Of the several thousand forms of qi gong, only a few are as simple yet penetrate the body and chi as deeply as the Marriage of Heaven and Earth Qi Gong. This single, repetitive exercise can contain a colossal amount of internal and energetic content with each thread amplifying and multiplying all others. The benefits from correct, integrated and fluid practice— along with the potential weaves, depth and range possible within each layer—lead those in-the-know to regard Heaven and Earth as nothing less than pure magic.
Just take a look at Heaven and Earth Qi Gong’s range of internal-energetic layers—each containing incredible potential depth:
- Bend-and-stretch techniques
- Open-and-close techniques
- Breathing methods
- Twisting techniques
- Lengthening (yin-yang flows) techniques
- Wrapping techniques
- Techniques for working with the etheric field
- Macrocosmic and Microcosmic orbits
- Techniques for working with the left and right channels of energy
- Techniques for working with the central channel of energy
- Integrating all of the above
Embedded within these techniques are three basic levels to training qi gong in general and Heaven and Earth Qi Gong in particular. The levels have to do with what you do with your soft tissues, fluids and qi energy.
Developing Qi Energy in a Single Movement
With most qi gong systems, there is a sense of developing an aspect, layer or nei gong thread in one move and then focusing on different and/or deeper content in the next move. In this way, the qi that is generated in the preceding move is passed up to the next—if executed correctly, that is. Many internal exercises are designed based on the principle of amplifying chi circulation throughout a series of coordinated movements that together form a set. Energy Gates Qi Gong, Dragon and Tiger Qi Gong, Gods Qi Gong, tai chi and bagua all intrinsically operate in this way to varying degrees generate chi and cultivate resiliency and vitality— albeit with caveats specific to their unique composition and primary modus operandi.
Self-Healing, Energy Exercise
Heaven and Earth Qi Gong is different. With only one continuous motion, the emphasis shifts to building layer upon layer of internal content through many repetitions instead of varying movement sequences. As you develop depth, content and quality of motion at each stage, qi energy cultivation naturally follows. So each layer must be engaged, activated and honed before adding the next. You need a certain degree of embodiment at each layer before progressing, or you will revert to juggling layers rather than integrating them. There’s a reason the joker or court jester is often depicted juggling!
In a Heaven and Earth practice session, you must repeat each individual layer several or more times in order to bring alive any given aspect of nei gong and stabilise it within the other layers you have already assimilated. Then, when focusing on the next layer, you once again have the possibility of integrating that thread into your form. If any layer is intermittent or just outside of your ability to stabilise, spend time at that stage, adhere to the Principle of Separate and Combine, and don’t be too enticed by the next carrot.
For example, if you want to develop your skill with pulsing, you must spend some time sitting or standing, focusing and engaging the pulse with as few distractions as possible. In time and with practice, you eventually want to transfer your ability to open and close to all of your forms. The aim is to be able to bring it alive on-demand and in concert with anything else that may be happening to you in the moment.
When you have sufficient experience with pulsing in stillness and all prerequisite techniques, it will profoundly soften your body, and completely upgrade the overall quality of motion you can generate.
Unifying the Body, Mind + Qi Energy
From a beginning perspective, Heaven + Earth Qi Gong is practised to engage and upgrade your body’s systems. From a more advanced perspective, Heaven and Earth is all about developing balance and integration in your body, mind and qi.