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deeptrancesmallr.gif (2101 bytes) meditation posture

In the previous exercise, we have relearned how to breathe naturally with Normal and Reverse breathing. Now we can use these breathing methods to begin our meditation practice. Before we meditate, we need to be prepared. We need to find a place that is quiet and comfortable. It is a good idea to set a time aside just for meditation, so we will not be disturbed by others. Incense and soft music will help, but they are only accessories. Whatever is best for you as long as you can stay relaxed and not be disturbed by it. It is said that "the amateur meditates to relax, while the professional relaxes to meditate." So we must relax in order to meditate. The meditative environment and meditation posture will help us greatly in achieving the state of total relaxation. There are 3 major postures for meditation: sitting, standing, and the seated pose.

 

Sitting pose:

the meditators cross their legs to create a base for sitting on the floor.

 

Crossed legs: simply cross the legs in front of the body. Both feet are hid under the thigh. It is easier, and is recommended for beginner.

Half Lotus: cross one leg on top of the other. Place one foot on top of the opposite thigh. The sole of the foot is to face upward. This posture requires greater flexibility of the leg, and the ankle. It is more difficult than the crossed leg, but it provides a stronger base. The foot that is facing upward can be used to channel down energy.

Full Lotus: same as the Half Lotus except that both legs are cross, and both feet are on the opposite thigh. Both feet should face the sky. As your flexibility increases, the feet should come closer to the body. This posture is the most difficult, but it gives the meditator a solid base. The Full Lotus also provides the body with extra blood supply from the legs, as the legs were crossed. This enables more energy to travel upward to the higher centers.

In all 3 of these sitting postures, the hands can be place either overlapped in front of the dantien or on the knee palms up. This allows us to receive energy from the Heaven (Universal Chi). Together with the energy received from soles of the feet, especially in the Full Lotus, the whole body is bathed in heavenly chi. This Universal Chi, which is yang in nature, will ascend upward to the higher centers for advanced meditation. The general rule for these sitting postures is that you should work from whichever is most comfortable first. If your body is not flexible enough for the Full Lotus, do the Half Lotus. If you force yourself into a posture, the pain will only distract you during meditation. Another rule is concerning the placement of the hands and feet. Generally, if your left hand is on top of the right hand, then your left legs should be on top of the right leg, and vise versa. Remember to keep your body and your head erect as in any other posture.

Advantages of the sitting pose: stable, ability to absorb Universal Chi, helps leading energy upward.

Disadvantages: weak Earth Chi connection, difficult on the legs for the beginner.

 


Standing pose:

the standing posture is popular among martial artists and healers, because it is a powerful tool for developing internal energy and Rooting. There are many standing postures, the most popular one is the Tree Standing, where the body weight is evenly disturbed between two legs.

In standing meditation, the practitioner is to stand still for up to an hour. It might seem like the person is not doing anything, but the physical and mental workloads are equal to, if not beyond, any other physical exercise. This is what the Taoist called "seeking motion within stillness". In this seemingly motionless posture, the practitioner is to observe changes in energetic patterns within and outside the body. Besides building the leg’s strength, standing opens the hands and feet channels naturally. It can also teach the practitioner grounding, where excess energy is ground to the earth. In the standing posture, Heavenly chi (Universal Chi) can come in from the crown of the head, and Earth Chi can come in from the sole of the feet (KI 1). So standing is used for cultivating the chi. (see more about standing here)

Advantages: balanced energy from both Heaven and Earth, grounding, builds leg strength, opens the hands and feet channels, cultivates chi, develops fighting and healing power, an ability to "listen" to the body, and all-over body conditioning.

Disadvantages: tiring on the legs, too overwhelming for beginner to use as a meditation pose, because too much is going on at once inside the body.

 


Seated pose:

meditating while sitting on a chair. It is the most comfortable meditation pose. Practitioner is to sit on the "sitting bone" on the outer 1/3 of the chair. This allows the genital to breathe. The head and back is upright and erect. Don’t lean on the back of the chair, it will obstruct the chi flow in the back. Feet are placed flat on the floor and parallel to each other. The hands can either be placed on the knee or overlapped in front of the abdominal. It is very comfortable and easy to meditate in this posture, because you don’t have to support your own weight.

Advantages: advantages of the other two postures; comfortable and easy to maintain, balanced chi from Heaven and Earth,

Disadvantages: TOO comfortable, while having little advantages of the other two postures, it is not as intensive as other two.

 

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