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Robert Peng, born and raised in Hunan, China, is a world-renowned qigong master and healer. He began studying this ancient Chinese art of wisdom, love, and vitality at the age of eight under the legendary monk Xiao Yao. Robert began teaching at the age of 29 and has helped hundreds of thousands find peace, health, happiness, and creativity through qigong.
1440: Let's start with the basics. What is qi?
Robert: Qi is vital energy. It's the most essential part of what makes everything as it's supposed to be—not just the material part, but the spiritual part as well.
We are all beings made of the same thing—cells and atoms—but qi is what makes our structure different and makes us different from each other.
It's also what makes the whole universe what it is.
1440: Do you have to be able to sense which qi is which to work with the energy?
Robert: If you're practicing on your own, it's not necessary to have such a colorful experience! In a qigong practice, we're looking for balance in our energy centers, or dantians.
We have an energy center in our head that is for wisdom, one in our chest that is the center of loving, and one in our lower torso for vitality.
We also have the central meridian, which goes from the top of the head to the perineum and crosses through all three dantians.
I call these the four golden wheels—wisdom, love, vitality, and harmony. When you have the energy flowing well, then you are very balanced. The problem is, sometimes they are not harmonized. You can work to harmonize them by cultivating and nourishing your qi.
1440: What happens when our energy is out of balance?
Robert: There are particular patterns that show up when energy centers are out of balance. There are a lot of variations, but here are the six common types based on one dantian being strong and another weak:
Strong Upper Dantian, Weak Middle Dantian: This person is wise, intelligent, and insightful. They may be very successful in business, but no matter how successful they are, if their heart is weak, they will not be happy. They are wise but miserable. I have a lot of clients like this, big bosses, business people, movie stars, and rock stars—no matter how much money they have, they won't be happy until there is more energy in the middle dantian.
Strong Upper Dantian, Weak Lower Dantian: Again we have a wise person, but if the lower dantian is weak, they are helpless and sickly. They often don't have good health and are impotent both sexually and generally in life. They have a million ideas but can't make them happen. They are often an armchair professor.
Weak Upper Dantian, Strong Middle Dantian: This person has a big heart and is loving, caring, and sensitive, but they have poor judgment. They are adorable but annoying. They're the kind of person that will knock on their neighbor's door late at night to wake them up to tell them excitedly how to cope with insomnia.
Strong Middle Dantian, Weak Lower Dantian: With a strong heart, this is a caring, sensitive, generous person, but their weak lower dantian means they're sickly and devitalized. They are parents who spoil their kids but get treated like doormats. They get walked over because they have no firmness in their lower center of power. In the business world, this person may bring up a good idea in a meeting but they can't hold it; someone else will grab it.
Strong Lower Dantian, Weak Upper Dantian: Physically this person is strong, vital, and charming. They're in good health, but they have poor judgment. They're mindless and can have bad timing. They do things without thinking or without thinking enough. I tell people if you're a soldier and your officer is this type, I suggest you flee as soon as you can!
Strong Lower Dantian, Weak Middle Dantian: This person is strong in taking action, but they have no mercy because they feel lonely and rejected. They are unfulfilled and cruel and often exploit others.
Enjoy a week-end devoted to the pleasurable experience of health and well-being through the flowing, meditative movements of qigong. Robert Peng is an internationally renowned qigong master who shares this ancient healing practice as a practical and enjoyable antidote to...
1440: Do we each have a type and we're stuck with it?
Robert: All of these types can be in one person at one time or another. Energy fluctuates. Sometimes you might be a type six in one circumstance or at one time and then a type one at another time. We're always moving from here to there. Nothing is perfect or eternal—we're always moving above or below that perfect spot.
1440: How do we balance our dantians?
Robert: With qigong healing and qigong practices. If you bring your awareness to the four golden wheels and do an empowerment qigong exercise to balance your dantians, then all three will glow at one time. Then you become like a spiritual master or sage! Or if not a master, at least when something hard happens, like you lose your job or a family member dies, you can feel sad but still have a dynamic happiness in your heart and resume balance easily.
This interview was conducted on behalf of 1440 Multiversity by Jenn Brown—a freelance writer, editor, producer, and educator.