The Xe Chi Breathing Method, of breathing XenOx, xenon gas, is something every martial artist who has ever thought about gaining Chi should consider.
Chi is, however, so elusive that fewer than one in fifty million people are able to experience it. Yet, volumes have been written on Chi, and it is a topic which virtually every advanced martial arts student has discussed, or has tried to attain.
Chi in the oriental martial arts is an internal energy that can be applied as a powerful external force, and Xe Chi is a method of breathing XenOx, xenon gas, which can be used for training in the development of Xu ling ding Jin, which is the first step in developing Chi. My Tai Chi Breathing Method, is designed to increase the intensity and duration of Xu ling ding Jin, which is similar to what in Yoga is called Mula, which is a precursor of the Yoga Prana vayu.
Prana is Sanskrit for a theological life force which is supposed to come from the sun and fill the universe, while Prana vayu, is similar to what is called Chi in Chinese and other Oriental cultures. The difference is, there are thousands of Yoga practitioners who attain some degree of static Prana vayu through meditation, which allows them to maintain difficult postures for long periods. But few yogi or yogini are able to employ this in movements.
The problem is the Martial Arts, and Tai Chi in particular, are so steeped in classic forms and postures that they have lost the vision of Chi, and the Way. Instead they regurgitate the wisdom of past masters, who themselves regurgitated what the ancients are believed to have taught. And what the ancients taught was as useless then as it is today. After all if the ancients taught how to obtain Chi, then Chi would be as common today as the common cold; or at least as common as Prana vayu is in Yoga.
I have been practicing Tai Chi for over seventy years, and I can say, there is, today, no Chi in Tai Chi. Rather, it has become a Taoist philosophy for many and an exercise for the rest, and the knowledge for gaining Chi, which Yang Cheng Fu originally hid within his Sets, and which was unknown outside the Yang Style, has been obliterated by ignorant attempts to explain Tai Chi as theories of movements.
Additionally, the Chinese have sought Chi as the elixir of life for centuries, and nearly every Chinese martial arts style adopts some of Taoist philosophy of Dantian, or lower Cinnabar Field, where Chi is said to be heavy like the mercury in cinnabar. Those who attain Chi know its force feels weighted, or substantial, in what is called the Lower Dantian. But there is no single path to getting there Nor do those who arrive have the same ability to use Chi once is is attained.
However, xenon gas, in the form of the XenAir's, XenOx breathing system, may be a path which has never been available until now.
Xenon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, noble gas that is found as one molecule out of ever 11.5 million molecules of the air we breath. And it is heavy. In its frozen state, it is 1.3 times more dense than granite, which makes breathing 50% xenon 49% oxygen, XenOx a good heavy air lung exercise. Because xenon is an inert noble gas, it does not combine with anything in the body, while the body reacts to xenon in several ways. One of which is to increase VO2 Max.
Virtually everyone who is currently breathing XenOx, is doing so increase their VO2 Max, which takes several weeks. But they also breath XenOx for an immediate advantage, which is the ability to work out harder and longer without getting tired.
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That was the reason I began breathing Xenox, when it came out in July of 2014. However, my training schedule was interrupted by travel, and I resumed it again in September, after which I wrote about my experience on Xenon Warrior.
I recognized the Chi aspect of xenon during my second XenOx session, and wrote Tai Chi Breathing, first, because there was no detailed program for breathing in Yang Cheng Fu style Tai Chi, and second, to give Tai Chi students a foundation for what I believe would be a method for breathing XenOx.
After another interruption in XenOx training for business and travel, I developed my Xe Chi breathing method, which, if followed, and IF those training with XenOx are in tune with their bodies, could start them on a path to experience Chi.
Unlocking the Chi Path
Chi begins with Xu ling ding Jin 虚灵顶劲, which is Yang Cheng Fu’s First Essential and Cheng Manching's Fourth Secret Transmission. It has been interpreted dozens of ways, all of which relate to the posture or how the head is held, as Yang Jwing-Ming gave it as "An insubstantial energy leads the head upward." But a more correct translation is "An insubstantial spirit rises to the top of the head," which has nothing to do with the position of the head, but rather it means the "spirit" that rises to the head.
How do I know this is the more correct translation? Because it can be experienced, as I wrote in 1995 Stillness of Motion:
"...once the form is memorized and the student can mimic the instructor, the process of developing the mental and spirit state, where an "insubstantial spirit rises to the top of the head," begins. This is probably the easiest aspect of Tai Chi to experience, yet I've seldom found an instructor who can explain it, let alone a student who can exercise Xu ling ding Jin. This, like intention, can be demonstrated, and most students can feel it in less than ten minutes although the "feeling" of Xu ling ding Jin dose not mean you can maintain it for more than a few seconds let alone utilize it. That takes practice, and even then the "insubstantial spirit" is lost as soon as you move. There is, however, a conflict in maintaining the "insubstantial spirit" once Chi is being development, as Xu ling ding Jin is the beginning of Chi, and despite what Tai Chi "experts" theorize, neither Xu Ling ding Jin nor Chi flow naturally. If they did, everyone would quickly develop Chi...."An insubstantial spirit rising to the top of the head is poetry, as Xu ling ding Jin does not "rise," but rather is an immediate sensation that is triggered by Hai Di Zhen 海底针, which is another Tai Chi term that no modern teachers of Tai Chi seems to understand. They interpret Hai Di Zhen only as a posture in the Tai Chi set, called "needle at the bottom of the sea," (or some variation thereof), which Tai Chi masters believe is the groin, where you kick an opponent. But the literal translation (for those who know nothing about how to attain Chi) would be "ocean (or sea) bottom needle," which says nothing about a needle being at the bottom of the sea. That interpretation comes from the imagination and inventiveness of the Tai Chi masters.
But Hai Di Zhen 海底针 has a much different meaning with the correct, literally, "perineum needle."
The perineum is that part of the anatomy between the anus and the base of the penis in men and the anus and the posterior of the vagina in women.
Tightening the muscles around the perineum triggers Xu ling ding Jin, which is felt instantaneously at the top of the head.
In Yoga it is similar to Mula, and to tighten, hold or lock is Mula Bandha; and unlike Tai Chi it is experienced by millions of Yoga students every day.
Xu ling ding Jin can also be experienced using Tai Chi Breathing which, with practice, can trigger it without tightening the perineum. And, when Tai Chi Breathing is modified, to breath in and out through the mouth in what I call, Xe Chi breathing with XenOx, xenon gas, your body can be trained to make Xu ling ding Jin more intense and its duration and sustained for a long period of time without the effort of a Yoga lock.
This has allowed me to practice Xe Chi breathing for five minutes, and maintain Xu ling ding Jin throughout the entire Tai Chi Set which takes thirty minutes, while using my method of Tai Chi Breathing.
It took me ten years to be able to maintain Xu ling ding Jin while doing a single posture, which pleased my Tai Chi instructors, as that usually takes twenty years or more.
Xenon gas can change that drastically. The first time most people breath xenon gas, it is so overwhelming that it blows their mind. It is so different, it can only be explained as "different.
Whether breathing the heavy xenon gas increases lung capacity, or strengthens them, as a form of weight lifting for the lungs, practice has made breathing more easily regulated as I practice the Tai Chi Sets. And by using Xe Chi breathing it has allowed me to regulate Xu ling ding Jin, and with further practice, to distinguish between the insubstantial spirit of Xu ling ding Jin and substantial spirit of jingshin.
Distinguish Insubstantial and Substantial
Perhaps one has to be a modern Tai Chi master in order to understand how their empty insubstantial Xu spirit, can also be is a full, vital, substantial spirit. Either that, or those masters cannot distinguish insubstantial from substantial, and have only a theoretical knowledge of Chi.
Jingshin 精神 (literally refined spirit or god) is a paradox in that it cannot exist without the insubstantial spirit Xu Jin 虚劲, (Xu 虚 ling ding Jin 劲), yet Jingshin can sink even when Xu Jin is not experienced. That Sink or drop, xia chen 下沉, can be demonstrated, and most people can experience it, although that can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours, and with some, never.
That jingshin drop can be likened to a water container that has a small hole in it, and when a drop of water is released, it goes down, sinks, and at a certain point, immediately evaporates into nothingness.
Virtually everyone has experienced this Jingshin chen (drop) as a sudden feeling in their lower abdomen when something unexpected or frightening happens. This is not adrenaline, which lasts for some time, but rather it is a feeling, which, in the extreme, can cause sudden urination. But the feeling disappears as quickly as it happened.
But the drop is most commonly felt as a slight feeling of uneasiness, an apprehension, which sinks to the your groin. This feeling is the reason children like to be scared by friendly things and people, and why roller coasters are popular. But think of this, the sinking feeling in your stomach happens when the roller coaster makes its sudden drop, when the gravitational force is upward, yet you feel it, down in your groin.
And that brings us back to the perineum needle, the Sea Bottom Needle, because the perineum is not the center, but is near it. The Center is slightly above the perineum, behind the cervix of a woman, and near the prostrate of a man; and your body/mind/intuitive preservation, drops Jingshin, (the substantial spirit) in an effort to release Xu Jin (the insubstantial spirit) without which Jingshin cannot exist before evaporating into nothingness.
A drop that is triggered by an external event, also causes the release of adrenalin, which has the opposite effect of relaxation an harmony, making it impossible to control. But there are ways (as with to the perineum needle), to cause the Jingshin drop. I know seven ways, and teach three, two of which are hard style, and require several days of training just to be able to do the move without attempting to experience the Jingshin drop.
While the Jingshin drop can be experienced as an exercise, the purpose here is to be able to distinguish insubstantial and substantial. If the reader has not experienced Xu ling ding Jin, then there is no purpose in the next exercise. One must first experience Xu Jin before it can be distinguished from Jingshin. In other words, you must first know the feeling of the Jingshin drop by itself, separate from Xu Jin. Only after you have experienced each separately, will you be able to distinguish one from the other.
The easiest method for feeling the Jingshin drop, and the one I have taught in seminars, requires no prior knowledge, and can be learned by most everyone. But it often requires complete relaxation for a beginner.
In order to relax it does not matter whether you breath in and out through your nose, in through your nose and out through your mouth or in and out through your mouth. The important thing is to have your breathing slow and even. When you are completely relaxed, exhale slowly (as you should be doing) and as you finish exhaling, lightly touch (tap) the tip of your right ring finger (the one next to your little finger) to the tip of your right thumb. DO NOT HOLD YOUR FINGER AND THUMB TOGETHER.
If you have prepared through relaxation and slow breathing, you should feel the drop in the pit of your stomach. 50% of all those to whom I have taught this technique feel the drop the fist time. Another 25% feel the drop by the fifth Tap. The rest usually take an hour or more of relaxation, and some never feel the drop. When I spoke with those few, they each admitted that they had tried to feel the drop while experiencing Xu ling ding Jin.
This technique has been used in meditation for thousands of year, although except of Yoga, there are few who understand there is more to the feeling than just a feeling.
DO NOT TRY COMBINING XU JIN AND JINGSHIN. You do not have Jingshin. You have only experienced the feeling of its drop. The next step requires proper breathing. It does not matter if it is Yoga breathing, or Tai Chi Breathing, you cannot progress without knowing how to breath.
Bottom of Sea Needle Posture
The Tai Chi Posture is stylized and has little to do with the actual movements. In the Tai Chi Sets it is not used for Chi, and the Posture really needs to be taught for that purpose.
So, because Xe Chi Breathing with XenOx, accomplishes the same end I will only mention that the principle behind the movements in the Tai Chi Posture is to draw your stomach as close to your back as possible in order to get to hai mun, which is (Cantonese) kung fu vernacular for hai feng mun 係风门, wind door.
In Yoga, this is called Uddiyana Bandha, or upward abdominal lock, (literally Raise Up Lock) which is similar to hai mun, which means to Bind the Door, not to lock it, but rather to bind Xu Yin (insubstantial) and Jingshin (substantial) through the Wind door, which is located above the navel.
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Xe Chi breathing XenOx xenon gas, dose this without effort for me, but then I have bee able to tie the energies at the Wind Door for fifty years, and I know how Chi feels. But to sink Chi to dantian, from which Chi can flow, requires Intention, and a sense of that nothingness into which jingshen seems to evaporate, but where it exists with Xu Jin.
And that is the beauty of practicing Xe Chi breathing. Because, with practice, Xu Jin, for me, does not dissipate like it does with the perineum needle; and I have been able to make it many times stronger, and lasts throughout and beyond the Xe Chi and Tai Chi Breathing sessions.
No Yogi or Chi master has ever been able to retain Xu Jin for as long as xenon gas allows, and no Yogi or Chi master has ever been able to experiment with Xu Jin and jingshen the way one who trains with XenOx can.
However, breathing XenOx without using my Xe Chi Breathing Method, will most likely do little to lead to a path to Chi. And it will not be of any benefit to anyone not breathing XenOx. That is why access to the Xe Chi Breathing Method is limited to those who are or will actually be breathing XenOx.© 2015 Will Tracy. No portion my be reproduced without written consent.