Circulation of Chi

Circulation of Chi Through The Body 1886

The Nei Jing Tu (Chart of the Inner Landscape) is a magnificent Taoist depiction of the human body as a microcosm of the universe, in which fundamental forces, ancient spirits and celestial bodies all have their place. The follower of the Tao (natural order) must gently try to bring themselves into closer harmony with it through meditation, breathing exercises, feng shui and other practices. Then the body may become as it is also figured in the chart — an alchemical furnace capable of producing the elixir of life. The chart is designed to help the Taoist “prolong longevity” and, the ultimate goal, “attain immortality and Buddhahood”.

A nineteenth-century Taoist ink drawing by an unknown Chinese artist, showing the Circulation of Chi Through The Body. The early Taoist philosophers and alchemists considered ch’i – which translates literally as breath or air, and figuratively as “life force” or “material energy” – to be a vital force found in the breath and bodily fluids. With the help of different techniques, one could learn to alter and control the movement of ch’i within one’s body, attaining physical longevity and spiritual power. It is a central and underlying principle found in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts. This remarkable late-nineteenth-century image is originally from a plank found in the White Cloud Taoist Temple in Beijing.

Source: Public Domain Review

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