ABDOMINAL BREATHING, DAN TIAN BREATHING, AND COSMIC BREATHING
Can you please explain the difference between Abdominal Breathing, Dan Tian Breathing and Cosmic Breathing? There seems to be some confusion in the use of these terms.
— Sifu Kenya Araujo, Ecuador
I shall first give a brief historical description of these arts in our school.
I first learned Abdominal Breathing from my senior classmates when I learned Wuzuquan or Five-Ancestor Kungfu in Sifu Chee Kim Thong's school. Later I learned Abdominal Breathing as part of Small Universe from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam.
As I continued to practice Abdominal Breathing for many years, it spontaneously developed into Cosmic Breathing. I did not use the term "Cosmic Breathing" at that time though I was aware of the difference in their power and nature. I regarded it as a natural progression.
As we breathe into the dan tian in Abdominal Breathing, I often used the terms "Abdominal Breathing" and "Dan Tian Breathing" interchangeably. Sometimes I also referred to Cosmic Breathing as "Dan Tian Breathing" because the dan tian is employed in breathing in and out. I was not clear-cut about these three terms then.
But the terms are clear now. Dan Tian Breathing is a technique. Abdominal Breathing and Cosmic Breathing are skills. We may use the technique of Dan Tian Breathing to have the skill of Abdominal Breathing, or we may use the technique of Dan Tian Breathing to have the skill of Cosmic Breathing.
In the same way, we may use the technique of Lifting the Sky as gentle physical exercise to loosen joints and muscles. Or we may use the technique of Lifting the Sky as chi kung to generate an energy flow. We can also use the technique of Lifting the Sky to have other chi kung skills, like developing internal force and having a cosmic shower.
In Abdominal Breathing, when we breathe in, fresh energy flows though the nose into the dan tian. When we breathe out, used energy flows from the dan tian out of the mouth.
In Cosmic Breathing, when we breathe in, fresh energy flows into our dan tian from the Cosmos. When we breathe out, used energy flows out of the dan tian into the Cosmos.
The flow of energy in Abdominal Breathing and in Cosmic Breathing is different. In Abdominal Breathing, energy flows from the nose down to the dan tian, and out from the dan tian up to the mouth. In Cosmic Breathing, we pulsate with the Cosmos, with energy flowing in and out of the dan tian.
The outward appearance, however, is the same. In both Abdominal Breathing and Cosmic Breathing, the dan tian rises when breathing in, and the dan tian falls when breathing out
While both are advanced arts, Cosmic Breathing is more advanced and more powerful. Abdominal Breathing generates a lot of internal force, and is used to achieve the Small Universe. Cosmic Breathing is used to achieve the Big Universe where the practitioner experiences spiritual expansion into the Cosmos.
The above is taken from Question 5 March 2012 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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