Only the strongest survive. This is one of the laws of nature. We must all follow nature otherwise one day, our time will be over. However we cannot just follow it, since it is always trying to test us. This is one of the natural challenges of life. More than ever, mankind has the power to overcome nature, through much of the time does not follow: We have created our own lives, but we have also created our problems. Another challenge.
Nowadays, when you look around at people, you see a lot of them walking around on their toes, their shoulders up, heads dropped, the whole body is almost curved, and all their internal organs will be deformed. How can they be healthy? Society is becoming more tense and everyday life is very busy. Each person has to either work very hard, or has no work at all, and this is not so balanced. We need to fix our time for working and for relaxing. Most people, when they relax either watch television, listen to loud, heavy music or go out for a drink. However, this means that they are still using their energy.
When they work they use energy and when they relax they use energy! How can they have enough? This is the reason they feel tired and so they need more stimulation to keep them going, to build up their energy. So they listen to heavy music, watch exciting films, read books while at the same time listening to their walkmans. They cannot settle their minds and sink their Qi. Their Qi is always high up in their heads, making them think too much. (also read Qigong and Health)
Sometimes you see people out on the streets who really do not know where they are and what they are doing. They wander along bumping into people and even lamp posts. When some people are out driving their cars they do not pay attention to what they are doing, which is very dangerous. This is all because the Qi does not sink down to the Dantien, it is all high up in their heads. If they close their eyes, they cannot stop thinking. They are like a battery that keeps running, eventually it will run out, so how can they be healthy? When they are running low, they take vitamins, medicines, special diets where you cannot eat this type of food and drink that kind of drink – what a life!
Sometimes, if you are too strict on yourself you will create more problems because you will stop your Qi flowing. Everybody needs certain challenges to make them strong. If you are always nurtured and taken care of, you will never grow. Chinese people say, “a fish needs to change its pool, otherwise it will not grow big.”
Qi needs to be developed in many ways and in many different positions. In the practice of Dayan Gong there are some very unusual movements that you might never have come across before. For example, the 14th and 18th movements of the First 64. In these movements you have to bend forwards and twist your toes – a very unusual movement. It imitates the Wild Goose scratching its leg, and it connects the Qi of the hand with the leg channels. At the same time, the back rotates to make the waist more supple and the kidneys strong. Beginners can find these movements difficult, but after a few lessons they can manage it. They have challenged their Qi and developed it. The 46th and 47th movements (Rotating the Ball) of the First 64 is very definitely a challenge. Here you have to move your hands, one clockwise, the other anticlockwise, while at the same time moving you fingers and waist. There is so much to do and it takes a lot of coordination. However, eventually people manage to do it. The more they practise it the more the body becomes balanced, their coordination improves and they are not so stiff. The 59th movement (Looking for Food) is physically hard for some people. It involves a lot of bending where you have to be relaxed and supple, not stiff and tense, otherwise you cannot do it. This is a challenge.
In fact, the whole of Dayan Gong is challenging your body. It makes you more relaxed and supple, and makes your Qi strong – like a wild goose. Now you will be healthy and strong enough to face and withstand many difficulties. Difficulties are a fact of life. Life is not about avoiding this and avoiding that.
by Michael Tse