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Way of Hunyuan Book

by fulltime on 2010/03/24

WayOfHunyuanCoverThis is a book on Hunyuan Qigong and Hunyuan Taiji by Master Chen Zhonghua. It is an essential book for anyone practicing Qigong. Its contents are mainly based on the Hunyuan Qigong of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang and the personal experiences and explorations of Master Chen Zhonghua.

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Many rarely discussed aspects of Qigong are included in this book. There is a glossary of Qigong terms that are useful to all Qigong practitioners.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements……….. vii

Table of Contents……….. ix

Introduction……….. 2

What is Qigong……. 18

History……. 31

Substance and Appearance……. 35

Qigong and Taiji……. 37

Chinese Characters……. 39

The Book of Changes……. 42

Dao De Jing……. 46

Hunyuan Qigong……….. 50

Physical Requirements……. 56

Zhanzhuang……. 59

Gather the Qi to the Three Dantian……. 64

The Three-Dantian Open and Close……. 69

Belt Meridian Grinding……. 74

Heaven and Earth Open and Close……. 78

The Way of Hunyuan……. 80

One Grain of Hunyuan Qi……. 84

Questions and Answers……. 88

Paradigm Shift……….. 120

Everything Comes Out of Nothing          (Wu Zhong Sheng You)        122

The Great Dao Has No Shape (Da Dao Wu Xing)……. 124

The Great Dao is Extremely Simple          (Da Dao Zhi Jian)        125

Long Life and Eternal Stare          (Chang Sheng Jiu Shi)        128

Tranquility Can Enlighten (Jing Neng Wu Hui)……. 130

Cultivate the Jing into Qi  (Lian Jing Hua Qi)……. 132

Cultivate the Qi Into the Spirit (Lian Qi Hua Shen)……. 135

Cultivate the Spirit Into Emptiness          (Lian Shen Fan Xu)        138

Cultivate the Emptiness Into the Dao          (Lian Xu He Dao)        142

Secrets of the Inner Chamber……….. 143

Immortality……….. 146

What is an Immortal?……. 146

Categories of Immortals……. 148

Research on Qigong……….. 160

Introduction……. 160

Understanding Qi and Qigong……. 161

Yin, Yang, Taiji and Qi……. 162

Qi in the Body……. 164

Qi and Meridians……. 165

Modern Influence on Ancient Concepts……. 167

Linguistic Influence on Understanding Ancient Concepts……. 169

Qi in the Cycle of the Six Meridians……. 170

The Twelve Meridians……. 173

Numeric Expressions in Describing Qi……. 175

Conclusion……. 177

Qigong Dictionary……….. 178

Afterword……….. 222

References……….. 225

History Chart of China……….. 226

Personal Relationships……….. 228

Index……….. 229

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean-Philippe Ranger January 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Way of Hunyuan: A Personal Odyssey by Chen Zhonghua
Edmonton: Hunyuantaiji Academy, 2002. 233pp. 5-1/2” X 8-1/2” Illustrated (Paperback) $49.99
Available from:
Hunyuantaiji Academy
5222-86 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5J 5J6
Tel. 780.413.0454
E-mail: sales@chenzhonghua.com
Reviewer: Jean-Philippe Ranger, M.A., Ph.D. ,Paris IV (Sorbonne) / Université d’Ottawa

Even as qigong attracts increasing numbers of students and awakens public awareness, those who train this art continue to acknowledge that qigong remains veiled in secrecy and in what appears as inaccessible complexity. Clarity is found however, in Chen Zhonghua’s new book, Way of Hunyuan: A Personal Odyssey, which gently lifts this veil and illuminates the path to qigong. His text is a substantial volume of invaluable information essential to any qigong practitioner.

Upon opening the Way of Hunyuan the reader is initially made aware of the uniqueness of this qigong text. Many books on this topic try to teach qigong techniques, making each text useful primarily to students of a particular system. However this is not the Way of Hunyuan’s main purpose, in fact there is only one short section concerning technical details. Instead, Chen’s book deals with such fundamental concepts that the Way of Hunyuan will be of interest to students of any system of qigong.

Chen Zhonghua is a 19th generation disciple of Chen family taijiquan under Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, the founder of Hunyuan qigong. Since he moved to North America, Chen has actively promoted Chen taiji in the English-speaking world. His frequent visits to China to pursue direct instruction under Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, as well as his translation of other important texts on qigong (Feng Zhiqiang’s Hunyuan Qigong) and taijiquan (he has some forthcoming projects), show his dedication to the arts of taiji and qigong. Although these translations are valuable, this new book demonstrates his foremost authority as an interpreter, transmitter and teacher of complex Daoist concepts dealing with qigong and taiji.

As the word on the relevance and benefits of qigong spreads worldwide, authoritative reference material in English is in great demand and the Way of Hunyuan goes above and beyond this call for high quality material. In this book many fundamental Daoist concepts are not only introduced for the first time in the English language, but they are also explained in a vocabulary that is concise and intelligible. As Chen acknowledges in his “Afterword”:
it is almost impossible to use the English language to write a Qigong book. The language is incapable of bringing forth the ideas in Qigong. I hope that I have resolved some of the problems with the language and shed some light on the true nature of Qigong through the employment of a mixture of English and Chinese, in words, and more importantly, in meaning (p. 222).

While it is true that some sections of this book are difficult to grasp, this shortcoming is not the result of its author’s inability, rather this is due primarily to the complex nature of qigong. This is a warning for the beginner who opens the Way of Hunyuan: as Chen has so many times explained in his oral teachings, the understanding of words is of a lower kind than the understanding in the body itself. It is impossible to fully comprehend many of these concepts without having reached a high level of qigong practice.

In general terms, the Way of Hunyuan is best classified as a philosophical text dealing with the fundamental Daoist concepts of qigong. The way in which the material is presented, however, is not a dry list of concepts and definitions. Instead, Chen succeeds in presenting and analyzing complex concepts that are accompanied by useful and relevant examples and anecdotes. Far from making the reader stray off course, these illustrations help us along Chen’s train of thought (a balance that is hard to achieve for any writer, as we often find such a text to be either too dry or too anecdotal).

Chen’s transitions between concepts and illustrations are skilful and clearly demonstrate his ability as a teacher and writer. Furthermore, another strong point in the Way of Hunyuan is the way in which Chen conveys ideas to the reader. Let me stress what is unique about his discussion of oft-named, but rarely explained concepts: where most authors would stop at noting how immortality is a goal of qigong, for example, Chen is unsatisfied with this and goes a step further by asking how Daoism conceives of immortality, how it is defined, experienced, who reached Daoist immortality, what it means to be immortal and so forth. Chen uncovers these elusive concepts. With these general comments in mind, we turn now to a more precise overview of the Way of Hunyuan’s content.
To begin, the introduction deals with the basic definition of qigong, its history, and its relation to taiji, the Yi Jing and the Dao De Jing. In the first chapter, following this entry into qigong,

Chen presents the specific characteristics of Hunyuan qigong, the particular system he practices. More explicitly, he talks about the physical requirements of Hunyuan qigong, zhan zhuang (standing meditation) and then, in the only technical part of the book, he explains four of the twelve exercises developed by Grandmaster Feng. Next, he describes his first contact with Hunyuan taiji, and then explains the concept of “one grain of Hunyuan qi.” The last section of this chapter is a list of frequently asked questions and answers dealing with Hunyuan qigong. The second chapter entitled “Paradigm Shift” is the most philosophical in the whole book as it “looks into the basic premises of Qigong” (p. 120).

Here are examples of the many Daoist concepts fundamental to the understanding of qigong explained by Chen: “everything comes out of nothing (wu zhong shen you),” “the great dao has no shape (da dao wu xing),” “the great dao is extremely simple (da dao zhi jian)” and “cultivate the emptiness into the dao (lian xu he dao).” Then, in the third chapter entitled “Secrets of the bed chamber” Chen tackles a topic that is often taboo in qigong teachings. The sexual aspects of qigong are dealt with in plain and non-elusive language. In the fourth chapter, Chen explains the Chinese concept of immortality and its importance as one of the goals of qigong. Finally, the last chapter written by Yaron Seidman, one of Chen’s disciples and a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, questions some contemporary models of Chinese medicine and meridian theory on the basis of his qigong experience as well as on the basis of ancient texts. Yet again, we see a challenging new point of view on formally accepted concepts. Further, in the last pages of the Way of Hunyuan, we find a useful “Qigong Dictionary,” a reference that explains in greater detail certain key concepts and actors in the history of this art. There is also a short bibliography, a history chart of China as well as a list of personal references used in schools of taiji and qigong. Finally, there is a useful index guiding the readers who will inevitably return to various sections of Chen’s book for further study.

In one sentence, the Way of Hunyuan is a timely book that will be valuable for anyone who wants to understand the complex and subtle ways of qigong. While Chen is right in stating that this text is but a “little peeping hole into the vast knowledge source of Qigong” (p. 2), it does offer a much broader view than the one we formerly had access to in the West. Even beyond its excellent content, the Way of Hunyuan is simply a great read because of its organization as part philosophical and part anecdotal. Then, when we finally close the book, we recognize that our previous views on qigong have been redefined.

With the Way of Hunyuan, Chen meant to “throw the brick to entice the jade” (p. 4). Those of us who take up Chen’s challenge will find that he points the way toward training harder and smarter.

Reply

Bruce Schaub May 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Master Chen, I just wanted to write to thank you for The Way of Hunyuan Book. It is a beautiful tribute to Grandmaster Feng and his system, and your personal story is inspiring on many levels and nothing short of miraculous.

From what experience I’ve had in qigong and the many books I’ve read on the subject, I would say it is the most comprehensive in terms of the clear description of all the necessary elements of a serious practice of internal cultivation.

With the same professionalism and integrity I’ve come to know through your teaching of taiji, and the emphasis on the reality without sensationalism, the authenticity of the teaching shines very brightly on the page.

Although the subject matter may be very difficult to come to terms with for many westerners, my mind has gradually accepted (skeptically and begrudgingly at times) that human beings are capable of things far beyond what is normally considered, but as far as those who would instruct outsiders and teach us in earnest, and actually understand the technology involved, there seem to be few.

As with your in depth taiji instruction, it fills in many gaps in my understanding and helps to push me further towards a reality which I hope to one day achieve. You truly have the heart of a highly refined human being. Thank you, Bruce.

Reply

Ben Tay January 15, 2013 at 2:09 am

Dear Master Chen,

I will be visiting you at Daqingshan this May 2013. May I know if the “Way of HuanYuan” book will be made available there?

Reply

Chen Zhonghua January 15, 2013 at 2:38 am

I will have a few copies available on DQS.

Reply

Jeri October 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Dear Master Chen,
Will more books be available soon? Thank you very much. Jeri

Reply

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