Meditation in Health Qigong
As a functional state of Qigong experienced by practitioners, meditation mainly manifests relatively simply conceptual work with reduced distracting thoughts. The ancients had described the situation long ago. Just like the words given by Hu Sansheng, a historian who giving explanatory notes to the historical book Zizhi Tongjian (History as a Mirror) living in the occasion the Yuan Dynasty succeeding the Song:"The mediator will solely stay in a room quietly, reject everything and think nothing etc."
The degree of meditation will be decided by the depth of practicing, which often presents a situation of tranquility and nothingness in subjective feeling. The circumstance goes thorough step by step with the progress of training and different practicers and even the same practicer in his every practice will display various sensation. The tentative meditation manifests mental calm, stable sentiment, concentrated spirit, lessened distracting thoughts, which shows weak response for the stimulus from inside and outside. Further, after training, the mood will be more purified. Subjectively, only breath continues with the coordination of mental activities and breathing, tranquil mind and single-mined thought.
The Physiological effect of Meditation
Meditation boasts a wide and significant physiological meaning for body. Firstly, it plays an active protective effect for body when people come into the situation. As we all know, exciting and suppressive activities are the basic process of higher nervous activities and all reflection including advanced conceptual work rely on the exciting process of nerve cells. Owning to the conversion consumption of biochemical components along with the exciting activity, a long-lasting and too strong process may lead to the dysfunction of higher nervous center. According to the law of higher nervous activity, only claiming the close coordination with the process of inhibition, the process of excitation could perform its normal functions. Just like other physiological internal inhibition, the internal inhibition in the state of meditation not only assures the precise realization of diverse reflection, but also plays protective, adjustive and resumptive roles for the brain cells biochemical components and physiological functions. People's body is a high-performance and multi-layered biocontrol system. However, cerebral hemisphere is an adjustive hub of automatic control system. And all the physiological processes of the whole body, organs and cellular level are active under the control of higher nervous center. When in meditation, brain wave tends to synchronization, and the activity of brain cells reach ordering. The functional activities of higher nervous center is strengthened and the adjustive roles of nerves are further improved. Thus, the whole body will evolve into a new dynamic balance. In addition, the state will lead to reduced basic metabolism and declined unit oxygen consumption. In sleeping,10% unit oxygen consumption will be saved compared with the state of waking state and the oxygen consumption in meditation will be further lowered than in sleeping. Moreover, the inhibition from qigong can supplement and recover the material composition of brain cells. Relying on the states of a lowered entropy production rate of engine body, the reduced cortical hormone and growth hormone contents in plasma and the increased central neurohumour 5-hydroxytryptamine level and so like in meditation, we can know the meditation is a physiological low energy metabolic process and from which a good stored energy function is realized accordingly. When in meditation, a strengthened activity of a -wave of brain wave, an enlarged amplitude and the various a -wave tending to synchronization in each area will be displayed. Meanwhile, the wave characterizes slowed frequency and stable rhythm. According to experimental observation and practicing experience, we think meditation is a constituent special structure dynamic stereotype reflected by qigong complex conditions, dotted with a series of benign activity focus of excitement, based on some deep and wide internal inhibition for cerebral cortex.
Sensation Frequently Appeared in Meditation
In practice, cerebral cortex will be in a special phase due to a relaxed body, gently breathing and omphaloskepsis, which has a responsive influence for the organization structures of main and collateral channels, qi and blood and viscera. As a result, a variety of physiological changes will be produced in the contents of body or on body surface and this exactly is the physiological basis of diverse senses in meditation. Apparently, various effects are another pattern of manifestation in the state of meditation.
We will see in practice that the effects and sensation of clear mind, pleasurable mood and stable spirit often to be obtained in meditation. The body or some parts often feel tepidity, coolness, muscle bouncing, flighty, heaviness and tenesmus, laxation, striction, hot-gas sense, current conveyance sense and numbing and cosiness etc. In short, diverse sensation could be felt in meditation. According to the summary of ancients, sixteen senses could be gotten such as movement, itching, coolness, warmness, lightness, heaviness, dryness, smoothness. In addition, another eight senses could be felt such as dropping, relying, coldness, warmth, flotation, falling and softness. The above scenes are normal, which we shall not seek or fear. Instead, practicers should let the things go hang and continue their exercise.
The factors affects meditation are nothing more than advantages and disadvantages. Practicers shall fully make the best of favorable factors to lessen or reject unfavorable ones in assuring the smooth development of the meditation in practice. The favorable factors:
1.Quiet environment and soft light ray reduce the stimulation of extraneous factors for cerebral cortex, which is in favor of the acquisition and development of qigong practice.
2. The indoors exercise with suitable temperature and fresh air often make people relaxed and happy, which plays an active role in entering meditation.
3.Joyful and optimistic mood often brings mental calm and heartsease as well as clear mind, which is good for entering meditation.
4.Correct practicing methods and operational key points is the essential conditions in entering meditation.
5.Firm confidence is the ideological basis for practicing qigong well. When practicing, personal subjective initiative role should be played. And only with painstakingly practice and restraining distracting thoughts, a smooth meditation could be achieved.
As for the disadvantages,
1. Thought burden and mental pressure may distort mind and give birth to various thoughts, which is bad for entering meditation.
2.A rush for quick results or blind pursuing or improper exertion in practicing or deliberately seeking for some kind of scene may make stressed and excited mind, which is bad for meditation.
3.Sickness could lead to uneasy mind and also make pain for body. The above factor is sheer malignant stimulus and certainly affect meditation.
Common Methods In Entering Meditation
All practicers consider meditation as a significant link and the following regular methods could be alternatively used by integrating the practicing methods and experience from ancient and modern times.
1.Omphaloskepsis:the thought will be focused on the part of the public region. The concrete mind concentration methods could be seen in the artile titled “The Issues of Mind Concentration in Health Qigong” in the last issue.
2.Meditationn:the expressions with good implication in the practicing process should be selected and used for meditation like relaxing quietly, sitting quietly and bodybuilding, indifferent to fame or gain, as well as nothingness. When entering meditation, people often forget meditation activity bit by bit. In addition, the method is used to purify thoughts when distracting thoughts come again.
3.Regulating of Breathing: by adjusting breath, a harmonious breath and coordination of mental activities and breathing could be reached. When idea is concentrated on the phase of regulating of breathing, the thought activity is comparatively simplication and thus the result of "regulated breath and stable mind" could be achieved.
4.Counting Breath: the breath in practicing will be counted and one time of inhaling and exhaling will be called a breath. Only the inhaling could be counted from one to ten or hundred. Ordinarily, the method of recurring breath counting is adopted. And thus it moves in cycles.
5.Listening Breath: with the method, the breath will be heard in practicing. The method not only induce people to meditation, but also strengthen omphaloskepsis.
Practicers will have fantasy before them like the rising sun and bright moon, white clouds and blue sky, green mountain and clear water, vast ocean, bluish green cypress and pines. The above scenes will lead to single idea and tranquil mental state.
7.Induction Method: when practicing, practicers shall put their hands on the lower abdomen softly(the public region).The hands shall rise and fall along with breathing movements and from which mind concentration is achieved. The method will not only induce to enter meditation, but also contribute to concentrate mind.
8.Mind Concentration Indoor Scene: when in practice, a beautiful painting table will be set by illusion in the public region and the table is internally watched with mind concentration. Li Shizhen said:"the interior scene of internal organs and main and collateral channels only could be observed by some kind of practicers."Also in the scope of fixing people's minds on the internal organs, the method could play the roles of eliminating districting ideas and purifying thoughts.
9.Mind Concentration of Viscera: When some organ catch illness, practicers could exert mind concentration on the organ such as heart and kidney etc. However, we shall remind you specially that the mind concentration shall not apply to the organ with malaise absolutely providing against much worse condition. The method not only is good for meditation, but also helps to increase therapeutic effects on some degree.