by Conscious Reminder
Qigong is also known as the cultivation of life force. It is one of the types of Yoga in Taoism.
It has roots dating back to ancient China. The primary objective of qigong is supporting general wellbeing and health. But did you know that the practice of qigong is every martial art’s internal foundation?
Thousands Of Qigong Forms
The forms of qigong number in thousands. Each of them has associations with existing lineages/schools practicing Taoism. Some of them involve a great deal of moving physically. This is similar to forms of martial arts or taiji.
Other forms focus on the internal aspect. The focus lies on sound, breath, and visualization methods which require no or little physical movement. The aim of all forms of qigong is to cultivate the energy of the life force. But each form has its specific techniques to achieve a unique type of life-force cultivation.
Basic Axiom Of Qigong: Attention Is Followed By Energy
Even though there are differences, some basic mechanisms are present in every qigong form. The axiom that is primary to qigong is that “energy follows attention”. This means that our place of awareness becomes the location where the energy of the life force, or qi, will gather and flow.
There is an easy way to demonstrate this. Close your eyes, breathe deeply a few times, and then put your attention, or mental focus, on one hand. Hold it there for about a minute. Then observe if anything happens.
Sensations of fullness, a magnetic feeling, or warmth, or heaviness might have been felt. These are sensations that are common when qi is gathered at a specific body part. However, this experience is unique to every person.
The most important thing is to first notice the experience. This will help you develop some confidence regarding qigong’s basic principle. In the yoga system of Hinduism, the same axiom exists in Sanskrit using the words prana (energy of life-force) and citta (mind).
Breathing Is A Conduit To Link Awareness And Energy
When one is just starting practicing qigong, the physical process of breathing is very integral. The first step is usually learning how to focus the attention on our cycle of inhalation and exhalations. The aim is to merge our mind and our breath’s movement. By doing so, we become able to direct our qi’s movement using our attention.
The Chinese “qi” has been translated as “breath” in English, sometimes. However, it is not a proper translation. Qi is more suitably thought of as energy along with awareness. This physical process of breathing is for guiding awareness to unite with the energy of the life force. The offspring of this union is “qi”.
The union between awareness and the energy of the life force will become more stable within the practitioner’s body-mind. After practicing for years, the physical breathing process will get subtler. Eventually, it will be absorbed by what is known as embryonic breathing.
In this type of breathing, energetic sustenance is drawn directly into our body-mind, without the help of our physical breath. The physical breath becomes a type of raft for crossing the river.
We use the raft to cross the river or return to the Cosmic Mother’s land. It is a state when we have dissolved our idea of being separated from existence. At this point, we can leave the raft behind. Just as a fetus “breathes” via its umbilical cord, we will also draw qi straight from the matrix of the universe.
Using Meridians To Clarify The Qi’s Flow
All forms of qigong aim to clarify, balance, and open the qi’s flow through our meridians. However, our lives may have moments whose energies we fail to fully digest. These can block the meridians. The specific pattern that these energy blockages create in the body-mind is the Buddhist definition of “ego”. It is our unique method of remaining unconscious. It is usually mistaken as our identity,
Practicing qigong helps in untying such knots of energy. Energy is once more allowed to flow freely as and in the Moment of the Present – an emptiness of luminosity where our bodily elements’ play continuously unfolds.
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