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(11 pages total)

Page 10 - Bagua Qigong (Pa Kau Chang Ch'i Kung)

Park will occasionally check the student's progress by having the student perform the meditation and count out loud. If the student has developed their ability to concentrate sufficiently, Park will allow them to move up to a higher number, maybe 500. Eventually the students will move on to other concentration and visualization techniques which will help their ability to maintain mental calmness and focus for longer periods of time. The above mentioned visualizations are not chained to the breathing and do not entail visualizing the circulation of Qi in the body or attempting to move Qi with the mind. Remember, every part of Park's Qigong training is practiced in isolation until the student has attained certain levels of development.

While there are many techniques that involve mental visualization to aid the flow of Qi through specific meridians or to certain points of the anatomy, Park says that these exercises are dangerous for the beginning student to practice. While these exercises are valid at a certain stage of training, the beginner to meditation has not yet developed the ability to focus the attention, without distraction, long enough to practice visualization techniques effectively. Park states that the practitioner is not ready for visualization techniques that involve Qi circulation until he or she can maintain meditative focus while counting from 500 down to 0 slowly. If you try this exercise and you loose count or become distracted from the steady, deliberate counting, then you are not ready for Qi movement visualization techniques.

If you are mentally moving Qi through your body--through the "microcosmic orbit" or any of the other circuits used in popular Qigong training--and you cannot maintain complete focus and concentration on what you are doing, you are in danger of having an over abundance of Qi get trapped in the head. Once you get a sufficient amount of Qi flowing in the body through mental visualization, if your mind becomes distracted, the Qi will rise to the head. Park calls this shang Qi (rising Qi). Shang Qi can result in severe headaches, intense pressure in the head, or migraines and is not much fun. Sometimes it takes weeks to go away.

Brand new students may not be in a lot of danger because they have not built up strong enough energy in the body. However, once you have practiced the powerful breathing exercises and Qi circulation exercises for a few months, your Qi is sufficiently strong enough to cause damage if your Qigong meditation is practiced incorrectly. This is one reason why meditative techniques are kept separate from Qi circulation and breathing training in Park's school until the student has developed to certain levels in all three of these areas. Only an experienced teacher will know when you are ready to move onto advanced Qi circulation visualization techniques.

Putting It All Together

Once the student has developed all of the component parts of the Qigong practice, the training will shift and the student will then begin to learn how to piece together all of the component parts and execute them simultaneously. Park is fond of saying that no matter how good the parts of an engine are, unless you know how to put them together to build the engine, you donÕt have anything but a pile of expensive parts. Although the elements of the Baguazhang Qigong system are trained separately at first, the key to advanced development is in knowing how to fit the component parts together to form the complete equation.

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