TAOIST MEDITATION TECHNIQUE AND RESEARCH STUDY
Taoist Meditation Technique and Research Study
When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be. – Lao Tzu
Self-cultivation has no other method; it requires but knowledge of “the way.“
“To contract a thing, one should surely expand it first. To weaken, one will surely exalt first.
To take, one will surely give first. This is called subtle wisdom.”(Lao Tzu, Ch.36)
Tao means “way”, the way with nature. Taoism also was known as Daoism- Chinese philosophy and religion during the time of Lao Tzu and emphasised about nature and the universe. Tao is an invisible vital force that does exist in eternity. The essence of Taoism is to live in harmony with the Tao. Tao Te Ching of 6th century B.C is its primary text. Indian origin Buddhist meditation practices are inculcated in Taoist meditation technique. Taoist meditation techniques mainly oriented on the generation of energy, its transformation and circulation of this inner energy. Thus quieten the mind, unify the body, soul and spirit for inner peace and harmony with the Tao.
There are various Taoist meditation techniques practised, for inner peace and harmony.Mentioned below, few of those techniques :-
• Taoist alchemical meditation, Mentak Chai’s macrocosmic/microcosmic meditation, Yan Xan’s inner child meditation, The golden flower meditation, Qigong dynamic meditation, Emptiness meditation technique, Zhan Zhuang(used in tai chi and martial arts), Zhuangzi (Taoist breathing techniques), Neiguan(inner observation), Tai Chi, Small universe,Universe merging, Stillness Meditation, Color healing Meditation, Intuitive awareness practice.
Taoist meditation is unique for its emphasis on energy flow, healing, breathing and visualisations techniques. These techniques have a sense of a profound stillness to connect with the power of the universe for more profound insights towards enlightenment. Few Taoist meditation techniques focus on health improvement and longevity. A practitioner who can combine his body with nature would enjoy these techniques more. Famous Master Liu Sichuan suggests joining breath and the mind together during practice as ideal. These techniques help the practitioner to gain physical strength, clear the energy blocks and to detach from emotions towards emotional wellbeing.
Basic Taoist meditation technique:-
• Preparing for the practice by sitting erect, eyes half closed and focusing on the dantain, i.e. the lower abdomen which is the centre of gravity of the body.
• Humbly request any of your revered guru, ancestors or ideal personality for strength, energy and wisdom.
• Imagine a ball of energy at the dantain to start the practice. This energy ball helps heal the body.
• Allowing it to expand or contract until it feels the right size.
• Later adding details to it by visualising it as beautiful energy ball with colour, feel and nature of your choice. As different colours have different energies and if one wishes, can change to another colour during the healing process for best results.
• Now the energy ball is moved in a cyclical pattern, starting from lower dantian, then to the base of your spine, lower back, upper back, and neck, top of the head, forehead, face, neck, heart and back down to the lower
• The above cyclic pattern is either carried in a continuous flow-cycle or by stopping at each stage as you continue normal breathing. Spend a few minutes at each location and then move on.
• Imagine the energy ball healing the body, releasing any tension or blockages and continuing to take deep breaths to the lungs capacity.
• The tongue is kept in gentle contact with the upper jaw, at the roof for energy conduit.
• The above process can be repeated for about ten minutes in the beginning, and by practice one can allow the energy to flow and form a complete circuit naturally.
• Once the ball of energy is retrieved to the lower dantian and settled the technique is completed.
Forgiveness and kindness are required qualities for a practitioner to reap benefits as the state of mind play a vital role in the effectiveness of the technique. These techniques help one to build a natural healing system and used under guidance.
Researches on Taoist meditation techniques:-
• A study to determine the effect of meditation on fatigue and physiologic stress in persons with multiple scoreless (MS) using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and the Fatigue Visual Analogue (FVA). Physiologic stress was measured using HR and BP and collected a total of 14 times during the study. The intervention was a 90-minute weekly Taoist meditation class offered at an area health care clinic. Data were analysed through statistical, visual and descriptive methods. The results indicate Taoist meditation could be beneficial to people with MS to combat the effects of fatigue and physiologic stress.
• A study similar to Jao, T. Et al.’s review, employed a prospective longitudinal design, and graph-based analysis, to study how an eight-week meditation training vs relaxation training shaped network configuration at global, intermediate, and local levels in the elderly. Results found no differences in global network organisation when comparing meditative and resting states in expert meditators. On the contrary, eight weeks of meditation showed more localised effects.
BENEFITS:- This technique which does not require any equipment is of convenience to practice.
• Cleansing the body and clearing the blockages naturally
• Free flow of energy through channels that are opened readily
• Improved breath and relaxed state of mind
• Improved relationships and quality of sleep
• Enhanced bodily movements and gestures
• A focused mind and mind-body integration
• Intellectual and intuitive
• Inner peace.
“There is not a living being who cannot be liberated.”-Lin Chi