Qi Dao – the Energy Art for this Day and Age
Taken together, Shamanic traditions form a worldwide culture with the roots stretching back earlier than any other spiritual teachings. Since time immemorial, Shamans and Medicine Men (and Women) have been able to transcend the limitations of their respective societies in their quest for empowerment and enlightenment.
Tibetan Shamanism, or Bon, as many other indigenous Shamanic traditions, developed its original system of physical, mental and spiritual discipline based on the philosophical principles of Tibetan Dream Yoga and Dzogchen. Tibetan Shamanic Qigong is one of the oldest systems of self-realization possibly predating such practices as Yoga, Kung Fu, or meditation.
Qi Dao, is a unique style of Tibetan Shamanic Qigong, whose long lineage preserved its core practices for thousands years In Tibet, China and Mongolia. Lama Tantrapa Rinpoche is the current lineage holder of this system that has been in his family clan for twenty-seven generations. It is a dynamic spiritual, physical and mental discipline that opens doors to greater attention, energy awareness and spiritual enlightenment. It is both a Holistic wellness system, a gentle, yet powerful, Internal Martial Art, and a grand spiritual adventure. It is a living manifestation of Shamanism that remains spontaneous and fresh due to its remarkable adaptability.
Qi Dao is distinct from Chinese Qigong in that it uses on the Shamanic teachings of Medicine Wheel, rather than the five elements of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Also unlike most Chinese styles of Qigong, which generally teach how to cultivate and direct energy, Qi Dao empowers you to perceive the flow of energy through your body and throughout the world around you. Qi Dao is based on directly experiencing human energy fields and the universal flow of Qi – energy or life force. Practicing this type of energy work allows to recognize the intrinsic oneness of the physical body, mind and spirit, promoting the awakening of the Dream-being, or the Dao, if you will. You can directly experience this unification of your entire being and its awakening by practicing Empowerment, which you will be able to experience after receiving the initiation into the Qi Dao clan.
True to the Shamanic worldview, Qi Dao perceives being in this world as an exciting spiritual adventure, where everything that comes to us is a genuine lesson and an opportunity for spiritual awakening. Therefore, while its essence has remained consistent from one lineage holder to another, Qi Dao has naturally evolved through Lama Tantrapa’s exposure to the many spiritual and mind-body disciplines.
Qi Dao has six main applications corresponding to the major historical branches of Qigong:
• Daoist Qigong – Dao Yin – primarily dedicated to wellness and longevity
• Wushu Qigong – Internal Martial Art – for self-defense and conflict resolution
• Tantric Qigong – Tantra Yoga – for mutual self-realization through enlightened relationships
• Therapeutic Qigong – Qigong Therapy – for holistic energy healing and prevention
• Confucian Qigong – Mastery Coaching – for manifesting your innermost dreams
• Buddhist Qigong – Dream Yoga – for spiritual awakening in the dream called life.
These applications of Qi Dao are generally taught in this sequence, step-by-step introducing more advanced practices while continuing deepening the previous studies. Since it is a lifelong practice, our program is mostly designed to train you as practitioner to a level where you will be able to continue your studies individually while practicing Qi Dao professionally.
The Historical Roots of Qigong
Qigong, an ancient energy art integrating Qi (or Chi – energy awareness) and Gong (or Kung – the practice of mastering it), is a system of self-realization that has been practiced for over five thousand years. Its numerous styles and schools developed mostly along the lines of different philosophical and spiritual traditions in the pursuit of embodiment of their respective teachings. The deeper you explore the history of Qigong in search of its roots, the more apparent it becomes that all of these teachings emerged originally from the vast pool of pre-historic Shamanic practices. Most Qigong styles were organized by and for the followers of one belief system or another in ancient China, Tibet, Mongolia and Korea. Following the establishment of the main Eastern schools of thought about twenty five hundred years ago, Qigong eventually developed six distinctive branches: Daoist, Buddhist, Tantric, Therapeutic, Wushu (martial arts), and Kung Fu Tze (Confucian Qigong).
Each of them developed their teachings and methods of training following the steps of their respective founders. The history of some traditions can be traced back to particular individuals who originated their schools of thought, oftentimes even unbeknownst to themselves. As Jesus Christ was not a Christian and Buddha Shakyamuni was not a Buddhist, so most original masters of Yoga and Qigong had no idea that their disciples would institutionalize their personal practices of self-realization. The masters simply followed their own inner guidance as to how to be in the flow of things in this magical world. With time, a lot of people perceived those masters as great examples of living in the flow. The consequent generations of students, however, grew further and further apart from the roots of their respective traditions by institutionalizing them.The experiential and playful approach of the Shamans of antiquity was gradually replaced by more institutionalized education due to the lack of imagination and creativity exhibited by the generations of students who preferred to learn from instructions, rather than from nature. Instead of paying attention to the essence of the master’s practices, most students could only pay enough attention to the forms of movements and poses. Thus the proliferation of sectarian forms of energy work and wellness systems based on their respective ideas about which form is “right” or “correct.”
About 2,500 years ago, Chinese philosopher Lao Tze presumably wrote Dao De Jing, which brought together many pieces of ancient Oriental wisdom and formed the foundation of Daoism. The adherents of that teaching formulated Daoist Qigong dedicated to attainment of great longevity and, supposedly, immortality. Around the same period of time, the followers of the famous Chinese philosopher Kung Fu Tze, also known as Confucius, created Confucian Qigong mainly concerned with mentoring outstanding citizens and guiding them in creating a harmonious society. At the same time in India, Buddha Shakyamuni taught his teachings to thousands of devoted disciples, who eventually started practicing Buddhist Qigong to achieve spiritual awakening or nirvana. Adepts of Tantra, a mystical sect of Hinduism that spread via the Himalayas into Tibet, eventually came up with Tantric Qigong dedicated to enlightenment through the means of enlightening personal and transpersonal relationships. Therapeutic Qigong, a corner stone of Oriental Medicine, is mostly concerned with health and holistic healing. Martial arts or Wushu Qigong, as the name implies, is dedicated to effective self-defense and protection of others.
Nowadays, many Qigong styles are still confined within the parameters of their respective doctrines, while others integrate some aspects of two or more branches of Qigong. For example, Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple are known for both martial arts prowess and competence in Buddhist Qigong. Many Daoist Qigong masters are also great healers and/or martial artists. In fact, Tai Chi Chuan is an offspring of Daoist martial arts. By the same token, Tantra is a major part of Buddhist tradition in Tibet and Mongolia where lamas (both Buddhist and Shamanic spiritual teachers) often integrate Tantric and Buddhist Qigong practices.
There is a living tradition; however, that does not merely try to reach for the fruits on the ends of the branches of the “Qigong tree,” but rather goes back to the Shamanic roots of the entire tree and empowers its practitioners to stay true to the original universality of the art. Its practice allows advancing to high levels of achievement in all six applications of Qigong as a result of integrating the power and wisdom of the six branches into one. This non-sectarian tradition of Tibetan Shamanic Qigong has been preserved through the centuries by twenty-seven generations of masters who explored numerous possible applications of energy awareness in all spheres of life, from fighting to healing and sexual energy arts.