[nei gong, nei gung]

Also known as nei gong or nei kung. Internal power. The original chi cultivation (chi gung) system in China invented by the Taoists. The Taoist nei gung system forms the basis for the internal martial arts of ba gua chang, tai chi chuan, and hsing-i chuan. The full range of nei gung is made up of 16 components. Each component forms a segment of a circle and each is organically connected to the rest. The order listed below is not fixed and linear, only descriptive.

As it is impossible to state the precise beginning or end of a circle, so the 16 components also have neither beginnings nor end points. Each catalyzes and influences the other as they flow in and out of each other. As such, every time you revisit any one or more of the 16 components, it becomes possible to go to a deeper, more fulfilling and beneficial level. These involve: Breathing methods, from the simple to the complex are taught. The goal is to coordinate the expansions and contractions of the belly with every anatomical part and energetic function within your body and external aura. Moving chi along the general direction of the various ascending, descending and lateral connecting channels within the body. The whole process includes methods to help you feel your chi so that you can move it smoothly in the general direction to where it will work most efficiently. Part of this is concerned with how to transform or dissolve and release the various kinds of energy that flows within specified channels. Moving chi in specific ways through all the main and secondary acupuncture channels, energy gates and points, as well as the multitude of tiny interconnecting channels that cause specific functions to occur. Precise body alignments prevent the flow of chi from being either blocked or dissipated. Dissolving, releasing and resolving all blockages of the physical, emotional and spiritual sides of oneself. Bending and stretching the body’s soft tissues in a general direction from the inside out and the outside in and along the yin and yang acupuncture channels. Opening and closing methods (pulsing). Opening means to expand, grow larger or flow outward and emanate like a sun. Closing means to condense and get smaller in an inward direction, like the gravity flow of a black hole. Closing carries no connotation of tension, contraction or force in the movement, only continuous inward flow toward a point of origination. Opening and closing actions can occur within any of the body’s soft or hard tissues as well as anywhere within the body’s subtle energy anatomy (channels, points, aura, etc.). Working with the energies of the external aura to connect the body with mental states; and make connections between the body, the aura and the rest of the psychic and spiritual energies that exist within the universe. Amplifying the circles and spirals of energy inside the body that have been dormant and amplifying and controlling the flow of the currents that are already operating well. Learning to move chi to any part of the body at will (especially to the internal organs, glands and spots within the brain and spinal cord). This includes absorbing or projecting chi from all body parts at will. Awakening and controlling all the energies of the spine and what they connect to. This includes the vertebrae, cerebrospinal fluid, brain, spinal cord and all the nerves within the body. Awakening and using the body’s left and right energy channels. Awakening and using the body’s central energy channel, which controls all the others. Developing the capacities and all the uses of the body’s lower tantien, the main energetic center that directly affects all physical functions, one's sense of fear, insecurity and death and one's sense of being stable and grounded. Developing the capacities and all the uses of the middle and upper tantien, and the higher human spiritual centers. The middle tantien (heart center) governs all relationships. It is intimately tied to all our most subtle emotions and intuitions and is considered the source of consciousness within the body. The upper tantien, located within the brain, is critical to longevity because of its ability to activate the pituitary and pineal glands (master glands). It is also responsible for well-functioning thought processes and psychic capacities. Integrating and connecting each of the previous 15 components into one unified energy. Permanent integration is different from a temporary buzz or having a lot of energy that generates strong experiences but ultimately goes nowhere. If number 16 is lacking, it is difficult to absorb and integrate the good qualities of the other 15 in a stable and comfortable manner that allows the practitioner to use them effortlessly to maximum effect—such as while resting or sleeping.

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