Sunday, January 20, 2008

The wonder of "Zhi Tui Zuo"

January 20, 2008

Since starting on the new CD's from my online practice teacher, Jane Jin, I have been experiencing very strong sensation of 'qi acitvity ' in my head. Jane thinks it is nothing to worry about as long as I monitor my blood pressure to make sure that it is normal. According to her it is a sign of abundant qi in the dantians and the sensations are due to qi doing what it naturally does. With that assurance I ignored the sensations and continued with my normal practice. The zhineng breathing exercises taught by Master Liu has given my ZQ practice tremendous improvement over a period of about one year (I am now into my 4th year and in the coming Chinese New Year on February 7, 2008 I can lay claim to five years of zhineng qigong experience). I have reached the stage of feeling my body being "fluid". However, I could feel that some parts of my energy channels are not cleared yet. The symptoms of this blockage or blockages are feelings of slight fatigue and aches in the shoulder joints when doing my gong. When doing zhineng breathing exercise (ZBE) I would also feel somewhere in the mid point of my spinal column a dull aching sensation. Sometimes I would even struggle through a practice session.

Yesterday, I found an article on "Zhi Tui Zuo" (straight legs sitting method) which I had saved in my computer and decided to try it out. The entire set of exercise comprises of three parts: Beginning, Doing, and Ending. It is an exercise to loosen the waist. As I started on it, I realized that the exercise is not easy to execute as it would need supreme discipline to tolerate the discomfort that I am feeling as qi tries to work it ways to clear the blockages in my spinal column. Having practiced my ZQ for nearly 5 years now, I was fortunately able to endure the discomfort and finished the entire set for the first time of practice. That was last night.

This morning I had a pleasant surprise when I got up. My body feels not only very fluid but when I walk I could feel as if I am supported by qi. The feeling of pressure and slight discomfort in my head that I had described to Jane about a week ago seems to have become a pleasant sensation. Instead of feeling pressure I feel instead the qi guiding the way I carry my head: "the tuck in chin and raise baihui" posture. The next surprise: When I did my first level gong: "peng qi guan ding fa" I was able to do it with total focus on the fluidity of my body and allow qi to guide me through the entire exercise. It was a beautiful experience. Exciting days ahead!

My intuition tells me that zhi tui zuo has loosened my waist further and hopefully the last major blockage is cleared and my gong will see another big leap in progress soon.

Below is the entire instruction for Zhi Tui Zuo which I copied from the site:

http://www.zhinengqigong.org/Methods/ztz.htm

STRAIGHT LEG SITTING METHOD (ZHI TUI ZUO)

The Straight Leg Sitting Method is specially designed to enable relaxation of the waist. There are a number of mental and physical activities comprising beginning, doing and ending activities. The sequence of activities are summarized below:

Beginning

  1. Sit on floor with legs straight, back straight, pull in abdomen, feet touching. Try to bring knees together.
  2. Forward and reverse Crane Neck, then left and right Dragon Head (He Shou Long Tou) (do 3X)
  3. Place palms on ears, with fingers at the back of head. Tap head with fingers, index fingers first, followed by ring fingers, then middle fingers (do 3x)
  4. Tap head with index, middle and ring fingers at the same time (do 3x)
  5. Press both palms hard against ears. Pop out both palms suddenly
  6. Place right palm over left palm (ladies reverse) on top of head. Rotate clockwise (left-front-right-back) (3x) and anti clockwise (3x). Focus on Upper Dantian
  7. Press down on head (3x) and lift up (3x). Focus on upper Dantian
  8. Place middle fingers against back of ears. Rest index fingers on top of middle fingers. Use index fingers to tap ears three times. Return index fingers to top of middle fingers
  9. Move index fingers upwards around the ears, front and then plug into ear cavities. Twist fingers deep into cavities, with palms facing forward. Vibrate index fingers. Pop out both fingers
  10. Massage ears, pulling ear lobes downward
  11. Place clenched fists inward close to the face, with little fingers pointing upward and finger tips in front of eyes at Yintang (mid brow) level. Move outward slowly (to left and right) till little fingers disappear, then inward again (do 3X)
  12. Turn clenched fists and little fingers to horizontal position, with finger tips at eye position (palm facing inward). Move fingers upward till fingers are out of sight, then downward to eye level (do 3x). Move little fingers from eye level downward till out of sight, then upward to eye level (do 3x). Move outward about 30 cm, then inward (do 3x)
  13. Move index fingers downward along the nose to the cheeks (next to the nose). Using index fingers, massage (rotate) Yin Xiang inward (10x) and outward (10x).
  14. Move index fingers to nostrils. Massage the upper lip next to nostrils, inward (10x) and outward (10x)
  15. Interlock fingers of both hands, with left palm facing down and right palm up (called Hunyuan Palm) at Hunyuan Qiao position (upper abdomen, just below chest)
  16. Tap upper and lower teeth together: front teeth (50x), left teeth (50x), right teeth (50x), then front teeth again (50x)
  17. Using tip of tongue, rotate around gum (inner side of teeth) anti-clockwise ( left-down-right-up) (50x) and clockwise (50x ). Reverse direction for ladies
  18. With tip of tongue, tap lower palate (50x) (imagine tapping at Mingmen). Then tap upper palate (50x) (imagine tapping at Tianmen). Lastly, tap the slit between closed upper and lower front teeth (50x).
  19. Churn mouth to produce saliva. Divide saliva into 3 portions. Swallow first portion on left side down to Mingmen. Second portion swallow on right side down to Mingmen. Third portion swallow directly down to Mingmen
  20. Separate hunyuan palm, rub palms together fast till hot and place palms on navel quickly. Take a breath, lift up Huiyin and move navel toward Mingmen . Quietly vocalise "hong". Do 3X.
  21. Hold both hands with palms facing upward in front of chest. Breathe in, rotate shoulder backward and upward. Breathe out, rotate forward and downward (do 8x)

Doing

  1. Place hands on knees
  2. Breathe in slowly. When breathing in, pronounce "Yu-en" quietly, simultaneously lifting up Huiyin and pulling in the navel toward Mingmen. Imagine pulling shoulder joints down to Mingmen and pulling up hip joints to Mingmen. Second stage, pull knees and elbows to Mingmen. Final stage, pull palms and soles to Mingmen. All the above are done during breathing in.
  3. Breathe out and pronounce "Yi-e-ng" quietly. Relax the whole body.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for 30 mins to 2 hrs

Ending

  1. Relax all joints from head to toe
  2. Lift qi up diagonally and pour qi down the body. (Do 3x)
  3. Use tips of fingers to comb hair. Then gently tap the head with fingers
  4. Use knuckles of both thumbs to rub upper eyelids outward towards temples (10x). Rub lower eyelids (10x). Then massage temples with lower palms (10x)
  5. Slowly pull up knees and stand up. Do three large waist turns, first to left, then to right. Do a set of Fu Shen Gong Yao (Step 5 Module II).

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