Thought I’d share an article by one of my teachers, as he says it all.
Qigong (sometimes spelled ‘Chi Kung’ and pronouced ‘chee gung’), is an ancient health maintenance system from China that combines breathing, slow movement, and visualizations into a simple and elegant practice. It can look like Tai Chi (which grew out of Qigong some 1,000 years ago)… it can look like simple stretching… it can even look like quiet meditation. But on the inside, Qigong is a practice that teaches how to realize the potential of your “Qi” energy in every cell and organ in your body.
Drawing on Taoist and Buddhist philosophies from China, Qigong conforms to the basic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which in fact sprung from Qigong concepts that go back 5,000 years. Like all Qigong in this way, the enhanced movement of Qi (lifeforce, bioelectric vitality) is promoted throughout the body as well as the storing and strengthening of Qi for good health. TCM believes stagnant Qi leads to all pain and disease. Proven useful for healing many diseases and reducing stress, Qigong can be an individual practice for daily health maintenance… or in Medical Qigong, it can be used as a healing practice by a trained doctor or practitioner.
Authentic Qigong is a unique blend of inner (Nei Qi) and outer (Wei Qi) cultivating techniques. Sincere practice can lead you to seek balance between the inner and outer. and we seek balance by letting go of “form”. and through this, discover the essence of all things.
Qigong seeks to strengthen the body (the mandate of the Taoists) while enhancing spiritual life (the essence of the Buddhist doctrines.) Ultimately, a merging of the two takes place, not intellectually, but through “wu xing” or deep, emotional understanding. Written and oral teaching can only seek to trigger and stimulate you, the true wu xing must come from within – as the truth derives from nature and is constantly accessible. Through cultivating your inner Qi and spirit, you become strong, not as an “individual” against the world but as an integral part of the world; a mirror reflecting light…Sincere practice with an intention to remain receptive is the key… as we come to realize the wholistic nature of Qigong will effect the body, mind, and spirit.
When all aspects of our life are embraced and brought into balance – from our diet to our daily activities – Qigong’s true benefits will emerge. The accompanied reduction in stress will allow our natural healing abilities to work efficiently and we will begin traveling the path of true healing and well being.
May the stretching and opening forms of Qigong help you to remember the natural gifts and tools you possess. May you remember that each time your palm (Lao Gong Pericardium 8 acupoint) passes over various points and meridians on your body, you are contributing to a chaotic “shift” in Qi flow. This process helps to rebalance stagnation and blocks (the source of all pain and disease.) This process also helps us to cultivate our sensitivity to the subtle forces of Qi. and to bring our conscious intent to where it is required. As the old Chinese maxim states, “Where the mind goes, Qi follows.” May we always remember the resonant relationship we have with the world around us. Peace.
(Taken in part from Qigong-Essence of the Healing Dance by Francesco (Garri) Garripoli)
Copyright © 2003 Francesco Garri Garripoli