天人合一 The Harmony of Human and Nature
天人合一 The Harmony of Human and Nature
天人合一 The Harmony of Human and Nature
Extract from the book “Phoenix in Graceful Clouds of Blessing”
Tai chi, in terms of qigong, imitates the rotation of the Earth. On the other hand, Bagua Zhang imitates the rotation of the Earth and at the same time imitates the evolution of the Earth around the Sun. They are the phenomena of the rotation of heaven and earth and hint at the harmony of human and nature.
Why do tai chi and qigong have to be practiced slowly?
There are yin (negative) and yang (positive) elements in the body, which are represented by the dark and bright parts in a tai chi diagram.
However, there is yin in the yang and yang in the yin. In the tai chi diagram, there is a bright dot in the dark part and a dark dot in the bright part. The yang within the yin indicates movement stemming from extreme stillness, like the formation of the universe and the growing of a baby into adulthood. This happens naturally, and we call it an innate ability.
On the other hand there is yin within the yang. When the body is exhausted in the ageing process, movement calms and slows down, until the body gradually returns to extreme stillness. In order to live healthily and reverse the ageing process, the human body needs to build up or preserve the yang element which has been constantly overwhelmed and diminishes while the body is gradually dominated by the yin element. This nurturing of the yang, to patch up its loss and maintain a balance of yin and yang during the ageing process, must be congruent with the calming down nature of the yin and has to be built up slowly.
One who knows the best method and timing for a balance between movement and stillness would find calmness in the movements. Whoever observes the way of nature and acts accordingly would be superior.
The harmony of human and nature, bestowed at birth, is sustained by following the rules of nature, understanding the subtlety behind and recognizing the virtue therefrom in order to lead a life in equilibrium, maintaining a holistically healthy body and a balanced mind.
In our practice, the structure of the human body and the body’s natural mechanism of operation must be understood and fit into the exercises accordingly. The joints bend and stretch smoothly within their appropriate limit. The muscles and tendons must be relaxed and tightened in their proper parameter. The movements have to correspond with the routes of internal flow along the energy channels in the body. The motions have to be circular, rotating around the center and spinning around the central axis.
Breathing techniques must be incorporated with smooth and flowing movements. The movements circle round without any starting or ending point. Breathing cycles are without breaks. Breathe lightly without panting. These breathing practices form the basis for further advancement in the practice of tai chi and qigong.
If the practicing method is proper, where straightness is propelled by spiral, agility is assured.
Movement in the training needs to flow, breathing needs to be smooth and the circling needs to be as round as possible. The achievement of these elements initiates a smooth flowing of internal energy.
The smooth flow of internal energy enables energy to permeate deeper into the body. The sinking of energy facilitates a division of hollow and solid. The upper body is light and allows energy to flow better. The lower body is firmly rooted to the earth.
This division of heaven and earth allows liveliness (dan tian) to thrive in between.
If, on the contrary, the posture is unnaturally shaped or the motions are sluggish, or the limbs are stiff and cramped, the flow of both blood and energy is restricted. Movement is hindered because motive loses connection with motion. Exercises performed grudgingly are done merely in entangled and strangled strength.
The sun, the moon and the stars all hang and revolve in certain tracks in the sky, interacting with each other’s gravity. A significant disturbance may cause a deviation from the orbit.
This regularity of rotation and revolution also applies in tai chi movements.
The practice of tai chi forms must observe the center. Human behavior and attitude also need balance. The five internal elements–metal, wood, water, fire and earth–must be in harmony. Yin and yang must equalize. They are the foundation of holistic health.
Adhering to equilibrium is a virtue in all matters of life for everyone. Unnatural outcome by force would not be justified. Irrational behavior without sensible consideration ruins situations. It is always a better approach to progress step by step according to capability with determination and persistence. Coordination is a prerequisite for harmonization.
There are Heavens beyond Heaven, Ways within the Way.
Life is predestined. Cherish whatever is given.
The hand is like the earth, the elbow the moon, the shoulder the sun, and the trunk heaven.
Without lifting the shoulder the hand draws circles, vertical and horizontal, and the elbow rotates at the same time. The propelling force should not be generated at the arm but from the whole body. This is the same as the phenomenon of the moon circling the revolving earth. The gravity of the whole solar system propels the cycle.
Yet, humans have two hands. Does this imply there are two suns or a couple of moons working together?
No, but there is the doctrine of yin yang. The yin and the yang exchange. One hand is a shadow of the other. The two hands alternate in their respective circles, to and fro, up and down. They complement each other in the cycling.
The rotation of the hands is like the rotation and the revolution of the Earth. However, many have neglected the tilting angle of the earth or axial inclination, which is the cause for temperature difference and duration of sunshine in the four seasons.
In terms of training, this could apply to the rotation of the wrist. The wrist is round when embracing, it bends at an angle when sitting down. When embracing and sitting-down alternate consecutively, it is called the rotation of the wrist. If the wrist does not rotate, the arm could only proceed or retreat very stiffly. If the wrists do not rotate and the ankles do not twist, internal energy could hardly reach the tip of the fingers or toes.
Yet, there are constraints. The tilting of the wrist should not exceed the limit. Otherwise the wrist would turn stiff. If the angle of the earth’s axis tilts too far, climate will turn extreme or violent.
The way nature operates is reflected in the human body, inside and outside, concurrent with many phenomena in the universe. The most significant is the ‘dan tian’ inside the belly. Its operation is similar to the core of the Earth. Between the core and the shell of the Earth there are streams of mist dispersing to and fro. It is just like the dan tian and the body. The dan tian is the spot at the lower part of the stomach where energy gathers. Energy consolidates when the mind is at peace. Energy projects when motive drifts [IS THIS THE WORD/PHRASE YOU WANT?]. This is the ultimate achievement only practicable with dan tian.
Under heaven, the way of practicecannot deviate from nature. Some reference the Book of Changes to create their practice. Some observethe manners of animals and compiled their stances in their exercises. Some apply physics to improve efficiency in their movements. But they all must stillnfollow the rules of nature and human nature.
There are methods in the practice. There are theories in the methods. The more a practice references the rules of nature the more it acquiresholistic health, strengthening the bones, alleviating pain, revitalizing body functions and smoothing the flow of blood and energy. Any practice in reverse of the rules hurts the body and mind.
Harmony of human and nature is simple and straight forward. It exists everywhere, most saliently with respect to he body. However it is difficult to put it into practice. It covers everything. The movements must be integrated all around completely, not breaking off the circumference or creating a corner or otherwise deviating from the equilibrium.
Practitioners must persist. Relaxation guides the sensations. A little progress is a treasure. Continuous progress leads to perfection.
Phoenix in Graceful Clouds of Blessing Qigong
A Practice for holistic health in the traditional doctrine of directing energy flows in the body.
It combines the alternations of yin yang, the supportive sequence of the five elements, and the theory of the eight trigrams multiplying into infinity to achieve a free flow of energy through the eight channels and the twelve meridians to harmonize the strength of each individual organ for their normal functioning, improving immunity, clearing blockages in the body and strengthening the bones. The way is natural.
Natural energy is mindfulness in motion, revitalizing rejuvenation ability, improving immunity, and resisting illnesses.
The gentle movements generate internal flows of energy to strengthen the capacity of internal organs to digest, absorb and excrete.
Through simple motions, energy is directed through the channels and meridians. Blockages against a smooth flow of energy and blood are cleared. Pain is relieved. Stress is diminished.
Through precise posture in the movements, the joints are relaxed and agility is improved. The rejuvenation ability of the body is revitalized.
What is energy health practice?
Energy health practice is treasuring and enhancing the heavenly gift of health from birth, improving the innate self-healing ability and maintaining resistance against illness, by circulating energy in the body in a particular way. It revitalizes the regeneration ability of the human body in order to reverse the ageing process, maintaining much of the health of youth..
This achievement can not be attained by instant learning. It is the result of persistent efforts over stages of refinement. The accomplishment takes time to accumulate. Everyday disturbances to our physical health and emotional well-being require us to sustain a regular daily routine in order to realize thetruly transformative benefits of an energy health practice.
How does the practice work?
Two words: energy harmonization
Energy is all around the body and hides in the bone marrow. Energy is supposed to circulate in the body but it can get disturbed and then stuck. The resultant blockages are the root of illness.
When energy circulates through the channels smoothly, the flow in the meridians is peaceful and regular, the functioning of the organs is healthy, and resistance to illness is strong.
When the joints are relaxed, energy can pass through unobstructed, nerves are not pressed on, muscles are released of tension, and blood flowssmoothly. This can result in the relief of many kinds of pain..
When yin and yang are balanced and the five elements contribute to each other, the state of mind is at peace and stress is alleviated.
The learning is simple and easy, requiring only a brief practice daily. The health benefits stay for a life time.
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