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About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e   November 2009

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Energizing the Healer Within

The ancient Chinese practice of Qi Gong lets your life force flow.

By Doris Wakeland

 


In 2007, I was invited to present a demonstration of T'ai chi to an Honors English class at Western New Mexico University. I decided that it should be accompanied by an explanation of the scientific basis for the effectiveness of this practice. Since then, I have become acquainted with Qi Gong through reading The Healer Within by Roger Jahnke. Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice that includes gentle movements, breathing techniques, massage and mindfulness to improve one's energy. Qi Gong is much easier to learn and to do than T'ai Chi, so that is what I now use in my practice.

Jahnke espouses the belief that if individuals practice some simple guidelines, they can preserve their health throughout life. He envisions a "Healthy Community Project" where everybody in the community is encouraged to do this. I agree with this vision and am doing my part by sharing these ideas as widely as is possible.

This is a fortuitous time to describe methods of promoting self healing and health enhancement. In the health care debate, prevention is one major means of lowering the costs of health care.

Qi Gong is the way the Chinese interact with their chi, their life force, their energetic vibration. When it flows freely, life is good. If it slows down — gets blocked — then things can go wrong. Disease can set in. The Chinese keep their chi flowing through deep breathing, acupuncture, acupressure and the simple movements known as Qi Gong. Qi Gong consists of simple, flowing movements that are repeated. These can be learned just by following the leader. Qi Gong has been practiced in China for 2,500 years. Its purpose is to promote the condition of relaxation under which the body heals.



To understand Qi Gong, keep in mind that everything is energy, and energy is everything. Albert Einstein had it right back in 1905 with his equation E=MC2: Energy equals Mass times the Speed of Light squared. In other words, energy and matter are equivalent. Therefore there are no THINGS in the universe, no solid objects as such; instead, everything is energetic vibration and relationship.

This vibration can be Manifest or Unmanifest. The Manifest can be visible or invisible. We all know about the visible, that which can be sensed physically. And we know about the invisible, in the form of our thoughts and emotions.

But there is more to the invisible than just what you feel and think. There is this vast void that is filled with possibilities, potentialities. This is the unknown from which everything emerges.

We ourselves are a combination of the Manifest and the Unmanifest. Our Manifest (our body/mind) exists in space/time, until it ceases to exist. That is, we're born, we live and we die. Our Unmanifest (our spirit) is our conscious awareness — that part of you that is reading this right now; that part of you that is the source of your intention and attention; that part that is real and eternal.

Your consciousness comes in two modes:

Object consciousness is that which deals with the material world.

Space consciousness is the field of awareness that witnesses everything without thinking, just by direct experience, just by "knowing." It is your authentic self, your invisible spirit.

How to operate in space consciousness is what we all would like to know. There are several approaches. Meditation can do it; staying in the "now" can do it; stopping thought can do it. And the ancient practice of Qi Gong can do it.

The benefits of the practice of Qi Gong include: accelerated cell metabolism; increase in circulation of oxygen in the blood; building of muscle strength; enhanced balance; movement of lymphatic fluid; circulation of immune cells; and elimination of metabolic wastes.

Lucky is the human being who understands that he/she exists on two levels of being. One can recognize the transience of the Manifest world and the permanence of the Unmanifest. And we can learn to take life lightly, with the joy that comes with this awakening.



Doris Wakeland teaches Qi Gong classes from her home in Silver City.
Contact her at pndwake@gmail.com






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