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Attentiveness to Nature in Learning Qigong in Norway

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This article discusses a style of medical qigong, called “Biyun qigong” 碧雲氣功 (Azure blue clouds qigong), that has become popular in Norway and Scandinavia. The gathering of health-enhancing “life force” (qi) from the environment is a notion at the core of Biyun practice. This notion of qi is, however, largely unknown to most people in Norway. Against this background, the article seeks to explore certain aspects of the recontextualization of Biyun into a Western cultural context. The examination highlights that the establishment of Biyun qigong in Norway takes place in a context where outdoor activities (in Norway commonly referred to as friluftsliv, which literally translates as “free-air-life”) are highly valued and very common in everyday life. Drawing on my ethnographic data from fieldwork among participants of Biyun, the article argues that experiences and perceptions of nature derived from friluftsliv contribute to the shaping of Biyun practice in Norway.

Affiliations: 1: OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University


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