- What Is Qigong?
- Your Energy System
- How It Works
- A Language Of Energy
- Qigong In Everyday Life
- The Environment and Ecology
- The Future Of Qigong
- Practices To Experience Your Own Qi Afterword
It is strange to say that if you are a 'Westerner' you may be reading about Qigong for the first time, but if you are an 'Easterner' this will be as familiar as breathing, eating and walking.
How can this be, that part of the world knows about Qigong since earliest pre-history, and another major part of the world is now hearing about it for the first time?
Being a Westerner myself I asked that question, and came up with some remarkable answers.
But, before proceeding, I should state that by 'West' and 'East' I do not mean geographical locations. These terms are used in the way they have commonly come to describe the cultures that developed from Greco-Roman tradition, and those that originated from China - they are used here in that general sense.
The three most surprising answers were:
First, this knowledge has been held in secrecy in China and the East - reserved for the aristocracy, monks, doctors, martial artists and the most privileged. It was taught by word of mouth. Everybody knew about it, but only the elite few knew how to do it. This was one of their most precious possessions, and a source of power and authority, and they guarded it jealously.
Secondly, there is no knowledge or understanding of the human Energy System in the West, there is no tradition or history - for a variety of questionable reasons. There is no equivalence to Acupuncture and the energetics of Oriental medicine, which forms the basis of Eastern health care, fitness and spirituality. There is nothing to compare it to in the West.
Thirdly, the organization and architecture of the mind and thought is different. The language and writing is different. Quite simply, the East and the West think differently. And therefore the two traditions experience themselves, and their relationship to the world and nature, in different ways.
In fact, it may be that the understanding of Qi/Energy is the primary difference between East and West.
There are, no doubt, many other reasons why the West has not known about Qigong, but in the observation and experience of this author these are some of the main ones.
However, with the opening up of the world over the last century, and now instant global communication and the Internet, this information can be spread and shared in a way never before possible. The first book this author wrote on the topic, which is embedded in this document, had to be written, designed and printed on paper, sailed across oceans in ships, trucked in lorries to warehouses, to eventually be unpacked from boxes and placed on shelves in bookstores, in the hope that somebody would buy it - usually to cover the cost of the above procedure. This was in 1993 - just 15 years ago.
Now, if you are reading this document it is yours. It belongs to you, right now. You own it. And you can send it to anybody you wish, anywhere in the world, at the touch of a button.
The most important and closely guarded secrets of one of the world's oldest cultures have now become instantly available for free.
• Because the world needs this knowledge now.
• If I tried to sell it, you may not get it... or be able to afford it.
• It is copyrighted through GNU Free Documentation License, but there is no charge or cost for its use.
• And because Qigong has important personal, social and global consequences.
On a personal level it is about health and well-being, relief from pain, suffering and illness, aging well, clarity of mind, and promoting peace, happiness and long life.
On a social level it is about understanding more of your relationship with the energy of the community, society and culture around you, and how they effect and interact with you -and vice versa.
On a Global level it is about correct function and management of your own energy system, to maximize its operation and efficiency, and minimize the need and use of external energy sources and the environment. It addresses 50% of the Global Energy Crisis - our own personal energy.
It is about understanding what we truly are, and how we really work, and what we can do about it. It is about emotional, psychological and spiritual health. It is about each person being at their best.
Qigong is the missing piece of Western civilization.
But it has not been much available in China itself either, for a variety of reasons.
China is complex, and quite different from the West. The Chinese are justly proud of their long history and accomplishments, and their new status as a world leader. But they do things differently than in the West. China was ruled by Emperors for the whole of its 2,000+ year history, until the last century. It has never been a democracy. Power has always been from the top down, not the bottom up - it has never been any other way. This has recently caused considerable misunderstanding and friction with the West in the areas of human rights and freedom.
The simple truth is that the Chinese authorities just don't 'get' Democracy. They do not understand it because they have never experienced it. It makes no sense to them - for them the leaders lead, and the people do what they are told. Their social system is Authoritarian, and it has always been that way.
The story of Qigong in China over the last 60 years and its interaction with Governmental Authority is fascinating, and is described in the excellent book 'Qigong Fever - Body, Science and Utopia in China' by David Palmer who looked at it all from a sociologist's point of view. It tells the whole story of what happened, from the 'discovery' by the Communist troops in
World War II, through the wide-spread popularity as a 'mass movement', the scientific research and the opening of Qigong hospitals and clinics in the 1970s and '80s, to the crack down in the '90s. What happened may be best summarized in the following quote:
"The Qigong Movement was born during the Mao era, reached its zenith in the post-Mao reform years of Deng Xiaoping, and imploded under Jiang Zemin".
'Qigong Fever' is fascinating reading and should be read by anybody seriously interested in understanding what actually happened in recent years to Qigong in China itself. There is a review of this book by myself, which is attached at the end of this document for those people interested.
Hopefully the following 'Introduction to Qigong' and the accompanying 'Eight Extraordinary Meridians Qigong Training Program' will give you an overview to what you can do to enable you to practice Qigong yourself, as it already has for hundreds of students. It is the product of 30 years practice as a Classical Acupuncturist, 25 years teaching Qigong, and two trips to China. It is the condensed version of three books on the topic. It is the result of creating the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association USA, attending multiple international conferences, studying with numerous teachers, and being as widely exposed as possible. It is the author's life's work to date.
For whatever it is worth to you, and whatever sense it makes to you or questions it answers, it is given in respect and gratitude for having learned this work from my various teachers and the lineage of the tradition.
And it is given in the spirit of a personal gift to whoever may receive it, to pass on to you the most important thing that was ever given to me, one of the greatest secrets of energy and life - Qigong.
Boulder, Colorado. Summer 2008.
Was this article helpful?