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Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.
Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.
Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).
You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong
If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong." The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").
Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.
These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.
As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.
Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.
Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being
To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit," to define these.
This title is used in Taoism and Qi Gong to describe the state you can reach while sitting quietly in meditation. It contains the ideas of achieving a highly-tranquil and peaceful state. Some may describe this state as "sleeping while still awake."
If you have a relaxation or meditation room, this is the calming wall scroll that you would want hanging in that room.
This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in "life force" or "spiritual energy". It is most often translated as "energy flow," or literally as "air" or "breath". Some people will simply translate this as "spirit" but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the "flow" of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|kikou / kiko||qì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigong||ch`i kung / chikung / chi kung|
|Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine||精氣神|
|jīng qì shén|
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
|ching ch`i shen
ching chi shen
|Sit Quietly in Meditation||入靜|
|rù jìng / ru4 jing4 / ru jing / rujing||ju ching / juching|
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|Tai Chi Ball||太極球|
|tai kyoku kyuu|
tai kyoku kyu
|tài jí qiú|
tai4 ji2 qiu2
tai ji qiu
|t`ai chi ch`iu
tai chi chiu
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Qi Gong Kanji, Qi Gong Characters, Qi Gong in Mandarin Chinese, Qi Gong Characters, Qi Gong in Chinese Writing, Qi Gong in Japanese Writing, Qi Gong in Asian Writing, Qi Gong Ideograms, Chinese Qi Gong symbols, Qi Gong Hieroglyphics, Qi Gong Glyphs, Qi Gong in Chinese Letters, Qi Gong Hanzi, Qi Gong in Japanese Kanji, Qi Gong Pictograms, Qi Gong in the Chinese Written-Language, or Qi Gong in the Japanese Written-Language.