In the Taoist system that I practice, the ultimate goal is the return to the Union with the Universe, all things and phenomena that are not themselves.
The steps I describe are not to be taken literally, but as possible evidence on the stages of evolution of being.
Before our birth, but after our conception, we are in a total non-duality and in what the Taoists call “the pre heaven”. This union with the world in total fusion with the mother bathes us in Taiji, dynamic union of yin and yang.
After birth until weaning, we are still in a fusion but not dual with a manifestation in the world of “ post heaven. ” Although not independent, we have an independent existence which we have not yet revealed, we are not really aware of ourselves as a separate entity.
In childhood, we reach what is called in internal alchemy “the culmination of the great”. It is an absolute yang yet where where touch on non duality of the world, we take discriminatory decisions and we are 100% present to our emotions and our actions. We touch both ends of the world without being parasitised by the world of thoughts.
Then, after this culmination, we tip over from the yang towards the yin.
Adolescence is a period where we have nostalgic memories of the lost union, the whole world and without choice, and at the same time we seek to affirm in the “banal” world .
We will increase the part of conditioning, adapting to the “real” world, and we forget the reality of the natural spontaneity that is the source of our Being.
Soon, the common and mundane “banal” world has fully covered the world of which we are united from.
The work of Taoist internal alchemy is the reversing process.
The first stage demands “waking up”, remember, what we really are. This can be done through meetings, readings, “signs” …
By work what we describe, it will be possible to gently “return” to the spontaneous and natural at the expense of the mundane and banal.
Without going into terribly conceptual details, there are just 2 principles to achieve:
- The conscious awareness,
Relaxation is a quality which calls for 5 different but closely related domains:
- Relaxation of the body,
- Relaxation of the breath
- Relaxed in the emotional activity
- Relaxation of the energetic phenomena
- Relaxation of the mind in healing the activity of thinking.
That is the whole program of our “transformation” in a few short lines.
Before you can understand and experience these states of relaxation that will lead us to a return to simplicity and unity, we must be present in the work every second, we must acquire the ability to focus our attention.
To do this we work conscious attention, and daily in all areas of our lives.
The work of the body
We will seek 3 quality in working the body:
The strength allows us to simply practice. Indeed, if we are too weak, without energy or ill, the practice is not possible. For the body to be relaxed, it should be flexible and co-ordinated in its actions. What is seen and understood in the spirit must be physically in space. Rooting enables us to find our balance, our center and a particular rapport between man and Heaven and Earth.
The work of breathing
In the respiratory work, one is given 3 different ways to tame his breath:
- The focus.
Understanding the experience of the rhythm of breathing will give us a first approach which is simple and fun. This phenomenon in which we cannot spend more than a minute, is our first exchange with the world and the most frequent. The sensation of the air is paradoxical. We perceive the passage of air without really “feeling” it. This “monitoring” of air inhalation and exhalation is energizing. When the first two stages are sufficiently experienced, they should be combined in a practice that requires total focus, more precisely: it is the third practice.
The work of the emotional
Once the body is relaxed, grounded and strong, fluid and conscious breathing, we can finally have a different relationship with our emotional activity. Its far from us to remove or suppress emotions, we want to live fully without being victims. This process takes 3 steps:
- Identification of the change in the body,
- Awareness of emotional development,
- Identification of the energy process.
When an emotion is “constructed” before it is what it is, it manifests itself as a change of energy in the body. If we are aware of our breathing, our body and our energy, we are able to feel it and move on to the next step.
Be aware of what is going on inside our bodies, we can access the application of non-action, the principle of non-resistance. We can live our emotions without being attached to our mental activities. By a natural and regular practice of these principles, we will see that it provides a special vitality, links the organs, and as always with these exercises, we will learn to develop our attentive intention.
The energy work
Only if we are familiar with the practices described above, we can move towards a vision of our energy path. Speaking of energy before his body relaxed, relaxed his breath and regulated emotional activity remains within the realm of fantasy. For this step, we will once again have 3 sections:
- The circulation in the protector and nourishing vessels,
- The expansion of our energy towards the limits of our body,
- The natural exchange of energy between yourself and the outside.
In all energy practices, it is advisable to increase the amount of energy we have. The most “natural” circulation in the conception and governor vessels as we can. This excess energy will feed our lifeblood and will give the possibility to extend our sphere of our energy centre out of our body. The connection between the center and the ends of the limbs allows us a privileged relationship with Heaven and Earth. This is the subject of the second practice, often called “breathing of five gates”. Through experimentation in daily exchanges, we develop a facility to move between our inside and outside. Little by little, everything is done alone: it is the return to nature.
Work of the spirit
The “shen”, spirit in Chinese, includes all parts of the psychological and cognitive world of thoughts. We will find thinking, memory, imagination … all i say …
It is illusory to believe that it is possible to “control” the mind without going seriously against the natural. However, as we tame a wild animal, it is possible to tame our own mind. This requires knowing and understanding without ever rushing but without stopping to get acquainted with him.
It is important to use the first part of training the mind, it is the basis of the combat arts, meditation and chi kung. This part of the training is called the “white screen” is one of the names of what is also called “pacifying the mind.”
The second phase is the work on dreams. If we seek to remain conscious all the time, it is a pity to fall into the black hole of sleep every day. With this in mind, the dream work takes place, to touch the consciousness in sleep and in sleep have a conscious.
The last phase can not be discussed without having experienced much of the training.
This is so simple and crude, a global view in a easy language of our practice. We must understand that everything is simple but requires to be done, not to be discussed. While these are only concepts they are without value if they are not directly related to practical experimentation.