Brian Kane 2/19/2011,
It was late September and the incessant sound of the Pacific Ocean calmed my spirit as I sauntered down the South Promenade towards downtown Seaside, Oregon. As I began to approach Broadway, my heart filled with anticipation at what would await me: ice cream shops, bars, restaurants, music stores, an historic arcade, clothing stores and of course the novelty shops that I even enjoyed as a kid. In fact, I had not been to Seaside in more than 10 years, and many memories flooded my mind as I turned right onto Broadway.
It had been so long since I had visited Seaside that I hardly recognized any of the shops, so I couldn’t tell if they had been there long ago or not. One shop in particular really sparked my interest. I would have remembered this shop as a kid because it stood out amongst the rest, but I did not remember ever visiting it. Upon approaching the store, I noticed there was no sign outside. Oriental decorations were on display in its windows including Buddha statues and garden bird baths.
I entered the store trying to appear calm and collected, but upon breaking the entryway threshold, I noticed that my whole body began to feel energized. Two places on my body in particular were tingling very strongly: the Internal Energy Promoters. This point is located between the index and middle finger where the tendons meet on the inner palm. While practicing YIRen QiGong, this is the area where both hands are faced toward each other in order to generate an energy ball of Qi.
At first I thought it must be imagining the sensation, and it was just because the shop reminded me of QiGong (part of Chinese culture) that I was experiencing a kind of Pavlovian or conditioned response. After checking out the Katana Blades and garden displays, I went outside to collect my thoughts. What in the world was happening?
I thought, okay just walk quickly inside and check out more of the oriental figurines in the back. I scurried back inside, trying to avoid looking at the shop owner, who had a sort of impish smirk on her face. Did she know? This was all in my imagination. It had to be. However, just like the first time entering the store, my Internal Energy Promoters were activated and my mind seemed very alert.
After about five minutes of browsing the items in the store, I left empty-handed, but made note of a couple statues that I would purchase upon returning, hopefully sooner than in 10 years. I actually plan to return this summer.
Back in Seattle I told a fellow QiGong student about my experience and she thought it might have happened because some of the items in the store had been blessed. I wasn’t sure what to think, but it did make me feel good knowing that there was a possibility that I had somehow connected with the energy of inanimate objects that very well could have been blessed and were most certainly from China, where QiGong was developed.
This January, I went to Las Vegas as part of the celebration of my dad’s 60th birthday. I visited there in 2003 with a friend. During that visit I had more of a Hunter S. Thompson mentality of engaging in every depravity, mostly legal of course, that I could. Of course I was younger then, and quite honestly, this time I really wanted to visit as many of the Hotels and other tourist attractions that I could, being mostly sober.
I was with my Aunty Marge and brother Steven as we approached the Bellagio. Just inside the entrance we took in the beautiful ceiling display of Chihuly glass, formed into different colored flowers. After relishing the beauty of the Chihuly display, we entered a large area with glass ceilings through which natural light illuminated the Chinese New Year Exhibit.
I was in Vegas. For the most part, QiGong was one of the furthest things from my mind. However, as soon as I entered the Bellagio Garden with the Chinese New Year exhibition, just like at the arcane store in Seaside, my Internal Energy Promoters began to pulse with Qi. This time when it happened I casually told my Aunt what was going on. I thought she would kind of grin and dismiss it. However she simply said, “Yeah, ‘cause you’re probably picking up on sensations created by the exhibit…” I think she was probably right.
So what’s to make of all this? I am really not sure. I consider myself an avid QiGong practitioner, but there is no way I can explain what happened during those two incidents. The phenomenon was definitely a positive one and although foreign, it has left two impressions on me.
First of all, I believe that whether we are aware of it or not, everything we do affects us more than we might be cognizant of. This includes not only who we consort with and what we put in our bodies, but even the places we visit. For instance, Seattle during the winter always leaves me sort of in the doldrums. It is almost like the Seattle I knew of during the summer (that of a very energetic, beautiful city with the most gorgeous cherry blossoms I have ever seen) is a completely different place. My mind thinks back upon July and August, and I feel as though a celestial veil of gloom has been placed over the beautiful Emerald City, and that it will never be lifted.
Regarding this feeling, Noble School of Tai Chi and QiGong instructor Brendan Thorson stated that when you practice QiGong, no matter where you are, it can always feel sunny inside of your mind and body. Recently, after one class, a student of his actually stated that he read that Seattle was created as a place to torture people. I found that notion fairly humorous, but in a city with the highest suicide rate (and curiously the greatest number of college graduates) one cannot ignore the fact that for some reason, depression pervades in Seattle. I have battled with depression myself, and Yi Ren Qigong andTai Chi have definitely helped stabilize my moods.
However, one’s immediate environment, such as a person’s living quarters, can also affect the energy a person feels. The idea of Fung Shui used to seem preposterous to me, but after living in a studio apartment for years now, I noticed that when I remove clutter from my life and actually clean and organized my domicile, that my mind feels more peaceful and I am less stressed.
Secondly, I am certain that when you practice QiGong, it is possible to develop yourself to the point that you can communicate nonverbally with other people, even from afar. For instance, I now believe that prayer works perhaps because a higher power is involved, but also perhaps because our thoughts of healing and/or helping a person can reach that individual and affect their state of being. When I walked in that Seaside shop, it is possible that I was receiving messages from the people that had blessed the items in the store and the energy was very positive and nourishing. It is also possible that the store owner herself practices some sort of energy work such as QiGong or meditation and I picked up on her energy.
Obviously many of the explanations I have proposed in this blog are just guesses. As I continue to grow with Yi Ren QiGong and find greater inner peace and understanding, I am sure better explanations will reveal themselves. For now, however, I am just happy and excited that my whole being seems to be traveling a path to a much better place.