Forum Message Title: for Deborah
By Matt Cohen
I read your most recent post and wanted to share with you some thoughts on sending chi. I will do my best to explain this clearly but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always HyoChul is in my practice and thoughts as are you.
It was just after my first year practicing (up to five years now) that I began to experiment with sending the chi to loved ones. I found right away that I could have a really good effect on the person I was working on but I also found, much as you described, that it did not aid me in feeling healthier and at times really drained me. I would never think of fa-chi as a chi gathering exercise for myself. I went through all the pre-steps that Luke described to me over and over again about not using my own chi, how to reach up into the universal chi and bring it in through me or to me at the same time as I worked on others. I practiced hard but fa-chi still left me either worse or the same as before I started. I did my own practice as well, I was lucky to have the luxury of much time to spend on myself. This allowed me to continue on, but I still realized that there was much more to fa-chi and that there must be something that would allow me to gather chi even as I worked on others. Through observation I discovered that every once in awhile when I worked on a friend or even a classmate who was not too sick or I did not know well I could do it better. I could bring in the chi and feel it come into myself as well.
Now like you I was doing a lot of it so over time I was able to observe the way in which the chi flowed. Over time I could feel what came from the chi field and what came from my chi field. How my thoughts and intensions changed and how to fill myself through this practice. What is more I learned how to take what I learned through fa-chi and apply it to my own practice of LCUPCD or Wall squats. This in turn improved my experiences in these other exercises. In fact I would say that to this point fa-chi has been my greatest teacher.
Anyway, what I observed was that my love for my loved one was changing the way in which I sent the chi. When I worked on strangers I could embrace the love and compassion in myself, expand to the universe, and bring in the chi. I could blend with the chi even as it went into the person and I would walk away energized and full. When I worked on my loved one I would fill with love and compassion, but this love was a striving love, it was a love out of need, a need for this loved one to get better. I would go through the same steps but over time I realized that my need for this person to get better did not allow me to think of myself at all. It did not allow me to fill myself up as well. Even as I was bringing in the chi to them I was either neglecting myself or actually sending myself into them to try and help heal them. Even after talking and talking with Luke about how to do it right; I still could not hold myself back because of my need to see this person well.
The immediate solution was two-fold. If when I walked away I felt the same as I did when I started then I knew I had succeeded in leaving myself out of it (a first step in the right direction) and just simply had ignored myself in the practice. In these cases I would feel fine. But if when I walked away I felt even the slightest drained, then I knew that I had given too much of my own and so I would go right away and do 5-10 minutes of individual practice. (Push/pull, la-chi, squats- a couple of minutes is all it really took) just to cut off the cycle of flow and to regenerate. I noticed that if I did not do this I would slowly feel worse and worse. This worked for a time but I still wanted to find the way to send chi and at the same time be practicing on myself, not just to protect myself but I believed that this was the way to bring in the most chi to my loved one.
What I finally found was that I needed to somehow divorce myself from the need, as it existed as a separate being. Instead, I had to blend with my loved one and call in the chi as a unified being. So I would start the practice by combining us into a swirling entwined chi mass, blending our chi fields. Then I would go through the same process of reaching (expanding) out to the chi and bringing it in, but this time to us both, a both that was not two but one chi swirling ball. I would essentially stop thinking about me helping the person and just embrace the chi. I would still use my hands (for me that was what helped focus my mind) but not to direct to another but to direct to another who had become myself. By including myself in the process I did not take away from my loved one's healing (as deep down I think I believed I would) instead I was now capable of bringing in so much more. I would then walk away energized and full and so would my loved one.
Now it would not always work so easily and so I would be mindful of how I felt when I was finished and always follow the principles I mentioned in the last paragraph, of taking care of myself, if it was needed. But over time it became easier and I think much more successful. Now when I am working on others I do not always do this, I still bring the chi in to the person I am working on and myself but without going through this blending step. I can fill myself as I do someone else. But when I feel myself becoming emotionally attached to a person beyond just filling with love and compassion I find that the only way to protect my chi is to do this technique, otherwise my desire overwhelms the process and my chi will flow into the person.
I hope this is helpful at some level. It is hard to put into typed words. I think the most important thing I learned, and I think deep down I always doubted it in my core, is that by taking chi into myself at the same time I am not taking away from the person I am doing fa-chi on. This is hard to let in and even harder to accept. But it has proven itself to be true to me. What is more I am certain that the act of ignoring oneself only leads to less for it does not allow you to truly feel the chi, to help it on its way, to learn about it, and to find new ways of reaching it. It does not allow the full scope of your love and compassion to blend in its intelligence and instead it keeps you partially grounded in the fear of the situation. But when you fill yourself as well, the results are amazing, you feel, they feel it, and what is more, what you learn through the experience only makes the next time even more valuable.
We are all with you in your healing journey. Hao-la
much chi Matt