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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.
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. alive within our bodies. There is no past or future in Circle Walking. The center of the circle as well as the central axis of our own body. Again and again we return to the present. of our sensations and our energy. an appreciation of things as they are. there is only the eternal present. our bodies are continuously in motion. As we walk the circle. Yet. bone and chi continuously spirals. There is a flow of feeling as each inch of the foot contacts the ground. but my intuition is that there is a sense of strain in their practice. Again and again we recognize each arising thought for what it is. Who we are. and return to what is actually happening. the moment we are in always remains the same. we can come to a much deeper awareness of life as it really is. feel and concentrate can create a subtle sense of strain. I don't think it's true that these students have no time to practice. to the awareness of our breath. tissue. the stillness at the core of all movement. that unchanging axis around which everything is moving and manifesting. deep in their hearts they don't feel like doing it. we are able to recognize more and more of what is present in our minds and bodies. If we are able to calm our minds in the midst of this walk. For the experience of our actual aliveness is a reward far richer than the most opulent imaginings. around which our muscle. This in itself will make the person not want to do it. inevitably we again drift off into the nether realms of our minds. In Taoist Circle Walking. 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. what we are made of and what surrounds us. Without the endless stream of images blocking our view. and a joyfulness that comes from simply being alive and unique in this time and place. 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. the space where what is to come flows into what has gone. the endless array of images that crowd our consciousness. the endless chatter of our mind begins to soften its grip on us. I feel that their practice is probably unrewarding and therefore. it's difficult to keep up their practice of tai chi or chi gung. At times like these we catch a glimpse of that still center. accepts the weight of our body ounce by ounce and then the spring as it releases and lifts to step again. Again we step and turn around the middle point. the requirement to go inside. a never ending cycle of energy flowing in its natural pattern. These long-term students have not found any problem practicing on a regular basis and that's probably why they are long-term students. And in that still space there is a moment of deep satisfaction and openness. on this path that is always changing yet ever present. When working with your own internal practice. balanced by the utter stability of its central core. There may be many reasons for this. . we are circling a point in time as well as space. for as much as things change.In a sense. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Did you ever see a cat overstretch? Practice like a cat. How are your shoulders? Do the same thing. Feel how your head is held. they say that standing. begin to let your pelvis hang as you walk. I'm willing to bet a least a fiver you'll feel much better at the end of your walk. Let your body . stretch them forward and gently lay all the pads of your toes back on to the floor. 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. standing on the balls of your feet. even for a few minutes becomes a frustrating experience. 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. You can apply the same kind of softness to your regular practice also. People often report to me that standing is difficult for them. If you were standing in soft mud it would be your heels which would be sinking. After some attempts. and just have a moment of peace. But still I couldn't seem to make it flow. 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. try the art of micro practice. I wanted to learn to play blues guitar. I followed all the instructions to the letter. just sit back and relax into your stance. go for a walk. 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. Waiting in a queue at the supermarket? So.This reminds me of a time. feel your way through a stretch. And gradually without deliberately shifting your weight. Example. let your pelvis drop. So what was wrong with my full practice? I think it was the strain of trying to get it right. of not being natural about it. way back when I was young. but of casual practice. If you can't stand to stand. let go of tension. Take a stroll in the woods and as you walk just casually begin to go inside. standing in the kitchen. The casual attempts at micro practice seemed to release me from strain and things began to move forward. 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. Enjoy it. Then progress became quite swift and for a while back in those days I could play a pretty mean blues guitar. Keep going for as long as you feel comfortable with it and there is no strain. bring your awareness to your feet. trying to remember their pin number as they pay. The desire to move about becomes so strong that they fidget and fidget and finally give up. instead of being in a hurry. Every day I practiced in a set session for about an hour. let them drop. watching the person in front of you so slowly packing their bags. Is there any tension or strain? Just casually let it go. direct your tailbone forward until you can feel the pressure going into the middle of the arch of the foot. and even took private lessons. When you're brewing your coffee first thing in the morning. It was just for the enjoyment of it. Let your shoulders drop. So here is an example not so much of micro practice. How is your spine? Feel all the way down your spine. Gradually you will find that your whole body is beginning to relax and become more fluid. Begin to sit into your stance so that your weight sinks into your heels. Feel how your feet contact the floor. 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. Now lift all your toes from the floor.
they've invested countless hours practicing arts that helps them and their students stay vibrant. When you don't feel like doing any more. There will be plenty of opportunity throughout the rest of the day. 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. on the spot and in front of all 80 of us. as with Gods last summer. do-what-I-do guided follow-along. Now. I don't know if they were trying to show off or compete with each other. Each SI was asked to tutor a new student on how to find alignments from the hips through the feet. In academia this level of reflection and refinement puts them at the forefront of their fields. The more I study with our SI's. and a couple are pushing three decades of study with him. Instead. complacent students to forge a moral identity? Was he a wacky physicist who could barely keep his shoes tied. and in my opinion. squinting at a manuscript. most of them two decades. and ba gua. at an Energy Gates training in California. . go and do something else. the Senior Instructors play an important role as a gateway to the lineage. Bruce Frantzis.hang. the SI's have assumed even more teaching responsibility. 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. the more I also appreciate something Bruce often says: "Chi gung is an art. They all have at least a decade and a half of direct study with Bruce. tai chi. For many people traveling from all over the country and Europe.. The teaching ran the gamut from jackhammer-style bounces through a well-aligned leg to more playful. But you won't find this group hunched over a table. light. this is a rare opportunity to work closely with an experienced Instructor. springy and youthful." While you have to be a bit of a mad scientist to endlessly experiment with what these practices feel like in your body. None of them flinched. the dean of this university. 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. they have between them the depth and wealth of knowledge of any top university when it comes to chi gung. not a science. is actively engaged in passing along his Taoist lineage. For Instructor trainings. each student "got it" and the rest of us saw how you can teach the "right thing" in your own way. Of course. we had a chance to see just how differently each one approached something as simple as basic leg alignments. don't worry.for micro practice. and everybody came up with their own way to express the same thing. In these trainings they not only have the job of making sure that every trainee understands what Bruce is teaching each day. have fun. At the end of the session though. Two summers ago..
In Bruce's classes I saw and experienced how quickly Chi Gung Tui Na can specifically target and release energy blockages throughout the body. I was impressed and immediately hooked. I had a private practice in Palo Alto. Each one comes away with a different insight. despite completing a series of physical therapy sessions. and the tradition stays alive through this interchange. This latter role is something they are able to do at several levels. here's what's so exciting about this event: the more the Senior Instructors start teaching together. 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. but to me. He felt pain free after six sessions. 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. moving from the torso out the five extremities of the hands. Brookline Tai Chi will be hosting Craig. In a series of six sessions. stress related and energetic imbalances. and Alan teaching a collaborative tai chi immersion week in April. I've seen them do this firsthand at Brookline Tai Chi as well. Each time I study with these Senior Instructors. 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 like to check out different healing modalities. more recently Eric Peters and Craig Barnes have assumed regular roles as weekend workshop Instructors. 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. In my experience. You can get more information about these events through the BTC webpage. I worked with a man who had fallen off an 80 foot scaffold and landed on concrete. Chi Gung Tui Na works well for a broad variety of physical. They will also coteach a weekend on tai chi standing postures. structural. Achyness and pain was released from his organs out the extremities as well. the pain in his body moved progressively out of his body. I have many case examples to illustrate. even if it's the same topic. I went on to study the whole Chi Gung program and Tai Chi with Bruce.but they also play the role of filling in missing pieces for the students that have less experience. The training features opportunities to learn the Short Form. . feet and head. He had pain throughout his body. While Alan can still be found marching students up and down through their Brush Knee paces. California doing various kinds of Asian Bodywork Therapy at the time and I was studying Chi Gung in San Jose. 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. or refine your Long Form. Eric. I have incorporated Chi Gung Tui Na into my hands-on energetic bodywork practice ever since. In the spirit of this interchange. Several years ago. refine your Short Form. It is like being allowed to overhear scholars debate an ancient text. I have been very curious about different healing modalities and energy development practices since I was teenager. For a long time the school was anchored by its founder Bill Ryan with the support of Alan Dougall.
Once I worked with a man who limped into the office just minutes after breaking his leg. the joint was very stiff and afterwards there was a lot of springiness in the ankle joint. such as kwa squats. I taught Chi Gung Tui Na for over 10 years primarily to Asian bodywork therapists. internal organs. first the ankle. Before the session. or twisting or pumping the arms with the arms parallel. cerebrospinal system. 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. knee and then hip to stabilize the core flow of energy in the leg. the mobility in the ankle joint tremendously increased to almost as much mobility as the other ankle. After one session of Chi Gung Tui Na. The pulsing techniques restore the spring. The Western bodywork systems I have seen focus on systems of the body separately. joints. He walked out of the office with no limp and no pain. He found that wearing shoes with cushioned soles helped a lot. we heard a loud crack as his bone adjusted itself back into place. clearing the stiffness in the affected quadrants of the joint. My Asian bodywork students found that Chi Gung Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu blended very well together. My students and I have found that Chi Gung Tui Na complements the structural balancing techniques of Ortho-Bionomy really well. I worked with a man who had badly broken his ankle 25 years earlier where the tendons had to be reattached. Recently. Simple Chi Gung exercises are great to teach clients to assist structural integration after the sessions. meridian lines and core energetic levels all in one session with one integrated comprehensive system. nerves. It was not much of a problem until recently. tendons. as well as 500-hour and 200-hour Chi Gung Tui Na. fascia. connective tissue. and core channels in the joints and bones. including the spine. What I find unique about Chi Gung Tui Na is the way it clears patterns from the muscles. 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. Zen Shiatsu. acupuncture meridian system. After about a minute. or internal organs. massage therapists and lay people. OrthoBionomyâ practitioners. 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. alignment and health of the joints. deeper spiraling pathways. nervous system. Pumping the limbs is a quick and easy technique to use for integration. and connective tissues that pull the joints out of alignment. When I lived in Scottsdale. fascia. structural alignment and posture. mobility. mobility of the joints. I pulsed the ankle joint. The unwinding techniques release the imbalances in the muscles. ligaments. thus stabilizing the changes throughout the whole system. such as the myo-fascial system. Doctors were suggesting ankle replacement surgery. 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. I usually teach simple components of Energy Gates movements that we learn as preparatory exercises to the complete movements of Energy Gates. I . I then finished with pulsing the joints of the leg. Arizona I developed and directed a two-year degree program in Asian Bodywork. 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. Ortho-Bionomy is an osteopathic based structural and energy balancing system developed by a British osteopath. and Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure diploma and certificate programs and a 100-hour Chi Gung program.
She has been teaching Chi Gung and Asian bodywork since 1986. acupuncturists. I find that the results of the session last longer. the practice originated in Asia between three and five thousand years ago (depending on which sources are quoted). It is a vital. reducing stress. developed. called qi. and Chinese health exercises.500 hours of training in Asian Bodywork. and with so many varieties of qigong available for study. 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. However. If you are going to invest your time and money into a daily practice. Most simply put. Although the word "qigong" has only been in common usage since the 1950s. it becomes increasingly important to have a clear. The awareness of internal blockages and how various areas of the body interrelate has increased my internal awareness in my own Chi Gung practice. and promoting longevity. Dragon and Tiger is excellent for energy workers. 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. to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. Some of its benefits include improving health. psychotherapists and physicians to prevent practitioner burnout. maintaining emotional calm. I have found my Chi Gung Tui Na and Chi Gung practice complement each other well. This overview will provide a foundation to help the reader. basic understanding of exactly what it is. 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. I also am better able to help my Chi Gung students with their specific issues. body workers. 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. gain a better understanding and make more informed decisions when beginning or furthering a qigong practice. relatively unchanged. strengthening the immune system. many of the most ancient methods still exist and are practiced today. Energy Medicine. By Susan Kansky Susan has 7. . living practice that continues to be researched. and adapted for contemporary life. whether a novice or someone with some qigong experience.often do some Chi Gung after a Western bodywork session to integrate the effects of work on that one system within the whole. As a result. it's a good idea to know more about that practice. qigong is a diverse system for working with the energy of life. Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung is a good place to start. increasing energy.
an artisan. every word has many possible meanings and may be used in various contexts. Historically. the most often-seen translations are energy exercises. More specifically. As one became more accomplished in their work through practicing it over time. it is never done by rote. in order to promote health. or practice. we'll consider the translation of qi to be "vital life energy" or "life force". the syllables are combined to form the single word qigong. These are okay as far as they go. which may be applied secularly. acquire. you're just doing an exercise. whether that means practicing the piano or establishing a medical practice. In fact. Here. and that awareness deepens as one advances in their practice. When combined with the word "qi". so that its meaning is at once more clear. and then little or no further thought is given to it. if we limit ourselves to these interpretations. while its benefits are provided through rote repetition. the craft or profession a person pursued. it is not a martial art. and is a better choice than the word "exercise". Gong is most commonly translated as work. 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. energy work. but it is not medicine. which can create erroneous expectations and diminish the results of our practice." Because all gong has a purpose or goal. martially. Although it may be applied martially. it's incomplete when discussing qigong. "practice" becomes a suitable translation for gong. "qi" and "gong". Note that it is made up of two separate syllables. gong means effort put into something over a period of time in order to achieve a desired result. the word "exercise" is sometimes used as a gentle admonition by a qigong master correcting a novice: "You're not doing qigong. For our purposes. also includes the aspect of investing effort over a period of time. In the Chinese language every syllable is a discrete word. we miss some important considerations and have at best a partial understanding. the word "energy" is commonly used alone. Here. For convenience. skill. or a politician. Even when leaving aside tonal considerations. Although that's another literal translation of the word qi. a merchant. since as one progresses farther in qigong. Sometimes it may be interpreted as "breath" or "breathing". store and mobilize qi at will. "for the purpose of being able to sense. medically.DEFINING THE WORD TO UNDERSTAND THE PRACTICE Let's take a look at the word qigong itself. no matter if they were a farmer. it may be applied for . their gong provided them with an ever deepening understanding not just of their profession but of life. An exercise is usually something you can learn how to do very quickly. The simple word "practice". a soldier. However. vitality. Implied within the word gong is the concept of time. one of the common translations of gong. since the regulation of the breath is one of the three main concerns of all qigongs as we'll see below. or combinations of all of those. or breathing exercises. the word gong was applied to the work people did. full awareness. since that will tell us a lot about the actual practice. It is done with full attention. it might be helpful to state what qigong is not. it is used to cultivate power. it may be applied medically." While repetition is part of a every qigong practice. If we take that understanding into account. and longevity. as an entry point into deeper spiritual practices. we can amend that with. That's the most direct and accurate interpretation when using the word "qi" in relation to qigong and Chinese medicine. and even "breathing exercises" may be conditionally acceptable." Even that isn't complete. exercise.
and these are the Fire and Water methods. These include Daoist. This is not to be confused with classical Five Element qigong practices. However. Accordingly. holding of the breath. and promote mental clarity and intellectual achievement. Here are some hallmarks of each. The purpose of each variation is to help the practitioner achieve a particular goal or objective. Any one type of qigong may include some elements of another style. WATER METHODS There are two other broad umbrella categories of qigong. Qi is often guided upwards. this may make it seem as though Fire methods are more desirable practices. Metal. and any individual may practice more than one style of qigong as suits their needs. and visualization used at early stages of practice. both to heal themselves and others. it may be practiced by anyone to improve their quality of life. Confucian qigongs are well suited for intellectual workers. martial artists would more likely practice a martial style qigong. which would also include Wood. Confucian. regardless of how else they may one day choose to apply that practice. In broad terms. Fire methods really require careful. the potential downside is that a quick and dramatic result may easily destabilize a novice student. Water methods are based on relaxation and release. while healers would be more likely to practice a medical qigong.spiritual development. In both systems. and to replenish themselves after treating numerous patients throughout the day. Daoist qigongs are designed to help one align with the energy and rhythm of the natural world. For example. and are a subset of daoist qigongs. focusing on health and longevity. and Martial. The qi is guided downwards in these practices. a smooth continuous flow of the breath. and in various traditions each method may contain aspects of the other. and developing a felt sense of qi flow and internal structures and processes. Historically. either purposely or due to the nature of the practice itself--fire rises! By contrast. while Water methods may take a little longer for the student to notice the changes that are occurring. but it is not a religion. and Earth. Medical. . Within each of those five constructs exists hundreds of form variations. and the ability to move it in other planes as well. The following descriptions are generalities only. health and longevity. or other gongfu practices to further specific martial abilities. Of course these are not mutually exclusive rigid delineations. interests. Fire methods involve an element of force. as in the tensing of muscles. as water sinks. Buddhist. Buddhist qigongs help foster the values of compassion. PHILOSOPHICAL BASES There are five main philosophical bases that underlie any qigong. you eventually want to have a balanced upward and downward flow of qi. taiji. and so are often also the basis for many medical qigongs. 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. At first glance. all qi practices were taught to students who were either living with or at least regularly visiting their teacher. such as Iron Shirt Qigong. FIRE METHODS. social awareness and equality. Each of the five philosophical bases may include Fire or Water methods. Water methods are largely free from these problems. Fire methods tend to produce more dramatic results earlier on. Like fire itself.
This is also a deeper aspect of the . Few US teachers make the distinction between calling a practice a qigong or a neigong. both methods are equally powerful. and awaken other inner senses. to be stored at the end of the practice. This can be done simultaneously to rid the body of pathogenic or otherwise unusable qi. breath. organs. 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. Whether done standing or sitting. In earlier stages of practice. The stationary practices may be done standing. which may be useful in cases of qi stagnation manifesting as stiffness and pain for example. sitting. all qigongs have this much in common. or lying down. removes toxins more efficiently. and body cavities among other things. and mind. and to gather more healthy qi from the environment. glands. and is crucial to eventually learning to regulate the qi directly. and the focused attention of the mind to specific movements encourages qi flow along specific pathways. Whether physically moving or still. that can amplify qi flows. or inner practice. and deeper anatomical and energetic structures. attending to the Three Regulations and working with the qi. This brings more nourishment to the organs. mainly because even the word qigong is new to many westerners. and these are not usually taught to a beginning or intermediate student unless they are bedridden and have no other choice. Something different is going on here. and it is true that both moving and stationary qigong practices may serve as a bridge to meditation. so that qi is able to circulate unimpeded at that level. increases blood flow to and from the organs. or it may be used to move qi into and out of the body. The coordinated regulation of the body. They all require that the practitioner learns to regulate their body. While it may be tempting to use that familiar nomenclature. Once learned. The synchronized coordination of the Three Regulations is used to either just mobilize and guide qi within the body. Muscle-tendon meridians overlay the main acupuncture meridians. MOVING AND QUIESCENT Most complete qigong systems include a balance between moving and stationary practices. and mind helps to guide and regulate the qi. and through gentle internal pressurization. and promotes better organ functioning. nerves. THE THREE REGULATIONS Regardless of the form or philosophical basis. qigong is not meditation. the regulation of the mind is used to regulate the body and the breath. and so are often referred to as meditation or as "standing meditation". breath. Additional components may be layered into a practice that work with specific body tissues. commonly called the Three Regulations. This is more correctly called "neigong". quiescent qigong practices remind people of meditation. open a body more completely. Many consider the lying down practices as the most advanced. the mind is both quiet and in active sensing mode. and opening them helps to release tension (and the consequent restriction or pain) from muscles and tendons. Regulating the breath allows for more oxygen and qi to be acquired from the atmosphere. This is one way of creating a balance between Yin (quiet) and Yang (active) energies within a body.having safeguards built in to their methodology.
Accordingly. There are many possible ways to sink the qi. In some daoist traditions. located slightly below the navel and towards the spine. EFFORT IN QIGONG PRACTICE In defining qigong above. using the mind to regulate itself. so it's somewhat easier to get a stronger circulation of qi throughout the body. at the end of their practice. you leave yourself no margin of error. this is not a way to build health. Second. the movements are flowing. some teachers like to insure this happens by teaching their students to physically wipe their body down. . if you are working at your maximum. the mind may do more of the work. much or all of the gathered qi will dissipate. You'll always have that extra 30% to draw on if you really need it. from the top of their head to the lower dantian. most importantly the movements are designed to help guide the qi. leading to increased stress. In most qigongs. depending on the type of qigong being practiced and the specific desired result. no safety zone. there is a sense of working at or even beyond our full capacity. Without storing at the end of the session. This sets you up for various types of strain and injury. or colloquially as "the 70% rule". it creates more tension in your nervous system. the more you will have to draw from when you need it. you proceed at 70% of that capacity. and because of that it‘s possible for some qi to get stuck in the head. and may seem exotic. this facilitates the movement of qi to the lower dantian. your 100% capacity is also increased commensurately. Moving practices are extremely varied. negating most of the value of the practice. Too often when we think of effort. without strain. which can present some unique challenges. or combined. In stationary practices. First.Regulation of the Mind. graceful. working at full effort without strain is referred to as "The Golden Mean". as some masters call it. and then sink it to penetrate the body. This "qigong state of mind". Storing qi at the end of a qigong session is like putting money into your savings account. all of the diseases associated with high levels of stress. or in trying to accomplish anything in life for that matter. and if maintained over time. it's especially important to attend to drawing qi out of the head after a stationary practice. STORING QI In moving qigongs there's usually a more even balance among the regulations of body. the likelihood of burnout. and as your 70% ability increases. the concept of applying "effort over time" was introduced. When practicing qigong. is necessary to progress farther in qigong cultivation. This type of effort is problematic if you are trying to become healthier and stronger. It's where qi is stored at the end of any practice session. Although these can be qualities that initially attract some people to the practice. most often occurring at whatever is your particular weakest link. In addition to clearing the head of qi that may get stuck there. You can then put full effort into that 70%. there should be a sense of "full effort without strain". This guideline states that after ascertaining your true 100% capacity. whether moving. While it may be done by the mind alone. The lower dantian is a main energy center in the body. and encourage it to flow in the ways necessary to achieve the intended results. The more you put in. maintaining a margin of safety. Obviously. breath and mind. quiescent.
because they resonate with the Divine/ The Universal Consciousness. Kabir etc. You'll also find more detailed general information on qigong and taiji there. Discuss any concerns you may have with a prospective teacher before beginning a practice. medical qigong practitioner. L. He is certified to teach Wu taiji and qigong by Taoist lineage holder Master Bruce Frantzis. someone interrupted. which will positively impact every part of your life.. there are qigongs (or other related practices) that may be better for you. here. I wish you all the best on your journey! © 2007." I also believe that ultimately. I was sharing. but just 20 or 30 minutes of daily qigong will yield greater health with more energy. life is a spiritual quest . that it's answered some questions you may have about qigong.for wholeness.. how wonderful would that be? The qigongs that I personally practice and teach are primarily of the Daoist and Medical (Water) traditions. You really do have to put some effort into your practice. (after being asked) and I shared Prayer. is a licensed acupuncturist. and for the sole purpose of saying "I don't believe that". Again yesterday I was drawn into a substantive discussion about life. even more than are introduced here. and raised a few more for you to consider.. to make sure you'll be getting what you need. www. I hope this has been helpful and informative.compassionate-arts.Ac.Sc. but the concepts should be familiar when encountered in other settings. Well. For more information on these classes.com. “so what!” that doesn't change anything does . and a clear mind. depending on where you are at this point in your life. a peaceful heart. there are many different styles and variations to qigong. 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. herbalist. Different teachers and authors may use different terminology to express similar concepts. I've minimized the use of Chinese words to keep things in a more familiar context for US readers. even if you "only" got that far. the Source of all. ideally making it a part or your daily life. M. Steven Cardoza (First published in the Spring 2008 issue of Qi Journal) Biographical Information Steven Cardoza. especially those new to qigong. and nutrition counselor with a private practice in the Boston area. Meditation Is Not What You Think I honestly believe that "we are spiritual beings enjoying a physical respite. Meditation and the Dissolving Practices of the Water School of Taoism as put forth by Lao Tse. Doing any qigong will likely be better than doing none. I said. bodyworker.. you may visit my website. Different teachers and authors will also have their favorite approaches based on their training and experience. Here. but with a little research you may find just the right fit for you. Although you could take it well beyond that point if you choose.CONCLUDING REMARKS As you can see. The important thing to keep in mind in that regard is that while any one qigong may not intrinsically be better than any other.
. perhaps it's the "Electronic World" of image without substance. the inner-truths of the Universe. or about what a human being should or should not do....that "more" that makes us human and divine at the same time."it is the Practice that leads to freedom. affords balance and centeredness.. and I urge you to engage and find them out for your self. Many people 'can no longer feel' ! BK Frantzis the Taoist master responded to the question. nodded in agreement. or it might be the current bent of "Virtual Reality". Truth is truth.. else why would Jesus and the other great teachers of wisdom like Buddha."pick a theory": as one is as good as another. Meditation is a very important facet of life. Rather...."As a defense to avoid mental/emotional horror.. Within the realm or practice of meditation there are gifts or results to be enjoyed/realized.. and even was an Interpreter in South America.....(virtual means 'almost'). it is a 'tool' (and not another religion). people can fool themselves into thinking they have 'dealt with it. the supremacy of one religion over another. I asked Dawn once when she finally knew she 'knew Spanish' had gotten a 'hold' on it. it's universal. It is this 'something more' that we seek to know in Stillness and in Meditation.. Yes. trying to name this and that.it?" He paused a bit bewildered.and very practical in everyday life. Rumi and Kabir and countless others down through the years up to and including the Dali Lama.. or how do we say it."Put it to bed?" My Wife Dawn studied Spanish for many years. One of the first things I learned about Taoism and life-practice was to go deep ! My Teacher was a wise woman. categorize and type everything. I know of traditions that say that the "gift of becoming 'connected' to Universal Consciousness can only be granted by "Gods Grace". here and now. even if we do not yet realize it... and it can.. By perhaps naming it. The Creative and Sustaining Power of the .. entreat us to Meditate! On your way to Oneness with the Universal Consciousness/God or by Whatever Name you name the UnNameable One.and I also believe that those who receive it realize it from silence and hard work. It became a part of her. Lao Tse and Chuang Tse.the practice of actually doing Chi Gung/Tai Chi and Meditation..."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.it is what creates the environment for the 'gift of Grace' to occur... Stillness. from China who was teaching around.. and she shared. more than simply the intellect. "Grace" is a word and concept found in Taoism and Buddhism et al. like those Reality TV programs." Meditation is a straightforward process.most of the rigidity is gone"!. and yes.. and no religion or tradition has a corner on it! I think we lived in a time of "Premature Evaluation". there is clearly something 'more' in people. and even allows me to find perspective and to slow down.. There are a myriad of additional benefits to meditation. One my most precious realizations is “the softening of my mind and thoughts..a tool to help you find within yourself that spiritual spark.. I have found that meditation helps with Stress..perhaps so that we would run out of time to 'allow it to be absorbed' and become real in our lives.. not just a chosen few." It is the "something more". Meditation.. "Just come apart and rest a while". OH. 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.. Befuddled thinking.and they are for everyone. She responded that it was when she started dreaming in Spanish... Industrial societies are inclined to reduce human beings to unfeeling machines.Really! "Meditation is not about religious beliefs..where sights and sounds are disembodied from human feeling.. I share that to share this. Ghandi.. Muhammad.
. the more you engage in Meditation the more simple it becomes. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. 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... Kindness and Wisdom. Compassion. You Just might like it ! Just remember. we were hooked on Bruce's work and have attended since . Elisabeth has certification for biodynamic body psychotherapy and a license as a healing practitioner. we frequently attended seminars on these subjects.. At this first weekend with Bruce we had the impression of learning more in a few hours than in the entire previous 5 years. Ralph had also trained earlier in Tae Kwon Do. and the more you are open to and engage in Meditation. Although at that time we had more than 8 years of experience of Qi Gong and Tai Chi training. healing and martial arts. 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 ". Because both of us have always been interested in meditation. Ralph has training in NLP and experience in healing work. 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.. Jamie Dibdin was very helpful to us at this time and later we met Paul Cavel. and yet. I also have not tried to tell you what life is or isn't.. the closer you'll come to arriving at your own connection to the Universal Consciousness. It took about 4 years until we were able to teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong full time as professionals. You'll be able to relax more and often quicker and deeper. Joy. 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. traditional Russian martial art (Systema). and the more fruitful it is for you. It was a weekend seminar with the subject "Bend the Bow".Universe. "Meditation is not what you think!" I rather like what Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Thinking : "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. We met Bruce for the first time in Darmstadt in 1993. By EA Instructor Fred Gordon About the Tai Chi and Qi Gong School Ulm/Neu-Ulm. whose intrinsic balance will naturally focus through you the qualities of Love and Equanimity.Albert Einstein However. and even rest.you'll discover wisdom and balance and peace-of-mind. which we completed successfully in spite of the language barrier. 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. who was also an important help to us. In 1991 we opened our own school in Neu-Ulm. With that. . He prepared us for the first instructor training in 1997 in Anvil Ranch. Generosity. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. and Ba Gua Chang... Try It. the Blackfoot Indians would say: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.and rest and peace ! I have not tried to defend or define meditation for you that is your personal discovery.. In the healing arts.and more"..
For 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. Ivanhoe: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. We are glad and very grateful that these seminars have been so successful in communicating this material since they began. We look forward to more opening of internal space and more teaching from Bruce on this subject. Others travel many miles for scheduled evening courses and private instruction. so that we can become more proficient ourselves and be better able to pass on this knowledge to as many students as possible. but I know you are not a fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. A highlight this year was certainly the full moon meditation that Bruce conducted. it is especially important to help our students to achieve greater inner freedom and peace. Many students have told us since then that they find it particularly easy to learn internal principles in our school. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. this time with content that has probably been very rarely encountered elsewhere in the world. Greece. Our specially intensive and relaxing Qi Gong and Tai Chi Summer Week in August is also very popular. I know it by the river Hao. We pass on all that we learn from Bruce to our students. Many thanks for all we have learned up to now. After this meditation. that's how. What form of knowledge is he referring . This is the joy of fish. we had a special gift from him: a consecration of our teaching area by a rare Taoist ceremony. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. which we also think is the most valuable thing that a teacher can impart. Our courses take place mainly in the evenings and in some cases in the mornings and at weekends. many participants talked about unusually positive experiences that they had received. so that some students travel from other European countries to Neu-Ulm just for weekend courses. Therefore. free and at ease. Essentially the question of the passage is what Chuang Tse meant in his final line. When you asked me what fish like. Our many years of experience and competent instruction have become well known. 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. A year later. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming.that time seminars in the US. we very often asked Bruce if he could give more instruction on this topic in our school. England and Germany almost every year. Since 1999 we were able have Bruce visit our school each year to give seminars.
opens up a much larger question. it's quite a difficult concept to explain. so I can tell that the fish enjoy what they are doing here. therefore the fish are happy. Out of those. My understanding comes from being able to see the emptiness inside the river and comprehend its essence. and hence I won." Fortunately." The natural explanation is valid by the viewpoints of Taoism.to? Not surprisingly. the topic doesn't end there. I can see this truth through the technique of emptiness. and I have seen a variety of differing but very well thought out answers to address it. and the fish are engaging in their natural habits. Thus deciphering the intended meanings of Taoist literature is quite difficult. Thus the Taoist tradition has been able to survive for centuries. Hui Tse: I missed the hidden interpretation of your point. Some of mystical ideas which constitute the intended meaning are very foreign to Western forms of thought and language. it feels like being cheated to be told to leave it simply at "do what is natural. All the great Taoist sages practiced mysticism rather than merely being intelligent philosophers. Chuang Tse: You've already distorted the truth through your mental framing of this. When you asked me what fish like.. It is not. and thus believe I have cornered you in this argument. you made the assumption my form of knowing is equivalent to yours. 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. You do not have that ability. 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. Weaving a few double meanings into a passage is difficult enough. Bruce Frantzis. the best one I have seen thus far is "Taoists believe in the flow of nature. If there is really a different form of knowing that exists. Let's try to go back to where it was clear. but allowing radically differing interpretations to coexist within the same text is a feat in of itself. but feels lacking in comparison to its context. This interpretation. Next issue we shall focus upon the relationship between the meanings encoded within these texts and actual Taoist meditative practices. Chuang Tse: I felt like using a Taoist technique. 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. 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. The skills of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse were admirable. with many hidden double meanings. however. Their writings tended to be in obscure metaphorical language. .
Before long he was able to use this to guide the conversation and see everything that would happen. 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. the aim is to explain the fish story. The goal of Taoism is to understand the universe. 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. The Book of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse's Tao de Jing) exist. some of the other meditation concepts are much more abstract and difficult to prove. and vibrating forms of energy which create the force which gives rise to physical matter. However. A good example of this is Lao Tse's 70% rule in the Tao de Jing. normally in continually differing ways. which was a very interesting experience. in essence indirectly teaching the 70% rule. This represents a radical divergence from most other meditative systems. so a less cliché explanation is preferable. Instead. Everyone knows that when the good strives to be good. a few major meditative principles or techniques are focused on and restated. quantum physics accepts infinitely changing possibilities of the universe. In each Taoist text. In addition. The first involved a friend who had begun practicing something with me to open one of his doorways of perception. An example of this appears in Chapter 2: Everyone in the world knows that when the beautiful strives to be beautiful. Bruce told us that my friend had glimpsed one of the opening stages of emptiness. One of this method's primary defining traits is to never push or force things to occur. In the Tao de Jing. . this article only concerns those that relate to Taoist meditation. but this aspect will not be the primary focus. Lao Tse writes numerous passages to show the negative results of strain. One can also note how this meditation concept also makes sense in daily life. hence one should not strain.Part II While many differing interpretations for the Taoist texts (ie. In both cases strain produces a negative outcome. Emptiness was an abstract concept like the one before to me until I had a few personal experiences to show it existed. Generally the point is taught through analogy. and as such meshes with the flux idea. which force pathways in the mind to open up and shape themselves according to the intention of the practitioner. This is the category to which emptiness belongs. This idea exists in other mystical traditions as well. primarily Buddhism and Hinduism. and prove it is not the only reference to Taoist meditation. All matter is composed of atoms which are mostly empty. it is repulsive. The 70% rule itself is quite simple: Don't push anything beyond 70% in your body or mind. Some concepts of Taoist meditation overlap with the Taoist view of how society should function (a core concept of the Tao de Jing). the true essence of which is ingrained within their philosophy. Both Lao Tse and Chuang Tse belonged to the water tradition of Taoist meditation. it is no good. Nevertheless quantum physics is often used as proof for many metaphysical concepts and at times done so incorrectly. Initially my only real basis for understanding emptiness was to link this idea to quantum physics.
and some parts of my brain started going into spasm. Here Chuang Tse asserts that emptiness is the key to true knowledge. the question is how. which gradually progressed to them appearing more and more hollow (and then abruptly cut off). Here Chuang Tse is making the point that different forms of thinking exist. penetrate into it and see the emptiness within. Perfect people use their minds like mirrors. See October ChiTalk for the conclusion of this three-part series! Part III A classic Taoist technique is to gaze at something. I began to notice things having a rippling translucent layer on top of them. The core essence within the emptiness is something that is in a continual state of flux (and differing from one . To reach it (and later arrive at the Tao). not welcoming things as they come or escorting them as they go. Chi is empty and waits on external things. appearance. and mentioned it numerous times throughout their writings.. Listening stops with the ear. This technique is by no means exclusive to Taoism (for instance the Hindus refer to it as Samādhi). as does its form.. Given how things seem to be connected.Take everything you get from Heaven. but I believe that giving experiential examples to demonstrate this abstract concept will make it easier to comprehend. and even the meaning one attached to it. Just be empty. These examples may seem outside the discourse of Chinese philosophy. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind. Bruce once again said this was a common initial experience of emptiness. be it a river. Do not listen with your mind but listen with your chi.." which in turn leads to the Tao. and instead be open to the spontaneous flow of nature. Chapter 4: May I ask about fasting of the mind? "Unify your zhi (will/plans). Chapter 7: Don't take responsibility or claim knowledge. In this state. Of course. only quotes from him will be mentioned. but of allowing that state to arise within your own mind. fire. the name of the object drops away. Only the Way gathers in emptiness. stream.A few weeks later. The mind stops with signs. As a result both Chuang Tse and Lao Tse deemed this to be a very important teaching to impart. you must become completely unattached to your own thoughts and knowledge. Here are two that I feel show the importance not just of seeing the emptiness in objects (and in turn their fundamental essence). it's fair to assume Chuang Tse's writings about internal emptiness can be applied to external ones as well. 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. I was tired. Do not listen with your ears but listen with your mind. Working with the notion of emptiness thus is a primary goal of Taoism. but don't consider it gain. Since debating Chuang Tse's work is my focus. or any of the elements (or even watching a branch grow) and rather than just see the object. which eventually arrive at the process of knowing he terms "emptiness.. In this sense of emptiness. The modern focus is much more on the external world. the mind's artificially created forms melt away and bring one closer to the Tao.
you could assume a fairly general statement such as "fish like that which is natural. This is the joy of fish. This reading makes more sense. just because Lucifer is "evil. including the fish and all the potentialities of what everything could become. At the same time. In his writings.split second to the next). I would expect them to be ignored. it can be viewed as Chuang Tse choosing to apply the technique of emptiness to seeing that within the river. Chuang Tse was able to masterfully plan out an entire conversation which turned the logic Hui Tse prided himself upon against him. one could just assume Lucifer cannot be trusted to make a deal with. if they were openly stated as a truth. Thus. Alternatively. a story is created which captivates the mind and can be read on many different levels. the essence of everything attached to the river becomes clear. from reading biblical stories of the Devil. I cannot fathom Chuang Tse choosing to write this passage if it's about nothing more than following what is natural. and given the degree of meaning he incorporates into the rest of his work." In the story as Chuang Tse walks above the bridge." However. for example. and allows those who have the ability to perceive a different paradigm. lists this as one of the prime aspects of his philosophy. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. The mind state of emptiness is a profound concept. Stanford University. In this state of emptiness. Chuang Tse puts a strong emphasis on emptiness. When you asked me what fish like. This can be analogized to the quote that "one can never step in the same stream twice. Chuang Tse avoids these pitfalls. I know it by the river Hao. Likewise. with ideas that were so different from mainstream thought. and using a belief to justify his viewpoint (not unlike a Christian trying to criticize an activity. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming." 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. On one hand. By indirectly alluding to knowing through emptiness (in many ways the antithesis of most human knowledge). Hui Tse: You are not a fish. By EA Instructor Alex Frantzis . how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. or at best not understood. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. simply because it goes against the bible). This interpretation assumes Chuang Tse was just messing with Hui Tse. free and at ease." is true and can be used to accept the entire reasoning process. However. but I know you are a not fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. 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. amongst other things. that's how. Through seeing the flux within Hui Tse (his possible choices of speech). Chuang Tse is able to understand "what fish like. ridiculed. and Chuang Tse makes many attempts to demonstrate it rather than simply focusing on more mundane concepts. both these simple explanations don't get to the real substance or depth of the matter. you had to know I knew it already to begin with.
Physicians are familiar with this type of research as it is what forms the scientific basis for much of their practice. Since almost all physicians know that exercise is beneficial. while knowing that counseling about physical activity is important. 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. and few have anywhere near . 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. This will be just as valuable to physicians who already do actively encourage their patients to exercise as to those who do not. far too few physicians regularly recommend it to their patients. why don't more talk about it or specifically prescribe it to their patients? There are probably a number of reasons. 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. 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. 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. In order to have an effective program the patient must actually show up for the classes. Presenting physicians with the results of research will be far more effective than just saying that tai chi works. Research is the link to the medical community Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for medical research. many physicians. All sorts of claims are made about the health benefits of all sorts of health practices. 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.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. One is. do not feel confident in that role. Although research has already documented many of the significant health benefits of tai chi. The promotion of tai chi as an exceptionally safe. Getting the physician to recommend tai chi may be the easy part. The importance of exercise for health is widely recognized in the medical community. enjoyable and beneficial form of exercise can play an important role in helping the medical community utilize the powerful health benefits of exercise. 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. 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.
summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. 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. This material would include. then for a typical person age 65+.000 per person. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. in the long term. Without studies demonstrating that tai chi is an especially beneficial for one's health. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. 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.the benefits of tai chi. 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. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. 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.9 billion. 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. In the studies done so far. 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. 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. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. Having more detailed. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. If this reduction can be maintained. just in savings from . At some point in the future. back up material is needed. In most cases. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. it will be lost in the crowd. For instance. you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. If not they will not consider it credible. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involve other Energy Arts certified instructors in other research projects. 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. about $1. Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material.
cancer. Submit a testimonial now. you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. If not they will not consider it credible. falling down. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. such as individuals age 65+. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. 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. 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.falls. Of course. They could help in several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. Having more detailed. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. In most cases. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. The Importance of Researching the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Part II How to Promote Tai Chi to Physicians and Their Patients Last month. We especially need stories on arthritis. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. This article discusses how best to promote tai chi within the medical community. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. This material would include. 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. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. 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. Chi Talk discussed the importance of clinical research in demonstrating the health benefits of tai chi. 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. back up material is needed. 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. At some point in the future. lung problems and diabetes. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. .
9 billion. If this reduction can be maintained. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. just in savings from falls. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. David is especially interested in the health benefits of tai chi and chi gung. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. in the long term. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. They could help in a several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. 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. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial.Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. about $1.000 per person. Not surprisingly. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. . 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. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. 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. 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. then for a typical person age 65+. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. such as individuals age 65+. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. 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. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involving other energy arts certified instructors in other research projects. 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. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. For instance. Of course. EA Instructor David Bendall teaches weekly classes in California and has studied with Bruce since 1987. In the studies done so far. 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.
you must use your mind. We often first think of where we want our bodies or parts of our bodies to be.your chi. on to the next thing. Who cannot answer accurately the question we ask ourselves everyday. the energy that is the prime focus of Chinese medicine mainstream scientists have yet to accept its existence. our minds often are still one step ahead. When we are moving. To feel your body or life energy. Modern physics has proven your physical body to be so.The Art of Feeling Chi: Mind. or what I call "life energy. You can move your mind across the room incredibly quickly. But in everyday life its existence is not questioned. You can move your life energy more quickly than your body. In turn. because it's so easy to move our minds ahead of our bodies. For your mind to feel or resonate with these lower frequencies. The stiller our bodies are and our minds become. you have to slow it down and tune in. your prana. they have found not solid particles. So if you want to feel your body or life energy. it's easier to feel our body or life energy if we are not moving. John is such a clear thinker. and then hope that our bodies arrive. You can't move your physical body across the room so quickly. As for your life energy . and Life Energy Many people have trouble feeling their bodies. the energy which enables your body to perform its basic functions. energetically. But one common reason is that many people don't slow their minds down when they try to feel. 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. your physical body vibrates even more slowly. Just focus your mind on the problem at hand. Think of your mind as vibrating at a very high frequency. The part of your mind that you use is what we call your "feeling awareness. For most of us. He directed his attention toward me. As physicists have delved deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of physical matter. either physically. and your life energy as vibrating at a much lower frequency. Body. Sue has a quick mind. Many people have trouble feeling their chi. we say things like the following. Your physical body and your life energy are forms of energy. it's a little trickier. For example. but not nearly as fast as your mind. but waves of energy. or mentally." The problem is that the energy of your mind moves very fast. how much energy do I have today? Your mind also is a form of energy. When they do. you have to slow your mind down to the speed of your body or life energy. the more likely we'll be able to feel. In our everyday language we acknowledge this by describing our minds in energetic terms. . your ki." Why? There can be many reasons.
including any life energy you feel in them. Living in south Florida we occasionally get hurricanes. whether from the east or west. Try not to think about where your hand is going. cell phones." as the phrase goes. my general sense has been that what has crossed over from the east has been lost in translation or watered down. What makes a meditative mind so alien to our culture? One of the greatest difficulties for the human mind. primarily to make the practices more acceptable to the general public. Senior Instructor Bill Ryan © 2008 BILL RYAN DBA MOVING TIGER Upcoming seminar: The Art of Feeling Qi on December 8 & 9 in Reading. stand up.To better feel your body or your life energy when you move. instead of "getting ahead of yourself. Let your mind move at the speed that your hand moves. Slow your mind down and "occupy" your body and your life energy. From that experience. This sense of acceleration is challenging our most precious and long held beliefs about human relationships. it appears as if we are accelerating to an evolutionary edge. In the center of this fragmentation is a profound sense of fear which keeps us from feeling secure. The pounding 100 mph winds suddenly stop as the calm . It's a unique experience to have the eye of the storm pass over you. and other technological creations used to serve us in daily life require an ever increasing need to engage our minds. Now turn your hand very slowly until that your palm faces away from you. fragmentation of the mind and damage to the fragile nervous system. Try applying this approach to other ways that you move. Try this simple exercise. whether it's when you walk. Enjoy. England BillRyanEnergyArts. spirituality and whatever we are attached to that keeps us sane.com TAO Meditation Practice Since the early 60's I've been exposed to many different types of meditation techniques. Or try letting your mind "ride" on your body. While I'm appreciative of the ingenuity of these creations and their use. Hold your palm in front of your face. we haven't learned to use technology in a balanced way. Wiggle your fingers if that helps. just feel. This constant "being on" and "plugged in" leads to an abuse of the body's senses. At times." 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." We exist in and have manifested a world of distractions. Try to feel everything that you can in your palm and fingers. try letting your body lead and your mind follow. For example computers. while others had spiritual attributes. joyous and connected. or whatever. is the inability to "stay present. practice exercises. free. Notice whether you are able to feel more than you usually would doing such a movement. Many were of a superficial nature used for stress and health. Can you live in the city and not have the city live in you? Can we distinguish between "what is.
If we . straining. The quality of what we end up with is affected by how it enters the system. It's time to dissolve the obstructions that prevent our true growth on a personal and global level. and as we further develop them. not in the sense of ‘information superhighway. Study not Studying Here are some reflections on how we learn. This transformation includes the process of letting go of all that does not allow the body.' which is just about the movement of data. This is because internal practices affect every part of us. that tension. agitation etc. will be patterned into our systems along with what we are learning. Although he has studied the Asian arts for more than 38 years. Just as important as what we learn in the internal arts. then the way it goes in will be a part of what becomes established. that we become what we practise. But it is much faster and more efficient not to pattern ourselves negatively in the first place. mind and spirit to naturally flow and complete itself. have greatly deepened his knowledge of the energy arts. which all nei gung does. when establishing these patterns. the internal arts do this very well. 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. The Water method of Taoist meditation as taught by Bruce Frantzis can fill this need in our own personal evolution. which began in 2005. Being careful at the beginning is very rewarding later on. especially when doing a practice that is designed to do the opposite. which is both an encouragement and a warning. but profound in nature. One way of looking at our practice is as a way of establishing and developing patterns of flow. the effects of the method of study are more apparent here than in many other disciplines. Meditation offers a way to transform consciousness through a natural fusion of body and mind.com ) EA Instructor Frank Iborra is a state licensed and nationally certified acupuncture physician and herbalist. EA Instructor Frank Iborra ( WhiteCraneHealingArts. This metaphor can be applied to the meditative mind and in fact describes the essence of true meditation. which particular forms we study etc. When considering the development of pattern it is worth bearing in mind the Daoist saying. Bruce's knowledge surrounding meditation is not only unique.approaches and at the center is complete stillness. Care must be taken both at the beginning. If we are tense. strain. it is possible to clear negative patterns out of the system. annoyed at ourselves for not learning faster or for not doing it perfectly. Of course. from the physical to the universal. agitated. Though this is true of learning anything. using the word in its old sense of ‘that which forms and shapes from the inside'. We say with computers.. If we are learning something that patterns the nervous and energetic systems. rubbish out'. he feels his studies with Bruce. is how we learn them. The same is true of any kind of information.
(Laozi 64) Notice here the importance of ‘desiring no desires'. then. emotionally. that habit will be ever more deeply embedded in our systems.uk. yet nothing is not done. mentally etc. is a letting drop away. reduction. while practising. Thus the sage wu wei (does not act) and thus does not destroy.com . Matthew Brewer has studied Tai Chi & related practices since 1994 and directly with Bruce since 1999. which means ‘loss' in the sense of diminishment. one of the essential goals of Daoist practice. As well as regular open classes. ‘he who grasps fails to attain it. Daoist Internal Arts www. It is derived from a word meaning ‘fall' or ‘drop'. (Laozi 48) The word I translate as ‘lose' in this passage from Laozi is ‘sun'. This is the method of arriving at not-doing or not-acting (wu wei). we must do the same as we develop our practice. Does not grasp and thus does not fail to attain. He is certified in five Energy Arts subjects and is a full time internal arts teacher.' Just as we must be careful at the beginning not to grasp at what we are learning.regularly strain physically. Straining. works against such losing and not-doing. losing all those things that are not natural to us: In pursuing learning one accumulates daily. And returns to what others pass by. England. 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. Bruce often warns those who train with him to overcome their greed. 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. Fundamental to the Water Method is the letting go of negative habits and blockages. The loss that we practise. Lose and lose until (you arrive) at not-doing Not-doing. Desires are different forms of grasping things.taichi. decrease. Does not value goods difficult to obtain. People often destroy their work when it is almost completed. he runs the Tai Chi for Chronic Pain service for the National Health Service throughout East Kent. on the other hand. This is the study of not studying. Proceed at the end as at the beginning and the work will not be destroyed Thus the sage: Desires no desires. The attempt to grasp more than their systems can comfortably accommodate leads to people failing to establish what they could have from the training. In practising Dao one loses daily. He who grasps fails to attain it.A. Studies not studying. It is what the Laozi refers to as acting and grasping: He who acts destroys it.
and how do you know if it's actually working? I. These methods are even less well known. "Diagnosing" You can think of this as an extension of palpation skills. pliable. Tui Na is the general term for all the hands-on therapies developed by the Taoists.Energy Therapies: A Taoist Perspective The healing of others is one of the five basic applications of Chi Gung. or check it with physical contact. ageing. 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. Listening really needs to be done continuously throughout the therapeutic process. 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. i. and injury (i. balanced energy flow. Allow your mind to travel up your partner's arm without repositioning your hand. We are fortunate to have received some of these basic techniques through Bruce's occasional offerings. 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. accompanied by a compromised flow of body fluids and energy itself. the effects of stress. whatever doesn't feel right. friends. Feeling. hardening. which are rarely taught or understood anywhere in the West. Listening. and see what else you find.e. Chi Gung Tui Na refers to the energetic therapy techniques. Conversely. Good therapy calls for some combination of the physical and energetic. The questions are something like. open. strength. and the reader is advised proceed with caution and/or stick . the opposite of opening. and family. and in some form is a part of most acupuncture school curricula. 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. tension. tension. In medical terms this is Diagnosis and Treatment. II. changing angles and pressures. There are two basic skills in all therapy professions (indeed all repair professions): finding out exactly what is the problem and getting it fixed. and practices to address the rigors of meditation. Therapeutic Techniques. Reading. balancing the energy flow will open the body. ask for confirmation. and inflammations.e. the body needs to become soft. the secondary injury after the initial assault) are constriction. sexual practices. reaching beyond gross physical contact. It should be noted here that addressing initial injuries such as tears. martial arts. lacerations. As a variation you can move the body in subtle minute ways. 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. what to do. requires closures and constrictions. To restore the natural. "Treatment" Theoretically and practically. When you feel something unusual. the other four being one's own health and healing. etc. feeling in 3 dimensions for whatever you can including basic anatomical features. bruises. and inflexibility. "How do you know what the problems are. strain. and relaxed. temperature differences.
or head) clearing out constrictions as you go. as you open and straighten energy is projected out. Simply hold someone's hand. and maybe compression. a Fire method. Energetic Techniques. 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. Continue beyond the body at least another 4 inches. Take care not to squeeze or straighten excessively since muscle tension inhibits the energy flow.) These techniques can be divided into two broad categories: those that are purely energetic. e. Or. Dissolving can and really should be incorporated into all techniques.g. Hand "Pump" This technique is perhaps the easiest to learn and the most versatile. Clearing by Dissolving Dissolving is the heart of the Taoist Water methods. and move toward the end of the physical body (fingers. elevation. You can also use your hands to dissolve blockages in your own body and in someone else's. those involving little or no physical contact or manipulation. which carries its own risks. ice. rather than risk worsening a condition. Pulling: This can be incorporated into the meridian line action. . try placing your hand anywhere you would like to remove a constriction and pull until you feel like you have a handful. to amplify the flow. From here point your fingers at the line.a.to the accepted Western methods of rest. i. Although the mind must be focused and strong. and those that mix energy and physics. so much the better: try placing your hand on the skin and slowly moving away until you notice a different quality. in part because any tension or relaxation in your hands will be communicated to your client. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the skin and trace any of the acupuncture lines their full length. 20 repetitions is standard. 1. evaporate. etc.e. This method can be used in conjunction with physical squeezing. 3. toes. 3. then move your hand away and release/project out away from the body. while squeezing the back of your neck. (I speak from experience. and is generally learned on oneself first using the mind alone. The flow may come and go through the fingers or palm or both. Water or Yin methods are almost risk free. focused and relaxed. You can also release out the back of the hand. in fact they are essentially your safety valves. It is a form of Pulsing (described below. creating some kind of connection with the skin. dissipate. Instead use your mind. melt. This 4 inch distance is the approximate outer border of the Etheric Field or Chi Body which directly governs the physical body. A. locate a constriction and try to clear it out by using your intention to dissolve. soften. 2. Clearing the Meridian lines from the Etheric Field Anyone familiar with Dragon & Tiger (D&T) will understand this already. bring to neutrality. this is not a burning through.) The hand is a natural energy pump: As you close or cup the hand energy is drawn into it. If you can locate it by feel. eliminating the need to move it off and on the body.
can be done on any given area for up to 20 minutes. which are also superb for opening the initial layers because they calm and soothe the nerves. Wherever it moves most readily is where you will choose to go. You can reach deeper layers by changing the pressure and/or your intention. Or. etc. keeping your hands relaxed. Worth mentioning here. Clearing the Auric fields The various energy fields can have excesses and deficiencies.g. There are as many as 20 ways to do it. You can learn to detect and smooth out these imbalances. up. which may put you into one of these higher fields. a twist becomes a spiral. Energetic/Physical Techniques. about fascia/skin deep. and wait for the release. Both Pulling and Projecting can be directed to various depths of the body including the organs and bone marrow. and they are duplicated inside the body as well. forward. with only the pressure comfortable on eyelids.3. but I will limit it to just 3. Place your hand anywhere on the skin. 2. hold onto the forearm with one hand near the elbow and the other near the wrist and twist in opposite directions. down. this is the turning of the soft tissues around the bone in order to unravel physical tension. fluttering. Often this release alone gives significant relief. 1. say on the trapezius. This works quite well on the shoulder and the hip.. until some release is felt or until any movement finishes. Fascia Pull The layer of fascia just beneath the skin is the inner border of the Chi Body. and back. 4. For those familiar with D&T. with 5 . With a slight linear stretch. the pressure light and constant. while not energetic per se. the top and bottom of the spine. but the required skill level is much greater at these higher frequencies. Projecting: Place your hands using say 2 fingers each at both ends of a line segment e. Here the energy work is part and parcel of physical contact and manipulation. much like clearing out a ditch with a stream of water.b. the same as the body. tapping. This is the chi letting go. with pressure that will reach just below it. First take hold of a shoulder or a thigh between your hands using light pressure. All these fields have the capacity to expand out into the cosmos. 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 Emotional body generally exists between about 4 and 12 inches out. 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. Twisting/Spiraling In general. With a few ounces of pressure pull the fascia in 4 directions. . This normally takes a few minutes and is excellent for opening the first layer of the body for deeper manipulation. amenable to energetics. and project back and forth to clear it out. not slipping. and the Mental body begins next. projecting and pulling to and from the fingertips and palms. A standard solo practice method involves your two hands. Brushing. I generally give it 5 minutes to begin softening before deciding whether to continue or switch gears. B. are the techniques known to the West as Esalen.10 being about optimal.
individual organs. and more fluidity. forming an immense grid of thousands of lines including the main acupuncture meridians. between your two hands again pressing only as deep as the fascia layer. Take hold of a shoulder. non-stop motion you will feel everything begin to let go and relax. Also test for ease of rotation.e. Lightly take hold of someone's wrist joint with one hand holding the hand and the other just above the wrist . etc. the other down. . e. the other counter clockwise. each of which have their own rhythm.). Here you may scale back on the physical movement to the point of barely touching. It is the synovial fluid that pulsates from the energy gate inside. Note that the joint rhythms are independent of others.. etc. pulse your tantien and extend the waves out to your hands and into your client. or 3 ways at once: up/down. Find some way to pulse the gates with your mind. one hand clockwise. Follow the easiest direction in each case. i. etc. but you can synchronize with them and manipulate them from the joints. you can take hold of and turn the tissues until they naturally reach a point of wanting to return. permitting the energy to be in the forefront of your attention. glands. But practicality and time will limit the scope of your attention. this time with the hands moving in opposing ways (one up. including into the organs. the fascia pull (above) can be done in 3 D. Feel for when minor readjustments or redirections are called for. until a release occurs and finishes. clockwise/counter clockwise.Second. You can target these pathways by minutely adjusting your physical movements and your intention. Once you are set. fullness. Third. 3. Look for differences in the in and out phases. more painful issue in the lower spine. Test for ease of movement in each of the 4 directions. After reaching the shoulder you could go many directions. The body's energy system is analogous to the circulatory and nervous systems: There are main junctions and multiple branchings. which will directly connect to the center of the next joint and so on. such as the cranio-sacral. forward/back. After a few minutes of light.g.g. Try tuning into the natural contraction and expansion that occurs in 5 . Turn continuously and smoothly back and forth reversing direction every few seconds in sync with what the body wants to do. 2. then reverse direction until you reach the other natural return point. Try to bring them to a state of balance. This will affect the fascia all the way through the limb (or even the torso. This becomes an energy technique when you begin to sense the energy gate in the center of the joint. 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. easy. e. you may determine that a wrist problem is connected to the upper spine and that there is a separate.10 second cycles. Pulsing Most readers here will be familiar with this basic practice of Chi Gung on a physical level.) Thus you can pull in 1. If you had only 10 minutes you might choose to move your hands directly to the lower spine and pulse there. and in the various areas of the joint itself.. lightly hold the position as long as a few minutes. Then begin accentuating this pulsation with your hands using less than a few ounces of pressure.
therapy is the application which grows out of the basic core practices.III. Our practice of the Water method of Taoist internal arts centers on discovering within our bodies where space is clear. Again. . spiraling. Practice Issues These descriptions provide only a rough framework for the endless permutations and subtleties to be discovered. Still your chances of harming someone by energetic means are much smaller than they are by physical means. in fact they are generally considered a prerequisite. and teaching in 1996. The human body is like a vessel and the space within our body is therefore useful. dead or non-existent. Using the methods of dissolving and letting go. grounding. particularly if you are synchronizing your pulse with someone else's. When working with subtler energies there can be the tendency to get lost somewhere in the cosmos. For the safety of others. constricted. blocked. 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. generally outside the USA. etc. 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. clearing meridians. He now practices and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. we gradually come to a deeper experience of our "vessel" and the depths and usefulness of the space within us. will improve your therapeutic abilities. particularly as you progress toward the higher frequencies. A partner can give you feedback and objectivity. Here you should keep a clear sense of what belongs to whom and somehow keep the two separate. IV. You can also shake off energy physically much like a dog shakes off water. pulsing. and a third person can be doubly objective: can what you're doing be felt and confirmed in your partner by someone else? Also. 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. About the Author: Philip McKee began practicing Massage Therapy in 1986 after earning academic degrees in Psychology (BA) and Theology (MDiv). any solo Chi Gung practices that involve dissolving. Safety When dealing with energy there is always the chance that you will pick up something you don't want. stressed. 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. To prevent this.. He began studying Chi Gung and Tai Chi in 1989. 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. After that your best course of action is to dissolve any "stuff" away from your body and/or down into the earth. Even if you are lucky enough to have a natural talent there is no substitute for learning through many hours of practice.
sub-atomic particles and such. energy (chi) and spirit. Space is actively connected to the body. Its movements are both beautiful and mysterious and reveal the nature of interaction and change. This is "seen" in the quiet. not by seeking to arrive somewhere. 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. dissolve and let go of blockages in the internal space. the more the body can release its blockages. In turn. atoms. Directly unseen. persistent practice of learning to dynamically align with the movements of external space. Instead of focusing on moving the physical body.) As we move into quietness and align. The Tao Te Ching also speaks to us of looking for things not seen. There is no point at which external space ends and the body begins or the body ends and space begins. and between us and the things around us. molecules. It is at this stage that fluidity begins to transition to invisibility. The mind morphs. The usefulness of all this external space makes movement possible. expanded and geometrically configured. thereby cramping space. It is filled with mind. (Perfect quietness and perfect alignments are not required but an increasing degree of such is.We also can observe in the external world that space exists all around us. Of all the practices of the internal art of movement. gravity. our awareness experiences that space is permeated by the mind and chi and that the mind permeates the chi. Space permeates all. organs. The macrocosm of the universe's external space is useful for all things to exist and move in. Space is dynamic. It is a simple observation that space is not empty because things and human bodies are moving within this space. these things exist in and are permeated by our vessel's space. Even the space between everything and everyone is not empty. In addition to the practices of aligning and dissolving. This is important in not creating tension. and other affective disturbances exist. dark matter. 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. What then exists and moves within the microcosm of space inside our vessel. Humans can travel from one destination to another. . It can be shrunk. the chi configures and the body moves. the quieting of mental noise is necessary for the discovery of what lies unseen within the space. A ripple in the mind ripples the chi. The dynamics of inner space is revealed. more space is revealed. It is on our journey that we make discovery. collected vastness of micro-spaces within the body. One of the amazing direct experiential relationships of the "space" within us is that it is malleable. It is here the practitioner experiences that the mind directly affects the chi. tissue. If space is constricted movement is made more difficult. 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. At this stage of practice fluid movement is attained and available for further refinement. What then lies unseen in the internal space? Through the patient. fluids. muscles. release. spinning and spiraling throughout space. The practice of ba gua is a study of what transpires within and throughout space. and learning to relax. What is outside is inside and what is inside is outside. ba gua is considered celestial. unseen movement. The more our practice connects us with space. focus is on the movement of space. our physical body? Besides the obvious existence of all the stuff within the physical body: bones. we experience that space is not empty.
psychological operations and intelligence.. thin-walled. 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. pliable rubber ball the size of your head. How many different ways. quieted my soul and moved me closer to the stillness of Spirit. Fortunately. The most predominate vessel found in the universe is that of a sphere. 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. I like to move. So what follows here is a simple exposition on the possibilities of a number of movements within the complex. At age 19 he entered the US Army. from point A to point B. spheres of water. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. in space. mysterious beauty of the Ba Gua. from a beginning point (A) to an end point (B). became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. at a constant speed while its surface remains stationary. mountain climbing. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. For the purpose of this explanation. 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. Through proper instruction and dedicated practice we can move into the mystic. Since then. . then karate. the practice of Taoist Water methods have steadily calmed my heart. spheres of gases. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. can this transformable ball move? Beginning with the simplest example is translational movement. the art that stimulates. spheres of radiation and spheres of seemingly empty space. enthralls and discovers me most is the Ba Gua. demolitions.. communications. 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. I have with almost religious fever practiced and applied Yang and Chen fighting Tai Ji. visualize the vessel as an air filled. 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. Let us move our vessel. The ball moves in a straight line. spheres cold and solid. For the art of Ba Gua lies hidden within each and every human being waiting to be divined. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. But if I must sincerely answer. throughout all of this intense training. spheres of fire.Part II: Moving Through Space Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. In 1974 I began Kung Fu and "chi" (energy) practices and in 1977 I started the study of Tai Ji. Tai Chi Chuan. spheres of gravity. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. knife/hand-to-hand fighting.
the North and South Poles move in a linear manner away from and towards the center of the ball. 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. Continuing. ruminate on this: the energy gates are spherical in nature and connect to the channels. Find the center to your Being and observe the mystery of Ba Gua gradually and naturally reveal itself. speed changing. wobbling. 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. Let's get a little fancier. while at the same time rotating steadily along its equatorial line as it moves at a constant speed from point A to point B. Be patient. demolitions. Finally. And if this isn't enough to make a Buddha dizzy. pulsating ball. For more excitement. Welcome to circle walking! Sound complex? Yes it does but it's nothing more than a circle coming full circle. this ball of ours with a single wave motion flowing around on its surface while it pulsates and rotates. let's give it some wobble and have its speed accelerate and decelerate while it travels from point A to point B. Walk the Circle. As the ball expands or shrinks. psychological operations and . The ball moves in a straight line. Point A and point B can be viewed as being inside your body. Visualize our ball expanding and shrinking in size. At age 19 he entered the US Army. Now consider the North and South Pole points spiraling as they "fall in" towards the center of the ball. wave covered. At different times! So our rotating.The second example is rotational movement. we come to the example that begins to reveal an attribute of Ba Gua motion: pulsation. 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. Just like the observable universe around us. Next imagine the poles spiraling as they move outward and away from the center of the ball. infused with a mosaic of expanding and shrinking spirals moves through a grid of moving space. This is like the ball "rolling" along its equatorial line from point A to point B at a constant speed. 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. Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. 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. 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. it's how you do the movement. while its surface rotates around its center. Imagine this ball of ours creating a singular long wave reaching from the top (North Pole) to the bottom (South Pole). became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons.
Another factor that still requires me to wear one is temperature. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. mountain climbing. chronologically. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. For example. maybe half an hour or so. but the time investment is worth it. It worked well and I was back to regular work and practice within a week or so. Brian Cooper's "Art of Micro Practice" article will give you ideas about how to make time. In fact. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. Later on I was to find out that while the operation helped and it was easy to recover. at the 1999 Wu Short Form Instructor Training I became overly aware of this as the course took place in sunny California. Using the exercises presented below I was able to avoid wearing a pressure stocking everyday. because of reduced venous return. 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. For me the lead up to having the op was horrific. Tai Chi Chuan. 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. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. the exercises that have helped alleviate my edema. sometimes longer. no one even mentioned edema before the operation. Below I have presented. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. The operation I had was not a whole-scale stripping of the affected vein. 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. . 10-15 minutes. but a selective cutting away of the worst tissue. With edema fluids collect in the lower leg and. You will obviously need to put in some time in to get the full benefits. communications. 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. 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. I was practicing the Chi Field exercises from that set and Heaven and Earth to aid my recovery. Sometimes you will only need a short time. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Over subsequent years of attending these courses. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. In the end it was a one day ordeal and was over quicker than I expected. Only afterwards did I find out what it was and what it meant in practical terms. 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.intelligence. I was able to see how effective the advice I got from Bruce has been in relieving my edema. I recommend getting a Certified Instructor to show you them and how to practice them for best results. both before and after the op. In fact. cannot be easily ignored.
inside your leg and then push the fluids down again out to the yang surface outside of the leg. in my experience. 3. When I asked Bruce he said to get the best results it wasn't enough to focus on only the affected leg. continuous release to the end of your field and then pulling back clean energy. 2. are key in getting blood and fluids to return up the body. which assists venous return up the leg. and practice toe/heel kicks maybe in sets of 10 or 20 to get the same result. this helps to both complete the downward flow and initiates an affect on the vein inside the ankle. by affecting the blood vessel inside of the ankle. For example. Then pulse the chi very lightly (this needs a practical demonstration because it's important not to strain the walls of the veins). Heel kicks. Similarly in Ba Gua Zhang stepping. 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. . Concretely. each step in tai chi you place the ankle down. Sometimes it's more effective if you go up the yin sides. Both improve blood and other fluid flow. 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. 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. You can also work on this in Ba Gua Circle Walking and tai chi. 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.1. get them to pull inwards towards the bones and then pull them up. There's nothing better than getting that clear. Toe kicks and heel kicks. using your hands on a chair for support. If you do not do either of these arts don't panic! Just stand on one leg. pulse from your hands to the central channel in your legs. Moving fluids directly with your mind. Because this happens in every step in ba gua it makes the venous return happen more strongly than in tai chi. Dragon and Tiger's releasing of stagnant chi. Then. 4. 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. both the basic flicks (Level 1) and the etheric-boundary Releases (Level 2). but the push needs to finish in your toes for optimum results. You can also return through the yin. The action of extending the toes in toe kicks encourages blood to reach the extremity of the toe tips. although I've found that Circle Walking is more effective in the long-term. Field Pulsing Using either energy ball practices from Dragon and Tiger or Marriage of Heaven and Earth. when the heel touches the floor. 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. which first took away the heaviness I had in my legs. The pulsing develops first locally and later spreads to the whole leg and to both legs to be most effective.
movements can be clunky and broken. upgrading and refining that energy into chi (or . and develops your life-force energy. at its most advanced level. Ba Gua. fighting and meditative aspects of Wu Style Tai Chi. He teaches a select group of students. Because of this it's very economical since modern living is busy and time is of the essence. Gods. Circle Walking Is a Chi Generator Initially. 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. 49.6199. all the practical benefits found in ba gua practice can be achieved through Circle Walking. when your walking smoothens out. Over time your practice will become ever-more smooth and continuous.69.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. you can continue your basic practice and direct your intent towards that which you wish to accomplish. So over time. It is also a high-level martial art and. Apart from being a martial art. 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. initially creating a strong. L-2. You go straight for the meat-that which gives the possibility of profound and lasting health and vitality. martial arts. if you choose to walk fast enough. L-2. Dragon & Tiger. as it gets going.Senior Instructor Jamie Dibdin has studied with Bruce since 1987. L-2. as your goals and needs change. Ba gua serves as a rigorous and aerobic internal exercise that releases tension from the body. L-3. a self-perpetuating flow is maintained. Also. 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. Energy Gates. ba gua is an embodiment of the universal principles of change. a low-impact aerobic workout. Provisional. Instructor certifications: Longevity Breathing. you start generating serious power or chi. Regular practice can serve as a no-nonsense. Ba gua achieves this by incorporating all 16 Taoist nei gung components into the Circle Walking practice. Heaven & Earth. efficient method to open and heal the body. Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form. It's like starting up a turbine: At first it's sluggish and then. L-2. preferring to develop practitioners who can use the health. while Walking the Circle. create vibrant health and vitality and. That is. L-2. like the turbine. As such ba gua offers a wide range of developmental possibilities unlike single-application practices. can become a vehicle for spiritual development. flexible body and later developing the spirit or.4710 Nei-Gung. raise and develop your energy. through the palm changes.
This is the extreme end of the minimalist camp: doing nothing and being absolutely content. . When your practice session finishes you simply relax and. All nagging thoughts. You feel the tensions and restricted areas in your mind. space opens up. Later. 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. This jump in energy is what makes your body stronger. This state can be amplified and enhanced through sitting practices after a ba gua session. Do Nothing Whilst Being Absolutely Content Initially. awake and alert. a sense of physical emptiness. as you upgrade. Germany. through Circle Walking and ba gua practice. in this model. produce and refine energy through the application of the 16 nei gung incorporated in the practice.com for more information and articles. including England. France and Greece. deepen and refine your practice you arrive at a point where you are able to generate an enormous amount of chi. See InternalEnergyArts. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. Based in France. eh? As you Walk the Circle you continuously bring up. flow freely though your system and grow. body and spirit and focus on opening them up and bringing them alive. You are also developing your energy in preparation for advancement towards spirit and emptiness. after some practice. is a higher vibration of energy than that which you get from food. All of this and you are only walking around in a circle! Not bad. you put your body through its paces. the car looks the same. weekend seminars and retreats. So. but now you have a lot more power under the hood. 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. A willingness and acceptance of physical and mental stillness can accompany this emptiness. with it. you simply add more components. Depending upon how much nei gung is in your practice determines how far you can go. at least for awhile! Part 2 will appear in the June issue of ChiTalk.thrust coming out of the turbine). worries and concerns disappear as your energies open up. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. In this sense it's like having a turbo charger fitted to your car. healthier and more vibrant as well as making your mental faculties more aware. Chi. 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. But here's the trick: To make the next progression you don't need to learn a new form. Taoists call this process making your body conscious.
The Single and other palms delve deeper into your body. Spontaneity When a particular palm change or technique starts to open up something inside you. giving access to deeper layers of contraction. you can develop your body. they never take more than 20 to 30 seconds to perform at the slowest speeds. They can be completed in a matter of a few seconds at high speeds. creating and maintaining balance as you practise.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. 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. With a regular exercise regime and walking at a reasonably fast pace. mind and life-force energy to a very high degree. healing. This is a very short. The palms are practised equally on both sides of the body in a left-right-left continuum. let go of it and move on. you can learn any of the eight Palms. bring the twisting and spiraling of the soft tissue deeper in the body. all the other palm changes or forms within ba gua. accessing deeper and deeper layers of stuck tissue and condensed energies. This is why ba gua reaches the parts that other movement practices do not reach. or after a certain number of repetitions that you must then move on to another move as in tai chi or chi gung." Circle Walking initially opens up the body. and which is contained within. These palm changes are designed to go directly into your core: opening. . working loose any bound chi. five-step ba gua form-the foundation of. Efficient Practice for Refining Your Being Since the palm changes (also called forms or palms) are very short and concise. 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. balancing and developing your system as you practise. producing light energy within and adding the possibility of martial practice. Once you have learnt the Single Palm Change. accept it for what it is. The purpose of the Single Palm Change is to upgrade and amplify all the benefits of Circle Walking. Whether you learn all eight palms. 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. 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. or stick with only the Single palm. you can then progress to the Single Palm Change.
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. Ba gua offers you a certain je ne sais quoi. it's time to move on to the next component. or the particular aspect is integrated. This part of the practice obliterates inertia. not by changing the forms or learning a new set. whatever is available to him/her in order to achieve the desired results. This kind of spontaneous practice of highly refined and developed techniques allows the practitioner to use. Ancient Taoist practices are a gift from the gods. . or opening up a specific place in your body. 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. Delving in. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. in the moment. layer by layer. All of these practices are only possible through actualising the basic rule of learning any high level practice-separate and combine. You move like a great river turning and twisting its way along its carved path through the earth. ba gua grounds you in your body. France and Greece. weekend seminars and retreats. You find yourself moving without inertia or any sudden jerks and smoothly flowing through the well-oiled and practised palm. an edge in bringing you back to your center.com for more information and articles. Traditionally the Inner Dissolving practices were brought into play. but by adding a new component to your foundation practice. Balancing the competing demands of the modern world and your inner world. injury and trauma. including England. Based in France. The more you practise the deeper you go clearing out the residue of all past illness. spontaneously as your life unfolds. 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. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. Again. See InternalEnergyArts. You may practise one palm after the other or totally randomly. It allows you the space to change and grow with your practice. At some point everything gels or changes inside you and your practice changes with it. some fast or both. It is through Inner Dissolving that you can fully resolve past traumas and truly work on emotional maturity and spirituality. Once that space is opened. It could be that your practice changes on a daily basis for a while-some days slow walking.For several days or weeks you may have the same practice model whilst learning and developing a new palm or aspect of nei gung. Germany. 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. initially through sitting and later with Circle Walking practice. you loosen and release the root causes of pain and discomfort.
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