History of Emei Qigong
Emei, the '"Lofty Eyebrow Peak,” is the highest and holiest of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, and the Golden Summit Monastery is at its highest point. In 1227 A.D., a priest who lived on the mountain made a pilgrimage to the summit. Here, the Daoist monk meditated and fasted while spiritual masters guided his path toward wisdom and enlightenment. When he broke his fast, he took the name “Bai Yun,” or “White Cloud.”
The enlightened monk combined the more than 3,600 schools of thought, philosophies, and techniques that had been taught to him by his teachers and created a comprehensive system of health called the Emei Linji School of Qigong—or Emei Qigong for short. The Linji school is the largest Chan Buddhist sect in China. Emei Qigong includes Buddhism, Karma, Kanyu, acupuncture, herbal medicine, Daoist and Buddhist Qigong, Taiji, extra sensory perception (ESP) diagnosis and treatment, iron body, martial arts, and more. This system is devoted to maintaining excellent health and treating diseases while attaining the highest levels of spiritual development.
In a pure vision, the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, a great spirit of Emei Mountain, told Grandmaster Bai Yun to take the teachings and pass them down, lineage holder to lineage holder, master to master, in order to help future generations.
Grandmaster Bai Yun chronicled the sacred knowledge in a book called “The Emei Treasured Lotus Canon” lest it be forgotten or misinterpreted. This book is currently held in a Beijing museum.
Up until World War II, a succession of enlightened monks led the Emei Linji School of Qigong. Each monk in his turn was given the title Lineage Holder, and under their guidance, the knowledge and sacred practices of Emei Qigong remained secret for nearly 800 years. But in the mid-20th century, the 11 Lineage Holder, Grandmaster Yong Yan, had a vision that caused him to change the protocol for succession. The vision was the destruction of his great monastery and the pillaging of sacred Emei Mountain. Therefore, Grandmaster Yong Yan mandated that the position of Lineage Holder alternate between and be shared by a monk and a chosen layperson. The lay Lineage Holder would be charged with making the knowledge of Emei Qigong available to the public, while the monk Lineage Holder would be charged with ensuring that the knowledge remained intact and pure for future generations.
Zhou Qian Chuan
The years surrounding the Second World War were a time of great political and social turmoil in China, and people's lives were nearly intolerable. During this time, while Grandmaster Yong Yan was traveling from mountain to mountain, he met an army major general, Zhou Qian Chuan, who was also a Western medical doctor. Major General Zhou had serious internal cracking in his liver caused by the violent vibrations of a bomb that had exploded very close to him. He had tried all the famous Western medical doctors and no one could heal him. Grandmaster Yong Yan befriended the major general, treating and curing his ailments with Emei Qigong healing techniques. Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, the major general immediately decided to leave all his responsibilities to become a monk and to serve this great man who had restored his health. Grandmaster Yong Yan refused his request to become a monk but allowed him to come to Emei Mountain to study under him. Zhou Qian Chuan studied under and served Grandmaster Yong Yan for 13 years, and then the Grandmaster ordained him as the first layman to receive the title Lineage Holder. So it was that Zhou Qian Chuan became the 12 Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong. Grandmaster Yong Yan then left Emei Mountain and went to Southwest China, to the Kangding area. And as he had foreseen, monks were imprisoned or killed and many of the monasteries on the mountain were destroyed, including the Golden Summit Monastery.The newly ordained Grandmaster Zhou stayed on Emei Mountain but often came down and traveled to the Kangding area to relieve people from the suffering of the war.
Abbot Ju Zan
When World War II ended, Grandmaster Zhou went to Beijing to seek the Supreme Buddhist Abbot Ju Zan, who held a similar religious title to that of the Tibetan Dali Lama. Abbot Ju Zan knew of the great Emei Qigong system through visions and was prepared for Grandmaster Zhou’s arrival.
After a number of years of studying (1950 – 1958), Grandmaster Zhou ordained Abbot Ju Zan to also become the 12 Lineage Holder. Grandmaster Zhou taught the monk everything that Grandmaster Yong Yan had taught him and they shared the lineage together, according to Grandmaster Yong Yan’s vision. In the 1960s, China’s Cultural Revolution began and Grandmaster Ju Zan was wrongfully imprisoned for eight years. In prison, he meditated and saw the future of Emei Qigong. He was released in the early 1970s
Grand Master Fu Wei Zhong
The future envisioned by Grandmaster Ju Zan centered on a young man named Fu Wei Zhong who began his training on the day he was born in 1949. Driven by an exceptional interest in old texts, he began studying traditional Chinese medicine and reading ancient Chinese philosophies when he was only six years old. By the age of 12, Fu Wei Zhong was treating and healing people with techniques he had learned from his reading and the instruction from his grandfather, a traditional Chinese medical doctor and the emperor’s family doctor.
He began his martial arts training in Shaolin Gongfu at the age of seven. Several years later, he became a student of Luo Xing Wu, an eminent Chinese martial arts grandmaster, from whom he learned many martial arts disciplines, including Xingyi and Bagua Gongfu.
Like many other young people during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Fu Wei Zhong was sent to the northeast China Heilongjiang province. Because of his training, he was asked to work on a collective farm as a veterinarian. He was 18 years old when he arrived and opened a medical clinic. For eight years, he used traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and treatment techniques, including acupuncture and Chinese massage, to treat multitudes of sick people and animals with great success.
Fu Wei Zhong returned to Beijing in 1976 and taught martial arts at the Beijing Dongcheng District Martial Arts School for a year. He planned to take a master’s degree in religion and was looking for a renowned professor to guide him in the beginning. A friend, Liang Shu Ming, said that he would take him to meet Abbot Ju Zan, the Supreme Abbot of Chinese Buddhism and 12 Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong.
Fu Wei Zhong had had a recurring dream since childhood of a monk who would change his life. He didn’t know who the monk was or why the images were coming to him, but when he saw the face of the Abbot he recognized him as the monk from his dreams. At their meeting, they looked at each other and the Abbot said, “Oh, you’ve finally arrived, it’s time for you to train!” as if they already knew each other.
Fu Wei Zhong was invited to join a distinguished group of men and women chosen to undergo training and a selection process for the position of 13 layman Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong.
After six months of intensive training and testing, Fu Wei Zhong was selected by His Holiness, Grandmaster Ju Zan, to receive further instruction in Buddhism, Daoism, traditional Chinese medicine, Taijiquan, Qigong, Feng Shui, future prediction, and other Dharma methods exclusively transmitted from one Lineage Holder to another within the Emei Qigong system. During this time, Fu Wei Zhong was often in seclusion—studying, cultivating, and integrating the system’s ancient texts into practical forms and easy-to-read language that could be effectively taught to the public.
In 1984, the title of the 13 Lineage Holder was bestowed on Fu Wei Zhong. He received the Emei Qigong sacred book “The Emei Treasured Lotus Canon” and officially assumed the title of Grandmaster as well as the responsibilities of being the Lineage Holder. Grandmaster Ju Zan directed him to begin teaching publicly, “In order to end the pain and suffering of the world and to allow Emei Qigong to bring out humanity to shine like the sun.”
In the spring of 1985, Fu Wei Zhong began teaching Emei Qigong healing techniques throughout China, thereby initiating a national revitalization of the role of Qigong in Chinese medical theory and practice. In 1989, he went into seclusion again to meditate for three years so that he could further develop Emei Qigong techniques so they could be more easily taught to the public in our fast-paced modern society. It was during this period of extended meditation that he was able to achieve the Qigong state necessary to decode the sacred Emei Qigong skills. Fu Wei Zhong was able to decipher this information and now teaches these skills in his lectures, seminars and writings.
Grandmaster Fu believes that only by training thousands of skilled Emei Qigong practitioners will it be possible to restore and preserve the health of millions. He has personally treated, healed and helped thousands of people—the rich and famous as well as orphans and patients considered incurable. China’s late president Deng Xiao Ping was among those helped by Grandmaster Fu. Using the methods of Emei Qigong cultivation, medical qigong and traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Grandmaster Fu has successfully cured tens of thousands of people who have come to him for healing.
At age 36, he was recognized as one of the most prominent grandmasters of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Chinese have dubbed him “Emei Wizard” and “China’s Medical Buddha," as well as deeming him “The Father of Modern Medical Qigong.” In addition, Fu Wei Zhong has been made lifetime president of two Qigong institutions: The International Medical Qigong Academy and The Emei Linji International Qigong Medical Research Institute, and he holds honorary positions and titles in more than 50 hospitals, medical colleges, Qigong clinics and Qigong associations in China.
Fu Wei Zhong is a learned scholar. Having read thousands of books, both Chinese and foreign, he is well versed in the medical, philosophical and theological theories of different schools, both Eastern and Western. While studying, he took careful notes and wrote down his reflections, which number over three million words. To date, he has published six books and over twenty treatises in China.
Fu Wei Zhong immigrated to the United States in 1995. His goal was to disseminate Emei Qigong’s therapeutic techniques so that its methods could be fused with contemporary western medical techniques. His goal is to alleviate much of the suffering in today’s world. He is determined to transmit the knowledge and skills of Emei Qigong to the American public.
Since his arrival in the United States, Grandmaster Fu has given lectures and workshops in over 30 American cities. He was invited to the University of San Francisco and the University of California at San Diego to lecture on Qigong and was a visiting professor at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, where he taught curriculum-required courses on the Emei methodology of Qi (energy) emission for diagnosis and treatment. In 1996, he participated in an experiment at the Atlantic Tumor Hospital in California that involved the emission of Qi into cancer cells. The initial positive results enabled the experiment to be taken to a bigger scale. In 2001, these encouraging results were published in the magazine, Spirituality and Health.Fu Wei Zhong also participated in an experiment conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center of Complementary Medicine Research Institute to test Qigong and other holistic modalities in the treatment of brain tumors from a distance. The Discovery Channel filmed Grandmaster Fu at the Medical Center and aired the documentary in Canada on a show called “Daily Planet.”
As of 2006, there are many thousands of Emei Qigong students in the United States and 2 million followers of Emei Qigong worldwide. What the world needs now, more than ever, is a heart-centered system like Emei Qigong to bring health, vitality and true kindness to people.
In the fall of 2006, Grandmaster Fu taught the Level IV seminar, the Emei Qigong Level I Teacher’s Training, for the first time. This month-long session was held at Emei Mountain in China, and students stayed at the Emeishan Grand Hotel at the base of the mountain during this time. The training was successful; students emerged from this intensive training with a much deeper and comprehensive undertanding of Emei Qigong, and many will continue their training to become Level I teachers.
A second group of prospective Level I teachers took Level IV in 2007.
For the next few years, Grandmaster Fu will concentrate on training the monk who will become the next lineage holder in China and the students who will become Emei Qigong Level I teachers in North America.
Grandmaster Fu and me in front of the Golden Temple at the summit of Mt Emei September 2011
I was introduced to Emei Qigong and Grandmaster Fu by my friend and Emei Qigong Master Celia Tom. I took a Level 1 class with her and kept going, studying Level 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 with Grandmaster Fu. At each level after studying and training my experience and understanding of the material and previous levels changed. For this reason, I repeated classes. I have always been drawn to nature, enjoying walks in the woods and mountains. This contrasts with my life in the city where I thought I could do more and more. With Emei Qigong I have worked toward increasing balance, being skillful in timing, and learning ways to conserve and increase energy.
I practice the Emei methods and enjoy helping others learn the Emei teachings. My wish is that many may benefit from the Emei knowledge and tools in their life.