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History of Qigong part 4

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

History of Qigong part 4

Qigong and Martial Arts
During the Liang Dynasty, circa 502 – 557 AD, Bodhidharma (Da Mo) created a system of Qigong to strengthen the constitution of Shaolin monks. The treatises he wrote for this martial form of chi kung are known as the Muscle and Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Classics. These were internal forms of qigong practiced for health, strength, and to increase immunity. His theory was that the physical body must be healthy and strong in order to attain enlightenment. Around this time the Shaolin priests also developed the Five Animal Styles of Kung Fu (gongfu): Tiger, Leopard, Dragon, Snake, and Crane.

Chang San Feng (Zhang Sanfeng)
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Legend has it that Chang San Feng once saw a crane attacking a snake on Wu Tang Mountain and was inspired by the snake’s ability to remain calm and attentive as the bird attacked. At the correct time, the snake counterattacked and bit the bird. The patient demeanor, tactics, and correct timing of the snake resulted in an epiphany for Chang, and from this he was inspired to create the first T’ai Chi Chuan form delineated in Chang San Feng’s “Treatise on Tai Chi”. Other animal archetypes found in the T’ai Chi Chuan form include crane, tiger, monkey, cock, and horse; as well as inanimate natural forms such as clouds, needles, shuttles (weaving loom) and associated movements. T’ai Chi uses internal life force (Chi, Qi) rather than external muscular force, and this soft, meditative, internal style was considered revolutionary at the time.

Though remembered as a hero, many scholars feel that Chang San Feng was probably an myth or an amalgam of several persons. It may be more accurate that the martial form of T’ai Chi devolved from the Sifu and General Chen Wangting of the Chen family in the 17th century. Today T’ai Chi is practiced by many millions of people over the world for health and meditation.

Yeuh Fei
Around the same approximate time, Marshall Yeuh Fei (Yue Fei), a general commanding the Chinese army, created a set of internal Qigong exercises which became known as Ba Duann Gin (Ba Duan Jin, Baduanjin, Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements, the Eight Treasures, Eight Twists of Silk)   Legend states that he taught the Eight Treasures Qigong exercises to his troops to help keep their bodies healthy, strong, and prepared for battle. Yueh Fei is also regarded as the creator or disseminator of Eagle Claw Kung Fu, known for  take downs, pressure point attacks, gripping technique, and a system of joint locks. Yue taught both of these styles to his men, whereupon they became very successful in the war against the occupying armies of the Jin Empire.

The Eight Treasures is usually taught for health and wellness, but is also quite popular among martial artists today. Indeed, my teacher, Yung-ko Chou, insisted that his students perform the Eight Treasures style qigong before learning T’ai Chi Chuan.

During this period Taoists continued to discover new ways to improve Qigong exercises for health and spiritual or religious purposes. Traditional Chinese Medicine made advances in acupuncture and moxibustion, while improving the theories of Chi circulation.

Qigong during this era:
- Became associated with martial training
- continued to be a major source of spiritual advancement
- was generally not well known by the public at large
- became more efficient as Chi circulation was better understood. © 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Learning Self Mastery.

.Chakra Balancing

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing

The Three Jewels (sometimes called the Three Treasures) – Jing, Qi and Shen – are energies cultivated through the practice of Tantric Qigong (Chi Kung, Chi Gong), T’ai Chi, and certain Yoga and Tibetan disciplines. Jing (Ching), Qi (Chi) and Shen, may be translated as Essence, Vitality, and Spirit.

Heaven & Earth, Tantric Qigong, 8 Treasures, Ba Duan Jin, Qigong, Eight Section brocade, Tantra, Taoist Tantra A Tantric Qigong practitioner studies techniques to convert Jing into Qi and then into Shen (the path of transmutation) – and also to transmogrify Shen into Qi and Jing – (the path of generation or manifestation). The Three Jewels can also be thought of as three frequencies of a common energy. Practitioners of the Inner Alchemy of Tantric Qigong (Neidan or Neigong) learn to control and transmute the frequency of their energy and consciousness along this spectrum – choosing the wave length they desire as we might we might choose a particular TV or radio station.

Jing
The most concentrated or densely vibrating energy is Jing. Of the Three Jewels, Jing may be the one associated most closely with our physical body. Jing is said to reside in the lower dantian (Tan Tien), or the Kidney System (sometimes thought of as kidney essence), and manifests itself partly as the reproductive energy of the sperm and ova.  Jing can be stored in the kidneys and is the most primal energy within the body (Chi or Qi and Shen are progressively “lighter” or more refined in their vibration). Jing is said to be the basis for our physical bodies and is yin in nature, which means it is nourishing and cooling to the body. Jing is also thought to be the vehicle of our heredity – a concept similar that of DNA.

Jing is often considered the root of our life force, the physical substance out of which our life evolves. Jing may be likened to a wire through which the electricity of Qi is transmitted. One can also think of Jing as being analogous to the hardware of a computer – the physical foundation of an operating system. In this metaphor, Chi would be the electricity, and Shen the data that appears on your monitor.

Jing is consumed continuously by the activities of daily life, stress, illness, substance abuse, sexual excess, fear, pain, anxiety, etc. In addition to the practice of Qigong and T’ai Chi, Jing can be restored through dietary and herbal supplements, and balanced through acupuncture.

In women, Jing can be depleted through abnormally heavy menstruation and pregnancy. Some Taoist lineages promote exercises to diminish menstruation, reserving and recycling the energy that would be lost through the menstrual blood. There are corresponding Taoist and Tantric exercises for men.

In men, generation and replacement of semen lost through excessive sexual activity resulting in ejaculation contributes to the depletion of Jing. Some ancient texts actually define Jing (Ojas in the Tantra Yoga tradition) as semen, although this metaphor is not quite accurate.  Semen contains and is energized by Jing energy, but Jing can also be expressed as ova, sexual energy in general, and bone marrow. In addition, through the practice of Taoist sexology and certain Tantric Kundalini techniques, the Jing or Ojas can be withdrawn from the semen, preventing its depletion.

Most ancient masters consider Jing to be the raw material of Qi (Chi), though some have said that Jing is an expression of Chi. Obviously, vitality and sexual energy are closely related, so it may be a bit pedantic to argue which came first, sex or life force, chicken or egg. Even in the Tantra Yoga tradition, these energies of the lower chakras are so closely related and wired together that artificial distinctions are ordinarily not that valuable. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Next: The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

Jing, Qi, Shen.

Presencing – The Power of Now

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Qigong, T’ai Chi, and Menopause

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Tantric Qigong for Self-Masterytantricqigongbanner

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Qigong, T’ai Chi, and Menopause

Menopause is a natural change in a woman’s life cycle that afflicts all women at some time. And the men that annoy them. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “The symptoms of menopause are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The ovaries make less of these hormones over time. The specific symptoms and how significant (mild, moderate, or severe) they are varies from woman to woman…A gradual decrease of estrogen generally allows your body to slowly adjust to the hormonal changes. Hot flashes and sweats are at their worst for the first 1 – 2 years. Menopause may last 5 or more years…As a result of the fall in hormone levels, changes occur in the entire female reproductive system. The vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner. The vagina becomes shorter. Lubricating secretions from the vagina become watery. The outside genital tissue thins. This is called atrophy of the labia.”*

Symptoms
“In some women, menstrual flow comes to a sudden halt. More commonly, it slowly stops over time. During this time, the menstrual periods generally become either more closely or more widely spaced. This irregularity may last for 1 – 3 years before menstruation finally ends completely. Before this the cycle length may shorten to as little as every 3 weeks.

Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Heart pounding or racing
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Skin flushing
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)

Other symptoms of menopause may include:
- Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
- Forgetfulness (in some women)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Urine leakage
- Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal infections
- Joint aches and pains
- Irregular heartbeat.

Lifestyle Changes
Women taking hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) see some benefits. But they also increase their risk for breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The good news is that you can take many steps to reduce your symptoms without taking hormones:

- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Dress lightly and in layers
- Eat soy foods
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D in food and/or supplements
- Get plenty of exercise
- Perform Kegel exercises daily to strengthen the muscles of your vagina and   pelvis. (The Taoist and Tantric  versions of these exercises are more developed and so potentially even more helpful.)
- Practice deep conscious breathing whenever a hot flash starts to come on (try taking six breaths per  minute)
- Remain sexually active (the extended love making techniques of Tantra and Taoist sexology undoubtedly help)
- See an acupuncture specialist
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation. Dr. Herbert Benson, author of “The  Relaxation Response,” suggests that Tai Chi is “…vitally important in PMS, infertility, hot flashes,  insomnia,…”**   He also says that “Repetition is key to creating the response.”***
- Use water-based lubricants during sexual intercourse.”*

Qigong for Abating Menopause Symptoms
Single Whip, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, While for most women menopause can be a difficult time, the Taoists consider menopause to be a “Second Spring” of life. It is certainly an opportunity to renew and deepen your T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong practice.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are caused due to the body’s chi being disturbed. By practicing Qigong and T’ai Chi, this disrupted chi can be more evenly distributed and some of the uncomfortable symptoms can be ameliorated.

Regular practice of qigong and T’ai Chi can alleviate the irritability and stress associated with menopause by creating pelvic health and balancing emotional and hormonal swings.  It has also found to help increase the bone density in women, thus reducing the chance of post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Qigong may restore a woman’s sex drive, which can be decreased during in menopause. The regular practice of qigong tends to increases the levels of sex hormones thus restoring a healthy sex drive. One study showed that after a year of qigong practice, hormones were restored to near normal levels.****

A study published in the Oxford Journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine on eighteen women measured the effects of regular Qigong practice on chromic fatigue symptoms and the menopausal symptoms of night sweats, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. The results showed improvement in the areas of sleep, energy and well-being. Qigong improved these symptoms of sleep disturbances after three months of practice.*****

Bone loss of up to 2% per year in women may occur after menopause. Prevention of includes optimizing the intake of calcium and vitamin D, exercise, and the optimization of normal menstruation. Stretching, strengthening, impact, and balance exercises are effective. As Qigong raises estrogen levels in women, this can reduce osteoporosis and heart disease. Tai Chi Chuan has proved to be successful in decreasing falls, and may restore bone density.

Kenneth Cohen states that “A wealth of anecdotal evidence suggest that Qigong tends to delay menopause and can extend the years of fertility.” He notes that female qigong masters have even been known to conceive during their sixties.******  One woman in her 50′s began practicing Qigong and after about 10 days  said, “I was amazed that my period reappeared…I celebrated it as a clear indication of rejuvenation.”*******

Our classes and meditation / stress management audio programs can help you create a core of empowered Being within!

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References:
*www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000894.htm
**my.webmd.com/content/article/25/1728_57992.htm.
***http://www.webmd.com/news/20000530/mysterious-medication-of-meditation
****Ye Ming, et al. Relationship among erythrocyte superoxide dismustase activity, plasma sexual hormones (T, E2), aging and qigong exercise. Proceedings, Third International Symposium on Qigong, Shanghai, China.. 1990:28-32
*****Naropa J. Mike Craske, Warren Turner, Joseph Zammit-Maempe and Myeong Soo Lee. “Qigong Ameliorates Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue: A Pilot Uncontrolled Study.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advance Access published online on August 1, 2007
****** Cohen, Kenneth S. The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing p33
******* B.G., Los Gatos, CA qinway.org/qigong_testimonial.htm

Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong Q: Sarah writes: I would just like to introduce myself to the group as a new comer. My name is Sarah and I am a 29 year old Fibromyalgia sufferer. Three years ago after an extremely difficult time in my life I developed Fibromyalgia to a point where I also lost a lot of my muscles and was practically wheel chair bound. However, I joined my local pain clinic where together with medication I was introduced to alternative therapy. I was always a believer in aromatherapy and had been practicing this on myself for some time with some quite effective results. My pain clinic then introduced me to Tai Chi Chuan and acupuncture.

I have been practicing Tai Chi for 8 months now and WOW what a difference to my life it has made. I am now fitter than I was before my illness and although I still have a few worse days and some amount of pain my life has become completely fulfilled and manageable…I meditate daily and am a calmer, surer, more steady and patient person than I ever was before. I have 3 children and they are amazed at the difference in me now and the amount of patience that I now have. So to all you suffers out there, there is hope, believe me.

A: Thank you so much, Sarah, for sharing your story. Qigong (Chi Kung, Chi Gong, Chi Gung) and T’ai Chi (taiji), which is a form of Qigong, have tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, t'ai chi chuan, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation,  60 second relaxation, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, The secret, Yoga Nidra, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County proven remarkably effective at controlling various forms of stress, pain, autoimmune disorders, among many others. These practices create vitality, empowerment, groundedness, serenity and freedom.

Forms of Qigong and T’ai Chi Chuan are often recommended for persons with cardiac conditions, allergies, asthma, addiction, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other symptoms of stress and aging. These practices are also a good complement or introduction to Taoist Tantra and Kundalini work.

T’ai Chi is one of the Master forms of Qigong in that within its practice is contained most of the higher aspects of Qigong. This makes T’ai Chi tremendously efficient, albeit quite subtle and complex. Of course benefits are readily apparent to those who invest commitment in mastering it’s complexity.

I have taught these forms for over 30 years and over that time period a couple of dynamics have become apparent that I would like to comment on, i.e. Intent and Practice.

Intention The character of one’s Intent will shape and direct the life force and consciousness that is created. This is a very personal issue, though I believe it is up to the teacher to attempt to set a general tone in this regard. In my classes I endeavor to focus on rejuvenation, open hearted empowerment, and evolution in the spiritual sense. I also seek to present the esoterica of the Taoist, Yoga, Tantric, and Bioenergetic traditions in a manner that is non-sectarian, non-dogmatic, and readily available to the western mind set.

Spiritual Practice The quality and quantity of time put into your practice is crucial to receiving any benefit, let alone mastery of these forms. T’ai Chi, Tantra, and Yoga are Master Systems for health, longevity and Enlightenment. As such, they are complex and demanding, especially as they evolved in a cultural and historical framework radically different than our current Western experience.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that as our pace of daily life continues to increase, people seem less empowered to create significant blocks of time to pursue their own healing and awakening. We seem to know, or notice, less about ourselves, our world, and the ramifications of our actions. The faster we go, the less we know. This is the paradox of the “information age.” There is faster and easier access to data, and seemingly less and less Wisdom in its application. Click the remote, surf the next website, scan the next radio station, walk or drive nattering on and on with our cell phones… Our constant mental and physical movement betrays a deep restlessness, and perhaps a shark-like fear that stillness is death.

Spiritual Tradition Many Teachers are most comfortable within the structure of their traditional schools and lineages. Most of the time this is perfectly acceptable and efficacious in that one attracts students mainly from the spiritual tradition or religion indigenous to that culture. More problematic is the process of transferring practice and wisdom cross-culturally.

The dilemma is that although a tradition may have precepts and practices invaluable to the modern western world, its cultural trappings ensure the assimilation of its wisdom will be difficult, if it’s wisdom is recognized at all. My teachers have mainly been Masters who came to the U.S. to bring the insight and technology of their respectful schools to Westerners. These Masters were motivated by the dire need to bring wisdom to the most technologically advanced and spiritually confused populace in history. They knew that it may be that our personal and planetary survival would require an acceleration of awakening, and that cultural and religious predilections would make this much more difficult. Knowing the limitations of our material civilization, they decided that long-established cultural and religious methods were inappropriate and inefficient. We needed to get it, and get it fast!

If it takes more than 10 minutes, I’m outta here! Would you wait more than 10 minutes in line at the 7-11 or McDonald’s? When was the last time you watched a music video that eschewed strobe-like edits for a clear steady view of the artist? Or waited patiently, without fidgeting, at a traffic light, DMV, or in a waiting room?

Often it seems our patience and attention span is decreasing so profoundly, it will soon be measured in nanoseconds! I love the practices of Qigong, Tantra, T’ai Chi, Zen. Yet, I am painfully aware that our mind-set requires a non-traditional and efficient methodology adapted for westerners. That is not to say that one cannot accrue benefit through a traditional technique, many have. I am merely observing that to attain the deepest benefit of these conventional approaches requires a lot of time and commitment, hours each day, and our material culture is not very patient or supportive in this. We feel we have “no time.” Really what is going on is that we spend all of our waking time in outwardly directed agendas. Nonetheless, this is how it is for most of us.

So, to “bring the mountain to Mohamed” so to speak, I have created a course of study that requires only 10 minutes each day. Mental, physical, and emotional health is quickly improved through highly effective Taoist, Bioenergetic, and Yogic techniques. Easy, efficient and powerful, it gets the job done in minutes. © 2002 Keith E. Hall. Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

See also: Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Plantar Fasciitis, Fibromyalgia, Tai Chi & Qigong.

.Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study

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Sea of Chi, Sex, and Enlightenment

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Sea of Chi, Sex, Tantric Qigong and Enlightenment

There is more than one acupuncture point to which the appellation “Sea of Chi” is affixed. For instance there is “Qi Hai Shu” or “Sea-of-Qi Shu” (Urinary Bladder 24) which is located at the level of the lower border of the spinous process of the third lumbar vertebra. This point strengthens the kidneys, chi and yang, and is said to “enrich” yin. It can tonify the blood, restore collapsed yin or yang, expel kidney stones, and gathers chi for the lower Cinnabar Field. This point is sort of the “back door” to the chakras of the lower Tan Tien (Cinnabar Field) and one of its effects can be to strengthen certain types of sexual energy.

Tian Shu, Qihai, Guan Yuan- Sea of Qi

Tian Shu, Qihai, Guan Yuan- Sea of Qi

“The Cinnabar Field [hsia tan-t’ian or xia dantian] is the root of the human being. It is the place where essence and spirit are stored…Men store in it their semen, and women their menstrual blood…and is the gate of the joining of Yin and Yang. It is three inches below the navel, attached to the Caudal Funnel (weilü) [a point at the level of the coccyx] and is the root of the two kidneys…”

–Laozi Zhongjing, sec. 17. Translation published in Fabrizio Pregadio, “Early Daoist Meditation and the Origins of Inner Alchemy,” in Benjamin Penny, ed., Daoism in History: Essays in Honour of Liu Ts’un-yan, 139-40 (London: Routledge, 2006).

So one can see how Sea-of-Qi Shu has some importance for our vital, sexual, and generative functions. It can be seen also to have a Tantric aspect in that it unifies Yin and Yang, Essence and Spirit.

Most often, the term “Sea of Chi,” as used in acupuncture refers to Qihai, which is on the midline and below the navel. It is used to treat abdominal pain, nocturnal emission, impotence or erectile dysfunction, uterine bleeding, irregular menstruation, dysmenorreha, postpartum hemorrhage, constipation, among others. From this list, one can see how this point has a direct effect on the quality of both male and female sexual energies.

In a sense, this entire mid to lower area of the abdomen can be called a Sea of Chi, with much the same poetic accuracy that the clairvoyant yoga Masters describe this area as Manipura, or the “City of Jewels.” The entire area is a large storage battery for our light, the very essence of our life force. How we express this life force is another matter, and varies from person to person depending on their karmic patterning.

While acupuncture and moxibustion are excellent for certain conditions, particularly physical and emotional ones, certain aspects of the higher spiritual qualities are more efficiently developed with supplemental practices such as T’ai Chi, Tantric Qigong, Tumo, Conscious Breathwork, etc. Karma is somatically stored in the tissues of this and other areas of the body, and the meridians and points cannot completely release or transform this sort of energy. Apparently the karmic charge is both too dense and simultaneously widespread somatically for the meridians to be able to have a direct, significant, and consistent “karma burning” effect. If that were really possible, then all one would need for enlightenment would be to stick some needles in there. I wish it were that easy. In that case, I can think of a more than a few people who could benefit immediately and tremendously from being needled.

If one’s Intention is to create evolutionary Awakening and Spiritual Freedom, we must harness all the Will, life force, and persistence that the third chakra can produce. One way of doing this is to generate large quantities of Chi through breath exercises, and couple this life force with a process of liberating somatic holding patterns (our karmic habits and resistance to spiritual growth) through precise conscious movement. This allows life force, consciousness, and intention to be unified, and the form of our karmic baggage to be released and transmuted.

This is one of the specific and most important intentions of both our Tantric Qigong system as taught in the”10 Minutes to a Healthier You!” course, and the breath and mental / muscular control and surrender methodology of the”Relax! Journey to the Primal Sea” CD program. These techniques work not only with the meridians and superficial points but also with the deeper, more extensive internal chakras. For instance, the location of the lower Cinnabar Field is not only associated with the QiHai and Guan Yuan points, found two or three inches below the navel, but also an energetic field three to four inches inward (deeper if you are sufficiently zaftig.) Both the superficial and the deeper, more internal fields must be a least partially cleared and balanced for physical, metal, and spiritual health to be restored and Awakening to occur.

Breath Coaching can be ideal for someone who is ready to surrender his or her spiritually maladaptive patterns. During this process, the coach and trainee work with both the seat of personal power, and the seat of Spiritual Surrender i.e., the Tan Tien, Solar Plexus, and Heart Chakras. One does not lose even one quantum of personal power, but the software applications governing its use and intention may change. This transforms self centeredness, victim / victimizer consciousness, and stubborn attachments to ego patterns into an empowering surrender to the Flow of Tao. What is perceived as surrender by some is in actuality allowing yourself to be carried into the power of Universal Flow while generating empathy, gratitude, and compassion as a natural consequence. I think you can see how this would be important for both spiritual progress and healthy, dynamic interpersonal and sexual relationships.
(See, The 3rd Chakra and the Spiritual Purpose of Power, parts 1-6)

Certainly though, an acupuncture and / or moxa treatment can be calming, centering, and revitalizing and tangibly important, since a modicum of physical health and centering is a prerequisite for higher spiritual attainment. In our increasingly frenetic and dis-eased world, this should not be underestimated in its value, especially if it is as an adjunct to an efficacious spiritual and somatic practice. © 2008 Keith E. Hall. All rights reserved.

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Karma Burning    Karma Burning in the Lower Chakras  1 2 3  4 5

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Sea of Chi, and Acupuncture – Moxibustion

Monday, January 19th, 2009
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Sea of Chi, and Acupuncture – Moxibustion

Kat writes: Interesting article and good information. I also find direct moxa works well on this point. Three times every morning for a week after meditation and before eating breakfast. Usually corrects the imbalance.

What do I experience? It grounds me — I feel the energy becomes more focused — in a straight line — it’s the only way I can describe it — instead of scattered everywhere. I have been working with an acupuncturist for many years — once a month for eight years — it was like getting a spiritual tune-up.

A: Yes moxibustion, as well as acupuncture, can be very helpful for imbalances in this area. I do think from your description that you are experiencing a “centering” effect rather than a “grounding” effect. Balanced centeredness is an aspect of the third chakra, whereas grounding involves another, though related, process.
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Moxibustion is a technique in which a stick or cone of mugwort and / or other herbs are placed on or over an acupuncture point. Moxa warms acupuncture points and adjacent areas to stimulate circulation and promote flow of blood and chi. Historians believe that moxibustion pre-dated acupuncture, possibly having its genesis around the time of the Yellow Emperor.

A 5-Element acupuncturist usually uses moxa directly on the skin, and a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner often will use burning sticks of moxa and hold them over the point treated. It can also be burnt atop a fine slice of ginger root or salt to minimize scarring.

In direct moxibustion, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned.

This type of moxibustion can be of two types: scarring and non-scarring. In scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on a point, lit, and allowed to burn completely on top of the acupuncture point. This burning can lead to some blistering and sometimes results in scarring after healing.
moxa, TCM, tantricqigong, qigong, inner peace, inner tranquility, 8 treasures, self mastery, enlightenment, ba duan jin, eight section brocade, taiji, t'ai chi

With non-scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on the point and lit, but is snuffed out or removed before burning of the skin occurs. The patient may experience a warming sensation that penetrates deeply into the skin, but usually not experience any discomfort or blistering.

Indirect moxibustion is more popular currently because there is less pain and a reduced chance of burning the skin. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red.

In another version of indirect moxibustion, the practitioner uses both acupuncture needles and the moxa herbs. A needle is inserted into one or more acupuncture points and retained or held at the point. The top of the needle is then wrapped in or used to impale some loose moxa or a fragment of a stick, and ignited. This results in heat being generated and conducted through the needle to the acupuncture point and the surrounding region. After the desired therapeutic effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle extracted.

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Burning Moxa on an acupuncture needle

There has been a least one clinical study on the use of moxabustion in this area (Sea of Chi, Tan Tien or lower abdomen) for the treatment of constipation. The study showed an 81.8% efficacy for the moxibustion group. [Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2007 Mar;27(3):189-90.] © 2008 Keith E. Hall. www.Inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Next: Sea of Chi, Sex, and Enlightenment.

Sea Of Chi: Part 1, 2, 3, 4

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Ejaculation Control, Part 5: The Seasons

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Ejaculation Control and The Seasons

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“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant, a time to reap;
A time to kill, a time to heal;
A time to laugh, a time to weep…
A time to build up, a time to break down;
A time to dance, a time to mourn…
A time you may embrace;
A time to refrain from embracing.”

–Ecclesiastes 3:1-5, adapted by Pete Seger

“Everything in the universe is made of Yin and Yang.
Yang will settle through Yin, and Yin will expand through Yang.
Yin and Yang integrate and move together.
So a man will become aroused and expand his Jade Stalk for a woman,
and woman will become excited and open her Jade Gate for a man.”

– Lady Xuan

Though lacking the instrumentation of modern science, the Taoists did have access to the ultimate Instrument on which all other technologies are built: human consciousness. The likes of Chang Tsu, Lao Tzu, and Confucius brought their considerable powers of attention to bear on the minutia of natural and social phenomena, internal Chi and external Chi (qi). Both the disciplines of Science and the ancient Taoist practices delineated in classics such as the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching evolved through the close and persistent observance of nature and its changes. Certainly, the changing of the seasons is something almost everyone notices, and these cycles play a large role in Taoist doctrine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ejaculation guidelines, and Tantric Taoist Sexology.

In addition to the age and health considerations discussed previously, the nature loving Taoists observed differences in overall sexual vitality according to the seasons. This makes sense as you can see energetic fluctuations in nature and within oneself with the seasons. Winter tends to be cold, dense, contracted, with life in quiescence; and Summer’s essence is hot, expansive, and profusely alive with plant and animal life. One’s Chi tends to “hibernate” to a degree in winter, while conversely having the ability to express itself much more lushly in summer.

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Yin – Yang & Chinese Elements

Technically, according to Taoism, the Yang or male force should be most strong during the summer. This is called “Yang within Yang” and its element is Fire. It is true that summer seems to be the Domain of Yang at its most mature, however Spring (Yang within Yin) is often when we notice it’s force most strongly. The element of Spring is said to be Wood. Think of the bursting forth of new growth, plants sprouting, thrusting themselves rampantly and eagerly through the warming soil. You get the idea. Good golly Miss Molly, great balls of Chi!

Fall (Yin within Yang, Metal) seems to have a sort of dynamic, yet contented, balance of Yin and Yang leading to the contracted, internal, and often self-reflective “Yin within Yin” of Winter, whose element is Water.

“Early to bed and early to rise,
makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

–Advice for the month of October, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1735

Our general health is influenced by the time of the year, and our activity should change accordingly to be in harmony with it. For instance, Chinese Medicine prescribes going to bed early and sleeping late in the winter. Not doing so is deleterious to the kidney and sexual energy (chi, jing or ching) . During the Yang of Summer, we can afford to go to bed late and get up early – yup, it’s summer vacation and party time! The seasons of Spring and Autumn are advantageous for going to bed early and awakening early. If you pay a little attention, you will see, and more importantly feel, how appropriate these habits are.

Based on this, one can see how a man’s sexual energy is most vigorous, at times even bordering on profligate, in the Spring and Summer. This may be the time to risk the hedonic pleasures of extra ejaculation. During the Winter is when he is best advised to be most careful, disciplined, and energetically conservative. Disciplines such as T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong tend to both augment one’s vital energy and, at the same time, increase one’s sensitivity and ability to be in harmony with the flow of both internal and external Chi. Although this is true sexually for women as well as men as we will discuss later, I have to say that adhering to this principal is most crucial in preserving a man’s health and yang life force in general. This is most likely due to the fact that men will tend to “donate” their yang energy most liberally during sex, whereas a woman tends to be more receptive. These generalizations are less universal in men and women who are trained to generate, retain, circulate, and balance their yin and yang polarities through Taoist and Tantric practices.

Yin Yang, Supreme Unltimate, t'ai chi, tantric qigong, ba duan jin, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, taoist tantra, taoist sexology

Yin Yang Supreme Ultimate Male and Female

“During the cold of winter, a man should preserve his semen and avoid ejaculation altogether.
The Tao of Heaven is to accumulate Yang in winter…
One ejaculation in cold winter is a hundred times more harmful than an ejaculation in the spring.”

–Liu Ching

Seasonal Guidelines to Ejaculation Frequency

Season…… Frequency

Spring……. 1x every 3 days

Summer… 1x every 15 days

Autumn…..1x every 15 days

Winter……. 1x every 30 days
© 2008 Keith E. Hall.  www.Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.  Sign up to receive our newsletter

Part 6: Ejaculation, Cancer, and Modern Medical Research

Ejaculation Control and Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Health Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

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Ejaculation Control, Part 2: The Yellow Emperor

Monday, January 19th, 2009

The Yellow Emperor

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The Yellow Emperor

The Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti or Huangdi) is a semi-mythical figure of China’s Golden Age circa 2697 B.C. During his reign, writing, agriculture, animal husbandry, the compass, calendar, and silk were said to have been discovered.

Huang Ti reportedly had intercourse with, or kept a harem of, 1200 women during his lifetime, rivaling even that most venerable Sifu, Charlie Sheen.  He is said to have commissioned a team of doctors to study sex, herbology, and health, resulting in the classic text known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine”, also known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Jing” or “Huangdi Neijing.”

Most modern scholars believe the Huangdi Neijing to have been compiled from the original ancient sources between the Zhou and Han dynasties, some 2,000 years later than the reign of the Emperor (circa 3000 B.C.) This book, whose form is a conversation between Huang Di and his various advisers including the physician Minister Chi Po (Qibo), is considered the “bible” of Chinese Medicine. Even today, it is still used as a primer in many schools of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Indeed even the famous Lao Tze acknowledged the Yellow Emperor as the foremost progenitor and practitioner of the Tao. In addition to Tantric Taoist sexual practices, this classic contains information on diet, herbs, meridians, and 12 different forms of massage.

“…The yin-yang arts at their highest can cure minor illnesses; at the next level, they can be used to avoid depletion. If a man knows the Tao, then the more he makes love, the better becomes his health.”
–Ko Hung

The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, tantric qigong, taoist tantra, 8 treasures

Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

Huang Ti was a big fan of seminal retention (ejaculation control) although it was said that he did father 25 children, so it would appear that he was not absolutely dogmatic about this. He was credited with discovering the secret of blending the male and female essences during intercourse, and the technique of transmuting the Yin and Yang essences into an elixir of pure life force and spirit (there is a similar practice in Tantra.) According to legend, the Yellow Emperor’s sexual practices resulted in him becoming immortal after living to over 100 years of age.

Here is what he is said to have experienced through retaining his male essence (denying ejaculation):

“After the first time I stopped it, I gained strength.
After the second time my eyesight sharpened and my hearing became more clear.
After the third time, I felt no sickness.
After the fourth time, I felt my inner organs improve.
After the fifth time my circulation became smooth.
After the sixth time, my waist grew strong.
After the seventh time, my hips and legs became strong.
After the eighth time, my whole body glowed.
After the ninth time, I felt I could live long.
After the tenth time, I feel as if I am in Heaven.”

Whether the Yellow Emperor was an actual historic person, or if his existence was mainly a literary tool to focus a student’s attention on the relationship of the Tao to health and longevity, is really not very important. What matters is that a large collection of sexual, health, and natural wisdom was compiled and codified so physicians and other serious students of the Tao could access it. © 2008 Keith E. Hall All rights reserved.

Part 3: Lady Su, The Plain Girl

Ejaculation Control and Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Health Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

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