> Bob writes:
> When we do relaxation exercises in meditation class, one of the first
> things that the students observe within themselves is the squandering
> of energy they do sub-consciously. One they all seem to do is by
> keeping their tongues in a position of readiness to speak, instead of
> relaxed and just resting in their mouth..... We have kept these little
> habitual tensions
> going on within us for so long, so often, we could have used the
> energy expended to move a mountain. No wonder we feel drained at the
> end of the day. Using your tongue in a specific way as a meditative
> technique is an entirely different story. If your intension is to
> suck like a baby, fine, but if you want to be as relaxed as possible
> to sit in meditation, relax everything, including your
> tongue/hands/entire body/emotions/mind, etc.
Very interesting, Bob. I'd never thought of a tongue position 'ready
to speak' versus 'relaxed.' When I tried it just now, the difference
between the two seems to be that the 'at the ready' position is halfway
between what I'd call the 'low' and 'high' positions, low being what
you would call relaxed, and 'high' what I would call the position
my Zen meditator friend tells me they use. The interesting thing
about the 'high' position is that it creates a 'focus point' for the
meditator as opposed to the relaxed position that might allow
the mind to wander without a place to focus.
However, speaking just now to my sister who has taught hatha yoga
and meditation (currently studying at Spirit Rock), she agrees with
Bob - 'the relaxed tongue position creates a hollow in the mouth
that can be used as an 'emptiness' to focus on."
I guess it ultimately comes down to 'different strokes,' doesn't
> Ramon also wrote:
> In fact, in my essay, "Why is the Buddha smiling?" my conclusion is
> > that she is smiling because she is creating a slight vaccum
> > between the tongue and the palate. I studied the faces of many
> > classical paintings and statues of Shakyamuni before arriving at
> > this theory.
> Bob writes:
> Typically original thinking, Ramon! Buddha probably didn't have to
> "do" anything (like "creating a slight vaccum between the tongue and
> the palate"), to enjoy his/her Enlightenment with a smile,
The interesting thing is that if you position your tongue in the 'high'
position and smile, you automatically create a slight vacuum between
the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Before you decide that the
Buddha "did not have to do anything," I think it might behoove
us to research this a little further. Many of the paintings of the
buddhas show a slight pursing of the lips - try that position yourself
next time you meditate. Purse the lips slightly and then smile.
A very interesting sensation - of course, these days it seems almost
EVERYTHING is a very interesting sensation....
Also I would like to recommend these two websites:
Paul Ekman has been studying facial expressions for many years,
and his work has blossomed out into studies of emotional states.
His books are expensive, but there are free articles available here,
and the New Yorker ran a very thorough and interesting overview
in one ot last August's issues. I'll see if I can find it on line.
does not seem to be working, so I did a search on Dr. Felicitas
Goodman and found
Dr. Goodman has written several books on trance states and her
theory that if you copy the body postures depicted in various
ancient statues, you will fall into the trance state they depict.
I'm not as interested in shamanistic trances as I am in buddha's
state, so I'll concentrate on the latter.
But I think both these people are approaching the same thing
I'm working on - i.e. Ekman's work, if you read into it, posits
the old adage "smile even if you don't feel like smiling, because
it will lift your mood" and Goodman's work seems to be
proving that there are unique postures that will trigger certain
transpersonal states of consciousness.
On the basis of this dialogue I once more reviewed the faces
of buddhas I've collected from the Internet, and must once more
say that I'm convinced there's more to the mouth position than
just a relaxed tongue.
I'll post my page of smiles to the files area. I also have been
collected a few 'eye position' samples because of my last
year's experience with placing the gaze at 'one o'clock'.
Whispered teachings, anyone?
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 22:37:41 +0200
> From: "Tony" <tosime@...>
> Subject: Chi in meditation - Ramon
> Hi Ramon,
> Thanks for your comments on chi. Could you go further for me please.
> What advice would you give to someone who wants to incorporate chi into
> their meditation?
Chi is the Chinese word for 'life force. Master Chia writes "All states of
existence... are temporary manifesations of Chi, especially those of
physical matter... Chi is the source of all movement in the universe. "
He quotes from another source, "there are many differnet 'types' of human
Chi, ranging from the tenuous and rarefied to the very dense and coarse.
All the various types of Chi, however, aretultimately one Chi, merely
manifesting in different forms."
As far as I can tell, the flow of Chi increases when one releases various
of what Wilhem Reich termed 'armorings' . For me, some lateral
tension bands in my chest were keeping Chi energy from flowing spontaneously
in my heart chakra area. This was a big opening for me last winter.
> What does chi feel like? -
I experience Chi as a slight tingling energy that can grow in intensity as the
flow increases. In yoga it is called 'prana.' As these flows increase in
intensity, I think we call them 'bliss' -- and finally 'ecstasy.' Am I correct?
> How do we know we are experiencing it?
Whenever you are 'feeling good' in your body, there is some sort of Chi/prana
flow occurring. One simple method to stimulate chi is to put the tips of your
right thumb and index finger each into one nostril apiece, almost blocking the
but not quite, and then start humming. If you position your fingertips exactly
right, the edge of the nostrils will begin to vibrate and 'buzz' in a manner
stimulates the nerve endings and trigger shivers that go down your spine --
and probably will make you sneeze. Those 'shivers' and that after-sneeze
tingle are both chi-connected.
> How can we use chi?
You use chi all the time, whether you're aware of it or not. It's the life
> What are the dangers?
None that I know of, compared, let's say, to raising the kundalini, which
an experienced teacher.
> What techniques should we use?
I would highly recommend almost any book by Master Chia. My favorite
"Awaken Healing Light of the Tao" 561 pages.
It's more or less a complete beginner's manual
For cassttes and videos of the various exercises, I would suggest Michal Winn's
instead, because for me his spoken English is easier to understand.
> On a more personal note:
> When and how did you first experience chi?
I'll mail you an essay.
> How has this experience changed over time?
Yes, it's grown in intensity to the point that I now can 'fill myself up'
whenever I want to.-