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TAIJIQIGONG

Taijiqigong is specially designed for students who have learned a Taiji form (Tai Chi Chuan) and want to reach new levels of skills and ability. Taijiqigong prepares the mind and body for the great Taiji practice by loosening your joints, warming your muscles, stimulating your Qi flow, and sharpening your concentration. In addition, regular Qigong accelerates the health benefits of Taiji and the discovery of internal power. Beginners usually do not have a clear understanding of what Qi is. Tajiqigong will gradually help you to feel and understand Qi through personal experience.


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If you look at your daily practice as a battle against sickness and aging, then your body is the battlefield, your mind is the general, your breathing is the strategy, your qi is the soldiers, and your spirit is the morale of the general and soldiers. Therefore, in order to win this battle, you must know your battlefield (body) and learn to arrange it most advantageously for the battle. The general (mind) who is in charge of the battle must be calm and wise, and always know what he is doing so he can set up the best strategy (breathing). When the battlefield, general, and strategy (body, mind, and breathing) are organized correctly, the soldiers (qi) can be led effectively. You also need good fighting spirit and high morale. It teaches beginners how to regulate their body, breathing and mind (Yi – calm mind). Once you have grasped the idea of Qi, you then start to learn how to regulate your body. This includes how to relax your body from the skin to the internal organs and bone marrow. Through this relaxation you will be able to feel and sense your centre, balance and root. You must also learn how to regulate your breathing.

Most important of all you must learn how to regulate your mind until it can be calm and concentrated without any disturbances. Beginners learn how to use their Yi to lead the Qi efficiently. Once you have regulated your body, breathing and mind you will then be able to use your concentrated mind to lead the Qi to circulate smoothly and effectively throughout your body. Beginners can learn how to circulate Qi in the twelve primary channels and also how to increase Qi in the two main vessels, the Yin – Conception Vessel, and the Yang – Governing Vessel. Taijiqigong training teaches intermediate practitioners how to expand their Qi to the surface of the skin and to condense the Qi to the bone marrow. Once the body’s Qi has been built up to a sufficient level, you then start learning how to lead Qi to the skin to increase the skin’s sensitivity, and into the bones to nourish the marrow.

Taijiqigong teaches how to use Qi to energize their muscles for maximum Jin or power manifestation. When you are able to lead Qi to the skin and condense it into the marrow efficiently, you can use this Qi to energize the muscles for greater martial effectiveness. This is the secret of internal Jin which is the foundation and root of external Jin. Taijiqigong training leads advanced practitioners into the domain of spiritual cultivation. The ultimate goal of Taijiqigong is to lead you into the experience of emptiness, where your whole being is in the Wuji (no extremities state). When you have reached this goal the Qi in your body and the Qi in nature will unite and become one, and all your human desires will gradually disappear.

GUIDELINES FOR TAIJIQIGONG

1. Regulating your body means to adjust it until it is relaxed, cantered, balanced and rooted. When you have reached a level where you feel comfortable and natural and your body is relaxed, centred, balanced and rooted then the Qi circulating in your body will not be stagnant.
2. In order to use your mind to lead the Qi efficiently you must learn how to regulate your breathing, which is the strategy of Qigong practice. If you breathe correctly your mind will be able to lead your Qi effortlessly.
3. In regulating the mind you first learn how to bring your mind in attention into your body. This is necessary for feeling the Qi circulation. You need to learn how to control your emotional mind so that it is calm and peaceful and you can concentrate. Only then will you be able to use your Yi to lead your Qi.
4. Once you have learned how to use your Yi to lead your Qi effectively you can then start working towards several goals in regulating your Qi. First, you want to make the Qi circulate smoothly and strongly in your body. Second, you want to build the Qi up to a higher level in order to strengthen your body. Third, you want to lead the Qi to the skin and into the bone marrow. This will keep the skin fresh and young, and keep the blood factory in the marrow functioning at full capacity. Finally, you want to lead the Qi to your head in order to nourish your brain. Your brain is the centre of your whole being. If your brain is healthy you can raise your spirit of vitality which is the key to longevity.
5. Once you are able to lead the Qi and have it circulating smoothly in your body, you then lead your Qi to your brain to raise your spirit of vitality. Now you can start working to balance yin and yang and reach a state of Wuji. Once you have grasped this Wuji centre, you will be able to return your spirit to its origin. Your Qi will unite with the Qi of nature. Your spirit will unite with the spirit of nature and you will become one with nature. This is the final goal of (Taoism) enlightenment and Buddhahood.
Excerpt from THE ESSENCE OF TAIJIQIGONG by Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming

5 FUNDAMENTALS OF QI CIRCULATION

Mastering these 5 Fundamentals is essential in developing your Qi Gong/Tai Chi Chuan and must be incorporated into daily training. After much practice your internal structure develops into a high state of readiness known as passive ward-off (peng). Your mind and body harmonize and become alert, relaxed and spontaneous. When you reach this stage more advanced skills come to light, and you feel that you are starting to comprehend the true meaning of the Tao. “Although there are many forms and variations, the internal principles are the same. From familiarity with the correct touch, one gradually comprehends intrinsic strength, from the comprehension of intrinsic strength one can reach wisdom. Without long practice one cannot suddenly reach a high level of understanding.” Master Wang Tsung Yueh
1. SENSITIVITY
The body communicates with the mind through your feelings which are transmitted through the nervous system. Developing your listening skills (jue) is extremely important in sensing these feelings – which are the yin and yang changes in the body and mind – and sending accurate information to the brain. Yin and yang can be: insubstantial or substantial; small or big; closing or opening; bending or extending; inhaling or exhaling; raising or falling; soft or hard; internal or external; coming or going; passive or active; retreating or advancing; defensive or offensive; neutralizing or emitting; leading or attacking; withdrawing or releasing; etc. The first step in developing this internal vision is having a calm mind (yi) with full awareness in the present moment.
2. INTUITION
The length and depth of your training and experience (gong fu) helps you to judge what you are feeling and understand the yin and yang changes in your body and mind. This allows you to decide on a proper strategy, make appropriate adjustments in the way you train, and how you live your life according to your lifestyle and environment. By developing these understanding skills (ting) you can awaken your inner guru and start to rely on intuitive wisdom (yi). You should always remember that yin and yang are mutually exchangeable. You should always be researching and pondering this theory and searching for the applications of yin and yang’s mutual exchanges. If you are able to understand the theory of yin and yang and know their applications, then your comprehension will become deep and your knowledge profound.
3. RELAXATION
Relaxation can release energy that is trapped in the body and allows it to flow freely through your whole being. To create the optimum structure for smooth and efficient energy (qi) flow, you must reduce all resistance (wuwei) that blocks the energetic system. This requires maintaining correct body alignment (chong ting), and body mechanics based on relaxation (soong), sinking (chen), opening (kai), and most important raising your spirit of vitality (xu ling ding jin). This means activating the tendons more than the muscles, and using intention of the mind rather than brute force. With meditation you learn to neutralize the emotional mind (xin) which can cause mental resistance and hinder focused attention. Only then can you open the energy gates of your mind and body and unite with the qi of nature, and realize your oneness with nature.
4. ENERGIZATION
To energize the body with life force energy you need to combine pre-natal jing (anti-aging hormones) with post-natal qi (air, food, water). But it is your breathing that stimulates the jing and qi to unite and produce your life force energy. Therefore, integrating correct abdominal breathing (zheng hu xi) into your movements and meditations is essential in the production and storage of energy in the body. This leads to harmonizing your breath (xi) with your spirit (shen). When your spirit seems to be doing the breathing you can control the energy flow more efficiently. Advanced techniques include reverse abdominal breathing (ni hu xi), and martial grand circulation (da zhou tian )for manifesting qi power (jin)
5. INTENTION
A relaxed mind is a useful mind. Therefore, you need to learn how to be calm and focused with clear intentions. Usually, for most beginners, the emotional mind (xin) needs to be neutralized, and the wisdom mind (yi) needs to be increased. To maximize the desired effects of your meditation and movements, use your passive mind to sense and understand the situation and decide on the proper strategy, and your active mind to direct the qi. Your mind is considered the most important component to successful training, and plays an important role in mutually combining your spirit (shen) and energy (qi) which control Kan (water) and Li (fire): the keys to balancing the health of your whole being.