Winter 2016 issue of The Empty Vessel

2016 Fire Monkey Year by Susan Levitt Shape Your Destiny  by Zhongxian Wu The Empty Vessel Interview with Lonny Jarret The Five Shen by David Twicken Grounding/Rooting by Solala Towler See our store (under Empty Vessel magazine) to order this issue in print or in digital format.

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Fire in the Belly: Solala’s blog for 8/4/2014

            We talk a lot about the lower dantian in qigong training. Actually we use it also in meditation and nei dan (internal alchemy) practice as well. The lower dantian, while the first (if you count from the bottom) of three dantians, it is considered the foundation level. As in building a house, we have to start at the bottom, rather than at the top. Many people, on first learning meditation, want to start at [...]

Solala blog 7/28/14 Dancing in the Dark

I went to a concert last week with a friend. It was outside of town in a beautiful meadow with a wooden stage at one end. It was great to be in the country and visit with various friends and listen to the deep devotional music of my friend Matura, who was accompanied by much of the cream of Eugene musicians. After his set another pretty amazing musician named Fantuzzi came up on stage and shared his wonderful heart soul [...]

Solala blog 5/28

Daoist Nature Meditation   There was something formed in chaos, coming before heaven and earth, existing in the silent and tranquil void. it stands alone and unchanging, It pervades everywhere without becoming exhausted, it is the mother of heaven and earth. I do not know its name and so call it Dao. For want of a better word I call it great. Being great it is far reaching. It is far reaching yet it returns to its source. Therefore I [...]

Winter Cultivation

The season of winter is connected with the element water, the color blue black or black, and the organs kidneys and bladder. It is also called the time of year of “Returning to the Root.” The kidneys are associated with the positive emotional state of will or what used to be called “backbone.” The negative emotional state is fear, especially unfounded fear such as panic attacks or night sweats. A weakness in the kidneys can also cause this problem so [...]

What is Qigong?

What Is Qigong? by Solala Towler       “What is this thing you do?” he asked, hesitantly, over the phone, “this quee gong?” (The transliteration of Chinese being so ridiculous that no one knows how to pronounce anything they read. Taiji teachers all over the country still call it tai chee, people do divination using the eye ching, meaning romantic love in Chinese.) “Is it a martial art?” he asks, “or is it some kind of health practice?” “well,” [...]

The Watercourse Way

Solala’s Blog for the week of 2/11/13 One of the things that drew me to Daoism is its deep connection to the earth. It prizes the yin over the yang. For without the earthy yin to act as a stabilizing force, the yang would have nothing to launch up from and would just dissipate. Laozi says, “Know the yang but hold fast to the yin.” The other great image from Laozi is that of water. Water benefits the ten thousand [...]

Coming Home to Daoism

Solala’s Blog for the week of 2/4/13 I encountered Daoism after struggling with a long illness (CFIDS for over ten years, until I was completely bed-ridden) and was curious as to the philosophical background to the acupuncture treatments I was receiving. I had been studying Zen for some time but there was something about the stiffness and solemness of Zen that I was not satisfied with. I had studied Eastern thought since the ’60′s and had practiced yoga and meditation [...]