Standing Meditation

I over looked this book by author Lam Kam-Chuen because the people on the cover look like they are wearing pajamas and the title translates the word Qi as Energy, and I've had quite enough of that.

The surprise is that The Way of Energy is a good summary of Zhan Zhuang, or standing meditation, and I recommend it to beginners.   The pictures are clear and the instruction straightforward.

In the biography section of the book he explains that his teacher, Yu Yongnian, was a dentist who studied in Japan before the revolution in China.  In the fifties his teacher was involved in the creation of the modern (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine-Qigong curriculum.  The book includes a short section about research his teacher did on the various stages people go through when they are learning to stand still.  When someone with knowledge of history reads this kindKuo Lien ying of stuff we think of the Nazi doctors.  But who knows they could have all been willing members of his work-group.

Kam's teacher's teacher was Wang Xiangzhai, the famous unconventional martial artist who invented Yiquan.  My first teacher Bing Gong, was a disciple of Kuo Lienying, who was a contemporary of Wang Xiangzhai and also studied with him.  The material in this book is very close to what I teach about standing practice from a martial arts point of view-- it is also the best qigong practice there is for health!

The second half of the book teaches the Eight Silken Brocade which is a very common muscle tendon lengthening warm-up, now almost universally referred to as ancient qigong.

The book is better than most, but it has a few problems.  The funniest of which is the last page ridiculously  titled "First-Aid."  The last line of the book is:  "If you get a burn go the your cupboard and pour soy sauce on it!"  --Ah the lost art of editing...