Sigong started this seminar with a great talk about Dao. He started by explaining that our qigong, the Dayan qigong is based on following the Dao, the five elements, the Yijing and acupuncture points. But what is Dao? It is following the nature, the environment and being sensitive about it. Dao cannot be described but you can feel it. It is like love, difficult to put in words, but once you feel it, you are enjoying being happy. China has a long history over 5000 years old and since the Yellow Emperor time many people tried to give a description to Dao. These descriptions might look different but when you reach a higher level and really understand, what they describe becomes clearer. Three such little phrases gave the opportunity to Sigong to expand on them.
“Everyday like a drunken man – No clear attitude”. People who have reached high level in Dao can look to outside people like the drunken men, but they cannot see their true level until they get more understanding. The drunken man ‘s attitude is the letting go, flowing, no system attitude. Reaching high level attitude, by no effort.
“Reach emptiness level – Can do anything – that is Dao”. Your mind becomes empty. When you reach this level, you can do anything. From nothing you get something. Do not worry about anything, then you get everything. But it is not what you want it is what you need. As a fish be fish, as an eagle be an eagle as a tiger be a tiger, as a human being be a human being.
“Create Dan in the Cauldron – Day by day- Breathe like a crane and turtle- Very slow and quiet”. Dan is the essence and Cauldron is the Dantian. Through practice you create the medicine. Practice regularly – day by day. Breathing like a crane and like a turtle. Very slow, very quiet, very sensitive, not so active, very settled. Do not force your breathing. Much slower. Follow your body. Follow nature. Observe nature. Observe animals, how they behave. Do not take everything so seriously.
The story that Sigong shared with us this time was about a boy that while traveling met a mysterious man at an inn. The boy did not think much of him at the time but that man eventually become his sword teacher and when the boy left, he had the sword fighting skill with him.
Iron Lung Gong is a very nice form and reflects this aspect of the Dao, softer at some parts and stronger at others, as necessary, in balance. This was the second part of polishing and we picked up from where we had finished last time. We had the opportunity to complete all the movements and ask questions to Sigong and practice with other students in the practice rooms, especially some movements that still trouble some of us (like the “Wild Goose rotates and closes its wings”) so that we go back and practice this beautiful form and collect the Dan in our Cauldron. At the end, Sigong lead all of us together for a last practice of the whole form and it felt very special!
by Michalis Akritopoulos