Perhaps the most important and basic element in the practice of qigong is your own experience of sensing qi. Even if you are able to impress others with the most spectacular movements when you perform qigong exercises, if you were unable to comprehend qi yourself, this would not actually qualify as qigong. This is probably the single biggest difference between qigong and the martial arts or other exercises such as gymnastics.
The quickest way to learn how to sense qi involves learning to make a qi ball between your palms with qi energy. If you are full of qi energy, you will sense warmth, a feeling like the repulsion produced by two magnets, or minute, tingling vibrations in your palms. If you lack qi energy, it will be difficult to feel anything right away.
1. First, form the shape of a ball with the fingertips of both your hands touching (thumb to thumb, forefinger to forefinger, etc.), as if you were holding a baseball.
2. Now, pull your hands apart slowly. Maintain a slight distance (about 5 millimeters) between your fingertips. Imagine that you have only thumbs. Concentrating your mind at the tips of your thumbs, move your thumbs gently. Repeat this movement with the rest of your fingers one by one, then with two fingers together, and then with three and four, and finally all the fingers.
You may feel a tingling sensation in your fingertips, or you may feel as if your fingertips were connected with invisible india rubber. This means that you are nearly aware of qi.
3. When your thumbs and fingers are all connected with qi, keep moving them slowly. This will increase the qi sensation between your palms. When you move your thumb and the little finger of one hand, so that they form a circle without touching, you may feel a tingling or some tension in the center of your palm. This is the acupuncture point known as Lao-Gong. You might have more difficulty connecting these points than in connecting your thumbs and fingers. But these are very important points, through which you can absorb or release qi. Be perseverant. When your thumbs, all your fingers, and the Lao-Gong points are connected with qi, you can increase your qi sensation by moving your hands, thumbs, and fingers slowly.
4. Next, release the consciousness of qi that was connecting your thumbs, fingertips, and the Lao-Gong points. You should be able to sense an invisible qi ball between your palms (Figure 2-4). When this qi ball is strengthened with the exercises of the Micro/Macrocosmic Orbit methods, you will see a hazy ball of light between your fingers or palms. This is most likely caused by photons, which relate to biotic phenomena and functions.
Don't worry, though, if you don't see anything. You've just started, and many people cannot see anything at the beginning. The important thing here is to take it easy and enjoy your experiences.
If your training in qigong exercises is effective, you may begin to see things that were invisible before. You may begin to feel things you have never felt before. What's more, when you start using external qi, you may discover that you have various paranormal abilities. All these things are quite natural in the world of qigong. But I must warn you that these developments can become obstacles to further development, if you take too much pride in your new, unusual abilities. Stay modest!
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