Qigong Master: My Life and Secret Teachings
by Robert Peng with Rafael Nasser
Softcover. 332 pp. $28.00
Rainbow Tree Publishing, New York. 2010
Reviewed by Salvatore Casano, R.N., Ph.D.
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book on Qigong. The reader is guided through the experiences of Qigong practice as taught to the author by his Master teacher, Xiao Yao. The writing is clear, concise and in many ways poetic. What drew me to this book was the cover and title with the author holding his hands in the “universal hand position” with human connection to the heavens and the earth with inward calm and intention. The book is divided into four parts. In Part I, we are taken on a journey of the author’s experiences as a young boy describing how Qigong became such an important part of his life. In Part II, we are introduced to “The 4 Golden Wheels,” which make up the backbone of the human energy system as taught by Xiao Yao. These 4 energy centers are the upper, middle, and lower dan tien and the central meridian. “ Awakening, empowering , and then integrating the 4 Golden Wheels is the key to achieving real, sustainable happiness and spiritual well being” (p.4) Part III introduces the “Essential Practices “ of Elixir Light Qigong which are designed to enhance and refine the Qi stored in the 4 Golden Wheels. Part IV, offers practice guidelines and tells how the exercises described in the book can relate to our lives on a daily basis.
This is the type of book that one needs to read through first to understand the entire Qigong practice and its applications for daily living. Once the template has been set, the reader than can go back and devote more study into the individual practices described. The author writes as your personal coach in helping to teach and comprehend the exercises presented. If anyone needs further illustrations and coaching, the author has a 4 DVD set which describes what is in the book as well as CD’s to help with the various practices taught in the book.
One of the many highlights in the book is a description of the Began practice the author underwent under the guidance of his Master which leads to empowerment. This practice consists of 100 days without food and in the dark. It is through this practice that the author is molded into being a “follower of the truth” (xiu dao zhe) Practicing modesty, compassion, loving kindness to others, and avoiding arrogance, impatience and coarseness as taught by his Master helped the author in his sojourn as a Qigong healer.
The reader is introduced to many exercises to help awaken Qi power , all presented with a smile and sereneness. These exercises include lengthening fingers, sword finger, creating and playing with a Qi ball, nourishing Qi and hologram palm empowerment of the upper, middle and lower dan tiens. The photo illustrations really help the reader obtain a good visualization of the intent of the exercises. Like all Qigong practices, it is diligent practice over time that produces results.
In Chapter 13 we are introduced to the ”Essential Practices” which over time build Qi awareness and power. These” Essential Practices” include “Three Treasures Standing Meditation”, “Four Golden Wheels Exercises”, “Lotus Meditation” and “Connecting Universe”. The practice guidelines given in Chapter 17 are based on combining these “Essential Practices” on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Learning these practices form the crux of the author’s Qigong practice routine. The use of excellent photo illustrations help the reader in understanding all aspects of the exercises described.
“ As Xiao Yao, my beloved Master taught me: Awaken the 4 Golden Wheels. Become wiser, more loving and more capable of taking action in the face of the unknown. Remain centered, balanced, and in a state of open flow. When the four wheels are turning smoothly, you find yourself in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right people. A clearing appears before you. This path is your destiny, and with every step you take, you are happy and the whole world rejoices. “ ( p. 313) In my opinion these teachings certainly apply to 2012 which is shaping up to be a year of global , economic, social , political and environmental change.
The author concludes the book with “Your eyes are the eyes of the Universe. Your heart is the heart of the Universe. Your body is the body of the Universe. When you move, the Universe stirs. When you sing, the Universe dances, and when you cry, the Universe sheds a tear.” (p. 313)
On a personal note, this book has awakened changes in me that I look forward to exploring. I highly recommend this book for your Qigong library. Wishing you good Qi.
Sal Casano Ph.D. RN– a registered nurse with a PhD in Holistic Health, and is an ATCQZ certified Tai Chi and Qigong instructor. His Tai Chi and Qigong journey began over 20 years ago while working as a chemistry instructor, when he felt the need for a more holistic approach to health care. Participating in many programs and projects relating to health, Dr. Casano educates the community on living a healthier lifestyle to avoid obesity and diabetes, and as a way to reduce stress. Over the years, he has learned from many masters including Bill Philips, Marc Issacs, Richard Chu, as well as two ATCQA advisors, Dr. Roger Jahnke, and Bill Douglas. Dr. Casano, along with his wife Veronica, often sojourn together on his healing path, as they use their skills in helping others connect the mind, body, and spirit. They have four adult children, seven grandchildren, and a cat, “Tiger.”