4. Abdominal breathing

June 26, 2007

Abdominal breathing. Use deep breathing to allow air to completely fill the lungs, but do not expand the chest. The lung cavity expands downward from the pressure of the diaphragm. The downward movement of the diaphragm causes the abdomen to protrude slightly. When one exhales, the abdomen withdraws as the diaphragm is pressed upwards, forcing the stale air in the lungs to be completely expelled. The breathing should be deep, long, fine, even, light and slow. There should be no sound.

In the beginning, one must not force the breath to be deep and long. If normally one cycle of inhalation and exhalation takes four seconds, then during meditation is should be increased slightly to six seconds. After several days, this should be increased to eight seconds and gradually to ten. With long practice it can be increased to two or even one cycle per minute. The most advanced practitioners can breath once in half an hour. In summary, beginners must not use force to hold the breath in order to avoid a feeling of oppression or discomfort. In slightly extending the length of exhalation, it should not be forced, but perfectly comfortable.

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5. Eliminate random thoughts

June 26, 2007

Eliminate random thoughts. All random thoughts must be completely banished. In the beginning, the mind is uncontrollable, and it is very difficult to achieve stillness. Simply suspend cogitation and sink the mind to the abdomen. At the same time, one should use the technique of counting the breaths. This causes the mind to focus on the count, and with practice random thoughts disappear.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile


6. Counting the breath

June 26, 2007

Counting the breath. One inhalation and one exhalation is called a “breath”. One breath equals one count. If you count the exhale, do not count the inhale and vice versa. Count from one to ten or to one hundred. In the beginning, because random thoughts have not yet been eliminated, one often forgets the count in the middle. Simply start over from one. After a long time proficiency comes, and advanced practitioners can achieve stillness without counting at all.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile


7. Concentrate the mind

June 26, 2007

Concentrate the mind. During meditation, the mind should be fixed on one point. In the beginning, one can focus on the tan-t’ien (a point in the lower abdomen). As one inhales, the mind should concentrate on the lower abdomen and imagine the air penetrating all the way to the abdomen. (In reality the air only reaches the lungs, but even though it is impossible for it to reach the abdomen, one should imagine this). When exhaling, also imagine that the air is exhaled from the abdomen. At an advanced level one can focus on other points, such as the ni-wan (crown of the head), t’ien-t’ing (middle of the forehead), ming-t’ang (“third eye” in the lower forehead), shan-ken (bridge of the nose), chun-t’ou (area under the nose) or yung-ch’an (ball of the foot), etc.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile


8. When finished meditating

June 26, 2007

When finished meditating, open the mouth and expel three to five breaths to dissapate the heat of the body. Slowly rouse the body, gently stretching out the arms and legs. Rub the hands together to produce heat and massage the face, neck, shoulders, arms and legs while slowly standing up. Beginners, when they feel their legs becoming numb, should massage them until comfortable again. Under no circumstances stand up abruptly.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile


First harmonize the body

June 26, 2007

Before meditation, loosen the clothing and undo the belt. Take your seat in an easy and natural way. The body should be erect and the seat stable. The spine should not be stiffly straight nor should it be bent. The shoulders should be level, the waist extended, and all the muscles of the body relaxed. Now cross the legs, place the two hands one upon the other and rest them on top of the legs. Shake the body a few times from left to right in order to allow each part to be relaxed and natural.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile


Second harmonize the breath

June 26, 2007

Before meditating, open the mouth and expel a few breaths of stale air from the abdomen. The tongue lightly sticks to the hard palate with the lips and teeth lightly touching. Slowly inhale through the nostrils while imagining that each breath reaches all the way to the abdomen. Then once again exhale from the abdomen, and one will naturally achieve a state of calmness.

Text taken from the book Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced T’ai-Chi Form Instructions by Douglas Wile