Emei Qigong History and Lineage

Bai Yun

Emei Mountain, also known as Emei Shan or ‘Lofty Eyebrow Peak’ in Chinese, is one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains.  At 10,167 feet (3,099 meters), it sits on the western rim of the Sichuan basin in the Sino-Tibetan boarder region. At its peak, stands Golden Mountain Monastery which marks the place where, in the year 1227, the Emei tradition was established by founder and Buddhist monk, Bai Yun or ‘White Cloud.’

In a pure vision, Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, the great spirit that inhabits Emei Mountain, guided Grandmaster Bai Yun to assemble over 3,600 teachings, schools of thought and techniques to be passed from lineage holder to lineage holder, master to master, in order to benefit future generations. This body of teachings forms the comprehensive system of health called the Emei Linji School of Qigong or Emei Qigong. It is a system is devoted to treating disease and maintaining excellent health while cultivating higher levels of spiritual development.

The Linji school is the largest of the Chan sects in Chinese, Mahayana Buddhism. Emei Qigong includes principles from Buddhism, medical diagnosis and treatment of disease, acupuncture, herbal medicine, shamanism, Daoist and Buddhist Qigong, Taiji theory, practices of extra sensory perception, fungshui, iron body martial arts, and much more.

Grandmaster Bai Yun chronicled this sacred body of knowledge in the text The Emei Treasured Lotus Canon, lest it be forgotten or misinterpreted. This original text is currently held in a Beijing museum.

Yong Yan

From the founding of the lineage until World War II, the Emei Linji School of Qigong was led by a succession of enlightened monks. Each monk, in his turn, was given the title Lineage Holder and under the guidance of these treasure-holders, the knowledge and sacred practices of Emei Qigong remained secret for nearly 800 years. This tradition made a radical shift in the mid-20th century when the 11th Lineage Holder, Grandmaster Yong Yan, foresaw in vision the social and political changes that were to come in China. He had a clear premonition of the destruction of his great monastery and the pillaging of the sacred Emei Mountain. This awareness inspired him to initiate a novel approach to the succession of the lineage.  Grandmaster Yong Yan mandated that the position of Lineage Holder alternate between and be shared by a monk and a chosen layperson. The lay Lineage Holder would be charged with making the knowledge of Emei Qigong available to the public, while the monastic Lineage Holder would be charged with ensuring that the knowledge remain intact and pure for future generations.

Zhou Qian Chuan

The years prior to and following World War II was a time of great political and social turmoil in China. It was a time of great hardship and the circumstances of life was almost intolerable by most standards. During this time, Grandmaster Yong Yan spent many years traveling in the wilderness. As he made his way from mountain to mountain he came across a high ranking army officer, who was also a Western medical doctor, named Major General Zhou Qian Chuan. General Zhou had sustained a serious injury to his liver due to the impact of a nearby bomb explosion. The organ was chronically cracking producing serious lesions, a condition that very difficult to treat.  He had seen many famous Western doctors, all of whom were unable to provide a long-term relief. Grandmaster Yong Yan befriended this man, treated is condition and successfully him cured with Emei methods.

Major General Zhou, motivated by profound gratitude and joy, took leave of his military position to become a monk and serve this man who had restored his health. Grandmaster Yong Yan refused his request to become a monk but allowed him to come to Emei Mountain to study under him. Zhou Qian Chuan studied under and served Grandmaster Yong Yan for 13 years, after which the Grandmaster ordained him as the first layman to receive the title Lineage Holder. So it was in this way that Zhou Qian Chuan became the 12th Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong. Following this Grandmaster Yong Yan left Emei Mountain to live in Kangding, in the Southwestern part of China. Soon thereafter, just as he had foreseen, many of the monks of Emei Mountain were imprisoned or killed and many of the monasteries were destroyed, including the Golden Summit Monastery.

The newly ordained Grandmaster Zhou stayed on Emei Mountain but often came down and traveled to the Kangding area to help relieve the suffering people were experiencing during the war.

Ju Zan

When World War II was over, Grandmaster Zhou went to Beijing to seek out the Supreme Buddhist Abbot Ju Zan, a man who held a similar religious title to that of the Tibetan Dali Lama. Abbot Ju Zan had experienced premonitions of this and thus knew of the great Emei Qigong system and was prepared for Grandmaster Zhou’s arrival.

Abbot Ju Zan studied under Grandmaster Zhou from 1950 to 1958), after which Grandmaster Zhou ordained him as the 12th Lineage Holder. Grandmaster Zhou taught him everything that Grandmaster Yong Yan had taught him and they shared the position of lineage head together, according to Grandmaster Yong Yan’s vision.

In the 1960’s, during next great wave of social and political turmoil known as the Cultural Revolution, Grandmaster Ju Zan was wrongfully imprisoned, like many of the time who were religious leaders and holders of the great traditions in China. He remained captive for eight years during which time he meditated and foresaw the future of Emei Qigong. He was released from prison in the early 1970’s.


Fu Wei Zhong

The future envisioned by Grandmaster Ju Zan was  centered around a young man named Fu Wei Zhong who began his training at birth in 1949. Throughout his young life, Fu Wei Zong was driven by an exceptional interest in old texts and began studying traditional Chinese medicine and reading ancient Chinese philosophy when he was only six years old. By the age of 12, Fu Wei Zhong was treating and healing people with techniques he had learned from his reading and the instruction from his grandfather, a traditional Chinese medical doctor and the emperor’s family doctor.

At age seven Fu Wei Zhong began martial arts training in Shaolin Gongfu. Several years later, he became a student of Luo Xing Wu, an eminent Chinese martial arts grandmaster, from whom he learned many martial arts disciplines, including Xingyi and Bagua Gongfu.

Like many young people during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Fu Wei Zhong was sent to the countryside to integrate with the peasant population.  His station was in the northeast of China,  the province of Heilongjiang where his previous training was put to use as a veterinarian on a collective farm. He was 18 years old when he opened his first medical clinic there. For the next eight years, he used Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, tui na massage and other traditional treatment methods to treat a multitude of sick people and animals with great success.

In 1976 Fu Wei Zhong was allowed to return to Beijing where he began teaching martial arts at the Beijing Dongcheng District Martial Arts School. He had planned to study for a master’s degree in religion and was looking for a renowned professor to guide him as he began on this path. His friend, Liang Shu Ming, offered to introduce him to Abbot Ju Zan, the Supreme Abbot of Chinese Buddhism and 12th Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong.

Fu Wei Zhong had had a recurring dream since childhood of a monk who would change his life. He had not known who the monk was or why the images were coming to him, but when he saw the face of Abbot Ju Zan, he recognized him as the monk from his dreams. At their meeting, they looked at each other and the Abbot said, “Oh, you’ve finally arrived, it’s time for you to train”… as if they had already known each other. Fu Wei Zhong was invited to join a distinguished group of men and women chosen to undergo training and a selection process for the position of 13th layman Lineage Holder of Emei Qigong.

After six months of intensive training and testing, Fu Wei Zhong was selected by Grandmaster Ju Zan, to receive further instruction in Buddhism, Daoism, traditional Chinese medicine, Taijiquan, Qigong, Feng Shui, future prediction, and other Dharma methods exclusively transmitted from one Lineage Holder to another within the Emei Qigong system. During this time, Fu Wei Zhong was often in seclusion—studying, cultivating, and integrating the system’s ancient texts into practical forms and easy-to-read language that could be effectively taught to the public.

In 1984, the title of the 13th Lineage Holder was given to Fu Wei Zhong. He received the Emei Qigong sacred text “The Emei Treasured Lotus Canon” and officially assumed the position of Grandmaster and the responsibilities of being Lineage Holder. Grandmaster Ju Zan directed him to begin teaching publicly, “In order to end the pain and suffering of the world and to allow Emei Qigong to bring humanity out to shine like the sun.”

In the spring of 1985, Fu Wei Zhong began teaching Emei Qigong healing techniques throughout China, thereby initiating a national revitalization of the role of Qigong in Chinese medical theory and practice. In 1989, he went into seclusion again to meditate for three years so that he could further develop Emei Qigong techniques so that they would be more easily taught to the modern public. It was during this period of extended meditation that he was able to achieve the internal state necessary to decode the sacred Emei Qigong skills. Fu Wei Zhong was able to decipher this information and now teaches these skills in his lectures, seminars and writings.

Grandmaster Fu believes that only by training thousands of skilled Emei Qigong practitioners will it be possible to restore and preserve the health of millions. He has personally treated, healed and helped thousands of people—the rich and famous as well as orphans, and many patients considered incurable. China’s late president Deng Xiao Ping was among those who benefited from Grandmaster Fu’s treatment. Using the methods of Emei Qigong cultivation, medical Qigong and traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Grandmaster Fu has successfully cured tens of thousands of people who have come to him for healing.

At age 36, he was recognized as one of the most prominent grandmasters of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Chinese have dubbed him “Emei Wizard” and “China’s Medical Buddha,” as well as deeming him “The Father of Modern Medical Qigong.” In addition, Fu Wei Zhong has been made lifetime president of two Qigong institutions: The International Medical Qigong Academy and The Emei Linji International Qigong Medical Research Institute, and he holds honorary positions and titles in more than 50 hospitals, medical colleges, Qigong clinics and Qigong associations in China.

Fu Wei Zhong is a learned scholar. He is well versed in the medical, philosophical and theological theories of different schools, both Eastern and Western. To date, he has published six books and over twenty treatises in China.

Fu Wei Zhong immigrated to the United States in 1995. His goal was to disseminate Emei Qigong’s therapeutic techniques so that its methods could be fused with contemporary western medical techniques. His goal is to alleviate suffering in the modern world. He is determined to transmit the knowledge and skills of Emei Qigong to the American public.

Since his arrival in the United States, Grandmaster Fu has given lectures and workshops in over 30 American cities. He was invited to the University of San Francisco and the University of California at San Diego to lecture on Qigong and was a visiting professor at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, where he taught curriculum-required courses on the Emei methodology of Qi (energy) emission for diagnosis and treatment. In 1996, he participated in an experiment at the Atlantic Tumor Hospital in California that involved the emission of Qi into cancer cells. The initial positive results enabled the experiment to be taken to a bigger scale. In 2001, these encouraging results were published in the magazine, Spirituality and Health. Fu Wei Zhong also participated in an experiment conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center of Complementary Medicine Research Institute to test Qigong and other holistic modalities in the treatment of brain tumors from a distance. The Discovery Channel filmed Grandmaster Fu at the Medical Center and aired the documentary in Canada on a show called “Daily Planet.”

As of 2006, there are many thousands of Emei Qigong students in the United States and 2 million followers of Emei Qigong worldwide. What the world needs now, more than ever, is a heart-centered system like Emei Qigong to bring health, vitality and true kindness to people.

In the fall of 2006, Grandmaster Fu teaching the higher levels of teacher training to his closest, long-term students. The Level IV seminar, the Emei Qigong Level I Teacher’s Training, was  taught for the first time in a month-long training at Emei Mountain in China.   For the next few years, Grandmaster Fu concentrated on training the Chinese monk who later became the next Emei lineage holder in China, and the students in North America who would perpetuate the lineage as teachers in the West. In 2014 Grandmaster Fu went into semi-retirement in China.

Dr. Devatara Holman, DACM, MS, MA, LAc., Emei Qigong Master

Devatara on Throne Relaxed Smile copyDr. Devatara came to the teachings of the Emei Lineage when she lived in China and Tibet during the 1980’s. From the age of 5 years, she had an extraordinary attraction to Buddhism and the ancient mystic arts of East Asia, pursuing study of Buddhism and Daoism from the age of 9, and Taijiquan at the age of 15. She focused on Asian studies in highschool and college, and completed a Master’s degree in Chinese Language and philosophy. She went on to a post-graduate year of Chinese language study in Taiwan, then moved to Western China and Eastern Tibet. She lived and worked there as a translator and interpreter for almost a decade, guided by her lifelong aspiration to seek out the great, virtuous teachings and teachers of Buddhism. By virtue of the needs of the local community in Southwest China where she spent much of her time, she became involved in medical translation. Guided by the medical professionals with whom she worked, Devatara begin training in medicine and the powerful healing arts of Buddhist medical Qigong. It was this pathway of medicine that lead her to receive an introduction into the sacred, secret teachings of Chinese Buddhist Qigong and the great Lineage of Emei.

At that time in China, Grandmaster Fu was not in public view. In the early years of that decade, he was in seclusion preparing to emerge and bring the Emei teachings to the public for the first time ever in its long history. By the mid 1980’s he was performing and teaching in the great stadiums in the large metropolitan centers of Eastern China, such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, Devatara was studying with other Emei Lineage teachers and receiving teachings and blessings from her root teacher, the fully-awakened Buddha, Osho Rajneesh in Poona, India. Hence, it was not until the early 1990’s when Devatara had returned to the United States that she and Grandmaster Fu very auspiciously met upon his arrival in the West. Immediately, the two recognized a clear and immediate close karmic connection that would last for many years. Devatara engaged in many years of rigorous study and practice under his guidance, and assisted Grandmaster Fu as one of his primary translators /interpreters and accompanied him during his teachings internationally and in the United States. After many years of dedicated practice, Devatara was formally recognized by Grandmaster Fu as Emei Qigong Master.

Since the late 1990’s Dr. Devatara has served the public in her roles as a primary health care practitioner specializing in Oriental Medicine, as a recognized Dharma teacher, and an Emei Qigong healer and teacher. She has taught internationally and treats patients locally and from around the world with remote healing and on-site therapy at her private integrative clinic in Sausalito, California, USA.

More information on her work is available at Marin Oriental and Integrative Medicine.