Recommended Posts

I gather from the work of H. Ross (Nei-yeh; 1999) that there was a type of early Daoist meditation practiced that was distinct from the kind we later find in Buddhism (e.g., Vipassana). But L. Kohn, in her book “Sitting in Oblivion”  (2010) appears to think that Taoist meditation is essentially a version of Buddhism type of meditation, not unlike what is nowadays called “mindfulness.” So a question arises: If there was an early form of Taoist meditation, distinct from Vipassana-like types, what were the steps?

 

A preliminary sketch of two early Taoist mediational systems that appear to have been in place, without apparent Buddhist influence, is as follows (but how they were reconciled is unknown):

 

1-  Neiguan內觀 (inner observation; passive meditation) involves a general openness to all sorts of sensory stimuli and encourages a sense of free-flowing awareness with detached observation. It encourages the appreciation of life as a flow [=rhythm of the Dao]. In noticing this series of exhalation and inhalation patterns, one becomes directly aware of the "dynamisms of Heaven and Earth" through ascending and descending breath.

2-  Jing靜 (tranquility) and qing 清 (clarity) produced by the practice of neiguan after dingxin 定心 (stabilizing the mind) has been achieved. Is associated with acute hearing and clear vision, and generating jing 精 "vital essence".

3-  Ming 明(radiance/brightness): produced after neiguan has been established.

4- Xu 虛 (emptiness; fasting of the mind): making the mind empty like air (qi 氣) so that the Dao can gather in it and one can “apprehend things more accurately and respond more effectively than when it relies on rational thinking or ordinary sense perception.”


II.
1-  Zhiguan 止觀: is an active concentrative exercise that uses one-pointedness that applies insight to the subject of meditation after neiguan has been established (=access concentration; where hindrances are encountered) and Insights were applied, e.g.:

  • Rhythm vs irregularity
  • Balance vs imbalance
  • Unity vs opposition
  • Correspondence [eg, heaven and earth]
  • Coherence vs incoherence

2-  Zhi止 (full concentration) [=dhyana] where meditational hindrances have been overcome 

3-  Shouyi 守一 (Guarding the one): maintaining oneness" involving concentrative meditation on a single point (=ding).

3-  Ding 定:  samadhi [samapatti] the union of subject and object (non-dual awareness)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6 August 2019 at 4:56 AM, Jotika_99 said:

 

4- Xu 虛 (emptiness; fasting of the mind): making the mind empty like air (qi 氣) so that the Dao can gather in it and one can “apprehend things more accurately and respond more effectively than when it relies on rational thinking or ordinary sense perception.”

 

One meditation method we use for this is with a hand fan, as you  blow the air to your face or head, the air flow leaves sensations that create a point of focus to  ground you to your body, also as the air blows past the ears You can hear the voice of the wind\fan and a rhythm for you to focus on, at later stages we attach a mantra to the voice the fan making every blow a syllable. Fanning my self 4 times could syllabise - I - Am - Groun -Ded.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this