LaoZi’s Holy Green Cow Cultivation Method

LaoZi’s Green Cow

I would like to introduce QingNiuGong with a paragraph from my book, XiYiWuDao 心意武道 Heart-Mind: The Dao of Martial Arts:

In LaoZi’s Hidden Immortal Lineage, we apply the YiQiHuaSanQing 一炁化三清[1], or model of the Trinity to help understand the pattern of external development within the universe. We can use a number system to show this process: 

1 transforms to 3 —>  3 x 3 = 9 —>  9 x 9 = 81

In this arrangement, 1 represents the Dao, 3 represents the Trinity (Heaven, Earth, and Human being), 9 represents longevity and/or immortality, and 81 represents the return to the Dao. The DaoDeJing is made up of 81 chapters. This external structure follows the Yang numerology system, while the inner content reveals that the DaoDeJing is a guide for the internal alchemy practitioner.

Wu, Zhongxian. XiYiWuDao 心意武道 Heart-Mind: The Dao of Martial Arts. London. Singing Dragon. 2014)

The cultivation principle and structure of QingNiuGong follows the Daoist numerical system described above: It has three kinds of forms – standing, walking, and kneeling styles, which represent the Daoist concept of YiQiHuaSanQing; and the physical posture in each style carries three Chinese characters, BaShiYi 八十一, for 81, which hints that the practices are carrying the wisdom of the 81 chapters of the DaoDeJing. I will share the standing style of the Green Cow Qigong with you here to help you discover the healing power of Daoist cultivation practices and tap into your own inner wisdom. 


  • Please stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your knees soft and slightly bent. Turn your feet inward, about 30 degrees, toward to your center so that your feet form a Ba 八 shape, which is the Chinese word for number eight. Grab the floor with your toes. 
Make the Ba 八 (eight) shape with your feet
  • Cross your arms on front of your chest with palms facing your body. Keep your arms, wrists, and fingers straight so that your forearms shape a Chinese word Shi 十 for number ten. 
Make the Shi 十 (ten) shape with your arms
  • Straighten your back and neck, keep your head upright, as if you are being pulled upwards towards Heaven by your hair, so that your upper body forms the shape of one erect line, which looks like the Chinese character Yi 一 for number one.
Align your upper body to make the Yi 一 (one) shape
  • With your mouth lightly closed, gently touch the tip of your tongue to your upper tooth ridge behind your teeth, tuck in your lower belly, and lift your perineum.
  • Relax your eyelids and bring your eyesight back to your body. Look within. Listen within. 
Green Cow Standing Qigong


  • Please adjust your breathing to be slow, smooth, deep, and even. 
  • You will come to feel that not only are you breathing through your nose, but also that you are breathing through all of the pores of your skin. 
  • Soften your breathing so that your breathing pattern is like weaving with continuous fine strands of silk. The breath is noiseless. In Chinese, this breathing technique is called MiMiMianMian 密密綿綿, meaning the breathing is soft and tight like a cotton or silk net. 
  • Imagine the Universal Qi as light that is surrounding your body. 
  • Open all the pores of the skin, allowing the Universal Qi to pour into your body. 


  • Feel and/or imagine that your head is touching Heaven and that your feet are rooting into the center of the earth. 
  • Imagining that you are the Green Cow with elbows (“front legs”) dropping down. 
  • Visualize gathering the Qi with all the pores of your skin as you inhale and condense the Qi in your DanTian 丹田 (or lower belly) as you exhale. 


  • Hold this posture for as long as you can, ideally working up to being able to hold the posture for 30 minutes at a time.
  • To finish, slowly bring your hands down to the front of your belly, with your palms facing your belly. 
  • Hold this posture for 3–5 minutes while continuing to look and listen within, observing your body through your breath and through your heart.

This practice is very powerful for anyone who needs to balance a pattern of Yin deficiency and/or of Yang excess. As a form embodying the cow, trigram Kun ☷, the Great Mother, this nourishing Yin practice is also recommend for people who have current or past challenges with breast pain, breast cysts, or breast cancer. 

I hope you will all find benefits from this practice!

Like this article? There is more like on Substack, join me there!

[1]一炁化三清 – “One Qi transforms to Three Purities.” According to Daoist mythology, the primordial universe was one mass of Qi. This one mass of Qi transformed to the three Gods of Purity (Supreme Purity, Jade Purity and Utmost Purity). These three Purities in turn created the world.