Make your life mystical.
A good way to approach your afternoon is to imagine that you have smoked a big fat joint. You’d still be doing things, but not in such an outcome-oriented manner. Instead you’d have no opinion, you’d be cruising along. The goal for the afternoon is to sit back and roll with the yang momentum you built during the first half of the day. You want to capture that feeling of doing (yang) while being (yin).
Maybe you’re now thinking well, why not just have a joint? But there’s no need. In the hours after lunch the long meridian that we used for the morning’s visualisation is being charged by cosmic chi. This meridian is loaded with acupuncture points that connect internally to all your organs but also externally to the chi matrix, so you have an opportunity to really feel cosmic connectivity. It creates a stoned sensation. Get aligned and tune in and you will feel this every afternoon for free.
Unfortunately, as most people’s mornings are unproductive they have to start working hard after lunch in order to get everything done. The common response to my recommendation to ‘sit back’ in the afternoon is, ‘that’s not realistic’. But charging ahead in yang mode while the cosmos shifts into yin is what’s not realistic here.
Do this, and you are no longer aligned and you’ll be drifting off on your own. You will lose the sense of support, waste your energy and develop your acquired self. Sitting back is not about chilling-out, that would be unrealistic (chilling-out comes in later in the day). The idea is to keep working, but on less important things, as this harmonises your actions with the switch to cosmic yin.
The fundamental nature of existence is mystical and we are here to be mystical so being both energised and laid-back, and feeling stoned, is a realistic aim for the afternoon. Three-thirty-itis doesn’t count as sitting back. If you are tired and lethargic and craving something, it is an indication that you have been exhausting your reserves of chi through an unaligned lifestyle. You are not missing chocolate, cigarettes, caffeine or drugs; you are missing support, belonging, connection and chi.
Take a trip
After work, ideally somewhere around 6pm, it is time to escape reality again, and ‘roam the universe’ in a magical meditation. Think of a favourite mind-blowing psychedelic drug experience to get an idea of what is on offer now. The Daoists have many different types of altered meditative states, but what we want to chase now is known as yuanyou. It has been described as travel to distant realms and encounters with supernatural beings. It is an effortless meditative experience and, being a connoisseur of altered states, this is probably my favourite part of the day. I’d describe my experience of this meditation as the ultimate trip; a mash-up of the best parts of methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, mushrooms and heroin, but with no side effects. Once you feel this state, all you want is to be there. Nothing else matters.
A day aligned with the chi cycle has prepared the internal organ states necessary to run this mystical meditation program (the morning chi practice is essential); so you just have to kick it off. Start by finding somewhere to be alone. Prepare by letting your face, the mask of your acquired self, relax and become expressionless, and set your intention.
I begin by saying, “Great Spirit, Father, Mother, God, Highest Source of Good (I like to cover all bases), please be with me and allow me to now receive my meditation”. Then I put my focus on the lower dantian (the lower belly) and just hand over to Dao.
Instantly, the feeling from my morning chi-gung returns in waves of ever-increasing intensity, building to an almost orgasmic finale. Cosmic chi is empowering your kidneys now, which are known as the ‘mother of yin and yang’. And, while yin and yang merge in them, you can experience your true self in the midst of a merging of the cosmic creative forces. It is a mind-blowing trip. Afterwards I feel restored, refreshed and back in touch with my cosmic self. The yang activities of the day have been forgotten and now you can fully embrace yin.
Use meditation to trip into the mystical
Sex and the cycle
As your kidneys store your sexual energy, this is also a good time for sex. One of the great attractions of being high on drugs is forgetting the obligations and limitations of the mundane world. Sexual experiences can deliver this state too. As sexual feelings intensify, yin and yang merge and you get that fantastic body-mind integration.
You’re not lying there analysing anything, you’re not thinking, ‘Hmm, now I need to move my leg two inches to the right, and my left arm up above my head’, or ‘Maybe I’ll Google that next position’. You don’t follow the instructions of your mind; you are driven by chi.
If you are a yang type, you are probably thinking, ‘Oh great, I can have sex every day at 6pm’. Think again. Having a healthy sex life is very important. In Chinese medicine ‘healthy’ means not only at the right time but also the right amount; too much sex can deplete your chi, but not enough sex can drain your spirit. How much is beneficial is different for everyone, depending on factors including your constitutional type, age and health. But in most instances doing it every day is not considered beneficial. Following the chi cycle lifestyle sensitises you to the forces of yin and yang; so you naturally develop the ability to manage the yang drive for excessive sex.
Although imbalances such as the insatiable urge that leads to sex or porn addiction are common after drugs, so is the opposite condition of low libido or no sex drive. Loss of libido is considered to be sexual dysfunction in Western medicine, but in Chinese medicine it, and erectile issues for men, arise from chi deficiency and depletion. Impotence can be a strategy implemented by your body to preserve your chi for your major organ functions; like keeping your heart beating (which is why, for men, using performance enhancing drugs in these situations can be dangerous for your heart). Building chi is the solution for this and for low libido.
Another common post-drug condition is the inability to have ‘normal sex’ because, after spectacularly intense drug-fuelled sex, sometimes for days on end, normal sex just feels mechanical. Prolonging states of heightened awareness is definitely the right idea in sex (and life in general), but doing so through drugs is not sustainable. The good news is that following the chi cycle lifestyle, in conjunction with a medicinal diet, Chinese herbs and treatments (nutrients are critical here) can correct sexual imbalances, give you the control to prolong intense states and, ultimately, enable you to access cosmic chi during sex. Merging with the mystical in this way is a truly mind-blowing experience. No drug sex can ever match this. Forget the earth moving; you’ll feel the cosmos move!
Merge with the mystical in sex
Pleasure benefits chi, and enjoying yourself after you finish the day’s work is an important part of the chi cycle. You can’t have sex every day so you need some other pleasure options. This can be tricky after enjoying extraordinary drug states.
A lot of mainstream rehab programs and publications are now recommending enjoyable or fun activities in recovery. Some suggestions that I have come across recently include, ‘dancing, even if there is no music’ (not even worth discussing) and ‘buying yourself a new pair of shoes’ (seriously?). I’ve treated clients who tried parachuting, heli-skiing or drift-dives, but even these adrenalin-fuelled activities didn’t do anything for them after drug highs. So I really don’t think shoe shopping is going to cut it.
One of the most useless ‘how to have fun after drugs’ recommendations I have come across, though, was the suggestion that you go to parties but, instead of getting trashed, ‘find pleasure in staying sober, talking to people and really getting into the conversation.’ Dream on! First, if you’ve quit drugs and are at a party, it’s probably against your will as you’d rather be at home by yourself online or watching TV, because mixing with normal people makes you realise that there is something wrong with you, and secondly, being expected to enjoy talking to people who are probably all busy getting tanked is just ridiculous.
Expecting activities that might have been fun in your pre-drug days to be so again after drugs will just lead to disappointment. This will contribute to depression, cravings, relapse and, if you seek help for this, medication. Medical professionals view the inability to feel excitement or pleasure as depression, and mood-altering medication as the answer. But, as every drug user knows (except maybe the dedicated dope-smokers), what goes up must come down, and this applies to all mood-altering drugs, whether they are legal or illegal.
In Chinese medicine, the inability to feel pleasure or excitement is the result of depleted chi. There’s nothing wrong with you. Following the chi cycle recovery plan will gradually change this. Meanwhile shift your pleasure goals from doing something fun (nothing legal is going to be fun for you) to a creative pursuit, something that you can lose yourself in. We are always either ‘acquired’ or ‘cosmic’. There is nothing in between. So in that state of losing yourself, you are forgetting your acquired self and you are remembering or finding your cosmic self.
When I mention being creative to clients, most immediately say that they can’t draw or sing, or whatever, but you don’t have to be good at it; you just want to be immersed in it. You don’t have to whip up a watercolour or write odes to flowers; there’s plenty of great software for creating music, film or art projects. I mess around with making electronic music every night and it takes me right away from everything.
This is not the time to be practising scales, learning new programs, doing night classes or anything that requires concentration, because that means you are engaging with yang energies in a yin phase of the day and, as we all know by now, that’s a big no-no. Fierce concentration belongs in the morning. If you do this in the evening, you’re no longer aligned and are more likely to be heading back to drugs.
After some creative activity it is the best time for an evening meal. Eat warm and nourishing, easily digestible foods that will support yin. Avoid processed foods, caffeine, wheat and sugar in the evening, at all costs. These are yang, heat-inducing substances that will feed your acquired self and impair your ability to fall asleep, the ultimate yin activity.
Go beyond the fun of the senses into the joy of chi
Sleep and the soul
Cosmic yin has been steadily increasing and by 9pm ‘astral chi’ begins entering the earth’s atmosphere. Astral chi has a dreamlike quality; it feels supportive and mystical. This feeling intensifies and peaks at midnight, the most yin time of the 24-hour cycle. Lots of ex-drug users like to be awake and doing things late at night; they have become what I call astral-chi junkies. If you have an unaligned lifestyle, you miss out on mystical connections throughout the day, you are cut off from Dao and feel incomplete and, desperately hungry for chi, for mystery and, for something beyond normal, you seek the feeling of connection and support from astral chi.
However, astral chi is there to support the journey into sleep. Being awake and/or working at night ‘robs harmony’ as the Daoists would say. Ideally you want to fall asleep between 9pm and 11pm, as cosmic chi floods your san jiao (the invisible organ) during this time, switching your operating system over from day chi to astral chi. Then the grand cosmic altered state finale can get underway while you sleep.
From 11pm to 3am, as cosmic chi activates your liver and gallbladder in turn, your soul travels home to the astral spheres. It receives guidance on your destiny from your spiritual mentors and soul family, and also the courage for you to follow your path.
At 3am, as cosmic chi moves to your lungs, your soul returns to your body (if you always wake at 3am it means you don’t have the yin for this to be a smooth transition). By 5am, as cosmic chi activates your large intestine (the organ that is responsible for getting rid of the old to allow the new in) you can maximise the benefits of your soul’s overnight spiritual fact-finding mission, by doing your chi practice. Information on your destiny is released from your organs and the destiny gateways appear to guide you through another day. Each day your knowledge of who you are and what you are here for becomes stronger.
This is a fantastic, cosmically holistic, health and happiness system. But you need to sleep at night for it to work. And now we hit a hurdle. Sleep is the ultimate yin activity, but an unaligned life of not switching from yang to yin in the second half of the day, and overstimulating the senses means that your mind and soul, which are supposed to be feeling snug and comfy in their organ homes, can’t settle and they become restless wanderers. You lie there awake.
I treat people who will wake up during the night to check their phone and answer texts or emails. This is mystical self-sabotage. Communication devices are awesome inventions, but they are yang tools, which belong to the productive hours of the day. So as you head off to bed imagine that you first have to pass through a mystical security gate, and put all that stuff in a tray to be held for you overnight.
You can do a brief chi-gung to counter yang stimulation and help yourself fall asleep. Start by standing beside your bed in the same posture you used in the morning – arms by your sides, legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent – to align the three major energy centres in your body with Dao. This also aligns your meridians and acupuncture points with the stars. Try to move from perceiving with your senses to perceiving with chi. Next, sit down on the side of the bed and immerse yourself in the feeling of infinity opening up as astral chi surrounds you. Then lie down on your back momentarily, with your arms crossed over your chest, over your heart chakra (doing the Dracula), and once you feel the drift sensation, move into the recommended sleep posture.
Lie on your right side, with your legs slightly bent and resting in front of the pillow and your left arm resting on your left thigh. This puts your heart in an elevated position, which means that blood can circulate freely, and your liver in a low position, which means that blood can collect there (your liver cleanses your blood overnight). Your stomach is also in a position that facilitates the downward movement of food. Then let the cosmos take over and carry your soul home.
Sleep is the most cosmic, mysterious and magical part of the entire 24 hours, and the part where you get to effortlessly return to your cosmic self. And the best bit – all you have to do is lie back, shut your eyes and think of the cosmos!
Sleep to set your soul free
This article is part of a series of articles excerpted with permission from The Rebel’s Guide to Recovery by Jost Sauer and published by Centre of Dao, Maleny, Australia.
The next chapter will be published in the next LivingNow. If you want to fast forward your life, the entire book is available for download from Amazon.
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