L’Chaim Qigong – A Jewish Approach to Qigong Healing
by Deliah Rosel
  Published in Many Hands : March 2004
Copyright © 2004 - Deliah Rosel
  How is it that I have the chutzpah to think there is a Jewish connection with Qigong. First of all, what is Qigong? Qigong literally means the practice [gong] of moving energy [Qi]. Qigong has been practiced in China for over 5,000 years and there are thousands of variations developed by different families. I practice and teach the Qigong form that is called Zhineng in China and was brought to this country and named Chi-Lel™ by Master Luke Chan. Zhineng was developed at the Medicine-less Hospital in China, by Dr. Pang Ming, and is specifically designed for self-healing.

So what does this have to do with Judaism? My first clue was when I was training at the Medicine-less Hospital in 1996. The center had already been in operation for ten years, but it only opened to the rest of the world after gathering a substantial body of data, using Western medicine diagnostic techniques, to support their amazing healing claims. I was among the second group of foreigners, led by Master Frank Chan, to be allowed to visit and train at the Center. Dr. Pang, the creator of this form, spoke to us during our visit. Everything was being translated for us and it seemed to be the usual motivational speech about how this form improves health and develops one’s sixth sense. Then I heard "Zhineng Qigong fits very well with Judaism" My attention was riveted! In the question period that followed, I asked for an explanation and Dr. Pang responded that the Zhineng Qigong culture and the Jewish culture have similar characteristics because both place a strong emphasis on self-education and on healing the world It was very surprising that Dr. Pang even mentioned a connection to any religion. Zhineng Qigong was being promoted strictly as a physical healing practice, with no religious or spiritual component because of the political climate in China. But, as astounding as Dr. Pang’s statement was, I did not pursue the connection and continued to teach Qigong exactly as it was taught to me.

Then three years later, by the strange twists and turns of one’s life path, I found myself studying diligently for my upcoming Adult Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Having had no religious education as a child, I was anxiously trying to learn to correctly pronounce, in Hebrew, the biblical portion from the Prophet Jeremiah about the importance of remaining connected with the Divine. Some energy larger than me turned my head at exactly the right moment to glance over to the English translation where I read, "I, God, test the heart and probe the kidneys." My attention was again riveted and now I could no longer avoid the connection.

From my training in Integrative Acupressure, I understood the importance promoting the balanced flow of energy in our Kidneys. As with each organ in the body, in Chinese medical philosophy, the concept of ‘Kidney’ refers not only to anatomy but also to an entire spiritual and emotional system. Kidney health is considered the basis of health. When the Kidney system becomes out of balance the emotion that is produced is fear, but when it is in balance trust and faith are brought forth. But what were Kidneys doing in the Torah? In my research I have discovered some amazing connections.

It took some delving to uncover the many examples of ‘Kidneys’ in the Torah. The ancient Rabbis had a similar understanding of this larger concept of Kidneys. They considered them to be a wellspring of Torah and religious wisdom through which we connect to the Divine Infinite Energy of God and strengthen our faith. I was thrilled to the find the knowledge and experience from the years of my healing practice reflected in my religious heritage.

The practice of Zhineng Qigong promotes health by enhancing the connection and exchange of the Life Force Energy between the Infinite Source and the individual person. It is called Nature’s Wan Yuan Chi. In Judaism, a similar concept of Divine Life Force Energy is represented by the four Hebrew letters YHVH (Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay). This name of God is unpronounceable because it is not possible for our finite minds to grasp its infinite nature. We traditionally say Adonai or Hashem when we see the YHVH tetragrammaton in written form. The Torah states, in the book of Exodus, "I am YHVH, your healer". Understanding this from the perspective of the Kabbalah, the mystical teachings of Judaism, shows us the importance of connecting with Divine Life Force Energy to promote healing. The word Kabbalah literally translates as ‘Receiving’.

The Zhineng Qigong practice is one way to prepare our entire beings to be as receptive as we can to the Life Force Energy. L’Chaim Qigong becomes a prayer practice that allows us to access the ancient Chinese healing wisdom of the Zhineng Qigong form, while deepening our understanding of energy healing concepts in traditional Judaism and can thereby promote healing in our entire being.
  Please click for information on Workshops in L'Chaim Qigong™ and Chi-Lel™ Qigong.
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