Deep Mind Sphere
With the body active, as in Taiji, the Personal Energy Sphere expands out to one arms length in all directions to form a sphere of approximately 6 feet (72in or 1.8-2m) in diameter in which all movements take place.
In meditation, with the body inactive, we may condense that back to a sphere of half that size, or 3 feet – the large Dantian. Within that, each of the 3 Dantian, lower, middle and upper, form spheres of energy each approximately 1 foot (12in or 30cm) in diameter.
The body’s energy (Jing) is based in the Lower Dantian – the 12in sphere which extends from the perineum (会阴, Huiyin) to the solar plexus, centred on the point 3 finger-widths below the navel. During refinement, energy expands upwards and outwards, to progressively energise and activate the 3 levels of the Large Dantian.
Deep Emotional energy (Qi) is centred in the Middle Dantian – the 12in sphere which extends from the solar plexus to the base of the throat. Energy rises, during the process of refinement, from the Lower Dantian to fill this sphere. This level is active when we interact with those to whom we are closely connected, such as close family, teachers and students.
Deep Mental energy (Shen) is gathered in the Upper Dantian – the sphere which surrounds the head, centered on the pituitary gland. Energy rises, during the process of refinement, from the Middle Dantian to fill and activate this sphere. This level is active when we aspire to connect with those well evolved beyond our own level.
Close Down the Outer Mind
Take a deep breath, draw the Mind to the top of the head. Gently breathe out, close down the outer mind as if going to sleep. Listen down through the body as the nervous system de-energises, the muscles de-activate, the body sinks, until you sense the body press against the ground. Then expand the Mind out around the body, listening for first near, then distant, sounds.The breathing is forgotten.
With a second deep breath, repeat the above process, then withdraw the Mind back inside the body toward the Lower Dantien. Allow the outer awareness to pass away. Sink deeper until a slightly dreamy state appears (disconnect from 5 outer senses). The troubles of outer life are forgotten.
Use a third deep breath to repeat the above process to reach the deep dreamy state, then concentrate the Mind strongly in the hands and feet, listening for the deep-body sensations of tingling, fullness and warmth.
Wake Up the Inner Mind
Continue the gentle breathing. Each outbreath sink deeper while intensifying the fullness and warmth in the hands and feet, allowing that to grow into the arms and legs, spread up into the neck and head, then down through the trunk to rest in and around the perineum (Base Centre).
Take one final deep breath. While breathing out close down a little more, then allow a cloud of light to form in and around the perineum, about 1 fist (4 inches) out in all directions. Intensify the light as the Mind gently sinks deeper.
At this stage the superficial-mind (brain consciousness acting through the 5 external senses) has been largely closed down and Deep Mind has begun to awaken. Tingling, fullness and warmth appear due to the energetic stimulation of pain, pressure and heat sensors.
In this deep condition visualising light will help to connect to the reality of the energy field – whereas in a superficially quiet ‘mindful’ state visualisation may merely lead to an imaginary disconnection from reality.
Micro Cosmic Circuit
Energy circulates in the network of 8 special channels, whose base is the centre between the legs (Hui Yin or perineum), linking the brain above and the soles of the feet below. These 8 channels, together with their minor branches, conduct the basic body energy (Jing) and by reflex action the lower aspects of the next level energy (Qi). The Micro Cosmic Circuit trains the first 2 of these 8 paths, as follows.
Take 3 deep breaths. Each inhale raise energy from its base in and around the perineum, up the spine to the crown of the head, by visualising a rising stream of golden light, while listening to the resulting body sensations of fullness and warmth. Each exhale, Mind and energy flow quietly down the front of the face, neck, chest and abdomen, returning to rest in and around the Base Centre. The Mind deepens and the light intensifies as it flows down.
Spread the Light
Take 3 deep breaths. Each in-breath lift the light from the perineum (Hui Yin) to the solar plexus. Each out-breath the light expands up to fill the sphere of the Middle Dantian, then as the Mind sinks deeper intensify and spread the light out to arms-length in all directions around the body.
Continue to breathe deeply. Each in-breath condense the large sphere a few centimetres towards the centre of the chest – listen for pressure in the chest. Each out-breath re-expand the sphere to arms-length, while the Mind sinks deeper and the light intensifies – warmth may increase.
Allow the breathing to become gentler. Each exhalation the Mind sinks deeper and the golden light throughout the large sphere grows stronger. Then forget the breathing. The Mind gently sinks deeper while the light steadily intensifies until the Mind is lost in the light.
The Mind feels peaceful, energised and alert. Maintain a small intention to sink deeper into the light as if looking for something a little beyond what you are presently aware of, to prevent falling into a dreamy state.
Without forgetting the sphere of light, recapture the deep body sensations of tingling, fullness and warmth, then listen for heart beat and pulse. When ready, open the eyes and gently return your awareness to the outer world.
Ramanamaharshi: "Intellect (superficial mind) is of no use at all for seeing within, for turning towards the Self. For that it has to be killed or extinguished, or in other words it has to merge in the source from which it sprang."