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Traditional Taoist meditation originates from the I-Ching and includes both the water and the fire methods. The water method, passed down from the sage Lao Tse, was taught to me by Taoist Lineage Master Liu Hung Chieh. The principles of the water method encompass relaxing, letting go, balancing and dissolving tension without strain or force.

The Water Method of Taoist Meditation is done in four distinct progressive stages: 

1.  Chi Gung and certain chi dissolving practices teach you to feel energy and your bodys deepest and most subtle physical sensations. These techniques strengthen your body, mind and chi, and release the trapped energy that affects your physical health and vitality. 

2.  Deeper dissolving practices help you to release your attachments and aversions, including embedded emotional, mental and psychic traumas.

3.  As your practices mature, your mind will encounter occasional experiences of deep silence, until your inner being completely stills.

4.  The final stage is internal alchemy, which ultimately leads to union with the Tao.

Taoist Water Meditation works with all the bodys major internal organs, glands, energy channels and centers. It also uses shamanic and five-element practices to release stress, attain inner stillness and become aware of your intuition. Meditation can be done moving, standing, sitting, lying down and during sex. 

 

The Sitting Practices

Sitting practices can be more powerful than standing or moving practices because, assuming your energy channels have opened and your body strength has grown sufficiently from the standing and moving practices, you can put 100 percent of your attention and effort into the nonphysical parts of your being. This 100 percent concentration allows you to tap into the mindstream much more directly, since you are disturbed by neither insufficiently opened energy channels and deep internal body imbalances nor the physical body sensations inherently involved in a standing or moving practice. Whereas there is a limit on physical stamina as regards standing and moving practices, sitting practices are virtually open-ended on this level. Some people have been known to sit and meditate for weeks on end without moving. The longer you can sit, the more layers you can strip off the contents that hide the nature of Consciousness from your normal awareness.

Sitting is usually a more direct and rapid path to exceptionally profound inner transformation than is standing or moving. However, after sitting has given you direct, easy access first to your mindstream and next to Consciousness itself, you can use this heightened awareness to enable the moving practices to be just as profound as sitting. You can also take all the standing and moving internal chi development techniques and apply them to control your internal body and energy channel movements while sitting motionless. This allows you to sit for much longer periods of time. These internal development techniques are taken from the sixteen-part Taoist nei gung system (described in Chapter 2 of Relaxing into Your Being by B. K. Frantzis), which is normally learned first in standing and moving practices for ease of assimilation.

 

Correct Alignment

Body Alignments for All Taoist Sitting Practices

The basic posture for Taoist meditation requires sitting either in a chair with your feet on the ground, or cross-legged on the floor. Sitting in a chair is more practical for most Westerners, who generally do not grow up sitting or squatting on the floor as most Asians traditionally have. While sitting in a chair, keep your spine straight without leaning to the front, back, left, or right. To straighten your spine initially or when it begins to sag, you will find it to be more effective to lift upward from the front of the spine. The more you can relax the front of your throat, chest, and belly, the easier this lifting will be, and vice versa. If you tire and feel the need to bend your spine forward, focus your mind on relaxing the back part of your spine.

In sitting, apply the usual chi gung principles of posture, as follows:

 The tailbone points downward or forward (Fig. 5F)

 The midriff (the space between the top of the pelvis and the ribs) and kwa are lifted (Fig. 5E and 5C)

 The spine is straight (Fig. 5B)

 The armpits are kept open, with the arms slightly away from the torso (Fig. 5D and 5.1L)

 The chest and shoulders are relaxed and sunk (Fig. 5.1J)

 The head should be lifted gently from the top of the neck (Fig. 5A), and positioned directly over the pelvis (Fig. 5.1I)1

 The bodys left and right channels are aligned (Fig. 5.1K)

 The bodys central channel is aligned (Fig. 5.1I)

The Taoist sitting position differs from the standard yoga or Buddhist sitting postures in that, using the Taoist method, you do not arch your back, throw your shoulders back, or breathe from your chest. Rather, the Taoist posture emphasizes achieving the natural relaxation of a baby. It calls for breathing from the belly, the back of the lungs, and the spine, as opposed to breathing from the chest.

 


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