On the day you were born your parents gave you three treasures, they gave you a mind, They gave you a body and they gave you the Qi, the Chinese word for the body”s energy and the connections between the mind and the body. These are the three treasures in traditional Chinese medicine, the san bao.
In Taoist Chinese yoga practices, these day’s known in the west as Qigong, it is your duty as a human being to cultivate all three treasures throughout your life. Qigong practices seek to strengthen the body and keep it healthy. To improve breathing function, diet nutrition and herbs are used to improve the body’s energy levels. Last but not least Qigong practices look to strengthen the mind and keep learning and strengthen the connections between the mind and the body. Ultimately in Qigong the mind becomes the center of command control and coordination, and the body becomes a fit instrument with the strength and vigor to execute the minds will and engage the world.
The San Bao: The Three Treasures
The body, from the
In his 36,000 page “Science and Civilization in China” professor Joseph Needham from Cambridge referred to cultivating the three treasures as a sort of psycho physiological alchemy.
In modern biology the basic theory behind Taoist yoga is called phenotypic plasticity. Basically any system in the body or mind, improves in it’s structure and function when energy is applied.
When to apply energy to your muscles by exercising they get stronger. When you apply energy to your brain by using it, it gets smarter. The Qigong masters over the centuries have applied this theory in all sorts of way’s from improving health to the arts and sciences.
Medical, Martial, Scholarly and Spiritual
Qigong techniques were developed by three main sources through history.
Traditional Chinese medicine
Medical Qigong was developed has a way of doing the patient become an active participant in their own healing as a result of that over thousands of years the Chinese are developed meditations and exercises to help with just about every medical condition known to man.
Scholar Qigong over centuries many Chinese scholars especially from Confucianist backgrounds develop forms of chicken that became the arts art music poetry, calligraphy and many other Chinese arts were developed as forms of meditation for the cultured person to develop their mind and their artistic skills.
Meditation and spiritual practices and many of the monasteries in China of both Taoist and Buddhist traditions developed many mind body Qigong exercises for spiritual development and the seeking of a deeper understanding of the universe in which we live
Qigong Becomes a Way of Life
The skillful practice of T’ai Chi and Qi Gong requires a voluntary shift in kinesthetic awareness toward improved control of the body and enjoyment of sensation and motion. By focusing upon sensory awareness in physical activity, exercise becomes a joyous artistic performance where all separation between mind and body disappear and a new perception of life emerges. This is similar to what psychologists call a “flow state” and what the great Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu considered to be the right way to live life and motivate people to live a healthier life. Changes in skill and enjoyment of healthy lifestyles, change the way we perceive health behaviors, thereby enhancing motivation and readiness to change behavior.
Considering the scope of Qigong and it’s long history there are literally thousands of Qigong exercises. When people ask me what is Qigong that’s a difficult question to answer because there’s so many different varieties of Qigong it kind of depends on what the person is interested in. Cultivating the three treasures is different for everyone but it really doesn’t matter. It is enjoyable to live your live to the fullest and try to cultivate every aspect. Qigong practice encourages one to enjoy the journey and cultivate mind and body to the fullest.