Undoubtedly, Qigong is a group of ancient Chinese energy arts designed for healing and good health. However, the limits of Qigong are often underutilized. Through Qigong cultivation, one can explore its higher benefits such as effectively stimulating thinking, improving memory, and forging a deeper spiritual connection with oneself.
What Is Qigong Cultivation?
Simply put, Qigong cultivation is the art of mastering how to awaken, grow, and distribute energy within and outside the body. Learning to distribute the flow of qi around the body becomes easier with each practice.
Qigong cultivation is done in different stages with each stage paving the way to the higher stage. Understanding that each stage is relevant to the other and achieving the ultimate goal of cultivation is key.
The Different Stages in Cultivating Qigong
There is a 10-step process in Qigong cultivation, these steps are a gradual build-up of one leading to the other. Each stage is important to getting Qigong cultivation right.
Stage 1: Discovering the Qi
To deeply understand Qigong and harness its benefits, you need to become aware of the qi. You need to reach within and find the existing energy within the body. To discover this energy, one must first get into a quiet state that can be achieved through meditation or quiet hours.
Once you are in this state, pay attention to the energy flow within you. It could be warm, heavy, magnetic, or full depending on your body state.
Stage 2: Gathering the Qi
Once you discover the energy within the body, the next step is to gather this energy for distribution. You learn to grow and keep a constant supply of energy in this stage. This stage teaches you about the influence of food, environment, celestial bodies such as stars, and air on developing qi.
Stage 3: Circulating the Qi
Once you discover and gather the energy within you, the next step is circulating this energy. There are specific poses to help you distribute the energy within your body. This way, your body collectively enjoys the benefit of Qigong practice.
Stage 4: Purifying the Qi
To purify your qi, you need to learn to filter your emotions and thoughts. Negative and depressing thoughts can weigh you down. You can use Qigong meditation to let go of all hurt and pain.
You also start learning how to protect your qi, this is an important step after purifying your energy. Everyday lifestyle choices such as your music, food, or environment highly contribute to your energy state. Getting rid of depressive and negative habits also helps you protect your energy.
Stage 5: Directing the Qi
At this stage, you should have control over the qi present within the body. You will understand and master how to direct the qi to different body parts for different purposes including healing.
At this point, the free flow of energy within the body is constant and devoid of blockages. Subconsciously, this energy is moved through the body through simple processes such as meditation.
Stage 6: Conserving the Qi
It is necessary to learn how to conserve your qi, especially within your major energy centers. External influences can disturb or deplete your qi level. Learn the factors that affect your qi level and try as much as possible to avoid them. An example of this is stressors. The conserved qi can kick in during periods like this to keep the body going and healthily manage stress.
Stage 7: Storing the Qi
Similar to the sixth stage, you learn how to store the qi in the important energy points in the body. Constant practice such as visualization and breathing techniques can help you achieve this. Once you achieve this state, you should feel a fullness of energy at your core.
Stage 8: Transforming the Qi
This is a quite higher stage of qi cultivation. It requires extreme concentration and mastery. Within this stage, you learn how to transform the energy cultivated into essence (Jing) and spirit (Shen).
It takes you into a stage of personal awareness, deep spiritual connection, and renewed personal energy. This stage requires the practice of mental focus and controlled breathing to open up all energy channels and create balance.
Stage 9: Unifying the Qi
The more you practice Qigong to cultivate energy, the more often your body, spirit, and mind synchronize with it. Consciously or subconsciously, your body can constantly attain this state through meditation and controlled breathing.
Stage 10: Transmitting the Qi
This is the last stage of action when it comes to cultivating the qi. At this point, the cultivation cycle comes to an end by you giving energy back to nature and the humans around you. This can either be done through healing which includes transferring energy from the hands. Energy can also be transferred from the heart through teaching.
Benefits of Qigong Cultivation
The several benefits of cultivating one’s Qi through Qigong include:
- Improved physical, mental, and spiritual health
- Better awareness and concentration
- To get rid of stressors and negative energy
- To become more in tune with one’s higher spiritual self
- Cultivating Qigong not only helps with self-healing, but it also helps with giving back to nature and other humans
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should One Avoid During Qigong Cultivation?
You should avoid things that can disrupt the body’s ability to gather and conserve energy. This could be anything from bad food, to negative emotions or the environment. These influences can potentially drain one’s energy and leave you exhausted.
What Is the Best Way to Cultivate Qigong?
Through controlled breathing and different meditation techniques, one can subsequently master the different stages of Qigong cultivation. These practices help to improve the body’s ability to gather, circulate, distribute and store energy in the internal organs and major energy points.
How Can One Make Use of Cultivated Qi?
There are several ways to make use of cultivated qi including for self-healing purposes, spiritual growth, and external healing. You can also utilize the stored qi through the transfer of energy to another human.
Qigong cultivation is an important stage in harnessing the benefits of Qigong. These benefits can be used for personal development or the collective environment. Each stage is important in the overall learning process and beneficial to the body and spirit in its way.