The Universal* Way
THE ORIGINAL TRADITION
(Also: "Initiation into Your Maitreya Mind")
* Used to be called "The Integral Way"

The Universal Way

 

 

 

 

Being Rooted in Heaven and Earth
(TIENDI QIGONG)

STEP 3

1. The existential suffering of mankind can be defined as alienation from the Self ("Heaven", the Light, Buddha) and isolation from the body (nature, the earth) and the community. Hence, the old concept of liberation has to be seen in a new light. Rather than trying to escape from "the world" (dissatisfaction with what is, and desire for what "is still to come": the common attitude behind the practice), we have to restore relationship with it. A first step could be made through everyday spiritual practice in which we combine the longing for being one's Self ("vertical") with body-awareness exercises ("horizontal"). Homecoming is where it is all about. This is done by the practice of a mantra "Back to the Depth of my Origin" (or also "part of the Whole") combined with feeling awareness. Later the "Heaven and earth" exercises may be added to it.* In these exercises ("tiendi qigong") you give in to the gravity in such a way, that the energy is spontaneously moving upward. In order this to happen naturally, a detached awareness is a conditio sine qua non. The outcome is a continuous feedback between grounding, bodily sensations and awareness.

Early christian (gnostic?) orante position,
(originating from the archaic Great Mother tradition).

Our Twofold Origin

2. The core of your suffering is being cut off from the vertical dimension of life: your True Self - "Heaven" - as with the horizontal, your body and its direct environment: earth. Hence, you are disoriented, uprooted, alienated and isolated. You are an island separated from the Ocean of Life. Without roots you are in the grip of the small self: your self-centeredness, your thoughts, emotions and desires. They appear to be stronger than you, to such an extent, that you don't even know who you Really are. Additionally, your small self is amplified by "society" in such a way, that no escape seems to be possible anymore. Self-addiction runs rampant. However, you have paid a high price already. Stress, burn-out syndrome, anxiety, depression, fatigue and exhaustion are already "surrounding" you, poisoning the atmosphere. Life has become so complicated, that you now painfully feel the consequence of missing a Center, your inner stability. Maybe you tried things already. However, without solving your existential problem no any other problem will ever be really solved. How can you cure the branches of a tree, if the roots are cut? Thus coming to Me is a good idea.

NOW A NEW ERA HAS BEGUN IN WHICH ALL PEOPLE WILL
ACKNOWLEDGE AND SHARE THE SAME COMMON FACT OF LIFE:
MAN ROOTED IN HEAVEN AND EARTH

3. Isn't it a fact beyond any belief, that your spirit has its home in the Great Spirit (Consciousness, Buddhahood, "Heaven"), while your body is part of nature? Yes indeed, it is existential. Everybody without any exception is part of "Heaven" and earth. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, a humanist, christian, taoist, confucianist, buddhist, moslim, jew, hindu, a member of an indigenous religion, some new sect or new age group, we all share the same basic situation.Therefore, by restoring the Unity with "Heaven" and earth, you will solve your existential problem of alienation and isolation. Subsequently, your confusion and suffering will be turning into clear insight, Realization, joy, inner balance, creativity, compassion, strength, optimal health and longevity.

4. The first step is to fully become aware of your suffering. Without acknowledgement of your actual state, no any real healing is possible. Instead of escaping, you open yourself to your reality as it is. If painful, then you feel the pain. To such an extent, that the longing for wholeness will become deeply rooted in yourself. The pain - alienation, frustration, and anxiety - has to become the trigger to the quest for wholeness. Maybe it is the pain of past experiences, your relationships, your work or the consequence of a false (pseudo-spiritual) identity. It doesn't matter. Once you move into the right direction, you start acknowledging the fact, that your spirit, your True Self - currently unknown by yourself - has its home in "Heaven" - the Divine, the Great Spirit, Buddhahood - while your body is part of the earth. Hence, a deep longing for home coming, for Unity, takes possession of you. There are many ways of restoring the twofold Unity with "Heaven" and earth. You may already have found your way. However, if this is not yet the case, we will continue this introduction for you.

To become part of the Whole rather than using It for your own purposes

5. The material wealth is the other side of our Western spiritual poverty. Long ago our Essence - "Heaven" and earth - was, in the name of "religion", taken from us and we were thrown back upon our selves. As overcompensation for the inner loss, we took refuge in the ego, "growth", accumulation and the material side of life. Spiritual Realization - the unity with your deepest Self - was considered as "heresy", for which you could be burned on the stake. An equally grave sin was to be connected to nature. Nature, the body, women and sex, were denounced as works of the "devil". Ever since, our basic condition still is the alienation from the Ultimate - the Heaven which we are ourselves - and isolation from our body, nature, the earth. Our small self is deprived of its Origin, to which it cannot return anymore. Because our small self lost its Home, it became completely uprooted, disoriented, confused and restless. Nobody knew whom he was, where he came from or where he was going. Rather than being a function of the true Self, our small self started functioning on its "own", blowing itself up more and more. However, without being rooted all our "achievements" whatsoever are illusionary - bubbles - they appear to be nothing but poor substitutes of the "Real Thing". Hence, despite all our efforts, unless we find this our twofold roots again, we will never be at ease with existence. True homecoming means restoring the unity with where we belong: with our spirit in the Ultimate and with our body in the earth.

You are safe from Eternity. Teaching of the Twofold Origin: with your spirit in the Great Spirit (Buddhahood) and with your body in the
earth. Initiation in the universal mantra (vertical), together
with the practice of body contact (horizontal) through
feeling awareness and the heaven & earth exercises

The Spiritual Practice

Rooted in "Heaven"

6. The starting point for entering the state of Wholeness is painful self-awareness, longing and faith. Painful self-awareness is the outcome of the realization of your real situation: your alienation from your True Self and therefore from „Heaven". This question has to be regularly repeated; „what is my actual condition in this moment, my actual state of awareness?" Am I in the HereNow or „somewhere else?" Am I really in the Moment, or lost in the labyrinth of the mind, in thinking, dreaming or desiring?" Am I really honest or am I deluding myself with false (pseudo-spiritual) self-images? Once you realize your alienation, longing for restoring the Wholeness is born. It is the foundation of faith. The stronger the longing, the easier faith „in the Divinity within and without" will be. Faith is needed, because you haven’t actually experienced "Heaven" yet. So you have to accept, what somebody who has been „at the Other Shore", will tell you.

7. Heaven is commonly understood as the sky. It is the space, the matrix we all live in. We move in it and breathe its air. Through space all that lives is interconnected, we all share the same space. Now space has different dimensions, the „visible" part and what is beyond. Both have a great deal of transparency. For example, you see the sky, but in fact it is intangible. The intangible, however, reflects something, which is totally beyond, something that cannot be grasped with the five senses ever. It is the Homeland of the sky, it is the Great Consciousness: „Heaven". When you go beyond the sky, for example by looking at the sky in such a way, that it becomes Seeing, then the true essence of the sky may be revealed to you. Once you go beyond your own five senses, you go beyond the sky as well. Your inner Being becomes suddenly united with the outer Being. Inner and outer appear to be One. You have become „Heaven" which You Are Yourself. Faith has turned into Realization.

Strive for Enlightenment
Restructure your life
Serve others

8. In The Original Great Mother Tradition being rooted in „Heaven", in the Ultimate, is one part of become Whole again, apart from being rooted in the earth. It is the recognition of the fact, that we already live in „Heaven" without knowing it. Aren’t we already living in space after all? Space as well as us share the same Homeland. One first (small) step of experiencing it, is becoming so clearly aware of the space around you, that you start seeing the light aspect of it. Another way, however, is to let an inner whispering become the vehicle of your longing and faith. Something you can put into practice twenty four hours a day. The usage of a mantra is as old as mankind’s memory. It is the bridge „to the Other Shore", the „Other Shore", which you Are your Self. Therefore the quest for the Ultimate is the opening up to your Self, to What You Really Are, the „Heaven" within. The facilitating mantra I have chosen sounds „Back to the Depth of my Origin".

9. While breathing in you whisper „Back". Notice the contradiction of it. While you would like to go „forward" the „back" reminds you of your Origin, the Source of all existence. Then, while breathing out, you gently whisper „to the Depth", accompanying your breathing out until its deepest point. Then in the turning point, the sacred moment of „nothingness", „of my Origin" is whispered in a very gentle, longing and faithful way. The secret is this: First you „use" the mantra to open up your Self, later your true Self will „use" the mantra to open you up. Once you feel the (sudden) transition between effort - doing it yourself - and effortlessness - something Within is doing it - then you will know, that a major shift has been made. Joy comes up and gratitude, for the simplicity of this gift is Great. You have come Home. It is the time, that the mantra can be simplified. Instead of „Back to the Depth of my Origin" only „Origin", „Depth" or „Back" will come up. However, in times in which your practice fades, regular going back to the entire mantra appears to be recommendable. PS. Recently the mantra „part of the Whole" has become increasingly "popular".

Rooted in the Earth

10. The „Twofold Origin" is the key practice of The Original Tradition. As your spirit has its home in Heaven, so your body-mind is part of the earth, while the earth is part of the universe. The universe is the manifestation of the Ultimate, it is „the mystical body of the Light". Therefore, both your body and the earth are parts of the „body of God". However, through identification with your mind, your thinking, dreaming and desiring, you have lost contact with both your own body and nature. You - the mind - became isolated, deprived of your natural matrix. The natural state though, is to be integrated both with „Heaven" (vertical) on the one hand and the earth (horizontal) on the other. Once you become (painfully) aware of your separation from the vertical (alienation), as well as from the horizontal (isolation), you will start your search for healing, for becoming whole again. For example, you see this tree in front of your home. You have seen him your whole life. But did you really ever felt him? Did you really establish any deeper contact with him ever? To feel the pain of being an outsider to this world, will certainly help your longing for wholeness. To restore the unity with your body and your extended body, nature and the earth, I emphasize the daily practice of feeling, body and contact awareness.

11. It is rather simple. The key function is called „feeling awareness". It means, that in every situation you will become aware of the feeling contact of your body with its immediate surroundings. When you walk, you feel your feet touching the ground, when you sit, you feel the contact of your bottom with the chair and while lying down, you feel the sensations of your back in contact with the bed. Notice, this is a feeling exercise. It is not about thinking! You will feel your feet while walking, you are aware of the sensations, caused by the contact of your feet with the ground. There appears to be a direct relationship between awareness and feeling, without thoughts interfering. Also, this exercise has nothing to do with concentration. Through concentration you narrow your mind in order to stick to something, e.g. an inner or outer object. It requires will power and is therefore limited. You will become tired, distracted or get headache sooner or later. Feeling awareness, on the other hand, is opening yourself up like a flower. Instead of „going out", you relax and remain centered, while the feelings and sensations are coming to you. It is the „feminine" way. While things come to you, you open up more, enjoying both your feelings and your expanding awareness. Feelings and awareness thus having a positive feedback towards each other. The more inner clarity, the more intense the felt energies and vice versa. Hence, the slogan is „watch and feel, feel and watch". By doing so, your awareness will slowly establish an integration between your body and its surroundings. By doing so, more and more of your (direct) environment will become part of your inner space. Everything appears to be an extension of your body, becomes interconnected.

„To Restore the Unity with your Self, your body and nature, your psyche and fellow human beings, while surrendering to the Ultimate"

12. Great joy is born. The chair, the floor, the table with the flower vase, all become the experience of your extended body, hence your separation has ceased to exist. You feel interconnected, a part of a greater whole again. You realize to never have been lonely ever, for via your body you are always in contact, uninterruptedly. Realizing this, great gratitude is born, you may spontaneously kneel on the ground kissing it, simply for being there, for its great gift. Everything you touch, is a part of you, hence real compassion is born, the same compassion a mother feels for her child. „You love your neighbor like yourself". If one hurts a tree you are hurt, if one hurts an animal the same. Note: You’re hurt - the self - and not-hurt - your inner Space. Moreover, everything has regained its original wonder and awe. Everything you touch has the touch of the mystery of existence. You see and feel the expression of the Divine in everything around you. Therefore, while touching the tree, the leaves and the flower, you may intuitively whisper: „the body of God". Once you have established this „primordial" unity, the second step will be to practice your „feeling awareness", while doing more complicated things, for example brushing your teeth, reading the newspaper, in making love, driving the car, rushing to the meeting, watering the plants or cooking. While doing these things, you keep feeling your feet, bottom and back. The last degree of difficulty is to „remain undisturbed", while communicating with human beings, in the meeting, while talking, while arguing or helping.

the greatest freedom: to become part of the Whole again

13. Crucial in the practice of your twofold Origin is the simultaneity. It is about whispering the mantra, while simultaneously practicing feeling awareness. Only then sooner or later (sooner) the Vertical - "Heaven" - will be overflowing in the horizontal - your body, the earth - in the crossing of the two, the Heart. In the Heart you are transcending the duality, in such a way, that it appears to be Oneness, the all-embracing Dimension. The earth has - once again - become part of the abundance of „Heaven". Once established, joy, true insight, strength and compassion will be overflowing and never leave you anymore. A new (wo)man is born, one who is renewing the world together with (her)him. You appear to be the Space in which everything is interconnected. Your freedom is limitless, while committed to all „sentient and non-sentient beings". You have become One with the dance of the universe, doing through non-doing - wu-wei - silence in action. Once united with your Origin, many will seek refuge in you. You will share you Wholeness with the despaired, your Love with those who suffer, your Light with those who are ignorant and your Strength with the deprived. Or you will be simply a good neighbor or friend.

Heaven & Earth Exercises

Exercise Nr. 1 Walking

14. Take a relaxed position while standing, your eyes are half-open. Unlock your knees and bend your pelvis a little forward. Relax. After a short time you will feel the weight of your body increase in your feet. Watch and feel. Become receptive. Start balancing your feet by alternatively bringing your weight a little to your right and left foot, to the front and backside and then to the middle. By going up - feeling awareness - you balance your legs, knees, pelvis, spine and head. Just watch, feel and move a little in all directions until you have found your inner most relaxed position. Watch your breathing.

15. Fold your hand and press them against the middle of your breast. It will help you to become centered as you feel them all the time. Then you start walking. Bring your weight into your left foot. By doing so your right foot will start moving. Place your right foot one foot ahead. While touching the ground you bring your weight from your left foot to your right. At the same time your left starts moving. You place it one foot ahead and so on. A few important things. First you watch and feel your steps continuously. You feel the touching of the floor all the time. Secondly you walk very slowly. By walking very slowly your awareness will grow. It will expand, becoming very clear and alert. Thirdly you walk at an equal pace. Walking at an equal pace stops you thinking about your walking.

You are part of Me, therefore I love you like myself

16. Until now you have been balancing your walking through your feet only. Try also the extended exercise. While including your feet, you extend your watching and feeling to your heels, ankles, toes, the space between your steps, watching and feeling your lower legs by feeling the skin in contact with your clothes, your knees, your pelvis and your entire body respectively. Your walking becomes effortless. A total new awareness is taking possession of you. First you perceive an ultra thin layer between the inner and the outer space. Then suddenly this layer „evaporates", inner and outer become one. Your body has „disappeared" into space arousing great ecstasy.

Exercise Nr. 2 (Tiendi Qi Gong)

17. Stand up with unlocked knees, your feet about one foot distance from each other. As you let go, you will feel the weight of your body in your feet. Feel your feet in contact with the ground. Sooner or later the ground will „absorb your feet" in such a way that the latter disappear as „separate entities". The heavier your body becomes, the easier it will be to also feel your knees and hips „disappearing". Now you are firmly rooted in the earth. It is the starting point for the exercise. In the mean time, your mind has calmed down in such a way that „feeling awareness" is born. It means you watch and feel simultaneously. Watching and feeling, feeling and watching is where this exercise is about. Their ongoing feedback will bring you to the limits of the self and beyond.

18. The exercise has four principles. First, you always remain aware of being rooted in the earth. That means, all (later) movements of the arms are „sprouting out" from the roots. There will be always a direct feeling connection between arms, feet and ground. Any disconnected feeling immediately has to be „repaired", before going on with your movements. Secondly, all arm movements will always be very slow, at a constant „speed" and always symmetrical, in order to optimize your watching and feeling. They move spontaneously, from within. From there you let your arms go the way they want to go. Thirdly, there will be regular stops of several seconds, in which the „feeling awareness" deepens itself. Last but not least, there are the „wings". These are the only movements - of the hands - which follow a certain pre-conceived pattern.

I only tell you what You know already

19. Your arms are alongside your body. Bend your wrists in such a way, that your hands go ninety degrees up. Through watching and feeling your roots, these both your hands may then start moving. You will feel the energy coming out of the earth, flowing though your body into your arms and hands. Let the clarity of mind and the energy together determine the direction, the kind of movement. Your are standing there like a tree, with its branches moving very slowly in unknown direction. The only thing you do, is keeping contact, the watching and feeling. You watch and feel how the movement spontaneously develops from within. You just follow!, looking what is happening with amazement. Your attitude will be that of a child, every moment is unique and exciting. You never know, what is coming next. And you will not ask yourself. Your mind has completely dissolved in the watching and feeling, with the result, that the HereNow, timelessness, has taken possession of you. Undisturbed - also with regard to the people passing by - undistracted and spontaneous, your movements will be in total harmony with existence. The moments of deliberate rest, will only deepen this your inner bliss.

20. The „wings" are a little difficult to explain. Whenever your have your hands stretched out before - or at the side - of you, a special movement of the hands is made. First, the hands move from a horizontal position into the vertical, in which the wrists bend ninety degrees. You are facing the backside of your hands. Pause. Then the hands will go a little up - two centimeters - the fingers spread to their maximum, bend forward, after which their fingertips come together in one point. The hands then bend further backwards in their wrists, in such a way, that the fingers again adopt the vertical position, after which your arms push the hands forward, as if you want to push the air away from you. Once having seen it, is much easier than I can explain here on paper. Usually, the entire exercise lasts 25 minutes. Do it every day, preferably in the early morning, outside in the park or in your room with the window open. It adds empowerment, dynamic energy, bliss and harmony with „Heaven and earth" to your everyday experience. You finish by slowly „bringing" back your arms alongside the body, taking a deep breath and rubbing your hands. Note: this exercise can be further developed. For instance, co-ordinated movements of both arms and and legs and movements with bells. To harmonize with nature, the heaven & earth exercises are occasionally done naked. A good idea for many other body-oriented exercises?!

Exercise Nr. 3 Standing

21. There are two varieties of this meditation: the standing and the sitting one. Here only the standing one will be demonstrated. Stand with your feet parallel and about sixty centimeters from each other. Knees are unlocked to a considerable degree, your pelvis turned forward in such a way, that your trunk exactly fits - „clicks" - into the pelvis. The spine is straight. In this position you bring your arms up to the sky, in such a way, that they take the shape of a chalice. They neither bend forward nor backward, but are „sprouting" exactly laterally from both shoulders. A certain pleasant tension will be felt. Your awareness, however, isn’t fixed there, but moves to your feet. Like in the first exercise, your watching and feeling will soon establish a feeling of unity with the earth. You let your feet and legs sink deeper and deeper, until the feeling of separateness completely has gone. The miracle is this: by just remaining „in the underpart of your body" firmly rooted in the earth, all effort to keep your arms up disappears. To such an extent, that the stronger you are rooted in the earth, the more spontaneous your arms will be moving towards the sky. They are even pulled towards it (...). The secret behind this is, that by taking the „heaven & earth position", you become in tune with the centripetal and centrifugal forces of the earth. The same forces which determine the growth of plants, shrubs and trees.

Everybody without any exception is rooted in
„Heaven" and earth

22. Didn’t you notice? The more firm you are rooted, the easier it is for you to keep you arms up to the sky. It is because your watching and feeling is in your roots only! Sometimes you even will experience your arms going up so strongly, that you are hardly able to stay rooted. Limitless power takes possession of you. Pulled both toward „heaven and earth" your Center, the Heart will be opened. Great joy, a sweet bliss or the feeling of „triumph" will arise in you. Energy, love and compassion are overflowing from your inner Space to your direct surroundings. It is the completion, the fulfillment and the acme of existence. A deeper layer - something in which everything is new - has revealed Itself to you. Here you find limitless and timeless clarity, an very alive silence, and the absence of all thinking, a loving connectedness with everything around you and an ongoing joy. Seen from the Center, your mind - thinking, feeling, desiring, and dreaming - appears to be your periphery. The exercises take around 15 minutes. After that a deep laughter may come up. How self-centered and serious you were before. How anxious, compared to the liberating joy, which is now overflowing. You are like a carefree child, enjoying the garden of the Divine.

Exercise Nr. 4 Celebration

23. After having finished the previous exercise, a deep feeling of gratitude may come up. Everything around you appears to be part of you, hence you love the trees and the grass like „yourself". Your hands „automatically" will move towards each other, greeting everything around you with gassho (namaste)*. Your Heart is greeting the Heart of things and vice versa. Do you see how the trees have moved their „faces" towards you? While slowly, consciously and greetingly walking, you celebrate the deep communion with everything existing. It is a communion, which has been there always without you noticing. However, once experienced, you will never be the same again.

*) The traditional Asian greeting

Furthermore

24. The suffering of mankind is alienation from one’s Self (vertical) and isolation from one’s body and nature (horizontal). Hence the first step is to restore the unity with both „Heaven" and earth. (Painful) awareness of one’s actual situation, longing for Wholeness and faith are the decisive factors here. Once the basics are taken care of, further steps are possible.

25. To fit in (in the Whole) appears to be the highest freedom. Moreover, Enlightenment isn’t personal, it isn’t something to achieve „for yourself". The more pre-occupied you are, the lesser the chance that it is going to happen. It is just an (unexpected) „side-effect" of the path of Unity. The purity of intention is where it is all about.

Enlightenment:
the Inner State of the universe

See also:Photo Heaven & Earth Exercises & Video Heaven and Earth Exercises

Video:
Heaven and Earth Exercises

 

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Last revising: 12/28/10