COSMIC BREATHING FOR SPIRITUAL CULTIVATION
Is Cosmic Breathing used primarily to fulfill spiritual aspirations and expand into the Cosmos?
When one expands into the Cosmos and returns back to the dan tian, does the practitioner gain even more energy from spending time in the Cosmos? Personally, I feel that after I merge with the energy of the Cosmos, I pull extra cosmic energy back to my dan tian on the return.
What are the benefits of Cosmic Breathing for everyday life in the mundane world?
Yes, Cosmic Breathing is primarily used to fulfill spiritual aspirations and expand into the Cosmos. The Cosmic Breathing we practice was inspired from a very advanced internal art exercise I read from a Taoist classic called "Opening of the Golden Flower".
In this very advanced art, a Taoist aspirant sat in a lotus position, go into mediation, and exchanged energy with the Cosmos. The cosmic energy was built into a ball and stored at the abdominal dan tian, the "qi-hai" energy point. Some classics started with the lowest dan tian, the "hui-ying" energy point.
At the abdominal dan tian, the aspirant infused his spirit into the ball of energy. He called it his divine foetus. Gradually he brought his divine foetus up to his middle dan tian at the "huang-ding" energy point, and eventually to the top dan tian at the "bai-hui" energy point at the crown of his head. By then which would take many years, he had infused his spirit into the ball of energy. His "bai-hui" opened and his divine person with his spirit emerges and roams the heavens as an immortal, discarding his physical body behind.
Needless to say, the brief description of this "Opening of Golden Flower" is for theoretical knowledge. One should not attempt it without the supervision of a competent master.
Our Cosmic Breathing is of a lower level than Opening of the Golden Flower. We do not intend to use Cosmic Breathing to become an immortal. Yet, Cosmic Breathing has the potential to attain an even higher level than Opening of the Golden Flower. An immortal is still in the phenomenal realm. Totally merging with the Cosmos, which Cosmic Breathing may lead us to attain when we are ready, is transcendental.
When we expand into the Cosmos and return to the phenomenal world by focusing at our dan tian, we gain more energy from spending time in the Cosmos. I don’t know how or why we gain energy, but I know from experience that we do.
Although I may not know for sure why or how we gain energy, I can make a guess – not a wild guess, but a guess based on understanding and experience. In fact, this was how the philosophy of chi kung, kungfu or any art was developed. A lot of experience happened, then masters looked back at their experience and explained what happened. Their explanation constituted the philosophy of the art.
For example, past masters discovered that when they were tensed they could not tap energy from the Cosmos. After a lot of such experiences, they concluded that one had to be relaxed to tap energy from the Cosmos. They also discovered that even when they were relaxed but if their mind wandered about, they also could not tap energy from the Cosmos. After a lot of such experiences, they explained that in order to tap energy from the Cosmos, a practitioner needed to be focused and relaxed. Now we call this requirement entering into a chi kung state of mind.
When we returned to our phenomenal world after expanding into the Cosmos, we felt we had more energy. This happened to us not once or twice but all the time. This also happened to those who successfully expanded into the Cosmos and returned to the phenomenal world. Therefore, we can conclude that when we return to our phenomenal world after expanding into the Cosmos, we have more energy.
Why does this happen? Our explanation is our theory. Our theory may be right or wrong, but our experience is a fact. This is a very important observation that can greatly enrich our daily life, though many people outside our school many not realize it, and therefore miss our benefit. A main reason why they miss the benefit is because they lack the experience and do not believe in the experience.
For example, from our experience we know that by practicing chi kung we have good health and vitality. We may explain this fact with the theory that practicing chi kung generates a chi flow, and chi flow contributes to good health and vitality.
Now, for fun, suppose this theory were wrong. Suppose that it was not chi flow that contributed to good health and vitality, it was something else. But still the fact remains that by practicing chi kung we have good health and vitality.
From their experience, chi kung healers discover that people who were sick, including those suffering from so-called incurable diseases, recover their good health by practicing chi kung. They explain this experience with the theory that people were sick because of energy blockage, and when chi flow from their chi kung practice cleared the blockage, they recovered from their sickness.
Again, just for fun, suppose the theory was incorrect. Sickness was not due to energy blockage, or chi flow did not clear energy blockage. But the fact still remains that my practicing chi kung people who were sick recovered from their sickness.
Of course we do not formulate our theory from whims and fancies. We formulate our theory from our understanding and experience. We understand that energy is all around us, and that at the transcendental level there is no differentiation. But there is differentiation into countless entities in our phenomenal world due to our gross sense organs
In other words, in the phenomenal world because of our gross sense organs we do not see an undifferentiated spread of energy, we see countless entities like a table, a computer and other things and people, though we understand that these countless entities are ultimately energy.
When we practice Cosmic Breathing and expand into the Cosmos, we break down the conditions of the phenomenal realm into transcendental Cosmic Reality. We experience not differentiated entities as in the phenomenal world but undifferentiated spread of energy in transcendental Cosmic Reality. We become an integral part of the Cosmos, which is much bigger and stronger than our physical body.
When we return to our physical body by focusing on our dan tian, we carry back some cosmic energy with us, thus making us stronger than before. In a rough description which is not quite accurate, when we expand into the Cosmos, our spiritual presence includes energy outside our imaginary physical body. When we return to our physical body, this energy that was outside is now inside.
As a rough analogy, when you return to your house after seeing a humorous movie, you feel happier than before. The happy feeling which was not in your house before, is brought home from the movie cinema into your house.
Cosmic Breathing brings tremendous benefits into our everyday life in the mundane world. A spiritual awakening when one expands into the Cosmos is life-changing. His life will never be the same as before. It brings joy and meaning to his mundane world.
He may realize that his spirit will never die, thus overcoming the greatest fear of most people, the fear of death. This will give him tremendous confidence in life.
Things that seem important before – like passing his exam, not missing his train, saying happy birthday to his girlfriend, accepted by his peers – suddenly become petty. It does not mean that he will neglect these petty things. In fact, his spiritual awakening will enable him to derive more joy from simple, little things, but if he fails to get them, he knows the world is not going to end.
He will have a lot of energy. As he is not limited by physical breathing, he will not be panting for breadth when engaged in physical activities.
He will also have a lot of mental clarity. He can solve problems more effectively and conceptualize more clearly.
With increased energy and better mental clarity, he will have better result in whatever he does.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Cosmic Breathing in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.
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