(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/chi-flow.html)
Students at a regional chi kung course in Austria generating a chi flow from their chi kung techniques
Why do many chi kung practitioners not get any health benefits even when they have practiced chi kung for many years? It is because they do not have chi flow.
This question and the answer are very important. If only hundred of thousands of chi kung practitioners have asked this question, and understand the answer, they would not have wasted a lot of time, in matter of years.
Indeed, chi kung is chi flow. If there is no chi flow, the practitioner is only performing chi kung patterns as gentle physical exercise. This, in fact, is what hundreds of thousands of chi kung practitioners all over the world are doing.
It is chi flow, not the chi kung exercises, that gives the chi kung practitioners health benefits like good health, vitality and longevity. This truth is so important that I would like to repeat it:
It is chi flow, not the chi kung exercises, that gives the chi kung practitioners good health, vitality and longevity
As an analogy, it is cash flow, not the job you do, that enables you to fulfill your economic needs, like paying for your house and food, going for holidays, and buying a car. Even if you work very well as an executive, a doctor, a businessman or on any job, if your job does not bring you cash flow, you would be unable to fulfill your economic needs.
In the same way, even if you perform your chi kung exercise, like Lifting the Sky, Carrying the Moon, Flicking Fingers, Grasping Sparrow’s Tail, or Golden Gridge, very well, but if the exercise does not result in chi flow, you will be unable to fulfill your health needs.
Hence, it becomes quite clear that it is sheer folly when practitioners try their best to perfect their chi kung form but do not pay any attention to chi flow. It is like someone doing very well in their job but is not paid for the work.
This does not mean that we can neglect our form. Just as a job shabbily done does not generate good cash flow, a chi kung exercise badly performed does not generate good chi flow. But it is important to realize that it is the chi flow, not the exercises themselves, that give good health, vitality and longevity.
Why does good chi flow give us good health, vitality and longevity? It is like asking why good cash flow gives us good economic benefits.
Good chi flow will give us a good life, with good health, vitality and longevity, because life is a function of chi flow, just as good cash flow will give us a good economic life because economic life is a function of cash flow. Just as our economic life is based on cash flow, our health, vitality and longevity are based on chi flow.
Life is a meaningful flow of energy. When the energy flow of a person is blocked, the quality of his life is affected, manifested as pain and illness. When his energy flow clears the blockage and resumes its smooth flow, he regains good health. When his energy flow becomes vigorous, he has vitality. When he has more energy than he needs, it is stored in his dan tian and side meridians, giving him a good supply of energy flow, which means that his energy flow will go on for a long time resulting in his longevity.
Students at an Intensive Chi Kung Course in Sabah enjoying energy flow
Many people would be surprised when told that it does not matter what illness they may suffer from, and it does not matter what intermediate factors have caused their illness, but when their blockage has been cleared and their chi flow resumed, they will regain good health. This fact has been confirmed again and again in our chi kung classes.
There are many students suffering from different diseases in a class. We do not even have to ask the students what diseases they suffer from, or what have caused their diseases. We teach them the same chi kung exercises and ensure they have good chi flow. Soon they report that they have recovered from their diseases.
Again it is illuminating to compare chi flow with cash flow. Suppose you earn 3000 euros a month, which is just enough to pay for your house rent and food with a little left for some pleasures like dining in a good restaurant or spending a weekend by the beach.
For some reasons, this month your cash flow is blocked; you only have 1000 euros flowing through you. You will not only be unable to dine in a good restaurant or spend a weekend by the beach, but also have difficulty paying for your house rent and food. The intermediate cause may be your boss not paying you in time, or you having lent some money to a friend, or you overspent the previous month.
Irrespective of the intermediate causes and their resultant symptoms, like being unable to pay for your house rent or spending a weekend at the beach, the fundamental cause is a blockage of cash flow. If you can clear the blockage and resume the cash flow of 3000 euros a month, you can resume your normal economic activities, including overcoming whatever economic needs like paying your house rent or spending a weekend at the beach.
Better still, if you can make your cash flow more vigorous, like increasing a cash flow of 3000 euros per month to 30,000 euros per month, you can not only fulfill your normal economic needs but also do things that you previously wanted to but could not, like going for an oversea tour, buying a new car or buying an apartment for your parents.
It is the same with chi flow. Suppose your normal chi flow is 3000 units of energy per month. If for some reasons your chi flow this month is blocked with the result that you have only 1000 units of energy flowing through you, not only you may be unable to enjoy the little pleasures like playing tennis and climbing hills, but also unable to perform normal life activities like clearing pollutants from your lungs and harmful viruses from your body, resulting in you suffering from asthma or viral infection.
Better still, if you can make your chi flow vigorous, like increasing your chi flow from 3000 units of energy per month to 30,000 units of energy per month, you will not only be able to carry on your normal life activities but also do things that you previously wanted to but could not, like enjoying your work and play, having mental clarity and internal force, and experiencing spiritual joys.
It is also worthwhile to note that the intermediate causes of your illness may be stress, a drastic change of climate, or eating wrong food, but the fundamental cause is energy blockage. Irrespective of the intermediate causes and their resultant symptoms, if you can clear your energy blockage and resume your normal chi flow of 3000 units of energy per month, you will not only be able to play tennis and climb hills but also resume your normal life activities, including clearing pollutants from your lungs and harmful viruses from your body, resulting in your overcoming asthma or viral infection.
Actually it doesn’t matter what the intermediate causes and resultant symptoms are — i.e. it doesn’t matter whether the intermediate causes are stress, climatic change, wrong food, pollens, viruses, bacteria, negative emotions, etc, and it doesn’t matter whether the illness is asthma, viral infection, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, phobia, etc — as long as you restore your meaningful energy flow, you will have good health, which means you will be free from pain and illness.
In the same way, it doesn’t matter what the intermediate causes and resultant symptoms of economic ills are — i.e. it doesn’t matter whether the intermediate causes are that your boss failed to pay you, your client’s cheque bounced, your lost money in an investment, etc, and it doesn’t matter whether your economic ills are unable to pay rent, dine in good restaurants, buy expensive presents, go for holidays, etc — as long as you restore your cash flow you will have economic health.
Just as it is cash flow and not the job you do that enables you to enjoy economic benefits, it is chi flow and not the chi kung exercises you perform that enables you to enjoy good health, vitality and longevity.
The chi flow at a Shaolin Kungfu course can be quite spectacular