Over the decades I have had the opportunity to answer many questions about the Qigong that I teach, including questions about the Eight Exceptional Vessels (AKA the Extraordinary Meridians) Qigong that have been asked by my students. I’m sure that there are plenty of other questions out there and that some practitioners may already be asking some of the same questions so I thought that it would be a good idea to add them to the Pro Holistic blog. That should, in theory at least, give practitioners who are not my direct students the chance to find the answers that they seek. If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.
Questions about the Eight Exceptional Vessels
Question from Jeni
When you mention the posture tests, it is not clear what the results mean…
How do you “Listen” to the Qi?
Not getting stuck just not sure how you listen to Qi. I can feel the Qi but I certainly can’t hear it or I am not sure how to listen to it?
Answer from Des
Listening Jing (Listening to Qi) involves passive awareness. By that, I mean that you are, tangibly, aware of the Qi and paying attention to what it is doing……………. what you are experiencing.
One method that I use to help students understand what this means is that I get them to imagine that they are standing in the middle of a forest, Standing silently and still…………… That is when the forest becomes alive with sounds, with smells, with observation of the flora and fauna. If you go tramping about, making lots of noise, you trample the flora and scare off the fauna.
During Qigong there are two processes being used with Qi.
1. One is to direct the Qi (using the movements, focus, etc.).
2. The other is being quiet, having no input, not tramping about and reaching out to “feel” it. Initially this is done after performing an exercise but with experience you can “listen” to the effect as you do any Qigong.
The Active (moving) Qigong exercise is the cause……………. Take time, in stillness, to be aware of but not disturbing the effect. The quieter your body/mind the more you will experience.
If you always feel Qi in the same way it is probably because your mind is moulding it in that fashion. In that case you are not “listening” you are reaching out, having input,and shaping the result.
I hope that this goes some way to explain what “listening” means.
Reply from Jeni
This was really helpful. Thanks
Question from Willem
is there a comparison between this course and the 8 Brocades?
Answer from Des
The 8 Brocades works with the 12 Meridians (Heart, Small Intestine,Heart Governor, Triple Warmer, Spleen, Stomach, Lung, Large Intestine, Kidney, Bladder, Liver & Gall Bladder). These vessels can be likened to streams, or rivers.
The Eight Exceptional Vessels enhances the Qi in the Extraordinadry Meridians (Governing Vessel, Conception Vessel, Bridge Yin Vessel, Bridge Yang Vessel, Thrusting Vessel, Belt Vessel, Yin Linking Vessel & Yang Linking Vessel). These vessels can be likened to storage reservoirs.
Question from Vinay
Excellent course.Have a few questions (please dont mind it might be silly questions). From India and concept of Chi is unheard still.
1. Am currently doing exercise 1, how many minutes a day should i do it?
2. Do you recommend learning one by one , or first learn all three of them.
3. I am currently focusing on the point when you refer to chi how is to feel (heat in the point etc).
Answer from Des
It is good to hear from you. One thing that I have learned on this journey is that, if they exist, I have asked very many silly questions about Qigong. Were my questions silly? On reflection, I now realise that each was necessary for my growth. So, don’t be shy………… ask as many questions as you need to.
Remember that Qi is just a word. It is the Chinese word for the energy that is named “Prana” in India.
Q. Am currently doing exercise 1, how many minutes a day should I do it?
A. To begin with you will be concentrating on the sequence and in this type of practice you can take 15 minutes, or so. Once you have progressed beyond that point and you start to focus on activating the points and “listening” to the Qi. I would, normally, only repeat each exercise about eight times.
Q. Do you recommend learning one by one, or first learn all three of them?
A. In a live class I would teach exercises 1 & 2, letting the student become intimate with them before teaching exercise 3. However, in a course (Where I only get to work with the students over one or two days) I would teach all three. The main point is that there is no rush, no cutting corners, and that the student has to learn at their own pace.
Q. I am currently focusing on the point when you refer to chi how is to feel (heat in the point etc).
A. The experience of Qi (how it manifests) is different in each of us, different within each exercise (dependent on what Element is being worked), different within an environment. These qualities will only be truly appreciated if you “listen” (be passively aware……. not reaching out for, or expecting, a particular sensation). During any Qigong you should focus on the areas, or points, that the particular exercise requires…………….. Then (To begin with, this is easier after you have completed the exercise) be still, be quiet, and “listen” to what your body/mind is telling you. It is then that you will experience the vastness of Qi. It is then that you will find the difficulty of expressing those experiences in words.
I hope that this helps.
Do you have questions about The Eight Exceptional Vessels?
Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.