Moon on the Chest Hwai Jong Baw Yeuh cp

Stand with one leg rooted on the ground, and the other in front of it with only the toes touching the ground. Both arms are held in front of the chest, forming a horizontal circle, with the fingertips almost touching (Figure 3-39). The tongue should touch the roof of the mouth to connect the Yin and Yang Chi Vessels (Conception and Governing Vessels respectively). The mind should be calm and relaxed and concentrated on the shoulders; breathing should be deep and regular.

When you stand in this posture for about three minutes, your arms and one side of your back should feel sore and warm. Because the arms are held extended, the muscles and nerves are stressed. Chi will build up in this area and heat will be generated. Also, because one leg carries all the weight, the muscles and nerves in that leg and in one side of the back will be tense and will thereby build up Chi. Because this Chi is built up in the shoulders and legs rather than in the Dan Tien, it is considered "local Chi" or "Wai Dan Chi." In order to keep the Chi build-up and the flow in the back balanced, after three minutes change your legs without moving your arms and stand this way for another three minutes. After the six minutes, face forward, put both feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width

Figure 3-39.

apart, and slowly lower your arms. The accumulated Chi will then flow naturally and strongly into your arms. It is like a dam which, after accumulating a large amount of water, releases it and lets it flow out. At this time, concentrate and calm the mind and look for the feeling of Chi flowing from the shoulders to the palms and fingertips. Beginners can usually sense this Chi flow, which is typically felt as warmth or a slight numbness.

Naturally, when you hold your arms out you are also slowing the blood circulation, and when you lower your arms the blood will rush down into them. This may confuse you as to whether what you feel is due to Chi or blood. You need to understand several things. First, every living blood cell has to have Chi to keep living. Thus, when you relax after the arcing hands practice, both blood and Chi will come down to the hands. Second, since blood is material and Chi is energy, Chi can flow beyond your body but your blood cannot. Therefore, it is possible for you to test whether the exercise has brought extra Chi to your hands. Place your hands right in front of your face. You should be able to feel a slight sensation, which has to come from the Chi. You can also hold your palms close to each other, or move one hand near the other arm. In addition to a slight feeling of warmth, you may also sense a kind of electric charge which may make the hairs on your arm move. Blood cannot cause these feelings, so they have to be symptoms of Chi.

Sometimes Chi is felt on the upper lip. This is because there is a channel (Hand Yangming Large Intestine) which runs over the top of the shoulder to the upper lip (Figure 3-40). However, the Chi feeling is usually stronger in the palms and fingers than in the lip, because there are six Chi channels which pass through the shoulder to end in the

Figure 3-40. The Large Intestine Channel of Hand-Yang Brightness

Figure 3-41. The Baihui cavity hand, but there is only one channel connecting the lip and shoulder. Once you experience Chi flowing in your arms and shoulders during this exercise, you may also find that you can sense it in your back.

Many advanced Tai Chi practitioners continue to practice this standing still meditation. In addition to building up Chi in the shoulders, they also train using the mind to lead the Chi in coordination with the breathing to complete two Chi circuits. The first Chi circuit is a horizontal one in your arms and chest. On the exhale you lead the Chi to the fingertips of both hands, and then across the gap from each hand to the other. On the inhale you lead the Chi from the fingertips to the center of your chest. The second circuit is a vertical one which connects heaven, man, and earth. On the inhale you take in Chi from nature through your Baihui (Figure 3-41) on the top of your head and lead the Chi downward to the Lower Dan Tien. On the exhale you lead the Chi further downward and out of your body through the Bubbling Well (YongquanXFigure 3-42) cavities. When you practice, the two circuits should happen at the same time. If you are a beginner this is not easy to do. If you persevere, however, you will be able to use this exercise as part of your advanced practice.

Yongquan

Yongquan

Figure 3-43.

Figure 3-42. The Yongquan cavity

This exercise is one of the most common practices for leading the beginner to experience the flow of Chi, and some Tai Chi styles place great emphasis on it. Similar exercises are also practiced by other styles, such as Ermei Dah Perng Kung.

2. Holding Up the Heaven (Tuo Tian) ffi^

This is a very strenuous exercise, so if you are considered old or weak, you should NOT practice it. Instead, work with easier and more relaxed moving Chi Kung exercises until someday you feel strong enough to practice this one. Then make sure you start slowly and carefully.

To hold up the heaven, stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, and your arms slightly bent with the palms facing downward (Figure 3-43). Stand still, regulate your mind until it is calm and concentrated, and regulate your breathing until it is natural and smooth. Then, while inhaling, turn your hands to face each other (Figure 3-44) and lift them to shoulder height (Figure 3-45). Then, while exhaling, turn your hands palm downward (Figure 3-46) and lower your body with your palms pressing downward until both of your thighs are horizontal (Figure 3-47). Next, while inhaling, move your arms upward in front of you until the palms are facing the heavens (Figure 3-48). As you raise your hands, follow them with your eyes until you are looking upward. Finally, as you exhale raise your body slightly into the Horse Stance (Figure 3-49). As you stand in this position, breathe regularly and keep your body as relaxed as possible.

Pranic Body Positions

Figure 3-44.

Figure 3-46. Figure 3-47.

If you are a beginner, only stay in this posture for a minute or so. As you become stronger, extend this time to three to five minutes. Always remember: YOUR BODY CANNOT BE BUILT UP IN ONE DAY. ADVANCING SLOWLY AND SAFELY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.

As you raise your hands to the final posture, imagine that you are lifting up the heavens, and then stand there as if you were holding up

Figure 3-44.

Buddha Holding Heavens

Figure 3-48. Figure 3-49.

the entire sky. Keeping this idea in your mind will lead Chi from your Lower Dan Tien upward to your hands and also downward to the bottom of your feet. This exercise gradually strengthens your ankles, knees, and hips, as well as the muscles of your trunk and neck.

When you decide to stop, do not just stand up. Keep your arms in position as you inhale and slowly lower your body until both thighs are horizontal (Figure 3-50). Then exhale as you lower your hands to your abdomen (Figure 3-51). Next, inhale and raise your body until you are standing upright, and at the same time lift your arms up to shoulder height with the palms facing each other (Figure 3-52). Finally, exhale and turn your palms downward as you lower them to your waist (Figure 3-53). Stand there for a few minutes and breathe deeply and regularly before moving.

Figure 3-48. Figure 3-49.

the entire sky. Keeping this idea in your mind will lead Chi from your Lower Dan Tien upward to your hands and also downward to the bottom of your feet. This exercise gradually strengthens your ankles, knees, and hips, as well as the muscles of your trunk and neck.

When you decide to stop, do not just stand up. Keep your arms in position as you inhale and slowly lower your body until both thighs are horizontal (Figure 3-50). Then exhale as you lower your hands to your abdomen (Figure 3-51). Next, inhale and raise your body until you are standing upright, and at the same time lift your arms up to shoulder height with the palms facing each other (Figure 3-52). Finally, exhale and turn your palms downward as you lower them to your waist (Figure 3-53). Stand there for a few minutes and breathe deeply and regularly before moving.

To conclude this section, I would like to remind you that Nei Dan Sitting Small Circulation practice is dangerous for beginners, and you should not start it until you have reached an advanced level. The first Wai Dan Standing Meditation presented here is generally safer for beginners, and Holding Up the Heaven is generally safe for those who are strong enough and in good health. Always remember: BE CAUTIOUS AND PROCEED GRADUALLY

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