Once you’ve practiced quieting your mind
and emotions and attuning your breath
, to achieve inner stillness and gain clarity in your life, stay at the center of your being without becoming distracted by sensory stimulation.
In Korean, this is called Geumchok
means “avoid,” and Chok
means “contact.” Therefore, practicing Geumchok means to free yourself the pull of from noise, sights, speech, smells and tastes.
There are two ways to learn to stay at the center of your being. One is to avoid all external stimulation in order to bring your focus inside yourself. Another is to strengthen your focus to the point at which nothing can distract you from your center.
In the traditional Tao practice of Korea, students sometimes practiced Geumchok by secluding themselves in a cave with minimal supplies where they meditated for days. While this is difficult to do in ordinary modern life, the practice of Geumchok reminds us to shut off our devices, close our eyes and spend a little quiet time looking inside ourselves.
Although shutting off external stimulation does not completely eliminate internal distractions, it’s a helpful step. Practicing Jigam
(quieting the mind through feeling energy) and Joshik (attuning to the breath) will also help turn down your internal noise.
A powerful method of strengthening your focus is the practice of Yeondahn
, or holding an energy posture
for an extended period of time, for example, for five to 20 minutes. While you hold the posture, concentrate on your lower energy center, which is two inches below your navel in the center of your lower abdomen. This kind of posture stimulates strong energy circulation and accumulation
in your body, causing many thoughts, emotions and physical sensations to arise. To practice Geumchok, maintain your focus on your lower energy center regardless of the increased internal noise it creates.
An alternate way to practice Geumchok is by passionately focusing on a goal. When you are extremely hungry, you will not think of anything but food. When you are really thirsty, everything that you have in your mind will be about water. Likewise, if you want something so much that your focus becomes one-pointedly sharp and stays stable all the time, you already have achieved Geumchok. However, for genuine Geumchok, your goal should be something that can lead you to your inner greatness, your true nature.
Once you achieve inner stillness through the three meditation techniques of Jigam, Joshik and Geumchok, you are able to observe yourself objectively; that’s when your inner light, your true nature, shines through.
When you’ve experienced your true nature, even for a moment, everything else in your life falls into the right place. It determines your purpose and priorities, and you are better able to see and feel where you need to go, what you need to do and how you need to be clearly. Even if your consciousness cannot be one with your true nature all the time, it can still be your guiding light through life’s decisions and opportunities for growth.