100 Chinese and Buddhist Health Rules 51-100

No. 51 – Quiet Sitting
To nourish yourself in quietude: lie on your bed, completely relax body and mind, let your whole body melt without using even a tiny bit of effort, so that you feel as if there was no body. Breathe naturally and exert not even a trace of effort in the mind-and-heart— when a thought arises, this is already the use of effort. Place your mind calmly on the soles of your feet and from there guide fire down and water up, so that the qi and blood in the entire body flow vibrantly.

No. 52 – Cultivation Formula
The essential formula of cultivation practice:

Serene and radiant, radiant and serene—I am utterly effortless.
To become enlightened, turn into a patriarch: there is no other secret.

Essential requirements for healing the body: Do not allow any part to use even a bit of effort. Fully control your thoughts, breath, and limbs. The eyes do not see, the ears do not hear, the tongue does not taste, the mouth does not ingest, the mind does not think. This is the only thing.

As soon as there is anything you think, hear, or feel—this is effort. Even a slight movement of arms or fingers—this is effort. Making the breath softer or harder—this is effort. Practicing like this, soon your breath will be naturally calm and it will feel as if it is not moving at all through nose and mouth. Then the 84,000 pores of the whole body will work actively, expanding and contracting. At this point there is no I, no self, no qi, no mind. The mind of heaven has returned to its original position. This is what we call the fire returning to the prime, or fire and water in complete balance. It is the key mode for curing the hundred diseases.

Please rethink the above rule, maybe you forgot it since you read rule no. 20 🙂

No. 53 – Attachment and Fear
Among people who nourish life, thirty percent die anyway. Why is this? It is because they are overly attached to their bodies. On behalf of this stinking bag of skin, they fear being embarrassed, they fear being imprisoned; they fear being defeated, they fear reaching the top. They scan in all directions, looking forward and turning back, looking left and turning right, nervous and terrified of fear itself, troubled by success, troubled by failure. . . .

In this state their pure mind and heavenly connection shrivel to the size of a plum pit and they look like they have been bitten repeatedly by nasty dogs—how can they not end up dying? The more you fear death, the faster death comes. If you want to nourish life, you cannot ever feel fear of death. If you just don’t fear death, you can easily get farther away from it.

No. 54 – Awarness
When people are sick but think they are fine, this is the worst kind of sickness. How many people really are there who know they are sick?

People who truly have no fear of death will never encounter wild tigers on the road or, if they do get close to one, it won’t devour them; they will not encounter knives and guns when in a fight or, if they are attacked by those, won’t suffer harm. Why is this? It is because they do not make death their reference point. Not fearing death, death has no power over them. In nourishing life, what could be more important? Thus people who practice cultivation attain long life with ease. They don’t think about long life, and paradoxically they can live long. Thinking constantly about long life, on the other hand, only makes death come that much faster. Long life is not the goal of cultivation; it is only a secondary phenomenon on the way.

No. 55 – Disconnection
People who surf the web in the middle of the night day after day do great harm to their bodies and chances for long life. The so-called famous great doctors are just like this. Their mind-and-hearts are totally involved in measurements and comparisons of all sorts and trying to ask them to connect to their selves for life-preservation is impossible. What kind of doctors are they?

No. 56 – Bargaining
Don’t crave for anything to be a bit cheaper or even a lot cheaper. Even a bit of craving holds the evil of attachment. Craving is being troubled by gain and loss until one gets a serious heart disease. Craving is being troubled by gain and loss: this means one has no clue about nature or the ways of Dao.

No. 57 – Food
Don’t spend your days thinking about what you could eat to supplement yin or what you could take to enhance yang. Just remember in all activities you give rise to yang; in all quietude you give rise to yin. Yin is the mother of yang; yang is the son of yin.

No. 58 – Precedence
When your qi is deficient, don’t enhance it blindly. This may have a negative impact on the whole body. If it is because blood is deficient, then you should first enhance the blood. This is because blood is the mother of qi, and if you don’t treat it first, you run the danger of drying and overheating the blood vessels and burning up the inner organs. If it is because there is an obstruction and the qi cannot flow freely, enhance both blood and qi by working on them equally. This way you will succeed in enhancing qi.

No. 59 – Environment
The importance of the environment for people’s health cannot be overemphasized. This is why people who live in deep mountains and ancient forests with clean air and fresh qi heal so much more easily. The subtle particles and high oxygen content of the air in these places get into the deep breath when people are in a relaxed state. They thus are absorbed by the body, where they moisturize and nurture the five organs and six intestines and give people new life energy. Another point people are not usually aware of is that even if they do not breathe deeply through nose and mouth, every pore of their bodies breathes in and out all the time—a feature that is essential in our connection to nature and heaven.

No. 60 – Heaven and Earth
When people are relaxed and breathe slow and deep, their body achieves a state of subtle energetic exchange with heaven and earth. Upon inhalation, they in fact expel the inhaled breath in the lungs and the whole body moves to push internal qi out. This is how the qi of humanity moves toward heaven and earth. During exhalation, they in fact absorb the subtle energy of heaven and earth through every pore of the body. This is what Laozi refers to when he speaks of “Between heaven and earth, it is like a bellows.”

No. 61 – Avoid in Exercising
Two things to avoid in exercising:

Do not exercise when blood and qi are deficient.
Do not exercise in a dirty or defiled environment.

No. 62 – Do in Exercising
Two things to do in exercising:

Increase the speed of blood and qi circulation, so the toxins inside the body can come to the surface.
Open the body’s pores wide and breathe in deeply, so you absorb the essence and qi of heaven and earth.

No. 63 – Simplicity
What is “awakening to inner nature”? What is “wisdom”? Both mean to regard all beings from a position of greatest simplicity. However, most people and especially those who are frustrated with themselves tend to take even the simplest thing and see it as highly complex, thus creating complexity. Intricate and straightforward are really the same thing; they are just different sides of the same coin. Smart and perceptive people choose to look at things from the simple side; stupid and ignorant people tend to see them from the complex side.

No. 64 – Incurable Diseases
If people have a incurable disease, they have to rely on the spirit for a cure. If the disease does not respond to reliance on the spirit, they have to rely on the Buddha. What is the Buddha? The Buddha is the mind-and-heart.

No. 65 – Hospitals
In the modern world hospitals and prisons have a lot in common, especially when we think of patients as having received a death sentence. Also, in both situations, many people who do not deserve a death sentence receive one anyway. Why am I saying this?

Let’s think of cancer for a moment. Cancer for many people today equals a death sentence. That is to say, as long as we don’t actually call it “cancer,” we give the patients a sense of hope and a new chance at life. So what I am saying is that the vast majority of cancer patients today are dying of their fear, of the ill treatment of their spirit, of the harsh treatment in the hospital. You may be diagnosed with cancer one day, but you should immediately assume a position of no fear, because if you get well and don’t die, it is your destiny to do so, and if you don’t get well and in fact die, it is because you are the cancer.

In actual reality, there is no disease that cannot be cured, there is only your mind-and-heart that can or cannot let go. All diseases arise from the mind-and-heart, all diseases heal from the mind-and-heart. You only need to return to active living and you will soon have your chance at life. Finding this chance at life means the cure of cancer and your return to full health.

No. 66 – Competition
Any form of competition will turn order into disturbance and lead people into evil [immorality]. What is competition? Competition is anything that pulls people into the world of craving and desire.

No. 67 – Pure and Turbid
From the perspective of the mutual interchange of yin and yang, pure and turbid attract each other. Therefore, any pure and fresh things people eat inevitably get mixed with the turbid juices inside the body and are expelled accordingly.

No. 68 – Overeating
A dominance of turbid juices arises because people eat unclean things, but more importantly because they overeat. The body cannot digest all this matter and it accumulates inside, creating barriers.

No. 69 – Spontaneity
Smoothly following one’s natural course (inherent so-being, spontaneity) is the highest level of nourishing life. Each human being from birth has a set pattern that forms the foundation of his or her destiny. What he or she should or should not do, should or should not eat—as long as he or she follows this inherent pattern of destiny, he will encounter peace and be free from trouble.

Some people are very much aware of their inherent nature. They can specify the details and know exactly what their pattern of destiny is. They will be very clear about what they should and should not do. For this reason, nourishing life definitely has no simple one-fits-all system to follow—people are as different and as fluid as the clouds. Never go after what you admire in others, but always from the depth of your own mind-and-heart look for realizing your own inner nature.

How, then, do people know whether or not they are actually following their own natural course? If in actual life, you find dead-simple things that don’t work out, you get sick a lot, you are not comfortable, and you cannot be at rest with yourself—these are signs that your are going against your natural course. You need to start moving along with the great course of nature on the outside and follow the natural course of your destiny on the inside. Don’t miss out on either one!

No. 70 – Sensitivity Levels
A lot of people, when they hear that a doctor can help with their serious health issues, often assume an attitude of innocence and expect him to eliminate their disease by cutting, excising, poisoning, or otherwise killing it. But after that, does the disease really not have a place from where to resurface? There really is no such thing in the world as a “suddenly arising disease.”

Let me take the common cold as an example. If a patient really came to examine himself carefully, he would find that the various symptom all first gave some subtle indication and that he could have, before actually getting the cold, dispersed its building blocks in the different parts of the body. Thus, some people will find that they were recently exposed to some cold wind or drenched in a rainstorm. Others will discover that they had a great deal of stress at work, suffered from headaches and could not sleep. In reality, all these phenomena are elements that eventually lead to the common cold. In conclusion, if patients’ personal sensitivity and inner awareness were increased to a sufficient level, one could easily reach the goal of “blocking afflictions before they arise.”

No. 71 – True Science
What is true science? It is the law of cause and effect. If it does not work with cause and effect, it is not true science.

No. 72 – Failures
Do not fear failure [defeat, loss] in your mind. Do not take advantage of others in your mind. In other words, only you can suffer failure. Other people are part and parcel of your destiny, so you should give to them and never develop a craving to take advantage of them. You cannot get your mind to stay stable? Who in the world can get it there? Only the Buddha has that power.

No. 73 – Self-Assurance
Once people have taken charge of their health-related thoughts and practices, they develop perfect self-confidence in their entire being that eliminates any need of worrying about disease. This kind of feeling is fabulous. I wish we could all have this kind of powerful self-assurance.

No. 74 – Examination
In intense study, intention and qi are balanced. When the mind is stable, qi is balanced. Thus, for anyone who has attained Dao, examining another person is not a terribly difficult task but just the effect of yet another turning of the mind.

No. 75 – Five desires
Among the five desires, fame [feeling important] is hardest to overcome. Next comes sex [sensual pleasure, having fun], third is wealth [material stability], then food [eating and drinking], and finally sleep [rest and recreation]. As long as the mind-and-heart for fame is not dead, there is no way one can enter Dao.

No. 76 – Disease Inception
The hundred diseases begin when wind and heteropathy enter the body. If the body’s qi is vacuous and weak, the defensive and constructive energies lose their balance. Then worry and speculation, fright and anxiety arise, and wine [intoxication] and sex [distracting sensory pleasures] exhaust one’s strength. Perfect qi is minimal, and outside heteropathy comes in.

No. 77 – Rule 29
This is a circular rule, go and remember rule no. 29

No. 78 – Rule 30
This is another circular rule, go and see again rule no. 30

No. 79 – Side Attack
In the past, when hearing about how Hitler resolved breaching the extremely well defended and highly armed Maginot Line in France, I understood the following: when faced with strong and resistant diseases, you cannot overcome them with a frontal attack. Rather, to destroy it, you must get at it from a variety of angles. Kidney and liver problems, for example, tend to be highly resistant. You get best results when you approach them by balancing the lungs or spleen.

No. 80 – Centering
Being well centered is the root source of nourishing life. Qi and blood in people’s bodies form a pair of yin and yang. Blood is yin and substance; qi is yang and function. Blood is the mother of qi; qi is the master of blood. If qi is insufficient, one easily gets accumulation disease, such as swellings, tumors, blood clots, and the like. If qi is excessive, one easily gets diseases where blood flows too fast from the brain. Thus, as long as you keep blood and qi in even balance, you can stay very healthy.

No. 81 – First Steps
When people just have awakened to some kind of feeling for their “natural course” [inner spontaneity], they already reckon that they have attained Dao. But knowing the natural course is only the first step; going on and following it is what makes people spirit men. Understanding and matching yin and yang, understanding and following one’s natural course, this is the great inner power needed to be a good healer.

No. 82 – Natural Course
What is this “natural course”? It is the fact that each and every thing has the two sides of yin and yang, that each and every being undergoes the same life process of birth, growth, decline, and death. Following this process, you can use the production and conquest cycles of the five phases to enhance someone’s inner balance. Then what disease could not be cured?

No. 83 – Simple and Complex, Hard and Soft
Simple and complex form a pair just like yin and yang. The more an affair is complex, the more often it can be resolved by the simplest means. In the same way, if you look at what seems to be a simple issue, you often find that the solution is not easy at all and you cannot resolve it even by exerting utmost efforts.

The same also holds true for hard and soft. Extreme softness can overcome the hardest substance; against extreme hardness softness stands no chance. For this reason, whenever we are faced with solving an issue we should use this kind of thinking: when encountering a complex problem, look for the simplest way of resolving it; when meeting with a simple question, do not disregard it, but make sure to give it sufficient importance. It is just like Chairman Mao used to say: The strategy of war take lightly, the art of war take seriously. In other words, the state of the issue take lightly, the process of resolution take seriously.

No. 84 – Today
Let us see whether the following is true in the world today: people follow their natural patterns of eating and sleeping; people honor their natural course of life. Not really. If they can’t do so, why? Because that is way too simple. So they don’t just rest at ease and honor their course. Such is the honest truth.

No. 85 – Balance
What does “balance “mean? Balance is the state when yin and yang depend on each other and control each other in equal measure. Any form of excess or sufficiency means a loss of balance. All sorts of things may harm primordial qi, loss of balance certainly injures it. Always resting in a state of balance, primordial qi is well preserved and people age and decline only very slowly.

No. 86 – Yin and Yang
The way of yin and yang means two opposing forces depending upon, and changing into, one another. Thus, in any kind of oppositional situation, if one side distances itself from the other, it will never be controlled by it. Thus if one lets go of all loss, destruction cannot reach one.

You see, the leaders in modern society do not like constraints; they want to come and go as they please, following their whims, their own modes, greedy to obtain more goods. The result of this is that there are more rules than one can possibly think of.

Yin and yang are like that. In the great course of life, when one being arises, it becomes the cause of the birth of other beings, but at the same time some other being comes into existence that starts to limit them. This in essence is how the production and conquest cycles of the five phases work, the way yin and yang depend upon and check each other.

For this reason, the way of nourishing life also works like this. If you get sick, there is always one cause that brings it forth. At the same time there is also always a factor that controls it and makes it go away. Just like in the natural world, in any place that has poisonous snakes, there will be plants that cure snake bite.

No. 87 – Body Oblivion
What is self-realization through body oblivion? It means giving up control, giving up secret schemes.

Note: we are unsure of at least some part of the translation. If anybody has a better insight please relay it to us.

什麽叫人得意忘形?他失去控制了,失去陰的制約了,所以其下場畢竟是……,同樣人也不能一味消沈下去,這就是失去陽對他的制約了

No. 88 – Great Wisdom
Any so-called great wisdom, if it is without heartfelt feelings, what great wisdom is that?

No. 89 – Learning
Ordinary people talk about living to old age and learning to old age. But learning also has its time and what you learn in each phase of life needs to match what need most at that time. Otherwise you are not in harmony with the flow of life and fail to follow your natural course. However, looking at education in the world today, from kindergarten to university, how many things do the children learn that they actually need at their age?

What do you need to learn as a child? Most importantly, you need basic ethics and a sense of reverence for your parents. Only learning to read and write, what good does that do after you leave school? Once you get to adolescence, you need to learn how to be good at living in harmony and raising children, focusing on family happiness. In middle age, you need to work on nourishing life. Eventually, when you get to be old, you need to learn how to relax your mental disposition and be at peace in your last years. Whatever else you choose to study, these are the essentials of learning.

No. 90 – Emotions
Emotions and sickness are closely interrelated: all diseases come from emotions. You may use medications for a cure, but whether you do in fact remove the symptoms or not, underneath you are still not well. When you deal with this kind of disease, after you deal with the outer signs you still have to deal with the person inside. The five emotions can bring about disease; the five emotions can also cure them.

No. 91 – Courage
Nourishing life centers on one thing only: do not fear death! As long as you fear death, your yang-qi is insufficient, and when that happens, the power of death can defeat you. That’s what the Daoists keep talking about: the heroic energy found in people who practice cultivation and refinement. Kindness, wisdom, and courage: you must have all three!

No. 92 – Samadhi
Take any subject of study or practice and work on it until it becomes utterly easy and simple: this is the point where you reach an essential state of samadhi. As long as you still feel that the subject has some parts that are great and profound, sections that you cannot fathom, you still have not fully mastered its ultimate essence. You are still only seeing its outer leaves and branches and have not yet reached the root.

At this point you are still in the stage of “being” and have not yet attained the stage of “nonbeing.” All things for you still are enmeshed in the realm of yin and yang, all the myriad affairs and myriad things are still part of yin and yang. You need to find the root is of yin and yang: “Know the one and the myriad affairs are done!”

No. 93 – Nourishing Life
Concentrate your spirit and stabilize your qi, forget both yourself and all beings. This is the ultimate core of nourishing life.

No. 94 – The Center
The center bright and clear, peace will result. Nourish life this way and you will live long, die and not perish, and become a great light in the greater universe. The center not bright and clear, the twelve organs are endangered; they block the Dao and prevent it from flowing freely, so that the body is greatly harmed. Nourish life this way and you will endanger the powers of the greater universe. Be very, very careful!

No. 95 – Proper Cycles
How to apply the five phases’ cycles of production and conquest: if a disease is due to an excess in the five organs, use the conquest cycle to remedy it; if it is due to a depletion, use the production cycle. This is the fundamental principle of using the five phases.

No. 96 – Materialism
People nowadays often pursue an expensive material life-style and put all their efforts toward that. But the result of this kind of pursuit is really scary. What you need to realize is that people’s desire for material goods is inexhaustible. Once this desire can no longer be controlled, it does nothing but create inexhaustible suffering.

In fact, material goods can bring happiness but so can the spirit. Medications can cure diseases, but so can psychological healing. For this reason, spending all our life in the pursuit of material wealth is no where near as good as using our entire life to nurture a good mental disposition, which alone will allow our spirit to attain transcendence.

No. 97 – Rule 73
This is the fourth and the last (re)cycled rule, please read again the rule no. 73

No. 98 – The Sentinels
Our bodies are mechanisms full of wisdom: they have excellent sentinels that guard over our health: the teeth, the appendix, the tonsils, and so on. Originally, any time our bodies enter an exceptional situation (such as, most commonly, “fire rising”), these various sentinels immediately react and communicate the disturbance to the brain. Smart people at this point harmonize their minds-and-hearts and inspect themselves, making sure to restore inner balance.

However, what do Western-trained physicians do these days? “You hurt?” they say. “I will make your pain go away.” Even worse, they have developed some kind of scientific instrument, so they say: “You have a serious nasal infection and sneeze a lot? Let me cauterize the nerves inside your nose, so that you won’t be able to sneeze, no matter how strong the provocation.” The result of these treatments by Western doctors is that, if we ever fall ill, we won’t know until the disease affects our five organs and six intestines.

No. 99 – Benign Symptoms
Just remember: if we have sudden diarrhea, sneezes, coughs, or fever, these are signs of our bodies working at comprehensive recovery. There is no need to take medicines for these symptoms.

No. 100 – Terminal Diseases
Most serious diseases and terminal growths have only one cause: resentment [hatred, discontent]. Once resentment is gone, all ailments dissolve. What is hardest to resolve in this world is continuous and unstoppable resentment. As long as there is such unresolved resentment, there will always be incurable diseases.

Reference: http://yijinjing.ro/health-rules/

Qi and Mind in Health Qigong

Shen Xiaodong, Shanghai Qigong Institute

  Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin is a simply, refined, smooth, graceful, and effective health-preserving exercise which contains deep health-preserving philosophy and is deeply welcomed by the common people. This paper provides a detailed analysis of “Qi” and “Mind” in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin exercise according to the practicing process of Health Qigong •Ba Duan Jin.

  “Integrated Qi between Heaven and Earth” in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin Exercise

  The “integration of three regulations” is the core and feature of health Qigong exercise. The body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation are everything we can use for self-regulation of both body and mind. The three regulations are commonly seen and practiced in our daily activities but the “integration of three regulations” is difficult to achieve. Health Qigong is exactly aimed at achieving such a state. The “integration” of “integration of three regulations” should refer to “Qi”. Zhuangzi said “Qi runs throughout the entire world” (Zhuangzi: Zhi Bei You). Huang Di Nei Jing: Su Wen: Bao Ming Quan Xing Lun says: “when Qi between the heaven and earth was integrated, man was created” and “man was created with the Qi between heaven and earth and lives by the rules of the four seasons”. Man can actively and consciously realize the “concordance of Qi” of his body and mind and merges his own life into the tremendous steam of life in the cosmos. Man can actively maintain his own health and assist the circulation and development of life between heaven and earth.

  Qi is the source of life and motive power for vitality. Qi “cannot be seen, cannot be heard, and cannot be touched” (Lao Tzu). Qi is beyond our sensory organs. We cannot represent it, objectify it, or consolidate it. But we can learn it by establishing a concept with our mind.

  Qi has is intrinsic rules and principles of operation, which are exact “Dao”. There is only one way to master Qi: to merge ourselves into “Qi” and “Tao”. We should “get relaxed and natural”, lay down our preoccupation and sensory organs, empty our heart and mind, and then The forms of things all in it crouch; Eluding touch, eluding sight; There are their semblances, all right. Profound it is, dark and obscure; Things’ essences all there endure. Those essences the truth enfold” (Lao Tzu).

  The movements of Qi in the human body can be understood as “ascending, descending, incoming, outgoing” circular movements. “Extension Tao Outlook” is advocated by the Chinese culture. It is believed that all things in the world moves in circles like the universe. This is also the case with the operation of Qi in the body. Qi runs in the body through the Twelve Regular Meridians and the Eight Extra Meridians like rings. Qi of the human body also communicates with Qi of the heaven and earth through acupoints on the body surfaces. The human body is an open “macrosystem” (Qian Xuesen). On the one hand, our body performs material metabolism with the outside world. On the other hand, the functional activity systems (e.g. meridians, spirit, Qi, and essence) of our life also have energy and information transmissions and exchanges with the outside world. “Man is connected to heaven and earth” (Huang Di Nei Jing: Ling Shu: Xie Ke). Man is a small cosmos. The changes of things in the environment have certain connections with the physiological changes of man. This is called “Induction between Heaven and Man”.

  By carefully analyzing every movement of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, we can find that all three movements embody the association and connection between the human body and Qi of heaven and earth. In “Holding the Hands High with Palms Up to Regulate the Internal Organs”, both arms are required to be rounded and pushed upward and both feed are required to be firmly pressed onto the ground as if taking roots in the ground. The exerciser will be like “standing upright on his two legs between heaven and earth”, connecting the upper and lower Qi of the human body and merging it with Qi of the heaven and earth. In “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left- and Right-Handed”, the exerciser is required to draw an imaginary bow as if shooting an arrow, pulling the arms, shoulders, and the back leftward and rightward and directing the thought towards the boundary between heaven and earth in the distance. And the legs are kept in a Horse Stance with five toes anchored onto the ground. This can be called “shooting the heaven and anchoring the earth”. In “Holding One Arm Aloft to Regulate the Functions of the Spleen and Stomach”, one arm is held up against the heaven and the other is held down towards the earth as if holding up a cauldron with great power. This is called “propping up heaven and pressing earth”. In “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain”, both arms rotate outward, the head and arms are turned, the chest is square and the abdomen is drawn back. Qi is concentrated in Baihui Acupoint. The entire body looks like a high tower which takes in Qi from heaven and earth. This is called “twisting heaven and bending earth”. In “Shaking Head and Tail to Dispel Heart Fire”, the head and hips are shaken while the waist is rotated and the body is turned. They respectively take circular movements which are corresponding to the rotating movement-one of the fundamental movements of the universe. This is called “turning heaven and rotating earth”. In “Both Hands Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist”, both hands move downward from the top, run along the body to the back, reach to the ground and stretch forward, and finally slowly move up from the front of the body, as if both hands are moving in a circle around the body to infuse Qi of heaven and earth into the body. This is called “receiving heaven and connecting earth”. In “Thrusting the Fists and Making the Eyes Glare to Enhance Strength”, both fists are clenched and thrust alternately into the air. Both legs are firmly kept in a Horse Stance. And the eyes glare at the same time to produce tremendous power and grandeur. It is called “thrusting heaven and clenching earth”. The last routine “Seven Movements of the Back to Eliminate all Diseases”, the heels are feet are lifted and then released. The head and neck are kept straight and lifted as if propping up something. The lower part of the body is held to the ground as if being pressed by a very heavy object. This is called “propping up heaven and bumping earth”.

  “Coordinated Form and Spirit” in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin Exercise

  Health Qigong exercise is a resting and growing process. In our daily life and work, all kinds of mental and physical damages are inevitable and consume the resources and energies of the body. And Health Qigong is exactly a “magic weapon” for restoring the resources and energy of the body. Our predecessors pointed out that the purpose of Qigong exercise is to “nourish the vital Qi”, “regulate the meridian Qi”, and “consolidate the defensive Qi” in order to help us achieve “sufficient essence, full Qi, and complete spirit”, keep us away from or eliminate diseases, and maintain the internal equilibrium and stability of both the body and mind.

  Health Qigong exercise involves thought, which is a great feature of Qigong. The thought has major influences on both our body and mind. Compared with animals, man is more susceptible to diseases, probably because our thoughts are too disorderly and frequent. It is believed in traditional Qigong theories that thoughts have to be “neither forgotten nor assisted” and have to be placed between adherence and non-adherence. Huang Di Nei Jing says: “To treat deficiency pathogens, we need to avoid wind with good timing. If we stay indifferent to fame or gain and keep a vacant heart, the genuine Qi will follow us, the essence spirit will be contained, and diseases will be prevented.” During health Qigong exercise, we should learn to maintain an indifferent mental state and draw back into our own body. We should neither eradicate thoughts nor become over-absorbed by the mind.

  Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin is a moving exercise dominated by Daoyin of movements. As a Qigong exercise, however, it has its own requirements on thought. “Being relaxed, serene, and natural” is the threshold and orientation of Qigong. During the exercise of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, we should always maintain a long and unhurried thought, keep our mind peaceful and delighted, naturally relaxed our body, and make our movements smooth, round, and continuous. In the preparative stance of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, we should not only bring our body into an empty and relaxed state, but also quiet our mind, eliminate distracting thoughts, evil intentions, and stupor in order to keep our mind in “subtle and continuous” indifference and delight. As is described in Qigong tips, “when we keep our spirit in a serene state, the form will be naturally upright” (Zhuangzi: Zai You). While quieting, emptying, and relaxing our body and mind, our body will naturally become soft and comforted. In this way we can “maintain both body and spirit and live to the full length of our life” (Huang Di Nei Jing: Su Wen: Shang Gu Tian Zhen Lun).

  To sum up, Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin is dignified and graceful. Its movements are internally smooth and externally straight and full and circular. Its process is like moving clouds and flowing water. Qi circulates throughout the body to straighten bones, soften tendons, and facilitate blood and Qi circulation. While practicing Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, we need to enter a good state of “integrated Qi of heaven and earth” and “coordinated form and spirit” through the “Three Regulations” in order to achieve the fundamental objectives of Health Qigong exercise.

Reference: “Qi” and “Mind” in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin Exercise Chinese Health Qigong Association

The Five Fundamentals of the Mind

There are five basic fundamental concepts which will provide the insights or background needed to achieve higher levels in Martial Arts. These concepts will help you in your overall relaxation skills.

The importance of your ability to relax is connected to several other factors: First and foremost, when you are in a relaxed state, your breathing is not constricted, but full and natural. Secondly, your alertness is clear and refined, and finally, your reactions are quick and uninhibited.

In order to achieve this relaxed state, you must practice meditation. The usual method of meditation emphasizes the physical acts of monitoring your breathing, becoming aware of any stress or tension, etc.

The following five guidelines will help you control your state of mind, a precondition of one’s behaviour.

Respect Respect makes reference to how you treat others. You should always maintain a sense of mutual respect. You should not take on a position of superiority, whether or not it may appear justified. There is an infinite amount of experiences, and any single person cannot possibly have witnessed all of them in his or her lifetime. Therefore, your fellow man has experiences and ideas that you may never have encountered or contemplated before. This is why you can always learn from others.

In the area of the Martial Arts, your classmate/opponent possesses different ideas, levels of skill, etc., all of which are legitimate. There may exist better, faster, more effective techniques, but nevertheless, your opponent’s techniques are real and must be addressed. No two persons will attack or react in the same way (power, angle, or methods). If you are perceptive, you can learn from any variation/situation. When you take on a position of superiority you create an artificial barrier between yourself and others. This barrier will automatically create tension. Tension is the single most important hindrance you must avoid in order to achieve higher levels.

Care Be thoughtful and careful when acting. It is important that you analyze self and commit yourself to whatever actions you take. You should believe in your decision-making processes. If you do not believe (have faith) or do not understand, you will create a mental block, which will hinder your results. Once you understand how a process can help you, then your mind can accept it, giving it value and allowing you to concentrate. It will also allow you to expand, gaining greater insights of how other issues are related to one another.

Thought This is a simple process. Understanding that you are only capable of doing one thing at a time, you can only process (solve) one issue at a time, you should not try to do two things at once. This will only split your focus as you move from one problem to another, and cause anxiety and stress. Single-mindedness will allow you to face the opponent with unrestrained whole-body power.

Focus You must understand completely what you are trying to achieve, clearly defining the end results of what is to be gained. You must therefore strip away all the minor processes and methods in order to focus on the essence of the subject matter. By focusing, you will understand which processes and methods enable you to achieve the desired goal.

Harmony Your interaction with others should be based on self-respect and honour. You should not take a position of superiority, nor one of inferiority. In this harmonious (neutral) position, you will be at ease with others, allowing you to be relaxed, calm, and composed.

Reference: Wudang, Vol. 10, Nos. 2 and 3

The Prestigious Man

There was a prestigious man in a community who seemingly had all material desires satisfied. He had a loving family, a large house and many servants. Not content with his good fortune, he chose to seek enlightenment.

He first refused responsibility for his estate, believing it would interfere with his spiritual pursuits. He then relinquished all material wealth and gave away even his dearest possessions. Finally, he decided that he must abandon his home. Leaving everything behind except for a small bag in which he carried a few necessities, he traveled through the country seeking teachers and wisdom.

For twenty years he carried his little bag as he walked through the countryside, studying and searching for enlightenment without success. One day he sat near a clear pond and thought how nice it would be to refresh himself in the water. He took off his clothes and laid his bag by the tree. As he laid his bag down he felt a sense of relief and immediately understood why he had searched for enlightenment for twenty years without success. He thought, “I gave up my estate, my personal wealth, my home, my family, yet, for twenty years I could not give up this bag.” At that moment he attained the enlightenment for which he searched.

Reference:
Tao of Meditation: Way to Enlightenment
by Jou, Tsung Hwa
ISBN 0804814651

Qigong Imagination

Song Tianbin; Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Health-preserving imagination is one of the health-preserving methods of Health Qigong. This is because the mind concentration of Health Qigong not only involves quiescence but also involves rich imagination which is also know as “visualization”, “Deliberation”, or “Meditation”. In other words, different imaginations are used to regulate the mental balance and achieve both mental and physical comfort. Many Health Qigong exercises, such as Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing, Wu Qin Xi, Liu Zi Jue, and Ba Duan Jin which are already widespread in the world, or newly created Health Qigong•Shi Er Duan Jin, 12 exercises of Daoyin Health Preservation, Mawangdui Daoyin, Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang, and Dawu which are about to be popularized all allow wide space for imagination.

Imaging the blue sky will make you open-minded, serene, bright, and clear; Imagining the blue sky and grassland will make you relaxed, happy, comfortable, and enthusiastic; Imagining the elegant white clouds will make your relaxed and at ease; Imagining the colorful sunglow will lead to warm, leisurely, serene, and beautiful associations; Imagining the bright moon in the sky will make you feel tranquil and pleasantly cool and love, friendship, and family bond will be naturally brewed; Imagining a red sun will make you feel warmth and brightness and enthusiasm and hope will be naturally generated; Imagining blue mountains and deep and secluded valleys will make you calm and refreshed; Imagining an eagle flying in the sky will inspire you to make achievements; Imagining the turbulent Yellow River will fill your hear with lofty sentiments; Imagining the impetuous Yangtze River will urge you to advance bravely; Imagining sweet spring water will make you feel moist all over the body and help you get lively and optimistic.

Remembering the past achievements will boost self-confidence and self-respect; Imagining the past joys will naturally give rise to a joyful mood; Remembering the past interesting news will create a humorous atmosphere, relax the body and mind, and remove the interpersonal barriers.

Imagining innocent and lively children will correct the over-caution of adults and create a sensation of rejuvenation. By imagining the vigor of the youngsters, old people will eliminate the apathy and depression; Imagining the gentleness, quiescence and tenderness of girls will help you correct the vulgar habits; By imagining the expectations of the family, travelers can often be spurred to advance bravely and strive not to lag behind.

Imagining delicious food or plums, oranges, and apricots will promote secretion of saliva, improve the appetite, and facilitate digestion. Tumor patients taking radiotherapy or chemotherapy can imagine rays and drugs killing cancer cells and discharging all of them from the body. While taking the imagination therapy, the exerciser is required to relax the body and eliminate all distracting thoughts. Imagining the smooth blood circulation over the body will help reduce the pains of any disease.

These a just a part of health-preserving imagination. They are called mind concentration on external scenes and internal scenes in Health Qigong.

External scenes can be either dynamic or static and either realistic or imaginary or virtual. For example, “Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails” of Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing and “Tiger Pouncing” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi are “using mind instead of strength” according to the theory of Tai Ji Quan. Since different people have different life experiences, the results may be different even if the same thing is imagined. Therefore the exerciser may imagine mentally and physically pleasant things as much as possible according to his own experience, in order to facilitate the regulation of mental balance and relaxation of both the body and mind and thus to preserve health.

This is also true with internal scenes, which may be the circulation of blood and Qi in the channels, the activities of viscera, the movements of limbs, or the relative quiescent mind concentration on internal organs, acupoints, channels, skin, hair, tendons, muscles, and bones. For example, in “Moving the Hands down the Back and Legs, and Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, the mind is stationed at the kidneys in the waist. Mind concentration on blood and Qi in channels is mostly dynamic imagination of unobstructed channels and well-circulating blood and Qi. For example, the eight extra channels and all twelve channels are available for mind concentration, but Ren and Du channels are most frequently used. During acupoint pressing and self-massage, we have to concentrate the mind on the “Qi acquisition” sensation and assist it with imagination. This will help us enter quiescence and provide better results. Mind concentration on the internal organs is also called “return aura” or “inward-looking”, which is also an imagination. For example, General Treatise on the Cause and Symptoms of Diseases says: “imagine that the red Qi of the heart, green Qi of the liver, white Qi of the lungs, yellow Qi of the spleen, and black Qi of the kidneys are running all over the body.” Thousand Golden Prescriptions for Emergency says: imagine that the great harmonious primordial Qi is shaped like a purple pavilion of clouds hovering in the sky with clear colors, and that this Qi infiltrates the skin and muscles like water penetrating the earth, and directly flows from the head top to Yongquan Acupoints in the soles, moistening all limbs and viscera on the way. Practicing these steps fro 3~5 rounds from time to time, and you will have moist skin and hair, keen eyes and ears, a good appetite, good health, and strong resistance to all diseases. Although the statement is a bit exaggerating, this beneficial psychological suggestion will help remove nervousness and reduce blood pressure from the modern point of view.

To sum up, it involves the full utilization of attention and imagination from the psychological point of view, which are exactly the two most important psychological characteristics of man. Therefore we should make full use of them to accomplish our health-preserving goals.

Reference:
Health Qigong and Health-Preserving Imagination jsqg.sport.org.cn

The Seven Basic Skills of Dachengquan

1. Jijizhuang (Combat skill pile-stance):
Feet assume a Dingbabu shaped step,
Arms form a circle like holding a child.
Stand upright, feeling light and nimble,
Mind is intense
but posture easy and comfortable.

2. Trial of Strength:
Strike out the hand is like a steel file,
Pull back, the hand is like an iron hook.
The intent aims at the surroundings of the body
Yet never goes away from it.

3. Mocabu (friction steps):
With the body erect and head upright,
He walks like a chicken but with the torso a bit inclined.
Advance or retreat at will as the hip and shoulder move,
Waves rise and fall as the leaps and the foot circles.

4. Fali (excerting force):
The whole body as soft as cotton,
The intend reaches finger tips.
Explosive force is discharged continuously,
Like a catapult shooting out pellets.

5. The trial of Breath:
Sound is produced from “Dantian” ( a spot 1,968 inches beneath the umbilicus.),
But comes out the mouth,
While the cheast is free and relaxed,
The sound is like that of a ringing bell is a quiet valley.

6. Tuishou (push-hands):
Single Hand
Attaching forearms they act as in trial of strength,
Touching, slicking, connecting, following,
all are guided by intention.
Rolling and turning the perform with “point of force” as the axis;
Jerking and discharging, an elastic force is produced and threatening.
Double Hand
With four arms closely attached,
The two turn and shift following steps.
Try to control the other side as if to bind him with a robe,
Be natural in all moves,
whether it be wrestling, shriving, striking or releasing.

7. Actual Manoeuvring:
When actual confrontation begins,
See that you have an easy posture.
With space appropriately set,
You hit out surely, accurately, relentlessly and severely.
Meeting attacks from all directions,
You must respond with alert and flexibility.
Advance, retreat or intercept,
All depends on circumstances and opportunity.
What’s the use of fixed postures and methods?
As under such circumstances everyone acts on his instinct.

Reference:
Dachengquang
by Wang Xuanjie
ISBN 9622381111

p.  46 – 54

Further indications concerning Zhan zhuang

1.Before starting post standing you should have already empty your bowels, avoiding from interrupting your post standing,

2.Before post standing you should loose your tie and belt, take off your watch, open shoelaces so that all limbs feel free to move.

3.For beginner in post standing and convalescent practitioner with weaker body, during your post standing exercise you should not close your eyes. Later when you can reach during each training session at least 20 minutes of standing and feel relaxed and happy, than you can naturally close your eyes. But if when you are closing your eyes you feel dizzy or lack of balance, do not hesitate to reopen them and continue your training with eyes opened and looking to a fixed direction.

4.When post standing do not contract your lips but also do not leave your mouth open. Just keep it naturally closed. Upper lip and lower lip should keep a slight space with your teeth.

5.The therapeutical effects of post standing come mainly from the characteristics of the posture itself and your aptitude to maintain it. During this exercise you will progressively taste all different changes happening in your internal body. If you have difficulties to calm your mind you can for example count your breath cycles, a complete cycle including inhale/exhale. But in any case avoid from holding your breath or accelerate/prolong consciously your breath rate. Let your body install by itself breath rate instead of trying to control it.

6.The best time to practice post standing is during set sunrise/sunset where you are not exposed to the dazzling effect of sunshine. In winter and in autumn post standing becomes a very comfortable exercise at these periods of the day.

7.When you are practicing post standing indoor, make sure to refresh regularly the air, temperature should be suitable to the season and try your best to select a place with very quiet surroundings.

8. When leg’s muscles are initiating vibrations and your body is starting to sway forward and backward, at this time you should pay attention to control the swaying amplitude: not too large and rather slow. You can use swaying leftward/rightward to control swaying forward/backward. Your swaying movements should be rather reduced in amplitude and low in frequency.

9.At the end of your post standing, you should reduce gradually the amount of physical effort you are enduring: slowly straighten up your both legs, slightly lower your both hands, place back of both hands on your lower back (in front of kidneys) and rest 2-3 minutes. Wait that any sensation of tingling, souring, swelling and aching in four limbs has completely disappear before changing posture.

10.Concerning people suffering from insomnia and more generally practitioner planning their post standing exercise before sleeping, there are two categories of possible scenarios: a.Just after ending the post standing session, If one will rapidly fall asleep: one belongs to the “apathetic” type. In this case one can practice post standing just before going to bed. b.After post standing one will be rather excited: one belongs to the “nervous” type. In this case the best option is to practice 2-3 hours before sleeping, so that one will have around 1-2 hours to rest, slow down one’s excitement and prepare to a normal sleeping process.

11. Below half hour before or after meal, post standing is not suitable as it is preferable to avoid interference with the normal course of your appetite and digestion.

12. For women in period of menstruation, in the case that there is no perception of discomfort, they can continue post standing exercise but it is recommended to reduce the global amount of physical effort involved in training. If there is any undesirable reaction, they should immediately rest and wait to pass their period of menstruation to restart again post standing.

Reference: Zhan zhuang and the Search of Wu by Yu Yong Nian p. 42 – 44

Guarding the One

Attainment of the Prime of the One
Is not a gift from Heaven.
Realization of Great Nonbeing
Is the state of highest immortality.

Light restrained, a hidden brilliance,
The body one with nature:
There is true peace, won but not pursued.
Script kept forever at rest.

In serenity and beauty: this is perfection!
Body and inner nature, hard and soft,
All is but cinnabar vapor, azure barrens.
One of the highest sages-

Only after a hundred years
The tomb is discovered empty.

Reference:
The Taoist Experience: An Anthology
by Liva Kohn
ISBN 0791415805

p. 215 Xuanzhu xinjing zhu (Mysterious Pearly Mirror of the Mind)

The concept of Space and Time in Yichuan

Master Master Cheuk Fung talks about Hun Yuan strength, space & time in Yichuan

“Hunyuan strength refers to oneness, whole body strength or six surfaces strength. It is different from regular strength. The easiest way would be to show you, but, since you’re writing this down the best we can do is compare it with regular strength. In contrast to Hunyuan strength, regular strength would be called sectional, broken or one-sided strength. It is not to say that regular strength can’t be strong and forceful, only that the entire body is not contributing to whatever function the strength is required for. With regular strength the majority of the load is born by the local muscle groups in the limbs. With Hunyuan strength, the majority of the load is carried by the legs, waist and back. Regular strength is delivered directly, like a ram where the force is the inertia of the weight moving forward. Hunyuan strength is delivered indirectly… the inertia of the weight moving away from the target is more than that moving into it. Regular strength dissipates with movement. Hunyuan strength is stored within movement. This stored strength results in torque or martial velocity in each movement. That’s why it’s called oneness or whole body strength because the entire frame supplies torque to the limbs within each gesture.”

“Sensing Strength is an aspect of Yi Chuan training where practitioners take the linkages and feeling states cultivated through standing and learn to maintain and use them in movement. This begins with “searching for strength” within a new orbit or route by using imagery to align the body with space and gravity. When done properly a sensation that feels like magnetic force or pressure appears within the movement. Overtime practitioners will elongate the range of motion within which this feeling can be maintained before condensing it back down into an orbit that subtle enough to be hidden yet actually involves the entire frame.”

“Explosive Strength training teaches the Yi Chuan practitioner to condense his or her expression of Hunyuan strength into a single explosive and spontaneous gesture. In a split second the body preparation learned in standing must combine with the orbits forged in sensing strength, the control of distance gained through footwork practice and the intuitive timing cultivated in push hands. Explosive strength training helps make the strength and skill developed in the other chapters available even under duress or surprise.”

“Sensing Sound practice use tones and sounds to vibrate the body and helps to bring relaxation and awareness to a deeper level. Eventually these tones can also be used as triggers to help link the body and activate Hunyuan strength.”

Reference: www.yichuankungfu.com

The Classic of Purity

The venerable Master said:
The Supreme Tao is formless,yet it produces Heaven and Earth. The Supreme Tao has no desires, yet by Its power the Sun and the Moon revolve in their orbits. The supreme Tao is nameless,yet It ever supports all things. I do not know its namebut for title call it Tao

The venerable Master said:
Tao manifests both as the pure and the turbid, both as movement and stillness. Heaven is pure, earth is turbid. Heaven moves, earth is still. The masculine is pure, the feminine is turbid. The masculine is active, the feminine is passive. Manifesting from its radical essence,Tao flows forth even to the last of things,bringing forth heaven and eart hand all that is in between. The pure is the cause of the turbid, and movement of stillness.

The venerable Master said:
When man attains the power to transcend that which changes abiding in purity and stillness, heaven and earth are united in him. The soul of man loves purity, but his mind is often rebellious. The mind of man loves stillness but his desires draw him into activity. When a man is constantly able to govern his desires, his mind becomes spontaneously still. When the mind is unclouded, the soul is seen to be pure. Then with certainty the six desires will cease to be begotten, and the three poisons will be eliminated and dissolved. The reason men do not possess the ability to achieve this is because their minds are not clear and their desires are unrestrained. He who has the power to transcend his desires, looking within and contemplating mind, realizes that in his mind, mind is not; looking without and contemplating form, he realizes that in form, form is not; looking at things still more remote and contemplating matter, he realizes that in matter, matter is not.

The venerable Master said:
When he has clearly thought about these three he perceives only a void, but when he contemplates the void, he realizes that the void is also void and has become nothingness. The void having vanished into nothingness, he realizes that the nothingness of nothing is also nothing, and when the nethermost nothingness is reached, there is most truly to be found a deep and unchanging stilness. In this profound stillness how can desires be begotten? When desires are no longer begotten,then there is essential and unchanging stillness. Truth is essentially unchanging. All things in heaven and earth are in essence unchanging.

The venerable Master said:
The unfoldment of man’s consciousness, leads him to this unchanging truth. In unchanging stillness, unchanging purity and rest are found. He who attains purity and stillness enters into the immutable Tao. Having entered into the immutable Tao he is named possessor of Tao. Although he is named the possessor of Tao, he knows that he does not posses it. Only when he can transmute all living beings can he be truly named the possessor of Tao. He who is able to understand this can lead others to sacred Tao.

Reference:
The Classic of Purity by Ko Hsuan osholeela.com

The Heat of Movement the coldness of stillness

by Liu I-Ming

Generally speaking, when people are active, this gives rise to heat; when people sit quietly, this gives rise to cold. When one is cold, if one moves about this will again produce heat. When one is hot, if one sits still this will again produce coldness. In other words, cold and heat do not depend on the weather but on the person.

What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of taking over the creativity of yin and yang. That which is strong is associated with yang, that which is yielding is associated with yin. If one is strong but not aggressive, humbly lowering oneself, then one will not be irritable but will be peaceful, and equanimous. If one is yielding but not weak, deliberate in action, then one will not be ineffective but will ascend to high illumination.

Able to be strong, able to yield, according with truth and according with the time, knowing when to advance and when to withdraw, able to be great and able to be small, able to stop and able to step down, able to be passive and able to be active, one can thereby take over Creation, turn around life and death, reverse the mechanism of energy, leave death and go to life. This is like activity producing heat and quiet sitting producing cold; human power can reverse nature.

Reference:
Awakening to the Tao
by Liu I-Ming translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambhala Publications Inc.,U.S., 2006.
ISBN: 159030344X

p. 20-21

Mind Exercising of the Health Qigong

The Health Qigong is one kind of Qigong exercise combining the mind, Qi and body exercise rather than the single muscle exercise. Regulating the mind, breath and body, called as three regulations in the following, are three basic elements of practicing the Health Qigong. The key word for three regulations is to regulate and adjust the body and mind intentionally. Therefore the spiritual activity is needed to be done in three regulations with the active mental activity. Yi generally means the consciousness or thinking of which is the functional activity of the brain. Mind exercise is to concentrate the mind on some points or something, which is called Zhuyi in Chinese words. In fact we use the mind exercise in doing everything but it is different in the exercise of the Health Qigong.

Man often initiatively think about something apart from his own body with mind activity, which is exterior. It is just in contrary with the former that the practicer concentrates the mind on his own life activity, which is interior. The practicer should cut off the connection of the sensory organs with outer world and initiatively control himself with consciousness and gain the gnosis for the relation of the life and nature. The process is called the introspection. Interior mind application is basic characteristics for exercising the Health Qigong. Correct and appropriate understanding the criteria of mind application can overcome or surpass the routine skills taken the movements as the main ways of the exercise. The healthy effect of the Health Qigong is mainly embodied in the mind exercise. For this reason, the practicer should aim at exercising the mind and get oneself into the state of natural relaxation of which is inner active and outer quiet by ways of regulating the breath and body in order to obtain the target of strengthening the body and prolonging the life. Mind application should be set in the first position and kept in the whole course of the exercise. The contents and orders of mind activity can be different at the different stage of the exercise.

The stage of stressing on the body instead of the mind

The Health Qigong is one kind of Gong emphasizing both the body and mind. But it is hard for the beginners to understand and grasp the actions of the Health Qigong and impractical for them to lay stress on the mind activity. In this stage, the attention of the practicer should be paid to imitation and exercising the body movements rather than the mind regulation, which is not specially emphasized. However, it is required that the practicer should concentrate on the routine itself such as the change of the direction and line, how to move the hands and feet, the main points, how to connect the different parts, etc. The mind is concentrated on some point, line or part with relaxation of other parts to form one natural and relaxed moving body. The first task for the beginners is to learn and correctly and proficiently accomplish the routine. It is one kind of mind activity of low level as the mind is concentrated on the figure itself and aimed at learning and grasping the routines. Practice makes perfect. The routines can be correctly and proficiently grasped after the repeated exercise. Thereafter the practicer can start to concentrate on the mind itself and get into the next stage. It is one kind of the gradual comprehension for the practicer.

The stage of emphasizing both the body and mind

On one hand, the practicer should lay stress on the specifications and standard of the routine and deformation is unacceptable in this stage; on the other hand, the practicer should explore the inner essence and quintessence of the Health Qigong and regulate the mind in high level. The basic style of mind activity is inward vision and imagination such as inner vision of the Dantian, inner vision of the Qi and blood circulation, imagination of entrance of some mental state, etc. The practicer can harmoniously combine the inner mind with the body to make more proficient and standardized routines, further know the meaning of the movements and store the inner strength based on the transformation of motion and quietness, opening and closure, being imagined and factual, being hard and soft, yin and yang and twist etc. The routines can be done in the state of running like flowing water without interruption. The practicer can gradually attain the aim of running the Qi by heart and running the body by the Qi and eventually reach the stage of interior and exterior integrity, body and spirit containing for the Health Qigong.

The stage of emphasizing on the mind instead of the body

The practicer naturally gets into the stage of emphasizing on the mind instead of the body with the automation of the routines after the long-term exercise. Routines are already automatic for the practicer just like walking after the repeated exercise in the long run. The practicer has already comprehended the essence of the movements and coordinately combined the body, mind and outer world according to his own characteristics and understanding for the Gong and had his own gnosis. The routines won’t deviated from the basic principles even the practicer doesn’t pay attention to the movements themselves any longer in this stage. Therefore, the practicer lays stress on the exercise of the inner mind and concentrates on the genuine mind of which is self-consciousness under the condition of quiet consciousness. That it should be stressed is to pay attention to the moderate degree in the mind activity as the mind is like water and fire, water can carry and capsize the boat; the fire can warm the man or burn the fire-player to death. The practicer should abide by the rule of mind activity, which is not to intentionally or absent-mindedly seek for the mind activity. Intentional mind activity will deviate the body, being absentmindedness will be fruitless.

The stage of emphasizing on neither the mind nor the body

The Qi flowing is sloshing all the body instead of the feeling of the figure in the brain of the practicer when the exercise is done to the highest level. That is called the state of non-body. At that time, the brain naturally is entering the state of unconsciousness (non-mind) without any distracted thoughts. In fact, the state of non-mind and non-body is the stage of forgetting the body and obtaining the mind of which is the milieu of the Health Qigong that the vital Qi flows normally with tranquilized mind. It is said that consciousness is unconsciousness, which can produce the genuine consciousness in the narrations of the Quan (one kind of traditional boxing skills). That is to say, unconsciousness is not to stop mind activity but the true knowledge of the essence of the mind. The practicer needn’t adhere to the concrete actions in the stage of getting mind essence. It is also the stage of forgetting the body just as it is said by Lao Tzu( a renowned philosopher and the founder of the Taoism) that the great Tao is formless. The practicer can be thought as comprehending the essence of the Health Qigong only when he can reach the stage of free receiving and dispatching without body or mind restriction. The practicer can gradually feel the delicate alteration of the nature and bring about the essential change in the body and mind and concentrate on the state of reversion to the baby-like innocence, which can sublime the constitution, disposition, personality, and accomplishment to the state of elegance at last.

Above all, the Health Qigong can regulate all the unreasonable nervous state deviated from the physiological characteristics and bring into the potentiality constrained by the nervous state full play. Therefore, mind exercise should be strengthened in order to improve the effect of the Health Qigong.

(Writing/ normal university of inner Mongolia Zhang Cai Qin)

Reference: Mind Exercising of the Health Qigong Chinese Health Qigong Association