Chinese medical science, the technology of Taoism recognize that the source of human life is in the infinite storage of chi, the potential energy latent within the body. In ancient Taoist the primitive character 炁 is used to represent chi. If we disassemble this character, 炁 the ancient character for 無, meaning none. The ,,,, has the same meaning as 火, fire. In order words, chi 炁, mean no fire. What is meant by fire? Sexual desires, lust-filled affections and attractions, restless, bustling thoughts and a reckless mind are all connoted by fire. In the absence of this rapidly burning and all consuming fire, one would be filled with vitality.
In Taoism, it is supposed that there are front (Jen Mai)任脉, back (Tu Mai) 督脉, and middle (chong Mai) 冲脉, there is also the Taoist theory of upper Tan Tien 丹田, middle Tan Tien and lower Tan Tien. The Tan Tien. The upper Tan Tien is located in the center of the head, behind the point between the two eyebrows. The middle Tan Tien is located at the point bisecting the chest between the breasts. The lower Tan Tien is located approximately four fingers below the navel.
Tan丹 means the pill of immortality. Tien 田means a field.
Meditation and the chi 氣route
During meditation one becomes mentally quieter, and thinking slows down or ceases. The circulation of the blood becomes slower, so the burden on the heart is decreased. When one meditate in a correct posture, not exhausting energy through action, the endocrine secretion of the pituitary gland is evenly distributed, gradually creating the feeling of being full of chi. The most noticeable sensation occur in the central nervous system, at the end of the spinal cord and in the kidneys, and one may feel tightness or swelling at these places. The chi gradually advances from these locations, creating a serpentine sensation as it moves through a chi route. Everybody has different mental and physical conditions and will therefore notice different phenomena. One rule cannot be applied to all.
In seeking quiet during meditation, the mental and physical functions may be classified into two parts: consciousness and feeling. Consciousness includes thoughts, images, etc. Feeling includes emotions, physical sensations and chi circulation. Both consciousness and sensation are actually motions of the mind.
When the chi starts to move, most people subconsciously focus on the feeling of chi’s circulation, and it becomes much stronger. The movement of chi is then disturbed by one’s mental force, causing deception, illusion, association of ideas, chaotic mental states, etc. because of illusion caused by concentrated attention, tighten their nerves and fall into states of physical sickness.
Meditation does not drive a man crazy. But, misunderstanding brought about by ignorance of the basic principles of meditation can cause abnormal mental states and disturb the quiet of meditation.