Movement and Stillness

动静无偏
Movement and Stillness
without Deviation and Inclination

One should move when time to move, one should be still when it is time to be still time.
This is about the right timing of movement and stillness.

This is called ‘the Gong of Purity, Tranquillity and Non-action’.

When movement and stillness are being inappropriate, then the disaster of Yin and Yang flourishing unilaterally ensues. Yin and Yang will be deviated to one side. This is a hidden danger. The reason is the following:

“When movement is in its extreme one must then form stillness.
If one is not tranquil,
Yang flourishes and injures the Spirit.
When stillness is in its extreme one must then form movement.
If one is not moving, Yin flourishes and injures Qi. “

Always in Wu-Ji the two earths intermingle and turn into the jade tablet.
Wu stands for the thoughts; Ji represents perceptions, the spirit feeling and the sixth sense
It draws up an image of Post-Heaven and Pre-Heaven thoughts unifying, the sixth sense merging with the Post-Heaven thoughts, the Pre-Heaven Spirit and Post-Heaven thinking combine into One, congealing into s sphere or circle.

Movement and stillness are cycling; Yin and Yang are revolving.
Yin turns into Yang, Yang turns into Yin.
Without deviation to one side, one is able to obtain the objective.

The ancient people said:

“The world has sufficient innate-nature Gong,
however the life-destiny Gong is deficient.
Even if one is able to nourish
until the Cinnabar Field’s bright moon,
one inevitably will be unable to refine
until to the turtle shrinks and does not lift anymore.
-This is the practice of the Yin Spirit that is so popular in the West-.
The world has sufficient life-destiny Gong,
however the innate-nature Gong is deficient.
Even if one is able to refine
until the turtle shrinks and does not lift anymore,
one inevitably will be unable to nourish
until the Cinnabar Field’s bright moon generates its splendour.
One’s thoughts will fail to reach a higher plane and
one will still die in the end,
but having lived longer than normal people.

Only double cultivation is without deviation. The Gong of innate nature and life-destiny’s are equal in standing. When one’s Skill reaches this point, it means that Yin and Yang face no danger of being inclined to one side, no danger of being out of balance. Therefore there will be no disastrous consequences. Extreme movement and stillness are repeated over and over. The innate nature is the Spirit; the life-destiny is the Qi. Naturally the horse’s Yin, its genitals, hides in the box and the Cinnabar light generates brightness. The Cinnabar Field as if a luminous as the full moon on the 15th day of the lunar month.

There is a saying in Daoism:

“Only cultivating innate-nature without cultivating life-destiny
this is the first error of one’s cultivation practice.
If one only cultivates the ancestral nature
without cultivating the Elixir,
for countless generations it will be difficult
for the Yin Spirit to enter sagehood.

Male-female cultivation is a mistake and misinterpretation of the dual cultivation principle and must be criticized here. The bed-chamber arts are therefore side doors, the unorthodox Dao, the wicked paths and the crooked road.
With those methods one cannot achieve eternal life. One cannot reach the higher dimensions.
Certainly one must protect the body, life comes first. But no Daoist would dare claim that Daoism equates longevity. This is just the way it is taught to commoners in society. Any Daoist would be heavily criticized for exclaiming this statement.

A word of warning at this point:
Anyone who claims to have high Gong of the turtle shrinking must have lost the biological appearance of a man and a woman. If a woman still has large and voluptuous breast and does not have a flat-chest like a child, she is a cheat. If a man has still large genitals at this stage he is a liar. On this level man and woman must have reverted to ‘Centre-People’, not being man or woman anymore, in order to be able speak the truth about having achieved a high Gong.

Therefore this translation serves as a bright light and as a lamp, hopefully preventing people from being hoodwinked and deceived. It is the objective to rescue people from wandering about destitute or even worse being guided into the absurd, fantastic and preposterous. There are many black racketeers out there.
In terms of religion only Daoism proceeds from form to formless. It is unique in that respect and the physical body is considered a tower to the heavens, a ladder to the heavenly realms.

Without a body where would there be life on earth?

Despite the importance of the body, eventually one must have the attachment to one’s Ego broken. If one pursues longevity, the hospital has methods on offer such as hormones or injecting a young person’s blood. In twenty years time DNA changes might be possible and feasible.

But how could you elevate to higher thoughts through injections?

How can you get the compassion of the Buddhist and Daoist Patriarchs and Founding Fathers?

How could you live eternally?

If chanting the names of the Gods and stern faith were enough
to join the ranks of the immortals,
how come not all later generations of believers
enter through the heavenly gate?

Annotation:
This content originates from the Zhou Peng Lai’s research, advanced studies and cultivation. He physically verified it step by step.

Reference: http://fiveimmortals.com/movement-and-stillness-without-deviation-and-inclination/

The 10 tenets of Qigong

  1. Tranquility
  2. Experiencing
  3. Nothingness
  4. Emptiness
  5. Rootedness
  6. Openness
  7. Oneness
  8. Compassion
  9. Harmony
  10. The Way

Tranquillity
Take emptiness to the limit; maintain tranquillity in the center” — Lao Tzu

In other words immerse oneself in a state of tranquillity. It is the basic of basics that one be able to keep a peaceful mind. To be able to remain in a state of deep tranquillity is a prerequisite to attaining higher qigong states, and it is the core of practice.

The first consideration is whether we can achieve that state of tranquillity. Practically every practitioner has come across this or that difficulty, or had this experience or that attainment. For beginners, it is always difficult to relax and quiet down. This may not be a problem for someone who has a more receptive mind and whose body naturally relaxes when the mind quiets down. But for most beginners, it is very difficult to quiet one’s thoughts and relax the body. They usually need to relax their bodies before their minds can calm down.

Then, how can we enter this tranquil state? Handed down from a long time ago is a qigong saying: “substitute ten thousand thoughts with one.” It is so basic that to practice any qigong forms or routines, particularly in the elementary and intermediate stages, no one can expect to go anywhere if it is not first achieved.

What exactly is “substituting ten thousand thoughts with one”? How do we do it? Following are some answers.

First is to adjust the body. This applies to the general meditation routines, including standing and sitting meditation. While either standing or sitting, try to loosen up your body‐muscle, blood circulation, bones and countenance. When each and every organ in your body is relaxed, your mind will naturally follow. This method is easy to do and is efficacious to many. Someone who has never done qigong training should first ease off the forehead, then the eyes, and feel the effect; next loosen up the whole body, from head to heel, inside out, and untighten the muscles until there is nothing between the bones and the muscles. Little by little, the mind also quiets down.

Second is to control one’s breathing. There are quite a few breathing exercises and many books are available about methods that can be used.You can adopt any kind of breathing method as long as it helps you relax and is also convenient for you. Although there are various levels of breathing control, general practitioners should only be concerned with convenience.

Third, focus attention on certain body parts; for example, concentrate on the dantien point. This point of concentration replaces all others and gradually one enters tranquillity.

Fourth, try chanting mantras.This is essential fort he Buddhist Pure Land qigong, which teaches no other methods other than chanting the mantra, “Nammo Amida Buddha.” You can do it in silence, or in a low voice. After chanting this mantra day in and day out, you will do it without any conscious effort, even with out uttering the sound. You can walk on the street or do other things, yet the rhythm of the mantra has become so instilled in your consciousness that the sound, audible or not , produces its effect. There is no mystery in Buddhist mantras or other incantations; they simply substitute endless thoughts with the singleness of mantra recitation.

For example,say you are talking to an old country woman. It would be quite irrelevant if you try to teach her all about qigong theory.All you need to do is tell her to chant “Nammo Amida Buddha,” and after chanting thousands and thousands of times she will have the blessings of both spiritual wellness and physical health.Chances are she will be so immersed in the mantra that all other thoughts are dispelled and she will have achieved the desired tranquillity. She has no more worries and her health is regained. As a result, her family benefits and that is a blessing.

Fifth, concentrate on the routine. Different schools of qigong teach different routines, which are sets of body movements, together with regulated circulation of qi, the energy, and point of attention. Some schools stress the importance of the mind. Others claim that mind plays no part in their practice.

Right now in China, Fragrance Qigong is very popular.Many practitioners of this style claim that it is good to practice Fragrance routine because it involves no mind. It is simple and effective. Normally I make no comments on the alleged pros and cons of various styles of qigong. Yet in this case, when one does such routines as Phoenix Nodding, Dragon Tail, or Bodhidharma Rowing, one certainly gets some idea of the meaning of such titles. What is in your mind when such phrases flash by? That is a thought‐ a good one, though. Also, it seems to be pure movement without thought when you are doing the routines. Nonetheless, the act of doing movements contains thought,a single-pointed thought that dispels all others. This is yet another example of “substituting ten thousand thoughts with one.”

I must be honest and say that all the popular forms of qigong are not high level ones. Advanced qigong routines are generally transmitted in encoded forms by the masters. Regardless, even these popular forms and routines simply will be of no use if they ignore the function of the mind.

I will give another example to make my point. Kong Jing qigong also emphasizes pure movements. It equates its routines with the circulation system of the human body; for example, the movement of each finger corresponds to a specific blood vessel. Its movements can cause strong energy flow in the body. Again, it claims that mind has nothing to do with the movements.But even so, one needs to concentrate on the motions to be able to practice well, which is not different from concentrating on the meridian points. All in all, these simple routines are easy to follow and offer a good start for beginning students.

For every qigong form, especially on the elementary and intermediate levels, the most fundamental issue is to be able to enter deep relaxation and direct your mind to a single point of attention instead of being swamped with myriad thoughts. I hope to open a clearer way of looking at the different forms and moves of qigong, and to facilitate your practice. Such understanding will also help you gradually and naturally find the way that fits your individual needs. Better yet, you may be able to come up with ways that can help you relax faster.

A lot of qigong movements have interesting names, such as those we mentioned earlier and others like Holding the Sun and Moon, Embracing the Universe, Standing on Snow Mountain, and so forth. They all connote some positive message, which infuses the practitioner with a certain psychological association. Imagining traveling through the infinite light of the universe or imagining being totally transparent can certainly help with one’s understanding of the movements. Therefore we can see the purpose of these titles. Would you like a movement that is named A Mouse Crossing the Street? I think not.

The next thing to do is desist thinking, which means in the process of quieting down, cease any thought the moment it emerges, instead of letting it run wild. Usually the mind will pop up with new ones,and it is important to halt each one as soon as it arises. Before long, you will acquire the ability to shut out any unwanted thoughts, and eventually you will be able to do it without ever being conscious of the process.This is the high level you should seek. Again, it is to “substitute ten thousand thoughts with a single one.” The single thought is used as a means to halt the ten thousand thoughts.

The last step is to “conquer without conquering.” You can read about this in the Buddhist Diamond Sutra. What does it mean? Say you are agitated, and your mind just will not calm down. What can you do? Just ignore it. Yield to it. Make no effort to subdue it. In the long run,the mind will surrender it self, and thus you have conquered your mind without conquering. This is also of a higher nature, which is more difficult to attain.

When you try to quiet down, your mind is unlikely to cooperate readily. It churns out all kinds of thoughts. At such a moment, you need to sit quietly, trying to figure out where your “true self” hides. Through the eye of your true self, try to observe your mind. It may run in every direction, but your true self can manage it. In due course, you will enter a state of deep meditation despite the resistance of your surface mind. The deep tranquillity and the surface flow of thoughts can co-exist. However, your original mind remains undisturbed even when thought seems to be still flowing on the surface. This state of mind is of a much higher level.

The Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Hui Neng, once said, “I myself possess no talent, but I never cease thinking.” What he meant was that amidst the turmoil of mind activities, his true mind remains peacefully undisturbed. Just like the ocean in the storm ‐ underneath the surges, it remains calm and serene.

We have discussed the seven ways of achieving tranquillity. Once you are able to make them thoroughly your own, all the mysteries of qigong will become clear. Why is it that calligraphy can help you enter tranquillity? Before starting to use the brush, you wash your hands, dust the desk and lay down the paper. In the old times, people also lit incense. You then sit straight and hold your brush. Now you concentrate on one thing only ‐ doing your calligraphy well. That’s it! The numerous thoughts are now replaced by only this single one, and you easily enter the state of qi.

Experiencing
By experiencing, we mean that when you are practicing qigong, try not to involve any intellectual analysis. Forget all that you have learned and known. Of course, when you are not doing the routines, you should learn as much as possible about qigong theory. Think about it. Talk about it yourself. Listen to others talk about it.Turn it over in your mind.Try to understand it.But when you are doing the routines, think of nothing. No theory. Instead, experience every movement.
This perspective may not be shared by some practitioners. That is all right. Even so, try not to think too much. Just keep it in mind. Sooner or later you will experience its meaning. If not,keep on and it will sink in.It is most important to experience with your heart and with your soul.

Nothingness
In qigong practice, “nothingness” cannot be overstressed. We need to set aside all our attachments to levels and achievements, even to qigong itself. “Nothingness” is really a transcendental state, a natural state of being. For instance, a group of people gathers together. Somebody in charge tells them not to stand too close, sothey quickly disperse. Now the person in charge asks them to please stand more naturally, and everybody begins to assume a more natural posture. They probably did not realize that the way they stood before making the adjustment was the most natural, since nobody was conscious of it. As soon as they were reminded to “be natural,” the spontaneity was lost.

The moment of spontaneous posing can be referred to as “nothingness,” the most natural state of being. It is also analogous to our qigong practice. You do not have to be too fastidious about each move. Just try to relax. Flow through it.

Emptiness
I have gone into great length on this topic in the previous section so I won’t repeat myself.
While we maintain an empty state of mind, our bodies undergo certain changes. They are involuntary. I will not go into details since that may create certain visions, which may be come a hindrance in our practice and lead us astray.

Just pay attention to the changes that take place in the state of pure emptiness, that moment of divine inspiration.

Rootedness
No matter what school of qigong we follow, it is essential that we experience its origin. The same is true with looking at our world: go beyond the surface, the image,and the perception until you get to its origin.
A book is produced with paper. The paper is made of trees, straw or other materials. The trees and straw are grown in nature. Nature forms part of our universe. And where does the universe come from? On and on we reflect on the original state of our world. In the qigong state, we can often experience miraculous phenomena.

Openness
Let me first show you an experiment that can be done during mediation. As soon as you calm down, try to imagine that you can see the meridian points in your body. Some of you may be able to actually look inward and see the channels. When the images of these points appear, imagine again that all the points in your body are open and connected. If you keep on visualizing, your body will experience certain changes. You then imagine that not only your body organs are linked, but your mind and body are connected, too. Through this experiment, you may experience the wonder of qigong.

My research tells me that whenever our minds are blocked, our bodies will be affected by the blockage as well. When you are caught in a difficult situation,you may pull al ong face. Don’t think it is just your face showing the anxiety; your entire body also is burdened. If you ease off your facial muscles, your look will be relaxed and your body will in turn loosen up. Life is a material form of interrelations.Your facial expression is connected with your body organs.
It is known in modern medicine that through a single hair we can know the health of a person. Similarly, in Traditional Chinese Medicine,the ear-acupuncture therapy, with needles applied to one’s ears, can cure ailments in other body organs, for example.
When your brows are knitted because of worry, not only is your body knitted, but your internal organs are also tightened into knots. We often use such phrases as”my heart was in my mouth ,” ” it makes my blood curdle,” “ it delights the cockles of my heart,” and so forth. These are not just descriptive terms. They relate to certain body and mental states. When a person is fearful, his face shows it. His heart also feels the dread. On the other hand, when a person is serene, not only his facial expression tells it but his body feels the peace as well. We need to observe and understand our body-mind relations.

In my work, The Decoding of Human Metaphysical Phenomena, I wrote that “our facial expression is our transient and changeable physiognomy which is in turn our permanent and fixed facial expression.”
A person may be born with a good looking face, but if he or she has been over burdened by the hardships of life , then gradually the look becomes one of distress. A sad face does not look nice. Sometimes the genes may carry it to the next generation.

When you feel mentally distressed, your digestive system may also suffer. Stomach disease, indigestion, and distress are all related. Long term depression may lead to heart ailments. This is now common medical knowledge.
Pay special attention to keeping a peaceful mind. When practicing, signal your self to open up, to connect every artery and channel of your body.

Oneness
To be one with the universe is the ultimate state of qigong. Many qigong guidelines tell us to merge ourselves with heaven and earth, be in harmony with man and universe, and embrace the cosmos. These are some basic principles of qigong practice. However, at higher levels of practice things may be different.
These guide lines are a good way to initiate practitioners into qigong. On the other hand, their over emphasis can be paradoxical. It may become a subjective desire rather than the actual experience, which can lead to illusions. It is important that we reach a state of pure harmony with the universe through our own practice and experience. Do not rely on what the masters say or what the books say. We need to experience this by ourselves.

Compassion
To be compassionate and loving means that we should be kind to everything and everyone. Those who have a kind heart can be close to the state of qigong even without practicing. On the contrary, a person who always harbors unkind thoughts may find it extremely hard to do well even with incessant practice.
From a macro viewpoint, compassion and love form the psychological mainstay in our daily lives as we practice qigong. Of course, for a compassionate and loving person, there will be unavoidable moments of trouble, suffering, anger, or narrow‐mindedness. It is perfectly understandable and we should not be overcritical.

Say for example a person gave some much needed assistance to an old man who is in a life threatening situation; the giver would feel very happy and in a good state of mind. If he did his qigong routines at such a time, the effect would be very good, too. He may have a marvelous experience. On the contrary,if aperson was engaged in something shady and then did his routines, a negative effect could result.
To be compassionate and loving enables us to better receive energy from the universe. Vicious thoughts make us out of sorts with our environment, hence attracting negative energy. Being compassionate and loving is not only a psychological requirement but also a basic practicing skill.

Harmony
The concept of harmony should be understood in the context of qigong. It does not mean that we should not fight against the evils in our daily life.
To maintain harmony is more than what etiquette requires in our speech and in how we deal with people. More importantly, we need it in our qigong practice. Maintaining harmony all around us is in itself a state of being. In Chinese language, harmony contains the meaning “soothing the qi.” Cultivate harmony with your‐self and the universe. When you are in harmony with heaven, the earth and all beings, you harmonize the various life forces into yourself. Try to experience it , feel it and understand it.
While in a group,an adept qigong practitioner can immediately sense from its energy field whether the group is in accord. When we detect disharmony, then we do our best to bring back the harmony, to synchronize the energy flow. It is a way to practice and improve oneself. If a practitioner diffuses discord everywhere, he causes pain. He is then far away from his goal of maintaining harmony.

The Way
Man models himself on the Earth; The Earth models itself on Heaven; Heaven models it‐self on the Way; And the Way models itself on that which is so on its own.” — Lao Tzu
This means man should observe the ordinance of heaven and earth, while heaven and earth operate on the laws of the cosmos, and the cosmos complies with the principles of the Tao. Ultimately, the Tao follows the prescript of nature.
Following nature is the ultimate achievement of qigong. Model ourselves on that which is so on its own. Accept and take whatever is natural.

Reference: The Essence of Qigong By Ke Yun Lun
p. 53 – 63

Breathing Methods and Practice Tips of Health Qigong

by Gong Lihui 2012

Breathing practice is one of the important exercises in practicing Health Qigong. Only when the exerciser is aware of the importance of breathing, using the correct breathing posture with right methods to make the most of breathing, can he learn Health Qigong well and reach the goal of dispelling diseases and strengthening his body.

Breathing is an Important Part of Health Qigong

Health Qigong is a traditional Chinese physical exercise, the movements of which mainly combine exerciser’s body movement, breathing and psychological regulation together. Health Qigong is characterized by its breathing exercise, which makes it fundamentally different from other physical exercises. In a sense, Health Qigong is the practice of inhaling and exhaling. Therefore, before practicing Health Qigong, one should be clear about the importance of breathing, and take it as a key exercise in Health Qigong.

The Breathing of Health Qigong is an Active One

Different from our normal breathing, which is inborn, instinctive, automatic and unconscious, the breathing of Health Qigong is active, conscious and can be regulated by the exerciser. The instinctive breathing of human beings is controlled by nervous centralis in lower brain stem such as medulla, mesocephalon, and spinal marrow. The breathing regulated by Health Qigong is controlled by the upper brain respiratory center like cerebral cortex. These two control centers are totally independent. And this is the difference between the kind of breathing system and some biological systems controlled by automatic nerves, such as cardiovascular system, digestive system and endocrine system. Health Qigong is just based on the regulatory subjective awareness of the breathing system. By making full use of this regulatory subjective awareness of the breathing system and through conscious practice, Health Qigong helps one regulate and strengthen his breathing activity in a scientific way, facilitate the flow of one’s qi and blood so as to achieve the aim of dispelling illness and keeping fit.

Breathing Regulation is the Central Link of the “Three Regulations”

The regulations of body movement, breathing and psychology are the three elements of Health Qigong, which are also known as “three regulations”. The regulation of body movement means adjusting the figure and posture of body to make it suitable and relaxed to do the practice. Breathing regulating means adjusting the rhythm of breath, making it flow naturally to promote blood circulation and massage internal organs, meridian and collateral. Psychological regulation means adjusting one’s mental activities through eliminating distractions to improve the practice effect. The regulation of body movement is the premise; the breathing regulation is the core, dominating the other two; and psychological regulation is the guarantee and is subordinate to breathing practice. The three regulations are interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. They combine with each other organically and none of them is dispensable. As ancient people put it, “without correct body movement, your qi will not flow well. Without a well flow of qi, your mind will get no peace. Without peace in mind, you will have your qi decentralized.” Only when your spirit and body harmoniously combine together, can qi flow smoothly inside your body, thus achieving the effect of keeping in good health.

Breathing Makes Health Qigong Safe and Effective

Breathing is the Key to Keep Vitality

According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, “the qi between heaven and the earth keeps a man alive.” “Men live by the qi between heaven and the earth according to the law of four seasons” (Su Wen• Bao Ming Quan Xing); “qi is the foundation of human beings” (Nan Jing • Ba Nan); “Everything in the universe relies on qi.”(Lei Jing • She Sheng Lei); “Human beings live with qi, and qi is inside one’s body. None can live without QI.”(Pao Pu Zi by Ge Hong in the Jin Dynasty). All these sayings show that “qi” is the living root of human beings and every other thing in the universe. Qi is the way how life exists. With good qi, one can keep fit; otherwise, one will get disease. Without qi, one would die. The end of breath means the end of life.

The theory of traditional Chinese medicine also believes that genuine qi, the qi inside one’s body, is consisted of source qi, ancestral qi, nutrient qi and defense qi. Source qi is the intrinsic qi, which is the qi of kidney. Nutrient qi is made of the qi generated from digesting food and water; it is the nutrient qi that moves through blood and across five internal organs. defense qi is generated from the qi of water and food, running outside the veins and across the skin; it is defense qi that protect one from disease. ancestral qi is the qi one takes from nature; it is breathed into one’s lung and heart, promoting the movement of nutrient qi and defense qi. This is to say that ancestral qi, which comes from the breath, is the fundamental drive to maintain one’s life. This is where the medical science of keeping fit lies by using breathing to guide qi and blood flow.

Breathing Helps One Keep Healthy

Talking about learning Health Qigong, some people will ask, “Is it safe? Can you feel the qi?” People raise such questions because some exercisers of Qigong suffered instead of gaining health because of their misbehaviors during practice. Therefore, they do not dare to practice Qigong any more.

The feel about qi is the feeling exercisers sensed about the movement and concentration of qi and blood inside their bodies. Only when exercisers have practiced Health Qigong to a certain level and only when there are abundant qi and blood inside their bodies with smooth meridian and collateral and high concentration, can they have this feeling of qi. Ignoring assiduous and hard practice, trying to find a short-cut way to keep fit and just pursuing the feeling of qi will do no good to one’s health. In the past, some people got hurt during the practice of Health Qigong, mainly because they ignored the dominant position of breathing and only pursued the feeling of qi.

Since 2003, the GASC Health Qigong Administration Center has successively introduced four sets of methods to practice Health Qigong, that is, Yi Jin Jing,Wu Qin Xi,Liu Zi Jue,Ba Duan Jin, and five new sets of methods, that is Health Qigong • Da Wu, Mawangdui Daoyin Shu, Shi Er Duan Jin, Dao yin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa and Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang. These methods have absorbed the essence of traditional Chinese Qigong methods, basing on Chinese and Western medicine, physical exercise and related modern scientific theories, and have established the core position of breathing regulation among three regulations. These methods are not only scientific, effective, with diversified types, but also easy to learn and can effectively prevent improper practice and safety risks.

The Breathing Methods of Health Qigong

The Categories of Breathing

Health Qigong is a physical exercise focusing on breathing practice. Therefore, one must thoroughly understand and master different methods of breathing and practicing tips. The breathing of Health Qigong has two basic methods. One is thoracic breathing,that is natural breathing. The other is abdominal breathing, which can be further divided into smooth abdominal breathing and reverse abdominal breathing. And reverse abdominal breathing can be divided into loose anal reverse abdominal breathing and levator anti reverse abdominal breathing.

The natural breathing used in Health Qigong is almost the same as people’s instinctively natural breathing. The two breathing styles are all relaxed, natural, with exerciser’s chest rising up and down at a relatively higher rate, and his defense has the slightest movement. The difference between these two breathing styles is that the breathing rate of Health Qigong is relatively slower, and it has to change according to the body movements, and between inhaling and exhaling there are transitional movements such as breath-hold and pause, which is completely absent under the instinctive state of natural breathing.

When the exerciser uses abdominal breathing, his abdomen will rise up and down with the breathing rhythm, and at the same time, his chest will also expand and contract. Smooth abdominal breathing means exerciser’s abdomen is adducted when he inhales, and bulged when he exhales. On the contrary, if exerciser’s abdomen is adducted when he exhales, and bulged when he inhales, he is doing reverse abdominal breathing. What’s more, if his muscles of the anus and perineum get loose when he inhales, he is using loose anal reverse abdominal breathing; if his anus and perineum muscles tighten up when he inhales, he is using the levator anti reverse abdominal breathing.

Basic Exercise and Requirements of Breathing

The breathing of Health Qigong, regardless of its styles, is made up by four movements: inhale, exhale, breath holding and breath pause. When you inhale, holding the air you breathe in for a very short time is called breath holding; when you exhale, stopping your breathe temporarily is called breathing pause. An inhalation and an exhalation make up a breath. A breath must include one inhale and one exhale, but not every breath must include breath holding and breath pause. Breath holding and breath pause should be practiced in a flexible way according to needs of body movements such as when you stretch your limbs with tension, lift or twist your body, and when you want to have a rest or relax yourself. According to ancient people, “improper exhale of breath and breath pause would do harm to one’s health.” Therefore, your inhale and exhale should go slowly and smoothly, without straining yourself by inhaling too much air and exhale all you have. Breath holding and breath pause should also be practiced in a gentle way. Doing this for too long or with too much force is not good for your health.

Breathing is usually done by inhaling and exhaling through nose. For those with needs to make sound, such as the Health Qigong • Liu Zi Jue and Three Plates Falling on the Floor in Yi Jin Jing, the exerciser should inhale through nose and exhale through mouth. As an energy-saving and low-oxygen physical exercise, Health Qigong will help exercisers gradually develop a deep and fine breathing style, with their breathing rate dropping from 16 to 18 times per minute (the normal rate for natural breathing) to 5 to 6 times per minute. However, this must be a gradual process of practicing, and the exerciser should not hurry and rush to next stages. Otherwise there will be three uncomfortable responses, that is “wind response”(with sound in your breath), “puff response”(breathing without sound but feel stagnating and dry in your nose) and “gasp response”(with your nose flapping). These will do no good to your health, but also will upset you and reduce the effect of exercise.

The basic requirements of Health Qigong for breathing is that when practicing the thoracic breathing, the exerciser should breathe according to his body movement, naturally and gently in a coordinated way without gasp or stagnation; when practicing the abdominal breathing, the exerciser should keep his movement and breath in line with each other, with gentle movement and deep breath, guiding every breath to his navel. No matter which method the exerciser adopts, he should let his body movement guide his breath, and let the breath flow all over his body, reaching the goal of harmonizing both the outside body and inside breath in the end. The basic law to keep body movement and breath in line with each other is to inhale when one starts, to exhale when one finishes, inhale first and exhale latter, inhale to store qi, and exhale to deliver air. Exercisers should follow this law instead of practicing against it. Otherwise, the exerciser will feel uncomfortable such as suppressed in his chest, be short of breath, oppressed in heart and palpitate.

The Similarities and Differences between 9 Breathing Methods

Health Qigong has four breathing methods and five new methods. All breathing styles are determined by the characteristics of each method, which generally can be divided into the following three types.

Using One Kind of Breathing from the Very Beginning to the End

This type can be further divided into another two styles; one is using natural breathing from the very beginning to the end, for example, Health Qigong • Yi Jin Jing and Da Wu. Since this method involves very big body movement with complicated changes, excessive pursuit of deep and fine breath will result in “wind” “puff” and “gasp” responses. Therefore, natural breathing is required through the very beginning to the end. Only in this way can body movement and breath always become gentle and coordinated.

Another style is using abdominal breathing from the very beginning to the end, such as the Health Qigong • Liu Zi Jue and Dao yin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa. Dao yin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa uses smooth abdominal breathing from the very beginning to the end, keeping body movement and breath in line with each other, with gentle movement and deep breath, guiding every breath to the navel like divine turtle breathing. The Health Qigong • Liu Zi Jue uses reverse abdominal breathing throughout the whole process, which is the only one out of the nine methods that specifically focuses on inhale and exhale exercises. From the very beginning to the end, the exerciser inhales through nose and exhales through his mouth, and at the same time making a sound (one can also only exhale without making any sound after he is very skilled in this practice), paying attention to the deep and fine breathing.

Gradually Transition from One Method to Anther

This type of method means the exerciser starts from the natural breathing, and latter gradually transits to abdominal breathing, mainly including Health Qigong •·Ba Duan Jin, Mawangdui Daoyin Shu, Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang these three methods. Ba Duan Jin and Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang require using natural breathing at the beginning stage and gradually transiting to abdominal breathing as his body movement is more skillful and get into a higher practicing level. Mawangdui Daoyin Shu requires exercisers use natural breathing as a base, letting the body movement guide the breath, using his mind to guide the flow of breath inside his body, and finally harmonizing both the body movement and breath. In this way, his body will become gentle. As the body movements such as pitching, reversing, lifting, landing and folding intensify, his breath will become more deep and fine. Then his breathing will transit to abdominal breathing. The difference between the two is that Ba Duan Jin and Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang begin from natural breathing; and transit to abdominal breathing when the movement gets more skillful, while the Mawangdui Daoyin Shu is based on natural breathing, and transits to abdominal breathing with the intensification of body movement.

Frequent Transition between Different Breathing Methods

This type of breathing includes natural breathing, smooth abdominal breathing, reverse abdominal breathing, levator anti breathing and so on, with Health Qigong·• Wu Qin Xi, and Shi Er Duan Jin as two main methods. The transition between different breathing styles doesn’t need to follow any fixed order, and it changes according to the needs and changes of body movements in different practicing methods. In Wu Qin Xi, the body movements of “colliding with the antlers” and “picking fruit” use natural breathing; “seizing the prey ” and “stretch upward” use smooth abdominal breathing, and other six movements use reverse abdominal breathing, among which only “lifting the monkey’s paws” uses reverse abdominal breathing plus levator ani breathing. In Shi Er Duan Jin, “Ming Xin Wo Gu”,“Kou Chi Ming Gu”, “Yao Shen Huang Hai” and “Bei Mo Jing Men” use natural breathing; “Wen Xu Ji Lun” uses smooth abdominal breathing, and the other seven movements use reverse abdominal breathing plus levator anti breathing. No matter what kind of breathing the exerciser adopts, he should relax himself without suppressing his breath. And it is better to inhale and exhale neither too fast nor too slow. By using different breathing methods, the exerciser can regulate the qi and blood in five internal organs, dredge the meridian of his body and reach the effect of physical fitness.

Three Stages of Breathing Exercise

The Initial Stage of Unregulated Natural Breathing

Beginners of Health Qigong can use people’s instinctive natural breathing without subjective control to focus on learning body movement instead of breathing exercise. In this way, exercisers can not only grasp the tips of each movement quickly, but also can keep a smooth and stable breathing. The natural breathing of most people is thoracic breathing, and a small number of people who have received special training can also use natural abdominal breathing. Mankind used abdominal breathing in their early evolution period as natural breathing. After mankind evolved to homo erectus, their lungs rose up and expanded, thus changing from natural abdominal breathing to natural thoracic breathing. New-born babies usually use abdominal breathing at first and slowly change into thoracic breathing. This phenomenon confirms this evolution pattern of human breathing.

The natural breathing of Health Qigong and the completely instinctive natural breathing are not the same. The initial stage of natural breathing naturally follow the principle of letting body movement guide breath, and letting the breath flow all over his body, inhaling when one starts, exhaling when one finishes. This kind of breathing can also be reached naturally by following the body movements. And inhale, exhale, breath holding and pause can also be automatically applied. The basic characteristic of the initial stage of breathing is breathing naturally without any control.

The Intermediate Stage Focusing on Self-regulated Abdominal Breathing

At the intermediate stage, all the nine methods of Health Qigong, except Yi Jin Jing and Da Wu, require exercisers to transit from using natural thoracic breathing to automatic abdominal breathing. At this stage, breathing has changed from the laissez-faire state of unconsciousness back to the central role of subjective concern, with the breathing method shifting from thoracic breathing to abdominal breathing. The depth of breath has been greatly increased, and the amount of oxygen exchange doubled. Breathing slowly becomes deep and stable, with the breathing rate falling, getting closer and closer to 5-6 times per minute.

Health Qigong • Yi Jin Jing and Da Wu, using natural breathing from the beginning to the end, also intensify the breathing in the intermediate stage, with internal mind and external body harmonize with each other, the breath flow throughout the whole body and the dominant role of breathing increasingly strengthened. At this stage, the focus of the mental activities shift from body movement to breathing, with every the slightest attention concentrated on breathing. It gradually shows that the body movement serves to breathing. As breathing is intensified, and oxygen is fully exchanged, the regulation and protection effects of breathing towards qi inside one’s body and the five internal organs will become more apparent. As the ancient practice formulas put it, “exhale slowly, and inhale deeply, the inborn qi will be spurred by the cultivated qi.” At this stage, the health effects brought about by Health Qigong will become increasingly apparent. The basic characteristic of breath in the intermediate stage is the “self-regulation”.

The Advanced Stage Focusing on Breathing with Automatic Frequency

At the advanced stage, breathing with automatic frequency is used. It mainly uses abdominal breathing, but can freely switch between a myriad of breathing methods and automatically adjust the breathing rhythm. The human body is a most sophisticated, harmonious, efficient, and automated organism, owning the most perfect self-regulating mechanism that can help the body adapt to various complex environments and maintain a variety of states function well. In the intermediate stage, the self-regulation of breathing is a supplementation and reinforcement to body’s auto-regulation mechanism. This kind of supplementation and reinforcement is very necessary and very useful when one gets sick or is in the state of sub-health, or when the automatic regulation system inside one’s body is imbalanced or lack momentum. But when the automatic regulation system inside one’s body functions well enough, this kind of supplementation and reinforcement is redundant and unnecessary, which may even become unharmonious regulation. Therefore, at the advanced stage, exercisers should breathe naturally, shifting self-regulated breathing back to natural breathing without any regulation.

However, this kind of shifting back is not retrogressive, but a return leaping to a more advanced stage. It is a return looking like the previous one but with totally different nature. It is the negation of negation, a wave-forward progress and upward spiral. The breathing at this stage without regulation does not mean breathing as you like, but breathing naturally, following the whole condition and shifting between various breathing methods. Its rhythm rate may change at random, with body, breath and mind perfectly combined together. The exerciser’s subjective intention is completely in line with the automatic regulation rhythm of the body. Therefore, practicing Health Qigong has become a process of automatically keeping fit and intensification of the body mechanism under the guidance of subjective intention. The basic characteristic of the advanced stage of breathing is “breathing with automatic frequency”.

All in all, those who know the importance of breathing, the key aspect in practicing Health Qigong, have mastered the core skill of the breathing, and give full play to the role of breath regulation, will enjoy greater benefit with less effort.

Reference: Breathing Methods and Practice Tips of Health Qigong jsqg.sport.org.cn

Slowness, Pause, Flexibility, and Observation

by Zhang Mingliang & Cheng Yunhua

When people begin to learn Health Qigong,many people may wonder that why the movements of Health Qigong is always slower than other exercises. Many exercisers who have practiced for many years may come to realize that why they feel comfortable when they exercise slowly. In fact, Practicing Health Qigong is a process which is marked by “slowness, pause, flexibility and observation”. We may discuss it hereon in four aspects as well.

Slowness

Visually, the slowness in practicing Health Qigong Is mainly refers to moving slowly, which is the outstanding feature that Health Qigong is different from other exercises. Traditional Chinese Health Qigong and the theories of life nourishing of TCM believes that the human body is a single whole. It is composed of three parts, one of which is the visible body and the other two are invisible Qi and mind. The body is visual and QI can also be experienced by breathing. Mind may understand by insight only and be difficult to express, but everyone can sense its existence. If we experience the motion speed of the body, Qi and Mind, we can easily find that mind is the fastest (having one’s head in the clouds, which may change quickly), the body is faster (the movements is controlled by the mind and they can be fast and be slow), Qi is the slowest (Qi moves in the meridians of the body at an inherent speed).

As we all know, the goal of practice is to “three regulations”: regulating the body, regulating of breathing and regulating the mind. The high level of practice is the unity of the three. The motion speed of the three should be about the same to achieve the unity. Because the speed of breath cannot be changed, then we can only change the speed of the body and mind. Hence, the exercisers should find a way to slow down the mind (calm down) and the movements (be relaxed). So slowness is an important means of practice. Therefore, judging from the nine sets of Health Qigong which is promoted successively by the Health Qigong Management Center of the State Sports General Administration, the “slowness” is their common feature and the moving speed of the recent five sets of exercises are much slower than that of the previous four sets. Leading the students, I have performed Health Qigong•Da Wu with the music “See steppe with you”, which is praise for its grace, stretch and presence of mind.

Pause

When people practice the nine sets of Qigong, a lot of movements should be exercised slowly or even pause. The most obvious one is the Health Qigong `Liu Zi Jue, in which there are short pauses after almost every action set. In general, the action is always faster than the breath. The ancients said: when people Breathe out breathe in, Qi goes six inches (equal with the height of a person). And the range is much greater when people move and exercise. So sometimes we need pause slightly and wait for the intersection of the breath. For example: there are many short pauses that have been marked in Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing, Ba Duan Jin, Shi Er Duan Jin, Da Wu etc. Although the pauses are not specified in some stances, there also are short pauses after every action set in general. If the exercisers do not understand the mysteries in them and move fast and versatilely, it would come to naught. Therefore, no matter what exercises we practice, we had better know that where we should pause, what changes of breath after pause in practice and what kind of effect it has achieved after a long time.

Maybe the beginners are too late to comprehend because they are eager to be familiar with the routine, then if the skilled exercisers are not good at summing up the experience, or even always imitate others. It is really a waste of time to exercise.

What should be indicated hereby is that the pause is just a short time pause of movement, but the breath did not stop. Thus “be continuous” that we demand in the practice, mainly refers to the breath. Although the routine is paused, the breath is still continuous.

Flexibility

The so-called “flexibility” mainly refers to that the movements should be stretch and flexible, but not stiff. After standing up, the human brain is smarter, but it has also paid a price and the spinal column did bending deformation. So many movements in the routines of Qigong are intended to stretch the tendons and pull the bones to facilitate the flow of blood and Qi. Sometimes reverse movements are needed distinguishingly to be corrected.

“Two points stretching method” will be introduced here. For example: When standing, you can imagine that the head stand up to the heaven and the feet grab the earth, then head and feet are the two furthest apart reverse stretching endpoint; Another example: When both hands flat on the formation of a Chinese character “Da”, you can imagine the left and right hands are toward the most distant places, then the middle finger of the right hand and left hand are the two furthest apart reverse stretching endpoint; Another example is the stretch waist stance in Health Qigong•Da Wu, the body bend forward about 45 degrees, put the palms together and stretch out forward and upward until the inner sides of the upper arm is near the ears. Meanwhile, coordinating with inhale, the heels go backward and downward, then the middle fingertips of the palms and the heels are the two furthest apart reverse stretching endpoint. Next, the arms continue to move to the top of the extension, the heels lift and the soles grip the earth, then the middle fingertips of the palms and the soles are also the two furthest apart reverse stretching endpoint. There are many similar movements in the nine sets of Qigong exercises and we will not list all of them here.

What should be noted is that not all movements require the “two points stretching method”. We stress that alternating tension with relaxation in practice and the tension is just in the short time pause, the followed relaxation can facilitate the flow of blood and Qi better. In the state of relaxation, the arms stretched as cylindrical arc and the moving route is also cylindrical arc, which embodies the feature of the stance e.g. loose, round, soft, flexible, graceful and stretch. “Exercises practice in a flexible way and achieve success finally.” Therefore, the range of movements is very large, which includes not only “straight” but also” round”.

Observation

Just as its name suggests, the notes of “observation“ in Xinhua Dictionary is view (observation, sightseeing); the scene (spectacle, spectacularity) people viewed; the understanding and views (viewpoints, ideas) of things; abbey (Taoist temple). The “concept” we discuss in this text only means “observation”, and “looking on” with imposing conditions.

After we practice for a long time and with proper methods, we will experience the feelings: “air-feeling” and “insight” etc. The more obvious and common feeling is “air-feeling”, and sometimes the exercisers feel throbbing, sore, numb and ache in the points that Qi flows in the meridian. At this time, if the practitioners did not have enough skill to regulate, they can simply look on and let these feelings in the body sweep over quickly. Heart is like a mirror. Just let the feelings go away and the exercisers need not bother to worry or command. Otherwise, people may deviate and possessed by the Devil. However, having feelings is better than no feeling. An important reward resulted from the progress of practice is that exercisers are more sensitive to their bodies and are able to observe the blood flow of their own, in order to facilitate us to adjust the method in practice.

“Observation” means observing the inside of the body. The practitioners who have been practicing for a long time can experience a sense of quiet. For example: there are movements, such as holding upward and falling, in the closing forms of most of the stances. While holding upward, hold both hands with both arms in the shape of arc and coordinate with the breath, exercisers can observe that the fresh air that we breathe in meet the Qi from cinnabar field of the human body in the chest. . While falling, then just breath and both hands free fall effortlessly. Coordinating with omphaloskepsis, the gas in the chest also comes down to the cinnabar field.

What should be noted is that the beginners had better practice in the order of “three regulations” first, namely regulating the body (doing body movements), regulating of breathing (coordinating with breath), then regulating the minds (considering appropriate ideas), and finally achieve the unity of the three.

In fact, the beginners just practice it under the correct guidance of teaching books and CD-ROM or the masters and eliminate the distractions, rather than thinking over too much. Practice must be harvested.

In conclusion, “slowness, Pause, flexibility and observation” is the effective routine in practicing the Health Qigong. As long as we practice and digest constantly, the skill that we practice will be improved a lot.

Reference: Health Qigong is Characterized by “Slowness, Pause, Flexibility, and Observation” 

The Origin of Five Animal Frolics

Hua Tuo said to Pu, “The human body needs physical labor and movement but not to the extreme. Movement aids digestion and activates blood circulation. Thus it can prevent disease, just as a door hinge does not rot. Ancient immortals practiced ‘bear—hanging’ and ‘turning the head like an owl’ to stretch and relax the waist, body and joints in pursuit of longevity. I have a technique called the Five—Animal Frolics, based on the tiger, deer, bear, ape, and bird. This practice cures illness, benefits the limbs, and circulates the Qi. When feeling ill, pick one animal movement for practice. Breaking a sweat results in a rosy complexion, agile body, and good appetite.” Pu practiced the routine and had sharp eyes and ears, and a complete set of teeth into his nineties.

Reference: Five-Animal Exercise “Wu Qin Xi” in History of the Later Han Dynasty or Hou Han Shu ( Chinese Medical Qigong by Tianjun Liu p. 174 )

Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine

Precelestial breath, Postcelestial breath. Those who obtain them always seem to be drunk.

The precelestial Breath is the original and initial Ancestral Breath.1 This Ancestral Breath is in the real center of Heaven and Earth within the human body. [Placed between] the Secret Door and the Gate of Life, hanging in the middle, it is the Heart of Heaven.2 The self-cultivation of the divine Immortals only consists in collecting the precelestial One Breath and using it as the Mother of the Elixir.
The postcelestial Breath is the Breath that circulates internally: one exhalation, one inhalation, once coming, once going. “Exhaling touches onto the root of Heaven, inhaling touches onto the root of Earth. On exhaling, ‘the dragon howls and the clouds rise’; on inhaling, ‘the tiger roars and the wind blows.’”3
When [the postcelestial Breath] is “unceasing and continuous,”4 it returns to the Ancestral Breath. The internal and the external inchoately merge, and coalesce to form the Reverted Elixir (huandan). Then you become aware of a burning fire in the Cinnabar Field that spreads to the four limbs. You look like a fool or like drunk, but “its beauty lies within.”5 This is why it says, “those who obtain them always seem to be drunk.”
This is what the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) means when it says:

The Spirit of the Valley never dies:
it is called the Mysterious-Female. The gate of the Mysterious-Female
is called the root of Heaven and Earth.
Unceasing and continuous,
its operation never wears out.6

And this is what the Book of Changes (Yijing) means when it says about the Kun ䷁ hexagram:
From the Yellow Center it spreads to the veining, as it places itself in the correct position. Its beauty lies within, and extends to the four limbs.7

Notes
1. “Precelestial” (xiantian) and “postcelestial” (houtian) refer to the states before and after the generation of the cosmos. The precelestial Breath (qi) is the One Breath of the Dao. Once the cosmos is generated, it is permeated by the postcelestial Breath, which manifests itself in the multiplicity of the directions of space, the cycles of time, and all the entities and phenomena that exist and occur within space and time. In the human being, in particular, the postcelestial Breath is the breath (qi) of ordinary breathing. In any of its forms, however, the postceles- tial Breath hides and preserves the precelestial Breath, or one “particle” of it. In the strict sense of the term, the purpose of Neidan is the recovery of the precelestial Breath—represented as the Elixir—and its reconjunction with the postcelestial Breath.

2. The first part of this sentence alludes to the description of the center of the human body in the Huangting jing (Scripture of the Yellow Court): “Above is the Hun Numen, below is the Origin of the Barrier; on the left is the Minor Yang, on the right is the Great Yin; behind is the Secret Door, in front is the Gate of Life” (“Inner” version, poem 2). The Secret Door (mihu) is the kidneys, or a point in their region. The Gate of Life (shengmen) is the lower Cinnabar Field, or a point in its region. — The Huangting jing, originally dating from the second or the third century, is one of the main texts on early Taoist meditation. It exists in two versions, usually referred to as “Outer” and “Inner.” The “Inner” version” is later and longer compared to the “Outer” version.

3. This passage is quoted, without attribution, in Xiao Tingzhi’s (fl. 1260–64) Jindan wenda (Questions and Answers on the Golden Elixir). It is also found in Li Daochun’s (fl. 1288–92) Zhonghe ji (Anthology of Central Harmony), ch. 4.

4. This expression derives from the passage of the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) quoted at the end of the commentary to the present section.

5. This expression derives from the passage of the Book of Changes quoted at the end of the commentary to the present section.

6. Daode jing, sec. 6.

7. Book of Changes (Yijing), “Wenyan” (Explanation of the Sen- tences) on the hexagram Kun ䷁ (see Wilhelm, I Ching or Book of Changes, p. 395). The first sentence is also found in the Cantong qi (The Seal of the Unity of the Three), sec. 19: “From the Yellow Center it gradually spreads through the veining: moistening and impregnating, it reaches the flesh and the skin” (see Pregadio, The Seal of the Unity of the Three, p. 77). In the explication given by Wang Jie, these passages of the Daode jing and the Book of Changes refer to the precelestial Breath.

Reference: Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine (Ruyao jing zhujie) translated by Fabrizio Pregadio

The Standing Meditation of Chinese Soaring Crane Qigong

The Standing Meditation of Chinese Soaring Crane Qigong falls in the category of static qigong (the five routines belong to kinetic qigong). It is an exercise to clear the channels, balance yin and yang, regulate the function of qi and blood and improve health. Designed to enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of Soaring Crane Qigong, the standing meditation is taught after the Five Routines. Students must first of all learn the Five Routines well before they go on to this stage. They should have practiced the Five Routines for at least 40 to 50 hours and have had the sensation of numbness, fullness, warmth or cold which proves that their main points – say lao gong, yong quan and bai hui – are open and their major channels are clear. Then they may learn this standing meditation.

When doing the standing meditation, use natural breathing. That is to say, you do not have to think about how to breathe but just let your respiratory system work naturally.

During the practice of standing meditation, various spontaneous external body movements are observed. Some are seen with the whole body shaking, some with hand movements and jumping, some massaging and hitting their own body, some utter some sounds and regulate their breath, some dancing, etc. Upon closer observation, these movements are closely related to sicknesses the practitioners concerned are having. Which parts of the body is having sickness or the channels blocked, those parts will move more. Qi is like a good doctor. It can automatically detect sicknesses and attempt to cure them. These movements gradually become lesser and lesser as these sicknesses and channel blockages get better, until eventually there is no more external body movement. The movement then becomes internal.

1st Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Preparation (Yu Bei)

Stand with your feet as wide apart as your shoulders, toes turned in a little, knees slightly bent. Let your shoulders relax. Allow your hands to fall at your sides naturally. Place the upper tip of your tongue on your upper palate, just behind your teeth. Keep your eyes level and open, thinking of nothing.

Use your mind to relax your whole body sequentially from top to bottom. Gather Qi into your lower dan tian. Concentrate your mind on your lower dan tian for al little while.Direct Qi from your lower dan tian to hui yin, then back up along du mai to da Zhui. At this point, split the Qi into two streams and direct it through the middle of the shoulders, down through the arms to lao gong.

2nd Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Double return of Qi (Shuang Hui Qi)

Turn your palms forward and using your shoulders as a pivot, raise your arms while holding a ball of Qi in your hands, then beam it into tian mu. Open your chest by spreading out your elbows. With palms down and fingertips pointing at each other, your hands descend in front of you body guiding Qi down into your lower dan tian.

3rd Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Holding a ball of Qi (Bao Qiu)

When your two hands reach the level of the navel, relax your fingers and bend them slightly and push your hands gently away from your body with the backs of your hands angled a bit toward your body at about 45 °. Turn your palms to face your lower dan tian. Embrace a ball of Qi in front of your lower dan tian.

4th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Hanging the head from Sky (Ding Tou Xuan)

Keep your head straight as if your bai hui were connected to heaven by a string, and visualize that you are holding an object (such as a bowl of water) on the top of your head. In this way your upper body will be kept straight and your head and neck will be very steady so that you will not easily fall onto the ground.

5th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing the Spine (Zhui Ji)

Raise your shoulders up a little and then inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. At the same time relax your spine by loosening each of your vertebrae.

6th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Holding in the Chest (Han Xiong)

Take in your arms a bit to enable the Qi in your lungs to flow unimpeded but not so much as to press against the inner organs, Be sure to relax the area around the heart; only in this way can the inner organs be relaxed.

7th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing the Shoulders (Song Jian)

Raise your elbows outwardly a bit as if you were holding a tennis ball under each armpit, and relax your shoulders.

8th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Sinking the Elbows (Zhui Zhou)

Hang down the joints of your elbows a bit and you will feel Qi flow down from your arms to your forearms immediately.

9th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing your Wrists (Song Wan)

Keep your mind on shen men and relax your wrists a bit and you will immediately feel the flow of qi into your ten fingers.

10th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Smoothing out the fingers (Shu Zhu)

Relax your fingers and bend them a little as if you were holding a ball of Qi in each palm. Then visualize that you are mingling the two balls of Qi with the Qi in your dan tian to form one big ball, 2/3 of which is outside your body in front of your lower dan tian, and 1/3 of which is in your lower dan tian.

11th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing the Waist (Song Yao)

Use your mind to relax the section of your spine from lumbar vertebrae to sacrum and then push your tail bone back a bit as if to sit, being sure that your knees are not further forward than your toes. The whole body should be completely relaxed, and every vertebra, especially, should be loose.

The 12th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing the Hips (Song Kua)

Take in your hips a bit and rotate them once or twice and then the hips will be fully relaxed.

The 13th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Hanging down Wei Lu (Chui Wei Lu)

Wei lu is a point at the end of the tail bone. Visualize that there is a pendulum hanging down straight from wei lu to 4” (10cm) above the ground. This forms a triangle with your feet as the other 2 sides.

The 14th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Relaxing the Knees (Song Xi)

Relax your knees which should be slightly bent naturally and not further forward than your toes. Use your mind to visualize that Qi passes through your knees.

The 15th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Adjusting the Feet (Diao Zu)

Let your feet be flat on the ground, toes fully relaxed. Use your mind to direct Qi from your shoulders, hips and ankles to yong quan. When you feel the Qi in your yong quan, use your mind to direct it down to the earth to connect with the Qi from the earth. Your feet will then be rooted.

The 16th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Gathering Qi into Dan Tian (Qi Chen Dan Tian)

By this time your whole body is completely relaxed. Now use your mind to mingle the Qi in your two hands with the Qi in your dan tian to form a big, round ball of Qi. Concentrate your mind on shen men, ming men and yong quan so as to relax them. Visualize that you are mingling the Qi in your upper body with the Qi in your lower body and mingling the Qi outside your body with the Qi inside your body so that you are in the middle of a ball of Qi.

17th Instruction for the Standing Meditation

Bringing down the Eyelids (Chui Lian)

Use your mind to withdraw the spiritual light from far to near slowly until you have taken it completely back. Lower your upper eyelids and look at the end of your nose (you may either close your eyes or just leave a small gap but never squeeze them shut). Look down the nose inward through shan zhong and along zhong mai into lower dan tian. Then keep your mind on dan tian without thinking of anything else.

There are 4 steps in the finishing for Standing Meditation.

1st step : Slowly Coming to a Stop

When you feel that you need to stop or you feel too tired to go on with the standing meditation, you tell yourself that you want to stop. You say the following words silently, ”Hao Liao Qi Gui Dan Tian.” (It means, “let all the Qi gather into dan tian; I am ready to finish.”) Gradually your movements will become slower of milder until they come to a complete stop. Stand for a little while and until your heart is in complete peace.

2nd Step : Double return of Qi (Shuang Hui Qi)

Turn your palms forward and using your shoulders as a pivot, raise your arms while holding a ball of Qi in your hands, then beam it into tian mu. Open your chest by spreading out your elbows. With palms down and fingertips pointing at each other, your hands descend in front of you body guiding Qi down into your lower dan tian.

3nd Step : Finishing (Shou Gong)

When your hands reach the level of your navel, relax your fingers and bend them slightly and push your hands gently away from your body with the back of your hands angled a bit towards the body at 45°. At the same time, push you wei lu backward as if to sit. Keep your upper body straight. Be sure your nose is in line with your navel.

Turn your palms in to face your lower dan tian, finger tips pointing slightly down. Embrace a ball of Qi in front of your lower dan tian; relax your shoulders. Use your mind to contract your hui yin. Draw your two hand towards your hips and sides and then let them fall naturally, while at the same time straightening your legs.

Note: You may do parts 2 & 3 as many as three times, until you feel that the Qi is firmly stored in your dan tian.

4th Step : Placing your Hands Together (An Shen He Shi)

Palm to palm with your finger tips pointing up (prayer position), rub your hands together several times and then run them over your face gently from jaw to forehead and down up. Then use your fingertips to comb your hair from your forehead back to the point called fong fu. Then use the outer side of your little fingers to rub the back of your ears and the part under your cheek bones. Bring your ten fingertips together under your chin and let your palms come together naturally. Then draw them down to the point called shan zhong between your breasts. Stay in this posture for a while and then let your arms fall naturally to your sides. Open your eyes slowly and walk away.

1. Your movements and mental focus must be accurate.

The stance adopted by CSCQ is of the medium type meaning the angle of inclination between the thigh and the vertical shall exceed 20°. Only by so doing, the wei lu can be protruded resulting in the point on the ground vertically below wei lu forms an equilateral triangle with the two feet. Use mental focus to virtualise that a heavy pendulum hangs down from the wei lu. This pendulum shall be 10cm from the ground. Never imagine that this pendulum reaches the ground as this would lock the body and Qi from the du mai will be lost into the ground. Prolonged practice this way will cause fatigue and degradation of the brain.

Actually, by imagining that there is a pendulum is to help new practitioners to activate the Qi faster. After some time when the practitioners are more familiar and feel at ease with standing meditation, the same result can be achieved by merely mentally focusing on the wei lu.

2. Spontaneous movements must be really spontaneous instead of artificially induced.

Most practitioners have spontaneous movements naturally. Some practitioners may not have spontaneous movements. This is because some of them have not practiced long enough and have not accumulated sufficient energy of have hot mastered the instructions of the standing meditation. Once these problems are overcome, they will have spontaneous movements. On the other hand, some practitioners do not have spontaneous movements because they do not have any channels blocked, so the Qi travels through their body smoothly.

Once practitioners understand why spontaneous movements come into being and why some do not have them, then they will not force them.

Some practitioners have spontaneous movements but are not satisfied with them. They intentionally induce movements or imitate others’. These are not true spontaneous movements, they will, instead of having curative effects, cause suffering to the practitioners. Therefore false movements are strongly forbidden.

3. Self-control in spontaneous movements may be needed at times.

You should be able to control yourself when spontaneous movements appear. Sometimes the spontaneous movements are very violent and ungraceful, for instance lying on the ground, but you can control them by giving yourself an instruction such as, “Let the violent movements become milder or slower.” If you are lying on the ground, you may thick of bai hui and then you will naturally stand up.

4, Relaxation is preferable to nervousness in the standing meditation.

When you are doing standing meditation, you must be relaxed the whole time from the beginning to the end. You should never be tense. When you are doing standing meditation the true Qi has been activated to its ultimate, therefore the Qi is very strong and travels very fast in your body. If you are tense, some parts of your body may be blocked. As a result, the Qi will accumulate there and block the channels and will not disperse for a long time, and you will feel uncomfortable or in pain. If you are too tense perhaps the Qi circulating in your body cannot be gathered back into dan tian even though you want to shou gong (finish). So, to be relaxed is of utmost importance. You should not worry at all. Let the spontaneous movements happen naturally and enjoy yourself; then you will feel very comfortable and your disease will be cured and your health improved.

5. Adopt a positive attitude toward hallucinations.

You should have a right attitude toward hallucinations. During the circulation and change of Qi (vital energy) while practicing qigong, very often hallucinations will appear. This is because your channels are open and you are receiving information from the Universe through the open channels. You can accept the information that makes you happy and comfortable. This is called ‘positive information’. For instance, you may feel that you are growing taller and bigger; you may see brightness in front of you; you may see beautiful scenes; you may hear wonderful music or even smell the fragrance of flowers. All these information is good for you both physically and mentally.

On the other hand, some ‘negative information’ might appear, which, of course, is not good for health. But do not be frightened because such things happen. Just shake your head and say “shi” and immediately they will disappear. There is nothing to be afraid of. Go on with your qigong practice and you will succeed in the end. Upon finishing, if you wish to continue practicing, choose another location of better environment. Do not continue at that same place.

6. Be comfortable and happy about the time and frequency of practice.

Consider the time you will spend practicing meditation. You might give yourself an order: “I am going to do this for 30 minutes”. Then, when 30 minutes have passed, the Qi will naturally come to a halt. As to how many times you should practice eash day, it all depends on whether or not you feel comfortable and happy. Do not exhaust yourself.

The 5 routines and standing meditation complement one another. They should be practiced con-currently. By so doing, your health will be enhanced and sickness cured.

Reference: China Soaring Crane Qigong (cscq) – http://cscq.webs.com/standingmeditation.htm

Starting and Ending Forms of Basic Qigong Exercise Patterns

Starting Form
The Relaxed and Quiescent Form in Standing Position
Pithy Formula

Keep the spine upright and suspend the Baihui Point.
Pull in the chin, shut the lips and touch the tongue tip to the teeth ridge.
Drop the upper eyelids, permitting the eye to look forward.
Tuck in the chest and relax the waist as well as the hips.
Keep both of the elbows outward to form hollowed armpits.
Pull in the stomach and lift the anus without any strain.
Bend the knees, turn them outward and then inward for a round crotch.
Stand firm with feet flat and weight evenly distributed.
For the posture, attention is paid to softess, roundness and farness.

Explanation
The essentials of the body position of this pattern fall on “roundness and softness”. Roundness brings about the free flowing of vital energy and softness can prevent stiffness. The specific method is as follows: Stand firmly with feet flat. Bend the knees slightly. Turn the knees first outward and then inward. Return to the original position, thus bringing about a round crotch. Sink the vital energy and drop the seat slightly to make the hips relaxed. Avoid using effort when pulling in the stomach and lifting the anus. Once the thought reaches these points, the result will be fine. To tuck in the chest refers to pulling in slightly using effort when pulling in the stomach and lifting that part of the chest above the pit of the stomach, avoiding any forward thrust of the chest. The back of the body will be lifted when the spine stands erect. It is somewhat contradictory to drop the shoulders and hollow the armpits at the same time, but so long as your attention is paid to the slight out-turning of the elbows, you will get hollow armpits and dropped shoulders. To get the head suspended, you should avoid lifting the head with a stiff neck. When the chin is slightly tucked in, the Point of Baihui will face the sky, so the breath can flow freely. Closed eyes help prevent the leakage of vital energy and shut eyes help prevent the dispersing of vital energy. To make the tongue touch the upper palate means to let the tip of the tongue touch it, the upper teeth ridge. Do not use effort, otherwise, the tongue will get stiff and sore. Swallow the saliva, if there is any, slowly and gradually as if it were sinking into Dantian – the Point of Qihai (located at about 1,5 cun below the navel). For this posture, see figure 21,

Note: The Pithy Formula starts from the top and goes downward while the Explanation starts from bottom and goes up. To perform it, you should start from bottom to the top and check it up by mental activities from the top to the bottom. By doing this, it helps get quiescence and the ‘vital energy can go down after going up.

Detailed Movements
The Relaxed and Quiescent Form in Standing Position can also be called the Standing Qigong Technique. This form of Qigong exercise requires a quiescent head, so it’s best for you to think of nothing when performing it. If you fail to do so, you can think of the detailed movements of this Qigong exercise. The general key point of this exercise is that the whole body is relaxed and free from stiffness. This form of Qigong exercise can be divided into 13 detailed steps:

(1) Stand with feet flat and spaced as wide as shoulder width. Keep the feet parallel. Bear the body weight on the point where the feet are perpendicular to the tibae, at point about 2 cun inward from the heels.

(2) Knee-Bending: Bend the knees slightly. Your knees are not to exceed the toe tips.

(3) Crotch-Rounding: Turn both knees first outward and then inward. After that, return to the preceding knee-bending position. This is called the “crotch-rounding”.

(4) Hip-Relaxing: Drop the seat slightly with the vital energy sunken and the hips will be relaxed.

The above-mentioned four items are the detailed movements to relax the lower limbs in the relaxed and quiescent Qigong exercise in standing position, of which “crotch—rounding” is the key point.

(5) Stomach-Contracting: “Stomach” here refers to the lower part of the abdomen above the pubic bone. When pulling in the stomach, just pull inward the lower ‘part of the abdomen. Do not contract it with force.

(6) Anus-Lifing: Draw in the anus and lift it gently only by mental intention. Do not raise it with effort.

(7) Waist-Relaxing: The relaxing of the waist is very important. It must be performed on the basis of the relaxing of the hips. First stretch the back and then breathe out. And now you will feel the waist relaxed. There are quite a number of‘ ways to relax the waist (head-suspending and chin-tucking-in can also help the waist relax), but it takes a long time for you to make the sacral bone loose.

(8) Chest-Tucking-in: Make the stomach pit cave in. Turn both elbows outward.

(9) Back-Stretching: Straighten up the spine and you will have a sense, in a way, of the opening of the scapula.

These five items mentioned above are the requirements for the relaxation of the body trunk, of which the relaxation of the waist is the key point.

(10) Shoulder-Dropping: Relax the shoulders and there will be a sensation of the dropping of the upper arms.

(11) Elbow-Dropping: There seems to be something hanging from the elbows.

(12) Wrist-Relaxing: With the fingers down, the wrists will be free and loose.

(13) Armpit-Hollowing: Turn the tips of the elhows outward with the backs of the hands forward, palms slantly toward the trunk. Though the shoulders are drooped, the armpits are hollowed as if they can hold an egg each.

The above-mentioned four items are the essentials of the upper limbs in the quiescent and relaxed standing position, of which “hollow-armpits” is the key point.

(14) Head-suspending: The Baihui Point on the top of the head is perpendicular to the sky (Baihui is located in the middle of the line joining the two tips of the ears). When the head is suspended, the head seems to be hanging on a thread.

(15) Cheek-Hooking: In fact this is a necessary step to suspend the head. The head can never get suspended if the chin is not tucked in. When the chin is pulled in, nasal breathing will be free.

(16) Eye-Shutting: Drop the upper eyelids, permitting a thin beam of light (In terms of Qigong it is called “to draw the curtains”). This will help the eyes relax. A complete shutting of theeveyes will cause tension in the eyes.

(17) Lip—CIosing: Close the lips slightly.

(18) The Tongue Touching the Upper Palate: The tongue touches the upper teeth ridge gently. Do not use force. Only touch the tongue to the teeth ridge.

These five items are the requirements of the head in the relaxed and quiescent standing of Qigong exercise, of which head-suspending is the key point.

Of the 18 Principles for the relaxed and quiescent Qigong exercise in standing position, head-supending, armpit-hollowing, waist-relaxing, and crotch-rounding are the four key points. Among them the relaxation of the waist is the leading factor. So in this exercise, emphasis is on the relaxation of the waist. Without the relaxation of the waist, vital energy can not sink into Dantian.

The length of time for relaxed and quiescent Qigong exercise in standing position is flexible. If you can reach the stage of relaxation and quiescence in three or five minutes, you are ready for the next form of Qigong exercise. The exercise can also last for 20-30 minutes.

 

The Three Deep Exhaling and Inhaling Form

Pithy Formula

With one hand on top of the other at Dantian, breathe out and in evenly and slowly.
Crouch slightly while breathing out; remain crouched when breathing in.
Stand up only after slowly breathing in, when the air can flow freely.

Explanation
Make the Laogong Point (P. 8) in the inner part of the left hand face Qihai (i. e., Dantian). Put the right hand on top of the left hand {for females, the right hand under the left hand) (see Figure 22). Breathe out slowly, i. e., to breathe deeply. The breath must be gentle, thin, even and long. In ancient times, the method was called “Slow and Deep Exhaling”. Crouch when breathing out through the mouth. Move the tongue from the upper teeth ridge to the lower teeth ridge while crouching. After a short pause, the tongue returns to the upper teeth ridge, and breathe in through the nose. Do not stand up until you stop breathing in (see Figure 23). Regulate breath freely when standing up. Start for a second round when you resume normal breathing. Do three rounds altogether.

Detailed Movements
(1) Start the Three Deep Exhaling and Inhaling Form when the Relaxed and Quiescent Form in Standing Position is over. Before breathing out slowly, put the hands one on top of the other (the right hand on top of the left hand i for males, while for females, the left hand on top of the right hand) at Dantian below the navel (1.5 can below the navel) with Yuji of the thumb placed on the navel and Laogong facing Qihai.

(2) When breathing out slowly, move the tongue from the upper teeth ridge to the lower teeth ridge. Send out air very slowly and retain a certain leeway. For mental activities, think of letting out completely the turbid substance, or think of the requirements for the softness, thinness, evenness and length, or think of nothing at all.

(3) While breathing out, crouch by bending your knees with the seat slightly lowered until the tips of the knees somewhat exceed the toe tips.

(4) After breathing out, stay in the crouching positon and do not stand up. Move your tongue to the upper teeth ridge, then draw in air through the nose. To stand up while breathing in will probably cause tightness in the chest or even high blood pressure.

(5) After breathing in, start to raise the torso from the crouching position and then breathe normally (natural breathing).

(6) Regulate the breath and then start a second round.

(7) Do the third round. When the torso is raised, start  the next pattern of Qigong exercise.

The Three Open-and-Close Form
Pithy Formular

Start with hands one ‘upon the other over Dantian, and move the hands sidewise, back to back, till they are half chi away from the hips.

Palm facing palm, return them to where they were, and something is gained from both “open” and “close”. With pathogenic evils out and vital energy in, you’d better keep Dantian closed.

Explanation
When performing the “open-and-close” exercise, carelessness must be avoided. Move the hands inward gently and slowly from off the hips in the figure of arc. For beginners breathing may not be involved. When you have grasped the basic skill, breathe out when “opening” and breathe in when “closing”. For mental activities, think of the vast plain when you “open” and think of the vital energy returning to Dantian when you “close”.

Detailed Movements
(1) Start from the preceding position. Turn the hands back to back at Dantian. Move the hands sidewise toward the side of the hips with palms facing outward. This is called the “open form” (See Figure 24).

(2) When performing this starting form, point the fingers to the front (the small finger across the thumb). Move. the palms along a horizontal line at the level of Dantian until they are about half a chi away from the hips.

(3) Turn the palms in an arc to face inward (i. e., facing the centre of the body). With thumbs up and small finger down, move the hands inward to the central line of the body (see Figure 25) until the fingers of‘ both hands meet. This is called the “close form”. Repeat three times.

(4) To do this “open” and “close” form, beginners may not involve breathing. When you have practised for some time, you may consider breathing. Breathe out when “opening” and breathe in when “closing”. Exhale through the mouth when “opening” and inhale through the nose when“closing.

(5)When doing this form of exercise, you can think either of the actions or of nothing at all. When you are skilled, you can imagine: When opening, it is spacious so that the exogenous pathogenic factors can be expelled, and when closing it is sealed so that the exogenous pathogenic factors can not get in.

Closing Form
You must do the closing form when you are through with a form of Qigong exercise. To do the closing form is just like to do the starting form only in reverse sequence. That is, to do the Three Open-and-Close Form first; then the Three Deep Exhaling and  Inhaling, and finally do the Relaxed and Quiescent Form  in Standing Position. The purpose of doing the closing form is to bring the internal energy released through Qigong exercise back into Dantian. As the saying goes: “Doing Qigong exercise without a closing form means to have thrown away what you have gained.”

In ancient China, saliva was called “gold fluid” or “jade fluid” and was always considered as treasure, so swallow the saliva down slowly whenever there is any.

Reference: Chinese Qigong Therapy by Zhang Mingwu  p. 105-115

ISBN 7533103785

The Arhat Holding Up the Sky

Movements:
1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes sticking to the ground. Bend and close in knees into half-way crouching position with buttocks drawn in. Reach out arms to parallel posi- tion, palm facing upward and fingers apart and relaxed. Also relax wrist, elbow, waist, and in particular, shoulder.

2) Hold head and neck erect, with chin slightly drawn inward and tongue against upper jaw. Keep body upright and stick feet inward to the ground.

3) Look straight forward with steady eyesight and relax
corners of mouth as if to smile.

Purpose:
The practice of Riyuezhuang on the basis of Hunyuanzhuang aims at enriching the inner vitality of the practitioner to such an extent that he will remain immovable, through the plucking of “cream from both the earth and heaven,” under the enemy’s hooking or kicking attacks. Thus he may concentrate all his strength for the dexterous employment of the capture skills.

Essentials:
1) Keep torso upright and look straight forward. Other essentials are the same as those in Hunyuanzhuang.
2) Riyuezhuang takes the practitioner less time to reach stillness than Hunyuanzhuang and is, therefore, more effective. Spontaneous movements, however, should be controlled if they are too violent.
3) When inner Qigong is activated in the practice of this Zhuanggong, the practitioner might jump up, despite of himself, as high as three feet. He should be mentally prepared for such an amazing phenomenon. The height of the jump and the steadiness which he drops to the ground reflect the level of expertise he has acquired through practice Riyuezhuang.
4) Salivation during practice is the result of the smooth circulation of your breath and blood and the activation of your vital energy. Gradually swallow saliva and do not lose it in your relaxation because it is precious secretion from your body.
5) Riyuezhuang is a more fatiguing Zhuanggong than Hun- yuanzhuang. Be sure to keep crown of head,shoulders, elbows, wrists and legs all at level positions, and head, torso, and feet
upright.

Further Explanations:
1) Beginners can hardly stand in this posture for more than – three or five minutes. As he goes on with the practice, he will gradually bring out his inner skills which will enable him to stand for as long as two hours, showing that he has already enough skills in the practice of Riyuezhuang.
2) After the practitioner reaches the state of stillness, the activation of his body begins from his fingers, small fingers in particular, in the form of a slight shaking movement, and goes to the wrists, elbows, shoulders and then to the waist until finally the vital energy passes through the Yinmen, Weizhong, Chengshan and Kunlun acupoints on the legs to bring him up in the air. Such technique is most useful in an actual situation.
The above postures are two primary postures of Zhuanggong ‘ in the martial arts of the Jingang-Chan Natural School. Since there is no “Yin” (the feminine and the negative) and “Yang’ (the masculine and the positive) involved in the two postures, the “cream of the earth and heaven” can be easily plucked. The same rhyme used in the practice of Hunyuanzhuan may be applicable here except for a change of the term ‘Hunyuanzhuang” into “Riyuezhuang” in the rhyme.

Simplified Caputre Skills by Wang Xinde, Hai Feng Publishing Company 1983-84
ISBN 9622380131 p. 21-23

Hunyuanzhuang

Jingang-Chan Posture

Movements:
1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes sticking to the ground. Slightly bend knees and hang arms naturally by sides of body with elbows also slightly bent, palms facing backward, fingers apart and thumbs pointing to trouser seams. Relax shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger joints. Hold head and neck erect, with chin slightly drawn inward and tongue against upper jaw.

2) Stand upright and consciously straighten Dumai (a Chinese medicinal term which denotes the line running from the perineum up through the spine to the top of the head) Slightly lean torso forward but neither protrude nor withdraw chest or waist. Slightly pull in buttocks and keep weight to front of sole.

3) Look 45 degrees downward to the ground.

Purpose:
This is designed for the training of internal breathing skills and inner strength so as to activate the internal organs, work up the internal vitality and increase the steadiness of the lower limbs.

Essentials:
1) With stillness as the principal requirement for this movement, try to realize motion through stillness. Up to a certain point of the training of this Zhuanggong and with the increase of the level of stillness, unexpected body responses will be experienced by the practitioner. This is a reflection of the activation of the internal breathing and should not be worried about. Instead, the practitioner should go on with the practice.

2) When you lean slightly forward, keep entire body relaxed except for the sticking of toes to the ground and the slight pulling in of coccyx. These two parts of body must not be relaxed during the entire practice lest your vitality is lost.

3) Roll your eyes 36 times to the left and 24 to the right before and after the practice. During practice of Hunyuanzhuang, eyes should remain open. Green color is preferred in front of
practitioner; objects with red and yellow color are forbidden to avoid possible distraction of attention and failure of practice.

4) Natural breathing is required but breath should be controlled, so to speak, at the Laogong (on the palm), Dantian (on the lower abdomen) and Yongquan (on the sole) acupoints. (Beginners may practice how to control his breath at each of the acupoints in the above order for two months before he begins to practice, half a year later, how to control his breath at all three acupoints at the same time.

5) When absolute stillness is reached, the practitioner begins to move, despite of himself, every part of his body in a natural manner. But violent movements should be brought under control.

Further Explanations:
1) Hunyuanzhuang is an important Zhuanggong closely related to Qigong, or breathing skills in the Jingang-Chan Natural School (please refer to 64 Leg-Attack Methods of Shaolin Kungfu by
the same author), which bases its Wugong (martial skills) on Qigong. The time used for the practice of Hun be yuanzhuang may 10 to 15 minutes for beginners and it is gradually increased to one hour. Highly skilled practitioners may extend the time up to two hours.

2) Clear away all distracting thoughts during practice and the following rhyme may be silently repeated for the achievement of stillness:

Aside I put everything and be ready to practice my skills; Stand upright and keep body comfortably still;
Clear away all distracting thoughts until
I reach the acme of the Hunyuanzhuang skill.

Reference: Simplified Caputre Skills by Wang Xinde, Hai Feng Publishing Company 1983-84
ISBN 9622380131 p. 14-19