News & Testimonials
May 2022 City Guide to Los Angeles article:
April 2022 Elephant Journal article:
It all started at the end of yoga class. I was in the resting phase of Savasana when my favorite yoga teacher told us, "now imagine breathing light into your left hand, up your arm, and then down your right arm and out your right hand." I was all relaxed, open -- and it worked! I felt an amazing rush of energy up the left and down the right; then reversed the direction, and bounced it back and forth from right to left and back again, until savasana ended.
Yoga was my gateway drug into Qi Gong. In the years since that yoga class, I've been lucky enough to find a true Qi Gong grandmaster and to learn how to connect to the universal energy around us, pull it in, concentrate and manipulate it. How to sense it in myself and in others, clean out toxic energy and pull in clean pure new life force energy (chi) for healing. And I began to have mystical experiences which, as a long time corporate lawyer and atheist, I would have scoffed about for the first half of (this) lifetime.
Qi Gong is a 3,000 year old tradition developed and practiced by millions of people in China and around the world, which means "energy work". It's closely related to tai chi, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, and comes down to one principle: your mind is incredibly powerful! We grow up in Western culture thinking that we can only control our environment with our physical movements. But in fact your mind, if you surrender your beliefs and unleash your imagination, can and will drive the life force energy which surrounds and vitalizes us and all other living things.
One of the oldest branches of Qi Gong arose with the Daoist monks in China. The Daoists for the last few thousand years have worked with three bodies: your Physical body; your Energy body (detectable by Western science as an energy field about 1-2 inches around you); and your Spiritual body (your awareness, about 6 feet around you--the same field which allows you to sense when someone is walking up behind you). Imagination plus Sensation produces your Spirit body; Intention and Attention produce your Energy body.
So in Qi Gong, you can use Imagination--the creation of something not there until your mind forms it; the Sensation of light prickling energy/warmth/mist, Attention to focus on the energy around you; and Intention to move it and concentrate it. In a relaxed, open state, your mind and breath pull it in from the Earth, which is huge reservoir of chi, and from the Heavens (the rest of the Universe around us), into the soles of your feet, the palms of your hand, and through the nose, mouth, and energy centers or chakras running from head to toe (and a little beyond those). The energy travels in what the acupuncturists call meridians, or channels of energy throughout your physical body. And you concentrate the chi in your lower abdomen (the "lower Dan Tien"), where not coincidentally our sexual organs lie and life is created from all the chi which women and men store there.
Breathing, Intention, and Gentle movement--just like Yoga and Tai Chi--help us manipulate and concentrate energy in Qi Gong.
The result? Purging of old bad memories and traumas, giving you a happier and mentally more balanced outlook; a lightness and openness of the body, physical healing and averting of disease; a much greater sensitivity and connection to the energy of other living things around us; projection of chi (used by advanced martial artists to throw opponents across the room with a gentle physical nudge); and even spiritual meditations which can lead to out of body experiences and mystical skills. Skilled practitioners can make incense smoke spin in one direction then the other; the same for mylar helium balloons. You can remove alcohol from a shot glass of rum, push and pull other people from 6 feet away without touching them. And you learn to live a more virtuous and spiritual life, since positive clean chi creates a higher vibrational state which is incompatible with dark energy and behaviors.
It's an amazing tradition, now more than ever helping us connect and heal in these difficult days.
“As a physician, when the pandemic broke out I was stretched more than ever in my life and I wanted to have a deeper spiritual practice. I've been a class taking junkie for my whole life and have had hundreds of teachers. One could call me a "teacher snob", because I put my teachers under a high bar when it comes to if I consider them "good" or not. Teaching a topic that is esoteric, involves movement yet has a depth of written text and learnings at its foundation is a tall order. Leonard Shen is a fantastic qigong teacher. Leonard's teaching honors the purity of its roots, tends to the minute details and explains the underlying principles with visual display. Since taking his classes my life has become imbued with magic. My creativity abounds and my health is resilient. The depth of my prayer practice has brought to me great auspicious events as well as grace while going through some very challenging issues. If you decide to take his classes be prepared to have a radical upgrade in your life.”
- Dr. Jacqueline Chan, D.O., MIM- Physician, Healer, Author, Teacher
Teaching Meditation to 650 corporate leaders at March 2019 Global Ethics Summit in New York City
Teaching Mindfulness to 150 lawyers and judges at November 2018 American Bar Association in San Francisco, CA
“Leonard has a passion and intuitive understanding of Qi Gong that is reflected in his teaching. He is able to teach to all levels by focusing on the basics and expanding on our learning with each class. We feel refreshed and calm after his classes.”
- Eric Jorgensen and Nicole Jorgensen, REHS, Inspector Santa Clara County Dept. of Environmental Health
"Len is an exquisite, kind, clear, generous and rare teacher of Qi Gong. He teaches the deeper spiritual and healing meaning of Qi Gong rooted in the lineage he studies. He imparts information about the practices with great enthusiasm, compassion and clarity. I feel so fortunate to learn and practice with him!"
- Bonnie Wolf, Community Development Consultant, Project Director Alameda CA Wellness Campus (for unhoused people with complex health conditions), and Leadership Coach
With Daoist Abbot and Qi Gong Grandmaster Jerry Johnson
Ordained as Priest of Mystical Arts in Monterey, CA October 2021