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History of Qigong part 2

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Early Historical Era of Qigong
I term this period the Early Historical Era of Qigong as there are well known texts associated with it, unlike the Pre-historical period, which centers on the semi-mythical figure of the Yellow Emperor (Xuanyuan Shi),. The practice of Qigong is firmly imbedded within the ancient Taoist philosophy of life, flow, and wisdom. Thus, it is helpful for both the curious and the committed Qigong practitioner to understand the its philosophical underpinnings.

I Ching

Known as the Book of Changes, the Classic of Changes, and Zhouyi, the I Ching I Ching Yi King Yi Jing, ba gua, 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(Yi King, Yi Jing) is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. Sometimes attributed to the mythical figure Fu Xi or Fu Hsi around the time of the Yellow Emperor, it is one of the foundations of all Taoist practices including Qigong and T’ai Chi. The I Ching was one of the first texts describing the flow of Chi (Qi). It introduced the concept of the three natural energies: Tian (Heaven), Di (Earth), and Ren (Man). Studying the relationship of these three powers was perhaps the first step in the development of what was eventually to become Qigong.

King Wen (1152 BC – 1056 BC) is often thought to be the historical figure who shaped the early practice of divination by “stacking” the eight trigrams (ba gua) into the sixty four hexagrams currently used for divination and philosophical meditation. Wen is also said to have written the analysis or judgements appended to each hexagram. The line analyses are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams devised by King Wen is usually referred to as the King Wen sequenceConfucius (K’ung-tzu, K’ung-fu-tzu, Kong Qiu, Zhong Ni, Kǒng Zi 551 BC – 479 BC) is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (Ten Wings), a group of  commentaries or appendices to the I Ching some 500 years after King Wen. The I Ching did not appear in a scholarly form in the West until James Legge’s initial translation in 1854.

The hexagrams of the I Ching are visual focal devices to aid in meditation upon the philosophical concepts embodied within each of the hexagrams. The philosophy centers around the ideas of balance through the interplay and unification of opposites, and acceptance of change. It can be said that the core philosophy of the I Ching is embodied in the three concepts of Change, Ideal, and Discernment.

The Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu
According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu (Lǎozǐ;  Lao Tse, Lao Tze, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Laozi) lived sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC and was possibly a contemporary of Confucius. Many people consider Lao Tzu to be the father of historical Taoism based on the many surviving ancient copies of his work, the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing). Tao Te Ching is sometimes translated as “The Classic of the Way and the Power (or Virtue)”. In 1993, the oldest known version of the text, written on bamboo tablets, was found in a tomb near the town of Guodian in Jingmen, Hubei, and was dated to be older than 300 BC.Lao Tze, Lao Tzu, 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, tao te ching

A central precept of the Tao Te Ching is Wu Wei, literally “non-action”. The concept of wu wei can be confusing to the Western mind;  it can mean “not doing”, “not forcing”, “not acting inauthentically”, “creating nothingness”, “acting spontaneously”, and “being in the flow.” “Action through non-action” is another term for Wu Wei, essentially meaning “to be in harmony with the Tao”.

The Tao Te Ching values direct experience of wisdom and the world gained through being present. Through this knowledge, one learns humility and one’s place in creation.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

In the early 1970s, at the Mawangdui Tombs in Changsha, Hunan Province, Dao Yin Tu, tantric qigong, Mawangdui Tombs, 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 CountyChinese archaeologists found a silk Dao Yin picture, the earliest known painting of Qigong movement. Dating to approximately 168 BC, the Daoyin tu consists of forty-four illustrations of figures practicing Qigong, with accompanying instructions. The exercises involve standing in specific stances to cure corresponding illnesses.

Characteristics of Qigong practice during the Early Historical Era were:
- Qigong for health maintenance
- Medical Qigong to cure illness
- Non-religious Qigong, i.e. there was little or no spiritual or religious overtones to its practice. (c) 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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History of Qigong

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Origins and History of Qigong

Prehistory

The origins of Qigong are shrouded in mystery and the mists of time and mythology. In prehistoric China, the precursor to Qigong (Chi Kung, xiwang, 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 CountyChi Gung) and other Taoist practices was basically shamanistic in nature. In northern China and Mongolia shamans studied nature in order to enhance their basic survival. They observed that when the energies of Earth and Heaven were in balance, things were good. Their perception of floods, blizzards, droughts and earthquakes was that they were caused by a temporary imbalance in the Earthly and Heavenly energies. Close observation revealed that humans could reflect the relative balance of natural forces within themselves, thus affecting their mental, emotional, and physical health. Later this led to the development of the theories of Taoism (Daoism) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Like T’ai Chi, it is thought that the original qigong-like dance movements were developed by mimicking the movements of animals.

Central to the development of Qigong and Taoism in pre-historical times is the mythical figure known as The Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti, Huangdi) circa 2700 BC. Although there may have been a historical Yellow Emperor, much of his legacy must be considered to be mythos. He is credited with such super human feats such as single-handedly raising China (or at least the primitive people of the Huang He River valley) from stone age barbarism to a civilized society, the invention of agriculture, herbology, astronomy, the wheel, acupuncture, and more. He is said to be the author of 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,” although modern scholars feel that this work is probably a compilation created at a much later date. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine contains the first account of the idea of Qi (Chi) or life force known to be written. Upon his death, he was said to ascend to heaven and became a Xian (Hsien), an immortal. Even more miraculously, the Yellow Emperor was said to have entertained a harem of 1,200 women. And survived.

It is thought that Huang Ti practiced a form of exercise called Tao Yin (Dao-In, Tao-In, Do-In), which involved breathing exercises and movements to stimulate and guide the Qi (Chi). These exercises were also known as T’u Na, which means “exhale, inhale.” Much like what we know now as Qigong, the movements of T’u Na or Tao Yin were coordinated with the breath and it is this mindful coordination that guides the circulation of air, blood, and Qi, creating much of the benefit. The breathing guidelines of Tao Yin are said to be based on the principles of Yin and Yang, and the 5 Elements (Wu Hsing).

Stephen Chang asserts that the original untranslated name for these Taoist Exercises of Revitalization was “Yang Shen Shu,” developed by Huangdi to cure and prevent disease and promote longevity through the balancing of the internal organs.

Tao Yin / T’u Na Qigong exercises create a variety of effects that are both relaxing and stimulating while building life force and cultivating inner harmony, higher consciousness, and spiritual awareness. T’u Na is still practiced widely today in Japan as Do-in, and was introduced in the United States in 1968 by Michio Kushi of “Macrobiotics” fame. © 2010 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

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

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Shen

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Shen
Heaven abides so that we have virtue. Earth abides so that we have Qi. When virtue flows and Qi is blended there is life.Huangdi Neijing

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If we think of Jing as your computer hardware and Qi as the power, then Shen is the data and graphics that are transmitted to the screen. In the Enlightened person, this data will manifest itself as Wisdom and Spiritual Presence.

Using the analogy of a candle, if Jing is the wax, and Chi (Qi) the energy of the candle, then Shen would be the light or radiance given off. In Taoism, it is thought that it is through Shen that we “radiate” ourselves into the external world. This spiritual effulgence creates wisdom, virtue, and inner peace, while generating and preserving balance within ourselves. Just as the light that radiates from a candle is dependent upon wax, wick, and flame, so a healthy, luminous Shen is identified with the cultivation and balancing of both Jing and Qi.

In The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, Huangdi states  “…that which cannot be fathomed (in terms of) Yin and Yang is spirit.”  This can be construed to suggest that Shen is immaterial and that its nature is therefore transcendent.

Talking about Spirit can be tricky given its non-material and ambiguous character. Is spirit composed of emotions, mind, or something else?  Most religions do not define Spirit very well. Taoism attempts a definition, although varying schools of Taoist philosophy have somewhat different views of this.  The Five Element school of thought claims that Shen includes:

– Shen – Mind, defined as consciousness and thought, and is said to reside in the Heart.
– Hun – Eternal Soul, akin to some western concepts of spirit, residing in the Liver.
– Po – Corporeal soul, Soul of the body, sometimes said to be akin to the vital force or “animal spirit”, centered in the Lungs.
– Yi – Intellect, memory and intellectual functions, resident in the Spleen.
– Zhi – Will, as in Intention and willpower, dwelling in the Kidneys.

The associated five elements are Wood (Hun), Fire (Shen), Earth (Yi), Metal (Po), and Water (Zhi).

In terms of the ancient Taoist view of embryology, Hun and Po join with Jing (seminal essence), their union catalyzing the emergence of Shen (spirit). Also, notice that these five aspects are associated with somatic structures: the organs of the body. Taoism makes no distinction between mind and body; they are always regarded as two contiguous expressions of one essence. Thus, the metaphysical affects the substantial and the substantial affects the metaphysical.

Shen may be adversely affected if we fail to preserve our vitality through good diet and exercise or if we indulge in excessively violent emotion. When Shen is in disharmony it often manifests itself as:

– Discord between one’s personality and the life one is living.
Insomnia, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, dullness of the eyes, poor cognition.
– Dearth of inspiration, intuitive awareness; deadness; no joie de vivre.
– Ambivalence, contradiction, the person has no “center”.
– Chaotic activity, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue.
– Little or no sense of your path in life.
– Little internal inquiry, self-reflection, discernment.
– In extreme conditions, neurosis, mental illness, e.g. depression and mania.

Shen can be strengthened and balanced through meditation, acupuncture, and certain herbal courses of treatment.  Somatic disciplines such as T’ai Chi and Qigong are particularly effective.  Qigong, of course, has become world renown for its health and medical applications, and justly so. It has had much documented success as a therapeutic modality within the secular health care system in China.

Shen is quite naturally empowered as one’s Jing and Chi are reinvigorated through the daily practice of Qigong.  However, it does seem to me that in our technological culture, there is much to distract or confuse the mind, emotions, and spirit, and the quantity and pace of these distractions are increasing.  There are so many aspects of our modern life that are in direct competition with, and deleterious to, the development of Spirit and Inner Peace.

In addition to the spiritually negative influences of our techno-culture, there is also reluctance on the part of certain groups, e.g. the Chinese government, to acknowledge the part Qigong has to play in the evolution of spirit.  So, some Qigong organizations may be persecuted if they have an overt spiritual and political agenda.  Combine Eastern authoritarianism with Western materialism and fixation on the external, and one can begin to see that the spiritual aspect of Taoist discipline currently receives short shrift in comparison to the health and medical aspects.

One needs a strong spirit in a strong and emotionally balanced body to persevere on the path of conscious evolution.  That is why I have developed this particularly efficient and potent style of Tantric Qigong.  The conscientious practitioner receives well-balanced spiritual sustenance as he or she nurtures and rebuilds Jing and Qi. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing, Qi, Shen.

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What is Qigong?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

What is Qigong?

Qigong (Chi Kung) is a system of Taoist exercise and meditation developed at least 4000 years ago in China. Some attribute the Yellow Emperor and / or his teacher, Qi Bo, with the discovery of the principles underlying qigong practice. The word “qigong” perhaps can be best translated as “energy mastery.” It is a method of balancing mind, body, emotions, and spirit through a series of external and internal movements with mental concentration. These movements, along with certain stances and biomechanical body alignment, are coordinated with the breathing and the mind.

There are many forms of qigong and associated practices such as jing dong, dong gong, zuo gong, wushu gong, nei kung, etc. T’ai Chi, often translated as “supreme ultimate” or “supreme ultimate energy,” can be regarded as a particularly evolved form of moving qigong. For our purposes here, we will consider any of these various forms of Taoist energy exercises and meditations as a form of qigong.

One can consider qigong to be a kind of Taoist form of moving yoga, though qigong postures tend to be less strenuous than many yoga asanas. With some adaptation, qigong can be performed by virtually anyone, regardless of physical condition, as long as the practitioner is able to concentrate mentally.

Sometimes qigong is divided into subcategories depending on its application. So there are medical qigongs, martial qigongs, health qigongs, and spiritual qigongs. Qigong can also be classified by the direction and intention of the energy generated. External qigong generates life force internally and broadcasts this energy externally. So, martial qigong could be considered a form of external qigong, as could medical qigong. In medical qigong, the qigong master generates the chi and directs it toward a patient who needs healing. This is akin to a sort of “laying on of hands” in the western traditions of spiritual healing.

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Qigong on the Mountain

Internal qigong generates energy and circulates it within the practitioner. One application of this form is internal self-healing, where one circulates energy to remove physical blockages or imbalances. This form, along with medical qigong, is somewhat related to the disciplines of Oriental Medicine such as acupuncture and herbology, which seek to balance a patient’s life force. Another application of internal qigong is for spiritual development. Here, spiritual power is generated and circulated internally through energy channels and the chakras for the purpose of clearing karmic effect, attaining self-knowledge, expanding or dissolving ego boundaries, and direct spiritual experience.

In terms of karmic intention, martial qigong could be considered to be the lowest form of qigong, as its intention is to control or harm others. Medical and health related qigong would have a higher intention, as they work to relieve suffering and generate health. Spiritual qigong has the highest intention, as it concerns itself with self-realization, expanded or mystical awareness, and enlightenment, which this planet needs so desperately at this time.

Qigong can be characterized as a gentle form of non-impact aerobic exercise and stretching suitable for warming up for more strenuous exercise. An example of this would be Tiger Woods, who reputedly has practiced qigong. Qigong can be used as a stand-alone form of gentle physical maintenance as well. It is also a highly effective form of stress management when used to calm the emotions and center oneself. Qigong as a spiritual discipline is a moving meditation particularly well adapted for restless western minds and active, stressed, and time-challenged lifestyles. © 2006 Keith E. Hall and Inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

Rev. Hall has taught Tai Chi, Qigong, Tantra, & body / mind modalities for 30 years & is a senior student of Prof. Yung-ko Chou, with permission to teach. He has studied at East West Schools across the world & with Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, S. Saraswati & others. He practices Bioenergetics, Bagua, Tumo, Vipassana, Zen, Spiritual Bodywork, various Yogas, & other East West disciplines. He has published articles on Tantra & Taoist arts in numerous journals & is the Founder of Jade Garden and www.inner-tranquility.com

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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.

Next: Sea of Chi, Sex, and Enlightenment.

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

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

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Ejaculation Control, Part 4: Peng Zu

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Ejaculation Control: Peng Zu

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Peng Zu

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During the time of The Yellow Emperor, there was a remarkably young looking man named Peng Zu, who was rumored to be over a hundred years old. Some texts claim he eventually reached an age of over nine hundred years, though this is likely to be a bit of hyperbole. His specialty was the link between sex and health and certain Taoist Breathing techniques. I give a lot of credence to this linkage personally, as my T’ai Chi master, Yung-ko Chou, was seventy years old when I studied with him, but looked like he was in his forties. He had dark hair, was remarkably flexible, quick witted, and walked every where since he did not have a U.S. driver’s license!

The story of Peng Zu, his life and disciplines, was written down in a treatise called Peng Zu Ching, around 2700 B.C. Peng Zu claimed the secrets to longevity lie in sexual practices that strengthened both the Yang and Yin energies. Some of Peng Zu’s precepts I find to be somewhat manipulative, even misogynistic, however there is much truth in his more general and nonsexist health practices.

“Man cannot be without woman, and woman cannot be without man.

To be solitary and long for intercourse shortens a man’s life and allows a hundred ailments.

Ghosts and Demons will take advantage of such a man to copulate with him.

+

Jing lost in this way is a hundred times worse than the normal way”

–P’eng Tsu

According to Peng, there are four courses of sexual action that promote longevity in men. The two most important are:

Maximize contact.

–By this, he means regular, daily sexual activity of considerable duration.

Minimize leakage.

–Here he is speaking of ejaculation control.

Peng was also a big advocate of men having a lot of Taoist Tantric sex, and his preferred partners were mainly virgins. Though politically incorrect today, there is perhaps a grain of virginal truth here for a man who is too lazy to develop himself and master the unification of yin and yang within. However, I decline to extrapolate on the rationale and protocol for his disciplines in this particular Jade Arena. On a practical note, I do see a big problem these days with the supply side economics of Peng’s preference. I have traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands and even there it seems there is currently a dearth of supply.

Peng called the leakage of semen (ejaculation) an injury to vitality. He said that clear thin semen was a sign of weakness and loss of vitality that could injure the flesh. Overly strong smelling semen indicated problems with the muscles and tendons, weak ejaculation implied weakness in the bones, and erectile dysfunction showed injury to the whole body. I suspect the routine prescription of Viagra inadequately addresses these underlying conditions.

Peng felt that these conditions could arise in part from crude, rough sex that resulted in ejaculation. Predating the Four Agreements by at least 4,000 years, Peng Zu states in his handbook (Peng Zu Ching) that man is harmed by dark emotions such as anger, and excessive expectation and poor communication between Yin and Yang. Furthermore, he explains:

“Many indeed are the things that harm man, but all of them have their root in the bedchamber. How people are deluded by this! Man and woman mutually complete each other, just like Heaven and Earth gave birth to each other. Tao nourishes the vital force (chi, qi, ki) in order that man may not lose his harmony. Heaven and Earth have obtained the Tao of sexual intercourse, therefore they are everlasting. But man has lost the Way of sexual intercourse, therefore he has become mortal. To be able to avoid all harmful things, and to obtain the art of Yin and Yang, this is the Way of Immortality.

–Shang-ku-san-tai, Yen Kho-Chun, ed.

The implication is that in addition to ejaculation control, self-mastery and longevity depend upon emotional transmutation, harmony, balance, and unity between Man and Woman and within oneself. The sexual ideal could partly manifest itself as slow, gentle, loving sex with careful ejaculatory management, as is ideal in Tantra and neo-tantra.  Peng advised retaining the semen with the intention that it revert upward to the “Upper Vast Stream” in the brain. This sort of generalized kundalini yoga technique results in inner tranquility, peace, longevity, and can lead to enlightenment.

Peng Zu’s Guide to Ejaculation Frequency

Age… Frequency

20… 1x every 2 days

30… 1x every 3 days

40… 1x every 10 days

50… 1x every 15 days

60… 1x every 30 days

Comparing this to Su-Nu’s guidelines, Peng’s seem considerably more strict. Though if he did live to be 900, as he is alleged to, one might grant that he may have embodied some of the benefits of that which he prescribes. © 2008 Keith E. Hall.  www.Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.
Part 5: Ejaculation Control and the Seasons

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 3: Lady Su, The Plain Girl

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Ejaculation Control: Lady Su, The Plain Girl

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In both Tantra and Taoist lore it is often the woman who is regarded as more knowledgeable about sexual matters. Courtesans and Tantric Initiatresses had the time to study these arts in depth, while the men were off doing various manly things, such as making war. The Yellow Emperor had three Tantric Initiatresses who instructed him in the bedroom arts, ejaculation control, and the relationship of sex to mental and physical well being. Perhaps the most famous of these was Su-Nu, sometimes known as Lady Su or The Plain Girl.

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Lady Su and the Yellow Emperor

In “The Classic of the Elemental Lady,” Su-Nu is instructing the depressed and impotent Yellow Emperor.  She counsels,

“The debility of men is caused by faulty habits in the joining of Yin and Yang. Women prevail over men, as water prevails over fire. They that know the Tao are like a good cook who can blend the five flavors into a tasty soup. They that know the Tao of Yin and Yang can blend the five pleasures. They that know not, may die an untimely death. You must first harmonize the life force and then the Jade Stalk will arise. If the Jade Stalk does not move, it will die”

The unification of Yin and Yang occurs both within and without. It is every person’s duty to balance these energies within as evidenced by the large number of Taoist exercises developed for this, including dietary regimens. However, like the practitioners of Tantra,  Daoists recognized that a healthy sex life was equally important, something which has only recently been addressed in Western medicine.

“The Emperor should make love with nine chosen consorts every night…Each of the nine consorts should be satisfied fully, so that the planets are pleased. Retaining his semen by proficiency in the Art of Love, The emperor concentrates powers within.”
– Lady Su

So gentlemen, if you are going to be able to do your kingly duty, even if only with one consort, one would be well advised to begin at least with some consideration and observance of the Taoist guidelines for ejaculation control and the conservation of energy.

Lady Su’s Guide to Ejaculation Frequency

Age… Frequency if Healthy… Frequency if not Healthy

20….. 2x a day………………….. 1x a day

30….. 1x a day………………….. 1x in 2 days

40….. 1x in 3 days…………….. 1x in 4 days

50….. 1x in 5 days…………….. 1x in 10 days

60….. 1x in 10 days…………… 1x in 20 days

70….. 1x in 30 days…………… none

You can see there is quite a spectrum here in her recommendations, from twice a day to none at all, depending on age and overall strength and health. © 2008 Keith E. Hall, www.Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Part 4: Ejaculation Control: Peng Zu

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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Ejaculation Control and Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Health

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Ejaculation Control and Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Health

Transform yourself with Tantric Qigong

Wilma asks:
Q: During the winter season, the Taoists recommend less ejaculation for both men and women.
Why exactly do they recommend that?

A: I some times get questions from men about this issue, but rarely from women, so let me take a moment to set down some of the history and rationale about this.

There is quite a bit of controversy within Tantric and Taoist and Western medical circles about the relationship of ejaculation to physical and spiritual well being. The Tantriks seem more concerned with the effects in regard to spiritual progress, while the Taoists seem more focused on health and longevity. The Taoists in particular have codified this precisely, to an almost dogmatic level, although simple forms such as Tantric Qigong were also developed..

Both Tantriks and Taoists feel that the psychic and somatic essence of man is concentrated in the semen, thus ejaculation could lead to a decrease in mental and physical strength. Western medicine has not really looked very closely at this precept, other than in relation to prostate health. The Tantriks are highly interested in harnessing the sexual essence to activate Kundalini so it can rise to the higher spiritual centers to promote spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

Cauldrons, Chakras, Semen Retention, Inner Tranquility, Tantric Qigong, 8 Treasures, Taoist tantraAccording to the Taoist physician Sun Si-Miao (Sun Ssu-mo), circa A.D. 600, “A man may attain health and longevity if he practices an ejaculation frequency of twice monthly or 24 times in a year. If at the same time he pays careful attention to proper diet and exercise he will have a long and healthy life.” Thus, if a man can manage the energy of ejaculation, he would be able to enjoy sex while becoming very youthful. This may be, in part, because men’s sexual energy is linked strongly to the Kidney Essence. A woman’s energy is linked more to the blood. Therefore, an untrained man’s ejaculation decreases the vitality of the Kidney essence more strongly, though there is some loss for a woman as well. There is a school of thought that implies that since untrained men project their energy so strongly through ejaculation, there is a net benefit to his female partner if she can absorb his energy. Even a trained tantrika or Taoist can “donate” this energy to a woman if he chooses; though much is to be said for mutual cultivation and conservation.

“Do not expel your semen needlessly. Do not expel your semen forcefully, as if dashing something down from the heights. You’ll upset the five main bodily organs, injure the life-energy channels and give rise to every kind of ailment as a consequence.”
– Ishimpo

Sun Si-Miao’s Guidelines
Age… Recommendation

30… Give up masturbation and study the Tao of Yin and Yang

40… Ejaculation control becomes mandatory and should be mastered

50… 1 emission every 20 days

60… 0 emissions, but frequent intercourse.
Exceptionally hearty men may emit 1x every 30 days

70… If very healthy, once in every 100 sexual couplings.

Dr. Sun thought that for most men, celibacy and abstaining from emission of semen was just as harmful as profligate ejaculation, a philosophy now being validated by modern Western medical science. His thought was that abstention disrupts one’s harmony of essence, energy, and spirit. He also says that abstinence will lead to erotic dreams and uncontrolled, unconscious nocturnal emissions. These he declared to be a hundred times more harmful than an ejaculation during normal intercourse.

Sun Si-Miao also recommended certain Taoist breathing and massage techniques to build power and longevity. © 2008 Keith E. Hall. Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Ejaculation Control part 2: The Yellow Emperor

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

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