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Bhathen

Metal and qi; Wuxing system - 5 phases

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Posted (edited)

Effects of wearing metal on your body:

Do things like rings affect the flow of qi or why they chose particular fingers for wearing wedding rings?

 

Why did the usage of metal ornaments come about; did it have some purpose?

Do the different metals have different impacts on body energy eg. copper, silver.

 

Just having these thoughts, ...as to why metal objects need to be removed when doing healing or qigong?

 

 

Edited by Bhathen
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Wearing metal during practice is not ideal - it will distort your energy field to some extent.

 

I can feel this effect when activating my Qi when I'm 'out and about' in society and wearing jeans. I can feel my belt buckle, even the rivets in the jeans particularly strongly... bracelets, rings, watches - anything near the hands and the dantien tend to distort my Qi field.

 

Generally not an issue outside of pratice time.

 

Although at a certain early stage when my Qi was a lot 'wilder' and less consolidated and dense, any metal around me would distort the flow of Qi.

 

Gold is said to store transmission more effectively than most other materials. That's why there are so many gold Buddha statues around. There are other interesting correspondences within Daoism in regards to metals and minerals - but I don't have those notes to hand I'm afraid.

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Thanks @freeform

 

Tight-fitting clothes esp. jeans certainly seem to interrupt the energy flow. 

Metals bring a feeling of heaviness for some reason.

 

Now I get it, thought they were just wasting the temple donations on gold!

Copper plates also seem to have similar reasons for being used as a plate for yantras (tantric tradition)

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Depends on whether Metal is your auspicious, inauspicious or neutral phase of qi in the wuxing system.  For practice all jewelry is usually removed regardless.  Outside of practice it's a good idea to find out where one personally stands in relation to Metal and whether it's strengthening or weakening, improving or throwing off balance the whole cycle.  It's always individual.  Some of it can be felt though, or tested kinesiologically.  

 

Another consideration is whether one needs to enhance yin or yang energies.  The sun-like brightness of gold is thought of as a yang energy in feng shui, associated with such yang things as attracting attention, adding warmth or even fire/heat, and sharpening the presence.  So if one seeks to be noticed, gold is indicated.  If one seeks to be plain and humble, it's the opposite.     

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you @Taomeow

It looks like not only metal but the outer environment (colors,food,activities...) which we project and try to change is the need for a particular energy to balance out the inner one.

 

Metal and its relation to the lungs and 'letting go' phase of mine made sense to me. Now I can see why the activities that unconsciously came into my practice are related to the metal element.(Nose being an orifice related to the metal element ;as an e.g. the practice of breath awareness at the tip of the nose make sense of the changes)

 

(Tried doing an experiment of holding different metal ring a foot away from my abdomen region and it just was swinging at equilibrium)

Edited by Bhathen
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Hello @Taomeow,

Though the original question I posted was about metal, can you explain the wuxing system and the relation of the other elements.  Would like to know more.

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Hi Bhathen,

 

good idea to get the fundamentals before proceeding with anything taoist.  The subject is pretty involved though, and I can only give you some quick highlights, the rest might be for personal study, there's books (although I've no idea which one to recommend right now, I started a long time ago and "abandoned the boat after crossing the stream and proceeding on the journey.")   

 

The Five Phases (or elements as they are often imprecisely translated) or wuxing refer to the five major types of qi in the universe which underlie all known phenomena.  They stand for changes of qi much like "electromagnetic spectrum" stands for changes of electromagnetic radiation extending from gamma rays to the longest radio waves and including visible light.  Now then, in wuxing all of the electromagnetic phenomena in that spectrum would fall under the phase of Fire, but that's not the end of the story with the Fire phase, it's just one aspect of it.  So this gives you an idea of how all-encompassing the wuxing system is.

 

Qi phenomena in the wuxing system exhibit the following most distinct behaviors (and scores of others derived from these):

 

The five phases of qi in the wuxing system transform into each other in a particular sequence.  The process is circular and eternal and has two stages -- being, where the phases are out of balance and are moving in the direction of either more balance, or less; and nonbeing, where they are in perfect balance and all motion stops.  Being comes from nonbeing and nonbeing reverts back to being (how is a separate inquiry :))

 

In the process of these transformations each of them get increased or diminished -- this is known as the "generating" and "depleting" cycles, going in the opposite directions.  A phase nourishes the one "upstream" and is depleted by the one "downstream" from it, in a simple case, but simplicity and wuxing don't mix -- it starts out very-very simple and gradually, step by step, proceeds to match in its complexity the universe itself, both its being and nonbeing stages.

 

Finally, they also interact with each other in a relationship known as "control."  If you ever melted a piece of lead over fire, you get the idea of what "Fire controls Metal" means.  If you've ever thrown a bucket of water on a bonfire, you get the idea of what "Water depletes/destroys Fire" means.  If you ever watered a plant, you get the idea of what "Water generates/nourishes Wood" means.  And if you had a choice between watering a plant and drinking your last cup of water, you know what "Wood depletes Water" means.  And so on.  They all nourish and get nourished, kill and get killed, control and get controlled.  When all of these are reasonably well balanced, you get a world of nice manifestations.  When they are very out of balance, you get a world of nasty manifestations.  And when they are balanced perfectly, you get the world of the unmanifest.  That's the picture in a very tiny nutshell.  All traditional taoist arts use this system -- some use it like 90% of the time, others, only slightly, with all in-betweens.  

 

Here's a good diagram (the internet is full of lousy ones -- if you look it up randomly your search is practically guaranteed to yield a lousy one.)

xfiveElementNourish.jpg.pagespeed_ic.LpXkqCSdY_.jpg.43ef51715495c54e77c11222286c7592.jpg

 

 xfiveElementReduces.jpg.pagespeed_ic.QtlvIvpET_.jpg.cb3013d6816104ef015563716606b507.jpg

      xfiveElementDominates.jpg.pagespeed_ic.EP_ahEpx1R.jpg.abd6fbe809cb62574f02d2940b219e7a.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Bhathen said:

Thanks @Taomeow

The topic is very deep, but I'm just looking to understand the basics. When I started qigong and looking up on the net, that's when I came across the five element/phase picture with their relation to the bodily organs.

 

 

You're welcome.  Yes, a deep and broad subject, but starting with the basics always helps.  I'll try to chip away at your questions little by little, to the extent the forum format permits. :)   

 

1 hour ago, Bhathen said:

 

The picture and your explanation makes the relations quite clear. Everywhere that I read - "Qi is energy" Vs your info on qi as a electromagnetic wave helps to broaden the scope of thinking.

 

Actually electromagnetic waves are part of the picture, not the whole picture, I just brought them up for their analogy value -- electromagnetic radiation exists on a spectrum, that's the key word.  Qi of wuxing is also a spectrum, but it is not limited to that definition.  It is primarily a pattern -- or rather, it behaves as a pattern, changing when the pattern changes and simultaneously changing the pattern! 

 

So it exists as a pattern, on a spectrum, undergoes changes and is both the meaning and the message of this change.  "Energy" is part of it, but qi is not reducible to that.  I like Zhuangzi's analogies, e.g..  Qi is best described this way, you can't say qi "is" this or qi "is" that -- it won't catch what it "does."  It's best approached from the perspective of its behavior -- that's how it gets to be understood, not via definitions but via analogies, descriptions, observations and personal interactions, both introspective and turned toward the world:

 

‚ÄúThe Great Clod belches out breath and its name is wind.¬†¬†So long as it doesn‚Äôt come forth, nothing happens. But when it does, then ten thousand hollows begin crying wildly. Can‚Äôt you hear them, long drawn out? In the mountain forests [‚Ķ] there are huge trees [‚Ķ] with hollows and openings like noses, like mouths, like ears, like jugs, like cups, like mortars, like rifts, like ruts. They roar like waves, whistle like arrows, screech, gasp, cry, wail, moan, and howl, those in the lead calling out¬†yeee!, those behind calling out¬†yuuu! [‚Ķ] In a gentle breeze they answer faintly, but in a full gale the chorus is gigantic. And when the fierce wind has passed on, then all the hollows are empty again. Have you never seen the tossing and trembling that goes on?‚ÄĚ

Tzu-yu said, ‚ÄúBy the piping of earth, then, you mean simply [the sound of] these hollows, and by the piping of man [the sound of] flutes and whistles. But may I ask about the piping of Heaven?‚ÄĚ

Zi Qi said, ‚ÄúBlowing on the ten thousand things in a different way, so that each can be itself...‚ÄĚ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bhathen said:

How does the cycle in nature and the human body/living beings interact? Do their cycles nourish/deplete each other?


Everything is within you. There is no separate reality outside your perception.

 

What "taomeow" reflected in the pictures included are the 5 qualities of yin & yang and their corresponding LAWS. It is a constant and eternal process that occurs within YOU and US ALL.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/19/2020 at 6:36 PM, Gerard said:


Everything is within you. There is no separate reality outside your perception.

 

What "taomeow" reflected in the pictures included are the 5 qualities of yin & yang and their corresponding LAWS. It is a constant and eternal process that occurs within YOU and US ALL.

 

 

 

 

After posting, I realised the absurdity of my question. Editing it.

 

Maybe I need more explanation to understand the yin and yang connection. 

Edited by Bhathen

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Posted (edited)
On 6/19/2020 at 6:18 PM, Taomeow said:

 

You're welcome.  Yes, a deep and broad subject, but starting with the basics always helps.  I'll try to chip away at your questions little by little, to the extent the forum format permits. :)   

 

So it exists as a pattern, on a spectrum, undergoes changes and is both the meaning and the message of this change.  "Energy" is part of it, but qi is not reducible to that.  I like Zhuangzi's analogies, e.g..  Qi is best described this way, you can't say qi "is" this or qi "is" that -- it won't catch what it "does."  It's best approached from the perspective of its behavior -- that's how it gets to be understood, not via definitions but via analogies, descriptions, observations and personal interactions, both introspective and turned toward the world:

 

‚ÄúThe Great Clod belches out breath and its name is wind.¬†¬†So long as it doesn‚Äôt come forth, nothing happens. But when it does, then ten thousand hollows begin crying wildly. Can‚Äôt you hear them, long drawn out? In the mountain forests [‚Ķ] there are huge trees [‚Ķ] with hollows and openings like noses, like mouths, like ears, like jugs, like cups, like mortars, like rifts, like ruts. They roar like waves, whistle like arrows, screech, gasp, cry, wail, moan, and howl, those in the lead calling out¬†yeee!, those behind calling out¬†yuuu! [‚Ķ] In a gentle breeze they answer faintly, but in a full gale the chorus is gigantic. And when the fierce wind has passed on, then all the hollows are empty again. Have you never seen the tossing and trembling that goes on?‚ÄĚ

Tzu-yu said, ‚ÄúBy the piping of earth, then, you mean simply [the sound of] these hollows, and by the piping of man [the sound of] flutes and whistles. But may I ask about the piping of Heaven?‚ÄĚ

Zi Qi said, ‚ÄúBlowing on the ten thousand things in a different way, so that each can be itself...‚ÄĚ

 

 

:)

 

Edited by Bhathen
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5 hours ago, Bhathen said:

Maybe I need more explanation to understand the yin and yang connection


Best is SELF-REALISATION through personal practice. The knowledge you'll gain is:

 

1. Invaluable

2. Eternal

3. No one and nothing will take that away from you
 

You'll gain so much wisdom. 
 

Good luck!

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8 hours ago, Gerard said:


Best is SELF-REALISATION through personal practice. The knowledge you'll gain is:

 

1. Invaluable

2. Eternal

3. No one and nothing will take that away from you
 

You'll gain so much wisdom. 
 

Good luck!

Yes, you are right. Maybe enlightenment is a better goal.

Do you think not knowing yin yang is going to hinder my progress in any way? :)

In seriousness, I should step away from TDB.

 

I have been more attuned to the words, life/matter/life force/prana than chi.

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6 hours ago, Bhathen said:

Maybe enlightenment is a better goal.


Oh no! I never said that. In that case let me suggest you this:

 

"Grounding is a better goal."

 

My friend, the amount of leg & hip work you got to do is colossal. It should become your second nature.

 

Yin & yang are within you. With the correct method you'll figure it out progressively.

 

Yes stay away from this forum (and others) and books for a long time. :)

 

 

 

 

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