Chigong, an ancient healing art, is similar to Reiki
and the laying on of hands.  The basic principle is to use energy
from outside yourself to heal yourself or others.

	The principles of chinese medicine are complex, but 
luckily Chigong is an art that does not require a lot of study
and understanding of principles.  
	The "chigong state", as taught me by Master Lyn Yao at
the Yaolin Chigong center, is a state which is not fully a dream 
state or a conscious state, but a state inbetween, where the mind 
can consciously visualize, but it is more than just thinking
about something, it is actually doing it.

	The energy center, or Dien ten (pronounced DON TIN) is 
within the belly, in the space on inch below the belly button.

	One word of caution, in the practice of chigong, as with
other arts, it is best to consult a physician for serious
recurrent medical problems. Chigong is powerful, but it is not 
magic.

	I have found that it is best to experiment with chigong
without placing a lot of expectations on the outcome.  Contrary
to what we are taught, I believe that the visualizations of 
chigong work without "faith", as without understanding.  In my 
own experience I found that Expecting someone to "get healed" was
more of a drain, and a disappointment and left a feeling of guilt 
with the injured person.  Chigong is an experiment of sorts and I 
believe it is best done as such, without expectation, simply as 
an experiment.  This helps to ease the mind into a more relaxed 
state.  Chigong should be Fun, not work, if it is going to work.

	I believe that the basic tenets to chigong, at least in 
my own process, are practice and being gentle with your self and
your body.  Tai chi is a flowing art, for example, not meant to 
be done as a rigorous exercise.  The movements are not stiff and
controled but smooth and continuous.  A great thing about 
chigong is that you can practice simple movements over and over
to build energy and it doesn't require a lot of memorization,
physical stamina or study.  After you learn just a few simple 
movements and ideas you can create your own movements and 
visualizations.

	We begin by learning the standing form.  It is best to do 
a little light stretching before hand in slow steady movements or
gentle swinging motions.  One exercise for the warm up is to 
stand with your feet a shoulder's width apart and your arms 
straight out at the sides or at an angle.  Without moving your
arms begin to twist at the waist in one direction until your hand
gently taps your back or kidneys, then reverse the twist to the 
other side.  This is repeated several times.  It is important
that you do not swing too quickly or abruptly, the idea is to be
gentle with your body.

	[For a full explanation of this exercise, it not only 
helps to loosen the joints, the gently tapping of the back also 
helps shakes toxins and waste from the kidneys.]

	Another good warm up is to practice something Master Lyn
calls "spontaneous chigong".  This is simply very slow smooth
small movements doing whatever your body feels it needs.  ie. 
rolling your neck slowly around. (without forcing it) Chigong
movements are "floating" movements.  You do not force your 
muscles and joints, you flow as if you were floating in water,
using the least amount of energy possible for the movement,
moving in a relaxed and dreamy way.

	You can also softly rub and/or gently tap any or all part
of your body.  This is really good for the body.  Sometimes I 
even talk to a part of my body, for instance my knee and I 
encourage it and thank it and tell it what a great job it is
doing.  It is Very important that you never insult your body or
mind, even in jest.  I believe it is harmful to say "Oh that was
so stupid of you" to yourself, or even to call an injured part
"bad", such as, "Oh, that's my bad leg".  It is not bad, in fact,
it is doing an awful lot for you considering.  I take special 
time with my injured parts, rubbing them gently talking to them
softly.  It does not necessarily "cure" the injury, but I know 
that the injury is not my leg's fault.  I believe being gentle
with your body is the best way to relax and relaxing is the best
way to allow your body to heal as much as it can.  I really 
believe that we need to be patient with our bodies and
understanding and if we are we will find that they will treat us
nicer too.

	Now you are ready for standing form.  Stand comfortably
with your feet a shoulder's length apart.  There is a slight bend
in the knees, your back should be straight, chin slightly down so
that the crown of the head is pointing straight upward.  Hold
your arms a shoulders width apart, at a 45% angle in front of the
body.  Let your wrists and arms lie limply.  
(This can also be done with your arms at a 90% angle from the
body held in a big circle in front of you as if you are holding a
huge beach ball.  The finger tips are lightly touching the ball
and are about an inch or more apart from each other)

	Imagine, as you breathe slowly and deeply in and out, 
that energy from the sun, or the universe is coming from the sky
down into your head and down the front of your body.  Imagine 
that it is warm inside the front of your body.  Let it go all the
way down your legs to your feet and into the ground.  Reach this
energy deep into the healing earth and bring up positive energy
from the earth into your feet and up the back part of your legs
back, arms, shoulders, neck and head.  This can be imagined to
feel like hot steam (at a comfortably warm temperature)  Continue
the energy up into the sky again and repeat down the front of the 
body (feeling waterfall) into the ground, collect more energy and
circulate it up the back part of your body.  
(If you are using the "holding the ball" form you may chose to
expand the "ball" as you breathe in and contract it as you 
breathe out, in other words, slightly move your arms to make the
"ball" bigger and then let then fall back into their original
place.  In this way you "play" with the "energy ball" and make it
stronger.  You become more aware of the energy.

	During standing form you can also do simple spontaneous
chigong with micro movements.  I find this very relaxing.  To
hold a posture can create stiffness and you want to acheive
relaxation and fluidity.  Later on I will tell you about 
Fragrance Chigong, which are slow repeated flowing movements 
designed for relaxation and building up of energy.

	Standing form can be repeated as many times as you like
and helps build energy.  You can also circulate energy just 
within the body.  I like to collect more and more energy from the
outside however.  I think it is more powerful.

	Another note of caution.  When placing healing energy 
within a person, always use the healing energy of the earth and
the universe rather than your own energy!  This is very 
important.  Most people do not have a large reserve of energy of
their own and the universe's is endless.  Using your own energy
is dangerous as it weakens you.  It is best to use outside energy
for healing purposes as it is powerful and will not deplete your
energy stores.

	Once you have practiced standing form for several minutes
complete the energy circle by allowing the energy to go up the
back, to the shoulders and down the arms to the hands.  Holding
your hand in a relaxed manner with the palms facing together
gently begin to pull them farther apart with your arms, then push
them slowly closer together.  Continue this movement for as many
times as you like, this is playing with the energy ball.  Imagine
that as you pull your arms apart they want to stick together,
like a magnet, as you move them together it is as if they are
being forced apart. (Important, do not use your muscles and 
physical resistance, this is purely done with the imagination. 
Your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands should be limply relaxed.)
After a while you will feel this.  This feeling is the energy 
ball as you squeeze it together and pull it wider apart.

	(The standing form can also be down while seated in a 
chair or even while lying down.  I find it works better from a 
standing or seated position however.)

	Once you are satisfied with the pulling and pushing 
exercise imagine that the energy is again absorbed into your 
palms and body.  If you have a particular injury you can also
gently push the energy ball with your palms into that area, for 
example the knee. (put in dien ten)

	This is the basic foundation of chigong.  There are many
other exercises and visualizations that can be performed, both
techniques that are known and taught and movements and 
visualizations that are adapted and/or made up.  Anyone can 
invent a chigong technique.  It is not difficult.  I like to
imagine that I am taking the sun's brightness and energy and
placing it into my injured knee.  Sometimes I imagine that I am
standing within an energy ball, like the sun, bright and shining
and powerful energy and I absorb energy into my body that way.

	I will, as I have time, write about more chigong 
techniques such as "the inner smile", fragrance chigong, the 6
healing sounds, and others.

	For your visualization during chigong, to be combined 
with standing form or any other you can imagine either a ball or
glowing light or a flower in your stomach about an inch below
your belly button.  You can imagine the energy growing bigger and
brighter as you breathe in and dimming and getting smaller as you
breathe out.  As you continue to do this you can imagine that the
light is getting bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger with
each breath, fading and getting slightly smaller with each breath
outwards.  

	Some people imagine the internal energy ball as if it is
breathing within you, or your body is breathing with the energy
ball.  You can make it grow until it fills your body fully and 
radiates outward into the room you are standing or sitting in.
 Maybe this is like an aura?

	For the flower visualization, imagine the flower opening
and closing, getting bigger, or blooming  with each inhalation
and closing into a bud with each exhalation.  Sometimes the 
flower is pictured in front of a person rather than in their
 belly.

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