Already thousands of years ago, methods
were created to help a person get in harmony with himself and with
nature, thereby opening the gates for him to penetrate into the
secret of life.
Such methods, which require no more
than your own physical and mental forces for their application, have
been known to various cultures of mankind. Many of those methods have
been lost. Others, however, have been developed further until today,
just as it has happened within the lineages of traditional Chinese
health care and search for truth (Yangsheng-Xiuzhen).
The traditional Chinese culture of
health care and search for truth (Yangsheng-Xiuzhen)
The traditional Chinese culture of
health care and search for truth was formed as a result of the
cross-fertilisation of different cultural currents. These are above
all the three great philosophies Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism,
as well as the schools of shamanism, medicine, martial arts and
divination. In Daoism and Buddhism, complete methodical systems have
In Chinese Buddhism one speaks of three
important schools, the three key-schools (Sanzong) – Chanzong,
Mizong and Tiantaizong. In Daoism one speaks of five important
schools, the five secrets (Wumi) – Taijimen, Dandingmen,
Jianxianmen, Fulumen and Xuanzhenmen.
The traditional Chinese schools of
health care and search for truth have a history going back thousands
of years. They have evolved their knowledge in master-to-student
lineages. This implies a master and lineage holder who knows and
understands the entire contents of his lineage. He trains a few
students, of whom one becomes the subsequent lineage holder.
It is not unusual that these schools
keep their knowledge concealed from the public. But any holder of a
traditional Chinese lineage knows about the eight important schools
of Buddhism and Daoism (Sanzong-Wumi). A lineage holder who doesn't
know about these schools either has lost contact to his roots or
cannot be a holder of a genuine traditional Chinese lineage.
Self-proclaimed Daoist or Buddhist
masters and lineage holders in China and the West exist notably since
the 1980s. After the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution suddenly
thousands of masters appeared from nowhere. Simply due to their large
number, it is unlikely that they all belong to a traditional Chinese
lineage. With their half-knowledge, on one hand, they have spread a
lot of blunders and misconceptions about the practices of Daoist and
Buddhist health care and search for truth. On the other hand, they
have contributed to make this culture popular in the world.
Taiji-school (Taijimen) and
Taijimen, the original school of Taiji,
goes back with its roots to Laozi (6th century BC) and the Yellow
Emperor (3rd millennium BC). It was formally founded in the
Tang-Dynasty (618 - 906 AD) and had kept itself concealed from the
public since then, with the consequence that even its very existence
was no longer known to any outsider.
But in 1989, its present lineage
holder, Fangfu, commonly known as Lu Jin-Chuan, announced the school
again by publishing some of its contents. The methodical system of
the school had been completed and the social conditions seemed
By making known the authentic contents,
Fangfu aims at correcting some of the blunders and misconceptions
about the practices of Daoist and Buddhist health care and search for
truth that have been spread by self-proclaimed masters. He wants the
old tradition of his school to advance further in interaction with
modern Western culture for the benefit of the health care and search
for truth for Eastern and Western people alike.
In 1993, the Taiji-knowledge (Taijixue)
was founded on the basis of Taijimen. The traditional contents of the
school were adjusted and complemented by lineage holder Fangfu to
suit the needs of modern society. The application of the knowledge in
society in areas like medicine and philosophy was expanded.
The Taiji-knowledge now consists of two
complementary main components – the path of realising Dao
(Taiji-Daoxing) and Taiji-culture (Taiji-Wenhua). The path of
realising Dao is about meditative self-practice to cultivate body
(Xing), life force (Qi) and mind (Shen) as a means of personal health
care and search for truth. Taiji-culture is about transferring the
abilities and insights gained from the meditative self-practice into
society for the benefit of others. This mainly takes place in the
field of Qi-medicine as the application of abilities to perceive and
control life force (Qi), as well as in the field of philosophy as the
application of special insights.
The path of meditative self-practice is
the basis of Taiji-culture. It is communicated in the context of the
training system Taiji-Qidao.
With the foundation of the
Taiji-knowledge (Taijixue), the old name Taijimen as the denomination
for this lineage was abandoned. This is also due to the fact that the
name Taijimen had already been adopted by other groupings, which
don't belong to the original school of Taiji.
The Taiji-knowledge contains the
essence of the knowledge and wisdom of traditional Chinese health
care and search for truth.
Nature and culture
According to the two complementary main
components of the Taiji-knowledge, human existence can be divided
into two main aspects: nature and culture. Nature is the basis of
human existence. Each human being has a natural life, which initially
is independent of society and culture. But for his survival, a human
being relies on society and culture. Both aspects are important and
The path of realising Dao is dedicated
to the care for the natural life. Taiji-culture is concerned with the
care for the existence within society and culture.
Usually a human being tends to
overemphasise his role in society and neglects his natural life.
Consequently he loses contact with the core of his being. On the path
of realising Dao, a human being can nourish the basis of his life and
discover his original nature.
The path of realising Dao can be
understood as a return to nature. To enter the realm of nature, a
human being needs to overcome his social and cultural conditioning.
In particular, this means to question and transcend the accustomed
limits of perception and thinking.
Existence can be divided into three
realms – the physical realm, the realm of the life force (of Qi)
and the mental realm. All the three realms are actually one, the
distinction originates in human consciousness alone. The accustomed
limits of perception and thinking restrict human insight
predominantly to the physical realm. On the path of realising Dao,
consciousness increasingly opens to the realm of the life force (of
Qi) and the mental realm.
With the opening of consciousness for
the yet hidden realms of existence, the highest meditative insight
can be prepared – the insight into the fundamental character of
existence, which means the insight into the creative force that
governs all processes of life: Taiji.
What is Taiji?
Taiji is the key concept of traditional
Chinese philosophy. It was first mentioned by Confucius in the
introduction of his commentaries on the Book of Changes (Yijing). The
meaning of the concept however had already been described by Laozi in
the Daodejing as the great Dao (“great path”, Da-Dao).
Taiji refers to the state before the
very first beginning and after the very last ending of any kind of
existence. It is the formless foundation of all kinds of existence.
In the state of Taiji, all forms of existence are contained as a
potential, but they are not manifested yet.
Taiji includes the cycle of growth and
decay and is its driving force. Each form of existence arises from
Taiji and after its ending returns to Taiji. In other words, any kind
of form arises from formlessness and returns to formlessness. Seen
from the perspective of form, this means birth and death. Seen from
the perspective of Taiji, this means perpetual transformation.
To realise Taiji means to realise the
secretly operating creative force. To have the creative force work on
yourself undisturbed by social and cultural conditioning, and that
way cultivating body, life force (Qi) and mind, is called the
original practice of Taiji.
The original practice of Taiji is
formless. That means there is no predefined procedure of practice,
but any kind of procedure can occur naturally. The instruction
consists of clues how to clear the way for the natural working of the
creative force. The practice is supported by a transmission of life
force (Qi). This transmission is essential, because the practice
cannot be explained sufficiently by words alone. All verbal and
intellectual concepts are restricted to the sphere of social and
cultural conditioning. To enter the original practice of Taiji, it is
necessary to leave this limitation behind and, free from assumptions,
retreat into the state of non-desire (Wuwei).
In the state of non-desire (Wuwei),
direct access to the working of the creative force can be found.
Natural procedures of practice keep unfolding, changing continuously.
These natural procedures of practice are an expression of a process
of harmonisation. The practitioner aligns with himself and with
nature, just as well as he extends his capacity of insight. With the
original practice of Taiji, body, life force (Qi) and mind return in
a natural way to their unrestricted state of being.
The original practice of Taiji can be
outlined by its three principles, which are also the leading Daoist
principles of health care and search for truth:
(Wuwei) as the practice guideline,
(2) nature (Ziran) as the
(3) returning to the source (Fanben) as the goal.
Taiji-Qidao is the training system in
the Taiji-knowledge. Here is instructed the path of realising Dao.
The communication of the traditional contents has been put into a new
form that takes into account the demands of living in modern society.
Taiji-Qidao emphasises the application
of life force (Qi) for its meditative self-practice. This implies
firstly that a transmission of Qi takes place in order to support the
meditative self-practice, secondly that the practitioner's perception
enters the realm of Qi, and thirdly that the effect of the meditative
self-practice unfolds from the level of Qi.
A human being can be seen as a unity of
body, Qi and mind. Body and mind are the two opposing extremes of
this unity, Qi is their connecting middle, the bridge between body
and mind. By means of Qi, both body and mind can be rebalanced. A
practice that focuses on Qi involves the whole being.
The basic training of Taiji-Qidao
comprises three levels of training – Qidao 1, Qidao 2 and Qidao 3.
Each level of training covers up to two deepening training courses.
In addition, training courses for other exercises are offered, which
help overcome specific difficulties and develop particular aspects.
On training level 1, the introduction
into Taiji-Qidao is provided. Here the pivotal practice of the
meditative self-practice of the Taiji-knowledge, the original
practice of Taiji, is taught together with its background theory.
Qidao 1 is offered in Germany and Europe by authorised teachers,
whereas the deepening training courses on training level 1 and all
other training courses are conducted by lineage holder Fangfu. On
training level 1, the participants also obtain a transmission of Qi
by lineage holder Fangfu. This is the so-called seed (Zhongzi), which
supports an advantageous progression on the path of practice.
On training level 2, the original
practice of Taiji is complemented by exercises to promote the
perception and control of Qi. These are the exercises of holding the
ball (Baoqiu) and of sending Qi out from and pulling Qi back into the
hands (Faqi and Shouqi). Holding the ball (Baoqiu) means
concentrating Qi between the hands until a Qi-ball is formed. To
enable the participants to perform these exercises, lineage holder
Fangfu opens the respective meridians of their hands for them.
On training level 3, theoretical
information about the eight important Chinese schools of health care
and search for truth is delivered. Also the checking and treatment of
Qi with the hands is initiated. In this context, lineage holder
Fangfu cleanses and strengthens the Qi of the participants' hands.
The exercises to promote the perception
and control of Qi can be seen as a preparation for the application of
Qi-medicine. But they are also important with regard to the
Taiji-Qidao is a long-term path of
self-cultivation and deepening consciousness.