Sunday, January 12, 2014

The most neglected point in meditation

Some time ago I met a lady meditator from Australia who had many years of meditation experience. She explained to me that years of meditation changed her life completely. She had been stressful, depressed, paranoiac for decades partly due to her orthodox religious background and having raised in such a family. Although severed from her former religion for decades, having a loving husband and a son starting up his career, her previous conditioning still lingered on with her. She sought help from her clinical psychologist, and finally it was meditation that put a final touch on her recovery.

She sought my help not for psychological problem, which she had solved. She complained of periodic energy concentration in certain parts of her body, causing pain and much irritation. I asked her to meditate in front of me for my observation. She was seated and did a common mudra with her thumb touching and her middle finger in both hands. I touched her fingers and hands. I knew the answer.

The steering wheel controls the direction where a car goes, our fingers control where our chi goes. Without a proper conditioning of our fingers, the more chi we have built, the higher chance that it will be stuck here and there. For most people, chi is built when we physically and mentally handle our daily chores, for this lady, in addition to that, it comes from her diligent practice of meditation.

I gave her a lesson of zhan zhuang. In particular, I instructed her the way to move her chi, which stopped at the center of her palms, to her fingers. She had already been trained in chi generation for years through seated meditation, no sooner, she could feel very slight tingling sensation in her finger tips, moreover, she felt that the muscles around her scapulars were pulling at themselves (i.e. contracting to soothe their own tightness). She promised she would do her zhan zhuang practice at least twice a day for fifteen minutes each time. Two days later when our group of friends dined in a Chinese restaurant, she amazingly found herself able to handle her chop sticks with ease, and she could use her chop sticks to finish her whole meal without, like her husband, asking for a pair of folk and knife. She said she had never succeeded in picking up Chinese food with her chop sticks before. Her husband was amazed too. Her chi had been transmitted to her fingers. She told me that she now had stronger sensation at her fingers while doing her new zhan zhuang and her regular seated meditation.

Advice to meditator: practice stretched hand/fingers meditation (preferably while doing zhan zhuang) first. Do not venture to do complicated mudras before you can feel ample chi with your stretched hands and fingers. In addition, you can get chi faster with zhan zhuang than with seated meditation, because you can focus solely on your hands rather than being side-tracked by your uncomfortable folded legs.

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