We all know that Qigong is great for healing. But is there anything else it can do? Like maybe clean the garage? Because that would be outstanding.
A few months ago, I was on a business trip with my wife. After a long day at a healing conference, we decided to stop in a cafe for some refreshments. Just for fun, I asked the server for a “Tai Chi latte”. I figured it was worth a shot. I didn’t get a mug full of the Cosmos, but I did get a delicious cup of Chai Tea, which was almost as good.
In the ancient classics, the Small Universe (小周天, or xiao zhou tian) is often referred to as the ultimate Qigong technique. In other words, all other forms of Qigong pale in comparison.
Unlike the other two Qigong sets that Bodhidharma taught, there are no written records of the techniques for Bone Marrow Cleansing. Some people think this means that the art has been lost. But the art was not lost. Or if it was, it has been found.
Who are these 18 Luohans, and why are we interested in their hands? The word Luohan comes from the Sanskrit word Arhat. Both words refer to a person who has cultivated a high level of spirituality, somewhat like a Christian Saint.
Movement and stillness are not separate — they are integrated, and they mutually act and react without any break in between. The movement of your form and the stillness of your mind, and vice versa are integrated. It is not that first you move your form, then you still your mind.
The ultimate aim of Tai Chi Chuan practice is to return to the Limitless Void (Tai Chi). It is also the ultimate aim of all great spiritual training and all known world religions. Because this great truth is expressed in different terms by different peoples (like attaining Tao, realizing Buddhahood, or returning to God), it may have different connotations for different people.
Can you generate a spontaneous energy flow inside your body? Sadly, even people who have been practicing Qigong and Tai Chi for years don’t have this skill. And that’s a shame because it’s one of the most valuable skills that you can learn. It dramatically changes lives, and it’s one of the main reasons that my students get such amazing results.
When the great Bodidharma arrived at the Shaolin Temple in the 6th Centuray AD, he taught 3 sets of Qigong exercises to the monks. They were: 1) The 18 Lohan Hands, 2) The Classic of Sinew Metamorphosis, and 3) The Classic of Bone Marrow Cleansing. This article will discuss the history, philosophy, and practice of The Classic of Sinew Metamorphosis. The other two sets will be discussed in future articles.