Regulating the mind means to regulate and control the Emotional Mind (Xin, ) This practice has always been the most difficult subject to understand and train in Nei Dan Qigong (ft^H^) practice. Here you are dealing with your own mind. Everyone has his own thinking and emotional disturbance. Thus, it is also the most difficult subject to explain.
The methods of regulating the mind have been widely studied, discussed, and practiced in all Chinese Qigong societies, which include scholar, medical, religious, and martial arts groups. In this section, we will study the conclusions of these four schools. We will define the mind, and the purposes of regulating the mind. Then, we will discuss the thinking process from the Buddhist point of view. Finally, we will analyze the methods of regulating the mind.
Two Minds—Xin and Yi ' . To regulate the mind is actually to regulate the "heart" (Tiao Xin, f^) The Chinese believe that the "heart" is closely related to our emotional thinking and reaction.
As explained before, in Chinese society, it is commonly recognized that we have two minds. The one mind that is related to our emotional feeling is called "Xin" (><*) (heart). This mind is Yang and makes you confused, scattered, depressed, and excited. The other mind, which is related to our rational and logical thinking is called "Yi" (1h) (intention). This mind is Yin and makes you calm, concentrated, and able to feel and ponder deeply. The Chinese word "Yi" (It) is constructed of three words: " Sl " on the top means "to establish," " 9 " in the middle means "to speak," and " at the bottom means the "heart." From this you can see that the meaning of Yi is "to establish communication (an opinion) with the emotional mind under control." This means logical thinking and judgment.
Purposes of Regulating the Mind ^-S There are many different purposes or goals for regulating the mind. These purposes can be varied from one school to another. For example, the Qigong practitioners in scholar and medical Qigong societies are aiming for a calm, peaceful, and harmonious mind so the emotional mind will not disturb the body's Qi circulation. As discussed earlier, it is believed that our thinking can seriously influence the normal healthy Qi circulation of the body. For instance, if you are happy and excited, the Qi status in your heart will be too Yang and can trigger a heart attack. If you are angry, the Qi level in your liver will be abnormal and affect the liver's healthy functioning. In the same way the Qi circulation in kidneys is related to fear, while that of the lungs is related to sadness. Therefore, if you are able to regulate your emotional mind to a harmonious and peaceful state, you will be healthy.
However, for Daoist and Buddhist religious groups, in addition to regulating the emotional mind to a calm and peaceful state, they are also aiming for Buddhahood and enlightenment. Therefore, once they have controlled the emotional mind and developed their wisdom mind to a profound stage, they will ponder and search for the meaning of life and of nature.
Finally, the martial arts Qigong practitioners aim to raise up the Spirit of Vitality and build up a highly concentrated mind to develop a sense of enemy. This is critical in battle. While your mind is calm and clear, your Shen must be raised up to a state of high alertness.
However, it does not matter what goals each school is aiming at, the basic training rules and principles remain the same. In order to reach their goals, they must follow the same training path. To conclude, the purposes of regulating the mind are:
In order to have a calm meditative mind, you must first regulate the condition of your physical body. When your body is tense and energized, your mind will be excited and breathing will be faster. Therefore, the body and the mind must coordinate and harmonize with each other. This is called "The balance of the body and the Xin" (Shen Xin Ping Heng, fy ) The Complete Book of Principal Contents of Human Life and Temperament J: a said: "(When) the body is not moving, then the Xin will be peaceful. (When) the Xin is not moving (disturbing), then the Shen can abide by itself."22 Therefore, the first step in regulating the mind is to calm the body. Once the body is calm, the mind can then be calm. When the emotional mind is calm, then the wisdom mind can function efficiently. Only once the mind is calm and peaceful, can the Spirit of Vitality be raised.
As mentioned earlier, to regulate the emotional mind is to learn how to use the wisdom mind to control the function of the emotional mind. In Chinese Qigong society, the emotional mind (Xin) is compared to an ape, while the wisdom mind (Yi) is compared to a horse. It is commonly said "Xin (is) an ape, Yi (is) a horse" (Xin Yuan Yi Ma, An ape is not powerful, but unsteady and disturbing, and generates confusion and excitement. However, a horse, though powerful, can yet be calm, steady and controllable.
In Chinese Qigong society, through thousands of years of studying the method of regulating the mind, it is understood that in order to lead an ape into a cage and restrain it, you need a banana. This banana is in control of the breathing. As long as you are able to concentrate your mind on your breathing, sooner or later your emotional mind will be restrained and calm down. That means when your breathing is long, slender, soft, and calm, your mind will be calm. Naturally, in order to make your breathing long, slender, soft, and calm, you must also keep your mind calm. Both the mind and breathing mutually affect each other. They must work together harmoniously in order to reach a high mental state of meditation. Therefore, it is said that "The Xin and the breathing mutually rely on each other" (Xin Xi Xiang Yi,
The Complete Book of Principal Contents of Human Life and Temperament (0 iblf) said: "To conform with the real person's (i.e. person who has reached the real truth or Dao) deep profound breathing, then the Xin and the breathing can be relying on each other mutually. (When) the breathing is regulated, the Xin can then be calm."23 This short paragraph clearly states that in order to have a calm emotional mind, you must first regulate your breathing. The way of regulating the breathing is to conform with the real person's breathing methods. The real people (i.e. Zhen Ren, % A) are those who have already reached the real truth of the Dao.
It was also explained in the book, The Questions From A Buddhist Guest About Listening to the Heart (^^Hk^-fA), "The Xin has been relying on the affairs and objects for a long time; once separated from its residence, it cannot be independent. Therefore, (we must) use the Gongfu of regulating the breathing to restrain this Xin. The Xin and the breathing can then mutually rely on each other. The word of regulating is also not to use the Yi. It is only a thought of one inhalation and one exhalation. Once the Xin has separated from its residence, then it is (free) without others and without self. In this case, there is no breathing which can be regulated. Only (keep the breathing) soft and continuous as if it is existing and not existing (i.e. regulating without regulating). After a long time, it will be become proficient natural-ly."24 This paragraph explains that our emotional mind is attracted to human affairs and the objects around us, and is influenced by them. When this happens, the emotional mind will be confused and unsteady, and consequently cannot be independent. The way to restrain this emotional mind is to regulate the breathing until the emotional mind and the breathing are mutually dependent on each other. When you regulate the breathing, you should not have an intention (Yi) Should you have this intention, your mind would cause tension in the breathing. Simply pay attention to the breathing. After you have practiced for a period of time, you can breathe softly, naturally, smoothly, and continuously. When you have reached this stage, the Xin will be staying at its residence without disturbance.
3. Use the mind to build up, to store, and to lead the Qi's circulation.
In religious and martial arts Qigong groups, one of the main goals of practicing
Qigong is using the mind to build up the Qi, to store it, and also to lead its circulation. In order to build up and store Qi in the Real Lower Dan Tian (Zhen Xia Dan Tian, you must practice Embryonic Breathing (Tai Xi, lé Jl-) The crucial key to this breathing is keeping your mind in this Qi residence and center. Once your mind is away from this center, your Qi will be led away from it and consumed. Therefore, the Qi will never build up and store in the body to a higher level. That is why it is said: "Keep the Yi at the Dan Tian" (Yi Shou Dan Tian, ~È ^ffl-®) This is the practice of storing the Qi.
Once you have stored Qi to an abundant level, you learn how to use your mind to lead the Qi. It is said: "Use the Yi to lead the Qi" (Yi Yi Yin Qi, «$51*.) Normally, in Nei Dan practice, first you learn to lead the Qi to circulate in the Conception (Ren Mai, fëWk ) and Governing Vessels (Du Mai, IfM- ) to complete Small Circulation (Xiao Zhou Tian, 'h M A ) After this, you learn to lead the Qi to the extremities, skin, bone marrow, and also the brain for Grand Circulation (Da Zhou Tian, & ) Since these are the main subjects of this book and the next book we will not discuss them further here.
4. To raise up the Spirit of Vitality for enlightenment.
To Buddhists and Daoists, the final goal of Qigong practice is to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood. Once you have learned how to store the Qi at the Real Lower Dan Tian, you then lead it upward following the Thrusting Vessel (spinal cord) (Chong Mai, 1i}fUk ) to the brain to nourish the Shen. The goal is to re-open The Third Eye. It is believed that since we learned to lie and cheat in order to protect our secrets behind a mask, through thousands of years, we closed our third eye so that other people are unable to see the truth. Therefore, we have lost the power of telepathy and communication with natural Qi and Shen. In order to re-open this Third Eye, we must first be truthful to the point where there is nothing to hide. Then, we learn how to accumulate the Qi in the front of the brain. From the past experience, The Third Eye can be re-opened.
In practice, in order to raise up the Shen to an enlightened level, you must first regulate your Xin until it has reached an extremely calm state. When you are in this state, your mind is clear and not wandering. It is said in the book, Dao Scriptures ( ) that: "The Xin is the master of the entire body, the commander of a hundred spirits. (When it is) calm, then the wisdom is generated, (when it is) acting, then confusion is originated. Its complacency (goal of steadiness) and confusion are within the movement and the calmness."25
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