thelerner

What's your definition of Chi? How does it inform your practice?

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Power of Will wrote this-.

20 hours ago, Power Of Will13 said:

OK, let's at least discuss something, enough of that ... I have a question for everyone. @Zork @Walker@Starjumper@GSmaster@thelerner@ralis@alfheim@Earl Grey@ilumairen@Apech@MegaMind

 

WHAT IS CHI ENERGY IS?

Let everyone write their own answer.

The board probably tackles it every few years. 

How do you define Chi energy? &  How does it inform your practice?

Thoughtful, serious answers hoped for.

Edited by thelerner
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Just now, thelerner said:

How do you define Chi energy? &  How do it inform your practice?

Thoughtful, serious answers hoped for.

Good question.

 

My early cultivation comes from a Japanese origins.  My Aikido sensei would give long lectures on Ki.  He'd start with the definition Ki in a Japanese dictionary runs several pages.   Commonly, people would ask 'How's your Ki' meaning, how you doing.  Thus Ki evolved in general well being in popular vernacular.  But in the energy arts its tied to energy, life energy. 

 

Japanese would tend to keep it simpler then Chinese chi gung and Hindu systems.  Often Ki/Chi was energy but had a sense of intention to it.  I studied Shin Shin Toitsu Ki Aikido for 13 years and was tied up with intention, expansion, life.  There were physical, mental and spiritual ways to work with it.  Relaxed extension, bright awareness were some the essences we worked with.

 

Later I studied Healing Tao.  Chi was more complicated.  There was storage, flow, compression, hot and cold.  In Aikido they acknowledged other centers but concentrated on the hara.  Healing tao and I suppose Taoist energy/esoteric energy arts had energy centers, meridians.  Ebbs and flows.

 

The binary language of yin and yan, fire and water, expanding into elemental system for both internal organs, external seasons and  strategy.

 

Personally, for decades I ran hot.  When meditating my hara/ lower dan tien was hot, I warmed.  Last couple years, doing more upper, middle, lower w/ a little circulation I run cooler.

 

I still have enough Japanese in me that when asked about Chi, I have to say for what activity?  In cultivation its a flowing life energy.. juice..vitality..bright awareness.  Glen Morris said his judgement of enlightenment was purely bio-energetic.. enlightenment meant you had juice.  

 

    

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Just now, GSmaster said:

 

you cannot define chi energy

 

as chi = energy

 

We are mostly talking about ether plane, ether body and ether qi,

 

but qi can be anything really.

 

There is Qi in the stone and in the wooden chair.

 

Some people can see Qi due to developed third Eye.

They can also see beyond the human eyes range of color.

 

I like your explanation.  It gets across what my original sensei taught, ie Ki is a big concept that rolls across many areas, common and meta-physical.  As such its easy to misunderstand when others talk about it.  Different arts have different definitions and cultivation systems differ widely.  From simple to complex.  Breaking down chi dozens of ways as well as positive and negative.   Personally I like my chi simple as a sunny day.

 

<I'm hoping the conversation continues positively, with no denigration of any art> 

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Qi is Qi. Without it there is no life. Trying to define Qi in English is like trying to explain breathing in air to a fish. It is an untranslatable. 

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Qi does not necessarily translate to energy. In Chinese, the closest direct translation I have heard is "subtle breath", but contemporary use makes people say it is energy. 

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12 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

Qi does not necessarily translate to energy.

 

exactly.

 

Qi at its most fundamental level is 'transformational information in process'... it isn't a thing - it's a process... it isn't so much a substance - it's 'information' (with the caveat that it behaves like a substance in some contexts) - it's information that's putting change into action...

 

But this explanation probably confuses more than enlightens.

 

So it's best to consider qi within its context - not as something separate or objective like we tend to want to do in our western approach to understanding things.

 

The qi of feng shui - the qi of Chinese medicine - the qi of taiji - the qi of qigong - they all have the same fundamental nature - but they're all different and have different qualities and mental models within their respective contexts...

 

The idea of qi shouldn't be considered or conceptualised in isolation from its context.

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18 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

exactly.

 

Qi at its most fundamental level is 'transformational information in process'... it isn't a thing - it's a process... it isn't so much a substance - it's 'information' (with the caveat that it behaves like a substance in some contexts) - it's information that's putting change into action...

 

But this explanation probably confuses more than enlightens.

 

So it's best to consider qi within its context - not as something separate or objective like we tend to want to do in our western approach to understanding things.

 

The qi of feng shui - the qi of Chinese medicine - the qi of taiji - the qi of qigong - they all have the same fundamental nature - but they're all different and have different qualities and mental models within their respective contexts...

 

The idea of qi shouldn't be considered or conceptualised in isolation from its context.

Actually Qi is both a subtle substance as well as a process. It is energy, but energy is not dumb — it is the result of the appearance of changes in awareness. So Qi is actually information. That’s why it gets so hairy if you try to pin it down. It is best to refer to it as Qi and go with one’s experience. 

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

exactly.

 

Qi at its most fundamental level is 'transformational information in process'... it isn't a thing - it's a process... it isn't so much a substance - it's 'information' (with the caveat that it behaves like a substance in some contexts) - it's information that's putting change into action...

 

But this explanation probably confuses more than enlightens.

 

So it's best to consider qi within its context - not as something separate or objective like we tend to want to do in our western approach to understanding things.

 

The qi of feng shui - the qi of Chinese medicine - the qi of taiji - the qi of qigong - they all have the same fundamental nature - but they're all different and have different qualities and mental models within their respective contexts...

 

The idea of qi shouldn't be considered or conceptualised in isolation from its context.

 

1 hour ago, dwai said:

Actually Qi is both a subtle substance as well as a process. It is energy, but energy is not dumb — it is the result of the appearance of changes in awareness. So Qi is actually information. That’s why it gets so hairy if you try to pin it down. It is best to refer to it as Qi and go with one’s experience. 

 

Linguistically as well, qi when used for weather (tianqi) or for anger (shengqi) show the contextual importance in the language and its relation. And this is just Mandarin, not Classical Chinese, which had even more nuance...

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

exactly.

 

Qi at its most fundamental level is 'transformational information in process'... it isn't a thing - it's a process... it isn't so much a substance - it's 'information' (with the caveat that it behaves like a substance in some contexts) - it's information that's putting change into action...

 

But this explanation probably confuses more than enlightens.

 

So it's best to consider qi within its context - not as something separate or objective like we tend to want to do in our western approach to understanding things.

 

The qi of feng shui - the qi of Chinese medicine - the qi of taiji - the qi of qigong - they all have the same fundamental nature - but they're all different and have different qualities and mental models within their respective contexts...

 

The idea of qi shouldn't be considered or conceptualised in isolation from its context.

 

I really like this reply.

 

I'm going to add my favorite explanation I've seen on this site, as the two explanations seem harmonious to me, and pointing towards the same idea of "dynamic. "

 

 

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Yes, it's always been kept quite vague whe spoken to by teachers.

 

All that stuff circulating around that you feel in meditation/ZZ. That stuff that tingles from the palms and the ends of the fingers.

 

I'm getting it but words always confuse me, so now I try and just think of it as something that I feel and when I do, I feel more bold and powerful inside. That'll do!

 

I've been paying attention to threads about "jing" as I find this more useful to define when it comes to practice. Just my humble opinion.

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There was a video of a talk from Andrew Nugent-Head (https://www.traditionalstudies.org/about-ats/) where he talks about Qi. I cant find the original now but this page (http://taichiblog.spiralwise.co.uk/2012/10/demystifying-chi-must-watch-video.html) describes it. 

 

The main point, for me at least, was that Qi is , more than likely, not what you want it to be and you can spend a long time talking about it to no real profit.

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35 minutes ago, Rara said:

Yes, it's always been kept quite vague whe spoken to by teachers.

 

All that stuff circulating around that you feel in meditation/ZZ. That stuff that tingles from the palms and the ends of the fingers.

 

I'm getting it but words always confuse me, so now I try and just think of it as something that I feel and when I do, I feel more bold and powerful inside. That'll do!

 

I've been paying attention to threads about "jing" as I find this more useful to define when it comes to practice. Just my humble opinion.

 

Did you see this follow up post to the one I shared above?

 

 

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2 hours ago, ilumairen said:

 

Did you see this follow up post to the one I shared above?

 

 

 

Haha, I remember this when it was originally posted! I didn't click so much with that particular post, but am slowly getting there.

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1 minute ago, Rara said:

 

Haha, I remember this when it was originally posted! I didn't click so much with that particular post, but am slowly getting there.

great minds think alike   B)

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17 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

Qi does not necessarily translate to energy. In Chinese, the closest direct translation I have heard is "subtle breath", but contemporary use makes people say it is energy. 

 

It was called subtle breath because the ancient Chinese did not understand the physiology of breathing, and because chi can feel like air moving internally.  It IS energy, and much more.  The contemporary use is the more accurate.

 

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3 hours ago, thelerner said:

great minds think alike   B)

 

Edit: Empty minds think alike?

 

Does that work? Haha

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1 hour ago, Rara said:

Edit: Empty minds think alike?

Does that work? Haha

 

Yes.  I'm reminded that my fraternity, APO, a service fraternity, picked a person to be The Dissenter.  The individual to vote against and sometimes speak against any resolution that all or almost everyone voted yes on.  An important job because we were nice people, and it was easy to fall into group think.   Everybody agreeing for convenience or they didn't want to think about the issue, or to be nice. 

 

Bad decisions are made when no one dissents.  We need the skeptic to slow things down, keep us honest.. and thinking. 

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6 hours ago, Starjumper said:

 

It was called subtle breath because the ancient Chinese did not understand the physiology of breathing, and because chi can feel like air moving internally.  It IS energy, and much more.  The contemporary use is the more accurate.

 


For sake of simplicity, yes, which I guess wasn’t clear here when I gave the translation and contemporary use 

 

23 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

Qi does not necessarily translate to energy. In Chinese, the closest direct translation I have heard is "subtle breath", but contemporary use makes people say it is energy. 

 

Of course, it’s like saying hydroelectric, magnetic, thermal dynamic, kinetic, static electricity, and such are just energy rather than the specific kind as i understand it.

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9 hours ago, thelerner said:

 

Yes.  I'm reminded that my fraternity, APO, a service fraternity, picked a person to be The Dissenter.  The individual to vote against and sometimes speak against any resolution that all or almost everyone voted yes on.  An important job because we were nice people, and it was easy to fall into group think.   Everybody agreeing for convenience or they didn't want to think about the issue, or to be nice. 

 

Bad decisions are made when no one dissents.  We need the skeptic to slow things down, keep us honest.. and thinking. 

 

Funny, in my line of work, it's important to not rock the boat!

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6 hours ago, Rara said:

 

Funny, in my line of work, it's important to not rock the boat!

You can't change direction without a little rockin. 

 

<one of my resolutions for 2020 is not putting g's at the end of words. 

how you like them apples, Mr. Webster. 

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