I met my Tai Chi and Qigong teacher through one of my BodyTalk students who had been studying with him for a number of years. She had offered to teach Primordial Qigong (a set of movements designed to help cultivate essential or primordial life force energy) at my healing center for free, so I managed to get to one of the classes and was very impressed. I was particularly impressed because I was so consumed with my work at the time and my energy was very low– but immediately upon practicing the exercises I began to feel tingly and alive. I purchased the DVD with step by step instructions from Master Chen and began to practice almost every day. My energy began to shift, but I was still working too hard and carrying too much unnecessary weight on my shoulders.
When Master Chen came a few months later to teach some workshops at Nurture New York, despite my busy schedule, I knew I had to attend. He was teaching 2 days of workshops with an evening lecture in between. During the first day, I struggled to keep my eyes open and focus on the material, but something was penetrating and by the evening, I started feeling a growing excitement that is hard to put into words. It wasn’t an excitement about anything in particular, but this bubbly feeling inside that carried a sense of possibility and adventure.
Between the class and the evening lecture, I was working in my office alongside Master Chen (who has more technology gadgets than I do –a very modern Taoist priest, indeed!) and in one moment, he suddenly got up out of his chair, walked towards me and powerfully proclaimed, “Come with me, now!”
I got up and followed him into one of the center’s treatment rooms. He pointed to the table and told me to lie down. I complied. As he directed his hands towards me, I felt as though he was energetically peeling off a layer of old skin that needed to be discarded. That bubbling, exciting feeling began to grow and I could feel myself becoming more present in my body. After about 15 or 20 minutes, he looked at me and said, “OK. We finish.” Even though it was a short time, I felt as if he had taken me on a long journey.
I got up and began to greet the event attendees who were beginning to arrive. One of my clients was there and noted, “You look different. What have you been doing?”
“I’m not sure”, I replied.
Later on I found Master Chen and asked him what he had done. He looked at me with penetrating, yet gentle eyes and exclaimed, “Tonight, we upgrade your spirit!”
I bowed my head in gratitude, but it would be another two years before I would even begin to get a real grasp of the gift he had given me.
After the weekend, I made the commitment to practice Qigong for 10 minutes a day for one month. By the time the end of the month came, I had a much clearer picture of the potential for feeling alive that this practice would give me and I could taste my freedom.
10 minute challenge: Many people have asked me to create my own simple, short practice DVD with the key movements I learned from Master Chen. Some of you already have my Qigong video. If so, put it in your DVD player or computer and do the 10 minute practice every day for a week. If you don’t have it, you can buy it here: Beyond Yoga dvd
And stay tuned for some more quick practices that can start to boost your qi…