By Hu Xuezhi
Heart-Mind Fasting Meditation
If there is no other, there is no I. If there is no I, there is no one to perceive. This is close to the truth, but we do not know why. There must be some primal force, but we cannot discover any proof. I believe in acts, but I cannot see it.?I can feel it, but it has no form.
First, there must be a true human; then there can be true knowledge. But what is a true human? The true human of old did not mind being poor. He took no pride in his achievements. He made no plans. Thus, he could commit an error and did not regret it. He could succeed without being proud. Thus, he could climb mountains without fear, enter water without getting wet, and pass through fire unscathed. This is the knowledge that leads to Tao.
The true human of old slept without dreaming and woke without anxiety. His food was plain, and his breath was deep. For the breath of the true human rose up from his heels while the breath of common men rise from their throats.(from Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters)
People tend to have many ideas and anxiety of various sorts, constantly moving here and there, seemingly without any end, even when they are in sleep. So truly, to be quiet internally within for a time may be quite difficult for most common people. Yet to truly gain internal quietude and inner peace is a treasure sought after by many far and wide.
We find there are many methods teaching how to fall into inner quietude and people can find them in the books handed down by the ancient true humans of China. In the book of Chang Tzu, people can find one meditation method which is called Heart-Mind Fasting, which is an excellent way to meditate and gain entrance into inner quietude.
During this practice, people may choose to sit cross legged on a cushion, or sit high up on some soft blanket or sit in chair with legs touching the ground and the back straight, tongue touching the roof of the hard palate, teeth lightly touching, breathing in and out naturally through the nose.
Prerequisites for success of this practice:
- Persist in the practice every day, 30 to 60 minutes each time, one to three times every day. Continue the practice daily without any intermission
- Practice natural celibacy or have healthy sex every 10 or 15 days. Do not contact or have interest in sexual materials like books, TV show, or the like.
- Eat mostly vegetable food of moderate flavor, no ice drinks, no spice or strong flavor. Lead a peaceful, natural and quiet life.
- Do not take much Western medicine, drugs, alcohol, chemical additives, or unnatural things.
- Do not have strong emotional changes or reactions.
First, please concentrate your inner attention into the Lower Dantian and gradually rid yourself of stray ideas. Fall into a deep quiet state naturally.?Please remember to be free of all stray thoughts from within; this is a very important starting point. Let the back be straight, tongue touching the roof of the hard palate, teeth lightly touching, breathing in and out naturally through the nose. Let the in-breath be drawn deep into the Dantian and let the out-breath flow out from the Dantian -- all quite naturally without strong effort or concern. The Lower Dantian (Tan Tien) is located in the empty space below the navel in the middle place between the kidney and navel -- a sphere of around 3.8 cm. Let the internal vision gaze upon that place. Let golden virtue begin to grow within, releasing all negative qualities and deeply relaxing the body.
Second, slowly and quietly use the inner power of the "ears" to "listen" to the breathing sounds via the nose or lung or respiratory track -- follow and find the true breath. In the beginning people may have some consciousness of the whereabouts of the nose, lung, respiratory track or the in-and-out pattern of the breath. But later let this consciousness come and go in its own way and never interfere, never pay it any mind, slowly falling into a state which is gradually free of any artificial consciousness. Hence, it is a gradual process to fall into a such a natural state that is little by little free of any trace of human consciousness. Let the listening force and the breathing power combine together slowly, naturally and quietly. Perhaps the breathing may be slow, may be quick, may become louder, and may change to a feeble nature. Never pay attention to "its" variance. You will gradually find that the listening force combines with breathing to form one harmonious unity. Continue to meditate in this state.
Third, at the beginning phase, people may still retain the ability to discern which is listening and which is breathing. But later on with practice, the practitioner may fall into a deep state without any consciousness, not knowing which or what is the corporeal body and which is the outside environment, the listening ability seems to come to a stop. It truly seems like the heart-mind contained in the breathing is listening to the breathing contained in the heart-mind and the barrier which formally existed between the heart-mind and breathing seems to disappear and they meld completely, merging to form one harmonious unity.
Fourth, such a state comes to a complete standstill state, which is free of any consciousness whatsoever and the heart-mind and breathing forms a harmonious union, becoming one without any division of form. During this experience, people may seem to "feel"?that all comes to a complete and constant standstill, nothing in motion, nothing coming, nothing going, for one does not know how long, time and space disappear, resting in complete emptiness.
Continue the practice………….