There is a really big misconception as to what Ki, also Chi or Qi, is and is not; today I'm taking the time to address the differences between Ki and other energies more fully for our audience. To start out, let us get a good grasp on what Ki is. Ki is the energy of life itself and is found within the movement of life. All things living have a kind of Ki as a component of how they operate energetically. Ki is stored, exchanged, and refined when we breath, drink, eat, and move. It responds to our thoughts in the form of movement of the body.
A good example to help understand how Ki as a physical energy responds to thought is to seat yourself comfortably and then lift your arm in the air. After this then repeat the process but do so by actively controlling each muscle. You will find the second application of energy much more difficult. This is because Ki does respond in some degree to thought and intent in a relaxed state.
Ki is cultivated through certain movements and breathing techniques. The most common of these are form of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Tumo breathing. It can be argued that Chakra energizing and numerous other methods also contribute to Ki and this may very well be so. Ki is also cultivated through physical activities such as martial arts, running, swimming, and weight lifting. Advanced methods of Ki cultivation utilized breathing, intent, and musculature to condense Ki in the Dan Tien – energy reserve center for ki – in the body.
The ultimate understanding of Ki is that it always has a physical manifestation. The Ki in Reiki healing for example is an extension of energies to heal a physical body. The Ki in TaiChi is another healing energy that transfers through the now unstrained and open pathways of the body strengthening and healing it. In QiGong Ki strengthens physical strength through both increasing the storage of Ki while also amplifying the musculature to better transmit Ki.
This then brings us into the heart of what Ki is not. Ki is NOT psychic energies. Though Ki can contribute to psychic energy as all energy can be converted Ki is not a psychic energy by nature. When Ki is converted to Psychic energies the gains are seen because it is the more dense energy and therefore while some is expended in the process it is a comparatively clean burn compared to the reverse. This is why raw psychic amplification does not result in stronger muscle structure over time in the way that Ki training does. Methods like Reiki can transmit Ki over a distance through various channels and pathways that are outside the scope of this article. The transfer of Ki as a life force though as a “Ki Ball” often spoke of is a misnomer. These energy constructs are Thought Forms, or Psi Balls if you prefer, and are not Ki. They may, potentially, be used to transmit Ki then through Reiki OR through great expenditure of physical energy on the part of the sender yet they are still a removed construct. Ki requires a physical disbursement. Even soft Ki still uses some physical energy when used to be transmitted. The exception to this would be Reiki which is a form of Ki that is less dense than Physical Ki yet more free flowing when tapped into or attuned to.
When discussing Ki as an energy for metaphysical purposes it is important to recognize the conversion concept of Ki into other energies. Ki as a life force energy fuels multiple energy forms including psychic energies. Once this is understood the great misconception of using Ki in various planes of existence starts to become more evident. One can no more use Ki in the astral plane directly than one can use electricity. These are physically rooted energies tied into our physical plane. As Ki does fuel psychic centers though the feeling and awareness of energy used in planer projection may appear as Ki does to the user while projected and may even use some of their Ki reserves. The reason for understanding the difference between these is to also understand the difference between “Astral Might” and “Real World Ki”. Often times those who have spent much time plainer projecting will confuse the less dense energies of the psychic realms with those of the physical. This proves devastating physically in a real world conflict. Likewise when one focuses solely on visualized energies with little physical density they look a fool to any observer as they “play with their ki balls” in public.
This does not mean Ki can not be enhanced through various methods. Anytime your overall energy system is balanced such as in chakra alignment or enhancement, receiving a full reiki session, deep meditation states, or things of that nature your Ki flow is affected in a number of ways. Likewise are energies such as Divine Qi which is similar to a denser hotter form of Reiki though without the guided nature of Reiki. These energies are denser than psychic energies and operate on similar frequencies to Ki and as such enhance the Ki flow. While any of these things can support and strengthen good Ki flow there is nothing that takes the place of hard work and training. A person spending 30 minutes a day doing QiGong will benefit a magnitude of times more from a Reiki session or Divine Qi session than one who practices none at all. Reiki and Divine Qi will still benefit the health of a person receiving them without further training but they will only enhance the structure and storage of Ki so much. Likewise the translation of Ki into physical strength requires musculature. A person who spends a half hour working out a day in addition to a half hour of QiGong will see more strength benefits than one simply doing the QiGong.
Hopefully this helps clear up the nature of Ki, Psychic Energies, and the ever infamous Ki Ball that get thrown about so much. The power of the mind is vast and great and should never be underestimated. The power of will is likewise an amazing thing never to be underrated. So too should the power of hard work and dedication that is a necessary component of Ki be honored and respected.