What is Qigong?
The Chinese word Qigong means "the study of energy through time and effort".
Qi refers to the interconnected force underlying the processes of life.
Gong means time and effort.
Qigong is an ancient practice that was developed thousands of years ago in China, undergoing myriad transformations and iterations over the succession of multiple dynasties.
The particular form of Qigong meditation I utilize was formulated by Hu Yaozhen, who passed it on to Wang Juemin, who then taught it to my teacher Michael Lomax. In turn, Master Lomax developed the Gift of the Tao movement system.
Many forms of Qigong focus on breath work tied to gentle meditative movements.
The Gift of the Tao movements I practice place the main focus on the life energy itself, with breath and posture following in tune, like ducks allowing water currents to guide them along. The benefits derived are immense, ranging from pain relief and dynamic health, to enhancing spiritual awareness and returning to the same sense of wonder we experience as a child. It can also be applied to therapeutic work, utilizing the meridians of Chinese medicine and techniques like acupressure and Tui Na bodywork.
Another question that may then arise is, what sort of energy is one referring to when they mention "life force"? Is it heat, electricity, mechanical energy, or something else entirely? In the West, our typical approach is to break things down into their respective parts, understanding the whole by analyzing the relationship of objects.
For instance, we might describe a fish lure bobbing in the water by mentioning the lure, the fishing line, and the moving water as separate objects. In terms of the word Qi, the very action of the fish lure bobbing is a reality onto itself, a resonance, a relationship that cannot be reduced just to its respective parts. That resonance holds the raw creative spark of life. To do Qigong is to enter that dance of resonance with conscious intent, becoming a creative agent in the flow of life.