Chi Energy: Meaning and Significance of Qi in Chinese Culture

According to Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosopher, Chi, or Qi, is one, and it is underneath heaven. When a person is born, he starts acquiring his Qi, which propels his life. When his Qi fades away, his life ceases, and he meets his death.

Energy is the ultimate parameter that facilitates life and the uncountable activities on earth. There are many dimensions of energy which are characterized in myriad ways. Some are tabled as positive, the rest are negative. All living beings are believed to harbor both these forms of energy within themselves. Hence, we are dependent on this energy flow, which is influenced by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In fact, the life of a substance is controlled by the life energy. The amount of this energy decides whether a substance is full of life, or devoid of it. Life energy, called Chi, is executed to perfection by the proper balance between the forces of Yin and Yang.

As known by many, Yin and Yang are the opposing forces, which in reality complement each other. The existence of either one is impossible in the absence of the other. These forces are believed to be lying in everything that is present on this earth. Thus, when these forces combine, they facilitate the perfect balance and working of the Chi. It is also believed to the core, that Qi is present, and also functions within the non-living too. Though the functionality does differ from the functionality of the living.

Ashe, Ka, Mana, Pneuma, Prana, Shakti, the Great Spirit, and the Holy Spirit, are some of the synonyms of Chi or Qi. Chi is diversified in many parts. The top three Chi are noted as the one that we are born with, called the ancestral Chi, the Chi that we absorb from the food and water that we intake is called the post natal Chi, and the last one forms a protective case over our body, known as the protective Chi. Let’s delve deeper into the concept and see how to use Chi energy.

Chi or Qi is the embodiment of life energy. This energy can be multifaceted, ranging from emotional, mystic, and spiritual realms. In Chinese philosophy, the most dominant feature associated with Qi is the air. In the context of martial arts, it denotes the internal energy within a human body. According to Taiji, also known as Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, it is the life energy. The flow of Chi within the human body ensures proper functioning of the body. This is attained through the air that is inhaled by the lungs, the energy obtained from food which is absorbed by the body, and is circulated throughout the body. This entire process of absorbing the much-needed Chi in the body was maneuvered with some exercises that focused on breathing, meditation, and also acrobatics. This in itself is an ancient practice in China, popularized as Qi Gong.

Many sinologists opine that Qi is the energy which underlines all matter. It is shaped in the forms of vapor and breath. It is indispensable and renders the functionality of all beings. It keeps the mind active, and lends agility and strength. It controls the mind and its thoughts and emotions. It synchronizes all bodily activities. Chi is the life energy that is responsible for life altogether. It is very much associated with martial arts, and also finds place in Chinese medicine. According to innately famous Chinese medicine, the human body is a comprehensive web of Chi, which flows through it, giving it life.

It flows through the body through fixed pathways, also called jingluo. When this flow of chi through the pathways is hindered, the body functions are inhibited by the accumulated toxins in the body, causing in maladies. Chi is manifested in martial arts, meditation, personal improvement through all round development, healing, and the spiritual uplift. Chi is used in several ways in the interest of the living beings. One of the ways is to manipulate it in order to cure people from ailments.

Perhaps, one of the best ways to master Chi is through Qi Gong, where there is an imaginary energy ball that is created, and then sent across to the ailing people. This energy ball is believed to direct and focus Chi energy, thus restoring the normal functioning of the person.

One of the best ways to experience Chi is through meditation. During meditation, the practitioner eventually attains a level where he can experience the subtle movements of the energy flow. He can feel the energy being directed to a particular part of the body. The person then concentrates on the flow of the energy completely on that area. He then envisions the energy flowing into some other part of his body. This mere vision actually directs and focuses the Chi into that other part. This whole process is termed as intention. Thus, intention helps to use Chi energy, by giving it a direction to move.

This intention alone is responsible for making the impossible, possible, well within the grasp of humans. By implementing concentration and intention, followed by focus, one can even displace objects without touching them. The most overwhelming powers of Chi is in its ability to influence desires. As said previously, energy is also transferred from the practitioner to other people by using the energy ball. This phenomenon is used to infuse positivity in a person who is bogged down by negativity.

One of the ways to harness Chi is by meditation, during which, the mind and the body unite, and there is a strong network of Chi created in the process. Thinking about positive things and banishing negative thoughts completely helps in enriching the Chi, and also helps in making the process of Chi formation hassle-free.

# The basic science behind Chi is the formation and transfer of energy. Our body has both positive and negative energies. By obtaining a neutrality of the two, we can have normal body functioning.

# This neutrality is achieved through activities of Qi Gong, Karate, other martial art forms, and acupuncture.

The concept of Chi is ancient, and it is advocated in many parts of the world under different names. Though there are people who question the viability of Chi, its importance in our everyday life can’t be ignored. It is now gaining popularity in most countries, owing to the multifarious benefits that it features. These benefits can be explored and experienced at different margins by practicing meditation on a regular basis.