Gods Playing in the Clouds is attuned to the Earth Element with its integrative influence making it possible to weave together all 16 threads of the nei gong system into one, cohesive whole. The energy, power and internal content derived from ongoing Gods training forms the basis for all other Tao arts, such as tai chi, hsing-i, bagua and Tao meditation, making Gods Qi Gong an excellent, well-equipped conduit for taking you down the path of personal development.
Yet many students still ask me, “Am I ready to learn Gods Qi Gong now”? So I’ve put together an overview of what Gods can offer you in consideration of your current state of health and skill level.
Beginning Gods Training + Training Gods as a Beginner
Although it is well-established that Gods Qi Gong has the potential to contain the entirety of the nei gong system, what is often misunderstood or perhaps overlooked is that “entirety” includes the four entry-level nei gong threads:
- Bending, stretching and twisting of the soft tissues
- Opening and closing of the joints
- Tao breathing techniques
For this reason, Gods is recommended for students of all skill levels, from greenhorns to mavens.
A beginner could initiate their training with Gods Qi Gong with a prime focus on choreography. Through the process, they will naturally absorb whatever depth of internal content they can handle.
Students who train other qi gong programmes will find that Gods Qi Gong offers new angles from which to study the very same Taoist principles, reinforcing experiential knowledge and nei gong embodiment. Those who have trained the four basic nei gong threads to some degree of depth (through any or all of the foundational sets – Dragon and Tiger Qi Gong, Energy Gates Qi Gong, and Heaven and Earth Qi Gong) will find the movements of Gods to be very accessible, yield more power and offer a higher level of integration. Although it is not necessary to have trained the three basic sets before learning Gods since early Gods training encompasses every aspect offered within these systems. One example is the first movement of Gods, which is essentially a condensed version of Heaven and Earth, and sets the stage for the learning progression that continues through the rest of the moves. Heaven and Earth itself can contain all the content found in Energy Gates and Dragon and Tiger – if you complete all the relevant training. So the whole system is a build programme with Gods serving as a point of integration to stabilise all techniques you have learned to-date.
Whatever the potential of any form, it is just that – potential – until it is actualised. For this reason, Tao arts training is a cyclical process, allowing you to assimilate what you can in the moment and leave what you cannot to be addressed in future revolutions – without limiting your overall development. If you were to wait until your Energy Gates or Dragon and Tiger practice were perfect before training Heaven and Earth, and wait again until your Heaven and Earth was perfect before training Gods, you would be very unlikely to advance at a good rate. And, let’s be honest, perfection is not possible anyway and you never know what works for you until you try it. Any unlocked block can initiate a chain reaction that suddenly results in greater freedom in body, mind or qi enegy. It might be a qi gong set, tai chi or bagua form, or meditation practice. For me, it was bagua that held the key. The situation was unusual enough as bagua is not recommended for those who have back and knee injuries, and I had both! It worked because I learned to train sensibly, and I managed to connect to my insides and release what was stagnant and bound. Who knows what will work for you!
All things considered, Gods Qi Gong quickly penetrates the body to its core. This access allows both the novice and dedicated student to locate deeply bound tensions and blockages, and eventually work loose and eradicate them. In fact, some of the form movements that comprise Gods are rather straightforward and easy to learn when compared to say the Swings in Energy Gates or Exercises 2 + 7 in Dragon and Tiger. In this way, Gods offers simplistic motion along with deep penetration of the body that puts the willing student squarely on the path of genuine internal exercise. Of course, this powerful combination makes Gods more physically, energetically and mentally demanding, but so long as you adhere to the Rule of Thirds, you can safely train towards your goals.
Intermediate Gods Qi Gong Training + Beyond
Gods Playing in the Clouds Qi Gong is the ultimate and most efficient container for Taoist nei gong, it is the system from which all other qi gong sets are derived. Experience of Gods can give you incredible insights into how qi gong works – an overview of the whole discipline. So once you know the choreography, you’re away. You can add energetic and internal content for the rest of your life, until of course you achieve the 16th component: Connecting each and every part of your physical body into one unified energy!
Over months, years and decades (for the truly dedicated), you practice Gods while doing your best to activate and incorporate nei gong commensurate with your current level of integration. If all is fine, smooth and assimilated, then you look to add the next thread, technique or component to your practice. If that aspect of nei gong you are now ready to focus on is attuned to the Earth Element, then you stick to training Gods. If, however, the new focus of your training is attuned to one of the other four Elements (Fire, Wood, Water or Metal), then you train the corresponding qi gong set. Practice that qi gong for awhile (several weeks or months) to bring this new aspect alive, and then return to Gods to assimilate your growing skill base once again.
Now, if anything is amiss in your Gods practice, you can apply the same principle: go to the Five Element Qi Gong set which governs that component, and fix, upgrade and hone it to the best of your ability before returning to Gods for yet deeper integration. Continue adhering to this Taoist principle as you train, dipping in and out of the four Elements, embodying ever-deeper layers of nei gong each time you return to Gods. In this way, the container that is Gods Qi Gong acts as a bank or store for all active nei gong with each component refined and blended together into one exquisite, evolving lattice. Here, the nature of the Earth Element can truly be expressed in body, mind and qi.
Breaching Tao Meditation through Nei Gong Training
Each nei gong thread opens up, brings alive and revitalises the systems and subsystems of your mind-body-qi matrix. As you train over the months and years, more of you becomes conscious – you wake up – and this is precisely how Gods becomes a bridge to meditation. Tao meditation requires you to be awake, to be conscious. Therefore, through Gods, you can gain access to both sides of the Tao arts coin: health, healing and power generation on one side, and meditation on the other. Gods is one conduit with two paths, a rare and invaluable tool for navigating life on Earth in the modern era.