The Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong is a classical method of mind-body cultivation. As the name suggests, this Neigong (i.e., Qigong) set uses a pair of wooden implements in practice – the Taiji Ruler (taiji chi 太極尺) and the Taiji Stick (taiji bang 太極棒). Although the name of the set uses the same name as Taijiquan (Tai Chi Ch’uan 太極拳) the martial art, the Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong developed independently of Taijiquan. Other names for this set of exercises include the Guiding Qi Needle (dao qi zhen 導氣針), Stilling Mind Needle (ding xin zhen 定心針), and Heaven Earth Precious Ruler (qian kun bao chi 乾坤寶尺).
Origins – The Sleeping Immortal
by Dr. Henry McCann
Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong is attributed to the Daoist Immortal Chen Tuan (陳摶). Also known as Chen Xiyi (陳希夷) and Chen Dan (陳丹),
he was born in Zhenyuan, Henan Province in the last half of 9th century – the same birth location as Lao Zi (Lao Tzu). Between 900 and 930 Chen wandered around various mountains seeking instruction from Daoists and other recluses, a common practice of his day. He also stayed awhile on Wu Dang Mountain where he learned Daoist meditation and Daoyin techniques. Other tradition says that Chen was taught directly by Ma Yi Dao Zhe, the ‘Hemp Cloud Daoist’, and Lü Dongbin, the grand patron of Daoist alchemy. In 937 Chen was documented to be in Sichuan, and in the early 940s restored Yun Tai Guan monastery on Mount Hua in Shaanxi. Chen eventually died in 989 at age of 118.
As a result of his deep Daoist studies and personal cultivation, Chen developed great insights into the nature of the universe and the Yijing (I Ching, Book of Changes). Chen was said to have developed the famous Taiji symbol and was renowned for his accomplishments in mediation and Inner Alchemy. He developed the Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong, as well as a set of Daoyin exercises that harmonize the body with the 24 seasonal nodes of the Chinese calendar. He was also a master of Sleeping Yoga, hence his nickname the 'Sleeping Immortal'.
The word Neigong means “inner practice” (內功). While Qigong is a modern term that refers to a wide range of breathing and movement exercises, Neigong is an earlier term that describes practices that build internal Qi, sometimes associated with either Inner Alchemy or Internal Martial Arts. The Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong uses these two implements, one representing Yin and the other Yang, to help the practitioner develop internal power.
There are several sets of exercises that comprise the total repertoire of Stick and Ruler. The student starts with exercises comprised of breathing patterns, physical movement and visualizations, that strengthen and build sensation of Qi in the Dan Tian (丹田), the area of Qi cultivation in the lower abdomen. Over time the student then uses the Neigong to circulate Qi through the channels of the arms and legs, and some of the Extraordinary Vessels such as the Du, Ren and Dai. Then, later exercises develop a connection between the practitioner and Pre-Heaven Qi. Overall the Stick and Ruler Neigong is a complete system of health cultivation. Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong is especially useful to professional acupuncturist, chiropractors, bodyworkers/healthcare providers, musicians, athletes and keyboard users.
BENEFITS FROM THIS UNIQUE TRAINING:
1 The Taiji Stick and Ruler practice helps to prevent overuse injuries as it strengthens the wrists, tendons and muscles.
2 It develops hand, wrist and arm strength. If you notice that you are losing hand and arm strength in performing daily tasks, such as, turning the tap, opening jars and bottles, you will find a significant improvement after practicing the Taiji stick and ruler practice.
3 It teaches you to feel and integrate your core strength with arm movements.
4 It improves coordination and balance.
5 Taiji Stick and Ruler practice will improve your circulation. No more cold hands and feet!
6 This practice will improve your digestion. Since your digestion system is the keystone for the rest of the physiology of the body, one can extend this to improving all systems of the body.
7 Learn to nourish your QI! This practice will have lasting effects on your nervous system and your capacity to relax more profoundly.
8 Practicing the Taiji Stick and Ruler neigong regularly will improve your internal power and Taiji quan skill without you even being aware of it.
9 Cultivate a quiet mind and still Heart.
All levels welcome including beginner's - no prior experience necessary.
ALL LEVELS (INCLUDING BEGINNER) WELCOME
DATE & TIME:
Saturday JUNE 30th, 1pm - 5pm
PUTNEY COMMUNITY CENTER -10 Christian Square, Putney, VT 05346
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Participants are able to cancel up to 1 week before a workshop/retreat and receive full refund. Anything after 1 week is non-refundable and can be credited toward a future workshop/retreat (similar in nature). However, no refund or credit is available if a participant cancels the day of the workshop/retreat, if they do not show up, or if they decide to leave the event early. There are always exceptions in severe cases of emergencies.