Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery Chi Kung
(also known as Macrocosmic Cyclic Guided Imagery Chi Kung)
This is a form of mindfulness meditation guided imagery/visualization chi kung.
Herein, this guided imagery will be set forth for a standing position, but it can also be done in a sitting position – sitting on a chair/stool, or in a lotus sitting posture.
This ancillary preparatory exercise is commonly utilized as a warm-up modality to prepare one for the more complicated guided imagery exercises, in this case Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery: The name of this ancillary exercise is titled as a question – How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy? That said, it can also be utilized as a guided imagery unto itself.
Stand with one’s feet almost together (called a ‘humble stance’), and bend one’s knees comfortably. Put one’s tongue against the roof of one’s mouth (connecting the governing and central vessels – congruent with acupuncture theory). Relax one’s face, shoulders, hands, and feet – it’s said, “if they’re relaxed, you’re relaxed.”
Realize that relaxation is a true skill – there is always room for improvement. Realize, we ALWAYS have some stress, no matter how relaxed we are. Be so relaxed that one is barely standing – in what we coin as a Swaying Willow demeanor. Gently roll the spine above the waist, forward and backward. This demeanor is much like a willow tree swaying in a gentle wind. Breathe in, all the way forward and backward, and breathe out in between. Constantly adjust one’s vision so that one is looking just slightly above straight ahead, without focusing or staring: herein, one is endeavoring to play the part of a less and less blemished witness to one’s external environment – ideally without expectations…as if all is new to you, you know nothing (it isn’t genuinely possible to do this, but it is important to try). After a bit of time (as one chooses – but try not to hurry), continue with one’s eyes closed. Keep one’s eyes in their sockets as if one’s eyes are open and looking just slightly above straight ahead (don’t let one’s eyes droop or drop): herein, one is endeavoring to play the part of a less and less blemished witness to one’s internal environment, without fear or discomfort.
Unlike most of the gratitude-based ancillary preparatory guided imagery in this tradition, when the ancillary preparatory exercise is preparing one for the Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery or Small Cycle Guided Imagery, one gets the ‘engine’ of the diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing going with ‘reverse’ abdominal breathing, vs. advance abdominal breathing: Breathe in, pull one’s abdomen in, breathe out, push one’s abdomen out. Make certain one’s shoulders don’t rise, especially with the inhalation.
Be in a spirit of gratitude and true appreciation. Be all in the moment. A true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. Ask oneself, “How much gratitude does one need to be healthy?”
Try not to think, just witness one’s breathing, relaxation, and subtle movement. Again, endeavor to play the part of a less and less blemished witness. If a thought comes to one’s mind, embrace it, see it for what it is, try not to hang on to it, just let it go – put all of one’s attention in just what one is doing.
Mindfulness meditation is putting ALL of one’s attention into just one, two, or three aspects of what one is doing at any given time. It is next to impossible to be upset, anxious, worried, depressed, sad, or frustrated, if one is not thinking such thoughts. This is a primary purpose of mindfulness meditation – it is the sword that cuts out internal dialogue and/or cyclical thinking – ideally all thought…BEING ‘light’. Thoughts are often ‘heavy’.
*As pointed out and per tradition, the diaphragmatic breathing type utilized when performing Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery is reverse breathing. Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery is meant to complement the power/benefits of reverse breathing. It is also one of the types of guided imagery utilized during the practice of tai chi chuan.
**Taking into account the overall stress-laden and anxiety-provoking mien/demeanor or way of life within modern societies, it is believed that, through the eye of this tradition, that a majority of people benefit more from advance abdominal breathing than they do with reverse abdominal breathing. Albeit, it is up to each practitioner to decide which works best for them. Reverse breathing works better for people who tend towards lethargy, low energy, or feeling cold a lot – hence it can be coined as ‘winter breathing’. Advance abdominal breathing works better for people who tend towards being more on the ‘hyper’ side, anxious or stressed, and for those who are often more warm/hot vs. cold – hence it can also be coined as summer breathing. That said, many people can be ‘on the fence’ in this regard. It may be important/beneficial for such on-the-fence-type-people to learn and gather greater and greater insight into these premises, and act accordingly – sometimes utilizing one, and sometimes utilizing the other. Having said that, it is traditionally believed that almost all people can benefit from Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery and Small Cycle Guided Imagery, no matter which side of the fence they tend towards, and even if they most commonly practice advance breathing.
***Whichever type of breathing one prefers or finds more natural, one of the greatest gifts one can allow oneself, is all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing – there is nothing more healthful. In practicing this breathing for five minutes twice daily, within 30 to 60 days most people will realize all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing. It greatly enhances circulation, and promotes the secretion of relaxing, pain killing hormones (empirically substantiated).
Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery
The fundamental goal of this guided imagery is to increase the extent of the mindful cyclic meditative movement of the bioelectric (chi/ki/pranha) energy – nurturing the chi beyond that of the state of the Small Cycle Guided Imagery (as set forth in previous writings – though one type of guided imagery is not in any fashion superior to or more important than the other). Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery also has an association with Five Gates Guided Imagery (also set forth in previous writings). Small Cycle Guided Imagery and the Yin-Yang Cyclic Guided Imagery both utilize ‘reverse’ diaphragmatic breathing, versus ‘advance’ diaphragmatic breathing – as previously set forth herein under the ancillary preparatory guided imagery, reverse breathing is when one breathes in while pulling one’s abdomen in, and breathes out while pushing one’s abdomen out.
During inhalation, imagine you can move the chi (the bioelectric cursor) upward, beginning at both kidney acupoints #1, e.g., on the bottoms of one’s feet, just behind the balls of the feet on their centerlines, coined Bubbling Wells/Yong Chuan. The cursors move up through the lower legs and thighs, moving through CV #1 acupoint – coined Meeting of Yin/Hui Yin acupoint (about two inches forward from the anus as one pulls that point/tissue upward) and continuing to draw the chi/cursor up the spine to acupoint governing vessel #14 – coined Great Hammer/Da Zhui (near the top of the thoracic spine). Thereupon separating out through the shoulders and elbows and to the ends of the middle fingers – making a ‘u-turn’ it is drawn up the palms, wrists, and armpits and back to GV #14. From there moving upward through the occiput/base area of the rear of the skull, separating again to be led through the ears and up to GV #20 – coined as Hundred Convergences/Bai Hui (the depression just behind the crown of the head on the centerline). Thereupon over the crown and down the centerline of the forehead and widening each way through the cheeks to the tip of the tongue, by the end of the inhalation.
Beginning the exhalation, move the chi/cursor down the centerline through the tan tien furnace (behind the navel/CV #8 acupoint – coined Sea of Chi/Chi Hai) and down through the circulatory tan tien (two and one-half inches beneath the navel at CV #5 – coined Stone Gate/Shi Men) and continue to sink the chi through the Hui Yin point (again at CV #1). Then it separates and is led down each leg through the knees and through the large toes to the Bubbling Wells points (again at KD #1 on the bottoms of each foot), by the end of the exhalation.
Traditionally, it is believed that the passing of the five gates (kidney acupoint #1 on each foot, the centers of the palms, and GV #20) with visualization as such, is a most difficult endeavor, albeit it can assist one in realizing true health and inner adeptness, e.g., a true status of nei kung/internal effort. AND as stated above, efficient and effective meditative guided imagery/visualization is a skill or high skill. Also traditionally, it is believed that these meditative breathing exercises can be of profound, substantive significance in one’s life.
*The bioelectric (chi) cursor is also described as the ‘sparkling cursor’ or energy elixir, and as a splendid goal, one works to mindfully feel and also move the sparkling energy cursor, eventually feeling it all of the time, as it is rooted in the tan tien furnace (again, behind the navel). This particular chi energy is traditionally considered to be the ‘original chi’, e.g., the energy that brings us into this world, and resides first in the kidneys. Learning to ‘fan the furnace’ so-to-speak, is believed to be a foundation of both kidney health and true health. One can learn to better and better use the sparkling energy for healing and strength-building, especially within the context of meditative guided imagery. It is said that the fanning of the furnace, combined with diaphragmatic breathing and meditative witnessing (versus thinking) can be of profound benefit and that there is nothing more healthful.
**This guided imagery, at a skilled level, is said to enhance one’s energy and fortitude beyond measure. AND all types of meditation, inclusive of meditative guided imagery, are traditionally viewed as important aspects of true health – congruent with notions of true health through true responsibility.
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