If you are looking for a post about specific Taoist practices of sexuality, look at Daniel Reid’s book – the Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity; or seek out the Jade Dragon / White Tigress books. Mantak Chia’s books also provide a lot of specifics around sexual practices.
I was discussing what little I know of Taoist wisdom around sex, health and longevity with a friend, and I started pondering this topic more. Also, I realized that we cannot separate Chinese medicine (which has some strong Taoist themes), from Qigong (which has very strong Taoist roots) or from Taoist beliefs around sexual practices. Sometimes sex can used as medicine if practiced correctly, with virtuous intentions, with the proper inner stance. Qigong is definitely a practice of inner alchemy and prevention of disease. You might say qigong is becoming a medicinal breakfast for me most days!
For me, qigong does many things:
- It centers and aligns my heart / mind.
- Introduces playfulness into my daily activities – smiling, enjoying the movements of my body, feeling the inner dance of ecstasy from time to time.
- Brings awareness from the head, down into the body, and specifically into the Dan Tien and lower body, allowing me to be more grounded, more centered and more in touch with my pelvis and roots.
- Cultivates clearer, cleaner, virtuous Chi (life-force energy).
- Occasionally, qigong generates inner heat as we do specific breathing techniques to prime the pump as it were – re-kindling the inner furnace, re-igniting the spiritual fires of the belly.
- With the stoking of the inner spiritual flame comes a sort of purification (for me at least). I often times sweat from my arm pits during or after doing qigong. To me, this has me more in touch with my vitality and subtle energy channels.
- Rarely, I get in the flow. What does this mean? I start to become non-conceptual around certain activities – I will just find myself doing something that needs doing without thinking through the steps. Or my body will turn and start to walk toward something that I subconsciously need – but it is only conscious a few seconds later.
- And possibly most importantly, I strengthen my boundaries. The delineation between me and other becomes stronger. I am settled in my body. I am content. I can be quiet. I am beingness. There is nothing to do. This space I inhabit is my space. The little bubble around me, is my space. I even notice this when I ride my bike after doing 45 minutes + of qigong – instead of riding my bike with trepidation and apprehension of the cars around me, I find myself feeling that that space on the road is mine. I walk with confidence, I ride with confidence, I sit with confidence. I abide confidently.
As a good lover what do we need? Of course this is slightly different depending on your gender, but some constants can surely be found across the spectrum.
We need balance. Harmony between self-orientation and other-orientation. Too much of one and suddenly there is strain in the relationship – whether implicit or explicit.
We need awareness of our body. If we are numbed out on recreational substances, this will affect our vitality and our endurance – love making more than once / night or a few times / week would be impossible. We need to be moving in the direction of clear, grounded embodiment. We want to, at least in the ideal world, be moving toward clearing up any imprints which no longer serve us. (By the way, smoking cigarettes or marijuana disrupts the subtle energy channels, and this in turn disrupts our clarity, our vitality and our ability to have robust health and endurance.)
When we are conceived, Shen or spirit comes down into / around the new conceptus, and this divine blueprint is our highest possibility. But then life happens (suffer happens, confusion happens, misunderstandings turn into inner tension and resistance), we encounter all sorts of ancestral double binds and conflicts, whether from our parents directly or indirectly from a line of ancestors. And these blocks to our divine blueprint are known (in pre- and perinatal psychology) as imprints. We want to work to clear up imprints as much as possible. Otherwise we will revert back to childish reactions when our partner wants us to be a healthy adult!!
The clearer my mind and heart are, the more centered and balanced and grounded I can be, the less seriously I take myself while resting contentedly in my body, the easier I can be in my pelvis, the more I can cultivate solid vitality and clean Chi, and the clearer I am about my boundaries, the better a lover I will be.
Qigong is a practice self care, and for me, it is more than that. It builds resilience. It helps bring clarity to my mind and heart (and body). It can be a spiritual practice.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. I am starting to ponder the idea of having my blog be member’s access only. The ads on here are annoying I know (sorry about that) and they do not pay for the blog entirely. In other words, each year, I lose about $60, which does not count the hours I spend writing drafts to post on here. If you have any ideas of how I am get compensated for my time and the cost of maintaining this blog, let me know!
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