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If you can mentally induce Chi Flow, should you?

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  • If you can mentally induce Chi Flow, should you?

    Hi, I have a question about practice.

    I've been practicing for a little over a year. In December of last year I started experiencing Chi Flow for the first time. It seemed to be more regular than usual and was also the first time that I experienced the swaying of the body back and forth.

    Now, I don't know if this is Chi Flow with 100% certainty but I can describe the experience and maybe people here can confirm or deny. It feels like energy washing over the body. Sometimes it is in parts of the body and sometimes it is a full-body experience. It feels similar to a shiver but deeper in the body and usually softer/warmer. (As usual, words aren't very useful when describing internal experiences.) I usually found myself smiling and feeling joyful as a result. Partially because of the relaxing feeling but also feeling joyful just because (maybe a result of smiling from the heart before each session).

    In January of this year I noticed that the sessions returned to "normal" with very little swaying and/or feelings of energy moving. I decided to experiment and see if I could induce these feelings again by having a gentle thought before practice. It seemed to work and I would enter into a energy flow with swaying at the beginning of practice when I was still entering into a Chi Kung state of mind.

    Is inducing a Chi Flow in this way beneficial or would this be considered deviating from how we were taught?

  • #2
    I find it best to avoid chasing after any specific experience and manifestation of chi flow -- either sensation or movement pattern. This allows the chi to move how and where it wants. Sometimes it is vigorous externally, sometimes it is vigorous internally with little external movement, sometimes there are lots of sensations, sometimes none at all.

    At a more advanced level inducing a chi flow using mind instead of a pattern like lifting the sky is simple, but the chi will still flow how it needs to. At a more advanced level one can induce a chi flow with the mind towards specific purpose or skill such as massaging organs, bone marrow cleansing, or small universe. This is once again different from directing chi martially to flow or consolidate, practicing and applying tiger claw, or when striking a target with fa jing using any part of the body. One also uses mind to direct chi in one finger zen when extinguishing a candle or striking through the target surface with cosmos palm.

    Keep taking more courses and practice the hell out of the skills, you will be very surprised at how endlessly deep this art can be.
    Shaolin Wahnam USA

    "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      Sifu has often mentioned in his Q&A that inducing a Chi flow is the most important aspect of a Chi Kung practice. If a student can enter into a Chi flow directly without the physical exercises, it is considered a high level skill. I think this is what you mean when you say "at a more advanced level"?

      Is it correct to assume that a student will know when they have reached this level or does it take some feedback from a teacher?


      • #4
        Dear Maylic,

        As for the case you mentioned, just practice "Wu Wei". Enjoy your exercise and then let everything happen spontaneously. Chi will always work for your best, if you let it do its work.

        If a student can enter into a Chi flow directly without the physical exercises, it is considered a high level skill.
        It is even a great achievement to experience chi flow after practicing chi kung exercises, when we consider that most chi kung practitioners never even heard of chi flow, let alone them being able to generate it.

        Speaking within the standards in Shaolin Wahnam, I'd consider going into chi flow straight away an intermediate skill. Compared to other intermediate skills, it might even just be an "advanced basic level" skill. Most of my students experience this after a few months or at least a year of practice. Some earlier, some later.

        At the last Generating Energy Flow course I took with Sifu, Sifu managed to bring even fresh beginners into chi flow right at the start of the course, before even teaching a sinlge exercise.

        Is it correct to assume that a student will know when they have reached this level or does it take some feedback from a teacher?
        If you start your practice and relax while standing upright, you might experience (gentle) spontanous chi movements. You will notice it. No further need for confirmation.

        You might be interested in this thread:
        "Is practicing exercises necessary to overcome pain and illness?"

        Enjoy your practice!

        Best wishes,

        Sifu Leonard Lackinger

        Shaolin Treasure House

        Shaolin Wahnam Wien & Shaolin Treasure House


        • #5

          That link was an interesting read. I have definitely noticed a lot of opening of the chest and shoulders since beginning this practice. It seems like the more the body relaxes the more chi flows which leads to more physical relaxation which leads to more Chi flow... The opening of the shoulders has had an amazing effect on my handstand practice.

          I guess I will leave out the Chi flow intentions and allow the practice to go whichever way it wants.


          • #6
            The best strategy is to simply follow the instructions to the best if your ability. Doing so avoids two major pitfalls for a practitioner: intellectualisation during the earlier stage of learning and ego in the more advanced stages.

            When it comes to generating an energy flow, the instructions specify that various forms are performed first, or as part of generating the flow. So you should practice according to instructions.

            There are reasons why such an instruction is given, for example the physical form gently opens the joints and allows for a better flow of energy. By carefully following instructions the student benefits from the knowledge from the knowledge and experience of many generations of past masters, without having to know all these things upfront.
            George / Юра
            Shaolin Wahnam England

            gate gate pāragate pārasaṁgate bodhi svāhā