Headfirst into nature – with a detour past ancient Chinese masters
or: All the places Qigong can take you ...
By Alexandra Gusetti
Ever since the ancient Greeks, if not even earlier, the European understanding of nature has been characterised by a separation of humankind and the natural world. Prompted by her experiences with Qigong and Taijiquan, Alexandra Gusetti has developed a philosophical understanding of nature that includes human beings as a self-evident part of nature. Here she sketches her approach, which can support a more mindful approach to the world around us.
Rediscovering the pelvis
– sensing, feeling and moving freely
By Helmut Jäger
In the previous issue Helmut Jäger gave an introduction to the anatomy and the movement possibilities of the pelvis. Now he describes how we can explore our pelvis and develop its movement possibilities. Since we don‘t have conscious control over important parts of this body area, it is more productive to chiefly apply a ›listening‹ form of sensing and to try things out for oneself. Indeed, explicit movement instructions can actually generate increased tension.
The pitfalls of spontaneity
Daoism as a strategy or as a spiritual path?
By Markus Maria Wagner
Wuwei and Ziran are regarded as key terms for understanding Daoist practices. Markus Maria Wagner examines the paradox associated with these concepts: that on the one hand we are encouraged to follow the flow of the Dao in a spontaneous and intention-free manner, but on the other hand this is something we are supposed to spend time practicing. These opposed aspects create a field of tension that is present not only in the Daoist worldview but in other traditions, too.
The vitality of the dragon
Long Zi Jue – Daoist Dragon exercises
By Shen Xijing with the assistance of Tobias Puntke
In China, the dragon is generally seen as a positive being and is encountered in many different guises. With regard to water it symbolises the yang element and, in one form or another, appears in numerous systems of practice. The Daoist Dragon Gate School has its own system with a tradition of »secret exercises with the key character of the dragon«, focusing particularly on the development of Li – physical strength and vitality. Here Li forms the yang aspect of Qi, which in this context is attributed to yin. Shen Xijing provides an insight into the origins and the significance of the Dragon exercises and describes a sample exercise to demonstrate the general methodology of the system.
Emperor, chancellor and minister
– the organ network of the body landscape and its functions with respect to Qigong and Taijiquan
Part 1: Heart and Stomach
By Joachim Stuhlmacher
The organ networks are an essential concept of Chinese medicine and thus also relevant to the practice of Qigong and Taijiquan. In his series of articles, Joachim Stuhlmacher describes aspects that are of particular importance to these movement arts, basing his view chiefly on sources from the Han Period. He starts with the heart, the emperor in the organ landscape, and with the stomach, which is assigned the role of a minister. Nowadays, however, this latter organ is often given a priority position due to its connection with the absorption of material. In order for the heart to fulfil its functions properly it requires a calm mind, and so entering stillness is a key aspect for the heart.