A Qigong Interpretation of Confucianism [*]
By Peimin Ni

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
V. 23:1 (1996.3)
pp. 79-97

Copyright 1996 by Dialogue Publishing Company,
 Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.



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    It is not unusual to hear about Daoist qigong [1] (Daojia gong) and Buddhist qigong (Fojia gong), but rarely do we hear about Confucian qigong, at least not in a literal sense. However, according to Yan Xin, a grand qigong master from China, [2] Confucianism should literally be understood as a qigong system (Rujia gong). After a careful reflection, I find this interpretation of' Confucianism very insightful and significant to the scholarship of Confucianism. In this paper, I will first introduce this interpretation as both a new understanding of Confucianism and of qigong and cite some Confucian texts to support the interpretation. Then, I will show some advantages and significance of the interpretation by comparing it with some other readings of Confucianism.



    The key connection between qigong and Confucianism, says Master Yan Xin, is morality. The Master repeatedly emphasizes that morality is the ultimate source, the root, or the fundamental technique of qigong power. [3] New participants of Yan Xin qigong workshops are often surprised and puzzled by the fact that during those workshops, the time the Master spends on talking about morality usually goes longer than the time he spends on teaching body gestures and breathing control. Once, when asked about how to defeat fear, the Master says "be more filial to your parents!" Here to be filial to one's parents was not given as a moral



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imperative in any familiar sense: it was given as a technique for overcoming fear! Master Yan explains: "There is no definite method [of qigong], ten thousand methods all come from one source: finally it is being moral (Fa wudingfa, wanfa guizong, yide weiben)." [4]

    This interpretation broadens the normal understanding of both Confucianism and qigong. First, it suggests that Confucianism is not merely a theory, a humanistic social and moral philosophy, and it is not even merely an ethical way of life and a way to bring social order. It is also a practice that will empower the practitioner. Herbert Fingarette protested twenty-three years ago against the tendency of taking Confucianism merely as an intellectual enterprise He wrote: "The Analects is read, in its main drift, either as an empirical, humanist, this-worldly teaching or as a parallel to Platonist-rationalist doctrines. Indeed, the teaching of The Analects is often viewed as a major step toward the explicit rejection of superstition or heavy reliance on supernatural forces." [5] Anything incompatible with this understanding was taken "sympathetically" as unauthentic, insignificant residuals of prescientific superstition, and as things to be interpreted away. The scholars, who read Confucius this way, in Fingarette's list, include many 'big names' in the field of sinology. [6] Fingarette himself started a turn to the practical side of Confucianism and called attention to the "magical power" of ritual performances. Today, the situation is much better, due to the remarkable efforts of many outstanding scholars in the field. It becomes almost a consensus that Confucianism, and indeed Chinese philosophy in general, does not separate theory from practice. Many scholars turn specifically to the practical side of Confucianism. For example, Rodney Taylor argues that Confucianism provides a way for the individual to move toward the heaven (tian) the Confucian absolute, and that the practice of Confucianism is a process of that religious transformation. [7] Robert Eno characterizes, Confucianism as "a style of personal behavior," and the characteristic of the style is the ritualization of personal conduct. The Confucian sage is viewed as a master of an "enduring ritual dance," or a unified "skill system," "art." The ritual dance has "magical efficacy,"



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"power to generate order in society and Sagehood individuals." [8] Some Chinese scholars, such as Zhang Liwen, Ruo Guojie, and Zhang Rongming have gone further. They read Confucian classics from qigong perspective and provide substantial textual evidence to show that Confucians have associated their cultivation with qigong, both in theory and in practice. They find that the Confucians not only have views similar to other qigong masters, they have brought Confucian characteristics to their qigong practice. [9] Those works are significant contributions to the Confucian scholarship. But to my limited knowledge, no one has taken Confucianism so far as literally qigong system as Master Yan Xin did. [10]

    Secondly, the qigong interpretation of Confucianism also brought us a new understanding of qigong. Often, qigong is taken as a kind of activity that aims mainly at the physical well being of the person, a sort of breathing control technique that brings certain unusual abilities, such as breaking a pile of bricks by the bare hand, or a power of healing without touching the patient. True, morality is often stressed by qigong masters. [11] But that is normally taken as for the sake of making proper (moral) applications of qigong. In the common understanding, there is no intrinsic relation between having the power and being moral. To the contrary, exactly because an evil person can also have the power, morality is stressed for making sure that the power will not be abused. [12] Now given the idea that morality is the fundamental technique for bringing qigong power [13] and the interpretation of Confucianism as a qigong system it seems that the function of qigong is not just for bringing the physical well being of an individual at a personal level. Its aim is identical to the aim of Confucianism in the best sense: the overall well-being, both physical and mental, of every individual, of the society, and the harmony of the whole universe.



    Of course, Confucianism is considered a qigong system not merely because it deals with morality, for otherwise we would be let to "Platonic qigong," "Kantian qigong," etc., and the word qigong will loose its



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meaning. The point is that Confucianism does not take morality as a subject of pure theoretical speculation, and it does not advocate morality as codes that regulate behavior. In Confucianism, morality is a path of transformation or cultivation, and more importantly, it is associated to the concept of qi by the Confucian masters. Despite the fact that the concept of qi is not used often by Confucius himself, it is found in his teachings, and it gets clearer as Confucianism develops in the history.

    Among the four occurrences of the word qi in The Analects, one is obviously close to what qigong means by the word. [14] Confucius says:

"There are three things against which a gentleman (junzi) is on his guard. In his youth, before his blood qi has settled down, he is on his guard against lust. Having reached his prime, when the blood qi has finally hardened, he is on his guard against strife. Having reached old age, when the blood qi (xue qi) is already decaying, he is on his guard against avarice." [15]

Here Confucius' advice about what one ought to guard against is related to one's blood qi. The word "blood" shows that he is mainly talking about qi in a physical sense, but the connection between the physical qi and mental cultivation is clearly shown in the passage. [16] Taking this passage as part of the whole Confucian teachings, other advice of the master can also be viewed as instructions leading to the regulation and cultivation of the qi. Confucius tells his students not only what one must guard against, but also what one needs to lean toward. Hence his teachings about ren, human-heartedness or benevolence, about the method of being ren -- shu, a mental disposition of caring about other people's wishes and needs, and his teaching about li, the behavior patterns that corresponds to the body gestures of other qigong performances, and his teachings on the importance of music, poetry, etc. The systematic practice of Confucianism results in one's reaching a state of being not perplexed, worrisome, or afraid, a state in which one's blood qi is well regulated.



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    True, the occurrence of the concept qi in Confucius' teaching is rare and not clear. It is so rare that, according to Arthur Waley, whose translation of The Analects is what mine is based upon, the occurrence I just quoted is not the evidence of the employment of the concept by Confucius, but rather evidence of the passage's being an interpolation. [17] However, from a historical perspective, we must open to the idea that Confucius himself may represent the beginning, not the mature stage, of Confucian qigong.

    Compare to Confucius, Mencius is much more clear in taking the whole Confucian project as cultivating "blood-like qi (haoran zhiqi)." The qi is, according to Mencius, intrinsically connected with yi, moral righteousness. For instance, as D. C. Lau explains, courage is not just a state of heightened tension in the body in which breathing is quickened and the activity of the heart stimulated. But for Mencius genuine courage, instead of being sustained by a state of heightened tension in the body, can only be sustained by the sense of being morally in the right." [18] When properly cared and nurtured, the qi can develop so vastly that it fills between Heaven and Earth. Mencius also made it clear that this qi is governed by the mind/heart, by one's, zhi (a), the intent or orientation. [19] The method of caring the qi is "jiyi," which means accumulating good deeds and probably also bringing good intentions and good "incipient tendencies" (si duan) all together when one meditates or examines oneself. [20]

    In Xunzi, we find the concept of qi further elaborated. It becomes an ontological entity that exists throughout the whole universe, in everything. [21] The way to become a junzi is to regulate and cultivate one's qi. Xunzi specifically points out that the aim of regulating qi (zhiqi) is twofold: care for the life (yangsheng) and care for the mind/heart (yangxin). To regulate qi and care for the mind/heart, "no way is better than through rites (li), no key is more important than finding the right teacher, and nothing is more effective than persistence." [22]

    Ouyang Xiu broadens the application of the concept qi to society. He points out that the qi of the society is to be nourished. Just like a



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doctor treats a patient by nourishing his qi, the rites (li) will generate the spirit of harmony and universal love. [23] Under the qigong reading, this is more than a mere analogy. It is a literal description of the Confucian qigong on its social and political dimension.

    The concept of qi is even more central in the writings of Zhu Xi. Zhu Xi associates the moral quality of a person directly to the purity of ones qi, -- the purer the better. Desires and material excitement make qi muddy, so they need to be eliminated. [24] He further recommends a 'half day quiet sitting and half day reading" [25] method of cultivation. We all know that quiet sitting is probably the most common way of practicing qigong.

    Wang Yangming also recommended quiet sitting. He finds that by acting quietly, one can search the corners of the mind so that lust, cravings for material goods and fame can all be kicked out. [26]

    The above sketchy outline should enable us to conclude that there is a Confucian qigong -- it is a teaching about how to cultivate qi, both at a personal level and at a social level. It has some unique features, compared to other qigong systems. Confucian qigong lays more emphasis on social transformation, on the universal harmony under the heaven, as part of its aim, even though its starting point is also personal cultivation. The Confucian qigong method is mainly through moral and musical education, self-reflection, through jiyi -- accumulating the good, and ritual performance, rather than through breathing control and using physical power.



    I would like to turn, now, to some contemporary Confucian scholars' readings of Confucian texts, to draw support from them and show that, in some instances, how the qigong reading can make their readings better or more plausible.

    Let me start with Fingarette, the one who pioneered the way toward paying attention to the practical side of Confucianism. In his Confucius:



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the Secular as Sacred, Fingarette quotes some passages in the Confucian classics that indicate "magical powers," -- "the power of a specific person to accomplish his will directly and effortlessly," without physical coercion, "through ritual, gesture and incantation," through ceremony, li. He believes that "Confucius saw, and tried to call to our attention, that the truly, distinctively human powers have, characteristically, a magical quality," and the powers can be brought by ritual performances. [27] It is magical because, while "the force of coercion is manifest and tangible," "the vast (and sacred) forces at work in li are invisible and intangible." [28]

    Fingarette's recognition of the "magic power" can support the qigong interpretation, though it is itself not a qigong interpretation. The qigong interpretation believes that ritual performances, as part of the general practice of Confucianism, do bring magical powers. But it stresses the dependence of the powers upon moral cultivation of the person who performs li, and does not take the power to be simply the function of some gestures or mechanical performances. Fingarette understood that the force is not mechanical, and he did say that the performer needs to be sincerely present, but he was not able to specify the force as moral force and the presence as the presence of moral virtue. He laid too much weight on the overt pattern of performance, and little on the internal quality -- the sincerity of the mind. That makes his interpretation of Confucius' overall emphasis on moral cultivation of the person something like learning a skill or internalizing some habits, which require more imitation of overt patterns of behavior than true transformation of the person. Consider, for example, one of the sayings in The Analects that Fingarette quoted to show the magic force of li: "What else did Shun (an ancient sage-ruler do besides putting himself reverent and facing south?" [29] Here putting oneself reverent and facing south is taken by Fingarette to mean "the ruler's ritual posture". [30]But suppose it was not the sage-ruler Shun; instead it was the tyrant Jie, would there still be similar magical effects? Certainly not. Confucius considers morality as zhi (basic stuff, inner quality) and li as wen (outside form). He says:



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"The junzi has morality as his basic stuff and by observing the rites puts into practice (junzi yi yiweizhi, li yixingzhi)." [31] Facing south is the ceremonial aspect, which is the wen side; but the zhi (b) -- the moral force inside the wen -- is indispensable.

    The reason that Fingarette had this problem is, I think, twofold. One is that he lacks the idea that moral virtue is what truly empowers the ceremonial performances. Secondly, he is afraid that if moral quality is stressed as something inner and the performances outer, he will fall into the mind/body dualism, which is western, not Chinese. Because he lacks an ontology that can replace the mind/body dualism, he treats jen as "a directed force operating in actions in public space and time." [32] This phenominalist approach might be his sympathetic reading of Confucianism, it is nevertheless still not Chinese. True, the Chinese does not have the mind/body dualism, but the wen/zhi [b] and xing (shape)/shen (spirit) dichotomies are utterly Chinese and they are clearly used by Confucius. In the qigong account, we have the idea that the power of qi is intrinsically based upon moral virtue, and the qi is displayed when one performs li. Therefore we can take li as the overt pattern that carries qi and qi itself the overt pattern of jen. In other words, jen brings qi, and qi empowers li.

    Now, let me turn to another issue discussed by A. C. Graham. In his Disputers of the Tao, Graham tells us that the answer, to the question "Why Confucius and the whole Chinese traction do not stress moral choices and make no distinction between fact and values" is to be found in "the Chinese assumption that action starts from spontaneous motives and that before asking 'What shall I do?' I am already being drawn in one direction or another." [33] What I should choose to eat is determined by my taste, and "taste changes with knowledge and experience," the point of choosing food becomes one of what knowledge and experience one has; similarly, the question "What should I do?" is to be replaced by a more fundamental question: "What will I do if I am in a full awareness of everything relevant to the issue?" If given the awareness of everything relevant to the issue one is disposed to do X, and the will is strong enough to do X, then one will simply not choose to do otherwise. The point is



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to make people reach this awareness and strength of the will.

    This is an insightful point. It reveals that, for Confucianism, morality is not a matter of choice, and the point of Confucianism is to transform the person and the society, to elevate the person to a level on which one will not make bad choices, and to create a society that has no crimes. To use Graham's analogy, it is like to adjust the qi of the body to respond to the qi of the atmosphere.

    While the analogy suggests an adjustment of the qi, the point made by Graham is unfortunately reduced to an adjustment of one's understanding or knowledge only, not an adjustment or cultivation of an overall state of being. Graham writes: "Man is in spontaneous interaction with things but responds differently according to the degree of his understanding of their similarities and contrasts, connection or isolation." He draws the conclusion that "to know what to do is to know what one would be moved to do in the sage's full knowledge of how things are related in fact." [34] The qigong account will go beyond this Western knowing/being dichotomy. Where Graham talks about "knowing the facts like the sages," the qigong theory will use "being in an overall qi condition like the sages." The latter does not exclude the former as part or its meaning, for being in the qi condition is being in a position of knowing as well. But the qi condition is not limited to "being in a knowing condition. "Confucius says, "Those who know are not perplexed (huo)." but he also says "Those who are jen are not worrisome. Those who are courageous are not afraid." (9.29) Simply knowing is not good enough. If one is evil, knowing all the relevant facts will also make the person not perplexed in doing what is evil. Graham is unable to make it clear what facts the sages know would move one to respond to things morally. Confucius says that, at the age of forty, he has reached the stage of not perplexed already. But, he did not stop cultivating himself until the age of seventy where he reached the stage that he can follow his heart's will and never step out of the way. (2.4) That means besides getting oneself into the position of knowing all the relevant facts, one should also transform oneself into the realm of being sincere, loving and caring. Those dispositions



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will all affect what one will choose to do even when all the relevant information is known. The qigong account fits this fact well. Because the qigong account clearly takes Confucianism as an overall transformation of the person, and not just a way of getting one to all-knowing, it resolves the is/ought dilemma better than Graham's theory. The question about what one ought to do in a given situation becomes the question of what one will do if one is in possession of the qi. After qigong practice and elevate one's qi to a certain level, one will naturally know what is the right thing to do. One knows that not because one is in the sage's state of knowing all the relevant t acts, but rather because one is in the sage's state of being, of existence. Furthermore, one will do the right, not because one tells oneself I ought to, but rather because one is inclined to and even find great joy in doing the right. That is the ideal Confucius wants to reach -- "To prefer it is better than only to know it. To delight in it is better than merely to prefer it." (6.18)

    There are some mystical sayings in the major Confucian classics that demand particularly the qigong reading. One of them is Mencius' "Wanwu jiebei yuwo." [35] It is translated by David Hall and Roger Ames as "The myriad things are here in me," and taken by them as an expression of "person-in-context," -- a person who has objectified oneself "in that it recognizes the correlative and coextensive relationship between person making and community making, and ultimately, world making." [36] Taking the saying in this way, they seem to be heeding carefully to James Legge's warning that the saying will lead to "embarrassment" if its meaning is "extended farther." [37] But if that interpretation were accurate, we would have to say that Mencius did not express himself accurately, for the literal meaning of the words suggests something quite different. It contains a meaning revealed more directly in Graham's translation: "The myriad things are all here at my disposal." [38] I guess the reason that Hall and Ames do not want to read the saying in Graham's way is because it looks contrary to the spirit of Confucianism. It is more like an egoistic statement (everything ought to serve my interest) or an utterly unrealistic assessment of ones true situation (everything is there for me to use or



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everything can be manipulated according to my will). -- That would indeed be an embarrassment. Now, with the qigong interpretation of Confucianism, the concern about the embarrassment will be entirely unnecessary. -- The saying describes the experience and the power of the morally virtuous person -- the person who possesses the flood-like qi. Zhang Rongming found from classic literature that many Song and Ming Confucians had the experience that when one meditates deeply and calmly, one can reach a vision that the whole universe is within oneself. [39] Also, he points out that the Taoists and Buddhists have the same claims. [40] Certainly the experience and the power are still mystical, partly because they are reachable only through the cultivation, through the methods that the masters teach, and not through normal sensory experience, rational thinking, or physical exercise, and partly because our modern science is still unable to explain those phenomena. But if philosophy has taught us anything at all, it is that we should acknowledge the limitation of our current understanding and knowledge of the universe.

    Some passages in The Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong Yong) look even more mysterious without the qigong frame work. In chapter twenty-four, we find "It is characteristic of the most entire sincerity to be able to foreknow (zhicheng zhidao, keyi qianzhi)." "The individual possessed of the most complete sincerity is like a spirit (zhicheng rushen)." Referring in these passages James Legge comments. "The whole chapter is eminently absurd, and gives a character of ridiculousness to all the magniloquent teaching about 'entire sincerity.' The foreknowledge attributed to the Sage, -- the mate of Heaven, -- is only a guessing by means of augury, sorcery, and other follies." [41] But looking from the qigong perspective, a perspective that is broadened by being in qigong condition or witnessing people who are in qigong condition, one is no longer limited by current ideas of science and knowledge. Knowing that there are considerable amount of empirical data about accurate predictions made by qigong masters, we should now at least be more open-minded than James Legge on this matter. The Sage may indeed have foreknowledge, and the foreknowledge may indeed be associated with sincerity.



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    What I said above shows that there is a two-way channel. On the one hand, there is a new and very comprehensive interpretation of Confucianism; on the other, there is an enlightening understanding of qigong. The qigong interpretation of Confucianism makes good sense of some mysterious sayings in Confucian classics and resolves some long lasting controversies in Confucian scholarship. It shows further that Confucianism is a complete unity between theory and practice, between what is mental and what is physical, and between facts and value. Without denying the theoretical value of Confucianism, it reveals how far the practical strength of Confucianism can be. The fact that the interpretation is given by a worldly renowned qigong Master gives much more weight to the interpretation. If the Master testifies that his legendary powers (such as deleting a smoking addiction) have their root in morality, and Confucian moral instructions can lead to such powers, that is certainly different from hearing the same from an ordinary academic scholar. I do not mean that scholars should therefore all just listen to qigong masters. Scholarly work needs special knowledge and understanding that few qigong masters possess. But most traditional Chinese philosophies are never pure theoretical or intellectual speculations and the traditional Chinese philosophers are mostly practitioners of their philosophies. The theoretical vision, sophistication, and explaining power of the qigong account suggests to the academic scholars that today's research of the philosophies must be conducted in connection with the practice of the philosophies. Without a cultivation of one's qi, one will not be able to fully understand philosophical remarks made with the vision that is obtainable only in a qi condition and on a certain qigong cultivation level.

    Meanwhile, through this new interpretation of Confucianism, we also see an entirely new dimension of the social and moral implications of qigong. It is not merely a mystical way of healing and gaining some personal unusual talents or power. It is associated with the fundamental well-being of individuals and their societies in a much more essential way.



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When Master Yan describes the aim of qigong, he often quotes the Confucian ideal "When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky (dadao zhiyingye, tianxia weigong). [42] This is fully consistent with Mencius vision that the flood-like qi can fill the space between Heaven and Earth. Under this interpretation, the Confucian program outlined in the Great Learning (Da Xue) -- investigate things, extend knowledge, make the will sincere, rectify the mind, cultivate the person, regulate the family, govern the state well and bring peace to the world (gewu, zhizhi, zhengxin, chengyi, xiushen, qijia, zhiguo, pingtianxia.) -- is exactly a qigong program; or, we should rather say, tat a true qigong program should be nothing less than this Confucian program. Actually the "world peace" in Master Yan's mind is more than a harmony between all human beings. It is the harmony between "the ten thousand things," including animals and the total environment. [43] I think the qigong master has taught academic scholars a good lesson -- our research should go beyond papers.

Grand Valley State University, Allendale






*. An earlier version of the paper was presented at the Ninth International Conference in Chinese Philosophy, Boston, MA., August 4, 1995.

1. "Ch'i Kung" in Wade-Giles, literally translates as breathing exercise.

2. Yan Xin is an extremely well known and highly respected qigong master in China. In the recent years his fame has been spreading quickly in North America as well. Thousands of people have testified his legendary power. Personally, I participated some of the qigong seminars conducted by Yan Xin, and I can testify that the qigong worked on myself! Starting from the very first day of the first seminar, my nearly twenty year's smoking addiction disappeared! I mean I quit smoking without having to use any will power at all. It was simply gone. Other participants of the seminars have more incredible stories to tell.

3. See Master Yan Xin in North America, ed. by Wu Xutian and others (Chengdu



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University of Science and Technology Press, l992), 42-3.

4. Yan Xin Qigong Phenomena, ed. by Li Run (Beijing: Beijing University of Industry Press, 1989), 20.

5. Herbert Fingarette, Confucius -- The Secular as Sacred (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), 1-2.

6. Such as Arthur Waley, Daniel Leslie, Wing-tsit Chan, H. G. Creel, Kaizuka, and Liu Wu-chi. Fung Yu-lan is considered ambiguous on his reading. See Fingarette, p. 2, footnote 1.

7. Rodney Taylor, The Religious Dimension of Confucianism (SUNY, 1990).

8. Robert Eno, The Confucian Creation of Heaven, Philosophy and the Defense of Ritual Mastery (SUNY, 1990), 30, 31, 41, 173.

9. See. Zhang Rongming, Zhongguo Gudai Qigong Yu Xianqin Zhexue (Chinese Ancient Qigong and Pre-Qin Philosophy) (Shanghai People's Press, 1987), Ruo Guojie, "On Three Functions of Qigong, -- Analysis of the Writings on Qigong by Ancient Chinese Thinkers," in Yan Xin Qigong Phenomena, 249-263, and Zhang Liwen, Zhang Wenyong, "On the Relation between Qigong and Chinese Philosophy," ibid., 264-281, Cai Fanglu et al. Qi, (People's University of China Press, 1990).

10. By "literally as a qigong system," I mean to take it as intrinsically a qigong system, rather than as extrinsically related to qigong.

11. For example, the Shaolin school of martial arts established ten commandments for its followers, the Wudang school has "five notes" in recruiting followers and teaching their martial arts. See Wu Bin, Li Xingdong and Yu Gongbao, Essentials of Chinese Wushu (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1992), 149.

12. See ibid.

13. According to Master Yan Xin, not just his brand of qigong takes morality as the most fundamental principle, the ancient masters in all traditions all do. See Yan Xin Qigong Phenomena, 88-92.

14. The other three are: breath (bingqi, A10:4), voice (ciqi, A8:4), And breath smell (shiqi, A10:8).

15. See Confucius, The Analects, 16:7. Future references to the book will be marked by the relevant chapter and section numbers in parentheses after the citation. The translation is basically Arthur Waley's.

16. For detailed explanation of "blood qi," see Zhang Rongming, p. 222



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17. see Arthur Waley's translation of The Analects, (New York: Vintage Books, 1938) note to the section 16:7.

18. "Introduction to Mencius (New York, Penguin, 1970), 25.

19. The meaning of "zhi" is close to "will", but not exactly -- it is not a choice made by a person in the Sartrean sense, a "nothingness." It is the will which is closely related with and affected by one's education and cultivation.

20. Mencius, 2A:2.

21. Xunzi, ch. 9.

22. Xunzi, ch. 2.

23. Ouyang Wenzhonggong Wenji, Ch. 17, p. 1a-b. The passage is discussed in David Nivison ed., Confucianism in Action (Stanford, 1959), 8.

24. See Zhuzi Yulei, vols. 1, 59; Zhuwengong Weji, vol. 74.

25. Zhuzi Yulei, vol.116.

26. The Collected Works of Wang Yangming (Shanghai Taidong Shuju, 1925), vol. 1.

27. Fingarette, p. 6.

28. Ibid., p. 8.

29. The Analects, 15:4.

30. Fingarette, p. 4.

31. The Analects, 15:18.

32. Fingarette, 55.

33. A. C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao, (La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1989), 29.

34. Ibid., 355-6. Italics mine.

35. Mencius, 7A:4.

36. David Hall and Roger Ames, Thinking through Confucius (SUNY, 1987), 94.

37. See James Legge The Works of Mencius (New York: Dover, 1970), 450-1.

38. Disputers of the Tao, 127.

39. Zhang Rongming, 242-3: "A Song Confucian 'was sitting quietly someday, and saw everything is equal and they are all in my harmonious qi.' (Song Yuan Xuean, Shang Cai Xuean). Ming Confucian Hu Zhi set quietly for six months, 'suddenly one day the mind/heart got enlightened, and there was no disturbing thoughts, a vision occurred, in which the heaven and the earth and the myriad things were all but my mind/heart and body. I sighed with a surprise. I finally know that the heaven, the earth and the myriad things are



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not external.' (Ming Ru Xuean, Jiangyou Wangmen Xuean). Ming Confucian Jiang Xin 'was quiet sitting at Tao Ling Temple. ... One day, he suddenly saw clearly that the whole universe belong to one body, and was thus convinced that the bright path is vastly public, without inner and outer, and the self and the myriad things are equal in this sense.' (Ming Ru Xuean, Chuzhong Wangmen Xuean). Ming Confucian Lu Kun says, the realm within calmness is as big as the Six Realms. Inside of the realm is empty, not even one thing. But as soon as you request from it, there is everything, all sorts of things. (Ming Ru Xuean, Zhu Ru Xuean Xia)."

40. See ibid., p. 240: "'When the body is in the right condition, the myriad things are ready.' (Wenzi, vol. 3) 'When the qi circulates like spirit, the myriad things are ready.' 'Therefore, this qi cannot be stopped by physical force, but can be pacified by virtue; it cannot be called up by voice, but can be greeted by will. Respect it and do not lose it, it becomes so called complete virtue. When virtue is complete and wisdom emerges, the myriad things are all obtainable.' (Guanzi, Neiye). 'When the mind/heart is fixed at one place, nothing will be out of reach.' (Xiuxi Zhiguan Zuochan Fayao, vol. 2) 'Ever calm and deep, there is no limit in where [the power] can be applied.' (Jingde Chuandenglu, vol. 13.)"

41. James Legge, Confucian Analects, The Great Learning & the Doctrine of the Mean (New York: Dover, 1971), 418.

42. Liji (Book of Rites) trans. by James Legge (New York: University Books, 1967), Book VII, "Li Yun," section 1, p. 364.

43. See Master Yan Xin In North America, 20, 85-7.






bingqi 屏氣

Cai Fanglu 蔡方鹿

ciqi 辭氣

Da Xue 大學

Dadao zhiyingye, tianxia weigong 大道之行也,天下為公

Daojia gong 道家功



p. 95

fa wudingfa, wanfa guizong, yide weiben 法無定法,萬法歸宗,以德為本

Fojia gong 佛家功

gewu, zhizhi, zhengxin, chengyi, xiushen, qijia, zhiguo, pingtianxia

Guanzi, Neiye 管子•內業篇

haoran zhiqi 浩然之氣

Hu Zhi 胡直


jiyi 集義

Jiang Xin 蔣信


Jingde Chuandenglu 景德傳燈錄

junzi 君子

junzi yi yiweizhi, li yixingzhi 君子義以為質,禮以行之


Liji 禮記

Li Yun 禮運

Lu Kun 呂坤

Ming Ru Xuean, Chuzhong Wangmen Xuean 明儒學案•楚中王門學案

Ming Ru Xuean, Jiangyou Wangmen Xuean 明儒學案•江右王門學案

Ming Ru Xuean, Zhu Ru Xuean Xia 明儒學案˙諸儒學案下

Ouyang Wenzhonggong Wenji 歐陽文忠公文集

Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修

qigong 氣功




p. 96

Rujia gong 儒家功

Ruo Guojie 羅國杰

Shaolin 少林


shiqi 食氣



si duan 四端

Song Yuan Xuean, Shang Cai Xuean 宋元學案•上蔡學案

Taidong Shuju 泰東書局


wanwu jiebei yuwo 萬物皆備於我

Wang Yangming 王陽明


Wenzi 文子

Wudang 武當


Xiuxi Zhiguan Zhochan Fayao 修習止觀坐禪法要

xue qi 血氣

Xunzi 荀子

Yan Xin 嚴新

yangsheng 養生

yangxin 養心


Zhang Liwen 張立文

Zhang Rongming 張榮明

Zhang Wenyong 張文勇

zhi (a)



p. 97

Zhi (b)

zhicheng rushen 至誠如神

zhicheng zhidao, keyi qianzhi 至誠之道,可以前知

zhiqi 治氣

Zhongguo Gudai Qigong Yu Xianqin Zhexue 中國古代氣功與先秦哲學

Zhong Yong 中庸

Zhu Xi 朱熹

Zhuwengong Wenji 朱文公全集

Zhuzi Yulei 朱子語類