Understanding Qi

Posted on Mar 19, 2016 in Blog
Understanding Qi

Qi, Yin, Yang are concept sometimes difficult to grasp but easier to experience.

As QI can be different things in different situations it can be difficult to grasp it.

Undertsanding Qi: Qi is the energy/force from which everything is constantly formed and transformed into something else, is at the basis of all phenomena in the universe. Qi is not good nor bad … is … just Qi … the substrate of everything formed and formless.

Our QI raises as we become angry and our face gets red. Our Qi descends or sinks when we get a sudden fright. The Qi of the air we breathe mixes with the Qi of the food we eat to transform in the Qi we use in our daily activities. The Qi of our organs is what the organs are as well as what the organs do.

Similarly the Qi of the tomatoes seed is the life force that has the potential (given the right conditions) to transform in to a tomato plant first, a tomato fruit later and in to a tomato seed again. Yet the tomato QI is present in all of the above stages of growth, only manifests in different forms. Much more about “gardening therapy” later on.

Following are some quotes, which might help clarify the concept of Qi.

Human life as described by Zhang- Zai (philosopher and cosmologist 1020-1077 AD) “Every birth is a condensation every death a dispersion (of Qi). Birth is not a gain, death is not a loss ..when condensed, Qi becomes a living being, when dispersed it is the substratum of mutations”

Maciocia in his book “The foundation of Chinese Medicine” says:

  • Qi is an energy that manifests simultaneously on the physical and spiritual level.
  • Qi is in constant state of flux and in varying states of aggregation.
  • Qi indicates the refined essence produced by the internal organs which has the function of nourishing the body and mind (The Food Qi is produced by the digestive organs through the transformation of food).
  • Qi indicates the functional activity of the internal organs (what an organ does)

Maciocia also says “One’s Qi is the result of the interaction of the Qi of Heaven and Earth”. This statement emphasize the close relationship between our Qi and the (external and internal) environment we live.

Understanding Yin and Yang is crucial in understanding how we cultivate our Qi.

Following are some quotes which sums up the concept of Yin and Yang.

Maciocia in his book “The foundation of Chinese Medicine” says:

  • Yin & Yang represents two stages in the process of change and transformation of all things…
    Yin & Yang are opposite but complementary.
  • Yin & Yang are interdependent. Nothing is totally Yin or Yang. One can not exist without the other. One contains the seed of the other. One can change in the other. Although opposite they form a unity.. (manifesting through our Qi)

Over many centuries Daoism first and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) later, have observed, studied and gained a deep understanding of Qi and the laws that governs it. From this understanding, TCM evolved in to an amazing holistic healing system, which places a huge emphasis on cultivating our Qi.

Indeed the more we learn about our Qi and how it transforms, the better we get at cultivating it. The interesting thing is that we cannot cultivate an healthy Qi without cultivating our diet, our sleep, our relationships, our jobs satisfaction, our character and our soul.

In cultivating an healthy QI we don’t only cultivate an healthy body and mind, we craft an exceptional life. It goes hand in hand.