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Hold Heaven in the Palm of Your Hand (a Taoist Visualization Practice)

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In this beautiful qigong visualization practice, we invite the energy of Heaven - all the stars and galaxies - into the palm of our hand, circulate it through our heart-center, and direct it finally into our lower dantian. Wonderful!
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: ten to fifteen minutes, or longer if you'd like

Here's How:

  1. Sit comfortably on the edge of a straight-backed chair. Place the soles of your feet flat on the floor, about hip-distance apart, directly below your knees. Find a position for your head that allows the muscles of your face, neck and throat to be relaxed.
  2. Take a couple of deep, slow breaths, inhaling fully and exhaling completely. Let go of thoughts of past or future. Notice the sensations inside of your body. Smile gently and - if you'd like - float the tip of your tongue up to lightly touch the roof of your mouth, right behind your upper front teeth.
  3. Now, turn your left palm to face upward. You can rest this palm on the top of your left thigh, or hold it slightly out to the side - whichever feels best to you. At the same time, turn your right palm so that it faces your lower dantian (the area about an inch-and-a-half below your navel, in the lower abdomen, a couple inches inside of the body). Let this right palm be six to eight inches away from your body, its very center-point directed toward the dantian.
  4. Now become aware of the energy of Heaven: the sky, the sun and moon, the stars and all the countless galaxies. Invite this energy of Heaven to flow down into your left palm. Feel it gathering there, like a pool of warm water, or a sphere of light.
  5. Let this Heaven-energy flow from your left palm up the inner edge of your left arm, into your left armpit, and from there into your heart-center (at the very center of your chest, inside your body). From your heart-center then let the Heaven-energy flow into your right armpit, and from there down the inner edge of your right arm and into your right palm.
  6. From your right palm, let the Heaven-energy flow into your lower dantian (which your right palm is pointing toward). So now you've created a continuous circuit from your left palm, through your heart-center, to your right palm and into your lower dantian. Continue to draw Heaven-energy into your left palm, letting flow through this entire circuit, ending in your dantian.
  7. Feel the warmth and brightness of the Heaven-energy gathering in your lower dantian. Enjoy whatever sensations arise with this.
  8. To end the practice, bring both palms into direct contact with your lower dantian area - as though you were now sealing this powerful energy into your abdomen, where it can nourish and protect you, throughout the day, and longer.

Tips:

  1. Your imagination is powerful! Let the visualization be as detailed and/or expansive as you'd like, and allow it to include as many senses as you can (i.e. feeling, hearing, perhaps even tasting or smelling this flow of Heaven-energy, as well as "seeing" it).
  2. If your mind wanders, no problem - simply come back to the practice.

What You Need

  • A precious human body.
  • A straight-backed chair (or floor) to sit on.
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