This 10-minute guided breathing exercise was recorded on my 2011 Crete retreat. It’s an easy breathing practice, particularly good for beginners, that covers some of the primary points you want to focus on when you come to sit.
The 16 nei gong create the structure, content and principles that guide all Tao meditation and energy arts, forming the science of how the body, mind and qi can be developed and integrated to their full potential. Taoists used meditation practices over thousands of years to go inside themselves and discover what was there.
Through this long history of practice and direct perception, they developed the nei gong system as a method for cleansing the human physical and energetic bodies. The process entails removing all blocks, kinks, knots and reconnecting any breaks or holes within the human energetic matrix. Therefore, we do not create a nei gong weave but, in essence, are a nei gong weave. Taoist practices are about repairing and developing that which exists naturally within us.
Emancipation or freedom from slavery and bondage is ultimately what the human spirit craves. From the perspective of your spirit, slavery encompasses how the attachments in your life—such as sex, material items, money, power and all that they bring—prevent you from being free. Bondage has to do with the ways in which your ego (or collection of identities) and your karmic loops bind you into the reality you experience, and thereby limit your human growth.
So the question is:
How can you free your spirit and, in so doing, realise your human potential?
There are many approaches to meditation from traditional to New Age. Some methods focus purely on relaxation and the ability to reduce stress, whereas others seek to encompass the full spectrum of a spiritual path that can ultimately culminate in Enlightenment. The range, depth and focus of meditation is wide and varied, but all traditional forms agree that proficiency in meditation must be developed over time with dedicated and regular practice.
The sixth nei gong component of 16 that comprises the science of qi energy development underlying all Tao meditation and energy arts in the Water method is applied to bend and stretch the body in specific ways: namely, bending and stretching the body from the inside out and the outside in along the direction of the yin and yang acupuncture meridians. This class of techniques provides the methodology for working with the body’s soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. Loosening and releasing bound tension and restricted areas in the soft tissues though bend and stretch are absolute prerequisites for more advanced twisting, and eventually spiralling nei gong techniques, as well as introductory qi techniques.