The classic method of meditation is practiced in a sitting position. However, it is possible to meditate while you’re standing or moving.
There’s a method of meditating in a standing position, in which the movements of your body are used to help guide the circulation of vital energy or Chi through the channels in your body.
This is important to know, especially when you just can’t sit for too long, trying to meditate. Sometimes, you may feel impatient while sitting for too long. Each time you sit in meditation, all kinds of thoughts arise in your mind, and sometimes your thoughts become more numerous.
As you sit around for longer periods of time, you may experience some uneasiness. You feel restless, you get up slowly, you pace around the room, and then you sit back down again to have another attempt at meditating. It’s just too difficult.
What if you practiced meditation in a more natural way?
What if you took a natural approach or attitude by doing what you normally do all the time?
And that is to move your body.
This method of meditating uses the movements of the arms and legs along with breathing and inner concentration to guide the Chi through the channels in your body. The movements are natural and simple as they involve the bending and unbending of limbs, while the hands are lowered and then raised. When practiced together, they are very effective in directing the circulation of Chi throughout your body.
This is the basis for self-cultivation, which is the hallmark of meditation. The goal of meditation is to coordinate the mind and body so that one can grow and develop into an advanced state of being. By concentrating on your breathing, you can connect your mind with your body.
The Taoists have used meditation and breathwork to prevent sickness, prolong youth and achieve longevity. For them it was more than trying to deepen and develop their consciousness. Meditation is the process of energy refinement inside your body. It can be carried out while you’re moving.
The external movements of the body are very much coordinated with the inner concentration and breathing. Breathing assists the flow of vital energy, which is necessary for the refinement processes to take place inside your body.
Tai Chi has been found to be very effective at assisting the flow of Chi in meditation. There are some foundations that you would need to know while doing Tai Chi.
- Shifting of the weight from one leg to the other.
- Rotating the body right to left.
- Taking the step forward to energize.
- Taking the step backward as you exhale.
- Doing various hand movements, when done together with the above, create a nice energy flow.
So how do you practice Tai Chi as a moving form of meditation?
In the beginning, you should practice a few breathing exercises while standing.
Let’s do that right now:
- Stand with your feet, shoulder-width apart. Knees are slightly bent. Your weight is evenly distributed on both feet. Both of your feet are in direct alignment with your shoulders up above.
- Hang your arms by relaxing them at the sides, with your palms facing backward.
- Concentrate and place your mind on the psychic center known as the lower dantian in your body. This is the central point of the Tai Chi movement, and it is an inch and a half below your navel and inside your body.
- Breathe in slowly. At the same time, gradually lift your arms upward and forward. By the time you’re fully erect, your hands are at your shoulder level and your palms are facing downward. Your inhalation is completed.
- Begin to understand how the Chi flows in your body. The inward breath together with the concentration of your mind lifts the Chi from the lower dantian to your solar plexus near the heart. This is called the seat of fire.
- Exhale. At the same time, draw your wrist toward your shoulders.
- Inhale and straighten out your fingers.
- Exhale and allow your hands to fall to your sides.
- Remember that during this movement, the outward breath together with the concentration of your mind directs the Chi downward from your solar plexus, all the way to your lower abdomen. This is in the region near your kidneys, and it’s called the seat of water. You’re going from water to fire. Then, from fire back down to water.
- Repeat the upward and downward movements, circulating the Chi back and forth between the solar plexus and the lower abdomen.
I encourage you to repeat this and follow along with my video. The breath when properly used can purify, clean and repair your body. This is why Tai Chi is called an internal exercise.
Now that you’ve learned how to circulate your Chi between your solar plexus and lower abdomen, you may be thinking: What are some other channels that your Chi can circulate through?
Stay tuned as we continue to explore the other channels of your body. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more exercises. By watching previous videos, it will bring the full picture of the benefits of Tai Chi together.