Qi Experience

Qi Experience

Postby keechy » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:36 am

Hi all,

I hope I'm not out of line by posting my qigong experience and questions here.

I've learnt qigong (sitting) for a month now. And I think that I am making good progress. Although I admit I do not fully understand what I am doing. Hopefully, by sharing my experience here, I can get some
relevant feedback.

This is how we practiced our qigong. We were told to start by doing sitting meditation to relax our body and calm our mind. Then, we were told to visualize the qi flowing through the meridians (eight extraordinary). If the qi starts to flow, we were told that our body would begin to move according to the flow of the qi. For example, for the microcosmic orbit (du-ren mai), we would rock forward and backward. For dai mai, we would make horizontal circular movements.
For chong mai, we would bounce up and down.

I practiced accordingly. After less than two
weeks, I felt some intense qi flowing through my body. However, it did not last very long. Few days later, the strong sensation stopped, replaced by a milder electric and warm feeling throughout the body
whenever I practice. My yong quan and lao gong would pulsate. I thought I was able to move my qi along the du-ren mai and dai mai
circuits and produced the desired motion. This is because the body moved as though there is a subtle force propelling it. The movement was gentle and slow. But for sensing the qi itself, I couldn't be sure. But I thought I could feel a mild warm sensation moving. Up till a week ago, I never had any success with chong mai. In the chong mai circuit, we visualize the qi to oscillate between huiyin to baihui.

Then, a week ago, when I practise chong mai, my body began to bounce up and down vigorously. And I felt the qi very strongly in the body from the navel up to the head. It felt the same as my first qi experience. But only this time, the sensation did not end. It was repeatable. Whenever I practice the chong mai and started to bounce up and down, the strong qi sensation was there. And I found out that there is a transition in the movement, from up-down to forward
rocking. This forward rocking movement is the du-ren mai circuit. Now, I start to practice the microcosmic orbit by rock forward very vigorously (like to and fro in less than one second). And I can feel the qi very strongly flowing in the du and ren meridians.

I admit the sensation is wonderful. But at the same time, it is also physically exhausting because of the vigorous movements involved. And I notice that the strength of qi flow is stronger the faster I move. It is as though the vigorous movement pumps the qi intensity up. When I return to the gentle slow movement I did before, the qi sensation is very mild in comparison.

Is this normal in qigong practice? Will the vigorous movement harm the body in any way?
keechy
 
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Nov 03, 2003 3:09 pm

Greetings Keechy,

Welcome to the board!

Although I know very little of ChiGong processes, I would be interested to learn more.

I have never attempted these methods you describe, but see some general similararities on certain points...

I too have noted different 'results' for same activity...I have no idea why this is so...maybe it is based in the area focused on.

I also noted the inherent 'temporary nature' of the results, somehow it seems distinctly dependant upon general frame of mind??? More likely it will become more consistently acheivable with extended practice.


I would be very interested in a list of the meridians you mentionned...The 8 extraordinary?

Where on the body are these points located specifically?

Their names in Chinese or English if you could...On the Bare hand forrum in the Shi San Shi topic, I placed a list of meridians...could you possibly correlate those with your knowledge?

Any detailled explanations you may be willing to supply about these points would be appreciated.

Do I understand correctly when you say these '8 extraordinary' create the 'microcosmic orbit'/'Du ren mai' or are they two different things?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby dorshugla » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:27 pm

keechy,

Anything mechanical that make you drain "energy" is not good.

Basic sitting initially does not have directing or guiding especially in the first 3-6 months of training so if you state you are gaining benefit, then god speed with what you were taught.

AN example of a basic sitting method is "Sitting Baduanjin". No visualization needed.

by the way , what is the name of your practice method?
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Postby keechy » Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:08 am

Thanks for your replies.

Psalchemist,
I hope this helps. The microcosmic orbit consists of two meridians - du mai and ren mai. Du mai (or governing vessel) runs upward along the spine: huiyin (or perineum) to mingmen to baihui and then ends at the upper pallate of the mouth. Ren mai (or conception vessel), which runs downward, starts from the mouth down to the solar plexus, dantian and back to huiyin. Hence, the two meridians form a continuous loop that starts and ends at huiyin. These two meridians are part of the eight extraordinary meridians. These two are considered most significant in internal arts training as they act as qi reservoirs. Good circulation and accumulation of qi in this orbit allows qi to flow to other meridians associated to the organs for healing purposes. Hence, their importance is reflected by the special name given to them - the microcosmic orbit. The other six meridians have their orbits too which are different from the microcosmic orbit.

Please refer below for a good explanation of the meridians: http://acupuncture.com/QiKung/EightQi.htm

Dorshugla,
My qigong course takes on a general name, namely, The Eight Extraordinary Meridians. It is a foundation course and the objective is to clear the blockages in these meridians before we proceed to other more advanced courses.

I agree with you that there should not be over-exertion. However, funny thing is that in my course, I see a lot of people who seemed to over-exert themselves, at least from my viewpoint. Heavy and fast breathing and body moving rather fast, while being seated. I guess my sifu has his rationale but I do not really know what that is.

I suspect that this is one mode of training in which the qi can arrive rather quickly. And I admit the fact that the qi current is indeed very strong.

Bearing in mind that I should not overexert myself, I experimented yesterday by gradually moving slower and slower while at the same time, try to induce the same level of qi flow. I think it worked. And I felt much better after that.

So, I think my sifu's rationale is to use mechanical movements to induce qi flow at first. When there is a strong flow, the body retains a memory of the flow. And with more practice, the flow can be felt with lesser mechanical movements.

Does it make sense?
keechy
 
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Postby dorshugla » Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:09 am

keechy,

The system you are learning is different in scope and orientation. Not much to say but good luck. Ultimately you are the judge so be careful.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:21 pm

Greetings Keechy,

Thanks for the thorough explanations and the website link, which I will surely read later today.
I have many questions and comments, but will begin with a couple of each , for now, which have caught my fancy.

You stated:
< I found out that there is a transition in the movement, from up-down to forward> K.


Could you describe this transition and how you have learned to exploit this in the Taijiquan form?

Could you supply a concrete example, perhaps, of the transition method so I can direct the 'up-down'(Chong mai) energy, (which I have little problem with), to the 'forward' propulsion(du-ren mai), (which I have big problems with).

Also,
The bouncing up-down energy you name "chong mai".....Have you heard the expression "raised chi" attached to that before?


You said:
<I felt some intense qi flowing through my body. However it did not last very long. Few days after, the strong sensation stopped, replaced by a milder electric and warm feeling throughout the body whenever I practice> K.

I can relate to the various sensations you describe, and the fact that to maintain this one must continue to 'reinforce' with regular practice or it will fade.

Just one comment I thought to add to the mix...I notice, personally, that the most powerful effects described seem to peak about an hour AFTER completing the practice.

Practice initiates this, but it continues to gain momentum well after practice has ended, before slowly tapering off.

Have you noticed this yourself as well?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.



[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-04-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:56 pm

Greetings Louis, all,

I was reading some of Yang, Jwing-Ming's writings from the link posted above and was wondering if this particular author's texts leaned more towards the traditional Taijiquan teaching, or inclined more towards the 'modern' interpretations...?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.




[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-04-2003).]
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Postby keechy » Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:36 am

Psalchemist,

It’s nice to hear from you and thanks for your comments. What I’ve experienced here is purely qigong. I do not really practice Tai Chi. I have learnt a little Tai Chi but I have not attempted to incorporate my qigong practice with it yet, at least, not for now.

<Could you describe this transition “in the movement, from up-down to forward” and how you have learned to exploit this in the Taijiquan form?>

From sitting qigong point of view, this is what I felt. When I first experienced the qi flow in chong mai (or thrusting vessel), the qi sensation was in a few places - the spine, the front part of the body from navel to mouth, and the vertical column from huiyin to baihui. The first two were more apparent. The last one (vertical column) came usually with more vigorous movement. Another thing is my sensation came because of the movement. Without the movement, there is no sensation.

And as I “bounced” up and down, I sort of experimented by letting my body go and see what other motions came along. There were a few others involving body shaking, sometimes randomly with no apparent pattern. Then, one direction came – the forward rock. This is how I got the ren-du mai started circulating.

<Could you supply a concrete example, perhaps, of the transition method so I can direct the 'up-down'(Chong mai) energy, (which I have little problem with), to the 'forward' propulsion(du-ren mai), (which I have big problems with).>

When you direct your energy in chong mai, is it through practicing Tai Chi? How is your qi sensation like? Does it come with movement or is it directed by the mind?

Nowadays, in my qigong practice, I need to start by pumping the qi up to really feel it. And I pump it up from chong mai. The sensation would intensify as I bounce more vigorously. After more rigorous bounce though, it would want to fade away and my body would begin to want to move forward in rocking motion. That is the transition I was talking about. The transition is natural, not forced. I would want to make the “bounce” last longer so that I can practice chong mai more but it tends to lose steam after a while.

<The bouncing up-down energy you name "chong mai".....Have you heard the expression "raised chi" attached to that before?>

I am afraid I’ve not heard of the expression before. Can you please explain it?
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:04 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by psalchemist:
[B]Greetings Louis, all,

I was reading some of Yang, Jwing-Ming's writings from the link posted above and was wondering if this particular author's texts leaned more towards the traditional Taijiquan teaching, or inclined more towards the 'modern' interpretations...?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

QUOTE]

Greetings Ps,

I honestly do not understand the intent or scope of your question. What do you mean by "traditional?" What do you mean by "modern?" Which of the author's writings are you referring to?

--Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:20 pm

Greetings Louis,

More directly,( I think ), might be...

Which art or art(s) does (?)Mr. Yang, Jwing-Ming focus his texts on, ChiGong? Taijiquan? Chinese medical sciences? Etc. What is his specialty?
AND
Does this Author usually focus on newer findings,as a pioneer,
or does he base his texts more directly upon what has already been discovered, studied, established in these types of Chinese arts and medicines long ago, which usually are accompanied by less controversy; what I guess to be considered 'traditional'?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-05-2003).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:27 pm

Hi PsAlchemist,

He’s written many books on a wide variety of subjects. You could visit the YMAA website and read about his credentials there. I’ve personally only read some of his books and translations on taijiquan, and have benefited from them. I reviewed two of his recent classics translations books (Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style, and Tai Chi Secrets of the Wu and Li Styles) in Taijiquan Journal last year. I criticized some features that I felt fell short of the mark from a translation perspective, but there’s no question that he’s a knowledgeable and resourceful proponent of the martial arts.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:52 pm

Greetings Louis,

I appreciate your input.

It is not so much an issue of quality or credibility which I was questionning, but rather, the perspective of the author, the general contents and context of this authors writings in general.

I am trying to understand the similarities and dividing lines between Taijiquan and Qi gong, as well as between the Traditional and the Pioneering ideas.

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby dorshugla » Thu Nov 06, 2003 6:19 pm

psalmqimico,

I have found Jingming Yang's translations to be classical in tone and orientation but at the same time his experience can be seen in his seminars and actual book presenataions.
"Traditionl" taijiquan "expression" is different (when looking at form output) but skill is no less. I would not even say "modernist"- it is just his expression and everybody has their own such expression.

Again, words like modern appear static in one person's mind but it carries many manifestations in others so your use of its is vague. As a matter of fact, his form "appears" to be in Zheng Manqing's frame/style) as comparison.

just an observation.
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Nov 06, 2003 6:51 pm

Greetings Keechy

Enlightening exchange.Thanks for that link to Yang Jwing Mings site, it was very helpul.

First let me say, I am here only as a STUDENT to Taijiquan.
I would like to know how QiGong and Taijiquan relate to each other, and so find this thread very interesting.
Please feel free to parry any blatant and disgracious errors incurring from my ignorant ramblings...

You wrote:
< I have learned a little Tai Chi but have not attempted to incorporate my QiGong practice with it yet, at least not for now> Keechy.

To be more clear on that point myself...I am not trying to meld or merge Taijiquan with QiGong in any way, shape, or form. Image
I was merely hoping to gain some insight into the general concept of "internal movement", through QiGong. Which I then might enlist, tool fashion, towards improving my "internal movement" in Taijiquan.
Even if only in an analagous manner.


Is QiGong within the realm of "internal martial arts"?


From the links you provided above, Yang Jwing-Ming states that:
<The twelve primary channels and the eight extraordinary Qi vessels comprise the main part of the channel system> YJM.

I note especially the two words "main part"...

Have you any idea which components would, in actuality, complete this "system"?


As listed by Yang Jwing Ming:
The eight extraordinary vessels :
---------------------------------
1)Du mai..........governing vessel...Yang,fire.
2)Ren mai.........conception vessel...Yin,water.
3)Chong mai.......thrusting vessel...Yin,Yang exchange.
4)Dai mai.........girdle vessel... horizontal balance.
5)Yangqiao........Yang heel vessel...Yang legs.
6)Yinqiao.........Yin heel vessel.... Yin legs.
7)Yangwei mai.....Yang linking vessel...connects w/ governing vessel.
8)Yin wei mai.....Yin linking vessel...connects w/ conception vessel.


These are various acupoints and channels drawn from Zhang Yun:
(some of) The Twelve Acupoints:
-------------------------------
1)Mingmen point. (Dantian?)
2)xuanguan point.
3)jiaji point.
4)tanzhong point.
5)huijin point.
6)zuqiao point.

Channels
--------
1) shenjin channel.
2) xinjin channel.
3) ganjin cchannel.
4) feijin channel.
5) pijin channel.


I may seem a little confused.....that is because I AM!

Does anyone have a good reference for the twelve primary channels and acupoints?
or
Is anyone able to provide insight concerning the missing points and channels listed above?

Yang Jwing Ming explains:
< Most of the eight vessels branch out from the twelve primary channels and share the function of circulating Qi throughout the body. These vessels form a web of complex interconnections with the channels. At the same time, each has its own functional characteristics and clinical utility independant of the channels> YJM.


In considering the remainder of the ideologies we are discussing presently, I have narrowed the topics mentioned into what I percieve to be three slightly varying subjects of similar nature.

1)Stimulating Inner activity, momentumor propulsion.
2)Sensing circulation within the channels and vessels.
3)Sensory reactions to unfettered circulation.


1A) Inner activity-Yi

I am unsure if this applies to your descriptions of sitting QiGong practices or not. I have heard mention in other instances of similar ideas of focussing intent on specific points to initiate inner movement. This due to the active nature of the Qi stimulating the surrounding area( organs, tendons, muscles, nerves etc) towards healing as well as towards movement.

1B)Inner activity-Li

Initiating the sitting QiGong seems, to me, from what you have described, to employ physical means to induce inner motion with greater facility. Most probably in combination with intent.
I liken the concept to cycling...The first pushes on the pedals require the most effort. This initiates the beginning momentum, but there is still much resistance (friction of the road conditions, the weight, the wind and weather). If one continues to apply this same effort continuously one will find that there is less and less resistance to overcome with each oscillation and increased momentum. If one persists still, an exceeding point will then be reached where the bicycle has gained 'full speed'. Having overcome the greater majority of the resistance, it now necessitates next to no effort to continue at this 'maximum speed'. The slightest pressure applied to the pedals will propell forward. The intention persists in its focus, replacing physical effort or force with momentum.

2)Sensing circulation in the vessels and channels.

I compare this sensation to metal guitar strings. That is the closest mental picture I can convey to represent this feeling.
Wound metal cords.
Hard, expanding/contracting, and I'm really not sure why, but it seems to be comparable to the way the "low note" metal strings of a guitar are wound with a second wire wrapped around its original straight one.

The straight and the curved?

This is merely theoretical conjecture, sensory experience from a students point of view. Abstract sensations of the functionnings of the body.

One does not usually have a particular aware ness for one's heart beating or the constant contracting and expanding of one's lungs , except when listening intently.
We can't feel our kidneys or liver 'filtering', but they are.

Some people can flex body parts with their mind. Some more so, some less so, some not at all. To accomplish this sort of thing, one must first develop one's sense of internal 'feel' by listening.

Also, The ability to wiggle one's ears and raise one's eyebrows does not necessarily transcend the ability to twitch one's nose or flex one's pecks.

As has been pointed out to me recently from a couple of different sources, one of them being the quotation I provided by Yang Jwing-Ming above, relevant to the 'systems' simultaneously dependant/independant nature.

The functioning depending possibly on the personal penchant and practice. Image

I personally have become aware of the channels from the pinky to the elbow and the one that crowns the head down the spine (only to the neck) and accompanied by a similar horizontal sensation crossing the back of the head from ear to ear.Only very recently have I experienced the continuation towards the front, and only to the xuanguan point.

Could you please, if able, name these specific channels and vessels for me?

3)Results occurring from clear circulation.

Following Taijiquan practice,
I have experienced on two separate occassions very particular and distinct sensations or states of well being.

One lending toward the feeling of warmth radiating from within, but specifically similar to the heat produced by an electric heater.
The second instance I felt as though submerged in a tank of warm water.

I theorize that maybe the mind produces these symbolic impressions in attempting to label some new input it has never labelled previously.

Aslo,perceptions and interpretations of sensory awareness are precariously subjective.


Concerning bouncing, rocking, swaying.

I think:
In Taijiquan footwork there is a combination of 'shenjin' and 'huijin' intention which is said to promote forward movement.

I think:
"Shanzhan" in Taijiquan is an additional footwork skill that promotes side to side, dodging movement.

I think:
"Tengnuo" or lightness in footwork may be similar in nature to the concept of bouncing.
I have also heard more direct mention of bouncing in Taijiquan discussion here, "hopping like a bird"-"bouncing"

I have had some experience with these forces with informal sitting and standing experimentation.

Rocking forward-jinbu-metal-aha.......(You answered a specific question I was asking-elsewhere-Thank you!)


Lastly, you asked about the meaning of 'raised chi'... I can't answer that, I was hoping you would! Image


Well, that is more than enough damage for now!

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image



[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-06-2003).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Nov 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Hi Psalchemist,

You wrote: ‘I am trying to understand the similarities and dividing lines between Taijiquan and Qi gong, as well as between the Traditional and the Pioneering ideas.’

This is a rather huge topic, and controversial. Personally, I’m pretty wary of most of what is promoted under the rubric “qigong.” In the context of Chinese history, the term qigong is relatively modern, and is frequently used anachronistically to refer a variety of more specific and traditional regimens that have their own names. The term qigong has become a blanket term that all too often gets used as a marketing tool. I don’t mean to say that there are not valid practices that could generically be called qigong, but there are plenty of bogus systems and bogus qigong “masters” that should be avoided. That tends to make me cautious and skeptical when it comes to the whole notion of qigong.

A few years ago I read a book by Ken Cohen, _The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing_. I found it to be a very informative overview of qi practices, with good historical and scientific research presented in an objective and scholarly manner. However, even this book was not free of some of the terminological ambiguity I find objectionable. For example, the book has a section of practice guidelines that are presented as coming from the “Qigong Classics.” Cohen offers no information on the source materials from which these guidelines came, but most of the guidelines are recognizable to me as coming from, or based upon, well-know classical taijiquan documents. To my knowledge, there are no traditional Chinese texts identifiable as “Qigong Classics.” Were these guidelines derived from the taijiquan classics, or did they come from another source? I think the responsible thing to do would be to make it clear to the reader what the sources were. Unfortunately, the reader is not provided with that information. The result, I fear, is that many share your confusion regarding the “dividing lines” between taijiquan and qigong.

Take care,
Louis
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