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Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is Qi? (Qi Magazine 1993)

"I do not believe in Qi!", "It's impossible!", "I don't believe you can move a person without touching them!", "It's all psychological!" When I heard some people say those things, I thought to myself "Great! Keep saying that, don't change until you die!" What I was surprised about was those who said it practiced Taiji!

Nowadays, many scientists and doctors go to study acupuncture, Qigong, Homeopathy, Fung Shui, I Ching etc. They all want to find out 'What is Qi?' They want to find out how the eastern culture and skill can 'save' the world. Through their studies, they have already found that Qi covers many things: infrared radiation (heat), static electricity, magnetic fields, gamma rays and other tiny particle streams. They still need to do more research.

Within the Chinese Culture, Qi is the 'spirit.' The Chinese character for Qi is made up of two 'words': one is 'rice', the other is 'steam'. When we cook rice using water and fire we see steam, so the first time we 'saw' Qi was from observing steam. Therefore Qi has no shape, it is not fixed, it is something you might see, something you might smell and something you might feel.

For example, air we call 'empty Qi', the weather we call 'Heavenly Qi', someone who is very proud we say he has 'Spiritual Qi', and even when we go to a restaurant and the food is very good we say 'very good Wok Qi.' 

Whilst practicing Qigong, Qi flows along all the channels and acupuncture points, to balance the body. It is the same as the universe. All the stars and planets have their own orbit to keep the universal order. More closer to home, if all the traffic flows smoothly on the motor ways then the entire system will run smoothly. When your Qi is strong you can transmit it out to help others who are sick. This is what Qigong masters have done for many years to help the sick rid themselves of disease.

If the Chinese didn't believe in Qi, our culture would not have endured it's 5000 year old history intact. Today it is the same culture using the same medical principals. Qi is not something to 'believe in', but do you have the enlightenment to understand it?

-Michael Tse 
Editor of Qi Magazine

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Waist is the First Master

Qi Magazine - Issue 5 (1992)
By Amy Thanawalla






Ken is the 52nd hexagram in the I Ching, and has many lessons to teach us, students of Taijiquan and Qigong. This hexagram is symbolised by the mountain, the immovable and unshakable centre, surrounded by valleys, rivers, fields and forests. On the human level, Ken refers to the power of stability that resides in our gravity centre. When our movements do not originate from our centres they will become weak and ineffectual. Taiji classics say: "The waist is the first master." If our movements start at our shoulders or limbs we will appear nervous, ungrounded and easily overcome, both physically and mentally. Also, we cannot generate or store Qi unless we remain focused, calm and centered deep down.


Mountains standing close together: 
The image of keeping still
Thus the superior man does not permit 
his thoughts to go beyond the situation.

In its application to us, this image represents the spine which is the central axis of the body and which, during our Taiji and Qigong practice, we must keep still, upright and balanced. Since all the limbs hinge on the spine, the head balances on top of all the nerves, extended out from the spine. By keeping the spine still we can calm the whole nervous system, develop our centres and become less tense, anxious and ego centered. In the context of our Taiji and Qigong practice: "not permitting (our) thoughts to go beyond (our) situation) refers to two things.

Firstly it refers to not going away from our centers by not allowing our limbs or intellects to lead the movements. Our movements must be "felt" in our centers. Secondly, it refers to moving at a steady pace through our practice and not rushing ahead to learn to much to soon which we can neither remember or practice correcty.

The male principal of the hexagram (----) is on top, since by nature it moves upwards. The female principal (-- --) is on the bottom, by nature moving downwards. These concepts describe the feelings we should have in our spines through the practice. The top of the head should feel light as though extending upwards, an the Coccyx should move downwards, thus promoting ease and facilitating smooth energy flow throughout the body.


Keeping still
Keeping his back still so that he no longer feels his body. 
He goes into the courtyard and does not see his people. 
No blame.

All the nerve fibres that mediate movement are located in the back, so if the back is perfectly still all restlessness and ego disappears ("no blame"). When perfect stillness is attained, all external distractions disappear, this is what it means by "he goes into his courtyard and does not see his people." When the external is still then the internal, in this case, our internal Qi, can develop very powerfully.

Some people have the experience of 'feeling transparent' when doing standing Qigong exercise. This is because momentary perfect stillness is attained and we do not experience a separation of our Qi from the Qi around us. 

It is very useful to remember this hexagram as a guide 
to one of the fundamentals of Taiji and Qigong training.




More from Qi Magazine:
Qi Magazine - Issue 1 (1991): Qigong Now and Then
Qi Magazine (1997): Er Mei Sudden Enlightenment School

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dr. Yang's Twenty-Four Rules for Qigong Practice

24 Rules for Qigong Practice
The Root of Chinese Chi Kung, The Secrets of Chi Kung Training
by Yang, Jwing-Ming

When I began studying Qi Gong (Chi Kung), one of my classmates who had been at it for a while, said that when it comes to feeling your Qi moving within your body, it will take two years to feel anything, and five years to believe it. 

While taking two years to feel the Qi wasn't exactly right, the essence of his comments are still very true. Qi Gong is a path, not a destination, and along that path are many signposts that you will pass. Feeling the Qi, believing you feel the Qi, learning to direct it with physical movements, learning to direct it with just your mind's intent, directing it somewhere in the future, in the past, etc... are all steps along a never ending path.

The article that follows is designed to prepare you for a life of discipline, not instant gratification. The only true gratification that comes from doing Qi Gong is to enjoy the activity while your doing it, no matter what your level. Gratification that is dependent on obtaining any sort of power will only get in the way of the most sacred of all side-effects of Qi Gong, and that is enlightenment itself.

In this section we will list the twenty-four rules which have been passed down by generations of Chi Kung masters. These rules are based on much study and experience, and you should observe them carefully.

1) Don't be Stubborn about Plans and Ideas
This is one of the easiest mistakes for beginners to make. When we take up Chi Kung we are enthusiastic and eager. However, sometimes we don't learn as fast as we would like to, and we become impatient and try to force things. Sometimes we set up a schedule for ourselves: today I want to make my Dan Tien warm, tomorrow I want to get through the tailbone cavity, by such and such a day I want to complete the small circulation. This is the wrong way to go about it. Chi Kung is not like any ordinal-v job or task you set for yourself -- YOU CANNOT MAKE A PROGRESS SCHEDULE FOR CHI KUNG. This will only make your thinking rigid and stagnate your progress. EVERYTHING HAPPENS WHEN IT IS TIME FOR IT TO HAPPEN. IF YOU FORCE IT, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN NATURALLY.

2) Don't Place your Attention in Discrimination
When you practice, do not place your attention on the various phenomena or sensations which are occurring. Be aware of what is happening, but keep your mind centered on wherever it is supposed to be for the exercise you are doing. If you let your mind go to wherever you feel something "interesting" happening, the Chi will follow your mind and interfere with your body's natural tendency to rebalance itself. Do not expect anything to happen, and don't let your mind wander around looking for the various phenomena. Furthermore, don't start evaluating or judging the phenomena, such as asking "Is my Dan Tien warmer today than it was yesterday?" Don't ask yourself "Just where is my Chi now?" When your mind is on your Chi, your Yi is there also, and this stagnant Yi will not lead the Chi BE AWARE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING, BUT DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO IT When you drive a car, you don't watch yourself steer and work the pedals and shift gears. If you did, you'd drive off the road. You simply put your mind on where you want to go and let your body automatically drive the car. This is called regulating without regulating.

3) Avoid Miscellaneous Thought Remaining on Origins
This is a problem of regulating the mind. The emotional mind is strong, and every idea is still strongly connected to its origin. If you cannot cut the ideas off at their source, your mind is not regulated, and your should not try to regulate your Chi. You will also often find that even though you have stopped the flow of random thoughts going through your mind, new ideas are generated dung practice. For example, when you discover your Dan Tien is warm, your mind immediately recalls where this is mentioned in a book, or how the master described it, and you start to compare your experience with this. Or you may start wondering what the next step is. All of these thoughts will lead you away from peace and calm, and your mind will end up in the "Domain of the Devil." Then your mind will be confused, scattered, and very often scared, and you will tire quickly.

4) Hsin (Shen) Should not Follows the External Scenery
This is also a problem of regulating the mind (Hsin). When your emotional mind is not controlled, any external distraction will lead it away from your body and to the distraction. You must train yourself so that noises, smells, conversations and such will not disturb your concentration. It is all right to be aware of what is happening, but your mind must remain calmly, peacefully and steadily on your cultivation.

5) Regulate your Sexual Activity
You should not have sexual relations at least 24 hours before or after practicing Chi Kung, especially martial or religious Chi Kung. The Essence-Chi conversion training is a very critical part of these practices, and if you practice Chi Kung soon after sex, you will harm your body significantly. Sex depletes your Chi and sperm, and the Chi level in the lower portion of your body is lower than normal. When you practice Chi Kung under these conditions, it is like doing heavy exercise right after sex. Furthermore, when your Chi level is abnormal, your feeling and sensing are also not accurate. Under these conditions, your Yi can be misled and its accuracy affected. You should wait until the Chi level regains it normal balance before your resume Chi Kung. Only then will the Essence-Chi conversion proceed normally and efficiently.

One of the major purposes of Chi Kung is to increase the Essence Chi conversion and use this Chi to nourish your body. Once a man has built up a supply of Chi, having sex will only pass this Chi on to his partner. As a matter of fact, many Chi Kung masters insist that you should not have sex three days before and four days after practice. During sexual relations the female usually gains Chi while the male loses Chi during ejaculation. The woman should not practice Chi Kung after sex until her body has digested the Chi she has obtained from the man. There are certain Taoist Chi Kung techniques which teach men how not to lose Chi during sexual activity, and teach women how to receive Chi from the man and digest it. We will leave the discussion of this subject to Chi Kung masters who are qualified and experienced in it.

6) Don't be Too Warm or Too Cold
The temperature of the room in which you are training should not be too hot or too cold. You should practice in the most comfortable environment which will not disturb your mind and cultivation.

7) Be Careful of the Five Weaknesses and Internal Injuries
Five weaknesses means the weaknesses of five Yin organs: the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen. When you realize that any of these five organs is weak, you should proceed very gradually and gently with your Chi Kung practice. Chi Kung practice is an internal exercise which is directly related to these five organs. If you do not move gradually and gently, it is Like forcing a weak person to run 10 miles right away. This will not build up his strength, instead it will injure him more seriously.

For the same reason, when you have an internal injury your internal Chi distribution and circulation is already disturbed. If you practice Chi Kung your feelings may be misled, and your practice may worsen your problem and interfere with the natural healing process. There are certain Chi Kung exercises which are designed to cure internal injuries, but to use them properly you need to have a very good understanding of the Chi situation of your body.

8) Avoid Facing the Wind when Sweating
Don't practice in the wind, especially facing the wind. When you practice Chi Kung you are exercising either internally, or both internally and externally. It is normal to sweat, and since you are relaxed, your pores are wide open, If you expose your body to cold wind, you will catch cold.

9) Don't Wear Tight Clothes and Belt
Always wear loose clothes during practice because this will help you to feel comfortable. Keep your belt loose, too. The abdomen is the key area in Chi Kung practice, and you must be careful not to limit the movement of this area because it will interfere with your practice.

10) Don't Eat too Much Greasy and Sweet Food
You should regulate your eating habit while you are practicing: Chi Kung. Greasy or sweet food will increase your Fire Chi, making your mind scattered, and your Shen will stray away from its residence. You should eat more fruit and vegetables, and keep away from alcohol and tobacco.

11) Don't Hang your Feet off the Bed
In ancient times the most common place in Chi Kung practice was sitting on your bed. Since most beds were high, if you sat on the edge of the bed your feet would hang off the side of the bed above the floor. When you practice Chi Kung your feet should touch the floor. If they do not, all of the weight of your body will press down on the lower part of your thighs and reduce the Chi and blood circulation. Furthermore, when you practice you should not put your feet up on the table, because this position will also stagnate the Chi and blood circulation.

12) Don't Practice with a Full Bladder
You should go to the toilet before you start your practice. If you need to go during practice, stop your practice and do so. Holding it in disturbs your concentration.

13) Don't Scratch an Itch
If you itch because of some external reason, such as an insect walking on you or biting you, do not be alarmed and keep your mind calm. Use your Yi to lead the Chi back to its residence, the Dan Tien. Breathe a couple of times and gradually bring your consciousness back to your surroundings. Then you may scratch or think of how to stop the itching. However, if the itching is caused by Chi redistribution in the Chi Kung practice, remain calm and do not move your mind there. Simply ignore it and let it happen. Once it has reached a new balance, the itching will stop. If you scratch this kind of itch it means that your mind has been disturbed, and also that you are using your hands to interfere with the natural rebalancing of your body's Chi.

14) Avoid Being Suddenly Disturbed or Startled
You should avoid being suddenly disturbed or startled. However, if it does happen, calm down your mind. You must absolutely prevent yourself from losing your temper. What has happened has happened, and getting mad cannot change anything. What you should do is prevent it from happening again. Most important of all, though is learning how to regulate your mind when you are disturbed.

15) Don't Take Delight in the Scenery
It is very common during practice to suddenly notice something that is going on inside of you. Perhaps you feel Chi moving more clearly than ever before, or you start to sense your bone marrow, and you feel elated and excited. You have just fallen into a very common trap. Your concentration is broken, and your mind is divided. This is dangerous and harmful. You have to learn how to be aware of what is going on inside you without getting excited.

16) Don't Wear Sweaty Clothes
This happens mostly in moving Chi Kung practice, especially in martial Chi Kung training. When your clothes are wet from sweat you will feel uncomfortable, and your concentration will be affected. It is better to change into dry clothes and then resume practice.

17) Don't Sit When Hungry or Full
You should not practice Chi Kung when you are hungry or when your stomach is full. When you are hungry it is hard to concentrate, and when you are full your practice will affect your digestion.

18) Heaven and Earth Strange Disaster
It is believed that your body's Chi is directly affected by changes in the weather. It is therefore not advisable to practice Chi Kung when there is a sudden weather change, because your practice will interfere with your body's natural readjustment to the new environment. You will also be unable to feel and sense your Chi flow as you do normally. You must always try to remain emotionally neutral whenever you do Chi Kung; even if you are disturbed by a natural disaster like an earthquake, you must remain calm so that your Chi stays under control.

19) Listen Sometimes to True Words
You need to have confidence when you practice Chi Kung. You should not listen to advice from people who do not have experience in Chi Kung and who are not familiar with the condition of your body. Some people listen to their classmates explain how they reached a certain level or how they cured a certain problem, and then blindly try to use the same method themselves. You need to understand that everyone has a different body, everyone's health is slightly different, and everyone learns differently. When the time comes for you to learn something new, you will understand what you need. Play it cool and easy, and always have confidence in your training.

20) Don't Lean and Fall Asleep
You should not continue your Chi Kung training when you are sleepy. Using an unclear mind to lead Chi is dangerous. Also, when you are sleepy your body will not be regulated and will tend to lean or droop, and your bad posture may interfere with the proper Chi circulation. When you are sleepy it is best to take a rest until you are able to regain your spirit.

21) Don't Meditate When You Have Lost Your Temper or are Too Excited
You should not meditate when you are too excited due to anger or happiness. Since your mind is scattered, meditation will bring you more harm than peace.

22) Don't Keep Spitting
It is normal to generate a lot of saliva while practicing Chi Kung. The saliva should be swallowed to moisten your throat. Don't spit out the saliva because this is a waste, and it will also disturb your concentration.

23) Don't Doubt and Become Lazy
When you first start Chi Kung, you must have confidence in what you are doing, and not start doubting its validity, or questioning whether you are doing it right. If you start doubting right at the beginning you will become lazy, and you will start questioning whether you really want to continue. In this case, you will not have any success and your practice will never last.

24) Do not Ask for the Speedy Success
This is to remind you that Chi Kung practice is time consuming and progress is slow. You must have patience, a strong will, and confidence to reach your goal. Taking it easy and being natural are the most important rules.

----
Learning With The Grandmasters: Yang, Jwing-Ming
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming (楊俊敏博士) started his Gongfu (Kung Fu) training at the age of fifteen under the Shaolin White Crane (Bai He) Master Cheng, Gin Gsao (曾金灶). In thirteen years of study (1961-1974) under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in the White Crane style of Chinese martial arts, which includes both the use of bare hands and of various weapons such as saber, staff, spear, trident, two short rods, and many others. With the same master he also studied White Crane Qin Na (or Chin Na), Tui Na and Dian Xue massages, and herbal treatment.

At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Taijiquan (Yang Style) under Master Kao, Tao (高濤). After learning from Master Kao, Dr. Yang continued his study and research of Taijiquan with several masters and senior practitioners such as Master I, Mao-Ching (李茂 清) and Mr. Wilson Chen in Taipei. Master Li learned his Taijiquan from the well-known Master Han, Ching-Tang, and Mr. Chen learned his Taijiquan from Master Chang, Xiang-San. Dr. Yang has mastered the Taiji barehand sequence, pushing hands, the two-man fighting sequence, Taiji sword, Taiji saber, and Taiji Qigong.

Yang's Martial Arts Association was established in Boston, MA in 1982. With the intent of preserving traditional Chinese Kung Fu and Qigong , Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming began training students in the rigors of Shaolin Long Fist and White Crane Gongfu as well as Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Currently, YMAA is an international organization, including 56 schools in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the early 80's, Dr. Yang wrote several books, published by Unique Publications. In 1984, Dr. Yang retired from his engineering career, to undertake his life-long dream of teaching and researching the Chinese arts and introducing them to the West through many books, videos and DVDs.

In summary, Dr. Yang has been involved in Chinese Gongfu since 1961. During this time, he has spent 13 years learning Shaolin White Crane (Bai He), Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan), and Taijiquan. Dr. Yang has more than thirty years of instructional experience: seven years in Taiwan, five years at Purdue University, two years in Houston, TX, and 24 years in Boston, MA. On November 29, 2005, Dr. Yang conferred the title of Taiji Master to one of his senior students (Roger Whidden)for the first time, which by tradition bestows the honorable title of Grandmaster upon Dr. Yang.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

QiGong, Now & Then

Qi Magazine (1991)
by Sue Johnson



Qigong can trace its history back over 3000 years. How can exercises formulated so long ago still have a place in the modern world in which we live?

Click the image to open in full size.


Today, Qigong is recognised by many as an effective means of maintaining good health and curing disease. Even in the time of the Spring and Autumn, and Warring states (770-221 BC), Qigong had a high level of importance. The Yellow Emperors Manual of Internal Medicine written in the fourth century BC refers to Qigong. Qigong exercises were already being practiced when Greece was holding its first Olympic Games (776 BC), whilst the Celts were invading Britain (800 BC) and even before the birth of Confucius (551 BC). Developed by the early Taoists, Qigong evolved through careful study of the natural surroundings and wildlife. The gait of the bear the tiger prowling ,the bird stretching its wings etc.

The Ancient Taoists observed that the animals were able to keep themselves healthy. This observation coupled with a knowledge of internal energy (qi), they devised exercises to regulate breathing in coordination with the movements of the body. It was found that exercise alone could not bring about balance and harmony within the body. Following the principal of Yin and Yang, if movement is Yang, then stillness being Yin is necessary to achieve the balance. Stillness in the form of meditation.

Click the image to open in full size.

Gaunzi, a book, written in 300 BC notes:
“achievement of meditation will improve the general fitness of the four limbs, and this in turn accumulate abundant energy and vigour in the body. “
What role if any, can exercises formulated in these ancient times play in our world, steeped in science and technology? Is there a place for ancient healing exercises or have they been overtaken by the wonders of modern medicine?

For those who are healthy, modern medicine offers little or nothing to maintain a healthy balance. Without some form of maintenance the body will eventually become weak and unhealthy. It is only when we are ill that we go and see a doctor. We never go when we are healthy! With the wide spectrum of drugs and medicine available today, there are still many conditions and illnesses that are incurable. Many drugs have side effects, so whilst curing one problem they create another. Better to not fall ill in the first place!

Click the image to open in full size.
Daily practice of the Qigong exercises and meditation build up the qi and can keep the body in balance and prevent illness. Our modern lifestyle creates stress and tension. Coronary heart disease is common in this country. The effects of Qigong have been proven to be beneficial to patients suffering from angina and also those suffering from Hypertension (high blood pressure).

There are even optimistic reports that the condition of some cancer patients can be improved! Insomnia, Lumbago, Hepatitis and other conditions have been eased and alleviated by performing Qigong exercises. Qigong is an excellent way of keeping fit and improving ones health. It is suitable for all, young, old, weak or strong all can benefit. It has been described as a process of “self rejuvenation”. Now, as much as any other time in our history we need to turn to the healing art of Qigong. In order to go forward, we must first go backwards. By using this ancient skill we may prepare ourselves for the stresses of living now and in the future.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Qi Magazine Archives

In the coming weeks, we will be featuring material from deep within the Qi Magazine archives. Qi Magazine was a newsstand periodical launched in the mid-1990s to cover the world of qigong and inform the English-speaking world of the spectrum of practice and thought being offered by various master practitioners in the West. Each issue of Qi Magazine is built around a number of short feature articles that provide insight from the wisdom of one of the more notable qigong masters, introduce an element of basic practice, or discuss the value of a form of Chinese medicine. Many of these are illustrated with detailed diagrams of the body or of the movements being discussed. There is a large letters-to-the-editor column in which readers are invited into a lively dialog with the editorial staff. The magazine grew from a small black and white booklet to a proper magazine that was distributed all over the world. Sadly Qi Magazine has now ceased production, but not after 18 years and 90 issues all packed with rare and unique articles covering all aspects of Chinese Qigong, martial arts, culture and philosophy. 

-------

Qi Magazine First Issue (1991)

Dear Qigong Supporters,

Firstly, I wish to thank all of you for supporting Qigong and chinese health exercises, over the past three years since my arrival in England. I have decided to publish this new magazine devoted to Qigong and related Chinese arts because I want more people to understand and to get benefit from Qigong, by improving their health and develop to their full potential. A lot of people who practice Qigong have questions, but are unable to find the answers. Sometimes they are mislead by books written by people who do not fully understand Qigong, consequently some practitioners consider quitting! On the other hand there is not much literature or information on Qigong, and this magazine aims to change that by revealing the secrets of Qi internal development and health.

Why do some people live longer?
Why do some people get ill very easily?
Why do many people get old at only 40 or 50?

If we can understand our Qi we can all live much longer lives. I believe that the 90's is the decade for health. We should try to understand our health potential and search for long life. I want everyone to have more information and contact with each other, and I hope that his magazine will attract other Qigong or Taiji masters, who have similar aims of promoting awareness and development in these arts. I sincerely hope that Qi Magazine attracts a worldwide readership and results a greater understand and discussion of Qigong.

Qi Magazine will be distributed in Great Britain, United States, Sweden and Canada, and translated into German for readers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I hope that it will become known as an unbiased magazine and raises the awareness of the general public and the knowledge and skills of Qigong practitioners everywhere.

Yours Truly,
Michael Tse

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Ermei Sudden Enlightenment School

Reprinted from Qi Journal - Winter 1997

An uncle who had disappeared returned on the day on which Fu Wei Zhong was born in 1949. This uncle, now a monk, blessed Fu Wei Zhong and took him under his care. By the age of six his grandfather and several other masters began training him in Chinese medicine, internal alchemy and the martial arts. By the age of ten, Fu Wei Zhong became a traditional Chinese doctor. By the age of twelve he opened his own practice.

During the Cultural Revolution Master Fu was sent to Manchuria where he worked as a doctor. Traveling the country, he treated patients on his government-issued mule. His patients were not only the people of those areas but also horses, hens, pigs, and cows. Upon his return to Beijing, his one and only recurring dream since childhood of a monk, saw its fulfillment at Guan Ji Temple. There, for the first time, he met His Holiness Ju Zan, the abbot of Guan Ji Temple.

Ermie Qigong
His holiness said, "Ah, you have arrived. It is now time to start your training." Out of a class of approximately ten students for a period of two years, all except Master Fu were sent away. In 1984, after eight years of training, His Holiness Ju Zan empowered Master Fu with the mind/heart transmission; thus making him the thirteenth Lineage Holder for the Er Mei Sudden Enlightenment School which has been handed down from master to student since 1227 AD. Master Fu Wei Zhong was also given the sacred bowl, the sacred staff, and the sacred book of the style.

During the spring of 1985, Master Fu taught his first Er Mei Diagnosis Treatment class with hundreds of masters/doctors in attendance. He continued teaching publicly until 1989, when he then went into retreat for three years. He has successfully treated many Chinese government officials as well as its masses.

The Er Mei Sudden Enlightenment School is one of the most comprehensive mind-body-spirit systems ever created. With a foundation of Wudang Taoism, Er Mei Qigong rests in the heart of the mahayana/ vadrayana tradition of Buddhism. It was formulated during the Southern Song Dynasty a thousand years ago, in the Lin Ji sect of Er Mei.
     
Ermie Qigong The system provides health care for the injured and sick by transmitting Qi (energy) directly to them or by teaching them specific Qigong techniques to treat their ailments. Health, Healing and Enlightenment are the key elements of this school. There are over one hundred such clinics throughout China and the Far East that use Er Mei techniques and over two thousand master/doctors that are applying them on a daily basis. Er Mei Mountain, located in Sichuan Province on the Tibetan plateau in China has a long history of sages. White Cloud, a Wudang Taoist priest settled on top of Er Mei Mountain during the end of the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). After his conversion to Buddhism, he became the abbot of the Golden Summit Temple.

Thirteen lineage holders during the last one thousand years have devoted their lives to this school of thought. It has established a medical institute, a Qigong academy, a college of advanced Er Mei training, some in-patient and out-patient clinics, and a medicinal factory. There are now over two million practitioners world wide.

The method by which the lineage holder was selected was changed by the tenth lineage holder Yong Nian. Now, the lineage holder is alternated between a monk and a layman so both may take the knowledge into the world to help the sick, yet preserve the rituals and knowledge.

His disciple Zhou Qian-Chuan became the first secular lineage holder. He took this knowledge out to heal the masses. Master Zhou Qian-chuan passed the lineage to His Holiness Ju Zan, the Supreme Buddhist Abbot of China. His Holiness Ju Zan then passed the lineage to a secular student, Master Fu Wei Zhong. Master Fu's mission is to take it out into the world to help alleviate the sickness which seems to permeate society.

Er Mei Qi Gong has branched off to its own science. The threefold methodology consists of motion and movement, quiet and meditation, and a combination of motion and meditation. In this way it can address the health concerns of the practitioners through their personal energy cultivation as well as the health concerns of the masses. Physical, emotional, and spiritual diseases can be treated. We look at the human body holistically instead of dividing it into compartments. We become sick when we have exhausted our energy.

This can be prevented through cultivation of knowledge by allowing our innate congenital Qi potential to re-arise in our beings. We can also generate our health to a state where you are immune to diseases. This is possible by learning how to cultivate qi in one's own body as well as how to accumulate qi in the dantiens for use either within internal organs or use to externally treat others. This training is combined with the use of sound.

Proper form, proper breathing and proper mental state is essential. These are the basics for good health. The Er Mei school emphasizes the cultivation of energy, the transmission of energy; clinical application of external energy diagnosis and treatment. Acupuncture, moxibustion, opening Heaven's door, opening the meridians, collaterals and spiritual channels, and traditional Chinese medical theory are also employed. This includes tongue diagnosis and pulsology.

Special abilities are yet another level. Some of the special abilities which have been cultivated by Master Fu Wei Zhong are extra sensory perception, clairvoyance, telekinesis, telepathy, divination, energy feng shui, Aura diagnosis, hand sensitivity diagnosis, Third Eye Diagnosis, astronomy, mathematics, divine mapping, iron body and the taming of demons.

There are over 300 techniques of health, healing enlightenment in the first three levels which Master Fu is currently teaching the public. Master Fu has been teaching publicly for ten years at major universities and hospitals, treating Chinese government officials, clergy and an international clientele from President Deng Xiaoping to the common man. James and Ben Taylor traveled to China to study with him.

Documentation shows that he is a famous life scientist. He has been credited with numerous accolades such as "one of the top external energy therapist" and "The Er Mei Wizard" by the Chinese Society of Qigong as a result of his continued commitment and contributions in establishing the "external energy diagnoses and treatment system." People have come from Russia, Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States to study, to seek blessings and, or treatment from him. The sun truly is shining on him and those his energy has touched.

More than twelve of Master Fu's works are published in Chinese. In 1989 the Beijing College Press published The Finger Pointing Techniques of Er Mei. The Chinese Qi Gong Science & Research Institute in 1989 published Er Mei Lin Ji "Wai Qi" Book I as well as Books II and III. In 1993 The International Er Mei Lin Ji Medical Center published two additional books. The 18 Movement Form & Medicinal Recipes was also published. These have been translated into English and now only await publication.

Ermei Qigong
Master Fu is currently conducting seminars throughout the United States where students can begin to learn the three levels of Er Mei Spiritual Essence and Mind Enlightenment. These seminars are scheduled in a number of states including California, Florida, Georgia, as well as Massachusetts, Texas, and New York.

For information write: Er Mei Sudden Enlightenment, P.O. Box 690121, Flushing, NY 11369 or email: canebvi@aol.com or ermeiqi1@juno.com



Monday, July 25, 2011

Frequency Adjustment

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Date: 7/25/10
Subject:  Frequency Adjustment

Hello,

     The two most common reasons for people to test out Qigong is to heal some sort of physical ailment (pain) and the other would be to help with an over active mind (anxiety/stress). So, lets talk a little bit about the arts thoughts on the mind and what it takes to have a little frequency adjustment. Traditional Chinese theory divides human emotions into seven categories: joy, anger, worry, over-thinking, grief, fear and shock. Each of these emotions effect ones energy and over all well being:

Joy: Makes energy relax
Anger: Makes energy rise
Worry: Makes energy low
Over-Thinking: Makes energy knot
Grief: Makes energy vanish
Fear: Makes energy descend
Shock: Disorients energy

     Zhan Zhuang is the game of awareness. Part of this tuning of your awareness is the study of Non-Attachment. By keeping light awareness on these three keys, Posture, Relaxation & Breathing one can begin to avoid attaching to random thoughts that are with all of us. During the practice of Zhan Zhuang one is not expected to "zen out" and not have any thoughts coming in! This is not realistic but what one must understand is that awareness of the breath has a gentle massaging effect on the central nervous system which gradually relaxes your entire system. This is one of the reasons why they state: The primary purpose for Lower Abdominal Breathing is to quiet the mind.   

     If one is struggling with many thoughts during practice all you need to do is not attach to them by keeping light awareness on the three keys. The stronger you attach to these thoughts later turn them into feelings, emotions or desires which disturb your whole system. In Zhan Zhuang when you begin to drift you tend to tense up by losing focus on what is the important. So, anytime your drifting off or day dreaming during Zhan Zhuan just return to the 3 keys of awareness. (Is my posture ok?  Am I loose/relaxed?  Is my dan tien breathing light and natural?)  This is one of the reasons natural Qigong say; In Qigong all we can do is aid in the breaking of physical and mental obstructions which allow the mind and body the heal, strengthen and unite thru tranquility.  

     Zhan Zhuang is a powerful lab for growth. Like any art, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it and its wonders are truly profound! Equilibrium (Zong Ding) is a gradual and smooth process but thanks to the core nature of this Zhan Zhuang Qigong platform we can directly cultivate and heal our entire being with minimal effort. Those who have come to MIT Qigong looking for a little Frequency Adjustment have found the simplest and most effective method known to humanity. All it takes is a little effort!

***
I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I look forward to a nice work out tonight.  

Peace,
Jim 
www.ApricotForestHall.com  


Monday Qigong Schedule
Year One Exercises

5) Small Vibrations
5) Gathering Qi
5) Crane (L)
5) Crane (R)
5) Turning Cow 
5) Gathering Qi
15) Natural Post
5) Low Post
Seal/Wash

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stiff Spines will Loosen Over Time

Spinal Twists in Qigong Benefit the Body by Stephanie Churchill


Our spine is the axis in which our body is supported between Heaven and Earth. It allows us the mobility and freedom to move and express ourselves. Our arms and legs extend from this beautiful stack of vertebrae that are tenderly placed one on top of the other. The spine is a work of art and sheer mechanics at the same time.

Keeping the spine supple, maintaining its alignment and its straight form to live actively and pain-free are great goals. They may require a bit of effort but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Stiff spines will loosen over time!

When we perform spinal twists we are releasing trapped energy along the spinal column. After we have twisted to engage the body/back, we breathe to clear the old energy out. Think of collecting the old energy with the movement and releasing it with the breath. Instantaneously you feel more open and at ease. Like wringing out a wet towel.


The benefits of spinal twists are immense:
• Increased flexibility
• Increased circulation
• Increased energy
• Digestion
• Strengthening the muscles through breath and repetition

When our spine is not healthy we may not be able to feel comfortable or able to move with ease. We can slowly improve the spine with conscious spinal twists and lessen back pain or discomfort.


Qigong Spinal Twist:
Try standing feet hip width distance apart; take your arms with fists or simple palms for your hand positions. Begin with moving the right arm in front, left in back as you twist from your foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, neck to the back. The head follows the twist from side to side. Breathe in as palms swing open through middle and out as they collapse on each side. This should allow for the body to warm slowly and feel wonderful.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Making Yourself at Home with Acupuncture by Ken Rosen

Acupuncture is both clinical and mysterious. It has a long lineage practiced differently around the world by different schools of practice – five-element, Chinese, Korean hand, and Japanese Toyohari to name but a few. I recently found out that there are 30 different schools of acupuncture in Japan alone. And, of course, acupuncture is practiced differently still by individuals. The big point here is that people are getting relief; no matter what style of acupuncture or what individual. 

Acupuncture is rooted in a larger system of medicine which is known globally as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. Traditional Chinese Medicine comprises five distinct branches of medicine to help people govern their health. The five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine are exercise, nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and structural medicine like massage. Acupuncture, as a branch, has grown globally as well. I have met TCM practitioners from far-away places like Norway, England, India, America, Germany, Israel, Iceland and Thailand, to name a few. People from all over the world are finding relief from serious physical and mental illnesses with this ancient therapy. Acupuncture treatment most likely started with people poking each other in places that hurt with tools in a form of crude massage, or as way to lance boils. Eventually, the Chinese mapped rivers of energy called meridians, or channels, on the body. Much the way energy flows down a river, the same is true in the body. Energy moves quickly in some places, deeply in others, and also stagnates in common acu-point locations. As time passed, the ancients refined specific points on these meridians that created a broad range of action on both physical and emotional conditions. Needles used to be made from bones, then eventually metal. Today, they are made from stainless steel, making them also sterile and disposable. What Happens During an Acupuncture Treatment? After a series of questions, a practitioner of Chinese Medicine will look at your tongue, feel your pulse, and reach a diagnosis. Then an acupuncture prescription will be matched to your diagnosis. The combination of acupoints are needled and heat therapy (moxibustion) or mild electrical stimulation may be added to the needles. Needles are retained in the body for a period of 20 to 30 minutes. During that time, the nervous energy of the whole body tries to push these needles out and tunes into itself for healing. When the needles come to equilibrium with the body and mind, a healing message has been received. Unlike a needle that takes blood out of your body, an acupuncture needle is solid. It is not designed to cut through flesh. It is like putting a chopstick into a bowl of noodles. Instead of cutting into your body, it pushes tissue aside, letting your body’s nervous system grab it, reject it, accept it, and thereby reboot your whole system. This is how acupuncture is able to treat such a wide range of conditions. Needles vibrate within your body to help bring you into balance. The needles vent out built-up qi, which could be manifested in muscular pain, emotional tension, or a chest cold. Ultimately an acupuncture treatment should catapult your whole being into a deep state of ease so your body and mind can overcome energy imbalances, pain and disease.




The soft overcomes the hard – Tao Te Ching
These words from this ancient classic remind me of the tremendous power of acupuncture. Hard needles go into tight or hard acu-points or muscles, but it is the power of your soft body rejecting and then accepting these needles that makes the treatment effective. Your body has to become soft in the reaction to the hard needles. It is only natural.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Take the Two Week MIT Qigong Challenge!

Date: 7-18-11
Subject: Smooth & Gradual

Hello,

     Many people come to Qigong looking to improve their health and well being but the simple fact is there can be little progress without a little daily investment in your Zhan Zhuang practice.  At MIT Qigong we often tell people that; Zhan Zhuang is the most direct way to heal, strengthen and unite you mind, body & breath with tranquility.  The is no doubt this is true as Zhan Zhuang provides natural conditioning, natural meditation and natural healing all from standing still.  One of Zhan Zhuang's main goals is to loosen up the physical body and quiet down the mind.  As this smooth process is happening you will gradually return the body to its natural state of Yin & Yang!   Those who are looking for stress or anxiety reduction need to keep in mind it took many years to arrive at your current frequency level and it will take a little daily practice to begin to quiet you back down.  The primary purpose of Lower Abdominal Breathing is to quiet your system down so as your body begins to loosen up (unlock your joints) and your mind begins to quiet down this helps remove any blockage within your body/mind and allows the natural healing process to begin to work.

     Many new people often ask; How do we train Zhan Zhuang at home?  At MIT Qigong we offer FREE training schedules/programs but for a fair test we recommend a simple TWO WEEK daily exercise of only 10-15 minutes per day.  The training is so effective that your awareness begins tuning immediately which transfers over to your daily life.  Those who take the two week test often give us a THREE MONTH test of 20 minutes per day for a more lengthy or proper test of the arts effectiveness for cultivating excellent health and well-being.  Within 3-4 classes at MIT Qigong you will learn all the Year One/Level One training exercises!  We are not looking to dribble information out to students in order to keep them for a decade so they can learn a complicated set or numerous actions.  It is our goal to give you the tools and understanding of how & why Zhan Zhuang is pound for pound the most effective mind/body platform known to humanity!  The rest is up to you.  The more you put into the exercise the more you will get out of it!  

I'm looking forward to a great training session tonight at MIT! 

See you soon!

Peace,
Jim



MIT Monday Night Qigong (July 18, 2011)

10 Gather Qi
10 Post #3
10 Post #1
5/5 Half Supporting Post
5 Post #1
5 Gather Qi
Seal & Wash