I had the distinct feeling that it’s all about using simple movements to learn to relax. Every slight motion reveals imbalances in the body. Standing still, seeking to let go in every instant and allow gravity to carry our weight into the ground, it’s noticeable how the body holds itself together unnecessarily. The Earth supports (and even nourishes) us, our skeletal and muscular system is designed to function to the highest degree, and yet we deem it necessary to introduce extra tension. As if letting go would cause things to collapse.
This insight came in a Qi Gong class, but the same is true for other areas of life. We find it difficult to let go of our beliefs, our loved ones, our possessions. We think that if we stand naked and vulnerable, we’ll fall apart. We are unaware of our strength and resilience. Nature has sculpted its subjects over millions of years, and we have everything we need to flourish. Yet we think we know better. Either that or we are scared, unsure, or unaccustomed when it comes to trusting what nature has given us.
I discussed my observation with the teacher, a humble woman who always offers sanctuary from the melee of daily life. She explained that although the movements are simple, they are designed to allow the energy (Qi) to move around the body. I asked the obvious question: how, thousands of years ago, did they arrive at those precise movements?
Her reply drew on the original Taoist meditators and the role of nature in the whole process. Those people knew what was possible from their meditation, they observed nature and saw how it moves and behaves, and when the sense of harmony appeared, the movement was laid down. The result is a moving meditation which takes you gradually through the layers of your being and beyond.
As I wrote in ‘A Chance To Heal’, when you pay attention to your body, it lights up. Make use of that awareness to observe what’s there, and you will discover imbalances. By using those same tools in a more focused way (see ‘Clarity & Creation’) you will make connections and be drawn deeper into your history. Eventually, you will see the truth. It can be a confronting, unnerving experience. But it can also be liberating because it offers release, and the chance to rediscover your balance and your nature.
It is clear to me that the discipline and skill of Qi Gong is the embodiment of the personal development work I have focused on for years. Even the language is the same: awareness, observation, practice, discipline, intention, letting go. Not only that, it also comes with thousands of years of spiritual tradition. And finally, it has nature at its core, which as we shall see in the next post has the power to transform in seconds.