Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Neijing Tu"- Taoist Inner Landscape

I have been doing hatha yoga pretty regularly for awhile now. There are a couple yoga studios near me that my fiancée & I go to once a week, and I practice on my own, as well. It is a great way to stay in shape and have a healthy connection between body & mind.

In addition to regular yoga practice, I have also attended classes on Kundalini yoga. Kundalini refers to the "serpent energy" of the nervous system that rises up the spinal column into the brain. This energy can be harnessed and directed within the body, using a combination of physical and meditative techniques. There is no doubt that the human body has energetic properties, and yoga practices like Kundalini allow us to utilize these energies- like our physical body uses our hands & arms to lift objects.

In my Facebook feed, I saw a comment in which someone posted this image of what they called "Taoist Kundalini":

Since there was no further explanation, but the image intrigued me, I did a reverse image search on Google. The Taoist diagram of the "inner landscape' is called Neijing Tu. It uses nature to represent the various energies and systems in the human body. Meditators & self-explorers were familiar with these subtle aspects of our being, that we are beginning to re-discover. Ancient people described and mapped these abstract concepts to the best of their ability. For the Eastern followers of the Tao, this meant relating the ideas of our inner landscapes to the external nature world.

Here is a PDF with an extremely detailed description of the subject matter in this "Neijing Tu" diagram:

While browsing Google Images, I also came across this interesting graphic "Taoist Inner Alchemy Anatomy Chart: Relationship of Body, Mind, and Spirit". As much as I love science & factual knowledge, that is not the only mode of thinking available to us. Sometimes the allegorical and metaphysical connections made by ancient cultures have as much meaning as our physical observations.

click to enlarge

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