Posture One Starting From the Front and Lifting Chi Up Laterally

a. Rotate and point the fingers to the front, stretch the clasped hands forward at the level of the shoulders. Separate the fingers and point the hands upward with the palms facing front. Separate the hands completely to keep them at shoulder width.

Explanation: Resuming the praying hands position, rotate and stretch the tips of the fingers forward until the arms are straight out horizontally (Figure 17). While maintaining the contact of the forefingers and thumbs, separate the hands, starting from the little fingers, one pair of fingers after another, with the palms facing downward. Point the hands upward, with fingers pointing straight up as well; the thumbs and forefingers now form a triangle (Figure 18); push out the centers of the palms, with the palms forming a right angle with the forearms. Slowly separate the forefingers then the thumbs, with the arms at shoulder width; the palms are facing frontward with the center of the palms pushed out and The Door of Spirit (Shenmen) opened (Figure 19 - 20).

Skilled practitioners may wish to gaze into the triangle with narrowed eyelids; after a long period of practice, one may see chi or other visual phenomena.

Imaginal Technique: When the hands are stretched forward, visualize the internal physical chi as being connected with the fingers, stretching forward, far away into the void-nature; while separating the fingers, the attention moves from the parting of the little fingers to that of the other fingers until the open triangle is formed. Observe the chi phenomena within this triangle with a one-pointed mind. Experience and observe the resistance and attraction between the thumbs when slowly separating them.

b. Push forward and pull backward: pull, push; pull, push; pull, push. Pull chi horizontally: open, close; open, close; open, close.

Explanation: The overall requirement of pushing and pulling is to unify the shoulders, elbows, and the wrists, leading with the shoulders to rotate in a vertical circular motion: upward, backward, downward, and forward. At the start of the movement, before pulling back, extend the palms outward a little - connecting the chi in the palms with the universal chi. Then, lift the shoulders upward and backward, the elbows moving along with the shoulders, the wrists following the elbows, which remain slightly dropped. With the palms hollowed (withdrawn inward), naturally relax the fingers as if holding a ball of chi in the palms (Figure 21). During this process, the wrists should not be lower than the shoulders, and the hands should not be lower than the wrists, but rather raised slightly above them.

When pushing forward, use internal force in extending from the shoulders directly through to the wrists, at the same time using the roots of the hands (at the juncture of the wrists) to push the arms forward, endeavoring to make the hands form a right angle with the forearms in order to open the Door of Spirit. Flex back the tips of the fingers, pushing out the palms as the shoulders move downward and forward (Figure 22).

After three cycles of pushing forward and pulling backward, gently hold the palms erect and pull chi sideways along a horizontal plane: when opening, and leading with the palms, the arms are opened to an angle of fifteen degrees (Figure 23); then close them at shoulder width (Figure 24). This movement should be conducted slowly and smoothly.

The movements of pushing and pulling should not be made too expansive; rather, one feels as if one is kneading a small elastic ball deeply into the void-essence; the movements are slow and small, gentle and undulating. Through pushing and pulling, the internal physical chi is released and the external natural chi is absorbed. The horizontal open-close movements should not be too expansive, nor exceed an angle of fifteen degrees. The out-pushed palm-centers and back-bent fingertips can cause the released chi to flow back again into the body. Skilled practitioners may also wish to practice following an elliptical path of opening and closing. The principle involved is the same as in that of the chi-pulling of the Beginning Posture.

Imaginal Technique: When pushing forward, think of the depth of the void-nature; when pulling backward, think of the depth within the body.

Gather and collect the chi of the void-essence through the open-and-close pulling of chi.

c. Spread both arms out sideways until they form a straight line with the shoulders, push and pull sideways, pull inward, push outward; pull, push; pull, push. Pull chi vertically: rise up, pull down; up, down; up, down.

Explanation: After three cycles of opening and closing, hold the palms erect and spread the arms sideways, forming a line level with the shoulders (Figure 25); then perform the sideways pushing and pulling movements. One also leads this movement with the shoulders, following the reverse circular rotation: upward, inward, downward and outward. When pulling back, lift the shoulders upward and inward, the elbows moving along with the shoulders, the wrists following the elbows, which remain slightly dropped. Hollow the palms and relax the fingers (Figure 26). When pushing out, as the shoulders move downward and outward, push the palms out, leading with the roots (base) of the palms, causing the palms to form right angles with the forearms; open The Door of Spirit and flex back the tips of the fingers (Figure 27). After three cycles of push-pulls, proceed to pull chi vertically for three cycles: leading with the middle fingers, raise the arms 15 degrees above the shoulders (Figure 28), and then lower them down to shoulder-level (Figure 29). The principle involved and practice requirements are similar to those of the front-facing push-pulls and open-closings; the only slight difference is that one should pay special attention to consciously absorb chi. In the vertical pulling of chi, an elliptical path is recommended for skilled practitioners.

Imaginal Technique: This is the same as that of the front-facing push-pulls and pulling of chi.

d. Relax the wrists and rotate both hands, with the palms facing upward, carrying chi up above the head; remain in this posture for a time-period of one cycle of breath, pouring chi down into the body through the top of the head. Relax the shoulders, allowing the elbows to descend, continuing to send chi into the body with the hands, moving further down along the face and down to the front of the chest. Rotate the hands, with the palms facing the chest, continuing to move them downwards until they reach the navel; press the navel with the middle finger of each hand.

Explanation: Relax the wrists, as the fingers slightly drop; leading with the little fingers, raise the hands and arms and at the same time rotate them until the palms are facing upward (Figure 30). Relaxing the shoulders, the hands and arms lift chi up above the head, with the wrists at shoulder-width; hollow the palms a little, aiming at the crown, and remain thus for the cycle of a natural breath (Figure 31). Relax the shoulders and lower the elbows, transmitting chi into the head as the hands move downward. The hands continue to move down just in front of the face, with the fingers facing the practitioner at a diagonal angle (Figure 32), until they arrive at the front of the chest; turn the hands so that the palms are facing the chest, with the finger tips pointing toward each other, nearly touching. With the palms nearly brushing the body, guide the chi within the body down to the navel. Press the navel, with the middle fingers touching one another (Figure 33).

One may experience certain special sensations when the chi sent into the navel meets the chi descending from the head. This meeting place is the lower central point of Zhineng Qigong. It is an indeterminate point where the flow of chi stops and beyond which it ceases to descend. One may carefully experience and observe, but should not desperately pursue such sensations.

Imaginal Technique: When relaxing the wrists, rotating the palms, and lifting chi up, one may imagine that the fingers are five huge columns of chi descending over the horizon. When they are nearly horizontal, scoop chi up from down deep within the earth and lift chi up along the edge of heaven. As it is carried upward, chi is also being sent into the body as if in an endless stream. When the hands are above the head, chi is being poured down into the body through the top of the head like a huge column of energy; at the same time, while maintaining a lifted perineum, one brings one's mind to the centers of the soles of the feet.

The intention here is to allow chi to pass through and to fill the whole body. During the interval of a natural cycle of breath, relax the body, letting chi pour down into the body with a long, deep, gentle, and even breath. When the shoulders are relaxed and the elbows are lowered, continue to absorb chi into the body. As chi is being guided down through the body, one may imagine the hands to be actually moving within the body, pulling chi down, suffusing the muscles and bones and even the bone-

marrow, with chi. When pressing the navel, think of the Door of Life, filling the lower Vital Center with chi.

e. Slide along the waistline to the Door of Life, pressing it with the middle fingers. Slide both hands down along the back of thighs and calves, to the heels, then slide forward along the outer sides of the feet and place both palms upon the insteps.

Explanation: All the fingers slide along the waistline to the back with the finger tips continually touching the body; with the middle fingers touching one another, press the Door of Life (Figure 34). Then move the hands down, along the back of the legs, at the same time lowering the body (Figure 35). The hands move from the hips to the thighs; separate the thumbs (at the side of the leg) from the other fingers (at the back of the leg) and slide them down over the calves, and finally to the heels. Along the outside of the feet, slide the fingertips forward, then rotate the palms, until they are facing downward. Place the palms upon the insteps, with the fingers pointing the same direction as the toes. (Attention: as the hands are sliding down the body, bend the knees and the whole body until the thighs are horizontal, with the hips slightly higher than the level of the chest, which touches the upper legs; relax and slightly drop the head down, Figure 36.)

Imaginal Technique: As the fingers slide along the waistline, the mind also rotates together with chi within the lower Vital Center; while pressing the Door of Life, think beyond to the navel. As the hands glide down, endeavor to cause chi to permeate through the marrow of the bones in the legs.

f. Press down, lift up; press down, lift up; press down, lift up. Separate the hands and pull chi up from the depths of the earth, sliding the hands to the inner sides of the feet, and then slide them up, with the palms facing the inner sides of the legs until they reach the navel. Press the navel with the middle fingers touching one another. Separate the hands and return them to the sides.

Explanation: Perform the press-downs and lift-ups slowly and with good balance. When pressing down, close the two knees together and shift the center of gravity onto the hands and the front of the feet; do not lift up the heels, relax the centers of the palms and soles of the feet (Figure 37). When lifting up, leading with the Door of Life, rotate the hips backward and upward, shifting the center of gravity backward onto the feet, while withdrawing the centers of the palms and soles of the feet (Figure 38). This movement is very graceful if one does it correctly, as if a little boat is swaying on the sea. After three cycles of press-downs and lift-ups, raise the body a little bit, lifting the chest from the thighs, while at the same time the hands leave the insteps. Leading with the little fingers, pivot the palms outward, with the middle fingers at the outside of the little toes (Figure 39), while at the same time withdrawing the middle fingers upward and moving them above the insteps as if holding a chi ball in the palms, hollowing the centers in the soles of the feet. Then separate the hands, with the palms facing the inner sides of the legs, and guide chi up (Figure 40). Raise the body as the hands are guiding the chi up; when the hands are at the navel, the body is also completely upright. Press the navel with middle fingers touching (Figure 41); separate and return the hands to the sides (Figure 42).

Imaginal Technique: When pressing down, visualize the void-nature deep within the earth. When lifting up, think of the depths of the body, absorbing underground Hunyuan chi into the lower Vital Center, unifying there the chi absorbed through the head with the chi absorbed from the feet. As the hands pull chi up from the depths of the earth, try to imagine that chi is directed up from the void-essence under the earth, through the arches of the feet, along the central paths of the leg bones. When pressing the navel, absorb the up-guided earth chi into the lower Vital Center, unifying the human chi with the chi of nature within the navel. Then separate the hands and return to the original posture.

During this posture, the chi in the void-essence to the left and the void-essence to the right is lifted up and poured down through the body - mainly into the lower Vital Center, enhancing one's vital force.

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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