Jindao Qigong for Healing, Purifying, Manifesting

Jun 5, 2011

Don't Condemn Your Future to be Your Past - June 5, 2011

Many people seek a "New You!" but soon find themselves back in the same rut after some initial change in their lives, much to their dismay. Other people don't even get that far, they continue to do the same self defeating actions over and over never knowing how they always wind up back where they started. Without fully integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual issues, something remains in the background to lead you back to exactly where you don't want to be again. We then realize that a fundamental internal transformation is required.

Self Transformation brings purpose to our lives and allows us to truly love and respect our own self so that others can honor that as well. Says Buddhist master Bhikkhu Bodhi, in "Self-transformation", Access to Insight, 5 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_16.html."Self-transformation is also a fundamental goal of the Buddha's teaching, an essential part of his program for liberation from suffering. The Dhamma was never intended for those who are already perfect saints. It is addressed to fallible human beings beset with all the shortcomings typical of unpolished human nature: conduct that is fickle and impulsive, minds that are tainted by greed, anger and selfishness, views that are distorted and habits that lead to harm for oneself and others. The purpose of the teaching is to transform such people — ourselves — into "accomplished ones": into those whose every action is pure, whose minds are calm and composed, whose wisdom has fathomed the deepest truths and whose conduct is always marked by a compassionate concern for others and for the welfare of the world."

A gradual process of self-transformation is necessary that involves: abandoning (pahana), the removal from the mind of all that is harmful and unwholesome, and development (bhavana), the cultivation of qualities that are wholesome, pure and purifying. With Self Transformation comes Self Transcendence, which in Buddism is the letting go of all attempts to establish a sense of solid personal identity where one is clinging to the very things that cause one's suffering in the first place. Continues Bhikkhu Bodhi, "Our ongoing attempt to establish a sense of identity by taking our personalities to be "I" and "mine" is in actuality a project born out of clinging, a project that at the same time lies at the root of our suffering. If, therefore, we seek to be free from suffering, we cannot stop with the transformation of the personality into some sublime and elevated mode as the final goal. What is needed, rather, is a transformation that brings about the removal of clinging, and with it, the removal of all tendencies to self-affirmation." 

As one of my teacher used to say, "How to do?" Besides doing the physical work of Qigong and meditation, a real attitude adjustment is required in order to fully commit oneself to Self Transformation. One of the best methods I have found to use to begin the process of stripping away the past is that used by Dr. Robert Anthony in his "Secret of Deliberate Creation". Following is a description is Dr. Robert Anthony's own words explaining how to change your inner vibrational patterns in order to reconcile your past with your future:

"I would like to continue our discussion of the WAY IT IS a little further so that you really get what's happening.  I realize your teachers, parents, mentors and those around you have taught you to tell your story about the WAY IT IS.  After all, that is "reality". But here is what you must do.  You must begin to tell your story about the way you want your life to be. Tell your story of the way you want it to be until you begin to believe the story. (After all, you believe the story you are telling now as though it were true!) When you believe your new story, your vibration will shift and the universe will match your story.  The universe is always matching your vibrational energy.  Most people don't know they can offer a vibration that matches what they want.  Instead they believe they should offer a story about the WAY IT IS, not realizing they are attracting more of the WAY IT IS.

You can get swept up in the WAY IT IS because the WAY IT IS gets your attention. The reason for this is all of our physical senses are designed to help you observe your environment.  What you see with your eyes is a translation of vibration, what you smell with your nose is a translation of vibration. What you feel with your fingertips is a translation of vibration. What hear with your ears and taste with your tongue is a translation of vibration. You are a veritable vibrational interpreter.  I just want you to realize that the true interpretation of the vibration that is going on within you is translated into emotion. Your emotions are really telling you the story you want to be aware of.

So when you feel negative emotion what your inner guidance is telling you is you've got chronic thoughts going on, and more importantly current thoughts in the moment that are not a match to what you want. And, depending how strong the negative emotions are, it will determine to what extent your thoughts are in
alignment with your desire.  Negative emotion is always the indicator. When you feel ANY negative emotion it is time to pay attention because you are going in the wrong direction. You are moving AWAY from your desires. Use this powerful indicator to your advantage and shift your energy in that moment and start moving TOWARDS what you desire by changing your story from the WAY IT IS to the way you want it to be.

Today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation that you are making progress - IF YOU LOOK FOR IT!  No matter how large or small, please record it in your Evidence Journal. It will only take a few moments and will AUTOMATICALLY put you in the Flow. P.S. In 'The Secret of Deliberate Creation' I show you exactly how to shift your vibration in an instant -- and I guarantee it with my unique 'Quickstart Guarantee'-
don't hesitate and take a look now...- - Dr. Robert Anthony"

In my own practice, Jindao Life Transforming Qigong was developed as an answer to this problem. Once your body, mind, and spirit are fully integrated (through physical movements), then comes Peace of Mind (through meditation), and then one can achieve Self Transformation and Self Transcendence (through activation of the chakras, meridians, and dantiens), which brings forth a life that is free of the conditioning of the past. Life Transforming Qigong accomplishes this by opening up the physical, emotional, and mental binds that block your potential, limiting your life. Life Transforming Qigong makes you more intelligent and wiser, physically healthier and more vigorous, increasingly psychologically effective, more creative, rational, and productive, and more effective at gathering and filtering information. When we use Qi to nourish the higher self and our subtle body, we become much more aware of what is really going on around us and take on a deeper appreciation for the value and miracle of being alive.

- Sal Canzonieri

May 28, 2011

ROOTING - The Foundational Support of Qigong - May 29, 2011

The Goal in the art and science of Qigong is to BE Balanced as Efficiently and Effectively as possible. The Result is that your internal energy ("Jin" in Chinese) has Effortless Power.

In the study and practice of cultivating Qi and effortless internal power, one of the most important principles is the concept of rooting. Rooting is having perfect balance so that you can move efficiently and effectively, without disjointedness and without struggle. Rooting is one of the means that Qigong uses to transform your life from dis-ease into one of Joy and Gratitude.

You develop root by studying what the body must do in order to keep the weight's center balanced while moving slowly, eventually adding more and more speed. People lose root because they use the wrong part of the body to focus their strength. For example, when the shoulder moves first in an action, it is incorrect. One should use the lower body to drive the force. No matter how hard one attempts to be soft, they will never truly relax and have effortless power until the lower body drives the force.

In the article, "Rooting, the Secret of Getting Power from the Earth" by Gaofei Yan and James Cravens, explains what rooting is: "Rooting is the process of making a good connection to the ground in stances and during transitions. ... When we refer to rooting we are talking about rooting the legs (and thus the entire body) of the completed postures as well as the legs during the transitions as well. When we are trying to achieve rooting in Taijiquan [Qigong], we should visualize below the surface of the floor or ground... much like the roots of a tree. The "Bubbling Well" an acupoint called Yong Quan (KI-1) located on the bottom of the foot should be used as the point from which this imaginary root extends into the ground from which to draw strength. Rooting in Taijiquan [Qigong] will transfer from foot to foot, but never stays equally rooted on the right and the left. The weight should remain on the outer edges of the feet and remain a slight gripping feel with the toes, the ball of the foot, and the heel. Although the Yong Quan never touches the floor, you should still focus on this area as the root of each movement."

Yan explains how rooting effects your Qigong practice: "when one uses the lower body to drive the force, the root can be lost because the shoulder, as well as any other joint or part of the body may interrupt the transference of power. When there is tightness or loss of coordination between the various joints and parts of the body, root will be lost. The hip, leg, etc. must act as one! Many times things inside the body fight against each other. For example, if the inguinal crease (part where the legs connect to the torso) at the hips is tight, the flow of energy will be broken in the body, breaking the root. When one practices in this way, the tightness or lack of body unity can give one the tendency to get injured. Sometimes one locks a joint. The hips and shoulders are typical joints that students will lock which breaks the root. At the other extreme, the body can be too loose or limp which will also cause the root to be broken.

Other causes that disrupt a continuous root include psychological reasons. Being frightened suddenly is a common example of how one's energy will rise, taking away the potential power from the ground through rooting. Other emotions, such as anger, happiness, sadness, and being excited, can all play a role in losing root since they distract the mind from its focus. Finally, the reason for a lost root is often a combination of several postural problems. When one loses root, his movement or force cannot change directions and his body is segmented and not unitary. Internal power should be round and unitary, not linear and segmented. Roundness has the quality of
continuation and flow, while linear does not contain this quality and will cause the body to stop and start, producing a segmented non-unitary action."

When having root, the body moves as a whole unit. Continues Yan, "when one loses root, several factors are involved: the amount of tension in the muscles, the way in which the body connects and works together, and the ability to produce a powerful product in terms of projection. . . In order to have a proper root, movement should never go by arm alone but by the whole body. The weight is transferred by turning the body. . . Without lower body emphasis, there is no rooting. . . In Tai Ji Quan [and Qigong] one moves very slowly, balancing over the yong quan points in the bottom of both feet in order to find and control the center of the weight. This assures that the force can come from the ground and not be stopped inside the body. Furthermore, the front leg must also screw [in to the ground] and not be"loose" so that the whole body can contribute to power going out of the hand. The sensation is that the ground below moves in opposite directions due to this inward screwing with both legs. A loose front leg creates a large energy loss going out the front knee. In Tai ji we say that the front leg has no 'Peng Jing' [warding off energy]."

Further, says Yan, "In order to have root, certain things must be true about the body, the movement, the Qi (energy), and the mind:


1. The body should be straight. The body sinks and the head hangs as if suspended or pulled upward lightly from a string. This opposite stretch creates a straighter spine which then allows muscles to relax, giving more flexibility and movement to the body.

2. The waist must sink; sometimes one side may sink. This sinking has always been recognized as necessary in rooting.

3. Muscles on both sides at the inguinal crease should relax. If one does not relax, chi will not go down into the legs. This also aids in the process of straightening the lumbar curve in the back.

4. Two Huantiao (the points just behind the side hip bones) must be rolled back and out; these are also acupuncture points.

5. The distance between the upper inner thighs (dang) is the same width at the front of the inner thighs as at the back of the inner thighs. For example, if one assumes a toe-in hour glass stance, the distance at the rear of the inner thigh is greater than at the front. If one tucks the hip forward, the distance at the front of the inner thighs is greater than at the rear of the inner thighs. In Yang style Tai Ji they say they put the whole body on two legs, and the Chen style of Tai Ji explains this by saying it is like taking a seat or a sitting position while standing. The upper inner thighs should have a shape like an upside down letter "U" and not like an upside down letter "V."

6. The acupuncture point called the Huiyin or perineum, as well as the anus, is internally pulled upward. This keeps the small heavenly circulation or the chi unblocked.

7. The "Wei Lu" refers to keeping the lower back straight during the posture or movement.

8. The entire body through to the legs must screw inward which will open the inner thighs. The knee should not be inward, but should be lined up straight with the foot's direction so that the power from the ground will not be broken. One will actually feel an outer pressure on the outside knee as the legs screw inward toward the ground.

9. The acupuncture point "Wei Zhong," located on the leg behind the center of the knee should always be strong. The knee will have to be bent and not kinked inward in order for this to be right.

10. Toes should grip the ground and the yong quan points (located just below the ball of the foot but just on the toe half of the foot) in the bottom of the feet become empty, which contributes to all movement and stability. The yong quan points are also known as the "bubbling well."

Qi (energy)

The Qi in the body will flow properly when the three acupuncture points are lined up properly. These points are:

1. Bai hui - located on the crown point.

2. Hui yin - located between the genitals and the anus; this point should close and lift.

3. The intersection between the two yong quan points The intersection is somewhere between the feet depending on the posture.

These three points should all be lined up vertically. One cannot
overemphasize the need to relax. When the three points are lined up in a relaxed manner, the Zhong Qi (centered chi) gets larger. Chi is a difficult subject for those just beginning to study, and the concept of centered chi is difficult as well.


The mind and spirit must be strong in order to keep chi from rising, which will destroy the effort of rooting. The mind must be very centered and controlled. Many people practice Chan (Zen) exercises, or something similar, in order to accomplish this. This, of course, has a parallel in life since the mind must also be kept centered every day in order to handle all circumstances.

When practicing, one should use imagination so that one can image clouds or a river to create evenly flowing movement. One can go fast yet stay quiet. When traveling in an airplane, one feels very still even though the speed may be 500 m.p.h.. Enemies to the mind are anger, fear, and various other emotions and distractions. They raise the chi high in the body, making the body tight and again destroying the root.

All of these requirements to building root support each other and connect to each other in a complimentary fashion. After a long time you will understand the beautiful harmony of the requirements. The straight plumb line requirement causes the thigh to go in, but when one takes the two points in the hip out the knees move out opening the thighs up properly. Another example of harmony between the requirements is that when the legs are down and when one sinks, the practitioner can use the whole body as a unit."

Qigong (and Tai Ji Quan) sets up the root initially by standing in the Wu Ji posture. Wu Ji refers to absence of movement. From the Wu Ji comes the Tai Ji ('from nothingness comes everything'). In the Wu Ji posture, you can feel the three points in one line in order to feel the centered Qi. The weight should be centered over the yong quan points in the bottom of the foot. Rooting makes you feel centered, which has a calming effect as the Qi sinks down into the lower body. You feel like a Big Tree, part of nature, timeless and endless. This harmonious state allows your movements and perceptions to join and follow (give and receive) with your inner self, other people, and the environment you operate in. Finally, says Yan, "The Tao Teh Ching [Book of Changes] was written by Lao Tzu who described the way of the universe. This book told people how to control the world. Its conclusion was that you control the world by controlling yourself - that you have more control in this world if you simply learn to control your own self and balance." Thus, Rooting allows you to be fully aware of what things feel like in such a complete way that you are in direct communication with the reality of the moment. It puts you in the driver's seat.

May 22, 2011

Emotional Healing - Do You Live Life or Does Life Live You?

Life's up and downs can often trigger emotional responses, which are either healthily expressed or unhealthily repressed inside. The Emotions (which can be seen as "Energy" in "Motion") are a powerful part of our being. Emotions of any kind cause strong feelings in the body and in the mind. When the body and the mind are not in harmony, it makes us feel confused, unhappy, and ill at ease, hence, dis-ease begins. Just imagining happy or sad feelings or thinking of a happy or sad situation will cause you to feel positive or negative emotions. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine dis-ease is caused by emotional repression. People think that strong emotions are "bad" and they avoid feeling them. Trauma, resentment, grief, or grudges can become locked in the body's tissues and organs. Such repressed emotions get held in the organs of the body and each emotion is associated with a particular organ. The liver stores anger, the kidneys hold fear, the spleen holds worry, the lungs hold grief and sadness, and in the heart repressed emotions can cause depression and a lack of joy. Repressed emotions can slow down circulation to the organ and toxins can build up. 
For example, lung and respiratory problems may result when sadness is repressed.  Blockages in the kidneys may lead to reproductive, bone, ear, and other problems when fear is repressed. Anger issues such as resentment can cause problems with the Liver. In her article, "Moving into Thankfulness with Qi Gong" (published in the New Health Digest, November 2003), Lisa B. O’Shea states "Resentments can be big or small and can cause huge stress on our physical and emotional well-being. Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong look at this resentment as relating to the Liver energy system. The Liver system includes the liver and gall bladder, their respective meridians, the eyes, glands, tendons and ligaments, the peripheral nervous system, as well as nonphysical elements such as decision-making, action taking, and the emotions of anger and frustration. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, cancer, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, constipation, headaches, allergies, twitches, muscle cramping, PMS, or menopausal problems can all come from the stress on the Liver energy from bottled up emotional resentment."
Stress, anxiety, tension, and the inability to relax also effect us by building up static electricity in the body. This static causes blockages, which cause stagnation, which causes congestion, which causes inflammation, which causes infection, which causes infestation. The calmest person in the world is still subject to outside factors that wear away at one's wellbeing. It has recently been proven by scientists that the body cells hold memory; thus, emotions repeatedly felt set up a pattern of vibration within the cellular memory of a given organ. These emotions adversely affect decision making and action taking. The good news is that Qigong, and Jindao Life Transforming Qigong in particular, offers great relief from emotional effects. The various self healing movements practiced in Qigong help to restore balance to the body, mind and emotions, not by reviewing the emotional issues, but by releasing the trapped emotions from the organs and body tissues. The Four Core Points of Qigong (Posture and movement; Deep Breathing; Massage; and Meditation) all work together to unwind the body, release the trapped emotions, and harmoniously unify the body, heart, and mind. Upon this release, we begin to feel unification, peace of mind, and self transformation.
How does Qigong do this? Qigong movements exchange energy (Qi) between people and the universe. The greater concentration of energy (Qi) from the Universe flows into areas that are deficient in Qi and restores them back to harmonious levels. This can take minutes, hours, days, or weeks, depending on the severity of one's condition. Once the emotions are balanced, the body calms itself. According to Qigong master Li Junfeng, "Qigong is good for overall health. Through the exchange of qi, diseased qi is removed and fresh qi is gathered. Qigong brings about the removal of negativities that lead to worry, sadness, anger, nervousness, fear, and a stressful life. As a result, one is free to lead a happy and carefree life. Modern medicine is good but only provides a temporary solution. If people want to maintain their health the energy level in the body must be in balance - the emotions must become balanced and even. Emotions can affect the physical body. The emotions and the physical body must be in harmony. This determines the quality of life. Finally, qigong opens the heart. As one experiences the opening of the heart, this allows the qi from the universe to go to the entire body, removing the negativities that rob one of a life of perfect well-being."
The ancient Chinese Qigong masters taught the importance of connecting spirit to body or the Heavens to the Earth through ourselves. In essence, we become an antenna between the cosmos and the Earth. In Jindao Life Transforming Qigong, one is taught how to receive and transmit unconditional love through exercising intention. Continues Li Junfeng, "The true qigong awakens understanding from the heart so people can have a natural life rooted in unconditional love. Qi is never separated from love. Through the practice of qigong, true love is always with you - the joy of the lightness of being is always with you. A healthy mind coming from the practice of qigong cooperates with the flow of qi in the body. In the end, one realizes that it is not that the heart and the mind are used to make the qi flow effectively. It just happens naturally, of its own accord. Then life is never seen apart from the qigong state. It is then that one's life becomes established in it."
 When we encounter emotional upsets, this is exactly the time when you should practice Qigong! Using your brain-mind to solve your problems is to no avail. No matter how many times you ask, your mind has no clue on how to solve your problems. If it did, you wouldn't have any! Instead, your heart-mind (xin) is the place to direct your attention. Receiving and transmitting Qi to the heart field here harmonizes the internal flow of energy and disperses the stagnant energy trapped inside. In this way, you can move your low energetic vibrations to a higher vibratory state of Joy and Gratitude arises as we see how things truly are and appreciate what we have. Instead of dwelling on what is wrong, we start from a point of wellness and blossom out from there. Upon release, the result is always a big smile and a sudden laugh as the nervous system balances out as well. Daily Qigong practice makes it easier and easier to laugh at the daily aggravations and frustrations that happen. Thus, 'you live life', instead of 'life living you'!

May 18, 2011

How does Qigong HEAL?

How does Qigong HEAL?
By raising energy high enough to push through blockages in the circulatory and nervous systems (like blowing through a straw to clear the path). A blockage is a small area where blood cannot fully go or where disease can occur. Qigong improves blood flow and opens blockages by relaxing the body so that your INTENTION can guide the blood through to closed off capillaries. Studies show that Qigong activates 90 percent of the brain.
Qigong increases the level of circulation to the body, organs, glands, and nerves, which rejuvenates the body, mind, and spirit. Increases Longevity and reverses aging process; results in significant memory improvement, learning, and enhancement of the physiological functions controlled by the brain. Mediation is done with breath work and movements to help relax the body further to promote healing, such as:
Moving Meditation – heals while also making richer, thicker brain pathways and connects to the Insula, soothing the limbic Brain, relieving stress.
“Mindful Meditation” - The body is totally relaxed while moving in a meditative state.

Qigong gives the BENEFITS of jogging while using relaxed stillness within movements:
1) Improves motion of blood circulation and increases levels of neurotransmitters in blood.
2) Stimulates appetite, sexual functions, assimilation of nutrients, aid digestion/elimination.
3) Accelerates metabolism, weight regulation, and sleep regulation.
4) Boosts immunity, and reduces stress induced cortisol.
5) Develops dexterity, reflexes, and prevents osteoporosis; opens joints, stretch muscles, and enhances balance.
6) Allows greater brain-based microcirculation, stimulating bioelectric currents.
7) Enhances mental sharpness, focus, and concentration.
8) Restorative healing, calming effect brings peace of mind – cerebral cortex calms down.
9) Harnesses Universal Source Energy, improves healing, and helps spiritual growth.

Health practitioners NEED Qigong as they can became drained, absorb aches and pains of their clients, and may use incorrect body alignment and improper posture.

Practice in groups amplifies energy greatly. Biological magnetic field of each person joins to create a large group field. High amplitude energy heals people in a powerful way.
1 person = 5 units of energy. Person doing Qigong alone = 25 units; w/ 3 people = 150 units; w/ 10 people = 700 units; 500 people = 100,000 units.

"Emotional fitness": Qigong > Awareness > Attention. Meditational Qigong = Paying attention to HOW YOU THINK. Thoughts, Energy, and Intention work together. You choose your emotions. On a basic level, your own patterns of THINKING and FEELING lead to the ACTIONS you take and the BEHAVIOR you display. Qigong helps in GETTING PAST FEAR and "CONNECTING" ON A DEEP LEVEL. Negative feelings, more often than not, lead to NEGATIVE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES. If you are in CONTROL of your EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES and have a handle on your own emotional state, then you can consistently create more POSITIVE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES.

Matter = knots of Energy. Energy is made of light. Light comes from Universe. Universe is created of thought. Universe = Giving Energy; Earth = Receiving Energy; People = Sharing Energy – the intersection between “heaven and earth”.
TRUE SHARING > Resistance against ego > Reveals the Light by Sharing.
“I receive not for myself alone but in order to share.”
“You have to Give in order to Get”. Giving is receiving.
“It’s not what you want, but what you got”

Five Stages of Qigong Development: 1) Mind-Body Awareness; 2) Coordination of Breath with Mind-Body; 3) Rooting & Energetics; 4) Silk reeling – Waist rotation and alignment; 5) Spiral energy body.

Apr 27, 2011

Eating Air - April 24, 2011

The ancient Taoists regarded deep breathing as a form of nourishment. During deep breathing, you not only fill the body with purifying oxygen, but also guide universal energy (Pre-Natal Qi or Chi) in and out of the body as well. This nourishes the Post-Natal Qi that you were born with but deplete as you age, greatly rejuvenating your body. The fact is, the full amount of oxygen that the body requires is MORE than what regular everyday breathing can provide. The deep breathing that results from strenuous activity is required by the body, as our ancient ancestors did while hunting and farming, in order to force you to inhale more air. 
According to Qigong master Bruce Frantzis, "Unfortunately, most people have poor breathing habits. They take shallow breaths, only use a portion of their lungs, even when they believe they are taking deep breaths, and hold their breath--especially when they become nervous or tense. . .  Breathing with the whole body has been used for millennia to enhance the ability to dissolve and release energy blockages in the mind/body, enhancing well-being and spiritual awareness. . . Studying your breathing patterns can make you aware of the ways your moods and emotions change. For example, fear tends to produce erratic, strained or weak breathing patterns. Holding the breath is often a preceded by violent, angry explosions. Likewise, holding the breath without realizing it is part of a reaction to stress and tends to increase its severity. Shallow breathing makes people prone to lung weaknesses in the face of environmental problems, such as polluted air, and can also lead to depression."
While hard physical activity can be exhausting, the act of deep breathing itself is not. The practice of Qigong (breathing or energy movements) brings large amounts of oxygen into the body with barely any energy cost to it. In fact, slow deep breathing burns fat, which gives us much more energy than the burning of carbs do when performing physical exercises like body building and aerobics in the gym. The saying is "Where intention goes, Qi follows. Where Qi goes, the blood follows". Fully oxygenated and energized (Qi filled) blood kills organisms that cause disease, eliminates infections, and clears meridian blockages, altogether resulting in healing!
Qigong deep breathing techniques, says Bruce, "get everything inside your body moving and in synch with the rhythm of your breathing. It wakes up the inside of your body and makes it incredibly healthy. The methodology cultivates your ability to relax at any time and concentrate for long periods. . . (It):
  • Facilitates oxygen intake and the balances the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange in the body
  • Fully expels carbon dioxide
  • Retrains your nervous system to relax
  • Improves the functioning of your internal organs
  • Increases Qi reserves in the body. " 
According to Yan Gaofei, "Chinese Medicine teaches that tension (stress) will block the continuous smooth flow of chi. Because chi is the “leader” of the blood, poor chi circulation will negatively influence the blood circulation causing the body to grow improperly. Without the nourishment provided by a strong chi/blood movement, our body becomes “dry” and stiff, unable to optimize organic performance. Good chi and blood flow enable the body’s systems to be “fluid” and soft in order to be successfully functional. Without good chi/blood circulation the total body, its organs, and its systems (nervous, circulatory, digestive, etc.), falls out of natural harmony resulting in sickness, weakness, systemic breakdowns, stress related illnesses and disorders. Chi flow stimulates blood flow and together they are vital for a good interchange of the internal energy necessary for good health. When you develop the ability to relax completely and go into a deep “quiet,” in time, you will reduce and eventually reverse the damage produced by pressure and emotional or physical strain. Initially it may appear that nothing has changed outwardly but, in fact, much has changed internally."

The Jindao Life Transforming program's natural energetic transformational exercises are based on ancient Qigong and Neigong movements that help balance the body from the inside out, producing three major changes in the body:
  1. Helps to rid the body of stagnant energy that is not moving freely. Stagnant energy is located where there are physical, emotional, mental, and psychic blockages.
  2. Raises the body's energy levels so that its own natural healing capacities are stimulated and become strongly elevated.
  3. Helps to balance the body's energy flow through the meridians and deeper energy channels and vessels.
The famous Dr. Oz, Oprah's medical guru, on his television program, also espoused Qigong as a way to “add years to your life”, to reduce stress, promote longevity, cardiovascular care, and help alleviate chronic pain and fatigue symptoms. Qigong makes your body pulse with energy. Only Qigong deals with the actual energy itself to such a degree that it causes our body to regenerate. 
Thus, the practice of "eating air", which is Qigong, greatly revitalizes the body in every way. After learning the proper breathing methods and physical movements, Qigong practice on a much deeper level includes visualization, intent, and deep concentration with subtle changes in energy development. Cultivating relaxation and looseness through both meditation and physical activity helps Qi flow through the body with unimpeded circulation, channeling Qi where it is most necessary. Qigong allows you to manipulate Qi for many purposes, including: pain relief and self healing, organ and neuro-lymphatic health, self-defense, and psychic and personal development. Regardless, since it is a form of nourishment, Qigong is something that must be practiced regularly, with the commitment to incorporate it long term in one's lifestyle. Without this commitment, Qigong's amazing benefits are temporary. With everyday practice (even for 15 minutes a day), Qigong brings long years of healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual purifying, healing, and nourishment.

Sal Canzonieri - Jindao Life Transforming Qigong

Apr 2, 2011

Wu Wei - Doing Without Doing - April 3, 2011

At the very heart of Qigong training, coming from its Taoist roots, is the idea of "Wu Wei", which is Chinese for "Effortlessness". Wu Wei is an important concept that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. Wu Wei has also been translated as "creative quietude," or the art of letting-be. Wu Wei is about letting the Tao or Source of All flow through you so that your life is not a hard struggle; it is about not straining or forcing things to happen but letting them happen as they should in due time. For example, Trees grow by growing, not be "doing something" to grow. Planets revolve by revolving, not by "doing something" to revolve. Thus knowing when (and how) to act is not knowledge in the sense that one would think "now" is the right time to do "this", but rather just doing it, doing the natural thing. Qigong, in the form of Neigong, is also used to even make the practice of martial arts become effortless. It is used so that you can adjust your balance, body alignments, posture, and movements so that you can move and be with Effortless Power. The aim of wu wei is to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium, or alignment with the Tao or Source of All, and, as a result, obtain an irresistible form of "soft and invisible" power.

Being in a state of Wu Wei means knowing the power of letting go. The distinguishing characteristic of Taoism is that of being natural. According to meditation master Bruce K. Frantzis, "Wu wei is not “non-action”, but action that operates by simply following the natural course of universal energy as it manifests without strain or ego involvement. Ultimately, wu wei boils down to recognizing what exists at the absolute depth of your heart and mind. Rather than allowing your ego to get involved, you find relaxation and letting go of any need to do. When the ego is active, strain and stress follow." Qigong and especially Qigong Meditation methods teach you to use their full effort without strain. If you can remove the strain, then any action becomes relatively effortless by definition. Continues, Bruce K. Frantzis, "In this light, “not doing” doesn’t mean you don’t do anything. You can raise your hand, which is an action, but it’s a fairly effortless action if you’re a healthy human being. Ask yourself these questions: Can you remain relaxed enough that you don’t tense, force, apply your mental will or project your energy outward to accomplish a task? Can you allow action to naturally and spontaneously emerge from within you?"

In the beginning, one encounters Internal Resistance. Just ask yourself, for example, something like, "What if I didn't have to work?" and then see how suddenly the chatter inside the mind comes up and starts giving you a million reasons why you have to "work". This resistance is the Ego looking to preserve the status quo to keep you safe, to prevent any unknown and unforeseen consequences. But, any time you are uncomfortable you are growing. Letting go of this internal resistance is letting fear go. Fear is taking a past experience and projecting it onto a future experience, which totally destroys the moment where an opportunity can be received. Fear starts in the past and future and denies the present. But, by letting go of what no longer serves you, you can take action and take the steps that will prevent your future from becoming your past! Hanging on to feelings (resentment, anger, hurt, shame, etc.) or judgments or conclusions force you to be in your own way, these emotions block you, stagnate you, congest you. From there physical injury starts to develop in the body, in the form of pain, inflammation, infection, and infestation. So, there is a big relief in letting go. Qigong allows you to observe what you have blocking you inside, breathing through it, and letting the sigh of relief release the stagnant emotion. You feel the block opening and this trapped energy moves out and goes higher and higher from where it was locked in until it is no longer felt inside again.

Taoist Qigong meditation teaches you how to put forth as much effort as possible without strain. We start by defining the line of effort and strain with simple qigong exercises. Says Bruce K. Franztis, "Through practice, you discover that if you cross the line— if you go past a certain point in body or mind—an internal fight arises, you hit internal resistance. The trick is to figure out how far you can go forward without encountering resistance of any kind. When you play the line without overdoing it, you can achieve more and progress faster. However, as soon as you strain, internal resistance begins to build. Keep in mind that this line of effort and strain is constantly changing. Where you find yourself today is not necessarily where you will be tomorrow or six months from now. So it’s not as simple as identifying the line once and staying behind it. Taoist philosophy recognizes that the Universe already works harmoniously according to its own ways; as a person exerts their will against or upon the world they disrupt the harmony that already exists. This is not to say that a person should not exert agency and will. Rather, it is how one acts in relation to the natural processes already extant. The how, the Tao of intention and motivation, that is key." So, Wu Wei is letting go and then taking action in a way that feels natural, like it was always meant to be.

According to Wikiipedia, "It is not an imaginary state that we aspire to but one readily achievable and frequently entered by those performing repetitive movements which require energy and concentration. It may be experienced by athletes, performers, musicians, ramblers, students of the nei jia (the internal schools of martial arts) students of the wai jia (the external schools), yoga practitioners, students of certain schools of meditation and others. The majority of those who have entered wu wei have no fore-knowledge of the event and only know that something extraordinary happened that they couldn't put into words. . . The goal for wu wei is to get out of your own way, so to speak. This is like when you are playing an instrument and if you start thinking about playing the instrument, then you will get in your own way and interfere with your own playing. It is aimless action, because if there was a goal that you need to aim at and hit, then you will develop anxiety about this goal."

One of the biggest problems or obstacles that people put in their own way is being impatient, of not allowing themselves time to integrate what they have learned through Qigong or elsewhere within themselves. Continues Bruce K. Frantzis, "Over the years, I’ve observed many students try to go around the line. The ones that are successful at advancing their qigong, bagua or tai chi practice (and life in general), know that when they hit any internal resistance, they’ve just got to switch to something else for a while. They take a rest and allow time for integration. Once whatever is causing the resistance is integrated, they can once again move forward. If you can observe yourself and see how much you can do while remaining relaxed and open, you might find that you can’t do as much at first. Back off—whether in your practice or your daily life—and maintain a level of output that doesn’t cause tension. Then, as you begin to do more, tasks will become easier without the necessity of activating your force of will or the drama that has become common to the modern man. In modern life, we’re constantly chasing after things in the external world. But you will never find peace in any external object. Any external object you get will eventually become boring and lose its appeal. Practicing the principle of wu wei, of effortlessness, will allow you time for integration. In the internal arts, you learn form in order to master a technique, then you forget the form, and eventually experience the formlessness of wu wei. This formlessness is the ultimate goal of all the internal arts. This fundamental Taoist concept of action arising from an empty mind without preconception or agenda will help you discover the joy and happiness inside yourself."

Mar 21, 2011

Walking Qigong - March 20, 2011

Walking Qigong is a very powerful method of practicing energy movement and healing. Practicing Walking Qigong is very enjoyable thing to learn to practice outdoors in the upcoming spring and summer times. It helps you to lose weight, tone your body, and become more fit and happy; with continued practice you become more relaxed and happy. Not only are the physical, emotional, and spiritual centers opened but coordination and balance are strengthened as well. Immediate movement of Qi is felt through the hands and then rest of the body. 
 "As the world’s fastest racewalking gerontologist, I have discovered that blending Qigong movement and exercise has helped me stay healthy and maintain my world class ranking in my age group." - Jack Bray
Medical science has for some time known that the action of walking aids in the return circulation through the venous system. No one had suspected that under the arch of the foot covered by the plantar fascia was a bio-mechanical pump activating an entire system of deep veins responsible for the re-circulation of venous blood to the heart. Walking, not running in a manner that allows the heel to touch down first with the weight of the body rolling over the arch of the foot onto the toes will compress the Plantar heart pump on the feet in the most efficient manner.
The movements protect against osteoporosis, arthritis, weakness, heart disease, and fatigue, bringing you more vitality, rejuvenation, and flexibility. Grounding, proper alignment, posture, weight shifting, breath work, energy movements, self healing, and more are all coordinated together while walking in a special pattern from side to side. Practicing qigong also has positive results on regulating the respiration and oxygen of the body. Medical research has shown that an insufficient supply of oxygen can increase the growth of cancer. When the body is rich in oxygen, the cancer cells die. Walking Qigong allows for greater oxygen content in the body.
Another important factor is the stability of one's emotions. Walking Qigong, while a healing form, is a walking meditation. By obtaining a state of meditation, one is not distracted by depressing thoughts or worries. The feeling of helplessness is lifted and a positive attitude emerges. Through relaxation, the body returns to a more normal state. A feeling of happiness and confidence helps to maintain a strong and vital spirit. This feeling of confidence is also achieved through group practice. One becomes more committed and willpower is strengthened. When the group has good results, all are encouraged and keep a positive outlook, which aids in the healing process.
In the beginning, Walking Qigong involves stepping and landing gently with the heel first, rocking forward and pushing off from the toes—heel, toe, rolling, when the leg goes forward, bend the knee. This works better than stepping forward with a flat foot or overstriding. There is also a method where you walk with a series of steps in snake-like moves to the left and then to the right like weaving in and out, as if your path would resemble the winding progress of a snake. There are many different walking patterns with many different arm postures. Most people are conditioned to focus on walking in a straight line forward; this pattern gives the brain a chance to work on left/right integration as you move forward. The movements first to the left and then the right will harmonize the two sides of the brain as well as help the mind and body become one. With each step, you breathe deeply in a natural way, while the arms can be down at your side or up in various Qi gathering and moving postures.
“Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Each step we take will create a cool breeze, refreshing our body and mind. Every step makes a flower bloom under our feet. We can do it only if we do not think of the future or the past, if we know that life can only be found in the present moment.” —Peace is Every Step: the Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh

Mar 13, 2011

Transformational Living - March 13, 2011

Energy flows through the body in specific pathways, which Qigong calls Meridians (which means 'channels'). The goal of Qigong is to have a smooth flow through these pathways. If not, blockages are caused which dam up the body, causing a feeling of congestion, tiredness, loss of vitality, aging, and more. Energy blockages are also experienced as pain and disease. Also, through trauma and attitudes, thoughts effect feelings, which in turn negatively effect the physical body. Energy blockages lead to stagnation, which leads to inflammation, which leads to infection, which leads to infestation (parasites). So, a downward spiral from subtle to dense occurs. 
Doing energy work (Qigong) is as vital to living healthy as is eating, sleeping, and exercising. Tension, stress, anxiety, and so on accumulate inside us all day, regardless of how calm we are. We cannot attack or escape from the irritations of bosses, bills, or traffic jams; this lack of discharge of pent up stress wears us out over time, leading us to exhaustion or even explosive anger. As people get more tense, they soon get more numb. This accumulation of negativity causes a gradual loss of awareness physically and emotionally. People become less able to know what feeling good actually feels like. They become accustomed to feeling weak, tired, bored, and numb.

Feeling energy is the first step towards taking control of your life. By increasing your awareness of subtle energy, you can start to unravel the layers of negativity. The fundamental movements of basic Qigong help to begin the process of coming back to being fully alive, rather than in a zombie like state. You become aware of not only the physical anatomy (organs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligament, nervous system, lymphatic system, blood vessels, spine, etc), but also the Energetic Anatomy, which consists of its own pathways, vibratory frequencies, and functionality. The Energetic Anatomy can be likened to wireless antennas and how they connect people to the source of a signal and to other people, creating wireless communication. This "wireless communication" allows for transformational living to be possible. Transformational living is the process of generating changes that remove stagnation and that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your life.

Within Qigong, this process of transformational change is symbolized by the Yin-Yang image, which shows light coming in, shadow going out, and harmonic stillness unifying the two. The Yin-Yang moves the way that energy moves. Energy transforms in three phases: pulsing in, pulsing out, and stillness (rest). All the molecules within our body and within everything in the universe do this alternating between pulsing in and out and resting in between. Within the body, rhythmic pulsations move in a cycle from the extremities to the core.  All bodily systems follow this pattern of going in, going out, and stillness, from the blood to the breath to the nerves and so on.

The expansions and contraction that occur during Qigong clear out blockages and stagnation in a way that can be immediately felt. This newly unbridled energy can then be used by you to fight germs, heal injuries, process disturbed emotions, develops creative solutions to problems, and much more. By doing Qigong, you learn to tune in to the innate intelligence possessed within this unblocked energy flow.

Once aware, you can assist it in its natural healing or transformational work. This awareness is what Buddhism calls "mindfulness". You become sensitive to what you feel and thus to who you are. You learn to listen to your self. By being fully able to feel your body's functions, you can more clearly feel your body's boundaries. Then, when you shift your awareness from your body to YOU, you can realize that YOU do not have any boundaries, that you are infinite. Thus, you also learn that your body is within YOU, not the other way around.