For the past 50 yrs. I’ve ventured into the world of mind-body practices as a way to nurture deep places in my being. This journey has taken me into the realm of Chinese Medicine and the understanding of the Primal Oceans of energy known as the 8 extraordinary vessels. Since ancient times the urge to create order in our perceptions and to define our reality has incessantly occupied our minds.
We create symbols to reflect the nature of things. The Chinese culture in general and the Taoists specifically have a sense of all phenomena being both unbroken wholeness with parts that are interdependent. Another way of seeing this is by the symbolism of waves and the ocean. The ocean is the undifferentiated whole and the waves the differentiated whole. They seem to be separate, but in fact they contain each other in a unified, continuous flow.
One way to understand our somatic and non-somatic evolution as a human being, is to look at how three of the extraordinary vessels evolved and function at their most fundamental level. We exist in a vast ocean of original emptiness (wholeness). This is not to be confused with the opposite of fullness. There is no context of Yin and Yang within this emptiness. This is called the Chong. Every other extraordinary vessel is contained and grows out of the Chong. When we are conceived the heavenly yang energy and the terrestrial Yin energies of earth merge together to create a human being, which is both wondrous and strange. We are made of the stuff of stars and earth, substance and spirit.
The heavenly energies are concentrated in the Du vessel, which symbolizes the universal masculine energy, and the terrestrial energies are concentrated in what we call the Ren, symbolizing the universal feminine energies. These energies have physical locations within our body and also represent spaces within our subtle being that are not as condensed. This includes the mental, emotional and psychic self, etc.
The Ren and Du in the manifested realm represent the depths of our potential, our capacity for growth and development, regeneration, creativity reproduction and living a whole life. Accessing the eight primal oceans to nurture and balance our being, increases our understanding of who we are. Including these practices in our daily life enriches us enormously by bringing us back to our original self.
The Sunday classes are on-going explorations of how to immerse ourselves in these energies. Everyone is invited to join us each Sunday from 10:30 am-12:30 pm. More information can be found on our website.