- Chuang Tzu Inner Chapter One – Transcendental Roaming
- Chi Gong in America
- Three Modes of Chi Gong Training
- Physical Movements
- Breathing Techniques
- Free Your Mind
- Tom Tam Healing SYstem
- About Da Peng GOng
- Benefit of Da Peng Gong
- Da Peng Gong Form
From the “Chi Gong in America” Chapter
For health maintenance, exercise provides one of the most important ways to keep the body active and the life force flowing. According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, exercise keeps the jing, chi and shen, the “three treasures,” in balance. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there are thousands of styles of Chi Gong. Millions of people practice Chi Gong daily throughout their lives. Most Chi Gong forms are passed down from generation to generation, from master to student. That is a part of Chinese culture to this day.
America has thousands and thousands of people practicing Chi Gong. Many Americans also practice Chi Gong as a part of their daily lives. There is no doubt that Chi Gong practice is becoming popular because people like to learn Chinese culture and medicine, especially the health benefits.
When we read a Chi Gong book, how many of us understand it? This includes many of the authors themselves. It is not that their book is badly written, but that there is confusion about this topic. This is because modern Western people are reading translations from the ancient Chinese. We need to update Chi Gong. We should not automatically believe that the traditional way is the best way. In fact, traditional Chi Gong keeps changing and developing. This is the history of China. We need a new, easy Chi Gong practice, especially in the Western world. All we need is the courage to open our minds, and then it is easy to proceed. Sometimes we laugh at someone who has a closed mind but can we open our own minds to develop a new Chi Gong way?
From the “Three Modes of Chi Gong Training” Chapter
Chi Gong and Tai Chi Chuan require practice. Regular practice achieves a greater understanding of the movements and their effects on the body. Initially, the benefits may not be noticeable but, in time, the opening of blockages and the movement of chi within the body become apparent. Some movements may cause soreness or aches in muscles or joints. This is the opening of a blockage. This discomfort should not discourage practice. In fact, the best way to overcome the discomfort is with more practice. However, it is not necessary to force practice. If extreme discomfort occurs, the movements should be performed in an easy manner.
There are three modes of Chi Gong training and development: physical movements, breathing exercises, and mental focus. Each mode offers a variety of approaches to cultivate internal energy or chi.
From the “Physical Movement” Chapter
The first mode is physical movement and, there are thousands of physical Chi Gong movements. When groups of movements are brought together they are called “forms”. Throughout the centuries, Chi Gong teachers and schools have created and passed down excellent physical forms that are useful for gathering energy. These forms are further divided into three subcategories: internal, external and Ma Bu (Horse Stance). Internal forms are slow and “soft.” The external forms are fast or “hard.” Ma Bu postures involves standing still, in place.
Chi Gong practice is based on Yin and Yang theory. Yin movement is more for the internal practice; which is soft, slow or gentle. The Yang movement is more for the external practice, which is hard, fast or tough. Ma Bu is the root. It doesn’t matter the type of movement used, all need a good Ma Bu. A good Ma Bu means a strong firm leg stance. In fact in the practice of Chi Gong or martial arts, the first requirement is to have a strong Ma Bu. Tai Chi Chuan a martial art in Chi Gong form requires a strong Ma Bu. But generally in the practice of Tai Chi practice, it is very rare to see someone with a strong Ma Bu. Even in Chi Gong practice, few practitioners pay attention to well placed Ma Bu.
From the “Breathing Techniques” Chapter
The second mode of Chi Gong practice is breathing. Twenty years ago, many of the translations for Chi Gong used the English expression “Breathing Exercise” since chi in Chinese means air, breathing and energy. Chi Gong breathing involves much more than the simple exchange of oxygen in the body. It involves influencing the movement of chi throughout the body.
There are many techniques and purposes for the breathing practices in Chi Gong and each style of Chi Gong has its own breathing theories and methods. Through specific breathing exercises, the chi can be moved along the meridians during respiration. Some teach that breathing should focus on the Dantian, where the chi and oxygen can be stored.
Beginners should not work with breathing techniques until they get to know the form very well. Beginners can develop energy problems if they attempt to progress too quickly. Only with sufficient practice of the form are practitioners able to concentrate properly on the breathing component of the exercise. At more advanced levels of practice, there is no need to think about breathing at all, since the amount of breath will actually lessen at that point.
From the “Free Your Mind” Chapter
The third element of Chi Gong practice involves the mind. This is the most confusing of the three components. Form movement can be learned from a good teacher. In my classes I call it, “Monkey see, monkey do.” The students simply follow the motions of the teacher. With breathing, the practitioner can feel the air or chi move within the body. In my classes I advise people to be “lazy bums” not to focus on breathing, just let the breath follow its natural flow. What to do or not do with the mind is difficult to explain to students, and takes much more time and practice to understand. Both the numerous different schools of learning and many individual teachers have different ideas on this matter. Buddhists and Taoists, Confucionists and martial arts Chi Gong teachers all use different methods for focusing the mind.
With some styles of Chi Gong in China, the practitioner creates an “inner smile” in the mind or visualizes a happy thing. My style of Chi Gong teaches letting the mind be free with no inner smile and no happy thing to visualize. I do not believe in telling the mind what to do. The mind is the most intelligent organ in the body. It knows what it should do. The inner smile and happy thinking can smooth the brain waves, but that does not necessarily slow the wave frequency, which is a more desirable result. Western study tends to overemphasize happiness, creating another form of stress on the mind.
According to the Taoists, the mind should be natural. There are no smiles and no tears. No happiness or unhappiness. Each emotion is a natural event. For example, when we are sad or angry we should let the emotion happen. If we put on the inner smile and visualize a happy thing, how can the bad mood complete itself naturally?