QIGONG - the secret of youth

QIGONG - the secret of youth

(Parte 4 de 7)

Religious Qigong. This type of Qigong was developed mainly by Buddhist and

Daoisr monks. The original goal of religious Qigong was enlightenment or Buddhahood. Later, when the training techniques were revealed to laymen, it was dis covered that this type of Qigong was very effective for longevity. Both training theory and methods are the hardest among all of the Qigong styles. This style emphasizes leading Qi to the marrow to keep it fresh and healthy and also to the brain to nour-

What are Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing? ish it. In order to have an abundant supply of Qi for the training, nor only must the Qi circulate smoothly in the twelve channels, bur the Qi in the eight vessels must be full. For the monks, leading Qi to the brain to raise up the Shen ( �+) is the key to enlightenment.

1.2.3 General Purposes of Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing Before we discuss the purposes of each training, you should first know a few important points: These two classics were a Buddhist creation, and were later developed con tinuously by both Buddhists and Daoisrs. The original goal of training was enlightenment or Buddhahood. In order to reach this final goal, a practitioner needed first to have a strong physical body and an abundant supply of Qi. This Qi is led to the marrow and the brain to nourish them. Yi Jin Jing training is concerned with strengthening the physical body and building up the energy (Qi) body, while the Xi Sui

Jing is concerned with using this Qi to nourish the bone marrow and to realize the goal of spiritual (Shen) cultivation. Recently the training secrets were revealed to laymen and used mainly for health and longevity.

There is a section in the documents which talks about the general purposes of the

Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing. We will translate it here for your reference. The Chinese version and the commentary will be offered in the second part of this book.

Yi fin Gongfu is able to change the tendons and shape, Xi Sui Gongfu is able to change the marrow and Shen (spirit). (They are) especially capable of increasing spiritual bravery, spiritual power, spiritual wisdom, and spir itual intelligence. Its training methods, compared with the Daoist family's Lian Jing (train Essence), Lian Qi (train Qi), and Lian Shen (train spir it), are repeatedly mutually related in many ways, and its Yi (i.e., goal or intention) of practice is completely the same.

However, (the Buddhist approach is) trained from external, while elixir family (i.e., Daoist approach) is trained from internal. Cultivating life (i.e., the physical body) is the major support of cultivating the Dao, it is the ladder and the voyage to Buddhahood. It serves the same purpose as "meth ods" (of cultivation). Once (you have) achieved the goal, the life and the methods should all be given up; not hesitating is the important point.

Once you understand the general purpose of the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing, you should further understand how each one fits into your total training.

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.2.4 The Purpose of the Yi Jin Jing

The main purpose ofYi Jin Jing training is to change the physical body from weak to strong and from sick to healthy. In order to reach this goal, the physical body must be stimulated and exercised, and the Qi in the energy body must be regulated. The main goals of the training are: To open up the Qi channels and maintain the appropriate level of smooth

Qi circulation in the twelve primary Qi channels. This maintains the health and proper functioning of the related organs. Smooth Qi circulation also makes it possible to greatly strengthen the physical body. To fill up the Qi in the two main Qi reservoirs-the Conception and

Governing Vessels (Ren Mai and Du Mai, 1H� 1'-� ). The Conception Vessel is responsible for regulating the six Yin channels, while the

Governing Vessel governs the six Yang channels. When an abundant supply of Qi is stored in these two vessels, the twelve primary channels can be reg ulated effectively. To open the small Qi branches from the primary channels to the surface of the skin and maintain healthy conditions for the muscles and skin. For those who also wish to train Xi Sui Jing and reach a higher level, Yi Jin Jing training is needed to build up the necessary level of Qi.

1.2.5 The Purpose of the Xi Sui Jing

The main purposes of Xi Sui Jing training -are to use the abundant Qi generated from Yi Jin Jing training to wash the marrow, to nourish the brain, and to fill up the Qi in the other six vessels. The main goals of the training are:

10 To keep the Qi at an abundant level and continue to build up the Qi to a higher level from other sources. An abundant Qi supply is the key to suc cessful marrow washing and nourishing of the brain for raising the spirit. Experience has shown that the genitals can be an important source of extra Qi. Therefore, one of the main goals of Xi Sui Jing training is learning how to increase the production of semen Essence and improving the efficiency of irs conversion into Qi. In order to keep an abundant supply of Qi, the fuel (Original Essence, ft.Jii) must be conserved, protected, and firmed. Therefore, the second purpose of Xi Sui Jing is to regulate the usage of Original Essence. Learning how to lead Qi to the marrow to keep the marrow fresh, and to lead Qi to the brain to raise up the spirit of vitality. Marrow is the factory which produces your red and white blood cells; when the marrow is fresh

How the Yin Gin Ching and Xi Sui Jing Have Affected Chinese Culture and dean the blood will be healthy. As this blood flows to every parr of your body, it will slow down the degeneration of your cells. Practicing Xi Sui Jing

can therefore slow down the aging process. When the brain has plenty of Qi to nourish it, you are able to maintain the normal functioning of your brain and also raise up the spirit of vitality. When the spirit is raised, the Qi in the body can be governed effectively. For a sincere Buddhist or Daoisr monk, the final goal of Xi Sui Jing is reaching enlightenment or Buddhahood. For them, the training purposes listed above are considered temporary. They are only steps in the process of building up their "spiritual baby" (Ling Tai, :§ 15) and nurturing it until it is independent and has eternal life.

From this brief summary, it is dear that the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing can change both your physical and spiritual qualities and lead you to a higher level of physical and spiritual life. Bur to understand exactly how these two Qigong exercises help you to reach these goals, you must have a profound understanding of the relationship between your Qi, your physical body, and your spiritual body. Only then will you be able to grasp the keys of the training. ·

1.3 How THE Y1 J1N JING AND XI Su1 JING HAVE AFFECTED CHINESE CuLnJRE

Since the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing were created about 536 A.D., they have sig nificantly influenced the development of Chinese culture for more than 1400 years. Because the Yi Jin Jing has been taught to the public while the Xi Sui Jing has been kept more secret, the Yi Jin Jing should be credited with having more influence. We will look at their influence on three different fields: 1. religious society; 2. martial and political societies; and 3. medical society.

1.3.1 Religious Society

Before these two classics were available, Buddhism and religious Daoism had exist ed for nearly 500 years in China. Within rhar period, though the philosophy of achieving Buddhahood or enlightenment was preached and methods of reaching it through meditation and spiritual cultivation were taught, they mainly emphasized the spiritual parr of the cultivation and ignored the physical parr of the training. Therefore, most of the monks had weak physical bodies and poor health. Naturally, their lives were short and very few of them actually reached the goal of their cultiva tion. It was not until these two classics were created by Da Mo that the monks had a more complete theory and more effective training methods that train both the physi cal and spiritual bodies. To the Chinese religious society, this was a revolution. These two classics provided the monks with an effective way to build up their health and extend their lives so they could continue their spiritual cultivation.

Chapter 1 Introduction

Da Mo is considered the original ancestor of Chan ( # )(Ren, ,7J) Buddhist medi tation in China. Chan meditation has influenced nor only Chinese Buddhist society, bur it has also significantly influenced the cultures of several Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Chan meditation is parr of the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing training.

Because of Da Mo's training theories, Chinese Buddhism has split into two main groups with different theories of how to train to achieve Buddhahood. Though the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing have been passed down within Buddhist society, many Buddhists have refused to use the methods. The main reason is that many of the monks do not believe that, when you are striving to become a Buddha, your physical body should be considered as important as your spiritual body. They believe that since the spiritual body is the one you cultivate to reach eternal life, why should you have to spend time training your physical body? Another important reason is that the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing exercises were used at their original birthplace, the Shaolin Temple (Shaolin Si, �-#A·), to enhance fighting ability. Many monks believed that fighting and killing should be completely forbidden, and exercises that contributed to this were therefore evil. As a matter of fact, mainstream Buddhist society considered the Shaolin Temple unrighteous.

Since the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing were introduced in China, their training the ories have been combined with the theories of traditional Chinese medicine. For example, there are many places in the documents where the training theory and meth ods are explained according to Chinese medical Qi theory, especially the concepts of primary Qi channels and vessels. This combination has provided a better scientific and logical explanation of how to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood.

1.3.2 Martial and Political Societies

Before the Yi Jin Jing was available, Chinese martial arts techniques and training were restricted to muscular strength. The Shaolin monks discovered that their power could be significantly increased through the Yi Jin Qigong exercises, and it gradually became part of the required training. Because of this, the entire Chinese martial society entered a new era and started to emphasize internal Qi training. The Shaolin Temple was recognized as one of the highest authorities in Chinese martial arts. Now, Shaolin mar: tial arts have nor only spread widely in China bur even throughout the world.

Many other martial styles were influenced by the Shaolin Temple and starred to train internal strength. The first 100 years following the creation of the Yi Jin Jing saw the birth of several internal styles such as Xiao Jiu Tian (Small Nine Heaven, +it.!\.) and Hou Tian Fa (Post-birth Techniques, -ti.!\.1!-)It is believed that Taijiquan ( A.�• ), which was created during the tenth century, was based on these two internal styles. Since then, many internal martial arts styles have been created, such as Bagua ( A:!r ) Xingyi ( m;t ), and Liu He Ba Fa ( r-�Ai!-). The most significant influence of the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing on Chinese mar-

How the Yin Gin Ching and Xi Sui Jing Have Affected Chinese Culture rial arts was probably the development of emotional qualities such as patience, endurance, perseverance, concentration, and discipline. In addition, morality was improved with such qualities as humility, respect, and loyalty being built up through the mental cultivation training. Through meditation and internal training, many mar rial artists could understand the real meaning of life and find their true nature. This understanding led to a re-evaluation and re-srandardizarion of martial morality. Shaolin martial artists were commonly recognized as examples of righteousness.

Martial artists who trained the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing often developed the highest levels of power. This was vitally important in ancient rimes before the advent of guns, when all of the fighting depended on the individual's strength and techniques. Those who reached the highest levels of fighting ability were respected as heroes and held up as models.

Because in ancient rimes skilled martial artists were the source of a nation's strength, they have often had a profound influence on politics. For example, it was Marshal Yue Fei ( .ffi-!It ) who decided the destiny of the Southern Song dynasty ( 1127- 1280 A.D., � >!{ )He had learned Shaolin Gongfu, and is credited with creating the internal martial style Xingyiquan as well as The Eight Pieces of Brocade (Ba Duan Jin,

A$U$ ), a popular Qigong set for health. The first emperor of the Chinese Tang dynasty, Li, Shi-Min ( l!*i!t� ), was assisted by the Shaolin priests several rimes dur ing the revolution which led to his assuming power. Later, emperor Li authorized the Shaolin Temple to organize irs own martial arts training system, which had previous ly been legally limited, and to maintain an army of priest-soldiers (Seng Bing, 1* ). In addition, in order to express his appreciation, he rewarded them with the right to eat meat and drink wine. However, this outraged other Buddhists, and they ejected the Shaolin Temple from the Chinese Buddhist community.

Another example is general Qi, Ji-Guang ( �MJ'C. ), who significantly influenced the future of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D., a,EJ ). The martial arts techniques in his books are said to be based on the Shaolin style. The most recent example of the close link between the martial and the political spheres was probably the disaster which happened directly to the Shaolin Temple during the Qing dynasty ( 1644-1912 A.D., it). Primarily because Shaolin priests were involved in fighting against the Qing regime, the Shaolin Temple was attacked and burned at least three rimes, and many martial priests were killed. Many priests escaped, and returned to secular life. However, they still wanted to resist the Qing emperor, and so they started reaching lay men their art and building up another fighting force.

The martial arts are nor so important in roday's world, bur these two classics still have influence. Many young people still train them, and appreciate the challenge and discipline that they offer.

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.3.3 Medical Society

Although many Qigong styles and exercises were created before the Yi Jin Jing and

Xi Sui Jing, most of them only served to improve health and cure some illnesses. After Da Mo however, people began to realize that they could gain a significant increase in longevity through Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing training.

Since the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing were introduced in China, many doctors and some martial artists have combined their training theories with traditional Chinese medicine. Our of this combination have come many different healing and health maintaining Qigong exercises which are more effective than the traditional healing Qigong exercises. For example, the famous Qigong set The Eight Pieces of Brocade was one of the fruits of this combination. Recently, many healing exercises for some types of cancer were created based on this combined theory.

(Parte 4 de 7)

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