*“The forces of Autumn create dryness in Heaven and metal on earth; they create the lung organ and the skin upon the body. . . And the nose, the white color, and pungent flavor. . . The emotion of grief, and the ability to make a weeping sound.” Inner Classics (400 BCE – 260 CE) *
Fall is the season of harvest, a time to sink inward, to gather and store as the deep stillness approaches. A time to let go of all our attachments; like the leaves falling gently to the earth. In ancient China, the concept of time was understood differently than in this present day. Today, we view things in accordance to small linear fragments of time, such as seconds, minutes, hours, days etc. We’ve lost the sensitivity to relate to the whole. Ancients related to the rhythms and cycles of stars, planets, the sun and moon. Their observations revealed the interdependence between humans and the cosmos.
You can observe this interdependence as well. For example, last month the sun crossed the celestial equator; the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator, from north to south. This is a sign that yin is increasing and yang is decreasing. I know that what happens in the heavens, also happens within, so I make adjustments in my daily activities to sync with the flow of this seasonal change. Also, I’m writing this between the hours of 1:00-3:00 pm. My training as an oriental doctor, taught me that this time corresponds to the flow of qi and blood within the small intestine channel and organ system. The meaning here is that this is an ideal time to address imbalances within this organ system. You can learn to ride the flow of energies that surround and influence us to deepen your life experience.
In Taoist tradition, there is a strong emphasis in living life in harmony and balance. The relationship of the primal forces known as yin and yang can be arranged to reflect the balance in each situation and context. Equilibrium and balance does not mean 50/50; rather it requires an awareness and skill to find the balance in each moment. This awareness can be skillfully developed. Increasing awareness in the Taoist tradition begins by cultivating our energies on a daily basis. Using practices such as Longevity breathing, clear intention and connecting our feeling awareness deep within our bodies is a process that has many steps and levels of understanding.
One such step is the development of a clear path and connection to the lower dan tien, also known as the field of elixir. The lower dan tien relates to the first to the third chakras in the Hindu system and is located 1/3 the distance between the naval and top of the pubic bone. This energy vortex controls all things related to physical capacity. “According to research conducted by Dr. Michael Gerson, a professor of anatomy and cell biology of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, the lower dan tien sends and receives impulses, records experiences, and responds to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed in, and influenced by the same neurotransmitters as the brain. The lower dan tien’s “brain”, known as the enteric (intestinal) nervous system is a network of 100 million neurons, neurotransmitters (more than the spinal cord contains) and proteins that act independently of the body’s brain and can send messages, learn, remember and produce feelings.” Dr. Gerson’s research results provide scientific verification of what Eastern wisdom has taught for millenia, verifying that centers of consciousness exist in the body besides the brain; and that the abdomen is one of the body’s major centers of awareness.
It is through this awakening and reconnecting to this primal field of energy that we regain our lost inheritance to our deepest selves and the realization that we are the children of the universe. Feeling our way into reality has nothing to do with philosophy or belief. It is simply coming back to basics. Accessing and stabilizing awareness in the lower dan tien creates the ability to establish a foundation of whole health, which can then expand to other aspects of our being. This is also how we can experience the subtle resonance of celestial bodies dancing thru the universe, weaving their universal rhythms and patterns into being to reawaken us to the interconnectedness of everything.
Starting in November, Sunday Qigong classes will be exploring the “kinetic communication” of the lower dan tien. We will be using and refining many of the practices you have learned in previous classes, or if new, I will be teaching basic techniques so that you will have the material to move forward. The Taoist longevity breathing will be important and also taught in combination with the dissolving process. The dissolving practice’s potential sinking qualities will be included and refined for the more experienced students. Standing and sitting practices, cloud hands and Taoist yoga will be explored as part of this process.
Class Schedule for November & December, 2014
Sunday, Nov. 16th.
Sunday, Nov. 23rd.
Sunday, Dec. 7th.
Sunday, Dec. 14th.
Sunday, Dec. 21st.
Sunday class times 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Cost: $25.00 individuals per class $40.00 couples per class
Beginners and practitioners of other traditions welcome.
Note to NSEV Practitioners: This process of feeling our way into the lower dan tien is a kinetic way to experience the primal oceans. Each layer of releasing brings one into the origin of our body, the chong. This process is one of the ways to merge yourself back into your true self.