rT"lhe practice of cultivating human energy has been passed from master to student in a lineage that stretches over some 27 centuries. The Chinese Philosopher Guan Tse perceived the fundamental nature of energy and saw it as the precondition for all else in the
Silk scroll of Lao Tse, with 42 imperial seals.
universe. In his writings on the "Natural Way of Life," which he referred to as Tao, he brought together the natural sciences, agriculture, geography, economics, law and astrology. He stressed the fundamental importance of vital power (Jing) as the precondition for all human activity. He wrote: "In order to do anything in this life, we must first have energy."
The great sage Lao Tse (whose name means literally Old Master) is said to have been the author of the Tao Teh Ching, one of the most widely read and influential books in the course of human civilization. It says: "By standing alone and unchanging, you will find that everything comes to you and the energy of the cosmos will never be exhausted." " Standing alone and unchanging" was his way of describing the practice through which we come to understand the full power of the universe.
The world's most influential medical text, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Ti Nei Ching), appeared some 2,400 years ago. It is filled with references to the essential spirit of this tradition. The court physician tells the Emperor: "The sages were tranquilly content with nothingness and the true vital force accompanied them always. Their vital spirit was preserved within... "
In the works of the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tse there is a chapter on "The Great and Most Honored Master," which expresses many of the essential qualities inherent in the practice of Zhan Zhuang. Chuang Tse tells us that the sages of
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