Magic Pearl Qigong
     
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique
Part I: Movements 1-8
 

Introduction     Movement Names     Movement Lessons   

Part II: Movements 9-16

Tao Te Ching     Taoism     Qigong     Bibliography     Links     Meditation

Tai Chi Medicine Ball Routines    Medicine Ball Exercises    

Study with Mike Garofalo

 


By
Michael P. Garofalo
2011, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California


Disclaimer



 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Magic Pearl Qigong
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique 
 

General Remarks, Comments, Notes, Research, Suggestions 


History

For thousands of years, all around the world, men have used stones of various weights in strength training programs.  There are written references in Persian literature in 1000 BCE about wrestlers training with sand filled bags made of animal bladders.  Hippocrates, in ancient Greece, had patients doing rehabilitation exercises with animal skins filled with sand.  Martial artists in China also used many strength training methods, including lifting heavier stones or iron objects; and, there was widespread use in China of smaller stone balls for finger manipulation exercises. Nineteenth century strength training made use of the "Four Horsemen of Fitness" - the dumbbell, club, stick, and medicine ball.  Contemporary athletes and martial artists use many of the same methods for strength training using medicine balls; and, now have the advantage of using medicine balls of various weights made of rubber, plastic, leather, glass, wood, metal, and stone.

The use of balls, stones, or sticks in fitness, healing, and marital arts in China was primarily one of person to person transmission of the practices and an oral history tradition.  There is little written history on Tai Chi ball training methods from before the 20th Century.  In recent times, Tai Chi Ball or Qigong Ball exercises are associated with Tai Chi masters such as Liu De-kuan (18261911), Chen Qing Zhou (1933-), the scholarly Grandmaster Yang Jwing Ming (1946-), and Jiang Jian-ye (1950-). 

When doing the background research for the Magic Pearl Qigong, I used all of the resources cited in the Medicine Ball bibliography.   Particularly useful were:  The DVD by Chen Qing-Zhou on "Xinggong Tai Chi Ball: Tai Chi 18 Sphere."  Sifu Yang Jwing-Ming's book titled "Tai Chi Ball Qigong for Health and Martial Arts" and his Tai Chi Ball instructional DVDs.  The instructional DVDs on Tai Chi Ball exercises by Sifu Jiang Jian-ye.  I studied numerous books (e.g., Chu, Goldenberg, Jespersen, Mediate, Tenke, etc.) on using a medicine ball in workouts for health and fitness.  I created the Magic Pearl Qigong in 2009, and started teaching it to the Valley Spirit Qigong students in 2011.  I started to publish my notes online about the Magic Pearl Qigong in 2011. 


Meditation, Lore, Associations, Imagination, Visualizations 
  

Pearls have a long history of being valued, treasured, and prized all around the world.  They are extensively used in jewelry, clothing, hats, statues, and decorative artwork of all kinds.  The beauty of pearls are appealing to people everywhere.  Pearls are often associated with the feminine, the full moon, egg or seed fertility, ethereal glowing and emanations, yin powers, the womb, wealth, the One, Unity, circles, spheres, high ranking in society, wisdom, purity, etc.  I tried to draw on these associations when naming the movements of the Magic Pearl Qigong. 

The Magic Pearl Qigong also includes much symbolism, allusions, art, archetypes, poetry, scriptures, and reflections drawn from Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Chinese mythology, Chinese Zen Buddhism, and general sphere and sacred circle symbolism.  These ancient spiritual sources are intended to stimulate the Active Imagination of the Cultivator of the Way; resulting in healing, insight, and awakening. 


Exercise Aspects 

All movements in the Magic Pearl Qigong are done while holding a medicine ball (Tai Chi Ball) in both hands.  You can hold the ball with the hands below the ball or on the sides of the ball, depending upon your comfort zone relative to the weight of the ball and the specific movement being performed.  Using two hands allows a person to greatly increase the weight and size of the medicine ball used when doing the exercise routine.  I feel free to move the ball around in my hands, turning it, repositioning it, and rotating it as I perform the exercises.  Repositioning the hands and rotating the ball strengthens the fingers and wrists. 

Each exercise movement or named posture is repeated 3 to 9 times.   

Typically, in the Magic Pearl Qigong, most movements begin on the left side and you make a clockwise rotation pattern with the ball.  Then, you move to the right side and make a counter-clockwise rotation pattern with the ball.   

The Magic Pearl Qigong does not include stepping movements and no walking - it is pretty much a stationary exercise form.     

This medicine ball exercise routine can be performed in indoor or outdoor locations depending upon the weather, circumstances and personal preference.  Indoor locations provide other meditation enhancement options: incense, music, artwork, altars, etc..  Playing the Magic Pearl Qigong in different locations can offer unique and powerful advantages for body, mind, or spirit that are worth exploring.     

Here is a one page summary (PDF Format) of the names I use for the Magic Pearl Qigong routine, Movements 1-8.  Here is a brief summary of the instructions for performing the movements, 1-8, of the Magic Pearl Qigong routine (2 pages, .pdf). 

Giving and describing directions for Tajiquan and Qigong forms and postures requires some sort of visual cue.  I normally use a clock type of schema to help me visualize directions. 
Image facing a clock on the wall in front of you.  A circle on your body from bottom lower belly S6, left side W9, top chest area N12, and right side E3 is a clockwise circle
A circle on you body from bottom S6, right side E3, top chest area N12, and left side W9 is a counter-clockwise circle. 
Imagine standing on a clock and facing to the 12 o'clock position, and imagine this is facing north (N12).  I try to consistently use this directional scheme
Imagine the clock as a sphere.  Rotating from W9 to E3 or E3 to W9 is a horizontal rotation of the sphere.  Rotating from N12 to S6 or from S6 to N12
     is a vertical rotation of the sphere.  Rotating from N12, E3, S6, and W9 (or the reverse) is a lateral rotation of the sphere. 
When you are facing North 12, then your left side is West 9, and your right side is East 3. 

         


Exercise Alternatives

As all four parts of the Magic Pearl Qigong are published, 32 movements, you are welcome to pick and choose and create your own routine.  An eight movement routine might better fit with the time you have available for practice, your conditioning level, or your energy level on some days.  A shorter eight movement routine might enable you to engage in a bit of learning or meditation on the Eight Trigrams (Bagua) of the I Ching.  Be creative, think outside the box, explore other medicine ball or meditation alternatives.

You can also do the Magic Pearl Qigong exercises while holding a ball in one hand.  Use a lighter ball.  Use a ball that you can easily hold in one hand.  Use one of the new squishy vinyl plastic balls so you can grip it better.  When you move to the left side put the ball in your left hand.  Do half of the repetitions for any movement to the left side with the palm facing up and half with the palm facing down.  This will strengthen your forearms, wrists, and fingers.  When you move to the right side put the ball in your right hand.  Do half of the repetitions for any movement to the right side with the palm facing up and half with the palm facing down.  In Bagua classes I once attended, we held a stone in one hand and did silk reeling types of exercises.  There are medicine ball exercises using two balls and holding a ball in each hand, but these variations are not part of Magic Pearl Qigong.

When I walk I always walk with my cane.  I have adapted the movements of the Magic Pearl Qigong for use with my cane.  You don't have the benefits of strength training as with the weighted medicine ball, but you do get to work some on the range of motion in your shoulders, elbows and wrists with cane exercises while walking for cardio-vascular benefits.  Part of "Magic" is creativity, ingenuity, thinking outside of the box, and playfulness.  It should be noted that Sifu Yang Jwing-Ming teaches a  48 movement tai chi ball form that involves both stepping/walking and Bagua circle walking, and Sifu Jiang Jian-ye teaches a tai chi ball form that involves stepping/walking.  The Magic Pearl Qigong does not include much stepping and no walking while practicing.       

Tai Chi Ball

The Tai Chi is a concept in Taoism.  Tai Chi or Taiji (太極. literally "great ridgepole") is a Chinese cosmological term for the Supreme Ultimate, Great Ultimate, North Pole, Celestial Pole, Great Universal Ridgepole, etc.  Taiji is a state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality.  The Taiji is often symbolized by the Taijitu, the Yin/Yang icon, a circle or sphere.  In our context, the Tai Chi Ball is a medicine ball of some kind, fancy or simple, ornate or plain, heavy or light, made out of many types of materials. Tai Chi Balls come in a variety of sizes and weights, and are made out of a variety of materials.  Calling an ordinary "medicine ball" a "Tai Chi Ball" is just a way of enriching the associations for meditative purposes, and indicating its use in the Chinese internal martial art of Taijiquan or in Kung Fu external martial arts, for strength and fitness training. 

Using any medicine ball involves progressive resistance training.  You start with a ball that feels light to you and easily handled.  You start with a small number of repetitions for each movement.  You practice the Magic Pearl Qigong in the morning and at night.  After the first week of practice, then you increase the number of repetitions.  After an number of weeks of practicing morning and night you will gradually be able to do 9 repetitions of each movement with relative ease.  Then, of course, you increase the weight of the ball.  You gradually progress upward in the number of repetitions (3-9 repetitions) and the weight of the ball.  Take your time.  Don't injure yourself by using too heavy of a ball.  Listen to your body.  Take delight and play with these movements.  

Keep in mind that the heavier the medicine ball you use increases the requirements for cardio-vascular and strength conditioning and makes the activity more of an "external" exercise rather than an "internal" exercise.  If you wish to maximize the "internal" training, Neijia, and/or meditative aspects, then use a lighter Tai Chi ball (2-6 pounds). 

I use a variety of balls weighing 3 pounds, 5 pounds, 6 pounds, and 12 pounds.  I have seen Tai Chi balls made of wood, leather, steel, plastic, rock, glass, ceramics, rubber, and plastic.  You will need to choose a ball that suits your preferences, strength levels, and aesthetic sensibilities.  Wood balls are recommended by many knowledgeable Tai Chi and Qigong teachers, based upon their "sensing" better Qi circulation when using balls made of wood.  Wood balls are more expensive than common medicine balls made of rubber, plastic, or leather.  Ordinary stones are, of course, free for the finding.  Wood balls and polished stone balls can also be quite beautiful. 

For strength training the variables used are: 1) the weight of the ball, 2) the number of repetitions of each movement performed, 3) the number of movements performed in a training session, 4) the depth of the stances (lower = harder), 5) the speed of the movements, and 6) the focus, concentration, and mental intentions used in each movement.  

    

 

 

List of Movement Names

Magic Pearl Qigong
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique   
Part I: Movements 1-8
 

 



 

1.  Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao

2.  Cultivate the Two Pearls   

3.  The Magic Pearl Glows in the Moonlight      

4.  The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl  

5.  Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels  

6.  Open the Giant Oyster Shell    

7.  Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King

8.  The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortals' Pearl in his Cave 


 

 

Here is a list of the names I use for the first 8 movements of the Magic Pearl Qigong medicine ball routine (1 page, .pdf).     

Here is a brief summary of the instructions for performing the movements, 1-8, of the Magic Pearl Qigong routine (2 pages, .pdf). 

Magic Pearl Qigong, Part II: Movements 9-16

 


 

 

 

 

Lessons, Instructions, Movement Descriptions

Magic Pearl Qigong
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique  
Part I: Movements 1-8 
 

Here is a brief summary of the instructions for performing the movements, 1-8, of the Magic Pearl Qigong routine (2 pages, .pdf). 

 

 

1Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao


Instructions for Movement 1:  Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao: 


Begin with you feet together, standing up tall, holding the Tai Chi Ball (medicine ball) in your hands with the ball at waist level. 
Both of your feet should be pointed straight ahead and flat on the floor.
You should feel stable, centered, rooted to the earth.
Relax your body (
Sung: loose, untensed, open, relaxed, calm).
This position is a resting position. 
Clear your mind.  Set aside your thoughts about the work and worries of the day.
Keep a pleasant look on your face. 
Keep your head up, chin slightly ducked down, and look forward. 
Your eyes should be open, with a soft and wide angle focus.
Use the method of looking/seeing called
ping shi or "level gaze." 
Breathe in and out in a relaxed, easy, and regular manner.  
Use the abdominal
breathing techniques.
Breathe in deeply and exhale fully.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Keep your lips parted slightly.
Breathing should be natural, relaxed, and not requiring your attention.  
Relax the shoulders and let them hang down.
Keep tip of your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth between the hard and soft palate. 
Hold the hands gently on the medicine ball, either on the sides of the ball or underneath the ball. 
The ball is held at the waist level centered on you belly-button. 
Stand for as long was you choose to do so. 

In the movements listed below, at transition points, you will be directed to "Return to Wuji."  Just assume the position described above. 

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 1:  Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao: 


In the context of the first movement of the Magic Pearl Qigong, the purpose and meaning intended in Taiji Returns to Wuji is for ones mind to come to rest for awhile, to be fully present here and now, to stop thinking for a few moments, to stand still and relax the body, to be calm and quiet, to be unhurried, poised, and respectful.  Shift from becoming into just being.     

Taiji 太極 has been translated into concepts such as the Grand Ultimate, Supreme Ultimate, Great Ridgepole, Celestial Pole, Limitless Potentiality, Supreme Polarity, Perfect Balance of Yin and Yang, Great Primal Beginning, Not Wuji, etc..

Wuji  無極 has been translated into concepts such as Nothing, Emptiness, No Ridgepole, Directionless, Featureless, Ultimateless, Boundless, Primordial Voidness, Unbalanced, Not Taiji, etc..

This standing meditation posture, Zhan Zhuang, is widely used in taijiquan, qigong, yoga and meditation practices.  Zhuan Zhuang is most often done with the feet in a should width high stance or in a medium high horse stance.  In this exercise routine, the feet are kept together. 

 

In ancient Chinese mythology, just as Yin and Yang interplay and cycle in being-time, so too does Wuji become Taiji and, eventually, Taiji returns to Wuji.  Coming and going, birth and death, appearing and disappearing, movement and stillness, clamor and tranquility, day and night effortlessly overseen by the Great the Way Things Are the Tao.  Sometimes, to make matters more paradoxical, the Tao is identified with Taiji. 

Non-polar (wuji) and yet Supreme Polarity (taiji)! The Supreme Polarity in activity generates yang; yet at the limit of activity it is still. In stillness it generates yin; yet at the limit of stillness it is also active. Activity and stillness alternate; each is the basis of the other. In distinguishing yin and yang, the Two Modes are thereby established. The alternation and combination of yang and yin generate water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. With these five phases of qi harmoniously arranged, the Four Seasons proceed through them. The Five Phases are simply yin and yang; yin and yang are simply the Supreme Polarity; the Supreme Polarity is fundamentally Non-polar. Yet in the generation of the Five Phases, each one has its nature. 
-  Zhou Dunyi (1017-1073 CE), Translated by Joseph Adler

Modern astrophysicists postulate that 14 billion years ago the universe rapidly began to expand in a Big Bang from an infinitely hot, infinitely dense, infinitely small, and infinitesimally compacted Something, a Singularity, what Georges Lemaitre in 1927 called the primeval atom.  Then, Whoosh-Zap, in one second, the universe becomes the size of a cantaloupe, then an ongoing cataclysmic unfolding for billions of years resulting in space itself rapidly expanding with time, the permeation of all space with dark energy, the creation of galaxies, and, eventually, our world.  The Tai Chi Ball you are holding in your hands is a symbol of that incomprehensible Singularity.  Before the Something, before the Singularity?  Nobody knows!  Maybe Emptiness, Boundlessness, Primordial Limitless, the Roof of Being held up by Nothing Wuji  無極

The singularity didn't appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity. Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy - nothing. So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don't know. We don't know where it came from, why it's here, or even where it is.  All we really know is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn't exist and neither did we.
Big Bang Theory   

"There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth.
How still it was and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger of being exhausted!"
Tao Te Ching, #25, Translated by James Legge, 1891
 

So, a question, is the Singularity the Taiji

The Grand Ultimate, the Taiji, all that was and is, the entire Universe, at one time, at the creation of space-time, about the size the medicine ball that you hold in your hands - the Cosmic Cantalope.  Incredible!

While you are standing quietly in the first posture of the Magic Pearl Qigong, Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao, dont philosophize about such matters.  Keep a dont know mind.   Allow yourself to be speechless, a silent soul, quiet within and without.  Just Standing (Zhan Zhuang) and Forgetting (Zuowang).

 

 

          Magic Pearl Qigong                                  Magic Pearl Qigong

 

 

 

 

2.  Cultivate the Two Pearls 

Instructions for Movement 2:  Cultivate the Two Pearls: 

Stand up, feet together, and face in the direction of N12. 
Hold the medicine ball (Tai Chi ball) in your hands, with you palms under the ball. 
Hold the ball at about the middle of your abdomen, at your belly button, in line with the center of the Dan Tian. 
Step out to the left into a comfortable shoulder width stance, feet parallel in a high horse stance, knees slightly bent, and eyes looking forward. 
Slowly lift the Tai Chi ball up the body, with the ball a few inches away from the body. 
    Inhale through the nose as you tighten your abdominal muscles and draw the ball upwards. 
    Straighten you legs as the ball is lifted upward. 
Draw the ball up past the chest, neck, and up to about the center of your head.

Slowly begin to lower the ball as you move the ball away from the body. 
    Exhale through the nose as you lower the ball, and relax your abdominal muscles. 
    Lower the ball outward and downward past the neck, chest, and down to the center of you abdomen to the Dan Tian level. 
    Bend the knees and sink as you lower the ball to your mid-section. 
   
Perform 3-9 repetitions of this movement. 
Look forward, stay calm and composed. 
After finishing the repetitions, bring the feet together, return to being still and calm, pause for awhile, and enjoy a few breaths. 

The ball travels in a clockwise circular patter. 
Upwards before the abdomen, chest, neck, and head; then outwards and downwards to return to the abdomen.
Inhale as you lift the ball up, exhale as you lower the ball. 
Straighten the legs as the ball moves up, and bend the knees and lower the body as the ball moves down.  

Do from 3 to 9 repetitions of the circular movement, depending on your energy level and the weight and size of the ball you are using. 

After you learn the basic movement pattern, then you work on refinements in visualization and inner circling of Qi energy. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 2: Cultivate the Two Pearls


2a)  The Two Pearls 

    You might imagine that there are "Two Pearls" involved with the Tai Chi Ball exercise routines.  There is the Inner Pearl, the Yin Pearl, the Elixir Field, the Red Cinnabar Field (Dan Tian), which is located in the abdomen area, hidden, subtle, spherical, a reservoir of the life force.  There is the Outer Pearl, the Tai Chi Ball itself and the external body, objective, physical - the Yang Pearl.  From Emptiness (Wu) emerges the Tai Chi, the Grand Ultimate, which gives rise to the Two Pearls, Yin and Yang, and then giving birth to the Ten Thousand Things of the Cosmos. 

    In all the Tai Chi Ball exercises we are moving, rotating, circling, expanding and contracting, and involving the Inner Yin Pearl of the Dan Tian as we perform the exercises.  The Inner Yin Pearl of the Dan Tian is cultivated by concentration, meditation, breathing, visualizations, and circulation of Chi (Qi)  throughout the body; and, storing and preserving Chi in the Dan Tian and Jing (Life Essence) in the kidneys.  Likewise, in a coordinated and integrated manner, we are moving, rotating, circling, twining, and involving the whole body and the Tai Chi Ball itself as we perform the exercises.  The Outer Yang Pearl is cultivated with bodily movements, handling the ball, coordinated breathing, physical strength, and full concentration.  We are cultivating both Pearls in our Tai Chi Ball Qigong practice.  

    Your life, with a fully integrated body, mind and spirit, is like a beautiful Pearl, something to be cultivated, treasured, respected, and valued.  In the end, the two pearls or three pearls or ten thousands parts of our bodies are just One Pearl.  Not Two, One.  The Two cooperate, integrate, interdependently merge, like lovers united, like Yin and Yang, like Tiger and Dragon combining forces to Energize  the Cauldron of the One.  

 

Magic Pearl Qigong                                                                  

 

 

2b)  Micro-Cosmic Orbit, Small Circulation, Fire Path Meditation 

The Microcosmic Orbit is a meditation and qigong method of Taoist origin.  It is a complex topic and is discussed, sometimes at great length, in many books about Taoism, Qigong, and Taijiquan.  The Daoist imagery, visualizations, symbolism, poetry, internal alchemy, medical, spiritual, esoteric, and metaphysical theories regarding the Microcosmic Orbit is both fascinating and elaborate. 

For the purposes here, at the most elementary level for the Magic Pearl Qigong first exercise, just "imagine" and "sense" the vital internal Qi energy moving inside your body about one inch underneath the skin of your body.  As you slowly breathe in, tightening your abdomen, imagine or visualize the vital internal energy (Qi, Chi) moving or flowing down from the waist (Du Qi) to the genital area (Hui Qin) and then up through your lower back (Ming Men), upper back (Shen Zhu), neck, and up the back of the head to the crown of the head (Bai Hui).  As you slowly breathe out, relaxing your abdomen, imagine the vital internal Qi energy moving down down the face (Yin Tang), through the mouth, down the neck, down through the chest (Shan Zhong), and down to the waist area (Du Qi).  Keep your tongue touching the roof of your mouth where the hard palate and soft palate meet, while you imagine the circulation of Qi moving internally in counter-clockwise circles up the back and down the front of the body.  Relax, clear the mind, and listen to your body.  The rising internal energy is generally associated with Fire, Yang, Tiger, and Heaven; the falling internal energy is associated with Water, Yin, Dragon, and Earth.  Imagine, pretend, play, visualize, or, better yet, sense and feel this moving, circling, flowing of internal Qi energy.  Round and round the Micro-Cosmic Orbit revolves the Magic Pearl. 

Movement #1, Cultivate the Pearl, in the Magic Pearl Qigong can be compared to a) Movement #11, Pearl Goes Back into Nest, in Master Chen Qingzhou's "Xinggong Taiji Ball" except the movement in Master Chen's form is counter-clockwise; and, b) Movement #1, Stationary (Ding Bu), in Grandmaster Yang Jwing-Ming's book "Tai Chi Ball Qigong" (2010), pp. 148-149. 


Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation.  By Sifu Yang Jwing-Ming, Ph.D..  Boston, Mass., YMAA Publications, 2006.   Index, extensive glossary, 402 pages.  ISBN: 1594390673. 

Awaken Healing Energy Through Tao.  By Mantak Chia.  Aurora Press, 1983.  193 pages.  ISBN: 0943358078. 

Doctrine of the Elixir: Microcosmic Orbit.  By R. B. Jefferson. 

Open the Microcosmic Orbit.  By Michael Winn.  Qigong Fundamentals 2.  Healing Tao Home Study Video, 4 Audio CDs, 2008.  The video DVD is titled "Open Chi Flow in the Orbit."  1 DVD, 2004. 

  
"Making one's essence complete, one can preserve the body. To do so, first keep the body at ease, and make sure there are no desires.
    Thereby energy can be made complete. 
Making one's energy complete, one can nurture the mind. To do so, first keep the mind pure, and make sure there are no thoughts.
    Thereby energy can be made complete. 
Making one's spirit complete, one can recover emptiness. To do so, first keep the will sincere, and make sure body and mind are united.
    Thereby spirit can be returned to emptiness. ...
To attain immortality, there is nothing else but the refinement of these three treasures: essence, energy, spirit."
-   Livia Kohn, Daoism and Chinese Culture, 1956, pp.145-149.   

 

 

                                         

 

 

2c)  Two Dragons Searching for the Pearl 

    Comments: 

"The dragon's pearl can also be thought of as a symbol for universal Qi the progenitor of all energy and creation. The dragons seem to be depicted in attitudes of pursuit. He is seen to be reaching out eagerly to clutch at the elusive object, mouth open in anticipation and eyes bulging with anticipation of achieving the prize afforded by clutching the pearl.  In connection with the dragon the pearl has been called the image of thunder, of the moon, of the sun, of the egg emblem of the dual influences of nature, and the 'pearl of potentiality'. The pearl is most often depicted as a spiral or a globe. In some paintings it is sometimes red, sometimes gold, sometimes the bluish white of a true pearl. The pearl is often accompanied by little jagged flashes that seem to spark out from it, like flames; and it almost always has an appendage in the form of a small undulating sprout, not unlike the first young shoot from a bean.  In Daoist concepts the moon, pearls, dragons and serpents are inextricably linked. Like the snake that is reborn when it sheds its skin, the moon is reborn each month, and both are symbols of immortality. Like the dragon, the moon is always associated with water; its undeniable power over the tides is believed to extend to all liquids on earth. The dragons that lived in the sea were said to be inordinately fond of pearls and collected them and watched over them in great submarine palaces."
Dragons of China, Eight Dragons Baguazhang 

 

"This extraordinary gem is represented as a spherical object, or ball, half as big, or quite as large, as the head of the dragon with which it is associated, for it is never depicted quite by itself. The gem is white or bluish with a reddish or golden halo, and usually has an antler-shaped 'flame' rising from its surface. Almost invariably there hangs downward from the centre of the sphere a dark-colored, comma-like appendage, frequently branched, wavering below the periphery. A biologist might easily at first glance conclude that the whole affair represented the entry of a spermatozoon into an ovum; and the Chinese commonly interpret the ball with its comma-mark as a symbol of yang and yin, male and female elements, combined in the earth--which seems pretty close to the biologist's view. Such is the Dragon-Pearl.  In purely decorative work, where the figure of a dragon is writhing in clouds or adapting its lithe body under an artist's hand to the shape or purpose of a piece of porcelain, a bronze article, or a silken garment, the pearl may be drawn close to the dragon, or wherever convenient. When, however, it is desirable to express the significance of this sacred adjunct of dragon-hood, it is treated with strict attention to reverence and tradition. Then are pictured celestial dragons ascending and descending through the upper air, tearing a path, perhaps, through swirling mists and shadows, "in pursuit of effulgent jewels or orbs that appear to be whirling in space, and that were supposed to be of magic efficiency, granting every wish." A passion for gems is a well-known characteristic of these beings."
-   Dragons and Dragons Lore, Ernest Ingersoll, 1928

 

"A flaming pearl signifies the One, the Pole Star, and the original qi, and is worn on a pin at the top of the head to signify full initiation as a Taoist priest.  This symbol is also often found on the roofs of Taoist temples, between two dragons.   The luminous ball or pearl often depicted under the dragon's chin or seen to be spinning in the air, pursued by one or two dragons is thought to be a symbolic representation of the 'sacred pearl' of wisdom or yang energy. Pearl symbolism, like lunar symbolism arises from Taoist roots and the connections, are extremely complex. This pearl can be said to stand most often for 'truth' and 'life' - perhaps even everlasting life which is made available to those who perceive the truth and attain enlightenment."
-   The Black Pearl Goddess 

 

 

Magic Pearl Qigong                   Magic Pearl Qigong      

 

 

 

 

3.  The Magic Pearl Glows in the Moonlight    


Instructions for Movement 3:  The Magic Pearl Glows in the Moonlight:   

Step out with the left foot to the diagonal NW10. 
Take a bow stance.  The depth of the stance will depend upon your level of physical conditioning and the weight of the ball. 
Begin to circle the ball in front of the body, keeping the ball at waist height. 
Circle the ball to the left side, middle, right side, and back to the waist - a clockwise rotation. 
Keep the ball circling at the same level each time, in the same horizontal plane. 
Rock forward as the arms are moving outward, and rock back as the arms return to the body.
Make 3 to 9 circles with the ball.   
Depending upon the reach of your arms, the ball will be from about (12-30 inches) away from your waist when circling outward.
When the ball returns to the waist each time, then rotate the ball in your hands in a horizontal manner for a few inches. 
Allow the body to move up and down a little, and circle with the waist.   
Look at the ball as it moves in a circular clockwise manner. 
Internally rotate the Dan Tian in a circular manner. 
Breathe naturally and easily in and out through the nose.  
Perform 3-9 repetitions on the left side. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.


Step back with the left foot to a centered position. 
Step out with the left foot to the diagonal NE2. 
Take a bow stance.  The depth of the stance will depend upon your level of physical conditioning and the weight of the ball. 
Begin to circle the ball in front of the body, keeping the ball at waist height. 
Circle the ball to the right side, middle, left side, and back to the waist - a counter-clockwise rotation. 
Rock forward as the arms are moving outward, and rock back as the arms return to the body.
Keep the ball circling at the same level each time, in the same horizontal plane. 
Make 3 to 9 circles with the ball.   
Depending upon the reach of your arms, the ball will be from about (12-30 inches) away from your waist when circling outward.
When the ball returns to the waist each time, then rotate the ball in your hands in a horizontal manner for a few inches. 
Allow the body to move up and down a little, and circle with the waist.   
Perform 3-9 repetitions on the right side.
Look at the ball as it moves in a circular clockwise manner. 
Internally rotate the Dan Tian in a circular manner. 
Breathe naturally and easily in and out through the nose. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 3: The Magic Pearl Glows in the Moonlight

By "Breathe Naturally" is meant belly breathing:

"Normal Abdominal Breathing (Zheng Fu Hu Xi): Inhale deeply through the nose while gently pushing your abdominal muscles out and huiyin (Co-1, perineum) down.  As you exhale, draw your abdomen inward and pull the huiyin cavity upward gently."
-  Yang Jwing Ming, Tai Chi Ball Qigong, p.120

 

Compare this movement with the movement called "Left Qiankun Covers the Moon" in Master Chen Qing Zhou's Tai Chi 18 Postures Sphere routine.  The raised Qiankun sword, in the hands of Nezha, hides or covers the moon.  Elsewhere it is called "Cover the Moon (Left Side)."  Qian is the Chinese trigram for Heaven; and, Kun is the trigram for Earth.  A Qiankun is also the name for a Chinese broadsword (Dao) that includes images of the sun and moon.  There is a Sun Moon Qiankun competition broadsword (Wushu Dao), a Wu Tai Chi Qiankun straight sword form, etc.

 

Magic Pearl Qigong              Magic Pearl Qigong              Magic Pearl Qigong

 

 

 

 

4.  The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl


Instructions for Movement 4:  The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl:   

Hold the ball at your mid-section (waist, belly button) and face N12. 
Take a high horse stance with your feet pointing slightly outward. 
Squat somewhat and then lift the ball upwards to you upper chest.   
Squat somewhat and then push (press) the ball up above your head. 
Inhale as you lift the ball upwards. 
Reach and push up as high as you can. 
Exhale as you press the ball upward above your head. 
Let the ball down to the level of your face. 
As you lower the ball to your waist, rotate the ball backwards vertically in your hands.
Inhale as you lower the ball. 
Bring the ball back down to your waist level. 
Repeat this lifting and pressing upward movement for 3 to 9 repetitions. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.


Comments and Notes for Movement 4: The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl

Compare this movement "The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl" #3 with the movement called "Bawang Raises the Vessel" #6 in Master Chen Qing Zhou's Xinggong Taiji Ball routine.   Elsewhere it is called "Tyrant Raises the Censer." 

 

Magic Pearl Qigong                

 

 

 

 

5.  Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels 

 

Instructions for Movement 5:  Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels:   


Step out to the left side, diagonally, towards direction of NW10. 
Take a moderately high bow stance. 
Both feet are flat on the floor with the weight equal in both legs. 
Push the ball forward in a straight line towards NW 10.  Exhale as you push forward. 
Keep the ball at the upper waist (sternum level) height as you push the ball forward. 
Keep the elbows bent slightly when the arms are forward.
You hold the ball more on the sides than the bottom.   
Draw the ball back to the body.  Inhale as you draw the ball back. 
Imagine somebody is resisting your pulling the ball back to your body. 
Repeat this in and out motion of the ball for 3 to 9 repetitions depending upon the level of your physical conditioning,
    the size and weight of the medicine ball you are using, and the time you have available to exercise.  
Keep a determined bearing as if you are wrestling back and forth with someone trying to take the ball from you.   
Consider the ball to be a treasured collection of wisdom scriptures you are trying to retrieve from evil demons.  
I favor exhaling as you extend your arms, and inhaling in as the arms are brought back to the body. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.


Step out to the right side, diagonally, towards direction of NE2.
Take a moderately high bow stance.   
Both feet are flat on the floor with the weight equal in both legs. 
Push the ball forward in a straight line towards NE2.  Exhale as you push forward. 
Keep the ball at the upper waist (sternum level) height as you push the ball forward. 
Keep the elbows bent slightly when the arms are forward. 
Draw the ball back to the body.  Inhale as you draw the ball back. 
Repeat this in and out motion of the ball for 3 to 9 repetitions depending upon the level of your physical conditioning,
    the size and weight of the medicine ball you are using, and the time you have available to exercise.  
Keep a determined bearing as if you are wrestling back and forth with someone trying to take the ball from you.  
Consider the ball to be a treasured collection of wisdom scriptures you are trying to retrieve from evil demons. 
I favor exhaling as you extend your arms, and inhaling in as the arms are brought back to the body. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.

  

Comments and Notes for Movement 5:  Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels 

Compare this movement of "Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels" #4 to the movement called "Wei Tuo Presents the Pestle" #7 and #12 in  Master Chen Qing Zhou's Xinggong Taiji Ball routine.  Elsewhere it is called "Wei Tuo Offers the Rod." 

Wei Tuo is a warrior guardian deity often seen in Chinese Buddhist temples.  He is a protector of the Dharma (Buddhist teachings and scriptures).  He is often depicted holding a heavy object like a heavy wood cudgel, wood pounding pestle, large sword, or large metal Thunderbolt Vajra

In Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, there is a stamping movement called "Pounding the Mortar (Jin Gang Dao Dui)," "Pounding with Pestle," or "The Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar."  

 

"Besides the protection of warrior monks, temples also have martial deities. One of the most important is Wei Tuo, one of the powerful guardians of Buddhist law. He can often be seen holding his vajra club across his arms with palms pressed together. Minus the vajra club this is the posture for building inner strength in both The Sinews Transformation Classic (Yi Jin Jing) and Eighteen Luohan Gung. This posture is called 'Weituo offers his vajra.'
    Vajra is originally a Sanskrit word meaning thunderbolt or diamond. In fact, the manuscripts of The Sinews Transformation Classic and Eighteen Luohan Gung dont call it Vajra but instead call it a Pestle (a tool we would use to pound herbs in a bowl.) A fitting name since in India the Vajra is sometimes matched with a bell as its female counterpart. The Chinese bowl for pounding herbs  looks just like a bell."
Plum Flower Mantis Boxing

"Skanda (Sanskrit; Traditional Chinese: 韋馱; Simplified Chinese: 韦驮; pinyin: witu; Japanese: 韋駄天 idaten) is a Mahayana bodhisattva regarded as a devoted guardian of Buddhist monasteries who guards the Buddhist teachings. He is also sometimes called in the Chinese tradition as "Hfǎ Witu Zūntiān Ps" (护法韦驮尊天菩萨), meaning "Honored Dharma Protector Skanda Bodhisattva," because he is the leader of the twenty-four celestial guardian deities mentioned in the Golden Light Sutra.   According to legends, Skanda was the son of a virtuous king who had complete faith in Buddha's teachings. When the Buddha entered nirvana, the Buddha instructed Skanda to guard the Dharma. It was his duty to protect members of the sangha when they are disturbed by Mara, the tempter, and also to resolve conflicts amongst members of the sangha.  A few days after the Buddha's passing and cremation, evil demons robbed his relics. Skanda's vow of protecting the faith and Dharma was proven when he managed to defeat the evil demons and returned the relics."
Skanda (Wei Tuo) - Wikipedia

 

Magic Pearl Qigong                 Magic Pearl Qigong                               

 

 

 

 

6.  Open the Giant Oyster Shell  


Instructions for Movement 6:  Open the Giant Oyster Shell:   

Bring your feet together, hold the ball at your waist, relax, look forward, face N12.
Lift the ball up to your left shoulder. 
Lift up your right leg, and bring your right knee up to your hip level.   
Maintain a steady balance on the left leg. 
Breathe naturally and easily. 
Return your right foot to the ground. 
Perform 3-9 repetitions of lifting the right leg up and down.  
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.


Bring your feet together, hold the ball at your waist, relax, look forward, face N12.
Lift the ball up to your right shoulder. 
Lift up your left leg, and bring your left knee up to your hip level.   
Maintain a steady balance on the right leg. 
Breathe naturally and easily. 
Return your left foot to the ground. 
Perform 3-9 repetitions of lifting the left leg up and down. 
Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.

Repeat this balancing on each leg 3 to 9 repetitions depending upon the level of your physical conditioning,
    the size and weight of the medicine ball you are using, and the time you have available to exercise.  

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 6:  Open the Giant Oyster Shell 


Compare this movement "Open the Giant Oyster Shell" #4 with the movement called "Pearl Goes Back into Nest" #16 in Master Chen Qing Zhou's
Xinggong Taiji Ball routine. 

Magickal Pearls: Mustika Pearls/Bezoar Stones

 

"Almost all shell-bearing molluscs can secrete pearls, yet most are not very valuable.  Pearl oysters are not closely related to true oysters, being members of a distinct family, the feathered oysters (Pteriidae). Both cultured pearls and natural pearls can be obtained from pearl oysters, though other molluscs, such as the freshwater mussels, also yield pearls of commercial value.  The largest pearl-bearing oyster is the marine Pinctada maxima, which is roughly the size of a dinner plate. Not all individual oysters produce pearls naturally. In fact, in a harvest of three tons of oysters, only three to four oysters produce perfect pearls.  In nature, pearl oysters produce natural pearls by covering a minute invading parasite with nacre, not by ingesting a grain of sand.  Over the years, the irritating object is covered with enough layers of nacre to form what is known as a pearl. There are many different types, colours and shapes of pearl; these qualities depend on the natural pigment of the nacre, and the shape of the original irritant.  Pearl farmers can culture a pearl by placing a nucleus, usually a piece of polished mussel shell, inside the oyster. In three to six years, the oyster can produce a perfect pearl. These pearls are not as valuable as natural pearls, but look exactly the same. In fact, since the beginning of the 20th century, when several researchers discovered how to produce artificial pearls, the cultured pearl market has far outgrown the natural pearl market."
Oyster - Wikipedia


"A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable."
Pearl - Wikipedia

 

Magic Pearl Qigong                 Magic Pearl Qigong         

 

 

 

 

7.  Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King  


Instructions for Movement 7:  Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King:   

Hold the ball at about the middle of your abdomen, at your belly button, in line with the Dan Tian. 
Step out to the left into a comfortable shoulder width stance, knees slightly bent, and eyes looking forward. 
You are going to move the ball in a figure 8 pattern to the sides and front of the body. 
The ball will be kept in a relatively horizontal plane about waist high during this exercise. 
Begin to move the ball to the left and back, and sway the body slightly to the left.
As you move to the side the ball might move up a little higher from the waist. 
Then circle forward on the left, moving the arms away from the body, in a clockwise manner away from the body.
Draw the ball back to the waist in the center of the body. 
Begin to move the ball to the right and back, and sway the body slightly to the right.
Then circle forward on the right side, moving the arms away from the body, in a counter-clockwise manner. 
 
Draw the ball back to the waist in the center of the body. 

Repeat this figure eight motion of the ball for 3 to 9 repetitions depending upon the level of your physical conditioning,
    the size and weight of the medicine ball you are using, and the time you have available to exercise.  

Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 7:  Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King 

Compare this movement "Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King" #6 with the movement "Lift the Heavenly Bell" #1 in Sifu Jiang Jian-ye's Yang Style Tai Chi Ball.  Sifu Jiang does this movement while stepping forward as the ball moves to each side, and he draws the ball up higher to the side above the shoulder. 

Nezha or Na Zha () is a deity from both Chinese Buddhist and Taoist mythology.  He is a protection deity, a trickster, and a warrior sent by the Jade Emperor to destroy a plague of demons.  Since he is a trickster, like Loki in Germanic myths, he is somewhat unpredictable, sometimes favoring humans and sometimes not, one reason why Nezha is a patron of gamblers in China. 

Nezha once killed Ao Bing, son of the East Sea Dragon King, which upset the heavenly peace.  Nezha sacrificed himself for this misdeed, and was later restored back to life by his mentor, the Immortal Taiyi Zenren. 

In art, Nezha is often shown as young man, flying in the sky on the Wind Fire Wheels, holding a Universe Ring, and carrying a Fire-tipped Spear.  He is related to the Bodhisattva Manjusri, and is also often depicted as having three heads and six arms. 

 

"Nezha or Na Zha (Chinese: ; pinyin: Nzhā or Nozhā[1]; is a Taoist protection deity, the trickster, originally of Chinese Buddhist mythology. His official Taoist name is "Marshal of the Central Altar" (中壇元帥). He was then given the title "Third Lotus Prince" (莲花三太子) after he became a deity.   According to Fengshen Yanyi, Nezha was born during the Shang Dynasty in a military fortress at Chentang Pass. His father was a military commander named Li Jing, who later became the "Pagoda-wielding Heavenly King". Nezha's mother, Lady Yin, gave birth to a ball of flesh after being pregnant with him for three years and six months. Li Jing thought that his wife had given birth to a demon and attacked the ball with his sword. The ball split open and Nezha jumped out as a boy instead of an infant. Nezha could speak and walk immediately after birth. He was later accepted by the immortal Taiyi Zhenren as a student. He had two older brothers, Jinzha, a disciple of Manjusri Bodhisattva, and Muzha, a disciple of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. 
    One day, while playing near the sea, Nezha fought and killed Ao Bing, the third son of the East Sea Dragon King Ao Guang. Ao Guang called for his brothers and confronted Nezha and his family. He threatened to flood Chentang Pass and report Nezha to the Jade Emperor. To save his family, Nezha flayed and disembowled himself to return his body to his parents. The Dragon Kings were moved by his filial piety and spared his family. Nezha was later brought back to life by his teacher, Taiyi Zhenren, who used lotus roots to construct a human body for his soul."   
-   Nezha - Wikipedia  

 

Magic Pearl Qigong               Magic Pearl Qigong                Magic Pearl Qigong

 

 

 

 

8.  The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortal's Pearl in His Cave 


Instructions for Movement 8:  The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortal's Pearl in His Cave 

Hold the ball at about the middle of your abdomen, at your belly button, in the center of your Dan Tian. 
Step out to a wide horse stance with your toes pointing outward slightly. 
Inhale through the nose and squat down a little and let the ball move down to your hip level.
Hold this position as you slowly and forcefully exhale through the mouth, and tighten your abdominal muscles. 

Inhale and then squat down a little more until the ball is at the level of the middle of your thighs. 
Keep your back straight and look forward. 
Hold this position as you slowly and forcefully exhale through the mouth, and tighten your abdominal muscles. 

Inhale and squat down a little more until the ball is at the level well below your knees and close to the ground.   
Keep your back straight and look forward. 
Hold this position as you slowly and forcefully exhale through the mouth, and tighten your abdominal muscles. 

Inhale and gradually stand up straight and draw the ball back to the middle of your abdomen. 

Repeat this squatting to three levels motion for 3 to 9 repetitions depending upon the level of your physical conditioning,
    the size and weight of the medicine ball you are using, and the time you have available to exercise.  

Since this exercise can be quite physically demanding, do fewer repetitions as befits your level of physical conditioning. 

Return to Wuji: bring the feet together, return to being still, calm and silent; pause for awhile, and enjoy a few slow breaths.
Rest as long as necessary to fully recover and let the heartbeat return to normal after Exercise #8. 

 

Comments and Notes for Movement 8:  The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortal's Pearl in His Cave 

Compare this movement "The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortal's Pearl in his Cave" #8 with the movement called "Loading and Unloading Bags of Rice" or "Three Bags of Rice" #8 in my webpage on Yi Jin Jing (Muscle Tendon Changing) Qigong.   

Either calm and empty the mind, or visualize a green earth dragon carrying a large white gleaming pearl and moving deep into the earth into his home in a cave.  Dragons crave pearls, jewels, money and artwork.  They are avaricious and can create large hoards of precious treasures.  For example, the dragon Smaug, in the story "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, had intimate knowledge of every treasure in his cave collection and would immediately know if one were missing.  Smaug had the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain, a wondrous large white gem, fabricated by the Dwarves, in his possession. 

 

 

Magic Pearl Qigong               Magic Pearl Qigong               Magic Pearl Qigong   
 

     

Here is a brief summary of the instructions for performing the movements, 1-8, of the Magic Pearl Qigong routine (2 pages, .pdf). 

 

Magic Pearl Qigong, Part II: Movements 9-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography, Links, Resources
Magic Pearl Qigong
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique   

 

A Note to Readers:  The Cloud Hands webpages have been online continuously since 2001.  In 2009, over 1,350,000 webpages (excluding graphics) were served to readers around the world from the egreenway.com websites: Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Valley Spirit Chi Kung, Walking, Taoism, Yoga, etc.  Since 2005, I have also provided information about Taijiquan, Qigong, Walking, Gardening, Mysticism, and the Eight Ways at my Cloud Hands Blog.  Since the these mind-body arts websites are very well-established and stable websites, they provide readers with a good and secure starting point for their online research into Chi Kung, Taijiquan, Walking, Meditation, and the Daoist-Druid matrix.  The Cloud Hands websites are funded entirely by Green Way Research, with volunteer efforts by Michael P. Garofalo
     Unfortunately, as everyone knows, many other websites and webpages, documents, and videos appear and then disappear from the Internet scene.  Authors do not pay to keep up their web hosting services, loose a "free hosting" option, change filenames, recode away from HTML, or decide to remove the webpages for various reasons.  Consequently, links to some good webpages or videos become invalid and the files are no longer found on the Internet.  You may find a some of these "dead links" to nonexistent webpages or videos cited below; and, there is no way to avoid this troublesome situation.  For this reason, when you do find a good and useful webpage, be sure to save the webpage to a folder on your hard drive or server. 
     I welcome your suggestions for how to improve this webpage.  Your comments, ideas, contributions, and constructive criticism are encouraged.  Send your suggestions to my email box.


 


 


Above the Fog    Taoist and Zen poems. 


Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website


Breathing Techniques: Qigong, Yoga, Taijiquan 


Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercise Routines, Qigong Ball Forms


Chen Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan   Guides, Lessons, Bibliographies, Links, Resources,


Chi Kung (Qigong):  Resources, Lessons, Links, Bibliographies, Guides  


Cloud Hands Blog  By Mike Garofalo. 


Cloud Hands Website:  Tai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)  


Eight Section Brocade Qigong


Eight Trigrams of the I Ching


Garofalo, Michael P. M.S., Red Bluff, California.  Mind-Body Movement Arts Instructor, Student of Taoism and Druidry, Librarian, Gardener.   


The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi.  By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.
  VSCL. 


Lao Tzu author of the Tao Te Ching:  Selected Translations and Commentary.  Compiled by Michael Garofalo. 


Lifestyle Advice for Wise Persons


Magic Pearl Qigong: A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique.  By Michael Garofalo. 


Magic Pearl Qigong, Movements 1-8, Brief Summary.  2 pages .PDF format.


Magic Pearl Qigong, Movements 9-16, Brief Summary.  2 pages .PDF format.

 


Magic Pearl Qigong Classes led by Michael Garofalo in Red Bluff, California


Medicine Ball Exercises:  Bibliography, Links, Resources, Lessons, Research  


One Old Druid's Final Journey:  Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove


Pearl - Wikipedia  


Pearl Qigong, Medicine Ball, Tai Chi Ball


Pulling Onions: A Gardener's Reflections by Mike Garofalo


Qigong Ball Routines  Bibliography, Links, Resources, Comments, Research 


Qigong Ball Exercise Routines - Blog Notes in Cloud Hands Blog 


Qigong Empowerment: A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, and Wushu Energy Cultivation.   By Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching.  Edited by Denise Breiter-Wu.  Rhode Island, Way of the Dragon Publishing, 1997.  Index, glossary, 348 pages.  ISBN: 1889659029.


Qigong:  Resources, Lessons, Links, Bibliographies, Guides 


Reviving the Lost Art of Taiji Ball Qigong within Chinese Martial Arts.   By Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming, 2009.  This is an outstanding brief article on the subject. 


Relaxation (Sung, Song) in Qigong and Taijiquan  


The Root of Chinese Chi Kung: The Secrets of Chi Kung Training.  By Yang Jwing-Ming, PhD., 1946-.  YMAA Chi Kung Series #1.   Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Association, 1989.  Glossary, 272 pages.   ISBN: 0940871076.  VSCL.       


Sacred Circles and Spheres 


Secrets to Living Younger Longer: The Self-Healing Path of Qigong Standing Meditation and Tai Chi.  By Michael Mayer, Ph.D..  Orinda, California, Body Mind Healing Publications, 2004.  Index, bibliography, 281 pages.  ISBN: 0970431066.  VSCL. 


Shaolin Zen Buddhist Qigong: Eighteen Buddha Hands  


Silk Reeling: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes, Lessons 


Sky Above, Earth Below: Spiritual Practice in Nature.  By John P. Milton.  Boulder, Colorado, Sentient Publications, 2006.  234 pages.  ISBN: 1591810280.  VSCL. 


Spirit of Gardening


Strength Training for Seniors  


Tai Chi Ball - A Wooden Beginner's Ball


Tai Chi Ball Exercise Routines:  Bibliography, Links, Resources, Lessons, Research 


Tai Chi Ball Qigong: for Health and Martial Arts.  By Yang Jwing-Ming and David Grantham.  Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, YMAA Publication Center, 2010.  Index, glossary, bibliography, appendices, 301 pages.  ISBN: 1594391998.  The best book on the subject.  Linked to two instructional DVDs from YMAA.  VSCL.


T'ai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan): Gudies, Lessons, Bibliography, Resources, Styles.  Cloud Hands Website by Mike Garofalo.


Tai Chi Ruler System of Master Chao Chung Tao (1844-1962).  An interesting long article by Dolch Mann.

"The Third Stage in the Tai Chi Ruler System of Chao Chung Tao (1844-1962) is the Ball Set. This set is done with a large wooden ball, made of Poplar or Pine. The ball is a representation of your internal qi, brought outwards. You train to keep the ball filled with energy, and to manipulate the energy as you go through the exercises. This set will develop strength in the arms, back, and legs."


Taoist Scriptures  


The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism.  By Fritjof Capra.  Boston, Shambhala Publications, 1975, 1999, 25th Anniversary Edition.  Index, notes, 366 pages.   ISBN: 1570625190.  VSCL. 


Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu   Selected Translations and Commentary.  Compiled by Michael Garofalo. 


Taijiquan (Tai Chi) Medicine Ball Routines 


Valley Spirit Grove, Red Bluff, California.  Michael Garofalo, Mind-Body Movement Arts Instructor and Student of Taoism and Druidry.  VSCL = Valley Spirit Grove Library, Red Bluff, California. 


The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing.  By Kenneth S. Cohen.  Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive, informative, practical, and scientific. His audio recordings from Sounds True are also excellent.  VSCL.    


The Ways of Walking: Quotes, Bibliography, Links, Resources 


The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings from the Oral Tradition of Lao-Tzu.  By John Bright-Fey.  Birmingham, Alabama, Crane Hill Publishers, 2006.  376 pages.  ISBN: 1575872471.  The Reverend Venerable John Bright-Fey, Sifu Fey, is the 12th generation lineage holder of the Blue Dragon Order of Esoteric Zen Buddhism, a distinct line of knowledge descended directly from Shaolin Temple. Sifu Bright-Fey teaches at the New Forest Center for Contemplative Living, Birmingham, Alabama.  This version of the Tao Te Ching is both a translation by a Chinese scholar and a fascinating interpolation based on his religious training.  He uses a schema of interpretation for lines in each of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching based on the concepts of the Taoist Mind (mindset and world view), Taoist Body (day to day concerns of living), Taoist Hand (training techniques by a Cultivator of the Tao, spiritual disciplines) and Taoist Heart (core and cherished beliefs) [p.21-].  His rigorous experiential approach resonates with my "spiritual" practices such as: Taijiquan, Qigong, gardening, walking, rituals, and the study of Taoism and Druidry.  Highly recommended!


Wudang (Taoist) Qigong 


Wuji Standing (Zhan Zhuang) Meditation 


Xinggong Taiji Ball.  Demonstrated and explained by Master Chen Qing Zhou, 1933-  Instructional DVD, 60 minutes.  Tai Chi Sphere in 18 Postures. Mandarin with English subtitles.  "
A whole series of exercises with the Chen version of the Tai Chi ball which is generally associated with the Yang Family branch.  One unique aspect is that Master Chen Qing Zhou uses the ball almost as a massage device keeping it tight against his torso and rolling it along the front there. Tossing the ball, turning it, many types of movements which are also shown without the ball directly as self massage moves."  VSCL.  For a compltete demonstration, refer to: Xinggong: Taiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qingzhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes.  Here is a one page summary (PDF format) of the names of the 18 movements in the Tai Chi Ball routine of Master Chen Qing Zhou. Master Chen was a student of Chen Zhao Pei and Chen Zhao Kui (son of Chen Fake).  Chen Qingzhou Martial Arts Association, Menlo Park, CA.  Biography 2Biography 3 For a complete video demonstration of this form, refer to: Xinggong: Taiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qingzhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes. 


Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan   Guides, Lessons, Bibliographies, Links, Resources  


Zhan Zhuang: Standing Meditation 


Zen (Chan) and Taoist Poetry  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   


 

Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Website

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail

Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2011

The information on this webpage was first published on the Internet on January 25, 2011.

This webpage was last modified or updated by Mike on February 23, 2013.   

 

 

 

Valley Spirit Qigong

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cloud Hands Blog 

Medicine Ball Exercises, Tai Chi Ball Exercises, Qigong Ball Exercises

Fitness and Well Being

Meditation

Wuji Standing (Zhan Zhuang) Meditation

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices: Bibliography, Scriptures, Lessons, Links, Resources

The Spirit of Gardening

Zen and Daoist Poetry

Yoga

Ways of Walking

Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAGS, Search Terms:

Qigong Ball, Taijiquan Ball (Qiu), Exercise Balls, Chi Kung Ball, T'ai Chi Ch'uan Ball Exercises
Medicine Ball Exercise Routines, Exercise Ball, Med Ball, Fitness Ball, Swiss Ball, Tai Chi Ball
Chinese Hand and Finger Exercise Balls, Jade Ball Gong, Wood Ball Exercises
Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) Medicine Ball Exercises 
Yang Style Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercises 
Weightlifting, Strength Training, Resistance Training
Meditation Technique, Taoist Contemplation, Daoist Meditation
Qigong Classes, Chi Kung Class, Tai Chi Classes, Taijiquan Class
Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Chinese Health and Longevity Exercises 
Pearl History, Pearls Lore, Pearl Myths, Pearls Legends, Pearls Symbolism
Pearl Facts, Pearls Information, Pearl Treasures, Pearls Significance, Pearl Associations
Meditation Classes, Taoist Studies, Daoist Studies, Taoist Contemplation Practices
Valley Spirit Qigong, Red Bluff, California, Michael Garofalo, Instructor, Teacher 
Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern Central California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Willows, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Proberta, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood,
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA, California.
Qigong Classes, Chi Kung Class, Tai Chi Classes, Taijiquan Class
Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Chinese Health and Longevity Exercises 
Meditation Classes, Taoist Studies, Daoist Studies, Taoist Contemplation Practices
Valley Spirit Qigong, Red Bluff, California, Mike Garofalo, Instructor

 

Magic Pearl Qigong: Part I: Movements 1-8

Magic Pearl Qigong: Part II: Movements 9-16


 

 

 

Vacation and Learn in Beautiful Red Bluff, California

Beginning T'ai Chi Ch'uan Options:  Yang 24, Chen 18, Sun 24, Cane 18

Beginning Chi Kung (Qigong) Options: Five Animal Frolics, Eight Brocades , Daoist Temple, Magic Pearl, Yoga

Valley Spirit Center


Lectures, Private Lessons, Classes, Consulting, Workshops, Questions and Answers

Reasonable Hourly Rates

Instructor:  Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Excellent Recreational Opportunities for Persons of All Ages in the North Sacramento Valley
The Perfect Weekend Getaway for You, Friends and Family
Beautiful Scenery, Pleasant Weather, and Clear Skies for the Outdoor Enthusiast
Activities: Sight Seeing, Bicycling, Walking, Shopping, Spas, Reading, Relaxing, Internal Arts Studies
The Valley Spirit Center includes extensive gardens for Tai Chi practice and a Sacred Circle
A Full Array of Services and Excellent and Reasonably Priced Accommodations in Redding or Red Bluff

Contact Mike: Email or Phone 530-200-3546

My Daily Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung Training Program

 

 

                          

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

 

 

 

Pulling Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs around the Valley Spirit Center near the City of Red Bluff

in the North Sacramento Valley Area, California

 

Study with Mike Garofalo

 

Cloud Hands Blog