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Yang-Sheng (Nurturing Life) is an E-magazine and network for all Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, Reiki, mindfulness, and meditation practitioners, health seekers, and spiritual cultivators. It promotes philosophy and methods of self-healing, positive mind and health preservation, and shares knowledge and experiences with those who are interested in the subjects and their applications in everyday life. Yang-Sheng merges traditional life-nurturing knowledge with modern scientific research and clinic evidence, and combines ancient wisdom with our own experience to support our daily practice and wellbeing, and to reach true meaning of health in body, mind and spirit… Your contribution, participation, sharing and suggestions are truly appreciated.
Click here to download the March 2011 issue as a PDF
Highlights of Current Issue (Vol 1, No. 2)
[From the editor]Yang-Sheng Welcomes You —This subject of Nourishing Life practice is a very ancient one yet many of the ideas and practices offered in these pages are as up to date as can be. Many of the problems facing humankind today are the same as those of the Tang Dynasty and earlier. Yet some are totally new. This world of ours, racing faster and faster and becoming more and more toxic, is full of modern ills. Alternative health modalities, including Chinese medicine and many more, have also been developed and can be of much help for many of the illnesses and complaints of the modern world.
[Featured Article] Living the Integral Way of Life by Michelle Wood — An Integralist is a person who believes in the harmony of body-mind-spirit, conscious and unconscious, inside your body and outside with your environment, not necessarily just your local environment, but your universal (spiritual) environment. These are the teachings of many Daoist leaders, included in many Daoist writings, and in particular the writings of Master Ni Hua-Ching in his books on “The Integral Way.”)
[Mind-Body Medicine Research Update] – • The effect of breathing exercises on the fatigue levels of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. • Tai chi Qigong improves lung functions and activity tolerance in COPD clients: A single blind, randomized controlled trial. • Community vs. institutional elders’ evaluations of and preferences for yoga exercises. • Qigong training and effects on stress, neck-shoulder pain and life quality in a computerised office environment. • Effects of yoga on balance and gait properties in women with musculoskeletal problems: a pilot study. • Impact of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Training on Intrinsic Brain Connectivity. • Intracerebral source generators characterizing concentrative meditation. • Activation of the anterior prefrontal cortex and se-rotonergic system is associated with improvements in mood and EEG changes induced by Zen meditation practice in novices. • Impact of integrated amrita meditation technique on adrenaline and cortisol levels in healthy volunteers. • Tai chi as a balance improvement exercise for older adults: a systematic review.
[From the Master] Chinese Astrology and Inner Cultivation by Master Zhongxian Wu – Are the animal signs related to my Qigong practice or spiritual cultivation? How important is it to know about this knowledge? The use of Chinese animal symbols is a key to understanding the principles of your life and of your karma. They can help you understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Becoming conscious of your own patterns will give you in-formation about how to cultivate your gifts and refine your challenges, which will help make your life flow more easily, with fewer struggles, and bring you success in your pursuits
[Root of Daoist Meditation] Cracking the Matrix by Shifu Michael Rinaldini – Yes, we live in a world of delusion. It is the matrix of separation, I and other, and we don’t even know it. You have to crack the matrix yourself through a direct realization experience. It still needs nurturance of many years of daily practice and the step by step transformation of our identities. But then gradually and naturally, we become one with the Dao.
[Tales from the Dao] Down by the River by Solala Towler – “The old man had been a philosopher and student of the Way for quite some time. He knew he was not popular with certain segments of society, those pedantic logicians and the like who used words as a screen to hide behind or else brandished them like weapons. His teaching had always been a bit convoluted and full of riddles, puns and a sub-lime sense of the ridiculous. As for arguments with other scholars and philosophers—he just wasn’t interested.”
[Sexuality & Health]Questions Specific to Women’s Practice by Master Mantak Chia –answers questions about practicing during a woman’s period, proper usage of the Dong Kuai herb for women trying to become pregnant, good practices to do before and during and following pregnancy, when to use ovarian breathing techniques, doing the Microcosmic Orbit and the Fusion II practices around the fetus, practices to relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
[Topics in Research] Qi in Chinese Medicine (Part 2 of 2) by Dr. Marty Eisen — Here the functions of Qi and its relation with the Chinese Organs and various substances in the body will be discussed: Functions of Qi, Movement of Qi, Qi Pathology, Blood and Qi, Qi and body fluids, Organs and Transformation and Movement of Qi.
[From the Taiji Master] Lessons from a Grandmaster by Chun Man Sit – Grandmaster Feng Zhizhang was born in 1928. He began training in martial art at a young age, learning Shaolin, Tongbi and Xinyiquan. At age 20 he was accepted as a disciple by the famous Chen style grandmaster, Chen Fake. Feng puts the concept of nurturing at the top of his list. Once while being interviewed by a Chinese magazine, he said. “After decades of tai chi practice, I finally realize one word – nurturing.” He also said, “In a ten years practice, you should nurture your qi and body for ten years.” Nurturing is good for both health and martial art.
[Healing through Pleasure] Sex: The Great Healer by Felice Dunas – Our genitals are open doorways leading chi into and out of our bodies. If the door is sealed shut with a strong, protective energetic shield, little energy leaks out. But when the body is weak and the door stands ajar, sexual play can further weaken us as chi literally drips out of the holes that are part of the genital sys-tem. This is primarily because we as people and practitioners are not trained to transform our sexual encounters into chi building events.
[Echoes of Emptiness] Selected Poetry by Jacob Newell – Since ancient times, Daoists have used poetry and other art forms to express mystical experience, convey teaching, and transmit energy. A Daoist poem arises naturally out of the stillness of an empty mind, like fresh grasses in the springtime. Embracing both wuji and taiji, Daoist poetry can clear the mind and reveal the Dao.
Forward to “Lessons With Master Liang”by Kenneth Cohen – Imagine if you had access to unpublished notes of one of the world’s greatest sports coaches that included his or her guidelines to Olympic success. Or, as an industrial spy, you learned the proprietary secrets that had allowed your competitors to outsmart you. This may explain some of my excitement when I read Ray Hayward’s “field notes” from his years of dedicated study with Master T. T. Liang (梁棟材). The reader should remember that this is oral tradition, words based on both experience and the perceived needs of the student. Don’t expect the chiseled perfection of a textbook nor the entertainment of a novel, though Master Liang’s dry humor will sometimes have you in stitches.
[The Tai Chi Examiner] Tai Chi for Musicians by Violet Li – As a seasoned Tai Chi instructor, Joe Rea Phillips understands the importance of the proper posture and body alignment. He spends much time on one-on-one guidance and tirelessly corrects student’s posture. Joe Rea said that many students took the course due to a pre-existing condition. The results of this course are quite impressive. Students with tendonitis reported that their problem improved greatly after taking this class. One semester he had a student who suffered from scoliosis who claimed improved condition after the course.
[Methods to Improve Meditation] Counting Breath Method by Kevin Chen – Counting breath has long been a method used in meditation training. It appeared in Chinese literature as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25—220AD), when Buddhism was introduced to China. When I introduced qigong meditation to the patients of drug addiction, I heard many of them saying “meditation is not for me as I cannot sit still for one minute.” I realized that counting-breath method could be a very effective way to get them in a meditative mood, and boost their quality of awareness. Here I would like to share it with you, and to see if it may help your meditation as well.
[Soul Salon] Love Your Legacy by Rena M. Reese – There was a time that each of us filled our lungs for the very first time with our first breath. Juxtapose this awareness in considering that you will one day exhale your very last breath too. All of the breaths you’ll take in-between will make up your personal timeline yielding your legacy. Mindfully creating our legacies as we make decisions, build relationships and invest our energy each day will leave us with greater peace when our last day– and last breath– arrives.
[Healing Recipe of the Month] Six Soups for Insomnia – Now a days, more and more people suffer from stress and anxiety problems, while insomnia is one of most common symptoms. If you notice the side effects of most sleeping pills, you may want to try some of natural recipes from Chinese medicine for tranquility and sleeping-aid. Here are recipes for Chinese Date Kernel Soup, Tranquil Mind Soup, Calming Spirit Soup, Three-Taste Sleeping Soup, Longan Lotus-seed Soup, and Mind-nourishing Rice Soup.
[A Comedy Moment] Zen Humors. Good humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to the Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us…
[Food as Medicine] Seasonal Harmony by Ellasara Kling — Spring is beginning. It may not yet appear so with Winter snow storms still occurring, but it is beginning nonetheless. One way we can help create an easy transition is to eat more of those foods which are lighter and in harmony with the season such as the foods that are listed below. Giving our bodies a rest from the denser foods associated with Winter and choosing lighter fare, allows our body’s energy to be in accord with the outward movement of Spring.
[Book Reviews] — Review of Michael W. Acton’s book Eternal Spring by Salvatore Casano, Ph.D. Michael Acton has written a very insightful and inspiring book. He distills his 30 plus years of qigong and taiji quan experiences into a flowing informative narrative. This book is very appropriate for all levels of qigong and taiji quan practitioners no matter the style. In addition, the information presented will benefit all involved in energy work since the principles and practices presented are fundamental in nature.
Volunteer Opportunities and Guidelines for Submitting — You may helping the Yang-Sheng community in many ways. For example, start writing a column for Yang Sheng ( 養生 ), if you are passionate to write. You can write anything for the existent column (see web site for details) or start your own column. We will list you as a columnist. You need write about 3-4 times a year….
Click here to download the March 2011 issue as a PDF
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