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Chinese types of meditation are much influenced by Buddhist and Taoist practice. The primary aim is spiritual development, the attainment of Buddhahood or immortality. Chinese meditation does not pay much emphasis on the acquisition of psychic powers or special supernormal abilities, though these powers and abilities inevitably result as bonus to the meditators.

The Buddhists believe that everyone has the Buddha nature in him; and the Taoists believe that everyone has an immortal soul. Meditation is the essential, if not the only, way to release the Buddha or the soul from the temporary physical body. Chinese meditation, therefore, is geared to the liberation of the mind or soul.

In Chinese meditation techniques the focus is on Zero rather than on One. Generally, the emphasis is on meditating the void, rather than making the mind one-pointed. This is a distinct difference in approach from Indian types of meditation. The principles of wu-wei and wu-hsin, which are central in Taoist and in Buddhist philosophy respectively, are very important in Chinese meditation. Literally translated as non-action, wu-wei refers to the spontaneous avoidance of activities that contradict the Way of Nature. Wu-hsin, literally meaning no-mind, refers to the meditative state where the individual mind dissolves itself into the Universal Mind.

The following description is the gist of the meditation method taught by Wu Chung Shui to attain immortality. The whole process takes about ten years. Wu Chang Shui was a famous Taoist saint living in the Ming period.

Sit quietly in deep meditation and focus on the void. Let chi (cosmic energy) flow round the "small universe" (a continuous flow of energy round the body along the two most important front and back meridians). Build a pearl of chi at the Field of Elixir (vital area of energy focus) at the abdomen. Strengthen and enlarge the chi, and let it permeate the whole body. Gradually direct the pearl of chi to the Heavenly Gate at the crown of the head. Open the crown aperture and let the immortal soul emerge.



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