WHAT IS QIGONG?
Qigong means ‘Energy Work’ in Chinese, and this refers to methods of working directly with the life-energy that flows through your body, at various levels, to clear blockages, balance your energetic system, and enhance your vitality and clarity.
There are several different traditions of Qigong that have been passed down to us over the centuries: Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, Medical, and Martial being the main categories. Each have their particular emphasis, but all share a basic methodology of using movement, breath, mental intent, and specific postures to connect and work with your life-energy or Qi.
People often ask about the difference between Qigong and Yoga. The full answer is quite involved, but one of the principle differences is that Qigong is usually less ‘physical’ than Yoga; it tends to focus more directly on working with one’s Qi energy and less on sometimes difficult body postures that ideally require a lot of flexibility. Other than this, there are in general some distinct differences in the energetics of Yoga and those of Qigong, and the methodology used to achieve its goals. Yoga is a wonderful discipline, and brings many benefits - however many Yoga practitioners find over time that Qigong becomes an excellent complement to their practice, helping soften any tension that arises in the Yoga practice, and helping to connect them more deeply to their Internal Energy.
With decades of experience teaching Energy Work to a wide variety of individuals of many different backgrounds, Andrew has established a comprehensive and systematic program he calls Wisdom Qigong for learning authentic and powerful Energy Work (Qigong) as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Rather than focus only on individual Qigong sets, Andrew focuses on the core principles that underly authentic Energy Work of the ancient Taoist Wisdom Tradition of Lao Tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching) and his ancestors. This is sometimes referred to as the 'Water' tradition of Taoism (as contrasts with later, Neo-Taoist 'Fire' methods).
These Taoist Qigong methods are more properly known as Neigong. Nei means ‘Inner’ in Chinese, and Gong (actually pronounced ‘gung’) means ‘Work’. So ‘Inner Work’, as opposed to the generic term Qigong, which simply means ‘Energy Work’. The reason for this difference in terminology is that the ancient Taoist forms of Qigong have a focus on the deepest energy channels and structures of the body, as well as the hidden inner aspects of the spirit.
Taoist Qigong/Neigong is the engine inside the famous martial and health/spiritual art of Tai Chi. It is said that without Taoist Neigong, Tai Chi is simply a ‘nice dance’ or ‘waving your arms in the air’. Taoist Qigong is also the foundation of the lesser known Taoist Internal Martial Arts of Hsing-I Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang.
Andrew has drawn techniques from a wide range of Taoist QiGong sets, as well as the Taoist Internal Martial Arts of Tai Chi, Hsing-I, and Ba Gua. Additional input from the Energy Work of other Wisdom Traditions is included where it aids understanding or helps develop ability.
However, for those specifically interested in the Taoist Inner Arts, Wisdom Energy Work is 100% true to the principles of the ancient Taoist Water Tradition, including the Taoist Neigong principles. In Andrew’s experience it is the most comprehensive, useful and powerful system of Energy Work available to us as an intact body of knowledge and living transmission. The approach to learning it can change and develop, but the principles are based on the true nature of your being, and are therefore immutable.
Andrew believes the 'Water' approach of Ancient Taoist Energy Work suits the challenges we face in stressful modern living better than some of the more 'Fire' approaches of other traditions. This is because there is a fundamental emphasis on Release, Naturalness, Freedom, Tranquility, and Self-acceptance. With Taoist Neigong one never seeks power. True power comes from openness, flow, and being Unbound. Only then can your true potential manifest. The 'Water' method of Ancient Taoist Energy Work inherently enhances your spiritual development as you achieve progressively greater freedom from your tensions, at all levels of your being starting with your physical Body and your Qi Energy, and then your Mind.
In Taoist Energy Work what matters above all else are principles - understanding and embodying the key principles that help you to become Unbound, Natural, and Free. When these principles are integrated at increasing deeper levels of your being, then almost any form of movement can become powerful Energy Work, and the true benefits of QiGong can be attained.
WISDOM QIGONG LEARNING MODULES
Andrew teaches Wisdom Qigong in three principal modules or levels, with a fourth to help experienced students develop further. Each level provides the foundation for the next level and greatly accelerates the learning process. Please note that prior experience in other forms of Qigong, while it may be helpful, does not change the need to start with Level 1 - Taoist Neigong principles are not present in most other Qigong systems.
LEVEL 1 Open to all - no prior experience required
The aim of Level 1 is to not only introduce you to Qigong but to quickly awaken your ability to harmonize and develop your Qi energy as well as create a solid foundation for further progress.
The skills learned in Level 1 in themselves form a fundamental and powerful system of Energy Work.
Tangible benefits of Level 1 can include a calmer mind and nervous system, the healing of musculoskeletal problems, healing of a wide variety of internal health issues, better sleep, greater vitality, and a profound sense of ease and comfort in one's own body.
In Level 1 of Wisdom Qigong you will learn to:
Awaken your awareness of your Energy
Align your body for optimum Qi flows
Develop your knowledge of the core pathways for Qi within your body
Settle your Qi energy
Initiate Taoist Breathing
Reintegrate your body
Pulse your energy
Spiral your energy
Circulate Qi internally and externally
Relax your nervous system
LEVEL 2 level 1 required prior
The aim of Level 2 is to build on the core skills developed in Level 1and ignite rapid progress in your Wisdom Qigong journey. Level 2 gives you the knowledge and the tools to work on the deepest aspects of the connection between your physical body and your Qi energy.
It also introduces powerful techniques to start developing a direct connection between your Mind and your Qi, transcending the physical. In Level 2 you begin to enter the profound meditational aspects of Wisdom Energy Work.
Practical benefits of Level 2 include dramatically enhanced energetic power, a more relaxed and flexible body, fast and fluid movement, reintegration of Body, Energy and Mind, spinal and joint release at a deep level, and enhanced healing of physical conditions.
Additionally, Level 2 starts you on the path to integration with Change as a universal principle - you will learn to powerfully unblock stuck physical, energetic, and mental-emotional patterns, freeing up your potential at all levels of your being while allowing even long-standing health and mental-emotional issues to dissolve away.
All the skills learned in Level 1 are further developed in Level 2, as there is an every-deepening circle of progression - learning is not in reality linear, but an every deepening and expanding circle.
In Level 2 of Wisdom Qigong you will learn to:
Develop your mind-qi connection
Guide your Qi
Sink your Qi into the Earth
Pulse the structures and joints of your body
Integrate pulsing and spiralling
Unify Body, Energy and Mind
Walk the Wisdom Circle
Gather Cosmic Energy
Awaken Internal Power
Unbind the Qi
LEVEL 3 levelS 1 & 2 required prior
Level 3 builds on the skills learned and developed in Levels 1 and 2, but takes them to a whole new level. You will learn to use Wisdom Qigong as an incredibly powerful system of meditation and spiritual development, and forge a profound connection between your Awareness and your Mind, Energy and Body. You will begin to dissolve the barriers between Body, Energy, Mind, and your Spirit or pure Awareness, as well as the distinction between what is internal and external to your being. Your sense of effort and sense of self is released into a space of effortless flow and presence as you follow the natural changes of energy in the space within and around you.
You begin to truly understand the meaning of Wu Wei or ‘Effortless Action’, as you start to become one with the flows and manifestation of the universe of which you are an integral part.
In the process; your ability to work with your Energy, your internal power, and your ability to self-heal dramatically increase.
In Level 3 of Wisdom Qigong you will learn to:
Meditate in movement
Modulate your Mind and Energy
Breathe with your whole being
Follow your Qi
Develop Dragon Body
Open your Awareness
Unbind the Mind
Practice Wu Wei
QI MASTERY - Levels 1, 2, and 3 required prior
At the Qi Mastery level you will be given specific practices to greatly enhance your development, remedy any gaps or defects in your practice, and focus on the specific areas that you wish to develop - whether they be healing ability, vitality, longevity, physical power and speed, mental and emotional clarity, or spiritual development.
At this level your path naturally becomes less systematic and more spontaneous and individualised. Andrew will help you develop your awareness of and confidence in your own inner teacher - your innate Wisdom.
The balance between Method and Wisdom will be explored, and Andrew will give you personal guidance with regard to which practices you should be emphasising.
The Qi Mastery level has no set program as it fits with the needs and abilities of the individual participants. Practices are taught and transmitted at this level that absolutely require the preparation of the first three levels.
It is strongly recommended (but not required) that students take the Wisdom Meditation modules before beginning Qi Mastery.
TEACHER TRAINING - Levels 1, 2, 3, Qi Mastery,WISDOM MEDITATION, WISDOM LIVING, AND WISDOM HEALING ARE REQUIRED PRIOR. By invitation only.
The goal of the Teacher Training programme is, over time, to certify a small number of individuals to teach Levels 1, 2 and 3 of Wisdom Energy Work.
Participants have to demonstrate a concrete ability to perform the principles embodied in these levels, a comprehensive understanding of the system as a whole, and the ability to teach it to others.
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