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The goal of the Yuan Qigong system is to unify the consciousness, body and Qi and create a true "totality" unification - to unify with the universe. A successful practicioner can raise life to a new level. Our potential abilities can be developed and life can be changed deeply.
"Yuan" means unity, complete, perfect and original. Everything in the universe fits into Yuan - the inconspicuously small and the infinitely large. Yuan also represents the most basic movements of the universe - rotation and spiralling. Yuan symbolises all the beautiful, positive and natural qualities in life.
“Gong” means work, practice or effort. It refers to all the work needed to reach this great life of ‘Yuan’. In other words, Yuan Qigong can be used to achieve a good life in harmony with the basic principles of the universe.
"Qi" means life feorce, vital energy.
All Yuan Gong practices begin with creating a purpose-built Qi field by using special mind techniques to connect with the universal Qi. We can also add information to the Qi field, for example, what we want to achieve from the practice.
The state can be perceived as a strong overall feeling of totality where no physical boundaries exist.
The techniques of Qi field building are taught during the Tian Yuan and Di Yuan courses.
The methods can be compared to the construction of a multi-storey building. The first four floors are the methods that lay the foundation for practice. They are all based on movement. Each method processes Qi in its own way and you move forward step by step as you follow the methods.
From the fifth floor onwards the methods continue to advance and consist of "Still Qigong” meditation that is practiced using the consciousness without any physical movements. Practising Still Qigong in the correct way is powerful and effective for developing the consciousness and life as a whole.
The Yuan Qigong system starts with the first two methods (Tian Yuan and Di Yuan) to build up Qi in the whole body and in our Dantians (Qi-centres). It can improve reduce physical problems and enhance overall health. It also helps the consciousness improve its ability to focus and achieve greater clarity.
After some time, Ren Yuan can be added to strengthen the body making it supple, and to improve circulation. A beginner can also start by practising Ren Yuan and enjoy the benefits of the practice, but later the addition of Tian Yuan and Di Yuan is recommended to make the practice complete.
Built upon the practice of the first three methods, Xia Yuan is a method that supports the body's organs.
After practising the first four methods consistently, a deeper understanding of Qi can be achieved. The next step is to start practising Zhong Yuan and then continue on to Shang Yuan to open the Microcosmic Circuit and the Central Channel. These two methods can have extraordinary effects on health.
Concurrently, at any stage during the above training process, one can practice Tong Yuan and Ling Yuan. Tong Yuan is a method to work on Xin (heart), specifically for cultivating the five Xin qualities of trust, openness, love, gratitude and Gongjing (humility and true respect).
The methods fully support each other. Practising Ren Yuan deepens and improves the results achieved by practising Tian Yuan and Di Yuan. Xia Yuan improves the results from Tian Yuan, Di Yuan and Ren Yuan.
Below is a detailed description of the Yuan Gong methods.
When practising Tian Yuan, we use the mind together with physical movements to achieve a strong exchange of Qi with the universe. The body, mind and Qi become connected at a deep level and the state becomes calm and relaxed, focused and harmonious.
Tian Yuan is simple to learn. A short three hour course could be sufficient to enable you to start to a practice. Tian Yuan is very pleasant to practice; it is like a joyous meditation in motion - flying in freedom.
The method helps to effectively clear blockages in the body, , especially in areas such as the shoulders and neck where most adults have blockages due to stress.
Continuous practice of Tian Yuan improves health and also lays the foundation for further Yuan Qigong learning.
The practice of Tian Yuan provides the body with more universal "Yuan Qi", but to be more effective the Qi needs to be converted to our own personal Qi with our own information. Di Yuan both provides us with more Qi and supports this transformation.
When practising Di Yuan, we use the breath and consciousness together to focus on the three Dantians (Qi-centres in the body) in turn. Lower Dantian supports the physical body and its movements, Middle Dantian the organs and Upper Dantian the consciousness.
The third method is an innovation in Qigong development. It has its roots in traditional and modern Qigong, along with a wide range of disciplines including traditional Chinese medicine, Taiji, martial arts, anatomy, physiology and sports science. The design of the method is inspired by the natural circular and spiral movements of many astronomical bodies in the universe.
Ren Yuan enables and supports the flow of Qi in the Qi channels of the body. When Qi and blood flow smoothly and harmoniously together, we feel refreshed and light.
When the method is performed correctly, the movements are initiated by a light awareness of the consciousness. This awareness activates and directs Qi to move in the desired direction, this in turn leads to physical movements. This way the movements will flow without effort and you will feel weightless; everything will flow naturally. Any discomfort and pain will disappear. How does it work? Say you want to move your hand. To do this, firstly you need to unify with your Qi and body and get into a very calm state, then have the light intention of "raising your hand". Qi will then be activated automatically and will raise your hand.
The method is perceived by most practitioners as appealing and delightful; time seems to pass quickly. After some time practising becomes very enjoyable like a pleasant dance. The benefits are evident even when first starting to practice the third method.
Ren Yuan opens up and allows Qi to flow in the channels and it builds physical strength; it strengthens tendons, muscles and bones. The practice also helps create mental strength with the mind, body and Qi supporting each other and working as an integrated unit. As a result, the mind becomes calm and focused.
Xia Yuan strengthens the pure Qi of the organs which in turn strengthens the organs, optimizes their collaborative capabilities and increases overall health. The health of the organs is essential for one’s overall health. Poorly functioning organs can affect the whole body and give rise to many diseases. Continuous practice of Xia Yuan invigorates and balances all the organs in the body and can significantly raise the level of one’s health.
Xia Yuan uses a combination of consciousness activities, movements, sounds and colour visualization to activate Qi in several key organs in the body – the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys. It is easy to learn and the movements, breathing and sounds make Xia Yuan a pleasant method to practice.
Zhong Yuan is a Still Qigong method and its main purpose is to open the central channel of the body. From the start, a special breathing technique is used to build up Qi into Lower Dantian. When enough Qi is available, Qi starts to flow up along the Du Mai channel. Gradually a natural circulation of Qi at a very deep level is activated and flows around the Ren Mai and Du Mai channels, the so-called Microcosmic Circuit.
With continued practice and focus Qi then automatically flows into other channels and opens up the so-called Macrocosmic Circuit. This is what happens in the first step of five, in the fifth method. Progress in Zhong Yuan requires consistent practice, patience, conviction and focus, and it is probably something you can practice for your whole life.
When the Macrocosmic Circuit is open, our work continues in order to open the Central Channel and the supplementary Left and Right channels. The first four Yuan Gong methods support the opening of these channels and Di Yuan lays the foundation for a concentration of Qi in the Lower Dantian, an important prerequisite for opening the Central Channel.
Shang Yuan is another still Qigong method and is for opening the Central Line in the torso, legs and arms. When the Central Line is open, the consciousness is expected to influence Qi at the level of one’s genes.
Good preparation, diligent practice and dedication are required to gradually make progress with the fifth and sixth methods. The important foundational base must first be created, followed by persistent effort to open the many channels before the Central Channel is opened, and even more effort is required to develop the Central Line.
Those who are versed in Qigong or Yoga know it's invaluable to open the main channels. They often practice meditation to get there directly. Yuan Tze who has worked long and deeply in this area has not seen anyone succeed using this approach. There are no shortcuts; it is impossible to skip the first five methods and go directly to the sixth method. Everything should be prepared and practiced in the right way, with understanding at consciousness level and true conviction and reverence. We simply have to follow the laws of life.
Tong Yuan is a still Qigong method for life improvement using "Focus Jing and Shen, cultivate Xin Ling"
Tong could be understood as barrier free or free moving.
The whole expression can be translated to "Focus every aspect of life (i.e. your body, mind, Qi) deeply into Xin (your heart). Also connect Xin to and unify with the external (universe). Using a meditation work on Xin to attain realization and wisdom.
Ling Yuan, the eighth method is a meditative qigong to process and change the patterns of consciousness. During our life, we develop patterns to be able to meet and handle everyday events and situations in a simple and fairly standardized manner. Some patterns can cause self-accusation when something goes wrong, pondering or even abuse or alternatively always blaming problems on others. In Ling Yuan, we process these patterns and try to replace them with better ones.
This work can be both interesting and inspiring. The fewer bad patterns we have, the better we work in daily life.
Ming Yuan, the ninth method is used to approach the true self during a continuous state of self-observation (Jue Cha) and thereby achieve self-realization and wisdom.
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