To close out the year, let’s go over some meditation practices you can do to circulate your energy. In a previous article, we talked about the Yin energy prevalent at this time of year. Because of this, it is a good time of year for internal meditative practice. With that in mind, here is some meditative work you can do.
Start by getting into a seated posture, either on a cushion, or if you have trouble sitting this way, sit in an armless chair. Either way, place your hands on your knees, and make sure that the spine is erect, but not stiff. Put your focus on the Lower Dan Tian area, and take deep breaths, imagining that you are filling this area with energy. You may experience heat or tingling, but do not pay any attention to it. Continue to relax and breathe deeply.
Now, as you inhale, bring the energy up from the Lower Dan Tian, through your spine, to your crown point. Feel it rise up the spine all the way to the crown point at what ever speed allows you to inhale comfortably. As you exhale, let the energy go down to the Upper Dan Tian, (third eye), over the eyes, back to the ears, and then in to the roof of the mouth, where your tongue is touching. From here, go from the tip of the tongue down the front of the throat, continuing down the center-line to the Lower Dan Tian to complete the cycle.
Try doing this, until you can do it comfortably in one breath. Take your time and focus only on the circulation of the energy along this path. In time, you may experience a spinning or turning of the Lower Dan Tian. Keep meditating and continue to circulate the energy. Spend some time doing this practice for a while, and when you are getting good results, move on to the next step. Be patient, as this may take some time before you can really do this well.
Repeat this same basic practice in the next step, but this time, as you go up the spine, rather than go directly up to the crown point, start at the tailbone, and try to feel each vertebrae, one at a time as you go up the spine. This is important, because you want to make sure that as you go up the spine, there are no skips or jumps in your energy flow. You may feel the energy reach the crown point, but that does not mean that it is going directly there. You want to practice at this level of detail to ensure that you are indeed following the whole path up the spine.
In a reclining position, you can work on the energy circulation in your arms and legs. As you inhale, follow the same path up the spine, but when you get to the point between the shoulder blades, (opposite the Middle Dan Tian), go down the outside of the arms to the fingertips. Then from the fingertips, go up the inside of the arms to the Middle Dan Tian, and from here, back down to the Lower Dan Tian to repeat. Keep flowing through this cycle as long as you can before moving on to the legs.
To work on the legs, from the Lower Dan Tian, go down the outside of the legs to the soles of the feet, (Bubbling Well). From here, go back up the inside of the legs to return to the Lower Dan Tian to start the cycle again. Remember to keep your focus so the the energy flows through the whole path without skips. Remain relaxed, but do not fall asleep. You have to guard against this when doing reclining meditation.
These are but a few examples of ways to practice your energy circulation, as well as take advantage of the Yin energy prevailing at this time of year. Try and spend time on all of these to set yourself up to take advantage of the coming rising Yang energy in the Spring. It will be well worth the effort. Best wishes to everyone in the coming year.