Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Cheng Man Ching on Qi

Below is an excerpt from the entry at the Qi Enclyclopedia which is a collection of the words and thoughts of Cheng Man Ching on Qi. The full entry may be read here.

Qi and Cheng Man-ching

Compiled from Various Sources

What follows are the words and thoughts about Qi from one of the leading taijiquan masters of the twentieth century, Cheng Man-ching, who is believed by many to be the major influence for the growth of taijiquan (t'ai chi) in the United States.

Training the Qi in Taijiquan - an Overview

"Relax completely. The aim is to throw every bone and muscle of the body wide open so that the qi may travel unobstructed. Once this is done, the chest must be further relaxed and the qi made to sink to the navel. After a time the qi will be felt accumulating for mass integration in the navel, from where it will begin to circulate throughout the body…. Later the student will be able to direct the qi instantaneously to any part of the his body by means of the mind….The movement deriving from this internal generation and circulation of qi we call 'propelled' movement [when the] limbs and other body components are moved…by the force of the qi. In the next, more advanced stage, the qi is absorbed by and stored in the marrow, causing the bones to become steel hard and essentially indestructible." T'ai-Chi, p. 5-6

Moving the Qi in the Body

This is a beginning of awareness of Qi in Taijiquan. Sink the Qi to the dantian[1] and concentrate it there for softness. Second: The Qi reaches the yongquan, [the "bubbling well," at the center of the balls of the feet]. Here you can "tap into the earth's qi and provide you with rooting strength." Qi rises to the soft spot at the top of the head, the ni-wan (or "clay pill" ). Here you "can receive heaven's qi and thus stimulate your sensitive qi." Master Cheng's New Method of T'ai Chi Self-cultivation, p. 15.

Mobilizing the Qi - qi reaches the four limbs

"After the qi sinks to the dantian, the xin [heart-mind][2] acts to dispatch it. Thus sending the qi to the leg, then the knee, then the heel. This is similar to the saying "the authentic person breathes with the heel." Doing the same, send qi to the shoulder, then the elbow, then the wrist. The joints and gates in the four limbs are all open. Thus, going down, the qi can reach the yongquan (bubbling well). Going up, the qi can reach the laogong (heart of the palm), and arrive at the tip of the middle finger. This is what the Boxing Manual[3] describes as, 'With the xin [heart-mind] moving the qi; with the qi mobilizing the body.' In this way, the business gets done!" Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-ching)/Lee Fife, Distinct Sequence of the Journey.


"Every aspect of Professor Cheng's Tai Chi Chuan is to develop the flow and accumulation of one's qi. Concentrating one's qi for the resilience of a small child is his definition of good health, the benefit from which all the benefits of T'ai Chi are gained." Gateway to the Miraculous, p. 124.

Holding your posture and head erect, "Swallow and sink heaven's qi to your dantian." "This energy has tremendous health benefits…. "The waist becomes lively which enriches our urogenital qi, which bestows longevity." Master Cheng's New Method of T'ai Chi Self-cultivation, p. 15 

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