Must opening and Closing always be practice together?

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    Take the example of cloud hand, must the opening and closing be paired together in order to be healthy? If we feel like opening can we just keep lifting the hand left and right and only feel the opening, maybe doing the action in one direction only will unbalance ourselves. Is there a need to have opening and closings following each other all the time?



    Aha! Another good topic to chew on.

    Here’s Bob on “balance:”

    IMO “balance” doesn’t always mean 50/50,
    like a matched pair on the ends of a see-saw.

    In fact, the concept of yin and yang itself includes the fact that at some point extreme yang changes to yin (and vice versa),
    on the circle of 8 directions there are 4 pairs of polar complements:
    maximum yang is in the other direction of minimum yin.
    In Tai Chi that’s “balance,” too.

    To me, “Cloud Hands” is one of the most difficult movements in Tai Chi,
    almost impossible to explain in words (Robert Tangora tried in his book, “The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands; A Gateway to Advanced T’ai Chi Practice”).

    One of my teachers put peng/lu/ji/an into each hand as they circled;
    when one hand was peng the other was an, etc.

    Opening includes peng;
    closing includes an.
    So in this analysis hands are paired.

    Bruce might put all 16 Neigong into Cloud Hands.

    Actually, doing Cloud Hands is easy to do and inherently balanced;
    it’s just a devil to explain because language is so linear, whereas Cloud Hands is so circular moving simultaneously in opposite directions.

    I don’t see how it could ever be unbalanced or unhealthy
    (just in our minds).

    Then there is the primitive (early/basic) Taoist notion of “Daoyin.”

    In “Dao” you focus exclusively on engaging the yin (physical/blood/flesh/tangible/black dot/stretching/OPENING/maybe inhaling) and allow more room for the yang to grow.
    Just like the Olympic Biathlon—focus on the black bullseye and you might turn the target all white—5 shots rapidly.

    In “yin” focus exclusively on engaging the yang (mind/spirit/white dot/condensing/CLOSING/maybe exhaling) and allow more room for the yin to grow.
    See: youtube Andrew Nugent-Head Intro to Daoyin

    It’s not that focusing on one is unbalanced,
    in “Dao” when you focus on the yin, the yin becomes your anchor which allows the yang to expand and develop and grow.
    On “yin” the yang acts ad the anchor which allows the yin to manifest and develop and grow.

    It’s not that one follows the other;
    they work in tandem, simultaneously opening AND closing.

    If you feel like just opening, just open.
    Something will keep you from falling into the vortex of vanity.

    Then refine it.

    Pretty neat!

    It makes Tai Chi powerful.

    But it’s impossible to explain the unexplainable.




    Hi Robert,
    You mention two interesting persons.
    Robert Tagore wrote an interesting book on Cloud Hand. Unfortunately, his writting is too difficult to understand for those who are not already an advance taichi practitioner. I cannot figure out most of what he wrote.It will be good to have him as a teacher and just learn what he has to teach without having to learn the explanation or philosophy behind the exercise.
    As for Andrew Nugent, he has a lot to teach about DaoYin which is strange.. After Qigong became a known exercise in this modern time, quite similar to the time that qigong and taichi appears in the West following the popularity of martial arts in the early days, people became interested in the history of qigong and amongst the old records which are thousands of year old, there was pictorial demonstration of qigong exercise called Daoyin.A small group called Daoyin Qigong then appear and became commonly seen in the internet.Daoyin roughly means guide and lead and it is referring to the guiding of qi in the body as in qigong exercise. It is simply the appropriate term to mean qigong in days gone by.
    Best regards.



    I hope your exploration has/is continuing to reveal things to discover- neat hintings at what you’ve found…
    -I think the key is whether you mean opening and closing paired as:
    I. L does one, while R does the opposite
    (- doesn’t seem what you mean.. but to contrast spatially balanced,)

    whether opposing-alternating, or together both open, “then” both close.. vs “3rd” out-of-synch.. L open-closes.. while R is faster or slower.. so that the extremes are not reached on both sides at the same times.. but the relationship changes.. (I hope that last one makes sense)

    II. rather than balanced in spatial-relation, balanced temporally (time-relation) first one than the other….
    -Are you feeling the moving of the tissues and bones (the skeleton itself), or feeling the fluids movement… or- the energy quality that is driving the first two resultant actions?

    one could radiate, emanate, a quality of opening.. but when does your system go from a mode of energy-movement to a locked-fixation? (as soon as your system thinks-feels, this is where I’m staying it “immediately” changes form a living movement to a symbolic-form.. no longer sending, but just stuck-shape)…

    -so whether opening the phy-jt and stay there…. when does your system feel it “stop”.. or sending the energy out or in (some imagery sees “opening” as radiating, and “closing” as a rest.. while closing should be as much, or more an “in” and the power is usually the change-over point from one to the other- like a bullwhip. .. can you continue to have it “reach out”? or is it powered on the reversing direction? (how long can you stretch that reversal pt? -both Kai to He, & He changing to Kai.. slow-that-flip down…)

    III. if you feel that which you feel pulses (that which seems to be opening/closing.. that “thing” doesn’t do x then do y.. (vs not doing either).. it just is in its state, like a spark lighting a candle-flame (or a camp-fire).. need to coax and support that spark to catch-fire.. (and then keep feeding that spark, so it doesn’t go out).. while that spark is alive, if we look at it/feel it it seems to flux this-way, then that (Kai-He-Kai-He.. sometimes faster, sometimes slower.. sometimes the affect is more locally-smaller-area, other times the affect spreads farther through your system, both pushing out, but also pulling in… but if it stops, is like the flame going out, the spark no longer glowing… but even as it wavers, the spark just is..)

    if you hold a rope in each hand, and then move your hands up fast and then stop, so the middle loop swings up.. then then move your hands down and stop, and catch the reversal– -this starts a standing wave (the middle up and down and up and…)… that bouncing-dyn movement is a thing- feel its energy (in this case there isn’t a living aspect beneath it.. but in the body one can can that “wave-movements” essence , even without the rope moving? or if the rope (joint, or the “Egate”) stops fluxing, stops the opening closing (not slowing or changing, but breaking to intermittance, or breakage)… then is that E still there, or is it broken..? (like a thread)..

    (a possibly related post in regards the use of opening-closing testing vs resistance I wrote in the”Live Events” board… in case that is of interest, or further adds to the above)

    Daniel, did you discover something in your practice that further illuminated your own question, or might part of my above post have addressed what you posed in your question (or perhaps you meant something else)?
    — I wonder if any others reading this find aspects of their (your) practice learnings made a bit more clear from this? (or perhaps some interesting questions?) –luck to those studying here



    Just to add to the post I added to this thread– there is a distinction between “opening” as in activating the flow (opening the channel, which then “opens&close” = 2 different meanings of opening)…

    thus what may be felt as “a continuous opening” may well be the required ground of “lengthening”.. (embodying to feel-fill and area, as well as to extend it.. not just out, but “lengthen-in”- -and then with that “space kept-full, the opening-closing occurs within that space.)

    All three of these uses of “opening” Bruce has used (as the same word-sound, but different uses; again opening the joint as in “not closed” which actually means- able to move.. like arm hasn’t “gone to sleep”=circulation cut off.. or when you prep to move your arm, or just before standing up, you sort of adjust your joints and soft-tissue connections to “take up/out the slack” just just move.. click-ouch.. that adjustment in prep to move could be consider an “opening-up” and then one can open, or close to move.. or in position- etc.

    In short- if one is actually referring to connecting up to flow (more of alignment) as a term of opening, or of a lengthening-connecting.. that is different than the opening-closing: in terms of keep opening

    [further- this may be beyond the scope of current Training Circle, but per your mentioning TaiChi chuan CloudHands (or did you mean Egates CloudHands?) — to create a Peng radiating energy can be sustained (and then opening & closing within that Peng field.. or peng on one arm, and other energy-quals from other places- while opening-closing the joints.. ala CirclingHands (with the 4Es)…



    Thanks for the discussion on opening and closing.
    I will give my ideas of what Bruce is trying to teach and on why I asked the question about not just do opening or closing alone.
    The course introduction stated clearly the importance of this aspect of the qigong and its usefulness as a component of qi that cannot be ignored whether for lower qi manifestation or for working on the higher aspect of qigong. Opening and closing is the most obvious qigong aspect and hence should be the easier component to master. It being qi, we can expect the manifestation of this capability to yield max energy benefit.
    For this reason, Bruce zero in on opening and closing and create the best and easiest way for a beginner to know what is opening and closing, which is the same as to know what is Qigong and the to be able to exercise and control his qi. Compared to what is available in the qigong world, what he is teaching is like finding a shortcut for a beginner to enter into the world of advanced qigong. No qigong master has taught this way before. Because a master who takes 10 to 20 years to master the in and out of qigong is not going to create a shortcut and let a beginner learn it in 1-2 years. World circumstances has changed.
    The gist of the exercise is 1). all the bone joints are important qi energy centre and when energy expands or open the joint will visible open. 2) Seeing and feeling the joint open and close is an introduction to experiencing qi.3)A crude example of having the ability to do qigong is like learning to play and to know music or finer arts. We need constant practice to raise our consciousness and ability to play the arts, and what is learned is real with pleasure and power. The qi we learn to handle is our life force itself and is also part of our intelligent and consciousness. Some religious sect or school will even teach spiritual practice as if they are dealing with qi.Qigong, as it is practised, is a very narrow aspect of qi as it deals with the physical body only. We still carry our qi even when we leave the physical body, The subject gets out of reach for we are only interested in this physical realm. I must say Bruce try to let us learn something about qi in the meditation class, which is not strictly in qigong or for our physical body. 4)After seeing the joints we learn to move qi. We can do it because the mind is the master and qi will follow what we want to do. For the mind to be truly a master of itself it must learn to be calm and still, possessing the habit of focus and concentration which is not tension as we will quickly assume. A free mind is more like a mind not attached or distracted and can zero in and experience whatever is at hand. What happens with our mind at present is that we are distracted by all the things that we learn while growing up, not unlike our brain being programmed with a lifetime of knowledge but is clueless as to our own energy self. Bruce will say, keep your mind on the exercise and keep repeating the action a hundred time every day and a time will come when we will know when we get it. There is nothing mysterious in the method, it just involves paying attention and keep trying until our mind gets it.5)After we can experience qi in one joint (the hand is the easiest to start with) then it will be relatively easy to go and work on the next joint, the same mind and qi is there and it is just a difference in locations (although some location are dead to our conscious mind for so long that it might be a problem). The most interesting jointcavity is the dantien, actually, it is not fit to call it a cavity as it is the control center of all the physical aspect of qi in the body. Bruce mentions about opening and closing the dantien in the introduction. There is a small group of practitioner (not inclined to martial art or physical exercise) who just concentrate on their dantien for 1-2 hours every day for health as their qigong exercise. The dantien is known as a cure all for all body illness.All the higher qi practice will end up doing something with the dantien. Interestingly a lot of qigong and taichi master in China will rather avoid talking about qigong or qi. They are afraid of getting into trouble with the communist ideology. They have gone through a revolution when they throw away everything in their school and university around the 1970s!
    I have gone off course for too long. It is just my personal ideas,and I think it is good to think of the exercise that we are going to do. At least it might not be so boring or lonely just to know that others are also working hard at it.
    I find the Egates cloud hand instruction hard to follow because I am doing too fast and my mind was just doing up,up or open, open all the time. Since then I have slowed down and stick to instruction, which must be the best thing. Imagine going at a fast rate, it is like aerobic exercise and it is no more qigong. It becomes an exercise to build stamina or to build muscle and it involves spending energy. Think about it, when we grow old there will come a time when our energy is limited and our cell is not growing fast enough and we will have trouble to cope with any deteriorating health. Qigong becomes the only sensible exercise.
    I am doing all the energy arts qigong sets and some of the movement called into question whether to open or close in terms of rhythms and also sometimes in regards to the posture.Generally, I do what is already know or else I will do what feels natural. I must say that it will take some experience and a lot of observation to have the confidence to try and do something by ourselves and not just going through the formwork. The formwork is like an empty shell with no life inside. I decided that so long as we have an opening and closing rhythm and keep to the 70% rules than everything is ok. If we concentrate overly in only opening or closing then our joints will grow numb and it is no good. Opening and closing the joints activates the joints and builds up qi there and prevent joints problems, not to mention that the joint qi is actually a reservoir of energy for the surrounding body areas.

    All the best.

    i fi

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