Qigong is a mind and body wellness practice integrating movement, posture, breathing, and awareness in a new category of exercise called “moving meditation”. Meditative Movement is defined by (a) some form of movement or body positioning, (b) a focus on breathing, and (c) a cleared or calm state of mind with a goal of (d) deep states of relaxation.
Qigong is the Art of Life. Spiritual Qigong is not the pursuit of metaphysical or transcendental experience. It is a state of mindfulness and awareness based upon integrating Qigong into your daily life and lifestyle.
–Tom Rogers, President, Qigong Institute
At its most fundamental level, Qigong practice addresses the two main causes of illness according to Traditional Chinese Medical theory: Qi deficiency and stagnation. Deficiency is indicated by chronic illness, and stagnation is most often associated with pain. But Qigong does more than help people to become or stay physically healthy. The third intentful adjustment in Qigong practice (besides adjusting the posture/body through movement and the breath through slow, deep breathing) involves the mind. Basically, this adjustment of the mind forms the foundation of spiritual Qigong. Interestingly, this is the part of Qigong that can have the most profound effect upon lowering stress and promoting healing.
Spiritual Qigong isn’t about going somewhere or transcending something — we already are where we want to “go”, but just don’t realize it yet because of our conditioning (by media, society and culture, parents, friends, organizations, etc.) and aversion to change.
Spiritual Qigong is concerned with Qigong practice resulting in the “Qigong state”, a focused awareness of existing in the present moment. The practice used by the Daoists and Ch’an Buddhists to reduce stress, increase awareness, and fully live in the present moment, is Qigong. In spite of its association with some particular religious traditions, spiritual Qigong is not a religious practice. It is a secular practice.
The state of mind that can result from the practice of Qigong may be familiar to some as satori, being one with the Dao, nirvana, enlightenment, emptiness, or simply the outcome of meditation. From a physiological standpoint, the body is in a state of relaxation and regeneration. This state is achieved by eliciting the Relaxation Response, coined by Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine at The Harvard Medical School to describe the healing and stress reducing effects of a mind-body practice. In this case the practice is Qigong, a new category of exercise called Meditative Movement, leading to the Qigong state.
Spiritual teacher Eckart Tolle describes the process of achieving the Qigong state (his term being The Power of Now) as “the transformation from time to presence and from thought to pure consciousness”. This transition or path has also been referred to as the ancient practice of internal alchemy (the Chinese neidan or neigong).