Activated Qi Meditation Notes
Week: Monday 22nd to Friday, 26th January 2018
Many people at the mo are talking about this strain and that strain of flu virus which are doing the rounds affecting either themselves or family members. To help you not succumb this month we are going to work with the 3 dantian and the Taiji Pole, one of the quickest ways to build up your energy reserves and vitality.
Remember the findings of the research we have looked at over the past few years into our microbiome and how it affects our immune system, such as that of John Cryan at Cork University or Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Basically, if you want to have a vibrant immune system you need a vibrant gut flora because it is they who activate your immune system. So, we need to look after them and what do we do over the Christmas period? We over indulge in foods and drinks which often have high levels of sugar, (something which is not on the favourites list of our micro-organisms). All this at a time of the year when there isn’t a lot of natural warm yang energy about to absorb and then we are surprised that we end up with flu or a heavy cold in the following days.
By increasing the energy in our dantian we not only help ourselves, our microbe friends will also get a boost in energy levels.
Qi moves into the body's Dantian through the body's Taiji Pole. The Three Dantian are positioned along the Taiji Pole in order to maximise energy movement within the body. The Taiji Pole is a column of energy at the core of the body, it runs from the perineum to the topmost point of the head. The Taiji Pole acts as a passageway for communication between the Three Dantian and as a highway for the movement of the various life-force energies. The energy is then absorbed into the body's organs and surrounding tissues.
To ground effectively we need to be able to work with the Three Dantian energy centres in the body. These are not to be confused with the chakras as described in the Hindu/Buddhic traditions. They are essential for maintaining a healthy balanced body and approach to life. If they are deficient everything else can easily go out of kilter. According to ancient Daoist energetic anatomy and physiology, these three important energy centres store and emit energy in a similar to how a battery works.
- The upper dantian lies in the centre of the head and is called the Tian Shan.
Warning, warning, danger, Dr. Smith!!! (for those of you who remember, Lost In Space!) It is important to remember that we do not guide energy into the Tian Shan. Our brains are already over-stimulated, and we can cause ourselves severe problems the least of which would be to become ungrounded.
- The mid dantian or Tan Zhong is located around the heart and the pericardium
- While the lower dantian, the Guan Tan or Hara in Japanese is located in heart of the pelvic region. Activate the Guan Tan and we are able to ground our energies efficiently enabling us to create and maintain inner balance and harmony.
So, what did class members experience last week when focusing on raising the vitality of the guan tan and tan zong?
Some of what people thought and experienced last week:
This section is important because it helps us to learn about meditation through the experiences of others. Every experience is valid so thank you for sharing, inspiring, and encouraging others!
“Enjoyed the session, felt energy flowing. Will practice more.” J.M.
“I’ve had a weird ringing sensation in my ears for a few weeks now and since working tonight with the Taiji Pole I found it started easing off and has nearly disappeared! Felt energy movement which is great.” C.S.
“Able to switch on the flow of qi easily in my upper body, not in my legs though.” C.T.
“Used colour when taking in qi. Very strong, empowering feeling. Pins and needles in feet.” S.H.
“Very calm, focused session; plenty of energy around.” P.K.
“Felt harmony in the room this evening. Good energy, enjoyed very much.” A.B.
“Really enjoyed. Felt the flow of energy. Felt warm and calm. It was ‘simple’ but very effective.” A.W.
Really felt a burst of energy as we brought the qi up to the heart. Made me feel as if I had got bigger!” F.P.
“Not aware I was stressed until we started and I could feel how busy my mind was and how my heart was pounding. Now I feel soft and clear.” L.B.
“Good to be back, missed the meditations. Enjoyed today’s deep meditation.” P.S.
- The Secret Treatise of the Spiritual Orchid by Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochet De La Vallée (1991). Published by Monkey Press. ISBN: 1 872468 00 4
- The research is published in the leading international psychiatry journal Molecular Psychiatry, “Desbonnet L, Clarke G, Shanahan F, Dinan TG & Cryan JF “Microbiota is essential for social development in the mouse”
- Kirsten Tillisch, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet, Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Beatrice Trotin, Bruce Naliboff, Emeran A. Mayer. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 2013; DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043
Before This Week’s Meditation Practices: Something to consider!
Before moving on to this week’s notes please watch the following YouTube Qigong clips, beginning with Rosemary’s, followed by Marissa’s and then finishing with Ajahn Suthep’s. It would be beneficial for you to be able to watch them in a calm unrushed space. I’m not asking you to watch their entire length; just enough for you to be able to feel how each of them is interacting with qi.
I am hoping these will help give you an insight into how people connect with qi according to their experience and application. I also hope you can feel the progression from Rosemary’s through to Ajahn’s; none of them incorrect. They are all experiencing qi according to where they are at, at the time of the recording. Ajahn will still be wanting to progress further just as much as Rosemary and Marissa will be.
- It is important for each of us to be able to recognise where we are at when it comes to connecting with qi…….
- it is important for our progression to be willing to recognise where we are at when it comes to connecting with qi………
- …….and it is important that we recognise that we sit somewhere along a path just like Rosemary, Marissa and Ajahn, and that if we wish to we can travel further and further along that path gaining an ever deeper understanding of qi, how we can interact with it and how this will benefit our health and well-being.
(If you want to come back to me with your observations please do, Peter)
This Week’s Meditation Practices:
Remember it is important to read what the purposes are of each meditation so that you know what the benefit of the meditation practice is to your health and well-being.
Creating the right foundation for meditation is so important. Remembering to focus on what you are developing not just for your health and well-being now but also what you are putting together for your future.
Purpose: To create a space in which we feel safe and secure so that we can allow ourselves to relax and change.
Purpose: To develop a feeling of gratitude about the time you have given yourself to promote your present and future state of your health and well-being.
Purpose: To strengthen our own inner meditative space. This strengthens the neural pathways associated with your meditation practice.
Purpose: To centre, focus and ground our consciousness, making it easier to maintain an inner feeling of balance and be more harmonious in our lives.
Purpose: To take the opportunity to self-observe and develop our self-awareness. As Professor Walsh explains to be successful we need to be consciously aware of what we are doing.
This week we will be tensing/relaxing the muscles once. This will be followed by focusing upon relaxed breathing and then balancing the breath.
Purpose: Through practice, understanding how balancing the breath helps calm and balance our emotions.
Purpose: Identify the physical tensions within the body and then tensing/relaxing to remove them in order to improve our ability to create and deepen your body’s relaxation response.
Purpose: Enhance the flow of qi by reducing the physical tension held in the body.
Purpose: To remove emotional tension locked within the muscles by building up the feeling gentleness.
Purpose: To ground our energy effectively helping us to maintain an inner balance. When we can do this effectively we can ground excess energy therefore preventing it from disrupting our system.
Raising the vitality of our lower dantian, the guan tan and the mid-dantian, the tan zong.
Purpose: To raise the vitality of our body by acquiring qi from the Earth.
Purpose: To raise the vitality of the Taiji Pole at the core of the body.
Purpose: To deepen our ability to ground your energy.
Purpose: To enhance the feeling of calm, stillness and contentment within.
Purpose: To develop your self-awareness through self-observation.
Purpose: To feel a connection with the qi that flows though all living things via the beauty of nature.
Each week we will conclude with setting the scene for our week ahead, choosing whichever of the emotional energies seems the most appropriate for the forthcoming week.
Purpose: To make sure that as soon as we walk out the door we don’t just forget what we were doing and what it achieved for our health and well-being.
Finishing with Honouring the meditative space, each other and ourselves.
Purpose: The honouring of ourselves is often the most difficult one to do. It is important to actively remember the things we have got right; not, as neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson points out, just to focus on our brain systems natural tendency towards negative bias.
If you have any questions about any of the above, please do ask! Also, if you would like to share any of your experiences or ask me questions about them, please do email me.
Private meditation sessions are available; please contact me for more details.
©2018 Peter Keynton-Hook, Activated Qi Meditations