Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Four Types of Qi That We Can Attune to and Harness For Self and Planetary Healing

Generally when we talk about “qi”  or energy in qi gong it can be quite generic, it is just the energy that flows through life and nature.
We can begin to look at specific types and manifestations of qi by observing landscape, and the way in which it is composed of  the four elements; earth (body of the planet, mountains, tress etc), water(lakes, rivers, oceans), air(sky) and fire (sun and stars).
In each of these four elements qi manifests in a particular way, and has particular powers and characteristics that we can learn to attune to and consciously utilize for healing and energizing purposes.
Below is a meditation for attuning to qi within the four elements in landscape. It is one of the first meditations that I wrote after I left Buddhist monkhood and went back into secular life back in 2001. Once you are familiar with the basic process you can easily use it to attune to the qi within any landscape. Enjoy!
(Note: The four elements used in this article earth, air, fire water is based around the four observable elements in nature. This is different from (but closely related to) the system of five elements that you find in Qi gong philosophy; earth, wood, fire, metal, water).

Mandala and Four Elements Meditation

Find a comfortable position, either seated or lying down, with a straight back.
Spend a minute or so focusing on the breathing and bringing your attention inward.

Bring to mind now a beautiful natural setting that you may be familiar with and love, one that when you think of it makes you feel very relaxed and peaceful and that takes you away from the trials of your daily life. This place should be a landscape that includes both land and a water element, above you you feel the energy of the sun, moon and stars.
(note: If you are able to actually go out physically to such a landscape to do the meditation, then this is great).

Wherever you choose to see yourself, see yourself sitting or lying comfortably on the ground of this place of inner retreat, surrounded by bright sunlight, and cooling shade, as refreshing breezes caress your body.
Feel your feet on the earth, the flowers and wonderful vegetation and water features around you, the only sounds that you hear come from nature.

Take the time now to attune yourself to the your spiritual being  that lies within you, see this as a light and feeling of love at your heart.
Feel your consciousness expanding into the elements of nature surrounding you. As you breathe in and out you can feel your mind blending and merging with the environment around you.
Attune yourself to the earth and rocks, and feel this earth energy moving up through your feet as beautiful golden green light. Feel this light pervading your whole physical body now, clearing and balancing the earth element within you. See it going through your organs, flesh and bones, clearing and balancing their energies  within you. Feel your earth element merging with the harmony of the natural earth element around you.
See the water element arising from the water near you as a clear blue light. See this light surrounding you and entering into the water element in the cells of your own body. See it clearing all of the imbalance and disharmony in your blood, fluids and watery elements of your physical body. See and feel your water element coming into harmony and balance with the water element of nature, with the rivers, lakes and oceans of the planet.
Feel and see the light and fresh air around you now moving into your physical body, fell it move through your lungs and out thru your other organs, thru your arms and hands, thru your legs and feet, thru your neck and head. Feel the pure light and energy of the air element moving into all the spaces in your body, clearing out and balancing your own air element. Feel the air element within you coming into line with the air element within nature, and with the sky.

Feel the heat and golden light of the sun now surrounding you and caressing you. Feel this light moving into your system now, clearing and purifying the fire element within your body. See and feel the regulation and distribution of your heat energy being cleared by this beautiful golden light and heat from the Sun. Feel your fire element now coming one with the fire element of nature.

Now feel the energies of Mother Earth Herself now coming up through your feet chakras into your heart, feel her love for you as one of her children. Feel her heart and yours now coming into harmony and merging as one at your heart. Take this feeling of love and oneness with the Earth Mother as your final object of meditation.

When you feel ready, become fully aware of your physical body and surroundings, and when you are ready, open your eyes.

© Toby Ouvry 2011. You are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first! Contact

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meditations for Spring Time and the Beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit

Hi Everyone,
I’m off to Thailand for a week, so this will be my last post for ten days or so. Whilst in Thailand I intend amongst other things, to spend a healthy amount of time simply sitting and attuning to the energies of nature, of the landscape and of the sea.

The turn to February sees the energy of spring starting to manifest in the northern hemisphere. Here are two simple meditations with images that you can work with at this time in the year to attune to the energies of spring and of new beginnings.

The first draws upon traditional Chinese associations of the wood element. The second draws upon traditional images of the Goddess/divine feminine and the child self.

1. Working with the wood element to heal and energize of physical and energy body, mind and emotions:

In Taoist and Qi gong philosophy the season of spring corresponds to the wood element. Spring sees a re-awakening of the green world and an exponential expansion in the growth of trees and plants. Here are some of the qualities and correspondences of the wood element energy:

Wood element healing colour: Green
Direction: Energy rising upward from the Earth
Direction: East
Actions: Countenance or good posture
Bodily organ: Yin organ – Liver, Yang organ – Gall bladder
Emotions: Positive - Kindness, negative - anger/resentment
Mental Quality: Sensitivity (Integrate vision of Child and goddess into this section)
Senses: Vision/sight

Brief meditation on the wood element:

• Sit facing east, imagine a fresh spring breeze blowing from the east, refreshing your mind and body.

• Feel down into the earth beneath you. Sense a vast reservoir of light and energy in the centre of the earth. Sense the colour of this light as gold, white and green. Now see it rising up and filling your body through your feet. Sense this green and gold energy surrounding and infusing your liver and gall bladder. Feel any trapped anger and resentment being stored in these organs being released. Feel the organs being cleansed by the light, and being filled with the energy of kindness and sensitivity.

• Now feel the energy of kindness and sensitivity spreading out into your whole body. In particular feel it going into your eyes and eye sockets, refreshing the power of your inner and outer vision

• Feel the green and gold earth energy in your whole body, breathe it in and out of your physical cells for a few breaths, and then just relax in stillness for a while.

2. Two further images of spring: The Virgin Goddess and the child

The Goddess or divine feminine in her youthful or virgin aspect is a traditional image symbolizing new birth and spring.

The child, or new human life is another image strongly associated with spring, as childhood is when we are in the “spring” of our life.

Meditation images for the Virgin Goddess and the child within

• See yourself in your inner vision sitting in spring landscape (or sit in one physically if you can!). Quietly and intuitively feel yourself attuning to the energy of the season

• A beautiful young maiden approaches you, she is the virgin goddess, the goddess of spring. As she stands before you, three rays of light radiate from her

• Light radiates from her brow to filling your mind, brain and head with the energy and light of clarity

• Light radiates from hear throat to your throat, filling your speech with kindness

• Light radiates from her heart to your heart, filling it with the light of positive empathy, gladness and joy

• You notice that the Goddess is holding a newborn baby in her arms. She offers you the baby. Take it your arms, as you hold it, meditate on the seeds of new life, ideas and projects that you can feel beginning to germinate and grow within your being.

• A young child comes to join you and the Goddess. It is your own inner child. See how s/he appears to you. How easily are you able to relate to her? Try and feel the natural joy and playfulness of your child self as you connect to the child appearing to your imagination.

3. Meditating on the rabbit as a power animal

Because it is the lunar new year of the rabbit, February/March 2011 is also a good time to meditate with the Rabbit as a power animal. Here is a simple way to integrate it into the second Goddess and child meditation above:

• Within your spring landscape see the rabbit (could be one or many) appearing. For a while s/he sits and hops gently around the feet of the Goddess, examining you curiously. After a while (in its time not yours) the rabbit approaches you, allowing you to stroke it, perhaps hold it. Feel your mind and energy connecting to the rabbit and commune for a while in silence. What happens or what you see and experience at this time arises from your communion with the spirit of the rabbit.

Thanks for reading!
Yours in the spirit of Spring,

PS: On February 22nd and March first I will be leading two classes entitled “Landscapes Of The Mind: Finding Inner Power and Balance In Your Life Through Meditation on Wild Nature And Landscape” all are welcome, if you are not in Singapore the classes are available for purchase as recordings.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2011. You are welcome to use it, but you must seek Toby’s permission first. Contact