My last post gave specific directions for doing zazen, or Zen meditation. I highly recommend that everyone begin learning meditation using those well-defined instructions from the Zen Roshi whose teachings I continue to study. Below are instructions for Taoist meditation used in T’ai Chi Ch’uan and are for those familiar with reverse breathing and advanced chi circulation. I am posting it here to show you that there are many forms of meditation but in the end, they are All tools used to achieve the same thing, mastery of the self. Master Tseng is the last true master from Wudang Mountain where Tai Chi is believed to have originated so it is with great honor that I offer his teachings here.
By Master Yun Xiang Tseng
Stillness is the key to open the gate to the mystical world. With stillness, the mind and body fall in love, yang and yin. The enemy of stillness is motion. How do you deal with motion in the right way? You must learn to deal with it in a philosophical way. Physical motion is the first test for everyone. You need a very wise mind to not attach to it. Once you attach to it, you are back at square one.
Wu is the character for Enlightenment or Breakthrough and has the inner radicals “heart ”on the left and “self” on the right representing the relationship between you and the cosmos.
To meditate bring the mind back to look for tranquility. Do nothing and leave nothing undone. Move into “Ting”, stop, be still, frozen, have no need to move. No one can distract you unless you want or allow yourself to be distracted. Withdraw the senses.
Regulate your body:
A. Seal your hands
B. Eyes on the tip of the nose
C. Arms rounded
D. Sit cross-legged, females with the right leg outside, males the left leg. If you must sit on a chair then sit on the front 1/2 – 1/3 of the chair with your feet shoulder width apart and facing ahead.
E. Let your armpits be empty and the belly soft
F. Wear no jewelry, no watch, be natural
G. Wear loose clothes, nothing binding
The usual pain sequence for the body to follow when you start sitting is:
1) Legs ache
2) Kidney/low back aches
3) Shoulders ache
4) Neck aches
5) Forehead aches
This is a natural sequence as the energy starts to move up. Just take it, do not attach.
Sit for 20 minutes initially and then gradually add time in 5 minute increments over 1-2 months. Be regular! Do your practice at the same time every day – for example at 11:00 pm every night. Twice a day is recommended for your meditation practice: Mornings between 5 and 7 and evenings between 11 and 1, even when you travel. Twenty minutes of good quality meditation equals 2 hours of sleep.
Regulate your mind:
Kill the self – let go of your self-concept: ego, desire, self-identity, stress and go back to the innocent stage. Desire and emotion are the leading causes of mental motion – monkey mind. The wild horse is the intention, jumping monkey is the heart.
1 replaces the 10,000
Focus on the 1.
Focus on the tip of the nose. The tip of the nose is the pole to tie the wild horse to. When you focus on the tip of the nose during meditation then you bring the consciousness to the Dan Tian. That’s called caging the monkey.
When you focus on the 1, that is the beginning stage of stillness; when you let go of the 1, that is the intermediate stage.
To achieve stillness you must practice self-cultivation of your virtue: remove the masks, be true to your heart, and seek the purity of your own heart. The goal is stillness. You must preserve the root in order to achieve stillness. Practice self-examination. The source of stress is from your own heart. You cause your own stress and you must take responsibility.
Regulate your breath:
Tu Na Gong Fu is the art of regulating the breath. In pure meditation you do not even regulate your breath. It simply falls away.
This is a basic method for regulating breath.
1. When you inhale, gently contract the anus in and up beginning with the intention just under the tip of tailbone (Wei Lu point) and leading it up the inner face of the spine, up the Du Channel, around the skull to just below the nose.
2. When you exhale, gently relax the anus. Allow the intention to lead the Qi down the front of the body to the perineum (Hui Yin point between the privates).
When beginning, practice 36 breaths or rotations and then let go of intention. Then do nothing, keep the mind in the belly, on the Dan Tian. Focus on the third eye; see and not see.
Females can focus the intention on the heart center for around 15 minutes and then bring the intention back down to the Dan Tian.
When you begin this will be a dry river. Use intention to see the path until one day water comes, and energy goes up and down by itself. After 100 days of practice you will achieve results.
Known as “Chen”, Yun Xiang Tseng was trained from the age of six at the Wu Dang Mountain in China. Wu Dang Mountain is legendary for its Tai Chi, Kung Fu, healing traditions, Qigong, herb medicines, and spiritual practices. It is considered the most sacred Taoist location where revered monk Zhang San Feng came to the enlightenment of the internal martial arts. Master Chen is a 25th generation lineage of Quan Zhen Pai (Complete Reality Sect) and a 14th generation lineage of Wu Dang San Feng Pai.