Ancient Chinese look at our body-mind-spirit as a connected whole with reality, and seek to master and transcend them through study, experiment and practice. Along in this journey of cultivation, one usually goes through the following 4 stages of development:
1) Acquiring of essential information through teachers or spiritual classics
2) Mastery of Body through healthy lifestyle
3) Mastery of Mind through purification
4) Mastery of Spirit through transcendence
For essential information, one studies teachings from authentic teachers and traditions, such as what presented in Chinese Philosophy. For mastery of body, one can refer to the wisdom of Daoist Regimen, which prescribes way to nurture life through harmony of one’s body with nature. For mastery of mind, one cultivates focus through Meditation, and purifies ones mind through the letting go of negativity and cultivation of positivity, e.g. Dr. David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness. For mastery of spirit, one transcends the self/ego through surrender to and realization of the ultimate reality, described in Chinese classics such as Daodejing, Qingjingjing, Heart Sutra, and Diamond Sutra.
The above 4 stages do not necessarily proceed sequentially from one to another. Some people may start from intellectual research, while others may starts via the body, mind, or spirit. But eventually one will have to re-own and master all in the journey towards the ultimate reality.