In this guide to chi meditation techniques, you will learn all the best ways to control chi energy.
Many of these exercises derive from Taoism, the spiritual system that is primarily centred around the cultivation and management of qi [READ: How To Do Taoist Meditation].
Incidentally, these also happen to be the methods that Jedi Meditations are based on. Just a fun little tidbit for you.
I love teaching these methods in my online meditation lesson. And today I will share the basics with you. But first, you might be wondering just what chi energy is.
What Are Meditation And Chi Energy?
Peter Wayne [research director, Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine] tells THE DAILY MEDITATION that “chi” is hard to translate. He describes chi as “vital energy”.
Chi, Qi, or Ki, is the energy of the universe. And it is the same energy that flows through you and me. When chi flows freely through your body and mind, you will be highly energised and rarely tired.
The energy surrounds our being and “binds the universe together.” Bonus points if you noticed my reference to Yoga from Star War there, our little green friend whose teachings are often based around the concepts of chi.
Chi has a storied background in traditional Eastern healing, which speaks of the nadis, meridians, or “energy channels” .
In the East, life is considered to be the result of vibrational energy. Life energy flows through all living things. Eastern healing science describes techniques for chi-cultivation. Essentially, these exercises help chi moves freely through the body and mind.
There are various chi meditation exercises
Some of the best chi exercises include qigong and tai chi. Actually, these are also meditation. The Tai Chi and Chi Kung Institute calls them “meditation in motion”.
Wayne states that tai chi and qigong cultivate chi. Qigong involves various forms, such as Baduanjin qigong, which is a series of movements called the Eight Pieces of Brocade: Pressing the Heavens With Two Hands, Drawing the Bowstring and Letting the Arrows Fly, Separating Heaven and Earth, Wise Owl Gazes Backward, Punching With Angry Gaze, Bouncing on the Toes, Big Bear Turns From Side to Side, and Touching the Toes Then Bending Backwards.
Tai Chi [tai chi chuan] also comes in various forms. Many people practise Yang Style tai chi, created by Yang Luchan, an influential teacher of internal martial arts. Today, many instructors have videos on DVDs and Youtube, and teach at local groups like the YMCA.
We also have External Qigong, in which a gigong therapist uses the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to facilitate healing. According to a 2010 article published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, Internal Qigong and External Qigong does indeed influence the flow of chi and helps improve mind-body functioning.
We use these exercises for chi-flow.
Chi is made of yin and yang. It flows through the body via rivers called Nadi and Sen.
When our energy channels are blocked, we experience illness. Hence why Eastern healing focuses on removing blockages so chi can flow.
Limited research supports this. MRIs and EKGs reveal that our bodies are electromagnetic. And many healing techniques such as meditation and “Shiatsu” (massage) have been scientifically shown to stimulate electromagnetic energy in the body.
How To Do Chi Meditation To Control Chi Energy
There is an elementary chi meditation technique beginners can use to control chi energy.
When you use this exercise you will strengthen your mind-body connection. And it will help you to control chi in your body and mind. Plus, you will find it very relaxing.
NOTE: I have given instructions for seated meditation. You can also practice tai chi meditation in a standing position. Indeed, standing meditation is the simplest pose used in Tai Chi according to Cynthia McMullen [LMT, Oriental Healing Arts School of Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and Traditional Taoist Medical QiGong].
Chi Meditation Script
- Sit comfortably on a meditation chair. Plant your feet squarely on the ground so that you feel grounded. Relax your kneed. Position them directly above your ankles. Distribute your weight evenly around your sitting muscles. Sit up straight with a straight spine. Roll your shoulders back. Tuck your chin slightly down so it extends your neck a little. Place your hands in Gyan mudra (palms-up on your thighs with your thumbs and index fingers touching)
- Breathe naturally while focusing your mind on your breath moving in and out of your lower abdomen. Paul Lam, [a member of the Tai Chi Association of Australia], states that proper breathing is essential in tai chi. He advises that while inhaling you focus on bringing life energy into the body, and when exhaling you focus on releasing it.
- With your eyes open, focus on a point at eye level in front of you. This point should be approximately six feet away. Do not move your eyes. Continue to focus on this point for 5 minutes.
- Move your eyes to a position approximately 3 feet away and 45 degrees down in front of you. Focus here for 5 minutes.
- Continuing to breathe in the same fashion, move your gaze to a point between your feet. Try not to move your head too much; only move your eyes. Focus here for 5 minutes.
- Continuing the same pattern, focus on the tip of your nose for five minutes. Both your eyes should be fixed on the same point.
- Close your eyes while still pointing them towards the tip of your nose. Feel your breath entering through your nasal passage and moving through to your abdomen. The air will feel quite cold as you breathe in and quite warm when you breathe out. Continue for five minutes.
- Focus on the sound of your breathing for five minutes.
- Now focus on your lower abdomen for five minutes.
- Still sitting with your eyes closed, breathe in this fashion: breathe in for three counts, hold for three counts, then breathe out for six counts.
- Imagine all impurities leaving your body as you breathe out. Rub your palms together counter-clockwise so that the palms warm, then hold them over your eyes, warming your eyes.
- Place your hands on your lower abdomen. Now open your eyes and sit still for a few moments.
And you’re done!
Now you know how to do chi meditation. You can use this technique to start to control chi energy inside of you.
Benefits of Chi Meditation [Research]
Research suggests the Eastern Healing System may be valid.
Research from Seoul National University has revealed the existence of meridians, the energy centres of the body. Researchers state that the meridian system is involved with allowing energy to be relayed by biophotons and DNA. The Journal Of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena published research in which a dye was injected into the body to reveal the existence of the meridian system , which gives evidence to traditional Eastern healing techniques that have existed for thousands of years.
Plus, there is also research into the biofield, which The United States National Institutes of Health defines as “a massless field, not necessarily electromagnetic, that surrounds and permeates living bodies and affects the body.”
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine investigated healing techniques that involve influencing the human biofield. It found that approximately two thirds of the various healing techniques are effective.
Those healing techniques focus on stimulating the flow of energy in order to enhance health. One effective way of doing this is with meditation.
Because meditation focuses the mind, it relaxes the body and improves the immune system, along with many other physical health benefits. In turn, this helps stimulate chi flow.
And so, it seems that chi meditation techniques are beneficial.
Let me finish with a fun story about chi energy
There is a famous story in which a man is living in the Asian’s mountains. He is suffering from tuberculosis and only has a few days left to live. The man ascends a mountain to its very peak. He sits on a rock and begins to meditate. While resting, he comes to accepts his fate. His mind and body become serenely calm. And he still sits there today, waiting for death. But death is no longer inevitable. Why? Because he has gained acceptance and restored the flow of chi. And in doing so, he has completely healed himself.