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Thread: Traditional Meditation and Chi Kung

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    Traditional Meditation and Chi Kung

    Hello.

    Is traditional meditation a form of Chi Kung?

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    Andrea is offline Sifu Andrea Zilio - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
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    It's an interesting question.

    To answer it, it would be good to define what is meant by the term of "meditation". And more specifically what it is you would call "traditional meditation"?
    As there are many forms of meditation as well as many forms of Chi Kung the answer might vary.

    However when I turn the question around "Can Chi Kung be a form of meditation?" then I would definately answer yes, when thinking of our Shaolin Cosmos Qigong.

    A common definition of meditation is "a set of exercises to attain a "heightened level of awareness". Entering a Chi Kung state of mind (also called "entering Zen", "entering Tao") and maintaining it during practice would certainly qualify Chi Kung as mediation under this definition. I would also say that Chi Kung generates "mindfulness" or "a one pointed mind" which is a goal for some forms of mediation. Thus in many instances Chi Kung can be considered a form of mediation as well as a great preparation for more advanced forms of mediation.

    Yet if I use another definition of "meditation" which is more commonly used in traditional Western practices then it means "to mediate on something" = "to contemplate sth" ="think about something deeply". Then our Chi Kung would not qualify as meditation. The same would be true for forms of "guided meditations" which uses imagery to achieve a certain state of mind.


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  3. #3
    Matt F. is offline Sifu Matt Fenton - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peacekeeper View Post
    Hello.

    Is traditional meditation a form of Chi Kung?
    Hello, Peacekeeper

    No, meditation is not chi kung. Though, as Sifu Andrea has pointed out, chi kung can be meditative.

    Chi kung is training of chi. Meditation is training of shen. Physical exercise is training of jing. Because jing, chi, and shen are all parts of a whole, training one does have effect on the others (may be a positive effect, or may be negative), but each training type has a specific focus. With chi kung, the training focus is on chi. Jing and shen will be affected, but those are secondary effects. Meditation is shen-focused training, with effect on chi and jing as secondary. Triple Cultivation is training all three at once, with equal focus on all three aspects at the same time.

    So, while there may be some cross-over of benefit/experience, meditation is not chi kung and chi kung is not meditation. They are different practices with different focuses.

    -Matt

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    Dear Sifu Andrea,

    Thanks for your response. By "traditional meditation" I mean, sitting meditation following your breath, which I think It's called vipassana. Yes, maybe the question was a bit ambiguous because there are plenty of ways to meditate.

    What I wanted to ask is: by doing vipassana meditation is there energy cultivation as well?

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    Hello Peacekeeper,

    Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.

    Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
    Observing the breath is a common technique in various traditions and, as I understand it, is one part of Vipassanā.

    Strictly speaking, I don't think there is a focus on energy cultivation in Vipassanā. But, cultivation at the mind level will inevitably have an effect on a person at the energy level. For example, a mental blockage can result in an energy blockage, which results in a physical health issue. If the mental blockage is cleared during meditation, the energy and physical blockages would also clear.

    This is what Sifu Matt was talking about when he explained the interconnection of the Three Treasures: Jing (Essence/Physical Energy), Chi (Vital Energy) and Shen (Mind).
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

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