Taoist meditation evolved in China over thousands of years and is one of Taoists' most important tools for achieving the ultimate goal of inner peace by focusing on the body, mind and breath. While methods and goals vary somewhat, Taoist meditation generally aims to improve the creation, quality, and circulation of internal energy through certain movements, chants, and breathing techniques.
There are two primary components of Taoist mediation: Jing (meaning "calm" or "still") and ding (meaning "focus" or "concentration"). Taoist meditators seek internal stillness that will allow them to focus entirely on their purpose. Chi (or qi) is the inner energy or life force that Taoist meditation is purported to enhance. It takes time, however: Only through prolonged training in meditation can Taoists learn to increase and fully experience chi.
While Taoist meditation has both physical and spiritual purposes, its overarching goal is to reach a state of complete inner peace by silencing external stimuli and turning completely inward. Once that peace is achieved, the body can begin to regenerate and work at top strength, promoting better health and a more youthful appearance. Taoist meditation also provides adherents with deeper insights and awareness as well as spiritual awakening.
Mental & Vocal Techniques
Many Taoist meditators focus the mind on breathing: the rise and fall of the chest, the expansion and deflation of the abdomen, and the sensation of air passing through the nostrils. Visualization is also popular. Some meditators envision or stare directly at a calming object, such as a burning candle or the likeness of a deity. Chanting certain syllables, such as om or ah, can have a harmonizing and stabilizing effect while helping to calm the mind.
Taoist meditation can be comfortably practiced in a seated position, using a pillow or cushion for support, with the legs crossed. Ensure that the spine and coccyx are aligned with the crown of the head. Another technique is to sit upright on a comfortable stool or chair, keeping the spine erect, the knees at a 90-degree angle, and the feet on the floor to promote contact with the earth's energy.
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