Shifu Michael’s Journal Entry – 12.21.16

Shifu Michael Rinaldini

JOURNAL ENTRY (and beginning of Shifu’s 3rd book)
December 21, 2016

Today marks the beginning of my third Daoist journal book. Since the ending of my second journal on October 6, 2016, I have been keeping loose notes of things that I want to include in the beginning entries for this next journal.

First thing though is the celebration of today as the Winter Solstice. And here, in Sebastopol, which is 60 miles north of San Francisco, we are having some winter-like weather. Nights are getting close to freezing and days are barely reaching 50 degrees. This is winter for us. I always have to qualify this when speaking to others as most people I know are transplants from the East Coast and know the true meaning of the winter experience: temperatures in the 20’s, freezing rain and snow storms. I will now explore the meaning of the Winter Solstice according to the Daoist worldview.

The Winter Solstice is the Great Yin day of the year. Last week in one of my qigong classes, I presented a qigong form highlighting this aspect of the solstice, the Yin, the darkness of descending deep into the cave of the Lower Dantian to practice deep Yin alchemy. The winter water components: dark, quiet, moist, silence, powerful. The Winter Solstice is also the peak of the Yin energy. And the very next day the cycle begins again with the ascension of energy towards the Yang high day of the year, the Summer Solstice in June. The only light is coming from the beam of light radiating from the inner Taiqi Pole.

In qigong practice, we imagine the Lower Dantian as a dark, hidden cave where we cultivate the Three Treasures of Jing, Qi and Shen. We go into the silence of the cave and attain the state of absolute stillness. From this stillness, we pass through the deeper chambers of our innate nature and merge in unity with the energies of the Anterior Heaven or the Pre-Celestial state. This is our return to the essence, the Original Beginnings, the Qi Dao, the Breath of the Dao. The longer we can maintain the stillness of the heart, the greater will be the transformation of the Three Treasures into the body of Light. We perform this practice in the full darkness of the inner cave, including the external darkness of our meditation room. The only Light present is hidden inside the Taiqi Pole of the Central Channel. For those who are supremely transformed this inner Light is noticeable to others and casts a faint glow throughout the meditation chamber. When the meditation session is completed we bring back to our ordinary consciousness a heightened sense of unity and a fresh abundance of Anterior Heaven energy. This is all part of the cultivation stages of transformation of Jing to Qi to Shen consciousness and the realm of Emptiness and Dao nature.

– Shifu Michael

This entry will become the start of Shifu Michael’s 3 book on practicing the Daoist arts. You can find his first 2 Daoist Practice Journals on Amazon.

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