28 Constellation Gong Pt5

As many of the traditional Chinese skills it is based in Daoism (follow the Dao, follow nature) and Confucianism (how to behave, harmony of people in society) and Buddhism as adapted in China and its people.

Many skills (i.e cooking etc) are for people and people are part of nature. This time we did not have a beautiful drawing from Sitai on the next group of constellations but instead Sigong explained one important term in Qigong and Daoism: Xian (仙) which immortality or immortal. It is always good to start from the characters composing a word (as the saying goes: Know the culture – know the writing), so Xian (仙) is composed by characters for Man (人) and Mountain (山). Like a person who goes away to a mountain and through difficulties arrives to some knowledge. In Qigong it is often related to the last of the 3 treasures (Jing-Qi-Shen), Shen (spirit) as Shen Xian. Shen Xian is the person who goes beyond. Even the emperors who were the richest and most powerful were looking after something to go beyond and what could that be, but to reach longevity and even last forever. Emperor Qin, who conquered and unified all China (259-210BC), wanted to be immortal. A story says that he sent away 50 young girls and 50 young boys to find the Shen Xian and teach back to him but none came back. In Han Dynasty Emperor Han Wu (56-7 BC) also wanted to find it. So in practice of Qigong one follows the Dao and then in the end if you train well, Xian is reached. You know yourself; you also know the time you will go. Shen Xian is immortal but not always.  One leaves the body here and then continue work. People say for example, that they see them fly to the sky, in a rainbow, like the geese, like the Chinese dragon etc. Or they see them in various places.

The Shen Xian poem goes: Follow everybody as a human being – Go opposite to everybody as a Shen Xian. Ordinary people like ourselves wake up work have a family following those in the circle of life of the human being. With the main functions breathing, eating drinking and sleeping. Training in the way of the Shen Xian means to eat less (or not eating), drink less (or no drinking), sleep less (or no sleeping) and breath less (or no breathing). During the last one, so difficult, qi is gathered from air and nature around (like in our practice of Hard qigong). A kind of fasting, when from eating 3 meals one is skipped, then eating every other day, then eating every few days. During this fasting the body reacts and adapts and starts replacing what is missing depending on surrounding nature, like when people become accustomed to live in deserts and need less water. Or fasting of sleeping that looks like sleep but it is not. Breathing less and less. Through all this fasting in the end you can survive on less and less reminding the less attachments idea.

The story of Sigong is a great favourite. Two monks, a young novice and an older monk on their travel to another monastery encounter a young lady who could not cross the river. The young monk did not move as they are monks and should keep away from women but the old monk straight away picked the young lady crossed the river carrying her in his back and left her gently on the ground on the other side. The same night in the monastery the young monk was restless and could not sleep so he went to the old monk’s cell to talk about his thoughts. He knocked at the door and when he was called in, he saw the old monk meditating. So, he talked about his worries: “In the morning you helped the young lady but by touching her you broke our rules that say we cannot touch a woman”. The old monk opening one eye told him: “I left that girl by the river, are you still carrying her with you?”

The form, which practice is very energising, progressed further with movement towards the south and walking back north with a great combination of inverse circles and palm strikes as well as other hand positions that have martial art flavour. Thank you Sigong, looking forwards to the next one.

by Michalis Akritopoulos


Student Comments

Very powerful when you keep repeating the stepping over and over during the seminar.
Interesting with the fists and elbows!
Thank you Sigong.
Paul Hogg

We are getting close to where I remember being up to before! I am picking up a few differences with what I was doing from last time though, we always improve a little every time we see it! In particular for me I think the difficulty has been finding qigong power — it is too easy to try and do wing chun or chen or even chun yuen power but I am definitely seeing a relaxation inside the power in qigong that I do not see in the others — qi transmission maybe? Thanks Sigong for keeping my mind wondering! Lee B

Thank you Sigong for the inspiring lecture. I’m left with the thought of how if we eat and drink less, our body will look for absorbing Qi from Nature.
I’m really enjoying the power of these movements -making me feel really alive with Qi circulating around my whole body. Lee M

today’s seminar was very interesting. I especially liked the explanation about Shenxian and becoming high level. The new part is interesting, particularly the last bit we learned today with the martial element of the elbow and fist. Thank you Sigong. Peter Hogg

Enjoying the big yang movements and fajing in 28 Constellation Gong. It’s much stronger than some other forms in system and enjoying the variety. Insightful lecture on high level skills and relation to Chinese history. Thanks! -Kay

A great lecture, I enjoyed it very much. And now the form feels much stronger than before and I can see how it works on the upper body a lot more. Thank you Sifu!

This is a nice powerful form. Love how it changes directions and how powerful it feels after repeating it a few times. The polishing is great too! Thank you Sigong for this seminar. Yunki