Chapter III Mechanics and Principles of the Exercise Movements

1. The First Exercise 

The first exercise is called Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands. Just as the name suggests, it’s as if a thousand-handed Buddha or a thousand-handed Bodhisattva is displaying his or her hands. Of course, it is impossible for us to do a thousand movements—you wouldn’t be able to remember all of them, and performing them would wear you out. We use eight simple, basic movements in this exercise to represent that idea. Though simple, these eight movements enable the hundreds of meridians in our bodies to open. Let me tell you why we say that from the outset our practice begins at a very high level. It’s because we don’t open just one or two meridians, the Ren and Du[1] meridians, or the eight Extra Meridians.[2] Instead, we open all of the meridians, and each of them is in simultaneous motion from the very beginning. We thus start practicing at a very high level right from the outset.

One has to stretch and relax the body when doing this exercise. The hands and legs need to be well coordinated. Through stretching and relaxing, the areas of congested energy in the body are unblocked. Of course, the movements would have no effect whatsoever if I didn’t plant a set of mechanisms in your body. When stretching, the whole body is stretched gradually to its limit—even to the extent that you feel as though you are splitting into two people. The body stretches as if it becomes very tall and large. No mind-intent is used. After stretching out to the limit, the body is to relax abruptly—you should relax right away once you stretch to the limit. The effect of such movement is like that with a leather bag filled with air: when squeezed, its air gushes out; when one lifts one’s hand off the bag, the air is drawn back in and new energy is taken in. With this mechanism at work, the blocked areas of the body are opened.

When the body is stretching, the heels are pressed down firmly and strength is used to push the head up. It’s as if all the meridians in your body are being stretched until open and then relaxed abruptly—you should relax abruptly after stretching. Your whole body is immediately opened through this type of motion. Of course, we also have to plant various mechanisms in your body. When the arms are stretching, they’re stretched gradually and forcefully until the limit is reached. The Dao School teaches how to move energy along the three yin and three yang meridians. In fact, there are not only the three yin and three yang meridians, but also hundreds of crisscrossing meridians in the arms. They all have to be stretched open and unblocked. We open all the meridians right at the outset of our practice. Of the ordinary cultivation practices, the genuine ones—this then excludes those that harness qi[3]—use the method of bringing hundreds of meridians into motion via one energy channel. It takes these practices a long time—countless years—to open all of the meridians. Our practice aims directly at opening all meridians at the outset, and, therefore, we begin by practicing at a very high level. Everyone should grasp this key point.

Next, I will talk about the standing posture. You need to stand naturally with the feet shoulder-width apart. The feet don’t have to be parallel, as we do not have things from the martial arts here. Many exercise practices’ standing stances originated from the Horse Stance of the martial arts. Since the Buddha School teaches the offering of salvation to all beings, your feet shouldn’t always be turned inward. The knees and hips are relaxed, bending the knees slightly. When the knees are bent slightly, the meridians there are open; when one stands straight up, the meridians there are rigid and blocked. The body is kept upright and relaxed. You need to completely relax from the inside out, but without becoming too loose. The head should remain upright.

The eyes are closed when performing these five exercises. But when learning the movements, you have to keep the eyes open and watch to see if your movements are correct. Later on, once you have learned the movements and are performing them on your own, the exercises ought to be done with eyes closed. The tip of the tongue touches the hard palate, a space is maintained between the upper and lower teeth, and the lips are closed. Why does the tongue need to touch the hard palate? As you may know, during genuine practice it’s not only the superficial skin-deep heavenly circuit that’s in motion, but also every meridian in the body that intersects vertically or horizontally. Besides there being superficial meridians, there are also meridians on the internal organs and in the gaps between the internal organs. The mouth is empty, so it relies on the raised tongue to form a bridge inside that strengthens the energy flow during the meridians’ circulation and allows the energy to form a circuit through the tongue. The closed lips serve as an external bridge that allows surface energy to circulate. Why do we leave a space between the upper and lower teeth? It’s because if your teeth are clenched during the exercise, the energy will make them clench tighter and tighter during its circulation. Whichever part of the body is tense can’t be fully transformed. So any part that’s not relaxed will end up being excluded and not transformed or evolved. The upper and lower teeth will relax if you leave a space between them. These are the basic requirements for the exercise movements. There are three transitional movements that will later be repeated in other exercises. I would now like to explain them here.

Liangshou Heshi (Pressing Both Hands Together in Front of the Chest). When doing Heshi, the forearms form a straight line and the elbows are suspended so that the underarms are hollow. If the underarms are pressed tight, the energy channels will be completely blocked there. The fingertips are not raised as high as the front of the face, but just to the front of the chest. They are not to be leaned against the body. A hollow space is kept between the palms, and the heels of the palms should be pressed together as much as possible. Everyone needs to remember this position, as it’s repeated many times.

Diekou Xiaofu (Overlapping the Hands in Front of the Lower Abdomen). The elbows should be suspended. During the exercises you have to hold the elbows out. We emphasize this with good reason: If the underarms are not open, energy will be blocked and unable to flow through. When doing this position, the left hand is inside for males; the right hand is inside for females. The hands must not touch each other—a palm’s width is kept between them. A two-palms’ width is kept between the inner hand and the body, without allowing the hand to touch the body. Why is this? As we know, there are many internal and external channels. In our practice we rely on the Falun to open them, especially the Laogong[4] point on one’s hands. In fact, the Laogong point is a field that exists not only in our flesh body, but also in all of our bodies’ forms of existence in other dimensions. Its field is very large, and even exceeds the surface of the flesh body’s hands. All of its fields have to be opened, so we rely on the Falun to do this. The hands are kept apart because there are Falun rotating on them—on both hands. When the hands overlap in front of the lower abdomen at the end of the exercises, the energy carried on them is very strong. Another purpose of Diekou Xiaofu is to strengthen both the Falun in the lower abdomen and the field of dantian.[5] There are many things—more than ten thousand of them—that will be evolved from this field.

There’s another position called Jie Dingyin.[6] We call it Jieyin (Conjoining the Hands) for short. Take a look at the conjoined hands: it’s not to be done casually. The thumbs are raised, forming an oval shape. The fingers are joined together lightly with the fingers of the lower hand positioned against the gaps between the fingers of the upper hand. This is how it should be. When conjoining the hands, the left hand is on top for males, while the right hand is on top for females. Why is this? It’s because the male body is one of pure yang and the female body is one of pure yin. In order to attain a balance of yin and yang, males should suppress the yang and give play to the yin, while females should suppress the yin and give play to the yang. So some of the movements are different for males and females. When conjoining the hands, the elbows are suspended—they need to be held out. As you may know, the center of dantian is two finger-widths below the navel. This is also the center of our Falun. So the conjoined hands are to be placed a bit lower down to hold the Falun. When relaxing the body, some people relax their hands but not their legs. The legs and hands have to be coordinated to simultaneously relax and stretch.

2. The Second Exercise

The second exercise is called Falun Standing Stance. Its movements are quite simple, as there are only four wheel-holding positions—they are very easy to learn. Nonetheless, this is a challenging and demanding exercise. How is it demanding? All standing-stance exercises require standing still for a long time. One’s arms will feel painful when the hands are held up for a long time. So this exercise is demanding. The posture for Standing Stance is the same as that of the first exercise, but there’s no stretching and one simply stands with the body relaxed. All of the four basic positions involve wheel holding. Simple as they are—only four basic positions—this is Dafa cultivation, so it couldn’t be that each single movement is merely for cultivating one particular supernormal ability or one minor thing; each single movement involves many things. It wouldn’t do if each and every thing required one movement to evolve it. I can tell you that the things I installed in your lower abdomen and the things evolved in our cultivation way number in the hundreds of thousands. If you had to use one movement to cultivate each one of them, just imagine: hundreds of thousands of movements would be involved, and you wouldn’t be able to finish doing them in a day. You would exhaust yourself and still might not be able to remember them all.

There’s a saying, “A great way is extremely simple and easy.” The exercises control the transformation of all things as a whole. So it would be even better if there were no movement at all when doing tranquil cultivation exercises. Simple movements can also control on a large scale the simultaneous transformation of many things. The simpler the movements, the more complete the transformation is likely to be, as they control everything on a large scale. There are four wheel-holding positions in this exercise. When you are holding the wheels you will feel the rotation of a large Falun between your arms. Almost every practitioner is able to feel it. When doing Falun Standing Stance, no one is allowed to sway or jump as with the practices where possessing spirits (futi) are in control. Swaying and jumping are no good—that’s not practicing. Have you ever seen a Buddha, Dao, or God jumping or swaying like that? None of them do that.

3. The Third Exercise

The third exercise is called Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes. This exercise is also quite simple. As its name suggests, this exercise is for sending energy to the two “cosmic extremes.” How far are the two extremes of this boundless cosmos? This is beyond your imagination, so the exercise doesn’t involve mind-intent. We perform the exercises by following the mechanisms. Thus, your hands move along with the mechanisms that I’ve installed in your body. The first exercise also has these kinds of mechanisms. I didn’t mention this to you on the first day because you shouldn’t go seeking this sensation before becoming familiar with the movements. I was concerned that you wouldn’t be able to remember all of them. You will actually find that when you stretch and relax your arms they automatically return, by themselves. This is caused by the mechanisms installed in your body, something known in the Dao School as the Hand-Gliding Mechanisms. After finishing one movement, you will notice that your hands automatically glide out to do the next one. This sensation will gradually become more obvious as your exercise time lengthens. All of these mechanisms will revolve on their own after I’ve given them to you. In fact, when you’re not doing the exercises, the gong is cultivating you under the function of the Falun’s mechanism. The subsequent exercises also have mechanisms. The posture for this exercise is the same as that of Falun Standing Stance. There’s no stretching, as one merely stands with the body relaxed. There are two kinds of hand movements. One is a one-handed gliding up and down movement, that is, one hand glides up while the other hand glides down—the hands switch positions. One up-and-down movement of each hand is counted as one time, and the movement is repeated for a total of nine times. After eight and a half times are performed, the lower hand is lifted, and the two-handed gliding up and down movement begins. It is also done nine times. Later on, should you wish to do more repetitions and increase the amount of exercise, you can perform it eighteen times—the number has to be a multiple of nine. This is because the mechanism will alter after the ninth time; it has been fixed at the ninth time. You can’t always count when doing the exercises in the future. When the mechanisms become very strong, they will end the movements on their own on the ninth time. Your hands will be drawn together, since the mechanisms change automatically. You won’t even have to count the number of times, as it’s guaranteed that your hands will be led to turn the Falun upon finishing the ninth gliding movement. In the future you shouldn’t always count, as you need to perform the exercises in an intention-free state. Having intention is an attachment. No mind-intent is used in high-level cultivation practice—it’s completely in a state free of intention. Of course, there are people who say that doing movements is itself full of intention. This is an incorrect understanding. If the movements are said to be full of intention, then what about the hand signs made by Buddhas, or the conjoined hands and meditation done by Zen Buddhist monks and monks in temples? Does the argument for their “having intention” refer to how many movements and hand signs are involved? Does the number of movements determine if one is in a state free of intention or not? Are there attachments if there are more movements and no attachments if there are fewer movements? It’s not the movements that count, but rather, it’s whether one’s mind has attachments and whether there are things one can’t let go of. It’s the mind that matters. We perform the exercises by following the mechanisms and gradually abandoning our intention-driven thinking, reaching a state free of mind-intent.

Our bodies undergo a special kind of transformation during the upward and downward gliding of the hands. Meanwhile, the channels atop our heads will be opened, something known as “Opening the Top of the Head.” The passages at the bottoms of our feet will also be unblocked. These passages are more than just the Yongquan[7] point, which is itself actually a field. Because the human body has different forms of existence in other dimensions, your bodies will progressively expand as you practice and the volume of your gong will become larger and larger such that [your body in other dimensions] will exceed the size of your human body.

While one is doing the exercises, the Opening of the Top of the Head will occur at the head’s crown. This Opening the Top of the Head that we refer to isn’t the same as that in Tantrism. In Tantrism it refers to opening one’s Baihui[8] point and then inserting a piece of “lucky straw” into it. It’s a cultivation technique taught in Tantrism. Our Opening the Top of the Head is different. Ours refers to communication between the universe and our brain. It’s known that general Buddhist cultivation also has Opening the Top of the Head, but it’s seldom revealed. In some cultivation practices it’s considered an achievement if a fissure is opened at the top of one’s head. Actually, they still have a long way to go. What extent should genuine Opening the Top of the Head reach? One’s crania have to be opened completely and then forever in a state of automatic opening-and-closing. One’s brain will be in constant communication with the vast universe. Such a state will exist, and this is genuine Opening the Top of the Head. Of course, this doesn’t refer to the cranium in this dimension—that would prove too frightening. It’s the crania in other dimensions.

This exercise is also very easy to perform. The required standing posture is the same as with the previous two exercises, though there’s no stretching as with the first exercise. Neither is stretching required in the exercises that follow. One just needs to stand in a relaxed way and keep the posture unchanged. While performing the up and down hand gliding, everyone has to ensure that his or her hands follow the mechanisms. Your hands actually glide along with the mechanisms in the first exercise as well. Your hands will automatically glide to Heshi when you finish stretching and relaxing your body. These kinds of mechanisms have been installed in your body. We perform the exercises along with the mechanisms so that these may be reinforced. There’s no need for you to cultivate gong by yourself, for the mechanisms assume that role. You just perform the exercises to reinforce the mechanisms. You will sense their existence once you grasp this essential point and perform the movements correctly. The distance between your hands and your body is no more than 10 centimeters (4 inches). Your hands need to stay within this range to feel the mechanisms’ existence. Some people can never sense the mechanisms since they don’t relax completely. They will slowly come to sense them after doing the exercise for a while. During the exercise one should not use intention to draw qi upward, and neither should one think of pouring qi or pressing qi inward. The hands should face the body at all times. There’s one thing that I wish to point out: Some people move their hands close to their body, but the moment their hands are in front of their face they slide their hands away for fear of touching the face. Things won’t work if the hands are too far away from the face. Your hands have to glide upward and downward close to your face and body, as long as they don’t get so close that they touch your clothes. Everyone has to follow this important point. If your movements are correct, your palm will always face inward when your hand is in the upward position during the one-handed up-and-down gliding movement.

Don’t just pay attention to the upper hand when doing the one-handed up-and-down gliding movement. The lower hand also has to reach its position since the upward and downward movements occur simultaneously. The hands glide up and down at the same time and reach their positions at the same time. The hands are not to overlap when moving along the chest, or the mechanisms will be damaged. The hands are to be kept separate, having each hand cover only one side of the body. The arms are straightened, but this does not mean they’re not relaxed. Both the arms and the body should be relaxed, but the arms need to be straightened. Because the hands move along with the mechanisms, you will feel that there are mechanisms and a force leading your fingers to glide upward. When doing the two-handed up-and-down gliding movement, the arms may open a little bit, but they should not be spaced too far apart since the energy moves upward. Pay special attention to this when doing the two-handed up-and-down gliding movement. Some people are accustomed to supposedly, “holding qi and pouring it into the top of the head.” They always move their hands downward with the palms facing down and lift their hands upward with the palms facing up. That’s no good—the palms must face the body. Although the movements are called upward and downward gliding, they are actually done by the mechanisms given to you—it’s the mechanisms that assume this function. There is no mind-intent involved. None of the five exercises use any mind-intent. There’s one thing about the third exercise: Before doing the exercise, you imagine that you are an empty barrel or two empty barrels. It is to give you the idea that the energy will flow smoothly. That’s the main purpose. The hands are in the lotus palm position.

Now I’m going to talk about turning the Falun with your hands. How do you turn it? Why should we turn the Falun? The energy released by our exercises travels inconceivably far, reaching the two cosmic extremes, but there is no mind-intent used. This is unlike ordinary practices, in which what’s known as “collecting yang qi from heaven and yin qi from earth” is still limited to within Earth’s boundary. Our exercise enables energy to penetrate the Earth and to reach the cosmic extremes. Your mind is incapable of imagining how vast and distant the cosmic extremes are—it’s simply inconceivable. Even if you were given a whole day to imagine it, you still wouldn’t be able to grasp how large it is or where the boundary of the universe is. Even if you thought with your mind completely unrestrained, you still wouldn’t be able to know the answer by the time you had become exhausted. Genuine cultivation practice is done in a state free of intention, so there’s no need for any mind-intent. You don’t need to be concerned with much in order to perform the exercises—just follow the mechanisms. My mechanisms will assume this function. Please note that since energy is emitted very far during the exercise, we have to turn our Falun manually at the end of the exercise to give them a push and return the energy instantly. Turning the Falun four times suffices. If you turn it more than four times your stomach will feel distended. The Falun is turned clockwise. The hands shouldn’t move beyond the body when turning the Falun, as that would be turning it too widely. The point two finger-widths below the navel should be used as the center of the axis. The elbows are raised and suspended, and both the hands and forearms are kept straight. It’s necessary to do the movements correctly when you first start to do the exercises, or the mechanisms will become distorted.

4. The Fourth Exercise

The fourth exercise is called Falun Heavenly Circuit. Here we’ve used two terms from the Buddha School and the Dao School[9] so that everyone understands it. This exercise used to be called Turning the Great Falun. This exercise slightly resembles the Dao School’s Great Heavenly Circuit, but our requirements are different. All of the meridians should have been opened during the first exercise, so while doing the fourth exercise all of them will simultaneously be in motion. Meridians exist on the surface of the human body as well as in its depths, in each of its layers, and in the spaces between its interior organs. So how does the energy travel in our practice? We require all meridians of the human body to attain simultaneous motion, rather than having just one or two meridians circulating or the eight Extra Meridians revolving. The energy flow is thus quite powerful. If the front and the back of the human body are indeed divided into a yang and yin side, respectively, then the energy of each side is moving; that is, the energy of the entire side is in motion. As long as you’re going to practice Falun Dafa, from now on you have to let go of any mind-intent you have used for guiding the heavenly circuit since in our practice all the meridians are opened and put into simultaneous motion. The movements are quite simple and the standing posture is the same as that of the previous exercise, except for your having to bend at the waist somewhat. Your movements should follow the mechanisms here as well. These kinds of mechanisms also exist in each of the previous exercises, and the movements need to again follow the mechanisms. The mechanisms that I install outside of your body for this particular exercise aren’t common ones but a layer of mechanisms that can bring all of the meridians into motion. They will drive all of your body’s meridians into continuous rotation—rotation that continues even when you’re not doing the exercises. They will also rotate in reverse at the appropriate time. The mechanisms rotate in both directions; there is no need for you to work for those things. You should simply follow what we’ve taught you and should be free of any mind-intent. It’s this layer of large meridians that lead you to finish the exercise.

The energy of the entire body has to be in motion when doing Heavenly Circuit. In other words, if the human body is indeed divided into a yin and a yang side, then the energy circulates from the yang side to the yin side, from the body’s interior to its exterior, back and forth, while hundreds or thousands of meridians circulate simultaneously. Those of you who used to perform other heavenly circuits and used different kinds of mind-intent or had different kinds of ideas about the heavenly circuit have to let go of all of them when practicing our Dafa. Those things you practiced were too small. It’s simply ineffective to have just one or two meridians in motion, as progress will be too slow. From observing the surface of the human body it’s known that there exist meridians. The meridians actually intersect vertically and horizontally inside the body, just like blood vessels, and their density is even higher than that of blood vessels. They exist in the layers of the human body in different dimensions, that is, from the surface of your body to the bodies in deep dimensions, including in the spaces between the interior organs. If the human body is indeed divided into two sides, one yin and one yang, it must be that the whole side, either the front or the back, circulates at the same time when you perform the exercises—it is no longer one or two meridians. Those of you who used to do other heavenly circuits will ruin your practice if you perform our exercise using any mind-intent. So you must not cling to any of the mind-intent you used to use. Even if your previous heavenly circuit was opened, that still means nothing. We’ve already far exceeded that, as all the meridians of our practice are set in motion from the outset. The standing posture is no different from those in the previous exercises, with the exception of some bending at the waist. During the exercises, we require the hands to follow the mechanisms. It’s just like the third exercise, in which the hands float up and down with the mechanisms. One should follow the mechanisms during the entire circuit when performing this exercise.

The movements of this exercise need to be repeated nine times. If you’d like to do them more you can do them eighteen times, but you have to be sure that the number is a multiple of nine. Later on when you reach a certain level it won’t be necessary to count the number of times. Why is that? It’s because repeated performance of the movements for nine times will make the mechanisms become fixed. After the ninth time, the mechanisms will make your hands naturally overlap in front of the lower abdomen. After you’ve been doing the exercise for some time, these mechanisms will automatically lead the hands to overlap in front of the lower abdomen after the ninth time, and you will no longer need to count. Of course, when you have just begun to do the exercises, the number of times still has to be counted, since the mechanisms aren’t strong enough.

5. The Fifth Exercise

The fifth exercise is called Strengthening Divine Powers. It’s something of high-level cultivation practice that I used to do by myself. I’m now making it public without any modifications. Because I no longer have time… it will be very difficult for me to have another opportunity to teach you in person. I now teach you everything at once so that later on you will have a way to practice at high levels. The movements of this exercise are not complex, either, as a great way is extremely simple and easy—complicated movements are not necessarily good. Yet this exercise controls the transformation of many things on a large scale. It’s a very challenging and demanding exercise, as you need to sit in meditation for a long time to complete this exercise. This exercise is independent, so one doesn’t need to perform the previous four exercises before doing this one. Of course, all of our exercises are very flexible. If you don’t have much time today and can only do the first exercise, then you may just do the first one. You may even perform the exercises in a different order. Say your schedule is tight today and you just want to do the second exercise, the third exercise, or the fourth exercise—that, too, is all right. If you have more time, you can do more; if you have less time, you can do less—the exercises are quite convenient. When you perform them you are reinforcing the mechanisms that I’ve installed in you and are strengthening your Falun and dantian.

Our fifth exercise is independent and consists of three parts. The first part is performing the hand signs, which are for adjusting your body. The movements are quite simple and there are just a few of them. The second part strengthens your divine powers. There are several fixed positions that deliver your supernormal abilities and divine powers from the inside of your body to your hands for strengthening during the exercise. That’s why the fifth exercise is called Strengthening Divine Powers—it reinforces one’s supernormal abilities. The next part is sitting in meditation and entering into ding. The exercise is comprised of these three parts.

I’ll first talk about the seated meditation. There are two kinds of leg crossing for meditation; in genuine practice there are just two ways to fold one’s legs. Some people claim that there are more than two ways: “Just take a look at Tantrism’s practice—aren’t there many ways to fold one’s legs?” Let me tell you that those are not leg-crossing methods but exercise positions and movements. There are only two kinds of genuine leg crossing: one is called “single-leg crossing” and the other is called “double-leg crossing.”

Let me explain the single-leg crossing position. This position can only be used as a transition, as a last resort, when you aren’t able to sit with both legs crossed. Single-leg crossing is done with one leg below and the other above. While sitting in the single-leg crossing position, many people hurt in their anklebones and are unable to bear the pain for long. Even before their legs have begun hurting, the pain caused by their anklebones has already become unbearable. The anklebones will shift backwards if you can turn your feet over so that their soles face upward. Of course, even though I’ve told you to do the exercise this way, you might be unable to achieve this at the very beginning. You can work on it gradually.

There are many different theories about the single-leg crossing. Practices in the Dao School teach “drawing in without releasing out,” which means that energy is always being drawn in and never released out. The Daoists try to avoid dispersing their energy. So how do they achieve that? They are particular about sealing off their acupuncture points. Often when they cross their legs they close off the Yongquan point of one foot by putting it underneath the other leg and tuck the Yongquan point of the other foot under the upper part of the opposite thigh. It’s the same with their Jieyin position. They use one thumb to press the opposite hand’s Laogong point, and use the other hand’s Laogong point to cover the opposite hand while both hands cover the lower abdomen.

The leg crossing in our Dafa doesn’t have any of those requirements. All of the cultivation practices in the Buddha School—regardless of which cultivation path—teach the offering of salvation to all beings. So they’re not afraid of giving off energy. As a matter of fact, even if your energy is released and consumed, you can later make it up in the course of your practice without losing anything. That is because your xinxing will have reached a certain level—your energy won’t be lost. But you have to endure hardships if you want to raise your level further. In that case your energy won’t be lost whatsoever. We don’t ask much for the single-leg crossing since we actually require double-leg crossing, not single-leg crossing. Since there are people who can’t cross both legs yet, I will take this opportunity to speak a little bit about the single-leg crossing position. You may do the single-leg crossing if you can’t yet sit with both legs crossed, but you still need to work to gradually put both of your legs up. Our single-leg crossing position requires of males that the right leg be below and the left leg above; for females, the left leg is to be below and the right leg above. In fact, genuine single-leg crossing is very difficult since it requires the crossed legs to form one line; I don’t think that doing a one-line leg crossing is any easier than doing the double-leg crossing. The lower part of the legs should be basically parallel—this has to be achieved—and there should be space between the legs and the pelvis. Single-leg crossing is hard to do. These are the general requirements for the single-leg crossing position, but we don’t ask this of people. Why is that? It’s because this exercise demands that one sit with both legs crossed.

I’ll explain double-leg crossing now. We require you to sit with both legs crossed, which means that from the single-leg crossing position you pull the leg from underneath to the top, pull it from the outside, not the inside. This is double-leg crossing. Some people do a relatively tight leg crossing. By doing so, the soles of both feet face up and they can achieve Five Centers Facing Heaven. This is how the genuine Five Centers Facing Heaven is done in Buddha School exercises in general—the top of the head, the two palms, and the soles of both feet face upward. If you want to do a loose leg crossing, it’s all right to do it however you like; some people prefer a loose leg crossing. But all we require is sitting with both legs crossed—a loose leg crossing is fine, just as is a tight one.

The tranquil meditation requires sitting in meditation for a long time. During the meditation there should be no mental activity—don’t think about anything. We’ve said that your Main Consciousness has to be aware, for this practice cultivates you yourself. You should progress with an alert mind. How do we perform the meditation? We require that each of you must know that you are doing the exercise there, no matter how deeply you meditate. You absolutely should not enter into a state in which you’re aware of nothing. So what particular state will occur? As you sit there you will feel wonderful and very comfortable, as if you were sitting inside an eggshell. You will be aware of yourself doing the exercise, but will feel that your entire body can’t move. This will certainly occur in our practice. There’s another state: During the seated meditation you might find that your legs disappear and you can’t remember where they are. You will also find that your body, arms, and hands disappear, with only your head left. As you continue meditating, you will find that even your head is gone, with only your mind—a trace of awareness—knowing that you are meditating there. You should maintain that slight awareness. It’s sufficient if we can reach this state. Why? When one does the exercise in this state, one’s body undergoes full transformation. This is the optimum state, so we require that you achieve this state. But you shouldn’t fall asleep, lose conscious, or abandon that slight awareness. Your meditation will be in vain should you do these things, and it will be no better than sleeping and not meditating. After completing the exercise, your hands are put together in Heshi and you come out of ding. The exercise is then done.


[1] Ren and Du – the Du channel, or “Governing Vessel,” begins in the pelvic cavity and travels upward along the middle of the back. The Ren channel, or “Conception Vessel,” travels upward from the pelvic cavity along the middle of the body’s front side.

[2] eight Extra Meridians—in Chinese Medicine, these are meridians that exist in addition to the twelve Regular Meridians. Most of the eight Extra intersect with the acupuncture points of the twelve Regular, and so they are not considered independent or major meridians.

[3] Qi (chee) – in Chinese thought, this substance/energy is said to assume many forms in the body and environment. Usually translated as “vital energy,” qi is thought to determine a person’s health. “Qi” can also be used in a much broader sense to describe substances that are invisible and amorphous, such as air, odor, anger, etc.

[4] Laogong (laow-gong) – the acupuncture point at the center of one’s palm.

[5] dantian (dahn-tyen) – “field of dan,” an energy field located at the lower abdominal area.

[6] Jie Dingyin (jieh ding-yin) – Conjoining Both Hands.

[7] Yongquan (yong-chew-en) – the acupuncture point at the center of the sole of one’s foot.

[8] Baihui (buy-hway) –  acupuncture point located at the crown of one’s head.

[9] Respectively, “Falun” and “Heavenly Circuit.”