Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Turning the Light Around

by Karen Steinbrecher

Twenty-five hundred years ago, Lao Tzu, in China, wrote the “Tao Te Ching”.  For spiritual seekers, the Tao Te Ching is a manual on how to accomplish, within oneself, a higher level of spiritual cultivation.  Simply put, the “tao” is the way, walking the path, going with the flow of life.  Lao Tzu composed 82 verses, teachings, practices, that offer us a way to make our own path, find a personal road map on our own inner journey.  One aspect of my personal path is practicing QiGong, with flowing and healing movements, a tool for me to align my thoughts, heart and my physical body.  As the ground hardens and the air chills, QiGong practice helps me harmonize with the season of winter. In Taoist traditions, winter is the season when you are called to explore what lives below the surface, to pay attention to the internal workings of your intuition.Verse 52 of the “Tao Te Ching” is essentially about “turning the Light around”. A current translation reads, ”Seeing into darkness is clarity. Knowing how to yield is strength. Use your OWN LIGHT and return to the source of light. This is called practicing eternity….In the beginning was the Tao. All things issue from it; all things return to it.” Solala Towler created the following practice that resonates with “Turning the Light Around”:

Focus upon your breath, allowing your breath to become unforced and natural.  Sitting on a cushion or on the edge of a chair, imagine there is a thread coming from the top of your skull, up to the Heavens. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breathe slowly, deeply into your belly. Closing your eyes completely, or open just a little, allow your thoughts to slow down until you can keep one thought.  This means that, instead of letting the wild horse of thought run all over your consciousness, gently guide him onto one path and keep him there.  You only want to tame the horse, quieting your mind.  Turning your sight inward, focus upon your inner self, let go of your outer self.  Allow the “light” of your inward gaze to connect you with your original spirit.  Ever deepen your gaze and relaxation, noticing what arises in your experience.  Spending some time in this state, celebrate your light, feed your soul, your heart, your being.  When you are ready, opening your eyes, sit still for a few moments before reentering the outer world of “doing.” Take your time.  By practicing in this way, you may reach what Taoists call Living Midnight, a state of profound mental stillness; this is the quietude that allows the original, or celestial spirit to come forth.

Karen Steinbrecher leads Qi Gong classes at The Resiliency Center on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings. For more information, contact her at karensteinbrecher@msn.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment