even one word is too much.
Our next public workshop will be on Dec. 1st, 2018 and will focus on Neigong practice. Neigong is an often overlooked aspect of internal training. In many systems, there is sometimes a focus on basic Qigong--if any--and a lot of Taiji form. Other systems may have a much greater focus on Qigong, but never get into the deeper aspect of Neigong. And then there are the systems that actually do teach Neigong but call it Qigong. Of course, I'm not judging any system here, just offering a chance to look at a deeper practice. I don't personally think Neigong is or should be a requirement for anything. I just find it to be a good practice, and in my lineage a nice precursor to understanding the depths of all practice (Taiji, Qigong, Yoga).
A primary requirement for Neigong is physical conditioning. The body needs to be open, flexible, loose, and strong in order to process and develop awareness of energy flow at higher levels. A strong and flexible body doesn't only help with Neigong, but with all internal (and external for that matter) practices. It's just good policy. We want to condition the body and keep it that way. Then we want to move on to nurturing the energetic body. Ultimately, this means understanding the meridian system and the Wu Xing, or five elements. But at a basic level, it means to have an awareness of the three dantien, a few key accu-points, and a sense of how breath connects it all together. Once we have developed an awareness of and have learned to nurture our energetic body, we will find that meditation and the accompanying stillness/silence comes much easier and naturally, thus living into our spiritual body.
In my opinion, Neigong is more something that happens than it is something that is teachable. We can find some literature and some teaching on it, but ultimately it requires a state of mind and intention along with dedicated practice. To that end, I have a few recommended books to accompany this workshop. My foundation is in Hunyuan Neigong. Unfortunately finding solid material on Hunyuan Neigong that is easy for the Western mind is difficult.
For workshop attendees who want a deeper understanding of Hunyuan Qigong/Neigong, I recommend the following books by Wang Fengming: "The Essence of Taoism Qigong" and "Special Taoist Taiji Stick and Ruler Qigong". They can be purchased from his website here: www.worldtaiji.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=12 Understand, most available writing on Hunyuan is typically esoteric and obscure. The reader has to be patient, but the information is there. The only other book I can recommend at this time is Damo Mitchell's "Daoist Nei Gong". This is a good book and is very informing. This is not a Hunyuan text, so there are some differences in approach that may be noticeable to workshop attendees. However, in the long run these are minor and this book can serve as an excellent foundation for Western minds. Again, we need the basics, something to work with. But from there it is less a system of following and more a system of discovery. Just let it happen.
Rodney J Owen