My second installation of Sifu Gardner’s Master Qigong class, continuing with more insights we received from that class. This is written with his words from the recording, and from my understanding. My personal notes are in (brackets).
Qigong happens when our consciousness interfaced with breath, interfaces with the body, thus bringing about movement. In other words, if you know this formula, any movement—to a degree—can be qigong. Because qi is the development of energy through work.
We need to have that connectedness: what am I doing? how am I doing? when am I doing? And, in what manner and juncture does it occur? (Again… a reminder to simply be present with and expand conscious awareness.)
Maintaining flexibility of the spine, maintains vitality. Maintaining vitality gives a certain quality to life. Maintaining flexibility and vitality brings about longevity.
(Side Note: Flexibility is the key to vitality in life. Another way Sifu has shared this same concept. This sentence he continues to repeat in various ways, has made an impact on my life. My understanding is that flexibility is more than the physical body. It includes our minds, our emotions, our hearts, and our spirits. When we allow flexibility in all areas of our life—we embrace change, and longevity.)
Yoga means union. Union of what? Union of body and mind. Union of yin and yang. “This union is to bring what outcome?” he asked. To bring about qi, our life-force.
Our Essence of Qi
Again, qigong is to nourish, to cultivate, to purify to its essence—our qi. Where does our qi come from? Part came from mother, part came from father, and we are not going to get anymore. (You cannot go to the store and purchase more qi.)
What then happens when we come into this physical existence (our bodies) is that we spend the rest of our life, letting our qi erode away. (Through over-doing, not slowing down, choosing less sleep, not listening to our intuition, forcing ourselves to “fit in,” and thinking we need to be a human doing instead of our nature state—a human being.)
What is this essence we are speaking of? What is the essence of life? What is the essence of love, of loving-kindness? We think we do not know, but we do. He invited us to not be so enamoured with what society, and social media are constantly telling us how to be. They tell us what to say, how to act, how to look, and what to wear, etc. (I am sure you could add a few of your own to this list.)
We have simply forgot—we already came into this world with knowledge and wisdom. He asked if we have connected to our own inner knowledge and wisdom? His reply, “Yes you have—because you are here.” (I would add, yes you have because you are reading this now.)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently said, “I have a dream that within the next century we will see a gathering of consciousness that exudes loving kindness and compassion.” Sifu has reminded us that it has already begun, and we are part of it.
Although the world may seem dire, with wars, earthquakes, unusual weather patterns, discord, constant shootings with violence, and on and on. We have to look at the other side (expand our awareness) and be part of the drop, over the next 100 years that will bring that to pass.
(Reminds me of the Greek proverb: A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. Let’s be that drop to nourish the seeds.)
BE a Direct Transmission
You can go on YouTube, or Instagram and learn qigong movements, a simple search and you can read about all the benefits. But, what you cannot get is the direct transmission.
For example, you can go on YouTube and find a video with an old-fashion lighted match. And, if we take our unlit match up to the lit match on the screen, ours it will not light.
This anology reminds us that a unlit match is only lit through direct transmission.
(Another question: when you practice at home—yoga, pilates, strength training, etc. Do you feel the same as you do, when you are in a group setting doing practice? Feel the difference next time you do both, and answer that question for yourself).
(Technology is amazing, it is connecting us around the globe, just remember we need that direct transmission, we get from being with others in community.)
(Wherever you are in the world, please continue your practice. Let’s begin to expand our “drops” of loving-kindness and compassion. Let us be that lit match that goes out into the world to give light to others.)
And, speaking of community—join us outside to practice qigong in a beautiful setting—Red Butte Garden on Thursday mornings. Beginning, Thursday, April 14, 9:30-10:30am through the month of September.
You say, I can’t, I’m working that day? Consider choosing to take the morning off for some self-care and join us. Your class fee allows you access to the Garden for the day! Believe me, seeing the garden in person, and noticing how it changes through months of April—September is simply AWEmazing. It will expand your qi, guaranteed!
article photo: Mauro Fabio Cilurzo @ unsplash.com