Physical vs. Energetic Self
In the realm of existence, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, transcending the boundaries of our physical form to explore the vast dimensions of our energetic essence. To truly thrive and attain profound healing, it is imperative that we comprehend our authentic nature – we are beings of energy. Beyond the tangible flesh and blood, our physical presence is but a manifestation of our vibrant, energetic core.
Quantum Physics, the scientific language of mysticism, elucidates this truth. Yet, to connect with our inner energetic being, let us delve into the ancient wisdom of Daoism and embrace the profound concept of the five phases.
The Daoist Philosophy
The Daoist philosophy unveils a tapestry of natural progression. From the boundless Nothingness, the Wuji, emerges the Supreme Ultimate, the Taiji, the Undifferentiated Absolute. Within the Taiji, Yin, and Yang, the dynamic forces of creation and transformation find their expression. As Yang surges with movement, it eventually finds tranquility, birthing Yin. And when Yin reaches its peak of stillness, motion awakens once more. This eternal dance of Motion and Stillness, Light and Dark, they are the eternal interplay, the wellspring of each other’s existence.
Through this rhythmic choreography of existence, the five phases unfurl, each giving birth to the next in a harmonious flow. Each phase interconnects with the others and the entirety of existence, oscillating between flow and stillness, eternally renewing itself. From this symphony, we emerge in our unique time and place, carrying the mission to seek and rediscover balance in the grand tapestry of Nature. In this, we embrace the purity of Nature and the boundless Love that emanated from the Limitless Nothingness to grant us life, enabling us to love ourselves and all beings who cross our path.
It is through this Love that we unlock the power of healing. Yet, before we can love unconditionally, we must first unravel the intricacies of our own functioning. The five-phase concept examines the rhythms of nature and our role within these cycles.
Yin and Yang
The fundamental principles underpin the entire universe. In this philosophy, every facet of the manifested universe consists of a unique blend of these complementary energies.
A healthy body finds equilibrium between Yin and Yang within each of its five phases. This balance manifests in various ways, most fundamentally in the flow or pooling of Qi, the life force energy. Just as the Earth’s rivers and streams meander, Qi flows through the body’s systems and meridians, animating every physiological function.
Within our bodies, two vital substances, Qi and blood, exhibit the dynamic interplay of Yang and Yin. Blood embodies the Yin aspect with its liquid nature, nurturing essence, and substantial presence. On the other hand, Qi embodies Yang, being active, energetic, and ethereal. These two vital substances coalesce in synergy to maintain our bodily equilibrium.
The universe elucidates the interplay of Yin and Yang as opposing forces that harmoniously create existence. This dynamic teaches us that opposition doesn’t equate to enmity. In the Daoist Five Phase theory, this dynamic unfolds in stages of existence, mirroring the cycle of seasons and the stages of life – birth, growth, maturity, death, and rebirth. The movement through each phase mirrors seasonal transitions, growth, and the passage of time. These five cycles echo and manifest in every facet of our manifest universe.
To manipulate the flow of Qi, our Life Force Energy, and align it with nature’s healing and Daoist Medicine, various methods are employed. Acupuncture employs needles, articulating with specific meridian points to influence Qi flow. Moxibustion utilizes the heat of smoldering moxa herb on these points to shape the flow. In Daoist Bodywork, known as Tuina, practitioners employ their fingers to manipulate Qi at these junctures. Herbal medicine practitioners employ substances from the plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms, along with special diets, to harmonize the five phases’ relationships.
The fifth branch of Taoist Medicine, the venerable Qi Gong, employs exercises and mental intent imbued with imagery to balance Qi flow. It is a form of self-care and serves as our primary modality within this tutorial.
Five Phase Qigong
Five Phase Qigong serves as an extension of the five-element theory rooted in Chinese Medicine, culture, and philosophy. While labeled as five elements, they are more accurately five phases, each bearing an archetype. Understanding how these phases interact and their archetypal significance is central to my diagnostic process, helping to pinpoint the origins of pain or imbalance.
In Five Phase Qigong, these phases take the form of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each phase encompasses an organ system consisting of two energetic organs and a network of meridians. While these organs share names with their physical counterparts, they exist on an energetic plane and should not be confused with their physical counterparts.
In the illustration above, each phase is represented by a colored sphere connected by curved arrows, signifying a nurturing relationship. Water nurtures Wood, Wood nurtures Fire, and the cycle continues. Thin arrows denote a controlling relationship – Water controls Fire, Wood controls Earth, and so on. These relationships serve as valuable tools in uncovering the source of chronic pain or imbalance.
The dance of Nature and the five phases unfolds with grace. Water flows, nurturing the growth of Wood, which reaches for the fiery Sun, eventually transforming into Earth. Fire may consume Wood, reducing it to ash, and both ash and dry plant matter merge into the nurturing soil, embodying the Earth phase. Over time, the alchemy of bacteria and fungi transmutes this soil into life-sustaining minerals, gradually compressing into stone and crystallizing into precious mineral deposits, representing the Metal phase. Rainfall transports these minerals into the Earth’s waterways, enriching the water with vital nutrients. This enriched water nourishes the Wood, and thus, the cycle begins anew.
Self-Healing Principals of the Five Phases
My dear seekers of self-healing, let us embark on a journey through the realms of the Five Phases, a path of inner transformation and vitality. These elemental principles offer insights into our being’s most resounding rhythms, inviting us to harmonize with the dance of life.
The Wood Phase
The emotions that stagnate within the Wood Element are anger, irritation, and annoyance, while courage and confidence nurture its constructive side.
The Wood Phase In the tranquil realm of the Wood Element, we discover the virtues of strength, flexibility, and courage, akin to the resilient bamboo. When in balance, our bodies reflect these attributes, and our spirits soar. Yet, imbalance manifests as rigidity and inflammation, akin to a tree stressed by relentless winds.
Wood Phase Qigong
Wood Element Qigong Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, rooted like ancient trees. Visualize roots extending deep into the earth, anchoring you firmly. Lift your arms gracefully, embodying the tree’s branches swaying in the wind. Inhale as the wind caresses your branches, exhale as you gracefully sway, never resisting. With each movement, let go of stress, that silent saboteur of balance. See the video instructions for the Wood Phase here.
The Fire Phase
The Fire Phase Summer’s embrace brings us to the realm of the Fire Element, where the Heart and Small Intestine find their home.
Fire’s essence is active and expansive, depicting its warmth and creativity. However, excessive Fire can breed impatience and restlessness. When we stay true to ourselves, this element fosters joy and playfulness. Anxiety, if left unchecked, becomes its stagnant, destructive emotion.
Fire Phase Qigong
Take a warrior’s stance, feet slightly wider than shoulders. Visualize absorbing radiant red light through your left forearm and right-opened palm as you move gracefully, rotating to the left, inhaling, and exhaling in tandem. Allow your heart’s energy to flow harmoniously, dispelling anxiety’s grip.
Alternate left to right and back left again, allowing your breath to move you. Exhaling while raising your left forearm and right palm to the left and inhaling while rotating to the right, exhaling at the apex of the rotation. Re[eat nine times.For
The Earth Phase
The Earth Element’s season is Summer. The organ system is the Spleen/Pancreas/Stomach.
The Earth Phase, the Grand Matriarch of the Five Phases, radiates steadfastness, stability, and trust in life’s unfolding. When in balance, it brings harmony and grounding, a source of reliability. Worry, projecting our energy into an uncertain future, disrupts this harmony and triggers instability. Let us dissolve worry’s grip and embrace the nurturing embrace of the Earth.
Earth Phase Qigong
Form a triangle with your thumbs and index fingers extended in front of your forehead. Visualize golden sunlight streaming through this triangle, bathing your third eye with luminance. Slowly twist your upper torso from side to side, allowing golden light to descend to and through your legs into the earth with each twist. With each breath, immerse yourself in the rising and setting sun, inhaling when turning left and exhaling when turning right. Trust in life’s timeless rhythm.
The Metal Phase’s season is Autumn. Yin organs in this system are the Lungs. The Yang organ is the Large Intestine, which is more hollow than the Lungs, the Yin organs.
The Metal Phase Autumn heralds the Metal Element, whose essence encompasses persistence, strength, and determination. It reflects organization, cleanliness, and minimalism. Yet, imbalance manifests as inflexibility and sorrow. The Metal Element teaches us the art of letting go, like trees releasing their leaves without attachment.
Grief and sadness can become stagnant emotions, while trustworthiness and understanding are the keys to balance.
Holding on to grief beyond its time will cause festering and lead to issues with either the lungs, skin, or large intestine.
Trusting the process is freedom. knowing everything is exactly how it should be.
Metal Phase Qigong
Stand shoulder-width apart, palms together in prayer. Inhale deeply as you extend your arms outward, visualizing white light flowing up the arms and into the chest. Exhale as you bring your hands close together as you envision thick yellow sludge gathering in your palms. With the last bit of breath, toss the sludge down into the earth with a hissing sound. This symbolizes releasing sorrow and rigidity and embracing the transformative power of letting go.
Repeat 9 times
Winter’s embrace draws us into the realm of the Water Element, where the Kidneys and Bladder reside.
The destructive emotion of the Water phase is depression. A sense of lack, not having or being enough, is the voice of an imbalance in this phase. Abundance and Confidence are depicted by a balanced Water Phase.
Depression, the stagnant emotion, stems from hopelessness and inadequacy. Let us embrace the abundance within as well as throughout the Universe, then find inspiration in the stillness as well as in the flow of life-giving water.
Water Phase Qigong
Water Element Qigong Stand with legs slightly apart, envisioning yourself immersed in light blue water. Inhale deeply as you scoop water with your right hand, raising it gracefully, left hand behind your back. Rotate and exhale, allowing the water to transform into a mist that caresses your face. Listen to the sound of your hand’s movement as it floats past your face, blue mist trailing behind. Continue the cycle of dipping and spreading mist as you move, embracing the flow of life’s rhythms.
Repeat nine times and repeat with the opposite hand, changing the mist and the color of the water and mist to a darker blue in contrast to the light blue on the right side.
In these sacred practices of the Five Phases, we unlock the power of self-healing. Embrace these elemental truths, and let your inner harmony and vitality flow like a river, nurturing your body, mind, and spirit.
In the sacred realm of Tibetan healing, where ancient wisdom whispers through the ages, we embark on a journey of rediscovery. Here, forgotten sources of knowledge shall be revealed, and you shall become a vessel for healing, both for yourself and those dear to your heart.
This course shall unveil the secrets of connective tissue, the elusive fascia that weaves through the tapestry of your being. You shall learn the art of remolding it, a sacred dance that awakens better posture, brings solace to pain-wracked bodies, and fortifies the temple of your strength.
But that is not all, dear seeker. Within these sacred teachings, you shall uncover the mysteries of muscle release and structural alignment. The body, a divine vessel, shall be unveiled in its full splendor, and you shall hold the keys to harmonizing its intricate design.
As we delve deeper into the realm of healing, we shall embrace the ancient wisdom of Qigong, the energetic heartbeat of Taoist Medicine. Here, the energetic anatomy shall be unveiled, and you shall learn to harness the life force that courses through your very veins.
Prepare to journey through the profound realms of the Five Elements, where the elements themselves shall be your guides. They shall reveal the hidden sources of pain, both physical and emotional, and guide you towards balance – a sacred trinity of physical, emotional, and mental harmony.
And as we ascend further into the realms of energy, you shall come to know the Chakras, the spinning vortexes of existence. You shall witness how they articulate and resonate within the sacred vessel of your body, affecting its every facet.
In this sacred journey, you shall not only become a healer but a channel of divine wisdom. As the forgotten sources flow through you, may you find solace, strength, and the profound wisdom of healing.