Why one practices qigong (t’ai chi) is deeply personal. Sometimes the reasons why we begin are far surpassed by the many pleasant ‘surprises’ brought by one’s practice. Cultivating Life with qigong, brings one’s practice into every aspect of daily living. One adjusts daily life to supplement and support ones qigong practice. Now more important than ever; delivered by the application of ancient wisdom teachings, one finds unity, harmony, balance, equilibrium. We apply qigong principles to ordinary activities by being aware of the breath, body, and mind. The main purposes of qigong is to learn how to slow down, listen within, balance, harmonize within and with all that is, be in charge of every activity in daily life.
Said Zen Master Haikun, “Meditation in activity is infinitely superior to meditation in stillness.”
Thus, rather than wait for the ‘perfect’ time to practice, we simply live qigong in the moments – nurtured, satisfied by its ease, beauty, grace, joy. Rather than walk away from the meditation mat, (or wish for a time to get to it…) we meditate in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, garden, workplace. Where are your thoughts? We are excellent meditators – yet, often we are meditating on what we don’t like, don’t want, what someone else did or didn’t do, rather than being present in our bodies, in the moment, appreciating, loving what is.
We can conduct ourselves with the same spirit we cultivate while meditating in silence. In these times, people may feel as if they must hurry and rush through the day, so they can accomplish more, save time, have some ‘free’ time at some future date. Yet the nature of time and our qigong practices show us the fallacy of this mindset. Have you noticed there is always more to be done, and the more you do, the more there is to do? Have you noticed the faster you move, the more you hurry, the more you try to do all at once, the more swiftly time seems to pass, the more mistakes you make, the more unsatisfying your time becomes, the less you actually accomplish?
Rushing through life makes life pass more quickly, effectively shortening it. Time is relative (thank you Mr. Einstein).
The relative part of reference is the mind. The faster the mind moves, the faster time flies. On a physiological level, moving slowly, softly, and smoothly at all times keeps the autonomous nervous system in the restorative, life-prolonging parasympathetic mode of operation – even while working, especially when deep abdominal breathing is practiced at all times.
What you can do: Be real; recognize what is – and what is not. The possibilities, solutions lay in the ‘gap’ ( The emptiness, stillness, quietness).
Cultivate the 4 Empties: Empty mind (clear, peaceful, uncluttered, open to possibilities); Empty stomach (versus overeating); Empty Kitchen (clean, simple, whole foods, just enough); Empty room (clean, uncluttered, spacious, peaceful, open to possibilities). Manage your energy with intent. Practice the 3 Regulations – being aware of the breath, body, mind.Enjoy the community of well-being in playing qigong / t’ai chi with others in addition to your daily moments of practice.,/p>
Soft – slow – smooth – still yet energized/excited – deliberate – composed – conscientious