The Art of Pa-Kua Chang/Walking the 8 Directions
Pa-Kua is about embracing change, through movement, and changing with life's changes. Change in this
context refers to the change of yin and yang. Physically, all change, in Pa-Kua, is said to come from and
return to walking in a circle. Psychologically it is a rich expression of 'the hero's journey."
Pa-Kua could be said to include 8 foundational changes (forms -- energy bodies, archetypal states, chords)
each reflecting a trigram from the I-Ching. The 8 main changes are the foundation of Pa-Kua. Each Pa-Kua
archetype focuses on a different way to practice and integrate the inner energies of Shen, Chi and Jing, and
coordinate them with the external forms. Each resource state/form follows the law of change of yin and yang.
In Pa-Kua we walk, and change -- combining, refining the qualities of soft and hard, internal and external, form
and shadow, quick and slow, crisis/opportunity, being and doing, personal and impersonal.
Bagua training can be divided into three stages: the first step -- personal cultivation -- is designed to discover,
explore, and open to/possibly transform, the 8 body-minds, internal and external qualities, so they become
coordinated and integrated, chi flow becomes smoother, power increases, as well as the ability to maintain
relaxation. Mind, feelings, and movement become more stable and integrated. Laughter comes easily.
Practitioners report an improved connection to their intuition and relaxation as well as developing the
"observer" state of consciousness.
The second learning stage focuses on developing mind and body flexibility/changing ability (this is known as
the post-birth Pa-Kua), promoting refinement of the integration of the mind and body's ability to experience
and change the 8 resource states, deepen intuition, and to unify the 8 into the one chi -- Self Spirit
The goal of the third stage of traditional Pa-Kua is to build up the students' martial arts skill. Here, at our farm,
we only practice the first two internal energy stages of Pa-Kua.
Chi Gung Meditation
In the Nei Jing it states that "Happiness is when the Chi flows smoothly through the body." This is in the dual sense of flowing
smoothly within the body, as well as through the mind -- Chi from heaven flowing down through the body into the Earth, and
Chi from Earth flowing up through the body and into Heaven. When the Chi flows smoothly through the body there are no
blockages, no stagnation, and everything is experienced instantaneously and released, in a continuous flow of experiential
awareness. This is the natural state, this is happiness. The natural state occurs when one is in a state of dynamic balance of
Yin and Yang -- this is a coming together of Body and Spirit, and Heaven and Earth -- making the two into one. In such a state
deficiencies are continuously filled and excesses continuously carried off; thus, the individual retains the innate ability to heal,
to be whole.
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