What is Chi/Ki?
Chi or ki comes from of the constant motion of yin and yang, and at the same time, chi transcends the latter in a sort of feedback loop. Chi regulates yin and yang, bringing balance and harmony.
Chi is everywhere: in the universe, the stars and planets, as forces of nature on earth, in the weather, in the stones, the rivers, the mountains, the fruits, the living organisms, atoms, etc. Chi covers the microscopic to the macroscopic. Chi is you, makes your cells and atoms stick together, and at the same time can be affected by imbalances of yin and yang energies in your life. Too much stress affects the chi, strong mental beliefs redirect the chi, and bad lifestyles and habits create blockages of chi in the body. Chi in living organisms starts in the tandien (hara point) and gives birth to the chakras, the aura, the kundalini, etc. Call it the way you want, it is still the same energy that controls everything from matter to organic life, from stars to your DNA. The only difference is that it does not show in the same way in organic matter.
Chi can also be interpreted as vitality or strength: from Chinese medicine to feng shui, you may hear that your blood lacks chi, the wind has a strong chi, or the design in the room blocks the circulation of chi. But do not worry, the body has its own “intelligence” and constantly strives to balance yin-yang and to reach harmony and health. You do not have to obsess with your chi.
What is the place of chi in martial arts and Myoku? Tai chi and Qi Gong are of course one way to use the chi in martial arts. Chi is not only cultivated to maintain health but is also used to interact more powerfully with the environment and nature. This is why in martial arts we try to reinforce or “boost” our chi. Myoku is fundamentally based upon 3 principles: Gravity, Fluidity and Chi (see section of blogs). We learn to feel it, cultivate it, reinforce it through yang-breathing and other techniques, and we use it to transform our time/space frame of reality (big concepts, but do not worry, we do not travel in time or through dimensions!) – we raise our consciousness. There are actually three distinct centers of chi in the body: lower tandien or sacral level (most known), middle tandien or the heart level (some would say the solar plexus), and upper tandien or the section of the brain at the third eye level. In Myoku, the standing meditation techniques aim at connecting those three centers.
Chi is pure energy. In order to be in touch with it, you do not force your muscles or practice “secret” movements. You simply let go all tension in your body and empty your mind. What is left is then a simple vibration that you can magnify with your breath. Very simple principle, is it not? But like most things in Zen, simplicity is the hardest thing to reach, and yet, the most powerful way to exist.