11. Tai Chi Ch'uan, the performance of physical exercises to induce and direct energy flows within the body to gain mastery of body, breath, mind, the internal organs, and life and death.
Tai chi is a method to harmonize the polarity of elements in life it is a way to perceive the relativity of things to realize that any phenomenon can never be manifested without the opposing counterpart, that is illusory to take one side, the Yes can’t exist without the No, you can’t reject completely the No since is part of the equation, they are not in opposition they are two sides of the coin inseparable.
Tai Chi is the representation of the ultimate balance between hard and soft, male-female, right and left, manifesting and hiding, life and death, universal and personal, real and unreal, possible and impossible all the antagonism in harmony without any intention to destroys any opposite, it is able to use wisely the forces that we possess at the right time without any attachment. It is imitating nature at the most primitive scale at the most microscopic proportion when is only yin and yang.
Tai Chi Chuan brings the concepts of yin and Yang to a practical application to use the principles to guide your energy to avoid correctable imbalances to prevent unnecessary waste of Chi, the energy is neutral can go up or down, hate is no other thing that loves doing headstand, chi can be used to heal or to fight.
There are many layers of learning; imaging the operating system in your computer after installing it you might need some software, so the first part are the forms or Katas or your operating system, doesn’t matter what style of Tai chi Chuan they have similar operating systems and also programs.
They all use the vital energy or Chi is what maintains the rivers or meridians flowing, the power of the punch is not the manifestation of your muscular contraction or speed, but the conduction of all your energy with no fragmentation at one particular point in a nanosecond. If all your muscles could pull in one direction, you could create a force of 25 tons and if these relax muscles are carrying the detonator of chi that exploits at contact your force will be tremendous.
In order to be skillful you have to follow nature and the skills that nature gave us,the first step is to understand how nature function in us, the left side of your brain controls de right side of your body and vice versa so the opposite shoulder should coordinate with opposite hip, elbows with knees and hands with feet without this step you can't progress.
At the same time you coordinate the entire right or left side of your body, the speed in the changes determine your competence but like a paradox is primordial to practice slowly because you want to change the Neuro-patterns but first you need to change the Neurotransmitters so you can move fast in control, but you can move fast and have no force, the muscles have to move from liquid to solid at the impact's point and after liquid again.
You can not do this controlling the breath so teachers never give instructions of how to breathe but meditate in vipassana observing the breath after years of practice the breath become essential to progress and help you to exert force. as the waves of the ocean, you move forward and back. So the director is the lower Dan-Tien he is multi-task and can not only act as the orchestra director but can perceive the state of affairs of your opponent and highjack his center.
We are all egotistic we have to survive in a situation of life and death your brain stops working the blood move from the brain to your guts, triggering a chain of hormones that produce the flight-fight respond mechanism of defense you will get speed and force that we don't ordinarily use because the situation is extremely extraordinary, those movements, if they are not rehearsed, becomes chaotic, uncoordinated leaving for your opponent with better center a lot of options to attack.
So you train the mind to accept the chaos and try to don't use your own force but following a path of less resistance redirecting it, not getting too anxious and wait for the right opening, not allowing the glands to take command; in a normal training without the opponent in front you might be able to observe the enemies of the mind, the chain of negative thoughts that unfortunately is the majority of our thoughts, and have the skills to divert them as you divert the opponents attack.
The ultimate skills in Tai chi chuan is to accept the other side of survival is not easy to maintain calm confronting an enemy with a sword, so acceptance of death is the other part of the skills, to be honest to your training reacting exactly the same doesn't matter the object, so who can't we be completely sure that we have another day, the acceptance of death is life the denying of death is death.
For me Tai Chi Chuan is overall the most sophisticated of all the corporeal expressions, some people are not to wrong pairing Taichi Chuan with dancing, of course, is graceful and looks like dancing but there is no story to say, there is no emotional connotation, it is not sexual, or remembering glorious events of the past, or asking for a good harvest, you want to move in coordination like the planets move with orbits and circles like this marvelous universe moves.
You need time to add more and more connections between you and the universe so the older you get the better you do your practice that is not similar to other physical activities, your practice is like a good wine you can be confident even at a very old age, there many things or operating systems to install, the movement of your chi through your channels, the coiling action than everything has in this universe, the soft and hard of each pose, the metaphysical allegory that every pose has, the organs, the Dantiens and with precision the location of everything that you do, after the house is in order; the connection of the organs with the planets, being your center the northern star and the 28 constellations so when you leave you to know the way to get back home.
10. Sau Yi, the science of embracing integral transcendental oneness in order to accomplish conception of the 'mystical pearl.
The mystical pearl is also called the mystical pregnancy, the practitioner is a womb it is conceiving as a mother it is receptive, the universe is trying to impregnate you, in reality it has always been pushing into you, the meaning of guru is one who is heavy of the truth, one who is pregnant, he is so full that can give some of his own truth he knows how to conceive but we are not receptive we are not open we are not a womb.
As in the mother the conception is in the belly; my first lesson many years ago was very simple, focus below the navel that is your miniature sun it is the egg that is waiting to be impregnating, first you need to be open, in the mood, you need to be a seeker prepare for the conception, then after you have a mystical experience patiently wait, give the conditions to nurture the mystical pearl; although is forming inside you is of an everlasting nature and when you die the pearl has a more evolve energy has a Buddha nature has a life of itself is already complete it doesn’t need to get back is not a seeker anymore.
The synchronization of our energies with Planet Earth is the first step to create the mystical pearl, in essence, if our planet is alive and produces life is because at its core there is a volcanic activity a colossal laboratory where fire, water, and the minerals produce life; we first locate the sun, the Dan-Tien and water comes from the kidneys and organs; in this internal alchemy we give birth no a new entity of different constitution that is not physical.
I have to admit this idea at that time was for me very gay but all the teachings are based in acknowledging the yin aspect of life, the flowing aspect of the Tao to balance the impetuous force of Yang; Yin is hidden is underneath, obscure, subconscious, invisible like a root, so the feminine aspect is not in any way sexual but seeing Yin as a quality of vibration.
The process of cultivation is the process of transcendence of the conditioned mind; your indoctrination to this world brings many positives things but confront your thinking with your surroundings, how people act, your religion and your culture, and those are the obstacles to transcend and embrace the oneness, when this patters or believes are not examining carefully they are like horse’s visors, so the principal aspect is your vision.
There are two visions or directions in this world the most common one is inculcated in any distinguish school around the world, in every sane family, in any successful society and it is to produce more, have more of whatever unit you think you need to make you happy, more is better, doesn’t matter what it is, academic achievement, com decoration, recognition in arts and prestige and more importantly financial power because that is the ultimate recognition, accumulate more of whatever it is, yoga, meditation or sanctity doesn’t matter more is better; so there is always a feeling that you are not totally successful because we live for other people opinions; for this vision you always have to be discontent because if you are content you are not progressive you will vegetate and become a bump. So people are pushing their kids, kids are pushing themselves, competition arises everywhere and with only this vision of the world, life is a constant struggle.
The other vision of the world is not common it’s the vision of the being, the inner self that doesn’t need to enhance or improve it is by itself complete and the pursuit of this vision is basically eastern, your being is cover with dust the mirror cannot reflect much and the meaning of life for this vision is not to lose the opportunity to get to the center where life is not illusionary is to see things as they are and embrace the integral truth, melting like the drop of the ocean that is aware of its nature and consciously returns to the ocean and melts and disappear.
For this vision everything that happens in your life from big victories to devastating dramas happens always at the surface never hit the bottom your being is not affected, we live at the surface the real meaning of this vision is to identify what is permanent in you what is everlasting and live your life from your center.
Your mystical pearl doesn’t need to be conceived is a metaphor for a realization of your potential is redirecting all your attention towards the possibility to embrace the integral one with total consciousness, you will reintegrate with the oneness either way when you die, but the last vision death is a loss for the first is gain, if you follow the first vision you are delusional you are missing life, if you follow the second one you are content, the magic inculcated in your childhood is still alive, you can see the whole picture.
Here let me introduce the principle of Buddhism Hinayana and Mahayana in Zen is called Tariki or Jiriki the meaning of these words are the big and small boat we use to get to awakening; in the small boat there is only space for one person and for this vision is extremely difficult to transcendence because you basically cannot do it by yourself, you need to work hard and perhaps in many reincarnations you can become a Buddha, Mahayana is the big boat anybody can get in the boat is you realize your Buddha nature that everybody has at birth, is already inside you just need to meditate, in this sense the method should be the right one, so trying to find the right method that work is very important.
In Chinese tradition Heaven is down and Earth is up, if heaven is up is unattainable is not you is not in your nature you expecting something from above, you aiming something that is not at your reach, we are the microcosm of the macrocosm heaven is inside you the universe behaves the same inside you, the arrangement of your cells is following the same patterns of the celestial beings we are doing the same regardless of what direction you point or what object you choose.
Dogen the famous Zen Master who was born in 1200 was puzzled from early age with the idea of everybody having the Buddha essence inside, he couldn’t understand if the potential of becoming a Buddha is inherent in us why is so difficult, if the nature’s plant is to flower, the bird is meant to fly why are we not blossoming? he arrived at the conclusion that to study the way is to study the self, but there is not really a way only the self, so there is no- other direction but inside, and to know the self is to drop the self, so move to the center and wait patiently like a pregnant woman.
Dogen said We are little sounds in the great silence, between the Universe and we are not much different than a sound and a silence. Only in silence and void, the pearl can be formed.
9. Bigu, the practice of fasting on specific days in order to gather life energy emanating from the harmonized positions of certain stars.
Bigu or Pi-Ku literally means avoiding grains; this has been diversely interpreted to mean not eating particular foodstuffs (food grain, cereal, the Five Grains, or staple food), or not eating any food (breatharianism); grain avoidance resonates in present-day trends such as low-carbohydrate diets, gluten-free diets, cyclic ketogenic diets, paleo diets etc. Realistically the whole world is addictive to grain and sugar most people will never give up bread, pasta or desserts; this craving is as old as civilization.
It is important to notice that Wugu or the cultivation of grains is considered one of the greatest achievements in the development of civilization, allowing the beginning of the agrarian society leaving the hunter-gatherer and nomadic pattern of life, the cultivation of these grains permitted the settlement of cities all around the world; so what is wrong in consuming grain, isn’t it bread the most satisfying and rewarding food and part of the diet of millions of people.
Let me introduce at this point the term Three corpses Spirits and Nine worms, they are undercover agents inside our bodies who specialize in sabotaging a seeker's efforts, making it difficult for him to go towards spiritual realization they need grain to survive.
1. The Upper Corpse Spirit, called Peng Ju, abides in the upper third of the human body, lives in the head, symptoms of its attack include a feeling of heaviness in the head, blurred vision, deafness, and excessive flow of tears and mucus. The Upper Corpse Spirit has a specific location. It lodges in the bone which slightly protrudes from the back of the cranium, the Occipital Protuberance, and it is called the Yu Jen guan. This spirit lodges at that gate, guarding it and monitoring a person's brain waves. This is the first of the three big "gates" that a cultivator has to break through in order to have any success in his cultivation. Greed abides in the Upper corpse.
2.The Middle Corpse Spirit lodges in the middle of the spinal column, the Jai Ji Guan. That's the second gate it dwells in the heart and stomach, it attacks the heart and makes it host sensual pleasures. Anger abides in the Middle Corpse.
3. The Lower Corpse Spirit lodges at the Wei Lu Guan, the coccyx, at the very tip of the spinal column. The Lower Corpse Spirit, called Peng Xiao, lives in the lower region of the body. Stupidity abides in the Lower Warmer resides in the stomach and legs. It causes the lower Dantian to leak, and make host lust after women.
The Three Gates are large openings, and there are nine crevices which are smaller cracks, like little holes. It is not at all easy to get through them, for the nine worms are constantly creating mischief and making it difficult for the cultivator to come to any success.
The warms are
1. Crouching Worm, so-named because it crouches, curls up like a ball and appears to be dormant. It sleeps by the occipital protuberance, based of your skull, the Yu Jen Chiao, saps people's strength by feeding off their essence and blood
2. Dragon Worm is shaped like a little dragon. It hides in the back of the neck, the ligament that joins the head with the shoulder blades at the Tian Chu Chiao.
3. White Worm abides in the Taodao Chiao, which is a section of the digestive tract where the solids separate from the liquids. This variety of worm is just the fatty tissues and lymph nodes in our body which are whitish in color.
4. Flesh Worm looks like a blob of flesh. It lives in the Shen Dao Chiao, the pathway to the heart and monitors our spirit. This is the worm which is responsible for heart trouble.
5. Red Worm is scarlet colored. It dwells in the chia Ji Chiao, the spinal column.
6. Splitting Worm lives in the Xuan Shu Chiao, the gateway to the mystery. It also rules over a part of the digestive system.
7. Lung Worm lives in the Ming Meng Chiao, the life gate crevice behind the belly bottom in the spine, and rules over the lungs.
8. Stomach Worm live in the lung Hu Chiao, the dragon and tiger crevice, which is the seat of the reproductive organs.
9. Intestinal Worm lives in the Wei Lu Chiao at the tip of the spinal column and presides over the large intestines.
The Kua is the abdominal region containing all the internal organs, the diaphragm, the hips, and your immune system; according to Michael Gershon in his book The Second Brain- The Brain in the Guts; we have more neurons in our guts than in our brains there is more information going up than down.
The information between the two brains happens by the Enteric nervous system which is embedded in the lining of the gastrointestinal system, beginning in the esophagus and extending down to the anus. Ninety percent of your cells and 99 percent of the genetic material are in your guts.
Research has shown that the body is actually composed of more bacteria than cells. We are more bug than human! Collectively, these trillions of bacteria are called the microbiome. Most of those bacteria reside in our gut, sometimes referred to as the gut microbiota, and they play multiple roles in our overall health. The gut is no longer seen as an entity with the sole purpose of helping with all aspects of digestion. It ’s also being considered as a key player in regulating inflammation and immunity.
We also can view The Enteric nervous system as a battlefield; in every phenomenon the eternal game of yin and Yang has to be contemplated, so as Dr. Steven Gundry says there are good and bad Bugs in our guts, we can translate the bad guys like the Three Corpses and the Nine worms; there are 10,000 different spices of bacteria a one million viruses in our guts.
This civil war in our intestines started more or less with the cultivation of grains, the bad bugs find the way to highjack the information through the hormones and the Vagus nerve to send the second brain the request for their favorite food which is not the one who is going to make you thrive; what we chose to eat is determined by the bad bugs and they are addicted to certain pernicious food like grains and sugars.
In this civil war, the bad bugs are winning because they are very efficient in getting their way but they are not interested in preserving the body they are not concerned in maintaining but destroying, so the enemy is inside, so Dr. Gundry proposes is to feed the good bugs with what they need to thrive and eventually the bad bugs would starve and be replaced.
Yang can't live without yin even if the good guys win we still have the bad bugs inside in the dormant state and at the end they will win because nothing is permanent, with the master of the house gone, those bad bugs will grow and finally will eat the dead host, that might sound dramatic or creepy, but if we want to live healthily and thrive we need to understand that we are addicted to food and is awareness is the most powerful than food.