Qi Gong has a vital role within Taoism. Among the Eastern religions, qi gong has the strongest bond with Taoism, because qi gong evolved with Taoism and Taoist beliefs.
Within the the 4 Ascendant Sphere Tradition, qi is the third sphere.
Qi is the energy of life. It is one of the three crucial energies (i.e. qi, karma, and luck) that a person must have command of in order to have the Te of Tao Te (spiritual power).
Qi, Health and Happiness
Qi gong gives everyone a greater opportunity to be healthy.
Keeping health is a prime Taoist goal (it is one of the 4 doorways), because becoming happy is more difficult the more physically infirm you are. If you are in constant pain, or in ill health, most of your mind and daily activity becomes bound into dealing with pain and disease. If you are lacking in energy, you must constantly moderate your output to very low levels so that you do not end up continually fatigued. While happiness is possible facing such burdens, it is more difficult. Many systems of Taoist qi gong are designed to alleviate these issues, and help free you of these burdens. As a result, the pursuit of happiness becomes much easier.
Qi and Its Growth from Shamanistic Roots
Qi Gong emerged originally as part of the shamanistic practices of proto-Taoism. These were the arts that would be gradually refined and come to be formed into Taoism. In early practice, the objective of qi gong was to accumulate and control as much qi as possible. The possession of such large energy levels was considered a necessary part of the Taoist priest or shaman becoming a supernatural warrior.
At this early point in time, qi gong practices were part of shamanistic dancing, seated energy absorption, and circle walking. As more refined knowledge of qi, the role of qi within the body, and qi in the environment emerged, qi gong practices became refined and there was a dramatic expansion in postural systems (wei dan) and mentally controlled systems (nei dan).
Qi and Its Role In Spiritual Enlightenment
I provide a free talk that is available for download that covers much of this topic for subscribers to the Free Taoist newsletter.
Qi is the third sphere of the 4 Ascendant Tradition, because it is the sphere in which all people have an opportunity to directly work with the non-human universe.
For the most part, what people consider to be spiritual exists only in words. Words, by their nature, exist within the Social Sphere and are not anything divine. They allow people to talk about Tao, but not to participate in the Tao. Qi Gong is the first point where most people are able to deal directly with a primal force of the universe, as it applies to them.
That force can be used for something as simple as the regeneration of health or as something as complex as readying the brain for spiritual activity.
Qi, by itself, is not a path to spiritual enlightenment. It is simply life energy.
That being said, a person with qi will find spiritual acts and perceptions to be much easier. Spiritual work must still be done no matter what your level of qi is. That is work that is never done for you.
I am providing a free course below at our sister site. It is completely free.
Regular practice of qi gong will directly improve your quality of life.
Master Mikel Steenrod
Keeper of the Gate of Man and Heaven