Taoist meditation practices for increasing and maintaining mental awareness, memory, and clarity
• Details techniques to increase the level of chi energy in the brain
• Explains how to synchronize the left and right brain by activating the body’s energetic potentials
• Shows that by emptying the mind there is more energy to heal the body
Wisdom Chi Kung teaches practitioners how to revitalize the brain: to repair function, increase memory, and expand capacity. Every day we use up so much of our brain’s capacity to function that we have very little left at the end of the day. By thinking or worrying too much, the brain can use up to 80 percent of the body’s entire energy reserve. Learning to stop the brain, to empty the mind from the ceaseless chatter of the “monkey mind,” and then recharge it with chi energy can increase our mental capacity, focus, and clarity.
Using the Inner Smile meditation technique, practitioners learn how to recharge chi energy for the brain in a form that is most useful. Practitioners smile and empty the mind into the lower tan tien and the organs. The organs then transform this chi energy. When the mind is empty, the energy transformed by the organs is sent back to the brain to revitalize it. This process synchronizes the left and right brain by activating and tapping in to the body’s energetic potentials. As the mind continues to empty, receive, and also enhance the transformed chi energy, it is able to open itself to connect with universal chi energies and fill the body with enhanced life force.
Western science has discovered that when people are heavy thinkers, when they worry a lot, are full of anger, jealousy, hatred, or other negative emotions, their brain activity can consume 80 percent of all their total body energy. The brain is a heavy user of energy and when it begins to use its energy, it doesn’t stop if it is not told to. The rest of the body has only 20 percent of its energy to use for all the other intricate functions needed for daily activity. You can imagine why at the end of the day most people go home and “veg out” in front of the television. There is no energy in the body left to do anything. One of the things that many religions have tried to do through meditation is to discover how to stop people from thinking. How do you stop the monkey mind from spinning constantly? In this chapter, we will introduce you to the monkey mind concept, how to recognize it when it begins, and how to respond correctly to its perpetual activity. The whole secret of the Wisdom Chi Kung practice is just to smile down, relax, picture the eyes like a “sun shining on the water”; suddenly you will start to feel something like steam starting to rise from your sacrum. You will feel this energy move up and begin to charge the brain. Now, if you expand the mind out and connect with the universe, you can bring the universal energy back and store it in the organs. When that energy is transformed and charged back up to the brain, it will bring the brain functioning to a new level. This energy has been transformed and digested so that the brain can use it effectively.
Taoist Meditation and Breathing to Begin Wisdom Chi Kung
To begin the practice, we always learn to expand our breath before the practice begins. Any time you are sitting down for meditations this preparation is very important. We will do the spinal cord breathing in the sitting position.
1. Sitting on the sitz bones, sit on the edge of the chair, spine erect, feet touching the ground. This way the lumbar will be open, the energy can circulate, and you can rock on the base of the spine. If you sit and cannot rock, this means you are sitting on the tailbone, which impedes the circulation of energy.
2. Inhale and exhale first 9 times, then 18 times, finally 36 times. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and imagine the breath pumping through the spine, elongating and expanding the vertebrae. Rock the kidney, smile down to the spine. This breathing is very peaceful; just sit, breathe, rock, and smile to the spine and the organs.
3. When you have finished the 36th repetition, rock the spine, one vertebrae at a time, starting with the lumbar and working all the way up through the 24 stories to the cervical spine.
4. Rocking the sacrum and the lumbar back and forth on the sitz bones will activate the sacral pump. This movement is called “riding the horse.” It is very useful because it creates good movement of the bones along the whole length of the spine--these are very small movements, very internalized. When you rock like this throughout the meditation, you create a vibration rising up the spine from the base of the coccyx and the lower lumbar area, activating the sacral pump.
5. Rock with spinal cord breathing (see chapter 4 for more details), allowing the energy to flow up the entire length of the spine, activating all three spinal pumps--the sacrum, the door of life, and the cranial pump--and feeding energy to the brain.
6. To help activate the cranial pump use the “Crane Neck,” pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth. The nature of your saliva can give you a sign that the energy is moving. When the saliva comes out in a big rush, very sweet and fragrant, you’ll know that the cranial pump is open. When energy charges up to the brain and the brain starts to activate, it starts to secrete a very sweet fragrant substance (nectar) that is very nourishing and healing for the rest of the body.
7. As the saliva moves, feel warmth coming back to the navel and the door of life. Move your hand, touch the navel, remember keep the Tan Tien warm and keep the door of life warm. At the Tan Tien, feel a connection with the brain secreting the sweet nectar. Feel the pumps activated and the organs smiling. Your eyes are like the sun shining on water.
8. Move your hand near your heart, activate the heart fire, and make your heart soft. Feel the love and remember to keep the Tan Tien warm. The heart will charge energy right into the center of the brain. This love and joy from the heart fills the brain and transforms negative energy. When the sun is shining on water, the water changes to steam. We can integrate this loving energy into the beginning of the Wisdom Chi Kung practice, expanding and furthering the practice in the next chapter.
A student of several Taoist masters, Mantak Chia founded the Healing Tao System in North America in 1979 and developed it worldwide as European Tao Yoga and Universal Healing Tao. He has taught and certified tens of thousands of students and instructors from all over the world and tours the United States annually, giving workshops and lectures. He is the director of the Tao Garden Health Spa and the Universal Healing Tao training center in northern Thailand and is the author of 50 books, including Taoist Foreplay, Inner Smile, Cosmic Fusion, Sexual Reflexology, and the bestselling The Multi-Orgasmic Man.
"Mantak Chia's books attempt to do many things. They compare Chinese and Western practices, including astrology. They explain principles of ancient Chinese thinking. And they illustrate wonderful 'exercises' or 'practices' designed to increase health, extend wisdom, and develop the spiritual as well as physical aspects of our lives. . . . These short exercises go well with any other measures people are using to increase brain power these days."
– Nancy Humpreys, Maya Del Mar's Daykeeper Journal, Sept 2008
"Through practicing the methods described in this book, we learn an effective way to gain awareness and vitality in our body, mind, and emotions."
– The Monthly Aspectarian, Vol. 29, No. 12, Aug 2008
"One may need a period of suspension of disbelief and some faith to follow Mantak Chia, but the quality of one's health, well-being, and energy always provides the opportunity to check whether one's efforts are rewarded. In the process, one is presented with some probing questions about the character of Western religious and scientific faith."