I learned Taijiquan when I was 12 but it was too young an age to understand the working of Qi fully. Shortly after, I had switched to practicing Karate for many years, which was more appealing to a hot-blooded young man at that time. It has taught me discipline and about power, but not quite about Qi in the way Qigong could. Although I am immersed in some areas of the Five Arts, living in a rat race pace city, I thought the idea of going for Qigong should be put off until the later years. Therefore, though I am into the working of Heaven Qi and Earth Qi, the wonders of Human Qi would remain very remote to me.
Until last year (2007), that is.
I was told about a very different Qigong practice for quite a few months early last year but I remained uninterested, even though it was by invitation only. I did not believe such descriptions that a learner can be made to move continuously on his own just by standing relaxed in the beginning to get his body's Qi accelerated. I made a trip to the session only after learning that the teacher is also a Fengshui master. It was more of getting there to be acquainted with him than because I was convinced with what were described.
There were a few people practicing there. Their eyes were closed, and their bodies were moving as if they were doing Taiji, except that their movements were all different. Two teachers went around with either one palm placed near the forehead of the others, of both palms placed near their temples, to accelerated their Qi. As I had also heard that some people would not react to the acceleration of Qi and remain standing still in such sessions for months, I immediately gave many excuses before I started. I told the teacher that I am a meat eater, a lazy Buddhist, and whatever, so as to prepare some excuses if I, as a Shifu of sorts, fail to experience any movement at all. But I was told just to stand relaxed with my eyes closed.
So, after taking up a position in the circular open space, I closed my eyes and listened to the Huayue 华乐 (Chinese instrumental music) being played on a portable hi-fi. Relax, I told myself. That much I was good at. A few seconds after closing the eyes, my upper body began to mildly rock forward and backward. Fine, it is natural, I thought, because the eyes were closed and it may have affected the bodily balance, or maybe the music played a part. With the eyes closed, I could not know when my energy was being accelerated. But I told myself to ignore the idea, and not to assume things, and continue to relax. Just relax. The back and forth movements of the upper body began to get bigger moments later, like a pendulum. As an effort of keeping myself from falling backwards, my feet moved a step back to keep balance, and this continued for several repetitions.
Would I be falling off the edge at the boundary of this circular open space, or knocking back into some pillar? The worry crept up mildly, so I semi-consciously kept my left leg stationary. But as the backward movement of the body was getting bigger and bigger, the right leg kept moving backwards to keep the balance. When this action continued, I began rotating clockwise with the left leg as a pivot. And it got faster and faster. Were these movements the result of my Qi being accelerated? I did not feel any heat coming through my forehead, if that is how Qi is supposed to be felt, but I was also conscious about not to resist the movements. I kept the mind focused on nothingness and tried not to have any assumption, and I went on this rapid clockwise spinning for perhaps two dozen times and got very giddy. Finally, I lowered my body on the ground. Due to the momentum of spinning so many rounds standing, the clockwise movement made my body fall in the same direction as soon as I sat on the floor.
When the entire body was forced to lie on the floor in quick movements, I was somehow very, very at peace in my heart as vigorous full-bodily movements began. With my eyes still closed, I could only imagine how my actions looked like. The whole body felt as if one big wheel rotating, both my arms outstretched to rotate in clockwise manner, and the knees were pivotal for the lower body to make circles. The actions were very fast, and even the head was rolling violently left and right. I felt like a human size fan switched on, but the others told me later that I looked like an overturned turtle struggling to get up.
I could not keep count, but my peaceful mind could sense that this fast rotation went on for 3 or 4 dozen times. Gradually, the actions of my legs began to slow, and now the two arms rotated on their own in an uncoordinated way, each arm making its own circles, and because of that, they hit on each other when they crossed path, and they also hit the floor. Now the legs had rested flat on the floor.
These movements continued for many rounds, too, and then the two arms began to coordinate as if they were blades of a huge fan turning in a very fast manner so much so that they felt like flying off my shoulders. Despite the vigorous movements, my heart was totally at peace, and began to express gratitude to many, many people whom I know, including even people I dislike, giving thanks to them for giving me challenges and difficulties in life and helping me to grow in difficult times. It was like total inner peace, and I felt totally disconnected from the vigorous movements of the physical body.
These actions slowed gradually, and it changed back to the uncoordinated way again for a couple of dozen rotations. Next, the upper arms began to become stationary, merely supporting the forearms for making smaller clockwise rotations, as if they were two smaller fans in front of me. Many rotations later, the forearms had stopped too, and only the wrists were left to turn for a short while before all movements stopped, and I was just lying flat on the concrete floor.
I opened the eyes peacefully, but it took me sometime to sit up. The entire process took an hour. The stomach was queasy as a result of the vigorous actions, but the mind was experiencing enormous peace. It was a wonderfully calm feeling.