הרחבה מפי כריס ניתן לקרוא מטה (באנגלית).
Older in historical terms than the five phase pairings are the six greater meridian units, where Yin is paired with Yin and Yang with Yang. The Frontal Family consists of Yang Ming and Tai Yin.
When we first learn of the Lung meridian it is with its full title: Tai Yin of the arm, Lung meridian. Thus, prior to its specific identity (Lung), it already has a more general one: Tai Yin and more specifically, the Tai Yin branch that also covers the arm and hand.
Tai means greater, in this case not so much in terms of importance as visibility – this is the most visibly prominent of the three yin units. In Tai Yin, the Lung partners up with the Spleen meridian, or to give its full name: Tai Yin of the leg, Spleen meridian.
You may object that pairing Yin with Yin sets aside the concept of Yin-Yang balance. That is partially true, but only in terms of the small picture. Widening the frame, we see balance renewed as Tai Yin finds its natural pair in Yang Ming (Luminous Yang)
The bright or luminous Yang meridian unit is comprised of the leg Yang Ming Stomach and the arm Yang Ming Large Intestine meridian. Here we see that by zooming out of the picture, two previously elementally oriented pairings (metal and earth) now settle into a new arrangement and balance is not only restored but enhanced, enlarged even. We are given a macro-perspective.
For whereas with elemental pairings, we find ourselves confined to either upper or lower limb dominance, we now move into a whole body perspective – top to toe. Yang Ming for example, stretches from the tip of the index finger via the shoulder and neck to the sinus area with Large Intestine and thence all the way down the front of the body to the second toe with the Stomach. Consider the symmetry inherent in this arrangement: the second finger and the second toe; matching musculature and skeletal structure all the way and even a nodal area where the energy is most concentrated at the turnaround: the area encompassing the nose and eye and the local sinuses.
In the most basic of terms, we can describe the overriding function of the frontal family as providing a comfortable vessel. They combine to create and maintain a secure form for the human spirit to incarnate into and enjoy in reasonable comfort for the duration of its earthly existence.
In this sense, we might speak of quotidian energy, catering for the everyday needs of survival: breath, intake of nourishment, breakdown, assimilation and elimination: everything the body and mind need to carry out the various tasks of existence, while the spirit pursues its path here on this earthly plane.
Yi: Focus and Intent
What might the word "digestion" imply on a psycho-spiritual level? When we need time to digest a difficult situation, an unusual option or a challenging proposal, we take the opportunity to ruminate. We turn things over in our mind. We do more or less what the beloved cow does when she regurgitates food to re-digest and reprocess. We bring the subject up to our conscious thought level and examine it. We view it from different angles, look at the merits of various arguments and consider their advantages and disadvantages. We turn it over, pull it apart and put it back together in a new form.
This is of course exactly what the Spleen and Stomach meridians do with nutrition extracted from raw physical materials, except that now we are considering how to understand the essence of a thing, so that we can make sense of it and own it. Once we have done this successfully, the thing is ours and we can proceed to the next step of decision-making, involving all possible alternative modes of mental activity from rejection, through modification to acceptance.
Naturally enough, a substantial part of this process is conducted on a rather less than conscious level, just as physical digestion is an organic act that goes almost wholly unnoticed when things are proceeding smoothly. So it is with thought in routine cases: most of us can choose what to wear and what to eat for breakfast without resorting to lists of pro's and con's.
However, when physical digestion processes are disturbed, either by faulty internal function or by external factors, we become aware of them as laborious and troublesome. So is it with our mental processes as well - we only become aware of them when they become a challenge in some way and as above so below: the reasons can either be internal in nature or external. External reasons would include difficult choices, options and situations that challenge us in some way and bring our thought processes up to conscious awareness. This can of course be a positive thing, causing us to grow with the challenge presented. It can also be a negative thing if too many of these challenges are presented on too regular a basis without adequate time for thorough digestion.
What the Yi tries to do for us is move us comfortably through life as we digest the experiences we choose to put ourselves through. We are in essence no different from our ancestral cousins, the earthworms. They very obviously eat their way through life – motion is ingestion is elimination is motion. Like earthworms, we move and ingest. Before eliminating and moving on, we sift, sort and evaluate. We prioritize and select that which is life enhancing from the raw materials ingested and leave the demeaning and degrading to one side.
Imagine for a moment a life where no sifting occurs. Sorting is neglected. No energy is put into evaluating or prioritizing. That which is ingested is either taken on board whole or rejected en masse. The consumption of life experience is not subject to any refinement process. We either swallow everything whole or we throw the baby out with the bath water. Either way, there is no nourishment. No nutrition equals no growth: Absolute stagnation.
We see the value of the Yi as we return from these nightmarish visions to our own experienced reality, where we know that we do indeed make the world our own. We grow richer in knowledge and experience day-by-day and year-by-year. We are not the same person we were two years ago or even two months ago. We adapt and we adopt new habits, new lifestyles and new purpose. We change.
When the Yi is really firing on all cylinders in total opti-mode, we speak of focus and intention. We observe practiced professionals in any field of activity and the word "honed” shines forth. We look at well-rounded individuals and see the ease with which they hold their space, resting comfortably on the cushion of intent, rolling forward effortlessly from experience to experience. Becoming richer, remaining centred.
The Yi is the epi-centre of this state of existence, supported by a family of spirits with interlocking functions.
Chris coming to Maga School for holding Shiatsu and movement summer workshops is a yearly tradition that is held for 20 years now.