The Symbolic Tiger

As a totem that corresponds to the great Dao, the tiger holds numerous symbolic meanings. I will list only those that are related to Part III: Lung, breath, Q , respiration system, change, control, circulation, rule, rhythm, West, Metal, Venus, transparency, upright, justice, autumn, wind, the Queen Mother of the West, and the seven Chinese lunar mansions in the Western sky.

Energy Gates Qigong Images

Stone tiger with cinnabar in its mouth, eyes, and ears; from about 4,000 years ago. In Chinese shamanic tradition, the function of cinnabar is to release evil energy.

Stone tiger with cinnabar in its mouth, eyes, and ears; from about 4,000 years ago. In Chinese shamanic tradition, the function of cinnabar is to release evil energy.

Generally, in Chinese shamanic tradition, the tiger is addressed as Baihu t=HM —White Tiger. In Chinese culture, white does not merely mean the color white; rather, it is the symbol for transparency, clarity, purification, justice, or punishment, and is also symbolic of the activities of killing and destruction. The symbol for white is equal to the spiritual quality of the tiger totem. In nature, we can learn about the spiritual White Tiger through the "killing" atmosphere of the fall season. This killing is the process that generates new life in the spring season and is the natural way to clear out old energy and weakness and to maintain stronger life energy.

As we observe in nature, when autumn comes, strong wind not only sweeps down the leaves from the trees but also breaks down the weak and sick branches of the trees. When the next spring comes, these trees grow into a better shape. We can discover this natural-spiritual tiger "killing" function of the fall season in the body by learning the function of the Lung. Regular Lung function breaks down old energy (including dead cells), clears up stagnation, kills invading evil (virus), and maintains Qi circulation. We would get sick easily without this "killing" function of the Lung.

We can learn much more about the symbolic meanings of the tiger by practicing the Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong in Laohu Gong - Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong Form.

Tiger Qigong Laohu Gong


When I was in middle school, I had a great interest in mathematics. After more than twenty years, I still remember how amazed I was by the magical number zero. It is neither a positive number nor a negative number; it is just itself. Yet, we cannot classify a number as positive or negative without it. In a reference chart, zero is the center or point of origin. From this center point and going in opposite directions, a number will be infinite, large, or small. This function of zero in math is similar to its numerological meaning in Yijing science.

In Chinese, zero is Ling ffj , meaning emptiness. The Chinese character for zero is made with the radical Yu fffff (rain) on top and the radical Ling ^r (order) at the bottom. This signifies order or the way of nature. Nature will be filled with abundance and life energy if the rain is in order. Too much rain or not enough rain will cause problems.

We usually use a circle (O) to represent zero. As we discussed in Part I, 2.3 Kong (Emptiness) — The Universal Web, emptiness is not equal to nothingness. It is the body of the Dao itself. The original purpose of Qigong was to help the practitioner move back into this state of emptiness. This numerological meaning of Ling, zero, corresponds to the concept of emptiness, or "Wuji ^HH " (no polarity) in classical Chinese philosophy.

Wu means no, nothing, or emptiness. Ji means end, limitation, polar, or polarity. Thus, Wuji means perfect circulation, without beginning or end. This is the original state of everything. In Chinese, we call it "Yi Q Huandun ^"HtilM—one mass of chaotic Q (vital energy). Laozi explains that a chaotic Q state is the origin of the universe:

There ©as something from chaos.

Before Heaven and Earth, it existed:

Silent, isolated,

Standing alone, changing not,

Eternally revolving without fail,


Worthy to be the Mother of All Things.

I do not know its name

And address it as Dao.

If forced to give it a name, I shall call it Great.

This state before Heaven and Earth is the Wuji, or the Dao itself. It is the number Ling, zero. From the primordial cosmos until now, it has never changed its way. In general, we may not notice the significance of zero. The Dao is the same as zero. We might not be able to understand what it is until we become enlightened. The great Dao is very close to us, yet we look far away.

The numerological meaning of Ling (zero) represents the Wuji, or the Dao. The Dao never belongs to anything, but it carries everything. Therefore, the number zero does not belong to any of the elements in the Five Elements principle.

In Qigong practice, zero stands for emptiness. We need to purify our physical and spiritual bodies through our Qigong practice. It is the same as when we drink tea. We should first empty the cup before pouring in fresh tea and tasting it.

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Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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