Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teaching Experience (2) - Principle of Daoist Breathing

In "Ling Bao Bi Fa" cultivation practice, one needs to know its various breathing methods. There is an underlying principle of how to breath during the practice. I believe that by practicing the breathing methods involved separately will be beneficial to the overall practice and hence I suggested this to Master Wang. He said, "That's fine, just do what you think will work." So during the seminar, I used my own version of daoyin to guide the participants to practice breathing. In the beginning, some old students who notice that my daoyin words were different from Master Wang's and so they objected. Master Wang explained to them, "Xiao Shen has his own ideas on the practice, try follow along and maybe you can understand it eventually." And no objected anymore. Practicing breathing methods separately can help the participants to improve quickly and getting a higher quality practice session. Breathing is the foundation of foundation. The ancient says that, "Teach the methods but not the Fire." The fire here means the combinations of intention and breathings.

Later on, I assembled all the breathing methods that Master Wang has taught and wrote an article entitled, "Breathing methods During Meditation" and published it on a magazine. In 2001, I refined the instructions on the breathing methods again to help other to understand and do it better. In 2005, I merged all the breathing methods together and wrote another article called "Systematic Method of Breathing" and presented it in an international conference. The presentation was received very well. In 2007, being influenced by my new understanding of "Ling Bao Bi Fa" and Master Wang's instructions, I re-edited "Systematic Method of Breathing" and renamed it "Opening and Closing, Rising and Falling---Principle of breathing." I converted this into slides in help me present it to a wider audience.

In general, beginners usually neglect the importance of breathing, they thought it's very easy and so don't usually take it seriously. This can has adverse effects on their practice since beginning dandao utilize "youwei" methods and breathing is the most important aspect of it. Without a good foundation in breathing, it's hard to get to advanced level.

One needs to understand the different aspects of breathing practice, one should know and be able to follow the method correctly and understand the reasons and effect of each method. Without a teacher to explain and daoyin, it's really difficult to master the methods. In summary, breathing is an important topic in dandao that needs to be carefully addressed by every serious practitioner.