Friday, April 16, 2010

Collecting heaven's energy

Since the warmer weather has arrived I have really enjoyed my practice outside. It is a such a joy to breathe fresh air!

Part of my practice is to complete the "Tai Chi Warm Up in 18 Forms" as taught by Master Jesse Tsao. It is divided into two sections. The first is simply warming up the joints. The second is to open up internal energy. This is a list of the forms:

Part I: Warm up body joints

  1. Wrist rolling
  2. Elbows rolling
  3. Shoulder rolling
  4. Neck rolling
  5. Bending sideways
  6. Waist turning
  7. Hips rotation
  8. Knees rotation
  9. Ankle rotation

Part II: Work on internal energy flow

  1. Up and down flow
  2. Out and in flow
  3. Turning the yin yang ball
  4. Collect heaven energy
  5. Collect earth energy
  6. Big bear’s shoulder
  7. Double needles
  8. Flying bird
  9. Golden rooster

To complete the form with some additional qigong takes about half an hour. There is a beautiful symmetry and development to the forms. I want to mention just one of the forms: collecting heaven energy. The form begins (as they all do) in wuji (opening stance), sinking chi. Then knees bend, arms swing to the side and then reach high. The outstretched hands gather energy and then bathe the head and body with energy as they return to wuji.

The delight of being outside is that in our yard we have around 50 very tall pine trees. As I stretch up, my hands seem to reach up to the top of the trees and then beyond to the clouds. As my hands return, bathing my head and body, as if taking a shower—though the hands do not touch the body—it feels as if all that heaven energy is poured into me. Gathering heaven energy is an extraordinary enlivening experience. My sense is of a true unity with all things.


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