23 May Beyond Cleansing the Mind and Body
To understand others is to have knowledge;
To understand oneself is to be enlightened.
To conquer others requires strength;
To conquer oneself is even harder.
In my last few blogs I explored simple and practical ways to attain a robust mind and body through seasonal cleansing, diet, yoga, and meditation. From these blogs, I hope that you will have gained a more informed insight into the nature of disease and modern degenerative conditions. All this in turn would undoubtedly help us to live longer happier and healthier lives. In this blog I would like to delve a little deeper into the philosophical and ontological roots of leading a cleaner lifestyle.
“Spirit is sustained by energy, energy is derived from the transmutation of essence. Essence transforms into energy and energy transforms into spirit.”
(Classification of Therapies)
Essence, energy, and spirit are intimately interconnected. Essence stores energy (prana) through a complex network of invisible channels (nadis), and releases it when the spirit or mind commands it.
Whereas western dualism sees the spirit as independent to the body, Yoga and Taoism regards the spirit as the flowering blossom of human life, with essence serving as its roots, and energy serving as the connecting stem. You do not have to be a nuclear physicist to realise that the strength of the integrity of the spirit are directly dependent upon adequate nutrition and ample energy. Only well nourished roots planted in fertile soil generate strong stems and beautiful blossoms!
Everything that we eat, everything that we drink, the air that we breathe contains relative amounts of prana or ‘life force.’ In Taoism prana or ‘life force’ is referred to as chee, and within the human system takes many different forms:
The most elemental form is yuan-chee which may be compared to the voltage contained within a battery. From the moment of birth, this primordial energy dissipates. It is the rate of this dissipation of yuan-chee which determines your lifespan. Yuan-chee maybe increased through diet, asana, pranayama, regulated sex and meditation, hence retarding the rate of dissipation and prolonging life.
Yang-chee refers to vital energy in its dynamic, and volatile form. It is the sort of energy that builds in the body during the excitement of sexual intercourse and is released in a burst during orgasm. Yang-chee is directly absorbed from the atmosphere that we breath.
From food and water, the body produces two distinguishable forms of chee. One is called wei-chee, or ‘protective energy’, which circulates just below the skin and feels like warm water spreading over the body. The other type is ying-chee or ‘nourishing energy’ which is derived from the finest elements of digestion and gives energy to the body.
When the chee of air meets with the chee of food and water, they compound in the bloodstream to form the specific mix of vital energy that gives life to the human system. The moment that there is an energy imbalance the myriad of ailments may occur in the human system. Chee is to the living organism is what electricity is to your household appliances, without it they will not work. When our chee is full, the organism thrives, when our chee is empty, vital organs start to fail and organism becomes vulnerable to disease. The organism will eventually die.
Thus chee or prana is the key operational element that holds the great ‘Unity of the Triple Equation’ of Essence, Energy and Spirit together. The goal of Yogic and Taoist health regimes is to keep our primordial batteries fully charged at all times, which means restoring essence, energy and spirit to their original state of purity. We do this by cultivating such disciplines as diet, breathing, exercise and sexual yoga.
Sexual intercourse with retention of semen helps to cultivate the internal elixir of health and longevity. Within Taoism, disciplined sexual relations as a means of cultivating health and longevity are practiced by regular people. All that is effectively required is practice within an overall program of Yogic health and longevity. Sexual potency is fundamental to spiritual progress, and the sexually weak person must restore his vitality through detoxification, pranayama and asana, and well regulated sexual intercourse and ejaculation control.
The system of nurturing life that I expound upon in the many retreats and masterclasses that I teach on, in fact go much deeper than the daily disciplines of diet, exercise, and sexual relations. It is a whole enlightened attitude towards self and nature that can lead to a whole new way of life.
Beyond a Philosophy of Cleansing
In the Himalayas where I lived and studied for many years in my twenty’s we find Yogic adepts transmuting essence and energy into pure spirit during meditation and pranayama. These Yogi adepts fast frequently, control their diets strictly, often live in complete solitude, and spend entire days and nights meditating, strengthening their spirit body.
These Yogis form ‘mysterious pearls’ which grow with practice. These pearls form the embryo of the spirit body. The spirit body corresponds roughly in size and shape to the physical body, but it has no material substance. It is said that at the moment of death, the Yogi enters into his spirit body, eschewing the dissolution of consciousness, and achieving spiritual immortality. Such adepts thus escape the endless cycle of birth and rebirth as have many avatars in human history.
This final stage of meditation is only reached by a handful of advanced adepts, whose singular intention in cultivating physical health and longevity is to give themselves sufficient time and prana to prepare and complete the final stages of the internal alchemy that is required to create indestructible spirit bodies.
“Death when it comes will be for him no more than a casting off of a worn robe. He has won to eternal life and is ready to plunge back into the limitless ocean of pure being.”
(John Blofeld – Taoism: Road to Immortality).
Indeed, the adept will rehearse for his final act of freedom by simulating death in meditation. Masters advise such adepts to project their spirit bodies one a week for three years in order to train and strengthen themselves. At this stage, these advanced yogis can live on nothing but ‘wind and dew.’ They can derive enough prana from these two sources alone.
Meditation is a poor translation of what the Taoists simply call sitting still and doing nothing. The real point of sitting still and doing nothing is to empty the mind entirely and let the spirit endure in stillness and emptiness. Only in this meditative state will the spirit awaken fully and seek its unity with pure consciousness. It is in meditation where the spirit is sublimated for its flight into space or Enlightenment – clear as crystal, self-existing, luminous as a cloudless dawn, beyond imagination.
Fascinatingly, it has been recorded since the death and cremation of Sakyamuni Buddha over 2, 500 years ago that the ashes left behind when the bodies of great meditators are cremated, contain many luminous nuggets or relic seeds, which have delighted and confounded Yogis and sceptics alike.
Yogis and Taoists alike believe that every human is born with a precious pearl of original spirit deep inside the core of his being. As a human being matures from birth this precious pearl gets buried deeper in the learned ignorance of education, and socialisation. This precious pearl is undoubtedly our most uniquely human attribute, and perhaps our only touch with the sacred. Sadly, many of us will go through life without ever realising it is there, though everyone will get a glimpse of it at death.
We may not be able to commit to decades of spiritual devotion and achieve spiritual immortality in this life, this path undoubtedly confers great health and longevity to the practitioner. However you will never reach your spiritual goal just by thinking about it. Remember an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory!
For your top tips on creating optimal health in mind and body, read Chris James new book –‘Mind Body Cleanse’ by Chris James (Penguin Vermilion, £14.99). Available from here: https://www.chrisjamesmindbody.com/product/mind-body-cleanse-by-chris-james/
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