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Abdominal Breathing Q

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  • Abdominal Breathing Q

    Hello and may I welcome everyone to the new forum!

    I was looking through my notes on Abdominal breathing and I found a reference to being "Flowingly Still" or having a Chi flow after the hands on abdomen part. My question is what is flowingly still? I'm sure it's not just an oxymoron and in what way is it different to standing meditation.

    Hope the above makes some kind of sense and I look forward to all comments. Thankyou.

  • #2
    Hey Marcus. Isn't the new forum excellent?

    In terms of flow vs. stillness, I would put things in the following order (from flowing to still):
    [list=1][*]Self Manifested Chi Flow (most movement)[*]Flowing Breeze Swaying Willow (a bit less)[*]Flowingly Still (slight, gentle swaying)[*]Standing Meditation (almost no external movement)[*]Sitting Meditation (stillness)[/list=1]

    This list is my own concoction. I didn't hear it from Sifu. I just thought it might help.

    Sifu Anthony Korahais
    (Click here to learn more about me.)


    • #3
      Hello, I had this same question as Marcus (but only with regards to Dan Tian breathing instead. Maybe Marcus means the same thing).

      Is Dan Tian breathing best followed with flowingly still or an active flow? Or can it be first a flowingly still then an active flow? My training is mainly the dynamic patterns, but when I do do Dan Tian breathing, I've been either doing the flowingly still or an active flow. Then I follow it with standing meditation. Which is most effective? I can't remember how it was at the course.

      Also, how about Sinew Metamorphosis? I remember this can either be followed by flowingly still or an active flow. Am I right on this?

      And what is 'flowing zen'? I remember Sifu using this expression and when he did I just went into an active flow, I think.

      Darryl, I'd like to re-ask you some specific points on Sinew Metamorphosis. I think I can handle it without much worry now. I've done two months of mainly dynamic patterns. I'd like to incorporate 'lifting body' once and a while now. How about it?



      • #4
        Thanks Antonius, that gives me something to work with.

        Hey Tom L from the USA, great to hear from you and yes Dan Tien breathing is the same thing.


        • #5
          Flowingly Still

          For an example of 'Flowingly Still', during the last Intensive Kung Fu course with Sifu I experienced something I had never felt before.

          While doing Stance Training, I was sitting in Horse Stance with my fists above my hips, listening to my breathing and focusing on my Dan Tian. I felt the chi massing at my left hand and continued to think of my Dan Tian, quietly confident my chi would go there in its own little way. Instead, the sensation continued to build untill I was suddenly aware that my left arm was fully extended in a staight punch, very very different from moving while in chi flow.

          It felt completely natural to be there, so I left it there and continued with my breathing. Afterwards, I asked Sifu what I should have done and he replied "yes, Flowingly Still".

          Tom, by all means post your questions regarding practicing 'Lifting Body' or any other patterns. Indeed, there are many of Sifu's students who post here, in particular Joan and WahnamCH who have accomplished great things with their own Chi Kung practice that far outweigh anything I may have accomplished so far.

          As to your questions regarding moving or staying still, do not worry about them. The movements are happenning just now as you are freeing blockages, returning to natural movements, or the Tao if you wish. Dynamic patterns for two months is such a little time, yet already you are reaping the benefits of your practice. Every now and again, your Chi Flow will be silent and still, or slow and serene, or wild and reckless, or even all three one after the other.

          The most important thing to remember is not if you are doing it right, but that you are doing it well. If you want, practice the form for 'Lifting Body' three or four times, then relax and just stand, listening to your breathing. If you move, move. If you stand, stand. Let everything just pass you by and enjoy your practice. Dont worry about getting results, or doing the form untill you feel the chi building, take it easy and gently, especially at the beginning. These exercises are very powerfull, not to be underestimated or overtrained. The next day, do Lifting The Sky and enjoy your chi flow as normal.

          As the weeks and months pass by, start making your 'Lifting Body' sessions more frequent, say from once per two to three weeks to once per week, then maybe twice per week and so on.

          Always follow your 'Lifting Body' with Lifting The Sky the next session, it is a treasure in itself and not to be underestimated.

          With warmest regards


          • #6
            Hi Marcus!! How are you doing? I didn't think you posted here. Great to hear from you too Practice is going well. I hope to see you again at a later course. Sifu is conducting a multi-city tour at the US next year I hear. Now it's your turn to come over to my home-town

            Hi Darryl,

            Thanks for the advice on Lifting Body. I didn't know it should be folllowed with Lifting the Sky. I'll remember that when I do it occasionally. I asked you about it this time because I asked you the first time. But I'm fine asking questions in open here to anyone.



            • #7
              Thanks for the reply Darryl, I love hearing about your experiences they encourage me.
              Tom, he he he. I try to get here as often as I can, but my wife and child take up a massive amount of time and my chi kung practice takes up what's left. Apparently this situation should only last for "a number of years"

              May your practice bare much fruit


              • #8
                Lifting The Sky

                Hi Tom,

                Lifting The Sky doesn't need to follow Lifting Body, I just recommend it as prevention (far better than cure!).

                Lifting The Sky will correct any unwitting deviations you may have committed during your other practice sessions, so it will keep you on the straight and narrow and your heart open and true.

                Hi Marcus, thanks for the kind words. You building a loving family far outweighs anything I can do for inspiration, I am just waiting for the day that you become a Shaolin Wahanm Chi Kung Instructor - the conversations we will have!

                For a final point, the only problem with bearing fruit is that innocent monkies come along and eat it all, then get shouted at for no reason at all! Then they end up having to battle the heavenly hosts ... its hard being a monkey.


                • #9
                  lingering questions


                  Darryl says: "As to your questions regarding moving or staying still, do not worry about them.... If you move, move. If you stand, stand. Let everything just pass you by and enjoy your practice."

                  The questions are still in my head as to what to follow dan tian breathing with and what to follow sinew metamorphosis with. Before I begin practice, I like to think to myself what I want to practice for that period. For example, I'd initially pick between a dynamic pattern, dan tian breathing, or sinew metamorphosis. I usually pick the first thing (i.e., one of the 3 dynamic patterns or self-manifested chi flow) and I know exactly how to work with this. But with dan tian breathing and sinew metamorphosis, I still have uncertainty which I would certainly like to eliminate Specifically, I wonder about what to follow each with - maybe flowingly still or maybe an active flow. Darryl, I understand your answer as saying that I should do whatever feels natural - but I don't know what feels natural. I remember that at the course, we were taught to do it a cerain way. I am wondering what that way is. This is where I am right now. I plan my practice lay-out ahead of time so I know what to do at the transitions without doubt.



                  • #10
                    Re: lingering questions

                    Originally posted by Tom L
                    The questions are still in my head as to what to follow dan tian breathing with and what to follow sinew metamorphosis with
                    Hi Tom, good to hear from you again.

                    Dan Tian Breathing typically is a 'still' exercise, gentle swaying is acceptable but if your movements become larger then relax them, slow them down and think of your Dan Tian. This exercise is my personal favourite, so I will give a quick breakdown of how I practice. In the interests of responsibility and efficiency, I am missing out several stages. If you are unsure of the actual stages or would like to refresh your memory, email me. For a far better solution, you could email Sifu or use the new feature to email a panel of Shaolin Wahnam instructors in which I am only one.

                    Dan Tian Breathing is a very powerfull exercise, as Joan said on another thread - both Dan Tian Breathing and Sinew Metamorphosis build on your experiences, they are not ideal starting points. After you have relaxed, Smiled, Breathed (with or without the hands) and merged with the unity of form, mind and chi - then relax. As before, gentle swaying & soft flowing chi are both perfectly acceptable, maybe even ideal. If your movements start to become wider, faster or specific (beating, hopping, grunting etc) then it is very likely you are still cleansing. This is not neccesarily bad however, every now and again I use Dan Tian Breathing for cleansing (not deliberately) as it is very powerfull and in line with my overall goals. This is personal preference, not the norm.

                    Usually, your movements will be small and mild as your mind stays at your Dan Tian, the same as bringing things to a gentle stop except that you are existing in the point just before then, so you have slight movement without actually moving. This is not concious or deliberate, it just is.

                    The same applies for Sinew Metamorphosis, except that Sinew Metamorphosis (to me) is like you have stopped the rivers from entering the sea, so you create a lake as they overflow and merge together. Again, when practicing this group of exercises, be mindfull of your Dan Tian and let your movements be gentle.

                    Since I do not practice Sinew Metamorphosis regularly, maybe one of the others would care to comment on this.


                    • #11
                      Thank you Darryl! That answers my questions exactly. But now I have one more. At Brighton, I remember Sifu giving us a choice after one of the final sinew metamorphosis group practices - we could either follow the exercise with flowingly still or the normal flow. Most people picked the normal flow. I am correct on this, yes? So when I do my individual practice, which sometimes includes sinew metamorphosis, do I have this same choice?



                      • #12
                        Questions, questions

                        Hi Tom,

                        Your question has already been answered.

                        To recap, during the course people who had already cleansed (over several months at least, not the past 24 hours) would build, people new to Chi Kung would cleanse.

                        As to how you should react, please re-read this thread.

                        Nothing in Chi Kung is black and white, but everything is simple.

                        One of Sifu's most common sayings during Kungfu practice is "Never regress". This what you are doing when you are asking a question that has already been answered.

                        Listen to your breathing, follow your breathing, relax your mind.

                        This is so simple, yet so rare it is amost a secret.

                        For a final point, this also demonstrates that questions just lead to more questions. Until you understand, you will always ask questions. It is pointless to answer them, since you do not understand the answers. This not meant to be rude or arrogant, just simple truth. Understanding comes through direct experience, not intellectual contemplation.

                        So by all means post questions, but first you must read the previous answers.

                        Let your mind follow the pace set by your breathing, not the other way round.
                        Last edited by Darryl; 1 April 2003, 05:36 PM.