The Importance of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung

Within the Energy Arts world, there is a lot going on with Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung these days. Three of the exercises from the system are featured in Bruce's new book, The Chi Revolution. Bruce's next book, Dragon & Tiger Medical Chi Gung instruction manual, is at the printer. And perhaps most importantly, in March Bruce will offer the first instructor training he has ever held in Europe and the subject will be Dragon & Tiger. So when Heather asked me to write an article for this newsletter, I decided to write about the importance of Dragon & Tiger. TWENTY YEARS AGO I first heard of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung twenty years ago in a swimming pool in Cozumel, Mexico. Bruce Frantzis had just done a demonstration at a tai chi competition in Houston. I met him there, and we came to Cozumel for a few days. Our goal was to spend a few days "away from it all" to discuss plans for his future writing and teaching. Tired of sitting in his hotel room, we took to the pool to talk. As we discussed ideas, I asked him, "Isn't there some chi gung set that you know that is easier to learn than Opening the Energy Gates?" Bruce said, "Well, there is a system called Dragon & Tiger that I'd be willing to teach. I know a lot of even simpler sets, but I won't teach any of them. I'm only interested in teaching sets that are powerful enough to deeply benefit the people who learn them." "Dragon & Tiger isn't as powerful as Energy Gates," Bruce said. "But it's an excellent system." A few months later, I got my first taste of Dragon & Tiger at a weekend workshop that I organized for Bruce in Boston. It was the first time Bruce taught Dragon & Tiger in the U.S. or Europe. There I first began to understand the importance of Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung within the Energy Arts system of practices. And for the next twenty years, as Bruce has fully integrated Dragon & Tiger into what is now his seven-part core chi gung program, my appreciation of that importance has been growing. It is important to me both as a practitioner of Bruce's Energy Arts and as an Energy Arts Instructor. FOR PRACTITIONERS I like to think about the Energy Arts practices that Bruce teaches as tools that promote personal health and transformation. When you work with hand or power tools, each tool has one or a few things that it does especially well, either for everyone or for you in particular. The same is true for Bruce's Energy Arts. The Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form especially helps me relax my nerves. The Ba Gua Single Palm Change centers me and gives me more yang chi to make me energetically stronger. Gods Playing in the Clouds Chi Gung never fails to help

calm and balance my system at all levels. I use all of the other arts in the system in particular ways for particular effects. For me Dragon & Tiger is a particularly unique tool within Bruce's system. All of the other tools rely in large part for their success on how well you use your mind to feel and move the chi in your body. They all require that you be relatively present with what you are doing and apply that presence of mind quite subtly, both in the way that you move your physical body and the way you move your energy. In contrast, Dragon & Tiger in large part relies on how well you move your hands in the energy field around your body across particular energy pathways on your body. What you do with your mind - including how present you are - doesn't make that much difference. If you move your hands consistently across the right pathways on your body, you'll get results. If you are a beginner practitioner, this is very important. All of the other practices Bruce teaches require that you settle and apply your mind in very subtle ways. Dragon & Tiger doesn't. You can mentally space out and Dragon & Tiger will still work for you. Thus you can get tangible results more quickly and easily. All you have to do is learn the physical aspects of the seven movements to get energetic benefits. Just do the physical movements and the movements will do the basic energy work for you. As you are able to become more present, you can then learn the more subtle energy work of the system. This quality alone makes Dragon & Tiger a great place to start learning about chi. Please visit my for a list of other good reasons to study it. If you are an experienced practitioner, Dragon & Tiger's reliance on the hands and not the mind to move chi can also become a great advantage. I learned this very quickly and forcefully during and just after that first workshop I took with Bruce. At that time I had been studying with Bruce and practicing fairly seriously for seven or eight years. During that time I had released a lot of places in my body where energy was blocked. But there were also a lot of blocked places in my body that I still wasn't able to feel with my mind. When I learned the Dragon & Tiger tool my inability to feel didn't limit me. When I moved my hands through my energy field over my body, my hands swept energy through many of these long-held blocks. The results were quick and powerful. With each practice more and more energy began to move through my system, not only at the chi level, but also at the emotional level. I felt like I made more progress in a couple of weeks than I had in the previous year. In fact, the reactions were so strong, that I had to cut back all of my practices significantly for a while so that I could again find and stay within my 70 percent comfort zone. You may not have the same experience as I did with Dragon & Tiger. But as a tool it can help you in a different way than Bruce's other arts. If you learn it, my guess is that you'll find particular and special uses for it within your own practice. FOR INSTRUCTORS For thirteen years from 1992 to 2005 I directed and taught full-time at Brookline Tai Chi in the Boston area. During that time, the other instructors and I taught thousands of students

energy arts ranging from the Wu Style Tai Chi Short Form to Opening the Energy Gates to Ba Gua to Dragon & Tiger. From this experience I concluded that if there is one of Bruce's energy arts that Energy Arts instructors can teach to millions of people and help offset the effects of the coming health crisis that Bruce has predicted for years, Dragon & Tiger will be the one. The reason? While the other arts all are more powerful for promoting health once learned, for the average person they take too much time and dedication to learn to a high enough level that the benefits start to accumulate. In contrast, an average person can learn all of the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger in just ten to fifteen hours of instruction. They may not learn it very well, but that brings up another great advantage of Dragon & Tiger. You don't have to do it well to benefit. In fact, my and other's experience is that you can do it poorly and still gain benefits. In addition, the seven movements of Dragon & Tiger can be taught in many ways. You don't have to start with the first move and end with the last. Someone could learn a version the seventh move first and the first move last. This would not be ideal, but it is possible. Therefore you can adapt Dragon & Tiger to many teaching situations, whether weekend workshops or drop-in classes at a health club or seniors center. Also, I believe that Dragon & Tiger delivers the most bang for the buck in terms of helping to improve people's health quickly. I've had students who've used Dragon & Tiger to gain relief from conditions as varied as cancer, repetitive stress injuries, insomnia, and arthritis. Read about some of my students' experiences. This is not to say that Dragon & Tiger is really easy to get people to learn. In fact, these days tai chi is much easier to market to people in part because it has become well-known and is attractive to watch. Dragon & Tiger doesn't have these advantages. Chi gung is not well-known, and many people think Dragon & Tiger's movements look funny. Yet chi gung is growing in popularity, and as people grow used to seeing similar movements, Dragon & Tiger will become more attractive. Perhaps the most important advantage that will make Dragon & Tiger easier to market to many people is that you can encourage people to laugh and play while learning and practicing. One can't really laugh when you are doing tai chi or Energy Gates and stay within the practice as it is designed to be done. Dragon & Tiger will work even better for you if you do. THE MOVING TIGER ENERGY EXERCISE METHOD I've become so convinced of the importance of Dragon & Tiger that I am currently dedicating all of my teaching time to promoting it. With Bruce's support, I am trying to develop a method for teaching Dragon & Tiger in one-day workshops. One of my goals is to find a way to teach consecutive workshops that will allow many people to advance systematically in a few years through Dragon & Tiger's levels of subtleties, from beginner to advanced.

A key reason that I am focusing on one-day workshops is that with such a format a single instructor can travel to many different locations to teach, thereby reaching many communities. If we are going to help a lot of people, instructors will need to reach out to many places. I call my method for teaching Dragon & Tiger the Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method. We've recently begun to use what in marketing is called a tag line that goes: Authentic Chi Gung, Contemporary TeachingTM. Please see for more information about Moving Tiger and about Dragon & Tiger. Whether I'll be successful with this approach remains to be seen. There are many teaching and marketing hurdles in the way. But for a long, long time Bruce has talked about the role that tai chi and chi gung might play in helping to offset the effects of the coming health crisis. I see Dragon & Tiger as the vehicle Energy Arts Instructors are most likely to use to positive effect this way. If you'd like to stay in touch with how Moving Tiger is going, please sign up to receive my enewsletter that I send out every couple of months. I also send out via email free Tiger Tips. I offer two types, "Energy Awareness" and "Personal Practice." You can choose to receive one or both. The Energy Awareness tips provide pointers on how you can better understand and manage your energy as you go about your everyday activities, from walking to sleeping to working to eating to watching TV. The Personal Practice tips provide ideas on how you can use your personal exercise practice to help you gain more life energy, whether you do the Moving Tiger Method, related energy exercises such as tai chi or yoga, or exercises like walking, running, swimming, etc. Learn more about these types of tips - or to read some samples. I encourage you to learn Dragon & Tiger and begin teaching it to others as well. I hope to see you at the Brighton Instructor Training or a Moving Tiger workshop. By Bill Ryan Director of The Moving Tiger Energy Exercise Method and Energy Arts Senior Instructor

Center of the Circle
Revolving around a central point is at the core of Ba Gua Circle Walking. Revolution after revolution, we continue to circle around a central point in space that remains stable and unchanging. With each rotation we find ourselves traversing the same ground as before, yet every time it is a new experience. We trace the same steps over and over but each second greets us afresh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With that. Germany We started learning Yang Style Tai Chi and Qi Gong under the auspices of the International Tai Chi and Chi Kung Association (ITCCA) in 1985-86 and obtained teaching certificates from that institution. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. and even rest. Elisabeth has certification for biodynamic body psychotherapy and a license as a healing practitioner. which we completed successfully in spite of the language barrier. we were hooked on Bruce's work and have attended since . Compassion. 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.. Try It.and more". . the closer you'll come to arriving at your own connection to the Universal Consciousness. Joy.. It was a weekend seminar with the subject "Bend the Bow".Universe.. the more you engage in Meditation the more simple it becomes. Although at that time we had more than 8 years of experience of Qi Gong and Tai Chi training. and the more you are open to and engage in Meditation. He prepared us for the first instructor training in 1997 in Anvil Ranch. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. Ralph had also trained earlier in Tae Kwon Do.. and yet. the Blackfoot Indians would say: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. "Meditation is not what you think!" I rather like what Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Thinking : "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. and the more fruitful it is for you.. Ralph has training in NLP and experience in healing work. traditional Russian martial art (Systema). who was also an important help to us. At this first weekend with Bruce we had the impression of learning more in a few hours than in the entire previous 5 years. It took about 4 years until we were able to teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong full time as professionals.. healing and martial arts.. whose intrinsic balance will naturally focus through you the qualities of Love and Equanimity. You Just might like it ! Just'll discover wisdom and balance and peace-of-mind. In the healing arts.and rest and peace ! I have not tried to defend or define meditation for you that is your personal discovery.. Kindness and Wisdom.Albert Einstein However. we frequently attended seminars on these subjects. Because both of us have always been interested in meditation. I also have not tried to tell you what life is or isn't. We met Bruce for the first time in Darmstadt in 1993. Generosity. 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 "... By EA Instructor Fred Gordon About the Tai Chi and Qi Gong School Ulm/Neu-Ulm. Jamie Dibdin was very helpful to us at this time and later we met Paul Cavel. 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. In 1991 we opened our own school in Neu-Ulm. and Ba Gua Chang. 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. You'll be able to relax more and often quicker and deeper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tai chi reduced the risk of falls by about 50%. Of course. The economics of tai chi for health Tai chi offers the potential to save billions of dollars per year in health care savings. This will help provide confidence that they can in fact help their students achieve measurable health benefits and will show that we are making a good faith effort to demonstrate that our classes really provide the value that we believe they do. This suggests the possibility that they might be interested in helping to promote tai chi. 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. If this reduction can be maintained. Research into tai chi for health will help make such arguments all the more compelling. David is especially interested in the health benefits of tai chi and chi gung. will save far more in health care costs than the tai chi classes will cost. In fact a strong argument can be made that for many groups of people. then for a typical person age 65+. As I have already organized and carried out a small study with a local neurologist on the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson's I know that this type of research really can be done.9 billion.000 per person. He worked on a study that observed the benefits of tai chi for people with Parkinson's disease in 2004 and looks forward to helping EA develop studies to help get the word out about chi practices. there are many other well-documented health benefits of tai chi. in the long term. such as individuals age 65+. Medicare or the person's health care insurance. They could help in a several ways ranging from subsidizing tai chi classes to providing free advertising for classes. which would likely result in significant direct and indirect health costs. For instance. practicing tai chi would save $500 per person. I plan on expanding on this work and hope to involving other energy arts certified instructors in other research projects. will demonstrate to what extent tai chi is beneficial.Working with physicians on medical research In conjunction with promoting tai chi for health to physicians and their patients. Not surprisingly. We can help make this occur by helping to make more physicians and their patients aware of these findings. 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. Participating in medical research not only will provide the results that. 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. about $1. . 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 also helps to start important relationships with physicians. just in savings from falls. In the studies done so far. 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. There is an excellent opportunity for tai chi instructors to expand their classes and help people improve their health by talking to physicians. EA Instructor David Bendall teaches weekly classes in California and has studied with Bruce since 1987.

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

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

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

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

requires closures and constrictions. Allow your mind to travel up your partner's arm without repositioning your hand. i. and practices to address the rigors of meditation. lacerations. and injury (i. These methods are even less well known. As a variation you can move the body in subtle minute ways. and see what else you find. The simplest way to learn this is to sit quietly and lightly hold someone's hand and try to feel beneath the skin for constrictions. the effects of stress. strength. accompanied by a compromised flow of body fluids and energy itself. temperature differences. feeling in 3 dimensions for whatever you can including basic anatomical features. In medical terms this is Diagnosis and Treatment. Tui Na is the general term for all the hands-on therapies developed by the Taoists. 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. 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. Chi Gung Tui Na refers to the energetic therapy techniques. When you feel something unusual. and inflammations. changing angles and pressures. whatever doesn't feel right. and in some form is a part of most acupuncture school curricula. Reading. the secondary injury after the initial assault) are constriction. the other four being one's own health and healing. We are fortunate to have received some of these basic techniques through Bruce's occasional offerings. tension. Conversely. ageing. and the reader is advised proceed with caution and/or stick . To restore the natural. reaching beyond gross physical contact. and inflexibility. and how do you know if it's actually working? I. the body needs to become soft. open. martial arts. strain. "Treatment" Theoretically and practically. 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. 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. hardening. There are two basic skills in all therapy professions (indeed all repair professions): finding out exactly what is the problem and getting it fixed. II. "How do you know what the problems are. or check it with physical contact. sexual practices. Listening really needs to be done continuously throughout the therapeutic process. and family. weakness.e. pliable. bruises. It should be noted here that addressing initial injuries such as tears. "Diagnosing" You can think of this as an extension of palpation skills. The questions are something like. Therapeutic Techniques. Listening. balanced energy flow. the opposite of opening.Energy Therapies: A Taoist Perspective The healing of others is one of the five basic applications of Chi Gung. tension. ask for confirmation. Feeling. balancing the energy flow will open the body. which are rarely taught or understood anywhere in the West. and relaxed. etc. Good therapy calls for some combination of the physical and energetic.e. what to do. friends.

You can also release out the back of the hand. soften. Clearing by Dissolving Dissolving is the heart of the Taoist Water methods. Although the mind must be focused and strong.e. 3. This method can be used in conjunction with physical squeezing. Or. etc. in part because any tension or relaxation in your hands will be communicated to your client. 1. Dissolving can and really should be incorporated into all techniques. . (I speak from experience. 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. a Fire method.g. and maybe compression. or head) clearing out constrictions as you go. Pulling: This can be incorporated into the meridian line action. ice. creating some kind of connection with the skin.) These techniques can be divided into two broad categories: those that are purely energetic. and move toward the end of the physical body (fingers. melt. toes. 2. Hand "Pump" This technique is perhaps the easiest to learn and the most versatile. as you open and straighten energy is projected out. If you can locate it by feel. rather than risk worsening a condition. i. Instead use your mind. dissipate. eliminating the need to move it off and on the body. those involving little or no physical contact or manipulation. while squeezing the back of your neck. and is generally learned on oneself first using the mind alone. A. Water or Yin methods are almost risk free. This 4 inch distance is the approximate outer border of the Etheric Field or Chi Body which directly governs the physical body. Take care not to squeeze or straighten excessively since muscle tension inhibits the energy flow. Continue beyond the body at least another 4 inches. Simply hold someone's hand. and those that mix energy and physics. The flow may come and go through the fingers or palm or both. 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 the accepted Western methods of rest. this is not a burning through. try placing your hand anywhere you would like to remove a constriction and pull until you feel like you have a handful. to amplify the flow. e. so much the better: try placing your hand on the skin and slowly moving away until you notice a different quality.) The hand is a natural energy pump: As you close or cup the hand energy is drawn into it. Energetic Techniques. which carries its own risks. elevation. 20 repetitions is standard. From here point your fingers at the line. focused and relaxed. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the skin and trace any of the acupuncture lines their full length. It is a form of Pulsing (described below.a. then move your hand away and release/project out away from the body. evaporate. Clearing the Meridian lines from the Etheric Field Anyone familiar with Dragon & Tiger (D&T) will understand this already. in fact they are essentially your safety valves. bring to neutrality. 3.

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

Turn continuously and smoothly back and forth reversing direction every few seconds in sync with what the body wants to do. 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. e. Also test for ease of rotation. Try to bring them to a state of balance.Second. which will directly connect to the center of the next joint and so on. Then begin accentuating this pulsation with your hands using less than a few ounces of pressure.g. individual organs. non-stop motion you will feel everything begin to let go and relax. You can target these pathways by minutely adjusting your physical movements and your intention. It is the synovial fluid that pulsates from the energy gate inside. pulse your tantien and extend the waves out to your hands and into your client. this time with the hands moving in opposing ways (one up.) Thus you can pull in 1. between your two hands again pressing only as deep as the fascia layer. the fascia pull (above) can be done in 3 D. forward/back. the other down. fullness. until a release occurs and finishes. etc. lightly hold the position as long as a few minutes.10 second cycles. The body's energy system is analogous to the circulatory and nervous systems: There are main junctions and multiple branchings. one hand clockwise. Here you may scale back on the physical movement to the point of barely touching. or 3 ways at once: up/down. Look for differences in the in and out phases. After a few minutes of light.. Follow the easiest direction in each case. you can take hold of and turn the tissues until they naturally reach a point of wanting to return. Try tuning into the natural contraction and expansion that occurs in 5 . Take hold of a shoulder. and more fluidity. Find some way to pulse the gates with your mind. i. Lightly take hold of someone's wrist joint with one hand holding the hand and the other just above the wrist . clockwise/counter clockwise. permitting the energy to be in the forefront of your attention. Once you are set. But practicality and time will limit the scope of your attention. Feel for when minor readjustments or redirections are called for.e. . 2. and in the various areas of the joint itself. then reverse direction until you reach the other natural return point. e. but you can synchronize with them and manipulate them from the joints.. Pulsing Most readers here will be familiar with this basic practice of Chi Gung on a physical level. This becomes an energy technique when you begin to sense the energy gate in the center of the joint. each of which have their own rhythm. more painful issue in the lower spine.g. Test for ease of movement in each of the 4 directions.). Note that the joint rhythms are independent of others. including into the organs. After reaching the shoulder you could go many directions. 3. etc. This will affect the fascia all the way through the limb (or even the torso. Third. etc. easy. glands. If you had only 10 minutes you might choose to move your hands directly to the lower spine and pulse there. 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. the other counter clockwise. such as the cranio-sacral.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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