Tun-Na (吐纳) has been in practice since the 3-4th century BC, The treatise of Ge Hong ‘Baopu Zi “or “Master Who Embraces Simplicity”(317-320 years. BCE) indicates that a person who has mastered breathing exercises that help to control Qi acquires a different kind of extraordinary abilities, and can control the forces of nature, heal various diseases, and is not afraid of wild animals.

The character Tu (吐) infers the 'expelling/spitting out' of the muddy and Na (纳) refers to receiving/absorbing of the clean. In the earlier three levels of Taiping Gong, the focus was on the regulation of the general body systems, in this stage focus is on breathing and its relationship to the movement of qi. In Taiping Daoist practices, there is an enormous amount of breathing techniques intended to treat diseases, accumulate and control the movement of Qi. 

Exercises may differ from each other in very different parameters: the type of breathing is used (forward, inverse, breast, skin / corporal, sighing, mixed breathing); rhythm, the presence of breath holding or lack of it, and when it is done (after the inhalation, exhalation or both); methods of internal work during breathing exercises; presence or absence of the dynamic aspect of pronouncing, and special sounds. This specific practice is the foundation and based on the teachings of Daoist Master Zhang at Wudang Golden Peak and Daoist Master Liu from Wuhan, Hubei Province. 

The more frequent, shallow and impulsive is breath, the more active becomes the heart, and hence the brain, in turn, tends to over-stimulation and, therefore, to go into a state of a deep quietness during the practice would be difficult. Accordingly, such an important aspect of breath cannot be forgotten in traditional systems of cultivation. Breathing is also closely connected with internal circulation of Qi; through breathing we receive not only oxygen, but we also breathe in the “external Qi”. Using various breathing exercises, we can strengthen the body in general, and improve the circulation of internal Qi, accumulate vital force in the body, and in its energy centers (Dantians). That is why a great attention is paid to the correct breathing in the Taiping Dao Tradition.

 

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