How to Navigate a Crisis - Wisdom Teachings

covid-19 Apr 09, 2020

The following is an excerpt from advice given by Yuan Tze to his students:

What is a Crisis?

"Most of us probably have experienced some sort of crisis in our lifetime. What exactly is a crisis?

In Chinese, the term for crisis consists of two words, ’危機 ’ (wei ji).

  • The first word ‘wei’ means ‘danger’, ‘damage’, ‘disaster’.
  • The second word ‘ji’ means ‘opportunity’, ‘timeliness’, ‘synchronicity’, ‘potential’.

The two words put together, ‘wei ji’ mean ‘a dangerous or disastrous situation that activates the potential for change.’

The only constant is change.

In REN XUE, everything in the universe is changing all the time; nothing remains unchanged. A crisis is also a time for change. How would a positive change take place?

Firstly, it is only possible when we truly want it. Then following on that true intention, the way we see and deal with a crisis will determine whether the outcome is positive or negative.

Since crises are by and large unavoidable in life, it is important that we learn how to deal with them. Today, crises of all sorts, including those stemming from natural disasters and human activity, seem to be occurring more and more frequently. They have caused significant damage to individuals and society, as well as to other life forms.

The many crises we face pose a huge challenge to the survival and development of humanity. This observation is not meant to exaggerate or cause alarm. All that is happening has not just come out of nowhere. For a long time, I have been sounding a warning that if we humans do not work on our own lives to transform unhealthy patterns on the behavioral and consciousness levels, and if we continue to allow those patterns to cause damage to ourselves and nature, disasters of all sorts will occur more and more frequently and become the new normal. The purpose of those forewarnings, was to help prevent negative outcomes. Unfortunately, looking at the trajectory of events in the past two decades, a crisis doesn’t seem to have been averted.

Today, humanity has entered a very special time in its development. Everything that happens has its causes. The many crises we are facing are not imposed by nature. They result from human behavior over a long period of time. To transform the crises, we need to examine ourselves and change the underlying damaging thoughts and actions. This is the direction we must take if we hope to find a real solution.

However, bringing about significant change to humanity takes time. Even when everyone is whole-heartedly willing to work on themselves, a complete transformation of life would most likely require a lot of effort over a long period of time. The reality is that most people are not even at the point of making such a commitment; they are just living the way they always have. This means that at the moment, humanity is still unable to defuse the dangerous situation we are all in.

To ‘seek interest and avoid harm’ is one of the basic instincts of human nature. When a crisis hits, whether from the survival instinct or rational choice, everyone wants themselves and their loved ones to stay safe, avoid harm and survive. When we feel an existential threat, we react by following our old, habitual patterns. The problem is, those unhealthy patterns often trap us in this sense of threat and make life even more difficult. It is therefore imperative to know how to deal with a crisis in a sound way and turn an external crisis into an opportunity, not into an internal crisis.

So, what would be a sound way of dealing with a crisis? Each crisis may call for a specific response, depending on the nature of the crisis. However here, we are looking for a common approach that can be applied to all crises. Let’s use an example to better understand such an approach.

The best example is probably the crisis we are facing right now - the coronavirus pandemic.

Let’s take a moment to look into ourselves and ask a few questions.

• Have I been disturbed by this situation? Do I feel fear, panic, anxiety, worry, anger, helplessness, hopelessness?
• Have I dealt with this situation by ignoring, dismissing, denying, resisting or even resenting?

If you have experienced any of the above, it is time to examine your response and see if there is room for improvement.

How do we navigate through this pandemic, or through any crisis at all?


There are only two things we need to do.

If we can do them well, we will have a much better chance of reducing harm and turning a crisis into an opportunity for positive change and development.

These two things are:

1. Be well prepared. (abbreviated as ‘preparation’)
2. Develop the ability to turn an adverse situation into a beneficial and positive one. (abbreviated as ‘ability’)

These two things may seem simple and straightforward but they may not be easy to achieve. It is evident that good preparation can help mitigate damage.

However, it is ‘ability’ that takes our victim or passive ‘receiver’ role, and turns it into an active ‘transformer’ role – one who takes initiative to resolve a crisis and avoid harm. ‘Preparation’ and ‘ability’ are both important and provide good support to one another. However, ability plays a more significant role and is therefore worth making an effort to develop.

Let’s use the coronavirus situation to explore how to build these two areas.


How do we prepare for something like the coronavirus? The virus has the potential to affect health or even take one’s life. To anyone, health and life are important and worth protecting. It is therefore important to be well-prepared for such a crisis.

First of all, the usual practices for protecting oneself from an infectious disease should be observed. They include using accurate information to understand the disease, good personal hygiene, and stocking up on items for everyday living. This is not to encourage you to panic shop and hoard items irrationally and excessively. The behavior of panic shopping for toilet paper is a good example. Even though there is no real shortage of toilet paper, people do that as a way to allay their fear and panic.

Apart from preparation on the commonsense level, we need to pay more attention to prepare by improving and maintaining all aspects of health. Life is a form of totality consisting of body, Qi and Shen (including the consciousness and heart). The true meaning of health should encompass all these aspects. To enhance and maintain health effectively, working on the totality is necessary.

How do we prepare to uplift the health of the whole life? Let’s look at how to use REN XUE and Yuan Gong to achieve this.

1. Improving the health of Qi and the body

Qi plays a key role in health. A good Qi condition is the foundation for good physical health. A compromised Qi condition (deficiency, impeded flow, poor quality) is one of the main causes of illness. Therefore, as a general principle, if we are able to improve our Qi condition by increasing the amount of Qi, promoting its flow and improving its quality, illness can be cleared and health can be restored.

The first six methods of Yuan Gong are designed to improve one’s Qi condition step by step, deepening the work on Qi as the practice progresses. The proper practice of these methods can significantly enhance one’s lifeforce and immunity. This provides a solid foundation for preventing and fighting all kinds of diseases, including infectious diseases such as the one caused by coronavirus. Practice can not only enhance overall physical health but also support the work on the health of the consciousness and lay the foundation for the work on realization and wisdom.

2. Improving the overall state

Your consistent practice of REN XUE and Yuan Gong will gradually improve your state so you are more and more able to maintain a relaxed, calm, natural and unified state. In this state, your Jing (body), Qi and Shen are integrated and you are unified with the universe. When in this state, your Qi will not be disturbed or wasted. On the contrary, this state will promote self-healing and nourish your life as a whole.

Another very powerful tool you can use is the Qifield. You can build a Qifield for yourself, your family, other people, nature and the world. A shortcut to building a strong and effective Qifield is to unify with the REN XUE Qifield and the Universal Qifield. The REN XUE Qifield carries abundant love and Gongjing and the Universal Qifield holds infinite possibilities.

Together they can provide inexhaustible support for your effort to help yourself and help others.

3. Dealing with unhealthy emotions by working on the heart

When we are in a crisis or danger, negative feelings seem to spontaneously arise. You all know very well that negative feelings or emotions can disturb and damage Qi and cause harm to health. This way of reacting to a crisis can even have a detrimental effect on everything in the immediate environment, including other people, other life forms and physical objects.

How do we change the way we react to a crisis? Many unhealthy emotions have their roots in the unhealthy patterns of the heart. In Yuan Gong, we begin clearing these roots by working on the heart. You can use the 7th Method, Tong Yuan, to cultivate the five essential qualities of the heart – trust, openness, love, gratitude and Gongjing. You can imagine how these qualities can significantly improve the way you react to any crisis. For example, when your heart is able to fully trust and be open, there will be no place for worry, anxiety, panic or fear. When there is abundant love, gratitude and Gongjing in your heart, you will not resist, fight, resent or hate.

When these five essential heart qualities are fully present, your heart is in a natural and healthy state. This is the heart’s normal state – one that is extremely beneficial to the whole of life, including health. A healthy heart is also a prerequisite for the development of realization and wisdom.

4. Clearing the roots of unhealthy emotions by transforming unhealthy patterns

If working on your heart is not enough to keep fear or panic away, you might want to consider working on the underlying roots – the patterns of the consciousness. Transforming unhealthy patterns into healthy patterns is not only necessary for changing the way we react to every life situation, but essential for clearing almost all the problems we have in life.

Yuan Gong’s 8th Method, Ling Yuan, is the method for transforming patterns. It is done by unifying your heart and Shen so they can properly communicate with each other and work together to understand, face and transform unhealthy patterns. If you are interested, you can use this method to work on patterns that are related to the way you react to the coronavirus crisis.

If you are familiar with the ten fundamental patterns, you can use them to help identify patterns that might be behind your reaction. For example, unfounded suspicion, negativity, polarized thinking, over-generalization, fixed expectations, self-centeredness, avoiding and hiding, stubbornness. If you can identify even just one pattern, I congratulate you! Then you can use Ling Yuan to help work on this specific pattern, gain insight into its origin, and clear it at the root level.

This practice can set you on a very interesting journey of self-discovery. When a pattern is successfully transformed, life changes, and the door to seeing your True Self and manifesting realization and wisdom can open.

5. Applying Jue Cha (awareness) to clear ignorance and pave the way for the True Self to manifest its realization and wisdom

Your practice of previous Yuan Gong methods will serve as a good foundation for the practice of the last Yuan Gong method – Ming Yuan. The practice of Ming Yuan can further deepen the relaxed, calm, natural, harmonious and unified state. This is the state that will greatly benefit your health and growth. In this state, your Jue (special awareness of your True Self) will become more and more present and you can gradually be in the ‘Jue’ state. When this has become a normal state for you, you will be very close to seeing your True Self and attaining realization and wisdom. I highly recommend the application of Ming Yuan at any time of your daily life, especially when you are triggered and disturbed. Such a time is a great opportunity for growth.

The above describes how to prepare yourself for any kind of crisis, using the example of the coronavirus situation. As a Chinese saying goes, ‘When you are well prepared, you will be able to deal with a disaster and avoid damage.’ The preparation I am encouraging you to make is internal – strengthening yourself by working on all aspects of your life. To me this is the most important kind of preparation.


As mentioned previously, ability refers to turning an adverse situation into a beneficial and positive one. Equipping oneself with ability is essential. An adverse situation can be one that causes danger or damage. It can also be anything you
find difficult to face or accept. Everything is changing all the time, including a seemingly adverse situation. It can change and produce a positive outcome if you direct its development in a sound way.

How do we go about cultivating ability? Preparation of your Jing, Qi and Shen is the foundation for this work. In fact, as you make progress in these aspects of your life, your ability to transform an adverse situation will grow.

However, to further develop ability, the manifestation of realization and wisdom is essential. Once you reach enlightenment, ability will greatly advance and will become firm and stable. Ability will continue to progress as realization and wisdom grow beyond initial enlightenment.

What do realization and wisdom have to do with the ability to deal with a crisis and transform it into something positive? Realization and wisdom enable us to see a crisis clearly, including its causes and its significance. We will be able to look beyond its superficial manifestation and understand the wisdom it is conveying. The universe has infinite wisdom and love which manifest in everything in the universe, including a crisis.

A crisis is an expression of the universe’s reminder or warning to us humans. The truth is that the universe has been very patient with us, giving us numerous reminders. Without realization and wisdom, we are unable to understand this expression and see the underlying wisdom and love. Without realization and wisdom, we will just keep ignoring the reminders and warnings and see crises or disasters as punishment or as random events.

Now take a moment to look at the crisis created by coronavirus. What you can see is merely the superficial manifestation. Try to look beyond superficiality and understand the wisdom and love the universe is showing us. When you look at it this way, you will have more clarity about what is happening. You will also have more clarity on how to live your own life and relate to the world that belongs to us all: what role you want to play in this world, what kind of responsibility you have and what you can do to make the world a better place. It is when we all have such clarity, and we let this clarity guide the way we live, that a crisis can be turned around in a real way. If you begin pondering these matters, the purpose of this message has been served.

An Invitation to You – Building the Qifield for Our Beautiful World

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, I have sensed a lot of fear and anxiety in the world. Watching the whole event unfold, I constantly see opportunities opening up for positive change. For each individual, the fear and anxiety they feel is an avenue for them to wake up to their higher self. This also holds true for the whole of humanity. What a great opportunity it is for us to work together to help one another grow. I have been working on the Qifield for this kind of change. To make the Qifield stronger, I would like to invite you to join me and do this together with me every day.

My suggestion is to build the Qifield for humanity and all beings in the world in your daily Yuan Gong practice, at the beginning of your practice when you build the Qifield and at the end of your practice when you nourish Qi.

Here is how it goes:

Go deep into your heart and feel the five essential qualities of the heart, or at least one of them, in your heart. Unify with the REN XUE Qifield, with the human family, with all life forms, with the universe, with the unconditional love and wisdom of the universe. Put the following information into the Qifield:

May everyone go into their heart to find refuge and feel safe.
May everyone go into their heart to feel trust, openness, love, gratitude and Gongjing,
May everyone go into their heart to see beautiful bright light.
May everyone go into their heart to meet their True Self.

Wishing everyone health, happiness and growth. Wishing the world peace and harmony.

How do we know if the Qifield is effective? It will be effective if you do this with utmost sincerity from your heart, if your heart is totally unified with the information and with everyone’s heart.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to you all for your consistent effort and continual progress. I am grateful that you have courageously dedicated your life to Zi Du Du Ren, using the tools provided by REN XUE. Let’s keep walking forward together and celebrate all the wondrous opportunities the universe gifts us along the way!

With utmost sincerity, from my heart to yours,
Yuan Tze

To access an audio version of the heart prayer, and much introductory information on Ren Xue and Yuan Gong, check out:

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