- QIGONG BOOK REVIEWS -
THE MASTER KEY
Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom
by Robert Peng with Rafael Nasser
Over the years I have collected many tai chi and qigong books. Some of these works could easily qualify for a college text book while others are more of the attractive box store offering - an introductory book with nice pictures. However, Robert Peng’s qigong book, THE MASTER KEY, falls into its own category. It is engaging, revealing, instructive, inspiring and fairly extensive. For me it is now a prized addition to my tai chi/qigong library.
Among its many qualities, there are five aspects in particular that have made this book a winner for me.
1.) AUTOBIOGRAPHY: The first part of this book (about 20% of the text) is autobiographical. The author takes the reader into his world, his story, to explain how qigong entered, changed, and improved his own life quite dramatically. He also provides information about the life of his master, Xiao Yao.
Peng was born the youngest of four children in a family in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, China. Born with a serious heart disorder, as a young boy he suffered physical pain and was restricted from playing as healthy children did. At the age of eight his health took a bad turn. It was then that he encountered the mysterious Mr. Tan (Xiao Yao), the boiler room manager at a local hotel. Little did he know that his 82 year old acquaintance was actually the one-time abbot of a Buddhist monastery and a renowned qigong master. Young Peng began to learn qigong from the old man and soon experienced a dramatic reversal from his heart condition. For the next 13 years he studied with the master and paid visits to his monastery, the Jiuyi Temple, in the distant mountains. Peng eventually mastered his teacher’s art, Dan Ming Qigong - Elixer Light Qigong.
2.) LINEAGE: The Dan Ming Qigong taught in this book is a combination of Buddhist, Taoist, and Shaolin practices. This is my first exposure to qigong with this sort of mixed lineage.
3.) DANTIANS: The qigong in this book works extensively with the body’s three, major energy centers, dantians (tantiens) as well as the central qi (chi) meridian. It also instructs on how to concentrate energy at projected external points and brought into the three dantian locations.
4.) PSYCHOLOGY: This is the first book I’ve seen that devotes significant material to exploring the psychological impact of energy imbalances on human emotion and character. The author explains how energy deficiencies in one or more dantians can influence a person’s thinking, emotions, and actions.
5.) MEDIA: This book is the first I’ve seen that not only provides detailed descriptions of its exercises, but also directs to reader to on-line internet video segments demonstrating the exercises in real time. The video material is available at soundstrue.org/
As if these offerings weren’t enough, the book provides ample clear photographs of the author demonstrating the techniques with computer graphics depicting what happens energetically during the exercise.
This book is part true life adventure and part workbook, providing a generous presentation of qigong theory, sources, and practice. THE MASTER KEY is an uplifting spiritual story framed with positive encouragement, personal experience, and clear presentations. This book is designed to help the reader achieve a healthier, happier existence. I am pleased to be able to recommend this unusual book to you.