The Art of Feeling Chi: Mind, Body, and Life Energy

by | Sep 16, 2010 | Qigong, Qigong Tui Na

By Senior Instructor Bill Ryan

Many people have trouble feeling their bodies.

Many people have trouble feeling their chi, or what I call “life energy.”

Why? There can be many reasons. But one common reason is that many people don’t slow their minds down when they try to feel.

Your physical body and your life energy are forms of energy. Modern physics has proven your physical body to be so. As physicists have delved deeper and deeper into the fundamental nature of physical matter, they have found not solid particles, but waves of energy.

As for your life energy – your chi, your prana, your ki, the energy which enables your body to perform its basic functions, the energy that is the prime focus of Chinese medicine – mainstream scientists have yet to accept its existence. But in everyday life its existence is not questioned. Who cannot answer accurately the question we ask ourselves everyday, how much energy do I have today?

Your mind also is a form of energy. In our everyday language we acknowledge this by describing our minds in energetic terms. For example, we say things like the following. Sue has a quick mind. Just focus your mind on the problem at hand. He directed his attention toward me. John is such a clear thinker.

To feel your body or life energy, you must use your mind. The part of your mind that you use is what we call your “feeling awareness.”

The problem is that the energy of your mind moves very fast. You can move your mind across the room incredibly quickly. You can look at and think about one corner of the room and then in an instant jump your mind across the room and think about the other corner.

You can’t move your physical body across the room so quickly. You can move your life energy more quickly than your body, but not nearly as fast as your mind.

So if you want to feel your body or life energy, you have to slow your mind down to the speed of your body or life energy. Think of your mind as vibrating at a very high frequency, and your life energy as vibrating at a much lower frequency. In turn, your physical body vibrates even more slowly. For your mind to feel or resonate with these lower frequencies, you have to slow it down and tune in.

For most of us, it’s easier to feel our body or life energy if we are not moving, either physically, energetically, or mentally. The stiller our bodies are and our minds become, the more likely we’ll be able to feel.

When we are moving, it’s a little trickier, because it’s so easy to move our minds ahead of our bodies. We often first think of where we want our bodies or parts of our bodies to be, and then hope that our bodies arrive. When they do, our minds often are still one step ahead, on to the next thing.

To better feel your body or your life energy when you move, instead of “getting ahead of yourself,” as the phrase goes, try letting your body lead and your mind follow. Or try letting your mind “ride” on your body.

Try this simple exercise. Hold your palm in front of your face. Try to feel everything that you can in your palm and fingers, including any life energy you feel in them. Wiggle your fingers if that helps. Now turn your hand very slowly until that your palm faces away from you. Try not to think about where your hand is going; just feel. Let your mind move at the speed that your hand moves. Notice whether you are able to feel more than you usually would doing such a movement.

Try applying this approach to other ways that you move, whether it’s when you walk, stand up, practice exercises, or whatever. Slow your mind down and “occupy” your body and your life energy.




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