From Michael Winn’s latest newsletter, found at the Healing Tao USA website. In these paragraphs, he is answer the question of ‘what is Pre-natal Qi and where does it come from?’ A very interesting topic and he explores it in-depth in this newsletter.
“It is patterns of living energy, called “formless or subtle forms” stored in a vast dark ocean. The dimension holding this dark ocean is a “halfway heaven”, called Early Heaven, that mediates between Origin and physical plane (Later Heaven). These subtle forms of “dark light” flow into visible light shapes and colors which define the birth all Post-natal forms we call Nature.
This ocean of Pre-natal Qi originates in an invisible, completely formless Primordial Heaven known as “The Mother of All Things”, or tai yi, lit. “Great Oneness”. Beyond tai yi is wu ji, the Supreme Unknowable. Chinese Buddhist-influenced academics often (wrongly, in my opinion) translate wu ji as emptiness. If it unknowable, we cannot know it is empty. A better Taoist translation would be “pure openness”. -Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA
Many energy channels of the body follow the tendon lines. Therefore, strengthening the tendons and corresponding pathways increases energy circulation throughout the body. The Iron Shirt 2 exercises help the practitioner move the body while maintaining and increasing a solid connection to the earth. This aspect creates helpful applications to Tai Chi practice, moving the body as a unit in everyday life, and to emotionally help the practitioner feel grounded and stable in life’s circumstances. The discharge power in Tai Chi forms is a result of the transference of energy from the earth, through the core, and out the shoulders and arms. When the tendons are connected and strengthened through Iron Shirt 2, the Tai Chi player notices and creates more energy transference during her practice. Even Bruce Lee’s famous one-inch punch was a result of energy transference through the tendons, instead of muscle strength. -The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching