Meaning: Shui means sleep or unknown. Hu means tiger. In Chinese, another name for tiger is Dachong Affc . Dachong literally means big or great worm. There is a symbolic connection between the tiger and the worm. The symbolic meaning of worm in Chinese shamanism is strong life energy, no stagnation. This strong life energy is apparent when we cut a worm in half. It can still move and it can regenerate itself into two worms. Jue means wisdom or Enlightenment. Xing means to wake up. Shui Hu means sleeping tiger and is a symbol for an unenlightened person. Everyone has the capacity to be enlightened. However, we may never discover this quality and cultivate it if our consciousness is buried in a busy, customary, routine-filled life. This movement, which imitates a tiger waking up, represents awakening our deep consciousness and potential energy in the body. Through practice and discipline—daily cultivation—we work with the three treasures, the best medicine in the body: Jing (essence), Qi (vital energy), and Shen (spirit). This movement teaches us that the original function of Qigong practice is a way of achieving Enlightenment.
Movement: Feel the weight and power of the tiger's bones and muscles—your bones and muscles. Your fingers should be curled like tiger claws as your hands move. This is important for holding the energy. (The acupuncture points on the extremities are located on the border where microcosmic energy meets macrocosmic energy.) Move your whole body, including your legs, and feel yourself undulate with the martial power of the tiger. When you feel you have become the tiger, undulate the whole body from the Dantian with toes grabbing the floor. Move your arms like waves, with your fingers curled into tiger claws. The tiger looks heavy but moves fast. The tiger is very sensitive and agile.
Visualization: Imagine you are a tiger waking up from a deep sleep. Begin connecting with the energy of the tiger. Become the tiger. Feel the joints of the body opening. Feel the whole body moving freely without stagnation, moving like a worm.
Breathing: Regulate your breath as you did in the first movement and start moving your body. Then you can modify your breathing to imitate a tiger yawning. Take a deep breath and make soft growling noises like a tiger.
Function: This movement releases Qi stagnation and strengthens the Liver function thereby improving the flexibility of the whole body. it helps us to awaken and to understand the energy in our deeper layers—that energy which is usually never accessed or used by the conscious mind. By doing this form, we will become deeply aware of the presence of the special treasures of the body: Jing, Qi, and Shen.
10.3 Li Di Bai Wei JlLlLlLL & —Tiger Wags its Tail
Meaning: Li means standing or establish. Di means Earth. Li Di means standing on the Earth or building up Earth energy in the body. It is a symbol of being rooted. Our practice or cultivation needs to be grounded. The state of being grounded is the symbolic meaning of the tiger as well. The tiger is a symbol of status and also carries the meaning of knowing one's rank, place, and position. Although the tiger is powerful when moving, he is most often found "sitting in place," "dwelling at home," or "presiding from his lair" while surveying his kingdom, acutely aware of everything going on below. Learning "who I am" and "where I belong" (i.e., location and position) will help us ground. We need to be in the moment and we need to connect with life around us. The pattern of the tiger skin itself also represents the Dao. In other words, the Dao is very close—life and spiritual cultivation should not be separated. Bai Wei means wagging the tail. The tail represents the power of the tiger—it is from here that the tiger derives its power. Bai Wei is a symbol for pride. The acts of practice and cultivation are venerable and we should be proud of them.
Movement: As you breathe in, step to the right and make a wide horse stance. Bring your left hand up in front of your mouth as your right hand swings behind you. Straighten your arms and pay attention to the palms. Be sure they are in the center line of your body. Focus on your tailbone. The tailbone, which is the end of the spine, is the secret source of life power. Breathe out and shake your tailbone. Repeat this sequence of shaking on this side five times. Five is an Earth number and represents the Five Elements. After repeating the sequence five times, switch arms and do the same movement on the other side. Do three rounds of this movement. Three is the number of creation, symbolizing the three layers: Heaven, Earth, and the Human Being. Together, these three layers represent the universe.
Visualization: Imagine you are a tiger standing with feet rooting into the Earth. Wag the tail, focusing on the tailbone as you wag your hips. Feel the momentum from your tiger tailbone.
Breathing: Take a deep, sharp breath before shaking the tailbone. Then breathe out with the sound Heng^f (Hung) as you are shaking.
Function: This movement enhances the Zhongqi c^lKi, the central energy of the body, and includes the Earth element and its harmonizing function. It is good for healing any digestive or Earth pathology. Since Earth (Tu ih ) is the mother of Metal [fin ^), it is logical to begin with the root of Metal in this form. This movement is a way to build up the Earth energy (physical health, mental stability, and harmonizing function) before we play with the Metal animal, tiger.
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