Cultivation is the art of revealing yourself, of self discovery. It is a conversation that never ends. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice is Perfect.
-Sifu John Fey
FOREST QIGONG WORKSHOP
I met Sifu John Fey in 1987. Little did I know it would transform my life from that moment on. In 1993 I was asked to become a teacher/apprentice and moved from Los Angeles to Birmingham to engage in learning the New Forest Paradigm and learning to teach from a traditional perspective. Along with several other students we dug deep into a system of several arts all connected by roots that dive deep into the past of Taoist and Buddhist Arts that have used the body/mind as the object of meditation. What is contained in this workshop is a very small sample, of that paradigm and yet it is at the core of a system that when played connects the player to themselves increasing health, wellness, relaxation and builds in a person vitality and resiliency in living life.
Enjoy and use this material, it is made to be used and explored. It is a conversation with yourself that is inexhaustible. I stand on the shoulders of giants who have spent lifetimes investigating with honesty, compassion, and sensitivity the wonder of being alive.
What is Qigong?
Our body/minds are like musical instruments that can be tuned. Where there is too much tension it can be released, If there is not enough life force energy (Qi) it can be increased. Whatever you choose to do with your life Qigong helps to be more in-tune with whatever it is that you are doing so that life gets happier healthier and more fun”
Everything has Qi, trees, rocks everything. Living things have more Qi. It moved along specific pathways in the body called Ching-lo meridians. They can be thought of as road ways in the body. If there is a traffic jam and the Qi is not flowing smoothly you can feel weak, confused, vulnerable, tired, brittle, low energy, sleepy, dull and unaware. If traffic is flowing well you can feel secure, sharp, awake, protected, prepared, fortified, strong, focused bright, and aware.
Qigong has several attributes used in different combination movement, breath and imagination and the magic ingredient a sense of play. The same way your mouth will water if someone starts taking about eating a juicy lemon you imagination has real affects over your body mind.
This is a page that goes hand and hand with my beginning workshop on New Forest Qigong. These are the building blocks that when played alone or in conjunction can be a life long conversation that increases your ability to tune your body/mind.
The Spirit of the Qigong:
This is probably the most important part of the activity, and given the nature of our fast moving digital age, the act of playfulness without agenda is an essential part of Qigong. When you go to the gym you work out, when you wanna do good on a test you study, when you want to play a concerto by Mozart you practice. If you wanna have Qigong do its magic you enter with the spirit of playfulness reason no other reason but to be playful and let your body/mind have the spirit of play. It is simple, don’t just do something,! Play!
Mechanics of Breath
If you haven’t noticed breathing is important, and so it is with Qigong as well.
There are three parts to the mechanics of breath. All of which should be done lightly and unforced. It is as if you are watching yourself being breathed from afar. You let your breath do what it does naturally with out interfering or forcing anything. It should be natural and relaxed. The images guide you to notice how you are breathing so you can feel inside.
Balloon: 3 1/2 inches below your belly button and inward imagine you have a balloon about the size of a ruby red grapefruit. As you inhale the balloon expands in all directions. As you exhale the balloon collapses, notice that I did not say contracts, that would be forcing the breath it just collapses in a relaxed way. Note: if you happen to be on you cycle, or you have a headache or stomachache bring the balloon to just behind your solar plexus.
Glass Tube: Suggest to yourself that your breath starts in the center of your head near your sinuses. Like an open manhole cover, your nose holes are just convenient openings. Follow the air as it goes down to the balloon feeling every bit of the glass tube the air flows evenly down through the glass tube and then as you exhale going up the glass tube.
Spirit of the Breath: Imagine that the air around you is made of finely spun silver and gold threads with minds of their own. They choose to move down the glass tube to the ballon and then when there is no room they choose to go up the glass tube and into the air around you. It is as though you are being breathed at least that is the game you play with your imagination.
The 1-10 mnemonic
One Fun: Bring a smile to your face, and inhale imagine a smile either on the front, center or back of your body. Exhale and see the smile going down and suggest everything it touches relaxes. This is about relaxing.
Two Shoe– Feel the connection between you and the ground. Imagine that the part of you connected to the ground blends in with the planet. If standing it will be your feet if seated both your feet and your bottom. This is about being grounded.
Three Tree– Grow roots out of your legs and feet 2 to 3 times your height and downward. You can grow them every time that you exhale foot by foot or you can drop them down and imagine them deep in the earth. This is about being rooted , strong and stable.
Four Core– Feel something heavy Like a fire hydrant 3 1/2 inches below your belly button and inward. The important thing is that it is heavy and full of potential energy.This is about gathering yourself, and being more focused.
Five Alive– Water shooting out of your hands and feet coming from your Four core. As you exhale imagine energy originating in your four core going out of your legs and feet. Also imagine a hose originating out of your four core going up to behind your breastbone then splitting off and one runs out each of your arms and hands. Extending outward.
Six Thick-You are up to your neck in blackstrap Molasses or some other this liquid, you are a part of everything and every thing is a part of you. The Idea is imagining yourself in thick air and bringing awareness to your entire body. This is about feeling connected.
Seven Heaven– Feel a light and sensitive energy at the crown of your head. Some popular images are being reeled upward by a delicate tread that you don’t want to break. Or imagining light coming down from the heavens and shining on the crown of your head. This is about feeling uplifted and inspired.
Eight Gate– Energy comes in and settles/gathers deep in your bones. As you inhale imagine energy coming in every pore of your body, As you exhale it gathers around your bones, wrapping around your bones. This is about taking life in as it comes.
Nine Shine– You become a bright and shiny light, shining out positive mental energy. As you inhale you imagine you are a light bulb dimming, as you exhale you are a bright light shining out in all directions.This is about a positive mental attitude.
Ten Spin– You allow your intuition to land on each of the previous numbers like spinning ten different plates you keep them all spinning. It is about focusing on one idea and concept, then you forget it and focus on another. This is about creativity, and encouraging a flow state.
Starting Position Wu Chi Posture:
Stand with your feet shoulder width and parallel. Bend your knees slightly, and tuck your pelvis, which will straighten your back. Put some space in your armpits as though you have tennis balls under your armpits, tuck your chin in slightly and imagine that you have a warm comforting hand on your chest.
The motions done while standing.
(yes there are 10 motions done while stepping but more on that in a later class)
This is to be used for reference from the workshop, it is not the class itself. Each activity should be played 5 to 10 times and generaly when your arms move up you inhale when they come dowm you exhale. When they move away from your body you exhale and when they come in you exhale. Except for six thick you exhale as you rock forward and inhale when you rock backward. I just did the activity once or twice and the activities can be modified to suit different bodily challenges. No pain if it hurts back off.
One Fun Stationary:
Two Shoe Stationary:
Three Tree Stationary:
Four Core Stationary:
Five Alive Stationary:
Six Thick Stationary:
Seven Heaven Stationary:
Eight Gate Stationary:
Nine Shine Stationary:
Ten Spin Stationary:
Yin Fu Ching:
Balancing the seen with the unseen.
New Forest Way is a registered Trade mark of
Fey Family Wu Su
NEW FOREST is a Paradigm of Qigong, Tai Chi, Meditation, Hsing-I,
Pa Kua, 6 and 8, and Da Chang and Norther Shaolin Kung created by Sifu John Fey.
All rights and permissions to use material must be made in writing by Beau Gustafson of TaoMatrix or John Fey of Fey Family Wu Su.
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