The Original Spirit Breath Reborn as our Inner Child

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That center is your unconditioned "being" self. All the layers around this core are your subtle bodies and the layers of your physical body. These layers, both subtle and physical, are your conditioned "becoming" self. Once you get all the polar conditioned aspects dancing and smiling around the "mayday" pole in the center, your life will flow effortlessly. Some of the patterns of conditioning will disappear; others will remain, but will find themselves in balance with something else.

A primary goal of Daoist inner alchemy is to cultivate our yuan chi, our Original Breath. Original breath manifests as the presence of our unconditioned inner self. We nurture our Original Breath to help us literally rebirth our "immortal child", or Original Spirit, while still alive in our body.

The best example of this Original Spirit (yuan shen) is seen in the innocent smiling faces of young babies, who have not yet acquired a personality here or unfolded difficult ancestral qualities. In babies, the ego has not yet developed so the Original Spirit is far more intact, and shines through the eyes and smiling faces of young babies.

Smiling Reborn

Look at these photos and feel the purity of the Original Spirit smiling through each child. Your own inner heart spirit will smile, remembering the directness of these infant's perception and heart presence before ego took over.

Studies have confirmed that babies have an innate ability to smile. Smiling is not acquired or learned alter birth from the parents; rather it spontaneously shines through. Every child begins life as its authentic or original self, and must learn to guard its Original Chi while living in the midst of challenging worldly influences. The Inner Smile is a way to recover our natural smiling ability, and relearn to "speak" this silent language of the soul.

When we look at adults smiling, we don't get the same feeling of purity, even if the smile is authentic. It's because adults have acquired many layers of personality and physical tension, which either depletes or suppresses their Original Breath (yuan chi).

I searched through hundreds of smiling adult photos on the internet trying to find a purity similar to a child's smile. The closest I found were some very old people, who had apparently dropped their old ego patterns, allowing their inner child to begin smiling once again.

All photos from publicly posted "baby pics" on the internet.

People Deep Meditation

Smiling Chinese "Long Life" figure, with third eye swollen from deep meditation on the Tao. Why is he always shown smiling? He is holding his inner or"immortal child" in his arms, suggesting that the Sage has successfully cultivated his Original Breath (chi), thereby inspiring his Original Spirit (shen) to rebirth its Original Substance (jing). The wisdom of the smiling Sage and the vitality of the smiling baby are thus merged into one. The term Lao Tzu (Laozi) can be translated as "Ancient Child".

Contemporary ceramic, Winn collection at Dao Mountain.

The ego, which I define as the fragmented body spirits struggling with each other and the world for power, gradually disperse or suppress their source of power, the Original Spirit as we grow up. When the Original Spirit feels it can no longer function in the physical world, it leaves, and our bodies "die". Death means the team of body spirits (heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys) can no longer function without the Original Sprit breathing chi into them.

The Inner Smile is based on the Daoist premise that our smiling inner consciousness generates all outer world perceptions, not the other way around. This is the major difference with western materialistic science, which posits that consciousness arises from body/matter. This view leaves science stuck on a superficial physical level, manipulating surface matter without awareness of its affect on the subtle energy patterns that hold matter in place.

The Daoist view is that the inner chi field of consciousness is preexisting, and generates all material and bodily forms as well as our psychic structure. If you are a self-convinced materialist, then practicing the Inner Smile is a great way to explore the chi field and challenge or test those limiting beliefs.

The two views are not completely contradictory, since the Chinese consider chi is also material, although a far more subtle form of matter-energy than scientific machines can measure. Science has measured the effects of chi in numerous studies, but effects are not the chi itself. If these theory or labels get in the way for you, then skip them and go straight to practice. What counts is results, not whether you agree with the theory or not.

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  • charles johnson
    Which is our original body in the layers?
    9 years ago
  • michael kohler
    Does the inner. hild guard the soul?
    8 years ago

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