03 June 2015

Chi Kung Attitude – Putting The Kung into Chi Kung

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Chi Kung Attitude – PuttingThe Kung into Chi Kung

Ok, so let’s talk about Chi Kung and how we can we use this kind of practice, how it will serve us and what job it will do for us in the daily life.

One of the things we are developing is our acceptance and our equanimity, learning to live with things as they are, knowing that they are not always going to be in perfect balance and so learning to accept the fact that they get out of balance. It’s not accepting the fact that things get out of balance that keeps them out of balance. Accepting things as they are allows them to release and come back into order.

We may have a tendency to accumulate ignorant energy, ignorant energy is a lack of awareness, and the unwholesome reactions of aversion and craving that a lack of equanimity brings about. This is what interferes with the rhythms and currents of your body and congests your chi and produces this dense feeling of stiffness, heaviness and blockage that you feel.

When we do the kind of chi kung I teach you on retreat, we are activating the chi so that it can start to reorganise itself. First of all you have to go through that activation stage. If you just start to try and reorganise your chi and it’s not active, you won’t be clearing off from a deep enough level, so you have to activate it. The warm up process is a practice in its own right. It can be the only thing you do and you’ll probably find that if you only do that practice and can’t remember anything else it will keep your head above water. And then we do the exercises to open the body into deeper places where the really stuck stuff is. Where you find you can’t move or there’s a resistance to movement, there’s a sure sign that you are holding something pretty shadowy in there. And if you try and move through it without activating your chi and getting into your awareness then you bring your reactive mind to your efforts to work on the blockage and you’ll pull up those bad reactions and you’ll find your resistance to going in there which is what stops you getting in there.

[groups_non_member group=”Registered”]So you have to enter into the state of awareness, let’s just call it awareness or we could call it our chi kung state, which is this slightly detached but very present, very mindful state but a non-reactive state, non interfering state. If you start moving through the stiffness in your back with your normal mind, ‘Ahhh there’s that stiffness in my back’, you simply produce more aversion energy there.

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[groups_member group=”Registered”]So you have to enter into the state of awareness, let’s just call it awareness or we could call it our chi kung state, which is this slightly detached but very present, very mindful state but a non-reactive state, non interfering state. If you start moving through the stiffness in your back with your normal mind, ‘Ahhh there’s that stiffness in my back’, you simply produce more aversion energy there.

So this is really key, you can’t just blindly do the practice; you’re feeling a bit fed up, ‘I better go do some chi gong,’ you take your fed-up-ness into your chi gong, and you don’t really get the effect. So you have to refine your approach in the early stages, the first 5-10 minutes of your practice, to get you connected at a deeper level, then you can start to go into the bits that are blocked in the body. Then you will start to peel off the layers and connect at a deeper level.

After a while you can pretty much let your body do its thing. It will just do its thing. Once you’re connected to the chi, then your body will move you without you making any intention. So maybe you start with some form, some idea of the sort of areas that you want to move through so that you cover the whole area, you cover all the tissues, all the joints, all the cavities, all the spaces in your body and allow them to move and open up. So this is the way you develop your practice.

Sometimes we work the spine, sometimes we work the waist, sometimes we work the neck, sometimes we work the legs but the approach is always the same.
Now if you get to the point where you’ve cleared off the stuck energy but it still feels the chi is still swirling around, that is just that it is dispersing so you leave it alone to settle naturally. You come back to your attitude of leave it as it is. You’ve activated the chi, the body’s intelligence is now doing its thing. The stale chi, the old energy, will leave now, you just have to leave it to leave.

So you just come back, centre yourself, reestablish your presence. Feel the turbulence. Don’t be dismayed that when you’ve stopped your movement that it doesn’t feel all aligned, because it’s still moving. That was your shake up process and then you come back to the reorganising place. This is where you use simple gestures, simple forms to sink the chi, to clear it off and then you come back again to the stillness, you tune in, ‘Ahhh, now feel things feel nice and smooth and ordered’.

This is the process and the approach you should bring. You can develop your own way of doing it, your body is your body. If you get the attitude right then it will take care of itself. This is what we call the kung, when we talk about chi kung. This is the mastery of your attitude that potentises the effect. If you don’t have that kung, then you don’t have a potent practice. You can spend your whole life doing it, you can spend 10 hours a day doing it but you won’t get much result. If you really refine this gong aspect then 3 minutes, 5 minutes, you can work things out really nicely…

If you can take this attitude to your meditating you make swift process. If you have the wrong attitude at the beginning there are many cul-de-sacs you can get lost in. The same with your chi gong. So review your attitude before you start. If you are just trying to move because you feel really gnarly and vexed by your energy, then that gnarly mind is in there with you. You have to accept how you feel and the state you are in. You feel really out of balance, ‘well, it is what it is, let me just work it through’, this is your attitude.

Now what is it, that’s appearing in the body? It’s the accumulation of your unwholesome mind throughout the day, the negative habit patterns that habitually arise. It’s your negativity.

And thereupon that negativity opens the door for the fruiting of your past stock of negativity, or what is called unwholesome karma. So you might find that you spend a long time clearing your body, organising it, you feel just right, but as soon as you get tired it starts to fall apart again. This is your karma. This is because you’ve have habitually reacted to your experiences in an unwholesome way. I.e. had a lot of aversion in the past to what’s happened to you and this fruiting now is producing the effect, the tendency towards incoherence in your body; this you will have to live with whilst its like that!

So this being ok with having to live with it, is the attitude to cultivate; needing it to be perfect and being fed up because it is not, is not accepting the fact that you’ve accumulated this tendency for your body to fall apart quickly and you haven’t learnt to live with where you are at, you haven’t made your peace with what you are. Some of you will have this happening your entire life. But you do not need to purify your karma to purify your mind and your heart. You only purify your response and attitude and so it is no longer a problem. You might wake up in the morning everyday despite doing all your meditation properly and all your chi gong properly and yet you wake up stiff, painful, heavy, this tendency towards this incoherence, this is karma. You are not free from that karma until you accept it. You might have to wait a lifetime till it’s worn itself out. In which case you’ll never be free from it until you accept it.

You say to yourself, ‘Yes, I need to refine myself, I need to keep working it through. I need to keep my body working. Otherwise my body will age quickly, it will atrophy, become stiff, heavy, dense, because this is my karma.’ And you work it through which is your purification and your teacher. You’re not purifying your karma when you do your chi gong. You’re purifying your attitude and clearing the effect of it. This is really key to understand.. If you want to purify your karma, you have to sit in meditation and really allow that bad reaction in your mind to come up, and feel and be with all its force, feel that old rage, feel that old resentment, feel that jealousy. Sit with that force in your body, not react to it. Not even let your body move. Dissolve it into emptiness with equanimity, let it go. This is how you purify your karma. But this practice may well leave your body very painful. You may still wake up every night, your body wracked with pain or in the morning wracked with pain because this karma is still playing out producing this effect in your body.

So you use your chi kung to live with your karma. So that what would otherwise be an extremely wretched sack of bones to carry around all your whole life is not a wretched sack of bones. It just has a challenge. And this is your attitude. This is your kung in your chi kung.[/groups_member]

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