Tai Chi & Qi Gong

What is Energy-Chi-Qi

What is Energy, Chi and Qi?
This is electomagnetic energy or life force present in all living things.
In traditional Chinese culture, qì (also chi or ch'i) is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as "lifeforce" or "energy flow", and is comparable to the Hindu yogic science of prana, meaning "life force" in Sanskrit. Notions in the west of energeia, élan vital, or vitalism are purported to be similar. Qi is the central underlying principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as prana is in ayurveda. The literal translation of "qi" is air, breath, or gas.
Qi taken to be the life-process or flow of energy that sustains living beings are found in many belief systems, especially in Asia. Philosophical conceptions of qi from the earliest records of Chinese philosophy (5th century BC) correspond to Western notions of humours and the ancient Indian concept of Prana. The earliest description of qi in the current sense of vital energy is found in the Vedas of ancient India (circa 1500-1000BC) 
The ancient Chinese described it as "life-force". They believed qi permeated everything and linked their surroundings together. They likened it to the flow of energy around and through the body, forming a cohesive and functioning unit. By understanding its rhythm and flow they believed they could guide exercises and treatments to provide stability and longevity.
Although the concept of qi has been important within many Chinese philosophies, over the centuries the descriptions of qi have varied and have sometimes been in conflict. Until China came into contact with Western scientific and philosophical ideas, they would not have categorized all things in terms of matter and energy. Qi and li (, li, pattern) were 'fundamental' categories similar to matter and energy.
Fairly early on, some Chinese thinkers began to believe that there were different fractions of qi and that the coarsest and heaviest fractions of qi formed solids, lighter fractions formed liquids, and the most ethereal fractions were the "lifebreath" that animates living beings. Yuán qì is a notion of innate or pre-natal qi to distinguish it from acquired qi that a person may develop over the course of their lifetime.
Central to Taoist world-view and practice is qi (chi). Qi is life-force -- that which animates the forms of the world. It is the vibratory nature of phenomena -- the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels. In Japan it is called ki, and in India, prana or shakti. The ancient Egyptians referred to it as ka, and the ancient Greeks as pneuma. For Native Americans it is the Great Spirit and for Christians, the Holy Spirit. In Africa its known as ashe and in Hawaii as ha or mana.
In China, the understanding of qi is inherent in the very language. For instance: The literal translation of the Chinese character meaning health is original qi. The literal translation of the character for vitality is high quality qi. The literal translation of the character meaning friendly is peaceful qi."
The capacity to perceive the flow of qi directly -- to actually see or feel it -- is something that can be cultivated through training in qigong or acupuncture. Like any skill, some people are better at it than others: for some it seems to come naturally, for others its more of a challenge. Even if its not consciously cultivated or acknowledged, most of us can tell the difference between someone who has great energy and someone from whom we feel a bad vibe. And most of us are able to notice, when we enter a room, whether the atmosphere seems relaxed and uplifted, or tense and heavy. To the extent that we notice such things, we are tuning into the level of qi.
We might be in the habit of perceiving our world in terms of solid shapes and forms. What Taoism teaches is that we can train ourselves to perceive in other ways; and a good place to start is with our own human body. Though we may now experience our body as being rather solid, at a molecular level it is comprised mostly of water  a very fluid substance! And at an atomic level it is 99.99% space  a vast (and infinitely intelligent) emptiness.
As we practice tai chi and qigong, we cultivate the capacity to perceive at all of these different levels  to feel ourselves and our world as fluid, and as spacious; as well as being filled with apparently-solid forms. As we become more adept in this way, we become aware, directly, of the vibratory nature of all-that-is. Not only do we experience our bodies as being comprised of patterns and flows of qi, but also come to understand that emotions and thoughts are also forms of energy.  Most importantly, we realize that we are made up of these beautiful vibrations. We can pass that form to others in which we can help, heal and create positive
 environments for all.