Here's How to Understand the Physical Reactions and Higher Kung-fu Caused By Meditation Practice
People always ask me about the various reactions they experience from meditation. Sometimes the reactions are unexpected. Sometimes they represent just a clearing out of the chi channels or initiation of the chi. Sometimes they represent higher kung-fu and real spiritual achievement. Usually people mistake the lower for the higher, or get all upset about reactions that occur just from resting your mind. Why should you?
This short quote from TAO AND LONGEVITY, pgs. 76-77, by Nan Huai-Chin, explains a lot:
"Why do different people with similar human bodies have various reactions (from meditation)? It is because different meditation techniques and methods result in dissimilar effects and reactions in the chi. This can be explained in two ways.
"First, the reactions of the chi (life force, qi, prana) always follow the Jen Mai (front chi channel) and Tu Mai (back chi channel) step by step. There is no other route from the viewpoint of meditation and cultivation of the Tao.
"Second, there are differences in chi channel; and its physiological effects which depend upon such factors as bodily strength, age and sex.
"Different techniques and meditation methods can produce different reactions, but this is not the major reason for dissimilar reactions in individuals and is merely a partial explanation.
"Many who practice meditation experience vibrations of the body. This inner vibration often becomes an external jumping of the entire body and all its limbs, in which case a person might assume different movements and postures similar to those employed in yoga and tai qi quan. Those who are fond of mysticism may consider this to be something wonderfully mystical.
"In the past some individuals specialized in the practice of divine boxing, which originated because of the occurrence of this phenomenon in meditation. Practitioners of divine boxing and people who practice "tumbling cloud," both of which were initiated from this phenomenon, often experience harmful effects and consequences.
"Is this phenomenon mystical? Not at all. It is half physiological and half psychological. Even the physiological half of this reaction seems to be caused by self-suggestion. Nervous tension is often caused when a person pushed himself too hard. This tension is reflected in the subconscious mind which, in turn, causes the initial trembling of nerves and muscles. These subconscious hints subsequently enter naturally into consciousness which then enhances the vibrations and trembling. Through these subconscious self-suggestions a person often comes to shake and move his entire body and limbs in a kind of regular pattern.
"Unfortunately, ordinary people cannot always determine the reason for these vibrations and this sort of shaking. Some are afraid that they might do something wrong and so give up meditation altogether. Others believe they have already obtained divine powers or have achieved the basis of the Tao and may indulge in these vibrations and movements. Further, chi cannot enter into its genuine orbits of Jen and Tu Mai (front and back chi channels) due to these shaking movements of the body and so it merely circulates between the ligaments and muscles. Few people are introspective enough to discern that the cause of these movements is actually nervous tension resulting from self-suggestion.
"If one intends to meditate for a healthy body and mind, or for Nei Kung (training the internal organs to develop uncanny strength and endurance), then it is all right to let this kind of bodily movement develop. One who does not have this aim should quiet their inner mind and relax the nerves and muscles to go "up one more floor" or lift oneself to a higher level and enter into a state of quietude."
Hope that helps clear up a lot of issues, especially the mistaken notions people toss around.