Tag Archives: Yoga

Understanding Chi and its Relationship to the Mind

By Jace Lee

www.Innerverse.World

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, www.Innerverse.world.

“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

Summary

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 (ucf.edu)

 “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?