What is the Chi and how does it relate to the physical body? If you are an average human being in good health and you could see the energy of the Chi, you would observe that your spirit body wraps around your physical body seven feet in all directions from your sternum around an energy center called the solar plexuses. If you’re a master or an adept, the spirit body or magnetic energy field proceeds outward from this center much further than that.
When you are ill, or if you have had a trauma recently or if you are recovering from surgery, it is not uncommon for your spirit body to contract and be much smaller than seven feet in every direction. This contraction begins to affect the health of the physical vehicle. Throughout the physical body there are many energy pressure points. These can be readily identified by any acupuncturist. Some of the pressure points are connected to nerve plexuses. Among these nerve plexuses are seven major energy centers in the body, and an eighth that actually a polarity above and below the body. (In reality, there are 12 total, but centers 9-12 are best kept for a much more expanded discussion not appropriate for this book.) These seven energy centers are connected to and correspond with the endocrine gland system in the body, the eighth is activated by movement, and balances the heart with the earth.
Think of the spirit body like the outer membrane of a navel orange. If that outer membrane begins to contract, all the fibers within that orange will be affected. If the spirit body begins to contract, all the nerve plexuses or spokes will be affected also. When there is a disruption in the flow of Chi through the nerve plexuses, that person’s health and balance will begin to deteriorate.
Lao Tzu discovered that it is possible to bring profound changes to the magnetic energy field, the spirit body surrounding the physical vehicle. He developed exercises through the proper use of the breath, mind and movement that literally expanded the spirit body. They expand this magnetic energy field, sometimes called the aura.
He also learned that any individual can expand his or her energy field to surround another human being to protect or heal them. An individual can expand it to encompass a village to do the same. He even believed that an individual could expand it into the entire cosmos. For instance, he felt it was possible to expand the field to surround the earth and heal it from inside and outside because everything is connected with all that is. It is out of this concept that the mind set, the philosophy and the psychology of Tai ‘Chi Gung are born.
A closer look at the nerve plexuses in the eighth major energy centers reveal that they themselves have thousands of spokes, like the wheel on a bicycle. These spokes, or ‘nadas’ in Sanskrit, are spinning. Their common name from India is ‘chakras’ which literally means wheels spinning. If an individual for whatever reason experiences a slowing down in one of these energy centers, it can affect the whole balance of that area of the body.
For example, it is not uncommon to find males on the planet right now who are having trouble with their solar plexuses. There are a lot of men today who just want to give up. They have been fighting so long in so many ways for so many things that they do and do not understand, that they just don’t want to fight anymore. But they are giving up on the positive side of this energy also. They are giving up the great fight of the day called work. They no longer have the interest or the inner desire to go forth and be active, to be masculine in the world. This lack of inner drive is reflected in the slowing of energy naturally flowing from the solar plexuses. The solar plexuses center is the self realization center. When a person retreats or slows down the solar plexuses long enough, it can cause a sugar imbalance or a sodium imbalance.
On the other hand, many females on the planet right now experience difficulty with their throat centers. The throat center is the authority center, it is the creative center. Each of these centers also corresponds to a complementary half. The throat center compliments the root chakra which is in the sexual organs. When a person suppresses their authority, a quality resonating in the throat chakra, it can manifest symptoms in many places. If it doesn’t manifest in the throat area, it can manifest in the ovaries and testicles. If there are problems in the solar plexuses chakra, it can cause symptoms in the stomach, pancreas and kidneys. But it can also ricochet back upward to the crown chakra in the soft spot in the top of the head where imbalances can produce symptoms like palsy or MS. While we do not claim to diagnose, treat or cure any disease state, it is reckless to assume that one can treat a disease and achieve permanent, lasting success without also addressing the root of the imbalance. Before a symptom appears in the physical body, it is carried in the energy field of the individual. It is from the spirit body that the symptom appears in the first place.
And because the flow of energy from one day to the next is not something that most people are directly aware of, some symptoms from these Chi imbalances can take years if not decades to manifest physically. Because many people are not consciously participating in maintaining the health and vitality of their Chi on a daily basis, they do not understand why the physical ailments appear. They fall ‘victim’ to disease as it appears in their body, their ‘temple’, like falling victim to a thief coming in the night, even though the habits of thought, breath and action have been seeding the malady for a long time. It is no wonder that people fear illness and aging. There appears to be nothing they can do about it and they do not recognize where it comes from or why it appears. Yet there is something that people can do about it.
Rasaji once asked Bo-Yang, his master, “What really is Tai’ Chi Gung?
Bo-Yang replied. “Tai’ Chi Gung is the owner’s manual for the physical body.”
Think for a moment. When you buy a new vehicle, you receive a nice slick owner’s manual. You may never really look at it, but it is filled with information about how your vehicle is designed to function, what it can do and how to maintain it. You may not understand it or use it, but at least you have it. On the other hand, most human beings sort of squeegee in to the earth, they don’t have any real idea how the body works or what it is truly capable of. And they often don’t manage to learn much about it until some part of it doesn’t work correctly.
The physical body is a miracle. It is a miraculous gift of God. But in truth, we’re on the “rent with an option to buy” plan. We must learn to use it properly or we’ll eventually lose it. What is truly profound about Tai’ Chi Gung, is that it can equip every individual who adopts the practice with the knowledge and resources to rebuild, restore, maintain and improve their basic health function on a daily basis. Within the eight aspects of Chi that follow, you’ll come to understand the profound transformative, regenerative power that is waiting to be discovered within your own body right now.
The key to this transformation includes a basic understanding of the Chi. The Chi, or Spirit enlivens the body by moving through the energy centers. These centers correspond to the endocrine gland system. The chakras, or wheels spinning have 72,000 spokes, or nadas. In their natural state, they are turned outward, the chest is open and carried forward going boldly into the world. Through experiences, sometimes painful, these nadas can be turned back inward, withdrawing from the world. To initiate a gradual regeneration of any physical aspect in the body, one must learn how to turn these spokes outward again. At the center of this is a working knowledge of the three fires, or three eternal flames present in the body. These are: Thought, Breathe, and Movement. It is these three that have the most influence on the health of the body. They alter the energy field, and the energy field alters the body. Together with nutrition, they make up the four parts of Tai’ Chi Gung 101..
One critical element to remember is that there is really no substitute for direct experience. To help those who want to unlock their regenerative power and achieve profound balance, Rasaji has designed a one day seminar to begin the process of regeneration. Rasaji’s Circle of Chi Seminar is designed to give people the direct experience of the Chi so that their health is not limited to a mental concept of energy, but they come into a daily dialogue with the Chi itself. They feel it, see it, taste it, smell it, breathe it, move with it, and bring it into their work, their money, their connection to Nature and their friendships. We encourage anyone interested in a true holistic approach to their health to participate in Rasaji’s Circle of Chi Seminar. A list of available seminars is kept up to date on www.rasaji.com, or contact Rasaji directly to arrange a private consultation.
So Tai’ Chi Gung is really a lot bigger than the dismissive summary given by Rasaji’s dad when Rasaji was a young adolescent, “Tai’ Chi Gung is a bunch of silly people in Chinese pajamas listening to long hair music doing funny little slow motion water ballet movements in the air.”
The Tai’ Chi Gung system is a profound science that has a 3300 year lineage. And in the midst of this lineage is the core knowledge of over 5000 years of yoga mastery including the knowledge of Ayurveda, the Indian medical tradition. The Tai’ Chi Gung system was founded when three profound yoga systems were taken directly into the forests of China to discover how the human body truly interacts with Nature and is healed by Her.
In the upcoming chapters, each of the eight primary sources of Chi in the everyday life of a human being will be viewed so that you can recognize those events that influence the Chi the most in your own life. You’ll learn what blocks the Chi, what attracts the Chi, and also what shuts the Chi down within the spirit, mind and body. For instance, there are ways of using the mind in Tai’ Chi Gung that are much different than most people typically make use of it. The mind is capable of becoming a funnel for the Chi. Imagine for a moment that the mind is more than just a recording device or a calculator. Consider that it can also behave like a fireman’s hose. The mind works, not as the force itself, but rather as the guide for energy flowing through it. In Tai’ Chi Gung, the mind can be taught to focus the pressure, to tap and to harness the energy flow. That being the case, it is worth asking, “Is your mind now operating like a fireman’s hose open full throttle? Or is it working more like a brittle, bent up garden hose that only allows a slow motion trickle to flow through it?
The Tai’ Chi Gung exercises shared by Rasaji in his Circle of Chi Seminars will empower you to build a powerful mind, a mind that is open to the Chi; a mind that brings abundance to every aspect of your daily life. This is a practical use of the mind that does not require some sort of academic degree; it is a skill open to any individual at any time who is also willing to practice the Tai’ Chi Gung system.
What is really exciting about working with the Chi is that it behaves a lot like a rock skipping across a pond. When people begin to tap it on one level, they’ll have a natural tendency to want to tap it on other levels also. Practicing the Tai’ Chi Gung system gives you more choices, and you’ll make better decisions both for yourself and for those you love and care about. You’ll discover ways to help humanity that may have never occurred to you before, and you’ll be able to build a Circle of Chi around, in and through you that supports and sustains your health in every way.