Important Body Places
Several places of the body play critical roles and they are where we concentrate on. One place is the bottom of the torso, centered around the perineum, which is also a meridian point. A second place is the spine. A third place is the dan tian, also called the center of the body, which is located behind the navel or the belly button and closer to the spine. Other places include the heart, the center of the brain, the top of the skull, and the central thrusting channel which goes up from the perineum to the top of the skull.
Not all of these places are used together at the beginning of practices. At the basic level, the perineum, the spine, and the dan tian are important. More advanced practices start to use other places.
Organs also play important roles in inner meditation because they are tightly connected to emotion and subtle psychological activities. The organs that we meditate about are the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys.
Inner meditation has a broad range of practices, and we do not even attempt to present a comprehensive list of methods.
In order to give a concrete picture of what an inner meditation practice may look like, we describe one of the simplest but extremely powerful methods: the Yin Yang Breath. It roughly consists of the following steps:
- Prepare a good body posture that emphasizes an upright and straight spine, a smiling face, and a relaxed body.
- Become aware of your breath and know the inhalation and exhalation process. Elongate the exhalation process by making it more slowly than normal. Meanwhile concentrate on perineum. At the end of exhalation, hold the breath for 5-10 seconds, and then release the entire body to let it inhale naturally. When the body starts the next cycle of breath, repeat the same procedure, i.e., your breath flows smoothly like an endless whirlpool with the following pattern: exhale slowly, hold your breath, and inhale naturally; exhale slowly, hold your breath, and inhale naturally... This is so called the yin breath because the attention and awareness concentrate with the exhalation process. After some time, go to the next step.
- Lengthen the inhalation process by making it slowly, and focus on perineum. At the end of inhalation, hold the breath for 5-10 seconds, and then release the entire body to let it exhale naturally. When the body starts the next cycle of breath, repeat the same procedure. This pattern swaps the inhalation and exhalation processes described in the previous step. This is the yang breath because the attention and awareness become focused with the inhalation process. This step is normally as twice long as the yin breath.
- Finish up. Let the breath go naturally. Be aware of dan tian, and use both hands to cover the navel and keep the entire body relaxed. For male, circle both hands around the navel 36 times counterclockwise and then 36 times in the opposite direction. For female, circle clockwise first and then counterclockwise.
Please note: just like learning any body or mind related work it may not be beneficial or even risky if you learn on your own because you may not use the right form or technique. The most effective way of learning such skill is studying from an instructor in person, so that any inappropriate movements can be corrected promptly.
Inner Meditation Classes
A Path to Enlightenment
The Yin Yang Breath exercise described above suggests a practical path of spiritual development. Inner meditation regards a human body as the fundamental building material for higher level spirituality. Mind activities including spiritual experience are results of brain activities, and the brain is just an organ of our body which needs energy in order to function. When the brain has more energy, it works better and gives us more spiritual experience.
Inner meditation emphasizes developing life energy inside our body. The process starts at the bottom of the torso which is one of the primary practice centers. When the life energy is enhanced and preserved, it automatically goes up along the spine and the central thrusting channel. Then we develop more energy in organs such as the heart and kidneys. With persistent practice, energy goes up again, and we move practice centers up too. At certain levels, energy reaches the brain, and we train our brain to become aware of any subtle mental activities. With the highly charged life energy, the brain will open up itself and receive energy from the universe. This presents the practitioner spiritual experience that the brain never generates before, and this new experience includes spiritual enlightenment.
This process improves your health from the very beginning when you start to develop the life energy at the bottom of the torso. That part of a human body has tremendous amount of sexual energy. Inner meditation practices help you manage your sexual energy by transforming it into life energy, and the latter circulates inside your body and nourishes tissues and organs. This greatly enhances your immune system and improves your health status. In addition, the life energy helps you maintain a relatively high energy level which is very useful in performing your daily duties.
In this framework, there is no mystery or superstition regarding what happens to your body and mind. You make every achievement based on how much life energy you can cultivate inside you, and spiritual development and enlightenment is a natural result of this cultivation. This is also a safe approach because it builds solid foundation in your body before your brain is activated to generate transcendent experience.