“Control your chi
Becoming gentleness itself
As a newborn child”
Chi is the basic force that keeps our physical beings alive. In the same way that we would die if we had too little blood, so we begin to perish and decay when our chi stagnates or scatters.
Being that chi is the source of life, it is naturally quite lively, meaning that we need to control it before it controls us. Chi responds to our mind, moods, and emotions. If we get over-excited, our energy screams and races around like a toddler. If we get angry, our energy becomes fiery, dangerous, and difficult to control. When we get depressed, our energies stagnate; when we get obsessed, our energy gets trapped in just one place.
So, in order to keep our Chi gentle, we must keep a gentle mind. Anger, over-excitement, depression and obsession all stir up and exhaust the spirit, damaging all areas of our health. Emotions do not have to be dangerous by themselves, because they are also an energy – it is when they are extreme, excessive and uncontrolled that dangers begins.
Even the strongest among us may feel all of these things from time to time; but, so long as we do not allow these moods to become habitual, and deeply-rooted within our psyches, having the ability to transform these energies into something beneficial, then we can still succeed.
Taoist alchemists often refer to this act of governing chi as ‘The Firing Process’ because it is a lot like boiling water. You want to keep the water at a stable temperature. Too hot, and the water sizzles up and scars your face; too cold, and the water loses its life and potency.
Keeping Chi even isn’t easy – it requires the constant practice of gentleness and balance in every area of our lives. If we can be like a baby – soft and gentle, yet carrying within us a lifetime’s worth of potential energy – then we will be that much closer to preserving The Way.