Fire in Nature and the Body
The fire element is abundant in the body. In organs, the heart, the small intestines (with all of its blood vessels), the pericardium (the sack around the heart), and the triple warmer that regulates heat and energy in the torso. All of these organs have a meridian on each side of the body. When those meridians are clear and the energy is flowing normally, the organs are healthy. The fire element has four meridians on each side, whereas the other four elements have two meridians each. The activity of the brain and nervous system is also described as fire energy by some Taoist teachers. So, there is a lot of fire energy in the human body.
In nature, the sun, the full moon, lava and volcanoes, forest fires, and the season of summer are all fire. Lightening during storms, the planet Mars, and meteor showers are more sources of fire energy in nature. We can learn from these natural sources and mimic their attributes with our personal fire elements. For instance, the sun shines evenly on everyone, Thus our heart is healthiest when it is free from judgement and ideas of separation. A volcano must release a little pressure now and then or it will blow its top. Lightening must find its way to the earth to ground the immense energy it holds.
Taoists teach meditation and movement exercises for building and managing the fire element. First, there is the heart sound (HAAAAA) combined with breathing heat out of the fire meridians of the arms, through the palms of the hands as we exhale ‘HAAAA’.’ Another method is using the triple warmer sound (HEEEEE) to move excess energy from head and heart down to warm the viral organs of the abdomen, as our hands guide the energy. Standing and moving exercises like Iron Shirt Chi Kung and Tai Chi help the body connect with the earth and transfer excess heat into the ground for release and healing. Finally, we can rest with our hands on our heart, smile, and say thank you.
Learn more: The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching: Transforming Your Lead Into Gold