Monday, December 13, 2010

How to: "Be simple, and merge witht the void"

What does the phrase mean?

"Be simple" is easy enough. Just focus on how you will do whatever you are doing without letting unhelpful thoughts coming inside your mind to distract you from what you want to do. For example if we are about to do peng qi guan ding fa and we want to bring qi into our body we are taught to just think inside our body and not bother about how qi will enter our body. Any attempt to visualize how energy spirals or rays of light entering say our 'bai hui', 'yong quan' etc will only distract us and make us lose the relaxed state of mind so essential to effective execution of peng qi guan ding fa.

If you are thinking: Isn't it better if we can visualise how qi will come into our body through the apertures and be distributed throughout the body via the meridians? The answer lies in our mind being the commander of qi. In fact, an experienced practitioner who has abundant qi will sense qi move the moment his mind move. So just relax and "Be Simple!". Qi gong is NOT difficult ;) Just focus inside your body and qi will follow mind into body.

What about merging with the void? Some said that the void is some far away place where there is abundant hunyuan qi. While it is true that void can exist in that far away place and have abundant hunyuan qi, but believe me; for a qigong practitioner to think of this 'elusive far away place' is not simple. Would it not be easier to focus on the void within our body? Despite our body's appearance of being solid the reality when it comes right down to the atoms and sub-atomic entities that made up our body we are in fact essentially 99.999% (not sure how many 9's) void! With this realization perhaps we may understand why the eight verses starts with:

"Ding tian li di..." (Heads touches the sky, feet planted deeply into ground). Remembering that we must stay simple: the way to feel ding tian li di, would be to think of our head rising into the blue sky and then when we look down from the sky, our feet seem so far and deeply planted on the tiny earth below. Here again, if you have abundant qi, you will feel your entire spine stretching as you sense your head moving up into the sky. ;)

The second verse: "Xing song yi chong" means we simply relax and feel our body expand in all directions, front back, left and right. Our body now fills the vast expanse of heaven and earth... And now isn't it easy to experience the void right within our body when it is stretched in all directions - the four directions plus up and down? In this state just focusing our mind within our body will merge our mind with the void within. Thinking of that far away place if one cannot stay or feel qi within can easily lead to our mind straying away from our body leading to what we termed: "Separation of mind and body." Something qigong practitioners want to avoid.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Integrating our breath into mind

I posted this reply in a zhineng discussion group when I cam back from a holiday in Perth Australia:

on Sept. 10, 2010 Lim Kian Tee wrote:
Back in KL after sixteen hours at the airport and for the first time experience sleeping in a public place (All hotels fully booked). Not such a bad experience considering that we have everything at the airport. Food to eat when hungry. Window shopping when bored, etc. But I cannot say the same if one does not have spare cash when caught in such a situation.


Thanks again for your answer. I realized the importance of working on the lower back (and the entire spine) more than a year ago and has been diligently doing straight legs everyday for more than a year ever since. The changes I noticed (within myself) says it all and I can relate very well what you have just said. But I would venture further to add that of equal importance is the integration of our breath into our mind when practicing straight legs and other form of ZQ. Integration of breath means to me to be fully aware of our breathing during practice (just be gently aware... no need to control) and at all times if we can. It is a way to keep us in the NOW which will brings out the experience of joy, peace and tranquility during practice and at all times if one can stay connected with the breath even when not practicing. How do we know if we are connected with our breath? When we feel our movements as one continuous fluid motion... a truly blissful experience. Not only the pleasant feelings... we are also keenly aware of physical feelings of discomfort... a dull ache at that particular point in your shoulder which had been injured some years ago... Staying centered at this moment of NOW means observe these feelings with no judgment: neither welcoming the feelings of bliss nor reject the feeling of discomfort. Just be aware.

I have re-started my FOF (about half a year already) after stopping for a while. Because of my hard work on loosening the lumbar and the entire spine for more than a year (prior to re-starting FOF) I am glad to say that the reactions has not re-surfaced thus far and instead I find that I am more centered emotionally. More important I noticed that I am aware immediately whenever an emotion arises and because of this awareness am able to exert a certain degree of control over it. Rest assured, my friends, that what I have just said is truly my own experience. Something which I want to share with you guys apart from the well intentioned caution of Kean Hin in regards to FOF.

HYLT!
-Kian Tee


On 09-Sep-10 2:36 PM, Ooi Kean wrote:
Qigong practice is divided into 3 categories. Elementary level (LQU & BMF are elementary work of ZQ) does not involve much about the work on the mind. At the middle level (FOF is the middle level work of ZQ) the work on the mind is important. At the high level it is completely a matter of working the mind.

Quality of qi is determined by the quality of the mind, ie, how well we could remain at the middle at all times..... even while being stuck at the airport ;-)
FOF is the work on the body and mind. If the quantity of qi is enough, indicating that the lumbar capacity has grown large enough and the waist has loosened completely, then you need not work further on the body. If the quality of qi is high, the mind could stay at the middle at all times, then you need not have to work FOF, but solely on the cultivation of the mind. That's my understanding from Hunyuan Holistic theory.
hylt
okh

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ANOTHER MILESTONE

July 15, 2010: Today I experienced what I thought to be a new level of qi awareness during my practice of peng qi guan ding fa. I want to write down this new experience before it fades into obscurity in my memory...

The experience of what my teacher, Liang laoshi termed as "zhou sheng yi jia" (experience of oneness of body), feels distinctly different. The slightest movement is felt throughout the body especially strong in the upper dantian. When executing push/pull the movement is very strongly connected to the hunyuan chiao, which is a moving energy centre. The connection can be felt from the navel right up to upper dantian depending on where my yishi (mind) is focused. What Ihave just described are felt during other normal practices but this time it is much more 'profound'.

The breath during this session is something that stands out. Previously I tend to breathe in during pull and breathe out during push but today, the level of relaxation felt allows me to breathe naturally without losing the deep feeling of oneness of body. This level of relaxation gave rise to a very keen awareness of even the slightest tension of a muscle that arises in my arm near the shoulder region and I can focus my mind to relax it before it causes me to lose focus on my fluid motion. For the first time I experience my body responding (opening and closing) with each breath that I take and the feeling of freedom from worldly constraints is indescribable...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Yishou Dantian

I found this posting of mine which was posted at another forum in 2008 and liked what I wrote ;-)

May 3, 2008

STAYING CENTERED DURING PRACTICE

I was reading a book on Tai Chi and came across the meaning of "Yi Shou Dantian" as mind being focussed on our lower dantian or lower energy center. The author went on to say that every movement starts with the dantian and in this way our spirit will manifest in all movements. I realized that this is what I need to stay focussed within during my practice and tried it out during this morning's session of ZBE. From the start: "Duan sheng cheng zuo..." I placed my "Yi" in my lower dantian and at the directive of "bai hui shang ling... sia ke nei shou..." instead of using my neck muscle I used my mind to think qi from dantian rising to lift up my bai hui... Thus the movement has originated from dantian. The effect was surprising.... an almost effortless movement of bai hui being lifted and chin following inward to my chest.. spine pleasantly stretched...

During establishment of qi field: "Siang qi kong... (think space)" A momentary affirmation of yi on dantian and then gently shifting yi towards "chi kong" produces a sensation of outward expansion which is being controlled from dantian acting as the center.

During ZBE1 I felt a relaxation in my abdomen and lower never felt before. Breating in I can feel qi being drawn seamlessly into dantian with concurrent relaxation of the lower back and lumber bones to accomodate the qi. Towards the end of the breathe in cycle I felt the need to intervene with a slight muscular action to change the cycle to breathing out. This muscular action caused a momentary loss of connectedness with dantian. Not perfect yet as I know the changeover should be a seamless transformation from in to out. More work needs to be done here.

The overall effect of employing "yi shou dantian" is a continual feeling of connectedness with dantian at all times... Whilst employing this mode of practice I am aware of my thoughts moving back to a week ago when I was at my son's school science fair. At the fair I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to peer into space through a telescope to look at the planet Saturn. It surprised me how beautiful Saturn looked in "real life" as opposed to seeing it in pictures and in photographs in the internet. I could not stay look at it too long as there was a long queue behind me. I felt that I need to look at her again and re-joined the queue right at the back for another opportunity. When my turn came again I am more prepared for it... the same sense of awe struck me at how beautiful the planet can be and this time I noticed that it is gliding across space from one side of the scope towards the centre... wow! I had to stop again as it would not be fair to the others waiting in the queue.

While this thought was re-playing itself in my sub-conscious, it dawned on me that it is TAO that is moving Saturn and all the planets and stars in the entire universe! TAO is the center of this motion... it is a point about which everything revolves around and yet it is not static for it is at the same time the origin of all movements of the planets and stars. A sudden inspiration strikes me:

WHEN WE DO OUR GONG WITH MIND FULLY FOCUSED ON DANTIAN AND ALLOW ALL MOVEMENTS TO ORIGINATE FROM DANTIAN...


WE ARE EMULATING OR IN TOUCH WITH TAO!


Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

Sunday, April 11, 2010

PENGQI GUANDING FA

I made this video using my Sony digital camera. Please be patient. The video is 20 minutes long and will take some time to load...




In Penggong we should try to execute "smooth and continual" motion - meaning that one movement should blend seamlessly into another. Ability to do this is a sign of "qi is full" and "qi meridians are clear".

If at anytime there is a pause in movement, the practitioner's mind should continue to be in motion... e.g. when the hands are stopped momentarily above the head the mind should continue to 'move' to send qi through the body, yongquan and down into space below the practitioner's feet. A loosened waist will give the practitioner a sense of "connectedness" with the earth and it will be easier to "feel qi coursing gently through his body" and down into the space below...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Relaxation of waist or loosening of lower back

Recently there was a question asked about "What's so special about completely relaxing the waist?" in Yahoo Zhineng Qigong Group. I post the answer verbatim below:

What's so special about completely relaxing the waist?
Completely relaxing the waist (song yao) does not only refer to relaxing the lumbar region but the whole spine. There are many levels. At the highest level (so-called mystical state) each and every section of the backbone could be rotate/ move at will (hard to believe until you feel/ see it). It is a sign of free flow of qi through out the whole body. The automatical transformation of bodily essence to move upwards, the sign of reversing the intrinsic downward flow of qi (to procreate), a sign of complete command of the bodily essence.


In my own experience loosening the waist (song yao) brings about a good grounding of our body to the earth (feeling of being deeply rooted to the ground). With this we can achieve a good stability of our body. When you can perform 'Tan Tui Zhiao Zhu Miao Tai Ji' (posture no. 9 of xing shen zhuang) with eyes closed you are likely to have a good loosened waist. In my experience, to have a loosened lower back, (let alone a completely loosened waist) can be a very,very challenging effort and one needs perseverance in order to achieve it. I had mentioned in an earlier posting that it has taken me more than a year of hard work and I have yet to achieve it. ;)

Two days ago I was working on 'zhi tui zuo' method of lower back loosening and I experienced a dull ache on both sides of my pelvis. To me this is yet another discovery of where more work needs to be done in my effort to achieve a loosened lower back which is:

I have to work on (loosen) my sacroiliac joint (or SI joint).

The SI joint is the two joints between the sacrum bone and the left and right pelvis. Fortunately our dear teacher Dr. Pang Heming has already got a gong worked out for us which is: 'Ping zhu kai kua fen qian hou' (posture no. 7 of xing shen zhuang). In fact Dr. Pang has given us a whole range of gongs to loosen our entire spine:

1) 'He shou long tou qi chong tian' - posture no. 1, crane neck dragon horn. for the cervical bones of the spine (C1 to C7)
2) 'Fu shen gong yao song du mai' - posture no. 5 for stretching and even rotating the entire spinal column (cervical bones:C1 to C7, Thoracic bones: T1 to T12, Lumbar: L1 to L5)
3) 'Zhuan yao shuan kua qi kui tian' - posture no. 6 rotating and stretching lumbar bones & coccyx or tail bones and..
4) 'Ping zhu kai kua fen qian hou' - posture no. 7 to loosen the sacroiliac joints between the pelvis and sacrum.

So for those of you who aspire have a flexible spine, religiously work on the above postures!

Now back to why it is so important to have a loosened and flexible spine. Think about our spine... it carries our spinal cord from the brain right down to the sacral channel in the sacrum bone ( the tail end of our spine). Nerves branch out from the spinal cord through side openings in the spinal bones to various parts of our body:
  1. cervical bones nerves go to our arms and upper chest,
  2. thoracic bones nerves go to our upper chest and abdomen, and
  3. lumbar bones nerves go to our legs, pelvis, bowel, and bladder.
These nerves carry sense signals to our brain via the spinal cord embedded in the entire spinal column.

Using our zhineng qigong language:
Our brain is the highest hunyuan qi - 'yi yuan ti'. And looking at how sense signals are collected by nerves and brought to the brain by the spinal cord, I reason that for the unity of body and mind to be achieved, we must have 'A Completely Relaxed Waist!' In other words, Qi must flow unimpeded to our 'yi yuan ti' in order for us to experience complete body and mind unity! Makes sense?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An inspiring story...

Here is an inspiring story by a Belgian lady who was nursed back to health by the practice of zhineng qigong and no doubt by her profound understanding of the Hunyuan Entirety Theory and meaning of Hunyuan Lingtong. The article taken from Wei Qi Feng laoshi's blog in Baidu.com

My Experience with Zhineng Qigong
By Tilla Van Opstal of Belgium

The first time I heard about Zhineng Qigong was 9 years ago. A coworker lent me a video with the LCU. I felt immediately connected and started with the exercise on a daily basis. A month later I went to a one day workshop. There I decided to become an instructor because I was convinced that this was good for everybody.

The reason for feeling so good with this method was the combination of movement and meditation. It was timesaving as I felt the need of doing both.

I was very weak. I went through a period of nine years without practically any sleep. I was so weak that I couldn’t hold a pencil to write. One of the reasons was the pain in my lower back. As long as I was moving around, it was ok, but lying down, the pain was so strong that it kept me awake. In addition to that I often had migraines for a couple of days so badly that I had to stay in bed in the dark. Little by little I got my energy back. A Chinese doctor told me that without qigong I wouldn’t be able to walk around, so I got more confident that this was a good way for me to regaining my health.

I didn’t have much time to practice as I had to go at the office and also do my household, having two children. I got up at 5.30 to practice one hour before waking up the children. But because I had also evening classes, I only went to bed by 12 o’clock.

In 2003 I stopped working and decided to make Zhineng Qigong my profession. It’s my goal to bring Zhineng Qigong to Belgium. People know yoga and tai chi, but qigong, more specific Zhineng Qigong is very new. So I had to start from the bottom up with small groups. Even now sometimes I teach for only 8 to 10 people. Most of them prefer small classes because than they have full attention and personal coaching.

The first time I went for a one month training in China was In 2004 with teacher Luke Chan. I met him during his teachings in Europe. In 2006 I went to Malaysia having teachings from teacher Ooi Kean Hin. That was the first time I heard about the theory, about Yiyuanti and Daode.

In 2007 I went to China to study for 10 days with teacher Li Hong Shi in Beijing. He thought me the softness and kindness.

In 2008 I stayed for one month in Hainan with teacher Jianshe and his colleagues. It was a good feeling being whole the time in a center and the training was intense. There I met teacher Wei Qi Feng.

Early 2009, I went there for one month training with teacher Wei who opened a complete new world for me. That’s the reason why, until now, this time my stay in China was the most intensive experience for me. First of all we went deep into the theory. Deep, but in a simple way.

I understood that there were many tools bringing us to the core, the most important or central part, of Zhineng qigong by finding our true self and finding our freedom.

Since I understood the Hunyuan theory I have the feeling of being connected to the universe, to the nature, but also to everybody around me. Everything and everybody is a part of me. By this feeling I feel respect for everybody, for all the work they do. Here is an example: in my behavior I will not throw waste, like paper or plastic on the ground, along the road, or in nature. First of all someone else has to clean it and secondly I don’t want to contribute to pollution of nature.

I’m eating very slowly. That has nothing to do with me not being used to eat with chopsticks, but out of respect of the work the cook had by preparing the food. And the more attention I give to food, which comes from nature, the more I express my respect for it. When pulling in qi by doing movements, we are also very slow and aware of the qi. In food we find also fundamental qi and therefore I eat mindful.

I learned that visualizations and using images, such as a blue sky, were tools, which you can drop at a certain moment and go to the real feeling. The first time that I experienced this was doing the push pull. I used to bring the blue sky into my body and let go, but now I can feel how the qi itself is getting in and around my body.

I got to know about Shen Ji palace. This is completely new to me. I found the entrance of that palace, but not yet the bedroom where teacher Wei always let his mind sleep. So here I need some more practice. Going there I was very restless and couldn’t calm down my mind. By bringing me in Shen Ji palace, doing meditations from my Shen Ji palace, I found some peace and rest.

I learned to use this Shen Ji palace not only during meditations or movements, but also in daily live, when going shopping or sitting in the bus. This way we are much stronger and protected against all outside influences which are not always positive.

I learned how to use my willpower to stay focused or concentrated and let go all distracting thoughts and desires which kept me away from my freedom.

I learned about Yiyuanti and how my frames of references are influencing my being. By being aware of my reactions, by studying my feelings and thoughts, I can create new frames of references to become a better person, to get closer to my freedom, to get closer to my true self. I learned how to stay on the background as being on the top of the hill looking down on what is going on, just observing, living in the present.

I also learned to use this concentration in every movement. So I have been practicing e.g. the cranes neck for about one hour, feeling how every part of my body is changing depending on the position of the head, feeling how to become one with the qi, how to be one mass of qi.

I experienced the intensely turning of the tailbone and the power it gives to the spine and the brains. My intelligence is certainly improved by it.

The fact of being in the centre is also great. Even without me speaking the language I can feel at home as I feel accepted as part of the big Zhineng family. If the Chinese language would not be so difficult, I would start learning it immediately. When practicing together in the group in the big qi-field I can sense it, but I am sure that a big part of the effect is lost by not understanding what is said. When I have my private classes with teacher Wei, I have most of the time a very deep qi-feeling. So I can imagine, being in a big group, hearing the same words in your own language, is like taking a qi-bath.

My dream now is creating a centre in Europe were all habitants can gather together and experience the big qi-field, the effect of the Zhineng family in their own language or in a language that is familiar to them. In the mean time I certainly will advise my students to come to China to experience the roots of Zhineng Qigong.

The meaning of HUNYUAN LINGTONG


That's a picture of Wei Qi Feng laoshi. It is awfully difficult to understand translations from Chinese into English and the phrase 'hunyuan lingtong' often utterred by Zhineng Qigong Practitioners is one of them. I got this posting from Wei Qi Feng loashi's blog in Baidu.com which I find to be the most easy to understand explanation.

Hunyuan Lingtong

Zhineng Qigong practitioners often repeat the phrase ‘hunyuan ling tong’as well as silently repeating it to make it an integral part of their thinking. Teacher Pang said that whenever something happens, our first thought should always be ‘hunyuan ling tong’, so we need to repeat it often so that it is always in the forefront of our mind. Through it, we can trust ourself and our inside potential and powers. There are many examples of its effectiveness that circulate amongst Zhineng Qigong practitioners. Therefore it is important for Westerners to understand something of its meaning.

Hunyuan refers to original hunyuan qi, the hunyuan qi of human beings and all other hunyuan qi merged together. Ling tong means very effective, having good results. Ling also has another meaning, referring to the ‘true self’ which Teacher Pang also called ling jue or ming jue.

So hunyuan ling tong means that the true self merges and works with the hunyuan state of the universe in a way that can make miraculous-seeming things happen. They are not miracles because they can be explained by hunyuan entirety theory. In this state, when the mind merges and works with hunyuan,and the mind sends information about what is needed, then things can be instantly transformed by the information.

Through diligent practice, when one really trusts and is in accord with the laws of the universe, the mind (yishi) will achieve a state of ‘ling tong hunyuan qi’. Teacher Pang said this has the effect of ‘wu wu bu hua’ - there is nothing you can’t change, ‘wu wu bu shen’ - there’s nothing you’re unable to bring about; ‘wu wu bu cui’ – nothing you can’t destroy.

During my class, when Teacher Pang began to teach the two-year students about the full meaning of hunyuan ling tong, he first performed ‘guan ding’ on each of us. In this way we received not only his spoken words, as are translated below, but also his information to provide us with a deep understanding.

What follows is the translation of an excerpt from a lecture given by Dr Pang to the two year training class and reprinted in Zi Wo Yu Sheng Ming vol.2 (it is translated by Wei Qi Feng and Patricia Fraser):

Hunyuan ling tong.

These four words have very profound content. Their meaning is that each person’s hunyuan qi includes yiyuanti, body hunyuan and inner organs hunyuan qi integrated together, along with life activity. This internal hunyuan qi and the qifield are themselves integrated.

The highest level hunyuan qi in the universe is yiyuanti. This merges with original hunyuan qi. All Zhineng Qigong practitioners’ pure, healthy and right-minded qi (hao ran zheng qi) and their information of selflessness also merge, so all the above is integrated. The merging of these elements means that all sorts of information is communicated and can be received (gou tong), leading to a clear, well-functioning consciousness (yishi).

If you keep this knowledge in the forefront of your mind and repeat it often you will experience the reality of ‘hunyuan ling tong’.

The reality of ‘hunyuan ling tong’ expresses the [hunyuan] whole, with no limits and no impediments.[In other words, it expresses the reality of the hunyuan entirety state.] Qi activity can change very rapidly and can freely penetrate everywhere. When you experience the reality of ‘hunyuan ling tong’ in your body, it will affect your entire body.

You must experience the state of ‘ling’ from deep in your heart (xin) every time. If you use your mind (yishi) in this way, you will master all your life activities and instructions sent from yiyuanti will have great power. Use it to change yourself and that which surrounds you; it will have a huge impact.

Let us put our heart into the qi field of the zhineng qigong fraternity in the whole world...

Say: Hunyuan lingtong after our practice each time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

PRACTICE REGIME

For years I religiously practiced penggong, 3CM, xing shen zhuang in succession every day. Up to a certain point and perhaps due to listening to a lecture by Dr. Pang concerning the need to focus or specialize: 'zhuan yi xin nian' I decided to take his advice and found it to be more effective. I was asked a question on my practice regime and my answers to this question together with other answers are produced below:

The healing melody CD.
It did not come with any instructions on how to use it. We just put it on and do ZBE/THCMM and thereafter do 'yang qi' until the end of the CD. I think the instructions are essentially the same as the healing directives given by Dr. Pang in xan xing ping zhan zhuang. I have a microsoft word version of the instructions in English. I will look for it and forward a copy to you if you think it will help. And oh yes you can also do Peng gong, as well as other zhineng qigong exercises while having the CD on. That is an excellent way to ensure that you put in a practice duration of as long as the CD.

The above said, the healing melody has been empowered by the energy field of Master Liu and those in the practice group have put it on to receive its healing energy while they get on with their daily stuffs. Does it work? I have learned not to question... ;)

Master Liu's wordless spiritual transmission
Does it work? If there is a question to be asked, I rather ask the question why miraculous healings has happened to some practitioners and not to others. Personally I try to stay neutral for to judge would definitely put us on the realm of the 'relative'. In our practice of zhineng qigong we strive to focus our mind on the movements (stillness in motion) and hopefully achieve a level of consciousness (presence) that enables us to rise above the relativism of the of the manifested. The qi field to me is the closest to the unmanifested and therefore I strive and focus on qi field in order that I may experience what the accomplished masters have tried to describe using our (inadequate) symbols of words.


Do you still practice with your regular group?
I still practice with two groups. On Thurdays I practice penggong (level 1) with one group and on Sundays I practice wu yuan zhuang (level 3) with another group. The benefit of practicing in a group is the qi field that we are in when in a group practice.

What is my practice regime like?
I had previously put in at least two to three hours a day on complete sets of: penggong, sanxingping zhan zhuang, xing shen zhuang and at some point even ZBE/THCMM. Since about just over a year ago I realized that up to a certain level it would be more effective to focus on certain forms with certain objectives in mind. This is called 'zhuan yi xin nian' (or spceialization) by Dr. Pang if I am not mistaken. In zhuan yi xin nian, we have a certain objective in mind and choose the form that will help us achieve that objective. In my own case I have focused primarily on 'song yao' (loosening of lower back or waist) as I am aware that in order to truly achieve complete and unimpeded flow of qi throughout our entire body our waist must be relaxed and in my own experience, this is the most challenging aspect of mind-body integration to achieve. Unimpeded flow of qi means being able to achieve a truly deep relaxation not only physically but also mentally. A deep mental relaxation means going into a higher level of qigong state.

There are a few forms that I do a lot. Forms that I think will help in song yao. They are 'zhi tui zuo' or straight legs method; 'he shou long tou, qi chong tian' or crane neck dragon head; 'fu sheng gong yao song du mai' or spinal stretching; 'dun qiang' or wall squat; 'zhuan yao shuan kua qi kui tian' or hip rotation; 'cheng qi' or stretching qi and 'cheng pi'.

Aside from focusing on the above forms I try as far as possible to do the entire set of pengong every day if time permits. Peng gong to me is like a must because it enhances the natural process of qi exchange between man and the universe. It increases our energy level and keep us in touch with hunyuan qi of the universe.

From the above you can see that I have no fixed regime as such. The closest to any regime that I may have on a daily basis is:

1) Penggong
2) In various combination for each day:
  • 'zhi tui zuo' or straight legs method;
  • 'he shou long tou, qi chong tian' or crane neck dragon head;
  • 'fu sheng gong yao song du mai' or spinal stretching;
  • 'dun qiang' or wall squat;
  • 'zhuan yao shuan kua qi kui tian' or hip rotation;
  • 'cheng qi' or stretching qi and
  • 'cheng pi'.
I hope that I have not bored you with so many things. I would appreciate to hear from you your practice regime. We can learn from each other.

HYLT!
Kian Tee

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Chou shen yi jia" - Unity of Body-Mind-Qi

I have a teacher who constantly reminded us of the need to achieve what he calls "chou sheng yi jia" or translated literally: "whole body one family". The whole body becomes one when we experience our entire being becomes "fluid". All movements are experienced as "flowing motion" connected to upper yin tang. Not only is our movements flowing, our arms and body "floats" or are supported by a dense medium of qi. Our qong can be executed effortlessly in this state of consciousness.

When we have achieved "Body, Mind, & Qi Unity",(In our normal state we do not feel such body mind connection) breathing feels more wholesome - as if we are breathing throughout the whole body.

I have been concentrating a lot of my work (more than a year now!) on loosening my lower back and has made a fair bit of progress. But unfortunately not enough to enable me to bring my face to touch my knee when doing "fu sheng gong yao". In my own experience loosening of the lower back is the most challenging gong to work on and requires a lot of patience.

Although it is difficult to achieve, serious work on loosening lower back brings many rewards. The first is the sensation of oneness of the body and mind I described above. Secondly, I can sense that my lower body gets stronger by the day and my feet feels more firmly planted on the ground than ever. Some of my teachers used to command us to use our "yong chuan" to "chu qi" (use the acu-point on our feet to breathe) and I had not been able to make much sense out of this instruction until now: With my feet feeling so firmly planted flat against the ground, a slight flexing of the toes can transmit a feeling of suction right up my dantian! More reward: I can execute "Tan Tui Zhiao Zhu Miao Tai Ji" (posture no. 9 of xing shen zhuang) with my eyes closed (isn't that wonderful?).

The journey of self discovery continues...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Answers to question on ZBE & THCMM - Part II

January 21, 2010 - Somebody very kindly pointed out my mistakes I have corrected it now. Hope no more mistakes. ;)

ZBE2
[a] Should the forceful inbreath coincide simultaneously with the pushing out of abdomen and mingmen when releasing the fingers from the nostrils, like a solid straight suction to the abdomen?

At all times be relaxed: especially your shoulders should be relaxed leave a space underneath your armpits. With thumb and index finger touching "yin xiang" point egntly close both nostrils by bringing thumb and index finger together. At the same time take a deep breath... with nostrils closed you will feel a slight pressure build up on your thorax.. without letting the pressure become uncomfortable release index finger and thumb from nostrils... you will feel a sudden in-rush of air (qi) right into your lower dantian. Remember to relax your abdomen. If you got it right you will feel your stomach rising and even your "mingmen" point will move back and out towards your back.

[b] What if we have blocked nostril or nostrils?

Good question. I have not had blocked nose therefore have no experience on this. I should think the nose is never absolutely blocked and so you should be able to still take in some air/qi. Perhaps it could even clear your nose blockage.

ZBE3
[a] How is the short and powerful inhale and exhale in 3 to 5 steps done?

At the end of ZBE 2 bring both hands together in praying position ("he shi")in front of your chest. Open both hands interlockfingers into "hun yuan sword" fingers position.

1. Slowly bring up sword finger to nostrils and allow left index finger into left nostril and rest the right index finger on "ren zhong" point.
2. Instead of taking one deep breath into your lower dantian, take 3 to 5 short breaths (through your right nostril) into lower dantian. Remember to relax your shoulders, armpits hollow, and feel your abdomen rise with each short breath.
3. A the the end of fifth breath, slowly change postion of your index finger such that right index finger is now inside right nostril while left index finger rests on ren zhong. Now instead of letting out one deep breath, let out 3 to 5 short "out-breaths" (through your left nostril).
4. At the fifth out-breath you should feel your abdomen fully collapsed. Without changing index fingers position, take 3 to 5 short "in-breaths" through the same left nostril.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 above; each time alternating your index finger positions.


[b] What does "as if it happens within the belly means"?
It means as I have described above. With each short breath you should feel your belly (stomach) "rising for in-breaths" and "collapsing for out-breaths". If you are able to "feel" your dantian you should have no problem experiencing what Jane described as open, open, open and close, close, close.

[c] During ZBE3, what should we do when feeling lethargic, dizzy head and fainting feeling? Are these denoting improvement or symptoms of hyperventilation?
Dr. Pang has taught us that there will be reactions during practice and we should not be unduly alarmed by them. If reaction symptoms arise remind yourself of Dr. Pang's teachings and carry on. If symptoms becomes unbearable, listen to your body... and stop if you think you need to. I have had pains in joints, dizzy feelings, really red-eyes (totally blood shot) shot etc. but they all clear up soon enough.


ZBE as far as I can see is fairly harmless and it is actually quite similar to Dr. Pang's Lianqi bafa (eight methods of cultivating qi) - That's my opinion but others may think otherwise. Qi is not guided and therefore it is safe.

THCMM
[a] In posture 1,2 and 3, the positions of fingers at the top of the head remains the same as when they started. But it seems the positions are different at the back of the head. What should the positions of the fingers at the back of head be?
First of all you must know the positions of the accupoints: 1)er men & tong zi niao for THCMM 1; 2) tong zi niao, yu yao jie, dazhui for THCMM 2; and 3) tong zi niao, yu yao jie, san ken, yin tang, tian men, bai hui, and yu chen for THCMM 3

Your fingers should be positioned correctly to massage these points as you sweep your hands over your head. Position of your hands at the back in my opinion is not so important as no acupoints are massaged at the back of the head. What I do is for THCMM 1, keep my hands close to the ear at the back. For THCMM 2 I allow my hands sweep past yu chen and down to the back of my neck (da zhui) before bringing them back to the front. For THCMM 3: index finger at tong zi niao, little fingers at shanken, ring fingers at yin tang, and middle fingers at yu yao jie. When sweeping back all fingers brushes over yin tang, bai hui, yu chen and dazhui.

[b] It seems that the fingers must massage the face when going back to the starting position in posture 1,2 and 3. But in posture 3 it seems [in the video] that the
fingers don't massage the face when going back to the starting position. Is this correct
Fingers massage I have mentioned above. When hands are back in front: for THCMM 2 you must place fingers back in the starting position: ie index finger on tong zi niao, little fingers on yu yao jie. Starting fingers positions are important for THCMM 3, that is why you see master Liu bringing the fingers straight to the original positons described in [a] above.

[c] What if one don't massage the face? How much pressure to apply in the massage?
You do not have to apply pressure. Just touch the skin and sweep your hands. What's important is your "yi" (mind intent). If you think: as I sweep my hands I am stimulating qi flow along the meridians and activating the accupoints to allow greater opening and closing of these points thus enhancing the natural process of qi-exchange between my body and the qi of the universe.


Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Questions on zhineng breathing exercise

Some one asked me some questions about the zhineng breathing exercise and I thought it would be beneficial for others to read about it and add comments if they have any.

[a] What does natural abdominal breathing mean? Are we are not to slightly pull in our abdomen all the time? What about pulling up huiyin and closing anus?

Natural abdominal breathing: When you breathe in your stomach rises and when you breathe out your stomach collapses back. If you are able to draw hui yin into lower dantian it will be good but if you cannot that is okay. It will come when you have advanced to a different level of awareness of the body, mind, and qi trinity. The same goes for drawing anus in.


[b] What does "withdraw forward the back" and strengthing the spine [during the start of ZBE] means?

"Withdraw forward the back" in pin yin "yao xiang chien ta" means you arch your lower back (the lumbar region) slightly towards your front so that your spine is ever so slightly curved forward. This is normal zhineng qigong posture requirement wherein the lower back is curved forward while sitting and curved backwards ("xiang hou du") when standing.

[C] What is the rhythm, type of breath and time in seconds for the inhale/exhale in ZBE1,ZBE2 and ZBE3?

No strict rhythm to follow. You do it at your own natural and comfortable pace. In zhineng qigong or any qigong practice it is never advisable to force your body for it will be counter productive and cause one to be unsettled - out of qi gong state if you like.


[d] Ideally what should one's mind be thinking/concentrating on during ZBE? What about YQ and THCMM. What did Jane's mention about visualization in advanced practice?

Prior to starting your mind or "yi" should be in the state wherein you are thinking ZBE will enhance the natural process qi exchange between yourself and the universe. As you breathe in your body opens up and receives hunyuan qi into every cell of your body. And as you breathe out you release qi back into the universe, thus occurs a natural process of qi exchange between man and nature in perfect harmony.
I did not join Jane's advanced practice but through some lectures i know that they did a lot more yang qi into the middle dantian.


e] Why is sitting on the floor to practice better than sitting on a chair? And how do one overcome the back pain?

I am not aware that sitting on the floor is better than on a chair. I should think getting the correct posture for proper relaxation is more important. If your back pain is due to soreness from practice it is okay as it is a sign of qi blockage clearing up and you will get better. I cannot tell you more unless you describe in more detail eg where is your pain located.

[f] Do we include building a qi field? If yes, is it internal hun yuan qi field?

Yes always set up a qi field. It is actually a practice to adjust our consciousness to a different level wherein our awareness of the surrounding or universe becomes more acute. I find it most beneficial to become aware of being inside qi and whatever I do I am doing it inside qi. At yet another consciousness level we become one with this qi medium and then we do not have qi "inside" or "outside"of ourselves. I do not recall Jane talking about whether it is internal hunyuan qi. I would not worry about this question as it would not matter in this case.

[g] What is the recommended duration of practice for beginers and advanced students for ZBE, THCMM and YQ

There is no recommended duration of practice. You just do for as long as you are comfortable. But do a lot of yang qi and you will progress better. I used to do two to three hours in one session.