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- HOW TO PRACTICE
HOW TO PRACTICE
In times of accelerated change is essential to have a steady daily practice generating continuity and capacity to flow with changes.
The sequence that follows requires some experience with the basic practices in the I Ching Dao program.
There is a saying attributed to the great philosopher-scholar Shao Yong (1011-1077) that remains popular to this today:
“A year’s plan starts with spring.
A day’s plan starts with morning.
A life’s plan starts with diligence.”
-Get up early; do not stay in bed too long, the immune system needs dynamic metabolism generated by movement.
-Indian yogis established that the optimum time to practice in the morning is the period at least one hour before the sun rises. That period is named “Brahma muhurta,” “the period of Brahma (the Creator). This is the time when the Yin of the night is culminating, and Yang is born; the union of Yin and Yang generates Creative Energy. You miss the train if you get up with the sunrise or after.
-During “Brahma muhurta” the mind is at its most subtle, clear, and energized
-Two options as soon as you notice you are awakening:
1. Practicing in bed: Without opening your eyes, do a brief Foundation Sequence. Balance the nadis 3 times in each direction and do one or more of the mantras and color spheres at the points. Check how steady are the color spheres for an indication of clarity and stability of mind.
-When you finish the Foundation Sequence, still without opening the eyes, project ahead how you want your day to flow: what state of mind, emotional quality, in detail what emotions when contacting the people, you need to meet that day and level of vitality when ready to go to bed at the end of the day. All these factors will be done activating the corresponding feelings you want, not just the idea of the feelings, begin with the result.
-Another brief practice in bed can be Bone Breathing up from the feet and fingertips
2. The second option is to get out of bed as soon as you notice the sleeping period has come to an end.
-If you don’t feel like getting out of bed, do the fire mantra counting: 4, 3, 2, 1, GET UP!!!
-Difficulty getting out of bed can have many reasons; one of them being not having strong enough goals in life. If you were going on a long holiday, you would get out of bed instantly.
-As soon as you get out of bed do 3 Spinal Cord Breathings to energize the brain and then go and do your toilet.
First practice after the toilet
-The first is drinking warm to hot lemon water
-Facing east drink a glass of hot water with lemon juice (without sugar or any sweetener) taking small sips. If it is still dark or twilight, visualize the sun being drunk with each sip of the lemon water.
-In Japan, which has the highest longevity in the world, it is customary to drink hot to warm plain or lemon water first thing in the morning for energy and improved digestion. There is some evidence that warm lemon water can stimulate proper stomach acid and bile production.
-Lemon water is drunk first thing in the morning with an empty stomach.
-Drinking warm water first thing in the morning when you aren’t used or have a very delicate digestive system can cause a few minutes of nausea, so it might be a good idea to start slowly with a small amount of lemon water.
-While lemon water is one of the safest drinks you can take, the acids in lemon can eat away at your tooth enamel. To prevent this, after drinking, rinse your mouth with some plain water to make sure the acid from the lemon juice doesn't remain on the teeth.
-Preparing lemon water:
-Heat about half a liter of pure water until it is warm to hot but easy to drink.
-Squeeze the juice of half a lemon if the lemon is big or a full lemon if is small.
-Add the water to the lemon juice and drink it slowly in small sips.
-When all the lemon water has been drunk, rinse the mouth with water.
-Do not eat breakfast until you have urinated the water you have drunk.
-Drink lemon water 3-4 times per week.
-If you have a sensitive digestive system begin with a cup of water and very little lemon juice to see if any discomfort appears.
-If you want to overcome a sugar addiction, keep each sip of lemon water. in the mouth making the tongue well soaked in it. For a week avoid eating sugary things.
-Choose organic fresh lemons.
-When buying lemons, opt for ones that are fully yellow.
-If the fruit is still green, it isn’t fully ripe.
-Thinner-skinned lemons are juicier.
-Do not use lemons that are old, look dull, wrinkled or excessively hard.
-Storing lemons in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator keeps them fresh much longer than leaving them at room temperature.
-For boosting the power of the lemon water practice, you can add the Sun mantra OM SURYAYA NAMAHA as you take the sips. Feel the Sun going into you as you feel the warm water going down. The fire that heated the water came from the Sun. When done start your warmup sequence.
-The second choice if you do not drink lemon water is to start the warmup sequence with an empty stomach.
The warmup sequence in the morning:
1. In the morning warm up sequence the first priority is oxygenation as the brain is the number one consumer of oxygen.
- To stimulate the lung meridian, form a beak with your fingers and tap the lung points in the space below the clavicles where a sensitive point is found. Tap 50 times or more as you inhale deep through the nose.
- To oxygenate well do the Spinal Cord Breathing with the Lung Sound, paying attention to the pause interval between the inhale and exhale. The pause is an indicator of the level of oxygen in the blood. Deep breathing is done until the pause becomes long.
- Oxygenation counteracts acidity in the blood. Acidity is the ground for infections to develop.
2. Stimulate the lung meridian by swinging the stretched arms all the way to the back and when they swing forward tapping the shoulder on one side and then the other to stimulate the Triple Warmer meridian. You can do the Heart Sound as the arms swing to the back, to help clear congestion in the chest. Do this at least 9 times.
3. Continue by stretching one arm straight up as you inhale and exhaling with the Heart Sound. Without lowering the stretched arm, stretch the other and do the Heart Sound as you exhale.
- As you continue, keep the arms up to check how strong is the lung meridian. If the arms get tired quickly, the lungs are weak and you should from now on, give emphasis to making the lungs strong, otherwise respiratory problems may develop.
4. To increase grounding and activate the liver and kidneys, lower the arms to the sides and with the attention at the soles of the feet; do some shaking with the Liver Sound.
Shake for a while to increase metabolism, blood flow, stimulate the bone marrow, kidneys, liver and open the breath even more.
5. Continue with rocking, the Kidney Sound, and the attention at the feet. The tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger to harmonize the hemispheres of the brain
- While rocking check if the mind is steadily silent, that would signify that you are breathing through both nostrils, but your higher percentage of breathing is subtle breath through the central channel.
6. After rocking go back briefly to the Spinal Cord Breathing with the Lung Sound and checking the pause between inhale and exhale.
7. From the Spinal Cord Breathing pass into the circular breathing with the arms moving in a circle as you inhale through the nose and your attention comes up from the earth through the perineum, central channel and out of the crown to the aura.
- As your attention moves up the central channel, welcome the feeling of the mind of abundance coming from the earth, follow with welcoming the energy of change, then the feeling of everything is possible. You can give emphasis to any quality you need more.
- After some time reverse the process and bring the White Light with “A” through the crown and into each cell. Transform every cell into the image of Original Mind you are using.
- After the White Light with “A” follow with the Deep Blue and the feeling of being fully aligned with your highest purpose in life and the state of perfection of health.
8. Continue with the Embracing the Tree position and the circulation of the Microcosmic Orbit outside the body at least 20 times, 20 in the torso and 20 in the Big Orbit. Do it with “A” mantra and White Light.
- At the end place both hands over the navel, return to the cauldron and stay there strengthening the one-pointed mind. Check how stable is your focus. If unstable, do the previous steps much longer and the seated Foundation Sequence to make the mind clearer and steadier.
The morning sequence outlined is just one choice out of infinite combinations you can do with the stretching exercises.
Sitting practice in the morning:
- Clear and sharpen the mind with the Foundation Sequence in its different length:
- With a single mantra for each of the corresponding points and color spheres,
- Adding AUM to each of the individual mantras (AUM LAM + Akash space, AUM VAM, etc.).
- Adding SO HAM (AUM LAM SO HAM + Akash space).
- 50 mantras in the sequence 4 LAM, 6 VAM, 10 RAM, 12 IYAM, 16 HAM, 2 AUM or more.
- There is the great option of finishing one 50 long mantra (AUM LAM SO HAM) sequence and with that Akash, doing a second 50 mantras or even a third sequence.
- The other options for a morning seated practice can be: healing the family, reunion of Yin and Yang organs, Harmonizing the Five Elements, Sexual Energy Recycling, Bone Breathing, etc.
- Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day; by being active afterwards, metabolism is higher.
- To make breakfast the most nutritious meal of the day, it should have whole grain cereals (quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, red or black rice or teff) cooked slowly like rice. You can add seaweeds such as a few threads of arame or quick-cooking wakame for mineralization, or a few raw almonds.
- Second choice would be once a week flaked cereals such as oats, rye, or granola. Flaked cereals oxidize quickly after pressing and lack the reproductive energy of whole grains. Unless you have very strong digestive system stay away from muesli mixes which have raw oat flakes and too many dry fruits and nuts. The mix of fruits with carbohydrates generates intestinal fermentation which can give gas, bloating or takes long to digest.
- Boxed cereals are highly processed, loaded with sweeteners, usually sugar, expensive and low in the nutritional scale in comparison to whole grain cereals. Don’t rely on boxed cereals as your main cereal for you or your children.
- Don’t expect your immune system to be strong with just a cup of coffee and a butter toast in the morning. The immune system is the army defending the country. No army can sustain battle for long with a butter toast and a cup of coffee.
- Whatever you eat for breakfast, check it doesn’t make you full, bloated, gives gas, takes long to digest, or makes you hungry an hour after.
- Refrain from eating in between the main meals. One of the causes of the obesity epidemics is insulin resistance from eating often, usually sugary things or too many carbohydrates.
- Try to give at least 6 hours between meals during the day and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day.
-Lunch should be the second most important meal of the day. There are still many hours ahead of physical activity accelerating metabolism and absorption.
-After lunch do the warmup sequence beginning with the Spinal Cord Breathing to assist digestion.
-With the afternoon warm up sequence add the kicks after the Spinal Cord breathing. Do 10 kicks to the front, 10 to the side at a 45 degrees angle, 10 to the side at 90 degrees angle from the front, 10 to the back and 10 to the opposite side to open the sacrum. Do the same on the other leg, then go back to the first leg and begin a second set with both legs. This will add to a 100 kicks and be equivalent to taking a short walk.
-For the elderly, if lacking balance, they stand at the door frame and hold the sides. Instead of 10 kicks they can do 5 or 3 and gradually build up.
-The afternoon warm up gives priority to the digestive system and its meridians coming from the feet. After the kicks do 10 rotations of the ankles to one side and 10 in reverse. Stretching the tendons this way will help the liver release some tension. You can do the rotations with the Liver Sound and after completing both legs, repeating a second time.
-After the ankle rotations do the hip rotation, 10-20 in one direction then the opposite.
-As you finish the second direction move the rotations to the perineum to begin to spiral at the perineum, sexual organs, and central channel with the LAM mantra.
-As you wrap the spirals around the central channel, go through the mantra sequence VAM, RAM, IYAM, HAM, AUM, AKASH. Reverse when you go above the crown and repeat the mantras coming down. This is to clear fear around the central channel and maintain integrity.
-You can continue with the arms stretched up, shaking, rocking, Kidney Breathing and Embracing the Tree posture with 60 Orbits ending with one pointed mind at the cauldron.
Sunset is the complement of Brahma Muhurta. Is the time when Yang gives way to ascending Yin from the earth.
-At least do some Spinal Cord Breathing during this transition. Even better would be doing mantras or the Foundation Sequence.
-If you eat dinner do not make it the most important meal of the day. Dinner should be very light and easy to digest. Generally, one is less physically active in the later part of the day with metabolism slower.
-The liver recharges for the next day between 1 and 3 am. A heavy dinner with too much oil or fats will burden the liver, reduce clarity of mind, interfere with recognition and the focus of the intention through the mid eyebrow.
-A long digestion can induce much dreaming and restless sleep. If the food you ate and the emotions of the day have not been processed, is possible to overheat the liver and wake up around 2 am, unable to fall asleep again until 5 am.
-If for family reasons you cannot make dinner light, then chew very well, accompanying the meal with a warm soup. Avoid anything cold as that would force the digestive system to work harder. Cold foods or drinks weaken the immune system.
-After dinner do again the Spinal Cord breathing to assist digestion.
-Evening time and television watching, is associated with munching chips or eating sweets. Is rare the person who eats a bowl of steaming buckwheat watching TV in the evening. Negative ego gains in strength as the sun goes down and the evening progresses. Like the I Ching says, “abide by what endures and is long lasting.” Don’t eat something you will regret later or feel guilty. When one goes down the road of negative action, is very hard to stop, better not to go into the pit. If you are a muncher, determine beforehand what to munch in the evening and refrain from having in the house what you don’t want to eat. Those things that you know are no good for your health are not “treats” or “rewards,” they are lapses in clarity and purpose.
-To manage Yin and Yang optimally, go to bed by 11 pm latest. The Six Healing Sounds are excellent before getting into bed.
-Once you finish the Triple Warmer Sound in bed, briefly recapitulate your day from beginning to end, checking if there is anything you could have done better as well as the moments when you did well. What you can do better, make the decisions to do it from tomorrow on and what you did well, make the decision to do more, better and in creative ways.
-If you are familiar with the dream practices go into the totality of the mind ready for adventure. If you don’t know the dream practices, after recapitulating the day, generate the feelings of waking up the next morning fully refreshed at Brahma Muhurta.
-Open a path of transcendence by hearing one big AUM rising from the earth through the central channel and dissolving the ego personality in the image and experience of Original Mind.
“The superior person of devoted character heaps up small things, in order to achieve something high and great” The Image in Hexagram 46 “Pushing Upward”.
ASSISTING OTHERS WITH YOUR GROUNDING AND EXPERIENCE
“The superior person encourages the people at their work, and exhorts them to help one another”
The Image in Hexagram 48 “The Well”
-The great majority of people lacking the powerful tools of transformation that you have, need your assistance. Parallel to your personal practice, establish a program for assisting others. It can be as simple as wishing some people well, or perceiving somebody going through a difficult period, in its essence with the color spheres and mantras at each of the points of the Orbit.
-Assistance is needed by the elderly living alone, single parents and families with difficulty surviving. Your help can be as simple as calling every day to find out how they are doing and if they need anything. Caring for others helps lessen self-centering and self-obsession. Sometimes one’s problems become minor in relation to the problems others are facing. In addition, assisting others helps restore faith in human nature and society by knowing that there are good people out there with open hearts and capable of going beyond themselves.
I Ching Dao
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