Consider the opening lines to Chapter Sixteen to the Tao-te Ching :..
- Returning to the Root
Entering utter stillness, I guard a deep sense of peace. All the ten-thousand things are created while I watch their rise and fall…
All things flourish, each one returning to its root. Returning to the root they are at peace, this means they return to life; returning to life they are eternal.
This could be seen as philosophical….but it is not just: as the other chapters explain, it describes an intimate, personal experience – cultivated through a technique of softening the breathing, in and out through the nose and mouth. They had discovered the psycho-somatic effects of deep relaxation, and autonomic self-regulation. (Sometimes this was called ’embryonic breathing’). Literally they had learnt, through deep Yoga, to control (viz.self-control) their own body bio-chemistry – to heal themselves and perpetuate life. No mean feat. My translation of the Tao-te Ching (Amazon link) reveals it as a manual on qigong practice, i.e. the regulation of breath, mind and body, as a unity – as one vehicle, for life.
As an example follow this link, to a new page giving Chapter Sixteen in its entirety, or find it through the drop-down Menu above. Here on this site you will also find an opportunity to download the whole of this work, The Book of the Way and Its Power, (also called the Dao-de Jing) as an e-book.
Here’s is one I put together earlier!
Babe’s Breathing – Instruction Booklet
An Old Taoist Stretch Download the eBook below for £3.99 (link updating next week!with pictures!). Payment secure through Paypal. Contact me if you have questions. Thank you.
Preview this exercise on YouTube below, recorded on Chesil Beach, Dorset – an endumbragation of pebbles in Southern Britain. The earlier title of this kit-exercise was ‘The Old Man’s Breathing’ or tonggong: