Gradual but Safe Approach

Yutang Lin

Diligent and long-term care according to rules
Would yield maturity naturally that cannot be rushed.
Both mind and inner air as inseparable need be purified.
Reciting "Amitabha" to transcend twisted frames.


Spiritual practices are like cultivation of plants. One could only follow the basic rules of their growth in long-term care so as to yield desirable results. Nowadays many people are interested in practicing Qi Gong (breathing practices) to foster their health, and yet they lack the proper understanding that inner air and mind (thoughts, feelings and other states of mind,) are inseparably related as one. While complex and multiple worldly worries are still rampant in their minds they are diligently engaging in breathing practices. Consequently, when their inner air becomes strong mental or physical problems often arise that are difficult to remedy. Many people who teach Qi Gong do not claim the responsibility to cure such problems. It ends up as the sole liability of the victim. When one started to adopt breathing practices, one felt improvement in one's mental and physical conditions; however, later when the problems arise, then one realizes that it has indeed done harm. This is all due to lack of understanding that, before engaging in breathing practices, one should first of all have developed a solid foundation of mental purification. Only after mind is more or less purified, then can one adopt gradually practices of breathing without inviting hindrances to mind or body to occur. Reciting the holy name of a Buddha or Bodhisattva is a wondrous practice that would gradually purify one's mind. In continuous repetition of a pure thought the channels for inner air would also be gradually made open. For people who have not renounced worldly engagements it would be advisable to begin breathing practices only after they have practiced repetition of a holy name for several years. If one still wants to practice breathing while practicing repetition of a holy name, one could start with just deep breathing. Please read my article, "The Unification of Mind and Wind."

Written in Chinese on April 26, 2000
Translated on April 27, 2000
El Cerrito, California

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