Category Archives: Chi/Prana

Everything to do with Chi and Prana cultivation, Qigong, Tai Chi and the Mind

Understanding Chi and its Relationship to the Mind

By Jace Lee


It seems there is a real lack of a true understanding of Chi and what it actually is. There is the general description that everyone touts, that it is a spiritual energy in all things. But it is much more. I think that because Chi has a programming about it that promotes growth and healing it can be used and cultivated passively. By just hold a certain state of mind while healing someone or while practicing a movement, Chi seems to promote wellness.

Cultivating and using Chi directly seems to be lost knowledge. Fourteen years ago, I discovered I could move Chi and have been practicing it as well as experimenting and exploring it as well. I did this while abstaining from any outside influence and have recently been exploring where Chi is at in the world. I am surprised to see that how I understand Chi is not that different, it is just that my experience of it is a more intimate. See for yourself.

Understanding Chi is one thing, communicating it is another. It is a tough concept to put into words. I have thought long and hard about it, and with every practice it becomes clearer. Below is an excerpt from my book Qiyoda, I try to give as detailed a description as possible. It is hard to talk about it without showing you how to feel and move it. You can see that in the video on my website home page,

“So far in my experience, I find there are three types of Chi. There is the Chi that runs your body. If you had no brain or were brain dead and your body remained alive, that is your life sustaining Chi. Then there is the Chi that you will learn to feel and use, I call this mind energy. I call it this because it gives a clearer idea of what it is but I will still refer to it as Chi. And then there is the Chi that is related to sexual creative energy that has an emotional texture to it, this is a deeper more powerful spiritual energy. This Chi comes from practice; strength training, strengthening the will and opening the body (physically and energetically) through spiritual and creative practices and meditation. I would consider this more as a “life force” energy than mind energy. I like to use this description because it feels powerful, like a driving force. I will talk more about this at the end of the chapter.

Mind Energy. For the moment it makes sense to call it that. When I feel an area of my body and then move that awareness around my body it feels and acts like an energy.  When I take that awareness and shape it or spin it or move it fast, I feel the difference and it feels like energy. What I think and imagine in my body, I feel. Therefore, I concluded that these sensations are Chi and that Chi is linked to the mind. I would not say it is mind, although it can be seen that way, because Chi has other aspects of its own. I see Chi as an interface between mind and body. It is a way for the mind to move awareness around the body and affect the body. This simple ability that we have to feel and use the body has so much potential that lay hidden behind the obvious all these years.

What Chi arts today don’t realize is that if we feel sensations of Chi through our nervous system and our mind moves Chi, then the sensations we feel at any time must also be Chi. Also, if Chi is affected by the mind and moved by mind and we all have Chi, then it is safe to say that our thoughts are affecting our Chi all the time. Which in turn is affecting our body. This is an extremely important concept to note. I really can’t emphasize it enough. The mind is the root of our life. Our thoughts not only affect our body, they create our actions, create other’s perception of ourselves and affects our decisions. This is why mind-body arts are so effective, they are cultivating a relaxed and focused mind and then putting their attention on their body. In effect the body follows the mind. There is more to a mind-body practice than this, but this is the main reason that mind-body practices today are so effective. Now if they understood the purpose of a mind-body practice, as a preparatory art, and how to cultivate the mind-body connection, they could be even more effective.

The strangest aspect of mind energy Chi is that it is not bound by the physical parameters of the body. It can be pushed into another person’s body with visible physical results that can be physically experienced by the receiver. It can also be projected at a distance, with the same results. This aspect of the Chi falls into the category of intuition, psychic sense and energy work. This develops naturally as a person strengthens their skill and sensitivity of Chi. It can also be projected out to gain a sense of our environment and the people in it. Which we do all the time. We see it when looking at someone and they feel it and look back at us. Like the saying goes, “Where the mind goes, Chi goes.” And what is on your mind, goes with it. Reiki is an example of an energy art that teaches people how to use energy for psychic distance healing.”

There you have it, there are actually a few different expressions of energy (Chi). Both the mind energy and the “life-force” Chi are moved by the mind. Mind-energy is simple, when you are feeling your body and not just what your body is sensing, this is Chi. It takes concentration to feel your body. How many people really try to feel their body? Or go further and feel every muscle to the bone and be able to move each muscle with a thought. We can have such mental control over our bodies and Chi (mind-energy) is how we connect and move the body. Now with this information, people can feel and move Chi right away, and cultivate it directly.

Today move people are taught to imagine the Chi doing something as they practice and eventually you will feel it. This is actually backwards. In my experience I feel the Chi first and as I use it and move it, the visuals of Chi start to come naturally. In my book I describe step by step how to cultivate Chi, use it to heal, release tension, move the body, and how to incorporate it into other arts like massage, Yoga and any movement practice.

How Acupuncture Needles Move Chi and How this May Have Led to the Invention of Acupuncture

By Jace Lee

About 14 years ago I discovered Chi for myself and developed it into a complete system of Chi cultivation and healing; Qiyoda. Doing this has given me insight as to how Chi arts actually function and how they may have been invented and developed. When I speak of Chi cultivation and use, I mean I cultivate and use it directly, like a tool I hold in my hand. In my years of practicing Chi and using it to heal I find that using Chi is extremely effective. I just push Chi into an effected area and tension is released and healing promoted. Since this is so effective, I couldn’t understand the use of needles and how it is that they move Chi.

When I first discovered that I could move Chi, I was practicing a meditation where I was trying to move every muscle in my body with my mind. I noticed that some muscles were hard to feel and I couldn’t move them. So, I used my finger to help bring some sensation to the area and it worked. This made me realize that it is not so much the finger that is doing the healing. It is only providing some sensation so I can get my mind into that area. I told this to my Sensei, who can see energy, and he confirmed it. This means that technically we don’t need to touch to create healing in our body, we just need to get our mind there. Unfortunately, it is not that easy and requires different techniques to aid in this. Techniques like massage, stretching and acupuncture. The main point to highlight here is the fact that the finger was only a way to get the mind/Chi to the area so it can release, relax and restore proper function and the body can heal itself. This is how acupuncture needles move Chi, it is a way for areas and points to get stimulated in a way that brings the patients mind/Chi to that area.

Being that 2,000 years ago people did not understand what modern medicine does today, about what needles do to the body. We can rule this out for reasons why acupuncture was invented. One day I asked my Sensei what the difference is between using a needle and a finger. He said in his deep gravelly voice, “You can put the needle in and walk away, ha ha ha!” It took me awhile to understand this. People only have two hands and can only employ the use of a few fingers at a time and they must be in close proximity. Which might create a need for something that can be used in place of a finger, if more points need to be stimulated at the same time. Or if someone was working on themselves, they could use the needles. Perfectly logical. My question would be, could they use something else that could just stick to the skin to provide the physical sensation? Needles are very invasive.

Some points require the use of a finger for long periods of time. Once I was helping my Sensei with some body work. He had me hold pressure on a single point on his arm for 30 minutes while he did other work in his body. This can get tiring and be time consuming. 2 and 3,000 years ago I don’t think they had many good adhesives that could hold up to gravity for a long time. Oils like mint and menthol could work but would get expensive. People needed something that would stay on and be reusable. Like a needle thin enough not to hurt but still provide the sensation that is needed to bring mind/Chi to that area seems to be the logical choice.

To me this makes sense, especially if a person is very good with using meridians and acupoints. Needles can be useful for areas of the body that are hard to reach or awkward to hold for a long period.  So, instead of having me hold a point for 30 minutes, my Sensei could have used a needle. But I still think the healing Chi of a person is still more powerful. But that is it, super simple and logical. This is probably the only theory out there right now.

When I looked up these questions all I could find is information about what modern medicine has discovered about the body’s response to the needles and information about its history. When it was invented and the possible evidence. There is no information about how it works, other than “moving Chi.” Which no one can really explain. So here is a very good and logical explanation answering both questions. I truly feel that if people understood Chi, acupressure would be more popular and integrated into acupuncture. I don’t understand why Chinese medicine schools teach massage and acupuncture separately but there are no dual programs integrating the two. I am hoping that with the understanding of Chi that Qiyoda offers, this will change.

Solving the Mind-Body Problem and How it Relates to Chi

By Jace Lee

The Mind–Body Problem

M. Rowlands, in Encyclopedia of Consciousness, 2009


Mind-Body Problem – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics  

“The mind–body problem is really two problems. The item problem concerns the nature of mental items: are they or are they not physical? The essence problem concerns the nature of the defining essences of mental phenomena – consciousness and intentionality: can they or can they not be explained in physical terms. With regard to the item problem consensus gradually seems to be coalescing on a combination of (1) mental–physical identity at the level of tokens, (2) mental–physical supervenience at the level of types, where this supervenience is underwritten by (3) a functionalist account of the nature of mental properties.” 

-Another quote from same website-

Philosophical Puzzles Evade Empirical Evidence

I. Sarıhan, in The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain, 2017

Case Two: The Mind-Body Problem

“The mind-body problem is the problem of understanding what the relation between the mind and body is, or more precisely, whether mental phenomena are a subset of physical phenomena or not.”

THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM by: Matthew Van Cleave

Introduction: A pathway through this chapter, Introduction to Philosophy

The mind-body problem – Introduction to Philosophy (

 “the hard problem.” For dualists, the mind-body problem manifests itself as “the interaction problem”—the problem of explaining how nonphysical mental phenomena relate to or interact with physical phenomena, such as brain processes.”

Solving the mind body problem and how it relates to Chi

This mind-body relationship view has long posed a problem for many scholars as it dictates that the mind and the body are separate and not responsible for the other. Thus, the lack of a clearly identifiable meeting point between the intangible mind and the physical body has shown to be challenging to dualism. No longer is this a Challenge.

This is a very plausible solution based on years of research, practice and direct experience. When I think about the mind-body problem it seems to be a matter of the separation of mind and body, the relationship between the two and what is the mind made of if it is not physical. Also, when there is no brain function, the mind does not seem to exist.

In my experience working with the mind to affect my body I find that there is a clear separation of the two. Even though the mind is continuously aware of the whole body, the conscious awareness of it really only falls to a small area of the body. The matter of how integrated the mind is into the body, is a matter of the individual. This can be a natural full integration or it can take work. And when it comes to what the mind is made of, I can only offer the concept of Chi. But what is Chi, exactly? This is where it gets complex because I can only describe my experience of it. I can however get others to experience Chi themselves and to experience my Chi as well.

To give Chi a name that might elicit a better idea of what it is, I would call it mind energy. This is why. When I focus on a part of my body, the size of awareness being the size of my palm, I can feel a difference in awareness from my normal awareness. I call this connected awareness because I feel much more connected to my body, where my mind is focused. In turn that area becomes more responsive to my thoughts. Where this feeling starts to feel like energy is when I move it -the awareness- around my body. Also, when I imagine that feeling moving like water or wind through an arm, I feel what I am imagining. This certainly gives the impression of energy and how energy, in a non-solid form, moves.

The real question; is Chi and mind one thing or are they separate? The Mind-energy problem? This has been the tough question for me. For one, Chi seems to be more than just mind energy. Chi is also in all things living. It has its own program to promote growth, life and healing. One explanation, from Taoism, describes the mind energy as an energy body or Chi body. Technically speaking this makes sense, if this mind energy feels like energy and it is related to my awareness, then it must be in the shape of my body because my body is filled with Chi. But by force of will I can visualize Chi to do any number of things to affect my body and others. Which technically would take it out of the body shape. So therefore, there must be some measure of Chi, or lifeforce energy that remains in the body where the direct awareness is not. Which begs the question, what Chi is mind using to feel the body and manipulate it on a physical level? This is what mind energy is. It is an energy in the body that the mind interacts with directly to affect the body. There are also other forms of Chi that can be cultivated and used. In a way Chi is a general term for spiritual energy because Chi has many aspects. When considering the mind body problem, there is a clear separation between mind and body.

The question still remains, if Chi and mind are separate then what is mind made out of?

In my experience, there is us, the root consciousness, the observer. Then there is the mind, and then there is Chi (mind energy) and the body, which has its own energy. The consciousness can observe the mind and control it. I can have two distinct thought patterns between the two. My mind can be thinking of something and I can also be thinking of something else. But I can only really focus on one or the other. Focusing on two things at once is doable but not easy. Like chanting two different mantras in my head at once. I get one going and then start the other one.

Unfortunately, the mind can also control the observer. But by what means does the consciousness observe the body. We know that we have our senses but we need a way to interact with it and move it. The nervous system. Through chemical and electrical impulses, we can feel and move the body via awareness and however our consciousness desires. These impulses can be voluntarily manipulated because our body is wired to reflect the will of the observer.  

Here is the thing, when we merge mind and observer, this is described as focused and can be classified as meditation. Then when these are merged with the body, not necessarily as a whole, this can be considered the melding of mind, body and spirit. This is the very noticeable feeling I described as connected awareness.

There is the question, if a person is brain dead, there is no evidence of mind. I think of it like this, let’s say you are driving your car. As you are driving the cars computer stops working. Suddenly the car is no longer responsive to the driver’s input. The driver is fine but the car can no longer function. You manage to stop and get out but the car can still keep running because it still has fuel but it won’t shut down because the computer is broken. Since the brain is broken, it can no longer function and the conscious observer’s input no longer works. The scary question is, when the brain can no longer respond to the consciousness, did the observer manage to get out?

This leads to the question, is the mind relegated to only existing in the brain? Spiritual practice and experience say no. In meditation while concentrating on connecting to an area in my body in order to release tension, I had the experience of my mind/awareness moving. Suddenly, as I focused, I felt as if I was much closer to area of my focus. Now, was my mind still inside my head? Technically yes, but it seemed as if I had moved to a realm past the physical. It was kind of like being in a room then turning the lights off, there was no more sensory input to tell me where the walls ended. In the Yoga tradition, meditation is meant to lead to samadhi, this is when observer and observed become one. This can give the experience that the individual’s consciousness has moved into the object or person of their focus. Then there is the matter of out of body experience. I have met a few people with this ability. So, it seems that the conscious observer can move out of the head and out of the body. This certainly raises a couple of questions. Does the mind come with the observer? Or is the mind separate of the observer? Well, we know that when the individual is focused, mind and observer are one, and going out of body takes focus. So, in theory, mind and observer are one. They can become detached in the same manner as people from their body.

I think it boils down to voluntary and involuntary functions of the body. Our bodies can function without the mind. But with the mind these functions can be taken over. This ability that we have to be aware of and control the body is the key. The body is built to respond to the mind and the mind to the observer. I see Chi as a bridge between mind and body, like an interface. Like the saying goes, “mind moves Chi and Chi moves the body.”

This is a good explanation but does it solve the mind-body problem? We have a clear separation of observer, mind, Chi and the body. But at the same time, we can merge them all into one experience. But the question that remains is what are Chi and mind made of? I can only posit that mind is made of Chi. If we can move that awareness around the body and observe it somehow by mechanical means then this could be a breakthrough. But even if we could identify what is happening in the body chemically when Chi is moved, this is just the observation of an effect the Chi is having and not the Chi itself.

Electricity is still an unknown substance. We know how it exists and how to cultivate it and harness it, we can experience it but yet it is different from the particles that exist with it. At least with Chi/mind-energy, we can do the same.

Mind, body and Chi can function on their own, it is the observer that can control them. Maybe we should be asking, what is the observer made out of? That is another article, but there is one thing about Chi that is going to probably create more questions. My next question is, if it is an immaterial substance, how is it that I can move it into another person and they can sense it physically and there are visible physical effects in the body? This means that my mind can affect anything that has Chi.

There we are, the mind and body are separate or at least appear to be. It just takes a lot of concentration to move it from the head center of the body. The reality is that we can postulate all we want but as we can see Chi is a substance that is experienced by everyone physically through our awareness of ourselves and our ability to manipulate our body on a conscious willful level. What we need to be aware of most of all is the existence of and relationship between the three. In a way this proves the connection between mind and Chi and how the conscious observer affects all three. It is funny, the saying of connecting mind, body and spirit. Mind and spirit are already connected, it is mostly about melding mind, body and observer. This is part of the path to mastery. Becoming aware of all three, integrating them with total awareness and with only a thought, they all react as one.

The question of what consciousness is and what is it made of can only be answered by the turning off of the senses and thought. What is consciousness without the internal dialogue and imagery and physical/sensory awareness? Is there still awareness and if there is what is it like?

Tai Chi Principles

By Jace Lee

When it comes to training, not just in the martial arts but with any art or sport involving movement, practicing movements slowly is crucial to refining movement and creating indelible strength and coordination through the movement. By moving slowly and relaxed, all the muscles involved have an easier time coordinating and remaining balanced. This also programs the entire movement into the brain, so when it is performed fast, it is perfect. Being relaxed through movement makes sure that muscles that aren’t involved in the movement remain relaxed. In a martial arts situation, when punching, the arm is completely relaxed until contact is made. This is so that there is no interference in the movement, tension will slow down the punch and power will be lost.

Relaxation, a very underrated practice, is crucial to everything, not just Tai Chi and martial arts. To remain relaxed through movements means increased stamina, less effort exerted, faster movement and more joy moving through life in general. There is a Tai Chi term called Sung, it means sinking. When it is experienced, it literally feels as if your body is sinking or melting. This is accompanied by a feeling of stillness and relief. Once you experience it you can use it to reach stillness. Experiencing Shung is not difficult, but it can be tricky. You have to imagine and try to feel what you imagine, your body sinking. Also, through practicing relaxation, it can just happen. Once you have it, then stillness must be cultivated. Through Shung you should work to be able to call stillness up whenever you want.  Just to note, this alone can be life changing. Relaxation doesn’t have to stop here, it can get down right euphoric. Relaxation is also a crucial part of feeling and moving Chi and releasing tension.

Once you find stillness it is time to stand. It is through standing that we start to meld mind and body. At first standing is practiced to strengthen our foundation but mostly to scan the body, release tension and find proper alignment. This scanning the body is the same as the technique I use to get people to feel their Chi, increase the feeling and increase the mind-body connection. Once you can feel stillness while standing and you start to feel as if you are floating and it seems effortless to hold up your arms; this is where you start to see how Chi moves the body.

You see, being relaxed cultivates Chi by increasing sensitivity to it and allowing a greater flow. But when it comes to cultivating Chi and making it stronger, we must use it. When cultivating Chi through movement, first the Chi must be felt and some level of movement must be achieved because one must be able to move Chi before being able to move the body with Chi. This is one of the reasons why Tai Chi is performed slowly, it takes a lot of though, visualization and concentration to move an entire body using only Chi. So, at first, the mind moves very slow. But most people never really make it to this point. I really can’t think of anyone else teaching how to move the body using Chi. I think I may be one of the few. I also teach how to use Chi as strength. This adds great power to any physical activity and cultivates Chi majorly. Tai Chi also cultivates Chi by coordinating movement with the breath. Then eventually that breath will drive the Chi and move the body.

Tai Chi is relatively simple in theory and principle. Relaxation, slow coordinated movements alone can have a huge impact on a person. By strengthening balance and coordination, moving through life becomes much easier. Tension and pain is also released. All this gives the practitioner a sense of peace and tranquility. It is this state of mind that truly is the main cause of these benefits are. The mind is the root of our lives, if negative thoughts can destroy our bodies and our lives then positive thoughts can have a reverse effect. The practice of Tai Chi and also Qigong and meditation, is that they are cultivating a relaxed and peaceful mind, the body and your life are reflections of your mind.

There you have it! These are the core foundational principles that make Tai Chi such an effective and beneficial art form. With relaxation, slow refined movement and fast, Chi cultivation and mind-body connection cultivation, how can you go wrong. Well, it depends on the goal. Now, I want you to look at those principle’s and forget you know Tai Chi. These principles can be any movement, that is, any properly aligned movement. My point is, it is not so much Tai Chi that is so beneficial, it is the way it is practiced. I am not trying to get people to forget about Tai Chi, I am trying to get people to see how Tai Chi, Qigong, etc., doesn’t end when your form does. Every step and every move become Tai Chi or Qigong. These principles can also be applied to any sport or physical art or dance. When it comes to mastery one must strive for perfection in every millimeter of movement.

The Power of Your Mind and How to Start Taking Control of it

The power of the mind is truly incredible once you research and really find out what people have achieved through training the mind.  There is everything from total body control, body temperature control like Wim Hof (The Ice Man) who hiked Mount Everest in Shorts (link), there are also psychic abilities that can be awakened, healings and other crazy things that seem completely miraculous and unbelievable.  Especially if you read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.  My favorite miracle is people who are paralyzed regaining movement in their bodies by thinking about walking and moving.  (link) and (link)

I’m not going to sell you on the miraculous stuff but truly even the little stuff is quite miraculous.  The fact that we are here on a planet living, thinking and conscious is a miracle.  But we have yet to truly explore that miracle; science still has barely a clue.  There have been those before us that have attained great mastery by exploring consciousness and performed miracles and shared this wisdom but sometimes it gets lost in time, shrouded in culture and mystery or held to be of the gods and unattainable by mere humans.  They are sometimes miracles beyond what we experience in everyday life.  What I want to show you is the miracle of everyday life.  Once you understand the power of the mind, what it is, how it affects your body and your life you will be able to take control of the mind and use it to affect your life positively and explore it to discover greater miracles or what I like to call, the magic of life.

We have all heard stories of clairvoyance, telepathy, extrasensory perception and spontaneous healings.  In martial arts the development of a sixth sense is common.  Yogis are well known for miracles and among the last chapters of the Patanjali sutras he talks about psychic powers.  They do happen, they do exist, but western science still doesn’t understand why or how.  I am surprised about this myself.  Even though modern psychology has a vast understanding of the human mind and how life and the body effects it, they still only see it in a material realist way; chemical processes in the mind and body.  I don’t think they have really explored the opposite, mind over matter, the mind affecting the body and life.  Of course stress releases chemicals in the brain and creates emotions and can wreak havoc on the body and mind but this can be controlled by thought.  It just seems that psychiatry today only treats the brain and illness with more chemicals to solve things like depression, anxiety, stress and mental illness.  I do believe that in some cases mental illness comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain but I do believe that by understanding and controlling the mind that a person can use the mind to affect the brain and the body to create balance.

We as a humanity need to reengineer our way of thinking to realize our own power.  How?  By understanding the mind, its relationship to your body, life and spiritual energy; Chi.  The first step is to realize that you the observer are separate from the mind.  I am sure you have experienced observing your thoughts.  Simply put, those thoughts create emotion and action which in turn affect your body and your life.  This is a big reason why Buddha created the 8 fold path and taught meditation.  Meditation strengthens the mind giving you control but sitting meditation won’t always do the trick.  One must willfully choose to create positive thoughts and actions in life in order to help strengthen the mind and create a good life.  By strengthening the mind you are able to control it and not let it control you.

The next step is to practice breathing and relaxation.  This practice alone can change your life vastly.  Once you can learn to breathe deeply and fully you will be more relaxed and alert.  Once you practice relaxation you will find yourself with a lot less stress and anxiety.  A lot of people take drugs, prescription or otherwise in order to feel relaxed.  If they just practice to be relaxed they will feel relaxed and they will feel life on a deeper level and more joyfully.

The next step after that is to understand the mind’s relationship to energy; Chi/Prana.  The mind is made of this energy and through your consciousness you can effect it and in turn it will affect your thoughts, body and life.  Once you realize this you realize that you are moving Chi/Prana all the time.  This is very important because whatever you think and do becomes a practice and what you practice becomes a skill.  Is anger and sadness the skills you want in life?  I understand that thinking positive is hard in the face of great depression and anxiety, this is why you need to strengthen the mind and use your will to stop it.  All we truly want is happiness.

This is why we need to let go of the past, heal our past traumas and think positive.  I understand this is no easy task, but practice and effort goes a long way.  There was a time that for years I felt that everything was always going wrong for me, and every time I would get back up I would get knocked down.  This is very frustrating, especially since I was try to be a truly good person and do good things in the world.  And even though I fought depression, anxiety, hurt and anger and it seemed I was going insane I stood up and said not anymore and I continued to get back up and think positive and trust in myself and practice as much as I could and I turned my life around.

I realized that the anger, fear and anxiety were working against me no matter how hard I worked at my job and being a good person.  It still manifested and things went wrong.  Once I put a stop to it, my life changed.  I used a mantra to focus my mind on something positive during the day.  I exercised and practiced my yoga.  I started writing again and found inspiration in finishing my book.  These are all just examples of how it is possible to change your life without drugs.

Meditation is a good way to strengthen the mind.  When I say meditation I mean concentrated meditation, purposefully focusing the mind on a single thought, idea or mantra.  Meditation is very versatile and can be done anywhere and almost at any time.  Focusing on relaxation is the best for beginning.  Then I would start practicing Chi.

Practicing Chi is a great mediation because it builds awareness in the body, awareness of energy, teaches you how to affect the body with the mind. And while cultivating it, you get numerous health benefits and healing.  This is truly the first step in exploring the mind and your own consciousness and reaching your human potential.

To discover your Chi, I like to use the simple technique of awareness.  Put your hand in front of you palm facing in.  Try not to look at it and a take a few deep breaths, relax your body and your hand.  Then feel the palm of your hand, without using your other hand.  You should feel your palm, you may feel a slight tingling or a light static or warmth, this is great.  Now feel the inside of each finger, then move to the back of the hand.  There you have it, that is Chi and you are now moving Chi.  The next step is to move it along your arm to your elbow.  Make sure to follow the feeling up your arm.  Then move that awareness all over your body and take note to what you feel.

Now that you are moving Chi you are on your way.  But literally you have just scratched the surface, by moving chi along your skin.  Next would be to start bringing that awareness deeper into the body, muscles then bones.  Techniques like condensing breathing and breathing the limbs are extremely helpful for this.  Then learn mapping and patterning for moving the Chi around your body.

There you have it, a good summary of the power of the mind and how to start cultivating it and gaining control of your mind, your life and your power.

The Mind and its Relationship to Chi/Prana, the body and Life

When it comes to the mind almost anything is possible.  Our minds are more powerful than we have yet to realize or remember.  Yoga and other arts such as Qigong and Tai Chi has taught this for thousands of years.  Yet somehow the concepts of chi and prana have faded into a mysterious force of which a general understanding is lacking.  Through these arts we know of their existence and when we practice these arts these energies are present and sometimes, we feel sensations of the energy.  When coordinating movement with the breath and a relaxed state of mind, energy is circulated and cultivated.  The only thing missing is the awareness of it.

Why be aware of it if it is cultivated naturally and what does this have to do with the mind?  As we know the mind has a great effect on the body.  On one level stress can be very detrimental, on another we can see how attitudes and mindset can be expressed through posture and facial expressions.  To this effect we can determine that if we can hurt the body with thoughts then we can heal it with thoughts.  In turn these thoughts when expressed through action can affect our lives through the interactions with others and influencing our decisions.

This is why it is important to be aware of prana/chi, because they are linked to the mind which affects the body and your life.  Chi/prana are also made of the same thing that mind is (spiritual energy) and are extensions of the mind.  Also, to be noted is that mind is separate from the observer; you.  Through your consciousness, mind is transformed into thoughts, imagination, emotions and actions, like light through movie film.  So, it is not only important to be aware of chi/prana for practice but also to be aware of it because you are literally using it all the time.  This means that what you think is what you practice. It is said that mind moves chi and chi moves the body. Chi is like an interface between mind and body.

So now what?  Now you learn what chi feels like and how to cultivate and use it properly in your practice.  The first step is to become aware of it.  Put your hand up in front of you, take a few deep breathes and relax yourself and your hand.  Then feel the palm of your hand, without your other hand and without looking at it.  You should feel a slight tingling sensation.  Now move your awareness to the inside of each finger, then to the back of each finger, then to the back of the hand.  Et voila! That is chi/prana.  In Tai Chi it is said that chi goes where the mind goes.  Now move that awareness up your arm to your elbow, make sure to feel the awareness along your arm.  The next step would be to move that awareness around your whole body and take note of what you feel.

If you don’t feel it right away, you might need to concentrate a little more. Really work to feel the area being focused on. Once you connect you will know. This is what I called connected awareness. There is also what I call “passive awareness.” This is when you move your attention to a place on the body and of course know it is there without any real effort. Sometimes the feeling of your body or the awareness of it seems to be just above your physical body. Once a person can concentrate to the point where they feel a real physical sensation of the area (skin and/or muscles), a connection is felt. Sometimes this connection is accompanied by twitching, release, heat, cold, or any number of chi sensations.

The importance of this, is that this is where mind and body meet. At this point the mind-body connection can be cultivated to the ability of moving and manipulating the body with a mere thought. Put your mind to a muscle and get it to relax or contract. Coordinate and strengthen that and learn to move in that way, and you can easily master anything you want to. All you need is practice.

There are many techniques for moving, cultivating and using chi.  The next step would be to practice increasing your awareness to the core of your body, feel your muscles then try to feel your bones.  Breathing and relaxation are extremely important with regards to feeling and moving chi/prana. Tension blocks the feeling of chi and sometimes blocks chi all together. The breath moves and circulates chi like a pump.

Now that you know the power of the mind or more like a piece of it. Really, the stronger the mind, the stronger the chi. The mind, humans, have great potential for power. I don’t have to go into great detail about how the mind or state of one’s mind can affect their body and their life. You just have to know that it all starts with you and your mind. If you focus on positive thoughts positive things with happen. And take it from me, fear and anxiety only make those fear a reality. It is no easy task, especially in the face of great adversity. But this is where a strength of spirit is cultivated.

If a person has trouble focusing on other things or the emotions are too strong, there are ways to combat this. Strengthening the body, strengthens the mind. Meditation, especially concentrated meditation. Focusing on a single thought, image or mantra is great. Focusing on relaxation, releasing tension and building body awareness that becomes chi awareness, I think is awesome. On the emotional side, doing things that make you happy will help. I find that a mantra helps, especially when negative thoughts arise, use the mantra as something positive and transformative to focus. It works, I swear by it.

The human mind has incredible potential and is still not as understood as we might think it should be in this modern age. But now with this little bit of information, it can be explored and cultivated directly.

Breathing the Limbs and its Uses

Breathing the limbs, a technique I discussed in my book Living Yoga.  It is a good way to improve chi circulation in the body, clear blockages, relax and align the limbs.  There are 3 ways you can practice this, the third is related to condensing breathing and is a good way to start practicing that technique.

First, as you inhale you visualize chi coming into the body through the arm, leg or head and to the nearest center (lower center or heart center) and when exhaling visualize the chi moving out of the body.  Note, with all of these it is important to really feel the chi moving through the body.  This is going to help you build chi and body awareness.

Second, as you inhale visualize the chi coming in through the top of the head from the universe to the center closest to the limb and then exhaling and visualizing the chi moving out of the arm or leg.  I find this technique is a little more effective than the first and very useful while in yoga poses for helping to relax muscles, align the body and chi strengthening (strengthening chi and body by using chi as strength).

Third, with this technique you are not moving chi in and out of the body.  If you are familiar with condensing breathing it is like that.  When you inhale you feel and visualize the limb condensing and when you exhale it expands.  Condensing breathing uses this specifically on the bones because chi moves along the marrow.  This may be hard at first, to feel your bones, this is why I recommend you just breathe each section of your limbs first.  This is helping you to increase awareness of your body and the feeling of chi deeper into your body until you can start to feel your bones.  Also if you want to practice condensing breathing you can physically touch your bones to help bring the mind to the bones through sensation.  This technique is great for as I said building awareness but also relaxing tension and it can be used for relaxing the hips and pelvis, shoulders and any oart of the torso and the head.