CO-ORDINATE BREATHING AND VISUALIZATION IN CHI KUNG
You say the crucial point is how you practice the exercises. I think I've read in one of your books you say there is a fine line between doing correct chi kung and just doing gentle exercise. From reading your books my understanding is that the difference between the two is that chi kung adds coordinated breathing and mental visualizations. Am I correct to assume that as long as I do the movements coordinated with my breathing and the mental visualization you describe, I'll derive most of the benefits?
-- Steven, Australia
No, even if you co-ordinate your breathing and visualization with the chi kung exercises as described in my book, you may not be practicing chi kung. Worse, you may harm yourself.
Why is it that you won't be practicing chi kung even when you follow my instructions correctly? It is because you lack the necessary skills. The answer is actually simple and straight-forward, though many people may not understand it. Hence, they still try to learn from books when repeatedly told to learn from competent teachers.
For example, the instructions may be as follows. "Relax. Breathe in gently and visualize cosmic energy flowing into you."
Though you honestly try to relax, breathe in gently and visualize cosmic energy flowing into you, you fail to realize what you try. You may actually be tensed, breathe in quickly and cosmic energy does not flow into you even when you visualize so.
An analogy will make this clearer. Suppose you wish to learn swimming from a good book. The instructions are as follows. "Alternatively lift each hand above the water, turn your head to the other side, open your mouth, place the hand into the water with your palm close and pull back the hand while you paddle with your feet." Even when you follow the instruction correctly, you may still not be able to swim. You will probably drink a lot of water, and if you attempt this in a deep pool or open sea, you may be drown.
Also if the mind is the most crucial aspect of chi kung, would it not be best just to visualize my kidneys heal without doing any movement, like doing the positive visualization exercise from your "Art of Chi Kung" book?
It is true that the mind is the most crucial aspect of chi kung. But you must not attempt the visualization you suggested. You would likely harm yourself.
Common sense will tell that your suggestion is not valid. If it were valid, there might not be any sick people. They could recover just by visualizing they heal themselves!