How do we stop the mind?
When we think or worry a lot and our minds are filled with negative emotions, brain activity can consume 80 percent of our body’s energy. This leaves 20 percent of the body’s energy for everything we need in daily life. When we are caught in this habit, there is little energy left to follow a spiritual path or invest in our relationships.
A lot of spiritual paths try to help people stop thinking. But how do we keep the mind from its constant spinning, especially if this has been a habit for decades? The brain continues into sleep and dreaming, preventing the body from relaxing fully. Rather than trying to ‘stop’ the mental activity, Taoist meditations look to redirect this energy. Many practices, like the Inner Smile, Fusion of the Five Elements, or Iron Shirt Chi Kung relax the mind and observe or smile down to the body. This observation and smiling is like ‘sun shining on the water.’
After spending time smiling and expressing gratitude to the organs, bones, and glands, energy rises up through energy channels like mist rising off of water. This process charges the brain, rather than exhausting the body. Once the brain is charged, it can smile back down, continuing the cycle, nourishing the mind, body and spirit. This refined and healthy energy can be stored in the body to fill up our health like a bank account. Instead of spending from this account all day, we can make deposits, that accumulate interest, for future use.