Qigong, along with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical massage, is one of the four traditional Chinese medicine branches. The practice of qigong dates back thousands of years and is deeply rooted in Taoist philosophy. Qigong is in fact one of many important spiritual activities that may be practiced by Taoists.
A basic understanding of Taoist teaching may help the qigong student as well:
Taoism (also sometimes spelled “Daoism”) is a translation from the Chinese characters meaning the “Way” or the “Tao” or “Dao.” Traditionally, Taoists view the world in terms of flowing qi or energy. This natural flow of qi/energy, found everywhere in the universe, is seen as the Tao, or the Way.
In broad terms, the ultimate goal of Taoism is to unite one’s self with his or her original, true nature. The Taoist seeks then to become immortal, and thus reach Taoist heaven, principally through the process of transforming and purifying one’s energy.
Lau Tzu, Spiritual Founder of Taoism
Taoism can be traced back to the teachings of Lao Tzu. Although biographical references to Lao Tzu are difficult to authenticate, according to legend he lived around the 6th century B.C. in ancient China. It is generally accepted that Lao Tzu distinguished himself, among other things, by excelling in the study of history, philosophy and literature.
Legend has it that Confucius visited with Lao Tzu and marveled at Lao Tzu’s intellect. Confucius recognized in Lao Tzu a wisdom exceeding that of even his own, and likened Lao Tzu to the mysterious dragon.
Eventually, Lao Tzu decided to leave civilization. He headed through the Hangu Pass to a destination beyond the Great Wall.
Before leaving the gate at the Great Wall, the commander at the gate asked him to write down his thoughts on the Tao for posterity. Lao Tzu complied and the resulting book came to be known as the Tao Te Ching.
Although the Tao Te Ching is only one book of thousands that comprise the Taoist Canon, Taoists have worshiped the author, Lao Tzu, as a deity since the inception of Taoism.
White Cloud Inner Arts, Inc. practices the holistic healing discipline known as Medical Qigong. As such, we respect and nurture traditional Taoist principles of compassion, moderation and humility.
"They who know me are few, and I am on that account (the more) to be prized."
--Chapter 70, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu