April 14, 2005 at 10:12 am #4336
Two simple questions,
What is the most effective way to collect chi?
and also what is the least time consuming method to collect chi ?
KurtApril 14, 2005 at 11:15 am #4337
I imagine breathing would be my choice for least time consuming.
As I (likely, incompletely) understand the Healing Tao position on it from Fundamentals 1 & 2, we do practices not to collect chi, but to increase our awareness of, and improve the flow of, the chi field that already exists within us. We’re already made of chi.
BrianApril 14, 2005 at 12:09 pm #4339
I think Brian has actually highlighted a point of difference between Michael Winn and certain other teachers of taoism (including I would argue Manak Chia).
Chia’s earlier work at least, and also what I would consider to be more traditional southern school taoism, teaches that part of the goal of taoism is collecting and conserving greater and greater amounts of energy (which are then refined into other types of energy). This is why one practices sexual restraint as well as restraint and balance in all other emotional/physical/energetic areas, and also why various practices seek to “seal” or close the 5 senses and various physical sphincters. It’s all about building up energy and preventing its “leakage”.
Certainly chi is all around us. It is passing through us and we are generating it, gathering it, and loosing it all the time. Nothing can stop any of that. But I believe that many taoist practices are meant to gather and conserve it, rather than just “be aware” of its natural flow. That is, taoists are engaged in manipulating that flow in order to — to use an unpopular word — “hoard” chi for their own alchemical purposes.
I haven’t been exposed to much of Michael Winn’s direct teachings, so I don’t know exactly how he views all this. Perhaps his idea is that if you are completely open to feeling all the chi out there you can call on it at any time — kind of like manipulating it without needing to hoard it. However, I’m not sure how he would justify things like seminal retention and sphincter locks under that theory.
Regarding the original question, certain intent filled breathing exercises and seminal retention are I think probably the two most powerful ways to gather and conserve chi, at least in beginning to intermediate stages of alchemy.April 14, 2005 at 2:27 pm #4341
Basically the most effective way to collect chi is also the only way. Either fast or slow, it’s up to you. Here’s why:
1. Chi never really collects before you let go. So first you need to let go of whatever is blocking chi. That’s why you need some method like qigong.
2. Learn to be aware of the present moment. Practice being in the now. Chi is always there. Learn to be able to precive it, and merge with it. Meditation is a good way both to become more energized and become more aware of what’s actually blocking or dispersing your chi: Emotions and thoughts. Find a good meditation teacher.
3. Try to reduce ejaculations to a minimum.( The hardest part for men in general)
Ofcourse, the simplest method to collect chi is probably to take regular outings in nature, and sleep more.
Hope this was of some use.
hApril 14, 2005 at 3:22 pm #4343
aehh just another word.April 14, 2005 at 4:12 pm #4345
Very good point about seminal retention, that doesn’t seem to fit into that model, unless there’s a different way of looking at that practice, or again, a highlight that my understanding of the HT position is incomplete.
I started out with the perspective that I got from the martial arts, with chi considered as a substance to collect and hoard. My experience of applying that model to acupressure yielded some great results, but man… did it feel draining to me personally if I did that too much. That’s kinda what got me looking into looking at it from the ‘calling on it when needed’ perspective. But the reiki practitioners I run into have that model, but something seems to hold them back too.
Maybe there’s a balance point between the two perspectives. If part of our goal in following the Tao is to mimic natural processes, maybe the question to ask is, how does nature do it? Does a tree store chi, access what it needs when it needs it, or both? (or… none of the above? 🙂 ) My gut feeling is that nature probably wouldn’t take a hoarding stance, though.
BrianApril 15, 2005 at 2:09 am #4347
There is no contradiction between viewing chi as infinitely abundant and the practice of semen retention. You don’t retain semen to hoard it, like a martial artist hoarding their chi so they win the next fight.
You retain semen so you have the opportunity to transform it. How can you go deep into the transformations of jing-chi-shen if you constantly toss out your jing chi?
Taoist alchemical practice is about gathering and refining essences into a more pure form. The process takes placs within the context of a never ending process of chi flowing through various cycles and dimensions.
Since everything is a part of this chi flow, to “hoard” the chi field would really mean hoarding everything. To accomplish this, you would have to first merge with everything. At which point you would most likely consider the notion of hoarding to be a bit silly.
🙂April 15, 2005 at 8:50 am #4349
Yes it was and thanks
KurtApril 15, 2005 at 8:55 am #4351
I see, I use to watch some shows where elderly asian gentlmen would stand next to trees, bushes and the like surrounding it with there arms . I wondered how they where extracting it? Chi that is, but maybe I viewed it wrong
KurtApril 15, 2005 at 9:03 am #4354
I am fourty six years old and retaining is not even a problem LOL and I have read several of your begining books. Original question with answer then is to absorb yourself into the Tao and then you can learn to work with it ?
KurtApril 15, 2005 at 10:34 am #4356
In qigong practice, exchanging and absorbing chi from nature is a common and important practice.
Tree qigong is a way of purifying and circulating one’s qi with the wood energy of the tree. In this sense, you connect with the wood element, wich relates to the liver, eyes and circulation of blood. Learn it from a teacher.
hagarApril 15, 2005 at 2:18 pm #4359
Maybe its just making love to a tree?
Weird?April 15, 2005 at 2:19 pm #4361
Save it like Gold.April 15, 2005 at 2:23 pm #4364
As I said, the word “hoard” tends to be unpopular, but I’m not sure how it really differs from “gather and conserve”.
The point is, whether it’s semen, jing, chi, shen — or in some practices spit, sweat and urine — you’re doing your best to take energy and keep it from dissipating out of you.
As Michael ponts out, the ultimate goal isn’t to hoard it — any more than the ultimate goal is to “gather” or “conserve” it — rather it is to take the mass of energy you’ve managed to collect and transform it.
The energy that you gather, conserve, and (dare I say it?) hoard, and then ultimately transform, comes from both within you and from sources outside of you that you are able to assimilate.
Seen in this light, the fact that “everything is part of the chi flow” is irrelevant, as is I think is the concept of expanding out to merge with everything, except that these may provide ample opportunities to find energy to add to your stash.
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