- PDF eBook: 402 pages
- Author: Daniel Reid
- Published: 1998
From the book’s Introduction:
For more than 5000 years, chi-gung was one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Practised quietly behind the high walls and barred gates of ancient Buddhist monasteries and remote Taoist hermitages, in the private villas of the rich and influential, and the guarded palaces of emperors, chi-gung became China’s most esoteric tradition. It was an art personally handed down through oral transmission, from reticent masters to select disciples in unbroken lineages spanning thousands of years. Those fortunate enough to receive the secret transmission became members of an exclusive fraternity of practitioners known simply as nei-jia, literally the ‘internal family’, an informal confederation of chi-gung adepts that included princes and poets, monks and martial artists, warriors and wise men, all of them dedicated to cultivating the ‘Tao of Life’ (yang-sheng dao) by working with universal energy.
The few classical texts in which information about chi-gung was recorded for posterity were deliberately written in such vague, obscurely encoded terms that only well-practised initiates could possibly decipher their true meanings, and therefore these texts were circulated and understood only among the inner circles of the chi-gung world.
Today, all that has changed. Like so many other esoteric teachings from the ancient world, chi-gung is yielding its long-guarded secrets to the age of information, and practices that were once revealed only to the most select circles of initiates may be called forth by anyone. However, unlike so many other ancient traditions, chi-gung remains as vibrant, appealing and universally relevant today as it was 5000 years ago, if not more so, for it still rewards diligent practice with the only two things in life that humanity has always valued, and continues to value, more than fame and fortune. As a result, those rewards are health and longevity, and chi-gung bestows them alike to prince and pauper, man and woman, spiritualist and hedonist, at the cost of only a little time and a lot of practice. This make’s chi-gung a real bargain for you to stay healthy, particularly in light of contemporary health hazards.