Born into an aristocratic family in 1937, Wang Qingyu has lived through remarkable changes in fortune and circumstance during the course of his life. As the political climate in China shifted first one way, and then another, he found himself thrust from affluence and high-regard, to poverty and vilification as the son of a long line of martial arts masters and generals of the Qing empire. Drawing upon the mysterious alchemy of the human spirit, he turned misfortune and persecution into a life of compassion and service for others.
Wang Qingyu, practicing Jinjing Qigong
Prof. Wang is now recognized by the Chinese government as one of the outstanding masters of Daoist medicine, holding a lifetime appointment for research in the field of martial arts and the ancient science of nourishing life at the Sichuan Academy of Cultural Sciences. In 1987 he served as the poolside physician to the Sichuan diving team during the Sixth China Games. He was then called to Beijing by the Olympic training committee to treat China’s star divers including gold metal winners, Gao Min and Xu Yanmei. During the renaissance of Chinese Qigong during the 1990s, he served as the government’s primary consultant in assessing the credentials and skills of Qigong masters around China. In 1993, he retired from a strenuous healing practice in Beijing to continue his research and teaching in the city of Chengdu where he chairs the Sichuan Society of Daoist Studies. He is the author of a number of articles and two books, Michuan daojia jinjing neidan gong (Esoteric Daoist Internal Alchemy Jinjing Qigong, 1990) and Daoyi kuimi (A Glimpse at the Secrets of Daoist Medicine, 1994), and coauthor of Sichuan wushu daquan (The Great Encyclopedia of Sichuan Martial Arts, 1987).
From a young age Wang Qingyu was raised to be a master in an environment rich with tradition in martial arts, scholarship, and medicine. He studied a multitude of martial arts styles with some of the most renowned teachers of his time, including his father who used to lash him with a whip if he failed to hold a training posture for the required number of hours. At the age of ten, he met his primary teacher, Master Li Jie, a wandering Daoist hermit whose abilities as a healer, scholar, and martial arts expert made him a living legend in China’s Southwestern provinces. Under Li’s supervision, the young Wang became adept in many areas including Daoist herbalism, fingernail diagnosis, acupressure, and the various arts of nourishing life.
Wang Qingyu demonstrating Jinjing qigong
A few years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the orphaned Wang was assigned to teach middle school in the wild Tibetan regions of Sichuan Province, an area that remained rife with guerilla warfare until the 1960s and was to become notorious for its labor camps. Although the conditions were both dangerous and harsh, Wang continued his various disciplines and studies, broadening his knowledge of calling to become a Daoist healer and dedicated his life to helping the sick.
During the chaotic period of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, Wang continued to treat ill villagers even though it placed him in constant danger of being criticized as an “advocate of the feudalist past.” Over the years, Dr. Wang built an impressive record of healing a wide variety of serious illnesses including post-stroke paralysis, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the 1980s, he emerged from a nationwide competition of folk healers as one of three finalists, and has since served as an on-call physician for China’s political and sports elite. As the last surviving disciple of Master Li Jie, he is the official lineage holder of the Jinjing (Tendon and Channel) School of Qigong. Presently, he lives in retirement in Chengdu where he chairs the Sichuan Association for Taoist Studies and the Foundation for the Research and Preservation of the Science of Nourishing Life. During the summer months, he teaches foreign students about the intricacies of Qigong and Daoist medicine during the Heron Institute’s annual Sacred Mountain Retreat Program.