ba gu retreat eight trigrams circle walking

Autumn Tao

the Complete Marrow Washing Classic

Bodhidharma’s Mind Seal

Ba gua: the art of change

The Marrow Washing Classic Mind Seal

As an overall systems check of health, emotions, energy, clarity and composure the Marrow Washing Classic is unrivalled. With eighteen dynamic forms and one harmonising form, it provides a complete exercise and health program.

Da Mo or Bodhidharma or Padampa Sangye provide the scriptural, historical and spiritual foundation for the form made famous by the first Zen patriarch, the Indian monk Bodhidharma.

bodhidharma marrow washing classic

Bodhidharma the Mahasiddha

The marvellous feats of the monk who sat wall gazing for many years-six or nine according to different account-are well documented. Through his association with the Shaolin temple, Da Mo (the Chinese name) or Bodhidharma (the Indian name) has been adopted as the founding father of the spiritual tradition in the martial arts.

Outside the martial tradition he is known through remarkable feats that defy physicality, notably his wall gazing and direct mind transmission beyond scripture as well as having been renowned for dying several times. Equally significant is the lineage from Mahakasyapa that eventually founded Zen.

marrow wash

Bodhidharma’s energy and efforts are directed towards towards the benefit of all beings.

Within the forms is secreted a mind seal or mudra, a key that unlocks the heart. The mudra is transmitted during the marrow washing practice until it crystallises in the mind of the practitioner.

The emphasis in the retreat will be to learn the forms as a means to allow dharmata and compassion to co-emerge.

Through repeated practice, marvellous physical feats, longevity, a calm steady mind and seeing innate nature are easily realised.

Bodhidharma is still silently emanating his message.

The Salient Message

Empty the mind of thoughts. Stop thinking! If you cannot stop thinking, do not believe your thoughts! If you believe your thoughts, do not believe them for long! This method becomes an integrated mandala with the physical hand and body mudras in the marrow washing classic where energy, movement and awareness combine into a single abiding. This is the key, beyond the ordinary benefits of the physical movements.

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When practiced in a calm environment, with a calm mind, this qigong form is supremely efficient. Not only does it provide physical re-organisation and healing through moving in stillness, it opens the awareness to the possibility of realising dharmata. For the Taoist, it is through the receptive, the feminine, the earth trigram.

 Benefits of marrow washing qigong

All qigong forms  adapt to the different seasons. The marrow washing classic can be undertaken at any time of year, yet it is most beneficial when undertaken during autumn. Strengthening the bones and tendons, loosening the muscles, tonifying the organs, releasing stagnant energy and quieting the mind until the marrow-physical and metaphoric-is arrived at.

undertaking the marrow washing in autumn, provisions are well made for winter and spring.

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Qigong as Meditation.

Practicing the marrow washing classic reveals awareness in its essential purity, free of obscurations and personal concerns and worries. The mudra, which will be repeatedly introduced, produces wholesome energy the physical beyond that which is produced through movement alone.

The synergy of the marrow washing classic does not depend upon producing any particular state of meditation. It is enough to undertake the movements, to feel their energy and work with empty awareness. With practice, awareness, energy and movement are seen as dharmata-together and individually yet inseparably as inherent nature.

The forms are full of metaphor, symbology and poetry that silently invite the practitioner into dharmata-a non conceptual state considered tone among the most beneficial and exalted meditative samadhis.

We become receptive, open, clear, relaxed, at ease.

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Prices & Dates


Begins 6.30pm Saturday 4th November, ends 10.00am Friday 10th November.

Full board, lodging and teachings €550 per person if paid by 5th October 2017. Thereafter: €595
Please mail Paula for further details or to reserve a place and arrange payment options.

Email Us to Book or Enquire

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