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9781886969506

The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment

Jwing-Ming, Yang Author

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Winner - Prix Bushido French Book Award

Qigong training can improve your health, cure illness, and help you overcome the stress of daily living. Qigong is the study of Qi, or vital energy, that circulates in the human body, and it has been practiced by the Chinese for thousands of years. Qigong is a unique and comprehensive approach to health and longevity, and can be trained by anyone. Get the most from your practice by understanding the principles and foundation of this ancient science.

Dr. Yang teaches sitting and standing meditation, demonstrates massage techniques, and explores the Qi pathways in your body. He explains correct breathing methods, shares secrets for quieting the mind, and discusses how to increase your body's Qi supply. In addition, he also explains important concepts such as the Three Treasures and regulating the body, breath, and mind. Whatever style you practice, you'll find the keys to successful training in the Root of Chinese Qigong.

  • Improve your health with Qi (vital energy) training.
  • Relieve stress with simple breathing techniques.
  • Learn the secrets that will advance your practice.
  • Discover the foundations of Chinese medicine.
  • Eliminate tension with soothing relaxation exercises.
  • Includes more than sixty detailed photos and illustrations.

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About the Author:

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is a renowned author and teacher of Chinese martial arts and Qigong. Born in Taiwan, he has trained and taught Taijiquan, Qigong and Chinese martial arts for over forty-five years. He is the author of over thirty books, and was elected by Inside Kung Fu magazine as one of the 10 people who has "made the greatest impact on martial arts in the past 100 years." Dr. Yang lives in Northern California.

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Part One General Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction 1-1. Prelude In their seven thousand years of history, the Chinese people have experienced all possible human suffering and pain. Chinese culture is like a very old man who has seen and experienced all of the pain of human life. Yet through his experience, he has also accumulated a great store of knowledge. Chinese culture, as reflected in its literature and painting, ranks among the greatest achievements of the human spirit. It reflects humankind's joy and grief, pleasure and suffering, peace and strife, vitality, sickness, and death. Within this complex cultural and historical background, the Chinese people have long sought ways of living healthy and happy lives. However, as they looked for ways to better themselves and seek spiritual fulfillment, they have also tended to believe that everything that happens is due to destiny, and that it is prearranged by heaven. Despite this fatalistic belief, they have still looked for ways to resist the apparent inevitability of sickness and death. The Chinese have devoted a large part of their intellectual effort to self-study and self-cultivation in the hope of understanding the meaning of their lives. This inward-feeling and looking, this spiritual searching, has become one of the major roots of Chinese religion and medical science. Qi, the energy within the human body, was studied very carefully. As people perceived the link between the Qi in the human body and the Qi in nature, they began to hope that this Qi was the means whereby man could escape from the trap of sickness and death. Over the years, many different sectors of Chinese society have studied and researched Qi. Of all the researchers, the scholars and the doctors have had the longest history, and they have brought the understanding of Qi to a very deep level. It was they who learned the methods of maintaining health and curing sickness. Chinese medical science has developed out of the Qi research of the physicians. When Indian Buddhism was imported into China, it profoundly influenced Chinese culture. Naturally, Chinese Qigong was also affected by the Buddhist meditative practices. The Daoist religion was created out of a mixture of traditional scholarly Daoism and Buddhism. Since that time, Buddhist and Daoist Qigong have been considered among the greatest achievements of Chinese culture. Daoism and Buddhism have not only brought the Chinese people a peaceful, spiritual mind which may untie the mystery of human life and destiny, they have also created a hope that the development of Qigong may give people a healthy and happy life while they are alive, and an eternal spiritual life after death. When viewed from this historical background, it is not hard to understand why a major part of Chinese culture in the last two thousand years, other than warfare and possibly medical science, were based on the religions of Daoism and Buddhism, and spiritual science. The emphasis on the spiritual life, rather than the material, is one of the major differences between Eastern and the Western cultures. An example of this is in the maintenance of health, where the West emphasizes the physical body more, while the East tends to also treat the person's spiritual and mental health. Most Westerners believe that if you strengthen your physical body, you also improve your health. They emphasize the exercising and training of the physical body, but they ignore the balancing of the body's internal energy (Qi), which is also related to the emotions and the cultivation of spiritual calmness. Daoists call this Cong Wai Jian Gong () (building the strength externally) or Yuan Xin Zhi Wai Gong Yun Dong ()(distant mind's external exercises, meaning external exercises without mental concentration or attention). People who exercise a lot and whose bodies are externally strong are not necessarily healthier or happier than the average person. In order to have true good health you must have a healthy body, a healthy mind, and also smooth and balanced Qi circulation. According to Chinese medicine, many illnesses are caused by imbalances in your mind. For example, worry and nervousness can upset your stomach or harm your spleen.1 Fear or fright can hinder the normal functioning of your kidneys and bladder. This is because your internal energy (Qi circulation) is closely related to your mind. In order to be truly healthy, you must have both a healthy physical body and a calm and healthy mind. True good health is both external and internal. When someone gets involved in body building, he will emphasize building strong muscles. According to acupuncture and Qigong theory, he will also energize his body, stimulate his mind, and increase the level of the Qi circulation. If he trains properly, he will naturally gain physical health. However, if he exercises too much, he will over energize his body and over-excite his mind and Qi. This will make his physical body too Yang (positive). According to Chinese philosophy, too much of something is excessive Yang () and too little is excessive Yin (), and neither extreme is desirable. When your body is too Yang or too Yin, your internal organs will tend to weaken and to degenerate sooner than they ordinarily would. A person who seems to be externally strong and healthy may be weak internally. In addition, when a body builder gets older, his over-stressed muscle fibers may lose their elasticity and degenerate faster than those of the average person. This causes the Qi to stagnate in the Qi channels. This phenomenon is well known among older practitioners of external martial arts, where it is called San Gong (), meaning energy dispersion. The proper amount of exercise will generate only enough Qi to stimulate the organs and help them function normally and healthily. Overdoing exercise is like getting too much sunshine, which we now know will cause your skin cells to degenerate faster than the lack of sun. Qigong practitioners believe that in order to gain real health you must not only do external exercises, but must also Cong Nei Zhu Ji ()(build the foundation internally), or do Xiang Xin Zhi Nei Gong Yun Dong ()(literally toward the mind's internal exercise, meaning internal exercise with mental concentration). Strengthening yourself internally and externally at the same time is called Xing Ming Shuang Xiu (). Xing means natural characteristics, personality, temperament, or disposition. It is shown internally. Ming is life, and refers to the life or death of the physical body. Shuang Xiu means double cultivation. The expression therefore means that if you desire to gain real health, you must cultivate your character internally and strengthen your body both internally and externally. The internal side is approached through meditation and Qigong exercises. Many people believe that Qigong is a product only of China, India, or other Oriental countries. As a matter of fact, internal energy cultivation has also been common in the Western world, usually within the context of religion. Many people have been able to find their internal foundation and strength through meditation or praying in their church, temple, or mosque. Through their devotions and the practice of prayer, they are able to build up their concentration, confidence, and will, all of which are prerequisites to internal strength. The practice of such disciplines allows the energy in the body to become balanced, bringing health and strength to some, and even, in some cases, seemingly supernatural powers. Jesus is credited with many miracles, but he told his disciples He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, (John 14:12). All of the major Western religions have had branches or sects which used practices similar to the Oriental Qi

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