Posts Tagged ‘tan tien’

Nauli Kriya

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Advanced Udiyama – Nauli Kriya

This form of Udiyama  (Uddiyama, uddiyana) can be done after one has toned the abdominals enough that there is some control over the Manipura Yantra, Tan tien, 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, 3rd chakraisolation of the abdominal groups.  Nauli, aka Nauli Kriya or abdominal rolling, is a deep circular movement of the abdominal muscles. Nauli is a classic exercise of Hatha and Kriya Yoga but is not often taught these days. Usually represented as cleansing, massaging, and stimulating to the abdominals and digestive organs, it also has an energetically stimulating effect on Manipura, the Tan T’ien, and the solar Plexus – all aspects of the belly chakras. In terms of Karma Burning, it circulates qi and intention in a physical manner, much like the practices involving the Kali Yantra do psychically.

Nauli can be a moderately difficult exercise for many but can be mastered, or at least performed in some of its aspects, if one perseveres in practicing. It is not necessary to be physically perfect in practicing Nauli, any approximation of the movement will have some benefit physically and karmically.  Many photos of Nauli show yogis so skinny that their muscles squeak when they move and you can plainly see the abdominals being moved side to side. Kinda cool. Except for that annoying squeak.

Listen, fat people can do this exercise too! It’s just not going to look as anorexically impressive. © 2012 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

Learn more about Tantric Qigong here.

Our classes and meditation / stress management audio programs can help you create Self Mastery and a core of empowered Being within!
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Learn more about our audio programs for meditation, stress management, and personal growth.

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.

What Is qigong?

Attain Liberation! Tantric Qigong Karma Burning: Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

The Presencing Process

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Learning Self Mastery.

.Chakra Balancing

Learn Tantric Qigong™ for Self Mastery:

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Secret Taoist Internal Shovel Technique

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

aka Tantric Qigong Internal Shovel Method

Is it time to dig ourselves out of a frozen funk?

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All levity aside, injuries caused by shoveling deep snow can sometimes be significant, even though they are more likely to be just nagging, minor musculo-skeletal irritations such as strains to the back, shoulders, and arms.  This is because we are overtaxing the muscles and connective tissue through poor body mechanics and inadequate respiration. As I mentioned in Winter and Spiritual Practice, aggressive exercise during the winter may feel invigorating, but could result in a net energy loss, leaving one open to exhaustion and illness.  Performing the chore of shoveling snow as a kind of Qigong or T’ai Chi exercise reduces the likelihood of fatigue and injury, while making your toil a bio-mechanically correct moving meditation.

First of all, get yourself an ergonomically correct snow shovel. These really do ergonomic_shovel1make a significant difference, especially if you are tall. However, if you are going to have to break up ice, these plastic ergonomic shovels are not very helpful. You will need a metal shovel, what we used to call a “coal shovel”, which was used to shovel coal into the carbon-ly incorrect coal-fired furnaces in the first half of the 20th century. (Even though you got emphysema from breathing coal toxins, at least you were toasty warm).

If there is a lot of ice, you might consider using these easy pull-on spikes on your boots. I have a set and they are quite helpful!

Now, armed with the proper tool, approach this task as if you are a professional T’ai Chi-ist:

–Warm up with some Tantric Qigong, Yoga, or T’ai Chi
– Make sure all movement is commanded by the Tan Tien.
– Bend your knees instead of your back. Use your leg muscles to lift.
– If you have knee problems that prevent you from bending your knees a lot during this travail, take a wider stance so your torso is closer to the ground.
– Instead of using the shoulders and upper back to twist and throw the snow, rotate the torso from the Tan Tien, using the power of the entire body to torque and heave the snow.
– If the snow is only a few inches, use the shovel like a snow plow, pushing the snow to the side rather than lifting each shovel full.
–If the snow is deeper, make sure to use belly – chest breathing. Inhale deeply as your shovel bites into the snow, exhale forcefully as you throw the dang stuff.
– Take frequent breaks, making sure your straighten your posture, breathe, and root / ground through the feet.
– Hydrate. To avoid annoying and painful cramping later on, drink apple or orange juice and eat bananas, all are rich in the cramp-busting nutrient potassium.  Foods rich in the electrolyte magnesium, which may alleviate cramps, include bananas, tamarinds, figs, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, and dates.

Now your winter chore can be a life force-generating and emotionally balancing meditation.  © 2010 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.      Winter And Your Spiritual Practice

Our classes and meditation / stress management audio programs can help you create a core of empowered Being within!
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If you find this site helpful, bookmark us & share!  Tools for Empowerment  T’ai Chi Instruction

Learn more about our audio programs for meditation, stress management, and personal growth.

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.

What Is qigong?

Attain Liberation! Tantric Qigong Karma Burning: Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

The Presencing Process

Tantric Qigong

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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.

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Part 5: The Tower of Ego & The Fall

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The Tower of Ego
The over compensation for survival challenges and the perception of lack in the material or emotional realms leads to the quest for dominance. This makes sense on the animal level as the best hunters or providers will ensure their own survival and pass on their genetic material. If you are say, a wolf, this can benefit others in your pack because the alpha male really can only eat so much of a kill; the rest is shared by the pack. In the human realm this is often not so. Technology, social, financial, legal, and military structures can allow a few to garner vast reserves of “kill” without necessarily having to share much of the bounty with others. This is an over-compensation for fear of insufficiency; including the material, sexual, emotional, and other domains.

The same principle holds for social status. Those who lust for acknowledgment, recognition, and fame, will overcompensate for the perceived dearth of love and support by seeking solace in the adoration of the masses, or the privileges of the socially elite.

Those who are the most aggressive and successful at dominance often have the most difficulty in personal

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Fall from the tower

relationships. This should be a little spiritual hint, a clue from the Tao. Aggression and arrogance do not lend themselves well to sensitivity and negotiation, which are necessary for healthy relationships including the personal, professional, and geopolitical spheres. The will to dominate and control becomes self-limiting as internal and external forces seek to thwart or mediate unbridled aggression. Excessive yang eventually leads to yin, and pride does go before a fall.

Fall from the Tower
Nearly everyone has a secret desire to be the top dog. Many of us would secretly love to be a celebrity. We love to fantasize that we are a movie star or a rock star on stage before a multitude of fans and groupies, even if it is really only a moment at a karaoke bar! Would you rather be the multimillionaire CEO, or the wage slave? The admired and envied socialite, or the geek ignored and sitting in the corner?

We are pretty much programmed by our animal instincts to seek some sort of dominance in some sort of way, however modest. We desire at least a little niche where we are better than someone else. This is a normal state of animal consciousness. Of course, this is greatly mediated by the fear of being cast out of the herd. Even the alpha dog cannot prevail against the will of the entire pack. So there is this tension between dominance and submission on a basic animal level, which rises to rococo intricacy in the human world. There are some elements of this dynamic which both rise to, and serve the spiritual, as we will see.

From an evolutionary perspective, we need to have a strong, almost maverick personality to succeed on any authentic spiritual path that is unbridled by dogmatism. Any process that seeks to achieve a direct religious experience, a personal encounter with the Divine, will require both patience and persistence to consummate.

On the other hand, will, over-independence, or a love of rebellion for its own sake, can be a seductive trap. Fortunately the universe and our higher Selves are pre-loaded with the software to correct this. No matter how huge the ego, a path to a balanced spiritual perspective will eventually be made clear. We will be shown the limitations of the small self, our desires, and self-aggrandizement. This transition from the mundane games of survival and dominance, to the game of knowing Oneself, and oneself in relation to the Divine, is what the School of Life is about.

“You are dying in a prison of your own devise…”
– Jim Morrison, Unhappy Girl

This is what the tarot card known as “The Tower” describes – the earthshaking alteration at the core of your life’s paradigms. Change is inevitable, and whether this manifests easily or with great struggle is up to you and how well you accept and flow with the change. Transcending your ego patterns can be liberating, freeing you from old behaviors and habits; yet it can also be terrifying, heralding the loss of what you perceive as familiar and safe. The only way for you to lose in this process would be if you stubbornly refuse to allow a necessary change to occur, thus reinforcing an old pattern and imprisoning yourself in an obsolete mode of understanding and being.

“I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased;
I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.”
– St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul

Perhaps this transition from ego to spirit centered life may show up in a dramatic form such as a life threatening challenge, loss of someone deeply loved, a near death experience, or some other sort of major life stressor. It may also appear in our consciousness in a less sensational, more subtle and quietly persistent form. The dark night of the soul can be painted in many shades of gray. It is best to pay attention and both seize and surrender to the opportunity. If you are destined to evolve and you ignore it, the universe will only get more insistent. © 2008 Keith E. Hall  Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

Part 6: The Spiritual Function of Yearning

The 3rd Chakra and the Spiritual Purpose of Power Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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Part 3 Storing Life force and the Anatomy of Power

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Storing Life Force
What makes the third chakra and its emotions and agendas so powerful is, well, power. Power in the sense of the pure life force stored in this area. The third chakra is like a battery; life force is stored as potential. This energy is rarely stored as true potential, in the electrical sense. A battery can sit and store its electricity for a long period of time. People however are dynamic living bioelectrical systems. Human life force is a power that is active; it needs somewhere to flow to, something to do. Whether your karmic agenda is anger and manipulation, or self-healing and enlightenment, vast quantities of bioenergy are needed.

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Third Chakra Yantra

One basic function of Tantric and Taoist practices is to generate and store in the third chakra the energy needed to walk your own spiritual path with freedom and courage, whether or not your friends, family, or culture supports this. Primates, including humans, have invested millions of years in creating social structures that maximize safety and survival. The “herd instinct” is to limit the amount of freedom an individual can have. This is a sort of default brain stem reaction born of fear of potential harm to the group, and what is born in fear blossoms into judgment, stubbornness, resistance, anger, hatred, manipulation, and violence. This ancient, and virtually autonomic, limbic reaction is grossly maladaptive for how we as a species need to evolve. The energy bound by the imprints of these dark emotions needs to be extracted and recycled at the third chakra. If we can let go of our insistence on pain, fear, and anger, we can reprogram these lower chakras to deliver the life force necessary to ascend into self-realization, thus insuring our survival as a species into the next millennium.

The Anatomy of Power
The third chakra is relatively large in size. Apparently, in its function as a storage area for the power that all action requires, it needs somatic mass. At its lower border, the third chakra is referred to by the Taoists as the lower Tan Tien, sometimes called the Field Of Elixir, or the Hara in Japanese. Anatomically close to the sexual energies of the first two chakras, this is the point that all martial arts training uses to collect power. Perhaps its physical closeness to the chakras mediating sex energy is one reason we seem to mix together elements of sexuality, power, and even violence.

Included in this energetic family are the sub-chakras of the navel. The uppermost border of the third chakra is the solar plexus. © 2008 Keith E. Hall. All rights reserved.

Part 4: The Mystery of the Solar Plexus

The 3rd Chakra and the Spiritual Purpose of Power Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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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.

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

The Three Jewels of Taoism

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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.
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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.

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

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Sea of Chi: Building Chi, life force, and power

Monday, January 19th, 2009
Learn Tantric Qigong

Building Chi, life force, and power

In breathing deeply to the Tan Tien, you are building Chi – life force and power, while also stretching the belly physically. Any third chakra issues one may have are actually stored somatically in the belly, and stretching that area kind of “stretches” your paradigm, your karmic patterns. As we stretch, so we also relax and let go. Yin within Yang, Will and Surrender. When this stretching occurs with a clear intention to let go of the past i.e., the karmic habits we have become accustomed to, then true transcendence becomes more likely. So you see, this point is critical in creating the discipline to be on a spiritual path of growth and evolution, although for the purposes on the CD, I would say don’t over-think this and get yourself stressed trying to relax! Just do the breathing nude or wearing loose clothing that doesn’t cinch your waist, let the belly relax, and enjoy!

At first, people don’t really want to stretch this point. I mean they say they do, but really, they don’t. I have had the privilege to be able to teach Taoist and Tantric arts since 1977, and have been blessed with the opportunity to offer these arts to thousands of students. But very few open themselves to actually receive it. Why? Well, it sounds really good to have freedom and more personal power, but the tricky thing is you have to give up your old ways of doing things. These old karmic patterns affect your emotions, relationships, your body, even the very way you perceive the world itself. So, one has to be willing to give up these old habits, whether they are forms of anger, underlying pain, victimhood, or whatever. They have to go to make room for the new person you want to be. To get to own a brand new Blissmobile, you have to be willing to trade in that old clunker called pain and fear.

Now all of this seems elementary in way, and it is. It is really the foundation of any sort of psychotherapy, for instance. However, simple is not necessarily easy, and the mind lies to us all the time. That is why I am a big fan of the somatic approach, because the body does not know how to lie. Even experienced meditators can have their minds play games with them. That is one reason that Zen Masters sometimes do unexpected things, to kind of snap you out of the mental-emotional rut you are in while you are pretending that your are meditating. Change that begins in the body is demonstrably true; no mind games are possible.

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So, that is why I put a lot of emphasis in the CD program on the belly, breathing, and letting go. This process allows the body to build power, a reservoir of life force, while over time gently wearing away the old patterns, just like waves on the beach.

© 2008 Keith E. Hall. All right reserved.

Next: Sea of Chi, and Acupuncture – Moxibustion

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T’ai Chi

Friday, November 28th, 2008

T’ai Chi Chuan

T’ai Chi Chuan is one of the traditional Chinese martial arts or Kung Fu (Gongfu). It is also one of the preeminent spiritual disciplines for the modern age. It can be practiced as an exercise for health, as an art for self-defense, and as a meditation or a Taoist Yoga in motion for sensitivity and awareness.

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“Stretch Left Hand Up” The Red Rocks of Sedona are a good place to experience grounding.

As an exercise, Tai Chi Chuan may be practiced by people of all ages, indoors or out. When practicing, use little muscular strength and move the limbs and body softly. T’ai Chi will adjust the breath down to the Tan Tien (dantien) and circulate the Chi (Qi, Ki) to all parts of the body.

The movements of T’ai Chi Chuan are very natural and not forced. No stress or strain is placed on any part of the body. The entire body is exercised evenly and moderately. Thus, it tones up nerves, brain and muscles; while invigorating the circulation, oxygenation and filtration of the blood.

Daily practice is essential, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. After long and conscientious practice, one’s general health, physical and mental, is invariably improved. T’ai Chi Chuan is particularly suitable for persons suffering from chronic ailments such as arthritis, spinal troubles, high blood pressure, over-eating, etc.

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Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong