The advanced Chi Kung exercise of Lein Chi which means Melting Chi Breath in Chinese, is an ancient meditative breathing technique where Chi is allowed to flow unhindered throughout your entire body. While many Chi breathing exercises guide Chi to a specific region of your body, Lien Chi does not guide Chi to any specific Meridian, organ, or bodily location. Instead, it directs Chi to permeate your entire being, filling you with life revitalizing energy.
When you perform this technique, it is essential that you are not distracted by external noises which can jar you from your meditative consciousness. While performing Lien Chi, you can use ear plugs or place cotton in your ears if you are easily distracted by the external world. Once you have entered a quite room and duly prepared for the exercise, remove all of your clothing. The reason your clothing is removed in Lien Chi is due to the fact that, not only does clothing restrict your body, but it also causes sensory perception to occur. Take a moment right now, as you read this, and feel your body, which is more than likely clothed. No doubt, as you begin to focus, you can feel your clothing. Once your clothes are removed, lay down on your back. The reason you should lay down on your back while performing this exercise, as opposed to sitting in the common meditative cross legged Lotus Posture, is that the Lotus Posture causes Chi to remained locked in your upper torso.
It is important that you do not lay on a bed or a couch when performing this meditation. The reason for this is two-fold. First, these pieces of furniture are generally not firmly supportive and your spine will have the tendency to relax into an unnatural positioning. Second, beds and couches are associated with rest and sleep, so laying on the floor is more energizing and appropriate to the practice of Lien Chi.
Lay down on your back. Naturally extend your arms a few inches away from your torso. Allow your feet to be naturally separated, approximately two feet apart. Begin by breathing naturally. As you breath, mentally observe golden Chi filled air entering your body through your nose, providing you with the most essential element to life, oxygen. Upon completion of your initial inhalation, observe as the golden Chi filled breath naturally leaves your body, through your mouth, leaving you with the senses of divine fulfillment. Slowly inhale and exhale for several breath cycles. Witness the golden light of Chi entering your body with each in breath. Allow this process to focus your racing mind on the natural process of your breathing.
Let go of your thoughts. Witness your mind become more and more calm. When you feel you are substantially focused, consciously bring the next golden Chi filled inhalation in through your nose. Mentally witness the life giving Chi energy entering your body with this in-breath. As this inhalation is achieving completion, swallow. The reason you swallow is that your saliva is understood in the ancient science of Chi Kung to be one of the most essential and holy elements. It is referred to as Liquid Jade. Thus, by swallowing at the end of your intake of your Chi filled breath, you mix your Chi filled breath with Liquid Jade.
Many Chi Kung techniques have you consciously directing your in-breath to your Dan Tien. This body location is more commonly known by the Japanese word, Hara. It is the bodys center of gravity, approximately four inches below your naval. With Lien Chi, however, you allow your Chi filled breath to permeate your entire being. Experience your Chi filled in-breath spread throughout your body in a golden light.
Now, hold this Lien Chi breath in your body. Mentally count your heart beats as you hold this Chi filled breath. Do not hold it until you are uncomfortable; Instead, release it when you feel it is necessary and as you do, feel your entire environment becoming filled with positive Chi energy. In the beginning, the practice of Lien Chi should be performed for a total of seven breath cycles. As you become more accustomed to it, you may proceed for as long as you feel comfortable with it and your mind remains focused.
Lien Chi is an ideal tool to focus and revitalize your body and mind. This ancient technique will provide you with an enhanced sense of cosmic interaction and mental and physical strength. It is essential to never practice this, or any other Chi Kung technique, with a absent mindset. You must always remain very conscious of your interaction with the source of life: your breath. If you do not, this technique will have not possess the ability to have its positive and revitalizing effect upon your body and mind.
Scott Shaw is a prolific author on the subjects of Zen Buddhism, Yoga, and the Martial Arts. His most recent book is Chi Kung for Beginners (Llewellyn Publications; 2004; $14.95; www.llewellyn.com; 1-800-THE-MOON). For more information, visit: www.scottshaw.com