Progressing Stages of Development
ZY Qigong provides a main framework of the progressing stages of development. The stages of qigong self-development is not linear. Our practice evolves in a spiral. Different students may assimilate the practice and progress at different rates. Some of us may get glimpses of the different stages early on and move through the stages quickly in a spiraling progression. We may revisit each stage again and again like peeling layers of an onion, whereas some of us may need to practice one stage persistently for a while before going onto the next stage. Ultimately a stage of development cannot be skipped. A stronger foundation enables one to continue deeper into the next level. Continuing the stages of development in a balanced way benefits most students.
New students who already have qigong or other meditation experience and feel they can progress faster can still do so by taking two or more classes concurrently, or taking the workshops out of sequence in order to get a big picture of the system sooner.
For existing students, the different levels of workshops allow them to zero in on the material they need to practice. To help you determine where you are and which classes may be right for you, we've developed a list of practice benchmarks for each class. Please remember, these benchmarks are guidelines only. If you have questions about your practice and how a class may help you, please contact us.
Practice of Lower Dan-Tien
ZY Qigong Level 1 practice will help you to:
- Increase your energy level
- Open energy channels
- Decrease pain
- Increase vitality, confidence and self-esteem, reduce fear, strengthen trust in self and in life
- Achieve physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness
- Experience deeper levels of relaxation
- Improve kidney/adrenal and bladder function
- Improve sexual function
- Feel grounded and connected to the Earth
- If you are engaged in healing work of any sort, this practice will increase your effectiveness
The first aim of Level 1 practice is to relax the physical body. This means releasing the main patterns of muscular tension that restrict or block energy flow. When energy flows more freely, it exerts more pressure on the next layer of blockages until they clear, and so forth.
As this process continues, you achieve the second aim: you cultivate your energy body by increasing the overall amount and intensity of energy as well as improving its ability to circulate and gather it in the lower energy center—lower dantian. In turn, more gathered qi will push through greater blockages and regenerate areas of stagnation.
When you've reached the relaxed state, you'll find your body feeling more spacious, easy and your energy flowing relatively freely. Your mind may remain active, but it has lost its ability to disturb the body. This loss of embodied expression and support for the busy mind allows it to start quieting down: you're now ready for Level 2.
Level 1 curriculum:
- Free introductory lecture
- Opening the channels on fingers and toes
- Four preparatory exercises
- Three main exercises (Big Tree, Refining Qi, Microcosmic Orbit)
- Additional exercises (walking and sleeping qigong; purifyung, gathering, and radiating Qi)
- Scanning and healing with hands (methods of Image Medicine)
- Self-healing methods (stabilizing blood pressure, improvement of eyesight)
Practice of Middle Dan-Tien
ZY Qigong Level 2 practice will help you to:
- Further increase your energy
- Improve your immune system
- Balance your emotions
- Increase personal power, boundaries
- Improve self-authority, increase contentment, joy
- Gain openness, non-judgment, leading to compassion for self and others, and unconditional love
The first aim of Level 2 practice is to integrate and relax the energy body. This involves continued work with physical blockages, but at a more detailed level than in Level 1. Increasingly, the energy body works as a unified pattern rather than a set of more or less separate flows. As this integration develops, the energy sensations become smoother. The energy body, just as the physical body, feels more spacious and refined. There is also the realization that many of the sensations we interpret in Level 1 as energy are actually resistance to energy.
The second aim is to quiet the mind. This is a natural result of relaxing the energy body. In Level 1 we experience the physical body calming down and no longer responding to the mind's agitation. In Level 2, the relaxation of the energy body influences the mind: the mind slows down and simply stops; its construction of space and time stops. This is the calm state, also known as the qigong state.
At Level 2 we continue Level 1 training to increase our energy but with a new emphasis on improving the integrity of the energy body. We add Level 2 preparatory exercises, Level 2 Big Tree, and other practices to open the hips and the back of the pelvis, activate and build middle dan tian, and open and build the central channel.
With the central channel open and the energy field beginning to work as a coherent whole, we now practice how to open and close, expand and contract the boundaries of our energy body and modulate its pulsing intensity. This pulsing is also called body breathing, and we learn to use it in different ways for specific purposes. Its primary application is to relax the energy body and quiet the mind in preparation for pause state in Level 3. Training also continues for gathering energy and increasing the capacity of our central channel and other pathways.
Level 2 curriculum:
- Two preparatory exercises
- Two main exercises (Level 2 Big Tree, Chanzo)
- Additional exercises (body breathing, regulating the functions of internal organs)
- Diagnostics with the body, healing with yin-yang ball and through body breathing (methods of Image Medicine)
Practice of Upper Dan-Tien
ZY Qigong Level 3 practice will help you to:
- Achieve clarity
- Develop impersonal intuitive reasoning
- Develop the Third Eye
Level 3 practice develops brain function, activates the extraordinary senses, and helps us reach pause state. We will activate and train the second and direct digestive system to absorb qi from the universe and maintain a prolonged pause state. When we feel that our lower, middle, and upper dantians are well connected by the middle channel, and abundant energy in our body allows us to reach and maintain the pause state, then we are ready for Level 4.
ZY Qigong Level 3 curriculum:
- Two preparatory exercises
- Three main exercises (Level 3 Big Tree, Level 3 Chanzo, Bigu Shichi)
- Additional exercises (opening the acupoint between the eyebrows)
- Diagnostics with 3rd eye and new treatment methods (from Image Medicine)
This level is taught only by Grandmaster Mingtang Xu himself.
Students develop wisdom and ability to communicate directly with outside world and any kind of Life (plants, animals, etc.)