"Cold Leg Chi" -- Why Do Your Legs Get Cold or Your Body Gets Chills When You Meditate Intensely?
A friend, who cultivates, told me the following story.
He went to China and met an old Taoist in a cave who had him lie down and did something to his body to "help" his cultivation. That night, despite the fact that he was wearing heavy clothes, a coat, and bundled in a warm sleeping bag, his whole body started to shake and he was extremely cold.
"What was that?" he asked.
"Simple," I replied. "The guy helped you open up some the chi mai in your feet, and the cold chi in your legs started to escape. It used to happen to me when I first started practicing seriously and would sit for hours. Usually several days into that sort of practice, I would spontaneously start to release that trapped cold chi from the legs and I would feel so cold and my teeth would chatter so much that I'd have to climb into bed to stay warm. My teacher, when it happened, would simply give me some Chinese herbs to help open up the body and help this cold wind escape quicker. Everyone, I mean everyone has this cold chi trapped in their legs without knowing it and you have to get rid of it to transform the body and eliminate the cause of diseases like arthritis or even cancer."
You see, it's very hard to open up the chi channels running into the legs. That's why you rarely see ghosts with feet, because they cannot get the chi to extend all the way to the bottom of the feet. In Taoism it's well known that you cannot become an immortal unless you open up the chi channels to the bottom of the feet, too. This task is so difficult that one of the holy names for the Buddha has to do with the feet because he has opened them.
In terms of the body, all the hell being and hungry ghost karma we have is greatly associated with chi in our legs. When we can actually open up the chi channels in the legs, we can get rid of some of this trapped chi, which normally stays stagnant or is pressed into or around our bones over the years. That's one reason why sitting in a cross-legged position is best because it FORCES your chi to open up those chi channels and release this trapped cold chi. We all have it -- whether or not your legs feel warm or not.
Only when you open up your leg chi channels can this trapped chi come out. And when it does, your whole body will start shivering with cold. That's what my friend experienced.
So what do you do to get rid of this cold chi? Nothing special. The chi channels will eventually open up and it will be released without any special concentration on the fact. Try to do specially and you'll get nowhere.
The skeleton meditation is one meditation that helps free this chi ... which is why Buddha taught us to start visualizing our bones from the feet and go upwards. Regular sitting practice, while CROSS-LEGGED, is part of the solution, too.
Another related rule for cultivators : when you have excess energy, lightly guide that energy through the two chi mai running down the insides of your legs to your toes, and when you feel weak you can draw energy up from those same two chi mai. But don't pass that little hint around to others because if they are not familiar with all the materials and lessons we offer, they'll end up going down the chi-gong (qi-gong) route. You have to use these things with wisdom.
What's it like when your two foot chi mai open? Let me tell you, when they open it's like a BLAST of hot dry air up your two leg chi channels. Hot chi that has been stuck in those two chi mai is immediately released and immediately rushes out and upwards all the way to your nose, and that chi feels like the hot air that's been baking in a dry room for awhile ... sort of like a hot sauna.
After that happens your nose will start running for awhile because those chi channels from the feet to the nose have opened somewhat. Not all the way, just somewhat depending on your cultivation efforts.
Now what do you do?
When it first happened to me I didn't have a big problem with the runny nose because I'm not a great cultivator. I was walking together with my teacher on the street, they opened, he immediately smiled and reminded of the stage, and the nose problem was mild and with me for only a few days. I probably lost my vitality during that time period which is why I don't remember any big progress past that.
Master meditators, on the other hand, have their noses running for days. Han-shan used to let the snot drip all over his body to show he was not attached to the physical nature. My own teacher wrote, in Tao and Longevity, that his problem was serious, too, and he only solved the problem by sniffing back and swallowing the fluid from the nasal cavity down into his throat. Then his stage transformed into something higher.
So, those are just a few lessons on the feet and opening up the chi channels in the legs. We all have chi trapped in pockets throughout our bodies, especially around the bones. Stimulating herbs, like ginseng, tend to drive that sort of sickness chi deeper into the body and only cultivation (namely meditation) frees that chi up so it can escape from the body. Otherwise it just stays there and gestates into all sorts of problems. Having sex under an air conditioner throws that sort of chi into the body as well, where it gets packed in here and there and produced health problems later where people cannot trace the source.
Moral of the story? Cultivate more... meditate more. When you do your chi channels will open, sickness yin chi will leave your body, and you'll become healthier. There are spiritual results as well.
What are you waiting for?
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