It’s all about preparation… and something else. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

I recently bought myself a small methylated spirit burner and a billy can. So I can make wonderful cups of green tea whilst out walking in the beautiful English countryside.

But I thought I better get some practice in first.

And I’m soooo glad I did, here’s why…

1st attempt: I ran out of fuel and had to start again. Total time for a cup of tea = 45 minutes.

2nd attempt: I ran out of fuel again, but put a protective guard around the base to minimise disturbance from the wind. Total time for a cup of tea = 23 minutes.

3rd attempt: Disaster. Knocked the burner over. Meths poured out everywhere, and the fire followed. Luckily I was practicing on paving slabs. But sitting there watching the fire burning out of control I felt fear as I poured the contents of my luke warm billy can over the flames.

Why fear? Because I didn’t know if the meths would float on top of the water and create a raging inferno in my back garden.

Fortunately it doesn’t.

4th attempt: From lighting stove to drinking tea = 10mins 25 seconds. Now you’re talking!

Do you know what I discovered? Would you like to know what the difference was that made such a massive difference?

It was simple really.

I read the instructions… and followed them.

Here they are:

“Carefully pour denatured alcohol into center concave area
until the stove is full and alcohol level creates a small pool.”

First time through I thought: “Yeah, okay. Small pool is good. Therefore a big pool will be even better.


The small pool acts as a primer, vaporising the alcohol in the burner and expanding the flame to the outside holes.

When done properly this baby turns into a power house of flame that wouldn’t be out of place in the finest kitchen.

Done my way it looked more like a feeble candle and I guess I was lucky it ever got hot enough to boil the water. No wonder I had to refill the thing.

Now if you’re sat in your comfy chair reading this and wondering if I’ve finally run out of things to write about Qigong, then you’ve clearly missed the important lesson in this short story.

This story is all about the importance of following instructions if you want to get the desired result in the shortest time.

I’ve been practicing the type of Qigong I teach for coming up 13 years in August and I’ve been teaching it for 10. During that time I’ve streamlined and improved my teaching skills. Discovered what’s vital to your Qigong success and what is more of a hindrance.

And in my books and courses I’ve sweated to make my instructions as clear, simple and structured as possible.

Take my first book Shaolin Chi Kung for example ( ) that badboy was reviewed by my teacher and several senior instructors of his school before being printed. Those instructions were crystal clear. Yet so many people followed them incorrectly.

But I accept that following written instructions is harder than following them directly, face to face, from a good Qigong teacher.

So if you want the best results from your Qigong practice, if you want someone to help you follow the instructions and correct any mistakes you make… and you can get to Portugal on the 13th or 14th April, then you’re invited to join me for the first PERFECT Qigong Portugal (PQP) workshops.

Book before 2nd April to benefit from the Early Bird discount and save 1/3.

Places are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place and lock in your Early Bird discount, or to ask any further questions you may have about accommodation, location of venues etc, then please write to the wonderful PQP organiser: Joao here:

I’d love to see you there and share this wonderful art with you in person.

Kindest regards