Lo Ban Pai & The Eight Gates of Dreaming Awake

lo-ban-pai-meditationDear Lujan,

Last year I suffered an injury to my abdomen tearing the muscle and connective tissue. When I workout now after and do the meditation I usually end up going directly into the eight gates and often doing other mudras without thinking either to substitute the recommended or to accompany.

Is it okay to do the eight gates after strenuous exercise and can other mudras combined with the gates further assist in healing an injury?

Should they be spaced apart and could different mudras combined with gates or meditation this way help to heal other conditions like skin for instance or bone?

Thank you for your time and the gates, they have really helped.


When doing the Eight Gates, for instance, if you write the word bone on a piece of paper and look at it there are two ways to perceive this. One way is our conditioned social response, which is to say the word that we see.

The second is to see it and know it: It is not necessary to say the word in one’s head when you know what you are looking at.

So the word “bone” can be perceived as your bones without the interference of a thought process. To stop the interference of the dialog overlaying the word your simply listen to what you can’t hear and breathe into your body.

As your arterial cortex becomes activated through this concentrated effort, wait for the sensations of the area that you are focused upon to start pulsating rhythmically with your own heart beat. Meditation is a very subtle affair. If you started to do mudras while focusing like this, your chi would go to the mudra and not to the area in question.

In some way you could see the mudra as a desire to be fixated on, similar to a thought. Once this occurs you have to get through it so the concentration can be focused upon your lower abdomen instead of your hands performing the mudra.

It is always pertinent to find the pulsations in one’s hands before going to an area in the body. This concentrates it. But the trick with this intent is that you have to concentrate the chi and blood to flow without the interference of wanting it to be there.

Being there through the process of one’s intention is to be one with the process.

To be one with any process is to gaze upon it without thinking about it. As you look at a tree you become one with the tree by breathing in the experience, instead of thinking about the experience that is the tree. The latter causes separation and the former creates unity; an all-encompassing feeling that will develop a sense of joy by being there without really being there in a social sense.

From the solar plexus to the pubic bone, there is an immense neural network. If the mind is concentrated and empty of its own thoughts, this is known as being mindful, but not full of thoughts.

This is where the emptiness of the mind learns to focus its intent into our lower dantien – or hara – that cannot accommodate words. When this is strongly concentrated, one automatically begins to feel joy. This joy can be interpreted as a form of chi or shen – the spirit – an all-encompassing effect of silence being filled to the brim with itself through just being there.

This is why there are so many disciplines that focus upon ethics. It is very difficult for someone that does not have a strong moral background to stay in this area of non-duplicity via the emotions that cannot be controlled through the process of knowing that one has not proceeded with integrity – or to be without sin – which just simply reinterpreted means to be sublimely in harmony, instead of in opposition.

So when one breathes into the lower abdomen, a higher state of consciousness occurs, and what manifests from this is higher ethical and moral conduct becomes available; knowing exactly what to do and what not to do in comparison to the circumstances that occur.

And yes it is okay to practice the gates after strenuous exercise. The highest form of discipline within the eight gates is to be without thoughts continually so that one can just see, thus becoming a vessel; an uninhibited river that flows into everything it comes into contact with.

To heal the bones and skin  a certain conduct must occur in terms of what you put inside your body. If you eat clean food then the body becomes more powerful through the process of detoxification and this can feel uncomfortable in some cases as the healing crisis occurs because of this.

Or you can still just keep doing the meditation and if you haven’t changed your diet then another type of upheaval or crisis will occur, but it will be a crisis of the incapacity to cleanse because the body is being continually filled with items that eventually will not support you physically.

So it is better to have a healing crisis through a cleansing than at the end of one’s life to have a crisis that you may not be able to resolve because the lymphatic system is blocked and the kidney energy collapses. Even though they still function the kidneys may not be filtering adequately.

How is little bear going?

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  1. I love this.

  2. wonderful. This teaching in the eight gates of learning how to focus on something without focusing on it by saying it to yourself, is illuminating about how our inner talk causes separation. It makes me realise how many meditation techniques don’t elucidate this essential component. Many people, especially in the early stages of meditation are using their inner talk to create a sensation of focusing on something. So it can take many many years for them to have an experience of oneness, or becoming silent during meditation, which is usually described as something that will just occur spontaneously. It comes whenever they get to a point of not talking their focus point to themselves, when their doing of meditation becomes not doing. Even though it is spontaneous, it is also quite repeatable and reliable with this information and experience of the eight gates. A lovely paradox.

  3. Thanks for the question, Grant. Lujan, I really appreciate the clarification on the ethical element of this practice. One of my best times to work on the Gates is while running; I think of it as the not-doing of running since my experience is so different than if I just let my mind wander. I’ve generally had my most sustained moments of thoughtlessness in these moments. I really look forward to it. Thanks again, Jerry

  4. There is so much within this post that spoke to me when I read it this morning.

    When practicing Eight Gates, I find myself focusing too often on the words, “skin,” “nerves,” “bones,” etc. and though I do enjoy the practice and feel pulled inward, I also feel I’m not reaching the depths that are possible. Of course, part of my problem is I get “fixated on” the result instead of just letting it be, letting go.

    Similarly, in discussing the pulsations in one’s hands, I honed in on Lujan’s comment to “concentrate the chi and blood flow without the interference of wanting it to be there.” Funny how I know this to be true, yet it took these words this morning to bring me back to where I need to be.

    It is so simple, this letting go, this letting spirit become aware of itself, this “all-encompassing effect of silence being filled to the brim with itself.” Lovely. Dragon’s Tears felt very different for me this morning as did my meditation. Thank you, Lujan, and Community, for your responses.

    Here on the west coast of the U.S. we get a full eclipse of the moon on Saturday morning. It happens at 5:00 am. I’m looking forward to it. Good time for Golden Lotus?

  5. Don’t do it on an eclipse. Wait till the eclipse has finished.

  6. Interesting.

  7. Thanks for replying so soon. This all started specifically when I changed my diet and started training again intensely. Then the events of my life unfolded and I finally responded differently.

    This was about ten months ago and there have been intermittent upheavals since. It’s been great to make these changes and everything seems to be shifting as it should now and as your describing. I figured I was over thinking again.

    The social response around me was get surgery and even my Dr discouraged me too. This was why I changed my diet further and began cleansing deeper and training differently.

    The injury has really brought my attention to this area and I’ve felt what you mentioned. It’s brought a sense of loving rest and emptiness I haven’t felt before as an adult and a surrender because of the circumstances.

    Before I never relaxed easily and turned to external means, especially weakening foods and substances.

    It’s amazing how being wounded or ill can transform if we let go.

    Your god daughter is doing well, she is very strong and kind and beautiful of course :)

  8. Don’t do what on the eclipse?

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It consists of a combination of dynamic and meditative movements that promote energy cultivation.

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