Qigong …. meditation / by Peter Buchar
Qigong, Taichi, Yoga, meditation & Mindfulness. Different ”methods”, born many years ago. Apart from the direct healthaspect, they have other goals in common, like awareness, presence and consciousness.
I have a strong feeling that the more one is learning one of the teachings, the closer one is coming the core of another. Master Li Jun Feng, my main Qigongteacher at a couple of occasions even called Qigong ”the Chinese Yoga”.
I did much Yoga when I was younger, but after my backoperation 1982, (which followed my ski-carrier), I lost a lot of the power in my lower body.
Around 18 kilos of muscles were gone, and the connection to earth was close to ”zero”. The balance was catastrophic, and when the Qigong came to Sweden 1984-85, I tried it, and it clicked directly. I loved it, and have loved it ever since! It suits me personally because it is practised mostly in a standing position, which help me to regularly build power in my lower body to support my still sometimes vulnerable spine.
Meditation in movement
Qigong is primarely about three things, breathing, a slow movement and concentration. Relaxation is a main key. Relaxed body gives a relaxed mind, and viceversa. Qigong, as well as the Taichi, is a moving meditation, where the meditation is born in my attentive awareness on what is happening in the body.
Qi like a mountain river
Qi is the lifeforce which, among other things, is pushing the blood. Since a relaxed body has a strong flow of qi, this body also has a strong bloodflow. Thought is said to be ”driving” the qi. ”Qi goes where thought go”, one uses to say in the Qigong-schools. Therefore one is learning to put, and hold, the attention on different parts of the body. There are spiritual Qigong-schools which are taking this thinking one level more, saying that the mind is being run by the heart. Then it is important to think ”pure”.
”If your thoughts are unclean, your qi will also be unclean, and the lifepower will not flow good. If your thoughts are clean and pure, without hidden purposes or intentions, your qi will flow clear and fresh like a mountain river in your body”. This is how Master Li Jun Feng, worldfamous Qigong- and Taichi master from China, is expressing this aspect of Qigong. He also confirms how my qi is streaming out from my body whether I want it or not.
This thinking has of course influenced my dancing. ”So ? … in the tango …what type of qi am I sharing with my partner right now? ”
The powerful ”still Qigong”
Another type of Qigong which I like and appriciate very much is the one which is practised without noticible movement. The method is called Zhan Zhuang, and is real old, and extremely powerful.
In this Qigong one is training both tension and relaxation at the same time, not after eachother like we do in normal physical training. One is standing absolutely still, without moving, in different positions …. ”like a tree”. In reality one is growing from inside, just like the tree.
With calm, humble thoughts one is inviting the body to relax the tight muscle one is discovering. I am waiting, accepting, breathing deep and calm. Observing ”the restless mind” … observing all these buzzing thoughts. VERY nice Qigong, yes, a favourite !
My own road
I have had the pleasure to train for, and with, a line of very acknowledged teachers and Masters, and the one which have inspired me the most is Master Li Jun Feng. He was during many years the headcoach for the Chinese team in Wushu and Taichi, and is the founder of the Qigong-school Sheng Zhen, a method which now can be found in many countries.
Another big and famous Qigong teacher which has taught and influenced me a lot during many courses is Master Fan Xiulan from Peking. She is the founder of the worldfamous Biyun-method.
I also would like to mention the above written method Zhan Zhuang to be a constant source of inspiration and drivingforce, helping me to ”just keep up the practise” !!
My own teaching is a synthes of the above mentioned schools, and is of course also colored by the different types of meditation I have practised throughout the years. This synthes has grown from endless hours of personal practise, and is continuing to grow and to deepen with age. The more one is training the more one is discovering.