10 Ways To Guarantee Your Failure With Chi Kung

This is a fun post with a serious message. Sometimes it helps to look at the ‘flip side’ of the coin to help get a message across. So instead of this being 10 ways to guarantee your success with Chi Kung, I’ve turned it around. So if you want to succeed with Chi Kung, just do the opposite of the top 10 tips here:

In no particular order I’d like to present the top 10 ways to fail with your Chi Kung practice

  1. Practice Chi Kung Form Only

    Forget that Chi Kung is a composite of Chi Kung Form, Energy/Breathing and Mind. Just focus on the bit you can see, Chi Kung form and ignore the rest. Yes you will look like you are doing Chi Kung, and hardly anybody will be able to tell the difference.

  2. Learn only from Books & Chi Kung DVD’s

    Don’t bother making the effort to find the best teacher of Chi Kung that you can, don’t waste your time, effort and money traveling to learn from them. Forget the sacrifice of spending time away from your family and friends to learn directly from them.

    Why bother when you can pick up a book from the store, or watch a Chi Kung DVD and teach yourself?

  3. Don’t follow Instructions

    If you do have a real live breathing Chi Kung teacher, the quickest way to guarantee failure is to not follow their instructions. If they tell you to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and you’re not cool with that – forget about it. Do it your way.

    I mean come on, let’s face it, you’re actually doing the teacher a favor by turning up every week, why should you bother following their instructions? The teachers a fool anyway, otherwise they’d know that they could get better results by thinking about their angels, wearing the right crystal, whilst humming the right frequency, tensing, stretching their muscles and visualizing the love of the Buddha’s – whilst practicing Chi Kung.

    Seriously, haven’t they read the book?

  4. Have no idea why you’re practicing

    If you can’t tell me in a sentence or two what benefits you specifically want from your Chi Kung practice in the next 6 months and in the 12 months or so after that – congratulations. You are well on the way to failing with Chi Kung. Keep it up.

  5. Be Tense

    Hey, it’s a stressful world we seem to inhabit. If you really want to fail fast with your Chi Kung exercises then make sure you do them when you are physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually tense. Chi finds it really difficult to flow harmoniously when you’re tense – so the tenser you are, the more likely you are to fail with Chi Kung.

  6. Make sure your practice is haphazard.

    Don’t feel like practicing once or twice a day – every day. Excellent you have what it takes to fail with Chi Kung. Practice only when you can be bothered, take a few days off when ever you feel like it and just see how quickly you don’t get any beneficial results from your practice.

  7. Give up

    Hey, come on, you’ve been practicing for a few weeks and nothing’s happened yet? You can’t set fire to cotton wool just by looking at it? You mean you haven’t overcome that illness you’ve had for the last decade? You don’t wake up in a morning feeling ready to jump out of bed – kick ass and take names?

    Clearly Chi Kung doesn’t work and you should give up now. I mean it’s been a few weeks already.

  8. Be Addicted to ‘New’

    Forget about practicing and practicing and practicing the two or three forms you know. Forget about developing the core skills of Chi Kung by practicing, practicing, practicing. No, it’s far more fun and enjoyable to learn new forms, learn new stuff.

    A really good way to fail with Chi Kung is to never scratch the surface of it by constantly moving on to a new form, school or style.

  9. Keep Thinking All the Time

    Similar to #5 – but significantly different if you think about it enough, from enough different angles. Forget about enjoying your Chi Kung and analyze every single movement, every single sensations. Approach Chi Kung as if you were going into a lab and put everything under the microscope of your mind.

    To really speed this one up, don’t just keep thinking about what you’re doing whilst practicing Chi Kung, drag in unfinished business from the day as well. Forget about relaxing and enjoying your practice. Chew on tomorrows meeting instead and what you’re doing. This way you can multi-task whilst doing your practice.

    If you can keep this up for the full 15 minutes of your practice, you are well on the way to falling with Chi Kung.

  10. Distractions

    Nothing says failure like practicing in a really rubbish place. Ideally you’ll choose somewhere noisy, dirty, busy and if you want to fail super fast – you could add dangerous to the list as well.

    If you want to fail with Chi Kung forget about practicing in a place of nature, far from the madding crowd with fresh circulating air. Thats for people who want to succeed with Chi Kung!

It’s not difficult to succeed with Chi Kung, start by doing the opposite of everything mentioned in the list above and you’ll be well on your way.

Bye for now


Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

When Your Chi Kung Practice Is Disrupted

At some point during your Chi Kung ‘career’ your practice is going to be disturbed. It’s just a question of when it will happen. There are many ways your practice can be interrupted including:

  • Someone will come up to you whilst you’re in energy flow and ask you if you’re alright.
  • The fire alarm will go off in the building your practicing in.
  • The phone will start ringing, the answer phone picks up the call and you realise you need to speak to this person.
  • You’re in energy flow and it starts to rain cats and dogs.
  • You break a piece of furniture or Objet d’Art.

There are 101 other ways in which your Chi Kung practice can be disturbed.

If you’re not prepared, if you don’t know how to handle disturbances correctly the affects can be quite harmful. When you practice Chi Kung you want to be in a Chi Kung State of Mind, which is a deep meditative state of mind. Unexpected disturbances can cause your Chi/energy to become scattered.

If this happens on a regular basis (try finding somewhere else to practice) or if the disturbance is significant enough it can result in you finding yourself feeling nervous, anxious and fearful for no obvious reason.

Here are the 3 steps to dealing effectively and safely with disturbances during your Qigong practice:

  1. Be Prepared – When you are Preparing to start your practice, whilst you are walking around or making sure you are standing upright and balanced. Gently tell yourself that if anything happens to surprise or disturb you, it cannot hurt you, because it is only the phone ringing, or a friend trying to attract your attention.

    Note: If you live in a shared house or practice in a shared garden, let your friends and family know not to disturb you during your practice, ask them to take a message for you if the phone rings. These are basic ground rules.

  2. When It Happens – when disturbance to your practice occurs, gently and firmly keep your composure. Tell yourself that your energy and your mind are intact and that everything is okay. Now take some slow, deep breaths and continue your practice when you are ready. Finish off as normal.
  3. If You Have To Stop – If a fire alarm goes off in the building you are practicing in, or you have to stop your practice before you are ready, here’s what to do:
    • Bring your attention gently to your Dan Tian (the energy point just below your belly button). Rub your hands together briskly and give yourself a quick facial massage.
    • Attend appropriately to whatever has demanded your attention.
    • As quickly as you are safely able to do so – have an energy flow and finish off your practice as normal.

As previously mentioned the side affects of disruption to your Chi Kung practice can be quite severe. But the ‘cure’ to this is simple when you know how. Re-read this article a few times to make sure you know what to do next time an unexpected disturbance happens next to where you’re practicing!

Kind regards


Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

Your Blueprint for Success With Shaolin Chi Kung

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about ‘the difference that makes the difference’ when it comes to practicing Shaolin Chi Kung. I found myself wondering why it is that some people have great success with their chi kung practice whilst other give up feeling they’ve achieved nothing?

So, with that in mind, here’s a ‘Blueprint‘ for success with Chi Kung. 7 essential components that will allow anyone to gain the benefits of Chi Kung as quickly and as easily as possible.

1) Learn from the best Chi Kung teacher you can find – I know. I am the author of a book on Chi Kung and have created the most comprehensive 22 week online Chi Kung home study course. And here I am telling you to find the best teacher you can find.

The simple fact is that the best way to learn Chi Kung is directly from a Chi Kung master, or at the very least a competent instructor. Books, DVD’s and online courses can be great reference tools, but they are poor substitutes for a real ‘in the flesh’ teacher. I wrote an article: How To Find A Great Qigong Teacher which has more details that will help you in your search.

2) Make sure you are practicing Chi Kung and not Chi Kung form – I’ve written quite a lot on this, but it is of vital importance. If you practice swimming you will gain the skill of swimming. But you will not gain the art of cycling. Obvious.

If you practice Chi Kung form, you will gain the skill of Chi Kung form and the benefits of practicing Chi Kung form – i.e. gentle exercise, stretching, increased blood flow etc.

But you will not gain the skills of Chi Kung.

You will only gain the skills of Chi Kung by practicing Chi Kung. Obvious.

3) The 3 Core skills – To succeed with Chi Kung you must practice Chi Kung and Chi Kung consists of these 3 core skills:

  1. A Chi Kung State of Mind – a heightened state of consciousness, at it’s lowest level you are relaxed and alert.
  2. Energy flow – let go, do nothing and LET.
  3. Standing Zen – consolidate the benefits from your practice.

I’ve written a lot on the subject of the 3 core skills of Chi Kung, to find out more please read: The 3 Core Skills of Qigong.

You can be learning Chi Kung from the worlds greatest Chi Kung master in the universe, but without the next component of our blueprint, it counts for nothing. You must…

4) Establish A Daily Practice – The plain truth is that to gain the benefits of Chi Kung (health and vitality, longevity, internal force, mental and spiritual cultivation) you must practice daily. Chi Kung is not something you learn like history.

You do not memorise a list of dates and events. No, Chi Kung is an experience that you must practice daily so that you develop the vital skills of Chi Kung. Without these vital skills, Chi Kung becomes qigong form.
Let’s say you wanted to lose weight, you wouldn’t just diet for a day and then say: ‘phew, thank heavens that’s, that done!‘ – no you’d practice daily.

Because Chi Kung is an art, you must practice it daily to get the benefits of that art. Let’s say you knew all the theory of Chi Kung and TCM, but never practiced a single day of Chi Kung – all that knowledge would be useless to you, until you applied it.

To get the results of Chi Kung you have to practice daily. If you practice for 2 or 3 days, then have a day off, then practice for 4 days and then have 2 days off and so on – because your practice is sporadic, so will your results.

For more information please read: 10 Ways To Set Up Regular Chi Kung Practice.

Once you have established a daily practice habit you need to…

5) Set clear aims and objectives for your Chi Kung practice – if you know what you want to gain from your practice, you are in a much stronger position to reach those targets. The other benefit of having clear aims and objectives is that you can check your results against those you wish to achieve and see if you are moving in the right direction and make adjustments as necessary.

What cannot be measured cannot be managed. You practice Chi Kung because you want some definite, measurable benefit or result. If you do not set clear aims and objectives for your practice, how will you ever know if you are getting the most effective results for the investment of your time and effort?

Here’s a rubbish example of what I mean – let’s say one of your objectives for your Chi Kung practice is to be combat efficient against a boxer in 6 months. If you set this objective and keep measuring your progress against it, you will quickly discover that Chi Kung is the wrong vehicle for you to meet your target. And then you can start to do something about it, like learning Shaolin Kung Fu.

But, if you do not have this level of clarity, after 6, 12, 18 months you would be no closer to realising your target and you would have wasted much valuable time and energy in the process. I cannot emphasize enough that ‘clarity is king‘

Even with these 5 components in place it’s still easy to not get the maximum benefits of Chi Kung. Make sure you keep these two words close to heart when practicing…

6) Relaxed and Gentle – to succeed with Chi Kung you must keep these two ‘magic words’ close to your heart. You must remember that Chi Kung is not western exercise and therefore the ‘mantra’s’ of western exercise like: ‘no pain no gain‘ and ‘feel the burn‘ etc simply do not apply.

Pain is a signal that you are doing something wrong with your Chi Kung practice, feeling the burn is a signal that you over doing your Chi Kung practice.

In Chi Kung your movements are relaxed and gentle, even when punching in Chi Kung exercises like ‘Punching With Wide Eyes‘ from the shaolin 18 Lohan hands, you are relaxed and gentle.

Your breathing is relaxed and gentle.

And any thoughts are relaxed and gentle.

The gritting of teeth, the pushing past comfort levels is simply not a part of Chi Kung practice.

I’ve saved perhaps the most vital component of our success blueprint until last. It’s probably the second most common reason why Chi Kung practitioners fail to get the results they want. And what is this vital component? It’s…

7) You – you must be a good student – As a Chi Kung teacher, one of the saddest aspects I regularly experience is a student – who just cannot follow instructions correctly. I tell them to breathe OUT through their mouth and even explain why and they still breathe out through their nose. I explain that internal force is developed by being relaxed and gentle in their Fierce Tiger Pushing Mountains practice. And they insist on tensing and huffing and puffing.

And yet they practice daily, they are learning Chi Kung, they practice the core skills of Chi Kung, they have set clear aims and objectives for their Chi Kung practice. But they will ultimately fail. Why?

Because they are not a good student. A friend and fellow Chi Kung teacher once defined a good student this way:

  • Do what the teacher tells you
  • Don’t do what the teacher hasn’t told you
  • Respect the teacher

I can’t really improve on that.

Remember, there really is no secret to success with Chi Kung. Just make sure you are practicing Chi Kung (that has the 3 core skills in it) from a competent teacher. That you are clear on what you want from your Chi Kung practice, that you practice daily. Always be relaxed and gentle in your practice and most importantly – be a good student. Then your success is certain.

Follow the 7 steps outlined in the success blue print and I think the next 3-6 months of your practice will exceed your expectations. Enjoy.

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

5 Different Levels Of Chi Kung

As I mentioned in a previous post. With around 5000 years of history it’s easy to see why there are so many different schools, styles and approaches to Chi Kung.

Keep this in mind as you read the rest of this post, remember it is just my opinion – not a definitive, carved in stone opinion – which I don’t believe exists anyway.

A question I get many times goes along these lines:

“Can I do more than one qigong exercise during my Chi Kung session?”

The quick answer to this question is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. But let’s dig a little deeper in this post. Here’s a metaphor I remember my teacher using to answer this type of question:
Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chi Kung – The 5000 Year Old New Kid

If you check google alerts for news on Chi Kung and Qigong, you’ll have noticed recently that there’s been quite a bit of media interest in Chi Kung. They seem to be saying that Chi Kung is going to be the next exercise trend.

Having had a keen interest in Chi Kung and practicing it for over a decade, I have to say I’ve seen this before. I’ll confess that 11 years after starting my serious practice of Chi Kung, it is still not as well known and as widely practiced as Tai Chi, Yoga or even Reiki. Especially when you consider that:
Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is Chi Kung Better Than Western Medicine?

It’s a question I get every now and again. It seems that some people when they start learning Chi Kung become almost ‘evangelical’ about it. They become what I call extreme Chi Kung fans and anything that isn’t ‘alternative’ is identified as being bad.

This type of person is just as bad as the person who believes that only western medicine has the answer to mankinds illnesses and disease. They’re both just flip sides of the same coin.
Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Simple Tip For Maximum Chi Kung Results

Today I’d like to tell you about a simple little tip you can add to your Qigong/Chi Kung practice that will really help you to speed up your results. Whatever benefits you want to get from your practice – this simple distinction will be of great value.

Here’s an extract from Deepak Chopra’s book ‘Quantum Healing’ 1989 to set the scene:

Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chi Kung Healing – Why it works

Today I’d like to look at the concept of Root and Branch in relationship to Chi Kung healing. The short version of this blog post is that Chi Kung healing works on the Root and not the symptoms or the Brach. But what does this really mean?

When I say the Root I mean this is the main problem or cause and when I say Branch I mean the symptom or the result of the main problem.

Here’s an example. Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chi Kung Golden Rules Pt2

Continuing our look at Shaolin Chi Kung’s Golden Rules of 3:

3 Components of Chi Kung

  • Form
  • Energy
  • Mind

Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Leave a comment

Chi Kung and the Golden Rules of 3

Here are some of the ‘Golden’ Rules of 3 as they relate to Shaolin Chi Kung:

3 Core Skills of Chi Kung
Continue reading

Posted in Chi Kung | Leave a comment