The Physical Medium
Ok, We are learning how to cultivate attention. That is good. That is our fire. The force of our attention is going to be like our magnifying lense to heat our internal energetic goodies.
Now we turn to the body. If we are going to have a strong, healthy life force we need a good place to put it. A cracked cup holds no water after all.
You'll need to work on sealing the cracks in your cup. We all have them. Places of old injury, places that you carry an emotional trauma, and places that are generally unhealthy will either use up or leak life force. A good general rule to keep the cracks sealed is do something movement based. Hatha or Yantra yoga, as well as Qi Gong are all good, and highly reccomended. Your body is meant to move, these systems keep the body in good repair and keep the life force from stagnating. I do the Five Tibetan Rites, a simple series of Yantras that's found everywhere, but I first saw it in Modern Magick. I don't know if they are Indian, Tibetan, Atlantian, Martian.. I dont really care. They work. They are simple, and there is very little chance of you screwing yourself up like in some advanced practices. Though usually people get screwed up in advanced practices because they dont do the basic ones. Just sayin.
For energetically healing your meat slab, a good technique is to clear your mind as best you can, try to cultivate an attitude of kindness, compassion, everything that inspires people to be healers in the first place, and focus your attention, with that attitude to the old injury, trauma point, whatever. Don't try to do anything, just sit with your attention and compassion focusing on that spot. Your body knows what to do. Until you consciously know what to do, it's best not to fiddle with it. If you can't manage that much compassion for your self, then think of someone you Love most, and stay in that attitude, then direct your attention. Mantak Chia's lineage has a foundational exercise called the Inner Smile that is pretty much the same thing.
Bodily, we get life force mainly from the food we eat, the sun, and the air. Some say that it's the sun charges the air, and we simply get solar energy through the airy medium.
In addition to the normal nutritional value of food (it's the stuff we make more of our body out of) there is also an energetic component to it. Those subtile energies and how they influence us have a lot to do with many traditional medicinal practices, where there is very little difference between food and medicine.
To go into a in depth explanation of all of that would take many many years of study. Lets just say that the energetic quality of a food is at its peak the sooner it is picked or killed. The longer food sits the more life energy departs from it. When the life energy is mostly gone it begins to rot.. just like us.
Fresher is better. That is obvious with produce, especially if you have the oppertunity to taste.. say a peach.. that has ripened on the tree rather than on the shelf. In Doaism there are formulas for immortality (or at least longevity) that have the main thrust of diet. Usually no meat, no beans, and no starches. Just fresh fruits and vegitables, and herbal tinctures. Keep in mind these are usually used by hermits who live in monestaries or in mountians.
Meat isnt off the table, but less is more, and once again, fresher is better. In animal life, the life force gets concentrated into the blood and the sexual fluids. There are Daoist sexual practices for longevity and power that revolve mostly around the consumption of semen, the most published in the west is "The Secrets of the White Tigeress". This is, by the way, a form of sexual vampirism based around the skilled art of the blow job.
There are of course western practices made famous by Crowley and P.B. Randolph, and their assosiated groups, but fewer are devoted to longevity or immortality.
Now, I am not saying drink blood or eat raw meat. You could get pleanty of diseases, and blood is a reguritant. Your body is designed to vomit it up if you ingest too much. That said, meat killed that day is preferable to meat killed yesterday. Some authorities in the Daoist and Unani communities have said that any meal should be cooked and eaten that day, leftovers having very little energy left in them, and if they are left too long one would be absorbing befouled energy, the energy of decay into your body.
Eat as best you can. Don't go crazy, and don't over do it. Those are just some guidelines. I eat leftovers quite often.
One thing you CAN do, no matter what you eat, or when, is mentally or audibly state your intent before you eat. "I honor this food before me, life feeding on life, changing life, and engendering life. May I use all of this food to nourish my body and spirit in the best possible way. May that which I am incapable of useing find use among beings who it make nourish. May this meal be an instrument of the renewal of the world, and may all beings benifit."
Doesn't have to be so wordy. Just made that up off the top of my head. Then eat in silence, with no tv, no blackberry, no iphone, no reading, and no coversation, focusing on absorbing all you can from the food you eat, trusting your body to give what it can't use back to Nature to dispose of how She will. If you cant manage silence, simply focus your attention to physically and energetically digesting as much as you can.
We've covered the body itself, and food, now on to air. Most occultists are familiar with yogic breathing exercises termed Pranayama, usually translated as control of breath. A better translation is control of Life Force.. Prana! Prana rides on the breath, and it also is something that connects us to the life forces of all respirating life. We are constantly recycling Life Force back and forth through our little ecosystem.
A very easy way to consciously cultivate Life Force from breath is to calm your mind and first focus on breathing slowly and deeply from your belly. Cultivate that attitude of compassion, and kindness again. Now simply with intent, breathe in as much life force as you can from the air around you, on the exhalation focus on absorbing that life force into your body from your lungs to your blood, and to the rest of your body evenly, breathing out only empty air. Start with ten to fifteen breaths and record your result. Try doing this before bed, you know you are making progress when you are sleeping sounder, falling asleep easier, and waking up earlier naturally feeling pretty darn good. At first do this in seclusion, in a place that is generally peaceful and quiet. You stand a risk of picking up the mood of a place till you figure out the knack for filtering it out on your own.
And finally Sunlight. The Sun is a pretty awesome being. Without big Sol we'd not have much in the way of life on our planet. Engendering and renewing Life without pejudice, the Sun shines on the just and the unjust. If we look at the Tree of Life we see that the solar sphere, the sphere of Tifaret is a direct reflection of Unity, and below it is Yesod, the sphere of the Moon, and below that, our lovely Earth. The Sun is the great harmonizer, healer, renewer, of our solar system.
Step one is to get to know the Hypostases of the Sun. The spiritual Sun behind the Sun. All the things that our Sun does, everything that it is, is a physical manifestation of the spritual principle of Sun-ness. Sun makes the plants grow, Sun made the primordial soup boil and swirl.. gasses rise and condense.. electrical storms generate, and then.. LIFE! The Sun keeps everything moving, everything in our solar system in order through the force of its gravity.
Focus on all of that, if possible sitting out in direct sunlight. DO NOT STARE AT THE SUN! Just sit, eyes closed, feeling the sunlight. Become aware of the Sun behind the Sun, It's spiritual Reality. Focus on wrapping that warmth and life around you, letting it soak in through your skin, let it soak to the very core of you, settling and concentrating in your heart. When you are done open your eyes take a few deep breaths, thank our good friend the Sun, record your results and get on with your day.