Last month I facilitated the first Qigong workshop since returning to England. The newly opened Meditation and Mindfulness Centre (Kagyu Samye Dzong Charity) in Scarborough was the perfect place to hold this event and the resident nun attended the course with 20 other attendees.
This has been an amazing transformation for me after 2012 when I was diagnosed with Cancer and received alternative treatment in Germany. To return to my home county of Yorkshire and teach my passion, Qigong, is indeed a blessing.
The workshop focused around the basic understanding of Qi and how in this modern world we leak energy from our mind-based living; and how to reconnect to the middle and lower Dantian (centres) with breath and focus. Exercises with acupressure points and meridian opening were shown and practised with some visualisation and meditation. Lastly we focused on 3 Qigong postures and movements, guiding and practising to build a foundation for home use.
My Qigong journey started over 25 years ago being fascinated with energy and the mind. The science of Taoism has understood energy for thousands of years, and, like Yogic science, with the right practice of simple yet powerful movements, extraordinary changes happen in our body and mind.
For as long as we have written records the privileged have tended to care only for their own well-being while the under privileged have been deprived of realising their capabilities and accessing the bountifulness that is available for all. We now have access to a ton of information across the globe, but the information is of no use unless we can fully connect and experience through our bodies (and in our hearts) with minimal interference from our head space. Intellectualising will bring no benefits to your Qigong or Yoga practice!
Over the years I have experienced in practice some of my biggest challenges and setbacks. Yet it is through me diving deeper into the inner world (by this I mean internal body) that the biggest transformations have taken place. On days when I am so attached to my perception of how a certain day should look like and then I am met with the opposite to my idealised thinking, the practice becomes even more important to realign myself to my “now” experience. This gives space to allow the flow (Tao) to develop again.
I used to look for the perfect place to do my practice; outdoors with the right tree, flat ground and away from people and.. and.. and! Until one of my teachers told the story of his teacher who practised on a roof top at 1 to 2 am to avoid being seen by authorities who banned Qigong/ Taichi Chuan and spirit practice in China at that time. That truly took me back inside and be grateful for the opportunities and freedom I had. I now practise (aspects of either mindful awareness, breath or movement) in airports, train stations, in bed, or while cooking, and no one would even notice it.
In a Taoist practice we are looking to create a foundation of understanding, whether it be breath, movement, meditation or visualisation. It doesn’t always have to be a full hour’s intense practice, it could be just 5 minutes of mindful breathing, as long as you are present.
Let me end by saying we need to be firm, clear and be prepared to face our biggest enemy (ourselves) in this practice. You will experience days when you will feel too tired, too unmotivated, and too depressed to do any practice at all. This is when you need that practice the most. If you have already created a routine and discipline around this, then your body’s intelligence will guide you. Never give up! Remember to keep focused and not get caught wandering with either idle desires or the seduction of other people’s practice.
Blue sky blessings,
P.S. The workshop in Scarborough was videoed and some parts will be showcased on our website. A further date has been booked for the next workshop on the 6th of May at the Buddhist centre in Scarborough, which will be very useful for both returnees and new participants. Any questions please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call U.K. mobile 0744 7423 531.