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Within the Energy Arts world, there is a lot going on with Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung these days. Three of the exercises from the system are featured in Bruce's new book, The Chi Revolution. Bruce's next book, Dragon & Tiger Medical Chi Gung instruction manual, is at the printer. And perhaps most importantly, in March Bruce will offer the first instructor training he has ever held in Europe and the subject will be Dragon & Tiger. So when Heather asked me to write an article for this newsletter, I decided to write about the importance of Dragon & Tiger. TWENTY YEARS AGO I first heard of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung twenty years ago in a swimming pool in Cozumel, Mexico. Bruce Frantzis had just done a demonstration at a tai chi competition in Houston. I met him there, and we came to Cozumel for a few days. Our goal was to spend a few days "away from it all" to discuss plans for his future writing and teaching. Tired of sitting in his hotel room, we took to the pool to talk. As we discussed ideas, I asked him, "Isn't there some chi gung set that you know that is easier to learn than Opening the Energy Gates?" Bruce said, "Well, there is a system called Dragon & Tiger that I'd be willing to teach. I know a lot of even simpler sets, but I won't teach any of them. I'm only interested in teaching sets that are powerful enough to deeply benefit the people who learn them." "Dragon & Tiger isn't as powerful as Energy Gates," Bruce said. "But it's an excellent system." A few months later, I got my first taste of Dragon & Tiger at a weekend workshop that I organized for Bruce in Boston. It was the first time Bruce taught Dragon & Tiger in the U.S. or Europe. There I first began to understand the importance of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung within the Energy Arts system of practices. And for the next twenty years, as Bruce has fully integrated Dragon & Tiger into what is now his seven-part core chi gung program, my appreciation of that importance has been growing. It is important to me both as a practitioner of Bruce's Energy Arts and as an Energy Arts Instructor. FOR PRACTITIONERS I like to think about the Energy Arts practices that Bruce teaches as tools that promote personal health and transformation. When you work with hand or power tools, each tool has one or a few things that it does especially well, either for everyone or for you in particular. The same is true for Bruce's Energy Arts. The Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form especially helps me relax my nerves. The Ba Gua Single Palm Change centers me and gives me more yang chi to make me energetically stronger. Gods Playing in the Clouds Chi Gung never fails to help
calm and balance my system at all levels. I use all of the other arts in the system in particular ways for particular effects. For me Dragon & Tiger is a particularly unique tool within Bruce's system. All of the other tools rely in large part for their success on how well you use your mind to feel and move the chi in your body. They all require that you be relatively present with what you are doing and apply that presence of mind quite subtly, both in the way that you move your physical body and the way you move your energy. In contrast, Dragon & Tiger in large part relies on how well you move your hands in the energy field around your body across particular energy pathways on your body. What you do with your mind - including how present you are - doesn't make that much difference. If you move your hands consistently across the right pathways on your body, you'll get results. If you are a beginner practitioner, this is very important. All of the other practices Bruce teaches require that you settle and apply your mind in very subtle ways. Dragon & Tiger doesn't. You can mentally space out and Dragon & Tiger will still work for you. Thus you can get tangible results more quickly and easily. All you have to do is learn the physical aspects of the seven movements to get energetic benefits. Just do the physical movements and the movements will do the basic energy work for you. As you are able to become more present, you can then learn the more subtle energy work of the system. This quality alone makes Dragon & Tiger a great place to start learning about chi. Please visit my MovingTiger.com for a list of other good reasons to study it. If you are an experienced practitioner, Dragon & Tiger's reliance on the hands and not the mind to move chi can also become a great advantage. I learned this very quickly and forcefully during and just after that first workshop I took with Bruce. At that time I had been studying with Bruce and practicing fairly seriously for seven or eight years. During that time I had released a lot of places in my body where energy was blocked. But there were also a lot of blocked places in my body that I still wasn't able to feel with my mind. When I learned the Dragon & Tiger tool my inability to feel didn't limit me. When I moved my hands through my energy field over my body, my hands swept energy through many of these long-held blocks. The results were quick and powerful. With each practice more and more energy began to move through my system, not only at the chi level, but also at the emotional level. I felt like I made more progress in a couple of weeks than I had in the previous year. In fact, the reactions were so strong, that I had to cut back all of my practices significantly for a while so that I could again find and stay within my 70 percent comfort zone. You may not have the same experience as I did with Dragon & Tiger. But as a tool it can help you in a different way than Bruce's other arts. If you learn it, my guess is that you'll find particular and special uses for it within your own practice. FOR INSTRUCTORS For thirteen years from 1992 to 2005 I directed and taught full-time at Brookline Tai Chi in the Boston area. During that time, the other instructors and I taught thousands of students
energy arts ranging from the Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form to Opening the Energy Gates to Ba Gua to Dragon & Tiger. From this experience I concluded that if there is one of Bruce's energy arts that Energy Arts instructors can teach to millions of people and help offset the effects of the coming health crisis that Bruce has predicted for years, Dragon & Tiger will be the one. The reason? While the other arts all are more powerful for promoting health once learned, for the average person they take too much time and dedication to learn to a high enough level that the benefits start to accumulate. In contrast, an average person can learn all of the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger in just ten to fifteen hours of instruction. They may not learn it very well, but that brings up another great advantage of Dragon & Tiger. You don't have to do it well to benefit. In fact, my and other's experience is that you can do it poorly and still gain benefits. In addition, the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger can be taught in many ways. You don't have to start with the first move and end with the last. Someone could learn a version the seventh move first and the first move last. This would not be ideal, but it is possible. Therefore you can adapt Dragon & Tiger to many teaching situations, whether weekend workshops or drop-in classes at a health club or seniors center. Also, I believe that Dragon & Tiger delivers the most bang for the buck in terms of helping to improve people's health quickly. I've had students who've used Dragon & Tiger to gain relief from conditions as varied as cancer, repetitive stress injuries, insomnia, and arthritis. Read about some of my students' experiences. This is not to say that Dragon & Tiger is really easy to get people to learn. In fact, these days tai chi is much easier to market to people in part because it has become well-known and is attractive to watch. Dragon & Tiger doesn't have these advantages. Chi gung is not well-known, and many people think Dragon & Tiger's movements look funny. Yet chi gung is growing in popularity, and as people grow used to seeing similar movements, Dragon & Tiger will become more attractive. Perhaps the most important advantage that will make Dragon & Tiger easier to market to many people is that you can encourage people to laugh and play while learning and practicing. One can't really laugh when you are doing tai chi or Energy Gates and stay within the practice as it is designed to be done. Dragon & Tiger will work even better for you if you do. THE MOVING TIGER ENERGY EXERCISE METHOD I've become so convinced of the importance of Dragon & Tiger that I am currently dedicating all of my teaching time to promoting it. With Bruce's support, I am trying to develop a method for teaching Dragon & Tiger in one-day workshops. One of my goals is to find a way to teach consecutive workshops that will allow many people to advance systematically in a few years through Dragon & Tiger's levels of subtleties, from beginner to advanced.
A key reason that I am focusing on one-day workshops is that with such a format a single instructor can travel to many different locations to teach, thereby reaching many communities. If we are going to help a lot of people, instructors will need to reach out to many places. I call my method for teaching Dragon & Tiger the Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method. We've recently begun to use what in marketing is called a tag line that goes: Authentic Chi Gung, Contemporary TeachingTM. Please see MovingTiger.com for more information about Moving Tiger and about Dragon & Tiger. Whether I'll be successful with this approach remains to be seen. There are many teaching and marketing hurdles in the way. But for a long, long time Bruce has talked about the role that tai chi and chi gung might play in helping to offset the effects of the coming health crisis. I see Dragon & Tiger as the vehicle Energy Arts Instructors are most likely to use to positive effect this way. If you'd like to stay in touch with how Moving Tiger is going, please sign up to receive my enewsletter that I send out every couple of months. I also send out via email free Tiger Tips. I offer two types, "Energy Awareness" and "Personal Practice." You can choose to receive one or both. The Energy Awareness tips provide pointers on how you can better understand and manage your energy as you go about your everyday activities, from walking to sleeping to working to eating to watching TV. The Personal Practice tips provide ideas on how you can use your personal exercise practice to help you gain more life energy, whether you do the Moving Tiger Method, related energy exercises such as tai chi or yoga, or exercises like walking, running, swimming, etc. Learn more about these types of tips - or to read some samples. I encourage you to learn Dragon & Tiger and begin teaching it to others as well. I hope to see you at the Brighton Instructor Training or a Moving Tiger workshop. By Bill Ryan Director of The Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method and Energy Arts Senior Instructor
Center of the Circle
Revolving around a central point is at the core of Ba Gua Circle Walking. Revolution after revolution, we continue to circle around a central point in space that remains stable and unchanging. With each rotation we find ourselves traversing the same ground as before, yet every time it is a new experience. We trace the same steps over and over but each second greets us afresh.
I feel that their practice is probably unrewarding and therefore. around which our muscle. bone and chi continuously spirals. alive within our bodies. There is a flow of feeling as each inch of the foot contacts the ground. inevitably we again drift off into the nether realms of our minds. I don't think it's true that these students have no time to practice. on this path that is always changing yet ever present. accepts the weight of our body ounce by ounce and then the spring as it releases and lifts to step again. but my intuition is that there is a sense of strain in their practice. the space where what is to come flows into what has gone. we can come to a much deeper awareness of life as it really is. for as much as things change. Yet. There is no past or future in Circle Walking. Who we are. These long-term students have not found any problem practicing on a regular basis and that's probably why they are long-term students. There may be many reasons for this. tissue. we are circling a point in time as well as space. balanced by the utter stability of its central core. it's difficult to keep up their practice of tai chi or chi gung. Again and again we return to the present. the endless chatter of our mind begins to soften its grip on us. . Again we step and turn around the middle point. and a joyfulness that comes from simply being alive and unique in this time and place. Without the endless stream of images blocking our view.In a sense. The center of the circle as well as the central axis of our own body. and return to what is actually happening. the endless array of images that crowd our consciousness. there is only the eternal present. By Jess O'Brien and Isaac Kamins The Art of Micro Practice I began teaching in 1989 and still have many students who started with me back then. deep in their hearts they don't feel like doing it. This in itself will make the person not want to do it. feel and concentrate can create a subtle sense of strain. In Taoist Circle Walking. what we are made of and what surrounds us. an appreciation of things as they are. When working with your own internal practice. the stillness at the core of all movement. If we are able to calm our minds in the midst of this walk. to the awareness of our breath. the moment we are in always remains the same. the requirement to go inside. At times like these we catch a glimpse of that still center. In more recent times many of the newer students have complained that they don't have time to practice or they are so busy and stressed out. The feeling of being a living being in motion draws us back out of the fantasies and obsessions that our minds constantly create and destroy. For the experience of our actual aliveness is a reward far richer than the most opulent imaginings. we are able to recognize more and more of what is present in our minds and bodies. that unchanging axis around which everything is moving and manifesting. our bodies are continuously in motion. And in that still space there is a moment of deep satisfaction and openness. Again and again we recognize each arising thought for what it is. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. As we walk the circle. of our sensations and our energy. a never ending cycle of energy flowing in its natural pattern.
standing in the kitchen. let them drop. If you were standing in soft mud it would be your heels which would be sinking. When you're brewing your coffee first thing in the morning. The desire to move about becomes so strong that they fidget and fidget and finally give up. The casual attempts at micro practice seemed to release me from strain and things began to move forward. bring your awareness to your feet. Waiting in a queue at the supermarket? So. How does that feel? Do you feel now you're contacting the floor better? Do you have a sense of gripping the floor but without any sense of tension or strain? Now your coffee is brewed and you just completed your first session of micro practice. try the art of micro practice. instead of being in a hurry. Now lift all your toes from the floor. After some attempts. I did this a number of times a day since it seemed effortless just for a few minutes and I didn't really care how well I did. and even took private lessons. My progress was very slow and I didn't seem to be able to get into the feel of how to play blues guitar. Let your tailbone sit down into your heels. I'm willing to bet a least a fiver you'll feel much better at the end of your walk. begin to let your pelvis hang as you walk. direct your tailbone forward until you can feel the pressure going into the middle of the arch of the foot. Take a stroll in the woods and as you walk just casually begin to go inside. Then progress became quite swift and for a while back in those days I could play a pretty mean blues guitar. feel your way through a stretch. Enjoy it. go for a walk. way back when I was young. Did you ever see a cat overstretch? Practice like a cat. even for a few minutes becomes a frustrating experience. and just have a moment of peace. After a few days the thing began to flow and I started to practice for longer periods of time gradually building up to long afternoons as my skill got better. How is your spine? Feel all the way down your spine. just sit back and relax into your stance. Feel how your feet contact the floor. I wanted to learn to play blues guitar. but of casual practice. of not being natural about it. And gradually without deliberately shifting your weight. Feel how your head is held.This reminds me of a time. So what was wrong with my full practice? I think it was the strain of trying to get it right. let your pelvis drop. Begin to sit into your stance so that your weight sinks into your heels. they say that standing. I followed all the instructions to the letter. trying to remember their pin number as they pay. Keep going for as long as you feel comfortable with it and there is no strain. Example. watching the person in front of you so slowly packing their bags. Every day I practiced in a set session for about an hour. If you can't stand to stand. But still I couldn't seem to make it flow. So here is an example not so much of micro practice. let go of tension. It was just for the enjoyment of it. standing on the balls of your feet. How are your shoulders? Do the same thing. I gave up my practice sessions and left the guitar in a little empty space between the lounge and kitchen and I began to find myself picking it up for a few moments and trying a chord or two. Let your shoulders drop. Let your body . You can apply the same kind of softness to your regular practice also. People often report to me that standing is difficult for them. Is there any tension or strain? Just casually let it go. So if you find your practice getting stuck in this way even if you don't obviously feel strain but just can't seem to get it to work. Gradually you will find that your whole body is beginning to relax and become more fluid. stretch them forward and gently lay all the pads of your toes back on to the floor.
the SI's have assumed even more teaching responsibility. and everybody came up with their own way to express the same thing. At the end of the session though. squinting at a manuscript. is actively engaged in passing along his Taoist lineage. this is a rare opportunity to work closely with an experienced Instructor. None of them flinched. have fun. springy and youthful.hang. For Instructor trainings. I don't know if they were trying to show off or compete with each other. we had a chance to see just how differently each one approached something as simple as basic leg alignments. as with Gods last summer.. and a couple are pushing three decades of study with him. at an Energy Gates training in California. on the spot and in front of all 80 of us. and in my opinion. do-what-I-do guided follow-along. In these trainings they not only have the job of making sure that every trainee understands what Bruce is teaching each day. In academia this level of reflection and refinement puts them at the forefront of their fields. go and do something else. the more I also appreciate something Bruce often says: "Chi gung is an art.. the Senior Instructors play an important role as a gateway to the lineage. tai chi. Of course. complacent students to forge a moral identity? Was he a wacky physicist who could barely keep his shoes tied. . the polished result of years of cultivation takes on the unique character of the practitioner. but couldn't care less? While the eccentricities of our faculty of Senior Instructors might also make for some interesting stories. don't worry. most of them two decades. they've invested countless hours practicing arts that helps them and their students stay vibrant. There will be plenty of opportunity throughout the rest of the day. But you won't find this group hunched over a table." While you have to be a bit of a mad scientist to endlessly experiment with what these practices feel like in your body. They all have at least a decade and a half of direct study with Bruce. When you don't feel like doing any more. not a science. they have between them the depth and wealth of knowledge of any top university when it comes to chi gung. Bruce Frantzis. Now. the dean of this university. and ba gua. The more I study with our SI's. Instead. light. Two summers ago. each student "got it" and the rest of us saw how you can teach the "right thing" in your own way. but when they got up in front of the group they did two things: each one worked directly with the body in front of them and each expressed himself/herself in a language they had honed in their own bodies over the years. The teaching ran the gamut from jackhammer-style bounces through a well-aligned leg to more playful.for micro practice. By Brian Cooper Chi Gung University Do you remember your favorite college professor? Was he a wizened bookworm who would quote endlessly from the classics? Was she a fiery idealist who pushed sleepy. For many people traveling from all over the country and Europe. Each SI was asked to tutor a new student on how to find alignments from the hips through the feet.
In Bruce's classes I saw and experienced how quickly Chi Gung Tui Na can specifically target and release energy blockages throughout the body. In a series of six sessions. I went on to study the whole Chi Gung program and Tai Chi with Bruce. structural. In the spirit of this interchange. Several years ago. Eric. For a long time the school was anchored by its founder Bill Ryan with the support of Alan Dougall. and the tradition stays alive through this interchange. . stress related and energetic imbalances. or refine your Long Form. He had pain throughout his body. Each time I study with these Senior Instructors. and Alan teaching a collaborative tai chi immersion week in April. This latter role is something they are able to do at several levels. refine your Short Form. Shared insight and shared teaching will help prepare the most people for the Lineage's teachings that Bruce is working so hard to pass along. You can get more information about these events through the BTC webpage. They will also coteach a weekend on tai chi standing postures. Achyness and pain was released from his organs out the extremities as well. He felt pain free after six sessions. the pain in his body moved progressively out of his body. I have been very curious about different healing modalities and energy development practices since I was teenager. even if it's the same topic. California doing various kinds of Asian Bodywork Therapy at the time and I was studying Chi Gung in San Jose.but they also play the role of filling in missing pieces for the students that have less experience. I have many case examples to illustrate. The training features opportunities to learn the Short Form. I have incorporated Chi Gung Tui Na into my hands-on energetic bodywork practice ever since. I come away with fresh insight. from beginners all the way on up to folks who dedicate hours a day to their practice and have been doing so for years. Chi Gung Tui Na works well for a broad variety of physical. I worked with a man who had fallen off an 80 foot scaffold and landed on concrete. By Dan Kleiman Chi Gung Tui Na The first course I took with Bruce Frantzis was a weekly class in Chi Gung Tui Na in San Francisco in 1989. moving from the torso out the five extremities of the hands. It is like being allowed to overhear scholars debate an ancient text. I was impressed and immediately hooked. I had a private practice in Palo Alto. more recently Eric Peters and Craig Barnes have assumed regular roles as weekend workshop Instructors. despite completing a series of physical therapy sessions. but to me. feet and head. Brookline Tai Chi will be hosting Craig. In my experience. here's what's so exciting about this event: the more the Senior Instructors start teaching together. While Alan can still be found marching students up and down through their Brush Knee paces. the more their work as individual practitioners and individual teachers is transformed into something whole and more accessible for all the people that they teach. I thought that Chi Gung Tui Na would be a good technique to use since it would help to reconnect the disturbed flow of energy at the core channel level that runs through the center of the joints and bones. I've seen them do this firsthand at Brookline Tai Chi as well. I like to check out different healing modalities. Each one comes away with a different insight.
clearing the stiffness in the affected quadrants of the joint. I . first the ankle. I started with above the body techniques based on Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung to balance out the flow of energy in the meridian lines. I taught Chi Gung Tui Na for over 10 years primarily to Asian bodywork therapists. nerves. fascia. Ortho-Bionomy or other bodywork techniques can be incorporated in a Chi Gung Tui Na session to clear tension from tight spots that would take longer to clear using the basic Chi Gung Tui Na techniques. the mobility in the ankle joint tremendously increased to almost as much mobility as the other ankle. the joint was very stiff and afterwards there was a lot of springiness in the ankle joint. I have a good sense of how Chi Gung Tui Na compares with other healing modalities because I have studied many different styles of bodywork and energywork and experienced many more as a receiver. structural alignment and posture. Pumping the limbs is a quick and easy technique to use for integration. nervous system. It was not much of a problem until recently. When I lived in Scottsdale. Clients report deep relaxation during and after sessions because it relaxes the nervous system and opens the pathway for stress to release out the extremities. My Asian bodywork students found that Chi Gung Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu blended very well together. fascia. I worked with a man who had badly broken his ankle 25 years earlier where the tendons had to be reattached. cerebrospinal system. Simple Chi Gung exercises are great to teach clients to assist structural integration after the sessions. as well as 500-hour and 200-hour Chi Gung Tui Na. and connective tissues that pull the joints out of alignment. Ortho-Bionomy is an osteopathic based structural and energy balancing system developed by a British osteopath. I then finished with pulsing the joints of the leg. The Western bodywork systems I have seen focus on systems of the body separately. mobility of the joints. alignment and health of the joints. Zen Shiatsu. and core channels in the joints and bones. or twisting or pumping the arms with the arms parallel. meridian lines and core energetic levels all in one session with one integrated comprehensive system. connective tissue. He walked out of the office with no limp and no pain. What I find unique about Chi Gung Tui Na is the way it clears patterns from the muscles. OrthoBionomyâ practitioners. massage therapists and lay people. The unwinding techniques release the imbalances in the muscles. ligaments. thus stabilizing the changes throughout the whole system. tendons. deeper spiraling pathways. Recently.Once I worked with a man who limped into the office just minutes after breaking his leg. knee and then hip to stabilize the core flow of energy in the leg. Before the session. After one session of Chi Gung Tui Na. internal organs. and Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure diploma and certificate programs and a 100-hour Chi Gung program. I usually teach simple components of Energy Gates movements that we learn as preparatory exercises to the complete movements of Energy Gates. acupuncture meridian system. My students and I have found that Chi Gung Tui Na complements the structural balancing techniques of Ortho-Bionomy really well. mobility. joints. After about a minute. Doctors were suggesting ankle replacement surgery. such as kwa squats. such as the myo-fascial system. or internal organs. I pulsed the ankle joint. The pulsing techniques restore the spring. including the spine. He found that wearing shoes with cushioned soles helped a lot. we heard a loud crack as his bone adjusted itself back into place. My students would often use Chi Gung Tui Na for integration at the end of a session because Chi Gung Tui Na opens all the energy layers including the superficially located meridian lines. Arizona I developed and directed a two-year degree program in Asian Bodywork.
As a result. By Susan Kansky Susan has 7. However. Dragon and Tiger is excellent for energy workers. I have found my Chi Gung Tui Na and Chi Gung practice complement each other well. It is also a wonderful set to do between clients to keep your energy level higher than your clients and to clear out any unwanted energy you may have picked up. If you are interested in learning Chi Gung Tui Na I recommend also learning Chi Gung to develop your ability to feel energy more sensitively and to have a way of clearing yourself between clients. Most simply put. many of the most ancient methods still exist and are practiced today. . gain a better understanding and make more informed decisions when beginning or furthering a qigong practice. She has been teaching Chi Gung and Asian bodywork since 1986. it's a good idea to know more about that practice. The awareness of internal blockages and how various areas of the body interrelate has increased my internal awareness in my own Chi Gung practice. body workers. called qi. and with so many varieties of qigong available for study. I also am better able to help my Chi Gung students with their specific issues. to make sure it meets your needs and expectations.often do some Chi Gung after a Western bodywork session to integrate the effects of work on that one system within the whole. If you are going to invest your time and money into a daily practice. Some of its benefits include improving health.500 hours of training in Asian Bodywork. it becomes increasingly important to have a clear. the practice originated in Asia between three and five thousand years ago (depending on which sources are quoted). acupuncturists. I find that the results of the session last longer. whether a novice or someone with some qigong experience. strengthening the immune system. psychotherapists and physicians to prevent practitioner burnout. qigong is a diverse system for working with the energy of life. developed. basic understanding of exactly what it is. maintaining emotional calm. It is a vital. Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung is a good place to start. Progress I make in my Chi Gung practice shows up in my Chi Gung Tui Na sessions as a greater ability to feel subtle imbalances and quicker results. Energy Medicine. living practice that continues to be researched. relatively unchanged. and adapted for contemporary life. and promoting longevity. increasing energy. reducing stress. Although the word "qigong" has only been in common usage since the 1950s. This overview will provide a foundation to help the reader. Qigong Basics for Everyone INTRODUCTION As interest in the theory and practice of qigong continues to grow in the United States. It is excellent for quickly improving your ability to feel energy deep inside the body and in the energy field. and Chinese health exercises.
" Because all gong has a purpose or goal. martially. medically. as an entry point into deeper spiritual practices. store and mobilize qi at will. For convenience. Here. energy work. or practice. the word "energy" is commonly used alone. "for the purpose of being able to sense. When combined with the word "qi". gong means effort put into something over a period of time in order to achieve a desired result. "practice" becomes a suitable translation for gong. In the Chinese language every syllable is a discrete word. acquire. An exercise is usually something you can learn how to do very quickly. no matter if they were a farmer. Although that's another literal translation of the word qi. since as one progresses farther in qigong. and that awareness deepens as one advances in their practice.DEFINING THE WORD TO UNDERSTAND THE PRACTICE Let's take a look at the word qigong itself. the most often-seen translations are energy exercises. For our purposes. while its benefits are provided through rote repetition." While repetition is part of a every qigong practice. but it is not medicine. and is a better choice than the word "exercise". it may be applied medically. or combinations of all of those. However. That's the most direct and accurate interpretation when using the word "qi" in relation to qigong and Chinese medicine. it is never done by rote. Note that it is made up of two separate syllables. Here. it is used to cultivate power. Now we can see that the fuller meaning contained within the simple word qigong might be best expressed as "effort over a period of time put into the practice of working with the energy of life. you're just doing an exercise. which can create erroneous expectations and diminish the results of our practice. vitality. and even "breathing exercises" may be conditionally acceptable. the craft or profession a person pursued. Sometimes it may be interpreted as "breath" or "breathing". we'll consider the translation of qi to be "vital life energy" or "life force". full awareness. a soldier. it might be helpful to state what qigong is not. exercise. the word "exercise" is sometimes used as a gentle admonition by a qigong master correcting a novice: "You're not doing qigong. skill. it's incomplete when discussing qigong. Implied within the word gong is the concept of time." Even that isn't complete. the syllables are combined to form the single word qigong. These are okay as far as they go. the word gong was applied to the work people did. The simple word "practice". In fact. and then little or no further thought is given to it. every word has many possible meanings and may be used in various contexts. we miss some important considerations and have at best a partial understanding. a merchant. so that its meaning is at once more clear. in order to promote health. If we take that understanding into account. whether that means practicing the piano or establishing a medical practice. As one became more accomplished in their work through practicing it over time. one of the common translations of gong. and longevity. Gong is most commonly translated as work. if we limit ourselves to these interpretations. which may be applied secularly. More specifically. an artisan. since the regulation of the breath is one of the three main concerns of all qigongs as we'll see below. "qi" and "gong". Even when leaving aside tonal considerations. since that will tell us a lot about the actual practice. it may be applied for . their gong provided them with an ever deepening understanding not just of their profession but of life. also includes the aspect of investing effort over a period of time. It is done with full attention. it is not a martial art. Historically. or a politician. we can amend that with. Although it may be applied martially. or breathing exercises.
both to heal themselves and others.spiritual development. taiji. and promote mental clarity and intellectual achievement. FIRE METHODS. social awareness and equality. Within each of those five constructs exists hundreds of form variations. Water methods are largely free from these problems. Like fire itself. Historically. In both systems. Accordingly. Any one type of qigong may include some elements of another style. while healers would be more likely to practice a medical qigong. These include Daoist. while Water methods may take a little longer for the student to notice the changes that are occurring. either purposely or due to the nature of the practice itself--fire rises! By contrast. Of course these are not mutually exclusive rigid delineations. The following descriptions are generalities only. Medical. Buddhist. it may be practiced by anyone to improve their quality of life. focusing on health and longevity. regardless of how else they may one day choose to apply that practice. Fire methods involve an element of force. but it is not a religion. a smooth continuous flow of the breath. and Earth. all qi practices were taught to students who were either living with or at least regularly visiting their teacher. and Martial. PHILOSOPHICAL BASES There are five main philosophical bases that underlie any qigong. and visualization used at early stages of practice. as in the tensing of muscles. ongoing guidance from a qualified teacher in order to insure that the teacher can observe and immediately correct any potential qi deviation. current level of ability and available time. This is not to be confused with classical Five Element qigong practices. Metal. Fire methods really require careful. The purpose of each variation is to help the practitioner achieve a particular goal or objective. interests. the potential downside is that a quick and dramatic result may easily destabilize a novice student. such as Iron Shirt Qigong. or other gongfu practices to further specific martial abilities. Water methods are based on relaxation and release. Confucian qigongs are well suited for intellectual workers. martial artists would more likely practice a martial style qigong. as water sinks. Daoist qigongs are designed to help one align with the energy and rhythm of the natural world. you eventually want to have a balanced upward and downward flow of qi. and developing a felt sense of qi flow and internal structures and processes. and any individual may practice more than one style of qigong as suits their needs. holding of the breath. and are a subset of daoist qigongs. In broad terms. However. Fire methods tend to produce more dramatic results earlier on. this may make it seem as though Fire methods are more desirable practices. and so are often also the basis for many medical qigongs. Buddhist qigongs help foster the values of compassion. Qi is often guided upwards. Here are some hallmarks of each. and these are the Fire and Water methods. and in various traditions each method may contain aspects of the other. The qi is guided downwards in these practices. At first glance. and the ability to move it in other planes as well. . which would also include Wood. Each of the five philosophical bases may include Fire or Water methods. WATER METHODS There are two other broad umbrella categories of qigong. health and longevity. and to replenish themselves after treating numerous patients throughout the day. Confucian. For example.
open a body more completely. the regulation of the mind is used to regulate the body and the breath. Once learned. qigong is not meditation. or inner practice. the mind is both quiet and in active sensing mode. removes toxins more efficiently. Muscle-tendon meridians overlay the main acupuncture meridians. sitting. and mind helps to guide and regulate the qi. While it may be tempting to use that familiar nomenclature. organs.having safeguards built in to their methodology. all qigongs have this much in common. This can be done simultaneously to rid the body of pathogenic or otherwise unusable qi. glands. MOVING AND QUIESCENT Most complete qigong systems include a balance between moving and stationary practices. breath. and opening them helps to release tension (and the consequent restriction or pain) from muscles and tendons. and awaken other inner senses. and these are not usually taught to a beginning or intermediate student unless they are bedridden and have no other choice. and deeper anatomical and energetic structures. and is crucial to eventually learning to regulate the qi directly. This is one way of creating a balance between Yin (quiet) and Yang (active) energies within a body. and through gentle internal pressurization. This is more correctly called "neigong". In earlier stages of practice. This brings more nourishment to the organs. Whether done standing or sitting. They all require that the practitioner learns to regulate their body. Additional components may be layered into a practice that work with specific body tissues. attending to the Three Regulations and working with the qi. and mind. or lying down. both methods are equally powerful. that can amplify qi flows. quiescent qigong practices remind people of meditation. mainly because even the word qigong is new to many westerners. which may be useful in cases of qi stagnation manifesting as stiffness and pain for example. THE THREE REGULATIONS Regardless of the form or philosophical basis. Many consider the lying down practices as the most advanced. increases blood flow to and from the organs. or it may be used to move qi into and out of the body. and body cavities among other things. and so are often referred to as meditation or as "standing meditation". Few US teachers make the distinction between calling a practice a qigong or a neigong. Whether physically moving or still. to be stored at the end of the practice. Regulating the breath allows for more oxygen and qi to be acquired from the atmosphere. Something different is going on here. so that qi is able to circulate unimpeded at that level. and it is true that both moving and stationary qigong practices may serve as a bridge to meditation. nerves. Regulating the body opens the muscle-tendon meridians. and adding another new word may only create confusion when they are essentially part of the same continuum. breath. This is also a deeper aspect of the . and the focused attention of the mind to specific movements encourages qi flow along specific pathways. commonly called the Three Regulations. and to gather more healthy qi from the environment. The coordinated regulation of the body. The synchronized coordination of the Three Regulations is used to either just mobilize and guide qi within the body. The stationary practices may be done standing. and promotes better organ functioning.
much or all of the gathered qi will dissipate. Although these can be qualities that initially attract some people to the practice. your 100% capacity is also increased commensurately. Too often when we think of effort. When practicing qigong. In stationary practices. or colloquially as "the 70% rule". You can then put full effort into that 70%. EFFORT IN QIGONG PRACTICE In defining qigong above. . most often occurring at whatever is your particular weakest link. and encourage it to flow in the ways necessary to achieve the intended results. quiescent. In most qigongs. is necessary to progress farther in qigong cultivation. it creates more tension in your nervous system. The more you put in. First. maintaining a margin of safety. most importantly the movements are designed to help guide the qi. at the end of their practice. located slightly below the navel and towards the spine. the concept of applying "effort over time" was introduced. you proceed at 70% of that capacity. Second. without strain. and if maintained over time. from the top of their head to the lower dantian. whether moving.Regulation of the Mind. Moving practices are extremely varied. This "qigong state of mind". all of the diseases associated with high levels of stress. some teachers like to insure this happens by teaching their students to physically wipe their body down. graceful. and then sink it to penetrate the body. It's where qi is stored at the end of any practice session. You'll always have that extra 30% to draw on if you really need it. Without storing at the end of the session. and because of that it‘s possible for some qi to get stuck in the head. the movements are flowing. if you are working at your maximum. working at full effort without strain is referred to as "The Golden Mean". no safety zone. the likelihood of burnout. as some masters call it. there is a sense of working at or even beyond our full capacity. This guideline states that after ascertaining your true 100% capacity. so it's somewhat easier to get a stronger circulation of qi throughout the body. negating most of the value of the practice. which can present some unique challenges. The lower dantian is a main energy center in the body. there should be a sense of "full effort without strain". this is not a way to build health. the mind may do more of the work. This type of effort is problematic if you are trying to become healthier and stronger. While it may be done by the mind alone. leading to increased stress. and may seem exotic. depending on the type of qigong being practiced and the specific desired result. Storing qi at the end of a qigong session is like putting money into your savings account. There are many possible ways to sink the qi. In addition to clearing the head of qi that may get stuck there. or in trying to accomplish anything in life for that matter. this facilitates the movement of qi to the lower dantian. it's especially important to attend to drawing qi out of the head after a stationary practice. Accordingly. STORING QI In moving qigongs there's usually a more even balance among the regulations of body. This sets you up for various types of strain and injury. breath and mind. or combined. and as your 70% ability increases. Obviously. you leave yourself no margin of error. using the mind to regulate itself. the more you will have to draw from when you need it. In some daoist traditions.
ideally making it a part or your daily life. Kabir etc. and nutrition counselor with a private practice in the Boston area. which will positively impact every part of your life. because they resonate with the Divine/ The Universal Consciousness.CONCLUDING REMARKS As you can see. a peaceful heart. even if you "only" got that far. depending on where you are at this point in your life. I've minimized the use of Chinese words to keep things in a more familiar context for US readers. I was sharing. Meditation and the Dissolving Practices of the Water School of Taoism as put forth by Lao Tse. completeness and reconnection to our ultimate source! I believe the words of Jesus and Buddha and Ghandi regarding Meditation and "Thinking on these things!" Why? Because I have proven them true in my own life! I find I resonate deeply with the poets like Blake and Rumi. the Source of all. I hope this has been helpful and informative. herbalist. and for the sole purpose of saying "I don't believe that". there are qigongs (or other related practices) that may be better for you. Steven Cardoza (First published in the Spring 2008 issue of Qi Journal) Biographical Information Steven Cardoza. but the concepts should be familiar when encountered in other settings.Ac. bodyworker. even more than are introduced here. Doing any qigong will likely be better than doing none. For more information on these classes. L. you may visit my website. Well. Here. M.. Discuss any concerns you may have with a prospective teacher before beginning a practice. but with a little research you may find just the right fit for you. www. Different teachers and authors will also have their favorite approaches based on their training and experience. someone interrupted. how wonderful would that be? The qigongs that I personally practice and teach are primarily of the Daoist and Medical (Water) traditions. Again yesterday I was drawn into a substantive discussion about life. I said. He is certified to teach Wu taiji and qigong by Taoist lineage holder Master Bruce Frantzis. there are many different styles and variations to qigong.for wholeness. and a clear mind. and raised a few more for you to consider. The important thing to keep in mind in that regard is that while any one qigong may not intrinsically be better than any other.." I also believe that ultimately. I wish you all the best on your journey! © 2007. medical qigong practitioner. “so what!” that doesn't change anything does . but just 20 or 30 minutes of daily qigong will yield greater health with more energy. is a licensed acupuncturist. especially those new to qigong. to make sure you'll be getting what you need.. here.compassionate-arts.com. that it's answered some questions you may have about qigong.. You really do have to put some effort into your practice. Different teachers and authors may use different terminology to express similar concepts. life is a spiritual quest . Meditation Is Not What You Think I honestly believe that "we are spiritual beings enjoying a physical respite.Sc. Although you could take it well beyond that point if you choose. You'll also find more detailed general information on qigong and taiji there. (after being asked) and I shared Prayer.
"Just come apart and rest a while".it is what creates the environment for the 'gift of Grace' to occur."it is the Practice that leads to freedom... Yes. Meditation is a very important facet of life... or how do we say it. Muhammad." Meditation is a straightforward process. the supremacy of one religion over another..(virtual means 'almost'). else why would Jesus and the other great teachers of wisdom like Buddha.... One my most precious realizations is “the softening of my mind and thoughts. not just a chosen few. She responded that it was when she started dreaming in Spanish. from China who was teaching around..perhaps so that we would run out of time to 'allow it to be absorbed' and become real in our lives.. Rumi and Kabir and countless others down through the years up to and including the Dali Lama. there is clearly something 'more' in people.. and even was an Interpreter in South America.... or it might be the current bent of "Virtual Reality"."As a defense to avoid mental/emotional horror. it is a 'tool' (and not another religion). trying to name this and that. By perhaps naming it. Within the realm or practice of meditation there are gifts or results to be enjoyed/realized. more than simply the intellect. nodded in agreement. and no religion or tradition has a corner on it! I think we lived in a time of "Premature Evaluation". Lao Tse and Chuang Tse.. perhaps it's the "Electronic World" of image without substance. affords balance and centeredness. the inner-truths of the Universe. It is also true that one need not cease being a Christian to engage in Meditation any more than one must be a Taoist in order to practice Tai chi chuan! "You see.."Put it to bed?" My Wife Dawn studied Spanish for many years.. categorize and type everything."pick a theory": as one is as good as another... even if we do not yet realize it. Many people 'can no longer feel' ! BK Frantzis the Taoist master responded to the question. Industrial societies are inclined to reduce human beings to unfeeling machines." It is the "something more". or about what a human being should or should not do.a tool to help you find within yourself that spiritual spark... Truth is truth.and they are for everyone.it?" He paused a bit bewildered... here and now. and yes. entreat us to Meditate! On your way to Oneness with the Universal Consciousness/God or by Whatever Name you name the UnNameable One.that "more" that makes us human and divine at the same time. Meditation.Really! "Meditation is not about religious beliefs... Befuddled thinking... Ghandi.and very practical in everyday life. and she shared. It became a part of her...most of the rigidity is gone"!. and I urge you to engage and find them out for your self.. Stillness. OH. it's universal. "Grace" is a word and concept found in Taoism and Buddhism et al. The Creative and Sustaining Power of the . and even allows me to find perspective and to slow down...and I also believe that those who receive it realize it from silence and hard work.. There are a myriad of additional benefits to meditation. I have found that meditation helps with Stress. It is this 'something more' that we seek to know in Stillness and in Meditation.. One of the first things I learned about Taoism and life-practice was to go deep ! My Teacher was a wise woman. like those Reality TV programs. and it can.where sights and sounds are disembodied from human feeling.the practice of actually doing Chi Gung/Tai Chi and Meditation.. I know of traditions that say that the "gift of becoming 'connected' to Universal Consciousness can only be granted by "Gods Grace".. I asked Dawn once when she finally knew she 'knew Spanish' had gotten a 'hold' on it. I share that to share this. people can fool themselves into thinking they have 'dealt with it."we live in very in substantive times! Most of our everydays consist of the Mundane !" We have for the most part 'lost' a very essential part of ourselves.. Rather...
and the more fruitful it is for you. We met Bruce for the first time in Darmstadt in 1993..and more". Elisabeth has certification for biodynamic body psychotherapy and a license as a healing practitioner. it was very difficult for us to understand and work with the internal principles that he demonstrated because it was the first time that we had been introduced to them. the closer you'll come to arriving at your own connection to the Universal Consciousness. Compassion.Universe. which we completed successfully in spite of the language barrier. We were simultaneously fascinated by the internal power and clarity that Bruce showed and frustrated on finding out how little we knew about internal work (Nei Gung) at that time. Ralph had also trained earlier in Tae Kwon Do. It took about 4 years until we were able to teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong full time as professionals. By EA Instructor Fred Gordon About the Tai Chi and Qi Gong School Ulm/Neu-Ulm. At this first weekend with Bruce we had the impression of learning more in a few hours than in the entire previous 5 years. who was also an important help to us. It was a weekend seminar with the subject "Bend the Bow". traditional Russian martial art (Systema). The human brain is too high-powered to have many practical uses in this particular Universe!" And let us not forget our friend born in Ulm who said : " The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them ". With that. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.. For example in meditation we were taught by various masters of Tibetan Buddhism such as Tenga Rinpoche and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and in martial arts we gained experience with Ving Tsun. In the healing arts. and Ba Gua Chang. In 1991 we opened our own school in Neu-Ulm. Kindness and Wisdom..you'll discover wisdom and balance and peace-of-mind. Jamie Dibdin was very helpful to us at this time and later we met Paul Cavel. we frequently attended seminars on these subjects. whose intrinsic balance will naturally focus through you the qualities of Love and Equanimity. "Meditation is not what you think!" I rather like what Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Thinking : "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much.. the Blackfoot Indians would say: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.... and even rest. and the more you are open to and engage in Meditation.and rest and peace ! I have not tried to defend or define meditation for you that is your personal discovery. You'll be able to relax more and often quicker and deeper.. Generosity.Albert Einstein However. we were hooked on Bruce's work and have attended since . I also have not tried to tell you what life is or isn't. He prepared us for the first instructor training in 1997 in Anvil Ranch.. Because both of us have always been interested in meditation. Germany We started learning Yang Style Tai Chi and Qi Gong under the auspices of the International Tai Chi and Chi Kung Association (ITCCA) in 1985-86 and obtained teaching certificates from that institution. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. healing and martial arts. Joy. . Ralph has training in NLP and experience in healing work. Although at that time we had more than 8 years of experience of Qi Gong and Tai Chi training.. and yet. You Just might like it ! Just remember. Try It. the more you engage in Meditation the more simple it becomes.
it is especially important to help our students to achieve greater inner freedom and peace. We pass on all that we learn from Bruce to our students. so that some students travel from other European countries to Neu-Ulm just for weekend courses. Many students have told us since then that they find it particularly easy to learn internal principles in our school. Others travel many miles for scheduled evening courses and private instruction. Our courses take place mainly in the evenings and in some cases in the mornings and at weekends. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. Essentially the question of the passage is what Chuang Tse meant in his final line. A year later. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. Since 1999 we were able have Bruce visit our school each year to give seminars. Our specially intensive and relaxing Qi Gong and Tai Chi Summer Week in August is also very popular. but I know you are not a fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. We look forward to more opening of internal space and more teaching from Bruce on this subject. The debate and intrigue surrounding this dialog goes beyond the clever rhetoric of a skeptic that Chuang Tse used to debate his logistician friend Hui Tse. many participants talked about unusually positive experiences that they had received. A highlight this year was certainly the full moon meditation that Bruce conducted. After this meditation. What form of knowledge is he referring .that time seminars in the US. Best wishes Elisabeth and Ralph Chuang Tse's Fish Part I of III Derived from Interviews with Bruce Frantzis One of the most debated and well known quotes from Chuang Tse occurs at the end of Chapter 17 in the book Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy by Philip J. When you asked me what fish like. free and at ease. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. Many thanks for all we have learned up to now. I know it by the river Hao. that's how. we had a special gift from him: a consecration of our teaching area by a rare Taoist ceremony. we very often asked Bruce if he could give more instruction on this topic in our school. For us. Ivanhoe: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao. This is the joy of fish. so that we can become more proficient ourselves and be better able to pass on this knowledge to as many students as possible. Therefore. this time with content that has probably been very rarely encountered elsewhere in the world. England and Germany almost every year. Our many years of experience and competent instruction have become well known. We are glad and very grateful that these seminars have been so successful in communicating this material since they began. Greece. which we also think is the most valuable thing that a teacher can impart.
Giving some of the layers profound appeal to the general public allowed these texts to stay in the public domain long enough for those who were ready to learn the actual meditative practices to discover them from the deeper meanings in these texts. This interpretation. the topic doesn't end there. I can see this truth through the technique of emptiness. Chuang Tse: You've already distorted the truth through your mental framing of this. Bruce Frantzis. Hui Tse: You just gave me an opportunity to beat you through a logical argument and prove you wrong! Chuang Tse: We have different methods of understanding things. Let's try to go back to where it was clear. When you asked me what fish like. Hui Tse: I missed the hidden interpretation of your point. Weaving a few double meanings into a passage is difficult enough." The natural explanation is valid by the viewpoints of Taoism. Out of those. . You do not have that ability. and hence I won. and the fish are engaging in their natural habits." Fortunately. Chuang Tse: I felt like using a Taoist technique. Thus deciphering the intended meanings of Taoist literature is quite difficult. It is not.. opens up a much larger question. therefore the fish are happy. with many hidden double meanings. the best one I have seen thus far is "Taoists believe in the flow of nature. Some of mystical ideas which constitute the intended meaning are very foreign to Western forms of thought and language. as a lineage holder in the Taoist tradition passed down from Lao Tse can move beyond this more obvious surface interpretation and present a different version of this passage: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao. Thus the Taoist tradition has been able to survive for centuries. it feels like being cheated to be told to leave it simply at "do what is natural. Their writings tended to be in obscure metaphorical language. however. so I can tell that the fish enjoy what they are doing here. but allowing radically differing interpretations to coexist within the same text is a feat in of itself. If there is really a different form of knowing that exists. Next issue we shall focus upon the relationship between the meanings encoded within these texts and actual Taoist meditative practices. All the great Taoist sages practiced mysticism rather than merely being intelligent philosophers. and I have seen a variety of differing but very well thought out answers to address it.to? Not surprisingly. My understanding comes from being able to see the emptiness inside the river and comprehend its essence. you made the assumption my form of knowing is equivalent to yours. it's quite a difficult concept to explain. and thus believe I have cornered you in this argument. but feels lacking in comparison to its context. The skills of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse were admirable. What is the meaning of emptiness? This is a concept that is difficult for scholarly academics to understand as it can only be known through direct experience.
This represents a radical divergence from most other meditative systems.Part II While many differing interpretations for the Taoist texts (ie. This is the category to which emptiness belongs. A good example of this is Lao Tse's 70% rule in the Tao de Jing. quantum physics accepts infinitely changing possibilities of the universe. An example of this appears in Chapter 2: Everyone in the world knows that when the beautiful strives to be beautiful. All matter is composed of atoms which are mostly empty. Everyone knows that when the good strives to be good. This idea exists in other mystical traditions as well. the true essence of which is ingrained within their philosophy. In both cases strain produces a negative outcome. primarily Buddhism and Hinduism. I believe that emptiness can be defined as the following: All objects rather than being solid are mostly empty and this emptiness exists as a state of flux whose vibrations give rise to solid form. it is repulsive. Some concepts of Taoist meditation overlap with the Taoist view of how society should function (a core concept of the Tao de Jing). some of the other meditation concepts are much more abstract and difficult to prove. Initially my only real basis for understanding emptiness was to link this idea to quantum physics. Emptiness was an abstract concept like the one before to me until I had a few personal experiences to show it existed. which was a very interesting experience. The Book of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse's Tao de Jing) exist. Lao Tse writes numerous passages to show the negative results of strain. and prove it is not the only reference to Taoist meditation. The first involved a friend who had begun practicing something with me to open one of his doorways of perception. Both Lao Tse and Chuang Tse belonged to the water tradition of Taoist meditation. it is no good. One of this method's primary defining traits is to never push or force things to occur. . normally in continually differing ways. hence one should not strain. which force pathways in the mind to open up and shape themselves according to the intention of the practitioner. Generally the point is taught through analogy. In the Tao de Jing. and as such meshes with the flux idea. The 70% rule itself is quite simple: Don't push anything beyond 70% in your body or mind. One can also note how this meditation concept also makes sense in daily life. Bruce told us that my friend had glimpsed one of the opening stages of emptiness. a few major meditative principles or techniques are focused on and restated. so a less cliché explanation is preferable. and vibrating forms of energy which create the force which gives rise to physical matter. At some point he told me he felt his third eye start pulsing and he saw multiple afterimages behind each person in the room representing different possibilities they could manifest in the next moment. but this aspect will not be the primary focus. However. the aim is to explain the fish story. In each Taoist text. in essence indirectly teaching the 70% rule. The goal of Taoism is to understand the universe. Instead. In addition. Nevertheless quantum physics is often used as proof for many metaphysical concepts and at times done so incorrectly. Before long he was able to use this to guide the conversation and see everything that would happen. this article only concerns those that relate to Taoist meditation.
stream.Take everything you get from Heaven.. it's fair to assume Chuang Tse's writings about internal emptiness can be applied to external ones as well. Working with the notion of emptiness thus is a primary goal of Taoism. Here Chuang Tse is making the point that different forms of thinking exist. not welcoming things as they come or escorting them as they go. the name of the object drops away. These examples may seem outside the discourse of Chinese philosophy.. as does its form. which gradually progressed to them appearing more and more hollow (and then abruptly cut off). and instead be open to the spontaneous flow of nature. See October ChiTalk for the conclusion of this three-part series! Part III A classic Taoist technique is to gaze at something. Only the Way gathers in emptiness. Chapter 7: Don't take responsibility or claim knowledge. only quotes from him will be mentioned. The mind stops with signs. Perfect people use their minds like mirrors. Do not listen with your ears but listen with your mind. This technique is by no means exclusive to Taoism (for instance the Hindus refer to it as Samādhi). Do not listen with your mind but listen with your chi. appearance. I was tired." which in turn leads to the Tao. Since debating Chuang Tse's work is my focus. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind. In this sense of emptiness. The core essence within the emptiness is something that is in a continual state of flux (and differing from one . you must become completely unattached to your own thoughts and knowledge. Of course. and mentioned it numerous times throughout their writings. Understanding the nature of emptiness was given such strong emphasis by Chuang Tse because it is an intermediate Taoist practice that eventually leads to seeing the Tao. the mind's artificially created forms melt away and bring one closer to the Tao.. but I believe that giving experiential examples to demonstrate this abstract concept will make it easier to comprehend. In this state. Given how things seem to be connected. which eventually arrive at the process of knowing he terms "emptiness. I began to notice things having a rippling translucent layer on top of them. be it a river. Here Chuang Tse asserts that emptiness is the key to true knowledge. and even the meaning one attached to it. penetrate into it and see the emptiness within. Just be empty. Chapter 4: May I ask about fasting of the mind? "Unify your zhi (will/plans). Chi is empty and waits on external things. fire. Listening stops with the ear. but don't consider it gain.. and some parts of my brain started going into spasm. Here are two that I feel show the importance not just of seeing the emptiness in objects (and in turn their fundamental essence).A few weeks later. As a result both Chuang Tse and Lao Tse deemed this to be a very important teaching to impart. Bruce once again said this was a common initial experience of emptiness. the question is how. or any of the elements (or even watching a branch grow) and rather than just see the object. The modern focus is much more on the external world. To reach it (and later arrive at the Tao). but of allowing that state to arise within your own mind.
I would expect them to be ignored. lists this as one of the prime aspects of his philosophy. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. and Chuang Tse makes many attempts to demonstrate it rather than simply focusing on more mundane concepts. and allows those who have the ability to perceive a different paradigm. from reading biblical stories of the Devil. and using a belief to justify his viewpoint (not unlike a Christian trying to criticize an activity. amongst other things. By EA Instructor Alex Frantzis . Hui Tse: You are not a fish. Chuang Tse is able to understand "what fish like.split second to the next). When you asked me what fish like. The mind state of emptiness is a profound concept. Likewise. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. with ideas that were so different from mainstream thought. just because Lucifer is "evil." is true and can be used to accept the entire reasoning process. if they were openly stated as a truth. This is the joy of fish." In the story as Chuang Tse walks above the bridge. ridiculed. I know it by the river Hao. However. Thus. Alternatively. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. This reading makes more sense. you could assume a fairly general statement such as "fish like that which is natural. Chuang Tse was able to masterfully plan out an entire conversation which turned the logic Hui Tse prided himself upon against him. a story is created which captivates the mind and can be read on many different levels. In his writings. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. free and at ease. it can be viewed as Chuang Tse choosing to apply the technique of emptiness to seeing that within the river. Chuang Tse avoids these pitfalls." However. I cannot fathom Chuang Tse choosing to write this passage if it's about nothing more than following what is natural. This can be analogized to the quote that "one can never step in the same stream twice. a much more complete explanation of what Chuang Tse says can be found by applying the concept of emptiness to what he looked for in the fish. or at best not understood. Through seeing the flux within Hui Tse (his possible choices of speech). that's how. but I know you are a not fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. simply because it goes against the bible). the essence of everything attached to the river becomes clear. for example. both these simple explanations don't get to the real substance or depth of the matter. By indirectly alluding to knowing through emptiness (in many ways the antithesis of most human knowledge). On one hand. and given the degree of meaning he incorporates into the rest of his work. Chuang Tse puts a strong emphasis on emptiness. In this state of emptiness. including the fish and all the potentialities of what everything could become. one could just assume Lucifer cannot be trusted to make a deal with. This interpretation assumes Chuang Tse was just messing with Hui Tse. Stanford University. At the same time." Let's revisit the original version of the passage to read it in a different light: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao.
The importance of exercise for health is widely recognized in the medical community. Since almost all physicians know that exercise is beneficial. All sorts of claims are made about the health benefits of all sorts of health practices. many physicians. If we want to ask a physician to recommend tai chi to their patients we need not only to be able to answer their questions and present a compelling and scientifically accurate reasons for them to do so. Presenting physicians with the results of research will be far more effective than just saying that tai chi works. In order to have an effective program the patient must actually show up for the classes. enjoyable and beneficial form of exercise can play an important role in helping the medical community utilize the powerful health benefits of exercise. far too few physicians regularly recommend it to their patients. Since tai chi is considered a moderate form of exercise it would be an appropriate form of exercise for physicians to recommend to patients in order to meet the Center for Disease Control's recommendation on exercise-that is to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity on most days of the week. Many physicians do not do enough to encourage their patients to do any form of exercise. why don't more talk about it or specifically prescribe it to their patients? There are probably a number of reasons. Although research has already documented many of the significant health benefits of tai chi. Getting the physician to recommend tai chi may be the easy part. This situation can change if the results of randomized clinical trials can be clearly presented to physicians showing the benefits of tai chi for specific conditions. One is. do not feel confident in that role.The Importance of Researching the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Part I of II Tai chi offers significant health benefits and new research is beginning to confirm some of the self-reported benefits that tai chi practitioners have talked about for years. A healthy degree of skepticism on physicians' part can be viewed as much as an opportunity as an obstacle since we believe that tai chi really works. Tai chi teachers can offer local physicians an important resource by providing them with educational materials and offering classes that are appropriate for their patients. The promotion of tai chi as an exceptionally safe. This will be just as valuable to physicians who already do actively encourage their patients to exercise as to those who do not. while knowing that counseling about physical activity is important. we must also give the physician enough information so that they can answer basic questions that a patient may have and persuade the patient that it is worth their effort. Exercise in general needs to be promoted to physicians – tai chi can help fill this need It is not the case that many physicians are just ignoring tai chi and recommending other exercise. Physicians are familiar with this type of research as it is what forms the scientific basis for much of their practice. Research is the link to the medical community Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for medical research. Research into the benefits of tai chi based on well designed randomized clinical trials will have a much greater influence on physician's decisions to recommend tai chi to their patients. and few have anywhere near .
you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. about $1. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. How to promote tai chi to physicians and their patients The first step in getting physicians to recommend tai chi to their patients is to make sure that you have enough basic knowledge so that you can accurately educate them about tai chi and to have good leave-behind material both for the physician and for their patients. This material would include. in the long term. For instance by 2020 the medical costs due to falls among the 55 million US seniors age 65+ are expected to grow to over 54. South Coast Medical Center's movement disorders program continues to list my tai chi for Parkinson's disease class on their website and the neurologist I worked with on the study continues to recommend my tai chi class to many of his patients. Having more detailed. Randomized clinical trials are beginning to document the health benefits of tai chi and these results will help set tai chi apart from other forms of exercises. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that.000 per person. it will be very helpful if at least some Energy Arts certified instructors become involved in research projects to investigate the benefits of their classes. Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. In most cases. If not they will not consider it credible. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. just in savings from . One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. Energy Arts will likely format the information in the research section of its website into a brochure that can be left behind for physicians and their patients. It is important for the material to be accurate since if they look a statement up and find it checks out they will feel more confident with the rest of the material. If this reduction can be maintained. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involve other Energy Arts certified instructors in other research projects.the benefits of tai chi. back up material is needed. For instance. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings.9 billion. it will be lost in the crowd. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. Without studies demonstrating that tai chi is an especially beneficial for one's health. At some point in the future. As I have already organized and carried out a small study with a local neurologist on the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson's I know that this type of research really can be done. This will help provide confidence that they can in fact help their students achieve measurable health benefits and will show that we are making a good faith effort to demonstrate that our classes really provide the value that we believe they do. then for a typical person age 65+. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. In the studies done so far.
If not they will not consider it credible. We especially need stories on arthritis. These savings would likely be even greater since practitioners of tai chi might be expected to have fewer injuries in the falls they do have. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. In most cases. This material would include. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. At some point in the future. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. falling down. This article discusses how best to promote tai chi within the medical community. It is important for the material to be accurate since if they look up a statement and find it checks out they will feel more confident with the rest of the material. Submit a testimonial now. They could help in several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. Summary Scientific research into the health benefits of tai chi can lead to a much greater utilization of tai chi as a complementary health practice. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. All Students: EA is working on opportunities to make the community aware of the benefits of tai chi/chi gung as David has described above. Of course. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. back up material is needed. cancer. Having more detailed. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. The first step in getting physicians to recommend tai chi to their patients is to make sure that you have enough basic knowledge so that you can accurately educate them about tai chi and to have good leave-behind material both for the physician and for their patients. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. Chi Talk discussed the importance of clinical research in demonstrating the health benefits of tai chi. such as individuals age 65+. The Importance of Researching the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Part II How to Promote Tai Chi to Physicians and Their Patients Last month. . summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. lung problems and diabetes. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. Energy Arts will likely format the information in the research section of its website into a brochure that can be left behind for physicians and their patients. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi.falls.
Medicare or the person's health care insurance. If this reduction can be maintained. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. just in savings from falls. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. Summary Scientific research into the health benefits of tai chi can lead to a much greater utilization of tai chi as a complementary health practice.9 billion. In the studies done so far. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. He worked on a study that observed the benefits of tai chi for people with Parkinson's disease in 2004 and looks forward to helping EA develop studies to help get the word out about chi practices. Of course. in the long term. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost.000 per person. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. about $1. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involving other energy arts certified instructors in other research projects. David is especially interested in the health benefits of tai chi and chi gung. then for a typical person age 65+. As I have already organized and carried out a small study with a local neurologist on the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson's I know that this type of research really can be done. For instance by 2020 the medical costs due to falls among the 55 million US seniors age 65+ are expected to grow to over 54. it will be very helpful if at least some Energy Arts certified instructors become involved in research projects to investigate the benefits of their classes. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. EA Instructor David Bendall teaches weekly classes in California and has studied with Bruce since 1987. These savings would likely be even greater since practitioners of tai chi might be expected to have fewer injuries in the falls they do have. such as individuals age 65+.Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. For instance. Not surprisingly. South Coast Medical Center's movement disorders program continues to list my tai chi for Parkinson's disease class on their website and the neurologist I worked with on the study continues to recommend my tai chi class to his many of his patients. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. This will help provide confidence that they can in fact help their students achieve measurable health benefits and will show that we are making a good faith effort to demonstrate that our classes really provide the value that we believe they do. They could help in a several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. .
Sue has a quick mind. energetically. how much energy do I have today? Your mind also is a form of energy. your physical body vibrates even more slowly. Your physical body and your life energy are forms of energy. on to the next thing. because it's so easy to move our minds ahead of our bodies. . Think of your mind as vibrating at a very high frequency. Body. When they do. But one common reason is that many people don't slow their minds down when they try to feel. the energy that is the prime focus of Chinese medicine mainstream scientists have yet to accept its existence. we say things like the following. you have to slow your mind down to the speed of your body or life energy. the energy which enables your body to perform its basic functions. but not nearly as fast as your mind. or what I call "life energy. or mentally. John is such a clear thinker. As physicists have delved deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of physical matter. Many people have trouble feeling their chi.The Art of Feeling Chi: Mind. You can move your life energy more quickly than your body. In our everyday language we acknowledge this by describing our minds in energetic terms. and then hope that our bodies arrive. it's easier to feel our body or life energy if we are not moving.your chi. your prana. We often first think of where we want our bodies or parts of our bodies to be. As for your life energy . you have to slow it down and tune in. He directed his attention toward me. but waves of energy. For your mind to feel or resonate with these lower frequencies. your ki. When we are moving. For most of us. either physically. the more likely we'll be able to feel. You can't move your physical body across the room so quickly. our minds often are still one step ahead. In turn. So if you want to feel your body or life energy. you must use your mind. The part of your mind that you use is what we call your "feeling awareness. Modern physics has proven your physical body to be so. it's a little trickier. You can look at and think about one corner of the room and then in an instant jump your mind across the room and think about the other corner. they have found not solid particles." The problem is that the energy of your mind moves very fast. and your life energy as vibrating at a much lower frequency. and Life Energy Many people have trouble feeling their bodies. For example." Why? There can be many reasons. To feel your body or life energy. But in everyday life its existence is not questioned. Just focus your mind on the problem at hand. Who cannot answer accurately the question we ask ourselves everyday. You can move your mind across the room incredibly quickly. The stiller our bodies are and our minds become.
Living in south Florida we occasionally get hurricanes." We exist in and have manifested a world of distractions. including any life energy you feel in them. Let your mind move at the speed that your hand moves. This constant "being on" and "plugged in" leads to an abuse of the body's senses. While I'm appreciative of the ingenuity of these creations and their use. Or try letting your mind "ride" on your body. Try this simple exercise." and how we want things to be? Living a life always in fragmentation separates us from a deeper communion within ourselves and the greater unity. Slow your mind down and "occupy" your body and your life energy. Many were of a superficial nature used for stress and health. Notice whether you are able to feel more than you usually would doing such a movement. This sense of acceleration is challenging our most precious and long held beliefs about human relationships. The pounding 100 mph winds suddenly stop as the calm . At times. Senior Instructor Bill Ryan © 2008 BILL RYAN DBA MOVING TIGER Upcoming seminar: The Art of Feeling Qi on December 8 & 9 in Reading. Enjoy. free. whether from the east or west. whether it's when you walk. try letting your body lead and your mind follow. Now turn your hand very slowly until that your palm faces away from you. primarily to make the practices more acceptable to the general public. For example computers. Hold your palm in front of your face.To better feel your body or your life energy when you move. From that experience. Can you live in the city and not have the city live in you? Can we distinguish between "what is. instead of "getting ahead of yourself. just feel. Wiggle your fingers if that helps.com TAO Meditation Practice Since the early 60's I've been exposed to many different types of meditation techniques. my general sense has been that what has crossed over from the east has been lost in translation or watered down. cell phones. Try not to think about where your hand is going. fragmentation of the mind and damage to the fragile nervous system. stand up. we haven't learned to use technology in a balanced way. In the center of this fragmentation is a profound sense of fear which keeps us from feeling secure. spirituality and whatever we are attached to that keeps us sane. and other technological creations used to serve us in daily life require an ever increasing need to engage our minds. practice exercises. Try to feel everything that you can in your palm and fingers. England BillRyanEnergyArts. or whatever. is the inability to "stay present. What makes a meditative mind so alien to our culture? One of the greatest difficulties for the human mind. joyous and connected." as the phrase goes. It's a unique experience to have the eye of the storm pass over you. it appears as if we are accelerating to an evolutionary edge. while others had spiritual attributes. Try applying this approach to other ways that you move.
but profound in nature. it is possible to clear negative patterns out of the system. We say with computers. The same is true of any kind of information. that tension.. which is both an encouragement and a warning. Though this is true of learning anything. the effects of the method of study are more apparent here than in many other disciplines. Of course. This transformation includes the process of letting go of all that does not allow the body. Being careful at the beginning is very rewarding later on. which all nei gung does. If we are tense. straining. the internal arts do this very well. and as we further develop them. I hope you will join us for the TAO Meditation workshop in Florida and I encourage everyone to manifest a path towards true freedom thru Taoist meditation. ‘rubbish in. One way of looking at our practice is as a way of establishing and developing patterns of flow. Care must be taken both at the beginning. The Water method of Taoist meditation as taught by Bruce Frantzis can fill this need in our own personal evolution. have greatly deepened his knowledge of the energy arts. Just as important as what we learn in the internal arts. Although he has studied the Asian arts for more than 38 years. If we are learning something that patterns the nervous and energetic systems. not in the sense of ‘information superhighway. then the way it goes in will be a part of what becomes established. agitated. which particular forms we study etc. Study not Studying Here are some reflections on how we learn.' which is just about the movement of data.com ) EA Instructor Frank Iborra is a state licensed and nationally certified acupuncture physician and herbalist. that we become what we practise. If we . mind and spirit to naturally flow and complete itself. The quality of what we end up with is affected by how it enters the system. from the physical to the universal.approaches and at the center is complete stillness. using the word in its old sense of ‘that which forms and shapes from the inside'. rubbish out'. agitation etc. he feels his studies with Bruce. when establishing these patterns. When considering the development of pattern it is worth bearing in mind the Daoist saying. especially when doing a practice that is designed to do the opposite. EA Instructor Frank Iborra ( WhiteCraneHealingArts. which began in 2005. strain. This metaphor can be applied to the meditative mind and in fact describes the essence of true meditation. It's time to dissolve the obstructions that prevent our true growth on a personal and global level. This is because internal practices affect every part of us. will be patterned into our systems along with what we are learning. Meditation offers a way to transform consciousness through a natural fusion of body and mind. annoyed at ourselves for not learning faster or for not doing it perfectly. is how we learn them. But it is much faster and more efficient not to pattern ourselves negatively in the first place. Bruce's knowledge surrounding meditation is not only unique.
This is the method of arriving at not-doing or not-acting (wu wei). Studies not studying. Daoist Internal Arts www. we must do the same as we develop our practice. And returns to what others pass by. Lose and lose until (you arrive) at not-doing Not-doing. It is what the Laozi refers to as acting and grasping: He who acts destroys it. decrease. he runs the Tai Chi for Chronic Pain service for the National Health Service throughout East Kent. He holds a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury where he has been teaching part-time on the M. England. in Mysticism and Religious Experience and more recently on the MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination on the subject of the I Ching and Chinese Philosophy.uk. It is derived from a word meaning ‘fall' or ‘drop'. He who grasps fails to attain it. Straining. losing all those things that are not natural to us: In pursuing learning one accumulates daily. Does not value goods difficult to obtain. Matthew Brewer has studied Tai Chi & related practices since 1994 and directly with Bruce since 1999. People often destroy their work when it is almost completed. mentally etc. which means ‘loss' in the sense of diminishment. The loss that we practise.regularly strain physically. yet nothing is not done. Bruce often warns those who train with him to overcome their greed. As well as regular open classes. This is the study of not studying. (Laozi 48) The word I translate as ‘lose' in this passage from Laozi is ‘sun'. Proceed at the end as at the beginning and the work will not be destroyed Thus the sage: Desires no desires. while practising. one of the essential goals of Daoist practice. then. Does not grasp and thus does not fail to attain. emotionally. reduction. The attempt to grasp more than their systems can comfortably accommodate leads to people failing to establish what they could have from the training.' Just as we must be careful at the beginning not to grasp at what we are learning.A.taichi.com . is a letting drop away. ‘he who grasps fails to attain it. He is certified in five Energy Arts subjects and is a full time internal arts teacher. on the other hand. Desires are different forms of grasping things. In practising Dao one loses daily. (Laozi 64) Notice here the importance of ‘desiring no desires'. Fundamental to the Water Method is the letting go of negative habits and blockages. works against such losing and not-doing. Thus the sage wu wei (does not act) and thus does not destroy. that habit will be ever more deeply embedded in our systems.
weakness. The simplest way to learn this is to sit quietly and lightly hold someone's hand and try to feel beneath the skin for constrictions. the secondary injury after the initial assault) are constriction. ask for confirmation. Listening really needs to be done continuously throughout the therapeutic process.e. When you feel something unusual. Conversely. Tui Na is the general term for all the hands-on therapies developed by the Taoists. which are rarely taught or understood anywhere in the West.Energy Therapies: A Taoist Perspective The healing of others is one of the five basic applications of Chi Gung. what to do. martial arts. balancing the energy flow will open the body. It should be noted here that addressing initial injuries such as tears. and relaxed. II. requires closures and constrictions. pliable. sexual practices. accompanied by a compromised flow of body fluids and energy itself. and how do you know if it's actually working? I. and inflammations. the body needs to become soft. and injury (i. Feeling. or check it with physical contact. Listening. Continuous refinement of your perception skills is perhaps your most important asset for determining when to play with what techniques and how to "tweak" them for better results. ageing. whatever doesn't feel right. Generally we are looking for softening of the physical body which will permit the free flow of fluids and energy so that the whole system will find its natural balances. and in some form is a part of most acupuncture school curricula. In this article I hope to concisely describe several essential techniques in a way that will enable the benefits of this Taoist art to reach our clients. temperature differences. and family. changing angles and pressures. Good therapy calls for some combination of the physical and energetic. tension. friends. reaching beyond gross physical contact. and inflexibility. and see what else you find. the opposite of opening. the other four being one's own health and healing. and practices to address the rigors of meditation. In medical terms this is Diagnosis and Treatment. lacerations. feeling in 3 dimensions for whatever you can including basic anatomical features. strength. etc.e. To restore the natural. tension. bruises. i. "How do you know what the problems are. I sometimes compare this to fishing with a pole and line-with experience you can feel exactly what's going on at the unseen end. "Treatment" Theoretically and practically. Therapeutic Techniques. We are fortunate to have received some of these basic techniques through Bruce's occasional offerings. These methods are even less well known. the effects of stress. As a variation you can move the body in subtle minute ways. Chi Gung Tui Na refers to the energetic therapy techniques. Reading. hardening. strain. "Diagnosing" You can think of this as an extension of palpation skills. Allow your mind to travel up your partner's arm without repositioning your hand. open. The questions are something like. and the reader is advised proceed with caution and/or stick . balanced energy flow. There are two basic skills in all therapy professions (indeed all repair professions): finding out exactly what is the problem and getting it fixed.
a. and maybe compression. 2. Water or Yin methods are almost risk free. . Keep the hand closing as you run the length of the line and once you pull to the end of the Chi body release or project out. soften. etc. This method can be used in conjunction with physical squeezing. as you open and straighten energy is projected out. and those that mix energy and physics. those involving little or no physical contact or manipulation. Energetic Techniques. Continue beyond the body at least another 4 inches. 20 repetitions is standard. to amplify the flow. 3. then move your hand away and release/project out away from the body. Although the mind must be focused and strong. in fact they are essentially your safety valves. Clearing by Dissolving Dissolving is the heart of the Taoist Water methods. Pulling: This can be incorporated into the meridian line action. eliminating the need to move it off and on the body.) These techniques can be divided into two broad categories: those that are purely energetic. dissipate. Clearing the Meridian lines from the Etheric Field Anyone familiar with Dragon & Tiger (D&T) will understand this already. rather than risk worsening a condition. or head) clearing out constrictions as you go. Instead use your mind. The flow may come and go through the fingers or palm or both. evaporate. focused and relaxed. If you can locate it by feel. locate a constriction and try to clear it out by using your intention to dissolve. Hand "Pump" This technique is perhaps the easiest to learn and the most versatile. and is generally learned on oneself first using the mind alone. From here point your fingers at the line. It is a form of Pulsing (described below. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the skin and trace any of the acupuncture lines their full length. bring to neutrality. You can also use your hands to dissolve blockages in your own body and in someone else's. so much the better: try placing your hand on the skin and slowly moving away until you notice a different quality. Simply hold someone's hand. this is not a burning through. creating some kind of connection with the skin. (I speak from experience. ice. in part because any tension or relaxation in your hands will be communicated to your client. You can also release out the back of the hand. and move toward the end of the physical body (fingers. i.e. Or.to the accepted Western methods of rest. which carries its own risks. elevation. This 4 inch distance is the approximate outer border of the Etheric Field or Chi Body which directly governs the physical body. Take care not to squeeze or straighten excessively since muscle tension inhibits the energy flow.g.) The hand is a natural energy pump: As you close or cup the hand energy is drawn into it. Dissolving can and really should be incorporated into all techniques. melt. 1. 3. toes. a Fire method. while squeezing the back of your neck. A. try placing your hand anywhere you would like to remove a constriction and pull until you feel like you have a handful. e.
Or. Fascia Pull The layer of fascia just beneath the skin is the inner border of the Chi Body. down. which are also superb for opening the initial layers because they calm and soothe the nerves. tapping. until some release is felt or until any movement finishes. I generally give it 5 minutes to begin softening before deciding whether to continue or switch gears. etc. Energetic/Physical Techniques. There are as many as 20 ways to do it. Clearing the Auric fields The various energy fields can have excesses and deficiencies. Using a few ounces of pressure turn the musculature in either direction until you reach a natural wall or endpoint and wait there or back off slightly until you feel a relaxation. with only the pressure comfortable on eyelids. but I will limit it to just 3. For those familiar with D&T. A standard solo practice method involves your two hands.3. up. and they are duplicated inside the body as well. with pressure that will reach just below it. and back. B. and wait for the release.b. You can learn to detect and smooth out these imbalances. 2. Often this release alone gives significant relief. can be done on any given area for up to 20 minutes. and the Mental body begins next. you may recall that the best distance of the hands from the skin is determined by how far out you can reach and still feel the most sensation. . the top and bottom of the spine. Worth mentioning here. a twist becomes a spiral. amenable to energetics. the same as the body. fluttering. forward. projecting and pulling to and from the fingertips and palms.g. Projecting: Place your hands using say 2 fingers each at both ends of a line segment e. You can reach deeper layers by changing the pressure and/or your intention.. keeping your hands relaxed. With a slight linear stretch. The Emotional body generally exists between about 4 and 12 inches out. With a few ounces of pressure pull the fascia in 4 directions. First take hold of a shoulder or a thigh between your hands using light pressure. say on the trapezius. about fascia/skin deep.10 being about optimal. but the required skill level is much greater at these higher frequencies. Both Pulling and Projecting can be directed to various depths of the body including the organs and bone marrow. This is the chi letting go. and project back and forth to clear it out. This normally takes a few minutes and is excellent for opening the first layer of the body for deeper manipulation. much like clearing out a ditch with a stream of water. are the techniques known to the West as Esalen. 1. Twisting/Spiraling In general. All these fields have the capacity to expand out into the cosmos. with 5 . 4. not slipping. this is the turning of the soft tissues around the bone in order to unravel physical tension. while not energetic per se. which may put you into one of these higher fields. This works quite well on the shoulder and the hip. Place your hand anywhere on the skin. Brushing. Wherever it moves most readily is where you will choose to go. hold onto the forearm with one hand near the elbow and the other near the wrist and twist in opposite directions. the pressure light and constant. Here the energy work is part and parcel of physical contact and manipulation.
Then begin accentuating this pulsation with your hands using less than a few ounces of pressure. between your two hands again pressing only as deep as the fascia layer. Look for differences in the in and out phases.. Feel for when minor readjustments or redirections are called for. etc. Once you are set. Test for ease of movement in each of the 4 directions.g. pulse your tantien and extend the waves out to your hands and into your client. fullness. etc. Follow the easiest direction in each case. After reaching the shoulder you could go many directions. 2. this time with the hands moving in opposing ways (one up. including into the organs. etc. or 3 ways at once: up/down. 3. . The body's energy system is analogous to the circulatory and nervous systems: There are main junctions and multiple branchings. Lightly take hold of someone's wrist joint with one hand holding the hand and the other just above the wrist .Second. Find some way to pulse the gates with your mind. such as the cranio-sacral. Take hold of a shoulder. Here you may scale back on the physical movement to the point of barely touching.). forward/back. You can target these pathways by minutely adjusting your physical movements and your intention. Turn continuously and smoothly back and forth reversing direction every few seconds in sync with what the body wants to do. Third. e. If you had only 10 minutes you might choose to move your hands directly to the lower spine and pulse there. Note that the joint rhythms are independent of others. and in the various areas of the joint itself. But practicality and time will limit the scope of your attention.10 second cycles. the other counter clockwise. Try to bring them to a state of balance. one hand clockwise. until a release occurs and finishes. non-stop motion you will feel everything begin to let go and relax. e. permitting the energy to be in the forefront of your attention. you may determine that a wrist problem is connected to the upper spine and that there is a separate. each of which have their own rhythm.) Thus you can pull in 1. the other down.g. This becomes an energy technique when you begin to sense the energy gate in the center of the joint. It is the synovial fluid that pulsates from the energy gate inside. the fascia pull (above) can be done in 3 D. easy. more painful issue in the lower spine.e. glands.. then reverse direction until you reach the other natural return point. Try tuning into the natural contraction and expansion that occurs in 5 . lightly hold the position as long as a few minutes. you can take hold of and turn the tissues until they naturally reach a point of wanting to return. I sometimes compare this to an advanced game of "Pick Up Sticks": How do you manipulate one stick on one side of the pile to produce a specific change on the other side? Theoretically all points can be reached from any point and in the interest of being thorough it is wise to check almost everywhere for imbalances and their interconnections. Pulsing Most readers here will be familiar with this basic practice of Chi Gung on a physical level. Also test for ease of rotation. forming an immense grid of thousands of lines including the main acupuncture meridians. but you can synchronize with them and manipulate them from the joints. individual organs. which will directly connect to the center of the next joint and so on. After a few minutes of light. clockwise/counter clockwise. This will affect the fascia all the way through the limb (or even the torso. and more fluidity. i.
Safety When dealing with energy there is always the chance that you will pick up something you don't want. blocked. You can also shake off energy physically much like a dog shakes off water. particularly if you are synchronizing your pulse with someone else's. we gradually come to a deeper experience of our "vessel" and the depths and usefulness of the space within us. Again. stressed. The human body is like a vessel and the space within our body is therefore useful. Even if you are lucky enough to have a natural talent there is no substitute for learning through many hours of practice. Our practice of the Water method of Taoist internal arts centers on discovering within our bodies where space is clear. For the safety of others. constricted. dead or non-existent. He began studying Chi Gung and Tai Chi in 1989. spiraling. Credits Most of what I have described here I learned from Bruce Frantzis who has been persuaded to teach this material every other year or so. To prevent this. Still your chances of harming someone by energetic means are much smaller than they are by physical means. any solo Chi Gung practices that involve dissolving. I have not heard of any one else who teaches it in the West and I welcome any leads from readers--click on my name link below to email me. if you dissolve what you can of your own stuff ahead of time you will lessen the chances of passing it on to the client. A partner can give you feedback and objectivity. When working with subtler energies there can be the tendency to get lost somewhere in the cosmos. Here you should keep a clear sense of what belongs to whom and somehow keep the two separate. Moving Into Space: Part I of II Words from the Tao Te Ching speak of the space within the walls of a vessel as being useful. particularly as you progress toward the higher frequencies. After that your best course of action is to dissolve any "stuff" away from your body and/or down into the earth. grounding. etc. Practice Issues These descriptions provide only a rough framework for the endless permutations and subtleties to be discovered. IV. therapy is the application which grows out of the basic core practices. will improve your therapeutic abilities. Using the methods of dissolving and letting go. He now practices and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. generally outside the USA. clearing meridians. About the Author: Philip McKee began practicing Massage Therapy in 1986 after earning academic degrees in Psychology (BA) and Theology (MDiv).III.. . and teaching in 1996. in fact they are generally considered a prerequisite. and a third person can be doubly objective: can what you're doing be felt and confirmed in your partner by someone else? Also. get grounded in the earth by literally sinking your awareness below your feet and into the stability of terra firma as you would in virtually any chi gung exercise. pulsing.
The Tao Te Ching also speaks to us of looking for things not seen. spinning and spiraling throughout space. It is a system of motion that embodies the essence of Tao and in practicing reveals the configurations and pathways of energy within the human body and the omnipotent connection to the stillness of our spirit. dark matter. our awareness experiences that space is permeated by the mind and chi and that the mind permeates the chi. . organs. It is at this stage that fluidity begins to transition to invisibility. and between us and the things around us. atoms. Its movements are both beautiful and mysterious and reveal the nature of interaction and change. fluids. This is important in not creating tension. Directly unseen. It is here the practitioner experiences that the mind directly affects the chi.We also can observe in the external world that space exists all around us. The mind morphs. not by seeking to arrive somewhere. Space is dynamic. thereby cramping space. The more our practice connects us with space. the more the body can release its blockages. tissue. This is "seen" in the quiet. muscles. A great result of this relationship/experience is that the practitioner is able let go at deeper levels and allow the body to be moved and manipulated by the spaces within it. persistent practice of learning to dynamically align with the movements of external space. Earth loops around in our solar system that sails inside the Milky Way Galaxy that swirls across the space of the Local Group of galaxies that continue on and within ever expansive systems soaring. focus is on the movement of space. Humans can travel from one destination to another. dissolve and let go of blockages in the internal space. At this stage of practice fluid movement is attained and available for further refinement. the quieting of mental noise is necessary for the discovery of what lies unseen within the space. The dynamics of inner space is revealed. It is filled with mind. What is outside is inside and what is inside is outside. The macrocosm of the universe's external space is useful for all things to exist and move in. expanded and geometrically configured. What then lies unseen in the internal space? Through the patient. In addition to the practices of aligning and dissolving. collected vastness of micro-spaces within the body. Space is actively connected to the body. more space is revealed. Even the space between everything and everyone is not empty. and other affective disturbances exist. ba gua is considered celestial. The usefulness of all this external space makes movement possible. sub-atomic particles and such. A ripple in the mind ripples the chi. energy (chi) and spirit. molecules. One of the amazing direct experiential relationships of the "space" within us is that it is malleable. our physical body? Besides the obvious existence of all the stuff within the physical body: bones. and learning to relax. It can be shrunk. What then exists and moves within the microcosm of space inside our vessel. (Perfect quietness and perfect alignments are not required but an increasing degree of such is. unseen movement. If space is constricted movement is made more difficult. In turn. There is no point at which external space ends and the body begins or the body ends and space begins. the chi configures and the body moves. The practice of ba gua is a study of what transpires within and throughout space. It is on our journey that we make discovery.) As we move into quietness and align. It is a simple observation that space is not empty because things and human bodies are moving within this space. Instead of focusing on moving the physical body. release. gravity. Space permeates all. we experience that space is not empty. these things exist in and are permeated by our vessel's space. Of all the practices of the internal art of movement.
Since then. demolitions.Part II: Moving Through Space Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. in space.. So what follows here is a simple exposition on the possibilities of a number of movements within the complex. Fortunately. from a beginning point (A) to an end point (B). Let us move our vessel. I have toiled in several different systems and schools of Ba Gua since 1983 and later studied and practiced Hsing Yi like a "man on fire" during a very concentrated period of eighteen months. then karate. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. spheres of gravity. Through proper instruction and dedicated practice we can move into the mystic. enthralls and discovers me most is the Ba Gua. I like to move. Tai Chi Chuan. pliable rubber ball the size of your head. spheres of fire. At age 19 he entered the US Army. the art that stimulates. . In 1974 I began Kung Fu and "chi" (energy) practices and in 1977 I started the study of Tai Ji. First and foremost it must be understood that a person need not be a fighter to discover the depths of the Ba Gua within themselves. spheres of water. spheres of radiation and spheres of seemingly empty space. can this transformable ball move? Beginning with the simplest example is translational movement. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. MOVING THROUGH SPACE: PART II OF II I have had the good fortune of practicing a discipline of martial art continuously since 1962 beginning with wrestling. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. For the art of Ba Gua lies hidden within each and every human being waiting to be divined. mountain climbing. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. spheres cold and solid. The ball moves in a straight line. the practice of Taoist Water methods have steadily calmed my heart. psychological operations and intelligence. spheres of gases. I have with almost religious fever practiced and applied Yang and Chen fighting Tai Ji. What I am getting at here is the fact I have been "moving with intention" scores of different ways for a considerable time and this detail has raised a specific question asked of me by many people: Which of the arts is my favorite practice? My answer has always been: I like to move. The most predominate vessel found in the universe is that of a sphere. How many different ways. communications. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. But if I must sincerely answer.. For the purpose of this explanation. mysterious beauty of the Ba Gua. throughout all of this intense training. Think of a sphere as a contained volume of "something" where every part of its vessel is equally distant from a point within called its center. at a constant speed while its surface remains stationary. quieted my soul and moved me closer to the stillness of Spirit. visualize the vessel as an air filled. thin-walled. from point A to point B. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine.
Welcome to circle walking! Sound complex? Yes it does but it's nothing more than a circle coming full circle. Here I have to mention the fact that there are an infinite number of points on the surface of a sphere (our ball)! Every one of them has the potential to spiral in towards and away from the ball's center. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. The ball moves in a straight line. Visualize our ball expanding and shrinking in size. speed changing. Walk the Circle. Continuing. This wave flows in a constant motion around the ball's surface while the ball pulsates and rotates steadily along its equatorial line at a constant speed traveling from point A to point B. Finally. Think of this ball as having a north pole and South Pole and a center located on a straight line between them inside the ball. this ball of ours with a single wave motion flowing around on its surface while it pulsates and rotates. Next imagine the poles spiraling as they move outward and away from the center of the ball. This is like the ball "rolling" along its equatorial line from point A to point B at a constant speed. we come to the example that begins to reveal an attribute of Ba Gua motion: pulsation. wobbling. infused with a mosaic of expanding and shrinking spirals moves through a grid of moving space. And if this isn't enough to make a Buddha dizzy. wave covered. Just like the observable universe around us. ruminate on this: the energy gates are spherical in nature and connect to the channels. As the ball expands or shrinks. To help us get a picture of this we'll stop all the movement and just concentrate on the pulsation of our ball (sphere) expanding and shrinking its uniform shape. add multiple waves flowing around on its surface that change their speed and directions! Now the essence of Ba Gua and the real fun begins: Spirals.The second example is rotational movement. At age 19 he entered the US Army. How can/does energy move from the foot to the hand? Or how can/does energy move from the center of your tan tien to a surface point on your skin? If all this talk of motion makes you lightheaded have faith in the fact that at the center of all this movement lays our destination: Stillness! It's not the movement you do. Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. while its surface rotates around its center. For more excitement. the North and South Poles move in a linear manner away from and towards the center of the ball. demolitions. Let's get a little fancier. it's how you do the movement. Imagine this ball of ours creating a singular long wave reaching from the top (North Pole) to the bottom (South Pole). Now consider the North and South Pole points spiraling as they "fall in" towards the center of the ball. Point A and point B can be viewed as being inside your body. Find the center to your Being and observe the mystery of Ba Gua gradually and naturally reveal itself. Be patient. let's give it some wobble and have its speed accelerate and decelerate while it travels from point A to point B. At different times! So our rotating. psychological operations and . pulsating ball. while at the same time rotating steadily along its equatorial line as it moves at a constant speed from point A to point B.
I recommend getting a Certified Instructor to show you them and how to practice them for best results. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. In the end it was a one day ordeal and was over quicker than I expected. at the 1999 Wu Short Form Instructor Training I became overly aware of this as the course took place in sunny California. no one even mentioned edema before the operation. sometimes longer. Sometimes you will only need a short time. Brian Cooper's "Art of Micro Practice" article will give you ideas about how to make time. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. Blood and Fluid Circulation in the Legs for Edema and Varicose Vein Sufferers Some years ago I had a minor operation that was supposed to help me with a varicose vein problem in my left leg. the only times I need to use one is for some long-haul flights or sometimes for the day after flying as there is a tendency for fluids to pool in the legs due to sitting for long periods and pressurization of the aircraft. The operation I had was not a whole-scale stripping of the affected vein. because of reduced venous return. Tai Chi Chuan. but a selective cutting away of the worst tissue. For example. Another factor that still requires me to wear one is temperature. 10-15 minutes. both before and after the op. Some of the pictures I was shown by my doctor convinced me that the compulsory wearing of a pressure stocking would be necessary and essential to stop this condition from becoming more problematic. If the temperature is too high it tends to pull the fluids down and cause excessive expansion of the tissues around the lower ankle/foot. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. You will obviously need to put in some time in to get the full benefits. Using the exercises presented below I was able to avoid wearing a pressure stocking everyday. communications. Only afterwards did I find out what it was and what it meant in practical terms. Over subsequent years of attending these courses. knife/hand-to-hand fighting.intelligence. . Later on I was to find out that while the operation helped and it was easy to recover. the exercises that have helped alleviate my edema. Below I have presented. it did not have any effect on what was the bigger problem I was suffering from: edema or swelling mainly caused by a buildup of excess water. It worked well and I was back to regular work and practice within a week or so. For me the lead up to having the op was horrific. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. With edema fluids collect in the lower leg and. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. chronologically. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. I was practicing the Chi Field exercises from that set and Heaven and Earth to aid my recovery. mountain climbing. maybe half an hour or so. In fact. cannot be easily ignored. but the time investment is worth it. In fact. I was able to see how effective the advice I got from Bruce has been in relieving my edema. I used Dragon and Tiger chi gung a lot before going into the clinic and indeed on the day. The prospect of the operation was worrying because I had heard of various ways in which it had affected peoples' ability to practice afterwards.
Field Pulsing Using either energy ball practices from Dragon and Tiger or Marriage of Heaven and Earth. this means that a weekend course of tai chi only can result in a minor swelling of my left leg whereas a ba gua only weekend course does not show the same outcome. If you do not do either of these arts don't panic! Just stand on one leg. The action of extending the toes in toe kicks encourages blood to reach the extremity of the toe tips. when the heel touches the floor. this helps to both complete the downward flow and initiates an affect on the vein inside the ankle. and practice toe/heel kicks maybe in sets of 10 or 20 to get the same result. continuous release to the end of your field and then pulling back clean energy. although I've found that Circle Walking is more effective in the long-term.1. which first took away the heaviness I had in my legs. Dragon and Tiger's releasing of stagnant chi. Similarly in Ba Gua Zhang stepping. 4. in my experience. but the push needs to finish in your toes for optimum results. Sometimes it's more effective if you go up the yin sides. Heel kicks. each step in tai chi you place the ankle down. which assists venous return up the leg. Moving fluids directly with your mind. are key in getting blood and fluids to return up the body. 2. by affecting the blood vessel inside of the ankle. This also opens the joints/kwa/stretching of the leg upwards while you're focusing on the yin surface to assist in pulling blood and chi up the leg and back into the torso. Toe kicks and heel kicks. The action of pulling the toes up and focusing on the yin surface of the body helps this to happen and can be further helped when loading the weight onto the foot. using your hands on a chair for support. Venous return is then helped by the opening of the joints/kwa/stretching of the leg upwards and also focusing on the yin surface to assist in pulling blood and chi up the leg and back into the torso. inside your leg and then push the fluids down again out to the yang surface outside of the leg. . 3. pulse from your hands to the central channel in your legs. When I asked Bruce he said to get the best results it wasn't enough to focus on only the affected leg. Concretely. The pulsing develops first locally and later spreads to the whole leg and to both legs to be most effective. You can also work on this in Ba Gua Circle Walking and tai chi. get them to pull inwards towards the bones and then pull them up. You can also return through the yin. the action of extending the toes in the forward step before the toes touch the floor or "brake" helps to get the downward flow of blood to happen. For example. Because this happens in every step in ba gua it makes the venous return happen more strongly than in tai chi. There's nothing better than getting that clear. It is especially beneficial when the release is unimpeded-all the way to the edge of your etheric field. Using your ability to feel the fluids in your legs. Then pulse the chi very lightly (this needs a practical demonstration because it's important not to strain the walls of the veins). Both improve blood and other fluid flow. both the basic flicks (Level 1) and the etheric-boundary Releases (Level 2). Then.
Gods. you can continue your basic practice and direct your intent towards that which you wish to accomplish. That is. Because of this it's very economical since modern living is busy and time is of the essence. Ba gua could be called the minimalist's paradise since there are no long forms or complex sets of movements to learn "before" you get to the internal content. Energy Gates. through the palm changes. The Minimalist's Paradise The foundation for ba gua is Walking the Circle: For some Circle Walking alone offers enough depth and benefits to keep them engaged and interested for many years. You go straight for the meat-that which gives the possibility of profound and lasting health and vitality. movements can be clunky and broken. all the practical benefits found in ba gua practice can be achieved through Circle Walking. if you choose to walk fast enough. create vibrant health and vitality and. flexible body and later developing the spirit or. efficient method to open and heal the body. ba gua is an embodiment of the universal principles of change. fighting and meditative aspects of Wu Style Tai Chi. Apart from being a martial art.6199. As such ba gua offers a wide range of developmental possibilities unlike single-application practices. like the turbine. raise and develop your energy.de Ba Gua: Why Practice This Old and Obscure Art? Part 1 of 2 By Senior Instructor Paul Cavel Ba gua is a pure Taoist energy art primarily practised by those interested in the I Ching or Taoism--having been derived as a physical manifestation to realize the teachings of the I Ching. So over time. L-2. Heaven & Earth. you start generating serious power or chi. What happens is that the base energy from the food you intake--jing (or fuel for the turbine)--is circulated through your system as you walk. Ba gua serves as a rigorous and aerobic internal exercise that releases tension from the body. upgrading and refining that energy into chi (or . Also. L-2. preferring to develop practitioners who can use the health. martial arts. and develops your life-force energy. as it gets going. while Walking the Circle. Ba gua achieves this by incorporating all 16 Taoist nei gung components into the Circle Walking practice. It is also a high-level martial art and. 49. L-3. It's like starting up a turbine: At first it's sluggish and then. a low-impact aerobic workout. Dragon & Tiger. Circle Walking Is a Chi Generator Initially. Over time your practice will become ever-more smooth and continuous. can become a vehicle for spiritual development. L-2. L-2. Provisional. Instructor certifications: Longevity Breathing. Ba Gua.Senior Instructor Jamie Dibdin has studied with Bruce since 1987.4710 Nei-Gung. a self-perpetuating flow is maintained. as your goals and needs change. L-2.69. He teaches a select group of students. at its most advanced level. when your walking smoothens out. Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form. initially creating a strong. Regular practice can serve as a no-nonsense.
Based in France. This jump in energy is what makes your body stronger. awake and alert. but now you have a lot more power under the hood. Chi. weekend seminars and retreats. All nagging thoughts. as you upgrade. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. eh? As you Walk the Circle you continuously bring up. experiences of emptiness and stillness can start to enter into your Circle Walking and ba gua practice and become quite profound--leaving you in a state of not needing anything and simply being. space opens up. Depending upon how much nei gung is in your practice determines how far you can go. healthier and more vibrant as well as making your mental faculties more aware.thrust coming out of the turbine). produce and refine energy through the application of the 16 nei gung incorporated in the practice.com for more information and articles. through Circle Walking and ba gua practice. worries and concerns disappear as your energies open up. Taoists call this process making your body conscious. you simply add more components. you put your body through its paces. flow freely though your system and grow. This state can be amplified and enhanced through sitting practices after a ba gua session. is a higher vibration of energy than that which you get from food. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. Later. a sense of physical emptiness. in this model. See InternalEnergyArts. with it. Do Nothing Whilst Being Absolutely Content Initially. When your practice session finishes you simply relax and. He aims to bring the real health benefits of the internal energy arts to people who want to change their present state of being whilst maintaining the vibrancy of their youth. In this sense it's like having a turbo charger fitted to your car. including England. at least for awhile! Part 2 will appear in the June issue of ChiTalk. You are also developing your energy in preparation for advancement towards spirit and emptiness. body and spirit and focus on opening them up and bringing them alive. At times you can get so caught up in the continuum that you literally have to stop yourself from practising as the space that opens up inside you is absolutely sublime. . Germany. So. after some practice. deepen and refine your practice you arrive at a point where you are able to generate an enormous amount of chi. the car looks the same. A willingness and acceptance of physical and mental stillness can accompany this emptiness. You feel the tensions and restricted areas in your mind. This is the extreme end of the minimalist camp: doing nothing and being absolutely content. But here's the trick: To make the next progression you don't need to learn a new form. All of this and you are only walking around in a circle! Not bad. France and Greece.
The palms are practised equally on both sides of the body in a left-right-left continuum. Efficient Practice for Refining Your Being Since the palm changes (also called forms or palms) are very short and concise. You refine and hone the effectiveness of your practice whilst following an old Taoist dictum: "Doing a little really well yields more than doing a lot poorly. You can go into the body using whatever is working for you and open up that energy and free that. creating and maintaining balance as you practise. giving access to deeper layers of contraction. and which is contained within. This is why ba gua reaches the parts that other movement practices do not reach. . healing. all the other palm changes or forms within ba gua.Ba Gua: Why Practice This Old and Obscure Art? Part 2 of 2 By Senior Instructor Paul Cavel Single Palm Change and Beyond Last month we left off discussing the minimalist's camp-doing nothing and being absolutely content-but how do you get there? Once you have an understanding of and become proficient in Circle Walking. balancing and developing your system as you practise. Whether you learn all eight palms. These palm changes are designed to go directly into your core: opening. The purpose of the Single Palm Change is to upgrade and amplify all the benefits of Circle Walking. five-step ba gua form-the foundation of. bring the twisting and spiraling of the soft tissue deeper in the body. They can be completed in a matter of a few seconds at high speeds. they never take more than 20 to 30 seconds to perform at the slowest speeds. mind and life-force energy to a very high degree. or after a certain number of repetitions that you must then move on to another move as in tai chi or chi gung. The Single and other palms delve deeper into your body. you can then progress to the Single Palm Change. or stick with only the Single palm. With a regular exercise regime and walking at a reasonably fast pace. let go of it and move on. producing light energy within and adding the possibility of martial practice. accept it for what it is. you can develop your body. Once you have learnt the Single Palm Change. Spontaneity When a particular palm change or technique starts to open up something inside you. you can learn any of the eight Palms. accessing deeper and deeper layers of stuck tissue and condensed energies. This is a very short. This is one of many design features within ba gua that gives you the ability to quickly and efficiently bring up old traumas and/or conditioning. you are free to practise that particular palm or technique again and again. it is possible to practise the same palms tens or hundreds of times in a single practice session. working loose any bound chi. You are not restricted by a particular order of moves. increases blood flow and gets your metaphorical chi generator engaged and running as we discussed last month." Circle Walking initially opens up the body.
Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. All of these practices are only possible through actualising the basic rule of learning any high level practice-separate and combine. spontaneously as your life unfolds. or opening up a specific place in your body. . Balancing the competing demands of the modern world and your inner world.For several days or weeks you may have the same practice model whilst learning and developing a new palm or aspect of nei gung. an answer to the question: "How can I maintain stability and balance in a world full of stress and madness?" Take the opportunity to start practising whilst the teachings are available-before life gets any crazier. You move like a great river turning and twisting its way along its carved path through the earth. including England. injury and trauma. whatever is available to him/her in order to achieve the desired results. Whatever aspects of the game for which you choose to engage ba gua offers the possibility of getting down to the real developmental work directly. some fast or both. It could be that your practice changes on a daily basis for a while-some days slow walking. an edge in bringing you back to your center. It allows you the space to change and grow with your practice. This kind of spontaneous practice of highly refined and developed techniques allows the practitioner to use. You find yourself moving without inertia or any sudden jerks and smoothly flowing through the well-oiled and practised palm. or the particular aspect is integrated. France and Greece. it's time to move on to the next component. but by adding a new component to your foundation practice. Traditionally the Inner Dissolving practices were brought into play. See InternalEnergyArts. As the thought of a palm comes into your head you are already in the middle of that palm as your body reacts to the intent of the mind. you loosen and release the root causes of pain and discomfort. Again. weekend seminars and retreats. Based in France. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. This part of the practice obliterates inertia. It is through Inner Dissolving that you can fully resolve past traumas and truly work on emotional maturity and spirituality.com for more information and articles. initially through sitting and later with Circle Walking practice. At some point everything gels or changes inside you and your practice changes with it. You may practise one palm after the other or totally randomly. Once that space is opened. Delving in. Germany. ba gua grounds you in your body. He aims to bring the real health benefits of the internal energy arts to people who want to change their present state of being whilst maintaining the vibrancy of their youth. not by changing the forms or learning a new set. Ba gua offers you a certain je ne sais quoi. in the moment. layer by layer. Ancient Taoist practices are a gift from the gods. The more you practise the deeper you go clearing out the residue of all past illness.
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