Chi or Qi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese word for life-force, the universal energy that permeates everything around us, the vital energy that unites body, mind, and spirit. The Chinese character for Chi is the gas (or energy) ideogram set atop the character for rice, symbolizing the energy that is food.
Chi represents the vibratory nature of phenomena — the flow and tremors that happen continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels. Chi is a form of energy which waxes and wanes in the body depending on health, and in a space depending on arrangement. When chi is in a proper state of balance, its energy moves smoothly through the space which it inhabits, supporting rather than fighting against the space. Balancing chi is a crucial part of living a healthy and calm life.
Though “Chi” has its origins in early Chinese philosophy, the concept of Chi is universal, known by these names in other cultures:
- Japan: ki
- India: prana or shakti
- Ancient Egypt: ka
- Ancient Greeks: pneuma
- Native Americans: Great Spirit
- Africa: ashe
- Hawaii: ha or mana