Whether you’ve been practicing energy meditation in the form of qigong, Core Energy Meditation, pranayama, kundalini, or some other system for awhile, or if you’re just beginning, I think you’ll find the following eight tips helpful for your progress. Many of these tips you can apply to any other type of meditation practice as well.
Meditation is a practice of focusing your attention on a specific object or in a specific way for a period of time. Energy meditation means that you are using imagination and feeling of your life energy, prana, or “qi” (“chee”) as your focal object. The energy centers and pathways through your body are a great way to meditate because they give your mind an active path to follow. It’s interesting and it generally feels great-especially when you’ve developed your skills.
Energy meditation grounds you in the present moment in your body, which is an effective way to “get out of your head.” It also has tremendous health benefits, including activation of your natural relaxation response, improved posture, tension release, improved circulation, deeper breathing, coherent brain and heart function, and improved immune response. Energy meditation helps you to feel at ease, positive, and vitally alive. Most importantly, it connects you to the essence level of “who you are” and “what you are here to do.” It connects you to your inner guidance, deeper purpose, and feelings of oneness with Life.
In the Chinese system of qigong and in Core Energy Meditation, we focus on three primary energy centers or dantians (“dahn-tee-ens”) in your body:
1. Your lower dantian or Body Center in your lower abdomen which relates to your primal life force and physical vitality.
2. Your middle dantian or Heart Center in the center of your chest which relates to your refined feelings and qualities of interaction with others including appreciation, gratitude, trust, compassion, and love.
3. Your upper dantian or Mind Center in the center of your brain which relates to your mind powers of insight, imagination, intuition, and concentration as well as your ability to calmly observe your experiences without being overwhelmed by them.
When you first practice imagining and feeling your energy centers, you may not imagine or feel much at all. It may be a challenge to keep focused on them during your practice. It’s also common that you might feel one of them but not the others, or two of them and not the third. What you experience depends on your natural aptitude for visualization and kinesthetic sensing, the degree of activation of your energy centers, and how much you have practiced feeling inside your body.
No matter where you stand in your ability to visualize and feel inside your body, it’s O.K. You can benefit from applying yourself to the practice, no matter what your current abilities. If you practice consistently over time, you’ll gradually awaken your ability to perceive, feel, gather, circulate, refine, and still your inner life force. I’ve practiced energy meditation for over 25 years and find myself improving these abilities year by year.
As you grow your abilities, you will also notice positive effects in your ability to sense inner guidance, make good choices, be present, and follow through on your best intentions. You will come to feel more at home, healthy, and positive in your body, heart, mind, and spirit. You will develop a consistent strong, positive, clear and coherent personal energetic vibration, or what I like to call a “Core Energy State.” Here are eight tips to keep you progressing.
Eight Tips for Effective Energy Meditation:
1. First and foremost, practice daily. If you are practicing only when you think you need it, know that there is much more for you in the practice than merely using it to calm and come back to center when you get “stressed out” (though this is certainly important). If you practice every day, you’ll discover that you are better able to process the experiences and tensions of the last 24-hour period so that you approach life in a much more clear, relaxed, positive, and Px7 primal flow focused way.
You may also notice the difference when you miss even a day of practice as unresolved tensions begin to cloud your perception and affect how you feel. It’s common in the first several years of practice, to experience letting go of “old stuff” that may bubble up into your consciousness as you meditate. The more you release these past held tensions, the more you can live freely in the present.
To encourage your daily practice, I suggest that you choose an amount of time that seems very reasonable to you, maybe 15-20 minutes, and schedule it at the same time every day (for example, first thing in the morning). Though it may be challenging to wake up earlier at first, it’s likely that you’ll start to look forward to waking up and getting into a “Core Energy State.”
The most important reason for daily practice is that each time you sit down you will be able to move right into your practice and build on what you’ve done the day before. You’ll stay in the flow of it. If you practice sporadically or infrequently you will, in a sense, “always be starting over.”
2. If you’ve been practicing consistently for awhile, you may want to consider increasing the amount of time you devote to your practice. While 15-20 minutes daily is fantastic, you may find that meditating longer will deepen and strengthen the benefits. You can get into progressively deeper, clearer, and quieter states the longer you meditate.
It’s common for the first 10-15 minutes of practice to involve a lot of mind chatter that progressively quiets down the longer you continue. If you sit for 30-40 minutes or more, you may have more time in a quieter state. The additional time will grow the influence of this state in your mind and body and make it a more reliable reference point to which you can more easily return.
To increase your time, you may consider doing one longer session per week or maybe two longer sessions per week on the weekend days. However, don’t give yourself too much to do that it becomes a chore. Lengthen your time as your natural desire increases.
3. Besides increasing your overall time, you can increase the time that you spend focusing on any one energy center. For example, you may find it easy to focus into the center of your brain, but harder to focus into your heart or your lower abdomen. It’s common to have one or more of these centers that is easier to focus on and one or more that is more challenging.
When you first start practicing, you may tend to want to spend more time in the energy cen