Ancients of Mu

Mu or Mo points associated with the Zang-fu or visceral organs of the body, are surface points on the yin side, the front of the body. Commonly translated from Chinese, they are known as “Alarm” points since the character that describes them is that of troops being gathered for a coming attack. Many have seen these as that, and have used these points when to use in acute situations with the particular organ in trouble. As a sort of mustering troops to fight an impending illness. Others have translated them as “Gathering” or “Collecting” points, using the translation as to gather and collect troops so as to dispense them when in need. In an interesting article by Peter Eckman, in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture, He suggests that the Mu surface points are areas where the jing comes to the surface for that particular organ through the process of the Respiratory system, the Lungs. Using Daoist conceptualizations, he points out that in old practices it was believed that the jing circulates at birth in the first breath through the Mu points. When the child takes his first breath, a post-natal cycle emerges with the pre-natal. The air enters first through the Mu point of the Lu, then the Mu point of the LI, and so forth following the 5 element cycle. Metal-Water-Wood-Fire-Earth, through their Yin/Yang organ counterparts. In a preliminary preparation for Tendon and Bone marrow washing Qi Gong, Dr. Jwing-Ming Yang has a breathing technique, where one concentrates on the progression of Metal to Earth using the Mu points to collect qi for each of the organs. One can say that the Mu points are the closest areas on the surface of the body that the Jing may bubble up.

The Ancients of Mu, a fiction created by The KLF, have nothing to do with this article.

Jing, Qi, Shen

The three treasures known in Qi gong are Jing, Qi, and Shen. They are stored in the three fields of the body, the Dantiens (translation from chinese- fields), or known as the Triple Burners. The Dantiens, are the center areas of the body, where energy is collected and also distributed. These are focus areas in the body while practicing Qi gong. As the breath travels with inhalation from the nose to the belly and with exhalation back out of the nose, these centers gather the qi of the body and in turn with concentration transform it. With each deepening breath, the focus and the concentration transforms this energy and builds it up in the rising tides of the Dantiens.
The notion of Burners, also provides an image in this process of breath work. Burners can be seen as bellows providing warmth and heat for the entire body. In a similar image, these localized stove tops of the body, are found just above the navel, above the sternum, and at the occipital lobe. (Other schools locate the top Burner at the top of the nose between the eyes. Some schools located them under the navel, over the navel, and at the chest) What is collected at these Dantiens, or similarly “burnt” at these Burners, is the energy that is necessary for those areas of the body. This is Jing, Qi, and Shen. Jing, the simplest and most condense of these, is the seed energy, that is derived from our essence. Its is our sexual makeup, our DNA, and our life seed. This through Qi gong, is lifted up from our sexual organs, into the lowest burner, and combined with the energy of that which we have ingested, ruminated and dwelled upon. Our body combines thats, and transforms it into what it needs, Qi, to nourish the body. What is in excess rises, or falls according to its quality, and enters the next Dantien, or Burner. This burner located in the center of the chest, mixes with the immediate breath. It discriminates, gathers what is necessary, and releases what is not. Most of the breath leaves or it goes to the lower burner to start the process over again. What collects and remains transforms into core of who we are. It becomes the emotions that fuel us, predominate us, and are a part of our character. Out of this transformation, comes out the Shen, which is our Spirit Mind. The Shen collects in the upper Dantien or Burner and brightens our awareness. It provides us with insight, and illuminates our being.
Each Dantien provides a path of transformation where we can focus, and see the process unfold in our Qi gong through simple mindfulness.

Of organs, and meridians

The way one’s own body is perceived, is a very curious daily experience. We tend to hold our bodies in the predominant routines in our lives. Whether, we consider ourselves an athletic person or not, these routines over the year shape and form our body, or are even they are predetermined by our body type. Nature or nurture shapes and are shaped in the form we keep or are kept in. Our genetic disposition makes us according to polymorphic types- endomorph, exomorph, or mesomorph, predisposed to playing the particular sports that we find ourselves easily playing. As someone with a runner’s build would be more apt to become a runner, rather than one who has the genes of a linebacker. In aging we are more apt to choose those routines that fit our comfortable body types that we have found ourselves settling in, and likewise find ourselves with the aches and pains that come also with those routines, body types and dispositions.
In Classical chinese medicine, Element theory breaks it down into 5 elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each element has a different phase of intensity in the wheel of life, as well as a disposition. Similar to Hippocrates’ four temperaments and its variations, the 5 elements reflect the seasons of the year, and likewise one’s temperaments during those periods. The body evoke images that would pertain with the element. A woody person, as the element would be expressed is one that springs forth into action, very forthright, and assertive. The could be tall, lanky, and sturdy. A Fire person in the similar fashion would be passionate and forth-warming. The could be effusive, vigorous, strong, and swarthy. Each of the elements conjures up their own image, correspondence, and type. Originally derived from the I Ching, the book of changes, the elements chart the progress of the seasons. Viewing the body as a microcosm in a macrocosm, and following the adage as above, so below, the internal landscape of the body was an projection of what was also outside of ourselves. The body also followed its own seasons with its changes.
Each organ of the body therefore has a predilection for a particular element, as its functions, and actions are characterized as such. The heart, and its warm, effusions belongs to the fire element, and the kidneys with its discharging belongs to the water element. As each organ is intertwined with in a network of communication within the body. Each one is in a particular system in the greater functioning of the body, reaching forth extending its influence. The communication of the organ to the great extent of the body, came to be know as a meridian in Chinese Medicine.