A Buddhist Chi-Kung

Chan Mi Kung



Chan Mi Kung has its origin in secret Zen Buddhist exercises and in the last thirty years was again developed by the Chinese sport physician Liu Hanwen. Thomas Stockert describes origin, request and basic forms of this exercise, which enjoys large popularity in China due to its large effectiveness in the treatment of different chronic diseases.


In old China only a chosen circle of a few humans had knowledge of the Chi-Kung exercises shaped by the Buddhism. „Chan “is meant for Japanese „Zen “, „Mi “as many the Chinese word as „the secret “and „Kung “can one with „exercise “or „teachings “translate. The name points out thus that this exercise row was inferred from cryptographs of the Chan monasteries in China.


Such Buddhist exercises were passed on in former times only to chosen ones, whereby these chosen ones were usually children, who had special abilities such as welfare forces. The secrets of these old masters are only by a well-known few humans, and there is the danger that this old traditions triumphed and its secrets are lost.


The newer development and current popularity of the Chan Mi Kung we owe to Liu Hanwen, born in 1921 sports physician, who dedicated himself in the fifties to intensively different secret, Buddhist exercises. Lui Hanwen was the first, who noted these exercises. The knowledge around the exercises was conveyed from great-grandfather, to grandfather and father, to all monks, which practiced also Chinese medicine, as well as by his aunt, a nun, who admits immortelle as one was.


Liu Hanwen began in recent years to practice Chi-Kung. Meanwhile, owing to 60 years practice, possesses a large experience in the area of healing. He developed a research group with prominent Chi-Kung masters and developed finally from whole row of exercises, with which it experimented, the exercise, which calls itself today „Chan Mi Kung “. He met in 1980 in Beijing on Chi-Kung master left Zhinan, which supported it in the structure work and to which gave the name to the exercise.


In the spring of 1984 this exercise was made accessible for the first time for the Chinese public by a training course, in which also Chi-Kung experts participated. Today there are some Chan Mi Kung training centers in different parts of China. In addition the exercise method was made public within the media.


The spreading of the Chan Mi Kung was appropriate for the pupil Liu Hanwens. Mrs. Ma Huiwen could heal herself with this exercise. She had to give up her work in 1980 because of illness, rheumatism in the joints, heart were not correct and she complained about frequent feeling of dizziness. Her legs were badly swollen, and when bending she fell it heavily, so that she was almost immovable. This situation induced her to learn Chi-Kung.


In March 1980 she participated in the first Chan Mi Kung group. By discipline and will power she achieved practical knowledge conditions, for that, after one year how you became a master, other people would need ten years. In May 1981 she then began to teach Chi-Kung. She trained cancer-ill patients, to who the physicians had only given a life expectancy of one month, and who weeks later reported into the Chi-Kung courses of their sound sequences.


In the opinion of Ma Huiwen the most important condition for the success of the exercises is „faith and will power “. If one sets all your will to connect itself with the exercise one will obtain greatest possible success. The more concentrated one practices, the faster develops the so-called „Chi-feeling “, which can express itself completely differently: The body can feel easy, with difficulty or numb, times largely, times small or as if ants would creep on the skin. If such feelings arise, one should permit them. They are an indication for the fact that Chi moves in the body.


Ill humans can feel with the exercises probably or uneasy, every now and then also feel pain to have. Such feelings are normal, the Chi in the body are activated and „against the place of sickness push as it were “. With this impact the patient feels uneasy up to the point that he believes unable to hardly still bear it. This moment is difficult but is necessary and very important for the patient.


Now it to continue and try the exercise to forget the unpleasant feelings at least from them not to be impaired. One knows this aspect also from other Buddhist exercises (e.g. Vipassana), with which one is stopped in addition, so long through the pain, until he feels the pain dissolving.


The exercises of the Chan Mi Kung are not intended however only for ill humans, because no borders are set to the adjustment of the body. If an illness is healed one continues to practice, the efficiency is increased and the life expectancy increases. In China it is a central life goal of being healthy and of living for a long time as possible. That means in the west the people think that the face must remain eternally young, but rather that the internal organs are to be in a harmonious equilibrium.


Chan Mi Kung is a condition exercise with approximately 50 movements, which are shown step by step to the patients. Depending upon the stage some patients need possibly only two or three movements given to their illness, since they are not able, to take up more. Sometimes the patients can only take one part of the exercise to understand and/or feel, whereby feel here means to feel the Chi.


Depending upon progress the exercise can be extended, and further indexing steps are given to the patient. The patient practices the basis exercise on the one hand in a group. Others practice individually with the respective Chi-Kung master or in a group, as for training elements.


Chan Mi Kung consists of the following sections:


1) The basis exercise


The basis exercise consists of four basic movements. First is the waving or crawler-type vehicle movement (Yongdong) of the spinal column. It begins at the tailbone and pulls themselves, on the basis of the side of the body, like a queue movement from bottom to top. Here one moves mentally by the spinal column, whereby a Chi-feeling adjusts itself later. In the same kind one moves again back to the starting point, the tailbone. One, depending upon sex and state of health, repeats this movement in a certain number of expirations, whereby expiration consists in each case of an upward and a downward movement.


The second movement is the oscillating motion (Baidong), with which body is oscillating induced from one side to the other, from right to left and from left to right. One goes back also here from the tailbone along the spinal column upward and again. One often repeats this movement as the previous.


The third movement is the rotating motion (Niudong) of the spinal column. One turns from right to left and from left to right, while one wanders through again the spinal column mentally upward and downward.


The fourth movement follows the hoist movement (Rudong), in which a waving, pendulum and rotating motion is combined, and in which eddies for vertebra from bottom to top and/or one moves from top to bottom, whereby one feels the Chi at each eddy.


To feel the Chi-feeling is naturally difficult for beginners, because they are first much too busy with the expiration of the movement. However at some expirations of exercise one can concentrate on the spinal column and visualize the spine. If one practices in such a way, a Chi-feeling adjusts itself automatically.


An important condition for the success of the exercises is the correct conditions. Here the body weight in the relationship 3:7 (3/10 in front, 7/10 in the back) is distributed on the feet. Vortex and point of dam as well as the point between the two heels bought into a line. As is the case for most Chi-Kung exercises it is also very important to relax the face, which is to always carry a smile. Finally important points on the body are opened like upper Dantien or third eye (Huizhong), point of dam (Michu) and apex (Baihui).



During the basic exercise all eddies are induced to all sides. The spinal column and the hip posture come into consciousness, which attention for each eddy body increased. The spinal column will be more mobile and the energy channel within the eddy bodies becomes free. The upper chest eddy range has normally hardly movement carries the main tension in the spinal column. This tension can be very well solved by the exercises.

In addition all organs in the body become positively lively with the exercise, because directly beside the spinal column the points of agreement (Shu points) of the individual organs lie. By the movements and the purposeful attention the energy connected with these points comes into river. The entire expiration of exercise is fundamental for the fact that the sky energy (Yang) and the earth energy (Yin) in the conclusion of the exercise in the Dantien can be connected.


2) Stabilization of the Dantien


The exercises for the stabilization of the Dantien begin and lock in the lower Dantien underneath the belly navel. The lower Dantien is „an energy camp “and through „energy spirals “ is activated in the range of the abdomen, so that the Yin and Yang power are able better to pull it. Again one makes waving, pendulum and rotating motion, which contribute to the better visualization „of the energy circles “in the abdomen and which increase perception for this range. These circles run in spiral form of the Dantien outward and move themselves backward by a so-called Tai Chi loop again in opposite direction to the Dantien. For the rotating motion the flat lying circle (Pingyuan) is used, for the oscillating motion the circle (Ceyuan), in the abdominal cavity, and for the undulation the circle (Zhengyuan), in the abdomen.


After the respective movements one remains in the Dantien, however in a latent motion, as was described before by spiral. The energy circles have the sense to develop the concentration for collecting Chi in the Dantien. The strong forces, which unfold thereby, are detrimental for abdomen problems and for a pregnant woman.


In the Buddhism exercises one speaks no more of the Dantien, but of the abdomen. In case of the Chan Mi Kung mixed itself however with Buddhism exercises with Daoism principles. Of Buddhism exercises are characteristic width, openness and boundlessness. Thus one e.g. sends Chi into the earth and into the sky outside, connects the Chi there and returns it into the cellular body. The area is left to the Chi to look for each other in the body the place where it is needed. Taoist exercises remain themselves referring against it very many more in the body and to the meridian system. The Taoist explanation system is more precise and gives more exact data body places (meridians and points).


3) Connection between skies and earth


With connection between skies and earth the concentration of the Yin and Yang powers of the cosmos are meant in the Dantien. Before it comes to the concentration, these two forces must into the body influxes. This is promoted by mental procedures. Thus one continues to introduce oneself, how the energy sends along downward outgoing from the Dantien at the inside of the legs to the earth, connects themselves with the earth energy and comes again upward to the Dantien, over the back (spinal column) to the head, as one sends the energy to the sky and it connects itself there with the sky energy, and it finally moves over the front of the body again back to the Dantien.


When all these visualizations the body remains in the hoist movement and as with the entire exercise all joints up to the finger and feet constantly are moved.


Fundamentally for the Chan Mi Kung is the basis exercise with the four movements. The other exercises are for progressing, which does not learn, body-own Chi to lose. This is important, if one liked to heal later with its own Chi. When healing is connected welfare-end with the Chi from the cosmos, in order to transfer this energy to ill humans, without using thereby its body-own Chi.


Under these exercises there are such, which take place in peace - in sitting, standing or lying -. With the quiescent exercises the conception is not any more in the body, but in the cosmos. All expirations of the moved exercise are then only carried out in the conception, that humans are to forget it self.


With other exercises one learns, how one sends Chi from their own body and heals a patient, by bringing Chi into its bodies. Some patients need an addition of its energy, other one must be extract the Chi. Both are learnable, but one must have developed a very strong Chi, in order to be able to help other humans.


Chan Mi Kung can as a whole or also in sections be experienced. If one has the feeling too much or enough to have practiced the exercise should be terminated - however not, without collecting to the conclusion the energy in the Dantien. Further it is possible to train in the exercise particularly the Yin or the Yang portion. The theory of the exercise is easy to understand and the exercise is easy to learn. Already after short time (four or five days) the effect of the activated Chi can be noticed.


Chan Mi Kung belongs in principle to the medical Chi-Kung exercises. In the last years research institutes and medical institutions show interest in China and abroad in Chan Mi Kung. Clear successes were obtained with the treatment by chronic illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatic Arthritis, gas tri table’s ulcers or heart illnesses. In some cases the exercises could also cause a healing. For the treatment of blood high pressure there is an exercise, which addresses the Chi of the kidney and the liver in the Chan Mi Kung.


Chan Mi Kung is meanwhile very popular. More than three million humans practice world-wide these exercises. Over one hundred research groups, teachers were trained in Beijing and travel over the country. The courses have a size of up to 1800 persons in China.