Although all qigong practitioners are working with qi the path they walk can be different. Some use qigong for medical and health benefits like zhineng qigong, some use qigong for martial arts purposes, some use qigong to achieve a calm state of mind for deep and profound thinking e.g. scholars of confucianism, and some use qigong for spiritual enlightenment e.g. buddhist monks.
Whatever path we are taking, in order to excel in what we are trying achieve we must be able to achieve deep relaxation of mind or "to enter qigong state". To enter qigong state we have to be able to harmonise our wisdom mind and our emotional mind. In this blog entry I would like to describe my own personal experience of harmonizing my wisdom and emotional mind.
The Chinese equate our wisdom mind to a horse - big and strong; and our emotional mind is likened to a monkey - small and weak. Before you start thinking that monkey being small and weak will be of no match to Mr. Horse, bear in mind that monkey though small and weak has the capability to disorientate you from your focus, weaken your will and make you uncertain and fearful. Let us look at the following life situation:
You are caught in a traffic jam moving only a meter or so only after staying stationary for more than five minutes. To make matters worse you have this very important meeting with your client to explain your proposal on this project that will have a very important impact on the bottom line of your company. At the rate the traffic is flowing there will be no way you could make it on time for the meeting. Mr. Monkey immediately judged that you will be doomed and that you will be killed by your boss for failing to secure this very important deal. You become fearful and prayed hard to God that some miracle will happen to take you out of this misery. Your pray quietly... but nothing happened. In the meantime Mr. Monkey chattered on incessantly: " Why is this happening to me! Oh no someone please help me. (Horn loudly at the car in front that is slow to move when those in front has already inched forward) Next Mr. Monkey seems to insist that he can do something and asked you to try to overtake this annoying car in front. Your are flustered. Sweating, heart beating faster... At certain stage Mr. Horse decided that enough is enough and decided to speak up. Mr. Horse said to Mr. Monkey: "Will you stop your incessant chattering and calm down? Trying to overtake this car in front; is it going to help you get out of this traffic jam?" Mr. Monkey realized his mistake and replied, "No". "Good that you know this," says Mr. horse. "Now, why don't we just put on some nice music and relax while we wait for the traffic to clear." Monkey agreed that it is a good idea. When horse and monkey agrees we have harmony of the two.
I love to do a lot of "San xing ping zhanzhuang" or 3 centers Merge as it is very effective in helping us achieve loosening of our lower back as well as our sacro-illiac joint (the joint between our pelvic bone and the tail bone). My wisdom mind tells me that I should make it a point to do 1 hour per day without fail while Mr. Monkey may tell me to give it a miss today as I am a little bit lazy. Fortunately Mr. horse is very firm and I managed to put in 1 hour of zhan zhuang everyday for more than a month now. Getting monkey to cooperate is one thing. During the session, monkey tries to to wander all over the world making me lose focus on the lower dantian. Monkey will also complain of discomfort here and there: forever trying to stray my focus away from the lower dantian. This is where we have an opportunity to exercise our free will: (1) We can walk away and do something more interesting instead of having to put up with annoying monkey. (2) We persevere and use Mr. horse's strength to rein in restless monkey.
If we succeed to rein in monkey, the two will be in harmony and we will begin to feel a full and profound focus on lower dantian resulting in our consciousness being connected with qi. This comes as a feeling of "bai hui" (accupoint at top of head), "lao gong" ( point in center of palm), and "yong quan" (accupoint at our feet) being simultaneously connected by five streams of qi terminating at our lower dantian. Feeling a ball of qi in our palms all the way into the center between navel and "mingmen". A deep relaxation start to spread from the lower dantian and eventually you will experience a relaxation so deep that it seems that you are in the center of this great ball of brilliant qi which envelops you. At this state of consciousness you can even move without losing connection with qi. What you will feel when you move is like you are a sea weed deeply rooted in the sea bed and sway gently about as the currents moves around you. The longer you stand in meditation, the more relaxed you will feel... HUNYUAN LINGTONG!