We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars. – Alan Chadwick
EXCERPT from FOOD YOGA – Nourishing the Soul
According to traditional Chinese philosophers, the Universe was created out of a force called wu ji, which means “limitless nothingness.” Out of this infinite force arose two polar forces known as yin and yang. These yin and yang forces interact with each other constantly to produce all things. The yang world has to do with the physical realm that we wake up to everyday, whereas the yin world is the world of energy and spirit. When a person dies, they cross from the yang world into the yin world. Both worlds are eternal because in essence they are both energetic vibrations. In the grand scheme of things, all energy, whether it is material or spiritual, has a singular Energetic Source. Therefore, what we define as “material” is in fact just a perverted expression of the same spiritual energy. The Chinese have developed a science called feng shui to encourage the harmonious interaction between these two realms.
Like us, food, too, has a physical and subtle existence. It reverberates in both the yin and yang realms and therefore impacts both our physical and subtle bodies accordingly. The art of food selection and combining according to one’s unique bodily constitution (as taught in the Ayurveda) is an example of how this energy transfer plays out.
 Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to India.
For centuries, the great yogis of India and Qigong masters of the Orient have known about the amazing power of harnessing and preserving our natural “life-force” or vital energy, otherwise known as Qi (pronounced: chee). To them Qi is tied inextricably to breath, life and natural forces. Qi, frequently translated as “energy flow,” is often compared to Western notions of energeia or élan (vitalism).
However, today we often see the ideogram for this Qi energy written with the component for “rice.” Founder of the spiritual path of Mahikari, Kotama Okada, believes this association of the word for Qi energy to rice, “reflects the materialism of our society.” He says the ideogram originally represented energy flowing throughout the three realms—the divine, astral, and physical. This is evident because, “the older form of the character was written with the component of “fire” and not that for rice. Thus, the character for energy originally represented the spiritual energy of God.”
Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that the body has natural patterns of Qi that circulate in channels called meridians. Symptoms of various illnesses are often believed to be the product of disrupted, blocked, or unbalanced Qi movement inside the body’s meridians, as well as deficiencies or imbalances of Qi in the various organs. Traditional Chinese medicine often seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the circulation of Qi (metabolic energy flow) in the body through a variety of therapeutic techniques, which include herbal medicines and teas, special diets, physical exercise (e.g., qigong, tai chi), massage, and acupuncture to reroute or balance Qi.
Qigong Master, Dr Yang, Jwing-Ming explains:
To understand Qi massage, you must understand that Qi is the bioelectricity circulating in the body. Because it is electricity, it can be conducted or led through electrical correspondence. Actually, everybody has the ability to do Qi healing. To give an example, when people are sad, their Qi is Yin deficient. If you hold their hands or hug them, your Qi will nourish them and they will immediately feel better. We have been doing this instinctively for a long time. The only difference between the average person and a Qigong master is that the latter has trained in Qigong healing, and can therefore be more effective.
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 Qigong or Chi kung is an English form for two Chinese characters: Qì (meaning: breathing or energy flow) and Gōng (meaning: force or power with the focus upon some result). Combined, the word describes systems and methods of “energy cultivation” and the manipulation of intrinsic energy within living organisms.