Tibetan Shamanic Qigong

Chapter Four Six Directional Movements

Qi Dao respects the philosophical principles of Yin and Yang common in Oriental schools of thought, which oppose as well as complement and balance each other. Like a magnet where the positive and negative poles cannot exist without each other, Yin and Yang movements need to work together to balance and synchronize the body and its energy field. In each spatial plane of movement, such as the mid-sagittal (Centerline), frontal (vertical) and transverse (horizontal) planes, there are directions...

Natural Steps Side to Side

Tibetan Qigong Healing

It is usually easier to progress (literally and figuratively) using small steps rather than large leaps. Qi Dao teaches us to accomplish things with small, practical steps. All of our basic practices involve steps small enough to maintain full awareness and control of our motion. In just about any challenging situation we encounter in the practice of Qi Dao, we can proceed more gracefully with small steps rather than either freezing with fear and tension, like a deer in the headlights of a car,...

Being Awake

Being awake is somewhat similar to the sense of awakening to the reality of dreaming when you become lucid in a night dream. Lucidity - being awake to the reality of your dreams during the process of dreaming - can teach you a great deal about life in general. Just think about it most of your knowledge about life has to be based on your memories and everything you know about your dreams is based on memories, too. Since you use the same memory mechanism in knowing about both your dreams and your...

Rotating the knees

Rotate Arms Opposite Direction Drawings

Standing with both feet together, knees slightly bent, place your hands on the kneecaps and rotate the knees in circles in one direction and then the other. Sometimes, your may find your hamstrings or other leg muscles tenser that you wish they were. Exploring the range of movement of your knees may help you discover any areas of tension that you may have around your knees. Most of the muscles of the leg are attached to the bones of the lower leg around the knee joint and can create pain below...

Downward Press

Energy Gates Qigong Images

Downward Press is the easiest way to project energy downward. This downward wave of energy can flow from the center of your body into your arm and down into your target. Dropping your center of mass will allow you to utilize the force of gravity instead of your physical force. This requires bending the knees, rather than the waist. Don't bend over - bend your knees is a popular Qi Dao phrase particularly pertinent in learning Downward Press. If you make a Downward Press with the right elbow,...

Natural Stance

Natural Stance, as the name implies, is the simplest way to stand naturally. A naturally balanced human body responds to the challenge of gravity by bringing itself to a stable position using its bone structure to support its weight and prevent falling. Streamlining of the torso allows the body to spend the least amount of energy to maintain a stable, upright stance. If you are one of the many people leading a sedentary lifestyle you may not know how to keep your body naturally balanced and...

Rotating the arms in the opposite directions

Energy Gates Qigong Images

Now let us find out whether you can rotate your arms in the opposite directions at the same time one arm forward and the other one backwards. These arm rotations can be easier when you allow the hips to pivot. Whenever you are ready, reverse the directions of these arm rotations. This is an excellent exercise for developing greater coordination between the two hemispheres of the brain. Opening and closing both arms simultaneously Open and close both arms simultaneously while alternating the arm...

Chapter One Qi Dao Fundamentals

Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual tradition known to humankind. Throughout its history, the human race has evolved significantly in both technology and science, but human nature has never changed. We all have the same primordial spiritual core that we often call our inner essence or spirit. This inner nature is not always apparent, for the wonders of technological and scientific progress tend to distract us more and more from paying attention to our inner nature as well as to the world of...

Exploring Holding In

Closing is the movement projecting energy inward and is particularly easy to perform while Holding In. Opening, on the other hand, may pose quite a challenge, since it requires openness to the outward flow of energy, which is not easy when you are Holding In. To learn the lessons presented by this Holding Pattern, Qi Dao would suggest exploring the edge of the comfort zone by playing with Opening and Closing, which may make shrinking of your energy field even more apparent. This is supposed to...

Energy Awareness

Tibetan Qigong

Qi Dao teaches that energy is the inner essence of all things and events in this universe. For example, pushing forward doesn't merely have something to do with projecting energy forward - it is a forward flow of energy. By exploring Harmonious Culture of Movement, you are not just preparing yourself for developing Energy Awareness, you are developing it The following principles of energy awareness involve alignment of the body while acting energetically in one direction or another. As your...

Inward rotation of the leg bent at the knee

Knee Rotations

Now rotate the right leg bent in the knee counter-clockwise in a circular fashion in front of you. Allow your hips to open fully when your knee comes up and close them as your knee comes down. See if you can keep your torso and head aligned while making smooth circles with the knee. When you are ready to switch sides, explore the same movement with the left leg. As an alternative, you may choose to rotate one leg in one direction after the other and then do the same with the other leg. Compare...

Aligning the head

Tibetan Qigong

Alignments of the head and neck are obvious areas to start with. People in modern society often complain about pain and tension in the neck and the base of the skull. Such tension blocks the circulation of blood and lymph and often leads to headaches, ringing in the ears, temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, eyesight disorders and other complaints. Observation suggests that energy cannot flow freely through areas of the body holding a lot of tension. Since communication requires free...

What other Qigong experts say about Qi Dao Tibetan Shamanic Qigong

Lama Tantrapa opens new windows, doors, pictures and dimensions to peer through. His book is sound, organized, developmentally structured, and good-humored. I learned a lot from reading it. and became aware of subtleties, aspects and dimensions I had previously missed, or had not paid attention to. - James MacRitchie, L.Ac., founder of the National Qigong Chi Kung) Association Author of Chi Kung - Energy for Life The uniqueness of Lama Tantrapa's book is in its emphasis on the foundational...

About the Companion DVD

Qi Dao DVD, designed as a companion for this ground-breaking book, takes you on a journey of discovering a greater sense of aliveness. Step-by-step, you will explore the process of self-realization using this unique system of energy work dedicated to helping you discover and harness the inner powers dormant in most people. This ancient art of awareness can be applied to virtually any sphere of life from healing to martial arts and from workplace to enlightenment You must see Lama Tantrapa...

Being Natural

Being natural requires paying attention to the inner nature of all things rather than their forms. When most people think of Qigong, they usually think of doing forms - sets of choreographed movements practiced repetitively. I do not believe that the sages of antiquity, who originated Qigong thousands of years ago, had to study any forms. Those masters created their systems of self-realization not by practicing some forms, but by discovering their own, authentic ways to experience their true...

Rotating the head

First of all, assume your Natural Stance. Begin exploring the mobility of your neck by rotating your pelvis in a circular manner clockwise and counter-clockwise. Allow the motions of the torso to animate the head letting the head roll freely, in synch with the motions of the pelvis without using the neck muscles. Use the principle of Grounding to maintain your balance while keeping your whole torso relaxed throughout the movement and letting your arms hang loose and aligned at your sides. You...

Shoulder Rolls

Qigong Exercises Zhan Zhuang

Explore the mobility of your shoulders and their connection with the lower body. Roll both shoulders forward, using the undulation of your pelvis to send a wave up your spine that moves the shoulders. After a few repetitions, reverse the motion and roll both shoulders backwards still keeping your arms relaxed at your sides. Notice that this backwards motion is similar to rowing a boat, less the movements of the arms. Naturally, rowing a boat requires a continuous expenditure of energy, and...

Tibetan Chi Kung

Most people experience being in the flow or in the zone at least once in their lives. If you have ever had such an amazing experience, you will probably never forget how empowered you felt. Being in the flow allows you to feel the flow of Qi - the energy of life. You can learn to perceive the flow of Qi in your body and around it however, trying to manipulate or direct this flow would only waste your time and energy, just like pushing a river upstream. Instead, through the practice of Qi Dao,...

Exploring torso alignment

To compensate for this misalignment, the muscles on the weight-bearing side will have a tendency to pull the upper or thoracic spine in the opposite direction bringing the shoulder down on the same side. The neck will usually compensate by pulling away from the lower shoulder. Such habitual shifting of the weight away from the Center may result in developing a chronic pattern of holding tension in your body see the chapter on Holding Patterns . Ask your...

Moving with the Energy Ball

With practice, you may find that the six directional movements presented in this chapter can be practiced with the hands holding an imaginary ball of energy. This will allow you to learn how to make your movements particularly smooth, fluid, and harmonious. Both hands can naturally perform primary and secondary movements in synch with each other when holding the energy ball from two opposite sides. For example, when making a Forward Push with the left elbow, bring the left hand to the right...

Transcending Holding Patterns

To excel in transcending your holding patterns, you would ideally receive Qi Dao Coaching from me or another certified Qi Dao Coach capable of utilizing some advanced practices beyond the scope of this basic book. During my studies of Hypnotherapy, I found out that certain aspects of Qi Dao Coaching are comparable to what Dr. Ernest Rossi considered the Symptom Path to Enlightenment. It really leads to enlightenment or, at least, fulfillment of your greatest dreams as well as empowering you to...

Outward rotation of the leg bent at the knee

Outward Rotation Leg

Experiment with standing on the left foot and rotating the right leg bent at the knee clockwise outwards in a circular manner in front of you. Allow your leg to hang loose and free of any muscular tension to experience the full range of movement in your hip joint. If you choose to speed up, you may find that centrifugal force of the leg rotation will cause the foot to rise up to the level of the knee. After a few revolutions, alternate the legs and explore the same type of movement on the other...

Being Attentive

One of the multiple translations of Dao De Jing states To experience without intention is to sense the world To experience with intention is to anticipate the world. Replacing intention with attention is a crucial prerequisite for being in the flow. When you are driven by your desires, you negate the present by striving to achieve what you think will be better than what is present. Every intention is based on expectations, projections and or judgments. Since life never seems to meet...

Natural Turn

Natural Turn is similar to Natural Step in terms of moving the same side foot as the direction that you turn in. When performing Natural Turns, you either give your body circular momentum or you use the momentum you receive from being pushed by another person. Using such momentum, you can lift the appropriate foot and allow your body to turn in that respective direction, pivoting on the heel of the opposite foot. For instance, if you want to turn to the right, pick up the right foot and turn on...

Experimenting with Grounding

Many schools of thought tend to talk about grounding in a metaphorical fashion. In Qi Dao, our method of Grounding is very concrete. Grounding is the method of keeping a strong energetic connection with Mother Earth when standing on your feet. It involves keeping the weight of the body over the centers of the feet, so that all edges of the feet apply equal pressure on the ground. It may be helpful to imagine your foot as a suction cup. When the suction cup is not flat on a surface, it will not...

Chapter Three Exploration of Harmonious Culture of Movement

As with any culture, our Harmonious Culture of Movement needs more than one participant in order to have functionality and perpetuity. The growing tribe of Qi Dao practitioners is the best proof of its efficacy and guarantee of its survival. Similar to the belief of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama XIV, that the Chinese occupation of Tibet may be perceived as a blessing in disguise that facilitated spreading of the Tibetan spiritual wisdom all over the world, I believe that the worldwide...

Downward Press with the right elbow

This is the same principle that you have learned to apply in all the other basic movements of Qi Dao, except Upper Cut. To ensure that your elbow is on the Centerline, bring the hand to the same side shoulder, which constitutes the third way to align the elbow with the Centerline. At the same time, the opposite arm can naturally make the reversal movement called Upper Cut. Synchronization of these two movements will prepare the opposite arm for another Downward Press and...

Chapter Six Holding Patterns

One of the benefits of becoming familiar with our Harmonious Culture of Movement is that it should encourage you to pay attention to your habitual ways of holding tension in various muscles in your body. Most people have a tendency to constantly maintain a certain degree of tension as though they are going to fall apart if they stop holding themselves together. Additionally, chronic tension in any particular area of the body cannot exist without counter-balancing tensions in many other parts of...

Holding Back pattern of tension

To quote a colleague of mine, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the confidence of contentment arises from being friendly to ourselves and merciful to others. As I mentioned in the beginning of this book, acceptance and contentment are the prerequisites for learning whatever you are here to learn about yourself and life in general. Qi Dao does not promote perceiving anything in black and white fashion therefore acceptance and rejection are merely shades of gray, as it were. None of the character traits...

Holding Out pattern of tension

Back in the 90 s, Carlos Castaneda once asked me whom I would like to see as my students. I answered that I would like to coach people who have something in common with me, be that a natural curiosity, an open, yet skeptical mind, enthusiasm for all kinds of adventures, or pursuit of authentic mastery in Qigong without any mumbo-jumbo. Lo and behold, my dream came true and I manifested the students who, unbeknownst to themselves, taught me a lesson about my own holding pattern. Following its...

Holding Down pattern of tension

Since the practice of Qi Dao does not involve diagnosis and treatment of any symptoms, the objective of your current studies is exploration of the learning opportunities presented by holding patterns. Recognizing the wisdom of the flow of your life will teach you to trust that it always guides you in the exact direction you need to explore. You will really benefit from your journey of discovery as soon as you learn to appreciate your current experiences. Holding Down may add some extra...

About the Qi Dao Home Study Course

Discover the magic of Tibetan Dream Yoga as taught by Lama Somananda Tantrapa. In addition to this book, the companion DVD, Qi Dao Initiation CD, as well as the audiobook and workbook, are included into the Qi Dao Home Study Course. You may enjoy the practices presented in this Course on your own, although it is easier to learn and master with a practice partner or a Certified Qi Dao coach. Being able to test and experiment with all the Qi Dao practices is essential for developing greater...

Forward Push

You can put the principles of the Harmonious Culture of Movement to the test while learning to create a powerful energy flow forward. You can start by figuring out which hand would be more effective to use for pushing forward. Compare making a push with your front hand versus pushing with your back hand (the hand opposite the front foot), as you step forward with the front foot. Through trial and error you will discover the way to utilize transverse movement of your body. When your front foot...

Exploring Holding Up

The energy field of a person Holding Up morphs upwards. That makes it relatively easy to perform any movement in that direction, like an Upper Cut, but movements requiring bending the knees, like Downward Press, become awkward and difficult. In fact, if you try to perform Downward Press while Holding Upt you will probably experience tension and or pain in your lower back, because of bending over instead of bending the knees. If you are one of those who dream of grandeur, you can become lucid in...

Rotating both arms together

Christian Prayer Meeting

Resume your Natural Stance once again and swing your arms back and forth loosely by undulating your pelvis. Keep your shoulder muscles totally relaxed. Imagine your arms to be ropes attached to your shoulders, animated only by the motions of your torso. Explore your ability to rotate both arms forward and - after several revolutions - backwards in a windmill motion using a wave flowing from the pelvis up the spine into the arms. The shoulder muscles should not get tired doing this as long as...

Backward Pull Forward Push

Backward Pull - Forward Push application Ask your partner to grab your left hand with his or her left hand. This type of grip is called Cross Grip. Notice the direction of your partner's Lao Gong point on the grabbing hand. If it points behind you, this presents an opportunity to use a combination of Backward Pull and Forward Push. Begin with imitating Backward Pull, stepping with your back foot away from your partner's Centerline. Make sure that you do not use any force to move his or her hand...

Opening with the left elbow

Symmetry of the torso is very helpful in making your Opening particularly effective. It entails that you maintain alignment of the spine with the median of the angle between your legs. You can explore this alignment when making Natural Steps sideways as your hands slide down your thighs. Test your Symmetry by checking whether both of your hands slide toward the knees at the same pace while you lift one leg and make a step. Last but not least, after you make a step with one foot, bring the other...

Upper Cut Downward Press application

When your adventure partner grabs your right hand with his or her right hand facing upward, follow the direction of Lao Gong point with a simulated Upper Cut. Your initial motion doesn't even have to be directed towards your partner's head. It can just move in that general direction on the outside of your partner's right elbow. If necessary, help your partner bend his or her right elbow using your other arm s secondary movement. As soon as your elbow reaches the level of his or her head, step...

Exploring the flexibility of the hips on the ground

As with the previous exercise, you may opt to conduct this exploration on the floor. Sitting on the floor, bend your right leg in front of your body with the left leg fully extended behind you. Position the right foot so that it extends slightly to the left of your left hip. Begin by contracting your gluteus and periformis (the hip extensor beneath the gluteus) as you inhale and relaxing as you exhale. Then explore the flexibility of your hips by bending forward in the hip socket and rocking...

Kinesthetic Awareness

Kinesthetic awareness - the sense of movement - is your real sixth sense, in addition to vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Sadly, kinesthesia is not even a part of most people s vocabulary. If you do not know what to call an experience, how much attention will you pay to it The sense of movement is the only way to experience first-hand the relationship between space and time. It gives you the direct experience of life. Many people only experience life through their visual and or auditory...

Torso Rotations

Trunk Rotation Stick

Torso rotation with the arms behind the back Making sure that you are in your Natural Stance, explore the range of motion of your shoulders by bringing your hands towards each other behind your back reaching over with one arm over your head and the other one down and around your torso. If you have any difficulty grasping the fingers behind your back this way, use a stick to inch your hands towards each other till you reach the limit of your range of motion. See if you can keep your body mass...