- CurriculumThe classes listed below are a combination of the core classes (Yi Ren Qigong Levels 1-3) and some of the other non-core classes that are offered on a regular basis and occasionally. With time the list of non-core classes will grow and expand to meet the demand and need of the student base. Tai Chi & Qigong Seattle Training Curriculum Core Classes and Current list of non-core classes -Level 1: Foundation, Chi Gong Exercise Awakening the Healing Powers Within (The prerequisite for all subsequent courses) Yi Ren® Qigong -Tai Chi Movement: Taoist Tai Chi For Internal & External Strength & A Peaceful Mind (Completion of Level 1 Required) -Moving With Qi: Chi Kung & Tai Chi Style Movements (Completion of Level 1 Required) Yi Ren® Qigong -Level Two: Development Of The Twelve Major Meridians and Organ Networks (Completion of Level 1 required) Yi Ren® Qigong -Jing & Rou: Integrating The Qi Into The Muscles & Tendons To Build Physical Strength (Completion of level 2 required) Yi Ren® Qigong -Level Three: The Extraordinary Meridians (Completion of Level 2 required & Jing/Rou suggested) Yi Ren® Qigong -Sound/Energy Center Correspondences (Prerequisite: completion of Level 2) Yi Ren® Qigong -Forms of Meditation: To Help People Enlighten Their…
- Yi Ren® Qigong Level 1: Internal Qi Activation & Cultivation
- Level 2: Activating & Developing the Internal Organ Energy Pathways
- Level 3: Development of the Extraordinary Meridians
- Moving W/ Qi: Qigong w/ Taichi style Movements
- Jing & Rou: Muscle & Tendon
- Tai Chi Movement: Taoist Tai Chi
- Sound / Energy Center Correspondence
- The Sacred Gates of Internal Cultivation
- Continuing Ed.
- Consultations & Private Lessons
- Contact Us
Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2012’
By Brendan Thorson 1/27/2012,
On 12/20/11 I wrote about a female student, in her mid 50′s, who had experienced very strong and intense heat in her Sacrum and lumbar spine and then the energy shot/ circulated up her spine and into arms ending at her hands and down her spine into both legs and down to the feet. That experience was related to Bone Marrow Washing, See previous article for further details. & 1st follow up article
Currently as of 1/26/11, she is taking two weekly classes Level-3 and Moving W/Qi (a moving qigong class with taichi style movements) during this session of classes. During this past week’s level-3 class, (class #2), while we were doing the Energy Holding Meditation she told me:
- She began to clearly feel her Ovaries, have a dialogue with them and also feel the energy stimulating her ovaries to wake up from their slumber, be happier and have the ability to function at a more youthful state. Ovaries and Hormone Imbalances
Also, during the level-3 class she noted while we were doing an exercise that focuses on bringing energy to the Chong/Endocrine Gland Meridian (pathway) that she was able to feel energy encircling her Kidney’s/Adrenal glands. While prior to that class she was only able to feel her kidney area as the energy was working from the outside in, from her lower back inward to her kidneys. But in this last experience she clearly felt the energy deep inside her body in front of the spine and behind the organs in front of them. Benefit of healthy Kidneys. Adrenal Glands and Hormone Imbalances.
Then, the following day in her Moving W/Qi class she shared that she was realy feeling the energy work through areas on her glutes/hips/low-back and Sacral area that she has experienced weaknesses in her past. Also, was feeling new energy filling up her muscle-fascia between her skin and muscles–a process of deep re-hydrating of the body.
Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.
By Brendan Thorson, LMP 1/25/2012,
This article is published in the 2013 Summer issue of the Qi-Journal Magazine
Would you like to feel energetic and youthful like you did 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago? Regardless of age—20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s… many us have experienced a significant loss of vitality from what we had 5, 10 or more years ago and have accepted our current situation as a natural result of the aging process. Modern medicine and science has found many health issues related to imbalanced hormone levels like reduced stamina, loss of mental clarity, depression, irritability, Arthritis, Fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, shortened life span, and insomnia/poor-sleep. Modern medicine uses Hormone Replacement Therapy they prescribe for low hormone levels, but it does not work as effectively as that naturally made by the human body and also has many side affects—to learn for yourself Google hormone replacement therapy side affects. The Ancient Taoist’s Masters like modern day scientists believed the Endocrine system is the fountain of youth, but unlike today’s scientists they learned how to naturally keep the endocrine system balanced and vibrant. If you would like to take control of your health and find your personal fountain of youth or to restore your tired body and mind then look no further than Yi Ren Qigong to connect to the Ancient Taoists Masters Secret Teachings for improved energy, health and upgrading your Endocrine System.
The Yi Ren Healthy Qigong system is a novel Qigong System designed by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, to activate, nourish, upgrade and rebalance the energy levels of all the major energy centers, chakras, acupuncture pathways, organs and Endocrine System and Glands. As a result, of the energetic development that takes place from the Yi Ren Qigong practice practitioners are able to recharge and restore vitality to the endocrine glands and then they naturally begin to function at a more youthful level and upgrade their hormone production and release.
For someone who has never done this kind of work before it might be difficult to understand how it is possible to bring energy to areas like the Endocrine Glands. Thus, for now I will use an analogy to bridge the gap for you. In our bodies we all have energy roads–commonly known as acupuncture pathways that the energy travels on to circulate throughout the body that go to specific locations in our body like an endocrine gland, organs, chakras… (Similar to Americas Energy system that transfers energy from a power source (to the power lines) throughout the energy grid to any location it can reach; i.e.. from a power source to a city and then to your home). If you are alive whether you know it or not you are connected to the energy matrix of the Universe—just like most homes are connected to the energy grid so you can get energy to your home whenever you turn on your computer, microwave oven or anything else you want to power up. Therefore, a Yi Ren Qigong practitioner who has developed his or her skills, energy source and acupuncture pathways, is able to bring energy to anywhere in his or her body—like a gland or organ–to upgrade organ systems, energy levels and functionality of the specific area of the body.
To continue with our analogy let’s say the wiring system in your home (acupuncture pathways) is not working correctly and the power reaching your microwave is lower than it should be so it is working poorly, at a lower level than it was created too. As a result, you have an electrician fix the wiring in your home. After fixing the wiring system you can now get the appropriate amount of energy to your microwave and it will work like it was designed to. (Until one actually does this training and has his own personal experience he will not be able to truly understand). To summarize, Yi Ren Qigong can help you to create and or enhance your energy source/s, teach you to become your personal electrician of your internal energy system and allow you to guide as much energy to your electronics—endocrine glands and organs–as necessary.
We can also, develop ourselves kind of like a plant having the ability to absorb energy from the Sun and Water to nourish (recharge) the body. Like tuning up a car engine so that it runs smoother, we can also tune up areas of the body to increase the body’s overall performance.
Some experts estimate there are 59 million Americans with Thyroid problems and most people do not know they have an imbalance or problem.1 Most people with Thyroid problems or other endocrine problems are not detected because doctors commonly do not think a patient’s list of complaints are related to the Thyroid. Therefore, commonly the doctor does not test for it and even when it is tested for, commonly the test results show that the patient is in normal range. This is the same for Adrenal tests too, “Conventional endocrinologists and tests cannot diagnose adrenal fatigue, because they are prepared only to diagnose extreme dysfunction in the adrenals, such as Addison’s disease, a potentially fatal condition where the adrenals essentially shut down.”2 Also, from my understanding Western Medicine tests are not sensitive enough to find someone with organ weaknesses until the organ is running at or below 10% of its optimum level. Not good.
“The thyroid hormones control your metabolism, which is the body’s ability to break down food and store it as energy and the ability to break down food into waste products with a release of energy in the process.”3 Fatigue is the highest complaint of people suffering from Thyroid issues including depression, anxiety, poor sleep, weight issues, and joint and muscle issues too.1 Before I began learning Yi Ren Qigong I am sure I had Thyroid issues. In fact, after I began Yi Ren Qigong I often began to feel my Thyroid pulsate and vibrate, some thing I had never felt before studying Yi Ren Qigong, this was evidence to me that my thyroid was weak and was in the process of improving its vitality. Based on many previous experiences I had with Yi Ren Qigong I learned that it is common to feel areas of the body pulsate or vibrate while new energy is digested or upgrading the related body part; therefore, when I began to feel my Thyroid pulsate and vibrate I was excited because I knew my thyroid was in the process of healing itself. Over the past 12+ years as I have continued to improve my health and energy levels with Yi Ren Qigong and I have also experienced a direct correlation to my thyroid getting stronger. In fact, it is very easy for me to use my intention to bring my awareness directly to my thyroid and feel it pulsate and feel hot too—similar to one bringing their attention to their hand/s, but because of my training I am able to bring my attention to my thyroid and energize it.
Adrenal exhaustion commonly accompanies Thyroid problems.2 The Adrenal glands are famous for their role in helping us deal with stress. “The main hormones of the stress response are adrenalin (epinephrine) and cortisol. When a person responds to any long-term stressful situation, they first ramp up production of epinephrine, then cortisol to deal with that life challenge, whether illness, family issues, job stress, or physical or emotional trauma. If the stress continues these hormonal changes are hard to undo”.4 “Elevated cortisol levels have been linked to all major chronic illnesses of our society: heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and premature aging.”4
In acute cases of stress, like an accident or when the body believes it is a life or death situation the body will release adrenalin to ensure survival. “If stress continues, the adrenal glands produce cortisol within ten minutes to raise blood sugar and insulin levels, move blood to muscles and away from digestion, lower levels of sex hormones and break down protein stores for energy.” Continued stress eventually leads to the Maladapted stage, in which the body starts to break down from the effects of elevated cortisol.” “Cortisol imbalance can lead to fatigue, weight gain, immune suppression, and susceptibility to colds and flu, joint pains, mood swings, anxiety, depression, insomnia and digestive symptoms”. Prior to learning Yi Ren Qigong I suffered for years from fatigue, joint pains, anxieties, mild depressions, terrible sleep and I would catch a cold or a flu almost every week, as soon as I would get over one cold flu or sinus issue I would catch another one. It was a very frustrating part of my life; however, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since it led me to find Yi Ren Qigong, the greatest blessing of my life.4
In today’s faced-paced world, many people deal with stress on a daily basis. This fast-paced lifestyle can include stress from driving, work, family and relationships. This type of hectic lifestyle has the potential to trigger the Adrenals, which release the hormones of Adrenalin and Cortisol to deal with the stress. However, although these hormones may be beneficial in dealing with a stressful situation, after a person reaches a certain point based on his or her body’s capacity, the body is unable to reset itself to an unstressed state, even after the stressful situation has long since passed.4
I use to easily feel stressed and on edge, but after Yi Ren Qigong training, I can handle a much greater amount of stress than I use to be able to (the capacity to handle greater amounts of stress is common benefit I hear from Yi Ren Qigong students). In my introductory classes and the first class of the level-One series we focus on resetting the Adrenal Glands so one can begin to get out of the heightened state of being constantly amped up.
Reproductive hormone imbalances are also a major cause of fatigue, weakness and an assortment of other energy weaknesses and imbalances.5 Women have two endocrine glands called ovaries while men have two endocrine glands called testes.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female hormones created in the ovaries and they are responsible for puberty, when a girl develops to a women, and for maintaining her female characterists. While for men, testosterone is the key ingredient responsible for the transformation of a boy to a man and maintaining his male characterists.3
If a women’s estrogen or progesterone levels become unbalanced a number of issues can arise related to the hormone imbalances. Below is a list of General signs and symptoms of Female Hormonal Imbalances:
- Changes in menstruation
- Basal body temperature
- Oily skin
- Excessive hair growth
- Allergy symptoms
- Low sex drive
- Weight Gain
- Water Retention
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Urinary Tract Infections
Men also have numerous signs and symptoms related to imbalanced testosterone levels.
- Bone loss
- Decreased Mental Clarity, Muscular strength, Stamina, Urine Flow
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Hot Flashes
- Increased Abdominal Fat
- Increased Urge to urinate
- Low Sex Drive
- Mood Swings
- Night Sweats
- Poor concentration
- Sleep Disturbances
You can see that for both men and women, there are many different types of signs and symptoms related to reproductive hormonal imbalances. Prior to studying Yi Ren Qigong, I personally lived with a number of the above symptoms for men, all of which have been cured by this practice. I have also spoken to umpteen male and female students who have testified that Yi Ren Qigong has completely healed or significantly improved a tremendous amount of their problems related to reproductive hormone imbalances.
Based on my understanding of Chinese Medicine, all of the above signs and symptoms are related to low energy levels and internal energy imbalances within the organ systems.
As many people have today, I had an extremely imbalanced and disorganized energy system. This can cause a number of different health complaints and symptoms. For most people, when they have numerous health problems it can be come overwhelming and disempowering. One of the most important things Yi Ren Qigong addresses is healing the root of the health problem/s. Once the root of the problem is fixed, then the symptoms naturally disappear. Simultaneously, the body can address curing wounded self confidence and empower people to let go of negative emotions. These emotions are often built up from lifestyle and the health issues. This can cause a person to become disempowered and frustrated with his life and health. In order to truly heal yourself, you also need to address all of the negative internal emotions. Negative internal emotions and internal conflicts cause the body to constantly leak energies and run at low vibration levels.
In closing, if you want to balance your hormones and improve your energy levels, Yi Ren Qigong can help you accomplish your goals. In addition, Yi Ren Qigong can assist you in learning to understand yourself better. This is possible, because this practice helps you connect and integrate your mind-body-soul. You may be as strong as an Ox and not have any health issues, but you can still use Yi Ren Qigong to transform yourself to higher levels of internal peace and happiness. Ideally it is best to stay as healthy as possible and not ever allow your body/mind to get a disease. Yi Ren Qigong can help you to understand the depths of yourself beyond what most people assume is possible and from that information you can begin to learn how to live in a way that will allow you to avoid burning yourself out. A quote Ben Franklin is credited with “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. The Tao of health can bring you health, vitality and longevity.
1. “Top 10 Signs That You May Have a Thyroid Problem:
Millions of People Have Undiagnosed Thyroid Conditions.” 2009. Mary Shomon
2. “Adrenal Fatigue / Adrenal Exhaustion” 2003. Mary Shomon
3. ”The Endocrine System: Endocrine Glands & Types of Hormones.” 2012. http://www.hormone.org/Endo101/page2.cfm 23 Jan. 2012
4. Charles A. Moss MD Power of the Five Elements. North Atlantic Books. Berkley, CA: 2010
5. “Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance” © 2012 ZRT Laboratory
6. “Hormonal Imbalances.” 2012
Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.
A blog by Brian Kane 1/18/2011,
It is officially winter in Seattle as the snow has begun falling on the meandering streets and in the murky back alleys. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is the season where the kidneys, related to the element of water, are really affected. Since I have been studying Yi Ren QiGong, I have not felt the affect that the seasons have had on my internal organs. That is, until now. In fact, my organs seem to be communicating with me all the time. And yes, I have especially noticed the sensitivity of my kidneys.
For instance, if I begin to think of a detrimental, self-destructive thought, I will usually get a sharp pain, mostly in my left kidney. That is my kidney warning me that my thoughts are harming that organ, draining it of vital Qi energy. I usually repeat to myself: confidence, courage and strength, when I get fearful, and those thoughts seem to be an antidote. This usually warms up my kidneys, If I begin to feel loneliness, my heart will begin to hurt and I will try to change that emotion to joy by thinking about Universal Love, generosity and kindness. My heart will then begin to feel less heavy and I can relax.
Yi Ren QiGong instructor Brendan Thorson believes that our thoughts are just as important as food. Just like there is junk food, there are also junk thoughts. Those thoughts can create negative, toxic thinking patterns that can be very harmful to our internal organs, and in turn our ability to think clearly, undisturbed by blockages. Conversely, the condition of the organs also affect how the mind functions. I believe that once we repeatedly use positive words and ideas or emotions as antidotes then, along with regular QiGong practice, we can plunge internal blockages and reprogram our minds to think with productive, positive thinking patterns.
Recently, I noticed that when I drink alcohol, I will get uncharacteristically angry or agitated. My liver area might also feel tight, I do not believe that this is because my liver, which is associated with the emotion of anger, is weak, but that since I have been studying Yi Ren QiGong, my body quickly warns me when I have drank too much. This has lead me to developing a rule about how many drinks are healthy and not harmful for me to consume: that rule is about two drinks a night. I was never a heavy drinker, but I really appreciate my liver communicating with me, letting me know when I have had too much. The same goes with caffeine. I have read that caffeine affects the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. Recently, some internal and external stress has made my kidneys very vulnerable. As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop, wishing that I had a nice warm mocha sitting in front of me. However, I know for a fact, that given my current state, that my kidneys would suffer. I therefore opted for a Jasmine Pearl Tea, which has significantly less caffeine. My kidneys are thanking me for my decision.
I have also used the concept of the twelve organ meridians and the emotions and virtues attached to them to get a better feel for how attracted I am to a woman. Yes! That is right you lonely men out there. I have begun to see more clearly the arcane nature of a woman, by feeling how my organs are affected when I am near a lady and/or conversing with her. This might sound far-fetched, but I have tested the concept a few times with a particular female at a particular grocery store that I frequent. The first time I went through her checkout line, my kidneys were very strong and my mood was very upbeat. I knew I was attracted to her physically, but I did not know or could not tell if her energy would complement mine in a healthy way. My kidneys, when energized, are extremely strong, however, fear or stress is like kryptonite to my kidneys, and they leak Qi very fast if I do not alleviate my stress—often with Yi Ren Qigong exercises such as the Level Two, Kidney/Urinary Tract exercise.
One day I was feeling very stressed, and my kidneys were cold. I went into the grocery store and there she was, in all her beauty, smiling with grace and confidence. Immediately after looking at this lady, my mood heightened and my kidneys began to warm up! My legs got stronger and my mind began to calm down, with less racing thoughts.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also teaches us that there are five main body-types that correspond with the elements of wood, water, fire, earth and metal. I am mostly a fire body-type, with broad shoulders, a long neck, narrow hips and long limbs. Personality wise, I do share some of the fire body-type characteristics including being passionate and caring, but I am also very affected by the kidney emotions and virtues such as wisdom, confidence, hate and paranoia.
When looking at the Production Cycle of the five elements and when considering my type and temperament of Fire and Water (Heart and Kidney) it would seem that my ideal woman would be either a Lung lady (long and lean with small joints and narrow hips.) or a fire body type, as fire naturally interacts with water. From my understanding, this type of woman would have the kind of the build that is a bit more voluptuous, being slender and fit. Although Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that height is not a factor when dealing with body types, I kind of look at the water bodies as being long and lean and fire body-types as being more average in height and with more defined or larger muscles. (Again I am not well-studied in the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine body-types, but this is what I feel from my own personal experience as will be explained later).
From my understanding, a person with a lung body type would help build the strength of my kidneys as lung, metal, is the mother of the kidneys, water. A woman with a fire body-type would build the endurance of my kidneys as fire naturally interacts with water and if the water element, which is a yin element, gets too cold then the fire element, which is more yang, would balance it out and vice-versa. If a person of my body-type were to date a lung woman, our energy would be like me lifting heavy weights to build my muscles, but in this case, building the strength of my kidneys. If I dated a fire woman, it would be like me lifting less weight, but it would build the endurance or stamina of my kidneys. Of course, my fire energy would be beneficial to both body-types of women and we would make each other happy. Thinking back in my past, and I do not believe this is a coincidence, I have had the best luck with lung and fire body-types, and we have made each other the happiest.
Body types are one thing, and physical attractiveness is another. However it is no longer as simple to me anymore as seeing a woman and judging her beauty simply by looks. For instance, just today a woman on Facebook, who I do not think I have ever met in person, randomly Instant Messaged me and wrote “Hi.” She did not respond to my response of hello and signed off. I immediately felt pains in my stomach although I was not nervous at all. I believe I was feeling negative, anxiety from her. This is also why I do not believe that when you really open up your energy body, that proximity is important to feeling vibes from other people.
There have been other times, say at a bar or coffee shop, when I meet a woman—including lung and heart body-types—that I think has an attractive face, but her energy body makes me feel tired and unbalanced. For instance, if I were to see the girl that I mentioned from the grocery store from a distance in a public place, I might not give her a second look. However, once she communicated with me either non-verbally or verbally, I would feel extremely energized and upbeat. I truly believe that a great deal of what we consider beauty is sort of programmed in our minds and changes like fashion styles. For instance, as a kid I had a huge crush on super model Cindy Crawford just because of her looks, but today I do not get as excited when I see a picture of her. Sure she is beautiful, but I understand now that outer beauty is so subjective and only part of the overall equation that makes up a woman. During my senior year in high school, my Intensive English teacher once commented that he is more attracted to Whoopi Goldberg than Cindy Crawford. I thought he was sort of nuts when I was 18, but as I have matured, I can totally understand what he was talking about: The vibes he gets from Goldberg are much deeper and meaningful to him than how he feels about Crawford.
Again, I am not completely clear about the theory behind all of this, but I am certain that I can now more quickly identify if the chemistry between me and a woman will work. I would not yet, or probably ever, go as far as to ask a woman what element/s her body-type she is, but I will definitely listen to my organs in the realm of relationships and also in other affairs.
To me, the phenomenon that I have been experiencing with regards to my organs, is just another indication that the mind and the body are directly connected and that as we feed our body food, which affects our organs and mind, we also feed it thoughts, which also affect our organs and mind, and in turn, our overall quality of life. Moreover, when considering a relationship, it is very beneficial to consider how a man or woman affects your internal organs. That way, ideally, you can both make each other happy and grow together.
By Brendan Thorson 1/17/2012,
This past weekend at the level-1 weekend seminar a student who has been taking classes regulary for the past couple of years began to feel the Small Universe Circulation reach a deeper level than he had ever felt before hand. After we completed the Small Universe Enhancing Exercise, the gentleman told the class that he felt the ciculation of his small universe deep inside his body and he could follow a flow of energy up his back and then down the front and that circulation continued the same path…
Prior to this past Sunday he had felt the Microcosmic Orbit–(name used by Mantak Chia to describe the circulation of the energy flow of the combination of the Du and Ren Meridians) before, but it was much more superficial. This time he could actually feel/ follow a warm sensation travel/ circulate inside of his body (the circuit of the small universe).
- Benefits of the Small Universe Circulation:
- Create Internal Energy
- Create balance between all the different energy centers
- Balance the Yin and Yang Energies
- Circulate the refined reproductive energies from the reproductive area up the spine to nourish:
- the brain, energy centers, organs, or other areas of the body where the energy can enhance health and vitality
Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.
By Brendan Thorson 1/17/2012,
About a month ago I wrote about a female student, in her mid 50’s, who had experienced very strong and intense heat in her Sacrum and lumbar spine and then the energy shot/ circulated up her spine and into arms ending at her hands and down her spine into both legs and down to the feet. That experience was related to Bone Marrow Washing, See previous article for further details.
The same lady attended the level-1 weekend seminar this past weekend and she had a very similar experience again. After the class completed the Parasympathetic Nervous System Empowering Exercise, she shared that during the exercise her sacrum got so hot again it almost felt like it was burning and she felt so hot that she wanted to strip down to her t-shirt. (Keep in mind that this lady is normally cold much of the time and we were doing a standing exercise without any physical movement to create any muscle heat.)
We spoke today and she let me know that she had a massage from a Massage Therapist, she has seen regulary over the past 15 years, and the massage therapist told her that if she did not see her face on her body she would not have believed that this was her body she was working on. The Therapist could feel the energy moving through her body unlike anything she had ever felt from her before hand, and her muscles and soft tissue were also unlike anything she had ever felt from her before too.
Last month a few hours before she had her first Bone Marrow Washing Experience she also saw the same massage therapist and the therapist told her that day that she looked more vibrant than she had in years and she also felt more energy in her sacrum than she had ever felt there over the previous 15 years she has been working on her.
This wonderful student in her mid 50’s is in the process of reversing her aging process and biologically she is getting younger and younger.
Stay tuned for future updates of her health upgrades and healing process.
A Blog by Brian Kane 1/14/2012,
(The first time I became aware that martial arts, both internal and external, could help someone kick a heroin addiction was when the famous rock musician Duff McKagan told then heroin-addicted singer Scott Wieland that he should try martial arts to help stop using. It seemed to work for Scott Weiland, and I thought that if I ever had a close friend or family member that was addicted to heroin, I would suggest martial arts. I never thought I would actually have to share this advice, however. Unfortunately, a person close to me has recently developed a heroin habit. When the time is right, I will definitely make sure I tell this person about how Yi Ren QiGong could be part of what helps him kick his habit and stay drug-free. His story has also helped me realize that drug addiction is not a moral issue or even a choice. It is a health issue. And it could happen to all of us.)
I cannot remember what time of year it was. It might have been summer or late spring. I cannot even remember the exact reason we were there, Hugh and I, outside of Aaron’s mom’s house: Aaron was a close friend of Hugh and was deeply troubled. I just remember that Hugh had to tell Aaron’s mom something about her son’s heroin addiction. Now that I reach back into the recesses of my mind, where most of us hide painful memories, I remember it was just that: Aaron had been caught trying to steal some lady’s purse at a bar the night before in order to feed his heroin addiction, and had landed himself in jail. I kept thinking to myself: what a waste, man. Aaron was a very talented chef and loved his job, but he was throwing his future away on some stupid drug. I also kept thinking how amazed I was at Hugh’s composure: Here he was, about to go into his good friend’s mom’s house to break to her the bad news about the vice grip that heroin had on her son, enough to make him turn into a petty thief, and he just had this kind of calm and strong smile on his face. I knew that inside he was pretty nervous and sad, but I also knew that whenever you were in a jam, Hugh—being tough as nails—would always be there for you.
But I must confess. Hugh is not his real name, and he is much more than just an acquaintance or casual confidant of mine. But I cannot divulge his identity, because he would rough me up a bit if I did. Although, unfortunately, I don’t think he would be capable of muscling me around at all anymore. You see, the tough as nails dude that I looked at with admiration as he was about to go tell his good friend’s mom about her son’s heroin addiction–a mere two years after we sat in that car looking at that sullen house–would sadly succumb to heroin himself—becoming a full-on addict. As I write these words, I simply cannot believe that this is true.
Oh I have had my suspicions for about eight months now. I just knew that there was something wrong with the man. He had lost about 40 pounds in a mere few months, it looked like. His face looked droopy and his eyes had lost the playful wit that they once had. However, he had not lost his stubbornness or uncanny ability to thwart you from making him tell you the truth about the trouble he was in. As soon as I would insinuate that I knew he was on something, possibly addicted, his eyes would get that old fire back in them. Although he did not have the physical presence that he once did (I could probably beat him senseless at this point) that look of detest, anger, and violence (all in one look) could still be intimidating. It could still shake the walls.
However, even Hugh, Mr. Tough Guy, could not sustain his façade forever, as no human is tougher than heroin: I have been watching the drug literally suck the life-force out of him to the point where at times his speech is barely intelligible and his gate is shaky as he often saunters in an opiate induced stupor. Since I have seen Hugh begin to deteriorate, I have become extremely angry: livid, fumid, vexed and frustrated. This was a person close to me, and at certain get-togethers, I would watch him nod off while eating food. I would watch him sit in his car and see his eyes roll back in his head as he peaked on heroin. I never saw him shoot up. But I did see the aftermath. Hugh was in bad shape, to say the least. So bad, that one day I decided his death was inevitable. Even though he is still alive as I write these words, I am still prepared for the worse.
You might wonder: Why don’t you help your friend? Thankfully, his family is in the process of getting him help, although Hugh has yet to admit he has a serious problem. Even though about six months or so ago I was certain Mr. Hugh would die from his addiction, I now have faith that if those close to him continue to push him in the right direction, he will make a full recovery. He will be the same person that I sat in that car with two years ago, with the same strong smile and lively eyes. He will have defeated heroin just like his friend Aaron, who he helped out, had done.
The question remains: What do I do now? How can I help my friend Hugh the same way he helped his friend Aaron, and perhaps even sport the same strong smile on my face while in the midst of this mess? I have written before how the Taoist text, the “Tao Te Ching” tells us in Verse 15 to remain “As chaotic as a muddy torrent. Because clarity is learned by being patient in the presence of chaos…”
This is definitely a Verse that I reference often with regards to how to deal with Hugh’s situation. Oftentimes in deep Yi Ren Qigong mediation, I also see visions of my younger days and how happy Hugh (who I have known most of my life) once was. Despite his recent unsavory disposition, it helps me realize that Hugh is just sick. Drugs are not a moral issue or in my opinion, even a choice at times. Like Neil Young crooned in his hit “The Needle and the Damage Done” there is a little bit of it in everyone. We all, depending on what has happened to us in our lives, have potential to fall victim to drug abuse and addiction.
Probably the most amazing advice I have read about comes from the Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. In a recent issue of the “Shambhala Sun” he said this about helping a person fight addiction without feeling overwhelmed:
When you feel overwhelmed, you are trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person, and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do–to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate, This is the basic practice. It’s like the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like the tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.
Your presence should be pleasant, it should be calm and you should be there for him or her. That is a lot already. When children like to come and sit close to you, it’s not because you have a lot of cookies to give, but because sitting close to you is nice. It’s refreshing. So sit next to the person who is suffering and try your best to be your best—pleasant, attentive, fresh. (Andrea Miller, January, 2012, Shambhala Sun, Be Beautiful, Be Yourself, Volume 20, Number 3, page 47.)
The best thing I have done for myself in order to cope with my friend’s illness is to practice Yi Ren Qigong, without a doubt. The reason being is basically because YiRen QiGong has helped me be and remain happy, fresh and pleasant. When I first started dealing with Hugh’s state, it was like I felt like an addict: I could not sleep, I was tired and weak, and my mind was racing all the time—feeling helpless. I was surely more of a wounded tree than the fresh kind that Thich Nhat Hanh spoke of.
However, I have learned to turn my anger into hope and joy. I have learned to remember the person that Hugh was and has the potential to be again. In essence, through peaceful QiGong exercises, including meditation, I have been able to remember that this is not the tough guy Hugh: the real Hugh. This is the sick Hugh. I also believe that when we are sick, we develop toxic thinking patterns that are hard to stop once they spin out of control. I have mentioned many times in my blogs that I used to suffer from chronic, morbid depression: the type that would make it hard to get out of bed in the morning and face the day. However, since practicing Yi Ren QiGong, my bouts of depression never last longer than a week. I believe that the root of Hugh’s addiction, the cause of it, is depression and a general unbalance of his mind, body and spirit. Depression can be caused by being addicted to the toxic thought patterns that I mentioned, if you will. I often think that in strange way, I used depression as an excuse to not face my fears with courage and strength. In a way, my “drug” of choice was to feel better about my life by blaming other people for my problems and deeming the world an awful place. By doing this, I had an excuse to not make an effort to attain self-betterment, since my fatalistic view was that I would always be a mess because the world is a mess. There is an old saying that I heard when I was young; “Life’s a bitch and then you die, so forget it all and let’s get high.” I believe that this is a foolish man’s way of thinking. I am not saying that all drug use is detrimental to self-discovery (I have heard of people gaining higher levels of awareness through LSD and Psilocybin usage) but I am saying that it is possible to be happy without depending on a substance to bring you joy.
So in closing, I would like anyone that is dealing with a close friend and/or loved one who is afflicted by addiction of any kind, to consider my story and attitude with my own situation. I would also graciously ask that you send good energy into the Universe by sending good vibes to me, which I can share with Hugh. I don’t have any clever quip to end this blog with except, may we all realize that most unhappiness is caused by delusions of the mind.
By Brendan Thorson 1/12/2012,
One of my most dedicated students began searching for ways to improve the quality of his life and originally learned about Tai chi from books by the Famous Tai chi and Qigong teacher Bruce Frantzis. I would like to thank Bruce Frantzis and all the other Qigong and Tai chi instructors for helping to spread the word about this type of training to the general public for the betterment of humanity.
The gentleman noted above has now been studying Yi Ren Qigong for the past 2+ years and has made remarkable upgrades with his health and a clearer understanding how to manage his mind- body-emotions. This has been accomplished as a result of his internal “Qi” practice-resulting in Self-Understanding/ Realization, Self-Acceptance, (little steps of enlightenment) on his path towards Greater-Enlightenment and Complete Self-Actualization.
At this stage in American culture Counseling and Therapy is an accepted and credible form of Therapy for many people and issues. I have personally witnessed how powerful the combination of Yi Ren Qigong can have with people who have been involved with therapy for months and years…. once they begin a combination of both Yi Ren Qigong and Therapy/Counseling change can occur at a fast rate. While others focus on the Yi Ren Qigong and seek advice from friends, associates and family during there healing and transformation process. You may be asking your self why is the integration of both therapy and Yi Ren Qigong so powerful?
I see an amazing future of Therapy/ Counseling in conjunction with Yi Ren Qigong.
Through the training process of Yi Ren Qigong we make much greater connection between our mind and body and with time are able to realize what truly nourishes us and what does not, appropriate and not appropriate and redirect our energies to areas that help us grow with our internal depth not ego and then we can begin to find much more internal peace and intention of how to live our life in accordance with the Tao.
By Brendan Thorson, LMP 1/5/2012,
This article is published in the 2012-2013 Winter issue of the Qi-Journal Magazine
Would you like to be strong, fit, well proportioned and energetic like a healthy teenager or young adult? You commonly hear people say: That person is so lucky. They do not exercise much, they eat whatever and whenever they want and they look great. I wish I could be like that too. Why do some people, young or old, have a great figure, energy levels, do not exercise much or seem to follow a strict diet, while others are just the opposite: always struggling with their figure, energies and commonly tired no matter how much they exercise or watch their diet.
The Ancient Taoists Masters sought longevity with strength and vitality, like people in the prime of their life. In their search, they found that in order to maintain youthful wellbeing, one needs to have vibrant internal energies of the organs, glands and all the body’s systems. If you want to feel young and strong, you need to be able to have the same internal energy and balance of the youth. Many of the secrets of the Ancient Taoists Masters teachings are available to you from Yi Ren Qigong–including the Internal-Alchemy secrets to a strong a youthful figure, regardless of your age.
Exercise and diet are very important to one’s health and vitality; however, if one’s internal energies, organs and glands are not working in a healthy and balanced way, neither exercise nor diet will result in a vibrant and well-shaped physique. Thus, the Yi Ren Qigong curriculum is set up with a step-by-step process to bring one improved energy, internal balance of the organs and upgrade/maintenance of the essential endocrine systems, glands and hormone levels. As practitioners develop themselves with the Yi Ren Qigong training, they begin to upgrade all of their internal energies and become aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. From their new awareness, each practitioner can begin to create a personalized training program to lead them to increased internal balance and strength–a biologically younger you. Many students notice their body strength and shape improve just from upgrading their internal energies without added physical exercise.
The Kidneys (life gate / kidney center) are a high priority in Yi Ren Qigong training to bring all practitioners improved energy levels and (in my experience) energizing all the other organs of the body (like the Sun sending its energy to the earth), creating strong legs, lower back (foundation), and powerful bones. In order for us to have a strong and youthful body, it is essential to have our kidneys functioning at the highest level possible. To further illustrate my point about the importance of the Kidneys to a powerful body, in Chinese Medicine they say weak Kidneys are responsible for soreness and weakness of the lower back and spine, weak body, asthma, assisting in digestion, weak bones, edema…..1 Before starting my Yi Ren Qigong training, I lived for many years with a very weak, sore and fragile lower back and spine. After a period of time with my training, I was able to feel the kidneys getting stronger, which resulted in my lower back also getting stronger too.
Another key area to keep our bodies strong and youthful is the stomach/pancreas system. The stomach/ pancreas system is connected to our digestion, necessary for the transformation of the consumed food energies into useful energies for the body. A weak or low functioning stomach/ pancreas system can lead to a weak appetite, poor digestion, retention of food, abdominal distention, lack of strength.1 Also according to Chinese Medicine, the stomach is responsible for the strength of the large muscles of the body.1 Therefore, if one’s stomach /pancreas energies diminish, that person may develop soft, weak and thin muscles. To summarize, the stomach/ pancreas system is very important area to keep the body in top shape.
The Liver also has a big role in one maintaining hearty strength. According to Chinese Medicine, the liver controls the health and strength of the tendons and joints. Therefore, one with weak tendons and joints would most likely have weak or low liver energies. When I first began having health problems as a teenager it began with left knee tendinitis and as the years continued I reached a point where I had weaknesses and problems in almost all of my major joints of my body–ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Contrary to common modern day thought, the Ancient Taoist Masters believed that the tendons and joints were more important to develop in order to bring one strength with longevity–as opposed to today’s emphasis on building up the muscles. Through the Yi Ren Qigong practice we nourish and develop all the organs, including the liver, to help all practitioners gain stronger internal and external strength.
The Endocrine Gland System and hormones are another key factor in obtaining and maintaining power and an attractive figure like a young person. Every endocrine gland has its role and having each function at a high level is key for our health. I will focus on the functions of the Reproductive glands (testes and ovaries), Adrenals, pancreas and the thyroid glands and how they affect our health and youthfulness. The “essence” of the reproductive glands are essential for the overall vitality and longevity of the entire body and mind. It helps keep the body strong and vibrant: This is why boxers’ trainers commonly prohibit their fighters from having sex for a certain period of time before their upcoming fight. Personally I recall prior to starting my Yi Ren training how deeply exhausted and fragile I would usually feel after love-making, then after a period of time training and building up my internal energies I no longer felt exhausted after copulation, like I did before hand.
Earlier, I wrote about the pancreas and how it works with the stomach. From my understanding, the pancreas has functions of both an organ and a gland. As a gland, the pancreas “helps the body to maintain healthy blood sugar (glucose) levels. The pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that helps glucose move from the blood into the cells where it is used for energy. The pancreas also secretes glucagon when the blood sugar is low. Glucagon tells the liver to release glucose, stored in the liver as glycogen, into the bloodstream.”2 One aspect of the Adrenal Glands, “The adrenal cortex produces glucocorticoids (such as cortisol) that help the body control blood sugar, increase the burning of protein and fat.”2 While, “The thyroid hormones control your metabolism, which is the body’s ability to break down food and store it as energy and the ability to break down food into waste products with a release of energy in the process.”2
From my experience, by practicing Yi Ren Qigong, we can really upgrade all of the glands. This will allow them to function at higher and higher levels. I have had numerous personal experiences with my hormone levels getting stronger, in fact, prior to me studying Yi Ren Qigong my facial hair grew very slow and extremely spotty, then after a certain period of time after I began my training my facial hair began to grow much faster and fuller. Another example is how my thyroid began talking to me; after a couple of years I recall being able to feel my thyroid commonly pulsating and vibrating and every time I felt it occur it was very clear to me that it was in the process of getting an energy boost to help it get stronger and function at a higher level and now 10+ years later I continue to feel my thyroid pulsate and vibrate as it continues to get stronger and stronger. From my own experience, the thyroid can be also used more or less like a light switch in that I can consciously amplify my thyroid and use it to turn on and activate other glands and systems of the body too. Healthy and optimum performance of the entire endocrine system, including the parts of the system mentioned above, are a major key in one maintaining vivaciousness and beauty.
In addition, to working with the organs and glands, the Yi Ren Qigong system also includes a few classes like the Moving with Qi, where we bring energy out to the muscles and muscle channels. The exercises we do in those classes are physically very easy and low impact, but I commonly see female students bodies get much tighter and slimmer from that class. From my understanding, this happens because we bring the new energy into the Fascia (in between the muscles and muscle layers) as the “Qi” goes into the fascia, it then begins to push out the old (unhealthy) fat tissues built up in those areas. This is a result of replacing the old fat with higher quality “Qi”. Like wringing water out of a towel or in this case excess fat.
The Internal-Alchemy–upgrade and balance of one’s internal energies and energy systems that occur from Yi Ren Qigong training can help most achieve a stronger and more youthful body. As a student who began Yi Ren Qigong training with so many weaknesses and problems I have personally experienced and witnessed my body become more youthful and look much healthier–biologically younger from my Yi Ren Qigong practice. If you are interested in looking and feeling younger I hope you will begin your journey with Yi Ren Qigong soon!
1. Tyme, L.Ac. The Student Manual on the Fundamentals of Traditional Oriental Medicine 2nd addition. Living Earth Educational Services. San Diego: 1996.
2. “The Endocrine System: Endocrine Glands & Types of Hormones.” 2012. tp://www.hormone.org/Endo101/page2.cfm 6 Jan. 2012
By Brendan Thorson 1/4/2012,
January 8th 2012 1-2:30pm, $10@ E.W. Bookshop
6500 Roosevelt Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98115
Call E. W. to reserve a space 206-523-3726 or see web
Are you seeking the fountain of youth or to regain your lost vitality and beauty? Many of us spend countless hours and money on exercise, foods, supplements, hormone replacement therapies, erectile Dysfunction medicine, cosmetic surgery and other things doctors and health experts recommend to feel young and obtain longevity. From my observations, I do not feel most people are getting the results they want. In fact, I believe that most people feel that over the years, they have witnessed themselves gradually look and feel older and more tired than they should for their age. We all only know what we know and presently few people know about the amazing life and health transformations available from Yi Ren® Qigong. It was the key to me regaining my lost health and life after years searching for solutions, and I continue to see my students–from teenagers to senior citizens–transform their health and life too. If you are serious about transforming your life and health, Yi Ren Qigong may be the best investment for you.
Simply stated Qigong means energy cultivation and development. Overtime, one can improve his or her strength, health, and longevity. Like how a compounding interest retirement investment plan works, consistently add money to your account and over time the combination of monies added-up and interest earned can grow beyond one’s imagination. Similarly, over time one’s steady time investment into his or her Qigong practice can pay-off big with a long and healthy life past one’s expectations. Also, just as importantly one can grow, mature and refine oneself with Yi Ren Qigong just like a pianist developing her skills over time. So with time, by practicing Yi Ren Qigong, one is able to become more skillful with many aspects of one’s life including his or her life management skills and personal realization to the point the person may become a wise-(man or women) or sage.
Based on my understanding, traditionally high level Qigong knowledge and training was held very secretively within the families and lineages (and selected students) that owned them because, among other secrets, it gave them an upper hand for prosperity during challenging times as well as safety and protection before guns were around. This is not any different than top secret information or knowledge held secretly by businesses or governments, giving them an edge over their competition. As a result, most of the Qigong taught to the general public was and, (in my opinion) still is an extremely watered down version.
Warning, Do not confuse Yi Ren Qigong with other forms of Qigong. It is completely different than any other forms of Qigong I have ever encountered. If you are interested in the benefits I have desribed here, do not think you will be able to find the same training or benefits from other forms of Qigong!
Yi Ren Qigong is unique and powerful refined form of Qigong developed by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun. As noted earlier, it has been the key to me regaining my health and life after years of searching for solutions and trying many different forms of exercise/s and healing modalities to overcome my fragile and exhausted body and tired mind. Prior to finding Yi Ren Qigong (in addition, to practicing yoga for many years) I spent a few years practicing Tai-Chi Chuan and another form of Qigong, but I did not have any significant health improvements from either of them. However, during my first Yi Ren Qigong class in 1999, I felt the energy strongly nourishing me, and my body and mind felt more refreshed and relaxed than I had in years. I knew, like the difference between night and day, that Dr. Sun was a real Qigong Master: He was teaching authentic Qigong. I knew I had finally found my opportunity to regain my health and life! Many of my current students have studied or tried other types of Qigong too, but most choose to take my classes over others because this training is radically improving their health and vitality far beyond anything else they have ever experienced. Moreover, many students feel more energetic, and can see they look more handsome than they have in years too.
Why can’t I learn Qigong from a book or video?
Contrary to what many people believe you cannot learn deep aspects of Qigong or what I call Real Qigong like Yi Ren Qigong from a book or a video. During the initial stages of Qigong development (until the energy body is developed) one needs the assistance of an instructor who has truly developed his energy body to help another student truly activate their major energy points and pathways. Without the help of someone who has already developed her energy body, one would more or less have to reinvent the wheel again to advance beyond a beginners state. This is because, as stated earlier, styles of Qigong are passed down through lineages and refined along the way. These lineages help support the Qigong instructor with that lineage’s energy, and the instructor, who has a more advanced energy body than beginning students can call in universal energies and directly use his developed energy body, to support the Qigong pupil. Although this might seem like a foreign concept to those who have not experienced Qi energy development in a class setting, it soon becomes very apparent to the student, sometimes after attending only one Yi Ren Qigong class, which was the case with me.
You may be asking yourself why is Yi Ren Qigong different than other forms of Qigong?
From my experience and observations most forms of Qigong (are not what I consider Real Qigong) are just moving exercises, meditations, visualization exercises, breathing exercises and sound exercises, but they lack the essential energy or energy development. In fact, it may take some students years or months before they actually feel the energy sensations clearly. Increased energy is necessary for one to improve his health, vitality and personal growth. Similar to trying to use a flashlight with a dead battery, it just does not work. Thus, you can try many different things to make the battery work again, but until you actually add more energy to those batteries–recharge them–they will not be able to make the flashlight work adequately again. In addition, most forms of Qigong are not actually working with the key energy points, pathways, and organs necessary to obtain youthful vitality.
On the other hand, during the beginning stages of Yi Ren Qigong our priority is on building, improving, upgrading and balancing students energy levels to help them feel better so they can begin to improve their health and quality of life. In my experience, most Yi Ren Qigong students feel the energy very clearly during their first class and as they continue with their classes and training, the energy (and energy sensations) gradually gets stronger and stronger. As stated earlier, a key to the energy development of Yi Ren Qigong student’s is the direct energy transmission they receive in the class/es from their Yi Ren Qigong instructor to activate, unlock and develop the student’s energy body in a safe, effective and time tested order. In addition, the Yi Ren Qigong exercises and meditations are refined like a prized jewel.
I know many people, including myself, some of my students, and numerous instructors of other forms of Qigong and Taichi who have invested years of dedicated training to their practice and never truly felt the Qi energy, developed their energy system or enhanced their life despite all of their efforts. But, during their first Yi Ren Qigong class they felt the energy very clear and strong and also felt their whole being transcend to a energized, calm and grounded state unlike anything they had ever experienced with their previous training. Life is short and time is precious, thus if you are sincere about improving your health I hope this message will help you make good use of your time.
How can Yi Ren Qigong bring me improved health and beauty?
At the heart of the Yi Ren Qigong training is levels 1, 2 and 3. These levels contain the key elements for one to create Youthful Vitality from Yi Ren Qigong.
In levels 1, 2 and 3 we focus on upgrading energy levels, creating a balance between Yin and Yang energies, releasing excess stress and unhealthy energies/ emotions, upgrading the organ and organ pathway energies (5-element system) and upgrading the endocrine glands and restoring balance to the hormone levels. As a result of upgrading the internal energy levels, many people begin to experience feeling more alive and calmer than they have in years. Also, from the upgraded energy levels, some students begin to get what I call a Yi Ren Qigong facelift, where students with saggy and droopy faces firm and tighten up like they may have looked 5, 10 or 20 years beforehand. Additionally, I will commonly also see people with lifeless and colorless faces gradually begin to shine and have the glow of a vibrant person in the prime of his or her life. The appearance of one’s face usually shows the health and vitality of one’s organs and internal energies.
In this article I will not go into detail about how biologically Yi Ren Qigong can transform one’s vitality. But I would like to note that as a result of enhancing all of the different energies and energy systems of the body, the body and mind then can naturally begin to function at higher levels, like many of us recall in our varying pasts: Youthful appearance, attitude, metabolism, body shape, figure and more solid and robust energy levels. Most physical exercise causes the body to use up and deplete its essential life energies, but Yi Ren Qigong begins to fill our system back up with vital energies to make it possible to obtain youthful vitality again.
By Brian Kane 12/31/2011,
While studying and practicing Yi Ren QiGong, as with any practice or exercise that can potentially improve your health, you will gain insight not only into past physical injuries, but also emotional. This insight, at first, can be rather alarming. The practitioner might feel like decreasing his or her intensity of workout, or even ceasing to practice Yi Ren QiGong altogether. If you seek self-improvement, the latter is a mistake.
First of all, it is often held true that others see us better than we see ourselves. This is true because so many of our actions are programmed—sometimes as early as childhood. We act at a subconscious level, often to our detriment and not benefit. We might not be aware of our actions because they have become intuitive and or instinctual. But why is this so?
To me, it is because as humans, we often internalize both positive and negative ways to deal with pain. For instance, let us say a person gets depressed after a recent romantic breakup or a death in the family. In popular American culture, the surest way to forget the pain is to turn to drugs and alcohol–in moderation ideally–in order to alleviate the emotional pain. Likewise, the athlete who has an injured knee, might turn to painkillers and ice to numb the pain, yet the injury remains.
At two recent Yi Ren QiGong seminars (one Jing & Rou and the other Level II, or Zang Fu), hosted by Brendan Thorson, one of the attendees, a very healthy woman of middle age (I will call her Rosemary), said that by the second day of the Jing & Rou seminar, she began to feel old injuries in her knees and ankles—injuries she had not felt in years. Brendan assured her that although she had not felt the pain in these areas for a long time, her joints had not fully healed in these areas. The Qi energy was directing its healing properties to both injured locations in her body. Although the process of physical healing can be very painful, the benefit of having fully healed muscles and tendons–which is what Yi Ren Jing(muscles) & Rou (tendons) concentrates on–can be very profound and rewarding. Rosemary persevered through the seminar and is happy she did: Her ankles and knees are feeling much better.
A week later at the Yi Ren QiGong Level II seminar, Rosemary practiced the Zang Fu program of QiGong developed my Dr. Guan Cheng-Sun. In Zang Fu, the QiGong exercises concentrate on the twelve major organ meridians which correspond to different emotions. These are emotions that might be trapped in the organs and not consciously felt by the practitioner. Some of these emotions can even be stored as sympathy pains, as experienced by Rosemary. Rosemary had lost her husband to colon cancer, which affects the large intestine, and also her recently deceased mother, who had an inflamed large intestine due to years of drinking, smoking and other detrimental health habits.
While practicing the Lung/Large Intestine exercise, Rosemary began to cry and looked sad. She began to remember massaging her husband’s liver, where the cancer had spread to, in order to help him through the cancer treatment process. I noticed that the usually very calm and collected Rosemary seemed very distraught after the first day of the Yi Ren Level II seminar. However, on the Monday following the two-day seminar, during one of Brendan Thorson’s regular two-hour classes (In this case, coincidentally it was a Level II class), through her words and body posture, I could tell that Rosemary had less unrest about her husband and mother’s deaths: She seemed like she was more satisfied knowing she did all she could to help them during their last days, and dying hours.
I personally observed this all, thinking I had been spared from any potential physical or emotional pain induced by the two seminars. I was wrong.
Lucky for me, I do not have any past serious, chronic physical injuries. The only physical discomfort I have felt from Yi Ren QiGong is in my knees, but I have not felt any of that pain for about six months. Since then, physically, I feel fine. Emotionally, I have some major things to work on.
One thing that this practice has done is made me much more aware of myself and other’s defense mechanisms. I am not writing about defending yourself from things that are negative, but oftentimes, out of fear and blockages, people build all sorts of negative programs that preclude them from realizing their full potential.
Lately I have become aware of what sorts of things cause me to act negatively and also what I do in order to potentially sabotage things in my life that have the potential to lead to failure—and in turn, pain. On the Tuesday that followed practicing Level II Yi Ren Qigong for 14 hours over three days, every fear, guilt, delusion and other emotional pain that I could imagine having over the last 10 years or so, came rushing into my conscious like a Tsunami. It was staggering. I did not know what to do. I felt so much despair that I lashed out at my friends, family, people at work. I felt like there was no hope and that I should just end it all. Luckily, I had Brendan Thorson and my closest friends to talk to. (And of course my mom, who I said some pretty mean things to. I have asked for forgiveness for my words. Thankfully she understands and all is forgiven.)
As I lay on my bed after talking to a few friends, I felt somewhat better, but physically exhausted. I said some things that were very dramatic and alarming, but I knew while I was saying them that I did not mean them. It was as if I had given my soul a spiritual colon cleanse and much of the emotional gunk that had built up in my mind, body and spirit had been expunged.
I woke up the next morning feeling much lighter and grounded. I could not believe the way I had acted the night before. When I was driving to work the next day, I could tell that I had made some progress in returning to what I like to call the “Real Brian Kidd.” The person that inside that I know I am, however, that does not always make an appearance. I now have a greater understanding as to why this is. I suppose that I should write more about that at a later time. For now, I am just grateful to Brendan Thorson, Dr. Sun and his Teacher Master Zhang, for giving me the opportunity to experience the amazing Power of Internal Martial Arts, specifically Yi Ren Qigong, and for helping me find my own Tao, or way, to the personal freedom that I know, with perseverance, I will eventually find. Happy Holidays and many blessings.
*You might remember when I wrote of the story of the master that told his student that any type of meditation or QiGOng practice can potentially stir up old, uncomfortable memories. QiGong can make you strong enough to face these memories and become at peace with them. This in turn can make those memories have less of a negative impact on your actions by dissolving emotional blockages, or what in the West is commonly referred to as hang-.ups.