Beginning Qi (Chi) Training

“It takes 2 years of practice to actually feel the energy and another 2 years to believe that what you are feeling is really energy and not your imagination.”

I had just driven 6 hours down to New York City, walked around one block of Manhattan for at least 30 minutes before I finally found the building that I was supposed to be taking a Chi Kung (energy work) class in.  That wasn’t the end of the long trip however, because I couldn’t find the entrance to the martial art school that was hosting the seminar.  I looked and looked with no luck.  Finally I started watching the people around the building.  Everyone looked like business people or tourists.  Finally, I saw someone who looked out-of-place (maybe a Chi Kung student in the middle of the previously mentioned business people and tourists).  So I followed her.  She went down something I guess you could call an alley (actually it looked like a hallway without a door).  So down the alley I went, I turned left at a dumpster (not really), went through an unmarked door and up several flights of stairs.  Just before I almost decided to turn around I was standing in a martial art school and was being asked, “are you here for the Chi Kung seminar?”. I guess location is everything.

Believe it or not, I was early and had 30 or so minutes to kill.  I walked around, looked at all the posters on the walls and realized I was the only one there that didn’t know everyone else that was attending the seminar.  The seminar started on time with the instructor introducing himself and saying, “It takes 2 years of practice to actually feel the energy and another 2 years to believe that what you are feeling is really energy and not your imagination.”  I thought, “great, I’ll be almost 30 years old before I can actually do this stuff.  That’s really old.”  Almost 20 years later, I now know that 30 isn’t really that old and that I don’t believe the quote is true.  It does however offer a new student an indication as to how much work is ahead of them and that is why I use it when I teach.

This post is going to cover the first exercise I teach to all of my black belts, that undertake Chi Kung training.  Students using this exercise have reported great success after only a very short period of time.  It will also benefit students that have no desire to do energy work by increasing awareness of their bodies (be warned that I have been kept awake at night by the feeling of blood pumping through my body).  Simply put, this practice consists of feeling your pulse in the little finger by simply looking at it and feeling the blood “pulsing” in it.  “Why would I want to be able to do that and how is that going to help with anything?” is what most of you are thinking.  Because, once you can feel the pulse in your little finger, with a little practice you will be able to feel it in any part of the body. This then leads to the ability to feel it simultaneously in multiple parts of the body.  Once a student has developed the sensitivity to feel blood circulating through the body, the process of starting to feel and eventually direct the Ki (Chi/energy) is much faster and easier.

The Exercise:

  1. Start by taking you pulse on your wrist the traditional way with two fingers.  At the same time focus your mind on the little finger on the same hand.
  2. At first “imagine” you can feel the pulse in your little finger beating with the pulse on your wrist.
  3. Slowly let up pressure with your fingers on the wrist so that you can barely feel your pulse.  Continue to feel (imagine) the pulse in your little finger.  If you start losing the imagined feeling in your little finger, simply press harder with the two fingers on your wrist, then reestablish the feeling again.
  4. After you are able to feel the imagined pulse for an extended period of time, completely remove the two fingers from you wrist.  Continue to feel the pulse for at least 30 seconds.  Replace fingers on wrist and see if the imagined and real pulse match.
  5. Once you can consistently match the pulses, increase the time your fingers are off your wrist to 60 seconds.
  6. Continue increasing the length of time until you are able to consistently feel your pulse in your little finger without the need of using your wrist pulse.

Eventually, you will be able to simply focus on your little finger and feel your pulse.  Once you are able to do that, pick other parts of your body and with a little practice you will be able to feel it there also.  The next step is to focus on the area between two places that you can readily feel the pulse.  Feel the blood flowing from the one point to the other.  Over time you will be able to feel the blood flowing through your entire body. If you ever doubt your ability, simple tap out your pulse with your foot and then take your pulse the traditional way.  If they match, maybe the next time you won’t doubt your abilities.

Something to think about…

by Master Sean Pearson

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