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Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong (Laohu Gong)

December 19, 2005 04:56 PM

This article can be downloaded as an Acrobat PDF File

Laohu Gong (Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong) is from the Emei Zhengong (Mt. Emei Sage Style Qigong) school. Mt. Emei Sage Style Qigong combines the traditions of ancient shamanism, Confucianism, Daoism, classical Chinese medicine, and the martial arts. The elements of this style are rooted in the ancient world of Chinese shamanism, which is the source of all the classical Chinese traditions. In ancient China, shamans were respected as sages, and sages were shamans. This Tiger form will be able to help practitioner channeling the shamanic power and universal Qi, especially Zhengqi (righteous or correct Qi). Qi can be translated as vital energy or vital breath.

The Symbolic Tiger

As a totem that corresponds to the great Dao, the tiger holds numerous symbolic meanings: Lung, breath, Qi, respiration system, change, control, circulation, rule, rhythm, West, Metal, Venus, transparency, upright, justice, autumn, wind, the Queen Mother of the West, and the seven Chinese lunar mansions in the Western sky.

Generally, in Chinese shamanic tradition, the tiger is addressed as Baihu-White Tiger. In Chinese culture, white does not merely mean the color white; rather, it is the symbol for transparency, clarity, purification, justice, or punishment, and is also symbolic of the activities of killing and destruction. The symbol for white is equal to the spiritual quality of the tiger totem. In nature, we can learn about the spiritual White Tiger through the "killing" atmosphere of the fall season. This killing is the process that generates new life in the spring season and is the natural way to clear out old energy and weakness and to maintain stronger life energy.

As we observe in nature, when autumn comes, strong wind not only sweeps down the leaves from the trees but also breaks down the weak and sick branches of the trees. When the next spring comes, these trees grow into a better shape. We can discover this natural-spiritual tiger "killing" function of the fall season in the body by learning the function of the Lung. Regular Lung function breaks down old energy (including dead cells), clears up stagnation, kills invading evil (virus), and maintains Qi circulation. We would get sick easily without this "killing" function of Lung.

The Function of the Tiger Qigong

Usually, the Chinese call the tiger Laohu -literally meaning "old tiger," regardless of the tiger's age. Chinese character Lao for old is a symbol for wisdom and shamanic power. The tiger is the spiritual animal of the western direction and is related to the Queen Mother of the West. The Queen Mother of the West is a condensation of the Subtlest Vital Breath of the Western Essence from the Vital Breath of the Dao of the Original Chaos.

The universal rhythm of the Dao can be found in the microcosm of the Lung. From a classical Chinese medicine perspective, we will never get sick if we can maintain Zhengqi in the body. Physically, Zhengqi is represented most strongly by the Lung, which prevents Xie (evil) Qi from invading the body. Here, Zheng can be translated as correct or upright. In contrast to Zheng, Xie can be translated as incorrect or tilted. Therefore, Xieqi includes all the factors, such as emotions, food, weather, habits, attitude, posture, or trauma, that may cause illness. One of the functions of Lung is to govern and energize all the meridians of the body. Strong Lung Qi helps us maintain wellness. We will be more susceptible to illness if the Lung Qi is weak. Thus, in Chinese medicine, the tiger is the spiritual animal of Lung and stands for the essential Lung Qi and vital breath.

The Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong form is based on symbolic power-the essence of Chinese Shamanism-and has both medical and martial arts applications. The tiger form is the story of energy circulation from west to east, the movement of the Dao itself, as the symbolic power of the tiger communicates directly with the Dao. There are twenty-four movements in the form. Each individual movement is a seasonal connected to the Universal energy to help one to improve one's life. Through regular practice of the tiger form, one will strengthen one's Lung function and tonify one's Zhengqi and increase the harmonizing Qi of the whole body. In this way, one will be able to attune the personal Qi to resonate with the Universal Qi, to discover one's true potential nature and breathe with the Dao.

See Master Zhongxian Wu's instructional DVD of Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong form