Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 24, 2009

Tai Chi Meditation

Sitting in silence is a very important aspect of tai chi practice. So, what are we trying to achieve?

1. When we sit in silence, we focus on the breath, in through the nose and out through the nose. Spine erect, relaxed, lotus, half lotus, or in a chair with feet flat on the floor. Hands resting on the lap, palms up, rounded arms, like you’re holding a very big bowl.  We breathe in to the dan tien, our energy center, and out, relax the tummy so that the diaphragm is doing the work. Don’t force the breath. Breathe naturally. Our focus of attention is on the dan tien, the elixir field, a pearl of chi in the dan tien, that gets stronger just by us breathing. We become like a big radar dish attracting positive chi into our bodies. The dan tien alchemizes our energy. Don’t worry about thoughts. Let them come and go. You don’t have to force yourself to be “no mind.” If you are wandering, bring your attention back by saying to yourslef, breathe in, breathe out. In time, you may want to observe the micro orbit of chi, up from the dan tien through the spine to the upper palate, then back down the front. You don’t force this. It happens. Then the macro orbit, following chi throughout the body, into the limbs, and back.

2. Guided visualization. Create your own scenarios. Creative daydreaming with a purpose. See yourself walking along a wooded path up a mountain. Come to a house. See yourself walking up to it and knocking on the door. This is the home of your inner sifu. Let your mind spontaneously take it from there. You can revisit this person many times, learn, ask questions. In another, visualize yourself doing the tai chi forms in your head. Create your own.

3. Contemplation is more like thinking, not meditating, mulling things over in your head. The vastness of the universe. Contemplate the meaning of wuji, the primordial thing, yin/yang, tai chi as in yin and yang revolving around each other in balance. Read passages from the Tao de Ching and I Ching and contemplate their meanings.

Happy sitting.

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