Buddhist and Taoist practices have had a major impact on Chinese meditation exercise. The primary goal is spiritual growth, which leads to Buddhahood, enlightenment or immortality. The development of psychic powers or special supernormal abilities is not emphasized in Chinese meditation exercise, but these powers and abilities invariably come as a bonus to the meditators.
Buddhists believe that everyone possesses the Buddha nature, while Taoists believe that everyone possesses an eternal soul. Meditation is the most important method for releasing the Buddha or the spirit from the temporary physical body. As a result, Chinese meditation exercises are oriented toward mind or soul liberation. The emphasis in Chinese meditation practice techniques is on 0 rather than 1. Rather than making the mind 1 pointed, the focus is usually on meditating the void. This is a significant departure from Indian meditation techniques.
In Chinese meditation practice, the concepts of wu-wei and wu-hsin, which are central in Taoist and Buddhist philosophy, respectively, are very significant. Wu-wei, which literally means “non-action,” refers to the natural avoidance of actions that are incompatible with the Way of Nature. Wu-Hsin, which literally translates to “no consciousness,” is a meditative state in which the human mind dissolves into the Universal Mind.
The following is a summary of Wu Chung Shui’s strategy for achieving immortality by meditation. It takes about ten years to complete the process. During the Ming dynasty, Wu Chang Shui was a well-known Taoist saint.
Focus on the void while sitting peacefully in deep meditation. You absorb the cosmic energy or chi. Create a chi pearl at the Field of Elixir (essential energy focus) in the abdomen. Strengthen and expand the chi, allowing it to pervade the entire body. Guide the chi pearl to the Heavenly Gate at the crown of the head gradually. Enable the eternal soul to emerge through the crown aperture.
Qigong Meditation and Technique
Qigong is a system of synchronized body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for exercise, spirituality, and martial arts. Qigong is a Chinese and Asian practice for cultivating and stabilizing qi, which is translated as “life power.” It has roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts. Qigong is a form of moving meditation that entails synchronizing slow-flowing movements with deep rhythmic breathing and a relaxed meditative state of mind. Though qigong can be practiced in a variety of ways, there are two primary types: Active qigong and passive qigong. Regulated, slow movements are used in active qigong, while stillness and steady breathing are used in passive qigong. There are dozens of variations of qigong.
To get started, here is a basic guide for passive and active qigong.
Traditional meditation and passive qigong are somewhat close. Mental focusing and imagination are the two primary forms of passive qigong. Simply sit in a relaxed upright position, close your eyes, and breathe in and out with your belly button to practice mental focusing. Try to sit for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer, and concentrate on your breathing. Visualization is a similar technique with the addition of imagination. Imagine things that bring you joy or relaxation when closing your eyes. Use these visualizations to help the body channel positive energies. You may also imagine energy flowing into a diseased organ or region of the body. Attend lessons or read qigong guides to learn chants, visualizations, and other meditative techniques to improve your practice. If you are not sure where to begin, digital media will help you out.
The aim of active qigong is to keep your body flowing at all times. Active qigong focuses on static stretches and allows you to keep the body going through a variety of movement sequences. Since qigong is a series of movements, it is best to begin under expert guidance. Traditional Chinese meditation believes that connectedness and community are vital for health and healing, so active qigong is best done in a group environment.
Remember to exercise patience while learning and enjoying the process, whether you are doing passive or active qigong.
Taoist Meditation and Technique
Traditional meditative practices associated with the Chinese philosophy and Taoism, such as concentration, mindfulness, contemplation, and visualization, are referred to as Taoist meditation. Traditional Taoist meditation techniques have been compared to Buddhist meditation techniques; for example, in the 6th century, Taoists learned observation insight meditation from Tiantai Buddhist anapanasati “mindfulness of breath” practices.
Orthodox Chinese medicine and Chinese martial arts have incorporated several Taoist meditation techniques. Some examples include Tao yin breathing exercises, Neidan “internal alchemy” techniques, Neigong “internal skill” exercises, Qigong breathing exercises, and Zhan zhuang “standing like a post” techniques. Despite the fact that it was not historically included in traditional techniques, the martial art of Taijiquan, or “great supreme fist,” has become one of the practices of modern Taoist monks.
Start by sitting in a meditative posture. At this point, do nothing; do not even speak to yourself in your head. Allow things to rise and then fall into place. Observe how, like taking a breath, thoughts appear in your mind without needing you to pay attention to them. Taoist meditation is an active activity that requires you to participate in specific activities in order to have a proper foundation. The Taoist guided meditation method is built around three regulations or modifications. The first three rules or amendments must be completed first. There are two more rules or changes to obey in order to achieve conclusive progress in the Taoist meditation method. The following are the final two rules or changes:
Tiao Qi: Adjusting the Qi.
Tiao Shen: Adjusting the Shen.
Zen Meditation and Technique
Zen meditation is a Buddhist practice that dates back to the Tang Dynasty in China in the seventh century. It spread from China to Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries, where it thrives today. The Japanese word “Zen” comes from the Chinese word “Chan,” which is a translation of the Indian word “dhyana,” which means focus or meditation.
Zen meditation is a Buddhist tradition that can be practiced by both young and experienced meditators. Zen meditation gives insight into how the mind functions, which is one of its many advantages. Zen meditation, like other types of Buddhist meditation, can support people in a variety of ways, including offering resources to help them deal with depression and anxiety.
The most fundamental goal is spiritual, as Zen meditation reveals the mind’s inherent insight and adaptability. Experiencing the initial essence of the mind is what Zen refers to as awakening. Meditation for Zen Buddhists entails witnessing and letting go of thoughts and emotions that occur in the mindstream, as well as gaining insight into the essence of the body and mind.
Zen meditation, in contrast to many mainstream types of meditation that concentrate on relaxation and stress reduction, goes far deeper. Zen addresses deep-seated problems and general life questions that often go unanswered, relying on experience and intuition rather than analysis and reasoning to do so. A special transmission beyond the teachings; not founded upon words and letters; specifically pointing to the human heart and mind is considered as Zen meditation.
All Zen schools practice zazen, a sitting meditation in which one sits upright and concentrates on the breath, especially the movement of the breath inside the abdomen. Some Zen schools use koans, a form of philosophical riddle posed to a student by a Zen meditation master in order to help them transcend their logical shortcomings and see reality beyond rationality.
The usage of koan practice has traditionally required a supportive relationship between a genuine Zen master and a truly committed student. Zen and other types of Buddhist meditation seek to solve core concerns rather than provide temporary solutions to life’s problems. The practice identifies the root of our unhappiness and frustration and redirects our attention in a way that leads to true understanding. The true secret to happiness and well-being is found inside us, not in riches or fame.
Buddhism teaches that the more you give to others, the more you receive, just like all other true spiritual paths. It also promotes interconnectedness and gratitude for all of life’s small gifts, all of which are found within this present moment. When our empathy and compassion for others grow, so does our sense of personal fulfillment. As a Zen master might say, you would not find inner peace if you pursue it, but giving up the notion of such a reward in and of itself and instead concentrating on the happiness of others offers the possibility of permanent peace. This is the real deal.
Zen teaches the mind to be calm in daily situations. Meditators should also reflect with greater clarity and ingenuity. Another advantage is improved physical health like lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety and stress, improved immune systems, more restorative sleep, and other benefits.
Breath By Breath Observation
During zazen, meditators should adopt a relaxed posture such as the Burmese, half-lotus, or Seiza pose. It is safer to sit on a padded mat or cushion, but a chair will suffice. The focus of awareness is on a particular meditation object, usually the breath and, more precisely, how it moves in and out of the belly region. This technique cultivates a constant sense of presence and alertness.
This form of meditation does not focus on a single thing, like the breath. Meditation students learn to let thoughts pass through their minds without judging, grabbing, or rejecting them. This is known as shikantaza in Japanese, which means “only sitting. There is no object of meditation, hooks, or contents in this Zen Buddhist meditation technique. The teachings stress that there is no such thing as a target. The meditator simply “sits” and lets their mind wander. It is important for practitioners to recognize that zazen is not a means to an end, but rather the end itself.
Intensive Community Meditation
Serious meditators attend meditation centers or temples on a daily basis to engage in intensive group meditation. This is referred to as sesshin in Japanese. Practitioners dedicate the majority of their time to sitting meditation during this phase of intense meditation. Each session lasts 30 to 50 minutes, with walking meditation, brief breaks, and meals interspersed. As part of the tradition, meals are eaten in silence, typically with oryoki bowls. Mindful work is often done for short periods of time. Zen meditation retreats are now practiced in Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.
Vipassana China courses started in 1999. The first 10-day course was held at Bailin Monastery, a very ancient well-known monastery about 150 miles south of Beijing, from April 20 to May 1, 1999. The course was completed by 117 students, with 61 women and 56 men. All of the participants, including the performing assistant teachers, were ecstatic to have been a part of such a monumental event. Following the course, some students volunteered to help with future classes, while others proposed alternative course locations for the next 10-day course. In China, the seed of Vipassana was sown. The number of 20-day courses has increased dramatically since then, from two in 2000 and 2001 to five in 2002 and nine in 2003. So far, courses have been held in a variety of temples and monasteries in China. Hebei Province in northern China, Fujian Province in southeastern China, and Sichuan and Hubei Provinces in central China are among these locations. With the construction of four new sites dedicated solely to Vipassana meditation practice, the growth of Vipassana China is expected to accelerate. Plans are already in progress to transform these locations into Vipassana meditation centers that will follow the same guidelines as the rest of the Vipassana China network. The four new locations are in Fujian, Hebei, Sichuan, and Xinjiang, respectively.
It is not a good idea to go about your day like it is a 100-meter dash. It will drain your energy and render you lifeless. You are doomed when that is combined with a whirlwind of random thoughts. All you want is some stillness, concentration, and peace of mind in such a situation. Fortunately, there is a detailed meditation technology that is around 1500 years old and a tried and true practice that will bring peace to your life. If we were to imagine a world without addiction and without chemicals, how wonderful would your scene be? Chemical dependency in various forms has risen dramatically over the entire world minimizing the human potential to barely zero. Meditation is the solution to this issue. We need more and more meditating happy beings around us to make this world more beautiful. Thankfully, the awareness of meditation is catching up. Millions have started taking to meditation in some or other forms and at least millions are thinking about it, which is a positive thing. Are you one in the million doing meditation or thinking meditation?