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Within the Energy Arts world, there is a lot going on with Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung these days. Three of the exercises from the system are featured in Bruce's new book, The Chi Revolution. Bruce's next book, Dragon & Tiger Medical Chi Gung instruction manual, is at the printer. And perhaps most importantly, in March Bruce will offer the first instructor training he has ever held in Europe and the subject will be Dragon & Tiger. So when Heather asked me to write an article for this newsletter, I decided to write about the importance of Dragon & Tiger. TWENTY YEARS AGO I first heard of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung twenty years ago in a swimming pool in Cozumel, Mexico. Bruce Frantzis had just done a demonstration at a tai chi competition in Houston. I met him there, and we came to Cozumel for a few days. Our goal was to spend a few days "away from it all" to discuss plans for his future writing and teaching. Tired of sitting in his hotel room, we took to the pool to talk. As we discussed ideas, I asked him, "Isn't there some chi gung set that you know that is easier to learn than Opening the Energy Gates?" Bruce said, "Well, there is a system called Dragon & Tiger that I'd be willing to teach. I know a lot of even simpler sets, but I won't teach any of them. I'm only interested in teaching sets that are powerful enough to deeply benefit the people who learn them." "Dragon & Tiger isn't as powerful as Energy Gates," Bruce said. "But it's an excellent system." A few months later, I got my first taste of Dragon & Tiger at a weekend workshop that I organized for Bruce in Boston. It was the first time Bruce taught Dragon & Tiger in the U.S. or Europe. There I first began to understand the importance of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung within the Energy Arts system of practices. And for the next twenty years, as Bruce has fully integrated Dragon & Tiger into what is now his seven-part core chi gung program, my appreciation of that importance has been growing. It is important to me both as a practitioner of Bruce's Energy Arts and as an Energy Arts Instructor. FOR PRACTITIONERS I like to think about the Energy Arts practices that Bruce teaches as tools that promote personal health and transformation. When you work with hand or power tools, each tool has one or a few things that it does especially well, either for everyone or for you in particular. The same is true for Bruce's Energy Arts. The Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form especially helps me relax my nerves. The Ba Gua Single Palm Change centers me and gives me more yang chi to make me energetically stronger. Gods Playing in the Clouds Chi Gung never fails to help
calm and balance my system at all levels. I use all of the other arts in the system in particular ways for particular effects. For me Dragon & Tiger is a particularly unique tool within Bruce's system. All of the other tools rely in large part for their success on how well you use your mind to feel and move the chi in your body. They all require that you be relatively present with what you are doing and apply that presence of mind quite subtly, both in the way that you move your physical body and the way you move your energy. In contrast, Dragon & Tiger in large part relies on how well you move your hands in the energy field around your body across particular energy pathways on your body. What you do with your mind - including how present you are - doesn't make that much difference. If you move your hands consistently across the right pathways on your body, you'll get results. If you are a beginner practitioner, this is very important. All of the other practices Bruce teaches require that you settle and apply your mind in very subtle ways. Dragon & Tiger doesn't. You can mentally space out and Dragon & Tiger will still work for you. Thus you can get tangible results more quickly and easily. All you have to do is learn the physical aspects of the seven movements to get energetic benefits. Just do the physical movements and the movements will do the basic energy work for you. As you are able to become more present, you can then learn the more subtle energy work of the system. This quality alone makes Dragon & Tiger a great place to start learning about chi. Please visit my MovingTiger.com for a list of other good reasons to study it. If you are an experienced practitioner, Dragon & Tiger's reliance on the hands and not the mind to move chi can also become a great advantage. I learned this very quickly and forcefully during and just after that first workshop I took with Bruce. At that time I had been studying with Bruce and practicing fairly seriously for seven or eight years. During that time I had released a lot of places in my body where energy was blocked. But there were also a lot of blocked places in my body that I still wasn't able to feel with my mind. When I learned the Dragon & Tiger tool my inability to feel didn't limit me. When I moved my hands through my energy field over my body, my hands swept energy through many of these long-held blocks. The results were quick and powerful. With each practice more and more energy began to move through my system, not only at the chi level, but also at the emotional level. I felt like I made more progress in a couple of weeks than I had in the previous year. In fact, the reactions were so strong, that I had to cut back all of my practices significantly for a while so that I could again find and stay within my 70 percent comfort zone. You may not have the same experience as I did with Dragon & Tiger. But as a tool it can help you in a different way than Bruce's other arts. If you learn it, my guess is that you'll find particular and special uses for it within your own practice. FOR INSTRUCTORS For thirteen years from 1992 to 2005 I directed and taught full-time at Brookline Tai Chi in the Boston area. During that time, the other instructors and I taught thousands of students
energy arts ranging from the Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form to Opening the Energy Gates to Ba Gua to Dragon & Tiger. From this experience I concluded that if there is one of Bruce's energy arts that Energy Arts instructors can teach to millions of people and help offset the effects of the coming health crisis that Bruce has predicted for years, Dragon & Tiger will be the one. The reason? While the other arts all are more powerful for promoting health once learned, for the average person they take too much time and dedication to learn to a high enough level that the benefits start to accumulate. In contrast, an average person can learn all of the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger in just ten to fifteen hours of instruction. They may not learn it very well, but that brings up another great advantage of Dragon & Tiger. You don't have to do it well to benefit. In fact, my and other's experience is that you can do it poorly and still gain benefits. In addition, the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger can be taught in many ways. You don't have to start with the first move and end with the last. Someone could learn a version the seventh move first and the first move last. This would not be ideal, but it is possible. Therefore you can adapt Dragon & Tiger to many teaching situations, whether weekend workshops or drop-in classes at a health club or seniors center. Also, I believe that Dragon & Tiger delivers the most bang for the buck in terms of helping to improve people's health quickly. I've had students who've used Dragon & Tiger to gain relief from conditions as varied as cancer, repetitive stress injuries, insomnia, and arthritis. Read about some of my students' experiences. This is not to say that Dragon & Tiger is really easy to get people to learn. In fact, these days tai chi is much easier to market to people in part because it has become well-known and is attractive to watch. Dragon & Tiger doesn't have these advantages. Chi gung is not well-known, and many people think Dragon & Tiger's movements look funny. Yet chi gung is growing in popularity, and as people grow used to seeing similar movements, Dragon & Tiger will become more attractive. Perhaps the most important advantage that will make Dragon & Tiger easier to market to many people is that you can encourage people to laugh and play while learning and practicing. One can't really laugh when you are doing tai chi or Energy Gates and stay within the practice as it is designed to be done. Dragon & Tiger will work even better for you if you do. THE MOVING TIGER ENERGY EXERCISE METHOD I've become so convinced of the importance of Dragon & Tiger that I am currently dedicating all of my teaching time to promoting it. With Bruce's support, I am trying to develop a method for teaching Dragon & Tiger in one-day workshops. One of my goals is to find a way to teach consecutive workshops that will allow many people to advance systematically in a few years through Dragon & Tiger's levels of subtleties, from beginner to advanced.
A key reason that I am focusing on one-day workshops is that with such a format a single instructor can travel to many different locations to teach, thereby reaching many communities. If we are going to help a lot of people, instructors will need to reach out to many places. I call my method for teaching Dragon & Tiger the Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method. We've recently begun to use what in marketing is called a tag line that goes: Authentic Chi Gung, Contemporary TeachingTM. Please see MovingTiger.com for more information about Moving Tiger and about Dragon & Tiger. Whether I'll be successful with this approach remains to be seen. There are many teaching and marketing hurdles in the way. But for a long, long time Bruce has talked about the role that tai chi and chi gung might play in helping to offset the effects of the coming health crisis. I see Dragon & Tiger as the vehicle Energy Arts Instructors are most likely to use to positive effect this way. If you'd like to stay in touch with how Moving Tiger is going, please sign up to receive my enewsletter that I send out every couple of months. I also send out via email free Tiger Tips. I offer two types, "Energy Awareness" and "Personal Practice." You can choose to receive one or both. The Energy Awareness tips provide pointers on how you can better understand and manage your energy as you go about your everyday activities, from walking to sleeping to working to eating to watching TV. The Personal Practice tips provide ideas on how you can use your personal exercise practice to help you gain more life energy, whether you do the Moving Tiger Method, related energy exercises such as tai chi or yoga, or exercises like walking, running, swimming, etc. Learn more about these types of tips - or to read some samples. I encourage you to learn Dragon & Tiger and begin teaching it to others as well. I hope to see you at the Brighton Instructor Training or a Moving Tiger workshop. By Bill Ryan Director of The Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method and Energy Arts Senior Instructor
Center of the Circle
Revolving around a central point is at the core of Ba Gua Circle Walking. Revolution after revolution, we continue to circle around a central point in space that remains stable and unchanging. With each rotation we find ourselves traversing the same ground as before, yet every time it is a new experience. We trace the same steps over and over but each second greets us afresh.
around which our muscle. . The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Who we are. In Taoist Circle Walking. If we are able to calm our minds in the midst of this walk. an appreciation of things as they are. the requirement to go inside. There may be many reasons for this. for as much as things change. the moment we are in always remains the same. This in itself will make the person not want to do it. At times like these we catch a glimpse of that still center. I feel that their practice is probably unrewarding and therefore. These long-term students have not found any problem practicing on a regular basis and that's probably why they are long-term students. we can come to a much deeper awareness of life as it really is. As we walk the circle. the space where what is to come flows into what has gone. There is a flow of feeling as each inch of the foot contacts the ground. a never ending cycle of energy flowing in its natural pattern. In more recent times many of the newer students have complained that they don't have time to practice or they are so busy and stressed out. the endless chatter of our mind begins to soften its grip on us. the endless array of images that crowd our consciousness. and return to what is actually happening. we are able to recognize more and more of what is present in our minds and bodies. bone and chi continuously spirals. The center of the circle as well as the central axis of our own body. balanced by the utter stability of its central core. And in that still space there is a moment of deep satisfaction and openness. 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. our bodies are continuously in motion. I don't think it's true that these students have no time to practice. 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. we are circling a point in time as well as space. feel and concentrate can create a subtle sense of strain. Without the endless stream of images blocking our view. tissue. Again and again we recognize each arising thought for what it is. deep in their hearts they don't feel like doing it. the stillness at the core of all movement. Again and again we return to the present. When working with your own internal practice. it's difficult to keep up their practice of tai chi or chi gung. of our sensations and our energy. Again we step and turn around the middle point. that unchanging axis around which everything is moving and manifesting. inevitably we again drift off into the nether realms of our minds. There is no past or future in Circle Walking. there is only the eternal present. on this path that is always changing yet ever present.In a sense. alive within our bodies. to the awareness of our breath. For the experience of our actual aliveness is a reward far richer than the most opulent imaginings. accepts the weight of our body ounce by ounce and then the spring as it releases and lifts to step again. but my intuition is that there is a sense of strain in their practice. what we are made of and what surrounds us. and a joyfulness that comes from simply being alive and unique in this time and place. Yet.
How is your spine? Feel all the way down your spine. I wanted to learn to play blues guitar. just sit back and relax into your stance. Take a stroll in the woods and as you walk just casually begin to go inside. Every day I practiced in a set session for about an hour. let go of tension. feel your way through a stretch. When you're brewing your coffee first thing in the morning. and even took private lessons. Example. You can apply the same kind of softness to your regular practice also. stretch them forward and gently lay all the pads of your toes back on to the floor. How are your shoulders? Do the same thing. So what was wrong with my full practice? I think it was the strain of trying to get it right. bring your awareness to your feet. People often report to me that standing is difficult for them. Keep going for as long as you feel comfortable with it and there is no strain. But still I couldn't seem to make it flow. Enjoy it. watching the person in front of you so slowly packing their bags. Feel how your head is held. Let your shoulders drop. If you were standing in soft mud it would be your heels which would be sinking. I'm willing to bet a least a fiver you'll feel much better at the end of your walk. Let your tailbone sit down into your heels. Now lift all your toes from the floor. even for a few minutes becomes a frustrating experience. way back when I was young. Then progress became quite swift and for a while back in those days I could play a pretty mean blues guitar. but of casual practice. So here is an example not so much of micro practice. 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. go for a walk. I followed all the instructions to the letter. My progress was very slow and I didn't seem to be able to get into the feel of how to play blues guitar. try the art of micro practice. 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. 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. they say that standing. trying to remember their pin number as they pay. of not being natural about it. Is there any tension or strain? Just casually let it go. Gradually you will find that your whole body is beginning to relax and become more fluid. Did you ever see a cat overstretch? Practice like a cat. begin to let your pelvis hang as you walk. 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. Begin to sit into your stance so that your weight sinks into your heels. instead of being in a hurry. The desire to move about becomes so strong that they fidget and fidget and finally give up. let them drop. I did this a number of times a day since it seemed effortless just for a few minutes and I didn't really care how well I did. and just have a moment of peace. standing in the kitchen. Feel how your feet contact the floor. direct your tailbone forward until you can feel the pressure going into the middle of the arch of the foot. It was just for the enjoyment of it.This reminds me of a time. If you can't stand to stand. Let your body . standing on the balls of your feet. After some attempts. 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. let your pelvis drop.
When you don't feel like doing any more. I don't know if they were trying to show off or compete with each other. but couldn't care less? While the eccentricities of our faculty of Senior Instructors might also make for some interesting stories.. But you won't find this group hunched over a table. There will be plenty of opportunity throughout the rest of the day. For Instructor trainings. most of them two decades. is actively engaged in passing along his Taoist lineage. on the spot and in front of all 80 of us. Bruce Frantzis. The teaching ran the gamut from jackhammer-style bounces through a well-aligned leg to more playful. and in my opinion. squinting at a manuscript. 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." While you have to be a bit of a mad scientist to endlessly experiment with what these practices feel like in your body. For many people traveling from all over the country and Europe. and everybody came up with their own way to express the same thing. do-what-I-do guided follow-along. At the end of the session though. and a couple are pushing three decades of study with him. have fun. tai chi. go and do something else. 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. . Each SI was asked to tutor a new student on how to find alignments from the hips through the feet. the Senior Instructors play an important role as a gateway to the lineage. this is a rare opportunity to work closely with an experienced Instructor. the SI's have assumed even more teaching responsibility. at an Energy Gates training in California. and ba gua. springy and youthful. Two summers ago. each student "got it" and the rest of us saw how you can teach the "right thing" in your own way.for micro practice. we had a chance to see just how differently each one approached something as simple as basic leg alignments. complacent students to forge a moral identity? Was he a wacky physicist who could barely keep his shoes tied. The more I study with our SI's. the dean of this university.. light. not a science. They all have at least a decade and a half of direct study with Bruce. Now. In academia this level of reflection and refinement puts them at the forefront of their fields. they have between them the depth and wealth of knowledge of any top university when it comes to chi gung. the more I also appreciate something Bruce often says: "Chi gung is an art. None of them flinched. don't worry. as with Gods last summer. they've invested countless hours practicing arts that helps them and their students stay vibrant. Instead. Of course. 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.hang.
They will also coteach a weekend on tai chi standing postures. refine your Short Form. I have many case examples to illustrate. Eric. Several years ago. and Alan teaching a collaborative tai chi immersion week in April. He felt pain free after six sessions. Chi Gung Tui Na works well for a broad variety of physical. The training features opportunities to learn the Short Form. While Alan can still be found marching students up and down through their Brush Knee paces. I like to check out different healing modalities. I went on to study the whole Chi Gung program and Tai Chi with Bruce. . the pain in his body moved progressively out of his body. Brookline Tai Chi will be hosting Craig. despite completing a series of physical therapy sessions. I was impressed and immediately hooked. In my experience. For a long time the school was anchored by its founder Bill Ryan with the support of Alan Dougall.but they also play the role of filling in missing pieces for the students that have less experience. Each one comes away with a different insight. but to me. feet and head. or refine your Long Form. He had pain throughout his body. California doing various kinds of Asian Bodywork Therapy at the time and I was studying Chi Gung in San Jose. I worked with a man who had fallen off an 80 foot scaffold and landed on concrete. This latter role is something they are able to do at several levels. even if it's the same topic. I've seen them do this firsthand at Brookline Tai Chi as well. In Bruce's classes I saw and experienced how quickly Chi Gung Tui Na can specifically target and release energy blockages throughout the body. Achyness and pain was released from his organs out the extremities as well. In a series of six sessions. In the spirit of this interchange. 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 more their work as individual practitioners and individual teachers is transformed into something whole and more accessible for all the people that they teach. I thought that Chi Gung Tui Na would be a good technique to use since it would help to reconnect the disturbed flow of energy at the core channel level that runs through the center of the joints and bones. It is like being allowed to overhear scholars debate an ancient text. stress related and energetic imbalances. 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. I had a private practice in Palo Alto. and the tradition stays alive through this interchange. here's what's so exciting about this event: the more the Senior Instructors start teaching together. I come away with fresh insight. You can get more information about these events through the BTC webpage. I have been very curious about different healing modalities and energy development practices since I was teenager. more recently Eric Peters and Craig Barnes have assumed regular roles as weekend workshop Instructors. structural. moving from the torso out the five extremities of the hands. Each time I study with these Senior Instructors. 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 have incorporated Chi Gung Tui Na into my hands-on energetic bodywork practice ever since.
It was not much of a problem until recently. mobility of the joints. Zen Shiatsu. such as kwa squats. first the ankle. the joint was very stiff and afterwards there was a lot of springiness in the ankle joint. Pumping the limbs is a quick and easy technique to use for integration. cerebrospinal system. After about a minute. 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. My Asian bodywork students found that Chi Gung Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu blended very well together. deeper spiraling pathways. Recently.Once I worked with a man who limped into the office just minutes after breaking his leg. internal organs. mobility. alignment and health of the joints. connective tissue. and core channels in the joints and bones. fascia. the mobility in the ankle joint tremendously increased to almost as much mobility as the other ankle. Simple Chi Gung exercises are great to teach clients to assist structural integration after the sessions. nerves. massage therapists and lay people. acupuncture meridian system. What I find unique about Chi Gung Tui Na is the way it clears patterns from the muscles. The unwinding techniques release the imbalances in the muscles. clearing the stiffness in the affected quadrants of the joint. nervous system. OrthoBionomyâ practitioners. Before the session. structural alignment and posture. we heard a loud crack as his bone adjusted itself back into place. or twisting or pumping the arms with the arms parallel. fascia. tendons. My students and I have found that Chi Gung Tui Na complements the structural balancing techniques of Ortho-Bionomy really well. meridian lines and core energetic levels all in one session with one integrated comprehensive system. He found that wearing shoes with cushioned soles helped a lot. I taught Chi Gung Tui Na for over 10 years primarily to Asian bodywork therapists. knee and then hip to stabilize the core flow of energy in the leg. thus stabilizing the changes throughout the whole 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. I then finished with pulsing the joints of the leg. 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. and Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure diploma and certificate programs and a 100-hour Chi Gung program. and connective tissues that pull the joints out of alignment. ligaments. I . He walked out of the office with no limp and no pain. Doctors were suggesting ankle replacement surgery. I pulsed the ankle joint. such as the myo-fascial system. I usually teach simple components of Energy Gates movements that we learn as preparatory exercises to the complete movements of Energy Gates. Ortho-Bionomy is an osteopathic based structural and energy balancing system developed by a British osteopath. 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. as well as 500-hour and 200-hour Chi Gung Tui Na. The Western bodywork systems I have seen focus on systems of the body separately. After one session of Chi Gung Tui Na. including the spine. or internal organs. joints. 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. Arizona I developed and directed a two-year degree program in Asian Bodywork. When I lived in Scottsdale. I worked with a man who had badly broken his ankle 25 years earlier where the tendons had to be reattached. The pulsing techniques restore the spring.
psychotherapists and physicians to prevent practitioner burnout. it becomes increasingly important to have a clear. and Chinese health exercises. gain a better understanding and make more informed decisions when beginning or furthering a qigong practice. Dragon and Tiger is excellent for energy workers. whether a novice or someone with some qigong experience. relatively unchanged. called qi. qigong is a diverse system for working with the energy of life. 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. Most simply put. Although the word "qigong" has only been in common usage since the 1950s. the practice originated in Asia between three and five thousand years ago (depending on which sources are quoted). It is a vital. many of the most ancient methods still exist and are practiced today.often do some Chi Gung after a Western bodywork session to integrate the effects of work on that one system within the whole. This overview will provide a foundation to help the reader. maintaining emotional calm. living practice that continues to be researched. I also am better able to help my Chi Gung students with their specific issues. The awareness of internal blockages and how various areas of the body interrelate has increased my internal awareness in my own Chi Gung practice. to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. I find that the results of the session last longer. body workers. I have found my Chi Gung Tui Na and Chi Gung practice complement each other well. strengthening the immune system. Energy Medicine. Some of its benefits include improving health. As a result. However. developed. Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung is a good place to start.500 hours of training in Asian Bodywork. 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. Qigong Basics for Everyone INTRODUCTION As interest in the theory and practice of qigong continues to grow in the United States. it's a good idea to know more about that practice. acupuncturists. It is excellent for quickly improving your ability to feel energy deep inside the body and in the energy field. increasing energy. basic understanding of exactly what it is. and with so many varieties of qigong available for study. 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. and promoting longevity. By Susan Kansky Susan has 7. She has been teaching Chi Gung and Asian bodywork since 1986. reducing stress. If you are going to invest your time and money into a daily practice. and adapted for contemporary life. .
you're just doing an exercise. the word gong was applied to the work people did. For our purposes. a merchant. Sometimes it may be interpreted as "breath" or "breathing". However." Even that isn't complete. "for the purpose of being able to sense. and that awareness deepens as one advances in their practice. full awareness. medically. Historically. or practice. the craft or profession a person pursued." While repetition is part of a every qigong practice. store and mobilize qi at will. their gong provided them with an ever deepening understanding not just of their profession but of life. or breathing exercises. no matter if they were a farmer. Note that it is made up of two separate syllables. energy work. since that will tell us a lot about the actual practice. That's the most direct and accurate interpretation when using the word "qi" in relation to qigong and Chinese medicine. An exercise is usually something you can learn how to do very quickly. The simple word "practice". it is not a martial art.DEFINING THE WORD TO UNDERSTAND THE PRACTICE Let's take a look at the word qigong itself. we'll consider the translation of qi to be "vital life energy" or "life force". These are okay as far as they go. it's incomplete when discussing qigong. and then little or no further thought is given to it. and longevity. For convenience. Even when leaving aside tonal considerations. it may be applied for . martially. Here. so that its meaning is at once more clear. Although it may be applied martially. since the regulation of the breath is one of the three main concerns of all qigongs as we'll see below. It is done with full attention. When combined with the word "qi". exercise. every word has many possible meanings and may be used in various contexts. If we take that understanding into account. in order to promote health. which can create erroneous expectations and diminish the results of our practice. Here. In fact. the most often-seen translations are energy exercises. the word "exercise" is sometimes used as a gentle admonition by a qigong master correcting a novice: "You're not doing qigong. and even "breathing exercises" may be conditionally acceptable. whether that means practicing the piano or establishing a medical practice. we miss some important considerations and have at best a partial understanding. Implied within the word gong is the concept of time. it may be applied medically. since as one progresses farther in qigong. and is a better choice than the word "exercise". skill. we can amend that with. "practice" becomes a suitable translation for gong. As one became more accomplished in their work through practicing it over time. but it is not medicine. acquire. the syllables are combined to form the single word qigong. gong means effort put into something over a period of time in order to achieve a desired result. More specifically. it might be helpful to state what qigong is not. "qi" and "gong". it is used to cultivate power. if we limit ourselves to these interpretations." Because all gong has a purpose or goal. which may be applied secularly. 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. or a politician. while its benefits are provided through rote repetition. the word "energy" is commonly used alone. also includes the aspect of investing effort over a period of time. an artisan. one of the common translations of gong. a soldier. In the Chinese language every syllable is a discrete word. vitality. Gong is most commonly translated as work. or combinations of all of those. it is never done by rote. as an entry point into deeper spiritual practices. Although that's another literal translation of the word qi.
and visualization used at early stages of practice. Fire methods involve an element of force. . Water methods are largely free from these problems. Metal. and so are often also the basis for many medical qigongs. Confucian qigongs are well suited for intellectual workers. Confucian. In broad terms. and any individual may practice more than one style of qigong as suits their needs.spiritual development. Any one type of qigong may include some elements of another style. Here are some hallmarks of each. However. which would also include Wood. while healers would be more likely to practice a medical qigong. In both systems. it may be practiced by anyone to improve their quality of life. and Martial. Each of the five philosophical bases may include Fire or Water methods. taiji. Historically. The qi is guided downwards in these practices. this may make it seem as though Fire methods are more desirable practices. This is not to be confused with classical Five Element qigong practices. These include Daoist. Daoist qigongs are designed to help one align with the energy and rhythm of the natural world. a smooth continuous flow of the breath. and are a subset of daoist qigongs. Fire methods really require careful. interests. all qi practices were taught to students who were either living with or at least regularly visiting their teacher. and promote mental clarity and intellectual achievement. Fire methods tend to produce more dramatic results earlier on. and in various traditions each method may contain aspects of the other. Accordingly. Buddhist qigongs help foster the values of compassion. The following descriptions are generalities only. For example. the potential downside is that a quick and dramatic result may easily destabilize a novice student. FIRE METHODS. or other gongfu practices to further specific martial abilities. Like fire itself. and Earth. either purposely or due to the nature of the practice itself--fire rises! By contrast. martial artists would more likely practice a martial style qigong. At first glance. both to heal themselves and others. and to replenish themselves after treating numerous patients throughout the day. Of course these are not mutually exclusive rigid delineations. such as Iron Shirt Qigong. ongoing guidance from a qualified teacher in order to insure that the teacher can observe and immediately correct any potential qi deviation. social awareness and equality. as water sinks. and developing a felt sense of qi flow and internal structures and processes. you eventually want to have a balanced upward and downward flow of qi. Qi is often guided upwards. The purpose of each variation is to help the practitioner achieve a particular goal or objective. Buddhist. while Water methods may take a little longer for the student to notice the changes that are occurring. as in the tensing of muscles. regardless of how else they may one day choose to apply that practice. Water methods are based on relaxation and release. and the ability to move it in other planes as well. Within each of those five constructs exists hundreds of form variations. focusing on health and longevity. PHILOSOPHICAL BASES There are five main philosophical bases that underlie any qigong. WATER METHODS There are two other broad umbrella categories of qigong. health and longevity. and these are the Fire and Water methods. holding of the breath. current level of ability and available time. Medical. but it is not a religion.
so that qi is able to circulate unimpeded at that level. and deeper anatomical and energetic structures. and it is true that both moving and stationary qigong practices may serve as a bridge to meditation. commonly called the Three Regulations. Additional components may be layered into a practice that work with specific body tissues. nerves. The synchronized coordination of the Three Regulations is used to either just mobilize and guide qi within the body. sitting. qigong is not meditation. Whether physically moving or still. MOVING AND QUIESCENT Most complete qigong systems include a balance between moving and stationary practices. They all require that the practitioner learns to regulate their body. and is crucial to eventually learning to regulate the qi directly. quiescent qigong practices remind people of meditation. the regulation of the mind is used to regulate the body and the breath. all qigongs have this much in common. and mind.having safeguards built in to their methodology. Many consider the lying down practices as the most advanced. THE THREE REGULATIONS Regardless of the form or philosophical basis. The coordinated regulation of the body. This can be done simultaneously to rid the body of pathogenic or otherwise unusable qi. While it may be tempting to use that familiar nomenclature. that can amplify qi flows. and promotes better organ functioning. or lying down. and these are not usually taught to a beginning or intermediate student unless they are bedridden and have no other choice. increases blood flow to and from the organs. mainly because even the word qigong is new to many westerners. This brings more nourishment to the organs. and mind helps to guide and regulate the qi. In earlier stages of practice. organs. and so are often referred to as meditation or as "standing meditation". This is also a deeper aspect of the . to be stored at the end of the practice. breath. This is more correctly called "neigong". and through gentle internal pressurization. Regulating the breath allows for more oxygen and qi to be acquired from the atmosphere. the mind is both quiet and in active sensing mode. removes toxins more efficiently. Once learned. Muscle-tendon meridians overlay the main acupuncture meridians. Something different is going on here. or it may be used to move qi into and out of the body. The stationary practices may be done standing. both methods are equally powerful. and opening them helps to release tension (and the consequent restriction or pain) from muscles and tendons. and adding another new word may only create confusion when they are essentially part of the same continuum. open a body more completely. Regulating the body opens the muscle-tendon meridians. glands. and body cavities among other things. This is one way of creating a balance between Yin (quiet) and Yang (active) energies within a body. which may be useful in cases of qi stagnation manifesting as stiffness and pain for example. breath. attending to the Three Regulations and working with the qi. and to gather more healthy qi from the environment. Whether done standing or sitting. and the focused attention of the mind to specific movements encourages qi flow along specific pathways. Few US teachers make the distinction between calling a practice a qigong or a neigong. or inner practice. and awaken other inner senses.
In some daoist traditions. It's where qi is stored at the end of any practice session. or combined. it's especially important to attend to drawing qi out of the head after a stationary practice. there is a sense of working at or even beyond our full capacity. from the top of their head to the lower dantian. so it's somewhat easier to get a stronger circulation of qi throughout the body. Second. In addition to clearing the head of qi that may get stuck there. STORING QI In moving qigongs there's usually a more even balance among the regulations of body. Too often when we think of effort. maintaining a margin of safety. The lower dantian is a main energy center in the body. the likelihood of burnout. and if maintained over time. When practicing qigong. or in trying to accomplish anything in life for that matter. While it may be done by the mind alone. whether moving. This type of effort is problematic if you are trying to become healthier and stronger. and because of that it‘s possible for some qi to get stuck in the head. The more you put in. as some masters call it. you proceed at 70% of that capacity. leading to increased stress. the concept of applying "effort over time" was introduced. Although these can be qualities that initially attract some people to the practice. it creates more tension in your nervous system. EFFORT IN QIGONG PRACTICE In defining qigong above. negating most of the value of the practice. breath and mind. your 100% capacity is also increased commensurately. you leave yourself no margin of error. or colloquially as "the 70% rule". Storing qi at the end of a qigong session is like putting money into your savings account. without strain. This sets you up for various types of strain and injury. and as your 70% ability increases. You can then put full effort into that 70%. Obviously. Moving practices are extremely varied. at the end of their practice. all of the diseases associated with high levels of stress. is necessary to progress farther in qigong cultivation. the more you will have to draw from when you need it. most importantly the movements are designed to help guide the qi. most often occurring at whatever is your particular weakest link. which can present some unique challenges. and then sink it to penetrate the body. In most qigongs. this is not a way to build health. and may seem exotic. if you are working at your maximum. located slightly below the navel and towards the spine. Accordingly. quiescent. First. In stationary practices. . and encourage it to flow in the ways necessary to achieve the intended results. much or all of the gathered qi will dissipate. using the mind to regulate itself. there should be a sense of "full effort without strain". the mind may do more of the work. working at full effort without strain is referred to as "The Golden Mean". no safety zone.Regulation of the Mind. This guideline states that after ascertaining your true 100% capacity. depending on the type of qigong being practiced and the specific desired result. Without storing at the end of the session. some teachers like to insure this happens by teaching their students to physically wipe their body down. graceful. this facilitates the movement of qi to the lower dantian. the movements are flowing. You'll always have that extra 30% to draw on if you really need it. There are many possible ways to sink the qi. This "qigong state of mind".
Meditation and the Dissolving Practices of the Water School of Taoism as put forth by Lao Tse. and a clear mind.compassionate-arts. Well. Steven Cardoza (First published in the Spring 2008 issue of Qi Journal) Biographical Information Steven Cardoza. Again yesterday I was drawn into a substantive discussion about life. depending on where you are at this point in your life. L. Different teachers and authors may use different terminology to express similar concepts. (after being asked) and I shared Prayer.. which will positively impact every part of your life. I've minimized the use of Chinese words to keep things in a more familiar context for US readers.com. but with a little research you may find just the right fit for you. even more than are introduced here. www. and raised a few more for you to consider.. especially those new to qigong. life is a spiritual quest . You'll also find more detailed general information on qigong and taiji there. is a licensed acupuncturist." I also believe that ultimately. Meditation Is Not What You Think I honestly believe that "we are spiritual beings enjoying a physical respite. You really do have to put some effort into your practice. herbalist. Different teachers and authors will also have their favorite approaches based on their training and experience.. a peaceful heart.for wholeness. “so what!” that doesn't change anything does . I wish you all the best on your journey! © 2007. even if you "only" got that far. because they resonate with the Divine/ The Universal Consciousness. to make sure you'll be getting what you need. He is certified to teach Wu taiji and qigong by Taoist lineage holder Master Bruce Frantzis. there are many different styles and variations to qigong. and nutrition counselor with a private practice in the Boston area.Ac. but just 20 or 30 minutes of daily qigong will yield greater health with more energy. ideally making it a part or your daily life. and for the sole purpose of saying "I don't believe that". I was sharing. M. how wonderful would that be? The qigongs that I personally practice and teach are primarily of the Daoist and Medical (Water) traditions. The important thing to keep in mind in that regard is that while any one qigong may not intrinsically be better than any other. medical qigong practitioner. the Source of all. Although you could take it well beyond that point if you choose. but the concepts should be familiar when encountered in other settings. I said.. that it's answered some questions you may have about qigong. completeness and reconnection to our ultimate source! I believe the words of Jesus and Buddha and Ghandi regarding Meditation and "Thinking on these things!" Why? Because I have proven them true in my own life! I find I resonate deeply with the poets like Blake and Rumi. Kabir etc. you may visit my website. there are qigongs (or other related practices) that may be better for you. here. Doing any qigong will likely be better than doing none. Here. someone interrupted.Sc.CONCLUDING REMARKS As you can see. For more information on these classes. bodyworker. I hope this has been helpful and informative. Discuss any concerns you may have with a prospective teacher before beginning a practice.
.. One of the first things I learned about Taoism and life-practice was to go deep ! My Teacher was a wise woman. I know of traditions that say that the "gift of becoming 'connected' to Universal Consciousness can only be granted by "Gods Grace". and yes.. nodded in agreement..Really! "Meditation is not about religious beliefs." It is the "something more"...it?" He paused a bit bewildered. even if we do not yet realize it.and very practical in everyday life. Many people 'can no longer feel' ! BK Frantzis the Taoist master responded to the question... the supremacy of one religion over another. Yes. here and now... categorize and type everything.. Stillness. Befuddled thinking.that "more" that makes us human and divine at the same time.." Meditation is a straightforward process.. it is a 'tool' (and not another religion). affords balance and centeredness. trying to name this and that. and no religion or tradition has a corner on it! I think we lived in a time of "Premature Evaluation".. it's universal.. Lao Tse and Chuang Tse.. people can fool themselves into thinking they have 'dealt with it. The Creative and Sustaining Power of the . or it might be the current bent of "Virtual Reality". Industrial societies are inclined to reduce human beings to unfeeling machines. or how do we say it. and it can. Meditation..a tool to help you find within yourself that spiritual spark.where sights and sounds are disembodied from human feeling. There are a myriad of additional benefits to meditation...it is what creates the environment for the 'gift of Grace' to occur. "Grace" is a word and concept found in Taoism and Buddhism et al..most of the rigidity is gone"!."it is the Practice that leads to freedom. the inner-truths of the Universe.. Rather. One my most precious realizations is “the softening of my mind and thoughts. not just a chosen few.. from China who was teaching around.. and even allows me to find perspective and to slow down.. and even was an Interpreter in South America.. there is clearly something 'more' in people. more than simply the intellect. 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.(virtual means 'almost')....the practice of actually doing Chi Gung/Tai Chi and Meditation... It is this 'something more' that we seek to know in Stillness and in Meditation.. perhaps it's the "Electronic World" of image without substance. else why would Jesus and the other great teachers of wisdom like Buddha. By perhaps naming it..perhaps so that we would run out of time to 'allow it to be absorbed' and become real in our lives. and she shared."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..."As a defense to avoid mental/emotional horror.and they are for everyone. OH.. Within the realm or practice of meditation there are gifts or results to be enjoyed/realized. It became a part of her.and I also believe that those who receive it realize it from silence and hard work. Truth is truth.."Put it to bed?" My Wife Dawn studied Spanish for many years. Meditation is a very important facet of life. Muhammad.. I asked Dawn once when she finally knew she 'knew Spanish' had gotten a 'hold' on it. "Just come apart and rest a while". Rumi and Kabir and countless others down through the years up to and including the Dali Lama.. like those Reality TV programs. I share that to share this. Ghandi."pick a theory": as one is as good as another. She responded that it was when she started dreaming in Spanish. I have found that meditation helps with Stress. and I urge you to engage and find them out for your self. or about what a human being should or should not do. entreat us to Meditate! On your way to Oneness with the Universal Consciousness/God or by Whatever Name you name the UnNameable One..
You'll be able to relax more and often quicker and deeper. It was a weekend seminar with the subject "Bend the Bow". With that.you'll discover wisdom and balance and peace-of-mind. Try It. the closer you'll come to arriving at your own connection to the Universal Consciousness. By EA Instructor Fred Gordon About the Tai Chi and Qi Gong School Ulm/Neu-Ulm. "Meditation is not what you think!" I rather like what Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Thinking : "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much.Albert Einstein However. and yet. and even rest..... Ralph has training in NLP and experience in healing work. 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 ".and more"..and rest and peace ! I have not tried to defend or define meditation for you that is your personal discovery. Generosity. the Blackfoot Indians would say: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. In 1991 we opened our own school in Neu-Ulm. Although at that time we had more than 8 years of experience of Qi Gong and Tai Chi training. who was also an important help to us.. we frequently attended seminars on these subjects. Compassion.Universe. At this first weekend with Bruce we had the impression of learning more in a few hours than in the entire previous 5 years. and the more you are open to and engage in Meditation. Because both of us have always been interested in meditation. 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. 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 met Bruce for the first time in Darmstadt in 1993.. and Ba Gua Chang. traditional Russian martial art (Systema).. the more you engage in Meditation the more simple it becomes.. Jamie Dibdin was very helpful to us at this time and later we met Paul Cavel. Elisabeth has certification for biodynamic body psychotherapy and a license as a healing practitioner. You Just might like it ! Just remember. and the more fruitful it is for you. I also have not tried to tell you what life is or isn't. which we completed successfully in spite of the language barrier. We were simultaneously fascinated by the internal power and clarity that Bruce showed and frustrated on finding out how little we knew about internal work (Nei Gung) at that time. .. healing and martial arts. we were hooked on Bruce's work and have attended since . It took about 4 years until we were able to teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong full time as professionals. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. whose intrinsic balance will naturally focus through you the qualities of Love and Equanimity. Kindness and Wisdom. He prepared us for the first instructor training in 1997 in Anvil Ranch. 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. Ralph had also trained earlier in Tae Kwon Do. Joy. In the healing arts.
What form of knowledge is he referring . Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming. how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me.that time seminars in the US. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. I know it by the river Hao. so that we can become more proficient ourselves and be better able to pass on this knowledge to as many students as possible. it is especially important to help our students to achieve greater inner freedom and peace. A year later. For us. Essentially the question of the passage is what Chuang Tse meant in his final line. this time with content that has probably been very rarely encountered elsewhere in the world. we had a special gift from him: a consecration of our teaching area by a rare Taoist ceremony. We pass on all that we learn from Bruce to our students. 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 courses take place mainly in the evenings and in some cases in the mornings and at weekends. Many students have told us since then that they find it particularly easy to learn internal principles in our school. free and at ease. Many thanks for all we have learned up to now. how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. Our specially intensive and relaxing Qi Gong and Tai Chi Summer Week in August is also very popular. we very often asked Bruce if he could give more instruction on this topic in our school. Greece. We are glad and very grateful that these seminars have been so successful in communicating this material since they began. Since 1999 we were able have Bruce visit our school each year to give seminars. so that some students travel from other European countries to Neu-Ulm just for weekend courses. which we also think is the most valuable thing that a teacher can impart. This is the joy of fish. you had to know I knew it already to begin with. many participants talked about unusually positive experiences that they had received. After this meditation. but I know you are not a fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. England and Germany almost every year. Ivanhoe: Chuang Tse and Hui Tse are wandering across a bridge on the river Hao. Therefore. We look forward to more opening of internal space and more teaching from Bruce on this subject. that's how. 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. Others travel many miles for scheduled evening courses and private instruction. Our many years of experience and competent instruction have become well known. A highlight this year was certainly the full moon meditation that Bruce conducted. When you asked me what fish like.
You do not have that ability." The natural explanation is valid by the viewpoints of Taoism. however. Thus deciphering the intended meanings of Taoist literature is quite difficult. and the fish are engaging in their natural habits. Let's try to go back to where it was clear. Bruce Frantzis. My understanding comes from being able to see the emptiness inside the river and comprehend its essence. it's quite a difficult concept to explain. When you asked me what fish like. 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. the topic doesn't end there. and thus believe I have cornered you in this argument. so I can tell that the fish enjoy what they are doing here. Their writings tended to be in obscure metaphorical language. . Next issue we shall focus upon the relationship between the meanings encoded within these texts and actual Taoist meditative practices. Chuang Tse: You've already distorted the truth through your mental framing of this.to? Not surprisingly." Fortunately. and hence I won. Chuang Tse: I felt like using a Taoist technique. but allowing radically differing interpretations to coexist within the same text is a feat in of itself. Thus the Taoist tradition has been able to survive for centuries. The skills of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse were admirable. the best one I have seen thus far is "Taoists believe in the flow of nature. Out of those. If there is really a different form of knowing that exists. therefore the fish are happy. Hui Tse: I missed the hidden interpretation of your point. 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. Some of mystical ideas which constitute the intended meaning are very foreign to Western forms of thought and language. but feels lacking in comparison to its context. It is not.. opens up a much larger question. All the great Taoist sages practiced mysticism rather than merely being intelligent philosophers. it feels like being cheated to be told to leave it simply at "do what is natural. 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. 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. you made the assumption my form of knowing is equivalent to yours. and I have seen a variety of differing but very well thought out answers to address it. I can see this truth through the technique of emptiness. This interpretation. Weaving a few double meanings into a passage is difficult enough.
it is no good.Part II While many differing interpretations for the Taoist texts (ie. I believe that emptiness can be defined as the following: All objects rather than being solid are mostly empty and this emptiness exists as a state of flux whose vibrations give rise to solid form. The first involved a friend who had begun practicing something with me to open one of his doorways of perception. This represents a radical divergence from most other meditative systems. An example of this appears in Chapter 2: Everyone in the world knows that when the beautiful strives to be beautiful. and vibrating forms of energy which create the force which gives rise to physical matter. In each Taoist text. This is the category to which emptiness belongs. One can also note how this meditation concept also makes sense in daily life. quantum physics accepts infinitely changing possibilities of the universe. but this aspect will not be the primary focus. One of this method's primary defining traits is to never push or force things to occur. Bruce told us that my friend had glimpsed one of the opening stages of emptiness. This idea exists in other mystical traditions as well. Lao Tse writes numerous passages to show the negative results of strain. The Book of Chuang Tse and Lao Tse's Tao de Jing) exist. Instead. The 70% rule itself is quite simple: Don't push anything beyond 70% in your body or mind. some of the other meditation concepts are much more abstract and difficult to prove. 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. Everyone knows that when the good strives to be good. All matter is composed of atoms which are mostly empty. Some concepts of Taoist meditation overlap with the Taoist view of how society should function (a core concept of the Tao de Jing). so a less cliché explanation is preferable. A good example of this is Lao Tse's 70% rule in the Tao de Jing. the true essence of which is ingrained within their philosophy. In the Tao de Jing. and prove it is not the only reference to Taoist meditation. Generally the point is taught through analogy. In both cases strain produces a negative outcome. Initially my only real basis for understanding emptiness was to link this idea to quantum physics. . However. it is repulsive. primarily Buddhism and Hinduism. In addition. this article only concerns those that relate to Taoist meditation. Before long he was able to use this to guide the conversation and see everything that would happen. in essence indirectly teaching the 70% rule. and as such meshes with the flux idea. Emptiness was an abstract concept like the one before to me until I had a few personal experiences to show it existed. Nevertheless quantum physics is often used as proof for many metaphysical concepts and at times done so incorrectly. Both Lao Tse and Chuang Tse belonged to the water tradition of Taoist meditation. hence one should not strain. the aim is to explain the fish story. a few major meditative principles or techniques are focused on and restated. normally in continually differing ways. The goal of Taoism is to understand the universe. which was a very interesting experience. which force pathways in the mind to open up and shape themselves according to the intention of the practitioner.
and some parts of my brain started going into spasm. it's fair to assume Chuang Tse's writings about internal emptiness can be applied to external ones as well. This technique is by no means exclusive to Taoism (for instance the Hindus refer to it as Samādhi). and mentioned it numerous times throughout their writings. I began to notice things having a rippling translucent layer on top of them. the question is how. 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. Working with the notion of emptiness thus is a primary goal of Taoism. The modern focus is much more on the external world." which in turn leads to the Tao. I was tired.. Of course. Here are two that I feel show the importance not just of seeing the emptiness in objects (and in turn their fundamental essence). Here Chuang Tse is making the point that different forms of thinking exist. Only the Way gathers in emptiness. Chapter 4: May I ask about fasting of the mind? "Unify your zhi (will/plans). be it a river. In this sense of emptiness. not welcoming things as they come or escorting them as they go. In this state. only quotes from him will be mentioned. or any of the elements (or even watching a branch grow) and rather than just see the object. Since debating Chuang Tse's work is my focus. penetrate into it and see the emptiness within. Bruce once again said this was a common initial experience of emptiness.. The mind stops with signs. Chapter 7: Don't take responsibility or claim knowledge. Do not listen with your mind but listen with your chi. The core essence within the emptiness is something that is in a continual state of flux (and differing from one . and instead be open to the spontaneous flow of nature. Just be empty. To reach it (and later arrive at the Tao). Here Chuang Tse asserts that emptiness is the key to true knowledge.A few weeks later. Do not listen with your ears but listen with your mind. See October ChiTalk for the conclusion of this three-part series! Part III A classic Taoist technique is to gaze at something. the mind's artificially created forms melt away and bring one closer to the Tao. the name of the object drops away. Given how things seem to be connected. Listening stops with the ear. but I believe that giving experiential examples to demonstrate this abstract concept will make it easier to comprehend. and even the meaning one attached to it. These examples may seem outside the discourse of Chinese philosophy. which gradually progressed to them appearing more and more hollow (and then abruptly cut off). you must become completely unattached to your own thoughts and knowledge.. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind. Chi is empty and waits on external things. Perfect people use their minds like mirrors. which eventually arrive at the process of knowing he terms "emptiness. but of allowing that state to arise within your own mind..Take everything you get from Heaven. stream. as does its form. fire. appearance. As a result both Chuang Tse and Lao Tse deemed this to be a very important teaching to impart. but don't consider it gain.
how you can you know what I know? Hui Tse: I am not you and I do not know what you think. When you asked me what fish like. In his writings." is true and can be used to accept the entire reasoning process. Thus. for example. lists this as one of the prime aspects of his philosophy. Stanford University. Chuang Tse: Let's go back to the beginning. and Chuang Tse makes many attempts to demonstrate it rather than simply focusing on more mundane concepts. and using a belief to justify his viewpoint (not unlike a Christian trying to criticize an activity. the essence of everything attached to the river becomes clear. or at best not understood. if they were openly stated as a truth. but I know you are a not fish and therefore you cannot possibly know what fish think. I cannot fathom Chuang Tse choosing to write this passage if it's about nothing more than following what is natural. from reading biblical stories of the Devil. including the fish and all the potentialities of what everything could become. The mind state of emptiness is a profound concept. both these simple explanations don't get to the real substance or depth of the matter. Likewise. In this state of emptiness." In the story as Chuang Tse walks above the bridge. amongst other things. This is the joy of fish. it can be viewed as Chuang Tse choosing to apply the technique of emptiness to seeing that within the river. you had to know I knew it already to begin with." 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. This can be analogized to the quote that "one can never step in the same stream twice. Through seeing the flux within Hui Tse (his possible choices of speech). how you can know what fish like? Chuang Tse: You are not me. a story is created which captivates the mind and can be read on many different levels. At the same time. ridiculed. Chuang Tse is able to understand "what fish like. and given the degree of meaning he incorporates into the rest of his work. that's how. and allows those who have the ability to perceive a different paradigm. just because Lucifer is "evil. Hui Tse: You are not a fish. one could just assume Lucifer cannot be trusted to make a deal with. simply because it goes against the bible). I know it by the river Hao. Chuang Tse was able to masterfully plan out an entire conversation which turned the logic Hui Tse prided himself upon against him. free and at ease. you could assume a fairly general statement such as "fish like that which is natural. Chuang Tse: The tiao fish come out roaming." However. However. On one hand. with ideas that were so different from mainstream thought. By EA Instructor Alex Frantzis . Alternatively. I would expect them to be ignored.split second to the next). This reading makes more sense. By indirectly alluding to knowing through emptiness (in many ways the antithesis of most human knowledge). Chuang Tse avoids these pitfalls. 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. This interpretation assumes Chuang Tse was just messing with Hui Tse. Chuang Tse puts a strong emphasis on emptiness.
All sorts of claims are made about the health benefits of all sorts of health practices. Many physicians do not do enough to encourage their patients to do any form of exercise. Physicians are familiar with this type of research as it is what forms the scientific basis for much of their practice. 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. The promotion of tai chi as an exceptionally safe. 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. In order to have an effective program the patient must actually show up for the classes. 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.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. One is. 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. Although research has already documented many of the significant health benefits of tai chi. far too few physicians regularly recommend it to 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. Since almost all physicians know that exercise is beneficial. enjoyable and beneficial form of exercise can play an important role in helping the medical community utilize the powerful health benefits of exercise. Presenting physicians with the results of research will be far more effective than just saying that tai chi works. do not feel confident in that role. why don't more talk about it or specifically prescribe it to their patients? There are probably a number of reasons. 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. many physicians. If we want to ask a physician to recommend tai chi to their patients we need not only to be able to answer their questions and present a compelling and scientifically accurate reasons for them to do so. 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. Research is the link to the medical community Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for medical research. The importance of exercise for health is widely recognized in the medical community. Getting the physician to recommend tai chi may be the easy part. and few have anywhere near .
Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. 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. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involve other Energy Arts certified instructors in other research projects. For instance by 2020 the medical costs due to falls among the 55 million US seniors age 65+ are expected to grow to over 54. it will be very helpful if at least some Energy Arts certified instructors become involved in research projects to investigate the benefits of their classes. it will be lost in the crowd. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. In most cases. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. about $1. 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. If not they will not consider it credible. Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients.000 per person. It is important for the material to be accurate since if they look a statement up and find it checks out they will feel more confident with the rest of the material. In the studies done so far. As I have already organized and carried out a small study with a local neurologist on the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson's I know that this type of research really can be done.9 billion. 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. back up material is needed. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. For instance. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. Without studies demonstrating that tai chi is an especially beneficial for one's health. Having more detailed. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves.the benefits of tai chi. If this reduction can be maintained. This material would include. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. just in savings from . it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. 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. then for a typical person age 65+. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. At some point in the future. 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. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%.
Of course. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. This material would include. Eventually the intention is to provide Energy Arts Certified Instructors material to use. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. Submit a testimonial now. In most cases. 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 fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. cancer. back up material is needed. The first step in getting physicians to recommend tai chi to their patients is to make sure that you have enough basic knowledge so that you can accurately educate them about tai chi and to have good leave-behind material both for the physician and for their patients. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. Having more detailed. The Importance of Researching the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Part II How to Promote Tai Chi to Physicians and Their Patients Last month. They could help in several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. At some point in the future. 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. If not they will not consider it credible. It is important for the material to be accurate since if they look up a statement and find it checks out they will feel more confident with the rest of the material.falls. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. 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. such as individuals age 65+. We hope that the research being compiled on the Energy Arts website will provide the foundation for such material. lung problems and diabetes. . you cannot expect to get much time with physicians. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. Chi Talk discussed the importance of clinical research in demonstrating the health benefits of tai chi. This article discusses how best to promote tai chi within the medical community. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. 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. but there should be an expectation that many would only read the summary and spot check the rest. falling down. We especially need stories on arthritis. so any materials you give them will need to be very clear and succinct. summary information targeted to the specific type of physician and information about the instructor and their tai chi classes. One component would need to be flyers the physician could give to the patients themselves.
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. it also helps to start important relationships with physicians. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. in the long term. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. just in savings from falls. In the studies done so far. Of course. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. David is especially interested in the health benefits of tai chi and chi gung.Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial. then for a typical person age 65+. 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. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. If this reduction can be maintained. it will be very helpful if at least some Energy Arts certified instructors become involved in research projects to investigate the benefits of their classes. about $1. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. As I have already organized and carried out a small study with a local neurologist on the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson's I know that this type of research really can be done. For instance by 2020 the medical costs due to falls among the 55 million US seniors age 65+ are expected to grow to over 54. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involving other energy arts certified instructors in other research projects. 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. For instance. 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. 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.000 per person. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people.9 billion. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. 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. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. such as individuals age 65+. They could help in a several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. . practicing tai chi would save $500 per person.
but waves of energy. Body. Modern physics has proven your physical body to be so. your ki. The stiller our bodies are and our minds become. You can move your life energy more quickly than your body. you have to slow your mind down to the speed of your body or life energy. As for your life energy . your physical body vibrates even more slowly. You can move your mind across the room incredibly quickly. either physically. For your mind to feel or resonate with these lower frequencies." The problem is that the energy of your mind moves very fast. the energy that is the prime focus of Chinese medicine mainstream scientists have yet to accept its existence. or what I call "life energy. The part of your mind that you use is what we call your "feeling awareness. As physicists have delved deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of physical matter. In our everyday language we acknowledge this by describing our minds in energetic terms. But in everyday life its existence is not questioned. our minds often are still one step ahead. He directed his attention toward me. So if you want to feel your body or life energy. but not nearly as fast as your mind. they have found not solid particles. on to the next thing. you must use your mind. and Life Energy Many people have trouble feeling their bodies. Who cannot answer accurately the question we ask ourselves everyday. we say things like the following. You can't move your physical body across the room so quickly. John is such a clear thinker. energetically. and your life energy as vibrating at a much lower frequency. Many people have trouble feeling their chi. it's easier to feel our body or life energy if we are not moving. Think of your mind as vibrating at a very high frequency.The Art of Feeling Chi: Mind. and then hope that our bodies arrive. the more likely we'll be able to feel. because it's so easy to move our minds ahead of our bodies. . the energy which enables your body to perform its basic functions. you have to slow it down and tune in. To feel your body or life energy. Sue has a quick mind. 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. In turn. But one common reason is that many people don't slow their minds down when they try to feel. Your physical body and your life energy are forms of energy.your chi. your prana." Why? There can be many reasons. We often first think of where we want our bodies or parts of our bodies to be. For most of us. Just focus your mind on the problem at hand. it's a little trickier. For example. how much energy do I have today? Your mind also is a form of energy. When we are moving. When they do.
try letting your body lead and your mind follow." 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. fragmentation of the mind and damage to the fragile nervous system. is the inability to "stay present." We exist in and have manifested a world of distractions. England BillRyanEnergyArts. while others had spiritual attributes. While I'm appreciative of the ingenuity of these creations and their use. Notice whether you are able to feel more than you usually would doing such a movement. we haven't learned to use technology in a balanced way. Try this simple exercise. For example computers. my general sense has been that what has crossed over from the east has been lost in translation or watered down. or whatever. Now turn your hand very slowly until that your palm faces away from you. practice exercises. just feel. Many were of a superficial nature used for stress and health. instead of "getting ahead of yourself. Living in south Florida we occasionally get hurricanes. Try to feel everything that you can in your palm and fingers. Try applying this approach to other ways that you move." as the phrase goes. it appears as if we are accelerating to an evolutionary edge. The pounding 100 mph winds suddenly stop as the calm . spirituality and whatever we are attached to that keeps us sane.To better feel your body or your life energy when you move. Senior Instructor Bill Ryan © 2008 BILL RYAN DBA MOVING TIGER Upcoming seminar: The Art of Feeling Qi on December 8 & 9 in Reading. and other technological creations used to serve us in daily life require an ever increasing need to engage our minds. Hold your palm in front of your face. Enjoy. whether it's when you walk. Wiggle your fingers if that helps. At times. From that experience. primarily to make the practices more acceptable to the general public. Let your mind move at the speed that your hand moves. stand up. This constant "being on" and "plugged in" leads to an abuse of the body's senses.com TAO Meditation Practice Since the early 60's I've been exposed to many different types of meditation techniques. including any life energy you feel in them. cell phones. Try not to think about where your hand is going. What makes a meditative mind so alien to our culture? One of the greatest difficulties for the human mind. Can you live in the city and not have the city live in you? Can we distinguish between "what is. whether from the east or west. joyous and connected. Or try letting your mind "ride" on your body. Slow your mind down and "occupy" your body and your life energy. free. This sense of acceleration is challenging our most precious and long held beliefs about human relationships. It's a unique experience to have the eye of the storm pass over you. In the center of this fragmentation is a profound sense of fear which keeps us from feeling secure.
but profound in nature. If we are learning something that patterns the nervous and energetic systems. Though this is true of learning anything. Meditation offers a way to transform consciousness through a natural fusion of body and mind. EA Instructor Frank Iborra ( WhiteCraneHealingArts. The Water method of Taoist meditation as taught by Bruce Frantzis can fill this need in our own personal evolution. and as we further develop them. especially when doing a practice that is designed to do the opposite. using the word in its old sense of ‘that which forms and shapes from the inside'. that we become what we practise. But it is much faster and more efficient not to pattern ourselves negatively in the first place. annoyed at ourselves for not learning faster or for not doing it perfectly.. which particular forms we study etc. This metaphor can be applied to the meditative mind and in fact describes the essence of true meditation. straining. The same is true of any kind of information. which is both an encouragement and a warning. ‘rubbish in. then the way it goes in will be a part of what becomes established. that tension. which all nei gung does. he feels his studies with Bruce. This transformation includes the process of letting go of all that does not allow the body. it is possible to clear negative patterns out of the system.' which is just about the movement of data. the effects of the method of study are more apparent here than in many other disciplines. strain. It's time to dissolve the obstructions that prevent our true growth on a personal and global level. We say with computers. have greatly deepened his knowledge of the energy arts. mind and spirit to naturally flow and complete itself. agitation etc. The quality of what we end up with is affected by how it enters the system. If we are tense. Study not Studying Here are some reflections on how we learn.com ) EA Instructor Frank Iborra is a state licensed and nationally certified acupuncture physician and herbalist. not in the sense of ‘information superhighway. Of course. Just as important as what we learn in the internal arts. When considering the development of pattern it is worth bearing in mind the Daoist saying. is how we learn them. from the physical to the universal. Care must be taken both at the beginning. agitated. Being careful at the beginning is very rewarding later on. which began in 2005. If we . Although he has studied the Asian arts for more than 38 years. when establishing these patterns. rubbish out'. 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. Bruce's knowledge surrounding meditation is not only unique. will be patterned into our systems along with what we are learning. One way of looking at our practice is as a way of establishing and developing patterns of flow.approaches and at the center is complete stillness. This is because internal practices affect every part of us. the internal arts do this very well.
we must do the same as we develop our practice. works against such losing and not-doing. Fundamental to the Water Method is the letting go of negative habits and blockages. decrease. then. Desires are different forms of grasping things. It is derived from a word meaning ‘fall' or ‘drop'. Does not value goods difficult to obtain. yet nothing is not done.A. This is the study of not studying. he runs the Tai Chi for Chronic Pain service for the National Health Service throughout East Kent. emotionally. ‘he who grasps fails to attain it. Studies not studying. 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. while practising. (Laozi 48) The word I translate as ‘lose' in this passage from Laozi is ‘sun'. Lose and lose until (you arrive) at not-doing Not-doing. And returns to what others pass by. This is the method of arriving at not-doing or not-acting (wu wei). one of the essential goals of Daoist practice. (Laozi 64) Notice here the importance of ‘desiring no desires'. on the other hand. Daoist Internal Arts www. He is certified in five Energy Arts subjects and is a full time internal arts teacher. which means ‘loss' in the sense of diminishment.com . Matthew Brewer has studied Tai Chi & related practices since 1994 and directly with Bruce since 1999. 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. As well as regular open classes. He who grasps fails to attain it. England.taichi. In practising Dao one loses daily. Bruce often warns those who train with him to overcome their greed. reduction. 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. Proceed at the end as at the beginning and the work will not be destroyed Thus the sage: Desires no desires.' Just as we must be careful at the beginning not to grasp at what we are learning. People often destroy their work when it is almost completed.uk. mentally etc. is a letting drop away. It is what the Laozi refers to as acting and grasping: He who acts destroys it. The attempt to grasp more than their systems can comfortably accommodate leads to people failing to establish what they could have from the training. Straining. Does not grasp and thus does not fail to attain. Thus the sage wu wei (does not act) and thus does not destroy.regularly strain physically.
strength. Tui Na is the general term for all the hands-on therapies developed by the Taoists. what to do. i. Therapeutic Techniques. As a variation you can move the body in subtle minute ways. strain. reaching beyond gross physical contact. and relaxed. and practices to address the rigors of meditation. friends. and inflammations. the effects of stress.Energy Therapies: A Taoist Perspective The healing of others is one of the five basic applications of Chi Gung. tension. sexual practices. "How do you know what the problems are. changing angles and pressures. the body needs to become soft. 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. the other four being one's own health and healing. The questions are something like. and family. balancing the energy flow will open the body. whatever doesn't feel right. Listening.e. Chi Gung Tui Na refers to the energetic therapy techniques. ask for confirmation. and how do you know if it's actually working? I. pliable. and inflexibility.e. open. and see what else you find. requires closures and constrictions. the opposite of opening. bruises. and injury (i. ageing. "Diagnosing" You can think of this as an extension of palpation skills. tension. When you feel something unusual. martial arts. Good therapy calls for some combination of the physical and energetic. Feeling. Listening really needs to be done continuously throughout the therapeutic process. temperature differences. We are fortunate to have received some of these basic techniques through Bruce's occasional offerings. 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. Reading. which are rarely taught or understood anywhere in the West. In medical terms this is Diagnosis and Treatment. 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. and the reader is advised proceed with caution and/or stick . feeling in 3 dimensions for whatever you can including basic anatomical features. etc. There are two basic skills in all therapy professions (indeed all repair professions): finding out exactly what is the problem and getting it fixed. These methods are even less well known. "Treatment" Theoretically and practically. the secondary injury after the initial assault) are constriction. weakness. Allow your mind to travel up your partner's arm without repositioning your hand. Conversely. To restore the natural. lacerations. accompanied by a compromised flow of body fluids and energy itself. hardening. It should be noted here that addressing initial injuries such as tears. or check it with physical contact. 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. and in some form is a part of most acupuncture school curricula. 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. balanced energy flow. II.
as you open and straighten energy is projected out. melt. in part because any tension or relaxation in your hands will be communicated to your client. Dissolving can and really should be incorporated into all techniques. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the skin and trace any of the acupuncture lines their full length. eliminating the need to move it off and on the body. evaporate. ice. Clearing the Meridian lines from the Etheric Field Anyone familiar with Dragon & Tiger (D&T) will understand this already. Water or Yin methods are almost risk free. .) These techniques can be divided into two broad categories: those that are purely energetic. this is not a burning through. 3. You can also release out the back of the hand. 1. i. a Fire method. while squeezing the back of your neck. and maybe compression. It is a form of Pulsing (described below. The flow may come and go through the fingers or palm or both. Take care not to squeeze or straighten excessively since muscle tension inhibits the energy flow. This 4 inch distance is the approximate outer border of the Etheric Field or Chi Body which directly governs the physical body. so much the better: try placing your hand on the skin and slowly moving away until you notice a different quality. bring to neutrality. to amplify the flow.e. elevation. Or.g. Pulling: This can be incorporated into the meridian line action. Continue beyond the body at least another 4 inches. in fact they are essentially your safety valves. Instead use your mind. then move your hand away and release/project out away from the body. soften. Energetic Techniques. rather than risk worsening a condition. 3. 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. If you can locate it by feel. 20 repetitions is standard. e. Clearing by Dissolving Dissolving is the heart of the Taoist Water methods. dissipate. Simply hold someone's hand. A. You can also use your hands to dissolve blockages in your own body and in someone else's. locate a constriction and try to clear it out by using your intention to dissolve. and move toward the end of the physical body (fingers. (I speak from experience. Hand "Pump" This technique is perhaps the easiest to learn and the most versatile. and those that mix energy and physics. This method can be used in conjunction with physical squeezing.a.) The hand is a natural energy pump: As you close or cup the hand energy is drawn into it. and is generally learned on oneself first using the mind alone. try placing your hand anywhere you would like to remove a constriction and pull until you feel like you have a handful. From here point your fingers at the line. those involving little or no physical contact or manipulation. creating some kind of connection with the skin. 2. or head) clearing out constrictions as you go. Although the mind must be focused and strong. etc. which carries its own risks. focused and relaxed. toes.to the accepted Western methods of rest.
much like clearing out a ditch with a stream of water. There are as many as 20 ways to do it. until some release is felt or until any movement finishes. All these fields have the capacity to expand out into the cosmos. 2.g. I generally give it 5 minutes to begin softening before deciding whether to continue or switch gears. the same as the body. Fascia Pull The layer of fascia just beneath the skin is the inner border of the Chi Body. First take hold of a shoulder or a thigh between your hands using light pressure. which are also superb for opening the initial layers because they calm and soothe the nerves.b. projecting and pulling to and from the fingertips and palms. with only the pressure comfortable on eyelids. forward. this is the turning of the soft tissues around the bone in order to unravel physical tension. Both Pulling and Projecting can be directed to various depths of the body including the organs and bone marrow. a twist becomes a spiral. This normally takes a few minutes and is excellent for opening the first layer of the body for deeper manipulation. Wherever it moves most readily is where you will choose to go. Often this release alone gives significant relief. with 5 . Energetic/Physical Techniques. amenable to energetics. while not energetic per se. 4. say on the trapezius. down. etc.. the top and bottom of the spine. Twisting/Spiraling In general. fluttering. 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. A standard solo practice method involves your two hands. not slipping. with pressure that will reach just below it. For those familiar with D&T. Clearing the Auric fields The various energy fields can have excesses and deficiencies. about fascia/skin deep. and project back and forth to clear it out. and back. You can reach deeper layers by changing the pressure and/or your intention. tapping. 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. Brushing.3.10 being about optimal. Worth mentioning here. Or. which may put you into one of these higher fields. The Emotional body generally exists between about 4 and 12 inches out. With a slight linear stretch. and the Mental body begins next. and wait for the release. keeping your hands relaxed. B. hold onto the forearm with one hand near the elbow and the other near the wrist and twist in opposite directions. can be done on any given area for up to 20 minutes. This works quite well on the shoulder and the hip. up. the pressure light and constant. You can learn to detect and smooth out these imbalances. With a few ounces of pressure pull the fascia in 4 directions. This is the chi letting go. 1. Here the energy work is part and parcel of physical contact and manipulation. but I will limit it to just 3. Projecting: Place your hands using say 2 fingers each at both ends of a line segment e. are the techniques known to the West as Esalen. and they are duplicated inside the body as well. . Place your hand anywhere on the skin. but the required skill level is much greater at these higher frequencies.
Here you may scale back on the physical movement to the point of barely touching. It is the synovial fluid that pulsates from the energy gate inside. the other counter clockwise. Follow the easiest direction in each case. and in the various areas of the joint itself. Once you are set. etc. clockwise/counter clockwise. If you had only 10 minutes you might choose to move your hands directly to the lower spine and pulse there.e. This becomes an energy technique when you begin to sense the energy gate in the center of the joint. the other down. lightly hold the position as long as a few minutes.10 second cycles. this time with the hands moving in opposing ways (one up.g. but you can synchronize with them and manipulate them from the joints. This will affect the fascia all the way through the limb (or even the torso. glands. which will directly connect to the center of the next joint and so on. non-stop motion you will feel everything begin to let go and relax. each of which have their own rhythm. one hand clockwise. The body's energy system is analogous to the circulatory and nervous systems: There are main junctions and multiple branchings. and more fluidity. . You can target these pathways by minutely adjusting your physical movements and your intention. then reverse direction until you reach the other natural return point. the fascia pull (above) can be done in 3 D... pulse your tantien and extend the waves out to your hands and into your client. such as the cranio-sacral. forming an immense grid of thousands of lines including the main acupuncture meridians. you may determine that a wrist problem is connected to the upper spine and that there is a separate. Turn continuously and smoothly back and forth reversing direction every few seconds in sync with what the body wants to do. Pulsing Most readers here will be familiar with this basic practice of Chi Gung on a physical level. e. 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. After a few minutes of light. Note that the joint rhythms are independent of others. Test for ease of movement in each of the 4 directions. Lightly take hold of someone's wrist joint with one hand holding the hand and the other just above the wrist . Look for differences in the in and out phases. 3. After reaching the shoulder you could go many directions. permitting the energy to be in the forefront of your attention. 2. individual organs. etc.g. Find some way to pulse the gates with your mind. Feel for when minor readjustments or redirections are called for. etc. Try tuning into the natural contraction and expansion that occurs in 5 . e. Take hold of a shoulder.).Second. including into the organs. i. forward/back. or 3 ways at once: up/down. fullness. But practicality and time will limit the scope of your attention. you can take hold of and turn the tissues until they naturally reach a point of wanting to return.) Thus you can pull in 1. between your two hands again pressing only as deep as the fascia layer. Also test for ease of rotation. Try to bring them to a state of balance. more painful issue in the lower spine. until a release occurs and finishes. easy. Then begin accentuating this pulsation with your hands using less than a few ounces of pressure. Third.
we gradually come to a deeper experience of our "vessel" and the depths and usefulness of the space within us. A partner can give you feedback and objectivity. particularly as you progress toward the higher frequencies. 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. etc. . Again. 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. Our practice of the Water method of Taoist internal arts centers on discovering within our bodies where space is clear. To prevent this. Even if you are lucky enough to have a natural talent there is no substitute for learning through many hours of practice. stressed. and a third person can be doubly objective: can what you're doing be felt and confirmed in your partner by someone else? Also. The human body is like a vessel and the space within our body is therefore useful. constricted. About the Author: Philip McKee began practicing Massage Therapy in 1986 after earning academic degrees in Psychology (BA) and Theology (MDiv). dead or non-existent. spiraling. Safety When dealing with energy there is always the chance that you will pick up something you don't want.III. pulsing.. and teaching in 1996. in fact they are generally considered a prerequisite. 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. He now practices and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. After that your best course of action is to dissolve any "stuff" away from your body and/or down into the earth. When working with subtler energies there can be the tendency to get lost somewhere in the cosmos. will improve your therapeutic abilities. therapy is the application which grows out of the basic core practices. He began studying Chi Gung and Tai Chi in 1989. grounding. 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. blocked. any solo Chi Gung practices that involve dissolving. particularly if you are synchronizing your pulse with someone else's. 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. clearing meridians. You can also shake off energy physically much like a dog shakes off water. Practice Issues These descriptions provide only a rough framework for the endless permutations and subtleties to be discovered. Here you should keep a clear sense of what belongs to whom and somehow keep the two separate. Using the methods of dissolving and letting go. IV. Still your chances of harming someone by energetic means are much smaller than they are by physical means. For the safety of others. generally outside the USA.
It can be shrunk. If space is constricted movement is made more difficult. our physical body? Besides the obvious existence of all the stuff within the physical body: bones. 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. Directly unseen. persistent practice of learning to dynamically align with the movements of external space. gravity. and between us and the things around us. focus is on the movement of space. organs. release. the more the body can release its blockages. There is no point at which external space ends and the body begins or the body ends and space begins. ba gua is considered celestial. and other affective disturbances exist. It is a simple observation that space is not empty because things and human bodies are moving within this space. energy (chi) and spirit. It is filled with mind. spinning and spiraling throughout space. molecules. thereby cramping space. Earth loops around in our solar system that sails inside the Milky Way Galaxy that swirls across the space of the Local Group of galaxies that continue on and within ever expansive systems soaring. and learning to relax. In addition to the practices of aligning and dissolving. The macrocosm of the universe's external space is useful for all things to exist and move in.We also can observe in the external world that space exists all around us. more space is revealed. fluids. these things exist in and are permeated by our vessel's space. unseen movement. we experience that space is not empty. What then exists and moves within the microcosm of space inside our vessel. This is "seen" in the quiet. Space is actively connected to the body. One of the amazing direct experiential relationships of the "space" within us is that it is malleable. In turn. At this stage of practice fluid movement is attained and available for further refinement. The Tao Te Ching also speaks to us of looking for things not seen. atoms. expanded and geometrically configured. muscles. The mind morphs. (Perfect quietness and perfect alignments are not required but an increasing degree of such is. Instead of focusing on moving the physical body. dissolve and let go of blockages in the internal space. 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. This is important in not creating tension. The usefulness of all this external space makes movement possible. the quieting of mental noise is necessary for the discovery of what lies unseen within the space.) As we move into quietness and align. the chi configures and the body moves. . tissue. Space permeates all. collected vastness of micro-spaces within the body. What then lies unseen in the internal space? Through the patient. The more our practice connects us with space. The dynamics of inner space is revealed. The practice of ba gua is a study of what transpires within and throughout space. Of all the practices of the internal art of movement. dark matter. It is here the practitioner experiences that the mind directly affects the chi. It is at this stage that fluidity begins to transition to invisibility. A ripple in the mind ripples the chi. Space is dynamic. not by seeking to arrive somewhere. Even the space between everything and everyone is not empty. Its movements are both beautiful and mysterious and reveal the nature of interaction and change. sub-atomic particles and such. It is on our journey that we make discovery. What is outside is inside and what is inside is outside. 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.
Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung.. can this transformable ball move? Beginning with the simplest example is translational movement. the art that stimulates. In 1974 I began Kung Fu and "chi" (energy) practices and in 1977 I started the study of Tai Ji. Fortunately. I like to move. 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. Since then. At age 19 he entered the US Army. I have with almost religious fever practiced and applied Yang and Chen fighting Tai Ji. So what follows here is a simple exposition on the possibilities of a number of movements within the complex. The ball moves in a straight line. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. spheres of gravity. visualize the vessel as an air filled. Let us move our vessel. from point A to point B. mountain climbing. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. 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.Part II: Moving Through Space Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. spheres of water. at a constant speed while its surface remains stationary. demolitions. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. spheres of fire. spheres of radiation and spheres of seemingly empty space. The most predominate vessel found in the universe is that of a sphere. quieted my soul and moved me closer to the stillness of Spirit. 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. communications. in space. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. enthralls and discovers me most is the Ba Gua. then karate.. spheres cold and solid. . Tai Chi Chuan. from a beginning point (A) to an end point (B). How many different ways. 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. Through proper instruction and dedicated practice we can move into the mystic. the practice of Taoist Water methods have steadily calmed my heart. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. 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 gases. For the purpose of this explanation. pliable rubber ball the size of your head. For the art of Ba Gua lies hidden within each and every human being waiting to be divined. thin-walled. psychological operations and intelligence. mysterious beauty of the Ba Gua. But if I must sincerely answer. throughout all of this intense training. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation.
let's give it some wobble and have its speed accelerate and decelerate while it travels from point A to point B. 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. speed changing. infused with a mosaic of expanding and shrinking spirals moves through a grid of moving space. 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.The second example is rotational movement. Imagine this ball of ours creating a singular long wave reaching from the top (North Pole) to the bottom (South Pole). it's how you do the movement. psychological operations and . 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. the North and South Poles move in a linear manner away from and towards the center of the ball. Find the center to your Being and observe the mystery of Ba Gua gradually and naturally reveal itself. This is like the ball "rolling" along its equatorial line from point A to point B at a constant speed. became a paratrooper then later earned a Green Beret where he was trained in weapons. Lee Burkins' study of the martial and healing and meditative aspects of internal arts began in 1962. The ball moves in a straight line. Next imagine the poles spiraling as they move outward and away from the center of the ball. Be patient. For more excitement. demolitions. At different times! So our rotating. while its surface rotates around its center. Just like the observable universe around us. Now consider the North and South Pole points spiraling as they "fall in" towards the center of the ball. As the ball expands or shrinks. Walk the Circle. Visualize our ball expanding and shrinking in size. Finally. Welcome to circle walking! Sound complex? Yes it does but it's nothing more than a circle coming full circle. ruminate on this: the energy gates are spherical in nature and connect to the channels. 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. At age 19 he entered the US Army. pulsating ball. this ball of ours with a single wave motion flowing around on its surface while it pulsates and rotates. And if this isn't enough to make a Buddha dizzy. we come to the example that begins to reveal an attribute of Ba Gua motion: pulsation. add multiple waves flowing around on its surface that change their speed and directions! Now the essence of Ba Gua and the real fun begins: Spirals. Let's get a little fancier. Continuing. wave covered. wobbling. Point A and point B can be viewed as being inside your body. 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. while at the same time rotating steadily along its equatorial line as it moves at a constant speed from point A to point B.
intelligence. . 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. but the time investment is worth it. Shotokan Karate and battlefield medicine. chronologically. In fact. Over subsequent years of attending these courses. 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. at the 1999 Wu Short Form Instructor Training I became overly aware of this as the course took place in sunny California. I was practicing the Chi Field exercises from that set and Heaven and Earth to aid my recovery. because of reduced venous return. communications. mountain climbing. Lee trained and led Indo-Burmese tribal warriors in guerilla warfare in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. 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. Only afterwards did I find out what it was and what it meant in practical terms. Sometimes you will only need a short time. 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. It worked well and I was back to regular work and practice within a week or so. Later on I was to find out that while the operation helped and it was easy to recover. The prospect of the operation was worrying because I had heard of various ways in which it had affected peoples' ability to practice afterwards. 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. both before and after the op. Lee's main studies include Ba Gua Zhang of the lineage of Liu Hung Chieh. cannot be easily ignored. Lee started studying with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis in 1979 and began in-depth practices of nei gung. Brian Cooper's "Art of Micro Practice" article will give you ideas about how to make time. Ba Gua Zhang and meditation. 10-15 minutes. With edema fluids collect in the lower leg and. Taoist Grandmaster of Bruce Frantzis for twenty years. In fact. Below I have presented. I used Dragon and Tiger chi gung a lot before going into the clinic and indeed on the day. Another factor that still requires me to wear one is temperature. sometimes longer. no one even mentioned edema before the operation. Tai Chi Chuan. Using the exercises presented below I was able to avoid wearing a pressure stocking everyday. For me the lead up to having the op was horrific. 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. but a selective cutting away of the worst tissue. I recommend getting a Certified Instructor to show you them and how to practice them for best results. knife/hand-to-hand fighting. The operation I had was not a whole-scale stripping of the affected vein. I was able to see how effective the advice I got from Bruce has been in relieving my edema. You will obviously need to put in some time in to get the full benefits. maybe half an hour or so.
by affecting the blood vessel inside of the ankle. Then. and practice toe/heel kicks maybe in sets of 10 or 20 to get the same result. If you do not do either of these arts don't panic! Just stand on one leg. When I asked Bruce he said to get the best results it wasn't enough to focus on only the affected leg. inside your leg and then push the fluids down again out to the yang surface outside of the leg. It is especially beneficial when the release is unimpeded-all the way to the edge of your etheric field. 2. Because this happens in every step in ba gua it makes the venous return happen more strongly than in tai chi. using your hands on a chair for support. Using your ability to feel the fluids in your legs. There's nothing better than getting that clear. Moving fluids directly with your mind. both the basic flicks (Level 1) and the etheric-boundary Releases (Level 2). but the push needs to finish in your toes for optimum results. when the heel touches the floor. 3. Concretely. Then pulse the chi very lightly (this needs a practical demonstration because it's important not to strain the walls of the veins). get them to pull inwards towards the bones and then pull them up. The pulsing develops first locally and later spreads to the whole leg and to both legs to be most effective. Similarly in Ba Gua Zhang stepping. are key in getting blood and fluids to return up the body. which first took away the heaviness I had in my legs. 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. The action of extending the toes in toe kicks encourages blood to reach the extremity of the toe tips. 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. Heel kicks. continuous release to the end of your field and then pulling back clean energy. pulse from your hands to the central channel in your legs. each step in tai chi you place the ankle down. Toe kicks and heel kicks. 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. Both improve blood and other fluid flow. this helps to both complete the downward flow and initiates an affect on the vein inside the ankle. Sometimes it's more effective if you go up the yin sides. 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. . You can also work on this in Ba Gua Circle Walking and tai chi. Field Pulsing Using either energy ball practices from Dragon and Tiger or Marriage of Heaven and Earth. 4. which assists venous return up the leg.1. You can also return through the yin. For example. 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. Dragon and Tiger's releasing of stagnant chi. in my experience.
you can continue your basic practice and direct your intent towards that which you wish to accomplish.6199. as your goals and needs change. L-2. Instructor certifications: Longevity Breathing. flexible body and later developing the spirit or. through the palm changes. He teaches a select group of students. martial arts. a self-perpetuating flow is maintained. L-3. a low-impact aerobic workout. Circle Walking Is a Chi Generator Initially. It is also a high-level martial art and. L-2. like the turbine. can become a vehicle for spiritual development. Gods. So over time. 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. Because of this it's very economical since modern living is busy and time is of the essence. It's like starting up a turbine: At first it's sluggish and then. raise and develop your energy. Over time your practice will become ever-more smooth and continuous. 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. Heaven & Earth. That is. Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form. Ba gua achieves this by incorporating all 16 Taoist nei gung components into the Circle Walking practice. Provisional. 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. create vibrant health and vitality and. fighting and meditative aspects of Wu Style Tai Chi. at its most advanced level. L-2. initially creating a strong. ba gua is an embodiment of the universal principles of change. Apart from being a martial art. L-2. You go straight for the meat-that which gives the possibility of profound and lasting health and vitality. when your walking smoothens out. and develops your life-force energy. 49. Dragon & Tiger.Senior Instructor Jamie Dibdin has studied with Bruce since 1987. as it gets going. all the practical benefits found in ba gua practice can be achieved through Circle Walking. if you choose to walk fast enough. while Walking the Circle.69. movements can be clunky and broken. Also. Ba gua serves as a rigorous and aerobic internal exercise that releases tension from the body. Energy Gates. L-2. As such ba gua offers a wide range of developmental possibilities unlike single-application practices. you start generating serious power or chi. Ba Gua.4710 Nei-Gung. upgrading and refining that energy into chi (or . Regular practice can serve as a no-nonsense. preferring to develop practitioners who can use the health.de Ba Gua: Why Practice This Old and Obscure Art? Part 1 of 2 By Senior Instructor Paul Cavel Ba gua is a pure Taoist energy art primarily practised by those interested in the I Ching or Taoism--having been derived as a physical manifestation to realize the teachings of the I Ching. efficient method to open and heal the body.
But here's the trick: To make the next progression you don't need to learn a new form. Germany. All nagging thoughts. All of this and you are only walking around in a circle! Not bad. 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.thrust coming out of the turbine). a sense of physical emptiness. Chi. is a higher vibration of energy than that which you get from food. the car looks the same. at least for awhile! Part 2 will appear in the June issue of ChiTalk. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. after some practice. you simply add more components. France and Greece. Later. awake and alert. A willingness and acceptance of physical and mental stillness can accompany this emptiness. and offers private instruction throughout Europe. produce and refine energy through the application of the 16 nei gung incorporated in the practice. but now you have a lot more power under the hood. weekend seminars and retreats. you put your body through its paces. 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. Taoists call this process making your body conscious. deepen and refine your practice you arrive at a point where you are able to generate an enormous amount of chi. body and spirit and focus on opening them up and bringing them alive. When your practice session finishes you simply relax and. in this model. through Circle Walking and ba gua practice. healthier and more vibrant as well as making your mental faculties more aware. You are also developing your energy in preparation for advancement towards spirit and emptiness. This jump in energy is what makes your body stronger. eh? As you Walk the Circle you continuously bring up. Do Nothing Whilst Being Absolutely Content Initially. space opens up. So. See InternalEnergyArts. with it. In this sense it's like having a turbo charger fitted to your car. This state can be amplified and enhanced through sitting practices after a ba gua session. Depending upon how much nei gung is in your practice determines how far you can go.com for more information and articles. Based in France. 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. You feel the tensions and restricted areas in your mind. including England. flow freely though your system and grow. as you upgrade. worries and concerns disappear as your energies open up. This is the extreme end of the minimalist camp: doing nothing and being absolutely content. .
accept it for what it is. and which is contained within. mind and life-force energy to a very high degree. you can develop your body. The Single and other palms delve deeper into your body. The purpose of the Single Palm Change is to upgrade and amplify all the benefits of Circle Walking. Whether you learn all eight palms. This is why ba gua reaches the parts that other movement practices do not reach. Once you have learnt the Single Palm Change. or after a certain number of repetitions that you must then move on to another move as in tai chi or chi gung. working loose any bound chi. You can go into the body using whatever is working for you and open up that energy and free that. Efficient Practice for Refining Your Being Since the palm changes (also called forms or palms) are very short and concise. Spontaneity When a particular palm change or technique starts to open up something inside you. With a regular exercise regime and walking at a reasonably fast pace. These palm changes are designed to go directly into your core: opening. increases blood flow and gets your metaphorical chi generator engaged and running as we discussed last month. all the other palm changes or forms within ba gua. healing. This is a very short. you can learn any of the eight Palms. bring the twisting and spiraling of the soft tissue deeper in the body. five-step ba gua form-the foundation of." Circle Walking initially opens up the body. producing light energy within and adding the possibility of martial practice. balancing and developing your system as you practise. accessing deeper and deeper layers of stuck tissue and condensed energies. let go of it and move on. They can be completed in a matter of a few seconds at high speeds. they never take more than 20 to 30 seconds to perform at the slowest speeds. it is possible to practise the same palms tens or hundreds of times in a single practice session. you can then progress to the Single Palm Change.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. You are not restricted by a particular order of moves. . 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. or stick with only the Single palm. you are free to practise that particular palm or technique again and again. giving access to deeper layers of contraction. The palms are practised equally on both sides of the body in a left-right-left continuum. creating and maintaining balance as you practise. 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.
ba gua grounds you in your body.For several days or weeks you may have the same practice model whilst learning and developing a new palm or aspect of nei gung. This part of the practice obliterates inertia. You may practise one palm after the other or totally randomly. Delving in. Based in France. Paul Cavel teaches weekly classes. layer by layer. Germany. Traditionally the Inner Dissolving practices were brought into play. . and offers private instruction throughout Europe. including England. This kind of spontaneous practice of highly refined and developed techniques allows the practitioner to use. It allows you the space to change and grow with your practice. 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. France and Greece. The more you practise the deeper you go clearing out the residue of all past illness. weekend seminars and retreats. or the particular aspect is integrated. You move like a great river turning and twisting its way along its carved path through the earth. 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. Again. You find yourself moving without inertia or any sudden jerks and smoothly flowing through the well-oiled and practised palm. All of these practices are only possible through actualising the basic rule of learning any high level practice-separate and combine. but by adding a new component to your foundation practice. At some point everything gels or changes inside you and your practice changes with it. initially through sitting and later with Circle Walking practice. in the moment. Ancient Taoist practices are a gift from the gods. Ba gua offers you a certain je ne sais quoi. Once that space is opened. It is through Inner Dissolving that you can fully resolve past traumas and truly work on emotional maturity and spirituality. injury and trauma. 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. whatever is available to him/her in order to achieve the desired results. not by changing the forms or learning a new set. See InternalEnergyArts. Balancing the competing demands of the modern world and your inner world. you loosen and release the root causes of pain and discomfort. or opening up a specific place in your body. It could be that your practice changes on a daily basis for a while-some days slow walking. an edge in bringing you back to your center. spontaneously as your life unfolds.com for more information and articles. some fast or both. 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. it's time to move on to the next component.
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