This summer, Bruce Frantzis will be teaching a Marriage of Heaven and Earth Instructor training. Heaven and Earth was the first instructor training I attended in 2004 and I can still remember what a profound effect learning to "pulse" had on me.
Within the Energy Arts system, Heaven and Earth is considered a bridge from the basic to more advanced practices.
We discussed how Heaven and Earth works in an early episode of Qigong Radio, but I wanted to share this explanation from Energy Arts Senior Instructor Paul Cavel with you too:
Why Heaven + Earth Works On So Many Levels
As discussed in earlier issues, classically Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body Qigong is the foundation of the entire Water tradition since it initiates all neigong practice through:
- Sinking chi
- Bending and stretching techniques
- Basic breathing methods
- Circulating chi
- Engaging the kwa as the leader of all motion
Energy Gates softens the body and prepares the "shell" by creating a containment field with the body and its energy to develop more sophisticated neigong technology.
Whereas Heaven + Earth takes the baton from Energy Gates and folds in the internal content learned there. So everything you learn and the skill you develop in each qigong system can and should be packed up and shipped off to the next set in the series. Yes, the arrangement will be completely unique, but you don't throw away or leave dormant any components while developing superior forms. For example, recall that Dragon + Tiger Medical Qigong is one of the three foundational practices in the neigong lattice. Dragon + Tiger's underlying technology develops the etheric field and wei chi, and thereby serves as a subcomponent of Heaven + Earth.
However, as a more advanced practice than either Energy Gates or Dragon + Tiger, Heaven + Earth not only encompasses everything within these sets, but also further develops and upgrades each strand of neigong learned within them. This adds up to a serious amount of internal content—even before material specific to Heaven + Earth is on the table. These include fundamental techniques like pulsing and developing the macrocosmic and microcosmic orbits of energy.
Finally, as Heaven + Earth is a two-part, single exercise rather than a set of five, six or seven movements (like the other core practices in our system), its simplistic format encourages the internal rather than external focus needed to train deeper, more sophisticated neigong methods.
The excerpt above is from Paul's Inner Quest Newsletter, a monthly publication I highly recommend. Each month he writes in depth about a different aspect of learning and training neigong. You can download a free sample issue here.