The Importance of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung

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 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 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.

balanced by the utter stability of its central core. For the experience of our actual aliveness is a reward far richer than the most opulent imaginings. bone and chi continuously spirals.In a sense. to the awareness of our breath. 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. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Again we step and turn around the middle point. around which our muscle. feel and concentrate can create a subtle sense of strain. an appreciation of things as they are. tissue. Without the endless stream of images blocking our view. In Taoist Circle Walking. and return to what is actually happening. At times like these we catch a glimpse of that still center. When working with your own internal practice. If we are able to calm our minds in the midst of this walk. that unchanging axis around which everything is moving and manifesting. inevitably we again drift off into the nether realms of our minds. The center of the circle as well as the central axis of our own body. the moment we are in always remains the same. This in itself will make the person not want to do it. deep in their hearts they don't feel like doing it. our bodies are continuously in motion. we are able to recognize more and more of what is present in our minds and bodies. a never ending cycle of energy flowing in its natural pattern. Again and again we recognize each arising thought for what it is. on this path that is always changing yet ever present. the requirement to go inside. we are circling a point in time as well as space. Who we are. for as much as things change. Again and again we return to the present. These long-term students have not found any problem practicing on a regular basis and that's probably why they are long-term students. There may be many reasons for this. the space where what is to come flows into what has gone. I feel that their practice is probably unrewarding and therefore. the stillness at the core of all movement. but my intuition is that there is a sense of strain in their practice. 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. we can come to a much deeper awareness of life as it really is. There is no past or future in Circle Walking. the endless chatter of our mind begins to soften its grip on us. And in that still space there is a moment of deep satisfaction and openness. 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. . of our sensations and our energy. it's difficult to keep up their practice of tai chi or chi gung. There is a flow of feeling as each inch of the foot contacts the ground. alive within our bodies. there is only the eternal present. the endless array of images that crowd our consciousness. I don't think it's true that these students have no time to practice. what we are made of and what surrounds us. accepts the weight of our body ounce by ounce and then the spring as it releases and lifts to step again. As we walk the circle. Yet.

But still I couldn't seem to make it flow. standing in the kitchen. Take a stroll in the woods and as you walk just casually begin to go inside. let your pelvis drop. Is there any tension or strain? Just casually let it go. 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. Let your tailbone sit down into your heels. 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. and just have a moment of peace. The desire to move about becomes so strong that they fidget and fidget and finally give up. You can apply the same kind of softness to your regular practice also. When you're brewing your coffee first thing in the morning. If you were standing in soft mud it would be your heels which would be sinking. Feel how your head is held. Enjoy it. stretch them forward and gently lay all the pads of your toes back on to the floor. Every day I practiced in a set session for about an hour. of not being natural about it. way back when I was young. try the art of micro practice. After some attempts. instead of being in a hurry. I'm willing to bet a least a fiver you'll feel much better at the end of your walk. People often report to me that standing is difficult for them. Then progress became quite swift and for a while back in those days I could play a pretty mean blues guitar. I followed all the instructions to the letter. even for a few minutes becomes a frustrating experience. and even took private lessons. trying to remember their pin number as they pay. go for a walk. bring your awareness to your feet. So what was wrong with my full practice? I think it was the strain of trying to get it right. 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. I wanted to learn to play blues guitar. just sit back and relax into your stance. Gradually you will find that your whole body is beginning to relax and become more fluid. feel your way through a stretch.This reminds me of a time. Keep going for as long as you feel comfortable with it and there is no strain. If you can't stand to stand. Feel how your feet contact the floor. standing on the balls of your feet. but of casual practice. So here is an example not so much of micro practice. let them drop. Begin to sit into your stance so that your weight sinks into your heels. begin to let your pelvis hang as you walk. How are your shoulders? Do the same thing. Did you ever see a cat overstretch? Practice like a cat. How is your spine? Feel all the way down your spine. 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. Waiting in a queue at the supermarket? So. 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. My progress was very slow and I didn't seem to be able to get into the feel of how to play blues guitar. direct your tailbone forward until you can feel the pressure going into the middle of the arch of the foot. they say that standing. Example. The casual attempts at micro practice seemed to release me from strain and things began to move forward. And gradually without deliberately shifting your weight. It was just for the enjoyment of it. Let your body . watching the person in front of you so slowly packing their bags. let go of tension. Let your shoulders drop.

for micro practice. this is a rare opportunity to work closely with an experienced Instructor. But you won't find this group hunched over a table. Each SI was asked to tutor a new student on how to find alignments from the hips through the feet. The teaching ran the gamut from jackhammer-style bounces through a well-aligned leg to more playful. springy and youthful. 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. at an Energy Gates training in California. There will be plenty of opportunity throughout the rest of the day. have fun. the polished result of years of cultivation takes on the unique character of the practitioner. In these trainings they not only have the job of making sure that every trainee understands what Bruce is teaching each day. and a couple are pushing three decades of study with him. they have between them the depth and wealth of knowledge of any top university when it comes to chi gung. At the end of the session though. don't worry. each student "got it" and the rest of us saw how you can teach the "right thing" in your own way. on the spot and in front of all 80 of us. do-what-I-do guided follow-along. When you don't feel like doing any more. Bruce Frantzis. the more I also appreciate something Bruce often says: "Chi gung is an art. not a science. and in my opinion. In academia this level of reflection and refinement puts them at the forefront of their fields. None of them flinched. as with Gods last summer. I don't know if they were trying to show off or compete with each other. They all have at least a decade and a half of direct study with Bruce. 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. For many people traveling from all over the country and Europe. . and everybody came up with their own way to express the same thing.. complacent students to forge a moral identity? Was he a wacky physicist who could barely keep his shoes tied. Instead. we had a chance to see just how differently each one approached something as simple as basic leg alignments. Two summers ago. the SI's have assumed even more teaching responsibility. go and do something else. most of them two decades..hang. The more I study with our SI's. the dean of this university. and ba gua. is actively engaged in passing along his Taoist lineage. they've invested countless hours practicing arts that helps them and their students stay vibrant. light. the Senior Instructors play an important role as a gateway to the lineage. For Instructor trainings. Of course." While you have to be a bit of a mad scientist to endlessly experiment with what these practices feel like in your body. tai chi. squinting at a manuscript. Now. but couldn't care less? While the eccentricities of our faculty of Senior Instructors might also make for some interesting stories.

Each one comes away with a different insight. They will also coteach a weekend on tai chi standing postures. more recently Eric Peters and Craig Barnes have assumed regular roles as weekend workshop Instructors. He felt pain free after six sessions. While Alan can still be found marching students up and down through their Brush Knee paces. even if it's the same topic. I was impressed and immediately hooked. In the spirit of this interchange. refine your Short Form. stress related and energetic imbalances. and the tradition stays alive through this interchange.but they also play the role of filling in missing pieces for the students that have less experience. I worked with a man who had fallen off an 80 foot scaffold and landed on concrete. I come away with fresh insight. I went on to study the whole Chi Gung program and Tai Chi with Bruce. feet and head. The training features opportunities to learn the Short Form. This latter role is something they are able to do at several levels. I've seen them do this firsthand at Brookline Tai Chi as well. or refine your Long Form. In my experience. 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. but to me. despite completing a series of physical therapy sessions. Achyness and pain was released from his organs out the extremities as well. . He had pain throughout his body. You can get more information about these events through the BTC webpage. here's what's so exciting about this event: the more the Senior Instructors start teaching together. For a long time the school was anchored by its founder Bill Ryan with the support of Alan Dougall. structural. moving from the torso out the five extremities of the hands. I have incorporated Chi Gung Tui Na into my hands-on energetic bodywork practice ever since. California doing various kinds of Asian Bodywork Therapy at the time and I was studying Chi Gung in San Jose. I have been very curious about different healing modalities and energy development practices since I was teenager. In Bruce's classes I saw and experienced how quickly Chi Gung Tui Na can specifically target and release energy blockages throughout the body. Chi Gung Tui Na works well for a broad variety of physical. 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. the pain in his body moved progressively out of his body. Brookline Tai Chi will be hosting Craig. I had a private practice in Palo Alto. 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. Each time I study with these Senior Instructors. I have many case examples to illustrate. Several years ago. Eric. It is like being allowed to overhear scholars debate an ancient text. I like to check out different healing modalities. In a series of six sessions. from beginners all the way on up to folks who dedicate hours a day to their practice and have been doing so for years. 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. and Alan teaching a collaborative tai chi immersion week in April.

I taught Chi Gung Tui Na for over 10 years primarily to Asian bodywork therapists. What I find unique about Chi Gung Tui Na is the way it clears patterns from the muscles. alignment and health of the joints. such as the myo-fascial system. I . Ortho-Bionomy is an osteopathic based structural and energy balancing system developed by a British osteopath. Pumping the limbs is a quick and easy technique to use for integration. and Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure diploma and certificate programs and a 100-hour Chi Gung program. joints. ligaments. mobility. nerves. thus stabilizing the changes throughout the whole system. 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. It was not much of a problem until recently. or twisting or pumping the arms with the arms parallel. as well as 500-hour and 200-hour Chi Gung Tui Na. acupuncture meridian system. Zen Shiatsu. connective tissue. 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. knee and then hip to stabilize the core flow of energy in the leg. deeper spiraling pathways. mobility of the joints. I usually teach simple components of Energy Gates movements that we learn as preparatory exercises to the complete movements of Energy Gates. structural alignment and posture. Recently. Arizona I developed and directed a two-year degree program in Asian Bodywork. After about a minute. the mobility in the ankle joint tremendously increased to almost as much mobility as the other ankle. Doctors were suggesting ankle replacement surgery. nervous system. and connective tissues that pull the joints out of alignment. meridian lines and core energetic levels all in one session with one integrated comprehensive system. 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. cerebrospinal system. I worked with a man who had badly broken his ankle 25 years earlier where the tendons had to be reattached. 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.Once I worked with a man who limped into the office just minutes after breaking his leg. and core channels in the joints and bones. such as kwa squats. including the spine. After one session of Chi Gung Tui Na. 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. OrthoBionomyâ practitioners. we heard a loud crack as his bone adjusted itself back into place. When I lived in Scottsdale. Simple Chi Gung exercises are great to teach clients to assist structural integration after the sessions. Before the session. first the ankle. He walked out of the office with no limp and no pain. fascia. He found that wearing shoes with cushioned soles helped a lot. I then finished with pulsing the joints of the leg. fascia. massage therapists and lay people. I pulsed the ankle joint. tendons. The unwinding techniques release the imbalances in the muscles. My students and I have found that Chi Gung Tui Na complements the structural balancing techniques of Ortho-Bionomy really well. the joint was very stiff and afterwards there was a lot of springiness in the ankle joint. My Asian bodywork students found that Chi Gung Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu blended very well together. or internal organs. The pulsing techniques restore the spring. The Western bodywork systems I have seen focus on systems of the body separately. clearing the stiffness in the affected quadrants of the joint. internal organs.

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. qigong is a diverse system for working with the energy of life. Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung is a good place to start. and promoting longevity. 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. I also am better able to help my Chi Gung students with their specific issues. Energy Medicine. Dragon and Tiger is excellent for energy workers. psychotherapists and physicians to prevent practitioner burnout. living practice that continues to be researched. basic understanding of exactly what it is. It is a vital. . It is excellent for quickly improving your ability to feel energy deep inside the body and in the energy field. maintaining emotional calm. This overview will provide a foundation to help the reader. Qigong Basics for Everyone INTRODUCTION As interest in the theory and practice of qigong continues to grow in the United States. reducing stress. If you are going to invest your time and money into a daily practice. She has been teaching Chi Gung and Asian bodywork since 1986. and with so many varieties of qigong available for study.often do some Chi Gung after a Western bodywork session to integrate the effects of work on that one system within the whole. If you are 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. Some of its benefits include improving health. increasing energy. However. I have found my Chi Gung Tui Na and Chi Gung practice complement each other well. I find that the results of the session last longer. The awareness of internal blockages and how various areas of the body interrelate has increased my internal awareness in my own Chi Gung practice. acupuncturists. strengthening the immune system. By Susan Kansky Susan has 7. body workers. and Chinese health exercises. Most simply put. developed.500 hours of training in Asian Bodywork. it's a good idea to know more about that practice. gain a better understanding and make more informed decisions when beginning or furthering a qigong practice. the practice originated in Asia between three and five thousand years ago (depending on which sources are quoted). As a result. called qi. to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. it becomes increasingly important to have a clear. and adapted for contemporary life. relatively unchanged. Although the word "qigong" has only been in common usage since the 1950s. many of the most ancient methods still exist and are practiced today. whether a novice or someone with some qigong experience.

Here. Gong is most commonly translated as work. Although that's another literal translation of the word qi. More specifically. "for the purpose of being able to sense.DEFINING THE WORD TO UNDERSTAND THE PRACTICE Let's take a look at the word qigong itself. it may be applied medically. the most often-seen translations are energy exercises. For convenience. martially. full awareness. and is a better choice than the word "exercise". The simple word "practice". In the Chinese language every syllable is a discrete word. Note that it is made up of two separate syllables. if we limit ourselves to these interpretations. which may be applied secularly." Even that isn't complete. and then little or no further thought is given to it. Historically. That's the most direct and accurate interpretation when using the word "qi" in relation to qigong and Chinese medicine. Implied within the word gong is the concept of time. we miss some important considerations and have at best a partial understanding. vitality." Because all gong has a purpose or goal. the word "exercise" is sometimes used as a gentle admonition by a qigong master correcting a novice: "You're not doing qigong. If we take that understanding into account. you're just doing an exercise. in order to promote health. an artisan. or a politician. no matter if they were a farmer. and that awareness deepens as one advances in their practice. it is used to cultivate power. For our purposes. It is done with full attention. skill. In fact. since that will tell us a lot about the actual practice. or combinations of all of those. Although it may be applied martially. Even when leaving aside tonal considerations. but it is not medicine. which can create erroneous expectations and diminish the results of our practice. whether that means practicing the piano or establishing a medical practice. and longevity. as an entry point into deeper spiritual practices. while its benefits are provided through rote repetition. their gong provided them with an ever deepening understanding not just of their profession but of life. also includes the aspect of investing effort over a period of time. it may be applied for . so that its meaning is at once more clear. a merchant. However. Here. since the regulation of the breath is one of the three main concerns of all qigongs as we'll see below. These are okay as far as they go. "practice" becomes a suitable translation for gong. or practice. it is never done by rote. it might be helpful to state what qigong is not. since as one progresses farther in qigong. exercise. or breathing exercises. the craft or profession a person pursued. store and mobilize qi at will. "qi" and "gong". the syllables are combined to form the single word qigong. one of the common translations of gong. When combined with the word "qi". we can amend that with. every word has many possible meanings and may be used in various contexts. energy work. and even "breathing exercises" may be conditionally acceptable. medically. the word "energy" is commonly used alone." While repetition is part of a every qigong practice. we'll consider the translation of qi to be "vital life energy" or "life force". gong means effort put into something over a period of time in order to achieve a desired result. 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. acquire. the word gong was applied to the work people did. An exercise is usually something you can learn how to do very quickly. Sometimes it may be interpreted as "breath" or "breathing". it's incomplete when discussing qigong. it is not a martial art. a soldier. As one became more accomplished in their work through practicing it over time.

a smooth continuous flow of the breath. At first glance. and promote mental clarity and intellectual achievement. regardless of how else they may one day choose to apply that practice. and any individual may practice more than one style of qigong as suits their needs. and developing a felt sense of qi flow and internal structures and processes. and these are the Fire and Water methods.spiritual development. martial artists would more likely practice a martial style qigong. both to heal themselves and others. while healers would be more likely to practice a medical qigong. Fire methods involve an element of force. you eventually want to have a balanced upward and downward flow of qi. as water sinks. Medical. The purpose of each variation is to help the practitioner achieve a particular goal or objective. and to replenish themselves after treating numerous patients throughout the day. Each of the five philosophical bases may include Fire or Water methods. The qi is guided downwards in these practices. Metal. and the ability to move it in other planes as well. which would also include Wood. Accordingly. Fire methods tend to produce more dramatic results earlier on. The following descriptions are generalities only. Here are some hallmarks of each. . Any one type of qigong may include some elements of another style. Like fire itself. as in the tensing of muscles. Water methods are based on relaxation and release. current level of ability and available time. Buddhist qigongs help foster the values of compassion. and in various traditions each method may contain aspects of the other. all qi practices were taught to students who were either living with or at least regularly visiting their teacher. and so are often also the basis for many medical qigongs. Historically. FIRE METHODS. PHILOSOPHICAL BASES There are five main philosophical bases that underlie any qigong. interests. Qi is often guided upwards. Fire methods really require careful. In both systems. Buddhist. Confucian qigongs are well suited for intellectual workers. taiji. holding of the breath. either purposely or due to the nature of the practice itself--fire rises! By contrast. and Martial. health and longevity. the potential downside is that a quick and dramatic result may easily destabilize a novice student. In broad terms. such as Iron Shirt Qigong. These include Daoist. Of course these are not mutually exclusive rigid delineations. this may make it seem as though Fire methods are more desirable practices. ongoing guidance from a qualified teacher in order to insure that the teacher can observe and immediately correct any potential qi deviation. and are a subset of daoist qigongs. Water methods are largely free from these problems. or other gongfu practices to further specific martial abilities. This is not to be confused with classical Five Element qigong practices. For example. social awareness and equality. while Water methods may take a little longer for the student to notice the changes that are occurring. Daoist qigongs are designed to help one align with the energy and rhythm of the natural world. it may be practiced by anyone to improve their quality of life. and Earth. but it is not a religion. focusing on health and longevity. WATER METHODS There are two other broad umbrella categories of qigong. Within each of those five constructs exists hundreds of form variations. Confucian. and visualization used at early stages of practice. However.

attending to the Three Regulations and working with the qi. increases blood flow to and from the organs. and mind. Whether physically moving or still. open a body more completely. and deeper anatomical and energetic structures. removes toxins more efficiently. Few US teachers make the distinction between calling a practice a qigong or a neigong. the regulation of the mind is used to regulate the body and the breath. Additional components may be layered into a practice that work with specific body tissues. qigong is not meditation. all qigongs have this much in common. This is also a deeper aspect of the . and through gentle internal pressurization. or inner practice. which may be useful in cases of qi stagnation manifesting as stiffness and pain for example. Many consider the lying down practices as the most advanced. THE THREE REGULATIONS Regardless of the form or philosophical basis. Regulating the breath allows for more oxygen and qi to be acquired from the atmosphere. so that qi is able to circulate unimpeded at that level. or lying down. and body cavities among other things. commonly called the Three Regulations. Once learned. to be stored at the end of the practice. Muscle-tendon meridians overlay the main acupuncture meridians. and these are not usually taught to a beginning or intermediate student unless they are bedridden and have no other choice. and mind helps to guide and regulate the qi. mainly because even the word qigong is new to many westerners. breath. sitting. or it may be used to move qi into and out of the body. Whether done standing or sitting. Regulating the body opens the muscle-tendon meridians. In earlier stages of practice. They all require that the practitioner learns to regulate their body. This can be done simultaneously to rid the body of pathogenic or otherwise unusable qi. nerves. breath. This is one way of creating a balance between Yin (quiet) and Yang (active) energies within a body. and the focused attention of the mind to specific movements encourages qi flow along specific pathways.having safeguards built in to their methodology. glands. This is more correctly called "neigong". and so are often referred to as meditation or as "standing meditation". Something different is going on here. and opening them helps to release tension (and the consequent restriction or pain) from muscles and tendons. and it is true that both moving and stationary qigong practices may serve as a bridge to meditation. and awaken other inner senses. quiescent qigong practices remind people of meditation. and is crucial to eventually learning to regulate the qi directly. organs. and to gather more healthy qi from the environment. The coordinated regulation of the body. and promotes better organ functioning. The synchronized coordination of the Three Regulations is used to either just mobilize and guide qi within the body. This brings more nourishment to the organs. both methods are equally powerful. MOVING AND QUIESCENT Most complete qigong systems include a balance between moving and stationary practices. and adding another new word may only create confusion when they are essentially part of the same continuum. While it may be tempting to use that familiar nomenclature. The stationary practices may be done standing. that can amplify qi flows. the mind is both quiet and in active sensing mode.

Second. and because of that it‘s possible for some qi to get stuck in the head. working at full effort without strain is referred to as "The Golden Mean". You'll always have that extra 30% to draw on if you really need it. or combined. it's especially important to attend to drawing qi out of the head after a stationary practice. graceful. In some daoist traditions. as some masters call it. and encourage it to flow in the ways necessary to achieve the intended results. quiescent. the concept of applying "effort over time" was introduced. the movements are flowing. Obviously. this is not a way to build health. Moving practices are extremely varied. you leave yourself no margin of error. EFFORT IN QIGONG PRACTICE In defining qigong above. your 100% capacity is also increased commensurately. most often occurring at whatever is your particular weakest link. the more you will have to draw from when you need it. When practicing qigong. much or all of the gathered qi will dissipate. leading to increased stress. located slightly below the navel and towards the spine. and may seem exotic. without strain. no safety zone. the mind may do more of the work. and if maintained over time. maintaining a margin of safety. if you are working at your maximum. and as your 70% ability increases. Storing qi at the end of a qigong session is like putting money into your savings account. using the mind to regulate itself. all of the diseases associated with high levels of stress. depending on the type of qigong being practiced and the specific desired result. It's where qi is stored at the end of any practice session. most importantly the movements are designed to help guide the qi. There are many possible ways to sink the qi. at the end of their practice. is necessary to progress farther in qigong cultivation. Too often when we think of effort. negating most of the value of the practice. This "qigong state of mind". In stationary practices. there should be a sense of "full effort without strain". whether moving.Regulation of the Mind. . STORING QI In moving qigongs there's usually a more even balance among the regulations of body. this facilitates the movement of qi to the lower dantian. breath and mind. This guideline states that after ascertaining your true 100% capacity. While it may be done by the mind alone. or colloquially as "the 70% rule". In most qigongs. Although these can be qualities that initially attract some people to the practice. In addition to clearing the head of qi that may get stuck there. First. This type of effort is problematic if you are trying to become healthier and stronger. there is a sense of working at or even beyond our full capacity. from the top of their head to the lower dantian. you proceed at 70% of that capacity. The more you put in. Accordingly. the likelihood of burnout. it creates more tension in your nervous system. and then sink it to penetrate the body. You can then put full effort into that 70%. This sets you up for various types of strain and injury. which can present some unique challenges. some teachers like to insure this happens by teaching their students to physically wipe their body down. or in trying to accomplish anything in life for that matter. Without storing at the end of the session. so it's somewhat easier to get a stronger circulation of qi throughout the body. The lower dantian is a main energy center in the body.

and nutrition counselor with a private practice in the Boston area." I also believe that ultimately. Discuss any concerns you may have with a prospective teacher before beginning a practice. someone interrupted. Although you could take it well beyond that point if you choose. how wonderful would that be? The qigongs that I personally practice and teach are primarily of the Daoist and Medical (Water) traditions. Different teachers and authors may use different terminology to express similar concepts. Here. (after being asked) and I shared Prayer. Again yesterday I was drawn into a substantive discussion about life. Doing any qigong will likely be better than doing none. there are qigongs (or other related practices) that may be better for you. that it's answered some questions you may have about qigong. bodyworker. and a clear mind. a peaceful heart. The important thing to keep in mind in that regard is that while any one qigong may not intrinsically be better than any other. He is certified to teach Wu taiji and qigong by Taoist lineage holder Master Bruce Frantzis. but the concepts should be familiar when encountered in other settings. For more information on these classes.CONCLUDING REMARKS As you can see. and for the sole purpose of saying "I don't believe that". herbalist. Steven Cardoza (First published in the Spring 2008 issue of Qi Journal) Biographical Information Steven Cardoza. life is a spiritual quest . you may visit my website. depending on where you are at this point in your life. I've minimized the use of Chinese words to keep things in a more familiar context for US readers. which will positively impact every part of your life..for wholeness.compassionate-arts. even more than are introduced here. I hope this has been helpful and informative. medical qigong practitioner. there are many different styles and variations to qigong. M. I said. ideally making it a part or your daily life. the Source of all..Sc.Ac. You'll also find more detailed general information on qigong and taiji there. I was sharing. especially those new to qigong. www. and raised a few more for you to consider. I wish you all the best on your journey! © 2007. but just 20 or 30 minutes of daily qigong will yield greater health with more energy. to make sure you'll be getting what you need. “so what!” that doesn't change anything does . 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. Meditation Is Not What You Think I honestly believe that "we are spiritual beings enjoying a physical respite. Different teachers and authors will also have their favorite approaches based on their training and experience.. even if you "only" got that far. You really do have to put some effort into your practice.. L. Kabir etc. Meditation and the Dissolving Practices of the Water School of Taoism as put forth by Lao because they resonate with the Divine/ The Universal Consciousness. is a licensed acupuncturist. Well. but with a little research you may find just the right fit for you. here.

Industrial societies are inclined to reduce human beings to unfeeling machines. even if we do not yet realize it. perhaps it's the "Electronic World" of image without substance. the supremacy of one religion over another. Lao Tse and Chuang Tse. I know of traditions that say that the "gift of becoming 'connected' to Universal Consciousness can only be granted by "Gods Grace". Meditation is a very important facet of life....." It is the "something more". the inner-truths of the Universe.. Within the realm or practice of meditation there are gifts or results to be enjoyed/realized.. "Just come apart and rest a while".and very practical in everyday life.a tool to help you find within yourself that spiritual spark. 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.. and she shared."Put it to bed?" My Wife Dawn studied Spanish for many years... entreat us to Meditate! On your way to Oneness with the Universal Consciousness/God or by Whatever Name you name the UnNameable One. it is a 'tool' (and not another religion).the practice of actually doing Chi Gung/Tai Chi and Meditation.." Meditation is a straightforward process... By perhaps naming it. One my most precious realizations is “the softening of my mind and thoughts. OH...(virtual means 'almost'). Stillness. and it can. I have found that meditation helps with Stress. more than simply the intellect. or it might be the current bent of "Virtual Reality". affords balance and centeredness. or how do we say it. One of the first things I learned about Taoism and life-practice was to go deep ! My Teacher was a wise woman.that "more" that makes us human and divine at the same time.and they are for everyone. Befuddled thinking. I asked Dawn once when she finally knew she 'knew Spanish' had gotten a 'hold' on it. there is clearly something 'more' in people. people can fool themselves into thinking they have 'dealt with it. and I urge you to engage and find them out for your self. not just a chosen" He paused a bit is what creates the environment for the 'gift of Grace' to occur.. from China who was teaching around. Ghandi. I share that to share this.. 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's universal.. and yes. Rather.... It is this 'something more' that we seek to know in Stillness and in Meditation.... Rumi and Kabir and countless others down through the years up to and including the Dali Lama. Truth is truth.... here and now.. Many people 'can no longer feel' ! BK Frantzis the Taoist master responded to the question.. else why would Jesus and the other great teachers of wisdom like Buddha. It became a part of her. Yes. and even was an Interpreter in South America.. There are a myriad of additional benefits to meditation..."As a defense to avoid mental/emotional horror. and no religion or tradition has a corner on it! I think we lived in a time of "Premature Evaluation".... and even allows me to find perspective and to slow down..perhaps so that we would run out of time to 'allow it to be absorbed' and become real in our lives. like those Reality TV programs.."it is the Practice that leads to freedom. "Grace" is a word and concept found in Taoism and Buddhism et al. categorize and type everything.. She responded that it was when she started dreaming in Spanish. nodded in agreement. or about what a human being should or should not do.Really! "Meditation is not about religious beliefs..most of the rigidity is gone"!.. Muhammad."pick a theory": as one is as good as another. The Creative and Sustaining Power of the .and I also believe that those who receive it realize it from silence and hard work.where sights and sounds are disembodied from human feeling. trying to name this and that.

healing and martial arts.'ll discover wisdom and balance and peace-of-mind. I also have not tried to tell you what life is or isn't. It took about 4 years until we were able to teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong full time as professionals.. the Blackfoot Indians would say: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. the more you engage in Meditation the more simple it becomes. Elisabeth has certification for biodynamic body psychotherapy and a license as a healing practitioner. whose intrinsic balance will naturally focus through you the qualities of Love and Equanimity. . 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.. Kindness and Wisdom.Universe. It was a weekend seminar with the subject "Bend the Bow". At this first weekend with Bruce we had the impression of learning more in a few hours than in the entire previous 5 years.. By EA Instructor Fred Gordon About the Tai Chi and Qi Gong School Ulm/Neu-Ulm. You Just might like it ! Just remember. we frequently attended seminars on these subjects. 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 ". which we completed successfully in spite of the language barrier. Ralph had also trained earlier in Tae Kwon Do.Albert Einstein However. Although at that time we had more than 8 years of experience of Qi Gong and Tai Chi training. and even rest. Generosity. Try It. In 1991 we opened our own school in Neu-Ulm. In the healing arts. With that. 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. 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. You'll be able to relax more and often quicker and deeper.and more". and Ba Gua Chang.. "Meditation is not what you think!" I rather like what Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Thinking : "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. He prepared us for the first instructor training in 1997 in Anvil Ranch. and the more you are open to and engage in Meditation.and rest and peace ! I have not tried to defend or define meditation for you that is your personal discovery.. who was also an important help to us. the closer you'll come to arriving at your own connection to the Universal Consciousness. Joy. 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. we were hooked on Bruce's work and have attended since .. Ralph has training in NLP and experience in healing work.. Jamie Dibdin was very helpful to us at this time and later we met Paul Cavel.. Because both of us have always been interested in meditation. traditional Russian martial art (Systema). It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. and the more fruitful it is for you.. and yet. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.. We met Bruce for the first time in Darmstadt in 1993.

which we also think is the most valuable thing that a teacher can impart.that time seminars in the US. many participants talked about unusually positive experiences that they had received. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. Our courses take place mainly in the evenings and in some cases in the mornings and at weekends. 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. we very often asked Bruce if he could give more instruction on this topic in our school. Greece. we had a special gift from him: a consecration of our teaching area by a rare Taoist ceremony. so that we can become more proficient ourselves and be better able to pass on this knowledge to as many students as possible. 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. Our specially intensive and relaxing Qi Gong and Tai Chi Summer Week in August is also very popular. Ivanhoe: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao. I know it by the river Hao. but I know you are not a fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. free and at ease. A highlight this year was certainly the full moon meditation that Bruce conducted. We are glad and very grateful that these seminars have been so successful in communicating this material since they began. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming. When you asked me what fish like. so that some students travel from other European countries to Neu-Ulm just for weekend courses. We pass on all that we learn from Bruce to our students. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. Others travel many miles for scheduled evening courses and private instruction. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. Essentially the question of the passage is what Chuang Tse meant in his final line. We look forward to more opening of internal space and more teaching from Bruce on this subject. A year later. this time with content that has probably been very rarely encountered elsewhere in the world. England and Germany almost every year. This is the joy of fish. For us. What form of knowledge is he referring . Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. Therefore. Many thanks for all we have learned up to now. it is especially important to help our students to achieve greater inner freedom and peace. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. After this meditation. Many students have told us since then that they find it particularly easy to learn internal principles in our school. that's how. Since 1999 we were able have Bruce visit our school each year to give seminars. Our many years of experience and competent instruction have become well known.

" Fortunately. 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. All the great Taoist sages practiced mysticism rather than merely being intelligent philosophers. Out of those. however. it feels like being cheated to be told to leave it simply at "do what is natural. 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. It is not.. Thus deciphering the intended meanings of Taoist literature is quite difficult. This interpretation. but feels lacking in comparison to its context. You do not have that ability. the topic doesn't end there. . and hence I won. Some of mystical ideas which constitute the intended meaning are very foreign to Western forms of thought and language. Their writings tended to be in obscure metaphorical language. and the fish are engaging in their natural habits. 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. with many hidden double meanings. 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. opens up a much larger question. Chuang Tse: You've already distorted the truth through your mental framing of this. Thus the Taoist tradition has been able to survive for centuries. and thus believe I have cornered you in this argument. If there is really a different form of knowing that exists. Bruce Frantzis. Hui Tse: I missed the hidden interpretation of your point. Next issue we shall focus upon the relationship between the meanings encoded within these texts and actual Taoist meditative practices. The skills of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse were admirable. Weaving a few double meanings into a passage is difficult enough. Chuang Tse: I felt like using a Taoist technique. so I can tell that the fish enjoy what they are doing here. My understanding comes from being able to see the emptiness inside the river and comprehend its essence. I can see this truth through the technique of Not surprisingly. 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. When you asked me what fish like. and I have seen a variety of differing but very well thought out answers to address it. therefore the fish are happy. it's quite a difficult concept to explain." The natural explanation is valid by the viewpoints of Taoism. you made the assumption my form of knowing is equivalent to yours. the best one I have seen thus far is "Taoists believe in the flow of nature.

This represents a radical divergence from most other meditative systems. 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. Emptiness was an abstract concept like the one before to me until I had a few personal experiences to show it existed. One of this method's primary defining traits is to never push or force things to occur. In each Taoist text. The first involved a friend who had begun practicing something with me to open one of his doorways of perception. This idea exists in other mystical traditions as well. it is no good. Lao Tse writes numerous passages to show the negative results of strain. In addition. Some concepts of Taoist meditation overlap with the Taoist view of how society should function (a core concept of the Tao de Jing). An example of this appears in Chapter 2: Everyone in the world knows that when the beautiful strives to be beautiful. it is repulsive. Generally the point is taught through analogy. Bruce told us that my friend had glimpsed one of the opening stages of emptiness. primarily Buddhism and Hinduism. this article only concerns those that relate to Taoist meditation. normally in continually differing ways. but this aspect will not be the primary focus. In the Tao de Jing. and prove it is not the only reference to Taoist meditation. Both Lao Tse and Chuang Tse belonged to the water tradition of Taoist meditation. and vibrating forms of energy which create the force which gives rise to physical matter. so a less cliché explanation is preferable. which force pathways in the mind to open up and shape themselves according to the intention of the practitioner. The goal of Taoism is to understand the universe. Everyone knows that when the good strives to be good. quantum physics accepts infinitely changing possibilities of the universe. a few major meditative principles or techniques are focused on and restated. Instead. A good example of this is Lao Tse's 70% rule in the Tao de Jing.Part II While many differing interpretations for the Taoist texts (ie. and as such meshes with the flux idea. which was a very interesting experience. The Book of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse's Tao de Jing) exist. Before long he was able to use this to guide the conversation and see everything that would happen. One can also note how this meditation concept also makes sense in daily life. hence one should not strain. Nevertheless quantum physics is often used as proof for many metaphysical concepts and at times done so incorrectly. This is the category to which emptiness belongs. some of the other meditation concepts are much more abstract and difficult to prove. . However. The 70% rule itself is quite simple: Don't push anything beyond 70% in your body or mind. All matter is composed of atoms which are mostly empty. the true essence of which is ingrained within their philosophy. 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. In both cases strain produces a negative outcome. the aim is to explain the fish story. in essence indirectly teaching the 70% rule. Initially my only real basis for understanding emptiness was to link this idea to quantum physics.

you must become completely unattached to your own thoughts and knowledge. In this state. Since debating Chuang Tse's work is my focus. Perfect people use their minds like mirrors. and some parts of my brain started going into spasm. Chapter 4: May I ask about fasting of the mind? "Unify your zhi (will/plans). Chi is empty and waits on external things. Here Chuang Tse asserts that emptiness is the key to true knowledge. and instead be open to the spontaneous flow of nature. fire. The core essence within the emptiness is something that is in a continual state of flux (and differing from one . not welcoming things as they come or escorting them as they go. the mind's artificially created forms melt away and bring one closer to the Tao. the question is how. but of allowing that state to arise within your own mind." which in turn leads to the Tao. The modern focus is much more on the external world. 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.. Just be empty. Do not listen with your ears but listen with your mind. As a result both Chuang Tse and Lao Tse deemed this to be a very important teaching to impart. Only the Way gathers in emptiness. the name of the object drops away. be it a river. Here are two that I feel show the importance not just of seeing the emptiness in objects (and in turn their fundamental essence). which eventually arrive at the process of knowing he terms "emptiness. Of course. To reach it (and later arrive at the Tao). I began to notice things having a rippling translucent layer on top of them. stream.Take everything you get from Heaven. Here Chuang Tse is making the point that different forms of thinking exist. but I believe that giving experiential examples to demonstrate this abstract concept will make it easier to comprehend. only quotes from him will be mentioned. Chapter 7: Don't take responsibility or claim knowledge.. In this sense of emptiness. it's fair to assume Chuang Tse's writings about internal emptiness can be applied to external ones as well. and even the meaning one attached to it. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind. appearance. as does its form. Working with the notion of emptiness thus is a primary goal of Taoism. Bruce once again said this was a common initial experience of emptiness.. These examples may seem outside the discourse of Chinese philosophy. and mentioned it numerous times throughout their writings. Given how things seem to be connected.A few weeks later.. This technique is by no means exclusive to Taoism (for instance the Hindus refer to it as Samādhi). The mind stops with signs. penetrate into it and see the emptiness within. or any of the elements (or even watching a branch grow) and rather than just see the object. Do not listen with your mind but listen with your chi. which gradually progressed to them appearing more and more hollow (and then abruptly cut off). I was tired. Listening stops with the ear. but don't consider it gain. See October ChiTalk for the conclusion of this three-part series! Part III A classic Taoist technique is to gaze at something.

Chuang Tse was able to masterfully plan out an entire conversation which turned the logic Hui Tse prided himself upon against him. both these simple explanations don't get to the real substance or depth of the matter. one could just assume Lucifer cannot be trusted to make a deal with. This interpretation assumes Chuang Tse was just messing with Hui Tse. simply because it goes against the bible). amongst other things. This is the joy of fish. At the same time. and using a belief to justify his viewpoint (not unlike a Christian trying to criticize an activity. The mind state of emptiness is a profound concept. On one hand. or at best not understood." However. I cannot fathom Chuang Tse choosing to write this passage if it's about nothing more than following what is natural." 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. and given the degree of meaning he incorporates into the rest of his work. Through seeing the flux within Hui Tse (his possible choices of speech). I know it by the river Hao. just because Lucifer is "evil. it can be viewed as Chuang Tse choosing to apply the technique of emptiness to seeing that within the river. lists this as one of the prime aspects of his philosophy. with ideas that were so different from mainstream thought. if they were openly stated as a truth. When you asked me what fish like. In his writings. the essence of everything attached to the river becomes clear. This can be analogized to the quote that "one can never step in the same stream twice. Chuang Tse puts a strong emphasis on emptiness. and Chuang Tse makes many attempts to demonstrate it rather than simply focusing on more mundane concepts. Chuang Tse is able to understand "what fish like. but I know you are a not fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think." In the story as Chuang Tse walks above the bridge. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. In this state of emptiness. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming." is true and can be used to accept the entire reasoning process. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. from reading biblical stories of the Devil. Likewise. Chuang Tse avoids these pitfalls. free and at ease. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. Stanford University. for example.split second to the next). Alternatively. This reading makes more sense. Thus. and allows those who have the ability to perceive a different paradigm. By indirectly alluding to knowing through emptiness (in many ways the antithesis of most human knowledge). ridiculed. However. that's how. I would expect them to be ignored. By EA Instructor Alex Frantzis . a story is created which captivates the mind and can be read on many different levels. you could assume a fairly general statement such as "fish like that which is natural. 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. including the fish and all the potentialities of what everything could become. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me.

Since almost all physicians know that exercise is beneficial. 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. while knowing that counseling about physical activity is important. do not feel confident in that role. 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 exercise for health is widely recognized in the medical community. 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. Getting the physician to recommend tai chi may be the easy part. many physicians. 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. All sorts of claims are made about the health benefits of all sorts of health practices. Physicians are familiar with this type of research as it is what forms the scientific basis for much of their practice. Research is the link to the medical community Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for medical research. One is. enjoyable and beneficial form of exercise can play an important role in helping the medical community utilize the powerful health benefits of exercise. and few have anywhere near . 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. far too few physicians regularly recommend it to their patients. Many physicians do not do enough to encourage their patients to do any form of exercise. 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. The promotion of tai chi as an exceptionally safe. why don't more talk about it or specifically prescribe it to their patients? There are probably a number of reasons.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. This will be just as valuable to physicians who already do actively encourage their patients to exercise as to those who do not. Presenting physicians with the results of research will be far more effective than just saying that tai chi works. Although research has already documented many of the significant health benefits of tai chi. In order to have an effective program the patient must actually show up for the classes. 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. 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.

If not they will not consider it credible. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. back up material is needed. This material would include. 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. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. If this reduction can be maintained. 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. just in savings from . it will be lost in the crowd. 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. in the long term.the benefits of tai chi.9 billion. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. Without studies demonstrating that tai chi is an especially beneficial for one's health. Having more detailed. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involve other Energy Arts certified instructors in other research projects. 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. At some point in the future. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. 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. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. 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.000 per person. about $1. you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. 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. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. For instance. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. 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. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. 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. In most cases. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. then for a typical person age 65+. 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.

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. 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. Submit a testimonial now. If not they will not consider it credible. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. falling down. you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves. 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.falls. This material would include. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. All Students: EA is working on opportunities to make the community aware of the benefits of tai chi/chi gung as David has described above. Of course. In most cases. such as individuals age 65+. lung problems and diabetes. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. . We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. The Importance of Researching the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Part II How to Promote Tai Chi to Physicians and Their Patients Last month. This article discusses how best to promote tai chi within the medical community. They could help in several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. Having more detailed. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. back up material is needed. Chi Talk discussed the importance of clinical research in demonstrating the health benefits of tai chi. We especially need stories on arthritis. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. cancer. At some point in the future. 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. 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. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi.

000 per person.Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. 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. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. such as individuals age 65+. Not surprisingly. 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. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. In the studies done so far. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involving other energy arts certified instructors in other research projects. Of course. 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. 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. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. about $1. just in savings from falls. David is especially interested in the health benefits of tai chi and chi gung. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. Summary Scientific research into the health benefits of tai chi can lead to a much greater utilization of tai chi as a complementary health practice.9 billion. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. If this reduction can be maintained. 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. EA Instructor David Bendall teaches weekly classes in California and has studied with Bruce since 1987. . there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. 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. in the long term. 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. 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. then for a typical person age 65+. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. For instance. They could help in a several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi.

and Life Energy Many people have trouble feeling their bodies. We often first think of where we want our bodies or parts of our bodies to be. and your life energy as vibrating at a much lower frequency. it's a little trickier. you must use your mind.your chi. He directed his attention toward me. and then hope that our bodies arrive. because it's so easy to move our minds ahead of our bodies. John is such a clear thinker. You can't move your physical body across the room so quickly. Your physical body and your life energy are forms of energy. . For most of us. Who cannot answer accurately the question we ask ourselves everyday. In turn. Sue has a quick mind. The part of your mind that you use is what we call your "feeling awareness. they have found not solid particles. Think of your mind as vibrating at a very high frequency." The problem is that the energy of your mind moves very fast. but not nearly as fast as your mind. it's easier to feel our body or life energy if we are not moving. your ki. we say things like the following. the energy which enables your body to perform its basic functions. but waves of energy. 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. or mentally. You can move your life energy more quickly than your body. our minds often are still one step ahead. As for your life energy . either physically. you have to slow your mind down to the speed of your body or life energy. When we are moving. on to the next thing. you have to slow it down and tune in. For your mind to feel or resonate with these lower frequencies. or what I call "life energy. Many people have trouble feeling their chi. You can move your mind across the room incredibly quickly." Why? There can be many reasons. But one common reason is that many people don't slow their minds down when they try to feel. But in everyday life its existence is not questioned. To feel your body or life energy. So if you want to feel your body or life energy. In our everyday language we acknowledge this by describing our minds in energetic terms.The Art of Feeling Chi: Mind. energetically. the more likely we'll be able to feel. your physical body vibrates even more slowly. The stiller our bodies are and our minds become. Just focus your mind on the problem at hand. Modern physics has proven your physical body to be so. Body. the energy that is the prime focus of Chinese medicine mainstream scientists have yet to accept its existence. As physicists have delved deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of physical matter. When they do. how much energy do I have today? Your mind also is a form of energy. For example. your prana.

it appears as if we are accelerating to an evolutionary edge. Slow your mind down and "occupy" your body and your life energy. or whatever. and other technological creations used to serve us in daily life require an ever increasing need to engage our minds. free. practice exercises. For example computers. What makes a meditative mind so alien to our culture? One of the greatest difficulties for the human mind. Or try letting your mind "ride" on your body. Enjoy.To better feel your body or your life energy when you move. primarily to make the practices more acceptable to the general public. is the inability to "stay present. In the center of this fragmentation is a profound sense of fear which keeps us from feeling secure." We exist in and have manifested a world of distractions. Wiggle your fingers if that helps." as the phrase goes. cell phones. whether from the east or west. my general sense has been that what has crossed over from the east has been lost in translation or watered down. whether it's when you walk. Living in south Florida we occasionally get hurricanes. just feel. From that experience. joyous and connected. This sense of acceleration is challenging our most precious and long held beliefs about human relationships. Senior Instructor Bill Ryan © 2008 BILL RYAN DBA MOVING TIGER Upcoming seminar: The Art of Feeling Qi on December 8 & 9 in Reading. Now turn your hand very slowly until that your palm faces away from you. instead of "getting ahead of yourself. Try not to think about where your hand is going. try letting your body lead and your mind follow. Try applying this approach to other ways that you move. The pounding 100 mph winds suddenly stop as the calm . Notice whether you are able to feel more than you usually would doing such a movement. fragmentation of the mind and damage to the fragile nervous system. stand up. Try to feel everything that you can in your palm and fingers. Many were of a superficial nature used for stress and health. while others had spiritual attributes. 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 TAO Meditation Practice Since the early 60's I've been exposed to many different types of meditation techniques. Can you live in the city and not have the city live in you? Can we distinguish between "what is. This constant "being on" and "plugged in" leads to an abuse of the body's senses. including any life energy you feel in them. spirituality and whatever we are attached to that keeps us sane. Let your mind move at the speed that your hand moves. It's a unique experience to have the eye of the storm pass over you. Try this simple exercise. At times. England BillRyanEnergyArts." 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.

Bruce's knowledge surrounding meditation is not only unique.' which is just about the movement of data. The same is true of any kind of information. The Water method of Taoist meditation as taught by Bruce Frantzis can fill this need in our own personal evolution. If we . Being careful at the beginning is very rewarding later on. If we are tense. which all nei gung does. that tension. ‘rubbish in. The quality of what we end up with is affected by how it enters the system. which began in 2005. Just as important as what we learn in the internal arts. have greatly deepened his knowledge of the energy arts. If we are learning something that patterns the nervous and energetic systems. agitation etc. straining. not in the sense of ‘information superhighway. When considering the development of pattern it is worth bearing in mind the Daoist saying.. when establishing these patterns. that we become what we practise. Of course. is how we learn them. This metaphor can be applied to the meditative mind and in fact describes the essence of true meditation. strain. Meditation offers a way to transform consciousness through a natural fusion of body and mind. using the word in its old sense of ‘that which forms and shapes from the inside'. EA Instructor Frank Iborra ( WhiteCraneHealingArts. he feels his studies with Bruce. it is possible to clear negative patterns out of the system.approaches and at the center is complete stillness. then the way it goes in will be a part of what becomes established. which particular forms we study etc. This is because internal practices affect every part of us. 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. the effects of the method of study are more apparent here than in many other disciplines. agitated. which is both an encouragement and a warning. This transformation includes the process of letting go of all that does not allow the body. Although he has studied the Asian arts for more than 38 years. and as we further develop them. from the physical to the universal. It's time to dissolve the obstructions that prevent our true growth on a personal and global ) EA Instructor Frank Iborra is a state licensed and nationally certified acupuncture physician and herbalist. Care must be taken both at the beginning. the internal arts do this very well. One way of looking at our practice is as a way of establishing and developing patterns of flow. will be patterned into our systems along with what we are learning. rubbish out'. annoyed at ourselves for not learning faster or for not doing it perfectly. but profound in nature. especially when doing a practice that is designed to do the opposite. Study not Studying Here are some reflections on how we learn. mind and spirit to naturally flow and complete itself. We say with computers. Though this is true of learning anything. But it is much faster and more efficient not to pattern ourselves negatively in the first place.

decrease. This is the method of arriving at not-doing or not-acting (wu wei). Fundamental to the Water Method is the letting go of negative habits and blockages. He who grasps fails to attain it. reduction. while practising. ‘he who grasps fails to attain it.regularly strain physically. Does not grasp and thus does not fail to attain. Proceed at the end as at the beginning and the work will not be destroyed Thus the sage: Desires no desires. Bruce often warns those who train with him to overcome their greed. Thus the sage wu wei (does not act) and thus does not destroy. England. People often destroy their work when it is almost . Lose and lose until (you arrive) at not-doing Not-doing. that habit will be ever more deeply embedded in our systems. losing all those things that are not natural to us: In pursuing learning one accumulates daily.A. yet nothing is not done. mentally etc. He is certified in five Energy Arts subjects and is a full time internal arts teacher. Straining. works against such losing and not-doing. Does not value goods difficult to obtain. on the other hand. As well as regular open classes. It is what the Laozi refers to as acting and grasping: He who acts destroys it. then. Matthew Brewer has studied Tai Chi & related practices since 1994 and directly with Bruce since 1999. one of the essential goals of Daoist practice. 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. This is the study of not studying. Desires are different forms of grasping things. which means ‘loss' in the sense of diminishment. emotionally. (Laozi 48) The word I translate as ‘lose' in this passage from Laozi is ‘sun'. (Laozi 64) Notice here the importance of ‘desiring no desires'. It is derived from a word meaning ‘fall' or ‘drop'. he runs the Tai Chi for Chronic Pain service for the National Health Service throughout East Kent. In practising Dao one loses daily. The attempt to grasp more than their systems can comfortably accommodate leads to people failing to establish what they could have from the training. Daoist Internal Arts www. 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. The loss that we practise. is a letting drop away.taichi. Studies not studying. we must do the same as we develop our practice. And returns to what others pass by.' Just as we must be careful at the beginning not to grasp at what we are learning.

the effects of stress. and relaxed. "Treatment" Theoretically and practically. We are fortunate to have received some of these basic techniques through Bruce's occasional offerings. what to do. and injury (i. the other four being one's own health and healing. and how do you know if it's actually working? I. weakness. ageing. It should be noted here that addressing initial injuries such as tears. When you feel something unusual. strain.e. changing angles and pressures. and the reader is advised proceed with caution and/or stick . 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. 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. Listening really needs to be done continuously throughout the therapeutic process. These methods are even less well known. 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. Listening. pliable. II. There are two basic skills in all therapy professions (indeed all repair professions): finding out exactly what is the problem and getting it fixed. To restore the natural. "How do you know what the problems are. the secondary injury after the initial assault) are constriction. martial arts. the body needs to become soft. friends. and see what else you find. "Diagnosing" You can think of this as an extension of palpation skills. which are rarely taught or understood anywhere in the West. Feeling. and in some form is a part of most acupuncture school curricula. Conversely. and inflexibility. balanced energy flow. tension. Allow your mind to travel up your partner's arm without repositioning your hand. Tui Na is the general term for all the hands-on therapies developed by the Taoists. and practices to address the rigors of meditation. whatever doesn't feel right. i. and inflammations. balancing the energy flow will open the body.Energy Therapies: A Taoist Perspective The healing of others is one of the five basic applications of Chi Gung. Reading. ask for confirmation. temperature differences. Therapeutic Techniques. the opposite of opening. 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. accompanied by a compromised flow of body fluids and energy itself. tension. 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. The questions are something like. lacerations. feeling in 3 dimensions for whatever you can including basic anatomical features. open.e. sexual practices. strength. or check it with physical contact. hardening. etc. and family. Chi Gung Tui Na refers to the energetic therapy techniques. As a variation you can move the body in subtle minute ways. requires closures and constrictions. reaching beyond gross physical contact. Good therapy calls for some combination of the physical and energetic. bruises. In medical terms this is Diagnosis and Treatment. the accepted Western methods of rest.) These techniques can be divided into two broad categories: those that are purely energetic. (I speak from experience. 3. evaporate.a. focused and relaxed. The flow may come and go through the fingers or palm or both. Simply hold someone's hand.e. etc. If you can locate it by feel. or head) clearing out constrictions as you go. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the skin and trace any of the acupuncture lines their full length. while squeezing the back of your neck. to amplify the flow. ice. rather than risk worsening a condition. Instead use your mind. and move toward the end of the physical body (fingers. Continue beyond the body at least another 4 inches. Take care not to squeeze or straighten excessively since muscle tension inhibits the energy flow. You can also use your hands to dissolve blockages in your own body and in someone else's. Pulling: This can be incorporated into the meridian line action. 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. 20 repetitions is standard. Although the mind must be focused and strong. a Fire method. which carries its own risks. Dissolving can and really should be incorporated into all techniques. so much the better: try placing your hand on the skin and slowly moving away until you notice a different quality. and those that mix energy and physics. This method can be used in conjunction with physical squeezing. Or. bring to neutrality. Water or Yin methods are almost risk free. those involving little or no physical contact or manipulation. . i. This 4 inch distance is the approximate outer border of the Etheric Field or Chi Body which directly governs the physical body. and maybe compression. From here point your fingers at the line. You can also release out the back of the hand. in part because any tension or relaxation in your hands will be communicated to your client. melt. eliminating the need to move it off and on the body. 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. Clearing the Meridian lines from the Etheric Field Anyone familiar with Dragon & Tiger (D&T) will understand this already. and is generally learned on oneself first using the mind alone. as you open and straighten energy is projected out. e. creating some kind of connection with the skin. 3. then move your hand away and release/project out away from the body. try placing your hand anywhere you would like to remove a constriction and pull until you feel like you have a handful. in fact they are essentially your safety valves. locate a constriction and try to clear it out by using your intention to dissolve.g. A.) The hand is a natural energy pump: As you close or cup the hand energy is drawn into it. It is a form of Pulsing (described below. Energetic Techniques. 2. elevation. dissipate. this is not a burning through. toes. 1.

There are as many as 20 ways to do it. are the techniques known to the West as Esalen. Projecting: Place your hands using say 2 fingers each at both ends of a line segment e. the pressure light and constant. This works quite well on the shoulder and the hip. Energetic/Physical Techniques. Both Pulling and Projecting can be directed to various depths of the body including the organs and bone marrow. Or. and project back and forth to clear it out. Brushing. Here the energy work is part and parcel of physical contact and manipulation. 4. 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.b. tapping. with pressure that will reach just below it. fluttering. Clearing the Auric fields The various energy fields can have excesses and deficiencies. The Emotional body generally exists between about 4 and 12 inches out. and wait for the release. A standard solo practice method involves your two hands. projecting and pulling to and from the fingertips and palms. can be done on any given area for up to 20 minutes.g. not slipping. say on the trapezius. This normally takes a few minutes and is excellent for opening the first layer of the body for deeper manipulation. until some release is felt or until any movement finishes. the top and bottom of the spine. 1. You can reach deeper layers by changing the pressure and/or your intention. and they are duplicated inside the body as well. a twist becomes a spiral. Worth mentioning here. 2. about fascia/skin deep.10 being about optimal. which may put you into one of these higher fields. up. Fascia Pull The layer of fascia just beneath the skin is the inner border of the Chi Body. All these fields have the capacity to expand out into the cosmos. the same as the body. amenable to energetics.3. but the required skill level is much greater at these higher frequencies. 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. and the Mental body begins next. I generally give it 5 minutes to begin softening before deciding whether to continue or switch gears. With a slight linear stretch. with only the pressure comfortable on eyelids. You can learn to detect and smooth out these imbalances. with 5 . down.. but I will limit it to just 3. B. etc. this is the turning of the soft tissues around the bone in order to unravel physical tension. Place your hand anywhere on the skin. and back. For those familiar with D&T. This is the chi letting go. With a few ounces of pressure pull the fascia in 4 directions. Twisting/Spiraling In general. while not energetic per se. hold onto the forearm with one hand near the elbow and the other near the wrist and twist in opposite directions. 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. . First take hold of a shoulder or a thigh between your hands using light pressure. much like clearing out a ditch with a stream of water. forward. keeping your hands relaxed. Often this release alone gives significant relief.

etc.e. Test for ease of movement in each of the 4 directions.. Then begin accentuating this pulsation with your hands using less than a few ounces of pressure. you may determine that a wrist problem is connected to the upper spine and that there is a separate. or 3 ways at once: up/down. until a release occurs and finishes. Also test for ease of rotation. the other counter clockwise. Find some way to pulse the gates with your mind. permitting the energy to be in the forefront of your attention. Note that the joint rhythms are independent of others. It is the synovial fluid that pulsates from the energy gate inside. including into the organs. this time with the hands moving in opposing ways (one up. e. 3. After a few minutes of light. Pulsing Most readers here will be familiar with this basic practice of Chi Gung on a physical level. the fascia pull (above) can be done in 3 D. fullness. one hand clockwise. 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. Turn continuously and smoothly back and forth reversing direction every few seconds in sync with what the body wants to do. then reverse direction until you reach the other natural return point.10 second cycles. but you can synchronize with them and manipulate them from the joints. and more fluidity. This becomes an energy technique when you begin to sense the energy gate in the center of the joint. Once you are set. e. Here you may scale back on the physical movement to the point of barely touching.) 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. individual organs. such as the cranio-sacral. more painful issue in the lower spine.. lightly hold the position as long as a few minutes. etc. After reaching the shoulder you could go many directions. pulse your tantien and extend the waves out to your hands and into your client. you can take hold of and turn the tissues until they naturally reach a point of wanting to return. between your two hands again pressing only as deep as the fascia layer. This will affect the fascia all the way through the limb (or even the torso. each of which have their own rhythm.g. easy.g. the other down. But practicality and time will limit the scope of your attention. clockwise/counter clockwise. etc.Second. Take hold of a shoulder. Third. The body's energy system is analogous to the circulatory and nervous systems: There are main junctions and multiple branchings. i. which will directly connect to the center of the next joint and so on. Try to bring them to a state of balance. forming an immense grid of thousands of lines including the main acupuncture meridians. Try tuning into the natural contraction and expansion that occurs in 5 .). Follow the easiest direction in each case. 2. glands. Feel for when minor readjustments or redirections are called for. Look for differences in the in and out phases. forward/back. and in the various areas of the joint itself. Lightly take hold of someone's wrist joint with one hand holding the hand and the other just above the wrist . You can target these pathways by minutely adjusting your physical movements and your intention. . non-stop motion you will feel everything begin to let go and relax.

stressed. dead or non-existent. He began studying Chi Gung and Tai Chi in 1989. Safety When dealing with energy there is always the chance that you will pick up something you don't want. grounding. Using the methods of dissolving and letting go.III. any solo Chi Gung practices that involve dissolving. A partner can give you feedback and objectivity. To prevent this. Again. IV. and teaching in 1996. You can also shake off energy physically much like a dog shakes off water. Even if you are lucky enough to have a natural talent there is no substitute for learning through many hours of practice. blocked. When working with subtler energies there can be the tendency to get lost somewhere in the cosmos. spiraling. . About the Author: Philip McKee began practicing Massage Therapy in 1986 after earning academic degrees in Psychology (BA) and Theology (MDiv). Our practice of the Water method of Taoist internal arts centers on discovering within our bodies where space is clear. particularly as you progress toward the higher frequencies. clearing meridians. Moving Into Space: Part I of II Words from the Tao Te Ching speak of the space within the walls of a vessel as being useful. particularly if you are synchronizing your pulse with someone else's. generally outside the USA.. pulsing. in fact they are generally considered a prerequisite. we gradually come to a deeper experience of our "vessel" and the depths and usefulness of the space within us. therapy is the application which grows out of the basic core practices. constricted. I have not heard of any one else who teaches it in the West and I welcome any leads from readers--click on my name link below to email me. if you dissolve what you can of your own stuff ahead of time you will lessen the chances of passing it on to the client. After that your best course of action is to dissolve any "stuff" away from your body and/or down into the earth. and a third person can be doubly objective: can what you're doing be felt and confirmed in your partner by someone else? Also. Practice Issues These descriptions provide only a rough framework for the endless permutations and subtleties to be discovered. will improve your therapeutic abilities. Still your chances of harming someone by energetic means are much smaller than they are by physical means. He now practices and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. etc. Here you should keep a clear sense of what belongs to whom and somehow keep the two separate. The human body is like a vessel and the space within our body is therefore useful. 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. For the safety of others. 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.

release. thereby cramping space. This is important in not creating tension. dissolve and let go of blockages in the internal space. Of all the practices of the internal art of movement. dark matter. and learning to relax. The more our practice connects us with space. energy (chi) and spirit. and other affective disturbances exist. It is filled with mind. Even the space between everything and everyone is not empty. What is outside is inside and what is inside is outside. In addition to the practices of aligning and dissolving. This is "seen" in the quiet. There is no point at which external space ends and the body begins or the body ends and space begins. the chi configures and the body moves. 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. our awareness experiences that space is permeated by the mind and chi and that the mind permeates the chi. Humans can travel from one destination to another. In turn. unseen movement. If space is constricted movement is made more difficult. the more the body can release its blockages. muscles. more space is revealed. these things exist in and are permeated by our vessel's space. persistent practice of learning to dynamically align with the movements of external space. At this stage of practice fluid movement is attained and available for further refinement. gravity. 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. spinning and spiraling throughout space. our physical body? Besides the obvious existence of all the stuff within the physical body: bones. ba gua is considered celestial. focus is on the movement of space. It is a simple observation that space is not empty because things and human bodies are moving within this space. What then lies unseen in the internal space? Through the patient. Space permeates all. A ripple in the mind ripples the chi. The practice of ba gua is a study of what transpires within and throughout space. molecules. organs. It is here the practitioner experiences that the mind directly affects the chi.We also can observe in the external world that space exists all around us. fluids. collected vastness of micro-spaces within the body. Directly unseen. Its movements are both beautiful and mysterious and reveal the nature of interaction and change. It is on our journey that we make discovery. tissue. The Tao Te Ching also speaks to us of looking for things not seen. sub-atomic particles and such. Space is actively connected to the body. 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. The dynamics of inner space is revealed. (Perfect quietness and perfect alignments are not required but an increasing degree of such is. One of the amazing direct experiential relationships of the "space" within us is that it is malleable. and between us and the things around us. atoms. It can be shrunk. What then exists and moves within the microcosm of space inside our vessel. not by seeking to arrive somewhere. expanded and geometrically configured. Instead of focusing on moving the physical body. Space is dynamic. The usefulness of all this external space makes movement possible. . The macrocosm of the universe's external space is useful for all things to exist and move in. It is at this stage that fluidity begins to transition to invisibility. The mind morphs.) As we move into quietness and align. the quieting of mental noise is necessary for the discovery of what lies unseen within the space. we experience that space is not empty.

. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. the art that stimulates. from point A to point B. For the art of Ba Gua lies hidden within each and every human being waiting to be divined. mountain climbing. 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. Let us move our vessel. I like to move. throughout all of this intense training. . the practice of Taoist Water methods have steadily calmed my heart. In 1974 I began Kung Fu and "chi" (energy) practices and in 1977 I started the study of Tai Ji. at a constant speed while its surface remains stationary. spheres cold and solid. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. from a beginning point (A) to an end point (B). Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. At age 19 he entered the US Army.. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. But if I must sincerely answer. 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. I have with almost religious fever practiced and applied Yang and Chen fighting Tai Ji. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. pliable rubber ball the size of your head. 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. can this transformable ball move? Beginning with the simplest example is translational movement. Tai Chi Chuan. spheres of gravity. Fortunately. The most predominate vessel found in the universe is that of a sphere. psychological operations and intelligence. in space. So what follows here is a simple exposition on the possibilities of a number of movements within the complex. spheres of gases. visualize the vessel as an air filled. spheres of radiation and spheres of seemingly empty space. The ball moves in a straight line. For the purpose of this explanation. thin-walled. Through proper instruction and dedicated practice we can move into the mystic. 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. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. 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. spheres of fire. Since then. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. quieted my soul and moved me closer to the stillness of Spirit. mysterious beauty of the Ba Gua. How many different ways. spheres of water.Part II: Moving Through Space Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. enthralls and discovers me most is the Ba Gua. then karate. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

this ball of ours with a single wave motion flowing around on its surface while it pulsates and rotates. Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. psychological operations and . speed changing. Just like the observable universe around us. Let's get a little fancier. Continuing. infused with a mosaic of expanding and shrinking spirals moves through a grid of moving space. demolitions. wobbling. Be patient. Find the center to your Being and observe the mystery of Ba Gua gradually and naturally reveal itself. Imagine this ball of ours creating a singular long wave reaching from the top (North Pole) to the bottom (South Pole). let's give it some wobble and have its speed accelerate and decelerate while it travels from point A to point B. Point A and point B can be viewed as being inside your body. the North and South Poles move in a linear manner away from and towards the center of 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. ruminate on this: the energy gates are spherical in nature and connect to the channels. And if this isn't enough to make a Buddha dizzy. while at the same time rotating steadily along its equatorial line as it moves at a constant speed from point A to point B. At different times! So our rotating. Now consider the North and South Pole points spiraling as they "fall in" towards the center of the ball. we come to the example that begins to reveal an attribute of Ba Gua motion: pulsation. Visualize our ball expanding and shrinking in size. it's how you do the movement. 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. Welcome to circle walking! Sound complex? Yes it does but it's nothing more than a circle coming full circle. Walk the Circle. 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. 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. At age 19 he entered the US Army. 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.The second example is rotational movement. For more excitement. This is like the ball "rolling" along its equatorial line from point A to point B at a constant speed. 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. As the ball expands or shrinks. pulsating ball. while its surface rotates around its center. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. Finally. The ball moves in a straight line. wave covered. Next imagine the poles spiraling as they move outward and away from the center of the ball.

at the 1999 Wu Short Form Instructor Training I became overly aware of this as the course took place in sunny California. I used Dragon and Tiger chi gung a lot before going into the clinic and indeed on the day. For me the lead up to having the op was horrific. because of reduced venous return. Another factor that still requires me to wear one is temperature. cannot be easily ignored. both before and after the op. In the end it was a one day ordeal and was over quicker than I expected. the exercises that have helped alleviate my edema. For example. The operation I had was not a whole-scale stripping of the affected vein. Below I have presented. In fact. communications. Brian Cooper's "Art of Micro Practice" article will give you ideas about how to make time. In fact. I was practicing the Chi Field exercises from that set and Heaven and Earth to aid my recovery. 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. 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. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. 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. 10-15 minutes. but a selective cutting away of the worst tissue. With edema fluids collect in the lower leg and. Tai Chi Chuan. . Sometimes you will only need a short time. Only afterwards did I find out what it was and what it meant in practical terms. I recommend getting a Certified Instructor to show you them and how to practice them for best results. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. Using the exercises presented below I was able to avoid wearing a pressure stocking everyday. The prospect of the operation was worrying because I had heard of various ways in which it had affected peoples' ability to practice afterwards. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. It worked well and I was back to regular work and practice within a week or so. but the time investment is worth it. mountain climbing. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. no one even mentioned edema before the operation.intelligence. maybe half an hour or so. 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. I was able to see how effective the advice I got from Bruce has been in relieving my edema. 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. chronologically. You will obviously need to put in some time in to get the full benefits. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. Over subsequent years of attending these courses. Later on I was to find out that while the operation helped and it was easy to recover. sometimes longer. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung.

Sometimes it's more effective if you go up the yin sides. get them to pull inwards towards the bones and then pull them up. using your hands on a chair for support. Because this happens in every step in ba gua it makes the venous return happen more strongly than in tai chi. Both improve blood and other fluid flow. When I asked Bruce he said to get the best results it wasn't enough to focus on only the affected leg. 2. Concretely. Heel kicks. Dragon and Tiger's releasing of stagnant chi. Field Pulsing Using either energy ball practices from Dragon and Tiger or Marriage of Heaven and Earth. There's nothing better than getting that clear. 3. For example. The action of extending the toes in toe kicks encourages blood to reach the extremity of the toe tips. You can also return through the yin. It is especially beneficial when the release is unimpeded-all the way to the edge of your etheric field. . in my experience. both the basic flicks (Level 1) and the etheric-boundary Releases (Level 2). and practice toe/heel kicks maybe in sets of 10 or 20 to get the same result. Toe kicks and heel kicks. continuous release to the end of your field and then pulling back clean energy. Using your ability to feel the fluids in your legs. 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. inside your leg and then push the fluids down again out to the yang surface outside of the leg. are key in getting blood and fluids to return up the body. which assists venous return up the leg. If you do not do either of these arts don't panic! Just stand on one leg. Moving fluids directly with your mind. 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. by affecting the blood vessel inside of the ankle. This also opens the joints/kwa/stretching of the leg upwards while you're focusing on the yin surface to assist in pulling blood and chi up the leg and back into the torso. The pulsing develops first locally and later spreads to the whole leg and to both legs to be most effective. You can also work on this in Ba Gua Circle Walking and tai chi. 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. Then. this helps to both complete the downward flow and initiates an affect on the vein inside the ankle. 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. although I've found that Circle Walking is more effective in the long-term. Similarly in Ba Gua Zhang stepping.1. pulse from your hands to the central channel in your legs. 4. each step in tai chi you place the ankle down. but the push needs to finish in your toes for optimum results. which first took away the heaviness I had in my legs. Then pulse the chi very lightly (this needs a practical demonstration because it's important not to strain the walls of the veins). when the heel touches the floor.

through the palm changes. Ba Gua. Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form. Over time your practice will become ever-more smooth and continuous. He teaches a select group of students. a self-perpetuating flow is maintained. 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.69. Apart from being a martial art. create vibrant health and vitality 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. if you choose to walk fast enough. all the practical benefits found in ba gua practice can be achieved through Circle Walking. Because of this it's very economical since modern living is busy and time is of the essence. L-2. As such ba gua offers a wide range of developmental possibilities unlike single-application practices. Heaven & Earth. L-2. preferring to develop practitioners who can use the health. Dragon & Tiger. Energy Gates. as it gets going. Circle Walking Is a Chi Generator Initially. like the turbine. 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.Senior Instructor Jamie Dibdin has studied with Bruce since 1987. a low-impact aerobic workout. L-2. It is also a high-level martial art and. 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. So over time. L-2. Also. raise and develop your energy. Gods. Instructor certifications: Longevity Breathing.6199. upgrading and refining that energy into chi (or . ba gua is an embodiment of the universal principles of change. can become a vehicle for spiritual development. Ba gua achieves this by incorporating all 16 Taoist nei gung components into the Circle Walking practice. Regular practice can serve as a no-nonsense. at its most advanced level.4710 Nei-Gung. That is. while Walking the Circle. as your goals and needs change. movements can be clunky and broken. You go straight for the meat-that which gives the possibility of profound and lasting health and vitality. Ba gua serves as a rigorous and aerobic internal exercise that releases tension from the body. flexible body and later developing the spirit or. you can continue your basic practice and direct your intent towards that which you wish to accomplish. when your walking smoothens out. you start generating serious power or chi. L-2. It's like starting up a turbine: At first it's sluggish and then. L-3. initially creating a strong. 49. and develops your life-force energy. martial arts. fighting and meditative aspects of Wu Style Tai Chi. efficient method to open and heal the body. Provisional.

Taoists call this process making your body conscious. a sense of physical emptiness. healthier and more vibrant as well as making your mental faculties more aware. Do Nothing Whilst Being Absolutely Content Initially. for more information and articles. This is the extreme end of the minimalist camp: doing nothing and being absolutely content. This state can be amplified and enhanced through sitting practices after a ba gua session. You feel the tensions and restricted areas in your mind. deepen and refine your practice you arrive at a point where you are able to generate an enormous amount of chi. produce and refine energy through the application of the 16 nei gung incorporated in the practice. When your practice session finishes you simply relax and. you simply add more components. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. with it. This jump in energy is what makes your body stronger. in this model. . after some practice. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. at least for awhile! Part 2 will appear in the June issue of ChiTalk. 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. See InternalEnergyArts. But here's the trick: To make the next progression you don't need to learn a new form. 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 now you have a lot more power under the hood. the car looks the same. you put your body through its paces. France and Greece. worries and concerns disappear as your energies open up. space opens up. Based in France. as you upgrade. eh? As you Walk the Circle you continuously bring up. You are also developing your energy in preparation for advancement towards spirit and emptiness.thrust coming out of the turbine). 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. weekend seminars and retreats. Later. All of this and you are only walking around in a circle! Not bad. flow freely though your system and grow. In this sense it's like having a turbo charger fitted to your car. including England. through Circle Walking and ba gua practice. is a higher vibration of energy than that which you get from food. So. A willingness and acceptance of physical and mental stillness can accompany this emptiness. awake and alert. Chi. body and spirit and focus on opening them up and bringing them alive. Depending upon how much nei gung is in your practice determines how far you can go. All nagging thoughts.

bring the twisting and spiraling of the soft tissue deeper in the body. you can learn any of the eight Palms. The Single and other palms delve deeper into your body. you are free to practise that particular palm or technique again and again. . working loose any bound chi. balancing and developing your system as you practise. Spontaneity When a particular palm change or technique starts to open up something inside you. they never take more than 20 to 30 seconds to perform at the slowest speeds. giving access to deeper layers of contraction. This is a very short. you can develop your body. 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. accept it for what it is. you can then progress to the Single Palm Change. You can go into the body using whatever is working for you and open up that energy and free that. mind and life-force energy to a very high degree." Circle Walking initially opens up the body. Whether you learn all eight palms. or stick with only the Single palm. let go of it and move on. it is possible to practise the same palms tens or hundreds of times in a single practice session. or after a certain number of repetitions that you must then move on to another move as in tai chi or chi gung. 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. all the other palm changes or forms within ba gua. producing light energy within and adding the possibility of martial practice. increases blood flow and gets your metaphorical chi generator engaged and running as we discussed last month. creating and maintaining balance as you practise. This is why ba gua reaches the parts that other movement practices do not reach. Efficient Practice for Refining Your Being Since the palm changes (also called forms or palms) are very short and concise.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. The purpose of the Single Palm Change is to upgrade and amplify all the benefits of Circle Walking. These palm changes are designed to go directly into your core: opening. With a regular exercise regime and walking at a reasonably fast pace. accessing deeper and deeper layers of stuck tissue and condensed energies. five-step ba gua form-the foundation of. The palms are practised equally on both sides of the body in a left-right-left continuum. and which is contained within. They can be completed in a matter of a few seconds at high speeds. You are not restricted by a particular order of moves. Once you have learnt the Single Palm Change. healing.

weekend seminars and retreats. not by changing the forms or learning a new set. layer by layer. . it's time to move on to the next component. but by adding a new component to your foundation for more information and articles. an edge in bringing you back to your center. spontaneously as your life unfolds. or the particular aspect is integrated. France and Greece. you loosen and release the root causes of pain and discomfort. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. Ba gua offers you a certain je ne sais quoi. See InternalEnergyArts. whatever is available to him/her in order to achieve the desired results. It allows you the space to change and grow with your practice. This kind of spontaneous practice of highly refined and developed techniques allows the practitioner to use. At some point everything gels or changes inside you and your practice changes with it. You find yourself moving without inertia or any sudden jerks and smoothly flowing through the well-oiled and practised palm. 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. some fast or both. and offers private instruction throughout Europe.For several days or weeks you may have the same practice model whilst learning and developing a new palm or aspect of nei gung. The more you practise the deeper you go clearing out the residue of all past illness. This part of the practice obliterates inertia. including England. 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. 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. in the moment. Again. injury and trauma. You may practise one palm after the other or totally randomly. initially through sitting and later with Circle Walking practice. It could be that your practice changes on a daily basis for a while-some days slow walking. Delving in. Germany. Balancing the competing demands of the modern world and your inner world. You move like a great river turning and twisting its way along its carved path through the earth. It is through Inner Dissolving that you can fully resolve past traumas and truly work on emotional maturity and spirituality. Ancient Taoist practices are a gift from the gods. Once that space is opened. 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. or opening up a specific place in your body. ba gua grounds you in your body. Based in France. All of these practices are only possible through actualising the basic rule of learning any high level practice-separate and combine. Traditionally the Inner Dissolving practices were brought into play.

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