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July 2011 Issue of Mastery Journal


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Enjoy the first-ever double issue of Mastery Journal

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July 2011 Issue of Mastery Journal

  1. 1. VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 6-7 June/July 2011Mastery JournalThe International Ezine on Mastery in Qigong, Internal Arts, and Life Alignment of the Torso Lama Tantrapa Tai Chi Principles Ji-Jian Cheng Energy Enhancement System Dr. Sandra Rose Michael Cultivating Qi Energy Ricardo Serrano Qigong as a Portal to Presence Gunther Weil Nature of the Tao Jon Weston The Ins and Outs of Breathing Pt III Gary Gamboi
  2. 2. Volume 1 June/July 2011 Issue 6-7 Mastery Journal Readers, Letter from the Editor Articles With summer finally having arrived to the Northern Alignment of the Torso Hemisphere, our sights are more and more directed outdoors. Out in nature, we can rediscover the sense Lama Tantrapa of harmony with the world that otherwise often appears to be crazy, busy and stressful. Exposing Tai Chi Principles ourselves to the sun rays and enjoying the elements is Ji-Jian Cheng essential for our wellbeing and wellness; besides, most people tend to feel more “in the flow” outdoors. Energy Enhancement System Dr. Sandra Rose Michael Please enjoy reading about the variety of empowering Cultivating Qi Energy and enlightening practices presented in this double- Ricardo Serrano issue of Mastery Journal, as well as make sure to get some fresh air and enjoy communing with nature this Qigong as a Portal to Presence season. You will find many wonderful opportunities to do so in the company of like-minded people in the Gunther Weil Calendar of Events. Nature of the Tao Jon Weston The Secrets of Qigong Master talk show alsoThe Ins and Outs of Breathing Part III introduces a number of new guests and invites you to expand your perspectives on Energy Arts and Spiritual Gary Gamboi Awakening. Please join us for the dynamic dialogs with different Qigong masters and healers every Monday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm PST (9:00 to 10:00 pm EST) atClick Here to Subscribe and Receive a Bonus And if you have not subscribed to Mastery Journal yet, please subscribe now at Brought to You by Namaste, Lama Tantrapa Publisher: Lama Tantrapa Production Designer: Thomas Pamelia The Cover Composite: Copy Editor: Lucas Meyer Information is correct at press time. Mastery Journal is published monthly by the Academy of Qi Dao in Portland, Oregon. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the official company policy © 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission is prohibited.
  3. 3. The Mondays 6:00 pmSecrets of PST (9:00 pm EST)QigongMasters Email Us Your QuestionsTalk Show Call-in to Ask the Masters Listen by Phone on the Go, Stream to Your Computer Subscribe to the Podcast Download to Listen Later Share Our Show with Friends Volunteer to Transcribe As the host of this enlightening talk show, Lama Tantrapa interviews prominent experts in the fields of Oriental Medicine, Energy Healing, Meditation, and Internal Arts. He also shares his unique perspectives on the principles and appli- cations of energy awareness. Join us every Monday at 6:00 pm PST (9:00 pm EST) for a friendly and mindful exchange of ideas and “secrets of the trade.” Call in during the show with your most burning questions for our guests at 347-327-9635 or email us at
  4. 4. CALENDAR OF EVENTS BASIC QIGONG HEALING WORKSHOPIf you practice or want to practice Qigong as a healing modality in its own right or in conjunction withother modalities, you will definitely want to attend this special event followed by the open houseat Academy of Qi Dao. Please join us for exploring and discussing the most fundamental principlesspecific to the healing applications of Qigong practices and techniques. These principles can apply tomany other modalities of alternative healing, including massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteo-pathic and Oriental medicine.Find out how Qigong can enhance your healing abilities, help you heal others without spending yourown energy, as well as avoid being affected by the energies and illnesses of the people you workwith. This workshop can also serve as an important introduction to other aspects of Qigong studiesthat are available at Academy of Qi Dao, including wellness, spiritual, sexual, and Martial ArtsQigong.After this workshop, you are welcome to participate in the potluck lunch and community gatheringat the Open House dedicated to the tenth anniversary of Academy of Qi Dao in Portland, Oregon.Every participant will be presented with a gift certificate valued twice as high as the workshop admis-sion!Where: 3516 NW Skyline Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97229When: Sunday, July 17 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (followed by the potluck lunch/open house)How much: $97 per person or $150 for two (call 503-719-6110)Register at The space is limited to 12 people! CONTRIBUTIONS Our publication accepts unsolicited contributions from professional and amateur writers. We are looking for articles and interviews that fall under the broad concept of mastery in Qigong, Kung fu and related disciplines. Please send us your stories on the best practices, masters’ profiles, as well as product and service reviews. Additionally, you are welcome to submit anecdotal stories about personal breakthroughs, discoveries, inventions, new approaches and applications. We will be glad to publish well written stories about Qigong, Kung fu and other masters from any place in the world capable of boosting health, well-being, and prosperity with specific approaches or methods that can be explained in writing. If you who would like to contribute to our future issues, you may submit articles, columns, profiles, stories and reviews electronically by emailing us at Please provide your brief bio (a couple of paragraphs) and color head shot along with your piece of writing. Once you have been accepted as a contributor, you will be able to submit further contributions online by using our content management system. ADVERTISING Mastery Journal reaches out to thousands of Qigong, Energy, and Martial Arts enthusiasts from around the globe. Our market research indicates that the prospect subscribers to Mastery Journal are 55% male and 45% female. The average age of our readers is between 35 and 55; the majority having a college degree or higher. Most are avid wellness enthusiasts and have primary interests in Qigong, Internal Martial Arts, eco-conscious living, holistic health, and nature- based spirituality. Your ads can be placed in two locations: on the interior pages of the ezine, and on the webpages of our site. The first option is more prominent, as it allows for larger size display ads. The second option is more persistent, as it appears on all webpages of our site. If you would like to place your advertising in the future issues of Mastery Journal please email us at: and we will be happy to help you choose the option that would best suit your needs.
  5. 5. WHITE WATER RAFTING TRIP TAKE A HIKE ON THE WILD SIDE OF PORTLAND!Join us for an AWESOME trip and a great way to get out and enjoy the sun,the river and a fun time for half a weekend! The short version is a Friday nightof car camping just outside of Maupin followed by a day on the DeschutesRiver rafting! This summer, we continue offering our unique “walkshops,” orWe will be camping at a BLM campsite along the Deschutes River Friday Qi Dao workshops outdoors, which are always well attendednight! The plan is we head out of Portland Friday, camp overnight along the and appreciated. Our walkshops usually cover several miles ofriver, raft on Saturday and then head back to Portland. The weather this time hiking at various exciting locations in Oregon and Washingtonof year in Maupin is hot! So a day spent on the river is awesome! and allow time for informal discussions and practice of Qi Dao in nature, as was originally practiced by Shamans for millennia.This 14-mile day trip begins at Longbend (5 miles South of Maupin) and endsat Sandy Beach. This stretch of the Deschutes River contains several of the Please join us for a walkshop on Sunday, July 31, when we willbest whitewater rapids, including the Boxcar, Oak Springs and Elevator rapids. hike a portion of Forest Park’s 30-mile Wildwood Trail in theWe stop half-way to serve up a classic river-deli lunch. After lunch we will stop outskirts of Northwest Portland. Please contact us for more in-for some extra fun at the white river natural water slides. formation by email at or by phoneWhere: Rafting down the Deschutes River, meeting at 3516 NW Skyline Blvd, at 503-501-8116.Portland Where: Academy of Qi Dao, 3516 NW Skyline Blvd, Portland, ORWhen: Friday, July 22, 2011, 4:00 pm PST 97229. When: Thursday, January 31 from 10:00 am to approximatelyHow much: $97 per person (must reserve the spot by July 20) 5:00 pm.Register at The space is limited to 12 How much: Suggested donation - $10, bring your own lunchpeople! and plenty of water.THE TICKET COVERS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:1) Your Day Of Rafting2) Lunch On The River WILDERNESS QI DAO RETREAT3) Digital Photos Of You Rafting How often do you get an opportunity to commune with4) Tips For Our Guides Mother Nature directly? How much do you need to re- charge and refresh you body, mind and spirit? How well5) Reserved Campsite Friday Night do you want to master the art of being in the flow of yourAll of the above is included at a cost less than what just rafting normally life?costs! So grab your gear for car camping and come join us! You will also needthe following for the river: You can achieve all of these and many additional benefits by attending our Annual Qi Dao Wilderness Retreat on the* River sandals, tennis shoes, or neoprene booties (not flip-flops) Oregon Coast in the middle of August. The people who* Waterproof Sunscreen and chapstick (SPF 15+) attended the previous retreats were quite surprised to discover how much getting exposed to the elements and* Sun hat or visor becoming more natural helped them with much-needed* Sun Glasses with a strap release of tensions and letting go of stress. If you have not registered yet, you need to do it now, because following* T-shirt and nylon shorts or a bathing suit! the numerous requests, we offered the $50 “early bird” discount through July 31, 2011.* Synthetic fleece sweater and windbreaker in case the weather is cool orcloudy Not only can you get $50 off your registration now; if* Change of clothes for drive home, including a second pair of shoes you are among the first ten registrants, you will receive a fantastic bonus: Basic Qi Dao Home Study Course ($150* Water bottle(s) value) for free.* Disposable waterproof camera (optional) Register now at Should you have any questions or requests, do not hesi- tate to email us at
  6. 6. Alignment of the Do not forget to check whether your pelvis habitually tilts forward or backward – this may be an invitation to exploreTorso your alignment in the frontal plane of your body. Slowly thrust your pelvis back and forth, noticing alternating tensions in the muscles of your lower back and abdomen. Pay specificLama Tantr apa attention to the point of rest in the middle, when both of those groups of muscles relax. That is the neutral position of theJust like the alignments of your head and limbs, the alignment pelvis that aligns the spine and requires the least amount ofof your torso is crucial for your health and well-being. A tension and effort to support your body upright. The weightnaturally aligned human body has maximum stability and of your entire upper body can peacefully rest on your skeletalbalance and is free of tension. structure as long as it is in alignment.As the key alignment, torso alignment affects the alignments The next step in your exploration of Harmonious Culture ofof all the other parts of the body and vice versa. When you Movement is going to involve learning to apply this effortlessstand, your torso needs to be balanced on the support systemof the legs. If your body’s weight is habitually distributed onone leg more than the other, the pelvis will have a tendencyto tilt away from the weight-bearing leg. This tilt of the pelviswill inevitably create a curve in the lumbar or lower spine.To compensate for this misalignment, the muscles on theweight-bearing side will have a tendency to pull the thoracicor upper spine in the opposite direction bringing the shoulderdown on the same side. The neck will usually compensate bypulling away from the lower shoulder. Such habitual shift ofthe weight away from the center may result in developing achronic pattern of holding tension in your body, which we mayexplore in future articles.Ask your practice partner to test your stability by gentlypushing you into your hips from the one side and then, withequal amount of effort, from the other. Notice whether yourstability is more challenged when being pushed from one sidethan the other. Then slowly shift your weight side to side inorder to feel which side habitually bears more weight. Noticean increase in tension in the side muscles when shifting the way of standing to meditation. Let us explore one of the mostweight off center on that respective side; notice relaxation popular and widely appreciated meditative practices calledwhen returning to the centered position. As you experiment Zhan Zhuang, which can be translated from Chinese as Standingwith slowly rocking your pelvis, pay particular attention to the like a Pole, or a Tree, a type of standing meditation dedicatedposition of your center of mass in the middle associated with to finding the sense of physical and mental equanimity whilerelaxation of both sides, for this is where your torso is most standing in a Natural Stance. There are many variationsaligned and centered. on the theme of standing meditation, so I would suggest experimenting with all possible ways of doing it. The main point of this exploration is to find the particular method that
  7. 7. resonates with your energy better than others; however, it extending from the Bai Hui point on the top of your head, downmay also be subject to change from day to day. the spine, all the way to the Hui Yin point on your perineum (the pressure point between your genitals and anus). InTo start this meditation, take a Natural Stance by simply jumping Oriental Medicine, it is called the Central Channel and oftenand landing softly. You can absorb the shock of landing best by referred to as “Taiji Pole.”slightly bending your knees and using the thigh muscles, whichis the largest muscle group in the human body, to land without You may breathe naturally, allowing the breath to synchronizea loud thump. This will mean that your knees are sufficiently with the movements of your body. You will know that you’vebent, which should allow you to check the alignments of your become Centered when you notice that your breathinglegs. pattern changes becoming deeper and smoother due to the relaxation of the muscles of your abs and diaphragm. WithI don’t believe that one type of alignment is ideal for everyone, practice, you’ll discover a greater sense of equanimity, orso you’ll have to find what works best for you. Generally Centeredness, preventing stress from building to the levelsspeaking, though, when your knees just barely cover your harmful to your health and well-being.toes, the bones of your upper and lower legs as well as yourfeet will end up in the same plane, which will provide you with Keeping your eyes slightly closed; imagine yourself outdoors,a maximum support. in nature, perhaps, in an old-growth forest, surrounded by ancient trees. In this visualization,I am not going to tell you how far your feet should be apart you may be able to feel thefrom each other or how much you should turn your toes, energies of those trees, andbecause all of that depends on your unique physique, energy when you find one tree that youand state of mind. But I strongly believe that by jumping and resonate with, give it a big hug.landing a few times you will empirically find the most natural As you imagine feeling the barkway to stand. Hence the name – Natural Stance – which means of that tree with your palms, youthat all you need to do is be natural. can sense the flow of tree sapWith practice, you will no longer need to look down at your underneath the bark.legs; rather, you will feel the connection between your feet and You may even pretend to be a treethe ground underneath. The pressure points in the centers yourself, imagining what it wouldof your soles – Yang Quan pressure points – are the major be like to grow on one and thegateways energetically connecting you with the ground. That same place for hundreds or evenis why the more your weight is distributed on the centers of thousands of years, being washedyour feet (rather than on the toes, heels, inner, or outer edges by rains and dried with theof the feet) the more Grounded you will feel. sunrays. Imagine growing a rootThe way your weight is distributed between your feet and system deep underground that provides you with nourishmentwhether your center of mass is in the middle will indicate how and support. Visualize your roots growing deeper and deeperCentered you are. To improve your Centering, you can pivot through the layers of the top soil and dirt, underground waterabout 180 degrees on your heels just lifting the toes of the and rocks, even through hot magma – all the way to the centerpivoting foot and bringing them down, one foot at a time. of the planet Earth. And once your roots tap the energy centerAllow your arms to swing freely so they touch the opposite of the element of Earth, this benevolent force begins to flowhips as you pivot side to side. Close your eyes and bring one up your roots into your trunk, empowering and rejuvenatinghundred percent of your attention to the axis of your body, your entire being. That’s right; you may receive as much ofaround which it pivots. The Center of your body is the line this powerful energy as you need at this moment in your life.
  8. 8. spirit. Imagine washing yourself with gentle, circular motions that massage and caress each and every square inch of yourYou may also let go of any energies you no longer need body. If you find any areas that require some special attention,recycling them into Mother Earth to make them usable again. please spend a little more time rejuvenating and energizingTake your time to receive all the energy you need from the them by giving them as much attention as they need. As itEarth… Only when you feel like retrieving your roots can you were, where attention goes – energy flows.start retracting them from the center of the planet Earth goingback through the layers of magma, rocks, underground water,dirt and top soil back into your feet, as you slowly regain your Lama Somananda Tantrapahuman shape and form. Stay Rooted for a while and enjoy the is the 27th lineage holdersense of the free flow of energy in your system, empowering of Qi Dao, also known as Ti- betan Shamanic Qigong. Heeach and every cell of your body. It doesn’t really matter what has been practicing Qigong,you did with your arms, whether you kept them relaxed by Dream Yoga, Meditation, andyour sides or up in the air, wrapped around the trunk of your Internal Martial Arts for overdream tree. With practice, you will probably feel like letting thirty five years, primarilythem slowly sway whichever way they will, as though they are trained by his Grandfatherthe limbs of the tree gently moved by the wind. Whatever you who was the paragon of thedo, just remember to be natural and spontaneous, rather than Russian Martial Arts and Qi Dao Grand Master. His background is complex enough to includefollowing any strict routine. The amount of time you need to serving in the Soviet Army’s Special Forces, being kidnapped indedicate to this meditation may also vary from a few minutes the Ukraine and surviving several near-death a quarter of an hour or even longer if you wish. Lama Tantrapa was ordained as a Buddhist monk in three differ-Recently, I have developed another variation on the theme of ent orders and initiated into Subud spiritual brotherhood. In ad-standing meditation based on my observation that some of dition to being a Tibetan Bon Lama, he studied with a number ofthe most profound, meditative experiences seem to happen Qigong and kung-fu masters, great teachers of Yoga and medita- tion, as well as Native American, Hawaiian and Siberian many people spontaneously when they are taking a shower. He is also trained in Cultural Anthropology, Meta-coaching,Have you ever noticed that showering is one of the few Hypnosis and NLP. When living for two years on a small tropicalactivities that allow you to focus all of your attention on island in the Pacific, 7000 miles away from the majority of his students and clients, he pioneered a novel method of conduct-yourself? Maybe, you are one of those folks who would never ing Qi Dao sessions over the Internet called Qigong Coaching. Insing in public but feel uninhibited enough to sing or hum when the last decade, he has provided wellness, peak performance andtaking a shower, huh? life coaching to thousands of people of all ages and from vari- ous walks of life. He is also a bestselling author of several Qi DaoBeing completely naked and touching the intimate parts books, executive producer of the film Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanicof your body while washing yourself also provides you an Qigong, creator of CD albums Qi Dao Initiation and The Art of Be-excellent opportunity to direct your attention to those parts ing in the Flow, publisher of the Basic Qi Dao Home Study Courseof your body that are usually covered up and don’t receive and other multimedia learning materials available atenough appreciation. can just imagine yourself taking a very nice, long shower. In addition to being the publisher of Mastery Journal, LamaAs you visualize the pleasantly warm water pouring onto Tantrapa is also the host of the Internet Radio talk showyou, its imagery obviously consists of the pure energy of your The Secrets of Qigong Masters that you can enjoy at www.consciousness. Great . . . let this energy pour all over your body, your skin, relaxing your muscles and refreshing your
  9. 9. TAI CHI strength will be greater than before and your “Qi” (inner breath and essence) will increase with every day of practice. These points should help you to get a solidPRINCIPLES foundation in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. The Five Stages of Tai Chi PracticeJi Jian-Cheng   The first stage is to learn the Tai Chi form and to master its postures and movements. It does not matter whether the posture is static or moving. You must always keep the following points in mind: Feel as if the crown of the head is being lifted from above; the chin should incline slightly toward the chest; the shoulders should be relaxed and the arms should fall naturally to your sides; the spine should be kept straight with the chest very slightly curving inwards; the hips must be relaxed and the buttocks turned under a little; the hips and shoulders should be in line and the spine vertical to the ground which should produce a natural comfortableIf you want to master Tai Chi Chuan, you first need tounderstand “Wuji” (emptiness or formlessness). And, toreally comprehend the inner meaning of Tai Chi, you alsohave to be aware of its philosophy and principles, andpractice according to them. Then, after a long period ofdisciplined training you will finally understand theessence of Tai Chi Chuan.When learning Tai Chi Chuan, the first thing to do is topractice “Tai Chi Gong.” This focuses on thefundamentals of Tai Chi “Neigong” (internal training). Itis said that “to practice Tai Chi we must first start fromunderstanding ‘Wuji’ and with diligent practice will comethe realization of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang.’” So, before starting topractice the form, you should first do “Tai Chi Gongfa”(Tai Chi basic principles). For example, practice “Tai ChiZhuanggong” (standing exercise), and you will graduallyexperience a feeling of silence and peace in your mindand you will feel as if your body is empty. When you feeling. When moving, whether it be back, forward,hold your hands out you will feel as though you are left, right or turning, all movements must come fromholding a balloon; you will forget your legs and they will the hips, but the hips should not sway from side to side;feel like they are not there. When practicing “Tai Chi otherwise the body will come out of alignment. MovingGong” you should feel like you are not breathing, but are forward or backward, you must keep your center ofstill in control of your breath. Allow your breath to be gravity low and also at a constant height so that thenatural, long and deep; use your mind to direct the “Qi” body does not move up and down. At this stage andto various parts of your body. When you experience with gradual training, you should let your arms become“Wuxing” (formlessness or intangibility), you will slowly “lighter,” your legs placed firmly but lightly.feel the energy circulating throughout your body. Withlong and continual practice you will find that your With the second stage of practice, it is important to
  10. 10. place your strength in the roots of the feet. Whether downward. When you express energy (fajing), all partsmoving forward or backward, left or right, or turning, of the body must act together and feel like an iron springone must place the weight on the feet and then “deng being compressed, then at the very last moment yourjiao,” pressing downwards before lifting the foot up, as energy can be released, with the body moving oppositeif compressing a spring, to move forward, back, left or the direction that one’s energy is being expressed. Theright. Moreover, when pivoting on the heel the force whole body should feel as though it is being stretchedof the movement must be opposite to the direction out as if like (five) bows ready to be fired. One bow isthe heel is pivoting. This way the hips will follow the at the legs, one at the waist, one at the shoulders, onemovement of the pivoting and the hips will lead the at the elbows and one bow at the wrist and hands. Atbody in its movement. After a long period of practice, this time the eyes must look far outwards in a forwardthe whole body will gradually become relaxed, alive and direction so as if to express the explosive energy verynimble and the body’s energy will come from the feet far outwards. “Using your mind to express the energyand the counteraction of the pivoting movement. Once far outwards will in turn let your energy actually bethis second phase has been achieved, one can then expressed far outwards.” When practicing the form,place one’s force at the base of the feet. The principles each movement must be performed in this way of usingof Tai Chi Chuan say, “The force (jing) comes from the the mind to express the energy far outward.base of the feet to direct the waist.” Note that the waistincludes the lower spinal area and can also include the At the fourth stage, after practicing “fajing” (explosivehips. energy) for a while, it is best to have an experienced teacher test whether your “fajing” technique is correct.At the third stage of practice, “Fajing” (expressing The teacher will “try” the student’s “jing” (energy)energy) is the main objective. According to the to see if the student is in fact using the whole bodyexpression “Rou xing qi, gang luo dian,” when expressing correctly to express this explosive energy. That is,the energy it is very soft until the last moment and to verify that the feet are acting like a spring whenthen it becomes as hard as iron. When attempting to expressing one’s energy, the waist is indeed twisting to express one’s energy transfer the energy, the shoulders are being “urged” in each movement forward by the energy, the arms and elbows are being of the form, the two “sent” forward and at the moment the energy reaches feet must “deng the wrist and hands is being expressed into the “hard” jiao” – press into the energy. Whether or not this energy can be transmitted ground for the energy to the teacher’s body will indicate if the student has to come through, as mastered “fajing” technique and thus the fourth stage. mentioned earlier, However, the mastery of “Neijing” is a complex matter like pressing spring and the student must rely on an experienced teacher to to release its energy. correct any faults and to guide the student to the correct For example, when execution and understanding of “Neijing.” expressing energy in a forward direction, Stage five is “Quixujing,” the training to distinguish the crown of the head solidity from emptiness and quietness, the must be as if lifted understanding of solid and empty in each movement from above, the waist and the changes involved to bring about a quietness and must be relaxed and relaxing of the self while moving and practicing the form. the spine “tail” must For the above mentioned five stages of practice, all be inclined slightly need to rely on correct body movement and expression forward, while the of power, but with stage five, one needs to use the lower spine must be mind to master the understanding of solid and empty inclined slightly back. and quietness of one’s movements. One must use the The shoulders should mind to direct the form as expressed (in the above four be relaxed and the stages). That is, using the foot as a spring, twisting the elbows should be facing waist to urge forward the shoulders, and sending out
  11. 11. the elbows and arms the body; it will become too brittle and easily broken. to express the energy One should not use one’s muscular strength or brute once it has reached the force as if too tense in practice because the flow of wrists and hands. At “Qi” will be obstructed and the body will feel clumsy. the very last stage, one If brute strength is used, then not only will the flow will be using the mind of “Qi” be obstructed but also one will not be able to to express the explosive “feel” the opponent’s energy and thus will not be able to energy and to direct the neutralize it. When practicing Tai Chi Chuan one should form. When performing not practice with fury or rage. If so, one will be too the Taiji movements, brittle and firm and will be easily “broken.” Moreover, if one should have a one practices with rage then the “Qi” will be retained in feeling of resistance the chest and will feel uncomfortable, and this can have around the skin of the detrimental effects on the body and health. Therefore, whole body like feeling one must be patient with practice and should be relaxed, the resistance of water and after adhering to the principles of Tai Chi Chuan for when swimming or a period of diligent training, one will reap the rewards. moving through water. When practicing Tai Chi Chuan, one’s shoulders and When you can feel chest should not be too open, the body should notthis resistance of air over the body while in motion, be too crouched over and the stomach should not bethen you have improved to a level that, for example, can “sucked” in so the chest is protruding outwards. If onebe used in application or in “pushing hands” so that you practices in such a way then it is possible that the “Qi”will “know” where the opponent’s energy or force is at will flow in a reverse manner such that it may not bethe moment of contact. able to return to the “Dantian”; in turn the “Qi” will rise upward and there will be a feeling of imbalance. With the practice of Tai Chi Chuan one should understand aImportant Points for Mastering Tai Chi Chuan little about Chinese medicine theory. For example, one can understand where the “Dantian” is, where one isWhen practicing Tai Chi Chuan, one must use the mind directing the “Qi” to, and how to bring the “Qi” backto direct the flow of “Qi.” Once the mind has directed to the “Dantian.” It is important to note that the “Qi”the flow of “Qi,” then it is the “Qi” that will direct the should always be allowed to return to the “Dantian.”movement of the body. If one follows this way of Therefore, there is a constant flow from the “Dantian” topractice, then this will invigorate the body’s “Jing” (inner all parts of the body and then back to the “Dantian.”essence – not the same word as “explosive energy-Jing”),which will then create more “Qi” in the body and in turn When you practice the form, you should not always bealso stimulate one’s “Shen” (spirit). Again, as if feeding thinking of how the movements are used to deal with an opponent. Instead, you should be using the “Yi”and growing off each other, this will increase the “Jing” (mind) and “Qi” to direct the movement. If you areand therefore more “Qi” and higher levels of “Shen,” always thinking of how to strike an attacker, then yourand this constant cycle from “Jing” to “Qi” to “Shen” and Tai Chi Chuan will not advance to the higher levels ofback again will help to improve one’s well-being and a understanding. Therefore, you must be patient withhealthier state of mind. Therefore, it is very important practice, and with diligent training and the building upto diligently practice and carefully notice in each posture of ‘Jing’, ‘Qi’ and ‘Shen’ eventually you will be able tothe flow of “Qi” and direction of movement. When you express explosive energy. When you understand thepractice Tai Chi Chuan, you must have softness as well as above points, with diligent practice you will be able tofirmness in the form but you cannot be too soft or too improve your inner strength and increase longevity byhard. Regardless of which posture one is performing, the cultivation of “Jing,” “Qi” and “Shen.” Then you willone must adhere to this principle of softness and really understand Tai Chi Chuan.firmness. If too soft, one will not have enough energyand the “Shen” (spirit) will not be aroused. If too firm,then one’s “Qi” will not be able to circulate throughout
  12. 12. Master Ji Jian-Cheng is Director of Martial Arts andQigong at Zhejiang University, recognized by theGovernment of the People’s Republic of China as 7Degree level Master of Wushu, he is a National WushuMaster for China and a National Referee and ChiefMaster of the Tai Chi and Wushu Association of GreatBritain. He has a formidable repertoire of Knowledgeand skills in both fighting and internal styles. He isAssociate Editor of a 10-volume encyclopedia of Shao-lin Temple Martial Arts, has taught Qigong and Wushuon a series of China TV programs and has written 10books and many articles. While in the U.S. he startedteaching Tai Chi classes at assisted living homes for theelderly and had a loyal group of students that trainedat OPT with him three days a week.
  13. 13. Master of & share the only things we really want to share with everyone: our light, love, joy, peace, health, wealththe Month & happiness... to touch the hearts of every being to feel more love now... Remember: As We Radiate Light, Nothing that is not of the Light can affect us & Nothing is more powerful than Love.Dr. Sandra RoseMichael We invite you to do this every day for 3 minutes at noon in your particular time zone. The power of the increasing radiation may be neutralized with the spacedTransmutation repetition of the shared intention as outlined below. If we commit just 3 minutes every day to transmuteof Radiation into these energies, this gift of service allows us to exude more healthy energy & blessings during this time of transformation. We suggest you share this experienceRadiations of each day at noon using your heart chakra (the main magnetic, electrical, consciousness-transferring field in the body) as an amplifier along with EESystem ‘QiLight Technology’ . It may be useful to remember, in sharing these intentions that nuclear radiation is a form of negative light that can be overcome by the blue white light radiating out from within the zero-point of the very center of your DNA. We believe Light Fusion to be***Extra Special Thanks to Dr. Gabriel Cousens who the antidote to fission, facilitating Infinite radiations &coordinated & began focusing this meditation at noon embodiments of Light, as from within we conquer.daily through the EESystem at Tree of Life RejuvenationCenter & also to Nonnie Chrystal for focusing her energy If you share this from within a true Bio-Scalar EESystem,through her EESystem featured in the “Greenest House an internet audio and/or video stream can furtherin the World”. Please share this updated version of what broadcast our intentions throughout the World Widewe shared at the QiGong Congress that has already gone Web, the external manifestation of the global mindout to over 100,000 people around the world! link, so that people can tune into & feel this powerful connection all over this beautiful planet. Please searchTHE INTENTION YouTube under “Radiation Meditation” to join in! The intention of this visualization is to feel & know THE SHARED EXPERIENCEthe transmutation of radiation into the radianceof the Light of Consciousness. It is an intention of Visualizing & feeling the embodiment of cellularnullifying & transforming the destructive energies knowing that the nuclear radiation has alreadybehind the radiation as well as the radiation & fall- been transmuted into the Light & Unified Fields ofout itself into energetics that can accelerate global Consciousness Now!awakening, evolution & enlightenment. In a variationof understanding the principle that what we send 1. Begin by vibrating 3 repetitions of the sacred Yodout with our thoughts returns to us multiplied, the or Om sound.darkness of the radiation that has been sent out returnsas transmuting light for the enlightenment of Mother 2. Feel the blue white light being activated withinEarth & the consciousness of humanity. As we share your DNA, which naturally transmutes all that is neededthis radiation transmutation experience, we send divine into healthy molecules, to regenerate your, sound & light to the planet & to the very heart of 3. If you have had access to the true bio-scalar wavesMother Earth, connecting our hearts with hers. Radiate of the EESystem, you know it actively repairs the DNA &
  14. 14. creates unified fields that can nullify & mitigate radiation EESYSTEM SETTINGSand other destructive energy patterns for a 2 mile radius.If you are not actually within an EESystem, project If you have access to an EESystem, we recommend usingyourself into where you have been in one in a past or some specific settings in conjunction with the broadcastfuture memory. You may also go to of this shared experience. To request a copy of theseto see actual EESystems to help with your meditation. settings, please email our team at: info@eesystem.This is an important step, for as we are using our minds, com or call the Florida Office: (863) 471-6820 for morebodies & the Light, scalar waves of this EESystem can amplify our intentions. We can invokeDivine Intervention & Guidance to accelerate our results. For more info from Dr. Gabriel Cousens on what you 4. Feel the blue white light begin to expand from can do about the issues of both ionizing & non-ionizingevery cell & DNA pattern in your body & begin to let it radiation, visit: Tree of Lifemove around our world. See the world being envelopedin this blue white light, which transforms all thatneeds transforming into the pure blue white Light ofConsciousness.5. Send this blue white light out from your heartchakra to be carried on all communication wave frominternet, TV, radio & even other scalar technologies. 6. Now project the blue white light from your heartinto the great central heart of Mother Earth. Feel thatdeep personal heart connection, peace & Oneness. 7. Visualize a column of Golden Light coming downfrom the heavens flowing through your body from yourcrown chakra & entering the earth through your feet.This Light surrounds you as you allow this Light to flowto the center of the earth & expand to fill all of MotherEarth with the support & Love of our Divine Father. Nowvisualize a column of Silver Light coming up from MotherEarth through your feet & totally surrounding your body.See this Light expanding itself to encompass the entireearth into the heavens & back to the Father. Allowyour Self & the entire Universe to feel the balancing ofall land, skys & seas, all masculine & feminine aspectsbeing aligned by the Light , with the Light & as the Light& Highest Powers of Love creating harmony for theblessings & good of all that is & ever shall be. All Lightcoming together & radiating Infinite Love here on Earthas it is in Heaven through us Now. 8. End with 3 repetitions of the sacred Yod or Omsound & feel these vibrations filling the galaxy to Infinity.
  15. 15. Master of plied Integrative Bio-Physics, Hon. Dr. Michael hasthe Month received numerous scientific awards including from the Prime Ministry of Turkey, the World Summit on Integral Medicine, World Congress for IntegrativeDr. Sandra Rose Medicines, World QiGong & Traditional Chinese Medicine Congress, and Ministries of Health inMichael Ecuador, Panama, and the Ukraine. She is fac- ulty for the internationally accredited Institute of Energy Wellness Studies in Canada and also Integramed Academy and does keynote lectures at Mt. Sinai, University of Panama and other medi- cal schools, Royal Society of Medicine, The Harvard Club, anti-aging, health and medical conferences, and Health Ministries globally. Knighted for her ser- vice to humanity, Dame Commander of Honor Dr. Michael is on the Board of Advisors for the Venera- ble Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospi- taller of St. John of Jerusalem. Her patented design unifies scalar energy, bio-photonic fusion, pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), hydro-bifurcation (similar to a hydrogen fuel cell), dense intentional fields, and direct interface with the DNA. Inside this quantum physics phenomenon, you can feel and experience a hyper-healthy, electro-polution free, energetic environment for profoundly accel- erated and optimized regeneration, rejuvenation and body-mind-spirit health worldwide. As “Profes-Having taught holistic health for over 3 decades, sional of the Year 2010” by the prestigious Presi-internationally renowned Hon. Dr. Sandra Rose dential Whos Who, Hon. Dr. Michael’s unparalleledMichael is sole Inventor of the patented true background gives her the edge in helping others tobio-scalar EEProcess™ (see achieve true dynamic homeostasis.covered globally on CNN and Discovery Channeland also awarded Qi Technology of the Year 2008. Dr. Sandra Rose Michael, PhD, DNM, DCSJMost recently featured on the cover of the Beverly Inventor, Bio-Scalar TechnologyHills Times, she is on the PBS Advisory Board for Researcher, Applied Integrative Bio-PhysicsAlternative Medicine, the Global Advisory Board US Office: (863) 471-6820for Medical Safety Solutions, and is the appointed Hawaii Office: (808) 895-2903Vice-Chancellor and Senior Director of Energy Mobile: (760) 272-0989Medicine for the Global Foundation for Integrative Email: Sandra@EESystem.comMedicines as well as the appointed Deputy Min- Website: www.EESystem.comister of Health for the Republic of New Lemuria,a new nation in the Pacific islands committed togreen building and green living. A researcher in Ap-
  16. 16. Cultivating Qi continuum are assimilated and drawn into the Hara. Located in the abdomen, the center of the body, the Hara is the central point for all of these energies. TheEnergy Hara is described as the realm of the “Moving Chi between the Kidneys” and is centered around the “Sea of Chi,” Chi Hai or Tanden and the umbilicus. This understanding is found in some of the earliest texts. InRicardo Serrano the Huang Jing Ching, or “Yellow Jing Textbook,” the following description is given.“I heard ancient people were able to live to one hundred “The Yin Chi and Yang Chi meet and cross together (asyears and still be the same as when young. But in sex) and then Jing comes down and Jing alchemicallynowadays, when fifty years old our activities decrease. transforms to Shen. Jing and Shen combine togetherHow is this? Is it due to the times, or have humans lost to take on some form, and then come up to the Ninesomething?” the Yellow Emperor asked. heavens to become the Chi of the Nine Heavens. The Chi coming down to Chi Hai meets Shen and then the“The ancient people knew the way, the Tao, and the rule person is created.” But today, people are not like this,of Yin <-> Yang and could get harmony of the numbers. they drink too much alcohol and think about sex andThe ancient people could control their eating habits. after drinking will go to bed and lose their Jing accordingThey knew the rules of life, waking and sitting. They to their sexual desire. At the same time as losing theirdidn’t overwork. For these reasons, they were healthy Jing, they lose and disperse the truth. They don’t knowand balanced in body and mind and were able to live how to keep the body healthy. They don’t know how toone hundred years. But today, people are not like this. control their mind and cannot control their desires. TheyThey drink too much alcohol and think about sex and are against the living pleasure, the Tao.” the physicianafter drinking will go to bed and lose their Jing according Chi Po their sexual desire. At the same time as losing theirJing, they lose and disperse the truth. They don’t know The Nan Ching specifies the source of Chi as the Harahow to keep the body healthy. They don’t know how to and the Breath. The Ling Shu ties both the Breath ofcontrol their mind and cannot control their desires. They Heaven and the Chi of food and water to formation ofare against the living pleasure, the Tao.” the physician the true Chi. This quote from the Nan Ching tells us thatChi Po answered. the “source of vital Chi” is the Hara:From the Huang Ti Nei Ching, Su Wen, Chapter One. “The Hara ... the source of vital Chi .... is the gate of breathing.”“The four seasons and Yin and Yang are the beginningand ending of everything, the root of birth and death. Wang Shu He, who wrote a little known but brilliantIf ones goes against the rule of this one can get injury, treatise on the Nan Ching, explicitly states whencreating general catastrophies, like a flood, which affect commenting on this section of the Nan Ching that airall others as well. If one doesn’t go against the rule when drawn into the abdomen creates Chi:disease doesn’t occur, this is the Tao.” “Breath (gas/air from breathing) reaches to the inside (ofFrom the Huang Ti Nei Ching, Su Wen, Chapter Two. the abdomen). The Chi grows and then becomes solid; this protects against evil injuring the body. Protecting on the inside and defending on the outside, this is Chi.”The following excerpts from the book Five Elements & This passage is very similar to the preceding quotationTen Stems supported by the classics Nan Ching, Ling Shu from San Dai Ji Jin Wen Tsun. Both emphasize theand Huang Jing Ching show the importance in cultivating distention of the abdomen as air is drawn in from properQi energy in the Hara and its energetic pathways through breathing. It would follow that the solidity mentionedQigong, meditation, herbs, diet, exercise, acupressure, by each is the elastic flexibility of a healthy Hara.and acupuncture for stress management, holistic healthand well-being: According to information from the Ling Shu, the energies of Heaven <-> Man <-> Earth interact to form the TrueThe energies of the Heaven <-> Man <-> Earth Chi. One aspect or equivalent of True Chi is the Source
  17. 17. Chi. It is in the Hara, the area of “the Moving Chi nourishes the twelve meridians (The Twelve Branches).between the Kidneys,” that all energies interact to createthe basic or Source Chi of the body: The Hara is the center, the ultimate source of Chi.“True Chi is the prenatal Chi from the parents, Chi of the The energetic anatomy is clear. The Hara is the center,breathing from Heaven and Chi of food and water from the ultimate source of Chi. The Triple Warmer is theEarth, mixing together.” energetic connection of the Hara to the Source points of all the meridians. It is the “root” of health and life.The idea of energies coming down to the Hara or Chi Before any other treatment is administered, we need toHai (Tanden) pervades the classic references. The Hara treat the condition of the Hara.was seen as the merging point of the various energiesand the source of True Chi. One aspect of this Chi forms, The Nan Ching theory of energetic anatomy is centeredcreates, or becomes the Five Elements energies. More in the Hara. The energetic nourishment of Jing andprecisely, this aspect of the energies presents, creates, or Shen, the passage of Chi and maintenance of thebecomes the Ten Stems energies which are described by pulse are not the only functions rooted in the Hara.the Five Elements system. A second or additional aspect The Gathering of Eminent Acupuncturists and theof this Basic or Source Chi forms, creates, becomes or Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion discuss how the Ten Stems relate to the Source points. At the same time, they present another viewpoint on the relationship of Triple Warmer and Heart Main- Pericardium to the Ten Stems. Recognition of the Hara as the “Root,” the center, pervades the practice of acupuncture and all other ideas based on the classical concepts of health. As the center of the energetic system and the starting point from which many techniques of diagnosis and treatment are developed, it completes or supplements the Five Elements system. The Hara itself is seen as an area that encompasses the whole abdomen. It is focused around the area called Chi Hai or Chi Hai Tanden which overlaps the Spleen and Kidney reflex areas centering around CV-5 and CV-6, the Ma Point of the Triple Warmer and the “Sea of Chi.”
  18. 18. Reference:Five Elements and Ten Stems by Kiiko Matsumoto andStephen Birch, 1983. Ricardo B. Serrano, R.Ac., is a registered acupuncturist, Qigong teacher and healer from North Vancouver, BC, founder of Maitreya Shen Gong and integrative whole body Enlightenment Qigong. He has been trained by Pan Gu Shengong Master Ou Wen Wei, Wuji Qigong Master Michael Winn, Sheng Zhen Qigong Master Li Jun Feng, Master Pranic Healer Choa Kok Sui, Zhan Zhuang Qigong Master Richard Mooney, Merkaba Master Alton Kamadon, Qi Dao Master Lama Somananda Tantrapa, and Siddha Guru Baba Muktananda. Ricardo Serrano founded Maitreya Shen Gong based on his knowledge of Qi Dao, Pan Gu Shengong, Sheng Zhen Qigong, Primordial Wuji Qigong, Crystal Pranic Healing, Holographic Sound Healing, and Qigong Omkabah Lightbody Activation Method (QOLAM). He has been practicing Chinese Herbology and Qi-healing (combining Qigong with acupuncture) for over 30 years.
  19. 19. Qigong as a commercialized as they are transplanted into Western society. As a result, it is very easy for students of Qigong or meditation to become lost in a forest of techniques,Portal to Presence symbols, arcane language, rituals or authority and thereby ignore the simple and direct realization that lies at the very heart or genesis of most formal systems. This essential realization, which we could describe asGunther Weil Presence or Being, is in complete alignment with the core of Taoist principles ,and is aptly expressed in the aphorism:“The key is to be in a state of permanent connectednesswith your inner body– to feel it at all times. This willrapidly deepen and transform your life.” “When there is no meditator, there is nothing toEckhart Tolle meditate upon”Is there an underlying spiritual dimension behind the If we are willing to suspend for the moment ourmyriad forms of Qigong that by its very nature, invites us conventional understanding of Qigong, our inquiryto simply and directly access deeper levels of being, pure could lead us into a much simpler and direct approachawareness and the experience of Presence in daily life? If to working with Qi - a way of embracing the life forcethis is the original intent of Qigong, in what way can this that encompasses and employs the most subtle qualitiesancient art be practiced as a Portal to Presence? of energy expressed in the body/mind. This approach to understanding and practicing Qigong is more truly aligned with the Taoist principles of Wu Wei (non- effort) and Wu Chi (Formlessness). This approach, moreThese questions and the perspective that informs them fundamental than any forms or systems of cultivating Qistem directly from many years of my personal and for the purpose of healing or developing internal power,professional experience as a psychologist, student and would at the same time effortlessly incorporate thoseteacher of Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan. My own journey expressions, and simultaneously point to the field ofthrough the complex and often confusing landscape of consciousness or Presence that lies behind all of thesethese disciplines and practices has led me to some of the phenomena.insights and ideas I would like to share in this article. I would describe this deeper understanding or moreHaving studied and worked for many years with a variety essential quality as the spiritual foundation of Qigongof teachings, and masters of internal energy, martial – the ancient intent underlying any forms or systems ofand spiritual arts, I have personally experienced and internal development whether they are healing, martialobserved many of the spiritual blind alleys and subtle or spiritual.dangers that are associated with complex systemsof Qi training and hierarchical structures of spiritualdevelopment. The obvious risks include identificationwith a set of formal teachings, lineages, systems, or Notwithstanding the numerous health benefits of theeven the identity of belonging to an elite professional conventional forms of Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan, and otherorganization. The less obvious, more subtle dangers ancient mind/body traditions, there is something moreinvolve identification with a set of goals, or images of essentially authentic in or behind these forms thatspiritual attainment, no matter how refined or ideal they evokes a deeper level of human consciousness existingmay be. The result of either is that the seeker assumes prior to the forms themselves.a new self-image; an elevated or spiritual ego emerges,an identity framed within the language, symbols orauthority of the teachings or lineage. These risks become Before we examine this possibility, it may be useful toespecially compelling when ancient teachings are highly briefly describe some background and theory of Qigong.
  20. 20. inner cultivation through a greater focus of attention on the Upper Dantian and the heart/mind. What areQigong, Neigong and the Progressive Path of Inner sought in these practices is a transformation of QiCultivation into Shen, as well as the further refinement of Shen itself into higher levels of soul and spirit. In someSome classical principles may help us understand teachings, notably some popularized forms of TaoistQigong theory and practice in a broader psycho-spiritual Inner Alchemy, this process has become elaboratedcontext. In some respects, this is an exercise similar into a series of complex “formulas” that hold theto highlighting the richly textured context of Taoist promise of leading progressively to the highest levels ofspirituality and healing which lies behind the widespread spiritual attainment. These formulas seek to blend thesystem of contemporary Traditional Chinese Medicine. progressively refined internal energies of Jing, Qi and Shen with “external” energies of a variety of solar, lunar and cosmic forces to arrive at their stated goal of TaoistIt is generally agreed that the multitudinous systems immortality. Essentially, this is a path that interpretsand forms of Qigong are historically closely associated spiritual development as a process of systematicallywith the healing arts of Taoism, although it is also refining the post-birth material energies at differentacknowledged by some excellent teachers that there are levels of density so that they return to their originala number of important practices that derive from the nature - the non-material realm of pre-birth spirit. TheBuddhist tradition as well. The most common definitions intent of the practitioner is to return to the void, theof Qigong include techniques for conserving, storing, Wu Chi, through an intentional, accelerated mental andcirculating refining and transmitting Jing (pure essence) energetic focus on refinement and transformation ofand Qi (pure energy) for restoring and maintaining and increasing strength and stamina. Based onthe classical Taoist emphasis on a sound energetic andphysical foundation for health and longevity, a dedicated Risks of the Progressive Approach to Inner Cultivationpractitioner will, through consistent effort, progressivelyrealize the health benefits of Qigong on energetic, On the path of progressive cultivation, the seeker strivesphysical and even psychological levels. for higher and higher levels of realization according to a road map often derived from interpretations of ancient Taoist alchemical texts such as the as “The SecretIn terms of spiritual cultivation, one of the distinguishing of the Golden Flower.” And “Taoist Yoga: Alchemy &characteristics of Taoist spiritual practice is the Immortality.”importance of the body as the laboratory in which Jing,Qi and Shen (individual consciousness) are progressivelyrefined and transmuted into increasingly finer levels From my perspective, there is a great deal of confusionof energy culminating in the “Golden Elixir” or “Elixir and misunderstanding attendant to this process.of Immortality.” In fact, this emphasis is a uniquely Although there are numerous classical techniques, asdistinguishing feature of Taoist spirituality. In the Taoist well as contemporary interpretations of these methods,tradition, a healthy body and longevity – the goal of designed to control and manipulate the energies of Jing,most Qigong and Taoist healings arts - is regarded as Qi and Shen, I consider most of them to be artificial andthe foundation for spiritual realization. The message is misleading. Following this path, the seeker is endlesslya simple one: the longer one lives in health and well- in a process of becoming or progressing through effortbeing, the greater the potential for realization. There is towards an imagined goal. This easily becomes a desiredno obvious parallel in the Buddhist or Hindu traditions, delicacy for the ego and has the real potential to fixatewhich, with a few exceptions, view the body as an the mind on the mental form of a spiritual goal, therebyimpediment to spiritual realization. subtly creating just another dualistic illusion.There are also Taoist teachings, sometimes described I have observed many otherwise sincere and dedicatedas Neigong, (inner or hidden cultivation) that take this practitioners of Qigong embrace internal alchemy as anprogression even further in the direction of spiritual entree into some kind of elevated spiritual real estate; aattainment. Neigong practices generally emphasize
  21. 21. mentally created location characterized by the qualities It is no accident that one of the central sources ofof voidness, emptiness or the imaged goal of immortality Taoist wisdom should state this proviso at the outset.that becomes the desired pot of gold at the end of the Fundamentally, what the Tao Te Ching tells us is thatrainbow. the Tao cannot be explained or fully described by the intellect. The unrefined intellectual or discursive mind, i.e. the categorizing mind based on past memory and future expectation, cannot by its very nature “grasp” theOne result of this is that after many months or years of essentially ungraspable Tao. From the perspective of thededicated practice, many students and teachers become Tao Te Ching, the mind and language itself, i.e., mentalidentified with a self-image of attainment. The mental and linguistic forms, even refined forms of spiritual ideasstructure of the ego assumes an identity, albeit in this and ideals, can only point to that which is beyond theinstance a spiritual identity, that superficially replaces mind. They can never fully describe this realm of beingthe ordinary, more pedestrian, material ego or self. This since it is the very source or basis from which the mindis a particular danger in any teaching, but especially in and all other forms of life derive. In this sense, mind,those practices that emphasize the manipulation of Qi or language, the very basis of thought, can only describePrana in the form of ascending or descending channels itself and other forms, including the subtle forms ofor meridians such as Conception and Governing vessels energy.and the Thrusting Channel (Ch’ung Mo), or focus onenergizing specific centers or Chakras in the body as insome of the classic and modern interpretations of theIndian Yogic systems. Perhaps even more disturbing is Another way of understanding this particular spiritualthe common phenomena of energy imbalances that conundrum is within classical Taoist ontology. Thisoften arise in practitioners of these forms. The level and philosophical framework describes Wu Chi, thequality of energy suddenly awakened in these practices nameless, formless Void and source of the Tao, as theis not easily integrated into the student’s body/mind in source of the dual forms of Yin and Yang in all of theirdaily life and may result in mental, emotional or physical countless permutations. This play of opposites in turndisturbances. This has sometimes been described as gives rise to the Five Elements or Five Energetic Phases,the Kundalini syndrome within the tradition of Yoga or and these, in turn, lead to the forms of life in all of its“Running Fire” by Oriental medicine. infinite manifestations. And yet, at the end of the day, so to speak, all phenomena naturally and easily return to the source, the un-manifested Wu Chi. Return to Wu Chi is essentially the model for all Taoist cultivationTo be fair, it should also be pointed out that there are methods.some teachers of the Taoist arts who warn that themental manipulation of internal energies, channels,etc. is a dead-end. Their emphasis, beyond embodyingdesired attributes of virtue and morality, is to simply rest If we transpose this “warning”- the inherent limitationsawareness in the body, initially in the lower Dantian, of the mind’s capacity to describe the Tao- to theand allow the process of cultivation to proceed naturally conventional practice of Qigong or Neigong, we mayand effortlessly. In their understanding, not only is this rightfully ask the question: how can techniques orapproach more consistent with principles of Wu Wei, it is forms that work with energies of Yin and Yang, lead toalso safer both physically and spiritually. the formless or the Tao? Or, to put it another way, how can the practice of progressively refined technique, no matter how subtle and sophisticated, lead to that which is by its very nature beyond any technique? CanWu Chi (emptiness) & Wu Wei (effortlessness) any progressive practice of self-development, whetherThe central paradox of Taoism - summarized succinctly in it is Qigong, Neigong, including the complex formulasthe first verse of Tao Te Ching, begins with the warning: of Inner Alchemy, lead through time to that which is essentially selfless, formless, timeless and eternal? On the surface this seems to be a perplexing paradox – one that goes to the heart of the question of the limitations“The Way that can be spoken of is not the constant way.” of systematic, progressive practice of Qigong and Qi cultivation.
  22. 22. of martial or healing skill.Almost everyone who sincerely practices Qigong,Neigong, or any progressive practice of meditation witha spiritual intent pursues these disciplines with the Some practitioners and teachers of Qigong haveexpectation that these arts will add something to their understood this point and suggest that the “highest” orlives. The goals may range from gaining more calmness most refined form of Qigong is embodied by standingand equanimity to immortality. Whatever the level of postures. In this teaching, know as “Zhan Zhuang”aspiration, the intent is to add something that is missing. (“standing like a tree”) one’s practice is to simply stand,Yet, the central tenet of Taoism warns us that this is an relaxed with as empty a mind as possible, and allow theillusion. How can we become that which in our essential internal energies to rise or descend and do their worknature we already are? of unraveling tension, knots or stagnation in the body’s muscular - skeletal and energetic systems. Nothing more is required. “Zhan Zhuang represents “effortless effort,” utilizing a minimum of form or technique, embodyingAny technique or method that is goal oriented implies principles of Wu Wei and Wu Chi in a very direct way.a degree of effort and tension since it involves a search This type of practice, of which there are numerousfor something external to the self - some result which variations, is most closely associated with Wang Xiangis desired to complement or complete the self-image. Zhai, one of the foremost practitioners of the ChineseYet, if what we seek is already ours by virtue of it being internal martial art of Hsing Yi, who describes theour essential nature, then methods or techniques that philosophy of Zhan Zhuang as:seek spiritual attainment are misguided and may, in fact,obscure the understanding that we are what we seek. “Action originates in inaction, and stillness is the mother of movement.”Interestingly enough, this paradox is not exclusive tothe Taoists arts of self-cultivation. In fact, this sameconundrum is at the center of a number of spiritualtraditions. For example, Jean Klein, one of the great Wang Xiang Zhai’s statement conveys a deep truth, oneWestern masters of the non-dual teachings of Advaita that lies at the threshold of understanding how we canVedanta, as well as a great teacher of Hatha Yoga, makes directly approach the “practice” of Qigong as a portal tothe point in commenting on the value of Yoga as a Presence.spiritual practice: A “Portal to Presence” is exactly what it says: a simple“If you practice yoga to achieve something…then yoga doorway or entrance to the field of Consciousness orbecomes an obstacle, for it may generate the belief that Presence. It would be stretching the meaning of thewhat you fundamentally are is a goal you can attain word “technique” or “method” to apply it to this idea.through some system of progress. And this belief in One just walks through the portal as one becomes awareprogress takes you further away from yourself.” of its existence. There is no effort involved such as a decision to remain in the doorway, or to walk through on one’s hands and knees. In fact, it would be a bit odd to hang out in the doorway itself or to approach it in suchQigong as a Portal to Presence a convoluted matter. The portal opens, and Presence arises spontaneously. Gradually, as awareness arises,As Qigong practitioners, how can we work with this the practitioner experiences the portal opening moreparadox in a practical fashion? After all, philosophy frequently in the spirit of Wu Wei.aside, we live in a world of form and duality, and havelearned from experience the necessity and concretebenefits of diligently focusing our attention on therealization of a goal. We have all learned that both time Approaching the practice of Qigong in this way, the bodyand intelligent practice is necessary whether we wish to and Qi are just objects for attention and observation.learn a language, play the piano or develop a high level No particular posture, Qigong form, visualization or