Blog – Qigong & Daoist writings from my Daoist Practice Journals and other writings.

This blog contains entries from my latest book on qigong: Qigong, A Beginners To Advanced Guidebook, 2020 In addition to being a guide for getting started in learning qigong, it contains an important section on how to use qigong as a way to protect yourself from being vulnerable to the coronavirus.  My entry copied here provides insightful ways to apply qigong practices to stay healthy.

This blog also contains entries from my books, A Daoist Practice Journal: Come Laugh With Me, 2013; A Daoist Practice Journal, Book 2: Circle Walking, Qigong, and Daoist Cultivation, 2016, and A Daoist Practice Journal, Book 3, Qigong, Seasonal Food Cures & Daoist Cultivation.

Daoist Altar Retreat 2018

Daoist Altar at Retreat 2018

 

From: A Daoist Grows in the Heart                                                            February 27, 2018

I am now returning to where I left off in my February 6th entry, the discussion on the steps of Zuowang meditation leading to the reunion of the Jing, Qi, and Shen and the original Xing, or our true nature. In Master Wu Jyh Cherng’s book, Daoist Meditation, chapter 3, he goes into a further explanation on the theoretical implications of this process. It’s all about the union of the cosmic forces of nature, that is, the uniting of Yin and Yang. According to traditional Daoist cosmology, or how the universe came to be, once the universe separated into the multiplicity of things, the result was the creation of Yin and Yang. And going along with the creation and separation of Yin and Yang was the separation of Shen-spirit, consciousness and Qi-vital energy, breath (but not the Breath of Pure Consciousness). This separation of the Yin and Yang forces “are the causes of dual-level consciousness” (Cherng 2015, 30). We can speak of these phenomena as the world of preferences, the world of opposites, opinions, judgments, and so forth. We are all, thus stuck in only one dimension, that of duality, and can’t find a way out of our situation. 

From: Qigong: A Beginners To Advanced Guidebook, 2020

Chapter 5: The Metal Element, the Immune System, and Wei Qi

 Section 1: Introduction

 This section focuses on keeping our Lungs, immune system, and Wei Qi field strong. There are many common, ordinary ways of doing this. Some practical suggestions are, first of all, to maintain a regular Qigong practice. But also, to eat healthy according to the seasons. We can take extra vitamin or herbal supplements. We can go on more frequent walks or other inside or outside exercises and get plenty of rest. What all of these practices are doing is giving us a strong immune system. In Chinese Medicine and Qigong theory, the western notion of the immune system is correlated to the energetics of the Metal Element and the Lungs. This system also includes the skin as the skin is considered the external lungs. The other component of the energetic body that needs consideration is called the Wei Qi. The Wei Qi is described in the section on the basics of Chinese Medicine. So for now, you can say, to keep ourselves strong against any invading negative influences we have to maintain a high level of breathing capacity and vitality, and a strong protective shield of Wei Qi.

The following outline and description of exercises is a sample of exercises I shared with my local Qigong students. The understanding behind this Five Element plan is to strengthen the Lung Qi. The theory states that if you want to strengthen the Lung Qi or Metal Element, you also support the nourisher or mother element, which is the Earth Element and the related organs and meridians (Spleen and Stomach). And since the Metal Element is the parent of the Water Element and related Kidney and Bladder organs and meridians, it is important to keep those energy systems strong so they do not become burdens on the parent-the Metal Element. The Lung Qi would also be supported directly as well.

In summary, if the Lung Qi is the focus, you would also support the Spleen Qi and the Kidney Qi. However, when you read the section on the Wei Qi, you will see that there is reason to believe that the Spleen Qi is just as important, and maybe more important than the Lung Qi. (Part 4 explains the Five Element system in great detail.)

Section 2: Exercises To Boost The Health Of The Lungs, Immune System, and Wei Qi

 Spleen – Lung – Kidney Immune Boosting

Spleen

Swimming Dragon – The twisting of the waist stimulates the organs-kidneys, spleen, liver.

Bear Frolic – Slow, ponderous, very strong movements warm the body and strengthen the Spleen Qi.

Five Element Organ massage – Spleen massage: yellow color, “whoo” inhale trust, openness, and sincerity and exhale self-doubt, obsessiveness, and worry.

Lungs

Dragon Looks Behind – Stretches Lung and Large Intestine meridians of the arms.

Five Element Organ massage – Lung-chest massage and tapping, visualizing white light purifying the lungs. Sssssss sound – hissing like a snake.

Drawing The Bow –  Stretches and opens the Lung and Large Intestine arm meridians and opens the chest cavity.

Crane Frolic – Develops balance, lightness, endurance, agility, and stillness. It releases the spine and relaxes the whole body. It strengthens the heart and lungs by increasing the circulation of Qi in the upper body.

Kidney and Lung Breathing – Bend forward, hands hanging in Open and Close, and breathe Qi into your Mingmen/kidneys. Straighten up, hands-on lower back area, slightly lean backward and breathe Qi into your chest/lungs.

Peter Deadman Breathing – Slowly raise arms in front, palms face each other, continue to expand outward. Being careful to not over-expand the arms. Breathing: One long, slow inhale into the Lower Dantian for the full movement. Exhale as the arms come back to the front and sink. Imagine the Lower Dantian filling up with Universe Qi. Visualize the Qi going deep into the lungs.

Metal White Energy Cloud – Imagine being surrounded by a cloud of white healing Qi. Practice the basic Qigong exercise of Push-Pull. Exhale, turning to the side and push out toxins from the right lung. Inhale, pull in healing white energy to the right lung. Turn to the other side and perform the same Push-Pull, releasing toxins, absorbing healing Qi to the left lung.  Alternate back and forth.

Ken Cohen Crane Breathing – It is all about breathing deep in the belly. The essence of the exercise is slow breathing as you slightly bend backward and then forwards while standing and concentrating on the breath coming and going from the abdominal region, the Lower Dantian. You can also practice this exercise while sitting straight in a chair. Also, place the palms over the navel area, and when you lean forward, press the abdominal area slightly.

Kidney

Bear Frolic – Slow, ponderous, very strong movements warm the body and strengthen the Kidney energy, and builds vitality and great leg strength.

Five Element Organ Massage – Massage or tap the kidneys in the back. Visualize blue/black colors, chruee sound.  Inhale self-confidence, courage, and wisdom and exhale fear and loneliness.

Drawing The Bow – Strengthen Kidneys and waist by squatting down to firm your root as you draw the bow. Tucking in your tailbone emphasizes the Kidney area.

Hold The Feet – Holding the feet strengthens the Kidney Qi, the waist, and the muscles/tendons and bones. Increased Kidney strength increases defenses against colds and other deficiency problems.  Simple lean forward to the ground, hands holding the feet or behind the ankles. Imagine strong Kidney energy arising in the Mingmen and Lower Dantian.

Moon Yin Tonifying

This Qigong is intended to tonify the whole body with the Yin energies of the moon. It is best practiced on a clear night when the moon is either full or close to being full. And since it involves bending backward, the best time of the evening is when the moon is not straight above.

Preparation. Stand in a relaxed stance facing the moon. Place your hands on your Lower Dantian. Breathe deep in the belly for a minute with your eyes closed.

Exercise                                                                                                                                   Inhale (open eyes) and slightly bend back looking directly at the moon. Feel like you are inhaling the universal Yin energies of Nature. Direct the energy to flow into your body passing through the nose, lungs, and filling the Lower Dantian. Exhaling bending forward a little and releasing any toxins of the body. (Feel free to use the healing “shuu” sound on the exhale)

Closing. Practice as long as you want and then return to standing still and feel the Yin energy going deep into the Kidneys for storage.

Summary Of Exercises To Benefit The Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys, and Wei Qi Field

In most of the above exercises, visualize that you are practicing in a white healing cloud. See this white cloud as especially healing for the Lungs and Spleen and wrap this healing cloud around your whole body. This is your Wei Qi, that is, your energetic immune system, protecting you on all levels but especially from external pathogens.