What are the benefits

The main reasons why people meditate today are to relax and recharge their energy, but there are actually more benefits than this to be gained. If you achieve a high level of meditation, the Chinese believe you can heal all your illnesses. One example is a friend of my teacher Yip Chun (who taught me the martial art of Wing Chun).

This friend had been suffering from a chronic disease for many years. People would turn away when he spoke to them because of the bad smell coming from his body. Doctors said that his lungs were very seriously damaged and that he would not live very long.

Thirty years after the illness had first been discovered, my teacher went back to his home town of Foshan in China, and saw his old friend again. But this time the friend looked very healthy, with a rosy face, and he had survived to reach the age of seventy. He said, 'I knew my health was not good, so I practised some Buddhist style meditation which I learned at school. At first I did half an hour a day, then slowly increased it to an hour, and now I wake up every morning at five o'clock and do my meditation until nine o'clock. Four hours every day, and now I have recovered.' In his meditation he uses a Full Lotus (see below), with his palms and the soles of his feet facing up to the sky. This helps all the negative energy to come out through his palms and soles and recharges his positive energy.

By doing meditation we also develop our healing powers, because it helps us transmit Qi to weak and sick people. During meditation you will feel the Qi flowing inside your body. When all the channels are clear the Qi will be very strong. Outside, the body feels soft, all the muscles and joints are relaxed; and this means the inside is strong (when the outside is Yin, the inside must be Yang). You cannot only feel the Qi but you will also see it. There are many different colours that come from our internal organs. You can see many different things -more than just with the eyes.

The mind is more powerful than the eyes and the body. Wherever you want to go is limited, but your mind can go even beyond the universe wherever you imagine you can go. At the highest level of meditation you bring yourself to be nothing -called Wu Wai. Then you become one with the universe, you go back to your own natural orbit and to your own rhythm. At that stage illness, damage and any other problems will be cleared by your Qi.

Many people practise their own style of meditation, sitting, standing, lying or in the lotus position. Some even use gestures or mantras. However, they still remain conscious of themselves -they cannot let go of their mantras to forget everything. It is like drinking tea -you have finished, but you are still holding your cup. Here are ten different methods of concentrating to prepare for meditation.

Concentration

1. IMAGINATION

Imagine the moon at the centre of your body, in your Dantien. Clouds drift slowly past and the moon disappears behind them" then it appears again. Combine this visualisation with your breathing.

2. REFLECTION

Imagine an object you like, such as a flower, a tree, the sun, the moon or a person, and put this visualisation in your Dantien.

3. WATCHING

Look at one object and forget everything else.

4. LISTENING

Imagine a sound like a steam train slowly pulling away in the distance, water dropping or a clock ticking.

5. MUSIC

You can listen to some beautiful music during meditation to bring yourself to a relaxed state.

6. COUNTING THE BREATH

Breathe in and breathe out while counting the length of each breath.

7. READING

Think of a poem or phrase (similar to mantra repetition).

8. CONCENTRATION

Let the distractions come and slowly achieve balance through concentrating on them.

9. LOCATION

Go to a peaceful place, let the atmosphere influence you, and then practise meditation.

10. NUMBERS

Count from one to a hundred during meditation.

All these methods will help you to achieve a quiet state and forget everything. In the beginning everyone has a problem with concentrating the mind, so: 'Use one thought to get rid of a thousand thoughts until everything is peaceful.'

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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