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Gathering Chi

By Master Chris Peck

From the Spring 2003 Newsletter

In all of the Chinese martial disciplines and especially in every day life, it is of utmost importance to gather as much positive energy (chi) as possible. The practitioner should take every opportunity to achieve that end, for we can never have enough chi.

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Chi comes to us mainly through the food we eat and the air we breathe. When we eat, the body absorbs the energy from our food in the form of vitamins and nutrients. When we breathe, we must use the dan tian and allow the whole lung to take in energy (oxygen) so that it can be distributed throughout the body via the circulation of the blood.

However, one very important source of gathering chi that most of us overlook, is through our perception. If we are not aware of what we are doing or we don't have a positive outlook about what we are doing, which many of us are guilty of, we lose chi in great amounts.

If we don't have a positive outlook about what we are doing, we lose chi in great amounts.

To remedy this, all that need be done is to become aware of the potential depletion and counter it with positive thoughts. For example, who likes to take out the garbage? No one. It's a dirty job. Thinking about dealing with the garbage commonly produces negative emotions such as, "I hate doing this", which depletes our chi. Turn the chore around and make it a pleasurable one. Make it a positive thing to do by perceiving that it will help the family stay healthy and keep the house clean. This will prevent chi loss and promote chi gathering.

Any activity or situation that we encounter in life that has a negative connotation attached to it will steal our chi, if we allow it to do so. Even if you find yourself on your hands and knees cleaning the dirt and filth from a street gutter, do the best job you can of cleaning that gutter and do it with loving care and gratitude for being able to help the community. You will find an over abundance of chi when you are done.

When training or just taking a walk, go to a source where oxygen is produced. Trees have a tremendous source of chi for they produce oxygen. You can absorb their energy. Doing Tai Ji on the beach is very beneficial because the ocean has an endless supply of energy that you can gather. Forests, lakes, rivers, almost natural elements have an abundance of energy. Even rain. Take it in.

Remember, think in a negative manner and you will lose everything. Think in a positive manner and you will gather chi in abundance.

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