- 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
Yi Ren Qigong and Tai Chi Training has helped practitioners overcome depression, Release Fears and boost self confidence. It has been very effective to help practitioners release old emotions (old baggage) so individuals can become more relaxed, content and happier.
Tai Chi ‘can relieve depression and boost self-esteem’
The sedate Chinese martial art of Tai Chi can relieve depression and boost self-esteem, new research shows.
By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent 7:30AM BST 21 May 2010
Practising the precise movements also reduced stress and anxiety, researchers found.
Millions of people around the world practise Tai Chi every morning, and many believe that it has physical and mental health benefits.
It is particularly popular in China where many flock to public parks to start their day with the slow, methodical movements.
It is designed to promote relaxation and improve balance, strength and suppleness.
Researchers looked at the results of 40 studies on the effects of the martial art.
19 May 2010
08 May 2010
22 Apr 2010
20 Apr 2010
They found that it did have positive psychological effects, but called for more thorough research.
Dr Chenchen Wang, from Tufts Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, said: “Tai Chi … has been practised for centuries for health and fitness in the East and is currently gaining popularity in the West.
“It is believed to improve mood and enhance overall psychological well being, but convincing evidence has so far been lacking”.
She added: “More detailed knowledge about the physiological and psychological effects of Tai Chi exercise may lead to new approaches to promote health, treat chronic medical conditions, better inform clinical decisions and further explicate the mechanisms of successful mind-body medicine”.
Previous studies have suggested that it could be helpful in the treatment of arthritis, but the results were unclear.
The above medical information was originally found at http://www.worldtaichiday.org
Reading the research below you will be able to see what many people in our culture need to convince themselves that something is good for them or get them to try something new to enhance their life and health. I know from personal experience that sometimes when you are desperate like I was to improve my life and health that you will just keep trying new things until you finally find what feels right. But, then there are others who have such good intuition and just know something like Yi ren qigong can improve their health, and then the exact opposite type of person. Well if you are the one who wants to improve your life and health then maybe you have found your path. -Brendan T.
TaiChi Research for Arthritis & Osteoarthritis
ARTHRITIS. T’ai Chi’s low impact causes no joint damage (unlike other higher impact exercises), while its weight-bearing aspect may encourage development of bone mass and connective tissue. WTCQD Note: Those with arthritic knees may want to do modified Tai Chi forms sharing weight on both legs rather than fully centering the weight over one knee.
Twelve studies were included in the study, with 5 randomized controlled clinical trials and 7 nonrandomized controlled clinical trials dating up to June 2007. The review showed promising evidence in support of using Tai Chi to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and even reported larger effect sizes in pain reduction from Tai Chi than from other popular interventions, such as using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. – Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010
Read entire article at:
The review mainly showed that Tai Chi statistically improved ankle plantar flexion in those with RA, but most other measures such as activities of daily living and swollen joints showed no improvements after Tai Chi interventions. None of the studies indicated any harmful effects of Tai Chi practice, and the review reported that adherence rates in the Tai Chi interventions were higher than in the controls, indicating that subjects may enjoy participating in Tai Chi over other exercises. – Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010
Read entire article at:
Older people with knee pain may get help from tai chi
Knee pain from osteoarthritis is a common and often chronic ailment for older people. But a new study finds that practicing tai chi exercises may not only reduce osteoarthritis pain, but improve function as well.
— Los Angeles Times, Oct. 30, 2009
Read entire article here. or related articles below:
Science Daily UK Telegraph
Arthritis. In a 40-person study at Tufts University, presented in October 2008 at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, an hour of tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks reduced pain and improved mood and physical functioning more than standard stretching exercises in people with severe knee osteoarthritis. According to a Korean study published in December 2008 in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, eight weeks of tai chi classes followed by eight weeks of home practice significantly improved flexibility and slowed the disease process in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spine.
Harvard Medical School’s Health Publications, May, 2009
Tai Chi ‘can cure arthritis’
New York (PTI): Suffering from arthritis? Try Tai Chi, a form of exercise which is regularly practiced in China, for a study says that it can reduce chronic pains.
An international team has found carried out the study and found that Tai Chi helps in mitigating the pain associated with problems like arthritis and lessen disability — in fact, it reduces pain with trends towards improving overall health…
“The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis,” lead researcher Amanda Hall.
Hall of George Institute in Australia and colleagues have based their findings on an analysis of systematic review and meta-analysis, the results of which are published in the latest edition of the Arthritis Care & Research journal.
The Hindu News Update Service
Read more at:
Newswise – Tai chi is effective in the treatment of pain and physical impairment in people with severe knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 22-Oct-2008
Mean comparisons of the change scores revealed that the experimental group perceived significantly less pain in their joints and reported fewer perceived difficulties in physical functioning, while the control group showed no change or even deterioration in physical functioning after 12 weeks. In the physical fitness test, there were significant improvements in balance and abdominal muscle strength for the tai chi exercise group.
— Journal of Rheumatology, 30, 2039-44
Tai chi helps cut pain
of knee arthritis: study
(Reuters; October 26, 2008) – The traditional Chinese form of exercise known as tai chi can help reduce pain and physical impairment in people who have knee arthritis, researchers said on Saturday.
In their study, one group of people in their 60s with severe knee osteoarthritis performed tai chi for an hour twice a week for 12 weeks while a similar group did the same amount of conventional stretching exercises over the same period.
Those who did tai chi experienced greater pain reduction, less depression and improvements in physical function and overall health, researchers led by Dr. Chenchen Wang of Tufts Medical Center in Boston reported at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Francisco.
(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Peter Cooney)
. . . read entire article at:
Click for PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ON T’AI CHI AND ARTHRITIS . . .
Medical research found at http://www.worldtaichiday.org
The muscular-skeletal benefits obtainable from TaiChi and qigong can be quite impressive. The research listed below does not include some of the types of experiences like I have had with the repairing of my physical body. For example, I watched many old tight (like beef jerky) areas of my body gradually fill up with energy from the meridians and the muscle Fascia (like watering a dried up plant and seeing it stand back up and display it’s renewed vitality and happiness) leading to greater mobility and increased strength. Imagine a young healthy and juicy baby and then the other extreme an old dried up man. During my short life I have gone already gone from the baby stage to the dried up man and now from Yi Ren qigong my body has gradually filled (filling) it’s empty tank (dried up body) back up and my health and life keep improving every year while sadly in contrast I watch many other of my friends and associates about the same age as me beginning to decline with energy and vitality. -Brendan T.
TaiChi Research For The Elderly
FALLS & EXERCISE.
Tai Chi lessons and reduced medication should be used to prevent falls in the elderly, according to experts in the UK and the US.
The latest thinking on tackling falls is included in new guidelines for doctors, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.Falls are one of the leading causes of death for old people.
– BBC News, Jan. 13, 2011
A ten year study on aging through Harvard, Yale and Emory University determined not only that T’ai Chi was superior to more technological balance therapies, but that T’ai Chi reduced the risk of injury by falling by 48%.
Complications from these injuries are the sixth leading cause of death in older Americans, and account for about $10 billion loss per year to the economy.
— USA Today, May 1996
Tai Chi & Qigong Medical research found at http://www.worldtaichiday.org
By Brian Kane 1/19/2011,
My late Grandpa Fred had many sayings. Some were funny. (Lemonade in the shade is as big as a baby elephant’s asssssssk your mom for 10 cents to by a glass. A dinner-time prayer: Here’s the bread, here’s the meat, why the hell don’t we eat?) Some were serious. (Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. To the more laconic: You are your own worst enemy). The last one always stuck with me. Why would you be your own worst enemy?
When we are born, we are a clean slate, for the most part. We haven’t really had our hearts broken, gotten let go from a job, had a loved one die, been told we were stupid, ugly, nerdy, et-cetera. The problem is not when we are told these things, it is how we react to them. If we react negatively and store those ideas about ourselves in our minds, they can create blockages that prevent us from being who we really are. They can prevent us from being happy.
During a recent meditation, I sought to answer why it is that I often expect the worse to happen. Some have called me paranoid, neurotic, skeptical, cynical. The truth is that the more I want something, the louder the inner voice of doubt speaks up, often with ridiculous assumptions and scenarios. The simple answer is that I should be able to handle anything. No matter what happens, I must remain hopeful and optimistic. It’s easy to be depressed and doubtful. And that is why some people chose that path. It is harder to be optimistic, but the payoff is much larger.
I’ve been my worst enemy many times. I used to think I just had really low self-esteem, but the problem is a bit more complicated than that. For me, as I am sure for many others, being self-sabotaging is a way to avoid failure and the pain that it can cause. Moreover, we often avoid situations that caused us heartbreak in the past. I am reminded of Paul Simon crooning: “I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. If I never loved, I never would have cried,” in the song “I am a Rock.” The character he is depicting with song, finds solace in his books and his poetry: But how can one survive by being a lonely, morose recluse? I am not sure you can.
Over the past few years my view of people has changed dramatically. For instance, in 2008 I met a woman (we’ll call her Courtney) who is blindingly brilliant. She attended a prestigious college, did well for a couple years there, but then dropped out. Her reasoning was not quite clear, but she stated that most of it had to do with not being on good terms with her guidance counselor. I believe it had more to do with her self-doubt, which led to drug abuse and self-mutilation. Her reasoning for that had to do with many things, including the way she was treated in high school (she was harassed for being a minority at her school and often physically and psychologically abused ) to her father dying when she was only in her 20s. These are definitely some tough things to endure, but like I stated earlier, it is not what happens to us in life that determines who we are, it is how we choose to react to those hardships. Of course there is always a time of grief and sadness in life, but what happens in our lives can either make us bitter or better.
I’ve also met other people who aren’t so smart. They aren’t so talented or attractive. Yet they are living happy, successful lives and fulfilling their potentials. This is because the quality of life we experience is almost certainly affected by our attitudes. Whereas my super smart friend, Courtney, has actually been homeless, partly due to her being her own worst enemy, some of the people I have met recently who were not given as many gifts, are living happy, healthy lives.
All in all, at least half of the success you will experience in life has to do with attitude. It was Woody Allen who quipped “80 per cent of success is just showing up.” Being brave can be tough, but hardly anyone who is successful did not take chances.
Many of the aforementioned ideas are not new to us. They seem so basic. Yet many people opt to avoid situations that make them vulnerable. Whether it’s giving a presentation in front of your boss, or asking a girl or boy out on a date, applying for your dream job and on and on, most of us have been our own worst enemies, making excuse after excuse for not being the person we really want to be.
So how does Yi Ren Tai Chi and QiGong and meditation fit into all this? For me, the best way to break through my internal blockages has been to observe them from an objective view. This can be accomplished by quieting the mind. I have become much more self aware by studying QiGong. This process has not always been easy. I have come to many plateaus over the last year and one half that I never thought I would advance from. Currently I am very aware of my blockages and the unnecessary fears they have created in my life. Because of my Ego and proud-nature, I used to repress my problems. However, I have been very humbled by the teachings of Dr. Sun and Brendan Thorson. The first step I had to overcome in order to make personal progress was to be able to take criticism. I have become much better at not taking constructive criticism/advice personally. Now that I am privy to my problems, I am confident I can surmount them and live a fruitful life. I am confident that I will one day be my best ally…
The First Conference on Medical Qigong & Integrative MedicineJanuary 7th & 8th, 2011Mark your calendars!
The Institute of Qigong & Internal Alternative Medicine (IQ&IAM) invites you to The First Conference on Medical Qigong & Integrative Medicine, which will take place Friday evening and Saturday, January 7th & 8th at Bastyr University Chapel (Kenmore, WA). The theme of this conference will be Cultivating Healthy Qi, Developing Healthy Behaviors and Building Healthy Community.
The purpose of this conference is to promote the paradigm shift from a focus on disease to one based on wellness and the intrinsic strength and potential abilities of the mind and the body. This conference will present a model of an integrative medicine approach for improving chronic illness care and management.
The keynote speakers will include:
- Jennifer C. Lovejoy, Ph.D., Mind-Body Medicine Researcher, Corporate Wellness Program Developer, Affiliate Faculty at Bastyr University and University of Washington
- Nooshin Darvish, N.D., FICT, Physician, Writer, Lecturer and Educator in the field of Naturopathic, Integrative and Anti-Aging Medicine
- David Kearney, M.D., Researcher of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Associate Professor at University of Washington and VA hospital
- Guan-Cheng Sun, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of IQ&IAM, and Developer, Teacher and Researcher of Yi Ren® Medical Qigong
Other speakers will include: acupuncturists, a certified nutritionist, a psychologist, a rehabilitation therapist and numerous Yi Ren® Medical Qigong practitioners.
The IQ&IAM is so delighted to bring the experts in the field together for this exciting presentation. We hope that you find this conference interesting and that you will be able to attend!
- Friday, January 7th
- Saturday, January 8th
- 6:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
- 8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
- Bastyr University Chapel
- 14500 Juanita Dr. NE
- Kenmore, WA 98028
- View a map
- $55 general admission
- $45 Yi Ren® Practitioners
- $25 full-time students
- includes lunch at Bastyr
If you prefer not to register on line, fill out and send in this form, call 206.290.6072, or email us. Lodging at Bastyr is available for one or two nights; contact Amy Putiri at 206.290.6072 for more information, or email her firstname.lastname@example.org .
Now that the new year has come and gone many people are finally ready to get back to their normal schedules and therefore I will begin my new set of classes this week.
The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training
Tonight and tomorrow I will have a couple of introductory classes for current students and for new students to me and Yi Ren® Qigong. Oh, and I will also be holding an intro class on Merer Island nest Thursday 1/20/11. Then starting on Sunday 1/16 new sets of classes will also begin. See class schedule page for all the details.
-Level One: Foundation, Chi Gong Exercise
Awakening the Healing Power Within
1. Sundays 1/16-2/20, 4-6pm /Yi Ren® Qigong
(The prerequisite for all subsequent courses)
2. Mondays 1/17 – 2/21, 7-9PM
The Noble School of Tai-Chi & Qigong Training
5623 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105 6/2 hr classes
Many other advanced classes also starting
By Brian Kane 1/4/2011,
If you are thinking about learning Yi Ren® Qigong and Tai Chi, then you are most likely seeking to improve your life. Even if you feel completely healthy, both physically and mentally, Yi Ren QiGong can help you gain a new awareness and perspective on life. This has been my experience.
I have been studying Yi Ren Qigong and Tai Chi for about 18 months now, and even in that small amount of time, my life has improved dramatically. My body moves more fluidly, without general aches and pains, and I am able to deal with stress better.
Perhaps if you are like me, you have been frustrated when western medicine and physical therapy have not been able to cure you of certain ailments. What Yi Ren QiGong can give you, as it has given me, is the knowledge and ability to heal yourself, which is very empowering.
Yi Ren QiGong is not a cure-all or a substitute for medication, but it can work well in conjunction with your current treatments. Yi Ren QiGong also may not help you right away, and it may take time for you to improve your life. To me, the time I have spent studying Yi Ren QiGong and Tai Chi has been well worth it. It has helped me realize that in stillness, there can be a flurry of internal activity that actually helps me live a more efficient life. It reminds me of my time in college. A friend of mine said that it is not necessarily how long you study, but how you study. Perhaps in life, it is not necessarily how long you spend at being a success and happy, but how you go about reaching your personal goals.
During many of my Yi Ren QiGong sessions, I have gained new clarity and found answers to the questions that I thought about for hours on end, with no success. I am excited to share with the reader my personal revelations and growth with Yi Ren QiGong. The journey will not always be easy, but self-improvement hardly ever is. So, let us begin…
By Brian Kane 1/3/2011
Let’s face it, this is a point-and- click society, riddled with instant gratification and mass consumerism: It can seem like a rat race. Each of us deals with the repercussions of the hustle and bustle of the modern, computer era differently: Some find solace and escapism in a television sitcom or video game, some are soothed by an alcoholic beverage or toke of Cannabis, while others find comfort in food and sex. The list goes on.
The goal of all these activities is perhaps to have fun, but just as much, to relieve stress, which can wreak havoc on both our bodies and minds. It can cause unhealthy imbalances. I should know, I have been a victim of crippling stress and have tried many of the aforementioned activities to alleviate it. Ultimately, none were long-term solutions and some even made it worse.
Instead of being didactic and divulging my opinion on why many of the ways we seek to eliminate stress are extremely unhealthy, let me express what has worked for me and give you some background.
For most of my adult life I have dealt with depression and anxiety, on and off. I would be fine for months, or even years, and then bam, something would trigger anxiety and its ugly cousin, depression. Initially I thought I must just be like my beloved grandma, who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. In fact, when visiting doctors, I would insist that I had Bipolar Disorder and they would refute my self diagnosis.
Of course they really didn’t know what was wrong with me and when you visit many general practitioners, if there is no physical explanation for why you can barely function, they deem it a brain chemical imbalance. Once a doctor handed me a sample of Zoloft (an anti-depressant) and patted me on the shoulder saying, ”It’s nothing to be ashamed of…” I wasn’t ashamed at all, but really frustrated. The Zoloft seemed to actually make me feel worse, and more detached than ever. Once a psychiatrist prescribed me Serzone. The dose I was taking was so small, that the doctor attributed it to my brain metabolizing the drug differently than most and perhaps my slender build. In retrospect, I believe that I felt better merely due to the placebo effect, in which my mind tricked itself into thinking I was better. This is not to say that psychiatric drugs cannot help people, but that I believe they are over-prescribed. They may treat the problem, perhaps, not at its source, but as it is manifested. This is not a swipe at doctors, they are very smart people, but are only human.
For me, mediation and exercise were effective in combating my mental maladies. However it became evident in 2008 that these practices might not be enough. I had been taking the drug Finasteride (the generic name of the drug Propecia) for my thinning hair since 2003. A very nice dermatologist suggested I try Proscar, which is the same thing as Propecia, and that the side effects were very manageable and fairly innocuous. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
This dermatologist explained to me that that Finasteride reduces the level of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT )in the body, including the scalp, where it is believed that it destroys hair follicles in some men, causing male pattern baldness. I got the impression that DHT was just a non-essential hormone that causes baldness and unsightly body hair in men. In this case, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In about 2008, I noticed my moods were much more erratic than ever and that I was not able to handle stress as well as I had in the past. I did some online research and found that many men were experiencing the same side-effects, which actually persisted, and even got worse, after cessation of the drug. It turns out that Finasteride may affect the production of a neurosteroid called Allopregnanolone, which aids in coping with stress and even affects cognitive function. Interestingly, not all men who have taken Finasteride report side-effects, but even renowned endocrinologists such as Dr. John Crisler, DO, refuse to prescribe the drug. Crisler has had patients that have come to him with severe side-effects, including Hypogonadism,. For more information, view this video:
In March of 2008, after I stopped taking Finasteride, I was experiencing extreme brain fog, muscle spasms, weakness, anxiety and depression. It became so bad that I was barely able to articulate myself and function at work. Every morning after waking up, I literally felt like I had partied with a heavy metal band, ingested copious amounts of illicit drugs, and gotten my ass kicked by a gang of raucous bruisers. This is not an exaggeration. I was desperate.
During my online research, I found a site titled propeciahelp.com. I found that I was far from alone. The threads I read on that site made my heart sink. Many men were very upset and seeking answers. Unfortunately, there are none. Some men on the thread reported feeling suicidal. They were not themselves anymore. They had lost both physical and mental vitality. I had to go to a doctor to get answers.
After trying many remedies– including Maca Root (which did improve my cognitive function, somewhat) and exercise, during which I noticed I was significantly weaker and had lost 15 pounds in less than two months—I had to swallow my pride and go see a neurologist.
It was like the whole darn cycle starting over again: I experience acute stress, I get depressed, my body gets tired. But this time it was far worse than anything I had experienced before. It had been more than five years since I sought help, and I was really distraught. I thought I was getting better.
The neurologist ran a battery of tests. I underwent a physical and had blood drawn. All the tests showed that I was as healthy as a horse. But since I did exhibit strong reflex responses during the physical, the neurologist suggested I get an MRI of my brain, to rule out Multiple Sclerosis and ALS.
I was very anxious and worried about the test results, because I honestly thought I had a neurological disease. However, when I called to get the results, I was told that my brain was perfectly healthy. The neurologist suggested I take an anti-depressant. I mulled it over a bit and decided that it might help me get back to my pre-Finasteride state. However, the drug, as in the past, sent my brain reeling into fits of racing thoughts and that strange detached feeling. I even tried to convince him that I MUST be Bipolar. But he dismissed that very quickly. I quit taking the anti-depressant. I was going to win this battle by other means…
Eventually, after about a year of my disuse of Finatseride, I began to feel better and found solace in my first love, music. I was unemployed, as many people were around this time—and still are—but feeling very hopeful about my future. I still suffered from bouts of brain fog and depression, but they were less severe. During this time I came across a YouTube channel called “SeeJaneTalk” which was hosted by Jane Alexander out of the San Francisco area. My life would be changed after this. See website: http://possessingme.com/
Jane’s past was very tumultuous. She was the victim of an abusive family and had spent much of her youth in mental hospitals. Jane was diagnosed as being Bipolar and had Schizophrenic. Like me, she tried just about everything to cure herself, including psychiatric medication, which she said made her worse.
What worked for Jane was meditation and internal martial arts such as Qigong and Tai Chi. I had heard of Tai Chi, but was not familiar with QiGong. I wrote her feverishly, looking for any answers she might have. She suggested I read a book titled “Relaxing Into Your Being” by Bruce Frantzis. Frantizis (who had studied for several years with a Chinese Taoist Master) touched on many of the ideas I had about the modern computer era and that our brains were not capable of dealing with the fast pace of society without being stricken by massive amounts of stress. Jane once wrote me that she thought I was most likely fine but, “You have not learned to control the grey matter between your ears.”
I read Frantzis’s entire book twice through and practiced some of the meditative exercises in it. Frantzis wrote that his master had told him to imagine meditation as a glass of water with sand on the bottom. When we meditate, we stir up the sand and it begins to swirl around and rise to the top. There will inevitably be some “demons” or issues that will rise to the top of the glass and we will have to deal with them. The goal is to settle the sand back to the bottom of the glass, and then dissolve or eliminate it. I was excited to get started. I figured if internal martial arts helped Jane, it would definitely help me. I was right, finally.
After playing guitar for hours, I would then meditative for hours as well and practice some of the rudimentary TaiChi exercises taught in the book. After a few months of this, I was feeling better. I abstained from marijuana and coffee (which I am neither a proponent or opponent of) slept better and was more in control of my impulses. I even began to participate in two of my favorite physical hobbies, working out and playing basketball. To me, the only thing that feels as good as a guitar in my hands is the old pig skin.
Although I was feeling better, there still was that dreaded sand, encrusted upon the glass of my ailing soul. All the things that humans, especially men, bottle up and hide away were there. They were beginning to surface and my issues with anything from intimate relationships to fear of failure were rising at an alarming rate. But the gods weren’t leaving me to fend for myself. Soon I would meet my teacher, Brendan Thorson.
Actually, I had met Brendan on several occasions back in the mid-2000s while working out at 24-Hour Fitness. The first time I met him, he was clad in just a white T-shirt and sweatpants, sporting generic tennis shoes, and he had a semi-distant and enlightened look in his eye. Honestly, I thought he was a very peculiar eccentric who would practice foreign forms of martial arts in front of the club mirror, after methodically lifting weights. I even tried to avoid him, because I wasn’t used to friendly people in Seattle, especially at a gym. Many times in the past, I had been affected by the so-called “Seattle Freeze” in which people seemed a bit off-puttish (which could be a myth), but this cat seemed like he was from a different planet.
I would make small talk with him for about four years when I’d see him at the health club, never really knowing the significance of the movements he made during his workout. It was on one occasion that I asked him what he was doing now. He casually told me he was actually now a QiGong instructor. QiGong, where had I heard of that word before? Oh yeah, Bruce Frantizis (who wrote it as Chi Gung—a different English translation) mentioned it in his book. However, my mind had visions of David Carradine and his TaiChi videos, and I thought QiGong was probably just an easier, inferior form of TaiChi. It was for old people.
I half-skeptically took Brendan’s business card and tucked it way in my wallet. After about a month I decided to go to one of his intro classes. The morning before my first intro class, I was writing a song and was running behind. I showed up to his class about 15 minutes late and was a bit flustered. I managed to catch up to the class and began the exercises.
Because of my prejudices, Qigong seemed to me kind of like bull shit at first. My internal dialogue was “What, I stand here and move my friggin’ hands around, bend my knees a lil’ bit and this is supposed to help me? Get real.” At the time I thought Chi or Qi, was energy in the sense that I had known it before, like feeling energetic. I had no concept of it being an actual life force that you could feel circulating on the surface of your skin and inside your body.
Despite my skepticism, I went to two more intro classes. It was on the third intro class that I finally felt a sensation I had never felt before. It was like static electricity flowing between my hands and down my arms. I first I thought I must have pinched a nerve and was just experiencing the pins and needles sensation. But this was much stronger. I could not deny that I had somehow created an energy field around myself and was moving it around my body. The rest of the day I was elated by discovering Qi. I wanted to tell the world. But I thought the world would think I was nuts.
One friend even suggested that it was all in my head. I wanted to convince him that it wasn’t, but the only way you can prove to a person that Qi is real, is for him to conscientiously do the exercises and discover it for him or herself.
Since October of 2009 I have been taking classes from Brendan Thorson. Brendan is carrying on the teaching lineage of Master Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun (Leader and developer of Yi Ren® Qigong), who is a native of China (he now resides in Seattle) where he learned QiGong, QiGong that has been passed down for thousands of years. During the past year and one half, I have had times where I felt that I was slipping into another downward spiral, but Qigong, TaiChi and Meditation have kept me from bottoming out. Change of any kind is not easy. QiGong will not cure you of any physical or psychological ailment overnight. It takes work. However, from my experience, the time you invest into QiGong ( the umbrella that includes, Tai Chi and meditation) will pay off, especially in a society where time is very precious. Not only has QiGong helped control my moods, it has also brought me back from a very dark place that I thought I would never get out of. The reader might think I should be livid bout the FDA approving a drug such as Finasteride, or even letting general practitioners prescribe psychiatric medication, but I’m not. I am grateful that I had to go through trying times because they made me examine myself more closely and seek out what is truly valuable in life.
Recently a friend of mine, a very intelligent young lady, wrote me a text message that read “That is why the Buddhists believe that all life is suffering.” I wrote her back that only some of life is suffering. The amount of suffering we experience is greatly affected by our habits and attitudes. The suffering that I endure today is significantly less than in my past and most of it is the result of boring through the residual sand of hang-ups and fears. Yi Ren QiGong is greatly aiding me in this journey and I am very grateful to be able to share my experiences with you in this blog. Of course some of the details of my life and trials of seeking balance have been left out of this entry, but I hope to touch on those details later on, while documenting my progress.
It is true that we do live in a point-and-click society. But that is not to say that QiGong is an antiquated way of thinking. In fact. with the help of Yi Ren QiGong and Tai Chi, I have experienced greater confidence to adapt to the modern age and to be a contributing member of society. Just as importantly, I now have the confidence to be a contributing member to my well being.
Seattle Tai Chi Classes & Chi Gong Training
Do you want to take charge of your life and health? Then you do not want to miss this amazing opportunity to hear and meet many individuals who have personally changed their life, like I have, by integrating Yi Ren qigong into their lives! See yi ren qigong conference for all the details about this upcoming event so you can put it on your calendar. Improve sleep, transform stress and self awareness. Please invite any of your friends who also want to improve their live too!