A very important aspect of Daoist meditation is “Xing gong,” the art of cultivating the consciousness. In Daoist thinking, Xing is the Yang aspect of the consciousness. It is clear and always present in our waking experience, but not as obvious as the other aspect, Qing. Together, Xing and Qing are represented by the “Shen” spirit which is considered to reside in the heart. The heart is represented by the “Li” fire trigram,
The Li trigam is made up of two yang lines on the outside and one broken yin line on the inside. In this case, Yang represents xing, or conscious perception, and Yin represents Qing, or the emotions and feelings. Day to day, we are more aware of our emotions and feelings than our overall perception. The ancient Daoists believed that following our emotions would lead to indulgence in desire and eventually would injure and kill us, so when they created the various forms of Daoist mediation, one common idea was to mend the broken yin line inside of the fire trigram and change it to the Qian, heaven trigram
The heaven trigram is represented as three pure yang lines and is considered to be the true medicine from which the name “elixir” is derived.
This is why Daoist writings place so much importance on remaining quiet and tranquil, and not giving in to desire. This is why Quanzhen Daoism as created by Wang Chongyang put so much emphasis on first practising Xing and later, developing Ming (life energy).
So what is the easiest way to begin this practice?
Simply set the mind on quiet and calm. Breathe naturally through the nose and focus on collecting your mind into one state of calm silence. Even such a simple practice as this can have long lasting beneficial results if practised frequently.