With a Qigong workshop approaching, I am getting more people asking me about my views on Qigong. I like to point them in the direction of Gunther Weill’s outstanding article, in which he describes what for him is the essence of Qigong, including some of the key issues and pitfalls. Here is an excerpt:
`Having studied and worked for many years with a variety of teachings, and masters of internal energy, martial and spiritual arts, I have personally experienced and observed many of the spiritual blind alleys and subtle dangers that are associated with complex systems of Qi training and hierarchical structures of spiritual development. The obvious risks include identification with a set of formal teachings, lineages, systems, or even the identity of belonging to an elite professional organization. The less obvious, more subtle dangers involve identification with a set of goals, or images of spiritual attainment, no matter how refined or ideal they may be. The result of either is that the seeker assumes a new self-image; an elevated or spiritual ego emerges, an identity framed within the language, symbols or authority of the teachings or lineage. These risks become especially compelling when ancient teachings are highly commercialized as they are transplanted into Western society. As a result, it is very easy for students of Qigong or meditation to become lost in a forest of techniques, symbols, arcane language, rituals or authority and thereby ignore the simple and direct realization that lies at the very heart or genesis of most formal systems. This essential realization, which we could describe as Presence or Being, is in complete alignment with the core of Taoist principles…’
The whole article can be found in several places online, including here. Highly recommended.