MERGING WITH THE COSMOS
The techniques of either Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis, Taoist Small Universe or Medical Big Universe can be used to operate the skill of Cosmic Breathing. If all things were equal, which technique is a better choice or is it perhaps a combination of techniques?
In the same vein, which technique is better to facilitate a progression from Cosmic Breathing to Merging with the Cosmos?
Dr Damian Kissey
Yes, any one of the techniques in Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis, Small Universe or Medical Big Universe can be used in attaining the skill of Cosmic Breathing.
In other words, for the sake of other readers who may not understand the above statement clearly, when a practitioner practices any exercise form Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis, besides developing tremendous internal force and mental clarity, he may also pulsate with the Cosmos. Similarly, when he practices Small Universe or Medical Big Universe, besides energy flowing continuously along his ren and du meridians, or flowing along all his 12 primary meridians, he may have an exchange of energy between his dan tian and the Cosmos without having to breath through his nose and mouth as ordinary people do.
If all other things were equal, the techniques of Small Universe will be the best choice in attaining the skill of Cosmic Breathing. It is a better choice than combining the techniques of Small Universe with the techniques of any one or both Sinew Metamorphosis and Medical Big Universe, or with other arts not mentioned here. Indeed, that was how I myself attained the skill of Cosmic Breathing. I believe other masters would have similar progression, though they may not call the new development Cosmic Breathing, and also as they focus on the small universal energy flow, many of them may not be consciously aware of an exchange of energy between their dan tian and the Cosmos without the need for normal breathing.
The term “Cosmic Breathing” was coined by me. I did not find a similar term in Chinese in chi kung classics. The closest term would be “womb breathing”, which is sometimes translated as “foetus breathing”, but these terms have different connotation as Cosmic Breathing.
When I first realised the experience of Cosmic Breathing, I used the term “Dan Tian Breathing”. For a time, I used the terms “Dan Tian Breathing” and “Abdominal Breathing” interchangeably. Now I generally use “Abdominal Breathing” and “Cosmic Breathing” to refer respectively to the skills of energy flowing to and from the nose and mouth to our dan tian, and refer to the skills of an exchange of energy between our dan tian and the Cosmos without the need for normal breathing. We can attain either skill using the technique of dan tian breathing.
We can also attain the skills of Abdominal Breathing or Cosmic Breathing using other techniques, like Lifting the Sky, Flicking Fingers, or reverse breathing. But, if all other things were equal, using the technique of dan tian breathing is most effective.
This explains why using the techniques of Small Universe is the most effective for attaining the skills of Cosmic Breathing. It is because the techniques used in both cases are the same.
Of course, fundamental techniques and skills of performing the techniques well, like standing upright, being relaxed and not thinking of anything, are very important. Without these fundamental techniques and skills we cannot attain Small Universe or Cosmic Breathing. We cannot even generate an energy flow, which is fundamental, which means necessary to attain any other skills.
The core technique is also the same. It is dan tian breathing. In other words, irrespective of whether we perform Small Universe, or Cosmic Breathing, we use dan tian breathing, or we let our dan tian rise and fall.
But the core skill is different. In Small Universe, we let energy flow round continuously along our ren and du meridians. In Cosmic Breathing we let energy exchange between our dan tian and the Cosmos.
It is helpful to realise that differentiating between skills and techniques is our innovation, which gives us a lot of benefits and makes us very cost-effective. Most other practitioners, including masters, in the past or at present, do not make this differentiation. It is also helpful to realise that the terms “skills” and “techniques” are for our convenience and better understanding.
Sometimes there may be overlapping. Sometimes it may not be easy to tell whether what we do is a skill or a technique. For example, is standing upright a skill or a technique?
We normally refer to it as a technique, as opposed to sitting down or moving about. But how well we stand upright is a skill. Many other practitioner thinks that they stand upright when they lean backward.
Strictly speaking, and this may come as a surprise to many people, including instructors and students in our school, the technique that best facilitates a progression from Cosmic Breathing to Merging with the Cosmos, is standing upright and be perfectly relaxed.
This is the technique we use when our instructors and students merge with the Cosmos and attain a life-changing spiritual awakening. We do not lie down, sit on a chair, or move about. We also do not tense our muscles or think of countless thoughts. But more important than the technique is the skill — the skill of merging with the Cosmos.
To accomplish the skill of merging with the Cosmos, a lot of internal force is needed to break through the illusory body. Hence of the three arts mentioned — Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis, Taoist Small Universe and Medical Big Universe — the art that is most effective to facilitate a progression from Cosmic Breathing to Merging with the Cosmos is Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis. This is because Sinew Metamorphosis produces the great internal force to break through the illusory body.
Here is a good example of overlapping between skills and techniques or of the difficulty of stating whether Shaolin Sinew Metamorphosis, Taoist Small Universe and Medical Big Universe should be referred to as skills or techniques.
In saying that Sinew Metamorphosis is the most effective in merging with the Cosmos, we refer to the techniques in performing Sinew Metamorphosis compared to the techniques of performing Small Universe or Medical Big Universe, with the presumption that we have reasonable skills to perform them well. If all other things were equal, including the skills of performing the arts well, the force generated from Sinew Metamorphosis will be greater than the force generated from Small Universe or Medical Big Universe. This greatest force generated from Sinew Metamorphosis will enable practitioners after they have pulsated with the Cosmos in Cosmic Breathing to be most effective in applying the skills of Merging with the Cosmos.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Cosmic Breathing in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.
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