Acupuncture Jing Meditation: 5 Minute Meditation for Greater Strength, Vitality, and Joy!
The past few weeks I’ve been focusing on our Jing, which is stored in our Kidneys, and is related to the Water Element in Chinese Medicine.
This week, I’m going to teach you a simple, pleasurable meditation exercise that you can do outside the acupuncture clinic, to increase your kidney function, build your vital Qi to enhance health and immunity, and connect back into your peaceful center. This peaceful center is known to acupuncturists as the lower “Dan Tian”.
Your Dan Tian
Connect with your Dan Tian for centering
"Solutions" that come from a stressed space aren't usually great solutions
This may seem like an esoteric Eastern concept and therefore hard for many of you to grasp, but even Christianity teaches us the value of being still, focusing only on the present instead of on worries about the future.
Matthew 6:34 says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Psalm 46:10 tell us “Be still and know that I am God”.
You see, all religions have echoed the same wisdom of being present.
This is easier said than done, right? How do we stay focused on the present moment when our minds can’t help but fill up with spiraling thoughts?
Enter this meditation exercise. When I’m in “go go go” mode, sometimes I have to literally force myself into my core, because everything in my system is telling me I MUST stay in my head to “figure out” whatever current situation I’m facing, or to “get the job done”.
It feels like stepping on the brakes and gas at the same time…my mind wants to race forward, while my higher knowing is screeching on the brakes telling me to stop, get centered, go into my peaceful core.
My adrenal glands are more than happy to help me stay in stress “git ‘er done” mode, shooting out the stress hormones that keep us in low grade “fight or flight” mode and that stimulate insulin to lay down more fat cells. (This is why they say that stress contributes to weight gain, especially of fat around our bellies)
Once I get into my Dan Tian, the choices I make and solutions I see, without fail, take much less effort and unfold much more gracefully. And, most importantly, I’m now in a place of joy, and no longer physically draining my Jing.
It is totally human to have to re-center ourselves many, many (did I mention *many*) times per day. However, even just 5 minutes per day will train you into that peaceful feeling, making it easier to dip into your Dan Tian when you most need it.
So try practicing this exercise, for just 5 minutes per day, and return to it whenever you feel your mind spinning with worry-plan-thoughts!
Find a comfortable place to sit, either on the floor in meditation posture if you can do that, or on a comfortable, supportive chair. Sit with your back straight.
Begin taking deep breaths, allowing your lungs to feel like they’re extending all the way to the base of your pelvic bone on the in-breaths. Imagine that your legs are like tree trunks, and that they extend down deep into the center of the earth. Just keep taking deep, relaxing breaths.
When you feel relaxed, now bring your attention to a space below your belly button, deep inside your abdomen, about half-way between your belly button and your perineum. For women, the Dan Tian is actually centered right in the center of our womb, the uterus. (If you have had your uterus removed, don’t worry, you still have this energy center. In fact, it is especially important to nurture that core energy when an organ has actually been removed…we want to fill the void that was left when the uterus was removed, with strong, energizing, Qi). For men, it is located just a bit higher, below the level of the belly button.
Just stay focused on that center, allowing your entire mind to explore the feelings and sensations that you feel there.
In the beginning, your mind will probably wander all over the place. This is natural and to be expected, definitely not a reason to stop or give up. Just bring it back to your Dan Tian when you notice it has wandered. Do you feel warmth there, coolness? Fullness, emptiness? Tingling? Pain? Pleasure? Without judgment, just continue to explore the physical sensations that come up.
Now visualize your legs are like hoses, with suctions on the bottom of your feet that can draw up the energy of the earth. Start visualizing energy coming up from your feet like water, flowing gently into the center of your Dan Tian, filling it up. You can imagine it as the color blue if you like, which is the color related to the Kidneys, and the Water Element.
Just continue doing this, keeping your focus on your core, visualizing it growing bigger and bigger, even extending out from your body three dimensionally. If it is hard to imagine this while thinking about energy like water, some people like to use the “energy egg” technique, in which you imagine the energy center expanding out just like an egg, all around your belly, in front, the sides, and back.
You should notice a calm, centered, peaceful feeling, as you tune into this energy. Do it for as long as you like, just noticing how peaceful you feel during and after. This memory will help you be drawn back into this place during times of stress.
I hope you enjoy this exercise and feel the benefits, not only in a deeper sense of peace, but also through knowing it is helping keep your vital Kidney energy, and Jing, strong!
And if you're feeling so stressed that you need more assistance, acupuncture is always here to help. It's fabulous for calming stress and anxiety, and sometimes we just need that extra help to even calm down enough to be able to sit in meditation.