Various Qigong schools have different purposes for regulating the Qi. To the medical Qigong group, regulating the Qi means: 1. Improving the Qi circulation, thereby maintaining health; 2. Removing the existing Qi stagnation in the body (healing); 3. Bringing the Qi circulation in the internal organs to a harmonious and balanced state.
To the scholar Qigong group, regulating Qi means: 1. Calming down the excitement due to the manifestation of Qi; and 2. Bringing the Qi in the internal organs to a harmonious and balanced state.
To the martial Qigong group, regulating the Qi means: 1. Improving the flow of Qi to the desired area for higher efficiency and stronger physical manifestation; 2. Enhancing the level of Qi circulation so the manifestation of Qi can reach a higher level (i.e. power); and 3. Increasing the Qi storage in the Lower Dan Tian and also the Qi vessels.
Storing the Qi at the Real Lower Dan Tian (Zhen Xia Dan Tian, ® ); 3. Lead ing the Qi to circulate in the Conception and Governing Vessels (i.e. Small Circulation); 4. Increasing the Qi level in the Qi vessels; 5. Enhancing the strength of Guardian Qi (Wei Qi, #tH) and expanding it to a thicker level (i.e. strengthen the immune system); 6. Washing the bone marrow and maintaining the healthy function of bone marrow (i.e. longevity); 7. Achieving the Grand Circulation (Da Zhou Tian, AJf ^ ) of the Twelve Primary Qi Channels (Jing, M. ) to condition the sensitivity of the entire body; 8. Exchanging Qi with partners and the natural environment (i.e. Grand Circulation with nature); 9. Leading the Qi upward through the Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai, to nourish the brain for spiritual enlightenment; and finally, 10. Reunifying the human spirit and Qi with the natural spirit and Qi (i.e. Unification of Heaven and Human).
From this, you can see that the coverage of regulating the Qi in religious society, especially Daoist, has a much wider variety depending on the level of cultivation. This is also the main reason that religious Qigong has been recognized as the highest level in Qigong society. Embryonic Breathing is one of the practices in this society that teaches you how to produce the Qi at the False Lower Dan Tian and also how to store it at the Real Lower Dan Tian. Only if a practitioner is able to comprehend the profound theory and grasp the keys of practice, can he then proceed to other Qi regulating practices. That is the reason why Embryonic Breathing is considered to be the root or essence of Internal Elixir (Nei Dan, f^^) practice.
Naturally, both theoretically and practically, in order to reach a highly efficient level of Qi regulation, you must already have regulated the body, breathing and mind to a profound level. As mentioned earlier, regulating the body, regulating the breathing, and regulating the mind, these three cannot be separated. They are mutually related and interact with each other. Only when these three are harmoniously coordinated can the Qi be led by the clear and calm mind.
Since regulating the Qi is the main goal of Qigong practice, each purpose of regulating the Qi mentioned above is a huge subject for discussion. For example, it would take a few books just to cover regulation of Qi in any of the schools such as medical Qigong, scholar Qigong, and also martial Qigong societies. The coverage of regulating the Qi in the religious group is even much larger and deeper than any of the other three groups. Therefore, you should keep your mind open and continue to search for the training theory and methods. This is the way of searching for the Dao. Chinese call these people "Xun Dao Zhe" meaning "Dao Searcher."
In this book, we will cover only those practices related to Embryonic Breathing. Through these practices, you will have built up a firm foundation for all the other practices.
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