Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chakras as energy pumps

Obeying the second law of thermodynamics (there ain't no perpetual system), energy has to be generated physically. In meditation, as discussed in my previous post Entropy and Meditation, the power source is one's breathing energy.

As in any energy system, a source is not sufficient, it needs stations where energy is to be directed, stored, enhanced and relayed. In meditation, the energy is chi, the channels are called Chi-channels and the stations are called Meditation Points.

In chakra meditation, the first step is to build up meditation points (stations) at (roughly) the places of chakras as depicted at chakra-diagrams that can be easily accessed freely through the Internet.

The second step is to transform these meditation points into Pumps. The best metaphor of such pump is the mechanism of a Spring. Master Wang XianZai (王芗斋) put is succinctly in his famous phrase below, as one of the key requirements of a good Zhang zhuang: Everywhere inside one's body are springs. 無處不彈簧. When one exerts force to compress a spring, the original force doesn't change the spring's location, instead the energy is stored in the compressed spring ready to be used when the compressing force is released.

Through the action of controlled spring suppression and managed release, energy can be stored, enhanced and redistributed for other uses.

In internal martial art, the key pumps (or springs) are located at the joints (in particular the ball-and-socket joints) whereas in Tibetan Buddhism, the chakras serve as key pumps.


  1. Working with subjects like chakras, meridians, or internal practices presents us with a paradox: no matter how we "conceive" of them, we will always be wrong -- that is, they are more mysterious, stranger, than anything we normally experience.

    At the same time, we feel compelled to investigate them, and have to think about them in some way that we can wrap the mind around; we have to start from where we are, with the tools available to us, until we learn more. So in that sense, the ideas of "pumps" and "springs" (one author described chakras as "relay stations" and meridians as "distribution networks") are quite useful.

    It's interesting that, every time we scratch the surface, these subjects get deeper, and then deeper.

  2. Agree! Having said that "always be wrong" can actually be interpreted as "always be right", provided that it is a genuine inner experience of a practitioner, assuming that (following Jung's reasoning [his Golden Flower commentary]) the practitioner is an intelligent person, not telling lies and not insane! From yet another perspective, "reading" by itself can be puzzling or frustrating (if not simply "academic"); but, from my own experience, experiencing CAN BE very interesting.

  3. "Everywhere inside one's body are springs." - what a wonderful wisdom. As a poet, I thoroughly agree! The pulsations of the senses.

  4. A poet often adds water to an otherwise hidden seed, to make it eventually spring into a beautiful flower....


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