ZHAN ZHUANG AND VISUALIZATION
When practicing Zhang Zhuang to get the full benefits of this form of Qigong, do you eventually need to start mentally moving energy around your body (i.e. microcosmic, macrocosmic, etc), or will that take care of itself?
Also, will just standing eventually (without visualizing anything) allow you the ability to move chi around mentally at will without having to do any breathing or moving techniques?
As Zhang Zhuang is a genre of qigong, there are many types of Zhang Zhuang exercises. Generally the practitioner does not intentionally move qi around his body; he merely remains at his stance thinking of nothing and doing nothing. Sometimes, for specific purposes, a practitioner may channel his qi in some specific directions, such as along his arms or down his legs.
The answer is yes and no. In theory, everyone has the power of mind over energy and matter, which means that not only you can move your energy to flow anywhere you wish inside your body, you can also, by an act of will power, move the shoes you are wearing to the top of your friend's head. In practice, most people have lost this natural ability. Most qigong dancers, for example, cannot even start their own energy flow, which is actually a basic skill in qigong training.
If you have the skill, you can move your qi around mentally at will without having to do any breathing techniques or moving techniques while you are in any position, at Zhang Zhuang or otherwise. This is not a difficult skill to acquire if you are properly trained. In fact many of my students can do it after just one qigong course with me. But they usually do it while not at a Zhang Zhuang pose, for doing so would defeat the main purpose of Zhang Zhuang, which is accumulating qi and not circulating qi.
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