Archive for 100 day discipline

Master List of Articles

Here is a List of the Principle Articles and Videos on this Qigong Website

Note: These listed articles come from the Blog section of this website. There is also a section of Pages, which contains much information as well. The links to the Pages can be found to the right on any page.

Fun with Qigong Homepage

How to use this site.

Welcome to Fun with Qigong

My first post.

Introduction to Qigong

A video explaining the basics of Qigong.

A Simple Explanation of Qigong

What exactly is Qigong?

Audio Interview

A 55 minute overview of Qigong, along with a sample of the Six Healing Sounds.

The First Principle of Qigong

Practice. Preferably daily.

My First DVD: Fun with Qigong

A video guide to learning the gentle, powerful, principle-based Qigong set called The Five Flows.

Moderation and Fasting

All endeavors seeking health should not be excessive. Excess kills. Moderation heals.

Healing the Heart

Simple approaches to heart health.

Reducing High Blood Pressure

Video detailing some Qigong ideas for lowering pressure.

Breast Health

Exercises and resources from a non-invasive, vitalistic, self-empowering approach. Every woman should learn about these methods.

Inexpensive Acupuncture

Social justice through heartful needles.

Sudden Inhalation Syndrome

Shock breathing is normal but not natural. Learn how to breathe with ease.

Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Decrease pain with Qigong.

Simple Taiji Video

An introductory form to practice the principles and basic movements of Taiji (Tai chi).

Insomnia

Insomnia Article

Thoughts and exercises for working on that night-stealer insomnia.

Insomnia Video 1

Overview of Qigong exercises for overcoming insomnia.

Insomnia Video 2

Charge the Kidneys and connect the Kidneys to the Lower Dantian.

Insomnia Video 3

Warm the feet.

Insomnia Video 4

Draw Qi from the Lower Dantian to the feet. 

Front-loading Qigong

Practice extra amounts of Qigong before travel, expected stressful events, or busy times to come.

Hot Hands of Qi

Qigong will warm and balance your hands.

Qigong and Warm Hands: Part 1

A second class with the heat camera shows some fascinating photos.

Relax Your Shoulders, Descend Your Qi

Sink your Qi to relax your being.

Qigong and the Upside Down Snowman

Get out of your head and center in the lower abdomen. Health and joy await you. Let go of tension and sink your Qi to feel much, much better. [with a video]

You Can Cure Hot Flashes

Make hot flashes a thing of the past with this simple, powerful technique. [with a video]

Qigong, Vitality and “Limitations”

Work within your limits, but don’t let them define you.

Four-Part Protection Process

A Meditation and Medical Qigong Method for staying sane and clear in an insane world.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 1

The overview video of the “Old Man…” exercise.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 2

The second video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Lungs and sadness.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 3

The third video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Open the heart and release armoring.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 4

The fourth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Clear worry, excess emotions, and anger from the middle burner.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 5

The fifth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Putting it all together.

Three Types of Qigong Practice: Singles, Sets, and Sequences

Three ways you might practice: Focused, expanded, or sophisticated ways.

Qigong Sets

Understanding what Qigong sets are and how to utilize them.

Qigong Sequences

Understanding what Qigong forms are and how to utilize them.

Five Flows in a Single Exercise

One exercise can take you through all of the flows, if  you stick with it.

Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

These gentle, immunity-enhancing exercises truly work.

More on Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

Use healing sounds and slow, gentle, movements.

Qigong Strategies for Illness

How, when, and when not to do Qigong when illness is in the picture.

Qigong Workshops

A baker’s dozen of Qigong workshops your group may want to host.

The World-Famous First 64 Form

From Wild Goose Qigong, there is much healing in the intracies of these fun movements.

Reduce Stress with the Super Powerful Method of Belly Breathing

So much of a person’s stress arises from the backward, upside down, unnatural, but entirely common practice of chest breathing.

Pay Attention to Your Feet

With so much heady focus in our world, we lose connection to the whole of our bodies and the sustenance of the earth. Become more whole and balanced by paying attention to your feet as much as to your brain.

Save Yourself from a Lightning Strike

Crouch and survive.

Simplified Exercise Set

Sometimes an entire set is too much.

Open and Move from the Gate of Life

The Gate of Life is so important and so practical and so unknown.

Can Qigong Save America (and the World?)

We desperately need inexpensive, effective healthcare. Qigong is one of the answers to this urgent need.

Slap Yourself Healthy

Gentle tapping methods for wellness.

The Three Intentional Corrections

How to reframe and refocus your experience in the moment with Qigong.

Healing Knee Pain 1

Using the wall sitting exercise.

Healing Knee Pain 2

Success with the wall sitting exercise.

Change Your Life in Two Minutes a Day

Getting a daily Qigong practice started can reward you with big health dividends later on.

Bend Your Knees for Health’s Sake

Bending your knees helps alleviate many chronic pain symptoms.

When in Doubt, Shake

Use the Shaking the Body exercise to release fear, uncertainty, and tension.

Exercise with Ease

Be gentle and moderate with your Qigong to get the most out of it.

Qigong Will Soon Be a Common Sight

“People just have to get used to it.”

Spend a Billion Dollars to Save a Trillion

Qigong could save huge amounts of money, nationally.

Qigong is a Medical Bargain

It is downright cheap. It is gold that takes put pennies on the dollar.

Three Little Words Can Change your Life

The first three principles of Qigong: Practice, Modify, and Refine.

I Healed My Smashed Toe with Qigong

Using the gentleness and gentility of Qigong for giant gains.

Stay Centered or Suffer the Consequences

Multi-tasking leads to injury.

Breathe When You Type

Qigong is cheap medicine, easily accessible.

Train Your Qigong in Calmness

Qigong practice cautions.

The Secret Practice of True Wealth

Invest in Qigong and reap the lifelong rewards.

The Half-Half Rule

At least do some Qigong. You will be happy you did.

The Baby Bowl

Healing babies instead of watching the Superbowl.

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Front-Load Your Qigong

To front-load your Qigong means to do lots of Qigong ahead of time, in the days or weeks before some upcoming need. You may or may not know what this future need is.

Prepare for Anything

There are two ideas here: Prepare for the unexpected and the expected. Practice enough Qigong so that you can handle whatever unexpected splats or splashes may come at you in life. Also prepare for anticipated times of busyness.

Pre-Manage Your Qi

In a conversation about this topic the other day, a student of mine reflected that “a challenge is just Qi to be managed.” This makes sense to me. When you can, manage that Qi ahead of time, that is to the good.

Qi in the Courtyard

Stay in places with lots of Qi

Prepare for the Unexpected

Qigong can help you deal with the requirements of life, but sometimes life asks much of you. It makes sense to front-load your Qigong: Do more than you usually do so you have plenty of energy for those busier or boggier times that sometimes descend upon you. Front-load your Qigong so you can deal with the stress and activities of your life with strength. If strained, busy or traumatic times come into your life, it is difficult then to step back and do a bunch of Qigong. When heavy events and hefty emotions take up your time and energy and focus, it is best to have a full reserve of Qi—a full tank. But if your tank is empty, strong responses are harder to come by.

Prepare for the Expected

You can plan ahead also. If a big project, busy time, or problem looms in the near future—step up your Qigong practice in advance.

Front-Load Before Traveling

Recently I front-loaded some Qigong before a trip. I was on my way to Florida—an all-day long air journey from Washington State. I didn’t know if I would be able to complete a Qigong practice that I am trying to do every day for a while. Besides various other Qigong, Taiji and Xin Yi exercises I tend to do, I was in the midst of a 100-day practice of three Wild Goose Qigong sequences (Bagua Palms, Soft Palms, and The Second 64.) 100-day practices are a great method for deepening the understanding and ability of the chosen form or exercise, and a good way to ensure the benefits are accrued.

Space Enough, Time, and Courage

These Wild Goose Sequences—especially the long form known as the Second 64—take considerable space to perform. I didn’t know how easy it would be to run through them as I would mostly be in cars, airports and airplanes on the travel day. Maybe I’m a little chicken about practicing such involved, unusual moves in public airport spaces.

A Special Rule

Wanting to continue my 100-days in a row process, I made a new rule for myself: If I could go through my required sequences four additional times the day before the trip, my daily string of success still held. The extra reps would catapult me past the inactive day. Or, to use another metaphor, the one plus four repetitions would be a bridge of Qi that connected the practice days. Or perhaps more of a running jump over a chasm to land on the feet, and keep walking.

Two plus Two is Too Much

I read once that at one point in his life, the famous Aikido master Koichi Tohei disciplined himself to two hours of breathing practice everyday. If he missed a day, he made all of it up the next day, doing four hours of breathing. This is a great idea if you can make it happen.

Front-Load Before Meetings

I once met a British Columbia man at a Qigong retreat who had a business harvesting shellfish. He said that fairly frequently he had stress-inducing meetings with suppliers, governmental authorities, fellow fishermen, and customers. He found that by practicing Qigong breathing practices on the way to these meetings he was able to get through these verbal sparring matches still relaxed.

Three Hours Reading, “Everyday”

Chiropractor and success teacher John Demartini’s most important daily practice is to read non-fiction books for three hours. Sometimes on an especially busy day he doesn’t get his 3 hours in. He finds time for catching up on his requisite reading later, such as when air-traveling. Airports and airplanes are ideal opportunities for reading.

Catching Up Adds Up

These are examples of catching up that display great commitment and discipline. I haven’t had much success with catching up on dropped tasks or late projects. That is one reason I like to get more Qigong done ahead of time.

Always Overestimate Travel Time

My travel time to Florida was longer than expected. One of the flights I was on was delayed one and half hours because of an electrical problem. The heater in one of the cargo bays would not work, which meant that the two pets sitting in that compartment would have gotten very, very cold at 30,000 feet. While that problem was worked out, I read and studied the workbook of the seminar I was going to (I was repeating it.) I touched down in West Palm Beach later than I had anticipated.

A Long Day and a Successful One

After a long day that began at 3:20 a.m.—and the disorientation of settling into a new locale—I could have done my 100-day Qigong practice. I could have found a flat, open space to practice in. But it was dark now, and dinner beckoned. I didn’t know my way around. The little motel area I was staying in didn’t appear to have a big enough area to practice these forms in. I was satisfied though. I felt at ease about it because I had front-loaded the day before. I had managed some breathing and stretching along the airways and planned to get back on track the next day with my full practice . Which I did.

Progress, Not Perfection

Qigong is not about perfection, for there is always more to work on, play with, go for. Qigong is about the process. Progress is made in health and life clarity by engaging in the process in a regular, and (I believe) gentle, disciplined practice. By my special-case front-load rules, I am still making progress on this particular 100-day practice configuration. If I don’t miss any more days, I complete it on June 30. I’m already thinking about and getting excited about what my next 100-day focus will be. Maybe the complex sequence Plum Blossom Stepping.

The path of Qi

The Last Day

Incidentally, on the last evening and morning of my trip there was a magnificent thunderstorm. The skies poured and poured–as they will in some tropical places. I was not able, in this terrific downpour, to go outside and practice in the park on the last morning.

So I moved all of the furniture our of the apartment living room to create enough space to get my Wild Goose Qigong discipline in. The glass table was an especially heavy and awkward piece of furniture. It took some clever manipulating to transport without scratching the floor. With the space open, I managed to get my practice done; though it took some scrunching of steps and intermediate shifting of positioning within the Second 64 form.  

A Note on Terminology

The term “front-load” doesn’t seem to be listed as recognized term in any discipline but finance, but I like it for this Qigong usage. “Preload” is a more widespread term, with a wide variety of meanings, including to stretch the heart’s ventricle, to drink booze before going out to drink more booze, and to have already included software in some gizmo. Since I was calming my heart down, doing it soberly, and performing naturally, “pre-load” didn’t fit.

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100 Day Discipline

There is a famous (in China) Wild Goose Qigong form called the First 64. It takes 5 to 6 minutes to go through this long form-not much time out of any given day. I wanted to practice it everyday to deepen my connection to it, memorize it my muscles and bones, and refine my performance of it. I also wanted the benefits that comes with practicing it- the flexibility, back strength, thigh strength, energization, etc., etc.

Commit to Qigong

I decided to commit to a daily practice for 100 days. This is called a 100-day discipline. It is astonishing how difficult it can be to just do something everyday. 6 minutes, all I needed. I practiced other Qigong during this time, and much Taiji; but I really wanted to get that 100 days in on that specific form. Below is my struggle to attain a crumb self-mastery.

Attempt 1: I began my 100 day discipline with The First 64 on January 21, 2009. I lasted five days before I forgot to do it on the sixth day.

Attempt 2: I started again. This time I made 31 days in a row, but then was sick one day. Maybe I should have been doing more Qigong to prevent the short illness.

Attempt 3: I assayed another attempt beginning on February 28. I got 31 days in a row again, then forgot to practice the form on the 32nd day. Damn!

Attempt 4: Alright, mistakes happen. I started over. I made 27 days this time before I sashayed away.

Attempt 5: For my next attempt, beginning on April 1 of 2009, I made it 39 days before the memory gremlin averted my focus on the goal. Thirty-nine, that’s good, but kind of lame too.

Attempt 6: June 12 to 13. 2 days. Kind of lost my oomph.

It’s not like I’m trying to climb Annapurna or something. It’s just a little form. A toy mountain.

My Haplessness Continued

Attempt 7: June 15. 1 day. Really lost my oomph. Maybe it is an Everest.

Attempt 8: June 17 to 19. 3 days. I’m starting to think I’m pathetic.

Attempt 9: June 22. to July 8. 17 Days. A little better.

Attempt 10: July 10 to 26. 17 days again.

Attempt 11: July 28-30.  3 days.

I’m not Robert the Bruce making 7 attempts to free Scotland.
At this point I said to hell with it. I practiced the form now and then in August and early September but I didn’t keep track of it or try for any records.

One More Try

I was looking at the calendar one day and realized that if I started anew, refreshed and with renewed intent, I could finish by Christmas (December 25.)

Attempt 12: Sept 14 to Dec 22. 100 days. Yeah!

I am a dedicated Qigong person and this was a tough battle, the battle of competing habits. I am sure that anyone reading this could do a better job that I did, and get their 100 days in with a lot fewer than 12 tries.

Renewing the Habit

Well, I could do better. On January 1, 2009 I decided to begin a new 100 day discipline. This time it would be two forms every day: “First 64” and one called “Spiral.” Today, I completed my 100 day discipline of this coupled practice. I had no false starts, being able to remember to practice and actually practicing both forms each day.

I found they were more in my consciousness in each day. It was easier to remember if I got the practice in yet. On a few days I didn’t really feel like doing the forms, but did anyway for the sake of my 100-day discipline, for my bid for perfect attendance upon this health-building practice. One day I had to practice gingerly, as my left toe had just suffered a smashing.

And Onward

I got each practice in and I’m already 33 days into my next 100 days. I started performing the Second 64 each day after getting some refinement coaching from Paul Li on March 9. I’ve been practicing each of these forms three forms daily since then.

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Change Your Life in 2 minutes a Day

Yesterday, in the “8-Pulling Waist” Qigong workshop, the topic of practicing came up. It almost always does come up, and should. Qigong, for all it’s barrels-full of benefits, isn’t much good to you if you don’t practice. Over and over I have heard from students how difficult it is for them to keep up a practice, despite their initial enthusiasms.

Practice is the First Principle

The first principle of qigong, as I see it, is to practice. More fully, the principle is: practice everyday. Doing some Qigong isn’t so tough; it’s getting into that daily habit that is hard.

Anybody Could Do This

The form we practiced yesterday takes 2 minutes to do. It took four hours to learn, for there are some intricate moves and internal understanding to teach. But going through it once takes 1/720th of a day to do. Anybody could commit to 2 minutes a day. Do this everyday for 100 days and you’ve made steps toward real accomplishment.

Start Small

If you have been unsuccessful as getting a practice going, it means you are trying to do too much for your current level of self-discipline. Start smaller. Here’s what you do: Take a short form or one exercise and just do that everyday. Write reminders to yourself. Mark it on your calendar every time you get that one practice in. You can always do more on any given day; but at least do that little amount.

As little as 200 Minutes to Start

That little daily practice will have some health effect on you, for it is Qigong. It will have a bigger effect psychologically. Once you have done something for 100 days in a row (taking 200 minutes total), it is much easier to practice something else, something more involved, for another 100 days. Maybe this time you do the short form 3 times or do a whole set of Qigong exercises.

Grow Your Practice

By building a daily habit, it will be easier to grow into more time with Qigong. For most people 20 or 30 minutes everyday is a good goal to eventually reach.

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“People just have to get used to it.”

Wild Goose and the Biker

When I was performing the Wild Goose Qigong practice last Sunday, I did it on a former logging road that is now used as a hiking, horseback riding and biking trail. Sure enough, a bicyclist on his mountain bike came riding by when I was in the middle of “The First 64”. Many internal arts exercise can look strange to the average American. I try to avoid doing these type of forms in public places. I don’t do them to show off to strangers, I do them because they are such effective ways to health and happiness. I guess I’m a little shy. (But showing off to friends or students is okay.) In the cities of China, you find the parks full of people doing odd-looking movement practices outside. Not yet in America.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Since it is important to be aware of your surroundings as you practice, I kept an eye on the bicyclist who rode by me as I was practicing the form. He looked straight ahead, avoiding looking at me. Maybe I should have stopped my practice to deal with this little distraction, but I wanted to get it done and this was my opportunity. He road past me, continuing on his exercise: I continued my form to completion.

Get Used to It

I jokingly mentioned this small incident to one of my students. She said something true: “People just have to get used to it.”

Promoting Qigong

She’s right. This is a one of the great ways we can add to our lives, and a way increasingly important in the over-stimulating cacophony of the modern, electro-chemical-financial world that is the technoculture we live in. We as a culture–and as individuals–need Qigong and similar internal-energy building practices. Many people are going to be doing these types of exercises. It is a necessary step in preserving health and wealth. I hope soon we will be seeing such exercises being performed all over the place. It will be a common sight; expected, understood and accepted.

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