Saturday, March 15, 2008

THE STRAWBERRY

March 15, 2008

The story from Blythe... there's a variation to it which I have seen in the website, "True Tao" of Derek Lin. I will fill in some details into Blythe's version from memory:

"There was a man being chased down a trail through the jungle by a man-eathing tiger. He ran as fast as he could, but the tiger was running faster. Still he ran, hoping for a tree he could climb in time, a house to take shelter in, a warrior to defend him, something, anything to save him from the tiger. He ran around a bend in the trail... and found himself at the edge of a dropoff that was a hundred feet straight down. He was doomed! But then he saw a thick vine hanging down over the edge of the dropoff! He grabbed it and climbed down. The tiger couldn't get him. He climbed and he climbed, but the vine got thin and weak and he was still too far above the ground to survive a fall. He looked up, and saw the tiger looking down at him, but he knew, if he just hung on long enough, the tiger would go away.

He thought of jumping down to escape the fearsome tiger above and looked down... to his horror he saw another tiger below snarling at him. Just when he thought that the situation could not get any worse.... he heard a nibble, nibble, nibble noise and saw, way up in reach of the tiger's swatting paw, two mice... one white, one black.... nibbling on the vine, chewing through it....

The man looked in all directions for a rock to stand on or a ledge to cling to or a trail slanting down. He looked and he looked as the vine creaked under his weight and the tiger growled above him . And then, off to one side, in easy reach, he saw a fragrant, ripe berry hanging from a plant rooted in the cliff. He picked it and ate it. It was the best berry he had ever tasted.

The end.


The scenario represents our state of mind:
1) Our attachment to the past (unable to let go) and being haunted by it as well (the tiger is hungry and wanting to eat us)... represented by the tiger above
2) Our fear of death: represented by the tiger below
3) Our perception of the time (we always say life is too short).... represented by the two mice: the white one - day, the black one - night
4) The mice nibbling away on the vine depicts our perception of never being fulfilled with the present and always trying to break away to find the happiness that never come
5) The vine represents our journey (life) through this realm called "world" which is destined to end

and finally there is another state of mind represented by the sweet strawberry: TRUE HAPPINESS

When we are able to taste the sweet strawberry that has always been within reach and right in front of us, we have found our TAO. Eckhard Tolle calls this state of mind: "being PRESENT". When we are PRESENT, there is no past, no future, and no perception of time... only NOW.

The famous Taoist sage, Chuang Tzu says that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.

Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

Friday, March 07, 2008

Essential basic understanding of qi gong practice

A lot of our problems with our health results from our emotional well being. I have been reading this very interesting book by Dr. Yang Jwing Ming entitled “The roots of Chinese Qi Gong” and I would like to share some basic theory of traditional Chinese qigong which I believe will be essential to all qi gong practitioners.

From the traditional qi gong point of view, the roots of our life are:
1) Jing (essence),
2) Qi (our life force), and
3) Shen (our spirit).
Together thay are called “San Ben” or three foundations or sometimes, “san yuan” or three origins.

There are also three important phrases in qi gong practice which we must understand:
1) "Lian qing hua qi” – It means to conserve, strengthen, and finally convert it (jing) to qi.
2) "Lian qi hua shen” – It means to lead qi to the head to strengthen our spirit, and finally
3) “Lian shen liao xing” – It means to strengthen our spirit so that it may control our emotional mind (xing).
We know that our health depends on our emotional well being and cancer is on the rise because of the stressful modern day living. We realize that the path of qi gong has helped us cope better with the demands of modern day living. We realize too that qi gong has given us better health and therefore better quality of life. Why is that so? It is because qi gong practice has helped us put our spirit (a mind that has found its centre and is focused) in control over our mind (a mind that is unstable and easily moved by everything that is happening around us).
The root of our shen is the kidney where our original essence (yuan jing or congenital qi from our parents) resides. Therefore for those of us who are emotionally disturbed by our fear, do more “zhuan yao shuan kua” which can strengthen your kidney and hence your essence (gu jing). Do more LCUPCD, 3CM, ZBE, “yang qi” which can not only gather/concentrate hunyuan qi to our lower dantian but also help our qi circulate up to our head (Not forgetting doing more THCMM of course) to nourish/strengthen our shen. Having the central meridian open is definitely a big plus because it leads qi directly to our shen.
When our shen is strong, our mind (the emotional one) will not be able to unseat our shen from the seat of control. Or if it does manage to move our strengthened shen will quickly find its centre again and we stay focused… unmoved by our irrational fear.
This reminds me of my favourite quote from 365 Tao:
POINT
Chinese character for the word "point": eye see one day ... such color.....Make the mindA single point

The key to meditation is to concentrate the mind into a single point. There are many methods for doing this, from singing, to listening to holy words, to contemplative procedures. But at the end result is the same: to focus our minds sharply.
A point has a definite position in space but neither size nor shape.A point marks an actual place in time, such as a point of departure.
A point is the very essence of something, as in the point of an idea.A point is a coordinate for navigation.
A point is the dominant center, as in the principal point of perspective.
A point determines our outlook, as in point of view.
Once the mind is made into a single point, it takes on the above attributes. In contrast, a mind that is not focused is dispersed over a wide area. Its thoughts are scattered, its energies at the mercy of a thousand influences and is easily disoriented. The result is confusion, ignorance, unhappiness, and helplessness. A mind that is clearly focused, however, receives all to say that its world revolves around it. It is no longer has to chase after all that appears before it.
point
365 Tao
Deng Ming-Dao