The Tao is experienced as undifferentiated wholeness: oneness. It is simultaneously present in all phenomena and the interconnected matrix that contains all phenomena. Early Taoists and the wisdom traditions that gave birth to Taoism were primarily engaged in directly experiencing, not expressing, the Tao. Expressing the direct experience of the Tao is not the direct experience of the Tao. Expressing the direct experience of the Tao, if done with awareness and an "empty vessel" is an important and worthwhile cultivation process. It's expression manifests as prose meeting poetry meeting art meeting movement meeting music meeting whole spirit ... moving...slightly refined...out into the world. It is spirit becoming mater. It is mater becoming spirit. It is the "becoming".
The Tao as cosmic dance or play is one Way of expressing the Tao as it manifests the world. The interplay between the descending Yang fields from above intermingling with the ascending Yin fields from below and every manifest "thing' a part of this play. The "10,000 things" and the "No Thing" existing as one in the cosmic womb of time and space.
The extraordinary vessels are much more than the most primordial pathways that traverse the acupuncture body. They were recognized, shared and cultivated in ancient Wisdom Traditions, in Shamanism, an in Qi Gong long before they appeared in acupuncture texts. They are the manifestations of the individual and universal fields that engulf us and create us. They are the source and essence of our primordial abilities to relate to the world outside of our self and to the world that is our self. They form the play of the energetic matrix in which we exist. They are the Tao at play! As we explore and enter the vessels through breath, movement, meditation, acupressure, poetry, sound, touch, and of course acupuncture our knowing of the extraordinary vessels, our most profound selves and our world, dives and soars beyond the cognitive mind allowing for a fuller understanding.
It is the world of imagination, the senses, the emotions, the heart and the breath. It is a learning experience saturated with metaphor, symbolism and spirit. It is an exploration that goes well beyond clinical indications and pathology, well beyond the separated soma, well beyond our emotional selves and well beyond the ‘ordinary” world. There is immense joy in exploring and cultivating the extraordinary vessels. In doing so, we engage conscious awareness and the navigation of our timeless immersion in Tao.
It is joy born in both deeply personal internal experiences and the power of community and the collective’s experience of the universal and timeless, the Tao.