"Keep your heart calm and mind quiet and practice slowly" (stillness in movement)

Feng Zhiqiang

Master Feng relates how important it is to be grounded and practice slowly in order to improve your internal qi. He also mentions that only by training this way for a long time will one see “what nature really is.” He also goes on to say that Taiji training, if done correctly will turn the qi into spirit, just as both the Taoists and Buddhists have taught for centuries.

First off, beginners need to understand gong fu. Gong fu relates to the time and energy that one puts into their practice. One can spend 23 hours a day for 10 years training or put all their energy into their art for a year, but neither of these scenarios alone will net the student the title of Master. Taiji and Qigong require both patience and diligence if one is to succeed. Only by being passionate about these arts and training for a long time will one have “good gong fu” and be able to master one self.

As you continue training you should slowly get to the point where your mind can stay quiet and you no longer need to think about your forms and can just feel your way through the routine which will allow you to move very slowly and start to feel what is happening inside. This intimacy of the internal is the first step to building and playing with qi.

By first getting a taste of the internal energy system, then one might start to look for ways to cultivate it. This cultivation has been organized into a training system called nei dan or internal alchemy. When one trains in the internal alchemy process then one can “see what nature really is.”

There is nothing esoteric about this training. It just takes “good gong fu” along the proper path. Now a-days very few students will set aside their daily lives in order to cultivate the required stillness that leads to the realization this training leads to. Yet having said that, I believe we are at a unique point in time where more students than ever will have success if they choose to walk this path.

Master Feng says to calm the heart as well. Today science is coming closer to the realization that the heart is not just a blood pump but in fact has many functions. While our senses provide us information about the physical world we play in, it is the heart that connects us to everything in the universe, literally. Calming the heart is like subduing the ego, in that we gain clarity with which we can see and participate from a much more advantageous position or point of view.

Keep training,

Sifu Rod