Growing Your Spiritual Flower
One of the more common Tao Gong standing meditation practices is the drain, compress and charge sequence. When first working on this sequence, you may have problems feeling anything, as I did when I first began practicing it. This month I would like to share a visualization I used to help me with this. Each of us has to picture these practices in a way that works for us individually, but hopefully this can get you started.
First you start with your palms over the Lower Dan Tian, imagining that your Lower Dan Tian is a seed. In order for that seed to grow, you need good clean soil. Open the palms to bring out a Taichi Ball, and continue to let the palms open and drop down, until they are pointing 45 degrees down and out with the palms up. When you exhale, imagine rain falling down to wash all the impurities down into the earth, to purify the soil around your seed. Concentrate on the tips of your fingers and let the impurities flow into the earth. As you inhale focus on the pure rain continuing to come in from above, not on the fingertips, so that you release the impurities you are trying to drain.
Now, start to drop the arms downward, around behind you, and begin to gather a Taichi Ball. Make sure that you gather all the energy from the earth, all the energy from the left side of the universe, all the energy from the right side of the universe and compress it into a Taichi Ball in front of your Middle Dan Tian. You are gathering energy to form a bud, that is connected to the seed in your Lower Dan Tian. Compress that energy into as small and dense a bus as you can. Bring the hands as close together as you can without touching. Put all of your awareness into that dense compressed bud, turning all the senses inward. Meditate on that condensed energy, making it as strong and dense as you can.
Next, feel as if the sun is shining down on that bud, and let it begin to grow upward. Move it very slowly upward in a straight line, following your center-line through the throat, chin, nose, Upper Dan Tian, all the way up through the crown-point. Continue upward going as high as you can imagine, letting that bud reach for the sun. Then, begin to open your arms, imagining the bud opening up into a beautiful flower. Open until the palms are 45 degrees up and out, the palms inward toward you. Gather in all the sky energy and feel it charging up your whole energy field.
Then, bring the palms down to hold a Taichi Ball in front of you and meditate with the energy you have gathered. Repeat this whole process three times, meditating as long as you can in each of the three postures. The last time, after charging, let your arms continue to open, until they are 45 degrees down and out as in the draining posture, but this time you are bringing all the energy down to surround your whole body. Meditate in this energy field and then, to finish, bring the palms around behind a Taichi Ball and bring it into your Dan Tian to finish.
As I said at the start, each of us needs to find visualizations that work for us, but hopefully, this will be an aid to get you started with this practice and reap the benefits it has to offer sooner. This is a really important practice for your energy development and one that will help you progress on your Taichi journey.