Negotiating the daily challenge of human life

I was mentioning the use of the phrase ‘holding it all together’, and explaining how this belies a spurious sub-template to the description of what’s happening to a person, which begs the question, then how do you gather yourself into a workable enough unit to be able to negotiate the daily challenge of human life to come out of it ahead?

This of course is central to Taoist practice – the art of gathering oneself unto oneself, of rallying around the central core of the being, because once organized internally around your true core, you’re like a wobbly doll with a rounded, weighted but not saggy bottom, so no matter how hard life pushes you, no matter how far you appear to fall over, you inevitably instantly swing round and right yourself again.

The trick in it is to find that rounded, weighted bottom within.

It’s actually a complex mechanism involving the entire spinal column.

Obviously the pelvic floor, pelvic bones, sacrum form the rounded bottom bit but rounded bottoms do not just float in space – they require structure and a reason to be, viz the spine and all that hangs off it (i.e. you).

The spine (as you now, forgive me stating the obvious), is the physical core of your being – you can’t go any deeper without starting to come out the other side.

Rather than let this input be just theoretical, take a moment while sitting/standing/crouching/walking/whatevering here, to feel your spine from the inside as it were.

Push yourself back into your kidneys a bit and push the back of your head back a bit and you’ll feel it easily enough.

We’re now about to do something rather powerful, so brace and ready yourself.

Picture a cylinder with a diameter about the same as a watermelon (but not spherical: cylindrical) on the vertical (not horizontal) axis, wrapped around your entire spinal column (not just a bit of it) – see it like some rare amorphous substance a bit like the surface of one of the outer planets, turning slowly round (and round) your spine in a counterclockwise direction.

Do nothing else but this for a bit now.

And presently you’ll start feeling an actual visceral sensation of something rotating round your spine.

Stay with it and mentally imbue the process with the power to clear your inner sphere-of-being of all dross and impurity.

Now let that continue rotating on its own, while you next focus on exactly the same sort of cylinder rotating in exactly the same place as the first one but in a clockwise direction. That’s why they have to be made of something amorphous – anything harder would present a nightmare of engineering design.

Imbue the clockwise cylinder with the power to draw all healthy, helpful elements and qualities to be gathered more and more powerfully unto you as the cylinder continues to rotate.

Now let that cylinder continue doing that on its own and focus on dropping the weight of the head and torso into the pelvic floor.

Extend the spine upwards towards the top of the sky while you do that so you don’t slump over.

Penultimately, draw yourself further into your back with your mind retracted into the very back of your head and gaze out from there instead (of from from the front).

Finally, concentrate on a point one plumb’s distance down from the belly button and a one medium sized orange’s distance from the belly button rearwards – one medium sized orange’s distance more inside towards your spine.

Post-finally, open your heart – lift the breastbone and allow the chest to expand and your love to flow more freely, and your breath to flow more freely – and Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your a’firkin.

May this serve you full well, dear reader, and your weekend be a thing of bliss,

love, Barefoot


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