My focus at the Instructor Training this summer is making an attempt to help you bridge the gap between your breath and chi. While your breathing is irregular, erratic and not very strong or smooth, it’s almost impossible to bridge that gap.
If you can take a 20-second breath at least you will have a stable breath, which is the foundation necessary to make the link between your breath and chi. Twenty seconds will regulate many physiological functions within your body. So a 10-second inhale and 10-second exhale (20-second breath) is what you need to come in with–no matter how you do it–to at least have a shot at the chi work.
From here at this summer’s retreat I’ll take you through two methods to help you bridge the gap between breath and chi:
1. The first and easiest way is through the nervous system. Understanding what your breath does to your nervous system is important. Chi flows through your nerves, so if you can recognize what your breath does to your nerves, then it can become a method by which you feel your chi. Eventually it becomes possible to then feel your chi directly.
2. Chi moves the fluids of your body: blood, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal and more. If your mind can enter your breath and feel the way in which the fluids inside your body move, you have a second way of understanding how breath, chi and your fluids are interrelated. Since chi is in your breath and your fluids, recognizing the movement of chi in your fluids can help you make the link.
Ultimately, however, the root through which a person experiences breath and chi happens at the level of the Heart-Mind. That is it happens at the depth of the mind–not on the surface of conscious thinking. It’s not a mathematical formula: I’m doing this, I’m doing that.
Feeling your chi comes from a much deeper place inside of you. Before you can actually get how chi enters and leaves your body as your breath, you also need to allow your breath to really enter your body. So I’ll spend a lot of time helping you become conscious of your breath entering your body.
If you can prepare by working up to a 20-second breath by the time you arrive, you’ll have the stability you’ll need to make the leap possible. I make no promises though.
Of course Taoist Longevity Breathing involves moving your belly, sides, kidneys and really moving the diaphragm, so make all parts move as you practice for best results.
I hope to see you on Crete! For more info click here to learn more.
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