Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Zen Qi - The Formless Form

First you learn the form .. then learn to be formless.

Chi Bone Without Form
I wanted to call this post: Bone Qi Bamboo Form .. but as I research and begin to understand what is the form and what is the formless .. my body speaks to me and shows me "The formless Form".

Hard-core traditional chi-form practitioners would be better not to read any further .. as I do not want to upset or insult anyone.

At the same time [between friends] .. most chi forms sort of out-there are literally "out there" in terms of loss of root interpretations of the forms. I hope some of you are still with me .. as I try to be diplomatic '-)

I think each person learns at their own level at any specific time .. but I [personally] was taught to go beyond my own level .. and this I call the Formless Form. I now understand there is the hard [yang] form and the formless [yin] empty space .. and both of these combine to create physical reality.

In the composite photograph you see the hard [yang] physical bamboo structure you can touch .. and within the bamboo is the soft hollow formless [yin] that you cannot touch physically - but you can touch with your mind / energy / Qi.

In this life I was always crazy to learn traditional forms .. and something always said to me = no-no whatever you do just avoid learning these physical forms. Which upset me no end! But .. I trusted this mysterious guidance and I decided a lifetime on Earth to find out why this is not so much of a problem!

Bamboo No-Form Stick
Here you see the rough edge cut of the 37cm x 3cm piece of bamboo and the sanded down edge using medium sand paper and later fine sand paper to smooth off the whole surface.

I later discovered that there are different styles of bamboo chi-stick forms .. and there are different sizes and different thickness of bamboo stick chi! I will simply share with you what I am doing myself .. just because I love bamboo!

At first I cut a shorter 32cm x 3.5cm bamboo Qi stick [without knowing anything about chi forms or sticks]. Later I cut a larger slightly thinner bamboo style Qi stick that is supposed to be the length from tip of the fingers to the elbow.

As you see I try to cut the bamboo on the joint (where possible) and then I use medium sand paper to soften the surface followed by fine sand paper to create smooth surface similar to bone. I then treat the bamboo with olive oil .. which soaks in to create a soft fine surface texture.

The thinner bamboo that I tested .. I cut in two forms .. the longer finger to elbow 37cm x 3cm and later I cut a shorter form of 30cm x 3cm .. which I prefer. I prefer the shorter form! Be aware that I know NOTHING about form and technique and I am simply doing this from awareness of body and inner feeling.

The Formless Form
There are teachers who perfected the form of Zen Qi and later these same teachers were able to apply and practice the Formless Form of Zen Qi. At the same time the teachers of balance work in-the-same-moment with physical form and the formless .. in which the yin and the yang are one.

In my mind human bones and bamboo perfectly represent the form and the formless. In other words bones and bamboo most perfectly represent the Formless Form!

You have the physical structure of bamboo and within the bamboo you have the unknown .. the formless .. the unseen .. the mystery. In yin-yang balance the formless supports the physical form just as the physical form supports the formless.

The controversial aspect of my work is PASSION! Let's say you create your own short-cut bamboo Qi stick and you hold the bamboo in your hands. You have physical form and within the hollow you have [hold] the formless.

One also has to have a sense of humor '-)

One moves the bamboo .. moves .. moves .. moves .. but where is the PASSION?

I tested it out myself and I discover that it is the PASSION that connects that which has form and that which is formless. We have three forces: Matter [physical] .. the formless [space] and passion [psyche / Qi / energy].

All three forces are connected! THE QI IS THE PASSION !!

Here I am and I know NOTHING .. I just test things out for myself. How else do you learn? Always test out and work with and find your own passion. If you love to find balance of the art of movement .. then do not simply MOVE YOUR BODY .. but .. combine form .. the formless through Qi [passion]. It is energy [inner Qi] that combines physical and non-physical dimensions.