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Qi, Consciousness and Qigong

Yuan Gong


Qi can be described as our life force or life energy. It is natural to think that the more life energy we have, the healthier we become. In Chinese culture knowledge of Qi including the benefits of Qigong practice and how the consciousness affects health, has been available for thousands of years.

Qi and universe

Ancient Chinese tried to understand how the universe was created and how life in the universe worked. They discovered that everything in the universe is a form of Qi - the original Yuan Qi. Human beings, animals, plants, trees, water - actually everything that exists is created out of Yuan Qi. Yuan Qi is also the "emptiness" that is in the non-physical space that surrounds us. Qi can be understood as a completely integrated form of matter, energy and information that can be in many forms. Often Qi is described as energy but it is far more than that.

The universe is in a constant process of Qi-transformation (expansion and contraction) between matter and non-matter - in both directions and on macro and micro levels. The basic laws or principles of the universe control the development of all things in the universe.

Can this transformation be scientifically proved? Einstein posed at the beginning of the 1900's, the famous equation E (Energy) = m (mass) * c2 (speed of light). Mass and energy can actually be seen as two sides of the same coin and transformation from one to the other is possible and happens continuously.

TCM - Traditionel Chinese Medicine with acupuncture and Tuina, Tai Chi and Qigong are all based on knowledge of Qi and this transformation process.

Human Qi

The human body (Chinese Jing), consciousness (Chinese Shen) and life-giving force (Chinese Qi) are all different refined forms of this original Qi.

At the moment of conception when the sperm and egg meet, the new individual’s Qi is created. To some extent we can say that the ‘laws of life’ of the new individual - that is how the person will develop - is also largely determined at this moment. In the big picture however, an individual human is also dominated by the laws of the universe and the laws of human life.

Qi-flow in the human body

Qi is needed to support all processes in the body, including physical movements and self-repairing that is constantly taking place in the body. Qi flows in the so-called channels or meridians to support these activities - through the arms, legs, head, torso and organs.

For example, to pick up an object from the floor, our consciousness sends an order and Qi moves in the channels so that the body is bent and the arm out stretched. At the same time, the consciousness is present in the movement and receives feed-back signals.

The flow of Qi in the channels can deteriorate and blockages caused by impaired Qi flow, can occur. These conditions can result in problems such as poor mobility and high blood pressure, and eventually may adversely affect the organs, leading to all sorts of chronic illnesses.

Activities of consciousness

The human life is an open system that is constantly interacting and exchanging with the external. The human consciousness collaborates with the sensory organs in order to understand and evaluate what is happening in the external world, and to enable actions. All activities of the consciousness create Qi movements in the body and in turn affect the body's processes in every moment of life. The thought of your favourite food when you feel hungry will make your mouth water. Or when you are angry, your adrenaline level will rise so your heart will pump more vigorously and your body’s metabolism will speed up. When we watch TV or go shopping our Qi will follow the focus of our consciousness and go out from the body resulting in loss of Qi.

Our thoughts are very important for our wellbeing. We are used to relating to our problems or symptoms in a negative way by getting worried or overly focusing on them with pessimistic thoughts. This negative way of using the consciousness will have negative effects on Qi and the body. There is a big difference between thinking "I am bad, I feel weak" and "It's OK now, everything feels good." They can lead to very different outcomes.

Calm, relaxed and natural - the key to retaining our Qi

A quote from the Yellow Emperor's book says: 'Be calm, be relaxed and be natural, then your pure Qi will continuously flow abundantly and health-giving'. To be in such a state improves the fucntion of our body's natural self-healing.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to maintain this state in everyday life. Many things can cause us to react in a way that is anything but calm, relaxed and natural. For example when our consciousness perceives a threatening situation, we can often react with anger, fear or stress. Such a reaction will adversely affect the Qi condition and Qi flow in our body, causing damage to our precious Qi.

Likewise, a mind full of negative thoughts can affect our Qi and hence the body in a negative way and may ultimately be harmful and cause disease.

It is in everyday life events such as when we interact with people who express opinions we do not agree with or behave in a way that we dislike, that the real benefits of our Qigong practice will show. Part of the practice is to gradually change negative thought patterns. When these patterns have changed, they won’t be able to generate negative thoughts that lead to the disruption of the calm state. Instead, our true self will be able to manifest through true thoughts. These true thoughts carry powerful information which can effect positive changes to our own wellbeing, people around us and our environment.

Yuan Gong Qigong practice creates a calm focused mind

With Yuan Gong training, we start a process in ourselves that enables us to continuously develop both physically and mentally. Practice makes us calm, relaxed and natural, and it is a very positive feeling that we learn to recognize, to get used to and enjoy.

However, we quite often lose the good feeling. We might end up in a stressful situation, the body is experiencing the negative feelings. The discovery gives us the opportunity to think: Can I change anything in my life to preserve the good feeling instead of feeling bad and lose my precious Qi? This is the beginning of so-called cultivation of consciousness which is of core importance in Ren Xue.

If you have ambitions to live your life according to your own possibilities, and develop into the person that you have predispositions to become, you will get the opportunities using Yuan Gong Qigong.


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