AFTER RETURNING TO CHINA, I devoted my time to my Qigong meditations and practice. I was now the Dean of the English department at my college and was in charge of making the teaching schedules. I arranged all of my classes into just a couple of days a week giving me as much time as possible for Qigong.
During my years of study I had spent days and weeks at a time in Qigong meditation and practice. Sometimes I spent a month in meditation, sometimes as long as two months.
The first winter after my return home, I took two months off to go to Master Zhang at Qing Cheng Mountain. I spent those two months mostly in deep meditation deep inside a cave. First, there was a three day fast and meditation in the cave. Then, a week-long meditation and finally a month-long meditation. During these meditations I was allowed little or no water and very little food. During the month-long fast and meditation I had just three apples to eat and a few small bottles of water. This was a test of your ability to control your Qi and a test of your discipline.
These deep meditations had always been a key part of my Qigong training. My masters often had a very specific message for me to focus on in my meditations. This training is so enlightening I don't know how to explain it. But, the purpose and the result are always the same; to enhance your understanding of the universe and to increase the power of your own Qi and your ability to focus it.
My training with Master Zhang was more enlightening and beneficial than I can put into words. At the end of this training I was given a series of tests. The master tests you primarily on your ability to read the energy in other people's bodies and then to use your own energy, your own Qi, to help them to heal.
You are also tested on your ability to read people's thoughts. You are tested on being able to predict the future. One test is to predict what the weather will be for the next ten days. If you fail these tests, you do not pass.
There are many other tests as well. Some would be considered very dangerous for anyone who was not a Qigong master. In one test, I was taken into a room with an electrical transformer. There were two electrical lines. One positive, the other negative. They carried 220 volts of electricity. I had to grasp one line in each hand and use my body as a conductor to complete the circuit. It is another way you show your ability to control your own energy. Obviously, I passed the test. But, please, don't try this test yourself. It would be very dangerous and could kill you.
In another test, I had to change the alcohol content of wine. I had to raise the alcohol content in one bottle of wine and lower it in another. All of these tests I had to pass and did pass with very high marks. But, again, most of the tests focus on your ability to use your Qi to help others to heal.
I tell you these things to give you an idea of what it takes to become a Qigong master. It takes years of dedicated study and training.
At the end of my testing at Ching Chang Mountain with Master Zhang I was awarded certification as an International Qigong Master. I had not gone there expecting anything like this. I went only to study with a master for whom I had the greatest admiration and respect. The certification came as a complete surprise. It also came as further confirmation to me that I was on the path I was meant to travel for the rest of my life.
China is a large country and the Chinese people speak many different languages. Some of them are as different as English is from Russian. Because I am fluent in five Chinese languages, I had the good fortune of being able to study with many diverse Qigong masters. Some of these masters I cannot mention by name in this book and some of their teachings I am required to keep secret. My failure to refer to these masters is in keeping with their wishes. I greatly respect all of them for their skill and dedication to helping others.
However, what I learned through my more than two decades of Qigong training, research and practice is that the ability to heal, the ability to use your energy, your Qi, to heal yourself and to help others to heal is something you can learn to do right away. What you will learn in this book will not make you a Qigong master. But, the wonderful fact is that you do not have to be Qigong master in order to awaken your natural healing ability and put it to use.
Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you will become. But, the essence of Qigong is very, very simple and yet incredibly powerful. This message just kept coming to me from the universe that Qigong is so simple. It is what led me to create Spring Forest Qigong.
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