When I do the eight gates, I always start on the first gate before proceeding to the others. Sometimes I proceed through them formally in the order described in Whisperings Of The Dragon but other times I enter a flow in which I traverse the gates in a seemingly random order, which arises spontaneously through my body. Its as if the gates open themselves and draw my consciousness into that level.
I have noticed a very different effect from either way, though it’s difficult to explain in words.
I could say that when I go through the gates in the formal order, there is a sense of becoming sealed and compressed by the silence, like a cocoon.
I’m curious whether there is anything you could say about the significance of the sequence of the eight gates, or it’s effect on the body.
I notice that in Chinese Medicine the order of the levels of the body’s immune system are described as similar to the eight gates. Layering from the superficial skin level down to the deeper core of the body. Pathogens are said to penetrate through these layers when they enter.
In traditional Indigenous Australian medicine, medicinal plant teas are rubbed into the skin. I find this has an immediate effect on body consciousness, which draws me straight into the eight gates practice, as I feel the medicinal effects gradually moving inward through the layers of my body.
Perhaps there is nothing really to say in words about this subject, though I’m curious anyway.
So much love and gratitude for this amazing practice.
Firstly, you are proceeding in accordance with the natural impulses and this is correct. One can’t direct nor demand that a waterfall flow backwards upon itself. It is as it is and one must harmonize with that flow and come upon oneself via the fact that when they dive in they will ultimately emerge where the momentum calms itself to be observed.
With the eight gates it is vitally important to know your observation and not to think about the word that you wish to observe, which is like a locked door to the practice. For example, if one thinks “skin” then the process of “skin” becomes trapped within the internal word spoken.
It is similar to using a mantra. When one says “skin” they have given the internal mechanism of words the power of one’s realizations and in some cases when the word is let go of then the direction flows towards the skin because the command was internally spoken.
To be in meditation or communion with oneself is to be practicing prayer. When the elation of the object of one’s concentration is realized, then that happiness or bliss reveals that the feeling of knowing that one has arrived is different to the word being spoken internally. This is why it is very difficult to pray using words.
When one knows the realization is not spoken and when another realizes that an unspoken truth has arrived then the communal consciousness automatically sits comfortably within that beingness.
It is the same when you do your Dragon’s Tears. Your hands will automatically do the gestures without words. You peripherally watch your hands flowing and know that you have arrived upon what you are doing by observing it whilst feeling it, whilst listening to it.
As it comes upon you it touches you then you grasp the intangible that automatically becomes your realization transmitted into a space that neither receives nor sends yet is everywhere at once and known to itself. As one travels upon this path they drink this elixir and learn to speak its truths while one is listening to what is being spoken from their own empty reservoirs.