TAI- Healing of Self and Others
The fourth center of power in the body is located at the site of the navel. The channel of energy which flows from this point is known as the Tai Mo, or Belt Channel, and passes around both sides of the body, encircling the belly. If it is not functioning properly the belly will be distended and the waist will feel cool and wet. Loss of appetite is another symptom. This center is concerned with digestive functions, its counterpart is the solar plexus. It represents the fire element, its form is triangular. This level is characterized by spirit and the successful conclusion of the meditation. In this state, the mind becomes one with the object of meditation, together with the concept and the name of the object. In combat, the kiai, or spirit shout, is drawn from this source.
To form the kanji, place the hands back to back, fingers pointing down. Spread the fingers and interlock them from within. Bring the elbows down, bringing the palms together over the fingers, enclosing them within the hands. Extricate the index and little fingers and extend them with the tips touching. The thumbs are extended and pointing toward the body.
Lift the hands in front of the body and describe the illustrated ideogram by alternately drawing five horizontal and four vertical lines using the tips of the little fingers as a pointer. Visualize this character.
Hold the head erect, facing forward with the eyes closed. The tip of the tongue is held lightly between the lips and the mouth is slightly open. Inhale through the mouth, producing a wheezing sound and filling the lungs from bottom to top. When the inhalation is complete, close the mouth. Tilt the head to the right side as if to place the right ear on the shoulder. The neck does not twist during this movement. Hold this position for nine heartbeats.
Return the head to an upright position, exhale through the nose. Part the lips slightly and inhale through the mouth as before. Tilt the left ear to the left shoulder and retain the breath for nine heartbeats. Return the head to an upright position and exhale through the nose. Repeat this exercise eighty-one times. This develops the spirit. This level of energy is called, "Healing of Self and Others." The little finger represents the "self' since it symbolizes the Earth element, while the index finger represents "others," who are held in the mind, the Air element.
This exercise begins a second phase in breathing techniques. The first three exercises involved creating an oxygen debt, making the system more acidic, and were concerned with the accumulation of energy. The next three are designed to saturate the blood stream with oxygen, making the system more alkaline; these are concerned with the direction of energy. These are characterized by the breezy sensation felt on the tongue during the performance of this exercise. The last three exercises are concerned with the transmission of energy.
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