Neigong, literally “Inside Skilled Work” (內功) is a type of training that receives a lot of lip service and not a lot of demonstration or instruction publicly. The term itself is used as a blanket for many different methods and methodologies including standing, moving, sitting and contemplative exercises for the purposes of this writing and clarity I will define two terms: Qigong (氣功) and Neigong (內功).
Qigong (氣功) is normally translated as “Energy work” which leads to many misunderstandings and obfuscation of the practices it encompasses. The term Qi 氣 can mean energy but it is a narrow definition for the character. Instead the word “relationship” I find is a better interpretation as all forms of energy are results of relationships but not all relationships are energy. Qigong practices then are the “skilled work of studying relationships” and number in the hundreds if not thousands due to the many types of relationships within and external to the body one can study. Posture, structure, generation of martial power, all these can be worked on through qigong training. Many different exercises for purposes as general as overall health or as specific as Medical conditions or martial ability can be trained through various qigong methods.
Neigong (內功) is much like qigong but in relationship to the previous definition of Qigong it applies to deeper more internal workings of the practitioner. To quote my Gongfu Brother Professor Kevin Wallbridge “Qigong corrects flaws in your structure. Neigong corrects flaws in your character.” The study of the most internal workings of the self is the realm of Neigong training. This means it is the study of the self, the character and personality not merely the structural density of the body.
Neigong training is the most difficult to undertake or to teach and help others with. The study of the self begins with the basic desire to remove our filters as best we can that comes between us and actual reality. The reality within ourselves of whom we really are is hidden from us deeply by us ourselves, which brings it into a very difficult realm of unraveling our own thoughts, patterns and fears.
To be Continued….
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