Updated: Oct 24, 2018
The showdown. What is different between these styles?
Actually both these systems employ the same medium for practice, the ability to feel the body or breath. Both systems are modular but produce the required results with just the most basic methods.
Both systems begin the training by feeling the breath entering and leaving the body.the only advantage the Taoist method has is in the incorporation of standing and moving exercises thereby bringing this into everyday life easily.
A quick and easy drill to learn and rapidly develop awareness and energy is to combine.
Vipasana - First lesson feel the breath, sometimes build up with feeling for sensations on the surface of the nose then move to the rims of the nostrils for temperature differences between inhalations and exhalations. Very hard work considering that moving is prohibited. Develops incredible sensory abilities and intuition.
Taoist - First lesson is done while sitting comfortably in a chair or on a stool. Relax the hands and feel the fingertips. Relax completly even if it means slouching a bit initially. Dont jack up the posture, this will tighten muscles and lock in the nervous system.
The drill - Sit in a chair and relax, soften the hands, feel each fingertip then all at the same time. Hold this for a while constantly relaxing the middle of the palms. Soon your head will rise and your body will feel light and smooth while substantial.
Start with 40 mins a session for the first month, then you will need much less and can charge up in minutes.
The mind will wander, let it. It is pointless to generate inner conflict by trying to over ride a perfectly natural ability. We can feel and consider at the same time. We are capable of much more than that. Regular practice of the above with an attitude of consideration and kindness will ensure a healthy and rewarding life.
Finally, yes there is a difference between Vipasana and Taoist practices. Vipasana pivots around the drive for enlightenment and likes to do this sitting down most of the time and severe regulation mind and action. The Taoist school does this too but Taoist's are jolly people who love moving.
Therefore the Taoist method makes the body strong as it has dynamic forms including all internal Chinese martial arts and is the first lesson in any real Qigong school.
Ultimately both arrive at an enhanced awareness and deeper appreciation of life, becoming kinder in the process.