Jing Chi Shen

This is not a repetition of what is written elsewhere.  Check out the article on Chi.

This is about how to develop Chi.

When we simply refer to the Dan Tien we generally mean the lower (or Xia) Dan Tien.  It is the centre for physical Chi or Jing, the animal energy that drives our physical force.  There are two other Dan Tiens, the middle (or Zhong) Dan Tien situated at the level of the heart and the upper (or Shang) Dan Tien, in the middle of the forehead.  The upper Dan Tien is the centre for Shen energy, a refined version of Chi that could be thought of as increasing our awareness.  In struggling for an easy way to picture their relationship of these three types of Chi, the best I can offer is for you to notice how sexual attraction can appear to energise you and make you feel joyful.  At a more purified level, though on a continuum, love for another can make you feel more spiritual, somehow connected to a greater reality, as if some profound idea were almost in reach, though you can’t quite give it a name.  

I want to consider how to encourage, how to enable, an increase in the middle Dan Tien.  This will of course have an impact the other two.

Skip!  Or if not, at least picture yourself skipping.  Notice that you can’t help but smile to yourself.  Physical movement of all sorts affects our mood, or our energy.  At the obvious extreme, if we do vigorous exercise, the hormonal effect will change the way we feel, hence it is the first thing on the list of treatments for depression.  Putting your head back and taking a deep breath will make you feel better than putting you head down and breathing shallow.  Simply put, our body is connected to our mind through our chemical processes: hormones, endorphins, peptides, insulin, even if you don’t fully understand the bio-chemistry, we are all familiar with the concept.  I could tell a story now about thought patterns, attitudes, tension, stress, hypertension, cortisol, noradrenalin, insulin, glucosamine.  A story of a vicious circle of thinking affecting the physiology and that in tern, via mood inducing chemicals, affecting the thinking.etc.  But I won’t, (well I will, but from another angle)

Chi Kung is best translated ‘working with energy.’

To allow the free flow of energy through you, you must be predominately relaxed.  When the body is tense, it is easier to relax it by moving gently than by keeping still.  I learned this when, as a child, a nurse taught me to lessen the pain of injections in the thigh, by wiggling my toes to help relax the leg.  When we move smoothly, slowly and with gentle controlled breath, it forces our bodies to relax.  When those movements are complex, asymmetrical movements, it requires the focus of our minds onto something that cannot realistically cause us worry or concern.  Such complex movements requires the fresh connection of the mind and body, bringing the two back into harmony.  It is a way of interrupting the vicious circle I mentioned earlier.

Being in the moment.

Focussing on the past will cause us to dwell on that which we cannot change; this can be depressing.  Focussing on the future will cause us to dwell on that which is unknown; this can make us anxious.  Either of these can produce stress in our minds that lead to tensions in our bodies, that inhibit the flow of energy.  Stop and smell the roses.  Notice the detail of everything and learn to see the beauty of each moment.  If the moment is so full of hurt externally, then create for yourself the details of a moment that you can relish, an internal environment that is too full to allow the external to interrupt it.  However for most of us, most of the time, each moment contains enough wonder to need no such internal distraction.

Thought patterns and attitude are habit forming.  What we continuously do, is what we become.  You are the current result of the way you have chosen to react to all of your past.  (notice I do say, “what has happened to you”)  Choose how you wish to be and become it.  Think positively in the moment and move with purpose, conscious that the body and mind are one system.  Skip!

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