of creating the external cinnabar, one can then easily comprehend the neidan system. The main process in waidan is the following: choose a auspicious location, setting up the stove and the cauldron, put the medicine and water into the cauldron, start the fire in the stove, boil the water and cook the medicine. The medicine will then move in the water, when the water have been completely evaporated, the medicine condensed and form the cinnabar.
Neidan method is very similar the waidan methods. It uses yin and yang to create the dan (cinnabar). The difference is that in neidan, one need to condensed and create the dan three times. The first time the dan is created, it can be used to refine into dan medicine ; the dan medicine can then be used to create a refined dan ; keeping cooking the refined dan more and one can create the golden dan. The three levels of cultivation in Ling Bao Bi Fa, "Human Immortal Methods", "Terrestrial Immortal Methods" and "Celestial Immortal Method", are precisely the methods to create and refine the dan three times.
The "Human Immortal Methods" use the body as the cauldron, the qi as the medicine, the heart as the fire, the kidney as the water, nine restorations and seven reversals, Kan and Li combine and the Golden Elixir Restorative Cinnabar created.
The "Terrestrial Immortal Methods" use the shen as the cauldron, the qi as the medicine, the sun as the fire, the moon as the water, seeking treasure in the deep ocean, walking in the sky to see the moon, Yin and Yang perfectly matched.
The "Celestial Immortal Methods" use the shen as the cauldron, the true-self as the medicine, the wisdom as the fire, the stillness as the water, the nine palaces indestructible, the heaven and earth circulate forever and the heaven and man become one.
Practicing neidan is a way to refine yin and yang for creation, the process for rebirth.
Ling Bao Bi Fa is a systematic method to build the bridge between the mortals and the immortals. It is the pinnacle and the greatest of all methods in neidan. It is a ladder to the understanding of the Dao as told by Laozi 3000 years ago.
Finally Ling Bao Bi Fa showed us the Youwei method of using the shen to refine the qi, the Wuwei method of us the the qi to refine the shen and the Wubuwei method of combining the shen ling. All this theory must be put into practice, using real and tangible results to verify the content of Ling Bao Bi Fa. To study Ling Bao Bi Fa require very a meticulous and flexible mind.