Friday, January 21, 2011

Xiang: Relating Pranayama (breathing meditation) to I Ching

The four expressions below relate to the xiang of the I Ching/Taoist cultural tradition.  The meanings and breath counts are presented.  Circular breathing technique -- in through nose, out through mouth, or conversely -- is recommended.  The circular breathing and varying counts are presumed to assist in bridling mental activity by fixing it to the breath.  This exercise mimics the expansion/contraction cycle of the Universe at large as professed by the Vedic tradition.
(8) (Hold to Fullness) -- STATIC YIN
(7) (Hold to Emptiness) -- STATIC YANG
The complete cycle is 30 counts, such that one may easily time or measure the duration of a meditation session using the fingers.  A complete minute of 60 seconds could consist of one cycle of circular breathing by inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth, and a reciprocal cycle of inhalation through the mouth and exhaling through the nose.  One may additionally employ mudra, asana, or mantra along with the breath meditation, thus making it a fully-fledged tantric exercise.  

The traditional associations of the first Two Powers are here presented

YIN: capaciousness, struction, form
YANG: creativity, action, function