Here's Why You Shouldn't Spin Your Chi (Qi), Visualize Pushing Your Qi Through Microcosmic Circulations or Play With Your Chakras
If you really wish spiritual enlightenment, the first thing you must do is master the principles of the path. This includes the theory of cultivation, principles behind the step-by-step practices of meditation work and the methods for cultivating realization.
Mind and material objects have one single ultimate source, and if you want to seek samadhi or the Tao without attuning your physical body properly, which belongs to the realm of material objects, you'll never achieve more than illusory thoughts in your meditation work. It's just a irrefutable fact, which is why the beginning stages of the path all involve transformations of the body. I hate to focus on it, but have to tell you that it's only after you attune the five elements of your physical body and pacify your mind that you can even achieve samadhi and ultimately, the first step of witnessing the emptiness of self which we call realizing non-ego or seeing the Tao. Hence the first steps of the spiritual path are all about getting the body out of the way, and if you're not experiencing physical transformations you're either meditating wrong or just not enough.
You can either ignore your body entirely in your cultivation, as done in Zen, or try to help speed its transformations so that your chi channels open, but that's just so you can ultimately forget it. You shouldn't be focusing on your body to transform it but cultivating emptiness and letting it transform. Nevertheless, you have to attune your body, and balance its five elements, so that it doesn't present an obstacle to mind cultivation because you can ignore it.
Now to cultivate the five elements of your body, the first thing you have to take care of is the wind element, which has to do with life force. Various schools refer to the wind element in different ways by calling it chi, prana, vital energy, orgone, life force and so on but it's all the same thing. The first necessary condition determining whether or not you can attain samadhi is that you must attune the wind element in your body so that it becomes peaceful and light. The opposite of light and peaceful is coarse and heavy so when we engage in meditation and feel the body or our chi channels, this is experiencing coarseness and heaviness.
Mencius, of the Confucian school, said to cultivate your chi. Of course Taoism is all about chi cultivation at its lowest stages. The same goes for yoga and Esoteric Buddhism, though of course Esoteric Buddhism is more profound than that. But it's not only in Buddhism and Hinduism that they have you cultivating the body's wind element because the same thing goes on in mystical Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It's all the same stage of preparatory practices, though each school approaches this from different angles and focuses on different aspects of the process.
How do you cultivate your chi and chi channels? Not by focusing on the body, but by cultivating the absence of discriminative thoughts. This focus is the real meditation work. If you think you can just stay in the present moment, as the Power of Now suggests, and that your chi channels will open and your body will transform and you'll attain samadhi without any meditation work, then ask yourself who has ever achieved it? You're just deceiving yourself.
You have to meditate for spiritual progress to learn how to silence the mind and ultimately penetrate through to the mind's real nature. You have to engage in sitting meditation. If you look at all these religions and their spiritual practices, you'll see the correct road of practice, which is ultimately detaching from thoughts to pacify the mind, and remaining mindful of emptiness so that you can get to REAL emptiness rather than just an image of emptiness or just going along with the flow. That sounds pretty, but it's not the Tao.
When you really open up your chi channels due to meditation work then you will reach a state where your entire body is light and peaceful (ching-an) and you can spontaneously forget your body. Wouldn't you like that? This is the start of cultivating samadhi, but if you keep talking about chi and chi channels and chakras and macro or microcosmic circulations you are nowhere near the first dhyana. The first dhyana has nothing to do with those things anymore so all the folks concentrating on those things don't know what they are talking about. Though the physical body is composed of five elements, you must cultivate a state where there is no trace of feeling any barrier. The key to doing this is first cultivating the wind element, but not by pushing the wind element around in your body. That just makes your situation worse. All you have to do is watch your thoughts and thoughts will subside.
Stillness belongs to yin and from the extreme of yin, yang is sure to arise. That's a natural universal rule you can find everywhere: the extreme of yin gives birth to yang and the extreme of yang gives birth to yin. So your yang chi, or kundalini will be born, and that's the start of spiritual cultivation for transforming the physical body. Chi and consciousness are linked at the lowest stages of the spiritual path, so as your chi purifies, your consciousness will purify.
In terms of the Stage of Intensified Yoga Preparatory Practices for seeing the Tao, which is the second of the five stages of the spiritual path in total (there's the Stage of Study and Merit Accumulation, the Stage of Intensified Preparatory Practices, Seeing the Tao, Cultivating Realization, and Perfect Enlightenment), kundalini (real chi) purification is only it's first sub-stage, which is the sub-stage of "warming." There's also the stages of the "peak," "forbearance" and "highest worldly dharma" to go in the Stage of Intensified Yoga Practices before you can see the Tao. You have to go through all those stages in cultivating preparatory practices to tune your body and mind and make them fit vehicles for attaining self-realization because no matter how pretty and simple the ancient books make it seem when someone awakens, people forget that there are years of hard meditation and cultivation work that go into it before enlightenment. The scholars want "enlightenment" to be something intellectual, so lacking any cultivation gong-fu themselves, they've propagated this incorrect notion and glanced over this requisite fact.
All those stages in the Phase of Intensified Preparatory Practices usually involve higher and higher samadhi realizations or purifications of the mind, and in those stages you don't talk about chi or channels or chakras or kundalini anymore. All that stuff is forgotten because the first stages of the path are only stages of purifying or detoxing the body of coarse elements and helping it become a bit healthier so it doesn't bother you or your natural chi flows. In the initial stage of the path for beginners, all your efforts go to gently arousing your yang energies by cultivating stillness (not through force), and then those energies once aroused get absorbed in transforming your body. That's when you talk about chi and chi channels but after that, no more. Want to speed this process a bit? See How to Detox Your Body for the Spiritual Trail.
So why do people have trouble with this whole process of cultivation? They don't know how to calm their mind. Even when doing meditation practice they don't know how to do it correctly. In fact, they can't even identify when they're meditating incorrectly, which is 99% of the time. They don't even know that the end result of "emptiness" should look like, since it's just a word, and that's why a Hindu master (for instance) might project a little shakti or chi into someone's chi channels to give them a taste of the experience.
Is this "seeing emptiness?" It's just a taste, a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of real emptiness. When the chi hits the brain and thoughts silence out, that's just an image of emptiness but not the real thing. It's just to give you a bit of a motivational push and head you "approximately" in the right direction by letting you see an approximate end result. Otherwise you'd never know what emptiness is.
If your chi channels are really clogged and your lack the merit, no master could project their chi like that, so few get this experience. Even those people lucky enough to receive the experience usually interpret it incorrectly due to lack of wisdom (the master was only showing them how to meditate correctly by letting them experience a semblance of the end result due to some chi manipulations, though of course there's coarse chi, refined chi, shen and emptiness realizations that are closer to the real thing but still off). They get attached to their teacher and forget that they only showed what the results of cultivation should look like to help remind them of their past life efforts, but the work is still up to you.
Sure a master can have superpowers like that, but they cannot save you. Buddha couldn't save you, Jesus couldn't save you, Mohammed, Lao Tzu, Moses, Tsong Khapa couldn't save you. However, the dharma can save you if you apply it. What does applying the dharma (dharma means the teaching, the way) mean? It means cultivating emptiness. How do you cultivate emptiness? There's a thousand different meditation methods you can use but they all involve the principles of cessation and contemplation at their root. They all involve cultivating some realization of emptiness and remaining mindful of that living realization without losing it. If your samadhi becomes stable and strong, then your whole body will transform and with less physical obstacles, you'll create an even better foundation for achieving the Tao.
Is samadhi the Tao? No, but it's part of entering the path. Is opening up all your chi channels and chakras the Tao? No, but that's laying a good foundation for entering the path. Is doing good deeds and cultivating virtue and merit the Tao? Yes, it's the exhibition of the path, but it's only part of the picture because you still need realization of your true nature, your fundamental essence. This is an experiential realization, but a realization you can achieve by reading, studying,memorizing, and intellectualizing over the Talmud, Bible, Buddhist Sutras, Vedas, Taoist sutras, Upanishads, Koran and so forth. That's the realm of intellectual study, and not the realm of the Tao which is without words.
So don't be confused. If you want the stages of transformation, go get the free 150 page download on the Stages page of the www.meditationexpert.com website. If you want to learn basic cessation contemplation practice, get the 36 page free download on How to Meditate. If you want to know what samadhi is and how to cultivate it, go see the two articles on the website on samadhi from Measuring Meditation. Better yet, if you're really serious about this and tied of wasting your time, money, energy and life, pick up a copy of "Measuring Meditation". If you've been meditating for years and still haven't made any progress, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this. The free Chapter 4 download took four weeks of lectures to put together, so imagine the contents of the entire manual!
Now if you feel your body isn't in too good of a shape and you want to detoxify it then get "How to Detox Your Body for the Spiritual Trail". If you don't want heavy stuff but want to look better, feel better, learn 4-5 meditations and how to detoxify your body and other esoteric secrets, pick up Meditation for Beautiful Skin. If you want to learn japa (mantra) practice, read the free articles on the Zhunti mantra. If mystical Christian meditation is what you desire, read the 40+ page article on that.
What about health? There are several supplements you should know about. For heart problems, COQ10 and AC Grace Unique E. For arthritis, glucosamine sulfate can be a winner. For diabetes, KemTek alpha lipoic acid. For depression, Carlson's fish oil and PurestColloids colloidal gold. To lose weight, cut out sugars and gluten (grains) and substitute good fats for bad fats. Nattokinase and Nature's Pure Body, in conjunction with the 9-bottled wind breathing practice, will really speed up your detoxification and the cleansing and purification of your body. Say you've been doing yoga for years and been vegetarian? Just take those two supplements for 1-2 months along with pranayama breathing practices and you'll be thanking me to no end for telling you about them. To learn how to use them, see "Meditation for Beautiful Skin" and if you're a guy, don't be put off by the title because I put lots of detox and esoteric stuff in that book which you cannot get elsewhere. In none of our publications do we bother to write something if you can find it elsewhere. It's just not our way. It's all new stuff, no rehash or repeats.
Next time I hope to talk a bit about business and cultivation. It's only by gaining free time that you can cultivate, and wealth is a means for doing great merit (see Oprah--with $1 Billion in the bank you can afford to do good deeds). But as Shakyamuni Buddha said, free time is hard to attain and the only way to do so is by time management or by optimizing your business. Sure if you live in a third world country you might have all the time in the world, but not in the US with it's frantic pace, so if you don't solve this problem you're doomed! So that's next time, but if you want to learn more, see the section in "White Fat Cow" on time management and goal achievement. It's the most practical, balanced approach I can teach you and it's something they'd be charging you $200 for in some seminar or tape set. I didn't just want you to have a way to change your fortune, but to be effective in life as well and White Fat Cow has the best findings on that, so take a look.
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