Lesson 1 of 2
When you have embodied the spherical aspect of Tao movement arts, it will naturally appear in every form you practise–whether Circle Walking, bagua, qi gong, tai chi or breathing. Until then, your intent must be focused on creating circularity in your movements.
So this lesson is much more suited to the long-term student. Although beginners could also use the information as a compass, as a directional indicator of where you are heading.
Balancing the Body in Motion
Now let’s look at engaging the physical opening of the sphere balancing the body in motion. When you move in qigong, and specifically in Gods Qi Gong, you look for motion in all directions at once rather than sequentially. However, in the beginning, you will need to practice each of the six directions individually, in pairs, two planes together and finally the whole sphere.
As you open from the kwa and spine you look for:
- The tail bone lengthening down through the legs to the feet as the upper spine lengthens up to the crown of the head to achieve the down-up energy/expansion.
- Whichever parts of the fingers, hands and arms are facing forward, the knees and toes expand forward as the spine expands back slightly to achieve the forward-back energy/expansion.
- The shoulder blades, perineum, pelvis and rib cage open to the sides to achieve the left-right energy/expansion (and in some cases the elbows, hands and fingers).
All of this is happening simultaneously in order to create the spherical opening of the body and then everything shrinks back to where it was on the close, again all together. Bagua does this exceptionally well, but before you can apply this technique in your walking or bagua palm changes, you must practice with both feet flat on the ground for quite awhile.
First, in stages (mentioned above) build up to the spherical expansion of the body in the standing qi gong posture “hug a tree”. Practice until you can obtain a very comfortable and relaxed spherical operation of the body with ease and without tension. Then, add this spherical work to your regular qi gong sets, but not yet in your bagua or tai chi as you need absorption time.
A Word about Spherical Techniques
This is quite a tricky piece of kit to play with and so, as normal, I recommend the traditional Taoist training principle of Separate and Combine. There are so many layers over which to gain control, so if you don’t tease them out and play with them, neigong thread by neigong thread by neigong thread, you’re almost sure to leave out crucial components and eventually hit the glass ceiling.
Practice either the breathing or the physical opening, but don’t combine them yet. Be patient–all comes to he/she who waits. Also, adhere to the Rule of Thirds: Don’t push, don’t force and relax into your practice.