Scholastic studies tell us that today’s modern 氣功 Qigong; Energy Work (circa 1949) comes from three sources, that was originally referred to as 内功 Nei Gong; Internal Work – Medical. Martial, and Religious. Although, they do share many compulsory exercises, students are advised to enter practice with a clear “objective in mind”. This 意 Yi; Intent is a cerebral energy (wisdom) that has to be the driving force behind the 心 Xin; Heart-Mind (emotions).
It may be a prime objective in itself to raise, maintain, and elevate the 五 神 Five Spirits – 神 Shen / 心 Xin / 意 Yi / 志 Zhi / 魂 Hun / 魄 Po. We often begin with great enthusiasm, but without attention to adding more fuel, the roaring flames of our ambition will eventually wane, reduce to smoldering coals, and then go out. This is why we practice Jing – Qi – Shen (精 氣 神).
The basic protocol that creates the selection of appropriate exercises is the alchemy of transformation. Abundant raw energy (physicality) is refined into subtle purified energy (consciousness). Adhering to Tai Chi theory, a Yinyang approach is employed. External dynamic exercises lead energy in cultivating Spirit. Internal static exercises lead energy out cultivating physical volition.
Image: There is a lot to discuss. Depending on objective, students adopt an External to Internal or Internal to External approach. Harmony is achieved not by doing the same thing continuously but working seasonally. Spring and Summer are dynamic. Fall and Winter are static. Both external and internal exercise are done throughout the year, but it is their emphasis that changes. We are harmonizing with the energies of the natural environment. A basic tenet is: Robust in Summer, Quiet in Winter.