Last updated on January 20, 2007
Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2007
By Michael P. Garofalo, All Rights Reserved.
51. Find the Peace in Doing Nothing
52. Five Elemental Energies and Mind Intent
Use the power of intention, mental concentration, and
visualization to move the five elemental energies. Qigong
theory says that "Yi Leads Qi", or the mind/intent directs the vital energies.
If you look at the Chinese character for Qigong, it consists of three
components (characters, radicals, signs). As
shown above, the blue colored character stands for air, steam, rising vapors. The brown colored character stands
for a pot of cooking rice or grain. The green character stands for skills or techniques or knowledge acquired
through long term effort, disciplined work, determined practice, e.g., being a skilled and creative chef.
The rice represents earth, the cooking pot is made of metal, the heat to cook
the rice is fire, the rice is cooked in
water, and the steam is hot rising air. The five elements are represented: earth, metal, fire, water, and air. For us
to live we must use the energies of the five elements in order to survive, prosper, and work. These energies or
elements are the foundation for life. This vital energy, Qi or Chi (the blue and brown characters above), is sometimes
taken to be only Air (breathing), and in many other cases, as all five energies in some combination. We often
think with analogies and metaphors (e.g., imagine the implications of rice cooking), and a delightful vagueness
gives us opportunities for creative thinking.
So, in our Qigong practice, we are circulating, storing, building, releasing,
and utilizing Qi. The fire or heat of our
determined efforts, the regular and controlled breathing and exchange of air, the sweat that pours from our skin
from our practice and the blood that flows in our veins in our inner water world, and the deliberate stretching and
moving of the muscles and joints of our bodies (earth and metal) are all contributors to Yi Leading Qi, mental
efforts to understand and use energies, determined work (Gong) resulting in energy (Qi) management.
The understanding of energy and energy systems is a core concept of modern
science. We have used our minds
to enable us to theorize, experiment, and artfully apply (technology) this knowledge to improve our lives. Qigong
is also a mind-body technology: use it wisely, apply it diligently, understand it better.
So, get out and cook some rice .... yummy! Decide and Act to Power Up with Qigong!
53. Find the Balance Point of the Body Along the Center
Try your best to find your center. Sit or stand up straight.
Keep the body aligned along a center line: head
in line with the spine, bodyweight over the hips. Find one's stable center and stay balanced when moving the
arms overhead, forward or backward. Feel rooted in the earth with your body sunk and centered, and both
of your feet solidly in place on the earth. Strive to be relaxed, soft, and supple as you align and center your
whole body. In yourself, in your Qigong practice, in your body, make Heaven and Earth one, connected,
Many focus on bringing the feeling of being centered into the area in the center of the body, a couple of inches
behind and below the navel. In Chinese Qigong this energetic reservoir and center is called the Dan Tien,
Field of Elixir; and, in Japan it is called the Hara. In Chinese Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan, this concept of
equilibrium at the center is called Zhong Ding.
Line up the entire body, from the top of the head to the feet in a straight line, as if you were standing with
your head, back, and hips along a wall. Imagine the head, chest, Dan Tien, hips and feet all in one plane: aligned,
poised, centered, resilient, one. Aim for a stable, balanced, comfortable, and centered feeling in your Qigong
postures. Even when you bend or reach or squat or turn in Qigong, standing or sitting, strive to feel the
bodily sensations of balance, uprightness, unified alignment, and whole body centeredness.
If a friend gently pushed on your shoulders while doing Qigong, would you remain stable, balanced, firm,
rooted, upright, and in full control? Don't wobble, and don't become unbalanced.
Let the mind settle down, cast off unbalanced thoughts, finds its spiritual Zhong Ding, be still with the One.
Draw your vital energies (Qi, Prana, Ki) towards that point of balance, that Still Point.
54. Seeing the Meaning
Keep your eyes active and integrated in your
work, games, and Qigong practices. At times, your eyes will require
careful supervision and specific exercises. Make skillful use of your eyes during Qigong practice. Your eyes will lead your
thoughts, your thoughts will build your mind. The eyes can lead the mind, and the mind can lead the eyes, and the Watcher
watches. Cultivate the Third Eye, and cultivate your two eyes. Discover the 1001 Eyes of All the Sensory Gates of your
own body, spoken mind, senses, experiences, and the Tao. See into your true selves, the Light and darkness. See into
your reasons for doing Qigong practices. Close your eyes sometimes while doing your Qigong practices.
Keep your head up. Keep your head in line with your spine. Enjoy having a lifted and relaxed head. Find exercises
to help you make your head, neck, and upper back muscles stronger, coordinated and flexible. Listen up, and perk up
the head and ears. Lift the top of the head to the heavens, square the head over the neck and back, allow the shoulders
to relax and fall, allow the chin to gently tuck, look forward, try to stay fully present here and now, be alert, show a soft
smile, keep your head up, stay focused, concentrate as needed, hold the asana of The Dignified Head of the Buddha,
and do your Qigong practices.
© Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2007
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