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Do You Know Your Yin from Your Yang?

Published 28/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

Living in China and having a long personal history of martial arts, Chinese history, culture and my own spiritual practice embedded in China for the past fifty years, has; over the years made me very interested in Daoism/Taoism, Lao Tzu/ Lao Zi, the Dao De Jing/Tao Te Ching, I Ching..there are so many ways they are represented globally 🙂 The difference between Daojia 道家 , Taoist Philosophy and Daojiao 道教, Daoist Religion brings even more confusion to the western world let alone understanding the I Ching (The Book of Change), the oracle of fortune, a guide to success and a dispensary of wisdom. The ancestor of all Chinese philosophy, it is the primary source for the pragmatic mysticism of the Tao Te Ching, the rational humanism of Confucius, and the analytic strategy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and of course the wonderful Yin 酓 Yang 昜 in traditional Chinese and Yin阴Yang 阳 in modern simplified Chinese.

Yin_Yang_art

Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and yang is the white side with the black dot in it. The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley. Yin (literally the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’) is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk, while yang (literally the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’) is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed.

Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity , and nighttime.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.

Yin and yang applies to the human body. In traditional Chinese medicine good health is directly related to the balance between yin and yang qualities within oneself. If yin and yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered deficient or has vacuity.

Anyways, I could go on forever trying to explain Yin Yang, The Dao/Tao so I thought I would share with you this very short cartoon animated Ted Talk video explaining Yin Yang, I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to learn more about Daoism 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

I See

Published 22/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

I See

I see your indifference
But I want to warm the cold heart
I see,
In fact, I am yet to accept your indifference

I see your pain
But I want to end the pain
I see,
In fact, I did not accompany your pain

I see your selfishness
But I judge your selfishness
I see,
In fact, it was driven by my selfishness

I see your anger
But try to get rid of your anger
I see,
In fact, I did not let you feel angry

I see your anxiety
But I feel worry about your anxiety
I see,
In fact, I start being anxious
I see your weakness
But I do not know which hand shall I use to give you a hug
I see,
In fact, I am feeling weak now as well

I see your beauty
And I appreciate your beauty
I see,
I am getting beautiful now as well

I see your kindness
And I am delighted with your kindness
I see,
Originally I have such kindness as well

I see you are true
And believing in your truth
I see,
Originally I am also being true

I see you are firm
And see the gentle accompanying
I see,
I am firm and gentle now

I see you are strong
And feeling the flexibility of the strength
I see,
I start having such power now
I see your humbleness
And feeling the self-confidence inside
I see,
I start am being humble as well

I see your peacefulness
And feeling the peaceful mercy
I see,
I am walking towards mercies now

I see your open-heart
And hugging your open-heart
I see,
In fact, I am opening my heart as well
I see you giving
Without any condition
I see,
In fact, I am learning how to share myself

I see your purity
Simply just,
Do what you want to do
Love who you want to love
Walk on the road you want to
Cry when you feel pain
Laugh when you feel happy
Rest when you feel tired
Go on when you are fine
I see myself too

If only see it, that’s only seeing
And accepting what we see
But not immediately thinking what shall be changed
Through seeing
I see myself
And I also see
The original purity and completeness of life

seeing the light

我看见你的冷漠
却想去温暖这个冷漠
我看到
其实我还没接纳你的冷漠
我看见你的痛苦
却想去结束这个痛苦
我看到
其实我并没有陪伴你的痛苦

我看见你的自私
却去评判你的自私
我看到
其实真正涌动的是我的自私
我看见你的愤怒
却想躲开你的愤怒
我看到
其实我没有允许你可以愤怒

我看见你的焦虑
却去担心你的焦虑
我看到
其实我已开始陷入焦虑
我看见你的无力
却不知道要伸哪只手来抱你
我看到
其实当下我也无力
我看见你的美丽
并欣赏着你的美丽
我看到
当下我也开始美丽
我看见你的善良
并喜悦着你的善良
我看到
原本我亦善良
我看见你的真实
并相信着你的真实
我看到
原本我也如此真实
我看见你的坚定
并看到相守的温柔
我看到
我正坚定并且温柔
我看见你的坚强
并感受着柔韧的力量
我看到
我正承接到这样的力量
我看见你的谦卑
并感受到内在的自信
我看到
我也开始低头谦卑

我看到你的淡定
并感受到平静的慈悲
我看到
我正在走近慈悲
我看见你的敞开
并拥抱你的敞开
我看到
其实我也正在敞开

我看见你的付出
不带任何条件
我看到
其实我也学会将自己分享

我看见你的纯粹
只是
做自己想做的事
爱自己想爱的人
走自己想走的路
痛了就哭,喜了就笑
累了就歇,好了就走
我也看到了自己

如果对于看见
只是看见
并接纳所有的看见
而不要想要马上去改变
透过看见
我看见了自己
也看到
生命原本的纯粹与全然

Love Makes No Conditions

Published 13/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

BZlHvjZCUAAwLCB.jpg-large

Today I’m posting on Love in both English and Chinese, I do hope you like the readings fro Osho and Sadhguru

“Love makes no conditions, no ifs, no buts. Love never says, “Fulfill these requirements, then I will love you.” Love is like breathing: when it happens you are simply love. It does not matter who comes close to you, the sinner or the saint. Whosoever comes close to you starts feeling the vibe of love, is rejoiced. Love is unconditional giving – but only those are capable of giving who have.”

“愛沒有條件,沒有如果,沒有但是。愛絕不會說:‘完成這些要求,我才會愛你。’愛就像呼吸,當它發生時你就是愛本身。無論誰走近你都沒有關係,罪人或聖人都一樣。無論誰走近你都會升起愛的暖意,多麼愉悅。愛是無條件的給予——不過只有那些有能力給予的人才有愛。” ——奧修

— Osho

“If you are feeling very pleasant, suddenly you become like a flower. When somebody is in love, if you look at their faces, suddenly they look like a flower because they are feeling so pleasant within themselves. Whoever you are in love with, they may not even be aware of it – it does not matter. You are in love, that’s all that matters. It is your emotion. It is the way you are.
如果你感覺非常欣喜,你會忽然變成一朵花。當有人沉浸在愛中時,如果你看看他們的臉,他們好像一朵綻放的花朵,因為他們的內心如此歡心愉悅。無論你愛上誰,甚至對方都不知道——這都無關緊要。你在愛裡,這才是最重要的。這是你的情感。這是你之所以是你的方式。

Love is not something that you do. Love is something that you are. Either you can use someone as a support to make yourself loving, or you can simply become loving.
愛不是你要做的什麼事。愛是你是之所以是你的一部分。你要麼可以借用別人來讓自己愛,要麼你可以簡簡單單成為愛本身。

If you are trying to extract joy, love and pleasantness out of someone, this is going to be disastrous for both people. I am not saying it is better to live alone. I am saying the way you are should be determined by you. If this is so and you are here to share your love with people, if you are feeling wonderful and you want to share this with someone, then it will be very beautiful.
如果你試著從某人那裡攫取快樂、愛和幸福,這將對兩人都是災難。我不是說你最好一個人過。我是說你是怎樣的應該由你自己決定。若這你是自己決定的並且你來這兒是與人分享你的愛,若你感覺非常美妙並且你想把這一切與某人分享,那麼,這一切會是非常美麗。

— Sadhguru 薩古魯

great-love-small-things

Love is all around, and as I have said before we need to open our eyes to see it and open our hearts to feel it. Let love into your hearts my friends and your life will be filled with pure source energy and you will be able to give love and enjoy your life to the full 🙂

Namaste with Love
Always

Mark

When I started Loving Myself!

Published 06/04/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

My dear friends, this is a post we posted here in China from one of the worlds greatest silent film actors Charlie Chaplin, the post is in English and Chinese, its about life and understanding ‘Self’ and ‘Loving Yourself’

I do hope you enjoy it!

Namaste Mark

0

什么叫做“成熟”?什么叫做“完美”?
什么又叫做“生活”?
今天我们来聆听查理卓别林老师。这是一首在1959年他70岁生日时写下的一首诗。
What is “Maturity”? What is “Perfection”?
What is “Life”?
Today let’s listen Charlie Chaplin. This is a poem he wrote on his 70th birthday in 1959.

0-1

When I started
loving myself
当我开始爱自己

0-2

As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is
“AUTHENTICITY“.

当我真正开始爱自己,
我才认识到,所有的痛苦和情感的折磨,
都只是提醒我:我的生活违背了自己的本心。
今天我明白了,这叫做
『真实』。

0-3

As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call it
“RESPECT“.
当我真正开始爱自己,
我才懂得,把自己的愿望强加于人,
是多么的无礼,就算我知道,时机并不成熟,
那人也还没有做好准备,
就算那个人就是我自己,
今天我明白了,这叫做
『尊重』。

0-4

As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it
“Maturity“.
当我开始爱自己,
我不再渴求不同的人生,
我知道任何发生在我身边的事情,
都是对我成长的邀请。
如今,我称之为
『成熟』。

0-5

As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment,
so I could be calm.
Today I call it
“SELF-CONFIDENCE“.
当我开始爱自己
我才明白我其实一直都在恰好的时机
恰好的地方、恰好的时间
我才明白发生的一切都恰到好处
从此我得以平静
今天我明白了,这叫做
『自信心』。

0-6

As I began to love myself
I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me
joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that
make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it
“HONESTY“.
当我开始真正爱自己,
我不再牺牲自己的自由时间,
不再去勾画什么宏伟的明天。
今天我只做有趣和快乐的事,
做自己热爱,让心欢喜的事,
用我的方式,以我的韵律。
今天我明白了,这叫做
『诚实』。

0-7

As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything the drew me down and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is
“LOVE OF ONESELF“.
当我开始真正爱自己,
我开始远离一切不健康的东西。
不论是饮食和人物,还是事情和环境,
我远离一切让我远离本真的东西。
从前我把这叫做“追求健康的自私自利”,
但今天我明白了,这是
『爱自己』。

charlie

As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is
“MODESTY“.
当我开始真正爱自己,
我不再总想着要永远正确,不犯错误。
我今天明白了,这叫做
『谦逊』。

0-9

As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worry about thefuture.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where EVERYTHING is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day,
and I call it
“PERFECTION“.
我当开始真正爱自己,
我不再继续沉溺于过去,
也不再为明天而忧虑,
现在我只活在一切正在发生的当下,
今天,我活在此时此地,
如此日复一日。这就叫
『完美』。

0-10

As I began to love myself
I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection
WISDOM OF THE HEART.
当我开始真正爱自己,
我明白,我的思虑让我变得贫乏和病态,
但当我唤起了心灵的力量,
理智就变成了一个重要的伙伴,
这种组合我称之为,
『心灵的智慧』。

We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know
That is LIFE!
我们无须再害怕自己和他人的分歧,矛盾和问题,
因为即使星星有时也会碰在一起,
形成新的世界,
今天我明白,这就是『生命』!

0-11

Remember my friends, LOVE YOURSELF Unconditionally!

Namaste with Love

Always
Mark

As A Father, I want My Children to Know That Rhinos, Elephants and Sharks Are Not Just A Picture In A Book.

Published 21/02/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

Qigong-Longevity and Immortality

Published 27/06/2013 by inspiringyourspirit

Time Reversal

One of the most fascinating things to me in Qigong has been the Chinese fascination with longevity and immortality. Immortality is not living forever in the body you have today, it is to be aware of your eternal nature – before you die.

immortality

Interestingly, Laozi addresses this in the context of light in his poem #52, “using your own radiance return to the source of all light, this is the practice of entering eternity.”
In Qi cultivation this process is initiated at the practical level of health and healing. However, in the more advanced methods that are explored in the Heaven Phases, healing, longevity and immortality are gained by returning to one’s primordial or pre-birth nature and by merging with the timeless field of universal Qi. Many Qigong practices are focused on reversing time and returning to your pre-birth when there was no stress, no complexity, nothing to know, nothing to plan, nothing to remember.
Very recently, scientists have determined that our usual perception of time is not entirely correct. The arrow of time does not just travel forward in accordance with the clock and the sun, it also travels the opposite direction. I found this out while presenting at the Esalen-Noetic Science conference noted earlier. My roomate was the distinguished physicist Helmut Schmidt, who developed the digital random numbers generator (DRNG) at Boeing in 1969. This device, produces sets of random numbers that allow scientists to investigate non-local and quantum effects. In our conversations I was amazed to find that his work reflected the concepts that were so prevalent in the world view of the ancient Chinese Qi Masters. Talking Dr. Schmidt is a little like talking to Laozi, “When exploring the science of Qi, emphasize the mystery – anything else that you name it is probably wrong.” In his research Dr Schmidt has demonstrated that mind or consciousness influence the chance process in nature so that an outcome can reflect your intention. (50, 51)
This was further confirmed by Russell Targ (52, 53) a physicist who conducted the CIA research on remote viewing and Dean Radin of the Boundry Institute. (54, 55)In the discussions with these three luminaries of science it became obvious that there is a significant amount of research data that suggests that an influence can travel from the present to influence the past or from the future to influence the present. It has been found that this influence is potentiated by coherent function, aligning inner resources through mind focus and intention.
The possibilities that arise from this research are amazing. Healing may not actually be simply physiologic. In the light of time reversal, healing could as easily be caused by an influence going into the past and altering the development of health status even before a disease had occurred. This is connected to our discussion on possibility, probability and actuality. The set of “probabilities” that were on track to cause the “actual” disease would be altered by a signal or message that travels into the past to trigger an alternative set of probabilities. This would prevent the disease before it began and established a new history, a new set of “actualities”, for the person which begins to manifest in the past but is reflected in the present.
In an applied sense this means that in our practice of Qigong we may be influencing the past to affect the future or that our practice in the future has an effect on our present. Let this sink in. Your practice today may influence the past to alter your future. As your practice advances in the future the more powerful influence may be having an effect on you now. This Qigong effect could translate into new choices or behaviors. Or it could simply inspire us to increase the quantity or quality of our Qigong practice. Essentially, as this picture formed up in the discussions with Schmidt, Targ and Radin it became apparent that as probabilities become actualities it creates what is called our “world line” – a sequential set of probabilities that actualized. The time reverse effect suggests that, through intention an alternative set of probabilities actualize creating a new world line – a new you. This is exactly what the Chinese promise in Inner Alchemy and the cultivation of the Golden Elixir which is a spiritual medicine that creates peace of mind and a direct association with timeless nature of life.

Love

In the highest levels of Qigong it is an intention of the practice to become one with all life. Or as we havediscussed it may be more accurate to say — to realize that that you are of the One. Dissolving in Qi is essentially this, to melt into the universal field of Qi. To become one is to deeply associate with and accept oneness with everything. This is love. One of the most advanced states in Qigong is compassion and spontaneous service – love.
Interestingly, the writers in the domain of physics that I have drawn upon the most in my exploration of the Heaven Level of equivalents of Qi all talk about love. One of the first and most interesting things that I heard William Tiller say about the practical application of his findings in physics was, “We have an inherent capacity to resonate to the frequency of love, except for one thing – fear creates resistance in our circuitry.”
Love in all its forms – compassion, devotion, appreciation, gratitude, caring – create inner coherence. Love describes interacting with openness. Physicist Goswami suggests that the reality of quantum mechanics at the human level is love – where the “boundaries of the self are transcended through the experience of unity in spite of apparent separateness.” Shen, the Chinese word for Spirit is often translated as unconditional love – because in the ultimate sense personal spirit is associated with the One. In the most advanced forms of Heaven Qigong, sometimes called Shen Qigong, one enters into a form of practice where the self merges with the One.

Coherence
These universal interactions — whether through fields, consciousness or otherwise — suggest that the Chinese idea of the One and the relation that you can elect to have with the One is feasible. We can not decide to make the universe more coherent. The universal field is already coherent. However we can, through our practice, align with or enter into coherence with the inherent power of the universe.

Heart/Mind Equivalent

active Heart-Mind

Consciousness, it appears, may be the primary or fundamental factor in our experience of what we know as as the cosmos or the world. It also appears that your own consciousness may actually be an aspect or a portion of a universal field of consciousness. In the Chinese tradition this is all consistent with the idea of the pervasive Qi of Heaven entering the individual and residing in the heart (Heart/Mind). This means that our heart reflects the One.

chenshixing1

When the great masters who teach with life and compassion do their good work it is essentially, according to the Chinese, opening to the natural Yin force of Earth, opening to the natural Yang force of Heaven and allowing them to merge in the Heart/Mind center. By over coming the illusion of separateness that causes fear and worry the heart opens and the influence of Heaven and Earth pour through you and into your life, your work, your family, your community. When you purposefully cultivate Qi to eliminate resistance and the forces of the universe flow through you, it is an expression of the One. Complete surrender to all that is — that is openness to the One. Openness to all that is that is love and love resides in and expresses through the Heart.

wudang3

Nesting — Embedding
The Multidimensional Human
Physiology – Earth internal, material, local

Bioenergy – HeartMind internal, non material, local

Biofield – Heart Mind internal/external, non-material, local

Quantum – Heaven Qi internal/external, nonmaterial, nonlocal

Of the four Western equivalents of Qi, only one is material. Yet, for most practical applications particularly in health and medicine, Western science has been completely focused on the material. Our science has definitely demonstrated the power to study, and apparently even control, the physical domain. The future of Western science is guaranteed to be awesome given only the smallest material portion of the multi-dimensional world and only a minor aspect of the multi-dimensional human has been explored.

The Chinese are contributing to our capacity to understand what looks like the limitless nature of our being. It appears that each of the levels of our self may be nested or embedded in the other levels. This can be viewed from bottom up as is typical here in the contemporary science of the West, or top down as in the more intuitive sciences of the ancients.

Bottom up – Western Science —

The body — physiology and biochemistry — is the conductive ground for the bioenergetic frame work which generates the biofield. These together provide the local framework for the interface of quantum/consciousness which is boundless and timeless.

16

Top down – Ancient Science —

The boundless and timeless ocean of Qi (quantum) creates the personal Qi Matrix (biofield), which infuses channels and centers (Dan Tian). This constructs and maintains the physical body ( structural and biochemical interactions).

This nesting integrates the parts into a whole. In our practice of cultivation we can either work from the Heaven Level down – which is not generally that easy to accomplish for people from our background in the material world — using Natural Flow Qigong, Circulating the Light or Guarding the One are examples of this. Or, fortunately, we can cultivate from the bottom up as well. This approach is the approach to Qigong that is open to everyone. Creating inner physiological coherence among the heart, brain, nervous system and other organ systems enhances the flow of the ions which maximize the capacity of the biofield. Western science has recently progressed rapidly toward understanding this. In addition, our coherent biofield very likely creates a positive relationship with or impact upon our interaction with the universal field of conscious or the quantum domain. While this aspect of the multi-dimensional human is going to be a big challenge for science, there are excellent Qigong tools for practice in this area that have been refined and improved for centuries.

Earlier we explored briefly the ancient formula for health and longevity. The emerging new formula that expresses the equivalents from the contemporary sciences of biology and physics for the knowledge of the ancients:

Inner Coherence = Information Exchange = Optimal Function

Western culture is experiencing a breakthrough to new knowledge about the fact that it is possible to purposefully enhance inner coherence through the methods developed by the ancients as well as some more recently developed self-improvement methods. The new formula for the use of personal practice to potentiate optimal function:

Practice + Intention =

Coherence = Information Exchange = Optimal Function

The ancient Chinese would declare that we can manage our relationship to the universal Qi to improve our lives through the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Western science is progressing rapidly to confirm this. The Chinese would declare that by doing the cultivation practices we engage our Heaven self (spirit, Shen) which enters into us to create the illuminated life. With current trends in energy medicine and quantum science we are, it seems, close to this same discovery in the West. Will we solve the Mystery in the West through our sophisticated scientific methods? The ancients would predict that there is quite a bit that you can uncover about the nature and benefits of the Qi, but that it is unlikely that we will solve the ultimate mystery known as Tai Xuan – Supreme Mystery.

Paradoxically, it has become apparent that way before Einstein, the ancient Chinese were doing medical research that was completely consistent with modern physics. This fact is having a major impact on contemporary science and causing a radical new trend to use the framework of quantum era physics to investigate medicine, healing and human potential. From its earliest history, Qigong has been associated with a mysterious and wonderful inner medicine, the Golden Elixir, which is based in Qi and the universal field of potential. The ancient theory that Qi is everywhere has both frustrated and stimulated Western science. Western science has a strong aversion to unsolved mysteries. To solve the mystery of Qi, Western science will have to experience a radical transformation. Research in Asia and Western countries has led to speculation that Qi could be a multi-dimensional factor that may link specific components of the local world with unspecific and immeasurable fields of cosmic proportion into a dynamic, unbounded and unified web of life.

I hope you enjoyed this article on Qigong?

Namaste

Mark

Excerpt from:

The Healing Promise of Qi, Chapter 16, The Light of Science on Qi
McGraw-Hill; 2002 by Dr. Roger Jahnke ,OMD
Sources
48. Schmidt, Helmut. “The Mysterious Side of Psychokinesis (PK).” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
49. Schmidt, Helmut. “PK Tests in a Pre-Sleep State.” Journal of Parapsychology 64:317-31 (Sept. 2000).
50. Targ, Russell. “The Scientific and Spiritual Implications of Psychic Abilities.” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
51. Targ, Russell. Miracles of Mind: Exploring Nonlocal Consciousness and Spiritual Healing. Novato, CA: New World Library, 1999.
52 . Radin, Dean. “Time Reversed Human Experience.” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
53. Radin, Dean. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997.

[Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD – has practiced clinical Chinese medicine for over 30 years. He has traveled to China 8 times to research Qigong and Tai Chi in universities, hospitals, temples and sacred mountain sites. He is a co-founder of the National Qigong Association and is director of training and research at the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi IIQTC, http://IIQTC.org and http://FeelTheQi.com. Dr. Jahnke is the author of The Healer Within, which is widely used in wellness and health promotion programs, and The Healing Promise of Qi, which became an instant classic of mind-body practice and energy medicine. He, along with his colleagues have recently published the most comprehensive review of the Qigong and Tai Chi research literature in the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP). The Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher Training program at the IIQTC is considered by many to be among the most credible Teacher Training programs outside of China.]

Mid-Autumn Festival

Published 28/09/2012 by inspiringyourspirit

Hi Everyone, today is likely to be my last post for the next couple of weeks due to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival National Holiday which starts this weekend followed immediately by a business trip I need to make.

I will try to post a few words If I can gain access to the internet.

Namaste

Mark

The Mid-Autumn Festival (simplified Chinese: 中秋节; traditional Chinese: 中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. A description of the festival first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty from 3,000 years ago. The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. The Government of the People’s Republic of China listed the festival as an “intangible cultural heritage” in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan.
Traditions
The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Spring Festival and Winter Solstice. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as: Eating mooncakes. Matchmaking. In some parts of China, dances are held for young men and women to find partners. “One by one, young women are encouraged to throw their handkerchiefs to the crowd. The young man who catches and returns the handkerchief has a chance of romance.”
Stories of the Mid-Autumn Festival
Houyi and Chang’e
Celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is strongly associated with the legend of Houyi, his student Feng Meng, and Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality. Tradition places these two figures from Chinese mythology at around 2200 BCE, during the reign of the legendary Emperor Yao, shortly after that of Huangdi. Unlike many lunar deities in other cultures who personify the moon, Chang’e simply lives on the moon but is not the moon herself.
There are many variants and adaptations of the legend of Chang’e that frequently contradict each other. However, most versions of the legend involve some variation of the following elements: Houyi, the Archer, an emperor, either benevolent or malevolent, and an elixir of life.
One version of the legend states that Houyi was an immortal and Chang’e was a beautiful young girl, working in the palace of the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven, 玉帝 pinyin:Yùdì) as an attendant to the Queen Mother of the West (the Jade Emperor’s wife). Houyi aroused the jealousy of the other immortals, who then slandered him before the Jade Emperor. Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, were subsequently banished from heaven. They were forced to live on Earth. Houyi had to hunt to survive and became a skilled and famous archer.
At that time, there were ten suns, in the form of three-legged birds, residing in a mulberry tree in the eastern sea. Each day one of the sun birds would have to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe, the ‘mother’ of the suns. One day, all ten of the suns circled together, causing the Earth to burn. Emperor Yao, the Emperor of China, commanded Houyi to use his archery skill to shoot down all but one of the suns. Upon completion of his task, the Emperor rewarded Houyi with a pill that granted eternal life. Emperor Yao advised Houyi not to swallow the pill immediately but instead to prepare himself by praying and fasting for a year before taking it. Houyi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter. One day, Houyi was summoned away again by Emperor Yao. During her husband’s absence, Chang’e, noticed a white beam of light beckoning from the rafters, and discovered the pill. Chang’e swallowed it and immediately found that she could fly. Houyi returned home, realizing what had happened he began to reprimand his wife. Chang’e escaped by flying out the window into the sky.
Houyi pursued her halfway across the heavens but was forced to return to Earth because of strong winds. Chang’e reached the moon, where she coughed up part of the pill.Chang’e commanded the hare that lived on the moon to make another pill. Chang’e would then be able to return to Earth and her husband.
The legend states that the hare is still pounding herbs, trying to make the pill. Houyi built himself a palace in the sun, representing “Yang” (the male principle), in contrast to Chang’e’s home on the moon which represents “Yin” (the female principle). Once a year, on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Houyi visits his wife. That is the reason why the moon is very full and beautiful on that night.
This description appears in written form in two Western Han dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) collections; Shan Hai Jing, the Classic of the Mountains and Seas and Huainanzi, a philosophical classic.
Another version of the legend, similar to the one above, differs in saying that Chang’e swallowed the pill of immortality because Peng, one of Houyi’s many apprentice archers, tried to force her to give the pill to him. Knowing that she could not fight off Peng, Chang’e had no choice but to swallow the pill herself.
Other versions say that Houyi and Chang’e were still immortals living in heaven at the time that Houyi killed nine of the suns. The sun birds were the sons of the Jade Emperor, who punished Houyi and Chang’e by forcing them to live on Earth as mortals. Seeing that Chang’e felt extremely miserable over her loss of immortality, Houyi decided to find the pill that would restore it. At the end of his quest, he met the Queen Mother of the West, who agreed to give him the pill, but warned him that each person would only need half a pill to regain immortality. Houyi brought the pill home and stored it in a case. He warned Chang’e not to open the case, and then left home for a while. Like Pandora in Greek mythology, Chang’e became curious. She opened up the case and found the pill, just as Houyi was returning home. Nervous that Houyi would catch her discovering the contents of the case, she swallowed the entire pill, and started to float into the sky because of the overdose. She kept floating until she reached the moon, where she stayed with her pet rabbit, also known as the Jade Rabbit.
Some versions of the legend do not refer to Houyi or Chang’e as having previously been immortals and initially present them as mortals instead.
There are also versions of the story in which Houyi was made king as a reward for killing nine of the suns and saving the people. However, King Houyi became a despot who either stole a pill of immortality from the Queen Mother of the West or learned that he could make such a pill by grinding up the body of a different adolescent boy every night for a hundred nights. Chang’e stole the pill and swallowed it herself, either to stop more boys being killed or to prevent her husband’s tyrannical rule from lasting forever.
The Hare or The Jade Rabbit
According to tradition, the Jade Rabbit pounds medicine, together with the lady, Chang’e, for the gods. Others say that the Jade Rabbit is a shape, assumed by Chang’e herself. The dark areas to the top of the full moon may be construed as the figure of a rabbit. The animal’s ears point to the upper right, while at the left are two large circular areas, representing its head and body.
Overthrow of Mongol rule
According to a widespread folk tale (not necessarily supported by historical records), the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1280–1368) in the 14th century. As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for a rebellion.[6] Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakes, Liu Bowen (劉伯溫) of Zhejiang Province, advisor to the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message: “Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the 8th month” (traditional Chinese: 八月十五殺韃子; simplified Chinese: 八月十五杀鞑子). On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), under Zhu. Henceforth, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level.
Source Wikipedia.

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