Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Saga of the U-less Q

It never fails. If I give a non-qigong-doer one of my “Qi Frontier” business cards, he or she will peer at the card, begin to say “kw”—and then stop.

The “q” in qi should be followed by a “u,” but it is not, and u-less q’s simply cannot be pronounced within the rules of the English language.

I’m learning to point and say “Qi Frontier” as I present my card, but there’s no getting around the fact that a “q” followed by an “i” is a real stopper—and not just for people trying to decipher my business card.

Why, then, did I choose “qi” and “qigong” over “chi” and “chi-gung,” which are obsolete but easier-to-pronounce spellings of the Chinese words for “life energy” and “life energy cultivation”? Continue reading


Filed under About this blog, Cultural Qi

You go, Snake!

year_of_the_snakeWe have exited the Year of the Dragon and are now firmly in the Year of the Snake—whatever that may portend. Sunday, Feb. 10, was the Lunar New Year, which is observed in China and many other parts of the world with even more enthusiasm than the western New Year is here.

According to Chinese astrology and the 12-animal Chinese Zodiac, Snake years bring unexpected transformations, and people born in one are intelligent, attractive and materialistic—or something like that. (Sorry, I wasn’t able to nail the attributes of Snakeness; my online research yielded many colorful opinions but no clear consensus.) Continue reading

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Filed under Cultural Qi

Shalls and Shan’ts

I was going to call the points I’m about to make about blog behavior “rules,” but my editor pointed out that the word “rule” gives some people the willies. I have therefore abandoned it—although, dang, like so many other four-letter words, “rule” is punchy and to the point.

I will instead present some “shalls” and “shan’ts” as ethical guidelines for this blog. Shalls and shan’ts. Five letters. Soft-sounding, yet archaic enough to make even a search engine sit up and take notice.

The first two shan’ts apply to me and are designed to keep my blogging from mucking up my relationships with readers who know me personally. The third shan’t, which starts out as a shall, applies to all of us and aims to keep this blog a friendly place to be. Continue reading

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Filed under About this blog, Ethics

The Qi in Chima

Chima Card and BallThe qi we cultivate when we practice qigong lacks form and substance, even measurability. We say it’s life energy, or life force, or vital essence—but that’s about as precise as we get. We even have trouble pronouncing it when the official spelling is used (hint: smile and say “chee”).

However, in the Land of Chima, qi does have form, and substance, even color. It is marble-sized orbs of a semi-translucent blue plastic.

According to LEGO, maker of the little plastic blocks kids build with and now the creator of the Land of Chima, chi orbs are formed when magical water containing the raw power of nature flows from Mount Cavora into the Sacred Pool of Chi and mixes with the unique minerals found there.

Chi orbs can be used as a source of energy by Chima warriors, vehicles and machines—which means they are of great value and sooner or later bound to be fought over. Continue reading

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