Re-integration of the self

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The way to transcend karma lies in the proper use of the mind and will. The oneness of all life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are forever annihilated.

Who said this? Apparently, Bruce Lee (Li Junfan). Yes, the martial arts legend.

And where did I read it? In a book about Chinese medicine (Nourishing Destiny, by Lonny S. Jarrett). I wouldn’t normally be reading such a book, but someone was explaining the heart/kidney axis to me, and that led me to this chapter.

The alignment of this axis matches our alignment to the poles of heaven and earth, and its integrity is vital to our ability to manifest destiny in life (p. 6).

On the same page:

It is the interpenetration of the shen and jing through this axis that allows us to know ourselves through introspection and permits our original natures to flourish in the world.

I read that shen is mind or spirit, and jing is primordial energy inherited from our ancestors. Jing is centered in our kidneys; shen is in our heart; both influence us and our wellbeing. The chapter posits that we lose our true self in an instant of trauma early in our life — or, more accurately, we create our “small self” in that moment, and then we are out of balance and remain so. Our internal resources are misdirected outward instead of inward.

The nature of the false self is that it will usurp all resources available in order to maintain its possession of a person.

Breathe.

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3 responses

  1. Apropos of the title of this blog, I remember noticing one day that my (then) very young daughter was no longer breathing into her belly.

    When she was an infant, and I would change her diaper, her belly would rise and fall with each inhalation and exhalation.

    Later I noticed that her breath didn’t go so deeply into her abdomen. Now, as a young adult, her breath is often in her throat.

    I wonder when her breath moved upward? Is that the moment when she left her true self behind?

    Thanks for an interesting post!
    Barry

  2. A very interesting observation, Barry. I have heard teachers instruct people who are new to meditation to breathe the way a baby breathes. They even point out that when a baby is peaceful and quiet, its little belly goes up and down, up and down. But when the baby cries, the air is all up in the chest, and it is the higher part of the torso that heaves in and out.

  3. Interesting post. “Our internal resources are misdirected outward instead of inward.” Well said and I think almost everyone can see this in our own lives, in our deluded minds. And that’s why it’s very important to practice daily.

    Barry, yes, very interesting observation indeed!

    Thank you.