Our deepest gratitude to John Voigt for allowing us to publish his article about professor Lin Housheng. The article was first published in Qi Journal
(Volume 21, No. 4, Winter 2011-2012)
Lin Housheng was born on the 16th of September 1939 in the city of Fuqing, in Fujian Province, located in the lower southeastern corner of China. His father died when he was three years old. From childhood on, he loved the development of the human body through physical training. At age fifteen he began studying with a Southern Shaolin monk. As in the tradition, this monk is never named.
Lin Housheng graduated from Shanghai Physical Education University in 1964. His major was in aquatic sports and Wushu (martial arts, or what is popularly called “Kung Fu”). His excellent grades enabled him to remain in Shanghai, where he took a job as a researcher at the Shanghai Physical Education Science Research Institute, which soon was closed because of the Cultural Revolution. Then he was transferred to a high school to teach physical education.
On May 6, 1966 The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was officially unleashed creating social chaos throughout the country. In the State controlled press qigong was called “a rotten relic of feudalism” - “rubbish of history” – “a poisonous weed.” People who practiced qigong were called “counter-revolutionary” or “class enemy.”
Despite the possible threat of being mercilessly beaten, forced into slave labor, imprisoned, or even brutally murdered along with his wife and infant daughter, Lin Housheng secretly practiced his qigong and tai chi for many hours late into the night. This intensive hard work was to lead to many amazing achievements in the years ahead.
"In 1968, at age 29, during his practice, an abnormal feeling suddenly began running throughout his body. His nervous system suddenly became extremely stimulated. He became excited, full of intense feelings of what it meant to be alive. The entire world around him turned into magnificent golden light. He felt his life energy (qi), like a flowing spring, running inside his body, smoothly circulating through the Governing and Conception Vessels [the energy meridians in the back and front of the body]. Then suddenly, this circular flow split into two strong pathways of qi, each flowing down from his shoulders, and out of his two palms. He realized this was exactly what his teacher had told him before about External Qi." -- [translated from Lin Houxing Qi Gong Shi Jie, 1992]
On October 6, 1976, one month after the death of Mao Zedong, the insanity of the Cultural Revolution ended. Now Lin Housheng could come out of hiding and use the enormous skills that he had acquired over the years. But first he needed to answer the many skeptics in the government and elsewhere who claimed that Qigong was a meaningless superstitious relic from the past. To this mechanistic scientific Marxist establishment he set out to prove that Qigong was not some fake and fraudulent “witchcraft.”
To do this he became the central subject of the experiments of a famous nuclear scientist, Gu Hansen. On March 10, 1978 Lin Housheng projected external qi from his hands which she measured with modern scientific devices. Low frequency, infrared ray modulations, and electromagnetic waves were detected. Qi was now scientifically shown to exist [at least the Qi that Lin was sending].
“It is the first time that the physical nature of qi was proven. The publication of the results of the experiment created waves within the country, aroused interest and drew the attention of numerous scientists towards qigong research. Their heroic undertaking had a determining effect on the rise of qigong in contemporary China.” David A. Palmer. Qigong Fever. Columbia University.
This lead to an increased interest in Lin Housheng and his abilities. The next year, 1979, Lin successfully demonstrated his qigong skills at China's State Council (Beijing) to three Deputy Prime Ministers and over 300 scientists.
1980 was an exciting year. His book, Qigong Makes Health (气功使人健康) was published. It was the first book about qigong to appear after the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Puis, le 21 juin, un événement extraordinaire eu lieu:
Then on June 21 a truly amazing thing took place: "On June 21, 1980 at Shanghai No. 8 People's Hospital, a unique surgical operation took place which made world news. A qigong master, Lin Hou Sheng from the Chinese Medicine Research Institute stretched out his right hand and pointed his index and middle fingers at Yin Tang (an acupuncture point) between the eyebrows of the patient. Through his fingertips he emitted wai qi (externally projected qi) from a distance of about 3 centimeters on a 29 year old female patient. After three minutes, he nodded to the surgeon who then picked up his sharp scalpel and commenced a surgical operation on a thyroid tumor.
The patient received no additional anesthesia, remained conscious throughout, and did not show even the least sign of pain during the 140 minute operation. When a walnut sized tumor was removed and shown to the patient, a smile lit up her face. (Lin Housheng continued to perform many other successful qigong procedures at the hospital.)
…. Since the mid 1980's, due in part to the attention generated by Lin, renewed interest in Qigong and Qigong healing developed into a national fad in China.” Medical Qigong: A Vital Branch of Oriental Medicine, by Jampa Mackenzie Stewart.
“Largely triggered by Lin’s work an astonishing qigong craze was taking place in China: By the middle of the 1980s, there were 2,000 qigong organizations and between 60 and 200 million practitioners across China. This represented almost one fifth of the Chinese population.”
Lin Housheng had become a Chinese Qigong “Superstar.” The first edition of 150, 000 copies of his book, Qi Gong is the Answer to Health, sold out in one month in 1985. [Paul Dong. Chi Gong: The Ancient Chinese Way to Health, pg. 117].
By 1987, Lin treated the wife of the mayor of Shanghai. That mayor, Jiang Zemin , in two years would become the most powerful person in China: The General Secretary of the Communist Party.
In 1989 he came to the United States to participate in a research project at San Diego State University. He became a citizen of the United States in 2010.
In the 1990’s--and continuing into the 21st century Lin Housheng tours the world, especially in the countries of Southeast Asia, presenting for local Taiji Qigong Shibashi Associations. His audiences often consist of many thousands of people.
In 2011 he toured Malaysia and Taiwan. In the fall 2012 he expects to tour Malaysia and Taiwan once again.
Presently he lives in Los Angeles County, California in a largely Asian community---(he never learned to speak English). In his many tours of Asia he resides in the city where he first found fame, Shanghai.