As practitioners of life cultivation, we engage in practicing the Jingzuo Technique (dazuo, panzuo, meditation) everyday. The Jingzuo Technique is promoted by the Taoist in life cultivation practice and we religiously follow it.
According to relevant information, Zhang Xueliang, a young Chinese Marshal who lived for one hundred and one years, often practiced the Jingzuo Technique when he was a young man. Here we will discuss some Jingzuo Technique basics.
Preparation before Practicing
It is best to find a quiet room for practicing the Mustang Jingzuo Technique. If conditions do not allow it, then we may use our bedroom. The windows should be opened to allow air to circulate, but it is not suitable to sit at a place where the wind blows. The door should be closed to better avoid disturbance.
When we practice Jingzuo, we sit down. We may sit on a bench, a yoga mat, a meditation chair, or our bed. If we sit on the bed, it should be flat with a quilt or cushion on it, so that it is soft and thick for us to sit for a long time.
Before sitting, we should loosen our waist belt, so that our muscles are not restrained and the vital-energy flow is not blocked. These are the preparations we should do before entering Jingzuo.
For those of us who are weak, we may practice Jingzuo lying in bed. However, we generally practice Jingzuo sitting down.
When we sit down, we may choose from one of several postures, meaning sedan-style (sitting on a meditation chair), natural-style, single-cross-legged style, and double-cross-legged style.
Among them, the double-cross-legged style is the recommended style, known as the posture of Enlightenment, as witnessed on many statues of Buddha. It is also known as the seven-point sitting method.
Of course, Taoist practice follows Nature. It does not require practitioners to adopt the double-cross-legged style of sitting. A practitioner can choose whatever sitting posture he feels most comfortable.
When sitting cross-legged, we should keep the following points in mind:
The back half of the buttocks should be raised a little higher. We may use a cotton pad or a thin pillow as a cushion, usually three to five centimeters, so that the waist will be straightened naturally. If we do not straighten our waist, our vital-energy flow will be blocked. Then we will feel drowsy and we will also feel psoas muscle fatigue.
The head should be up and the neck should be straight. The lower jaw should be slightly retracted, and the tip of the tongue should touch the upper palate. Because of daily habits, most people tend to tilt their head to one side or the other.
If you want to correct the posture, you may put a mirror in front to see if your head is in a normal state. You may also ask someone to help you to adjust your head and neck positions. Sooner or later you will get the feeling of a straight head and neck. This posture will automatically correct imbalances and vital-energy flow in your body.
Your Mind and Breathing
After we sit down, we do not rush to close our eyes. Instead, we first try to calm our mind, breathe calmly using the nine-cloud technique, and wait for our mood to calm down.
Once we manage to breathe evenly, then we slowly close our eyes. We close our eyes lightly or leave a slit for light to enter. If you do not understand, go and look at the seven-point sitting method of a Buddha in a Buddhist temple, or a picture online.
We then focus our attention on our breathing, silently counting from one to nine while we inhale using the nine-cloud technique, without counting while we exhale.
For people who are healthy but short-tempered, they may count their exhales from one to nine, without counting while they inhale.
In this way, we continue with our breathing practice. In Mustang Life Cultivation, we combine the Mustang Tuna Technique with the Mustang Jingzuo Technique to improve our experience in Meditation.
When counting your breath, you should focus on your breathing and nothing else. Silently and mentally count your breath. Listen to your breath with your ears. Concentrate fully with all your mind, just like a hen brooding an egg.
You should gradually adjust your breathing so that it becomes deep, long, even, slow, and soft.
Your breathing should be deep and long. It means that your breathing should not be in short spurts, but continuous. You should slowly lengthen the time of each breath and you will slowly feel your breath penetrating deep into your body, driving the vital-energy flow.
Your breathing should be even, meaning your breath should not be fast or slow, and the speed should be uniform.
Your breathing should be slow, meaning your breathing should be slow and not urgent.
Your breathing should be soft, meaning your breathing should be gentle, intentionally or unintentionally, as if you are not breathing.
Once your breathing skill reaches a certain level of concentration with no distracting thoughts, you may then change the count from one to eighteen. As you improve, you may then change the count from one to twenty seven.
Once you can perform your breathing with a count from one to twenty seven without distracting thoughts, you have satisfactorily completed Level One of the Mustang Jingzuo Technique. Once you have reached this standard, you have achieved Mind Cultivation Level One.
Now you can control your temperament and desires. You now have a compassionate heart. You can start to practice Level Two of the Jingzuo Technique.
For beginners, the following three situations may arise during your practice of the Mustang Jingzuo Technique.
When you practice the Jingzuo Technique, you may feel drowsy and doze off. Some of you may regard drowsiness as a form of enlightenment, especially if you are in a state of tranquility, that your mind is very clear, your body and mind are refreshed. On the other hand, drowsiness and confusion will lead to your body and mind being in a cloudy and ignorant condition.
There are three main reasons leading to drowsiness.
(01) You eat too much or your foods are too greasy. You must eat less, and you should also eat less meat. The meat you eat contains the resentment of animals when they die. This kind of corpse poison will appear in ordinary people as they grow older.
(02) Your sitting posture is incorrect. You may think that you are sitting the right way, but as you sit, your body will go out of shape, and the waist will slowly bend. It is easy for you to feel drowsy when you lower your head and arch your waist.
(03) Your work and rest time are out of balance. If you are too tired to work or do other things before practicing Jingzuo, it is best to sleep for half an hour before practicing.
In your daily practice, read Taoist scriptures. It will purify your mind.
In your practice, you may also experience the eight phenomena such as soreness, numbness, swelling, pain, sinking, cooling, ants-crawling, muscle-tweeting, and muscle-trembling that appear during the practice. These are all normal. They are called the Eight Touches. Let everything be as it is. Do not think about it all the time.
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Folks, that is all for now. If you think this article may be beneficial to your friends and loved-ones, feel free to forward this article to them. Life cultivation is mostly for older people with declining body health. If you are young and energetic, this may not be your cup of tea. However, if you have family members or friends who are middle-aged or older, they may want to practice life cultivation to maintain a life without pain or medication.
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