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Zhong Yuan Qigong

The First Stage of Ascent: Relaxation

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Copyright © 2012 Mingtang Xu and Tamara Martynova
All rights reserved.

ISBN-10: 1467903949
ISBN-13: 978-1467903943

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Mingtang Xu
Tamara Martynova

Zhong Yuan Qigong

The First Stage of Ascent: Relaxation

A Book for Reading and Practice

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Zhong Yuan Qigong. First Stage of Ascent: Relaxation—A Book for Reading and Practice.
Second revised edition.
Translated from the fourth Russian edition supplemented and revised.
K.: JV “Da-Yu”; “Sophia,” 2007.—392 p. Illustrated/Series “Enter Your Inner World”

Translator: Natalia V. Bagniouk


Editors: Prashant Bhawalkar, prashant.bhawalkar@gmail.com
Ksenya Medvedev, lamargarita@gmail.com

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Qigong is an ancient Chinese art of self regulation, improvement
of one’s health and communication hest levels of Qigong. It has a seven
thousand year-old lineage and is comprised of the wisdom and knowledge of
Qigong masters from many generations. The methods of ZYQ allow a human
improve one’s health, reach longevity and increase the quality of life.
This is the first book on ZYQ from twith different forms of life.
Zhong Yuan Qigong (ZYQ) represents the highe series “Enter Your Inner
World”. Reading it and practicing the exercises can help you realize that all
forms of life in the universe constitute a whole, and that the universe is a
living organism which we are a part of. ZYQ is a branch of science through
which you can learn how to develop your body, energy, and spirit. This
knowledge thus leads to the development of individual and evolution of
human race.
ZYQ is free from any branch of religion, ideology, or politics. Its
exercises are suitable for people of all ages. The practice of this system helps
people become immune to stress, achieve inner balance, and attain true
happiness.
The book is intended for general readers as well as for qigong
practitioners.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgement
A Note About the Authors
Preface
Foreword to the Fourth Russian Edition
Foreword to the First Russian Edition
Warnings and Disclaimers
Introduction
If by R. Kipling
How I Discovered Qigong and Why We Need It

PART ONE: THEORY AND PRACTICE


Chapter 1. ORIGINS, PHILOSOPHY, METHODOLOGY
What is Qigong?
Qigong Movements and Schools
Main Elements of Qigong Systems
What is zhong Yuan Qigong?
Training in Zhong Yuan Qigong

Chapter 2. PRACTICE
General Principles and Approaches
A Base for Practicing Stage One
Opening Channels in Fingers and Toes
PRELIMINARY EXERCISES
First Preliminary Exercise: Child Praying to Buddha
Second Preliminary Exercise:
Hands of Buddha Observing Images
Third Preliminary Exercise: The Sacred (Immortal)
Crane Drinking Water

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Forth Preliminary Exercise:
The Devine Dragon Stirring Sea
Summary of the Preliminary Exercise
Questions and Answers
MAIN EXERCISES
Big Tree
Closing Exercises
Sensations and Phenomena that Accompany the Big Tree
Practice
Questions and Answers
Refining Qi
Closing Exercises
Phenomena Experienced During the Refining Qi Exercise
Questions and Answers
Small Sky Circle or Small Microcosmic Orbit
Method One: Small Sky Circle Using Breathing
Method Two: Small Sky Circle Using Mind
Accompanying Benefits and Phenomena
Questions and Answers
The State of Qigong
SUPPORTING EXERCISES
Qigong While Walking
Qigong While Sleeping
Cleansing, Gathering, and Emitting Qi
Cleansing Methods for Bad Qi
Collecting Energy
Breathing through Points and Channels
Methods of Emitting Qi
Questions and Answers

PART TWO: MEDICAL ASPECTS OF QIGONG


Chapter 3. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT USING HANDS
General Principles, Approaches, and Methods
Diagnosis with Hands
The Basis of Hand Diagnosis
Methods and Rules of Diagnosis with Hands
Accompanying Phenomena
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Treatment with Hands
Review of Methods and Approaches
First Method: Eagle’s Claws Plucking Bad Qi
Second Method: Draining Bad Qi through Channels
Third Method: Supplying Energy or Replenishing Qi
Fourth Method: Contact Method
How to Protect Yourself from Bad Qi
Some Self-Healing Exercises
Treating Kidneys
Treating the Liver
Working with Sight

Chapter 4. QIGONG AND FOOD


Fasting Therapy and Normalization of Weight
About Weight Loss
Special Types of Food
Transformation of Food
Questions and Answers

Afterword. QIGONG IN DAILY LIFE


How to Practice Twenty-Four Hours a Day
How to Practice after a Seminar
Summary
Questions and Answers about Everything
Necessary Conditions for Successful Practice
Master’s Wishes

APPENDIXES
Appendix 1. FEEDBACK FROM SEMINAR ATTENDEES
Changes in Perception of the World and One’s Self
Therapeutic Effect
Development of Various Phenomena

Appendix 2. PAGES FROM MASTER’S LIFE


Pages from the History of a Family Line
Childhood Pages
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My First Teachers
New Stage of Practice
Pages of Incidents, or About Life and Death
Milestones: Spiritual Practice
Milestone Page: All Life is Oneorthe Liberation of the Souls of
Native Americans
Why I Teach Qigong

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am deeply grateful to Ksenya Medvedev for the effort and care


with which she proofread and edited this manuscript.
Ksenya’s unique combination of vast subject knowledge and
fluency of both Russian and English allowed the preservation of the spirit of
this work as well as accuracy of translation.
The end result is a book that brings the opportunity to master the
foundations of the ancient Chinese art of healing and human development to
all readers and Qigong practitioners.

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A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Grand Master Mingtang Xu, professor of TCM, the founder


and director of the medical scientific research institute “Kundawell” in
Beijing, China and Seattle, USA, executive consulter of Worldwide Chinese
Medical federation, vice-president of World Academic Society of Medical
Qigong, president of the international foundation “Mingtang”, graduated
from Beijing University with a major in software engineering in 1987. He
apprenticed at the American Center of Modern Computer Technologies,
worked in the software laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and
served as a senior specialist at the Special Abilities Research Institute in
Beijing.
Xu comes from a family of famous surgeons in China’s Hunan
Province.
Since early childhood, Xu practiced Wushu from his great
grandfather and learned Wu Yi, a Chinese form of shamanism, from his
grandmother. In his school years, he started to learn spiritual methods of
healing and practice with his first teacher, an eighty-year Shaman-woman.
This was the beginning of his ZYQ education. After Xu’s first great teacher
ascended to the heavens, he was introduced to other teachers (who were her
brothers) to continue ZYQ practice.
In addition to his technical studies, Xu studied Traditional
Chinese Medicine. During his third year of the university, he worked for a
hospital as a diagnostician.
Since 1998, Xu has run annual international ZYQ retreats in
Shaolin. He currently conducts ZYQ seminars and demonstrates healing
methods throughout the world.

Dr. Tamara Martynova, a board member of the Ukrainian


Association of ZYQ and Kiev’s ZYQ Center, coauthor of more than ten ZYQ
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books, videos, and educational programs. After graduating from Kiev
Polytechnic Institute in 1969, she worked till 1998 at the E. O. Paton Institute
of Electric Welding of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Martynova
also took courses in parapsychology at the Institute of Psychology of the
Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in the eighties. In addition, she served on the
board of the A. Popov Scientific-Technical Society of Radio Technology,
Electronics, and Communications Specialists, where she taught classes on the
extension of consciousness. In 1991, she met Master Xu Mingtang, who
introduced her to ZYQ. Deeply impressed by the comprehensive logic of
Qigong, she became the first organizer and translator of Xu’s seminars in
Ukraine and Russia. In 1995, Dr. Martynova founded the Kiev Association of
Qigong and presided over it until 2003. Starting in 1993, she has been
teaching ZYQ all over the world, and, from 1998 to date, she has been a
regular participant in ZYQ’s annual international retreats held in Shaolin,
China.

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PREFACE

By opening this book, you take a step into the world of an


unusual, uncommon reality.
We invite you to take a journey and explore this new world and
make it yours. As you proceed, you will evolve into a healthier, happier, and
stronger individual. You will find that, as your journey continues, you will
gain in talent and emotional balance and will, as a result, emerge a kinder and
more tolerant person.
For some of you, this material might be familiar and obvious; for
others, interesting and unusual. But for the rest of you, it will seem like a
wild fantasy, or a dream of unattainable perfection. This third category of
people, strange as it may seem, is the most receptive to the exploration of
terra incognita.
The “First Stage of Ascent” is the basis of Zhong Yuan Qigong,
where you are presented with more information and exercises than anywhere
else in the system. Do not let the word “First” confuse you, as this stage is the
most important one. It establishes the foundation for your initial jump into a
deeper knowledge of yourself. It opens the gates to a new reality and allows
you to understand that you are a part of the Universe1—a cosmic being. But,
first and foremost, you will learn to relax—not only at the physical level, but
also in your mind and consciousness. Without relaxing your mind—by no
means, an easy task—it is impossible to develop further.
Perhaps you have read about other systems and practiced them,
but here you will learn the philosophical concepts behind the development of
humanity as a species, the connection that human beings have to the Earth2
and the Universe, fundamental principles of self-regulation, and conscious
and harmonious interaction with the environment. This foundation will
activate the resources for improving your health and allow you to view the
world and your place in it in a different light. You will discover additional
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channels of perception beyond the five known senses, and you will find a
completely new method of learning known as knowledge transplantation.
You will experience different structures of Qi and be able to regulate them
through your consciousness.
If you have the courage to step onto this path, you will see the
world as it is and yourself as you are. In addition, you will be in close contact
with your deep inner world, instead of the superficial environment you live
in. As a result, you will be able to see for yourself your evolution into a better
human being.
Ultimately, only your will and aspiration can make it possible for
you to transcend a way of life that dissatisfies you and, at once, jump over
onto a new track. Perhaps it’s worth it?
You will never know unless you TRY!

Tamara Martynova

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FOREWORD
TO THE FOURTH RUSSIAN EDITION
It has been a little less than ten years since the completion of this
book and eight years since the publication of the first edition in the Russian
language. During these years, thousands of people from different countries
have learned the Zhong Yuan Qigong system and have continued to practice
it to improve their health and develop their spirit.
Recently released information and other events make us think
harder about where humanity is going, the near and distant future, the
meaning of Life3—particularly conscious life, the meaning of consciousness,
what forms it can take, and what role we are to play in all this.
The practice of ZYQ helps us answer these questions and realize
our possibilities and goals. In this edition, we present advanced forms of
treatment and an expanded series of exercises already known by many people
that practice ZYQ, in the light of a new world outlook.

Tamara Martynova

The purpose of Qigong is to understand what Life is by opening


our eyes wider to see our world in a different light. Through this system of
knowledge and healing, we can open our hearts to understand the many
hidden aspects of the Earth and the Universe.
Practicing Qigong can help us realize that all living creatures in
the universe constitute a whole, and that the Universe is a living organism of
which we are a part. Similarly, our planet Earth is alive, just like us. Qigong
helps us understand the relationship between the whole and its individual
parts, while enabling us to establish a connection between them.
Each living being has its own life span. We often measure the
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lengths of others’ lives against our own. Through the practice of Qigong, we
can understand that such comparisons are, by their very nature, limited. They
exist only in our world and our imagination.
As humans, we have a natural desire to know more about our
place in this huge, living Universe. We also want to know the nature of our
own individual lives. In order to understand how to maintain good health, we
need to comprehend the nature of life and the various forms that it is capable
of taking. For this purpose, we can say that Qigong is a branch of science
designed to deal with the very notion of Life and its roots. Through its use,
the practitioner can enhance the quality of his or her life and look forward to
a brighter future.

Mingtang Xu

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FOREWORD
TO THE FIRST RUSSIAN EDITION
An ancient Chinese art aimed at self-healing and psychological
training, Qigong was unknown to the Western world for centuries. It was
only at the end of the nineteenth century that it found its way to Europe and
America. The earliest Qigong practitioners in the West typically preferred to
focus purely on the medical aspects of this discipline.
The universality and effectiveness of traditional systems of
medicine are widely acknowledged today. These systems owe their existence
to the efforts of individuals living in different times and places, who
discovered that they could revive human homeostasis by using the impact of
physical factors on the reflex regulation process. In China, this became the
solid philosophical and medical approach that survives to this day in almost
unchanged form. Its proponents and practitioners tried to combine the general
with the particular, emphasizing the relationship of the whole to its various
parts. The body was studied in relation to its living environment and organs
within the body, to the organism that hosted them.
These methods, known as Cheng Chiu therapy and acupuncture,
appeared in Russia in the nineteenth century. However, their systematic study
and usage in clinical practice only took hold in the USSR in 1957, after a
group of Soviet scientists returned from China with a deeper understanding of
acupuncture. They then established acupuncture centers in Moscow,
Leningrad, Kiev, Kazan, and Gorky.
Currently, methods of Oriental medicine are experiencing a
rebirth throughout the world, being widely adopted even in clinical medicine.
Today, the term “reflex therapy” is recognized as a separate healing system.
This system is based on reflex reactions formed during phylogenesis and
ontogenesis. These reactions are realized through nervous and neurohumoral
systems, by the stimulation of receptors in the skin, mucus coats, and

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underlying tissue. This therapy aims to normalize the activities of separate
organs within the entire system.
Qigong uses the very same concepts. It is based on the same
ideas as Chinese folk medicine. It involves the use of energy channels and
bioactive points located on the surface of the body. In addition, Qigong
follows traditional teachings about Qi, the vital energy that moves in these
channels; the interactions of two opposite forces, Yin and Yang; and
teachings about the five arch-elements (Wu-Xing), among other things. The
difference between reflex therapy and Qigong is that the latter does not make
use of needles, moxa cigars, or other applications. Instead, it uses well-
defined static or dynamic poses, special breathing, self-massage, and
imagination.
During the last two decades, the effectiveness of Qigong has
made it increasingly popular in many countries. The establishment of the
World Academic Society of Medical Qigong and a Fourth International
Conference organized by this society (September 1998, Beijing) provide
testimony to its continuing success.
Contained within this book are the history, philosophy, and
methods of the Zhong Yuan Qigong system. These are explained in
intelligible language, for the benefit of a wider audience. Reading this book
does not require any special knowledge. The book is highly recommended for
general readers wishing to acquaint themselves with this ancient system
while trying to learn modern methods of self-regulation. In addition, this
book can serve as a manual for studying under the supervision of
professionals in this field.

E. L. Macheret, Professor at Kiev State Medical University,


Corresponding Member of Ukrainian AMS,
Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine,
Laureate of State Prize of Ukraine,
Chief Specialist for Reflex Therapy of Ukrainian Ministry of Health

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WARNINGS AND DISCLAIMERS

This book is intended for general readers as an introduction to


the system and for people who are graduates of the Zhong Yuan Qigong
seminars and workshops and practice the system.
Although extremely unlikely, the exercises described in this
book may cause excessive stress in some individuals.
Please consult your doctor and stay under his or her supervision,
especially if you suffer from mental or cardiovascular diseases.
Neither the authors nor the publishers are responsible for any
health problems that could occur as the result of incorrect practice, such as
overextending the duration of the exercises, improperly selecting certain
exercises, and misinterpreting the instructions.

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INTRODUCTION

For many centuries, Qigong has been seen as an ancient Chinese


art of health improvement and self-regulation, capable of helping people
overcome illness, prolong life, gain physical and spiritual strength, and
develop a deeper knowledge of the world around them. A way of life in its
own right, it has been an essential part of Chinese culture and philosophy
since ancient times. It has helped people achieve harmony, gain serenity, and
grow in wisdom.
Until recently, the practice of Qigong was a secretive affair. It
was mostly restricted to schools associated with various clans, families,
monasteries, and other such organizations. Slowly, however, over a period of
hundreds of years, increased interaction between these schools led to
exchanges of ideas and knowledge. By the middle of the twentieth century,
researchers began to closely examine the goals and methods of a few Qigong
schools. However, the practices of most schools continued to remain closed.
The Healing school of Qigong proved an exception, but only to a
limited degree. Even with such scant information, however, Qigong methods
for fighting illness and strengthening body and spirit appeared so effective
that they began to attract the attention of the Western scientific establishment.
This interest led to the establishment of various scientific, medical, and
learning centers throughout America and Western Europe and, eventually, to
the establishment of the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong. The
therapeutic methods of Qigong began to grow in popularity worldwide. The
West was growing increasingly closer to the East. This dialogue might have
been initiated by the West; however, it flourished due to the consent and
participation of the East.
Qigong itself includes numerous small and large well-known
schools. You can find among them lesser-known branches and training
methods that help us become smarter and wiser. They guide us in our quest to

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understand our inner and outer worlds. They help us reflect on what it means
to be human. They enable us to explore the past, present, and future
development of humanity. They answer the question of where we have come
from. Zhong Yuan Qigong (ZYQ) is such an ancient practice.
This school represents the highest levels of Qigong. It forms a
solid system of knowledge and methods designed to allow us to normalize
our physical and mental state, increase creativity, and foster spiritual growth.
It helps us to leap from an ordinary state into the state of a human with
special abilities that lead to the development of individual and evolution of
human race.
ZYQ includes elements from most other schools of Qigong. This
eclecticism frees it from any set of religious beliefs or ideological goals. As a
result, it is acceptable to people of all religious persuasions.
The system is based on fundamental elements common to all
living organisms, such as energy channels, biologically active points (BAPs),
and Yin-Yang theory. Its learn-and-master process does not require any
changes in dietary patterns, pace of living, or work habits. Its primary
concern is the improvement of health. It is only after this has been achieved
that it focuses on the development of special abilities. Its exercises are
suitable for people of all ages—from children to the elderly. The practice of
this system helps people become immune to stress, and achieve inner
balance, optimism and, of course, good health.
Many elements of Qigong practice are similar to those used in
other healing and spiritual traditions on different continents of our planet.
Perhaps they all have their roots in the same universal knowledge; the same,
because there are the same laws of physics, physiology, and biochemistry that
govern all living beings on our Earth.
Perhaps in the future, we will discover the same knowledge in
other regions of the Earth. For now, however, we should be happy that we
have a ready-to-use, time-tested system that offers us an invaluable
opportunity to evolve physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is an
opportunity that we would do well to take!
We have been given a chance, so let’s try not to miss it.

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IF
R. Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you


Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting, too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;


If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings


And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
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If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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HOW I DISCOVERED QIGONG AND WHY WE
NEED IT

I studied software engineering at the very famous Xian Jiaotong


University, and continued my education as a postgraduate student at Beijing
University, graduating with flying colors. After that, I was trained for two
years at the American Center of Modern Computer Technologies. Upon
graduation, I started my software-programming career at the Center of
Programming in the Academy of Sciences in China. I have since changed my
path and am now totally devoted to Qigong and everything related to it. In
contrast, my fellow students are now successful professionals, employed in
prestigious positions around the world. People often ask me, “What was the
reason behind your change of profession and way of life? How did your
transformation take place?”
It is hard to answer these questions because the paths of our lives
begin early and form gradually, little by little. Often, we cannot identify their
beginnings, just as we cannot see the part of an iceberg that is underwater.
We often notice only those things that are clearly visible on the surface, and
even then, we have difficulty defining them.
We live in a particular world, surrounded by a particular
environment. We might live sixty, seventy, or even a hundred years, and then
all of us will die. Our lives are usually monotonous. We work, eat, and sleep.
Sometimes, we have fun; often, we face problems.
As I tried to analyze my life and the lives of those around me, I
began to think of how humans neglect their own development, and the
suffering they incur as a result. This seemed particularly true in the case of
my grandfather, grandmother, and their parents. In the end, what did they
leave behind, apart from materials and memories for their families and closest
friends? If you think about this, you will realize that most of our lives fit this
pattern. Since the very beginning, humans have had to work for food,
clothing, and shelter. Now, however, conditions allow us to do more than just
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work. Today, apart from work, we can do things that we enjoy and that give
us satisfaction.
Many people have hobbies. However, have you ever wondered
what exactly one gains from a hobby? I began my involvement with Kung-fu
in childhood, in the best traditions of Shaolin, and I continued this while
attending university. But at a certain point, I asked myself, “What will this
give me?” What, in general, can any hobby or sport give us when we are old?
Let us say a person becomes an Olympic champion, and then, a famous coach
who authors a book as a respected specialist. What happens, however, when a
trauma forces the coach to switch professions? What exactly does the sport
do for the coach when the coach must give it up? This led me to the
conclusion that I could play sports for pleasure, or use them to improve my
health. However, if we perceive hobbies and sports as a direction for our
lives, if we try to use them to fill our lives with meaning and purpose,
something is missing. For this reason, I did not see hobbies or sports as a way
of life, as a way to perfect myself as a human being with body and soul.
In addition, during this period, while apprenticing at the
American Center of Modern Computer Technologies, I started asking myself
the same questions about work as I had asked about sports. I still could not
understand the deeper significance of my involvement in a computer-related
profession. Of course, there is the fact that we can perform serious
calculations. We can also model natural and human processes that advance
theories and have practical applications. We can create learning software and
games. However, are such business-related goals relevant to the meaning of
our lives? If so, then I did not fully understand the software and computer-
technology business. I therefore began to have serious doubts and questions.
Did I have to waste my entire life limiting myself to mere professional
perfection?
It was at this point that I started delving deeper into Qigong
practice, so that I could analyze my life and surroundings and rethink my
experiences and knowledge. I asked myself three questions: How do I
develop myself? How do I get to know myself? How do I see my future?
With these questions in mind, I started spending more time
practicing Qigong. Outside my professional life, I used every opportunity at
my disposal to pursue this new calling. Finally, certain Qigong exercises
guided me to the path I needed to take—the path of self-realization.
It appears that throughout the duration of our development, we
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create and develop external methods for learning about things. We connect
to the world through such objects as glasses, contact lenses, microscopes,
telescopes, radios, televisions, food processors, and cars—in other words,
external devices, external tools, and external methods.
As in everyday life, in science, in technology, and in medicine,
we typically develop externally, but don’t know how to proceed from there.
The reason for our inability to move ahead is that we don’t spend enough
time focusing on our inner development.
We, as humans, are very precise and sensitive, more so than
anything else that exists. We use our brains, knowledge, and wisdom to deal
with the external world, but we often neglect the use of these in dealing with
ourselves. If we could somehow overcome this negligence, our lives on earth
would be of greater value to everything that lives and breathes.
I have met many specialists and scientists who, in their later
years, were concerned about how to teach the youth all that they had
discovered in their long lives. Upon aging, they realized that life was too
short, and that they didn’t spend enough of it studying themselves. Their
careers took up most of their time. Did you know that many scientists, such
as Newton, Mendeleyev, and others, asked questions in their older years,
such as: Does God exist? What force moves the earth? Where does natural
law come from? How can we know more about this law? In what direction
should we move to learn more about our world? What happens after we die?
Is death the end or a beginning? If people lived long and understood a great
deal, where does all their knowledge go after their death? What will happen if
a person dies not due to old age, but disease? Can we prevent that? What
preventative measures can we take?
When people are young and full of energy, they feel like masters
of the earth, capable of doing many things. They tend to look to the future
and not to think about the past. However, time goes by quickly, causing them
to understand the limitations of their abilities. Then with age, they begin to
fall ill. No one wants this to happen, but such is life. As a rule, many people,
after their fortieth birthday, start to realize that it is time to take care of their
health.
Due to the fact that all of us have a physical body, we cannot
avoid being sick. Very often, illness brings big problems and troubles, not
only to the ones who are sick but also to their family and friends. Therefore,
sickness causes people to suffer due to their pain as well as their dependency
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on others.
Since ancient times it was believed that the first cause of
suffering was disease. The second was old age. Everyone wants to be young,
full of energy, and healthy. Unfortunately, old age comes to everybody; it is
unavoidable. Death, too, cannot be avoided, and it is the expectation of this
that is the third cause of suffering. The fourth4 is birth. Why, after all, does a
baby cry when it is born? Perhaps because coming from a habitual
environment into our world is uncomfortable.
When a person starts to realize that he does not have much
longer to live, he turns his eyes to the past, when everything was supposedly
clear. He sees no value in looking to the future, because for him, the future is
death. What next, he asks himself? It is now that he begins to understand that
he doesn’t know very much about the meaning of life. He muses and
contemplates several questions: how does one prolong life and youth? How
does one find out what happens after death? What is the soul and what
happens to it after leaving the body?
Are you afraid of death? Indeed, everyone knows that death is
unavoidable, that we all have to die some day. It is not that important to
believe or not believe in God and an afterlife. It is more important to get your
own experience and knowledge of what death is while you are still living, as
this is the only way you won’t fear it.
It is our fear of the unknown that causes us to fear death. Our
triumph lies in overcoming our ignorance in this matter and using the
knowledge gained, based on own experience, to control the process of dying.
The time and manner of our birth, on the other hand, are beyond
our control; they do not depend on us. However, we can control the manner
and time in which we die, through very special knowledge and practice.
What is the meaning of Life? Individuals must find that out for
themselves. After that, they will clearly understand what the world is, what
the Universe is. Furthermore, if they understand where they came from and
where they will go after death, they will be able to understand who they are.
When people understand their true nature in this manner, they will no longer
be upset about the years they have wasted or frittered away purposelessly
because they will know themselves and their lives as part of the past, the
future, and the entire Universe.
All beings living on Earth pass through suffering, whether they
are rich or poor. It is important to understand the relationship between events,
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to evaluate your emotional state, and to learn from every situation the
valuable lessons that contribute to your development. Qigong is the
instrument, the tool, that will teach you to revitalize yourself by getting rid of
diseases. Qigong provides ways to help you comprehend, fully, your world
and see yourself as a part of the entire Universe. It shows you the path to
happiness—happiness from existence, happiness from mutual understanding,
happiness from conscious selection of the Path; simply happiness.
That is why when people ask me what Qigong is and why we
need to study it, I sometimes ask in reply: “Why do people go to the theater?
Why do people go to concerts?” These are the places where they can connect
to art. As a result, they acquire something—knowledge, comfort, and
perhaps, happiness.
Similarly, Qigong is the art of self-development, and this is the
highest level of art. With Qigong, we gain knowledge on how to develop as
we tread the Path. As a result, this kind of Path is of interest to everyone.
Qigong practice helps us throughout our lives; it becomes a part of us. We
don’t retain forever our everyday experiences, such as the cinema or the
theater. With Qigong, on the other hand, everything we learn, acquire, and
practice stays with us forever.
The normal states of happiness experienced by a person have
nothing to do with the happiness received from Qigong practice. This
happiness has a different feeling. You will see that it has two phases. If you
ever experience this phase of happiness, you will want it to remain with you
forever.

It is also very important to know that by practicing Qigong, you


will develop, complete yourself, and attain unity and wholeness. You will
gain wisdom, knowledge, and skills. These benefits have nothing to do with
age. If you have reached your senior years, you will be able to do more than
what a typical senior person is able to do. You will always have an interest in
living and you will not be tied to your physical body. Up to the last minute,
you will have the energy to fulfill your purpose, and you yourself will be able
to decide when to leave your body.

Xu Mingtang

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
William Shakespeare

Miracles are not contrary to nature,


but only contrary to what we know about nature.
St. Augustine

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the
sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the
circular motion of the stars.... and they pass by themselves without
wondering.
St. Augustine

The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature, and the very tribe or race
of man. For man's sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things. On
the contrary, all the perceptions, both of the senses and the mind, bear
reference to man, and not to the universe, and the human mind resembles
those uneven mirrors, which impart their own properties to different objects,
from which rays are emitted, and distort and disfigure them.
Francis Bacon

Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself
to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to
change the things which are, and to make new things like them.
Marcus Aurelius

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Zhong Yuan Qigong is a simple science of life.
Xu Mingtang

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PART ONE

THEORY AND PRACTICE

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Chapter 1:
ORIGINS, PHILOSOPHY, METHODOLOGY

WHAT IS QIGONG?

There is no easy way to translate the word Qigong. Western


languages do not have an equivalent term for it. In Chinese, it is the
combination of two characters or hieroglyphs: Qi and Gong. First, let us
explore the meaning of Qi.

What Is Qi?

Usually, the term Qi is translated into other languages as energy,


but in Chinese it has a much wider and deeper meaning; it is a huge
conception. Different dictionaries of Chinese hieroglyphs list from ten to
thirty words, apart from energy, associated with the concept of Qi including
air, atmosphere, weather, climate, gas, gaseous matter, fog, emotional
strength, power, and life force.
How, then, can we understand the meaning of Qi?
To understand this concept, we first need to obtain some
information through our senses to process and analyze. In order to do this, we
will examine some characteristics of Qi and their connection to humans and
the environment, as well as the conditions necessary for healthy living.
The Chinese traditionally refer to Qi as air. When we inhale, we
take in oxygen. Therefore, by inhaling, we breathe in Qi, as Qi also refers to
oxygen. By continually inhaling and exhaling Qi, we share our Qi with our
environment. Breathing affects our health. Problems with breathing,
therefore, relate to problems with health.
If people breathe irregularly, inhaling quickly and exhaling
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slowly, they will probably not live long. Some illnesses, like asthma and
heart disease, reduce the duration of inhalation relative to exhalation
Therefore, it is clear that one should seek to increase the duration of
inhalation and shorten the exhalation. However, these adjustments are not
enough, because health also depends on air quality, which in turn means Qi
quality. If the air is dirty, if Qi quality is poor, then further problems seem
unavoidable. The body needs clean air with sufficient amounts of oxygen in
it. Tibet, for instance, has clean air with no harmful pollutants. However,
because of Tibet’s high altitude, the air is low in oxygen. As a result, it is
difficult to breathe.
Oxygen levels affect the quality of one’s blood, which in turn
affects the health of cells within the body—especially heart and brain cells.
Oxygen deficiency increases body fatigue and decreases mental alertness.
Furthermore, Qi does not only refer to air, but also to the weather
and temperature. High temperatures lead to an increase in energy levels,
while low temperatures cause these levels of Qi to decrease. As a result,
energy levels vary from season to season, depending on the weather. To
attain good health, energy balance must be achieved and maintained. All
forms of life form close connections to the energy of the Universe. Thus,
everything that lives and breathes, plant or animal, changes, often
dramatically, from one season to the next and in different climatic conditions.
Western calendars divide the year into four seasons: summer,
fall, winter, and spring. In contrast, the Chinese calendar divides the year into
twenty-four seasons.

Master’s Story
As a result of the Chinese calendar having twenty-four seasons,
the Chinese have twenty-four levels of energy or Qi. The many divisions in
their calendar allow for many categories of seasons—for example, hot,
extremely hot, cold, chilly, and a season of very severe frost. For countless
centuries, the Chinese people have worked their farms and led their lives in
accordance with these many seasons.
The information on seasons and energy gives people guidance on
what plants to plant and when, when to harvest, and how to behave during
extreme cold and heat. Health, too, is connected to weather conditions, and
the twenty-four levels of Qi that they produce. In wintertime, for example,
many people catch colds and coughs; while in spring, many people suffer
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strokes.
Why does this happen? In winter, when it is cold, the level of Qi
energy is low. Low energy affects lungs and causes people to cough. Spring,
when everything starts to grow, is characterized by the presence of wood
energy. According to the Wu-Xing (five elements) theory, the liver belongs to
the Wood element. If too much energy enters an unhealthy liver, the excess
energy goes to the brain, where it may cause a stroke.
Many people in Moscow suffer from high blood pressure.
However, if they go on vacation to Spain’s seaside with its warm water and
humid climate, their blood pressure becomes normal. So, instead of taking
medicine, people sometimes improve their health by choosing to live in a
different climate. Several friends of mine in China suffered from asthma, but
when they came to California, their asthma disappeared. Why? Their
weather and climate changed.
In the United States, a lot of people suffer from allergies,
particularly to dairy products and cereals. However, some Americans get rid
of these allergies when they travel to China. Many people have noticed that
in some places, they feel active, fresh, and brisk, while in other places they
are tired, uncomfortable, nervous, and simply not themselves. Furthermore,
people who suffer from chronic disease know that in particular seasons and
under certain weather conditions, their diseases worsen. This is the result of
the quality of the external energy. Specifically, this occurs with people who
have arthritis, including its rheumatoid form. As a rule, these people sense
future changes in weather much earlier than meteorologists. From our own
experience with these conditions, we can see and feel the effects of Qi on our
life and health.
When we talk about weather and climate, we are talking about
external, naturally occurring conditions. We understand what happens when
it is hot or cold outside. However, what can we say about ourselves, about
the manifestation and flow of our own energy, our inner Qi?
First, we can take our temperature and judge, by the results, our
energy level at that precise moment in time. It has been proven that the
normal temperature for the human body is in the range of 36° C (96.8° F) to
37° C (98.6° F).
However, inside the body, different parts and organs have their
own temperatures. For example, the heart’s temperature is higher than that
of the kidneys. Under the influence of the environment, the temperature of the
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various parts and organs of the body can vary. If you catch a cold, your body
temperature can suddenly rise above 40° C (104° F). When this happens, you
have more energy than in normal conditions. Therefore, you need to lower
your temperature.
Our health is connected to our energy balance. Healthy people
are energetic. Their hands and feet feel warm to them. If people have
problems, they sense a change in their levels of energy. If they have too much
energy, their temperature rises; if they have too little energy, they feel weak
and apathetic. We need to understand that if we feel ill and our temperature
rises, there is something wrong with our health.
Oftentimes, sickness is not connected to the entire body; it might
be connected to some part of the body or some organ. If a body part or organ
is infected or inflamed, you will feel the temperature rise in that area – it
becomes hot. If you injure yourself, the temperature can rise only in the
injured spot and not throughout the entire body. After some time, this spot
might swell. Then, if you touch it with your hands, you may feel that the
temperature of that area is higher than that of the surrounding tissue. In this
case, you need to decrease the temperature of the given location.
Sometimes, however, one experiences the opposite condition,
when a part of our body feels colder than others. As a rule, we are used to
ignoring this. However, this coldness can indicate an energetic disorder and
problems in the body. You have probably noticed that when you are tired,
when the energy level is low, you might feel chilly, or your limbs might
become cold. As a rule, these feelings of coldness occur there where there is
a problem with energy and blood circulation.

Therefore, Qi is a substance which exists in each point of the


universe. It comprises the three following components: Material, Energy,
and Information. Modern devices can measure the first two, but the third one
can be detected only indirectly, through its influence on certain objects. In
addition, there is an internal Qi, an external Qi, an individual Qi, and a
cosmic Qi. There is also a type of Qi that exists in humans from birth
(prenatal Qi) and another types that humans can receive from the
environment (Qi of mountains, Qi of water, etc.), which can subsequently be
accumulated and spent.

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What is Gong?

Gong is the action or work that needs to be done to control and


manage Qi energy. This requires considerable time and effort, as well as a
specific speed. We can say Gong is a way of measuring Qi.
Therefore, based on the translation of Chinese characters,
Qigong refers to the art of using and transforming Qi energy taken from the
environment. But, in the broader sense, Qigong is the art of maintaining
normal health. It is a science, a philosophy, a way of thinking. Qigong is,
all in all, a method of exchanging energy and information with the
surrounding world and communicating with the entire Universe.

What is Kung-Fu?

The term Kung-fu usually refers to the time and effort spent in
attaining mastery in Qigong. This includes proficiency in methods of
accumulating energy, transforming it and controlling it. Kung-fu also refers
to the “reaching of a limit” in any noble activity involving the understanding
of the mysteries of the Universe and the attainment of harmony with
universal laws.
Physics explains the meaning of Kung-fu differently:
A = F x S,
where (A) is Work or Applied effort, (F) is Force, and (S) Distance.
Furthermore,
S = V x t,
where (V) is Velocity (or Speed) and (t) is Time.
Therefore, Kung-fu is defined by three factors: force, speed, and
time.
In Qigong, force has a special meaning. Force is the work or
effort needed for the mastering of Qigong. It is the persistence of students
during practice. However, most exercises in Qigong systems, including ZYQ,
represent specific postures involving relaxation of body and concentration of
mind. This is also known as Quiet Qigong. Thus, the force of Qigong is a
quiet force.
This quiet force comes from the heart, or from the cells of the
body. It connects us to the environment and the Universe. It allows us to
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practice Quiet Qigong for long periods of time (hours, days, months, years)
without any movement. But we will talk more about this later.
Naturally, speed represents how fast a person masters Qigong,
while time represents the length of the practice sessions. Therefore, the
quality of practice depends on three factors: force, speed, and time.
If the method is weak or if there is no experienced teacher who
can correct errors and point a student in the right direction, then the student
can go on practicing for years or even a lifetime with little or no
improvement. In this case, Kung-fu would be equal to zero and the practice
would be unproductive.
Sometimes the speed of a person’s progress is very rapid. The
student assimilates everything easily, the teacher is good, and the method is
suitable. In such cases, however, if the time devoted to practice is too little,
changes in one’s energy levels and body do not occur. Therefore, Kung-fu in
such situations would also be equal to zero.
Consequently, persistence and systematic training under the
supervision of a qualified and experienced teacher are absolutely essential for
success.

QIGONG MOVEMENTS AND SCHOOLS

The roots of Qigong art go back several millennia. According to


some sources, Qigong systems have been in existence for over five thousand
years. An intensive period of development might have occurred as early as
the reign of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, before 2500 BC.
There are different movements and schools within Qigong. They
differ in terms of purpose and method of practice. Traditionally, since the
middle of the twentieth century, they have been divided into Confucian,
Taoist, Buddhist, Healing (or Medicinal), and Martial Arts (or school of
Boxing).

The Confucian Movement

Confucius (551–479 BC) (Picture 1a) was a founder of a


philosophy centered on social ethics. Later, his ideas formed the Confucian

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school. Confucian practice was directed toward the regulation of
consciousness, the expulsion of emotions, the nurturing of moral
characteristics, and the perfection of one’s personality for the benefit of
society. The followers of this school were required to attain a state of self-
control, calm, and quiet.
Temples dedicated to Confucius are located in many regions of
China. The main temple is situated near the burial site of Confucius in the
center of the district town of Qufu in Shandong Province (Picture 2a). All
official ceremonies in honor of Confucius take place there. In Henan
Province, twenty kilometers (twelve miles) from the Shaolin Monastery, on
the outskirts of Danfeng, one comes across Confucius’s original school and a
tree he planted (Picture 2c). The library, classroom (with the original chairs),
and living quarters have been preserved in reconstructed form. Among the
buildings, there is an ancient well and a yard for contemplation and
discussions. (Pictures 2b, 2d).

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Picture 1: Originators of Main Qigong Schools (a) Confucius, (b) Lao Tzu, (c) Bodhidharma (Damo),
(d) Buddha Gautama

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Picture 2: Places Associated with Confucius (a) Temple of Confucius (Shandong Province), (b) Well in
the School of Confucius (Henan Province), (c) A tree Planted by Confucius, (d) Yard for Discussions

The Taoist Movement

The Taoist movement is a genuine part of ancient Chinese


culture. Many specialists think that Taoism came into existence about five
thousand years ago through various cults, beliefs, and philosophical concepts.
It became a unified body of learning in approximately the third century BC.
The central concept of Taoism is Tao. The notion of the Tao was
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first introduced in the treatise Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu (fifth to fourth
century BC), the world-famous thinker and philosopher. In deep meditation,
Lao-tzu (Picture 1b) saw what we now could call the origin of the Universe
and the way of its evolution. He did not know what to call what he saw, so he
gave it the name Tao. He said that the Universe originated from Tao.
Later he wrote, “The Tao that can be described in words is not
the true Tao.” The true meaning of this expression reflects the great vastness
of the Universe and the countless laws and rules that govern it, which we
cannot describe with our limited vocabulary. Moreover, since the Universe
changes every moment, we can only obtain relative knowledge, but not the
absolute Truth about it. This is the reason why Taoism tries to devise a
method for understanding the Tao without concentrating on anything
specific. This way, one can understand it through one’s own mind. In
addition, his statement, “if we can describe the Tao in words, then that is not
the true Tao” means that we should follow but not speak about the Tao. That
is why the concept of the Tao is translated simply as “the Path.”5 To follow
the Path or the Tao is to follow nature.
If we look at the Tao from the standpoint of ancient Chinese
culture, then its philosophy also comes from hieroglyphs and their writing
order (Picture 3). The inscribed character visually depicts the movement of a
head. In other words, the Tao refers to the moving of the head and not of the
feet. Therefore, the Tao is the path of the head and not the of the feet. The
philosophical meaning of the combined characters can be interpreted in the
following way: humans are creations of the Universe and belong to it;
therefore, human development must proceed in accordance with the general
laws of the Universe. Throughout their existence, humans must change and
constantly move toward the understanding of the fact that the Universe is
One, and that everything in it is connected. The laws and rules of the
Universe are the same for all forms of life. Humans, as a part of the
Universe, must have a clear understanding of these laws and rules. They must
be followed by every person and by society as a whole. When humans realize
these things and accept them into their hearts, they will become as
harmonious and complete as the Universe. They will be able to function
anywhere in the universe, at any point of space and time, carrying out,
simultaneously, their human and cosmic tasks.
In light of the above-mentioned explanation, the Tao is the Path,
the way of development for all that exists, for all life forms. Those along the
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Path proceed from simple existence to a state of realization, followed by an
understanding of the World and Life. This process culminates in illumination.
This is why the art of teaching in this field can be called Tao-teaching.

Tao

The left part of the character means “to go“ or


“movement.“

The horizontal line means “the entire world“ or “the


whole Cosmos“. The two little lines above it say that
Cosmos consist of two parts—Yin and Yang.

The lower right block means “me myself,“ and the


entire right side means “head.“

Picture 3: How to Understand Tao

In general, the concept of the Tao is very wide and very deep. In
Taoism, we are given the method of understanding the Tao without
concentrating our minds on something specific, so that we can embrace it
through our own perception, our own experience, our own mind and
consciousness.

Master’s Story
Nowadays we can say that, in general, “Tao” is a very common
word: any type of road, pathway, or track is known as Tao; this is the visible
Tao. Then we have the Tao that refers to the Way of human Life; that is, the
invisible Tao. That is why here we mean, on the one hand, the way of our
own life, the Tao of the world, i.e., the Tao of nature and the Tao of the
universe. In terms of Nature and the Universe, the Tao also refers to the way
of their development; for us, however, it manifests in the form of Laws or
Principles of the Universe.
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Each of us represents a small universe (microcosm) that is part
of a larger universe governed by laws and rules, which we must follow and
obey. This is the reason why, for us, the Way of the Universe, the Way of
Nature’s development, is Tao. Moreover, our Way must be in accordance
with the Way of the surrounding world. By Tao, we mean the unity of the Way
of the Universe and human development. Accordingly, our journey along the
Life Path must be in accordance with the larger universal Way.
Now, there are many books, the names of which contain the word
“Tao”; for example, “Tao acupuncture,” “Tao of food preparation,” “Tao
of business.” Originally, the books of Lao-tzu referred to a very specific Tao:
the Tao of humans and the Tao of the Universe.
Since ancient times, the Chinese have contemplated the various
components, or stages, of the life path.
There are many books on the Tao of humans, covering a wide
range of subtopics such as how to communicate with people around you, how
to be healthy, how to manage business or politics, and much more. These
encompass each and every sphere of human existence, including the Tao of
self-development. When Lao-tzu wrote about Tao, he did not itemize that
concept in respect to its various aspects; he did not speak separately about
life, business, politics, or health. Instead, he presented the whole picture.
Moreover, because Lao-tzu’s books covered various aspects of our lives, they
are still studied by representatives of different professions. They present a
generic picture of human activities, existence, and life. Lao-tzu expressed
even his most abstract, complex philosophical concepts in a very simple and
clear way. When we read his writings in light of our knowledge and
experience, we understand how useful they are for us. Consider, for example,
his writings on water.
Lao-tzu observed the movement of water in different situations
and came to a number of interesting philosophical conclusions. He wrote that
water is very soft, never fights anything, and never resists anything.
Furthermore, it always flows downward.
However, this is only one facet of water. From another point of
view, water permeates and feeds everything. Through this example, Lao-tzu
illustrates that it is possible to have a beneficial impact on the world around
you without being aggressive or forceful. In spite of its seemingly passive
nature, Lao-tzu observed, water is far from weak or soft. To illustrate this
point, he described a rock near his house. Every day, water would drip on it.
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After a while, the water pierced a hole in the rock. Through this example,
Lao-tzu illustrates that tolerance and flexibility do not mean weakness. In
other words, if you are tolerant of others, it does not mean that you are weak.
We need to understand the way of thinking and the philosophies
of ancient thinkers. They taught people many things, but the most important
one was the principle of continuous, constant change. They showed that
everything changes and taught people to follow the changes in one’s life that
occur in this World.

How Can We Understand De?


The term Taoism, which has been in common use for a long
time, appeared at the very beginning of the first century AD following the
union of the teachings about Tao and De (De is a benevolent force that
supports good deeds), the philosophy of Yin-Yang, the concept of the spirit
Shen, and the doctrine of immortality. Taoism is characterized by the
tradition of “inner-alchemy” practice. The dominant feature of the Taoist
movement is the training of body and mind simultaneously. The training of
mind includes a method of practice that allows you to achieve silence of
mind and a state of Qigong, which we will discuss later. The strengthening of
the physical body and prolongation of life are intended to allow us to
understand the meaning of life and master the methods used, over centuries,
to develop the human soul and grow spiritually. This is the reason why these
methods give equal attention to the physical and the spiritual, combining
physical exercises, nature observation, meditation, and surrender of the self to
the Tao.
The first Taoist temple is located in Beijing and is called “The
Temple of the White Cloud” (Picture 4a). It is often called the Temple of
Lao-tzu, although Taoism was developed and cultivated in the Wudang
Mountains (Pictures 4 c–e).

The Buddhist Movement

The Buddhist movement of Qigong is very similar to the Taoist


one. It was also introduced at the beginning of the first century AD as the
result of the penetration of Buddhism into China from India.
Buddhism is the one of the world’s most ancient known
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religions.6 Christianity is younger than Buddhism by five centuries; Islam, by
twelve.
The founder of Buddhism is Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Picture
1d) of the Shakya nation, who lived in the fifth century BC in the Ganges
River Valley. When he became a wandering hermit, he was given the title of
Shakyamuni (“Hermit of the Shakya Nation”), and later Buddha, meaning
“the enlightened one.” For forty years, he traveled around the villages along
the Ganges River, preaching, performing miracles, and attracting disciples to
the Buddhist path. He passed away at the age of eighty, an event which
Buddhists call “the great passing into Nirvana.”
There is a belief that the Buddha came to Earth again after an
infinite number of reincarnations to show humanity the way, including the
means to rid oneself of suffering. The way of salvation in Buddhism is
universal for all people, regardless of their social environment, material
possessions, status, ethnicity, education, or level of development. Scholars of
Buddhism believe that all of the aforementioned features allowed Buddhism
to become a universal religion, spreading as it did from India to many
countries.

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Picture 4: Temples (a) Taoist White Cloud Temple (Lao Tzu Temple) in Beijing, (b) Temple of
Buddha’s Tooth in Beijing, (c-e) Taoist Temples in Wudang Mountains

Master’s Story
When Shakyamuni was going to leave this world and pass into
another one, all his advanced disciples gathered around him to receive
farewell words. They asked him to give them his final advice on what to do.
Shakyamuni spread his arms open, pointed to the surrounding world, and did

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not say a word. One disciple did not understand that gesture and asked
Shakyamuni to summarize his teachings of the last forty years. Shakyamuni
answered that he had taught nothing and said nothing. What did he mean by
that?
At the end of his life, Shakyamuni understood the world very
deeply and extensively. Compared to his understanding, everything he had
said to his disciples was insignificant. It is when we widen our range of
perception that we receive most of our knowledge from and about the world
around us. As a result, we can obtain a completely different range of vision
and a panoramic view. Furthermore, since the Universe changes every
moment, what we perceive is limited and what we know is relative.
Shakyamuni knew and understood the fact that everything, including people,
changes. There is nothing permanent in this world. Everything he said in
the past covered the past, not the future. Therefore, he could not allow his
disciples to keep in mind anything constant and without change. Thus, he
could not tell them what to do.
Through his methods, Shakyamuni tried to encourage his
disciples to receive enlightenment by understanding the world through their
own experiences and channels of perception. His teachings showed the way
that guided him to enlightenment: hermitage, suffering, life-long meditation,
and deep knowledge.
In Chinese culture, Buddhism and Taoism are very close and
coexist very well. They do not oppose each other, but focus on different
methods of practice. For example, Buddhists concentrate more on nature
and, as opposed to Taoists, neglect the state of their physical body. In
Buddhism, meditation incorporates thousands of methods that are based on
the experiences of numerous monks and that originate from diverse schools
of thought. It is said that, in Buddhism, there are 84,000 methods of practice.
Should we learn one method every day? How many years would it take to
learn them all? Taoism has fewer methods—only 3,600. At the rate of one
method a day, it would take ten years to learn them all.

As opposed to Taoists, Buddhists consider life to be a chain of


suffering and an endless embodiment of the wheel of reincarnation. They
believe that only continuous perfection can help overcome karma, achieve
enlightenment, and attain the State of Buddhahood. Buddhism perceives the
world of material reality and appearances as an illusion. That is why the
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Buddhist method of study is directed toward the regulation of the emotional
state, contemplation, and dissolution of mind in the “absolute truth.”
After Gautama Buddha’s ritual cremation, his ashes were split
between the tribes with whom he communicated during his life, and ritual
sites were set up to house the remains. Some of the most sacred relics of
Buddhism are the teeth of the Buddha. To preserve them, the temples of
Buddha’s tooth were built in India, Sri-Lanka, and China (Picture 4b).
There are many Buddhist temples in China. One of the three
most important buildings devoted to Buddhism is Longmen Grottoes (or
“Dragon’s Gate”) in Henan Province (Picture 5).
Its construction started at the end of the fifth century AD. It took
over four hundred years to build. In the past, it was a cave monastery. There,
in the sandstone mountain, the two thousand natural and manmade caves
contain more than a hundred thousand stone statues of the Buddha, his
beloved disciples, and heavenly guardians, along with two thousand high
reliefs, pictures, and texts, some of which deal with the subject of curing
diseases. Today, it is a treasure of Chinese medicine, a unique center for tours
and pilgrimage.
There are several main branches of Buddhism. In China, a
special position is held by the Chan school. Chan (meditation,
contemplation) is known in the West as Zen Buddhism (Japanese variation).
It appeared in the fifth century BC. Its basic idea is not gradual perfection,
but sudden enlightenment, instant illumination. However, the preparation for
this takes a long time and consists of sitting meditations (a passive form);
dialogues where masters ask disciples questions that have no logical answers
(an active form, or coan); and the practice of martial arts.
The founder of Chan Buddhism was the Indian prince
Bodhidharma, also known as Damo, who is worshiped as a Buddha (Pictures
1c, 6).

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Picture 5: Longmen Grottoes (The Dragon Gates)

Picture 6: Bodhidharma (Damo) (a, b) “White Buddha”—the White Marble Statue (c) Entrance to
Damo’s Cave

Master’s Story
One-and-a-half thousand years ago, Damo, a follower of
Buddhism, a monk, and a prince by birth, went from India to China to spread
Buddhism. In those days, Buddhist monks usually visited China by the

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Emperor’s invitation. When Damo reached the southern part of China, he
met the Emperor who, however, had no interest in him. Therefore, Damo
went further north to travel around the country.
He visited many places before he reached the central region of
China (now Henan Province, where thousands of years earlier, the ZYQ
system came into being). There, he sensed a powerful energy, and he stayed
there to continue his spiritual development. Damo spent nine years in a cave
practicing, meditating, and learning. Having integrated Buddhism with
Indian philosophy and ZYQ, he brought it to his disciples and followers. This
is how the Chinese system of Chan appeared. In the Chan system, it is
necessary to sit motionless for a long time. However, this mode of practice is
not recommended for people who are not in the best of health. Alternatively,
continuous static practice without sufficient physical movement makes one
weak. Hence, Damo, while practicing in the cave, combined the Chan system
with the local practice of Kung-fu. As a result, many exercises connected with
kung-f methods prevalent in that region appeared in the Chan system.
Similarly, many aspects of spiritual practice connected with the Chan system,
including its philosophy, appeared in the Kung-fu system.
Damo achieved the highest level of mastery in the science of
healing, and learned to see and understand the connections between things.
There are many legends about him, all of which have a deeper meaning,
including the following one:
Damo loved to sit under a tree and watch people walk by. He
could see their diseases and often offered to help them. One day, a very
important military commander passed by the tree where Damo was sitting.
Damo looked at him and said, “You have a very serious disease, and if you
do not take care of it right now, you will die in nine days. But I can cure
you.” However, the military commander did not feel sick. That’s why when
Damo (an unremarkable commoner) addressed him (such a great and
honorable person), he felt offended and beat Damo up.
Then Damo said, “You have wasted too much energy and
emotion. Now, you have only three days left to live, but I can still cure you.”
The military commander became further enraged with this pauper’s words
and beat him up again. Then, Damo continued: “Now all you have left to live
is one day, and I cannot help you anymore.” Again, the blows followed.
After he arrived home, the commander died that same day.
News spread quickly through the neighborhoods. To this day,
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this story is told to those who only listen to the opinions of higher authorities
or officials.
At the insistence of the monks, Damo settled in the Shaolin
monastery (Picture 7 illustrates Shaolin today), where he began to teach. He
is recognized as its first patriarch. When the time came for him to leave this
world, his body disappeared. Even today, no one knows where it is. He is
said to have left for a better world and to have taken his body with him. Only
one of his shoes remained. Since his passing, Damo has been worshipped as
a Buddha.

There are some other widely spread branches of Buddhism, such


as Theravada Buddhism7 and Lamaism8 (or Tibetan Buddhism).
It is obvious that the state of inner silence and blending with
nature or Divinity cannot be reached without strengthening one’s physical
body and freeing it from diseases. This is the reason why all schools of
Qigong have carefully studied the arts of self-regulation and healing.

The Healing Movement

From the blending of various schools and ethnic practices came


the Healing (or Medicine) school of Qigong. Here, the main goal of Qigong
exercises is self-regulation, prevention of health problems, curing of diseases,
and prolongation of life with an energetic body and a clear mind.

Martial Arts

The name of this school says it all. Its aims are to strengthen the
body and spirit, maintain calm in all situations, and help its practitioners
develop self-defense capabilities. Sometimes this school was called Boxing
school. It pays a great deal of attention to self-regulation and health
improvement, since the body of a warrior must be physically strong and
capable of fast recovery. However, it differs in many ways from other
schools in terms of its system for health improvement.
Today, the school of Martial Arts includes some styles of Wushu
(sometimes called Wushu Qigong), including the well-known form hard
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Qigong and the lesser-known light Qigong. Practice of Hard Qigong makes
the body insensitive to blows and helps the practitioner develop the ability
and skills to concentrate Qi energy on a particular body area instantly. This is
demonstrated through such feats as the breaking of concrete slabs, bricks, and
wooden bars with the head or hand; the bearing of heavy weights (having a
car driven over one’s chest), and resistance to sharp weapons (knives,
swords, and sabers).
Practitioners of Light Qigong can control their weight, travel fast
over several hours without rest or fatigue, and quickly climb high hills and
mountains as if they were flying. In former times, this was the training for
messengers and warriors. Nowadays, masters of light Qigong sometimes
walk on fresh eggs without breaking the shells or on paper ribbons tightened
between supports.
In general, the methods of Qigong are divided into two types:
hard and soft. Hard methods are usually used for developing skills to activate
instantaneously the full powers of the body’s functional systems for the
realization of physical and psychic abilities. Soft methods usually aim to cure
and improve health. However, the border between hard and soft methods
cannot always be clearly identified.
In addition, the exercise methods in all schools are divided into
three classes: static (sometimes they are called quiet or calm or idle),
dynamic, and static-dynamic (combination of idle postures and movements).
Each type of exercise addresses a particular activity: body regulation, breath
regulation, mind (consciousness) regulation, or some combination of the
above.
This classification system, created at the beginning of the
twentieth century, appears to be conditional. It seems to have its basis in the
interaction that took place, at the time, between a number of ideas and
philosophical doctrines. The concept of Tao, for example, was essential to all
movements and schools in China. The term “Qigong” itself first appeared in
only the third and fourth centuries BC. At first, it was used to define a
particular movement. It was only during the 1960s that Qigong became
universally associated with the now-famous technique of psychophysical
training.

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Picture 7: Shaolin Monastery (a, b, d) Participants of one of the International Training on ZYQ, (c)
Pagoda Forest (Stone Forest—the Cemetery of Shaolin Monks), (e,f) Inside the Monastery

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Picture 7: Shaolin Monastery (g, h, i) Practice in Stone Forest, (j) Kung-fu Show in Shaolin

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, a


research program studying the effects of Qigong methods on people was
undertaken. It was temporarily stopped during the Cultural Revolution, but in
the 1970s, the research resumed more intensively. Qigong became a part of
clinics, sanatoriums, health resorts, educational institutes, and the Chinese
Academy of Sciences. Qigong classes also became a part of university
curriculum, and famous Qigong masters representing various movements,
some from monasteries, were invited to teach.
The way of life that one finds in Chinese monasteries is different
from that of monasteries in Western countries. To being with, not all Chinese
monks have lived in monasteries their entire lives. They studied there till they
had mastered their subject. Then they went on to devote themselves to
practicing and perfecting what they had learned, whether it was medicine or

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martial arts. A monk’s education could last years or even decades.
Sometimes, a monk who became a Master,9 a specialist in his subject area,
would leave the monastery to serve the world and teach students. He would
travel many years, searching for students and teaching the most talented
among them. However, as a rule, the teaching was conducted in appropriate
monastery schools. Today, many monasteries are open to visitors and
tourists.
Qigong, through mass education, research, and application to
medical practice, has redefined itself as a system of knowledge, transcending
its original classification and purposes.

Modern Classification

All religious movements within Qigong are joined together in a


separate category called Religious Qigong.
Today, the movement of Qigong that is attracting special
attention is Therapeutic Qigong. Thanks to its emphasis on health
improvement and disease prevention, it has gone far beyond the borders of
China and is being followed in many countries where Chinese masters and
specialists in this area now work. The creation of recognized authorities in
the field, along with the wide and successful application of this ancient and
efficient art of self-regulation, have led to the establishment of the World
Academic Society of Medical Qigong. Since the 1990s, Beijing has
organized and hosted international conferences on medical Qigong. Research
work on the physiological processes of living beings and functions of brain
activities of Qigong practitioners, compared to ordinary people, were
presented at these conferences. A great deal of attention is paid to the
applications of Therapeutic Qigong. Research, for example, has shown that
some diseases, which, cannot be cured by other means, can be cured by
Qigong.
The next movement, Sport-Application Qigong, includes various
styles of Wushu, Sanda (Sanshou), and many other types of martial arts
(Picture 7h).
Then there is the movement known as Scientific Qigong. This
involves the study of the abilities and changes taking place within the Qigong
Master or patient (recipient) under the influence of Qigong. Second, it
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researches phenomena such as telekinesis, teleportation, etc. Third, it
involves the study of information obtained through Qigong methods such as
clairvoyance, long vision, and telepathy.
Within this gamut, a special place is held by a movement almost
unknown to the West, Zhong Yuan Qigong (ZYQ), which is the subject
matter of this book. This movement may be the most ancient among those
known today. ZYQ began in Central China more than seven thousand years
ago, long before the birth of most of the world’s religions.
About two thousand years ago, Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian
systems started to interact and merge. Perhaps this is why we can say that
today’s Taoist system contains many concepts from Confucianism and
Buddhism. The Buddhist system, in turn, includes many aspects of the
Confucian and Taoist systems. Considering that ZYQ had been cultivated in
that region for a long time, all of the above-mentioned systems contain many
of its elements. It is well known that the Chan system came to China from
Bodhidharma about fifteen hundred years ago, spreading from the Shaolin
monastery. However, at that time, the system came under the very strong
influence of local practices and philosophies, almost merging with local
Kung-fu along with ZYQ. ZYQ was in turn influenced by Chan philosophy
and practice. As a result, its practice incorporates many aspects of the Chan
system. However, the main difference is that Chan is a religious system, in
that it follows various Gods or Buddhas, and that its practices are concerned
with the next life.
ZYQ is free of all such religious overtones. Now, in spite of its
ancient roots, it can be considered a scientific movement. The practice of this
system is aimed at human development and transformation. It offers methods
and approaches that allow for the attainment of enlightenment in this life
itself. In this system, something cannot be had for nothing. Everything is
achieved through practice and effort.
All movements of Qigong belong to the Chinese National
Association of Qigong.
Each movement of Qigong is a separate branch of that
association. Only Qigong Masters can become heads of particular branches.
Furthermore, beyond being Masters, they must also be the best practitioners
within their movements. In addition, they must make significant contributions
to society. The higher their level, the greater their responsibility.
One of the functions of the association is the education of
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specialists. It is also been involved in the creation of medical centers and
health resorts using Qigong methods in combination with the methods of
Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition, it organizes and hosts Qigong
conferences for exchanges between Qigong Masters and scientists involved
in Qigong research.

MAIN ELEMENTS OF QIGONG SYSTEMS

All Qigong systems have three basic components: Yin-Yang,


Wu-Xing, and energy channels with biologically active points (BAPs).

Yin and Yang Concept

In ancient Chinese thinking, everything in the universe consists


of two opposite (but not antagonistic) forces: Yin and Yang. We can compare
these two dynamic forces to the magnetic poles: North and South. If we take
a magnet and cut it into pieces, no matter how many pieces or how small they
are, each piece will have a North and a South Pole. Similarly, no matter how
we divide the universe, each part will have two forces, Yin and Yang.
The forces are inseparably connected, each Yang containing
some Yin, and each Yin, some Yang. On Picture 8a, you may recognize a
two-dimensional reflection of a sphere in the moment of Yin and Yang
balance. The image illustrates the dynamic exchange between Yin and Yang.
At any given moment, we will find that changes are taking place. When Yin
decreases, Yang increases, and vice versa. We call the image (Picture 8a)
with Yin and Yang in balance, the Yin-Yang Fish.
Yin represents the feminine, soft, cold, dark, negative, inert, passive, and
calm. Yin is night, winter, Moon.
Yang represents the masculine, hard, hot, light, positive, active, moving,
and energized. Yang is day, summer, Sun.
Since Yin and Yang are always in motion (developing and,
possibly, changing places and turning into their opposite), the two forces are
not always balanced. For example, if we look at a twenty-four hour period on
a bright sunny day, we find little Yin but a great deal of Yang. As evening
comes, Yin increases and Yang decreases. Yin begins to grow out of Yang.
Then, at night, Yin reaches its highest levels. As the morning comes, Yang
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increases, and Yin decreases. Yang begins to grow out of Yin (Picture 8b).
Therefore, over a twenty-four hour period, Yin and Yang are balanced.
Furthermore, just as we speak of the Sun rising and setting regularly, the
interchange between Yin and Yang occurs regularly. Following this analogy,
let us consider an entire year. The summer is characterized by Yang and the
winter by Yin, and spring and autumn are periods of transition from one to
the other.

Picture 8: Yin and Yang (a) Yin-Yang Fish, or Symbol of Great Ultimate: the Left Part—Symbol of
Evolution (from Birth to Death), the Right Part—Symbol of Returning to One’s Origins (to
Immortality), (b) Daily, Seasonal, Yearly Changes of Yin-Yang

Categories of Yin and Yang are general and universal. They are a
part of any act of nature, and they are present in all human activities. The
knowledge that all things develop according to these universal laws will help
you grow in your life.

Master’s Story
Today, everyone knows about computers. But how is the
computer technology developing? A computer also has Yin and Yang. From
the viewpoint of the computer, it is a binary code (On/Off, 1/0). A computer
has eight bits, consisting of 1s or 0s, then sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, and
so forth. These numbers describe the principles of development.
The same principles can be found, not only in computers, but in
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every area of technology. When we find processes going in different
directions, we find the forces of Yin and Yang at work. If one wants to create
something considerably new, then he can apply this theory to his research
work. For example, working in the area of chemistry, you achieve something
through concentration. Then you can also achieve it through the opposite
method of dilution. This is also Yin and Yang. Expanding and retracting,
heating and cooling, exhaling and inhaling—these are all examples of Yin
and Yang.
We are a part of the universe, of the Universe. Therefore, Yin
and Yang are present in each of us.

It is usually said that the human body contains the “solid” Yin
organs (liver, heart, pericardium, spleen, lungs, and kidneys) and the
“hollow” Yang organs (gallbladder, bladder, small and large intestines,
stomach, and “triple warmer” or “three parts of body”). This does not mean
that these organs are strictly Yin or Yang. These characterizations, instead,
refer to the dominant Qi in the particular organ. The Yin organs contain more
Yin and the Yang organs, more Yang.
Moreover, the inner part of the body (the one that is inside the
embryo) is more Yin-centric, while the external is dominated by Yang
(Picture 9a). If we were to look at a human as if it was cut by a vertical plane,
the right side would be governed by Yang and the left side by Yin (Picture
9b).
Yin and Yang must find balance in nature, humans, and society.
In nature, we find many incidents of fire in the areas where Yang is
overabundant. Conversely, we find many floods in areas with too much Yin.
Humans with too much Yin and too little Yang cannot stand cold weather.
They prefer heat, often feel tired, complain of loss of sleep, and are prone to
depression. In contrast, people with too much Yang and too little Yin tolerate
the cold better than the heat. They act hastily, offend easily, get fidgety, and
are prone to aggression. Where Yin and Yang imbalance exists, society loses
stability, and sicknesses take over the human body.

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Picture 9: Yin and Yang (a) Human Fetus Position, (b) Yin and Yang in a Human Body

In society, the material world relates to Yang and the spiritual to


Yin. If the material elements develop faster than the spiritual ones, society
becomes unstable and prone to antagonisms that may lead to wars. Currently
(on the planet in general), there is an overabundance of material goods, yet
people want more. We measure our level of well-being through material
things—where we live, our possessions (the number of luxury items we have,
the type of car we drive, the kind of summer home we have), etc. In a
materialistic society, we work not only for necessities, but also for insatiable
wants and desires. A society based on material wealth cannot be happy. Its
population is destined to suffer. However, the good news is that since we
have an overabundance of Yang in the world, all kinds of Yin activity have
begun to appear, as is evident in the sudden growth of spiritual movements
and practices throughout the world. They cover many countries and are
becoming popular across the various levels of society. As the universal law of
Yang and Yin has decreed, the levels of Yin on earth are on the rise.
Hence one of the purposes of Qigong is to regulate and balance
Yin and Yang.

The Wu-Xing Concept

Every cycle involving the interchange of Yin and Yang consists


of these phases:
(1) Spring or Morning, the period of birth and growth;
(2) Summer or Noon, the period of maximum level of activity;
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(3) Autumn or Evening, characterized by waste and depression;
(4) Winter or Night, the period of minimal activity.
Ancient scientists divided the world into five main phases of
movement. This concept was referred to as Wu-Xing, which literally
translates as the “five goings.” The symbols for these five phases are:
Wood as the symbol of birth, growth; and transition from passive Yin to
active Yang;
Fire as the symbol of maximum activity and expression of full Yang;
Metal as the symbol of regress, beginning, and transition from Yang to
Yin;
Water as the symbol of minimal activity and expression of full Yin;
Earth as the symbol of the center and axis of cyclical changes in the
world.
Each of the five elements, all inseparably connected, has its own
quality and Qi color. Using these classifications, we can systemize all natural
processes, bodily organs, food products, emotions, sounds, scents, etc. A
more advanced study of Wu-Xing takes place at the second stage of Qigong
study.

Energy Channels

The idea of energy channels also goes back to ancient China.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the human body has
three basic systems: a blood-vascular system, a water system, and an energy
system. The energy system of channels connects the surface of the body to
the inner organs. Each channel has a large number of BAPs. BAPs occupy
the entrances and exits of the energy channels. Through them, we find the
interchange of Qi in humans and interaction of Qi with the environment and
the entire Universe. Humans have five points that play the role of the main
connectors with the environment: Laogong on the palms (Picture 10a),
Yongquan on the feet (Picture 10b), and Baihui on top of the head, on the
vertex (Picture 10c). These main connecting points are larger than the others.
They are the most used in the first steps of Qi reception and emission.
We cannot detect points by simply inspecting the body of a
human or an animal. Regular vision cannot detect the energy channel system.
This helps to explain why, for a long time, the West had doubts about their

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existence. A high success rate in the cure of diseases through acupuncture has
made the West more interested in studying this method of healing. As a
result, we now have methods that allow us to locate the exact positions of the
channels and BAPs. In many countries, the method of measuring electrical
resistance between the points is very popular. If two points belong to one
channel, the resistance between them is less in comparison with the points of
the different channels. In addition, a group of Chinese scientists discovered
that the sounds of signals coming from the points of different channels differ.
Therefore, we can use sound signals to determine which channels belong to
what point. Judging by the increase in electrical resistance and the tone of the
sound, we can discover which point is closed, and at what part of the channel
the transfer of the energy is broken.

Picture 10: Five Major Energy Points and Mai-Channels (a) Laogong Point, (b) Yongquan Point, (c)
Baihui Point, (d) Ren-Mai Channel, (e) Du-Mai Channel

Modern research has demonstrated the validity of the channel


system. However, this has been known in China for a long time—some say
about two thousand years and others, more than five thousand years. This
brings us to the question: how was it possible for practitioners of TCM to
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locate a system which is invisible to the naked eye? After all, scientists did
not have the sophisticated tools to discover these systems until the twentieth
century. The answer is simple. The research tools used in ancient China were
human beings. Humans are the most sensitive and precise devices for
detecting energy channels. With the appropriate training, the capabilities of
these wondrous instruments are unlimited.
We have twelve main energy channels and eight Mai (miracle)
energy channels. The twelve main channels are associated with the twelve
main organs. According to TCM, these organs are not only anatomically
separated, they also constitute functional systems. The channels have
branches or collaterals that create a network and unite all parts of the body
into one system. The main channels are usually associated with rivers, and
the miracle channels, with lakes. The miracle channels are connected to the
main channels, but they have their own routes. Their main function is to
manage and control the main channels and redistribute the Qi in them. If
there is an overflow of Qi in the main channels, the miracle channels begin to
absorb that energy; if there is a shortage of Qi, the deficit is compensated for
by Qi from the miracle channels. Due to their importance, Mai channels are
also often called vessels. Among them, the most important vessels are ante-
median Ren-Mai (Picture 10d) and post-median Du-Mai (Picture 10e). These
two vessels control the functions of the rest of the channels. Du-Mai was
named the Governing Vessel, and Ren-Mai, the Conception Vessel, or the
Messenger Vessel. The latter carries and executes orders given to it. It is
called the channel of conception or the channel of action. Ren-Mai controls
the main channels of Yin, whereas Du-Mai controls the main Yang channels.
If Qi moves freely within the channels, a person is healthy, with
all his/her systems functioning normally. Blocked channels create obstacles
for the free circulation of Qi, giving rise to diseases in the area of the
blockage. In some cases, the disease will remain localized. However, in other
areas, the blockage can lead to defects and derangements in the functioning
of surrounding zones or areas as well as with the organs connected to that
channel.
Therefore, from the view of TCM, spasms in an area of the
channel indicate a blockage, which in turn leads to disease. In diseased areas,
we can always see partial or full channel spasms, resulting in lower levels of
energy circulation.
This energy system also includes areas of Dan Tian (also often
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called “energy reservoir” or “cinnabar field”). The concept of Dan Tian
traditionally belongs to Qigong systems. The term itself came from Taoism.
Dan is a concentrated, thickened, very strong energy. Tian is a field, zone, or
area. Hence Dan Tian is often translated as “energy reservoir” or “chamber.”
In general, Qi energy exists in two states: concentrated (when it is similar to
visible, tangible substances), and discharged (when it is similar to gas). With
special training, we can control our Qi state.10 During the initial period of
practice, it is necessary to work with the zone having the form of energy that
is easiest to feel. In fact, Dan Tian means a zone that is suitable for the
collection of the Qi energy which we receive from the environment, its
transformation, and its improvement.
In ZYQ, we practice using the energy in three different
reservoirs or chambers (Picture 11). We refer to Dan Tian only during the
initial periods of practice, since it is easier to concentrate and sense the
energy in these zones. Besides that, they have different structures (levels) of
energy. However, with continuous practice, we will be able to concentrate the
energy in any area of the body, including BAPs. If we concentrate our energy
strongly enough on one point, that point will have the appropriate Dan Tian.
This process might explain why the qualitative improvement of Qi is
sometimes referred to as “bringing up Qi.” With intensive Qigong practice,
we can bring Dan Tian to any area of the body.
Practice involving the Lower
Dan Tian is undertaken for improving
health, reorganizing the physical body
(bringing order to it), replacing expended
energy, storing energy, improving the
quality of the energy, and finally, for
rejuvenating and prolonging life.
Working with the Middle Dan
Tian increases power and force. Here, we
refer not to the widely accepted meaning of
force in the sense of physical force, but to a Picture 11: Three Dan Tian of the Body
readiness to accept obligations and attain
confidence in one’s ability to solve problems. Often, we meet people who are
reluctant to start a new business for one simple reason—they lack confidence
in their ability to succeed. They fear the volume of work and other
complications that could arise. They doubt their ability to handle the
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unknown. They remain unconvinced that they can do the job. Practicing the
middle Dan Tian will help them become confident in their own abilities.
Practice of the Upper Dan Tian increases creative abilities,
intellect, and spirit. It widens perception channels and gives psychological
stability—especially in stressful situations—which in turn facilitates the
development of wisdom.
It is necessary to note that classes of any of the various Qigong
systems will help people collect and increase their Qi. However, not any
method helps achieve high levels of development. This is because many
methods are used only for definite purpose, for example, to improve one’s
health or to develop warrior’s skills. They are practiced only for a certain
period (the length of time it takes). These methods are not a complete system
by themselves, they represent only a part of such complete system.
Hence, practitioners must define their purposes and goals for
themselves. If people want to improve their health, they can privately learn
and master the methods of any Qigong school, including ZYQ. However, for
higher goals, people need appropriate methods that allow them to go from
acquiring the basic foundation, to mastering the process of building on this
foundation, until they attain a complete picture of the world and their place in
it. The ZYQ school provides ways to work toward these higher goals.

WHAT IS ZHONG YUAN QIGONG?

Origins of ZYQ

Now, let us examine the Zhong Yuan Qigong movement.


Zhong Yuan, the Middle-Chinese Valley, is the terrain around
the Huang He River, otherwise known as the Yellow River because of the
yellow color of its waters (Picture 12). It was once a large province that has
since been divided into three parts. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese
settled along the river’s banks. Today, this region is considered the cradle of
Chinese civilization and culture.
The area consists of flat lands surrounded by high mountains.
Various cult constructions, later to become temples and monasteries, grew in
the largely inaccessible mountainous terrain. More than seven thousand years
ago, it was here that ZYQ came to life. The formation of this system predates
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other Qigong movements as well as the creation of most of the world’s major
religions. In its early days, the movement did not have a name. It did not need
to differentiate itself from others, because there were no others. Now, to
ensure the memory of its origins, it has adopted a name.
ZYQ is a complete system of Qigong, a boast no other system
today can make. Its theories and practices include all aspects of human
existence—education, development, self-regulation, health improvement,
healing, and cosmology. By virtue of its comprehensiveness and universality,
as well as due to its special methods of study and training, many parts of this
system are still considered “secret knowledge,” inaccessible to a wide
audience. However, those aspects of the system that people find accessible
allow them to expand their knowledge and see themselves and their
environment in a new light. This enables students to break through the limits
of seeing themselves as merely inhabitants of the Earth and accept
themselves as cosmic creatures in the process of a nonstop ascent in the
evolving universe. This, in turn, leads to a greater understanding of their
existence and goals in the context of their place in the world.

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Picture 12: Yellow River and Mountains with Caves

This means that in ZYQ, we focus on discovering and studying


ourselves. One of the main purposes of this practice is to understand who we
are, where we came from, and where we are going. This requires the study of
the whole framework, incorporating humans living in this world, “here and
now,” their origins (before “here and now”), and their future (after “here and
now”).
Thus, ZYQ can be defined as a simple science of Life. Here we
have the broadest understanding of life and its forms—from life at the
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microscopic level (crystals, cells, microorganisms) to life at the macroscopic
level (ecosystems, planets, galaxies). Of course, this study includes the lives
of human beings as links in this larger chain.

Three Parts of Zhong Yuan Qigong

In this section, we will explore ZYQ as a scientific, practical


system, with no connection to religion, politics, or ideology. ZYQ comprises
three parts, each one of which can be considered an independent, autonomous
system. These are:
(1) System of Self-Development (or Developmental System);
(2) Image Medicine (or Image Therapy);
(3) Knowledge Transplantation.

(1) The System of Self-Development


By self-development we refer to the exploration of “I” and
“self”: what does it mean? There are many research methods for finding
answers to these questions. In Zhong Yuan Qigong, we gradually start to
understand our egos through practice.
In fact, ZYQ first became known in the countries of the former
Soviet Union as early as 1991, from people seeking to experience this
component of self-development. Today, ZYQ lectures and practical seminars
have spread to every continent and many countries, including dozens of cities
in the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova, as well as the United Sates,
Canada, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Israel, India,
Nigeria, and others.
The teaching of the first block is divided into five stages. Any
person can have access to the first four. Of these, the first three involve
seminar classes where students learn the basic elements and practice various
techniques. In this way, they can begin to improve their health and, perhaps,
enter the realm of special abilities. These classes are taught not only by Grand
Master Xu Mingtang, but also by instructors throughout the world who have
studied under him.
Only a grand master can teach stage-four classes. This stage
involves the opening of the central Zhong-Mai channel and the qualitative
improvement of communication abilities for information reception from the
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different forms of life on Earth, plant as well as animal. The students learn
the principles that govern the interactions between them and their
environment. With correct and persistent practice, many practitioners achieve
an understanding of life across various dimensions.
The fifth stage is still belong to secret knowledge and is closed
for training. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, the fifth stage is based on spiritual laws. Students who
have advanced this far seek to better understand and work with the cause-
effect connections that govern the human condition, society, and every
worldly and otherworldly aspect of human existence. Therefore, classes at the
fifth stage require a certain level of development of the soul. It is very
difficult— practically impossible—to advance this far without serious
preliminary training; without experiencing the opening of the Third Eye11;
without the experience of the soul going beyond the limits of the body.
Secondly, the fifth stage deals with individual and universal
consciousness. To begin this stage, students must have succeeded in reaching
a level where the ego is dissolved and the heart is pure and kind. These are
prerequisites for the mastery of the fifth stage, where students develop
spiritual powers, abilities, and talents to change the world for the good of
humanity.
To study and receive the deeper knowledge offered in any of
these stages, students must abandon their routines and participate in retreats.
These intense retreats last from five days to several weeks. They include
lengthy practice sessions with the Master or specially certified instructors.
Finally, we should mention that, like many of the other serious ancient
systems, ZYQ has a “personal apprenticeship” form of training. This has
many similarities to postgraduate study. We will discuss this in detail later.

(2) Image Medicine


This section represents an unusually effective medical movement
considered secret until 1997. It comprises four stages. These classes acquaint
students with the multidimensionality of space and with laws governing
various forms of life—their coexistence and interactions. Students study
methods for improving health and curing diseases through methods like the
use of different images, symbols, and mantras.
Through the first stage of Image Medicine, students attain
detailed knowledge of the various levels and structures of energy—energy of
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fog, energy of light, and transcendental energy. They study the anatomy and
physiology of energy in ways similar to medical students studying regular
anatomy and physiology.
In the second stage of Image Medicine, students study the
anatomy and physiology of information. The next two stages of Image
Medicine are dedicated to the influence of material stuff, such as herbs with
their substance, energy, and information, on the entire body.

(3) Knowledge Transplantation


This section opens special and unusual channels for the receipt of
knowledge directly from the surrounding world. The word “transplantation”
refers to the quick reception of knowledge, especially about existence. While
mastering the methods included in this process, a person can receive answers
to any question. Only about five percent of this part is used for teaching
ZYQ. Recently, these methods have been used for regular subjects in some
Chinese universities and specialized schools to help students ingest large
amounts of information more effectively.

Master’s Story
The movie The Martial Arts of Shaolin that was popular in
different countries in the 1980s has led many people to believe that the most
ancient forms of Wushu, Tai Chi, and Qigong originated in the Shaolin
Monastery. However, the monastery was in fact established thousands of
years earlier. Even today, in isolated mountain villages, people develop
secret ways of working with the body, mind, and spirit. In these ancient
mountain regions, from early childhood, people have been practicing a
special type of Kung-fu. This type of Kung-fu is the basis for the now-popular
Wushu and Tai Chi Chuan schools. One of these high mountain villages is
the village of Chinyagor, which gave these systems to the world. It was here
that the Chen style originated. Later in other regions, it was transformed into
a variety of styles, including Wu.
Until 1997, this area was closed. In the coming years, another
ancient style, also from this area, will become known to the world.
Geographical maps still have “white spots” which, historically,
can symbolize the centers or cradles of a culture or civilization. Seven
thousand years ago, the above-mentioned area was the cradle of Chinese

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culture. How could a complete system of knowledge and practice have come
from this place so long ago? Where exactly did it originate? When was it
born? We still do not have answers to these questions. However, there is a
legend about the first Chinese people who found a giant turtle on the banks of
the Yellow river. The turtle’s shell contained inscriptions about humanity and
the Universe, and about methods of practice and movement.
As homage to the turtle that brought this system and knowledge
to humans, all monasteries and temples in China have sculptures of big
turtles and dragons as well as inscriptions on their buildings detailing this
event (Picture 13). This still does not clarify for us the origins of this
knowledge. However, you can begin to discover these things for yourself
when you start to bring order to your health and learn to control your energy
and consciousness. For this, you need to open your central channel of
connection with the external world, with all of nature, and with the Universe;
you need to expand your communication abilities; you need to learn to accept
and understand necessary information.

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Picture 13: Turtles and Dragons in China (Shaolin Monastery)

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Picture 13: Turtles and Dragons in China (a) The Nine Dragons’ Wall in Forbidden City, Beijing, (b)
The Dragon-Flower Composition in Beijing, (c) A Burial Site in Henan Province, (d) Museum in
Henan Province, (e) Boat in Summer Palace, Beijing

The Meaning of Zhong and Yuan

Zhong and Yuan mean several things. Zhong is translated as


“center” or “middle.” Yuan means “initial,” “original,” or “natural”
recourses.
Zhong, in the context of Qigong, means “the middle way” or “to
keep to the middle.”
In mathematics, the middle of a line is located equidistant from
both ends. This gives another meaning to Zhong: “equilibrium” or “balance.”
As far as health is concerned, people get sick when Yin and
Yang are not balanced. Everything in the world must be balanced.
From a philosophical perspective, humans are considered to be a
part of the Universe. Humans are interconnected with the Universe in a
process of nonstop development, and they hold a central place in the system
of Earth-Human-Sky12 (Picture 14a). From this perspective, each one of us
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is a center of the Universe. By studying, developing, and perfecting
ourselves, we can begin to understand the structure of the world as well as
our place, purpose, and mission in it.
What is a human being from the standpoint of ZYQ?
Since ancient times, the human being has been seen as a
complicated system made up of a physical body, an energy system, and an
information system or soul. Furthermore, since ancient times, people have
known and used training methods that allowed them to develop, improve, and
transform each of these systems.
We can add that a human being is a microcosm that also has a
middle or middle way. Here, we are referring to the median channels Du-
Mai, Ren-Mai, and the central or piercing channel Zhong-Mai (Picture 14b).
The Zhong-Mai channel is like an axis of the body, going
through the Baihui point on top of the head and the Huiyin point in the
perineum. One can say that the way of the Tao goes through the center of the
body. We must open and prepare this path for the soul to move it along.
Almost any person will be able to guide his/her soul to exit and reenter the
body. The opening of the Zhong-Mai channel refers to the building of
pathways for the movement, exit, and return of the soul.
The main purpose of practice in ZYQ is to open the Zhong-Mai
channel.
In our everyday life, the concept of Zhong also translates into the
philosophy known as “the golden mean.” This life principle states that our
emotional state should not have any quick depletions or sudden bursts of
anger, joy, delight, or offense. Everything must come in balance, in
equilibrium, in good measure; not too much, and not too little.
In addition, physical balance must be accompanied by emotional
balance. When we walk, our body should not wiggle from side to side; to
avoid dissipating our energy outward, our mind and eyes should not wander.
We must turn our attention away from our external surroundings and direct it
inward. Another aspect of Zhong involves the connection between
consciousness and ideation. We must not let our thoughts run wild. Only
when we keep our thoughts focused and centered will we increase our
consciousness to a point where we can participate in an activity without any
stops or interruptions. It is only by following these rules that one can succeed
in his/her activities.

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Picture 14: External and Internal Yuan (a) Three External Yuan, (b) Three Internal Yuan

The Inner Yuan


The concept of Yuan applies across the board to all Qigong
schools, but the techniques and methods differ. In ZYQ, Yuan means that
before practice, we must first know where to begin. Yuan represents
something very important and unique to our body. Given that the human
body is large and complex, what is its most important component?
In the human body, there are three zones with different
structures: Yuan-Jing, Yuan-Qi, and Yuan-Shen (Picture 14b). Let us talk
about these different types or structures of Qi.

About Yuan-Jing
Jing, the densest of the three structures, refers to the life force,
vitality, stamina, seed (sperm for males, eggs for females), and hormonal
substance (male and female reproductive hormones). An average, normal
adult has Jing in a thickened state. Hence, we can say that Jing is a type of
substance; therefore it belongs to the material world. From a scientific point
of view, Jing is associated with DNA and RNA. If a male’s sperm and
female’s egg join, they give birth to a new life form. Yuan-Jing contains
complete information about us (the vital or genetic code) from the moment of
birth until our death. We are born, grow up, and become adults with
sufficient hormones for reproductive functions. Upon reaching old age, our
reproductive ability is lost, and eventually, we die. This is the way of life on

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Earth, the natural path from birth to death. We can represent the natural
development of everything through the sign of Monad, or Taiji, or the Yin-
Yang fish (the balanced state of Yin-Yang). This circle represents spinning in
a clockwise direction (Picture 8a, the left part).
This raises a question: is there any way to slow down the process
of aging or to postpone it? Is there any information about this in the ancient
system of ZYQ and its philosophy?
As it turns out, we can use particular qualities of the Yuan-Jing
of our bodies. This, too, was known thousands of years ago, in antiquity. The
one who practices the technique of Qigong associated with the extension of
life is called an “inner alchemist.” The inner alchemist explores ways to
ensure that the Jing does not get thick and rough. Some specialized work with
Jing in the lower Dan Tian may allow the transformation of rougher and
denser Jing into more subtle Qi.
This process is an inversion of what is natural. We have
already said that by using and expending Jing, you follow the natural
processes and the natural sequence of life. You stay human, and when your
time comes, you die. However, having sensed that you have enough Jing, you
can turn it into Qi and not follow the natural processes. In this case you can
become immortal.
We can represent this unnatural process with the symbol Taiji
going in the reverse, counterclockwise direction (Picture 8a, the right part).
In summary, the Taiji symbol helps describe the ZYQ system
and explain its philosophy and practices. It captures the various processes of
development from birth to death, of returning to nature, to our origin and
roots, and even of going from old age to longevity, to youth, and, perhaps, to
immortality.
You can find this symbol on the entrance gates of many Taoist
temples and in places of spiritual practice (Pictures 4c, 4d).
The first step of the transformation of Jing into Qi in involves
“bringing it up” to the brain. This can result in our acquisition of special
(extrasensory) abilities, prolongation of youth, and achievement of longevity.
We describe these practices in detail in the set of exercises labeled “The
Refining of Qi.”

About Yuan-Qi
Yuan-Qi (literally, “energy”) refers to the type of energy that
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originated in our bodies at birth, that will continue to exist there constantly,
and that is found throughout the Universe. We can control this energy with
our mind, with our thoughts. It has various levels. We can feel its movement
within the body, we can radiate it, we can send it out of the body, and some
of us can see this form of Qi in the form of fog. If the level of energy
increases, the energy becomes visible as light. This type of Qi relates partially
to the material world and partially to the spiritual world. It exists between the
two. Its dual existence helps explain why, at certain times, we easily sense it,
while at other times, we cannot sense it at all. With this type of Qi, we can
transfer energy from the material world into the spiritual world and back.

About Yuan-Shen
This definition refers to the soul or spirit, depending upon its
level. Unlike Yuan-Qi, this form of Qi belongs solely to the spiritual world.
We would have difficulty seeing Yuan-Shen even with the Third Eye. It can
be seen only in a certain state or with the help of Qigong practice.

The Levels of Yuan-Shen and the Development of a Human

Yuan-Jing, Yuan-Qi, and Yuan-Shen we call Inner Yuan.


These are three structures (or phases, or levels) of Yuan. We will practice
each level of Yuan, and then merge them into one using the Zhong-Mai
channel. As we have seen, we can classify the Inner Yuan into two groups
(Picture 14b): (1) The area from Yuan-Jing to Yuan-Qi, which belongs to the
material world; and (2) The area from Yuan-Qi to Yuan-Shen, which belongs
to the spiritual world. When merging the three Yuan into one, a person can
gain an understanding of the material as well as the spiritual worlds. ZYQ
systematically teaches how to merge them in actual practice.
Finally, we can think of each lower level of Yuan as a provider
of food for the next level. In its transformed state, Yuan-Jing becomes food
for Yuan-Qi, which in turn, in its transformed state, becomes food for Yuan-
Shen (the soul). Let us examine in more detail the three levels of Shen: Yin-
Shen, Yuan-Shen, and Yang-Shen (Picture 15).

The First Level: Yin-Shen (Yin-Soul)

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We can begin to understand Yin-soul by comparing it to the soul
of an average person who does not engage in any special practice. This
person lives, and eventually dies a natural death. After death his soul will be
controlled by nature and follow the natural way. Within the Christian
tradition, this means that the soul goes to Heaven or Hell depending on how
well the person has lived his life. In contrast, within many Eastern traditions,
the soul incarnates into another body. It does not have any other choice
because it is governed by Yin. The same cycle will repeat itself after the next
death. The cycle of rebirth continues endlessly until there is a break in the
circle of reincarnations. At this point, the soul “jumps out” into another
space. To accomplish this feat, the soul needs a high-power impulse, similar
to the one given to a satellite to override the gravity of the earth. This power
can be achieved through Qigong practice.
Overall, people have two forms of existence. The first of these
follows the usual sequence: birth, adulthood, reproduction, old age, and
death. Surprisingly, the second form also involves a reproduction, but this
reproduction does not produce a child. Instead, it produces an “immortal
embryo.” When using special methods to work with inner energy, the
practitioner experiences qualitative changes. Yuan-Jing does not contribute to
the formation of male or female reproductive hormones. Rather, it transforms
particular structures of Qi so that they can merge with other Qi structures,
thereby creating a qualitatively different substance.
With sufficient energy levels to open the central channel of
Zhong-Mai, a person’s soul receives an opportunity to leave the body.
However, this requires the fulfillment of a number of conditions. The main
condition is the acquisition of skills needed to enter a so-called “State of
Pause.” To attain the ability to perform these practices, the practitioners must
first bring order to their physical bodies and emotional states and learn to
calm their minds by stopping the flow of thoughts. With very intensive
practice and a good state of health, people can achieve these results in a
hundred days. Nevertheless, the process usually takes much more time
because of the different levels of health, living situations, and character.
Unfortunately, many people are just too lazy to practice regularly. In
addition, we need to take into account that not all people want this because,
for the most part, they do not understand why they need it or what they have
to gain from it. We will talk about this in more detail a little later.
In the State of Pause, at first, a soul can leave the body for
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several seconds or minutes, because such soul is still weak. That is why, as a
rule, the soul does not go too far away and still sees the body. After some
time, the soul can go out for a short period again, but it will go a little further
away. With increased practice and experience, the soul starts going further
and further away for longer periods. Still, the length of its leave depends on
preliminary practice and a person’s level of training. The soul remains
connected to the body through an “energy cord.” Wherever it goes and
whatever trajectory it follows, a single thought about returning will instantly
bring it back to the body by the shortest distance.
From the moment of the first conscious departure of Yin-Shen
from the body to its return, the soul keeps strengthening over a period of ten
months. This process takes place in the body. During this period we call the
soul an “immortal embryo” (Picture 15a) for several reasons. First, in the area
of the lower Dan Tian, the Third Eye sees this strengthened soul as a little
baby. Second, the one who practices this method “carries” the soul for
approximately ten months as a mother carries a child. Therefore, we also call
this period a pregnancy. For that little soul to grow and become strong, we
need to perform, in general, inner practice. For the strengthening of energy
and soul, we practice lower Dan Tian. Throughout these ten months, the soul
needs to stay inside the body and must not leave.
In summary, we need about ten months to let the soul grow
completely, until it gains enough power to reach the next level. After that, the
next level takes about three years. With its new strength, the soul starts
regularly practicing its departure from and return to the body, constantly
increasing the length and time of departure (Picture 15b).

Picture 15: Shen Levels (a, b) Yin Shen, (c) Opening of the Third Ear

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Little by little, it becomes stronger and acquires more abilities.
This period contributes to its education and development. At this stage,
practitioners acquire the clairaudience ability—the opening of the Third
Ear13 (Picture 15c). Traditional wisdom has it that it takes three years to
“bring up our child” (to educate and develop our Yin-Shen). However, this is
only an estimate. It can take a year for some practitioners and ten years for
others. It depends, as we have already seen, on many factors. In the end, each
person achieves this result in his/her own time.
Now, because of these practices, practitioners will no longer
have ordinary Yin-souls. They will have reached a different level, that of
Yin-Shen, which gives them the opportunity to learn about other worlds and
receive information from them. At this level, practitioners will start receiving
answers to such questions as “Who am I?,” “Where do I come from?,” and
“For what purpose have I come into this world?” In addition, they can look at
or even choose the world where they would like to go after their physical
body ceases to function.

The Second Level: Yuan-Shen


With further practice, the quality of the soul starts to change:
there is a decrease in Yin and an increase in Yang. When there is more Yang
than Yin, the soul, which is controlled by a person’s mind, acquires new
abilities. It then starts to divide and multiply (Pictures 15d). Through
practice, people will first begin to feel as if their soul has been divided into
two souls. They will feel that they do not have the usual single, unitary
consciousness but that they have two. As a result, they can do two different
things simultaneously. After some time, the souls will continue to divide—
first four souls, then eight, etc. Consciousness, too, goes through these
divisions. It is worth noting that this process does not lead to problems such
as dual personality. In this case, it simply means that the person has reached
the next level of spiritual development. In effect, the Yin-soul has been
transformed into the soul of the second level, Yuan-Shen. There can be many
souls within the practitioner at this stage, but all Yuan-Shen souls are
connected and understand each other. These souls are not entirely
autonomous individuals like different people. Each one of such Yuan-Shen
is individual, but all of them represent one. Each one can perform its own
actions, but the rest of the souls will know what each one is doing. Such
Yuan-Shen can be at different points of space at the same time and perform
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many different actions, including, teaching, curing, receiving information,
and communicating.
Perhaps many of you know
about the data that is received by a
hologram. We can break a hologram
image into many pieces, as we would a
painting. However, unlike a painting,
from any one piece we can restore it to
its original state. Analogously, a person
who has acquired a Yuan-Shen soul can
divide it into many souls, located in
different places. Yet, as with a piece of
a hologram, at any given moment those Picture 15: Shen Levels (d) Yuan Shen
souls can again reunite as one.
Sometimes, after reaching the Yuan-Shen level, people move
toward increasing the quantity of Yuan-Shen. Their souls, then, acquire the
ability to divide themselves into many thousand parts or souls. For example,
this is exactly what Buddha Guan Yin, who lived about five thousand years
ago, did. It is said that kindness and his will to help people completely
transformed his appearance, making him look like a woman. He practiced the
division of the soul into large numbers of Yuan-Shen, so that each one of
them could help people. That is why, even today, some people worship him
as the most merciful goddess.
The ZYQ system has different goals and missions; therefore,
there are very strict rules regarding soul division. This system allows division
into only eighty-one souls. Then, all Yuan-Shen reunite as one soul and
merge with the physical body. Further practice, then, would continue not “in
width,” but “in height.” This stage of Yuan-Shen practice takes between six
and ten years. Sometimes it can take even much more than ten years, but
never less than six.

The Third Level: Yang-Shen


The third level takes a minimum of nine years. After the Yuan-
Shen merge together in the body, the most complicated stage begins. The
goal of this special practice is to get rid of Yin energy completely and receive
only Yang energy. There are many ways to accomplish this.
In general, as we know, a person has Yin and Yang parts, Yin
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and Yang Qi, and Yin and Yang systems. Their activities differ during
different periods of life. This is similar to the idea we discussed previously
where the quantities of Yin and Yang vary over a twenty-four hour period, as
well as during seasonal changes throughout the year. Before birth, a child
has very strong Yang systems. After birth, a person’s Yang systems gradually
weaken while the Yin systems strengthen. Furthermore, when a person’s Yin
reaches its maximum, his/her life ends. This is the regular pattern of
development. What we want to achieve is the opposite—develop and
strengthen the Yang and weaken the Yin systems. If we can do that, then we
can prolong life. To achieve this, we need to practice changing Yin into
Yang. In this case, the soul of the second level Yuan-Shen transforms into the
soul of the third level—Yang-Shen. The exact meaning of Yang-Shen is
“spirit,” not “soul.” During this type of practice, the body starts to change
too, as it gains in strength and health. Yang spirit always keeps the body in a
healthy state. After further transformations, Shen appears exclusively as
Yang with a high level of energy (Pictures 1d, 15e).
When Yin-Shen
departs the body, other people, as
a rule, cannot see this, since it is
visible only to those who have
the Third Eye. However, if Yang-
Shen departs, we can see the
stream of light. The soul, at this
stage, has a characteristic golden
glow, although it can radiate light
of any color. This type of soul is
able to move into any point of
space and time, in any part of the
Universe, and to understand the Picture 15: Shen Levels (e) Depiction of Yang Shen
language of any alien civilization
or any form of life. If you reach the Yang-Shen level, your physical body will
to transform to such an extent that it can be transported by consciousness.
The consciousness will be able to transform it into a substance similar to
steam, by breaking the body into its molecules in one place, and then after
transportation, putting it back together, so that it suddenly appears in another
place—in a place of “assembly.” Then, in the eyes of onlookers, it will
suddenly disappear in this place and appear in the other place, the place of
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“assembly.”
For Yang-Shen, there is no death in the usual meaning of the
term. Death is controlled by consciousness and its energy.
Hence, the purpose of the highest levels of ZYQ is to practice
the third level of Yang-Shen.
To summarize, there are three levels of spirit and soul
development. It is not easy to realize any of these levels. They require a great
deal of time and effort. The time and effort approximates the time and effort
that we spend from our first school lesson till our graduation, or even post-
graduation from university. However, does this even compare to Yang-Shen
level?
Regarding the first level (Yin-Shen), there are methods that
allow us to feel and move it out of the body in a very short time. These
methods are called a one-hundred-day basis, some of which we will cover
during Stage I.

Master’s Story
The following incident took place during a seminar in Kiev. In
the middle of the first-stage seminar, a young man came late into the lecture
hall. He hardly had time to walk to an unoccupied seat when he fainted.
Perhaps, more accurately, he appeared to have fainted. Nevertheless, even
though many people witnessed the episode and seemed concerned, I assured
them there was no problem. I told the class that he was going to be fine and
that his soul had simply gone for a short walk. I approached him and
performed certain manipulations. Those nearby heard that I pronounced
certain sounds. After that, his soul came back, and everything turned out fine.
His Yin-soul had merely gone for a brief walk.
To bring a soul back into the body, one needs to know the
language and laws of the Universe. Certain practices enable our hands to
reach the space where the soul goes. We mentally reach with our hands
there, into infinity, and those “hands” then bring the soul back into the body.
Without these manipulations, this young man’s soul would have returned
anyway, but he would have slept for some time and missed a part of the class.
The next day, the same person told me that his soul had departed
a second time that day, during the evening. He claimed that his soul had
traveled to China, where he saw how to practice certain exercises for
travelling to other worlds. However, I already knew that because, during the
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manipulations, I had given him information about how to practice further, so
that his soul could leave and return to his body without any difficulty.
Two years before that episode, a similar incident occurred in
Yekaterinburg. The soul of one of my listeners left and went to another world.
From the viewpoint of an average person, that world was one from the
distant past—about a thousand years ago. Specifically, the soul went to the
monastery of Shaolin during the time of Damo.
In these other worlds, the special guardians do not, as a rule,
admit souls. For a soul to enter, they need to see something similar to a
passport and visa. If they do not see an entrance ticket, they will refuse the
soul admission, because they do not know what kind of creature you are, or
when and why you appeared before them. Of course, there are no passports
for these other worlds, but there are special passwords that one needs to
pronounce at the entrance. The guardians will ask you how you got this
knowledge. They will require you to identify your Teacher14, whose name
they will check in a “database.” If you have something like this ID card, they
will admit you. Otherwise, they will prohibit your entrance. When I visited
different worlds, the guardians asked for my password. All worlds have the
same rules.
Sometimes, these stories sound like fairy tales. In any event, they
are not easy to explain. At this stage, suffice it to say that, for millennia, the
highest stages of Qigong remained forms of esoteric, secret knowledge. Piece
by piece, these secrets are being revealed gradually and selectively to those
whose efforts and years of practice have brought them close to the
understanding of the next level. When you approach these levels, these stories
will appear less as fantasies and more as truthful accounts.

So, we have discussed three Yuan that must be practiced: Yuan-


Jing, Yuan-Qi, and Yuan-Shen. These are the Inner or Internal Yuan that
comprise our entire internal unity (Picture 14b).

The External Yuan

External Yuan also exist. We have already noted that, in this


external system, humans are viewed as the middle link between Earth and
Sky. There are three types of external Yuan: Human Yuan, Earth Yuan,
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and Sky Yuan (Picture 14a).
Earth is Yin, and Sky is Yang. We are permanently located
within their flows. Through our feet (points Yongquan), we receive the Qi of
Earth; through the Baihui point, we receive the Qi of Sky Yang (Pictures 9b,
9c). Only after we open the Zhong-Mai channel will we be able to connect
and merge all three inner Yuan. In addition, when we open the Baihui and
Huiyin points, we will be able to unite the three external Yuan into one. After
that, we can become a true center of the Universe. Having achieved this, it is
possible to reach the state of enlightenment and from there, to understand
what the Tao is. This is how enlightenment is viewed in ZYQ.
According to the ZYQ concept, the Tao creates ONE, ONE
creates TWO, TWO creates THREE, and THREE creates everything (Picture
16). We can look at TWO as Yin-Yang and at THREE as Earth-Human-Sky.

Picture 16: The Way of Evolution

The above-mentioned description concerns the usual, normal


way of human development. This is the way from birth to death. When we
practice this Qigong system, we go back, in reverse; we go against the normal
flow. The methods of knowledge from the first to the fourth steps are built in
such a way that practitioners, being originally broken up into three parts,
three inner Yuan, can go back to their original states, to their beginnings.
Following this, enlightenment is possible. After this, it is possible to
understand what the Tao is.
Those systems that unite many into one are correct, but their
methods of achieving the whole may be different.

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Three Schools
By merging the three external Yuan (Earth-Human-Sky) into
one, a person will develop extraordinary abilities. Depending on the
movement of actions of such a person, we can consider three schools—three
movements representing those three External Yuan.
1. The School of Humans15: Taoists call this school Ren Shen,
which means “human being and mountain,” because its practitioners see
everything as if they were standing on top of a mountain. From the
mountain’s peak, these masters see much further than anybody else.
The practice of Human Yuan demands that students first attain
good health and special abilities. Because of this requirement, its practitioners
can control many things and events in nature and life, including the curing of
diseases in other people. Moreover, the practice of Human Yuan enables
them to prolong their lives for many years. The practitioners can hold on to
their physical bodies for as long as they want, without experiencing damage
and deterioration. To attain these things, the disciples typically will move up
into the mountains to seclude themselves, not only from people, but also from
animals. They can send their soul on a long trip around Earth or into the
Universe to perform certain work. Then, they can bring it back into the body
and again send it out involuntarily or voluntarily. In these cases, the body will
not change for hundreds of years, and the person will not die.
This school has earned acceptance in Buddhist systems and,
partially, in Taoist systems.

2. The School of Sky: The practice of Sky Yuan provides the


skills to transport yourself freely across space or time, to perform your
mission on Earth and in the Universe. Here, as a rule, almost no attention is
paid to the human connection with Earth. This movement is not intended for
everyday life. It is practiced mostly by monks and hermits, who live in
seclusion and have almost no contact with other people. This school has
taken hold mostly in Tibetan systems.

3. The School of Earth: The practice of Earth Yuan focuses on


one’s abilities to work with earth plans for the good of the Earth and the
development of civilization in connection with the environment, and
according to the laws of Universe. In this school, they also pay a great deal of

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attention to methods for improving health and curing diseases. Its
practitioners love Earth; they love living on it and don’t ever want to die.
They practice a great deal to become healthy. They want their physical bodies
to exist for hundreds and thousands of years. This school is widely practiced
in Tibet and has earned considerable fame in China.

Those who belong to the first school do not usually want to


reincarnate as humans. However, if they wish to do so, they can. Practitioners
of the second school want to reincarnate repeatedly as humans.
Representatives of the third school do not want to die or to reincarnate at all;
they want to live forever. China has all three schools, and each one of them
has its own masters. Different movements of Qigong usually work with
different schools. The person who has knowledge of all three schools is
considered the greatest grand Master.

Master’s Story
Sometimes we read about the death of a famous Master: his body
self-ignites and burns, leaving only ashes and nails. These Masters typically
come from the Tibetan system. The transformation of Yin-Shen into Yuan-
Shen requires energy, and the transformation of Yuan-Shen into Yang-Shen
also requires energy. When these Masters depart our world by leaving their
physical bodies, they appear in different worlds. Their energy level at the
moment of departure from this world determines which world they enter after
death. Moreover, the condition of the physical body after the soul’s departure
depends on the soul’s energy level.
What is death? Put simply, it is a process involving the departure
of the soul from the body. If you know exactly when your soul will leave your
body, you can control the situation. To do this, however, you need to
practice. Through practice you can control the process of the soul’s
departure, while knowing in advance where exactly it will go. It is possible to
know this before the death of the physical body.
There is an interesting story about a woman from Beijing who
was a Qigong practitioner. Newspapers from around the world wrote a lot
about her. She wanted to give scientists an opportunity to examine the body
of a Qigong Master through her controlled death. Knowing the moment of
her own death, she informed her children and grandchildren, family and

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friends about her departure and invited them over. She also notified the
Academy of Sciences of China about the sequence of the changes in her
physical body after the departure of her soul.
At the specified hour, relatives who had gathered did not believe
she was about to die, due to her excellent health. When the time came, she
put on clean clothes, lay down in a particular pose, and became quiet. Her
relatives thought she had fallen asleep. They could not tell that she had
already passed away. Her facial features and skin color had not changed.
Similarly, the body did not stiffen and lose its elasticity.
Moreover, those in attendance could not detect any smell,
despite a stifling room temperature of over 38°C (100.4° F).
For the following three months, two representatives of the
Academy of Sciences stayed with her body, recording everything and taking
measurements. They made the following observations.
After several days, and in exact accordance with the details set
down in her letter, they noted that the room had a touch of flower scent. In a
short time the scent became stronger, and filled the room for more than a
week. As it turned out, the scent came from the body of the departed. Little by
little the room eventually lost the scent.
Then, they noted that, for many days, some stuff was coming out
of the stomach through her mouth till it emptied completely. This occurred
despite the fact that the woman had not eaten anything for two weeks before
her death.
Then all the body’s fat started to extrude through the pores of the
skin. Attendants had to be replaced. It was necessary to change the fat-
soaked sheets under the body every day. The body also started to look
dehydrated, with blood vessels appearing as blue stripes under the thin skin.
Furthermore, some kind of discharge started from the center of
the palms (Laogong points). They tried to analyze this discharge. However,
no one could understand it since, even today, modern biochemistry has not
found anything similar to this substance.
Finally, the body started to dry up as though it was naturally
mummifying itself. Moreover, despite a long and hot 1994 Beijing summer,
they could not detect any further changes in the body. I have seen mummified
bodies in the caves of the Pechersk Lavra in Kiev. I do not know what led to
their mummification. Was it due to external factors, such as the
microclimates of the caves? Was it because of special procedures that the
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attending physicians performed on the bodies? Was it the result of the
deceased having practiced similar methods to those used by the Master?
If the Master’s energy level had been higher, then while leaving
the physical body, such Master could have set it on fire and burned it
completely with that additional energy. You can meet this tradition at Tibetan
masters, but not in ZYQ. The system of ZYQ goes further with possibilities. If
the level of energy increases even more, it starts to transform the physical
body. From the highest levels of achievement, Masters can change their
bodies in such a way that when they leave the physical world, they take their
bodies with them. The body transforms in accordance with the world where
the Master is going. Moreover, the Master can return to our world. Normal
people, who are not initiated into this mystery, will not realize that they have
met such a Master because to them, the Master looks like a regular person.
Although, when touched, such a Master’s body will seem as warm and solid
as that of a normal person, the Master is from another world and can
instantly disappear from this world and go back to that one.
In that other world, a small number of such “people,” including
the greatest Teachers of ZYQ, can be found.

ZYQ unites all the schools into one, making it possible to


understand them and cross over to the Tao. The first three stages of ZYQ
come mostly from the School of Earth. The fourth stage unifies the Schools
of Humans and Earth. The fifth stage adds to this combination the School of
Sky. Each person can select goals from the movement that he or she likes the
most.
Those who reach a high level in the School of Earth can work
well with everything that is associated with the plant kingdom. For example,
they can learn to hold a seed in their hand and watch a big, healthy plant
grow out of that seed. Alternatively, they might blow on a small, weak seed
and watch it grow fast.
In the School of Sky, attention is focused on communication
with other worlds and the choice of habitat for the afterlife.
In the School of Humans, high-level Masters can send their souls
out to learn about other worlds and then bring them back to the body. They
can also diagnose and cure terrible diseases.
The movement of ZYQ pays equal attention to all these three
Schools because the real great Master must be able to work in any of them.
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When a practitioner merges all three inner and external Yuan
into one, he or she becomes a holistic being that understands his/her own
Self, the meaning of all things (particularly, the reason why we came into this
world), the purpose of existence, and his/her connection with and place in the
Universe.
From what we have discussed, it becomes clear that the highest
goal of Zhong Yuan Qigong is to walk the path from being a regular
person to being a person of the whole Universe, who understands people
and the laws governing the development of the Universe. The practitioner
must live in accordance with these laws while consciously performing
his/her mission, without being tied to the physical body

Master’s Story
Masters, who get deeply involved in the movements and achieve
incredible results, often live secluded lives. They typically live in mountains,
monasteries, or closed settlements. These Masters do not need the usual
amenities, since they can obtain necessities from the worlds beyond. With few
ordinary needs, they rarely communicate with other people.
My Teacher was such a Master, and lived this way. One day,
many years ago, while still a student at Beijing University, I went for an
extended stay in the mountains to practice with him. There, completely
secluded, I studied for a few weeks. Once I was trained quite far from the
house the whole day long.
During one of the breaks, I felt hungry. However, I had not
brought any food, since my teacher had told me that I did not need to bring
anything. Yet I was hungry. I felt fatigued and had no desire to continue
practicing. Doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not understand why such
deprivation was necessary. I tried to concentrate on the exercises, but these
thoughts kept spinning in my head.
Finally, my teacher, apparently sensing my predicament, said,
“Very well, let’s take a break and eat.”
I became even more confused, because I had not seen any food.
He chose a rest spot and asked me to make myself comfortable. I began to
think that perhaps he had some pancakes or something else that did not take
up much space. That might explain why I had not noticed any food.
The teacher, then, asked what I wanted to eat. At first, thinking
he was joking or testing me, I blurted out: “Beijing duck!”
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For those who have never been to a fine Chinese restaurant, I
need to say something about this complex dish. Beijing duck takes a long time
to prepare. A duck that has almost no fat is soaked in special marinades
before being cooked in a particular way. It is then sliced and served with
sauces on thin crepes. Not every restaurant serves Beijing duck!
So after I said, “Beijing duck,” I waited anxiously to see what
would happen next.
“Beijing duck, you say,” the teacher repeated, perhaps in
disbelief.
“Oh well, let it be a Beijing duck. Take off your jacket,” he said.
Thinking that this was some kind of game, I took off my warm
jacket and gave it to the teacher. He took the jacket, and shook and flapped it
before setting it on the ground.
“Well, here you go. Eat your Beijing duck,” he said.
I stood still, because I could not understand anything.
“What, you are not hungry?” asked the teacher. “Why aren’t
you eating?” he asked, while pointing to my jacket.
I approached my jacket, bent over, and lifted it up. And there,
underneath it…yes, I found an actual serving of…Beijing duck!
I devoured the duck and filled my stomach. Spots on my jacket
proved that it had really happened.
The teacher, then, told me that I could learn this if I energetically
followed all the instructions. However, he cautioned that what he had shown
me was actually not very interesting. He pointed out that I could not yet
understand the really interesting things. He had only shown me what I could
understand at the time.
Years later, I began to realize that there are much more
interesting, useful, and amazing things. At that moment, however, the most
interesting and useful thing for me was a real Beijing duck that appeared
from nowhere.

Interconnection of Three Human Aspects

In order to better understand the methods and principles of ZYQ,


let us return to the question of what a human being is. We have already
mentioned that this is a holistic, multilayered system that comprises the three
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aspects: physical (the physical body, substance), energetic (a system of
channels, Dan Tians, etc), and informational (Shen). Therefore, we may say
that a human being is:

H(human) = P(physical body) + E(energy) + S(Shen)

This notion can be represented graphically (Picture 17a,b).


We’ve reviewed the meaning of Shen above. Shen is a complex
notion that can be described as a soul or spirit, depending on its level of
development. This notion also includes consciousness and the psycho-
emotional aspects of personality.
Let’s see how these three pieces interact with each other and
influence us.

How These Three Aspects Influence Our Body


You know that when you are in bad mood, upset, or depressed,
you don’t feel like doing anything. You don’t have enough energy to do
anything that requires effort. But if you are in a good mood and you feel
happy, then you feel strong enough to “climb a mountain.” This is how our
emotions and spirit affect our energy (Picture 17c).
However, the excessive emotions (both good and bad) have a
negative effect on our being. For example, excessive joy can kill. If we feel
sorrow or offense, tears appear. This is our natural reaction to our emotional
state. Likewise, if you are inspired by an idea, you don’t feel tired, even after
working many hours. In this state of mind, it is hard to become sick.
However, all disease can be overcome, if you determine, to recover soon.
This is how Shen affects our physical body (Picture 17d).
However, there are exceptions to this rule. If the physical disease
is strong and we are in pain, a lot of things become unimportant. One only
wants to get rid of the pain and become healthy. For many people, pain
becomes a serious test of spiritual strength. In this example, the condition of
the physical body influences our desires and emotions, or Shen (Picture 17e).
Apart from this, all illnesses, even common colds, lead to
reduced energy levels. During our lifetime, we all get sick. Some common
manifestations of sickness include weakness, sleepiness, and apathy. These
are examples of how the physical body affects our energy (Picture 17f).
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Conversely, our energy levels affect our physical body and Shen
(Picture 17g). When one has plenty of energy, one feels active, fresh, and full
of strength. Usually, this means that the inner energy channels within the
body are open and that energy circulation is good. This, in turn, leads to clear
thinking, high creativity, emotional well-being, and spiritual balance.

Picture 17: Interconnection of the Three Human Aspects

This, in turn, results in youth and longevity. Such people have


good immune systems and are not susceptible to either the common cold or
the flu.
When energy levels are low, a body’s resistance is poor, and it is
easy to get sick. Besides, lack of energy causes weakness in memory, reduced
alertness, and diminished creativity.
From the above, we can conclude that in order to have a good

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quality of life and longevity, one must have good health, a positive outlook,
and a balanced emotional state. This allows us to enjoy life, feel satisfaction
from being in the here and now, be happy, and build a brighter future.
This is why we should develop all out interconnected aspects
(Picture 17h)—our physical body, our energy, and our Shen.
What do we mean when we talk about such development?

How We Can Develop Our Body


We want to strengthen our physical body, in order to avoid
suffering from its diseases. Should a disease appear, we want to get rid of it
quickly and without any side effects. We want to be able to restore our body,
in case of traumas. We want our physical body to live as long as possible, and
to have enough time to transform it, so that it will never age. We can use our
physical body only if we need it. But when we don’t need it and it is useless,
we want it to be changed into energy or disappear.
This is the constant goal that the Taoists are trying to reach: to be
able to change a body into energy for a while and then reconstruct this body
from energy. The theory and methods of Taoist practices describes such
transformations of substance and energy. But first, one should achieve
longevity.
Similar methods exist in ZYQ. Therefore, we begin the
development of the physical body by strengthening and restoring its health.

How We Can Develop Our Energy


If we don’t have enough energy, we feel tired and can fall ill.
Through special exercises, however, we can increase our energy levels. We
can also improve the quality of our energy, through meditation and other
practice methods. This allows us to use energy for the maintenance of good
health and the healing of diseases. We know that if we don’t have enough
energy, our brain doesn’t work very well.
Thousands of years ago, the Qigong masters knew of the systems
of energy generation located in our body. To produce our own energy, we
need to activate these systems. We also need to study the methods through
which Qi is received from the surrounding environment and stored.
Everywhere in the Universe, there is a limitless supply of energy.
Therefore, if we knew how to obtain it and use it well, we would never run

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out of it. Energy can be controlled by our mind. The development in the area
of energy means the development of our inner ability to control external
energy, gather it, and refine its quality.

What It Means to Develop Spirit (or Shen)


Our spirit is unlike any physical structure. Its development is a
two-part process.
The first of these processes involves our mind, which is easily
affected by emotions and the stress of external events. As a result, we don’t
feel well. During our lives, we all encounter external pressure and stressful
situations. These can be connected to family, work, or social relationships.
Just as our physical body suffers from illness, our mind suffers from
problems related to mental states.
To develop our spirit means, that we strengthen our mind to the
point where it can solve any problems encountered during the course of life.
Usually certain breathing and meditation exercises must be undertaken. They
allow us to strengthen ourselves psychologically and emotionally. After this
follows the practice of Shen, the three levels of which we have discussed
previously.

TRAINING IN ZHONG YUAN QIGONG

The quality of a system relies on its training methods and


teachers. Without good training methods, even the best students will be
unable to effectively receive the subject matter.
ZYQ has its own unique methods of training. For example, ZYQ
uses direct transfer of knowledge or “knowledge transplantation.” This
method allows students to receive a large volume of knowledge in a short
period of time. It involves direct transmission from the brain of the teacher to
the brains of the students (“from heart to heart”). To teach students quickly, a
Master opens his heart and mind and then uses a special method for fast
transmission of information to the listeners. The listeners, in turn, have to use
special methods of listening, so that they can also open their hearts and minds
to receive this information. By practicing ZYQ, students receive knowledge
as well as abilities. They develop their energy and expand their perception
channels. In the end, they gain wisdom.
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Each system and method has its own path. Before we discuss the
methods and approaches of ZYQ, let us see how humans learn.
What is learning? How do humans learn and by which teaching
methods?

Levels of Training

There are four levels of training.


First is a method of repetition. A teacher demonstrates a
particular exercise, and students then repeat the exercise until they can do it
automatically. This method is used to master various movements in dance or
sports, for example. You probably follow a similar method when, during
classes or lectures, you write down what the teacher says or writes on a
blackboard, so that you can take your notebook home to study or memorize
the material.
Second, a teacher can help students by giving them the energy
needed to master the material. This speeds up the process of learning,
remembering, and experiencing.
Third, a teacher can directly increase the students’ abilities to
increase their energy levels. This makes the programs easy to master.
Fourth and the highest method involves transfer of abilities and
opportunities from the teacher to the student, without any preliminary
training. Students receive everything instantaneously, without ever having
imagined that they had these skills. This happens only in certain situations.
For example, when someone needs to perform a task but does not have
sufficient knowledge or skill, a teacher might give the needed knowledge and
skills to the student by “putting them inside” the student. As another
example, sometimes the teacher asks students to do something that they think
they are incapable of doing. Suddenly, however, they realize that they are
able to perform this task. This means that at that moment, this ability was
given to them by their teacher. However, such transfers take place rarely and
only if absolutely necessary.
In our everyday lives, we typically resort to the first and lowest
method of training.
Why?

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Common Channels of Perception

Humans habitually receive information from the surrounding


world through the regular channels of perception—that is, the five senses:
vision, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.
However, the sensory organs are limited in their ability to
perceive information. For example, the greatest volume of information we
receive is through the vision channel. This includes ideas about the form,
color, and size of objects, but only within a narrow range of electromagnetic
emission and only at certain lighting.16 Our hearing is limited even more in
comparison with other living creatures on our planet.17 Our tactile senses
(which can allow us to assess health without touching the body) are also
limited. Let’s not even talk about our sense of smell! So many species of
animals surpass humans with the range of their sense of smell, as they do
with other senses as well. For example, bats and dolphins can see with the
help of sound navigation and ranging (Sonar), and fish and birds use the
Earth’s magnetic lines, etc.
If the capabilities of our sensory organs are limited when we
receive information, then we must have limited knowledge or perception of
the world. If we do not have full knowledge, then our ideas about the world
will not be complete. In fact, our understanding of the world is not just
limited—it is distorted.
Of course, we have a wide range of technical devices, tools, and
instruments to help us study the micro and macro worlds. These devices (X-
ray equipment, magnetometers, radio telescopes, and electroencephalographs,
etc.) extend the range of our natural perception. While we continuously try to
perfect these devices, do we also perfect ourselves by expanding our
capabilities?
How do we acquire knowledge? At school, we just listen to the
teacher and take notes. Afterward, we review the material at home. We can
also read books, watch television, or listen to the radio. We can use
computers and explore artificial intelligence. Yet with all of these, the
principle remains the same—we receive information from the outside,
through the five known sensory organs.

Additional Channels of Perception


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The Qigong system works with at least three and sometimes five
additional channels of perception. We call these sixth, seventh, and eighth
senses the Third Eye, the Third Ear, and the Second Heart18, respectively.
We have evidence that the Third Eye is a system connected to
certain parts of the brain, such as the pineal gland in the area of
hypothalamus, and energy channels. When a sufficient amount of internal
energy reaches that part of the brain, the pineal gland becomes active, giving
us the ability to see with our eyes closed. We see not as they normally see,
but in a range that is entirely inaccessible to normal vision. We then can see
things beyond our usual perceptual range (X-ray, infrared, etc.). This opens
up other worlds and dimensions that we can experience through clairvoyance,
telepathy, long distance vision, and the like.
In Stage III of the ZYQ system, we practice exercises that help to
develop the Third Eye vision. Through these, it becomes possible to see the
energy that is outside our bodies. The Master, using his own energy, can help
students to see with their Third Eyes, but this lasts only for a short time. Each
individual must practice regularly to receive sufficient energy to open the
Third Eye. No Master can help students maintain Third-Eye vision if the
students do not practice and collect their own energy. In order to see, one
needs to be able to use one’s eyes. If there are eye-related problems, those
can be helped. But how do we help if there are no eyes? This is why, during
Stage II, we practice Yuan-Qi to prepare us for Stage III.
The Third Ear is similar to the Third Eye. While expanding
hearing range, it also activates particular areas of the brain through its inner
energy.
Finally, through a particular set of practices, we can develop
sufficient sensitivity to activate our Second Heart. The Second Heart is not
just our physical heart. It is a synergy of the heart, the central nervous system,
and the soul. Intuition is one of the functions of the Second Heart.

Master’s Story
At the Beijing Special Human Abilities Research Institute, we
extensively researched the Third Eye.
There was a room where a special material covered the walls
inside. It disabled the penetration of the magnetic field into this space. In
these conditions, it is possible to research the magnetic emissions of different
areas of our body, especially the brain. If we place a recording device similar
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to the electroencephalograph on the area of the Third Eye (found on the
forehead, level with the eyebrows), the device will display signals that appear
as a line with little waves. If we send our internal energy to this area and
activate it in a special way, like Qigong practitioners, we will see clearly
visible wavering, instead of smoother lines in the recorded signals. The
length and aptitude of the waves correlates to a range of electromagnetic
emission (ultraviolet, X-ray, etc.) that becomes visible to the subject, the
person being tested.
I myself have also passed such tests a few times, not only in our
institute, but in research institutes in Japan and in the former Soviet Union. If
I do not activate the Third Eye, the signals appear as a straight line. If I start
using the Third Eye, powerful waves appear in the recorded signals. When
color photos are taken during this time, researchers are able to see a glowing
spot in the area of my Third Eye, which changes color depending on what I
am looking at and how I am using the Third Eye. This is not difficult to check.
There are different devices that allow such experiments to be repeated.
I often find that when I do not have time to call students, they
call me. They tell me that they felt the need to call me but did not know why.
Perhaps you also have had similar experiences. These are small examples of
connections we make that are out of the ordinary. Through ZYQ, we develop
our abilities to use these new ways of connecting to solve many problems.

Hence, in Stage I, we study methods that allow us to increase


sensitivity and give a jump-start to the development of the Third Eye, the
Third Ear, and the Second Heart. Further, these abilities will continue to
develop as the practitioner begins to understand how they all work together.
One of the purposes of Zhong Yuan Qigong is to develop our special
abilities. Hence, we use the special methods of ZYQ to develop our abilities
to obtain more precise and correct information from the surrounding world.
Let us examine how we can transmit this information.

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

We are used to communicating verbally. Besides we use


gestures, mimicry, written word, and pictures. Our normal ways of
communication mainly use the two channels of perception: vision and
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hearing.
The use of other channels for communication allows us to move
up to higher stages. However, before students can use the higher channels,
they must be prepared to receive information through them. The use of the
Third Eye, the Third Ear, and the Second Heart requires a completely
different method of information transmission—namely, using Qi, as opposed
to light or sound.
We know from modern detection devices that humans emit
“something” that contains electric and magnetic emissions, ultrasound,
infrared, and other waves or “ingredients.” Light is one of the characteristics
of Qi energy. When a person achieves a quiet mind by reaching a certain state
of relaxation, then he or she can see that light. Our bodies constantly radiate
this form of light.
By using special methods of training, teachers can considerably
increase the kind of information they send to their audiences. Such emission
of signals can be called energy or Qi. The first level of energy/Qi that can be
seen is similar to fog. The second level is a light that contains different
colors. The training in ZYQ classes goes beyond the use of the five known
perception organs. In ZYQ, information and knowledge directly enter the
brains of the practitioners. In general, information may come to us in
different forms and give us different kinds of knowledge.

From the Third World Conference on Medical Qigong


(Beijing, China, 1998)

Among the numerous researchers presented there, a series of


reports on human emissions was given.
At the Institute of the Physics of Higher Energies (Institute of
High Energy Physics) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a group of
scientists led by Yan Yulin studied the emissions coming from auras. They
used the Kirlian method of filming developed in Leningrad. They made
photos of objects in electromagnetic fields of high voltage. The films capture
corona discharge. Their experiments showed the following:
Emission of Qi from Laogong points and the area of the Third Eye is
possible in the range of roentgen radiation.
Emission of Qi can affect the spectrum of electromagnetic waves in the

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ultraviolet as well as the visible part. It can change the color and
structure of grape wine, and red or blue plastic films. The spectrum
peak may be moved by the emitted Qi.
Emission of Qi can affect the structure of water, including tap water,
and can create distilled or highly purified water.
Some masters of Qigong are able to emit Qi in the form of a light stream
that can become visible to those who can see Qi. This type of radiation
can be caught on film or videotape. This shows the electromagnetic
characteristics of the light emission of Qi.
Secondary radiation emanating from the electromagnetic energy can
lead to the ionization of the air where, as a result, the ions of various
colors are created. This was filmed and presented as special pictures.

The acquisition of knowledge through Qigong can be compared


to driving lessons or swimming lessons. In these cases, it is not enough for
the learners to read a book. They must experience the activity with their
entire bodies. Likewise, in the Qigong system, people receive knowledge
through their physical bodies, through experiences with their bodies. Through
the feelings in their bodies, they can understand and express this knowledge.
Thus, we see that—just as we do while learning to swim—in Qigong, we
acquire special abilities beyond the mere receipt of information.
In every area of study, we receive the appropriate information
and then use it for an appropriate activity. However, the science of Qigong is
a foundation science that makes it possible to increase human abilities.
Again, drawing an analogy between this science and swimming, a person is
not only taught to swim, but also learns to increase his abilities. For example,
the strength in his muscles grows, and his tolerance increases. If we further
draw an analogy with the study of the exact sciences, such as mathematics or
physics, then through Qigong training, a person does not just receive
knowledge. He also strengthens his intellect and ability to think, which means
that he can receive and perceive much more than he would with the usual
ways of training or studying.
We learn for a long time, and when we finally acquire a
sufficient volume of knowledge, we have reached old age. Then we have a
problem: how can we pass on our knowledge and experience to the young?
How do we do this quickly? How can we make a person absorb everything in
a short time—especially all those things collected by others over many years?
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Master’s Story
In China, research work into the many channels of perception
has been going on for over fifteen years. The results from these studies have
been applied in schools. We have found that if a teacher uses the method of
knowledge transplantation, students understand much faster.
For one experiment, we selected a school with eight classes of
senior students. Chinese schools group students into different classes based
on results of an entrance examination. From the eight classes, we chose the
one ranked second-to-last. Before each session, Professor Gao, who teaches
physics, gave students from this class five minutes of Qigong practice. He
taught them special methods, using the sixth and the seventh channels of
knowledge transplantation. Six months later, this class showed the highest
results on a physics exam. Students from the Qigong practice class captured
thirteen of the top fifteen overall highest grades, even though the class was
second-to-last based on the entrance aptitude exam.
Experiments have shown that if listeners are taught through the
appropriate method of knowledge transplantation and if they accept the
material using the same method, their results will be much higher than those
following regular study methods. I have been using it since 1988. When I
read a lecture or give a seminar class, my brain emits different types of
energies through different channels. This makes me different from a regular,
non-practicing person. For Qigong training, I also use this method. Usually,
while studying Qigong, it takes about three months of practice to feel the
motion of energy within the body. However, through knowledge
transplantation, several days is enough.
When we study, we want on the one hand to gain knowledge, and
on the other, experience. Therefore, I show the different ways through which
listeners can reach their goals faster. I will guide students, but they must
follow me and try to be earnest pupils. What does this mean?
Qigong differs, in principle, from any other form of study.
Training in this area of knowledge is hard because listeners have many
obstacles, especially if they come from other countries. Sometimes I use
words associated with Chinese culture, but students still understand them in
terms of their own cultural traditions. In every culture, there are things that
we cannot translate exactly. Sometimes, while translating from one language
to another, mistakes are possible. Often, even in the direct translation from
Chinese, a translator cannot catch the meaning because he or she is not
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familiar with the subject matter. However, even those who know the language
well can miss things. In Western languages, for example, there are no
analogs to Chinese characters.
Nevertheless, the main obstacles do not lie in language. Rather,
the difficulties stem from differences in mentality, in ways of thinking.
For example, imagine I told you to “cut off your heads and give
them to me. After the end of the seminar, I will give them back to you.”
For any Chinese person, everything would be clear. The
statements mean that the students should trust the teacher for the duration of
the class and that they should not try to find analogs between the subject of
training and another subject from a different source. In other words, do not
think during the process of the training; simply absorb the information as has
been offered by the teacher, and practice, practice, practice.
This describes a situation similar to the one where you close
your eyes and follow the teacher. Then, at the end of the class, you open your
eyes and see a completely different world. You could have analyzed and
compared things throughout the class, but you would have disrupted the
learning experience. Therefore, during seminars, I ask listeners to do what I
instruct them to do without thinking about whether it is correct. Just do it!
If you think about every word I say, you will not be able to follow
me. For example, I might ask you to stand in a particular pose for thirty
minutes, but you might think that ten minutes are good enough, since you
have already mastered the posture. Then you will miss my lesson. This is the
whole point.

Phenomena and Obstacles

Daily practice appears to bring the most gains. If we tried to


explain all of those gains in detail here, a great deal of time would be
unnecessarily lost. Everyone’s experience is different. While one may master
something right away, others will take longer. Moreover, the results change
according to the training and practice of a particular skill. Eventually, every
practitioner starts to understand everything. However, if, every time, we ask
why we do something in a one particular way and not in another, or why
someone has achieved a particular result but not others, learning becomes
difficult indeed. A person experiences something only when he or she is
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ready for it. All people come with their own individuality, with their own
illnesses, life experiences, and perceptions of themselves and the surrounding
world.
One final and most important obstacle, however, is everything
that you already know. More precisely, what you believe to be possible or
impossible creates the most formidable obstacle.

Master’s Story
When I tell you, “Give me your heads,” and you answer,
“Please take them,” you might take it as a joke, a game of words, and
nothing more. Many people do not understand the true meaning of a
command like this, because all they know is that if they give away their
heads, they will die. Their thinking, then, blocks the knowledge they might
have gained. The same thing happens with other things I ask students to do or
perform. They start thinking about whether they can do it before they even
try.
Imagine two Qigong students who have followed their teacher’s
instructions precisely. Imagine, further, that they have not been asking the
teacher questions. Both students, then, receive a piece of information that
contains the teacher’s request to come to the mountains for further training.
They go up a high mountain only to see the teacher at the bottom of it, in a
very deep chasm. The teacher says, “If you want to study—come here.”
Here, we have something similar to a test. One of the students
trusts the teacher and jumps down. The second one, not trusting the teacher,
turns around, and returns. Until that moment, they both seemed to trust the
teacher completely. Yet doubts never left the second student. He knew that if
he would jump off the mountain, he would die. His knowledge gave birth to
fear. Knowledge and fear, then, became obstacles. In contrast, the first
student, who trusted his teacher completely, jumped down to train further.
Sometimes it is not easy to believe certain things. In many
situations, when you practice Qigong, it will seem like a test or trial. If you
are afraid of something, you cannot develop further. This is the reason I keep
repeating, “Cut off your heads.” If you do not have a head, what will be the
source of your fear?

What We Want to Achieve Practicing Qigong


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You may notice that while knowledge allows us to do many
things, knowledge is also an obstacle to many other things. One of the
reasons is that we know from the very childhood about the “impossibility” of
some actions and some events. Thus we even do not think about them and do
not try. This is why one of the purposes of ZYQ is to increase our potential
abilities. What we receive in ZYQ is not only knowledge, but also
capabilities, talents, and thoughts. This is the development of our inner world.
We repeatedly say that ZYQ is intended, first and foremost, for
human development. If we develop, will we be able to reach a higher world?
Does this higher world really exist? If it exists, how can we see and reach it?
To answer these questions, we need to develop ourselves in such a way that
in our next life, we live in another, better world. Hence, we divide the system
into several steps. At each step, when you receive something, you start to
understand that you are getting closer to the goal. I have been to different
worlds. That is how I know.
With the development of each additional capability, we will
become more and more capable of understanding ourselves. We will know
more about our bodies and our health. We will become healthier and happier,
because we will now have a higher purpose and know where and when we
need to be. The purpose of Zhong Yuan Qigong is self-development, to first
improve health and strengthen our intellect, then to understand the
Universe and ourselves. Finally we’ll get the ability to jump out from our
world into another one.
Sometimes the idea of moving from our world into another is
hard to accept. Think of it this way. Imagine a person that lives his whole life
in a small town without TV, computer, Internet, and cinema, never traveling
anywhere outside his town. His knowledge and understanding of the outside
world will be limited. He does not know what the surrounding world is like.
Then, suddenly, he finds himself in a big city, surrounded by the previously
unseen hustle and civilization. He has to open his eyes really wide just to
look at the tall buildings. To him, the world and many things have changed.
Similarly, imagine what would happen when he saw the magnificence of an
ocean or the Northern Lights for the first time. To him, these things would
seem otherworldly.
The Qigong concept of another world is very similar to this.
With dedicated practice, the soul begins to move to another world, and we are
surprised. The movement of the soul is similar to the man traveling outside
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his town, but it is far more amazing than any Earthly travel.
To travel from one place to another, we might board a train, fall
asleep, and wake up in a different city. It is convenient to travel while we
sleep. But modern cars and highways allow us to reach the destination faster.
Therefore, in developed countries we can find much more highways than
railroads. Still the first place is up to speed on aircrafts. As the level of life is
elevated, pace of movement increases and horizons broaden. However, we
cannot travel to other and parallel worlds by trains, cars, or airplanes, but
Qigong gives us such abilities.
We practice Qigong to change our view of the world, to change
the way we see our environment. However, if we speak only about the high
goals, it is hard to understand and sense them right away. Therefore, it is
necessary to go to the beginning, to the place where we are right now, and
start developing gradually, step-by-step.
In China, Qigong is practiced from college days. For those who
do not attend an institution of higher education, there are a variety of courses,
seminars, and schools. Nevertheless, before studying Qigong, students like to
practice other systems. Usually, they study Tai Chi, Wushu, or something
else associated with health improvement. Of course, it is not easy to spend
several years studying some other system in order to prepare for Qigong
training. Hence, a system was developed that enables us to change this
situation. Now, it is not necessary to undertake years of preparation. This is a
special method of training where the teacher intentionally gives Qi to his
students. The Qi can then be used for practice without it having to be
obtained through other systems of training. This is the reason why at every
stage, we consider different methods of teaching and perception.
In the first stage of training, students listen with their hands. This
means that you listen, but as if do not hear. For that, the pose must be
comfortable and the body completely relaxed. We must try to reach a state
similar to sleep, while actually you are still awaked before the moment of
falling asleep. We describe this state as “it seems it is; it seems it isn’t.” At
first it may be not clear, but in other words we can say, “it seems we are
sleeping, it seems we are not sleeping.” In this state our body and mind are
very relaxed and very quiet. This state allows us to sense more than in the
normal, usual state, and we can see some images. At first we do not trust
these feelings, so we can describe them as “it seems I feel; it seems I do not
feel” or “it seems the image exists; it seems it doesn’t,” or “it seems it is real;
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it seems it isn’t.” All these explanations describe a certain intermediate state
just as between waking and sleeping. When your mind is very busy with your
thoughts, you do not notice your surroundings, as if you are not here. For
example, if suddenly your friend asks you, “Did you like this dog with a girl
passing by?,” you will not react immediately; maybe you will not even hear
this question. Then a thought appears in your mind as if someone has
addressed you. Such a situation can also be described by the words “it seems
I heard sounds; it seems I didn’t.” After the second question, you realize that
sounds (a question) were real. Thus for any description of the intermediate
state at any stage while practicing, we will use the words “it seems it is; it
seems it isn’t.”
Similarly, we can say that with each stage of Qigong, you are
halfway to the next level. At Stage I, the teacher helps you perform exercises
using the second level of teaching. At Stage II, the teacher increases the
student’s energy with the third level of teaching. At Stage III, the teacher
directly gives certain abilities to his students. At Stage IV, students unite with
the teacher and thereby acquire many abilities. The training at Stage V takes
place individually, where contact with a teacher is telepathic, independent of
location. After Stage V, the teacher changes and loses his/her normal
appearance. The role of a teacher can be played by some other creature or
entity who is not present physically, like a high-level Spirit or a
representative of other worlds and dimensions.
This concludes our brief overview of ZYQ.
You can experience all of this in the future, approaching step by
step to your destination.
For now, let us start at the very beginning, with Stage I.

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Chapter 2:
PRACTICE

GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND APPROACHES

A BASE FOR PRACTICING STAGE ONE

The Main Goals of ZYQ

The first stage of Zhong Yuan Qigong works with the lower Dan
Tian, because health, potency, reproductive functions, and longevity depend
on the quality and quantity of a person’s Qi, especially, Yuan Jing. Chinese
medicine pays considerable attention to the kidneys. The health of the other
systems within an organism depends on the state of the kidneys, according to
the Wu-Xing theory.
The goals of Stage I of ZYQ are
(1) to activate energy in the lower Dan Tian;
(2) to improve the quality of the energy;
(3) to transform the energy in a manner that increases the life forces;
and
(4) to normalize the circulation of the energy in the channels by
opening blocked areas.
Fulfilling these goals will contribute to the full opening of the
energy channels, to the strengthening of the body, and to the improvement of
its functions.
The exercises learned at the first stage of Qigong are directed
toward (1) the balance of Yin-Yang in the body, (2) the opening of channels
and BAPs, (3) receiving Qi from the environment, (4) collecting Qi in the

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lower Dan Tian, and (5) improving the quality of Qi. Side effects that
accompany these exercises include improvement in (a) the body, (b) the
mind, (c) sensitivity, and (d) the control of inner energy, which in turn
enables the diagnosis and cure of many illnesses.
Today, many people are familiar with computer technology.
Computers have two basic parts: hardware and software. Hardware parallels
the human body, and software, the human consciousness. If the computer has
excellent hardware but lacks the appropriate software or computer programs,
it will not work. This is comparable to a human without the appropriate
mental or brain functions. Consider the opposite case where we have many
computer programs, but no hardware to run them.
Sometimes, we find physically strong but intellectually weak
people who train to improve their skills and abilities. They may not be able to
understand their needs or formulate their goals. They merely want to learn
something. Alternatively, we also find intellectually strong but physically
weak individuals who understand their goals. However, they may not be able
to achieve their goals, due to the limits of their physical bodies. This is
comparable to a computer with good software that is inaccessible due to poor
hardware. It is impossible to start the system and receive appropriate results if
the hardware is no good.
A good computer comprises a harmonious combination of
software and hardware. We would consider it bad if our mental faculties
worked well but our bodies did not. We would think it equally bad if our
bodies functioned perfectly but our minds failed to work properly. To
develop well, we need to develop the mind and body to bring them to
balance. This process needs enough energy. Through ZYQ, we
simultaneously train the spirit, the body, and the energy to be in balance.
Today, we live in a society based on the principle of give-and-
take. With ZYQ, we do not receive new knowledge. Instead, we develop new
capabilities. These capabilities, in turn, open up opportunities for us to
improve our lives and the lives of others. These are the goals of practice on
Stage I. At the highest stages, we will receive new knowledge and
understanding in exchange for what we give back to other people.
ZYQ allows all its practitioners to acquire certain abilities that
will help them live life to the fullest. For example, through ZYQ, one can
normalize one’s health, and be able to work efficiently, and earn a living. Or
one can diagnose and heal others. Thus, we can see that the main results of
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Qigong are not the obtaining of new knowledge, but the development of
new abilities, and the simultaneous raising of the intellect and creativity.
These enhance the performance of all our actions. These are the goals of the
first stage. Therefore, in ZYQ, masters teach the highest stages, including
knowledge and understanding of the world, only if the practitioner gives
something back to others.
In ZYQ, we follow a system of interconnected preliminary,
main, and supplementary exercises. These exercises bring about changes in
the practitioner. For example, an exercise might guide a student to associate
the self with a plant or an animal. Through the exercise, the student is able to
reach a calm and relaxed state, and obtain sufficient energy from the
surrounding environment. These practices open all channels and BAPs,
through which life energy can be increased.
Stage I covers four of eight preliminary exercises, and three main
exercises—Big Tree, Small Sky Circle, and Refining Qi. All Qigong
exercises require first of all, imagination, and and ability to merge with an
image. The seemingly simple physical movements require the mind,
consciousness and identification of your personality with a particular image.

Goals and Meanings of Exercises

Each exercise in ZYQ has three levels of benefits, or three


levels of exercise goals, each goal dealings with the influence of the exercise
on our body, energy, or informational systems.
The first level applies to the physical body. Here, we find regular
physical exercises for regulating the body, lubricating the joints, and opening
energy zones in the key areas, such as the spine.
The second level focuses on Qi. Its aim is to develop sensory
abilities, regulate consciousness, and work with certain Qi structures.
The third level deals with information. It involves merging with
certain images and exchanging information with the representatives of the
animal and plant worlds.
Some people, especially those who have not developed their
visual and imaginative capabilities, might find the exercises complicated.
However, systematic practice can overcome these problems. Students have a
70–80 percent success rate in mastering these materials.
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Rules for Zhong Yuan Qigong Practice

For safe and successful training in ZYQ, practitioners need to


follow certain rules:
1. Perform all exercises in a comfortable place, wearing comfortable
clothes (casual footwear or barefoot, with loose-fitting clothing), and
most importantly, while in a calm frame of mind.
2. Do not practice Qigong either on an empty or overfilled stomach. Begin
exercises thirty minutes after a light meal.
3. During practice, relax the body and the mind. Do not concentrate too
intensely on your sensations, images and phenomena. Follow the general
rule: “It seems it is –it seems it is not” or “It seems I see –it seems I do
not see”
4. Practice on a regular basis, without long breaks (weeks and months) or
overload trainings, so that favorable changes in body and mind come
naturally and have enough time to settle.
5. Do not set any particular goals for yourself. Do not seek to experience
any feelings or phenomena. In addition, most importantly, do not force
your mind and consciousness to control Qi during the exercise. Pushing
yourself in this manner can lead to hallucinations and the loss of a sober,
clear, and critical attitude toward your transformation. Performing an
exercise, do not control or manage the processes within you, but only
watch. Let everything develop naturally.

REMEMBER: The more you want something to work out, the lower
your chances of achieving that goal.

After completing the main exercises, place your hands on the


lower Dan Tian (Sia Dan Tian) and concentrate Qi in it. This applies
throughout the practice. If you become distracted at any point during the
practice, put your hands over the lower Dan Tian.
Before classes begin, prepare yourself not to react to external
factors, such as loud sounds.
If something scares you during the exercise, place your hands on
the lower Dan Tian and bring your breathing to a normal state.
If you are professionally engaged in physical exercises or sports,
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start Qigong practice only after your regular training, when you have relaxed
the body and mind. Wait for at least thirty minutes after the end of Qigong
practice to resume intensive physical exertion (running, jumping, working
with free weights, etc.).
During intensive training, limit the intake of drugs and alcohol.
You do not need to limit the quantity or type of food. You can eat anything
you want and need. At some point during the training, students will naturally
stop eating certain types of food, such as meat. Sometimes, you feel the
necessity to clean your body and fast for a while. In all other cases, we do
not recommend any excessive or forced limitation on food consumption
during ZYQ practice.
The rest of the rules are stated in the descriptions of the
corresponding exercises.

REMEMBER: Smoking is unacceptable for mastering the higher Qigong


levels.

Body Position for Standing Practice

Place feet parallel, shoulder-width apart.


Slightly bend your knees, so that the
projection of the knees goes forward of the toe line
(Picture 18). In this position, your shoulders and knees
should line up so that points Yongquan (at the feet) and Picture 18: Position of
Chien Chin (at the shoulders) lie on one straight Legs during Practice
vertical line. Yongquan means a “seething spring” or a
“gushing fountain.” Chien Chin means a “burrow,” a “well,” or an “opening
to fill with water.” When your legs are in the correct position, knees over the
toes, these points are connected to each other by a vertical channel. As a
result, the fountain (Yongquan) fills the well (Chien Chin) with water. That
is, the Qi from Earth enters the points of Yongquan and moves up to the
points of Chien Chin, which connect to the sky. This allows Qi to circulate
freely in the channels of the legs. In this position, the body does not tire for a
long time.
Slightly tilt your head so that the chin is pointed slightly down,
as if your head is hanging from above. This position aligns the Baihui point
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in a single vertical line with the Huiyin point. This makes it much easier to
enter a state of detachment. In addition, this position eases the entrance of Qi
into the cervical spine area. The back must be straight. (If you have problems
with this exercise, try to imagine something heavy dropping on your head
from the sky. Imagine, now, how you would position your head in order to
balance an object on top of it).
The eyes can be entirely closed or half-open. If you leave your
eyes slightly open, lower the eyelids, so that light will enter through a narrow
space and direct the eyes forward without focusing. By doing this, you
relinquish control of the surrounding world but maintain control of the
position of your body in space.
Touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, building
a “bridge” for Qi to flow between the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai channels.
Your face should have a light smile in order to relax the mind.
Your jaws should be open, not touching each other.

While traditional Qigong practice of most schools focuses


attention on spatial orientation, we do not require that here. The Zhong Yuan
Qigong system incorporates the highest level of Qigong. It rises above the
usual concepts of space and time. For a true Qigong Master, there is no
space and no time.

One of the purposes of Stage I of Zhong Yuan Qigong is to


open up energy channels. Let us discuss one of the methods of opening
channels in our fingers and toes.

OPENING CHANNELS IN FINGERS AND TOES

The Sequence of Movements for This Exercise

As previously noted, the body contains twelve main energy


channels that connect the inner organs to its surface. The areas where these
channels begin and end lie under the surface of the fingers and toes.
Similarly, the points where these channels begin and end are located at the
corners of the nails (Picture 19a).
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Picture 19: Opening of Points and Channels (a) Points on Fingers, and Toes, (b-e) Opening of Channels
on Fingers

1. Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, body relaxed,
and eyes half-shut.
2. Bend the arms in front of the chest with palms facing down.
3. Bend the index and middle finders of the right hand.
4. With these fingers, squeeze the base of the thumb of the left hand and
pull the thumb away from those fingers. Repeat one more time with the
thumb, and then do with each finger of the left hand, one by one, pulling
each finger twice (Pictures 19b–e).
5. Reverse the procedure and repeat the same with the other hand.
6. Slowly bring your hands down.
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7. Now, as with your fingers, repeat a similar procedure your toes. Using
your fingers, open the channels in the toes. (Of course, not everyone’s
toes are so flexible that a finger can fit between them. To make it more
convenient, you may first lift or lower the toe that you will work with.
To make it even easier, you may also use the index finger and thumb of
your hand, instead of the middle and index fingers.) Open the channels
of the right foot with your left hand, and the channels of the left foot
with your right hand.
While doing this exercise, imagine that you are opening those
channels by cleaning dirty areas, as though you were squeezing out
something thick and rotten from a flexible tube. Furthermore, imagine that
you are losing bad, grey-colored Qi and replacing it with clean Qi from the
outside to clean the channels. If you are at a seminar where you can walk
around outside, you can open the channels on the feet by simply curling
(flexing or bending) and uncurling your toes inside your shoes. You also can
stand on tiptoes and rotate in this position to the right and left. Optionally,
you can make the same rotation with each leg separately.

Exercise Goals and Meaning

First Goal: to promote the exchange between internal and


external energy.
Second Goal: to eliminate bad Qi from inside the body.
What do we mean by bad Qi? How can we know the quality of
our Qi?

A very simple method allows us to define


the level of our energy. Look at your nails. They have
whitish, crescent-shaped areas known as lunulae
(Picture 19f). While these lunulae may be absent or
Picture 19: Opening of poorly visible on the pinkies, they do exist on all nails.
Points and Channels (f) The thumbs have the biggest ones, after which they
Lunulae
become smaller and smaller. The size and color of the
lunulae shows the quantity and quality of a person’s Qi.
Nails with large lunulae signify the presence of large amounts of
Qi. You may check the size of the lunula on each nail and determine the
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percentage of space it occupies on the nail. If your thumbs have lunulae but
only a few of the other fingers do, this indicates insufficient energy.
Similarly, if each lunula occupies about fifteen-twenty percent of your nail’s
length, you have barely enough energy. Ideally, each lunula should occupy
about fifty percent of the nail’s length. This is how you can determine the
quantity of your energy.
Now, how can you define the quality of your Qi?
Clear, white lunulae indicate good-quality Qi. If the lunulae are
of dark or grey color, Qi quality is low. The use of antibiotics or
chemotherapy often results in fatigue state or tiredness, and his lunulae
become grey. These are the symptoms of Qi deficiency.
You can also determine the quality of your blood and its
circulation by examining the nails. If they are pink and clear, your blood is of
a good quality and circulates through the body normally. In contrast, if they
are dark or spotted, or have small light-colored lines, your blood is of poor
quality and circulation is weak. If pushing down on the edge of the nail
causes it to turn white, followed by pink after it is released, you have good
blood circulation. However, if the nail becomes red or pink, you have bad
circulation. Dark nails are indicators of low-quality blood.
When people are ill, all the bad Qi is concentrated in their
fingers. They can determine the condition of their inner organs and the state
of their health by examining the condition of the nails and fingertips. Nails
that are not pink and lunulae that are not white indicate the concentration of
bad Qi inside the fingertips. In these cases, practitioners can open the
channels located inside the fingertips. To do this, they need to open the points
at the end of the fingers in order to remove bad Qi from the body.
As a rule, after taking a seminar and practicing, the color of the
lunulae improves. You can write down and compare the sizes of your lunulae
before and after Qigong practice.

Phenomena

While opening the channels in your palms, you may feel extreme
heat in the center of the palms. This heat can be so strong that it might
become painful. If you place your hand over the region where the pain is
being felt, the pain will go away.
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If, through practice, you reach this energy level, you will be able
to cure a number of conditions associated with chronic, painful symptoms.
By simply placing your palm over the diseased area, you will be able to make
the pain go away.

Recommendations

You should repeat this exercise daily—in the morning after


waking up, in the evening before going to sleep, and before most other
Qigong practices.

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PRELIMINARY EXERCISES

First Preliminary Exercise:


CHILD PRAYING TO BUDDHA

Sometimes the name of this exercise is translated from


Chinese as “Little Boy Greeting Buddha” or “Child Worshipping
Buddha.” What does this mean?
In China, Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of
Buddhism, is not the only Buddha. In fact, a Buddha is any person
who has reached enlightenment. For example, China has a Temple
of Ten Thousand Buddhas and many other temples that have halls with
statutes of different Buddhas in them. We need to keep this broader idea of a
Buddha in mind when practicing this exercise.
In this exercise, we put our hands together with palms facing
each other at the chest level. In the East, people have used this posture, since
ancient times, as a greeting. In many regions, people still use it in this way.
This is particularly true of Kung-fu practitioners.
The pose signals more than a greeting; it also indicates a show of
respect between, for example, two Qigong Masters, two monks, two doctors;
in other words, any two people of equal social standing. Most notably, it is
through this pose that children express their respect for adults and students
for their Masters.
The pose has many other meanings. For example, when we put
our hands together with palms facing each other, we put together the
Laogong points located on the right and left hands (Picture 10a). This
balances the energy in the front part of the body, the part that faces other
people. This ensures that, as a sign of respect, when people meet they do not
project their emotional state or negative energy onto each other.
Perhaps you have noticed that sensations from the left and right
parts of the body differ. One hand may be colder than the other. One-half of
the body may feel heavy, while the other feels light. These sensations
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represent certain symptoms of energy imbalance in the body. One of the
reasons for this is that the energy of the left and right parts of the body cannot
move freely. This, in turn, prevents the interchange of energy between them.
As we have already discussed, we need to balance our inner energy to
improve our health.

The Sequence for the Exercise

The stages in the execution of this exercise are illustrated in


Picture 20.
1. Stand straight up with legs shoulder-width apart, feet parallel, and body
relaxed.
2. Connect your hands together at your chest level. Keep your arms away
from the body. As noted before, in the East, this is a respectful form of
greeting. In our training sessions, it is an expression of respect for the
person in front of you. This is also a pose used to pray to the Buddha.
3. Open your palms, with the palms facing toward you. Using a rotating
motion toward your body, rotate your palms until your fingers are
pointing downward. In this position, the backs of the palms should be
touching back to back.
4. Continue the rotation, as your palms rotate and open away from you.
Then, with a closing motion, bring your hands back to the original
position.
5. Repeat this full rotation eight times.
6. From the same starting position, rotate your hands in the opposite
direction, away from your body eight more times.
When rotating your hands, you should be rolling your palms and
fingers at the same time.

Exercise Goals

Purpose: to activate and bring the energy system inside your


body into balance.
The various goal levels are as follows:
First Level: to provide regular physical exercise for the hands,
elbows, and shoulder joints.
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Second Level: to balance the body’s Yin and Yang.
Disruption of this balance may result in a feeling of energy
moving inside of you. But this is simply the energy flowing from one hand to
the other.
You can test yourself by putting your palms together and holding
them motionless for some time. If one palm becomes colder than the other,
the energy will start flowing from one hand to the other, and you may begin
to feel the movement.

Picture 20: First Preliminary Exercise (a-h) Rotating the Hands to the Body

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Picture 20: First Preliminary Exercise (i-p) Rotating the Hands from the Body

This exercise helps to balance the left and right parts of the body,
especially when we align the Laogong points in the center of the palms. In
this way, the energy on the inner Yin surface becomes balanced.
When we rotate our hands and turn them to touch one another
back to back, we align the projection of the Laogong points (the “external
Laogong”). In this way, the energy on the inner Yang surface becomes
balanced.
Rotation of the hands helps Qi flow within the body. To bring
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something into balance, we need motion or movement. In this case we need
to move Qi. The physical movement of rotating the hands stimulates the
body’s flow of energy.
Third Level: to develop intuition and the ability to communicate.
If you really want to improve your intuition, you need to
imagine, during this exercise, that you are standing before a spiritual teacher
or before someone you that you see as a source of wisdom. Adopting this
pose suggests that you are greeting and notifying someone that you will be
doing the exercise. We do not know exactly why the ancients selected this
pose and technique, but we know that the exercise establishes a connection
between a practitioner and a spiritual teacher.
When visualizing a spiritual teacher, you may direct your
thoughts to any being who has achieved enlightenment, or even God itself, as
you want.
Eastern thought believes that each person, including you, the
student, can achieve enlightenment; every child is a future Buddha.
Therefore, you need to imagine yourself as a child —a little Buddha.
It is important to sense this state of being coming from your
heart. If your body is well relaxed, you can sense that as you rotate your
hands, something inside of you starts to rotate too. In this way, you begin to
connect to the energy and information at a much higher level—a level that
belongs to the being that you imagine; and then this level of energy and
information comes into your body.

Second Preliminary Exercise:


HANDS OF BUDDHA OBSERVING IMAGES

Think about the name of this exercise. What does


“observing images” mean?
At first, you will not be able to see the energy, but you
will be able to feel it. However, after some practice, you will be
able to see it as well. Moreover, you will not only see it with your
physical eyes, but also with the Third Eye and with your hands.
Like the Buddha, you will touch and observe the earth, sky, and
the universe with your palms.
Recall that a Buddha is any person that has achieved
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enlightenment. Reaching the state of Buddhahood means attaining a Godlike
level, where you can do everything. Chinese epics have many legends about
people trying to achieve the level of a Buddha, trying to attain immortality, or
trying to help people.

Master’s Story
There is a popular book in China, loved by young and old, called
“Journey to the West,” written by the famous seventeenth-century traveler
Wu Chengen and translated into many languages. While the book tells the
story of the adventures of the Monkey King Sun Wukong, it also gives an
account of practical methods for overcoming various types of obstacles.
Wu Chengen writes about a magic monkey born soon after the
creation of the world. We learn how this monkey, in his travels around the
world, strove for self-perfection until he learned and mastered the Great
Teaching. Thanks to his mother’s wit, he received the title of “Great Sage,
Equal of Heaven.” However, none of this was enough for him; he always
wanted more. His arrogant behavior set the celestials, such as the Goddess
Guan Yin, the most worshipped deity of the East, against him. After he
refused to heed any warnings, the Army of Heaven mobilized against him, but
their mission failed. Finally, the Jade Emperor appealed to Buddha
Tathagata, who arranged a meeting with Sun Wukong. (Here it should be
pointed out that Tathagata is traditionally interpreted to mean “one who
comes and goes the same way as the previous Buddhas.” According to the
Tripitaka of the Pali Canon, Tathagata is the name used by the historical
Buddha Shakyamuni, or Siddhartha Gautama, to refer to himself. The term
highlights the unique and ambiguous status of a fully enlightened being, since
such a one is beyond the categories of existence and non-existence; in fact,
beyond all categorizations.)
At the meeting, the Buddha found that the Monkey King
considered himself worthy enough to take the throne of the Jade Emperor,
due to his superior intelligence and knowledge. The Buddha made a bet with
the Monkey King. If the Monkey King could jump out of his—the Buddha’s—
palm, he would receive the Heaven Throne from the Buddha himself. If he
failed, the Buddha would send him to Earth, never to return to Heaven to
disturb the celestials. Sun Wukong tried not to show his surprise at this easy
bet.
The Buddha reached out with his right hand, and the Monkey
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King jumped right into the middle of the Buddha’s palm, which seemed as big
as a lotus leaf to him. Then, Sun Wukong whispered something and raced
forward at what he thought was the speed of light. However, at that moment,
the Buddha, knowing that the Monkey King’s speed was actually much
slower, directed his Eye of the Mind at him. After a while, Sun Wukong
concluded that he had reached the edge of the world, since he saw five skin-
colored pillars. To prove to the Buddha that he really went there, he got off
his horse, pulled out a hair from his head, turned it into a brush with ink, and
signed the central pillar. Finally, just for fun, he urinated at the base of the
pillar before jumping on his horse and rushing back.
“Now give me the throne of the Jade Emperor,” he said. “I
reached the edge of the world!”
“You, rascal,” answered the Buddha, “You haven’t even jumped
out of my palm!”
“No way!” shouted Sun Wukong, “I put my signature at the edge
of the world.”
“Get off your horse and open your eyes wider, and while you are
at it, sniff around,” said the Buddha.
Sun Wukong saw his signature on the the Buddha’s middle finger
and smelled a strong odor. He wanted to jump out of the the Buddha’s palm
and run away, but the Buddha turned his palm upside down and dropped the
Monkey King from the Heavenly Gates to Earth. Then the Buddha, with his
five fingers, created a mountain from the five elements and five environments.
He dropped the mountain on Sun Wukong, leaving only a small opening for
air.
This story shows us that no one is allowed to break the order of
the Universe and its laws.

The Sequence for the Exercise

The stages in the execution of this exercise are illustrated in


Picture 21.
1. Starting position: stand straight with legs shoulder-width apart, feet
parallel, and body relaxed.
2. Slowly raise your arms, with palms facing down, to shoulder height.
Slightly bend your arms at the elbow to relax the arms and hands. Close

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your eyes and imagine that your arms have become very long, that the
palms have become as huge as the Buddha’s, and that you, with your
palms, can see and touch the entire earth and the sky as well as the
energy that comes from them.
3. Sweep your hands forward until your thumbs softly touch each other,
concentrating your attention on the palms. Your body, following the
arms, also moves slightly, and this creates a light squeeze of the rib-cage
area, while stretching the area of the shoulder blades.
4. Move your arms back to the sides in a sweeping motion, continuing to
concentrate on the palms. This will open the ribcage area and gently
squeeze area of the shoulder blades.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 eight times.
6. With your hands outstretched to the side, turn your palms to face up,
arms slightly bent at the elbows.
7. In a sweeping motion, move the hands forward, while still concentrating
on the palms, until you feel the light touch of the pinky fingers. As in the
previous case, your body will move slightly, moderately stretching the
back area and lightly squeezing the rib cage.
8. Again, open your arms in a sweeping motion, while continuing to
concentrate on the palms.
9. Repeat the movements of steps 7 and 8 eight times.
10. When moving your arms to the sides for the last time, turn the palms
down and slowly bring your arms down to your body.

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Picture 21: Second Preliminary Exercise (a-f) Listening to Yin of Earth

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Picture 21: Second Preliminary Exercise (g-l) Listening to Yang of Sky

Exercise Goals

First-Level Goal: to aid the opening of the channels of the


middle sections of the spine, especially the section between the shoulder
blades and the thoracic spine.
These are the zones where points are difficult to open.
Sometimes these zones are even referred to as “gateways” or “wickets.”
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Moving the arms forward opens the chest area of the Du-Mai channel, and
moving the arms to the sides opens the chest area of the Ren-Mai channel.
Points Mingmen and Dazhui (Picture 10e) are also difficult to
open. If the upper points are not opened, people may experience headaches
and high blood pressure. If the middle-zone points are not opened, people
may find it hard to breathe. They might feel as though something is
preventing them from inhaling deeply, as if there is an obstruction in the area
of their heart and stomach. Regular checkups do not give any explanations
for these uncomfortable feelings.
When we move the arms forward, we experience a light tension
in the shoulder blades, neck, and back. After that, the body relaxes again.
However, when the arms are opened fully to the sides, we stretch the rib cage
and create some tension there. When we bring the shoulder blades together,
the back relaxes.
This way, one by one, we experience squeezing and stretching—
a cycle of tension and relaxation that aids blood circulation. This also helps
balance Yin (relaxation) and Yang (tension). With this movement between
Yin and Yang, we can bring balance to the body, particularly between the
front and back. In addition, this exercise helps to loosen the upper part of the
spine and to remove pain in the thoracic girdle and the cervical and upper part
of the thoracic spine.
Second-Level Goal: to develop hand sensitivity.
This exercise seeks to train the hands and palms to sense the
different Yin and Yang energies. It requires you to use your consciousness,
intellect, mind, and imagination to feel the cool Qi of Earth and warm Qi of
Sky. It usually takes several days, and causes the practitioner to experience
various sensations.
While doing this exercise, you should not feel your hands close
to you. Imagine your hands traveling into infinity. After some practice, you
will be able to make changes in your palms and expand their functions.
Eventually, you will feel a connection between Earth and Sky in your palms.
Third-Level Goal: to begin to imagine yourself as a gigantic
spiritual teacher, a Buddha, or a God.
You must imagine that you have become so huge that, with your
palms facing down, you can touch the entire Earth and that, with your palms
facing up, you can touch the entire Universe. Just like the hands of the
legendary Buddha, your hands can also see long distances.
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When performing this exercise, you need to sense the spherical
aspect of Earth with your palms. Likewise, you need to imagine that the sky
is also a sphere and that you can touch it with your hands. These
visualizations provide training for the mind as well as the body.
Our eyes sense light from various colors, because areas in our
brains transform electromagnetic emissions of a certain wavelength into color
perception. Another area of the brain enables us to receive information from
our hands and transform it into pictures or images. If the eyes are closed,
these images appear as though they were on an inner screen in the mind’s
eye. Scientists have detected the activities of the Third Eye in the areas of the
hypothalamus. Usually, people locate the Third Eye in the area between the
eyebrows, which, for example, the Hindu people often mark with a red dot.
Neural science now shows us that the Third Eye actually operates through the
hands. This underscores the importance of using imagery during the exercise.
We should have a mental image of where our arms go, of their expansive
reach, and of the fingers racing off to infinity. This helps us develop a new
way of seeing.

Master’s Story
When I finished this stage of training, I had to pass a sort of an
exam. We had certain places for the training of specific exercises. To hold
this exam, we went to a field where a number of different-sized holes were
dug out. They had covered the holes with shields and soil, making them
impossible to locate with the naked eye or any other regular sense.
They had placed a rock in one hole, a piece of wood in another,
and some copper in the third. The test was to locate and identify each of these
buried objects with only the energy from our hands. It was only after we had
passed this test that we were permitted to move on to the next stage of
practice.

Third Preliminary Exercise:


THE SACRED (IMMORTAL) CRANE DRINKING WATER

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The title of this exercise refers to a bird called the
sacred crane, because it lives in Heaven. Our imagination plays a
critical role in this exercise. Imagine that you are a crane standing
on a lakeshore. Imagine that your neck is long and flexible, like
those of the other cranes around you. Also, imagine that your crane
neck can turn easily in any direction. To strengthen the neck, spine,
and shoulders, you need the energy of a crane.

The Sequence for the Exercise

The stages in the execution of this exercise are illustrated in


Picture 22.
1. The starting position is the same as in previous exercises.
2. Lower your chin, and then rotate your head counterclockwise, moving
the chin to the left shoulder as far as you can.
3. Raise your chin, returning your head to the starting position, as though
your chin was following an oval path.
4. Repeat eight times.

ATTENTION:
1. Don’t raise your chin too high; in other words, don’t allow your
head to bend backward.
2. Do not overexert. Please note that your ability to do this depends on
the length and flexibility of your neck. When you turn your head,
you should feel only a gentle tension in that area.

5. Next, repeat the movements eight times in a clockwise direction, turning


the chin to the right shoulder, and again returning it to the starting
position.
6. Now, imagine you are scooping up water from a lake with your (crane’s)
beak. With your legs and knees straight, extend your chin forward as far
as possible. Then move your head down, touching, if you can, your
chest with your chin, while at the same time, bending your knees.
7. After this, with the chin pressed against the chest, slide it upward along
the chest, simultaneously straightening out your legs and spine.
Returning to the starting position, continue to raise your chin away from
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your chest and neck, as if to enable the crane to swallow the water that
was scooped up with the beak. (Again, do not tilt your head backward.)
8. Imagine, next, that you are moving the water down to your stomach.
9. Repeat eight times.

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Picture 22: Third Preliminary Exercise

During this procedure, your legs and spine are moving in a


wavelike motion from your feet to your head.

Exercise Goals

We can regulate our health not only with medical drugs, plants,
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food, and other substances, but also with information. Information has a
profound effect on health. The body reacts in different ways to various types
of information.
There are always vital interactions taking place, even when we
cannot easily sense them. Imagine that on a hot, dry summer day, someone
points out a lemon tree and asks you to look at its fruit. How would your
body react to this information? Many people would begin to salivate
excessively. Oddly enough, this bodily reaction to information might start to
quench their thirst. A few words and a brief glance at a lemon produce a
powerful reaction. Imagine, then, what can happen if we see ourselves as
birds with long supple necks drinking water from a lake. How will such an
image influence our body?

First-Level Goal: to address problems with spine and neck


functions.
Many people, due to their sedentary lifestyles, have their necks
and heads constantly inclined. This creates problems with the spine,
especially the cervical spine. If, on a daily basis, we do exercises to control
the position of the spine, we can prevent many diseases. These exercises
increase the mobility of the cervical spine. Persons over forty and those who
have cervical osteochondrosis will find these movements helpful.
Furthermore, while turning our head to the right and to the left as far as we
can, our neck enters a state of relaxation. This helps improve blood
circulation, digestion, and balance.
In this exercise, it is important to feel yourself picking up water
with a beak and then swallowing it all the way to your stomach. Your body
will start bending into a shape similar to the letter S. Feel your back and
entire body move effortlessly, like waves in the water. The energy will then
start moving in waves up your spine and along your back, as if it were a
slithering snake.
These waves come up from the feet, through the calves, etc. The
water that you “swallow” goes down. You then have energy flowing like
waves in two opposite directions—up and down. In the process, you may feel
the spinal discs aligning into their correct positions.
In summary, this exercise enables us to regulate the entire spine,
especially in the neck area.
This exercise yields better results than massage. When the spine
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moves in a wavelike motion, it increases the freedom and flexibility of the
discs, thereby adjusting and correcting the entire spinal column. This appears
to aid in the prevention of many diseases. This exercise also helps improve
blood circulation, and can heal scoliosis, among other things.
Second-Level Goal: to improve Qi circulation in the energy
channels.
This exercise helps the Qi go upward from the feet. On the way
up, the Qi opens the body’s BAPs. The exercise regulates the spine with the
help of energy, without the use of any kind of force. The resulting movement
of the energy waves aids blood circulation, which strengthens muscle tissue,
which in turn helps control spinal movements.
The energy of the spine is associated with the energy of the
kidneys, which belong to the water element. The energies of the kidneys and
water are the same. Therefore, we should imagine that, when we drink water,
we are not drinking real water, but the energy of the water. This exercise can
improve the functions of many systems of our body.
After practicing the exercise for some time, people can salivate
excessively. Modern biochemical research has shown that this saliva contains
a large amount and variety of microelements, which have therapeutic effects
on the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. You should swallow the saliva
that you produce during this exercise.
When you get used to this exercise, you will only have to think
about doing it to produce the saliva. This is a very convenient method to
quench thirst if, for some reason, there is no opportunity to drink real water.
Third-Level Goal: to understand, communicate with, and receive
energy from other creatures.
You began this phase of the exercise by associating yourself with
another type of life—namely, in this case, a bird. You need to fit yourself into
the image of a crane drinking water. These thoughts and images discipline the
mind so that becoming a crane, we can understand such creatures. Then, after
some training, we will be able to see these birds during meditation or in a
state of Qigong. Then we can learn to understand how to communicate with
them and receive their energy.

Forth Preliminary Exercise:


THE DEVINE DRAGON STIRRING SEA
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The Chinese version of the title of this exercise
includes the phrase Shen Loon. Shen is translated as “spirit” or
“soul.” However, in combination with the character Loon, which
means “dragon,” Shen means “fairy,” “miracle,” or “real being
from another world.”
Before going any further, you need to picture yourself
as a dragon. At this point, students often ask about the kind of
dragon they should picture. A Chinese dragon, for example, has
one head, whereas a Slavic dragon has three. Here, you need to
picture yourself as a Chinese dragon, because Chinese dragons live
in a water environment, whereas Slavic dragons live in mountains or forests.
In this exercise, we imagine that we stir the sea to get
information from the dragon. The dragon has a very strong and powerful
body. We want to use the energy of the water and information from the
dragon to strengthen our kidneys and improve the lower back, or lumbar
spine, and the entire body in general.
Now, imagine yourself as a Chinese dragon deep within the sea.

The Sequence for the Exercise

The stages in the execution of this exercise are illustrated in


Picture 23.
1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or a little wider.
2. Place the palms of your hands on the kidney areas, with thumbs pointing
toward the front of your body.
3. Rotate your upper body counterclockwise, to the left, eight times.
4. Then, rotate your upper body clockwise, to the right, eight times. During
the rotation, as the torso bends over, the back remains straight. When the
torso bends back, the back straightens. During the exercise, keep your
feet flat on the floor. During the movement, while imagining your body
moving in the water, you should feel the resistance of the water as you
rotate your upper body through it. Also, make sure you move your
knees.
5. When you finish the rotation, strongly shake your entire body from your
feet to the top of your head, as if you were a dragon jumping out from
the sea by pushing off with its tail and flying up into the air. Stand up on

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your tiptoes, and then all at once, drop down onto your heels. As you
drop your heels, keep “pushing off” with your hands. During this
sequence, the motion of your body will be similar to what happens when
someone grabs you from behind, and you immediately and forcefully
shake yourself free.
When you shake your body in the described manner, you relax
your inner organs. It is enough to shake two times: once to one side and once
to the other. However, you may shake more times, and, if you wish, you may
shake just to one side. The shaking helps release stress from the inside of the
body and strengthen the legs and back by removing spasms in the muscles
and channels.

Exercise Goals

First-Level goal: to improve the lower spine and knee joints.


The lower spine works during the rotating, and the knees also
participate, due to their own rotation. The hard-to-open Mingmen point is
located in the lumbar area. As a result, bad Qi often collects in this zone.
When that happens, blood circulation decreases, which may in turn cause
congestion, pain or discomfort and even lead to diseases such as cancer.
Practice of this exercise contributes to the normal functioning of the lumbar
zone.

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Picture 23: Fourth Preliminary Exercise

Second-Level goal: to strengthen the energy of the kidneys.


When we picture ourselves as the dragon and imagine that we
are in the sea, we again work with the energy of water (as in the previous
exercise). From the point of view of the Wu Xing concept, the kidneys
belong to the element of Water. This means that the Qi of water and the Qi of
the kidneys are the same.
When you place our hands on the kidney area, all your attention
should shift to that area. If you can picture and also actually feel yourself in
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the water and feel the water’s resistance as you turn and spin about, the Qi of
the water will wash your kidneys. While going through your kidneys and
throughout your entire body, this water will remove the bad, stagnant Qi.
By strengthening the energy of the kidneys, we strengthen our
bone tissue. Thus, this exercise contributes to strengthening our bone system.
In addition, TCM does not treat the kidneys as separate organs but as a
system of organs within the urogenital sphere. This exercise, then, helps to
improve the functioning of this entire system.
When you shake your body, the energy flowing from the feet
upward helps to cleanse it in its entirety. If you perform this exercise
correctly, you will soon feel its heat in the form of hot streams going into
your legs and abdomen.
Third-Level goal: to prepare for communication with creatures
from other worlds.
In this exercise, you imagine and feel yourself as a dragon in the
sea. Soon, you will begin to identify with the dragon. If during the practice,
you enter the state of Qigong, you will realize that dragons do exist, but that
they live in other worlds. Then, you will have prepared a foundation for
future communication with other types and forms of life, other civilizations,
and other worlds.

Master’s Story
In the East, especially China, dragons are honored. Earlier,
there was a Cult of the Dragon, which involved various rituals that now take
the form of feasts and dances. According to an ancient legend, dragons are
the ancestors of the Chinese people. The legend goes on to say that these
dragons now live in other worlds, where they moved after achieving the
appropriate level of Shen. Many old buildings and monasteries have pictures
and sculptures of dragons (Picture 14). Today, we also see the reliefs of
dragons on the ridges of roofs. In modern China, we find houses, amusement
rides, and decorative plants built in the shape of dragons. Besides, almost in
every temple you can see the monuments and pedestals to turtles, decorated
with high reliefs of dragons playing with pearls.
Isn’t it the dragon’s population, which had left the knowledge to
their descendants before leaving this world? Are they more than mere
legend?

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SUMMARY OF THE PRELIMINARY EXERCISES

Influence on the Body and Exercise Goals

The first exercise regulates the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints.
The second exercise trains the area between the shoulder blades, the shoulder
girdle, and the thoracic cage area. The third exercise trains the entire spine.
The fourth exercise works knee joints and the lumbosacral spine segment.
This exercise provides complete training for the leg and arm joints as well as
the spine.
The First-Level Goal of these exercises involves the training the
physical parts of the body.
The Second-Level Goal focuses on the regulation of the energy
in the body and on the regulation of the body with the help of energy.
The Third-Level Goal emphasizes the impact of information on
the body, particularly the impact of images on the internal workings of the
body. Here we see that Qigong simultaneously trains the mind,
consciousness, energy, and body.

Final Note

Feel free to modify the time of day as well as the duration of


each practice at your discretion, according to how you feel and how much
time you have at your disposal. You may perform the exercises in the order
presented here, or modify them to suit your needs. In addition, we encourage
you to teach these exercises to your friends and children.

Questions and Answers

Questions about Channel Opening

1. Some writings claim that during the procedure of opening the channels,
destructive energy may also enter the body. Does energy have a constructive
as well as a destructive side?
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Energy is similar to rays of sunlight. On the one hand, sunlight
helps everything grow. In fact, nothing can grow without it. On the other
hand, strong sunlight can cause damage. As a rule, bad or evil energy comes
from the Universe. Individual human energy does not have enough power to
harm other people.
The energy we radiate is a vital energy that helps life. It is wrong
to think that when the channels are open, damaging energy can enter. Why?
Our body has an aura around it, similar to the atmosphere around the planet
Earth. Similar auras envelope each organ and living cell. These auras provide
the body with its own protection system. Qigong practice strengthens that
system by making the auras thicker and wider. When we get sick, our aura
loses thickness and becomes weaker. When this happens, “bad” external Qi
can have an impact on our body. The bad Qi can lower our energy levels and
weaken us. Indeed, when we communicate with a seriously ill person, the
sick person’s energy can have a negative impact on us.

Questions about the First Preliminary Exercise

1. Why do we repeat the exercise eight times?


Answering this excellent question in detail would take a very
long time indeed. We can begin by noting that every culture has its own
numerology. Why do Europeans dislike the number thirteen? Why do
Russians call this number “the devil’s dozen”?
In the Qigong system and in the entire Universe, different
numbers have different meanings. In the very beginning, since we did not
know the nature of the Universe, it was called TAO. Then, TAO created
ONE, which stands for the Universe in general. ONE created TWO in the
form of YIN and YANG. YIN and YANG then divided so that Yin always
includes Yang and Yang always includes Yin. This way, we obtained FOUR.
Each of these pairs has Yin and Yang, giving us EIGHT. EIGHT further
divides and creates SIXTY-FOUR. All changes follow these principles based
on the theory of Yin-Yang.
Before the universe divided into Yin and Yang, there was
something, and that something was named Wu-chi or Emptiness. Indeed,
Zero means emptiness. Wu-chi came before our Universe. The division into
Yin and Yang occurred later.

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On a less metaphysical level, we should note that Chinese people
typically associate the number EIGHT (meaning “everything” or “infinity”)
with success. The word “eight” translates into Chinese as ba, pronounced as
fah, which means “to make money.” Hence, in China, people frequently seek
license plates and phone numbers that end with the number eight. They
believe that numbers ending in eight will help them become successful in
business.

2. What is the correct leg position during the practice?


During the practice of all exercises, legs should be slightly bent
at the knees. If your legs are straight, you will get tired very soon. Feet must
be parallel to each other.

3. Is it necessary to rotate the palms toward yourself and then away from
yourself?
The first exercise can prompt many questions: Why must the
rotation take place in two directions? Why do we need to rotate first toward
and then away from the person? Why do our palms need to touch each other?
There is a simple answer to all of these questions. Instead of asking them, we
should simply do the exercise. After some practice, it will all become clear.
The exercises have been designed to help us balance everything inside the
body.

4. What breathing pattern should we follow during the exercises?


Do not pay any specific attention to your breathing. During
exercises, you should breathe naturally unless told otherwise. The only
exercise that requires special breathing is the one called “Small Microcosmic
Orbit” (or Small Sky Circle), which will be discussed later.

5. Are there any restriction in food or diet in the Qigong system?


There are no restrictions. You can eat anything you want. Later,
we will discuss this in detail.

6. What is the best direction to orient oneself during practice (north, south,
east or west)?

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In this system, orientation has no meaning. Later, when you start
studying the main exercises, you will understand this better.

7. Should I practice barefoot when I am at home?


While it is generally more comfortable to practice barefoot, it is
not necessary.

Questions about the Second Preliminary Exercise

1. What is the breathing pattern for the second exercise?


As we have already discussed, if there are no special instructions
about breathing, it means that you can breathe as naturally and freely as you
wish. For this exercise, breathe naturally.

2. In this exercise, is it only the wrists that are relaxed, or also the arms?
In the second exercise, the wrists and arms must be completely
relaxed.

3. At times, I can feel tension in my back. Should I also feel tension in my


arms or hands?
If you move your hands in a natural motion and relax, there will
be no tension in them. Tension during the rotation should occur only in the
areas of the chest and of the back, between the shoulder blades.

4. The only thing that I feel constantly is warmth. I cannot separate Qi from
Earth and Qi from Sky. What should I do?
At the very beginning of this practice, you may not feel any
coolness, especially if there is a high amount of energy (a “log” of Qi) in
your arms. Later, after the arms become calm, and when you enter a state of
relaxation, you will feel the difference between Earth and Sky.

5. I do not feel any difference in the sensations of Earth Qi and Sky Qi, but I
constantly feel goose bumps on my hands. Sometimes, I feel some trickles or
motion in the body, but not in my palms. Why?
At the initial stage of practice, your body undergoes changes in
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the Yin-Yang balance, and very often, the sensations that you experience are
the reactions of these bodily changes. These are internal, and not external,
reactions.

6. During the exercise, my arms and hands start hurting and go numb. It feels
as though they are heavy. What should I do about this?
In this case, you need to repeat the exercise more often, but not
for longer periods. You will feel pain if you have problems in your shoulders
or joints. Should this be the case, you will need to work on your joints.

7. How do these exercises compare to regular physical training? Should I


stop physical training and only do these exercises?
You can combine Qigong exercises with physical exercises,
because Qigong does not have many dynamic movements. Besides, physical
exercise is generally required to maintain good physical health. Therefore, we
recommend that you engage in some type of physical exercise program. In
China, people usually combine Qigong practice with dynamic exercises such
as Tai Chi Chuan or Kung-fu. During the first stages of ZYQ, we practice
many exercises of the calmer variety that belong to Quiet Qigong.
Eventually, these build up to constitute more than 70 percent of all of the
exercises. If you do not take part in any form of physical activity at home,
you should practice one half of the calm exercises and one half of the
dynamic exercises, while also engaging in some form of physical exercise.

8. What should I practice first?


It depends on how you feel. After you become familiar with all
the exercises, we will speak about what and where to practice and how to
combine Qigong with other types of physical activity or sports.

9. Do I need to keep the fingers together while they are moving?


No, the wrists should be relaxed, and the fingers should not be
interlocked.

10. Is it necessary for the fingers of the right and left hands to touch each
other while rolling the hands forward?

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Yes, there should be a slight touch.

11. Do we need to make pauses when the arms are at the sides or directed
forward?
There should be no pauses.. The transitions from one movement
to the next should be smooth.

Questions about the Third Preliminary Exercise

1. Is there a particular speed for performing turns and bends?


You can do turns and bends at any speed, depending on how you
feel while performing them, and as is shown in the videos and DVDs. Be
alert to the sensations you experience while performing these movements and
adapt accordingly. These movements should be pleasurable.

2. What is the correct way to turn the head?


Just relax your neck, slightly lower your chin, and turn your head
so that your chin “looks” at your shoulder. The main thing here is to NOT
throw back the head.

3. How many times should this exercise be repeated?


Each part of this exercise should be performed over one full
cycle, eight times. You can then repeat it over one, two, or three consecutive
cycles.

4. During the preliminary exercise, I feel dizzy. In general, I have serious


problems with my balance. Maybe I should not practice this exercise.
On the contrary, you should practice more. Repeat the exercise
as many times as you can, gradually increasing the number of turns. At home,
you may practice more than the specified eight times. This exercise is very
useful for those who have problems with the cervical spine or shoulder girdle
and for those who have problems with the circulatory and vestibular systems.
By improving the supply of blood to the brain, this exercise also relieves
headaches.

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Questions about the Fourth Preliminary Exercise

1. How should a person with a herniated disc practice?


In the event of a herniated disc, practice should be done in a
gentle and relaxed manner, based on how the person feels.

2. What can you recommend for scoliosis?


You should practice Big Tree and the Third preliminary exercise
for a month. By the way, the Third preliminary exercise can help in more
ways than this one, because it improves the state of your spine. A herniated
disc results from problems with urinary bladder energy. The functions of the
urinary bladder and kidneys have connections. This Fourth preliminary
exercise is directed to improve the kidneys energy, that is why it can also
give help to spine problems.

3. Is this exercise harmful if there are multiple lymphomas along the spine?
I have had several patients with lymphomas. They could practice
all these exercises; the exercises will not cause you any harm.

4. How many times a day should I practice this and other preliminary
exercises?
You can practice as many times a day as you wish! When you
achieve perfection in the practice of these exercises, once a day will suffice.

5. What is the best time of day for practicing these exercises?


It does not matter. It is best to practice when you have free time
and when nothing distracts you. You can vary the time of day and the
duration of practice for each preliminary exercise as you wish.

6. Is it necessary to maintain a particular sequence while performing these


exercises?
No, it is not necessary.

7. Is it acceptable to practice one exercise eight times, and the other, for
example, for ten minutes?
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Yes. You can perform some exercises for a long time until, for
example, you start to feel the Yin and Yang. Then, the next time, you can
perform another exercise for a longer period of time.

MAIN EXERCISES

BIG TREE

Big Tree is the most important exercise of the first


stage of the ZYQ system. It dates back thousands of years and is
performed at three other stages as well. Various schools of Qigong
and Wushu practice it in various modified forms. However, they
all call it Chang Chuan, which can be translated as “a pole,” “a
pillar,” or “a tall tree trunk.” These schools usually tell their
students to stand still, like a pole, for a long time.19

Origins of the Big Tree Exercise


In the ZYQ, this exercise is known as the “Big Tree” exercise. In
China, if people speak about the “Big Tree” posture, they usually note that it
is taken from ZYQ. Compare a tree to a tall column or pillar, which is
immobile but lifeless, while the nature of a big tree is a strong and healthy
form of life.
Throughout history, people have wondered why human life ends
at the age that it does. In many countries they live sixty, seventy, and eighty
years. Even today, it is not often that we meet a ninety-year-old person, and
meeting someone who has lived to be one hundred or more is very rare. As
we have mentioned several times before, ZYQ practice can prolong life by
improving one’s health.
What does “living longer” mean? Each person faces different
conditions and factors throughout their life. For example, a person who is
fifty years old might feel like a twenty-year-old after Qigong practice. This
person, then, has become younger. Conversely, a twenty-year-old might look
fifty. This person would not be truly twenty years old. Overall, we judge
people’s ages not by the amount of the years but by the amount of vital

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energy that they have in reserve.
Scientifically, longevity correlates with sexual potency. Sexual
activity typically begins around the age of twelve. After thirty, many young
people begin to experience weakening sexual function. Qigong practice can
help them recover quickly by increasing their energy and power. Sexual
potency begins to fade after the age of fifty. How can we acquire longevity?
How can we prolong life?
Many plants and animals live much longer than humans do.
Tortoises can live to be hundreds of years old. Trees have incredibly long
lives. You may know trees that are hundreds of years old, but what about
those that live for thousands of years? In China, the longest living tree is the
Ginkgo Biloba tree. The tree in Pictures 24a and 24b is 1,770 years old, yet
this tree is not old when we compare it to the tree in Pictures 24c and 24d,
which is 4,500 years old. It is the sixth oldest tree in China. A 6,000-year-old
tree holds the honor of being the oldest tree in China. People decorate these
ancient trees with yellow and red ribbons containing notes to the trees. People
believe that these trees can answer questions and provide help. So people
from all over China come to those trees with their questions and pleas, and
attach ribbons with words of gratitude as gifts. To prevent damage to these
trees, caretakers usually wrap the trunks with netting so that people can tie
their ribbons to the nets without disturbing the trees.

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Picture 24: Long-Living Trees (Henan Province) (a, b) 2000 years old, (c, d) 4500 years old

Every form of life has consciousness. Trees that have lived long
have acquired vast reservoirs of wisdom. Humans can learn a great deal about
longevity from these trees.
You may have read about experiments that showed plants
reacting to people’s thoughts and emotions. Researchers detected the plants’
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responses to humans from sensors attached to the plants. If a person
approached the plant with kind thoughts (“You are so beautiful,” “I like you,”
or “I love you very much!”), the plant had well-defined impulse frequencies.
However, if a person came up to the plant with hateful thoughts (“I hate you”
or “I want to set you on fire”), the plant radiated another type of impulse,
irregular. In addition, the plants reacted with analog impulses to threats to
neighboring plants and to the demise of small animals close to them.
Therefore, it seems highly likely that plants communicate with each other and
with animals. The plants used in this research were young. Imagine how a
tree that has lived for centuries would understand human thoughts and
emotions.

Master’s Story
From these experiments, we see that when humans communicate
their thoughts and emotions, trees and plants understand and respond to
them. In contrast, however, when the trees and plants think about something,
humans do not understand them. If, for example, you approach a big,
centuries-old tree with questions about aging, then perhaps the tree would
understand and answer you, but you would not understand it. If we could
understand plants and trees, then we would quickly change our attitudes
about nature.
In ancient China, highly skilled Masters who lived in isolated
mountain regions could communicate with flora and fauna. They could
understand the soul of nature. They uncovered the secrets of longevity and
passed them on to others. In Chinese history, we know of a person named
Pan Tzu who, incredibly, lived nearly eight hundred years. Another amazing
man, Chang Sen Fen, lived so long that people lost count of his age.
Among notable person who lived long lives is Lao-tzu, the first to
speak of TAO in his book Tao Te Ching, now translated into many languages.
Leaving his manuscripts behind, he moved to the mountains, where he lived
for a very long time—for how long, no one knows. Some Masters reported
that several hundred years after his disappearance, Lao-tzu visited and
taught before disappearing again. Furthermore, they claimed that his coming
and going took place over several generations. It still remains a murky
secret.
We still know very little about individuals who live for such long
periods of time, although great longevity among trees is not uncommon.
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Trees can live several thousand years, if no one damages them and they do
not get sick. If people did not get sick or suffer injury, and if they did not fight
wars…if…, if…, if…, how long would they live? Similar to humans, trees may
perish at the age of thirty or forty, either from disease, climate conditions,
natural disasters, or simply because people use them for their needs.
Disease has become humanity’s main curse. Humans often look
old not due to aging, but due to illness. Think about the reasons why most
people die. It’s a fact that most people die from illness rather than old age. If
people had good emotions, if they lived in sanitary conditions, if they had
healthy bodies, if they had interesting work, if they had satisfactory lives
overall…if they had all these things, life would not be a burden, and no one
would want to die. Some people may not want to live for eight hundred years,
but undoubtedly, they would want to live as long as possible within their
physiological abilities and limits. Each form of life on Earth has its own
natural limit.

So what is our natural age?


Many scientists believe that the natural age of humans may range
from a hundred fifty to a hundred eighty years. At present, however, this
lifespan has been cut by half or more. We do not know how to live longer. To
discover this knowledge, we need to learn from trees. There are many things
a tree can teach us. For example, trees recover quickly from diseases, an
ability that we need to master in order to start growing again.
Our emotions cause us trouble. We nervously rush about
everywhere and nowhere. Our physical well-being constantly fluctuates. We
feel discomfort when it’s hot or cold. The world of trees is a different matter:
in winter and summer, in cold and heat, under the sun and in the rain, they
live without any desires. Their roots go deep into the ground and receive
water with all the nutrients, which goes up through the trunk to the leaves.
Their crowns reach higher and higher, showered by the rain, swayed by the
wind, bathed in the rays of the sun during the day, and in the light of the stars
and the moon at night. These elements penetrate the leaves, branches and
trunk, and go down into the roots. This is how the trees receive their food and
energy from the earth below (Yin) and the sky above (Yang). These two
types of energy move toward each other, collecting in the trunk and enabling
the tree to live and grow. Thus, the tree unites the earth and the sky inside
itself.
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In other words, we can say that trees know very well how to
receive energies from the sky and the earth. We need to learn these skills
from the trees. How can we do this?
We can truly learn from trees by becoming one with them.

What We Can Learn from a Tree

If you turned into a tree, you would be able to understand its


nature. You would start feeling the energy inside your body, the energy you
accept from earth and sky.
The experience of Qigong masters and practitioners tells us that
if you turn into a tree, if you stand just as a tree does, you may live longer.
Many age-related problems can be solved and diseases cured through such
practice.
Very soon, the practitioner will begin to feel an increase in vital
energy. Therefore, from the point of view of health, the practice of Big Tree
prolongs life.
In addition, according to Qigong, this exercise enables the
practitioner to merge with the Universe. It enables us to unite Sky, human
beings, and Earth; in other words, the three external Yuan merge into one.
First, we imagine ourselves as a big tree. Then, the image of the big tree
disappears, leaving behind a Big Man, in whom everything merges. Of
course, this does not happen right away, but gradually. The Chinese say,
“Until you practice Big Tree, it is impossible to understand what it is.”
According to ZYQ philosophy, to understand Nature and the Universe, we
need to return to Nature and unite with it. When in your thoughts you become
a tree, you enter Nature and merge with it.
Obviously, we are not trees, but if we stand in a tree-like pose,
how else can we feel? The experience of the ancient masters, confirmed by
that of countless other practitioners, states that daily practice enables a person
to unite with Sky and Earth, with the entire Universe. This will help us
understand how to learn from the surrounding world. The fundamental
principle of ZYQ tells us that if we unite with Sky and Earth, we will
understand the nature of each of them. And this, in turn, will help us realize
yet another goal of Qigong practice: improved health, extended life, and
attainment of harmony.
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The Sequence for the Exercise

The stages in the execution of this exercise are illustrated in


Picture 25.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet parallel, and knees
slightly bent. Move the pelvis forward a little to make sure your back is
straight. Tilt your chin slightly downward, so that the neck is straight.
The head should hang by the vertex. Relax your body. Let your tongue
touch the roof of your mouth and close your eyes halfway. You should
have a little smile on your face to relax the mind.
Do not bend backward. Imagine that you have a third point of
support, like a kangaroo’s tail, and stand in such a pose. If you prop
your heels against the wall, your back should not touch the wall. You
can check your pose by seeing if you are comfortable balancing an
object on top of your head. In the correct pose, you can support an
object with your head.
2. Extend your arms so that your palms are facing your navel and are level
with it. Round your arms by pointing your elbows slightly out. Your
armpits should be open, as though you are holding a pair of fragile
tennis balls in there, as fragile as eggs. Relax the arms. There should not
be any tension or physical force in your arms. Imagine you are holding
and feeling an energy ball between your palms and your navel.
3. Next, forget about yourself. Imagine that you are beginning to turn into a
big tree. It can be any tree, even a hundred-year-old pine tree or an even
older Gingko tree. Picture yourself in a forest, with both legs growing
deep into the ground and eventually turning into roots. Then, with your
roots, begin to absorb the earth’s moisture. Take in the Yin energy from
the earth.

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Picture 25: Big Tree Exercise

4. Imagine, next, that your tree-trunk body grows wide and reaches into the
sky above the clouds. Then, imagine your head turning into the tree’s
branches and absorbing the light from the Sun and the energy of the
Universe. Become as large as Universe and take in the Yang energy
from it.
Now you are a big tree.
5. Forget about the exercise and yourself. Feel the Qi of earth coming from
below, through your leg-roots. Feel the Qi of universe coming from
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above. Feel their movements in your body, and feel the energy ball with
your palms and the navel. Then, again, forget it all.
6. As a modification of point five, imagine and feel the ball grow bigger and
bigger, until it goes through and beyond the boundaries of your body
and you appear inside. Feel yourself inside that ball. Feel the sounds of
music with your body, when you and the ball become as large as
universe. (Big Tree, like the other main exercises during the beginning
stages of learning [Stages 1–4], is practiced with special music. These
special tunes are performed on ancient Chinese instruments. Their goal
is to help you master the various exercises. The sounds help open BAPs
and clear energy channels by allowing them to resonate with certain
structures and levels of Qi.)
Then, imagine the ball gradually shrinking and becoming smaller.
Imagine that the energy inside the ball becomes more solid and dense
until its surface decreases and goes through your body. Then, fit the ball
in between your palms and navel. Feel the sounds of music with your
body and compare these feelings with those experienced previously.
Then, the ball again grows larger, and you are inside it. Then, it
decreases again. Repeat this pattern several times.
7. After finishing the exercise, get back to your normal state: now you are
again a human, not a tree. Then, you can start feeling the energy ball
again between your hands and navel. Mentally decrease the ball’s size,
and, slowly moving your hands toward your navel, put the ball into your
lower Dan Tian through your navel. Place your hands on your navel.
Women should put the right hand on the navel with the left hand on top.
Men should do the opposite. The thumb of the hand on top hides under
the lower hand to create a “lock,” and the center of the lower palm (the
Laogong point) is aligned with the center of the navel.

Mentally concentrate Qi into the smallest size possible in the


lower Dan Tian. Feel the warm area or the pulsations inside the body, against
the palms. These sensations mark the center of the lower Dan Tian. Then,
slowly, open your eyes.

REMEMBER: 1. Menstruating women, to avoid heavy bleeding, are


strongly advised to practice Big Tree by extending their arms as

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though they were holding the energy ball at chest level (rather than
at the level of the navel), level with the middle Dan Tian—Zhong Dan
Tian. After finishing the exercise, they should put the energy ball into
the middle Dan Tian, and then move it down into the lower Dan
Tian.
2. Pregnant women may practice Big Tree in a similar manner as in
the preceding paragraph. At the end of the exercise, lower the energy
downward into the lower Dan Tian. Do this without hands and
without any sensation of the ball at the level of the lower Dan Tian.

Similar to physical exercises, this exercise leads to certain


feelings within the body, such as muscle pain. When your muscles are sore
from a physical exercise, generally, if you do the exercise several times, you
will feel much better. The same happens with this exercise. You will find it
much easier to stand in Big Tree the second time. After the third time, you
will experience a little pain. After the fourth time, you will begin to enjoy the
exercise. If you give up after the first try because of unpleasant or painful
feelings, you will never understand why trees live so long.
If you use the correct pose, you will not feel any fatigue in your
arms or legs, because during the Big Tree exercise you will receive Qi from
the outside. If you stand correctly for several minutes, the Qi will start to fill
up the body. You may feel heavy or numb, but you will not experience any
pain or desire to move. Typically, it is hard to stand motionless because this
is not natural for a human being, so it needs some training.
Big Tree must be practiced for a minimum of thirty minutes.
This is so because it takes about thirty minutes for blood and Qi to circle all
the channels and vessels. After some time, when you get used to this posture,
you can extend the length of the Big Tree exercise to two hours.
Please note that during the practice of Big Tree, your mouth will
produce large amounts of saliva. At first, the saliva will have its usual taste. It
will then turn sweetish. After a certain period of practice, the saliva takes on a
full range of tastes, including honeydew. It is important not to spit this saliva
out. As it collects in your mouth, swallow it slowly, mentally lowering it into
the stomach and even further into the lower Dan Tian. In earlier times, this
saliva was called Jade saliva or Golden Liquid. These names reflected its
value to the body. It was valued more than gold. Modern biochemical
research has demonstrated that this kind of saliva contains many various
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microelements. As a result, it improves the gastric and intestinal mucus and
the process of gastrointestinal digestion. It can even cure digestive disorders
such as gastric ulcers.
Often, after the practice of Big Tree, the practitioner’s fingers
will swell to a point where it becomes difficult to bend them. It may seem
that they get thicker as well as longer. This happens due to the excessive
amount of energy collected in them.
Today, the Big Tree exercise has become widely accepted and
practiced. People continue to use it because it allows for the fast collection
and increase of body-revitalizing energy.

For general health maintenance and recovery from illnesses,


thirty minutes of daily practice should suffice. When you start enjoying this
exercise and it stops causing unpleasant feelings in the body, you can start
practicing more. If you do not have enough time to practice every day,
practice once or twice a week. However, if you shorten the frequency of
practice, you should increase the duration. If you feel that you are catching a
cold or getting sick, then start practicing Big Tree for at least an hour each
day. If you have a fever, two hours of solid practice will help bring your
temperature to normal.
For serious practice, you should devote about two (but not less
than one) hours daily for this exercise. If for some reason daily practice is not
possible, try to practice at least twice a week, and on one of those days, try to
practice this exercise for several hours straight.
After you get experience and practice longer, the saliva produced
in your mouth will be not liquid, but like foam, and you should swallow this
foam. As you swallow it, mentally put it in your lower Dan Tian. This is a
method for increasing Jing.

CLOSING EXERCISES

The Sequence of the Exercise

The stages in the execution are illustrated in Picture 26.


1. Rub your palms together until they feel burning hot (Picture 26a).
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2. “Wash” your face with your palms, from the chin to the top of the
forehead, using soft upward motions. Then, wash more vigorously
downward along the cheeks to the chin, with the thumbs gliding
downward from earlobes (Picture 26b).
3. Intensely pat yourself on the head, using relaxed palms, moving from
the back of the neck, over the top of the head, to the forehead (Picture
26c).
4. “Brush” your hair with your fingertips, all the way straight back from
the forehead and temples to the back of the neck. Massage the skin on
the head through the hair with intense pressure from your fingers
(Picture 26d).
5. Rub both earlobes simultaneously between your thumbs and forefingers
from top to bottom; do the same with your earlobes, until you feel as
though your ears are “on fire” (Picture 26e).
6. With soft, relaxed palms, vigorously pat both sides of your arms,
moving from the shoulders to the wrists. Begin with the left arm; then,
do the right arm (Pictures 26f,g).
7. With both arms together, pat the front of your body downward from the
neck to the waist, and at the lumbar level, from the sides to the lower
Dan Tian (Picture 26h).
8. Pat your legs from top to bottom and from all sides (Picture 26i),
starting with a strong pat on the Huantiao point (Picture 27a).
9. Pat your back, from the bottom up, along the spine.
10. Rub your palms together and place them on the kidney area. Feel the
warmth of the palms pass to the kidneys and to the area of adrenal
glands.

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Picture 26: Closing Exercises

Comments on the Closing Exercises

1. Intense rubbing of the palms contributes to the balance of Yin-Yang.


Before beginning to rub your hands, you can check your Yin-Yang
balance, right after the Big Tree practice. If the temperatures of both
palms feel the same, it means that Yin and Yang are balanced. If the
temperatures differ, the balance is imperfect.
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2. During the exercise, when you activate the palms, you create an intense
Qi field. “Washing” your face with your palms improves the
microcirculation of the blood in the skin’s top layer and strengthens your
metabolic processes. The Qi field massages the skin. Imagine and feel
your palms smoothing the wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.
With regular practice of this exercise, the facial skin will rejuvenate.
In ancient times, people used this cosmetic technique to rejuvenate
their skin with Qi energy, and they didn’t need ointments or creams.
Unlike modern cosmetics, this method, still in use today, has no adverse
side effects. When you wash your face, you are unconsciously
massaging your facial skin. This also happens when you apply creams to
your skin. However, given the fact that different skin types have
different levels of sensitivity, you risk the side effects from the use of
cosmetics. In addition, the use of cosmetics may lead to increased
dependence on them. After prolonged use of cosmetics, the skin loses its
resilience and ages without them. It does not look fresh, and it requires
permanent applications of the cosmetics. As a result, the regular entry of
outside materials into the skin decreases and stops the skin from
producing its nutrients naturally. You can manage without these
cosmetics by putting water on the activated palm and vigorously rubbing
it into your facial skin, mentally massaging your face with your Qi
energy.

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Picture 27: Human Energy Channels and Points (a) Location of Huantiao Point, (b) Auricular Points,
(c), (d) Front and Rear View

3. Patting the head with activated palms, surrounded by an intense Qi field,


helps to open the channels and activate the points located in the head
area. This regulates Qi movement in that area, which in turn stabilizes
blood circulation. Moreover, it can cure headaches and promote brain
feeding.
4. Combing the hair (that is, massaging the skull with the fingers) improves
blood circulation in the skin. If you do this with three hundred to five
hundred movements two or three times a day, you will start to grow hair
during the first month itself, even if you are bald.
5. The earlobes have BAPs that are connected to every internal organ of the
body (Picture 27b). The intense rubbing with activated fingers is the
equivalent of a full-body massage. Rub the points that cause pain longer
and more vigorously. A pain point indicates problems with the internal
organs associated with that point.
6–9. Pat the arms, legs, and body along the path of the energy channels to
open the points in those channels (Pictures 27c,d) and to improve the Qi
circulation in them. If the patting is done intensely enough, a student
may learn a type of Kung-fu, where the body becomes less sensitive to
external blows. The practice of hard Qigong includes these types of
exercises.

Recommendations

For best results, practice the Big Tree exercise in the morning.
This way, it can help with the reception and collection of energy from the
outside throughout the day. Many people have an excessive amount of energy
that makes it hard for them to fall asleep, when they practice the exercise in
the evening or at night. However, the choice of practice time is yours. These
are individual decisions that depend on each person’s situation and
opportunities. There are no strict recommendations for any of these first
steps.

REMEMBER: Before you practice Big Tree, you need to open the

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channels in the fingers and toes. After finishing Big Tree, you need
to do the closing exercises, as they help distribute the Qi equally
throughout the body. Otherwise, you may experience headaches,
burning sensations, a swelling feeling in some areas, or some other
discomforts.

SENSATIONS AND PHENOMENA THAT ACCOMPANY THE


BIG TREE PRACTICE

During the first stages of practicing Qigong exercises, we


normally experience eight sensations or feelings:
(1) Heat—sometimes painfully hot;
(2) Cold—sometimes so intense that your blood “runs cold,” while
sometimes you experience long shakes;
(3) Numbness, and a feeling that insects of various sizes are creeping
through or over the body at various speeds;
(4) Itchiness—sometimes so unbearable that you want to tear your
skin;
(5) Weightlessness—or the feeling of complete loss of weight,
sometimes it feels as though you’ve lost your body;
(6) Heaviness—or the feeling that you have weights attached to your
arms and legs, or that your legs are so deeply entrenched in the
ground that you cannot lift them; a feeling that you are
expanding from within. This is the natural result of energy
overflow;
(7) Slippery – sometimes you might feel as though your skin is
slippery like ice, or greased up;
(8) Skin roughness is the opposite feeling, and you may sense it to
any part of your skin.
The presence and intensity of these sensations depend on many
factors, but most of all on the physical and emotional states of your body.
Besides the above-mentioned feelings, you may experience a
number of other feelings that are associated with certain diseases or simply
with changes in the physical body and your own evolution. Examples of this
include Qi vibration in the body, pain, sounds, light, or scintillation. Let us
briefly review the most common sensations and experiences.
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Common Phenomena

1. Heat or Cold. If Yin and Yang are not balanced, you might experience
heat or cold during practice. The concentration of Qi in the lower or
middle Dan Tian usually causes a sensation of a warm or hot ball. With
the correct practice of Big Tree and an intense collection of Qi from the
environment, you might experience unbearably extreme heat. Your heart
rate may increase, and you might experience excessive perspiration.
During certain stages of practice, some people experience
differences in temperature in the right and left palms or in the right and
left halves of the body. This happens because one half of the body
belongs to Yang and the other to Yin (Picture 9b). There are methods of
practice that allow us to strengthen and seal this effect. In ancient times,
this was used in martial arts systems. One hand could scald an enemy as
though it were a torch; the other hand could freeze him.
Sometimes for several days, you may feel chilly, as though you were
catching a cold. During such a period, wrapping yourself in a blanket
might not even give you warmth. This indicates the beginning of
changes in your body, and you need to practice more intensively during
these days. Occasionally, after practicing Big Tree, students can
suddenly experience extreme cold. For them it feels as though the blood
is freezing in their veins. Do not be frightened by this state; do not try to
break it artificially, through massage, hot baths, or warm drinks. When
this occurs, it means that the body is still in the process of changing,
even after the exercise is completed. In this case, one needs to overcome
this state, these feelings, and to continue practicing. When you have
achieved this, you ascend to the next stage of your development.
2. Insects or Itching. Sometimes, you might feel as though there are insects
creeping and crawling all over your body. These sensations often
accompany the opening of the BAPs. If the points have been blocked
and begin to open very quickly, you might also experience itchiness. In
the area of the head and neck, the itching can become unbearable. Don’t
scratch these itches, because you may interrupt the process of changes in
your body. Try to overcome this discomfort. After a short time, such
unpleasant sensations go away, and you will feel better and lighter in
those areas. You can then “breathe” through those zones.
Sometimes the feeling of creeping insects is accompanied by
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trembling or vibrations. Goosebumps accompany the vibrations of the
zones. However, these vibrations, which seem to come in waves, are not
permanent. Usually, they are more interesting than discomforting, but
sometimes they can become painful. A sensation of pain indicates a very
intense opening of the points. After the process ends, the body feels as
though it has became more porous and open, as though air now blows
through the pores and the body itself. In this case, until students become
familiar with these feelings, we recommend avoiding extremes of hot
and cold while showering or, for example, swimming in cold water.
3. Weightlessness. Lightness and weightlessness occur when, during the
exercise, practitioners manage to “forget about themselves.” Eventually,
with practice, they will pass to another state, where the body does not
limit their perceptions and feelings. This is the first stage of the
QIGONG STATE. It marks the next stage of one’s development.
4. The feeling of heaviness appears to be due to the failure to relax or to
adopt a correct posture. Unusual positions of different parts of the body
will cause heaviness and numbness. Filling up with Qi also causes
sensations of bloating, whereby the legs, fingers, and toes swell, making
them hard to bend. In time, the Qi begins to be automatically
redistributed throughout the body.
5. Vibrations usually occur when Qi enters our body from the outside and
flows in the channels. Sometimes it feels as though we have live
humming wires inside our body.
6. When excessive Qi enters the brain, it may cause ears to block and a
humming sensation, as though we were in an airplane changing
altitude. Later, students will acquire the talent to hear distinct sounds
and talk over long distances.
7. Flashing Lights. The activation of BAPs in the zone of the Third Eye
when a large amount of Qi enters the area can cause feelings similar to
lights flashing in front of you (mainly with the eyes closed).
8. Visions. Practitioners may experience different images that include
communication with Jesus, the Buddha, or other Saints, visions of other
epochs on Earth, pictures of other worlds, voices, advices, etc.
During the first stages of Qigong, these types of visions are
produced by the mind working at various conscious and subconscious
levels. They are based on our internalized information from books,
movies, studies, and the imagination. They do not represent the truth.
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However interesting you find them, do not focus your attention on them.
The feelings and visions will constantly change, since they are
associated with changes in the body and mind.
If you pay attention to these visions, you will easily lose your
direction and never reach your goals. Compare this to the highway
where you drive your car. You need to cover this highway by a certain
time. Various landscapes fly by your windows. You may enjoy them;
keep them in your memory. But you don’t lose track of the goal of your
journey. The more you focus on the passing sights, the less you will
remember the goal of your trip. However, if you stopped at every new
area and got out of the car to look around, you would never reach your
final destination. You would be stuck at the very beginning of the Path,
not even realizing that it was just the beginning. Other landscapes and
perceptions await you on your way. You would risk losing your Path,
being extremely late, or never reaching the end of your journey. Your
life might not be long enough for you to arrive at your desired
destination.

REMEMBER: Visions are illusions. Do not pay attention to them. Don’t


give in to weakness by trying to touch the unusual. These things will
all come by themselves, in their natural ways, and will stay with you
in your daily life.

9. Pain sensations. Several things can cause pain.


a) If the practitioner is healthy and collects sufficient amounts
of Qi in the head and Third Eye area, he pain may arise through
the activation of the BAP in the area of the Third Eye. Activation
and opening of the point in the top part of the head can also cause
pain. These are indications that the body is preparing for a future
journey of the soul.
b) The pain is unavoidable if the practitioner has had or is
suffering from some kind of illness, trauma, etc.

Let us review all these phenomena in detail.

Phenomena Associated with Illnesses


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1. Pain Sensations
TCM believes that in each disease area (past or current), we can
observe the constriction or blockage of channels where Qi circulates. This
leads to Qi congestion or blockage in that area, and as a result, blood
circulation weakens. The states of these channels compare to the bed of a
dried-up river that still has areas filled with water.
During the practice of Big Tree, Qi starts flowing from the
outside into the body. As Qi flows in, it automatically goes to those areas
where it is needed. Redistribution of Qi takes place. When the energy goes
through narrow or blocked channels, the person feels pain. In China people
say, “Qi fights the disease.”
Pain can vary in intensity and length:
a) Sometimes, the pain occurs during practice and then
disappears without ever returning. This means that the practitioner received
enough Qi to “break through” the rough area of a channel immediately.
b) Sometimes, a long-lasting pain occurs regularly. It can last
several days or weeks. As soon as the practice of Qigong stops, the pain goes
away. This can happen with long-lasting, chronic diseases. Sometimes,
literally everything starts hurting. This indicates that an excessive number of
disorders have been treated with large amounts of medication. In these cases,
the Qi is collected at a slower rate. Time is required to defeat the diseases and
cleanse the body of “waste” (that is, the remains of medications, excretions
etc.)
It is important, therefore, to continue practicing. We need to
allow the Qi to complete the healing process. We know that at first, a disease
can become aggravated during healing, but that it will eventually go away.
The same principle applies here. However, in this case, there are no side
effects—like from medication—and you heal yourself with your own Qi.
Unlike external methods of healing, such as medication, your Qi
automatically goes where it is needed and performs the work that it has to.
Therefore, Qigong practitioners should not try to stop this process if they
want to become healthy.
c) Sometimes, practitioners will feel well before they begin
practice. Then, while practicing, they begin to feel pain.

REMEMBER: A person will never feel pain or discomfort in areas with


free-flowing Qi.
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Pain signals important information about areas with disorders. It
helps one recall past traumas, surgeries, or injuries in problem areas, even
those that occurred years ago. If the practitioner cannot remember any past
problem in the area, the disorder or problem may have developed recently. If
the pain can be tolerated, continue practicing. Eventually, the pain and the
problem will disappear. If the pain is strong you need to consult a doctor,
because hidden problems can later develop into serious diseases.
In summary, if you have had surgeries, injuries, chronic
inflammation of the internal organs or joints, lower back pain, arthritis,
sinusitis, etc., pain sensations (or pronounced discomfort) will be
unavoidable with the correct practice of the exercises.
d) Another reason for feeling pain during Qigong practice relates
to the intense training of your energy. In general, training of the energy is
similar to the training of the body through physical fitness programs. If you
strain a muscle with an exercise one day, then the next day your muscle may
hurt. When you fail to mark the limits in energy training, the same type of
symptoms can occur. For example, people with calcium deficiency can have
spasms or convulsions in some parts of the body during energy training.
If during intense practice, you feel pain, you need to take
calcium or bone stock (bones cooked for a long time). These unpleasant
symptoms are connected to the fact that the movement of energy affects and
changes the body. In these cases, as a general rule, we need to take some
additional minerals and nutrients. If the pain appears stronger in some areas,
don’t worry. This is a normal reaction and, typically, only lasts a few days.

2. Fainting
Practitioners who are still recovering from recent surgeries might
experience short fainting spells during the Third preliminary and Big Tree
exercises. Heart disease, problems with blood pressure, or a disruption in the
cervical spine may also provoke such symptoms. These are caused by the
intense flow of Qi into a weakened body part or organ (especially the brain).
This is not dangerous. As a rule, after several minutes, the practitioner will
regain consciousness without any help. Sometimes, however, the fainting
spell can be transformed into regular sleep.
Applying pressure to the Yinjiao point helps revive the person
(Picture 10e). Those who feel weak or close to fainting (about to lose
consciousness) should rub their nose area with their fingers, especially while
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washing the face. This also heals nose diseases. Next, they
should massage the temples. If they suffer from headaches
which make them feel faint, they should massage the
Yinjiao and Hegu points by rotating the fingers eight times
Picture 28: Hegu
Point in one direction and eight times in the other. The Hegu
point is located at the base of a thumb on the backside of
the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones, closer to the radial
edge (Picture 28).
If a person loses consciousness, applying pressure to the above-
mentioned points, combined with some light patting, will help. The person
can continue practicing after regaining consciousness. In fact, that person
needs to keep practicing. Later, these fainting states will no longer bother the
practitioner, and he will start to feel stronger, fresher, and more capable.

3. Intense Vibrations of the Entire Body


This happens when the practitioner cannot relax, still suffers
from nervous stress, or has psychological disorders. These conditions cause
the cramping of the nerves, muscles, and energy channels in different parts of
the body. Qi, entering the body during the Big Tree exercise, starts to break
through these blocks and searches for “bypass routes.” People should monitor
these states. They should also relax fully to help the energy heal the body. If
the vibrations become uncontrollable, intense pressure on the Hegu points
followed by folding the arms on the Sia Dian Tian will help.

4. Severe Nausea and Retching


During the practice of Big Tree, this may occur due to
gastroenteric diseases, especially gastritis and peptic ulcers. When you
practice, do not try to stop these symptoms. Continue exercising after your
stomach becomes empty. With regular practice, these symptoms will
improve, and you will heal.

5. Intense Movement, Heavy Body Rocking


a) If Yin and Yang are not balanced, a person might rock slightly
when relaxed. This sometimes happens during the first two or three classes
or, perhaps, at the beginning of practice. Soon, however, the body calms
down, and the practitioner can stand motionless.
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b) If the Qi flow is broken in some areas of the energy channels,
the body might move uncontrollably as the Qi tries to go through these areas.
c) Intense movement and body rocking occur in the event of
spinal problems, nerve disorders, birth traumas, ICP, stammering,
psychological disorders, and other chronic diseases or traumas that lead to
spasms of the energy channels. In the event of intense bodily movement, the
practitioner should exercise with the eyes open and not longer than thirty
minutes.

6. Loud sounds
Crying, laughing, singing, and shouting during the Big Tree
practices are symptomatic of certain heart and lung diseases.
a) With these sounds, bad Qi leaves the body, and good Qi
comes in. You should not intentionally cry, shout, or otherwise “fake” these
emotions. Students may allow them only if they occur naturally in a state of
Qigong.
b) If you are sensitive enough to feel the illness of a person near
you, your Qi can also react to it. Sometimes, for example, the state of that
person will improve after you have cried.
All of the above-mentioned effects are results of various healing
procedures that may happen during practice.

From the Third World Conference on Medical Qigong


From “A Report on the Qi Field as Observed through Corona Discharge
Photography” by Richard H. Lee (China Heathway Institute, San Clemente,
CA, United States)

Corona discharge photography (Kirlian photography) is a high-


voltage photographic process that records the corona discharge from the
fingers of test subjects on photographic film. This process has been shown to
measure the electrical conductivity of the individual, and appears to show the
conductivity of individual meridians, which connect the internal organs with
the points that are used for the acupuncture. Qigong practitioners were
examined from this perspective. The following was demonstrated:
(1) Individuals performing external Qigong in a park with pine
trees with the intention of collecting Qi (such practice was similar to Big
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Tree) showed an increase in the brightness of the corona discharge,
indicating increased internal electrical conductivity.
Individuals performing internal Qigong or other forms of
meditation or quiet prayer showed both a decrease in the brightness of the
corona discharge, and a change in the image surrounding the finger. Instead
of substantial balls and streamers, there appeared a smooth, round halo. This
indicated the phenomenon of superconductivity with electrons flowing
without the normal ionization of the air.
Qigong masters often did not have a corona discharge at all.
Instead, there was a high flow of current through their fingers. Apparently,
there is a highly expanded superconducting field around their fingers.
Although, most of these masters could produce a normal corona discharge
and transform it according to their wishes into balls and streamers.

From the Report about the Demonstration of the existence of Qi


to Western Doctors
by Yuan Zhi Fil and Rikhard H. Lee
(China Heathway Institute, San Clemente, CA, United States):

The value of Qigong is not easy to understand or accept for most


Western doctors. Whereas scientists require theories that can be verified with
the help of different bio-electrochemical measurements, practical doctors
need a presentation of practical treatment techniques, which can provide
consistent physiological improvements and correlate to specific clinical
improvements.
Mostly, Western doctors are not interested in Qigong exercises
or methods of emitting Qi, because, first of all, they cannot measure the
physiological changes during such practice. Besides, they do not believe in
the existence of Qi.
In our Life Enhancement Workshops, we teach doctors to feel
and use a special technique developed by Qigong masters which is easy to
learn and apply, induces observable physiological changes, and is clinically
effective.
Transfer of Electrical Conductivity. In this first demonstration,
we have shown that physical contact, intended to relieve discomfort
(massage), substantially increases electrical conductivity in the hands of the

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recipients, while decreasing conductivity in the hands of the givers. This
exercise shows doctors that Qi can flow from one person to another.
Pine Tree Qigong. The second demonstration involved the
performance of Qigong exercises by the doctors, with the intent of collecting
Qi. Most experienced some sensation of Qi. Testing showed that the electrical
conductivity of their hands after the exercise increased considerably.
Objective measurement of increased electrical conductivity as a result of
Qigong exercises is highly encouraging.
...
These and other facts have started opening the minds of Western
practitioners to the nature and potential of Qi and the value of Qigong.

Questions and Answers

1. During the exercise, I felt some pain in the right leg, but almost none in the
left. Why?
Usually the right and left sides of the body have different
sensitivities. The right side of the body belongs to Yang, whereas the left
belongs to Yin. Since the part that belongs to Yang is more sensitive, people
typically start feeling the movement of energy in the right half of their bodies
earlier. However, there are exceptions, such as when the Yin part is more
sensitive, or when both halves of the body have equal sensitivity.

2. I do not feel anything in my legs, but I have horrible headaches. Sometimes


I even feel shivers in my body.
What else do you feel, besides headaches?

Vibrations in the lower Dan Tian.


Have you ever had headaches before?

Yes, I have, and very often.


If a person suffers from disease, the energy channels in those
diseased areas are narrow. When you collect Qi, it tries to break through
areas of the channel and, in the process, may puncture the area and induce
spasms. This condition can lead to discomfort or pain. It may seem that the
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disease is coming back. However, you should practice even more, and the
disease will leave faster.

3. I feel light warmth in my legs, and my eyes hardly recognize any light.
This is an appropriate reaction. It indicates that the energy is
entering into the leg area and that the activation of the Third Eye is
beginning.

4. I do not feel anything. Is this bad?


We can divide the energy sensitivity of people into three
categories: about 80 percent of people feel the energy, but not very
dramatically; less than 10 percent of people are extra-sensitive; less than 10
percent have little or no sensitivity. People in this last category need to repeat
the exercise numerous times. If you do not feel the energy right away, don’t
worry. A person who feels nothing at the beginning can usually radiate
stronger energy than a person who has relatively more sensitivity. However,
if you do not sense anything, it doesn’t mean that you need doubt in the
correctness of your practice. Your lack of sensation simply means that you
belong to a category of people whose channels work differently and that you
cannot sense them clearly. Similarly, there are people who do not react to
summer heat—they simply do not care about it. On the opposite side of the
coin, there are people who cannot stand hot weather. These reactions are
specific to their particular natures. Nevertheless, both reactions are perfectly
normal.

5. I have not sensed any heat, but I have sensed something moving up my
legs. I am going through Stage I for the second time. Last time, you sent us
energy and helped us practice. However, now the quality of the energy seems
different. Am I right?
Of course. The energy you receive will differ from time to time,
just as there are differences in the types of energy that exist. Besides, every
day we change. Today you are different than you were yesterday. Similarly,
you change from one seminar to another.

6. I produce excessive amounts of saliva during the exercise, and it makes me


want to cough it up.
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You should swallow the saliva as it is produced. As we said
earlier, it is very useful due to the richness of its various microelements. It
can dramatically increase your energy and have a therapeutic effect on you.

7. When I have finished practicing, I still keep getting more saliva. Is this
normal?
Yes, keep swallowing it.

8. Can I spit out the saliva?


We strongly recommend swallowing it.

9. I yawn during the exercise. Is there any explanation?


Yawning reflects a relaxed state and normal changes in your
body.

10. Sometimes I want to move with the music. What should I do?
This is normal. You should not resist this urge and force yourself
to be motionless. Let your body go. Do not prevent the Qi from doing its
work.

11. In general, can a person move during the exercise?


You can move if your movements are automatic. When the Qi
energy enters your body, it can break through the spasm areas of “sick”
channels. Most of the time, these areas have tightened muscles. To let the Qi
go through, you will often need to adjust your pose.

12. I feel vibrations inside my body. Is this happening because of my health


or because of the energy?
These vibrations occur due to the movement of Qi. When the Qi
starts flowing through the channels, we experience vibrations and shivers.
The shivers will disappear only when the channels are completely open and
Qi flows through them as water flows through a freely moving river.

13. I have different sensations every time while practicing Big Tree:
sometimes I experience stomach pain; sometimes I feel heat in my body.
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Today I felt the urge to laugh during the entire exercise. What does this
mean? What kind of sensations should we experience in general?
There is no hard and fast rule about the sensations you should
experience. They are very individual and vary from person to person. For
example, today, you feel cold, but, tomorrow, you might feel hot. The more
you practice, the more sensations change.

14. During the exercise, what parts of the body should we imagine the Qi
goings through?
You need not imagine anything. You will soon feel it.

15. I experience different temperatures in the right and left palms—one is


cold, while the other is warm.
This is not a problem. Different temperatures reflect the division
of the body into two parts. One part belongs to Yin, and the other, to Yang.
You will often experience different temperatures during practice. In ancient
times if, during a battle, warriors could not avoid hand-to-hand combat, they
would make use of these differences in temperature while fighting. They
intentionally developed, nurtured, and made use of this phenomenon. When
you find the balance between Yin and Yang, your sensations will change.

16. After Big Tree, my legs seem to be numb. What is the fastest way to bring
them back to normal?
During the final patting exercises, you should start hitting your
legs from the Huantiao point (Picture 26c), or intensely massage that point by
applying finger pressure.

17. Why do some parts of my body (for example, my head, neck, and
shoulders) start itching? What should I do in this case?
Very often, the opening of the BAPs and the zones will cause
itching, especially in the head, neck, face, and shoulders. You should try and
tolerate this. For these unpleasant sensations to disappear, you should
practice more intensely. Vigorous practice will enable more Qi to enter the
body, and the process of opening the points will take place faster.

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18. While practicing Big Tree, I experience constant swelling of the fingers.
Sometimes it is hard to bend them. Why?
This is what happens when Qi accumulates in the wrists. It is a
correct phenomena.

19. I often feel like laughing while listening to certain melodies that are
played during the practice of Big Tree. Should I stop myself?
Do not stop yourself. Such phenomena are related to certain
changes in the physical body and the flow of Qi. They will change as you
practice.

20. Some of the music that follows ZYQ exercises irritates me. Why do some
people say that they like these melodies, when I cannot stand some of these
selections?
Such phenomena are related to your physical body. Different
music affects different parts of the body. If the Qi enters a seriously ill area,
you feel pain in that zone. If the problems are not too serious and connect to
the state of the nervous system and the psycho-emotional sphere, you may
experience irritation, or rage. These moods will continue until the area is
worked out completely. Then, you will stop emotionally reacting to the
melodies.

21. During the exercise, my body goes through rocking and bending motions.
It feels as though some force is driving me. Sometimes, I fall down. What
should I do?
People who experience such movements should not close their
eyes completely during the exercise. This will help them control their body
positions better. Continue practicing with opened eyes.

22. I feel as though my hands are located on top of a ball that grows bigger
and bigger. Sometimes I find my hands floating higher than the level of the
navel, and I cannot feel my arms at all. They seem to be on top of some kind
of pillow, and it is hard to bring them back to their original stance before the
end of the exercise. What should I do?
You are experiencing the appropriate sensations. Do not put your
arms down during practice. The only thing you should do is place them in the
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original stance in the beginning and then try to forget about them. All the rest
will happen automatically.

23. At some point during Big Tree, my breathing slows down, becomes
shallow, and then stops. For some time, I do not want to breathe at all. Then,
I gasp for breath. My breathing pattern returns to normal and becomes
regular, but soon afterward it again becomes shallow and stops. This usually
happens several times. After this, I do not feel my body at all and cannot
sense any breathing. Is that dangerous?
These reactions are good and indicate that you are doing
everything right. This is the beginning phase of the state of Qigong. Later,
you will be able to “switch” to that state instantly.

24. It seems to me that as soon as I adopt the appropriate position and start
seeing some blurry images with changing colors, the music stops and I need
to do the end exercises. Is there any explanation for this?
This is very good. This is the true state of Qigong. In this case,
you can practice the exercise longer—for an hour or two.

25. I used to feel so hot that sweat dripped off my face and back. However,
yesterday, all I felt was heat. What does this mean?
This reaction is not a problem. In Qigong practice, heat and
warmth are normal phenomena. These reactions occur because you have
collected large amounts of Yang Qi during the exercise.

26. I experience strong pain on my left side that lasts for about thirty minutes
after the end of the exercise. I did not feel this on the first day; however, on
the second and third day, the pain made its first appearance and became
hard to tolerate. What should I do?
Are you aware of any problems that you might have in the area
of the pain?

Yes, six years ago, I had two fractured ribs. Last year, in the same spot, I had
intercostal neuralgia, but I am fine now. Could these be connected?
Of course, these factors are connected. Even if the problem is ten

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years old, it will probably make an appearance during practice. A pain
sensation points to a disorder in the associated area. You need to continue
practicing. The pain, and eventually the problems, will go away.

But why did I have no pain on the very first day?


There was no pain because, on the first day, we practiced Big
Tree only briefly. This means that you did not receive enough Qi for the pain
to manifest.

27. I do not feel anything. Does this mean that I do not collect energy? I do
not feel any warmth under the hands in the lower Dan Tian. All I feel is
pulsation and pressure.
These are also sensations. They indicate the collection of Qi and
its entrance into the lower Dan Tian. At this stage, you need not experience
warm sensations. These will come later.

28. I always see flashes of light, sometimes bright and multicolored, during
Big Tree. What does this mean?
This is a good reaction. It shows that you have activated the
Third Eye zone due to a large quantity of Qi entering your brain area.

Does the color of the flashes matter?


At first, no! Later, these flashes will be as bright as lightning and
will often be purple.

29. Sometimes I experience ringing of the ears. The sensation I experience is


similar to jingling bells. Sometimes one of my ears plugs up as though I were
in an airplane.
This is fine. The experience of ringing bells occurs before the
Third Eye starts working. Plugged ears are a normal experience during
Qigong practice.

30. At some point during the practice of Big Tree, I experience heartache.
Just before the pain appears, I almost stop breathing. Then, just below my
shoulder blade, I feel as though a plug has been inserted. Involuntarily, I
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inhale deeply and the pain goes away, but the whole experience gets repeated
after some time. This lasts throughout the forty minutes of practice. It
happens even when I practice at home. However, I have a healthy heart.
This happens when you have narrow channels in the shoulder
blade area. A very rough region for the Qi to travel through is the area around
the Chiachi point. People often report heartache when Qi goes through this
area. These discomforts will last until the point has opened up completely. If
you practice intensively, these unpleasant sensations will go away faster.

Yes, perhaps you are right. Today the pain was much weaker than yesterday.
Tomorrow, it will be even less.

31. You tell us that during Big Tree we collect Qi. Nevertheless, after the
exercise, I feel very sleepy. What kind of energy is this? Is it possible that
instead of collecting it, I am losing it?
What was your condition before you began this practice?

Three years ago, I underwent surgery for a bad appendix. After that, I had a
slight fever for more than a month. During the last month, I constantly had a
bitter taste in my mouth, and I did not sleep well enough. It felt as though I
had insomnia.
Has anything else changed apart from the hypersomnia?

The bitterness in my mouth seems to have gone. The headaches have almost
stopped.
You see, hypersomnia is symptomatic of the body undergoing
reconstruction. You have had too many problems. Energy is necessary for
healing. It will aid in the recovery of your organs’ functions in particular and
your physiological state in general. Very often, during Qigong practice, the
prolongation of sleep is connected to all kinds of healing and health-
improvement processes in the body. As you heal, your vital powers will
increase and the duration of your sleep will shorten. As you see, it is all quite
logical.

32. Before the practice of Big Tree, I did not experience any headaches, but

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now they are severe.
Please tell me if you have ever had any headaches previously.

I had some, a long time ago. Later, I outgrew them.


This relates to the opening of points and channels in that area. In
addition, this tells us that you do not practice much. You need to practice
more. The first days bring pain sensations to many people; but later,
everything gets stabilized.

33. I am aware of all my diseases, and I would like them to disappear as soon
as possible. I would like to open up my points as fast as I can. May I
intentionally direct the energy toward the infected areas during the Big Tree
practice?
No, you may not do so. First, when there is a large amount of Qi,
it will move automatically to the appropriate area. Second, you do not know
the exact and required path of the Qi movement inside your body. You know
where you are experiencing problems, but overall, you seem to have no idea
how to work out these faults.

34. Can I move to the second stage if body rocking and similar movements
have not stopped after the completion of the first stage?
This depends on several factors. Usually, this is not an obstacle.
However, we need to review each case individually.

35. I experience pronounced up-down-and-rotating movements. When I try to


stop them and control myself, I get bad headaches.
You should not interfere with these movements. Let them
continue in this natural way. Your body needs them. The only additional
thing you can do is practice with your eyes open.

What is the connection between my moves and my headache? Why do I suffer


headaches when I try to stop moving?
Do not make a conscious effort to stop moving. Your movements
are a result of the energy entering your body. When you force yourself to stop
moving, the energy going to your head collects there. Have you had

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headaches before?

I had some a long time ago. In addition, I had headaches when I was sick
with the flu.
Practice more and do not force anything on your body.

36. I have always considered myself healthy because I rarely get sick. I do
not take sick leaves or see doctors, except for dentists. However, on the third
day of the Big Tree practice at home, I started to experience spontaneous
movements. If I try to stop my body from moving, I feel irritation,
disturbance; sometimes, I even have tears in my eyes. This worries me. I am a
grown-up man, not a whiny child. What should I do about this?
The passage of inner energy causes changes in your emotions:
sometimes, you feel like crying or laughing; sometimes, you experience other
emotions. Do not try to control yourself. Do not restrain yourself. These
emotions arise because the energy inside your body has been activated. Do
not control it. Do not worry. These responses should be welcomed. If you
have sick areas, your body will certainly move. If the movement does not
take place immediately, it certainly will after several days.
If there is no illness in your body, if you know you are healthy,
all your channels are open and the energy flows freely. In these cases, there
will not be any movements. If movements occur, it means that you have
problems and that the passage of Qi energy makes your body move.
Therefore, there is no need to force your body and intentionally stop the
movements. If you do this, you will interfere with the passage of energy. As a
result, you can experience emotional outbursts or pain. Let everything work
naturally. This is the process of healing.

37. When I try to concentrate on the image of a big tree, I feel either the head
or the legs. How often do I need to redirect my attention to imagining the
roots or the top? Should I fight this phenomenon?
You should imagine this picture only at the beginning. During
practice, you need to remove all thoughts from your mind. First, picture
yourself as a big tree; then, feel yourself as a big tree to the extent that you
are unsure whether you are human or tree. This is the correct method.

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38. I cannot sit still after practice. I feel all this excess energy, and I cannot
sit down and read a book. I experience urges to walk, run, and move. What
should I do in this case? Every time I try and stop this process, I do not know
what to do.
You can do anything you want or need to do after practice, as
long as it does not harm other people. Very often, you can perform something
that is hard to undertake in your regular state. You need to learn to take
advantage of this state. After all, we practice to be able to do more things, to
do better things.

39. May I manipulate the sick areas of my body, primarily the spine, during
the Big Tree exercise?
No, you may not. You must learn to let go completely. If you
intentionally try to control your bodily processes during practice, you will not
be able to relax.

40. Can I stand right next to a real tree during the exercise? It is believed
that only actual big trees fit the goals of the exercise and that, otherwise, the
exercise will not be beneficial.
No, this is not true. Standing next to a tree is of no essential
value, as far as the exercise is concerned. What is of importance here is the
working of your mind at the initial moment of the exercise. You need to
imagine yourself as a big tree.

41. I don’t feel anything when I pat my head with my hands after Big Tree. It
seems as though it is not even my own head. How do I bring back normal
sensations?”
You need to intensely pat your head with your hands. Soft
patting will not work. While patting, you need to imagine that your activated
palms open BAPs and channels. Try the exercise again, with these
modifications.

Yes, this is much better.


Don’t be afraid. This is normal.

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42. My thoughts always simmer in the back of my mind. Are there any
methods to relax my “monkey mind”?
A primary goal of the Zhong Yuan Qigong system is to increase
our inner energy. In addition, in Qigong, we also want to acquire the abilities
and skills for relaxation. Many people think it is easy to relax. However, in
reality, it is not easy at all. Relaxation involves more than the mere adoption
of a calm pose. When we truly relax, both body and mind feel peace and
calm. It is easier to relax the body than to calm the mind, because we tend to
think all the time. If you perform a lot of physical labor, you get tired. If you
are tired and lie down to rest, your body relaxes right away. However, your
mind keeps working. It is very hard to calm your mind, as is evident from the
tension around your forehead and the area between your eyebrows at such
times. If you feel stressed, if it looks like you are frowning, it means that your
mind is not relaxed. This part of the face can tell us exactly whether a person
is relaxed or not. In Chinese, we say, “Relax the body and the heart.”
If a person is nervous and uptight, his heart rate is a little higher
than it should be. When we truly relax our mind, the area between the brows
is smooth and the heart rate normalizes. I have been to many cities where I
have found that even young people have heart problems. Usually this
happens when they have been under constant stress. In these cases, the heart
rate goes up and stays in that unnatural position for a long time. This, of
course, leads to heart disease. Children undergo great stress when their
parents do not get along. Consequently, children can suffer from heart
disease.
I recommend practicing Big Tree to get the physical body tired.
Then, in this sedentary position, the body can relax so that it becomes easier
to relax the mind.

REFINING QI
There are two ways to increase your own energy.
The first is to use certain exercises that allow you to receive this
energy directly from the environment. You are already familiar with the most
effective exercise for this—namely, Big Tree.
The second way is to generate the energy inside your body or to

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transform something into energy. We will now learn a method for
generating energy. The Chinese name for this exercise is Yang Qi
Gong, or simply Yang Qi (which we call “Refining Qi”), which
translates to “the nurturing or the transformation of Qi.”
Sometimes, people speak about the diligent cultivation of Qi or the
improvement of its quality. We will learn how to transform the
energy from Jing into the more subtle Qi. This process is similar to
refining (changing) an ore into a metal. We can produce high-quality energy
inside our body by performing certain procedures.
How do we determine the amount of energy we have? How do
we know if we have enough energy? Previously, we spoke about how the size
and color of our lunulae correlate with the quality and quantity of our energy.
We can also make a preliminary assessment of our energy state by noticing
our warm or cold feelings. Usually, we feel cold or chilly when our energy
level is low. Similarly, we feel warm or hot if our energy level is high.

About Qi Generation

Every person has an internal energy system. Within this system,


there is a certain area where, with special training, we can generate large
amounts of energy. This zone is known as the lower Dan Tian. Pictures 11
and 29 show its location around the navel area. It can be felt and it is capable
of collecting, storing, and refining (transforming) Qi.
At the beginning of practice, we have no special sensations in
that area; it is no different than any other part of our body. However, if it is
trained in a special way, the process of energy generation will begin. Such
activation will cause feelings of warmth followed by heat in this area.
(Pictures 29a–c) After many thousands of years of practice, people have
confirmed that this area really does produce energy. This is also the zone
where sexual hormones are transformed into Qi. How does this happen?

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Picture 29: Refining Qi Practice (a) Lower Dan Tian Not Activated, (b) With Warm Qi Ball, (c) With
Hot Qi Ball

You know that in order to build muscles and strength, you need
to exercise. However, exercise alone is not enough. Only after exercising
regularly for a period of time do we notice any increase in the size of our
muscles and our strength. The same applies to the lower Dan Tian. After a
certain period of training, we start feeling warmth followed by heat in this
area.
When we vigorously rub our palms together, they become hot. If
we run or do some other intense exercise, our body heats up and we begin to
feel hot as well. Qigong practice in the Dan Tian area requires the opposite
approach. First, we must reach a deep state of relaxation and quietness and
not make any movements. Here we use a new method of producing energy
and warmth. This method is not dynamic but has similarities to a chemical
method. While working with this area, we first increase the quantity of our
energy and then, its quality. How do we do this?
Most people notice that our energy decreases when we feel sick
or have bad moods or negative emotional states. In contrast, our energy
increases when we feel upbeat or happy, or experience a high level of interest
in something. The increase in energy means that our minds have connected
with Qi. Hence, in order to produce Qi, we need to use our minds. For this,
we should use visualization techniques.

About Visualization

Imagine that you are looking at a red ball of energy located in


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your lower Dan Tian. Here visualizing means to look at a nonexistent ball.
You don’t have to think about the presence of the red ball all the time.
Although we have used the expression, “to look at the ball,” we do not mean
that you should literally “see” the ball. Whether you “see” or “don’t see” it,
the important thing is to enter into a process of “looking.” In the beginning,
you might have to tell yourself that the ball is there and that you need to look
at it. You need to relax your mind, so that it can do this task. You need to see
with your mind, and not with your eyes. This is why we say that visualization
is looking with your mind, not with your eyes. Visualization involves
imagining an object and then looking at it. If we look at the ball through
sight, it will appear that there is no ball. However, you should not keep
thinking about these things. You should not concentrate your attention on
these issues, because then the energy will not stay with the ball. Instead, it
will go up to the brain where the thinking is taking place. Then, the energy
will fill up the brain, and you will feel as though your head has increased in
size and weight. In all probability, you will also get a headache, since
prolonged concentration leads to energy loss.
Nevertheless, you should not forget about the ball. Forgetting
will make you start falling asleep. Then you will no longer be practicing or
meditating. Many people can easily fall asleep if they relax too much. To
offset this, during the practice of this exercise, you should smile slightly.
Also, keep your eyes half-open, so that some light can still reach them. If you
fully close your eyes, you will fall asleep.
So you should not concentrate on this process, but instead
imagine that you see as well as don’t see the ball. It appears, and then it
disappears. Meanwhile, you should constantly change the focus of your
attention from visualization to relaxation.

Why do we practice this way? For a very important reason. If we


concentrate our attention on a particular part of the body and observe it, the
energy will flow to that zone, where it will begin to collect. As a result, we
will be able to feel that zone. The more distinctly we feel it, the more energy
will collect there, and the more active it will become. In this way,
visualization of the lower Dan Tian leads to an increase in energy. With
further increases in energy, the resulting warm feeling will become stronger
and eventually turn into sensations of heat.

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The Sequence of the Exercise

Steps for practicing Refining Qi are as follows below (also see


Picture 30.)
1. Ideally, try to sit in the lotus (Picture 30a) or half-lotus position (Picture
30b). For those who have trouble with this posture, we recommend
sitting on a small pillow and crossing your legs Turkish style (Picture
30c). Alternatively, you can sit on the edge of a chair, using only about
one-third of the seat. The back must be straight. The head should “hang”
by the vertex as in Big Tree. The eyes are only half-closed so that light
can still enter. The face has a slight smile.
People who cannot sit with their backs straight for extended periods
should sit deep in an armchair so they can support themselves using the
back of the chair. Remember to avoid bending the back, and to lean
slightly forward. We also recommend loosening the belts of pants and
skirts to make the body more comfortable. You can practice this
exercise in the standing position, as long as you keep the spine straight
—that is very important.
2. Men place their left hand on their navel. The center of the palm (Laogong
point) must rest directly on the navel. The right hand goes on top.
Women place their hands in the opposite way, with the right hand on the
navel and the left hand on top. Do not forget that the thumb of the upper
hand should be tucked inside “the pocket” of the lower hand. This
position of the hands is the same as when you are finishing Big Tree.
3. Relax the body. You can relax the body in stages, feeling and calming
each zone in turn: relax your head, relax your face…, relax your neck…,
relax your shoulders…, relax your arms…, relax your back…, relax the
lumbar…, relax your chest…, relax your stomach…, relax your legs…,
relax your feet…, relax your inner organs…
4. Let your mind picture and feel a hot ball in the lower Dan Tian, under the
palms of your hands.
5. Imagine a red ball there. Visualize that ball. Look at the red ball. Feel that
the red-hot ball is there, inside.
6. Try to free your mind of any thoughts, as though you were resting. Do
not think about the ball, but do not forget about it either. Feel the ball
getting warmer until it gets hot. As the sensation of warmth increases,
the ball alternatively appears and disappears, along with the sensation of
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the ball. It is as if it is both there and not there at the same time. For this
way of practice we may use the words “it seems it exists; it seems it
doesn’t.”

Picture 30: Practice Postures (a,d) Lotus Pose, (b) Half-lotus Pose, (c,e) Turkish Style

The duration of this exercise is thirty minutes or longer.


Of course, at the beginning, there is no ball, to say nothing of a
red ball. However, you need to imagine that there, inside of you, is a red ball
and you then need to visualize it with your mind’s eye.

ATTENTION: Menstruating and pregnant women should practice


without the use of their hands or arms. They should imagine only
the red color of the ball. They should not try to generate any heat
sensations.

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CLOSING EXERCISES

Rub your palms until they are hot and wash your face with them.
If you were practicing for a long time, perform the entire set of closing
exercises that we did after Big Tree.

In addition to the above-described


practice of Refining Qi, you can also exercise
in the morning and the evening, as follows: Picture 31: Refining Qi Practice in
Lying Posture
1. Before falling asleep, lie on your back in
bed, relax and close your eyes, and put your hands on the area of the
lower Dan Tian (Picture 31).
2. Imagine and feel the same red-hot ball in the lower Dan Tian. Fall asleep
in this state.
3. When you wake up, while still lying in bed, put your hands on the lower
Dan Tian. Concentrate your Qi in it. Feel the hot ball. The duration of
this exercise is three to five minutes.

Practical Guidelines

Perhaps you have noticed that some people have no problem


picturing the images and colors, but that they may have problems feeling the
energy. In contrast, other people have trouble doing the visualization, but
have no problem feeling the energy. Few people can both picture the images
and feel the energy. Hence, some practitioners may find it easier to perform
the exercise by breaking it in two parts.

First Section: Sensation of the Energy Ball


1. Assume any position, sitting, standing, or lying down. Pick the most
comfortable one, the one that enables you to relax the most.
2. Place your hands over the lower Dan Tian in the same way as described
above.
3. Imagine and feel a hot ball under your hands, inside the body.
4. Try not to think about anything, but periodically direct your attention to

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the zone under your hands. In your thoughts, “tune in” to feel the
warmth in the lower Dan Tian. “It is both there and not there, at the
same time.”
5. While feeling the warmth, concentrate on it for a short period of time
and try to intensify it in your mind. Then, relax and redirect your
attention to the zone of the lower Dan Tian. Try to further intensify the
warmth, and then relax again.
You can practice while commuting, reading, or watching
television and so on.

Second Section: Visualization of the Ball


1–3. Do the first three steps, the same way as in the first part described
above.
4. Visualize a warm or hot ball in the lower Dan Tian. Then, imagine it to
be red and look at it with your mind’s eye. Do not try to imagine it
continuously. Act as if it was “there and not there, at the same time.”
First, you may see just a red color of light or, perhaps, a red ball
as if it was directly in front of you on an internal movie screen. Later, you
can look with your mind’s eye down, inside the lower Dan Tian, as if you
were looking into a pipe.
If you see a different color, paint it red.

You can choose which section to do first, according to whether


you find it easier to imagine or to feel the object. If you find it easier to
imagine, practice second section first; if it is easier to feel, practice section
one first. This means that if you find it easier to feel warmth from the ball,
then you should imagine that the warm (or hot) ball radiates red light, like the
heating coil of an electric stove. If it is easier for you to picture a red color or
a red ball, imagine that it is radiating warmth.
If you still cannot imagine the red color of the ball, you can try
practicing with a red light or with glasses that have red lenses. You can also
hang a piece of semitransparent red material directly in front of your eyes. In
short, try to find something that works for you.

Methods to Activate the Energy Ball

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Many practitioners have no or weak sensations in the lower Dan
Tian. This can happen for a number of reasons. For example, a person may
have very little or inactive energy. Alternatively, a person may have low
sensitivity to his own energy. A disease or surgical procedure can break
channel conductivity. Some people cannot relax or concentrate. Sometimes, a
person feels so relaxed or tired that he keeps falling asleep. These are just a
few of the reasons why a person cannot distinctly feel the red ball.
In any event, if you do not feel any warmth or heat in the lower
Dan Tian during Refining Qi, you need to activate your ball. There are
several methods for helping to activate your energy ball, and they can be
exercises in themselves. You can use these methods as separate exercises
until you reach a level of high sensitivity. However, you can also use them to
begin the practice of Refining Qi.
As you know, we can feel the Qi with our hands and control it
with our mind. These realizations serve as a foundation stone for the
exercises that activate the energy ball in the lower Dan Tian. You can
practice these sitting or standing. However, keep in mind that when you
practice standing, you will get quicker results.

Method One: Compression of the Ball in the Lower Dan Tian


1. Put your hands on the navel as you did during the Refining Qi practice.
Imagine your palms energetically connecting with your ball in the lower
Dan Tian.
2. Slightly squeeze your palms. Picture them squeezing the ball to increase
the concentration of energy in the ball.
3. Then, release the squeeze. Imagine that the ball has returned to its
original size, and the energy to its original concentration.
4. Again, squeeze the palms and picture the ball contracting.
By squeezing and relaxing the palms, we mentally squeeze and
release the ball in order to feel it better.
5. Visualize the ball. Imagine and feel its warmth.
One cycle of squeeze-and-release should take from two to four
seconds. The duration of the entire exercise should take from thirty minutes
to one hour, or until you feel the warmth. Eventually, you will start to feel a
hot spot in the area of lower Dan Tian during practice.

Method Two: Kneading of the Ball in the Lower Dan Tian


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1. Put your hands on your navel as you did during the practice of Refining
Qi. Also, as before, imagine your palms connecting energetically to the
ball in the lower Dan Tian. Try to feel it or, at least, try to imagine it.
2. Then, open your palms and put them parallel to one another, close to
your navel. Move the palms away from each other and back toward each
other several times. Imagine doing this with the ball in your lower Dan
Tian. Now, place your palms on both sides of the ball. Squeeze and
stretch the ball in a horizontal direction several times.
3. Then, placing the palms above and below the ball, squeeze and stretch in
a vertical direction.
4. For the next step, knead the ball by moving the palms as if you were
kneading dough to make bread. Imagine that the consistency of the
energy in your ball is like bread dough, and work it accordingly. The
palms should be facing the lower Dan Tian, moving up and down in
turn. Alternatively, they may make rotating or mixing movements. Feel
this movement by squeezing the ball with your fingers and kneading it.
After a while, you will feel the motion of this energy in the lower Dan
Tian.
5. After the exercise, put your hands on your navel and mentally
concentrate Qi into the smallest size possible.
6. Imagine and feel your ball warming up. Mentally, intensify the sensation
of warmth. Perform this exercise for an hour or until you get a clear
sensation.

Method Three: Stirring the Ball Outside


1. As in the previous exercises, put your hands on your navel and imagine
that your palms connect to the ball in the lower Dan Tian (Picture 32).
2. Then, open the palms and place them parallel to each other, before you
lower them to the Dan Tian level. Imagine that your ball is expanding
after your palms have moved away from the lower Dan Tian, and has
ended up between your palms.
Relax your arms and wrists.
3. Spread your arms to the sides. Mentally stretching the ball (as if it were
dough or whatever suits you), stretch it to about 1.5 feet or more.
4. Then, bring your palms to within a few inches (five to ten centimeters, or
two to four inches) of each other, while mentally squeezing the ball and
concentrating the energy in it.
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Your arms must be completely relaxed and move in a smooth
motion. Do not apply physical force. Use your imagination.
5. Squeeze the ball as if you were pushing it with your palms as they come
together. Stretch the ball when the palms move aside. Again—stretch
and squeeze, stretch and squeeze…
6. When you feel the ball (or something dense) between your palms, keep it
motionless between your hands. When necessary, you may move your
hands slightly, in order to better feel the ball.
7. Having finished the exercise, slowly move your palms toward each other,
mentally reducing the ball’s size. Imagine and feel it becoming smaller
and denser. Then, enter the ball into the lower Dan Tian through your
navel. Put your hands on your navel and concentrate the Qi in the lower
Dan Tian.
The duration of this exercise also
depends on your sensations. Usually, it lasts
from thirty minutes to one hour.
If, for some reason, you cannot
stand for an hour, start practicing the exercise
in a standing position, and when you feel the
ball in the lower Dan Tian, sit down and
continue practicing.
Start practicing the Refining Qi
when you experience sensations of warmth or Picture 32: Activation of Energy
heat. In this way, you can get faster results. Bal

Master’s Story
We use our mind to control Qi, so that it can serve us. Humans
constantly strive to learn, progress, and develop. However, first we need to
understand who we are. The existence of all living creatures, including
humans, has three aspects: physical body, energy, and mind/consciousness or
spirit. Therefore, human development assumes the development of each of
these aspects.
We believe that we understand everything about the physical
body. We have devised many sports—football, basketball, skiing, ice-skating,
swimming, jogging, etc., and special types of training for certain muscle
groups. To develop the body, we begin athletic training as early as preschool.
We have developed gym facilities filled with exercise equipment.
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However, despite all these efforts, an analysis of the health of professional
athletes shows that by the age of forty, if not earlier, their health is much
worse than that of other people of the same age. This indicates that there are
limitations and drawbacks to our knowledge and philosophical perception of
life and health.
Let us turn to the second aspect of human nature—energy. What
methods can we use to improve it? Can you recall being taught this subject at
school?
What have we learned about developing our spirit and soul—the
third aspect of a human being? Today many people, including students, suffer
from depression in the face of stressful situations. Why don’t we focus more
on ways to improve their emotional states? Maybe our philosophy of life is
not quite right? May be we misunderstand what health means?
We devote considerable attention, effort, and resources to the
improvement of the material aspect of life, but comparatively little to
spiritual and emotional development. In recent years, however,
biotechnology has started to make tremendous progress, because humanity
really wants to understand what life is. It is time to start the development of
Human Beings as a form of Life.
Qigong provides a way for us to attain deep insights into the
nature of Life and various aspects of its existence. To assure success in this
venture, we need to develop our brain. To do this effectively, we need to
develop our energy and to improve its quality. This should help us
understand the importance of the practice of the Refining Qi exercise. The
recipe is simple: first, improve your health, and then, develop yourself—your
mind, intellect, and spirit.

Goals and Benefits of the Exercise

The Refining Qi (or Yang Qi) exercise relates to the main


exercises in two ways. First, it improves our health, and second, it raises our
intellectual level and develops our intuition and creativity.

1. Health Effects
a) This exercise tunes up the inner organs. It also brings a certain
order to the body. As a result, each organ works optimally and in harmony
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with all the other organs. We practice Qigong to bring each organ to its
optimal state.
Perhaps we would not need to do these things if external factors
were not causing excessive, uncontrolled emotions in us and if these
emotions were not affecting our inner organs; if our body parts were not
being damaged by medications, or improper food; if our bodies were not
being subject to improper physical exercises and incorrect practices; if…if…
The state of deep relaxation and silence of mind brings all inner
organs to order automatically, naturally, without any help. The practice of the
Refining Qi exercise brings us to this calm state and returns our inner organs
to their normal functioning. When we relax and calm down, our energy
increases and properly flows through the channels. Such flow of inner energy
helps balance the inner organs. This shows us the importance of learning how
to relax during this first stage of training.
Visualization helps greatly. It activates the occipital part of the
brain and calms down the frontal parts of the brain, so that it appears to have
fallen asleep. The frontal part is responsible for our thinking processes.
Hence, our mind also calms down, and our thoughts do not trouble our body
and energy system. Visualization techniques allow the energy to flow as it is
supposed to. In Qigong, the mind does not control or direct the energy.
Qigong aims to enable the body to go to its natural self-regulatory state.
b) One more aspect of this exercise also affects the transmission
of pain. The Refining Qi and ball activation are energy exercises. If someone
has a disease of the inner organs, located in the lower Dan Tian area, that
person will feel a pain similar to the one felt during the Big Tree exercise.
The opening of the energy channels offers ways to remedy this. Pain
symptoms frequently occur in women with gynecological disorders, and in
people with healing problems after surgery. Colitis and distortions in the
urogenital area may cause discomfort as well. The image of a red hot—not
just warm—ball can help relieve these pains and discomforts.

2. Rejuvenating Effects
The practice of Refining Qi allows us to transform our body, to
improve brain functions, and rejuvenate ourselves. When we practice this
exercise, we work with the lower Dan Tian, which is located in a part of the
body containing Yuan-Jing energy. We have already mentioned that this
energy relates to the genetic code (DNA and RNA) and to male and female
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sex hormones. Researchers have shown that this practice transforms DNA
and RNA into the energy that feeds the brain and activates its cells, thereby
making them work more efficiently. In addition, this exercise activates the
cells of the spinal cord. You will only have truly mastered this exercise when
you constantly feel warmth in the lower Dan Tian outside your daily routine,
and when you feel intense, almost painful, heat during practice. The heat
produced by the exercise relates to the process of transforming hormones into
Qi. This heat indicates that your body has started to change. It is difficult to
improve one’s health without the sensation of a hot red ball. Hence, it is
important to practice daily, with the ball.

Recommendations
Find a special time for practice. However, you should try to
practice at any opportunity: whether riding a bus, reading a book, working at
a computer, or during any type of activity that allows the periodic redirection
of your attention to the lower Dan Tian area. In these cases, you can practice,
without using your hands, by mentally recalling your ball in order to check
on its state, and to feel it in the lower Dan Tian.
Constant practice will increase hormone production in the body,
which in turn will generate more energy. What sensations accompany these
processes?

Master’s Story
With regular practice of the Refining Qi exercise, a person will
feel younger and more energetic. This increase in energy leads to an increase
in male and female sex hormones, followed by desire and sexual potency. In
many people, a lack of or decrease in sexual drive results from disease, not
aging. If sexual feelings have faded away with age, they will return with
Qigong practice, because the Refining Qi exercise triggers the recovery of
related physiological functions. In other words, your Qi returns to you. When
your energy starts increasing, your sexual desire also increases. If you do not
control this desire, you can lose energy and the Third Eye will stop working.
If your sexual desire increases during practice, you need to redirect that
energy to your brain. This energy will feed our Shen (or spirit), activate the
brain, and lead to the opening of the channels of extrasensory perception.
Usually, to redirect the energy, we use the Small Sky Circle (or Microcosmic

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Orbit).This exercise we will review later.
Once, at the very beginning of my seminars in Russia, an eighty-
three-year-old man approached me. He was a highly decorated retired
military officer. He always had a highly professional approach to whatever
he did, and he always finished the projects that he started. He practiced
Qigong regularly and followed all instructions to the letter. When, at the age
of eighty-five, he went for a checkup, his physician told him that he could still
have children!
He returned to work as a tour guide on the mountain trails.
Sometimes, the trips could be about twenty miles (or thirty kilometers) long
and seemed more like accelerated military marches. Middle-aged people in
the group could not keep up with him.
Once he told our seminar group that he regretted not having
found ZYQ twenty years earlier. He said that if he had known about it, he
would have used it in the intervening years to acquire wisdom and all the
qualities needed to manage the whole province or even govern a country.
Newspapers have published articles about him.
This is only one of several examples. Unfortunately, older people
don’t often come to our classes.

3. Developmental Effects
By practicing regularly, you will soon feel a hot area in the lower
Dan Tian. Further practice leads to intense heat, near-pain, and sometimes,
fire. Usually, the energy from the lower Dan Tian automatically goes up to
the brain and reaches the area of the Third Eye. Sensitive people may feel the
movement of this energy. When it reaches the brain, you will see something
similar to flashes of lightning, of the kind that you experienced in the Big
Tree exercise. Later, various colors of light will also appear. These colors are
very distinct, very bright, and clean. All the while, your mind will remain
clear.
This experience marks the beginning of the work of the Third
Eye. At the beginning, we said that Qigong practice increases the quantity of
our energy and improves its quality. This means that Qigong practice
expands the range of our sense perceptions. Normally, we see ourselves,
other people, nature, and the surrounding world through our perception
channels, but our senses are limited, as mentioned above.
Widening our range of sensations enables us to widen our
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perceptions, understanding, and knowledge about the environment, about us,
and about life.

4. Increasing of Intuition and Creativity


There is another positive aspect related to the rising of the energy
to the brain as a result of Qigong practice: it helps us develop intuition. An
improved intuition allows us to make decisions faster, to feel in which
direction it is better to conduct business or research, and live better lives.
More importantly, a better intuition makes us feel as though this world has
many different types of life.
During the practice of this exercise, we make extensive use of
visualization. Visualization itself contributes to positive qualitative changes,
including more creative approaches to problem-solving during studies,
activities, and daily life.
It is well-known that people show enormous differences in their
memory, reasoning, and creative abilities, as well as in their philosophies of
life. Further, we know that their successes and failures do not always depend
on their education. Sometimes we find that excellence in education does not
lead to success in business. Some barely pass their college examinations
because they spend all their time being the life of the party. Yet they
sometimes become highly successful in their careers and in life. Conversely,
we find hard-working students who get good grades but later become
failures. Why does this happen?
We also know about another typical situation. This is when
people pass the same or similar classes, study in the same way, and get
similar results and knowledge. After that, they work in the same field, doing
the same work. But, after a few years, some of them become experienced and
respected specialists, who get satisfaction from their jobs, their surroundings,
and their lives in general, while others cannot go beyond positions involving
dull, routine work. Why is this so?
When people cannot find explanations for these discrepancies,
they tend to attribute them to fate or karma. Yet they still wonder how and
why they happen.

Master’s Story
Researchers in the United States investigated the use of

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creativity in problem solving. They polled and tested many people who
appeared to have achieved success. These individuals came from a variety of
professions and social statuses and had various standards of living. They
included famous musicians, models, fashion designers, businesspeople,
lawyers, reporters, advertising agents, scientists, actors, and doctors, as well
as Qigong masters. The investigators used electroencephalograms and other
devices to measure their brain waves (that is, the alpha, beta, gamma, theta,
delta, etc. rhythm). It is known that different brain rhythms and their
correlations characterize various states and several potential capabilities of
a human being. The results showed that, compared to other individuals,
successful people had clearly pronounced delta rhythms, with extremely
intense activity coming from the occipital part of the brain.
This intensely working zone of the occipital area is often referred
to as the “awakened one.” This area is responsible a for person’s creative
abilities. Creativity helps a great deal in problem solving. The more creative
the approach, the greater the likelihood of success in this area. This indicates
that a key differentiating factor between successful and unsuccessful
individuals is the extent of their creative abilities.
Next, the researchers began to look for efficient and effective
ways to increase the activity of the occipital part of the brain. It turns out
that these methods already exist. Scientists have discovered that people who
practice Qigong have stronger creative abilities and more intense activity in
their occipital areas. Nowadays, some countries use Qigong and certain
devices to enhance activity in the occipital areas of students’ brains.
A few researches from Japan and Russia examined my brain.
The results showed a highly active occipital region. This comes naturally,
because during Qigong practice, we “look” at some part of our body. During
this process of visualization, the occipital region of the brain becomes
activated.
Therefore, we now have strong scientific reasons for saying that
Qigong practice enhances our chances for success in life, since it activates
the occipital area, the region responsible for creativity.

Thus, one of the main reasons for practicing Qigong is to


strengthen our vital energy, and then to use it to restore our physical body,
improve our intellect, and develop Shen, or spirit.

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PHENOMENA EXPERIENCED DURING THE REFINING QI
EXERCISE

Visual Phenomena
Many practitioners experience the phenomena that accompany
the activation of the Third Eye, which we have mentioned before. As you
continue to develop the Third Eye, you will see new images at each stage.
The images appear automatically. Here you should not think about what you
see or may see, but continue to maintain a state of relaxation and mental
silence, and keep on practicing. We call these visions “phenomena,” because
of their constantly changing nature. Do not try to analyze them or determine
whether they are correct or not. When your phenomena change, you also
change. These changes indicate your progress. If you like some phenomena
and want to linger to spend time with them, then your progress will stop.
If you believe everything you see during meditation, you will
have serious problems. For example, you might see yourself as a child of God
or as God. If you believe in these phenomena, focus on them, or respond to
them, you might get mentally excited and they can drive you insane.

REMEMBER: Each practitioner will probably experience a number of


these phenomena during practice. Do not trust or believe them. Do
not divert your attention toward them. They are illusions that
reflect your desires, habits, intellect, beliefs, emotions, and many
other factors. You must not think about whether they are correct.
Simply continue practicing without paying attention to them. Then,
and only then, will they eventually disappear.

Auditory Phenomena
When your energy rises into the area of the ears, that area may
feel hot. The ears may then start itching, and you may experience painful
sensations. After that, you may hear the sound of wind, and then, voices. The
opening of the Third Ear is similar to that of the Third Eye. Your response to
the auditory phenomena connected to the opening of the Third Ear must be
the same as your response of the visual phenomena associated with the
opening of the Third Eye. In other words, you must not pay any attention to
them. Just keep practicing. Do not try to strain your ears to determine what
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sounds or voices you are hearing. You must ignore all of these phenomena. If
you stop paying attention to the sounds and stop trying to understand them,
they will soon disappear. However, if you believe them, and want to listen to
them and figure them out, you can get into trouble.
Our memory allows us to remember not only the images and
pictures we see, but also the sounds we hear. After a music concert or a club,
we sometimes can continue to hear the music even after returning home. We
realize that we are hearing something that was playing earlier and pay no
attention to it. Eventually, the sounds go away. In contrast, if we listen to the
auditory phenomena, pay attention to them, and try to recognize them, they
may settle in our brain and become almost impossible to get rid of.
We need to learn about and understand the nature of these
phenomena without attributing them to extrasensory abilities. Then, there is
no danger. We should just keep practicing and, after a short time, they will
disappear. Later, they will reappear, but only as real information, and not as
phenomena.

For maintaining health: To recover from illness and to improve


our intuitive and creative abilities, we need to practice this exercise on a
regular basis until we experience a permanent sensation of warmth in the
lower Dan Tian area. We must feel this warmth even when we do not
practice. We should be able to feel it by simply directing our attention to the
area of the lower Dan Tian.
For serious practice: If you desire self-development, if you truly
want to understand is the meaning of life and your place in it, if you want to
understand yourself and to know where you came from and where you will
go, you need to intensify the practice of this exercise. You need to bring the
sensation of warmth in the lower Dan Tian area to a point where the heat is
close to pain.
At times, during mediation, you may feel a fire that you also see
with your mind’s eye. Usually, this happens when you collect and save strong
energy as result of regular Big Tree and Refining Qi practice. At this point,
you will also experience an increase in sexual desire.
We can put this energy to use through two methods. The first
method is more common. We use and lose the energy for reproduction.
Through the second method, we move it inward for the development of our
body and spirit. In order to take our practice to the highest stage, we need to
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bring energy to the brain through the trajectory of a Small Microcosmic Orbit
(or a Small Sky Circle), while avoiding sexual activity for about one hundred
days (see the next exercise).

Questions and Answers

1. How big should the ball in the lower Dan Tian be?
The ball should be the size of a large apple.

2. What happens if, during Refining Qi, I feel the heat all over my body?
This is very good. It means that you have large amounts of Qi. In
this case, after the exercise, you need to concentrate the energy in the lower
Dan Tian. You need to gather it mentally from all areas of the body and put it
in the lower Dan Tian. This means that you mentally move the energy from
the entire body into the lower Dan Tian and compress it into a small ball,
almost the size of a dot.

3. Should I feel the ball in the navel area or a little lower?


You do not have to imagine where exactly the ball is. When you
feel it, you will know exactly where it is. Using this method, you must place
your hands on the navel area and start activating the area inside the body.
Later, you will feel a red dot or ball somewhere. Different people experience
this in different areas. Hence, we do not speak of its exact location. Some
people feel it a little lower than the navel. According to some books, this
zone is located three to four tsuns below and within the navel, with one tsun
equaling the length of the phalanx of your middle finger. These types of
directions often cause confusion, since people have different bodies. This
makes it difficult to use measurements.

4. How do I stop thinking?


Continue practicing this exercise and collecting the energy it
generates. The more energy you collect, the easier it is to calm your mind and
stop thinking.

5. I do not see the red energy ball. Instead, I see some circles—first blue, then
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dark.
In the very beginning, you will not see the ball. If you could see
it, you would not need to meditate. Likewise, you will not be able to feel the
warmth at first. Later, you will begin to see and feel everything. All you need
is practice.

6. I do not see the ball. I see an oval that moves very fast. What is that?
The ball can spin but not very fast. Think and imagine that it is
there, and then, that it is not.

7. Yesterday, when I concentrated my energy in the lower Dan Tian during


the exercise, I did not feel anything. Then, I had a vision of the energy of my
inner organs. I was very interested because I saw what was happening inside
me. This lasted several minutes, and then I felt so sleepy that I lost control
over the state I had attained. In the morning, I concentrated the energy and
tried to reach the same state as the day before, but could not. Are there any
exercises that can help me attain that state again?
Do not consciously think about this. Do not get fixated on the
idea. Every day, the phenomena you experience and the state you attain will
change. Do not try to reproduce, simulate, or repeat. Otherwise, you will stop
at that point and remain there. Everything will come in its own time. You
need to practice.

8. How does the energy transform during the Refining Qi exercise? Can we
call it “evaporation of energy”?
No, it is not an evaporation of the energy. It is a metamorphosis,
a transformation, a change. The transformation takes place at the molecular
level and is connected to changes in DNA. We say that during this process,
the seed Jing can turn into the energy feeding Yuan-Qi.

9. I feel warmth in the lower Dan Tian, but cannot concentrate it into a small
volume. What should I do? I always observe this area with my mind’s eye.
This is quite normal during the first stage of practice. Try and
redirect your attention to the center of this area and do not look at the entire
zone.

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10. I have gone through all three stages and practiced intensively. Now, I am
repeating the first stage. I thought that I knew the material well, but now it
seems different and triggers different sensations compared to the first time.
This is true. Students come to seminars many times. Sometimes,
they too repeat the first stage. While the exercises stay the same, the
practitioners’ understanding of them changes. As you practice, you change
the level and structure of your energy and, depending on how it changes, you
change your understanding of what you do. When your understanding
changes, you start moving to the next level of development. This happens all
the time during practice. This, indeed, makes serious practitioners want to
attend seminars without considering how many they have already taken.

11. I practice Refining Qi very often, usually for thirty minutes, but
sometimes for two hours. At the beginning of my practice, I felt warmth in the
lower Dan Tian. With time, it turns into heat, and finally, I begin to see the
light. This doesn’t happen every time; however, when it does, it takes much
more time than I thought it would. For example, when I think that it will take
fifteen or thirty minutes, it ends up actually taking two or more hours.
When you enter the state of relaxation and peace of mind (this
exercise relates to Quiet Qigong), it is easy to reach the Qigong state. Then,
you do not feel the passage of time. It may feel as though it has been several
minutes when, in reality, an hour or more may have passed. It is the same
with Big Tree. Some people seem to take to this position. They close their
eyes and, much to their surprise, forty minutes go by, and the exercise is
over. This is a good thing. This is how it should be.

12. You said that to practice the Refining Qi exercise the right way, we need
to enter a calm state where nothing distracts us. Nevertheless, how can we
ignore our environment when, from day to day, we live chaotic lives? Even
when everyone else in the house is asleep, I cannot practice because of
snores coming from the other room.
I think this is not as much about the external situation as it is
about you. I will tell you a story. Try to see the analogy in it.

Master’s Story
Our practice room had an electric lamp that hummed. One of the
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students would give it an irritated look and sigh. Obviously, the noise
distracted him and interrupted his practice. Exasperated, he could not hold
back any longer. He asked me if the light bothered me and rhetorically
inquired whether I thought it was a good idea to turn it off.
I advised him to listen to the sounds and try to enjoy them,
because such vibrations can clear up the channels. After some time had
passed, he indicated that he agreed with me. He reported that he had
absorbed the sounds, and that they had increased his energy.
In our lives, we come up against different situations like this. If
we react to them in a negative way, we will have bad feelings. Therefore,
even when you have to deal with bad things, think how you can use those
situations to learn about changing yourself.

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SMALL SKY CIRCLE OR SMALL MICROCOSMIC ORBIT

The Small Sky Circle—also known as the


Microcosmic Orbit—exercise is the basic Stage I exercise of ZYQ
as well as one of the most important exercises of the Taoist system.
What is this exercise and why does it attract so much attention?
How, in the past, did this exercise get this name?
We know that the Moon revolves around the Earth,
making a complete circle in one month, which marks the lunar
calendar. The Earth revolves around the Sun, making one full
circle in one year. We also know that the celestial bodies,
including those in our solar system, follow certain laws of motion.
After completing a certain stage of training, we can feel the motion of these
celestial bodies within our own bodies if, by silencing the mind, we enter
into a state of calm. We can feel the motion of the energy inside us,
according to the corresponding movement of Energy in the Universe and its
rhythms in its different parts.
The movement of our own energy in certain energy channels will
match the movements of specific celestial bodies. For example, Small Sky
Circle represents the Moon revolving around the Earth, and Big Sky Circle
follows the Earth revolving around the Sun. When we sit quiet and
motionless, images of other planets’ motions appear before us. We can also
feel them within our body. The ancients did not have any special tools to do
this. People simply relied on their sensations to discover the motions of the
celestial bodies and to create maps.
We see, then, that our body contains all information about the
external space. If we have questions about the surrounding world, we can
address them to ourselves. To make it possible to receive answers, we need to
attain a special state of calm. From this point of view, Qigong is the System
of inner vision and inner thinking.
Usually, we only use external methods of investigation to solve
problems. However, these external methods are based on inner sensations.
The only way we can understand and feel this is if we enter a state of deep
relaxation, silencing the mind, stopping the inner dialogue, and attaining the
state of Qigong.
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Yet, even at this stage, some questions might linger. What parts
of our body, or more specifically, what channels let us feel the Moon’s
motion? Why do we need these ancient techniques today when modern
science and engineering have already enabled humans to walk on the Moon?
What possible benefit can we receive from these ancient practices?

Small Sky Circle’s Trajectory

Small Sky Circle maps the way of Qi with its permanent


circulation through the vessels or through the miracle channels of Du-Mai
and Ren-Mai (Picture 33). The Ren-Mai channel starts at the Huiyin point
and goes to the Chengjiang point located in the lower jaw. The Du-Mai
channel also starts in Huiyin, but then travels up to Baihui and down to
Yinjiao in the upper jaw. Hence, the two channels diverge at a particular
point. To reconnect them and close the trajectory, we lift our tongue to the
roof of our mouth and touch two little bumps behind the upper teeth. This
action is known as “establishing a bridge” or “bridging.”
After practicing Big Tree, we have plenty
of Qi in our body that we have stored in the lower Dan
Tian area in the form of an energy ball. After we
practice the exercise for Re-fining Qi, the ball becomes
active and we can feel it more clearly. We liken this
ball to the Moon. Our body serves as the Earth and,
completing the picture, the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai
channels represent the orbit of the Moon around the
Earth.
When we practice this exercise, the ball of
Qi from the lower Dan Tian first goes up along the Picture 33: Small
spine, the Du-Mai channel, then down along the front Microcosmic Orbit, the
of the body along the Ren-Mai channel. The ancient Trajectory 1: Baihui, 2:
Mingtang, 3: The Ren-
Chinese called this “steering a boat down the river” Mai Channel, 4: Shan
because the channels serve as navigable waterways. To Chung, 5: Qihai, 6:
steer the boat, the river must have plenty of water or Huiyin, 7: Weilu (Lower
Gate), 8: Tsiatsi (Middle
Qi. Therefore, to succeed with Small Sky Circle, we Gate), 9: Du-Mai
need to practice exercises that contribute to the channel, 10: Yuchen
collection and activation of Qi as much as possible. (Upper Gate)

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Under certain conditions, the Qi can move from the lower Dan
Tian along the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai in a way similar to the Moon revolving
around the Earth. When we enter the state of deep calm and manage to
silence the mind, the Qi will travel very slowly through our body. However,
before we begin the practice, we need to map out, and start moving our Qi
ball along, the route. Due to various circumstances, such as disease, sedentary
lifestyle, spinal problems, energy deficits, emotional stress, etc., some parts
of the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai channels or vessels may be narrow. These
constrictions will hinder the free circulation of energy along the trajectory. In
addition, we will find hard-to-open zones along the Du-Mai channel or road.
We call these zones “the gates.”
Several points and areas mark the trajectory of the Microcosmic
orbit. First on the map, we find the Baihui point on top of the head. Next,
lower down in the Yin part of the body, we note the Mingtang point located
at the brow level. The Chinese character “Ming” translates as “a light or
bright glow,” and “Tang” means “palace” or “world.” This point marks a
channel entrance, which leads to the Third Eye. The next point on the map is
Jengjiao (meaning “the middle of a person”), located between the nipples.
This point marks the center of the middle Dan Tian. Lower still, below the
navel, there is the Qihai point. Finally, the Huiyin point is where Yin and
Yang meet.
If we trace the “gates” on our back, we will trace the spine down
along the Yang surface to the Chanchiang point. We call this first gate Wei
Lu, which translates as “coccyx.” The Mingmen point, located between
kidneys, can be hard to go through. We call the second gate Tsiatsi
(“compacted vertebra”), which is located behind the heart in the area of the
Lingtan point (“gates of life” or “spiritual palace”). The third gate is Yuchen
(“jade pillow”), located in the area of Haoxy point (“the palace of brain”) at
the base of the skull, where the spine begins. Because of its reputation as the
hardest area to go through, people call it the “iron wall.”
At the initial stage of practice, in order to master the motion of
the ball along Small Sky Circle, we can help the process with our breath.
Overall, there are two methods of transferring Qi along the trajectory: first,
using breath; and then, the mind (unrelated to breathing rhythm).
Let us examine these methods.

Method One:
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SMALL SKY CIRCLE USING BREATHING

Sequence of the Exercises

1. The posture is similar to the one in the Refining Qi exercise: the spine is
straight, the head hangs by the vertex (Picture 30), the tongue touches
the roof of the mouth, and the hands are folded on the navel.
2. Concentrate your attention on the lower Dan Tian. Imagine and feel a
hot red ball inside it.
3. During inhalation, push in your stomach slightly with your folded hands,
while tightening your buttocks and anus. By doing this, you push the
ball out from the lower Dan Tian to the belly button, and then along the
Ren-Mai channel downward, to the perineum, the Huiyin point. Then
move the ball up along the spine, along the Du-Mai channel to the
Baihui point. Observe this process and feel the path of energy as it
travels from the lower Dan Tian to the Baihui point.
4. While exhaling, let go of the stomach, relax the body, and move the Qi
from Baihui downward to the roof of the mouth. Then, bring the energy
into the lower Dan Tian, passing through your tongue and down along
the Ren-Mai channel (Picture 34).
5. During the next inhale, repeat the same motion with the ball. Again,
push in your stomach and tighten your anus. Lower the ball along the
Ren-Mai channel to the Huiyin point. Then, continue moving the ball up
the Du-Mai channel to the Baihui point. On the exhale, lower the ball
into the lower Dan Tian.
Please notice that during this sequence, we use reverse breathing: we
push in the stomach while inhaling and relax it while exhaling.
6. Completing the exercise, put your hands on the navel and concentrate Qi
in the lower Dan Tian.
7. Finally, pat yourself on your head and chest as you did after the Big Tree
practice. This ensures that Qi does not stagnate in the head and the upper
body area instead of going down to the lower Dan Tian. If you practice
for a long time, you can proceed with the full series of closing exercises
as after the Big Tree practice.
Usually, Small Sky Circle should be practiced from twenty to
thirty minutes.

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ATTENTION:
a) In order to prevent Qi from getting stuck in the head
area, there should be no pause between inhaling and
exhaling.
b) After exhaling, you may pause and stop the Qi in the
lower Dan Tian. Then, make another run along the
trajectory of the Small Microcosmic Orbit.
c) It is recommended that you breathe and move Qi as
slowly as possible. However, in the initial stage, the
speed is up to you. Let everything happen naturally.
d) While practicing this exercise with the help of
Picture 34: Small breathing, you must keep your back and neck
Microcosmic Orbit, Qi
Ball Movement straight and sit straight. Do not lean on the back of
the chair. When you curve your spine, the Qi may
change its trajectory and move from some areas of Du-Mai and
Ren-Mai into nearby channels.
e) Those who suffer from seriously high blood pressure should not
tighten their anus, as this may cause a rise in their blood pressure.

Method Two:
SMALL SKY CIRCLE USING MIND

Sequence of the Exercises

One way is the following.


1. In a comfortable position, sit or lie down and relax the body. Let your
hands be free; they do not have to rest on the navel or lower Dan Tian.
Touch your tongue to the roof of the mouth. Half close your eyes.
2. Concentrate your attention on the lower Dan Tian. Feel the hot ball in
the area. Visualize a red-hot ball in the lower Dan Tian.
3. Use your mind to move the ball slowly and smoothly along the Ren-Mai
channel to the Huiyin point. Then, continue moving the ball along the
Du-Mai channel to the Baihui point. Visualize your ball of Qi and
observe its motion. Relax your body and breathe freely. You do not need
to push in your stomach or tighten your buttocks.
4. Without any stops, continue moving the ball along the Ren-Mai channel
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to the Huiyin point. Observe its path. Feel and see the ball’s motion.
5. Without stopping, continue moving the ball along the Du-Mai channel to
the Baihui point and, again, along the Ren-Mai channel to the Huiyin
point.
6. Finishing the exercise, as before, put your hands on the navel and
concentrate Qi into the lower Dan Tian.
7. Finish by patting yourself on your head and chest as you did after the
Big Tree practice. If you practiced for a long time, do the full series of
closing exercises as after the Big Tree practice.
Practice this exercise from twenty to thirty minutes.

Practical Guidelines

Find out which of the two methods (the breath or the mind) gives
you a clearer sensation of Qi moving along Small Microcosmic Orbit.
Depending on the answer, you can start with the exercise that is easier for
you. You can start with five to ten minutes of the easier method, and then
continue for twenty to thirty minutes with another, more difficult method.
It is more convenient to practice when you can feel the ball and
compress it to a small size. As a rule, any method works fine and you feel the
movement of this ball when, initially, you have plenty of Qi or when you
obtain large quantities of energy during the Big Tree practice. You may get
the same result when you activate the ball using Refining Qi. High sensitivity
and good imagination increase your feelings during this practice.
If you have insufficient energy, or if you
have a problem concentrating this energy in a ball or
imagining this ball’s movement inside the channels
(Picture 35a), try picturing half the ball under the skin,
and the other half outside the body (Picture 35b). In the
Picture 35: Small
early stages, some people find it easier to practice Microcosmic Orbit, the
Small Sky Circle (using breathing) in another way. Ways of Moving Qi Ball

Sequence of Exercises in Another Way

1. Place the body in the same position as in the first breathing method of

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the Small Sky Circle practice. In a comfortable position, sit or lie down,
and relax the body. The hands are free; they do not have to rest on the
navel or lower Dan Tian. The tongue touches the roof of the mouth. The
eyes are half-closed.
2. Move your Qi ball from the lower Dan Tian to the surface. One-half of
the energy ball is still inside, but the other half is over the surface.
3. As with the first method, when inhaling, you need to tighten the anus.
Lower the ball to the Huiyin point, and then bring it up to the Baihui
point. The ball moves through the surface. (One-half of the ball is still
inside, but the other half is over the surface) (Picture 35b).
4. Then, while exhaling, relax the body and lower the ball in the front of
the body to the navel area at the lower Dan Tian level. Here, again, half
the ball moves inside, while the other half moves outside.
Repeat the cycle.
5. Completing the exercise, bring the ball back from the surface of the body
into the navel, and drop it into the lower Dan Tian.
6. Put your hands on the navel and concentrate the Qi into the lower Dan
Tian.

Using the mind, without focusing on the breathing (breathe


naturally), one can practice Small Sky Circle with the above-mentioned
method. At first, we need to move the ball mentally from the lower Dan Tian
to the navel and then visualize its movement as it glides along the surface
through the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai channels in full diameter (one-half of the
ball inside, and the other half outside.) (Picture 35b)

Sometimes, during the early stages of practice, people find it


easier to move the Qi in the reverse direction, up along the Ren-Mai channel,
and then down along the Du-Mai channel. However, after they experience the
full sensations in the lower Dan Tian, the direction of the Qi movement can
change automatically.

ACCOMPANYING BENEFITS AND PHENOMENA

1. Health Benefits
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a) Energy Balance: The front part of our body is Yin, and the
back is Yang. When the ball of energy starts moving along, it triggers an
exchange between Yin and Yang, and they become balanced.
This exercise allows you to balance the energy when you
experience symptoms that indicate a disruption in the balance. For example,
if you feel that one part of your body is heavier then another, the balance is
broken. Another symptom is the feeling of a heavy head that prevents
concentration and makes it hard to think. In these cases, your thinking will
seem slow and your thoughts unclear. Like many others, you may find
yourself complaining about your feet always being cold. If you have any of
these symptoms or chronic pains, such as painful sensations in the
lumbosacral spine area, back, shoulder blades, or head, practicing Small Sky
Circle will ease your condition.
b) Channel Opening: This exercise may sometimes produce
pain sensations similar to Big Tree. The reason is the same: the Qi moves
through narrowed or blocked parts of the channels. Moving along the Du-Mai
and Ren-Mai channels, Qi activates the energy inside them and cleanses them
by breaking up the congestion and removing blockages. The actions of the Qi
have beneficial health effects on the organs and the zones of the body located
along those channels. In fact, these are all internal organs, such as the throat,
nose, eyes, brain, spine, and central nervous system. The active Qi also
speeds up the process of healing from the common cold and flu.

2. Developmental Benefits

a) The Third Eye: When the Qi moves from the Baihui point
down, it goes through the area of the Third Eye and activates it. This
movement of Qi causes a number of phenomena, such as flashes of light,
glowing and tingling sensations, pressure, pain, etc. When a sufficient
amount of Qi builds up in this area, it becomes active, thereby causing the
opening of the Third Eye—a new channel of perception. Practice of the Third
Eye falls within the scope of Stage III of ZYQ; however, intense practice of
the main exercises of Stage I can also open the Third Eye. During Stage I
practice, in rare cases, the Third Ear may open, as well as the Second Heart.
Usually, practice for the opening of the Second Heart begins at
Stage II.
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b) Intuition and Creativity: The practice of Small Sky Circle
makes extensive use of visualization. These exercises activate and develop
the occipital parts of the brain, which in turn causes phenomena and effects
similar to Refining Qi.

3. Enhancement of Intellect

When Qi enters the brain via the Du-Mai channel, we sometimes


feel as though the head is “filling up.” It is known that a person typically uses
less than 10 percent of his brain cells. The rest of the brain cells are inactive.
A person simply cannot absorb the ever-increasing body of information from
the different sciences, engineering, art, social life, etc. It would help matters
greatly if we could find one simple, special method to use for brain
enhancement. Thousands of years of experience, which science has recently
confirmed, lead us to conclude confidently that this exercise is most effective
for the natural activation of the brain cells and the enhancement of the
intellect.

Summary

For health improvement, you may consider that you have


mastered this exercise, if the Qi flows automatically and constantly along
Small Sky Circle and if, at any given moment, you can observe this motion
when attention is directed at it. This moving energy can be perceived as a ball
or stream—a streamlet or a ribbon.
For serious professional practice of Small Sky Circle, one
should avoid any sexual activity for about one hundred days.
During the accumulation of strong energy and its activation, the
energy starts moving independently along the trajectory of Small Sky Circle.
This affects the Mingtang point, located at eyebrow level, causing flashes
similar to lightning. This is the beginning of the opening of the Third Eye.
We need to note further that almost every person has the ability to achieve
Third Eye vision and, as a consequence, understand the deeper meaning of
life. But adults often lose their energy through sexual activity. In contrast,
when children start practicing, almost all of them start seeing immediately

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with their Third Eye, as they are not expending Yuan-Jing energy. The
situation with adults is quite different. As they practice Qigong, they might
initially see flashes of light, which, after some time, may begin to acquire
different colors. However, the colored flashes of light soon disappear, only to
reappear much later. The repetition of this cycle indicates that these adults
have still not had any visions, whereas many children have experienced
visions with the Third Eye. For one thing, adults need to make more efficient
and productive use of their energy. For adults to start seeing with the Third
Eye, we recommend a hundred-day abstinence, during which male and
female hormones are conserved.
What happens during those hundred days of abstinence?

Master’s Story
First, the ball moves along the trajectory of Small Sky Circle. We
concentrate this ball in the lower Dan Tian. Then, it stretches out in a
manner similar to a comet. Gradually, its “head” catches up with its tail,
producing the image of a constant stream of Qi running along the trajectory.
Later, while mastering this exercise, another phase starts: sitting in a calm
and relaxed position, you will feel this energy automatically moving along
the trajectory.
After some more practice, you will experienced the next phase
when the stream turning into a wide ribbon start to move along a few parallel
channels at once, as a hot wide band through the entire back. If you continue
practicing even more, at the next phase, this wide ribbon will divide itself in
three energy streams: one will be warm or hot; the second will be cold or
cool; and third will be neutral, with no temperature variations. You will feel
all of these different streams simultaneously. Moreover, you will start seeing
the color of each stream: black, yellow, and red. When you reach this stage,
you can truly say that Small Sky Circle has started working. However, this is
still not the last phase and the highest level attainable through the practice of
this exercise. If you continue regular practice, all three streams will gather in
one. Then, experiences will take one of two forms.
First, the stream will change its trajectory and move not into the
Du-Mai channel but directly into the spine and brain. When the three streams
combine into one and go through body and brain, the sensations produced
are hard to describe with words. Suffice it to say that, at this stage, all
necessary conditions for our soul to go out of the body and come back have
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been met. After that, our soul can travel to other worlds.
Second, the stream will form a ball. However, it will not be the
original ball from the lower Dan Tian, but a very powerful energy sphere. It
can automatically move through the central channel Zhong-Mai, through all
three Dan Tians, opening all areas of the central channel and Heaven Gates
in the Baihui area. After that, the soul can leave the body.
This is what is called the hundred-day base for further practice.
That is because the real practice of Zhong Yuan Qigong starts from this
moment, the moment of the first soul’s departure.
This is when spiritual practice begins – the practice of soul and
spirit. Everything we did so far was directed at the improvement of our
health, and the preparation of our body and mind. Of course, not everyone
needs exactly one hundred days to build this foundation. Some people need
ninety-six days, while others require one hundred five days or even more.
Everything depends on the readiness of their physical bodies. If they
encounter many problems and have many diseases, they need to cure them
first. The Stage I and Stage II exercises are particularly suited for this
purpose. Only after that can you send your soul on journeys.
Theoretically, any healthy (or relatively healthy) person can
attain quick results during the hundred-day period of practice without any
sex. Here, let us use as an analogy the task of boiling water. Imagine putting
a pot on the stove. The water warms to a temperature of 80° C (176° F), at
which point you remove it from the stove, instead of letting it continue to
boiling point. Then, after the water cools, you again turn on the stove and
bring the temperature of the water to the 176° F mark, after which you again
turn off the stove. If you keep repeating this process, you will never bring the
water to a boil. It is the same with Qigong practice. Therefore, it is better
that you engage in intense practice for a period of time to obtain definite
results.
Since ancient times, ZYQ has been taught mainly to children and
not to adults. The Teachers waited for the children to open the Third Eye,
and then taught them how to initiate the journey of the soul. After that, the
children’s souls traveled to various worlds, where they could see the
Universe and understand the meaning of Life as well as the meaning of these
other worlds. They were allowed to have families and children only after they
mastered these techniques and reached these levels.
Usually, women had to complete the practice by the age of
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twenty-one and men, by the age of twenty-four. After the women and men
reached their respective age limits, they could marry. All of the above relates
to Yin-Shen practice. The next step would be the beginning of Yuan-Shen
practice.

Questions and Answers

1. I do not feel any motion along Small Sky Circle. What should I do? What
techniques can I use?
Try to perform physical exercises that warm up the body. For
example, do some push-ups. When your body is warm, the muscles relax, the
vessels and channels open up, and sensitivity increases.

2. Instead of going along my spine, the ball goes parallel to the Du-Mai
channel and aside from it. What does it mean?
This means that your Du-Mai channel is still closed. Later, as
you practice, the ball will become stronger and go where it is supposed to go.
There are several channels on the left and right side of the spine, apart from
the one in the middle. Energy flows to the zones where it meets least
resistance.

3. If I feel a chill, instead of warmth, during the exercises. Is this normal?


This is normal during the initial stages of practice.

4. I cannot feel the channels. How do I know which trajectory to use for my
energy to go along my spine? What places and depth should I imagine the Qi
stream to flow?
Do not think about locations and depth. Just try and feel that the
Qi is flowing through your channels. For the moment, that is good enough.
As you progress, your ability to feel the energy will improve, and all the
questions will disappear. At present, the energy should rise up the back and
down the front.

5. What kinds of changes take place in our body during Small Sky Circle?
If you practice well, you will have a large amount of saliva in
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your mouth. When you feel the heat of the rising energy, it is healing diseases
as it moves.

6. Should the speed of the energy flow be the same during home practice as it
is during seminar classes? I feel as though the flow of the energy is slower at
home.
The speed may vary. Every individual has his/her own speed
level. At seminars, we try to do exercises simultaneously, in order to heighten
the effect. At home, you should practice in a manner that is convenient for
your rhythm.

7. What happens if the energy ball moves too fast?


In this case, you need to slow down the movement of energy ball
in order to feel it better. If the Qi ball flows fast, you have no time to
thoroughly feel its entire trajectory and work out all the zones.

8. I feel as though the energy gathers in the back of my head.


You need to pat this area very intensely after practice.

9. I do not feel the motion of the energy. What I do feel appears to be


something like a pulsation. I feel as though this is more my individual
perception, rather than a real sensation.
This happens during the initial stages of practice. You need to
practice more.

10. I imagine the red-hot ball that moves along the spine. However, I do not
feel any warmth inside my body.
At this point, you imagine more than you feel. The sensations
will come as you practice.

11. Do I need to imagine the movement of the Qi?


This is also possible. First, you need to help this movement of Qi
with your breath similar to the way in Section One. Then the Qi will start
moving by itself.

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12. I feel the energy moving only in my head, not the entire body. From time
to time, I feel its motion within the body, but then the sensation disappears.
You need to pat yourself on the head vigorously, so that the
energy will make a full circle.

13. During the exercise, I experience a metallic aftertaste, and the end of my
tongue feels as though it is being pinched, as though I were touching battery
poles. What does this mean?
This means that the Qi is going through the lifted tongue (“the
established bridge”), between the Du-Mai and Ren-Mai channels. This is a
correct reaction.

14. I feel as though it is not a ball that is moving inside me, but rather a
ribbon or an endless stream. Should I try to transform it into the form of a
ball?
No, do not do that. You are experiencing the proper
phenomenon. Let everything take place naturally for you.

15. I feel the ball. However, it is easier for me to move it constantly and
evenly than to stop in the lower Dan Tian. Do I have to pause between
inhaling and exhaling and stop the Qi at the bottom?
No, do not do that. Nonstop motion is the best.

16. As the Qi moves along its trajectory, I feel a lot of heat along the path it
takes. It feels as though the Qi is lighting up and burning. Is this dangerous?
This is the correct phenomenon. This happens when you have
plenty of Qi and it is concentrated.

17. When I practice Small Sky Circle, I start moving with the rhythm of the
imaginary motion of the ball inside my body. Am I practicing correctly?
Yes. Later, however, your movements will cease.

18. When I practice this exercise, I feel pain in the navel area.
There is a point in that area that is hard to open. Later, the pain
will go away.
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19. I do not feel any energy movement at all. If I keep attending your classes,
will I be able to feel anything? Right now, I do not understand what I am
supposed to feel.
What do you sense during the practice of other exercises?

When I practice Big Tree, I feel pain. When I try to make the ball move
automatically, I do not feel or see it. However, I feel pain in the area where I
have my hands.
These are normal sensations for the early stages of practice,
before you start to feel the energy moving inside your body. You are not yet
feeling the motion itself. As you practice more, the pain will cease. Then you
will experience stronger sensations. Keep practicing.

20. Is it normal for the ball to hop instead of moving in a smooth manner?
It is possible at the beginning.

21. What color should the ball and stream be?


You do not need to consciously imagine the colors. In the future,
you will begin to see the colors. For now, you do not need to think about
them.

22. I feel the ball moving in Du-Mai, but it stops in the shoulder-blade area,
against the chest, and then again at the base of the skull.
These zones have points that are hard to go through. You need to
give yourself time to open them.

23. Can I practice this exercise standing and while lying down before
sleeping?
Yes, you can.

24. Can I practice this exercise while walking?


Not if you walk fast. You can practice this exercise while
walking only if you walk slowly. Nevertheless, the best thing to do while
walking is to practice Walking Qigong!

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25. Can the ball make stops during its movement?
Generally, when the ball goes around, it should not stop. It may
stop at the Baihui point on top of the head, and at the Huiyin point in the
perineum, since these are the highest and lowest points, respectively. When
we exhale, the ball starts moving downward from the Baihui point. We inhale
when the ball takes off from the Huiyin point toward the Baihui point. You
do not have to pay attention to these two points exactly. You only need to
observe the ball’s movement along its trajectory.

26. With the strain that the special breathing can cause, how does the
practice of Small Sky Circle during the initial and later stages of pregnancy
affect the baby? Can this exercise result in the termination of a pregnancy or
harm to the baby?
Pregnant women do not have such negative reactions to Small
Sky Circle. When you practice, do not restrict yourself to a breathing pattern.
You may skip breathing practice entirely and use your mind to move the ball.
Also, you may start from the middle Dan Tian, instead of the lower one.

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THE STATE OF QIGONG

A person can be in several states: awake, asleep, the intermediary


stage between these two, and the state of Qigong. The state of Qigong is the
one between the intermediary and sleep states. Yawing, typically, indicates a
relaxed body.
A person can enter the state of Qigong only after he loses his
regular state and makes a Transition. However, during the Transition, and
immediately before it, the person may experience a feeling of great
discomfort. Any Transition is a loss, a loss of the familiar, a renunciation of
what is habitual and known. Transition is a Leap. The body and mind resist,
especially during the first time it takes place, because this new state is
unknown, unclear, undefined. It brings with it changes; it is the future.
Therefore, depending on the individual psychophysiological state and general
readiness level of each person, the transitional sensations will be different.
Nevertheless, after the first transition, the practitioner feels more comfort. As
time goes by, the practitioner gains more experience. In the next stage, in the
state of Qigong, one will experience occasional interruptions in the beating of
the heart and in the breathing. In the final analysis, one will learn to transit
from one state to another in a short time—in a leap.
In the state of Qigong, the brain and consciousness have different
perceptions of the environment. When you reach this state, you acquire
completely new knowledge. Usually, the transition to the deep state of
Qigong is very difficult for a human being. For a better understanding, we
can compare this transition with skydiving. When you jump for the very first
time, the weightless state you experience feels very unusual, unpleasant, and
discomforting. Similarly, on entering the state of Qigong for the first time,
you feel an inner disorder—that something is not right.

REMEMBER: If during one’s entire life, a person has never entered the
state of Qigong—he or she will have experienced a very big loss,
never having known his/her “second” side.

It is very similar to Yin-Yang, when you know only one side and

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are not even aware of the other. Only if you learn about both sides, Yin and
Yang, and both sides of yourself, will you become a complete person.
As we grow older, we acquire more and more knowledge about
the surrounding world. Most of this knowledge becomes fixed and begins to
place limits on our brain. Most of it is based on our ability to perceive the
world through our regular sense organs and logic. Hence, for a person with a
higher education, especially one who works in the sciences, it is sometimes
very hard to enter the state of Qigong. Such a person has a very well-
developed Yang side. Education, occupation, and lifestyle have a big impact
on the state of the brain, and therefore, on the level of a person’s sensitivity.
Children’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the world are
much more natural than those of adults. If you raise a child in the proper
manner, before the end of puberty (ages twelve to fourteen), the child will
easily go through the changes associated with the opening of the Third Eye
and development of a correct vision of the world. In Qigong practice, there is
an expression, explaining the purpose of Qigong practice: to return a human
being to its natural state—the Childlike State.
Precisely because a child does not have a lot of knowledge, he or
she is not limited in his/her ability to perceive. Moreover, a child’s mind is
always willing to follow the path of Fantasy. As a result, the child has an
open mind and is always ready to accept new data. Things that seem illogical,
impossible, and absurd from the point of view of an adult are absolutely clear
and obvious to a child. Therefore, in order to make the Transition, it is
necessary to return to a Childlike State.

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SUPPORTING EXERCISES

QIGONG WHILE WALKING

We have already mentioned that ZYQ exercises


naturally intertwine with our everyday lives. In the modern world,
we all are busy, and therefore it is necessary for us to combine
many activities. Every day, for example, we may spend a lot of
time walking. We can continue to practice Qigong while walking.

Conditions Necessary for Successful Practice

In order to practice Qigong while walking, you need to pay


attention to the following three factors:
Factor 1: The body should be relaxed, but should not sway from
side to side. The back should be straight.
Factor 2: Direct your attention inward, inside your body. Your
eyes must be directed straight ahead and must not wander. They must not
look at anything or anyone.
Factor 3: Direct your thoughts to the inside too, as that is where
your spirit resides. This is important for the following reasons. After Qigong
practice, a lot of energy is collected inside your body. When you think about
irrelevant things, glance from side to side, and talk, this energy leaves your
body. It radiates from your brain and follows your glance and thoughts to the
point where your attention is directed or focused. Thus, by looking at or
thinking about external things, you spend your energy on them.
Therefore, Qigong Masters say: “Close your eyes and ears, close
your mind, and let your energy work inside your body.” In the earlier times,
in order to stay focused during the process of Qigong training, visiting places
of entertainment was forbidden, because exposure to bright colors and loud
music could dissipate your energy.
While practicing Qigong, in any condition or situation, it is
important to maintain a balanced and solid emotional state of mind. Do not
practice Qigong during emotional outbursts, as it will not be effective.
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Stages of Practice

1. Relax the body.


2. Take a step, first by striking the ground with the heel, then by rolling on
to the toes (Picture 36). By doing so, you activate the points in the area
of impact and shake up Qi in channels within the legs. As a result, you
strengthen the functioning of the kidneys and the entire urogenital
sphere.
You should walk, or run, easily, unhurriedly, and steadily.
3. Imagine and feel that, as you continue to be in contact with the ground,
your energy rises from your heel, up the leg and the back. During the
rolling from your heel to your toes, the energy goes down the front part
of the body and one leg.
It is recommended that you walk in this manner at all times, so
that it becomes a habit.

Master’s Story
Massaging the heel closer to the instep can enhance the sexual
functions of men and women. Nowadays all this is well known. Earlier,
however, there was no theoretical basis for practicing this exercise.
When I was learning Qigong in my youth, my Teacher told me
that the monks, who lived in the mountains, and people engaged in Taoism
regularly practiced this exercise while walking. However, apart from telling
me that this method is very useful for the physical body, he did not go into
any details. The rest—an understanding of the benefits of this method of
walking—was left to the practitioners to understand from their own
experiences.

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Picture 36: Qigong While Walking

Due to intense research into the physiological processes


associated with Qigong practice, a lot of information about our body is now
available to people. Now, on the basis of scientific data, it is possible to
explain the benefits of every Qigong exercise, and verify the stories of the
ancient Masters.

QIGONG WHILE SLEEPING

Qigong while sleeping is, in fact, an automatic continuation of


regular practice. Started immediately before sleeping, this exercise continues
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as you sleep.
Usually there are two positions used for this exercise:
the back position and the side position (Picture 37).
This exercise is not difficult.

The Stages of Practice

1. Lie down on your back and relax.


2. Put hands on the lower Dan Tian.
3. Imagine and feel a hot red ball. Fall asleep in this state and position.
You can also practice Small Sky Circle with the help of your mind
without focusing on breathing. Begin your practice just before sleeping,
and continue into your sleeping state.

If a person really practices Qigong while asleep, he or she enters


the state of Qigong very fast. In this case, comfortable bedding is not
necessary (Picture 37, lower photo).
You can practice as you sleep, while lying on your side. In that
case, one hand should go under your head, in place of a pillow, and the other
hand, on the lower Dan Tian. Also, you can prop your head against one hand,
while the second hand lies along the body—the pose of the Sleeping Buddha
(Picture 37, upper photo).

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Picture 37: Qigong While Sleeping

Master’s Story
We have already mentioned that sleep is the best natural method
of rest and energy restoration. However, very often, an exhausted person is
not able to fall asleep. Logically, an exhausted person should be able to fall
asleep right away, almost instantaneously. Why, then, does this fail to happen
sometimes?
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If you are tired and unable to fall asleep, it is because there are
disorders in your energy system. If the energy flow is not right, the brain
cannot stop—it cannot function well. As a rule, when you don’t sleep well,
you cannot perform your work duties very well, because the body has
insufficient energy. Therefore, you have increased drowsiness during the day,
instead of being active and ready to work. At night, when your brain and
body must rest and recover, your thoughts do not allow you to fall asleep—
your brain is active as though you were working, not resting. The brain
works nonstop in a person who suffers from insomnia.
This problem has a solution: energy training. Our body has a
perfect energy system. Modern science knows a lot about general anatomy,
but knows almost nothing about the anatomy of energy in our bodies. ZYQ
knows about it. If we are to train our energy system as we train our muscles,
it will work much better, and we will be able to prevent serious diseases.
Sleeping Qigong is the simplest method.
Each system of our body needs a certain amount of energy in
order to work. If all of a sudden, you realize that you have problems with
memory or some organ, the problem might not be physical, but due to lack of
energy.
You know that school classes have the same conditions and
environment for everyone; however, some people learn faster than others.
The reason for this is not merely the speed of the intellectual process. It is
that the child cannot understand the language, and one of the reasons for this
is a lack of energy in the brain area. Such children might be very active and
playful; however if their brain has insufficient Qi, they think slower and have
trouble memorizing.
We can practice Qigong not only at specific times when we are
awake, but also at night, while we sleep.
Using this method, people can successfully solve many problems.

By practicing Qigong during sleep, one can solve a lot of health


problems by oneself. In general, Qigong during sleep and while awake can be
used for two purposes: mastering certain exercises for self-development, and
self-healing.

Normalization of Blood Pressure


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With Hypertension

First Variation:

1. Lie down on your back, relax, and close your eyes.


2. Stretch your arms along the sides of the body, palms down.
3. Imagine the Yongquan points on your feet…feel them. Breathe in the
direction from the Baihui to the Yongquan points (see “Breathing
through points”). In your thoughts, direct the stream of Qi this same way
(from the Baihui point to the Yongquan points). Then, stop
concentrating on these points: “it seems it is; it seems it isn’t.” Fall
asleep in such a state.
Breathing follows attention. Qi follows breathing. Blood follows
Qi. As the result, blood pressure goes down.

Second Variation:
In the above-mentioned pose, you can mentally look at your feet,
imagining hot red balls or, simply, fire at your feet.
In this case, the Qi of fire goes down (fire and the Universe
belong to Yang Qi), blood follows, and blood pressure goes down.
It is recommended that you practice these exercises for ten to
twenty minutes daily before falling asleep.

With Hypotension

First Variation:
1. Lie down on your back, relax, and close your eyes.
2. Stretch your arms along the sides of the body, palms up.
3. Imagine and feel the Baihui point. Do not concentrate on it intensively:
“it seems it is; it seems it isn’t. Fall asleep in such a state.

Second Variation:
1. Lie down on your back, relax, and close your eyes.
2. You can also breathe in the direction from Yongquan to Baihui (see
“Breathing through points”).
3. You can also imagine a fire in your feet that is rising.
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Here, the explanation is similar to the previous one: Breathing
follows attention, Qi follows breathing, and blood follows Qi. In this case,
the pressure rises.

With Heterotopias (Pressure Fluctuation)


1. Lie down on your back, relax, and close your eyes.
2. Place hands on the middle Dan Tian: men put their left hand on their
chest and right hand on top of the left; women put their right hand on
their chest and left hand on top.
3. Imagine and feel the middle Dan Tian. Fall asleep in this position.

With Insomnia
1. Lie down, relax, and close your eyes.
2. Stretch your arms alongside the body, palms down. You can place your
hands on the lower Dan Tian.
3. Breathe quietly and evenly. Try not to think about anything.
At the second stage, we will discuss various methods of
breathing through the body. Some of these methods help stop the flow of
thoughts and help us relax, contributing to the quality of sleep.

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CLEANSING, GATHERING, AND EMITTING QI

CLEANSING METHODS FOR BAD QI

Often some organs, such as the heart or stomach, can


displace from their proper positions in the body. This can happen
due to repeatable stresses or lack of physical activity. Then, some
areas of the body experience disorders in blood flow and energy
circulation. This may also lead to general discomfort, which in turn
can lead to the inability to practice static exercises for long periods
of time. Such disorders can also make it difficult to relax or to
enter the state of deep calm and silence of mind.

First Method: Body Shaking

Shaking allows us to relax our body and muscles, helping organs


restore correct orientation in the body based on Earth’s magnetic lines.

Exercise Sequence
The exercise is performed in the following way:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging down along
your body. Your body should be relaxed.
2. Lift yourself on your tiptoes, and then suddenly drop down on your
heels, shaking the body.
3. When you lower your body and hit the ground with your heels, imagine
that the bad Qi goes into the ground through the legs and Yongquan
points.
4. Keep shaking for one to five minutes. You may feel as though you are a
ball bouncing off the floor.
The duration of this exercise depends on your health. If you have
serious heart disease, brain-vessel spasms, herniated disks, or any other
problems limiting physical activity, you should not shake your body very
intensively. In such cases, one to two minutes of shaking is enough. Base the
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duration of the exercise on how you feel.

The Meaning and Purpose of This Exercise

Practicing this exercise before the longer Big Tree can be very
beneficial. It is also a good exercise to practice after lengthy Quiet Qigong
exercises and meditation. This is due to the fact that the position of your body
during Quiet Qigong may be not completely correct and could cause cross-
clamping of channels or muscle tissue in some zones. Such shaking allows us
to sense the areas with disorders of blood and energy circulation—you will
feel heaviness in these areas. During the process of shaking, the body relaxes
completely, the feelings of heaviness disappear, and you can feel Qi
movement inside the body.
This exercise is very useful when you feel tired or sick, or when
you are emotionally unsettled.
It is recommended that you practice such shaking after the
establishment of a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, together with the
exercise for purifying by energy ball.

Second Method: Purification by Energy Ball


(Pushing Bad Qi Out)

This exercise is one of the most effective methods for cleansing


the body of bad Qi. We recommend that you practice this exercise after, or
instead of, the body-shaking exercise.

The Sequence of the Exercise Execution (Pictures 38a–d)


1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging freely along the
sides of the body.
2. With the palms facing up, slowly lift your arms along the sides of the
body over the head, imagining that they extend high into the sky, into
the universe (Picture 38a).
3. Inhaling, imagine and feel that your arms are filling up with cosmic
energy, which you are holding like a ball over your head (Picture 38b).
4. Hold your breath and bring this energy ball, through the top of your
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head and the Baihui point, into your body. Picture your body as a hollow
pipe; imagine the ball as a piston, moving inside that pipe.
5. Exhaling, slowly move your arms (bent at the elbows) down in front of
you with palms facing down. Your forearms should move parallel to the
ground. Your palms should be connected, through energy, to the ball.
Move the ball down though the “body-pipe” (Picture 38c).
You may begin exhaling when the ball has passed the head area and
is being lowered to the neck level.
6. Without changing position or bending, push the bad Qi out through your
legs into the ground (Picture 38d)

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Picture 38: Cleansing and Gathering Qi(a-d) Cleansing Using Energy Ball, (e-i) Gathering Qi from
Outside

Repeat several times.

The Meaning and Purpose of the Exercise


When we inhale, we receive good Qi from sky. We send it down
through our body, pushing out bad Qi through the legs, into the ground.

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COLLECTING ENERGY

The most effective exercise to receive and collect


energy from the outside is Big Tree. It is surely the fastest method.
While practicing it, we receive Yin and Yang Qi into our body,
similar to how a tree does it.
However, there is one more way to receive Qi. This
method allows us to selectively choose and differentiate incoming
energy. It enables us to accept energy from the sky, the Moon, the
Sun, or the mountains.

The Sequence of the Exercise


The exercise is very similar to cleansing with an energy ball.
Unlike the cleansing exercise, however, here the ball of Qi is gathered while
inhaling and is then placed in the lower Dan Tian (Pictures 38e–i).
To perform this exercise:
1. Stand straight, with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, body
relaxed, and arms hanging freely along your sides (Picture 38e).
2. With the palms facing upward, slowly lift your arms along the sides of
the body and imagine that they extend high into sky and into the
universe (Picture 38f).
3. Inhaling, imagine and feel your arms filling up with cosmic energy,
which you are holding like a ball over your head.
4. Hold your breath and bring this energy ball through the top of your head
and the Baihui point into the body.
5. While exhaling, slowly move your arms (bent at the elbows) down in
front of you with palms facing down. Your forearms should move
parallel to the ground (Picture 38g). Palms are connected, through
energy, to the ball. Move the ball down to the lower Dan Tian.
6. Place your hands on your navel, as after Big Tree (Picture 38i).
Concentrate Qi in the lower Dan Tian and feel it.
Again, while inhaling, take in Sky Qi; and, holding your breath,
bring it inside through Baihui; while exhaling, slowly move it down into the
lower Dan Tian.
There are several variations of this exercise.

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First Variation
When you inhale, receive the ball of Qi with your palms. While
holding your breath, bring the ball inside your body, and while exhaling,
move it down into the lower Dan Tian.

Second Variation
When you bring the ball into the lower Dan Tian and put your
hands on the navel, concentrate Qi in the lower Dan Tian until you feel
distinct sensations. At this point, breathing is arbitrary. After some time,
through regular inhalation, receive Qi into your palms. After that, repeat the
action of taking the ball into your body through Baihui while holding your
breath. As you exhale, put it into your lower Dan Tian. Then again, for some
time, concentrate your attention there without focusing on breath, and so on.

Third Variation
After receiving the ball of Qi into your palms while inhaling,
lower it to Baihui point and hold it there for some time until you feel it with
the top of your head. During this procedure, breathing is arbitrary. Then, with
another exhalation, move the ball through your head and entire body into the
lower Dan Tian, and put your hands on the navel. After this, you may use any
of two variations: as in the first one, you may receive another ball into your
palms with another inhalation and repeat the action of holding the ball over
Baihui. Or, as in the second variation, you may hold your hands on your
navel and direct your attention to the lower Dan Tian.

The Meaning and Purpose of the Exercise


Practice this exercise from several minutes to up to an hour,
based on your goals and available time. You can practice this exercise to
overcome fatigue and increase vigor. You can practice outdoors or while
standing in front of a window, imagining that you are absorbing early
morning freshness or midday heat, evening coolness, or the scent of flowers,
depending on what you see. You can also get energy from the mountains, the
sea, meadows or forests, fog, or sunlight.
With this exercise, you can choose whether to collect Yin or
Yang energy.

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To collect Yang Qi, you need to receive Qi of the sun or
daylight.
If you always feel cold or chilly—if even in summer, you put on
extra clothes—you have a deficiency of Yang energy. If you sleep a lot, but
do not feel rested; if you are resentful or easy to offend; if you are often on
the verge of bursting into tears; again, you are lacking Yang energy. To
overcome the Yang deficiency, you need to collect Yang Qi by accepting
light and warmth from the sun.
Stand facing the sun. Lift your arms and mentally extend them
toward and reach for the sun, and then inhale its energy. Then, as in the
previously discussed exercises, bring the energy into your body through the
Baihui point and move it down to the lower Dan Tian. Repeat this exercise
multiple times.
To collect Yin Qi, you need to accept the Qi of the moon or the
Qi of water.
If you have predominantly Yang Qi—that is, if you are often
excited, worried, or enraged, you should work on increasing Yin Qi.
To collect Yin Qi, in the evening, when the moon is out,
mentally stretch your arms out to it, accept its energy, and move it into the
lower Dan Tian.
You also can mentally extend your arms toward some body of
water. Then, as previously described, while inhaling, take the Yin Qi of
Water into your palms, bring it into your body through the Baihui point, and
while exhaling, move it down into the lower Dan Tian.
In addition, there is a lot of Yin Qi at cemeteries, and you can
collect it there too.

If for some reason you need to calm down on a bright sunny day,
or if you need to become more active at night, you can use your imagination
and your mind to receive the kind of Qi you need. To receive Yang Qi in the
evening, close your eyes, raise your arms, and imagine that they are touching
the sun. Take the Qi of the sun into your hands, imagine and feel its warmth
in the palms of your hands, and bring it into the lower Dan Tian. To collect
Yin in daytime, you can receive the Qi of Water, as water is a Yin structure.
Another way is to close your eyes and imagine that your stretched arms reach
the moon and accept its Yin Qi.

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BREATHING THROUGH POINTS AND CHANNELS

In order to completely open the five most important points—the


Baihui point, the two Laogong points, and the two Yongquan points—and the
channels in the arms and legs, we need to breathe though them and
concentrate our attention on them. We need to imagine that during inhalation,
Qi enters the body from the outside through a certain point, and that during
exhalation, it goes out through that same point.
Such breathing leads to the opening up of the corresponding
channel or point, which in turn enables a more effective cleansing of the body
and channels of bad Qi. Breathing through the legs is very useful for fighting
fatigue, especially during long periods of standing or walking. It is also very
good for varicose veins. Breathing through the hands helps heighten palm
sensitivity, thereby enabling us to diagnose and treat with our hands.
Additionally, theses exercises help us learn to retransmit and
emit certain types of Qi, including the variety used for treating patients. The
same method of breathing allows us to get rid of pain in our own body,
caused, for example, by injury.

Breathing Through the Laogong Points

Practice while standing, sitting, or lying down, and in a relaxed


state.
1. Imagine that while inhaling, Qi comes in through Laogong, and while
exhaling, it goes out through the same point (Picture 39a). Feel the
difference in sensations while inhaling and exhaling. First, practice with
each palm for a certain time in turn, and then try to observe sensations
while inhaling and exhaling through both palms, simultaneously.
2. Observe the sensations in your palms, inhaling Qi through the left palm
and exhaling Qi through the right. Then, change the order: inhale
through the right palm, and exhale through the left.
3. Observe and feel the direction of Qi movement from the Laogong point
to your elbow joint while inhaling. Do the same as Qi moves from your
elbow to one of your palms while exhaling. First, breathe through your
left arm, then through your right arm; then use both arms at the same
time.
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4. Watch and sense the direction of Qi movement from the Laogong point
to shoulder joint when inhaling. First use one arm, then the other, and
then both arms at once.
5. While inhaling, lead Qi from the Laogong point to shoulder in one arm,
and then, while exhaling, from shoulder to the Laogong point in the
other arm. Then, change the direction of movement.

Breathing Through the Yongquan Point

Practice while relaxing, either sitting or lying down.


1. Imagine that while inhaling, Qi comes in through the Yongquan point
and, while exhaling, goes out through the same point. Feel the difference
in sensations while inhaling and exhaling through each foot separately,
and then, through both feet at the same time (Picture 39b).
2. Feel Qi while inhaling through the left foot, and while exhaling, through
the right foot. Then do the reverse—inhale through the right foot and
exhale through the left foot.
3. Just as you did while breathing through the arms, watch and feel Qi
movement while inhaling and exhaling from Yongquan to the knee
joints, then to the hip joint. First use one leg at a time, then use both legs
at once.
4. While inhaling, lead Qi through one leg and, while exhaling, through the
other leg. Then do the reverse.

Picture 39: Breathing Through Points and (a) Breathing through the Hands, (b) Breathing through the
Legs, (c) Breathing through the Baihui Point

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Breathing Through the Baihui Point

Practice either sitting or standing. Feel the difference in


sensations while inhaling and exhaling through the Baihui point and its area
(Picture 39c).

Combined Breathing

1. While inhaling, receive and feel Qi through Baihui, and while exhaling,
move Qi out through Yongquan.
2. While inhaling, receive Qi through Baihui, and while exhaling, move it
out through the Laogong points.
3. While inhaling, accept Qi through Yongquan and, while exhaling, move
it out through Baihui at the top of the head.
4. Inhale Qi through Yongquan, and exhale Qi through Laogong.
5. While inhaling, receive Qi through Baihui and Yongquan
simultaneously. While exhaling, move Qi out through the Laogong
points. At first, use each arm separately, then, both arms simultaneously.

Practical Guidelines

Most people have far less sensitivity in their legs than in their
arms. Not surprisingly, since legs’ functions are less diversified, particularly
in comparison with the functions of our hands, wrists, and fingers. Moreover,
the legs always carry the pressure of our weight, which unfortunately, often
turns out to be excessive. Therefore, in order to develop sensations in the
legs, we need to practice in a lying position while moving Qi, preferably
before sleeping at night, for fifteen to twenty minutes. This way, even people
with low sensitivity will start feeling Qi movement in a couple of weeks or
even less. Very often, people with low sensitivity turn out to also frequently
suffer from cold hands or feet. Breathing through our extremities allows us to
improve blood and energy circulation, which leads us to improving and
restoring the normal state and sensitivity of the body.

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METHODS OF EMITTING QI

Method 1: Sending Yang Qi

This method is similar to breathing through the points and can be


practiced in a vertical position, standing, or sitting up straight.
While inhaling, receive Qi through Baihui and/or Yongquan;
while exhaling, let Qi go out through Laogong (Picture 40a). For more
intense emitting, you can receive energy not only by breathing through
Baihui and Yongquan, but also through the Laogong points and the entire
body at the same time. Then, while exhaling, you need to move the energy
through the arm and emit it out of the palm. During inhalation, we receive
energy; during exhalation, we emit it.
If you use this method, the emitted energy from the Laogong
point will contain a lot of Yang, even if you inhaled through Yongquan and
received Yin Qi from the earth.

Method 2: Sending Yin Qi

Often this method is called “the sword method.”


Extend your arm straight out and direct your middle and index
fingers at the point to which you wish to send energy (Picture 40b). Fold in
the rest of your fingers.
Breathe in through Yongquan, and breathe out through these two
fingers. Qi will go out through the points that we open when we practice the
opening of the channels in the fingers. In this case, Yin Qi dominates in the
emission.

Method 3: Intense Qi Emission

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.


2. Lift your arms at the elbows, with elbows touching the body, palms in
the vertical position and facing forward; wrists must be at shoulder level
(Picture 40c).
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3. Slowly take a deep breath.
4. Slowly breathe out through your nose with your mouth closed, making a
vibrating and humming sound similar to “Hmmmm…mmm.” When you
do this, your arms act as if they are pushing a heavy object away from
the body. Extend your arms outward slowly, parallel to the ground—
elbow joints should remain slightly bent—while keeping your hands
positioned vertically (Picture 40c).
5. Feel the vibration in the channels of your arms and palms. Feel the
emission of Qi from the Laogong points.
6. Upon inhaling, bring your arms back into their original position.
7. Repeat everything again.

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Picture 40: The Ways of Sending Qi (a) Sending Yang Qi (from Laogong), (b) Sending Yin Qi (The
Sword Method), (c) Intense Qi Emission

Method 4: Sending Energy via Qi Ball

1. Using your imagination, form an energy ball in one of your palms.


You can do this using several variations:

First Variation
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1. Place your palms apart, facing each other.
2. Then move them toward and away from each other in a slow and smooth
motion, feeling Qi between your palms. Palms and arms must be
relaxed.
3. Imagine these sensations in the form of an energy ball. Move your hands
as though you were squeezing the ball with your hands and then
releasing it and allowing it to expand. Use your mind and imagination
(Picture 32).
4. Then concentrate Qi in one of your palms (Picture 40d).

Second Variation
1. Hold your palms apart, relaxed, motionless, and facing each other,
exhaling through the Laogong points into the space in between (Picture
40e).
2. Feel Qi between your palms.
3. Mentally concentrate energy in one of the palms, in the form of a ball.

Third Variation
1. Move or rotate your palms, as they face each other, until you experience
distinct sensations in them. Then, concentrate those sensations in one of
your palms in the form of a Qi ball.
2. Feeling the Qi ball in one of your palms, send it into the other palm with
a light movement (Picture 40f).
3. Repeat the action of throwing the Qi ball from one palm to the other,
until you experience distinct sensations.

Picture 40: The Ways of Sending Qi (d) Concentration of Qi in a Palm, (e) The Qi Ball between the
Palms, (f ) Throwing the Qi Ball

This method is used for treatment. You can treat your own pain
by sending the Qi ball into the area where you feel pain. You may use the

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palm that feels the emissions better.

REMEMBER: In all these methods the practitioners do not emit their


own energy. Instead, they use the Qi that they receive from the
outside, during inhalation.

Questions and Answers

1. What is the color of the energy that we receive?


There is no need to think about the energy’s color. What you
need to think about is the quality of the incoming energy, be it energy from
the mountains, the sun, or the water.

2. How do we benefit from each of these different kinds of energy?


Different objects and different elements give us different types of
energy. For instance, if you get angry and aggravated easily and often; if you
have dry tongue, lips, or skin; if you have red eyes, you probably an
excessive quantity of hot Yang energy. In this case, you need to receive
energy from Water or Moon. If you are always cold, or your hands and feet
are always cold, you need to take in energy from Sun. If you have no clearly
defined symptoms of any illness, then you should just reach with your arms
toward sky and receive the energy of the universe into your body.

3. Why do we begin receiving pure energy from above and not from below?
What is more important, the brain or the legs? Therefore, we take
in energy through the brain, which goes down through the body, to the feet,
and out. During its movement, the bad Qi is pushed out of the body. We do
not want any bad energy to get into the brain and affect it. Besides, we need
to push bad energy out into the ground, because earth will transform that
energy into energy that is useful for trees and other plants.

4. What is the guarantee that we are receiving pure energy from Universe
and not taking it away from other people or humanity in general?
There is plenty of energy around us, much more than air. You
don’t think that when you inhale air, you take it away from other people, do
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you?

We breathe automatically, from birth, but receive energy consciously. So, it


seems to me that we are taking this energy away from others, that we may be
behaving as “vampires.” Is this not plausible?
All right, I will try to give you an example. You want to take
water from the sea. In the sea, there are various plants growing, and fish and
animals living, whose bodies contain water, too. Which water is more
accessible? Which water will be easier to take? The water that has been taken
directly from the sea, or the water from the bodies of fish and plant cells?
Now, keep in mind that there is much less water in the sea and air on earth
than there is energy in the same sea and atmosphere.

5. What is the color of Qi that we need to imagine during inhalation and


exhalation?
Do not make an effort to imagine the color. First, you need to try
to feel Qi while inhaling and exhaling. Later, when the Third Eye area is
activated, you will see the color without having to imagine it.

6. I feel the difference between inhalation and exhalation through my palms


very well, but I have almost no sensations when I breathe through my feet.
Why?
The reason for this is the fact that the points on your feet have
not been opened yet. This is because your feet perform harder and more
monotonous work as opposed to your palms. You need to devote more time
to this exercise.

7. When I try to “play” with the ball, throwing it from one hand to the other,
my right hand feels it very well, but my left hand hardly feels anything. Is
there an explanation for this?
As we said earlier, usually the Yang part of the body is more
sensitive. The right side belongs to Yang.

8. I feel that the palms of people differ in temperature. Some palms feel warm
to me, while others feel cold. Does this mean that some people give energy,

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but others take it away?
No, this is not true. Usually, Yin Qi is cooler than Yang Qi. Very
often, the ratio of these energies depends on the state of the person.

9. The sensations in my left and right hand differ. Is this how I’m supposed to
feel?
Such differences are typical. You can train your hands for equal
sensitivity. However, as a rule, one hand is more sensitive than the other.

10. Could you please repeat how to determine which energy we should
receive—Yin or Yang?
If Yang is the dominant energy in your body, you will experience
irritability, and your mouth will be constantly dry. The question whether your
body is dominated by Yin or Yang can be answered by investigating how
your lips curve, and also whether your lips are dry and often chapped.
Depending on the curvature of your lips, and the dryness of your lips and
tongue, you may need to absorb some additional Yin. If you feel cold, weak,
lazy, or sad, you need some Yang energy.

11. Is it necessary to receive energy through the Baihui and Yongquan points
in order to emit it through Laogong? Can we just hold our hands and feel the
energy directly entering us from the environment?
If you have high sensitivity, you can use this approach.

12. In our area, the air is not very clean. The houses have concrete ceilings
and floors. Can I practice Qigong in such conditions?
Of course. Having fresh air around would be ideal, as it is
healthier. However, from the Qigong point of view, it does not matter where
you practice. What matters is the effort you put in through your mind and
consciousness.

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PART TWO

MEDICAL ASPECTS OF QIGONG

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Chapter 3:
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT USING HANDS

GENERAL PRINCIPLES, APPROACHES, AND


METHODS

Master’s Story
I will now try to introduce to you some aspects of oriental
methods of diagnosis and healing. Since early childhood, I have been
familiar with TCM. I later learned about the Western approach to medical
care. It appears that medical science is particularly rich in the various
approaches it contains.
The East recognizes several types of traditional therapy and
usually uses them in conjunction with each other. The most popular one is
called herbal therapy (or phytotherapy). In today’s society, this method has
experienced a rebirth and has developed intensively. Plants are used in
herbal therapy, as basic ingredients from which pills, tablets, drops, and
ointments—all those forms of medication that are used in treatment—are
made.
Earlier, the procedure for preparing medicines amounted to the
making of teas and tinctures, and was the patients’ responsibility. For many
people, it was a great inconvenience, due to a lack of time, energy, and
proper conditions. Often, the teas and tinctures turned out to be unpalatable.
In recent years, thanks to industrial technology and new development
methods in the preparation of extracts from secondary raw materials, we
have an opportunity to produce herbal medicines in forms that are suitable,
convenient, and easy to use for people from Western countries. Such
pharmaceutical factories now exist in Japan, China, the United States, etc.
The second method widely used in Chinese medicine is called
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acupuncture. In China, it is usually referred to as Cheng Chiu: Cheng means
the use of needles, while Chiu refers to the use of moxa cigars (or moxa
sticks), moxi-bustion, heating, and warming. I have found a number of
differences between Western and Eastern approaches to acupuncture.
Usually, books on the Western approach describe needle impact on BAPs as
a method to control the state of the body through the nervous system.
However, Chinese specialists use BAPs in order to affect energy channels
and the flow of Qi inside them. Traditional Chinese reflex therapy uses
needles based on the Yin-Yang theory, Wu Xing, and energy channels. For
the successful application of reflex therapy, the doctor must know exactly not
only the point that needs to be impacted, but also the kind of impact it
requires, as there are many different methods for adding or taking away
energy with needles.
The third method, which is also widely used in TCM, is massage.
Usually, a doctor who uses massage in his practice is familiar with Cheng
Chiu methods. Today, Chinese universities recognize and recommend several
separate branches: Cheng Chui, massage, herbal therapy, and Qigong
therapy. However, good specialists always use Qigong methods, regardless
of whether they work with the other three methods or not. The reason for this
is that Qigong methods work with energy as a base, as a result of which, they
work well with other methods. The end results of medical care defines a
doctor’s level of qualification: if the doctor practices Qigong well, the results
are much better.
Today, the whole world is interested in TCM, especially herbal
medicine and Qigong. I think there are several reasons for this, the most
important one being the mentality underlying treatment methods. After
diagnosis, Chinese doctors use different methods of treatment for seemingly
similar illnesses.

Eastern and Western Understanding

It is known that the movement of a person’s Qi through the


channels becomes problematic before illness is diagnosed. When the factors
that hinder this movement increase and last longer, they lead to functional
disorders and other physical problems, as a result of which, disease can rise
to an organic level. For example, the Chinese believe that exposure to wind
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or a draft will cause a sensation of pain in some parts of the body. However,
if we test this same area using Western methods, we will find no disorders or
deviations from the norm. Only if the disease progresses will the area have
traumatized vessels or other organic disorders. According to Chinese
medicine, this mechanism works as follows: first, due to a disturbance of
some sort, a part of a channel experiences Qi congestion. This, in turn, leads
to stagnation, which prevents normal blood circulation in that area of the
body (we now have devices that can detect these areas). Then, functional
changes begin, followed by organic changes that can cause tumors.
Unlike Chinese medicine, the names of organs in Western
medicine are merely used to describe individual organs, which can be
removed during dissection. However, in China, the name of an organ refers to
the organ along with the area surrounding it and other organs that might be
involved in its functioning. Therefore, from the point of view of TCM, when
we speak of the heart, we are referring to the organ known as the heart, the
system of nerves driving it, the area surrounding it, and the brain.
In addition, Chinese medicine doesn’t limit itself to the physical
body; it also takes into account the soul. In fact, it pays particular attention to
spiritual problems.
Western clinics have many specialized units dedicated to dealing
with diseases of specific organs. This approach is useful in curing certain
diseases. The Chinese method is more systematic and involves the regulation
of the whole body. In many cases, such treatment is more successful. We see
this in particular with chronic pain, and with diseases that seem to have no
cause. In the West, the patient is subjected to tests performed through the use
of devices, examined, and evaluated. If the results are inconclusive, the
disease and cause may go undetected.
Oriental and Western medicine approach the problem and control
of disease and pain differently. In the Chinese mind, disease can have a
number of causes, internal as well as external. Internal causes include
emotional mood swings and stress, while external causes include wind,
moisture, cold, etc. These are some of the factors that are used to classify
diseases: disease of the wind, disease of moisture, etc.
For example, let’s say that you are calmly sitting and relaxing in
a place where you can feel a light breeze. That breeze, or wind, can block one
of your channels. Such cases usually require the application of suction cups,
or cupping. If you cup the painful area, the skin will immediately turn dark.
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You may sometimes notice that the painful area is not concentrated in one
spot. If you drink something cold from the refrigerator, your body may react
in the same way. You can identify illness by looking at the soles of your feet.
When you are ill, the skin on your soles is not smooth—it is chapped through
the replacement of old skin by new.
If the disease is caused by a disturbance of energy circulation in
the channels, oriental methods of treatment are very effective, especially in
conjunction with Cheng Chiu therapy, Qigong therapy, and sometimes
massage. For example, there are patients who experience pain in channels
around the waist. Spasms in these channels may be the result of wind,
moisture, or other external factors. In any case, the end result is pain. It is
easy to cure illnesses connected to channel problems.
Methods of acupuncture are very effective in this case, especially
for the treatment of knee-joint diseases.

Master’s Story
Often, women experience pain in their knee joints while walking.
It has been discovered that this is a secondary problem caused by
gynecological diseases, due to the lack of free flow of energy in that area.
This results in blood congestion. If the disease is new, it can be cured in a
short period of time. In addition, this problem might have a number of
causes, including diet. Acupuncture is a great way to cure headaches or post-
injury disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Usually, at the beginning,
stroke patients receive medications; sometimes, however, medications lose
their effectiveness over time. This means that the disease is now a channel
disease. Further treatment is possible through the use of Qigong and/or
acupuncture methods.
Each treatment method has its own advantages. Some methods
result in extraordinary success, while others are less successful. Therefore,
the specialist who additionally practices Qigong will use Qigong methods of
diagnostics and treatment in his practice and become a very famous doctor.
In China, there are several such famous doctors who can cure
any disease that cannot be cured by Western methods. The reason for this is
that instead of treating individual organs, they treat the body as a whole.
During my early childhood, I was fortunate to meet an
interesting person. He was a medical doctor and a friend of my father. He
had the nickname “Three Needles.” He was given this nickname because for
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every patient and disease, he used only three needles and worked with only
three BAPs. He never used anything apart from the three needles.
Often, people went to other doctors who also used the Cheng
Chiu method, but without success. He was once visited by the relatives of a
sick person who, despite a lengthy treatment program, had not improved and
could not get out of bed. The patient was able to walk again after a single
session of acupuncture involving only the three needles.
My father, a surgeon, became interested in this case and the
method of treatment used. He started asking questions about the treatment
and how it worked. As it turned out, the doctor detected in his patient three
points in energy channels that were completely blocked. He inserted needles
into these three points, opening them and restoring the flow of Qi through the
channels. As a result, the patient regained his ability to walk.
The doctor independently discovered that for any cause of pain,
he could always find three points which were in worse condition than the
others. Therefore, in order to treat any patient, he always used three needles.

Causes of Disease

It is very important to understand the cause, and the origins, of a


disease. There are some patients who always feel hot, as though they have a
high temperature. Even though they appear to be suffering from a fever, a
thermometer might indicate that they are normal. Nevertheless, such person
still feels hot in the area of the head or face. This type of sensation is not
really a result of high temperature but what the Chinese call “empty fire.”
This doesn’t mean that the person really has a high temperature and high
energy; it simply means that he or she has a deficiency of Yin energy.
Sometimes you may experience light shivers similar to those that appear
before your body temperature increases; but in fact it remains normal. This
indicates a decrease in Yin energy. If it will continue to decrease, you will
experience intense perspiration while sleeping, even if your room is cool or
chilly.
From the Qigong point of view, these are energy problems that
can be treated through some form of energy regulation. However, in modern
science, particularly in Western medicine, there is no concept of fog Qi, light
Qi, and transcendental Qi in our body.
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The most probable cause of disease may have its basis in
emotional states; emotional stress leads to energy congestion in a particular
area. As a rule, such emotions as grief or sadness have a direct impact on the
heart. Conversely, the heart is also affected by emotions such as joy. As a
result, heart disease may be sometimes caused by excessive joy. When
energy flows into a specific area, the blood traveling with that energy also
enters that area. If Qi is stagnant in a particular area, the blood in that area is
also stagnant. Many diseases may occur because emotions have blocked the
energy.
The movement of Qi and blood is similar to the flow of water in
a river. With an unrestricted and fast current, the water is clear and
transparent. However, with stagnation, its quality declines with time. To
describe such phenomena, the Chinese have a saying: “Unlike stagnant water,
streaming water does not spoil.” Stagnant water develops a bad odor.
Additionally, when the temperature rises above +20°C (+70°F), bacteria can
develop. However, diseases aren’t caused by viruses or bacteria—these
appear later—but by the stagnation of Qi. Therefore, if we use the methods of
TCM and Qigong, we may discover disease earlier than through the
techniques of modern medicine.

Master’s Story
Often I am asked why an inflammatory process has developed in
a particular area or why there is pain in a particular zone. Western doctors
might deduce that pain is the result of inflammation, as this zone has a larger
concentration of white blood cells. While this is certainly possible and can be
a valid explanation as to why we feel pain, is it the cause of pain? Why, for
example, do you feel pain if someone hits you or if you bump your head?
I will give you an example of a systematic approach. Let’s say a
patient complains about a heart problem. We can figure out the exact
problem and its cause using pulse diagnostics (Picture 41a). If the rate of the
patient’s heartbeat is high—in the West, it is called tachycardia or rapid
heart, and it is treated in a certain way, the Chinese doctor tries to define the
roots, or sources, of disease. For the treatment of the heart, it is sometimes
very effective to have a remedy that affects not only the heart, but also certain
points. When energy flows up the spine, that point affects the heart.
Therefore, we first need to check to see if the heart problem is caused by a
problem with the spine. If we are able to determine that it is a cardiologic
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disease only, the heart will, of course, receive treatment before anything else.
However, it might be determined that the heart problem is connected not to a
heart as an organ, but to the liver. In this case, when the heart is treated first
and gets better, doctors will start treating the liver. Additionally, depending
on a patient’s type of energy, doctors will find herbs that are suitable for him.
It is therefore important that, while meeting with his patient, a
Chinese doctor must have the ability to determine whether the patient is a
Yang-type person or Yin-type person, and whether the disease is Yang-type
or Yin-type.

Picture 41: TCM Diagnostics (a) Pulse Diagnostics, (b, c) During the Image-Medicine Workshop

In general, Western medicine considers the possibility of many


different causes or diseases when a patient has a heart disorder. Chinese
medicine, on the other hand, calls it “an excess of fire in the heart.”
Sometimes, Western doctors find it hard to understand where the fire is, but
they can tell you about the sensations or symptoms of this disease. On the
outside, the symptoms include dry lips, dry tongue, and red eyes, and the
patient is quick to lose his temper. Therefore, in order to cure such diseases,
we use herbal medication that subdues this fire and increases water in the
body, thus, strengthens kidney function.
Famous Chinese doctors practice Qigong intensively in order to
obtain sufficient amounts of their own energy. In this case, they do not need
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devices to see problematic areas—they can see them all by themselves.

In other words, Qigong is a system that allows us to regulate


our overall state in order to be healthy. After we have recovered out health,
the practice of Qigong allows us to enhance ourselves further and develop
our body and soul in order to acquire special abilities. Therefore, Qigong is
a system through which we develop ourselves. Through this system, we
encounter phenomena that can completely change our lives, our way of
thinking, and our perception of the surrounding world. In the process, we
become kinder and softer, and are able to lead easier lives.
The development of a human being depends, after all, on the
state of the physical body as well as the soul. Our health, in general, relies on
these two aspects. It is important, therefore, to be healthy, as illnesses can
seriously restrict our ability to lead complete, fulfilling lives.
Humans and computers have been designed along similar lines.
The body and soul that comprise the former run parallel to the hardware and
software of the latter. What, then, does human development require?
Let us review three types of humans (Picture 42): a healthy
person (Type 1), a person with a disease (Type 2), and a healthy person with
special abilities (Type 3).
To begin with, we need to know how to return a sick person to a
state of good health, thereby transforming him from a Type 2 into a Type 1.
This is what medicine usually does. But to transform a Type 1 person into a
person with special abilities (Type 3) requires special knowledge. This is
where Qigong comes in.
There are times, however, when medicine alone cannot transform
a sick person into a healthy person, let alone into a person with special
abilities. In Qigong, there is a number of specific methods of treatment that
enable us to transform a physically ill body into a healthy one.
ZYQ shows us the path to human development, while allowing
us to return an ill person to a healthy state and then transform him into a
person with special abilities.

How to return health to a patient?


There are two ways:

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1. Follow your doctor’s orders and the prescribed
treatment. This approach is based on the
assumption that the doctor knows exactly how to
treat every particular patient.
2. Use different methods of Qigong practice. As a
result, patients receive the ability to recover
themselves. Such methods allow them to obtain
additional energy from the outside. This energy
will lead to certain changes in their bodies, and
these changes will return them to a healthy state.
Many people are familiar with the first
method. Therefore, we will discuss it only from the
point of view of Qigong. In this manner, we will be
able to illustrate the extent to which Qigong therapy Picture 42: Comparison
of Qigong and Western
can be applied. Medicine
The subject of this book serves as an
introduction to the second approach. Zhong Yuan Qigong is a system of self-
belief, self-development, self-reliance, and self-mastery.

From the materials of the Fourth World Conference on Medical


Qigong
From the Report on Qigong in the West: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Self-
Care and Health Promotion by Steven K. H. Aung
(Department of Family Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Extension
University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada)

In the traditional Chinese medical system, Qigong is the central


therapy. Unlike acupuncture, which works from the “outside in,” and herbal
medicine, which works from the “inside out,” Qigong works from both
directions at once, in terms of prevention as well as cure. While in the West,
Qigong is not as well-known as acupuncture or herbal medicine, it plays a
vitally important role in primary care, especially with respect to self-care
and health promotion. This role—and responsibility—fits in quite well with
the new and growing emphasis in Western societies on health promotion.
Qigong may be viewed as one of the vital components of the Western holistic
health movement, which has been developing over the past two decades, and

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which has resulted in the acceptance of various “complementary”
therapeutic modalities, including acupuncture and herbal medicine. Unlike
acupuncture or herbal medicine, however, Qigong requires considerable
time, practice, and commitment on the part of patients to learn the
appropriate exercise series to help enhance their essential vital energy. It
therefore embodies intelligent, disciplined self-care. Qigong complements the
other TCM therapies as well as biomedicine. Since the early 1990s, I have
taught Qigong theory and practice to the general public, healthcare
practitioners, and physicians, not only in Canada, but also around the world.
This is termed Aung Medical Qigong, and it encompasses the Taoist,
Buddhist, and Confucian approaches, including basic breathing,
concentration, phonation, and posture/movement exercises with a view to
developing an awareness and appreciation of nature and an attitude of
genuine compassion and loving-kindness toward all sentient beings. More
advanced students are encouraged to take part in Qigong group retreats, so
that they can cultivate their vital energy from Mother Nature and learn from
one another in wilderness surroundings. The vision behind my Qigong
teaching program is that of a country full of healthy, active people practicing
Qigong, and other beneficial exercises, each and every day to enhance their
personal well-being as well as the quality of life of our whole society.

DIAGNOSIS WITH HANDS

The ZYQ system, as we have already mentioned,


belongs to the highest levels of Qigong. It goes without saying,
therefore, that its ultimate goal is high, too. However, in order to
reach these ultimate high goals, it is necessary to be in good health.
Humans cannot work normally if they are not healthy—if they are
experiencing pain or discomfort, high goals are not important.
Therefore, the first part of ZYQ—“Development System”—
includes additional methods of diagnostics and treatment. Besides,
as a person develops, he must be able to help others. The
knowledge he obtains during the process of study and independent
practice is not a goal in itself, but the key to normal existence in
any social and ecological environment. By acquiring such abilities,
a person must give his skills, knowledge, and intellectual potential to people
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around him and to society.
Why do we study methods of balancing Yin and Yang at the first
stage? The state of a person improves and many diseases disappear as the
result of such practice. Why do we learn about the methods for accumulating
energy from the environment? Because in the process of living, we lose
energy; if we do not have enough energy, we become ill.
Mastering the above-mentioned methods and exercises (Chapter
2) allow us to bring our own psychophysical condition to a normal state while
acquiring the ability to diagnose and treat others.
There are many diagnostic methods in Qigong; we can diagnose
with our hands, body, eyes, or Third Eye, in direct communication with the
patient, by photograph, by name, and by text written by the patient’s own
hand. Using Qigong methods, we can find the cause of a disease as well as
foresee future diseases. Qigong methods allow us to identify past diseases
and predict different situations for other people. We are able to talk about
their parents, children, and friends, as well as their present, past, and future.
We are able to look into a person’s history and analyze the health of his
family and friends. We can do all this, because everything in this world is
interconnected, similar to a computer network: not only health and illness,
but also thoughts, actions, the direction of life, behavior, etc. Moreover, if our
body can receive information from that network, we can analyze the data and
receive more knowledge about our environment and the world in general—
more data than we can imagine.
In the first stage of ZYQ we study diagnostics with our hands. It
is very simple, useful, and easy to accomplish, and does not require any
special energy. This allows us to diagnose almost automatically and then treat
diseases. In Stage II, we study methods of diagnosis within our body, and in
the third stage, we study diagnostics with the Third Eye. In Stage IV, we
study methods of analysis into the causes of a disease, and methods of seeing
the past and future—all this belongs to the function of the Third Eye.

THE BASIS OF HAND DIAGNOSIS

What is the principal foundation of these methods?

We know that each living creature or plant has a biological field


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around it. In the Qigong system, we call it the Qi field. Each field is different;
moreover, each organ has its own Qi field, and all these fields put together
make up the Qi field of the whole body. After a certain amount of Qigong
practice, we open BAPs and channels and our palms acquire extra sensitivity,
as a result of which we can sense other Qi fields.
During diagnosis, it is necessary to consider three factors:
(1) The state of the person being diagnosed
(2) The state of the person performing the diagnosis
(3) The diagnostic method
As a rule, people have healthy palms even when they are ill.
Therefore, calm palms, without any specific sensations, can perform precise
diagnosis. If the Qi field of the palms touches the Qi field of another person
(an organ of his, or anything alive), certain sensations will occur in the palms.
Our hands are capable of sensing the distortion of energy fields by diseases.
Therefore, we need to know the organs in our body that radiate warmth, the
ones that radiate cold, and the ones that don’t radiate anything. If we know
the characteristics of organs, then, at the time of diagnosis, we will be able to
figure out exactly where the energy is correct and where it is not. If you
already feel Qi during the practice of preliminary and main exercises, you
may use these sensations for diagnosis. As a result, when you move your
hand close to a person’s body, you may be able to feel warm areas, cold
areas, and “ill” zones without touching the person.
If our body experiences problems, as a rule, it has something to
do with an energy disorder.

How Does Energy Manifest Itself in the Body, and What


Sensations Does it Cause?

The most common sensation that we experience during this


process is warmth. We may also feel cold coming from a particular area.
Wind is also a manifestation of energy. But how does one describe pain? You
know from your own experience that during Qigong practice, you may
experience various sensations, such as pressure, numbness, moisture, or
dryness. You may feel stuffy and find it hard to breathe. In such cases, the
Chinese say that your “heart is caught in the doorway.” As a rule, this
happens in extremely hot weather and when the humidity is very high.
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Sometimes, we may experience smooth and slippery sensations, along with
the opposite sensations of roughness and viscosity. There are many words to
describe these sensations. But words are simply words! What matters is our
ability to feel these sensations during practice, as well as during diagnosis.
We must be aware of the normal sensations of energy that we, as
humans, experience during good health as well as illness. In other words, our
ability to diagnose depends on our knowledge and sense of what is correct
and what is not. Practically everyone can feel warmth, cold, pressure, and
pain. These are the main symptoms, but more than 60 percent of diseases
cause sensations of cold and warmth.

What Leads to the Sensations of Warmth and Heat?

What is Warmth and Heat?


Judging from your own experience, what happens if you put your
hand on top of the area where you feel like you have a high temperature? At
first, you might suspect an infectious or inflammatory process. What
happens if you feel heat, but the temperature in that area is normal? There are
many herbs and herbal medicines that cause heat sensations but do not cause
a rise in body temperature.
The body’s temperature can sometimes rise in response to an
external disturbance. At other times, it is the opposite: while there is no
change in temperature, you may still feel heat. For example, red hot peppers
give the sensation of heat, but so do garlic, onion, mustard, and ginger…and
many other plants. Even if you do not taste them, but simply place them on
your skin or rub them into your palms, you feel heat. Similar sensations
appear in the skin from strong acid or alkalis. These can cause a chemical
burn.
In addition, there are internal factors capable of causing such
sensations, namely emotions. If you feel embarrassment or shame, your face
can instantly turn red, and you may feel as though it is “on fire.” If you
become agitated or angry, again, your face may feel warm. Often, heat
emerges if a person is excited about something. It is important for us to know
and remember that heat sensations can be the result of our own emotions, as
well as temperature, chemical substances, food, and other external factors.
If you feel heat, you need to understand its origins. For example,
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if two people had a heated argument, the liver becomes hot and remains hot
for a period of time. If during this period, one of these two people come to
you to receive a diagnosis, after feeling heat in the liver area, you may decide
that there is a problem in this area. However, in reality, the person’s
condition is temporary because the heat will soon fade away. Concluding that
the person is suffering from liver problems would be wrong.
Sometimes, we experience a sensation of heat after intense
physical work, when our body heats up due to our exertions. Similarly, while
suntanning, our body becomes hot. The body can heat up under the impact of
physiotherapeutic procedures, such as ultrasound, quartz, or infrared light
treatment.
What does it mean if your temperature increases due to
participation in sports or similar activities?
It means that your organs are functioning very actively at that
particular moment. For example, intense physical movements heat up
muscles. This heat is the result of dynamic activities.

What are Cold Sensations and What do They Mean?


Cold sensations are also associated with temperature, but in a
reduced form. Some herbs and substances, such as menthol and mint,
engender a feeling of cold or chill, for example. Therefore, if we feel cold, it
does not necessarily mean that our body’s temperature has decreased.
What does it mean if we experience a cold sensation inside an
organ?
Usually, this indicates the hypo functioning of an organ. For
example, if you feel cold in the liver area, this means that the liver’s activity
is low and the liver is weak. Nevertheless, a doctor will not be able to see
this, because test results will be normal.
We may also feel cold if we have bad blood circulation.
Some emotions may also cause a cold sensation, like fear or
horror. If you were suddenly frightened by something, you would feel cold or
experience chills. Sometimes in such a situation, one might say, “a cold
shiver ran down my spine.”
If the area with poor blood circulation becomes infected, it starts
an inflammatory process that leads to heat. Therefore, occasionally, cold is
transformed into heat. If a person catches cold (has been affected by cold)
and his temperature rises, it means that this cold has been transformed into
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heat.
However, heat can also be transformed into cold. For example,
if a person suffering from infection or inflammation is treated with
antibiotics, the virulent form of the disease may become chronic. Antibiotics
belong to a type of very cold medicine. Similarly, chronic infection and
chronic inflammation belong to a cold, not heat, type. Why? The reason is
that chronic infection and inflammation lead to a lowering of functions of
relevant organs or tissues. Therefore, Chinese medicine and Qigong classify
these as a different type of disease. From the point of view of Western
medicine, these diseases still belong to the above-mentioned infections or
inflammations.
Therefore, we can use our own abilities and intelligence to
identify pain and its location. Such methods are much safer than using X-ray
radiation, because this biological energy does not harm humans in any way.
The accuracy of the diagnosis depends exclusively on the level of our own
sensitivity.

Sensations from Our Body

Typical Sensations from Healthy Organs


Our inner organs have several characteristics, each with its own
biological field and energy structure. When a person is healthy, the majority
of the inner organs, and the body itself, will not have any special sensations
during diagnosis. However, if the palms of the diagnostician have some
sensations from an area of the body being diagnosed, that would indicate that
there is something wrong there. But the following three organs in our body
give out specific sensations:
1. Kidneys, which belong to the Water element. If the kidneys are healthy,
they present a cool sensation. If they radiate cold or warmth, or if they
give off a tingling or unusual feeling, it means that they are not
functioning properly.
2. Heart, which belongs to the Fire element. If the heart is healthy, it will
give off a sensation of mild warmth during diagnosis. Other sensations,
including heightened warmth, indicate a disease.
3. Lungs, which belong to the Metal element. If the lungs are healthy,
they either do not give any sensations at all, or they give off a soft

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vibration, similar to the vibration of a bell upon impact. In addition, you
may also experience a soft tingling or numbness in the palms. Other
sensations indicate problems.

Now, let’s review some disease symptoms in greater detail.

Some Phenomena and Symptoms of Diseases

Kidneys
Kidneys must give a cool sensation. Place your hands on the
kidney area, feel them, and compare the sensations received from the left and
right kidney.
You may diagnose a patient using a touching or a non-touching
method.
A cold, almost icy, sensation indicates kidney stones or a lot of
kidney sand. Similarly, feelings of warmth or heat indicate improperly
functioning kidneys, signaling an excess of Yang and a lack of Yin.
If the disease is serious, the patient can experience a noise or
buzzing in his ears. Easy sweating is another phenomenon that accompanies
this disease. Such a state affects heart function, and if the illness lasts long—
at least a year or more—the condition of the heart worsens, leading to an
increase in heartbeat and tachycardia.
All of these are either phenomena and/or symptoms. There is no
need to fear them. Instead, one should work with them. If you feel heat or
warmth from the kidneys, you need to fill them with more Yin energy. We
will discuss how to do this later, in the chapter about treatment.

Heart
If the heart is healthy and works properly, it always gives off
warmth. This can be felt with our hands. Check your own heart and see if you
can feel warmth.
Place your hand on the heart area, close your eyes, and wait a bit
—about one or two minutes. Listen to the sensations that come from the
heart, not from your clothes or your skin. Wait until the sensations rise from
the depth, until you start feeling them. Compare the different sensations you

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received from the heart and the kidneys.
While diagnosing another person, your hand can be some
distance away but will still feel the warmth. Cold or cool sensations indicate
heart disease. If you place your palm on the skin over the heart and it feels
cool, you can be certain of the existence of an illness. For example, as a rule,
before or after a heart attack, the heart gives off a strong sensation of cold.
Because the heart does not work very well in such a state, it cannot generate a
sufficient amount of warmth. Therefore, a sensation of coolness or cold in the
hands indicates a heart disorder.
Most of the time, a heart attack sneaks up on people before they
can expect it. If your hands feel coolness emanating from the heart area, you
could say that the person has symptoms of an upcoming heart attack. The
person must be very cautious and careful.
If we use energetic methods for the prevention or cure of heart
attacks, the results can be very good. A heart attack indicates a problem with
blood circulation in some part of the heart or its vessels. As a result of this
problematic circulation, heart tissue dies. By making fog energy move in the
channels of the area with affected heart muscle or vessels, we will be able to
achieve a more active movement of blood, and as a result, tissue
regeneration. This is the reason why energy methods of heart attack treatment
provide such good results.
If during diagnosis of the heart, you sense heat instead of
warmth, this is also an indication of heart problems. If a person has a very
serious disease, you can feel pain in your palm by simply moving your hand
closer to the affected area.

Lungs
We have already mentioned that healthy lungs give off no
sensations at all, or only minor ones. Therefore, of all organs, the lungs are
the most difficult to diagnose with hands. But if you feel definite cold, wind,
warmth, or heat coming from the lungs, this is a sign that they are not
working properly. In order to find problems with the lungs, we need to use
additional methods of diagnosis, using, for example, the body or the Third
Eye. We will learn these methods at the second and third stages, and in the
second part of ZYQ: “Image Medicine.”

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The remaining organs, if healthy, do not give any sensations. If
you feel a sensation in some other part of the body or in an organ, it is
possible that the area has wrong energy, which can cause problems. Many
upcoming problems in the physical body can be detected by energy disorders
long before they appear—sometimes six to eight months or even a year in
advance. Often, in the beginning, when the energy changes, the physical
structure is still the same, and the patient feels completely normal and
problem-free. However, you can feel everything with your hands, and must
warn him about the energy disorder and the need to take preventative
measures, before it’s too late.
Some types of disease give off very specific and definite
sensations. For example, a cool strip or wind experienced while moving your
hand over some area of the body indicates the presence of a surgery. A
sensation of warmth, sometimes excessive warmth, indicates an
inflammatory process in the inner organs and joints—the knee, elbow, or
shoulder joints. If, in this area, you feel a coolness or breeze, this can be a
disease similar to arthritis, known as arthrosis.
Folk Chinese medicine classifies disease in a way that is very
unusual for Western doctors. Examples include diseases that belong to hot or
cold types, diseases of wind, diseases of moisture, etc. This can be hard to
understand, because such a diseases cannot be diagnosed using devices.
Without special education, it is impossible to understand and define
differences between Yin and Yang. Therefore, it is hard for foreigners to
study TCM. In Chinese medical universities, it is compulsory for all students
to learn Qigong, Wu Xing theory, and TCM. Very often, during herbal
therapy or Chen Chui therapy, we obtain different results even if two
different patients with the same disease are treated in the same way. This is
because there are different methods for increasing or decreasing Yin and
Yang in the body. But if you do not know whether a given disease belongs to
the hot or cold type, you will not be able to use the proper method and cure
the patient. Therefore, in order to become a good specialist, one needs
knowledge of TCM and basic methods of Qigong.
The diagnostic methods of ZYQ are very useful for both doctors
with a traditional Western education and for folk healers; because this
knowledge allows them to exactly locate areas of real disease, even if the
patient complains of discomfort in another area. After that, they can use
methods of examination targeted to specific areas.
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METHODS AND RULES OF DIAGNOSIS WITH HANDS

Methods of Diagnosis with Hands

Let’s not forget that, in addition to a person being diagnosed,


there is a diagnostician, whose condition, whose state of mind and body, must
also be considered. If he is in an excited state, or if his palms are too cold or
too hot, then the information received from the patient will be incorrect.
Statistically, about ten percent of people cannot diagnose.
When you are in a good state of mind and body, you must define
and remember what sensations in your palms are your own and how you feel
your own palms. After some practice, you will be able to distinguish between
sensations from the outside and sensations from your own palms. Then,
during diagnostics, when you experience deviations in these sensations, you
will know for sure that these changes belong to the Qi field.
Various sensations indicate various diseases, but for each
person they are very individual. This is the reason why a period of extensive
practice is required to master the correct criteria for grading a patient’s state.
First-stage diagnostics gives one the ability to detect problems.
The first step of diagnostic method is to define a problem area,
not a particular organ. Following this, the diagnostic method can be directed
at disorders specific to that area.
The second step we need to take is to concentrate our attention
on the organ that is to be diagnosed. For example, imagine that you are
starting to diagnose the lungs. You can imagine to yourself that you are
diagnosing a particular part of the lungs. Let’s say you are looking at the top
or bottom of the left lung. If you want to learn to define which organ is not
healthy, you need to have a holistic perception of the anatomy of the human
body.
The key to successful diagnosis with hands lies in following
certain rules.

Main Rules for Diagnosis

1. The diagnostician must be in a calm, relaxed state of mind.


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2. The palms must be neutral, otherwise the sensations in his own palms,
such as cold, warmth, or tingling, can be mistaken for sensations from a
patient.
3. The patient should not be tense or excited. Before the beginning of the
session, try to relax the patient and bring him into a balanced emotional
state.
4. The healer should not feel any inner resistance to work with this patient
before diagnosis. He should simply desire to find his problems.
5. When diagnosing, you need to move your palms slowly around the body
at a distance of approximately one foot (thirty centimeters) from the
body (Picture 43), because at a shorter distance, you will feel body
warmth, and this will distort the information that is being received. If a
diagnostician is highly sensitive, the distance between his hand and the
patient can be significantly more than one foot.
6. While diagnosing, you must think about the organ you are evaluating
and try to picture it. Otherwise, you will receive integral, complex
information from the scanned area, not from the particular organ,
because many organs overlap. For example, heart and lungs, liver and
gallbladder all overlap, and additionally, there are bones, muscles,
vessels, and skin.
7. There should be no drafts or significant air currents from fans, heaters,
or air conditioners in the room that you use for diagnosis.

Picture 43: Diagnosis by Hands

NOTE: Men usually diagnose with their left hand and women with their
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right, regardless of whether they are right-handed or left-handed.

Accompanying phenomena

Sometimes during diagnosis, the patient feels pain. If the pain


was there before, it may become stronger. The reason for this is that after
Qigong practice, the Qi field around the diagnostician’s palms is much
stronger than that of the patient. Therefore, during diagnosis, the Qi from the
palms affects specific areas of the patient’s body with disease. Furthermore,
as explained before, the additional Qi received from the diagnostician tries to
go through a constricted channel.
Sometimes, the patient faints or comes close to fainting. This can
happen if the diagnostician does not control his own energy very well and
a) the patient has extra sensitivity but is physically weak (then,
during diagnostics, he will receive a lot of energy);
b) the patient has a heart disease; or
c) the diagnostician is the parent who has a similar Qi structure to
his/her child.
In such cases, it is recommended that you use the methods
described in the Big Tree exercise: work with the Hegu and Zhenchzhun
points.

The opposite may also happen. During diagnostics or simple


communication with a sick person, some people may start sensing this
person’s problems immediately, such as toothache or a feeling of heaviness
in the liver. Why is this happening?
If you are very sensitive, your body may the feel symptoms of
another person. For example, if your patient has a headache and you sit right
next to him, then upon relaxing, you may suddenly get a headache too,
without knowing why you have it. Nevertheless, in reality, it is not your
headache—it is a sensation that you are picking up from the other person.
Unless you are going to specialize as a healer later, do not pay attention to
such symptoms. Your body is merely in the process of learning not to react to
such external influences, and after a while, these symptoms will disappear.

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How to Train Hands

If you would like to learn how to diagnose, you need to do it


many times. But in addition, you also need to train your hands. First, learn to
receive different sensations from different things, such as wood, wool, water,
metal, rocks, etc.
Then, learn to feel the difference between various trees, and
between their trunks and leaves. Continue practicing, working with different
types of leaves: puffy leaves like those of the violet, hard leaves like those of
palm trees, or the prickly needles of cacti. Learn to define the flower and
stem.
After that, learn to differentiate between the structures of similar
nonliving objects, such as rocks and metals. As a rule, it is not difficult to
differentiate between iron, aluminum, or copper. But it is more difficult to
feel stones that have different crystal structure.
Next, you may try to experience the sensations of colors when
objects are similar, for example, differently colored paper. It is easier to
recognize red, white, and black colors; then, you can add other colors from
the Wu Xing circle.
The next stage of training may include the hand scanning of
objects through paper (you may use objects that you have already mastered to
recognize). Cover them with a sheet of paper, and try to feel them through
this barrier. In addition, of course, you can learn to feel with your hands any
structural changes under the ground. When I was a student, such practice was
mandatory in China during the advanced practice of the second preliminary
exercise. A more detailed description of this subject is beyond the scope of
this course.

TREATMENT WITH HANDS

REVIEW OF METHODS AND APPROACHES

Since ancient times in China, it has been known that the color of
Qi in diseased areas of the body is the gray of smoke, or sometimes black.
This is something that can be easily seen by the Third Eye. This type of Qi
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has an interesting feature: if somehow, we were able to take it out
of the body, it would stay in the place where we left it. Then, if a
person with a similar disease appeared, the original Qi would be
attracted by the similar, corresponding Qi in the person’s diseased
area. It would merge with the corresponding “bad” Qi in that
person’s body and worsen the disease.
This type of Qi will not move anywhere by itself;
wind cannot blow it off, water cannot wash it away, and fire cannot
burn it. Nevertheless, such methods of healing—with fire or water
—are well-known and similar in different world cultures, and often
give good results. There is a good reason for this.
There are many methods of treating diseases.
However, if we try to analyze them, it would appear that folk methods of
healing boil down to well-defined procedures using water, fire, sounds, and
the movements of a healer. Today we often talk about praying, the use of
various mantras, tambourine and tam-tam sounds, etc. In modern terms, the
use of various sounds for healing is called sound therapy. It causes certain
vibrations in the body. Often, such a procedure leads to channel opening,
loosening of certain parts of the body, release of spasms, and a boost in
metabolism. This category also includes rituals (ceremonies), involving
dancing and singing in front of large audiences, and participants who
cooperate in the healing process. When the healer relaxes and “loosens” his
body and mind, he falls into a trance-like state in which he involves his
tribesmen. In the trance, the body is out of control, convulsing, etc. Similar
methods are still in use today.
Many nations have different methods of “burning out” or
“pouring out” diseases that are different in form but similar in nature. In
today’s society, some healers in Western countries and the former Soviet
Union use fire in the healing process to “burn out” bad Qi. However, the
Third Eye can see that this type of Qi does not interact with fire or water.
Nevertheless, the disease vanishes after the use of such methods. Modern
research tells us that such Qi cannot be destroyed by water or fire, but by
thought and mind.
In ancient China, there were many methods that used water and
fire for healing. For example, paper was used to burn out diseases.
Sometimes, special paper was used for these purposes—it could change color
when being burned or wet. Because of this, both the patient and healer
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thought the disease would be destroyed. It is true that the disease did get
destroyed, but only by the minds of the people working together toward a
single purpose. The thoughts, indeed, destroyed bad Qi and the patient felt
much better. After a period of training, our hands will acquire the ability to
draw unhealthy Qi from the body.
At Stage I, we study four methods of treatment with our hands.
They boil down to the extraction of bad Qi from a sick patient’s body and the
replacement of sick Qi with healthy Qi. These methods are simple and easy
to understand. The difficulty is that the energy in the hands at the initial stage
of practice does not possess enough power. Therefore, nothing you have read
or learned in theory makes using these methods any more effective. What do
we mean by “energetically strong hands”?
This means that during practice, you can feel strong heat,
almost to the point of pain, in the center of your palm at the Laogong point.
If you experience such sensations, then after reading about, understanding,
and trying methods of healing, you will obtain good results right away.
While medicines cause undesirable side effects and various
allergic reactions, methods involving energy-based treatment appear to be
very powerful and effective, because they give fast results without side
effects.

First Method:
EAGLE’S CLAWS PLUCKING BAD QI

We use this method in cases where a patient has one


or more localized and well-pronounced areas of pain:
a) Moving your palm, and sensing bad Qi in a given area, try to
establish contact with it. “Stretch” your palm (the Qi field of your
palm) into the patient’s body, into the unhealthy organ, and grab
the bad Qi with the Qi field of your palm (Picture 44a).
b) Pull out the bad Qi from the area with the energy field of your
palm, as though your hand were the claw of an eagle.
c) Hurl the bad Qi deep into the ground.
You must control this procedure with your mind.
Again, moving your hand near the sick area, grab the
bad Qi, extract it, pull it out, and drop it into the ground.
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NOTE: Do not worry about Earth collecting too much bad Qi. Bad Qi
undergoes certain changes while in the ground, and helps plant
growth.

You must repeat these steps until you feel that there is no illness
in this area. During the procedure, you can either touch the patient’s body or
work from a distance.
You can grab bad Qi, wrap it around your palm as though it was
a snake, pull it out of the body, and hurl it into the ground. The direction of
palm movement is not important: you can move your palm clockwise or
counterclockwise. It does not matter if you are in contact or at a distance
during this procedure. The main thing here is your imagination.
The patients always feel as though something is being drawn out
of them from a specific area.
In addition to dropping the bad Qi into the ground, you can give
it to a tree or throw it into water. For example, if you pull bad Qi out of the
liver area and give it to a tree, the tree will like it. Even though the bad Qi is
not good for us, it can be very useful to other life forms. For example, oxygen
is very useful for us; in fact, we cannot survive without it! We inhale oxygen
and exhale carbon dioxide. Trees are just the opposite—they take in carbon
dioxide, transform it into oxygen, and release it.
After the bad Qi has been extracted, it needs to be replaced with
good Qi (see Third Method).

Second Method:
DRAINING BAD QI THROUGH CHANNELS

We use this method when the location of the disease cannot be


found, if the patient has many diseases, if they are scattered all over the body,
or if they take up a large amount of space, like, for example, pneumonia,
bronchitis, or gastrointestinal tract problems (Picture 44b). In these cases, we
drain bad Qi from the body through energy channels. For that, we
recommend the following:
a) The patient should sit down or lie down.
b) Open the channels in the patient’s fingers and/or toes, depending
on the part of the body you are working with.
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c) Grab the patient’s bad Qi with your palm, and move it
from the diseased area, along the channels, to his
fingers or toes. The principle of “grabbing” bad Qi is
the same as in the first method: the palm goes inside,
reaches the diseased organ, and using your own Qi,
grabs the bad Qi from that area. Then we move it
along the channels. We can first “wrap” it around the
palm and move it out. While extracting bad Qi, you
need to give the patient good Qi after two or three
passes (see Third Method).
d) After performing this movement, take the bad Qi off
the patient’s fingers and, as done in the First Method,
throw the bad Qi deep into the ground.

Picture 44: Treatment with Hands (a) Eagle’s Claws Plucks Bad Qi, (b) Drainage of Bad Qi through
Channels

If disease and bad Qi occupy the entire body, perhaps the patient
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is in an overall bad state of health, or has a problem with blood circulation or
with the lymphatic system—ask the patient to stand up, and clean his body,
using the Qi field in your palms. Move your hands downward from head to
feet, thereby throwing this bad Qi into the ground.
If the patient is weak and does not feel well, it may be hard for
him to stand. Ask him to lie down, and then perform the same procedure of
cleansing, moving your palm over him from head to toe. In this case, you will
be moving his bad Qi through the entire body, to his toes. Then, you can take
it off through his feet and/or toes and throw it into the ground.
Using this method, you can work over all necessary areas or the
entire body in general. It doesn’t matter whether you touch or don’t touch the
body.

Third Method:
SUPPLYING ENERGY OR REPLENISHING QI

By extracting bad Qi from the patient’s body, we de-


energize the affected areas. If you extract a lot of bad Qi, it will
weaken the patient and maybe cause him to faint. Therefore, we
need to replenish the lost Qi with healthy Qi. There are several
ways of doing this:
a) Upon inhaling, accept Qi of Universe through
Baihui, and Yin Qi of Earth through your feet, as we did during the
Big Tree practice. Upon exhaling, move it through your arm and
emit it from the Laogong point into the patient’s body. When
healing with the first method, we first extract bad Qi and then
replenish the loss of energy with good Qi. We perform
replenishment after several extractions. While healing with the
second method, bring good Qi into the patient’s body by reversing the
movement of your hand, after one or more passes along the channels.
If you extract excess Yin energy, you need to refill the
appropriate zone with Yang Qi. In order to do this, you need to inhale
through Baihui. Additionally, you can inhale through the Laogong points of
the upward-facing palms.

NOTE: We do not lose any energy when we give good energy to a


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patient. We serve merely as conductors and, therefore, do not use
our own Qi. Therefore, if a diagnostician has a disease, he will not
harm the patient in any way.

If you extract excess Yang Qi from the patient’s body, you will
need to replenish it with Yin energy. In order to do that, you need to accept
only Yin energy through your feet. However, the Laogong point radiates a lot
of Yang Qi. Therefore, we send Yin Qi using another method, known as the
method of the sword. This method allows for the emission of energy from the
index and middle fingers (see “Cleansing, Gathering, and Emitting Qi ”).
b) In a smooth motion, send the energy ball, formed in your
palm, into the “empty” zone. You can form a ball using any of the above-
mentioned methods.
If you really take out bad Qi and replace it with good energy, the
earlier dark zone will start turning lighter.

Fourth Method:
CONTACT METHOD

About five percent of people do not sense Qi. There


are people who are unable to smell, or distinguish between colors,
melodies, etc. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they do not
have energy. This is similar to situations where people do not react
to the acid contained within lemons and can eat lemons without
sugar.
If you meet a patient who is unable to sense energy,
you need to rub your palms together intensively until you feel heat,
and then put one hand on the problematic area, using the contact
method (Picture 44c). Then, rub your palms together again until
they feel heat, and repeat the procedure. This will lessen the pain
and put the patient at ease.
Usually, Qi is weak in the diseased area. Stronger Qi, activated
by rubbing, will act according to the law of equilibrium in connected vessels
and push out bad Qi. The duration of this procedure depends on the patient’s
condition and the healer’s skills.
Usually, when pain decreases, you may open channels in the
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fingers and toes of the patient (as
described in the second method)
and completely drain out bad Qi
through the channels.

NOTE: The use of contact methods is


not recommended if the
diagnostician/healer has a disease
Picture 44: Treatment with hands (c) Contact
Method of Treatment that is similar to the patient’s or
has many diseases.

The above-mentioned methods are fundamental. They serve


mainly two functions: the extraction of bad Qi and its replenishment with
good Qi.
We can combine these methods with previously studied exercises
in any possible way. For example, in order to cleanse a patient, ask him to
shake his body in the following way: he should first rise on his tiptoes, and
then lower his body on his heels. After this, help him with your hands to
drain bad Qi from the body. You may show the patient the method of Qi
purification and its replenishment, while accepting energy from Universe
during inhalation. You may extract bad Qi from the kidneys by asking the
patient to imagine that you are flushing his kidneys with the Qi of water. In
this case, his imagination and thoughts will help you perform this procedure.
You can also heal yourself using the above-mentioned methods.
Additionally, you can send good Qi into the affected area, mentally directing
energy into the appropriate zone, after you inhale and collect Qi from the
environment.
In China people say, “Qigong methods can heal any disease but
cannot heal any person.” Many different factors can cause diseases, and the
attitudes of patients to their diseases and healing methods are different as
well.

REMEMBER: During the process of healing, you must love your patient
or at least want to help him. If you dislike your patient, or if during
the process, neither of you is experiencing any sensations, or if there
are no changes in the patient’s state, you should not work with that
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particular patient.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BAD QI


Sometimes (especially at the beginning of training), the
practitioner feels pain after diagnosing or healing a patient. The pain appears
to be in the same area where the diagnostician found or healed pain in the
patient’s body. Practitioners themselves are inclined to think that they let bad
Qi come into their own body because they still cannot sufficiently control Qi
with their mind. Sometimes, this really happens, but very rarely. Healthy Qi
is stronger and denser than bad Qi. Therefore, bad Qi cannot easily enter the
body of the Qigong practitioner.
However, if a person has this fear and thinks about it, if he
listens to his sensations after his contact with the patient and fears feeling
pain in the same area of his own body, his mind and attitude will “attract”
bad Qi.
Sometimes, he doesn’t think about these things but still feels
discomfort and pain. What is the reason for such a phenomenon?
Even after a short practice of Qigong, especially if you have
attended intensive seminars, your channels and BAPs open up. You acquire
sensitivity that is sufficient to feel disorders in another person’s body.
Diagnostics with the body, described at the second stage, works in a manner
that is analogous to this principle. If a sick person is somewhere near you,
you may feel his pain. You may feel discomfort in the area of your body
where the patient has narrow channels or some other disorder. Almost
certainly, you may sense the illness if you concentrate your attention on the
patient.
Therefore, if you sympathize with the patient during diagnosis or
healing, often you can feel his illness. To postpone this until you have
sufficient skills, you need to follow several rules:
1. When diagnosing and healing, imagine your hands covered with a
protective layer of Qi, like gloves with unidirectional conductivity (from
the patient to you).
2. After the procedure, wash your hands and visualize water washing bad
Qi off your hands.

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REMEMBER: The work of your mind is the most important factor.

3. Perform an exercise of purification and collection of Qi from the


environment.
4. If you are still afraid of bad Qi, or feel yourself uncomfortable after you
communicate with someone, practice Big Tree. During Big Tree you
grow as big as the Universe. Everything becomes small compared to
you, and all bad influences, including bad Qi, spread around the
Universe with no adverse effect.

After all, what could possibly hurt a creature as large as the


Universe?

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SOME SELF-HEALING EXERCISES

TREATING KIDNEYS

In TCM, the kidneys are considered important organs. Any


illness affecting them leads to a reduction in youth and vital energy. Their
functions affect the state of the entire skeleton system as well as the teeth and
lungs. Therefore, a lot of attention is given to treatment of the kidneys.
There are several easy methods that can be used to normalize the
function of kidneys.

First Method

This method follows the Big Tree exercise. After practicing Big
Tree, you should
1. rub your palms intensively until you feel intense heat; and
2. place your hands on your kidney area with thumbs pointing forward.
Sense the warmth of your palms as they transfer the heat to your kidneys
and adrenals. (If you suffer from kidney disease, use this method
regularly)
3. Perform a light massage of the kidney area, moving your palms in a
circular motion, first in one direction, then the opposite. Do this eight,
sixteen, or thirty-two times. While moving your palms, imagine that
your hands are entering your body and touching your kidneys, after
which they will directly massage the kidneys.
4. While making the first movement with your palms, imagine that your
kidneys are growing bigger and bigger, growing beyond your body’s
limits. When you move your palms in the opposite direction, imagine
that they are getting smaller and smaller, until they return to their
original size, leaving bad Qi outside the body.
Feel those fresh, renewed kidneys.

You can also do these exercises without practicing Big Tree first.
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However, you should always start by rubbing your palms intensively before
placing them on the kidney area. If you did not practice Big Tree first, you
need to repeat this exercise several times in a row.
If you are older, practice this exercise daily at home without any
clothes on the kidney area, placing your hands directly on your skin.

Second Method

Another good method for treating kidneys is clicking of the


teeth. Perhaps you have noticed that many children like to click their teeth. In
this manner, they are strengthening their kidneys automatically. Do not stop
them. Instead, consider having their kidneys checked.

Third Method

The third method is practicing Qigong while walking, when you


hit your heels on the ground. When you walk in this manner, Qi is shaken up
in channels in the leg, including the kidney channels. Qi becomes more active
and leads to better kidney functioning.

TREATING THE LIVER

In TCM, a disorder of liver functions is diagnosed by the


condition of the patient’s eyes. The liver and the eyes are connected by
energy channels. If bad Qi rises from the liver into the area of the eyes, a
person can experience such things as dry eyes (xerophthalmus), and then sees
everything out of focus. As time goes by, the person’s sight worsens and he
becomes nearsighted.
There are several methods to cleanse the liver of bad Qi.

Method 1: Ejection of Bad Qi through the Eyes

This exercise must be practiced while standing, with the body’s


position being similar to the one in the Big Tree exercise.
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1. When you inhale, accept good Qi through Baihui and Yinchuan, and
bring it into the liver area.
2. When you exhale, mentally bring up bad Qi, and expel it through wide-
open eyes with a hissing sound “shhhhhhhhh…” (somewhere between
“shh” and “she”).
This exercise should usually be done sixty-four times. It can be
combined with other methods and adjusted to a person’s individual
circumstances.
After some time, the practitioner may experience discomfort in
the area of the eyes. He or she may feel discomfort as though there is “sand in
the eyes”, itching and pain. Such sensation in the eyes is explained by rising
bad Qi to the eye level without being ejected immediately. Therefore, after
this exercise is done, we need to use healing Method 4 (contact method).
Also, we use this method in case of extreme pain during breaks: we need to
stop practicing and release our eyes from bad feelings; then we can continue
this exercise. To use Method 4, rub your palms together until you feel intense
heat, and cover your eyes with your palms slightly cupped (small “boats”
formed from the palms in such a way that the Laogong points are positioned
right opposite your eyeballs). In this case, the Qi of the palms will push out
bad Qi from the eye area inside of the channels and bring its leftovers back to
the liver, following the same channels it took to rise up.
You may also use the first method of healing—namely,
extracting or pulling ill Qi from the eyes, before you rub your palms together.
With regular exercise, many practitioners can dramatically
improve the condition of their livers within a month.

Method 2: Exchanging Qi with a Tree

1. Touch any tree trunk with the tips of your toes or stand on top of the
tree’s roots, if they are protruding from the ground.
2. Extend your arms toward the crown of the tree and upon inhaling, take
Qi from the tree.
3. Bring the energy inside your body through Baihui point (similar to what
we do when we cleanse the body) and move Qi to the liver.
4. Upon exhaling, direct bad liver Qi out, through the feet, into the trunk of
the tree, or into its roots. You can do this using only your mind or
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moving your hands to help the process. When your feet touch the tree,
the Qi that is pushed out during exhalation goes into the tree very easily.
This exercise for treating the liver should be done daily, three
hundred times a day. After exchanging Qi with the tree, you may continue
cleansing the liver using the first method of emitting Qi through your eyes.
This set of exercises eliminates many liver diseases. If you do
not feel comfortable with some trees, that is OK. However, please make sure
that you like the tree you work with. You can do it all without using your
hands, accepting good Qi from Universe.
However, if you have been suffering from chronic liver disease
for a long time, you need to begin by performing breathing exercises for the
liver and spleen, cleansing three hundred times. You then need to follow this
up by expelling bad Qi through your eyes sixty-four times.

WORKING WITH SIGHT

Improving Sight

To improve your sight, you need to do the following. After Big


Tree, rub your palms together in an intense manner. Cup them slightly,
forming a little boat, and cover your eyes so that the Laogong points are over
the pupils.
Try to sense warmth from the center of the palm flowing into the
eye area. In a similar fashion, you can nourish your eyes with your own
energy after performing the Refining Qi Exercise. This procedure can be
repeated several times a day, after intensely rubbing your palms together.
Additionally, you need to massage the points around your eyes.

Nearsightedness

Very often nearsightedness is connected to the fact that the eye


lens has an unduly convex form. In this situation, the distance for focusing is
very short. If this is the primary reason, we can cure nearsightedness by
following a series of steps similar to the previous exercise. We need to begin
by rubbing our palms together until we feel heat. Then, we cover the eyes
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with cupped hands and imagine the energy coming from the palms and
flattening the eye lens. Then, we need to try with our minds to “seal in” this
effect.
This method is especially effective in treating children, who have
not been nearsighted for too long. Sometimes, we need to define the reason
for nearsightedness. If problems remain even after every attempt to try and
reverse them, it is necessary to determine their cause. For example, bad
vision can be the result of diseases affecting organs other than the eye. For
example, certain disorders of the liver or the spleen lead to the weakening of
the eye muscles. Sometimes, liver and spleen problems may also cause pain
of certain parts of the spine. In such cases, treatment should be multifaceted:
you need to treat the liver and spleen at the same time; besides, treatment of
the liver needs to be combined with the extraction of bad Qi, as we did it
using the hissing sound “shhhhhhhh” (see “Treating the Liver”).

Farsightedness

Farsightedness is connected to the fact that the eye lens has been
flattened. Therefore, we must change its form into one which is more convex.
It can be stretched like a ball.
To do this, first remove the bad from the eyeballs (the first
method of treatment). Then place the palm of one hand on the back of the
head. With your mind, prolong the energy of the fingers of another hand to
the eyeballs, grab the energy of the eye lens, and pull it out; again grab and
pull, and again. During this procedure, imagine that the energy you are
pulling “stretches” the eye lens. After some time the results follow.
If it appears that the liver and spleen are involved, you need to
take care of these organs first. You should adjust the duration of performing
this procedure depending on the level of improvement in your vision: you
may practice less if vision improves more. The results are usually much
better if you practice near a big tree. During this exercise, you can accept the
energy of the tree while inhaling and direct it into the liver area.

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Chapter 4:
QIGONG AND FOOD

FASTING THERAPY AND NORMALIZATION OF


WEIGHT

Methods of fasting or fasting therapy that have spread


throughout the West have not yet been widely adopted in the East. Also,
while fasting therapy does allow for quick and effective weight loss, it is not
for everyone.
Consider, for example, a situation where, in spite of your
persistent efforts to lose weight, you find yourself constantly confronted with
your favorite dishes at social events and parties. Also, what can you do if
you’re a foodie who takes real pleasure in eating and drinking? How can you
lose weight under such conditions?
There are three methods for losing weight:
1. practicing special Qigong exercises which involve collecting energy
from the environment;
2. using special foods or special supplements; and
3. drinking special teas, while eating regular food.

ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS


(1) The first method involves a special fasting practice. Qigong
systems have special methods for weight loss. However, a regular person will
find it very hard to use these methods. To use them, all channels must be
clean and all BAPs over the surface of the body must be open. This way the

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practitioner is ready to accept energy from the environment. These methods
allow our body to turn excessive fat into energy. You can practice for as long
as you want.
Weight loss occurs only in the first month of such practice.
Practitioners lose about eleven pounds (five kilograms) during the first seven
days. If a person keeps practicing and refrains from food, the second and
third months will not bring any weight loss.
What is our ideal weight? If we calculate weight in relation to
person’s height and build, we will be calculating normal weight, not ideal.
There is, however, an ideal weight standard in ZYQ. If a practitioner totally
refrains from food for a month, his or her weight will stop fluctuating and
stabilize. If he continues without food for a second and even a third month,
his weight will nonetheless remain the same. From this practice we know that
during this period of fasting the practitioner reaches a balance between the
environment and his inner physical being. When this happens, the body
achieves a state of equilibrium. This, indeed, is the standard or ideal weight
of that person.
At the first stage of ZYQ, the practitioners’ channels and points
are typically not yet open wide enough, so it is impossible to get a sufficient
amount of energy from the environment. Therefore, for such practitioners, it
is better to drink water and eat some fruit during the fast, so as to avoid being
constantly hungry.

Master’s Story
Very often, students ask me to tell them a little bit more about
fasting being a normal and natural thing in Qigong practice. This is
absolutely true! If you practice, you can see the true value of this method,
especially, at Stage III.
When I was still a student at a certain stage of practice, I did not
eat for 108 days. In the first several days, when the body reorganizes itself
because of such training, a person simply cannot eat. He feels sick every time
he eats—he vomits as the body rejects food. The same is true with water. It is
a “dry” hunger—a month of total fasting. When you want to drink but
cannot, your body absorbs the Qi of water. Usually, such practice takes place
somewhere in the mountains, where the air is fresh and clean, and a river or
some other body of water is relatively close by. This is where the Qi of water
comes from. You can see a body of water with your Third Eye and accept
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water from there, or from fountains, rain clouds, etc. Then, after a month of
fasting, you can start drinking water bit by bit, but you cannot consume food
for a long time. You simply don’t feel like eating.
Do not assume that you should force yourself to reject food. It
comes naturally: during the practice, there comes a time when you simply do
not want to eat. This is something completely different from hunger, because
in Qigong practice this happens naturally. A person leads a normal life, can
continue his or her work, but simply cannot eat. During practice, the person
consumes energy instead of water and food.
After several months of such practice, the appetite suddenly
returns. The practitioner starts eating normally, immediately, without any
restrictions. Then, there are no problems. There is no special way of
abandoning the fast. The person simply eats the food that he wants. That’s all
there is to it. Such methods cure many diseases very effectively, because the
body cleanses itself during the fasting period. We receive such results,
because in Qigong practice such a period of fasting happens naturally,
automatically, and as something completely normal.

SPECIAL TYPES OF FOOD


(2) The second method of regulating our weight involves special
foods and supplements. Certain low-calorie dietary preparations containing
specific nutrients can be very beneficial. Usually, these are made from
seafood. However, if you consume them, you should eat only certain foods
and nothing else. While this is an effective method, food lovers might
consider it problematic due to the dietary restrictions it involves. Moreover,
the supplements of these preparations have specific tastes and smells that
might be unpleasant to some people. However, if a person only consumes
them and nothing else, there will be dramatic slimming in the very first week
itself. This is a very good method for those who need to lose weight in a short
period of time, such as athletes who perform in a certain weight category.
(3) Finally, the third method involves special teas.
You can eat anything you like, but you can only drink tea. This is
the method for lazy people. The tea does not allow the stomach to absorb fat.
Fat that is already in your body has biochemical reactions and washes out of

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the body. Thus, the person loses weight.

TRANSFORMATION OF FOOD
After specific mental training, having good visualization skills
and a sufficient amount of Qi in the body, the practitioner is able to change
the structure of matter. This acquired skill allows the practitioner to transform
food.
Sometimes, the food we eat can be lacking in quality or nutrition.
Sometimes, a person may have a craving for something special but might not
have the opportunity to eat this food. For example, the person cannot afford
such food or the food is not readily available. In this case, sitting at the table,
you can clearly imagine what it is that you want to eat. When you start eating,
think and visualize that you are eating something different. Imagine that you
are eating the food that you want. Picture it, feel it, and sense its taste in your
mouth.
Experiments have shown that when you do this, the body reacts
as though you were eating the food you imagined.
You can do this with regular water and change its structure in
such a way that it will have the same therapeutic impact as medication. Such
practice can dramatically help to regulate food and drinks in based on the
wishes and needs of the practitioner’s body.

Questions and answers

1. During diagnosis, I do not use my second hand. However, I still experience


the same sensations in it as the first hand. Is this normal?
The sensations can be very similar. It is better to train your hands
so that one is used for diagnosis and the other for healing. If you can train
your hands to perform different functions, the effect is much better.

2. During diagnosis, I feel tingling in my palm whenever I move it over my


patients’ heads. What does this mean? Is it possible that they all are sick?
As a rule, healthy people have very warm and active Baihui
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point. Therefore, you can feel stronger energy coming from that zone.
Usually, this is not a sign of disease.

3. What is the explanation for this or that sensation that arises in the palms
during diagnosis? How can we use it to determine the name of this or that
disease?
To detect the pathology in different parts of the body of the
patient, apart from the three organs mentioned above (kidneys, heart, and
lungs), you need to rely on your own experience. For example, you can sense
a well-defined feeling of warmth in an area where there is an inflammatory
process. A normal state does not trigger any sensations. However, from the
point of view of Qigong, there are no definitions for inflammatory processes
or other such ailments. According Qigong and TCM, all diseases are either a
hot or cold type. If a patient has a serious disease, such as cancer, the
diagnostician can feel pain. The more severe the disease, the more pain you’ll
feel. This is the reason why the diagnosis of patients with serious diseases
usually is correct.

4. I often have cold hands, as a result of which, it is impossible to make


judgments based on sensations in my palms. How can I warm them up fast?
Rub them together intensely.

5. What does it mean when my hands sense a very strong feeling of warmth
during the diagnosis of some part of the body?
It depends on what organ or area you are talking about.

For example, I experience a sensation of strong warmth in my palms, similar


to a hot flash.
Let’s again review the sensations in our body. We have
discussed the specific sensations that we receive from the three organs when
they are healthy. If you are experiencing sensations in areas other than those
three organs, you should ask the patient what he feels there. As a rule, the
sensation of heat appears when there is inflammation in that zone. If the
patient cannot say anything about that area, he needs to have himself
carefully examined by a medical practitioner, perhaps even in a hospital, in
order to determine the cause for such a sensation. Hands can detect the area
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of sickness but often cannot find the cause. To see it, we would need to use
the Third Eye.

6. If I catch a patient’s disease during diagnosis, what should I do?


Why are you so afraid of catching your patient’s disease? It is
impossible. The quality of your energy changes when you become a Qigong
practitioner. It becomes stronger and increases in volume. It is therefore very
hard for you to get sick. Moreover, we have exercises for body cleansing and
purification that we perform on a daily basis. In other words, there is no need
to be afraid. You can also wash your hands in your mind, which is more
effective than regular washing.

7. Speaking of healing, you said that we could collect energy and send it to a
sick organ. Could we use the same method to cure ourselves without help
from other people?
You can use almost all these methods to cure yourself. You can
extract bad Qi from your sick areas yourself and refill these areas with good
energy. However, self-healing is not as effective as being treated by someone
else. An external healer can be more effective than your own impact on
yourself.

8. When I breathe through my feet, I feel almost nothing. Can I still heal my
hypertension?
Yes, you can, but it will take more time.

9. If we diagnose and heal other people, can we hurt them? For example,
when I diagnosed my son, I experienced all the sensations you told us about:
warmth from the heart and coolness from the kidneys. Everything was as it
should be. However, my son said that he felt tingling in some parts of his
body. I didn’t feel this. What is the explanation? Is this dangerous?
No, this is not dangerous. Your son’s sensations are easy to
explain: during the process of diagnosis, your hand accepted the energy from
his body parts while you were sending energy to him using your own palm.
This is a common occurrence when you work with children, because they are
more sensitive than adults. Moreover, parents and children always have a
better connection due to their genetic relationship.
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But this is a very negative effect. He felt pain in those areas.
If he felt pain or something unpleasant in some areas, they are
not very healthy. There are some problems there. That is why the Qi in these
areas was weak. During the process of diagnosis, the Qi of your hand was
moving to the places of your son with bad and weak Qi. So his pain was the
usual effect of healing.

But I didn’t sense any anomalies in those areas. My son sensed it, but I didn’t
feel anything.
It is possible that when you conducted the process of Qi
emission, you didn’t assume the right frame of mind for feeling. Therefore,
you were unable to feel what he did. Moreover, as we have already said,
children have greater sensitivity than adults.

10. What are the factors that affect our ability to heal patients using the
methods mentioned above?
You have to have strong energy in sufficient amounts to pull bad
Qi out of the body. If the energy around your hands is strong enough, you can
pull the unhealthy Qi out of the body in one or two sessions. You will also
improve your curing abilities by using such procedures.

11. I have a whole slew of illnesses. It seems to me that I get worse from all
these exercises. Maybe I should not practice as intensely as other people who
do not have as many diseases.
Do not be afraid of such things. If a person can come to class by
himself, all exercises are good for him. The worsening of diseases is a very
common thing, and many practitioners experience this occasionally. The
most important thing in this case is your own attitude. Many things depend
on your mental attitude while practicing Qigong, as well as in your life in
general. If we start to think, daily, that our health today has improved
compared with yesterday, we can cause the opposite situation, involving
every day new problems. This may happen due to regular comparing
nowadays state of health with previous. In this case, all the time your mind
returns to the past, when your state was worth. Thus the information of worth
state might be strengthened.
In order to avoid this trap, you need to “jump” out of the state
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where you generally think about your health. Stop believing that you can be
sick. If you do not want to be ill, if you are convinced that you cannot get
sick, it will indeed be hard for you to get sick. If, on the other hand, you want
to get sick, you fall ill easily. However, if you think the exact opposite, if you
tune into the idea that you have no time to get sick, that you cannot afford to
get sick, the energy around your body will reorganize itself. The protective
layer will be much more powerful. We know that an individual’s psychology
plays a crucial role in achieving and maintaining good health. Below is an
example.

Master’s Story
Here in the West, we do not practice too intensively. In China, by
contrast, my classes were much more intense. They last ten days in a row,
day and night, in a secluded place. As a rule, after such intense practice,
many diseases disappear. We have found that many diseases are linked to
emotions. They are linked to our thoughts. Qigong is not the only system that
knows this. United Nations researchers have shown that many diseases are
linked to our thoughts and depend on them. I often meet people who talk
about their many illnesses. They are sure that their diseases are more serious
than those of others. Why do you always think about your suffering? You
need to think that all of your diseases will go away. You need to help yourself
with your mind, thoughts, and consciousness.
The following happened to me in my healing work. Two patients
came to me with cancer. Doctors, having discovered numerous metastases,
had already passed unfavorable sentences. At that time I was in a period of
self-evaluation, and I thought that if I really possessed special skills, I would
cure these two patients. I told them the whole truth: I told them, that their
doctors were sure that they would die soon. Then I have added that I was
their last and only hope, as I was the one who would help them survive and
get well.
“You don’t have to believe me during the first two days,” I said.
“However, after these two days, you will see and feel changes for yourself.
After these two days, you will tell me honestly what your heart is telling you
—do you believe that I can help you?”
Even people with no medical education know that terminal
cancer brings unbearable pain and that patients cannot go on without
analgesic agents or painkillers. They must take medication before sleeping
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and during the day.
So I started treating them. After the first session, they slept
through the night with no painkillers.
Experience has shown me that after this initial progress, patients
typically start trusting their healers, because they begin to sleep without
medication and start gaining strength. Usually, I spend several days treating
such patients, after which I leave for a week so that they can get to work on
themselves while I am away. I then come back and work with them for two
more weeks. After these two weeks, they go to a hospital for a checkup. These
checkups always show that most of the malignant cells have disappeared.
Why does this happen? Partly because I have enough energy to
treat cancer. But the most important thing is that I arouse the energy of the
patient with whom I work, so that he gains the ability to fight for himself. If
we used only my energy, it would not be sufficient. However, if the patient is
distrustful and thinks that no one is going to be able to help him and that he
is going to die, nothing can save him. Therefore, if you are sick, you must
believe you can help yourself. Moreover, you are the only person who can
help. We say, “If you don’t want to go to Hell, no one can make you go
there.”
Our body is self-aware; it can restore itself. From this point of
view, disease is an abnormal state. With the help of Qigong exercises, you
can open yourself to the outer world and bring Yin and Yang into balance.
Then, most of your diseases will disappear. Do not think about your diseases
while exercising—think about your upcoming recovery. Then you will
become healthy, and it will be difficult for you to get sick.
Doctors are constantly treating patients who have lost their will
to live. There could be a number of reasons for this loss of will, such as
misery, diseases, problems, etc. Poor emotional state of a human reduces its
energy and resistance to diseases. The Chinese have a saying: “A fox doesn’t
eat sick hens.”

12. Different cultures of the world have used special herbal and mineral-
based hallucinatory mixes and drugs in order to speed up psychological
training. Has something similar been used in China, or is Chinese healing
mostly focused on exercises?
The Chinese have used various herbs and drugs but not on a
mass scale. I’ll explain.
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Master’s Story
Very often, people with diseases attend our classes,
understandably so—after all, the first stage of our system helps improve
health. Sometimes, we find that our practitioners have a low sensitivity. This
is due to the fact that they lack Qi in their body and that they have narrowed
channels. Persistent practice improves one’s health and increases sensitivity.
In ancient times, there were two methods of work in such cases.
The first method was based on the practice of the person himself. You could
achieve unbelievable results, but only with a lot of time and effort. This
method was used by the common people. Nowadays it is known as the
“inner” method,
People of other classes, such as Chinese emperors, wanted to
gain results without spending their time practicing. As a result, a new method
was developed for them—“the external” method—involving preparations of
plant, animal, and mineral sources. Ancient Masters knew how to use herbal
preparations to treat many diseases. They added a small amount of mercury
to them. Mercury, combined with different herbs, was heat-treated, and the
resulting solution served as a base for special mixtures. Practitioners who
drank these mixtures would experience a change in the physical body
afterward. All of the body’s energy channels would completely open.
It was very hard to obtain the primary components. Moreover,
the method itself was not suitable for everyone, because it was very
dangerous. It was dangerous because after taking these preparations, all
channels would open up, including the one on the top of the head. As a result,
the soul would leave the body and often would not want to return. In ancient
China, there were cases when even Emperors died after taking such
preparations.
Now, we use methods that pursue two goals: increasing vital
energy and healing. These herbal preparations do not have the same strength
as previous versions. As a result, their use does not cause death. On the
contrary, after taking them for two years, a person becomes younger.

13. How can we protect ourselves against bad energy or, as some call them,
“energetic vampires”?
A person whose abilities are lower than yours cannot steal your
Qi. If the person’s abilities are greater, he has a different type of Qi and does
not need yours. Thus, neither would steal your Qi. Also, there are many
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places on Earth where the energy is much better than inside of our body.
Therefore a person with abilities of taking Qi from the outside can take it
from there much, much easier than from you. Even if some bad person will
try to harm you in such way, he will fail with a Qigong practitioner. The Big
Tree exercise allows you to imagine that you and your energy are as large as
the universe, which enters you. So, do not fear such vampires, for what can
possibly hurt a creature as big as the universe?!

14. Are there people who are better off left untreated?
Usually, if you are very sensitive, but your body is weak, it is
better for you to perform just diagnosis, without treatment. If you feel good
and work as a healer, you should not work with a patient if something about
working with that person “goes against your grain,” so to say. Sometimes, we
just don’t want to treat a particular person. This may mean that you are not
able to help him at your level, or that other specialists are required for his
particular disease, or that the disease has progressed too far.

15. Are contact lenses obstacles to liver cleansing through the eyes?
No, they are not. No obstacle can prevent the flow of Qi.

16. Often, when I perform liver cleansing with full concentration, I lose
count. What should I do?
Count the cleansing one or two times, and make a note of how
long it takes. Then, you can measure by time and not by number.

17. How many times do I need to repeat the exercise when I treat
farsightedness and nearsightedness?
It depends on how successful you are with this procedure. You
may need to repeat the exercise thirty-six times. However, if you are
successful, eight times can be enough.

18. I usually use other methods of treatment. If my relatives or friends ask for
my help, can I treat them without using methods for collecting energy from
the outside and putting it into a sick organ? I want to use the other method
known as “empty head.”

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Yes, you can do that. Indeed it is very good, provided the head is
empty.

19. From the medical point of view, it is known that in some regions,
including Kiev Province after the Chernobyl accident, some procedures that
require the use of warmth are not recommended. How can the image of a
red-hot ball inside of the body affect some patients? Could it harm them?
In such cases, when the patient has a “hot” disease and we give
him additional warmth, he can get worse. However, the warmth that we use
here during practice is not regular warmth. It is the energy inside our body—
our own energy. If we have such energy in large quantities, the body will get
better; it will be strong and healthy. Such warmth is not harmful; it has a
different nature.

To clarify the previous answer, could you please tell us what kind of disease
you consider to be of the “hot” type?
“Hot” diseases include conditions involving inflammation or
fever. With these diseases, if we give the patient additional warmth, he will
obviously feel worse. Nevertheless, if we use our own warmth, there will be
no problem. If our body has less warmth than needed, the body will become
very weak. This warmth is actually a type of vital energy, which is why we
need to practice using it.

20. How can we help a person during an asthmatic attack? My husband


sometimes has them.
This beginning first stage does not provide enough knowledge to
help in this situation. Sometimes, these attacks are very strong. If you really
want to help a person who is ill, explain to him the importance of self-
practice. During attacks, it is very hard to help from the outside. Outside help
is not very effective with this disease. It is better to rely on medication.
In general, Qigong practice increases the body’s vitality and
energy. Only with a higher level of practice are we able to make a difference
quickly. There, we treat and cure diseases with light instead of Qi. That
makes it possible to produce changes in diseased areas quickly.
Apart from this, if something is wrong somewhere, we change it
in such a way that the affected area returns to its pre-disease, normal state.
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This method of healing does not involve the use of channels. It is a true
Qigong method of healing. It belongs exclusively to the Qigong system. For
example, we can treat a patient with water. In order to do this, we send a
specific structure of Qi energy or light into water, and if the patient drinks
this water, it will trigger the necessary changes in his body, causing it to heal.
But this relates to truly medical Qigong, the second block of ZYQ, known as
Image Medicine.

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Afterword
QIGONG IN DAILY LIFE

HOW TO PRACTICE TWENTY∼FOUR HOURS A


DAY

1. As you wake up in the morning, place your hands on the area of lower
Dan Tian and concentrate Qi in it. Duration: three to five minutes.
2. Open the channels in your fingers and toes.
3. Perform Big Tree. If you have some extra time, start with the
preliminary exercises. Otherwise, practice Big Tree only. If you don’t
have much time at all, accept Qi from environment by standing in front
of the window.
4. Practice food transformation during meals.
5. Practice Qigong while walking, as you go to work, to a store, or
anywhere else.
6. If you are in a vehicle, commuting or traveling, practice Small Sky
Circle, Refining Qi, or Big Tree without hands.
7. While driving, practice Refining Qi.
8. If you have a sedentary job, first concentrate your attention on the lower
Dan Tian and feel the hot ball inside it. Then, start working.
Periodically, direct your attention to the lower Dan Tian and sense the
ball there, as if it’s both there and not there at the same time. You may
also practice Small Sky Circle. If your work involves standing, you may
practice Small Sky Circle or Big Tree without hands.
9. It is very good to practice Refining Qi while watching television.
10. In the evening, before going to bed, open the channels in your fingers
and toes, and practice Refining Qi for five to ten minutes. Then, sitting
calm and motionless with your back straight and your eyes closed, try to
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see the red-hot ball in the lower Dan Tian with your mind’s eye.
11. Lie down on your back and do healing exercises (if you need any). You
may practice Small Sky Circle or place your hands on the lower Dan
Tian area. Fall asleep in this position.

REMEMBER: With all these recommendations you must definitely


practice De—being a good person.

Master’s Story
Your state, your thoughts, and your desires affect the quality of
your energy. In turn, your energy affects people around you, because
everything is connected in our world.
If you talk about your miseries to your friends, they will start to
avoid you. Similarly, in order for you to practice Qigong, you must first
convince yourself that you need to be healthy. If you practice Qigong very
well, you will definitely become healthy, and your energy will become
pleasing and good. If necessary, you will be able to help your friends, and
people will love you. If a person has strong energy, there is no need for that
person to speak to others. He affects them by simply being around them—his
energy improves them. I will give you several examples.
Soon after I arrived in the former Soviet Union for the first time,
I went to visit a family with three children of different ages—the youngest
being about two years old, a dog, and two cats. I didn’t speak Russian yet, so
I sat quietly on the couch and relaxed and watched the adults. This is what
happened: the children and animals climbed all over me. The toddler climbed
on one of my knees and put his head on my stomach. His sisters joined from
the other side. However, the most interesting thing happened with the
animals. One of the cats took a fancy to my shoulder, while the second
climbed on top of the girls and tried to lie down with its face near the
youngest child. Approaching from the side, the dog wanted the same spot for
its head. For some time, the cat and the dog were each trying to push or
move over the other’s head, without actually fighting. Then, all three heads—
the child’s, the cat’s, and the dog’s—lined up with each other and lay still.
The adults watched this scene with quiet amazement. The thing is
that everyone there had his/her/its own character and temper, as in any
society. Such an idyll had never been seen before.

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Children and animals can feel the quality of energy very well. If
Qi is of a truly good quality, they feel very comfortable in such a Qi field and
do not want to leave it.
Perhaps you have had similar experiences: it’s pleasant to be
around some people, but not others. When you have a particular attitude
toward somebody, very often that person has the same attitude toward you.
We need to practice in order to change the situation. When we practice, we
change energy quality. Good Qigong practice triggers changes in the
physical body, mind, heart, and energy. When your heart has empathy for
others, the quality of your energy improves. After practice, many people feel
like crying. This is a good phenomenon. When the heart changes, our
emotional state changes too. Therefore, if you practice Qigong wherever you
go, your surroundings will become more peaceful, balanced, and calm in a
matter of minutes, and people will enjoy communicating with you.

HOW TO PRACTICE AFTER A SEMINAR


The material you learned at Stage I is only the beginning of the
Path. Now you need to keep practicing independently in order to master that
material and to advance further. How do you continue developing your
energy? How do you continue improving your health? How do you continue
developing your wisdom?
Perhaps you have noticed that you have better-defined sensations
in classes or during seminars, and that everything works better than at home.
This is connected to the fact that the teacher (and a good instructor) includes
the second level of training, which strengthens everyone’s energy and
capabilities. When you practice by yourself, you rely on your own powers.
Therefore, practicing at home is always harder than in class, in a collective Qi
field, receiving help from a Master or an instructor.
However, practicing alone will enable you to acquire enough Qi
of your own very soon. Then, you will return to the level you had attained
during the seminar and progress further. To perform the exercises of this
stage with ease, and to move further more effectively, we recommend that
you practice at home with family members, if they also practice Qigong, or
with your friends at least once or twice a week. It is best if you go to a

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Qigong center, once or twice a week, to practice and meditate with a group of
people. Beginners should practice together in groups and not by themselves.
With such grouping, practitioners stimulate each other. They learn the basics
faster and experience more powerful sensations. Additionally, there are
opportunities to share experiences. It is good if groups consist of people who
know each other very well or who met at seminars. It also does not preclude
independent practice. We recommend practicing together at least twice a
month.
If for some reason it is hard for you to practice daily, try to
practice for five to eight hours in a row, at least once a week. In this case, you
will achieve positive results: your health will start improving, your intuition
will grow stronger, and your creativity in solving domestic and professional
problems will develop dramatically. While on vacation, you can spend two or
three weeks practicing. Dedicate one of your vacations to health-
improvement exercises, and another to developing a deeper understanding of
life and its various forms.
It would be good if you had the chance to practice in the same
auditoriums or rooms where Masters conduct classes. These can be classes
involving other types of Qigong or Yoga as well; the type of spiritual practice
doesn’t matter. The information and energy field from these practices remain
after the conclusion of the classes. It is also useful to attend such lectures and
workshops, even if you practice using a different style or school.
Through practice, you can achieve great results in outdoor
settings (forests, mountains, seaside), ancient places, ritual places, and
temples. You can find a comfortable, pleasant place and practice there.
Complete relaxation will show you such a place. Sometimes, you can acquire
certain abilities not during Qigong practice, but by being in a specific place
with strong energy or by meeting a person who will give your development a
boost.
If you practice Qigong effectively, the quality of your energy
will increase, people will feel comfortable around you, you will be able to
establish new friendships quickly and easily, and your friends will help you.
You can also read books after seminars. Now, after some
practical experience, it will be easier for you to understand their content.

REMEMBER: The main thing to do is to keep practicing on a regular


basis, with a desire and an eagerness to learn and understand,
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without expecting anything in return. Only then will you achieve
success.

SUMMARY
You have completed Stage I of Zhong Yuan Qigong.
In closing, we would like to remind you that ZYQ is simply a
science of life. You must consider this system as a science, first and
foremost, because it offers the specific technology required to modify a
human being in accordance with his goals, such as the improvement of health
and the widening of outlook for serious spiritual development. With this, we
realize the process of studying and understanding ourselves, the environment,
and the various forms and levels of life. The first stage of ZYQ gave you the
opportunity to learn the origins of the ancient art of self-regulation, health
improvement, and individual human development, which remains relevant
and applicable to our modern world. You have learned the goals of the
system, and the stages of practice required for their attainment. Every person
has the option to choose things that suit his desires and inner goals.
The majority of people strive to improve their health and the
quality of their lives; some people want to increase their capabilities and
healing skills, while others would like to increase the capabilities of their
sense organs and acquire a panoramic world perception. Then there are those
who are attracted to mystical and unknown things, those who want to “touch”
things that are covered by the curtain arising from our modern lack of
knowledge. There is one more desire common to all—to be happy.
Many of you have experienced various phenomena while
performing exercises described in this book. These phenomena include
sensations of Qi, as well as the activation of the Third Eye and the Third Ear.
However, this is just the beginning.
With advanced practice, your capabilities will increase. In
general, all these capabilities exist in all of us; all we have to do is awaken
them. Success depends on the individual person and his or her natural ability.
Some people with natural talents can achieve the results almost immediately;
others have to apply more effort. Nevertheless, if you continue practicing,
you will be able to dramatically improve your health, as well as your brain

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function. This means that Qigong can increase the potential capabilities of a
person. Young people need to put more effort into the development of
wisdom, while the elderly can focus their attention on their health.
We know that we can be successful in life if we have good
intuition. Intuition and its associated capabilities depend on the activation and
development of the occipital brain. This is the reason why Qigong practice
can have a significant effect on the future careers of students and people
belonging to creative professions. How is this possible?
We have seen how ZYQ helps us develop our physical body,
energy system, and Shen simultaneously. We have discussed the connection
between these three components of the human being. Everyone knows that
each mechanism, each object, has a certain period of normal functioning
followed by wear and tear. This applies to any construction, material, or
substance, be it a residential or industrial building, vehicle, computer, clothes,
etc. The same is true for living organisms.
Each organ, and each part of our body, has a certain limit of
durability. If you increase the workload and go beyond this durability limit,
the organ or body part will be damaged. This is clear in the example of
muscle usage: if you do not use your muscles, they atrophy. If you use
muscles regularly, they become bigger and stronger. If you use muscles
excessively, they get damaged.
If we have such knowledge about each and every part of our
body, about every type of tissue and organ, we will understand what kind of
overload (physical, emotional, and mental) is unacceptable.
We know how to train our physical body. We also have some
knowledge about our energy system, but this knowledge is very little. For
example, what do we need to do in order to increase or decrease our energy?
There are several levels of energy in ZYQ. Such a division is
connected to our ability to feel, and corresponds to our ability to understand.
The energy inside our body exists in the form of fog. This is the
first level of energy. When we heal diseases through acupuncture, this
process is based on the theory of channels, and the energy of fog. Fog energy
is constantly flowing through our channels. It is similar to blood, since it
circulates through the entire body. Some functions of channels can be
compared to blood vessels. Thus, if there is an obstacle in the energy path in
some body part, if the energy cannot flow freely, we will sense pain and
pressure in that area. These sensations are the same as the ones that arise
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from problems with the circulation of blood through the vessels. Qigong
practice includes the clearing of the blocked area in order to let energy flow
freely through the channels. For this purpose, we have several exercises, such
as the first preliminary exercise, and Small Sky Circle.
We are able to see the second level of energy with regular vision
as well as with the Third Eye. This energy level is multicolored; we can see
its colorful light, which is why it is called light energy. This type of energy
doesn’t move, but remains around organs and body cells at all times. If for
some reason this energy moves into a different spot, it will create a
problematic zone. Therefore, Qigong practice works in such a way that we
are able control this energy and give it the ability to be in its original position.
So in order to avoid energy problems, we need to bring our energy into
balance. For this purpose, we have several exercises: Big Tree, Small Sky
Circle, and all preliminary exercises.
One more level of energy is known as transcendental energy. It
goes through the channel of cerebrospinal fluid. We cannot sense or see it,
but when the channel has obstacles, we develop serious problems in our
body. The reasons for such disorders may be connected to strong external
radiance—for example, radiation, sudden emotional changes, and stressful
situations.
We experience different conditions and life situations.
Sometimes, we are very excited, or we work too much. However, we have
periods when we feel tired and weak—at such times, we don’t even want to
communicate. If we experience such a state for a long time, the immune
system weakens. If this happens, it is much easier for us to fall sick. It is for
this reason that we need to learn how to increase our energy.
For this purpose, we have the most effective exercise—Big Tree,
and one more method of gathering Qi with our hands from the outside and
bringing it into the lower Dan-Tian through the Baihui point.
The combination of Big Tree and the Third preliminary exercise
can help improve spinal conditions, even in the case of scoliosis. Very often,
such an exercise can eliminate similar problems forever.
Qigong philosophy, through its approaches and practice
methods, sometimes gives us a completely different understanding of how to
maintain our health and improve it. The methods of diagnosis and healing, in
this system, come from the second part of ZYQ, Image Medicine. Mastering
these methods is not mandatory in order to advance in practice. However,
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their knowledge and skillful application are very useful in our unstable world,
with its numerous stressful situations. Your individual practice develops your
energy system and widens the abilities of your sense organs. Therefore, even
with no additional time, if you know and understand how to deal with human
problems correctly, you will be able to help yourself, your family, your
friends, and all who are close to you. Usually, a Qigong master, or even a
good practitioner, can give help in the face of many diseases. In the past, this
was considered to be necessary, since such abilities could ease the lives of
common and undereducated people, especially those living far from cities
and large settlements. Times may have changed, but our priorities remain the
same—everybody wants to be healthy and happy.
Therefore, we suggest that you master this technology of helping
others and yourself. The cruel scourge of our civilization is cardiovascular
disease. Through Qigong, you can ensure the full recovery of heart functions
after infarctions and heart attacks, as well as the prevention of possible
strokes and tumors. To achieve this, one hour of practice and meditation
daily, combined with the ability to enter a state of relaxation and mental
tranquility, is enough. People without serious diseases will increase their
creative abilities and wisdom through the same practice within six months.
This is the reason why the development of your creative abilities is one of the
goals of the first stage.
If you want to develop seriously; if you want to understand life,
the entire world, and all its levels; if you want to know where you came from,
and where you are going after departing this world, you will obviously
require more than one hour of daily practice. To achieve these goals, you will
need to practice a lot, seriously, and on a regular basis.

Questions and Answers about Everything

1. What is the best time to practice Big Tree?


This is not important. More than anything else, it is good to
practice when you have time and when nothing is distracting you or
interrupting your practice. Secondly, the time is right when you suddenly feel
the urge to practice. You should consider another factor, namely that this
exercise aims to take in energy. Therefore, if you practice successfully in the
morning, you will receive enough energy to last you all day.
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2. Why do we practice many exercises from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m.?
This is the time when Yin transforms into Yang. Midnight is
characterized by minimum Yang and maximum Yin, while at noon the
situation is reversed—there is minimum Yin and maximum Yang. The
increase in one form of Qi and decrease in the other is more intense during
this time. Since we are a part of nature, the most intense changes take place
within us at the same time as in the rest of nature. Therefore, it is easier to
sense something, or change something within us, when changes take place in
a natural way.

3. Based on this, can we practice during the day, say around noon?
Of course you can. However, most people work during the day.
At night, the environment is calmer—people are sleeping, businesses are
closed, etc.

4. From what I understand, everything you have said applies to animals as


well as plants, right?
Of course. I think most of us have houseplants. You can observe
the behavior of flowers and leaves throughout the day. At different times
during the day and night, their behavior varies. The speed of their growth is
not the same throughout the twenty-four hours of the day. Try and determine
the time period in which they experience the fastest change. This is the time
you need to set aside for practice, because you will master the material faster.

5. Is there any particular time that is better for practicing Small Sky Circle?
As we have already explained, you can decide for yourself. Your
energy becomes active at certain times of the day. Usually, we say that a
suitable time for practice is before one o’clock; however, that is not the only
suitable time. As a rule, there is another time period that is also good for
practice which people rarely speak of. That happens when, sometimes, you
feel that the area below your navel has become active. In this case, you need
to concentrate your energy in the lower Dan Tian, and this is a very good
time to practice Small Sky Circle. Why does such phenomena signal a time
for practice? Usually, you cannot catch the moment when the seed turns into
energy. However, after the transformation, you can feel it very well (we
discussed these sensations while learning exercise “Refine Qi”). When you
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feel that the energy in your lower Dan Tian becomes active, start practicing
Small Sky Circle. Bringing that energy up into your head you will expand the
functions of your brain. In other words, you will be giving this energy to your
Spirit. Another phenomenon is connected with increased sexual desire. An
increase in your sex drive tells you that your energy is becoming very active.
Then, when you inhale, you can bring it up. You must raise that energy to the
brain and when you exhale, lower it. You can perform this energy movement
eight times.

6. I am a volleyball player. Does China use Qigong in team sports, and how
does Qigong benefit the players? How can I combine these two?
Many different sports, including soccer, volleyball, basketball,
etc., use Qigong. Qigong practice helps you recover faster and overcome
fatigue. You can practice Qigong after a workout or practice session to calm
down and return your heart rate back to normal.

7. Can I try and send the energy to flowers, like we do to our patients?
Of course you can. You can conduct the following experiment.
Send energy to one part of the flower, or a plant, while ignoring the other
parts. Send energy to this same part for five minutes daily. Notice how the
area that receives energy will grow faster than the one that does not receive
any Qi.

8. If I don’t have the opportunity daily to practice each exercise fully, how
can I choose exercises that suit my needs most of all? I still want to continue
developing my intellect and increasing my energy levels.
If you have health problems, concentrate your attention on
dynamic Qigong, the preliminary exercises, and Big Tree. If you are healthy,
practice a lot more of Quiet Qigong, doing Small Sky Circle. This exercise is
connected with the transportation of your energy inside your body, that
energy that you must “save up” after practicing Big Tree and Refining Qi.
Therefore, people who would like to become wiser, and see with the Third
Eye, should pay more attention to Refining Qi and Small Sky Circle exercises
—they develop the intellect of a human.

9. During an appearance on a TV show, there was a video of you performing


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some exercises. They said that the exercises were from Stage IV, but they
looked like Wushu and Five Animals-style exercises.
Yes, they certainly do look like that, but they are different. What
you saw in the video is the practice of Stage IV Qigong. After mastering
Stage IV, you will be able to execute many exercises, including those
connected to Kung-fu, Wushu, etc. All of these specialized exercises came
from the fourth stage of Qigong. If you look up the history of Wushu, you
will see that Wushu came from Qigong, as did Tai Chi Chuan, for that matter.
The original forms of these exercises are from the highest levels of Qigong.
Later, Masters simplified them to make them accessible for everyone. Since
only a limited number of people can reach the highest levels of Qigong, these
exercises had to become standard, suitable for all seeking to study them.
Today, they still exist in this form.

10. Is there any additional literature on Qigong that we can use? How can it
affect our practice of ZYQ?
It is impossible to progress in practice of Qigong through books
alone. The most important factor is the availability of your teacher. If there is
no teacher, it is impossible to learn Qigong. The only thing you can
understand from books is how to practice; they contain no information that
you receive directly from the teacher. For example, practitioners in my
courses receive energy directly from me, daily. We direct the knowledge
transplantation method toward each person attending the workshops. It is
impossible to receive that from books. Therefore, it is difficult to progress.
From the very first class, we discourage beginners from reading about this
subject. By reading a lot, you acquire a lot of knowledge but little experience.
However, knowledge does not help you perform the exercises. If, on the other
hand, you start reading books after practice, you may see that some of the
things described in the books are identical to what you have experienced
yourself.

11. I read that even after the soul leaves the body, the two remain connected
by a silver thread. How can the soul travel to other worlds with this thread?
What do other worlds look like, anyway?
It is very hard to describe other worlds—you have to see them
yourself. Only after frequent practice will you be able to fly there. As I have

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already mentioned, listening to stories or reading will not help you form a
clear picture on the subject.

Master’s Story
During the early years of my work in the cities of the former
Soviet Union, such as Kiev, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg, I faced a pattern
that amazed and impressed me.
We have always believed that Qigong is an art that helps people
obtain their own experience for further development. At least, this is what
happens in China: we can get knowledge and information through practice.
In the countries of the former Soviet Union, there are many
people who have extensive knowledge about things connected to spiritual
practice and other worlds. They have read many books and know everything
about the Third Eye and about the soul and its departure from the body.
However, in spite of this knowledge, nothing has been changed in those
people—their souls are not developing. The reason for this is that knowledge
received from books, newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc. is superficial
knowledge on an informational level. It may be very interesting, but it is not
your own experience. This knowledge is not the same as what you would
acquire as the result of engaging in spiritual practice that can transform you.
You can read a lot about someone else’s experiences. You can read all your
life, think about what you’ve read, and retell it to others. You can ask
questions on every situation or phenomenon described, but if you don’t have
experience of your own, then in the end, you will not receive any true
information.
I have many so-called “personal students,” who wrote different
books on this subject. One of them asked me why I hadn’t written a book
about my own experiences. I told him that some things are not very clear to
me and I don’t want to write about them. I don’t want others to repeat my
mistakes. When I understand things, they cannot be described in words. Why
do I need to describe something, if everything is clear?
This is the point at which people will write in order to explain
something to themselves. For example, one of my personal students wrote a
lot on this subject. Because he contemplated what he might write, he found
many words to describe his thoughts. When everything is clear, there is
nothing to describe. Usually, this area does not use written experience, and
training involves a “face-to-face” component, so, there is a direct transfer of
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knowledge from the teacher to the student. My Teacher received his
knowledge directly from his Teacher. He taught a group of students and
transplanted knowledge the same way as I do with you. If you were to merely
read about it, it would be unclear and therefore confusing.
Let us consider the example of a table. You know what a table is
and what purpose it serves. I can therefore specify only some details: Is it big
or small? Is it a coffee table, dining table, or magazine table? Does it have
one or four legs? Now imagine that in your entire life, you have never seen a
table, and you have no idea what one looks like or what it is used for. How
long will it take, and what kind of words will I need, to explain to you what a
“table” is? And still, after my description, each of you will form your own
picture of this object, and all of them will be different. Possibly, none of your
pictures will represent reality. If a person is familiar with an object, his
description may be insufficient for another person who knows nothing about
it. He may forget to mention some details that are obvious to him but are
important to the other person. As a result, the other person might form an
incomplete or even distorted view of the object. For example, what holds the
table up? How many supports have you seen? Are there four legs? Or three,
for that matter? There are tables with three legs, too— magazine tables, for
example. Or consider the large antique tables that have one big, round
pedestal leg. And then you have modern folding tables, which are not
supported by the usual four legs. What if a bar cabinet has a hinged door that
turns into a table? In this case, there are no legs at all! The same applies to a
writing cabinet. I have seen children in small apartments doing their
homework on such “drop” tables.
You might say that this is not typical; a regular table comprises
a plane with legs. However, this is your point of view, based on your own
experience. But it is only the tip of the iceberg. Similarly, other worlds, of
which there are many, which are often very different from our physical world
here and which have become commonplace destinations for those practicing
higher stages of Qigong, cannot be described in words based on our current
experience.

12. Some scientists are under the assumption that there are worlds with
higher speeds than our own, and that these worlds are able to beat the speed
of light. What can you say about this? In general, if a soul decides to live for
a while on its own, will it find the body afterward?
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It is true that there are different kinds of worlds. The group that
includes our world has a speed that is much slower than the speed of light. In
other groups of worlds, the speed is much higher than the speed of light.
However, in these worlds, time is slower. In accordance with Einstein’s
theory of relativity, if the speed at which a material object moves approaches
the speed of light, the object’s size decreases and time slows down in it.
Several minutes for such an object equal years, even decades according to our
time—higher speed slows down time. We know that time is constant in our
world, but in other worlds, it changes. If time changes, life changes. This is
hard to understand if you have no personal experience. Nevertheless,
scientists today are prone to think that there are worlds where the speed of
movement is higher than the speed of light. Concerning the soul visiting other
worlds and returning to the body, I can tell you one true story.

Master’s Story
Did you know that China had a Great Cultural Revolution?
During this period, many monasteries and temples were destroyed. But
before that, there was a person, the Superior, at a Taoist monastery, who
practiced very intensely.
One day when he was practicing Quiet Qigong, he saw his
Teacher. The Teacher offered him the opportunity to go and practice in a
completely different place, in a special cave in the mountains. After giving
orders to the monastery where he lived, the Superior went to the cave to
practice with his Teacher.
While practicing, his soul moved to another world, along with
that of his Teacher. He visited different worlds and spoke with different
Teachers in these worlds. He saw many things, learned many things, and
understood many things. Then, all of a sudden, his Teacher told him to go
back to his body. The Superior didn’t want to return; he wanted to remain in
the other worlds. However, he was forced to return, and suddenly, in a leap,
he realized he was in his body and on Earth, in the cave.
In his opinion, he had been gone for sixteen, maybe eighteen
hours. He didn’t want to return to the monastery so soon. He tried to leave
his body and revisit the other worlds, but nothing worked for him. Then he
started crying, screaming, and begging his teacher. Still, there were no
results. He had to return home, because in the other worlds, he understood a
lot of things about Earth and had to bring this understanding to our world.
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He had to tell our world what he had seen.
So he had no choice but to leave his cave, go down the
mountains, and return to his monastery. But while he was descending, he
couldn’t tell where he was. He didn’t recognize the area. At first he thought
that, due to his preoccupation with his journey, he was lost and had gone
down from the mountain in the wrong direction.
Then he began to ask strangers how to get to the monastery, but
no one knew the answer. Finally, one person brought him to an old relative
who had visited that monastery.
As it turned out, the Superior was not gone for sixteen to
eighteen hours, but for almost twenty years. Everything had changed—people
had changed, time had changed, life in general had changed. The Great
Cultural Revolution that destroyed his monastery had ended a long time ago.
As time went on, the Superior adapted to new conditions and
realized his place in this life. He started giving lectures about everything he
saw and understood. At first, he gave lectures in China, then in Singapore.
This is an example of how time operates differently in different
worlds. It also tells us that we cannot always willingly leave this world.

13. Is it possible for a soul to depart and for a person to visit other worlds
through this practice? I often see different pictures.
Nothing of the sort happens during the early stages of exercising.
Pictures are often just a reflection of the information that a person collects
during life, including movies, stories, legends, and personal thoughts. In
order to leave, the soul needs certain conditions. In general, we practice soul
departure at higher levels.

14. You have told us a story about how, one day, a seminar attendee had his
soul depart during classes. What would happen if my soul were to leave my
body during the Big Tree exercise and not return? How do I live all by
myself?
First, if you practice independently, your soul will not leave. It is
very complicated, but because your energy isn’t strong enough, your soul
stays inside your body. During classes, I give you additional energy.
Sometimes, you feel like your soul leaves your body, but only during sleep. If
this happens during sleep, both you and your soul know that the soul must

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return. Almost everyone experiences the departure of his or her soul during
sleep. Later, you refer to it as a dream, like a flight to some place or a
meeting with some people.

15. How and when does the soul leave the body? Is the practitioner aware of
this? Does he hear anything during this time? How does it appear from the
side? How can he hear or see if the body is left behind?
In general, a person can always feel his soul departing. When he
feels this, he simply knows that it will return automatically, because he gives
his soul the order to come back. The departure of the soul, and everything
connected to it, is not our primary goal at the first stage, and does not happen
during the initial period of practice. In fact, this requires a lot of special
practice. First, the soul goes out, and comes back after traveling a short
distance. Then it goes a little further, for a longer period of time. It practices
inch-by-inch, step-by-step. When the soul departs from the body for real, the
person does not faint, although it may appear to the people around him that
he has fainted. With that, his pulse disappears, and people get the impression
that he has had heart failure. However, the person knows everything. It is
only the body that is cold, because it still doesn’t know how to change its
appearance: the person understands everything but cannot move, and his soul
sees everything that is happening to him. If we only speak about this, you
will receive certain knowledge without knowing how to practice. When the
soul leaves during practice, you fill this gap. Therefore, we should postpone
this conversation to a later time.

16. One of my acquaintances had a very strange experience. She was lying
motionless for a week and, in her head, kept hearing the hissing “shhh…”
sound. She did not know what had happened to her, because she could not
move. However, she did keep hearing that sound. Was this the soul
departing?
If the soul leaves the body, the person knows that. It is as though
the person has simply moved to another place. He knows everything and
understands everything clearly. But his body remains motionless. He gets the
impression that just takes part in some action. The only difference between
this state and real travel in the body is that he can travel now much more
easily wherever he wants, and immediately reach the destination. Perhaps, it

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is for this reason that your acquaintance had a different experience. There are
many states connected to diseases affecting the physical body or the psycho-
emotional sphere. However, this is something completely different.

NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL


PRACTICE
If you would like to achieve success in this area, you
need to know and understand several fundamental principles
created in ancient times. These principles were established through
empirical means, as the result of the personal practice of Masters
of various Qigong systems and the training of many generations of
“personal” students. These conclusions are considered true even
today.
Hundreds of years ago, Masters of Qigong figured out
the methods of achieving success in Qigong practice. It is
necessary to consider four factors. In the Chinese language these
factors are called Fa, Lui, Tsai, and Dee. They can be roughly
translated as method, companion or partner, wealth or money, and
location or circumstances.

1. Method (Fa)

There are many different methods and training systems. It is


important to find the one that is best suited for you. The method you follow
must show you the way and lead you to a certain goal. If the system belongs
to the higher levels, with time and effort you can achieve high goals. It must
be a system that allows you to start from the very beginning, from bricks, as
it were, and construct a building, an integral picture of the world, having
determined your own place in it. If the system is not good enough, if it is
limited and leads nowhere, you can spend a great deal of effort and time,
maybe even years or an entire lifetime, and you will not obtain anything in
return. Your goals will not be met.
In summary, if this is interesting to you, and you feel the urge to
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learn this line of spiritual development, if you feel attracted to it, you must
first find a good system for yourself. This can be any system of deep and all-
around human development, not necessarily ZYQ.
Above all, such systems are connected to a teacher, and must
include methods of training—namely,
(1) how to teach;
(2) how to learn;
(3) how to help students move forward in training.
If the teacher is at a high level of learning and growth, he will be
able to teach his students a lot of material in a short period of time. They will
easily understand him. However, if the teacher is not at a high level, his
instructions will take longer and may not provide the fundamentals of the
system. Therefore, apart from selecting a good system, there has to be a good
teacher. He must be able to teach, as well as understand whether a particular
method is suitable for you; and he must be able to a find a matching, suitable
method that you understand and that is good for you—one that will help you
attain your goal.
As you practice and train, you may experience many phenomena
and have many questions. The right teacher is the one who has already been
through this, who is able to answer your questions and point you in the right
direction for further practice. Do not go to a person who only teaches using
the classroom instruction or lecture method. There are some instructors who
have never mastered the subject and have no experience at all. These
instructors simply have read books and/or attended seminars, and at once
began to teach. However, they lack practice experience. Afterward, such a
person will read something else and then start to teach again, but another
topic. Such an approach demeans the vocation of teaching; this is a
profanation of teaching.
In ZYQ training, we do not use books—we use our experience
and our hearts. Our knowledge comes from the heart and from the Universe
in this type of teaching. If students are taught only from books or the
experiences of other people, they will make serious mistakes in practice.
Therefore, the best teacher is the one who has positive, practical experience
and guides you toward the direction in which you wish to go.

From the Fourth World Conference of Medical Qigong

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From the Report “How to Distinguish True Qigong from False”
by Yu Zhe (Swimming Pool Qigong Association, An Ding Road, Hangzhou,
310002, China)

1. Some people call themselves Qigong Masters and founders of a Qigong


form. But they cannot cure their own diseases. Is it possible that they are
true Masters?
2. Observing his complexion and the expression in his eyes, you can see
that he is not healthy and doesn’t have vigor. Is it possible that he is for
real?
3. Is the surplus income obtained from Qigong used for the “Master’s”
own enjoyment or for public welfare?
4. He must be virtuous, whether his Qigong is acquired or innate. It is
absolutely impossible for him to fake things and require others to
worship him. There is a strange phenomenon in contemporary Qigong:
the false Master dares to boast, while the true one doesn’t choose to tell
either the truth or lies. What must be done? The only way is to beat
around the bush and let others guess.
5. Usually, the true Master of Qigong eats what he want to, without going
to extremes, while the other opts for a vegetarian diet. Therefore, one
should not only listen to a Master’s words, but observe his actions.
6. Generally, Qigong Masters have similar habits: they eat less
(comparatively), sleep less, and have little or no sex. In short, they
attach great importance to preserving health and cultivating virtue.
Conversely, the so-called Qigong “Masters” always make false claims
and cheat others.
7. The real Qigong Masters take no interest in success, fame, profit, sex,
wealth, power, and position at all. They stand aloof from worldly
success and uphold impartiality without exception.
8. Only the real Qigong Masters are kind and easy to approach. This is
because they attain the state of Tian Yi (unification of man and
universe), after a long period of cultivation. Their internal power is
strong, in a manner that relates to the saying “De Dao Duo Zhu” (a just
cause enjoys support) by Chairman Mao.
9. Sensitive awareness tells us that if Qigong turns out to be effective, trust
it; if not, don’t trust it. At the same time it is not realistic to demand
instant results, independent of the type of illness. Results may come in
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five days, but sometimes twenty or even thirty days may be necessary. It
is an old dogma that Qigong will be efficacious if a person simply trusts
it.
10. If practicing Qigong leads you astray, take it as a danger sign. For your
health and personal safety, it would be better not to practice it.

We have already mentioned that the concept of Gong is


connected to three factors: time, speed, and force. When it comes to force and
time, everything is clear. But how should we understand “speed” in this case?
Speed, as a rule, depends on the interaction between teacher and student. If
you feel you understand the teacher and can interpret everything he says,
keep on practicing. This means that the system is suitable for you and easy to
understand. However, if you are having difficulty during classes or don’t
understand what is being taught, you need to change either the system or the
instructor.
In the ZYQ, the teacher shows you the Path—how to move, and
how to move from one point to another. However, this Path is not the only
one. It is very similar to a flight on an airplane. A plane can bring you to a
desired location very quickly. However, if you are afraid of heights and don’t
want to fly in an airplane, you may elect to take a train instead. Similarly, in
this case, you simply “change the system.” Today, our society is developing
very fast, and it is unrealistic to think that we would achieve anything if we
were to restrict ourselves to walking.
In other words, our time is too short. We need to do as many
things as we can in this short period of time. This is the reason why, if you
are serious about doing something, you always need to consider the time
factor and determine how you can achieve the maximum result in the shortest
possible time. As a rule, we think that time has more value than other things.
Even if you have large amounts of money, you cannot buy an additional
lifetime. Therefore, it is important to use time in a very productive manner, in
order to develop ourselves, and to do the best we can in whatever we do.
Our lives revolve around three things: living, learning, and
working. These three things apply to any regular person. However, we also
need to develop ourselves. To complete our lives, we must add self-
development to the above list.
All of the above relate to Method (Fa).
In China, the word for Student, Di Dzi, also means “pupil”
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and “child,” while the word for Teacher, Shi Fu, also means “teacher”
and “father” together.
A Teacher is, therefore, a person who takes paternal
responsibility for his Student, while educating him at the same time. He is
responsible for the Student in the same way a father is responsible for his son.
Such a relationship belongs to the highest levels of training, when the student
truly achieves masterhood.
In China, a student used to live in the teacher’s house.
Sometimes, training lasted more than a year. After training was completed,
regardless of the type of system (Qigong, Wushu, etc.) the Students became
brothers, and their bonds were closer than family bonds.

2. Companion or Partner (Lui)

You realize that in order to learn the right way and practice well,
you need a teacher. Of course, you cannot stay with your teacher all the time.
Therefore, you need a good partner, who will be able to help you
during practice, and whom you can help. Here, your partner is, above all, a
second family member (husband for a wife, and wife for a husband). In
addition, these partners are soulmates, with whom you have much in
common, and who can support you during difficult times and “hold up the
rear.” It is especially important that this remains in the family, because
sometimes, the practice of Qigong requires long-term detachment; inner
tranquility; and at higher levels, a period of solitude, and care for the body
when the soul leaves it for training and practice in other worlds. It is possible
to achieve success, only if there is mutual understanding and support within
the family. Therefore, the Qigong practitioner must pay more attention to his
family and take on more responsibilities than before practice. Otherwise,
what is the value of his training and knowledge?

3. Wealth or Money (Tsai)

If you are serious about this subject, expenses are unavoidable.


You will have to spend money on this practice. In China, there is a saying
that expresses this sentiment: “If you have money, you can practice Wushu,

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Kung-fu, or other systems. If you have no money, you can stay home, read
books, and write articles.” Why do we spend so much money in order to
practice these systems?
We live in a society governed by market relations, where money
is necessary for life: shelter, food, clothes, and education. Therefore, it is
impossible to reach a high level of Qigong without money. To practice the
highest levels of Qigong, you need opportunities to isolate yourself in
mountains, forests or the seaside for a period of time; in, other words, in
places full of natural beauty and no people. To make these trips, and for food
and shelter, you need money. It is also important that one’s family have
everything they need during the practitioner’s absence. Sometimes, the
practitioner will need to communicate with his teacher, or with those who
have reached or surpassed his level. This might require travel to different
cities, countries, or continents. If you do not have a material base, it is
impossible to reach the higher levels of Qigong. Of course, there are rare
exceptions, but, for the moment, we are only discussing the general rules.
A person needs to work in order to have income. Therefore, if
you are serious about ensuring good Qigong practice on your part, you need
to try to find a job that will allow you to earn enough money for living. Lazy
people cannot earn money and cannot practice well either. This way, on the
one hand, we improve our health through the ZYQ practice; and on the other,
we increase our creative activity. This is the reason why, with practice, we
are more capable of working and earning money that can be used for training
and development. The amount of work performed is directly proportional to
how fulfilled and interesting a person’s life is. One needs to live, learn, work,
and develop.

4. Circumstances, Location (Dee)

Many things depend on the above. If you have no opportunity for


education, or for practice, neither method nor teacher will be able to help you.
Sometimes, we meet a person who is the only breadwinner for a large family.
He has neither the time nor the opportunity to learn and practice, because of
his many responsibilities. Similarly, sometimes a person lives in an area
where little is known about the practice under discussion. He has neither the
opportunity nor the chance to learn. Life brings different situations to
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different people.
The location of classes is also very important, especially for
beginners. Different cities and parts of the world have different energy
structures. Therefore, if you want to move fast in a given direction, you need
to try and find a comfortable location with strong energy, so that that you can
immediately enter a state of relaxation and tranquility. Such a place is best
suited to practice. If you cannot immediately locate such a place, you can
practice in areas near churches, cathedrals, temples, or places where people
have been living and worshipping since ancient times.
You can also practice in places that are rumored to be sites of
strange happenings or miracles. Often, it is good to practice at a big cemetery,
where your soul can speak with the souls of the departed.
You can also select a place with a beautiful landscape, that you
find visually appealing, a place where you like to spend time. Sometimes,
when you walk in a relaxed manner, you’ll suddenly feel an area with very
active Qi. Such a place is also very suitable for Qigong training.
Places with energy can be found everywhere. In very ancient
places, where people used to live, it is always possible to find information or
energy. Perhaps, grand masters used to practice and meditate there.
If you practice in groups, you affect each other, and the result is
more significant than if you practice individually.
When a grand Master comes to your area, you can attend his
courses and practice, because as a rule, he brings very strong energy. In order
to achieve better results, a good Master always sends strong energy to his
students. This way, even if you are not engaged in training or practice of the
material taught to you by the Master, even if you are not planning to practice
it, you can simply go and stay in that place for some time. Staying in its field
will enable you to receive additional energy.

Master’s Story
(A Parable)
Once upon a time, there lived a very wise man. People called
him Master. He had pupils who called him Teacher. When someone from the
settlement had a problem, they addressed this Master for help and advice and
were never denied. Therefore, people respected him and tried not to bother
him with small matters.
One day, people found out that the Master had decided to accept
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new pupils. Many people wanted to be his students but considered themselves
unworthy of such an honor.
Nevertheless, on the appointed day, they appeared before the
Master. He looked at them and said that he could not take them all. Then he
explained that being a student is a very serious matter, and that for a new
student to learn everything the older students already knew, it is necessary to
study very hard, beginning with the simplest things. He asked these people,
“Why did you come, and what can you do?”
Many of them lost their nerve and could not articulate anything.
All their explanations boiled down to one thing: they were ready for
anything, “if only given a chance,” because they knew nothing. They saw
how the Master, and sometimes his students, helped solve problems that
seemed very complex to local residents.
When it was time for one of the applicants to speak, in contrast
to the others, he started listing what he had done, what he had practiced,
which masters he had visited, what he had learned, and from where. His
speech was long, logical, and beautiful. He obviously stood out from the rest,
who dropped their heads—they understood what kind of pupil the Master
needed.
The Master listened attentively and calmly. Then, he asked one of
his students to bring him two bowls: one was empty, the other filled with
water. He took a jar containing a healing elixir, filled the empty bowl with it,
and then started pouring the elixir into the bowl with water. The healing
liquid started spilling on the ground over the edges of the bowl right away.
“Teacher!” shouted the last applicant, “What are you doing?
Don’t you see that the bowl is already full? Is it impossible to put more into
it. This is a waste of elixir!”
“You are absolutely correct,” said the Master. “You know so
much, and have seen so much, that there is no room left in you to add
anything more. I am sorry.”
All the rest became his students.

If you want to achieve a lot, don’t think that you know a lot.
Think that you know little and can learn little. In training, put yourself in the
lowest position, for the deep sea gathers waters from many rivers. If you
think you are at a high level, you will not be able to take in information from
other sources. This is especially true when we consider that knowledge
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gained from Qigong is dramatically different from knowledge acquired
through another system.
You can ask whether the teacher is good or bad. When you take
Stage I classes, you will heighten your sensitivity. You can have contact with
your teacher, and if you feel pleased and at ease, this means that he is right
for you.
When people receive information during the training period,
many of them think that simply hearing and understanding something is good
enough. However, in Qigong training, a student must receive information not
only in the form of words, but also with one’s body and heart. To define this,
eight words are used in China:
Sing, Chuang, Kou, Shou,
Sing, Lin, Ee, and Huei—four of these concern the
Teacher, and four, the student.
1. Sing has been translated as “heart” since ancient times.
However, in ancient times, this was considered the organ of
thinking. Therefore, it reflects different psychological aspects:
soul, thought, mind, mentality, feelings, etc.;
2. Chuang means “to pass on” (or “to convey”), which, together
with Sing, means “to pass on through heart and mind
simultaneously”;
3. Kou means “mouth”;
4. Shou means “to teach.” Together with Kou, they mean “to teach
verbally” (by mouth);
5. Lin means “to receive”;
6. Ee means “thought” or “consciousness”; and
7. Huei means “to understand” or “to be able to.”
Four words for student mean “to receive knowledge and
understand thoughts with soul and heart, with soul and mind.”
Four words for Teacher mean that the Teacher uses words and
heart while teaching, so that his students can hear and understand. Students
must use their hearts to receive this information from the Teacher and use
their brains to understand it.
Ancient China had several extraordinary Teachers. They allowed
their students to do whatever they wanted. Some students thought that the
Teacher was not teaching them anything with such an approach, as a result of
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which, they left. Those who understood the idea stayed. Perhaps it took about
three years before the Teacher could tell a student, “You have received
everything I could give you; now go, and find yourself another Teacher in
another place.” He also said, “If you have difficulties, all you need to do is to
call me, and you will know what to do.”
Therefore, if a student has problems similar to those that his
Teacher had, all he needs to do is address the Teacher for the latter to come to
the student’s help in solving these problems.
In general, if a person wants to practice Qigong and develop in
this direction, he must have many teachers.
Not only human beings can be our teachers. They can be plants,
animals, localities, or situations, as Qigong training methods have nothing in
common with other educational approaches. Qigong training is based on real-
life situations, not on books.
Therefore, anyone or anything that can help you in your
development can be your teacher.

MASTER’S WISHES
I am sure that the methods you have just learned will help you to
master Qigong in the future.
I hope you will be able to continue practicing and meditating for
the rest of your life.
I believe that these exercises will improve your health, help you
develop your intuition, and creativity, and make you a successful person.
I appreciate everyone who came to learn.
I appreciate those who heal people and came to learn this system
and its methods.
I am grateful to the organizers of the seminars–they allow me to
make many friends.
I wish every one of you good health, a loving family, healthy,
happy children, many friends, and prosperity.
Do not compare your material income with that of other people;
do not compare your social position with that of others; do not compare your
house or your car with others. Instead, gradually rise higher and higher, along

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the Path of Spirit and Mind Development.
I wish you all good Qigong practice. I wish that you all reach
higher levels, know yourself, understand Life, and all the worlds, and teach
this to others.

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Picture 45: During, and After the Workshops

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Picture 45: During, and After the Workshops

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Picture 45: During, and After the Workshops

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Picture 45: During, and After the Workshops

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APPENDIXES

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Appendix 1:
FEEDBACK
FROM SEMINAR ATTENDEES

The following section is a collection of feedback and letters


received from attendees of Zhong Yuan Qigong (ZYQ) seminars. It contains
their perceptions of the system, their philosophies, and their attitudes toward
the world.
This section identifies goals and aspirations of practitioners
during the very first class, as well as the goals and aspirations which they
come to possess after having been transformed by their Qigong practice.
These changes are a result of improvements in their health and their states of
mind, and a widening of their perceptions of the world.
This section could have been endless, because ZYQ seminars are
growing and spreading throughout the world and we receive thousands of
letters and comments. The seminars are attended by people of different ages,
social groups, social classes, and professions. We have selected only a small
portion of received feedback and comments, containing students’ opinions
and impressions based on their subjective sensations and objective
performance before and after training.
Each person describes his or her own experiences, results, and
outlook. However, we cannot disclose the specific diseases, psychological
problems, or overall conditions of practitioners that were entrusted to the
grand master or their instructor, for ethical and privacy reasons. Therefore,
we have limited each participant’s identifying information to profession, sex,
and age. Nevertheless, each feedback and comment represents facts and
information from a real person, and the authors fully stand behind the
reliability of the provided information.
Perhaps during your own practice, you had experiences similar to
those described below. If so, you will see that you are not alone and that
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similar sensations are more the rule than the exception. For those of you who
are not familiar with this practice but plan to become acquainted with it, you
will gain insight into what the future could hold for you.
Typically, received feedback focuses on results involving the
following three areas of practice, listed by order of importance:
Changes in perception of the world and one’s self
Therapeutic effects
Occurrence of various phenomena
Although these are somewhat hypothetical divisions, we thought
to use them to help organize the feedback. Often, it is impossible to exactly
differentiate between therapeutic effect, sensations, phenomena, changes in
one’s state of mind, perception of one’s life through someone else’s eyes,
etc., because all of the above connect to and arise from one another.
Following our seminars, we often invite practitioners to write
their comments and impressions, and these comprise the sections below. We
maintained each individual listener’s perspective, and retained his/her
personal style of writing. As a result, these comments are very diverse, from
long descriptions to brief phrases.
We are very similar, and at the same time we are very different
—and this is wonderful!

CHANGES IN PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD


AND ONE’S SELF

Engineer, Female, 40 Years Old


I discovered Qigong during the summer of 1992 when I attended
an introductory lecture for the first stage. I attended the lecture for personal
enrichment and had no intention of practicing. I had previously read some
materials on Qigong and did not think it was for me—it seemed excessively
exotic; I had a “show-me” attitude. However, by the end of the first lecture, I
realized that I had discovered something that was much more serious and
deep than I had believed. The books that I had read about Qigong and the
actual practice were very different: a case of information versus live action. I
decided to study the first stage, if only to understand how my “spirited” but
somewhat one-sided excitement had become a mild, and somewhat
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inexplicable, holistic understanding and peace.
During the next five days, I enjoyed a growing sense of inner
peace and purity. However, I don’t think my attraction to Qigong practice
was governed only by these two factors. My health had also improved.
Qigong unexpectedly assisted me in dealing with other personal
issues. I am a contemplative person, one who is not very social. I have always
had problems with social adaptation and cooperation. These issues became
more evident when, in a short period of time, two people, both of whom were
very dear to me, died. My life became meaningless, all sense of purpose was
diminished, and my life—as well as everything in it—became an
abomination. I was continuously depressed and lived in a state of aggressive
excitement, which on occasion pushed me to do shameful things.
Qigong, indeed, gave me the power to get out of this painful
prison. This transformation was not immediate, however, and I had to fall on
my face a few times. Eventually, I received a priceless opportunity to
determine the path my life would take. While tripping, starting, and quitting
things, I had an opportunity to control my own life—to fight back—or to
throw in the towel by sponging on my family and shedding tears over my
miserable life. Qigong gave me the power to understand and solve my
problems. Whatever problems I faced, whether they were issues of a physical
or emotional nature, or problems at home or work, or even spiritual
questions, the key fit every lock.
The truth opened each door that I knocked on, as long as I
collected and saved up power and energy, nourished clean and pure thoughts,
and relentlessly “knocked on the door.” I didn’t handle all the tasks which
Master had set for us attendees, but I cannot recall any life issue that I could
not solve, if I worked hard. However, as Exupéry’s Mr. Fox said, “Nothing is
perfect.” As soon as I started neglecting my practice, my magical grasp of
everything, as well as the ability to control my life, disappeared. Again, there
was inertness and an impassable chain of problems around me, until an
opening appeared.
Five years have passed. Looking back, I understand that I had
become a different person, just as my Qigong had changed too. It had
morphed from occasional class attendance, into a constant component of my
life, one of the tools for researching and transforming this life. I use Qigong
constantly and am always trying to perfect my skills. It is like having a
second set of eyes or arms. In the beginning, they seem to be unnecessary and
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in the way. As time goes by, however, you cannot understand how other
people live without them.
The main thing, ultimately, is not what is identified above. It is
the sense of overall understanding of, and love for, the world–an awareness
of its intelligence and perfection. I wasn’t looking for this. This state comes
of its own volition and is a new kind of door that I am just trying to open.
And I will continue to try, as long as I can.

MD, Neurologist, Male, 40 Years Old


The main purpose of a human being’s life is his self-perfection
and development, including gaining an understanding of his true nature and
his oneness with the Cosmos. The ZYQ System serves this purpose. Created
by sages, it is a synthesis of methods of psychophysical and spiritual
practices that lead to the gradual realization of this purpose.
The distinctive aspects of this system are its accessibility,
manageability, adaptability, easy mastering, humanity, safety, practicality,
many-sidedness, universality, flexibility, and viability for the individual and
society as a whole. This synthesis of various methods, indeed, allows for the
development of a harmonious person in a gradual and effective way–it
contributes to the creation of a multifaceted human being who uses his full
potential for the good of Humanity and the Cosmos.
The twenty-first century is the beginning of the epoch when man
masters psychic energy, through which he realizes the spiritual principle
hidden in the secret recesses of his physical body. The ZYQ is the school that
allows us to understand the esoteric wisdom of the human body and discover
ourselves as astral beings—components of the Cosmos. The opportunity to
learn this system is the gift of perfected sages, who gave humanity a chance
to survive during times of tests and hardship.
The system’s possibilities for development are inexhaustible.
Among them are
increased creative potential and reserve capacities;
the awakening of ultra-sensory perceptions;
use in medicine and other disciplines for realization on the level
of knowledge, intellect, and intuition;
use of cosmic and earth energy in the planning and construction
of schools, hospitals, and - houses, and in the designing of
especial space forms according Feng Shui;
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use of ZYQ principles to define and develop promising areas in
science and industry for the purpose of healthcare and
improvement of the human race;
use of ZYQ methods that allow optimization of food
consumption; and
the opportunity to gain Universal Knowledge and contact other
civilizations and worlds.

Marine Engineer, Male, 45 Years Old


The results are outstanding! Qigong is serious work for your own
sake, as well as for the sake of others. Thanks, teacher!

Aircraft Equipment Engineer, Male, 23 Years Old


I have no complaints about my health. Training increased my
self-confidence and assured me that I could reach my goals and that the world
is beautiful and amazing. My senses work better. I do experience,
unwillingly, body rotation during the Big Tree exercise and intense itching
during the Small Microcosmic Orbit.

Military Engineer, Male, 70 Years Old


I am a retired military engineer who served in the army for about
forty years. During the last twelve years of service, I was a teacher in a higher
military college. The thought of a spiritual component to our existence
plagued me all my life, although I am a dedicated materialist by education
and upbringing.
Before I was introduced to ZYQ, I had completed several
different courses in bioenergetics. There I was trained how to feel the
human’s biofield with my hands and how to heal with the help of Qi
emission. Their content did not satisfy me. Teachers of many courses taught
material with no holistic world perception, and filled up most of the “holes”
in their conceptions with religion. I am a baptized Orthodox; I respect
believers and accept common Christian commandments. There was plenty of
studying in my life; I taught and was engaged in scientific work; therefore,
implicit faith is not for me. My mind demands analysis and evaluation of all
hatha-yoga phenomena and facts. If there is an opportunity, I prefer analysis
in the form of an experiment, so that I can understand the core of a system
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before I believe in it.
In this sense, all known schools of Qigong stand out from the
above-mentioned, through their systematic nature and consistency of theory
and practice, all of which was developed by thousands of adepts as a result of
their empirical work. For me, the personification of success and the real
achievement of the school is Master Mingtang Xu. Therefore, I
unhesitatingly prefer him and this school.
To begin with, the school of ZYQ appeals to me due to its
complexity and its systematic nature. Through these, it brings us beyond the
limits of earthly existence to the beginning of the Cosmos.
Secondly, the school does not deny knowledge obtained in other
spheres; it does not deny our Slavic mentality and religious commitments.
Therefore, I believe that it should take root on our soil.
Thirdly, I work for the human resources department in a
company. This requires work with people who have different temperaments
and intentions. In the sea of human relations that has reefs of wrongs and
deception, one needs self-control, tolerance, benevolence, and a balanced
mind—these are the very qualities that Qigong develops.
Fourthly, God did not endow me in childhood with a special
energy gift, but I hope to attain it through persistent work in the high-level
school. I am doing acceptably well in practice. According to my readings, the
level of my energy rises five times or more after the Big Tree exercise.
Qigong practice has improved my health. As a senior citizen, I
had collected many illnesses through life. However, during ten months of
almost regular practice, I have had a series of positive changes. For example,
the arthritis pain in my shoulder joints and my right jaw joint has gone into
remission. Earlier, I could not lift my arm without a sharp pain, and now even
this is residual. Sometimes, I simply forget about the illness. Early in the
postwar period, I had chronic inflammation of my nasal pharynx, or
pharyngitis. However, after one winter of practicing, I no longer caught
catch, and I am now able to drink liquids directly from the refrigerator
without affecting my throat and nose. Since childhood, I had suffered from
gastritis, which caused chronic inflammation of my intestinal tract. As a
result, I often suffered pain and other consequences of its abnormal
functioning. Now, my gastrointestinal tract works, more or less, normally.
I believe, systematic practice will abolish my diseases and grant
me good health for the rest of my life. That is immense! The practice of
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Qigong is, therefore, well worth it, even if you never reach the higher stages.
But this is all in the future! The Tao, or Way of mastering the secrets of the
Universe is endless, and the De, or Good Deeds that humanity so desperately
needs, call us to action!

Show Business Manager, Female, 45 Years Old


I attended a ZYQ seminar absolutely by accident. Nevertheless, I
have no regrets; I am happy! This system positively affected my perception
of the world. I had never previously attended any similar courses, because I
did not feel that I had the need for them.
Now I attend ZYQ seminars, and my soul is happy. As I spend
more and more time practicing, I enjoy the system even more. I think Qigong
fulfills man’s dream to strive for perfection and aim upward, figuratively
speaking, with the soul and body merging into one—as you can see, we’re
already waxing lyrical.
The nature of my profession requires me to communicate with
many people. I organize concerts and shows and am a show business
manager. I deal with many different types of people, from young teenagers
who are into rap or rock, to silver-haired people for whom we bring in
famous bands, and so on.
Having mastered three stages of ZYQ, I am sure that this system
will help me directly in my profession. I would like to carry a torch for ZYQ,
because I think that this system can help develop and increase creative
potential, which will undeniably benefit our society. We must help our youth
find their place in this world. We must teach them good health, not only for
the body but also, and this is the main thing, for perfecting the soul. After all,
young people are our hope and our future.

Secretarial Clerk, Female, 48 Years Old


Before practicing the ZYQ system, I had been engaged in
different schools for five years—astrology, Osho meditation practice, the
Reiki healing system—and I had read various kinds of literature associated
with spiritual self-development.
Once introduced to the Qigong system, I started mastering it and
felt fortunate to receive such a gift.
I started feeling the energy; I could see and sense it. Later, I

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realized that it could work wonders. The capabilities of the system are
endless. We can heal our beloved planet Earth and all points that need
treatment.
Perfecting ourselves, we can change everything around us.
I would love to master this system as Mingtang Xu did and share
my acquired knowledge with others. If more people master Qigong, life on
earth will become more beautiful, and we will develop a more harmonious
relationship with the environment. We will realize that we are one with the
universe.
My goal is to perfect my spirit and myself in general, to share my
experiences with others, and after leaving this world, to become a spiritual
teacher, so that this honorable mission will come to fruition and spread the
light of love.
Thank you for this priceless gift.

Biologist, Mail, 43 Years Old


Master, I have an idea! We should tell the truth about Life and
Death by dancing—for patients in hospitals, who are facing imminent death.
My reasoning for this is that when the body is relaxed, the soul accepts the
truth more effectively.
In general, I would love to tell the story of the ZYQ in dance.

Chemistry Teacher, Male, 52 Years Old


I waited for Teacher and he came. I wanted to walk beside him
and not follow. This is the way of ZYQ. I want to help Teacher train other
people, so that many can walk in this manner. I’d love to see this system
become a state-run program in many countries. If this were to happen, there
would be no places of darkness on Earth; they would all have the light of the
Great Teachers. Every person seeking to practice ZYQ would be able to do
so.

Editor of Television Programming, Female, 48 Years Old


I work for a TV station. Widespread automation of the
professional process requires the involvement of people who can support
complicated technical systems. This is the work of a commissioning editor. It
is this person to whom the management of the “human-equipment-air”
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production system is entrusted.
The activities of the editor include control over the work of
organizing all technical equipment and the entire process of preparation and
broadcasting. They also include standing by for possible signs of work
collapse, prognosis of emergencies, and decision-making.
Stress engendered by the “standby” mode, rudeness,
misunderstanding of situations, a countless number of “fears,” and the lack of
mutual respect among team members leads to imbalances within the body
and gives rise to various illnesses in, and decreased efficiency from, the
people who must work together to prepare the program for broadcast. This, in
turn, affects the content as well as the quality of a program.
The main result of Qigong practice is spiritual evolution and the
expansion of personal self-perception reached through the all-around
development of one’s psycho-emotional sphere and intellectual abilities.
Methods of ZYQ allow each practitioner to acquire certain abilities. As a
result, any person using them can exist normally in this world while
experiencing a simultaneous increase in intellectual and creative activity.
This dramatically increases work output in any occupation.
Apart from health improvements, people practicing this system
attain inner balance, self-confidence, a disposition toward benevolence, and
activation of all abilities. Efficiency also increases.
During three years of practice, I have been removed from the
register of the tuberculosis clinic, I became healthy. I have said goodbye to
the problems of cardiovascular inefficiency, hypotonus, osteochondrosis, and
other joint disorders. Now, through the practice of ZYQ, I often help people
regulate their condition—physical, as well as psychic. After I receive all the
information, I decided to learn how to pass this knowledge and skill to other
people.
While practicing Qigong, I always had an image of my mother in
my mind, knowing the problems she had with her health. I am much obliged
to Xu Mingtang that I could help her. Currently, she lives in the Moscow
region and I live in Kiev; circumstances do not allow us to see each other
often. Qigong helps us to communicate and be calm and strong during this
rough time.

Postgraduate Student, Male, 24 Years Old


Exercises have gone well; efficiency has dramatically improved;
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my head has cleared up; I have become calm and peaceful.
Thank you very much for developing my ability to diagnose and
heal, and especially for the opportunity to experience different states of mind
—for this feeling of unity, of belonging with everything living, instead of
having feelings of loneliness. I think I know now what to do (and how to do
it) in order to improve my new skills, and to further progress in training,
education, and everything else.
You are the best Teacher; we are the best students. I think that
the proper way for me is to work hard.

Financial Analyst, Female, 30 Years Old


Before the classes, I had periods of depression, desperation, and
fear. After the classes, all of these disappeared, and I experienced
improvement in all areas, including sight. The exercises were not hard to
practice. Within four to five classes, the separation between me and the
surrounding world disappeared. Thanks a lot! The hours I spent with you
while attending the classes were truly wonderful. I look forward to your next
visit and hope to be a worthy student of yours by that time.

Designer/Sculptor, Male, 28 Years Old


In spite of not having trained before, I felt everything. My
impressions of the seminar: normal, interesting, and useful; I feel like a fool
and need to work more. I used to think of myself as a seeker and an observer
of life. Of course, I am not blowing up bulbs, and my Third Eye does not see
as well as my normal two. However, I feel many things and often cannot
explain what I feel. I learn from life, from nature. I have not had a human
teacher. Perhaps I would like to have one.
I would love to record Chinese music; I do not like money; and I
do want to continue my spiritual education.

Senior Professor/Philosopher, Male, 44 Years Old


I was involved in yoga and astrology. Because of the [ZYQ]
classes, my physical state remained unchanged, while my moral and
psychological states improved.
I am working on my doctoral dissertation in philosophy on a
subject very similar to Qigong. In 1983, my book about the contemporary
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consciousness of society, The Dynamics and Tendencies of Development, hit
the stores. Fifteen years ago I practiced Hatha yoga, but in recent years I have
become interested in astrology. I am sensitive and feel the emotional states of
other people. As a result, I have had a mass of psychological problems.
Dear Mingtang Xu! I am very grateful to you for your classes.
You do many kind things for people, for nations, and for the development of
civilization.

Editor of Television Programming, Female, 53 Years Old


Since the very first day of practice, all the energy centers of my
body have been working without problems. Playing music during the
exercises has dramatically contributed to this state of being. I can feel
cleansed and am aware of improvement in the health of my organs, regardless
of whether they are in motion or not. My entire body, as a large tuned
mechanism, is becoming bigger and stronger. A state of happiness overfills
my soul.
My efficiency has increased, and the general state of my body
has acquired the stability that goes with well-being.
Thank you for the knowledge of self and one’s possibilities
which you have imparted! I will work more and hope to progress!
(Repeated first, second, and third stages, practiced Stage IV and
courses for instructors. Training continues.)

Personnel Officer, Female, 46 Years Old


A long time ago I asked myself, “What is the meaning of human
life? Is it to give birth to children and to raise them so that they will benefit
humanity?
Later, I found this explanation insufficient. Think about it—
humans are endowed with colossal powers and abilities. There is no way we
exist only to eat, sleep, and bear offspring. Nevertheless, I could not find the
answer for a long time, perhaps due to my ignorance in the matter. Several
times, I did things that were reckless and could have cost me my life. Each
time, at the point of life and death, an angel saved me (I came to know of this
just recently).
After forty-two years of living, I was finally given a life-
changing opportunity. A stranger suggested that I read books I had never

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heard of. My road began there. Reading “Agni Yoga”, I understood that I
could not progress without a teacher. I prayed to God to direct me to one, and
so it was that I ended up at Stage I of ZYQ in December 1993. I could not
miss a single Stage I or Stage II class conducted by Teacher. Unfortunately,
my progress in training has been slow, but changes have been taking place
within me and in my life. These changes are so obvious that it makes me
happy.
My health has improved significantly; I can say that I have no
problems with it. Each day brings me happiness. The years of my youth did
not bring me as much delight as I am experiencing today. Everything in my
life has changed; I can’t imagine returning to my previous state. I do not set
any specific goals for myself; I am simply walking the path of life while
experiencing transformation every day. Qigong turned me into an optimist. I
learned to find solutions for life’s situations. Constant practice makes me
healthy, benevolent, balanced, and creative toward my work.

Software Engineer, Male, 28 Years Old


I started practicing ZYQ at the end of 1993. At that time, I was in
a horrible state. My entire body was in pain and I was aggressive, with
frequent and continuous nervous outbreaks. Perhaps, that is why I grabbed
this method as a lifeline. At the beginning, I could only practice the Big Tree
exercise for twenty minutes. My entire body would shake, and practice was
very hard for me. Nevertheless, I started practicing three times a day, adding
five more minutes every three days. After two months, I could practice for
two hours without experiencing any problems. I felt comfortable and calm in
this position. Then, immediately after the seminar, I lost my appetite and did
not eat for a week.
Stage II practice was worse than pre-Stage I. Major body
cleansing had begun. Every kind of filth came out of my body in the form of
salt. I constantly tasted salt in my mouth. With this, my aggression and
unpleasantness disappeared; I felt kind of empty inside, able only to take in
impressions without evaluation. Moreover, for the first time in my life, I saw
structures of Qi when I started Stage II. The first time this happened was in
the subway. Something similar to a cloud or fog surrounded everyone.
This was when I realized that I needed energy for “vision.” In a
month or two, the points and channels in my body opened up, and I could
physically feel that Mingtang Xu was right when he said, “We can feed on
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solar energy.”
Even today, when I do not practice as intensely as though I am in
the sun, my body “eats” that energy.
At the end of 1994, I went to the Czech Republic for a year,
where I met a Master of Reiki and started working with him. There,
something inside me turned upside down. For some reason, I started saying
and doing things that Master Mingtang Xu had told us at seminars, although I
had never believed in these things.
I could tell you many stories of things I experienced during that
year. For example, in the winter, they needed someone to work in a boiler
house to heat up the building. No one was willing to do it, because that room
was very dirty. There was coal dust, carbon monoxide, ashes, and soot
everywhere, all of which are detrimental to health. I kept telling everyone,
“Why do you consider these substances harmful? They contain the same
atoms and molecules that are present in all forms of matter, and you can use
them.” It is the same energy, but in a “mean” form. I, therefore, volunteered
for that job. There were other stories.
Whenever I cooked, the meals were very tasty. If I needed the
help of a specialist, that person would come to me by himself or herself. I
would think about something at night and, in the morning, my thoughts
would be fulfilled. I understood that I could help myself in anything.
There comes a time when one needs to give in order to develop a
deeper understanding. However, giving is also something that has to be
learned.
In my opinion, the method of education known as “knowledge
transplantation,” which is used in ZYQ, is necessary in every level of
education—from kindergarten to advanced science. This method was referred
to as “heart-to-heart” or “teacher-to-student” in ancient times. That is the
reason why the development of the ZYQ System, which borders on pedagogy
or educational system, is very important. To put it mildly, the volumes of
information with which it is necessary to work now are not matched by
existing methods we must use.
The establishment of a center (or institute) for the training of
ZYQ teachers, as well as teachers, who can carry and pass on knowledge,
seems promising to me. If we learn from childhood without any conflict with
our inner selves, we are whole, holistic, one; if we are whole, our lives are
different and we do not get sick, because illness starts with a conflict in the
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mind and later builds up everywhere.
I think the purpose of every holistic system is the creation of a
whole human being, and this can be achieved only through proper education.
Therefore, development in this direction is strategically important.
I thank my fate for giving me the fortunate opportunity to meet
Master Mingtang Xu and learn the ZYQ System.
(Currently a ZYQ instructor.)

Nurse (on Maternity Leave), Female, 20 Years Old


Before taking the classes, I was restless. Immediately, I felt
connection with the Master. It was like being in contact with something good
and kind. A sensation of inner peace and balance came to me during the third
lesson. During practice, a feeling of lightness and isolation changed into cold.
I wanted to practice more. I now feel very well.

Engineer/Kung-fu Trainer, Male, 27 Years Old


I cannot describe the changes that have taken place in a few
words. The sensation is very deep and interesting. I am very pleased! I plan
to continue my training, perhaps going up to Stage V of ZYQ.

Lab Assistant, Male, 35 Years Old


My sensitivity increased, my condition improved, and I enjoyed
communicating with the Master. I acquired stability and deep peace. Many
complexes disappeared. I came to an understanding of unity with the whole (I
cannot find an exact word).

Electrician, Male, 43 Years Old


One day, the planetarium showed a movie about ZYQ. In that
movie, when Master Mingtang Xu showed the preliminary exercises,
something inside me stopped—I became aware of an invisible, more
complete, stream of life underneath the surface. Then, the Master visited our
town. Meeting him increased this feeling. Qigong classes cured my disease
and brought about many changes. I acquired an inner peace and an infinite
joy for being alive. My life has changed dramatically.
Now I have a new habitat: Qigong. Fate gave me a chance. I took
advantage of this chance through Qigong, and I now have to return the favor.
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In order not to be an alien element of our milieu, I have to be able to let it
flow through me.
I need to teach. This is the reason I came to learn.

Chef/Businessman, Male, 40 Years Old


One Eastern wise man said, “As soon as thirst arises, existence
prepares a spring to quench it.” My thirst brought me to Master Mingtang Xu.
He was not the first master I met. His enthusiastic students
introduced me to Qigong teachings. I was shocked when one day, during my
practice of Big Tree at home, Master appeared before me. My delight was
endless when I recognized him right away in Kiev!
Before Qigong, there was a long search. I read a lot, tried
different methodologies, and dreamed of a real Master. I am very thankful to
the Lord that he sent me such a teacher. I think that this system has been
perfectly tuned over the course of thousands of years. Many great sages have
worked on it. It is hard to add anything to the system. I would love to
communicate with Master directly; I have so many questions.
I think that the higher-level seminars should be organized in
secluded open-air areas (for example, in health resorts or vacation houses),
where learning can continue without interruption from domestic cares or
frustrations and with a deep immersion in Qigong. I have many plans and
projects for the future in my head. However, it seems like the main thing for
me, right now, is to open up and realize myself; to reach the level that will let
me work with people.
I am grateful to fate and our Master for this priceless opportunity
to receive valuable pearls of knowledge and to touch the system that was
developed, using the heart, by Chinese masters!

Financial Analyst, Male, 30 Years Old


Thank you, Master! Where is the power to find knowledge, to
find love? Where is that power?

Mechanic, Male, 48 Years Old


Before the classes, I would choke as a result of not being able to
inhale deeply. As I practice, this tightness in my chest is going away. I have
become much kinder.
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Accountant, Female, 30 Years Old
I would like to share my experience of the Qigong system and
how it affects my work and me, in general. I work as a chief accountant in a
small business. It so happened that when I took this job, I had no experience.
It was very hard for me to learn and retain all the new information. As a
result, after two months, I had a burning desire to quit. At that time, I was
learning Stage I of Qigong. When the situation reached a critical stage, I
suddenly opened up. Two months later, I realized that I would not quit my
work; moreover, I wanted to perfect myself, to develop myself even more. I
knew that if I continued self-perfection, self-development, and helped those
around me, they would also have motivation to perfect themselves.
Before I ended up in the ZYQ class, I was conducting my own
search. I wanted to understand what was happening to me, but was afraid to
end up in an environment where my inner world would be altered, corrupted,
or subjected to pressure.
I turned to God, to religion. Even now, while practicing Qigong,
I trust in God. However, my religion is very different from the rules set in a
church and various kinds of meetings. I tried, as far as possible, to master the
Bible. In my opinion, the Bible is a code of morality for any normal and
decent person. However, the book did not give me the knowledge I was
expecting. People must know and follow Biblical canons, of course, but they
are not enough for development and self-perfection. Addressing a pastor of
the Pentecostal Church and other priests, all I heard was, “Have faith—and
render what is necessary. Oppose the existing order and you will be
immediately anathematized.” But that was not enough!
Practicing Qigong, I understood what I had to do to become
better, to learn how to control my energy in order to develop my mind, body,
and soul, bringing it to God in the process.
There is no dependency here, but the right to choose. This is is
the reason why Qigong is science. Qigong gives knowledge and a choice—
between progress and reason on the one hand, and evil and an abyss on the
other.
We come into this world naked and depart naked. What do we
leave behind us? A human being lives forever if memories about him, or his
works, continue to live. After death, the body is consigned to oblivion. This,
however, is not true with the soul, for then the life that is given to us is a
meaningless burning of energy and the end of progress.
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ZYQ helps us perfect the soul, to raise it up, step by step, higher
and higher and finally, to give it to the Cosmos, the powerful engine of
Universal Reason. To give it up for life and goodness—isn’t this happiness?

Chemist, Female, 48 Years Old


Before I was introduced to the ZYQ, I practiced meditation and
completed courses in Reiki.
As a result of seminar training, I have regained my appetite and
my mood has improved; some old health problems have been resolved. My
state, in general, has become better. I have reached optimum balance. The
sensitivity in my hands has increased, and I have detected some minor
problems and found development paths. I wanted to go through Stage I again.
The opportunity knocked on my door six months later. I was in a different
state during all the exercises. I could understand the meaning of many things
and see new aspects of existence. My body became more mobile and I
achieved emotional balance. In addition, my health problems disappeared.
Now, my entire life revolves around ZYQ. Thousands of thanks
to Master!

Medical Student, Female, 17 Years Old


I have no major problems. I could easily relax during Big Tree
and I found that all the exercises were very easy for me. I felt the connection
with Master. Diagnostics went well too—clear sensations of warmth, cold,
and tingling. I could feel waves of kindness coming from Teacher. I always
wanted to follow his instructions.
During the classes and after them, I had feelings of satisfaction
and bliss. My soul would separate from my body, and my movements were
uncontrolled and natural. I wanted to close my eyes and submerge myself in
the world without any thoughts, feelings, or motion. I felt energy moving and
gathering throughout my body.
In conflict situations, I do not experience the usual frustrations; I
have become more balanced psychologically. I have transformed from
participant to an observer. Later, I realized that I did not want to leave this
state; I wanted to hold on to it and not let petty things get me down.

Engineer, Male, 69 Years Old


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I attended the Sri Chin Moy Center. Before the classes, my
health was OK, considering the cervical and lumbar osteochondrosis that I
was dealing with.
After training, my pain eased and my mood and sleep improved.
I was satisfied with the knowledge I had received, especially with the
philosophy of Qigong—to be calm, balanced, and free of extraneous
thoughts; to live in the present.
The final class trained us to develop an awareness of Truth about
ourselves, life, and human relations. Thank you very much, Professor Xu
Mingtang, for your noble and ascetic work aimed at promoting good health
among the people!
Your work is priceless! You have done it masterfully and at the
highest level possible. I thank you for health, for life.
(Continues to attend classes in ZYQ; successfully doing Stages II
and III.)

Software Engineer/Translator, Male, 37 Years Old


Before exposure to the ZYQ System, I had practiced Tai Chi
(Chen style) for three to four hours daily.
Lessons given by respected Master Mingtang Xu helped me
immensely (similar to a powerful speed-increase unit). Now, I definitely feel
more Qi during Tai Chi practice. My movements are more effective, and my
understanding of many details has increased. In every exercise, I feel Qi
movement very well. When I practice Tai Chi, my arms are very strong.
During attacks, my Qi feels very strong, too. My sensitivity has increased,
sleep has become deeper, and my mood is just great.
Thank you very much, Master! I hope to continue Qigong
practice under Master’s guidance.
(Later, he completed all the remaining stages, as well as the
instructor’s courses. Now, he is a ZYQ instructor.)

Biologist (and Yoga Practitioner), Female, 34 Years Old


I want to go horseback riding, but my horse won’t let me.
Rain clouds, overcast sky, but it’s not raining.
I wake up and, in the window, I see children playing with
snowballs in the yard, as we did many years ago.

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Next seminar:
Everything is lost; I have nothing left.
He looks at me and waits. I worry if any of my actions will be
wrong.
Why are you crying, child? What is the reason for your
suffering?
You think that the world doesn’t understand you. But maybe,
you don’t understand the world!
White light over any suffering.
I do not feel joy; I am joy, myself.
Sometimes, I feel something, but there is no end. Kite on a
string.
(Later, she passed Stages II–IV. Now, she is a Qigong
instructor.)

Gymnastics Coach/Choreographer, Female, 45 Years Old


Good health before the classes.
Day 1: Everything hurts, especially my eyes.
Day 2: It was good and fun.
Day 3: Also good.
Day 4: Something is changing inside me. I have the hands of a
dinosaur. I don’t know what that means.
Day 5: I understood how little I know. I understood how good it
is to simply be!

Marine Mechanic, Male, 30 Years Old


I had attended courses of higher magic, cosmic consciousness,
meditation, Osho, and Reiki.
Day 1: I was blown away by Master’s power and his method of
teaching. It is at a very high level. I looked at the world from a new point of
view.
Day 2: I was a little annoyed by an unpleasant sensation under
the shoulder blades (during the static exercises).
Day 3: The unpleasant sensation increased, as did aggravation. I
learned many interesting things.
Day 4: Again, aggravated during the class. During the evening at

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home, I had a catharsis.
Day 5: Complete tranquility.

Instrument Mechanic, Male, 22 Years Old


I have stopped smoking since the second class. I got a feeling of
lightness.

Financial Analyst, Male, 62 Years Old


My diagnosis is rheumatic arthritis. Each finger and toe is
enlarged, and my joints are deformed. Due to practice, four joints have
strengthened, and others are on the way to becoming straight.
Thank you so much!

Metal-Treatment Technologist, Female, 50 Years Old


I love the music that accompanies the classes. On day three, I
sensed a ball, my sleep became better, and I learned to diagnose. The classes
are very impressive!
I would like to thank Master Mingtang Xu with all my heart. His
smile, calmness, and tolerance generate sympathy and trust. I wish you all the
best in life! God bless you!

Paramedic/Masseuse, Male, 19 Years Old


When I practiced, I felt a pulsation of energy in areas that were
affected by illness. Then, I experienced a sensation of levity in my body;
starting day three, I felt calm and internally quiet.
Before anything else, you gave me an opportunity to understand
and feel that state of well-being I always wanted to be in. Only after that, you
gave me the ability to give treatment. I thank you, once again, for what you
give people and wish you the same love in return! Thanks!
(Later he passed Stages II and III.)
I feel so much better, both physically and morally. I’m satisfied
with this state. I’ve become more life-loving and started to feel a connection
to my surrounding world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Teacher/Translator, Female, 36 Years Old

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I had chronic cholecystitis, dark circles under my eyes,
headaches, low blood pressure, and problems with my pancreas, gallbladder,
and liver; I had sand in my kidneys and my limbs were always cold.
Thanks to practice, my hands are warmer, I have no headaches,
and I do not get cold at all. There are no more dark circles around my eyes; I
have plenty of time to do everything and help others. Most importantly, I
have finally found time to spend with my children.
Thank you. It feels as though I now know how, having changed
my attitudes toward myself and having gotten to know myself, to alter my
own life and that of others—in health, human contact, work, and family; to
not be a slave to circumstance, but instead, to create conditions of life that are
better for me and those surrounding me.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
Accountant, Female, 50 Years Old
I have completed Stage I twice within the interval of one and a
half months. I practice daily. At first, it was hard to make myself stand in Big
Tree position after the seminar. However, after five days, time would fly, and
I increased practice to sixty minutes. During the evenings, I practice Refining
Qi and Small Microcosmic Orbit.
I have experienced the following changes:
1. Dramatically improved memory—I notice that I remember information
and phone numbers with no difficulty at all.
2. Hair color is returning.
3. My sight has improved. I had age-related farsightedness, +1.5 diopters;
now it is +0.5.
4. My hearing has improved.
5. Climacteric symptoms have disappeared, and the elasticity of my body
has returned; my facial skin is much lighter.
6. I feel full of energy; I can easily treat headaches and my own bad blood
pressure as well as that of my friends.

A Four-Person Family: Doctor, Professor, and Two Children


The wife, thirty-nine years old, is a medical doctor at the
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Ministry of Health.
The husband, also thirty-nine, is a senior professor at the Institute
for Scientific Research.
Their sons are nine and twelve years old.
Together, they completed Stage I. All phenomena and effects
were normal.
One month after completion of Stage I:
Practice, three-to-four times weekly, freed the husband of pain in
his gastrointestinal tract. This gave him the opportunity to quit his restrictive
diet (in the past, he had suffered a duodenal ulcer and minor dysfunction of
the pancreas). At the very beginning of Stage I classes, he was easily able to
stop his periodical bouts of vegetative-vascular dystonia. He increased his
efficiency and prolonged his real effective work time to twelve to sixteen
hours a day, seven days a week, instead of his usual ten to twelve hours, five
to six days a week.
The wife hasn’t noticed any changes, except for sporadic mood
improvement. She is better at work. She practices Qigong once a week.
The oldest son has improved his outlook on people; he is better
behaved at school, and doesn’t fight with classmates. He has become more
open to connections and is much healthier. If he does get sick, the recovery is
much easier and the illness disappears faster.
Five months after completion of Stage I:
The psychological climate in the family has improved. The
husband has reached financial stability by finding additional sources of
income. His regular headaches and bouts of vegetative-vascular dystonia
have disappeared completely (he practices two or three times a week). His
spring allergy, however, remains active.
The wife, practicing one or two times a month, appears to have
better sleep. For twenty-five years, she had received ineffective treatment for
insomnia, on many occasions and through various physicalpharmacologic
methods.
Their sons have been able to improve their school results in
general by 30 percent, and they do not get sick as often as they did before.
The boys practice one or two times a month.
Various other transformations have taken place among the
members of this family. For example, by noticing a strange person, the
husband avoided a daylight mugging and recovered his wallet.
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The incident took place on payday, when he was taking a trolley
bus to collect his salary (in cash). After three or four trolley stops, he sensed
an “emptiness” in his rib cage, a “discomfort.” The reason, he realized, was
that someone had stolen his wallet. In the one or two minutes that were left
before his stop, he entered the state of Silence, and understood who had taken
his wallet and where that person was. He then went and retrieved his wallet
from the pickpocket’s pocket.

Dishwasher, Female, 41 Years Old


A year ago, my hands started developing moist eczema that
would go away only after four or five days of treatment and of not letting
water with detergents touch my hands. Even rubber gloves did not work due
to the perspiration, which was emanating from my hands.
On the third day of the classes, my hands started healing and, by
the end of the fourth day, new skin started to grow. Even after doing the
laundry with detergent, its appearance did not worsen.
(She has completed Stage I twice.)
For more than a month and a half, I am feeling great! There is no
eczema, even though I still work with hot water and detergents and often with
no gloves. I want to continue training. I believe Qigong exercises can keep
me healthy.

Homemaker, Female, 50 Years Old


Before Qigong, tests in the hospital diagnosed in me the
following diseases:
1. Chronic pyelonephritis, urolithiasis, and nephroptosis
2. Erosive gastritis
3. Post-surgical plexitis of the left arm after radical mastectomy
Since 1992, I had frequent bouts of nephrocolic, constant pain in
my lumbar area, dizziness, and insomnia. Often, my arms and legs would
grow numb. My left arm was almost insensitive and nearly motionless. I
appealed to many clinics on numerous occasions, but nothing worked.
In December 1992, following the recommendation of Professor
Mingtang Xu, I started practicing the ZYQ System regularly.
In the beginning, the exercises caused me horrible pain due to
my left arm. Within a month and a half, I felt that the arm had regained its
sensitivity. One month later, I could button my shirts with no help at all and
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with no pain in my left arm.
With time, the pain in the lumbar area disappeared, and my
kidneys hurt far less than before. Since the summer of 1993, large amounts of
sand have been coming out. At the end of the summer of 1993, clinical tests
showed normal results. I do not have stomachaches or dizziness, and my
sleep has improved dramatically. I continue training and am becoming more
and more convinced that this method is having a great effect on my body.
Obeisance to the person who helps us believe in our abilities and
improve our health during these hard times.
THANK YOU, MINGTANG XU!
(She has passed more seminars ever since. Now, she is
practically healthy and very active.)

Architect, Female, 61 Years Old


Before I found out about the ZYQ System, I attended hatha yoga,
but constant tension and the feeling of sudden senescence would not leave me
for anything. My leg felt as though it was being pulled from the hip—it hurt
and the bottom of my foot “burned.” In addition, I had a toothache.
On the very first day of the seminar, during the Big Tree
exercise, my entire body was rotating like a turbine. I was somewhat tired.
At the second class, rotation of the body continued, but I felt
surprisingly satisfied from the class.
On the third day, I felt active movement along the spine.
Rotation during Big Tree decreased.
From the fourth class, my well-being began to improve and I had
general flexibility in my joints.
After the, the changes are just amazing. I have become ten years
younger; I feel light in my entire body. I sense energy very well, and my
body is wrapped in a pleasing warmth. The problem with my leg is almost
gone.
Thank you!!! I appreciate this greatly! I thank God for sending
us this teacher!

Aviator, Male, 64 Years Old


This is the first time I have attended such courses. About three
years ago, I fell from a height of three meters (ten feet) and landed on my

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coccyx. After that, I felt constant pain in my lumbar and kidney areas.
During the first class, I did not experience any sensations,
phenomena, or problems. However, my arms and legs grew very heavy while
practicing Big Tree. On the second day, I felt several sudden stabs in the
perineum during relaxation and Master’s “listening with hands.”
During the third class, I experienced a weak sensation of Earth
and Sky energy in my palms. I did not want to eat at all.
On the fourth day, I felt a hot ball in the area of the navel, my
palms became moist, and I still didn’t want to eat anything. One night at 3:00
a.m., I woke up due to a sudden pain in the pit of my stomach. I rolled from
side to side, and the pain went away. However, in the morning, I had a
headache. The pain came and went in waves; it hurt until I was able to vomit
and then went away. At 4:00 p.m., I took a fifteen-minute nap and the pain
disappeared completely. During the classes, I felt the ball very clearly. When
I sent energy, others felt it.
As a result of the fifth class, I feel light, as though I have rested
after a physical challenge. The pain has decreased so much that at times, I am
completely pain-free.

Philologist, Male, 48 Years Old


Before the classes: depression, general weakness, and diabetes
(twenty-nine years taking insulin injections).
After the classes: improvement in general state, feeling of
freshness, good mood, and sudden drop in blood sugar levels.
Wishes: to create a recreational and diagnostic center that will be
accessible to everyone.

Financial Analyst/Director of a Joint Venture, Female, 46 Years


Old
Before the classes: weakness, apathy, and insomnia.
After the classes: interest in life, good sleep and lots of energy.
I can say that my health has improved dynamically. The Qigong
system has worked positively.

Master Tailor, Male, 60 Years Old


This is the first time I have attended such courses. I suffer from
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colitis, gastritis, and meteorism.
During the Big Tree exercise, I experienced strong pain in my
ankles and on the right side of my forehead. On the second and third days, I
also felt heaviness in my hands. I felt “the ball” on the left side. On the fourth
day, the pain in my forehead went away, and the ankles did not hurt that
much. On the fifth day, I felt comfortable and light and the pain in my urinary
system disappeared.

Masseuse, Male, 26 Years Old


On the morning of the third day of the seminar, I saw a bluish-
gray fog around the objects in my apartment and in the street.
From day four, Small Microcosmic Orbit was easy for me.
On day five, I woke up due to a loud sound—energy started
going through me and then, independently, it started moving around Small
Microcosmic Orbit.
My hands healed—they used to have open wounds from
treatment.
I have completed Stage I twice.
My perceptions have become much better. Each class has given
me a deeper understanding of the exercises; I execute them in a calmer and
more natural way. Finally, I have received answers to the questions that had
been bugging me forever. Perhaps this happened due to the practice of the
exercises of the previous cycle.
In the beginning, after morning practice, about 7:00 a.m., I felt
very weak; later, it became merely a moderate weakness; and then, a light
weakness in legs. I feel very good now.
I experienced delight and exultation at the end of the fifth class.
Thanks a lot for your work and for helping all of us!

Engineer, Female, 44 Years Old


I have been practicing Hatha yoga. I suffer from a number of
health problems, including thyrophyma, breast tumor, lipoblastoma, and
rheumatism.
I am familiar with exercises for the receipt of energy, but “the
Big Tree” attracted my interest. Practicing this exercise in the first several
days clearly aroused three sensations: wind, cold in the area of trigeminal

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nerve, and a hot lump in my thyroid gland.
The classes swept me away. I want to practice more and more;
the changes in sensation made me want to perfect myself. Failure in Big Tree
practice at the fourth class was a horrible thing for me. I can’t find words to
describe it. I felt a hot ball while transporting the energy. The fifth class went
very well for me; the sensations were very clear and rich.
Dear teacher! Not only do I want to solve my problem with
tumors, but I would also like to use your experience in my practice. I would
like to understand my body, feel Qi, and use Qi. Yesterday, I tried to see your
face, but I only saw clothes. How can I develop my vision?
I want to continue my education, but I am aware of the fact that I
do not practice enough. However, I will do my best.

Engineer/Geographer, Female, 56 Years Old


In 1987, I attended classes on Chinese astrology and Qigong. I
have problems with my gallbladder, pancreas, and intestinal tract, salt
deposition in my fingers, and vision impairment.
During the first ZYQ seminar class, it was very hard for me to
stand in Big Tree. However, I felt roots, branches, and energy inside me. The
exercise of kidney normalization brought me the clear sensation of my
kidneys being washed with water, with the result that the sand went out
through my feet. That night, I had a beautiful dream: I was flying, even
through the glass. I have never experienced anything like this before.
When I repeated Big Tree, I clearly felt the flow from the top,
but the legs were stiff. Dizziness, nausea, and a heaviness in the vertex
changed with the clear sensation of the energy moving inside me. I had a
headache when I practiced Small Microcosmic Orbit, but it went away after I
patted myself. Working with the liver, I felt movement inside, and then all
discomfort in my liver and stomach areas disappeared.
It was easier for me to stand in the third class. I felt hot but still
did not feel my legs. Small Microcosmic Orbit made me experience a strong
flow of energy, with pain in problematic zones.
It was easy and pleasing to stand in the fourth class. Energy was
coming in from the top and bottom in waves, as though it was seaweed in
water. I clearly felt the sensation of a flow during the practice of Small
Microcosmic Orbit too. While executing the transformation of Qi, light
blinded my eyes, as the sun would do. Again, I felt an inner movement
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accompanied by clear sensations during diagnosis.
It was very easy to stand in Big Tree on the fifth day. The
movement of the energy was rich and diverse; all the sensations were
pleasing.
Discomfort in my liver, stomach, intestine, and heart areas
disappeared. I experienced happiness and ease, just like when I was a child.
A blue-purple color and the Master’s eyes appeared in the area of the Third
Eye.

Software Engineer, Female, 26 Years Old


The classes were very interesting. However, it was hard for me
to practice Big Tree—I had pain in my adnexa and kidneys, as well as severe
nausea. In a couple of classes, I acquired sensitivity in my arms and hands,
and it became easier to stand in Big Tree pose.
Before class, I could not spend a long time in closed places
containing many people; now I don’t have that problem.

Sales Associate, Female, 21 Years Old


I have attended classes of Sakhaja-Yoga and bioenergetics.
My health is not in a very good state: I have adnexal affection,
gastritis, a painful right kidney, vegetative-vascular dystonia, and lymph-
node hyperplasia in the inguen.
Practicing at the seminar, I felt a glowing concentrated energy
from the lower chamber send electrical flashes and specks all over my body.
My feet and fingertips were burning. At night, the energy flowed down into
the right leg. When I practice, I feel heat and tingling, one after another,
across the entire body. I feel delight, followed by depression, after which I
become calm and drowsy. When I practice Big Tree, I feel dizzy, as though I
am moving in conjunction with the planet and everything on it. I felt the same
sensation when I started seeing people’s auras.
I wake up every morning feeling endless love toward people and
nature.

Paramedic, Female, 50 Years Old


Before the seminar, I suffered from fatigue, weakness, pain in
the heart area, high blood pressure, bad mood, and hypertonic crisis.
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During Big Tree, I felt energy in my fingers that reminded me of
Indian dance. At first, during Small Microcosmic Orbit practice with
breathing, all I could feel was increased warmth. After the energy cleansing
of my kidneys and liver, sand started coming out. I experienced clear
sensations appeared during diagnostics. After the fourth day seminar, at night
I felt something similar to a waterfall, a one-at-a-time pain in my right foot,
left shoulder blade, right shoulder blade, leg, hip as if something was trying
to get out and get in; then, all feelings disappeared.
I became more work-efficient, my mood improved, and I felt
refreshed. During the five days of the seminar, I did not use any medication.
I have completed Stage I twice.
When I practiced Big Tree, I felt the motion of energy more
intensely. My arms moved by themselves; earlier, I could feel only fingers. I
feel the path of the energy better, in Small Microcosmic Orbit as well; I also
experience tingling in my tongue. However, my sensitivity in diagnostics
decreased, although I detected all the problems correctly. Over the course of
four days, bursts of energy changed into irritability and high blood pressure.
Instead of taking medication, I practiced exercises to decrease
my blood pressure. After an hour, the pressure would stabilize, and I would
once again have a good disposition.
By the fifth class, activity decreased. As a result, all unpleasant
and painful sensations were easy to treat by putting my hands onto the
disturbed areas.
Constant practice during the three months improved my state. I
can live without medications now; however, sometimes I feel weak.
Thank you very much!

Chemist, Male, 55 Years Old


I came to the seminar with the following problems: deafness,
weak vision, prostatitis, and joint pain.
During the process of the seminar, my general state improved
and my joint pain eased.

Biologist, Female, 36 Years Old


Before such seminars, I had problems with my heart and kidneys,
along with lumbosacral radiculitis, rritation, and a feeling of weakness.

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After class, I have a feeling of lightness, freshness, and a clear
mind—all unusual for me.
I hope we have meetings in the future, where Master will
introduce us to the philosophical points of view concerning the meaning of
our existence. That would bring us closer to God, and then we would pursue
the maintenance and improvement of our health with a renewed purpose.

Engineer/Confectioner, Female, 37 Years Old


My physical state prior to the classes was bad: kidney pain,
trouble with my child, and bad moods.
From the very first day, I practiced all exercises very easily. I
feel, clearly, the intake of energy when I practice Big Tree. My thorough
familiarity and comfort enable me to know all the exercises ahead.
By the third class, I could hardly open my eyes; I was weak and
afraid to fall. When I was walking home, I regained my freshness.
By the fourth class, I did everything right and felt good. I needed
the energy very much, and I learned how to search for it and accept it.
Thanks!!!
By the fifth class, I saw my own organs. Thank you!!! Now I can
feel the motion of the energy through my legs and arms, and I feel much
better.

Engineer, Female, 49 Years Old


My problems include neuralgia of the acoustical nerve, removed
ovary (due to a cyst), removed tonsils, illness of the mucic, and extreme
dizziness.
The classes have helped me increase my general tonus; my mood
has increased dramatically, and the buzzing in one ear has decreased. I have
started feeling fields of the Earth, the Cosmos, and different organs.
Dear Teacher! I practiced hatha yoga a little bit, but over the
course of two years of practice, I did not feel the same changes as during five
days of Qigong classes. I appreciate your work very much.
I have changed my outlook of the world. Thank you very much!

Secretarial Clerk, Disabled (Stage II), Female, 47 Years Old


Before the classes, the state of my health was bad.
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On the very first day, I felt pain in my head, liver, stomach,
intestinal tract and cervicothoracic spine. I became easily fatigued and
experienced feelings of drowsiness.
During the second day of practice, my general state improved. I
no longer felt fatigue and, perhaps because of increased sensitivity, I
experience pleasant warmth throughout my body. With each day, I improved
and the pains I previously felt had become gradually milder. Still, I noticed
that I felt worse at home than I did during the seminar.
On the fifth day of the seminar, the pain, although considerably
milder now, persisted in my liver, intestinal tract, cervicothoracicus spine,
and head. I began to experience similar sensations at each practice. Following
the Big Tree exercise, I would feel decisively better and would be overcome
with lightness and warmth throughout my body. The sensations have become
very clear. However, these feelings would not transfer to my at-home life
constantly.
I know that if I keep working hard, I will solve all my problems.
I want to continue practicing.
(She repeated Stage I after six months.)
During the first class, I experienced heavy drowsiness,
characterized by yawning and irritability. On the second day of practice, I felt
a piercing pain in the right part of my body, as well as bloating and
drowsiness.
The third day took away the pain and made me feel fresh and
brisk. On the fourth day, again, I felt sleepy; I yawned and felt heartache and
back pain.
The fifth class dissolved the pain and irritability. I always feel
connected to Teacher Xu Mingtang. This is my salvation, especially in hard
times. He always supports me and gives me little pushes to keep me going.
I would like to express my gratitude to Mingtang Xu; he keeps
me in the light. I am happy, although I still have problems, which, however, I
am able to solve easily. I have become a different person. I have changed.
(In two weeks, she started Stage II.)
Because of practice, my general state has improved—the pain
has disappeared and vivacity, calmness, balance, and confidence have
returned. I want to live and create.
(In seven months, she started Stage III.)
After the seminar, I felt great and in good mood. I became
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calmer and more confident. I am full of energy. I want to practice more, and I
feel like I need it.

Engineer/Psychologist, Female, 50 Years Old


I used to teach health groups. I also taught various methods of
psycho training. Before I started practicing ZYQ, I experienced the
aggravation of my existing conditions of bronchitis, pharyngitis, and
bronchial asthma. My medications had not worked for several months.
I have completed Stages I and II, one after the other.
My pain, depression, and drowsiness have disappeared. I have
experienced feelings of universal Love, and my sleeping hours have
decreased to five hours, all in the course of normal life. I am practically
healthy, have had a dramatic increase in tonus on all levels, and work in a far
more efficient manner than before.
When I practice Big Tree exercise, I experience this state of
absolute peace and quiet. Everything stops—it is impossible to describe.
After Big Tree, inner discomfort and tension disappear; I feel so peaceful. I
see myself as an ocean; everything that happens is on the top layer, on the
surface, while in the depths, it is peaceful and quiet. I look at many things
now and consider them games; inside me are peace and stability. In general, I
experience this state every day during class. Many things appear to be
unwanted and needless. Unfortunately, I cannot bring this state into the
normal course of my existence. However, I feel as though I have a lot to look
forward to!
Thank you for the science, for the practice, for bringing me back
to my origin, and for opening my mind to a variety of perceptions of the
world!

Building Engineer, Male, 77 Years Old


Health problems: hypertony, polyarthritis, and sclerosis.
During the early classes, I felt very sleepy. Then, I experienced a
pleasing feeling of appeasement and good sleep, while my mood and overall
state improved.

Engineer, Male, 28 Years Old


Before classes, I frequently felt weakness, apathy, easy fatigue,
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and irritation.
After the seminar, I was able to clearly feel energy; I sleep well
now and am always in a good mood. I feel fresh and full of energy. I have a
clear mind and am efficient at work.

Doctor (MD), Female, 70 Years Old


I have attended courses in bioenergetics and medical astrology.
However, I have many health problems, including allergy (antitoxin rash),
vasomotor rhinitis, bronchial asthma with choking spells, and deep vein
phlebitis in my lower legs.
After classes, the frequency of choking spells has reduced, I have
no cough at all, and the pain alongside the veins in my lower legs has
disappeared.

Financial Analyst, Disabled (Stage I), Male, 65 Years Old


I have attended courses in transcendental meditation. Before the
ZYQ classes, I experienced loss of strength, depression, sudden loss of
vision, aggravation of chronic diseases of the digestive tract, and pain in my
liver.
After classes, my general state and mood improved, my
sensitivity increased, and energy could flow easily throughout my body. My
liver does not bother me anymore.

Engineer, Male, 33 Years Old


Twice, I completed Stage I. I have quit smoking and have more
confidence than ever before; however, I still need Master’s support. Thank
you, Master Xu Mingtang, for this blessing.

Computer Operator, Female, 40 Years Old


Health state: ventricle of heart impassability, myocardial
disorder, pain in head and spine areas, lymph-node hyperplasia, face
asymmetry due to the pinch of occipitofacial and seventh cranial nerves, and
gynecology problems.
After the classes: I learned to kill pain in the heart using the
Small Microcosmic Orbit exercise. My headaches are gone and my lymph
nodes have returned to normal; my face is symmetric, all pain is gone, and
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my efficiency at work has been restored. I have the impression that I can
move mountains. My health has now returned to normal.

Foreign Languages Teacher, Male, 60 Years Old


Before the classes, I suffered from rheumatism, mitral
insufficiency, stenocardia, vessel constriction, salt deposition (feet bonelets),
allergy, hernia, illness in the right kidney, bad vestibular apparatus, and loss
of hair.
During practice, all organs ached, especially my heart, hernia,
and arms. I felt a tick in my legs, along with tears and blocked ears on
numerous occasions. Overall, I always felt very hot—the heat appeared to be
in the stomach area, and my body was covered with goose bumps.
Then, my legs stop aching (something that was a frequent
occurrence, every evening and night) and I stopped losing hair.
Dear professor, Master! I would like to receive the whole course
of knowledge to develop my abilities to help people who are dear and close
to me, and all people in general, even if it would only be for the rest of my
life. I hope this is possible.
I would like to know as much as possible (I am afraid to say
“everything”—perhaps only God can know that much).
Do not forget about me. Please let me know whenever you teach
classes.
[After that, he repeated many classes, and all his pains
disappeared completely.]

Financial Analyst/Accountant, Female, 53 Years Old


I have attended different schools of bioenergetics and the school
of “Fire Flower.” At the time I discovered Qigong, I had problems with my
kidneys, lungs, and liver, as well as a tumor in my reproductive system.
During the classes, I was constantly in a trance but still executed
all exercises. At home, I fell asleep very fast and slept well. I did not have
that sensation of lightness as others did—I had headaches instead, but overall,
my state improved. I sensed my entire body cleansing itself. With that, I also
found another problem—someone put a spell on me. During the night class, I
was screaming and crying in different voices. First, I said the name of the
person who put a spell on me and then I cried, “I feel bad,” after which I

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sniveled, “I am going away…” Morning practice went the same way—I was
crying, “I feel bad.” Perhaps not all my problems disappeared, but my
stomach did not move anymore. I only felt a little pain in it.
Mingtang Xu, thank you very much!
(I repeated Stage I.)
I started feeling everything during exercises, immediately after
starting. The second day brought me pain in almost every organ, and my ears
were burning. On the third day, I experienced a weird feeling of anxiety. On
the fourth day, this feeling stayed with me, but all exercises worked just fine.
On the last day, I had a major general boost.
The aggravation of bronchitis that had originally surfaced has
gone. It is much easier to breathe through my nose, and my tumor has shrunk
and become softer. During the entire week, I felt as though I was dreaming. It
was a major cleansing process. It is hard to describe anything with words!
Perhaps for the first time in the last two years, I exercised with pleasure.
(Then I completed Stage II.)
My lungs, kidneys, and liver cleaned up a little bit; even my
voice became more vibrant. My attitude toward life has changed
dramatically. I take many things that used to displease me with a smile now.
[She continued practice, and all her problems disappeared.]

Physics Teacher, Female, 34 Years Old


I have attended different courses of bioenergetics, along with
Osho, in the school of spiritual development. By the time I got into Qigong, I
had induration in my breast, as well as stomachache.
During practice, the induration resolved and the pains went
away. It took my gastrointestinal tract three days to cleanse. I felt and saw
flows of energy.

Surveyor, Disabled, Male, 45 Years Old


I have dysemia, cystic disease, left lymph-gland cancer, and a
series of other medical problems.
I do the exercises well, but I still experience painful and
discomforting sensations during practice. I have learned well diagnostics and
pain killing..
I was able to improve my overall state a little bit. I would like to

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train with a view to perfecting my intellect and improving my health, after I
repeat Stages I and II.
I have the sensation of a complete lightness, a major
improvement in my overall state, strong feelings of energy movement
throughout my body, and the awareness of changes taking place in my body.
The changes that are taking place are awesome!

Sauna Attendant, Male, 56 Years Old


Before the start of classes, I would experience unstable kinetic
segments C2-5, partial functionality of segments C1-2, and frank cervical
osteochondrosis.
During the first class, I felt heaviness in my hands, and pain in
the occipital part of the head and in my cervical spine. Then, serenity and
tranquility spread across my body.
Starting with the third class, Big Tree has cured pains in my arm
joints. After I mastered Small Microcosmic Orbit, the head spasms went
away and the catarrh stopped. The instability of kinetic segments
disappeared, and I can freely move my neck. I feel light, like a bird in flight.

Chemical Engineer, Female, 57 Years Old


Before the classes, I suffered from palpitations.
After the first classes, tachycardia and heartache went away.
During the practice of all exercises, I clearly feel the motion of
energy inside my body. I can perform diagnosis by phone and by eidolon.
Eidolon diagnosis is correct six times out of ten. I feel activity in the Third
Eye area.
I have been swept off my feet by the magic of Qigong as well as
your personal charm, dear Master! I would love to continue learning this
system, it is truly amazing! I thank God for having you bring this system
here!

Librarian, Female, 58 Years Old


Two years ago, I completed Stage I. Recently, I repeated it.
Main result: I got rid of a thirty-five-year-old metrofibroma by
simply practicing your system.

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Software Engineer, PhD, Female, 67 Years Old
My problems: bad sleep, cholecystitis.
When I am doing Big Tree, a wave is moving in my legs and
along my spine, and I experience muscle twitching. On the third day, it
became easier for me to exercise; on the fourth, more enjoyable. I cannot
perform diagnosis.
Prior to attending this seminar, I independently practiced
autogenic training (AT) in a lying-down position. Eventually, instead of the
expected relaxation, tension built up. It caused convulsive movements of my
arms, legs, muscles along the spine, and pelvic area. It is for this reason that I
had to quit AT practice. However, twitching still occurred, unprompted,
during every state of rest.
Only after the very first class of Qigong did I feel such a big
relief—I relaxed, and learned to transform collected energy. I feel upbeat, and
my sleep has improved; I have a new goal in my life now.

Student, Male, 14 Years Old


When I was practicing Big Tree for the first time, my arms were
very tired and my lungs hurt a lot.
The second practice of the exercise brought me no pain in the
lungs, but a horrible headache and kidney pain. My arms were less tired.
During the third practice, there was no headache, and my kidneys
did not hurt. My arms were less tired.
By the fourth practice, I had visions, and my arms were not tired
at all.
The fifth class took away all my pain, and my sensitivity
increased dramatically. In addition, my ability to perform diagnosis
improved.
I acquired the ability to perceive pain of others. I am also able to
protect myself.

Professor, Female, 57 Years Old


From 1977–1980, I practiced yoga. However, the state of my
health prior to Qigong practice was moderate.
I practiced much better during the seminar. I did not have any
unpleasant sensations. By day three, I felt much better in general.

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I think that my connection to Christianity and religion, body
cleansing for three weeks prior, and the presence of the benevolent Moon
phase during the seminar all contributed to my success.

Radio Physicist/Athlete, Female, 48 Years Old


Prior to practice, I experienced common endocrine disorders.
During the first class, I felt a sharp pain in the lower and cervical
spine, and my arms went numb. Big Tree practice was accompanied by the
movements of my body with strong fluctuations.
During the second day, the pain increased, but channels in my
hands opened up. Later, a green ball appeared.
The third day calmed the pain; the ball looked like monad: one-
half of it, yellowish-green, and the other half, blue.
During night practice, when I was in a relaxed state, I saw light
alongside the teacher, and I was talking to him. After that, the pain in my
spine became weaker, and the amplitude and frequency of the swings
decreased.
On the morning of the fifth day, I hardly had any swings at all
while practicing Big Tree. However, I did feel pain in my cervical spine. The
ball contained all the colors of the rainbow, with green and blue dominating.
Perhaps my spine damage is purely mechanical, because having
been previously engaged in sports, I had sustained some injuries. During my
school years, I was an active cyclist. Many times, I fell off the bicycle during
training and competitions. Once, I flew over the handlebar, flipped over my
head, and landed on my back. I got up and walked with the support of others.
Despite the fall, a week later, I was back on the bicycle. I did not pay any
special attention to the spine.
Before the Chernobyl accident, I was on file at the
endocrinological dispensary. Due to factors beyond my control, I had
imbibed a large dose of radioactive iodine. My pancreas almost failed. After
taking classes on biological energy at the Bioenergetics School with Pavel
Srarikh and understanding some of my actions, I felt much better.
Last year was very hard for me: I left the field of science and
have a new job as an accountant with a heavy workload. In addition, my
beloved father died. As a result, my health suffered dramatically.
Now, after the courses, I am getting back to life.
Thank you, everyone, and special thanks to the teacher.
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Production Supervisor, Male, 69 Years Old
My problems are valvular heart disease, chronic diseases of the
lungs, liver, and kidneys, and osteochondrosis.
During the very first days, practice of the exercises caused sharp
pains in chronicallyaffected areas. In the next two days, the intensity of the
pain decreased dramatically.
On the fifth day, the pains stopped, and I feel very well.
Thanks for everything!

Disabled (Stage I—ICP) Since Childhood, Male, 35 Years Old


During the very first practice, I felt as though I was flying. The
second class took small problems away.
The third class brought me a strong boost of energy.
At the fourth class, I was flying again. During the fifth class, I
was in pure delight.
(Later, he repeated Stage I.)
While practicing Big Tree, I experience a sensation of extreme
heat, as sweat streams down my back. My speech has improved and
spasticity decreased. Thanks!

Retired, Male, 62 Years Old


Before classes, I had glaucoma and bronchocele.
After practice, the bronchocele disappeared and the glaucoma
decreased.

Instrument Mechanic, Male, 22 Years Old


Problems of chronic gastritis, frequent sties.
My health improved. I quit smoking in the second day of practice
and now have a constant feeling of lightness.

Engineer, Male, 26 Years Old


I think that a person comes to any school due to a sense of inner
dissatisfaction with his life. It does not matter what aspect we are talking
about. In practice, we hope to improve our life and increase its quality. We
would like to receive more satisfaction, more happiness from life.
In my personal case, everything was more prosaic. Since I was in
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the ninth grade, I was intrigued by the concept of energy. Those years
brought us a boom of karate and martial arts. Gradually, I built a chain that
led me from one school to another. Then, I discovered Tai Chi. During the
very first class, I felt the motion of the energy ball. I understood that there are
things we do not know yet; things that human beings generally do not know
about themselves. I realized that humans are connected to energy, to
something that moves them. I found this system many years ago, constantly
crying out for a teacher during practice, “Teacher, where are you?” I recalled
a phrase, “The teacher is always ready if the student is.”
Later, after mastering each stage several times, I decided to
become an instructor, because I needed an explanation of how I cured myself
through practice. After stress connected to my parents’ health and my long
hours at work, I developed heartache. I had to go to a doctor. Clinical tests
diagnosed vegetative-vascular dystonia and preinfarction angina. The doctor
recommended a hospital stay for two to three weeks, vacation, and an easier
job with no overload, no heavy lifting, and a strict schedule. The doctor also
recommended a regular intake of medications. I was to repeat the
examination in a year.
At first, I got upset. Then, I started thinking. I understood that I
needed to calm down and relax, and meditate with the question, “How do I
cure this disease?” I knew many systems other than ZYQ. Wouldn’t I find
another way apart from taking medications? That night, I fell asleep while
meditating. I woke up with the idea that I needed to practice a lot of Big Tree.
I started immediately and initially practiced for two hours.
Gradually, I increased the duration of practice. I was practicing Big Tree for
seven days, without taking any medications during that period. On day seven,
during practice, I felt a weird sensation in the heart area as though two corks
had flown out of the bottle. I could have sworn that I heard the real noise. I
felt as though the power had returned to my body. I even jumped up one
meter to confirm this.
The next day, I went to the clinic and asked to go on an
exercycle. The doctor looked at me pie-eyed and said, “You are not ready
yet; you have just started taking medications.” However, I did my best to
persuade him.
The doctor brought me to the exercycle. The load was gradually
increased, and everything was normal. The doctor was confused. He said,
“Perhaps the medications had a very strong affect on you.” When I told him
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that I had not taken any, he was even more surprised. He sent me to a
dedicated cardiological clinic for examination. There, personnel looked at my
extraction, diagnosis, and ECG, and put me onto the exercycle. While
working on it, I performed a load of work that would qualify me as a master
candidate of bicycling. All readings indicated that I was functioning
normally. The doctor said, “Don’t kid around; you just had a nervous
breakdown, that’s it. Go home, have some calming teas, and don’t worry.”
After that, I have a very complicated opinion about medicine. I have
understood that I need to take care of my own self, but to do it the right way.
Since then, I have been practicing Qigong very seriously.
(Today, he is an instructor, as well as a participant in several
intense training courses in Shaolin.)

DEVELOPMENT OF VARIOUS PHENOMENA


Electric Engineer/Software Engineer, Male, 38 Years Old
My health is good and I have not attended any other courses.
I like the classes, but it was initially hard for me to stand in Big
Tree: I had heavy hands and pains in the shoulder girdle, followed by pain in
different parts of my body. I felt “the ball” very well. By the end of the
seminar, I stood in Big Tree easily and was able to perform all the other
exercises successfully as well.
(Completed both Stages I and II.)
My sensitivity has increased. I have seen dark spots on the
bodies of other people and felt their pain while communicating. In other
words, my level of empathy for their pain has risen. However, I have always
believed myself to be a healthy person.
(Repeated Stage I one more time.)
On the first day, I felt so good that I did not want to finish Big
Tree. On the second day, after Small Microcosmic Orbit, I had pain in my left
side (the result of an injury that happened to me eight years ago). Then the
pain went away.
At the end of the third class, I had cramps—the result of a
disease from ten years ago—followed by a long period of feeling cold; the
entire body was itchy, and my heart rate was forty beats per minute. My

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attitude toward these symptoms was one of tolerance.
After the fourth and fifth classes, I felt this amazing overflow of
energy, characterized by a light feeling throughout the body. In the evening,
vibrations from the lower chamber started moving through the entire body,
and my spine started hurting. By morning, everything was gone.
I healed people who were close to me, helped them get rid of
pain, and saw how the space around them was clearing. After classes, I feel
very well. I no longer have pain and am able to see colors on the bodies of
other people with my eyes closed. When I heal people, I feel their pain in me.
I want to help people understand the souls of others and to love
everyone. I would like to continue training, to learn how to control my body,
my spirit, and my feelings.
Thank you very much for your amazing science and for your
priceless gift!

Financial Analyst, Male, 55 Years Old


I am a first timer. The state of my health is, overall, OK.
At the beginning of the first class, I had a boost of energy. After
Big Tree, I was very sleepy. Since class number two, I clearly feel energy
rising along the spine during Big Tree, as well as the movement of the energy
during all exercises. However, after completing these exercises, I want to
sleep.
It is very interesting. Thank you very much. I look forward to
another class of Stage I, so that I can master the material completely.

Doctor (MD), Male, 54 Years Old


In 1991–1994, I attended a bioenergetics course. Nevertheless, I
still have pains in my left kidney area and thoracic spine.
After attending my first class, there was an improvement in my
overall condition.
During the second practice of Big Tree, I felt myself to be a part
of the Cosmos—I wanted to fly. After practicing kidney cleansing, all my
usual weaknesses disappeared. I saw the teacher’s work during kidney
cleansing, and felt his influence at massage.
Teacher! Thank you for your work. Let your cosmic work be
blessed for many years!

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(Completed Stage II and repeated Stage I twice.)
I feel great. Thank you, teacher! God bless!

Software Engineer, Male, 43 Years Old


I have kidney disease and varicose veins. I was once fond of
auto-training and Integral Yoga by the Shri Aurobindo method.
After attending my first class, I felt a boost of energy and the
activation of processes. During the second class, I felt streams of yin and
yang, and my body felt light during Big Tree practice. The third class brought
me heat in the lower Dan Tian area; and during Big Tree, I had pain in my
legs, kidneys, back, and arms. I started feeling colors, and a difference in the
temperatures of yin and yang.
During class number four, I felt as though my channels were
clean. During the fifth class, I felt heat while performing Small Microcosmic
Orbit. One of the powerful effects of Big Tree was the dissolution of the body
and an awareness of fresh yin and yang.
My experience of these phenomena is unpredictable: sometimes,
I experience them, while at others times, I experience nothing.

Historian/Healer, Male, 40 Years Old


I practiced hard at Qigong and was successful in all exercises.
My overall condition has improved and my head is very clear. My kidneys
have been thoroughly cleansed, and the sensitivity of my hands has increased.
My physical strength has increased as well. Waking up in the morning, I feel
energy rising along my spine.

Psychologist, Female, 53 Years Old


I suffer from injury of the cervical spine and right shoulder joint.
I have pains in my kidney area as well.
While practicing some of the exercises, I see color pictures: a
white Chinese pagoda on a seaside, small white houses on a riverbank, and
crowds of people. There is something going on with my family, and I worry.
When I did my “homework,” I heard the teacher’s voice, as though he were
speaking in a microphone. I feel like an indolent pupil if I don’t practice.
(Repeated Stage I twice.)
During the introductory lecture, I relaxed, and all of a sudden, I
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saw my son standing near the car and waving his arms in anger. I called him;
he was very surprised, because his car really got into an accident. No one was
injured, but he had to ask for help, and he was angry because no one stopped
for him. This happened at about 4:00 p.m.; I saw it after 7:00 p.m.
During the very first practice, my feet “grew” into the ground,
going so deep that upon finishing Big Tree, I could hardly take them off the
floor. Later, all the exercises were normal; however, I could not always
extract myself from external factors. Doing my “homework,” I saw Master,
felt hot waves in my body, and heard aural signals.

Nurse, Female, 26 Years Old


On the first day, the sensations were unpleasant—profuse
perspiration and a faint state. That night, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not
get back to sleep.
The second day went better. During practice, I felt as if
something was moving from the top, to the bottom of my body. The same
was going on at night too. On two nights I had a dream that someone was
trying to murder me.
On the third day, I experienced a very good, light sensation of
peace and happiness; all exercises went well, and everything was correct
during diagnosis. The dream came back, but I killed people who wished me
death. I have not had that dream since then. When I was trying to normalize
my stomach function, at night I felt that there was a strange palm on my
stomach. It was a giant palm belonging to the Master. Then I saw a sign—a
big ring with red and green rhombs inside it.
I received a new world outlook; I now see more things in nature
and life. Qigong practice has become a part of my life.
Thank you very much for everything, dear Teacher! We wish
you to be with us in the future and to stay the same, strong and light as now!

Children’s Masseuse, Male, 30 Years Old


During the very first practice, it was hard to stand in Big Tree
pose; my left arm and shoulder hurt. The second day’s practice was easier; I
felt an unbelievable enrichment of energy. On day three, it seemed to me that
I gained inner balance; sensation increased, and my set of senses expanded.
During practice on day four, my navel area and the crown of my head burst

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into flowers. I felt the spreading of heat in my head. I felt great and light on
day five. The heaviness in my kidney area disappeared, and my body became
light and energetic. I do not get as tired as I used to.
(Completed Stage II, right after Stage I.)
New exercises work pretty well for me; the second practice made
me aware of the spread of energy, and I experienced minor dizziness.
However, overall, my condition was good. Later, I saw pale light around my
hand—the vision of auras has begun.

Nurse, Female, 58 Years Old


Prior to Qigong practice, I suffered from joint and liver pain; In
addition, I had Botkin’s disease and had heart surgery.
After practicing for the first time, I lost my appetite. However, I
did not feel hunger. I like this state very much.
After class number two, I didn’t sleep all night. I felt Small
Microcosmic Orbit and the motion of warmth up to my neck.
Third class: I never thought it was possible to feel your organs so
clearly. My left kidney works perfectly and my right kidney is warm. I like to
sense and feel the energy travel through me and flow all over my body.
Recently, I realized that I could treat headaches, heartaches, and
the lower levels of high blood pressure. I stand in Big Tree pose for an hour
and enjoy it! During this time, I do not exist. There exists a sandy hill with a
big pine on top of it, surrounded by a field of flowers. In the course of that
hour, the whole day passes by, from dawn to sundown, with birds chirping,
butterflies flying, and afternoon heat. Here and there, spots pop out, as
though someone burned them through a magnifying glass. Hot rays flow over
my body, first in one hand, then in the other, then in the lumbar area. It is
very hard to explain. Sometimes, there is pain in the front top of the skull, but
it is a very pleasing pain. Such a feeling remains for a long time. It is
impossible to tell you everything in the questionnaire. Thanks a million!
I have discovered a new world. Too bad it is so late. Thank you!
I bow to you for your gift and for the will and skill to share it with others!

Chemist at a University, Male, 55 Years Old


Since 1973, I have regularly practiced limo therapy (hunger
therapy). The maximum length is thirty-five days. In the last ten years, I

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practiced ten-to-twelve-days fasts, twice a year. For more than two years, I
practiced Taoist school methods for an hour or two daily, independently,
following the books.
The main thing that I have acquired from ZYQ practice is the
feeling of various forms of Teacher’s presence and feeling that I am able to
pass to a higher level. Therefore, I am very enthusiastic and ready to work in
that direction.
(Repeated Stage I.)
Between the seminars, I practiced regularly for about three hours
daily. The exercises are not hard for me anymore. I feel the strong sensation
of a Qi ball moving inside my body, as though it had weight that could cause
pressure. Once, during a cold, my nose was all stuffed up, but after the Qi
ball moved into the nose, it cleared.
When I was repeating Stage I, I understood that I had done many
needless things when I was practicing independently. I am doing all the
exercises more effectively now. I upped my Big Tree practice to five hours in
a row. I take delight in communication and I am eager to learn further. I
express my gratitude and admiration for the titanic efforts of the teacher, Xu
Mingtang.
(Later, he repeated many stages, many times. Today, he is an
instructor and a good healer.)

Engineer, Male, 48 Years Old


I have learned to distinguish between the energy of Earth and
Sky, I feel Qi move very well along Small Microcosmic Orbit, and my
sensitivity has increased. During diagnosis, I could feel a number of different
sensations, but not very clearly. Every day I stand in Big Tree it becomes
easier. My goals are as follows: (a) to develop all inner and outer
components, (b) to obtain inner harmonization, (c) to have harmony with the
environment, (d) to sense the creation of the “immortal embryo” and the
departure of the soul, (e) to experience the expansion of the mind to the size
of the Global Consciousness, and (f) to obtain unity.
(Later, this person repeated Stages I and II, studied Stages III and
IV, and attended Instructors’ courses. He now teaches ZYQ.)

Philosophy Student, Female, 20 Years Old

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I practiced techniques of “Free breathing,” “Vanveishi,” etc. I
did not have any specific illnesses, but I suffered from general weakness and
fatigue.
Because of the classes, my overall condition has improved and I
wake up very easily.
On the first day of Big Tree practice, I was shaking and very
dizzy. My Laogong points were vibrating. During the second class, besides
vibration, I had light pressure in the Third Eye area and a strong feeling of
energy flow in Big Tree. On the next day, pressure in the Third Eye area
increased and my eyes hurt badly. The centers of my palms and feet burnt.
When I diagnosed others, I felt different sensations in my hands. The fourth
class brought me severe eye pain and pressure in the Third Eye area. It
seemed as though the Third Eye and hands were connected by threads. Pain
sensations during Big Tree weakened dramatically.
After the fifth class, I felt as though I was collecting energy. As
it turned out, I did receive a lot of it. Thank you!

Student, Female, 10 Years Old


During the very first class, I saw the Master’s aura. My palms
burn if I stand in Big Tree for a long period of time.
Second class: I saw animals. During the third class, when I
practiced Small Microcosmic Orbit, I saw a red ball that moved from my
tailbone up to the crown, alongside the spine, up and down. During the fourth
class, I saw a tree. In the fifth class, I