Friday, October 02, 2009

Integrating Zhineng qigong into our daily lives

I posted this in a zhineng qigong forum:

Practitioners in the beginning practice mainly at the level of "form" meaning it is closer to normal physical exercise. A diligent practitioner would soon find the connection between "mind", "qi", and "form".Speaking from my own experience, you would know that you have arrive at this stage if during practice you find that when you execute a movement, e.g. push and pull in peng qi, you find that your mind is connected to your "qi" and not your body. A mind that is connected to qi means being able to execute the movement effortlessly.When one is able to execute the movement effortlessly, the body becomes very relaxed. You feel that your physical movement is guided by qi and you hardly need to use your muscles. At the same time you are aware that your mind is fully in control: That means, while surrendering control of your body to qi; you are, at the same time aware that all the moves are the result of your mind intent (yi) and that if you wish to stop you will be able to stop.

Integrating ZQ into our life means:
- Maintaining the same peaceful mind even when we are not practicing ZQ.
- Maintaining the sense of "full control" over our mind (even when we are not practicing ZQ) as we are able to use "yi" control our "qi" and "body" during a ZQ session.
- Being in control of our mind means less stress from a restless, wandering mind which can cause our vital qi to disperse.
- And last but certainly not the least important, be aware that our mind directs qi and therefore maintaining and peaceful and focused mind means being able to hold a strong "qi field" around us throughout the day! It is like we are doing "yang qi" (nourishing qi) all the time.

Hope that helps.
Hunyuan lingtong!
Kian Tee

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY

I have been working on "zhi tui song yao fa" (straight legs sitting method of loosening the lower back) for more than a year now... I thought it would be quite easy to master this form but to my surprise I am still find it difficult to grab the side of my outstretched feet with my hands. That I still find it difficult means that my lower back is still not fully loosened yet. More work to be done but I will make it... only a question of when.

Working on my lower back brought with it the realization that one also have to "loosen the chest region" in order for both arms to be able to stretch fully and hence ease the difficulty of grabbing the side of the feet. The forms useful for this purpose (loosen the chest region) is "cheng pi" and "cheng qi".

"Cheng pi" is simply an exercise wherein both arms are stretched horizontal with the hands lifted in vertical position. To do cheng pi correctly one has to relax the chest region as well as the shoulder and arms muscles. Once relaxed, push both arms outwards on both sides (body forming a cross), mind gently focussed on the chest region so that when pushing out the feeling of the chest expanding outwards side ways is experienced. I do cheng pi for about 7 minutes each time. Whilst holding the arms in the outstretched position there will be strong sensation of "needles & pins" in the thumb, first, second, and third fingers (the litle finger has least sensation). Noticed a tendency for the second or middle finger of my right arm to arch downward. This I suspect is due an old injury on my right shoulder which is not fully revovered yet.

"Cheng qi" or stretching qi is an exercise wherein the arms are lifted and held at an angle to the body. The hands are kept at about waist level and must be kept at right angle or more to the lower arm. To stretch qi, one simply bring the two shoulder blades inwards and upwards to a point on the spinal column. The mind must be focused on the region where the two shoulder blades are brought together to meet. My own personal experience of the benefit of this form is a loosening of the shoulder muscles and less occurrence of stiff necks.

The peculiar thing about doing these zhineng qigong exercises is that as one works on a particular set of exercises, it will lead to the realization of the need to work on other areas where the meridians need clearing for smooth qi flow. In my experience I started on my lower back and found after some time the need to work on loosening my chest region. After some work on the chest region I felt the need to clear qi blockage in my neck region!

I started concentrating on "He shou long tou" or crane's neck, dragon horn which I instinctively felt will be the solution to clear blockage of the neck region. After some weeks of practice I was rewarded with not only a more relaxed and flexible neck but also felt the sensation of the "throat chakra" ("hou qie" in mandarin I think)opening up. This comes as a sensation of space inside the throat which allows qi from the middle dantian to expand or grow into the neck and merge with the upper dantian.

With the above comes the sensation of even more "oneness" on the body. This feeling of "oneness" is felt very strongly when I do "peng qi guan ding fa". The sensation of qi is so strong that there is no need to use the mind to visualize. I just need to let go and "feel" the qi as I work on peng qi guan ding fa.

Zhineng qi gong is becoming a journey of self discovery... I wonder what lies ahead.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The experience of profound relaxation

In an earlier post I wrote about the profound relaxation brought about by zhineng qigong. It will be difficult but I am going to attempt to describe this state of profound relaxation as objectively as possible...

As a long time practitioner it is easy for me to will myself to relax. But there is a difference between an ordinary person's relax and a qi gong practitioner's relax. a qi gong's practitioner's relax is a whole body experience: Having cleared or largely cleared his meridians and channels the practitioner at relaxation feels a "oneness" thorughout his body. First, he feels the sensation of being inside his own body. Next he will notice that any movement no matter how small e.g. a slight twitch of his little finger will be felt deep inside and in my own case the movement is felt deep in my upper 'dantian' or upper energy centre. At this stage of relaxation the practitioner begins to feel his entire body swaying while at the same time his feet seems deeply rooted into the ground. When deep relaxation is complete even a 'thought' can mobilize his qi to move strongly in response to this thought. For example in my own experience, if I think 'bai hui shng ling, xia ke nei shou' or 'lift up bai hui, tuck in chin' I will immediately feel my qi literally causing this physical movement to happen. This movement is brought about in sequence by:

1)My mind intent (yishi) 2)My qi which is mobilized by my mind intent 3)My body moves as commanded by my qi

My qi gong teacher always reminded us to think that we are standing on qi, surrounded by qi in all directions... I realize that when I feel that I am inside my body, I am actually experiencing qi all around me.

At such a deep qi gong state, practicing level 1, "peng qi guan ding fa" is almost effortless and I feel every movement is guided by qi...

If entering the profound state of relaxation can bring about what I described above... what will the experience of "tian-ren he yi" (unity of heaven and man) be like? I wonder...

Now I know why I cannot stop zhineng qi gong. ;)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ZHINENG QIGONG - SIX YEARS ON...

In another six days from today (January 26, 2009) we move into the year of the OX. Six years as a practitioner and I do not think that I will ever stop practicing zhineng qi gong. It has become a part of my life.

I have always wanted to write about my personal experience but each time I make an attempt I failed to get the flow of thoughts going. I now know why... Zhineng qigong is not just an exercise to keep you healthy. It is a...

Spiritual cultivation...
Level 1 - Pengqi guandingfa trains my mind to be still. In that stillness comes an awareness of an inner self. A self that is so peaceful and tranquil. It is a state of consciousness that is best expressed in verse 3 of the eight verses that practitioners use to bring them into the qigong state:

内静外静, 心澄貌恭 (nei jing wai jing, xin cheng maogong)

Translated verse 3 literally means: "quiet internally quiet externally, mind clear and respectful."

Six years of deligent practice has brought a profound state of relaxation into my being that when I recite verse 3 I can see myself very much like the image of Buddha in a tranquil state of meditation. And the feeling of tranquility and respect is so:

HUMBLING

Being able to enter into this profound state of relaxation must be the goal of any serious practitioner of zhineng qigong or any qigong practitioner, otherwise the practitioner will not experience his spiritual inner self.