Archives for December 2014

Renewal of Spirit Meditation

This is an excerpt from  Chris Shelton’s book, “Qigong For Self-Refinement, Total Health with the 5 Elements”. Chp. 12 Pg. 74.

This meditation can be done daily or once a week, ideally on Sundays, to renew your Qi for the week. It is also ideal to do during any seasonal change such as the spring or vernal equinox. You can start with invocations and/or an energy cultivation practice, or simply begin.

1. As usual, start with the Three Regulations: Steady breath, relaxed mind, Wu Ji posture (feet shoulder width, shoulders relaxed and broad, tailbone tucked, Crown Point rising).
2. Pull Dow the Heavens three times.
3. Allow heavenly energy to descend. As this divine Qi descends, imagine that any and all dark turbid Qi from the body is pushed out through the feet, deep into the earth.
4. Start doing the Mystical Pearl Meditation: Focusing on your breathing, breathe deeply into the lower Dan Tian for 5 minutes. Imagine the Dan Tian filling with golden mystical light from the earth.
5. Now bring your awareness to the Third Eye, the center of the forehead, the Upper Dan Tian, and imagine a brown pearl turning there. Feel this brown pearl pulsating, rotating, vibrating.
6. Now imagine peeling away the brown skin of this pearl, then polishing it until it is brilliant white, shining, and filling the entire Upper Dan Tian with pure radiance, illuminating all your senses.
7. Next imagine that the white light descends through your body, cleansing everything in its path.
8. Now focus on the golden light of the Lower Dan Tian and allow the golden and white lights to mix. Feel the mixed energy cleansing every part of your body, both physical and emotional.
9. Imagine the cleansing energy moving down. Focus on the bottoms of the feet and imagine turbid energy leaving through the base of the balls of the feet, replaced by pure energy.
10. As you feel your body becoming purified, cleansing and rejuvenated, start to bring your awareness back tot he present.
11. Slowly awaken all your sensory organs one at a time. Start with your ears, allowing for a complete opening of the ears. Next, stimulate your saliva and the mouth, allowing for the mouth to fully awaken. Then awaken the nose, allowing for the sense of your nose to bring in positive life force energy.
12. Finally the pores of the skin: allow the pores to open, bringing your heightened awareness of everything around you. Feel your environment and your connected to everything.
13. Now, simply, relax. You are ready to start your day (week) with increased awareness, alertness, and profound tranquility, grounded and centered in your true nature.
14. Pull Down the Heavens three times, just for good measure.

Is it Really Better to Give than Receive?!

The holiday season is in full swing!

Hustling-and-bustling is a time-honored tradition this time of year. There’s so much to do and so many (nice and naughty) people to see. Spiritual teacher Ram Dass once humorously observed that those of us who think we’re “enlightened” should spend one week with family to see how kind and peaceful we really are.

In the light of eternity we are all nice and no one is full-time naughty. (Yes, even that relative who activates your “Liver Qi”.) We all have naughty behaviors and personality traits waiting to be transformed and healed. The holidays are a perfect time to practice what so many of us believe and preach: love, centeredness, courage, wisdom, kindness.

As the holidays approach Love is everywhere… and so are our blind spots. The situations that drive us bonkers and push our buttons are opportunities to stay open and not close down. (You know, charming holiday traditions like yelling too much, eating too much, drinking too much, judging too much, silently seething too much, etc.)

How appropriate that Five Element Theory heralds the winter holidays as the beginning of the peaceful and purifying Water Season.  And the 2500-year-old Tao Te Ching agrees. The Tao offers us timeless guidance about how to thrive in this busy beautiful world. Be like water and take comfort in knowing the holidays are packed with family, friends and festivities so we can grow, grow, grow. (Not growl.)

Water always takes the lowest position.

Obstacles do not hinder it.

It accommodates whatever is in its path and continues to flow forward.

It never loses its direction.

By remaining low it follows its true nature and its fundamental direction is not influenced by superficial obstructions.

Water is always ocean-bound, seeking to reunite with the whole.

To follow the way of water is to return to one’s spiritual essence.

Here are four tips for slowing down and flowing open this Winter Water season:

‘Tis better to give than receive. You don’t have to be a “material girl” or “material boy” to know we’re living in a material world. Giving doesn’t have to break the bank or your heart.  A simple gift of gratitude and kindness can change someone’s world. Your time and attention are two of your most precious gifts to share. No credit card required.

Go to bed early.  Think about how bears hibernate during the winter.  When the days are shorter, our bodies need more rest. So put down the eggnog and get up to bed! Sleep is proven to be one of the most restorative medicines around. And your zzzzz are free.

Eat the sea. The Water Element is associated with the Kidneys, an organ that thrives when it’s nourished with simple non-processed foods like wild-caught fresh fish and sea veggies (e.g., nori, wakame, dulse). Other favorites include tofu and black bean soup.   

Give yourself a pearl of wisdom. Kick up your Kidney Qi and your Life Essence by practicing the “White Pearl Qigong Mediation.” Click here for details about accessing more energy, vitality and joy this season and always.

We hope you flow through this holiday season with the ease and purity of water.

Happy Holidays!

Love and gratitude,

-Chris & Parisa Shelton and the Morning Crane team