Exploring Holding Down

While you are Holding Down, experiment with your ability to project energy in that direction using Downward Press. You may notice that as long as your entire energy field keeps morphing down, Downward Press is relatively easy to execute whereas Upper Cut becomes almost impossible to perform. If you are one of those who habitually hold themselves down, enjoy practicing Downward Press, which will eventually bring you right to the edge of your comfort zone. Perhaps, it will even make you really...

Front Kick defense against a Lotus Kick with a knee

These are a few simple examples of going with the flow of Qi projected at you rather than opposing it. Qi Dao requires going beyond intellectual understanding of this principle by exercising it regularly. If you embody this principle utilizing Harmonious Culture of Movement, you will become an embodiment of your knowledge, capable of translating it into all other spheres of your life. Ultimately, Qi Dao teaches you to transcend any opposition and turn your opponents into friends by assisting...

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 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...

Knee

When your adventure partner attempts to attack you using Roundhouse Kick with the left leg, you can also use Roundhouse with your right leg. There are two options for this response you may merge the oncoming kick with your left knee getting either under the partner's knee or above it. In both cases, you just need to continue the momentum of the oncoming kick and turn your partner around, so that you again end up behind his or her back. If your partner is adventurous enough to attempt continuing...

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...

Downward Press

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,...

Closing

Closing uses the second method of bringing the elbow to the Centerline by bringing the hand to the opposite armpit. It is similar in principle to the first method, Forward Push, although it uses a Natural Turn instead of a Natural Step forward. For example, if you perform Closing with the left elbow, begin by lifting the right foot off the ground and turning to the right on the heel of your left foot. Active pivoting of the pelvis in the direction of the Natural Turn initiates the torque of the...

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...

Exploring the flexibility of the obliques on the ground

Now, let's explore the flexibility of your obliques (side muscles). Sitting with your legs spread wide apart, bring your left foot toward your crotch and bend the whole torso to the opposite side, reaching with the left hand over your head for the right foot, elbow pointing up. If you feel like you need more challenge, you may hold onto the left knee with your right hand while bending to the right. Following the rhythm of your breath, rock the whole body back and forth while turning the entire...

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...

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...

Backward Pull

As the name implies, this is the reversal of Forward Push that can be used to project energy backward. You can employ it either to pull with the grip of the back hand or to strike with the back elbow. As one of the three Yang movements, Backward Pull requires making a Natural Step in the direction of your target with the foot on the same side of the body as the hand performing the primary movement. Lifting the back foot initiates the movement of the center of mass in that direction as the...

Centering

Many people wish to be more Centered in their daily lives, but have no specific methods to accomplish that. They often have only vague ideas about where the Center is it may be quite difficult to become Centered without being aware of its location. The Center of your body is the line extending from the Bai Hui point on the top of your head, down the spine, all the way to the Hui Yin point on your perineum (the pressure point between your genitals and anus). In Oriental Medicine, it is called...

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...

Lotus Kick defense against a Front Kick with a knee

To kick off your self-defense practice, ask your adventure partner to kick you slowly in the stomach using Front Kick with the left leg. As soon as you notice the kick approaching your body, launch Lotus Kick with your left leg to intercept and divert his or her kick just slightly past your body. Ideally, you will end up behind your partner's back, where you will be able to do whatever you have to do in order to prevent any further attacks. Make sure you do not hurt your practice partner...

Realm of Consciousness

To discover or to reconnect with this pattern of holding tension, imagine yourself turning into a wild animal, a beast that can be assertive, self-serving, pushy or even aggressive when necessary. Think for a moment, Things are going to be my way or the highway 1' Even without trying to hold yourself in any specific way, you will, most likely, find yourself Holding Forth. There is really nothing wrong with this way of being as long as it is serves as an appropriate response to the demands of...

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...

Selfdefense Applications

The three knee kicks introduced in this chapter may become indispensable tools for defending yourself if someone tries to kick you. Qi Dao does not teach any blocks, because blocks attempt to stop the flow of your opponent's energy. Going against the flow of the energy of an attack is the epitome of reacting instead of responding to the challenge. By the way, using your arms against kicks is often less than optimal, since your opponent's legs are likely to be stronger and longer than your arms....

Holding Up

If you happen to routinely experience this holding pattern, you may consciously understand that self-importance does not make anyone happier but still continue Holding Up unconsciously as a matter of habit. Holding Up pattern generally reflects the sense of superiority and self-importance. Some people may temporarily experience it when they feel proud of themselves or contemptuous. Others may serve you as constant reminders that arrogance and narcissism are among the main reasons people tend to...

Taking a Natural Step backward

You can develop gracefulness and speed in your movements by stepping back and forth with a tap between the steps. Right after stepping back with the left foot, tap with the ball of the right foot next to left and use the rebound from the ground to step forward with the right foot. After making the forward step, use the same tapping technique with the left foot to launch an immediate step backward. Continue bouncing back and forth until you feel confident in your movements and then reverse the...

Rooting

The principle of Rooting is essential for maintaining balance and stability when projecting energy forward, especially when you are testing your practice partner. When you trade roles with your partner, it will be your turn to push him or her around. Being well Rooted will enable you to produce a consistent and effortless energy projection every time (this may sound really funny if you are familiar with the Australian slang if that is the case, please pardon my language). Generally speaking,...

Baseline alignment for better Rooting

Rooting requires keeping the back heel on the ground right on the Baseline, which is a straight line extending from the toes through the heel of the opposite foot towards the back foot. Test your stability and balance with and without such alignment. To make this test more dramatic, try to elevate the heel that serves as your Root when pushing your partner and then place it back on the ground. Remember the feelings you have in each case compare them and choose your personal preference.

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...

Culture of Movement

When learning Qi Dao, you will find it invaluable to have one or more partners to practice with. Together with your practice partners you are invited to experiment with all the principles of Qi Dao, putting each and every one of them to rigorous test. It will provide you with total confidence, which you would never get out of blindly following any forms or some magical formulas. Confidence built on the foundation of personal experience and observation will empower you to make your own choices...

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...

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...

Adductors

Exploring the flexibility of the adductors with splits Explore how far you can put your feet apart as if you are going to perform a side split. Discover whether you can bend forward and allow your elbows to reach the floor by walking your right hand to the left and your left hand to the right past each other. You can tense up and relax the adductors and gracilis, the muscles of your inner thighs, while imagining that you can breathe through those muscles. In order to explore the flexibility of...

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...

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...

Hamstrings

Tibetan Solar Energy Qigong

Hands backward, palms on the floor and fingers pointing backward. After you land softly on your buttocks (initially, you may opt for a pillow strategically placed under your rear end), explore how far you can bend forward and reach with your fingers while keeping your back as straight as possible. Notice your breathing without forcing your breath, and allow the relaxation that comes with each exhale to bring your torso further forward. Exploring the flexibility of the hamstrings in motion Once...

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...

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...

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...

Rotating both arms together

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Rotating the arms in the opposite directions

Tibetan Qigong Healing

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...

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...

Rotating the right ankle

Explore the flexibility of your ankles, one at a time, by lifting the heel of one foot off the ground and rotating it in a circular motion. Make these circles clockwise and counter-clockwise using the whole leg and hip to rotate the ankle around the ball of the foot. After a few revolutions, do the same experiment with the other foot. Compare perceptions of energy flow in the feet before you switch feet and do the same on the other side. Similar to the rotation of the head, with which you...

Torso rotation with the arms in front

Next, bring one elbow on top of the other and wrap your forearms around each other until the fingers of the lower hand touch the palm of the other hand, thumbs facing you. Add the rotation of your entire upper body in a circular fashion around your waist, letting your head roll around freely. After a few circles, alternate the arms and reverse the torso rotation. Again, it is particularly essential to keep your weight Centered between your feet to maintain balance.

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...

Front Kick

Standing Front Kick

Front Kick is usually performed with the knee of the rear leg. If you just lift the rear foot off the ground, you will start falling backwards as with Natural Step backward. In order to create forward momentum, take a Natural Step forward with your front foot. As soon as all your weight shifts on the front foot, the back foot will be ready to leave the ground to launch a Front Kick. Lifting the knee on your Centerline will give it maximum power, in case you run into your target sooner than...

Amanic Qigong

All rights reserved No part of this book may he reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author. Revised edition. First published by AuthorHouse on 08 13 2007. ISBN 978-1-4343-2027-8 Library of Congress Control Number 2007905688 Cover design and illustrations by Patrick Burke ofwww.patrickburke.com. Printed in U.S.A.

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...

Rolling the wrists

Interlock the fingers of both hands together and imagine holding a small ball of energy, about the size of a tennis ball. Explore rolling your hands around the energy ball in one direction whichever you prefer . Then alternate the way your fingers interlock, so that the other thumb is on top, and reverse the direction of rotation. We often have habitual ways to interlock our fingers with one or the other thumb being always on top. Challenge your stereotypes by learning to interlock your fingers...

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...

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...

Rotating the knees

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...

Exploring the flexibility of the hamstrings with splits

Keeping your feet wide apart, turn your hips to the right as you walk your hands in that direction, so that the right hand ends up on the right side of the right leg. Explore the flexibility of your hamstrings by rocking from one hand to the other. Alternate the legs by walking the hands to the opposite side. Make sure you point the toes of your front foot upward while keeping the front knee as straight as you can. After returning to the standing side-split position, find out whether you can...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...