Self-Healing and Wholeness
The lower abdomen or lower tan tien is where life begins and where Taoist meditation begins in the body. If you’ve never tried slow, deep, belly breathing, this is the place to start. The Taoists see the lower body and the organs there as connected to earth. The large intestine, liver, stomach, spleen, and urinary bladder, for instance, digest matter from the earth and produce excrement that returns to the heart.
The higher organs are seen to relate to the heavens. The heart, lungs, and brain process air from the atmosphere and tune to the stars in higher Taoist meditations. Even though they primarily reach and interact with heaven, the whole organism needs to integrate all parts of itself to heal and be whole. The spiritual body cannot grow without a strong supply of chi/energy and jing/regenerative body essence.
This jing/regenerative body essence is stored and originates from the kidneys, sexual organs, and the interaction with the earth in the lower tan tien. Iron shirt chi kung, tai chi chi kung, Taoist yoga, and even the Inner Smile meditation are profound exercises that help build strong energy in the lower centers of the body. The fundamental exercises seem simple, probably too simple for the ‘sophisticated’ spiritual practitioner, but they are at the very heart of Taoist healing and the first step on the way to being more ‘sophisticated.’
Human beings are part of nature and have animal instincts. AND, we have spiritual potential that can be cultivated with patience and practice. We can help our neighbor, we can practice good deeds, we even increase our vibration such that it ripples through our community healing those we don’t even interact with. OR, we can spend our lives arguing with strangers through a screen on a machine.