On Expectations and Progress in Your Qigong Practice

photo credit: sick_rdmWe just started summer classes at Brookline Tai Chi this week, which means new students are coming in for the first time and experienced students are coming back after a break.

That means there are lots of good questions floating around about getting started, making progress, and the frustrations you encounter along the way.

In this episode of Qigong Radio, I hope to address some of those concerns.

Specifically, I discuss:

  • What do you think is the ultimate goal of your practice, anyway?
  • Do you have a “listening” practice in your current routine?
  • Where is the gel point in your daily practice?

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  1. Thanks Dan for your thoughts on progress. I liked it when you mentioned that one could get stuck in standing practice rather than move on to more adanced stuff. Would you say there are some check points that would indicate there is a time to move on? Or one should just feel the time has come?

  2. I think it’s more about comparing what your standing feels like to your moving practice. If you assume that one of the most basic goals of standing is to develop internal listening skills, then you can test how well you can listen while moving or interacting with someone. When you have a feel for that, you might move on to train something else in your standing….so I think it’s circular in that sense.

  3. Very much appreciated, Dan! A very good pointer.

    I also want to thank you for your enthusiasm and energy. I train on my own and don’t go to any qigong/taiji school, so this kind of encouragement that I feel from your site is very helpful.

  4. Thanks, Igor. One of my main goals of the site is to reach people who are out there working solo and help them connect with ideas and people the way we do in our school. Glad that’s coming through!

  5. Kevin Hartwell says:

    I found that very useful. I like your metaphors Dan, they are really helpful in gaining a better understanding to certain concepts relating to my practice. In terms of learning how to listen internally with sinking for example after about 15 months of working on it, I feel like Im holding a match in a dark room:) Occasionally the match flickers and seems to go out occasionally or it just wont seem to strike at all! I realize that I just need to keep “drawing circles” . Thats what I love about these practices is that its NOT instant gratification. We are really getting to know and cultivate our true selves on a deeper level each time we practice and Ive felt as Ive grown slightly more aware of my internal environment the same has happened with my external awareness.
    This episode helped me to reflect on my personal goals with my practice and where Id like to go.
    Im so stoked on the Energy Arts system that I dont see myself seeing an instructor for any other form, method or style. I just feel like what Ive learned in the past 2 and a bit years or so with the EA system and working with Dan online has had such a big impact on my practice and body and life. Seeing as it will likely be awhile or a year or more (who knows really-could be sooner than I think!) until I get a chance to train personally with an EA instructor, I figure its best to stick with what Im working with now (Energy Gates, Dragon & Tiger, and Taoist Meditation) and dig my well deep as Bruce put it rather than bite off more than I can chew and digest.
    I feel like my expectations these days are slim to nil…….so , Im just enjoying the ride and am really enjoying working especially with energy gates right now. It seems like the possibilities of this set are near endless and with my situation will likely keep me busy for awhile! Bagua really appeals to me and so does tai chi . Long term though I think Id like to aim for learning 16 nei-gong through all the core qigong sets in the EA system:). I figure that will likely keep me busy for at least this life-time!
    Im also really looking forward to begin working through Mr. Tangora’s book. By the looks and sounds of it, I think it will compliment my practice just nicely.
    One question I have about the book is in its title and this may be quite obvious to some but Im curious how cloud hands and its internal structure is related to the exercises taught in the book?
    As always thank you for sharing your knowledge, insights and feedback, Dan.

  6. Kevin,
    Great update! It’s a huge milestone when you get into that mindset with your practice. And it all sounds like a good plan.

    On Cloud Hands, Robert uses the symmetrical movements of Cloud Hands from the Tai Chi form to work on all the internal principles of Tai Chi. If you think of all the complexity, variety, and specificity of the form itself, and all the applications each movement implies, it’s incredibly helpful to have a simple container to train principles in. Then you go put those principles into the more complex movements.

    That’s my sense for why….

    The exercises in his book, similar to the neigong in the Energy Arts curriculum, each highlight a different principle or internal technique you are trying to develop.