This brings us back to your connective tissue. The more toned and pliable (transformed and restored – Yi 易) the ‘fabric’ of your body is, and each meridian/channel is, perhaps the more authentically and completely you can experience your existence. As well, if the warp and weft of your meridians are optimized, your Qi flow and Qi capacity (volume) will also improve and increase.
The character for Jīn 筋 describes the function, nature, and ‘bamboo-like’ makeup of all of your contractile tissues, connective tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, your fascia, myofascial layers, as well as your interstitial filaments. Your fascia alone makes up 20% of your body weight. Your Jin is understood to be an expression of your Jing 精 (Essence) through your Liver. This Liver Jing, from a scientific perspective, would be mostly made of your ability to create collagen and the stem cells in your interstitium.
This ancient and holistic longevity practice is usually described as a transformation of your muscles and tendons. This is because the Yi Jin Jing process will make you very strong, and very fast, without building massive muscles. In the West, most people who seek out this skill are martial artists who want to become as strong, fast, and as dangerous as the monks from the famous Shaolin Monastery.
That is how I initially learned this system 35 years ago. At first, it was all about strength, speed, and power!
It was only years later when I was shown a much more subtle and complete approach to this practice, that I came to understand the potential for longevity, coherence, and a conscious and Universal connection.
If you want to get stronger and almost certainly live longer, the Yi Jin Jing asks you to commit some time and resources to Yi 易 (guiding the transformation process), returning your Jin 筋 (connective tissues) to their natural capacity and form, as an expression of the pure fabric of your body Jing 經, and potentially the fabric of Reality.
As a longevity practice, this approach to Qi Gong practice is very effective, simply because the number one indicator of a long life is retaining lean muscle mass.
As a spiritual practice, cultivating refined and open channels, or ‘meridian antennas,’ is a very potent doorway into a more Universal and innately present experience of consciousness.
(This is an excerpt from Volume Thirteen – Shaolin Strength and Longevity Qi Gong)
Read Part Two – Cultivating Strength and Longevity – the Yi Jin Jing Process