Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip #334
The thermometer offers a good analogy for how chi affects the body. Let me explain.
When it is cold outside, the mercury (or whatever fills your thermometer) is compressed into the lower level of the glass tube. In the human body, the jing chi gathers in the lower dantien, kidneys, and Kua. The upper part is almost empty.
As the temperature (energy in the body or environment) rises, the mercury expands, and consequently rises in the tube. As it rises it excites everything in its path (the trusting channel). When it is about half way to the top, we can say that it affects the middle dantien, or heart center.
If the chi (or mercury) continues to be excited, it rises to the top, or upper dantien (our intellectual or spiritual center).
Put your thermometer in a pot and fill it with ice. Notice how the mercury stays on the bottom. Add heat, watch the ice melt and the mercury rises. Add more heat and the mercury will continue to rise. This is he same sequence as a consequence of qigong or tai chi practice. Your spirit rises.
Notice how animals and children raise the temperature and our spirits immediately. In the park, a father brings his young daughter most days, as there is a children’s play area next to our training field. Her name is Gina and she is about 3 or so, and we have grown to love her. She wears a blue ball cap covered with gold stars. The minute we see her approach from a short distance, we call out her name and wave. She breaks into a big smile and starts to wave franticly. The heat in our middle dantien is excited and brings as great joy.
There are also many people who walk their dogs in the park. There is one elderly guy who walks two terriers, one of which loves to howl and sing. I have taken to answering him back and we can carry on for quite some time. Unfortunately, the dog has recently passed away. I miss him already.
There is another favorite dog, a golden retirever, named Rainey. The minute he sees us, he rushes over to our group and greets each and every person, while wagging his tail a mile a minute. Always a big smile on his face.
There is a familiar expression – “our hearts melted”. You can certainly see how that fits in with our termometer anology. The chi reached our middle dantien and we feel the warmth of that area. We mostly call it love.
Just as humans have a certain length of life, our Tai Chi form also has a beginning, middle, and end. When life ends for a loved one, we feels sadness, yet when our Tai Chi form ends we feel calm, relaxed, and centered. Our form brings us pleasure (like a visit from Gina or Rainey) and a sense of the joy of life.