What is “Qi”?
One can read all sorts of books and attempt to describe Qi from the writings. Alas, one can't actually do this for it will always be just an attempt. Why? I will attempt to answer, but bear in mind that an answer can be meaningless until the experience of Qi is self-evident.
I have seen it written that qi is the experience of moving the body in an efficient, natural, and harmonious manner. Is this true? I would say this is absolutely true. In fact, in the Gift of the Tao neigong movement system we have a move designed to do this very thing. And for this fact to become self-evident is a very good thing indeed. But is that all Qi is? Absolutely not.
I have seen it written that Qi is the experience of energy in the body through the body's natural biochemical release. Is this true? It absolutely is true, to an extent. However, it is the Qi itself that stimulates this production rather than that the production IS the qi. This of course can be argued in the fact that the biochemical production can and will lead to increased wei qi. But what I am saying is that Qi is MORE than that.
I have seen it written that Qi is the air we breathe due to the current Chinese character for Qi being “Air”. One must remember that the old way of writing this character was steam or vapor rising from a cauldron cooking. Does air have Qi in it? Sure does. Is concentrating on breathing air the most efficient manner of “cultivating” Qi? Absolutely not – but we will save this argument for another time. Suffice it to say that Qi is much more than air.
For some reason many folks have a reluctance to believe that Qi is energy. The thing is, once one immerses themselves in the practice of Qi manipulation it becomes a self evident fact that Qi IS energy. One also experiences the Qi as energy at a certain point in cultivation practices. But is this ALL that Qi is? I would say no. WHAT? But you said Qi IS energy! OK, I will attempt to explain.
Once a person immerses themselves in real and actual cultivation practices such as neigong, it becomes apparent the connection of Qi and creativity, or manifestation. In the Stillness-Movement medical qigong, when we do Qi manipulation we are manifesting the healing utilizing raw creativity & energy. I call this raw creativity INTENT and use this word to differentiate between linear intention and quantum level creation or manifestation utilizing Qi. Without going deeper into this, lets just say that it is a fact that Qi is inherently tied into this manifestation, and that this leads to the conclusion that Qi IS the raw creative fabric of the universe. Want to argue with this? Then practice real neigong for at least 3 years and then lets talk. Because all this is simply mental masturbation of the highest order UNTIL it becomes self-evident; it is impossible to intellectually understand.
Qi for breakfast? Sure, why not.