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Switching On to Bliss PDF Print E-mail
Written by Claire   
Saturday, 23 June 2007
  Image   I found the on/off switch to the bliss in meditation.  I am not joking.  I have been meditating for six years now.  Lots of you probably could relate to my progression: at the beginning, more than five minutes of meditation used to be aggravating for me; then, more than fifteen minutes of fantasizing/meditating used to get boring; later more than half an hours of sitting used to hurt my bottom… 

 

Copyright © by Claire GuYu Johnson

June 15, 2005 

      I found the on/off switch to the bliss in meditation.  I am not joking.  I have been meditating for six years now.  Lots of you probably could relate to my progression: at the beginning, more than five minutes of meditation used to be aggravating for me; then, more than fifteen minutes of fantasizing/meditating used to get boring; later more than half an hours of sitting used to hurt my bottom… 

      I kept on meditating because in general, it made my life more functional.  I felt better afterward.  People around me benefited from my meditating.  More importantly though, there were these mystery moments of vibration, of presence, of life, of bliss, of deliciousness that fascinate me, and I kept on wanting to be in that moment again.  These moments used to be so rare and unpredictable that it may only happened once or twice a year. 

      I have tried my best to describe to my students how they may get there in Big Tree standing meditation practice and other sitting practices (see Relaxing the Mind through the Body).  But this time at the Memorial Weekend Retreat with Mingtang, I literally found the switch!  You relax one muscle in the body and boom!  As if a whole body orgasm is gradually building and moving through my body.

      Now I am sure you’d like to know what muscle that is.  Remember how there is a saying that sexual excitement is all in your mind?  Well, this is not only true for our sexual energy, since our sexual energy is an intrinsic part of our vital energy system.  There is a Chinese saying, “Letting go the control of your spirit through your mind, your energy flow naturally.”  It’s impossible to control our mind so it stops thinking.  Thinking is what our mind does naturally.  We can never altogether stop thinking.  But there are ways to relax, slow down and calm our mind so the pause between thoughts gradually becomes longer.

      Our mind also directly feed into how we experience our chronic physical discomforts and pain.  I came to this realization during the Big Tree standing meditation last year.  I became aware that when the muscles on top of my head are tense, the physical pain feels louder, unbearable like deep suffering.  And as soon as I relax the muscles, the pain level instantly lessens to bearable.  Then I can feel qi flowing through the problem area.  If I continue to relax my mind and relax the area, the pain gradually lessens as more qi pushes the blockages open.  After meditation, the area feels much better than before.  It is healing.

      At the retreat during sitting meditation, I discovered the next layer of muscles to relax.  They are on my face, around my temples and especially in between my eyebrows—the muscles that indicate intense pondering and deep suffering.  At first I had to fake a big smile in order to stretch the muscle out.  Then eventually the fake smile relaxes into a real, whole-hearted smile.  It takes a certain trust and surrender to smile genuinely at nothing particular, at the present moment.  And it’s not an easy place to remain.  I had to constant go through the process to come back to the relaxation of this muscle.

      Without a doubt with Mingtang’s strong boost of qi, I was able to stay in the deliciousness.  He flooded our bodies with so much fog qi that our mind instantly quieted without a chance to argue and waver.  A teacher can focus the collective group energy and channel direct transmission from the lineage into the collective field. 

      My qi first rose powerfully from the perineum up the Central Channel to my upper dantian and Baihui point.  Then the qi pushed its way from the tip of the tailbone up the spine, through blockages in between the shoulder blades, the neck and back of the head, to the top of the head.  When I practiced on my own, it was not as powerful but the qi always flow to blocked areas in the pelvis, in the knee, going down the ankles to the tip of the channels in the toes.  It always pushed through the stuck shoulders to elbows and wrist and to the tip of the fingers.  After practice, my entire body alignment shifts.

      I was able to stay in the state of deliciousness long enough that my energy calmed, and my entire being entered into the pause state several times, which I could not yet replicate to the depth and length on my own.  But once I have physically experienced a state, it is possible for me to get there again and again on my own.  It’s a physical memory like riding a bike that you never forget.  This is true with all qigong practice, once you experience a state, you won’t lose it even after many years.

      Conceptually to explain what I mean by “deliciousness,” if the lower dantian was the interpreter for the mind, it calls it delicious, like taking in the most wonderful food, the finest chocolate.  If the middle dantian was the interpreter, it feels like the most warm and fuzzy sensation, like love.  The upper dantian sees a white light, clear and translucent, like luminescent clarity and wisdom.  The deliciousness moves like a fog, light and ethereal.  So any tenseness in the muscle or activity in the mind blows it into nothingness.  But when the smile is big, the mind has no power to be active, the muscle naturally relaxes, and the fog moves to areas need to be healed.

      After the retreat, I had a continuing experience of loosening the muscles of the mind, and allowing the body to feel its innate pleasure, the natural internal massage.  At first the mind as if scolds the body for having such “sinful” feelings.  The minds judges that to feel this way in broad daylight alone must be wrong.  Then when I realized there is nothing to be ashamed of being delicious, that the sexual energy is as natural as our energy to run and to jump. 

      The mind then pulled out its next trick, moving into the future,  “You must always be prepared, meaning be in the tense state at all times for the inevitable bad thing to happen, like running for your life or dealing with an accident.”  The mind got laughed at right away for worrying about something it can do nothing about.  The body can react much faster if it’s in a relaxed alert state, like a cat.  The mind doesn’t have to be constantly active to keep one safe.  In fact, it’s our connection with our body, our gut, and our gut instinct that keep us out of unnecessary trouble.

      Convincing the mind to let go of control cannot be done through rationalization alone.  Each and every part of the body needs to learn how it feels to relax.  It’s a doing process.  When our body is relaxed and comfortable, the muscles on our head and face can release.  Then qi flows freely, and we enter into the delicious state naturally.  Of course this is only a state of being in the process.  So we cannot be attached to it.  When we try too hard, we cannot relax our mind.  So it’s actually about letting go, not trying, releasing into the next natural state of being.  That’s why our attention is always seemingly there, seemingly not, next concentrated or focused.  It’s a paradox for the mind, but not for the body. 

      The letting go, the releasing, and the relaxing of this muscle opens me physically, energetically and spiritually.  It opens my gate of trust to the universe, so the exchange of energy and information can begin, so natural healing can begin.  I suppose when I can sustain this letting go state, I would be most present, in the moment, spontaneous, creative, open, and connected to all.  Eventually the smile is not needed.  Then I would be able to sustain this relaxed state even in crisis.  I would trust and enjoy each moment, life’s perfection unfolding.  I would be in perfect unison with the flow of life, which to some would be the enlightened state.  I laugh out loud from this realization.  Human has been designed so perfectly that the purest pleasure is also the most effective healing, and is the most pragmatic path to enlightenment. 
 

      The ZY Qigong system is well designed so that first through the standing meditation, students might accidentally hit the delicious state.  Then through Spontaneous Movement, more body awareness is built.  Fourth level Big Tree allows more space for the state to happen.  Then the Right Gong with the mantra uses the power of direct transmission to help students get to the state.  Finally a private student of the system can tap into the lineage freely to more quickly come into the state of deliciousness.  The system does not stress physical alignment.  Because though the exact alignment might first allow the student to come into the qigong state, in the long run, it’s still training the mind controlling the body, which can stop progress eventually.  Whereas in the ZYQ system, we first bring our awareness to the body, not controlling the mind.  Only when we have full awareness of our body and energy, do we tap into the power of our mind as a tool to combine with our body, energy and spirit, especially while healing.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 June 2007 )
 
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