The idea of Chi is not unique to the Chinese. Nearly every
culture in the world has a word to express this concept. Dr.
John Mann arid Larry Short, authors of The Body of Light, count
49 cultures around the world that articulate the concept of Chi
in one form or another. In Hebrew, the word is Ruach, and it
appears in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The
world was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face
of the deep; and the Ruach [spirit, wind, or breath] of God was
moving over the face of the waters.--Genesis 1:1-2. Ruach
was present at the creation of the universe, even before light. The term means Breath of God or Divine Breath.
Japanese, the term Ki expands the concept of Chi
to include the Chinese idea of Yi or intention,
indicating that our mind or will is a major
influence governing the movement of Chi, which is
very important in meditation and in the martial
In Sanskrit, the word for Chi is Prana. The
Tibetan word is Lung. In Lakota Sioux it is known
as Neyatoneyah. The Bush People of the Kalahari
speak of it as Num, which means Boiling Energy. In
the Islamic world Chi is referred to as Barraka.
Although many cultures possess an awareness of
Chi, the Chinese have refined this concept and
integrated it into their culture to an
unparalleled degree. Chi is a pivotal factor in
Chinese medicine, martial arts, meditation,
science, painting, calligraphy, architecture,
interior design, and poetry.