Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Moving On...

Moving on, we will be moving on.  I have posted many blog entries here over the past few years.  From now on, I will be blogging from my Taiji School website: intaiji.com

Please drop in and see what we are up to, and thanks for visiting Nagualtime.

Monday, October 7, 2013

And Qigong is?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, "What is Qigong?" Honestly, it should be the easiest to answer, because Qigong practice is simply a way to return to our natural, healthy, spiritually aware state. But somehow I still struggle to articulate what Qigong is. There are literally thousands of variations and approaches to Qigong. Some have a lot in common, some are totally different from each other. But they are all Qigong. In a nutshell, Qigong is energy work. A closer definition, at least for our practice, is self-nurturing energy work.


The lineage of Qigong in which I train and teach is called Hunyuan, which can also be translated as Primordial. This style of Qigong draws from Daoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Chinese Martial Arts. The majority of our practice comes to us from one the headstone figures in our lineage, Grandmaster Hu Yoazhen. Further information on the complete lineage in which I train can be found here: http://chentaiji.com/about/lineage.html


We can also sum our practice up as being Wujigong, or the practice of nurturing stillness. That is one reason we place so much emphasis on meditation and standing Qigong. A key component to all our practices is nurture; nurturing ourselves, nurturing our training partners and nurturing our world.  We nurture in stillness and silence; we nurture in all our movement; and we nurture as we move through life.


Following is very good video on The Primordial Qigong State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIwyIseuMwI


And, here is nice summary of self-nurture from Pema Chodron:
"As adults, we begin to cultivate a sense of loving-kindness for ourselves—by ourselves, for ourselves. The whole process of meditation is one of creating that good ground, that cradle of loving-kindness where we actually are nurtured. What’s being nurtured is our confidence in our own wisdom, our own health, and our own courage, our own goodheartedness. We develop some sense that the way we are—the kind of personality that we have and the way we express life—is good, and that by being who we are completely and by totally accepting that and having respect for ourselves, we are standing on the ground of warriorship."


But the key to good Qigong is Qigong itself: Nurturing Qi, our inherent wholeness; and simply being--now.  Yes, it's really that simple--and that powerful.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Alpha and Omega, All Today

"Radical times require radical action and the most radical thing we can do is to start a revolution in consciousness."  Amoda Maa Jeevan

Life is a process of change.  But it is not a separate process that happens to us or outside of our existence.  We are all con-conspirators in the process.  And that can be a bit obvious if you consider that each of us is as much a part of the life process, the ever-unfolding mystery, as the others.  One may easily think that life is passing her by.  When in reality, she is still contributing to the process even by attempting to sit it out on the sidelines.  The bottom line is there is no sitting out.  One is always a part, always co-creating.  The only variable is awareness of this fact.

There is a definitive evolutionary process happening every nanosecond.  It has been happening for all eternity, and will continue to happen--forever.  It is a spiritual evolution happening in the body human toward a collective awakened state.  Granted, the world population far from fully realized in totality.  But that is not really the point.  The point is that the stream is flowing in a positive direction.  And we have choices.  In this regard, we have two: we can jump in and go with the flow, or we can retreat to our small ego-driven selves and miss the parade.

Either choice is relatively easy.  It's more about intention than it is effort.  If the intent to awaken is there, the procedural details (so to speak) will emerge and the rest will take care of itself, as long as intention is firm.  The same process applies to the other choice.  Unfortunately, that one is even easier because of conditioning.  We have so much experience with living out of ego, it just happens--or continues to happen providing we don't make the other choice.

The process of awakening is unpredictable, as is all of life.  The underlying Truth here is that we are already awake within.  We just have to remove all the "stuff" we have accumulated over the years that has served to cover it up.  And it's at this point that words cease to work.  We can explain intention, and we can explain the various practices, and then we must leave the process to itself and bathe in the experience, feel the Presence.  As this occurs, we add to the unfolding of the world.  And in some inexplicable way the process is that much easier for the next guy.

Today is the day.  Breathe.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Transcending

You say you are not happy. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that the happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the ego. And that arises with the waking state. There was no ego in sleep. The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other birth. Whatever is born is bound to die. Kill the ego! There is no fear of death for that which is already dead. The Self remains after the death of the ego. That is Bliss that is immortality.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

If they don't serve any other purpose, the martial arts should serve as a vehicle for true transcendence.  It's easy to conceive of this watching a lone practitioner performing his Taiji form in the park, or watching old Kung Fu TV series reruns.  But once we begin the practice, we can easily become bogged down in the technical details or consumed with latent or blatant competitive drive and miss the forest for the trees.  Sure, technical details are important but they shouldn't override the spirit.  And spirit is both the easiest and the hardest aspect of our practice to realize.  In essence it is always available, always with us.  Yet, we have to acknowledge it and nurture it.  The way to do that is to first destroy ego, then place your attention where you know it should be.

As O'Sensei said, "Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train."  The technical details only give us the how-to of training.  The rest is up to us.


Monday, February 25, 2013

A Full Understanding of Peng Jing


Most practitioners of the internal martial arts are familiar with Peng.  However, for many it's just "ward-off", or the lifting, expanding energy present in the form.  However, there is much more to Peng.  In many systems the true nature of Peng Jing is never explored.  It is rather marginalized or described as an arm motion or position.  This is unfortunate since Peng Jing is a cornerstone component of the internal arts.  Following is an article by Sifu Sam Chin presenting a complete, full understanding of Peng Jing.


One man defeating many. A strike that no one sees delivered unbelievably fast. What appears to be a tiny push sends an attacker tens of feet away. Small motions that are so internal, you can't understand why you're off balance and on the edges of your feet. In front of such a person, all your techniques seem useless. What's going on?
According to Master Sam Chin, one of the main requirements for high-level kung fu is what he calls the "Merging of the Spheres." This article will describe the preliminary physical and mental levels of merging the spheres. Merging the spheres is a very refined expression of an internal energy commonly known as peng-jing. Merging the spheres with peng-jing will result in strong-rooted movements which naturally enhance internal energy, mental alertness and martial art. Not only that, but if you train well - then, as Master Sam Chin says, you can "even transcend technique itself."