The Place Where Heaven and Earth Combine
The ocean. That place in the distance where heaven and earth converge, where heaven and earth unite in perfect beauty. The great still place where Eugene O'Neill could find joy in his heart and unification with God. I once hear someone say that the sea represents the unconscious for all of life on earth. This great vast watery mass filled with the hopes, dreams, fears, regrets and nightmares of our past, present and future. What else could it be? For the scientist may its nothing more than H2O. For the artist maybe its lines, shapes, colors. For the dancer it could be nothing but rhythms and movement. For the actor it could have a great audience – watching you – watch it. For the big oil corporation it might be a garbage can. For the dolphin it's home. For O'Neill it was a place where he belonged. For me, a Qigong man, it is a source of infinite healing Qi. A great well of wisdom just waiting to be tapped. It's that point in the distance, where the 'sky and sea sleep together' – that holds the attention. It raptures the will to the point where the Qigong man is given no other choice but to absorb its Qi. A Taoist and master alchemist – internally mixing the healing of both Yin and Yang in the universe. The place where the day turns into night, where Yang wanes into Yin, light into dark, action into quiescence, external into internal, sun into moon.
A Taoist Master Standing on the Edge of the Sea
Such is the natural rhythm of the universe as we count our days to our next great transition. What will it be? Where will he be? Who will be with him? What will be waiting? Will it be full of his unrealized unconscious fears and dreams? Or will it be as peaceful as it was for Eugene O'Neill? Whatever his great transition will yield, one thing is certain; nothing will keep him from learning to love himself in every way. Nothing will stop him from healing. No amount of salt water sadness will impede his ability from being a supporter of life and a guardian of peace. An imperfect conduit of heaven and earth – of Yin and Yang. The world could end and there he'll be, standing with his feet in the sand. His Mind in perfect calm and in receptive meditation. His attention deep inside. His heart open. His loins open. His throat open. His spirit surrounding him. And every cell absorbing that point in the distance. The point where his Mind is. The place where his body can receive a total and complete cellular healing experience from the wisdom of heaven and earth!
The Chinese ideogram “Tian” is composed of two characters. On the bottom is the character “Ren” meaning “Man” or “humanity.” This idea is expressed through the image of a man with both arms and legs outstretched. On the top of the character is a single line representing the sky or Heaven above and the vastness of space. Thus the character “Tian” is representative of the energetic firm covering Man, and can be often translated as God, Divine, Heaven, celestial, sky, and weather governance Man. (JAJ)
Some people when encountered with the word 'heaven' may immediately make some religious parallels. This is to be expected in our large Christian society. When the Taoists use the word they use it purely in terms of nature's elements. Everything above me that is good for me is considered heaven. The stars, planets, sun, moon, galaxies, and beyond. This is the material of heaven. Not a place where you go after you die if you have lived a moral life. Its not my job to stand in the way of anyone's belief structures, but it is in my interest to challenge my own. Change is then the natural outcome of challenged beliefs. Easier to stay rigid than it is to soften and flow with new input, even if it may be, as it often is, grounded in truth. Well then – maybe I'm not the center of the universe. Perhaps the intelligence of life systems around me, below me, and above me exude more truth because of their flexibility to the forces around them. How instructive it is to be and stand like a tree!
'Pull Heaven Down' is a phrase we often use in practice and was such a comprehensive phrase for me in my introduction to this esoteric art. I remember sitting there and following the instruction from my master, to lift up my arms and turn my palms up toward the sky. Elbows slightly bent and pointed away from the body. Shoulder blades relaxed. Feeling the earth below me. “Pull down heaven.” This is a training in Mind. It takes work to receive these flows of Qi from sources outside of you. Pull it down with your mind and receive the pure Yang of heaven Qi washing down, around, and through the very core of your body. Into every cell and all the way down to your toes and into the Earth. Whoa! Wow! And I'm hooked!
The Chinese ideogram “Di” is composed of two characters. On the left side is the ancient radical “Tu” meaning “Earth, soil, ground” and is expressed as the organic aspect of the Earth that produces all things. The top line represents the surface soil, and the layer of humus through which life emerges (a sprout extending out of the ground). The bottom line represents the subsoil, the rock. On the right side is the phonetic “Di.” Together, both characters (Tudi) can be translated as Earth, soil, land, place, and territory. (JAJ)
On the flip side. Everything below that is good for us is considered Earth Qi. The soil, the water, grass, plants, valleys, rivers, roots, minerals, nutrients. The substratum of earth. With feet planed firmly on the ground. Toes gripping and releasing like an eagle's talons. The Kidney 1 acupuncture point at the bottom of your feet open. And your Mind in perfect alignment with the dark Yin Qi of the Earth. Then 'pull Earth up.' Inhale through the nose and feel the Yin come up into your toes, feet, bones, blood and channels of the legs. All the way to the tip of your head and combine with the Yang of heaven. Allow Heaven and Earth to mix internally and then move in concert with the Tao!
Heaven and Earth – this is the foundation of all Qigong practice. You could most likely feel this right away, but the degree to which these minority energies and frequencies vibrate may not be easily accessible without the proper training in Mind and Body consciousnessness. You did not want it to be easy did you? If it were – you may have already heard of it. And if you could cultivate both Heaven and Earth at the same time, then maybe everything else would disappear, and all that would be left is that feeling and that colorful place on the horizon where the 'sky and sea sleep together.'