Taoist sitting meditation is a powerful practice, but many people have a hard time sitting still or focusing on their bodies long enough to develop sensitivity to the energies of sitting meditation.
Sometimes, when you explore related practices, like Tai Chi, you develop the skills you need to ease into sitting meditation practices. One of the most important skills taught in Tai Chi is the ability to focus. It is only through structured focus that we can access our Chi, or internal energies. Focus allows us to travel around our body, seeing it in a whole new way and teaching us how to heal ourselves.
Taoist sitting meditation works hand in hand with movement sets. The process is actually quite easy to carry out. Simply follow the steps below:
- You should begin with gentle movement exercises like qigong or Tai Chi.
- Once you are loose and feel refreshed you should sit in a straight backed chair, feet flat and thighs parallel with the floor and hands flat on the thighs.
- Relax the shoulders and allow the chest to sink inwards in a relaxed manner. The spine itself should be straight but not held in a tense manner.
- Close your eyes and begin to focus on keeping your breathing slow and steady. The breath should be drawn into the abdomen from the nose and expelled slowly from slightly open lips.
- When your breathing is smooth you can begin to relax your entire body. Beginning with the face, begin to imagine the muscles relaxing, sagging. Move your attention to the neck, the shoulders, arms and chest, all the way down the body.
- When your attention begins moving down your body you should pay close attention to any areas that feel tense. When these areas are located, again using your focused attention, relax them.
You can also do the reverse: use your sitting meditation and preparation for moving practices.
There are two essential reasons for using Taoist meditation before beginning Tai Chi sets, or any exercise routine. The mediation relaxes both the body and the mind, which will make the movement sets a great deal more meaningful. Secondly the mental journey through your body gives you a much deeper mental connection with your body and a greater sense of what is going on inside. These deeper connections are vital for establishing the best relationship with Tai Chi. You will find after a 15 minute meditation session that you will find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the movements.