The TAOIST Meditation
The Taoists practice meditation as a way to awaken the flow of chi, or life force, and to harmonize with the universal laws of nature.
In this meditation, prepare to go on an amazing inner journey. This practice is supported by beautiful music and nature sounds.
This special meditation is from Travis’ NEW program, “Flexibility & Beyond,” an 8-week digital yin yoga program.
Hope you enjoy!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The Be Ultimate Podcast.” Please note that this is direct from Travis speaking unscripted and unedited.]
Welcome to The TAOIST Meditation.
We’ll get started by finding a comfortable seated position.
Feel free to sit up on top of a block or a pillow for support. And then find a comfortable place to rest your hands, on your knees, palms up, palms down, hands on the lap, whatever feels right for you. And then just allow your spine to be tall, centered, and straight like a staff of bamboo.
Feel free to close your eyes and just gently bringing your attention and your awareness inward and inside.
And as you shift your attention inwardly, just allow all things of an external nature to begin to go out of focus and fade away, just resting your attention easily within the natural rhythm of your breath.
And notice when you’re inhaling, and then notice when you’re exhaling. Each inhalation followed by an exhalation.
Each time that you inhale, silently repeat the word yin, and each time that you exhale, silently repeat the word yang.
Inhales are receptive and internal and therefore, Yin. And exhales are more active or warm or external and therefore, yang in nature.
As you continue to label the inhales as yin and the exhales as yang, feel that beautiful dance and synergy of the yin and yang flowing in and out of each other. [music]
If at any point you notice your attention drifting away from your breath, from noting it within the yin and the yang, just very, very easily and patiently bring your attention back, silently repeating the yin, tenderly repeating the yang. Feeling that quality of balance – the balance of feminine and masculine energy – in the deepest of ways. [music]
From here, let’s take a deep inhale through the nose. Sigh it out the mouth. Let it go.
And as you allow the rhythm of your breath to be effortless and easy, allow the labeling of the yin and the yang now to fade away, bringing your awareness into your upper body, your head and allowing your scalp to relax, allowing all the little muscles in the face to relax, especially your jaw, soften your throats.
Relax all the thousands and thousands of subtle neck fibers and strands all the way down into your traps in your upper back. It’s releasing the weight of responsibilities, worldly demands, just setting it all down, shifting from heaviness into lightness, shifting from density into levity.
Allow your chest to soften and allow your heart to open.
And although your spine is tall and straight in that symbol of nobility, allow the muscles around your spine to just be at ease all the way down into your lower back, into the kidneys.
Soften your abdominals and your belly, perhaps noticing that as you inhale, the navel moves outwardly, and as you exhale, the navel draws back in.
Release and relax within your pelvis and your hips, feeling the earth and the ground below you reminding you of what it’s like to be stable, grounded, steady, and centered.
Let your thighs relax. Allow your calf muscles to release. Feel the space within your ankles, even the spaciousness between your toes.
And as your attention and your focus continues to deepen and become more and more subtle, see if you can allow yourself to penetrate deeper in your muscles, your joints, your tissues, and your bones. And just feel that deeper dimension of subtle energy that we call chi.
If you look closely enough, you may experience a subtle pulsating energy just dancing and moving and flowing throughout your whole entire body. In some places, you may feel it stronger than other places. You may feel more of an aliveness in certain areas of the body. And there’s nothing that you need to make happen. You just allow this chi to simply animate in its own natural organic way. Just watching and observing and noticing.
Then from here, bring your attention all the way up to the very top of your head to your crown, to a point that martial artists use to help them find greater balance and agility.
Holding your attention right there at the very crown of the head, almost like a carousel just feel a slow circulating movement of energy there in a clockwise direction.
Then from the top of the head, traveling down into the brain stem, all the way down the snake-like shape of your spine, all the way down to the base of the spine– the tailbone and really feel the center line of your whole entire being.
Keeping that connection to that center line, imagine now that you’re situated within a purple orb. And as you take this seat inside this violet bubble, imagine now that you’re being transported to a beautiful land and that you arrive in a green meadow situated next to a beautiful serene stream surrounded by majestic mountains and just experiencing the beauty in the fullness of nature.
Feel the light and the warmth of the sun rays hitting your face and feel that gratitude from this energy of the sun. The light of the sun, the light of the mind, and the light of your heart.
And now allow your attention to notice the sound of that gentle stream.
That beautiful sound of running water. The water that nourishes our planet. The same water that nourishes our body.
Then now notice a gentle wind and a breeze moving across the surface of your skin. The wind of circulation, and also the wind of your breath. The air that always flows in and out your nose and your lungs and your body.
Then feel that connection of the earth below you, seated in the grass and on the ground. The Earth that’s there to hold you and support you even when you fall. Feel the presence of the earth manifested within those beautiful majestic mountains surrounding you.
Feel the earth of your body, your bones, and your muscles. The structure of you and your form.
And finally, as you continue to be here on your seat, to allow yourself to zoom out beyond that purple orb, to increase your perspective, and seeing yourself smaller and smaller and smaller in that seat of meditation and eventually becoming a tiny little speck as if you were a satellite now looking down upon the earth. And then the satellite traveling further and further away from the earth. And the earth becoming a speck. And the sun becoming a tiny little speck. And the whole entire solar system becoming a tiny little speck.
As you now experience the true vastness and spaciousness of being one with the entire, entire universe. No limits. No bounds. Just infinite, eternal, and completely free.
And as you continue to maintain and carry this connection with that part of you that is one with nature, arriving back here in this body, in your identity but still remembering, on a deeper level, who you truly, truly are.
From here, take a last deep inhale through your nose and then out the mouth exhale. Let it go.
And as you’re ready, slowly, slowly open up the eyes, reinviting the external world back in.
Thank you guys for practicing this Taoist meditation.
Be supple or flexible within your body. Be strong and calm within your mind, and may the Tao be with you.
Video by KKO Productions
Music by Ryan Richko