Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan
By George Mera -- life fitness instructor
Qi is the force, breath or power of life which is present in every living organism, Qi could be strong or weak, fluent or stuck, Qi could also be acquired, control, manipulate, and storage, the quantity and quality of Qi determines your physical strength and emotional-mental contentment in life.
After your Qi is cultivated it manifests in a way that you acquire incredible good health, longevity, physical force, or inexplicable mind abilities.
When Qi is exhausted, any physical activity seems tedious, the emotional strength emaciated and the clarity of thinking diminished. We are at this time at the point of dismay and physical sickness.
Qi is disturbed every day in many ways, the cause could be the environment, the way we eat and the way we host negative emotions and unpleasant memories.
For Chinese philosophy the mind is not an entity or a thing, the mind is a process, the nature of the mind is to have thoughts, so it is absurd to try to eliminate your thoughts, you will fight a war that you cannot win against yourself your own nature.
Thoughts are like clouds, homeless, depend of the sky, they should appear and leave, so the thoughts have not life by themselves, like any other thing thoughts has beginning, maturity and end. But sometimes we host thoughts that are negative and they stay too long becoming the master of the house.
When Qi is flowing like a gentle stream or the wind your mental outlook turns more optimistic and hope and purpose could be found in the simplest things in life.
We have abundant Qi in our bodies; we are part of this universe which is based on vibrations, energy and waves. Everything in the universe is vibrating, from your brain to the chair you are sitting on.
Every living organism from plants, insects to humans, we are all vibrating in a different way than the rest of the universe, we all have vital force, we are in essence the different ways in which nature dance, although we might see differences, in essence we are all DNA recombined, we are all, in an mysterious an veiled way in the same soup, doing the same.
Mystic suggest you should vibrate in tune with the rest of universe, when you are vibrating out of fear or anxiety, this vibration reverberate in your Qi and organs, then the energy starts moving too fast or too slow, imbalance and sickness appears. Doctors in traditional Chinese medicine can detect the imbalance in the pulse of the channels that run Qi, and so through acupuncture, medicine or qigong they can restore the harmony in organs and functions.
Gong means mastering something, spending time and dedication till the activity transforms in an art. Gong-Fu is the person who possesses arts and skills and has excelled in any area of expertise so martial artists, musicians, and lawyers are called Gong-Fu.
Experts in qigong have mastered the energy or life; they can control and manipulate Qi in order to exert incredible physical force or to heal a person. The force of Qi is described as the one that crazy people have, people on drugs or a lady that lift a car in order to rescue her children, it is internal force, it is not related with muscles but with Qi.
For qigong we are all healers, we all have the potential; In qigong’s practice we are encourage, without becoming paranoid or hypochondriac, to constantly scan our bodies, organs, tendons and ligaments trying to detect any stagnancy of Qi in the meridians, to resolve the problem before it becomes serious.
Qigong is really a pleasant activity; we see obstacles as opportunities to grow. Qi is stuck in certain parts or ours bodies or organs, the game is to liberate the Qi and using some gentle techniques and patience, the areas of chronic pain will disappears.
After you resolve your physical concerns, many of the emotional tribulations seems possible to overcome, therefore your mind can start trusting itself to disperse the clouds of negative thoughts and you find yourself looking at the future with real contentment and pleasant internal dialog in your mind.
In this game of qigong, the strongest the physical discomfort the more powerful the opportunity to release more Qi. The biggest the emotional scars the more the potential for love. The more doubts and questioning experienced by the disturbed mind the closer we get to enlightenment.
There are thousands of different types of qigong; they are classified in five principal schools.
The school of stillness, when the mind becomes like a peaceful lake with no ripples, many posses are held and much visualization is taught.
The school of movement, some routines has few or hundreds of movements, some imitate animals, like the white Goose, or the movement of the four constellations, this school is vast and the most popular.
The school of breathing and having an internal vision of the organs, for this school we are the microcosm of the macrocosm, whatever is happening inside your body is happening in the starts to know the universe you need to know yourself before.
The school of medical qigong consists of exercises prescribed by Doctors to treat from simple ailments, to hepatitis or cancer. Many studies and researches have been compiled all over the world, showing how internal and external (Healing Hands) qigong can effectively help to heal.
The school of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism or the metaphysical qigong, these spiritual practices is looking for Shien, Satori, spiritual enlightenment or immortality. The Chinese government has generally tried to encourage qigong as a science and discourage religious or supernatural elements.
Some people considered Tai Chi chuan as part of qigong, for the extraordinary results in healing many illnesses. For a martial artist Tai Chi Chuan it is the most mysterious and sophisticated of all martial arts, it is called the Shadow Boxing or the pursuit of the fourth dimension (time dimension).
The premise in Tai chi is that at the beginning of times was a complete void (Wu-chi) in this emptiness two forces appeared Yin and Yang, when this forces combined, produced a big explosion, a supernova and the universe manifested, this natural and continuing flowing, expansion and assemblage of things from the origin, is called Tao, the way, the truth, the path.
This Yin and Yang arrangement is the essence of the universe and is lying underneath every event in the cosmos; it is the force propelling all things in life, from the atom, electricity, to our bodies.
Taoist always asks you, are you swimming with the current or against it? Are you natural and balance? Are you moving with the Tao? They recommend you to fallow the entire universe and you will experience life from a deeper understanding of the essence of things.
If you swim with the current you acquire the force of it, you can change directions and avoid obstacles, if you swimming against it, you exhaust yourself in an impossible task, many people believe they are swimming with the current of life and faster than other people, they have accumulated more things and the sense of self importance has been fulfilled.
Many people have lost their lives, family and health in the pursuit of a good life, believing that they were swimming with the current of events and things that we value in life but at the end of our lives, seeing our past from another perspective, we realize that we were really moving away from the Tao.
In every religion or philosophy you are encouraged to love the enemy, Tai chi Chuan teaches you to appreciate and love the enemy that you have inside, so at one point in our lives, we need to stop the civil war that we have in our minds, we need to extend our arms to the needed person inside ourselves, we need to be generous and feed the beggar that we all have in our hearts.
Each position in Tai Chi Chuan is helping you to entangle the riddle of your life; all positions have a hidden metaphysical connotation. Through the practice we are not looking for changes that are temporary and usually imposed but transformation, meaning growing from within; a deep awareness of our human condition and compassion towards ourselves and the world.
We respect the dark side of the Yin and Yang symbol; it contributes to who you are, like the manure contributes to the flower’s fragrance. When Confucianism describes a human being it describes it with all the goodness and virtuous specially benevolence and a little bit of misbehavior on top , we can count on that, that boys will always be boys, they are not to heavy in the concepts of good and evil. Otherwise we will constantly judging ourselves in an internal conflict.
If you accept yourself as you are with all the goodness and mischievous behavior, you can accept everybody else, we finally can make peace with ourselves and with the world, otherwise we turn into judges and moralist, we cannot accept that what we hate the most on other people, it is inside in our own minds and we are constantly trying to suppress this feeling; Chinese people say it should be honor among thieves.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to improve yourself an act in life as a responsible individual, it means that suppression of emotions are not the solution to resolve the truth of our lives, suppression is like pruning a tree the more we cut the branches the strongest the trunk becomes.
If we want to suppress anger and you diligently work on pruning the emotion, we might succeed in doing that, but in the process we lost spontaneity, we might become afraid of the shadow of anger, deep inside all religions try to suppress the emotions, because they believed we cannot trust ourselves, that we might act on negative emotions an go an kill grandmother.
That dark side is believed to posses all the dreadful creatures in life, many people advice against the exploration of the subconscious mind they say, is dangerous and we can’t trust ourselves, but if you don’t trust yourself who are you going to trust, but in the exploration of this subconscious mind you might find at the end of the road confronted with a mirror and you will see God reflected.
It is dualistic to detest the world and torejoice in liberation . . . Liberation can befound where there is bondage, but where there is ultimately no bondage where is there need for liberation?
George Mera -- life fitness instructor