(Traditional Chinese with tone, Latin, English, and an amount of acupoints, total 618)

The ancients texts Neiye and Xingqi give us cosmogonical foundation basics, but modern interpretation looks much more complicated. The good news is it is become common terms now for all people who prefer to follow traditional Chinese medicine or martial arts teachings and practices no matter where they live now. Welcome to the Computer Age:)

FIRST CYCLE ENERGY (3-6) 3 am — 11 am

太 陰 — 陽 明 tài yīn — yáng míng

3 yín  hǔ tiger 3-5 am The 5th Watch

手太 陰 經  shǒu tài yīn jīng

Cardinalis pulmonalis yin maioris manus

The Lung Meridian, 11.

4 mǎo  tù rabbit 5-7 am Dōng, N

手陽 明 經  shǒu yáng míng jīng

Cardinalis intestini crassi splendoris yang manus

The Large Intestine Meridian, 20.

5 chén  lóng dragon 7-9 am

腿 陽 明 經   tuǐ yáng míng jīng

Cardinalis stomachi splendoris yang pedis

The Stomach Meridian, 45.

6 sì  shé snake 9-11 am

腿太 陰 經 tuǐ tài yīn jīng

Cardinalis lienalis yin maioris pedis

The Spleen Meridian, 21.

SECOND CYCLE ENERGY (7-10) 11 am — 7 pm

少 陰 –太 陽 shǎo yīn — tài yáng

7 wǔ  mǎ horse 11 am – 1 pm Nán, S

手少 陰 經 shǒu shǎo yīn jīng

Cardinalis cardialis yin minoris manus

The Heart Meridian, 9.

8 wèi yáng ram 1-3 pm

手太陽 經 shǒu tài yáng jīng

Cardinalis intestini tenuis yang maioris manus

The Small Intestine Meridian, 19.

9 shēn  hóu monkey 3-5 pm

腿太陽 經 tuǐ tài yáng jīng

Cardinalis vesicalis yang maioris pedis

The Bladder Meridian, 67.

10 yǒu  jī rooster 5-7 pm Qiū, W

腿少 陰 經 tuǐ shǎo yīn jīng

Cardinalis renalis yin minoris pedis

The Kidney Meridian, 27.

THIRD CYCLE ENERGY (11-12-1-2) 7 pm — 3 am

厥 陰 — 少陽 jué yīn — shǎo yáng

11 xū  gǒu dog 7-9 pm   The 1st Watch

手厥 陰 經  shǒu jué yīn jīng

Cardinalis pericardialis yin flectentis manus

The Pericardium Meridian, 9.

12 hài  zhū hog 9-11 pm         The 2nd Watch

手少陽 經  shǒu shǎo yáng jīng

Cardinalis tricalorii yang minoris manus

The Triple Heater Meridian, 23.

1 zǐ  shǔ rat   11 pm-1 am   The 3rd Watch, Běi, N

腿少陽 經 tuǐ shǎo yáng jīng

Cardinalis fellea yang minoris pedis

The Gallbladder Meridian, 44.

2 chǒu  niú bull 1-3 am   The 4th Watch

腿厥 陰 經 tuǐ jué yīn jīng

Cardinalis hepatica yin flectentis pedis

The Liver Meridian, 14.


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The author of this article in the Encyclopedia of Taoism is a classic sinologist Isabelle Robinet, and all five quotations are great illustrations of what the Chinese people think on heart-mind, and the Westerners on heart. I like to read and reread my synopsis more and more due to tones in Pinyin which I will be never tired to put but which are not exist in the official edition.

“The term xīn traditionally designates the ruler of the entire person or, more specifically, the heart as the organ of mental and affective life (hence the translation as “heart-mind”). It is the “master” or “ruler” (zhŭ 主) of ideas, thought, will, and desire: many words expressing mental or affective activities (e.g., yì 意 “intention, idea,” sī 思 “thinking,” ài 愛 “love,” and wù 惡 “hate”) have xīn as their semantic indicator.”

“As a physiological organ the heart is depicted as a lotus flower with three petals. It is said that the heart of a worldly person has five openings, the heart of an average person has seven, and the heart of a sage has nine. The heart is abode of the spirit, and its “gates” are the mouth and tongue.”

“Being the center, xīn represents the center of the world and is located in the three Cinnabar Fields (dāntián 丹田). Hence there are three xīn: a celestial one above that generates the essence (jīng 精), a terrestrial one below that generates pneuma (qì 氣), and a human one in the middle that generates blood. In this view, the center of the body is not the spleen but the heart. Moreover, as it is also located in the head, xīn also denotes what is on high. Whether it is above or in the center, these two locations are equivalent, as they are those of the master and the central “palace” of the body.”

“In neidan texts, xīn takes on a new meaning. The “spirit of the Dao” is the Ultimate Truth, absolute and subtle and present in every human being. The “human spirit,” on the other hand, is both the heart-mind and the spirit; it is weak and frail. Rénxīn and dàoxīn, nevertheless, are one and the same, as they are only two aspects of the Ultimate Truth: rénxīn is the function (yong) and the mechanism (ji) of dàoxīn.”

“In reality xīn cannot be located either in space or in time. It is the Real Emptiness (zhēnwú 真無) to be found in everyday existence and in the phenomenal world. Finding it means rejoining daoxin and renxin. In so far as it is situated at the junction between movement and quiescence (dong and jing), Non-being and Being, xīn is the Ultimateless or Infinite (wújí) that is before the Great Ultimate (tàijí), before the beginning of the differentiation between movement and quiescence .”


pneuma (breath, energy, vital force)

Well, we all know the fact that qi is not a breath, qi does not equal energy, qi is not vital force (how it can be defined in the modern biology?) but if we do some easy math and put all above terms together (breath+energy+vital force=pneuma) we shall get “qi,” and the first entry in the Encyclopedia of Taoism opening letter Q is qigong.


Qìgōng 氣功 practice of qi, efficiency of qi

About time and place of the term “qigong”  we learn from the entry written by Catherine Despeux: “Qigong is a product of the twentieth century, but is rooted in the earlier tradition. The term is mentioned in the Tang period (618-907) to designate the “practice of qi,” and in the Song period (960-1279) the “efficiency of qi.” In modern times, it has taken on a new meaning and refers not only to Nourishing Life (yangsheng) but also to martial and therapeutic techniques.”

And next follow six main branches of qigong:

  • a Taoist qigong, 
  • a Buddhist qigong, 
  • a Confucian qigong, 
  • a medical qigong, 
  • a martial qigong, and 
  • a popular qigong (including the methods of rural exorcists and sorcerers). 

Another approach gives historians a “strong qigong” (yìng qìgōng 硬氣功), incorporating martial techniques,  and a “soft qigong” (ruăn qìgōng 軟氣功).

Speaking about the “soft qigong” (ruăn qìgōng 軟氣功) we shall see:

1. Jìnggōng 靜功, or the practice of qi in rest, which traditionally was called “sitting in oblivion” (zuowang) by Taoists, “sitting in dhyana” (chánzuò 禪坐) by Buddhists, and “quiet sitting” (jìngzuò 靜坐) by Neo-Confucians. These sitting practices can be accompanied by breathing, visualization, and mental concentration. 

2. Dònggōng 動功, or the practice of qi in movement, which includes the gymnastic traditions (daoyin) of medical doctors, Taoists, and Buddhists. The induction of spontaneous movements (zìfā dònggōng 自發動功) is derived from traditional trance techniques.”

“As for the therapeutic technique of the qigong master who heals people at a distance through his energy of his hands—a method that actually revives the traditional Taoist practice of “spreading breath” (buqi)—the possible existence of an “outer energy” (wàiqì 外氣) and its efficacy have been debated at length.”—C.D.

See, classification is good enough to do a try to define your own place in the whole world picture:))

QUIZ 1 (Reading Traditional Chinese): 1—氣, 2—氣功, 3—硬氣功, 4—軟氣功, 5—靜功, 6—禪坐, 7—靜坐, 8—動功, 9—自發動功, 10—外氣.

QUIZ 2 (Translating terms from Chinese into English): 1—qì, 2—qìgōng, 3—yìng qìgōng, 4—ruăn qìgōng, 5—jìnggōng, 6—chánzuò, 7—jìngzuò, 8—dònggōng, 9—zìfā dònggōng, 10—wàiqì.

QUIZ 3 Write ten terms from the QUIZ 1 by memory.

Congratulations, it looks like you have understood totally what people are speaking about using “qigong”.