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How Emotion Controls Qi

Qi Gong Master Mikel Steenrod discusses the need for emotion and drama in qi gong as it is part of the Shen.
cover image showing a representation of emotion influencing qi

Transcription of the Explainer Vid, "How Emotion Controls Qi."

Topics of this video:

  1. The Shen.

  2. The Need for Emotion and Drama in Qi Gong.

  3. Negative effects of WASP and Confucian culture.

Hello. This is Qi Gong Master Mikel. Steenrod of Water Mountain Virtual.
For today’s qi gong talk, let’s take a look at qi and emotion,
specifically through the control structure known as the shen.

So the shen
is a qi based mechanism that controls the overall flow
and quality of the qi within the body, and also strongly
influences the absorption of the qi into the body.
It doesn’t have a physical tissue structure, but instead exists
only at the level of the qi.
It has two parts to it.
One is called the Valley of the Shen.
The other is called the Heart’s Residence.

The Valley of the Shen
passes through here, back to the mid brain.
The Heart’s Residence overlaps in part with the physical heart,
hence the word, “Heart’s Residence,”
sinks back into the
The Valley of the Shen provides the intellectual component
of the qi control system.
So what we would oftentimes call willpower.
And the Heart’s Residence provides the emotional component
of the qi control system,
what we oftentimes regard as being our hormonal system.
So the hormonal system and the
emotional component of the qi system do overlap
a great deal.
They are different things, but there is a significant overlap
in their function
and in their behavior
within the qi system.

One of the things that is lacking within the western approach to qi gong
is the need for the emotional component to function
All great movements of qi have an emotional compulsion behind
them, and an emotional resonance.

Now, what does that mean?
It’s motivated by the emotion,
and it has an emotional feel to it.
In fact, if you are moving large quantities of qi, it’s not
uncommon to be emotionally moved to tears,
or to happiness,
or simply sitting back in a sense of splendor, or of
participating in or seeing the great splendor of the universe.
So you’re emotionally
by the process of controlling
large amounts of qi. It’s very typical, and it’s typical to
have fluctuations within there.

With American culture,
we have an inheritance from our WASP legacy, which comes from our
original colonial
And that’s the White Anglo Saxon Protestant
formation, which was strongly suppressive
of emotion
and regarded it with, the display of it, with a great deal of
suspicion. The problem is that this approach interrupts
or suppresses
emotional movement, regarding it as being foreign,
an outside influence, something that can lead you astray.
With qi gong, we need that for the large, powerful movements of
the qi.

So how do we set out to influence or control that?
Well, to put it in a nutshell, because we’re talking about a
complex process,
which, in a video, even an explainer video, I can only
touch upon. I can’t
adequately summarize years of training.
What we need is drama.
We need the dramatic
So emotion, motion,
and presence
of drama within a given move. Even if that move is static, it
must be struck in such a way that it is dramatic.
That drama
through the maneuver and helps to stimulate the Shen
to move a large quantity of qi into that particular posture.
And if we sit back, if you’re an American, if you’re within
western culture,
you can sit back and ask yourself, “Well, what is the
actual implication of that?”
The best parallel I can give you
to Mexican soap operas or Korean
soap operas.
They have a very strong,
from the American perspective, overwhelming dramatic component
to it.
However, we want that type of drama brought into
the qi gong. When it is lacking,
and that’s usually done through
a Confucian approach….
The modern Confucian approach is very suppressive of emotion.
Earlier within Confucianism and earlier within Chinese culture,
lacking the ability to display emotion would have been
considered a serious human weakness.
Over time, as Confucianism became more integrated into politics
and political displays,
that changed, and it became more about suppressing,
much in the same way
the WASP
movement suppressed
human behaviour.
Confucian movements
suppressed human behavior
rather than having a proper
regard of what it meant to be human.
And so
what you want to do in order to create a strong movement of qi
is to allow the drama to emerge within the qi gong.
And that, in turn will stimulate
the flow of emotion within the system,
don’t be surprised if you are, in fact, emotionally moved
while you’re doing your qi gong.
Ok, I hope you enjoyed this talk.
Thank you very much.

One Response

  1. I really feel like I’ve been raised the way Mikel, teaches. I was singled out for emoting too much and I found it was a basic human need. Perhaps I had found the GIFT OF EMOTING when I had chosen this beautiful gift of becoming an RN . I began as
    a nurses aid with a course before I was married. Then my life took more direction. I questioned for myself what more ,what deeper . So my life experience was saying “Open Up and Receive MORE and be equipped to give more. “We Chose the direction of the West. I was driven with EMOTION at that time by a song . Then in Flagstaff, AZ I found in the local newspaper Qi Gong healing being practiced . In or out of our qi gong classes, healing is happening with qi. It’s perhaps emoting qi in our shen that mobilizes our choices.

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