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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Complementary Therapies & Traditional Medicine > Tai Chi & Chi Gong

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  #1  
Old 14-02-2019, 05:06 PM
Lucky Lucky is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 531
 
Book1 Interested in Qigong

Hi all. This is my second time posting in this section I see, as Qigong has been on my radar again. I was browsing some of the posts in this section today to try to gather more information about everyone's experiences with the practice, but already I'm becoming confused by reading some of the replies about who's doing it right or wrong, where to begin learning, and some posts about energy being stuck in their heads causing dizziness. So I will start a fresh post and ask questions in hopes someone would be kind enough to provide some insight.

It is interesting to see some old posts in this section about transitioning from reiki to qigong and how/if these practices compliment each other. Personally, having learned reiki 2 has sent me on quite an unpredictable journey of self discovery and awareness of energy. I'm grateful for all of it, but it has left me more confused than anything. With so many different new variations of reiki and symbols, I have come to my own personal conclusion that the way this modality has been marketed in the US is lacking structure and is wide open to many different techniques and ways of teaching so that anyone can brand and market their own new version of "reiki" and charge people to be attuned to new secret symbols. It all hasn't sat right with me, however I don't discount the ability to work with energy...I suppose I'm just looking for more structure and tangible, more predictable results.

So where do I begin qigong? Is it safe to learn from YouTube videos? If so, would you recommend what videos on YouTube I can safely use to begin? Are there any basic books about qigong you'd recommend? Would it be better for me to receive proper in person training, and if so, what would qualify someone as a master (if that's what they are referred to)?

Also, please feel free to share your stories and personal experiences with this practice...I'd love to hear them!

Thank you in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 15-02-2019, 07:43 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 8,456
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
Hi all. This is my second time posting in this section I see, as Qigong has been on my radar again. I was browsing some of the posts in this section today to try to gather more information about everyone's experiences with the practice, but already I'm becoming confused by reading some of the replies about who's doing it right or wrong, where to begin learning, and some posts about energy being stuck in their heads causing dizziness. So I will start a fresh post and ask questions in hopes someone would be kind enough to provide some insight.

It is interesting to see some old posts in this section about transitioning from reiki to qigong and how/if these practices compliment each other. Personally, having learned reiki 2 has sent me on quite an unpredictable journey of self discovery and awareness of energy. I'm grateful for all of it, but it has left me more confused than anything. With so many different new variations of reiki and symbols, I have come to my own personal conclusion that the way this modality has been marketed in the US is lacking structure and is wide open to many different techniques and ways of teaching so that anyone can brand and market their own new version of "reiki" and charge people to be attuned to new secret symbols. It all hasn't sat right with me, however I don't discount the ability to work with energy...I suppose I'm just looking for more structure and tangible, more predictable results.

So where do I begin qigong? Is it safe to learn from YouTube videos? If so, would you recommend what videos on YouTube I can safely use to begin? Are there any basic books about qigong you'd recommend? Would it be better for me to receive proper in person training, and if so, what would qualify someone as a master (if that's what they are referred to)?

Also, please feel free to share your stories and personal experiences with this practice...I'd love to hear them!

Thank you in advance!!



If you can find a Teacher it is more beneficial, once you learn the basics you can practice yourself.
There are so many different Styles, some are basically invented and named Qigong so a little research will help you decide what you want.
I practice 18 Lohan Hands and 8 Pieces of Brocade, the Brocade is what I would recommend for beginners but it's your choice. Look on Chinese Qigong Sites and get a basic understanding which will help you choose. The link below may interest you. If you need help just Post and If I can help I will, I teach Qigong....



https://shaolin-training.com/about-c...n-lohan-hands/
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  #3  
Old 15-02-2019, 02:47 PM
Lucky Lucky is offline
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Posts: 531
 
Thank you so very much Sky123! I truly appreciate it.
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  #4  
Old 16-02-2019, 02:12 AM
ribiq ribiq is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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If you're worried about it, maybe try to find a class or a meetup event, or something like that in order to get it from a person. Many people use that method exclusively and it's nothing to feel any sort of way about, it's effective. Alternatively, there are books and videos and different ways to teach yourself.

This is a fairly old recording, but pretty good as a reference for where to start, if you're interested: https://youtu.be/d5fsKmiF694

If you're looking for a practical book about the internal side of qigong (also called energy work), Robert Bruce's book Energy Work is good.

If you want more in-depth explanation of qigong from a chinese perspective, Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's book The Root of Chinese Qigong is very good.


What's most important in my personal opinion is to relax and to continue to notice the breath while doing whatever else you're doing with movement or with intention and internal awareness.

One thing that last book says is something like Once you can regulate the breath without regulating, then you can regulate the qi. The breath is where it starts, and that makes everything else possible once it becomes more effortless through practice
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  #5  
Old 16-02-2019, 03:42 AM
Sorai Sorai is offline
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I agree that it is best to learn in person.

Here is my teacherís youtube channel:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCBv77...lSCKdYw/videos

We use the videos to practice after initial learning.
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  #6  
Old 16-02-2019, 11:12 PM
taoistscholar_v2 taoistscholar_v2 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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I must say, there's nothing but great replies here. Allow me to add my 2 cents...

Qigong just like reiki, is a quite the general term. There isn't an authority on the matter dictating any specifics or technicalities. As I'm sure you already know, the 'gong' in qigong translates into something along the lines of: work, training, practice, discipline, etc. And qi on the other hand, is quite a considerably broad notion. So it becomes quite easy for one to say this thing and that thing are qigong.

There are qigongs that focus on the immortal shen, the psyche, the internal organs, the meridians, and even the external physique. It's my opinion that although different practices might be more specific in one of these areas over another, that every qigong should, to some degree, altogether address all of these aspects. I feel this to be so based on the understanding that all those things are interconnected, and so emptying our mind will in turn benefit our ability to relax ourselves physically, optimizing the flow of qi in the meridians will influence the internal organs to function more freely, and cultivating a strong constitution that is abundant in qi, blood and physicality will result in a human system that can preserve its jing, and therefore best nourish the shen, ultimately leading to profound spiritual freedom.

To me the key features that epitomize qigong, regardless of type and style, are:
- Posture
- Breath
- Relaxation
- Intention
But I don't think simply listing them like this is enough, and so I'll attempt to describe them in more detail based on my knowledge and experience, but ultimately qigong is a discipline.. You can think and read about it all you want, and still never truly comprehend it. Some even go as far as saying that thinking about it too much will only confuse more. I role by the belief that talking about it is essential, but only in conjunction with dedicated practice, and should not be excessive. Just small bites that you can chew :P

POSTURE
It would be too difficult and over-zealous of me to go into all the specifics here, which is one very important reason why I reccomend beginners and even intermediates to train under a skilled and competent teacher. This posture I speak of is not particularly the specifics of the movement, like where your hand is, or how your weight distributes between your two legs, but rather the subtleties that facilitate the greatest relaxation, sensitivity and functional/effective force transmission and conservation throughout the entire body as a unit. Not really able to be separated from the other three aspects, but this posture deals with how the movement originates from the centre, how the tibia and fibula torque, how the joints curve, spine alignment, pelvis position, a gently lifting skull, a spacious chest, how the shoulder, elbows, etcetera, tend to be downward-seeking, even when rising up.
BREATH
There have been several different breathing methods used in qigong. Breathing is used to unite and boost the overall focus of the practice. In static qigongs it is often used to guide and consolidate intention but can also be used in other ways to essentially biohack the lungs to work more effectively, boosting our oxygen reserve within circulation. When performing movements the breath can assist the movement, maximize relaxation and the all-around interconnectedness of the system in how it moves.
RELAXATION
The relaxation might be the most difficult part of all to describe. It's nothing like our traditional understanding of the word, which is often synonymous with limp and empty. The relaxation that is principle to qigong is known as 'song'/'sung' relaxation, and is spry, supple and full. Often like you see in the posture of infants and toddlers. It has a sort of tensegrity to it that is powerful and capable of transmitting not only force but other information and sorts of feedback throughout the whole body unit. The relaxation is of the muscles and mind, but not of the framework and connective tissue. This gives a stretch and tempering of the bones and tendons that is capable of repairing and strengthening in ways external muscular-focused exercises cannot. This sort of relaxation is what must be practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced. It's a never-ending skill that can be fractally refined. You think you got it, but then as you continue to practice you realize there was still another layer, and so on. That's why you must be humble and persistent and continue to dedicatively train with a figurative smile on your face.
INTENTION
Intention is the final piece, and paradoxically enough, the final piece to it is eliminating it altogether,. But the difficulty is, intending to eliminate intention is a little counter-productive haha. What letting go of intention means is letting go of the focused mind and embodying the practice spontaneously or out of habit. In the beginning it's common to use visualization techniques, guide intention to establish tingling and sensations, focus on doing the posture, movements and breathing right. With practice, these things become more defaulted and the intention becomes more of a third party observer, scanning through the practice and 'troubleshooting', for lack of a better term. Sometimes this scanning can be done in the form of repeating a phrase or mantra in your head whenever thoughts from the monkey-mind arise. This mantra acts to simplify the entire complexity of the training into a catalyst that aligns the entire being. This way as the so-called habits form, the mind can let go of its focus on all the little sub-details that were once large areas of intentful focus. When the practice becomes 'hardwired' one can be said to be living meditation. Everything from sitting, getting dressed and opening doors, to your activities and recreation will be optimized. Not only therapeutic, but effortless and more powerful. The mind will think clearer and the emotions will be balanced.
Finally, at an even more advanced level the mind is able to fully disengage and relinquish all intent and thinking. This doesn't mean that it's completely empty per se, but just that the thoughts that do arise are not held on to, processed, or considered. This peace and tranquility is said to be the precursor of the deep spiritual experience(s).

Last edited by taoistscholar_v2 : 17-02-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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  #7  
Old 17-02-2019, 07:38 PM
Lucky Lucky is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 531
 
Taoistscholar...wow, thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this and explain it so thoroughly.

I love how you compared reiki to qigong in a way that there is no authority or one translation that can describe exactly what "it" is. This is exactly where I became a bit frustrated with reiki and the various techniques used, who's reiki is better than who's or who is doing it correctly or not. I now see there are just as many variations of qigong and it means different things to different people as well, so thank you for pointing this out.

I love how you explained the interconnectedness of all systems of the body, this is so important. Your explanation of the four key features of any qigong practice was so in depth and so very well written. It gave me lots to think about. Very interesting take on what "relaxation" really truly is, as well as intention.

Aww, I really am so touched by all the great comments here and the time you've all put into replying! I truly appreciate all of you!
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