Lishi or Daojiao Lishi Quanfa, to give it it's full Chinese name, is an ancient system of arts for personal development, health and wellbeing. It originated in northern China thousands of years ago. As a Taoist art, the primary focus in Lishi is to increase and learn to use the natural energies of the body, known as Qi.
When you first begin Lishi there’s a lot to learn about how to train yourself. This is called self-cultivation or monism. Eventually you will learn how to practice Lishi with a partner for mutual benefit known as mono-dualism.
Exponents of Lishi also learn how to harmonise between Yin and Yang; internal and external. Thus in Lishi we have the Yin Arts, the Yang Arts and the Yin / Yang Arts. These arts compliment one another and teach students how to develop a dynamic equilibrium or peacefulness within themselves, with others and in their lives. The physical exercises and breathing that you will practice in class become a bridge inwards that will help you develop more internally including your body, mind and spirit. You will learn that things are never completely Yin or Yang but have the potential to transform from one to the other and that each contains the seeds of the other. Practicing Lishi over time will harmonise these two forces so that we never become too Yin or too Yang and ultimately learn to flow smoothly around any problem.
Indeed it is this ability to find the flow or inter-play that will lead you through Lishi towards Naturalness. You will learn how not to become too volatile through experiencing too many ups and downs but rather to slow down, smooth out and become more sustaining. If you consider the cycles of nature and how things happen without appearing to happen you’ll get a feeling for this. Lishi is a ‘doing art’ first and foremost and it is practice, repetition and letting-go that will develop the consciousness required to develop Naturalness. Any cycle or wave has an energy and through developing your energy and consciousness you will find it easier to connect to the energy of other people, nature and eventually to better connect with the Supreme Spirit or Dao.