View Full Version : Ethereal Taiji Ball - more than a parlor trick?

03-13-2005, 11:23 AM
After my first two or three months of practice on my own, I noticed while reading that I could feel the pulse in the fingertips of both hands. This was the first time I experienced that sensation.

Not long afterwards, I signed up for classes in the Simplified 24 with a well-regarded teacher. As part of the warm-ups we do a set of standing Taiji Qigong in a relaxed, serene way. At the end of those warm-ups, and in my own practice sessions, I can hold an ethereal, electro-magnetic ball between my palms and emit Qi from one hand to the other. When I direct my fingertips of one hand toward the palms of the other, and move them around, I get a sensation similar to lightly blowing air, almost as if I were passing a feather across/around the palm.

When I finish the Simplified 24 Tai Chi set, I feel a pulse in my head and hands (not in my feet) as well as a sense of my body being energised in a circular pattern.

A year ago, I would have considered these events or sensations a fabrication. So I am recording them, not because I know anything, but because I am asking for perspective from experienced practitioners.

Am I correct in thinking that these sensations indicate a healthy Qi flow in the meridians of the body?

How often is it recommended to produce these results in the body?

Aside from the health benefits, what good does the "Taiji ball" do and what is it for? I ask this question due to the fact that I encourage friends to think about Tai Chi, and they would regard the Taiji ball as a "parlor trick".

Thank you for your time. I have seen many thoughtful questions and answers on this site and hope that you can spare some time to reply.


03-14-2005, 03:53 AM
Okay. Due to lack of response, I assume these phenomena don't exist or that they are taboo for discussion. Sorry for raising the topic. Charlie

Marc Heyvaert
03-14-2005, 06:00 AM

It is not uncommon to feel an 'energy' between the two hand when you 'hold the ball'.

If you do 'standing pole', you can feel the same between your hands. Try the following variation:

1. Stand for a while, say five minutes, breathing regularly with your hands in the 'standing pole' position on the level of your heart.

2. Lower the hands until they are at the level of your dantian.

3. Open your arms while breathing in, compress them while breathing out. Start with gentle movements, don' use your muscles, just let it happen. In the beginning your hands will only go 20 cm out from your starting position. When you breath out and compress keep the hands at least 10 cm apart. You will probably feel the connection between the hands a lot stronger than before. I will become more and more intense...

4. Do this for about 20 to 30 inhalations. At the end the 'energy' between your hands will really push your arms apart.

5. With your last exhalation bring yousr hands together and compress the 'energy' al the way to a small ball (snooker) that you hold in your hand, bring your hands to your dantian and visualize yourself pushing this energy ball inside you.

6. Your hands are now on your dantian (left hand first for men, right hand first for women). Keep standing like this for another 5 to 10 minutes, preferably with eyes closed and listen to your breathing, focusing on the dantian and the energy ball.

7. Open your eyes, relax shake your legs and gently tap with your hand on your head, neck, arms, body, legs.

Marc Heyvaert
03-14-2005, 06:13 AM
But what is it that you feel? Is it real or imagined?

As you feel this 'energy' and as a lot of people can feel it, we must assume that it is real.

But the real question is if what we feel is really 'externa' energy, i.e. something that really leaves our body and travels from one hand to the other?

That is a very controversial idea. It could be warmth, some sort of infrared emission. I know for myself that when my qi flows very strongly my hands get very warm, dry deep warmth. This warmth can be felt from a distance a some sort of energy. I have done some experiments with several distances and there was an effect with 'non-medium' volunteers for up to 1m.

So this warmth can be a factor. But it is my personal conviction that the energy that we feel as external energy is actually a symptom of something that goes on inside. If your structure is ok, if your body is filled with peng energy, the qi flow in your body will give you this connected feeling. It feels as if there is an elastic connection between the hand on the outside, it is real, but the energy travels through the inside.

I have a last experiment:

1. Do some preliminary taijiquan exercises, or silk reeling, or standing pole...whatever to make your qi flow.

2. Now assume the 'brush knee push (or twist step) position en hold that position for a while, gently breathing and really 'sinking' into the position.

3. Now relax the hand that is close to your knee, let it drop down, then lift it up again so that the position is ok again, i.e. with the fingers pointing forward. Repeat this a couple of times and observe the changes in your 'push'-hand.

This is another manifestion of qi in your body.


03-14-2005, 08:34 AM
What would you say the martial application of this ability/skill would be? (ie. enhanced stregth, speed or listening ability?)

Marc Heyvaert
03-14-2005, 09:59 AM
All of the above because what you feel is function of your being 'connected'. I see it as some sort of feedback that the attempts to follow the taiji principles have paid off, so there should be an effect on your martial capabilities too.


03-14-2005, 12:01 PM
What is the standing pole position?

Marc Heyvaert
03-14-2005, 12:09 PM

This article is a good introduction



03-14-2005, 12:31 PM
Having gone through similar experiences with my practice, and having posted similar words to this very forum long ago, I will validate you.

Your experience is real.


Hmm...Define that shall I try? Why not, we all live in the land of know-not. I am no different.

Perhaps your experience is that of the mapped understanding of the signals received from your nerves to your mind. The "energy" travels from one hand to the other through space right? Maybe. Maybe the K+ ions travel from one neural group of the right hand to the neural group of the left hand, and you are simply perceiving your perception.

Regardless, realizing that the current scene on your screen is just one permutation of the possibility of perception may enlighten you. On the other hand, it may just increase your mind's ability to gaze at how your birth into conciousness modelled its experience over time into the perception you now insist is reality.

Then try to grasp the fact that your model is wrong. No model is right. After letting go of your concept, you will be faster, ligther, more sensitve. Then you will reel and fall back into yourself. Haha.

Read Siddhartha.

The trouble is that reality is not actually persistent. It is transient. The moment is a flash and your perception of the moment is eons late. Your "mind" models persistence so you can do things like stuggle to suckle your mother's breast, or drive thru mcdonalds.

Get closer to time by forsaking the far. Seek the near. What is the maximum velocity of your perception in relation to a distant event? How can you increase your reaction speed without changing the distance the event has to travel to reach your perception in your model?

In my opinion, the best thing you can do for your tai chi kung fu is to keep listening to what you are listening to, not trying to name it or validate it. Just open up the channels that receive, whatever they may be. Thus begins the swim up the stream of perception, towards the source.

Maybe when you get to the source you'll get to mate...LOL