Buddhist Qigong - Cultivating the Esoteric Abilities of the Body
By Grandmaster Shou-Yu Liang and Master Wen-Ching Wu
Tantric Buddhists believe that the human body contains many profound and esoteric abilities that can link with the cosmos. By using ancient traditional hand and body seal training methods, the practitioner will be able to unlock the hidden abilities within and achieve a union of human and the cosmos, and attain realization. Hand seals are a sign language in Tantric Buddhism. The hand seals are formed with the two hands intertwined, with the right hand symbolizing wisdom and the left hand symbolizing calmness. Each finger, from your pinkie to your thumb, symbolizes earth, water, fire, wind, and the Void respectively.
Body seals are accomplished by positioning the body in different postures. In Indian Yoga, forms of body seals have been practiced since ancient times. Pressing the heel against the huiyin point and gently pressing the chin against the chest are examples of body seals. Body seals are practiced along with hand seals, mantras, and visualization.
The seals represent a pledge and commitment to transcend karma and achieve enlightenment. They are symbolic methods used to attain a communication between the cultivator and the greater consciousness. In Tantric Buddhist Qigong, the ten fingers connect with the cosmos externally, and connect to the organs internally. Making hand seals are also like fine tuning a radio to receive the broadcast of a radio station.
The Tantric Buddhist Qigong training involves three energy channels and seven energy centers (chakras). The three channels are the Middle, Left and Right Channels. The Middle Channel is the most important. Its color is blue, located inside the spinal cord. It runs from the Sea Bottom (perineum area) up to the top of the head. Along either side of the Middle Channel is the Left and Right Channel. The Left Channel has a red color and connects at the bottom, to the right testicle in men. The Right Channel has a white color and connects at the bottom, to the left testicle. In a women, the Left and Right Channel connect to the right and left ovaries. The three channels are not visible to the eyes.
They can only be felt by practitioners after energy channels are open. Different individuals may have different sensations with these energy channels. Some may feel the Left and Right Channels intertwining in a wave like pattern around the Middle Channel.
The Seven Energy Centers
The seven energy centers are the Sea Bottom, Reproductive, Navel, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown Energy Centers (Drawing 3-1). The Sea Bottom Energy Center is located around the huiyin area. It is also known as the Root Chakra. The Sea Bottom Energy Center is the energy and power source of all the other energy centers. It is represented by a four petal lotus. Ancient Indian Yogis believed that a Spiritual Snake, coiled up into three and one-half loops, sleeps in this area with its head pointing down.
The Reproductive Energy Center is located at the root of the reproductive organ. It is represented by a six petal lotus. It manages the sex glands, ovaries in women, testicles and prostate gland in men. The Navel Energy Center, located around the belly button, is represented by a ten petal lotus. It manages the spleen, liver, pancreas, and adrenal gland. The Heart Energy Center, located around the heart, is represented by a twelve petal lotus. It manages the thymus gland, heart, and lungs. The Throat Energy Center, located at the throat, is represented by a sixteen petal lotus. It manages the thyroid gland, tonsils, and salivary gland. The Third Eye Energy Center, located around the eye bridge, is symbolized by a two petal lotus. It manages the pituitary gland. The Crown Energy Center, located at the soft spot on top of the head (most apparent on a babies' heads), is represented by a one thousand petal lotus. This symbolizes the one thousand energy radiation emitting from this energy center.
The method of cultivation in the Esoteric Abilities of the Body is to awaken the dormant fire of the Sea Bottom Energy Center; expand that fire, one energy center at a time up to the Crown Energy Center; and enter into a tranquil state. This will allow the nectar generated to flow down all over the body. This nectar serves to nourish the body, attain a state of peace and joy, heal illness, strengthen the body, extend the life, develop extraordinary abilities, and reach enlightenment.