My mission is to demystify qigong and tai chi. In your first few years of qigong practice, you should be getting such amazing and obvious results that issues like this are of no concern. You just need proper instruction and proper practice. Most of my students can feel qi within a month, and many feel it within hours. I wonder if you can see how arrogant your second paragraph is?
That and some of your other writings made me go elsewhere. But my question was what is the deal with MCO and sex. And why are you so unwilling to answer this? This is a legitimate question, and if you are not an old fashioned guru type teacher, it would seem reasonable to answer though I keep asking without getting anything other than the guru answer.
Have we met in person? And half of that communication failure is your responsibility. Are you willing? May I suggest that you try being kinder in your communication? This has nothing to do with gurus or Chinese etiquette. If you do these practices with the intention of exploiting what nature has to offer, you may be headed for trouble. Unless your intentions are service-oriented, more power will be your downfall. A stronger person sees to the well-being of others. If not, he gets into trouble very quickly. Napolean, Mao, Stalin, Nixon, Bush……the list goes on. This came up in my email inbox, so I have returned years later to try again!
Items in quotes are from Anthony. Some people like jogging; others like swimming. With regard to the orbit and sex, some teachers say you can have very little sex once you get into that; other teachers say it is all bs, that qi work and sex are two different things. And the other students all made great progress. I have some severe back issues, and everyone in qi work says the back is key to qi work.
I am not into rub your hands and feel the qi warmth. I say, have a nice day! I respectfully asked you to be kinder and clearer in your communication. Instead, you doubled down and called me arrogant and closed-minded. You also put words into my mouth. This is not the place for you. Wishing you all the best in your path, wherever it leads. First you build a foundation, then you move on to higher levels. Hi James. The Small Universe circulates energy in a loop, down the Ren meridian on the front of the body, and then up the Du meridian on the back. So the techniques strike me as different.
It is therapeutic for the length of the meditation, and not meant to start the real thing for most people, just clear the pipes of gross blockages. Of course the real thing would be best, but many people come to SFQ very sick, so who could do that? The first one makes energy rise up the back channel.
The second energy makes energy go down the front channel. I agree that the real thing is the goal and the best thing to achieve. I also agree with the descriptions in the article. Basically, this very unique SFQ MCO style where you relax and listen to the Master sing was meant as a complement to active practice, and can not replace the real thing by itself. The real thing is organic and happens by itself. So the value of this style is that you increase your health immediately, and also set yourself up for the real thing in the future.
Of course, we do a lot of other stuff too. But as Sifu said, and Master Lin knows, opening these two channels is the real deal in terms of health benefits. Hence the focus from so many lineages on it. Hi Rahul. If you want to get healthier, clear your energy blockages, and improve the flow of qi, then my Qigong program is perfect for you. Registration will reopen in September. Nice job with similar book I was reading by by Wong Kiew Kit. Yes, Wong Kiew Kit is my former teacher. I broke with him in after 17 years as a disciple over a sexual abuse scandal perpetrated by one of his instructors.
I believe that Sifu Wong was unethical in the way that he handled the situation. Anyway, it sounds like you have the real breakthrough. If it goes on its own, and if you have a ton of energy, then those are good signs! Thanks for infor. I also notice as the qi orbit GV it also split in my arms channels causing tingling in my yin channels. Is that normal? You kind of touched on this in your article but how likely is the possibility of opening and using small universe unknowingly or rather unintentionally through herbalism and meditation and visualization vs qigong?
I suspect that some meditation masters have it open, but many of them use a different language. I have known Master Lin for over 10 years, and my trust in him has only increased. Small Universe meditation has been one of the greatest gifts I have received in life, and has helped me in very many situations, despite not having the greatest concentration and really struggling with consistency in my practice.
I have never heard of anyone from this school experiencing damage from practicing this meditation. I like Master Lin, I respect him, and I think he does good work. On the issue of the Small Universe, we disagree. You can even find a few of them in the comments section of this article. The rest came to me via email. I saw it happen with one of my own masters. I started the program and I start to feel naturally energy flowing around the small universe, bubbly like feeling as you said. It felt really nice, but should I worry about negative effect…? There are zero negative side effects from this.
Great i like this article, just that will you include the practise in chi gong , and i will like a article on big universe and the similarities between small universe and big universe. Thanks for the article. This has answered many of my questions. Back to basics, and follow the leader. People can have a tendency to want to fly before they can walk.
I see this in other traditions also. Generally they find what they are given as not exciting enough, because they have not yet integrated the basics. Hi Sifu. Does or can doing Flowing Breeze Swaying Willow after doing Small Universe alone or doing Small Universe as part of a routine eliminate or diminish the possible negative side effects from having done Small Universe? Hi Mary. Yes, FBSW protects us against problems that can arise from any incorrect energy practice, including the Small Universe.
So far i feel more peaceful meditating in sitting position, i feel something moving in my crown and front body area during lifting the sky, but less peaceful mind thinking too much on the posture and motion. I might read too much that things got mixed up, so i stick to meditation and breathing techniques for now as it benefits me positively already and try to be slow and steady but reach the goal-i hope. So, i read somewhere that ejaculating releases jing energy, and i should stop practicing for 72 hrs or my dantian might rupture mo pai , what is your recommendation or say about this?
You need to be really careful what information you trust on the internet. This is especially true of qigong. Trust me.
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Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Login to Qi School. Skip to primary navigation Skip to content. Are You Ready? I strongly disagree with this approach. The risk of messing up their energy system is high, and the chance of success is low. In the Real Breakthrough, the energy is continuous, with only minor gaps along the entire loop.
Instead of bubbles traveling around, you have a continuous stream. How can you tell? How long? Modern scientists say that humans have the capacity to live at least years. Spiritual Cultivation The Small Universe also opens up new realms of spiritual cultivation. Pin 1. Share Looking forward to part two! Thanks for the continued inspiration. Melissa, three years of steady practice is enough — if you have a good teacher. Excellent article! Just what I needed. Hi Sifu, What if we do not have a perfect physical structure to work with?
Kind regards, Dirk. Good luck in your journey! I am wondering if small universe is the same practice as microcosmic orbit? I see no mention of that. Thanks in advance! Thanks for the quick reply. Hi Carina. If you find it useful, then use it! The Small Universe is also helpful for redirecting sexual energy. When will you make the article about the Big Universe? I can not wait to here about it from you. Hi Anthony, Thank you for posting this. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.
Thank you for your reply! Look forward to your return. Which 2nd paragraph are you referring to? Neither one of those comments is true. Just ask my students. Hi David. Hope this helps some readers here who were confused like me about the SFQ style at one point. Yang has been involved in Chinese Wushu since Yang has more than twenty-eight years of instructional experience: seven years in Taiwan, five years at Purdue University, two years in Houston, Texas, and fourteen years in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, Dr.
Yang has also been invited to offer seminars around the world to share his knowledge of Chinese martial arts and Qigong. Many of Dr. Yang has published twenty -one other volumes on the martial arts and Qigong: 1. Yang has also published the following videotapes: 1. Wai Dan Chi Rung, Vol. The Chinese have been researching Qi for the last four thousand years, and have found Qigong to be an effective way to improve health and to cure many illnesses.
Most important of all, however, they have found that it can help them to achieve both mental and spiritual peace. Until recently, Qigong training was usually kept secret, especially within martial arts systems or religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Only acupuncture and some health-related Qigong exercises were available to the general public. During the last twenty years these secrets have become available to the general public through publications and open teaching. Medical professionals have finally been able to test Qigong more widely and scientifically, and they have found that it can help or cure a number of diseases that Western medicine has difficulty treating, including some forms of cancer.
Many of my students and readers report that after practicing Qigong, they have changed from being weak to strong, from depressed to happy, and from sick to healthy. Since Qigong can bring so many benefits, I feel that it is my responsibility to collect the available published documents and compile them, filter them, understand them, and introduce them to those who cannot read them in their original Chinese.
It is, however, impossible for one person alone to experience and understand the fruit of four thousand years of Qigong research. I hope that other Qigong experts will share this responsibility and publish the information that they have been taught, as well as what they have learned through research and experimentation. Contemporary, enthusiastic minds will have plenty of opportunity to research and promote the art. It requires a group of experts including Western-style doctors, Qigong experts, acupuncturists, and equipment design specialists to sit down and work together and exchange their research results.
A formal organization with adequate financial support will be needed. If this research is properly conducted, it should succeed not only in providing validation of Qigong for the Western mind, but it may also come up with the most efficient methods of practice. I feel certain that Qigong will become very popular in a short time, and bring many people a healthier and happier life.
This is a new field for Western science, and it will need a lot of support to catch up to the research that has already been done in China. I hope sincerely that Qigong science will soon become one of the major research fields in colleges and universities in this country.
One of the realms of exploration most eagerly awaited, particularly by Western physicians, was the science of Oriental healing: exotic practices such as acupuncture, Shiatsu massage, Taijiquan, and the curious and puzzling notion of Qi, or vital energy. Popular magazines at the time featured arresting photographs of men and women lying calmly on operating tables, nearly disemboweled during major surgery, yet apparently requiring no more anesthesia than a few gleaming needles thrust into the skin of their foreheads.
Since these earliest dramatic harbingers, serious investigation of phenomena based on Chinese conceptualizations have both waxed and waned. Interest in Taijiquan, for example — a form of exercise, health maintenance, and combat — has risen steadily, especially in the western United States, stimulated in part by the fact that a large part of the Chinese citizenry practice this exercise daily to apparently good effect, and in part by the fact that Taijiquan masters, who regularly win mixed martial arts tournaments, seem to become better with age, rather than slower and weaker as do aging practitioners of other martial forms such as Gongfu.
In contrast, after a spate of studies and articles attempting to define the physiologic bases for the generally unchallenged efficacy of acupuncture, interest in this area has waned markedly. At the present time in the public mind a mixed feeling, an ambivalence, seems to hold sway, between forces of acceptance and of resistance toward these oriental concepts. To place the value of the present book in some perspective, therefore, it will be useful to understand these opposing forces. The current forces tending toward acceptance of Chinese healing theory and practice draw from multiple origins.
The first is the upsurge of interest in physical fitness. Ironically, Qigong practices were already providing this valuable type of conditioning centuries ago. Thus, the Westerner familiar with low-impact aerobics can readily understand the value of Qigong forms. In a comparable fashion, some recent investigations by Herbert Benson, M.
Thus the emphasis in Qigong practice on mental conditioning as a prerequisite and companion to physical improvement is not so foreign a notion at all. On the other side of the ledger, certain factors tend to elicit resistance to these Eastern teachings and disbelief in both their relevance to modern persons and their scientific validity. One such factor is the radical interweaving in Qigong of what purports to be an essentially physiologic theory with philosophy and even religion or cosmology. Westerners used to partaking of their philosophy and science at separate tables may be alienated by their frank combination in Qigong principles.
Some provocative preliminary findings have emerged correlating alterations in electric impedance in the skin at those points thought to be significant as acupuncture meridians and points; yet, alas, careful and replicable research with impeccable methodology has largely been lacking in this area. Instead, dubiously convincing, largely anecdotal material dominates the written works on the subject. Another factor causing resistance is the tendency of writers in this field, following very ancient traditions and philosophical themes, to use the names of familiar body organs to describe conditions of the body related to Qi for which no other terminology exists.
Finally, many Westerners appear to be put off by the inherently poetic and metaphoric terminology common in Chinese nomenclature for, say, types of Qi and physical exercise techniques. Through his exhaustive efforts to bring together ancient and more recent Chinese texts in this book, Dr. Yang has performed essential services in two ways. First, by tracing the history and evolution of these concepts, the reader can gain a sense of the development of ideas whose roots reach back over the centuries — ideas which are desperately in need of just such cross-cultural illumination as this book provides.
Second, Dr. Yang is issuing a challenge to others to bring the focus of careful research to this area to provide a durable empirical basis for both theory and practice of these sciences and arts. For both of these important steps, clearly, the time has come. Thomas G. Gutheil, M. Associate Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Foreword New Edition As much of the world undergoes fundamental re-evaluation of methods and goals of health care in the face of the growing wave of older citizens, there has never been such openness to expanding our concepts of treatment and health promotion.
The wisdom and experience of Eastern healing traditions, accumulated and enriched over millennia, is brilliantly presented in this text on Qigong. These Eastern healing traditions have added to the growing recognition that proper exercise is essential to health maintenance and amelioration of disease, and have expanded the scope and definition of healing. Perhaps, most importantly in the West, we are learning humility about the limits as well as the genius of Western scientifically-based medical techniques in relation to Eastern practices and learning. This book on Qigong — literally the study, research, and practices related to Qi the energy circulating in our bodies and in the universe — is an accessible expression of the Chinese approach to the fusion of concepts of body and mind.
The book is also a practical guide to the devoted trainee or practitioner of Qigong and Taijiquan. The Root of Chinese Qigong is an archive which will help preserve as well as expand the use of time-honored healing traditions. In both the West and East, we are in Dr. Rosenberg, M. Formerly reserved exclusively for members of the imperial family and aristocracy as a secret practice for preserving health and prolonging life, and for the most advanced adepts of Daoist and Buddhist sects as a means of attaining spiritual immortality, Qigong has in recent years become available to the general public as a simple but profoundly effective method of self health care.
While Western medical science continues to question the very existence of Qi energy as a factor in human health, millions of people throughout the world have already begun to experience the power of Qigong both for curing disease and for preventing it, as well as for enhancing overall vitality, achieving emotional and mental equilibrium, and cultivating spiritual awareness.
Modern physics has already established the fact that all matter in the universe, from atoms and molecules to planets and stars, ultimately consists of nothing more or less than energy vibrating at various frequencies and in particular patterns of relationship. The Root of Chinese Qigong is one of the first books to explore the nature of Qi and explain the ancient practice of Qigong in the light of modern science while still remaining faithful to the original Daoist principles that gave birth to this profound system of health care and spiritual cultivation.
Indeed, the author has clearly demonstrated that Qigong is based entirely on scientific principles of energy that were known to the ancient Daoist masters who developed it long before Einstein first informed Western science that energy and matter are relative and transmutable elements. Yang, Jwing-Ming is uniquely qualified to explore the topic of Qigong in terms of Western thought.
Backed by over thirty years of personal experience as both a practitioner and teacher of Qigong, trained in classical forms by traditional masters in Taiwan, and the founder of a school in America that transmits this ancient practice to contemporary Western students, Dr. Yang has gained full command of both the classical Daoist principles and the modern science concepts required to elucidate this traditional Chinese practice in a way that is meaningful to contemporary readers without a prior background in Chinese studies.
Matters of the body were approached either chemically or mechanically, while the mind became the domain of religion and later psychology. Traditional Eastern thought has always cited a third, pivotal element in the human system, and that element is energy, known as prana in ancient India, and Qi in China. Qi is the bridge that links body and mind into an integrated and functional system, and it is the medium through which the mind may gain command over the body. When these three aspects of existence are brought into balance and harmony, the health of the entire organism is protected and life prolonged.
Qigong is the fulcrum of balance between the body and mind, with energy serving as the common force upon which both depend. Energy is also the medium through which the powers of nature and the cosmos enter and influence the human system, and Qigong provides a way whereby the practitioner may synchronize his or her system in order to harness those powers to promote human health and support human life. This has led me to believe that my introductory book has opened the door to Qigong for many people, and has brought health benefits to more than a few.
This response has encouraged me to continue my research and publishing. However, most of my Qigong experience and knowledge was obtained through my Taiji and Shaolin practice, and was therefore limited to a few Daoist and Buddhist Qigong exercises, as well as some of the common Qigong exercises which are popular in China. Because of this limitation in my Qigong knowledge, I have spent a lot of time analyzing, researching, pondering, and experimenting with many other Qigong styles about which I have read in my collection of Qigong documents.
This research has greatly increased my knowledge. In August of I had a chance to go back to Taiwan to visit my family. This visit also gave me the opportunity to see what Qigong documents had been published since I left Taiwan in To my surprise, there are a great many new publications available. I was so happy to learn that many documents had been published which described training techniques heretofore kept secret.
Once I returned to the United States, I started to read and study them, and to experiment with some of the methods. These documents made me realize how limited my knowledge was, and opened up a whole new field of Qigong study for me. In my excitement and enthusiasm I decided to compile them, filter out the parts which seemed questionable, and introduce the results to my readers.
An unfortunate problem arose in that most of the documents explain what to do, but do not explain why, and some will even just tell the process without explaining how to do it. Despite the obstacles, I decided to try my best, through research and contemplation, to determine the secrets of the techniques. After two years of research and experimentation, I feel that it will take at least five years and eight volumes of introductory books to initiate the reader into the broad field of Chinese Qigong. Although these eight volumes will be based on the documents available to me, they will not be direct translations of these documents, except for the ancient poetry or songs which are the root of the training.
This approach is necessary simply because these documents do not have any systematic introduction or way of tying everything together. What I can do is read them and study them carefully. Then I can compile and organize the information, and discuss it carefully in the light of my own Qigong knowledge and experience. This approach will allow me to cautiously bring long-concealed Qigong knowledge to the reader. The only thing lacking is the experience. Many of the methods require more than twenty years of training to complete, and I would have to spend more than three lifetimes studying the various methods before I could discuss them with authority.
I realize that it is impossible for me alone to introduce the results of four thousand years of Qigong research with these eight books, but I would still like to share the knowledge which I have gained from these documents, and the conclusions which I have drawn from my training. Please take these books in the tentative spirit in which they are written, and not as a final authority or bible.
I sincerely hope that many other Qigong experts will step forward and share the traditional teachings which were passed down to them, as well as the fruits of their experience. At present, the following books are planned: 1. The first part will introduce the history of Qigong, the basic concepts and terminology commonly used in Qigong society and documents, the different Qigong categories, and will discuss Qi and the human body, and fundamental Qigong training theory and principles.
This first part will give you a general concept of what Qigong is, and the various subjects that it includes. The second part will discuss the general keys to Qigong training, and give you the foundation of knowledge necessary for successful practice. This part serves as a map of the what and the how of Qigong training, so that you can choose your goal and the best way to get there.
The third part will review the Qi circulatory system in your body, which includes the twelve primary Qi channels and the eight extraordinary Qi vessels. This part will give you a better understanding of how Qi circulates in your body. Finally, the fourth part of the book will list some of the many questions about Qigong which still remain unanswered.
It has been found in documents detailing both Buddhist and Daoist Qigong and meditation training, and it has been known in China since the Liang dynasty, more than fourteen hundred years ago. Because, however, the training usually involves stimulation of the sexual organs, it has traditionally been passed down only to a few trusted students.
In addition to the eight in-depth books, YMAA is also introducing a series of instructional books and videotapes on specific Qigong exercise sets. This series is designed for people who want to learn exercises that they can do on their own to improve or maintain their health. These books and tapes will be easy to understand both in theory and in practice. Preface New Edition Since , when this book was first introduced to the public, more than thirty thousand copies have been sold.
This is better than I originally expected. The reason for this is simply because the subject of Qigong was still very new to Western readers, even though it has been studied and practiced in China, Japan, and India for many thousands of years. Therefore, the market is very small and restricted to those already interested in Chinese culture.
In addition, this book is considered to be an in-depth theoretical treatise on Qigong. It is like a piece of classical music, instead of rock music, which can be understood and accepted easily by the general society. I believe that there are a few reasons for this. First, since President Nixon visited mainland China in and opened the gates to the nation, there has been more and more culture exchange between China and the West. The Western world has a better understanding of Chinese culture. This has agitated and stimulated many Westerners to take an interest in Chinese culture, study it, and accept it.
Second, Chinese acupuncture and Qigong healing techniques have been widely accepted. This open-minded attitude has generated great interest in foreign cultures. Since , 1 have written and published 10 more books and 15 videotapes to introduce Chinese culture to the Western society. In addition, YMAA has also established more than 30 schools and three publication centers in Europe to translate these books into non-English languages.
In when this book was written, I had a dream of introducing in-depth Qigong books to the West. The books I wanted to write include: 1. Qigong and Health has not yet been started. Buddhist Qigong and Tibetan Qigong have not yet been started. I plan to complete these two volumes by The writing process is slow and time consuming. This is especially significant since almost all of the Qigong documents were released to the general public in the last ten years, both in China and Taiwan. This has provided me with ten-fold the amount of information. Naturally, this has also offered me a greater chance to make the future books more complete and in-depth.
There is another reason for the slow progress. The market for the in-depth books, especially those that relate to inner Qigong feelings and spiritual cultivation, is very limited. In order to prevent any financial difficulty in the publication business, I have also put a lot of time and effort into writing other smaller introductory books for Qigong healing and martial arts.
As I pointed out in the original preface, the translation and interpretation of the Qigong from Chinese to English is not easy.
We will need an organization that has strong financial support and many Qigong experts to do the job. I will just try my best to contribute what I can. I sincerely hope that the government, universities, or private organizations will sponsor this project to expedite this Qigong cultural exchange. In this new edition, some new concepts have been added and some old concepts have been deleted. Not only that, for those readers who understand, the Chinese characters are immediately included in the text when the Chinese is mentioned. In addition, when this book was written, the Chinese romanization system called Pinyin was not yet popular.
Therefore, an older system was used. However, Pinyin is now widely used in the West in both scholastic and lay societies, so this book follows the Pinyin romanization system. In addition, new typesetting has been done to make this book easier to read. Finally, the glossary and translation of Chinese terms have been combined, and an index has been added. Prelude In their seven thousand years of history, the Chinese people have experienced all possible human suffering and pain. Chinese culture is like a very old man who has seen and experienced all of the pain of human life.
Yet through his experience, he has also accumulated a great store of knowledge. Chinese culture, as reflected in its literature and painting, ranks among the greatest achievements of the human spirit. Within this complex cultural and historical background, the Chinese people have long sought ways of living healthy and happy lives.
However, as they looked for ways to better themselves and seek spiritual fulfillment, they have also tended to believe that everything that happens is due to destiny, and that it is prearranged by heaven. Despite this fatalistic belief, they have still looked for ways to resist the apparent inevitability of sickness and death. The Chinese have devoted a large part of their intellectual effort to self-study and self-cultivation in the hope of understanding the meaning of their lives. This inward-feeling and looking, this spiritual searching, has become one of the major roots of Chinese religion and medical science.
Qi, the energy within the human body, was studied very carefully. As people perceived the link between the Qi in the human body and the Qi in nature, they began to hope that this Qi was the means whereby man could escape from the trap of sickness and death. Over the years, many different sectors of Chinese society have studied and researched Qi. Of all the researchers, the scholars and the doctors have had the longest history, and they have brought the understanding of Qi to a very deep level. It was they who learned the methods of maintaining health and curing sickness. Chinese medical science has developed out of the Qi research of the physicians.
When Indian Buddhism was imported into China, it profoundly influenced Chinese culture. Naturally, Chinese Qigong was also affected by the Buddhist meditative practices. The Daoist religion was created out of a mixture of traditional scholarly Daoism and Buddhism. Since that time, Buddhist and Daoist Qigong have been considered among the greatest achievements of Chinese culture. Daoism and Buddhism have not only brought the Chinese people a peaceful, spiritual mind which may untie the mystery of human life and destiny, they have also created a hope that the development of Qigong may give people a healthy and happy life while they are alive, and an eternal spiritual life after death.
When viewed from this historical background, it is not hard to understand why a major part of Chinese culture in the last two thousand years, other than warfare and possibly medical science, were based on the religions of Daoism and Buddhism, and spiritual science. The emphasis on the spiritual life, rather than the material, is one of the major differences between Eastern and the Western cultures.
Most Westerners believe that if you strengthen your physical body, you also improve your health. People who exercise a lot and whose bodies are externally strong are not necessarily healthier or happier than the average person. In order to have true good health you must have a healthy body, a healthy mind, and also smooth and balanced Qi circulation. According to Chinese medicine, many illnesses are caused by imbalances in your mind. For example, worry and nervousness can upset your stomach or harm your spleen. This is because your internal energy Qi circulation is closely related to your mind.
In order to be truly healthy, you must have both a healthy physical body and a calm and healthy mind. True good health is both external and internal. When someone gets involved in body building, he will emphasize building strong muscles. According to acupuncture and Qigong theory, he will also energize his body, stimulate his mind, and increase the level of the Qi circulation.
If he trains properly, he will naturally gain physical health. However, if he exercises too much, he will over energize his body and over-excite his mind and Qi. This will make his physical body too Yang positive. According to Chinese philosophy, too much of something is excessive Yang. When your body is too Yang or too Yin, your internal organs will tend to weaken and to degenerate sooner than they ordinarily would. A person who seems to be externally strong and healthy may be weak internally. In addition, when a body builder gets older, his over-stressed muscle fibers may lose their elasticity and degenerate faster than those of the average person.
This causes the Qi to stagnate in the Qi channels. Overdoing exercise is like getting too much sunshine, which we now know will cause your skin cells to degenerate faster than the lack of sun. It is shown internally. Ming is life, and refers to the life or death of the physical body. Shuang Xiu means double cultivation. The expression therefore means that if you desire to gain real health, you must cultivate your character internally and strengthen your body both internally and externally. The internal side is approached through meditation and Qigong exercises.
Many people believe that Qigong is a product only of China, India, or other Oriental countries. As a matter of fact, internal energy cultivation has also been common in the Western world, usually within the context of religion. Many people have been able to find their internal foundation and strength through meditation or praying in their church, temple, or mosque. Through their devotions and the practice of prayer, they are able to build up their concentration, confidence, and will, all of which are prerequisites to internal strength. The practice of such disciplines allows the energy in the body to become balanced, bringing health and strength to some, and even, in some cases, seemingly supernatural powers.
All of the major Western religions have had branches or sects which used practices similar to the Oriental Qigong disciplines. However, there have also been people without any particular religious belief who have meditated by themselves and, through the buildup and circulation of Qi, developed psychic or healing abilities.
Unfortunately, in earlier times such people were often killed as witches or heretics, so people who found they had such powers tended to view themselves as freaks or worse, and hid their powers. These negative attitudes only kept people from researching and understanding such abilities. Many people in China and India have developed amazing powers through their meditation training. Fortunately, these powers were understood as being a result of Qigong, and so people were encouraged to train and research the subject.
Although Qigong is becoming a more acceptable subject in the West, the Chinese and Indians are still way ahead in this internal mental and physical science. Since , acupuncture has been widely accepted by the American people, and even by many in the medical establishment.
More and more people are becoming familiar with the concept of Qi. Qi related arts such as Taijiquan and Qigong exercises are getting much more attention than ever before. Many people are learning that the study of Qi can be very beneficial, and I feel certain that in the next twenty years Qigong will become one of the hottest fields of research. General Definition of Qi and Qigong Before we define Qi and Qigong, you should understand that so far, there is no one scientific definition of Qi which is accepted generally by Qigong practitioners and Chinese medical society.
The way people define Qi varies, depending upon their individual background and experience. Some people think Qi is an electric energy, others believe that it is a magnetic energy, and many others believe that Qi is heat or some other type of energy. However, anyone who has carefully researched the historical background of Qi would not define it by any one of these narrow definitions. It is the same with Qigong. In fact, however, the range of Qigong and the scope of its research is much wider.
You should understand this point so you will be able to view Qi and Qigong in an accurate and open way. In this section we will discuss the general definition of Qi and Qigong. Specific terms concerning Qi and Qigong which are directly related to the human body will be discussed later in a separate section.
General Def inition of Qi Qi is the energy or natural force which fills the universe. In ancient times, the Chinese believed that it was Heaven Qi which controlled the weather, climate, and natural disasters. Every energy field strives to stay in balance, so whenever the Heaven Qi loses its balance, it tries to rebalance itself. Then the wind must blow, rain must fall, even tornadoes or hurricanes must happen in order for the Heaven Qi to reach a new energy balance. For example, too much rain will force a river to flood or change its path. Without rain, the plants will die.
These energies must also balance, otherwise disasters such as earthquakes will occur. When the Qi of the earth is balanced, plants will grow and animals thrive. Finally, within the Earth Qi, each individual person, animal, and plant has its own Qi field, which always seeks to be balanced. When any individual thing loses its Qi balance, it will sicken, die, and decompose. All natural things, including man, grow within and are influenced by the natural cycles of Heaven Qi and Earth Qi. The reason for this is simply that because we are human, we are particularly concerned with Human Qi, and have devoted a great deal of study to it.
Qi can be generally defined as any type of energy which is able to demonstrate power and strength. This energy can be electricity, magnetism, heat, or light. It does not refer only to the energy circulating in the human body. It is important to understand this when you practice Qigong, so that your mind is not channeled into a narrow understanding of Qi, which would limit your future understanding and development.
General Definition of Qigong We have explained that Qi is energy, and that it is found in the heavens, in the earth, and in every living thing. Any study or training which requires a lot of energy and time to learn or to accomplish is called Gongfu. The term can be applied to any special skill or study as long as it requires time, energy, and patience. Therefore, the correct definition of Qigong is any training or study dealing with Qi which takes a long time and a lot of effort.
The Chinese have studied Qi for thousands of years. Some of the information on the patterns and cycles of nature has been recorded in books, one of which is the Yi Jing. These three facets of nature have their definite rules and cycles. The rules never change, and the cycles repeat periodically. The Chinese people used an understanding of these natural principles and the Yi Jing to calculate the changes of natural Qi.
Therefore, the Yi Jing was probably the Figure AeupUnCSurt 2. Acupressure Partial Arts: 1. Iron Shirt 2. Iron Sand Palm 3. Cavity Press first book which taught the Chinese people about Qi and its variations in nature and man. But since nature is always repeating itself, the experience accumulated over the years has made it possible to trace the natural patterns. If you observe carefully, you will be able to see many of these routine patterns and cycles caused by the rebalancing of the Qi fields.
Among the natural cycles are those of the day, the month, and the year, as well as cycles of twelve years and sixty years. Earth Qi is a part of Heaven Qi. If you can understand the rules and the structure of the earth, you will be able to understand how mountains and rivers are formed, how plants grow, how rivers move, what part of the country is best for someone, where to build a house and which direction it should face so that it is a healthy place to live, and many other things related to the earth. The term Feng Shui is commonly used because the location and character of the wind and water in a landscape are the most important factors in evaluating a location.
These experts use the accumulated body of geomantic knowledge and the Yi Jing to help people make important decisions such as where and how to build a house, where to bury their dead, and how to rearrange or redecorate homes and offices so that they are better places to live and work in. Many people even believe that setting up a store or business according to the guidance of Feng Shui can make it more prosperous. The study of Human Qi covers a large number of different subjects. The Chinese people believe that Human Qi is affected and controlled by Heaven Qi and Earth Qi, and that they in fact determine your destiny.
Since Qi is the source of life, if you understand how Qi functions and know how to regulate it correctly, you should be able to live a long and healthy life. Remember that you are part of nature, and you are channeled into the cycles of nature. If you go against this natural cycle, you may become sick, so it is in your best interests to follow the way of nature. The use of acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal treatment to adjust Human Qi flow has become the root of Chinese medical science. Meditation and moving Qigong exercises are used widely by the Chinese people to improve their health or even to cure certain illnesses.
Meditation and Qigong exercises serve an additional role in that Daoists and Buddhists use them in their spiritual pursuit of enlightenment. However, since the term is usually used today only in reference to the cultivation of Human Qi through meditation and exercises, we will only use it in this narrower sense to avoid confusion. Before we finish this section, we would like to discuss one more thing.
Many of the external styles originated in the Shaolin Temple. About This Book I hope this book will lay down a theoretical foundation which interested Qigong practitioners can use in their training. Hopefully this book can explain to you the How, Why, and What of Qigong, and help you to avoid being confused and misled. It is extremely difficult to write a book which covers more than four thousand years of study and research, especially since a large portion of the knowledge was kept secret until the last twenty years.
One of the major purposes of this book is to stimulate Western scholars and medical society to get involved with and study this newly-revealed science. Hopefully other Qigong experts will be encouraged to share their knowledge with the public. I believe that in a short time Qigong will reach new and exciting heights in the Western world.
This would be one of the greatest cross-cultural achievements since East and West opened their doors to each other. Most available documents are not systematically organized and do not explain the subject very well. As I compile them and try to explain them in a logical and scientific way, I must use my own judgment, and I must explain them based on my personal Qigong background and my understanding of the documents. It is impossible for one person alone to do justice to this enormous field.
You are encouraged to question everything stated in this text, and to always remember that many conclusions come from my own judgment. The main purpose of this book is to lead you to the path of study — it is not meant to be the final authority. When you read this book, it is important that you keep your mind open, and let go of your habitual ways of thinking. When we find ourselves in a new environment or start studying something new, it is human nature to view the new from the standpoint of what we have already learned.
Unfortunately, this tends to make us conservative and narrow minded. This usually leads to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding.
If, however, you try to understand other people according to their own culture and historical background, you will have a much better chance of understanding their behavior. Please do this when you start studying this science of Qigong. If you keep your mind open and try to understand it according to its historical background, you will find it a fascinating and challenging subject.
It is true that it is very hard to break from tradition. In many old cultures, tradition must be obeyed absolutely. If anyone is against the tradition, he is considered a traitor to the culture. However, the correct approach to research and study involves questioning tradition and proving its inaccuracies through the use of modern thought and technology.
This is especially necessary in regard to ancient sciences which were developed before this century. New study will allow us to prove and establish their accuracy. You should understand that this is not a form of betrayal. It is our responsibility to prove the truth and bring facts to light. Many of the theories which have been passed down were based upon many years of experience. Regardless of how you modify a theory, the fact is, it is still the root of the entire science. Therefore, the correct approach to study and research involves respect and study of the past.
From this respect and study, you will be able to find the root of the entire science. If you forget this root, which has been growing for thousands of years, you are studying only the branches and flowers. You should judge this inner science of Qigong in a logical and scientific manner. They are relative to the science and understanding which we possess. Remember, though, that although science has been developing for thousands of years, it was only in the last hundred years or so that it suddenly began to swell in the width and depth of its understanding.
We can be sure, therefore, that our understanding today is still in its infancy. What is accepted as true in a few years may be quite different from what we now accept. All sciences were developed from daring assumptions which were then proven by careful experimentation. The results which we get from our experiments allow us to modify our assumptions and to create new experiments which explore our new hypotheses. This process enables us to develop a complete theory, and determine what next needs to be studied.
It is the same with Qigong practice. If you look and study carefully, you will see that, although many of the Qi-related theories were proven accurate and have been widely used in China, there are still many questions which still need to be answered. During the course of study you must be patient and persevering. Strong will, patience, and perseverance are the three main components of success. This is especially true in Qigong training. Your will and wisdom must be able to dominate and conquer your emotional laziness. They may be smart, and they pick things up more quickly than other people, but they soon lose interest.
They never realize that success demands moral virtues, and not just wisdom. A person who is truly wise knows that he must develop the other requirements for success. In addition, a person who is truly wise will know when to start and when to stop. Many opportunities to succeed are lost by people who are too proud of their intelligence. There is a Chinese story about a group of people who competed in a snake-drawing contest. One man completed his drawing of a snake faster than anybody else. A person who is really wise understands that real success depends not only his wisdom but also on his moral character.
Therefore, he will also cultivate his moral character and develop his good personality. They feel that they know enough, and so they stop learning and growing. In the long run they will only lose. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. If the rabbit had not been so proud and satisfied, he would not have lost the race. Once you understand what has been passed down to you, you should be creative. Naturally, this creativity must be under one condition: that you must understand the old way clearly and thoroughly. If all Qigong practitioners only practice the old ways and never search for new ones, the science of Qigong will stagnate at its current level.
In that case, we will have lost the real meaning of and attitude toward learning. It offers you the foundation of knowledge and training practices which is required to understand subsequent YMAA Qigong books. This book consists of four major parts. The first part will briefly summarize Qigong history, explain the necessary Qigong terminology, and discuss the major Qigong categories.
The second part will discuss the theory and major keys to Qigong training. This will enable the Qigong beginner to enter the door to the Qigong garden, and will offer the experienced practitioner a directory to the various types of Qigong. The third part will review the Qi channels and vessels to help you understand the Qi circulatory system in the human body. Finally, the fourth part will conclude the discussion in this book, and list some of the many questions I have about Qigong.
References 1 When Chinese medicine refers to an organ, such as the spleen, kidney, or bladder, they are not necessarily referring to the physical organ, but rather to a system of functions which are related to the organ. This infusion brought Qigong practice and meditation into the second period, the religious Qigong era. This period lasted until the Liang dynasty A.
This was the beginning of the third period, that of martial Qigong. Many different martial Qigong styles were created based on the theories and principles of Buddhist and Daoist Qigong. This period lasted until the overthrow of the Qing dynastyC in , when the new era started in which Chinese Qigong training is being mixed with Qigong practices from India, Japan, and many other countries.
In B. Most of the information recorded was of a religious nature. The archeologists did, however, discover stones at the dig which they believed were Bian Shi Figure 2- 1. Figure About B. During the Qin and Han dynasties B. Let us conclude with a few important points about the Qigong in this period: 1.
Historical documents for this period are scarce today, and it is difficult to obtain detailed information, especially about Qigong training. There were two major types of Qigong training. One type was used by the Confucian and Daoist scholars, who used it primarily to maintain their health. The other type of Qigong was for medical purposes, using needles or exercises to adjust the Qi or to cure illness. There was almost no religious color to the training. All of the training focused on following the natural way and improving and maintaining health. Actively countering the effects of nature was considered impossible.
It was during the Eastern Han dynasty c. The Han emperor became a sincere Buddhist; Buddhism soon spread and became very popular. Many Buddhist meditation and Qigong practices, which had been practiced in India for thousands of years, were absorbed into the Chinese culture. Much of the deeper Qigong theory and practices which had been developed in India were brought to China. Unfortunately, since the training was directed at attaining Buddhahood, the training practices and theory were recorded in the Buddhist bibles and kept secret.
For hundreds of years the religious Qigong training was never taught to laymen. Only in this century has it been available to the general populace. Since Tibet had developed its own branch of Buddhism with its own training system and methods of attaining Buddhahood, Tibetan Buddhists were also invited to China to preach. In time, their practices were also absorbed. It was in this period that the traditional Chinese Qigong practitioners finally had a chance to compare their arts with the religious Qigong practices imported mainly from India.
While the scholarly and medical Qigong had been concerned with maintaining and improving health, the newly imported religious Qigong was concerned with far more. Contemporary documents and Qigong styles show clearly that the religious practitioners trained their Qi to a much deeper level, working with many internal functions of the body, and strove to obtain control of their bodies, minds, and spirits with the goal of escaping from the cycle of reincarnation.
While the Qigong practices and meditations were being passed down secretly within the monasteries, traditional scholars and physicians continued their Qigong research. Characteristics of Qigong during this period were: 1. There were three schools of religious Qigong which influenced and dominated the Qigong practice in this period. Almost all of the religious Qigong practices were kept secret within the monasteries.
Religious Qigong training worked to escape from the cycle of reincarnation. Relatively speaking, religious Qigong theory is deeper than the theory of the non- religious Qigong, and the training is harder. Qi circulation theory was better understood by this time, so the Qigong sets created in this period seem to be more efficient than the older sets.
When this training was integrated into the martial arts forms, it increased the effectiveness of their techniques. In addition to this martial Qigong training, the Shaolin priests also created five animal styles of Gongfu which imitated the way different animals fight.
The animals imitated were the tiger, leopard, dragon, snake, and crane. Outside of the monastery, the development of Qigong continued during the Sui and Tang dynasties A. The Buddhists and Daoists had already been using the Six Sounds to regulate Qi in the internal organs for some time. During the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties A. During the Song dynasty A. In A. Wang, Wei- Yi i '-ft — -Before that time, the many publications which discussed acupuncture theory, principles, and treatment techniques disagreed with each other, and left many points unclear.
With the support of the emperor, acupuncture flourished. In order to encourage acupuncture medical research, the emperor built a temple to Bian Que, who wrote the Nan Jing, and worshiped him as the ancestor of acupuncture.
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Acupuncture technology developed so much that even the Jin race in the distant North requested the brass man and other acupuncture technology as a condition for peace. Between 1 to A. Wang dissected the bodies of prisoners and added more information to the Nan Jing. His work contributed greatly to the advancement of Qigong and Chinese medicine by giving a clear and systematic idea of the circulation of Qi in the human body. Later, in the Southern Song dynasty A.
Hvas credited with creating several internal Qigong exercises and martial arts. From then until the end of the Qing dynasty A. Lmany other Qigong styles were founded. In the late Ming dynasty around A. During the Qing dynasty, Tibetan meditation and martial techniques became widespread in China for the first time. This was due to the encouragement and interest of the Manchurian Emperors in the royal palace, as well as others of high rank in society. Qigong was adapted into the martial arts, and martial Qigong styles were created.
Qi circulation theory and acupuncture reached a peak. More documents were published about medical Qigong than the other categories of Qigong exercises. Religious Qigong practice remained secret. Qigong exercises had become more popular in Chinese society. Even though China had been expanding its contact with the outside world for the previous hundred years, the outside world had little influence beyond the coastal regions. With the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in and the founding of the Chinese Republic, the nation began changing as never before.
Since this time Qigong practice has entered a new era. Because of the ease of communication in the modern world, Western culture now has great influence on the Orient. Many Chinese have opened their minds and changed their traditional ideas, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Various Qigong styles are now being taught openly, and many formerly secret documents have been published.
Modern methods of communication have opened up Qigong to a much wider audience than ever before, and people now have the opportunity to study and understand many different styles. In addition, people are now able to compare Chinese Qigong to similar arts from other countries such as India, Japan, Korea, and the Middle East. I believe that in the near future Qigong will be considered the most exciting and challenging field of research.
It is an ancient science just waiting to be investigated with the help of the new technologies now being developed at an almost explosive rate. Anything we can do to speed up this research will greatly help humanity to understand and improve itself. Since most of these terms are key words which will help you to grasp the basic concepts of Qigong practice, it is important that you understand their real meaning. In this chapter we will discuss the major terms which are directly related to Qigong training.
Other terms will be discussed in Appendix. They are the root of your life and therefore also the root of Qigong practice. As a Qigong practitioner, you must pay a great deal of attention to these three elements during the course of your training. If you keep these three elements strong and healthy, you will live a long and healthy life. If you neglect or abuse them, you will be sick frequently and will age fast. Each one of these three elements or treasures has its own root. You must know the roots so that you can strengthen and protect your three treasures.
Jing The Chinese word Jing means a number of things depending on where, when, and how it is used.
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Jing can be used as a verb, an adjective, or a noun. Jing may be considered the primal substance or original source from which a thing is made, and which exhibits the true nature of that thing. When Jing is used in reference to animals or humans, it means the very original and essential source of life and growth.
This Jing is the origin of the Shen spirit which makes an animal different from a tree. In humans, Jing is passed down from the parents. The child is formed, the Qi circulates, and the Shen grows. It is what enables you to grow stronger and bigger. Generally speaking, it does not matter how much Original Jing you have carried over from your parents. If you know how to conserve it, you will have more than enough for your lifetime.
According to Chinese medicine, you probably cannot increase the amount of Jing you have. It is believed, however, that Qigong training can improve its quality. In Qigong training, knowing how to conserve and firm your Original Jing is of primary importance. To conserve means to refrain from abusing your Original Jing through overuse.
For example, if you overindulge in sexual activity, you will lose Original Jing faster than other people and your body will degenerate faster. To firm your Jing means to keep and protect it. For example, you should know how to keep your kidneys strong. Kidneys are thought of as the residence of Original Jing.
When your kidneys are strong, the Original Jing will be kept firm and will not be lost without reason. Therefore, conserving and firming your Jing is the first step in training. In order to know how to conserve and firm your Jing, you must first know: the root of your Jing, where the Original Jing resides, and how Original Jing is converted into Qi. The root of your Original Jing before your birth is in your parents. After birth, this Original Jing stays in its residence, the kidneys, which are now also its root. When you keep this root strong, you will have plenty of Original Jing to supply to your body.
If you look carefully at how you were formed, you can gain interesting insights into life. You started as one sperm which, because it managed to reach and penetrate the egg before any of the other millions of sperm could, was one of the strongest and luckiest sperm alive. Once this sperm entered the egg, one human cell formed and then started to divide, from one to two, and from two to four.
Finally, the baby formed. As the baby was being formed it was immersed in liquid, and it received all of its nutrition and oxygen from the mother through the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is very long, and because it is hard for the mother alone to push the necessary supplies to the baby, the baby needs to help. The baby must draw the nutrients to itself with an in and out pumping motion of its abdomen.
Once you are born, you start taking in oxygen through your nose and food through your mouth. Since you no longer need the abdominal motion to pump in nutrients, it gradually stops, and, finally, you forget how to use it. According to Chinese medical and Qigong society, the Original Jing which you obtained from your parents stays in your kidneys after your birth.
This Original Jing is the source of your life and growth. This Original Jing is converted continuously into Qi which moves into the Lower Dan Tian, and stays stored there in its residence for future use. As you may realize from the above discussion, if you wish to stay strong and healthy, you must first conserve your Original Jing.
Remember that Original Jing is like the principal in your savings account in that it is an original investment which will continue to return interest as long as it is conserved. Jing can produce Qi, so if you handle this Jing carefully, you will continue to have Jing and Qi. However, if you abuse yourself with an unhealthy lifestyle, you may damage and reduce your original Jing.
In order to conserve your Jing, you must first control your sexual activity. This is because Chinese doctors believe that sperm is a product of Original Jing and the Jing from food and air. The more ejaculations you have, the faster you will exhaust your Original Jing, and the shorter your life will be. Please understand that the Chinese doctors and Qigong practitioners are not saying that in order to conserve your Jing, you must stop your sexual activity completely. As a matter of fact, they encourage the proper amount of sexual activity, believing that it will energize and activate the Jing, which makes the Jing-Qi conversion more efficient.
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Remember, Jing is like fuel, and Qi is like the energy generated from this fuel. The more efficiently you can convert your fuel into energy, the less you will waste. In addition, the proper amount of sexual activity will energize the Qi so that it nourishes the Shen spirit. This will help you stay mentally balanced, and raise your Shen.