Blog

  • How My Energy Feels Today

    Friday, September 20, 2013 

    I have practiced my Yi Ren Qigong twice today–once on my own and one longer session with the level 1 DVD by Dr. Sun. It really helps to have a visual and a voice, when doing Yi Ren Qigong.

    Then, I decided that I wanted to draw briefly with colors how my energy feels when I practice. I have no idea of why I chose these colors. And, my energy feelings are not really that intense. But, this is not a literal expression for me. Practicing Yi Ren Qigong  is a really big deal and feels huge and somewhat overwhelming at this time. And, upon reflection, that is what I see in my little drawing. The overwhelm and pressure–the power–of considering the reach of my Qi energy. It’s not very artistic by choice. As an art therapist, I took the advice I would have given any client, “Be free and don’t worry about what it looks like. Just draw what you feel!”
  • Getting Creative!

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    Lately I have been thinking of how to use my art therapy and photography in conjunction with my Yi Ren Qigong practice. I love the photos that my little Emma and I take together in the woods. But, I also know that maybe it’s time to challenge myself and use drawing to scan the energy growing in me. Soon, I hope to have a drawing that begins to express this in a visceral way for myself. Sketches with color seem to feel like a good way to start! Or, water color paintings!

    I feel the Qi energy pretty easily in my hands, arms and from my energy centers. For example, when I practice developing the energy between my hands and my Dantian or my kidneys/Life Gate or even my sacrum or Marrow Gate, I feel energy and heat pretty readily. Sometimes I feel shooting, tingling sensations. And, if I move my hands back and forth, I feel strong magnetic feelings. Of course, I have to say that it has taken time and practice. And, I still have a long ways to go before the energy grows and sinks into my body to the point where I can feel it moving around my meridians. That is when the true healing can happen.

    When I reflected last night at our last Health Psychology Topics class on the benefits of my Qigong practice so far, I realized that they are significant. One student mentioned that it’s been a while since she has seen me walking bent over in pain half way through class. Another mentioned to me later that my energy is so much lighter and my face looks more relaxed. I have to say that I agree. I can walk and stand longer at a time. I am sleeping better. But, I still have my rough times.

    This morning I woke up sore and with a headache. I was tired from waking too early. But, I know it’s likely because I worked pretty much all day yesterday and then later went to the Moving With Qi class at The Noble School of Tai Chi and Qigong Training over in the University District here in seattle with Brendan Thorson. This is much more than I could have done earlier in the summer. I did some Yi Ren Qigong and self-massage first thing this morning and it helped. I am still not feeling great though. Some of me wants to go to bed when I ache. But, I am living my life “as if” being active will heal me. So, I keep moving! Work a little, walk a little, stretch a little, sing a little, dance a little! Oh, and work a little more! Ha!

  • Sinking In

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    The Qi energy is sinking in.  And, because I am becoming more sensitive and aware in my body, I am able to notice little change in my energy centers. For example, today I had heat and other mild sensations in my crown and shoulder centers. I also had strong tingling in my kidneys and down my left leg and thigh. Most of my sensations are on my left side. My left hand also has the strongest energy sensations. Yin energy.

    Sometimes I feel really hopeful. I like the feeling of the energy building and the sensations of playing with it. I like the fact that I feel I am getting stronger, even though doing the simplest yoga poses are so painful for me still. And, I am very slowly becoming more flexible and in touch with my body. Yi Ren Qigong is truly a healing modality. Of that, I am sure.

    Other times I get fearful and anxious. I still don’t know where I will be living and I don’t have a decent regular job. I still have pain daily. But, maybe I am dealing with it better since I have become more calm through the meditative nature of the Qigong practice. Like my teacher says, when the wrong thoughts come–the ones that bring me down–just change the channel! Or, frame the problem differently. Instead of beating myself up because I don’t have a good job, I need to think of better ways to find jobs. I certainly won’t find one if I spend all my time angry or sad about my predicament!

    Tomorrow is the second day of my second Level 1 Seminar. I hope I can sleep tonight and feel better in the morning!

  • Health and Beauty Through Qigong

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    My teacher, Brendan Thorson, at The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training in Seattle, Washington has many wonderful articles about healing with Yi Ren Qigong on his website.

    I just discovered this one! I could use some help in the youthful-vitality areas of health!

    http://www.qigongedu.com/2012/01/creating-youthful-vitality-w-yi-ren%C2%AE-qigong/

    At sixty years old, I feel that I am aging faster than most people. Of course, having painful scoliosis puts a lot of stress on me physically, as well as emotionally. So, it’s not really surprising. Still, who doesn’t want to be more healthy and have that glow of youthfulness!

    Time will tell! I am only a few weeks into the practice of Yi ren Qigong. It’s much too early to know my potential. If it works, I will post an “after” picture someday! Ha!

  • As you think, so shall you be. If you want to be happy, just be.

    9/19/2013
    When I was young, my mom told me “Don’t let what others think about you dictate how you feel about yourself.” I must admit, I am guilty of caring too much about what people think at times. I often depend on people to tell me that I am doing well, that I am an intelligent, creative, ambitious, caring—add other good human qualities—human being. However, I have found that the less I care about what people think and the more I just think about doing the best I can and what is healthy for me, the happier I actually tend to become.

    It is inevitable that the opinions of others can have an effect on our lives. For instance, I am sure most of the readers have applied for a job that they were qualified for but the reason they were not awarded the job because the interviewer simply did not like something about them. That is part of life. Not everyone is going to like you. In fact, I find that the more I am myself, the more quality friends I make, but also, the more people who do not care for me increases. Oftentimes insecure people are put off by those who are uniquely true to themselves.

    An excerpt of the The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13 states
    Favor and disgrace are equally problematic.
    Hope and fear are phantoms of the body.

    What does it mean that “favor and disgrace
    are equally problematic”?

    Favor lifts you up; disgrace knocks you down.
    Either one depends on the opinions of others and
    causes you to depart from your center…

    This week I was called many things by other people. I was called compassionate, passionate, intelligent and humorous. On the other hand, I was called and idiot, a monkey—which I find humorous—a worrier and a schmuck. Of course all of these things are true at times, for most of us are not always brilliant or always foolish

    However, in the past, where I would feel very prideful after being told I had favorable attributes, or being really upset when I was told I had unfavorable attributes, this week I sort of just appreciated both opinions and succeeded at not letting them affect my energy levels.

    When I feel and inflated ego or sad about what other people have said about me, I usually practice the Yi Ren Qigong exercise Balancing the Kidney and Heart Centers. This has helped given me the fortitude to love myself and keep a positive level of self-esteem. Onwards and upwards, Peaceful Warriors!

  • So Much To Learn!

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    The world of Qigong is amazing and so complex. I have so much to learn! I am excited and am exploring the Qigong Network on LinkedIn this week. So many knowledgeable people from so many different, but related, paths.

    I read one discussion on “Hitting the Drum,” which is similar to what Brendan Thorson, my teacher, taught us. It’s a tapping and rubbing at the back of the neck. It’s also stimulating the GB and good for many reasons.

    Of course, daily practice of exercises like the Small Universe (one of my favorites) are most important for overall, whole health. But, the tapping the back of my neck feels divine.

    Taking time to read and learn about the history of Qigong, the variety of Qigong forms and practices is something I am enjoying. I want to share some of my favorite links with you. There are many, many resources in our communities and online for learning about Qigong. I will add more as I find them and please let me know if you have some to share!

    Many Blessings!

    LINKS:

    The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training

    Institute of Qigong & Integrative Medicine

    Article: Qigong Eases Fibromyalgia

    Article: Anticancer Qigong Therapy

    Qigong for Diabetes

    “We join spokes together in a wheel,
    but it is the center hole
    that makes the wagon move.
    We shape clay into a pot
    But it is the emptiness inside
    That holds whatever we want.
    We hammer wood for a house
    But it is the inner space
    That makes it livable.”
    —Tao Te Ching

  • Practice Leads to Progress

    There have been many days when I believe that I simply do not have the time to practice Yi Ren Qigong. I get up and my head is racing about what I need to accomplish with my day. Many times, like today, I have felt that if I do even 10 minutes worth of Qigong, then I will be neglecting my responsibilities and/or favorite pastimes such as going to work, cleaning, working out, reading, cooking, playing guitar, the list goes on.

    This weekend, this very common dilemma was mentioned. The group came to the consensus that Yi Ren Qigong can enrich your daily experiences and make them more productive. For instance, we talked about sleep quality. From my experience, if I practice Yi Ren Qigong and mediation before going to bed, my sleep is much deeper and I wake up feeling more refreshed. I can get six hours of sleep after practicing Yi Ren Qigong and feel more awake the next day than if I got 9 hours of sleep without practicing Yi Ren Qigong.

    This summer, I have been doing landscaping for a friend’s business. If I wake up 20 minutes to an hour earlier than usual, and practice Yi Ren Qigong exercises such as the Energy Grounding Exercise, Small Universe Cultivating Exercise and the Internal Energy Centers Exercise, I find that I am much more grounded and have more energy to perform the often labor-intensive tasks of landscaping. In fact, there are times I am out in the field, working on someone’s yard that I can feel the chi support my movements and my joints feel less strained, my muscles very energized.

    One last thing, the seminar also drew to my attention how important it is to exercise the sacrum. The sacrum is the house of one’s will and according to Yi Ren Instructor Brendan Thorson, it affects ones vitality and ability of the body to remain youthful. Once the Sacrum becomes rigid and/or stiff, people tend to age rapidly. The Marrow Gate, which is located on the Sacrum, energized the parasympathetic nervous system, improves immunity, strengthens the reproductive system and enhances vitality.

    OK then, this is your Peaceful Warrior signing off. I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember, try to practice daily and do not fret if you do not develop this habit immediately. I have found that the benefits of practicing every-so-often during the week very naturally lead the practitioner to want to practice daily, as it can lead to a higher quality of life production and experience.

  • Growing Qi Energy

    Saturday, September 7, 2013

    My teacher, Brendan Thorson, of The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training in Seattle talked about how learning Yi Ren Qigong is about energy that grows and expands like walking up a spiraling staircase as one repeats levels. By this I mean that a student of Yi Ren Qigong gets something different from each level. And, because of that fact, students take the levels repeatedly.  The teachings from Level 1, 2 or 3 are not something that become obsolete after you complete them. In fact, your Qi energy continues to compound and grow with every level, seminar or course of Yi Ren Qigong. So, even the seasoned students can always gain Qi and learning from the repetition of any level or seminar.

    My Qi energies have grown over that past few weeks and I notice the Qi in my right hand is much more developed now. It’s easier to activate and gets stronger more quickly. I also have had less pain lately and have been much more calm–less agitated or stressed. All good things! Tomorrow I have a whole day of Yi Ren Qigong. This week I have 2 evening sessions. Then, next weekend I will do the first level seminar again–my second time. All I hope for is that the weather cools down some! Feeling so blessed!

  • Be a Peaceful Warrior and Don’t Let Your Emotions Cloud Your Rational Thinking.

    09/12/2013

    The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 21

    The greatest virtue is to follow Tao,

    And only Tao.

    You might say “But Tao is illusive!

    Evasive! Mysterious! Dark!

    How can one follow that?”

     

    By Following this:

    Out of silent subtle mystery emerge images.

    These images coalesce into forms.

    Within each form is contained the seed

    And essence of life.

    Thus do all things emerge and expand out

    of darkness and emptiness.

     

    The Taoists believe that there are eight energy bodies. These include, in order of succession: The Physical Body, The Chi Body, The Emotional Body, The Mental Body, The Psychic Energy Body, The Causal Body, The Body of Individuality and The Body of the Tao.

    According to American Qigong Master Bruce Frantzis’s book Relaxing Into Your Being. 1.“The refinement of the fourth or mental body enhances the mind’s ability to discriminate between what the Taoists call “the real and the false.”

    Frantzis goes on to write that if your emotional body is not fully developed, that the mental body will be negatively affected and it could override even the most basic functions of the mental body. In other words, bad emotions can cloud your thinking.

    In his book Qigong: Energizing the Zang Fu—Yi Ren Qigong Therapy Manual II, Dr. Guan Cheng-Sun stated with regards to practicing the Zang Fu, which relates to Qigong exercises that develop the 12 organ meridian such as the kindey/urinary tract exercise and the liver/gall bladder exercise: 2.“Sometimes practitioners might experience this process of self-discovery as joyful and exciting, at other times as emotionally challenging and painful, during the process of cultivating the different organs/meridians.” Sun goes on to write: ”In many cases, it may take a lot of courage, emotional strength, intelligence, knowledge and time to overcome the difficulties and challenges. However, this can be a great opportunity for self-healing…”

    I was struck by the fact that practicing the Zang-Fu system of Yi Ren Qigong could be so emotionally trying. I have experienced this phenomenon myself over the past year, and when I came upon the aforementioned passages, I felt reassured that the emotional pain I have experienced is normal and actually a good thing. It is sort of analogous to the body ridding itself of food-waste: Your body needs to embrace and absorb good energy and get rid of bad energy. If bad energy remains in one’s system it can cause emotional blockages, which can hamper a person’s ability to think with a clear mind, and optimize one’s mental capacities.

    What works for me and what Dr. Sun has suggested is to remain detached from the bad emotions that arise from Qigong practice. Instead of concentrating or obsessing about these bad emotions, use the information they provide to create more healthy patterns of living. For instance, I used to obsess over mistakes I made when I was younger in high school and college. Some of these emotions can get attached to certain organs. Due to bad experiences when I was younger, I have a fear of intimacy which relates to the heart/small intestine Zang-Fu meridian. Bad emotions associated with the heart are jealousy and envy. The Taoists believe that if you fall prey to these emotions, you will leak energy, which harms your well-being. However, a way to counteract bad emotions is with good virtues. In my case, when I feel hurt by another person, I try to think of the virtues of high self love, self-respect and kindness. This actually brings more energy into the body and is a good way to counteract bad, detrimental emotions.

    Yi Ren Instructor, Brendan Thorson, founder of The Noble School of Tai Chi and Qigong Training, once told me that I was a warrior for continuing my Qigong practice and spiritual work. At the time, it was pretty early in my practice, and I did not think much of his words. But recently, I now understand what he means. However, whereas as recently as three months ago, I would try to fight off these emotions or push them back into my sub-conscious, now I just let them rise to the surface and work them out by repeating virtues such a Courage, Confidence, Strength and Faith, which is my personal, favorite mantra.

    This week I made a pact with myself not to let my emotions override my system and sabotage my short-term or long-term goals. This has helped me keep a clear mind, which helps develop my mental body. We all know smart and able people that do not live productive, happy lives. Let us learn from them that bad emotions can be debilitating and profoundly, negatively affect our mental abilities and therefore our abilities to reach our full potentials.

    1. Relaxing Into Your Being: Breathing, Chi, and Dissolving the Ego, B.K. Frantzis, 1998, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley California in Association with Energy Arts Inc. Publications.
    2. Qigong: Energizing the Zang-Fu—Yi Ren Qigong Therapy Manual Volume II. Guan-Cheng Sun, Ph.D., Jill Gonet, M.F.A. 2010. Self-Published. Seattle, Washington.
  • Confucius stated: “Instead of indulging in empty talk”

    9/10/2010

    As I mentioned in my previous entry, Confucius stated: “Instead of indulging in empty talk, I consider it more meaningful and enlightening to express myself in definite actions.”

    In a recent class a student who works in counseling mentioned that she has had patients grapple with an issue for years—going to psychotherapy to help resolve the issue. However, she has noticed that although psychotherapy can be helpful to the patient, it is often the the case that practicing meditation and/or Qigong can help the patient accelerate dramatically the healing process.

    This week I have experienced the same phenomenon. I once had a doctor tell me that I ruminate about things that I do not need to. Translation: I can be a complete worry wart. But what I have found is that when I start to slip into what I have called the “Twilight Zone”—which all of us slip into now and again—I try to practice Yi Ren Qigong as soon as possible, especially the Level II Stomach/Pancreas Exercise. The stomach organ is associated with thoughts, decision making, imaginations, delusions, logic and reasoning. I also have been practicing the Level I Brain Gate Exercise and mediation to quiet my mind and reach a state of Xuan. The state of Xuan to me is when your mind is completely empty of noise, a state of Wu, and then you integrate the intellectual and intuitive mind (the Frontal Lobe and Parietal Lobe of the brain), the state of You. Then you can observe the thoughts and visions that come into your mind. I emphasize “observe” so that the practitioner does not interrupt the flow of what could be important/vital information coming from her or his unconscious mind. From my experience, this is not always a pleasant experience, but then again, either is working out at the gym in order to get into good physical shape. I have had very fun times participating in physical exercise and I have had very painful times. The same rings true with Yi Ren Qigong.

    Getting back to Xuan: this state of mind, Xuan, has been described as being between 0 and 1 in the mind—an almost waking dream state. The information I receive in this state has been more valuable to me than any sort of pep talk I have ever gotten, and I have been on the receiving end of some pretty epic pep talks.

    So all in all taking action, by practicing Yi Ren Qigong, rather than letting a broken record of repeating thoughts ruin my day, is a new and rewarding practice for me. Although it might seem like you are taking valuable time out of your day to practice Qigong as soon as you start slipping into worry and delusional thoughts, from my recent experience, after practicing Yi Ren Qigong and then concentrating on my goals and tasks for the day, my day is far more productive.

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