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Breaking Through the Barriers of Darkness: Recognizing the Cult of Qigong for What It Is

Chapter 2

My Experience With Qigong

1. My Debut in Qigong Field

In 1987 I completed my study and was ready to start my first job. While I was waiting for my job to begin, I spent the summer with my parents. It was a peaceful summer, and it was not very hot. I had been living away from home for three years during school and had contracted rheumatism, which caused my spine to ache so severely that I could hardly turn my head around. My parents, greatly worried, made a serious decision together that summer. They decided to teach me the "Spontaneous Five Animal Sports Gong" to heal my disease. I was worried about the painful disease too and gladly made up my mind to learn it. Before then my parents had already taught me some basic gong methods, such as "internal elixir gong," which I had practiced whenever I thought of doing it. This gong is to imagine there is a little bright ball inside your belly at the belly button. It is said that the function of this little ball is to increase and improve one's energy and health. Whenever I imagined having this little ball in my belly, I could feel its heat. I remember that, sometimes in winter, I would keep out the cold in this way. This is to say I had already by that summer accepted the concept of qigong and its having supernormal functions.

The night when Mum and Dad taught me Five Animal Sports, all just looked as peaceful and natural as usual, and the evening even seemed to have a nice atmosphere. I did not really understand what I was doing that night. I did not know that qigong would annul my youthful years, I did not know how heavy and tragic a price I would have to pay, and I did not know how many people I would then lead to the abyss. How wonderful it would have been if I could have known! That is a tremendous shame and a mistake in my life.

Mum and Dad told me that this gong has a shocking effect, but that it is also easy to err. In qigong terms, it is "zouhuo" (going off accidentally). That is to say, if the practitioner is affected by external provocation and interference or if he or she is not concentrating enough to keep the right order of moves when practicing, then a slight result could be that the practitioner would feel uncomfortable or that his/her health would be harmed or a serious result could be a mental disorder such as schizophrenia. I was a little nervous after I was told these things, but I did not think that they could really happen.

Then I started to practice. I closed my eyes. Mum and Dad stood beside me and told me the imagined steps. I followed them carefully, step by step, but without any movements. Very soon the beginning move was completed. I stood still, and very shortly, a kind of power began to shake me, and I rocked back and forth and swayed from side to side. Mum and Dad reminded me not to be nervous and to try to relax. I actually did not feel even the least nervous, but on the contrary felt very much thrilled and excited. Gradually, I was completely controlled by that power and felt very curious and wanted to see what movements it would lead me to do. Very slowly, my body began to make greater and greater movements, and I moved about in the room again and again, yet without feeling any exhaustion. Then my body started to make movements resembling the Five Animal Sports. First, I made movements like that of bears, then like monkeys, and then like tigers. When I saw my body make these movements, I was very much surprised and also found it very intriguing. It seemed that my body was giving me a performance. If I could jump out of myself, I would have been like a spectator. I did not know what power was conducting my body. I thought it was an unknown power coming forth from my body, but I was totally wrong.

Then Mum and Dad showed me step by step how to end the practice, that is the so-called "shougong". After I completed this series of steps, they told me happily that I had a very good talent for gong because they saw that I could do part of the Five Animal Sports the first time I practiced gong and my movements were exactly the same as those described in the book on Five Animal Sports. I was shocked to find that this power gives patterned guidance. I was that day so much encouraged that I wanted to know what the higher level would be like.

The second day, I practiced again with the help of my Mum and Dad and made more strange movements. I even produced the howling of a tiger, so low and so full of power and grandeur that I was secretly very proud of myself, even though it was so loud that the neighbors must have heard it too. After I completed all the Five Animal Sports, I did not know what to expect next. According to the book, the fact that one can produce all the movements of Five Animal Sports shows that his/her heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys are all healed and healthy. I was very happy and overjoyed for this marvelous way of maintaining health. But there was no obvious improvement of my neck and my spine.

About a week later, I was able to familiarize myself completely with the gong method of Five Animal Sports and learned a lot. One night, I was practicing outdoors when my neck began to shake continuously back and forth and side to side. It also turned and stretched. I thus felt great pains in my sick neck and spine, but it was hard to stop the movement. Suddenly my head was pulled back fiercely, and my neck turned backward abruptly. I seemed to hear a cracking sound and felt immense pain in my neck and spine. Then my body calmed down, but my eyes were full of tears. In a few minutes, my neck shook again, but there was no pain at all. I felt an unprecedented relaxation and delight. That night my neck and spine disorder vanished. My parents were very happy, and I was delighted at tasting the benefits of qigong. I henceforth started my long and hard life of qigong. I was eighteen that year.

2. Rising to a Higher Level

My health was very much improved after I practiced qigong for a whole summer. I was in very high spirits and set as my next goal the opening up of "xiao zhou tian" (the small microcosmic orbit" and "da zhou tian" (the large microcosmic orbit). The former is having "zhen qi" (the primary qi) moving freely to and fro between the "ren" and "du" arteries; the latter is having "zhen qi" automatically running through all main and collateral channels according to the twelve two-hour periods. I then started to look at the world and myself from a totally new angle and was gradually awakened to truths that were unspeakable. I introduced qigong to a former classmate, who accepted quickly with the same astonishment and sincerity.

I continued to practice qigong every day after I had started my job. Sometimes I wanted very much to stop practicing, but understood the principle "quit for one day, gong recedes for ten years," so I had to keep on. I decided to teach this gong method to my best friend. He suffered a lot from a stomach problem and admired my amazing appetite. I told him about the mysterious functions of qigong and about the magical effect of the Five Animal Sports on one’s health. He was very happy to hear about this and asked me to teach him. I agreed readily. Although he was the type of person who was not sensitive to qigong and had a poor aptitude for the practice of qigong, his stomach became almost as normal as normal could be after one month of practice. He could now eat all kinds of food and could even drink cold water as I did. We were both greatly encouraged and practiced together thereafter. We urged each other on, learned from each other, and found a lot of fun in so doing.

How time flies! My gong power had grown so much that I found I could start my gong without the "switching on" steps. I still paid much attention to the ending process, though. Gradually I became calm while practicing qigong and had fewer and fewer movements. This is part of the repetition process referred to as, "extreme motion begets motionless and extreme motionless begets motion." I was very satisfied with my improvement, but got a little tired of the motionless state of practice. I longed in my heart for some exciting events and results.

A few months later I went back home to visit my parents. They gave me a book as if it were a treasured object. It was "Yan Xin Qigong Report" (something like this). I took this book to a quiet room and read it with curiosity and admiration. I finished reading it in a few hours. When I turned over the last page of this book, I knew that the thing I had fancied and wished for had come at last and that my qigong gongfu was going to enter into a new epoch. This book recorded the content of Yan Xin's qi-emitting lectures and a testimonial literature about the strong reactions of thousands of attendants at his lectures. How incredible! Some of the attendants cried, some laughed; some couldn't keep from moving violently, and some ran up and down, screamed and shouted loudly. They all did different things at the same time but did not interfere with each other. Some paralyzed stood up from their wheel chairs and walked; many sick got healed immediately. The spectacular scenes were shocking and unbelievable. People were dumbstruck.

How could this be possible? I wondered. But I believed all that were recorded were actual happenings, and I was totally convinced. I then took Yan Xin as my most admired master and my example for practicing qigong. I was determined to become a master like Yan Xin. I believed this goal was quite reachable for me.

There are very few detailed movement positions in Yan Xin's method of qigong. He has great attainments in qigong, and this is why he can give impetus to the rapid development of qigong in China. He is also a very rational intellectual, having made in-depth research in Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese Medicine. It is hard to conjecture what qigong level he has reached. Eight Immortals in Chinese ancient legend are models for qigong practitioners who wish to become immortal. Yan Xin has obviously obtained many supernormal powers like those of the Eight Immortals. He is the first qigong master to simplify the principles of qigong practice. He has cast aside many formalities and only illustrates basic principles. His method is mostly some meditation steps and does not have many requirements as to body postures, though he does propose Buddhist and Taoist "sitting in meditation," which is also called "pan zuo." And it should be "shuang pan," which is sitting with both legs bent and rested on each other

Yan Xin Qigong is not highly popular, for many practitioners find it very hard to understand. But to some it is a high-level qigong, for they have great power of understanding (in qigong terms, "wuxing") and good sensitivities ("minganxing"). These seem to be innate, and Buddhism calls them "hui gen" ("the intelligence root"). I found that I possess exactly these good qualities.

I impatiently quit the Five Animal Sports for Yan Xin Qigong.

I learned to sit in meditation and listened to the recording of Yan Xin's qi-emitting lectures while I practiced qigong. In the beginning, I practiced "dan pan," which is having two legs bent but only one rested on the other in a sitting position, while keeping the upper body straight and lower jaw slightly lowered ("han xiong shou fu") then relaxing the whole body, eyes closed and tongue tilted upwards to touch upper cavity, gradually sinking into tranquility ("ru jing"). Then I meditated according to some order, counted silently, and imagined some pictures, all at the same time. In the beginning, I chose, as required by Yan Xin Qigong, the sun, flowers and saplings as the objects of my meditation. And in order to achieve a certain effect, I also took as an object of meditation a beautiful young girl that I had seen. While I meditated, I had to adjust my breathing so that when I exhaled I let my belly swell and when I inhaled, I let it contract; this is the so-called contrary breathing. The objects of meditation had to be active, as if I really saw them. For example, I saw myself watering a cypress sapling and watching it grow slowly up. Sitting in meditation, keeping the posture, the counting, and doing the contrary breathing and meditating have to be done simultaneously. It is awkward and also impossible.

For the first few days, I felt the procedure to be very difficult and painful, and my soul was tired. But I persisted by my strong will, for I wanted to achieve miraculous results. I did it every day and never remitted. In a week I gradually got used to meeting all the requirements at the same time and even felt natural in so doing. I was very surprised that I could progress so fast, as if a power was helping me so that I might very easily do such a complicated thing. About a month later, I went out of town on business, and when evening came, I sat in meditation as usual and was tranquilized in meditation. I did not know how long a time had passed when a white light suddenly flashed in the room and seemed to have brightened up the whole room. I opened my eyes in surprise but did not see anything unusual. I closed my eyes again and realized that it was not a common light, but a good phenomenon of qigong practice, for I then remembered what Yan Xin had said in his book about the white light which one was not to be afraid of and the appearance of which was normal and a good thing. I did not know that I had on that day made a critical step into the spiritual sphere through qigong. Supernormal capabilities entered into me, starting from that point on. How stupid that was! Later when I became a Christian, I asked God in my prayers why I had gone through such a miserable life experience and why I ever wanted willingly to be captured and slaved by evil spirits like that. I understand now that God has given us free will and we are to pay a price for all the wrong things we say and do. But luckily, all those days as terrible as a nightmare have now passed.

Since many times when strange phenomena appeared, I realized they were just what Yan Xin described in his book as good phenomena, I then all the more impatiently pursued higher levels.

After three months of practicing Yan Xin Qigong, I started to practice "shuang pan" ("bending and crossing two legs on each other in a sitting position"), for I knew the theory that "in order to have gong power, practitioners must practice shuang pan." This theory is not completely true, for shuang pan is only one good way, not the only way for obtaining gong power. I learned deeply in the very beginning how hard it is to do shuang pan. I had an impulse one day for doing it and decided to have a try. I had never been able to make it before. I sat myself down well and after bending both of my legs, I was able to set them both on each other. Good heavens! I was thrilled. I was immensely encouraged, thinking it was completely a miracle. But my legs felt extremely miserable, and my whole body suffered. I clenched my teeth and persisted. My soul was fatigued, but I continued to bear it. My heart felt so terrible that I was going to throw up. Tears came up to my eyes, and I had pains in all my bones and muscles. I felt I was dying. At last I let down my legs, and I was all in a sweat. Relaxing, I felt very much comforted. I looked at my watch. Only five minutes had passed. I doubted if ever I would be able to do shuang pan again.

To my surprise, in a week, I was able to do shuang pan for half an hour. I knew I had received help from an external power. Later I read a book on the personal experience of a Tibetan lama in Lasha. He recalled after he got to the United States that he had also felt like he was dying when he sat in meditation for one to two days when he was only five years old. It was so windy and dusty that little sand dunes were heaped up in his palms. I was very sympathetic with him and admired him greatly. I then thought it was worth all the hard effort and was determined to continue to do it.

The appearance of supernormal capabilities served as a great driving force for me to go on practicing shuang pan. I tested myself according to the practices and switching-on procedures described in books on gong methods and discovered almost all those supernormal capabilities in me. This was my achievement after practicing qigong, especially Yan Xin Qigong, for nine months.

The first to come was the supernormal ability of body sensation. When someone with a disease was near me, I, consciously or unconsciously, felt discomfort in the same part of my body that this person experienced discomfort, so I could tell exactly where the problem was and approximately what kind of disease it was. Because I was afraid to take on others' feelings of being sick and the attack by the "sick qi," I did not like to be near seriously ill people.

The next supernormal ability was that of transmitting messages by mind-will. I tried to transmit to others by will simple messages, words like “left” or “right” or short numbers. I found out that there were people who were sensitive and those who were not. Little children were generally very sensitive. There was a little girl who was especially sensitive to my messages, and she was never wrong. When her parents asked her why she could receive my messages so quickly, she said she could hear my voice telling her the message. In fact, I spoke to her only in my heart.

One major supernormal capability I had was healing the sick. I put my hand over the diseased part and could feel energy coming out of my hand. I would feel a kind of exhaustion later on and was very tired sometimes, but the disease that I healed very easily disappeared. There are many different ways to heal the sick; I could heal in whichever way I liked.

In this way I began to go into action according to the Tao I had obtained, and became very well known in our local area. Many people came to me for healing of their diseases, and I was overjoyed to respond to every plea. I found out that my gong power increased by leaps and bounds when I used my supernormal capabilities to perform acts of charity. It became more and more miraculous and unbelievable. Yan Xin's qigong theory emphasizes "gong de" a lot. "Gong de" is the virtue, or morality, of the practitioners. It encourages mainly doing good deeds, achieving good character, and respecting the qigong masters of Buddhism, Taoism and every other origin.

3. The Initial Success of My Gong Career

After the first half-year of practicing qigong, my gongfu grew with each passing day, and my supernormal capabilities increased so as to be so much stronger and multiplied to be so many that I myself was surprised. It was my thought that the human body was really marvelous and the universe really mysterious. According to Yan Xin's theory, The qigong master's energy comes from the potentialities of human body and the natural cosmic world and sometimes from high-level qigong masters. I believed that supernormal capabilities came from our own bodies and the natural world. I also believed qigong masters of extraordinarily high levels could provide guidance and instruction ("dian hua"). I had become at this point a theist, but my concept of god was very obscure. I believed human beings could have eternal life, and my goal of life was just seeking eternal life, which I took to be the utmost meaning of life. And this meaning of life was an impetus for me to keep on practicing qigong for all the long years of my qigong career. I then disregarded trifles of life and engaged myself completely in qigong both physically and mentally. I was no longer concerned with my work and my relationship with others and unconsciously secluded myself from others. My girlfriend left me, and I wanted love no more. I even lost interest in my hobby of writing. All these dissipated in light of my qigong as if they no longer belonged to me. The only thing I desired was for qigong to bring me health, supernormal ability and immortal life. I then could understand why there were people who would be willing to be monks or priests. I also longed for life in seclusion, away from society. Many aspirations became inoperative, and many desires began to settle down. Other people didn’t understand me and forsook me, but I didn't care. I knew what I was doing. After all, qigong and Tao understood me; after all, those who had knowledge of my gongfu and those who had been healed by me knew me and respected me. In a word, I cared for one thing, qigong. Through studying qigong theory and its practice, I realized that qigong was a mysterious truth few people knew. I regarded it as the greatest mystery of the universe and of life. My new worldview, morality, value and behavioral principles took shape in me, dispersing, like wind blowing away smoke, the communist thoughts that had been instilled in me ever since my childhood and which now disappeared in the twinkling of an eye.

I went back home to see my parents that fall.

Back at home, conversations with my parents were naturally centered on qigong. We exchanged what we had learned from practicing qigong. Mum and Dad were very much pleased with the result of my practice of qigong and were proud of me, just as they had been when I was a top student in my class. They had taught friends and relatives how to practice qigong. They had all achieved very good effects. Mum's health was nearly recovered and she was back at work. She often exclaimed, "Qigong has saved me!"

My parents had plans in those days to move to a new home that was not very far away. Dad and I decided to move without asking others for help since it was not a very difficult job. When evening came, we started our task. In order for the new home to be a strong qi field, we repeatedly played tapes of Yan Xin's recordings. We had peace of mind for so doing. At about Zishi (between eleven o'clock at night and one o'clock in the morning), we had almost finished moving with the two tapes being played repeatedly. Very strangely, I didn't feel tired at all, but rather felt very much relaxed as if I had not been toiling very hard at all. My heart was filled with peace and joy. As we were finishing moving, I felt more and more comfortable listening to the recordings on the tapes, and a kind of power was infusing within my body; gradually it spread all over my body and soul. This power began to stir, and my soul felt uneasy and also began to stir. I realized something unusual was happening, but I could not tell what it was. I tried to calm myself down and resisted this power by reasoning. But immediately I knew I had failed. Deciding to yield, I told my parents hastily, "I can't bear it anymore. I want to do something very unusual. I can't stand it!" My voice must have sounded very desperate, for I got them very much concerned for me. They encouraged me and said, "Don't be afraid! Relax! Let it be!" Dad hurried to accompany me when I walked out of the house towards a large piece of land in the boundless darkness of night. I suddenly found it was a vast expense of whiteness all around me. It looked like clouds, but it was not. At this moment I heard Yan Xin's recording on the tape saying "It's a vast expanse of whiteness all around." I looked up, and there was not any white thing, but only the starry sky, which looked beautiful and mysterious to me. Many years later, I still remembered the strange and peaceful sky on that night.

I groped my way to the clearing and let go all my worries and fears, completely succumbing to the control of that power, while my heart was filled with curiosity. I moved in a circle, again and again, letting myself obey the impulses. My body was pulled like that of a drunkard. This power was growing all the while and seemed to pull me out of my body. I felt as if there were two "I"s inside of my body; one was stirring, the other one looked on, having no choice. Finally the stirring "I" rushed out of me at last like a volcano. It rushed out of my throat, and out of my mouth ran a long scream full of strangeness and sorrow, very far, far away into the quiet night. It seemed that my soul was crying. But why? I didn't know. There was no answer to this question. My eardrum shook, my mouth thirsted, but I felt very comfortable and full of a sense of mystery. I realized that I had entered into a very rare qigong state in which I was connected with a superhuman power.

Gradually, my body began to quiet down, and I entered a selfless level. Everything seemed to exist and yet was nonexistent. Very slowly, my sensations became illusory too. After I do not know how long, I suddenly knelt down, and that power forcefully pushed my head downward to the ground. I rejected again, but it seemed there was a huge hand pressing on the back of my neck. It wanted me to kowtow. I felt humiliated and was unwilling to kowtow, but a message entered into my mind. It told me that a high-level qigong master had chosen me to be his disciple and wanted to impart his "gong" to me and that he was dying. After I heard this, I lowered my head immediately until it touched the ground. I accepted in awe my invisible master, letting him impart high-level gong to me as he willed.

After a little while, my hand pulled up some grass beside me and put it into my mouth. I chewed, and at once it felt as if a spring had rushed out; I swallowed down a lot, and my throat thirsted no more. My body had regained tranquility by then, and I lifted up my head on my own and looked up at the dark sky. I knew my "master" had died, and that his soul was still existent and protected me and added continuously more "gong" on me.

I rose and realized the white smoke was no longer there. By the moonlight I could see very far. My Dad was still standing there, far away. We returned home, and it was already after one in the morning. Mum and Dad looked at me concernedly and asked me how I was feeling. I said “very well.” They were very happy for me, but I could see perplexity showing up on their faces. We all went to bed.

The next day I was returning to my work unit, and Mum put some Chinese dates in two bags and had me take them with me. She wanted to weigh them and see how many dates she had put in each bag. But I immediately said, "This weighs one jin and one liang." She weighed it, and it was exactly what I had said. I told Mum the other was just the same. She did not believe me and weighed it and found out it was just as I said. Mum looked at me in surprisedly. We both realized my gong power had increased again.

From that day on my qigong power had reached a new level. I did my best to sit in meditation and practice qigong at Zishi (between eleven o'clock at night and one o'clock in the morning), for of all the times during a day the qi field is at its strongest at Zishi, and practicing qigong during this period of time produces the best effect. But I learned what it was to "practice qigong twenty-four hours a day." I could stay in a qigong state all the time and often had my tongue tilted upward to touch my upper cavity. My forehead began to sink, and I had a special feeling at my tianmu, which is the so-called third eye on the human body. Once anyone has his/her tianmu opened, he/she will be able to see many things invisible to human eyes, and his/her supernormal capabilities will be enhanced. I had always wanted to have my tianmu opened. My healing power grew stronger and stronger. Many people came to me or had me come to their homes for me to heal the sick. All those healed by me received surprising healing effects. Later, I started to heal remotely. One day a friend came to see me and told me his colleague had an unbearably terrible toothache and asked me to go with him to help him. I said to my friend, "You go back and tell him he is all right now." After a little while, this friend came back to me in great excitement and reported, "The moment I saw my colleague, he told me that his toothache had just stopped. You are really getting more and more powerful." There was once a university student who asked me to try on him the remote massage. I agreed and we set a time. We were several hundred miles apart. But when the appointed time came, I didn't do the remote massage for him, for I forgot about it. I felt very sorry and embarrassed, but received a letter a few days later in which he described excitedly how he had an miraculous experience that day when our set time came. He was lying on his bed, and at the exact time he felt severe bloating pain in his shoulders, and his muscles bounced for about a minute. He said this was the first time he had ever experienced in person the miraculous power of qigong.

After reading his letter, I was greatly surprised. How could this be possible since I had missed the appointed time that day? He was a science student who took facts and logic seriously. I could imagine what he had experienced from the astonishment he expressed in his letter. But how could I explain this event? I had no answer. I later read about similar events in qigong magazines, but had no reasonable explanations for them.

I practiced harder, and my gong power was increasing all the time. I became more and more famous, and more people came to acknowledge me as their master and learn qigong from me. But I was not interested in having disciples, for I had not found any suitable candidates with very good intelligence root ("hui gen"). I taught them some simple gong methods when it was too hard for me to refuse. Some of what I taught was already in books, while others were my own inventions. But the result was satisfying. Under my influence there arose in my town an active trend of practicing qigong. These followers voluntarily organized themselves and practiced qigong together. They bought videotapes of Yan Xin's qi-emitting lectures and played them for free. I went to take a look and was very much inspired. Many of the local people had just realized the miraculous power of qigong. They practiced together, but I still practiced by myself, though they wanted very much to have me lead them. I had no interest in doing so, for their qigong levels were very low, and thus they were not helpful to me.

Later on, I invented a way to cure nearsightedness. I put an eye chart on the wall. I had the nearsighted persons stand five meters away from it and asked them to take off their eyeglasses and to state clearly what was on the chart, starting from the first line, then moving to the second, then the third, until they could see very clearly the last line. They could not believe how their vision could improve miraculously to the best state in just a few minutes. I was startled but did not show it. One after another nearsighted person came to me for healing his or her eyes. I used my supernormal capabilities on all of them. But the problem was that a few days after they got healed and took off their glasses, they had to put them on again, for their vision worsened again. And I could not explain why.

Three years passed. I practiced qigong every day and dared not slack up. During this time I read a lot of books—Taoist, Buddhist and Tibetan. I studied a lot of gong methods and learned Chinese medicine theory for half a year. Because as Yan Xin had said, "Chinese medicine and qigong come from one origin." The study during those years helped to broaden my theoretical knowledge and effectively advanced my practice. I also discovered that qigong exists in various forms in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, even at the high level of Chinese Medicine. (These forms will be discussed in detail in Chapter four.) I had at this time started to practice my own gong method, which was very simple and very effective, for I had already found out about the basic theory of qigong, and I thought I had already entered into a state in which I was connected with the natural cosmic energy field. This is referred to as staying in the qigong state at all time. I could practice qigong at the same time whatever I was doing—whether walking, sitting, or lying down. Qigong practice became much easier. And whenever I was tired, I sat in meditation. Immediately I would be in a self-satisfied state, as if everything were not existing, or as if I were not thinking, even though I was thinking. I would feel extremely comfortable physically and recover my energy very quickly. I then understood why the Buddhist monks could sit in meditation all night without sleeping. I also formed some habits which I would illustrate as follows:

1. I realized why Buddhist monks like to eat vegetables because I began to hate eating meat and to prefer vegetables. Although I had always liked vegetables since my childhood, I ate only vegetables now and could even smell a kind of fishy smell in eggs. That smell made me nauseated.

2. For a short period of time, the phenomenon of "bi gu" happened to me, which is a special state of not eating or eating very little while not feeling hungry. During that time, I was very comfortable physically, very energetic, and my gong was enhanced greatly.

3. Sometimes I chose a cypress tree in the woods and collected its energy. Then I would feel energized entirely sufficiently. I stretched out my arms around the tree trunk, but my hands did not touch it. I used a special way of sucking the energy of the tree into my body through my hands. After a long time, a little circular light-white mark was formed in my left palm. I then realized how in mythical legends ghosts and monsters could suck human energy. It is the same as sucking the tree energy.

4. In order to stimulate my tianmu (the third eye), I use a gong method, which allowed me to set my eyes directly on the sun. I usually chose the noontime sun to gaze at. And I usually did this for a few minutes, but my eyes would not be hurt. When I looked at the sun, there would be a dark shade covering the sun. But I had to concentrate in order never to err.

5. Sometimes I could see bright light covering my hands, trees and electric wires. When I meditated, there would appear in front of my eyes shimmering lights like very bright stars.

6. I began to practice divination and divine by the Eight Trigrams. There were very often groups of people coming to my office in my work unit to ask me to tell fortunes for them. People who needed to make some major decisions would come to consult me, get some suggestions from me, and then leave happily.

In a word, I found that I was changing. I had many strange hobbies and was at odds with the world that I was living in. I got estranged from people around me, admired hermits greatly and was sorry that I could not lead a life like theirs. I understood why Taoist priests or Buddhist monks had to practice Taoism or Buddhism far away from society. It was not just for practicing.

I went further and further, alone by myself. Without any companion, I traversed lonely, yet not knowing what my destination was.

4. Pilgrimage

In the summer of 1990, I traveled to Beijing to attend Zhang Hongbao's class of "Chinese Gong for Health Improving and Intelligence Enhancing." I studied hard for two weeks in the suburban area of Beijing and achieved a lot.

On the first day, I saw Zhang Hongbao, who delivered a speech at the school- opening ceremony. He looked very young, his face glowing with health. He had once been sent as a young student to labor in the countryside in Northeast China and then one day had suddenly obtained supernormal ability. He started to chu shan (go into action) on August 8, 1988, and became a famous qigong master overnight. He was divorced. He was very much business oriented and in a very short time made a lot of money through qigong business means and set up qigong schools. In his speech Zhang very excitedly described the emergence of all kinds of qigong from different origins as the contention of a hundred schools of thought during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (722-221 B.C.).

Zhang left after giving his speech, and his disciples taught classes. There were many trainees, and it was very hot. Several electric fans tried hard yet in vain to make it cooler in the classroom. But everybody remained patient unremittingly. I sat there dripping with sweat and hoping for a break. I learned why there were so many people who would like to learn "Chinese Gong for Health Improving and Intelligence Enhancing." It was because Zhang was adept in the theory of supernormal ability and he taught the most direct methods so that people who had never practiced qigong could obtain supernormal capabilities very quickly and get very much encouraged and warm hearted for continuing the study. Principles that it took me a long time to awaken to were very casually taught here.

One day a teacher taught us how to see light, light that is invisible to human eyes. I had seen invisible light before, but not that of the human body. The teacher was very serious and also very proud. He seemed to have very high-level gong. He stood in front of the class, whom he asked to see the light above the top of his head. He claimed to have light of several colors over his head, and the more colors there are, the higher the gong of the person is. I tried to look but saw only a light circle of white color. I adjusted my state and saw beautiful circles of red, yellow and green colors above his head. If there had been even more colors, including purple, his gong would have reached a very considerable level. This is why in pictures of Buddhist ancestors, there is behind their head a circle of light which resembles the sun.

While we trainees were at the qigong school, we lived in dormitories. In my dormitory there were eight of us. There were among us three university students, one senior high student and one teacher. There were also two who were said to be managers of a martial arts school in the south. They were very much respected and paid reverence by the three university students who could not stop exclaiming in admiration of them, even though I regarded them as having just an average level of gong but an acceptable skill of martial arts. While we stayed together, every one of us did his best to display his excellent qigong virtue, showing courtesy to others, paying respect to everyone else, humbling himself and tolerating others. One of the university students was a student leader. He appreciated the book The Great Qigong Masters by Ke Yunlu and would gasp in great admiration of it. He held it in his hand and said to me, "I have read it many times. Ke Yunlu is so profoundly and rigorously logical that his thinking is really unbelievable!"

Every night before we went to bed, we meditated together for an hour, listening to the repeated reading and singing of "nan wu a me tuo fu," a piece of Buddhist verse. I liked this verse and the sound of it sent forth from a loudspeaker, which could be heard in all the dormitories. It was full of dignity, power and mystery. I sat in meditation for an hour and would then feel very cool and lie down to sleep very comfortably. Those university students admired me a lot for being able to sit with both of my legs bent and set on top of each other.

Every morning before sunrise we practiced Chinese Gong for Health Improving and Intelligence Enhancing together, and the loudspeaker played beautiful music and gong practice steps. I practiced seriously every day, but without remarkable results.

After the training, I went to the first greatest Taoist temple, Beijing White Cloud Taoist Temple. Visitors were few, but I was full of interest. I chatted with someone who looked like a chief Taoist priest. He said he practiced gong every night. But I was disappointed because I did not find any priest of high-level gongfu. It seemed that they no longer had the true essence of Taoism there.

Two weeks later, I went to Lao Shan Mountain in Qingdao, Shandong province. Pu Song Lin wrote in the classic Liao Zhai Zhi Yi (Liao Zhai's Records of the Strange) of the wondrous gongfu of Taoist priests in Lao Shan Mountain. When I was there, Kuang Zangxiu, a chief Taoist priest of high level, had just died. I toured around, took many pictures, worshipped the idols made of mud, and achieved unexpectedly the desired effect. I was very much touched, realized many principles, and was greatly inspired.

Very quickly, the summer was over. I returned to my work unit. My qigong level entered then into another new sphere.

5. As My Heart Wills

My trip to Beijing gave me great confidence. Firstly, I realized that my gong level was so high that I had never, up till then, never met anyone who was at a higher level than I was. Secondly, I achieved great progress in the philosophical theory of qigong and also in my gong power. I got very much encouraged by these and decided to have my tianmu (the third eye) opened as soon as possible. I thought that the evidence of tianmu being opened was not just the ability to see some special light, but the ability to perceive the human body or other objects.

During this period of time, Yan Xin's other high-level gong method was published, and it came with audiotapes. So the practitioners could listen to the instructions while they practiced. The name of this gong method was "Nine-step Qigong." This is a very powerful gong method, but also very difficult, mainly because the imagination steps are very complex and hard to be achieved simultaneously. The object of imagination is the lotus, the image highly esteemed in Taoism. I practiced for nine months and completed all the practice process. My gong power was greatly increased; more importantly, my qigong theory was even more perfected, my power of understanding further enhanced and my quality for practicing qigong remarkably improved. I set about to make more and deeper study of qigong works and gradually perfected my own philosophical theory of qigong.

Just before I practiced "Nine-step Qigong," I acquired a very interesting gong power. One day I found that my audiotape of qigong practice had lost all the recordings on it. I did not know it was the tape and thought it was the player that had gone wrong. But I was mistaken and suddenly realized that it was a supernormal phenomenon. I then held the tape in my hand, produced gong for a little while, and put it back in the player. The tape was played, and still it ran quietly. I waited and listened for a little while more. Gradually, I heard a very small sound which grew louder and louder as if the sound were coming from far to near. Finally it was all normal. I knew I had acquired new power.

Once I was with some friends who had a similar problem. They couldn't understand why their cassette tape went wrong. I took the tape with me to the outside, meditated a little while, and put it back into the player. They played it, and there came beautiful music. Another time I was with some young students, enjoying disco music. Again, the tape was soundless, and a boy student checked and judged that the player was broken. I told him it was not and took the tape and shook it. I played it, and the rhythmic music played from the tape filled the room. That student looked at me blankly, completely puzzled.

After I practiced "Nine-step Qigong," this ability of mine was even enhanced. I once visited with the family of a friend who also practiced qigong. She tried to play some music to please us all, but the tape would not produce any sound. She found it strange and tried another tape, which showed the player to have no problem. I told her that I could make the tape normal. She was excited to hear this and would like to see how it could be possible. I put that tape back in the player, pushed down the play button, and sat down quietly to maneuver the sound of the tape by meditation. Gradually, the sound came up, from small to loud, as if it had come from far to near. My friend exclaimed in admiration, "Ah! You are really now omnipotent!" I was all the more so much pleased with myself that I continued to exert my imaginative thought upon the tape and the sound grew louder and louder until it reached a volume even louder than what the player was set to produce.

I felt great when I moved to about the fourth step in the "Nine-step Qigong." I was thinking about some issue one day when I happened to see an enamel bowl somewhere near me in the room. It had its cover on it, but I suddenly began to see a dark green shadow in the bowl. I looked closely and saw it was water. I held the bowl up. The water shook in the bowl. I was very surprised, for I could now perceive objects, even through iron. I could not even believe then that this was true, so I observed more. I removed the cover of the bowl, looked on the inside and the outside of the bowl, and finally was certain that I could perceive the bowl and see the water from the outside of the bowl. The major function of "Nine-step Qigong" is to develop supernormal capabilities, especially that of perception. I thus realized the power of this gong method. But what was strange was that I later lost the ability to perceive the enamel bowl. I had great regrets and confusion.

I usually practiced at night with the lights out. I closed my eyes and could still see the outlines of my hands with a layer of white light. Sometimes I woke up at night and saw clearly the outlines of my shiny hands with my eyes closed. I felt I saw them with my tianmu.

During this period of time, healing the sick became easier and easier for me. The methods that I used looked to others more and more mysterious. I invented, as my heart desired, some gestures, which I very simply performed, for it took me only a thought to solve the problem. Really, it looked as if I had done nothing, for imaginative meditation was all that was needed

Another inexplicable phenomenon bothered me. While I practiced one day, the power failed in my room, and I thought it was general power failure. I looked outside and saw there was light in all the other rooms. Yet the lights in my room were on the same circuit as others and were not burning. A few hours later, the lights in my room suddenly lit up. This happened several times. This was another qigong phenomenon and one I found hard to control. Every time it happened, I had to sit in meditation for a while before I could have the light back in my room. My life was made inconvenient in this way. Sometimes I would just light some candles and leave my cassette player alone. I was very unhappy for I knew gong power had interfered with the electric power. I wondered why I could not maneuver the electric power as easily as I could maneuver the sound of tapes. I would sometimes forget whether the switch was on or off when I went to bed. I would have to wake up and turn the light off when the light came back on again.

Once the light was out again when two qigong friends came to listen to some music in my room. I was very embarrassed and asked them to wait while I got on my bed and sat in meditation. In about ten minutes the light came back on. They listened to the music and praised me in admiration, yet I fretted for being unable to control the light. This situation lasted for over half a year. Sometimes when the light was out, I would go outside, and a surge of unspeakable sadness and incompetence arose in my heart.

By that time I had practiced qigong for four years. I had practiced every day and reached a considerably high level. Then I began to take several disciples. The ones with good qigong quality soon acquired supernormal capabilities. Many more around me began to practice qigong persistently under my influence. Pang Heming's "Intelligence Qigong" was very popular then. People listened to loudspeakers on sports grounds while they practiced qigong every day in the afternoon and evening. I joined them for a few times, for I could encourage them as a high-level qigong master admired by them by so doing. In this way I could also claim myself to have no sectarian prejudices, an excellent qigong virtue.

One Chinese saying goes like this: "During ten years of hard practice one is unknown; once he has achieved success, he is known by all." This proverb popular in the qigong field described exactly my feeling. But I thought my gongfu still had much room for improvement, for my goal was Yan Xin's qigong level. I continued with qigong practice almost apathetically and continued to be awakened to more principles of qigong. I had only one thought—never to stop practicing, even for one day. I was like a lonely traveler in the desert heading forward in a direction that I thought to be correct, without knowing when or whether at all I would be able to get to the destination; neither did I know what the destination should be like. I had only one thought that sustained my will—to continue, never to cease.

6. Heading for my Doom

As my supernormal capabilities multiplied, I gradually understood that the legendary "eight immortals" were actually Taoist qigong masters of high level. They had achieved great success with their qigong practices and had become immortals who would never die. Then my goal was no longer Yan Xin's qigong level, but becoming a figure like the "eight immortals" and acquiring eternal life.

Sometimes I looked up into the sky and was filled with aspiration and also doubts. I tried to understand the universe and pondered its limits and significance, but my intelligence was so limited and incapable that the only answer I found was no answer. I sought painfully and realized a truth which I took to be the supernormal ability of qigong as the only way for finding out about the universe and life. It seemed that this world was controlled by time. So I thought that if time disappeared, many things would be totally different. Human beings would then not grow decrepit and die. But it looked as if time would not disappear. Hence the only way out was to break away from the control of time. I borrowed a book on Einstein’s theory of relativity and studied about the principles of time and space. Roughly speaking, what I learned from my study was that when the speed of a moving object exceeded that of light, the speed of time would change. I therefore concluded that time had different densities. When time of less density entered into time of more density, life could be greatly elongated. Then I realized that the saying in mythical legends "a day in heaven is a year on earth" is reasonable. In fact, when I practiced qigong and sat in meditation, I experienced the magical change of time. When I entered into a visionary state, I felt as if I had disappeared. Because of this it was hard to estimate how long I had meditated. Sometimes I felt as if half an hour had passed, yet it was only one or two minutes; sometimes I felt it was only one or two minutes when it was actually half an hour. From this I deduced the theoretical hypothesis that time could be described by three-dimensional coordinate axes. Through adjusting the coordinates, we could adjust the density of time and hence the speed of time.

With this understanding I found that many issues which had baffled me were easily solved. The Indian monk Da Mo, who was the founder of the Shaolin Temple, was said to have once faced a wall in meditation for eight years. Many people believed this could not have been true. But I thought that since Da Mo had indeed a very high level of gongfu, he could have adjusted his position on the time coordinate axis, so that the eight years in which he sat in meditation facing a wall, passed for him like a number of minutes or hours, while for others like eight years. Having as its founder a person of such a high level of gongfu, it is no wonder that Shaolin Temple could have its great influence up to day.

I regarded the "eight immortals" as people like Da Mo, but of an even higher level. They could break away from the control of time in their normal state. That is to say, they positioned themselves at the origin of the coordinate axes. That was why they could be immortals.

I re-studied classical literature such as Xi You Ji (The Pilgrimage to the West), Liao Zhai Zhi Yi (Liao Zhai's Records of the Strange), and Feng Shen Yan Yi (The Enfeoffment of the Gods). I also read the section called "A Precious Mirror for the Romantic" in The Dream of the Red Chamber. I was immensely enlightened. I discovered that in these works there were many indications of qigong practice and something about the spiritual sphere I had realized. I regarded Wu Chengen, the author of The Pilgrimage to the West as not simply a literary writer, for his knowledge of qigong practice was absolutely thorough. I then understood why the great qigong master Yan Xin highly praised these literary classics.

I studied I-ching, Tao Te Ching, and writings by Han Feizi and Zhuang Zi. Though these works are commonly regarded as literary and philosophical classics, I discovered in them theories of high-level qigong gongfu. And Ke Yunlu and Yan Xin appreciated these books greatly too, regarding them as deep works on qigong. Through my study I made a huge modification of my qigong theory. From this time forward I only sat in meditation when I practiced qigong, no longer following any steps or any gong methods. These, I discovered, were only superficial embellishments and only for people who did not understand the theory of qigong. For practitioners of high-level gongfu, the philosophical theory of qigong was the most powerful inspiration. Every new piece of principle realized would mean an immediate increase of gong power for the practitioner, who would then be one more step closer to the spiritual sphere.

I also realized what in essence Yan Xin's "qi-remitting" lectures were. I experimented with some people who also cried, or laughed or danced without stopping. I sometimes secretly healed others. I imagined that I went to the person that I wanted to heal and healed him. I later asked him about his illness. He said he was healed, but did not know that I had done it for him. If some came to me with a request to heal a third party, I would give him something, plus some so-called "messages," for him to take to the sick person or give him a prescription of Chinese Medicine to be carried by the sick person in his pocket. Many got healed in this way. Later I found it was still too troublesome, and just I simply told them, "There is nothing serious. He'll be ok tomorrow." It was exactly so the next day. Or I would say, "You're already healed." The painful sickness of the patient would disappear immediately.

But if someone had displeased me and I felt this person to be a bad person, I would curse him and attack him by imaginative meditation. The result would usually be his getting sick or having some unlucky things happened to him the next day. And the sickness might be with him for a long time. In the practice of qigong, there is a saying which means, "If in three days I had not punished any people, I would be in such low spirit that I could not even walk vigorously." I often enjoyed the delight and satisfaction of punishing people.

In 1991 I decided to practice "yang shen chu qiao," which is to have one’s soul leave one's body and have it move freely outside the body while leaving the body where it is to wait for the soul to return to it. This is a horrible gong method and very dangerous. But once it was achieved, it would be possible to the person to come back and forth between the spiritual and the material worlds. The reason why I decided to practice this gong method was that I had reached this level and could not have skipped it over.

Before then I had discovered that my soul would by itself go out of my body at night. As soon as I fell asleep, my soul would soon drop downward, as if there was an abyss, very horrifying, and I had to sit up immediately. I found it very strange and wondered why the soul would not go upward. Sometimes I tried to connive at my soul's going downward, but I could not overcome the fear through any means. I decided to practice "the soul leaving the body."

According to qigong theory, practitioners of "soul leaving the body" must have helpers around to take care of them, for in the beginning stage the soul many not be used to the new dimensions and may easily get lost and be unable to find the way back. If the soul delays too long, it many never be able to come back, and the body will die.

From my beginning experiences, I learned that it is an extraordinarily horrible feeling. Since I understood the terrified feeling of the soul, I was worried about my soul’s being unable to come back. I wanted to find someone who would keep me company while I practiced. This person must have deep feelings for me and shout wholeheartedly for me to come back when my soul got lost on its way back.

Also this person must understand the principles and methods of qigong practice. I did not have around me anyone who could meet with these qualifications. I wished I had a very good girlfriend, but I could not find anyone suitable for me. Out of no choice, I started to practice on my own.

When night came, I sat in meditation for a little while before I lay down. I found that it was most convenient for my soul to leave my body when I lay down on my back. Gradually, I entered into a half-sleeping state, and my consciousness came to be almost static. All of a sudden, my soul had a stir; my consciousness was recovered; it awoke but stayed static. My body could not move. My soul did not drop downward as before, but floated upward. First, I felt suddenly lightened, and my legs went up out of my body and got up in the air, like floating to the surface in the water; only it was even lighter.

Second, my abdomen and my upper body moved upward. But very disgustingly, my head had a very hard time coming out, as if there were many connections that could not be loosened. At this point I felt as if someone had caught me by my feet and dragged me upward. I felt miserable. Then I felt terrified. Though terror is also a good phenomenon, according to qigong theory, the terror of having the soul leave the body is inexplicable. I returned to my body hurriedly, like a ship returning to a warm harbor. I turned on the lights immediately and waited while my fears receded. Then I went to bed, feeling as if relieved of a heavy burden. I slept with all the lights on, for I did not dare turn them off.

This situation lasted for about half a year. But later my soul could go out more and more easily. I dared not even lie on my back, for otherwise my soul would leave my body as soon as I was asleep. Every time my soul was out, I had to face tremendous fear. I got myself very much exhausted physically and mentally in this way and had to stop practicing qigong for a few days. Whenever I wanted to have my soul come out of my body, I simply lay down on my back and very quickly my soul would begin to float up. What puzzled me most was why my soul was afraid when it was outside the body. I did not see anything horrible nor did I hear any fearful sound. I found my fear unreasonable, for I had nothing to fear. I had always thought myself to be a very bold person. I even practiced qigong at night alone on a mountain covered with thick forests. I really could not find reasons for my fear; instead I tried to accept it by thinking that the heavier the price I paid, the higher level I would be able to achieve. I also took it as a kind of training and trial. Anyway, I hoped to reach the level as soon as possible so that I could come in and out of my body freely either at night or during the day. I also hoped I would be able to go very far, unlimited by time and space, and perform many miracles. I continued on my way, not knowing it was a broad road leading to death and hell.

There were several times when it seemed that my soul successfully got away from my body. It went above the bed and turned around to look at the body, which now looked very much blurred. There was another time when my soul dropped down onto my shoes by the bed. Every time the soul went out, it had to hurry back, afraid of any longer delays. Fear was the thing that I had never been able to defeat, and I was also worried that I might not be able to return. I had only achieved the first stage, when the soul, once outside the body, could not yet clearly hear or see or feel or know anything. I really wished to have someone to take care of me while I practiced, but I had never found the right person. I was very regretful about this since the gongfu of having the soul leave the body could not be practiced further.

But just as I was still trying to find ways to continue practicing this gongfu, great changes happened to my life. A series of events brought my life to a serious crisis, and I had to look at qigong and my life from a different angle. It was the darkest and most miserable time of my life.

7. A Hopeless Lamb

Years of qigong practice had made me consider myself always in the right. But just as I was very pleased with myself, a lot of strange events began to happen in my life, many of which were hard to understand. All these things, which related to all aspects of my life, were unpleasant, even sad and painful.

1. There were clear signs that my character was becoming vile and corrupt. My previous gentle and amiable personality had at this point been replaced by extraordinary irritability and quick temper. I had no patience whatsoever and was often resentful and even murderously impulsive. I was now disrespectful to my parents and often hurt their feelings. I did not known why, and it seemed that without any reasons I became a more and more horrible person. Also I found myself strange. Every time I was at odds with my parents and siblings, I was very sorry. I regretted what I had done and wondered why I did it!

2. Due to the supernormal capabilities I had in me, I became very proud of myself and despised practitioners of lower levels. But my heart was very often full of empty feelings and obscurities, and I did not know why. My exclusive lifestyle made me feel more and more lonely, and my life lacked vitality and joy. Sometimes I admired very much the lifestyle of normal people, for my life had become more and more heavily laden. I felt that these phenomena were contrary to proposed qigong theories, which held that as the practitioner's gong power increased, his/her personality would be bettered since qigong practice was an effective process for cultivating love, gentleness, kindness and intelligence, and other such beautiful virtues. Practitioners were to have the freedom of having whatever their hearts desired, but, on the contrary, the reality for me was that I felt more and more burdened and bound.

3. There were many displeasing things happening in my life. The pressure I got from work, due to all the difficulties I met with, was greater than I could bear. And my work unit leaders treated me in a very unfriendly manner. I had a very unfavorable relationship with a specific colleague. I failed repeatedly in my love affairs, very often without rhyme or reason. Financially, I had a very tight budget and suffered several business failures.

4. Once I practiced at night in the cold wind, which hurt my neck and caused me serious rheumatism. I could not heal it. What was even stranger was that it deteriorated so as to make my neck feel extremely uncomfortable and tortured me every day. I had to shake my neck to alleviate the pain. Since every few minutes I had to shake my neck forcefully, I must have looked very funny to other people. I then understood the qigong theory about "avoiding wind as we would escape arrows." Though after I reached a certain level I was no longer vulnerable to wind when I practiced, rheumatism had already set in my neck. I was very disappointed, for my gongfu was completely useless for my own sickness. I did not know why. Anyway, this neck disease was very strange, for I passed my uncomfortable feeling to other people. I tried not to shake my neck when I was with some people, for otherwise they would very soon start to shake their neck or pinch their neck with their hands. They looked very uncomfortable and told me they did not feel very well. They did not know I had a neck problem, which I dared not to admit as the cause of their discomfort. Anyhow, I felt very much perplexed about this myself. Once when I was watching a movie in the theatre, a soldier was sitting just beside me. He was soon infected very seriously. He kept shaking his neck every few minutes until the movie was over. I tried all the time to bear the pain in my neck and did not shake my neck even once, being filled with shame and guilt. I knew this was not a common disease, but a strange one that had energy with it. When I touched my neck, the painful part felt cold.

5. On one night, not long after I started to practice Yan Xin Qigong, I suddenly woke up with a start, for I felt that something was pushing down on me. I was very much afraid and wanted to struggle, but I could not move my body. I tried to cry out, but I could produce only a weak sound. Eventually I sat up abruptly and turned on the lights. This happened repeatedly later and was more and more serious. I began to hear voices speaking and even sounds of people panting. I clearly felt the weight of someone who seemed to have thrown himself on me and clutched my neck.. I could even feel the temperature of his hands. In order to know this was not mere illusion, I went to sleep with the lights on. When I was again pressed on, I opened my eyes and saw a thing in my room and even read words which were on the wall. This was not a dream. I struggled to get up and was extremely terrified. I did not understand how this could happen. Though it happened not so often later on as my gong practice proceeded, it never stopped. I suffered all by myself this spiritual and physical torture for years, daring not to let others know.

The above terrifying phenomena tormented me and caused me pains and bewilderment, but no doubt was thereby engendered in me about qigong. According to qigong theory, tribulations are favorable phenomena, for suffering tempers one's character. "You gain while you lose." Practitioners can acquire excellent-quality groundwork through suffering, which is the indispensable step before they achieve complete success in qigong practice. I hoped to attain "the highest state of enlightenment" (zheng guo) and become an "immortal" who no longer had to suffer hardship in this world.

Since these horrible happenings had not awakened me to the danger of qigong, even more terrible events began to befall me, like a hellish curse following me closely as if it were my shadow.

I emphasized my practice of qigong a lot at Qingming (fifth solar term) because qigong theory holds that practicing on red-letter days in the lunar calendar is very effective. I turned off the lights at night and sat in mediation satisfactorily in my mosquito net. I adjusted my body and breath, faced northward, and entered into the qigong state of tranquility. After a short while, a slight and subtle sad feeling arose spontaneously in my heart. I paid no special attention to it, for I thought the qi field at Qingming should have some sad elements. But what happened next seemed very unusual. The sadness was aggravated and grew to be a deep sorrow, which I tried very hard to subdue. But my effort was in vain, for I just wanted to cry. I did my best to hold back the crying and felt extremely miserable both spiritually and physically. At last I cried out, and woeful tears kept running down my face. I was unable to stop the cry, yet did not know the reason why I cried. It seemed that someone was sobbing in me. This sad power constantly ran inward to the depth of my heart, saddened my soul and rushed out, along with my tears and crying. I sat there, crying, sometimes high, sometimes low; as if because of enmity and hatred. How I wished someone were with me! But no one heard me, and no one knew what had happened. There was only my mournful crying resounding in the small, dark, lonely room.

I changed into a melancholy and taciturn person, without joy and heavy hearted, having only a tiny bit of comfort from my vanity because of my supernormal abilities. Qigong was now the sustenance and meaning of my life. My moods fluctuated with my emotions, which were controlled by qigong. My overall logical thinking ability went downward; I lacked wisdom in what I did. I could be talkative and quick in thinking only when the topic of conversation was about qigong. I did not see what I was like, and no one reminded me that my humanity had become abnormal.

Finally the most disastrous event happened.

I was forced to quit my job due to a very strange event. I returned home and shut myself up in my study. I also started to engage in some business. My girlfriend left me. I cried and complained to my mum and decided to give up on love.

On a summer night, a band of gangsters attacked my home with knives and axes. Three in my family were wounded. I was badly stabbed in the head. Blood spilled all over the floor, and a stinking smell filled the room. Our report to the security authorities was ignored. Our complaint was not given attention. We stayed in the hospital for half a year, exhausting almost all our savings. I thereby lost all my financial resources, having already lost my job.

Years earlier, when my entire family started to practice qigong, my brother was stabbed in the chest and almost lost his life. He was out of danger two weeks later and was hospitalized for half a year. He rested at home for a year and then left to work in another city. He also suffered a lot in his love affairs.

After this disaster I began to connect qigong with all these unfortunate incidents, realizing more or less the dangerous elements of qigong. But I did not yet stop practicing it.

I carried on some business, but very often when it was almost successful, unexpected occurrences would arise and bring about failure. My supernormal capabilities from qigong did not offer me any help. My life got into a predicament, and I met with failure everywhere. There was only a precipice in front of me. It seemed that besides my jumping down into it, there was nothing else that could be done.

I went to visit my brother during a business trip. His girlfriend's mother said to me that in the entirety of China there could not be found another family as unlucky as ours. I was watching a movie about a gambler on TV one night. A famous Hong Kong actor was playing the antagonist, who had supernormal capabilities. They were repeatedly performed in the movie and suddenly stimulated me so violently that I felt my own supernormal ability stirred and very soon lost control of myself under a power unlike any that I had experienced before. I was forcefully controlled by that power. I wanted to cry and to have a big move. My consciousness was gradually completely dominated by another "me" who went so far as wanting to control my body. "It" wanted me to walk towards the window and commanded me to jump out of the window. I held myself and shouted crazily. My brother and his girlfriend were greatly astonished. My brother held me tightly for a few minutes until I finally calmed down and told him it was all right now. After a while my brother started to weep, his girlfriend standing by and comforting him.

Finally, I decided to leave the place where I had lived for many years for some place where nobody knew me. Amazingly, a rare chance brought me to a remote and ideal area which looked to me as a foreign country, a world full of novelties. I congratulated myself for finally having escaped from the past, which now had passed like last-night’s nightmare. Presented in front of me was now a broad, hopeful and vigorous territory.


Chapter 1 | Table of Contents | Chapter 3

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