THE BRANCHES OF THE TREE OF PRACTICE
OPENING THE POTENTIAL OF TRANSFORMATION
The branches of a tree depend on the nourishment provided by the roots and the integrity provided by the trunk of the tree. The roots can provide nourishment but if the trunk is weak, and bends or breaks, the tree dies.
The practices in the branches depend on the mental clarity and integrity developed with the trunk. If the mind is not clear, spacious, and stable, the practices in the branches will be limited from the outset. The quality of a massage depends on the mental and emotional state of the masseuse. If negative emotions have not been transformed, recycling sexual energy will multiply and intensify negative qualities. Without healing the mental and emotional factors affecting health, the qigong for healing the bones is inefficient. The flow in Tai Chi movements depends on the mental and emotional clarity of the practitioner. Without a solid foundation purifying the mind and transforming negative emotions, one is unable to open the full potential of the practices in the branches of the tree. All energy techniques have a 100% potential of transformation; being capable of opening such potential depends on the mental and emotional state we bring to the practices.
SEXUALITY 1: CONSERVING AND RECYCLING THE JING ESSENCE
The Jing Essence is like the Olympic flame that is passed from generation to generation. The Jing Essence inherited from the family, determines the level of vitality, determines the level of adaptability of the immune system, and determines evolutionary capacity and longevity. Every function in the organism requires a small amount of inherited Jing Essence; when the Jing Essence is exhausted the organism dies.
The inherited Jing Essence has two directions of flow: if it descends it can create another human being or be lost with the ejaculation or menstruation. With the Tao practices, one gives the Jing Essence an ascending flow which transforms it into pure vitality Qi, spiritual potential Shen and can lead us to experience our true nature of Original Mind. The practices in Sexuality 1 train in conserving, recycling, and giving an ascending direction to inherited Jing Essence. The potency of these practices depends on which cauldron the practitioner is operating from. If one operates from the first cauldron with ego at the center of the personality, the practices enhance selfishness and are limited to seeking pleasure. If operating from the second cauldron of the heart, the practices can multiply the capacity for harmonious love relations and going beyond the mind of separation.
Healing the relation with the family in Level 2 is healing the relation with the Jing Essence received from the ancestors.
SEXUALITY 2: FEMININE SEXUALITY: THE WOMEN'S TREE OF PRACTICE
From birth women are primarily influenced by the ascending energy of transformation coming from the earth. This means that women have a great spiritual advantage over men in giving an ascending direction to Jing Essence. Because of various cultural, social, and religious upbringing, many women do not live their femininity nor the evolutionary advantages they are born with. Adopting the masculine model of descending energy generates confusion and unhappiness in addition to many health problems.
The health issues affecting women require a way of practicing different from men. Men have to control descending energy, so the practices are globally centered on controlling sexuality and Jing Essence loss through ejaculation. Women, having a natural ascending flow and being born at the second cauldron of the heart, need emphasize in their practice emotional control. It is a great error to assume that self-development energy practices are identical for men and women.
The feminine tree of practice has fundamental variations from the masculine tree. The practices in the feminine tree of practices are focused on the health and evolutionary challenges faced by contemporary women.
SEXUALITY 3: MASCULINE SEXUALITY: THE MEN'S TREE OF PRACTICE
The male is born with a predominant descending energy flow which conditions his personality around sexuality. The man who enters the path of self-development, has to learn to conserve inherited Jing Essence by controlling his sexuality. Men have to learn to fully experience and express their emotions as well as their capacity to feel. The male, by being born at the first cauldron, has to make an effort re-orienting himself from seeking pleasure to personality development.
For cultural and social reasons, the masculine model has become the reference against which women are measured. In addition, the cultural masculine model is undeveloped, rough, rude, unaffected by feelings or emotions and can never show any signs of weakness. Boys are taught that, “men don’t cry” and are always courageous. The undeveloped masculine model is polarized, insecure, fragile and in need of proving its masculinity with aggression and discrimination against the weak.
Men also have a tree of practices addressing the numerous needs and health problems of contemporary men. The practices in the women’s and men’s tree of practice are added to those in the primary tree of practices.
SEXUALITY 4: SEXUALITY AND HARMONIOUS RELATIONS
In industrially developed countries, three out of four marriages end in divorce within the first six years. The probability of divorce is highest in marriages of twenty years or more. The percentage of children growing up with a single parent due to separation is not known.
In modern educational systems, young people study all sorts of topics considered important for making a living, but curiously, how to develop healthy love and lasting family relations is not one of them. It is assumed that everyone is born with the knowledge, ability, and capacity to relate, love and create lasting family relations. The sad truth is that when puberty and the hormonal changes that awaken sexuality begin, adolescents and parents have no idea how to properly channel sexual energy. Since in western culture sexuality is considered something dirty, often at home nobody talks openly about it. Many adolescents “learn” about sex through the distorted sexuality of pornography. Later when a lasting love relation is sought, the majority of people have no idea how to create the right conditions for it to happen. Worse still when relations end, most people have no idea of the emotional and energetic links that have to be dissolved through special practices. Often a new relationship is sought without knowing that the links with the previous relation are still intact and interfering.
In addition to reproduction, the purpose of love relationships is healing the conflicts that our parents and ancestors were not able to resolve. The conflicts manifesting in intimate relations have a long history and are seeking resolution. The ultimate purpose of love relationships is growth and evolution.
SEXUALITY 5: SEXUALITY AND HEALTH ISSUES
Much is spoken in self-development programs about spiritual sexuality or Tantra, and very little about the numerous health issues around sexuality. The two areas of the body where women and men experience the greater part of health problems are, the area of the breasts and the sexual organs.
The heart point and the sexual palace points are like the two sides of a coin: that which affects the heart affects the sexual organs and vice versa. Illness doesn’t begin when the symptom appear, illness begins at the subtle level of the mind with the decisions one makes and the emotions one experiences. All emotions affect the heart and by extension the sexual organs. It is estimated that two thirds of all women in the world have been sexually molested. This implies that there are an exorbitant number of men hurting women. There is no sacred spirituality without liberating the wounds from the past. There are no harmonious relations if the limiting factors preventing intimacy are not liberated.
STRUCTURAL ALIGNMENT 2:
THE SIX QIGONG POSTURES
The structural alignment begun in Level 1 with the Embracing the Tree posture, is enlarged, and deepened with five other postures. The connective tissue, a network of micro-meridians below the skin wraps each organ, muscle, and bone and is maintained in good circulation through the Six Qigong Postures. The connective tissue not only circulates energy, but it also circulates emotions and consciousness through the nadi network.
The Six Qigong Postures strengthen the connection with the earth and its power of transformation. Practicing these postures complements and balances the subtle internal work with the emotions and the mind.
BONE MARROW QI GONG: REGENERATION OF THE BONES AND HEALING THE FAMILY
The bones are the most solid part of the physical body. Like all solids, bones have a crystalline structure that absorbs and transmits the energies of heaven and earth. In their function, the bones are the physical equivalent of the central channel of the individual mind. Bone health is indispensable for our health, development, and evolution.
The bones, like all solids, are part of earth energy. The conscious decision to be here on earth is essential for bone health. When rejection of life has taken place, even for an instant, the integrity of the bones and our level of vitality are affected. Every family in the world has a percentage of rejecting life from accumulated decisions of abortion, addiction, self-rejection, and suicide.
Bone mass deterioration is not a cause; it is a symptom of decisions taken in the history of the family structure. Every individual has the power to heal the root causes affecting their family’s health and wellbeing, but to be strongly motivated to do it, one has to experience the problem from within.
The regeneration of the bone marrow is one of the most extraordinary energy techniques in the vast repertoire of Tao practices. It is a practice which can save lives and, beginning with one’s family, further the capacity to make the world a better place.
NEI GONG FOR MEMORY
In the physical dimension every organism, no matter how well it is taken care of, in time degenerates, weakens and dies. As the inherited Jing Essence diminishes all organic functions weaken and become less efficient.
Memory loss is not only a brain phenomenon, everything that manifests physically begins with thoughts and decisions made at the subtle level. The mind is the most powerful instrument of Creation. The decisions we make are the factors which most radically alter our lives. The decision of not wanting to know and forget painful experiences in infancy or other moments in life, is a decision to become unconscious and negate the purpose of life. In every family the world over, there is a percentage of accumulated decisions as well as certain secrets to hide, forget and remain unconscious about.
The inherited Jing Essence is treasured by the kidneys, which also administer short-term memory. It is sometimes assumed that memory loss is a problem of the elderly. Recent studies show that the symptoms of memory loss can begin thirty years before they become evident. The accelerated burning of inherited Jing Essence weakens all functions including memory. Numerous environmental factors and unhealthy lifestyle, accelerate the loss of Jing Essence and memory.
From the perspective of self-development practices, memory loss begins the instant we forget the purpose of life, why we are here and who we truly are. To all of this are added the accumulated decisions in the family history of not wanting to know. The path of fulfilling destiny is a path of remembering who we truly are.
STRUCTURAL ALIGNMENT 3:
TAI CHI LEVEL 1: THE THIRTEEN MOVEMENTS
The Six Postures of Qigong are static postures through which we can learn numerous details about aligning and tuning into the energies of heaven and earth. Once there is increased consciousness with the static postures, one puts the structure in motion with Tai Chi movements.
Tai Chi is moving with the alignment, integrity and connection attained through the static postures. The central channel of the individual mind is moved maintaining clarity, calm and 100% orientation in the direction one wishes to go. Tai Chi empowers intention in conjunction with the direction one is going in life.
The thirteen movements in Tai Chi include all the factors needed to develop integrity, flow, and clarity of purpose. The Creative Energy generated through good alignment, when put in motion, opens the possibility of doing things in life with flow, continuity, and stability. Good Tai Chi is a state of consciousness.
STRUCTURAL ALIGNMENT 4:
TAI CHI NIVEL 2: REFINING THE THIRTEEN MOVEMENTS
Being fully conscious of how one moves maintaining alignment between heaven and earth, is a process of constant adaptation, presence, and detailed investigation. Refining the Thirteen Movements is a life-time project of deepening the knowledge of the physical structure and how to move it with Creative Energy. Refining the Tai Chi movements goes beyond the practice itself as the physical body is the material aspect of the mind. Perfecting the movements has a profound therapeutic effect on the mind, emotions, and personality.
ENERGY INTEGRITY 1:
CLEARING PSYCHIC INTERFERENCE
In the Universe the physical dimension is one among the many dimensions of being. In the physical dimension we operate through a physical body, the beings in the subtle dimensions don’t need a physical body they; operate as pure consciousness. Every physical body has several subtle layers: there is an energy layer from which it receives energy to stay alive, an emotional layer protecting the physical body, a mental layer accumulating information which allows it to make decisions, a causal layer where the factors in process of manifesting are stored, etc. The death of the physical body is not the end of everything; there wouldn’t be continuity of consciousness from one life to another without previous cause.
Every day at the moment of falling asleep the central channel’s frequency increases in order to project the consciousness beyond the physical body. The same takes place at the moment of dying, with the difference that the central channel dissolves along with the energy layer which has kept it alive. For reasons of attachment or emotional load, some consciousnesses remain attached to the lower astral dimension next to the physical plane in the experience of dying. These are the spirits, ghosts, or souls capable of interfering with people in the physical dimension.
To keep the physical body alive, we need inherited Jing Essence; a spirit also needs energy to operate in the lower astral next to the physical plane. The easiest source of energy are children with an abundance of Jing Essence and adolescents in puberty brimming with sexual energy.
In all the medical practices of traditional cultures around the world, the subtle dimension and its entities have been taken into account as well as the psychic interferences they can generate. In modern medicine psychic interference has been relegated to the psychiatrists and psychologists, which often have no clue of the cause behind the problems affecting a patient.
Practicing with energy is practicing with the subtle dimensions. The practitioner on the path fulfilling destiny, has to include the subtle dimensions and the beings operating in them. We are all passing through the physical dimension in route to eternal subtle dimensions.
ENERGY INTEGRITY 2:
ENERGY INTEGRITY FOR HEALING PROFESSIONALS
At the subtle level human interactions take place through the points in the Microcosmic Orbit. Relationships between people are based on energy and consciousness. A receptionist contacting numerous people each day, even if it is briefly answering a question, connects with the energy system of each person with whom she comes in contact. A healer or medical professional who comes in contact with numerous patients in different states of health and vitality is affected by the states of mind of each of these individuals. A good healer is so not only by his professional ability, but also because of his capacity to maintain energy integrity and vibrate the energy points on those treated. The fatigue experienced by medical professionals is partly due to regular contact with those who suffer and have low energy levels. In physics it is known that energy always seeks to establish balance by flowing from a high source to a low one.
If professionals hope to remain healthy and efficient, even when in contact with those of low vitality and in emotionally agitated states, they must practice intense energy maintenance practices otherwise they will fatigue and start burning inherited Jing Essence.
Generating benefits in the world and alleviating pain and suffering is not an option in life, it is a necessity in the path toward fulfilling destiny. The practitioner not only generates benefit for the world but more importantly, inspires others to do the same.
ENERGY INTEGRITY 3:
PROBLEMS WITH MASTERS, GURUS AND SPIRITUAL GUIDES
The hidden face of the path of self-development is centered on the teacher-student relation. All cultures with a long tradition of personal development have established clearly defined rules and regulations in the relationship between teacher and student. The rules apply to the teacher as well as the student. Specific social protocols have been established for contacting spiritual leaders in every culture. Hexagram 4 in the I Ching, at the start of the path, focuses on the teacher-student relation. The relation between teacher and student is the most difficult and complex relation there is in life, far more complex and difficult than a marriage relation. From the outset there exists an unequal relationship in which the student experiences a monumental amount of stress and pressure to change traits of his personality and character. Many are the western practitioners lacking understanding that a love marriage or a relation with a spiritual teacher is based on opening the unconscious and experiencing its contents in order to grow and evolve.
The practitioner in the western world begins with the disadvantage of assuming that a relation with a spiritual teacher is a friendly relation no different from any other. When the unconscious factors begin to surface, a chain of accusations, criticism, rejection of the spiritual path as false, and even legal procedures against teachers can take place. It is often unknown that everything that happens in the relation teacher-student is part of the growth program. A good teacher needs good students and good students need a good teacher. The relation teacher-student is one of mutual growth. There is the added problem in the west of mentally and emotionally unbalanced personalities who appoint themselves as illuminated spiritual guides. It is often assumed that such person is a “false teacher.” Anyone who takes on the responsibility of teaching always teaches something: what to do or what not to do. It is often forgotten that students are responsible for their own decisions.
Developing discernment, not fooling oneself and perceiving beyond appearances, is an integral part for opening the second and third cauldron. The relation teacher-student is potentially the most dangerous relation there is.
HOW TO HEAL 1:
BASIC SEQUENCE FOR HEALING THE CAUSES OF IMBALANCES
As practitioners liberate resistance to change, accumulate experience and develop the capacity to generate benefits for the world, the Inner Guide will present situations in which everything learned has to be put to use. Practicing is totally different from structuring a healing sequence for oneself or other people.
To structure a healing program and knowing in which order to establish the sequence of practices, one needs to have investigated the purpose of each practice one has learned. The practitioner needs to have a very clear understanding concerning the capabilities of each practice, what are its limitations and what conditions are needed to carry it out. Practicing something is not enough, one needs to research the nature and limitations of the practice. Moreover, to inspire others to heal, one needs to have previous experience in successfully healing something. Inspiring others is a transmission of the fire of experience, not only the passing of empty information.
The Basic Sequence for Healing consists of thirty essential steps for healing the causes, not just the symptoms of imbalances. The sequence applies to illness as well as emotional conflicts, divorce, crisis, or disasters.
HOW TO HEAL 2:
ABDOMINAL MASSAGE CHI NEI TSANG
The abdomen is the crossroad of the physical body. The abdomen is the area where the majority of the vital organs can be directly massaged. The Chi Nei Tsang massage helps us work directly on the organs and the emotions manifesting through them. This massage is another way of working with the emotions. Since the abdomen is easily accessible, Chi Nei Tsang can be practiced as a self-massage for health maintenance or as a complement to a healing program. When given to others, the massage is taught so the person can take responsibility for its own health and wellbeing, instead of having to depend exclusively on others. All the practices in the I Ching Dao program are for generating freedom instead of dependency.
Since the abdomen is easily accessible, Chi Nei Tsang can be practiced as a self-massage for health maintenance or as a complement to a healing program. When given to others, the massage is taught so the person can take responsibility for its own health and wellbeing, instead of having to depend exclusively on others. All the practices in the I Ching Dao program are for generating freedom instead of dependency.
HOW TO HEAL 3:
HEALING HANDS: THE SCIENCE OF MUDRAS
The activity of one’s hands occupies one of the largest areas in the brain. This means that any exercise done with the hands has a direct influence on the nervous system. Each finger is connected with one of the five elements of consciousness in the points of the Microcosmic Orbit.
The Science of Mudras teaches different ways of influencing the elements of consciousness through gestures or as complements to other internal practices. When giving a massage, it is possible to influence the elements of consciousness of the receiver by using different finger combinations and the mantras of each element.
Since they have a direct effect on the brain, mudras are perfect for health, good memory, coordination, and balance. The practitioner furthers the transformation processes using mantras, mudras, and energy circulation.
HOW TO HEAL 4:
HEALING WITH LIGHT 1: HEALING WITH THE CIRCUMPOLAR STARS
The celestial dimension is the dimension of Light. Life on earth is made possible thanks to celestial Light.
The master glands in the crystal room in the cranium, work with Light regulating our level of vitality in accordance with our level of consciousness.
The practices with stars have several objectives, one of them is raising the vibratory potential of the master glands and with them the third cauldron of consciousness. Another important objective is the empowering the five elements of consciousness with the Light of the Big Dipper and developing the interdimensional portal located among them. Establishing the internal stars and linking them with the external stars is another important practice in the Daoist system. Contemplating the vastness of infinite space is another means of experiencing Original Mind. In this era, the central channel of the earth and all beings in harmony with the earth are empowered by the Pole Star. Establishing the inner Pole Star is a quick way of experiencing the deep impartial mind as a prelude to the experience of Original Mind.
The stellar practices make possible the ancient adage, “bring Heaven to Earth to raise the Earth to Heaven” and “as above so below.”
PRINCIPLES OF HEALTHY NUTRITION
We have four basic sources of energy: the inherited Jing Essence, the air we breathe, the energy of Heaven and Earth and the acquired Jing Essence through the food we eat.
Since massive industrialization, human nutrition has become a source of health problems. Through indiscriminate use of insecticides, genetically modified seeds and industrial waste released in rivers and the air, an estimated 30% of insects essential for food production have vanished. Food intolerance and allergies have reached epidemic proportions. Some 100,000 new chemical substances have been introduced in the environment since the second half of the twentieth century. The effect on human, plant, and animal health when these substances combine is unknown.
Hexagram 27 in the I Ching teaches that nutrition encompasses not only physical food, but also everything we mentally consume as entertainment, ideas, values, and ways of behaving. The practitioner on the path of expanding consciousness has to invest great effort discerning everything it puts into the body.
FENG SHUI AND HEALING THE ENVIRONMENT
Feng Shui is not limited to the direction the house entrance is facing or if there is a river to the south and mountains to the north. Assuming that our health, wellbeing, and development depends exclusively on external factors, is to assume that we can be happy without having to transform negative emotions, without having to heal our relationship with our parents, or change the way we relate to ourselves and others.
The best Feng Shui is a clear mind, spacious, oriented in life and compassionate toward all life forms. With such a mind any place we are is good feng shui.
All experiences take place in the mind: happiness or suffering, dreams or waking reality take place in the mind. The I Ching teaches in hexagram 9 that our inner condition affects the environment we live in. Feng Shui is oriented at generating the best mental conditions for influencing the physical space in which we live.
Feng Shui is not only taking from the earth, one learns ways to heal places of conflict on the earth by establishing central channels and empowering altruistic intentions. Planting seeds of good feelings is the best Feng Shui for planet earth. Everything we do becomes part of the history of a place, the student of Feng Shui leaves the places through which it has passed better than when he arrived. Feng Shui is being at peace with the earth.
THE SACRED ARTS
In all the great spiritual traditions for self-development, there are branches in which the splendor of the practices is transmitted through the sacred arts. Notice that our museums are primarily filled with sacred arts.
The sacred arts as painting, sculpture, manuscripts, or architecture, are means of transmitting the essence of the practices. The sacred arts are not only aesthetic or superficial; the motivation behind them, is that the person who comes in contact with the sacred art, instantaneously receives a full transmission of the essence of what is represented. A painting or sculpture of a deity is not only colors and forms, to qualify as sacred art, the object has to radiate the state of consciousness of the deity. Those who come into contact with a work of sacred art even without prior knowledge of it, in the instant before thinking activates, have a direct experience of the consciousness of what is represented. The sacred arts are based on sacred geometry and harmonious proportions such as mandalas and yantras, which re-structure and center the mental space of the observer.
The sacred arts are part of the internal practices combining motivation, intention, presence, and the concentration they require to create. The transmission of experience is an altruistic action generating benefit in the world.
HOW TO PRACTICE LEVEL 2 AND 3
Learning the energy techniques and how to practice them are two separate things. Knowing how to do a practice and opening its 100% potential are two different things. Different is also practicing and knowing how to apply the practices to the situations encountered in life. Totally different is obtaining great results with the practices and being unconditionally grateful to the lineage of teachers and practitioners transmitting the teachings.
Energy techniques do not function mechanically with equal results for everyone who practices them; results depend on the state of mind of the person who does them. How to practice is the result of accumulated effort and investigation. How to practice depends on developing the unstoppable practitioner’s mind, instead of remaining stuck in the mind that gives up, complains, or does things only when it feels like.
The levels 2 and 3 bring about a radical transformation of the personality and the way one lives and relates to others. Along the way the practitioner develops a vast array of powerful tools to alleviate pain and suffering, bring benefit to the world and inspire others to go beyond their limitations.