"The fundamental prerequisites are: an inner need, right relation to the Inner Way, a persevering will, total participation, and the capacity for keeping silence and, above all, a turning to the Divine. Only when practice is completely imbued with and supported by the aspirant's submission to the Divine will the door open to those experiences of Being which will permit further progress on the Inner Way." – Karlfried Graf Durckheim



NOTE by Ricardo B Serrano: With thanks and acknowledgement to the late Dr. Karlfried Graf Durckheim, PhD, a Western authority on Zen Buddhism, for his invaluable and essential guidance on spiritual awakening and healing through the fundamental spiritual principles and practices of his classic book on the Inner Way and Mastery – "Hara: the Vital Center of Man."

"By leaving behind the "chest out-belly in" posture and attitude of the West and adopting the belly-centered posture and attitude of Hara, individuals can live a calm, grounded, and more balanced life."


Cultivating Qi in the Hara
& Its Energetic Pathways


"Man's "way inward" is the way of uniting himself with his Being wherein he partakes of Life beyond space and time. This is the way to maturity, the way that yields fruit in proportion to his success in integrating "himself" with his Self.

There is an inherent obstacle on the way inward which threatens even the sound healthy man, namely, that by the very structure of his consciousness, may assume complete control of the man's whole life. The door to the inner life can then re-open only when a man is able to break through the domination of the I and win contact with that Being and Life within him which evades all his "arrangements." But only an established inner attitude enabling him constantly, from within this world, to participate in the Great Being will bring him the fruit of this integration. For only by his capacity to live and prove the Greater Life in the lesser one, only in the manifestation of Being in the world can man fulfill his appointed destiny as the simpler creatures do.

The way inwards rests on three factors. The first is an experience wherein the light of Being illuminates the darkness of life. The second is insight into the relationship of his worldly I and his transcendental Being, as well as into the difference between the state in which he is cut off from his Being and the right state which opens him to it. The third is practice, exercitium, which corrects the wrong working of the misguided I and builds up the right attitude in a right way. That is, a right attitude in which a man is permeable to the Greater Life which he embodies and by which he is enabled to perceive it in the world. He is then truly himself and the world of space and time becomes transparent for him in the Being which transcends space and time.

The way leading to this condition is by the transformation of the whole man, i.e., a unit of body, mind and soul. What keeps man estranged from Being consists not only in his being fettered by psychological complexes and by the rigidity of his thought-patterns, but also by the fact that they are fixed in his flesh and set fast in wrong bodily habits. So any renewal can be achieved only through the transformation of the whole man, and implies not only an intellectual and spiritual conversion, but also a transformation of the body and all its postures and movements. Without this bodily transformation all inner experience of Being comes to a standstill when the experience has passed, and the man inevitably falls victim again to his old, familiar fixing and classifying consciousness. Therefore practice must inevitably include practice of the body.

Just as the right inner state is clearly expressed in the symbolism of the harmoniously functioningbody, so inner malformations appear as bodily malformations. These have one thing in common: lack of center. Lack of center implies either that a man is anchored too firmly in his upper body or that he lacks anchorage altogether. Only where a firm middle region exists is man's entire psycho-physical state properly entered.

The whole life attitude of a human being appears in his posture, in the relationship of tension and relaxation, and in breathing. Posture, tension and relaxation, and breath can never be exclusively physical factors. They are integral functions of the person manifesting himself analogously on the psychological and spiritual levels. For this reason it is possible to begin the work on the whole man with them."

"Becoming one with Being means transcending the structure patterns of ordinary consciousness.Therefore there can be no reanchoring in Being as long as experience, insight and practice do not break through the narrow circle of the usual rational consciousness pattern. All the struggling to acquire knowledge, all practice which merely strengthens the will, and all efforts to put feeling under discipline are doomed to failure when the Transcendental is the goal. A man has to overcome the dichotomy of objective and subjective consciousness, to let the original Unity penetrate his awareness and to let himself be embraced by it without wanting or trying to understand and hold it. When he admits the primal Unity which was within before and beyond all I-becoming he will find true renewal. By dropping his ego and submerging himself in the Primordial Life he will find Being within himself, become more and more at one with it, become through never flagging practice truly new, and as a renewed being prove himself as a witness of the Great Being."

"For the Westerner, also, if he progresses on the Inner Way, the world anchored in the I becomes a delusion. But it remains delusion for him only as long as his "I-reality" preserves its absolute character as the only reality. It ceases to be a delusion as soon as he is able to recognize it as the medium through which true Reality shows itself. Then the I-reality becomes transparent to Being and also the sphere of manifestation for him who bears within himself the One. The new man then constantly perceives the One in all colors, images, and patterns through which Being is refracted in the prism of the I. To realize Being in all and everything then becomes the sole function of his life. Time is no longer opposed to eternity but is the medium which reflects it. "Everything in space and time means utimately only Eternity."

In this European or, more specifically, Christian view, a personal experiencing of the One is in fact only the beginning of the way of ultimate transformation. It is true that already in the never-ending discovery and rediscovery of that center of the primal Unity in man, new horizons open for the mind and new depths for the heart. But, when man lifts himself from the earth-center of his human nature to the heaven-center of his spirit and when, in his heart-center he joyously accepts the obligation to actualize the Original Unity and its inherent order within his existence in this world, then will his insight and practice flow out in one stream of true creative activity on earth. For the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is our true heritage and only within it will the real "circulation of light" be established."


Source: Hara: The Vital Center of Man by Karlfried Graf Durckheim, 2004


"Each of life's primal dilemmas is matched by its own saving power. Every recurrent anguish, longing, and hope finds its own special helper. The master is one of these helpers."

"Again and again, people driven by despair to seek the counsel and help demanded by their true nature, themselves construct the helpers they need, simply because they are suffering and searching so intensely. They receive a master's answer or a master's guidance from others who are by no means masters themselves."

"If we see Being as the one true reality and ourselves as the prisoners of the world, then the only way of fulfilling ourselves and getting back in touch with that ultimate reality is to leave the world utterly behind, die, and so finally enter the reality of All-One-Being. If, on the other hand, we see Life as transcending the antithesis of otherworldly Being and worldly reality, and manifestation of the Absolute in the worldly as our real objective, then we fulfill ourselves by witnessing to it in our ways of living, learning, and acting in the world."

See Qigong and the Tao, the Way of Life and Quotations on Inner Mastery



The reference ebook for Qigong Mastery (Inner Way)



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