I mentioned previously that physical qigong exercise was necessary to increase the volume of qi. This is true, but only to a certain level, until you master the Microcosmic Orbit method and the early stage of the Macrocosmic Orbit method. At later stages, the main emphasis is on mental training. I learned this by teaching medical doctors and business executives in qigong seminars. I opened their Chakras when I thought they were ready to practice on a higher level, so that they could learn what the Macrocosmic Orbit method was like. It didn't take them long to learn to use external qi, but I realized that they still needed to practice the Microcosmic Orbit method in order to increase the volume of their qi. Mastery of the Macrocosmic Orbit method can be compared to the evolution of the mind, whereas the Microcosmic Orbit method is like a base camp for climbing high mountains. When you run into trouble on your way to the summit—the summit in this case being the Macrocosmic Orbit method—you can always return to base camp, or the Microcosmic Orbit method.
Your wishes will come true when you are able to clearly visualize them and when you are convinced they will come true. This great rule is so simple, clear, practical, and effective that it is almost almighty; what's more, it has no side effects. Specialists in the theme of "success in life" like Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy, and Paul Mayer have written dozens of books on this subject. The rule can be summed up in just two words: "imagination and conviction."
You can practice by yourself and increase your powers of imagination by making a qi ball and then changing its color or making it circulate through your body. You should be able to feel the actual qi sensation, which distinguishes this from other forms of training of the imagination. It is difficult, naturally, to maintain a particular image in the mind for any length of time. Normally all sorts of rambling thoughts will arise, pushing other images aside. But if you are able to sense qi, images will stay with you for a longer time, and with practice you will be able to make them increasingly clear.
I have heard that professional chess players are able to reproduce an entire game afterward from memory without the slightest effort. Recently I am able to recall the operations that I perform from beginning to end, almost as if I had recorded them on video. This makes it much easier for me to visualize my next operation step-by-step, and has made me a better surgeon. When I was still a beginner in qigong, my "video playback" function didn't work very well, because it was often interrupted by rambling thoughts.
As these examples suggest, clarity of mind and an imagination that has some staying power play a large role in intelligence. Making a qi ball, practicing the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Orbit methods, and learning to use external qi are all excellent ways to expand the powers of imagination.
Conviction is also important. Yukio Funai, a management consultant with the think tank Funai Institute in Tokyo, states, "In order to actualize your wish, you must imagine the results of it and be convinced that it will be fully realized. When you are sick and want to return to health, you must keep in mind a clear image of yourself as already healthy. Draw a picture of yourself as a healthy person in your mind and look at it every day. But visualization alone is not enough; you must also be convinced that you will return to good health. Many intellectuals who are accustomed to relying primarily on reason tend to doubt this method, and if you are one of them, unfortunately your wish will not come true."
If you have difficulty imagining the result that you want, try autosuggestion or self-hypnotism before you go to bed or right after you wake up. This may help you to overcome your own resistance. You must allow the image to infiltrate the deep layers of your mind.
Using qigong is another way to help make your wishes come true. Qigong can demonstrate to you clearly and quickly that mind energy— that is, external qi—acts on matter and living things, and has the power to change reality. When you begin to experience the same results every time you practice, you will gain confidence in using external qi. Even simple forms of training, like changing the taste of drinks, will be useful. When you are able to feel qi, first try this experiment alone. When you are sure of your own ability, perform first for just your friends, and then later for people who are doubtful about external qi.
Many people give up their wishes too easily. Remain convinced that things will happen slowly but surely, and do not become negative about yourself. If you keep on practicing this method, what you wish for will eventually come true, just the way a seed planted in soil begins to grow, completely unseen, and when the time comes finally blooms.
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