– Origins and how to practice it –
The Chinese word “Qigong” (also spelled “chi gung” or “chi kung”) means “life energy cultivation” or “qi cultivation”. We can define Qigong Meditation as system of different exercises such as movement, breathing and meditation. In the Buddhist, Taoist and Confucianist traditions, people practiced Qigong Meditation secretly. In the 20th century it suffered a big transition. It started to incorporate Taoist practices and philosophies. Qigong influences many Chinese philosophies. So it became very popular and widely used.
Qigong Meditation is like Yoga. It has many different exercises and more than 80 breathing practices. These exercises are categorized as Qigong for strengthening and energizing the body, for health and healing and also for meditation and spiritual cultivation. The exercises for energizing the body are usually practiced in a dynamic set of minor movements. But people usually practice Qigong Meditation sitting down.
Qigong Meditation – Step by step:
To start this meditation, you have to find a comfortable position. Your body must be balanced and centered. Close your eyes or keep them open, focusing on the point of your nose. Now start to relax your body. Start with your muscles and internal organs. You can relax your body starting from your toes and advancing slowly to your head and face.
Now focus on your breathing. Take long, deep and soft breaths. Let the breathing relax and quiet your mind. When you are fully relaxed, including your body and mind, you can move your attention from your breathing.
Focus on the gravity center of your body (also called “lower dantien”). It is situated two inches below the navel. The dantien is also known as a reservoir of life force (qi). In Qigong Meditation, where is your attention, there flows the life force. When you are focusing on the gravity center of your body, you are directing the life force to that point. This way you accumulate life force.
Now move your focus to your whole body. Feel the life force moving between your cells. Feel the life force flowing from your dantien point to your toes, fingers and head. When you feel you are ready, slowly open your eyes. Stay in the same position for a few minutes. Then get up slowly.
Qigong Meditation fills your body with life force. It teaches you to focus on the flow of qi in your body. Other two great Qigong exercises that you can try are: Small Cisculation or Embryonic breathing. Enjoy!