Chicrets and Chi Balls

A Chi Ball resting in my palm

A Chi Ball resting in my palm

A few years ago I attended a seminar called Chicrets which was something of an “Introduction to Experiencing Chi” (Chi being the Chinese term for what you might call “life force”.) It was informative, instructive and rather surprising.

After a few simple exercises designed to help us recognize the sensations in our bodies that signal the presence of Chi, and a few more to show how we could move the sensations — and so, our Chi — around our body at will, the leader taught us how to form “Chi Balls”. It’s sort of like scooping up some of that energy from your body and compacting it like a snow ball in your hands.

Having successfully rolled up a Chi Ball, we practiced tossing it from one hand to another. The sensation of holding or catching a Chi Ball is fascinating, and this image illustrates it in a way that should help me describe it.

A Chi Ball has presence, but no mass. There’s a tingly feel in the palm of your hand that signals a kind of spatial displacement. I can’t see it, but I know it’s there, and I know it has dimension. While I’m holding it, my hand feels energized, not so much by the ball itself, but as if the Chi running through my own hand rises in sympatico with the Chi ball’s presence.

We practiced throwing the ball from one hand to the other. Which is pretty cool. I suppose if I’d rolled up three balls, I could’ve juggled them. After a bit of that, we partnered up and tried throwing Chi Balls to our partners. Which was VERY cool.

My analytical and skeptical mind was wondering if I was mentally creating this experience, creating the sensations of catching a Chi Ball through the power of imagination, rather than actually catching a little ball of life energy tossed to me by a new friend. So I ran a little experiment. I closed my eyes and held out my hands, ready to catch a Chi Ball from my partner. When I felt one land in my right hand I said, “Now” and opened my eyes.

And there she was, her right hand extended as if she’d just thrown something toward my right hand.

A little Neo moment: “Woh!”

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