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 Mind/Body Tools for Peak Performance: Choosing your Path: Do I Need a Teacher? 

The first answer to this question is that one must have a teacher. In traditional terms, that is ancient Chinese tradition, the secrets of healing could only be gained through a teacher. The honor and reverence that is bestowed upon the teacher is a part of the "belief" system that empowers the student.

It is very difficult to learn from a book, an audio tape or a video. The exposure to constant input from a teacher is indispensable. In traditional terms it is believed that one should choose a teacher and stay with their lineage of teaching to gain access to deeper knowledge.

Most of the greatest teachers will tell you that "the practice is the teacher" and that "the Qi (Ch'i, human life force and self healing energy) is the teacher". If the practice and the Qi are considered to be teachers then it is logical to conclude that one could refine the practice of Qigong (Chi Kung) without a teacher. There are many stories of individuals who have generated remarkable self initiated healing without a teacher.

The second answer to this question is that it is not always necessary to have a teacher. Particularly in cases of severe illness where the individual can begin to practice a simple form of self healing Qigong, it would be unfortunate to insist that the individual have a teacher.

Perhaps it would be fair to say that it is useful, in most cases, to begin with a teacher. However, some of your greatest learning experiences will come from within your own personal practice. If you are in a situation where you cannot access a teacher, please feel free to learn and practice Qigong through your own enthusiasm. One blind man learned Qigong from one of the sets of exercises in the practice library just by listening to a voice translation of a text file and following along.

The more complex Taiji (Tai Chi) forms and Qigong forms would be impossible to learn without a teacher.

A teacher is, in some cases, simply someone who knows more than the student. One sincere and talented individual who learned some Qigong in Washington DC moved to New York City and began to teach Qigong to persons with HIV and AIDS. No, she was not what most would call a seasoned Qigong expert. Yes, however, she was a powerful teacher who helped many people to help themselves.

Thousands of people have used a video called "Awakening and Mastering the Medicine Within You". It is used by people with cancer, AIDS/HIV, Chronic Fatigue and other serious illnesses as well as people who are maintaining wellness. "Qigong for Health" is another video that many people have used, it was produced by the Immune Enhancement Project of San Francisco with a teacher who teaches classes to the AIDS/HIV community. Both of these videos are designed to be used in the absence of a teacher.

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 About The Author
Roger Jahnke OMDRoger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North......more
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