chi flow

Chi flow is the essence of chi kung


Sometimes I hesitate to slow down as I do not want to restrict the spontaneity of the qi movement. What is the difference between “Swaying” and "Self-Manifested Qi Movement". Sifu, I apologize if I am asking an obvious and silly question.

— Chris, Singapore


This and all your other questions are interesting, perceptive and educational. I clearly remember that when I learned from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, he told me to ask him any question and that he would always give an answer. He said that if he did not know the answer, his answer would be “I don't know”. I have always followed his example.

Whether one should slow down his qi flow depends on a few variables. For example, if he is still new to qi flow, and especially when he practices on his own, he should slow down when it starts to become fast so that he can gradually learn to control its speed. If he is quite experienced and especially if he wants to flush out some deep-rooted negative emotions, he should let his qi flow become more and more vigorous. However if his objective is to build rather than to cleanse, he should slow down to a gentle flow.

Both “Swaying in the Breeze” and “Self-Manifested Qi Movement” describe the speed and nature of qi flow movements. “Swaying in the Breeze” is slow and gentle, with the practitioner usually remaining on the same spot though he may sway, whereas “Self-Manifested Qi Movement” is fast and vigorous, sometimes resulting in jumping about, rolling on the ground, laughing and crying.

In our school we use some poetic descriptions for different types of qi flow. Anthony in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum helpfully listed five types ranging from stillness to vigorous movement as follows.

  1. Standing Meditation.
  2. Flowingly Still.
  3. Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows.
  4. Flowing Stream Floating Clouds.
  5. Self-Manifested Qi Movement.

As you have acquired the skills of generating energy flow and controlling its speed and nature in the Sabah Intensive Qigong Course, you can use any qigong pattern to effect any one or more of the above types of qi flow. For example, you may perform “Pushing Mountains”, then experience any one or more of the various types of qi flow.

If you wish to speak to God, you would remain at Standing Meditation. If you wish to develop tremendous internal force, you would be flowingly still. If you wish to enjoy mental freshness and clarity, you may go into flowing breeze and swaying willows. If you want qi to revitalize every cell of your body, you may go onto flowing stream and floating clouds. If you wish to clear blockage to overcome pain and illness, you would go into self-manifested qi movement.

The above is taken from Question 6 of November 2004 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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