Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Showing posts with label tai chi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tai chi. Show all posts

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Taking your monkey mind for a walk

"Monkey mind" is a Buddhist term meaning an unsettled or restless mind.   When we are busy doing things, our monkey mind usually isn't noticeable.  But when we try to relax that monkey comes bouncing out, and our thoughts follow it's crazy trajectory.  Instead of resting we're thinking about our jobs, our family responsibilities, financial commitments and any other thing the monkey finds interesting.   That darn monkey will even wake you up in the middle of the night if it thinks you haven't worried enough during the day.

So we look for ways to quiet the monkey.  Meditation, we're told, is the answer.  Still the monkey, find the quiet within.  Yes, meditation is the answer.  But don't think for one minute that monkey is going to cooperate!  You can light a candle, turn off your phone and sit on a meditation pillow but quieting the body and quieting the mind are two very different things.  And while meditation does require a stilling of the mind, it is not necessary to sit like a statue.

Moving meditation is a great option.  Tai chi and qi gong are two excellent examples of moving meditation.  The benefits are myriad, but learning these forms can be complicated and lengthy (it's worth it though!)   Here's an easy moving meditation you can do anywhere, anytime.  I learned this technique from Dr. Parmjit Singh  who is associated with McMaster University here in Hamilton, Ontario.

Go for a walk.  As you walk, you're going to touch each finger tip with your thumb (left thumb touches finger tips on left hand, right thumb touches finger tips on right hand).  Starting with the baby finger, touch each finger tip once until you get to the index finger, then reverse by touching the index finger again and work your way back to the baby finger.  Eight touches in all. 

As you do this you are going to control your breathing.  (Remember to breath with your diaphragm, the air going into your belly - don't raise your shoulders when you inhale.) You inhale for 4 touches and exhale for 4 touches.  Each inhale and exhale will be separated into 4 short breaths, timed to match your finger tip touching:

Touch thumbs to baby fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to ring fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to middle fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to index fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to index fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to middle fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to ring fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to baby fingers - short exhale

This technique gives you the benefits of mild exercise and meditation at the same time.   So quiet that monkey by taking it out for a walk!

If you do this walking meditation barefoot on the grass or at the beach you'll also be getting all the benefits of earthing!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Phew! I did it.

I did it!

The April A-Z challenge was an awesome opportunity to connect with other bloggers, find great new blogs to follow and hone up on my posting skills.    I have to admit though, I'm glad it's over.  Thirty posts in thirty days is tough for me to sustain.  In non-April months I'm not usually online on a daily basis, so I'm happy to revert back to my pre-challenge posting schedule of once per week (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on life).

The main focus of my future posts will continue to be the healing energy arts, though I plan to cast my idea-net a little wider.  Later this month I will be attending the 14th World Congress on Qigong and hope to learn some great stuff I can share with you.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about Reiki, Tai Chi, Qigong, Shamballa or Sound Therapy, please leave a comment on this post.  I'll do my best to answer it for you.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strong with Weak

                         Weakness in the face of confrontation

Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Teh Ching, told us in Chapter 76 that "Generally, things that are weak have potential. Things that are strong have reached their maturation and no more growth potential. Therefore, things that are weak have potential, and room for more. Things that are strong expose everything. They showed all the negatives. Things that are weak will last longer. Things that are strong only last for a short time."

Tai Chi created by Taoist Zhang San Feng, is based on this philosophy, guided by the concepts of relaxation, soft, circular and even.  Tai Chi does not use physical power - all emphasis is on your intent.  When confronted by an opponent, you remain soft, relaxed and tranquil.  You learn to apply the concept of weak overcoming strong.

I've studied Tai Chi now for nine years, and I'll be the first to admit this is a very difficult philosophy to execute.  It's our natural reaction to respond to hard with harder, strong with stronger.   But there is significant value in weakness.  If you don't resist your opponent, they have nothing to grab on to, nothing to fight you with.  For them it's like pushing on a wet noodle, the harder they push the more you bend out of the way.

We're all familiar with this philosophy, though it's more commonly expressed as "It takes two to tango."

So, the next time someone tries to involve you in a confrontation, win with weakness.

"Nature rarely speaks.
A whirlwind doesn't even last a whole morning.
A rainstorm starts and ends in a single day.
Such things are made by heaven and earth.
If heaven and earth can't make a storm last,
how can you?"     
                                                                      Lao Tzu            

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why should I....

 try Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a simple yet profound series of movements performed with calm intent.   With practice Tai Chi improves your physical stamina, balance, flexibility, energy level, strength, body awareness and overall health.  Perhaps more interestingly, it also provides stress relief, improves mood, creativity, inner harmony and life balance.   

Your Tai Chi practice can be customized to suit your physical condition, lifestyle and level of interest. 

And it's reasonably priced!  A sincere Tai Chi teacher ensures his/her classes are affordable as Chi is universal energy that is always present and free to us all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Watcha doin'?

"Watcha doin'" has got to be the most common question we ask others.  And when we're asked ourselves, we'll take time out of our busy schedule to answer.  "Oh" we say "I finally got the garage cleaned out.  And I  took all those books over to my neighbours yard sale.  I've just finished washing the car and now I'm driving the kids to soccer practice."  A typical Saturday?  Too bad!

In my opinion, our rush-about society puts far too much emphasis on doing.  We need more practice at just "being".  I know there's a lot of pressure not to be idle, not to waste time, to squeeze in just one more thing between finishing the laundry and putting the kids to bed.  So how do we make time to just "be"?

Sneak it in!  Hide it in the doing!  A great way to accomplish this is through Tai Chi. 

Tai Chi takes a lot of doing at first.  You attend classes to learn the postures and the names of the movements.  Depending on the form of Tai Chi you choose, you'll have between 30 - 100 movements to learn.  Memorizing the sequence can take some time, but once you've got it, you can start to focus on the application of the movements (remember Tai Chi is a martial art!).   Then, with continued practice Tai Chi becomes moving meditation.   As you learn to relax your mind and rely on muscle memory, the movements begin to gently flow one into the other.  The doing seems to melt away, leaving only the being. (It sounds wonderful because it is!)

So from the outside, people can see you're busy doing...attending classes, performing the sequence, applying the postures.  But on the inside your meditating, relaxing, just being....it's the perfect cover.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yangin' around

"Y" is for Yin-Yang 

The yin-yang symbol represents the ancient Chinese Taoist idea that there are two energies - the yin energy and the yang energy - that created the universe, and oppose each other to keep the universe in balance.  If you go too far along one, it becomes the other.  A great example of this is temperature.  If you put your hand in a bucket of ice water at first it feels really cold.  But if you leave it in there longer, you will feel a burning sensation - just like heat. 

Yin-yang is the unifying principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine (including proper diet and exercise).

You can find a very interesting pictorial explanation of how this symbol was developed here.

And here's what wikipedia has to say on the subject.
There's much symbolism within the symbol itself, and there's a myriad of interpretations. Here's a few of the ones I like:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Layers of learning

"L" is for Layers

Learning Tai Chi is like building a gourmet chocolate layer cake - those tall creations we see in bakery store windows.  You know the ones, where every layer is similar in flavour, yet different enough in taste and texture to add a subtle complexity to the final product.  The bottom layer is a thick chocolate cake base - dense and sturdy to support the upper layers.  The next layer might be pudding-like, lighter than the cake below, but heavier than the ganache layer above.  The layers get lighter as you move up the cake, until the whole thing is topped off with a luscious whipped cream icing.  Yup, learning Tai Chi is just like that.  You start with the base, learning where to put your hands and feet for each move.  Then you learn the sequence of moves, memorizing them as a complete set.  Next you work on your timing, figuring out how to get the push from your feet to move your hands.  Onto this, you layer your new awareness of your own particular brand of body tension, and your strategies to relax this tension while performing the set.  This is the layer where Tai Chi becomes moving meditation.  This is the layer where emotions will release and bubble to the surface.  This is where you really need to keep things light.  Getting bogged down in emotion gets heavy, putting too much weight on the supporting layers.  So you allow those bubbles to keep rising right up into the air, taking the emotions with them.

Cake legs.
Ganache heart.
Whipped-cream head.

Yup - Tai Chi is just like a chocolate layer cake.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Healing or cure: Which to prefer?

What's the difference between  HEALING and CURING? 

According to Michael Lerner, Ph.D. and head of Commonweal Cancer Help Program  "Healing and curing are not synonymous.  Cure refers to complete biological resolution of a disease state, while healing refers to a revitalizing and regenerative process that can occur on emotional, spiritual, or physical levels - and sometimes on all three levels in concert."

So based on this definition, the energy arts of Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Sound Therapy and Shamballa are all healing systems.  

We usually hear about healing systems in the context of what is called the "holistic approach".   According to the merriam-webster online dictionary holistic means "relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts <holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body> <holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system>".   

So again, based on this definition Touch for Health, Reiki, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are all holistic healing systems.

When thinking about healing vs curing it's important to note that, while healing can include curing, neither necessarily encompasses the other:  You can be healed and not cured.  You can be cured and not healed.    In an example of the first scenario (healed, not cured) imagine a person with a terminal disease who lives beyond what is statistically expected, and finds joy, peace and satisfaction in their final months of life.  In the second scenario (cured, not healed) imagine a person who recovers from a life threatening disease and continues to live with depression, anxiety and pain.   As Mitchell Raynor, M.D. puts it in his book Sounds of Healing: "Our concept of healing should never be limited to physical cure."  

It's rather obvious that anyone's preference would be to have both healing and a cure.  So how do you improve your chances of attaining this goal?  First by seeking professional medical attention and following any treatment advice you're given.  Then find a complementary holistic healing modality that appeals to you - Touch for Health, Reiki, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are just a few of the many available.

The really great thing about the complementary healing systems is that you can use them any time.  You don't have to be in need of a cure to benefit from healing.  Do you know anyone who wouldn't want to be more relaxed, have increased energy and feelings of well being, or have less aches and pains?  Neither do I!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tai Chi: Bringing the principles into daily life - Part 3

In part 1 we explored  the importance of relaxation and the connection between thought, emotion and posture.   In Part 2 we focused on body awareness.   Part 3 introduces the concept of pushing from the feet.  These are only 3 of the many important Tai Chi principles.    As you deepen your Tai Chi practice you'll deepen your understanding of the principles.  As you deepen your understanding of the principles, you'll deepen your Tai Chi practice.   And round and round you'll go.  ENJOY!

Part 3 - FEET FIRST   

Pushing from the feet through the spine to the top of the head is a crucial Tai Chi principle.  The force generated from the feet is what drives every Tai Chi movement and gives Tai Chi its incredible power.  "Push from the feet" sounds simple enough.  As my own teacher often reminds me: It is simple, but it's not easy.   So, how do we go about developing this principle?

In her practical book "Tai chi as a path of wisdom" Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt gives a great imagination exercise to help you develop your connection to your feet.  She has you imagine you are a tree, with "roots reaching deep into the earth.  Your lower body is the base, like a tree trunk it supports the weight of your upper body.  Your head and arms are the branches of a tree, reaching ever upward, extending out from the solid base."  If you think this sounds interesting, give the exercise below a try.  If it doesn't appeal to you skip ahead to "Rooting".

Tree in a Heavy Storm (from "Tai chi as a path of Wisdom")

"Imagine it is a warm sunny day and you are a tall, healthy tree enjoying this glorious day.  Your leaves absorb the sun's rays, and the warmth spreads through your body.  Your roots reach deep into the earth and draw water upward to nourish the leaves and branches.  There is constant movement within you, and yet you stand immobile.  Imagine that a wind is beginning to blow.  Raise your arms into the air and feel what it would be like for your branches to dance in the wind.  At first the movements are light and playful.  But as the wind turns into a storm, your movements become grander and more sweeping.  Remember that you are a great tree with deep roots.  So no matter how big your movements become, you remain rooted to the spot.  Your feet stay planted right where they are.  After you have moved vigorously like a dancing willow in a spring breeze, imagine that the wind is slowly dying down.  Come gradually to a halt.  Stand quietly for a minute or two, observing any sensations."


If you prefer to think in more traditional Chinese terms, you'll enjoy www.taichisociety.com where they refer to the feet first principle as "rooting".  They tell us that "Rooting is one of the most significant aspects of Tai Chi practice. Rooting means the feet are rooted into the ground by physically sinking the body weight. The whole body must be sung (relaxed) and the Chi must sink to the Tan Tien ( located two fingers-width below the navel ) so that the power generated from the feet can be transferred to the upper body. Each joint and muscle drops individually towards the ground, enabling them to move independently of each other. When one is rooted the upper body is empty, the lower body full. With the whole body connected and working together, this initiates immense energy. Rooting also permits one's inner Chi to flow and connect with nature, and harness the energy coming from the earth."

Whether you're imagining yourself as a tree, or you're thinking your upper body is empty/lower body is full, pushing from the feet keeps your arms connected to your spine.  This adds significant endurance and strength to your arm.  You are no longer relying on your arm muscles - the mechanical structure connects your arms to your spine, which is very strong.

How to include pushing from the feet in your daily life:

  • When you're playing your favourite sport think about your feet.  Push from your feet when you swing a golf club or tennis racket or when throwing a football or baseball.  You will find that your swing/throw goes much further with significantly less effort on your part. 

  • Push from your feet through the top of your head anytime you have to work above shoulder level (like installing a light bulb) or have to keep your arms elevated for an extended period of time (like scraping the ice off your windshield).  

  • Push from the feet when you're walking.  This might seem a bit obvious, but many people (I used to be one of them) walk by picking up the leg rather than rolling from heel to toe and pushing off the foot.  The key here is in allowing the hips to relax and roll with the force generated by the foot.   The extra hip movement may feel a little strange at first, but this technique will increase your speed and stamina instantly.   There are many books available on the benefits and techniques of walking.  Check out "Chi Walking" by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer

  • If you ride a sport motorcycle, try the following exercise.  DISCLAIMER: My motorcycle experience is limited to a sport bike.  The riding position on a touring bike or cruiser is quite different from a sport bike.  If you try this exercise on a tourer/cruiser you may have different results - like a crash!    If you've never heard of counter steering, or if you don't "believe" in counter steering, STOP RIGHT HERE -  DO NOT TRY THIS.  

    So, just to be clear, the following is intended only for sport bike-riding folks who use counter steering: 

    When setting up for a corner, gently push from both foot pegs, through your spine to the top of your head.  (Your foot pegs should be just behind the "knuckle" of your big toe - not under the arch of your foot).  Remember to keep your shoulders dropped, your core muscles relaxed and your tailbone pointing down.  This "roots" you so that the upper body is empty/lower body is full which, in riding terms, means it keeps your centre of gravity low on the bike and keeps your body weight off your hands.   Once you get the hang of it, turning corners - even the tight ones - will feel smooth and effortless.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Tai Chi: Bringing the principles into daily life - Part 2

    In Part 1 we explored the importance of relaxation and the connection between thought, emotion and posture.   In Part 2 we delve a little deeper into posture with body awareness.  


    What does "body awareness" mean?  "Aware" implies knowledge gained through one's own perceptions, and "conscious" emphasizes the recognition of something sensed or felt.   So conscious observation of your body and how it feels in different positions is what we're aiming for.   As a beginning Tai Chi student this usually means becoming aware of where to place your hands and feet and how they move as your transition from one posture to the next.  As your training deepens you learn to feel the connection your arms and legs have with your spine.   In the following video provided by expertvillage, you are shown a very simple exercise to help you become aware of the connection between your arms and spine as you raise and lower your elbows.  Give it a try and think about what you're feeling as you do.  When you raise and lower your elbows do you feel movement?  Where do you feel it?  These connections can feel subtle and annoyingly elusive at first, but don't give up.  As you practice they will become more obvious. 

    How to include body awareness in your daily life:

    As you go about your day,  ask yourself the following questions:
    • Are your ears above your shoulders when you're sitting at your desk or driving your car?  Or is your head in front of your shoulders bringing your ears with it?  You don't need to look in mirror - just become aware.  If you're not sure where your head is in relation to your shoulders, gently move your head forward and back.  (Remember to keep your shoulders dropped.) 
    • When you walk are your shoulders above your hips? Or do they roll forward, closing/putting pressure on your chest?  Are your feet parallel, or do your footprints in the sand or snow look like a duck just walked by?
    • When you stand, put equal weight on both feet and notice where your pelvis is.  Is it forward and under like in a pelvic tilt?  Or is it tilted back/upward.  Where is your tailbone?  Is it pointing straight down to the floor?  What postural adjustment do you need to make so it does?

    • When you stand, how do the bottoms of your feet feel?  Is the pressure of your weight distributed evenly from toe to heel?  Or are you leaning forward/backward putting extra pressure on your toes/heels?

    • When you reach overhead are you pulling your shoulder up around your ear? How does it feel if you allow it to rotate in the socket instead of raising it? 

    Watch others.  Observe how different people use their bodies differently.  A great place to do this (discreetly!) is at the gym.   You'll be amazed at how many different body postures you'll see as you watch people lift weights, run on the treadmill or do their stretches.  Or sit in a busy public place and people-watch.  Notice how people walk (watch their feet and hips) and how they sit (where are their shoulders? is their spine straight?). 

    You've noticed you have some postural habits that need changing.  Now what?  DON"T FORCE IT!!  Become aware of your body and the changes you'd like to achieve.  But remember, developing your current postural habits has taken years, and you're not going to correct them quickly.  Forcing a sudden change is going to stress muscles, nerves and joints and will result in pain.

    The best way to regain flexibility and realign your body is to continue your Tai Chi practice.   The stretching and strengthening Tai Chi provides is an excellent and safe way to gently change your body over time.

     Part 3  - Feet First

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Tai Chi: Bringing the principles into daily life

    Our busy modern lives can make it difficult for us to get out to formal classes or even to find practice time at home.  So why not incorporate some of the Tai Chi principles into your everyday routine?  By thinking about the principles daily, and applying them whenever possible, they will quickly become second nature.  And if the principles are second nature, your Tai Chi will improve at a faster rate.    Ideas on how to do this will be shared over 3 or 4 separate posts so each principle can be fully explored.

    Part 1 - RELAX

    Relaxation is the key principle to a successful Tai Chi/Qigong practice.  Without it, aligning your body into the required postures is nothing short of impossible.  In his book "The Way of Qigong" Ken Cohen tells us that "relaxation is a matter of effortlessness with intent" and that "trying to relax is counterproductive".  According to Mr. Cohen  "to relax you must be tranquil".   Roger Janke tells us in his book "The healing promise of Qi"   "Relax.  There is nothing to do.  Qi will naturally gather into your system and circulate if you relax."    This however, is deceptively difficult to do! 

    In the video below, Ian Sinclair of Taichicentral.com explains why "Relaxation is not for wimps."

    Ian tells us that relaxation is so difficult to achieve because  "thought, emotion and posture merge when working with subtle levels of aligning the body".   Tai Chi, by it's very nature, brings this challenge front and centre.  As we practice and improve our postures, thoughts and emotions bubble to the surface.  

    How to include relaxation in your daily life:

    Pause for a minute and note your state of mind.  Are you frustrated? Bored? Happy?  Now do a mental body scan.  Start at your head and scan right down to your toes, noting any tension you feel in your body.   As you find each area of tension allow it to relax, letting it go fully before scanning for the next area.  You may want to scan from head to toe more than once to be sure you've found all of your tension.  Once you're fully relaxed note your state of mind.  Has it changed in any way? 

    If you're not yet convinced that your thoughts and emotions affect your body, try this:   Once you're fully relaxed, think about something that requires action on your part.  Don't move your body in any way - just think about the pending task for a minute or two.  Again, without moving, do a mental body scan noting the areas of tension.  Trust me - they'll be back!  Are they in the same places?  Has the intensity changed?

    Obviously you'll be most relaxed if you can do this exercise lying down, but it works just about anywhere.  Try it when your standing in a line or sitting in a waiting room.

     Part 2 - BODY AWARENESS

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    4 Secrets for Reducing Your Stress

    You know you need to reduce your stress - but how?  
    Here are 4 easy ways:

    1.  Have a Reiki treatment.  Reiki is a holistic healing method using natural energy forces to create balance, vitality and wellness.   Reiki works by placing the hands over the major glands of the endocrine system, which governs metabolism, growth, aging, and the body's ability to heal itself. 

    2.  Have a Sound Therapy treatment.   Sound therapy is the therapeutic use of sound and music to reduce anxiety and emotional stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and promote healing.   It's like a sound massage for your organs, bones and tissues.

    3.  Learn to meditate.   Meditation teaches you to calm your mind, and a calm mind is the key to your health.   There are many different types of meditation to choose from.  You can meditate alone or with others, for as long or as little as you like.  Daily meditation leads to a sense of peace, insight and clarity.

    4.  Learn Tai Chi.  Tai Chi is a moderate cardiovascular training exercise that can be done by virtually anyone regardless of their condition.   Tai Chi helps regulate the immune system, improves posture, and helps to focus your mind.  In fact, Tai Chi is called "moving meditation".   It has all the benefits of meditation with the added benefits of exercise.  It's the perfect stress reducer!

    The benefits of having a Reki or Sound Therapy treatment are immediate, and arranging a treatment is as easy as phoning your local practitioner.   Learning meditation or Tai Chi takes some commitment, but the long term stress reducing benefits are more than worth the effort. 

    I recommend starting your stress reduction program with a few Reiki or Sound Therapy treatments to get you on the road to relaxation.  Then add meditation and/or Tai Chi to build on your success.

    Old Zen saying "Slow down and the thing you are chasing will come around and catch you."  

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    The Top Three Questions to ask your Tai Chi teacher

    Master Chen Zhonghua of Chen Style Practical Method Tai Chi demonstrates the idea of "how to keep the centre".  While this is an advanced concept, it is vital that even beginning students understand that Tai Chi is a martial art.   Master Chen is worried about the loss of the self defense component of Tai Chi.  He states that "By removing applications from Tai Ji, Tai Ji becomes fake Tai Ji, it loses its intrinsic nature.  Moreover, if you don’t understand the application, the external movements will be wrong."  Though I study a different style of Tai Chi, a teacher of mine echoed Master Chen's concerns and warned about wrong external movements, which he refered to as "wavy hands Tai Chi" - external movements that are disconnected from the spine, and are without purpose or strength.   

    The hardest part of learning Tai Chi as a martial art is finding a good teacher.  So how do you know whether your Tai Chi teacher is the real McCoy?  What's the fastest way to find out?  Ask questions! 

    Here are the top three questions you should ask your Tai Chi teacher:

    1.  What is his/her training background?  While this isn't a guarantee of a good teacher, you certainly don't want to be learning from someone who's training is limited to videos and books.

    2.  How is this move used in application?  Every Tai Chi move has a martial arts application.  Usually they're blocks, strikes or kicks.  If your teacher can't explain application it's a serious warning sign.

    3.  Will you be learning Push Hands, meditation and Qigong?  These are three important components of any Tai Chi practice.  Missing pieces indicate a lack of experience. 

    A good teacher will welcome these questions.   If your teacher is hesitant to answer, or if the answers you get don't satisfy you, it's time to move on.  Whether you're looking for your first, or your next, Tai Chi teacher, click here for Tai Chi classes in the Hamilton area.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Wang Shu Jin

    This short video shows Wang Shu Jin (1904 - 1981) proving that chi has nothing to do with body shape, size or age.   In fact, he makes very short work of his young, fit, opponent!  Accumulating chi is an internal exercise and has nothing to do with fancy external movements.   So don't be fooled by people waving their arms and doing deep knee bends - as this video shows, none of that is really necessary.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Some days a skeptic

    In his book "The Healing Promise of Qi" Roger Jahnke tells us "From simply becoming aware of the existence of Qi in the world and within yourself, you may eventually be able to learn directly from the Qi itself.  While you already know this as a theory, one of the rewards of Qi cultivation is that, over time, you can go beyond mental concepts.  You may evolve or mature to a deep knowing or experiential grasp that Qi is the essence of everything.  It will become clear that you are Qi.  You are primarily energy and consciousness, and your body is a vehicle for your multidimensional self.  This is challenging.  The invisible part of your multidimensional self becomes more dominant than the visible part of yourself.  The physical and physiological selves become secondary to the energetic self, the mental/emotional self and the transcendental or spiritual self."

    Check out the book "The Healing Promise of Qi"

    I am a skeptic at heart, and when I started Tai Chi thought all the energy talk was nothing but mumbo-jumbo.   As I practiced, I eventually started to experience signs of Qi within - for me, tingling hands and feeling spacey.  Still I remained skeptical.  As my Qi experience grew, I became interested in other energy-related arts.  First was Reiki.  I didn't have a clue how it worked, and to be honest, am still not sure we really do understand it.  Still a skeptic. Then came Sound Therapy.  Now at least that sounded like science -  sound waves, vibrations and the like.    But my clients' experiences were not science-like at all.   I couldn't explain any of it, so I stayed in my comfortable skeptic zone.  After Sound Therapy I learned Shamballa .  To say this challenged my internal skeptic is an understatement!  There was not a whiff of science, just channelled messages from long dead saints.  Oh my, how did I end up here?  How does this stuff work?  None of it makes any logical sense.  My mind can't understand, yet I see it work every time with my own eyes.    I think this is what Roger means when he says "you can go beyond mental concepts".    Some days I go beyond mental concepts.  Some days I'm still a skeptic.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    The Long and Winding Road

    I never intended to be here.  By "here" I mean being an energy healer.   I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to learn Tai Chi eight years ago.  Well, as they say, one thing leads to another, and "here" I am.

    Eight years and I've only scratched the surface!  The journey continues...

    "Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now."  Maya Angelou