I first heard of the 24 hour chi-cycle as a student of Chinese medicine and was immediately fascinated by the concept. As Chinese medicine is based on chi, to understand it you have to feel it as well as study it, so I started living in accord with the chi-cycle. Right away I felt physical and emotional benefits. I then wrote a series of articles and a subsequent book, The Perfect Day Plan, on how to live in harmony with the cycle. Since then I’ve been using the chi-cycle lifestyle as a therapeutic tool for my clients and researching mystical Taoism and the shamanic origins of Chinese medicine. I’ve also been immersing myself further into the world of chi. Some time back I noticed an increased perception of things beyond the physical, as if I was getting clear messages guiding me on the path to purpose, and the feeling gets stronger all the time. Initially I thought it was an added benefit of the chi-cycle lifestyle but then, through reading the ancient Taoist texts, I discovered that the fundamental purpose of aligning with the chi-cycle is to find our purpose on earth, our ‘contract with Heaven’, and realize our destiny by developing into cosmic beings. The chi-cycle is actually a bridge from the physical to the non-physical world. Not only that, but the fundamental role of Chinese medicine is to support us on the journey to find our ‘cosmic self’. This put a new mind-blowing, spin on everything I thought I knew about the chi-cycle.
I love the multi-layering of information in Taoism and Chinese medicine, and the fact that the more you live it, the more is revealed to you. It’s like those computer games where new levels keep opening up. It all begins with discovering chi and the chi-cycle so I’ll start by backtracking a bit here, with a brief synopsis of my previous research. Chinese medicine is affiliated with the philosophy of Taoism. In ancient times its great sages mapped out the patterns of life by observing the movement of the stars, the seasons and the natural world. They discovered chi – which is simultaneously energy, information and consciousness – and observed that it flows through the cosmos from the biggest planet to the smallest molecule in a powerful rhythmic movement. This is known as the chi-cycle. They were particularly interested in our human interaction with the cosmos, and worked out that chi courses through us as well in the same endless 24 hour loop. It spends two hours in each of our organs (Traditional Chinese Medicine has twelve organs) and there are certain things we can do at certain times to catch the cosmic momentum and increase our health and happiness. For example, from 5pm to 7pm, chi moves to your kidneys and, as this is where your sexual energy is stored, it’s the best time to have sex because that action is supported by the universe (the earth will truly move).
The chi-cycle is a system within which you move in accord with, rather than against, the cosmic flow. This means you won’t be exploiting your own resources, which separates yin and yang and sets the scene for pathologies to develop. In a nutshell the lifestyle is as follows: there is a yang part of the day, which goes until lunchtime, and a yin part, which goes until midnight. The idea is to schedule productive active things in the yang time, and wind-down activities in the yin time. So, between 5am and 7am get up, exercise and do your chi-practice (this allows a natural detox to occur). Then eat a nutritious breakfast somewhere between 7am and 9am. Be productive and work hard until 1pm (this prevents toxins building). As the yin part of the day starts, sit down away from work or electronic distractions for a nutritious lunch. Finish doing things that require major effort by 3pm. Switch off from whatever you’ve been doing by 6pm at the latest. No more work or business emails or texts (this builds toxic stress). Between 7pm and 9pm, eat a nutritious meal and read, play music, watch TV do something creative, or have sex (not every day). Be asleep by 10pm at the latest (a natural liver detox occurs from then – if you are asleep). In Chinese medicine your organs have emotional attributes as well as physical functions, and with a harmonious lifestyle your lungs can generate feelings of freedom; your liver, happiness; your spleen, concentration; your kidneys, power; and your heart, love. Tuning in with this lifestyle not only provides a natural 24-hour detox (another new thing I learned about it recently), but makes you feel supported, empowered and ready to go forth on your mission to find your cosmic self.
It sounds pretty simple, but most of us are living way off track and out-of synch with the cosmic flow, creating an underlying sense of separation and stagnation. We usually wake tired, stumble out of bed to a coffee, skip breakfast (nearly 50% of Australians do this) or detonate the ‘toxic-bomb’ of sweet processed cereals, wheat and coffee. Sugar and caffeine stimulate a sense of movement, and wheat makes you feel ‘full’. But this just tops-up your toxins, creates chi stagnation and creates emotional fragility. Without the physical or metaphysical fuel from the exercise, chi practice and nutritional breakfast, you don’t have the energy to be productive and the window of opportunity to use the beneficial stress of working hard to break down chi blockages in your system, flies past. Everything becomes annoying, 3.30itis hits, you feel you’re missing something, and you try coffee, cigarettes or sweet snacks. The day drags towards a close but you’re not really tired, so you stay up late, then sleep poorly, struggle to get up the next morning, can’t get going and so on. Each day you spend like this increases separation from source (the cosmic mother-lode of chi), makes you more confused, and your purpose slips further out of reach. Most of the population live this way and it is no wonder that by middle-age most are also on an average of four medications. You can end up thinking that life sucks, but this just means it’s time to align.
I’ve been working with the chi-cycle lifestyle with my clients for several years now and I have to admit that it’s initially a hard sell, as it doesn’t sound that exciting (particularly for ex-drug users). Clients tell me that “we are supposed to be individuals” (true), or that they are “not morning people” (not true) or they can’t make lifestyle changes due to social expectations (be a rebel!), or any number of other objections. But as soon as they adjusted they immediately became more productive, their energy levels improved significantly. They found they were able to handle stress and avoid becoming so mentally and emotionally drained. A lot of lifestyle-generated symptoms disappeared, their skin and eyes became clearer, ‘3.30itis’ disappeared and cravings for sugar diminished. They also reported weight loss, mainly a reduction in abdominal fat. This is important, not so you look good on the beach, but because fat accumulation around your middle means your organs can’t ‘breathe’ and their functions will be impaired. Dieting is not the solution as it leads to fluctuations of one extreme to another. Get in synch, keep your chi flowing and weight naturally adjusts. Clients also reported feeling like a burden had been lifted, and they developed a much more positive outlook. All from living the chi-cycle.
But, this is just the start! Ultimately chi-cycle alignment prepares the ground to access the multi-dimensional world, and get some much-needed magic and mystery into our lives. It is the launch-pad for pleasures way beyond the sensory. Alignment links us into the cosmic chi-matrix so every two hours there is also a window of opportunity to access information on our spiritual nature, which is usually out of reach for us. Each organ belongs to the major group of five, and they harbor a spirit, a carrier of divine consciousness, which contains crucial information about our contract with Heaven and our destiny. We are all born with a mission and pursuing this is how we express our individuality. There are fantastical poetic descriptions of the spirits of our organs as deities that dwell within us and in the starry palaces of the Heavenly walled cities, but there are equally practical directions, via the chi-cycle, to access the guidance. In my following mystical chi-cycle articles, I will look at each two hours in turn, and how to follow the clues to finding and fulfilling your contract, and your destiny. Strap yourselves in for a journey to the centre of the cosmos!