In the world today, we tend to focus on everything we can see, touch, smell and hear. Our lives revolve around how much money we can make, what type of car we can buy and how big of a house we live in… we're obsessed with keeping up with the Jones’. There are so many Jones’ in the world, but many things continue to remain the same. As humans, we are currently living in a primarily destructive world, whether to ourselves, someone else or to the environment. The divorce rate is higher than ever, people are becoming sicker at younger ages, and the nutritional and lifestyle habits of America are more unhealthy and habitual than ever. As practitioners, it is our job to educate our clients on how to live a life of increased health and vitality. Too many people think that if we feel sick, then we must be sick. But what about the invisible and hidden symptoms that have lead up to that point? “Everything that is visible, is the result of the Invisible,” says Paramahansa Yogananda. In this article, I am going to touch on such topics as physical sickness, mental sickness, soul sickness and applying principles of the Universal Tao system (www.universal-tao.com) to cultivate chi through meditation and nutrition.
Everything in the universe has a vibration, from the cosmos to our thoughts down to the earth that you walk on and the blades of grass that you walk by. Vibrations as we perceive them are felt, seen, smelt or heard. But there is the other side to that coin that most people never care to think about. Is everything in the world felt, smelt, seen or heard only if you can physically see it? “Eating, smelling fragrances, listening to music, beholding beautiful objects, touching pleasing things — these are evanescent pleasures, lasting only as long as the sensations of tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing and touching last, or until the mind becomes bored with a sensation and is temped by a new stimulus,” says Yogananda. If not, how can we tap into this invisible or unknown so we can be one step ahead in the game of life? When I say that everything has a vibration, I am saying that everything in the world, whether visible or invisible, is always present, is resonating at a specific frequency and is creating or receiving energy. God, light, energy, life force or chi is in everything and is everywhere. Can you see atoms while you walk down the street? No, but they are there. Einstein said, “From no-thing comes everything." Even though we don’t see, smell, feel or hear it, energy is always moving around us, creating life and sustaining life.
This concept might be hard for some people to grasp. If you really break matter (humans, plants, animals, etc.) down, we are all made up of a lot of the same chemicals and atoms. According to Andrew Jackson, “The body is made up of 72 percent oxygen, 13.4 percent carbon, 9.10 percent hydrogen, 2.5 percent nitrogen, 1.3 percent calcium, 1.25 percent phosphorus and many other elements in very small quantities. Commercially, that whole collection of elements would be valued at only $1!” So is man just the sum of these elements?
No, of course not, but you cannot find a double blind study or simple explanation to prove life. We all encompass various types of energy, but similarly, we all need this life force to stay healthy and thrive on this planet. For example, we require the intake of oxygen, movement of blood and intake of water/food to stay alive, just as a plant requires the intake of nutrients, water and micro organisms from the soil and atmosphere to stay alive. From plants to humans, we all require some sort of chi (life force, energy) to stay alive on this planet. All of life is based on movement.
To Chi or not to Chi - That Is the Question
So what is chi, you might be asking yourself at this point? “The circulating life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things; in traditional Chinese medicine the balance of negative and positive forms in the body is believed to be essential for good health” (www.cogsci.princeton.edu). It is the invisible universal life force that permeates and nourishes everything in the universe, even the universe itself. Even though this force cannot be seen, it can be felt. Hang around with a depressed individual for a day or two and then ask yourself if you felt their chi and what type it was. Chi flows through our bodies in channels (meridians) and activates our bodily processes. We collect chi by eating foods and breathing air, but at various times in our lives, we will need to cultivate more chi. This can be done by visceral massage and meditation, which I will be explaining in greater detail later on. Chi never goes away; it is always moving, expanding, revolving and condensing energy into more energy or into matter. The body is condensed matter of the Universal Chi (yang) and Earth Chi (yin). Good chi is flowing energy, and bad chi is blocked energy that creates toxic build up. For example, blood in the body is formed by combining food with chi energy. Problems arise when both yin and yang become too hot (yang), too cold (yin) or stagnant/blocked. Mantak Chia says, “The Taoist sages of ancient China observed that humans often develop energy blockages in their internal organs that result in knots and tangles in their abdomens. These obstructions occur at the center of the body’s vital functions and constrict the flow of Chi (energy), our life-force.”
The Yin and Yang in You
“In Chinese philosophy, there are two opposing forces in the universe. Both are equal and necessary for harmony. Yang includes such principles as strong, active, bright and male. Yin is weak, passive, dark and female. The concept of Yin and Yang is represented by a circle with interlinking black and white halves” (www.ket.org). Yin and Yang are a duality or two different polarities that form from Original Wu Chi (refer to Awaken Healing Light of the Tao by Mantak Chia) to form matter, the human body. For example, if you think of how babies are formed, they come from nothing and everything is created from the egg (yin, female) and sperm (yang, male) uniting. It is about the synergy of two opposing forces working together and creating harmony, not dysfunction. In order to discuss Chi in the human body, I need to first define yin and yang more in detail.
Yin is hidden deep within the body and contracts down the body and inward. It is expressed as female, passive, interior, cold, water, dark, rest, moon and earth. The left side of your body is yin, receptive and the female part of you. There are also certain organs that are yin: liver, heart, spleen, pancreas, lungs and kidneys. Yang is more superficial than yin and expands upward and outward of the body. It is expressed as male, creative, full, active, day, motion, hot, exterior fire, heaven and sun. The right side of your body is yang, giving and the male aspect of you. There are also certain organs that are yang: gallbladder, small intestine, stomach, large intestine and bladder. Even though you are a duality, yin and yang are expressed together, not separately. They are consistently influencing each other, harmonizing the body when in balance. It is when they are out of balance (too hot or too cold), then the chi becomes disrupted and one will manifest more than the other. Dysfunction is the end result and the visible symptoms are our creator’s effort to alarm us of our ignorance. “Man suffers because of his errors; and the root cause of error is ignorance,” says Yogananda. Illness can thus be understood as a lesson you have given yourself to help you remember who you are.
If you begin to think about the organs, you will notice that they all give (yang) or receive (yin) many forms of chi. They are all designed to absorb, assimilate, eliminate, move or transmit energy in some way or another. If any of these functions become blocked, then the body’s energy systems can become toxic. “When obstructed, the internal organs store unhealthy energies that can overflow into other bodily systems and surface as negative emotions and sickness,” says Chia. Whether it is physical, emotional, EMF, environmental or chemical stress, “stress is very often the root of many people’s problems, whether they recognize it or not,” according to Paul Chek.
If we take a look at stress, it comes in many shapes and sizes. Most of society has the belief that stress equates to emotional stress at home or at work. That is one of the common ones, but there are four others that they are missing because they can’t see, hear, smell or feel them. If you look at Figure 1 below, you can see how stress of any kind can lead to not just a problem in one organ, but how it manifests itself through the entire body.
Figure 1. Negative energy cycle leads to knots and tangles in the abdomen.
The end result is a negative cycle of energy loss, disrupted organ functions, neurological sequencing and physiological toxicity. Just as a thought is invisible but turns into an action (visible), stress begins as invisible and only when it becomes chronic do we see the visible (symptoms).
According to A.E. Powell in The Etheric Double, with regards to chi, “a great exuberance of it in the nervous system may lead to disease and death, just as too little leads to exhaustion and ultimately death.” Pertaining to this article, chi can be balanced or too yang or too yin. If you are a negative person secondary to life “doing you” (chronic pain, poor posture, poor nutrition and lifestyle, i.e. “victim mentality”), the bottom line is your chi will have difficulty moving fluidly in, out and throughout the body. If you break that down and think about our obese, ADHD and diabetic world of robotic human do-ings and not human be-ings, do you think people have too much or too little chi in their lives? A basic example to understand this is to think of our highway systems. If the pavement is not taken care of, then travel on them will become difficult. Eventually roads will close, and people will have trouble getting from point A to point B. In conclusion, energy or humans will not be able to flow from point A to point B. People will be stuck walking around, riding bikes or staying at home. Civilization will be come slower and more stagnant, just like toxins will in the body when we have energy blockages and the lack of synergy between yin and yang.
As You Think, So You Are
To simplify this explanation, let us use the simple topic of thought (a catalyst in everything that we do: thought -> words -> action) and relate it to chi within the body. Liz Simpson, author of The Book of Chakra Healing, affirms “that thoughts and the mind precede and affect physical matter. After all, what is thought but a form of energy.” If we bury our thoughts about something or someone and do not express how we honestly feel, this can have a negative effect within the body’s energy systems. Most of the people we deal with are surrounded by some element of negativity (either internal or external) within their personal and professional lives. This manifests itself within them, and before they know it, they become a product of their environment. Like attracts like. When we hold in or express our thoughts in a negative way, we create those vibrations through our body. “Negative feelings, thoughts and attitudes eat at our bodies. Positive feelings, thoughts and attitudes feed our bodies—nourish our body—sustain our body,” says Karol Truman. When we hold negative thoughts in, these channels will become disrupted, toxins will build up, become stagnant and not allow chi to flow to the higher self. Our thoughts are the drive and motivation of movement, as well as the life force of our mental well being.
Change Your Negative Thought to Avoid Unpleasant Behavior
How does this relate to life? When it comes down to it, within the universe, like attracts like. As John McMullin says, we vibrate at the frequency of our beliefs. If you are a positive person, than you will create positive energy, good things will happen, goals will be achieved, you will control life and vice versa. Practitioners sometimes wonder why they have so many complaining clients that are not motivated. Perhaps this is a reflection of their own states of being: “You are what you think, having become what you thought” (Buddha).
As Above, So Below
Before I go any further, let me explain to you the three types of basic energy that make the microcosm (man) and the macrocosm (universe). The first type is Universal Force or Heavenly Energy from above (cosmos, stars and planets). This energy connects our organs to energy above, providing constant nourishment to the mind, body and soul. This force comes down (yang, giving, male) from above to feed the brain, spine and reproductive system. It is also the Governors Channel that begins at the head, enters through the brain, runs over the crown (top of head), down the midpoint between the eyes and ends at the roof of the mouth where it connects with the Functional Channel. This brings us to the second form of energy, Earth Energy from below, earth, nature (yin, receiving, female). This force is yin (receiving, female) energy that comes up from the earth, running up the front of the body from the perineum to the tip of the tongue. At this point, this is where it connects with the Governor Channel above. This channel governs the fetus or menstrual cycle. The last force of nature is Human Plane or Cosmic Energy that flows in space (cosmic dust, light particles). This energy is taken in when we breathe to nourish the glands, organs and senses. It can be felt very easily when you collect it during meditation.
All three of these forces of nature are constantly pervading in, on, through and around us. “The microcosm is a mirror image of the macrocosm. The universe within is the same as the universe without,” says Chia. To sum all this up: as above, so below!
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