Nurturing Energy, forget words and guard it,
Conquer the mind, follow Non-Doing.
The Human body is only Vitality, Energy & Spirit.
Vitality, Energy & Spirit ~ the 'Three Treasures'.
These Three Treasures are what makes up a human being, and are at the very root of our health, vitality and spiritual expression.
~ Ancestor Lu DongBin
A wonderful way to build your health, vitality and immunity is through the Ancient Wisdom we find from the Arts of Taoist Qigong, Meditation and Taoist Yoga.
Here we offer the practice of the 'Metal Element Qigong' from our TaoYoga Arts System, to aid in your health and well being at this time when many are suffering from stress, worry, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and adjusting to the changes taking place in our community and lifestyle.
Metal Element in Taoist Doctrine corresponds to the organ of the Lung, the skin and hair, and the colour of White Gold. The Metal Element relates to our Physical Energy and also our Protective Energy, and our Personal Disposition.
Metal Element relates to the direction of the West, the planet Venus, and the Positive Virtues of Righteousness, Courage, Openness, and the ability to Embrace Change. When we perform Metal Element Practices, we are exercising and effecting a multitude of things within ourselves, and also connecting to a multitude of things outside of ourselves. This is a key point in the Taoist Doctrine - we unify our 'Small Self' with that which lies outside in Nature, that which is the 'Greater Self'.
In the Metal Element Qigong Exercise, we are focused on empowering the organ of the Lungs to develop our Vital Energy, Strengthen our Protective Energy and strengthen our Immune System.
Breathing is a very important aspect of Taoist Yoga practice. The success or failure of practice often depends on the correct method of breathing. Taoist Yoga stresses the ‘Subtle Breath’ - this entails being Mindful of the Breathing to the degree that we breathe with a deep quality of: silence, quietude, and subtlety.
We want to think of returning to the natural way of breathing we experienced as children; this is a process of returning to what is inherently natural - it is not forced, and uses no strong effort.. One important point we can think on is to regain balance between the inhale and the exhale. We unite both the inhale and the exhale into a united, and unbroken breath that is both constant and continuous.
The Breath must be soft, natural and drawn deep into the lower DanTian area. This term DanTian - 丹田 - can be traced back to its origin in ancient China, and is related to the quest for spiritual immortality, and an exceptionally long life. Dan - 丹 - can be translated as to Elixir / Immortal Medicine / Inner Medicine. Tian - 田 - can be translated simply as field / or the field which is connected in harmony with heaven & earth. The DanTien or Field of Immortal Elixir is perhaps the most central concept and training method we find in the Art Taoist Yoga and also most Chinese Spiritual Practices such as Buddhism, Taoism, and also the Martial Arts.
This Energetic Cavity, or Center, the DanTian is the Source from which all Inner Energy is developed, stimulated, accumulated and transformed within our body. Within the Taoist Yoga doctrine, it was found that we have 3 essential qualities that we depend upon: 'Jing', 'Qi', & ‘Shen’. Jing can be thought of as Vital Essence or Vitality and refers to 'Soma’. Shen can be though of as Vital Spirit and refers to Spirit but we may also relate it to 'Psyche’. Qi is Vital Energy which is the Unifying Force, acting as a Unifying Energy Field which unites the Psyche and Soma together - what in modern days is spoken of as unification and harmony of Mind and Body.
In Taoist Yoga Doctrine, these 'Three Treasures' were often refereed to as the 'Three Herbs’. The Dantian or Field of Elixir is the place where the unification of these 'Three Treasures' take place. When we practice we want to slowly develop the feeling and experience that the Breath is rooted to the DanTian Center, and both the Inhale and exhale arise from this place. We may think of the location of the DanTian as being below the navel (about three finger widths below the navel and two finger widths behind the navel), and it is a sphere around a little larger than your fist - though we should not hold a strong idea of an exact location or size of the DanTian, let it be Natural. Often times the DanTian is also called "the Golden Stove” in Taoist Yoga doctrine.
The Mental Intention and quality of concentration one has during breath practice is very important. You must learn to practice with a quality which is based on Nurturing, and not involving any quality of force, aggression or competitive nature. This is something like having a healing intention and a positive heart when you practice. This is done by learning to embody a Nurturing Quality within yourself during your Breath Practice. We often call this a quality of ‘Inner Nurturing’ or ‘Self Nurturing’. We may also relate this to a Quality of Self Compassion. As you Breathe during your practice, radiate deeply inside yourself, filling yourself with joy, self love, inner nurturing, kindness and a healing intention. Let the Breath and the quality of ‘Inner Nurturing’ join together and become One; filling the entire body and inner self with a warm, healing, self loving, nurturing energy. This is a very important first step in practice....
Breath work involves and trains the Lungs, which play a very important role in the Taoist Art of Nourishing Life, Qigong and the practice of Taoist Yoga.
Some of the Lung’s major functions include: respiration, aids in the circulation of fluids, helping to maintain a healthy immune defences against external pathogens such as viral and bacterial infections. The Lungs also play a key role in the Production of Qi Energy, as well as helping to support the Circulation of Qi Energy throughout the body, nourishing the skin, and also circulating the Protective Energy Field which is on the surface of the skin - this Protective Energy in the Traditional Theory, is an aid in protection and immune defence against external pathogens such as the wind, cold, and also from viral and bacterial infections..
Emotionally, when our Lung Energy is imbalanced and low - we often will feel sadness, grief and depression - when the Lung Energy is high, balanced and vital, we will often times feel very open, courageous, and have the ability to embrace change with confidence.
When our Immunity is low, and the Lungs can not provide the proper Energetic Defence to the body, we are very susceptible to catching colds, virus, and feeling general unbalance.
Here we provide the Metal Element Qigong Practice - and now is a time you can incorporate this daily practice to support your health and keep your immune system strong and functioning at it’s peak. Please also drink hot drinks at this time, to keep the throat lubricated, and the stomach warm - this helps to create a stronger immune system, more vital energy in the body, and also aids in digestion. Hot drinks also help to support the DanTian Center, and keep it in a nice warm and harmonious state. In addition to the daily practice of Taoist Yoga and Qigong, to strengthen the immune system, it is very important to eat a well balanced diet, consisting mostly of seasonal vegetables, and whole grains, and also seasonal fruits. Try to avoid all processed foods, refined sugars, and best is a simple Vegan based diet.
The wisdom of the Taoist Tradition is a wonderful and natural treasure from our ancestors - easy and simple steps you may take in your daily life, to bring you health, wellness and longevity - please take advantage of these resources and build your health and immunity, and maintain your body, mind and spirit in a balanced and harmonious state.
With love, hope and compassion,
Jesse Lee Parker
***please come learn Taoist Yoga & Qigong with us online - gain greater health, vitality, and strengthen your immune system through following our wonderful Living Tao Program - https://www.immortalarts.org/ -
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