Spiritual Bath Guided Imagery
When practicing any of the various forms of guided imagery chi kung in this specific tradition (Ming Chia/The Bright Beautiful School of Thought) we generally begin by utilizing our most fundamental guided imagery, e.g., (titled in the form of a question) How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy? This is a traditional type of guided imagery on its own, though it is also done as a preparatory exercise in order to assist one in gathering a proper spirit with which to perform more complicated types of guided imagery that we practice and teach – in this case as set forth further below, e.g., Spiritual Bath Guided Imagery. This initial preparatory guided imagery is meant to ‘slow us down’ and down and down, prompting us to gather better and better objective insight, to be a less and less blemished witness, and hence becoming a better and better conduit/diplomat between Heaven (or, if one prefers, the ‘heavens’) and Earth.
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.
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.
Get the ‘engine’ of the (advance versus reverse) diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing going: Breathe in, push one’s abdomen out, breathe out, pull one’s abdomen in. Pretend that one’s lungs are in one’s abdomen. 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).
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 – all of the above, or just one at a time. In this tradition, the MOST basic of all of our types of guided imagery is simply focusing solely on one’s breathing. 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 (H’ou T’ou) that cuts out internal dialogue and/or cyclical thinking – ideally all thought…BEING ‘light’. Thoughts are often ‘heavy’, most especially, cyclical thought.
Spiritual Bath Guided Imagery (aka Compassion/Love/Healing Visualization or Beautiful Breathing or Micro/Macro Universal Visualization):
This guided imagery cleansing technique is all about concentrating all of one’s energy, effort and/or focus on what is herein coined herein as True Love or Real Love: This ‘true love’ is traditionally viewed as love which can be inclusive of, but MUCH MORE than, what we typically see and define as the three types of love in Western doctrine, e.g. family love, friendship love, and romantic love.
This practice necessitates playing the part of a less and less blemished witness (it is commonly accepted in these traditions that nothing is perfect here on Earth – so we can only work toward this witnessing with ongoing/endless true effort). It is working to better and better empty one’s mind of thought – again, less and less blemished witnessing: less and less a spirit of fear, hate, preconception, expectation, prejudice, likes/dislikes, preferences, or opinion. The above (How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy?) preparatory exercise is meant to assist one in gathering insight into these protocols and spirit in a quite specific and fundamental fashion (please realize that these practices have been refined over many hundreds of years).
It is significant that, before one begins, one endeavors to have a healthy faith in (the goal of realizing), what is coined herein as ‘true love’. This concept and corresponding guided imagery are obviously very difficult – such effort must be made throughout one’s lifetime. Once again, this awareness is congruent with witnessing that there is ALWAYS room for improvement/greater skill – a splendid recognition which is among the most splendid of blessings, unto itself. It is said that this guided imagery (if realized as it is meant to be) can be an utmost pinnacle of true health. It is in the SO healthful spirit of ‘being’ this love, this utter benevolence – so much about true forgiveness, congruent with honest gratitude/appreciation. It is in the spirit of doing the right thing for the right sake without the need of selfish recognition or hidden agendas. It is in a spirit of knowing that we are all in the same common boat. It is being the spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace, no matter what – a spirit of kindness and goodwill. It is a means of true meditation, e.g., to honestly work toward manifesting this so-healthful spirit – witnessing (NOT deciding) the utter truth.
Among the most important goals of this guided imagery is to realize that one can only come closer and closer to reaching this so-healthful spirit, not by thinking, not through consideration, but only, once again, witnessing it, being it…through less and less blemished true meditation: In this so-healthful spirit, we can witness the truth that, “If there is a Heaven, a key to the universe, even a sixth sense, they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness, and true freedom, but most importantly, nothing to hide behind.” It can be a ‘glimpse’ of a so-to-speak existence where there is no time, no space, no distance…most importantly once again, nothing to hide behind…all is known.
So just sit or stand and ‘be’ this spirit. These are the ‘hints’ as such, in working at the Spiritual Bath Guided Imagery. As stated, be empty, be your own guide, ALBEIT without expectations, no hidden agendas. AND listening to me/reading this, to be sure, is not the truest of meditation – I’m just sharing, so that you can learn to understand and memorize the ages-old protocols and learn to do it all well on your own. This may all seem obvious, albeit as per tradition, we feel we SHOULD risk being redundant in order to try and make certain that this is understood. (Again as per tradition, the protocols shared herein (and similar protocols) are commonly practiced during competent levels of tai chi chuan, chi kung, kung fu, and yoga, but can certainly be practiced as an art form unto themselves.)
The practice of Spiritual Bath Guided Imagery is a state-of-being in which we enjoy a spirit/demeanor, e.g., a sparkling awareness that we are all in the same common boat, BEING this spirit more and more and more…rocking the boat less and less and less. It is bathing oneself in – being this true love – being cleaner and cleaner and cleaner…clearer and clearer and clearer…lighter and lighter and lighter…better and better and better being lightness and OF light. Oh boy!
“When I dance, I can really love.” (NOT talking romance!). Dance with your spirit…light and free and loving and sparkling…BE your spirit…SO much about gratitude and appreciation. It is a sweet and innocent sparkling spine-tingling/shivering true love beyond…
The Lotus Flower Blossoms (as set forth in Chapter XV – “True Freedom” of my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health):
There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be. It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.
In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before. It is not unlike Heaven…and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation.
It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments…as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful…more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind. – Dr. Glen Hepker
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So interesting about the breathing. I have to practice.
Hope all is well.
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Thanks so much, Inese. Please know it genuinely means a lot. And yes humbly, life is a splendid thing, especially when one endeavors to embrace and feel gratitude for the endless blessings we have. I hope you’re doing well also – you make the world a better place with your lovely art.
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Thank you for your kind words!
Life has so many blessings in store for us.
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Merci Glen, le titre est absolument magnifique, (le texte aussi) j’apprécie grandement cette image, visualisation, c’est vraiment très fort! “Dancing With Light and Lightness…”
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Je suis tellement heureux que vous l’appréciiez … merci d’avoir rendu ma journée encore meilleure. Bénédictions les plus brillantes pour vous en tout, Xea.
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