1. How to Cultivate Original Breath (Yuan Chi) during Winter Solstice
2. Tune into Asheville Solstice meditation Sat. Dec. 20, 7-12 pm
3. A brief history of Winter Solstice as source of Christmas, etc.
4. Instruction for downloading free Inner Smile Ebook
(this may duplicate letter sent to private lists)
Dear Lovers of the Natural Effortless Way,
There is a new moon coming on December 23. For the savvy cultivators of
chi kung (qigong), it is not an ordinary new moon. What makes it many times
more powerful is its nearly simultaneous conjunction with the Winter
Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and historically the source for all
Christmas and yuletide celebrations. Let me explain, so you can take
advantage of the free ride being offered by Nature.
Winter Solstice is a regular opening of the cosmic gates in which the
deep yin or receptive chi of the earth opens up to a vast flow of Original
Chi (yuan qi). Original chi is the subtle breath of the Tao that exhales or
expands out as yang chi and inhales back to the center as yin chi. This
original chi field is the hidden continuum aligning the inner energetic axis
connecting the earth, the sun, and the pole star/stellar field. You might
ask, what good does that do us humans?
The centerpiece of Daoist (Taoist) theory is that the human body is a
microcosm of the larger universe (macrocosm). That is the idea of the famous
Daoist meditation, the “micro-cosmic orbit” – we are designed to imitate the
flow of nature inside our own body. So if the earth opens her inner womb at
Winter Solstice to receive an orgasmic in-rush of heavenly chi, our human
bodies naturally resonate with that event.
The timing of the new moon intensifies it greatly. If we are aware of
this powerful subtle cosmic process, we can use the conjuction of the
solar-lunar process to capture the Original Breath of the universe within
our personal body-mind vessel. Growing the original chi within us is the
main focus of inner alchemy, and it offers us not only long healthy life but
deepens our freedom to create what we truly need in life.
The beauty of cultivating Original Chi during the Solstice is it is the
only type of chi that is beneficial to all people in all places, regardless
of their type of chi imbalance. We are ALL in some state of un-balance. We
are here on planet earth to activate our will to achieve balance and
harmony. This is what drives our need to complete our destiny. It the
imbalances we are born with or acquire from living in human society that
create the desires driving us to be who we are destined to be.
Original Chi is core energy from the universal matrix or primordial chi
field,, also called Source chi in Chinese medicine. It spontaneously mutates
into whatever is needed for achieving optimum balance. Our bodies have
undifferentiated stem cells that convert themselves into brain, heart, or
bone cells. Original chi does the same thing for our subtle field, known as
our Energy Body. This yuan/neutral chi becomes either yin/receptive or
yang/projective chi flowing in our meridians, and these are the building
blocks of our body-mind. So Solstice is a great time to nourish your
This conjunction of maximum Solar Yin at the Winter Solstice and a Lunar
New Moon is a big event lasting several days. But the most intense solar
moment would technically be at midnight on Sunday Dec. 21 (a few hours
before the exact Winter Solstice on Dec. 22). Midnight is the maximum yin in
the daily cycle, giving you a ?triple whammy of Great Yin? or the Dark
Goddess as it would be described mythologically. An equally intense but
slightly more lunar moment would be at midnight on Monday Dec. 22, the
midpoint between the new moon on Dec. 23 and Winter Solstice on Dec. 22.
When the chi field reaches a maximum yin state, it automatically flips
into its opposite polarity, the six month yang cycle of spring and summer,
which will be amplified by the cycle of full (or yang) moons during that
period. If you live south of the equator your current experience will be
just the opposite.
It is in the process of flipping from yin to yang that the chi field has
to first shift into neutral “gear”, the yuan chi that lubricates the
yin-yang cycle. This deeper layer of neutral force opens up greater
possibilities for cultivating Original Chi than any other day of the year,
except for the possible conjunction of full moon at a Summer Solstice.
My wife Joyce and I regularly invite local meditators into our home to
celebrate this cosmic transition and to use our collective power to tap the
cosmic forces for personal growth. Many people have some of their deepest
experiences at these extended meditations, which go from 7 pm to 11:30 pm in
three sittings. Most use the Taoist Emperor position for meditation, sitting
in a chair, as it is more grounded than cross legged and allows for longer
meditations. Having your feet on earth lets you receive the deep earth chi
more completely. Standing meditation is also extremely powerful at this
I urge you to get family and friends together for the same purpose. For
convenience I have my meditation this year on Saturday, Dec. 20, 7 pm ? 12
pm EST and you are most welcome to tune in from wherever you are. The chi
field is what connects us all instantaneously so you can directly share this
intense experience by simply holding a clear intention and being as
receptive as possible.
Of course, Winter Solstice is the time of greatest receptivity in the
annual cycle, so just doing the Inner Smile at this time will be powerful.
(If you don?t know this meditation, see instructions below for downloading
the free ebook, The Way of the Inner Smile). If you know other Taoist
meditations like the Orbit, Fusion of the Five Elements, or Water and Fire
Inner Alchemy (Kan & Li), you will find them most productive by doing them
in a yin fashion.
This means being gentle, inviting and allowing the chi field to work
inside you instead of trying to direct it. It means surrendering to the
natural cycle of chi flowing to the center of the cosmic womb. Opening your
inner heart and smiling within will open up many new layers of consciousness
to you. This allows the deepest rebirth of the Inner Light that Winter
Solstice acts out for us on the outer planes. (For more on the difference
between yin practice, yang practice, and entering the wu wei state, see the
articles page on www.healingdao.com).
A Brief History of Winter Solstice
(excerpted from: www.religioustolerance.org/winter_solstice.htm
ANCIENT EGYPT: The god-man/savior Osiris died and was entombed on DEC-21.
“At midnight, the priests emerged from an inner shrine crying ‘The Virgin
has brought forth! The light is waxing” and showing the image of a baby to
ANCIENT GREECE: The winter solstice ritual was called Lenaea, the Festival
of the Wild Women. In very ancient times, a man representing the harvest god
Dionysos was torn to pieces and eaten by a gang of women on this day. Later
in the ritual, Dionysos would be reborn as a baby. By classical times, the
human sacrifice had been replaced by the killing of a goat. The women’s role
had changed to that of funeral mourners and observers of the birth.
ANCIENT ROME: Saturnalia began as a feast day for Saturn on DEC-17 and of
Ops (DEC-19). About 50 BCE, both were later converted into two day
celebrations. During the Empire, the festivals were combined to cover a full
week: DEC-17 to 23.
By the third century CE, there were many religions and spiritual mysteries
being followed within the Roman Empire. Many, if not most, celebrated the
birth of their god-man near the time of the solstice. Emperor Aurelian (270
to 275 CE) blended a number of Pagan solstice celebrations of the nativity
of such god-men/saviors as Appolo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules,
Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus into a single festival called
the “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” on DEC-25. At the time, Mithraism and
Christianity were fierce competitors. Aurelian had even declared Mithraism
the official religion of the Roman Empire in 274 CE. Christianity won out by
becoming the new official religion in the 4th century CE.
Note: As a Taoist/Daoist cultivator, I find it simplest to tune in directly
to the sun and moon directly and open to them as living beings. But this
doesn’t conflict with the numerous cultural-mythological interpretations
that you may be partial to. Use whatever feeds your creative imagination and
liberates your chi flow!