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Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:32 pm Post subject: Don't Spin Your Chi
Don't Spin Your Chi (Qi), Forcefully Imagine Your Microcosmic Circulations, or Play With Your Chakras ... You Should Only Use a Visualization Method to Ignite Your Chi and then You Drop It
Recently quite a few people have contacted me about various Tao school, qi-gong, yoga, Tibetan, even sexual methods for spinning the chi within the physical body. They read these old texts talking about the chi flows through the chi channels, particularly the microcosmic and macrocosmic circulations, and feel they’ve discovered a great secret and the key to successful spiritual cultivation.
Folks, you don’t need to know any of that stuff. It’s all just a pollution if you try to FORCE those things into happening. If you cultivate correctly, they’ll just happen naturally. Just save up your sexual energies and cultivate emptiness and the kundalini will naturally awaken and all these things will happen.
On the other hand, to focus on them breaks many rules of cultivation:
(1) you’re playing with thoughts and sensations,
(2) you’re bringing consciousness into the body rather than letting it remain non-local
(3) you’re creating mental realms of delusion
(4) it doesn’t lead to anything.
End of story.
Did Buddha ever tell you to rotate your chi, or play with sensations of chi and consciousness? He surveyed hundreds of cultivation and meditation methods, desperately wanted us to succeed quickly, and never once advised people to do these practices.
Did the Zen school ever mention these things and say they should be practiced? No.
What about Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu for the schools of Taoism? What about Socrates or Confucius and Mencius, all of whom became enlightened?
No, no, no, no and no again. This is not spiritual cultivation. These spiritual greats never mentioned these practices because they are deviations from the correct path.
First please recognize that such chi flows, and more, will happen naturally when you start cultivating correctly and “correct cultivation” means cultivating an empty mental state, not a state where you are amplifying or clinging to sensations. That’s just playing with the “wind chi” in the body (called “fan chi” in Chinese) and creating realms of delusion involved with the form and sensation skandhas.
All this trouble started because in the Sung dynasty in China, some Tao masters started writing autobiographical accounts of their progress and later students, thinking this is what’s supposed to happen in cultivation, started trying to force these circulations into initiation. They basically took the Tibetan idea of the “resultant vehicle,” in taking the results of the path and trying to make them into a causal force for the path, and applied them to Taoism. But as Nan Huai-chin -- recognized as an “enlightened master” of the Esoteric school -- always says, the Tibetan tantric practices usually just lead to failure and certainly to more disasters than can be imagined. They destroy the culture of countries rather than elevate them.
The same logic applies to qi-gong practices, which are just Indian yoga pranayama (breathing practices) combined with concentrations on thoughts and sensations. They never lead anywhere. Yes, you produce some unusual results but who said that clinging to your chi was the spiritual path? Such practices never lead you to get the Tao or even the very first dhyana. Which qi-gong master has the first dhyana? No one! These practices were the most materialistic form of cultivation left over after the Cultural Revolution and the Chinese, with everything else destroyed and the desire to state they had something of their own, promote the heck out of basically nothing.
If you should engage in all sorts of practices where you use your mind to spin your chi, why didn’t Lao Tzu or Chuang Tzu mention them? Chuang Tzu said that cultivation was “forgetting about material things and the human body, viewing birth and death as a unified whole, making all things equal and dwelling in the formless.” All the ideas of Taoism are based on “quiet sitting” instead of playing with one’s chi and sensations. The ideas of Wei Po-Yang, the great Taoist unifier, involved “cleansing the mind and retiring into secrecy (emptiness cultivation).” Where is there a spinning of chi and chi channels in this?
Master Nan always states that anyone who cultivates a quiet mind will naturally feel the chi start to pulsate through their channels, and that these are physiological reactions that naturally occur in quiet psychological states. There’s nothing strange about them as they only verify the initial effects of quiet cultivation. It was only by the Ming dynasty that the original lofty methods of Taoist cultivation had fallen from their profound sublimity to mistakenly focus on the chi channels.
The Zen school recognizes that these things do indeed happen but since they occur without any special efforts and are the scenario of the path, they are ignored just as is every other type of phenomenon that arises. That’s why the Zen school produces more enlightened successes than any other spiritual school in existence. It’s extremely high, which is why there are no qualified Zen students today.
Confucius and Mencius never bothered to talk about these chi-rotation practices either. The most Mencius said is that you should cultivate your chi to a state of fullness (sexual non-leakage once again).
Buddha never mentioned them because they are just the phenomena that happen when you “harmonize the four elements of your body.” That’s how Buddha explained it. You cultivate meditation, the chi channels (wind element) and the other elements transform and become harmonized. End of story because it’s such a low stage on the path.
Then we come to all the sexual practices people follow due to mistaken teachings by modern Taoist teachers who say you must swap, borrow, rotate, or spin the chi of the other person. In my new book, Meditation for Beautiful Skin, sex is one of the ways you can activate your chi to produce more beautiful skin so I have to go into these things along with proper sexual techniques. All I can say is that everything out there is based on misconceptions.
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