History & Philosophy
Our practice of Qi Gong has been passed down through the Zi Ran Men system. It has been refined through many generations by Masters throughout the lineage. Master Liu De Ming is a Qi Gong devotee and brings many new elements, including traditional Shaolin Qi Gong sets, to the current system. In the Zi Ran Men tradition, we encourage relaxed, natural practice.
Zi Ran Qi Gong is a progressive set of exercises that retain all the original concepts and benefits associated with traditional Qi Gong, whilst using terms and expressions and following a progression of practice that modern people can associate with and understand.
The main concept behind Zi Ran Qi Gong is to obtain an understanding of one’s mind and body and the link between the two. Once a good level of understanding has been gained, the Zi Ran Qi Gong practitioner can work at things such as alleviating stress by treating the mind and body as if it was a single unit. This itself may sound like an obvious thing to do, but is rarely in modern treatment practices. For example, a person would often see a physician when complaining of a stomach ulcer, or a psychologist when dealing with high anxiety, but rarely would they see both, even though there is most likely a commonality between the symptoms.
"There is no beginning or end in movement,
There is no beginning or end in stillness, Change is instant, Movement is within stillness.
True or false, real or empty,
All actions are spontaneous,
Du Xin Wu
No doubt of beliefs, persistence of passion and complete commitment to reach the state of truth, compassion and love.
Daoist philosophy of: Emptiness and Stillness; the ultimate virtue of water; natural spontaneity as action without acting;
body and spirit development; awakening the light of reason and return to the Dao - Wuji Dailai.
Dong Gong (Moving Qigong) and Jing Gong (Still Qigong – Meditation) Containing a three stage training structure.
The three levels of Ziran Qigong for students to complete is:
Level one: Ziran body remodeling and mind fasting (training your essence to convert to Qi)
Level two: Ziran nourishing and strengthening method (converting one’s Qi into Shen)
Level three: Awakening the light of reason: microcosmic and macrocosmic orbit (Converting one’s Shen into nothingness)
1. Dong Gong
Ziran body re-modeling (自然调身功 Ziran Tiao Shen Gong)
Learning to recognize blockages in the body. This will enable relaxation and releasing of bodily tension and stress thus opening meridians and freeing your body from physical bondage to create space and emptiness. Focusing mainly on Ren Mai and Du Mai (Conception and Governing vessels) the body’s main energy rivers and gaining a greater understanding of their functions.
a) Cheng Jin Ba Gu Shi (stretching tendons and pull the bone method)
The skill of stretching and opening your entire body including internal organs, muscles, tendons, meridians, releasing tension and stress. Awakening the three empty realms. Internally – (mind without mind), Externally – (body without body), outside world - (matter without matter) to gain awareness of space, surroundings and then merge.
b). Three forms standing meditation:
Regulating and Re-sharpening one’s frontal body (Yin) into an abyss and back body (Yang) into a mountain.
Creating space at front of body allowing relaxation. Softening all of your body’s Yin meridians and conception vessel and strengthening all Yang meridians and the governing Vessel. This can improve the body’s structure, which is impacted by bad habits and emotions. Regulating the function of meridians, cleansing all tension and stress, creating space so qi can circulate smoothly. By using traction stretching the spine in three dimensions. This not only creates space and opens up the spine but also can build up its flexibility and elasticity awakening the dragon. Identifying and developing sensitivity of the three Dan Tian within conception vessel and of the three gates on the Governing vessel. To bring the upper Dan Tian into a state of purity, the middle Dan Tian into a state of space and lightness and the lower Dan Tian into astate of solidity and richness. Enabling one to raise qi from the lower gate, passing through the middle gate and lifting qi from the topgate into the Niwan 泥丸, the central eye of the dragon - this will lift up the light of reason to awake the dragon .
c). Three phases breathing method
including: The skill of Natural breath - recognizing where the body’s internal and external tensions are held and to release them.
Wuji breath- to gain an internal and external relaxation and experience the state of Wuji (the
sensation of nothingness).
d). Nei Yang Gong part 1- Qing Jin Gong
Tu Na Gong (internal breathing method): cleansing, refreshing and nourishing.
Qing Gan Dao Qi Gong (liver, spleen and kidney Qi cleansing and regulation method)
Nei Zhuang gong (Internal Yang Qi strengthen method).
e). Tendon & Meridian Cleansing Method (舒筋清经功Shu Jin Qing Jing Gong) - Recognition
This form in traditional Chinese name as "An Qiao按跷"(massage and stretching). During this stage the practitioner will undertake exercises involving gentle movement of stretch and cleanse the body’s tendons and energy meridians, stimulating the circulation of the Qi and blood and to cause of the mussels and joints to relax. The goal of stage one is to obtain a state of meditative relaxation through movement and to move in such a manner that their entire body feels as if it is “interconnected”. As the practitioner becomes more efficient at relaxed interconnected movement, enters the meditative emotional state required for such movement, they most likely also feel subtle physiological sensations, such as increased blood flow to the palms or feet, or a tingling sensation along meridians. This is known as “floating” the Qi.
When the practitioner reaches this stage they will also notice that certain parts of their body will feel “blocked” at certain points and that the Qi can not move freely there. It is through this practice that the Qi Gong practitioner can then identify areas of “carried” emotional stress, and therefore will have achieved recognition. As the progress of training, practitioner will learn to release this physical and emotional tension as well as to unblock Qi blockages within the body and lets Qi flow.
f) Five Element Qi Gong (五行气功 Wu xing Qigong) - Internal Nourishment
This form as knows as "调气 Tiao Qi"(regulating qi), also mean to focus in expelling the stale energy while rejuvenating the fresh energy.
The Taoists believe that there are five basic energies or element, which make up the universe. There are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth.These five elements are also found within the human body and relate to specific organs. Through regular practice of the movements with your mind focused on the breath and meridian points, Five Element Qi Gong works to balance and purify these five Organs and six Fu腑. By building up with a great Qi flow, strengthens your 元Yuan Qi元气 that enable to prevent the buildup of negative Qi and disease.
During practice, the practitioner’s mind should be in state of meditation. When your Yi 意(will) concentrate in different meridians, this will help you to clean up the emotions which affect your organs and fu’s functions, such as grief, fear, anger, anxiety and worry. By detoxing and keep your five element in great balance, this will greatly enhances heath and vitality.
2. Jing Gong - Ziran Mind Fasting( 自然心斋 Ziran Xinzhai ) - Mind of an empty room
"The nature of water is to be clear and pure; but it can be made turbid by the soil.
The disposition of man is serene and tranquil; but lust and desire can disturb it".
- Huai Na Zi
In this section we will analyze how mental or emotional stress (mind) is linked to our physical well being (body) and vice versa. We will examine this both from a western perspective and from the holistic Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective and also through meditation guided by Daoist philosophy.
a) Study of Daoist Philosophy.
We will concentrate on Zhuang Zi’s chapter two on “the equality of things.”
b) The method of tranquility meditation – the mind of an empty room.
There are three steps in this meditation:
• Looking at one’s internal world, removal of all distracting thoughts and emotions; thus
mind without mind.
• Observation of one’s body, releasing all tensions; thus form without form.
• Distinct observation of the outside world. It is formless and nothing matters; thus world.
Once you understand these three empty states you can reach a state of tranquility.
c) Opening your central meridians - Ren Mai and Du Mai
The Governing and Conception Vessels are the main rivers of the body's Yin and Yang energies. The "Governing Vessel" starts from the perineum, up behind the spine, to the crown of the head, down the face, and terminates in the roof of the mouth. The "Conception Vessel" starts at the tongue, down the front of the body and into the perineum. They are polar aspects of the body, perfectly complementary, like midnight and midday. They are responsible for the formation of the holoblastic cleavage and the first cellar division of the fertilized ovum in embryological development. Each Yang meridian is paired with a specific Yin meridian; there are 6 Yang and 6 Yin meridians in the body. In this meditation first we should open and release the emotion and tension out from these two channels, in particular through the three Dan Tian in the Ren Mai and Three Gates in the Du Mai.
Creating emptiness allows one to drop life's baggage, clean out useless belongings and to detach from attachments. Only when the room is empty, there is a space to expand, so life's journey can be light and bright and intuition can be awakened.
Master Liu Deming
5th Generation Lineage Holder of the Zi Ran Men Tradition
Level 1 - Tendon & Meridian Cleansing Method
Level 2 - Joint Nourishing & Bone Marrow Washing Method
Wu Xing Qi Gong
Tao JIa Qian Ba Zuan
Shaolin Ba Shi
Qi Gathering Method
Stress & Anxiety Releasing Method