Posts Tagged ‘chi’

Chakra Issues: 3rd Chakra

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Chakra Issues: Third Chakra

Personal Power

Manipura, the third chakra, is a potent reservoir of qi (chi) in the body. Earthly qi can enter the body through the feet, can be activated or “pumped up” at the Muladhara chakra, and when combined with atmospheric qi, creates life force which can be stored in Manipura. This vital force can be quite dynamic and, like a ChakraBanner3battery, can be in motion or exist in either a potential or quiescent state. Besides the absorption of earthly qi through the feet (or perineum / coccyx if sitting), we can acquire earthly qi through the digestion and assimilation of food. Once assimilated and combined with the heavenly qi we absorb through the breath, this energy becomes our personal qi or life force. 

Tantric Qigong: A Course in Self Mastery

Vitality is required to keep the body, mind, and emotions healthy and in good working order. Once these basic needs are satisfied, any surfeit of vitality becomes personal power. In many with Western mindsets, active vitality has a strong tendency to be applied externally, and if one’s personal power is thwarted in some way, this energy can internalized, often in an unhealthy way.  If the first chakra mediates the flight part of the fight or flight response, the third chakra is in charge of the fight part. The primitive part of ourselves feels that the best defense is a strong offense.

 There is no guarantee that one will use one’s life force appropriately in a karma-free sense. Here are some examples of karma inducing uses of personal power:

Externally: one can use one’s personal power to manipulate or dominate other people or the environment. Anger is a subset of this: it appears as the “cure” for our power being thwarted.      Hatred, violence, are other examples.

Internally;  the energy of attack (anger) can be turned against one’s mind and physiology -self hatred, allergies, auto immune conditions, visceral organ malfunction and degradation.

Examples of the appropriate use of personal power:

External: manifesting your desires without karmically infringing upon another, selfless service.

Internal: Self mastery, commitment to a course of personal development, development of spiritual willpower, surrendering to your higher self.

When we have attained the highest level of personal power, and have manifested all our worldly desires, we may begin to yearn for something beyond power and the material. This is spiritual yearning (see: The 3rd Chakra and the Spiritual Purpose of Power ). © 2012 Keith E. Hall and www.Inner-Tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

Tantric Qigong Karma Burning: Chakra Issues,  Part 2,  Chakras 1 & 2,  Third Chakra, 4th Chakra, 5th Chakra, 6th chakra,

Karma Burning  Karma Burning in the Lower Chakras  1 2 3  4 5

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Can T’ai Chi Keep You From Going Crazy?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
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Can T’ai Chi Keep You From Going Crazy: T’ai Chi and the Physical and Mental Health of College Students

A group of several scientists from the Department of Physical Therapy of Georgia State University conducted a study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine* and Medicine and Sport Science** to assess the mental and physical health in college students and whether the practice of T’ai Chi could improve their overall health.

Tantric QigongStudents attended an hour long T’ai Chi class twice a week for 3 months that included 10 minutes of warm up exercises followed by 50 minutes of T’ai Chi instruction and practice.  Their levels of physical and mental health were measured using a health survey questionnaire (SF-36v2) before and after the intervention.

Assessed physical parameters included physical function, body pain, and general health. The mental assessment included perceptions of one’s vitality, mental, emotional, and social functioning.  What the researchers found was that both physical and mental balance improved over just 3 months or 24 T’ai Chi class sessions. This was particularly noticeable in the mental health arena.

College age students, being younger, tend to be somewhat healthier physically than older adults. Mental health can be a different deal though. The stresses surrounding college life can be quite significant, and students tend to be less experienced in healthy mechanisms to cope with this. The findings that T’ai Chi noticeably improved the students’ perception of their mental balance is therefore quite significant. My own experience as a college student learning T’ai Chi was that the practice was quite calming and balancing, in fact, an emotional lifesaver!

The scientists concluded their research paper by recommending that colleges offer “Tai Chi as a component of their ongoing physical activity programs available to students.” So, yes, T’ai Chi can perhaps keep you from going crazy. Even if you are A College Student Gone Wild!  © 2013 Keith E. Hall and www.Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

*Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(3):453-9

**Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:135-45

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Qigong and Blood Pressure

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Qigong and Blood Pressure

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It is well known that moderate exercise and relaxation are helpful in the reduction of hypertension. Qigong (Chi Kung), with its gentle movements and coordinated breathing patterns, might seem to be an ideal exercise candidate for reducing blood pressure. Calming, centering and mildly aerobic in the sense of continuous conscious breathing, qigong has obvious benefits in promoting a relaxation response. But does it actually lower blood pressure?

There have been several interesting medical studies done on this question. BM Cheung, et al of the University of Hong Kong conducted a randomized controlled trial to study the effect of Guolin qigong on blood pressure.   88 patients with mild essential hypertension were recruited for a four month qigong and exercise program. they found at the conclusion of 16 weeks of training that their patients had lowered their blood pressure by an average of  11 points. they also found that “General health, bodily pain, social functioning and depression also improved…”*

MS Lee, et al did a study of 58 volunteers with essential hypertension split into a qigong group and a control group to investigate the efficacy of Qigong as a non-pharmacological treatment.  After 10 weeks of qigong training both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased. The researchers observed “a significant reduction of norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol, and stress levels”  in the Qigong group. The authors conclude that “these results suggest that Qigong may reduce BP and catecholamines via stabilizing the sympathetic nervous system.  Therefore, Qigong is an effective non-pharmacological modality to reduce BP in essential hypertensive patients.”**

Reporting in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Lee’s group of researchers also noticed improved breathing among the qigong patients participating in this study. “The ventilatory functions, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume per sec., were increased in the Qigong group but not the control. These results suggest that Qigong may stabilize the sympathetic nervous system” and improve “ventilatory functions in mildly  hypertensive middle-aged patients.”***

These studies show the efficacy of qigong practice in reducing blood pressure, pain and stress levels, increasing lung capacity and breathing, and improving social functioning, depression and general health within 10 – 16  weeks. (c) 2013 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

*Cheung BM, Lo JL, Fong DY, Chan MY, Wong SH, Wong VC, Lam KS, Lau CP, Karlberg JP. Randomised controlled trial of qigong in the treatment of mild essential hypertension. J Hum Hypertens. 2005 Sep;19(9):697-704.

**Lee MS, Lee MS, Kim HJ, Moon SR. Qigong reduced blood pressure and catecholamine levels of patients with essential hypertension. Int J Neurosci. 2003 Dec;113(12):1691-701.

***Lee MS, Lee MS, Choi ES, Chung HT. Effects of Qigong on blood pressure, blood pressure determinants and ventilatory function in middle-aged patients with essential hypertension. Am J Chin Med. 2003;31(3):489-97.

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History of Qigong part 4

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

History of Qigong part 4

Qigong and Martial Arts
During the Liang Dynasty, circa 502 – 557 AD, Bodhidharma (Da Mo) created a system of Qigong to strengthen the constitution of Shaolin monks. The treatises he wrote for this martial form of chi kung are known as the Muscle and Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Classics. These were internal forms of qigong practiced for health, strength, and to increase immunity. His theory was that the physical body must be healthy and strong in order to attain enlightenment. Around this time the Shaolin priests also developed the Five Animal Styles of Kung Fu (gongfu): Tiger, Leopard, Dragon, Snake, and Crane.

Chang San Feng (Zhang Sanfeng)
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Legend has it that Chang San Feng once saw a crane attacking a snake on Wu Tang Mountain and was inspired by the snake’s ability to remain calm and attentive as the bird attacked. At the correct time, the snake counterattacked and bit the bird. The patient demeanor, tactics, and correct timing of the snake resulted in an epiphany for Chang, and from this he was inspired to create the first T’ai Chi Chuan form delineated in Chang San Feng’s “Treatise on Tai Chi”. Other animal archetypes found in the T’ai Chi Chuan form include crane, tiger, monkey, cock, and horse; as well as inanimate natural forms such as clouds, needles, shuttles (weaving loom) and associated movements. T’ai Chi uses internal life force (Chi, Qi) rather than external muscular force, and this soft, meditative, internal style was considered revolutionary at the time.

Though remembered as a hero, many scholars feel that Chang San Feng was probably an myth or an amalgam of several persons. It may be more accurate that the martial form of T’ai Chi devolved from the Sifu and General Chen Wangting of the Chen family in the 17th century. Today T’ai Chi is practiced by many millions of people over the world for health and meditation.

Yeuh Fei
Around the same approximate time, Marshall Yeuh Fei (Yue Fei), a general commanding the Chinese army, created a set of internal Qigong exercises which became known as Ba Duann Gin (Ba Duan Jin, Baduanjin, Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements, the Eight Treasures, Eight Twists of Silk)   Legend states that he taught the Eight Treasures Qigong exercises to his troops to help keep their bodies healthy, strong, and prepared for battle. Yueh Fei is also regarded as the creator or disseminator of Eagle Claw Kung Fu, known for  take downs, pressure point attacks, gripping technique, and a system of joint locks. Yue taught both of these styles to his men, whereupon they became very successful in the war against the occupying armies of the Jin Empire.

The Eight Treasures is usually taught for health and wellness, but is also quite popular among martial artists today. Indeed, my teacher, Yung-ko Chou, insisted that his students perform the Eight Treasures style qigong before learning T’ai Chi Chuan.

During this period Taoists continued to discover new ways to improve Qigong exercises for health and spiritual or religious purposes. Traditional Chinese Medicine made advances in acupuncture and moxibustion, while improving the theories of Chi circulation.

Qigong during this era:
– Became associated with martial training
– continued to be a major source of spiritual advancement
– was generally not well known by the public at large
– became more efficient as Chi circulation was better understood. © 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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History of Qigong part 3

Friday, April 1st, 2011

History of Qigong part 3
The Spiritual / Religious Era

During this period China in general, and qigong in particular, were strongly influenced by the migration of Buddhism from India. Some may consider aspects of Taoism to be spiritual, even religious, and this may be so in that Taoism has a deep reverence for the processes and cycles of nature. The Sage would observe these cycles and endeavor to be in harmony with them. These Taoist practices and philosophies do have much in common with pantheism and animism and so could be considered also to be a spiritual or religious paradigm, depending on the individual’s mind-set. In terms of qigong practice and intent however, the Early historical period had as its main focus the development of health and wellness.

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The Taoist hermit Zhang Dao Ling (Chang Tao Ling) was known for combining traditional Taoist principles with Buddhist precepts.  Zhang Dao Ling lived around 34 – 156 AD and claimed that Lao Tzu had empowered him to teach the way of the Tao. The system that grew out of this is now known as Dao Jiao (Tao Jiaw) and is a form of religious Taoism. Zhang Dao Ling built a spiritual following in Szechuan province emphasizing the achievement of immortality. Legend has it that Zhang physically ascended into heaven and from this event and his teaching efforts grew the branch of religious Taoism known as the Celestial Masters school.

The renowned saint Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived sometime Bodhidharma, Chan, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges Countyaround 400 – 500 AD and is often credited as being the patriarch and importer of Zen (Chan, Dhyana) to China. Most accounts agree that he was a Brahmin from southern India, or perhaps of a warrior caste. After he became a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is said to have traveled via the Silk Road through various eastern countries eventually reaching Northern China. One of the techniques Bodhidharma was said to have introduced is sometimes known as “wall gazing”, a practice of meditation that involves simply staring at a wall. This is similar to some forms of what is now called zazen. One story about Bodhidharma is that he retreated into the wilderness after being rebuffed by the Emperor where he practiced wall gazing for nine years.  It was said that he fell asleep seven years into his practice of wall gazing and he cut off his eyelids to prevent it from happening again. According to this legend, the eyelids he cut off hit the floor, withered, and became the first tea leaves. From this time on, tea would be used as a stimulant to help keep Zen students awake during their meditations. (A little green tea could help one focus and stay awake – snoring is soooo disruptive to other students. I don’t recommend cutting off your eyelids.)  During this general time Tibet had begun to develop its own form of Buddhism and it is likely that this also influenced Chan Buddhism to some degree.

The Buddhist temples of the period were thought to have taught Qigong practices, perhaps focusing on the forms of stilling the mind experienced in the meditation techniques of Chan Buddhism or Zen. It was postulated that these forms of qigong could lead to Enlightenment and escape from the cycle of reincarnation. During this time, the principles of Zen Qigong were reserved for monastic training and generally kept secret from the public.

Qigong during this time

– was kept secret within the monasteries
– was greatly influenced by Chinese and Indian Buddhism
– could be considered a path to Enlightenment
– presented a new level of challenge, combining the wellness paradigm of earlier Taoist practice with a more spiritual intent
– characterized by an increased efficiency of qigong practices (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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History of Qigong part 2

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Early Historical Era of Qigong
I term this period the Early Historical Era of Qigong as there are well known texts associated with it, unlike the Pre-historical period, which centers on the semi-mythical figure of the Yellow Emperor (Xuanyuan Shi),. The practice of Qigong is firmly imbedded within the ancient Taoist philosophy of life, flow, and wisdom. Thus, it is helpful for both the curious and the committed Qigong practitioner to understand the its philosophical underpinnings.

I Ching

Known as the Book of Changes, the Classic of Changes, and Zhouyi, the I Ching I Ching Yi King Yi Jing, ba gua, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County(Yi King, Yi Jing) is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. Sometimes attributed to the mythical figure Fu Xi or Fu Hsi around the time of the Yellow Emperor, it is one of the foundations of all Taoist practices including Qigong and T’ai Chi. The I Ching was one of the first texts describing the flow of Chi (Qi). It introduced the concept of the three natural energies: Tian (Heaven), Di (Earth), and Ren (Man). Studying the relationship of these three powers was perhaps the first step in the development of what was eventually to become Qigong.

King Wen (1152 BC – 1056 BC) is often thought to be the historical figure who shaped the early practice of divination by “stacking” the eight trigrams (ba gua) into the sixty four hexagrams currently used for divination and philosophical meditation. Wen is also said to have written the analysis or judgements appended to each hexagram. The line analyses are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams devised by King Wen is usually referred to as the King Wen sequenceConfucius (K’ung-tzu, K’ung-fu-tzu, Kong Qiu, Zhong Ni, Kǒng Zi 551 BC – 479 BC) is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (Ten Wings), a group of  commentaries or appendices to the I Ching some 500 years after King Wen. The I Ching did not appear in a scholarly form in the West until James Legge’s initial translation in 1854.

The hexagrams of the I Ching are visual focal devices to aid in meditation upon the philosophical concepts embodied within each of the hexagrams. The philosophy centers around the ideas of balance through the interplay and unification of opposites, and acceptance of change. It can be said that the core philosophy of the I Ching is embodied in the three concepts of Change, Ideal, and Discernment.

The Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu
According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu (Lǎozǐ;  Lao Tse, Lao Tze, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Laozi) lived sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC and was possibly a contemporary of Confucius. Many people consider Lao Tzu to be the father of historical Taoism based on the many surviving ancient copies of his work, the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing). Tao Te Ching is sometimes translated as “The Classic of the Way and the Power (or Virtue)”. In 1993, the oldest known version of the text, written on bamboo tablets, was found in a tomb near the town of Guodian in Jingmen, Hubei, and was dated to be older than 300 BC.Lao Tze, Lao Tzu, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, tao te ching

A central precept of the Tao Te Ching is Wu Wei, literally “non-action”. The concept of wu wei can be confusing to the Western mind;  it can mean “not doing”, “not forcing”, “not acting inauthentically”, “creating nothingness”, “acting spontaneously”, and “being in the flow.” “Action through non-action” is another term for Wu Wei, essentially meaning “to be in harmony with the Tao”.

The Tao Te Ching values direct experience of wisdom and the world gained through being present. Through this knowledge, one learns humility and one’s place in creation.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

In the early 1970s, at the Mawangdui Tombs in Changsha, Hunan Province, Dao Yin Tu, tantric qigong, Mawangdui Tombs, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges CountyChinese archaeologists found a silk Dao Yin picture, the earliest known painting of Qigong movement. Dating to approximately 168 BC, the Daoyin tu consists of forty-four illustrations of figures practicing Qigong, with accompanying instructions. The exercises involve standing in specific stances to cure corresponding illnesses.

Characteristics of Qigong practice during the Early Historical Era were:
– Qigong for health maintenance
– Medical Qigong to cure illness
– Non-religious Qigong, i.e. there was little or no spiritual or religious overtones to its practice. (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.
History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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What Is qigong?

My Teacher: Yung-ko Chou

The Benefits of Tantric Qigong

Qigong builds Immunity

 Tantric Qigong & Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

The Presencing Process

Tantric Qigong

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Learn Tantric Qigong™ for Self Mastery:

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History of Qigong

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Origins and History of Qigong

Prehistory

The origins of Qigong are shrouded in mystery and the mists of time and mythology. In prehistoric China, the precursor to Qigong (Chi Kung, xiwang, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges CountyChi Gung) and other Taoist practices was basically shamanistic in nature. In northern China and Mongolia shamans studied nature in order to enhance their basic survival. They observed that when the energies of Earth and Heaven were in balance, things were good. Their perception of floods, blizzards, droughts and earthquakes was that they were caused by a temporary imbalance in the Earthly and Heavenly energies. Close observation revealed that humans could reflect the relative balance of natural forces within themselves, thus affecting their mental, emotional, and physical health. Later this led to the development of the theories of Taoism (Daoism) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Like T’ai Chi, it is thought that the original qigong-like dance movements were developed by mimicking the movements of animals.

Central to the development of Qigong and Taoism in pre-historical times is the mythical figure known as The Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti, Huangdi) circa 2700 BC. Although there may have been a historical Yellow Emperor, much of his legacy must be considered to be mythos. He is credited with such super human feats such as single-handedly raising China (or at least the primitive people of the Huang He River valley) from stone age barbarism to a civilized society, the invention of agriculture, herbology, astronomy, the wheel, acupuncture, and more. He is said to be the author of the classic text known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine”, also known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Jing” or “Huangdi Neijing,” although modern scholars feel that this work is probably a compilation created at a much later date. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine contains the first account of the idea of Qi (Chi) or life force known to be written. Upon his death, he was said to ascend to heaven and became a Xian (Hsien), an immortal. Even more miraculously, the Yellow Emperor was said to have entertained a harem of 1,200 women. And survived.

It is thought that Huang Ti practiced a form of exercise called Tao Yin (Dao-In, Tao-In, Do-In), which involved breathing exercises and movements to stimulate and guide the Qi (Chi). These exercises were also known as T’u Na, which means “exhale, inhale.” Much like what we know now as Qigong, the movements of T’u Na or Tao Yin were coordinated with the breath and it is this mindful coordination that guides the circulation of air, blood, and Qi, creating much of the benefit. The breathing guidelines of Tao Yin are said to be based on the principles of Yin and Yang, and the 5 Elements (Wu Hsing).

Stephen Chang asserts that the original untranslated name for these Taoist Exercises of Revitalization was “Yang Shen Shu,” developed by Huangdi to cure and prevent disease and promote longevity through the balancing of the internal organs.

Tao Yin / T’u Na Qigong exercises create a variety of effects that are both relaxing and stimulating while building life force and cultivating inner harmony, higher consciousness, and spiritual awareness. T’u Na is still practiced widely today in Japan as Do-in, and was introduced in the United States in 1968 by Michio Kushi of “Macrobiotics” fame. © 2010 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Our classes and meditation / stress management audio programs can help you create a core of empowered Being within!
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If you find this site helpful, bookmark us & share!  Tools for Empowerment  T’ai Chi Instruction

Learn more about our audio programs for meditation, stress management, and personal growth.

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.

What Is qigong?

The Three Jewels of Taoism

The Benefits of Qigong

The Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

The Presencing Process

Tantric Qigong

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Shen

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Shen
Heaven abides so that we have virtue. Earth abides so that we have Qi. When virtue flows and Qi is blended there is life.Huangdi Neijing

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If we think of Jing as your computer hardware and Qi as the power, then Shen is the data and graphics that are transmitted to the screen. In the Enlightened person, this data will manifest itself as Wisdom and Spiritual Presence.

Using the analogy of a candle, if Jing is the wax, and Chi (Qi) the energy of the candle, then Shen would be the light or radiance given off. In Taoism, it is thought that it is through Shen that we “radiate” ourselves into the external world. This spiritual effulgence creates wisdom, virtue, and inner peace, while generating and preserving balance within ourselves. Just as the light that radiates from a candle is dependent upon wax, wick, and flame, so a healthy, luminous Shen is identified with the cultivation and balancing of both Jing and Qi.

In The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, Huangdi states  “…that which cannot be fathomed (in terms of) Yin and Yang is spirit.”  This can be construed to suggest that Shen is immaterial and that its nature is therefore transcendent.

Talking about Spirit can be tricky given its non-material and ambiguous character. Is spirit composed of emotions, mind, or something else?  Most religions do not define Spirit very well. Taoism attempts a definition, although varying schools of Taoist philosophy have somewhat different views of this.  The Five Element school of thought claims that Shen includes:

— Shen – Mind, defined as consciousness and thought, and is said to reside in the Heart.
— Hun – Eternal Soul, akin to some western concepts of spirit, residing in the Liver.
— Po – Corporeal soul, Soul of the body, sometimes said to be akin to the vital force or “animal spirit”, centered in the Lungs.
— Yi – Intellect, memory and intellectual functions, resident in the Spleen.
— Zhi – Will, as in Intention and willpower, dwelling in the Kidneys.

The associated five elements are Wood (Hun), Fire (Shen), Earth (Yi), Metal (Po), and Water (Zhi).

In terms of the ancient Taoist view of embryology, Hun and Po join with Jing (seminal essence), their union catalyzing the emergence of Shen (spirit). Also, notice that these five aspects are associated with somatic structures: the organs of the body. Taoism makes no distinction between mind and body; they are always regarded as two contiguous expressions of one essence. Thus, the metaphysical affects the substantial and the substantial affects the metaphysical.

Shen may be adversely affected if we fail to preserve our vitality through good diet and exercise or if we indulge in excessively violent emotion. When Shen is in disharmony it often manifests itself as:

— Discord between one’s personality and the life one is living.
Insomnia, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, dullness of the eyes, poor cognition.
— Dearth of inspiration, intuitive awareness; deadness; no joie de vivre.
— Ambivalence, contradiction, the person has no “center”.
— Chaotic activity, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue.
— Little or no sense of your path in life.
— Little internal inquiry, self-reflection, discernment.
— In extreme conditions, neurosis, mental illness, e.g. depression and mania.

Shen can be strengthened and balanced through meditation, acupuncture, and certain herbal courses of treatment.  Somatic disciplines such as T’ai Chi and Qigong are particularly effective.  Qigong, of course, has become world renown for its health and medical applications, and justly so. It has had much documented success as a therapeutic modality within the secular health care system in China.

Shen is quite naturally empowered as one’s Jing and Chi are reinvigorated through the daily practice of Qigong.  However, it does seem to me that in our technological culture, there is much to distract or confuse the mind, emotions, and spirit, and the quantity and pace of these distractions are increasing.  There are so many aspects of our modern life that are in direct competition with, and deleterious to, the development of Spirit and Inner Peace.

In addition to the spiritually negative influences of our techno-culture, there is also reluctance on the part of certain groups, e.g. the Chinese government, to acknowledge the part Qigong has to play in the evolution of spirit.  So, some Qigong organizations may be persecuted if they have an overt spiritual and political agenda.  Combine Eastern authoritarianism with Western materialism and fixation on the external, and one can begin to see that the spiritual aspect of Taoist discipline currently receives short shrift in comparison to the health and medical aspects.

One needs a strong spirit in a strong and emotionally balanced body to persevere on the path of conscious evolution.  That is why I have developed this particularly efficient and potent style of Tantric Qigong.  The conscientious practitioner receives well-balanced spiritual sustenance as he or she nurtures and rebuilds Jing and Qi. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing, Qi, Shen.

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Secret Taoist Internal Shovel Technique

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

aka Tantric Qigong Internal Shovel Method

Is it time to dig ourselves out of a frozen funk?

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All levity aside, injuries caused by shoveling deep snow can sometimes be significant, even though they are more likely to be just nagging, minor musculo-skeletal irritations such as strains to the back, shoulders, and arms.  This is because we are overtaxing the muscles and connective tissue through poor body mechanics and inadequate respiration. As I mentioned in Winter and Spiritual Practice, aggressive exercise during the winter may feel invigorating, but could result in a net energy loss, leaving one open to exhaustion and illness.  Performing the chore of shoveling snow as a kind of Qigong or T’ai Chi exercise reduces the likelihood of fatigue and injury, while making your toil a bio-mechanically correct moving meditation.

First of all, get yourself an ergonomically correct snow shovel. These really do ergonomic_shovel1make a significant difference, especially if you are tall. However, if you are going to have to break up ice, these plastic ergonomic shovels are not very helpful. You will need a metal shovel, what we used to call a “coal shovel”, which was used to shovel coal into the carbon-ly incorrect coal-fired furnaces in the first half of the 20th century. (Even though you got emphysema from breathing coal toxins, at least you were toasty warm).

If there is a lot of ice, you might consider using these easy pull-on spikes on your boots. I have a set and they are quite helpful!

Now, armed with the proper tool, approach this task as if you are a professional T’ai Chi-ist:

–Warm up with some Tantric Qigong, Yoga, or T’ai Chi
— Make sure all movement is commanded by the Tan Tien.
— Bend your knees instead of your back. Use your leg muscles to lift.
— If you have knee problems that prevent you from bending your knees a lot during this travail, take a wider stance so your torso is closer to the ground.
— Instead of using the shoulders and upper back to twist and throw the snow, rotate the torso from the Tan Tien, using the power of the entire body to torque and heave the snow.
— If the snow is only a few inches, use the shovel like a snow plow, pushing the snow to the side rather than lifting each shovel full.
–If the snow is deeper, make sure to use belly – chest breathing. Inhale deeply as your shovel bites into the snow, exhale forcefully as you throw the dang stuff.
— Take frequent breaks, making sure your straighten your posture, breathe, and root / ground through the feet.
— Hydrate. To avoid annoying and painful cramping later on, drink apple or orange juice and eat bananas, all are rich in the cramp-busting nutrient potassium.  Foods rich in the electrolyte magnesium, which may alleviate cramps, include bananas, tamarinds, figs, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, and dates.

Now your winter chore can be a life force-generating and emotionally balancing meditation.  © 2010 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.      Winter And Your Spiritual Practice

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

In traditional Chinese culture, the second of the Three Jewels (also known as The Three Treasures) is Qi (Chi), an active energetic principle that is part of all living organisms.

Chi or Qi can be thought of as life-force energy – the energy which vitalizes our bodies, and which empowers our movement.  This movement consists not only of locomotion, but also includes the movement of the breath and lungs, the coursing of our blood through the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, digestion, and the functional movements of all of our organs.

Qi is associated most particularly with the Liver and Spleen organ systems. If we think of Jing as a candle, then Chi is the candle flame – the energy produced via the transformation of the wax into fire. In our computer analogy, if Jing can be said to be your computer hardware, then Qi is the electricity that powers the system. Qi is the energy or life force that “boots up” our bodies.

Tantric Qigong, qigong, inner tranquility, 8 Treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, self masteryIn Tantric Qigong, we say that there are three types of Chi: Heavenly Qi, Earthly Qi, and Personal Qi.  Heavenly Chi is the robust energy that resides in the air or atmosphere and is sometimes known as the solar principle. Heavenly Chi is related to the naturally occurring negative ionic charge that is generated by the atmosphere and its interaction with solar radiation. One reason we feel revitalized in the mountains or at the beach is that these areas are naturally abundant with Heavenly Qi. In some systems, Heavenly Chi is thought to be closely related to the evolution of Cosmic Consciousness. It is sometimes thought of as the Masculine Principle.

Earthly Chi is resident in the earth and may be more naturally accessible in geographic areas with crystalline formations or vortices, such as those near Sedona, Arizona. Sometimes thought of as the Feminine Principle, Earthly Chi seems to have a grounded, generative, and healing quality. In Tantra Yoga, this earthly polarity is said to be directly linked to our sexual energy, so it would have some direct interface with what the Taoists call Jing (Ching).

Ordinarily, in persons not trained in Tantric Qigong, Earthly Chi is absorbed and transported within the body through the digestion and metabolization of food. Heavenly Qi is absorbed unconsciously through the process of autonomic breathing. Part of Tantric Qigong training and discipline is to learn how to master and absorb these energies more consciously and powerfully through certain Chakras and meridians. In some forms of External Qigong, Qi is the energetic force which can be radiated from a Master’s hands for healing purposes. This type of Chi is called Emitted Qi.

Earthly Qi interacts with Heavenly Qi to form our Personal Chi, which is a combination of these energies that abide within our bodies vitalizing our Soma and empowering our Psyche.  The relative levels of our vitality, intelligence, and the plane that our consciousness evolves to are partially determined by our ability to consciously absorb, transmute, and direct this Qi. Thus, one who masters the absorption, generation, and direction of Qi will have a tendency towards improved health, higher intelligence, and ease of spiritual evolution. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Next: The Three Jewels of Taoism:  Shen

Jing, Qi, Shen

Presencing – The Power of Now

T’ai Chi and Longevity

The Benefits of Tantric Qigong

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