What Is The Message Of Qigong?

What Is The Message of Qigong?

I was asked an interesting question by a reporter the other day? She asked ‘What is the message of qigong?’ I sat bemused for a little while and puzzled about what to say. Finally I answered that there is no message, qigong is a set of skills that can be applied to whatever you want in life.  While in a sense this is correct, on further reflection I am not entirely satisfied with my answer.

Many people become confused about what qigong is, thinking that it is some kind of religion or philosophy with tenets that tell you how you should live your life. And it is true that historically, and even currently there have been many religions and philosophies that have utilized qigong as part of their practices. But this is not qigong – it is just one application of qigong, and people confuse the deeper underlying principles with the application.


The truth of qigong is that it teaches us principles that help us to understand life. It helps us to understand why things happen in certain ways and what the results of different types of actions and ways of living are likely to be. It doesn’t tell us what we should want, what we should desire, how we should act, but rather simply what the consequences are likely to be. It can help us to understand why things are a certain way in our life, and if we seek something different the principles can inform us about how we can change in order to get that. With practice we become more skilful at applying the principles in a way that will help us to achieve the kind of life we desire. But it doesn’t tell us what to seek – that is up to us, and if we want different results it is up to us to apply the principles differently.

Most commonly this applies to the health and vigour of our bodies and the peace and clarity of our minds. But as our understanding of qigong grows it can apply to our relationships with others and the environment, our communities, our careers, and our sense of our place in the universe. But still it is up to us to decide what we seek.

I think I would have been happier with my answer to the reporter if I had reframed the question to ‘What is Qigong’s message to you?’ What have I learned and do I continue to learn from qigong? In this context Qigong definitely has a message, perhaps many messages, and I think a lot of those messages can be heard by anyone who practices with enough dedication if that is what they seek.

So what are the messages I receive from Qigong?

  1. To live in harmony with the world around me
  2. To work with nature and not against it
  3. To celebrate change and diversity
  4. To accept and even appreciate imperfection
  5. That the easiest path is not always the best path
  6. That we are all connected
  7. That the simplest things are the most powerful
  8. That adversity can make you stronger
  9. That the body never lies
  10. That actual circumstances do not matter as much as how we perceive them

Those are a few that stand out to me, and there are certainly more as well. How about for you? Are there any messages from qigong that come through particularly strongly to you? I would like to hear what they are. Perhaps you could leave them in a comment below, or you could send me a short email.

I look forward to hearing from you.


John Munro

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18 Responses to What Is The Message Of Qigong?

  1. Tomas says:

    First, one of the things that I really like about Long White Cloud Qigong is that it doesn’t teach qigong with an extra agenda or goal attached to it, spiritual or otherwise, but leaves those things to the practitioner to consider.

    Second, the message of qigong that comes out most strongly to me at the moment is the flexibility of my whole being. This means to me both learning to become more flexible and also becoming aware of the patterns that make me stiff and rigid so that I can act flexibly as a whole in every area of life.

    • John Triggs says:

      I agree Tomas, I love the meditative aspect of qigong,it is an essential discipline to start your day.It sets the tone of peace and understanding.

  2. Kimberly DesChamp says:

    QiGong has allowed me to feel centered, relaxed, invigorated, connected, blessed, energetic, emotionally freed, gratitude, one with nature and my personal nature. Another plus, is that it attracts likeminded souls, so I have had several, great friendships come of my association with those I practice with.

  3. AIKO FUKUMOTO says:

    Qigong practices makes me calm, reduce excessive emotional state, and get insight, especially “Movement in stillness” that make me feel “Firm”

    For me, message of Qigong that are ….

    awareness of right now, to be centered, being myself, then I get Inner Peace. Reconnect to the nature, become part of universe.

  4. cacooke says:

    Asking “What is the message of Qigong” is a misunderstanding of what Qigong is, although she can be forgiven for that as the question of what Qigong “is” has been queried by masters since time immemorial. We live in a global society which is so fixated on sound bytes and glitzy tech that we are starving for something more, something with a deeper meaning.

    Qigong at it’s most basic form is moving the body. Some folks will tell you that the energy (the “qi”) aspect of Qigong is quasi-religious nonsense, but you cannot deny a positive change in your body and mind when you perform the exercises. Whenever I practice Ba Duan Jin I can feel where energy it blocked and how it breaks up. Is this only in my head? My response to such a question is: what isn’t in your head?

    Personally, I see Qigong as a vehicle in which the greater understanding of yourself and your own personal Universe can be found. Whether because of a drawing in of Yang to my Dan Tian or because moving my body fosters better circulation is irrelevant.

    To quote a character from a popular sci-fi flick: “There is no spoon.”

  5. Yvonne says:

    Practicing Qigong has helped me to cope with chronic pain and made me physically stronger.
    But the most important thing I have experienced is that life is special as it presents itself.

  6. KaZ Akers says:

    Honestly, John, Qigong is what it is for YOU! You get what you need out of it. Some people will be all in, some will be there for parts of it, some will dabble, some will apply the principles to other things, like I do. It is a perfect marriage with the meditation I teach, because it is MOVING meditation.

    With all the meditation training I have done, Qigong enhances it. Qigong helps to focus that training and practice and makes me more aware of my entire being. It is an integration.

    Qigong gives me insight into my health and emotions. And HOW to work with those emotions and heal them, if necessary. There is timeless science behind Qigong.

    Qigong strengthens me physically where some workouts are not possible or practical for me. I deal with arthritis from being VERY physically active earlier in my life. Qigong is VERY do-able for anyone. I never feel like giving up or that it is too much for me. AND at the same time I am challenged to grow physically. It keeps me in shape!

    Qigong puts me in a state of peace, reflection. It allows me to be completely aware of my energy field and the circulation of that energy.

    From the moment I began practicing it has improved my existence.

    And THAT is what Qigong is to me! Great post!! KaZ Akers – Meditation for the Real World.

  7. Tim says:

    For myself, Qigong has been a tool to enhance my personal power, in a way that enables me to create a personal path to a greater understanding of the way that life “works”. It is a way for me, as John stated in his post, to harmonize with my idea of everything.

  8. Julia Menzo says:

    I appreciate the question and hearing how John you reflect on your own answers to the question. For me at the moment, the message of qigong for me is one of facilitating my own experience of the world through a lens that is less reflective of a dualistic worldview and one that is not dualistic. So the message is one of connection and rhythm so I can better access the energy around me instead of trying to fight it.

  9. ronda says:

    For me, the message of Qigong is to slow down and pay attention to the experience of having a physical body which can move. It’s like a driver’s ed refresher course.

  10. Linda McCleary says:

    The message that qi gong delivered to me was ” Flow “.

  11. April says:

    For me if qigong were to have a message it is one of joy for thats what it fills me with when practicing,
    and one of an open heart for I experience an overwhelmingly filled feeling of love wash through me
    too.It seems to revitalize my entire essence and release emotion and stresses and center and ground me and fill me with a sense of wonder and excitement about all the beautiful possibilities of the world and the connection of all the energy around us inside of us.I am so passionate about qigong and am so thankful to have found Long White Cloud Qigong and the beautiful,selfless offering that John is giving! Thank you!!Spread the joy!Spread the love!!

  12. Cindy says:

    Was there ever really a message in mind when qigong was created? Once qi was discovered, meditation came into play as a tool to cultivate the qi. Meditation, breathing, and postures worked together to move the qi throughout the entire body. This process became known as “Qigong.”

    However, if we look at qigong as a whole, the mind is in a state of tranquility through the use of meditation, the breath is slowed to feel the movement of qi, and the postures flowing to relax the body makes the final connection of this beautiful art called qigong.

    All the above ingredients needed to create a sense of being one with the universe. Perhaps that is the message and a very powerful one at that. A message that came about by accident, while learning how to use qigong for self-healing.

    When I perform Qigong or Tai Chi, my mind is void of thought, my body is non-existent, my qi becomes my soul and I am one with the universe. This is the most incredible feeling, one so deep I am unable to describe.

    I believe qigong was given to us as a spiritual modality to aid in healing the body and/or to keep our body healthy. Why do I believe this?, because of a phrase that has been coined that “our body is a temple” and the phrase goes on to say we are required to take care of our body and keep it healthy. What better way to do this than through the art of qigong. Oh yes!, and always remember you still need the help of physicians. : )

  13. Richard Miceli says:

    If you are hanging from a tree
    Trade places with your shadow
    If you become a gold leaf
    Even the weight of moon light in your pocket
    Will be too heavy to put down
    If you only grow deep roots
    What value will you have in a land of no shade
    You are the sun and the rain that is the tree
    The bird that sings the tree
    The worm that eats the tree
    Inside and outside dissolving into each other
    Creating the whirlpool that beats your heart
    Wood fire earth metal water
    All one thing
    the smile on the face that has no reflection

  14. Melinda says:

    Having just survived (for now) the elections in the U.S…..this was a breath of fresh air!

  15. Ben says:

    Qi naturally flows within, in and out, and around us. The inhale and exhale of breath is a simple example of this, nourishing and purifying. By having conscious awareness of qi via qigong, the flows of qi are stronger, the quality of the qi enhanced, and areas of physical / emotional stagnation more effectively released. For me, the message of qigong is that by having a conscious relationship with qi, my physical and emotional state is grounded in the now, stagnations of all types that can lead to ill health are dissolved, and positive virtues (creativity, connection, etc) are augmented and liberated.

    I like John’s point 7, that qigong teaches us that the smallest things can be the most powerful – the smallest adjustment of posture or smallest release of tension can facilitate a palpable flow of qi that has profound effects that are difficult to put in words. Qigong is experiential, and qigong calls to us to experience qi.

  16. Lisa says:

    When I consistently practice QiGong, I feel lighter, happier, and peaceful. When I don’t practice QiGong, I feel a great difference; more stress, more aches and pains, more heavier…energywise.

  17. Sarah McMullen says:

    Wow! I am loving all these responses! So deep and real.
    For me Qigong is a path, a method a way to utilize all the energy that surrounds us, to move the abundance of life that has been provided, through us. It removes blockages and strengthens our bodies. For me it has become how I can help others find another way to live, to heal and to flow so they can circumvent pain and disease.

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