In 1995, in order to introduce Zhìnéng Qìgōng to the non-Chinese, Dr. Páng gave approval for my brother, Luke, and me to teach Zhìnéng Qìgōng in the Americas and in Europe. This presented us with two issues.
After lengthy discussions, Dr. Pang Ming and Luke concluded that we should focus on the wellness part of the Zhineng Qigong and named it Chilel Qigong (Chilel means Qi therapy). We would certify students as Certified Chilel Qigong Instructor. In a sense, Chilel Qigong is not Zhineng Qigong; it is the wellness part of Zhineng Qigong. Since all the writings below are my interpretations of Zhineng Qigong (they will evolve with time), I will call it Chilel Qigong.
Generally speaking, Hun Yuan can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it implies nothing in the universe is singular. Everything is a Hun Yuan (Entity), which is the result of the transmutation of two or more things. For example, human is a Hun Yuan Entity consists of Jing, Qi and Shén.
As a verb, Hun Yuan can be divided into Hùn hé 混合and Hùn huà 混化. The process of two or more things transmuting together to form a new entity is called Hùn hé. The process of transmuting a complex thing into simpler things that can form a new entity is called Hùn huà.
Yuan can also mean Qi. In most cases, Hun Yuan and Hun Yuan Qi are interchangeable. Depends on the context of the writing, Hun Yuan Qi can be either Nature Primal Hun Yuan Qi or Human Prenatal Hun Yuan Qi.
In traditional Qigong, Nature Primal Hun Yuan Qi refers to the formless and invisible Qi. It is before Yin and Yang and Five Element. Sometimes we call it Yuan Qi, Tao (One) or “Taiji.” It is the mother of all things.
Human Hun Yuan Qi refers to Prenatal Qi. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, the fertilized egg is a “Hun Yuan.” This Hun Yuan is also called ‘Prenatal Qi” or “Yuan Qi.”
(Excerpt from the book: Chilel (Zhineng): Overview and Foundation Methods)
The Hún Yuán Holistic Theory is the theoretical foundation of the Chilel Qigong system. The Hún Yuán Holistic Theory states that the Jīng (精), Qì, and Shén of the human body are the manifestation or the different appearances of the Hún Yuán Qì. Qì can concentrate to become a physical body. It also can change into Shén. Qì nourishes both Jīng and Shén. This is the reason why Chilel Qigong emphasizes cultivating Qì. From the very beginning, Chilel Qigong practices releasing Internal Qì outward and collecting External Qì inward.
The Chilel Qigong system consists of three types of practice: Moving Forms; Stillness Forms; and Spontaneous Forms. These three types of practice follow the process from elementary to advanced, from External Hùn Yuán to Internal Hùn Yuán, and to Central Hùn Yuán.
Chilel Qigong methods were a collection of many special techniques from Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, Medical, Martial Art, and Folk Qìgōngs. These techniques may not be the essence of the methods, but they are the keys and the shortcuts to the practice. In the arts such as Qìgōng, martial arts, and acrobatics, etc., have many techniques that normally were not taught to outsiders.
The method Chilel Qigong uses to activate Qì is the inducing/attracting Qì method. It contains three kinds of techniques.
When practicing Chilel Qigong, one can accumulate Qì quickly. The effects are very obvious—one’s health improves continually, and the changes are noticeable. In the process of improving to a healthier state, the body will discharge the accumulated matter that is no longer beneficial to life activities. This accumulated matter can be either mental or physical, or both. When that happens, the practitioner may experience some discomfort or pain in the corresponding area. This is called a practice reaction or a Qì reaction. The following are common types of Qi reactions.
(Excerpt from the book: Chilel (Zhineng): Overview and Foundation Methods)
In the past, most Qìgōng, such as Taoist Qìgōng, Buddhist Qìgōng, and Confucius Qìgōng, etc., have belonged to a Closed System. In the Closed System, at the beginning of cultivation, Jīng, Qì and Shén are confined within the body. Once they merge as one, the merged entity expands outward and exchanges Qì with nature. In this system, the cultivation starts from within the body, and then expands outward—merges Jing, Qì and Shén from the inside first, and then merges with nature.
Chilel Qigong’s approach is the opposite of the Closed System; from the very beginning, it cultivates merging Man and Nature into One. Its purpose is to unite one’s own Body Qì with Nature Qì, and to unite “Me/oneself” with the environment to form an entity. It utilizes the power of the Nature-Man entity and the Man-I entity to cultivate Qì. Chilel Qigong belongs to the Open System.
In the past, traditional types of Qìgōng such as Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist Qìgōng, etc., emphasized Stillness Forms—they considered Stillness Forms as advanced forms, and Moving Forms as elemental forms. Chilel Qigong considers both Stillness and Moving Forms as having advanced stages and elemental stages. Also, Chilel Qigong emphasizes Moving Forms. The following reasons explain these differences.
All Qìgōng practices are processes of using consciousness in an inward-focusing way. The way Chilel Qigong differs from other types of Qìgōng is that it does not emphasize total quietness, or nothingness. It places emphasis on the “initiative use” of one’s consciousness.
Rather than passively waiting for the mind to enter a state of tranquility, Chilel Qigong requires the practitioner to concentrate and to remain focused on body movements. As a matter of fact, all stages of the Chilel Qigong practice emphasize concentration and single mindedness. It is a practice that is based on the fundamental principles of Qìgōng.
In the past, Qìgōng was practiced alone and quietly, and teaching was done on a one-on-one basis. Chilel Qigong emphasizes teaching and healing in groups. It also uses the forming of a Qì Field to utilize the power of group effects on healing and learning. In a Qì Field, the body will adjust and balance the Qì automatically, and there is no need to do a diagnosis and to adjust the Qì accordingly. Therefore, when practicing as a group and guided by an instructor, both healthy people and people with various illnesses can benefit according to individual needs such as strengthening the body, enhancing intelligence, and eliminating illness.
It has something to do with the design of the forms. In order to strengthen the function of nourishing and replenishing the Kidney Qi, the forms require the feet are together (toes and heels touch each other) to connect the Kidney Meridian and Yin Qiao Mai. Yin Qiao Mai is one of the eight Extraordinary Meridians. It is a tributary of Kidney Meridian and begins from Kidney 2, and the intersection points are Kidney 6 and Kidney 8.
In order to connect the Kidney Meridian and Yin Qiao Mai, Kidney 6 has to touch each other. Due to physical limitations, not everyone can do that; some force it and end up squeezing the thighs. Technically speaking, feet together require loosen up the Sacroiliac Joints. We recommend practitioners put the feet shoulder width apart if the Sacroiliac Joints have not loosened up.
One of the key purposes of Lift Qi Up is to open up the connections between man and nature. This can be achieved by activating the functions of releasing Internal Qi outward and absorbing External Qi inward; in another word, exchange Qi between man and nature. Lift Qi Up utilizes the posture’s open movements and the mind’s outward intent to release Internal Qi outward; close movements and inward intent to absorb External Qi inward. Both movements have an origination point and destination point. When open, starting from the body, the mind would expand outward to the blue sky (far away, external Qi), the Internal Qi will follow (release) outward. When close, starting from the blue sky, the mind would withdraw inward into the body, the External Qi will follow (absorbed) inward. If one of the two constants is missing during either movement, the Qi flow will be disconnected. For example, in close-inward movements, if the blue sky (origination point) is missing, one will disconnect from the External Qi; if the body (destination point) is missing, Qi has no place to go. In each movement, the two constants become a primary and a secondary. When close, body is the primary, focus point, blue sky is secondary, the background; when open, blue sky is the primary focus point, the body is secondary, the background. In an advanced stage, open, close, in and out all happen simultaneously, like a two-way street.
The most common mistakes are focusing on the shoulders or the upper limbs. The right approach is to ignore the shoulders and begin with relaxing the mind, then the internal organs, follow by relaxing the hips, spine and ribcage. That way the shoulders will automatically drop.
Since some people consider Qigong is breathing exercise, there are always questions about breathing when I teach Chilel Qigong. Sometime ago, I even heard someone said how it can be Qigong if one uses natural breathing? (For the definition of Qigong, please refer to “What is Qigong?” section of ther website.)
Chilel Qigong uses “Inducing Qi” method to move Qi. In Lift Qi Up and Pour Qi Down Method, one use the mind to induce Qi. It means Qi follows the mind to where it is focused on. The main purpose of LQU method is to exchange Qi between man and nature. When one focuses on blue sky, Qi from the body will go out to the blue sky; when one focuses on the body, Qi from blue sky will go into the body. If one focuses on breathing, Qi would not go in and out of body, thus one would not be able to strengthen the functions of exchange Qi with nature.
There is a middle finger pressing Zhōngkuí xué movement in the recollecting Qì sequence. The middle section of the middle finger is called Yùqìng jué (玉凊訣) in the classic texts. Each hand has twenty-four sections; Zhōngkuí xué is located at the center section of the middle finger. When the thumb presses Zhōngkuí xué, it will open up all the pressure points in the hand. When the thumb presses this central point, followed by cupping the palm, Qì will enter the body.
According to Meridian theory, the thumb belongs to the Lung Meridian, and the middle finger belongs to the Pericardium Meridian—the lung regulates Qì, and the heart regulates the blood. Pressing Zhōngkuí xué can merge the Qì and blood. According to the Five Elements Theory, the center of the thumb’s first section belongs to the spleen, and the center of the middle finger’s center section belongs to the pericardium. The spleen regulates the mind intent, and the pericardium regulates the mind. Pressing Zhōngkuí xué merges the mind and the mind intent to stabilize the mental condition, and to help scoop Qì and to activate Qì functions.
Although LQU does not focus on Meridians, it does not mean it does not work on Meridians. For example, during push and pull, one activates the hand Meridians, circle hands around waist works on Belt Meridian, Press Up and Down works on Governor and Conception Meridians, etc.
The main reason LQU does not focus on Meridian is because it works on External Qi. Meridian Qi is Internal Qi. There two ways to nourish the body with Qi. One is to use External Qi; the other is to use Internal Qi. Internal Qi method focuses on Meridians, External Qi method does not. We will use irrigating a field as an example to illustrate the difference between the two. To irrigate a field in California, most farmers use the ditches. They need the ditches to supply the water so they have to focus on them. In Internal Qi method, Meridians are the ditches; one has to focus on them to circulate Qi. If your farm is in Seattle, you do not need to focus on the ditches because it rains every day. In LQU method, the External Qi acts like rain, it pours down and permeates into the body.
I believe most of Qigong practitioners have heard the term “activate the Qi function” or “Qi functions,” but what is Qi function? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Function means the force that power Qi’s movements and changes inside the body and the way Qi moves and changes. In another word, Qi function means how Qi moves and changes inside the body. In Qigong, the Qi functions refer to the movements and changes created by merging the consciousness and Qi.
Put the hands on top of the feet (fingers and toes point forward in the same direction). Press and knead Qì three times. The pressing up and down motion requires that the knees touch each other, and that the heels do not lift above the ground. If the heels are lifted above the ground, the head would not feel comfortable, and the Qì will not be stable. When pressing down, the centers of the palms protrude outward, relax the centers of the feet, the center of gravity moves to the front, and the upper body touches the thighs. When pulling up, shift the center of gravity to the back, slightly cup the palms, and the centers of the feet also withdraw inward. All the movements should originate from the Mìngmén. The Mìngmén is the only part of the body that moves, the rest of the body is moved by the Mìngmén. The Mìngmén draws a forward, downward, and inward half circle. Stop going downward once the knees begin to separate.
Mistakes: the head moves up, the knees move pass the toes, the toes and/or heels are lifted above the ground, and the tailbone is lower than the knees. The knees are separated.
To protect the knees, the lower legs must stay stationary. Do not bend the knees, they are relaxed and are bent by the body movements. It means the knees cannot move forward or sideways. The lowering movement begins with relaxing the hip joints and the knees, then with eye looking at the ankles (with the eyes open at the beginning), lower the shoulders toward the ankles until they touch the thighs and at the same time, lower the hips (sitting down) until the thighs forming a 45 degree angle with the floor.
The purposes of Push/Pull and Press up/down are to open up the Qi avenues so that one can consciously exchange Qi with Nature. Once the avenues are open, the volume of Qi exchanging between Man and Nature will be increased. Since we emphasis on absorbing Qi into the body during the movements, the amount Qi being absorbed into the body will increase; consequently, abnormalities will disappear.
Although a lot of practitioners get good results by pushing out the “bad Qi / illness,” it is easy to get into “bad Qi / illness” way of thinking and circulates Qi in “bad Qi / illness” avenues during the practice. Generally speaking, more practitioners have better results by just focusing on Blue Sky and Body. But if pushing out the “bad Qi / illness” works for you, use it.
For beginners, the weight should be 70-30, 70% on the ball of toes and 30% on the heel. During the practice, most practitioners’ body will rock front and back slightly. This undulate motion will loosen up the joints in the feet which will allow the Body Qì to reach the toes. Once the Yǒngquán is able to touch the ground, it will connect the Body Qì with the earth Qi.
Adjust and center the body and then move it slightly forward, curl the big toes slightly downward to induce Qì downward; lower the body weight from the Bǎihuì, to along the ears, the shoulders, the sides of the body, and the outside of the legs to the centers of the feet (Yǒngquán); then evenly distribute the weight from the toes to the heels. Pull up the knees and loosen the joints of the feet; gradually, one will be able to have the feet flatly on the ground (Yǒngquán touches the ground).