Almost every chi gung (qigong) teacher I have ever had the privilege of studying under, has cautioned me about practicing meditation or energy work while sitting, standing, or walking on concrete.
The reason I was given, (reliably) that I should beware concrete, is that concrete is actually Yin solidity. It sucks. Literally, energetically speaking. Red brick is dried out by heating it in fiery ovens. This burns the moisture out, leaving the interior space of the brick airy with micro holes and tunnels.
Concrete, especially older versions, contain lye. Concrete cures cold. That means you do not do anything to the mixture, other than let it settle over time. I have heard that the foundations of the ancient Chinese palaces took years, even decades to completely cure all the way deep inside. Their centers or depths would remain cold and wet, for protracted periods of time. Causing the cement mixture to become deeply filled, and congealed. Creating a Yin energy matrix.
Yin energy absorbs Yang energy. Men are outwardly Yang. As men practice, they “give their chi to the air”. This is one of the reasons that a chi gung practitioner should avoid sweating and practicing in high winds simultaneously. It is because the wind-cold strips their Yang energy away more efficiently, and faster; essentially bleeding them of their power, as they generate it.
You don’t practice high level energy work, or even sitting, for prolonged periods of time on concrete, so you don’t lose some of your chi – to the grounding, sucking, cold-chi matrix of cement, or stone. In fact, among men, it is commonly advised to avoid sitting on rocks for extended periods, due to getting a medical condition called “piles”.
As a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I am always re-discovering the rules, as it were, as I go along. I don’t just take it for granted, that “Thou shall never… And thou shall always”, when it comes to practicing and engineering chi energy exercise. My theory, is that first you have to take it all apart, and put it back together again, to truly understand how it all works, on an experiential level. Then you speak from a place of personal knowledge, commingled with the experience gained from the fruits of your labors.
This attitude of “let’s break the rules, a little at least, and see if I can provoke the ‘anti-response’, or the penalty effect, of that rule breakage, to know, for sure, that the principle I am working on, actually works the way it says it does”, is what led me to practicing with enough intensity during taiji or ba gua zhang, to sweat, while I was in environments with Yin matrices, like a river lowland, surrounded in mist. Or, a windy beach. At night, for extra Yin points.
I have never experienced energy drain from practicing on concrete, or stones, for any length of time. No matter the duration, time of day, or my personal energy in terms of Yin or Yang cultivation.
I have enough respect for the canon of Traditional Chinese Medicine, that I don’t think they are wrong. What I think may be the case in a lot of formulas and advice, is that the medical advice imparted is the result of men’s observations of themselves, and their practice results. Leading me to believe almost in reverse, that most of Chinese medicine is geared towards men’s health. Fair enough, in the sense that all these men contributed their trial and error results. That is pretty neat actually. If you are a guy.
In my experience when reading Chinese energy work, or yogic prana work for that matter, that the way to fully grasp the principle, is to either, break the rule itself. Or do it in reverse/body opposite. Then, the rule would apply, or not. Or the effect would be stronger, or more manifest or obvious. It is slightly counter-intuitive, until you try it. Practicing on concrete does not drain my chi, because my chi matrix, is Yin energy, within, and without. I. absorb.
Here is a video of Lei Muni I thought I would share, only because I was watching it before I started this post. I like his tai chi expression a lot.