This article is all about not ‘doing’ after lunch. You’d think this would be the easiest part of the cycle to align with, but it means backing off and handing over and, for most people I treat, this is just as hard as getting up early and exercising. We are all so yang and driven these days we think we need to stay in control by keeping on moving and doing. We think we are in charge of everything but we’re not; Dao is. We have to trust in Dao to shape us. This comes from ‘being without doing’. After lunch, it’s time to practice this by taking the backseat and not working so hard. When I tell people this though, the response is inevitably “that’s not realistic”. Well people, we’re not here to be realistic. The fundamental nature of existence is mystical and ultimately we are here to be mystical, to evolve our souls.
According to Lao Tzu, this process has five stages. The first is a knowledge of Dao, or an awakening to the fact that there is something beyond the physical. The second is the desire to feel the connection to something beyond the physical and this is when you find yourself attracted to yoga, tai-chi or meditation. Once this becomes a daily practice, you have begun to live for your spirit as much as for the material world. The third stage is what contemporary Daoist scholars call ‘cosmicization’. This is what we’re aiming for by following the mystical chi-cycle, we are becoming cosmically aligned and finding our cosmic selves. When you feel equally at home with the stars as with your daily life on earth, you’ll know you have achieved this. There are two more stages following cosmicization, the stage of the sage and the return (I’ll be covering them a bit more in my final article in this series).
Cosmicization is a critical part of the process of the evolution of our souls. It is a great big concept but all you need to get it underway (after you have stage one and two in the bag) is a simple little daily routine – that you repeat every day until you die – which aligns your activities with the cosmic cycle of yin and yang. This means being more yin or yang at certain times of the day. My previous articles in this series have looked at doing the yang active things, such as exercise and working hard in the morning, but lunchtime marks the start of the great yin wind-down phase of the cycle and afterwards it’s time to coast on the yang momentum you built in the morning. Most of us do the reverse though by starting each day slowly, dragging ourselves out of bed, feeling like we can’t get going and stumbling to the anti-destiny machine (also known as a toaster) and the coffee pot. We don’t really build up momentum until around lunchtime and then we have stay in that mode from then on to try and get everything done. This might seem necessary, which is why people see this as ‘realistic’, but it is unaligned so it cuts us off from the source, from Dao.
It is charging ahead in yang mode while the entire universe winds down around you, that is not realistic, because you are on your own and developing not your cosmic or real self but your acquired self. The emotionally reactive one which tells you that you can’t follow your dreams. As I often say, we are not supposed to be going it alone. There is cosmic support available for us every hour of the day and night, and one of the most powerful experiences of this comes in the afternoon – if you are aligned and if you let it. And now we get to the core issue: ‘letting it’. To get in synch with cosmic yin after lunch you have to do the opposite of what you did after breakfast. Instead of getting powered up and going for it, you are receptive. This is not about chilling out, that would be unrealistic, (chilling out belongs to 7pm) we are still working but on less important things and with a different attitude. Not in a yang, driving it forward, forceful mode, but respecting the rise of yin. A good way to approach your afternoon is to imagine that you have smoked a bit fat joint after lunch and then gone back to your tasks. You’d still be doing things, but not in such an outcome-oriented manner. Instead you’d have no opinion, you’d be cruising, and this is what ‘doing while being’ feels like.
I’m finding myself making ongoing drug references in these articles, which was not my intention, but it’s happening because you have to be in an altered state to find your cosmic self. Daoism is sometimes called the art of intoxication and the mystical chi-cycle delivers all kinds of intoxicating altered states throughout the day (the night takes care of itself, if you are asleep). Your organs each have a spark of divine consciousness, referred to as an ‘orb’ by Daoist scholars (the orb is an invisible function, not a circle or sphere), which carry the information of Dao in the form of an experience. In the hours after lunch, they are primed to deliver you that ‘stoned’ sensation. At this time the Urinary Bladder (UB) meridian – the one we directed attention to in our ‘backbone, brains and spiritual balls’ morning mantra – is charged by cosmic chi. This meridian is packed with acupuncture points that connect externally to the cosmos and internally to all your organs, so now every one of your extraordinary organs gets a delicious little chi-buzz. You get a sense of belonging and feel as if the universe is coming to you.
Just in case you’re thinking that smoking a real joint after lunch might deliver the same outcome, I have to point out that it won’t. My research (over thirty years of daily chi-practice and immersion into the ancient texts on Chinese medicine and Daoism – the philosophy underpinning Chinese medicine, not to mention decades of drug use) indicates that recreational drugs might activate metaphysical organ functions, but they cut you off from Dao. They over-stimulate organ function which weakens the organs and then the orbs don’t feel at home. Eventually, with ongoing drug use, the orbs are driven out, your connection to Dao is broken and that divine guidance and support is gone. Your spirit suffers, love is gone and life becomes dark and empty. This is the experience of addiction. It might seem a dramatic example in this context, but drug use just accelerates what most of us are doing anyway by going it alone, by living unaligned and cut off from Dao. We are just doing so at a much slower pace. Our organs weaken much more gradually so we feel just a smidge less happy, light and loving each day.
This is not the trajectory we are meant to be on. We can all change this by living in a way that builds juicy, healthy and happy organs that the orbs feel comfy and at home in. Just follow the chi-cycle, live and work in harmony with yin and yang, make every meal fuel for creation (not entertainment), and the orbs will love being in the body. Each day your life will fill with a little more wonder, light, love and purpose. Nurture your orbs and your life will become mystical. So smoking a joint after lunch is not the way to go, but if you’ve had that experience and, if the statistics are correct over half this country has, you have a template for how you want to be approaching the second part of the day, and for what your orbs can naturally deliver. The ‘yoga stoned’ sensation you get after a great yoga class is also a good template for this.
3:30itis, by the way, doesn’t count as being yin. We are destined to be feeling fresh and energized now. If you are tired and lethargic it is an indication that you have been exhausting your reserves of chi by going it alone and having a chi-depleting lifestyle. On a mystical level, 3.30itis is a symptom of disconnection, so your longing is not for chocolate, it is for support, belonging and a reconnection to your cosmic self. Rather than heading for the Timtams, caffeine or a stronger substance, (which will exacerbate your underlying chi depletion), start to change everything about the way you live. Get back in synch. Getting the yin phase established now is a critical part of this. It is thread of destiny time, again, after lunch because winding down now is essential if you want to experience the amazing mystical goodies the day still has on offer. These include being able to feel an orgasmic internal union of the forces of yin and yang in meditation; your cosmic self in creativity; the merging of yin and yang in cosmic sex, and ultimately the launch of your soul on an overnight journey back to source, back to Dao, back to your home.