Qi Dao Compared To Other Disciplines
The Qi Dao style of Tibetan Shamanic Qigong is part of a tradition going back many thousands of years in Tibet. Qi Dao was cultivated in Siberia for around a thousand years after the knowledge spread from Tibet. While living in the former Soviet Union, Lama Somananda Tantrapa learned Qi Dao from his grand father, the previous lineage holder. This was during the time when spiritual and martial arts traditions were publicly suppressed in the Soviet Union. For this reason, Qi Dao and other Buddhist and shamanic traditions had to be practiced “invisibly”; “teaching using neither sutras nor other texts, invisible worshipping with no altars or any sacred objects, 24 hours a day meditation without formal religious routine, and of course, discrete Tantric experiences concealed in the privacy of family life” (LINK to biographical article). Like the covert magical activity of the Toltecs which Don Juan described to Carlos Castaneda, this covert worship enhanced the Shamanic perspective, allowing Qi Dao to evolve as a no-nonsense spiritual discipline, discarding unnecessary forms and focusing on the essence of the practice.
After Serving with the Russian Special Force in Afghanistan and having other adventures, Lama Somananda Tantrapa traveled through out the former Soviet Union witnessing for peace with Junsei Terasawa, an activity not looked on well by the authorities. After receiving religious refugee status in the United States, he traveled the length of America, studying tracking with Tom Brown jr., Shamanism with Carlos Castaneda, and Time Line Therapy with Tad James, along with other adventures. These studies extended his practice of Qi Dao. This process of extension and learning is characteristic of the live, vibrant spirit of Shamanism. The Shaman views the world as a marvelous spiritual adventure, where everything that happens involves a lesson to be learned. Rather than either swallowing anything that comes his or her way or rejecting all new experiences and learning, the practitioner fluidly blends only those techniques and methods from other traditions which are in harmony with his or her underlying principles.
We hope that prospective students and clients can benefit from a comparison between Qi Dao and other healing, martial arts and energy arts traditions. Lama Tantrapa often says that when we find differences, we make war and when find similarities we make peace. So the most interesting part of this discussion is seeing how many disciplines are addressing the same realm of human existence from different viewpoints. None of the comparisons we will make will be judgments concerning the value of the various approaches – in Qi Dao, we don’t believe in good or bad. Just as much, any discipline significant nuances and we cannot to capture all of these. Still, comparison can help a person determine for themselves which different approach resonates most with them at a given stage in their development.
Even more, by encouraging it’s practitioners to grow and change with the energy they encounter, we believe Qi Dao can serve as “graduate training” for approaches seeing the world as energy as well as for approaches that aim for mind-body unity. Qi Dao is not a cut-and-dried discipline but rather a paradigm that can add excellence to any endeavor. Qi Dao has added to the practice of massage therapists, championship athletes.
We believe that any deep mind-body discipline will discover some of the same natural human qualities. Thus one can find natural correspondences between Qi Dao’s principles and those of many disciplines aiming to achieve mind-body education. There are similarities between Qi Dao’s principles of alignment and the alignment principles of the Alexander Technique. Similarly, there are similarities between Qi Dao’s methods of spontaneous movement and the movements of the Feldenkrais method. As a style of Tibetan Shamanic Qigong, There are naturally strong correspondences between Qi Dao and other forms of qigong. The martial arts practices of Qi Dao were introduced into the traditions of the Russian military by Lama Somanda’s Grand Father. Thus there are number of similarities with the Russian Martial Arts of Systema. By the commonality of the world Shamanic traditions, there are similarities between Qi Dao and the concepts found in the book of Carlos Castaneda.
Later sections will compare various other disciplines relative to Qi Dao in greater detail. We begin comparing a few disciplines. This document will be updated on a regular basis. We invite all comments and hope to include any important comments into further revisions of the sections.