Jacqueline H. Chan (she/her), M.A.

Qigong Instructor, Psycho-spiritual Psychotherapist Candidate

Biography

Like many others, my story of dedication to my spiritual path came after many years of discernment, exploration, self-doubt, adversity, and universal alignment of the stars with key mentor figures coming into my life. ….. More on this another time.

My spirituality is built upon a foundation of daily committed practice of qigong (qi is pronounced “chi” [1]) as well as a community that is like my home and connects me back to my roots. My spiritual and cultural home is the qigong school community that I’ve been brought up within[2], which was the bread and butter of my single mother. I’ve known some members of our community for many years (over a decade) who are now family friends. Many different forms of peaceful meditative practices in Tai Chi and qigong exist and we have taught our school from a more secularised version for the West. Hence, I sometimes feel limited in my theoretical knowledge of Daoism or the detailed intricacies of Traditional Chinese acupuncture and medicine theory, although we practiced it because my traditional Chinese mother (now Qigong Master) practiced it. I am like a hybrid – a Canadian born Chinese, with many North American attitudes – while still practicing a traditional form of healing, qigong, that have roots of thousands of years back in ancient China.

My paradigm of qigong practice: Hanyun Gong

My spiritual practice of qigong from our teacher is based on an Eastern paradigm that looks at the interconnected circuit of “hanyun gong” symbolized by three connected spheres: 1. The universal (heavens or sky) energy; 2. Mother Earth energy; and 3. The human being. The human being is the one who connects this circuit of living energy between the heavens and Earth. Hence, to be fully in balance, one must have both their feet firmly on Earth, yet connected to higher (intuitive) spiritual wisdom, and one must practice. The “gong” in “qigong” actually translates to “work” or more eloquently, “cultivating”. Thus, a disciplined mind and body of practice is needed to be in balance for this circuit of energy. A First Nations friend and long-time student in our community, says that I am carrying Indigenous knowledge, and I’m holding the lineage from Grandmaster Weizhao Wu. She likened it to the importance of those on the path of the Bodhisattva to have a guru, or a Rinpoche, as a holder of a lineage of teaching. From a young age, a famous astrologer told my mother that I would be the one she and Master Wu would impart their knowledge to.

 

[1] Chi or qi refers to the universal life force energy and is a central concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory (eg, acupuncture, herbal medicine, feng shui, qigong) that posits balance of the mind and body depends on the flow of chi. We have connected energy channels running through the body called “meridians” that correspond to organs. (Matos et al., 2021)

[2]Pureland International Qi Gong School: www.purelandqigong.com

 

As an adult, I currently share the meditative practices of Qigong to hospital staff and in classes. The sense of energy, hope, joy, compassion, and resilience that I have found in my daily qigong practice. I am currently studying psychotherapy through an integrated spiritual lens through Buddhism and Daoism at The University of Toronto. My hope is for participants to feel more wholesome from the practice, and that I also continue growing to become a more self-actualized individual. I see myself as “Two-Eyed Seeing” – by learning and seeing from one eye, the Eastern Indigenous strengths and ways of knowing, and through the other eye, with the strengths of Western ways of knowing. I am queer and I have learned spiritual healing techniques from Qigong, I meditate and I have had many clairvoyant or clairsentient experiences.

I am doing my best to bring forth the gifts of practice from Eastern qigong and Western psychotherapy.  I believe this can be reflected in the motif of the ying-yang symbol often seen in Tai Chi practices shown by the black dot within the white, and the white dot within the black, together existing as one harmonious, balanced, dynamic, and integrated interdependent whole. To me, on a deeper level, this Ying-Yang symbol represents an integration of the mind and body; of the heart and mind; East and the West. In the context of being a qigong teacher, my ying-yang motif is expressed in the way I try to facilitate information on the mind and body connections that honors my tradition, while being relevant to the West. I am constantly learning how to do this. As an emerging psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, I hope to bring forth the gifts from both Eastern and Western healing practices.

What is Qigong?

There are many schools of teaching in qigong, and many that do take more theoretical positions with detailed explanations of the different kinds of “chi” that exists in and around the body. There are different schools of Tai Chi, which is more popularized, as well.

The practice of qigong, now categorized as “meditative movement”[1] a new category of exercise defined by (a) some form of movement or body positioning, (b) a focus on breathing, and (c) a cleared or calm state of mind with a goal of (d) deep states of relaxation. While often called “meditation in motion,” Harvard Medical School has referred to Tai Chi, a form of qigong, as “medication in motion” because of Tai Chi’s therapeutic effects on the mind and body for preventing and treating health problems. Professor Peter M. Wayne, in his book “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi” dives into over a decade of his research on Tai Chi for health and refers to it as having eight active ingredients, likened to the active ingredients in pharmacological treatments. The eight active ingredients include: 1. Awareness, mindfulness, and focused attention; 2. Intention, belief, expectation; 3. Dynamic structural integration; 4. Active relaxation of mind and body; 5. Aerobic exercise, musculoskeletal strengthening, and flexibility; 6. Natural, freer breathing; 7. Social interaction and community; and 8. Embodied spirituality, philosophy and ritual. (Wayne & Fuerst 2013). I admire his work, where he takes an ecological and integrative view of the mind, body and health in Tai Chi and appreciating it within a Western medical paradigm.

 

[1] Larkey, L., Jahnke, R., Etnier, J. & Gonzalez, J. (2009). Meditative movement as a category of exercise: implications for research. J Phys Act Health 6(2), 230-238. Doi: 10.1123/jpah.6.2.230

Short Bio:

Jacqueline Chan is a research staff in the SickKids Research Institute as well as a member of The Mindfulness Project Team at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She is an instructor of Qigong (pronounced “chi-gong”). Jacqueline grew up in a Qigong school within the lineage of Master Weizhao Wu and Master Teresa, and has shared this peaceful traditional Chinese healing art in symposiums and conferences.

Jacqueline has been providing Qigong to Sickkids staff for over 2 years and is an active participant in Wellness programming provided by Occupational Health at SickKids. Qigong is a gentle and serene form of moving meditation, a kind of Mindfulness in motion that integrates one’s body and mind. She is dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

Jacqueline Chan is currently studying for a Masters of Pastoral Studies, in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy, at The University of Toronto. She has a MA in Early Childhood Studies and a BA in Psychology. She is also the daughter of Master Teresa Yeung, of Pureland International Qigong School.

The practice of chi gong (qigong) is tied to the background of the instructor, their lineage, school, practices, and style of teaching. A good instructor should also be practicing everyday.

Grandmaster Weizhao Wu: Learning from 1995-2006

Starting in 1995, I followed my mother to learn chi gong, tai chi, and kung fu from Grandmaster Weizhao Wu at the park. Amongst some of his achievements: He recieved one of the highest titles of Qi Gong Master in China,  was considered a National Treasure, Western Fencing champion, and he contributed to the development of the provincial physical education curriculum in the province of Guangzhao. He also was an academic, and lead a 40-person research team into the benefits of his Wu’s eye qi gong program for high school students.

Chi gong (qigong) was his life-long hobby he learned from the mountain schools in China. He came to retire in Canada, he created the chi gong forms I teach today with the essential chi gong (qi gong) movements. From him, I’ve learned so much about the foundations of qi and being a compassionate teacher.

 

Master Teresa: Learning from 2006-Present

Following the passing of grandmaster Wu, I learned from his successor, my mother, Master Teresa (Pureland International Qigong School), learning how to transform negative emotions such as grief. She’s been an inspiration as a loving single mother:

  • Mind-body (psycho-somatic) expressions of stress
  • Embodied spiritual philosophies
  • Honoring the feminine in qigong practice

As her daughter and leading instructor, I regularly teach 1 hour introductory drop-in qigong sessions for her students on Wednesdays 8PM (EST) and Sunday 10AM (EST) via donation. Drop-in registration links are located on www.purelandqigong.com/workshops on Eventbrite which will send a ZOOM link to you.

At SickKids:

I offer Free SickKids Staff Qigong Classes on Thursdays 5:15PM-6:00PM. If you are a staff member, please email me: ChiwithJacqueline@gmail.com so I can provide you with the appropriate weekly ZOOM link as well as the monthly Mindfulness Project Newsletter. 

 

My Qigong Training

 

Education Background

B.A. Honours Psychology
M.A. Early Childhood Studies
Masters of Pastoral Studies, Spiritual Care & Psychotherapy (2024), 
The University of Toronto

 

Our instructor, Jacqueline Chan, has been learning Qi Gong from a young child along with her mother Master Teresa and Grandmaster Wu for about two decades. With contining Qi Gong practices and training, she has been developing her style in balancing the mind and spirit to improve inner harmony by releasing challenging heart-based experiences. She also has successfully integrated many learning lessons from a challenging youth, where she did not fit in. As an unconventionally deep/sensitive youth, she was also discovering her sexual orientation that went against the grain of her previously conversative religious peer-groups.

As a scholarship-minded person, she takes an integrated approach to qigong, bringing in both the foundations of energy and the intersection of mind-body, to achieve harmony in living in a chaotic and moving world. She has spoken and demonstrated Qi Gong in conferences and symposiums.

She has a background in psychology, early childhood studies, clinical research, and is currently studying psychotherapy through a Buddhist/Daoist theological lens. In her class, she likes to bring some of her learnings to shine and inspire you!

Will you be interested to explore how to empty your mind with Qi Gong and bring in a new harmony with Jacqueline?

SUNDAY & WEEKNIGHT CLASSES: www.purelandqigong/workshops (will link to an EventBrite registration page)

 

Contact me:  chiwithjacqueline@gmail.com