For the last month I've been experimenting with what I would call Marrow Breathing Meditation. It's a technique of meditation where you use your breath to connect with the marrow in your bones and use it to generate Chi and more blood cells. I learned about it when I read a book on Qigong practices that focused on this topic. While the book was mostly theoretical, I have enough experience with Taoist meditation practices that it wasn't hard to figure out how it should work and adapt my practices to explore if the marrow breathing meditation could work.
Beyond Culture by Edward T. Hall I've always found Hall's books to be interesting and relevant to my life from business to spirituality and this book has lived up to that same expectation. In this book Hall, discusses inter-cultural communication patterns and raises up concerns about the tendency to focus toward using external resources as opposed to examining and utilizing internal, behavior skills. I find this relevant in an age where more than ever the focus is on using technology to communicate, with all the inherent problems that brings, especially when relying on text only to interact. This is a useful book for exploring cross cultural communication and examining the increasing role of technology in communication.
Laban for All by Jean Newlove and John Daley
I was thoroughly impressed with this book. The authors did a thorough job of explaining the system of Laban and its relevance to dance, but also bringing it down to the level of an utter novice, such as myself. They also provided detailed descriptions of exercises that are easy to follow and do and quite rewarding. Where this book really shines however, is in the theory of movement that Laban created around space and time and other elements he deemed significant to truly understanding the body. I feel, as a result of doing the exercises, that I have a much closer relationship to my body and a much keener appreciation of movement.
5 out of 5.
Managing Depression with Qigong by Frances Gaik
The author presents some useful evidence to prove that Qigong works to manage depression. What I would've liked even more was integration of Qigong exercises into the book. There was an appendix with some exercises, but it felt like the exercises were incorporated as more of an afterthought than anything else. This is a useful book for people who wish to make a case for alternative health practices, but isn't as geared to the lay person as I would have hoped.
3 out of 5
The Taoist Soul Body by Mantak Chia
In this book Chia presents an advanced technique for Taoist inner alchemical work. While overall the information is good and in-depth, there are times were its clear Chia recycled content from previous books in order to fill out the book. Also some of the instructions are a bit more vague than they should be given the type of work involved. That said, if you've learned previous techniques it won't be hard to puzzle out what he means. The main thing to avoid is visualizing the work. You need to really experience it, and that's where the vagueness of the instructions is less than helpful. The technique in this book is worth reading and can be very helpful for body purification and health.
4 out of 5
I've been continuing to read up on and pursue the Qigong energy work and breathing practices I've been learning. I'm contemplating adding Tai chi to the mix, and not the Tai chi you think of being done in the park , but the traditional martial form of Tai chi, which while still soft, emphasizes the use of the five elements as part of the martial form of Tai chi. One of the local members of GEM is connected to someone who teaches it from that perspective. For me, it would be an excellent opportunity to start incorporating moving meditation and martial arts into my meditation practice, which has intensified even more as I continue my emptiness working. The moving meditation would add an additional layer to my work, as it would incorporate my body even more into the meditation, while also challenging me to get more into the integral energetic workings that I'm starting to experience more of, as I continue the current meditative work. As is, a lot of the energy work I'm doing is continuing to allow me to get to the core of my emotional responses, reactions, and triggers. The work isn't easy (as you'll get to read tomorrow evening when I post my latest elemental emptiness update), but it is worthwhile. I feel more at peace with myself and others than I ever have, and whilst I am still very much experiencing some tumultuous times, I am also finding my responses are changing, which makes those times easier to navigate through.
I have to admit I haven't posted as much lately about my spiritual work as I have in the past. Then again, I also haven't been writing nearly as many articles or a book on my spiritual work either. Some of this is because I'm going through an intensely personal time of change and development in my spiritual path. Some of it is simply because I'm in the process of researching a really big project...Every time I think I've taken a step forward, I find more information I need to research and experiment with (but there is an end in sight). Some of it is reflective of changes occurring in my life, specifically my focus on building and running my own business and pursuing being self-employed full-time, and some of it is simply experiencing the moment without having to catalogue it as much.
Still, I will say that I am actively working on a co-written project with Bill Whitcomb, have another possible co-written project with Vince Stevens, which is just about finished with the outlining stage, and yes I also do have my big solo project which is still being heavily researched (and will, when finished, providing what I hope will be a radical change in how people understand magic). And in the meantime, you've got this blog with the occasional updates I offer.