The Wu Chi posture was described. This traces the transition from nothingness to separatedness. If you practice Wu Chi, you would have felt the difference. You are now ready to “evolve”.
The Wu Chi exercise is a powerful meditative and even spiritual practice. You learn to be in a state of connectedness within yourself, as well as to the Universe. The feeling of nothingness means you are a receptive vessel for healthy healing energy; and also for good thoughts, good ideas, good luck and other good vibrations. Often we are unable to sort out the goings-on in our lives due to too much “clutter” and confusion in our thinking. The Wu Chi state is an excellent exercise to clear your mind so that your thoughts will be much improved. Even muddy water, when allowed to remain still long enough, will become clear as the mud settles down.
In our lives, the mud is our emotions. Emotions often obscure our objectivity, and often cloud our thinking. Intense emotions can make life unmanageable. Even being too much in love makes life difficult. Hatred, anger, vengefulness, jealousy, sadness and other negative emotions can sap away our energy and destroy our lives. Even positive emotions like sympathy and love can cause us to make mistakes and misjudgements, as these emotions affect our clarity and objectivity. So how long you need to be in the Wu Chi state depends on how muddy your mind is!
The state of Wu Chi is described as the state of being – not a state of doing. It is state of effortless existence, a state of total relaxation and calmness. Some Masters would remind their students: “No matter how relaxed you are, relax some more!”
Regular practice would give you an energized body and a great sense of well being. You may even gradually change your outlook on life – become less demanding on yourself and others as you learn to accept things as they are and “go with the flow.” Calmness and tranquility replace tension and anxiety. This is the evolution from chaos to order, from restlessness to peace.
THE VARIANT POSTURES
There are several other posture variations that you can go into and be in the Wu Chi state. These are the Mother, Father, Son and Daughter postures (described in previous articles, see www.superqigong.com ).
When starting Qigong practice, it is essential that you go into the “Qigong” state of mindfulness, conscious breathing, and deliberate postures ( or conscious, coordinated movements ). This starts the Qi moving and activates the main energy centres and channels. All the Qigong exercises would be done under these conditions.
However, the Wu Chi state is even more intense. There are no distractions from movements as you are required to be motionless throughout the exercise. The only movements are the gentle involuntary movements brought about by Qi. When this happens, you are not to resist, as the spontaneous movements are beneficial and help unblock any poorly functioning meridians, and aid in distributing the Qi to the organs. Besides, these gentle spontaneous movements are always enjoyable.
Occassionally, students get strong involuntary movements when they do intense Qigong exercises without being fully ready for the surge in Qi flow. When this happens it becomes uncomfortable and the exercise should be stopped. Intense exercises like Wu Chi should only be done by those who have practised Qigong sufficiently and know how to harness Qi. Beginners should try only under the watchful eyes of a Master.
STILLNESS IN MOTION
After you have practiced Wu Chi Qigong for sometime, it is natural for orderly movements to set in even though your intention is stillness. It is natural to spontaneously and effortlessly “evolve” from the original Wu Chi posture to the Mother posture, other variants and spontaneous postures.
When this happens it is most joyful as you experience stillness in motion. Your thoughts and emotions remain focused on your stillness, yet your arms ( and even your legs ) move on their own accord. You may even start to dance. Imagine a galaxy – silently but surely rotating its arms in a grand fashion while remaining steadfastly still in the centre. When this happens you feel one with the Universe.
This is the same kind of feeling I get when I do the whirling sufi dance made famous by the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey.
TAI CHI & TAI CHI CHUAN
In Tao philosophy, Tai Chi is the state of separatedness that came after Wu Chi ( state of stillness ). In my analogy of the history of the Universe, I described the state of Chi Kung as the third state which is the energetic, intelligent process of fashioning the Universe into what it is now – an orderly state of affairs with defined laws.
When it comes to the exercises, however, the terms Tai Chi and Chi Kung ( Qigong ) have different meanings. Qigong was originally called “yang sheng” or “nourishing life”, and goes back tens of thousands of years. The present Qigong exercises originated more than 3000 years ago while Tai Chi Chuan ( or Taijiquan ) is less than 1000 years old. Tai Chi Chuan can be viewed as a simplification of ancient Qigong principles. Thus some experts call Qigong as the Mother of Tai Chi Chuan. Both are continuously being modified by modern Masters and there are thousands of styles now in existence.
THE DRAGON, THE TIGER & THE DOG
Ho Shang Kung, a wise Taoist, once said, “A dragon is still, hence it is able to constantly transform itself. A tiger is busy, hence it dies young.”
It is good for us to learn from this and be silently observing and learning, ready to transform ourselves into something better all the time.
But the best is the dog. It is both still and busy, according to the situation, when guarding and serving its master. We have so much to learn from the dog. When it comes to obedience, it can certainly teach us many lessons.
May I wish all Chinese readers Gong Xi Fa Cai as they welcome the year of the Dog.