Hu ¡M means tiger. The tiger is a symbol for shamanic power and for Qi, especially Zhengqi U- j (righteous or correct Qi). Q can be translated as vital energy or vital breath. Usually, the Chinese call the tiger Laohu^f^ —literally meaning "old tiger," regardless of the tiger's age. The tiger is the spiritual animal of the western direction and is related to the Queen Mother of the West (See Part II, 4.2.1 Xiwangmu jjj-EE-jj—Queen Mother of the West). The Queen Mother of the West is a condensation of the Subtlest Vital Breath of the Western Essence from the Vital Breath of the Dao of the Original Chaos. This is the source of the name of this book, The Vital Breath of the Dao.
Oracle bone style of Chinese character for Lao ® (old).
The universal rhythm of the Dao can be found in the microcosm of the Lung. From a classical Chinese medicine perspective, we will never get sick if we can maintain Zhengqi in the body. Physically, Zhengqi is represented most strongly by the Lung, which prevents XieM (evil) Qi from invading the body. Here, Zheng IE can be translated as correct or upright. in contrast to Zheng, Xie can be translated as incorrect or tilted. Therefore, Xieqi includes all the factors, such as emotions, food, weather, habits, attitude, posture, or trauma, that may cause illness. One of the functions of Lung is to govern and energize all the meridians of the body. Strong Lung Qi helps us maintain wellness. We will be more susceptible to illness if the Lung Qi is weak. Thus, in Chinese medicine, the tiger is the spiritual animal of Lung and stands for the essential Lung Qi and vital breath.
Gong originally meant hard work. in our context, it means a Qigong form.
For further details about the tiger, the Queen Mother of the West, Qi, and Gong, please read Part ii Han San He Yi H^fe—— Holding Three in One (The Fundamentals of Chinese Shamanic Qigong) of this book.
Laohu Gong ^tffityj translates into English as Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong. The form is based on symbolic power—the essence of Chinese Shamanism—and has both medical and martial arts applications. The tiger form is the story of energy circulation from West to East, the movement of the Dao itself, as the symbolic power of the tiger communicates directly with the Dao. Through regular practice of the tiger form, one will tonify one's Zhengqi and increase the harmonizing Qi of the whole body. in this way, one will be able to attune the personal Qi to resonate with the Universal Qi, to discover one's true potential nature, and to breathe with the Dao.
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