Internal Alchemy: An Overview

By Elizabeth Reninger, 

Inner Alchemy (Neidan) – a term often used synonymously with Qigong – is the Taoist art and science of gathering, storing and circulating the energies of the human body. In Inner Alchemy, our human body becomes a laboratory in which the Three Treaures of Jing, Qi, and Shen are cultivated, for the purpose of improving physical, emotional and mental health; and, ultimately, merging with the Tao, i.e. becoming an Immortal.

Each of the Three Treasures used in the practice of Inner Alchemy is associated with a particular physical/energetic location: (1) Jing, or reproductive energy, has its home in the lower dantian (and Snow Mountain area); (2) Qi, or life energy, has its home in the middle dantian; and (3) Shen, or spiritual energy, has its home in the upper dantian. Taoist practitioners learn to transmute Jing into Qi into Shen, and the reverse, i.e. learn to modulate consciousness along its full spectrum of vibratory frequencies, in much the same way that we are able to tune into different radio stations. The dantians can be thought of as similar to the “chakras” of Hindu yogic systems – locations within the subtle bodyfor the storing and transmutation of qi/prana. Of particular importance for Inner Alchemy practice is the lower dantian, referred to also as the “stove,” and the home, ultimately, of the Immortal Fetus.

Internal Alchemy understands the human body to be a precious and necessary resource for our spiritual journey, rather than as something to be ignored or transcended. Along with the dantians, the practitioner of Inner Alchemy learns to perceive and work with the meridian system, in particular the Eight Extraordinary Meridians. As we open, cleanse and balance the meridians, our Awareness flows in/as the present moment. What emerges, then – quite naturally – is good health, clarified perception and a direct experience of our connection to and embodiment of Tao.

Inner Alchemical processes are represented visually in theNei Jing Tu, a diagram whose various components are described here by Master Mantak Chia. These processes are represented also by the Lamp, candles and other items found on the altarsused in Ceremonial Taoism, and by the practice of Baibai – offering incense to the altar. Taoist ceremonies are ritual enactments not only of Taoist Cosmological principles, but also of the transformations of Inner Alchemy.

An excellent place to begin your practice of Inner Alchemy is with the “Inner Smile” practice. As you move deeper into this wonderful terrain, it will be important for you to receive the guidance of one or more qualified teachers. If you don’t have access to flesh-and-blood guides, Tai-Chi-and-Meditation-Direct offers an excellent program of online instruction. Tonic Gold is a supplement (created by the hermetic alchemist Petri Murien) that I’ve found to be a powerful support for Inner Alchemy practice. (Enter the discount code “vitality” to receive a practitioner’s discount.) Dr. Zhi Gang Sha is a contemporary Master of qigong/Inner Alchemy, who offers free weekly teleconferences, and powerful transmissions that you can register for. Finally, each of the books listed below offers valuable insights, information, practices and clues to the magic and mystery, art and science of Internal Alchemy practice. Enjoy!

Suggested Reading:

Golden Elixir Chi Kung, by Mantak Chia offers instructions on turning our saliva into a potent form of Inner Alchemical “medicine.” Highly recommended!

Cultivating The Energy Of Life, by Eva Wong is a translation of the Hui-Ming Ching (“Treatise on Cultivating Life”), one of the most important and straightforward of classical Inner Alchemy texts. Wonderful!

Taoist Yoga & Sexual Energy, by Eric Yudelove offers a veritable feast of Inner Alchemy practices, to cultivate Jing, Qi and Shen. Excellent for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners.

Taoist Yoga: Alchemy & Immortality, Lu Kuan Yu and Charles Luk is an Inner Alchemical manual of considerable detail – excellent for the serious practitioner.

Understanding Reality: A Taoist Alchemical Classic, by Chang Po-tuan (translated by Thomas Cleary) is – as the title implies – one of the foundational texts of Taoist Inner Alchemy (in particular the Kan-Li practices). The language of this text is richly symbolic – a poetic description of Inner Alchemical processes – and as such can be simultaneously inspiring and elusive.

Internal Alchemy: An Overview

ZhiNeng QiGong

There are probably a few thousand styles of qigong in China. Among these, Zhineng Qigong stands out as one of the most effective in improving a person’s health and nourishing his body with vital universal energy. Translated literally, Zhineng Qigong means “Cultivating Intelligent Energy”.

Zhineng Qigong was created by Pang Ming , a gifted Qigong teacher with training in Chinese and Western medicine and who had received tutelage from 19 Grandmasters in qigong and martial arts since his early childhood. With the creation of Zhineng Qigong, he has combined the ancient Chinese internal cultivation of Qigong as a healing art with the modern science knowledge of the body and mind. Qigong practice which has been kept secret in China for over 5000 years within families and esoteric schools, has now been made available to the general public and benefiting millions of people around the world. Dr. Pang also founded the largest medicine-less hospital in China , where Zhineng Qigong was used to study mind-body science and its applications to self-healing. He has set up training centers in China that have trained thousands of qigong teachers, most of whom have chosen to dedicate their lives to share and teach qigong to the public.

Purpose of Qigong Practice
The purpose of qigong practice is to improve human life, such as improving physical fitness, enhancing creativity, uplifting emotion and uncovering hidden potential. Qigong offers a path to liberate us from our own limitations and social conditioning and rediscover a higher state of freedom based on consciousness and wisdom. Through qigong, we learn to cultivate chi in our daily practice to progressively synchronize the physical and spiritual elements of our being.
Qigong is different from other exercises such as sports. In qigong you direct your mind inwards while in most exercises the mind is directed externally upon the competitors instead of the activity within the body. Qigong emphasizes cultivating virtue, refining consciousness, regulating breath, and moving the body, while sports are mainly focused on bodily movement. In moving the body, qigong uses the mind to direct chi, chi to direct the body, the movement of the body to serve the spirit, mind and chi, and experience mystery of the body in total relaxation. In sports, one is trained to focus on physical form while the mind is not directed internally, instead towards the movement of the body or tools. The mind becomes the servant to facilitate and synchronize a sequence of movements, moving muscles, tendons, etc.
In terms of regeneration within the body, sports promote the consumption of energy to accelerate this process through triggering the movement of muscles and transforming chemical energy into mechanical energy. Therefore, it requires extra nutrition and more rest to recover the energy. In other words, sports and exercise is designed to amplify the quantity of life energy that comes into and flows out of the body. In contrast, qigong training reduces the consumption of energy, slowing down the process of regeneration. It regulates the order of internal life activity and reorganizes the biological structure, therefore increasing life vitality.

Two Systems of Qigong
There are two systems of qigong, the closed system and the open system. The closed system emphasizes the elimination of external interference by isolating oneself from the environment. This practice focuses on the internal regulation of energy, mind and spirit. All attention is turned inwardly and all bodily senses are reduced to the minimal in the process in order to achieve greater concentration. The practice requires absolute isolation
Zhineng Qigong is an open system. It emphasizes the connection between the individual and the environment, between the human internal chi and universal external chi. The practice applies the universal chi to strengthen the person’s Jing, Chi, and Shen. It also encourages the practice of Qigong through daily living. And it stresses the importance of interaction between human and his environment.
Both systems and the thousands of schools of teaching share the same goal of enhancing the vitality of life, exploring potential intelligence, and improving the quality of life. As a beginner, it is important to choose a suitable method according to one’s own preference. Eventually, through practice of one particular form and based on a strong foundation, one will be prepared to understand and incorporate different teachings in order to progress.

Three Levels of Practice
Zhineng Qigong is currently formulated into three levels of practice. These levels are summarized below:
Level 1
Lift Chi Up and Pour Chi Down (Peng Qi Guan Ding Fa) – This is the basic form of the Level 1 practice and consists of a series of gentle body movements, synchronized with meditative visualization to open any blockages inside and promote the exchange of Chi between the body and the Universe. The three sequences in this Form are designed to gather Chi into the three Dantians.
Three Centers Merge Standing Method (San Xin Ping Zhan Zhuang) – This method utilizes a proper alignment of body and centering of mind into a powerful posture designed to root the body into the earth, connect the three main meridians and collect Chi at the Dantian. The method can quickly attain strength and balance of energy.
Stretching Chi (Chen Qi) – This is an effective method to stimulate and mobilize internal physical chi and unify chi within the entire body as a whole.
Wall Squatting (Dun Qiang) – This involves a gentle up-down movement of the body while facing a wall. The practice corrects the spinal structure and relaxes the whole body. It is a very effective stress reduction method and also gives a strong feeling of Chi. With daily practice, it can lead to a high level of Qigong cultivation.

Level 2
Body & Mind Method (Xing Shen Zhuang) – This is the basic form of the Level 2 practice, comprising 10 steps. It works with the internal chi within the body, to open joints and meridians and accumulate Hun Yuan (universal) chi throughout the whole body, from skin to bone. It is a discipline designed to unite the mind with the body and enhance the mind’s ability to command the body, thereby integrating mind and body.

Level 3
Five Elements Unified Method (Wu Yuan Zhuang) – Using sound, movement, and breathing techniques, the method is to activate and balance the internal Chi of five organs thereby unifying the essential Chi of the internal organs into the middle Dantian. It helps to achieve physical cleansing as well as emotional balance.

The origin of Daoyin

Take a deep breath and sink it to dantien. Hold the breath there for a while and then exhale it like the sprouting off grass until the it goes to the top of your head. In this way, the yang vital energy go up and the yin down. Those whose yang or yin energy goes its own way will live, otherwise they will die.

(Inscription from a Warring State Period cultural relic)

Datan Qigong
by Yang Meijun, Heifeng Publishing Co. fifth edition 2000
ISBN: 9622381847

Guolin Qigong

The Guo Lin Story

Ms. Guo Lin was a teacher of traditional Chinese painting and was diagnosed with uterine cancer at age 43 and had her uterus removed in 1949 while she was in Shanghai, China. In 1960, the cancer was found to have spread to her bladder, so her doctors removed half her bladder. However, this did not help, her cancer remained and spread and after four other operations, the doctors gave up and in 1964, told her she had only six months to live.

She did not give up hope, but she did not know what to do. As she was cleaning up her home, she found ancient Qigong texts left to her by her late grandfather (a Taoist priest) and began to practice these forms. She found them to be very effective. After six months, she found that her cancer had gone into remission.

In 1970 she started teaching other cancer patients in the parks of Beijing. Her style was called New Qigong Therapy and soon, word was spreading that many of her students were benefiting from this “new” qigong. By 1977 she had gained national prominence and was teaching about 400 students daily in Beijing. She worked tirelessly until her death in 1984 at age 78 (of a cerebral hemorrhage), after having survived cancer for over 34 years and after helping thousands recover from the pain and suffering of various ailments. She had travelled throughout China to lecture, teach and demonstrate.

Now her Qigong style is named in her honor, and it has spread to many countries around the world.

There was a TV special on health called “The Healing Heart”. Near the end of the special was a segment on Guo Lin Qigong. It was about the Shanghai Cancer Recovery Club. These people, instead of being passive in their fight with cancer, were out everyday walking, moving, and breathing in a very special way.

All over Shanghai there were people getting together every morning, hundreds of people in dozens of places, to practice these Qigong forms to help fight their cancer. These groups were run solely by cancer survivors who had used this Qigong. At the time the show was taped, in Shanghai alone, there were almost 3,000 people in these cancer recovery clubs, and besides the Qigong classes they also scheduled group trips, met for yearly anniversaries of members survival, and generally supported each other in their fight.

Now, over a million Chinese with a variety of chronic diseases have learned Guo Lin Qigong, and the various groups claim to have an amazing amount of success (over 80%). One must take these types of claims with a grain of salt, since many of the people may not have been medically diagnosed. However, many hospitals that treat cancer in China will recommend Gou Lin Qigong as part of the treatment.

Guo Lin Qigong was credited as an agent in many cases of cancer remission by the Chinese government. These successes inspired the creation of a cancer survivors club in Beijing, then spreading to many other cities. Today, Guo Lin Qigong clubs can be found all over China. There have been studies done, in China, that seem to prove or provide evidence as to this Qigong’s effectiveness.

Guo Lin Qigong has become a social and medical phenomenon in China. No longer passive, the patients are very active in their own recovery which is strikingly different than what usually happens here.

This Qigong form can be used as an addition to any cancer recovery program. It should not be used to replace any cancer therapy prescribed by your physician. We offer no explicit nor implicit opinion or claim on the effectiveness of practicing Guo Lin Qigong for those with cancer or any other ailment. It is our wish to provide information on Quo Lin Qigong so that those interested can learn this style.

Reference: The Complete Guo Lin Qigong Form

by Coach Xu
The new Guo Lin Qi-Gong (GLQG) is a type of self control Qi-Gong therapy consisting of a combination of both slow movements and peaceful meditation. It was initially developed by the late Qi-Gongist, Mrs. Guo Lin who was born China in 1909 and died in late 1984. She was a famous painter noted for her mountain and river scenes of China. When she was six years old, she followed her grandfather to practice child Gong and play Hua-Tuo’s animal analogue demonstration. During her many travels, she visited many famous Qi Gongist throughout China.
In 1949, she contracted cancer of the uterus. Even in spite of her numerous operations, the cancer could not be controlled. In her search for a cure, she turned to the old, traditional Chinese treatment of Qi-Gong. She studied various medical books and continuously applied Qi-Gong therapy to cancer healing. After ten years of research, she developed a new system of Qi-Gong. Her therapy integrates movement with meditation. Her approach proved to be effective and easy to learn. Since 1972, patients have been using her treatment throughout China. More than ten thousand cancer patients have practiced her new GLQG treatment to fight their cancer. A lot of her cancer patients got healed and did not have any cancer recurrence. In studying the successful cases, it was revealed that GLQG is an acceptable method to add to the treatments integrating TCM with WM. (TCM–Traditional Chinese Medicine, WM–Western medicine)

The Shanghai Rehabilitation Club for cancer patients was established in 1989. in 1993, a survey was conducted of its 1,054 club members having cancer. The survey results revealed that 64 percent of the members having cancer had recovered. It was concluded that of those cured of cancer, 85 % were persistent in exercising GLQG. Some of the benefits from properly practicing GLQG therapy were improved sleep, appetite, improved immune functions that contributed to preventing replaces and metastasis, improved quality of life, and prolonged survival.

Today, there even a few teachers of GLQG outside of China , in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong and Macao. As a result, there are adherents of GLQG in these areas. Due to the favorable reputation of Qi-Gong teachers in the China, our teachers were invited to teach at the Qi-Gong Association of Japan twice, Once in 1992 and again in 1993.

The special features of GLQG are that it:
1.– improves physical conditioning which in turn prevents and cures diseases
2.– emphasizes self-training discipline so as to not require external motivation by others;
3.– differentiate Qi-Gong modes, program, and, duration which is, based on the different kinds of diseases including the cause, nature and’location the cancer as well as the physical condition of patients;
4.— is easy to learn and has no proven side effects. However self-training; should be advanced step-by-step and the patient’s willpower must be developed so that they can exert all of their strength.

There are several modes to apply the new GLQG program of treatment, such as:
* Walking with wind respiration:
— natural walking
— quick walking
— stable walking
— 1, 2, 3, point walking
* Waving arms slowly up and down and opened and closed
* Massaging of the Yong Quin acupoint and head
* Hand and Feet rods
* Making special vocal sounds
* Walking slowly for patients with chronic diseases.


More Videos of Guo Lin:
Demofilm Guo Lin Qi Gong intro A
Demofilm Guo Lin Qi Gong intro B
Demofilm Guo Lin Qi Gong intro C
Demofilm Guo Lin Qi Gong intro D

Book reference:
Traditional Chinese Fitness Exercises: Including Taijiquan and Qigong
p. 109-111.

Dayan Wild Goose Qi Gong

Mme Yang Meijun

Dayan(wild goose) is a bird of longevity and high-energy and Qi Gong refers to the stimulation of the physical motion of the Bio-energy field of human body. Dayan Qi Gong has obtained its name from imitating the movements and habits and characteristics of wild geese .

Dayan Qi Gong belonging to the Taoist Kunlun School originated in Jin Dynasty and has been in circulation for more 1000 years .

For a long time in the past , Dayan Qi Gong was passed on secretly in the Taoist school. It has a huge system consisting of more than 70 sets of motional and motionless Gong methods. The practice of Dayan Gong may wonderfully result in curing sickness, reaping good health, promising longevity and increasing intelligence, bringing about eventually an overall improvement of physical and mental functions.

The contemporary disseminator of Dayan Qi Gong, Mme Yang Mei jun, the famous Qi Gong teacher, who inherited all the techniques and theories of this Kunlun Qi Gong school, began to teach it in 1980. So far she has taught 23 kinds of Gong techniques including the first and second 64 postures, bodybuilding by patting, the calmness of the five elements, etc.

In order to popularize Dayan Qi Gong, government administration for at tiaras of physical culture and sports approved Dayan Qi Gong as health building Qi Gong of China. Mme Yang Meijun as a director of special commission for Dayan Qi Gong, was invited yet as a council member of China Scientific Research Institution of Qi Gong, an honorary advisor to Beijing Qi Gong Research Association and an honorary professor of many universities.

Dayan Qi Gong is one of China’s best Qi Gongs, if not the best. The first and second 64 postures, the two sets of basic techniques are modeled on the movements of wild geese, which are dynamic and static at the same time, combining strength with grace. They bring beauty and gracefulness to the shape and carriage of the body and relaxation and freedom to the movements. When the major channels, arteries and veins of the 12 even channels and the 8 odd arteries and veins are dredged, a Qi field will be produce all over the body. So that after the absolution of nature’s rich and pure energy and the detoxifying of the body, the functions of the human body and the performances of Qi Gong will jump onto a higher level and the genuine Qi will return to Dan, a refined (tempered) ‘Inner Dan.’

Although the techniques of Dayan Qi Gong are unfathomable, yet they are simple and easy to learn, without contraindication and ill effect.

Dayan Qi Gong gets at the root of things. For example, in combating diseases, it works for effecting a permanent cure by stimulating and conducting all the principal channels and occupants and bettering the function of the human body as well as by strengthening the nerves, regulating the body fluid, adjusting the function of the viscera, balancing yin and yang and it can be a cure for various kinds of chronic diseases and diseases of other sort, like cardiac symptoms and illnesses in the nervous, respiratory, digestive and urinary systems . The Qi Gong is so effective that the diseases it can cure make up a long list, which may also cover mental disorder, epilepsy, calculus’s, arthritis, dermatitis, gynecological diseases, diabetes, pancreatic diseases, uremia, meningitis, brain tumor, illnesses of the five sense organs, deafness, glaucoma, cataract, lupus erythematosus, syphilis, Aids! Cancer and diseases in the waist and the four limbs. A long practice of the Qi Gong may set one free from cancer and poisonous diseases.

At present, Dayan Qi Gong has been popularized in most of the provinces and municipalities in the country with good results.

Even in countries and regions like Japan, the United States, Canada, North/West Europe, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, etc, it has created a large number of ardent enthusiasts and won fervent praises.

Ours Qi Gong intend follow exchange in next aspect by Internet:
(l) Offer consultation for techniques and theories of Dayan Qi Gong;
(2) Conduct training course of the Qi Gong practice;
(3) Medical consulting of this Qi Gong;
(4) Make medical aid by this Qi Gong.

Address of Yang Meijun,
China Beijing cang ping bei qi jia xiang
“Tao yuan apartment” 8-A-3
(中国北京昌平北七家乡桃园公寓 8-A-3 )
Post code 102209
Tel: 69754387
Fax: 69754387

Dayan Qigong (Chinese Qigong)
by Yang Meijun
ISBN 9789622381841

Wild Goose Qigong

Squatting for healing

Simple Slow Squatting Movement.

Many chronic patients have regained thier health to a quite substantial extent.

One set of motions (1 minute) consists of the follwoing 4 steps:
a)Squat slowly down takes 15 seconds.
Throughout the motion: Breath naturally while all muscles & tendons of face, fingers, palms, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, chest, ribs, abdoment, thighs, legs & ankles are maintained in relax condition.

b)Maintain in squat down position for 15 seconds.
Throughout the motion: Breath naturally while all muscles & tendons of face, fingers, palms, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, chest, ribs, abdoment, thighs, legs & ankles are maintained in relax condition.

c)Stand up slowly takes 15 seconds.
Throughout the motion: Breath naturally while all muscles & tendons of face, fingers, palms, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, chest, ribs, abdoment, thighs, legs & ankles are maintained in relax condition.

d)Maintain in standing down position (knee bent a little bit) for 15 seconds.
Throughout the motion: Breath naturally while all muscles & tendons of face, fingers, palms, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, chest, ribs, abdoment, thighs, legs & ankles are maintained in relax condition.

Sickness came like a falling mountain; went away like retrieving a silk thread.
So perseverance is required.

For chronic patients, try the following suggestion at least for the first 18 weeks (126 days). You will see the result.
1st-2nd week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 9 sets (9 squat) each.
3rd-4th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 12 sets (12 squat) each.
5th-6th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 12 sets (12 squat) each.
7th-8th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 15 sets (15 squat) each.
9th-10th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 15 sets (15 squat) each.
11th-12th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 18 sets (18 squat) each.
13th-14th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 21 sets (21 squat) each.
15th-16th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 24 sets (24 squat) each.
17th-18th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 27 sets (27 squat) each.
19th-20th week – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 30 sets (30 squat) each.
21st-last week of the year – 8am/noon/4pm/8pm : 30 sets (30 squat) each.

For working people in good stamina:
1st-2nd week – 6:30am/8pm : 18 sets (18 squat) each.
3rd-4th week – 6:30am/8pm : 21 sets (21 squat) each.
5th-6th week – 6:30am/8pm : 24 sets (24 squat) each.
7th-8th week – 6:30am/8pm : 27 sets (27 squat) each.
9th-10th week – 6:30am/8pm : 30 sets (30 squat) each.
11th-12th week – 6:30am/8pm : 33 sets (33 squat) each.
13th-14th week – 6:30am/8pm : 36 sets (36 squat) each.
15th-16th week – 6:30am/8pm : 39 sets (39 squat) each.
17th-18th week – 6:30am/8pm : 42 sets (42 squat) each.
19th-20th week – 6:30am/8pm : 45 sets (45 squat) each.
21st-last week of the year – 6:30am/8pm : 45 sets (45 squat) each.


The classical text sources of qigong


The earliest exclusive texts that deal with the meditative practices and the gymnastic exercises are the recent archaeological text discoveries.

Circulating Qi Inscription

Xingqi ming 行氣銘 (475 B.C. – 206 B.C.), scholars consider this text to be from the earlier Warring States Period. This is the earliest available text on the meditative practice solely. It appears to be an esoteric text, short but complete. According to Li Ling’s study, the text is identified as a complete “Rendu Channeling Micro-orbit Qi Gong 任督二脈小周天氣功,” and the much later concept of upper and lower dantian 丹田 was also indicated in the text. (Li, 342-346)

Gymnastic Book

Yinshu 引書 (186 B.C.) is a gymnastic text, a detailed manuscript that includes five sections of health and longevity related techniques. (Li, 359-368)

Gymnastic Chart

Daoyin tu 導引圖 (168 B.C.) is a colored manuscript that shows forty-four moments in a series of sketches accompanied by commentaries on their therapeutic features. (Li, 356-359)

Abstaining from Cereals and Consuming Qi

Quegu shiqi 卻穀食氣 (168 B.C.), the text is a detailed manual of fasting from cereals, taking herbs, and consuming of Qi (breathing practice) techniques. The manual indicates the breathing methods and the herb formulas clearly in several sections: the time of breathing in the day; the volumes of breathing each practice; the qi should be avoided for breathing practice in each season; the qi should be avoided for practice in the day; the six type of beneficial qi of nature; (Li, 346-353)


After the Han dynasty, the most obtainable texts have been transmitted in the Taoist Cannon, or Daozang 道藏, which was edited in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Methods for a Lasting Life of the Persons of Greatest Purity

Taiqing zhenren looming jue 太清真人絡命訣, from the 3rd or 4th century.
The manual emphasizes the techniques of visualization of the spirits of body by means of visualizing the Five Beasts (cun wushou 存五獸) and traveling through the Viscera (lizang 歷臟). (DZ 2:871)

Exposition of the Tao

Xiandao jing 顯道經. 3rd century.

This is an ancient manual of Tending Life practices that focuses on Fasting (duangu 斷穀). (DZ 18:644)

Treatise of Great Purity on Gymnastics and Nurturing Vitality

Taiqing daoyin yangsheng jing 太清導引養生經 from the 4th century.

This work consists of a collection of gymnastics and breathing techniques, including those of Daolin (i.e., Zhi Dun 支遁, 314-366), representing the schools of various immortals of antiquity (Chisong zi 赤松子, Ningfeng zi 寧封子, Pengzu 彭祖, Wang Ziqiao 王子喬). (DZ 18:401)

Precious Book of the Exterior Landscape of the Yellow Court

Taishang huangting waijing yujing 太上黃庭外景玉經. Before AD 255.

This is the original Huangting jing, the oldest copy of the present text is made by Wang Xizi 王羲之 (303-379). (DZ 5:913)

Records Concerning Tending Life and the Prolonging of Life

Yangxing Yanming lu 養性延命錄. Attributed to Tao Hingjing 陶弘景 (456-536).
This is a collection of instructions for healthy living, food, and breathing exercises for meditative healing, gymnastics and sexual therapy. The respiratory techniques including liuqi jue, 六氣訣, or “the oral transmission of the six type of (therapeutic) breaths” was introduced in this work, which follows the sound of the words xu 噓, he 呵, xi 呬, chui 吹, hu 呼, xi 嘻, each sound has a therapeutic effect associated with one of the five inner organs. (DZ 18:474)

Treatise on Tiantai Sitting Meditation for Beginners

Xiao zhi guan 小止觀 by Tiantai Zhiyi’s 天臺智顗 (538-597)
This work is fundamentally Chinese Buddhist, especially Chan/Zen Buddhist, meditation manual. The concepts and techniques such as tiaoshen 調身, or regulating and positioning the body, taioxi 調息, or regulating and focusing on the breathing,tiaoxin 調心, or regulating and empty the heart/mind; and the concept of the characteristics of breathing patterns, such as feng 風, or rasping and noisy, chuan 喘, or restricted and choppy,qi 氣, xi 息, fine and deep, were borrowed by Taoist and other meditative practices, which still play the fundamental role in the modern Qi Gong practices. (Fang, 357)

TANG DYNASTY (618-907)

Master Hidden in the Havens
Tianyin zi 天隱子 6 fols. By Sima Chengzhen 司馬承禎 or Bai Yunzi 白雲子 (647-735).

This manual deals exclusively with the meditative practices through five stages to attain liberation or awakening. Fasting, faith, and nourishing/cultivating qi attain the first stage. At the second stage, one empties the mind by retreating in the light-conditioned room, and at the third stage, one fixes the spirits by the heart/mind (xin) visualization on the body through knowledge. Next comes the stage of seated meditation, “sitting and forgetting” (zuowang 坐忘) through which one attains tranquility and finally forgetfulness both of oneself and one’s surroundings. The last stage leads to the spirit of deliverance, the One, or immortality. (DZ 21:699)

Treatise of Sitting and Forgetting

Zuowang lun 坐忘論.

The expression zuowang has become synonymous with meditation. This manual is attributed to Sima Chengzhen. The same terms denote the fourth and next to the last stage of the spirit, or “liberation through concentration.” (DZ 22:891)

Commentary on the Book of Fetus Breathing

Taixi jingzhu 胎息經註. Commentary by Huanzhen Xiansheng 幻真先生 (late ninth century?).

This commentary explains that the practice of fetus breathing enables one to keep the Primordial Qi (yuan qi 元氣) and the spirits (shen 神) within the body and thus to attain immortality. (DZ 2:868)

Master Huanzhen’s Oral Transmission of Consuming Primordial Qi

Huanzhen Xianshen Funeiyuanqi jue 幻真先生服內元氣訣.

The contents of this work can be grouped under three sections; dietary and general recommendations, the fetus breathing Embryonic, and respiratory techniques including liuqi jue, 六氣訣, or “the oral transmission of the six types of (therapeutic) breaths.” (DZ 18:440)

Most High Scripture on Fetus Breathing and Tending Life

Taishang yangsheng taixi qijing 太上養生胎息氣經.

This manual emphasizes the Shangqing techniques for the absorption of astral concretions, corresponding to the viscera and to particular periods of the calendar cycle. Each of the viscera and periods is put in correlation with a specific type of expiration. (DZ 18:401)

Inscription on Concentrating the spirit and Refining Breath

Cunshen lianqi ming 存神練氣銘 Attributed to Sun Simo 孫思邈.

The text is divided into three parts: a general introduction on breathing practices, in four-character verse; five preliminary steps for attaining the Tao; and seven subsequent grades for the advanced adept. (DZ 18:458)

Chart on the Procedures for Increasing and Decreasing the Six Receptacles and Five Viscera According the Inner Landscape of the yellow Court

Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu 黃庭內經五臟六腑補瀉圖. By Hu Yin 胡愔, 848?

This is an illustrated treatise on the Five Viscera and their corresponding directions, animals, and qi; therapeutic breath-swallowing, seasonal taboos, and gymnastics. (DZ 6:686)

Chart on the Four Qi for Conserving the Health

Siqi shesheng tu 四氣攝生圖. Late Tang.

This work describes and depicts the viscera and their functions, linking them to the seasons and to the rules to be observed to keep in harmony with their changes. (DZ 17:224)

Book of the Hidden Period and Causal Body of the Yellow Court

Huangting dunjia yuanshen jing 黃庭遁甲緣身經. Tang dynasty.

This work combines the meditation and invocation practice of the Book of Yellow Court, the inner landscape and dunjia method, which consists of writing Talisman of the Causal Body of the Six Jia (liujia yuanshen fu 六甲緣身符) and swallowing it. The repertory technique of liuqi jue, 六氣訣, or “the oral transmission of the six type of (therapeutic) breaths” was elaborated with descriptions of the Six Receptacles and Five Viscera in the work. This is a typical Taoist esoteric practice involving magical talisman. (DZ 18:706)

Scripture of the Most High for the Protection of Life through the Elimination of the Three Corpses and the Nine Warms

Taishang chusanshi jiuchong baosheng jing 太上除三尸九虫保生經. Late Tang Dynasty?

This manual presents the agents of decay and death as well as various apotropaic and medical methods and breathing methods for expelling them. The three corpses are identified as demons of human and animal morphology, the nine warms are given shapes similar to insects and germs, which has led scholars to propose that the existence of harmful bacteria was known to the Chinese of the time. (DZ 18:697)

Copy of Diagrams of Attested Method for the Cultivation of Perfection

Xiuzhen liyan chaotu 修真歷驗鈔圖. Tang dynasty.

This inner alchemy manual describes the formation of an elixir, which under natural conditions would require 4,300 years. The alchemist, however, using the yin and yang components of his body as ingredients, accelerates this process within himself. The procedure emphasizes emptying and fixing hear/mind. The diagram illustrates changes and transformations. (DZ 3:110)

SONG DYNASTY (960-1279)

Essays on the Awakening to Truth

Wuzhen pian 悟真篇, by the “Southern Patriarch” Zhang Boduan 張伯端 (984-1028); commentaries by Ye Shibiao 葉士表 (dated 1161), and Yuan Gongfu 遠公輔 (dated 1202).

This is one of the most important Taoist works with many commentaries. Written in the same obscure fashion as the famous Zhouyi cantong qi 周易參同契 , the manual is open to manifold interpretations, namely the facet of I Ching, neidan, and sexual techniques. Moreover, each master, to express his own ideas, could use it. Like almost all the Taoist classics, the concise or poem style writings were used as individual koujue 口訣 (oral transmission) for close up teacher-student lineage transmissions, which pose an impossible task for (the outsider) scholars and practitioners alike to reply. (DZ 4:605)

Alchemical Formula for the Inner Purification of the Gold Treasure; Secret Writings from the Golden Box of the Jade Purity, transmitted by the Immortal Qinghua

Yuqing jinsi qinghua biwen jinbao neilian danjue 玉清金笥青華祕文金寶內練丹訣, by Zhang Boduan.

This text explains in detail inner alchemical theory and practice using pseudo-philosophical terminology. The main emphasis is on “circulation of the inner light,” and the “fire timing” or the various breathing topics. (DZ 4:362)

The Cloud Bookcase with Seven Labels

Yunji qiqian 雲笈七籤. Complied by Zhang Junfang 張君房 (fl. 1008-1025).
This work is one of the major Taoist anthologies. The sections 12-26, covering volumes 29-86, which is almost half of the entire anthology, deals with the techniques of meditative and gymnastic practices, medical healing, and alchemy. (DZ 22:1)

Explication Concerning the Elixir of the True one

Zhenyi jingdan jue 真一金丹訣. By Wang Chang 王常, Song (960-1279).

The text comprises the three methods of Yinfujing 陰符經 on the circulation of qi through various points of the body, and methods of “Essentials of Fetus Breathing” Taixi jieyao 胎息節要. (DZ 4:328)

Commentary on Master Cui’s mirror on the Admixture of Ingredients

Cuigong ruyaojing zhujie 崔公入藥鏡注解. Attributed to cui Xifan 崔希範, commentaries by Wang Jie 王玠, or Hunranzi 混然子, ca. 1331.

The most common version of this work is in three-character poem line. Wang Jie interprets the poem as a guide to the Inner Alchemical process to be performed every night from 7 pm to 5 am. The first stage is breath control, then interaction of yin yang, Five-phases and Eight Trigrams, and finally the fire timing and the formation of the elixir. (DZ 2:881)

The True Immortals Secret Transmission of Fire Phasing Techniques

Zhenxian bizhuan huohou fa 真仙祕傳火候法. Late Song (960-1279).
The main methods described in this manual are those of breathing timing and volumes, or “macro orbit fire-phasing” (zhoutian huohou 周天火候), and restraining the seminal essence to increase (the power of) brain (huanjing bunao 還精補腦) techniques by circulating qi. The macrocosmic and microcosmic correspondences accompanied by the I Ching. (DZ 4:932)

Secret Transmission of Master Zhengyang’s Complete Methods of the Sacred Jewel

Bichuan Zhengyang zhenren lingbao bifa 祕傳正陽真人靈寶畢法. Attributed to Zhongli quan 鐘離權, or Yunfang 雲房, Zhengyang zhenren 正陽真人; transmitted by Lu Yan 呂嵒, or Lu Dongbin 呂洞賓, Chunyang zhenren 純陽真人.

This work is ascribed to the legendary Han dynasty Taoist Zhong Liquan; it has been transmitted to Lu Dongbin, a semi-legendary figure of Tang dynasty. They both were acknowledged as patriarchs of Taoist schools that emphasized Inner Alchemy, such as Quanzhen jiao 全真教. Zhongli classified the manual in three sections, representing the Three Vehicles (sancheng 三乘), or the Three Stages of Accomplishment (sancheng 三成). The first stage comprises four sections describing methods of breath control and gymnastics. The next stage, in three sections, deals with methods of circulating qi and inner fluids of the body. The final stage, in three sections, concerns methods of meditation and transfiguration of the sage-hood. (DZ 28:349)

YUAN DYNASTY (1279-1368)

Clear Directions on the Great Elixir

Dadan zhizhi 大丹直指. Attributed to the Quanzhen Patriarch Qiu Chuji 丘處機 (1148-1229), or Qiu Changchun 丘長春.

The techniques described in the text are based on the theory and methods of Secret Transmission of Master Zhengyang’s Complete Methods of Sacred Jewel. It indicates the Primordial Qi (yuanqi 元氣) is found in the center, which is, the navel. Through breathing exercises the center is activated leading to an unhampered natural circulation of the qi and body fluids. (DZ 4:391)

Shortcut to the Tao: A Miscellany

Zazhu jiejing 雜著捷徑. Yuan dynasty.

This is a collection of meditative and gymnastic practices, including breathing, physiological treatises on Five Viscera, descriptions of body. Baduan jinfa 八段錦法 or Eight Lengths of brocade Method was illustrated with the text ascribed to Zhongli Quan 鐘離權. (DZ 4:605)

Master Chen Xubo’s Central Directions

Chen Xubo guizhong zhinan 陳虛白規中指南 . By Chen Chongsu 陳沖素 (ca. 13th century), or Xubozi 虛白子.

This detailed and clarified treatise on Inner Alchemy is characteristically blending elements from the Southern tradition with that of the Quanzhen School. The term guizhong is borrowed from the Zhouyi cantong qi 周易參同契, or Concordance of the Three According the Book of Change. According to Xinshangbian 賞心編, or Chapter on Recognizing the Heart by Wang Xiangjin 王象晉 of the Ming dynasty (1338-1664): “In the studies of human body, the distance between heart and kidneys is 8’2” inches, in which, 3’6” inches below heart is yang, 3’6” inches above kidneys is yin. The inch in the center where fire and water is copulated and named guizhong.” (DZ 4:384)

Clarified Directions on the Words of Tao

Daoyan qianjin shuo 道言淺近說 By Zhang Sanfeng 張三豐 (ca. 13th century).
This short but unique manual describes the practical key concepts in the process of the Inner Alchemy. Unlike most of the Taoist Classics, the work gives a great deal of details on terms like xuanguan 玄關, “the mysterious gate, or the level of the mysterious qi lair;” xiaoxi 消息, “the news, or the time, when one acknowledges the gate of the mysterious qi lair;” ningshen 凝神, “the emptied mind/heart;” tiaoxi 調息, “the regulated breath.” The work indicates: ”When the heart/mind stills and goes below the navel is called the emptied heart/mind, when the breath gathers and goes below the navel it is called the regulated breath.” (Fang, 723)


From the Ming dynasty to the 1911 revolution, many meditative and gymnastic practices have flourished and been widely developed from the Song synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, however, their original foundations have remained largely untouched. The Ming and Qing meditative and gymnastic texts are essentially commentaries and reinterpretations of the Han, Tang, Song, and Yuan classics.

The Imperative Doctrines for Cultivations in Human Nature and Longevity from the Ten Thousand Gods, (The Imperative Doctrines for Human Nature and Longevity)

Xingming shuangxiu wanshen guizhi 性命雙修萬神圭旨 (性命圭旨)

Although this work is a typical later Inner Alchemic synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, its essential approach is Taoist. The manual is divided into nine sections accompanied with illustrations and great details for the inner alchemic or meditative practices. (Fang, 734)

Chen Xiyi Twenty-four Seasonal-division Illustrated Gymnastics

Chen Xiyi ershisiqi daoyin zuogong tushi 陳希夷二十四氣導引圖勢.
Attributed to Chen Xiyi, or Tunan 圖南, a semi-legendary figure of the Song dynasty, transmitted by Gao Lian 高濂 (ca. 1341-1424) or Qi Jing 啟敬, Long Yangzi 龍陽子.The manual shows twenty-four positions in a series of sketches accompanied by commentaries on their healing and therapeutic features. Each of the two positions is associated with two seasonal divisions of every month. Every position is practiced at a given time of two hours with each of the main meridians that links to an inner organ of Viscera. The time of the practice and Viscera in turn are accompanied by the five elements in their nature of male and female; dry and wet; and cold and warm. (Fang, 255)

Clear Treatise on the Original Truth of Heavenly Immortal

Tianxian zhengli zhilun 天仙正理直論, Wu Shouyang 伍守陽, or Chongxuzi 沖虛子 was born in 1574. He found wuliu pai 伍柳派, the Wuliu School, one of the most influential inner alchemic school in Ming and Qing times.
This manual is one of the most important works of the Wuliu School. The text emphasizes the micro-orbit channeling, and combines Buddhist meditation techniques. Unlike most meditative or inner alchemic texts, the descriptions in the present work are lucid, direct, and vernacular. (Fang, 791)

The Eight Ways of the Divine Chamber

Shenshi bafa, 神室八法 Liu Yiming 劉一明 (1734-1821), or Wu Yuanzi, 悟元子. He is also known as the transmitter and commentater of Zhang Sanfeng’s Inner Alchemic work Wugen shu 無根樹, or Rootless Tree.

This text is another example of the Inner Alchemic synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. However, the author elucidates the Taoist Inner Alchemy in the light of Neo-Confucianism, which is unique and rare. It also shows how profoundly the thoughts and practices of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism are interwoven by the late Chinese imperial time. (Fang, 847)

The Heart Transmission of Heavenly Immortal’s Gold Elixir

Tianxian jindan xinfa 天仙金丹心法, written by Liu Shouyuan 柳守元 between 1813-1815.

The methods in this text belong to Quanzhen Northern School. What makes this text interesting is that the text was written in codes—the order of the words was arranged in a completely nonsense way. Accordingly, no one could have read the text until Zhao Songfei 趙松飛 decoded the text in 1988.


After the fall of the Qing dynasty, there has been a hope for China to create a new synthesis of government that would transform China into a modern nation-state. This hope largely depends on the ideology of moving China away from its “feudal” past, and releasing China from its “economic backwards” into a new and advanced level of development without the ills of the capitalist system. Under such a social and political background, the meditative and gymnastic practices along with other traditional cultural practices are inevitably considered as superstitions and anti-science. Regardless of the different ideologies of the Chinese Nationalism (1911-1949) and Communism (1949-present), there has been a great attempt to divest religious and cultural contexts so that the meditative and gymnastic practices can be scientifically proved, accessible to everyone, and undertaken collectively.

The Way of Sitting Meditation by Yinshizi

Yinshizi Jingzuo fa 因是子靜坐法, by modern Qi Gong master JIang Weiqiao 蔣維喬 (1872-1958), which was significantly important at the time. Jiang’s manual made a great impact on the backlash of traditional practices since the 1911 revolution, and revived the traditional meditative and gymnastic practices. (Wang, 523)
The Essential Secret for Sitting Meditation from Mr. Yuan Laofan
Yuan Liaofan Xiansheng jingzuo yaojue 袁了凡先生靜坐要訣, commentated by Buddhist monk Xing Huai 性懷 in 1929. In his preface, Yuan expressed the danger of learning meditation without a master or teacher. Yuan states that his transmission was given by two great Tiantai adepts. (Wang, 90)

The Essential Meaning of Sitting Meditation

Jingzuofa jingyi 靜坐法精義, the manual was written in 1920 by the Buddhist scholar Ding Fubao 丁福保 (1874-1952). In the preface, Ding indicates the importance of oral transmission. He claims that the accumulated and secret transmissions in his manual were edited from innumerable meditation books. (Wang, 137) The methods and techniques described in the above three texts are all based on the theory and methods of Tiantai Zhiyi’s 天臺智顗 Treatise on Calming and Discernment 止觀法, in which case, expression of “four kinds of samãdhi” is described as four ways of posture and physical activity, they could conceivably incorporate any form of spiritual discipline or techniques of mental discernment. The descriptions in the present works are lucid, direct, and vernacular.

Principal Secrets for Long Life

Changsheng zongjue 長生總訣, by Li Qingyuan 李慶遠 (1679-1935). Li was born in Sichuan province, the most long-lived person in modern time (256 years). Li lived most of his life as a hermit and herbalist. According to the local historical documents, he served in the Qing Army under General Yue Zhingqi 岳鐘琪 in 1749, and he was invited to a social function by the National Revolution Army General Yang Sen 揚森 in 1928. The manual states Ten Ways to prolong life and stay healthy. The essential method, however, is the synthesis of Taoist and Buddhist. One leads a simple and rustic life by emptying the mind/heart, and staying away from the physical and social desires. This tranquility of life will bring about the ultimate wisdom. According to Li, the true meditative practice is more a way of life style and a state of mind than the body posture and breathing method. (Wang, 151)

Experiences in Healing with Qi Gong

Qi Gong liaofa shiyan 氣功療法實驗, wrote by Liu Guizhen 劉貴珍 (1920-1983) in 1957. Liu’s central method is called the Inner Nourishment, which focuses breathing and concentration on the lower cinnabar field or xiadantian in the lower abdomen, had been transmitted in the Hebei area, especially in his family since the end of the Ming dynasty (ca. 1644). By divesting religious and traditional cultural contexts, Liu made his practice “scientific,” thus, he achieved acceptance and popularity under the new Chinese Communist regime. Liu’s practice and work not only established Qi Gong as the widely accepted terminology, but also established the legitimacy of the Qi Gong practice in People’s Republic China. (Tao, 1)

The Book for the Revitalization of Tendons and the Purification of Marrows

Yijin xisui jing 易筋洗髓經, was attributed to the first Chan patriarch Bodhidharma, written in 1624 by Taoist Zinin Daoren 紫凝道人, based on the Han gymnastics and the Yuan Eight Length of Brocade, commentated by Zhou Renfeng 周稔豐 in 1989.

The Way of Circulating True Qi

Zhenqi yunxing fa 真氣運行法, by Li Shaopo 李少波, transmitted by his grandfather, the manual is based on the traditional “Rendu Channeling Micro-orbit Gong 任督二脈小周天功,” “the oral transmission of the six types of (therapeutic) breaths 六氣訣,” and the “Five Animal Plays 五禽戲.”


DZ, Taoist Canon, Daozang 道藏. 1988. Beijing: Wenwu Chubanshe.

Fang, Chunyang 方春陽 ed. 1988. The Great Anthology of Chinese Qi Gong Classics, Zhongguo Qigong Dacheng 中國氣功大成. Jiling: Jiling Science and Technology Press.
Li Ling 李零. 2001. A Study on Chinese Occult Arts, Zhongguo fangshu kao 中國方術考. Beijing: Eastern Press.

Li Shaopo 李少波. 1999. The Way of Circulating True Qi, Zhenqi yunxing fa 真氣運行法. Lanzhou: Gansu People’s Press.

Tao Bingfu 陶秉福. 1987. An Outstanding Collection of Qi Gong Treatment, Qigong liaofa jijin 氣功療法集錦. Beijing: People’s Health Press.

Wang, Maohe 汪茂和. 1998. Commentaries on Selected Historical Treaties on Tending Life and the Original Nature, Lidaiyangsheng yangxing lunxuanyi 歷代養生養性論選譯. Beijing: Chinese Youth Press.

Wang, Xiping 王西平. 1993. The Collected Essential Secrets of Sitting Meditation, Jingzuo fajue huiyao 靜坐法訣匯要. Huhehaote: Neimenggu People’s Press.

Zhao, Songfei 趙松飛. 1997. The Heart Transmission of Heavenly Immortal’s Gold Elixir, and the Decoded Secret Qi Gong Texts, Tianxian jindan xinfa, fuqigong miwen poyi 天仙金丹心法附氣功秘文破譯. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

Zhou, Renfeng 周稔豐. 1989. The Book for the Revitalization of Tendons and the Purification of Marrows, Yijin xisui jing 易筋洗髓經. Tianjing: Tianjing University Press.

Web reference:


This introduction to Yi-Chuan was written by Wang Yu-Fong, daughter of the founder, Wang Xiang-Zhai

Frequently in this modem era, filled as it is with technologies like computers and space-age travel, we make the mistake of perceiving martial arts in simple “what you see is what you get” terms. In other words, the practice and study of martial arts is often reduced to its most basic form: the development of external strength. Unfortunately, this preoccupation with external strength and techniques becomes the final goal of students who have not been exposed to higher levels of martial training. At the same time, some martial arts instructors in an attempt to upgrade their own lack of advanced expertise, have labelled masters of internal arts as frauds.

Wang Xiang-Zhai and Yi-Chuan
My late father, Wang Xiang-Zhai, studied Xingyi (“mind and intention style”) from Grandmaster Kuo Yun-Shen in Hopei Province. Later he travelled throughout China to research the essentials of different systems and then established a new training method of martial arts. He was the founder of Yi-Chuan theory (“internal and external are one”, “intention and thought are one.”)

Over several decades of experience, my father spent time greatly expanding and developing the theory and application of Yi-Chuan. Yi-Chuan aims mainly at the intention and spirit. The training uses a standing meditation method. It has no sets, sequences, or forms. No matter if in action or if silent, the method is controlled by thought and intention. The main principle of Yi-Chuan is to aim for health and self-defence. Two kinds of standing method, one for health and one for martial arts, are the basis of Yi-Chuan. In the martial art aspect, the main goal is to look for a complete changing of one’s actions, and at the same time to be able to prevent sickness and disease while improving one’s general health. For training in the martial arts, good health is a basic qualification.

The health method of standing meditation is good for chronic disease (high blood pressure, for example) and is a beneficial type of therapy. Both types of standing meditation have the same result – if sickness exists, they will cure it; if there is no sickness, even better health will result. These exercises combine both physical (martial) training and relaxation. Today the health method is popular, with students aiming for good health and the healing of disease.

My father had many disciples who com­pleted his teachings: Yao Zhong-Xun in Beijing; Pro­fessor Yu Ping-Si in Shanghai; and Chao Dao-Xin in Tianjing, Dou Yi-Luan in Hangzhou, all out­standing representatives. Dr. Peng developed kong-jing (“empty force” – a method of using qi to strike people from a distance without using contact) from the foundation of Yi-Chuan. Chao Dao-Xin, after learming Yi-Chuan, combined his previous training in Xingyi and Bagua to develop Xin-Hui Zhang (an open hand internal style). As for Yao Zhong-Xun, his expertise and research into fighting theories is so well known that nothing else need be said.

With the standing meditation that was developed mainly for healing purposes, my late father had students such as Pu Yu-Kwen and Mi Ching-Ke who continued his teach­ings. Their method uses complete Yi-Chuan training for complete physical healing. If there is any local sickness, this method is also good. Since 1980, the leadership of the Beijing qigong Research Institute has promoted qigong, meeting the requests made by many people from different provinces for qigong teachers. Now there are over 100,000 qigong students in China. They have a very high success rate in healing.

Standing Meditation’s Effect on the Blood
Yu Yong-Nian, formerly the director of the dentistry department of Teh Lu Hospital, studied the Yi-Chuan standing meditation form of qigong from my father. He later used scientific instruments to measure the blood counts of the practitioner both before and after practicing standing meditation. The results showed a marked difference in blood counts after performing one hour of standing meditation: the red blood cell count was increased by approximately 15,200,000 cells; the white blood cell count was in­creased by approximately 3,650 cells. The protein within red blood cells was increased by approximately 3.2 grams. The protein of the red blood cell is produced by oxygen within the body. When red cells flow through the lungs, the blood can absorb 96 percent of the lung’s oxygen and then release carbon dioxide. Then red cell protein travels to different organs, quickly releasing oxygen to each part of the body.

Standing meditation, by increasing the protein of red blood cells, provides an increased flow of oxygen to different organs. Therefore the whole body feels very relaxed and comfortable. This meditation also provides good stimulation to the dividers of the large brain, creating a positive sensation of stimulation and producing energy that heals sickness. The standing meditation combines action and silence (outside action-internal silence or inside action-outside silence). My father maintained, “Big action is not as good as small action, small action is not as good as non-action. Non-action is the real action. Therefore, 100 acts are not as good as one silence, 100 exercises are not as good as one standing meditation exercise. With the standing meditation, it seems as if nothing is moving, but actually inside the body the muscles and tissues are really moving (exercising).

Human Life Energy
This kind of exercise can increase human life energy. The human being has a natural balancing mechanism. If the balance is destroyed or broken, the person loses this balancing mechanism and sickness is produced. The standing meditation training of Yi-Chuan can adjust for any person’s lack of balance and restore that balance once again. The standing method is very simple and easy. It doesn’t require deep concentration and uses only natural breathing. The size of the room it’s performed in doesn’t matter and the time spent in practice is very flexible. One doesn’t have to worry about special breathing techniques. The postures produce harmony for both empty and full. The whole body is loose and relaxed and releases all mental worry, reaching total silence of the mind. Strength flows through the entire body. Therefore, the internal energy does not show externally and the external does not disturb the internal. At last, you reach the stage where, if someone walks past you, you are aware of them, but do not hear them. The practitioner has to carefully strive to understand these concepts and then it won’t be difficult to reach the point where something wonderful happens within oneself.


Wang Yu Fang Shili

Small Universe

The purpose of this meditation exercise is to clear energy blockages along the front and back channels; to physically clear the roots of sickness; and to open the energy centers along these channels.

I highly recommend this exercise. If you have time to do only one Spring Forest Qigong technique, do the Small Universe. It is extremely helpful in opening blockages and balancing all the energy in your body. We have many energy channels and energy centers in our bodies. When energy starts at one point, visits all the channels and centers in the body, and comes back to the starting point, we have what is literally translated from ancient Chinese wisdom as a “Big Universe.”

The most important energy channels are the back and front channels in the torso. When energy starts at one point on these channels, visits all the parts of the system, and comes back to the starting point, we have what is called a “Small Universe.” By focusing on moving the energy along these two main channels in the Small Universe, you have a profoundly positive effect on the Big Universe of the whole body.

The back channel starts at the lower Dantian area, which is behind the navel. It goes down to the bottom of the torso, travels up along the spine to the top of the head and comes down from the middle of the forehead stopping at the roof of the mouth. It governs all the Yang or male energy channels in the body. The front channel also starts from the lower Dantian area, goes down to the bottom of the torso, travels up the body, passing through the heart and throat, and stopping under the tongue. It governs all the Yin or female energy channels in the body.

These two channels automatically connect together four hours a day: at midday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and at midnight between 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Qigong practitioners like to meditate at noon and midnight because it takes less energy and generates greater benefits.

Nearly all the important energy centers are arranged along the back and front channels. As a result, a blockage in the heart energy center could cause not only heart problems but problems in the lungs, breasts, chest or even mental problems. A blockage in the tailbone could cause reproductive organ problems, low sexual energy, or even headaches. A blockage in the cervical bone #7 of the spinal cord could cause headaches, fever, diabetes or even lung or heart problems.

The Small Universe is the easiest meditation technique to open these two main channels. I have created an audiotape and CD with beautiful background music and guide you through each movement in this meditation. Especially if you are a beginner, it is very difficult to do this meditation on your own.

Listen to the master’s voice on the audio tape. You will hear two sounds [ … O O H M … ] and [ … M U AH … ]. (If you do this meditation without a tape to guide you make the “O O H M” sound with your first inhalation and visualize the universal energy flowing into your body and collecting in your Lower Dantian, which is behind your navel. As you exhale, use your mind to move the energy to the next area of your body as indicated in the picture. On the second inhalation, make the “M U A H” sound and again visualize the energy flowing into your body and collecting at this next point. Then as you exhale, use your mind to move the energy to the next area of the body. Repeat this sequence throughout the meditation.)

Born A Healer: I was born a healer. You were born a healer, too!
by Chunyi Lin / Gary Rebstock
ISBN 0974094412

P. 157 – 159


The Breathing of the Universe

This exercise is very good for healing the lungs and skin and to balance the energy inside and outside of the body. If you are doing the Moving of Yin & Yang prior to doing the Breathing of the Universe you make the transition in the following way. Finish the Moving of Yin & Yang by slowly bringing both hands to a stop in front of your navel at the position of your lower Dantian. For men, stop with your left hand inside of your right hand. For women, stop with the right hand inside of the left hand. Again, your hands do not touch each other or your body. This space allows you to keep the feeling of the emptiness.

• Now, focus your mind on your lower Dantian and take three slow, gentle, deep breaths.

• Then, as you inhale the fourth time, move your hands apart and open to the sides.

• As you exhale, bring your hands in towards each other but your hands do not touch.

• Continue doing this movement with each inhalation and exhalation, slowly and steadily.

• Imagine you are using your whole body to breathe.

• When you open your hands, feel the energy as it expands in the space between your hands.

• When you close your hands feel the energy being compressed in the space between your hands.

• With practice, and perhaps very quickly, you will actually feel the energy expanding and compressing.

• Use your hands and body to feel the energy moving while you use your elbows to guide the movements.

• While you inhale, visualize the pure universal energy flowing into your body through every part of your body and gathering in your lower Dantian.

• While you exhale, imagine any pain or sickness turning into smoke or air and shooting out from every part of the body to the end of the universe.

• Do not let your body sway while doing these movements. Just keep your body still and relaxed and always wear a smile on your face. Do this movement for 5 to 10 minutes or longer if you have the time.

By moving your hands in this manner and combining the breathing technique, you help to open blockages in the whole body, especially the lungs. When you finish this movement, stop your hands in front of you as if you were holding a ball of energy in front of your navel – your lower Dantian. Take three slow, gentle, deep breaths in through your nose.

Born A Healer: I was born a healer. You were born a healer, too!
by Chunyi Lin / Gary Rebstock
ISBN 0974094412

P. 154 – 155


The Moving of Yin & Yang

This exercise is very good for healing your internal organs. Through the guidance of your mind and the movement of your hands, the heart energy and the kidney energy join during this exercise opening many blockages in the body.

Again, you may do this exercise standing, sitting, or lying down. Use the same body positions as in the Beginning of the Universe and remember to place your tongue gently against the roof of your mouth.

• Continue to breathe deeply and gently as you raise your right hand, the Yang male energy, to the upper

Three Basic Spring Forest Qigong Exercises chest while you raise your left hand, the Yin female energy, to the lower stomach.

• Your hands and fingers remain slightly open to receive energy, with your palms facing your body, without touching the body, to create a sensation of emptiness.

• As you raise your hands, visualize a transparent energy column in the middle of your torso shining with beautiful colors. This energy column runs from the top of your head to the bottom of your torso. The size of the energy column depends upon your visualization. (If you have difficulty holding this visualization, don’t force it. Simply say it once in your mind and then know that the energy column is there.)

• Hold this position for about 30 seconds, longer if you wish, then slowly start moving your hands. Your right hand moves out and down to the bottom of the torso while your left hand moves in and up to your face. Again, your hands do not touch your body. • Continue moving your hands slowly in this circular pattern. Your hands move at a rate of 3 to 5 circles each minute.

• While moving your hands, visualize the energy moving up and down the transparent column and visualize the channels in the torso opening completely. (If you have difficulty holding this visualization, just say it once in your mind. Then, feel confident the transparent energy column is there and focus on guiding the energy with your hands. Feel the energy moving. This is a relaxed focus. It shouldn’t feel forced.)

Do this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes or longer if you can. The more time you spend doing this exercise the deeper you will start to go into the emptiness.

Born A Healer: I was born a healer. You were born a healer, too!
by Chunyi Lin / Gary Rebstock
ISBN 0974094412

P. 151 – 153


The Beginning of the Universe

This exercise helps bring your focus back into your body and wake up your internal energy.

When doing this exercise while sitting, try to sit up and keep the spine straight.

When doing this exercise while lying down, lie on your back and keep your spine as straight as possible.

When doing this exercise while standing, stand straight with your toes pointing forward and bend your knees a little. (If you want to lose weight bend your knees a little more.)

Set your feet a little more than shoulder width apart for good balance while standing.

Eyes look forward. An Introduction To Qigong

Wear a smile on your face to relax every part of the body and stimulate your brain to produce endorphins.

Draw your chin back a little to straighten the entire spine. Energy travels up and down the spine in the governing channel more easily when the spine is straight.

Drop your shoulders and move your elbows outward a little.

Open your hands and gently spread your fingers. When you open your fingers you open many energy channels in the body. When you close your fingers you close these channels.

Slowly take a deep, silent, gentle breath through your nose. As you breathe in, draw the lower stomach in a little. As you breathe out, let your stomach out. This makes it easier for the Yin and Yang energies to communicate with each other and create balance.

Imagine using your whole body to breathe. Visualize the universal energy coming into every cell of your body and collecting in the lower Dantian. This is a primary energy center in your body. The lower Dantian is located in the area behind your navel.

When you exhale, visualize any pain or sickness changing into smoke and shooting out from every cell of your body to the end of the universe.

Gently close your eyes and lips.

Now say the password in your mind: “I am in the universe. The universe is in my body. The universe and I combine together.”

Continue breathing slowly, deeply and gently and feel the emptiness, the quietness, the stillness of the universe.

Do this exercise for 2 to 3 minutes or longer if you have the time.

Born A Healer: I was born a healer. You were born a healer, too!
by Chunyi Lin / Gary Rebstock
ISBN 0974094412

P. 147 – 150