WAN LAISHENG ON MEDITATION

靜坐
ON SILENT MEDITATION
萬籟聲
by Wan Laisheng
[from Chapter Six of Wan’s 武術滙宗 Collection of Martial Arts Traditions, published Dec, 1929]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Nov, 2020]

靜坐槪論
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO SILENT MEDITATION

余所談武功,原已結朿,今復論靜坐者,乃此道亦係內家功夫,與武功有相互關係,卻疾延年,極裨益於身體,其有衰耄不樂習武功,而研乎此道,亦可保其健康,是以略舉一二,以為諸君參考,顧所謂靜坐者,其意義為何,卽定性養神之謂也!因吾人終日勞碌,早晚能有片時靜坐,殊能恢復疲勞,如謂參禪入道,歸於正覺,則其程途,似非今人所談容易,蓋焉有修道費十數載靜坐功夫,卽得解脫之理,則天下神仙,將不充斥大千世界耶?縱有之,亦落入鬼仙中耳!至於靜坐除疾之論,此係自然之理,因能免除一切思慮,定養神氣,久之自可除疾,如謂調節正呼吸,腹中鳴響等語,鄙人亦未有此經驗,惟聞修道者,取其自然之理,不可着相,苟一握固象形,卽落崎途,不可藥救,今所談坐法,乃普通定靜片時養神之意,如欲為高深研究,請於下章道術研究中及之。
Enough discussion of martial arts for now, let us turn to silent meditation. Meditation is strongly related to martial arts practice, being an aspect of internal training. It drives away illness, promotes longevity, and brings great benefit to the body. Since people who are old or weak find no pleasure in martial training, a study of meditation is a good alternative for maintaining one’s health, and therefore I will present some instruction below for reference. Why meditate? To calm the emotions and empower the spirit.
  Because we work all day, it is in the morning and evening that we have a chance to meditate, revitalizing in order to wear ourselves out all over again. In the case of a monk’s journey to become a Buddha through meditation, this is not something modern people would describe as easy. “How could someone spend so many years in meditation, learning to transcend the material world and thereby become an immortal within it, without getting overwhelmed by the boundless universe? Even if one learns to transcend, might one not be so drained by the experience that one is reduced to a mere ghost?”
  As for meditation dispelling illness, this is only natural. Since it can clear away stressful thoughts, it will nourish the spirit, and over time this will of course have an effect of diminishing illness, although when it comes to correcting respiratory or digestive issues, I have not actually been troubled by such issues in order to test this for myself. However, I have heard from Daoists that to find naturalness, one must not seek it directly. If the goal is stubbornly obsessed over, one may end up going down the wrong path, so much so that no medicine will help.
  Below I discuss some basic methods of meditation, which is most commonly aimed at simply spending time settling into quietude to refresh the spirit. For more advanced studies on meditation, I recommend doing further research into Daoism.

靜坐要法
METHODS OF SEATED MEDITATION

靜坐者,能另有靜坐室,自係更佳,無之,卽於寢榻,亦無不可,惟榻面無彈簧者為良,以免坐時不正之弊,每日可於早晚,略坐片時,不在乎久,緩緩從事,勿着相,勿管呼吸,取其自然之理,牙咬緊,舌則輕抵牙關間,脊椎需正,(先可行預坐式,兩手按膝頭,身軀可稍前後左右晃之,再始坐正,則腰椎自直,臀部自正!)兩手輕握置丹田下,或成太極圖式,或成三昧印式(太極圖乃左大指輕揑中指,以右大指插入左虎口內,而以右大指食指輕揑左手之無名指根也!三昧印乃兩掌皆仰,以右大指交叉左大指上也,(後圖卽此式,)坐用單盤雙盤,均無不可!早間坐時(大便後再坐為宜,)先將窗戶推開,一換空氣,冬日可卽閉好,凝神趺坐,自口中吐出濁氣一口,再自鼻中緩緩吸入新氣咽下,以補丹田呼出之氣,呼時稍快,吸則須慢,呼須呼盡,吸須吸盡,如此續續三呼三吸,將腹中濁氣吐完,再行上丹次序,(晚則不用,)其在初習不克定靜時,可默念南無阿彌陀佛或一二三,均無不可,女子思慮雜,尤須如此,俟功深能定後,卽可除去,此乃暫時統一思想之權術,非坐時看眼前字物之着相也!坐時以淸神寡欲,收斂身心,徧體淸快舒服為止,此乃習靜中之動,因晚間靜定,早起習功,故為靜中之動!晚間習功,因白日勞動,而習定靜,故為動中之靜,如斯操持,是之為動靜有常,至於坐法,無論單雙盤,男子左腳後跟抵右睾丸處,右腳加於左腳上而抵左睾丸處,女子卽與此相反,但亦無甚大關係也!此乃雙盤式,單盤則左腳先在下,右腳再加於左腿上,乃為不能雙盤者而設,此為佛家坐法,如漸習至雙盤,則全身筋絡,得以緊張,而全身得以坐正,為修大道者之最佳坐法,若五心朝天坐,乃道家坐法,猶有觀音坐,金剛坐等等坐法,隨人所嗜而異矣!坐時以五分至一刻兩刻為宜,不用勉强,緩進則有功,躁進則無益!其程序與坐法於下:
Seated meditation can be done in a room specially set aside for it, which is of course ideal, but if you do not have such a space, a sleeping mat in your bedroom will do just fine, provided it is not springy, which would inhibit the uprightness of your posture. Every day in the morning and evening, spend some time sitting. It does not have to be an extremely long time and you should gradually work your way into it. Do not become obsessive about how it is done and do not micromanage your breathing, just aim for naturalness: mouth closed, tongue touching the back of your teeth, spine straight. (You can move around a little in preparation from sitting still, putting your hands on your knees and slightly swaying your torso forward and back, side to side, and then you will be able to sit more upright, your lower back naturally straightening, your buttocks naturally supporting.)
  Your hands gently hold each other, placed below your “elixir field” [i.e. the area below your navel], and can be forming either a yinyang position or a samadhi position. (Yinyang position: your right hand holds your left hand with your right thumb lightly pinching the root of your left ring finger, your left thumb going around your right thumb to lightly pinch together with the tip of your left middle finger. Samadhi position: both palms are facing upward, right hand on top of left, with your right thumb crossing over your left thumb. The samadhi position is used in the photos below.) You can sit in either the single lotus or double lotus position.
  When meditating in the morning (ideally after defecating), first open the windows to bring in fresh air. If it is winter, the windows can remain closed. Sit cross-legged and focus your attention. Breathe out stale air through your mouth, then slowly inhale new air through your nose. This helps cleanse the energy in your elixir field. Exhaling should be slightly quicker and inhaling should be slightly slower. Exhale to the fullest extent, then inhale to the fullest extent. In this way, continuously exhale and inhale three times, completely expelling stale energy from your abdomen.
  Then go through the sequence of steps for a meditative state (which is not really necessary in the evening [since one is already tired and will slip into quietude rather easily]). If in the beginning you cannot reach a state of quietude, you may either silently chant “Namo Amitabha” [“homage to the Buddha”] or simply count numbers. This is especially useful for women, whose thoughts are more distractible. When your skill deepens and your mind is better at settling down, you will easily be able to ignore such distractions, but this is a good trick for focusing your mind in the meantime. Another aid for when you are not able to enter meditation is to have in view in front of you some calligraphy or a certain object to focus your gaze.
  While sitting, empty your mind of desires, restraining yourself physically and mentally, and then your whole body will feel clean and comfortable. Practicing in this way is a case of movement within stillness. Unlike the automatic calm of the evening, the morning session is a more deliberate practice, thus movement within stillness. The evening practice comes after a hard day’s work and is thus a matter of stillness within movement. Practicing with these two sessions thus creates a constant balance between stillness and movement.
  As for the method of sitting, it does not matter if it is single or double lotus. To make the double lotus position, the right foot is placed on the left thigh, with the heel near the left testicle, and then the left foot is placed on the right thigh, with the heel near the right testicle. For women, the legs are reversed, right over left, and the male landmarks for aligning the heels of course have no bearing on the matter. To make the single lotus position, first place your left foot, then put your right foot on top of your left thigh [again reverse for women]. This is the position for those incapable of doing the double lotus position and is a Buddhist method of sitting. If you gradually practice to get into the double lotus position, your body may go through a phase of feeling some tension, but keep your body upright.
  For those studying Daoism [“cultivating the Way”], the best seated method is “five centers [headtop, palms, soles of the feet] face the sky”, though there are other Daoist methods such as “Guanyin sitting”, “Arhat sitting”, and so on, varying according to individual taste. Sit from five minutes up to fifteen or thirty minutes. Do not force yourself to sit longer. If you slowly progress, you will have success. If you rush, you will get nothing. The procedure for seated meditation is presented below.

預坐式
Swaying seated position – photo 1:

單盤膝
Single lotus position – photo 2:

雙盤膝
Double lotus position – photo 3:

卽單盤膝之一足墊於他足下者,定靜兩三分鐘後,再改單盤或雙盤可也。(正身卽在此時。)因如此式習之,始易改雙盤,不然,上圖亦卽單盤式。
(After getting into a single lotus position, i.e. one leg placed under the other, settle into quietude for two or three minutes. Then you may switch to a double lotus position, which will help reveal your true being more easily. Practicing the single lotus position will make it easy to switch to the double lotus position, but it is fine to use only the single lotus position if you find it to be more comfortable.)

甲,上丹次序
Part 1: Sequence for going into meditation:

1.存想:
Make the decision:
卽存欲靜坐之思想,冥心息慮,胯肩下氣也。(抿嘴合齒,自鼻中出氣一口,肩自低下,氣自下去。)
Decide you want to meditate. Dim your mind and halt your thoughts. Let your shoulders and hips feel heavy. Close your mouth and breathe through your nose. By lowering your shoulders naturally, energy will start to descend.

2.盤足:
Curl in your legs:
卽按前述之法則盤足,或單盤或雙盤可隨意!須注意腰椎端直,氣始下去。
The methods of doing this have already been described above. Using the single or double lotus position is up to you. Pay attention to keeping your lower back straight, and then energy will be able to descend the rest of the way.

3.交手:
Join your hands:
以右手輕握左手四指,仰置臍下,或成三昧印等式,均無不可。
Use your right hand to grab the four fingers of your left hand and place the palm facing upward below your navel. Your hands may also use the Samadhi position if you wish.

4.搭橋:
Extend the bridge:
在普通傳授,均謂以舌䑛顎,使其生津,故名搭橋,余以過於着相,非出自然,而我師傳授,乃令緊齒閉嘴,以輕抵牙關間,猶如平日狀,久之自生津液,非强為刺戟而然也!似為正傳。
Most teachings say “the tongue touches the upper palate”, which causes the generating of saliva to then be swallowed down. This is what is meant by “extending the bridge”. However, I find this position of the tongue to be unnatural, and indeed my teachers taught me that to simply close the mouth and touch the tongue to the back of the lower teeth is enough, for this more ordinary position also generates saliva anyway. The authentic teaching seems to be that there is no need to forcefully stimulate something to happen.

5.垂簾:
Lower the curtain:
卽輕合雙眸,可稍留一線曙光,不可緊閉,祇覺空中一冷蒲團耳。
Gently close your eyes, or leave them slightly open if you wish. They must not be shut tightly, only enough to allow you to feel as if you are floating on a cushion.

6.守丹田:
Stay in the elixir field:
卽意似存丹田,勿着絲毫色相,亦勿固執抑壓,似字宜細玩。
Keep your mind at your elixir field, not letting it drift away from it at all, and yet also not forcing it to be there. The best way to describe this might be “attentively playful”.

7.調息:
Regulate the breath:
息仍聽其自然,勿令有所強制,祇憶似有似無,緜緜若存之義可也!蓋息不調而自調,是為真息!若所謂調節正呼吸者,余不論也。
The breath should be natural and unforced. The mind should aware of it and yet not aware of it, meaning constantly a part of it rather than separate from it. The real idea is not to regulate the breath, but to instead let it regulate itself, and yet if you would like to describe this as “regulating the breath”, I will not argue.

乙、下丹次序
Part 2: Sequence for coming out of meditation:

1.散意:
Let go of the mind:
不欲坐時,先須慢慢散意,卽不欲坐將下盤之意也。
When you feel you have had enough sitting, slowly dispel your focus and then switch your intention to getting out of the position.

2.撤橋:
Withdraw the bridge:
舌可不用抵齒也。
Your tongue no longer needs to be touching your lower teeth.

3.捲簾:
Raise the curtain:
慢慢啓雙目也。
Slowly open your eyes.

4.撒手:
Let go:
緩緩釋放雙手也。
Slowly release your hands.

5.下盤:
Leave the seated position:
卽輕放雙足,先使兩足心相抵,再雙手扶兩膝而合倂之,再向前緩緩伸直可也。
Gently release your feet from their position, first placing them so that the soles are facing each other, then put your hands on your knees and slowly extend your legs forward.

6.假息:
Rest:
下盤後可稍假息,以右手曲肱枕掌上,右腿直,左腿曲,左手置左膝之鬼眼穴上,右手可曲食指按於耳輕,則枕之不致閉耳竅,如左側卽反之!圖見後。
After leaving your seated position, you may take a short rest. Bend your right arm and use the palm as a pillow, the forefinger bending away and lightly pressing onto the ear so that the hand is not covering the ear. Your right leg is straight, left leg bent, your left hand placed on the bend of the knee. It is the same thing to rest on the other side, just with left and right reversed. See photo 4:

7.不坐時亦應守丹田:
Observe your elixir field even when you are not sitting:
此卽行住坐臥,不忘這個之義,乃意恆存丹田也!(臍下一寸為丹田,取丹之所從產出之義!)又凡睡時,可曲手足側臥,所以固神,故道諺謂:「是道不是道,學個狗睡覺」也!如在外寒冷,坐時可以兩足心相抵,手掩肚臍,卽不冷矣!苟坐功有得,一坐卽忘冷暖,自不用此也。
Do not forget this principle: whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, your mind remains focused on your elixir field. (The spot an inch or so below your navel is called the “elixir field” – the meaning being that this is where “elixir” is produced.) Do so even when you sleep, during which you can bend your arms and legs and lay on your side, which is better for settling your mind. There is a Daoist saying: “It is not important whether or not you have found the Way, what is important is that you have learned to sleep like a dog.” If it is cold outside, you can sit with the soles of your feet together and with your hands covering your navel, and then you will not be cold. Once you have mastered seated meditation, you will be able to forget about temperature as you sit, for the temperature is something you will not need.

遊戲道功
PLAYFUL DAOIST EXERCISES

此為修道之士,每日暇時習此簡單功程,以補道功不足,有如遊戲,故名為遊戲道功!雖單簡似不關緊要,實則暗合金丹大道,極有助於軀體,乃劉老師祖所傳,世不多見,兹略舉一二,幸勿忽視,習之自知,並治一切疾癘也。
For those who are cultivating the Way, these are simple exercises to be practiced each day during one’s free time and which can help to compensate for inadequacies in other Daoist practices. These seem to be more playful than the other exercises, hence the name. Because of their great simplicity, they may seem unimportant, but actually they conform to “pill of immortality” Daoist practices and are extremely helpful for the body. Taught to me by Master Liu, they are rarely seen, and presented here are just a few. I hope you will not overlook them. By practicing them, you will yourself discover that they can treat a great many illnesses.

1.呑電氣:
SWALLOWING ELECTRICITY

以兩掌擦熱,向左掌心吸而呑之(非大吸,一喳卽可,)每日一二作,每作三四次,可以強壯氣血。
Rub your palms together to create heat, put your face to your left palm, and inhale and exhale (not a large sniff, just a gently whisper being enough). Do this a couple times a day, repeating the action three or four times. This can enhance energy and blood circulation.

2.調息:
REGULATING THE BREATH

以左手中食二指塞鼻孔,默數十字,男放食指,女放中指,換一口氣後,再如是作之,三次後,則於放後,空嚥氣一口,如此又三次,卽可作罷,此後氣息自匀,肺腑自淸,誠仙傳也。
Use your left forefinger and middle finger to pinch your nostrils closed and silently count to ten. Then release the forefinger if you are a man [releasing the left nostril], the middle finger if you are a woman [right nostril], and take a full breath. After performing this process three times, release both fingers and take a full breath. Repeat this process another three times, then stop. Your breath will now feel even and your organs cleansed. This indeed seems like teachings from the immortals.

3.摔膂:
SWINGING ARM

摔右膂時,以左手叉左腰際,𦡁成弓箭步,反正成圈形摔之,勿用力!再摔左膂,則右手叉右腰矣!每作三四次卽可,能流通氣血。
With your left hand at your waist, get into a left bow & arrow stance and swing your right arm in backward circles and then forward circles, without using any muscular exertion. Then switch to swinging your left arm in circles, your right hand at your waist, in a right bow & arrow stance. Swing through three or four circles each time. This can boost energy and blood circulation.

4.武功:
RUBBING DOWN AFTER MARTIAL ARTS PRACTICE

無論習內外功,或習八段錦等運動後,全身骨節處,均以手掌摩擦之,擦左邊以右手,右則左手,每節不數下卽可,則血脈流暢,久後可令骨節酥軟,不致老來骨節發硬與疼痛之病。
Regardless of internal or external training, or whether you are practicing Baduanjin or other exercises, use your hands after a practice session to rub down your whole body. Rub on your left side with your right hand, then on your right side with your left hand, rubbing a few times at each joint, which will improve blood circulation through the joints. Over a long time, this can cause the joints to become more supple, preventing you in your old age from having joints that are stiff and aching.

5.童子拜佛:
BOY PRAYS TO BUDDHA

右手握左手,拱置胸前,人身站正,左足先稍外向,日久慢慢向裏,漸可一足而立,則右足已貼左腳肚矣,站時默數字數,漸為增加,至能站五分鐘為止!兩足互習之,所以增氣血,活筋骨也,老年與體弱者習之為最佳!圖見後。
Your right hand grabs your left hand, your hands placed in front of your chest, your body standing straight. With your left foot at first slightly turned outward, but over time pointing more and more straight ahead, your right foot gradually lifts near your left shin so that you are standing one-legged. Silently count as you stand like this, gradually increasing the count until you are able to stand in this way for five minutes at a time. Practice on each foot alternately. This boosts energy and blood, livens sinews and bones, and thus it is a good exercise for old people and weak people. See photo 5:

6.走法:
WALKING METHOD

學道人之走法,兩手指稍屈,緩步前行,一步穩後,再舉二步,所以攝神也。
The Daoist student’s walking method: let the fingers be slightly bent as you slowly walk forward two steps, back one step, then forward another two, and so on in this way, thereby occupying the mind.

7.養神:
NOURISHING SPIRIT

平日坐臥,手指足趾稍屈,冥目息慮,呼吸聽其自然而意歸丹田,如此養神,可以長生。
In a position of ordinary sitting or lying down, fingers and toes slightly curled, close your eyes, breathe naturally, and focus your mind on your elixir field. Doing this nourishes spirit and consequently boosts longevity.

除目疾道功
A DAOIST EXERCISE FOR PREVENTING EYE DISEASE

早起後,面向西方,閉目令兩眸同時向左轉七次,再同時向右轉七次,
Get up early in the morning, face toward the west, and turn your eyes to the left and right with your eyes closed, to the left seven times, then to the right seven times. See photo 6:

再極目遠眺,而同時呼吸空氣兩口,卽睜目時,吸氣呼出,如體操式,兩手成翼狀,腳尖亦同時起立也!則覺目中火出,如此七次或五次,可療一切目疾,並強身體,卽近視眼,半載亦可愈!最好站高處,遠眺林木為尤佳。
Then gaze into the distance over the course of two full breaths, with your arms outstretched like a gymnast, your heels lifting up, and feeling a sense of a fire blazing in your eyes. Do this five or seven times. This treats all kinds of eye issues, can for instance correct nearsightedness in just six months, and can also strengthen the body. (The best place to gaze into the distance is in a forest.) See photo 7:

千八攢除疾道功
ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED ACCUMULATIONS (A DAOIST EXERCISE FOR RIDDING ILLNESS)

此功卽外八段錦,亦名小八段錦,所謂八段錦者,乃拔斷筋之別名耳。蓋練此功,意欲將筋拔斷,而後人以其為八式,遂訛為八段錦,故八段錦不必為八段也,其名千八攢者,謂須習一千八百把也。此功乃一祕傳,余亦披之,習久可令骨節軟脫,百疾皆除,旣單簡,復靈驗,誠中年人不喜多習武功之優良功夫也。此功凡七式,共十手,初手為兩手托日月,左手心為日,右手心為月,仰手向上觀之,所以迎陰陽之氣也!此乃開第一式,至第二次時,卽可不用,此乃練道外丹正功,亦卽站功,久練不惟强健身體,且可增加氣力,老少咸宜,無所難礙!其總譜如下:兩手托日月,前朱雀,後玄武,左靑龍,右白虎,轉轆轤,龍虎相交!其練法次序於下:兩手托日月,前朱雀(左右各一手,)左靑龍,右白虎,後玄武(左右各一手,)轉轆轤(左右各一手,)龍虎相交收式,其圖於下:(本功夫非外傳之八段錦。)
This exercise is also known as External Baduanjin or Lesser Baduanjin. Baduanjin is written two ways, same pronunciation but different characters, the most common being 八段錦, meaning “Eight Sections of Brocade”, and then there is also 拔斷筋, meaning “Stretching the Sinews”. The purpose of the exercise is after all to stretch the sinews, but later generations fixated on there being eight postures, and so they mistakenly called it “Eight Sections of Brocade”. However, Baduanjin does not necessarily need to be done in eight sections. Its other name “One Thousand Eight Hundred Accumulations” means that it is to be practiced one thousand eight hundred times.
  This is a secret exercise, but I have decided to break that tradition and share it openly. Long-term practice can make the joints supple and dispel all illnesses. It is simple and effective. It is an excellent exercise for middle-aged people who do not otherwise enjoy martial arts training. This is a Daoist “pill of immortality” exercise and also a type of standing meditation. Practicing it over a long time will not only strengthen your body, it will also boost your energy. It is suitable for young and old alike, nothing about it being difficult or confusing.
  This exercise has seven postures, performed in ten movements [three of the postures being performed on both sides]. The first posture is HANDS PROP UP THE SUN & MOON, in which the left hand represents the sun and the right hand represents the moon. Gaze upward toward your hands, welcoming the passive and active energies. However, this initial posture does not need to be repeated when repeating the whole exercise.
  The postures in the exercise are: HANDS PROP UP THE SUN & MOON, REACHING FORWARD TO THE RED BIRD [representing the south], REACHING BACKWARD TO THE BLACK TORTOISE [representing the north], REACHING LEFTWARD TO THE BLUE DRAGON [representing the east], REACHING RIGHTWARD TO THE WHITE TIGER [representing the west], TURNING A WINCH, and DRAGON & TIGER MEET.
  The practice sequence for these postures is: HANDS PROP UP THE SUN & MOON (both hands), then REACHING FORWARD TO THE RED BIRD (left hand, then right hand), REACHING LEFTWARD TO THE BLUE DRAGON (left hand), REACHING RIGHTWARD TO THE WHITE TIGER (right hand), REACHING BACKWARD TO THE BLACK TORTOISE (left hand, then right hand), TURNING A WINCH (left hand, then right hand), and finally DRAGON & TIGER MEET (both hands), followed by a closing posture. This exercise, which has never been shown before, is demonstrated below:

起式
BEGINNING POSTURE

兩手握拳,平置兩腰眼處,卽胯骨尖上,此乃起式。
Your hands grasp into fists and are placed at the sides of your waist, your tailbone tucking in. See photo 8:

兩手托日月式
[Movement 1] HANDS PROP UP THE SUN & MOON

由前式兩拳翻上成兩掌,兩掌尖相對,先觀左掌心,再觀右掌心,所以迎日月之氣也。
Continuing from the previous posture, your fists go upward, turning over and becoming palms, the fingers pointing toward each other. First look toward your left hand, then your right, welcoming the energy of the sun and moon. See photo 9:

前朱雀式
[Movements 2 & 3] REACHING FORWARD TO THE RED BIRD

由前式收回成起式,先將左掌前伸,再左外向抓拳與左腿成直角收回歸原處,右掌亦如之。
Continuing from the previous posture, first withdraw to the beginning posture. Then your left hand extends forward as a palm. Your left hand then moves outward to the left until it is making a right angle with your left leg, becomes a fist, and returns to your waist. Then perform the same action with your right hand. See photo 10:

左靑龍式
[Movements 4 & 5] REACHING LEFTWARD TO THE BLUE DRAGON [& REACHING RIGHTWARD TO THE WHITE TIGER]

由起式用掌左向直出成錘抓回歸原處,右拳亦如之。(卽名右白虎。)
From the beginning posture, your left hand extends to the left as a palm, then becomes a fist and returns to your waist. Then perform the same action with your right hand. (When going to the right side, this is called REACHING RIGHTWARD TO THE WHITE TIGER.) See photo 11:

後玄武式
[Movements 6 & 7] REACHING BACKWARD TO THE BLACK TORTOISE

由起式先左拳開掌向後平出,自下抓回歸原處,右拳亦如之,但步不動,祇身擰。
From the beginning posture, your left hand extends to the rear as a palm, then becomes a fist and returns to your waist. Then perform the same action with your right hand. (Your feet do not move, your torso simply twists.) See photo 12:

轉轆轤式
[Movements 8 & 9] TURNING A WINCH

由起式左拳開掌向前平出,再反回成輪狀覆下可達左足尖,始上起左向與左腿成直角抓拳歸原處,右手亦如之。(膝不可屈。)
From the beginning posture, your left hand extends forward as a palm, draws a large arc downward to touch your toes (bending at the waist instead of bending the knees), lifts upward to the left side until making a right angle with your left leg, then becomes a fist and returns to your waist. Then perform the same action with your right hand. See photo 13:

龍虎相交式
[Movement 10] DRAGON & TIGER MEET

由起式兩拳前向開掌,掌背外向拂之,則兩掌心上向托起翻轉成上式交叉之,再收回歸原處。
From the beginning posture, both hands go forward as palms, brush outward with the backs of the hands, prop up with the palms turning over to be facing upward, the hands crossing, then return to your waist [as fists]. See photo 14:

收式
CLOSING POSTURE

由起式雙拳成掌下向覆壓之,意存丹田,靜雅如恆,若無事然,卽為收式,
From the beginning posture, your hands press down as palms. Your intention settles at your elixir field, establishing an elegant calm that lingers long, a sense of having nothing at all to do. See photo 15:

但在未收式前,欲多習之,卽自前朱雀式起,反復習之,不用托日月式矣。
To repeat the exercise instead of closing already, go from movement 7 back to movement 3 [skipping movement 2 since movement 7 is so similar to it], performing movements 3–7 as many times as you please before finally closing.

道家除疾健體坐法
DAOIST SEATED METHODS FOR RIDDING ILLNESS & INVIGORATING THE BODY

此亦道家除疾坐功,乃內八段錦也,在易筋經中亦有之,為十二段錦,蓋下四段乃下盤後所作,實則以此八段為有用也。此功漸已絕沒,惟見坊間所印圖像,旣不真切,且多歧傳,然擅此歧傳者,亦不數覯矣。余得此功,曾費兩載風霜,來之不易,茲為傳出,幸勿忽焉!其坐法仍照前,惟坐至不欲坐時,仍不下盤,而行下之功夫,練完始再下盤,一如前法!於起牀時練一次,晚間另有功夫見後!此均卻疾延年道功,如在養大道期間,卽不用此!故上述種種,均名為功,所以圓夀,猶未至道,蓋無作無為方是道,有作有為,卽非道矣!是以學道先需作功字,而後始可以談道,緣「夀」,「功」,「道」乃相連而來也!其大道步驟,見末章論文中,茲述此坐功於下:
These Daoist seated exercises for ridding illness are also called Internal Baduanjin. They also appear within the Yijinjing [“Sinew Changing Classic”] exercises that are known as Shi’erduanjin [“Twelve Sections of Brocade”]. The final four of those twelve are explained after as finishing exercises, whereas this set of exercises is comprised of the eight shown immediately below.
  This set of exercises was gradually lost over time. The versions I have seen in bookshops are not authentic and depict many variant teachings, and it is rare to find someone who is good at those other versions anyway. To obtain this unique series of exercises, I spent two years in the arduous quest for it. Therefore I hope that these teachings being passed on to you, having been so hard-earned, will not be met with dismissive indifference.
  The sitting method is the same as before, but if you are already tired of sitting, get up and do the walking exercise of two steps forward and one step back, then sit again. Do these exercises after waking up in the morning, and then after practicing other exercises in the evening. These exercises are a method of ridding illness and promoting longevity.
  If you are already spending your time doing other Daoist practices, then you probably would not need to do these. The aforementioned variant versions are usually categorized as “training”, and thus they may fulfill the needs for longevity, but they do not really seem to reach the Way. When there is nothing to do and nothing to be done, that is the Way. When there is something to do and something to be done, that is not really the Way. Before studying the Way, one indeed has to go through a period of training, after which one will then be capable of discussing the Way, but it is only in this manner that seeking “longevity”, engaging in “training”, and studying the “Way” are connected. However, I will discuss the process of Daoist studies another time and for now I present these seated exercises below:

1.鳴天鼓:
BEATING THE CELESTIAL DRUM

兩手掩耳,食指加中指上而下彈之,一上一下,如擊鼓然,習二十四通,祛風池邪氣,可愈腦疾,圖於下:(均忌用力。)
Your hands cover your ears. Place your forefingers on top of your middle fingers and then snap them off onto your skull, though not aggressively. The sound will be like beating a drum. Do this twenty-four times. This will toughen you against illness from both the weather and pathogens, and can relieve headaches. See photo 16:

2.磨齒:
RUBBING THE TEETH TOGETHER

以上下牙牀,來回磨之,凡十來回,卽嚥氣一口(閉嘴空嚥,)習七次,一生不得齒疾,並愈齒痛,世傳扣齒法,卽兩顎上下相咬,習久傷齒,不如此法之佳!此功無法照圖,茲故將脣露出,以示齒之磨狀,但練時仍閉嘴也!圖如左:
Bring up your lower jaw, rub your teeth together [lightly rather than grinding] back and forth ten times, then swallow. Do this seven times. This will prevent dental illnesses and can help relieve toothache. (An old-fashioned method involves loudly biting the teeth together, but doing that over a long period results in injuring the teeth, and so it is not as good as this method.) There is really no way to demonstrate this in a photograph, so this photo simply has the lips parted to show the teeth and give a sense of them rubbing together, though the mouth is actually closed when practicing. See photo 17:

3.揉泥丸宮:
RUBBING THE CLAY-PELLET PALACE

一手掩崑崙(腦後枕骨之上,)一手揉前腦頂(髮際上一寸為泥丸宮,卽囟門穴,)左右手互揉之,各二十四次,除腦疾!圖於右:
One hand rubs Mt. Kunlun (the upper area of the occipital bone) while the other hand rubs the front area of your headtop (an inch above the hairline being the “clay-pellet palace”, also called the fontanel). Do this twenty-four times. This will relieve headaches. See photo 18:

4.明目:
BRIGHTENING THE EYES

以兩手掌交叉,右小指在下,用兩大指根之背,自靠鼻兩大眼角,向小眼角外轉,揉至兩太陽穴處稍停,成圈繞眼眶轉之,並非揉目上!亦二十四次,如在冬日,先將兩大指背,於掌心擦熱再揉,以免冷氣刺戟,能練眼之神光,永無目疾,圖於左:
Interlink your fingers so that your right little finger is on the outside and put the base of each thumb at the side of your nose. Then rub outward from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner, slightly pausing as you reach your temples. (This rubbing action of course moves along the eyelids and not directly on the eyes themselves.) Do this twenty-four times. (If it is winter, first rub the base of each thumb against the opposite palm until it is warm in order to keep cold hands from counterproductively making your face uncomfortable.) This can improve vision and prevent eye disease. See photo 19:

5.擦桩:
RUBBING THE NECK

一手按泥丸宮,一手擦後𩓐,各二十四次,圖於右:
One hand rubs your clay-pellet palace while the other hand rubs the back of your neck. Do this twenty-four times. See photo 20:

6.擦面:
RUBBING THE FACE

以兩手心擦三十六次,則手心發熱,再於面上下直擦二十四次,能令不起皺紋,面色光潤,圖於左:
Rub your palms together thirty-six times, making them hot, then rub your face up and down twenty-four times. This can prevent wrinkles and brighten your complexion. See photo 21:

7.聰耳:
REVIVING THE EARS

兩手掩耳,掩輕放稍重,如拔罐然,可將耳中邪氣熱毒拔出,能令耳聰,十二次,圖於左:
Your hands cover your ears. Cover them lightly and then release more strongly, in the same manner as removing a lid from a jar. This action can draw undue heat out of the ears and thereby improve hearing. Do this twelve times. See photo 22:

8.磨背:
RUBBING THE BACK

冬日可將手背先於掌上擦熱,後握空拳上下反擦腰眼(腰椎兩旁,)十二次,且晃且出氣數口,名為鰲魚擺尾,能將五穀毒氣驅出!圖於左:(練時均去衣。)
In the winter, warm the back of each hand by rubbing it with the opposite palm, then make loose fists and rub your lower back up and down on the sides of the lumbar vertebra. Do this twelve times. Allow the movement to make your torso shake and to push out frequent exhalations, the movement giving the exercise its other name: MYTHICAL TURTLE WAGS ITS TAIL. This can help dispel indigestion. See photo 23 (which is shown in a shirt, though this exercise is best practiced shirtless):

下盤以後動作
FINISHING EXERCISES

作上之內八段錦,乃猶未下盤也!練後可緩緩舒放手足,一如前法,坐榻上兩腿伸直相騈,勿用力,以兩中指推揉膝蓋骨二十四次,再各於膝下彎處,以指端擦十二次,(非搔,)再一足盤他足上,他足仍伸直,一手輕按盤足五指,他手擦盤足之足心,卽湧泉穴處,各二十四次,則至老耄,可不患足痹不仁等疾,擦湧泉穴圖於下:(此穴在足掌心黑白紋分界處!)(練時去襪。)
Having completed the Internal Baduanjin exercises, there is still more to do while you are sitting.
  [1] After practicing, you can slowly stretch out your arms and legs as before in the resting position.
  [2] Then sit up on the mat with your legs extended parallel and without tensing your leg muscles. Use your middle fingers to rub each kneecap twenty-four times.
  [3] Then use the fingertips to rub the backs of the knees twelve times, being careful that this is an action of rubbing rather than scratching.
  [4] Then bend one leg over the other, the other remaining extended, and use one hand to gently pull back the toes while the other hand rubs the sole of the foot at the Yongquan [“bubbling well”] acupoint (which can be found at the middle of the foot where the valley between the two forward pads of the foot finishes). Rub this area twenty-four times. Continuing to do this into old age will prevent numbness or atrophy of the foot muscles. See photo 24 (which is shown in socks, though this exercise is best practiced sockless):

晚間坐法動作
FINISHING EXERCISE FOR SEATED MEDITATION IN THE EVENING

前述兩節,均早間坐法功夫,晚間可不必過於多練,坐法仍舊,而坐至不欲坐時,可行下之二步功夫!一為擦丹田,一為磨背,擦丹田乃以一手成側掌,橫置丹田下,而以他掌橫向擦丹田二十四次,左右互為之!後行磨背功夫照前法!則將一日飲食於腹中之邪氣,皆吐盡矣,卽可緩緩下盤安寢!
The previous two sections have to do with meditating in the morning. It is not necessary to do as many things to finish in the evening. As before, if you have had enough sitting, you may get up and do the walking exercise of two steps forward and one step back, then sit again. One hand rubs your elixir field while the other rubs your back. The hand rubbing your elixir field uses the edge of the palm, placed sideways on your lower abdomen, and rubs side to side twenty-four times. Then move the back-rubbing hand to the front, as in the photo. This will help rid you of the day’s indigestions, after which you can slowly get out of the position and go to sleep. See photo 25:

凡此等禪功,均習身空之法,蓋身未空,他事更無空之一日也!此外猶有三心朝百匯,五心朝百匯,龜鶴蛇諸種睡功,非擅武技者不易習,茲不論矣,擦丹田圖於下:
All of these meditation exercises are means of helping the body into a state of emptiness, in contrast to the affairs of the day that keep the body from finding such emptiness. (There are additional exercises such as “three centers facing the sky”, “five centers facing the sky”, “tortoise sleeping”, “crane sleeping”, and “snake sleeping”, which are not easy to practice unless you already have some skill in martial arts, and so they are not described here.)

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