by Brian Kane 10/10/2012,
(Preface: From my experience, studying Yi Ren Qigong can strengthen not only your internal system, from the cellular to the physical level—including your organs, muscles and tendons—it can also help you gain new spiritual insights that can positively affect your behavior and in turn your life. Recently, I discovered that in order to live a happy life and perhaps find true intimate love, instead of focusing so much on individual sexual desires and romantic love, I should let myself go and let go of lustful desires. I should allow my pride to wane a little and think less from an egocentric point-of-view in order to discover, add to and enjoy the feeling of Universal Love—which to me is a kind of love that is more at the spiritual level, devoid of primitive, bodily desires. From this I discovered that my life perspective has become more of a Universal Perspective, a perspective that feels like that of a curious and happy child, but with a stronger awareness and intellect of an adult mind. This in turn has led me to be more mindful of everything I do, what the Buddhists refer to as Mindfulness. In other words, I live in the moment, with less concern about the past or future, and am beginning to enjoy every aspect of life. I now see that even the simple, little things are just as important as the complex ideas that should not feel like a burden, but rather spark curiosity and appreciation for this often-arcane thing called life.)
I have to write this thing, I thought to myself. I have to eat I have to get some sort of sleep tonight. I have to make some spaghetti, with some chicken and maybe a bagel with some cream cheese. But I also have to write this article. I also have to go to work tomorrow. I will never get this done.
Okay, it’s time to make some spaghetti. I need some sauce; there it is, Classico. I need the noodles, a pot, a sauté pan, some olive oil: ah I think I should try some ice cream while I am at it, my favorite, Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra. Wow, that sauce is smelling really good; I cannot wait to eat this huge plate of spaghetti with chicken and Kalamata Olives. Look how the sauce bubbles in the pan, smothering freshly cooked, succulent chicken slices, and how the steam billows from the pot of boiling water as the noodles cook, dancing around the inside of the pot as the scorching hot H20 baths them.
Now to get the metal strainer and pour the noodles from the pot into the glistening metal mesh, leaving only the golden noodles behind for me to place on a plate and smother with shimmering red sauce as the pieces of chicken appear as flecks of juicy morsels, gracing the top of the noodles and sauce. If I could, I would shrink down to the size of a an ant, and scale each noodle, becoming entranced by the soothing smell of a fine red sauce, the sweet smelling basil opening up my sinus cavities and lungs.
But wait, I almost forgot, I have to write this darn article. But I also have to eat. I will eat, but this time I will not think of anything except the spaghetti. The only thing that will exist in the Universe for about ten minutes will be me and this delectable plate of spaghetti. I bet that when I finish this fine meal, that my article will be just as decent as if I spent my time worrying and thinking about it while cooking and eating. In fact, I will be more rested and my mind will be calmer when I sit down to the task of writing my article.
I was right. The spaghetti has fueled both my body and mind and as I write these words, my mind is calm and my fingers are eager to receive transmissions from my brain.
Before studying Yi Ren Qigong, it was nearly impossible for me to think about or to enjoy only what was happening to me at any given moment, and not about the future or the past. In order to express to you, the beautiful reader, how my mind has progressed to see things from a new perspective, I must reminisce a bit with a sort of vignette about the past and then I will share with you how three progressions of my mind have started to make my life more pleasant.
It was back in November of 2007, five years ago, that I found myself on a date (well more of a nocturnal meet-up at a bar) with a woman whom I worked with. We will call her Felicia. I really liked Felicia: She was pretty, smart and had a great sense of humor.
As she approached me after getting off the Metro bus she came right up to me and gave me a strong and sweet hug. It felt really good. That night was very blustery and we ended up sitting outside at a covered bar in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle. She kept telling me what an amazing time she was having and how much of an incredible person I was. Inside this made me feel very happy, but I did not let on too much to my joy because I did not want to seem to anxious or needy—I guess girls do not like that.
I did however tell Felicia, who grew up in Minnesota and just graduated from a college in Orange County California, that I thought she was a breath of fresh air—a true gem: a beautiful soul.
She smiled at that and I knew I was winning her over. I drove her to her home as it began rain and the wind began to blow with even more ferocity. As she opened the door to get out of my car I held her hand for a second and then brought it close to my mouth and kissed it. She looked at me for a short moment with a big smile on her face and then quickly poked her head back inside the car and kissed my right cheek. However, before I could say anything she dashed into the wind towards her home. I was beside myself, I felt that this was overall a great night and I felt the energy of Felecia’s love inside my car and all over my body, even though she had left.
Unfortunately, this was not the inception of a love affair, but the beginning of a lesson that I would have to learn—well many lessons.
At work, the following Monday, Felicia and I ate lunch together, as we did on many of the ensuing days. Except one day she stopped eating with me and acting strange. When she saw me at work, she just gave me an awkward smile and walked away.
I thought that she must not think I really like her that much, or I was not really serious. So the next Friday, I asked her if she would like get some dinner with me. She seemed to get really fidgety and uncomfortable, but agreed.
In order to save space and perhaps spare me from having to recount our date in detail, I will share this: About an hour into our date, Felicia revealed to me that she was a lesbian.
I was shocked and confused. I thought about our first meet-up and about how much fun she said she had. She then blamed her behavior on having too much to drink. She told me that she just prefers the presence of woman and likes being intimate with them more than men. She even told me that I would find a girl, someone much better than her.
I was really depressed for the next few months and it was really hard to go to work, but I managed. I even ran into Felecia one day walking with her girlfriend. I was very angry with her for awhile but then several things dawned on me.
Perhaps sexuality is not a dichotomy at all, but rather a continuum. We all fall somewhere on that continuum and some of us happen to be even right in the middle—bisexual. Maybe it was my ego that tried to demystify the situation that came to this conclusion, but I think it is true.
Even more importantly, I realized that it is possible to love someone, to have strong feelings for someone, without necessarily feeling sexually aroused or interested in a person. This is part of what I call, Universal Love.
Universal Love is love without the ego or the sole desire to sleep with someone. I felt true Universal Love for the first time recently, one night after a vivid dream, the contents of which I would like to keep personal for now. However, I will divulge that while being half-awake I heard a female voice ask me if I was alright, to which I replied that I was not. Then I completely woke up in shock as I felt a powerful force fill my chest.
This energy made it clear to me that we are all brothers and sister and that in order for the soul to truly be free, we have to find a way to love each other, on the spiritual level. When I felt this feeling, it was as if I was outside of my body and its primitive desires. All I desired was to somehow connect to the universal energy of love and to support all beings as the Universe was supporting all of us.
From this feeling of Universal Love, I had gained a new perspective on life and relationships. A week after my dream, I was not a completely changed man yet—I still am not, although I am on a new path—but I noticed that I began to see things with a quieter mind and the appreciation of a child. A popular question that many spiritual gurus ask is, when you were a child, how many times a day did you see something that amazed you and made you happy? Now as an adult, how often does this happen? The world did not stop being amazing, but, perhaps, as an adult, many of us have closed our eyes and filled our minds with worries, fears and other detrimental emotions such as jealously, resentfulness and lust.
From my recent experience, I see how there is a natural progression that can enhance your experience with Yi Ren Qigong and your overall life in general. That progression is that once you let yourself fall into the frequency of Universal Love and learn to love all beings on this planet equally without too much desire of physical gratification you will naturally gain a new perspective on life. To me this is the perspective of both the child (a Universal Perspective) in all of us and the happiness that comes with that, and the adult intellect that we all possess to some degree, which gives us the ability to contribute beautiful and useful things to the Universe. By feeling comfortable with ourselves and not expecting too much from ourselves or others (what I mean is, being too concerned with status or how we are perceived by others) we can gain a much less myopic and narrow view of our existences, and our eyes can see the world more collectively and our hearts will open up without fear. Then we can all make our dinners thinking about just that, making our dinners. Every bite that we take of our meals will be reflected upon mindfully—in the present, with deep awareness, and we will only be present in the moment.
To summate, Universal Love, leads to a new broader Universal Perspective, which then leads to Mindfulness, which entails only being present in the moment, and enjoying it as much as possible.
Now if you will excuse me, I have just poured myself a nice warm cup of green tea, which I will enjoy with a clear mind as I gaze into the murky green liquid and raise the cup to my mouth. The steam and aroma will grace my face as my taste buds wake up from their slumber, calming my body and soul, lowering it into the steady stream of Universal Love, into bliss.