Chapter I Introduction

In our country, [China], qigong[1] has a long history, as it dates back to ancient times. Our people thus have a natural advantage in practicing qigong. The two upright schools of qigong cultivation practice, the Buddha School and the Dao School, have already made public many great cultivation methods previously taught in private. The Dao School’s ways of cultivation are quite unique, while the Buddha School has its own cultivation methods. Falun Gong[2] is an advanced cultivation method of the Buddha School. In this lecture series, I will first adjust your body to a state suitable for advanced cultivation and then install a Falun[3] and energy mechanisms (qiji) in your body. I will also teach you our exercises. In addition to all of these things, I have Law Bodies (fashen) who will protect you. But your having only these things is inadequate, as they can’t achieve the goal of developing gong[4]—it’s necessary that you also understand the principles for cultivation at high levels. That is what this book will address.

I am teaching the practice system at high levels, so I won’t discuss cultivation of any particular meridian,[5] acupuncture point, or energy passage. I am teaching a great cultivation way, the great way for true cultivation to high levels. Initially it might sound inconceivable. But as long as those who are dedicated to practicing qigong carefully explore and experience the practice, they will find all the wonders and intricacies within it.  

1. The Origins of Qigong  

The qigong that we refer to today was not, in fact, originally called qigong. It originated from the solitary cultivation ways of the ancient Chinese people and from cultivation in religions. The two-character term, qi gong, is nowhere to be found in the texts Scripture of Dan Cultivation, the Daoist Canon,[6] or the Tripitaka.[7] During the course of our present human civilization’s development, qigong passed through the period when religions were in their embryonic forms. It had already existed before religions came into being. After religions formed, it acquired some degree of religious overtones. Qigong’s original names were The Great Cultivation Way of Buddha, and The Great Cultivation Way of Dao. It had other names, such as Nine-fold Internal Alchemy, The Way of Arhat,[8] The Dhyana of Vajra,[9] etc. We now call it qigong so that it better suits our modern thinking and is more easily popularized in society. Qigong is actually something existing in China for the sole purpose of cultivating the human body.

Qigong is not something invented by this civilization. It has a fairly long history that dates back to distant years. So, when did qigong come into being? Some say that qigong has a history of three thousand years, and became quite popular during the Tang Dynasty.[10] Some say it has a history of five thousand years and is as old as Chinese civilization. Some say that, judging from archaeological findings, it has a history of seven thousand years thus far. I regard qigong as something not invented by modern humankind—it is from prehistoric culture. According to investigation by people with supernormal abilities, the universe we live in is an entity that was remade after being exploded nine times. The planet we dwell on has been destroyed many times. Each time the planet was remade, humankind again began to multiply. At present, we have already discovered that there are many things on the earth that surpass our present civilization. According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, humans evolved from apes, and civilization is no more than ten thousand years old. Yet archaeological findings have revealed that in the caves of the European Alps there exist 250-thousand-year-old frescoes that exhibit a very high level of artistry—one far beyond the abilities of modern people. In the museum of the National University of Peru, there is a large rock on which is an engraved figure who holds a telescope and is observing the stars. This figure is more than thirty thousand years old. As we know, Galileo invented a 30X astronomical telescope in 1609, just over three hundred years ago. How could there have been a telescope thirty thousand years ago? There is an iron pillar in India whose iron content is over ninety-nine percent. Even modern smelting technology cannot produce iron with such high purity; it had already surpassed the level of modern technology. Who created those civilizations? How could human beings—who would have been microorganisms in those times—have created these things? These discoveries have caught the attention of scientists worldwide. They are considered to be from prehistoric culture since they prove inexplicable.

The level of scientific achievement was different in each time period. In some time periods it was quite high, surpassing that of our modern humankind. But those civilizations were destroyed. Therefore, I say that qigong wasn’t invented or created by modern people, but discovered and perfected by modern people. It is from prehistoric culture.

Qigong is not exclusively a product of our country. It exists in foreign countries as well, but they don’t call it qigong. Western countries, such as the United States, Great Britain, etc., call it magic. David Copperfield, a magician in the US, is a master of supernormal abilities who once performed the feat of walking through the Great Wall of China. When he was about to pass through the Wall, he used a white cloth as a cover, pressed himself against the Wall, and then proceeded to go through it. Why did he do that? Doing it that way would lead many people to consider it a magic show. It had to be done like that since he knew there are many people in China with great supernormal abilities. He was afraid of interference from them, so he covered himself before he went in. When coming out, he raised the cloth with one hand and walked out. As the saying goes, “Experts watch for tricks while laymen watch for excitement.” With it done this way the audience thought it was a magic performance. These supernormal abilities are called magic because they aren’t used for cultivating the human body, but for stage performances in order to display unusual things and to entertain. From a low-level perspective, qigong can change the condition of one’s body, achieving the goals of healing and health. From a high-level perspective, qigong refers to the cultivation of one’s original-body (benti).  

2. Qi and Gong  

The qi[11] we now talk about was called chee[12] by ancient people. They are essentially the same, as both refer to the qi of the universe—a shapeless, invisible kind of substance existing throughout the universe. Qi does not refer to air. The energy of this substance is activated in the human body through practicing cultivation. Its activation changes the body’s physical condition and can have the effect of producing healing and health. Yet qi is merely qi—you have qi, he has qi, and one person’s qi cannot have a restraining effect on another’s qi. Some say that qi can cure illnesses, or that you can emit qi towards someone to cure his or her illness. These remarks are rather unscientific, as qi cannot cure illness in the least. When a practitioner’s body still contains qi, it means that his or her body is not yet a Milk-White Body. That is, the practitioner still carries illness.

A person who obtains advanced abilities through cultivation does not emit qi. Instead, he or she emits a cluster of high energy. It is a high-energy substance that manifests in the form of light, and its particles are fine and its density is high. This is gong. Only this can have a restraining effect on everyday people, and only with this can one treat sicknesses for others. There is a saying, “A Buddha’s light shines everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” It means that those who practice true cultivation carry immense energy in their bodies. Wherever these persons go, any abnormal condition within the area covered by their energy can be corrected and restored to normal. For instance, sickness in one’s body is truly an abnormal bodily state, and the sickness will disappear after this state is corrected. More simply put, gong is energy. Gong has physical characteristics, and practitioners can experience and perceive its objective existence through practicing cultivation.  

3. Gong Potency and Supernormal Abilities  

(1) Gong Potency is Developed Through Cultivating Xinxing[13]

The gong that truly determines the level of one’s gong potency (gongli) isn’t developed through performing qigong exercises. It is developed through the transformation of the substance called virtue (de), and through the cultivation of xinxing. This transformation process isn’t accomplished by “setting up a crucible and furnace to make an elixir from gathered chemicals,”[14] as imagined by everyday people. The gong we refer to is generated outside the body, and it begins at the lower half of the body. Following the improvement of one’s xinxing, it grows upward in a spiral shape and forms completely outside one’s body. Upon reaching the crown of the head it then develops into a gong column. The height of this gong column determines the level of a person’s gong. The gong column exists in a deeply hidden dimension, making it difficult for an average person to see it.

Supernormal abilities are strengthened by gong potency. The higher a person’s gong potency and level, the greater his or her supernormal abilities are and the easier they are to use. People with lower gong potency have weaker supernormal abilities; they find it harder to use them, and some are completely unusable. Supernormal abilities themselves represent neither the level of one’s gong potency nor the level of one’s cultivation. What determines one’s level is gong potency, rather than supernormal abilities. Some people cultivate in a “locked” mode, whereby their gong potency is rather high but they don’t necessarily possess many supernormal abilities. Gong potency is the determining factor, is developed through xinxing cultivation, and is the most crucial thing.  

(2) Supernormal Abilities are Not What Cultivators Pursue

All practitioners care about supernormal abilities. Supernatural abilities are attractive to the general public and many people want to acquire some. Yet without good xinxing one won’t be able to acquire supernormal abilities.

Some supernormal abilities that might be possessed by everyday people include an open Third Eye[15] (tianmu), clairaudience, telepathy, precognition, etc. But not all of these supernormal abilities will appear during the stages of Gradual Enlightenment, as they vary with each individual. It is impossible for everyday people to have certain supernormal abilities, such as that of transforming one kind of substance in this physical dimension into another kind of substance—this isn’t something everyday people can have. Great supernormal abilities are only developed through cultivating after birth. Falun Gong was developed based on the principles of the universe, so all supernormal abilities that exist in the universe exist in Falun Gong. It all depends on how a practitioner cultivates. The thought of acquiring some supernormal abilities isn’t considered wrong. Nevertheless, excessively intense pursuit is more than a normal thought and will produce negative results. It is of little use for someone at a low level to acquire supernormal abilities, save for trying to employ these to show off his or her abilities in front of everyday people and hoping to become the stronger one among them. If this is the case, it indicates precisely that the person’s xinxing is not high and that it is right not to give him or her supernormal abilities. Some supernormal abilities can be used to commit wrongdoing if they are given to people with poor xinxing. Because those people’s xinxing are not steady there is no guarantee that they won’t do something bad.

On the other hand, any supernormal abilities that can be demonstrated or performed cannot change human society or alter normal social life. Real high-level supernormal abilities are not allowed to be brought out for show, because the impact and danger would be too great; for example, one would never perform the pulling down of a large building. Great supernormal abilities are not allowed to be used except by people with special missions, and neither can these abilities be revealed; this is because high-level masters restrain them.

All the same, some everyday people insist on having qigong masters perform, forcing them to display their supernormal abilities. People with supernormal abilities are unwilling to use them for performance, since they are forbidden to reveal them; displaying them would impact the entire state of society. People who genuinely possess great virtue are not allowed to use their supernormal abilities in public. Some qigong masters feel awful during performances and want to cry afterward. Don’t force them to perform! It is upsetting to them to reveal these things. A student brought a magazine to me. I felt disgusted the moment I read it. It mentioned that an international qigong conference was to be held. People with supernormal abilities could participate in a contest, and the conference was open to whoever had great supernormal abilities. After I read it I felt upset for days. Supernormal abilities are not something that can be publicly displayed for competition—demonstrating them in public is regrettable. Everyday people focus on practical things in the mundane world, but qigong masters need to have dignity.

What’s the motive behind wanting supernormal abilities? Wanting them reflects a practitioner’s realm of mind and pursuits. A person with impure pursuits and an unstable mind is unlikely to have great supernormal abilities. This is because before you are fully enlightened, what you perceive to be good or bad is only based on the standards of this world. You can see neither the true nature of things nor the karmic relationships among them. Fighting, cursing, and mistreatment among people are inherently caused by karmic relationships. You can only be more trouble than help if you can’t perceive them. The gratitude and resentment, right and wrong of everyday people are governed by the laws of this world; practitioners shouldn’t be concerned with these things. Before you achieve full Enlightenment, what you see with your eyes might not necessarily be the truth. When one person punches another, it might be that they are settling their karmic debts. Your involvement might hamper the settlement of the debt. Karma is a type of black substance that surrounds the human body. It has physical existence in another dimension and can transform into sickness or misfortune.

Supernormal abilities exist in everyone, and the idea is that they need to be developed and strengthened through continued cultivation. If, as a practitioner, a person only pursues supernormal abilities, he is shortsighted and impure in mind. No matter what he wants supernormal abilities for, his pursuit contains elements of selfishness that will definitely hinder cultivation. Consequently, he will never obtain supernormal abilities. 

(3) Handling Gong Potency

Some practitioners haven’t practiced for very long, yet they want to treat illnesses for others to see how effective they are. When those of you without high gong potency extend your hand and try, you absorb into your own body a great deal of black, unhealthy, filthy qi that exists in the patient’s body. Since you don’t have the ability to resist unhealthy qi and your body also lacks a protective shield, you form one shared field with the patient; you can’t defend against unhealthy qi without high gong potency. As a result, you will experience a great deal of discomfort. If no one looks after you, over the course of time you will accumulate illness throughout your body. So someone who lacks high gong potency shouldn’t treat illnesses for others. Only a person who has already developed supernormal abilities and who possesses a certain level of gong potency can use qigong to treat illness. Even though some people have developed supernormal abilities and are able to treat illnesses, they are, when at a rather low level, in fact using their accumulated gong potency—their own energy—to treat the illnesses. Since gong is both energy and an intelligent entity that isn’t easily accumulated, you are actually depleting yourself of gong when you emit it. Accompanying your release of gong, the gong column above your head shortens and depletes. That is not worth it at all. So I don’t endorse treating illness for others when your gong potency is not high. No matter how great the methods you used, you would still consume your own energy.

All kinds of supernormal abilities will emerge when a person’s gong potency reaches a certain level. You need to be very cautious when using these supernormal abilities. For instance, a person has to use his Third Eye once it has opened, as it will close if he never uses it. Yet he shouldn’t look through it frequently. Too much energy will be discharged if he looks through it too often. So does this mean one should never use it? Of course not. If we were to never use it, then what would be the use of our practicing cultivation? The question is when to use it. You can use it only when you have cultivated to a certain stage and possess the ability to replenish yourself. When a cultivator of Falun Gong reaches a certain stage, the Falun can automatically transform and replenish however much gong he or she releases. The Falun automatically maintains a practitioner’s gong potency level, and his or her gong won’t decrease for even one moment. This is a characteristic of Falun Gong. Not until that point may supernormal abilities be used.  

4. The Third Eye 

(1) Opening the Third Eye

The Third Eye’s main passage is located between the middle of the forehead and the Shangen[16] point. The way everyday people see things with the naked eye works the same way as a camera does: The size of the lens, or pupil, is adjusted according to the distance of an object and the intensity of the light. Via the optic nerves, images then form on the pineal gland, located at the back of the brain. The supernormal ability of Penetrative Vision is simply the ability of the pineal gland to look directly out through the Third Eye. An average person’s Third Eye is closed, as his or her main passage is narrow and dark. There is no quintessential qi inside, no illumination. Some people cannot see, for their passages are blocked.

To open the Third Eye, we first use either outside force or self-cultivation to unblock the passage. The shape of the passage varies with each individual, ranging from oval to round, rhombic to triangular. The better you cultivate, the rounder the passage will become. Second, the master gives you an eye. If you cultivate on your own then you have to cultivate it yourself. Third, you need to have quintessential qi[17] at the location of your Third Eye.

We usually see things with our two eyes, and it is exactly these two eyes that block our channel to other dimensions. Since they function as a shield, we can only see objects that exist in our physical dimension. Opening the Third Eye allows you to see without using these two eyes. You can also cultivate to have a True Eye after you reach a very high level. Then you can see with the True Eye of The Third Eye, or with the True Eye at the Shangen point. According to the Buddha School, every pore of the body is an eye—there are eyes all over the body. According to the Dao School, every acupuncture point is an eye. The main passage is nonetheless located at the Third Eye, and it has to be opened first. In class, I plant in everyone things that can open the Third Eye. The results vary owing to differences in people’s physical qualities. Some people see a dark hole similar to a deep well. This means the passage of the Third Eye is dark. Others see a white tunnel. If objects can be seen in front, the Third Eye is about to open. Some see objects revolving, which are what Master[18] has planted to open the Third Eye. You will be able to see once the Third Eye is drilled open. Some people can see a large eye through their Third Eye, and they think it is the Buddha’s eye. It is actually their own eye. These are usually people with relatively good inborn quality.

According to our statistics, the Third Eye is opened for more than half of the attendees each time we give a lecture series. A problem might arise after the Third Eye is opened, wherein a person whose xinxing isn’t high can easily use the Third Eye to do bad things. To prevent this problem, I open your Third Eye directly to the level of Wisdom Eyesight—in other words, to an advanced level that allows you to directly see scenes from other dimensions and to see things that appear during cultivation, allowing you to believe them. This will reinforce your confidence in cultivation. The xinxing of people who have just started practicing have not yet reached the level of supernormal people. They are thus inclined to do wrong once they possess supernormal things. Let’s give a playful example: If you were to walk along the street and come upon a lottery stand, you might be able to walk away with the first prize. This won’t be allowed to happen—it’s just to illustrate the point. Another reason is that we are opening the Third Eye for a large number of people. Suppose every person’s Third Eye was opened at a lower level: Just imagine if everyone could see through the human body or see objects behind walls—could we still call this a human society? Human society would be severely disrupted, so it is neither permissible nor achievable. Furthermore, it wouldn’t do practitioners any good and would only foster their attachments. So we won’t open the Third Eye for you at a low level. We will instead open it directly at a high level.  

(2) The Third Eye’s Levels

The Third Eye has many different levels; at different levels it sees different dimensions. According to Buddhism there are five levels: Flesh Eyesight, Celestial Eyesight, Wisdom Eyesight, Law Eyesight, and Buddha Eyesight. Each level is subdivided into upper, middle, and lower levels. Only our material world can be observed when at or below the level of Celestial Eyesight. Only at or above the level of Wisdom Eyesight will other dimensions be observable. Those who have the supernormal ability of Penetrative Vision can see things accurately, with clarity better than that of a CAT scan. But what they can see is still within this physical world and doesn’t exceed the dimension in which we exist; they aren’t considered to have reached an advanced level of the Third Eye.

The level of a person’s Third Eye is determined by the amount of his or her quintessential qi, as well as the width, brightness, and degree of blockage of the main passage. The internal, quintessential qi is critical in determining how thoroughly the Third Eye will be able to open. It is particularly easy to open the Third Eye for children under the age of six. I needn’t even bother using my hand, as it opens once I start talking. This is because children have received little negative influence from our physical world and they haven’t committed any wrongdoing. Their quintessential qi is well preserved. The Third Eye of a child over the age of six becomes increasingly difficult to open, owing to the increase of external influences as they grow up. In particular, unsound education, being spoiled, and turning immoral can all make the quintessential qi dissipate. All of it will be gone after a certain point is reached. Those people whose quintessential qi is completely lost can gradually recover it through cultivation, but it takes a long period of time and arduous effort. So the quintessential qi is extremely precious.

I don’t recommend that a person’s Third Eye be opened at the level of Celestial Eyesight, because a practitioner with low gong potency will lose more energy looking at objects than he accumulates through cultivation. The Third Eye might once again close if too much of the essential energy is lost. Once it closes it won’t be easy to open again. So I usually open the Third Eye for people at the level of Wisdom Eyesight. No matter how clear or unclear a cultivator’s vision is, he or she will be able to see objects in other dimensions. Since people are affected by their innate qualities, some see clearly, some see things intermittently, and others see unclearly. But at a minimum, you will be able to see light. This will help a cultivator progress toward high levels. Those who can’t see clearly will be able to remedy this through cultivation.

People who have less quintessential qi only see images in black and white through the Third Eye. The Third Eye of a person who has relatively more quintessential qi will be able to see scenes in color and in clearer form. The more the quintessential qi, the better the clarity. But every individual is different. Some people are born with the Third Eye open, while for others it might be tightly clogged. When the Third Eye is opening, the image is similar to the blooming of a flower, opening layer after layer. You will initially discover during the seated meditation that there is illumination in the area of the Third Eye. At the beginning the illumination isn’t so bright, while later it turns red. The Third Eye of some people is tightly closed, so their initial physical reactions might be quite strong. These people will feel the muscles around the primary passage and the Shangen point tightening, as if they were being pressed and squeezed inward. Their temples and foreheads will start to feel like they are swelling and aching. All of these are symptoms of the Third Eye opening. A person whose Third Eye opens easily can occasionally see certain things. During my classes, some people unwittingly see my Law Bodies. They disappear when they intentionally try to look, as these people are then actually using their physical eyes. When you see some things with your eyes closed, try to remain in that state of seeing and you will gradually see things more clearly. If you want to watch more closely, you will actually switch to your own eyes and use the optic nerves. You will then be unable to see anything.

The dimensions perceived by the Third Eye differ in accordance with the level of a person’s Third Eye. Some scientific research departments fail to understand this principle, preventing some qigong experiments from reaching their expected outcomes. Occasionally, some experiments even reach opposite conclusions. For example, an institute designed a method to test supernormal abilities. They asked qigong masters to see the contents of a sealed box. Because those masters’ Third Eye levels are different, their answers are different. The research staff then regarded the Third Eye as false and as a misleading concept. Someone with a lower-level Third Eye will usually achieve better results in this kind of experiment, because his Third Eye is opened at the level of the Celestial Eyesight—a level suitable only for observing objects in this physical dimension. So people who don’t understand the Third Eye think that these people have the greatest supernormal abilities. All objects, organic or inorganic, appear in different shapes and forms in different dimensions. For example, as soon as a glass is manufactured, in a different dimension an intelligent entity comes into existence. Moreover, prior to existing as this entity it might have been something else. When the Third Eye is at its lowest level, one will see the glass. At a high level one will see the entity that exists in the other dimension. At an even higher level one will see the material form prior to the existence of that intelligent entity.  

(3) Remote Viewing

After opening the Third Eye, the supernormal ability of Remote Viewing emerges for some people, and they are able to see objects thousands of miles away. Each individual occupies dimensions of his own. In those dimensions he is as big as a universe. Within a certain particular dimension, he has a mirror in front of his forehead, though it is invisible in our dimension. Everyone has this mirror, but the mirror of a nonpractitioner faces inward. For practitioners, this mirror slowly turns over. Once it turns over, the mirror can reflect what the practitioner wants to see. In his particular dimension he is rather large. Since his body is fairly large, so too is his mirror. Whatever the cultivator wants to see can be reflected onto the mirror. Although the image has been captured, he still can’t see, as the image needs to stay on the mirror for a second. The mirror turns over and allows him to see the objects it reflects. Then it turns back, flipping back over quickly, and flipping back and forth ceaselessly. Cinematic film moves at twenty-four frames per second to produce continuous movement. The speed at which the mirror flips is much faster than that, and so the images appear continuous and clear. This is Remote Viewing—the principle of Remote Viewing is this simple. This used to be very secret, yet I have revealed it in just a few lines.  

(4) Dimensions

From our perspective, dimensions are quite complicated. Humankind knows only the dimension in which humans currently exist, while other dimensions haven’t yet been explored or detected. When it comes to other dimensions, we qigong masters have already seen dozens of levels of dimensions. These, too, can be explained theoretically, though they remain unproven by science. Even though some people don’t admit the existence of certain things, they have actually reflected into our dimension. For example, there is a place called the Bermuda Triangle (the Devil’s Triangle). Some ships and planes have disappeared in that area, only to reemerge years later. No one can explain why, as no one has gone beyond the confines of human thoughts and theories. In fact, the Triangle is a gateway to another dimension. Unlike our regular doors that have definite positions, it remains in an unpredictable state. The ship can easily enter the other dimension if it passes through when the door happens to be open. Humans cannot sense the differences between the dimensions, and they enter into the other dimension instantly. The space-time difference between that dimension and our dimension cannot be expressed in miles—a distance of thousands of miles might be contained in one point here, that is, they might exist in the same place and at the same time. The ship swings in for a moment and comes back out again by accident. Yet decades have passed in this world, since time is different in these two dimensions. There are also unitary worlds existing in each dimension. There is a similarity here to our models of atomic structures wherein one ball is connected to another by a string, involving many balls and strings; it is very complex.

A British pilot was carrying out a mission four years prior to World War II. In the middle of his flight he ran into a heavy thunderstorm. By drawing on past experience, he was able to find an abandoned airport. The moment the airport appeared before his eyes, a completely different picture came into view: All of a sudden it was sunny and cloudless, as if he had just emerged from another world. The airplanes at the airport were colored in yellow, and people were busy doing things on the ground. He thought this was so weird! No one acknowledged him after he touched down; even the control tower didn’t contact him. The pilot then decided to leave since the sky had cleared up. He flew again, and when he was at the same distance at which he had seen the airport moments ago, he again plunged into a thunderstorm. He eventually managed to get back. He reported the situation and even wrote it down in the flight record. But his superiors didn’t believe him. Four years later World War II broke out, and he was transferred to that abandoned airport. He immediately recalled that it was exactly the same scene he had seen four years before. All of us qigong masters know how to explain it. He did in advance what he would do four years later. Before the first action had begun, he had gone there and played his role in advance. Things then returned to being in the right order.  

5. Qigong Treatments and Hospital Treatments  

Theoretically speaking, qigong treatments are completely different from the treatments given at hospitals. Western treatments utilize methods of everyday people’s society. Despite having means such as laboratory tests and X-ray examinations, they can only observe the sources of illness in this dimension and they cannot see fundamental causes that exist in other dimensions. So they fail to understand the cause of illness. Medication can remove or drive away the origin of a patient’s illness (which is considered a pathogen by Western doctors, and karma in qigong) if he or she isn’t seriously ill. Medicine will be ineffective in the event that the illness is serious, as the patient might be unable to bear increased dosages. Not all illnesses are constrained by the laws of this world. Some illnesses are quite serious and exceed the confines of this world, rendering hospitals incapable of curing them.

Chinese Medicine is the traditional medical science in our country. It is inseparable from the supernormal abilities developed through cultivation of the human body. Ancient people paid special attention to cultivation of the human body. The Confucian School, the Dao School, the Buddha School—and even the students of Confucianism—have all attached importance to meditation. Sitting in meditation used to be considered a skill. Even though they didn’t perform exercises, over the course of time they still developed their gong and supernormal abilities. Why was Chinese acupuncture able to detect the human body’s meridians so clearly? Why aren’t the acupuncture points connected horizontally? Why aren’t they crossed, and why are they connected vertically? Why were they able to be mapped out with such accuracy? Modern people with supernormal abilities can see with their own eyes the same things that those Chinese doctors portrayed. This is because the famous ancient Chinese doctors generally had supernormal abilities. In Chinese history, Li Shizhen, Sun Simiao, Bian Que, and Hua Tuo[19] were all in fact qigong masters with supernormal abilities. In being passed down to this day, Chinese Medicine has lost its supernormal ability component and has only retained the treatment techniques. In the past, Chinese doctors used their eyes (with supernormal abilities) to diagnose illness. Later, they also developed the method of taking pulses.[20] If supernormal abilities were added back into the Chinese methods of treatment, one could say that Western Medicine wouldn’t be able to catch up with Chinese Medicine for many years to come.

Qigong treatments eliminate the root cause of illness. I regard illness as one type of karma, and to treat an illness is to help diminish this karma. Some qigong masters treat illness by using the method of discharging and supplementing qi to help patients eliminate black qi. At a rather low level these masters discharge black qi, yet they don’t know the root cause of the black qi. This black qi will return and the illness will relapse. The truth is that the black qi is not the cause of the illness—the existence of black qi only makes the patient feel uncomfortable. The root cause of the patient’s illness is an intelligent entity that exists in another dimension. Many qigong masters don’t know this. Since that intelligent entity is mighty, average people are not able touch it, nor would they dare to. Falun Gong’s way of treatment focuses on and starts with that intelligent entity, removing the root cause of the illness. Moreover, a shield is installed in that area so that the illness will be unable to invade again.

Qigong can heal illness but it can’t interfere with the conditions of human society. It would interfere with the conditions of everyday people’s society if it were applied on a large scale, and that is not allowed; its healing effects wouldn’t be good either. As you may know, some people have opened qigong diagnostic clinics, qigong hospitals, and qigong rehabilitation centers. Their treatments might have been quite effective before they opened these businesses. Once they open a business to treat illnesses, the effectiveness plummets. This means that people are prohibited from using supernatural methods to fulfill the functions of everyday people’s society. Doing so certainly reduces their effectiveness to a level as low as the methods of everyday people’s society.

A person can use supernormal abilities to observe the inside of a human body layer by layer, similar to how medical cross sectioning is done. Soft tissues and any other part of the body can be seen. Though the current CAT scan is able to see clearly, the use of a machine is still required; it is really time consuming, uses a great deal of film, and is quite slow and costly. It is not as convenient or accurate as human supernormal abilities. By closing their eyes to do a quick scan, qigong masters are able to see any part of the patient directly and clearly. Isn’t this high tech? This is even more advanced than what is considered high tech today. Yet this kind of skill already existed in ancient China—it was the “high tech” of ancient times. Hua Tuo discovered a tumor on Cao Cao’s[21] brain and wanted to perform surgery on him. Cao Cao had Hua Tuo arrested, because he couldn’t believe it and mistook it as a way to harm him. Cao Cao eventually died as a result of the brain tumor. Many great Chinese doctors in history really possessed supernormal abilities. It is just that people in this modern society zealously pursue practical things and have forgotten the ancient traditions.

Our high-level qigong cultivation should reexamine traditional things, inherit and develop them through our practice, and reuse them to benefit human society.  

6. Buddha School Qigong and Buddhism  

Many people think of a matter as soon as we mention Buddha School qigong: Since the goal of the Buddha School is to cultivate Buddhahood, they start to relate it to the things of Buddhism. I hereby solemnly clarify that Falun Gong is qigong of the Buddha School. It is a righteous, great cultivation way and has nothing to do with Buddhism. Buddha School qigong is Buddha School qigong, while Buddhism is Buddhism. They take different paths, even though they have the same goal in cultivation. They are different schools of practice with different requirements. I mentioned the word “Buddha,” and I will mention it again later when I teach the practice at higher levels. The word itself doesn’t have any superstitious overtones. Some people can’t tolerate hearing the word Buddha, and claim that we propagate superstition. It is not so. “Buddha” began as a Sanskrit term that originated in India. It was translated into Chinese according to its pronunciation and called Fo Tuo.[22] People omitted the word “Tuo” and kept the “Fo.” Translated into Chinese it means “Enlightened One”—a person who is enlightened. (Refer to the Ci Hai[23] dictionary.)  

(1) Buddha School Qigong

At present, two types of Buddha School qigong have been made public. One separated from Buddhism and has produced many distinguished monks throughout its thousands of years of development. When its practitioners have cultivated to quite an advanced level, high-level masters will come to teach them something so that they will receive genuine instruction from even higher levels. All of the things in Buddhism used to be passed down to one individual at a time. Only when he was near the end of his life would a distinguished monk pass these down to one disciple, who would cultivate according to Buddhist doctrines, improving holistically. This type of qigong seemed closely connected to Buddhism. Monks were driven out of the temples later, namely, during the time of the Great Cultural Revolution.[24] These exercises then spread to the general public where they developed in number.

Another type of qigong is also of the Buddha School. Over the ages, this type has never been a part of Buddhism. It has always been practiced quietly, either among the populace or deep in the mountains. These kinds of practices have their uniqueness. They need to choose a good disciple—someone with tremendous virtue who is truly capable of cultivating to an advanced level. This kind of person appears in this world only once in many, many years. These practices cannot be made public, as they require rather high xinxing and their gong develops rapidly. These sorts of practices are not few. The same applies to the Dao School. Daoist qigong, while all belonging to the Dao School, are further divided into Kunlung, Emei, Wudang, etc. There are different subdivisions within each group, and the subdivisions are quite different from one another. They cannot be mixed and practiced together.  

(2) Buddhism

Buddhism is a system of cultivation practice that Sakyamuni[25] enlightened to on his own in India more than two thousand years ago, and it is based on his original cultivation practice. It can be summarized in three words: precept, samadhi,[26] wisdom. Precepts are for the purpose of samadhi. Buddhism does in fact have exercises though it doesn’t discuss the matter. Buddhists are indeed performing exercises when they sit in meditation and enter a state of tranquility. This is because energy from the universe will start to gather around a person’s body when he calms down and settles his mind, and this achieves the effect of performing qigong exercises. The precepts in Buddhism are for abandoning all human desires and discarding everything to which an everyday person is attached so that the monk can reach a state of peacefulness and stillness, enabling him to enter samadhi. A person continuously improves himself in samadhi, until he eventually becomes enlightened, with his wisdom emerging. He will then know the universe and see its truth.

Sakyamuni did only three things daily when he was teaching: he taught Dharma[27] (primarily the Dharma of Arhat) to his disciples, carried a bowl to collect alms (beg for food), and cultivated through sitting in meditation. After Sakyamuni left this world, Brahmanism and Buddhism battled. These two religions later merged into one, called Hinduism. Buddhism no longer exists in India today as a result of this. Mahayana[28] Buddhism appeared through later developments and changes and was spread to inner China, where it has become today’s Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism doesn’t worship Sakyamuni as its sole founder—it is a multi-Buddha faith. It believes in many Tathagatas,[29] such as Buddha Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, etc., and there are more precepts now, while the goal of cultivation has become higher. Back in his time, Sakyamuni taught the Dharma of Bodhisattva[30] to a few disciples. These teachings were later reorganized and have developed into today’s Mahayana Buddhism, which is for cultivating to the realm of Bodhisattva. The tradition of Theravada Buddhism has been retained to this day in Southeast Asia, and ceremonies are performed using supernormal abilities. In Buddhism’s course of evolution, one cultivation way branched off to the Tibet region of our country and is called Tibetan Tantrism. Another cultivation way spread to the Han area[31] via Xinjiang[32] and was called Tang Tantrism (this disappeared after Buddhism was suppressed during the years of Huichang[33]). Another branch in India evolved into yoga.

No exercises are taught in Buddhism and qigong is not practiced. This is to preserve the traditional method of Buddhist cultivation. It is also an important reason why Buddhism has lasted more than two thousand years without waning. It has naturally maintained its own tradition precisely because it hasn’t accepted into it anything foreign. In Buddhism there are different ways to cultivate. Theravada Buddhism focuses on self-salvation and self-cultivation; Mahayana Buddhism has evolved to offer salvation to both self and others—salvation of all sentient beings.  

7. Righteous Cultivation Ways and Evil Ways  

(1) The Side-Door Awkward Ways (Pangmen Zuodao)

The Side-Door Awkward Ways are also called the Unconventional (Qimen) Cultivation Ways. Various qigong cultivation ways existed prior to the establishment of religions. There are many practices outside of religions that have spread among the populace. Most of them lack systematic doctrines and so have not become complete cultivation systems. Nonetheless, the Unconventional Cultivation Ways have their own systematic, complete, and unusually intense cultivation methods, and they, too, have been spread among the populace. These practice systems are usually called the Side-Door Awkward Ways. Why are they called this? Pangmen literally means “side door”; and Zuodao means “awkward ways.” People consider both the Buddha and Dao School cultivation ways to be straight ways, with all others being side-door awkward ways or wicked cultivation ways. Actually, it isn’t so. The Side-Door Awkward Ways have been practiced secretly throughout history, being taught to one disciple at a time. They weren’t allowed to be revealed to the public. Once made known, people would not understand them very well. Even their practitioners hold that they are of neither the Buddha nor the Dao School. The cultivation principles of the unconventional ways have strict xinxing criteria. They cultivate according to the nature of the universe, advocating doing kind deeds and watching one’s xinxing. The highly accomplished masters in these practices all have unique skills, and some of their unique techniques are powerful. I have met three highly accomplished masters from the Unconventional Cultivation Ways who taught me some things that cannot be found in either the Buddha or Dao School. These things were each fairly difficult to practice during the process of cultivation, so the gong obtained was unique. In contrast, strict xinxing criteria are lacking among some so-called Buddha and Dao School cultivation methods, and as a result their practitioners cannot cultivate to an advanced level. So we should look at each cultivation method objectively.  

(2) Martial Arts Qigong

Martial arts qigong is born of a long history. Having its own complete system of theories and cultivation methods, it has formed an independent system. Yet strictly speaking, it only manifests supernormal abilities that are generated by internal cultivation at the lowest level. All of the supernormal abilities that appear in martial arts cultivation also appear in internal cultivation. Martial arts cultivation also begins with doing qi exercises. For instance, when striking a piece of rock, in the beginning the martial arts practitioner needs to swing his arms to move qi. Over time, his qi will change in nature and become an energy mass that appears to exist in the form of light. At this point his gong will start to function. Gong has intelligence because it is an evolved matter. It exists in another dimension and is controlled by the thoughts coming from one’s brain. When attacked, the martial arts practitioner doesn’t need to move qi; gong will come merely with a thought. Over the course of cultivation his gong will continually be strengthened, with its particles becoming finer and its energy growing greater. The skills of Iron Sand Palm and Cinnabar Palm will appear. As we can see from movies, magazines, and television shows, the skills of Golden Bell Shield and Iron Cloth Shirt have emerged in recent years. These stem from the simultaneous practice of internal cultivation and martial arts cultivation. They come from cultivating internally and externally at the same time. To cultivate internally, a person needs to value virtue and cultivate his or her xinxing. Explained from a theoretical angle, when a person’s ability reaches a certain level, gong will emit from the body’s interior to its exterior. It will become a protective shield because of its high density. In terms of principles, the biggest difference between the martial arts and our internal cultivation lies in the fact that the martial arts are performed with vigorous movements and practitioners do not enter into tranquility. Not being tranquil makes qi flow underneath the skin and pass through the muscles instead of flowing into a person’s dantian.[34] So they don’t cultivate life, and neither are they able to. 

(3) Reverse Cultivation and Gong Borrowing

Some people have never practiced qigong. Then suddenly they acquire gong overnight and have quite strong energy, and they can even heal illnesses for others. People call them qigong masters and they, too, go about teaching others. Some of them, despite the fact that they have never learned qigong or have only learned a few of its movements, are teaching people things that they have modified slightly. This kind of person is not qualified to be a qigong master. He or she doesn’t have anything to pass on to others. What he or she teaches certainly can’t be used to cultivate to a high level; the most it can do is help get rid of sickness and improve health. How does this kind of gong come about? Let’s first talk about reverse cultivation. The commonly known phrase “reverse cultivation” pertains to those good people who have extremely high xinxing. They are usually older, such as over fifty years of age. There isn’t enough time for them to cultivate from the beginning, as it is not easy to meet excellent masters who teach qigong exercises that cultivate both mind and body. The moment this type of person wants to cultivate, high-level masters will place a great amount of gong onto this person according to his or her xinxing foundation. This enables cultivation in reverse, from the top down, and this way it is much faster. From another dimension, high-level masters perform the transformation and continuously add gong to the person from the outside of his or her body; this is particularly the case when the person is giving treatments and forming an energy field. The gong given by the masters flows as if through a pipeline. Some people don’t even know where the gong comes from. This is reverse cultivation.

Another type is called “gong borrowing,” and this isn’t restricted in terms of age. A human being has an Assistant Consciousness (fu yishi) along with a Main Consciousness (zhu yishi), and it is generally at a higher level than the Main Consciousness. The Assistant Consciousnesses of some people have reached such high levels that they can communicate with enlightened beings. When these kinds of people want to cultivate, their Assistant Consciousnesses also want to improve their levels and will immediately get in touch with those enlightened beings to borrow gong from them. After the gong is loaned this person will get it overnight. After obtaining the gong, he or she will be able to treat people to ease their pains. The person will usually employ the method of forming an energy field. He or she will also be able to give energy to people individually and to teach some techniques.

People like this usually start out being pretty good. Because they possess gong, they become well known and acquire both fame and personal gain. Attachments to renown and to personal gain come to occupy a substantial portion of their thinking—more than cultivation does. From that point on their gong starts to diminish, becoming smaller and smaller until finally it is all gone.  

(4) Cosmic Language

Some people are suddenly able to speak a certain type of language. It sounds fairly fluent when it is uttered, yet it’s not the language of any human society. What’s it called? It is referred to as celestial language. This thing called “cosmic language” is in fact merely the language of those entities that are not so high. This phenomenon is occurring right now for quite a few qigong practitioners around the country; some of them can even speak several different languages. Of course, the languages of our humankind are also sophisticated and there are more than a thousand varieties. Is cosmic language considered a supernormal ability? I would say that it doesn’t count as one. It isn’t a supernormal ability that comes from you, and neither is it a kind of ability that’s given to you from the outside. Rather, it is manipulation by foreign entities. These entities originate at a somewhat higher level—at least higher than that of humankind. It is one of them who does the talking, as the person who speaks cosmic language only serves as a medium. Most people do not even know themselves what they are saying. Only those who have mind-reading abilities can get a general sense of what the words mean. It is not a supernormal ability, but many people who have spoken these languages feel superior and elated since they think it is a supernormal ability. In fact, someone with a high-level Third Eye can definitely observe that a living entity is speaking from diagonally above, through the person’s mouth.

That entity teaches the person to speak a cosmic language while passing on to him or her some of its energy. Yet thereafter this person will be under its control, so this is not a righteous cultivation way. Even though that entity is in a slightly higher dimension, it is not cultivating a righteous way. It therefore doesn’t know how to teach cultivators to stay healthy or heal illnesses. Consequently, it utilizes this method of sending out energy through speech. Because it is dispersed, this energy has little power. It is effective in treating minor sicknesses but fails with serious diseases. Buddhism speaks of how those above cannot cultivate since they lack suffering and discord; moreover, they cannot temper themselves and are unable to improve their levels. So they look for ways to help people gain better health and thereby elevate themselves. This is what speaking cosmic language is all about. It is neither a supernormal ability nor qigong.  

(5) Spirit Possession

The most injurious type of spirit possession (futi) is that by a low-level entity. This is caused by cultivating an evil way. It is really harmful to people, and the consequences of people being possessed are frightening. Not long after beginning to practice, some people become obsessed with treating patients and becoming rich; they think of these things all the time. These people might have originally been pretty decent or already had a master looking after them. Nevertheless, things turn sour when they start to contemplate giving treatments and getting rich. They then attract this type of entity. Even though it’s not in our physical dimension it really exists.

This kind of practitioner suddenly feels that the Third Eye has opened and that he or she now has gong, but it is actually that the possessing spirit has control of his or her brain. It reflects onto this person’s brain the images that it sees, making him or her feel that the Third Eye has opened. The person’s Third Eye has not in fact opened whatsoever. Why does the possessing spirit or animal want to give this person gong? Why does it want to help him or her? It’s because in our universe animals are forbidden to cultivate. Animals are not allowed to obtain a righteous cultivation way since they know nothing about xinxing and can’t improve themselves. As a result, they want to attach themselves to human bodies and acquire the human essence. There is also another rule in this universe, namely: no loss, no gain. So they want to satisfy your desire for fame and personal gain. They will make you rich and famous, but they will not help you for nothing. They also want to gain something: your essence. You will have nothing left by the time they leave you and you will have turned very weak or become a vegetable. This is caused by your degenerate xinxing. One right mind will subdue a hundred evils. When you are righteous you will not attract evil. In other words, be a noble practitioner, turn away from all nonsense, and practice only a righteous cultivation way.  

(6) A Righteous Practice Can Become a Wicked Cultivation Way

Although the practice systems some people learn come from righteous cultivation ways, people can actually practice wicked ways inadvertently due to their inability to impose strict self-requirements, to their failure to cultivate xinxing, and to their entertaining negative thoughts while performing their exercises. For example, when a person is performing the exercises there in either the standing stance or the seated meditation, his thoughts are actually on money, becoming well known, personal gain, or “he’s wronged me, and I’ll fix him after I acquire supernormal abilities.” Or he is thinking of this or that supernormal ability, adding something very bad to his practice and actually practicing a wicked way. This is quite dangerous since it might attract some rather negative things, like low-level entities. Perhaps the person doesn’t even know he has invited them. His attachment is strong; it is unacceptable to purposefully practice cultivation to fulfill one’s desires. He isn’t righteous, and even his master will be unable to protect him. So practitioners must maintain their xinxing strictly, keeping a righteous mind and craving nothing. Doing otherwise might incur problems.

[1] qigong (chee-gong)—a general name for certain practices that cultivate the human body. In recent decades, qigong exercises have been incredibly popular in China.

[2] Falun Gong (fah-lun gong)—“Law Wheel Qigong.” The names Falun Gong and Falun Dafa are both used to refer to this practice.

[3] Falun (fah-lun)—“Law Wheel” (see color page at front).

[4] gong (gong)—“cultivation energy.”

[5] meridian—the network of energy channels in one’s body that are thought to be conduits of qi. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and popular Chinese thought, illness is said to arise when qi is not flowing properly through these meridians.

[6] Scripture of Dan Cultivation (dahn), Daoist Canon—ancient, classic Chinese Daoist texts for practicing cultivation.

[7] Tripitaka—“The Three Baskets,” also known as the Pali Canon. This is a collection of primary Pali-language texts that form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. Its three parts are: teachings of the Buddha, the monastic code, and special philosophical treatises.

[8] Arhat—enlightened being with Attainment Status in the Buddha School who is beyond the Triple World but lower than Bodhisattva.

[9] Dhyana of Vajra—Dhyana translates as “Meditation,” while Vajra can be translated as “Thunderbolt,” “Diamond,” or “Indestructible.”

[10] Tang (tahng) Dynasty—one of the most prosperous periods in Chinese history (618 - 907 A.D.).

[11] qi (chee)in Chinese thought, this substance/energy is said to assume many forms in the body and the environment. Usually translated as “vital energy,” this qi is thought to determine a person’s health.

[12] This term uses a different Chinese character than qi, but is pronounced the same way.

[13] xinxing (shin-shing)—“mind nature” or “heart nature”; “moral character.” 

[14] In the Daoist tradition, external alchemical processes have long served as metaphors to describe internal cultivation of the human body.

[15] Third Eye—sometimes translated as “Celestial Eye,” this term (tianmu) is used flexibly and can refer to the Third Eye system or a particular component of that system.

[16] Shangen (shahn-gun) point—acupuncture point located between one’s eyebrows and slightly below.

[17] “qi” can also be used in a much broader sense to describe substances that are invisible and amorphous, such as air, smell, anger, etc.

[18] Master—the Chinese term used here, shifu, is composed of two characters: one meaning “teacher,” the other “father.”

[19] Li Shizhen (lee shr-juhn), Sun Simiao (sun szz-meow), Bian Que (byen chueh), and Huatuo (hwa-toah)—famous doctors of Chinese medicine in ancient times.

[20] In Chinese Medicine, pulse diagnosis is a complicated art used to evaluate the vitality of each individual internal organ of the body.

[21] Cao Cao (tsaow-tsaow)—an emperor during the Three Kingdoms period (220 - 265 A.D.).

[22] Fo Tuo (foah-toah)—“Buddha.”

[23] Ci Hai (tsz high)—the name of an authoritative Chinese dictionary.

[24] “Great Cultural Revolution”—a communist political movement in China that denounced traditional values and culture (1966-1976). 

[25] Sakyamuni—Buddha Sakyamuni, or “the Buddha,” Siddhartha Gautama. Popularly known as the founder of Buddhism, he lived in ancient India around the 5th century B.C.

[26] samadhi—Buddhist meditation.

[27] Dharma—this is a conventional translation for the Chinese word “Fa,” as used in the context of Buddhism.

[28] Mahayana—“The Great Vehicle Buddhism.”

[29] Tathagata—enlightened being with Attainment Status in the Buddha School who is above the levels of Bodhisattva and Arhat.

[30] Bodhisattva—enlightened being with Attainment Status in the Buddha School who is higher than Arhat but lower than Tathagata.

[31] Han (hahn) area—Han people comprise the largest ethnic group in China, and the “Han area” is used to refer to the area that they occupy; that is, most central provinces and regions of China (i.e., Tibet, etc.).

[32] Xinjiang (shin-jyang)—a province in northwestern China.

[33] Huichang (hway-chahng)—Emperor Wu Zong’s time of rule during the Tang Dynasty (841 - 846 A.D.).

[34] dantian (dahn-t’yen)—“field of dan,” located at the lower abdominal area.