Part of learning qigong is exploring the nature of change. Everything is constantly in the process of becoming something else. We know this, however there are times when we may suddenly realize that we are experiencing intense resistance to the way things are changing. Despite our knowledge and wisdom, we may even feel we must find a way to stop change. Fear, anger and even meanness may unexpectedly arise. Our minds can become obsessed with creating strategies to resist; suffering often ensues.
When we resist current situations we may also discover some aspects of ourselves that don’t seem to fit with our self-view. We can be easily lured to focus on current events which often distracts us from our practices and consciousness training, despite its importance at the time. We may again ask ourselves, “Who am I”? If you are reading this, you are likely a person who wants to live a conscious life, with abilities to skillfully navigate all types of changes.
Zhineng Qigong (ZQG) offers us skillful ways to find stable ground when we feel we’ve lost our sense of connection to the bigger picture. ZQG practices gently nudge us to detach from incoming information that can activate thoughts of fear, separation and dread. It invites us to remember our innate connection with earth, sky, universe and each other. It encourages and urges us to hold a “big” perspective of life and humanity. ZQG asks us to be curious about the unfolding mystery of life. This alone helps us see life through a bigger lens and that there is a vast set of future possibilities.
“Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called big mind.” – Shunryu Suzuki
So how do we actually change a busy mind that never seems to stop churning? It can be done by employing a simple aspect of ZQG that is surprisingly effective for calming the mind:
Begin by mindfully doing movements from one of the practices, such as the Lift Qi Up Pour Qi Down form. Focus your mind for as long as you can on the experience of your body moving. Then at the same time engage your mind to relax deeply and expand your awareness. This gives your mind something to do, which gets it off of the churning track. Stay mindful of your body rather than waiting passively for the mind to enter a state of emptiness. Simultaneously, and most importantly, pay attention to any thoughts and sensations that arise without attaching any personal meaning to them. Bring your mind back to your body sensations, over and over again. That is the practice.
As we engage conscious use of our mind to experience sensation within our bodies, we also cultivate a partnership of heart and mind. The heart informs the mind and vice versa, a mutually supportive relationship develops that leads to more health and happiness. With regular practice of resting your mind and opening your heart, the heart-mind relationship gains strength over time.
Now is the time to engage all of your ZQG training. Allow the waves of change to continue throughout your life as if you are watching the ever-changing tides of the sea or clouds moving across the sky. You can count on qigong to provide you a refuge during challenging times. Remember as you begin your practice to “rest your mind, open your heart”.
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” – Eckhart Tolle