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Opening my head

written by CraigBeattie on October 1st, 2003 @ 08:27 PM. edit (admin only)

One of the books i am currently reading is Bruce Frantzis’ Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body:... (see the blatant advert below for other titles). I’m finding this to be a very interesting book and it is from here that I am taking most of the guidelines for studying my body and my energy system. I guess I should come clean here. I do believe that there exists something, which the taoists typically refer to as chi, that is capable of healing the body and giving it great vitality. I personally would like to live as long as possible so if there are techniques around for cultivating this energy then it would be in my favour to try them out. This in itself is partly why I have chosen this path.

So, I have made the assumption that there’s something to this chi malarky and that chi gung or nei gung can help us develop an awareness of it and control it. I have read a number of books on chi gung and have a few that refer to nei gung, but I feel that this one is the best for me at this time.

One of the key first steps I have come accross is practicing knowing the difference between what one is feeling and what one isn’t. I can visualise raising my hand, quite accurately “feeling” the associated sensations – but this is very different to actually moving it and feeling my true hand. If one is looking to study ones body and become more aware of it, then it is important to distinguish real feelings as opposed to things put there by your mind. An important point this one and one that I think applies to all things, see/feel/hear what is really there, not what you want to… A difficult thing I think.

I am currently trying to focus on specific points in my body and become aware of them and their current state – this is an exercise a little way into the book so if you’re going to try read up first, such things can be oddly dangerous. According to the book one starts at the top and work down, trying to feel blockages and places where things aren’t flowing easily. I have found what I think is quite a significant one near my left temple (not got very far yet). The sensation feels quite real, although I admit my inexperience may be misleading me here. What I can feel is an almost physical pressure, one that grows as I grow tired or spend to much time in front of the screen and diminishes as I relax and particularly if I spend a little time meditating on it. So, I feel that I am taking my first steps (in spite of being at this t’ai chi and chi gung thing for over a decade now) in to my body. I can sense many points around my head that are mentioned and feel this one blockage, others may exist that I am simply not aware of.

I must admit that now I can sense this thing – what ever it is, I am more and more aware of it as time passes (I noticed it about a week ago). If I hadn’t read about what I might find I would be quite scared I think, what with tales of mobile phone related harm and all.

I’ll continue and write here how I get on.


  • Jess O on 29 Jun 19:46

    Hi Craig,

    Cool post. Glad you are digging Energy Gates. I have been at it for quite some time. I learned it from Kumar in 2000 and have been practicing with my friends since then. Also learned a few other things from him, particularly his Ba Gua Circle Walking, Single Palm Change and Double Palm Change. Very profound stuff, and not always easy to practice. One thing about all his work is that it takes a LOT of concentration. To work on Outer Dissolving takes so much effort, to stay focused. But the results are really nice. All of my martial arts skills have improved, I am faster, heavier, denser and stronger since doing the Standing with Kumar.

    Check out Taoist Water Tradition group on Yahoo for some stuff about Kumar’s classes.

    Hope you keep at it, it can be pretty fun.

    -Jess O

  • LP on 03 Aug 15:41

    don’t know if you entirely given up on chi-kung or not, but I will share that I am reading that book now and it is interesting. I practice NEI-KUNG which opens up the body naturally and doesn’t involve any mind work. I find it superior.

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