For a long time meditation is in popular imagery as a practice that “calm” and “relaxes”. One can imagine the yogi, half naked in the lotus position, the thumb and middle finger in contact, the look of relaxation in the absolute and in relation to the universe … hummmm, it will not be easy …
Any practice that is based on an illusion, easy imagery or reading fiction can not be serious. Any serious practice is based on a relationship with a teacher transmitted by a teacher. Over the past five years, it has been discovered in Chinese medicine a syndrome of a new disease: bad chi kung and bad “new age” practices . Without a master, for lectures and “advice “, people lock themselves in a harmful practice which they have neither the key nor the doors.
Above all, what will happen in the head of the yogi just now? He’s sleeping?
If the practice is not part of a tradition, but is just a way to “relax”, it is more profitable to make the relaxation or relaxation therapy. To “relax” with meditation is like taking a tank to crush an ant. Meditation is a spiritual relationship with the world, but this is not an exercise, not really.
The first thing we hear about in the “new age” books on meditation is concentration. The idea is good, but this is not a term. You must be attentive, present, but focus attention relaxed and steady. In the very idea of “concentration” is a concept of power which is obvious that its contrary to what we seek in meditation. We are seeking a relaxation that will make our attention lasting. We need to focus on practice in listening to our overall body and mind. And at that moment, we are only in the preparation, we are not in meditation.
Attention: relaxed and supported
Our entire practice is based on a relaxed attention of our internal and external world: “what is above is like what is below”, said Hermes “The Three Times Great.” This looking inwards coupled with the knowledge of the world makes us present and conscious. We avoid wasting time in projecting into the future or mulling over memories of our past. In this search for the moment, we have an incredible weapon, daily and sometimes permanent meditation. Our spirit is too often driven by perceptions of the external world and sometimes we get lost in the analysis and compulsive sick with them. We see a beautiful tree and we squander this perception by a total idiotic comment: “It is a beautiful tree, but I have already seen a more beautiful, I think, but ….”.
Every day, we can find a state of silence that gives us our Taoist practice, a “return” of all days. This state is meditation. Without it we can get lost in the mazes of our mind, escaping reality for our interpretation of what we perceive.
Not an exercise, a state
Meditation is not a practice, it is a state. It is a state of silence, return to oneself, to the “centre.” This state is our “normal” state , but it is engulfed in our compulsive thoughts and different perceptions, it is there, but we don’t see it for a long time, it is present, but not enough for us to realise . The exercises and practices allow us to find a new intimacy with our deepest nature, quiet and relaxed. But the exercises and practices are not “meditation,” they are just the paths that lead to it: “they should not be confused.” To stay on one exercise to seek the proceeds of it, is to carry his raft after reaching dry land: we are in a confusion based on the security aspect of the exercise and it allows not to confront the reality of a meditative state. In a meditative state, in meditation, we can not lie and we see the reality. This confrontation and vision of our “character” of our masks, can be fatal to our ego.
For most beginners, the state of peace and silence is so unknown that we must pass the only way possible: initiation.
How to find what is not known.
It is not possible to seek effectively what is not known. It is always dangerous to look for something from his mental theory and his imagination. The image people have of the object sought can direct our attention to anything else: the object imagined in our mind, the fruit of our mind, fed by our ego and supported by our phantasms. To not be wrong, just perceive what you are looking for with direct experience, then the search can begin. The teacher will be there to remind us of our perception, to help us not fall into the convenience of fantasy, the enrichment of our perception of our compulsive mental associations. Test and the teacher knows more than we do about this, otherwise he is not the teacher. This direct perception of a meditative state demands a retreat of daily life, often for several days, and immersion in practice. In our school, we are opposed to the idea of Spartan “no pain, no gain”, no pain without success. Instead, we seek a relaxation of body and mind through exercises in comfortable positions and a pleasant lifestyle and good nutrition. It is often easier to have visions when we are deprived of food and sleep, but these are only the phenomena of physiological origin that do not relate to spirituality. We want to hear from these experiences in full possession of our minds, our bodies and our critical thinking. This direct perception is the initiation.
The principle of the initiation
The initiation, has always been used in ancient Taoism, is the surest way to meet this meditative state, present but a little perceptive. We forget for a few days in our life, and practice totally we bring the silence within us. Our body and our mind communicate effectively and we are entering a peace without fear: we know for a few seconds, the meditative state, our true nature. The value of initiation depends on the experience of the teacher. He should not be a collector of knowledge, but a guide that is already past by the way you seek. A “self initiation” without a teacher or with beginners has no value and is a gaping abyss of illusions and lies fed by ego and fantasies. This is the initiation.
“The regime of fire”
After preparing the ingredients for his culinary preparation, we must now cook everything. For a dish to be successful, we need three major elements:
* The quality of raw ingredients,
* The order of preparation, steps to respect,
* The strength and duration of cooking.
The quality of ingredients depends on:
* Relaxation of body and mind,
* The transmission of practice by the teacher,
* And work accomplished by the novice.
It is unhelpful, and I will not therefore go further into detail.
We name the qualities of the base “ingredients of transformation.”
For a good “sweet and sour chicken”, it is not recommended to put the sauce on until you have fried chicken … it is an order to respect. In addition, prepare the sauce along with the chicken so that it remains bound, without burning the chicken or spoil the sauce: The steps are important. These details are the heart of the practice, what you do as a practitioner, under the guidance of your teacher.
In alchemy, we speak of the “alchemical process.”
If training is not daily, depending on your pace and your level of practice, we can compare it to a pot of water we are trying to boil over a fire intermittently, for if there is boiling , you need a constant and sufficiently strong fire. But if the practice is carried out without preparation, without a teacher or adjustments arising from your imagination (nourishing the ego that defends itself), then it can be compared to an empty pot on a fire: pressure and heat continuously emerge, everything is not healthy to achieve “taoist immortality”. If you do not practice, but you hope for an evolution, seeking that “boiling” without pot or fire, in the head may be …
In internal alchemy, we speak of the “fire”.
How to start?
The only thing to do is find a teacher.
To relax his body and mind, just make the first move and put in motion the second.
It is better to spend time to find a good guide rather than to practice lots simultaneously it confuses. The accumulation of lessons can blind the researcher in his quest.
If you sit from time to time on a hard cushion, back stiff and tight jaw. If you accumulate fasts and other harmful practices, and any sort of readings and lectures in “spiritual fairs”, then drop this and go in search of a valid teaching, a true encounter.