In China before the Han dynasty, there were two major schools of scholarship. One of them was created by Confucius (551-479 B.C.) during the Spring and Autumn Period, and the scholars who practice his philosophy are commonly called Confucians. Later, his philosophy was popularized and enlarged by Mencius (372-289 B.C.) in the Warring States Period. The people who practice this are called Ru Jia (Confucianists). The key words to their basic philosophy are Loyalty,
Filial Piety, Humanity, Kindness, Trust, Justice, Harmony, and Peace. Humanity and human feelings are the main subjects of study. Ru Jia philosophy has become the center of much of Chinese culture.
The second major school of scholarship was called Tao Jia Taoism) and was created by Lao Tzyy in the 6th century B.C. Lao Tzyy is considered to be the author of a book called the "Tao Te Ching" •Classic on the Virtue of the Tao) which described human morality. Later, in the Warring States Period, his follower Juang Jou wrote a book called "Juang Tzyy," which led to the forming of another strong branch of Taoism. Before the Han dynasty, Taoism was considered a branch of scholarship. However, in the Han dynasty traditional Taoism was combined with the Buddhism imported from India, and it began gradually to be treated as a religion. Therefore, the Taoism before the Han dynasty should be considered scholarly Taoism rather than religious.
With regard to their contribution to Chi Kung, both schools of scholarship emphasized maintaining health and preventing disease. They believed that many illnesses are caused by mental and emotional excesses. When a person's mind is not calm, balanced, and peaceful, the organs will not function normally. For example, depression can cause stomach ulcers and indigestion. Anger will cause the liver to malfunction. Sadness will cause stagnation and tightness in the lungs, and fear can disturb the normal functioning of the kidneys and i bladder. They realized that if you want to avoid illness, you must learn to balance and relax your thoughts and emotions. This is called regulating the mind."
Therefore, the scholars emphasized gaining a peaceful mind through meditation. In their still meditation, the main part of the training is getting rid of thoughts so that the mind is clear and calm. When you become calm, the flow of thoughts and emotions slows down, and you feel mentally and emotionally neutral. This kind of meditation can be thought of as practicing emotional self-control. When you are in this "no thought" state, you become very relaxed, and can even relax deep down into your internal organs. When your body is this relaxed, your Chi will naturally flow smoothly and strongly. This kind of still meditation was very common in ancient Chinese scholarly society.
In order to reach the goal of a calm and peaceful mind, their training focused on regulating the mind, body, and breath.' They believed that as long as these three things were regulated, the Chi flow would be smooth and sickness would not occur. This is why the Chi training of the scholars is called "Shiou Chi," which means "cultivating Chi." Shiou in Chinese means to regulate, to cultivate, or to repair. It means to maintain in good condition. This is very different from the Taoist Chi training after the Han dynasty which was called "Liann Chi," which is translated "train Chi." Liann means to drill or to practice to make stronger.
Many of the Chi Kung documents written by the Confucians and Taoists were limited to the maintenance of health. The scholar's attitude in Chi Kung was to follow his natural destiny and r-J*
maintain r^|health. This philosophy is quite different from that of the TaoisisFclfter the Han dynasty, who denied that one's destiny could not be changed. They believed that it is possible to train your Chi to make it stronger, and to extend your life. It is said in scholarly society: Ren Shenn Chii Shyr Guu Lai Shi,"(*2) which means "in human life seventy is rare." You should understand that few of the common people in ancient times lived past seventy because of the lack of good food and modern medical technology. It is also said: "An Tian Leh Ming,"(*3) which means "peace with heaven and delight in your destiny"; and "Shiou Shenn Shy Ming," (*4) which means "cultivate the body and await destiny." Compare this with the philosophy of the later Taoists, who said: "Yi Bae Er Shyr Wey Jy Yeau,"(*5) which means "one hundred and twenty means dying young." They believed and have proven that human life can be lengthened and destiny can be resisted and overcome.
Confucianism and Taoism were the two major schools of scholarship in China, but there were many other schools which were also more or less involved in Chi Kung exercises. We will not discuss them here because there is only a limited number of Chi Kung documents from these schools.
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