Imagine an ongoing thought bubble in my teens and twenties: I’m fat and flabby and out of shape. Look at her. She’s fit and thin. I hate her. I want to be just like her. I’ll do what she does.
- I do situps, pushups, and jumping jacks. Burpees even.
- I run six miles a day.
- I join an aerobics studio.
- I lift weights.
- I buy leotards.
- I teach aerobics classes.
- I brutally try to lift more weights.
- It’s never enough.
- My feet, knees, and back hurt.
- Obviously I need to work out harder.
“ It was as if one day my mind sunk into my body and there was peace. I was no longer moving myself; I was being moved. I was at one with this subtle energetic flow within me. It felt like liquid bliss. ”
I was exposed to qi gong at acupuncture school. At first, I didn’t like it – It was slow, quiet and didn’t give me the euphoric release from my crazy stress. But I had to stay with it as it was a required class. Usual overachiever that I was, I joined a martial arts studio at the same time to REALLY learn it. I started practicing it at home. I ran to the river, and practiced secretly outside, behind trees so nobody could see these strange movements.
And something happened. It was as if one day my mind sunk into my body and there was peace. I was no longer moving myself; I was being moved. I was at one with this subtle energetic flow within me. It felt like liquid bliss. The exercise approach I had been doing went along with my life, my brain, and was encoded into my nervous system – fast, hard, more, faster, harder, never enough, more pain, more gain!
Qi gong changed me more than anything else I’ve ever done for my wellbeing. It has become the key not only to my health, but my sanity. During these movements, I am not separate. I am not living in my head while my body waits for its daily punishment.
I have access to a deeper and profound realm of being not governed by faster, harder, more. It welcomes me into the truth and wisdom of my own dear, beat up body. 60 years old now, and still resurrecting itself every day for the experience of this exquisite life.
I’ve studied, practiced, and refined this form of meditative movement from many masters around the world since. I learned the secrets of Yin practices, which have a different emphasis than the typical Yang cultivation of Qi. Female masters could perform amazing feats, without and within. They could start and stop their periods at will. They didn’t focus on building strength to use against others or protect themselves, but on maximizing receptivity, which gave them access to another power that I never knew existed. Receptivity opens us up to our very origin, with the fertile nourishment of pure love. In this state, I can feel a subtle flow within and without; undivided. It leads, guides, and directs the current of my life. The Tao de Ching reminds me – The Valley Spirit never dies… It is called the Mysterious Feminine… The doorway through which heaven and earth flow… It is there within us all the time… Use it as you will… It never runs dry.
I used to have a recurring dream that I was sitting in the bottom of the deepest ocean, engulfed by an intense blue pressure. Then a panic would arise – I need to get to the surface! And before I could move, something would take over and let me know, I’ve got you; just breathe… very slowly without trying. The gills of my heart would open, and the deep would breathe me, hold me, move me. Yin Qi Gong is like that.
When the movements take over, there is no personal will; I am relieved of a mind bound life and surrender to the glorious recognition that I am being moved. I witness a divine spontaneity that guides every thought and action, and I am home. In this body, this heart, this life. Imagine that – after searching the world for God, her temple is within.
Learn more about the Yin Qi Gong Program