Post by macky on Dec 11, 2019 4:35:27 GMT
Dr Yang Jwing Ming was a major influence on me in 1987 after I had popped a hernia weightlifting in 1986. I bought the first edition of his excellent Chi Kung book ......
...which can be downloaded for free from the above link, thank you Moxohol. This later edition does not differ much from the first. The basic principles remain the same.
This master has a more technical approach to chi kung (he is a Dr in, I think mechanical engineering) and has devoted the bulk of his life to martial arts and chi kung. My view is that a beginner should read the general comments on chi kung method, then try some Wai Dan exercises as presented in that chapter.
There are many that can suit a serious practitioner, including a version of Baduanjin which I do not personally like, his hunched form in bringing his arms up quite unusual in comparison to other styles. All forms however, are effective providing a chi kung state of mind is kept to. Yang's style will undoubtedly suit some. I also do not agree with some of his comments re overdevelopment of muscle growth and the accompanying disorders. Over many years of practising Baduanjin I had no such indications whatsoever.
In saying that, apart from other interesting chi kung drills, Yang shows two sets of Yi Jin Ching static posture exercises, the closed fist form and the Open Palm. It is the open palm form I practised early 90's and which I wrote about re breaking a handle on my 5" sidecutters etc.
He separates Wai Dan physical forms chi kung, both static and moving, from Nei Dan which involves seated building of the energy in the lower Dantian then leading it around various areas of the body according to the desired purpose.
It is my view that beginners especially should NOT engage in Nei Dan practises until quite a bit of experience is gained from the more well-known Wai Dan drills. It would be safer when the time comes to have an instructor that knows what he's doing guide the practitioner, anyway.
In fact, with my own practice and recommendation (plus other instructors on youtube) that the Mind should be kept primarily on the Lower Dantien throughout chi kung drills such as Baduanjin and Ping Shuai, a rudimentary combination of Wai and Nei Dan practice therefore takes place.
Obviously a practitioner will have part of his/her mind on the physical movements of whatever form of Wai Dan they choose, but it is my view that with the primary focus on the lower Dantien throughout the drills, as far as possible, that one can have a legitimate Chi Kung protocol for life without going into extensive Nei Kung practices.
Dantien quiet breathing and focus can also be practised at odd moments of the day while riding in a train or bus, sitting at a desk, or a waiting room. I would advise not to do it while driving, at least until one is thoroughly used to it. That plus dynamic forms of chi kung as above can be all that is required for life, the practise building internally with very little external evidence to others, except obvious good health.
As time goes on with such a "basic" practice, the overall feeling of energy will build up gradually, and fill the body (even extend out from the body in all directions at times) and having what is in effect the Central Point of the Body/Mind/Spirit (the area just under and inwards from the navel is also the physical center of gravity of the body) in relaxed primary focus while performing Baduanjin etc will result in an overall unified Body/Mind/Spirit awareness that has to be directly experienced to be fully understood.
In saying that, Yang's instructions for the Yi Jin Ching static forms are to guide the energy to the hands at all times. I did that, plus held the Dantien focus as well. My practice of the form's drills lasted (from memory) about 4-6 months of between once or twice a day of eight breaths each drill, a total of 96 breaths, all gentle, all focused.
In that time there was enough experiences to convince me that this form (Open Palm version) was a powerful set of chi kung drills. I can only speculate what sort of progress I would have made had I regularly performed it for say two years.
That is an option I may take up starting next year instead of the Zhan Zhuang postures of Lam Kam Chuen.
Regarding Spirit awareness previously mentioned, I am not talking about a religious interpretation of Spirit, but rather a unified awareness of "Who You Are", once again something that is hard to describe, but once felt is unmistakeable.
Chi kung is not the only avenue for such a feeling. There are times during conventional exercise where the Oneness of Everything and my place in it has happened, albeit occasionally. Other practices that totally absorb the Mind in a relaxed manner can also bring it.
But Chi kung may well bring that more often, as long as correct, relaxed and focused performance is followed, preferably every day.