Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chakras and bone marrow

Chakras meditators are quite different from martial art meditators, assuming that martial artists do meditate, or at least they do chi-kung, or at least some internal martial artists do chi-kung which they sometimes call nei gung, for want of a better name with a combat spirit or connotation. Notwithstanding, martial artists are different from chakras meditators in that the former put more (or most) emphasis on muscles.

In a previous post Chakras or muscles, I suggested Chakras meditators do some muscles chi-kung training. in this post, I shall suggest chi-kung meditator do some chakras meditation. Their meeting point is bone marrow meditation.

According to Zhou BiChen (趙壁塵), a Wu-Liu (伍柳) lineage Neidan (内丹) Taoist meditation master, author of the famous classic text Taoist Yoga (translated into English by Buddhist Charles Luk) said his practice was exactly Bone Marrow chi gung, the lost art that Zen patriarch Bodhidharma (菩提达摩) taught Shaolin monks when he first brought Zen Buddhism to China. The Zen master called his art Bone Marrow Wash (洗髓經) for bone meditation. Zhou might have a point.

Anyway, Taoist and Buddhist meditatiors need to generate huge amount of internal chi without resorting to muscles. A Nei Gung master on the other hand generates his chi primarily through activation of his muscles via the power of his breathing muscles, by way of powerful reverse abdominal breathing. You may wonder, how can one generate chi without exercising one's muscles?

A Nei Gung master is clever. He does not need to jog to activate his muscles to generate chi, he conserves or converts otherwise wasted energy of his powerful breathing muscles, and uses such energy to activate his muscles through carefully aligned fascia and other connecting tissues, muscles included. What does a Taoist or Buddhist meditator do?

A Taoist of Buddhist meditator uses the same breathing energy. But instead of acting on the muscles, he acts on the bones or, better put, the total bone structure, activation of which generate the necessary chi for his spiritual purpose.

Can a martial artist take advantage of a pure meditator's skill in bone marrow activation? Certainly yes. And the secret of all secrets is meditate on one's finger nails. I searched the literature, and I found out that there are indeed tai-chi masters who choose this route. They are practicing like the pure meditators, getting chi to the inner most of our bones.

What extra benefits? You figure it out by yourself!


  1. Great blog! Where can I find out more about meditating on one's fingernails?


  2. Thanks for your kind words. The way is working on the fingers first and then subtly move the chi, passing each joint to the finger nails. One can't do finger nail meditation without first doing it on the whole hand and then the fingers.

    The core technique is with the fingers, please check on this post of mine:

  3. The post you suggested was what I was looking for.Thanks.
    Actually, my chi has moved through my hands and fingers for a long time, but just seemed to get blocked there and get congested. Using the finger nail technique you suggested has let all that "pressure"flow out through my finger and toe nails.

    BTW, in Aikido there is a practice where you vigorously shake your fingers towards the ground to shake out any excess ki that has stagnated in your body.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience (and the Aikido technique), and I'm glad that my article helps. Chi stuck at hands can, in some cases, cause minor burns in the inner skin. A burned sensation will be felt, but without outside symptom of a burned external skin. A treatment with any kind of oil (standard treatment for burns) to reduce the heat will be helpful. Not a big problem, but can be scary if one doesn't know what is happening!


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