The Chi acts as a softening cushion in between the bones so that they can smoothly turn and do not grind against each other, as happens when they have dried out and lost their softness. As they regenerate with the bone marrow practice, Chi fluids are brought into them and between them. Chi may be viewed as oil which greases a lock or a motor to make it work smoothly again.
It should be remembered that the sockets of the hipbones carry the whole body and its weight and that it is often due to overweight (too much fat accumulated in the Lower Tan Tien and in and be tween the fasciae of the whole body) that problems start. Another cause of the absence of Chi fluids between the bones is emotional imbalance and the predominance of negative emotions like depression and anger. These play a critical role. The smooth rotation of the hips as a process over time is directly connected to our emotional state, especially as we grow older.
The smooth functioning of the hip joints is crucial in the whole Chi transmission process. The Chi which comes from below has to travel upward. Breathing into the hip joints and the sockets and sending love into the bones and bringing the inward smile into them helps this process. The hip joints play a critical role as conveyors of the upward Chi flow from the earth, and if our body is well aligned, it can then further travel upwards.
That is why dancing and shaking, (apart from being a blessing for the lymph system), like in many ancient forms of dance, is so good for our joints. As we experience joy and firmly touch the earth she then responds by sending her Chi upward into our bodies. We let the bones dance. The more "inward" we dance, as a form of energy meditation, the deeper will be the effect. There is evidence that Chi Kung in its earliest stages was a slow dance which was done as its healing qualities were realized.
Therefore, dancing is a way to rebalance ourselves and regenerate our joyfulness and good humor as filling the joints and the spaces in between with Chi is an excellent Chi Kung practice. The Taoist dance form, as it evolves with its slow rhythmic gentle and graceful movements, would seem to integrate these advantages. The dance becomes the expression of the inner movement of the life force, like Tai Chi Chi Kung. Such a form of dancing has great healing powers.
The highest form of dancing would be one in which we inwardly balance out the dynamic relations between the elements and phases in our body with our surroundings and fire, water, metal, earth and wood. We then enter into a state of equilibrium and so merge with the Tao.
The joints can again produce abundant saliva, the elixir of life, which is replete with hormones and which contains a variety of precious substances essential for our vitality. Afflictions like arthritis and rheumatism may be overcome by the loving use of consciousness and Chi breathing instead of by any medicine or worse, surgical operations to replace the brittle joints with steel ones.
It is not without reason that in many indigenous cultures, bones are especially sacred and are, even long after a person has died, preserved with great care as they contain the spirits of the ancestors and the person. It would seem as if people intuitively knew that the bones are the generators of the substance of life and need therefore a special attitude of reverence.
Bone Marrow Nei Kung ("Nei Kung" means awareness or meditative practice), until quite recently a highly guarded secret practice, has always been seen as a vital key to grounding and embodying the life of the spirit in the body. To create and enhance the body's receptivity for the electromagnetic forces of the sun, moon, planets, stars and the earth, the bones are first washed and cleansed. After this, pressure is brought on them so that the fat inside, which accumulates through stress, a degenerative life style and age, is burnt. The Chi in and around the bones can be significantly raised or even doubled. To do this the presence of the original Chi pressure is needed first in the Lower Tan Tien. Without prior Chi, no Chi can be moved.
It has been discovered that the bones in the body which form its central axis have a crystal structure which facilitates the body's receptivity to the electromagnetic power entering from the electromagnetic fields of the Universe. The body generates and enhances itself as an electromagnetic field. In the body, the brain, the heart and the nervous system are such electromagnetic fields which resonate with the crystalline bone structures that draw the powers of the Universe and the Earth pulling us in opposite directions.
The more our bones and joints are alive and filled with the bio-electromagnetic Chi flow and the more its vibrations increase, the more we feel alive and naturally bounce between heaven and earth. Like our organs and glands, our bones are centers of consciousness, connecting us with Earth and Heaven.
This is at once visible in the way Tai Chi Masters move like tigers. This may have an "electrifying" effect on the surroundings and those who see and feel with them, as Chi is emitted and the Chi in the empathetic onlooker starts to resonate. Although the tiger is fully grounded at each step and movement, they move very lightly. They are totally relaxed and calm, yet highly awake and alert. One feels highly concentrated power, which can be mobilized at any moment into every direction. One feels stillness in the movement and movement in the stillness. One senses and sees the power of the mind and Chi combine in the power of the movement.
That is also the reason why dance, as a practice to "unite heaven and earth within yourself' has a transformational effect on the dancer as well as on those who see them and join in the dance.
True dancing only arises if and when the movement starts from the center, the Lower Tan Tien. For this reason Tan Tien Chi Kung is an essential practice for all dancers or all those who wish to experience and practice life as a dance.
The Nei Kung practice of the Bone Marrow Nei Kung, by gentle Chi pressure and infusing the bones with Chi, serves to regenerate them by renewing the blood. It requires a form of deep sensing meditation which can only be realized in a state of deep relaxation. Then even the hardest elements in our body yield to the force of the gentle, and what was dying comes to life again, as the stone yields to the water.
To move the bones from within and from without is very good. The reason why Taoist meditation always seeks a balance between stillness and motion in which the movement is the Yang element and the stillness Yin, with awareness, like in Tai Chi Chi Kung is because they are a unity of opposites. Yang can only come about because of Yin, and Yin can only arise thanks to Yang. Actually Yin is contained in Yang and Yang in Yin.
Is this not the secret of the power and elegance of natural movement in animals and in that part within ourselves where we have retained natural inner connection? The more bones dance from within and in unison with the Universe, the more it becomes a healing practice. Chi from all directions flows in and out and harmonizes, each time creating the inner power and pressure needed to infuse Chi power and gentleness in the next movement.
In many indigenous cultures the emphasis lies on the community as a whole and its relation with the Universe. This is why the dance is the most sacred form of expression. It opens a space to experience the divine directly within the vibrations it generates and in the unity of Yin and Yang it enhances. In such a form of dance, people are not only involved as individuals separate from each other, but they also experience their unity and connections with others as a community and with the Universe. In this way a regenerative process is set in motion and the unity of the community with the Universe is reaffirmed.
It is the dance which can generate that state of dynamic balance in which we feel connected with ourselves and with the whole.
In the dance we bring the center of gravity down in the Lower Tan Tien so that we enhance the ability to move from the center and let the pressure which builds up there move the body, filled with Chi moving in natural waves.
Dances have an intrinsic erotic and ecstatic quality, as they serve to transform the Ching Chi or sexual energy/life force energy into Chi, and stimulate the hormone flow. They may therefore be considered a particular form of Healing Love practice.
It is not by coincidence that dances of many ancient cultures continue until today. Dancing is connected with marriage celebrations, and is also common to great mystical traditions, in which it becomes the ecstatic expression of unity with the divine, like in the Sufi tradition. Also in the Christian tradition, there have been mystics (like the great Spanish woman mystic Santa Teresa in the 17th century) who danced to express their longing to experience unity with the divine.
A particular form of Healing Love practice (single cultivation) is belly dancing, of ancient origin in cultures of the Middle East. This dance had been closely connected with rituals of fertility and invoking the powers of the Universe and the Goddess. Belly dancing enhanced life giving powers before it was incorporated into patriarchal cultures in which women were subordinated and it came to serve as a means for men to raise their desire and passion.
By pressing the ground and swinging the hips, the kua opens and as the Chi from the earth runs up, the sexual organ and the whole pelvic floor are stimulated and the life force starts to fill the belly. It then begins to tremble and vibrate and the Chi moves to the sacrum, up the spine and around and through the whole body, filling the reservoirs, path routes, organs and glands.
This form of sacred dance was originally done by women among themselves, as men were not allowed into the life giving circle. Such a dance regenerates the life current and thereby grants a heightened sense of inner power, joyful vitality and self-esteem. It is therefore not surprising that this dance has come back in circles of women who seek to raise their autonomy and self-esteem as well as their joyfulness in life.
Thus, dancing in which the mind, Chi and the body are properly aligned with heaven and earth may be seen as a particular form of Chi Kung. People do Chi Kung as it helps them to generate, regain and balance out their life force and thereby enter into a "Chi Kung state". They get more in touch with the energies of the Universe and their own energy and inner power.
If we lead the flow of the Chi with our Yi, the dance may turn into a kind of single cultivation practice, as we unite Yin and Yang within ourselves. Or, as men and women dance together they let mind, body and breath mutually adjust in the dance. For these reasons more recently these dances have been called "sacred dances". The transformational process regarding the life force is little understood, but quite well intuited.
As we have emphasized, the growth of pornographic culture in our time is closely related to the continued repression of the life force in present day hegemonic culture. There is intense pressure disrespecting the needs of the body and what is associated with it. Universal Tao practices in which the Lower Tan Tien is radically reappraised, as in the practices of the Microcosmic Orbit and that of Healing Love can play a major role in creating a new, more balanced culture.
These Chi Kung states are, in Taoism, intimately related to the birth and growth of the immortal child; the process by which we reconnect with our origins and in which our true being is born. The birth of the immortal child is intimately connected to this ability to access, see, feel, hear, taste and sense subtle wonders. Our higher energies open up and we can sense what we did not sense before in our body and around us.
In a Chi Kung state, there is a high quality of natural energy pressure both in the body and in the mind, through the practice of love, compassion and other qualities of being, and alignment with the forces of the Universe. A whole new range of physical and spiritual transformations in our mind and body become possible.
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