In the existing nine ready positions of Health Qigong, no matter in Shuangyang Palm, Shuangyin Palm or Semi-yin Semi-yang Palm, the hands rise to the chest or diaphragm, meaning that pneumatic fire starts from mind, and the starting point of traditional health cultivation exercise implied in this Illustration of Inner Classic——Engraving Children String.
Engraving Children String represents mind, which is the starting point of exercising Health Qigong. Only by calming the mind can one open the door of exercising Health Qigong.
There are three meanings.
First, when we start exercising, we must be as carefree as children without any distraction. Like the meditated pithy formula at the start of Health Qigong • Daoyin Twelve Methods: “Abandon considerations in the dead of night, concentrate on Dantian to close the seven orifices. Breathe slowly to make the bridge of magpies, and fly to the sky like a swallow. ” . The first requirement is “abandoning considerations”.
Second, no matter what exercise it is, a movement affects the whole body. “Moving sheng yang” shows that as soon as the exercise starts, it needs the help of sufficient yang-qi. We know that children, especially infants, were known as “pure-yang constitution” in ancient times. Pay attention and you will find that kids will not lose their voice even if they keep crying for a day, which is the expression of sufficient primordial qi. Children are often happy, which is also a kind of external expression of sufficient yang-qi in body. So keep smiling when exercising Health Qigong. Boys can erect their penis without any lust, which indicates sufficient kidney qi. Pure-yang constitution proves that the human body is corresponding inside and outside. If the mind is bright and quiet, the primordial qi will be naturally abundant and yang-qi is sufficient, so the physical strength and energy are exuberant. This is the Qigong state in the ready position of Health Qigong.
Third, it is the meaning of starting point of Illustration of Inner Classic——Engraving Children String. First, “Engraving Children” represents mind. Huang-ting Inner Scene Jing says: “Palace of lung seems to be a canopy, a boy sitting below makes it an imperial palace”, “Boy peeps at the heaven and earth”, which all compare the mind to children. What is the meaning of “engraving”? When measuring the sun shadow with gnomon, the ancient people engraved where the sun shadow was longest on the stone tablet to represent the moment of winter solstice, which was the start of a new year. “Engraving Children” means that Lesser Circulation exercise starts from mind. Secondly, “String” implies the essential qi exercised in Health Qigong with money, and also successive connection of the lunar mansions. In other words, the Lesser Circulation exercising method in this illustration is according to the running order of the lunar mansions, namely the running order of natural law, also what we usually say “harmony between man and nature”. In addition, children grasp two stars, making the string only string six stars, which are called “south Dou” six stars by ancient people. After letting a star go relative to the children, it becomes “Big Dipper”. The Big Dipper revolves, stars move, seasons alternate, so the Dipper represents time, corresponding to the vicissitude of all things; the appearance of south Dou represents the start of a new year, so the south Dou represents the birth of first yang and the luxuriant growth of all things. So there was a saying in ancient times: “Big Dipper dominates death, south Dou dominates life”. This indicates that we should repeatedly exercise Health Qigong and persevere to thrive and flourish like “south Dou”.
In a word, “Engraving Children” means concentration to return to the inborn true self. Or quite specifically, we need to remove distracting thoughts from mind when exercising Health Qigong, “exercising foundation”, which is also called regulation of mind. The regulation of mind is also “doing nothing” in Tao Te Ching; regulation of mind is to put down even the most important thing to let the mind free from any dust. Actually, regulation of mind is the start of Health Qigong and also its ultimate purpose.