Iron Shirt Qigong 1 is a system of standing meditation.
Specifically, it is a set of standing meditation postures designed to help you become
more grounded and stable emotionally through your connection to the Earth.
Through this deeper level of grounding, you find that over time your ability
to remain detached from your emotions will also increase. In this way, you become
more stable: rather than being controlled by your emotions, you become more able
to detach from them and view them objectively as a witness. Consequently, Iron Shirt 1
becomes the necessary complement to any spiritual work for managing your emotions.
The Iron Shirt 1 postures themselves also serve to strengthen the physical body,
which is a necessary tool to ward off the effects of aging. The old masters knew that they
could not do their lengthy meditative and spiritual techniques without a strong body
to sustain them, and they consequently looked to such methods.
Specifically, the Iron Shirt 1 postures serve to strengthen the body's core. In particular,
connective tissue strengthens, blood circulation improves, and general body patterns
of tension dissolve. Through the connection to the ground, healing energy from the Earth
rises up into your body, and helps to promote both physical and emotional healing.
The focus in Iron Shirt 1 is on body alignment and structure. This not only enhances
the grounding effect, but it serves to strengthen the physical body as well. Through this
process, you develop an added awareness of your own internal life-force energy (or qi)
and are able to supplement that with additional qi rising up into your body from the Earth.
By strengthening your fascia (connective tissue), you will be better able to protect your
internal organs and keep them healthy. This will in turn help to support the tendons, ligaments,
joints, and bones, which are covered more extensively in the higher levels of Iron Shirt.
In total, the techniques taught in Iron Shirt 1 serve as a fundamental building block for
a whole program of courses that are designed to build the physical body and continue
the pathway of deeper levels of grounding. They form a necessary ingredient for higher levels
of Iron Shirt, Tai Chi, and both martial and spiritual arts programs.
At the same time, the physical and emotional grounding that is provided, is a necessary
prerequisite for continuing the meditative and spiritual pathway of Taoist meditation
and alchemy. It only through becoming more deeply embodied that meditative practices
become a whole-body energetic transformative process.
The historical origin of Iron Shirt Qigong 1 comes from the world of martial arts.
Iron Shirt Qigong 1 was originally developed to strengthen your core so that
it could withstand blows, i.e. develop an "iron shirt". While Iron Shirt Qigong 1 can
certainly be used for martial arts in this way, our focus is on the healing and spiritual
aspects of the practice, both of which (as indicated earlier) are surprisingly enormous.
Last Revised 10/20/2017