By Rene J. Navarro
I have often done qigong and Tai chi chuan in power vortices – in the pyramids at Gisa and the temples in Upper Egypt (Karnak, Dendera, Abydos), in the Tor on Glastonbury and the Stonehenge in England, in the peaks of Huangshan in China, in the stone circles of Scotland, Iao Valley in Maui, Hawaii, and Mount Banahaw in the Philippines. I have even done qigong in enclosed spaces like the Egyptian section at the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in NY City. It is essential – even critical – to harmonize our lives, culture and lifestyle with the world around us. We are at risk of losing the earth to deadly pollution, severe exploitation and extreme climate changes. The situation is dangerous for the world, humanity and the diverse animal and plant species, an issue we’ll have to address sooner than later. But there is, in the meantime, a very simple way of connecting and harmonizing with nature and translating the language of ecology in our daily lives. Since the body itself is naturally constructed with energy points like the earth in feng-shui, it is really quite easy to align to the world around us. It is just a matter of:
– Keeping quiet and still and listening
– Avoiding distractions from the senses or the mind
– Allowing the body to settle down
– If you need to breathe, make it soft and gentle like a tiny ripple on a lake.
If you are standing, plant your feet shoulder-width apart and straighten your back and relax. You can do the same thing if you are sitting on the edge of a chair. Remember to slightly bring your chin down toward, but not touching, the manubrium. You may not be aware of it in the beginning, but this act stretches the cervical vertebrae and opens Governor Vessel 16/Fengfu and Governor Vessel 20/Baihui and Yintang/Esoteric Hall, 3 way stations in the journey of energy/Qi . Bring your hands down, palms either facing the outer thighs (to align the Laogong/Pericardium 8 to the Gallbladder/Wood meridian, especially Gallbladder 31) running down from the head to the feet) or the palms facing to the back (to feel what’s behind you). Put your tongue up to the hard upper palate or just behind the teeth to create what is indicated in the Neijing Tu as the Sacred Ground.
Many people ask, “Are there any techniques?” Yes, there are techniques. You can do Tai chi chuan or 8 Precious Brocades or a series of Qigong or Daoyin movements. But you can reduce them to the most basic level like what is listed above. Just quiet down, close your eyes, and it helps if you feel grateful for who you are. There is always something special or even magical that happens when one feels a sense of gratitude for the blessings of life and when one finds the stillness that is the very essence of worship (Tao Te Ching, verse 16).
When one is positioned for standing or sitting meditation as described, one does not have to do anything else. Just keep to the bullet points above. It is that simple. You do not need to travel to the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid, or in Haleakala Volcano on Maui. You can just do it in your backyard or in your own living room. You do not need any extra equipment or any elaborate clothes. If it is necessary to focus, you can light incense or a candle or play a soft meditative music or breathe softly. But these can be distracting for some people. So find what you are most comfortable with.
You will possibly realize, as you practice more, there is a subtle activation of the Bai Hui/GV 20 at the top of the head, the Qi Hai/CV 6 and Shenque/CV 8 in the area of the belly, and the Yongquan/Kidney 1 at the bottom of the feet. These are 3 of the most prominent points in the body that are the easiest to activate. There is also the Laogong/PC 8, the power point of the palms. Often, the vibration of qi starts at the fingertips or Jing/Well points, collects at PC 8/Laogong and travels up the arms. Stay in position for 30 minutes to an hour. It is usually difficult in the beginning to be still for more than 5 to 10 minutes. But with regular practice, you will start to feel comfortable doing it for longer and longer periods of time. You will also start to feel different experiences. The energy of the feet sinking into the ground, for instance. Or the Jing/Well points of the fingers feeling vibration or some meridians opening. The optimal experience is when the body itself seems to become transparent or porous as if its boundaries have dissolved. The whole body would seem to be “breathing” after a while. There is a sense of opening to the outside world. The body and the earth in incredible alignment and harmony: It is the path of stillness that is suggested in Chapter 16 of the Dao De Jing.
At the end of your work – call it meditation, call it qigong, whatever name you may use – be sure to make a gesture of closing. Put your palms over and breathe into your navel. Imagine the energy collecting in your lower belly (often associated with the dantian/field of pills, qihai/sea of qi, navel center) and resting there in a sturdy container. A closure is necessary in a ritual so that you can connect again to the mundane, and return to the everyday world and time.
Blessings to you!
Rene J. Navarro is an acupuncturist, herbalist, martial artist, healer, alchemist writer and poet. His first martial arts masters were Johnny Chiuen and Lao Kim, two famous Shaolin Hong Kuen teachers in the Philippines in the 1960s. Rene has been studying the curriculum of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, including Solo Form (108 movements), Sabre/Knife (2 sets), Sword (2 sets), Staff-Spear, 2-Man Sparring Set/Sansou, Tai chi chuan Chang Chuan/Tai chi fajing form, and Push hands under Masters Gin Soon Chu and Vincent Chu, lineage masters of the system. As a senior instructor of the Healing Tao, he has written the manuals of Kan and Li internal alchemy for GM Mantak Chia. He graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture with a diploma in acupuncture and a certificate in traditional Chinese herbology. At NESA, he pioneered a course in chi-kung/qigong including Tai chi, Microcosmic Orbit meditation, and Buddha Palm. His poetry and essays have been published in journals and anthologies. Rene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science (MLQ University in Manila) and a Bachelor of Laws (University of the Philippines). In an earlier incarnation, he worked as a lawyer for indigent clients. He has taught in four continents. For more information, go to: www.renenavarro.org