Patrick Liu www.deutsche-daoistische-vereinigung.de
Nei Gong is an exercise that is performed in silence. Nei means “inside” and gong means “work”. So Nei Gong is also called inner work. Whether standing, sitting or lying, we can cultivate our energy with the help of our Spirit. Exercises in standing include, for example, Zhan Zhuang exercises, in sitting you practice mainly with simply crossed legs, in half the lotus set (one leg is placed on the other), the full lotus set (the second leg is placed on the first), etc. Exercises in lying down include sleep meditation, where you can take different lying positions.
There are generally two types of meditation:
This kind of meditation can be practised to get into things and situations, to analyze them. In the case of mental blockages whose cause goes back to early childhood, for example, one can go to the bottom of things to see why it has evolved so. You research in your own mind to bring everything to light. You see things differently. Once you have penetrated things, you put them down to gradually empty your mind and throw away balast. One uses only one’s mental abilities to penetrate and understand things more deeply. You get a clear picture to overcome your weaknesses and fears.
In this meditation you try to free yourself from all your thoughts and get a clear and pure mind. The practitioner works to reduce and dissolve the flow of thoughts. In the beginning, he distinguishes between thoughts that are “worthwhile” to think further, or thoughts that are immediately discarded. This is called a formal judgment. The countless streams of thought are gradually diminishing until one enters completely into silence.
The trainee begins to work with his mind in which he trains him. Structured thinking can achieve very high mental abilities. You think a thing, you think back and forth, you let it evolve until you get a result. If it has a clear meaning, the exercise was effective. Thinking is not tied to space and time but free from all barriers. Once the mind is trained, one tries to reduce the things to which the mind adheres and the seemingly endless streams of thought. This is called stopping useless thoughts. By making a formal judgment and declaring the thought right or wrong and saying to it, “so far and no further,” you immediately stop and do not allow the deliberations to go on forever.
When silence reaches its climax, it creates movement. The best time to meditate is in the morning at sunrise. The morning sun gives us strength and energy for the whole day. The air is fresh and full of beneficial oxygen. You should meditate in a familiar place where you feel comfortable. Music encourages dreams, so we avoid them during meditation. We want to relax and still concentrate the mind. If you feel unwell or have headaches, dizziness, fever, etc. suffers if one should refrain from the exercises. Even after eating or if you are tired you should not practice. In the beginning, the focus is placed on breathing. The body and mind are completely relaxed. During the exercise the senses should be controlled and the practitioner should concentrate entirely on meditation.
Meditation in our daily life
We can cultivate our selfs during any task we do. Many Daoists like to prepare tea in their free time and they do it in a meditative way. The Cha Dao, Way of Tea or Tea Ceremony is a traditional recreational method of preparing diffirent kinds of tea. Together with other or alone, Tea is part of the daily life in most daoist temples. While the person prepares the tea, he/she tries to keep a still mind, harmonious breathing and focussed on the process. Everything flows natural. Tea is very refreshing and during longer meditations or fasting periods it can help the practitioner to stay healthy. Teas high level of vitamins and antioxis give boost to the immunesystem and prevents early aging. Many daoists also grow their own tea and the work on the field can be done in a meditative way too. We cultivate a still heart and a clear mind.