Meditation Session Quick Review

Repeat the meditation steps 3-5 times and move on. Repeat this 2-3 times a day until it is learned. Then once daily is plenty. The sessions should be short, with 2-3 sessions taking about 10 minutes. Try to make the daily session about 10 minutes in length.

Alignment Breathing Flowing Quieting Palming
Straighten Lower Curve inhale into the hands simple orbital flow hearing palm eyes
Straighten Upper Curve Inhale Below inhale and burn lower lip seeing palm ears
Support Middle Inhale Above exhale and burn upper lip smelling, tasting palm face
Exhale Below inhale and flow the orbit feeling palm kidneys
Exhale Above exhale and flow down arms and legs sensing palm ears and beat heavenly drum
work palms like taffy
work palms in circles
connect palms to chest, wrist, and lower leg

Meditation Seminar

Meditation quiets the body, mind, and spirit. The most obvious sign is a lowered pulse. Over time it smooths out the nerves -- a calming effect. It activates the channels and fills the chakras. One feels a warm, embracing feeling. It harmonizes the channels as they soften and deepen. This quieting increases the exchange of oxygen via slow breathing. It promotes longevity.

Meditation experiments with energy flows within the body. With this flow another set of changes occur. One begins to tune into the sacred nature of life. Life can be taken or spared with the breath. One senses the connection of the energy with the breath. The pathways of Qi become sensations that are palpable. It builds fields of strength -- where the Qi gathers. This can be felt markedly in the chakras and the center of the hands & feet. Qi pathways begin to work as nerve pathways. Qi becomes the safer path of least resistance as the body changes. That energy begins to connect with that spirit-that-moves-through-all- things. A new respect for life arises. Healing modalities develop as our gift or gifts are understood. We begin to sense the gifts and inner workings of others -- within all life's kingdoms.

Meditation tames the monkey mind -- monkeys flit from tree to tree, and the mind moves from idea to idea. This lets one see the impact of thoughts. It enables a sense of insight without words. This allows feelings to surface. Suddenly one finds a safe haven of peace. The awareness level changes, things come into focus that had not been seen. The ability to focus increases. The listening skills hones with an ability to become a receptor -- clearing excess thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

I believe meditation is within many different modalites from the gentle stretching of yoga to the slow movements within the tai chi ch'uan forms. The powerful Qi Qong that we learn is a meditative experience. Be sure and embrace the meditative side for it will begin to teach and guide one through a remarkable journey. The door is only waiting for one to open it.

Functions of the Mind

I like to relate the functions of the mind to the magic square, a popular way to move efficiently in Chinese martial arts. Night begins with yin rising until it reaches its greatest peak at midnight. Then yang begins to gain strength until it reaches its greatest peak at noon. Yin is receptive, dark and sinking. Yang is creative, bright and rising. They balance each other with mutual interdependence and mutual transformation. The journey through the magic square embodies yin and yang. It models sleep for yin. It models daytime activity for yang.

The Magic Square Mind Functions
4 - intelligence9 - thinking2 - sleep
3 - memory5 - ideas7 - wisdom
8 - consciousness1 - cognition6 - insight
Entrance from senses

Notice in the magic square how movement is balanced in space. Any line drawn through it adds up to 15. It is an efficient way to circulate through the the mind. Below we start at the beginning, 1 - cognition, and wind our way through to the end, 9 - thinking. Thinking connects back to cognition as a daytime activity.

The Chinese believe that the clear yang energy of the body rises to the head. All of our senses are clearly activated in the brain. Many of our senses are directly on the head and are greatly influenced by the yang channels of the body. Notice the senses all lead to the brain.

As the (1) cognition of the body winds down at the end of a day, the yin energy becomes more active, and the body can (2) sleep. Modern research has revealed that during sleep the brain actively processes daily thoughts, compresses them for long term access, and connects to long term (3) memory. This effects our (4) intelligence directly as we wake refreshed, ready to take on a new day. Many times the (5) ideas awaken with us and this drives new (6) insight into our life. Over time this gives us (7) wisdom as we learn to let go and trust a deeper, inner voice to guide us. It leads us with a greater (8) conciousness of reality. Our (9) thinking then returns to our senses for another day. This return to (1) cognition starts the cycle all over again. Just as long term memory is activated in the daytime, so it is that all functions of the mind are activated in both day and night time. This magical journey through the functions illustrates its inherent reinforcement in the mind in a natural flow from night to day.

The beauty of meditation is that it lets one let go and tap into that thoughtless realm uncluttered by the senses where awareness approaches the now. Ten to twenty minutes of this quieting meditation will open the mind to new possibilites, and free us from the lack of free flow within our body, mind, and spirit.

Breathing

Sit comfortably in a chair with the legs forming a 90 degree bend. The hands will come to rest on each knee after the meditation goes from the breathing cycle to flowing energy.

Place the thumbs on the belly button. Breathe deeply into the the hands below the belly. Let the air fill the lower abdomen first and then fill the upper lungs. On the exhale empty the upper lung first and then the lower.

Breathe deeply and slowly as if the breath were a whisper. Imagine that a feather by your nose would not be disturbed either by the inhale or the exhale. Count slowly and even out the count from inhale to exhale. Practice daily will slowly increase the count.

Imagine your lungs filling up from the bottom first where air would normally remain stagnant. Push the air out of the lungs with the belly first so the entire lung is cleared each time.

The amount of oxygen will increase and effect many different sensations within the body. Stay aware of these heightened actions. Let the calmness of smooth flowing air be a contagious feeling across the skin, inside the muscles, through the nerves, and let it penetrate the mind.

Fill up like a balloon deeply in the lower abdomen. It then fills the lower back and middle abdomen area. Let it continue to fill the chest and upper back area. Exhale from the belly first and empty from the bottom up.

Use the count to help calm the mind and soothe the spirit. Later the count will disappear as the body begins to find its own rhythm and purpose in meditation.

Use the location of the hands to begin to feel and move from this area as the center of the body, mind, and spirit. Every move will gain from an action that works from our center outward. It will be felt as a whole body movement with the intention of our being behind it.

    Breathing Sequence
  1. inhale into the hands
  2. inhale below
  3. inhale above
  4. exhale below
  5. exhale above

Flowing

When one begins to flow energy in meditation there is a path and destination which begins the flow. Mentally one can imagine light (or energy flow) traveling on the inhale to the hands below the belly button. On the exhale it passes down the body to the lower part of the spine. The energy flow continues on the exhale up the spine, over the crown of the head, past the mid-point of the eyes, and out the mouth.

Keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth just behind the upper teeth to establish a complete connection on both the inhale and exhale. Once the flow begins, it continues without interruption although it seems to ebb and flow with the inhale and exhale.

This simple orbit of energy is often taught to beginners as a way to generate a direct flow much like direct current. Next, we inhale flowing up and over the crown, down the spine, up the middle and out of the mouth -- burning the lower lips with the energy. On exhale flow down to the belly, down to the lower spine, go up the spine, around the crown of the head, and out the mouth -- burning the upper lips. This keeps energy flowing in both directions much like alternating current.

Next, inhale once again into the belly only continue down to the lower spine, up the spine, and over the crown of the head. Exhale as the flow moves down the neck, through the shoulders, down the elbows, hands, knees, legs, and out the bottom of the feet.

Note: the hands are placed downward on the knees so the energy can proceed downward through the legs and out the bottom of the feet until a warm flow is felt.

Use the middle finger point of the inner palms to sense energy flowing. Move the palms closer and farther away like taffy. Move the palms in slight circles to sense the borders of the energy. Use that energy with the palm to connect to three points on the body which help open the chest and increase the flow. Connect to the middle of the chest, connect to the inside of both arms two fingers above the wrists, and conntect to the mid-point of the outter part of the lower leg.

The first point in the Kidney Channel is known as bubbling well. Its energy bubbles upward and fills the body. This is where our energetic body grounds itself with the energy of the earth. Over time our connection will grow 2 to 3 feet deep. It is found 1/3 the distance from the base of the toes toward the heels in the middle of the sole.

An immediate benefit of practicing this flow of energy is that energy can be brought to bear on local stagnant (tight, stuck areas) using the palm as a focal point. Be sure to inhale the freely available energy of the universe as a source of inexhaustible energy.

It is the practice of flowing energy in meditation that opens up that communication with the universe. After a session of meditation, one should feel re-energized for the day. Make the first 10 minutes of every day a starting point.

    Flowing Sequence
  1. simple orbital flow
  2. inhale and burn lower lip
  3. exhale and burn upper lip
  4. inhale and flow the orbit
  5. exhale and flow down arms and legs
  6. work palms like taffy
  7. work palms in circles
  8. connect palms to chest, wrist, and lower leg

Quieting the Mind

The heart channel in Chinese medicine houses the mind. The mind has responsibility for the senses. It has many different and varied functions. Intelligence, thinking, and sleep are some of its many functions. Intelligence needs memory and consciousness -- both foundational functions of the mind. Thinking brings ideas and cognition. Cognition is that combination of sensing, thinking, and taking an action. Sleep is often associated with wisdom and insight.

So why would we want to quiet all of that? Let us look backwards by function. The mind needs rest. With rest comes insight and wisdom. Meditation provides an opportunity for the mind to have a much needed break from the racing nature of life.

The emotions connect through the body like a flute. When that flute is busy, the mind is not free because it binds to those ideas. Quieting the mind allows our spirit to communicate and brings clarity to our lives.

The mind thinks associatively and is often called the Monkey mind -- flitting from tree to tree, from idea to idea. A common complaint of pure knowledge for the sake of knowledge is that it gets so wrapped up in itself. It can not see the "forest for the trees" so to speak. Meditation stops the whirlwind review of ideas and associations. The first step in quieting the monkey mind is to not follow the associations. Let the ideas surface and observe them without following. Meditation is a safe haven for all thoughts, emotions, and feelings deep within us.

The quiet, conscious moment changes to the now. If one thinks about the past, they are in the past. If one thinks about the future, they are in the future. To be in the now, the mind has to be quieted allowing thought only in the now to be observed. Our consciousness gains back its third dimension. This new dimension has immediate safety and will generate a calm, serene attitude about life over time.

In the first attempts of quieting the mind, be content with breathing for it is the first relief. Focus on the breath and increase its ability to inundate the body with oxygen. Next, be content with energy flow for it is the next focus which relieves the monkey mind. The mind focuses on one emotion at a time much like a flute. By giving the mind something to do like counting and flowing -- we are slowing it down.

The next stage is to embrace all thought with the flow but do not follow it. Adopt the role of an observer, accept its thoughts and be there for its delivery. Maintain the flow and the breath.

Taming the monkey mind takes time and energy. It is not always an easy task. It is the not trying that eventually breaks the pattern. The mind comes to enjoy its moment of rest. The new communication becomes a safe haven for resolving issues. All the emotions can be expressed and released. Imagine a tuning fork of the universe that resonates with the mind. The senses become attuned with the emotions.

Letting go is an important part of being in the now. As the monkey mind is tamed, the now becomes one's life. The past and the future align with the now. The third dimension brings clarity and geography to life. There will be mountains to climb and rivers to explore. Be still as a mountain; move as a great river. The stillness becomes the meditative state. the movement of the river becomes the new path of least resistance forged by a resonating current.

It is not what we attain, let go. It is not what we become, let go. It is what it is, being one with the universe.

Take in 3 to 5 breaths while hearing. Become aware of the sounds all around. Take in 3 to 5 breaths while seeing. This sight can be physical or in the mind. Take in 3 to 5 breaths while feeling. Let the skin, the touch, and the emotions check in with awareness. Finally, take in 3 to 5 breaths while sensing -- what do you sense around you?

    Quieting Sequence
  1. hearing
  2. seeing
  3. smelling, tasting
  4. feeling
  5. sensing

Spinal Alignment

Spinal alignment is important. It changes the perspective of the back from curved to flat. This change combined with a slight bending of the 5 great springs of the body (knees, elbows, waist) enables the body to absorb like an integrated unit. Every session should begin and end with a spinal alignment check.

First, to set the lower lock -- rock the pelvis and take out the lower curve in the low back area. One can check this against a wall or on the floor. The hand should not be able to press into the curve. Second, set the upper lock by suspending the head upwards and tucking in the chin to straighten the neck. Third, set the middle lock by pressing inward towards the spine in the upper abdomen area. Finally relax, it should not be held tightly.

    Spinal Alignment Sequence
  1. straighten lower curve
  2. straighten upper curve
  3. support the middle

Meditation Completion

This simple rubbing of the hands is followed by giving a warm energetic flow to the major sense areas of the body. The kidney is added because it is the foundational root of yin and yang for the body.

Palm will cover the eyes and ears but not press against them. Be gentle and let the energy of the palms radiate from a relaxed and slightly curved palm. Palming the kidneys is placing the palms on the back over the kidneys. Beating the heavenly drum is tapping gently with the index finger against the upper part of the neck and spine. The spine is considered the heavenly stem.

    Completion Sequence
  1. palm eyes
  2. palm ears
  3. palm face
  4. palm kidneys
  5. palm ears and beat heavenly drum
2009 David Scott -- All rights Reserved