Qi Gong Sitting Meditation
A practice of Qi Gong sitting meditation is a good foundation that will allow you to begin your Qi development. While there are thousands of styles of Qi Gong that include aspects of meditation, one of the most popular is Xiao Zhou Tian, translated as Small Heavenly Circuit or the Microcosmic Orbit. This Qi Gong meditation will prepare your mind and body for more advanced forms of Qi Gong.
The Qi, or energy, of our bodies flows through a complex network of meridians that connects our limbs, internal organs, and surface. There are 20 major meridians in the body. Of these meridians, 12 are the Primary meridians that connect to each major internal organ, and these are divided into 6 Yin and 6 Yang meridians. The other 8 meridians are called the Extra-ordinary meridians. These Extra-ordinary meridians function as reservoirs for the 12 Primary meridians, supplying additional Qi when needed by the body. A proper flow of Qi creates a healthy and energetic mind and body.
The Ren and Du meridians
The most important of these Extra-ordinary meridians are the Ren (Conception) and Du (Governing) meridians. The Ren and Du meridians dominate the Yin and Yang of your body. The Ren meridian travels along the front midline of your body and supplies the 6 Yin meridians. The Du meridian travels along the spine and supplies the 6 Yang meridians. When we activate and connect the Ren and Du meridians, we create an internal circuit for these powerful energies to flow in our body.
Both the Ren and Du meridians begin in your Dan Tian, an energy center located in your lower abdomen just below your naval. When breathing during our Qi Gong practice, we breathe deeply down into the Dan Tian by expanding the lower abdomen in all directions. The Ren channel surfaces at your perineum, a point midway between your genitals and anus, and travels up the front of your body to the tip of your tongue. The Du meridian surfaces at your coccyx, and travels up your spine and around your head to reach your palate inside your mouth. When we touch our tongue to our hard palate in our mouth, we connect these two meridians.
To begin our Qi Gong meditation, first make sure you are wearing loose clothing that keeps your body at a comfortable temperature. Next, find a stable chair to sit in, and place your feet in good connection to the ground. Sit in an erect posture that allows your spine to be vertical with your hands placed comfortably on your lap.
Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose, feeling the flow of air travel down your throat. Guide the breath down the front midline of your chest (Ren channel) to your lower abdomen (Dan Tian). Further guide the energy down through your genitals to your perineum, located midway between your genitals and anus. Now exhale, and move the energy through your coccyx and up your spine (Du channel), with specific notice on the 2nd lumbar vertebrae opposite your navel. Guide the energy over your head through the crown (highest point) of your skull. Finally, connect the energy to your palate and into your tongue. Repeat this circuit with each breath.
Your mind is able to guide the Qi through your body by focusing on the pathway we have described above. You may prefer to take several complete breaths to move the energy through each segment of the pathway, or spend several breaths while focusing on each major stop (center of chest, Dan Tian, perineum, 2nd Lumbar vertebrae, and crown of head). With practice, your ability to feel the movement of energy and to guide the Qi will increase.
It is best to practice this Qi Gong meditation daily, increasing the length of time each week. Always complete your meditation by focusing your mind and breathe on your lower abdomen for several moments to guide the Qi back to your Dan Tian. Once you have mastered this Qi Gong meditation practice, you are ready to move on to more advanced meditations.