Any method or technique can move us from form, to formlessness. But all methods are traps. For a method to work, you must become entrapped. For the method to complete its work, it must self destruct. That includes teachers, techniques, martial arts, philosophies and religions, all of it. Otherwise one gets stuck in being a good meditator, a good devotee or student, a good Christian or Buddhist, a good Qigong practitioner or whatever it may be. The process is only complete when you've gone beyond the method itself. Even if you still do the method which most likely you do, you are not bound by it. The craft has become an art form. The way you do it is unique. Spirit is allowed its own mind.
You do have to be entrapped for it to work. You can't dabble, just taste or sample your way through. You better get sucked in.
An excellent and well written article on grief, loss, and trauma. From Upworthy October 30, 2015 author: Adversity within, Tim Lawrence
I'm listening to a man tell a story. A woman he knows was in a devastating car accident, and now she lives in a state of near-permanent pain; a paraplegic, many of her hopes stolen. I've heard it a million times before, but it never stops shocking me: He tells her that he thinks the tragedy had led to positive changes in her life. He utters the words that are nothing less than emotional, spiritual, and psychological violence: "Everything happens for a reason." He tells her that this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow. But that's the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it's categorically untrue. After all these years working with people in pain as an adviser and adversity strategist, it still amazes me that these myths persist despite the fact that they're nothing more than platitudes cloaked as sophistication. And worst of all, they keep us from doing the one thing we must do when our lives are turned upside down: grieve.
Here's the reality: As my mentor Megan Devine has so beautifully said: "Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried. "Grief is brutally painful. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. When relationships fall apart, you grieve. When opportunities are shattered, you grieve. When illnesses wreck you, you grieve. Losing a child cannot be fixed. Being diagnosed with a debilitating illness Cannot be fixed. Facing the betrayal of your closest confidante cannot be fixed. These things can only be carried.
Let me be clear: If you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way that your tragedy was meant to be, happened for a reason, will make you a better person, or
that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life.
Yes, devastation can lead to growth, but it often doesn't. It often destroys lives - in part because we've replaced grieving with advice. With platitudes.
I now live an extraordinary life. I've been deeply blessed by the opportunities I've had and the radically unconventional life I've built for myself. But loss has not in and of itself made me a better person. In fact, in some ways it's hardened me. While loss has made me acutely aware and empathetic of the pains of others, it's also made me more inclined to hide. I have a more cynical view of human nature and a greater impatience with people who are unfamiliar with what loss does to people. Above all, I've been left with a pervasive survivor's guilt that has haunted me all my life. In short, my pain has never gone away, I've just learned to channel it into my work with others. But to say that my losses somehow had to happen in order for my gifts to grow would be to trample on the memories of all those lost too young, all those who suffered needlessly, and all those who faced the same trials I did but who did not make it. I'm simply not going to do that. I'm not going to assume that God ordained me for life instead of all the others, just so that I could do what I do now. And I'm certainly not going to pretend that I've made it simply because I was strong enough, that became "successful" because "took responsibility."
I think people tell others to take responsibility when they don't want to understand. Understanding is harder than posturing. Telling someone to "take responsibility" for their loss is a form of benevolent masturbation. It's the inverse of inspirational porn: it's sanctimonious porn. Personal responsibility implies that there's something to take responsibility for. You don't take responsibility for being raped or losing your child. You take responsibility for how you choose to live in the wake of the horrors that confront you, but you don't choose whether you grieve. We're not that smart or powerful. When hell visits us, we don't get to escape grieving.
This is why all the platitudes and focus on "fixes" are so dangerous: by unleashing them on those we claim to love, we deny them the right to grieve. In so doing, we deny them the right to be human. We steal a bit of their freedom precisely when they're standing at the intersection of their greatest fragility and despair.
The irony is that the only thing that even can be "responsible" amid loss is grieving. I've grieved many times in my life. I've been overwhelmed with shame so strong it nearly killed me. The ones who helped - the only ones who helped - were those who were simply there.
I am here - I have lived - because they chose to love me. They loved me in their silence, in their willingness to suffer with me and alongside me. They loved me in their desire to be as uncomfortable, as destroyed, as I was, if only for a week, an hour, even just a few minutes. Most people have no idea how utterly powerful this is. Healing and transformation can occur. But not if you're not allowed to grieve. Because grief itself is not an obstacle. The obstacles come later. The choices as to how to live, how to carry what we have lost, how to weave a new mosaic for ourselves? Those come in the wake of grief.
Yet our culture treats grief like a problem to be solved or an illness to be healed. We've done everything we can to avoid, ignore, or transform grief. So that now, when you're faced with tragedy, you usually find that you're no longer surrounded by people - you're surrounded by platitudes.
So what do we offer instead of "everything happens for a reason"?
The last thing a person devastated by grief needs is advice. Their world has been shattered. Inviting someone - anyone - into their world is an act of great risk. To try to fix, rationalize, or wash away their pain only deepens their terror. Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. To literally say the words:
I acknowledge your pain. I'm here with you.
Note that I said with you, not for you. “For” implies that you're going to do something. That's not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful.
There is no greater act for others than acknowledgment. And that requires no training, no special skills - just the willingness to be present and to stay present, as long as is necessary.
Be there. Only be there. Don't leave when you feel uncomfortable or when you feel like you're not doing anything. In fact, it's when you feel uncomfortable and like you're not doing anything that you must stay. Because it's in those places - in the shadows of horror we rarely allow ourselves to enter - where the beginnings of healing are found. This healing is found when we have others who are willing to enter that space alongside us. Every grieving person on earth needs these people.
I beg you, be one of these people. You are more needed than you will ever know. And when you find yourself in need of those people, find them. I guarantee they are there.
Everyone else can go.
Curiosity is something we all think we have...but do we really? We all have experienced curiosity to varying degrees with usually more focus in some areas of our life and interests than in others. But what about all the areas that we think we understand and have all the answers on? Something that I have noticed in my own life is that the energetic quality of curiosity is the means by which we can engage in a conscious conversation with life and with spirit that will initiate a response in kind. It is the mechanism that creates inner flexibility and flow. Curiosity is the active expression of trust, and in classical Chinese medicine it is an expressive quality of our Water Element.
Many times in life we can we can go through experiences that can be deeply hurtful. Sometimes our minds can respond to these types of situations by swearing an oath that “I will NEVER let someone do that to me, or allow myself to be put in that situation again.” However, when you imprint these type of statements into the field of the subconscious mind you literally lock all the emotional charge and intensity inside that belief pattern, creating an energetic wall surrounding that emotion and experience. Whenever we have an emotional charge that is suppressed and locked away in our energetic system we are sure to draw those very experiences that originally created that emotion back into our life as our system is trying to give us more opportunities to heal that original wound. If we were to continue using this particular defense mechanism chronically over time we can develop a mentality that is very isolated, unsupported, rigid, alone, and judgmental. Our judgments can become so focused and unforgiving as our way to never allow those painful experiences to recur that we unintentionally cut ourselves off from our own spiritual essence and authority, activating the lower mind of our ego to take more of a front seat position.
If an experience or an emotion has already been classified and attached to a label, to the mind, it becomes the known with no need to be curious of what it really is; the mystery is gone. All these judgments and labels that we tend to hold onto create so much tension and rigidity in the mind, emotions, and body that true relaxation, inner stillness, and the ability to rest in center become very difficult to embody. With these identifications and attachments we become tied to the roller-coaster ride of our emotion. One cannot truly dis-identify with an emotion, step back and observe through an open heart, or let it go until the judgment and label of that emotion has been released. For all of our emotions and experiences are neither positive nor negative nor the millions of labels in between, they just are.
I have found the homeopathic remedy Carcinosinum T58 to be very helpful in accessing these walled off and buried charges of emotion. Once you can gain access through your center to these old emotional “oaths”, you can begin rephrasing that original imprint that began with “NEVER” to something like "what can I learn from this situation that can better help me grow?" This type of subconscious imprint will be able to digest those hurtful experiences and emotions in a much healthier way while reestablishing the energetic flow through using curiosity as your lens.
In my own search I have encountered many teachers and healers who have found many unique ways to speed up their own evolutionary journey as well as develop and offer these tools to others. Being someone who was initially so driven, fascinated, and also subconsciously seeking desperately to escape my own pain, I wanted the fastest spiritual track I could find. I didn’t care how harsh, dangerous, or difficult it was, just as long as it brought me away from my messy human experience and more into these “mystical, and expanded” states of being. I initially found my first Qigong teacher who had just such a mental framework of speeding up spiritual growth like a boot camp, and I had ended up training in this style for over 4.5 years.
A few common signs of this form of spiritual training is a feeling that can be very sharp, hard, forced, and unyielding. It can have a strong feel of an intangible rigidity, and can come across cold, judgmental, and usually lacks the warmth and softness of the heart. The teachers and healers in this style of training will typically take a very old Chinese approach to the way they teach. They both teach you the tools, while also providing you an external environment and experience that can be very harsh and is designed to reshape you based on what they intuit you need. Out of all the teachers and healers I’ve encountered who operate out of this style of training, there is no doubt all have reached very high states of consciousness which can easily have the student awe struck and amazed at what these individuals can do, perceive, or how far their fields can extend.
However, upon closer observation, I’ve always noticed a very serious, undefinable missing element within this system of spiritual development, both in myself while I was in this training, as well as those I've observed who have spent their lifetime training in this style. Its as if, within the drive and haste for spiritual growth, they were not able to fully develop and integrate the whole of their being together cohesively. Some aspects of them seemed so advanced and beyond my comprehension, while yet other aspects deeper within their being seemed missing, fractured, or very underdeveloped and lacking an element of wisdom and heart that should come with such expanded states of consciousness.
A few years ago I made the decision to leave this style of training for one that was more natural and balanced in it’s approach. Instead, it was understood that the life experiences and challenges your spirit provides, are going to be exactly what you need at the right time to work with your soul and personal mind (ego) in a more natural way. At the foundation of this style of teaching is a trust that is developed between you and the world of spirit, and all of your support. For me as a Qigong practitioner and a teacher it has never felt appropriate to fill the role of our impersonal spirit by adding too, or taking away from the life experiences it uses in our spiritual development. No matter how advanced a teacher or healer is, they are still human, and are still bound to the laws of limitation and imperfection no matter how vast their consciousness may seem. One question you should always ask when vetting a spiritual teacher, or healer is, “do they empower me, or are they using me to empower themselves.”
When coming from the place of a Qigong teacher or healer I have found it is always best to play the role of the simpleton. Our job is not to solve this sometimes messy human experience, or even heal you; this is ultimately between you and spirit. Our job is to keep your energetic system as clear, open, and as balanced as possible. Teaching you the tools to empower yourself to maintain this balance on your own, so that you can develop your own experiential relationship to center and bring about your own healing and transformation. Our most vital job as a practitioner is to always come from center; holding that inner empty space that is unattached to an outcome and devoid of personal thoughts or conclusions, judgments, projections, or suspicions regarding the inner work you are doing on your soul’s journey. This may sound like nothing, but is really foundational of all healing and advancement.
What is beauty, and why don’t I see it? you may be asking yourself. Coming from someone who always saw the worst and darkest parts of humanity and the world, beauty was not really part of my vocabulary growing up.
To begin, I would like to make the distinction between beauty as seen by the mind, and beauty as seen by the heart; for these are very different. Beauty seen by the mind has a superficial quality to it and can be warped, twisted, or be changed based on one’s culture and conditioning. Whereas beauty seen by the heart has a spiritual quality to it that is unchanging. Devotion is expressed as beauty. All of nature expresses beauty as devotion to all beings living on earth.
So throughout my life I have seen and heard many different perspectives on this. There are those who can only see the darkness, fear, and horrors in the world, while there are others who can only see what is light, and good, and the best in everything. However, in my experience both of these views are imbalanced and lacking in all the information. The world is neither all positive or all negative and we want to be able to have a worldview that can support this. We want a worldview that will work in all situations, not just the positive, negative, or in between, but in the whole range of life.
Anyone can easily gravitate to one side or the other within this duality; either by escaping into nature or the mountains, or by hyper focusing on all the fears of the mind, and darker sides of life. However being able to see the true spiritual beauty within the darkness takes practice. It takes moving your perspective back to see a broader view, and the bigger story that’s playing out. It takes finding those things within that darkness that you can value, appreciate, and be grateful for. You might need to write these things down at first so that they can begin to imprint into your belief of how you see the world.
It’s easy to say these things on paper...but how do you actually do it? The first step is learning to find your center and live from your heart and not your mind. However, just because we have found this space of center doesn’t mean our work is done. For example, if we have always been afraid of water and we were able to transform that underlying belief doesn’t mean that we should just be able to jump in and start swimming. Once this space and perspective of center is found and cultivated, we are able to then take in and digest the learning experiences life has gifted us with much more easily. All of this work is a process of building a relationship. As this relationship unfolds and deepens the awe inspiring beauty and sacredness that illuminates from it begins to permeate into all that you see and do. It isn’t that the darkness has gone away, that you don’t see it, or you don’t want to see it. It's just that your perspective of it has completely changed.
Published on Mar 27, 2015With Heiner Fruehauf and Liu Lihong
In this passionate presentation captured at Jiashan Monastery in Hunan, China’s premier advocate of the classical wisdom traditions in Chinese medicine illuminates the crucial difference between ancient and modern methods of acquiring knowledge. (Mandarin Chinese, translated into English by Heiner Fruehauf) (Running time: 14 mins.)
Our Spirit never incarnates into the physical, only our soul has the earthly experience. However, the light of our spirit does shine down and imprint on the various layers of our energetic system of mental (shen), emotional, (qi), and physical (jing) as it's light descends and imprints into our physical being. On one level, our parents and our family field unconsciously teach us how to bring this light from our spirit down into our physical being when we are children by the beliefs they convey through the eyes and the level of devotion our parents can embody and express for themselves, their children, and their family field. This imprint from spirit can nearly withdraw completely from your physical self or never fully incarnate if there has been any serious trauma or disruptions within the birthing process, just as is the case with missing soul parts that seek refuge in the spiritual world. It becomes very difficult to work with the personal ego and emotions if the light of your spirit is not fully present to fill the space.
Your spirit and the energy of devotion are intrinsically linked. Devotion is a very powerful healing and grounding energy of our mother earth and the divine feminine principle. In the higher levels of Kung Fu, developing root and the ability to ground deep into earth is foundational for further advancement as it is in qigong. However, in the martial world the energy of devotion is more typically worded as honor and respect, but it goes much deeper than what these words convey.
You can practice and develop all kinds of skill with form whether this be through Taoist still meditation, or through physical movement of certain healing or martial forms. However, this will only lead to rigidity of mind, body, and heart if practiced for too long or without filling the form or container you have created with the energy of the formless which is its heart and soul. These formless spiritual energy's, like devotion, gratitude, compassion, and unconditional love come from a place that is beyond the mind and is the only energy that can melt the rigidity of the mind and the tension held in the body. It is an energetic field that you connect with through beauty, intent, humility, and surrender. The mind will try to replicate these energy's but it will only serve to get in your own way and block you from the actual connection. Your cup must be empty if it is to be filled.
Bringing the light of your spirit down to imprint into the jing level of your physical body is a very important clinical qigong treatment and sometimes a single treatment is all it takes. Other times, the root cause behind this issues can be more complex depending on the client. From my personal experience and practice, the consciousness of earth has such an all-encompassing energy of devotion for spirit that this marriage between heaven and earth is one of the most healing, grounding, and transformational experiences of one's practice.
Issues with, and surrounding money have plagued me for many years. Finding low quality and poor paying jobs was difficult in of itself growing up, much less finding work that treated me fairly and paid me well. Beginning around the time of my late teens I began noticing a pretty significant pattern, EVERYTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG DID. Much of the time this pattern would be strongest around certain times of year, usually between winter through mid-spring when everything would just start going wrong on every level. Absurd events would occur, one after the other resulting in bill after bill that would just start to get ridiculous. Anytime I would get money, something would mysteriously happen that would require everything I just earned. The harder I worked, the deeper in debt I would go.
Poverty, debt, and issues with money can usually be traced back to having some form of belief at the surface or buried deep in your subconscious that you do not hold any deep value, that you're broken, or unlovable. A belief of not being secure, safe, not trusting yourself, or relying on your spiritual help. If you often find yourself in a financial dilemma, take a look at the mirror that is your life, I bet you will see examples of this theme all around you; particularly in the way people treat you, your relationships, and your work and home environments. You often may find yourself thinking that you alone are responsible for making everything work in your life. However, this hyper vigilance is not sustainable nor does your conscious mind have that much power. At some point, you're going to have to let go.
The subconscious mind rules 85-90% of our energy body and it never sleeps. The subconscious mind works much like a computer with programs running on top of programs which we can call "self-concepts" or "beliefs". These self- concepts/beliefs create a shortcut so we don't have to keep reinventing the wheel every time we want to drive our car, or ride our bike, know what is safe or unsafe, etc. This aspect of the mind is literally a million times more powerful at processing information than the conscious mind. The subconscious can process 40 million bits per second, whereas the conscious mind can only process 40 bits of information per second. Any habitual loops, of negative or judgmental thoughts, emotions, or actions that you do are indicators that there are programs running in the subconscious that you may want to upgrade. All the beliefs about yourself and the world that you hold in your subconscious feed your mind, emotions, and actions and will always result in creating particular elemental fields within your external chi field that comprise those beliefs. These elemental fields can become massive and quite palpable, significantly amplifying the particular frequency or intent that you are putting out. When these fields are created with negative intent or a belief that does not support life, it will draw all kinds of foreign energy to them dramatically increasing their power and strength.
In qigong, there are many points and treatments that can easily open you up more directly to your spirit, soul, and your spiritual support that make this process much easier in creating elemental fields that work for you, instead of against you. A big tool in helping to shift this field is your ability to connect with the energy of gratitude, compassion for yourself, and devotion to your soul and spirit. The energy of devotion and curiosity is literally the energetic tool that allows you to grab the rope being offered to you by your spiritual help as you hold these limiting beliefs in center.
However, the self-limiting beliefs or self-concepts active in the subconscious for some people, can merely be a symptom of a larger issue. For example, someone who is extremely emphatic and does not know how to handle the vast ocean of information and emotion that is bombarding them at all times of life can develop layers upon layers of energetic shielding against their own receptivity which cuts them off from everything, including their heart, their spirit, human connection, and all of their support, which will include their ability to support themselves financially. They can quite literally become a prisoner within their own body. This can be a large source of many mis-labeled mental illnesses in our society. There is sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Those who have been gifted with so much empathy can learn to update the subconscious belief that has created their energetic shielding to channel and transform that vast ocean of information that is coming at them and use it to fuel the fire for their ability to express compassion. The mind may want to step in at times and label or judge the situation. However, this will block true understanding and any ability to express compassion for another or oneself. When one has been born with the ability for deep empathy, there is no getting rid of it. To help this learning process go much easier, there are several Homeopathic remedies from the Madridonal family which can greatly aid in the developmental completion of the protective layer within the external energy field which was somehow cut short and not able to fully develop at birth. This allows them to be able separate the energy that is their own from what is not.
My personal experience has been in working with an individual who had been diagnosed by western medicine as having Borderline (BPD). However, it must be said that placing such labels on anyone who might have chronic physical, psychological, or emotional imbalances is one of the most harmful, destructive actions anyone could do in preventing these individuals from actually healing. The journey of the soul is so unique and individualized that the reality of labels, boxes, and categories of this sort does not exist. In Clinical Qigong, the practitioner, or anyone for that matter in the healing profession has one primary responsibility, which is to hold an empty space within center, devoid of analysis, personal thoughts or conclusions, judgements, projections, or suspicions regarding their client or patient's condition. The Clinical Qigong practitioner and client relationship has a very deep energetic connection. Any personal thoughts, projections, or judgments held by the practitioner will provide the client with a very limiting script which they will unconsciously play out preventing them from finding their own truth within themselves. For example, in the information below I have provided just one scenario among many which could be seen as a root cause in such issues as Borderline, Bipolar, Complex PTSD, high levels of empathic sensitivity, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Narcissistic behavior, and I'm sure many others. For some, depending on the genetic predisposition, the root cause, karmic inheritance, what lessons the individual is here to learn, and many other unknown possibilities, the illness might bypass the mind entirely and move more into the body causing physical conditions and disease. So, please bare this in mind when reading the information below.
One of the energetic issues I have seen that can be a major contributing factor within borderline, is these individuals direct, unconscious, identification with experiences had by past versions of themselves which are all present at once within their field. Systematically within the borderline, this can be seen in the fragmentation of self identity, as well as in their fragmented perception of time. These individuals are influenced much of the time by the imprinted collection of all the unprocessed horrors, actions, and emotions of these past experiences which has taken on an awareness of its own and resides within the lower realms (sometimes referred to as the double, the beast, or monster within). With no intention at all of discounting these past experiences, which were necessary, and perfect in their own right in their soul's waking up process as we leave the dark ages behind. In the hologram of life all of our past is right here in our present. Each life we step into provides all the building blocks needed to create the same unfinished story we've been playing out that has threaded itself through the ages. I do not believe a borderline can be created in a single lifetime, but a collection of several. The deeply traumatic events that occur in childhood merely set the stage and provide the key to unlock the door.
Obviously, this picture can become much more complex the deeper one dives into the "cause" "effect" and "symptom" within their field. This is where clinical qigong treatments by a compassionate healer becomes very important in providing these individuals with the inner space from which they can work. In a borderline, there is usually a high level of dissociation that is present to varying degrees at all times within their experience. They live in their minds, and are tormented by their emotions, or the complete lack thereof, which occurs when the emotional intensity reaches too high of a threshold, the qi becomes stuck, and the energy body is instructed to close for that person's own protection. Due to the borderline's unique situation, their connection to their spirit is almost non-existent, as is their ability to bring the light of their spirit down to emanate through the jing field to express through their physical being. As is the opportunistic nature of foreign energy of the lower realms, if there is a vacancy, they will fill it. When the higher mind of spirit is not running the show, the lower mind of the personal ego over compensates and grows to momentous size in its attempt to keep the individual safe in a world it isn't designed to understand. An overgrown, overactive ego requires a lot of energy to function. Large amounts of qi from the middle tan tien are drawn into the shen space of the upper tan tien, which isn't designed to hold large amounts of this heavier frequency of energy. On a physical level this accumulation of excess qi in the head fuels the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain to over fire, causing extreme emotional blindness and instability in behavior. The borderline becomes stuck, wandering around in circles through the horizontal plane of their soul's story; having not developed the stronger vertical pole needed to root themselves between heaven and earth in order to gain perspective and the spiritual support needed to process and fully integrate their story.
These individual's intuition and ability to see into the hearts, minds, and intentions of others is well known. They can exist in a state of an ever-present hypervigilance which operates through high levels of Delta and Beta wave frequencies. This high presence of Delta gives these individuals a keen insight into the fields of the collective unconscious providing them information that is inaccessible by most and impossible for them to ever describe. However, when Delta works in conjunction with Beta alone, much of the complete picture is missing. Don't misunderstand, they can have all the information any black ops soldier could only dream of to insure their survival in a world they see as deeply corrupt, dark, and malevolent. However, without the frequencies of Alpha and Theta, the picture they see will always be missing its heart and soul. Alpha and Theta provide the mental capacity to interpret Delta form a greater spiritual perspective that is based more in compassion than the primal instincts of survival. In the borderline, the high level of hypervigilance can provide them the opportunity to see behind the veil. Sadly however, much of the time, their eyes see only the lower realms which Hollywood's greatest horror film producers could never begin to convey.
Many of the symptoms seen in these individuals of intense rage, highly impulsive, self-sabotaging, high risk behavior, tendencies toward narcissism, with drug addictions, promiscuity, codependency, manipulative tendencies, a need for control, and, intensely perfection and approval seeking, all stem from the fact that they are consciously and unconsciously trying desperately to escape the darkness, emotional agony, confusion, and chaos they experience every moment of their life, as they constantly try to restore some measure of order to their existence in the only way they know how. These individuals are far from evil, as much as the world would try to convince you they are. They merely require a healing approach that does not operate within the rigid confines of western psychology, or western medicine alone; as well as a practitioner who is compassionate, patient, and who can see, and hold the fully healed aspect of the individual (their spirit) within the field.
As a result of the borderlines accumulative experiences, traumas and hardships, forged by a level of emotional intensity known by few others. These individuals have been gifted with a tremendous amount of heart, perseverance, creativity, and willpower; with a depth of character and a great capacity for compassion and empathy for others that makes them extraordinary individuals. Their metaphorical and literal walk through hell can leave them with few concerns in regards to hiding behind social masks and societal norms. Their experiences can shape their expression from being the victim, to being bold, and sometimes raw in that expression of their truth and integrity which can sometimes make others uncomfortable; due to lacking the perspective necessary to understand from the inside, the life the recovered borderline has lived.
In qigong, it is known that the area of our greatest weakness or challenge has been placed there because they are in the area of our greatest gift that we are here to heal and express through our life. It is our note that we are here to add to the great song of the human experience.
Huaxia Zhineng Qigong Clinic & Training Center*, simply known as the Center, normally has more than four thousand people living there, including doctors, patients, ChiLel teachers, trainees, and supporting personnel. The Center was established in 1988 in the city of Zigachong and later, in 1992, relocated to the city of Qinhuangdao. In 1995, it again expanded to its present address, an old army hospital in the city of Fengrun, two hours by train from Beijing. It is directed by its founder, Dr. Pang Ming, a Qigong grandmaster and physician trained in both Western and Chinese traditional medicine. This hospital is the largest of its kind in China and probably in the world. The Center avoids medicines and special diets in favor of exercise, love, and life energy. It is a non-profit organization and is recognized by the Chinese government as a legitimate clinic. Over the years, the Center has treated more than one hundred and eighty diseases, the overall success rate being more than 95%.
I spent the entire month of May living in the Center, observing first hand how the hospital operates and interviewing more than one hundred people who have miraculously recovered from incurable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, severe depression, paralysis, and systemic lupus. Many times I was moved to tears while listening to these accounts of heroic struggle against disease. One mother told me that she was so weak that she couldn't even pick up a kitchen knife to kill herself and so attempted to end her life by not eating. But when her six-year-old son tried to spoon feed her a bowl of milk while her eleven-year-old held a towel to wipe any spills, she decided to live at any cost. Since doctors couldn't help her, she turned to ChiLel and, against all odds, recovered. She is now a teacher at the Center.
The Power of ChiLel
ChiLel, the method employed in the Center, was developed by Dr. Pang. The method is based on the 5,000-year-old concept of qigong (chigong, chi kung) as well as modern medical knowledge. Dr. Pang, reverently known as Lao-shi, the Teacher, has written more than nine books on ChiLel.
ChiLel consists of four parts...
When a patient enters the hospital, he is diagnosed by a doctor, and then assigned to a class of fifty or so people for a 24-day treatment period. He spends most of his time practicing ChiLel, eight hours a day without television, newspapers or telephone. Those who can stand up practice standing; those who can sit practice in their chairs; and those who can't move practice in their beds. I was moved by the dedication of these students.
Despite its amazing success at healing, the Center is little known even in China because of its policy of not advertising in newspapers or magazines. However, the Center is well known among its estimated eight million ChiLel practitioners. Through word of mouth, thousands of people from all over China are coming to the Center every month. Indeed, ChiLel has a great number of followers and the Center is the brain of this vast organization. New techniques for treating diseases are developed daily.
For example, a new way of demonstrating the effectiveness of chi for treating cancer has been developed. I witnessed a cancer patient being treated by four ChiLel teachers while the patient's bladder cancer was viewed on a screen via an ultra-sound machine, and monitored by two doctors. The cancer literally disappeared in front of my eyes in less than a minute as the teachers emitted chi into the patient, dissolving the cancer! In fact, I videotaped this incredible act. Ten days later, I requested the doctors to double check if the patient's tumor was gone. Kindly enough the doctors put the same patient's bladder again on screen and we saw no trace of cancer. Later I was told that a major German TV station crew, visiting the Center a week before, had successfully videotaped the same process with other cancer patients.
The Center has over six hundred staff members, including twenty-six Western-trained doctors. Since no medicine is prescribed, there aren't any pharmacists. Doctors, who prefer to be called teachers, play only a minor role in this special hospital. Occasionally, they are called upon to attend emergency cases. Their main function is to diagnose patients when they come in to register and again after each 24-day training period.
Their diagnoses are classified into four categories for statistical purposes.
In the Center, no matter how sick a person is, he is still addressed as a "student" never "patient". Why? Because he is learning an art the goal of which is to heal oneself, not to rely on doctors. Therefore no doctor-patient relationships exist.
Students are enrolled in a 24-days treatment program. The tuition fee is only one hundred yuan (about twelve dollars). Students can spend as little as six hundred yuan (about seventy dollars) per month! The Center is probably the most inexpensive hospital in the world and is truly a non-profit organization. Yet the Center is an independent, self-sufficient organization, without any help from government or private foundations.
How do they operate so efficiently? Because many of the doctors, ChiLel teachers, and supporting personnel are former students who have recovered from serious illnesses themselves and have now returned voluntarily to "serve the sick", with very little pay. Teachers play the roles of doctor, nurse, social worker, cheerleader, parent, friend, brother, and sister. Their effectiveness is measured by the healing rate of their students.
Another reason for the Center's effective but low-budget operation is that it uses group therapy. Students live in groups of four, eight or sixteen persons per room. By living in groups, students develop in a cooperative spirit of caring and love toward each other. Many of those I interviewed had been rejected by their former hospitals as "incurable," and, therefore, had regarded the Center as their last hope. As though sailing on the same boat in the ocean, students bond together against their common enemy's disease.
Trained to Heal
Just as hospitals associate with medical schools to train young people to enter into the medical profession, the Center also has ChiLel schools to train ChiLel professionals. There is a Zhineng Qigong Academy and one-month and three-month instructor training schools. The Academy, established in 1992, has a two-year training program for young men and women under the age of thirty who have the minimum of a high-school education. The one-month and three-months instructor-training programs are for anyone interested in ChiLel. I was told that there are typically more than a thousand students in both programs in school.
In addition, just as prestigious hospitals have research programs, the Center has many on-going research projects both on site and at different university campuses around the country. When I requested the person in charge, a retired college professor, to show me some published papers, he gave me two volumes of experiment data, as thick as a telephone book!
Besides doctors, teachers, and students, there are hundreds of supporting personnel, working in the office, cafeteria, bookstore, and so on. All of them are ChiLel practitioners and they practice ChiLel together in the morning and in the evening, about three hours a day. As they say, it is not just a job, it is a ChiLel job.
The Center is open only ten months a year because of lack of heating in the rooms during winter. The Center is currently building a home for itself, a "ChiLel City" in a place near Beijing, with better facilities to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students, including Americans and others coming from abroad.
I asked the founder, Lao-shi, why didn't he promote ChiLel to the world sooner. He replied that many people need proof whether chi works or not. So instead of arguing with others, he preferred to work solidly by treating patients and collecting valuable data. As a result, tens of thousands of documented cases over a period of eight years have been collected and, "Now we are ready. Please tell the world that we exist and ChiLel can benefit mankind."
* Due to political reasons, the Center was closed in 2001.
By Luke Chan