Dr. Pang created Zhineng Qigong out of extensive research and practical experience of Confucian, Buddhist, Daoist, martial arts and folk qigong practices and traditional Chinese medicine, in conjunction with modern medicine, science and philosophy.
Zhineng Qigong contains a series of methods suitable for the general public that are easy and bring rapid benefits. Zhineng Qigong methods consist of static methods, moving methods and mixed static/moving methods (spontaneous qigong).
These three types of practice may seem very different from one another but in fact they are concordant: not only are they based on the same hunyuan qi theory, but also each type of practice moves from an external hunyuan stage to an internal hunyuan and then a middle hunyuan stage.
Zhineng Dynamic Methods
Dynamic methods combine movement with mind activity to optimise wellbeing. There are six levels to the dynamic methods (comprising three stages).
- Level One: Lift Qi Up Pour Qi Down (Peng Qi Guan Ding Fa) is on the first level, at the external hunyuan stage. In this practice, practitioners send their internal qi outside and draw external qi inside. This not only improves the normal functions of the body and cures illness, but also can bring about some development of paranormal abilities.
- Level Two: Body Mind Form (Xing Shen Zhuang) and Lead Qi Along the Channels (Xun Jing Dao Yin Fa) belong to the second level, body-mind hunyuan, which builds upon the first level. It further mobilises qi in the skin, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, channels and bones, etc. These methods further improve human life functions to be at a higher level than is usual.
- Level Three: Five Hunyuan Form (Wu Yuan Zhuang) and Inner Organs Qi Becomes One (Zang Zhen Gui Yuan Fa) comprise the third level, inner organs qi hunyuan. They focus on the practice of inner organs qi and practice the shen (spirit or soul) activity of the five inner organs so as to increase one’s ability to control one’s life activity. Life activity covers all the different levels, of structures, tissues, cells, the movement of qi in the channels, breathing, the heartbeat and the inner organs. Through practice it becomes increasingly possible to control aspects that are ordinarily part of the autonomic nervous system.
The second and third levels together belong to the internal hunyuan stage.
The Middle Channel Hunyuan Method (Zhong Mai Hunyuan Gong), the fourth level, is mainly a practice of the middle channel and its relationship with the entire body qi, unifying all body qi to become an entirety.
The Middle Line Hunyuan Method (Zhong Xian Hunyuan Gong), the fifth level, practises middle channel qi to connect Heaven and Earth qi and to form the middle line.
The Hun Hua Return to One Method (Hun Hua Gui Yuan Gong), is the sixth level, to merge and transform humans and nature to become one.
The final three levels belong to the middle hunyuan stage.
Zhineng Static Methods
The static methods are not completely motionless, but movements are simple and few in comparison with the dynamic methods, which have many complicated movements. Static methods comprise sitting, lying and standing forms. As with the dynamic methods, the practice progresses through external, internal and middle stages, but the process is not as clear-cut. The static methods change one’s life state mainly through opening the gates and palaces, by tapping the teeth, through mudras [see glossary] and through special mind activities.
Zhineng Static/Dynamic Methods (spontaneous methods)
Static/dynamic methods are a type of special practice from long ago, not generally recorded in written form. Many practitioners of folk and martial arts qigong knew these methods. The spontaneous movements of these methods change between smaller and larger movements. Special theories underlie these methods and almost anyone who truly understands the theory could achieve a static state in 100 days of practice. If spontaneous movements have not ceased within 100 days it is difficult for the practitioner to continue to improve their gongfu level and they will use up a lot of qi. If too much qi is consumed, the shen cannot be nourished by qi and the mind could become unbalanced. Because of these problems with the methods, we currently do not teach them.
The Three Stages of Zhineng Qigong Practice
The practice of Zhineng Qigong will raise human life functions from a normal to a paranormal state. Based on the laws of life activity, we developed three stages of practice with corresponding methods.
External Hunyuan Stage
This stage is a beginner’s practice to improve normal functions.
What is external hunyuan?
External hunyuan occurs when our mind (yishi) mingles and transforms (hun hua) with the hunyuan qi of the natural world so that we draw in and utilise that hunyuan qi in our body. This hun hua process occurs outside the body, so is called external hunyuan. It has three aspects to it:
i) The mind merges with the void (the mind and original hunyuan qi mingle together); it merges human information with original hunyuan qi so that the original hunyuan qi incorporates that human mind information and can be readily utilised by humans.
ii) The mind merges with external hunyuan qi that surrounds the body, and intensifies it. This can enlarge the hunyuan qi field around one, which will bring more natural hunyuan qi into the body.
iii) The mind connects with the permeable body surface. This intensifies the function of qi movement in and out through the skin.
Benefits of the External Hunyuan Stage Practice:
i) It increases connections between the human body and the natural world.
ii) One absorbs external hunyuan qi to improve and strengthen internal hunyuan qi.
iii) One develops from normal to paranormal abilities. For instance, through practicing external hunyuan one can feel and experience the existence of external hunyuan qi
Why can we benefit so much from the practice of external hunyuan?
Modern science believes that normal human life processes, from a small cell to the complexity of an entire body, must all retain a physio-biochemical balance. To maintain this balance the body must exchange matter, energy and information with the external world. The metabolic process occurs through internal qi opening out, external qi gathering in and the two inter-changing. These changes and the process of exchange take place mainly on the membranous level. The change of qi at this membranous level can directly influence one’s life state. Change beyond a certain level will lead to illness, although usually the body’s functions will themselves adjust to bring about recovery. If these body functions cease, the body will die. These life processes occur naturally as part of the laws of life.
Qigong science discovered this process of life and that the mind can lead and control this process of change. So Zhineng Qigong developed certain methods that intensify the process by which internal qi goes out of and external qi comes into the body to transform each other, thereby increasing vitality. This process changes natural life activity to become conscious life activity.
Internal Hunyuan Stage
Conscious life activity is guided to a deeper level in this stage.
What is internal hunyuan?
The mind merges with internal hunyuan qi and makes internal hunyuan qi penetrate deeper into different parts of the body tissues, merging skin, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, bones, channels and the inner organs into a unity. This practice is based on the benefits gained from external hunyuan practice, which makes internal body qi plentiful. The practice of the internal hunyuan stage requires the mind to be totally concentrated within.
Benefits of the internal hunyuan stage:
i) It improves the ability of the mind to direct and control qi. It can bring qi directly to different parts of the body.
ii) It increases the practitioner’s control over their mind. The emotions become more stable.
iii) Yiyuanti’s functions can be developed so one can experience the exchange of internal and external qi.
iv) Practitioners achieve the first level of an ideal healthy state in body and mind.
v) It increases the process of hun hua of body hunyuan qi and inner organs hunyuan qi.
Middle Hunyuan Stage
Middle hunyuan practice begins when Hunyuan Palace has been opened.
What is middle hunyuan practice? There are two stages.
i) Concentrate the mind on the middle channel and form a qi column inside the middle channel, connecting the top of the head and huiyin. Then make body qi merge and transform (hun hua) with middle channel qi. [This is Level Four practice. If the mind can concentrate into the Central Channel so it becomes very fine, then this is the Central Line, and one’s practice differs only in degree.]
ii) Concentrate the mind on the middle point of one’s being; the term middle point is a special appellation to describe a particular state that is very even, very pure, feeling no distinctions, corresponding to the characteristics of yiyuanti. The mind (yishi) concentrates on this particular point, and in fact returns to yiyuanti itself. [This is Level Six.]
Benefits of the middle hunyuan stage: Practitioners achieve a state of paranormal ability.
Six level methods:
1. Lift Qi Up Pour Qi Down:
Lift Qi Up and Pour Qi Down (Peng Qi Guan Ding Fa) is the first form of Zhineng Qigong and the basic form for the prevention and healing of illness. Through physical movements and the use of the mind, external qi is drawn into the body and internal qi is released. The quality and quantity of our bodily qi improve, and the pathways linking us to the qi of nature are opened. Even people with limited mobility or strength can practise it, since the use of the mind is more important than precision of movement. It is an external qi practice.
2. Body And Mind:
Body Mind Form (Xing Shen Zhuang) is an internal qi practice that works on the skin, muscles, sinews, tendons and bones, and on the channels through which qi flows. The unification of body and mind / consciousness is important in the practice of this form. It has great benefits for health and makes the body stronger and more graceful. It also opens the channels so qi flows more smoothly. Its practice enhances mindpower and abilities.
3. Five Organs Unified Method:
Five organs Unified Method (Wu Yuan Zhong) is also an internal qi practice. Using sound, movement, and breathing techniques, the method activates and balances the internal qi of the five organs, thereby unifying the essential qi of the internal organs into middle dantian. It helps achieve physical cleansing as well as emotional balance.
4. Central channel hun yuan
5. Central line hunyuan
6. Unite and transform into one
Other methods of Zhineng qigong
1. La Qi
2. Three Centers Merge Standing Meditation
3. Body mind form
4. Tapping along the meridians
5. Eight methods of cultivating qi
6. Straight Legs Sitting
7. Paranormal wisdom methods
8. Greater Horse Stance (damabu)
9. Wall squats
10. Taiji Ball
11. Lying posture method
12. Tiger Form Covering with Qi
13. Breathing methods