Thursday, October 4, 2012

Standing Meditation Principles from writings by BP Chan

From writings by BP Chan, adapted by Jeff Bartfeld, based on 25 +  years experience as his student.

The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine states that "The cultivation of chi is greatly enhanced by standing meditation."
Standing meditation practice consists of stillness on the outside and motion on the inside. It helps create a new and natural body memory, so that one does not impede the inner flow of energy. It also promotes self healing.
During practice, the mind should not visualize anything, and the body should be void of the physical forces of movement. This helps one recognize and cultivate the inner energy known as chi, the vital essence of the universe.
Standing meditation is an exponentially evolving art that can never be mastered. After practicing standing meditation for some time, one will discover that it leads to many wonderful changes.

To help us with this task, standing meditation principles have been handed down in poems and literature. The most important of these principles are alignment, centering and posture.
Basic Instructions on correct alignment, centering and posture:
  • Stand naturally with the feet parallel, shoulder width apart and weight balanced. The outside line of the feet should be straight, if this can be done without hurting the knees.

  • Be loose and sink as if sitting on a sofa. When sinking (sitting), the thighs will slightly spread into a natural arch. This will happen if you sit by moving the body straight down (do not use the legs to lower the body).

  • Keep the upper body, including the head upright, and do not lean in any direction. The torso should not be compressed  allow the body to open naturally. The cervical vertebra should be aligned with the back of the spine so that the mind can be calmed.

  • The body should be centered to allow the energy to sink, and the breath should be natural.

  • The shoulders and elbows should be relaxed downward with the armpits open.

  • The arms should embrace the chest at a distance of three side fists. The fingers of the hands should be relaxed and separated evenly with the thumbs on a horizontal plain. The wrists should not be bent. Bending them is like bending a hose, which interferes with flow.

  • The knees should be above the Bubbling Well acupuncture point, and should never go beyond the toes.

  • Maintain the three folds of the body (ankle, knee, Qua)

  • The eyes should be level with the eyelids slightly closed and relaxed (this will relax the face)

  • The tongue should touch the upper palate when the mouth is closed. This connects the Tu Mo and Den Mo channel (Microscopic Orbit) at its upper point, and allows for the formation of saliva, which must be swallowed in a specific way.

Some Additional notes;
The Breath should originate with the stomach (natural breath), be done through the nose and make no sound.
The Mind should not try to guide the energy. This will lead to over focusing and make it impossible to tap into the force. One should not be fooled by ego driven feelings, they are not real. To sum it up, one should have no thoughts, and function as an inner observer.
Under no condition should one force the breath, use strength or arch the chest.
Note: If you try to physically do the above, you are violating standing meditation principles by creating tension through mind willfulness and force. If you set up the body according to the principles, no force will be necessary.
Jeff Bartfeld

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