The Advanced Meditations of Taoism are taught in my book A Taoist Way of Life.
On this page are taught the three Basic introductory meditations of Taoism.
Find a comfortable place to sit were it is peaceful and you will not be disturbed.
Press play, close your eyes and open your ears.
Let these guided meditations take you on an internal journey.
1. Forming The Pearl
How to create a ball of positive glowing chi energy (the Pearl) in the lower tan tien energy center in the lower belly.
2. The Small Heavenly Orbit
How to circulate this pearl around the torso and head.
3. The Large Heavenly Orbit Meditation
How to circulate this pearl around the torso, head, arms and legs
In my book A Taoist Way of Life I teach the complete Advanced Taoist Meditation system.
To see what is involved, here is the contents page from the front of the book.
SECTION 1 – MY JOURNEY
Travels in South East Asia in the 1980’s
Training with Sifu Tan in Singapore
Meeting a Datu in Sumatra
Training with the Chinese Doctor in Bali
Training with Guru Madé Sudira in Bali
Meeting the Dalai Lama of Tibet in the Himalayas
SECTION 2 – THE TECHNIQUES
The Philosophy of A Taoist Way of Life
The Morality of A Taoist Way Of Life
The Taoist Idea of Chi
The Three Treasures of Taoism
The Lower Tan Tien
The Smile Energy Meditation
Forming the Pearl Meditation
Before and After Taoist Meditation
The Small Heavenly Orbit Discussion
The Small Heavenly Orbit Meditation
Taoist Reverse Abdominal Breathing
The Large Heavenly Orbit Discussion
The Large Heavenly Orbit Meditation
The Taoist Morning Meditation
The Taoist Way of Life Meditation System
The Elixir Of Life
The Pearl of Immortality
The Spirit Body
Transforming Ching, into Chi, into Shen by Reversing the Positions of Fire And Water Discussion
Transforming Ching, into Chi, into Shen by Reversing the Positions of Fire And Water
The Advanced Taoist Breathing System Of Miow Su – The Chinese Doctor
Miow Su’s Advanced Taoist Breathing Exercises
Level 1 – Upper Abdominal Breathing
Level 2 – Reverse Lower Abdominal Breathing
Level 3 – Upper Abdominal Breathing Combined with Reverse Lower Abdominal Breathing
Level 4 – Tortoise Breathing
Level 5 – Taoist Pelvic Floor Breathing
Level 6 – Advanced Taoist Reverse Lower Abdominal Breathing
Level 7 – Most Advanced Taoist Reverse Lower Abdominal Breathing
Level 8 – Advanced Taoist Breathing with the Pelvic Floor
The Heaven and Earth Meditation Discussion
The Heaven and Earth Meditation
The Sun and Moon Meditation Discussion
The Sun and Moon Meditation
The Yin and Yang Meditation Discussion
The Yin and Yang Meditation
The Five Senses Meditation Discussion
The Five Senses Meditation
The Five Positive Emotions Meditation Discussion
The Five Positive Emotions Meditation
The Five Positive Personality Characteristics Meditation Discussion
The Five Positive Personality Characteristics Meditation
The Spirit Body Meditations Discussion
The Spirit Body Meditation
Transformations of a Spiritual Dragon
Concepts of Taoist Philosophy
The Wandering Taoist
Hermit in the City
The Sea of Tao
A Different Path through the Bamboo Forest
Q & A with Paul about A Taoist Way of Life
The History of Taoism
One of the most influential books of Taoism was the Tao Teh Ching. It was written by Lao Tzu in the 6th-century BC.
The Tao Teh Ching is translated as The Book of The Way and its Virtue.
Tao = Way
Teh = Virtue
Ching = Book
Originally the book title had Teh before Tao meaning that virtue (how you conduct yourself in your relationships with others), was more important than trying to find Tao. Lao Tzu encourages the avoidance of arrogance and egotism and stresses the cultivation of virtue and peacefulness. The Tao Teh Ching is a series of short verses that poetically express some of the ideas of Taoism. These ideas are clearly reflected in our practice of Chinese Martial Arts. Chapter 76 is particularly relevant:
A man is born gentle and weak
At his death he is hard and stiff
Green plants are tender and filled with sap
At their death they are withered and dry
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life
Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle
A tree that is unbending is easily broken
The hard and strong will fall
The soft and flexible will overcome
Lao Tzu also wanted people to appreciate that a life of violence would result in a violent death, so he stressed the importance of cultivating virtue. All those who practice Chinese Martial Arts also follow this code. We train to build our selves up rather that bring others down and we only use the fighting aspects of our art to protect ourselves when we are attacked, or to protect our family and friends or those innocent people who are unable to defend themselves. The long term objectives of Chinese Martial Arts are to develop good self protection skills but also to cultivate a good character, increase one’s health both physically, emotionally and mentally and to enhance and develop one’s Chi-Energy and Shen-Spirit. At an advanced level Chinese Martial Arts are not something that we do, it is something that we live.
Legend says that at the age of eighty Lao Tzu became aware that he was reaching the end of his life and so decided to pass through the western gate out of China and into the vastness of the Himalayas. (The western gate is a metaphor for death). The guardian of the western gate recognized the wise old man and asked him to write down his philosophy before he left and so Lao Tzu wrote The Tao Te Ching.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity whilst in China to visit a temple dedicated to Lao Tzu near to what used to be the western gate of ancient China in what is now the central Chinese city of Chengdu. The temple had vast grounds with many smaller temples and pagodas and gardens within it. I was there on a festival day, so it was very busy. Some people were visiting the different shrines and making offerings and others were in the tea house eating the temple’s amazing vegetarian food, which was combined with medicinal herbs. Whilst at the temple I was able to purchase from one of the Taoist monks some rubbings of ancient stone carvings kept at the temple. They show the ancient meditation for attaining balance, health and longevity through the transformation of Ching-essence to Chi-energy to Shen-spirit.
Within the temple grounds was a beautiful eight sided tower called Lao Tzu’s Pa Kua Pagoda which pilgrims were continuously walking around.
Lao Tzu’s Pa Kua Pagoda
Facing this wonderful building on the wall of the great temple hall opposite was a huge Yin Yang diagram painted in the ancient style.
The Original Ancient Version of Yin and Yang
What the original Taoists were trying to convey by choosing to depict Yin and Yang in this way was that it was movement within Wu Chi that created a spiral of energy that created Yin and Yang. In our practice of Chinese Martial Arts we become a spiral of energy.
Within our Chinese Martial Arts we can feel that our intention creates movement. This generates spiraling chi within us, which causes the various Yin and Yang interactions in the body. We rise up and sink down, turn left and right, twist and unwind, spin clockwise and anti clockwise, coil and release, rotate and unfold, inhale and exhale, open and close, compress and release. We embody within us all the coiling and uncoiling energy generating expressions of Yin and Yang one can imagine.
When practicing Chinese Martial Arts the overwhelming sensation is that there is a spiraling force moving through us and around us. This spiral of energy connects us with Heaven and Earth, it gathers chi into us and spirals it around our spine, it makes us feel sturdy and strong.
The transformation from Wu Chi to Yin and Yang, from formlessness to physical reality is not a single event but an ongoing process. The Chinese Martial Arts are about being able to change and transform effortlessly when fighting an opponent but can also be a metaphor for the ongoing process of change and transformation within our lives.
The idea of changing with changing circumstances, of transforming oneself into a better martial artist and a more mature person is subtle and complex and cannot be easily explained. Tao also cannot be comprehended with the mind, nor can it be specifically defined simply because we are all different and each follow our own path through life, we each follow our own Tao, our own Way.
To try and explain how outside the normal restraints of the logical mind we have to go to catch a glimpse of the Tao consider this idea by another famous Taoist called Chuang Tzu (369 BCE – 286 BCE). He said that in a dream he was a butterfly but upon awakening he wondered if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a Chuang Tzu.
The strange twists and turns of Chinese Martial Arts are like the strange twists and turns of life. In Chinese Martial Arts unless the applications are explained it is not clear what is going on. In life if you do not have a philosophy of life how do you know what is really going on?
The Tao, The Way, is ultimately about the unknown, about the mystery of the life that we live, about learning to live with the unknowing. Here is a story about an old man who understood the true reality of the Tao.
There was an old man who had only one son. The local villagers said:
‘Bad luck’. He replied, ‘Who can tell’.
There was a great storm and the gate of the old man’s field was blown open and his only horse ran away up into the hills. The local villagers said:
‘Bad luck’. He replied, ‘Who can tell’.
His horse returned the next day with a whole heard of wild horses. The old man closed the gate and now had a field full of horses. The local villagers said:
‘Bad luck’. He replied, ‘Who can tell’.
His only son tried to tame one of the wild horses and was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. The local villagers said:
‘Bad luck’. He replied, ‘Who can tell’.
The next day the troops from the Emperor’s army came to the village and every family had to enlist one son into the army, where they would most likely die in the ongoing war. Of course, because of his broken leg, the old mans son was exempt from service.
What is good luck and what is bad luck is not always clear at the time. It is best to be like the old man. Good luck? – Bad luck? – who can tell?
When we practice Chinese Martial Arts we find that it enables us to be transported into a different state of being. A spiritual component within us is set free to connect with the flow of the natural world, something greater than ourselves.
This experience is different with each person and cannot be easily explained because it is beyond the capacity of the mind to grasp. As a spiritual meditation, at the highest level, Chinese Martial Arts are a system for finding Tao but because the Tao is elusive and mysterious it is a long journey to find the Tao.
Chuang Tzu (369 BCE – 286 BCE), wrote a poetic symbolic story about his experience:
“The Yellow Emperor,
on his way back from Kun Lun mountain,
lost the mysterious pearl of the Tao.
He sent Knowledge to find it,
but Knowledge was unable to understand it.
He sent Eloquence,
but Eloquence was unable to describe it.
Finally, he sent Empty Mind,
and Empty Mind came back with the pearl.”
My final thoughts on The Tao
When you look for it ahead, you feel its presence behind you,
when you look back you sense it approaching from in front!
The true nature of the Tao is impossible to truly grasp, it is a mystery.
We do not ever find the answer to the mystery,
but through the journey, we learn to live the mystery.
Paul teaches Public Martial Arts Classes in Greatham near Liss GU33 in Hampshire.
Paul teaches Private Martial Arts Lessons at his Martial Arts Training Hall in Greatham near Liss GU33 in Hampshire.
Paul has written many Chinese Martial and Healing Arts Books.