Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Relaxing Into Your Being, A Review and Recommendation

 Relaxing into Your Being is one of two books on Taoist Meditation that Taoist Lineage Master Bruce Frantzis published in the late 1990s.  This book, and The Great Stillness, introduce how to apply the water method when one meditates.  This method uses the breath and a technique called "dissolving" to help connect one's intention with energetic blockages that can be sensed in the body.   Dissolving practice helps release and relax physical and emotional  blockages, and it subsequently deepens inner awareness to deeper levels.

Meditation Exercises in the Book

In the twelve practices provided in the Relaxing book, the first nine prepare the mind and body to develop continuous awareness and the ability to feel within the body.  Dissolving practices are introduced before the fifth exercise so that practitioners can begin to clear and strengthen their energy channels for deeper work that releases repressed emotions.  This processes could be called "clearing the Red Dust."

Intermediate practices involve breathing with the kidneys, upper back breathing and breathing energy into the dantien.  Being able to advance to this stage requires diligent practice in learning how to sense and relax internally.  At this stage, you can encounter and neutralize attachments (positive or negative), traumas and your internal demons.  Stillness comes, making it possible to see where these polarities are produced. 

Other exercises introduced in the book are standing meditation and awareness exercises for the lower half of the body.  One of the exercises is the introductory or commencement move of Wu style T'ai Chi.  These exercises are used to help increase body awareness and they complement the static meditation exercises.  I highly recommend doing all of the exercises.

Consequences of Taoist Meditation

A stream in Northern Costa Rica.
These meditation practices develop conscious awareness to the point of being in the "now," or being aware of that slippery thing known as consciousness.   Reaching this point, you can develop an awareness of the Mindstream which contains subtle manifestations of the seven energy bodies.  Intermediate and advanced practitioners then practice inner dissolving to release these subtle energies which manifest by creating gaps in awareness of the Mindstream.  Inner peace nurtures one intermittently during the process and can help motivate you along the way.

Frantzis talks about the deeper challenges of meditation near the end of the book.  The fear of ru ding, or loss of the ego, occurs when one is in the deep into advanced stages of their practice.  One has to be tenacious to surmount this obstacle.  Also, a form of spiritual egotism can manifest when one develops knowledge of energy manifestation.  If one can maintain inner strength and not give in to power trips, these problems do not get in the way of enlightenment, or the unification of your being with the Tao.

A Testimonial for Relaxing Into Your Being

Jane Alexander wrote a review of this book that ended saying, "The practice of the material within its pages totally changed my life around and gave me a reason to live."  One cannot give a better recommendation than that.  In the web article, she outlines some of the contents of Frantzis's book and even wrote a book about her recovery from PTSD and depression, Possessing Me: A Memoir of Healing.