What About Your Third Lung?

And what is Skin Breathing Meditative Guided Imagery Chi Kung?

In traditional Chinese medicine/health arts, the skin of our bodies, e.g., the epidermis, is traditionally viewed as the body’s third lung. With its porous nature, among other aspects, it is believed that the skin has an intrinsic affinity with our breath and lungs. From the view of TCM, the intrinsic/bioelectic energy, aka chi, qi, ki, pranha, has an intrinsic relationship with the skin, and is an aspect of the foundation of acupuncture theory. It is known that bioelectric current/energy flows throughout the body, inclusive of skin, at the cellular level and quantum levels, not just the central nervous system. Since ancient times, Taoists have set forth philosophy which views this electrical current as ‘dark energy’ – that which is most often not visible to the naked eye. Acupuncture and all of TCM are based first and foremost on Taoist philosophy, and through the practice of acupuncture and its many schools of thought, stimulation of acupoints on the body/skin (in proper timing with inhalations or exhalations) allows access to treatment of all parts of the body for health and healing purposes (both with local and distal applications). Meditation and meditative guided imagery are facets of, and can be employed as complements to, other aspects of the holistic practices of traditional Chinese medicine; they can additionally be health practices in and of themselves, e.g., for both treatment of maladies and for preventative medicine. Herein, my purpose is to share a traditional type of mindfulness meditation guided imagery chi kung known as Skin Breathing, or Third Lung Breathing. That said, it is important in the tenets of this tradition to set forth a much more basic preparatory form of guided imagery meditation, e.g., our foundational guided imagery – it’s name is coined in the form of a question…How Much Gratitude Do You Need to be Healthy?

The following foundational practice of mindfulness meditation guided imagery/visualization chi kung is traditionally employed as a precursor to the many other of types of traditional mindfulness meditation guided imagery chi kung taught and practiced in this Li-Jia tradition. As a foundation for our various types of meditative guided imagery practices, it is important to understand that this practice is quite helpful, and in plethora aspects necessary, for learning to practice and embrace all other types of guided imagery in this tradition – in fact that is a primary purpose thereof. Again, it is often utilized as an ancillary preparatory exercise, though it can be utilized as a significant form of guided imagery in and of itself:

How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy?

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. Additionally, a majority of this practice can be done lying down, especially if one has physical limitations or as a treatment for insomnia.

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.” If the congruent deep breathing is difficult with one’s tongue as such, it is best then not to do it with the tongue as such.

Realize that relaxation is a true skill – there is always room for improvement. Realize, we ALWAYS have some tenseness/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: This is considered to be our most basic chi kung.

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 expectations, 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, even when they are not mindfully making it happen. 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. 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, AND if one is in a spirit of gratitude and appreciation. 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’. It is learning to come closer and closer to actually emptying one’s mind of thought (as a tool) – while it will never be perfect, it is important accordingly to try. One can’t fail unless one gives up or doesn’t try…trying is achieving.

Skin Breathing Guided Imagery/Third Lung Guided Imagery

In these arts this technique is traditionally considered a significant aspect of true health. It is considered to be a difficult guided imagery chi kung breathing technique and is initially next to impossible for beginners (until one has endeavored to realize the ability by way of substantial time & effort). It is commonly believed that it can take many years or even a lifetime of practicing meditative guided imagery to be able to do it in a fashion in which this technique becomes quite practical. In various traditions, it is among the ultimate goals of chi kung breathing. And this type of guided imagery can be performed with either the advance or reverse breathing.

In the traditional Chinese health arts, the skin is viewed as the third lung. Hence in this technique, when one breathes, one embraces the notion that one is breathing, drawing air and bioelectric energy (chi) in and out of every pore of one’s body. When done in full, it requires that one focuses one’s mind on every part of one’s epidermis at the same time. Upon inhalation, one imagines that air and bioelectric energy are drawn through every pore (after entering, the pores close). Upon exhalation, one imagines that the spent air and bioelectric energy are moved to the pores as they open and the spent air and bioelectric energy are released. In the beginning of this practice and over a necessary time, it is strongly suggested that practitioners begin with visualizing just one part of the body at a time, versus endeavoring to visualize the whole body at the same time. That said, the goal is to become skilled in visualizing the whole body as such.

As one is able to move one’s chi through one’s pores with inhalation and exhalation, it is said that the congruent sensation is not unlike “feeling the warmth of the sun during the cold winter”, and also, as one’s skill evolves, the feeling of the (strong enhanced) chi is much like a sweet and innocent sparkling spine-tingling/shivering most splendid (almost beyond words) sensation: it is of import to learn to better and better embrace and be able to prompt this feeling at will. Accordingly, it is said that nothing is more healthful, in combination with meditative witnessing, diaphragmatic breathing, and a spirit of gratitude and appreciation. Furthermore, warmth prompts one’s pores to unseal, enabling them to release and take in energy more readily. Chi kung first and foremost translated as ‘breathing in time with movement and/or effort’ and a primary and significant aspect in the practice of chi kung is in the utilization of the mind (yi) to guide the chi to the skin in order to invigorate one’s pores from within and even from without. When the pores are thusly invigorated, they amply unseal: this is an aspect of the visualization occurring during the inward breath. By the end of the inward breath, one’s pores have closed.

Upon having seriously practiced chi kung for awhile, a commonly accepted goal in these arts is to dramatically improve circulation of chi and blood and lymph throughout the entire body. According to the associated theory, skin breathing visualization enables one to employ the mind to unseal one’s pores & bring fresh life-giving chi and air inward in order to eliminate morbid deposits which have accumulated (with regard to the skin, but also the whole self). Also according to traditional theory, this technique is a significant measure toward the goal of expanding the chi externally (outside of oneself). It is said that if one realizes this level of mastery, then one “can lead one’s chi anywhere one’s mind wills it”. At this point, one will enjoy such a healthful level of chi circulation that one’s overall circulation will be become stronger and stronger as one more and more enjoys this skill: a pertinent notion is (additionally) handed down, e.g., the quality by which the chi flows is congruent with the blood and even the lymph – or “as the chi goes, so does the blood and even often the lymph”. This is a quintessential aspect of longevity and True Health, in accordance to these teachings.

When practicing skin breathing guided imagery, partially focus one’s attention/mind (yi) at the real tan tien (behind the navel): In this regard, witness one’s chi and form (physiology) as not unlike a sphere. With each inhalation, one’s mind directs fresh vibrant chi in through each pore of the skin & into the real tan tien, e.g., witnessing the sphere significantly contract into the real tan tien. Consecutively upon exhalation, one’s mind directs spent/stagnant chi in reverse (out through the pores). With experience, one will realize that the chi sphere progressively swells to envelope one’s full form (with its center behind the naval): as one breathes, the chi sphere congruently breathes. To put this more simply, when one imagines bringing fresh energy/air in through the pores, continue with directing this energy/air to the area just behind one’s naval (which is viewed as ‘stoking the real tan tien furnace’ – e.g., acupoint central vessel 8/CV8); when one exhales, direct the energy from this ‘furnace’ back to the skin and out the pores.

In traditional teachings, skin breathing visualization is viewed as a type of Fwu Chi Fah, e.g., Chi Manifesting Exercise. It is a particular path within the context of the Ling Bao Bi Fah, e.g., Inexpressible Wealth (to) Witnessing…(e.g., it can only be witnessed, not rationalized) and is an aspect of Playing the Part of the Less and Less Blemished Witness: It is in the sweet and innocent sparkling spine-tingling/shivering spirit of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment, more and more each moment. It is more and more in the benevolent spirit of Wu Wei, e.g., endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas…a very much humble selfless glimpse of heaven…glimpses of a place, so-to-speak, without time, space, or distance…nothing to hide behind…all is known (without expectations, not rationalized, just better and better only witnessed).

It is significant that in beginning of the practice of this technique that one begins by a deep breath in, mindfully keeping the breath in for a bit – gradually allowing the breath out: As with all of the techniques set forth in this writing, the rise & fall of the abdomen must be slow & fluid, never jerky or all-at-once. This ability, in a fashion in which one is not ‘fooling oneself’, is absolutely necessary in realizing the ability to truly carry out/or best ‘be’ this technique. Keeping the breath in for a bit slows one down in various ways – assisting one greatly and as simple as it may sound, is an initial step in this practice. Once one has many years of practice, one will realize facility in prolonging the length of the inhalations and exhalations, enjoying Gui Shi (tortoise breath): Tortoises are known to have long lives, e.g., and according to traditional beliefs they enjoy an awareness of breathing through their pores as such. – – Dr. Glen Hepker

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True Honesty – True Magic…

Each moment there are amazing magical things going on within the living story of our lives, in both our external and internal environments, yin to yang – yang to yin. So often we are not trained to be aware of, and/or choose to ignore these miracles, these blessings. These gifts are RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, EVEN WITHIN US, ALL OF THE TIME. Just because so many things don’t seem like miracles because they are so common, they are no less miracles – even the air we breathe and the ability to breathe it. How wrong is it that we take so much for granted? Does it tear the world down? It certainly doesn’t make the world a better place. What is our responsibility? What does this have to do with true freedom?

We take SO much for granted, turning our backs to the Truth – all the while when it is SO true that we all CAN learn to witness the truth, without expectations, without opinion, learning to better and better connect-the-healthful-dots. All the while, glimpses of Heaven are there for us to appreciate, albeit we can’t do so, if we (often without the so incredibly potent magical ‘key’ of humility) are lost in our expectations/preset patterns of thinking, not willing to work to be a less and less blemished witness.

Some may say that this is all impossible, or at least improbable, being that we are so often just getting by, by the ‘skin of our teeth’ emotionally. Sadly, we take comfort in believing that we know so much – much like an addiction: we fool ourselves into habitually thinking/acting as if we know a lot. We know SO LITTLE from this view, the stance from this stagnant plateau. Lost in this comedy and drama, the unhealthful perceived comfort in this stagnant view of the world, it is a most pernicious of addictions. We are afraid to witness the magical gifts in this, our living story – within a new and less blemished, much more healthful and deeper LIGHT. We are so often intrinsically afraid of making this ‘story’ a living LOVING story, in a more and more healthful spirit of gratitude. We so easily become closed to the truly wonderful gift of ongoing change – evolving changes going on within us and all around us – reflections back and forth, from us outward and back, countless times each moment, each day.

Nothing may be more difficult, but there IS hope, ALWAYS reason to have faith. It IS possible to gather together the levels of True Effort it takes to embrace healthful levels of change and growth: It is True Appreciation for the magical gifts, the blessings, in what we CAN MAKE our living loving story…going on ALL AROUND US, and IN US, ALL, OR MOST OF THE TIME. This is sparkling spine-tingling True Honesty – nothing to hide behind…and this level of objective insight is a significant measure of True Health. It is a Glimpse of Heaven.

 

Bestow a string of faith,

For faith we may have,

Unto the jester light,

In the comedy of reflections,

As we stand upon this stage,

In awe of,

Endless,

Encompassing,

All.

— Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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How important is having the right keys?

The ‘keys’ set forth in the outline below are meant to be true gauges in vitally assisting one in making healthful decisions (in working strategically toward True Health of the mind, body, and spirit), and in understanding healthful classical philosophical writings such as the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, I Ching, the Analects of Confucius, and the Sutras. These Keys are most specifically and benevolently set forth in the Tao Chan/Ming Chia traditions (Ming Chia = the Bright Beautiful School of Thought). Over millennia Tao Chan/Ming Chia have benevolently embraced the amalgamation of philosophical Taoism (Tao Chia versus Tao Chiao), philosophical Confucianism, and philosophical Buddhism.

All of the Keys fall under the primary heading of Wu Wei, e.g., Acting Without Acting…

It is endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas”

In short, “The right thing for the right selfless sake”

The Same Boat Theory

The notion that ‘we are all in the same common boat MUCH more than we think and act’”

The primary fault of humankind is the notion that you are there and I am here”

Endeavor to embrace “dignity (healthful dignity), decency, goodness, and grace in our interactions and spirit…figuring out how to truly mean it, no matter what”

Healthful diplomacy at all levels of interaction – family, friends, in society, and other lands – AND benevolently inclusive of being a more and more and more healthful conduit/diplomat between Heaven (and the heavens) and Earth

The True Responsibility of Making the World a Better Place”

The notion that “the world would be a much better and different place if more and more of us take true responsibility for our own health and well-being”

In short, “True Health through True Responsibility”

With True Responsibility comes True Freedom…yin to yang and yang to yin – with True Freedom comes True Responsibility

True self-defense is self-defense against our own weaknesses and bad habits.” (In most cases we aren’t defeated, we defeat ourselves.)

Learning to Play the Part of a Less and Less Blemished Witness”

Through meditation and guided imagery (embracing true effort), we can learn to objectively witness the truth, versus utilizing opinion, inclusive of selfish self-serving agendas

Being living loving witness, congruent with objective insight – greater and greater objectivity (more and more without opinion, again just witnessing)

Again, in this spirit we can learn to better and better and better, glimpse absolute truth

True Appreciation and Gratitude”

Witnessing the truth – that we so often take for granted the nearly infinite blessings which we live with or have been bestowed upon us…right down to the air that we breathe…the ability to breathe it

The most basic of blessings are no less blessings/miracles, just because they are so common

Learning to appreciate even another of our most splendid of blessings…the miracle of moment, more and more and more each moment – “true appreciation of the miracle of the moment” (the more we do so, the more we witness that our daily trials and tribulations are of less consequence)

There is nothing perfect on this earth, but we can humbly work toward emulating perfection and catch objective insight/glimpses of what it is like in Heaven (Perfection)

“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.”

Endeavor to Avoid Preference for the Sake of Preference”

This notion illustrates the unhealthful silliness of having preferences for their own sake – value of preferences should be gauged by whether or not they are (truly) healthful and make the world a better place versus tearing it down

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…most importantly, nothing to hide behind.”

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 – sweet and innocent sparkling 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.”

True Effort (and the spirit/demeanor thereof)”

Treating life as a living loving art form”

Through True Effort the Way becomes clear”

The significance of ‘doing it until in works…working at it…working at it, until nothing short of success is enjoyed” (accordingly, “one never fails unless one quits trying”)

Therein outgrowing one’s desire for blaming, complaining, and excuses”

Embracing change”

Inclusive of healthful change and often fear of change outside of one’s control (accordingly, change is constant – we make the world a much better place by not running from it)

Supporting others in their healthful effort/healthful change”

Selflessly doing so

Embracing one’s comfort and discomfort equally”

Learning to better and better avoid the need for immediate gratification”

Learning to embrace one’s blind dislike of, and with facts and practices which are, if followed, truly rooted in substantive healthfulness

Learning to better and better avoid plateaus of unhealthful and/or unrealistic contentment, (seemingly) relief from facing change”

The Way…

The way that can be told is not the eternal way…the way that can be told is the mother of all (material and tangible) things (which can separate us)”

The Way manifests in the madman screaming…’If the stars are not words, then stop calling them stars’”

There is a love inclusive of, but much more than friendship, family, or romantic love”

True Forgiveness”

It is likely that most often we all have made the same mistakes that we see others make”

Within each of us, the wars and famines of our spirits are reflected back and forth between us and the greater world” – again yin to yang and yang to yin, to almost infinity

The Three Portents (harbinger of all bad tidings)

Hate

Greed

Ignorance”

Embrace the Five Virtues

Healthful Respect

Healthful Loyalty

Healthful Humility

True Honor

True Integrity

– – Dr. Glen Hepker (quotations are from A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health (2011)

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Dancing With Light and Lightness…

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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How important is it to be a less and less blemished witness?

Playing the Part of the Less & Less Blemished Witness Guided Imagery:

All types of meditative guided imagery can fit under the heading of being a ‘less and less blemished witness’, albeit this meditative witnessing is a form of general guided imagery and can be utilized in almost any context or setting.

Being a less and less blemished witness is focusing (not thinking) on or about one thing or two or three things, e.g., with regard to witnessing just exactly what one is doing at any given time, ideally nothing more nothing less. This meditative witnessing is the ‘sword’ (h’ou t’ou) that cuts out, erases thinking and/or cyclical thinking, so that one can eventually learn to genuinely (without fooling oneself) empty one’s mind completely. That said and yin to yang and yang to yin, even if one truly learns to empty one’s mind, it doesn’t lessen the importance of the various types guided imagery. These descriptions can be a bit confusing to contemplate at first, but using the so-called sword of guided imagery as a step toward totally emptying one’s mind does not in any fashion alleviate the importance of guided imagery as a splendid and healthful practice in and of itself. Meditative emptying of one’s mind AND types of meditative guided imagery are traditionally viewed as both very important, and never a competition between the two – both fall within the traditional context of ‘true meditation’, e.g, the pinnacle of the Eightfold Healthful Path. AND the difference between the two can at times seem trivial or almost nonexistent. Having said that, it is accepted in this tradition that the sword of guided imagery was strategically created as a helpful step toward actually learning to empty one’s mind completely, or what can be coined as the ‘perfect witness’. This even though it is accepted in these arts that nothing is genuinely perfect on this earth.

These practices yin to yang and yang to yin, again traditionally, are associated with diaphragmatic breathing, resonant healing sounds, the Theory of Lightness, True Health, True Relaxation, Opening the Door, aka Parting the Veil, and utilization of the so-coined spiritual eye/third eye (pertinent to the Yin Tang/Stamp Hall acupoint between eyebrows – or in Sanskrit, the forehead chaktra/upper heaven, pertaining to the pineal gland and the hypothalamus gland).

Even though being a less and less blemished witness can be practiced anytime/anyplace (focusing solely on an aspect or aspects of what one is doing or seeing at a particular time/space), it is likely helpful to share this most basic coinciding meditative guided imagery: Therein, one follows this example by working on witnessing one’s breathing, relaxation, and subtle movement – known as:

How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy?

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. 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. Be the moment, be the breathing, be the relaxation, be the movement, be the gratitude, not thinking, just being.

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’. — Dr. Glen Hepker

 

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Do ya have a furnace that needs fanning?

‘Fanning the Furnace’ Guided Imagery Meditation Chi Kung

Tan Tien Breathing is also known as Fanning the Furnace Breathing, Lower Heaven Breathing, or Field of Elixir Breathing. These names refer to a type of ages-old guided imagery chi kung (chi kung/qigong means breathing in congruence with effort or in time with movement). The most common title that I’ve come to utilize is Fanning the (sparkling) Furnace.

In this tradition (Tao Chan/Ming Chia), it is said that there are two tan tien points/portals. With regard to the ‘real’ tan tien, it is located just behind the navel/CV-8 acupoint (also known as the sea of chi). This point is approximately two and one-half inches (two and one-half cun – e.g., personal thumb-widths – per one’s own body mapping) above the ‘circulatory’ tan tien/CV-5 acupoint (CV is the common abbreviation for the central vessel in acupressure/TCM/traditional Chinese medicine theory).

The real tan tien is viewed as the body’s central bio-electric energy (chi/qi) point or ‘furnace’ and the circulatory tan tien is as per its namesake, for circulating the bio-electric energy stored in the real tan tien: This so-coined energy is viewed as our ‘original energy’ which has an intrinsic association with our kidneys, where, in an healthy person, it additionally resides. It is also said that this is the energy which one is born with – and/or brought us into this existence – once again, all in congruence with traditional acupuncture/TCM theory).

The real tan tien is viewed as the place where our corporeal bio-electric energy is generally centered. Though through true effort, pertinent insight, and meditative witnessing/guided imagery, one can better and better learn to (QUITE healthfully) enhance this centering or storage of bio-electric energy/chi/ki/pranha – not unlike a ‘furnace’ or ‘field of elixir’ or ‘sea of chi’. Traditionally speaking, when one focuses one’s mind/attention/yi at this point & performs competent abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing, it is believed to substantively enhance the quality of one’s health and well-being (which is such that words do not adequately describe – it can only be better and better witnessed).

Such breathing, relaxation, and guided imagery congruent with the execution of competent ‘witnessing’ (versus thinking) during any activity or level of ‘being’ is the centerpiece of true meditation. Such is traditionally and particularly performed with the practice of chi kung, tai chi chuan, kung fu, and yoga – albeit it can be embraced and practiced with almost all activity (sedate or moving through life’s general activities).

This practice is viewed as a potent means by which to promote health/wellness/greater longevity, e.g., centering/lowering/sinking/concentrating one’s bio-electric energy – enhancing one’s furnace or field of elixir – building the strength of one’s energy so that one can learn to feel the sparkling energy at will (AND all-of-the-time). It can only be realized when combined with skilled diaphragmatic breathing: such skilled breathing is what can be coined as fanning the furnace.

Once one becomes quite skilled in this practice, one can learn to use/move it in fashions congruent with various traditional and more complicated types of guided imagery/meditation/witnessing – consistent with succinct manipulation for health/wellness/treatment purposes (inclusive of stimulation of acupoints for self-treatment and using one’s hands to stimulate/treat the acupoints using one’s fingers and hands – coined traditionally as chi kung an mo): Theretofore, as one learns to fan the furnace competently, one learns to employ the circulatory tan tien in order to move the energy in one’s various guided imagery/visualization practices. Please realize that these skills, are just that – skills. It should be quite obvious that these practices cannot be learned ‘overnight’.

This basic guided imagery utilizes either the advance or reverse breathing methods (as described below). Even though this type of meditative breathing guided imagery is considered a most basic technique, it does not mean that it is easy or of lesser importance, e.g., most students of the art will not go further along (to even more difficult techniques), which makes this technique all the more important. AND this technique is the foundation of all other types of traditional guided imagery visualization.

It can be misunderstood that the real tan tien can be so much more important than the circulatory tan tien. Albeit, like the real tan tien point, the circulatory tan tien is viewed as a very important point also – each complement the other, yin to yang – yang to yin. As stated, the latter’s purpose is to circulate chi but not store it (e.g., IT cannot store chi). By practicing pertinent guided imagery, one can ‘fan the furnace’ so-to-speak AND healthfully promote the circulation of chi. Through time and effort, one learns to practice both types of tan tien breathing – which as stated are meant to intrinsically complement one another. Therein, one can attain a nearer and nearer to impeccable state of stillness. In working toward this, remarkable levels of relaxation and lightness can be realized/embraced. All of this must be complemented by what is coined as ‘witnessing’ – learning to play the part of a less and less blemished witness in one’s guided imagery meditation. These practices cannot be entirely rationally understood – but at best being a witness without thought or expectations (thoughts which most often serve to get in the way).

These practices are coined as true skills, e.g., all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing consistent fanning the furnace through guided imagery meditation/witnessing, and true relaxation – altogether congruent with working toward true mastery thereof. The meaning of this ‘true mastery’ is enjoying such objective insight that one witnesses the truth – inclusive of, that the greatest blessing of all is that no matter how skilled one becomes, there is always room for improvement (most particularly on this Earth). Accordingly, it is learning to better and better play the part of an healthy conduit/diplomat between Heaven (OR just the heavens – whichever one prefers) and Earth…in harmony with better and better realization of true health.

Below find a most basic form of Fanning the Furnace guided imagery:

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. At more and more skilled levels, it can be performed in most any setting in one’s daily life – which is a primary goal. It is traditionally set forth that there may be nothing more healthful.

This exercise is engineered to be practiced in a spirit congruent with the following question – How Much Gratitude Does One Need to be Healthy? (it is additionally practiced as a so-titled ancillary guided imagery which is a preparation exercise for most other types of guided imagery meditation in this tradition)

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 – promoting of greater and greater homeostasis). 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 eyes so that one is always looking slightly above straight ahead, without focusing or staring – a ‘visual meditative demeanor’ (though it is done both with the eyes open and closed – begin with the eyes open).

Fan the furnace by getting the ‘engine’ of the (advance vs. 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. If one practices this breathing for five minutes twice daily, in 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).

A minority of people benefit more from reverse breathing – breathing in pulling one’s abdomen in, and breathing out pushing one’s abdomen out. Unlike the former advance-style breathing, this breathing is more for people who tend to be more so lethargic/cold/less active, versus those who tend to be more so stressed/anxious/very active/warm. Advance breathing is also coined summer breathing, and reverse breathing is also coined winter breathing. The former cools one, the latter warms one. Both can be utilized for fanning the furnace guided imagery.

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?” Don’t continue to work toward thinking about the question, but endeavor to be in that splendid spirit.

Try not to think, just witness one’s breathing, relaxation, and subtle movement. 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, don’t 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’uo t’uo) that cuts out internal dialogue and/or cyclical thinking – ideally all thought…BEING ‘light’. Thoughts are often ‘heavy’.

Using the above-stated criteria, move onto this variation of the Fanning the Furnace exercise: As one breathes in, imagine that one brings fresh energy in which strengthens the furnace behind one’s navel – not unlike a gentle fire or sparkling warmth. As one breathes out, imagine that the breath out fans the furnace…stronger and stronger, until one learns to feel the furnace. Learn to relax and witness this, versus think about it. Over time, one can learn to feel/witness the furnace at will, all-of-the-time. It is said that nothing is more healthful, combined with the proper breathing and relaxation.

*Remember, this is all congruent with learning all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing and witnessing AND learning to truly relax. The diaphragmatic breathing complements witnessing and relaxation and vice-versa. These facets are intrinsically connected. They are initially learned separately, but are one or in harmony when realized at a skilled level.

**When one learns to feel the sparkling furnace at will, one moves onto moving the energy around the body in order to heal the body, and for general guided imagery purposes. Many complementary types of traditional guided imagery can be taught and are set forth in student handouts and in my blog posts. There are over a dozen guided imagery practices handed-down in this tradition.

***The ‘sparkling feelings’ have a truly significant association with the spine-tingling/sparkling feelings some experience in special (often sentimental) moments in one’s lifetime. Additionally (and not in any way to be in a spirit of being coarse), many people sometimes experience these types of feelings during urination. These feelings are completely in the realm of ‘sweet and innocent’, and not in any fashion sexual.

****The key is to learn to succinctly center/focus the so-coined energy at the furnace and strengthen it there – stronger and stronger and stronger, and learn to additionally use it, move it, in a splendidly healthful fashion congruent with tradition. This practice is traditionally complemented by the handed-down resonant healing/assertive Five Phases single and multisyllabic sounds.

*****Please know that all of the nomenclature/terminology utilized herein is just that, terminology – never meant to be misleading. It is said that “real truth can only be witnessed, not thought about or logically understood.” It is said that “the Way that can be told is not the eternal Way, the way that can be told is the mother of all things.” It is reflected in the madman screaming, “If the stars are not words, stop calling them stars.” Even so, we as human beings most often, at least in most settings, begin learning things by way of words. It can be a beginning, but at best not the whole or the end. – Dr Glen Hepker

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Wholeness: Is it just a concept or can it be more and more real? How important is true appreciation?

In these ages-old traditions, it is said that craving, desire, and fear of change, especially healthful change, are the root of most suffering. When we learn to better and better abbreviate clinging to our fear, desire, and suffering we can catch more and more common glimpses of what it is like to take genuine ownership of deeply healthful views…outlooks which in their practical application QUITE succinctly make the world a better place. It is SO much about learning to witness what it is like to be without our ‘walls of lies’ – to not be lost in the stagnicity of overt concern about the past or future. In learning to witness and take part in the living loving story of our lives (vs. just being a pawn to the story of our lives), we can better and better alleviate ourselves of the three portents (harbingers of all bad tidings) – hate, greed, and ignorance. It is ALL about being mindful and present, in a loving, selfless, altruistic awareness of what is genuinely important, i.e., a quintessentially resplendent light bright spirit of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment: This such splendid way-of-being allows us, enables us to genuinely embrace/deeply witness within ourselves a holistic oneness of the mind, body, and spirit. It allows us to lovingly embrace healthful change.

It is NOT about living for the moment, but living in the moment: 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, needing less and less to hide behind. It is a loving, selfless, and sweet and innocent sparkling spine-tingling/shivering appreciation – a glimpse of a so-to-speak existence where there is no time, no space, no distance – no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow. It is a glimpse of an existence where all is known – once again, nothing to hide behind.

It is a beautiful key to true health and true responsibility. It is a path of heart – a way of life more and more without unhealthful fear, unhealthful pride, and blind greed. It is SO much about being healthful conduits/diplomats between Heaven and Earth, aka True Appreciation! — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How important is mindfulness…objective insight?

An excerpt from my book, i.e., Chapter XII – “True Happiness: A Glimpse of Heaven”…

“Even though we are quite often moving quickly through our daily lives, we do have the wherewithal (if we choose to exercise it) to slow our sense of awareness down. We can actually get more done when our minds are more relaxed and we are less scattered in our thinking – thus able to better focus on, and truly embrace what we are actually doing – all-the-while elevating the likelihood that we can realize a deep and loving sense of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment (more and more and more…as we nurture this skill). This old handed-down saying presents a relevant point in a subtle, yet telling fashion, if one takes the time to explore its deeper meaning:

‘Go fast, one can only go fast – go slow, one can always go fast.’

The notions herein could easily be seen as haughty high-minded ‘stuff.’ Please know that this is not the goal. Life is difficult, and at times, it can seem to be a painless thing to simply allow oneself to ‘get stuck,’ versus trying ‘really hard’ to improve oneself. In these arts, The Five Virtues are viewed as a simple vehicle toward deep insight and philosophical and practical clarity and happiness when we most need it. Even so, nothing may be more difficult to answer to – particularly when seen as a vehicle toward our ‘true responsibility’ of making the world a better place:

1. Healthful Respect

2. Healthful Loyalty

3. Healthful Humility

4. True Honor

5. True Integrity

Getting stuck on the ‘plateau of not trying’ is a living death. In purely colloquial terms, ‘nothing is worth anything unless we are willing to keep trying.’

What would life be truly like if one could honestly say…

If in Heaven I have what I have now, I would be happy…in the spirit of perfect appreciation, remember the true and real import of warm-heartedness, compassion, and dignity…?” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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Where are all the angels?

A question from a reader of my book and blog: When I look at all that is going on in the world, often so much negativity and difficulty, I wonder if there really are angels. To many this may seem like a silly question or concern. Nevertheless, I believe that some level of intrinsic goodness is all that has kept the human race going, vs. destroying itself. That said, I am deeply concerned about such a plethora of bad things happening all around the world: Maybe it is simply because modern technology allows us to know what is happening almost everywhere, even in real time. I know that the world has always had lots of bad stuff going on, but it seems likely to be worse nowadays. What are your thoughts?

Response: I believe that the most important thing in this and many regards, is that we learn to better and better embrace the notion that our most significant and primary calling (in having been placed on this earth), is to recognize and act upon the knowledge that it is our daily responsibility to make the world a better place. If this became the norm for more and more and more of us, oh what a different world it would be!

Quite humbly and respectfully, I believe it less important to concern ourselves with angels, i.e., in the most traditional sense...I believe it so much more important to be our own bright beautiful angels and diligently make the world a better place (AND doing so in a loving spirit of true appreciation and gratitude). This is not to in any way deny the existence of angels in the classic sense, quite the contrary. If angels do exist, then maybe they’d feel better about the whole thing if we took more and more true responsibility for our own well-being. Hence the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Once again, please know I mean all of this quite humbly and respectfully. Having said that, I believe that, each day, I should ask myself, “Haven’t I already been given all of the wonderful gifts that I need?” How dare I selfishly think that I always need help, when I can do so much more for myself. Why do I choose to repetitively get stuck on stagnant plateaus (‘plateaus’ that can be like a living death)? Why do I not more appreciate all of the truly splendid blessings that have been offered/given to me? Why do I not recognize my responsibility to do the right thing for the right selfless sake?

Maybe it is important to recognize what might be the greatest of blessings on this earth, i.e., that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, greater and greater levels of insight and the practical application thereof…thus being more and more willing to embrace healthful change. In this fashion, it may be quite possible to become more and more healthful conduits between heaven and earth. At a minimum, can we at least acknowledge that the world might be a much better and different place if we at least take time to consider such notions…each day?

I believe in the ages-old notion that, “The primary fault of humankind is the notion that you are there and I am here.” I believe that a most likely means by which to prove it true, is to act upon it as if it is true. I believe that the closer we become to each other, the closer we will come to being our own bright beautiful angels.

I believe we all, to varying degrees, hide behind a wall of lies. In the arts that I teach and coach, an old saying sets forth, “If there is a heaven, a key to the universe, a sixth sense, they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind.” It may be much about true forgiveness and learning to witness truth beyond expectations and preset patterns of thinking…playing the part of a less and less blemished witness.

When is the last time you’ve embraced, experienced, genuinely sweet and innocent, light and loving fun? When is the last time you lived a moment, an hour, a day, with your spirit filled with sparkling spine-tingling/shivering appreciation and utter benevolence? A true lightness of being? Ever? Maybe such a lightness of being is consistent with being your own bright beautiful angel – so capable of making the world a better place, each and every day. Maybe we can thus learn to live life as a living loving art form. Maybe, just maybe, living loving true appreciation and gratitude, intrinsically in harmony with empathy, is the ‘magic elixir.’ — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How angry am I?

An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog: “How do you view anger and frustration, i.e, with regard to the dynamics of what you coin in your book as ‘true health?’ How does one deal with these most difficult of human characteristics – meaningfully and healthfully grow past them – learn to deal with them in a more and more beneficial way?”

Response: Humbly and respectfully, I believe I need to ask myself many times each day…”What genuine effort am I making to control my anger? What level of honesty am I utilizing with regard to my attachment to hatred, pride, jealousy, greed, ignorance, frustration? Am I fooling myself? How deeply am I willing to look? How important is it to me to learn to objectively gauge my thoughts and actions…MOST PARTICULARLY in a spirit consistent with my responsibility in making the world a better place (i.e., versus a spirit of tearing it down)? Is the ‘key’ to unlock the door to such true health found in a loving sparkling spine-tingling/shivering ‘magic elixir,’ made up of splendid amounts of true appreciation and gratitude? Is it found in deeply embracing my comfort and discomfort equally? Is it found in learning to better and better ‘witness’ these dynamics in a less and less blemished fashion?”

Is this level of insight enjoyed by way of impeccably endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake…without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas – no need for reward? Is this what ‘true health through true responsibility’ means? How much healthful faith does it necessitate? Yin to yang, how badly do I need to hide behind my ‘walls of lies’ – walls built with anger and frustration? How deeply do I want to embrace the notion that, “if there is a Heaven, if there is a key to the universe, if there is a sixth sense, they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom – but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind?

Can I stand the fact that no matter what, on this earth, there is always room for improvement, deeper and deeper loving and selfless objective insight? How badly do I want to avoid getting stuck on stagnant plateaus of living death…a living purgatory? How badly do I want to live my life as a “living loving art form,” versus living a life in which I take so much for granted? Once again, please remember that this is ALL meant in a spirit of humility and respect: We are ALL in the same common boat in this – our lives here. — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

 

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