Tai Chi Chuan: Chi Kung
Chi KungChi Kung is an ancient Chinese system of energy cultivation which enables one to develop internal power. It is the same source of power behind the Chinese internal martial arts, and without which, the movements in these arts are only calisthenics. For centuries, Chi Kung has been used for health, vitality, increasing longevity, transforming martial art and athletic ability and accelerating the mind. Tidal Wave Chi Kung, the type of Chi Kung practiced in Temple Style Tai Chi, is a complete system of Chi Kung practice based upon all four of the essential elements of internal power work, namely, Condensing, Macro Cosmic circulations, the Micro-Cosmic circulation and Projecting techniques. The complete sequence takes about 28 minutes.
Chi Kung is often confused with meditation. Chi Kung is different. In most meditations, the mind is calmed and simply registers the flux of consciousness to naturally reach a state of pure awareness for eventual union with the Absolute. In Chi Kung, the mind is focused on directing energy, not on thinking or not thinking. The principle is called “Hsing Chi” meaning “wherever the mind goes, the energy follows.”
Neither is Chi Kung a form of visualization. Visualization is something created in the imagination, something not existing or not yet existing, as in Creative Visualization. In Chi Kung you are not visualizing the energy condensing, circulating or projecting through the use of images... you are actually doing it, physically. It is the conscious directing and use of the energy.
The energy transformed in Chi Kung exists in three states, like ice, water and steam. The first state is called Chi. Chinese Taoists believe that there was a single eternal power that moves the universe. They called it Chi. In Chinese the word has several meanings. It can mean “air,” “power,” “motion,” or “life.” It is the “intrinsic energy.” Everyone possesses it.
Accumulating or circulating large amounts of Chi by itself, however, will not produce great benefits. Like gasoline in a motor, the Chi must be condensed and burned to produce power. The name of this internal power is Jing. It is the second state of energy transformed in a complete system of Chi Kung. When Chi is converted into Jing, it is the same as converting your internal energy into your internal power. Chi is the energy source, Jing is the power, and Chi Kung is the method of transformation.
The concept that allows you to transform internal energy into internal power is called the Condensing principle. It is the single most important element of Chi Kung. Without practicing Condensing, there will be no “alchemical agent” or “essence” to be circulated. Through Condensing techniques you draw energy into every cell in your body and condense it down, tighter and tighter, to fit into less and less space. The denser you become, the more powerful your internal vacuum becomes, the more explosive your internal power will be. Using Condensing techniques, you fit 18 inches of internal movement into one inch of space. The resulting transformation changes the vibratory frequency of the Chi into Jing. The energy is now ready to be used.
After condensing the energy, the next process is to circulate it through a series of Chi Circulations utilizing the Macro-Cosmic principle. In this manner, you learn to open and close various doorways in your body in order to create pathways for the flow of energy. These pathways are not already in existence, like acupuncture meridians. You must create and burn them through. The flow of energy through these pathways connects each cell with every other cell. The result is that you can move the energy to where it’s needed, as the torso and extremities become a single unit.
The third stage in a Chi Kung process uses the Micro-Cosmic principle. Utilizing this principle, you learn how to take the energy you have accumulated and circulate it in the internal pathway through the Central Channel in the spinal cord. This raises the amount of energy that your central nervous system can carry.
The last stage of Chi Kung is to apply the Projecting principle. In this way you learn to extend your mind, and energy, outside the confines of your physical body. It allows you to influence your environment in a positive way. The final result is an evolution of your Shen, your spiritual essence, completing the energy transformation.