The first stage in developing a good Qigong practice
The first stage in developing a qigong practice is the ignition in the lower dan tien area (lower abdomen). First we start the ignition with strong fire. By strong fire we mean that we use strong intention and also synchronize the visualization with breathing. Our intention is fire. Our intention comes from our heart. In the five elements, heart corresponds to the fire element. So wherever we put our focus on, there is fire in it. We need put our “burning focus” on the lower dan tien, to set a fire in the extremely Yin area of our body. Then we need to synchronize our visualization with our breathing.
In this case, the breath can be considered as the wind that can fan the fire. With high level of concentration of our intention on our lower dan tien coupled with persistent wind, the fire will become bigger. And this is called strong fire.
The more we focus our attention, the stronger the fire. The way to achieve persistent wind is to breathe deep, slim, even and long. Once the fire is successfully ignited with strong fire (that is when we feel warmness in our lower abdomen), we can change to gentle fire.
Gentle fire is achieved by reduce our focus on the lower dan tien area, and our breath returns to normal breathing, it does not have to be very deep and long. This can be compared as we first use strong fire to ignite the fire under the cooking pot, then we change to gentle fire to have a “slow cook.” Do not think it is good to use the strong fire continuously, because too much strong fire may hurt the cooking pot. It may have a negative effect on our body. Whenever we sensed a little warmness in our body, we should change to gentle fire.