Circle Walking Meditation For Beginners
Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) is an aerobic and meditative art that improves your cardio-vascular system, loosens the soft tissue, and releases held tensions in the body. This is achieved by walking in a circle whilst holding various arm postures, and changing the direction of walking whilst using a particular pattern of arm movements known as ‘Palm Changes’, of which there are Eight. This practice is traditionally known as Ba Gua or ‘Eight Change Palms’
Using the internal Nei Gung elements learnt within Qi Gong and Tai Chi, Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) allows you to fully connect the body into a unified whole. This is achieved firstly through lengthening the soft tissues which starts the process of engaging with unused, knotted, tense and bound tissues; the cause of mis-aligning the body. Next through the twisting and releasing the soft tissue of the arms and legs during walking and changing direction, along with the constant flow created by the circular pattern, your body opens up further enabling you to let go of the 'inertia' held within. This releasing and letting go of 'inertia' becomes a very pleasant habit that will carry through into your everyday life, improving your ability to change and flow through your day to day living, even when obstacles present themselves.
As with out, so with in! As these internal tensions and blockages are released, your blood will be able to flow freely through your body, enlivening the tissues and the organs as you go deeper into your body, therefore creating a healthier internal environment. This allows your body to function at an optimum level, improving its ability to ward off external pathogens and your general daily performance.
Circle Walking Meditation
The eight primal energies of change are represented as a combination of broken and whole lines which represent the duality of Yin and Yang. The energetic nature of the changes is subtly altered through the different interactions between Yin and Yang. Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) is the foundation for the Hexagrams that form the Taoist “I Ching Book of Changes."
Although Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) has a near legendary reputation for Martial effectiveness (against up to 8 opponents) in China, we are teaching the Taoist Monastic Tradition focusing upon the Health of the body and mind, and Meditation towards personal development.
In time, as your practice becomes deeper and more stable, elements of meditation will be brought in as you walk the circle to allow you to begin working through ever deeper layers of blockages and increase your awareness of some of the energetics held within the form.
It is advised that the foundation courses in Qi Gong and Tai Chi are attended to gain an understanding of some of the Nei Gung components needed to begin practising Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) in a meaningful manner.
For Existing Practitioners
Circle Walking Meditation was developed in China by Taoists around 4000 years ago, according to records, as a means to accept change and merge with the natural flow of the Universe. The Taoists believe that CHANGE is the one constant of the Universe and this is expressed and depicted in the Circle Walking Meditation Trigrams and further explored in the ‘I Ching’ Book of Changes.
The Single Palm Change is the movement performed whilst changing direction and is the physical embodiment of the Guas, ie: expressing the energies of Change. By lengthening, twisting, extending and shrinking the soft tissues and joints, a deep connection is developed between the arms, torso and legs. This allows you to work through tensions and blockages, creating space for the mind to further penetrate the body. This facilitates an increased awareness of the physical body and an increased potential to absorb and embody the physical and energetic internal components.
Through training Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) and the Single Palm Change you will practice maintaining a stillness of mind through changing directions. As the Mind and Body are inextricably connected, creating a still calm mind will help the nervous system of the body relax. Releasing the nervous system’s tensions and blockages will enable the mind to open up and become calmer, less affected by distractions. This complimentary feed back loop is a powerful tool for the individual to begin unravelling personal restrictions on full-filling their individual potential.
The strength of Circle Walking Meditation (Ba Gua) as an Internal Art is that the ostensibly simple choreography can contain the complete Nei Gung system and allows the practitioner to develop their Martial strength, physical Health and Spiritual ambitions. Whilst these individual directions do somewhat interlink, they require specific training to develop each one in particular.