escott

Is Zhineng A Replacement For Soaring Crane Qigong?

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I have been looking for resources on Soaring Crane and they are hard to find. It was supposedly practiced by 20 million people at one time in China. What happened to it? I have found some teachers online, such as Torben Bremann, but books are basically non-existent. Dr. Pang Ming originally taught Soaring Crane before he developed Zhineng. I started seriously practicing Zhineng over 2 years ago, stopped for a while, then started again. I originally started Zhineng because it was supposed to be safe and effective. My research, including comments here on The Bums, lead me to believe it was one of the best systems. But, I'm just not feeling it. I think I had better results with Master Lam Kam Chuen's Zhan Zhuang and Ba Duan Jin, which I continue to do. But, I'm looking for more moving practices that are coordinated with visualization and breathing. I also practice Mantak Chia's 13 Movement Tai Chi Chi Kung, but I have doubts about his system as a whole, although, I do like some other parts of it. I'm looking for a really good movement system that gets the Qi going to counterbalance my seated meditation practice. Right now in week 3 of 10 of Wim Hof's Fundamentals course. To sum things up, I'm a married householder with school aged kids and limited time looking for an efficient system of practices to cultivate Qi, have a calm focused mind, and ultimately become awakened. So, back to the original question, Is Soaring Crane a good system with an active community? Or, are there other systems my fellow Bums would recommend?

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I tried zhi neng qi gong for a while too. I felt absolutely nothing, I think it is the system that has given me the worst results (nothing at all). I don't know Soaring Crane, but I would recommend you fragrant qi gong.

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Posted (edited)

Hi escott,

 

Soaring Crane was one of the many forms of qigong banned by the Chinese Communist Party following the "qigong boom" which lasted from some time during the 1980s until the mid-1990s. The ascent of Falun Dafa led to many other schools being categorized as "evil cults" by the CCP. There were also rumors that some people with pre-existing psychiatric conditions had psychotic episodes due to the spontaneous qigong section at the end of the Soaring Crane form.

 

In the USA, Soaring Crane seems most popular in the Pacific Northwest, where it was taught at an acupuncture college in Portand by Professor Huixian Chen. There were also some Chinese teachers who taught it in New York City (not sure if they are still active or not).

 

Soaring Crane is a short form, divided into five sections with a spontaneous qigong section at the end. I practiced it for a while. It's a good form and produces a lot of qi in the hands. I learned it from Dr. Wu Dhi in Miami (both from his DVD and in-person). He calls it Flying Crane. He learned it from a Chinese doctor in Michigan. I think there are a few slight variations in what he teaches from the "original." Although I'm not currently practicing it, it is a form that I do think is one of the better ones, and one that I'll probably go back to practicing eventually. (Fragrant Qigong is another one in this category for me, btw).

 

The most comprehensive information available about the form (including the book) can be purchased here: https://qi.org/products2/

 

If you can find a copy of this out-of-print DVD, it features the late founding grand-master, Xiao Jin Xiang and was filmed in some beautiful locations during his trip to North America. It might be available online from the producer Maureen Goss.

 

Gerald Sharp also has a DVD on it. I haven't seen that one, but have some of his others and they are very good indeed.

 

Best regards,

 

Dainin

Edited by Dainin
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Fragrant gets a lot of love here at TDB. I followed along with a video a few times. I don't understand it. What is it doing? The advice as I know it is to just do the movements and don't think about anything.

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On 5/3/2021 at 8:04 PM, escott said:

To sum things up, I'm a married householder with school aged kids and limited time looking for an efficient system of practices to cultivate Qi, have a calm focused mind, and ultimately become awakened. So, back to the original question, Is Soaring Crane a good system with an active community? Or, are there other systems my fellow Bums would recommend?

Take up Temple style Tai chi and dao gong. 

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3 hours ago, dwai said:

Take up Temple style Tai chi and dao gong. 

Are you referring to Wu Dao Gong? That's one I actually wasn't familiar with. What's the relationship between martial arts (fighting) and spiritual energy cultivation? Although being able to defend one's self is a good thing I'm not so much interested in fighting systems. Being a good fighter takes a lot of practice and actually fighting. I can understand that fighting is good preparation for being focused. Keeping from getting your ass kicked or killed requires focus. My Dad once told me that my grades were always better during football and track season. Seems like even though I had less time to study, those intense periods of focus during sports activities prepared my mind for higher performance in intellectual activities, too.

 

Can you recommend a system that can be done solo without needing a partner to practice with or combat? My grandfather was a martial artist. I learned some interesting visualization tricks from him that created physiological changes. Reflecting on that many years later led me to qigong. I'm looking for a system that directs energy through visualization that contains movement that strengthens the joints and muscles on a deep internal level and also has breath work. It doesn't all have to happen at the same time, just be a system that logically fits together, isn't a mish-mash, and doesn't contain so many different practices as to be impossible for a householder to get done.

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@Dainin I've been looking at your practice log. Can you tell me more about your experience with Shibashi? Two years ago I purchased Susan Thompson's Udemy course, Easy 18 Qigong. I never finished it. I think I started to ask myself what the purpose of the movements where and why should I do this? I just didn't see where it was leading. I Susan is an excellent teacher, btw. She faces you and does mirror, so she moves her left while telling you to move your right. That makes learning the movements so much easier.

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1 hour ago, escott said:

Are you referring to Wu Dao Gong?

No I mean Dao Gong as a part of the temple style practice. Tai chi forms ¬†are¬†a vehicle for learning and delivering ‚Äúdao gong‚ÄĚ as the practice matures.¬†


You can get a lot of detailed single person practices here ‚ÄĒ¬†https://www.taichitao.tv/

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1 hour ago, escott said:

I'm looking for a system that directs energy through visualization that contains movement that strengthens the joints and muscles on a deep internal level and also has breath work. It doesn't all have to happen at the same time, just be a system that logically fits together, isn't a mish-mash, and doesn't contain so many different practices as to be impossible for a householder to get done.

Doing the five elements of Xing Yi would tick of quite a few boxes on the above list. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, escott said:

@Dainin I've been looking at your practice log. Can you tell me more about your experience with Shibashi? Two years ago I purchased Susan Thompson's Udemy course, Easy 18 Qigong. I never finished it. I think I started to ask myself what the purpose of the movements where and why should I do this? I just didn't see where it was leading. I Susan is an excellent teacher, btw. She faces you and does mirror, so she moves her left while telling you to move your right. That makes learning the movements so much easier.

 

Hi escott,

 

I've been practicing the first set of Shibashi (and occasionally the second set) for many years, and it's still among my favorites. I learned it from Sifu Wing Cheung in Ontario. I'm not familiar with the Udemy course that you mention, but I can recommend Sifu Cheung's materials and also those of Fabrice Piche (also from Canada) who studies directly with the creator of the Shibashi system, Grandmaster Lin Housheng.

 

A nice book on the first set is The Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong by Chris Jarmey. This gives a lot of detail on aspects such as the breathing, mental focus (at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels), and the health benefits of each movement.

 

There are 8 sets in the system. Each one has 18 movements. Some of the movements are taken from Yang style Tai Chi. One of the sets is for health issues and one is like a "greatest hits" from the other sets. Unlike learning a traditional Tai Chi form, the individual movements are repeated (usually 6 or 12 times), rather than one flowing into another continuously. The Temple style Tai Chi that Dwai mentioned also has "single form practice" (i.e. repetition of individual Tai Chi movements) as part of their system. I believe that you can view recordings of the weekly Sunday sessions with Master Liao for free.

 

I've tried many forms of qigong over the years, and Shibashi remains one of my most favorite, and one that I keep going back to.

Edited by Dainin

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Posted (edited)

@Dainin Shibashi is looking really good right now. I am familiar with Shifu Wing Cheung and Fabrice Piche. I've been to their websites and watched their videos. I thought they were good, but just wasn't sold on Shibashi. Evidently, the depth I'm looking for is there if I just commit. @dwai I've looked at Wayson Liao's Temple Style. I have his book, Tai Chi Classics. But, from the website I can't tell where to begin. @Cleansox I have the book 'Xingyi A Means To An End' by Mike Patterson. I also have a book on Xingyi Nei Gong. I do like the idea of Xingyi. Seems like something that really requires an in-person teacher, though.

Edited by escott

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I was also doing Zhineng Qigong and later Soaring Crane, the latter is by far an excellent system, in which a lot of qi is acquired from the beginning, with respect to Zhineng as indicated by the other members of the forum, it does not produce greater tangible effects or sensation of chi, I understand that the teachers of Zhineng advise that Zhineng be done between 12 to 16 hours in cases of serious illness, which in the West is almost impossible considering that many sick people do not even have the necessary strength to be of foot one hour. You also need to create a chi field.

 

The only effect of chi that I obtained with Zhineng Qigong was the feeling that the energy of my crown chakra was protected and the sensation was very pleasant, and it was given by doing the youtube demonstration with the voice and instructions of Pan Ming. Those systems take effect when the creator's instructions are followed.

 

I have a book on Soaring Crane in which sounded successes in curing serious illnesses are discussed.

 

Torben Bremann has an online teaching system of Taiji and Qigong, in which he mixes Soaring Crane Qigong, 5 animals Qigong, Baduanjin, Emei Qigong and Hunyuan Qigong, which in my opinion is mixing a lot of different sensations and cultivations which can generate chi deviation problems. I can be wrong.

 

My routine now consists of doing Flying Phoenix Qigong and meditation, I believe that together with the Spring Forest Qigong system and the Gift of Tao they are the most powerful systems to feel, acquire and harvest qi from the first days. I think they are in the major leagues of Healing Qigong.

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On 4. 5. 2021 at 3:04 AM, escott said:

I have been looking for resources on Soaring Crane and they are hard to find. It was supposedly practiced by 20 million people at one time in China. What happened to it? I have found some teachers online, such as Torben Bremann, but books are basically non-existent. Dr. Pang Ming originally taught Soaring Crane before he developed Zhineng. I started seriously practicing Zhineng over 2 years ago, stopped for a while, then started again. I originally started Zhineng because it was supposed to be safe and effective. My research, including comments here on The Bums, lead me to believe it was one of the best systems. But, I'm just not feeling it. I think I had better results with Master Lam Kam Chuen's Zhan Zhuang and Ba Duan Jin, which I continue to do. But, I'm looking for more moving practices that are coordinated with visualization and breathing. I also practice Mantak Chia's 13 Movement Tai Chi Chi Kung, but I have doubts about his system as a whole, although, I do like some other parts of it. I'm looking for a really good movement system that gets the Qi going to counterbalance my seated meditation practice. Right now in week 3 of 10 of Wim Hof's Fundamentals course. To sum things up, I'm a married householder with school aged kids and limited time looking for an efficient system of practices to cultivate Qi, have a calm focused mind, and ultimately become awakened. So, back to the original question, Is Soaring Crane a good system with an active community? Or, are there other systems my fellow Bums would recommend?

Bagua may be an answer for you ... ?

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On 5/8/2021 at 5:19 PM, Jox said:

Bagua may be an answer for you ... ?

It's funny you would mention Bagua, @Cleansox mentioned Xing Yi. I've been reading 'The Way of Harmony'. It starts with Ba Duan Jin then Zhan Zhuang. Then it gets into the internal arts and it goes in the order: Hsing I, Bagua, then Tai Chi. It's interesting that Tai Chi is more popular when it's the last thing that someone should learn.

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Hello Escott, 

My experience with Zhineng Qigong was also not a conclusive one. Would lik to try Fragrant Q. but it has many restrictions.

Also practiced Shibashi , Wuji and the Zhang Zhuan system of Yiquan.Concerning Shibashi ,IMHO the Udemy course by Des Lawton the best there is

Nowadays, by necessity, I needed a more healing oriented Qigong.

I found Hunyuan Q. to be very easy to practice but also very profound; like Zhineng it also makes use of Huyuan chi.

You can find lot of detailed information online (books, DVD's, online courses). 

If you need more information send me a message.

 

  

 

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I've been dabbling with many qigong styles for the past few months and keeping notes.

 

* I also didn't get much from zhineng. I had a minor adverse reaction at first, minor flu symptoms, which I assumed was a healing reaction. After I pushed through that though, I couldn't feel anything from it. The movements felt empty.

 

* I have dabbled on and off with flying phoenix for a while. I get very pleasant qi sensations from the practice, but weirdly it doesn't seem to carry through to the rest of my day. I also found I was more irritable while practicing it than I normally am.

 

* I also started wim hof again for a period. I practiced it daily for several years, and always enjoyed the mental toughness and physical energy it tends to develop. But I have a skin condition that flares up quite badly whenever I go too hard on the cold showers. 

 

* the most powerful thing I tried was fragrant qigong. It is such a weird style though, and not merely based on how it looks. I have more energy and positivity when I practice it, and for some reason it improves my mind and makes my writing about 1000% better (I'm a journalist).

 

The strange thing about it though is that you're supposed to practice in a sort of semi-distracted state, without focusing on the movements. But this also carried through to my daily life, so I would find myself staring off into space at times or not properly listening to a conversation. It also radically increased my appetite and my tendancy to seek comfort more generally. A bad thing when you battling the 'dad bod' and have a million chores to do around the house. I found it made me incredibly resistant to stress, but I wonder how much of that is being in a sort of semi-stoned state. 

 

* spring forest is also something I've done on and off over the years. While there's a lot of qi sensation in the hands through the active exercises, the core of the system is really the small universe guided meditation. This is a really visualisation-dependant qigong, which to me at least is mentally exhausting. I also found while it develops qi, the mental work makes it too stagnant to circulate.

 

* I started learning taiji a few months ago and have stuck with it. I now have the 37 form memorised, and I'm at the very beginning of learning how to release the feet and mobilise jin. It is still very much a physical exercise, with focus on hanging the flesh off the bones while keeping good posture and turning from the kua. I think it will many, many years to reach the point where it can generate the same health benefits of qigong. So if you learn an internal art, you need to bear in mind that its going to take a while to pay off.

 

So that's it really. After dabbling with fragrant (where you can't really do any form of meditation or breathing exercise), I've drifted back to sitting meditation as my main practice. I enjoy the experience of mindfulness that comes from it, being able to walk through a park and feel the wind on your face and hear the birds in the trees, without getting wrapped up in thoughts. At the same time though, I don't think it offers much in terms of physical health benefits, so I am still considering picking up a qigong form of the side. Maybe some zhan zhuang to complement my taiji.

 

I'll keep a close eye on here for recommendations.

 

 

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