Taoist practice is entirely based on the art of sensing and feeling as the primary form of cognition which precedes all other forms. It is the nervous system which enables us to feel and sense our body.
It is our mind which directs and guides the Chi but if we cannot feel and sense our body, the mind cannot give direction and guidance. To be able to feel and sense, our nervous system needs to be in a relaxed state. The moment we are stressed and tense, our ability to feel and sense the processes in our body declines.
When we are pressured or feel ready for action, we are not prepared to turn inwardly, smile to our mind, our nerves and our Chi. We reinforce the disconnective process, and as a result, are confused and upset. We feel the internal fracturing and fragmentation taking place but do not understand (or wish to understand) what is going on.
These are valuable starting points: letting our mind come down and sink in our body to our Lower Tan Tien; giving attention to our breathing and posture becoming aware. They create a way out of disconnection and back into getting in touch with our body. This means that we have to entirely relearn to value and listen to our body and become sensitive to what it wants to tell us. The choice is ours.
In this process of relearning to be open to ourselves and to connect with our own body, Tan Tien Chi Kung is basic. Especially because it brings us back to what in our culture is as a rule treated as the least honourable part of ourselves and thereby elevates us as human beings.
As a result of the orientation of hegemonic culture, human potential, which is intrinsically multidimensional, is increasingly steered in one direction. Dominant forms of disembodied abstract cognition have ascendance over all other embodied forms of knowledge.
Widespread 'dis-ease' is a result of this sharp decline of a basic sense of cause and effect and a generalized lowering of Chi pressure and feeling of being threatened. This feeling of 'dis-ease' generates negative emotions which are then projected onto people who do not share our views of the world. Such tendencies towards racism and fundamentalism can only be overcome if we are all the same human being, sharing the same body and spirit and learning to truly value ourselves in our whole being.
Precisely because of the desperate conditions this situation engenders and the resistance it creates, there is an awakening to the need for a new, more embodied way of understanding the universe and ourselves.
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