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Internal Cultivation

Written by Sifu Donald Reynolds
on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:56:39 AM

I've been studying chinese martial arts for a long time now, including some internal arts like Xingyi and Taiji. I've also been practicing Taoist meditation for some time now. Here are some of my thoughts and theories as to the goals of internal cultivation through meditation and martial arts.

Letting go is the first baby step to escaping a causal loop thought process. If you are thinking about everyday things or if you have emotional troubles, your thought process will be linear. One thought will trigger another. This blocks your ability to deal with other input. Meditation in a still position with eyes partially or fully closed with relative silence is the easiest way to shut off errant input so you have a chance to achieve this and understand the end goal. The guided meditation and meditative exercises in my opinion gets your mind to open up to deeper and deeper questions or more and more abstract thoughts so that you escape that loop of linear and reactionary thought processes... for good (not just in meditation). I think this is the first of many stages where the metaphor of escaping the reincarnation cycle comes into play.

I believe that the goal of internal cultivation (starting with meditation) is about increasing your capacity to absorb EVERYTHING and being fully aware of it as it happens. In other words, achieving that bullet-time feeling AT ALL TIMES. If you are aware of every nuance of every moment, then every instant would seem to be infinitely long to you. Add that up over days and years and decades and suddenly you experience immortality. Everything else in my opinion (and in my experiences with meditation and tai chi) is just lead up to that goal, readying you for it if you can achieve it. If you do you have escaped the cycle of time.

This brings me to another theory I have about what you are supposed to do with this increased awareness and relative immortality. I think you are encouraged to learn everything you can about the world, physics, quantum physics, the meaning of life, the creation of the universe, and your own existence only as a means to discover - through your own journey and research and soul searching - that there are no answers... just more questions. It's easy to say this, but I think it could take a lifetime of proving it to yourself to actually believe it. It would have to! In fact it may be nearly impossible. I believe the state of increased awareness and that relative immortality are necessary to achieve this. Descartes said that we prove our own existence by questioning it. (I think therefore I am.) I believe that if you are able to accept in your lifetime that there are NO ANSWERS, you will stop questioning and therefore escape existence as we know it and experience something else entirely.

Anyway, that's what I have concluded based on my knowledge, experience, and practice to date. I'm sure it will (in fact, it must) change in time.

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