ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (‘MATHEMATICS IN BREATHING’ NOTE): Tāixī 胎息 embryonic breathing

 Tāixī 胎息 embryonic breathing, closed eyes

Tāixī 胎息 embryonic breathing, closed eyes

Tāixī 胎息 embryonic breathing

On the beginning of use of taixi term Catherine Despeux, a sinologist, says: “One of the first mentions of taixi occurs in the fifth-century biography of Wáng Zhēn 王真 (Later Han), which states that he and others “were able to practice embryonic breathing and feed themselves like an embryo (tāishí 胎食).”

Soon after that we can find a couple of citations which should probably had the intention to explain basics or give some important details to readers (actually, they don’t), and they look like these: (1) “In one of its two meanings, taixi designates a way of breathing similar to that of embryo. Breathing through the nose appears to stop and is replaced by breathing through the navel and the pores of the skin. In the second meaning, taixi is performed by neidan adepts in the abdomen.” I have a strong feeling of uncertainty that you, me, or somebody else can ‘stop breathing through the nose’ and ‘appears to stop’ doesn’t help either. “Replaced by breathing through the navel and the pores of the skin”(K. Despeux)? — Is there anybody who did such things yesterday, or the day before yesterday? Just don’t.

Another approach sounds like this: (2) “In the Tang period (618-907), the Yanling xiansheng ji xinjiu fuqi jing (Scripture on the New and Old Methods for the Ingestion of Breath Collected by the Elder of Yanling) defines the technique as follows: “One must carefully pull the breath while inspiring and expiring so that the Original Breath (yuanqi) does not exit the body. Thus the outer and inner breaths do not mix and one achieves embryonic breathing.”” Well, we have sources, authors, traditions, quotes, scientists’ opinions, thousand of followers, history of taoism, Encyclopedia of Taoism, Routledge, Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2008… What we haven’t is called plain English now.

I don’t belong to inner circle of practitioners of neidan or taixi techniques in China specifically and I don’t belong to established circle of Asian Study specialists but I am a passionate reader of both and somehow I feel I should deal with this term tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. For that I suggest reread Ge Hung’s (283-343) Baopu zi, Chapter 8, today. The Tāixī 胎息 resembles now a very slow meditative breathing through the nose (welcome, nose!) and pulling the breath (yes, stop inhaling)  until 120 beats of heart (Baopu zi) and then very slowly exhale through the mouth (yeah, mouth!). Next step is 1000 beats stop (Baopu zi again) and a couple of paragraphs after that  should be definitely added to those wonderful abilities we have been spoken a bit earlier (Shèngrén 聖人 saint, sage, saintly man). In plain English (I promised earlier) for yoga practitioners it is the Lotus Pose with 4-3-2 (for beginners) or just 1 inhale-exhale cycle in minute or more than a minute. So, if I have a pulse 80 beats per minute, 100 bpm will mean a pause after inhalation more then a minute which is difficult but possible to achieve, I guess, for patient followers. Are you in or what?

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Sri Yantra Master Alive and the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (VOL.2): Míngtáng 明堂 Hall of Light

Míngtáng 明堂 Hall of Light (or Bright Hall)

mingtang copy

Of course, there is a sacred building to use for imperial ceremonies in the history of ancient Chinese culture but for us now more important is the Hall of Light mentioned in Ge Hung’s (283-343) Baopu zi and its location one inch behind the area between the eyebrows. More detailed description can be found in the article written by Martina Darga.  

I cannot add to this note much enough. In the acupuncture  textbook this is the place for Yìntáng 印堂 (Hall of Impression) which corresponds to the area ascribed to the ‘third eye’ by many traditional cultures, and has been classified by some qigong authors as the location of the upper dāntián 丹田. That is an extra point, it does not belong to Rèn Mài 任 脈 (The Conceptor Vessel) or more exactly to Dū Mài 督 脈 (The Governor Vessel).

Speaking on many traditional cultures let us make one step into the Indian heritage of yoga. The region between two eyes is called ājñā chakra (the sixth chakra of classical set of seven or eight in Kuṇḍalinī yoga) and followers denote it like the inner mind’s eye to sense subtle energies and to be a gateway flooded with infinite wisdom, insight, and inspiration. So far so good.

Inside martial art practitioners’ milieu and Dim-Mak 點脈 (diănmài) reference books (Erle Montaigue and Wally Simpson, for example) this acupoint is translated ‘decorating place’ and described like causing KO and sometimes called ‘the old evangelist’s point’ which sounds curious enough.

The big colour picture of the ancient architecture would be probably the better illustration here.

Encyclopedia of Taoism (short notes): Jìngzuò 靜坐 quiet sitting

jingzuo01ajingzuo02a

“In Taoism, the term jìngzuò is secondary to other expressions denoting different forms of meditation, and was probably taken over from Confucianism. In fact, it only appears prominently and with a specific technical meaning in the twentieth century, used mainly by Jiang Weiqiao (1872-1955) in his particular mixture of modern biomedical thinking and neidan, which has been widely regarded a forerunner of the contemporary qigong movement.” After this very informative note written by Livia Kohn, I cannot avoid to remind about Japanese and Indian  traditions ‘to sit quietly’ too. Frankly, that’s one of the many things in my life I do with real pleasure. 

In Japanese it is called ‘seiza’ (靜坐) and means ‘sitting calmly and quietly’ (i.e. in order to meditate) and in Shintō religion it means concentration on the seika tanden  臍下丹田, which easy reminds us ‘dāntián’, the Lower Cinnabar Field. When I am in Japanese mood, I do call it ‘seiza’ and say my favorite martial art text.

Guess, what we have cross-legged in India? Right, we have Padmāsana (Lotus Pose), Sukhāsana (Easy Pose), Svastikāsana (Auspicious Pose), and Siddhāsana (Accomplished Pose), and seven chakras to meditate. When I do my favorite tantric complex (very short and very tantric) I try to pronounce all appropriate words with a Sanskrit accent. As far as we can see, the poses to meditate are classic for all three culture regions, but the inner part is the most difficult one. This difference is worth to meditate itself :)))

jingzuo03a jingzuo04a jingzuo06a jingzuo07a

More Transparent and Half-transparent…

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SRI YANTRA #14,1994

 

6 points of touch in kernel

14+10+10+8=42 colour triangles into a kernel

Diameter of a kernel 10 cm; 3 15/16’’

Diameter of a mandala min 14.1 cm; 5 9/16’’; max  17.9 cm; 7 1/6’’

Diagonal of a defence square 25.4 cm; 10’’

Side of a defence square max 25 cm; 9 13/16’’

 

 The whole collection 1994-95 Sri Yantra and More Difficult Star Polygons consists of 32 items. Some of them are in the private collections, some of them aren’t for sale at all.  Every item is covered by half-transparent protective paper fixed back right side by small drops of glue, it flips easily and/or can be promptly removed.

 The Sri Yantra #14 is a twin sister of #13.  The difference is in blue colour.  The lines of polygons are 0.25 mm, and the main feature of this star is its mathematical exactness as a result of following strict ancient set of rules. The line of red lotus petals are a bit greater then line for green petals (outer ring).  There are four lines in outer circle of mandala and two green strips, inner circle is white.  Bhupura (square of defence) is double svastika, triple black line and full green colour.  So, the technical description is the same like previous one.

 As I have said before electronic image doesn’t have the same impression as original, and now I am watching original drawing, and every time I do it I want to touch paper by fingers just to feel for a second the track of ink  line made 15 years ago.  I don’t know why but I am proud of the fact that nobody in the world can repeat the stars with such thinness of lines in two variations and draw More Difficult Star Polygons the same time.  All stars including the most difficult have the same root in history of human knowledge, the fact makes me amused.

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The cool story of discovery of the ancient mathematical algorithm, its perfection in two variations (easy 6-points of touch and more complex 10-points of touch) of Sri Yantra and nine, NINE /!!!!!!/ variations of more difficult star polygons, Sri Sarvabhava Yantra (part of them) can be upload here in June, 2012.

 

Sometimes transparent and half-transparent are more erotical than just nude, right?

I don’t have any clue what you have thought after reading the title ^~^. I thought about my stars from Sri Yantra collection.

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SRI YANTRA #13, 1994 

6 points of touch in kernel

14+10+10+8=42 colour triangles in kernel

Diameter of kernel 9.9 cm; 3 15/16’’

Diameter of mandala min 14.2 cm; 5 9/16’’; max  18 cm; 7 1/8’’

Diagonal of defence square 25.6 cm; 10 1/16’’

Side of defence square max 25.2 cm; 9 7/8’’

 The whole collection 1994-95 Sri Yantra and More Difficult Star Polygons consists of 32 items. Some of them are in the private collections, some of them aren’t for sale at all.  Every item is covered by half-transparent protective paper fixed back right side by small drops of glue, it flips easily and/or can be promptly removed.

 The lines of polygons in Sri Yantra #13 are 0.25 mm, and the main feature of this star is its mathematical exactness as a result of following strict ancient set of rules. The line of red lotus petals are a bit greater then the line of green petals (outer ring).  There are four lines in outer circle of mandala and two green strips, inner circle is white.  Bhupura (square of defence) is double svastika,  triple black line and full green colour.

 This copy looks very compact, it was a little experimental step: an algorithm allows to jump to a bit smaller diagonal of square, and I thought it is interesting to try it.  That was 1994, I was happy to feel power of stars, and I was a bit younger and interested in experiments.  I like this star, but I have to say, now I like another kind of experiments. (That means obviously a message “I’m still young^_^”).

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The cool story of discovery of the ancient mathematical algorithm, its perfection in two variations (easy 6-points of touch and more complex 10-points of touch) of Sri Yantra and nine, NINE /!!!!!!/ variations of more difficult star polygons, Sri Sarvabhava Yantra (part of them) can be seen here in summer 2012.