Yi Shou Dan Tian - Mother Mudra

First of all i want to say that there are many different versions of this hand posture, each with it´s own characteristics, meanings and purposes. My explanation is not omniscient and claims not that this is the only way how you should practice it. It is much more just based on my own limited understanding and experiences. In this post i would like to share with you some thoughts and points on the meaning of the Taiji Mudra, what is used within the Hui Chun Qigong and in the meditation of the 7 Consciousnesses of WDP.


Within the Hui Chun Qigong the Mother Mudra (子母诀, zǐ mǔ jué) is related to the first exercise what we call Yi Shou Dan Tian 意守丹田 or "the mind sinks into the Dan Tian". (see photo above)


Body posture: 

  • both thumb tips lay on the 9th palace, the lower part of the right ring finger 
  • the left hand surrounds the right hand
  • both wrists and fingers are relaxed, not stiff or limp
  • both arms forming a circle in front of the body

Symbolic meaning of the mudra:

  • the right thumb tip touches the 9th palace and forms a small circle, representing the micro cosmos (material world)
  • both arms forming a big circle, representing the macro cosmos (astral world)
  • the 9th palace, represents the heaven (with heaven is not meant the sky what we see)
  • by touching with both thumb tips the 9th palace there is the first connection to the heaven
  • micro and macro cosmos are united as ONE
  • the Taiji symbol what is formed faces to the outside (see photo 3 above)
  • the Wuji symbol (empty circle) faces to the Dan Tian (The Center), (see photo 2 above), Dao De Jing chapter 25 click here


Steps of Use:

  • formal learning of the hand posture (external)
  • formal introducing of the idea behind the exercise (internal / mental)
  • regular practice for a certain time with the use of the physical posture
  • when the mind understood and adopted the meaning of the exercise, you can practice it freely without necessary using the hands anymore
  • daily practice naturally without formal posture (ritual), constant observation, reflection and contemplation


Stages of Use:

  1. focusing
  2. closing
  3. centering
  4. opening
  5. being 


Purposes of using the exercises:

  1. Relaxation
  2. Healthcare / Prevention
  3. Cultivation

Calming the mind "Locking the monkey" 


Actually it is not possible to calm the mind only when you are dead then it is completely calm. :)

What is called calming the mind, means that the mind is focused and concentrated on a certain thing. This prevents that the mind is wandering around and get lost in all kinds of things. This is also what we call the "crazy monkey", never satisfied, always hungry for more and totally restless. Therefore when we are able to focus the mind in one direction, then the feeling of calmness arises and we feel relaxed and comfortable.  


By holding this hand posture, while sitting or standing, whatever you like, you draw back the attention / awareness on a specific spot on the body or using a mental image. In this way we bring the focus with the help of the breath to our lower Dan Tian, the center of the body.


When we constantly practice this exercise and observing ourselves carefully, we will be able to see how our thoughts and our emotions working together. We will learn which power lays behind them and how we can use this power in a positive way. 



Closing the five senses opening the Bai Hui


The five senses are, seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Bai Hui "the hundred Meeting Point" on the vertex. The focus on the Dan Tian brings automatically the closing of the five senses with it.  Closing means not ignoring, you are aware of them but you don´t put attention to them. In our daily life mostly we are also controlled by following them excessively (they are also related to the five dragons. What means to open the Bai Hui ... you must explore by yourself :)   




How to practice?

  • to explore
  • to be inspired
  • to be focused
  • overcoming attachments and limitations what bounds one´s self - meeting the five dragons
  • to reflect one´s thoughts, motivations and actions
  • to observe
  • to contemplate
  • to enjoy

 ... to be continued!

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